THE SECOND INQUISITION (The
The Second Inquisition, which shook the entire surface of Zork during
the mid-eleventh century, began in the 960s with the questions: What is
magic? Is it a business? Is it a philosophy? A religion? A source of
power or equilibrium? Is it to be disturbed or balanced? The
sharp-tongued Mir Yannick did not have the Gift. It is commonly held
that those who cannot practice magic cannot understand the practice of
magic, either; whether or not this is so, it is true that Mir seemed a
bit literal in his interpretation of the Higher Lessonry of
Thaumaturgy—a bit forced of hand in Basic Enchanting—and certainly, his
sneering, bottom line orientation towards the whole business of magic
did not win him any favors with the faculty. Over time, his failure at
performing in the arts formed in him a bitter hatred against all
workings of magic. Mir was one who was not remorseful when the First
Age of Magic passed away in 966 GUE.
During the beginning of the eleventh century (c. 1000~1033 GUE), Mir
understood that if magic was, indeed, finally going away, in its
departure lay a real opportunity to persecute those who had once
enjoyed such power. He could finally wreak revenge on all who had ever
practiced the Thaumaturgical arts. He would not be satisfied until he
saw to it that all of his one-time classmates were confined in the dark
recesses of Steppinthrax Dungeon. When Mir called for a good
old-fashioned inquisition, the Grand Inquisitor refused to listen to
him. Mir was disgusted. For he knew that if he had been the Grand
Inquisitor, he would champion the death of magic…
It was not until Mir heard the confession of convicted criminal
embezzler Undersecretary Wartle, the Undersecretary to the
Undersecretary to the Secretary of the Zork Patents Office, during the
Archbishop’s sojourn in the wonderfully horrid White-Collar Confessions
Ministry, that he knew how his destiny should unfold. After handing out
a number of Hail Yoruks, Mir opened the confessional and offered an
alternative rehabilitative plan: he would use his influence with the
Grand Inquisitor to demand a full pardon from Syovar III, if Wartle
would begin altering a few patents for unique Zork technologies, here
and there, transferring them into Mir’s possession, as only a partially
reformed patents embezzler knew how. Mir became certain that his rise
to power and fortune—not to mention his vengeance upon magic—would lie
with technology. Though popular sentiment had long held that technology
was for “stupid people”—inferior people who had no magic to them—in the
new, anti-magical economy, technology would become invaluable. A new
magic, belonging exclusively to Archbishop Mir himself.
Wartle, who had always been spineless, fell under the spell of the
Archbishop’s ambition immediately, and by 1047 GUE, when Mir would
succeed to the High Office of Grand Inquisitor himself, he possessed
the patent to every known piece of registered, trademarked, and
patented technology in the Great Underground Empire. He even went so
far as to resurrect the famed, abandoned Frobozz Magic Company as the
Frobozz Electric Company. The Steppinthrax Monastery would become both
the headquarters of the Electric Company. And in this manner, the seeds
Inquisition fell from his barren hand…
The summary of Mir's plan, which survives to our researchers on an old
propaganda recording (c. 1067 GUE) remainded the same from the
proclamation for the betterment of society (and the worsement,
in plain fact - ceasement of magic) To our most loyal citizenry of our
largely peaceable and only rather recently corrupted township of Port
which is to say our persons of only the most excruciatingly and
subservient natures, highly-evolved moral sensibilities, finely-tuned
capabilities, the philosophically complex, the ethically subtle or,
THE BLINDLY OBEDIENT!
it be known throughout our land from the Westlands east to the
and all of the good spots in the middle, any persons found, alleged,
remembered, or known to be practicing magic of any variety, degree,
intention or color or other arts supernatural, metaphysical, cerebral,
alchemical, performance, pretentious, and otherwise, will not be
tolerated, respected, invited to parties and celebrations, inclusive of
restricted to curse day and otherwise, will in plain fact, and with
conscience, be humiliated, intimidated, persecuted, incarcerated,
tortured (if time permits) and will be totemized along with anyone they
ever met. (which is, frankly, a very bad thing. Perhaps the worst of
possible things. In a hypothetical universe composed entirely of good
things, this would be very nearly the bottom in the list of desirable
is no magic in Zork. There will never again be magic in Zork. Until
would dare attempt to restore the black arts have been contained (which
say, destroyed: to wit, see above) Port Foozle is here by, from this
day on and
from this day back, ordered to obey, in view of a penalty of
strict curfew of sundown, by order of The Magic Inquisition as dictated
High Holiness, The Pontiff of Pleasure, The Friar of Fire, The Minister
Sinister, The Pastor of Disaster, The Higher Power Himself, The Grand
Inquisitor of Zork. By your command!
are the twelve hundred steps to self-containment in the Post Magical
Age? Obey! Conform! Abstain! Ignore! Deny! Repress! Restrain! Brible!
Curb! Reduce! Repeat! Inform! Shun! Tell us! Tell us everything! Avoid
fliratation! Avoid libation! Floss regulary! Save often! Walk briskly!
Step lively! Think happy thoughts!"
And again, in an excerpt from his charismatic speech at the Flathead
Mesa (1067 GUE):
People of the Great Underground Empire, your Wizards and Enchanters,
Conjurers and your Charmers, have held you for so long in their sway
blasphemous, black powers of magic long enough. They wielded their
comrades, because you did not. Their power was your powerlessness. They
law. They respected no persons. They held order and government in
short, they turned your empire into fudge, not because they craved
simply because they could, and you could not. This is the economy of
This is the ugly history of our great empire. This is how the Great
Uprising came to happen.
“And what have we learned in the hundred years since
waning of magic? What are the twelve Hundred Steps to Self-Contentment
post-magical age? We Obey the Inquisition! We Conform to the Handbook!
uphold and invest in the highest platform of the reigning technology!
celebrate the machine, and the liberation from the tyranny of wizardry.
abstain from flights of fantasy, imagination, and invention other that
appropriately patented according to the governances of current code!
were few precepts I knew to be more true than those soon espoused in
Inquisition Handbook. I knew that two twin powers would drive our great
forward. The power of the people to control themselves - and the power
party, the movement, the Inquisition - to control them.
“Obey! Conform! Abstain! Ignore! Deny! Betray! Refrain! Cease! Appease!
Shun magic and shun the appearance of magic! Shun everything -- And
shunning! Avoid new sensation! Avoid old sensation! Avoid any
unnecessary pleasantries! Avoid necessary pleasantries! Avoid
libation! Avoid fermentation! Avoid all of these in combinations. Save
Floss regularly! Floss meaningfully. Floss athletically. And above all,
forget, who is the boss of you? Me! I am the boss of you. I am the boss
Unfortunately, starting in 1037 GUE the Inquisition proved dastardly
for many races of magic, halfling-magic, or barely-magic creatures that
lived in Zork. Inquisition troops, known as the Inquisition Riders,
canvassed the land, hunting down trolls, orcs, nymphs, sprites and so
Mir Yannick rose to the position of Vice President of Unreasoning Zeal
in 1046 GUE, second only to the Grand Inquisitor himself. During a
private conference with Yannick, the Inquisitor accidentally hit
himself repeatedly over the head with a blunt instrument until he died
(at least that was the report given by Yannick). Other reports of the
Grand Inquisitor’s death include having eaten a rather lethally rancid
platypus pot pie. Mir claimed to have been in sorrow for many days
because of the “unfortunate demise.”
Already Yannick had parlayed his position as the head of the
mega-conglomerate Frobozz Electric to rule the land like a fascist
regime. Because Frobozz Electric owned all patented technology in the
land, as long as the Inquisition could keep magic from the people, he
could rule the populace as he pleased. But the rumors of supernatural
sightings and the return of magic were talked about with increasing
clamor by the populace. Fearing that a magic rebellion would grow from
the people, the Grand Inquisitor grew more nervous by the day. In
response, he tightened his stranglehold, fattening the citizens with
further anti-magic propaganda and encouraging them to take more
excessive actions against it.
As the oppression against magic became more devastating, the
Enchanter’s Guild formed a coalition against the Inquisition, which
ended in a standoff. The week prior to Frobuary 34th, 1067 GUE, the
standoff ended peacefully when the Enchanters were freed from
themselves by caring Inquisition Troops. Concerned citizens everywhere
searched high and low for hidden scrolls and magic contraband,
voluntarily purging themselves of the worst excesses of the Magic
When Port Foozle was liberated on the thirty-fourth of Frobuary, 1067
GUE, the Inquisition claimed that the magic wars were finally over.
“Shun magic and shun the appearance of magic! Shun everything - and
then shun shunning!” said the Grand Inquisitor from atop Flathead Mesa,
where the grateful masses thronged to welcome Inquisition Troops to
newly-occupied Port Foozle. A region-wide evening curfew initiated by
the Grand Inquisition.
residents of Port Foozle. By order of the grand inquisitor, master of
technologies, useful and otherwise, High Lord of all that he wants and
some, Leader of the campaign against all horrid sorts of magic the
curfew is now in effect.
Township of Port Foozle is an occupied Inquisition Outpost. No citizen
under the age of eighteen may appear on or in the streets after curfew
progress. Violators of Inquisition Curfew may be intimidated,
lacerated and/or masticated, if time permits and the weather is fine.
violators of curfew may be totemized, which is unspeakably painful and
altogether irreversible, except for in certain cases including but not
to those at the correctly played end of this game.
violators of curfew will be threatened with smiting and then smitten.
smote, further smitation and subsequent resmitation will commence until
smitee is deemed sufficiently smit by the smiter.
your stay in Occupied Port Foozle. This message was brought to you by
Electric: We are the Boss of You!”
a reminder: All Foozle households must be equipped with a standard
Inquisition loudspeaker as per standard Inquisition requirements,
blaring standard Inquisition propaganda at all times, which is
standard. Failure to comply will result in standard Inquisition
consequences, which is to say, YOU WILL BE TOTEMIZED!”
The curfew system also broadcasted paid announcements (all of them
sponsed by Frobozz Electric) such as "The Grand Inquisitor Rules!" and
"Get inside, it's almost curfew you fat lot of yipple dung!"
On the same day that Port Foozle was liberated, the imposter Third
Dungeon Master read a brief but
impassioned statement in support of the transitional Inquisition
government, before he “accepted the Inquisition’s generous offer of a
permanent vacation” in prison. This was off course not true, as the
Dungeon Master had been defeated for quite some time, but it prevented
Mir Yannick from having to upkeep the pseudo-Dalboz and risk the
discovery of the false identity. Although rumors that the Dungeon
Master was leading a Magic Resistance abounded, the Inquisition assured
the populace that these were entirely false.
In addition to the occupation of Port Foozle, the Grand Inquisitor had
completed his technological wonder, a powerful mind-control device in
the form of the Inquisition Cable Network, Inquizivision, which he
planned to broadcast from atop Flathead Mesa and use to broaden and
enlighten the minds of citizens across the countryside. This super-plan
would tighten his grip on the minds of the Quendorans so painfully,
that he believed it might never be reversed. With Inquizivision,
non-stop twenty-four-hours-aday Inquisition programming would brainwash
the already mind-numbed, dogma-fed population until their brains would
become useless mush. He planned to unleash this powerful device on the
But his plans were thwarted when moments before his unleashing of
Inquizivision, an adventurer by the name of AFGNCAAP had successfully
collected the Skull of Yoruk, a certain Cube of Foundation, and the
Coconut of Quendor and bound their energies together on Mesa's radio
tower with the MAXOV spell. When Yannick reached the tower, he smiled
to see the Coconut of Quendor and approached it. He strained to pull it
out of the antenna’s compartment. As he did so, a blast of powerful
magic hit the top of the antenna. The resultant blast threw AFGNCAAP,
the totems, and the Grand Inquisitor from the tower while sending a
shockwave of magic across the land. 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 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. Thus ended
the Age of Science and the Second Inquisition.
the spirit of the Inquisition did not fade. For during the time of the
Great Monster Uprising of the Second Age of Magic, many remnant
Inquisitors roamed the world.
The Inquisition had its own court system.
None of the oppressed citizens had any rights at all.
The Grand Inquisitor promised his person guards a benefits package
including a standard stock options package, 401K, profit sharing (but
they would not be fully vested for several months).
Grand Inquisition Edict 1022321:
"Lanterns have been banned. All persons violating this edict in or
Fort Foozle will be totemized!"