Two Paintings Depicting the Destruction of Mareilon, 773 GUE

MAREILON


THE MASHED POTATOE WARS
The Northland province of Mareilon was named after its chief city of the same name. The original coastal city of Mareilon was instructed to be founded shortly after 396 BE by a Borphean named Mareilon to harvest the mashed potatoe crop and send regular shipments back to Borphee in liey of any monetary taxation. When Sir Galepath received these orders, he realized that there must have been some kind of miscommunication, as he had already built an encampment further north on the shore of the Great Sea which his men had fondly named, Galepath. It was also his understanding that Galepath would be a separate city, free from any kind of taxation and interacting with the other cities by way of equally balanced trade of goods. The dialogue between the two men quickly turned ugly and became steadily worse as it approached what seemed to be an inevitable war.

Fearing a repeat of the Pheebor massacre in 396 BE, Galepath’s advisors convinced him to invite Mareilon to a summit, where they would put their egos aside and work out their problems. Needless to say, this did not work. But surprisingly, it was not a complete disaster. Mareilon returned to Borphee, absorbed by this development, and quickly assembled another expedition that would colonize the region just south of Galepath. This new city was conveniently nestled in low hills between the vast plains to the north, the forests to the west, and the Great Sea to the east, and was tremendously well-supplied with grain, fish, and moss farms, not to mention the endless trade of wisku-meat coming in from the south (and, of course, the mashed potatoes). As a result, the markets of Mareilon were without compare the world over.

The competition between the cities of Galepath and Mareilon escalated over the years, eventually outlasting both men’s lives. One of the first and most famous princes of Mareilon was Prince Zarbonel. Though the mashed potato fields were virtually boundless, spiteful citizens would often harvest from the other city’s fields. Despite the valiant attempt to resolve the issue early on, war eventually did break out. But by this time, the new ruler of Borphee had wisely detached himself from the feud, thereby drastically lowering the stakes.

The cities of Galepath and Mareilon fought for centuries. And as they did so, both sides slowly lost touch with why they were fighting to begin with. They were driven by self-perpetuating and meaningless anger that only seemed to grow stronger after losing its foundation. The cities grew in equal proportion to their citizens’ disdain of the enemy, until both lands surpassed even Borphee in size, although the two were mirror opposites. Galepath would grow to become icon of intellectual pursuit of the entire world for millennia to come, while Mareilon would be dragged down into decay with the infestation of rabid gangs and corrupt politics.


PRELUDE TO QUENDOR
Although the history of the northern regions before the formation of Quendor is dominated by the rise and fall of competing city-states, these small powers were by no means the only participants in pre-Quendoran political life in the Westlands. In fact, several historical sources that detail the formation of the Kingdom of Quendor make no mention of the city-states whatsoever, describing the lands that now make up ancient Frobozz as wild and untamed wasteland, populated by all sorts of warring tribes and uncivilized nomads. Undoubtedly, the area stretching from the northern strip of the Mithican Mountains in the west to the Lonely Mountain and the coast in the east was still on the whole largely barbarized and highly dangerous. In fact, it is likely that the various warring tribes that inhabited the forests near Galepath and the hillsides near Mareilon account in a large part for those two cities’ respective inabilities to form a larger and more stable union or nation of some kind before the coming of Entharion.

In any case, it is nearly certain that in his history-making campaign against Galepath and Mareilon, Entharion himself encountered incessant delays along the way. Forced to fight his way through foreign and largely unexplored territory in his attempt to reach the coast, by the time he had reached his goal, the would-be monarch had defeated and pacified the various nomadic and tribal groups that had attempted to stand in his way. Although the twin pillars of his new kingdom would be the conquered coastal cities, it was these barbaric tribes that would form the bulk of the countryside population of Quendor at its birth.


WAR BETWEEN GALEPATH AND MAREILON
Over the centuries, several historians from both Galepath and Mareilon have tried to claim Entharion, later surnamed the Wise as one of their own. If we believe Froblivius, nothing could be farther from the case. By the time war had broken out between Galepath and Mareilon for the last time, Entharion had risen to the position of bozbian praefect, the chief military commander of the city of Quendor. The early details of his life are still obscure, but it does seem that he was a native-born Quendoran.

In any case, by 3 BE, Galepath and Mareilon were again at war. The prince of Quendor hurried to make his traditional and tired declaration of absolute neutrality. By all reports, Entharion, who was too young to remember any of the previous conflicts, failed to understand why all of his compatriots seemed so bored by the entire affair. It seems clear from the king's later writings that he felt something important to be in the making. He did in fact spend several weeks trying to convince the prince to let him march; it did not seem to matter to him which side he was going to fight for, so much as it did that he actually got a chance to fight. By the end of the summer season, both of the warring parties had sent desperate messages to the prince of Quendor begging for military assistance. With the vague intention of solving the chaotic situation, Entharion's armies had begun to march. Although the founder of the Quendoran nation would insist until his dying day that he marched only on orders from his prince, no such orders have ever been found, and the prince's later actions do not support Entharion's claims.

Within a matter of weeks, Entharion's forces had made the relatively short march to the coastal areas in contention and had come in sight of the two warring camps. The scene as told by Froblivius is a chaotic one indeed. The forces of Galepath and Mareilon, upon seeing the approach of the new arrivals, both withdrew and regrouped their forces, expecting the Quendorans to join their camp and help in the fight against the other. Soon it became clear that neither was the case; Entharion ordered the bugle to sound, and his forces descended with an amazing fury upon the unsuspecting coastal armies, hacking them to bits. The battle lasted barely three hours, and the results were devastating. When the dust had settled, the princes of Galepath and Mareilon, both of whom had been at hand, were laying their arms at the feet of the victorious Entharion, acclaiming his sovereignty. At first, it seems, Entharion had no intention of violating his oath to the Quendoran prince. In a brief letter sent back to Quendor, he informed his overlord that peace had been found, and that both cities were prepared to recognize the suzerainty of Quendor.

Concerned that the situation on the coast might sink back into anarchy, Entharion stayed encamped near the Lonely Mountain, determined to keep an eye on the two defeated powers. For months and months the prince of Quendor stalled, reluctant to reply to his powerful praefect. Perhaps he feared that Entharion had become too powerful, and preferred to see him as far away from the center of power as possible. Whatever the truth may be, it was a full six months before Entharion received a reply: “I don't want those cities. Put them back where they belong. And don’t come home.” Annoyed at the tone of the message, and more than a little resistant to the idea of forsaking his easy conquests, Entharion decided to take matters into his own hands.

Entharion’s personal writings, although potentially very helpful, are in truth highly obscure. In fact, this one passage below degenerates from being unclear to downright unintelligible:
 

The true dilemma at this point lay in finding a simple way to unify the two bodies. Choosing the half-way point a stronghold, true wisdom. General wrath brings unrest I destroy. Be four kings tyrannized thee peoples it not for bar bar bar.


Nonetheless, Entharion abandoned his position in the Quendoran army receding into temporary isolation within what is today known as Egreth Forest. With his absence, the royal Quendoran army was recalled from the Lonely Mountain, thus relinquishing control over the two conquered city-states. Within a day of this repositioning of troops, Galepath and Mareilon, now bereaved of their watchmen, were once again drawing swords at one another.


DAWN OF THE ENTHARION DYNASTY
When the year 0 GUE finally came around, the people of Zork felt fairly confident that something big was about to happen. This assumption would turn out to be true, for during these days, Entharion emerged from Egreth Forest and built himself a tiny hut on the beach between Galepath and Mareilon. Stunned by the presence of their new neighbor, soldiers from both sides approached the hut. Unaware that this was the man whom their princes had only three years ago surrendered to, they took turns interrogating Entharion. The Galepathians would poke his left shoulder with their spears and ask him where he came from, then before he could answer, the Mareilonians would poke his right shoulder and demand to know who had sent him. This went on for some time, until Entharion, instead of answering any of the questions, inquired about the apparent hostility between the two groups of soldiers. One of the dozen or so men crammed inside the tiny hut explained that they had been in at war for hundreds of years, noting, however, that it was none of his business and that he better get to answering their questions right away. Disobeying this order, Entharion again asked a question. “Why fight?”

From that day forth, the modest, unassuming man who emerged from the woods was known as Entharion the Wise. With a perfectly na´ve question, Entharion united the warring kingdoms of Galepath and Mareilon and was exalted as the first king of the Entharion Dynasty. It was a glorious time. The new kingdom was named Quendor after Entharion’s city of origin, and his castle was erected between the cities he had united, on the former site of his hut. This region was named Largoneth. It was from this castle that he ruled for the entirety of his reign, and it would serve the as the capital of the kingdom for the duration of the Dynasty.


ONE LAST REBELLION
Although the citizens of Galepath and Mareilon had declared themselves one, the Prince Argonel, “rightful ruler of Mareilon,” did not so easily bow to the whims of Entharion’s sovereignty. In public he wore a fašade of comradeship and loyalty, but in his heart he despised the forced union. While most of the population of Mareilon, who had grown tired of the conflict, were in no position to rise up against Largoneth and Galepath, Argonel was able to rally enough soldiers to his cause, that when his treason was discovered, Entharion was not hesitant to quell the insurrection.

In the last days of Mareilon’s glorious independence, Mazimar Spildo of Galepath took up arms with Entharion against the city and overthrew the last remnants of its might. The king condemned Prince Argonel to die by the executioner’s axe, but in an attempt (a pathetic attempt as Argonel’s descendants would later recount), he allowed the prince’s wife and son to go free. These two and their descendants were relegated to generations of miserable existence as rope salesmen and mosquito net makers. Barely making ends meet, these descents of Argonel would watch and wait while those around them praised Entharion and spoke highly of the great debt they owed him. They would pass on to each generation tales of Entharion’s usurping of freedom and the cessation of Mareilon’s glorious independence, for subjecting them in an unequal alliance with the vile Galepath, and for making them pay undeserved allegiance to some frail monarch on a throne over two hundred bloits away.

For the rest of Mareilon, they believed that the unity with Galepath and Largoneth had brought internal peace, protection from foreigners, even a great deal of new economic prosperity, while others believed it to be a charade. They saw that the wars against Galepath never ended, that Entharion only tricked everyone into believing they did by lulling them into a false sense of peace. Instead of a prince, a mayor was instituted as the head official, one over Mareilon and one over Galepath. Diplomats from both of these cities played a crucial role in the formation of Quendor. (It was after all undeniable that the first mayor had been granted the title only after the city of Galepath and the new king Entharion had forcibly deposed the rightful ruler of Mareilon, Prince Argonel.)


THE SEVEN AND A HALF PROVINCES
Although the names of the original provinces have been lost, several pre-Flathead maps have survived that show the original provincial boundaries. For the sake of convenience, each of those provinces were referred by the names of their chief cities, with one exception: Galepath, Mareilon, Quendor, Znurg, Vriminax, Bozbar and Borphee. The province surrounding the capital at Largoneth was referred to as Frobozz, although no record of a city by the same name has survived to the present day. The half province was Borphee. This “half province” set aside, the rule of Entharion the Wise brought a semblance of peace to a war-torn land and began a dynasty that reigned over the Kingdom of Quendor and its seven and a half provinces for almost seven hundred years, spanning the majestic reigns of fourteen benevolent monarchs.

Now that the concerns that accompany constant warfare had been abolished, people in all the cities of Quendor were able to concentrate on more academic subjects. There was a sudden curiosity about the nature of the world. The study and practice of magic was very crude in those distant days, not the rigorous scientific endeavor it had become by the eighth century. But, the literary works that were produced during this period marked the very beginnings of what later became known as Thaumaturgy; the experimental study of applied magic.


THE FROBBISH REBELLION
In 102 GUE, the citizens of Mareilon were dissatisfied with the new regime of Quendor rulership. These quibblings gave birth to Mareilon’s abortive, near-comical Frobbish Rebellion. Little is known about this event, and only two minute details have emerged: the Eagle’s Claw Tavern was the headquarters of the revolution for a brief two weeks, and that Zylon the Aged became known as the Preserver of Peace in the Time of the Frobbish Rebellion.


THE PLAGUE AND GREAT FAMINE
Oracle of 392 placed the fallen Implementor Belegur at the heart of a deadly plague that shook the kingdom of Quendor. Coupled with famine, this was a deadly time. Mareilon groaned under the agony of food riots. The mayor gave a direct order to the city guards to curb the riots, only to find out later that they helped to instigate them. Even though the handful of remaining magicians of Quendor fused their powers together to defeat the plague and pestilence, the resulting tension between the mayor and the guards never successfully healed, and lasted even into the conflicts of 398 GUE. Although the Great Famine in Quendor was confidently dealt with by Zylon the Aged, those outside the kingdom, in the Kovalli Desert would suffer greatly for the next six years.


DESCRIPTION OF MAREILON IN 398 GUE
In a book detailing the last year of Zylon the Aged, Mareilon was a sprawling metropolis heavily divided into numerous and wildly differing districts. A walk through the streets of the city was a walk into history. At the center of the city lay the Citadel, a strong, fortified structure from the days before Entharion. Outward in all directions lay the newer city government buildings. As the city grew away from the Citadel, and the need for such a fortress decreased with the foundation of the Kingdom, large portions of the Citadel were converted into historical museums. Each new city ruler, lacking any pressing problems, spent his time ordering the construction of new buildings in his honor. To the south of this maze of bureaucratic buildings lay the marketplace which was without compare the world over. One could wander for days among the tents and stands full of foodstuffs. Local residents were all familiar with the countless young urchins who had taken up permanent residence in the market district, living well off the generosity of the prosperous merchants.

The western fringes of the marketplace marked the boundary of the dark, run-down Millucis district. In the light of day, the Millucis was nothing more than a dirty, disease-infested hole. When night came to Mareilon, the Millucis became a nightmare. Gangs roamed the streets armed with clubs and knives, looking for their rival gangs. As with any such district, the Millucis was a haven for thieves, escaped convicts, and even an odd mix of monsters from the outlying areas. (see "Millucis" for more information). Beeblebrox Square lay to the north of Millucis. The dark of night being blessed with no natural timekeeper the likes of the sun, the city of Mareilon had installed many centuries ago a bell tower that rang each hour, tracking the progress of the night.


THE REBELLION OF ZARFIL
Since time immemorial, perhaps as far back as the misty days before the coming of Entharion himself, the matter of preserving the past and treasuring the knowledge of history had always held a peculiar importance to the people of Mareilon. Strictly secular historians would argue that there was no practical purpose for this obsession with history, and would also point out that it simply had its roots in one of the primitive religions that once flourished in Mareilon. Before the rising of the cult of the Great Brogmoid, most Mareilon natives gave praise to the dead, their ancestors who had gone before them. A certain amount of respect was deemed due to those who had already walked the path of life, and suffered through all that this world had to offer. Over the years, the official post of Chief Historian became one of the relics of this now distant belief. The Historian’s job of organizing genealogical knowledge and valuable historical documents had gradually developed into one that enjoyed an incredible amount of prestige, held over from the days of the cult of the dead.

The tenets of Brogmoidism had been on a rapid rise since the beginning of the century. Before this religion’s origination many had believed in the existence of the Great Brogmoid that supports the world upon his shoulders and that this being keeps us from falling into the Great Void, but the formation of this cult was composed of those who delved into idolatry by worshipping the beast itself. Prior to this time, no one is known to have seen these Great Brogmoids. The devout Brogmoidists were growing restless to worship it. Although no one knew how it could be reached, many embarked on pilgrimages in attempts to see it at the bottom of the world. All were in vain.

But in the days before the close of the fourth century saw the fulfillment of prophecies from the Scrolls of Kar'nai, including the advent of Belegur and the sporadic restlessness of the Great Brogmoid that held up this world. And when 398 drew near, the Great Brogmoid shook the world nearly half a dozen times within several weeks, a sign of the great changes to come. Many among the Mareilon populace were left homeless and in terrible debt by his destructive movements. A relief agency was formed solely to find those who were facing the worst of those difficulties, confiscate their property, sell its assets for the city’s profit, and then slam the victims into debtor’s prison. This was only one more burning cause for a revolution that was slowly cresting above the horizon.

There had not been a prince of Mareilon since the formation of Quendor, but with the confederation there came a king reigning from Largoneth, provincial governors, mayors, and sheriffs. In the last few years, there had been increased censorship, travel restrictions, random search and seizures, even in the most crime-free parts of town. Zarfil, a direct descendant of Prince Argonel of Mareilon, made heavy preparations to regain rulership of Mareilon and free it from the oppression of Quendor. He  won the support of several of the most prominent figures of Mareilon society, including those of the rival gangs of the Nightwings and Hellhounds, bringing them all together under one purpose. On the 12th of Oracle, 398 GUE, Zarfil marched into Beeblebrox Square with his supporters and announced his lineage from Prince Argonel. He publicly demanded the resignation of Mayor Hegilburg of Mareilon in favor of a regime that would bring about the immediate and unconditional session from their league with Galepath and those who ruled from Largoneth. He additionally demanded the end of Mayor Umberthar Spildo’s reign in Galepath as the only way to avenge that city’s guilty deeds of having risen with Entharion against Mareilon. Zarfil threatened to march immediately against Galepath and destroy it. He also called for an end to the entire Kingdom of Quendor, declaring the unforgettable words, “The end of the Kingdom of Quendor is at hand.” Gradually the news of Zarfil’s demands made their way to Galepath and even to Castle Largoneth itself. Belegur was pleased with the results.

Once Mayor Hegilburg of Mareilon received word of Zarfil’s rebellion, his head quickly was flooded with news of shadow conspiracies, inevitable revolutions, political convulsions, and numerous traitors in his midst. These tidings sparked his desire for action, resulting in a secret summoning of Zarfil to the Firestone Mansion. Zarfil had planned this. He had played his cards just right, and he and his followers, including Poulizre and Ezkinil marched proudly into the Firestone Mansion. Zarfil boldly declared to the mayor that he would take control of the city one way or another no matter how long it took, and demanded that authority be passed to him. Zarfil never planned that the mayor would simply hand him the key to the city; this was the first stage of his scheme. And, as expected, Hegilburg refused. He would do everything to ensure that Zarfil would be hanged. Spitting in disgust, Zarfil walked out alive, assured that the mayor would never have him in his grasp again. Zarfil had gathered quite a following in the Millicus district. He organized large mobs to instigate riots in the streets, robbing and beating anyone who got in their way. Buildings were set aflame, and the entire unified Nightwing and Hellhound gangs began their revolution against the Mareilon government.

Throughout the streets of the Millucis district and all of Mareilon, the paranoid power-wielder that ruled the Firestone Mansion had issued a blank check to his personal militia, an order to track down Zarfil and all of his supporters any way possible. House to house searches began, bringing slaughter to any who would resist. Zarfil’s forces fought back in their own way, dodging the militia and disappearing through secret alleys familiar only to them and their kind. Once again the city government stormed into the Millucis, this time not with the intent to reform but with pressing urgency of halting a budding revolution.

Every Mareilon native living through those days of rioting and guerilla violence would carry potent images with them until their last days. Fires lit in the night would burn unforgettable in the eyes of those watching from a safe yet ever frightening distance. The old men and women hobbling down the streets of their youth would jump nervously in a twisted harmony with the beating rhythm of running feet falling in the darkening night. For some it was a joyous time.

Almost immediately it became clear that the edge belonged to Zarfil. He had seized the element of surprise with his massive initial rally and had not slackened his pace since that first day. The city government had at first no idea how to react to his threats, and when they finally took the first necessary steps, they did so only to find that most of the city was openly against them. The mysterious lack of any kind of authority or news coming out of Largoneth coupled with several years of worsening poverty in Mareilon had made the moment ripe for Zarfil. Eager to find someone to blame for their misfortunes, the locals fell easily into the rebel corner. The city government and the relatively innocent but conveniently distant metropolis of Galepath bore the brunt of the peoples’ hatred. Every corner filled with the random products of destruction. Stores raided and completely gutted stood next to ever-vacant lots now filled with piles of burning debris.

Overlooking the dirty city of Mareilon from high atop the Backbone Hills, hundreds of Zarfil’s supporters had met to plan the violent seizure of power. Almost immediately after the first outbreak of rioting, the renegade prince had given the order to disperse and reassemble a short distance outside the city. His strategy was a simple one. The city militia, unaware of Zarfil’s presence in the hills, would scour the Millucis from floor to ceiling trying to find him and his followers, while encountering stiff resistance from the usual innocent bystanders.

A miracle of speed and organization, the rebels had already organized and divvied up the rag-tag band into well-structured brigades, each with a different task leading towards the “liberation” of Mareilon. Once the call to battle had been given, one unit would storm the already battered Millucis, carefully arranging several more spontaneous uprisings and demonstrations of loyal affection to Zarfil. Word from his inside sources had told the rebel leader that most of the city militia had itself reached the breaking point. Many of the young men making up the mayor’s police force had come out of the Millucis in hopes of working their way to a better life. Being ordered to ransack the streets of their childhood stirred a great deal of discontent among the ranks. One aspect of the rebel plan called for storming the guard headquarters and imprisoning the highest ranking among that city militia. Without senior officers to give orders, the militia might then be persuaded to join Zarfil’s ranks against Mayor Hegilburg. Even if that aspect of the plan fell through, the bulk of the rebel force would already be storming the Citadel itself, opposition too scattered and distracted by the other areas of fighting.

As the nighttime battle for the streets of Mareilon grew more and more desperate for the city militia, it became clear to them that Zarfil had been much more powerful than they had anticipated. A shrewd player, the one-time rope salesman had been determined to keep his greatest card a secret, holding it in reserve until the decisive moment. The renegade prince himself lingering a safe distance behind the lines of the fiercest fighting, he watched the magical havoc wreaked by his powerful allies (those who worshipped demons). He had not known what to expect from the dark mages, but come the night of the battle, he was favorably impressed. One by one, over half the city’s fighting force had been blinked out of existence by these evil wizards. Panic had run through many of the militia units as young men already unwilling to fight saw their life-long friends disappear before their eyes. Some units however had been spared the devastation. The result was the overtaking of the Citadel of Mareilon and the flight of Mayor Hegilburg. Zarfil entered the Citadel at dawn and finally captured the mayor as he was fleeing from house to house to escape the bounds of the city.

Storming with energy, Zarfil drafted another public notice detailing Hegilburg’s crimes against the city of Mareilon. Trial proceedings were brought against the former mayor the next day. A formal charge of treason was announced, and the jury handpicked from among Zarfil’s Millucis revolutionaries. The outcome of the trial was never in doubt. Former mayor Hegilburg died at the scaffold early the next morning.

Zarfil marched the able-bodied of the Millucis population against Galepath. The two forces met in the Jerrimore Plains, where they were unexpectedly conquered by Kovalli invaders. In the aftermath, the citizens of Mareilon slowly went about the business of rebuilding their lives. Repair work began on the devastated Millucis district, and Ettelwhiff, who was once one of Mayor Hegilburg’s closest confidents, was offered the Firestone Mansion.


THE ZUCCHINI CONFLICTS
Mareilon played a minor role in the Zucchini Conflicts, when in 456 Gustav Peggleboz was raised, without royal approval, to the governorship of Mareilon Province. He promptly cut all ties with the royal court, announcing his province's secession from the Kingdom of Quendor and the resurrection of the ancient principality. A brief but bloody civil war ended in the execution of Peggleboz and a royal decree from Fzort naming himself as Quendor's Universal One-on-One Peggleboz Speed Champion. The Zucchini Wars broke out shortly after followed by horrible zucchini blights. The famine led Quendor to increase shpments of zucchini to the provinces of Bozbar and Vriminax at the expense of the coastal regions. By 465 Mareilon marched against Frobozz to force the freeing of the zucchini route through Znurg to the coast. Harmonious ordered the Galepath militia to provide reinforcements, but Galepath refused to respond as the entire city was infested by a rebellion of yipples.


NEW PROVINICAL STRUCTURE
Quendor at the time of Zilbo III's removal from power was relatively small, encompassing seven-and-a-half provinces divided along rather arbitrary and outdated boundary lines dating from the time of Entharion the Wise. These were Galepath, Mareilon, Quendor, Znurg, Vriminax, Bozbar, Frobozz, and Borphee (which had remained divided since the formation of the kingdom, ignored as too difficult to be worth the trouble). In those days, the major products of this agrarian land were rope and mosquito netting. In the year 660 GUE, Pseudo-Duncanthrax raised a tremendous army to wage a systematic conquest of the neighboring kingdoms. This vile ruler moved swiftly and brutally against the southern half of Borphee and put an end to the tottering and defenseless dynasty of Mauldwood. Finally accomplishing the merger of the two halves, Pseudo-Duncanthrax called the resulting territory Greater Borphee Province. This move began a trend; one by one, the neighboring principalities of Miznia, Gurth, and Mithicus were brought under Quendoran sway and given new provincial administrations. Orexia, on the extreme southern border of Miznia was not brought into Quendor, Pseudo-Duncanthrax himself being too unwilling to combat the diseases and dangers of the Miznian jungles and swamps in order to reach Orexia itself. Thus within three years, Pseudo-Duncanthrax ruled an empire that controlled virtually all the land between the Great Sea and the Kovalli Desert.

With the completion of the conquest of the Westlands, Duncanthrax was faced with the peculiar problem of absorbing lands several times the size of his original kingdom. Clearly it made little sense to turn each conquered land into an individual province, since any one of the new territories would be much larger than most of the original provinces combined. At this point, realizing that the original seven provinces were now too small to be effective in the new system, one of his many administrative reforms was merging them all into the Province of Frobozz, thus bringing to completion the creation of the provincial system as we know it: Frobozz, Greater Borphee, Miznia, Gurth, and Mithicus.


THE ENDLESS FIRE
As the use of magic became more prevalent, so did the problems inherent in its use. Since magic had become available to people in all professions, conflicts arose. One famous issue involved the question whether the plumber's FIZMO spell (“cause stopped-up pipes to unclog”) could be sold as a digestive aid by physicians. The issue came to a head in the aftermath of an incident known as the Endless Fire, which set back the public’s acceptance of magic by a slight mispronunciation and its rather severe consequences. This magical inferno, kindled on Estuary 18, 773 GUE was so named because it burned uncontrollably for four weeks after destroying the city of Mareilon. A well-meaning local civil servant caused the unspeakable devastation when he attempted to cast the very complex ZEMDOR spell (“turn original into triplicate”) but instead accidentally cast a very advanced version of the RADNOG enchantment, ZIMBOR (“turn one really big city in lots of tiny, little ashes”). He reportedly apologized to the city, with the words: “Whoops! My bad!”

At this point, discerning readers will have noted that all of Dimwit's acts seemed to have been to gratify his ego. This, however, is not true. With the public outcry that followed the Endless Fire, Lord Dimwit Flathead’s drastic response was swift and characteristically extreme. The Endless Fire led him to issue a series of 5,521 edicts over the following few weeks, which had the effect of severely limiting public access to magic (and, incidentally, lawyers). Henceforth, all magic was entrusted to the various Guilds of Enchanters, which by now existed in many small communities. These edicts resulted in the blossoming of the highly successful institutions and they found themselves wielding more power than ever before.

The survivors of the Endless Fire, as the event became known, later rebuilt Mareilon the south side of the Backbone Hills (approximately a half day’s walk south of the former’s ruins), though it never regained the glory of the original metropolis.


MAREILON RUINS
The chronicles of Anesi (circa 957~966) mention that there was a gaping crack in the wall around the ruins of the original Mareilon. A road ran left and right around the inside of the perimeter wall. On the outskirts of the city, rows of low-roofed buildings stood with broken shutters hanging at odd angles: windows and doorways were uninviting pits of gloom. The yellow dust of ages was packed hard as brick, and rubble from a great fire lay strewn across the way. Pressing farther into the heart of Mareilon, the evidence of the destruction was plainer. Smoke and flame blackened every stone. Once-proud edifices were no more than teetering facades waiting for a stout wind or loud sneeze to knock them over. No single piece of rubble stood higher than the head of a man. Heat-cracked stone and black mounds of petrified ash blocked many avenues.


BARBAWIT FLATHEAD
When the incessant comedian/king Barbawit Flathead reched Mareilon, circa 843~5, his bizarre reputation had preceded him. Nervous unrest had shaken the city for several days beforehand, some extremist protestors even threatening to destroy the city in a second Endless Fire if the Flathead brought his brand of humor onto the stage within city limits. Despite the best advice of the few advisors that had accompanied him this far, Barbawit insisted on performing, the entire set ending in near disaster. The king himself was pulled off the stage and attacked by the angry mob, barely escaping with his life.


AFTER CURSE DAY
Following the disaster of Curse Day 883, entropy quickly took hold of the surface world. Lands were torn by violence and discord. Faced with the fact that Quendor was well past its prime, the once-great cities on both continents became dens of misery and confusion; lands were torn by violence and discord. The great island-continent of Antharia had been separated from all contact with the outside world. With the final collapse of the Quendoran state in the older provinces of the Westlands, the initial political evolution of the area was characterized by a surprising rebirth of the ancient city-states. Dating back over nine centuries from the ancient era before Entharion, the cities of Quendor, Galepath, Mareilon and Borphee all re-emerged as independent powers. Although Quendor would long remain a neutral power, and Borphee itself would soon be reabsorbed by the Quendoran Empire's successor state, Syovar’s Kingdom of Zork, Mareilon and Galepath were to enjoy several generations of independent power.

The old families of nobility that had long controlled Vriminax wasted no time in solidifying an alliance with Quendor, its nearest neighbor and the most ancient of the northern cities. By 884, the combined militias of the two cities had occupied the western half of the former Frobozz Province, under the notion that taking the territory would provide a solid defensive zone between themselves and the already growing tensions of Galepath and Mareilon. Borphee, in close communication with Accardi, and more concerned with its mercantile interests in Miznia and Gurth to the south, discarded the bulk of the ruined empire to the north, creating an immense territorial vacuum between Borphee and Mareilon.

The governor of Galepath secured the allegiance of the Lingolf Garrison and gained control over the Lonely Mountain and its nearby villages, coastal routes and highway approaches, thus bringing his territory almost to the border of the old Mareilon Province. Clearly upset that his rival had seized the initiative, and hoping to gain control over the historically important Largoneth site, the governor at Mareilon declared war on Galepath, thus at the fall of the empire reigniting the very conflict that had necessitated Quendor's creation some 900 years before.

In a manner characteristic of the age-old mutual antagonism of these two cities, barely five years had passed since the fall of Wurb Flathead before Galepath and Mareilon were back at war in 888 GUE. The various regional governors left over from the old imperial regime were to emerge as the founders of hereditary dynasties that would rule the two cities and the areas roughly corresponding to their old provincial boundaries for the next seventy years.

Suffering from the famine and confusion that had sunk over the Westlands since the decay of the empire, neither city could summon the resources necessary to defeat the other, and the war dragged on, punctuated by various short-lived truces. The more westerly powers, Vriminax and Quendor, were in no position to help either of the two opposing powers, both being more involved in protecting themselves against the incursions made by Kaldorn and Kovalli respectively. It was not until after the Westlands began to recognize the ascendancy of Syovar that the bitter war between Galepath and Mareilon was finally brought to a halt, the contested territory being taken from both sides by a newly-invigorated Kingdom of Zork.

For some ten years following Syovar's capture of the Land of Frobozz, both cities concentrated their military efforts against this new incarnation of the Great Underground Empire. It would not be until the Conference of Quendor led to a marked strengthening in Syovar's control over the world political situation would the aggression of the city-states begin to abate somewhat, at least until the Enchanters Guild strongly opposed about one-fourth of the way through the tenth century.


THE CONFERENCE OF QUENDOR
The beginning of the tenth century was an amazing decade for all known kingdoms. Syovar’s plea for a unified Kingdom of Zork was being considered by all leaders of the lands. All of the leaders of the surviving city-states, as well as representatives from Kovalli, Kaldorn and Antharia agreed to meet at the old city of Quendor in the northlands. The tremendous respect that they felt for Syovar made the conference possible. If everything went according to plan, the treaty would be signed proclaiming a union between the lands. As the conference approached, a truce between all the warring neighbors had been observed—but instead of working toward peace, the nations had merely used this time to build huge armies, poised to attack should the treaty not be signed. These included the army of Galepath, ready to amass on the Aragain border, and the armada of Mareilon, ready to block the Aragain harbors. Regardless of the attempts of the demon Jeearr, the Treaty of Quendor was signed, resulting once again in the unification of the entire area under one unified Kingdom of Zork.


THE DESTRUCTION OF NEW MAREILON
By circa 957~966 new Mareilon was still much smaller than the original city, no more than a large village, and the walls that surrounded it were only half completed. Most likely, they would have stayed that way, as no work had been done on them in years. The nation of Frobozz at peace, and the citizens of Mareilon were notoriously reluctant to raise taxes for anything but the most immediate and serious of concerns. They had a reputation throughout the kingdom for it. In the center of the city stood the public well. Mareilon was also noted for the Elvenhome Bar and Grill.

When the Great Terror escaped from Largoneth in 956, it slowly made its way southward where it settled in the ruins of Dolo Finis, Miznia. The demon's influence was very strong in Mareilon, so strong that even ordinary people with no magical sensitivities were affected without even knowing it. They grew rude, feared strangers, and even feared each other, drawing into themselves with a suspicious anxiety so great that they dared not even tread the once friendly streets unarmed. The Terror feasted on the city’s fear. Grues, which usually did not attack in the daylight, began to first live in shadows, then dared to even venture momentarily into the daylight in order to assault a stray victim.

The enchanter Anesi and his companions, seeking to defeat the Great Terror arrived in Mareilon circa 966, or just before. The remaining six Servants of the Terror, sensing his use of magic, came for him. Assuming the forms of giant nabiz, they demolished its buildings, while great swaths of wreckage marked their passage through the city. To destroy the Servants, Anesi unleashed RADNOG on the inn, defeating two of the Servants with the massive five. But the hungry flames spread to the next building and the next, until the entire city was aflame. Thus the second Mareilon died just like the first.