While it cannot be said with precision when the time tunnels were constructed, they were certainly completed before the end of the reign of Lord Dimwit Flathead, who at one point hired a team of 12,000 specialists to trace the labyrinth of time tunnels underneath the Great Underground Empire. The model they presented him with looked so awfully like a great ball of spaghetti that the meeting was terminated and dinner was served. The report “A Meticulous Tracing of Temporal Lateralism in the Great Underground Empire, with Marinara” is still available in libraries and restaurants today.

While it seems that a group of advanced wizards from the Enchanters Guilds were responsible for the construction of the time tunnels, many historians suspect that Belboz the Necromancer, although extremely young, may have played a significant role with their creation. The sole purpose for which the time tunnels were built was to restore magic to Zork in the instance that a tyrannical anti-magic despot should have eliminated it. For magic to return, it was required for three magic artifacts to be brought together: a specific Cube of Foundation, the Coconut of Quendor, and the Skull of Yoruk. It would not be until 966 GUE that magic would be eliminated and 1067 in which it would flourish once more. Some praise the enchanters for their gifts of prophecy, others see them as nothing more than time-travelers who planned for the inevitable.

The History of Zork was rarely a chronological study, until minions of the Second Inquisition officially sealed a mjaority ancient network of time tunnels that ran beneath the Empire (circa 1048), including one tunnel in the Steppinthrax Monastery.

In 1034 GUE, Dalboz of Gurth began researching methods of returning magic to Zork. He eventually discovered that its restoration was possible by using the time tunnels, so that the three items necessary to bring magic back to Quendor (the Coconut of Quendor, a Cube of Foundation, and the Skull of Yoruk) could be retrieved—but the locations of these portals were unknown to him.

Time tunnels can be opened except for the use of the NARWHILE spell. It is dangerous for beings of flesh to jump through them normally, as they typically suffer from side effects such as death, fatality, and loss of life. This was partially corrected when Dalboz invented the YASTARD spell in 1067. This spell allowed for the caster to send spirit essences through time. When they came out on the other end, they were back in their bodies. This was extremely effective upon totemization victims, but needed to be cast upon the subject while they were beside the time tunnel.

The unknown adventurer who would become the Fourth Dungeon Master, sent three totemized victims (Lucy Flathead, Brog, and a griff) back in time to recover the three lost artifacts and bring them back to the present era to return magic to Zork, thus ushering in the Second Age of Magic.

Today there are but three known time tunnels: one just within the gates of Hades (the subway station entrance) leading to the Dragon Archipelago sometime between 967~1067 GUE; one within the closet of the Dungeon Master's lair leading to the White House between circa 966~1000 GUE; and one within the Steppinthrax Monastery leading to the streets of Port Foozle in 931 GUE.