It is the first cool day after a week-long summer heat wave, so June and Bill are taking the opportunity to bicycle to Lookout Point in the hills outside of town. It is a favorite "secret pot" of theirs, and they come here often.

As the sun reaches its zenith they arrive at Lookout Point, a small plateau bordered on one side by rolling hills and on the other side by a steep cliff. They sit down under the familiar overhanging rock, which offers some protection fromt he bright midday sun. The edge of the cliff is just a few yards away. Neither of them speaks for a long while.

Finally, June breaks the silence. "You know what I've been thinking, Bill?"

Bill absent-mindedly tosses a pebble over the edge of the cliff. "I give up. What've you been thinking?"

"It's been two months since our last adventure..."

"That's funny-I've been thinking about the Land of Zork all day, also."

The Kingdom of Zork is a magical land far away, a land where Bill and June are known as Bivotar and Juranda, a land ruled by their "uncle" Syovar. Twice before, Bill and June have ventured there, once battling the evil Krill, would-be conqueror of Zork, and once saving Syovar from the terrible wizard Malifestro.

Bill reaches into his pocket and removes the Ring of Zork, their gateway to the Land of Zork. Plzcing the ring on one's finger somehow transports one to that amazing land. As Bill holds up the ring, sunlight glints off its golden surface.

Suddenly, a lizard scurries out from behind a clump of scrubgrass, startling Bill. He drops the Ring of Zork, which begins rolling along the rock toward the edge of the cliff. Bill and June both leap after it. Bill grasps as he slips on a patch of gravel at the cliff's edge. June grabs onto him, but they both lose their balance, and plunge over the precipice!

The ground rushes toward them. Sharp boulders beckon. Bill and June are too terrified even to scream.

Then, just before they hit the ground, the lighting changes. They land jarringly, but the fall is softened by a plush carpet. They look around in amazement, for they are in the throne room of the Castle of Zork! Moreover, they are dressed in adventurers' garb. Syovar stands with his back to them, apparently lost in thought. Through the wide doorways to the adjoining banquet hall, they can see a modest luncheon being served.

Syovar, hearing the commotion of their arrival, slowly turns. He notices them, and his face lights up. "Juranda and Bivotar! I was just thinking about you two. How wonderful that you decided to drop in."

"Well, it wasn't entirely intentional," begins Juranda. She explains what happened.

"Frobs above!" explains Syovar. "You two are pretty lucky. You must have been protected by the power of the ring. Or maybe it was the fact that I was thinking of you...Sometimes magic works in ways we don't understand."

As if to illustrate Syovar's last comment, the Ring of Zork suddenly appears in mid-air and falls to the floor. Syovar picks the ring up and puts it safely in his pocket.

"Well. There's a small banquet going on, and there'll be a play presented afterwards, I believe. Today is also the date of the jousting finals, on the meadow outside the castle. The competition begins in about an hour. Or, you can go to the annual crats fair in the courtyard."

"Those all sound like fun," Juranda says.

"But what I would most like to do, if you're interested, is go to my library and talk, and get to know each other better. I could tell you tales about the fall of the Great Underground Empire, and about the early campaigns against the evil Krill. I used to be considered a spellbinding storyteller."

"That sounds interesting," says Bivotar.

Go to the banquet and play?

Attend the jousting finals?

Visit the crafts fair?

Stay and listen to Syovar's stories?

Activision and Zork are registered trademarks of Activision, Inc.
© 1983, 1996 Activision, Inc. Used with permission.
Chris Boraski