FLATHEAD (QUEEN LUCY THE LEVELHEADED)
The beautiful, sultry, telepathic Lucy Flathead was one of the
female descendants of Lucille Flathead who had been living in The Dark,
apart from the rest of the Empire, following the Curse of Megaboz. In
every generation there had
appeared to be one daughter who was a telepath. Lucy Flathead, who was
the one of that generation (circa 989 GUE), was born
Magic, and given her True Name through the
power of the Old Tongue upon the third day following her birth. She
would become one of the only known Flatheads in all of Zork.
Yet for one so gifted in the reading of
minds, Lucy had no such skill with the reading of hearts. Like all of
the descendents of Lucrezia before her, Lucy had inherited her general
mistrust of all men. Lucy would grow up to be cold, dismissive of
emotions, generally, because they tended to cloud her readings of
minds—like static, or poor reception on a telephone line. She was
dismissive of emotions, personally, because she had never had any of
the nicer varieties. The Dark was not, ultimately, a wonderful place to
raise a child.
powers, and her sphere of knowledge, were basically governed by the
recognized laws of telepathy. However, her status as a baffling
Flathead, and the enchanted blood of some sort of wizard intertwined
with her family lineage, made her powers somewhat more vague. Her
powers were the powers of Middle Magic, which is to say, Mental Magic.
She was a lower-ranking telepaht, able to glimpse visions of
the future, glimpse visions of the past, hear unheard sounds, see the
invisible (doors, creatures, objects), and read minds (though not of
animals. She could, however, sometimes subdue animals who were willing
educated enough to listen to reason).
In 1048, following the
death of Syovar III at the hands of Mir Yannick, Lucy Flathead stared,
transfixed, at the slain Vice Regent’s photo in the New Zork Times that
lay on her desk at the Port Foozle Psychic Friends Bureau, beneath the
headline “Syovar Assassinated; Who Will Succeed?” She was getting a
migraine, an awful migraine. She tried even harder to ignore the
picture that was taking shape in her mind. It had something to do with
the death of the Regent, but it hurt too much to see it. And she did
not particularly care for whatever it was. She was not, by nature, a
political person. She believed that people were weak and foolish; that
horrible things either had or would befall them; that fate was cruel
and purposeless. She knew the first of these precepts best illustrated
by her own frivolous ancestry; the second from glimpsing into the grim
minds of her clientele; and the last, from her own dark life. So what
did she care if one more fat politician got his due?
her attention to the distractingly lewd observances blaring out from
the mind of the customer that sat across from her. His was the most
dismal sort, a petty gambler looking to hedge his odds in the windcat
races. It was precisely the sort of client that made her wonder if her
Gift were really a Gift at all. This was her fourth job as a Psychic
Counselor; in an age devoid of magic, a whole market for bogus
carpetbaggers had sprung up in its place. She had never let on to the
others at the Bureau that she was an actual telepath, partly out of a
kind of professional courtesy (because, according to her, they were
scalawags and scams and she did want them to feel badly that she was
not) and partly because she was embarrassed. Once people knew she knew
what they were thinking, they had a tendency to become rather
embarrassed themselves. Especially the men. With her telepathic
abilities came a checkered lineage of which she was publicly quite
defensive, and privately quite ashamed. Though she wore an ill-fitting
headpiece to try to hide it, Lucy’s head was absolutely flat; she was
one of the last surviving descendents of the House of Flathead.
the pain became so unbearable that she could no longer listen to the
blather in the customer’s head, Lucy had no choice but to let it out.
She threw back her head, surprising the customer, and allowed the
strange violet light to flow out of her eyes, flooding the room. Her
coworkers stared at her with amazement, as her seemingly lifeless form
floated a few feet above the ground. In her trance, Lucy saw in a few
harsh stills the death of Syovar at the hand of the Grand Inquisitor.
She saw the death of the Dungeon Master, as well, and startled when she
saw him from the grave look her in the eye, imploring “Tell Them.” And
with that, Lucy fell to the ground. She had no choice. The Dungeon
Master had sent her the vision, and she had to do something because of
it. Lucy left the Bureau immediately, never to return. She made her way
to the Magistrate, and took her own deposition, sealing it in
file at the Magistrate’s Office. She gave it to the Magistrate, and
panicking, got out of town.
In 1058, Lucy Flathead was waiting
to board the ferry to Accardi-by-the-Sea when the Grand Inquisitor’s
men caught her defacing Inquisition propaganda. She was placed under
arrest for anti-Inquisition political activism and employing telepathic
abilities, and bound over to trial for High Treason Against the Empire.
The Magistrate had broken the seal on her file, and alerted Yannick
immediately. Implicating Yannick—the only remaining authority that held
the temporary government of the Empire together, in the time of flux
and chaos following the death of the Vice Regent—rapidly earned Lucy a
sentence of death. The fact that the Grand Inquisitor was the presiding
official of the court did not help matters much, but it did somewhat
speed up the deliberations. Though she fully expected to die, the Grand
Inquisitor had other plans for her.
When Yannick discovered that
her bloodline traced directly back to the Flathead Dynasty, and she was
thus the rightful heir to the empire, the horrid man enjoyed not only
the pleasurable surge of power that lay in giving her the sentence, but
yet another in commuting it. Now that he had the attention of the
population, he determined to make an example of Lucy, and brought her
to the Totemizer. Though she would not give him the satisfaction of
showing her fear, the Totemizer was truly a hideous machine.
Lucy would lose her visionary powers when she lost her True
within. She would become captive in a disk of base metal without
substance, a lifeless totem of her magical self.
In the final
moments that Lucy stood atop this giant mechanical spectacle, she
became something of a folk hero to the crowd at its base. Yannick, who
was more taken with the vision of her body than her visionary mind,
offered her a last chance at clemency if she were to subject herself to
an inquisition of a more personal nature. To this she only spat out
Then, her eyes began to radiate the same strange
purple light, and up she floated, straining against the ropes that
bound her to the platform of the machine. She began to speak in a low
monotone, warning the Grand Inquisitor of his doom in a strange vision.
There would be only one, one who could call the Great Lady down from
the Planes of Atrii, through the Last Door. She would come for Yannick,
and a great sacrifice and a brave heart would destroy him. The
frightened Grand Inquisitor could bear no more of such nonsense, and
slapped her… hard. In whipping her head to the side, her hair seemed to
move, and then the top of her headdress sailed cleanly off-revealing
her truer, flatter nature. The crowd hushed, shocked. Lucy was a
flathead! There were still flatheads living in the Empire? How could
this be? But Lucy herself, just smiled defiantly. When her ropes were
loosened, she laughed at the Grand Inquisitor, and threw herself into
A passing mercenary stared at her, transfixed.
Antharia Jack fought his way to the front of the crowd, desperate for
one last glimpse at the woman that had captured his heart so long ago.
But a small explosion sent him reeling back, followed by a great whirl,
then sparks and smoke, and he could just make out where something
passed through the tubes, spiraling downward, around and around. An
iron totem fell to the stone floor with a clatter. Lucy was no more and
her totem was put on display in the headquarters’ main exhibit hall.
Frobuary 34th, 1067, AFGNCAAP, who would shortly be appointed Fourth
Dungeon Master by Lucy Flathead herself, soon met up with three other
traveling companions who wished to join the quest. All three were
one-time magical creatures who had been stripped of their magical
faculties and imprisoned within totems. The three were none other than
the beautiful and telepath Lucy Flathead (within the Steppinthrax
Monastery), the thick-fitted, all-brawn no-brain brogmoid Brog (within
the gates of Hades), and the whiny, neurotic griff (at the Secret
Entrance to the Underground), who suffered a dragon inferiority complex
and wanted desperately to avoid physical pain. Together, they formed an
unlikely band of adventurers who joined forced to recover the three
lost relics, destroy the Grand Inquisitor, and finally return magic to
its rightful place in the Empire.
The group dynamic was
interesting, to say the least; Dalboz was hungry and bitter and
betrayed, skeptical as to whether the Grand Inquisitor could even be
stopped, and in as foul a mood as any fellow stuffed in a lantern of
that size was likely to be. Dalboz oversaw the posse with what limited
respect a bodiless voice could command. Lucy, for herself,
not accustomed to taking orders from a man, and found the arcane nature
of Dalboz’s magical knowledge, when combined with the insane nature of
his utilitarian uselessness, somewhat aggravating. She was logical,
intelligent, witty, scathing, and a bit defensive. She thought she was
always right and usually was. The Dungeon Master thought she was an
incessant annoyance and she usually was. The griff liked nothing better
than to order about Brog, duping him into performing his own share of
the work and more, and then blaming Brog when these suggestions
backfired. Brog did not mind; he simply liked to talk with the
twittering birds and the chirping insects, and instinctively find his
way throughout the Underground, as he had since he was a pup. He was
content just to look at Lucy, though more than anything he wished he
could touch her.
retrieve the three artifacts, it was necessary to send the spirits of
the three totemized victims through three time tunnels, which had been
erected back in the days of Dimwit Flathead for the very purpose of
restoring magic to Zork. The griff went back in time and recovered the
Coconut of Quendor straight from the mouth of the Watchdragon. Brog
returned to the White House shortly before 966 GUE, where he descended
into the grue breeding ground to retrieve the Skull of Yoruk. Lucy
Flathead was sent to Port Foozle in the year 931, where she won one of
the Cubes of Foundation from Antharia Jack in a game of Strip Grue,
Fire, and Water. Despite her iron will, she fell in love with Jack,
finding him to be cute, "too cute" as she put it. Lucy fled
casino in the bowels of a walking castle, but Antharia Jack would never
forget her charm.
On the following day (1067-02-35), after
escaping from the Inquisition Prison in Port Foozle with the totems in
tow, AFGNCAAP headed for the Flathead Mesa to halt Yannick from
unleashing Inquizivision. With the three relics placed in the radio
tower, AFGNCAAP quickly cast MAXOV upon the tower to bind the
energies. The resultant blast threw AFGNCAAP, the totems, and the Grand
Inquisitor from the tower while sending a shockwave of magic across the
land. Exposed to the burst of magic energies, the totems sprung back to
life. Lucy was caught by Jack. The burst of magic diffused all of
Yannick’s technology—the monitors and the rest of his Inquisivision
system, and even the Grand Inquisitor “I am the boss of you” posters
supernaturally altered to “Queen Lucy the Levelheaded.” Jack and Lucy
confessed their love to one another with a passionate kiss.
magic returned and the Grand Inquisitor's tyranny ended, Lucy Flathead
declared herself the rightful heir to the throne. Her first act was to
declare the Great Underground Empire open and magic free to all those
who desired it. Her second was to name the unknown PermaSuck
salesperson as Dalboz's successor, the Fourth Dungeon Master of Zork.
Her third act was to privately explain time travel to Jack.
Like all Flatheads, Lucy is not a swimmer.