The Book of Mystic Wisdom
as told by Philpop the Weary,
magician to the court of his most
sovereign Lord British.
All magic is accomplished by the use of means both human and of nature, for true magic, is but the melding of human will and natural force. Without the human voice to utter the chant, no spell may be cast. Yet without the proper natural catalyst, no spell may be effective. Thus magic is twofold, a balance struck between nature and humanity. Let us examine both aspects here, beginning with those natural substances, known as Reagents, that lend power to the words of the spellcaster.
Sulphurous Ash - Sulphur is the substance found in nature that is most useful in the generation of fire. It is the color of saffron and, when burned, gives off an odor indicative of its great mystic strength. Yet its true power is to be found in the second burning - that is, in the use of the ashen residue of Sulphur that has been burned in a crucible fashioned from the skull of a Balron. Sulphurous Ash is not an uncommon substance, having been a staple of the Wizards profession through the ages. It may be purchased from any reputable purveyor of magical goods and is useful in the casting of Energy Fields and Magic Missiles, as well as in spells requiring a quick burst of light or a sustained glow.
Ginseng - Long praised for its strength giving and medicinal properties, the root of the Ginseng plant is immediately recognizable for its forked shape, and to those initiated in the mystic ways, by its overpowering rose-colored aura. It has been used for centuries by peasants who chew it or brew tea from a powdered preparation of the root in order to gain strength and stamina as they toil in the fields. While commonly found throughout Britannia, the Ginseng used as a component in the casting of spells is generally black in color and found only on the slopes of the northern mountains. It may be purchased in virtually any shop that sells magical goods, and is most useful in spells of a healing or narcotic nature, such as Cure or Sleep enchantments.
Garlic - Even the most common of nature's gifts to our people have magical properties as can be witnessed by the power of Garlic. This pungent bulb is found in every garden in the lands of Britannia, and no stew or roast would be complete without its sharp flavor. Its aromatic nature makes Garlic a powerful reagent in the casting of magical spells, and it is used in all spells of the warding variety - be they the warding off of common and magical sickness or the repelling of beings once dead.
Spider Silk - The miracle of Spider Silk lies in its tensile strength. Imagine, if you will, a grown man relying on a strand of catgut to hold his weight all the days of his life. A spider relies on the finest of threads to do just that, and its silk never fails it. We should praise the first wizardling who realized the mystic secret of Spider Silk, for it is to him or her that we owe the knowledge of binding and restraining spells. The silk of the deadly Albino Ghoul spider - both the miniature and giant varieties - has been used by adepts through the years in rites of magic. The spider farms of the south produce perhaps a hundred pounds of the substance year and sell it to the merchants of magic, where it is made available to all who ply our trade. It is said that each year one worker dies the horrible death incurred by the bite of the Albino Ghoul spider to ensure the potency of the silk, although never has this deliberately been made to happen.
Blood Moss - is the bane of farmers and the boon of magicians. It is a deep red fungus that attacks the crops of those who raise grain, yet it is a vital component in the casting of spells. An oddity to those who spend their lives observing the growth of that which is not animal in nature -for it behaves like no other plant or mushroom - Blood Moss grows only in the driest of times, when all around it is perishing from drought. It cannot survive the absence of direct sunlight, and thus passes from the earth each night, only to return when the sun blazes mercilessly upon the land. Blood Moss seems feed only in ripening grain - it can lay waste to an acre of corn in a single day and vanish without a trace as night falls, leaving naught but fruitless stalks swaying in the cool, night breeze. The magic of Blood Moss is thought to reside in its fleeting nature, for it is used in the spells of movement -from the simplest levitation to making the very earth tremble. As harvest time comes each year, the merchants send runners to wait by the fields and gather the Blood Moss. Farmers consider these runners unlucky and try to chase them from their fields, but enough show persistence to ensure their masters a plentiful supply of Blood Moss to sell.
Black Pearl - The Black Pearl is the most highly prized of all the pearls. Well-formed ones command a price from jewelers that would bankrupt a score of wizards. Yet Black Pearls are vital in the casting of spells that are hurled from the mage's person and must travel to a final destination. Fortunately for our profession, even rarer than a normal Black Pearl is one that is perfectly shaped. Most are lopsided and lack symmetry - the very quality that makes the jeweler desire them so highly. This ensures a ready supply for the thaumaturge - the weaver of magic. It is said that, unlike the ordinary pearl which is formed inside an oyster when it seeks to protect itself from a piece of sand or grit, the Black Pearl only forms when the seed of the great pearl is yet another pearl of much smaller size cast adrift by the death of another oyster.
Nightshade - Not to be confused with the rank-smelling plant of the same name, the Nightshade used in the mystic arts is an extremely rare mushroom that is only found in the deepest, most remote forests. It is said to be quite venomous to the touch of all save those present at its harvest, thus it is never sold in shops and is among the scarcest of magical reagents. To obtain it, one must seek in the deepest forest on the blackest of nights when not even a moonbeam illuminates a single blade of grass. I know not of the precise locations where this mystic fungus can be found, but there are rumored to be those in the lands of Britannia that know this secret. Its chief magical properties are connected with the use of poison and the creation of illusions so real that they can lay the mightiest warrior to the ground. So rare is the Nightshade that it is primarily used in the creation Of only the most potent of magics.
Mandrake Root - The root of the poisonous Mandrake plant is instantly recognizable by its human shape and its crimson color. It is said that the sap runs blood-red when the plant is cut down in order to harvest the root. Long prized for its narcotic and purging effects when consumed in minute portions, the Mandrake Root is the most powerful known substance in the weaving of magical spells that give new shape to very world around us. The variety of Mandrake Root used in the mystic arts is found only in marshy terrain, where the root can thrust deeply into the earth. The more earth that must be moved to retrieve the Mandrake Root, the more potent its effect in the magic of the finder. Many years ago, when our people were but scattered tribes of nomads, the Mandrake was plentiful. As our people have tamed the land, however, and the practice of the mystic arts has become refined, the Mandrake has all but vanished from the face of the land we now call Britannia. It is never seen in the shops of the towns and castles, and hardly even sold privately if found. Many of our profession have devoted lifetimes to the search for Mandrake Root without ever coming into possession of a single piece of it.
These then are the eight mystic reagents used in the weaving of enchantments. Some are readily available, while others are costly or must be hunted and harvested by the mage that intends to use them. Guard well your supply of these magical components for without them there can be no magic. Use them wisely, as ye must use the forces that they unleash. Remember that Magic is to be used only for the cause of righteousness and for the greater good. Should you use the mystic arts for personal gain or vengeance, be prepared for the desertion of your powers.
Awaken - Should you or any of your followers ever be so unfortunate as to come under the influence of a magically induced slumber, the use of a Spell of Awakening will often alleviate the condition. It is a simple spell which may be cast by the beginning student of the mystic arts with little effort or cost. It requires the use of Ginseng for its healing qualities and Garlic in order to ward off the coming of sleep until the victims body has returned to its normal cycle of wakefulness and rest. Blend the two reagents carefully and apply the mixture to the brow of your sleeping companion and chant "levate" loudly.
Blink - Many are the occasions that the thaumaturge needs to be elsewhere in very short order and finds that neither horse nor ship nor any other conventional form of travel is of sufficient promptness for the situation. Magical means of travel must then be used, of which the Blink spell is the most common. This spell disassembles the mage and companions and reassembles them at a spot many leagues distant in any chosen direction. There are means of travel that cover far greater distances than the Blink, but they are far more costly and have other limitations which we shall examine later in this tome. The Blink can only move the party distances perceptible to the mind of a common person.
The components needed for the casting of a Blink spell are Spider Silk and Blood Moss. The binding powers of the Spider Silk prevent the essence of the travelers from being scattered during transit, while the Blood Moss aids in the movement from one location to the next. Equal quantities of each reagent ensure the proper working of the enchantment. The concentration required for Blinking is such that the spellcaster will most certainly fell the effects, but not be left exhausted.
Cure - Venomous creatures abound throughout the lands of Britannia. Rarely are they evil, nature having provided them with their sting as a means of defense against larger predators, but without proper attention wounds can fester and lead to the death of a victim. Furthermore, evil mages may cast noxious, poisonous energy fields during battle or erect such barriers to prevent the virtuous from reaching their caches or sanctuaries. Fortunately, the great wizard Jaanth Nor devised a countering magic for the effects of all venom and recorded his findings for future generations to use. The Cure spell is effected by the use of a mixture of Garlic and Ginseng and the calling of the victim's name to soothe envenomed soul. The curative powers of the Ginseng nullify the effects of the poison in the victim's system, while the use of Garlic wards off the return of any virulent residues that may lie dormant in the blood.
Dispel - One of the staples of the wizard's profession is the use of energy fields. We shall discuss the casting of such fields shortly, but first let us examine the means of dismantling them when they are encountered. Although there are various forms of such fields, they are all created with a similar magic and thus may be Dispelled with a single spell. The Dispel enchantment is one of moderate difficulty, far more exhausting than the creation of energy fields. Often touching the field may prove disastrous, so the enchantment must be cast from afar and thus required the use of the precious Black Pearl needed in all projectile spells. Furthermore, Sulphurous Ash is needed to provide the flash of power that beings the dissolution of the forces holding the field together. Finally, the warding powers of Garlic are also employed to prevent the forces from reassembling at the spot where they were previously concentrated. To effect the spell, speak backwards the color of the type of field encountered.
Energy Field - There are four types of Energy Fields known to the practitioner of the mystic arts: Sleep, Poison, Fire, and lightning. Their effects are varied, but the magic used to erect them is the same in each instance. Any person attempting to pass through an Energy Field will run the risk of either falling asleep or being poisoned in the case of the first two types; if the field is of Fire then their flesh shall burn as they pass through and they shall feel much pain and anguish; while the field composed of Lightning is impenetrable. The casting of Energy Fields is not difficult and requires only a small exertion on the part of the spellcaster, but the fields are only effective in enclosed areas such as subterranean passages and inside of rooms. The reagents necessary in the casting of these Energy Fields are Sulphurous Ash for the burst of creation, Spider Silk for the binding of forces to a single spot, and Black Pearl for the launching of the spell to a spot away from he who works the magic. It would be a grave error indeed to cast such a spell without the latter component for you would find yourself in the midst of the field!
Fireball - When beset upon by evil, the spellcaster has many offensive tools at his or her disposal. We have discussed some of the indirect magics such as Energy Fields, but there are times when more direct action is required. There is a class of missile spells for such occasions, of which the Fireball spell is the intermediate one. All such spells call for the use of the precious Black Pearl for its power in the launching of projectiles. In the case of the Fireball, Sulphurous Ash is also called for in equal proportion, for its powers of fire-flash are integral to the creation of flaming missiles. Speak the name of your enemy when the spell is cast and your aim shall be unerring and your enemy will be devastated by the flames of the magical fires.
Gate Travel - In the repertoire of teleportation enchantments, Gate Travel is by far the most powerful. This is because it not only utilizes the reagents and chants of most magics, but also the power of the gates of the moons that control the very oceans and tides. The moongates are located throughout Britannia, and appear only at certain phases of the twin moons Trammel and Felucca. To cast the spell of Gate Travel, one must speak the name of the moons as the reagents are stirred. As the enchantment takes effect, the spellcaster and any companions will be instantly carried to the location of the desired moongate.
It has been a long-standing tradition among the practitioners of the mystic arts to zealously guard the secret of the components of the Gate Travel spell. It is said that revealing these reagents will seal the use of the gates to the one who divulged the key. Of course, none have dared to speak of them for fear of losing one of the most powerful and exhausting spells in the lore of enchantment. This writer is no exception to this belief.
Heal - 0ne of the cornerstones of the good and true path of the wizard is the use of enchantment for beneficial ends. We have discussed the Cure spell which renders venom as harmless as the purest of well water, but the most common form of injury is the physical wound rather than the internal disruption brought on by poison. Swords and talons do not discriminate and the tools of justice are oft used for unjust purposes. When you or your companions have suffered physical injury that hath rent or seared the flesh, the Heal spell is invaluable. Mix similar quantities of the healing essence of Ginseng with integrating strength of Spider Silk and apply it to the wound. Speak the name of the victim and the flesh will be hastened along the road to wholeness.
Iceball - Once again, the invaluable Black Pearl is the key to the casting of the missile spells, of which the Iceball is the second most potent in the mage's arsenal. Unlike the previously discussed Fireball spell, the Iceball requires only the use of Mandrake Root in conjunction with the Black Pearl. The necromantic Mandrake will bring the chill of the grave upon your enemy and the very blood of the victim will freeze as if it were midwinter. Ice is heavy and the toll of casting this spell is equally weighty. All but the sturdiest of our profession will needs take rest after casting but a pair of these potent enchantments. Remember to speak the name of your intended victim as you cast the reagents aloft, lest your efforts be for naught.
Jinx - There are but two enchantments more powerful and difficult than the Jinx spell, and but one of similar potency. When faced with a closely packed horde of enemies, mix together equal quantities of Black Pearl, deadly Nightshade, and the crimson Mandrake Root to cast at your opponents. Call to their attention the vulnerability of their backs and weave the magic. They shall turn and smite each other as if each was alone in a crowd of mortal foes. The Black Pearl shall carry your spell to their very midst, while the hallucinatory might of the Nightshade will confound them beyond the boundaries of common sense. Mandrake Root lends the power of conviction to their misconceptions. The duration of the enchantment is varied, but throughout its course the spellcaster will be reminded of its potency by the presence of a glowing "J". Be warned, however, that the casting of the Jinx spell requires great exertion.
Kill - The Kill spell is the most powerful of the missile enchantments. It is the favorite of evil wizards and its use is prohibited by most teachers of the mystic arts. Nevertheless, when faced with a foe of singular strength and a truly evil nature, the wise magician will prepare a mixture of the highly toxic Nightshade and mercurial Black Pearl and speak the True-name of the enemy while casting the reagents toward the foe. As the last syllable of the chant fades, all of the target's vital organs shall cease to function for the space of seven heartbeats. This is usually fatal, although some beings of exceptionally hardy constitution will survive a single Kill spell. The enchantment may be woven several times, but tales a fierce toll on the energy and concentration of the caster. It is easier to Dispel a field of vibrant energy than it is to stop the functioning of a living being.
Light - The enchantment of Light is a trivial one, often the very first spell acquired by the budding sorcerer. It requires but a pinch of Sulphurous Ash, which is applied to the end of a staff and gently blown upon until it begins to glow with a soft yellow light. The spellcaster must concentrate briefly on the image of a candle and expend a slight amount of energy to start the magical glow. From then on it will burn softly until the reagent is consumed, lighting the underground passages where the thaumaturge treads. There are two principal advantages to the use of Light spells in place of ordinary torches. They are unaffected by all but magical winds or breezes; and they do not smoke and cause one's eyes to smart. Many a warrior has suffered grievously because his eyes were shut by the sting of a wealth of tears.
Magic Missile - There are generally very few if any spells that are learned early in the practice of wizardry which are both useful and eagerly sought after by those dabbling in the mystic arts. The beginning thaumaturge almost always yearns for spells that devastate or create startling effects. The weaving of weather or the mastery of short vertical teleportations do not impress onlookers. The one simple spell that does truly inspire awe at little expense to the spellcaster is the Magic Missile. It requires the use of two parts of Sulphurous Ash to one part of Black Pearl in the casting, and it will cause a tremendous bright flash of blue light to strike an enemy. While not visibly marked, the enemy will sustain a fair amount of internal damage, said by the cynical to be brought about by fright more than by power. The Magic Missile is a useful enchantment in battle, but it is more spectacular than effective and will not deter most enemies larger than the spellcaster who wields it.
Negate - When faced with a greater or more telling magic than one's own, the practitioner of the mystic arts may decide it best for all involved to suspend everyone's use of thaumaturgy for a short time. At this time one should invoke the powers of the Negate spell by mixing Garlic with its warding characteristics together with the exotic Mandrake ripe with mystic potency. To this blend add but an equal amount of Sulphurous Ash to provide the spark of fusion and speak your own name backwards. All magic shall instantly cease save the enchantment of Negation itself, which is manifested by the vision of a glowing "N" hovering before your eyes. he Negate spell will last only a brief time, which should be used for either the annihilation of your enemies or for the judicious removal of your presence from the troubled spot.
Open - There was once a time when all beings were fair and just. The principal vessel used for the transport of one's worldly possessions in these times was the wooden chest, which is still the popular means. But since the coming of the evil ones and their lasting influence on the inhabitants of our fair land, the practice of placing obnoxious and sometimes lethal traps on the locks of chests has become quite commonplace. Virtually all folk use such devices, even the denizens of the underworld who guard naught but ill-gotten wealth. To bypass these sinister mechanisms the thaumaturge need but utter the chant "Appar Unem" and sprinkle a mix of Sulphurous Ash and Blood Moss on the offending lock. The flash of the Sulphurous Ash powers the movement potential of the Blood Moss and the lock will open itself safely, leaving the contents of the chest at the disposal of the spellcaster.
Protection - There are times during the heat of battle when one finds the best form of offense to be naught but a good defense. When hard-pressed by fierce antagonists, the wise magician will mix together the reagents Sulphurous Ash, Ginseng, and Garlic and invoke the spell of Protection. The wholesome qualities of the Ginseng, together with the repellent strength of the Garlic, serve to shield the wizard and all companions from the onslaught of their enemies. Such Protection is not always effective, but may be of great use. Sulphurous Ash provides the mystic fire that fuels the incantation, and also serves to startle one's opponents with an initial flash as the spell begins to function. Protection is not a simple spell, but neither is it an exceptionally strenuous spell to cast. Its duration is short, and during the course of its shielding the mage will be reminded of its effects by a glowing "P" hovering before his or her eyes.
Quickness - The spell of Quickness is one of the most unpredictable yet potent spells in the wizards collection of enchantments, and one of the most telling on his or her companions. When cast during battle, the Quickness spell will heighten the natural dexterity of one's fellows to such a degree that they will move with twice their normal agility - at times they will be able to land two blows against their foes instead of the customary single strike during a round combat. The price is age, for the recipients of the extra speed incurred by the use of Quickness will age briefly while under the sway of the enchantment...yet most feel that an occasional gray hair is but a small price to pay for the advantage of dealing twice the number of blows that one might receive. The reagents for the Quickness spell are fiery Sulphurous Ash, Ginseng, and volatile Blood Moss. The Blood Moss portion is double the others, for movement is the critical aspect of the spell. The Sulphurous Ash lends the flashes of energy needed by the beneficiaries of the enchantment, while the healing powers of Ginseng prevent them from aging so rapidly as to become gray-beards after a single encounter. Throughout the course of the Quickness spell, the spellcaster will be reminded of its effects by the vision of a bright, glowing "Q".
Resurrect - Many are the monsters and terrors that dwell beneath the surface or in the forests and marshes of Britannia. Even groups of most valiant and fierce warriors are subject to losses too tragic to bear. If a companion is slain by an enemy, all is not lost in the presence of the most accomplished of mages. There exists the means to bring back a companion from the land of the dead - not as an unholy once-dead being - but as a living, breathing creature of flesh and blood restored to life, albeit in an extremely weakened condition. Each wizard must needs determine the components of this enchantment that work best u4th their own magic, for the combination is said to be unique to each spellcaster. What is known about weaving this the most potent of all enchantments is that it requires the spellcaster to scatter the reagents to cover the victim's body, white calling out the name of the slain companion in a voice of thunder. This magic is extraordinarily taxing, and rare is the mage who can continue to weave spells without rest once this enchantment has been successful cast.
Sleep - There are moments in the lives of every practitioner of the mystic arts where discretion is truly the better part of valor. Not all foes are truly evil and deserving of annihilation - verily, some are but beasts of the field seeking provender and are entitled to life as much as you or I. Yet, unchecked these creatures pose as great a threat to one as a score of rabid Orcs. It is in such situations that the wise thaumaturge weaves a Sleep spell and leaves his opposition in deep slumber whilst vacating the current location. The Sleep spell is truly a serious enchantment that requires a fair amount of mental energy to cast, but it is not of such import as to leave the Spellcaster breathless or exhausted. To send your foes to land of slumber, mix a double portion of Spider Silk with some Ginseng and chant "Duerme" as you sprinkle the reagents into the air. Fear not the distance between you and the intended victims, for the binding power of the Spider Silk will enfold them from afar, while the healing Ginseng will gently wrap them in deep sleep.
Tremor - The Tremor spell is a very potent magic indeed. Few spells are as exhausting and none save Resurrection have a more striking or dramatic effect. Carefully blend portions of Sulphurous Ash with Blood Moss and Mandrake Root and cast it at the feet of your opponents whilst shouting as loudly as possible. The volatile Sulphurous Ash shall furnish the flash of power to the movement potential of the Blood Moss and the Mandrake Root will lend raw necromantic force to the spell. The very earth will tremble and quake beneath the feet of your enemies and they will fly in terror, save those that are swallowed up entirely by the very ground itself. No spell in the lore of the mystic arts has as much power to strike fear into the hearts and minds of those that suffer its mighty impact. But use this enchantment wisely for it will leave you as weak as a newborn babe.
Undead - Ever since the coming of the evil wizard Mondain and his hellish offspring,, the lands of Britannia have been plagued by the return of creatures already slain. These once-dead beings take many forms, the most common being the animated skeletons of Orcs and goblins, or the ghoulish forms of flesh-eating corpses that have been summoned from the land of shades to wreak havoc on the living. These apparitions are cowed by the light of righteousness and fight as warriors in a trance. Nonetheless, they are hard to kill and never tire in battle and thus may jeopardize even a seasoned band of adventurers. Each mage knows a form of turning them aside when encountered, but the components of such magics are personal and depend on the spellcaster. You must use your knowledge of the properties of magical reagents to determine which two will lend force to your enchantment of Undead turning. When you have found the proper mixture, cast it at your foes while chanting the name of what the creatures once were when they trod the earth in life.
View - The lands that we now call Britannia in honor of the wise and just influence of Lord British are vast in scope and hold many uncharted regions. Although cartographers have traveled all the circumference of the main continent, many internal tracts have yet to be accurately recorded, while there are numerous islands rumored to exist to the southeast with nary a chart to show their location. Here the practitioner of the mystic arts has a great advantage over the wanderer or seafarer in that the View spell may be woven when the need arises. The View incantation is of middling difficulty and involves the use of hallucinatory Nightshade and powerful Mandrake Root. Mandrake lends power to the enchantment while Nightshade provides a mystic overview of all the land within the range of a simple Blink spell. Simply blend the reagents and speak out the name of the region through which you travel.
Wind Change - Not all Britannia is accessible on foot, and oft times the wizard will find the need to embark on a sea voyage to reach some certain destinations in the pursuit of Truth. Once aboard ship, most voyagers find themselves at the mercy of capricious nature with her ever-changing winds. This is not true for the practitioner of the mystic arts, however, for through magical means one may control the very direction of the wind, albeit for but a short span of time. Wind Change is not a taxing enchantment; indeed a powerful wizard can cast it almost continuously, although it is not so trivial as opening trapped chests or effecting minor teleportations...Simply mix Sulphurous ash for power and Blood Moss for movement to coax the wind to a more favorable direction. Speak the name of the patron of winds and call out the direction desired and the winds shall change at your bidding.
Xit - When trapped in the bowels of the earth, weary and battered with a long road to the surface, the use of an Xit (exit) spell can be beneficial. This enchantment is but one of the middling forms of teleportation, quite similar in cost and nature to the Blink spell. It too disassembles the party and reassembles it on the surface of Britannia, and thus requires very similar components to the aforementioned Blink enchantment. Aside from the moving Blood Moss and the binding Spider Silk which ensures the safe passage of the disincorporated party, Xit requires the use of Sulphurous Ash to provide the flare that guides the party from the depths of darkness to the world of sunlight. When casting the Xit spell, the thaumaturge should try to envision the actual entrance to the underworld used to gain the subterranean passages at the beginning of the expedition below ground. Successful casting of the Xit spell will surely return them to that selfsame spot.
Y (UP) - The two most elementary forms of teleportation both have strange names and may be used only when underground. The more difficult of the two is known by the letter "Y" in honor of the mage Yenthak Gnor, who first crafted the enchantment. Yenthak Gnor discovered that a blend of Blood Moss and Spider Silk in conjunction with the spoken names of the moons would cause one who utters it to be lifted upward through the very soil to the next highest level of a dungeon. The Spider Silk holds the party together during their transit, while the Blood Moss moves them ever closer to the moons.
Z (DOWN) - The "Z" or Down spell is perhaps the simplest of all the teleportation spells. It requires the same components as the "Y" or Up spell - these being Blood Moss for movement and Spider Silk for its binding qualities - but requires half the mental energy and concentration on the part of the spellcaster due to the natural tendency of all bodies to move downward. The origin of the name is uncertain, but it is believed that the letter "Z" is the first letter of the unpronounceable True-name of the Lord of the Underworld, a demon of much power. To effect the spell, the spellcaster must scatter the reagents and chant "Baja" in stentorian tones. The lower the tonality of the chant, the higher the probability of the party moving down one level of a dungeon.
The Dark Ages of Britannia is the name given to that long span of time when the infamous Triad Of Evil stalked the lands and challenged all for the supremacy of the soul.
The First Era of the Dark Ages came to an end with the downfall of the evil Wizard Mondain and his many minions, as chronicled in Ultima I. The Lords of the land were weak and scattered, rendered ineffective by factional wars. It was only through the valiant efforts of an itinerant adventurer that the foul Mondain was tracked to his hidden lair and slain.
But a few years of restless peace followed Mondain's downfall. So long had the world shuddered beneath Mondain's yoke that many found it hard to believe he had been really vanquished. In truth, his teachings did not disappear. Mondain's apprentice Minax rose to power soon thereafter to challenge the fledgling city-states that were beginning to evolve. The Terrors had begun anew.
Minax's powers upon maturity greatly exceeded those of her evil mentor. With these powers she was able to rain wholesale destruction upon the planet, twisting and corrupting everything. Her foul web spread through time itself, ensnaring all who sought to oppose her. Finally, there arose a hero out of legend who dared face Minax in her own fiery castle and destroy her. Thus ended the Second Era of Darkness, as told in Ultima II.
Twenty years of well-earned tranquillity ensued and prosperity favored the land. Then disturbing omens appeared, followed by the mysterious appearance of a fiery island. The tale of the Third Era of the Dark Ages is told by Iolo the Bard in Ultima III - wherein Lord British, sovereign of an incipient empire in the land of Sosaria, called forth through time and space for Heroes of the People to assemble. Four diverse adventurers answered the clarion call. To them fell the geas of the Doom of Exodus. Long they labored on the trail of the mysterious Exodus, through many a deep dungeon which seared their souls. To this day, each member of that team bears the marks of their journey. With the air of the mystical Time Lord they were successful in bypassing the Great Earth Serpent and gaining access to Exodus' island fortress. The very bricks of the fortress rose up against them, and great is the Bard's tale of their struggle to reach their mortal foe. Of the final confrontation not one of them will speak, save to say that the evil is gone from this plane. So passed the third member of the Triad of Evil and with this death, so passed the Dark Ages of Britannia.
From the rubble of Sosaria, Lord British was able to unite all the mainland and a few of the islands under his one rule. This new Empire of Britannia brought much sought-after peace and prosperity to its subjects. Many of the ancient pockets of evil were destroyed, so that the only remaining hazard to wayfarers was the occasional stray band of marauding Orcs or hill giants. Most of the lands were mapped, although a few unexplored regions still remain. With the Triad of Evil destroyed, Lord British became known for his dedication to raising the quality of life of his subjects. To assist in this endeavor, three mighty structures were raised in distant parts of the realm. One was the Lycaeum, wherein lay the great observatory. Another was the Empath Abbey with its oak groves where wise men and women meditated upon the teachings of the ancients. The third structure was the great castle of the Knight's Order of the Silver Serpent. Only the flower of Lord British's chivalry was invited to join this order, which embodied the highest ideals and exemplary bravery. The rest of the land was divided among eight major towns, each with its own political faction. Numerous satellite villages also dotted the countryside between the towns. In this manner were Lord British's lands organized.
The final destruction of Exodus rocked the known world. Mountains rose; land masses sank. Most of the surface area of the world became fused together into one large mass. It is over this major continent - now called Britannia - that Lord British rules. Some nearby islands also pay homage to him, while beyond these islands lurk uncharted shoals and rumored pockets of evil.
Lord British's magnificent castle is situated in the center of the continent, overlooking Britanny Bay. This tall building is the greatest architectural structure of the new age. Loyal subjects may pay homage to his majesty, and renew fealty whenever they are in the vicinity of his castle. Nearby lies the arts center of Britannia - the town of Britain - were Bards weave tales of legendary deeds and serenade visitors.
To the north of the castle of Lord British lies the great mountain range, known as the Serpent's Spine. The peaks of this range are the highest in all Britannia. During the summer months, a small out-of-the-way pass allows knowledgeable travelers to save much time on their journeys. Beware of the one-eyes Cyclops and fierce, two-headed Ettins that inhabit this range.
Northwest from the mountains begin the vast woods known as the Deep Forest. Many a traveler has become lost among these tall, majestic trees. If thy feet stray from the beaten path, do not despair, for within the woods lies the beautiful city of Yew, home of the mystic Druids. The High Court of Yew judges all the important cases in Britannia and is famed far and wise for the wisdom of the decisions rendered here.
Nearby is the spiritual center of Britannia, the famous Empath Abbey. Within these hallowed walls, wise men and women study the ancient writings of past Masters, and meditate upon the Great Principles that govern the universe. A good meditation - focusing on a proper Mantra - will sometimes yield valuable visions to those whose patience and powers of concentration are strong. The experience is well worth sampling.
East of the Deep Forest lie the High Steppes of Britannia, famous for beautiful horses. The only difficulties a traveler might encounter here are bands of thieving Rogues and unfriendly Wizards. The High Steppes border an interior lake fables for mysterious disturbances.
Beyond the High Steppes lies the famous battlefield, know as the Bloody Plains, where the last major forces of evil were vanquished. Alas, many of our brace men perished here in the fight for virtue. Be very careful when thou passeth through this region. It is whispered that, at some phases of the moon, the undead rise and fight the battle again.
Lost Hope Bay lies to the north of here, with the sturdy town of Minoc perched on its shore. Minoc is home to some of the finest craftsmen in the realm. The Tinkers of Minoc are known far and wide for their skill. A tired traveler will also find a refreshing place to rest at the Wayfarer's Inn. The northeaster tip of Britannia is rather wild. The treacherous marshes, with the noxious vapors that poison the unwary explorer, are home to swarms of large insects and all manner of vile beasts.
South of Lord British's castle can be found a large plain, mountains, and a dense forest. On the southern edge of the continent is the magnificent town of Trinsic, from whence come Lord British's finest Paladins. The Tap in town has some of the best brew around, and the bartender is a great source of current gossip. Be sure to tip him well!
The claws of the southern tip of Britannia embrace the Cape of Heroes. Slightly to the west lie the Valarian Isles. The walled town of Jhelom provides Lord British with the best fighters and also has the largest inn of the realm, where the service is outstanding.
The headquarters for the Order of the Silver Serpent is on an island south of the Cape of Heroes. This wooded fortress was given to the members of the Order by Lord British in recognition of their outstanding service. A visit to Serpent Castle will instill within the traveler a true feeling for the ways of chivalry.
Off the western shore of Britannia is the island home of the doughty Rangers. Skara Brae is a beautiful city and spaciously laid out. For those suffering from rare diseases or grievous wounds, a Mystical Healer resides within those walls. The Healer will air the destitute as readily as the wealth, expecting no payment save what the sufferer can afford.
In the northeaster part of Britannia lies Verity Isle, famous as the home of the Lycaeum. This pillar of higher learning constitutes the center for the sharpening of the finest minds in Britannia. The Lycaeum's observatory provides Lord British with valuable information about the course of the heavens and provides a vantage point to watch the happenings within his realm. On the southern end of Verity is situated the fabled town of Moonglow. The Magi of Moonglow are constantly improving their skills, being tireless in the pursuit of greater knowledge of the mystic arts. Within Moonglow, however, can be obtained the finest in mystical reagents. These herbs will help those with magical skills prepare and cast their spells.
This then is the known realm of Britannia. Several small villages also dot the landscape, but all are not recorded in the charts of the realm. Some other islands of varying significance hug the shoreline - most of which are uninhabited and barren. The only islands the traveler should be cautious about when exploring are known as the Fens of the Dead. Disembodied Wisps, Ghosts, long-dead Lichs, and savage Zorns have been reported here.
Existing maps are by no means complete. There are said to be other unexplored isles, wherein all manner of monsters and evil beings reside: flame-breathing Dragons, multi-headed Hydras, horned Devils, fiery Lava Lizards and even dreaded Balrons are rumored to roam the distant shores. Somewhere, out beyond civilization, is also reputed to lie the ruins of the legendary town of Magincia, which the gods destroyed for the insufferable pride of those that dwelt there. All of the magnificent marble palaces and gardens were devastated, and the rich, haughty inhabitants reduced to haunting spirits. No one has ever confirmed this legend, so it may just be a fable to frighten the weak of heart and instill humility in those that overvalue their own worth.
Sea travel along the coast of the main continent is reasonable safe, although a bold band of pirates has been raiding Britannia of late, terrorizing the populace. Beware, for the pirates take no prisoners! Farther out to sea roam many mythical creatures. The unwary voyager will likely encounter Giant Squids, Nixies, poisonous Serpents, and mystical Seahorses. The ever-present danger of whirlpools and waterspouts make seafaring a hazardous experience at best.
It is hoped that with the next edition of the History of Britannia, travelers will have brought back more information one these unexplored regions, so that the map may be completely filled in. As a final caution for the would be traveler - Beware of the many Dungeons and their dark, subterranean passages!
Under Lord British's rule, each of the eight towns has developed into a cultural center for one of the eight major professions. In this manner, an orderly society has evolved with little friction between the diverse inhabitants. No one is restricted to their town of birth, and one frequently finds people of various professions, visiting a particular town.
These are the eight major professions:
MAGE: The Magi of Britannia gather in Moonglow, near the Lycaeum, where they can study the ancient mystical scrolls of the Library. The strictures of their profession permit Magi to wear only cloth armour and carry either a staff, dagger, or sling. Unconfirmed rumors indicate that the highest Adepts have acquired the use of arcane magical weapons. The primary weapon of the Mage, of course, is magic. As the Mage becomes more advanced, more powerful spells can be woven. Some of the greatest spells have been known to literally shake the earth, or raise the dead!
BARD: The Bards of Britain entertain the people with their wonderful ballads and tales of heroic deeds. Bards not only chronicle the deeds of valor, but perform them as well. The weapon of choice for a Bard is the sling, but they may use a crossbow at times. All armour save that of Leather is shunned by these minstrels, for they find metal harsh and too noisy for their sensitive ears. The Bard also dabbles in magic and makes a fine companion on a long journey.
FIGHTER: From the town of Jhelom hail the mighty Fighters. They pass their lives in training and have the use of all weapons and armour, though most prefer the use of the double-edged Britannian sword, a devastating weapon in the hands of a skilled fencer. Fighters have little or no magical talents, for they believe only in the use of arms and fear that magical training saps the will and concentration of a true warrior. They posses a particular affinity for horses, and are most useful companions on travels to uncharted regions.
DRUID: The Druids are fierce fighters, especially when defending their beloved groves. They hold all trees to be sacred and their town of Yew lies deep in the woods. Druids are also impressive practitioners of the mystic arts and their knowledge of herbs is without peer. They may fight with different types of bows, although their preferred weapon is the mace. They Druidic philosophy forbids the wearing of metal of any kind, so Leather is their armour of choice. The Druid's knowledge of the ways of the woodlands make them invaluable as fellow travelers.
TINKER: The Tinkers of Minoc are both highly skilled artisans and superb fighters. They are generally suspicious of magic, believing that only hand-crafted artifacts posses true value, and thus use it seldomly. A Tinker may use any weapon, however, the double-bladed war axe is preferred. Tinkers will use any non-magical armour. A traveling party with a Tinker aboard need never fear for repair of any metal or wooden items.
PALADIN: These great fighters live in the town of Trinsic in the southern part of Britannia. They are expert in all forms of combat and weapon use, and are one of the few professions that will make use of magically chain armour when it is available. Their deep beliefs in the value of good lend strength to their magic, which they wield with a certain flair. Paladins are thus very formidable opponents and highly valued allies.
RANGER: Off the western shore of the mainland lies the fair island of the Rangers. Venturing far from their retreat at Skara Brae, they strive to improve the conditions of people throughout the realm. Rangers are well-versed in woods lore and fight fiercely with most weapons, but shun all but leather armour. They are also proficient magic users and faultless trackers in any wilderness.
SHEPHERD: It is uncertain whether the Shepherds are skilled in any form of warfare or in the mystic arts. However, they are highly valued traveling companions for their humility and their knowledge of the ways of the land.
A traveler in Britannia need not journey alone. In each town one may - indeed one ought to - converse with all the inhabitants. If thy personal philosophy of life is close to that of the town, then though may ask one of the residents to join thy party. If amenable to your invitation, this person will travel with thee, aid thee, and fight with thee. He or she will stay loyal to thee only as long as thou stay true to thy beliefs. If at any time, through actions or deeds, thou stray from the Path, then thy companions will desert thee to thy Fate. Remember, these are Free Companions - not servants or mercenaries. Such is their faith in thee as their leader, that all gold and supplies held by the party is given into thy care for the good of all. Use this trust wisely.
There is a thriving merchant class in Britannia. Each town and village has its own shops that specialize in local wares and services. The seasoned traveler will discover many delightful and useful items to purchase, as well as a wide variety of places to eat and sleep.
The monetary system of Britannia is based on Lord British's heraldic charge. It is a gold coin with a silver serpent cast vermeil upon the gold. The process is so difficult that the coin has never been successfully counterfeited or debased in value. This coin has been the foundation of the realm's stability and is universally accepted by merchants. Coins of the realm are also to be found in the chests that appear from time to time and are found below the surface in the dank dungeons. Beware, as most chests have diabolical traps in place to confound thieves.
Here is a partial list of some of the more popular shops and their wares:
WEAPONS SHOP: Here on may purchase the finest in weaponry that blacksmiths can forge. Depending on the skills of the local artisans, a shop might offer the following range of weapons:
The weapons shops also offer liberal trade-ins on used equipment, although if thy axe is greatly notched from battle, do not expect much for it.
ARMOURY: Fine Armour may be purchased in the armories of Britannia. 'Tis just the item to keep highwaymen from slipping a dirk into thy ribs! The local armory may offer any of the following selection:
The armories will likewise offer trade-ins on used armour, although most would not consider them liberal. By the time most fighters get around to seeking improved armour, the old armour is almost completely falling apart, and its principal value is as scrap for the foundries.
PUB: The subjects of Lord British truly prize their pubs, and it shows in the gracious hospitality to be found in all public houses. Most offer an excellent array of drinks and food for the wayfarer. It is also commonly known that the bartenders are incurable gossips - if asked the right question and offered the right price - rare news may be obtained. Public drunkenness is prohibited throughout the lands of Britannia, so temper thy indulgence with wisdom.
GROCERY: Little is worse than being far from a town and finding thyself and one's companions starving to death because the person in charge of the expedition (thou) hast forgotten to buy enough food. Be sure to lay in a plentiful supply at each opportunity. Thy fellow travelers will most certainly be appreciative of thy foresight.
THE HEALER: Some towns contain these invaluable places of air where on may go to be healed when suffering from grievous wounds. Remember to heal thy companions also, for a healthy party ensures survival in the wild regions. The Healers are the only ones who may cure victims of the noxious venom inflicted by the inhuman denizens of the land.
INN: The numerous inns of Britannia provide the tired travelers with a comfortable night's sleep, which refreshes and revitalizes each character. The character of the inns throughout Britannia varies, as does the price.
HERB SHOP: All practitioners of the mystic arts will search far and wide to locate these rare shops. Within them is to be found the components - or reagents, as they are known to enchanters - for spell mixtures. Without these mixtures, no spell may be cast successfully. Due to the rareness of some of the herbs, many are not offered for sale regularly, if at all. The known magical reagents art:
Care should be taken to mix the herbs in the correct proportions, so as not to waste the valuable ingredients.
GUILD SHOP: The Thieves' Guild has been essentially driven out of Britannia, but rumors persist of its existence somewhere in the ocean, perhaps on one of the uncharted islands. Somehow the Guild maintains contact with the mainland, perhaps through the brazen pirates. The goods once offered by the Guild were quite expensive, but invaluable to the traveler who sought to stray off the beaten path in search of novel experiences.
These are the main shops of Britannia. A few other places exist that are worth of note:
SHRINES: Here the devout of each town may meditate upon their Path in life. Each shrine responds to the meditation of a different Mantra (chant). Consistency and concentration are the keys to meditation. Enlightenment is attained only through care.
THE SEER HAWKWIND: Residing within Lord British's castle is the Royal Seer, Hawkwind. Many aspire to tread the Path, but very few find their way. Seek the advice of the Seer as to thy progress upon the Path. He can look into thy heart's heart and read thy progress or failure. Heed his advice, for feet that have strayed may be brought back upon the Path.
Throughout the centuries most travel has been accomplished by the use of the feet. While this method lends itself to scenic hikes, it is a terribly slow way to journey from one end of a huge continent to the other. Getting around Britannia, which may never be without risk, could soon become easier. Under the auspices of Lord British, studies of the properties of the Moon gates are beginning to yield a clearer understanding of the Gates' mystical workings. People forecast that future citizens will use these gates as a normal means of distant travel. The destinations of the gates appear to be rigidly bound to the phases of the twin moons Trammel and Felucca. The appearance and disappearance of the gates are represented on most maps of the realm as phases of the moons. The gate active is indicated by the phase of the moon Trammel. Once a gate is entered, thy destination is indicated by the phase of the moon Felucca.
Britannia is marked by six terrain types, each with their own features:
GRASS: The smoothest and easiest to travel on, the lush grass of Britannia serves to fatten its herds. One may be pass here with any impediment.
BRUSH: Low scrub growth and bushes will hinder thy progress, permitting thy party to move but at three quarters if thy normal speed. Fine tinder for campfires may be found at the base of larger scrubs.
FOREST: The going is slow through dense woods, with thy speed cut fully in half. The oak so dearly loved by the Druids predominates here, along with healthy growths of Ash and Beech. There is quite a lack of visibility in the forest regions.
HILLS: Hilly terrain, much favored by those who raise sheep, will slow thee down considerable, so much so that none but the sure-footed mountain goat can move at more than a snail's pace.
MARSH: The marshes and fens are particularly treacherous and should be avoided at all costs. While progress is only slowed to half one's normal pace by the muck underfoot, the marshes give off poisonous gases which can severely harm members of the party.
MOUNTAINS: Mountaineering is not a well-known skill in Britannia, so the mountains are closed to the normal traveler. There is also a lack of visibility over the mountains.
Horse may be obtained and greatly speed travel on land. The sages of the Lycaeum are reputed to have been working on a lighter-than-air device for Lord British, but it was stolen some months ago and its whereabouts is not known.
Since while traveling, thy party members' hit points may be diminished by unexpected confrontations, every so often thou should Hole up for the night and camp. If thy rest is not interrupted by wandering creatures, then thy party will be greatly refreshed.
At sea, masterful control of thy ship is necessary for survival. Ships have powerful cannons, but they can only fire broadside. To learn seamanship, thou must understand the ways of the water and the wind.
The ocean is made up of three types of water: Large waves mark deep water; small waves indicate shallow water; tight ripples show where lie shoals, too shallow for ships to pass over. Remember that a change in wave size signals approaching land. This will aid in thy navigation.
The winds of Britannia blow very constant in a given direction, then shift to a new direction for another long period. This fact allows the skipper of a ship to sail strategically. If the ship is facing into the direction of the wind, (suck as sailing East against an East wind) then the ship's progress is at its slowest - 1/4 Speed. If the ship is sailing with the wind, (as in sailing West with and East wind behind thee) then the ship's speed is faster - 3/4 speed. It is only when one tacks across the wind that the ship reaches maximum speed, (such as sailing North or South against an East wind) - Full Speed.
Strive to maneuver thy ship so as to bring either the port or starboard batteries to bear before creatures or pirates can close and try to board. Thy ship has armour which, if reduced to zero, will cause it to sink and thy party shall perish. A captured pirate ship can be used in place of a badly damaged ship. Practice near shore until thou develop seafaring legs. The ship's cannons also serve for firing upon land bound creatures. Beware, some of the land creatures have the power of flight and can pursue thee over the waves!
WEAPONS AND ARMOUR OF THE REALM
HANDS: If thou lose all of thy weapons, this is what thou hast left. Although it is possible to kill some of the lesser monsters with thy bare hands, the odds of success truly are not very high.
STAFF: A six foot piece of carved ironwood that has been magically attuned, the staff sold in the weapons shop of Britain is more formidable than it seems. It is the favorite weapon of Magi.
DAGGER: Ten inches of beautifully worked steel make the standard Britannian dagger. The traditional basket hilt looks very functional. A favorite weapon of novices.
SLING: The common sling is fashioned from twenty-four inches of cloth, folded in half, with a leather cup. The projectiles - small rocks - are easily collected, making this an inexpensive missile weapon. A perennial favorite with travelers down on their luck.
MACE: Upon the 1 1/2 inch thick oaken stem of the Britannian mace rests a globe of iron studded with knobs. The impact of this weapon has been known to shatter the skulls of enemies outright. A favorite among the Druids.
AXE: With a double-sided two foot blade, a warrior wielding a battle axe can really wage war. The axe is a favorite among Tinkers, as many of them are workers of wood and metal.
SWORD: Ah, a true fighter's weapon. Four feet of wicked, blue steel will strike fear into the heart of any opponent. The sword is an automatic favorite among Fighters.
BOW: A truly competent long-range weapon. Get thy enemies before they can get thee! The Britannian bows are made from the finest yew wood. Each longbow is hand-rubbed and ornamented with horn nocks on the tips. A favorite among those with poor armour.
CROSSBOW: Now here is a real missile weapon. The impact of the crossbow will stop a rampaging troll. The crossbow is traditionally made of mahogany with carved maple veneer on the sides depicting Lord British's device, the Silver Serpent. A favorite among Bards for the singing of the crossbow's string.
FLAME OIL: The use of flasks of Flame Oil constitutes an innovation in Britannia. Any of the Eight Great Professions can use it. The wielder casts the ignited oil in a chosen direction, creating a corridor of flaming oil which lasts several minutes. Any enemy entering the field of flaming oil suffers burn damage for each turn passed in the inferno. A favorite weapon among those badly hurt and in need of rescue - a last ditch defense.
HALBERD: Seven feet of stout wood topped with a blade of deadly steel. The halberd requires excellent coordination to be used effectively. It is the most deadly of weapons in the hands of an expert, who uses it to strike over the heads of his fellows. A favorite among Paladins.
Several magical weapons are said to be found hither and yon, but the location of these are not known for certain. It is said that perchance a traveler must be worthy of such a weapon before it will become available.
SKIN: What thou are left wearing when though hast no armour at all.
CLOTH: Peasant's garb for those who can afford nothing better, or those restricted by the vows of their profession from wearing aught else. A reluctant favorite among the Magi.
LEATHER: The workhorse of novice travelers, Leather armour is found throughout Britannia. Many of the professions are restricted to Leather as their best choice. A favorite among Bards, Druids, and Rangers.
CHAIN: Use by those who can handle the weight of chain main while fighting, this armour offers excellent protection. Only the finest steel is used, with double thickness on the shoulders. All links are individually riveted for strength, A favorite among Fighters and Tinkers
PLATE: The aristocrat of the armourer's craft, Plate affords more protection than any other conventional armour. Each suit is tailor made to thy shape. The cost is naturally sizable, but the effect is inspiring. A favorite among Paladins.
As is the case with weaponry, rumors abound of magical armour that will withstand the breath of a dragon. But, who knows? Perhaps these are but rumors spread by Orcs to lure fighters into illusionary searches resulting in death.
Most of us understand only those things that we can see and feel. Yet there is a segment of the population that can see the unseeable, and can feel that which has no substance. The perception and use of these ethereal forces is called magic. To some it is an Art, to others a Science. It is difficult for this Historian to describe the Art with which he is totally unfamiliar. He can, however, commend upon what purports to be the Science.
The basis of all spellcasting is the proper mixing of the necessary reagents. Reagents are the physical materials which are said to provide the initial energy to begin the spell. Each spell uses a different reagent formula. These formulas are jealously guarded by magic users, for quite often the difference between life and death is knowing a spell that thy opponent knows not. From the Bill of Fare at the Herb Shops, the observer can glean the names of the reagents: Sulphurous Ash; Ginseng; Garlic; Spider Silk; Blood Moss; and Black Pearl.
Furthermore, there are reputed to be two others, more powerful still than those just listed. However, they are not for sale according to the proprietors of the Herb Shops. They are: Nightshade and Mandrake root.
Only certain classes of the eight major professions have any talent for magic. Some are quite strongly endowed, such as Magi or Druids, while the Paladins, Bards, Tinkers, and Rangers have but a little power. Fighters and Shepherds have no magical ability at all. In face, Magi are so tuned to the special energy that comprises magic that when they cast a spell, a blue aura glows around their head and shoulders.
While most spells are reputed to possess either offensive or defensive abilities, some are utilitarian in nature, such as Light, Open, and View spells. The rare aeromancer can harness the power of the winds. An ancient scroll on display in the Library at the Lycaeum tells of different types of energy fields created by means magical. It lists the following fields and discusses their properties:
SLEEP: A green field that may bring sleep to anyone who passes through it.
LIGHTNING: A blue field that serves as an impenetrable barrier which inflicts damage upon any who touch it.
FLAME: An orange field that imparts massive damage upon those foolish enough to try to cross it.
POISON: A violet field of noxious vapors that poisons anyone passing through who is not quick to hold their breath.
Whether these fields may be controlled by magic is uncertain. However, the scroll was concerned with the tale of a Wizard's battle! One can only ponder whether the writer survived the encounter.
BAT: A non-evil subterranean dweller found in the deepest caverns, the principal diet of the Bat is animal blood. They are quite large and may attack any who disturb their rest.
CYCLOPS: These evil giants can hurl half-ton boulders down from the heights. Even a grazing hit will do considerable damage to a member of thy party. The Serpent's Spine is said to be the best hunting range for them.
DRAGON: The Dragon is an evil, flying serpent which can cross water and blast ships with huge fireballs. Not many ships can withstand a couple of passes by an attacking Dragon.
ETTIN: These evil two-headed aberrations of nature can cast huge boulders down upon thy party, causing immense damage. It is best to try to kill them with long-range weapons and spells. A large of clan of Ettins is said to live along the Serpent's Spine.
GAZER: These hypnotic creatures snare their prey by putting them to sleep. The deep forests are the favorite habitat of these evil, floating eyes.
GHOST: The restless spirits of those trapped between planes, Ghosts can pass through walls, so use extreme caution when they are though to be nearby. Evil Ghosts are often found in ruins, battlefields, and crypts.
GREMLIN: These hungry denizens of the underworld love to sneak up to unwary travelers and steal all their food. Do not let an evil Gremlin get next to thee!
HEADLESS: Another evil being best suited to terror and destruction, the Headless is indeed a creature of nightmares. Many a traveler has fled in abject horror at the sign of these headless torsos bearing down upon them.
HYDRA: Beware the evil breath of the multi-headed Hydra! The massive fireballs can fry most members of thy party.
INSECTS: If thou dost stay clear of these non-evil vermin, they will not bother thee. Marsh and dungeons are their favorite locals. Insects can fly, so they can chase thee over water.
LICH: This undead shade of a powerful wizard can still case very powerful magic spells. The Lich is a most dangerous opponent under even favorable conditions.
LAVA LIZARD: These reptilian creatures love fire and dwell in infernos. In combat they have been known to spit flaming lava thirty feet, so between these evil beasts.
MIMIC: One of the most treacherous and evil creatures in all of Britannia, the Mimic can assume any shape, although they seem to prefer assuming the likeness of treasure chests. Upon spotting one, the careless traveler greedily rushes towards the chest. When the traveler gets close enough, Mimic casts out a poisonous venom. When the traveler succumbs to the poison, the Mimic feasts upon him. The only known way to detect a chest Mimic is to wait until it gets curious enough to peer out at thee by lifting the lid of the chest.
NIXIE: These aquatic first cousins of the ancient race of Elves rise from the depths to strike terror into the hearts of seafarers. The evil Nixies wield sharp tridents which can be hurled against a ship's crew from afar, causing great damage.
ORC: Would that every Orc had been destroyed with the fall of the Triad of Evil! They bred like rabbits and still infest the woods and hills, though in much smaller numbers than before.
PHANTOM: These tragic souls have been captured by evil and forces to reenact their battles throughout all time. They are bodiless, but can be detected because their swords and shields remain visible. Phantoms are tough opponents as dying is meaningless to them.
PIRATES: Truly the dregs of Britannia, most of these crews have death warrants hanging over their heads. Remember that the evil Pirates take no prisoners! Their ships are equipped with heavy cannon, and the crews are well-trained to quickly move their large galleons into battle position. It is a rare skipper indeed that can survive a broadside duel with a Pirate vessel. Thy best hope is to "dot the T", or to close with thy enemy. If thou art able to defeat the crew, the ship itself becomes thy prize. For castaways on remote islands, this is the only hope for salvation.
PYTHON: The venom of Britannian Python is highly poisonous. These non-evil constrictors can spit their foul venom a full eleven paces, and should be treated with the utmost respect.
RAT: The common Giant Rat, while not evil by nature, will still enter human camps in search of food. They pose a threat to any dungeon explorers foolish enough to startle them.
REAPER: These grim creatures stand upright on trunk-like bodies and wave many tentacles at their prey. The evil Reaper can also reputedly cast different energy fields, and thus is considered a most vicious opponent.
ROGUE: The Rogues that are to be found throughout the land are often escaped prisoners who now make their livelihood as highwaymen by attacking travelers. If they get next to thee, they may pick thy pockets.
SEAHORSE: These magical creatures appear quite fair and are not evil, but if offended they make devastating enemies. They are possessed of powerful magical abilities which can wreak havoc among thy party.
SERPENT: The Sea Serpent is an aquatic relative of the Dragon. The fireball cast by the Serpent can sink a ship long before it has a chance to close with the beast. The best defense against a Sea Serpent is to engage it in close combat as quickly as possible. It is thy only chance, albeit as slim one, to survive the encounter.
SKELETON: Animated bones, the Skeletons are the undead incarnations of a variety of creatures. These tools of evil strike fear into ordinary travelers. With the proper enchantment, however, they can be Dispelled.
SLIME: Dungeon walls fairly ooze with slime. Most slime just sits there, this evil variety comes after thee!
SPIDER: Beware of inadvertently wrecking a spider's web and this non-evil creature will probably leave thee in peace. If thou suffer the misfortune of crossing one, take care to avoid the venomous spittle.
SQUID: When the tentacles of the Giant Squid close around a man or a ship, the very power of lightning is released upon the prey. 'Tis best to try to destroy the evil Squid with cannon fire before it can engage thee at close quarters.
TROLL: These large and evil creatures can hurl axes - of which they carry a plentiful supply - with frightening accuracy. Beware their tricks. Trolls are usually found in hills and mountains.
WISP: More insubstantial than most evil creatures, Wisps can actually teleport around the battlefield and attack from anywhere. It is most disconcerting to be involved in an encounter than contains a Wisp.
WIZARD: Not all magic users follow the path of Good. These evil renegade Wizards make very dangerous adversaries when crossed.
ZORN: Zorns are the antithesis of everything. They pass right through walls and obstacles, and negate all nearby magic. If an evil Zorn closes with thee, thou probably will not escape its embrace.
LORDS OF THE EVIL DOMINION
BALRON: It is believed by some that all of these Marshals of Evil were destroyed when the Triad fell. If any do exist, it would be better for one to Quit life itself than to face the fury of a Balron. The ancient scrolls describe them as flying creatures which cast devastating fireballs as well as weave massive enchantments that once felled entire armies.
DEVIL: These Flying Lieutenants of Evil may sweep offshore and chase thee across the waves. They are powerful magic users and should be avoided at all costs. Devils are particularly fond of torturing their victims when the opportunity arises.
THE SKILLS OF COMBAT
The historian is a man of intellectual pursuits and therefore little acquainted with the ways of combat. For the following information on such skills, we are deeply indebted to the Master at Arms of the Order of the Silver Serpent.
BEFORE FIGHTING: Be certain that thou art properly equipped for the ensuing fray. Dost thou has the proper weapon and armour? If not, then thou must equip thyself anew. When thou commence to Ready a weapon or Wear some armour, thou wilt be offered a selection of such items as are available in thy party's common pool. If thou dost choose an item inappropriate for thy class, thou wilt be asked to select again.
INITIATING COMBAT: When thou art next to an enemy, thou may Attack in the direction of thy foe. Thou wilt then be able to view thy combat location, and battle shall ensue.
BEING ATTACKED: If thou dost not attack a creature, then assuredly the creature will attack thee at its earliest opportunity, assuming that they creature is evil or hungry.
HOW TO FIGHT: Each fighter and magic used will have an opportunity for separate action. Thou may only attack in the main cardinal directions (North, East, South, and West). When it is a fighter's turn, those with hand weapons may Attack an adjacent area by specifying the direction. Those with missile weapons may fire them across the battlefield by denoting the direction of fire. Magic users can Cast a spell when it is their turn. Again, only spells for which reagents have been prepared will function. The spell must be selected and the direction fixed. Most combat spells are functional cross the field of battle. Energy fields, however, can be cast only in areas adjacent to the caster.
VICTORY: When all of the monsters have been destroyed, thou wilt return to the surrounding countryside. If the monsters were carrying any treasure, this will now be available to thee. Care should be used in Opening any treasure chests, as they are frequently trapped.
FLEEING: There will come times in thy quests when though wilt be confronted with superior forces. Whenever one of thy team is near death, guide him or her off the combat field to save them. If the tactical situation deteriorates completely, removing all members of the party from the field will disengage thee from thy enemy. There are those who will call thy actions cowardly, but a wise leader will know the value of preserving the life of one's fellows.
TERRAIN CONSIDERATIONS: Devote considerable time to the study of the fields of combat. Locate defensible positions for thy party, making sure to maintain an avenue of escape should the battle go badly. Remember our heritage! A few valiant fighters strategically placed in a narrow rocky pass can stand off an army numbered in the thousands.
WEAPON CONSIDERATIONS: These are three distinct classes of weapons available to the warrior. They are: Missile Weapons which permit the striking of foes at a distance; Polearms which allow one to smite over an obstacle or companion; and hand to hand weapons which necessitate engaging one's enemies at very close quarters.
ETHICS OF WAR: Do not feel that it is thy birthright to slay everything that walks, flies, or swims. The Code of Chivalry states that before engaging in combat with a foe, the warrior should ask, "Is this foe truly evil?" If it is not, then thou must not kill it, but stand thy ground and force it to retreat. The Code is thy touchstone, for without it thou are but a speck of dust in the whirlwind of Chaos.
MODERN CIVILIZATION AND OUR UNIVERSE
We have just emerged from the darkest period in recorded history. With the vanquishing of the Triad of Evil. We need no longer anxiously watch our backs for fear that evil will fall upon us in the first unguarded moment. The stability achieved by the New Age seems to herald a Golden Age of Peace and Prosperity.
What kind of people will inherit this New Age? Surely our destiny is not to perpetually fight as warring tribes throughout all time. Is there not a higher calling - one worthy of our efforts and capabilities?
If one accepts that the next area of human growth should not be fostered through aggressive territorial expansion, then a possible answer emerges - We must turn inward. Of late a small group of inquisitive philosophers at the Lycaeum have been asking such questions of each other. While their musings seem quite radical and new, they are worthy of consideration:
Is living a life of virtue an essential element of civilization, or can society survive the test of time without such principles?
How might we ensure the long-term continuation of our new-found peace? What systems of laws and ethics will ensure the continued happiness of all our people?
Why doth Evil still stalk the world and can it ever be truly vanquished?
If the public set of ethics which evolved from the days of primordial survival is impure, how can we achieve a clean foundation upon which to build a life of virtue?
Given the premise that to understand purity, one must strive to be so, how does one strive for that which cannot be understood?
If our true purpose here is to achieve a balance with out surroundings - as is suggested in the ancient scrolls of the Library - how can We face Nature without first facing ourselves?
Meditation seems to hold the key to perspective. In the transcendental state one is freed from the shackles of modern living. The whole of the universe resonates with thee, and thou dost feel for once as if thou dost belong to a greater whole. Yet all too soon the meditation ends, and thou dost return from this brief glimpse of the sublime to the daily need for survival.
It is time for all to put aside their warlike ways and begin fighting the evil that lurks within themselves. It is far too easy to sit and espouse the path of Virtue, yet never set foot upon it. They ancient rule of treating others as thou wouldst be treated thyself takes on new meaning when put into the context of universal harmony. We must become living examples of our beliefs!
How does one begin to first walk along this new way? Do road markers exist if we but open our eyes to see them?
To be at peace in all areas is a state only achieved by an Avatar. Is such a state attainable by any human, fallible as we all are? The true answer can only be found by those who quest forth in search of it - for who can see the end of the Path before beginning the journey? Yet it is also written that for each person the Path is different. Perhaps the seeker of wisdom and enlightenment should begin by visiting Lord British, for his knowledge of the ways of the land is great. Conversing with him may help one to determine where lies the centers of the Eight Virtues of the Avatar.
Many philosophers hold the opinion that the Path is in reality but a series of separate small paths. Each minor path leads to the fulfillment of an aspect of ourselves. Treading one of these minor paths may be construed as a life's goal, and many people have debated which is the most advantageous to follow.
Yet is not the whole much greater than the sum of its parts? Take up the challenge and tread not one but all of the minor paths in thy search for enlightenment and perfection. Perhaps only then will though find the beginnings of the great Path. The Quest of the Avatar awaits. It is not thy Heritage that thou does seek, 'tis thy Destiny!
As an addendum to this work, I, Lord British, would like to speak of the Quest of the Avatar mentioned in these pages.
The Quest of the Avatar is the search for a new standard, a new vision of life for which out people may strive. We seek the person who can become a shining example of our nation and guides us from the Age of Darkness into the Age of Light.
We have sent this message our to the farthest reaches of the known universe, indeed, we have even spoken across the void of time. Is there One who can complete the Quest of the Avatar? Many have tried already, and have met with partial success, becoming enlightened in one or more of the Eight Virtues of the Avatar - but none have yet attained the true state of being an Avatar.
The secrets of the Avatar are buried deep in the hearts of both our people and the land in which we dwell. The search will be arduous and the One who shall succeed must be able to assemble all the parts of the great mystery in order to solve the Quest.
Gaze upon the device portrayed on the facing page of this tome. Learn it well, for when thou dost gaze upon it again then shall thy life's quest be revealed.
Quest of the Avatar
PLAYER REFERENCE CARD
By Lord British
Conversion By: James Van Artsdalen
A) Attack - Attempt to engage thy foe with the weapon thou hast readied (Ready Weapon command); must be followed by the direction of thy foe.
B) Board - Board a vessel or mount a horse.
C) Cast - Cast a magical spell; must be followed by the number of the player who wishes to cast it (not needed in combat or in dungeon rooms), and then the first letter of the desired spell. Note: All spells must have reagents mixed in advance of casting.
D) Descend - Climb down ladder to next level of dungeon or building.
E) Enter - Go into such places as villages, townes, castles, dungeons and shrines.
F) Fire - Fire a ship's cannons (once thou hast Boarded); must be followed by a direction. Note: Broadsides only!
G) Get Chest - Attempt to open (and disarm, if trapped) chest; must be followed by the number of the player who wishes to open the chest, except during combat and in dungeon rooms.
Note: 'Tis wisest to use the player with the highest Dexterity when examining potentially dangerous chests as this lessens the chances of setting off any traps.
H) Hole up and camp - Set up camp to rest and recover from thy wounds. Note: This command may only be used successfully with limited frequency.
1) Ignite a torch - Light a torch for illumination in dungeons. Requires a special item.
J) Jimmy lock - Use a magical key to unlock a sealed door. Must be followed by the direction of the door that thou dost wish to unlock.
K) Klimb - Climb up a ladder to the next level of a building or dungeon, or to reach the surface from the topmost level of a dungeon.
L) Locate Position - Requires a special item.
M) Mix Reagents - Prepare material components of spells for later use.
Note: Thou must have reagents mixed ahead of time in order to cast any spells. When asked "Reagent:". type the letter corresponding to the reagents desired and then type [Return] when thou wishes to mix them.
O) Open door - Open a door in the direction indicated.
P) Peer at gem - Requires a special item.
Q) Quit & Save - Saves the current game status to disk; thou may continue after this command or power down thy computer.
R) Ready a weapon - Equip a player with the weapon of thy choice (if owned) for use in combat.
S) Search - Search thy exact current location for unusual items.
T) Talk - Allows a player to converse with merchants or townesfolk in the direction indicated.
U) Use - Use an item thou hast found during play by means of the "Search" command.
V) Volume - Toggles sound effects on or off.
W) Wear armour - Outfits a player with the armour of thy choice if owned for defense in combat.
X) Xit - That's (e)xit thy current form of transportation and continue on foot.
Y) Yell - Yell "giddyup" or "whoa" to speed up or slow down thy horse.
Z) Ztats - Displays the status and attributes of a selected player; if 0 is pressed instead of a player number, this command will display the lists of weapons, armour, items, reagents and mixtures. The left and right arrow keys will scroll through these lists, while pressing any other key will return thee to game play.
ARROW KEYS Control movement. North/South/East/West
* Special Note: Talking with the people found in the game is one of the most important features of Ultima IV to master. It is almost impossible to solve thy quests without talking to virtually all people in each towne. Each person with whom thou dost Talk is capable of a full conversation. They can be asked about their "Name", "Job", and "Health". Thou may "Look" again at their visual description. From this information thou shouldst be able to discern what else they might know, hinted at directly by use of the precise words in the conversation. For example: If thou were to ask Dupre about his "Job" and he were to respond "I am hunting Gremlins," thou might think to ask him about "Hunting" or "Gremlins" - about either of which he might offer some insight.
Each of these people might ask of thee a question as well; be sure to answer the question honestly, for dishonesty will be remembered and not reflect well on thee for the rest of the game. Often thou shalt not know what to ask a townesperson until thou hast been told by another: e.g. Iolo the bard might tell thee to ask Shamino the Ranger about swords. Even if thou hadst met Shamino earlier thou wouldst not have known to ask about swords, and thus thou wouldst have to seek him out again if thou dost wish that knowledge.
Some of the people that thou shalt meet may be willing to become thy travelling companions. If thou dost wish for a character to become a player in thy party, thou must ask them to "Join" thee. 'Tis most wise to strengthen thy party as rapidly as possible, up to the seven companions thou shall need to complete the game. When thou art through with a conversation, then speak the word "Bye" as an accepted means of politely ending thy conversation.
Be sure to keep a journal of thy travels! Many of the clues to solving the quests of Ultima IV art contained in the various and diverse conversations thou might have with the various townesfolk. It would be next to impossible to solve this game without some means of referring back to prior conversations held during play.
Be sure to thoroughly explore the cities and townes! Many of the quests within Ultima IV art contained entirely within individual cities. 'Tis wisest to spend a great deal of fime seeking out the answers that lie hidden in each one of the various townes of Britannia, before moving on to another. NOTE: During thy conversations with people in Ultima IV, thou may feel the impulse to show thy generosity to less fortunate fellows. Thou may do so by saying: "Give".
Thy party is seen here standing on a point of land that jut: into the sea. To the North is a castle, while a ship rocks gently on the waves to the Northwest. Just above the ship one can see a towne. Thy party consists of three travellers - British, Iolo and Geoffrey - whose names appear in the Party Window. Their current status is also therein displayed: British hath 372 Hit Points and is in Good condition; Iolo hath 380 Hit Points and is suffering from Poison; and Geoffrey hath 380 Hit Points and is in Good condition. The narrow window below 'indicates that the party hath 24 units of Food and 1823 Gold pieces. The symbol in the center indicates if any spells art currently active.
Paused to cross a bridge, thy party can see an approaching band of Skeletons to the Northeast. At the top of the view window thou can see the current status of the twin moons Trammel and Felucca, which is Crescent Waning for Trammel and Felucca is in its Last Quarter. The moonphases art represented as follows:
Thou art currently checking on the status of the traveller lolo and his attributes show in the Party Window. Thou can see that he is a Male Bard whose condition is Good, he is possessed of 13 Magic Point, 16 Strength, 19 Dexterity, 13 Intelligence; he hath attained Level 4; cuffently hath 376 Hit Points, with a flit Point Maximum of 400, and hath 714 Experience Points. His current weapon is a Sling, while he wears Cloth Armour.
Thy party can be seen at the bottom part of the view window, engaged in mortal combat with four Pirates who art aboard their ship. Note that as each member of thy party bath the opportunity to strike a blow, their current weapon is displayed below their name. The direction of the wind is indicated at the bottom of the view window. If thou were to win this combat and take possession of the vessel, the full Strength of the ship would be displayed in the narrow window where thy gold would normally be displayed.
Magical ability is directly related to the Profession and Intelligence of thyself and thy travelling companions. Magical strength is twice the Intelligence of the spellcaster, with potential modified by Profession. The enchantment potential of the various Professions is :
Mage - Full Bard - One Half
Ranger - On Half Fighter - None
Druid - Three Fourths Paladin - One Half
Tinker: One Fourth Shepherd - None
ULTIMA IV HINTS
LOCATION OF RUNES
Honesty - Northwest corner of Moonglow. Search the chest next to Mariah.
Compassion - Northeast corner of Britain (the Inn). Search at the end of the hallway.
Valor - Southeast edge of Town. The rune is in one of four towers which connect long hallways surrounding the town.
Justice - Northwest corner of Yew, enter the jailhouse and speak with Talfourd. Search the felon's cell.
Sacrifice - Once in the Weapons shop in Minoc, you must enter a small room off to the Southeast of it. In the lower right hand corner of this room is a fire pit. Search the southeast corner of the firepit.
Honor - In the southwest corner of Trinsic, Virgil is surrounded by a wall of force fields. Search the space just to the upper-right of Virgil.
Spirituality - Located in a small room past the guard room in Lord British's castle. Player must find the secret door which connects these rooms. Search the lower right-hand corner of room.
Humility- In southeast corner of the village of Paws is a group of mountains. The player should see Wheatpin and talk to him first. Search the nook of the mountains.
LEVEL EXPERIENCE POINT RANGE
GUILD SHOPS Buccaneer's Den
HOW TO RAISE VIRTUES
HONESTY Not cheating a shop which one is able (Reagents for instance)
COMPASSION Allow good foe to flee from combat
Flee from combat with good foe
Give to beggar
VALOR Victory over evil foe
JUSTICE Not cheating a shop which one is able (Reagents for instance)
Flee from combat with good foe
SACRIFICE Give all of one's gold to a beggar
Give blood at a Healing shop.
Death of character in party
HONOR Not cheating a shop which one is able (Reagents for instance)
Find any of the eight runes
Find any of the eight stones
Find the Book, Bell or Candle
SPIRITUALITY Visit Seer in Lord British's Castle
Meditate in any of the eight Shrines
HUMILTY Answer "Humility Question" in town humbly
HOW TO LOWER VIRTUES
HONESTY Get any of the chests in a town
Cheating at a shop which one is able (Reagents for instance)
COMPASSION Attacking a good or NPC character (town folk for instance)
VALOR Lose in combat with an evil foe
Fleeing from an evil foe when party is not wounded
JUSTICE Get any of the chests in a town
Cheating at a shop which one is able (Reagents for instance)
SACRIFICE Fleeing from an evil foe when party is not wounded
Not giving blood to Healing shop
HONOR Get any of the chests in a town
Cheating at a shop which one is able (Reagents for instance)
Attacking a good or NPC character (town folk for instance)
SPIRITUALITY Not meditating in a shrine once it has been entered
HUMILTY Answer "Humility Question" in town incorrectly
LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE COORDINATES
EMPATH ABBEY DC BM
LORD BRITISH GL FG
SERPENTS HOLD PB JC
THE LYCAEUM GL NK
COVETOUS BL JM
DESTARD KI El
DECEIT EJ PA
DESPISE ED FL
GREAT ABYSS OJ OJ
HYTHLOTHE PA OP
SHAME GG DK
WRONG BE HO
BELL NA LA
BLACK STONE IF OA
BOOK AG AG
CANDLE AB BG
MANDRAKE ROOT DG LG
MYSTIC ARMOUR AE BG
MYSTIC WEAPONS AP AI
NIGHTSHADE CM MN
SILVER HORN KN CN
SKULL PF MF
TELESCOPE AC BG
WHITE STONE FA FA
WHEEL NH GA
BRITAIN GK FC
JHELOM NO CE
MAGINCIA KJ LL
MINOC BE JP
MOONGLOW IH OI
SKARA BRAE IA BG
TRINSIC LI GK
YEW CL DK
BUCCANEER'S DEN JO II
COVE FK II
VESPER DL MJ
PAWS JB GC
HONESTY EC OJ
COMPASSION FM IA
VALOR OF CE
JUSTICE AL EJ
SACRIFICE CN MN
HONOR MP FB
SPIRITUALITY BD KG
HUMILITY NI OH
Once you complete the eighth level of the Stygian Abyss you will be taken to the Chamber of the Codex. Here you will be asked a number of questions. The answers to those questions are listed below, in the order they should be given.