ZORK SHROUD OF ZYLON (above)
Zylon the Aged, the third king of the Entharion Dynasty following
the death of Mysterion the Brave, is perhaps the most memorable of the
Entharion kings, noted chiefly for his eternally young appearance and
astounding longevity. Born in the
impossibly distant era before the creation of Quendor itself (32 BE),
Zylon rose to the throne at the age of 87, a position which he would
hold for a staggering 344 years, swallowing half of the Entharion
Though the details of the Wars of Kar'nai (47~50 GUE) are lacking an
the gravesite of Zylon the Aged reads, “Bringer of Victory in
Wars of Kar’nai.”
turn of the century, 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 in 102 GUE. 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 became known as the Preserver of Peace
in the Time of the Frobbish Rebellion.
In the several hundred years following both of these events, the
military forces of Quendor would dwindle almost to the
point of non-existence. The remarkable longevity of Zylon the King
ensure a quiet prosperity and a sense of reassuring regularity.
Although the reasons for
Zylon sudden obsession with the construction of the Quendoran navy in
the 240s, when Quendor previously had no need for such a system, is
obscured. The most widely accepted conjecture is that the king feared
the possible rebirth of the Anatian Empire on Antharia. Apart from the
reasons for its assembling, the navy was never put to use, and in the
later years of Zylon’s life, the ships were converted into fishing
It is of course true that Zylon, a contemporary and associate of both
his predecessors, was intimately acquainted with magical practice and
lore. However, the aged monarch was notoriously introspective, a habit
only natural from one who had the misfortune of watching a dozen
generations of good friends give in to death while he himself remained
alive. In any case, Zylon shared little of his magical knowledge, and
although not a member of Entharion and Mysterion's secret societies, he
did little if anything to prevent their work throughout the long course
of his reign.
Towards the end of the fourth century, it seemed to all that Zylon was
surely a deity come to earth to live
among the common folks. By all appearances he was a strong young man in
the prime of his life, and he had looked this way for well over
three-hundred years. There were courtiers at Largoneth whose
grandparents’ grandparents had served in Zylon’s court during the first
years of his reign. Even those who chose to speak ill of him remained
hidden in cities far away, posing no threat to Zylon, who had weathered
such talk many times in the past, and always came out better for it.
his early days, Zylon the Aged was extremely procreative. As he got
older, wife after wife kept dying on him, but through it all he managed
to squeeze out but fourteen children. Growing up in the
children were spoiled and lazy, never engaging in marriage. Only two or
three of the “ungrateful brats” gave him any grandchildren at all, and
of those, only one kept the line alive. Poor Zylon outlived his last
great-great-great-great-great (or something or other) grandson when he
died in 382 GUE. The beautiful Elinear was the last girl which Zylon
the Aged attempted to court. Having courted her great-grandmother in
distant days, Zylon was overly concerned about the impropriety of the
situation, and despite Hargood's urging for him to marry Elinear, he
declined. Thus Zylon was left with no children, no heirs, no nothing.
The bloodline was dead.
Towards the latter years of his life, the
king’s appointed council of five regents consisted of Zilbo Throckrod
(Zilbo I) (384~398 GUE), General Darborn Griffspotter, Hargood of
Fzort, and Dinbar. When Zylon took time to visit remote parts of the
kingdom, these five were
always left in charge of the affairs of the state and the control of
Oracle of 392 saw the birth a deadly plague that shook the
Quendor and extended even as far into the Kovalli Desert. 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 had been confidently
dealt with by Zylon the Aged, those outside the kingdom, in the Kovalli
Desert suffered greatly.
shortly before the end of his reign, King Zylon had an terrible
misfortunate on behalf of Umberthar Spildo, the current Mayor of
Galepath. Upon Spildo's initial election, he
had insisted on complete control of all city administrative affairs,
proceeding to single-handedly create the worst series of tactical
blunders imaginable. Mistaking a royal seal of King Zylon for the stamp
from the Fishmonger’s Guild, he summarily revoked the baffled king’s
right to go fishing anywhere within two hundred bloits of Galepath.
Greatly overestimating his own popularity, he spent millions of
zorkmids from the city treasury to cordon off Bittut Avenue and
organize festivities for a massive parade and rally in his honor.
In 398 GUE Zylon the Aged was described as a tall man, lean arms and
agile fingers gripping the base of the window
pane. Long hair for a man, down to the shoulders, a dark brown, almost
black. Rimming his head, a thin silver band studded with a single
gleaming jewel centered above his smiling, twinkling eyes. Only those
close to him knew that Zylon had always
been a quite friendly man, even to those of vastly lesser status.
handservant was a man by the name of Endeth Belzgar, who organized the
king's extensive book collection, cleaned the king's castle chambers,
prepared the king's meals every day, and checked on him as he prepared
for bed. In 398, the fallen Implementor Belegur possessed and
controlled Endeth into poisoning Zylon. The servant had slipped Zylon a
slice of bread with enough poison to kill
off a dozen normal mortals. But the king’s body was not a normal one,
and it had fought off many sicknesses far worse than that. While the
poison did not kill Zylon, it did weaken him significantly and he lost
In response, General Griffspotter, unwilling to see the country arising
in panic over Zylon’s condition, ordered the royal guard to seal off
the castle to prevent the spreading of rumors. A group of physicians
and magicians were summoned to the king’s chambers, where one after
another examined the king, unable to determine the cause of illness.
All known healing techniques were tried, and even new ones were
invented. His bowels were emptied out and cleansed from both ends, and
they even dared to try bleeding him. All was futile. Even the
meticulous search of Zylon’s half-devoured meal had failed to turn up
the most basic explanation, the court physicians being more skilled at
treating bad paper-cuts than trying to cure their immortal king.
council meetings had been held. The members debated the wisdom of
keeping the entire affair a secret, but Griffspotter’s adamant argument
to do so overshadowed the others. If fact, the general stationed half
of the Quendoran army in the castle to prevent any word of the king’s
sickness from reaching the outside. Since Zylon had no heir, the five
regents battled over who would be next in line. Until Zylon could be
restored, or name the heir to the throne, these five were the rulers of
Hoping to retain Zylon’s life for as long as possible, the magician
Dinbar completed a Spell of Linking, which bound the king’s soul to a
magical orb rather than his body. This force provided Zylon with a
certain amount of safety independent of any damage inflicted to his
actual physical body. If the body did die, the orb would not keep his
soul alive for more than a few weeks, bit it would give a small safety
cushion to fall back upon if needed.
the meantime, Dinbar
suggested that the legendary Pool of Stasis be sought out. While they
were ignorant of its properties and location, they knew that by
immersing the king within the pool, further permanent damage to his
body might be adverted. Details of this pool were written in the
Scrolls of Fizbin. Thus Zilbo and Dinbar planned to seek Litbo
Mumblehum in Galepath to inquire about them. Although they were never
able to find the Pool of Stasis, Zilbo would manage to lead Quendor to
triumph over Belegur.
his sleep, Zylon felt his body fighting the illness, but the powers of
Belegur prevented him from finishing the job. Night after night, the
fallen Implementor would visit him, tormenting his thoughts. Again and
again Zylon fought him off, but the struggle grew to be too much.
Because he was fighting the devil on too fronts, Zylon was not able to
recover (which it was Zylon believed Belegur had intended from the
start). When Belegur was defeated, it was the turning point for Zylon.
The devil's presence left his mind and he was able to concentrate on
healing himself. Zylon woke up that morning, smiling, as if nothing had
ever happened. He simply woke up and got out of bed and went right
about his daily business as though he had never ailed.
two weeks later, several dozen diplomats and officials from all the
outlying areas of Quendor, and even representatives from the pair of
formerly warring city-states, Galepath and Mareilon, gathered at
Largoneth. Those of Galepath extended formal apologies not only to the
king of Quendor, but to their brothers in Mareilon whom they had
wronged. It was that same evening that Zylon the Aged, having read much
in the Scrolls of Fizbin, completed constructing the gateway to the
Timeless Halls. The suddenly blue beam of light that snapped into the
night sky from the southwestern tower easily caught the gaze of Zilbo,
Litbo, and Dinbar who were near the base of Signal Mount. When the trio
arrived at Zylon’s room, they found the king laying motionless on the
bed with his back resting comfortably on the soft blankets. His eyes
were closed and his arms rested easily at his side, save the beginnings
of the blue tunnel that sprang from his forehead. The spirit of Zylon
rose out of and hovered above his body; it mirrored the likeness of the
real king in every way, down to identical clothing and the smallest
insignificant facial features. And with wordless smile, the spirit of
Zylon the Aged moved into the stream of blue light and was gone,
leaving only a motionless body.
In a scrap of parchment, written by Zylon’s own hand, found in his
bedchamber by Zilbo, we read:
last I am gone from this world, the weight of countless years lifted.
Thank you for that. And as for that one last order of unfinished
business, all hail King Zilbo the First, Lord and Protector of Quendor."
at the age of 430 years, Zylon the Aged ascended to the Timeless Halls.
Although his tomb is clearly marked with the following words:
Zylon the Aged, Lawgiver, Crowner of Kings,
Roads, Builder of Bridges, Preserver of the
the Time of the Frobbish Rebellion, A Warrior
Bringer of Victory in the Wars of Kar’nai, and
and Protector of the Kingdom of Quendor.
32 BE - 398 AE
rest with the Implementors, in the bosom of the Timeless Halls.
many today still strongly doubt the ascension of Zylon the
By the end of the reign of Zylon the Aged, nearly every coin
in the Quendor treasury bore the wizened likeness of him; no other king
had held the throne in over three hundred
years. Even in those days, the gold pieces minted in the distant age of
Entharion the Wise
and Mysterion the Brave were valuable collector’s items almost
impossible to find.
Remnants of the ascension of Zylon the Aged remain as part of an
ancient religion (see the 'Temple of Zork').
verily, doubt not the Ascension of Zylon the Aged
scarred a sinner of the worst kind.
understand the magnitude of your deed?
he joined, he transcended, he died not
other among the kings stands with him.
this to be true or suffer the fate of an unbeliever.
"Zork Shroud of Zylon" is a highly prized relic, seen on display in the
Steppinthrax Monastery museum near the mid-tenth century along with his spenseweed. Shortly after
949, this ancient artifact, like many of the others at the monastery,
went missing (mostly likely due to the act of theft).
The Eastlands city Zylonika
was named after this great king.