Ultima VI by Origin General Typed by Golden One and Hill Billy I, Lord British, write this

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Ultima VI by Origin General Typed by Golden One and Hill Billy %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% I, Lord British, write this exhortation in my own hand that you, my virtuous Champion and Avatar, might gain a full appreciation of the significance of the times which face us. Though evil has often raised its rebellion head, I fear we now face a threat far greater than any yet encountered. In the past, you and your companions have risen faithfully to the challenge, undaunted by overwhelming odds, unwavering in your adherence to the Path of Virtue. We place our trust in you once more. As though seeking vengeance against the Light, the forces of Darkness have renewed their malevolent aggressions. Not content to remain in their own realm, daemonic emissaries from the Underworld have begun making incursions into our land. It is fortuitous that you have returned to Britannia in these perilous times. Study well the words which follow, for they are essential to your quest. And that quest is essential to the continued existence of the human race. For more than a fortnight I have dictated my thoughts and admonitions to the venerable Moebius, Keeper of the Libraries of the Lycaeum. He has scrupulously recorded my every word, and when called upon, made illustrations to aid your understanding. I have affixed my seal to this letter to assure you that these are indeed my words. Take them to heart. Heed my counsel. Gird yourself with the infinite wisdom of Truth, Love and Courage, for at the end of your quest lies a destiny foretold in ancient times: "One shall arise who possesses the strength of an army, the vision of a prophet and the heart of a saint. This Great One will bring an end to the struggle between the Darkness and the Light." Pray that you are, indeed, the One, for should you fail, the Light of life will surely be extinguished and Darkness will reign forevermore. Lord British Sovereign of Britannia THE CHRONICLES OF BRITANNIA My sojourn upon the shores of Britannia began many generations ago. Long ago did I uncover the secrets of the moongates which brought me here from my distant homeland, even as they now bring you. As you well know, we who pass through the gates to Britannia, though we be in this world are not of it. It is for this reason, I suspect, that we are immune to the ravages of time during our stays here. Remember, however, that we remain ever mortal, albeit seemingly ageless. At the time of my arrival here, this place was known as Sosaria, a region comprised of numerous warring city-states and feudal fiefdoms. It was not long before my affinity for order, peace and prosperity had earned me the title of Lord British, ruler over the city-state of Britain, and ultimately Lord of Britannia. Under my guidance the land and its people have prospered and grown, though not without challenges from the forces of Evil. THE AGE OF DARKNESS AND THE FOUNDING OF BRITANNIA Thrice during ancient times did beings of a foul nature seek to conquer my domain. Thrice did you answer my call for a champion. Thrice was evil thwarted. THE TALE OF ULTIMA I First was the perverted sorceror, Mondain, who slew his own father that he might gain immortality and advance his dark dominion over the land. It was against Mondain that you first answered my call, travelling through the moongate to put an end to Mondain's shadowy plans. THE TALE OF ULTIMA II The triumph of good was short-lived, for Mondain left behind an apprentice and consort named Minax, a cold-blooded young woman whose ambition was exceeded only by her thrist for blood. Entire legions of evil creatures responded to her commands, bringing misery to the inhabitants of Sosaria. Again, you rose to the challenge, slaying Miinax's vile minions by the hundreds until at last she too met her fate at your hands. THE TALE OF ULTIMA III Mondain and Minax had devised a treacherous scheme to assure their immortality throughout time. They had created an offspring known as Exodus, neither man nor machine, yet embodying every evil impulse they possessed. Rising from the murky depths of the Great Ocean, Exodus unleashed an assault of vengeance upon the world. Were it not for your keen wit and determination, Exodus would surely have brought utter devastation to our land. Aided by the enigmatic Timelord, you foiled the mighty Exodus, bringing an end to the Cycle of Gloom begun by Mondain so long ago. In this manner did you thrice respond to my call for valor and overcome the Triad of Evil. The peace and security brought about by your acts of bravery led the city-states to band together and form the nation of Britannia, submitting to my just rule as British, Lord of Britannia. THE ASCENT OF THE AVATAR, as Related in Ultima IV With the passing of gloom and despair from the face of Britannia, the citizens flourished. Edicts went forth from my hand which were designed to foster both the material and spiritual growth of the society. I established great centers of learning where the arts and sciences could be developed and appreciated. During this era of renaissance, eight major townships were built upon the foundations of the former city-states, each dedicated to the study and fostering of a single virtue. These towns stand as symbols of great fortitude to this day. All great cultural movements require role models to help society maintain proper focus. I therefore issued the challenge for such an individual to step forward and show the people the way of virtue. You responded in a fashion which befits your integrity and pure heart. Undertaking the task of unraveling the concepts of spirituality, you discovered the great Codex of Ultimate Wisdom and attained the title of 'Avatar,' the human embodiment of virtue. The newly discovered Codex was raised from the bottom of the Great Stygian Abyss in order that we might study its teachings. But our acquisition of the Codex changed the physical, as well as the spiritual, landscape of the world. A fiery new island, the Isle of the Avatar, rose from the depths of the Great Sea, and in the violent birth of this isle, an immense underworld chamber opened up! When this cataclysm had passed, a shrine was built on the Isle of the Avatar to house the Codex forever. THE SUBVERSION OF THE SHADOWLORDS, as Related in Ultima V The acquisition of the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom from the deep recesses of the underworld created a karmic imbalance in the universe, resulting in the emergence of three sinister Shadowlords from the shards of the black jewel of Mondain. These grim agents of darkness were the very antitheses of virtue. Their trickery and deceit allowed them to imprison me in their underworld dungeon and, in a perversion of justice, compelled the leaders of Britannia to oppress the people. The once noble Lord Blackthorn became the human agent who fulfilled their evil intent. However, following your instincts and the admonitions of the Codex, you applied the principles of truth, love and courage against the Shadowlords and the corrupted Blackthorn. Your efforts allowed me to banish them and their agents from the realm of light. Thus was I restored to my consecrated throne. However, my return to the surface world set off a great tectonic upheaval, resulting in the collapse of the cavernous underworld in which I had been imprisoned. Many aftershocks and cataclysmic disasters befell the world for a period of time after that, though eventually all was restored to normal. TODAY: THE THREAT OF THE GARGOYLES Though long believed to be mythological creatures, the existence of Gargoyles was discovered shortly after the first expedition to the geologically unstable underworld. At first, they seemed content to remain in their subterranean domain, but recently they began appearing in our world, seemingly bent on doing us great harm. These diabolical nemeses have begun to seize our holy shrines and places of enlightenment. Scores of homes and villages in our land have been destroyed during nocturnal raids mounted by the daemonic fiends, while countless others stand empty and deserted. Local and government militias have organized in opposition to the calamitous invasion from below. Whole brigades of skilled warriors from Serpent's Hold have clashed with these tireless foes on the field of battle, but to no avail. The Gargoyles' methods suggest that they are searching for something of great value. It is even rumored that they may seek your destruction, though why this should be so is not known to us. I urge you, my Champion and Avatar, to study the pages that follow, in part to ensure your own survival. But even more, heed my words that you may understand the condition of our world and the plight of our people against the unrelenting Gargoyles. THE KINGDOM OF BRITTANIA As the Lord of Britannia, I have devoted myself to fathoming the beauty and variety of this land. But one must not forget that the landscape has been stained with the blood of many a brave warrior who, for want of control over it, fell victim to its perils. Those who have seen the Bloody Plains in the northeast know of what I speak. So, take care in your journeying lest you fall prey to the seductive charm of the land, only to learn its deadly secrets while lost in contemplation. THE GREAT CENTERS OF POWER AND LEARNING The Castle of Lord British Chief among the places in Britannia, my keep overlooks the town of Britain from the protected flanks of the Serpent's Spine. Visitors to the castle will find evidence of my many interests and hobbies within its marbled halls. Though my authority extends from the throne to the most remote regions of the kingdom, none shall be turned away who come to me for counsel in their time of need. And forget not, Avatar, that I have prepared a room for you in my castle that you might find a place of rest from your long journeys abroad. The Lycaeum The world's greatest storehouse of knowledge and wisdom is contained within the walls that form the Lycaeum. Poised upon the northwestern slopes of Verity Isle, the Lycaeum's libraries, laboratories and academies of learning are a haven for the seeker of truth. Four times each year the Inner Circle of Mages congregates within the labyrinthine chambers to exchange esoteric secrets. Whilst in the area, do not fail to visit the observatory where astronomers create many fine lenses through which to view the heavens. Empath Abbey Home to the Brotherhood of the Rose, Empath Abbey serves as a retreat for those engaged in contemplation and reflection. Flanked by the oaks of the Deep Forest on one side and by the sea on the other, the Abbey sits as a lighthouse of peace in the northwestern region of Britannia, near the town of Yew. Well schooled in the vintner's craft, the brothers and sisters of the Abbey produce some of the land's finest wines, thus assuring their financial security and sustaining their monastic lifestyles. Serpent's Hold A bastion of honor, valor, and triump, Serpent's Hold is the castle headquarters of the Order of the Silver Serpent and the training center for Britannia's armed militia. Many noble and brave warriors have set forth in our defense from this garrison on the Isle of Deeds. The most skilled of these warriors, grizzled veterans all, have selflessly returned to instruct the new recruits in the ways of attack and defense. Recently, a dozen squads of the finest from Serpent's Hold went out to attack the camps of the invading Gargoyles. Few returned to tell about it. THE PRINCIPAL TOWNS When the Great Council met after the collapse of the Triad of Evil, it was decided that each of the main towns of Britannia should adopt one of the fundamental principles of virtue as its focus of learning. Each of these eight towns, the former city-states of Sosaria, has taken great care in fostering its guiding principle of virtue--they stand apart as the true jewels in the crown of Britannia. The traveller will find a sacred shrine dedicated to the chosen principle of virtue near each town. Moonglow, founded on Honesty On the southern tip of Verity Isle, the town of Moonglow welcomes those of faithful heart and noble intentions. Mages and scholars frequent this seagoing port because of its proximity to the libraries of the Lycaeum and because its accomodations and services are among the most reasonably priced in the land. Britain, founded on Compassion Centrally located on the shore of Britanny Bay, the town of Britain is the site of the castle from which I rule. It is also host to multitudes of travellers and to purveyors of goods of all kinds. The adventurer will surely appreciate the hospitality shown by Britain's compassionate citizens. The shops, inns and armouries of Britain are much renowned and frequented by all who prepare for and return from long journeys. The historic Wayfarer's Inn is considered a second home to many a road-weary adventurer. Jhelom, founded on Valor Many of Britannia's most esteemed warriors have emerged from the town of Jhelom in the far southwestern region of the kingdom on the main island of the Valorian isles. Lodging, supplies, armaments and a prosperous shipbuilding industry are to be found in this bustling town by the sea. Yew, founded on Justice Second in size only to Britain, the town of Yew is the judicial and legal heart of the kingdom, being home to the Supreme Court of Britannia. Druids and philosophers have long gathered under the shade trees of the Deep Forest surrounding Yew, exploring the subtle nuances of justice and righteousness. While visiting Yew, one will find a fine pub and a fully equipped armoury and apothecary. Minoc, founded on Sacrifice Stretched across the mouth of Lost Hope Bay in northern Britannia, Minoc has commited itself to the plight of the needy and homeless. Minoc is also well known for its artisans who excel in the crafts of metalworking, armouring, glassworking, and clock making. Trinsic, founded on Honor The honorable paladins who make their homes in the idyllic town of Trinsic are noted for their courage and devotion to truth. Situated just north of the Cape of Heroes in the south lands, Trinsic provides many fine goods and services to the traveller, including a stable where the finest steeds are available to speed you along your way. Skara Brae, founded on Spirituality It has oft been said that Skara Brae, close by the mystic forest of Spiritwood, is the spiritual center of Britannia. But the word "spirit" has many meanings, and only some of the town's inhabitants--notably the healers, magicians, and priests--concern themselves with matters of the soul. Others in the area have a different meaning in mind--those inclined to take advantage of Skara Brae's fine winery! New Magincia, founded on Humility Having been destroyed in ancient times for its haughty pride, New Magincia was rebuilt by a more humble people who favored the simple ways of farming and rural life. With the passage of time, an industrious village has grown atop the ruins of the old town. Those who would revel in their own pride should take special note of the lesson of New Magincia. OTHER LOCATIONS OF NOTE Buccaneer's Den Lives there a soul who has not heard of the notorious pirates and thieves of Buccaneer's Den? In spite of its ill repute, many travellers have found this island village east of Paws to be a great source of exotic goods. The ships that frequent its harbor bring unusual artifacts from far and wide. Cove Nestled in the mountains just south of Lost Lake, Cove is home to many magicians, healers and alchemists. One will also find there a shrine dedicated to the Avatar's pursuit of Virtue. Paws This quaint coastal village lies halfway between the towns of Britain and Trinsic, where the weary traveller can obtain food, shelther and a change of horse. The mysterious islands known as the Fens of the Dead can barely be seen offshore near Paws. In these Fens, mages ofttimes seek the rare mandrake root and nightshade so necessary to their potent concoctions. The Bloody Plains Site of one of Britannia's most savage wars, this desolate region lies sandwiched between two great swamps across the mountains northeast of the village of Cove. The bloodstained soil serves as a timeless memorial to the thousands of brave soldiers who met their fate there. Mages know this area as another of the few paces where they can find mandrake root and nightshade. The Isle of the Avatar This enigma of nature rose from the sea when the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom was brought up from the depths of the Great Stygian Abyss. The great subterranean upheaval that gave it birth left the large island dotted with volcanic craters, steaming fumaroles, and a ready supply of sulfurous ash. Few are brave enough to risk the hazards of this place--even to behold the Codex in the Shrine of the Avatar. The Palace of Blackthorn Few nowadays venture near this monument to evil, but rumors abound that the mad wizard Sutek has taken refuge in the former abode of Blackthorn, the defamed ally of the vanquished Shadowlords. What Sutek might be doing there, none can say. THE CITIZENRY The citizens of Britannia are a diverse people who have survived many challenges to the rule of Order. Their ancestry can be traced to a time before the Sosarian city-states were formed, a time when a loose confederation of druids and mages flourished alongside a meek but industrious agricultural populace. Relics of ancient times can be found throughout the land and traces of the ancient language of the land can be found throughout modern Britannia. In your travels you will no doubt come upon the occasional sign or placard written in a curious runic script. Passed down from one generation to the next, this written runic language is directly descended from the language of the druids of old. Though strange and seemingly indecipherable, the process of interpreting runic script is really quite simple. The key (ULT6LANG.DOC) will enable the traveller to translate runic characters into his native tongue. INTERACTING WITH THE CITIZENS Whether talking to the farmer in his field or to one of the scholars at the Lycaeum, one will be impressed with the eloquence and diversity of interests possessed by the people of Britannia. Their good-natured dispositions are a result of several generations of relative peace brought about by the natural focus on the principles of Virtue. When meeting someone for the first time, it is customary to ask them their name and job. In most cases, a Britannian will be more than willing to discuss a variety of subjects and be most eager to answer questions you may post to him. Do not fail to take note of the things you are told during these coversations, for even the words of the humblest farmer or beggar may provide needed guidance in your journey through the land. Many Britannians will do far more than offer advice and information, however. If asked to join your party, the more adventuresome in the realm will accompany you on your quest. Stalwart allies can mean the difference between victory and defeat, so choose your party members wisely. Merchants buy and sell a variety of goods and services, offering you the opportunity to stock up on needed supplies or build up cash reserves. Enter a shop and tell the proprietor you wish to buy something and you will very likely find the item you desire. Offer to sell the proprietor an object in your possession and you may find him an eager trading partner. The commerce of the nation is a source of pride to all Britannians and a subject worthy of detailed treatment here. COMMERCE A complex system of interdependency among many professions and crafts drives all commercial activity in Britannia. This interdependency ensures that Britannia remains a growing nation, well supplied and prepared against times of shortage and hardship. Farming Since the times before our great societal expansion, farming and animal husbandry have been the cornerstones of the Britannian economy. It is the farmer who grows fine grains for the baker and the baker who makes our bread. It is the rancher who tends the cattle for meat and dairy products, keeping our stores and pubs filled with the necessities of life. In like manner, the shepherd supplies wool to the makers of cloth who, in turn, enable the clothiers to ply their trade. In these and many other ways, Britannian owes its livelihood to the persistent laborers of the soil. PROFESSIONAL MERCHANTS The merchants of Britannia strive to provide satisfactory goods and services to their customers. The professional symbols emblazoned upon the signs which hang outside their shops attest to their willingness to assist the traveller.. at least during business hours. Armouries (Serpent) Britannia's armouries are a key factor in the security and prosperity of the land. Providing both armaments for the valiant and employment for armourers and blacksmiths, these shops offer high quality armour and weaponry of many types. Most armourers will gladly repurchase used equipment, though usually at prices far lower than originally paid for them. Stables (Horseshoe) The seasoned traveller understands what a godsend a steed can be on lengthy and treacherous journeys. Stables are usually found in smaller towns and villages, or at private residences where the owners may be willing to offer you a fine horse at a fair price. Markets & Pubs (Mug and Bowl) Most of the major towns in Britannia have at least one shop dedicated to caring for the traveller's need for food and supplies. The wise traveller will learn to examine the varied inventories carried by different merchants, making note of the shopkeepers who stock rare and unusual items--one never knows when such knowledge may be of use. In pubs, the traveller may partake of a refreshing glass of ale or a fine meal of pheasant and mutton. The service will often be accompanied by the melodies of a cheerful minstrel, and pub owners are known for their willingness to take part in a friendly chat. Healers (Ankh) The vast wildernesses of Britannia, though rich in beauty, also hold hidden dangers capable of causing travellers injury or illness. Luckily, many towns have professional people trained in the medicinal arts. Healers can turn back the ravages of swamp poison or heal wounds earn in battle. Some physicians claim that their healing arts have been enhanced and augmented by magic, to the point that they can resurrect the dead! Magic shops (Vial) These occult apothecaries are quite interesting to visit. Their oddly decorated shelves are often strewn with vials of strangely colored potions, queerly glowing staves and scepters, and a cornucopia of herbal and mineral reagents useful in the mage's work. since many of the items offered are both rare and expensive, their availability will vary from town to town, so the travelling mage will want to make special note of those things offered in the places he visits. Inns (Candle) Inns provide safe, restful accomodations where travellers can retreat after a long, hard day. Many inns even offer fine dining facilities on-site. Prices will vary from place to place, but even the most inexpensive inn is a welcome home away from home for the weary adventurer. Shipwrights (Anchor) Several of the port towns along the shores of Britannia boast of craftsmen renowned for their dedication to the construction of safe, dependable sea vessels. Whether you need a small skiff to get upriver, or a mighty sailing vessel for open sea travel, the local shipwrights will be more than happy to discuss terms. It is wise to pay attention to information about local sea and wind conditions before setting out in a new craft. Guilds (Key) It is not uncommon for members of certain professions to organize themselves into guilds which cater to the specific needs of their membership. Such guilds have been set up in a number of towns. The guilds provide professional adventurers with many of the things they need for journeys into the wilderness and deep dungeons. Tailors (Scissors) Nowhere is the interdependence of Britannia's craftspeople more in evidence that in the field of tailoring. Thread must be spun and taken to weavers. Weavers, having made cloth from the thread, deliver it into the hands of clothiers. Clothiers turn bolts of fine fabric into clothes fit for kings. Find your place in this process and you may profit. Seek out the tailors of Paws if you desire a wardrobe of the highest quality. Fletchers & Bowyers (Arrow) Many are the fletchers and bowyers of Britannia, but none are held in higher esteem than those of the town of Britain. The ingenious engineering and high quality of their arrows, bolts, bows, and crossbows is known through the land. This is due mainly to the great skill of the master bowyer, Iolo Fitzowen, proprietor of Iolo's Bows. Iolo and his apprentice, Gwenneth, can be of great assistance to archers. THE CALL TO ADVENTURE Adventuring in the savage lands of Britannia is no life for the timid, nor is it a profession for those lacking resolve. Consider carefully before taking up the gauntlet I cast before you, for the path to your destiny is fraught with peril and adversity. The elite corps of stout-hearted souls who accept my challenge must be disciplined, determined and willing to sacrifice all. But even more, they must be devout followers of the path of virtue. Learn now the ways in which my chosen adventurers apply their talents to the tasks before them. THE WAY OF THE FIGHTER Many celebrated fighters are trained in the art of combat at Serpent's Hold. There are, however, a few warriors of humble origin who have not the benefit of such training. These acquire skills on the field of battle, earning high acclaim for heroic deeds of valor. The true value of a fighter is found not in his training, but in his heart; it is exemplified not in his knowledge, but in his accomplishments. The fighter typically possesses great strength and endurance, complements to his natural instincts and boundless courage. His proficiency with many weapons makes him a walking arsenal, ever ready for battle. The fighter prefers to mount his attack from the front line position, a strategy which well serves his inclination to wield mighty bludgeoning weapons and lethal two-handed swords. As a novice fighter grows in experience, his strength and dexterity naturally increase, allowing him to employ more effective combinations of weapons and armour. Enjoying the company of rangers and paladins, the fighter should likewise associate himself with a mage or a bard who can supplement his great physical attack with long range weaponry and the tools of magic. THE WAY OF THE BARD Poet and minstrel, tinkerer and athlete, user of magic and noble adventurer... These all describe the multi-talented bard. Though not as physically imposing as the fighter, the bard is usually more dextrous and agile, being both quick of mind and of foot. Sure hands and nimble fingers serve the bard well as he untagles knotty puzzles and picks "unpickable" locks. Often an accomplished archer, the bard is also acquainted with the ways of magic, making him a most versatile gladiator on the field of battle. He often chooses to aply his combative skills from the rear of the melle where he can let his arrows and fiery magic missiles fly toward beleaguered targets in the front. Whether in the heat of battle or in the quagmire of a wizard's mischievous riddle, the well-rounded bard is an indispensable ally to the adventurer's quest. THE WAY OF THE MAGE All well-travelled adventurers have at one time or another been mystified by the mages of Britannia. Never to be forgotten is the sight of a cloaked figure performing an odd dance in a distant clearing. Puzzling indeed is the whispered transaction between a mage and an apothecary as the magician acquires the plants and animal parts that are the raw materials of his trade. Seeing what cannot be seen, hearing what no man hears, communing with beings not present... What ancient spirit possesses the mage that his mind constantly dwells on things not perceived by the common man? One never chooses to become a mage--one is born a mage, having from birth exhibited magical inclinations and abilities which defy rational explanation. A mage usually spends his early years studying the esoteric writings and diagrams contained in the libraries of the Lycaeum or poring over bottles and boxes of exotic herbs and minerals found in its laboratories. The tools and weapons of the mage are found in his spellbook, which never leaves his side. This tome is filled with pages of cryptic runes which descripbe the auspicious times, places and methods for various types of sorcerous work. The illusions and spells at the mage's command often cast him in the role of equalizer when a party of adventurers finds itself in an otherwise one-side conflict against a megalithic foe. From a well-protected position at the edge of the battle, the mage makes the necessary preparations and utters the mysterious incantations to unleash the force of his chosen spells against an unsuspecting foe. Certain skilled mages possess remarkable power over nature and matter, being able to create and destroy living and inanimate things at will. The deeper secrets of the mage will be discussed later in this treatise--such secrets are not for the eyes of all men... THE WAY OF THE AVATAR Embodying the fortitude of a fighter, the quickness--and quick-wittedness--of a bard and the mystic insights of a mage, you have spent long years mastering the principles of virtue. Many are the times you have savored the syllables of the mantras and the spicey scent of incense during morning meditation. But you are equally stirred by the sounds and smells of combat, being as much at hom eon the field of battle as in a solemn shrine. A paragon of integrity, you have always south total understanding of the world around you, often journeying to the libraries of the Lycaeum or conferring with the scholars of Moonglow and Yew. However, your love of scholarly pursuits does not weaking your ties to the world outside the cloistered halls of academe. Your devotion to your companions and those in need is total, and you are ever aware that the principles of virtue are designed to guide us in our relationships with our fellow man. Your path offers both great risk and grand reward, but you are concered with neither. Driven to follow this, the highest path, by forces unknown and unknowable, you follow the Way of the Avatar to whatever end destiny has decreed. ADVENTURING AS A PARTY Even the most valiant and powerful adventurer cannot stand alone against all of the obstacles that will block his path. Banding together with other likehearted fellows will give you the strength of numbers, and, of equal importance, a diversity of talents which can be drawn upon along your way. The Avatar joined by the fighter, bard and mage makes for a most imposing and formidable team. Putting their trust in your wisdom and skills, party members usually move as a group toward a common objective. There may be times, however, when an individual party member may set out on his own path whilst the remainder of the party awaits his return--it is often prudent to send someone ahead to scout a trail, for example, or to test the integrity of a decaying bridge which hangs tenuously over a thundering river. However, as the acknowledged leader of the group, you may at any time summon back individuals who have set out on their own, regrouping the party for further travel. An adventuring party accumulates many things during its travells--things purchased or found in the towns and countryside, and treasures collected from the corpses of fallen foes. Travelling is often made easier if provisions and equipment are distributed evenly amongst the party members. The well- organized party works together, sharing with each other the things they carry, aiding each other on their long journey. GETTING AROUND IN BRITANNIA The frequent traveller in Britannia learns to avail himself of the various means of transport which can be obtained. Acquiring a fine steed from the village stables, you will soon learn that such a mount will not only improve the quality of travel from town to town, but also give you a decided advantage in combat against those who would impede your progress. When a quest requires crossing the high seas, sailing vessels of various types may be obtained from the shipwrights that do business along the coastal ports of call. It has even been said that some adventuresome souls have learned a way to travel in a craft that is lighter than the air itself, but these rumors, though widespread, remain unconfirmed. THE PARTY IN CONFLICT Without fail, the travelling party will be set upon by people and creatures whose sole purpose is to cause mayhem and sorrow. Let the traveller beware. When entering into mortal combat against one of the myriad creatures of the land, learn to measure its strength and speed, nothing both its tactics and endurance. One creature may attempt to bludgeon you senseless, while others attack you from afar with hurled weapons. Many of the mythical beings you'll encounter will use magic and illusions in their efforts to subdue you. If you can survive their attacks and deal punishing blows of your own in return, you will share the victor's right to search their fallen corpses for whatever bounty they carry. It is useful to devise strategies that will increase the party's chances of survival in combat. Before combat begins, each party member can be assigned a field position (frontal attack, flanking maneuvers or long range rear position). When the party comes under attack, the party members will move automatically to their predetermined positions and fight according to the strategy they've been assigned. As effective as predetermined combat positions are, you may choose not to assign each party member a particular strategy. In this case, your allies must act independently in combat. Situations may even occur in which a member of the party becomes a berserker. When this happens, he will simply charge and attack the most formidable opponent in sight. A special note is in order for spellcasters. While invoking magic spells will give you a decided advantage in battle, not all creatures will be affected by them in the same manner. Therefore, you must learn to use your magical talents judiciously, lest you waste valuable reagents and psychic energy. THE PARTY AT REST As a party becomes weary from the fatigue of a long journey and many battles, it can set up camp in a safe place away from the hustle and bustle of town. The burning campfire will take the chill out of the cool night air while the party members eat some of the provisions they carry in their packs, perhaps enjoying a round of storytelling or song. With bellies full, the travellers should take a few hours sleep to ready themselves for the challenges of a new day. Sleep provides an opportunity for much needed healing to the injured and battle-weary adventurer. It is wise to let one of the party members stand guard while the others sleep so that he may awaken them if trouble approaches in the night. Since the grou's guard gets no sleep, he should be allowed to rest the following night while another stands guard. EXPERIENCE AND THE LEVELS OF ATTAINMENT The much-travelled adventurer will face many opportunities to explore new places, talk with people, solve puzzles and complete quest. As you do these things, experience will lead to increased physical strength, dexterity and intelligence, giving you greater capacity to fulfill your destiny. You can only gain a true appreciation of such increases by returning to one of the Shrines of Virtue and engaging in reflection and meditation. To meditate, learn the mantra of the shrine of your choice. Then talk to the shrine and follow its instructions. COSMOLOGY There exists an extraordinary cosmic association between the gravity of the moons and the delicate fabric of time and space. As though pulling the strings of some cosmic marionette, the moons cause radiant moongates to appear on the land below. Step through one of these shimmering corridors of light and you will be transported to a new time or place. Moongates generaly appear at locations where fragments of extraterrestrial rocks called "moonstones" have been buried. There are at least two types of moongates--blue and red. Blue moongates, generated by moonstones, generally focus on destinations in but a single world--the world in which they appear. Their power, awesome though it may seem, is limited, allowing the traveller to teleport only from the location of one moonstone to that of another. The moonstone the user travels to is determined by the phase of the moon that appears directly overhead in the sky. Through experimentation and observation, the moongate trveller can correlate the phases of the highest moon with the destination the gate will select. Red gates, generated by the powerful obsidian Orb of the Moons, can send the traveller anywhere in Britannia. In fact, the holder of this black stone can teleport to worlds other than his own. I, Lord British, have used the red gates often, but there is, no doubt, much more to be learned about these gates. LAST WORDS Consider carefully the thoughts I have set down in this treatise. Refer back to these words often, that you may better understand your experiences as you journey throughout the land. You are advised to keep a personal journal of your experiences. Make notes of conversations with the good citizens of Britannia. Record information found on signs or read in books or scrolls. Keep track of the location of provisions--items that seem unnecessary at one time may become useful at another. They may hold information vital to your quest. Finally, I must share with you news but recenty received from the scholars of the Lycaeum. In compiling information about the daemonic Gargoyles invading our land they have begun to detect a pattern. It appears that our foes are trying to capture the Shrines of Virtue found near the major towns. The moonstones are now in their possession, and, as each new shrine falls, a stone is placed on the altar there. To prevent anyone from removing the stones, the gargoyles have erected impenetrable force fields around the altars. Go to the shrines at your earliest opportunity, free them and seek guidance at the altars through prayer and meditation. I urge you, my Avatar, to uncover the dark purposes of the gargoyles before the last shrine falls. I fear you may be Britannia's last hope. %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% X-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-X Another file downloaded from: The NIRVANAnet(tm) Seven & the Temple of the Screaming Electron Taipan Enigma 510/935-5845 Burn This Flag Zardoz 408/363-9766 realitycheck Poindexter Fortran 510/527-1662 Lies Unlimited Mick Freen 801/278-2699 The New Dork Sublime Biffnix 415/864-DORK The Shrine Rif Raf 206/794-6674 Planet Mirth Simon Jester 510/786-6560 "Raw Data for Raw Nerves" X-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-X

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