Wurb Flathead, son of Idwit Oogle Flathead and nephew of Barbawit Flthead, was the twelfth and final king in the Flathead dynasty. Born on Oracle 3rd, he assumed the throne in 881, and his reign came to an abrupt end on the 14th of Mumberbur, 883, when the Curse of Megaboz, delayed for 94 years, finally succeeded in destroying the reign of the Flatheads. Wurb has been given bad press by those who feel that his remarkable feeble-mindedness was responsible for the fall of the Empire. The truth of the matter is that Dimwit Flathead's bad policies caused Megaboz to cast his Curse, while Wurb did his best to fight off his inevitable downfall. His most notable act as king was to offer one half of the wealth of the kingdom to anyone who could forestall the Curse. When this did nothing to prevent the Empire's downfall, Wurb lost his throne and moved somewhere else.

In the year 881 GUE, the twelfth and final heir of the condemned Flathead Dynasty, Wurb Flathead rose to the throne of the Great Underground Empire (and the basis of the bloit changed to his elephant). During the course of the last three rulers, rebellions had been breaking out in nearly every corner of the world. The palace royalty still insisted that His Royal Highness Wurb Flathead ruled over the same glorious Empire that his ancestors had carved with their bare hands, and yet no one outside the capital city in the Eastlands recognized imperial authority.

While the Great Underground Empire was in its heyday—upscale condos crowded the massive caverns and subterranean highways stretched from Aragain to Fublio Valley—the dread Curse Day was a mere two years away and already the empire had fallen into a completely frantic state over their impending doom. Both town and countryside were being abandoned as the day drew nigh, their inhabitants fleeing in the wake of the wizard’s curse that had already killed Dimwit and disposed of the royal Flathead family some 92 years before. The Curse was threatening to destroy Wurb’s empire entirely before he could even celebrate his eighteenth birthday.

Ill-trained in the details of government and more than a little shocked by the recent siege and the death of his father, young Wurb, alone and without friends, was utterly incapable of facing an increasingly desperate situation. The brief period of his reign, the last two years of the empire, saw the complete collapse of any sort of imperial authority, the effective size of the Quendoran state shrinking to encompass only the once thriving city of Flatheadia and the grounds of the royal palace itself. Often described by history as “feeble-minded,” Wurb himself was nearly totally dominated by court officials and various surviving members of the royal family whose skills at government were rarely any better than his own. Many people telling the tale, especially Froboz Mumbar, seem to think that Wurb's ineptitude was the only reason the empire collapsed at all.

Anyone who still clings to this belief has clearly forgotten the significance of the Curse of Megaboz. Although there were still those even after the fall of the Great Underground Empire that tried to dismiss the entire story of Megaboz as no more than a hoax, a large percentage of the population and the royal court was in fact aware and in terror of the Curse, thanks in part to the effects of Barbawit's important if abortive propaganda campaigns some forty years earlier.

The two years of Wurb were characterized by a growing frenzy of superstition and mystical fear, the court at Aragain seeking false solace in a never-ending stream of magicians, spiritualists and charlatans, all of whom would try and fail to prevent the occurrence of the inevitable. Already, the remnants of the Inquisition had seized total control over Port Foozle and several other sites around the world. Centralized at Foozle, this lunatic religious fringe begun a systematic decimation of the local population in hopes that the Curse could be averted if there was no one alive to notice it, which understandably led to the city’s decline in popularity.

By 882, an alarming number of Eastlanders were marching voluntarily to their own deaths, and even more were being dragged against their will. To avoid a similar fate, thousands upon thousands of natives began to flee the area, some heading to the vacation spots in the Gray Mountains, but more still taking to the sea, hoping to find safety in the still calm western provinces. It was clear by now to everyone involved that Wurb was facing a hopeless situation, and it seems unlikely that even the most capable members among the Flathead Dynasty of the past could have done anything to avert the impending doom. Wurb knew of all these things, but there was little he could do to prevent the inevitable, unless someone else could stop it.

Wurb himself was lost in deepest fog of errors and confusion. He had become aware of rumors that the one person who could stop the Curse of Megaboz, and thus save the empire, was a servant somewhere in his own palace. Throughout the course of his second year on the throne, the last Flathead monarch was frantic. He was slow to action, but with only half a year left before the fast approaching Curse Day, Wurb finally issued a decree. In an official announcement, he offered half the wealth of the kingdom to anyone who was able to allay the Curse of Megaboz and save the land from destruction. Without a blush, the young boy signed his name to the royal proclamation and added the traditional titles “Protector of the Empire and Ruler of all the Known Lands.” By now, the words had become meaningless. Even nearby Port Foozle was absolutely beyond royal reach, the effective domains of the Quendoran king reaching no more than a few bloits outside of the castle grounds.

Already, the barbarian tribes, as well as massive hordes of ogres, trolls, and orcs that had once been held back, now poured freely over the Gray Mountains and Flathead Mountains unchecked into the civilized provinces. Thousands more Zork natives abandoned the once-thriving underground caverns near the capital, driven away, at least in part, by the rude and mischievous pranks of the dangerously senile Wizard of Frobozz, still living in the bowels of the empire over a century after he had accidentally turned Dimwit's castle into a warm pile of chocolate. For the first time in history, the floodgates of the great Flood Control Dam #3 were left unmanned. The king himself was totally controlled by the military advisors and generals that his father had left to protect him. Lord Syovar, who had been a powerful military leader even in the time of Dimwit was the only force keeping young Wurb safe from the invaders. Tales tell of several occasions during Wurb's reign in which Syovar himself nearly died in magical battles fought to preserve the life of the ruling member of the dynasty.

Even so, the king’s clarion call was sent even to the remotest corners of the Empire:

The one who can stop the Curse of Megaboz, and save the land from

destruction, shall be rewarded with half the wealth of the Empire.


  (signed) Wurb Flathead

            King of Quendor

            Protector of the Empire

            Ruler of all the Known Lands

Whether or not Wurb actually expected his decree to have any practical effect, we will never know. It is clear from the generosity of the offered reward that the last Flathead had nothing left to lose. What we do know is that from every province of Quendor, courageous adventurers, scheming charlatans, and wild-eyed crackpots streamed into the Imperial Capital of Flatheadia in response to conquer the evil enchantment.

Clearly convinced of the veracity of the Curse, Wurb, in near desperation, spent the last weeks before his final fall in close conference with an endless succession of true magicians and charlatans alike that had answered his summons. He single-handedly interviewed some 12,569 royal grooms, servants, and slaves in hopes of finding an answer. Most of them laughed at him contemptuously. It is even rumored that the young king, much to the dismay of his frustrated advisors, spent the final three days in a secret conversation with one of his own castle servants, hoping perhaps that the answer to his dilemma could be found where no one else had thought to look. As the fates would have it, Wurb gave up his mighty task too soon, never meeting the one servant that could have saved him.

In any case, on the 4th of Mumberbur Wurb found time amidst the chaos and confusion around him to take a wife. In a hurried ceremony performed in the privacy of the royal wings, Quendor was given its first queen since the death of Idwit's wife some nine years before.

Outside the gates of the castle, the peasants ran riot. The last of the royal guard abandoned their usual posts and spread themselves out around the castle’s massive stone perimeter, fighting desperately for the safety of their king. Finally, Wurb himself was forced to acknowledge the hopelessness of the situation. The long wheel of time had run its course; he knew that the game was over. With the royal guard growing mutinous and the barbarian invaders moving closer to the capital, he began to hurry. Scarcely pausing to packing their bags, the king, his wife, and the last members of his family to remain until the end, snuck quietly out of the castle through an unblocked rear entrance, Wurb bringing only his pet elephant along with him.

In a final melodramatic act on the 13th of Mumberbur, that many people since have interpreted as his own admission of defeat and abdication, Wurb sent word that the castle gates be thrown open and the royal guard be relieved from duty. Within minutes, the Royal Treasury was sacked and looted, the royal soldiers and the orcs joining together in an attempt to scavenge anything of value. The remaining peasants broke into the royal wine cellars for one last rowdy party. By the next morning (the morning of Curse Day), the imperial treasury and the entire palace was virtually bare of any richness. Even the entire metropolis of Flatheadia was vacant; every building gutted.

Wurb's eventual fate is utterly unknown. Rather than wait out the course of events and attempt to regain his position at a later date, perhaps by moving his capital to a less volatile area, Wurb instead simply walked away, the last king and queen of Quendor disappearing into the forests of the south. Whether they even lived to raise a family, stripped of all power and utterly alone, will never be discovered. Even Froboz Mumber, the only reliable chronicler of the era, tells us only that Wurb “moved somewhere else,” fading forever into the obscurity of history.

The only surviving tale of his whereabouts proceeds from an old woman living in a village near the White House, who claimed that in 883, a young man with purple robes and a flattened head, ran through the village. He handed her the imperial scepter and told her to hold on to it for him until he came back. He never did, but this scepter found its way into the hands of Lucien Kaine in 948, and possibly was the very same scepter collected by the Second Dungeon Master on his quest for the position.

Although this was the end of the rule of the royal family of Quendor, dozens of pranksters, usurpers, and charlatans would over the centuries claim to be direct descendants of the Flathead family, the most celebrated being the infamous socialite, philosopher, and toastmaster, Boos Miller of West Shanbar. Whatever the truth behind these later claims might be, neither the king nor his pet elephant were ever found.