Krill assuming the identical appearance of Syovar
     Syovar vs. Krill
     Syovar hanging above a pit of writhing snakes
     Bivotar and Juranda embracing their uncle
     Syovar tells tales to Bivotar and Juranda
     Logrumethar, Syovar, Bivotar, Juranda
     Syovar vs. Grawl
     Syovar sick in bed


Many have said that if a man as noble and brave as Syovar the Strong had been born into the House of the Flatheads, the Great Underground Empire would be living still. Surely, in all the long and dark years after the collapse of Quendor, few rulers showed the wisdom and grace made manifest in Syovar, the genius behind the creation of the Kingdom of Zork, and surely no other man in history has overcome such adverse circumstances to gain the achievements that rank under his name. He was called by some the rightful King Syovar, but others simply as Vice-Regent. In the latter years of his reign, after many conquests, he began to force his subjects into referring to him by Syovar the Strong.

Born in the days of the reign of Frobwit the Flatter (circa 701~727 GUE) in a ramshackle little fishing hut on the outskirts of Grubbo-by-the-Sea, Syovar was a totally self-made man, sheer perseverance and skill allowing him to overcome the poverty and humble station of his parents to reach the heights of greatness. Syovar has been compared to the remarkable and equally long-lived Belboz of Aragain, who convinced his simple-minded uncle to allow him to abandon the construction business and study magic. Syovar himself left the little fishing village at a young age, eventually finding his way to Egreth, where his persistence and precocious skill convinced the aged Hermacedus to take him on as an apprentice.

It is said that several portents and remarkable omens accompanied the young man as his powers grew. Convinced by his friends to visit a soothsayer, the first five attempts to foresee his destiny by consulting the entrails of a baby minx resulted not only in repeated predictions of greatness, but in the death of each successive minx.

By the reign of Phloid Flathead (circa 738~755), a young warlock named Krill who would figure so importantly in both the East and Westlands some two centuries later, was already beginning to test the limits of his magical powers. After the repeated series of earthquakes that heralded the arrival of Krill's fledgling strength, Phloid himself had recurring nightmares that showed a noble and brave young warrior matching Krill in magical combat. A search of the city ordered by the Flathead monarch after this portent brought Syovar into royal service after a mere dozen years of magical training, and barely four decades of life. Syovar would spend many years in the faithful employ of the Flathead family before the fates granted him the first hints of his eventual destiny. His sudden absorption into the isolation and intrigues of court life left him separated from all contacts with his own family, and sadly, it would be several years before he found out that his own nephew and niece, Bivotar and Juranda, had been kidnapped by the forces of Krill, a mere fortnight after his own appointment to the head of the royal bodyguard.

Aided by the time-defying skills of his magical prowess, Syovar's physical appearance changed little past his thirtieth birthday. Not a remarkably tall man, he was nevertheless physically quite daunting. His build was solid and muscular, his entire body an immobile column of stubborn rock. Portraits and sculptures of the wizard-king show a large face quite covered in hair, bushy eyebrows, a thick beard and mustache rarely changing from year to year. He bore a caring smile on his face and a rare kindness in his eyes. He dressed simply, only in the later years of his life deigning to wear a circular diadem on his head as a sign of royal authority. For years before his rise to prominence, he wore no other jewelry or piece of decoration than the Ring of Zork, the priceless magical heirloom that he would pass on to his beloved Bivotar and Juranda in the late ninth century.

Highly skilled in all forms of magical combat, Syovar was also one of the leading knights of his day, his skill at the sword and the joust said to be equaled by none perhaps other than Ellron (his own dear friend and companion in the late ninth, and tenth centuries). Syovar's remarkable sense of tactics and natural strategic instinct were destined to save the day on countless occasions.

Surely such skills are praise-worthy in any man, but in Syovar they were accompanied by his wide range of magical powers, powers that made him truly one of the most imposing figures in the declining Quendoran empire. Thanks to the firm guidance of the ancient Hermacedus, Syovar was skilled in all of the most arcane forms of Thaumaturgy. Unlike the charlatans and power-mongers that ravaged the empire during its later generations, he never once used his magical powers for personal gain. Tales tell of several occasions during the reigns of Barbawit, Idwit and Wurb in which Syovar himself nearly died in magical battles fought to preserve the life of the ruling member of the dynasty.

It was during the reign of Mumberthrax Flathead (circa 755~770) that Syovar met the beautiful and singularly talented Lorena of Mauldwood, a relative by marriage of a distant wing of the ruling family. Stricken with love for the first time in his young life, Syovar spent months sighing over the young countess from a distance before Mumberthrax himself caught wind of his young enchanter-knight's romantic obsession. The meddling monarch's order that the two be wed by the end of the week may be counted among the ‘169 Not Quite as Important Things’ that marked the fifteen years of Mumberthrax's reign.

Syovar has received not even a mention during the reign of Lord Dimwit Flathead (770~789 GUE). While the two closest advisors to the king were Lord Feepness and Delbor of Gurth, ait would seem likely that Syovar at least played a minute roll.

Duncwit Flathead spent most of his remaining years on the throne (circa 813~843) in the grips of a mortal fear for his own life, having been more than a little disturbed by the simultaneous deaths of a dozen relatives beneath the curse of Megaboz. Syovar and the ever level-headed Lord Feepness were the guiding hands of the kingdom for most of this period while the crown was upon the head of this cowardly monarch.

In the last days before the fall of the Empire, an enemy of Syovar, an evil warlock named Grawl rose up and murdered his wife Lorena. Grawl also cast a powerful spell upon his only son, Logrumethar, which transformed him into a hideously ugly creature, thereafter called Grum. The warlock then exiled him to the Cavern of the Rainbow Mosses, where he lived for many years in complete isolation. Anyone that looked upon Grum was instantly turned to stone. While the spell did not constrain him within the cavern, Grum stayed on his own will, so that no one would stumble upon his ugliness and the onlooker be turned to stone. Syovar was never able to locate his son for many years, and finally forced himself to admit that Logrumethar was dead.

The Great Underground Empire collapsed in 883 when the curse of Megaboz took its toil upon Flatheadia. Although abandoned, the the underground did not remain uninhabited. Still lurking within its crags and crevices were numerous creatures, including trolls, gnomes and other magical denizens. Although Syovar had been unable to prevent the fall of the Great Underground Empire, this nobleman refused to admit that it had vanished. In his unseemly arrogance, he claimed to be the rightful successor to the powers of the king, first issuing orders in Wurb’s name, then using his big army and tremendous magical powers to declare himself the King of Zork. Had he not had these incredible powers, his title-mongering might not have stuck; but he did. The Castle of Zork in the newly formed Aragain Province was his seat of power, established as the new capital of the Empire.

The forests and mountains of the Eastlands were beset by hard times. Aragain itself was bombarded by wave upon wave of barbarian invasion, natives from the fringes of Fenshire and the more unsettled regions of the Flathead Fjord poured over the hills and laying waste to the last Quendoran outposts. Only the emergence of Syovar at the head of the last royal armies was able to preserve the Aragain region. He gathered the surviving remnants of the imperial army and plunged them into a never-ending war between the barbarian invaders. The armies under his leadership were the only Quendoran troops in those dark times unsullied by defeat. It is said that without his military prowess, the empire would have come to an even quicker demise.

While fending off the hordes of monsters, each remaining province additionally fell to warring with its neighbors. Only when the great Syovar made a pact of peace and friendship with Lord Ellron of the Aragain Province did peace spread throughout most of the Eastlands. The two helped to recreate the Knights of Frobozz to establish order to the land of anarchy. Syovar now had at his disposal a vast array of magical powers, and commanded the bulk of the armies that had survived the barbarian invasion. It was only the military strength of Syovar that preserved any semblance of stability in the Eastlands, and allowed him to march against the western continent in his attempt to reunify the old empire.

His goal was nothing less than reconquest and subjugation of the entirety of Zork and to end the wars that had sapped the lives and resources of all. He saw that peace would benefit all the lands, allowing an exchange of resources. For example, the water-rich Antharia could irrigate the desert of Kovalli, while Kovalli’s secret insect-extermination spells could cure Antharia’s perennial locusts plagues. Almost every force of nature and man stood in opposition to the great Syovar, but the old general refused to back down. He would spend many years laboring in attempt to unite all known lands into his unified Kingdom of Zork.

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.

It was not until after 888 GUE that the Westlands began to recognize the ascendancy of Syovar, which finally brought a bitter war between Galepath and Mareilon 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.

When Syovar finally attempted to lay claim to the abandoned underground caverns, he found that a force even stronger than his had beaten him to it. The mysterious castle servant who had held the secret to the Curse of Megaboz had taken control of the underground realms, and was now known throughout the land as the Dungeon Master. Nearly every tunnel and cavern in the Great Underground Empire had come under his control, from the massive Flood Control Dam #3 to the farthest flung underground highway.

Though many of the events following the fall of the Empire are undated, much of the most prominent history of Zork happened between the years of 883~948 GUE. Because Syovar wished to later highlight his military career with the release of Z-Team in 913 GUE, many historians suspect that many, if not all, of the following events happened prior to the TV series. Some place the Conference of Quendor after 913, but definitely prior to 924, when the conflicts of Kaine and Ellron blasted away the temporal peace.

Evil times plagued the Land of Frobozz as every warlock in the kingdom attempted to gain control. The most powerful of these warlocks was Krill, who emerged from the mysterious forbidden lands of the freezing north. The Enchanters Guild confronted this warlock, who had already been bathing in dark sinister and menacing deeds for approximately 200 years. It was now that the Guild was finally able to banish him from the Accardi Circle of Enchanters. Upon excommunication, Krill gathered an army of lizard warriors, and using powerful spells enslaved many humans to fight in his army against their own will. Krill’s first battle was waged against the capital of the newfound Empire, the Aragain Province and the Castle of Zork.

To counter this uprising, King Syovar declared war on Krill and fought the warlock with his amassed army. The early campaigns were many, but the forces of Krill grew so strong that not even a great warrior-wizard like Syovar was able to overcome the evil that had snatched the land. To gain victory, he knew that he needed both the Sword of Zork (one of the most powerful of all ancient blades of elvish workmanship) and the three Palantirs of Zork.

Every day and every year, the forces of Krill grew more daring. No village was safe from their attacks or spells. The wind became old and sour and reeked of evil. The crops began to wither and the barren land lost its fertility. All those who struggled to farm, found their crops stunted and bitter-tasting. Hunters discovered that most animals had fled the land, and those that remained were hardly worth catching. Many villages became ghost towns: the men were enlisted into the Knights of Frobozz, and the women and children were hidden in the mountains.

It was during these desperate days, that two young adventurers, Bivotar and Juranda were placed on the scene. This nephew and niece of Syovar had been in Krill’s captivity for nearly 200 years, during a period which neither had aged a day. Having managed to escape from the clutches of Krill’s servants, the two stumbled across the Sword of Zork. As they attempted to bring it to Syovar at their campsite in the Dark Forest, the hosts of Krill kept them seperated. The Knights of Frobozz had been forced to move on to engage with Krill's forces that were again amassing beyond Flood Control Dam #3.

Bivotar, Juranda,

It brings joy to my heart to hear that you have returned. Sir Ellron tells me that he met you in the foothills and that you have the Sword of Zork. We must hurry off to battle; the armies of Krill are massing again beyond the dam, and I fear they will attack before nightfall. We will go to Ellron's house as soon as possible; meet us there with the sword.


Krill's forces defeated the Knights of Frobozz in battle that day and they were in retreat. Syovar fled to the underground base in the nearby coal mines where the survivors rendezvoused to form a last defense against Krill who was amassing for battle against them once again. Just as Sir Ellron arrived at the coal mines, Krill discovered the hideous and forced all of the Knights of Frobozz to withdraw to the White House. It was there in the living room where Bivotar and Juranda met their uncle, having both the Sword of Zork and the three Palantirs in their inventory.Bivotar handed them over to Syovar.

Krill’s pursuing army of at least ten thousand strong surrounded the house. Syovar quickly placed the Palantirs into the trophy case, read the inscription on the case and recited a spell. An arc of light leapt between the three spheres and grew to encompass the entire room. It flashed blindingly bright, and as the light faded, so did their surroundings—the house was gone, and instead they all stood on a hill in the center of a vast plain. Before them, like a foul black sea, stood the armies of Krill.

Krill himself towered above them, larger than life, a horrible dark cloud before the sun. Behind them, stretching to the horizon, summoned by the power of the Palantirs, stood the legendary Warriors of Zork, clothed in white tunics and shiny battle armor. Syovar mounted his mighty steed and commanded the summoned warriors to rid his kingdom of the evil scourge. With a cheer that echoed across the plain, the warriors charged forward, engulfing the armies of Krill.

As the battle raged about them, Syovar held the Sword of Zork high overhead—its brilliant glow like a beacon to the troops. Dark storm clouds formed, and lightning streaked down into the heart of the battle. Giant balls of fire plunged overhead and exploded into a million tiny infernos. A fierce wind whipped across the plain, toppling trees and sweeping horses off their feet. After an eternity of chaos, the armies of Krill lost both ground and strength. The Warriors of Zork pressed on, seemingly tireless and invincible.

With an explosion like thunder, Krill appeared before Syovar. Drawing his sword, the warlock challenged the king to dismount. Syovar relented, leaping from his steed. As the battled raged about them, Syovar appeared to be the better swordsman, but Krill used a variety of tricks and pyrotechnics to distant his opponent. Krill lunged and sunk his blade deep into Syovar’s side. At his last act, a blue glow surrounded the Sword of Zork and Syovar’s right arm. With surprising strength, he plunged the blade deep into Krill’s heart. The evil warlock’s body disappeared in a giant puff of unwholesome smoke and his disembodied spirit fled elsewhere. Unfortunately, the middle of the tenth century would see the resumption of the evil sorcerer’s deviousness.

Syovar’s wound was not serious. Now that the three Palantirs had served their purpose, they vanished in black smoking piles of ash, only to be magically relocated back to the Great Underground Empire beneath the White House. Before sending Bivotar and Juranda back to their homeland, Syovar gifted them with the Ring of Zork. Whenever they wished to return, they only had to place the ring upon their finger to be teleported instantly to the Castle of Zork.

Temporary defeat of Krill ushered in a brief period of peace which bolstered the kingdom. These were the happy days of Syovar’s reign, where he would invite as many of his subjects as were willing to a grove east of the Castle of Zork. This grove was the site of a large tree stump, at least ten feet across and rumored to be a powerful source of magic. The stump was flat, almost like a large round table, which all who came would sit around for big feats, eating dragon meat, hot-pepper sandwiches, and garlic. Syovar would entertain the guests by performing feats of magic. Trolls also battled for sport, and minstrels sang ballads about the ancient Underground Empire of the Flatheads.

The legends of Bivotar and Juranda’s bravery and their defeat of Krill spread all across the kingdom, although the tales were distorted. One of such warped versions, which omitted the roles that any of the others had played in the ordeal, making it seem that Bivotar and Juranda were two powerful wizards who alone had defeated Krill, made its way beyond the kingdom to Malifestro. This evil wizard lived on the east side of the Flathead Mountains where he was in preparation for world conquest. Malifestro conjured a powerful spell to capture Syovar and held him for ransom in his Fenshire castle. The mighty ransom for the freedom of the king included a wealth of gold and jewels, half the land of the Kingdom of Zork, and ten thousand men to be enslaved by the greedy wizard. Refusal to concede to the payment would forfeit the return of their king, and many believed, his life.

Denying this outlandish ransom, the noble and faithful Sir Ellron gathered the Knights of Frobozz, who at that time were two thousand of the best soldiers of Zork. He led them forth to rescue Syovar. The knights did not return after many days. No one knew if it was the treacherous pass of the Flathead Mountains or the awful power of Malifestro. With the king captured, the Knights of Frobozz too far away to protect the kingdom and the remaining soldiers were without their former might. The Aragain Province soon fell into anarchy and barrenness. Fear and despair settled across the land. All order vanished and thieves began roaming the highways and towns unchecked. Robberies were commonplace and many farms were burned by bandits. Much of the populace fled the province, leaving behind buildings gutted by fire, overgrown farms, empty marketplaces, and deserted villages. The hearts of those who dared to remain behind grew cold, and many shut their doors to one another. The Castle of Zork was one of the last places to be abandoned. But with much of the province in chaos, most feared that Malifestro would easily conquer the kingdom, starting his invasion with the capital. Thus the castle was emptied save a scattering of the most faithful (or perhaps the most stupid).

Malifestro securely tied his prisoner’s hands to a rope hanging from the ceiling so that Syovar was suspended but a foot above the floor of a small chamber covered by a hissing, writhing mass of snakes. Weak and desperate, the imprisoned king contacted Bivotar and Juranda via magic which came to them in the form of a dream. The two were both troubled with images of Syovar’s imprisonment above the potent slithering reptiles. Their uncle told them to come to his aid, to take the ancient underground route, and to seek the black crystal sphere. Then the dream dispersed. The two set out to rescue their uncle. In the meantime, the boastful Malifestro outlined to the imprisoned Syovar all of his schemes to enslave the entire Kingdom of Zork. Throughout this, the king was able to learn all of Malifestro's strengths and weaknesses. But before any of this knowledge could be put to use, Malifestro murdered him.

When Bivotar and Juranda arrived at Malifestro's castle, they learned from a demon which that wizard had imprisoned that Malifestro had already disposed of Syovar and was in preparation to invade the Kingdom of Zork. The demon bargained, that in exchange for the adventurer’s bottle of Wizard Escape Potion, he would grant them any wish that was within his power to fulfill. Sensing their distrust, the evil spirit was willing to grant their wish before requiring the payment of the potion. It is here that Bivotar made one of the most foolish decisions. Although their other two elven companions protested for him to retain the potion and not barter with a demon, he was not warded by their attempts. By requesting that the demon bring Syovar back to life, Juranda followed him on the path of folly, for any bargain with a demon is sickening and immensely evil and hideous. The demon granted their request, and revived Syovar from the dead, and unfortunately, was freed when Bivotar handed over the Wizard Escape Potion in exchange.

Syovar knew that if he was able to meet with Malifestro in the throne room of his own castle, the evil wizard would be unable to summon additional help. It would be just his magic and wits against Syovar’s. The king teleported them all into the throne room where Malifestro appeared to confront him in a cloud of acrid smoke. The others watched from the balcony as Syovar changed into a ferocious mountain lion. Malifestro countered his lunge by transforming into a raging wall of fire. Syovar retaliated, taking on the form of a wave of rushing water. But Malifestro quickly became a howling wind of cold air, blowing over the water, pushing it back and starting to freeze it into a sheet of ice. The ice began to change shape, flowing outwards. Its edges curled upwards, meeting to form a gigantic, translucent sphere around the whirlwind. The sphere shrank and shrank and a moment later, Syovar held a black crystal sphere with Malifestro trapped inside. With a wave of his arm, Bivotar, Juranda and the two elves were back in the Castle of Zork with Syovar.

By the next morning, word had spread of Malifestro’s defeat. Throngs began to gather on the meadow outside the castle. Syovar was hailed by the returning people and the two adventurers were honored with surnames: Bivotar the Brave and Juranda the Dauntless. After the celebration, Bivotar and Juranda said their farewells and departed from the kingdom.

The Great Underground Empire began to rise once more following the imprisonment of Malifestro. Each week, new areas of the old underground caverns were rediscovered, explored, and settled. Flood Control Dam #3 was once again the famous tourist spot it had been at the height of the empire, and the Mines of Zork were once again producing coal and diamonds. A new section of the Great Underground Empire was discovered, a region that Syovar would later entitle the Cavern of Doom. Over fifty adventurers and treasure hunters flocked into the vast new area, many of them wise and brave, but none returned. Max and Fred were amongst the missing.

For Logrumethar, who was still under Grawl’s curse and in the form of the hideous monster Grum, dwelt in the Cavern of the Rainbow Mosses in that region. Although Grum was happy when people first began to come to the cavern, he hid himself from view and warned others that they would be sorry if they entered. Anyone that did not heed his words and looked upon him were instantly turned to stone.

Syovar sent several of his knights to search for the missing explorers, but they too did not return, also turned to stone. Even the king himself attempted to use his magical powers to explore the cavern, but they were unable to penetrate it. It was as though the entire region were guarded by some powerful enchantment. Wishing to prevent further disappearances, and with utmost reluctance, Syovar was forced to forbid access to that section of the Underground Empire. After sealing the door to the region with powerful magic, he left an inscription upon the door that read:

As ruler of the Kingdom of Zork, I hereby decree that this Cavern of Doom has been sealed off. No man may remove the spell that protects this door.

Syovar could only glean a vague feeling that the one able to enter the enchanted cavern and return was someone completely innocent and pure of heart. His first thought was of Bivotar and Juranda. Concurrently, that moment was when the two young adventurers found themselves transported to the throne room of the Castle of Zork. Syovar picked up the Ring of Zork that dropped into the room after them.

The abundance of celebration and feasting had not ceased since the freedom that had been ushered in after the defeat of Malifestro. While Syovar hinted that he preferred if they talked with him, the excitement of these events caused them to forsake listening to his tales. Somberly, Syovar accompanied Bivotar and Juranda to the craftsfair, the jousting finals, and a banquet followed by a play before the king took them to their bedroom for the night. The following morning, both were guilty that they had bathed in the jubilation of the festivities and neglected the king. Syovar informed them of his past, his late wife, lost son, and the conditions of the Empire since the fall. The most important information was the details of the recently discovered “Cavern of Doom.”

In response to the tales, Juranda was convinced that both she and Bivotar were the ones spoken of that were completely innocent and pure in heart. For both this reason, and that their friends Max and Fred were numbered amongst the missing, the persistent Juranda was able to convince the hesitant Bivotar to accompany her. Syovar was easily persuaded that they might possibly be the pure and innocent ones. He felt that they would succeed where so many brave adventurers and mighty warriors had failed and teleported them to the entrance of the Cavern of Doom. The king removed the ward on the door with a lengthy spell, and gave them rations of food and water, a lamp, and a powerful talisman that would glow in the presence of evil. He additionally enchanted them with his strongest protection spell, then resealed the doorway behind them to continue to prevent unauthorized access.

Bivotar and Juranda eventually found Logrumethar, in the form of Grum, and returned with him to the Castle of Zork via a magical mirror. While passing through, the enchantment that had imprisoned Logrumethar as Grum was broken. His memories were restored with his appearance. Hearing the rumble, Syovar came to investigate. Weeping with tears for his long-lost son, Syovar embraced him. That evening, the king held a mighty banquet to celebrate the return of Logrumethar. Noblemen and enchanters from every township in the kingdom were present. Syovar and his son sat at the head table, flanked by Bivotar and Juranda. Syovar “tested his abilities” during the banquet by casting a spell so powerful that the very air in the room seemed to crackle. And when he was finished, standing in the hall were a hundred or more explorers, treasure hunters, and knights. Syovar had returned all the stone figures to flesh and transported them back to the castle. Max and Fred were amongst the restored. The jubilant reunion with the elves was short. Syovar thanked both adventures one more for saving his son, handed the Ring of Zork to Juranda, and again sent them off.

It 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. Dreams of peace and unity were no more translucent vapors, but nearly solidified forms. Both Quendor and Vriminax had already benefited in securing their own interests through Syovar's diplomacy. In several days, 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.

If Syovar was not present at the conference, the treaty would not be made and Quendor would be merely the prelude to the worst bloodshed that the Land of Frobozz would have ever seen. This was where Jeearr surfaced his ugly feline head. Jeearr had once spread pestilence and terror across many lands. The demon thrived by feeding on war and suffering. Only the combined magic of many kings and wizards had been able to stop this great power, even as he was preparing his final assault. He was imprisoned in the void beyond our world. His jailors had warned future generations that his exile might not be permanent. Somehow, the demon had been released and planned to lure Syovar into a trap that would prevent him from attending the Conference of Quendor. The bait was his dear Bivotar and Juranda.

The evil force prepared a wicked spell which heralded a dark, black storm cloud across the sky above where Bivotar and Juranda were. With an explosion of lighting, the cloud changed shape until it knotted into the form of an enormous hand. The giant hand reached down from the sky and closed around the two, plucking them away. The two adventurers were deposited in a shallow pit in the ancient castle which was being used by the evil warlock Grawl. Juranda sent help to Syovar at the Castle of Zork via a summoned nymph: “Syovar, help! Rescue us from this dungeon! Juranda and Bivotar.”

The plea for help was received by Syovar. He presumed that Grawl had imprisoned Bivotar and Juranda out of revenge for having rescued Logrumethar from the Cavern of Doom and formulated a rescue plan. Taking the two elves, Max and Fred with him, Syovar set out for the ancient castle now occupied by Grawl. Wishing for the elves to be placed in the dungeon alongside Bivotar and Juranda, Syovar purposefully sent them alone into the enchanted woods surrounding the castle. Without any magical protection, they were captured.

The two elves informed the adventurers of the situation. Suddenly, a wall of the dungeon exploded into a cloud of smoke and mortar, and sunlight poured through the newly formed gaping hole. Outside of the castle, Syovar and Grawl were locked in combat together. Lightning bolts flashed from Grawl’s arms and exploded harmlessly off Syovar’s invisible shield. The king conjured a huge monster in response—it had venomous fangs as long as a man’s arm. As the monster leapt for Grawl, the evil warlock conjured an ever fiercer monster that devoured Syovar’s. Despite Bivotar’s urges to aid Syovar, the two adventurers followed the elves through the opening in the wall while the magical battled climaxed with wall of fire leaping across the dungeon. At first, there was abundant joy when the flames dispersed and Grawl was lying motionless on the dungeon floor. But the cheer died in their throats when they saw a burned Syovar staggering. Jeearr appeared above the body of Grawl. Its eyes betrayed a hint of anger as it spoke directly to Syovar:

My servant Grawl lies here
defeated by your hand
but soon you’ll see the end
of everything you’ve planned.

The demon vanished, and as it uttered the last word, Syovar stumbled backward and fell to the ground. It is still a matter of no small debate on what happened at this point. Due to Jeearr’s own words, prior to his 957 GUE defeat, where he stated that he could not survive without a host (thus an unknown sorcerer was able to defeat this demon by preventing him from entering another host) most theorize that Syovar was possessed at this point by the evil spirit. Others see this as impossible, as Jeearr frequently appeared to Bivotar and Juranda to torment them many times apart from both Syovar and without a host while they were questing in lands far from the Castle of Zork. Thus there is still much confusion as to the seemingly inconsistent nature of Jeearr and the illness of Syovar.

Before anyone could tend to the king, Bivotar, Juranda, and the two elves suddenly appeared with Logrumethar in one of the turret rooms of the Castle of Zork with the unconscious Syovar now bedded. Logrumethar applied ointment to his father’s burns. A healer soon arrived to tend the king with potions. He announced that regardless if Syovar lived or died, he would not be at the Conference of Quendor.

It was then that Logrumethar knew that he had been wrong about why Bivotar and Juranda were snatched away to the dungeon prison. Jeearr had deceived them into thinking it was Grawl seeking revenge for breaking the enchantment of Grum, but the real reason was to ensure Syovar’s absence from the Conference. And it seemed that Jeearr had won, until Logrumethar recalled the Helm of Zork, a magical headpiece that allowed the wearer to impersonate anyone he chose. With the helm in possession, Logrumethar knew that he would be able to attend the Conference by impersonating his father. Since its location was unknown, it seemed that the Helm would be impossible to find. Despite this, Bivotar and Juranda were determined to do anything they must to restore Syovar. Logrumethar presented them with equipment for the journey, a brass lantern and a magic bead that when broken would return them to the castle. Then with an AIMFIZ spell, the prince teleported the two somewhere near the vicinity of the Helm.

Bivotar and Juranda recovered the Helm of Zork from the ruins of an ancient castle and returned to Syovar and Logrumethar by dashing a magic bead against the stone floor. Logrumethar was surprised at their discovery of the Helm, but Syovar’s condition had been worsening hourly. Now he was almost as pale as his white silk bedsheets and his breathing was shallow and irregular. Taking the Helm, Logrumethar left at once, for Quendor was a day’s journey and the Conference would began on the following midday. The only thing the prince feared was that his father would die before the Conference, and then everyone would know of his charade. But he was fortunate. The Helm of Zork had fooled everyone at Quendor; they had really thought he was Syovar. Thus the Treaty of Quendor was signed, resulting once again in the unification of the entire area under one unified Kingdom of Zork.

Logrumethar returned to find that the healer and his assistant alchemists had used experimental procedures upon Syovar. And within half-an-hour he was on his way to recovery. The king regained consciousness the next day for first time since his battle with Grawl. Logrumethar told him all that had transpired during his illness. Syovar called Bivotar and Juranda to his bedside. Beaming, he humbly thanked them for their courageous help. Bivotar and Juranda departed from the Castle of Zork with invitations to return again to see the blossoms of the seed that had been planted. Unfortunately, this period of harmony between the providences would not last forever. Further uprisings and conflicts were on the horizon.

THE Z-TEAM (913~914 GUE)
In 913, Syovar was the Executive Producer of the hit series, the Z-Team, which he created to highlight his military career. He was seeking for someone to take a pie in the face at least once an episode, and Antharia Jack, who literally stumbled onto the stage during open rehearsals, was it. Syovar was said to have been a big fan, but after one and a half seasons, The Z-Team went off the air in 914 due to “creative conflicts” with its creator.

Thaddeus Kaine of Desert River Province, famous for his battle against the barbarian hordes at Flood Control Dam #3, was granted Knighthood and promotion from Major to General at the age of 24. In an elaborate ceremony at Syovar’s palatial estate in Aragain, Syovar anointed Thaddeus Kaine to the applause of various well-wishers, including Sophia Hamilton of the Desert River Branch Conservatory and Francois Malveaux. In the “name of the rightful and unified Kingdom of Zork,” Syovar thanked General Kaine for his struggle to defeat the barbarian and trollish hordes that had been recently threatening the Kingdom. From thereon, Thaddeus would emerge in this period as one of Syovar’s strongest generals.

The records in regards to Syovar’s campaign against the Enchanter’s Guild is shrouded in much mystery and darkness, abounding in questions and speculations. The foremost problem lies in the dating of the start of the war and who was the original instigator. The Enchanters would join Ellron against Thaddeus Kaine in 924, and by 925 a coalition formed against Syovar and he was losing control of the Westlands. A scattered fragment tells us that when Syovar’s armies invaded the Westlands in the early tenth century, that no one in the local Westlands population defected to him. But it is not known if this invasion occurred before or after the events listed here. We cannot be certain either if the Enchanter’s opposition against Syovar was a result of his supremacy over the Westland city-states following the Conference of Quendor (as their tension against Syovar did not seem to be present until after this event), or if it was directly related to something involving the alchemical persecutions. It cannot be a distant theory of the assumption that Enchanter’s Guild saw Syovar as an enemy because of his failure to eliminate the remnants alchemists who, having fled the Westlands, took refuge in his lands east of the Great Sea.

The Enchanters' Guild's legal banner of alchemy began circa 895, but a small and secretive group of rebels refused to obey the orders of the magic guilds. And so, in reprisal, the Circle of Enchanters used every means of power at their disposal to persecute and destroy the alchemists. Many of the most powerful members of the secret groups were forced to flee into exile, taking up residence in the more remote and depopulated provinces in the Eastlands. It was in this manner that the great Guilds eliminated all who opposed them, and thus ensured that when Syovar’s armies invaded the Westlands in the early tenth century, no one in the local population defected to the enemy.

Despite the Conference of Quendor which merged almost all of the nations under the one banner of Syovar’s Kingdom of Zork, some remnants still could not come to peace with each other. Lord Ellron and Sir Thaddeus Kaine fell to bickering over control of the border regions lying between the former Aragain and Desert River provinces. Their relationship quickly turned terribly sour. An undated letter provides some insight into the nature of this dispute:

General Kaine,

Your refusal to acknowledge the persistent inquiries from myself and my attorneys leave me little choice but to appeal to the authority of King Syovar. I believe that I have the evidence that will allow me to resume my rightful claim to the border regions between the former Aragain and Desert River Provinces and that I will carry the day in all other matters. The time for compromise had ended.


The long unsolvable ordeal kindled ever-increasing tensions between the two, over farmlands near the Desert River, that finally reached their height on the evening of Arch 19, 924 when Lord Ellron declared war on General Kaine. There are no records on the results of Ellron’s appeal to Syovar, but it may be reasonable to assume that either Ellron did not have enough evidence to his claims, or that Syovar’s campaign against the Enchanters had already begun and Ellron refused to wait until the king had returned to the Eastlands. Whatever the reason, this fight between Ellron and Kaine was more critical than many others in the Empire at the time due to Kaine’s rumored creation of Thaddium, the lethal zirradiated ore. Many feared that if this weapon of mass destruction were to be unleashed, the very world beneath them might be totally destroyed.

It is here that we enter into another mystery. For by the next day, Ellron aligned with the powerful and political Enchanters Guild of the Westlands against Thaddeus Kaine, and was rumored to have purchased a lethal scroll from Wizard Bilboz. In an undated letter found in Castle Irondune, Ellron threatens Kaine and remarks on his alliance with the Guild:


Your pathetic attempts to harness the lethal magic of Thaddium were futile. The Guild is now supporting my cause and we have something far more powerful than Thaddium. In five years, your precious Irondune will be nothing more than dust blowing in a wasteland, and your men as weak and womanish as your own Lucien.


Why did this happen? All we can note is that from future correspondences between Syovar and Kaine, that Syovar did not realize the General for the wicked man he was. Perhaps Kaine’s treachery against Ellron was so devastating that he had no choice but to have it urgently dealt with, and without Syovar’s support, the only ones willing to support his cause were the Enchanters despite that they were at animosity with the Kingdom of Zork. One can however, only speculate.

The results of the never-ending feud between Ellron and Kaine would have major impact on Syovar’s ability to expand and unite the entire Zork lands. For the next two decades the endless war would drag on unceasingly without solution. During Syovar’s absence on campaign to the Westlands, the two petty lords would march their armies up and down the Aragain and Desert River regions. Ellron at times would obey Syovar’s wishes and order that the violence be stopped, but each time, Kaine’s treachery would begin the conflict again. Their mortal hatred for each other would parade through the pages of history in several epic campaigns throughout the Desert River Province. Many claimed that they knew of no two men that despised each other more.

Syovar the Strong wrote a letter to Thaddeus Kaine (925-01-29) concerning the Enchanters' Guild and Ellron:

The Enchanters’ Guild is gaining strength in their power and magic. They have formed a unified coalition and I am losing control of the Westlands. I believe Lord Ellron is now under their control. I can no longer rely on the magic of the scroll.


In the battle between mathematics and magic, it is said by some that magic will always have the upper hand. Fearing that the effects of his own magic would be used against him, the great wizard-warrior put his magical abilities to the side and instead relied on his wits and technology for a replacement. During the course of the campaign against the powerful Enchanter’s Guild, Vice-Regent Syovar’s spies would attempt to send encrypted reports back to the Castle of Zork, only to find that the numbers would rearrange themselves before the very eyes of the code breakers, forming nonsensical non-sequiturs such as “Thaumaturgy is a walk on a slippery walk” and “Religion is a smile on a Yipple.” Syovar then implemented the “Zenigma” mechanical encryption device, replacing the more fallible mathematic mnemonic systems, with pulsing electricity. Clearly, where wizards are concerned, the best secret is the secret you do not have to hide.

Contemporaneously, the barbarian hordes north of Aragain resumed their attacks upon the civilized regions; having been crushed several years prior by Thaddeus Kaine at the battle of Flood Control Dam #3. In the following letter, Syovar again requested the assistance of General Kaine, willing even to use his invention of Thaddium as a means to maintain control (925-03-07):

General Kaine:

Since the destruction of the GUE, the barbarians have begun their massive invasions in the north. The Quendoran military force is suffering under their attacks. I have been made aware of the presence of Thaddium in your vicinity and of a particular invention which may assist me in my battles. Whatever you require to fund your experiment, I will gladly provide.

-Syovar, Vice Regent and General of the Royal Quendoran Army

The war against Syovar did not cease the Enchanter’s Guild of their persecutions of the alchemists, nor those who practiced magic illegally. In a letter discovered at the Gray Mountains Asylum, the Enchanter’s Guild, having heard of Sartorius’ violations of their laws, confronted the Doctor (925-05-15):

Dr. Sartorius

It has been called to our attention that you have been practicing unorthodox and unauthorized magic. As you know, it is in violation of Magic Code #6547 for a non-guild member to engage in any magical practice. Cease and Desist or we will file for Fudgunctive Relief.

-The Enchanters Guild

It may have been numerous instances like this that had originally stirred the Enchanters against Syovar. Without proper jurisdiction and Syovar’s cooperation, they may have had to take matters into their own hands by opposing the Vice-Regent.

Thaddeus Kaine victory's over the barbarian hordes received much praise from Syovar, but the war against Ellron and the Enchanters' Guild continued onward (929-06-16):

Darling Thaddeus,

Crushed the barbarian hordes and even the grand Syovar seems content! Congratulations on your recent victories; but take heed upon your return. The battle is far from over. In your absence, Ellron has discovered a powerful scroll and I am scared. We are deep into the Great Work. If they learn of our secrets, the Enchanters’ Guild, and others, will surely kill us.


And in an undated letter, Sophia possibly references the same event:

Dear Thaddeus,

Though you were far away, all the Eastern provinces are proud of your recent successes. I only wish that the rebellion will end soon and you are in my arms once again.


After the tragedy at the Temple of Agrippa, which resulted in the murder of Thaddeus Kaine, Sophia Hamilton, Francois Malveaux, Erasmus Sartorius, and Alexandria Wolfe, a curse casts its shadow. The bitter Lucien Kaine, murderer and victim, wandered the Eastlands, manifesting his anger by tormenting the scattered enclaves of society that occupied the regions near the alchemists’ homes. Almost at once, affairs in these regions soured as evil began to emanate from the land. Haunting and hallucinations began to sprout in various cavities of the former Empire. The Gray Mountains slipped into oblivion first, being plagued by magical storms and fires. The inhabitants of Frostham complained of horrible screams and an inescapable stench that pervaded the area. Reports came from the Desert River next. Merchants and trading caravans that still moved through the areas untouched by the war began to report nightmares and visions so powerful that they lingered for weeks in the minds of the victims, while chronic hallucinations haunted the natives along the borders. Travelers began to disappear. Soon the entire sky over that area became covered with distorted faces and figures. A strange figure called the Nemesis was placed at the center of these events.

King Syovar, who was already dwindling in power, was wary of the bizarre haunting taking place on the fringes of his domain. Fearing that the land was being controlled by his political and ever increasingly powerful opponents, the Enchanters, he was prompted to declare these lands “The Forbidden Lands.” (The circle of Enchanters also dubbed them the same.) All access was barred to the desolate Desert River and Gray Mountain provinces. Various penalties were imposed on those that trespassed, including the pain of death. Most of the refugees managed to make it out in time. Those who did not later died or wished they were dead.

When Bivotar ventured into the Desert River Province at the close of 947 on behalf of Syovar, he described the devastation firsthand:

Immense scars and patches of burnt land are visible with alarming frequency, as if the Implementors have tormented the province with an unceasing series of lightning strikes and fire storms. Giant corbies circle overhead menacingly, already waiting for me to collapse in exhaustion. This is no place for the living.

And again:

It is clear to me now that the Vice Regent’s order to make all of the eastern provinces outside of his control into forbidden territory was a wise decision. It is doubtful to me if even Syovar the Strong would be able to defeat the force that has taken control of this land. What that force might be, whether it truly is a curse, or simply the latest terrorist tactic of the Enchanters’ Guild, I still have no idea. Moreover, since the fall of the empire, all of these lands have been devastated by famine and barbarian invasions of the worst kind. It would be a wasted effort for Syovar to attempt to recapture these territories in hopes of restoring the Great Underground Empire… Civilized life will never again thrive in these territories, but the reasons are much deeper than we had ever feared. Some sort of evil spirit has come to reside…

While no one knew during those days that Lucien Kaine was the cause behind the devastation, many believed that the curses were signs of the Enchanters’ Guild gaining the upper hand against Syovar’s Kingdom of Zork:

Are the recently evacuated “Forbidden Lands” really cursed? Or is Regent Syovar simply becoming paranoid, now that the Enchanters’ Guild composes the first substantial challenge to his political supremacy? The theory of the curse seems legitimated by the dark series of earthquakes, draughts, missing persons, and general ill-humor of the inhabitants of the region following the Great Eclipse. Though the Guild denies responsibility for any black magic in the region, the disappearance of General Kaine from Irondune suggests political conspiracy. And since we all know the trolls, orcs, and gnomes of the Flathead Mountains are only waiting for the slightest hint of civil strife to stake their own claim to that corner of the Empire, the clock is ticking on the Forbidden Lands.

Throughout this dilemma, Syovar never gave up his desire to ruler the abandoned underground caverns. Thus he once again turned his gaze toward the buried ruins of the Great Underground Empire.

Since Thaddeus Kaine’s inexplicable disappearance, the cause for his war had fell into complete disarray. His absence caused the gradual decay of his province and his armies as they fell under the command of a series of nameless, second-rate generals that had failed to rise to the urgency of the occasion. Syovar believed that Lord Ellron had, despite his urgings, continued to push his troops further into the haunted and desolate regions that Kaine once controlled. Although Ellron’s armies had previously pushed forward to Irondune, Kaine’s armies had still held territory as far north as the Frigid River Valley until 945, but by the spring of 946 they had been forced back to the regions surrounding the inaccessible Temple of the Ancients.

During the winter of 946~7, Ellron’s armies fell utterly out of his control. Every last man once under his authority fell prey to the sickness that pervaded the Forbidden Lands, from his highest generals to the lowest foot-soldiers. The first mutinies began in the last weeks of 946. By Estuary of 947, General Frobblemarre already quelled three different riots in his ranks by executing one out of every twenty men that took part.

At the start of 947, with both the Desert River and Famathria Provinces lawless, these troops succeeded in overrunning them entirely. Kaine’s castle was besieged by the marauding armies, a vain assault that in 949 would finally be turned away. Over the next year and a half following the beginning of the siege, large numbers of soldiers would break away from the main invading army. Roving brigades would fall upon one random village after the next like packs of wild wolves, ignoring all orders and communication with the outside world. These hordes were driven by a force almost outside of themselves, moving in directions and committing atrocities that even they did not understand. A few of the older veterans showed enough strength to leave these guerillas, but those that did seemed to lose their sanity in the attempt, wandering the hillsides aimlessly, mumbling to themselves. What inhabitants remained in the region kept hidden behind their boarded-up doors, terribly frightened. This bloody aftermath would weave its course across the southern provinces until the removal of the Nemesis.

It is here that we turn to the writings of Bivotar, who on the 27th of Estuary, 948 gives us but a glimpse into the intense drama between Syovar, Ellron, Kaine, and the Enchanters Guild when he wrote to the King:

It is here that your concerns of the loyalty of Lord Ellron become the most important. Ellron himself had spent most of the year [947] at your side, aiding you in your struggle to retake the ancient Westlands. In your final conversation with me, you had seemed worried that he had not been entirely honest with you, and that even as he was assisting you in your darkest hour, he had betrayed you. Rumors had reached your ears that Ellron persisted in the conquest of the Desert River area in hopes of forging his own power base, and ultimately rebelling against your authority.

I can assure you now that these accusations are not true. Ellron has remained faithful to you throughout the entire affair, and if he had ever been dishonest in his reports to you, it is only to spare you the burden of knowing the truth.

…At any rate, these drifting criminals are hardly in worse condition than what is left of Ellron's army. I doubt that any of the men under Frobblemarre are sane enough at this point to attempt to make any contact with Ellron. Perhaps this is why Ellron has seemed so distracted lately: he does not know the fate or whereabouts of thousands once under his command. Now it seems that the few reports we had heard in Aragain were true. Ellron's armies have pushed what is left of the resistance all the way to the southern reaches of Famathria, across the southern branch of the Frigid River, and within sight of Kaine’s ancestral castle. No one here knows what was the final goal of that insane and rebellious army, nor exactly what the siege of Kaine’s castle will accomplish. Still, the black smoke of battle grows thicker each day.

The Forbidden Lands were largely a mystery to all who lived under King Syovar. All attempts to reach Thaddeus Kaine since 945 had ended in complete failure. Thus Syovar had no alternative but to send a spy to scout out the lands to discover the fate of the general. The times were dangerous, it was weary to trust anyone. The most truest and earnest companion of his was still his beloved Bivotar. He gave Karlok Bivotar the rights and authority to act as agent and representative in all matters concerning the investigation of the disappearance of Madame Sophia Hamilton, Bishop Francois Malveaux, Doctor Erasmus Sartorius and General Thaddeus Kaine, respectively, all citizens of importance and stature whose welfare is of the utmost concern of the Vice Regent and the Empire. The mission was ordered through unorthodox procedures, and made with a special request that Bivotar report back to him alone. And so, as a fully authorized agent and representative of the Vice-Regent Syovar, Karlok Bivotar was entrusted with this challenging assignment and sent out to the Forbidden Lands hoping to shed light on the chaotic power-vacuum that had existed in those realms for almost three years.

Although Bivotar was somewhat disturbed that his briefing was hastened by unexplained urgency, his objectives were clearly enumerated by Syovar:
  1. To determine the whereabouts of the Four Missing Citizens of Prominence (General Thaddeus Kaine, Doctor Erasmus Sartorius, Father Malveaux, Madame Sophia Hamilton)
  2. To substantiate the alleged curse of the so-declared Forbidden Lands.
  3. To investigate rumors of unauthorized magic, black or otherwise, in the region.
It was the final element of his assignment that most intrigued him. Since Syovar had ordered the mission through unorthodox procedures, and had made special request that he report back to him alone, Bivotar was caused to think that there might have been much to be gained from this adventure. He was determined to keep his records faithfully.

On Dismembur 17, 947, Bivotar arrived at the outskirts of the Forbidden Lands—the northern border of the Desert River Province. The border crossing into the territory was well-guarded. Even with the scroll bearing Syovar’s signature, the royal militia was reluctant to let him across. He would go on to explore and report to Syovar on Irondune, the Frigid River Branch Conservatory, Steppinthrax Monastery, Gray Mountains Asylum, and the Temple of Agrippa. It was at the last of these locations that Bivotar was murdered by the Nemesis. His journal was returned into the hands of Syovar.

A unknown female pilgrim defeated the alchemists and restored both Lucien Kaine and Alexandria Wolfe. With this, the curse of the Nemesis vanished. Although documentation of their juxtapositions have been lost, Syovar’s war against the Enchanter’s Guild reached its immediate conclusion following the dispersal of the curse. The controversy between Ellron and Kaine was resolved and the Forbidden Lands were reopened. With the conclusion of an agreement between the Second Dungeon Master and the Flathead successor-king Syovar, the Great Underground Empire seemed poised to rise again. The magical boundaries sealing shut the massive caverns in the east were reopened, and the bulk of the reacquired territory was once again open for settlement. A craze of treasure-hunting quickly swept through the remnants of the Great Underground Empire.

Above ground, Syovar had come to control nearly all the Flathead holdings in the eastern provinces, and a significant portion of the older lands across the ocean to the west. The barbarians that had once again overrun Fenshire and the Grey Mountains, and had threatened the end of civilization in Aragain proper, were in turn defeated and assimilated. Official correspondence and personal diaries kept by inhabitants of the Castle of Zork betray an amazing confidence and growing vigor.

Ellron, skilled general and close advisor to King Syovar, displayed just this attitude in a letter to Barbel of Gurth, dated Ottobur 949, a year after the ascension of the new Dungeon Master:

Now at last we can free ourselves from the shadow of the Flathead failure and get on with the job at hand. The creation of one noble and magical Quendoran empire, the task begun by Entharion so many centuries, can now at last resume again!

Despite this optimism, a second disastrous collapse was less than two decades in the future--Syovar's reincarnated Great Underground Empire wouldbe a collapse of the very fabric of magic itself.

Syovar had been able to preserve the Aragain region from collapsing into total barbarism and the Eastlands showed a remarkable sign of life. But as so much of Syovar's dynamic power stemmed from his magical ability, the collapse of the First Age of Magic in 966 was a crushing blow to the old king. From that point onward, his Kingdom of Zork faded out into oblivion.

Unfortunately for the modern historian, the fate of Syovar the Strong at the end of his 89 years of kingship is a mystery. The most reliable biography of Syovar, “Lives” by Fuzbo Glort, provides an excellent portrait of how Syovar was viewed by his near-contemporaries, and also provides an admirable summary of the period from the fall of the Empire to the end of the Age of Magic. Although it is in fact of dubious reliability as an historical source, it is one of the few works that have survived those dangerous times to reach our modern eyes. However, the last page of the only surviving manuscript had been blotted out and covered with scribbled images of granola chunks and oversize yipples, and thus we do not know Syovar’s eventual fate for certain.

For all his talents at military and magical combat, Syovar found time for intellectual pursuits. Deeply interested in the written word, he was himself a master of several ancient tongues, and is believed to have written a chronicle of the history of Quendor from Entharion to his own time. An avid and fascinating storyteller, Syovar spent most of his free time during his later years composing and narrating complicated oral epics ranging in subject from the greater deeds of Mumberthrax the Insignificant to the Seven-Headed Snow Monster of Snurth.

Lord Syovar II succeeded Syovar the Strong in 972. It is uncertain whether this Lord was in fact Syovar’s son Logrumethar, or another individual.

His powers were so strong that he could transform into many forms, including water and a ferocious lion, was able to turn a hundred or so people from stone back to life and at the same time teleport them all back to his Castle at Zork, was able to duplicate items completely, conjurer huge monsters, invoke invisible shields,
Syovar the Strong had a similar talisman with the power to glow in the presence of evil. The brighter the glow, the closer the evil.

In the span from the curse of the Nemesis until the end of the First Age of Magic, the Highly Gifted in magic could attend GUE Tech free of charge on one of the Vice Regent's Scholarships.
Syovar was considered to be a spellbinding storyteller.
Syovar always found banquets to be noisy affairs. Despite this, he commonly performed impressive magic tricks during meals (including levitating the entire table).
Syovar always thought jousting was pretty barbaric.
Crafts fairs usually bored him to tears.