Zorkmid Tree (Forest of Spirits), 1647 GUE

      Zorkmid Tree Artwork (A) / (B)


Long believed to be just a distant folk tale, the zorkmid tree is now believed to have thrived throughout the Westlands for several hundred years. Although now incredibly rare, these trees, thick with metal foliage, seem to disprove the ancient adage, as every branch, bow, and twig, have a zorkmid coin growing on it instead of fruit. Today, the only known surviving zorkmid tree had been found within the Forest of the Spirits.

Although the first zorkmid was not minted until 699 GUE, these trees supported the unstable Quendoran economy and saved the lazy Quendoran monarchs from having to mint any extra coinage. By the second half of the seventh century, however, something had clearly gone wrong. The zorkmid tree population was in a steady and inexplicable decline, and the population, sucked into a financial panic, began to pull the currency from circulation. During the last ten years of Zilbo III's reign, most of Quendor had sunk into a bitter depression. In 657, the Blight of the Zorkmid Trees descended across the land, spread by wandering packs of surmin and rabid cows, and most of the already weakened zorkmid tree population vanished into oblivion.

Two years later, Zilbo was toppled from his throne and the reign of a new dynasty had begun. Given the lack of evidence and our own general stupidity, it is likely that the connection between the New Year’s Revolt and the Zorkmid Blight will never be entirely clear. However, some historians have suggested that the sudden and thorough natural destruction of the zorkmid harvest throughout the Westlands led to a rapid succession of economic disasters. Unable to salvage the situation, and helpless against critics of his reign, Zilbo’s days as king were numbered. It has even been pointed out that such a rapid shortage of hard currency would have made it impossible for the royal court at Largoneth to make regular payments to its military units and commanding officers. If Duncanthrax was, as some sources have suggested, a general in the Royal Militia, it could in fact have been his dissatisfaction with the lack of regular income that led him to seek the throne. In any case, much of the anxiety that had shaken Quendor with the death of the zorkmid trees was washed away by the exciting course of events that followed the revolution of 659.

SOURCE(S): Sorcerer, Return to Zork, A History of Quendor