The Encyclopedia Frobozzica

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- B -

Saint Balhu, the patron saint of circus performers, has a holiday in his honor on 11 Arch of each year.

Barbel of Gurth, son of Delbor, was an arbiter and diplomat from the tenth century. His greatest skills were arbitrating and speaking in tongues, but he also invented the GOLMAC spell. He held two positions of authority: President of the Gurth Arbiters Congress, and Guildmaster of the Gurth City chapter of the Enchanters' Guild, a position he attained in 933. With his authority, he was able to restore high enchantment dues.

Barbel was a noted critic of his fellow Enchanters. He is most remembered for proclaiming that, "When I was a boy, I was told that any Enchanter could become a Guildmaster. Now I'm beginning to believe it." Barbel was also quoted in the 957 issue of Popular Enchanting as stating that, "There's too much showing-off, too much one-upmanship between the chapters, and no cooperation." This comment came after the 115th Convention of Enchanters and Sorcerers of the same year.

Incidentally, Barbel of Gurth's Double Fanucci handicap is 42.

Barsap - Appointed Royal Magician in 875 GUE by Idwit Oogle Flathead, Barsap, whose greatest skills are juggling and creative accounting, first performed before royalty in 850 GUE. The last book he read was "Magic with Mirrors." His favorite saying is, "The hardest trick is making it look easy," and his Double Fanucci handicap is 19. Barsap's Guild membership was revoked for dues evasion in 960, a little before he reached his untimely end.

His fate is a matter of some controversy. Some sources hold that he was turned into a newt in 972, but as it is commonly believed that the Age of Magic ended in 966, this seems a bit unlikely. The truth will probably never be known.

Boswell Barwell, the official biographer of the Flatheads, is the author of such notable works as Mumberthrax: The Man Behind the Legend, and The Lives of the Twelve Flatheads, which was published in 804 GUE by the Frobozz Magic Biography Publishing Company. Excerpts from Barwell's famous book were published in the Flathead Calendar of 883 GUE.

Giant Bat - This large monster is quite a nuisance to adventurers. Found in several caverns in the Eastlands, these giant bats seem to amuse themselves chiefly by grabbing a person, flying away, and depositing them elsewhere, thoroughly lost.

Nanny Beeble was the governess to the Twelve Flatheads when they were children. Her vivid memories of the experience include the fact that many of the children had teams of slaves exclusively to move their larger building blocks.

Belboz, born in 757 GUE during the reign of Mumberthrax Flathead, was the eldest of six brothers all left orphaned near the Aragain Falls. The guardian uncle of the siblings, a cave digger by trade, tried to get young Belboz interested in construction work, but the child talked and read only about magic. Eventually the uncle relented and sent Belboz to Borphee Harbor, where he was tutored by a master magician for 20 years. According to Belboz himself, his magical training was little understood by his family. In an interview on his 200th birthday, Belboz stated, "My uncle thought thaumaturgy was a communicable fish disease, and fancied I sat on a dock for 20 years telling carp to open wide and say 'ah'."

Belboz's initial training was followed by a 30-year apprenticeship in the Accardi Chapter of the Guild of Enchanters, after which he became a full-fledged Enchanter in 820 GUE. He decided to spend his time traveling south to Gurth and Mithicus, where he pioneered research on anti-caking additives to magic potions. His success in perfecting dozens of spells, notably the LOBAL spell ("sharpen hearing") and the CONBAK spell ("build strong bodies 12 different ways") brought him interprovincial fame, and heralded his advancement to Sorcerer after a mere 25 years.

Unlike his peers, Belboz criticized the decadence of the royal family and foretold the collapse of the Great Underground Empire. Most fellow Sorcerers thought Belboz's warnings were shrill or foolish, but when the Empire did collapse in 883, Belboz said "I told you so." Belboz then returned to Accardi where, in 910, at the age of 153, he became Guildmaster of the Accardi Chapter. Perhaps his greatest success - certainly his most publicized - came in 952, when he destroyed the evil giant Amathrodonis. Later that year he became the kingdomwide Secretary of the Guild of Enchanters, a post which he held for two terms.

With a life expectancy of 175 years, almost three times that of a layperson, most Sorcerers retire from the Guild and become Magicians Emeritus or Conjuration Consultants long before they become bicentenarians. At the age of 200, Belboz was the oldest member of the Circle of Enchanters, and was the oldest guildmaster ever. During that time-period speculation ran rampant as to whether the master Sorcerer had any plans to retire. During his 200th birthday interview, he told reporters to "Ask me about my retirement again when I turn 300."

Unfortunately for Belboz fans, that opportunity would never present itself. In 957 the famed Jeearr incident led Belboz to completely rethink his future career in magic. He became involved in a series of dangerous exploratory experiments to look into dangers posed by the existence of Jeearr. Undertaking these experiments alone to shield the Circle of Enchanters from the perils involved, Belboz eventually succumbed to the powers of Jeearr, and was kidnapped by Jeearr as part of his plan to gain world domination. Luckily for Belboz, the same Enchanter who defeated Krill was able to find Jeearr's lair, destroy the evil demon, and save the life of Belboz. After this incident, Belboz decided that his time in the spotlight had come to an end, and he retired to the peace and quiet of an Enchanters' Retreat in the Flathead Mountains. He was not heard from again until 966, when he played a minor role in the events leading up to the end of the Age of Magic.

Bella Quease is a very famous glass-bottom boat, perhaps the only one in all of Quendor, that is stationed in Antharia. It frequently takes tourists on a trip around the island, and sometimes to the Eastlands or Westlands. According to many, no trip to Antharia is complete without such a cruise on the Bella Quease, or at least the purchase of souvenirs from said cruise.

Belwit the Flat, the second king of the Flathead Dynasty, ruled the kingdom from Egreth Castle during the years 688 - 701 GUE. Belwit's reign is noted mainly for the minting of the first zorkmid, bearing his likeness, in 699 GUE.

Berknip was a necromancer of the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries who led a life designed to confound all attempts at explanation. Born in 662, his life paused temporarily in 750, only to be resumed again in 841. He was survived in 750 GUE by seven children and 39 grandchildren, but he has since out-relived them all. Berknip is an odd man, inexplicably afraid of swords and powdered milk. His greatest skill is assisting historical biographers, and his hobbies include making and collecting antiques. Being a vegetarian, he is noted for his adaptation of the NITFOL spell for raw oysters and crispy whole fish. This man's Double Fanucci handicap is unmeasurable, due to his odd life, and his favorite saying is "No one weeps for a necromancer."

Berzio - In 769 GUE he was an obscure, little-known thaumaturge who had lived for years in his own self-made workshop, often going for days without food, drink, or sleep, but in that year he made a discovery that would change the world. He created the means by which magical Presence could be transferred from a scroll to a special impregnated paper by use of a simple spell, which he named after his dog, Gnusto. Berzio quickly gained a reputation as a great thaumaturge, and was honored by being the source of the name of the first magic potion, the BERZIO potion.

Bizboz was a 5th century GUE student of the mystic arts who thoroughly examined ancient writings on such mystic subjects as Thaumaturgy. He wrote what became the seminal work in Thaumaturgy, "On the Presence of Incredibly Weird Stuff Going On," in 473 GUE, in which he claimed to have discovered "for-the-most-part Natural Rules" by which this "Weird Stuff" is ordered. This work was ridiculed by the leading scholars of the time, leading to Bizboz's removal from the faculty at Galepath University, and, eventually, to his tragic suicide in 475 GUE. However, his work encouraged others in the pursuit of magical knowledge.

Zorbius Blattus, greatest of the modern philosophers, was a popular debunker of Brogmoidism, and other strange religious sects. For instance, he is fond of asking, "If a giant Brogmoid were holding up the world, where would he stand?"

The Bloit is the Empire's most common unit for measuring distances. The bloit is defined as the distance the king's favorite pet runs in an hour. As the discerning reader can tell from this definition, the length of the bloit changes dramatically from ruler to ruler. (Rarely more dramatically than in 619 GUE, when Bozbo IV -- who adored his windcat -- died, and was succeeded by Mumbo II -- who was equally enamored of his very, very ancient turtle.)

Land is usually measured in square bloits. It is possible to convert bloits to miles, using the measurements of Fublio Valley by Boswell Barwell and Froboz Mumbar. According to this conversion one bloit is approximately 3,529 feet, or two-thirds of a mile. However it is important to note that this bloit-length may not correspond with other bloit-lengths given in this book.

Bloodhound - Lord Dimwit Flathead kept a kennel full of royal bloodhounds of immense size. It is quite probable that the bloodhound was the basis of Lord Dimwit's measurement of the bloit.

Bloodworms - Bloodworms live in shallow underground pools of water and are often mistaken for mossy boulders. Their pointy, retractable fangs can extend up to 32 inches during an attack. They are repelled by the smell of boiled chives; always carry some if venturing near known bloodworm spawning ground. One such spawning ground is the Miznia Jungle, where the local variety of bloodworm have pairs of fangs that measure in at an astounding three feet.

Winifred Booblort ran the Flatheadia Castle Preservation Society in 883 GUE.

The Boot Patrol was the police organization employed by The Evil One in Witchville. Headed by Sergeant MacGuffin, the Boot Patrol was literally a group of very large, living boots that arrested curfew violators.

The Bor River joins with the Phee River to form the Borphee River in the Westlands. At the confluence of the Phee and the Bor lies the ruins of the ancient city-state of Pheebor.

Borphbelly Stew is a popular lunchtime meal in the province of Fenshire. Made from fox, fowl, and earthworm, proper preparation mandates the simultaneous addition of the ingredients to a boiling cookpot.

Borphee, a large industrial city in the Westlands, is the capital of the Greater Borphee Province. A total of 1,107,810 people live in this huge province, and the city of Borphee itself is the largest in all of Frobozz. In fact, Borphee Harbor is the busiest port on the Flathead Ocean. This is only one of the several geographic features that help make Borphee the single most accessible vacation spot in the world. From anywhere in the Borphee River valley, travel by ferry is easy and inexpensive. By land, the Coast Road connects Borphee with the ancient cities to the north as well as the populous southlands.

Thanks to the nearby ocean, Borphee has a very moderate climate. The rainy season lasts most of the winter, and summers tend to be humid. During the first week in autumn, Borphee is the site of the Double Fanucci Championships, an annual event since 691 GUE. In late spring, G.U.E. Tech holds their annual Spelling Bee, which is free and open to the public. Every winter, the hills of Borphee come alive with the sounds of the most dreadful singers in the land. This event, aptly named The From Bad to Worst Songfest, happens to coincide to the time of year when most hillside residents schedule trips abroad. On the official first day of summer, thousands gather at the Borphee Harbor for the G.U.E. Festival of Small Ships.

Greater Borphee, nicknamed the Industrial Province, encompasses 754 square bloits. Government in this region is quite a baffling system. The city of Borphee itself is run by an elected mayor, while the province is administered by a staff of part-time volunteer managers, whose decisions are ratified at least three times a year, but not more than every other week, by a series of local forums. Those who purport to know say that these forums have resulted in Greater Borphee County Penal Codes, the recitation of which could bore a listener to death.

Those who are not busy volunteering for the local government are probably involved in one of Borphee's fine educational institutions. Borphee Business School and G.U.E. Tech both have excellent reputations. In fact, many G.U.E. Tech graduates have gone on to start their own magic companies, thus contributing to Borphee's standing as the center of the spell scroll, potion, and infotater industries. In the 9th century GUE, Spellbound and United Thaumaturgy both had extensive facilities in Borphee, and by 947 GUE FrobozzCo International had relocated its massive headquarters to Borphee as well. The prominence of the magic industry in Borphee is undoubtedly related to the fact that the city is home to the Great Meeting Hall of the Enchanters' Guild, the site of the Final Conclave in 966 GUE.

The recorded history of Borphee goes back to approximately 400 years before the time of Entharion, when Borphee, along with Pheebor, was one of the great city-states that lay near the Borphee River. Borphee defeated Pheebor in a massive battle that was caused by a feud over the naming of what is now called the Borphee River.

Recorders of meaningless historical facts might be interested in the following:
  • A Borphee baker makes Frobolli Cakes by flinging bits of dough into a hot oven.
  • The flower of Borphee is the compass rose.
  • The Borphee motto ("Borphee - fixum rixa poo nastik.") translates to "Borphee - better than you think."

    Borphee Business School is known as the alma mater of the most successful businessman of all time, John D. Flathead.

    Borphee Metropolitan Opera and Ballet Companies: These are the most prestigious organizations of their kind in the world.

    The Borphee River, formed by the joining of the rivers Phee and Bor, flows from near the ruins of Pheebor to the Great Sea near Borphee Harbor. Travel by ferry from anywhere in the Borphee River Valley is easy and inexpensive, helping to make Borphee probably the single most accessible vacation spot in the Empire. Over a thousand years ago the Borphee River was called the One River, until the outcome of a war between Borphee and Pheebor helped to give us the present name.

    Saint Bovus, the patron saint of those who design fine slate patios, has a holiday in his honor on 6 Augur of each year. Due to a slight mix-up concerning the etymological origin of the name "Bovus," the 883 edition of the Flathead Calendar was responsible for giving the impression that Bovus was the patron saint of those who raise meat animals, a role that actually belongs to Saint Wiskus.

    Bozbarbo Village is an underground settlement in the Westlands, near Egreth and Bozbarland, by the western branch of the Second Great Underground Highway.

    Bozbo I was the fifth king of the Entharion Dynasty. He came to the throne in 423 GUE, after Zilbo I, and was succeeded by Zilbo II in 429 GUE.

    Bozbo II was the eighth king of the Entharion Dynasty. He came to the throne in 477 GUE, after Harmonious Fzort, and was succeeded by Thaddium Fzort in 481 GUE.

    Bozbo III was the eleventh king of the Entharion Dynasty. He came to the throne in 569 GUE, after Mumbo I, and was succeeded by Bozbo IV in 575 GUE.

    Bozbo IV was the twelfth king of the Entharion Dynasty. He came to the throne in 575, after Bozbo III, and was succeeded by Mumbo II in 619. The change in rulers made for a profound readjustement of the bloit system of measurement, when Mumbo II chose a turtle as the standard of measurement, rather than a windcat, Bozbo IV's animal of choice.

    Brogmoids - In rare cases, these squat creatures can achieve the intelligence level of a three-year-old human. Domesticated brogmoids are tame and can even be taught to perform simple tasks. In the wild, they can be seen in huge packs sorting through rock piles looking for edible rocks. From this fact it is not difficult to see why brogmoids live considerably longer in captivity.

    The tenets of Brogmoidism, a religion originating in the fourth century GUE, state that a Great Brogmoid supports the world upon his shoulders, and that this Great Brogmoid keeps us from falling into the Great Void. Nowadays this belief is commonly ridiculed, and has lost most of its adherents, but nevertheless it is quite true. In 883 GUE the first
    Dungeon Master explored the depths of the Eastland's caverns and actually came out on the bottom of the earth to gaze upon a brogmoid that was tremendous beyond description. A rough estimate puts this Great Brogmoid at a zillion times larger than any brogmoid ever seen before. Its mere shoulder hairs were like mighty trees.

    On the same day as this remarkable discovery, Curse Day 883, the first Dungeon Master also hiked to the top of Mount Foobia and discovered the foot of another Great Brogmoid. Apparently, not only does a brogmoid hold up the world, but upon the world is standing another brogmoid, which can only be presumed to support yet another world.

    Chroniclers of history have always been puzzled by the fact that the Brogmoid Hypothesis has traditionally been given less credit than the so-called Turtle Theory, and the Troll Postulate, both of which were the subject of some research by Leonardo Flathead.

    Burfle is a game of chance played mainly in the Bozbarland Casino.

    Marcus Bzart-Foodle, a very rich nobleman from Gurth, was the first husband of Lucrezia Flathead. Bzart-Foodle died at a ripe old age after Lucrezia over-excited his weak heart.

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