Ben Fyshin, 1647 GUE

     Ben Fyshin (A) / (B)
     Boats for Sail (A)
         Art: (1) / (2A) / (2B) / (3A)(3B) / (3C) / (4)
     Rodent Rotary Boat (A) / (B) / (C) / (art1A) / (art1B)
     Ben's Note to Itah (A) / (art1) / (art2) / (art3)


Ben Fyshin, author of the how-to book "Knots of Luck", descended from a long line of river-men who made their living moving goods & shuttling travelers around the hazards that periodically make the land routes unusable; one of his ancestors was Ben Fyshin III. This particular Ben, was a friendly, though laid-back, resident of East Shanbar who ran the only boat rental in the Valley of the Sparrows. Open all year around, "Boats for Sail" was along the Northern River where boats could be rented for commerce or day-sailing. The boats were equipped with Rodent Rotary: a rodent-powered treadmill engine (although he sometimes relied on his customers to provide the rodents). Mice were too weak to suffice, but rats would power them fine.

When the curse of Morphius was in the air during the mid-1600s GUE, the shop was displaced with the rest of East Shanbar to the parallel subterrenean world along the Frozen River where he rented boats for a mere two zorkmids per trip. The evil did not stop Ben from running his business; who continued to give wonderful tours of the tree homes near the Creeping Bogs (though business did go downfill after the river filled up with deadly piranhas).

Witch Itah was at one time the girlfriend of Ben; they often used to go sailing. The couple severed after a fight and did not speak since, until in 1647 GUE the unnamed Sweepstakes Winner delivered a letter of apology to her on his behalf. She accepted his apology and the two later went boating together.

This was not the only incident involving the Sweepstakes Winner. The East Shanbar blacksmith, having mistakeningly returned the incorrect sword to the Sweepstakes Winner, unknowningly sold the Dwarven Sword of Zork to Ben. After the Sweepstakes Winner returned with a voucher from the blacksmith, Ben handed over the sword. Ben also taught the Sweepstakes Winner the "Cow Hitch" knot which was later used for making a rope bridge from the top of the Northern River Lighthouse to the big tree on the opposite side of the river near Bel Naire.

Ben Fyshin loved Witch Itah, and some say their connection has made his clan better than ever at detecting sandbars and other underwater hazards. But as no one knows what became of him, and they were known to quarrel occasionally, it may simply explain the appearance of talking fish in the area.


SOURCE(S): Return to Zork, Legends of Zork (game, design documents, personal correspondence with author of 'A Wizard and His Cocoa' quest)