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(premiere partie)

ULTIMA 7 (PT. 1)
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Books by Batlin

The book of FELLOWSHIP
as written by Batlin of Britain

i. Salutations to the Traveller

Good morning to thee, gentle friend and traveller!
No matter what time of day it might be when thou art reading this...no matter what the hour of the clock – I say good morning to thee because this very moment brings to thee the coming of the dawn. The dawn, as everyone knows, is the moment when illumination comes. The dawn marks the end of the long dark night, and a new beginning. It is my humble hope that these words may be for thee a dawning, or at least, a type of awakening.
I call thee "traveller" no matter if thou hast never left thy home town, no matter if thou wilst never again leave thy room, because all of us are travellers. I call thee traveller for truly all of us travel a spiritual or philosophical path – even if it is simply by living the life that we choose to live, or by searching for a new life when our current one fails to satisfy our needs as thinking spiritual beings.
It is past time that I introduce myself to thee, gentle friend and traveller. My name is Batlin, and indeed I have been following this quest all of my life. It has been a long road, but the rewards have been beyond measure. If thou wouldst permit me, I would very much wish appreciate sharing these rewards with you.

ii. The Story of Batlin: Part the First

There is much that I have set out to tell thee in this book. Some small part of it involves my own personal story. As that is the least important part of this book, I shall quickly relate my tale first, gentle friend and traveller. In that way we shall soon have it over with and then be free to pass on more important concerns!
I was born in the forests surrounding the city of Yew and educated in the traditions of the Druids. Having been raised in the city of Justice, I was taught to always strive for fairness in dealing with others, and these teachings left a lasting impression upon me. But while I found trees, birds and moons to be very beautiful, I determined to dedicate my life to the service of people. So it was I left to seek my fortune in the world.
This was a time when, over Lord British’s objections, unruly lords waged war against each other, so there was little else to do but become a fighter in the city of Jhelom. I regret killing, although much of what I did helped bring peace to our land once more. I learned well how to defend myself and to find the courage one must have to survive in battle. I also learned respect for those of valor who earn their wage by combat. Eventually those little wars ended, and I found myself penniless and without a trade in the capital city of Britain.
I became a Bard simply because a Bard was needed at the Blue Boar. There were none about, and I had the loudest voice. Never had I considered myself to be musically inclined, but it was a fair alternative to starvation. My voice was painful. My mandolin strings would break rather than let me stroke them. After much heckling and many a thrown bottle, my talents did slowly develop. As the years passed I began to feel the deep compassion that bards known when singing of heroic deeds. I discovered that sharing a spiritual rapport with my audience was very moving. Several of my ballads are still sung today (although by tradition, the player will no doubt take credit for composing them himself).
While in Britain, I met two remarkable individuals. They were twins, Elizabeth and Abraham. They were also well versed students of philosophy, and many were the hours we spent in discussion and debate. We did raise our voices on occasion, Gentle friend and traveller, but that did not prevent us from becoming fast friends. Although I would never presume to intrude upon their privacy by revealing the many fascinating details I learned about them and their lives, I will say that they play a truly significant role in the part this book that is my story.
A mage from Moonglow who had heard me perform came to offer me employment as his assistant. Magic has always fascinated me, and so I became his apprentice. I will always remember his teaching that if I was to successfully commune with the visible world without lapsing into madness, I must ever retain my honesty...if one is to live outside the laws of reality, one must first be honest. He taught me well. It was with great sadness that I ended my studies in the magical arts when my master, who was most elderly, passed away.
While drinking at the Blue Boar soon after his passing, Elizabeth, Abraham, and I each decided that we needed something to which to dedicate our lives. On a youthful whim, we made a pact that we would go our separate ways and spend the next decade travelling throughout the land to find adventure, and to find ourselves as well. We agreed to reunite at the Blue Boar in exactly ten years. Our departure was exciting yet melancholy, as my life began a new chapter.

iii. The Old Man and the Bandits

On the road leading out of Britain, I met a man bent with age, but still possessed of keen wit. As we walked he shared with me his tale, and I in turn shall share it with thee.
During a stroll through the woods one day, this man was kidnapped by a group of vicious bandits. The poor man had just left his nephew’s family and had no one else in the world. Woe to them who have been kidnapped when they have no one to pay their ransom! The bandits soon began to loathe their captive and did make plans to kill him.
One wanted to hang him, while another wanted to stab him. Still another wanted to burn him at the stake while yet a fourth wanted to tie rocks about his waist and throw him in the river. So angry did they wax in their disagreement over what manner of violence to use, that they did break into an awful, bloody row.
And so it was that this old man did escape from the bandits, who were distracted with their brawling. Upon noticing their victim was gone, they continued to fight, this time over whose fault it had been, until all of them lay dead, murdered by each others’ hand.
This old man was later reunited with his nephew’s family and all were joyous of it. For as he had learned, Unity is essential for survival, and unlike those reckless bandits, he still wished to live for a good many years yet.

iv. The Story of Batlin: Part the Second

My travels took me to Trinsic, and there I encountered a group of men at arms with whom I became most impressed. Many fighters I have know were men of valorous heart on the battle field, but off it little more than thugs. These men were not mere fighters, but Paladins. They were all skilled swordsmen and expert horsemen, as well as learned scholars and perfectly mannered gentlemen. Above all, they were devoted to the preservation of honor. It was with eager gratitude that I accepted their invitation to join them. The following years were filled with excitement, as we journeyed through the land, righting wrongs and helping those in need!
During one of our adventures I was injured and forced to remain in Minoc while my companions rode on. A healer there told me that without the proper treatment (for which he charged outrageous prices) I would most probably die! I angrily sent him away. After a time I did mend. I had learned that the healing process takes place mostly in one’s mind and have since placed no trust in healers who greedily prey upon the afflicted.
At that time, the town of Minoc was in need of a Tinker. As I heard, I supported myself by fixing, building and inventing things. I had never before realized how much a town is reliant upon its Tinker, nor how appreciative the local townspeople are to those who sacrifice themselves to continuously solving the problems of others. So welcome did they make me feel that I stayed for several years.
Then, filled with the urge to roam and longing for the outdoors once more, I joined a band of Rangers in Spiritwood. Rangers are a deeply spiritual people. Living with them reminded me very much of my druid childhood in Yew....with one big difference. These Rangers drank the most wonderful wine I have ever tasted! The bottles came from the old winery at Skara Brae, having survived the terrible fires which ravaged that island. Later I made a pilgrimage to the desolate ruins of Skara Brae and there I had a spiritual experience so profound that I have vowed never to relate it to anyone.
Leaving their band, I gave away all of my possessions and for months I wandered aimlessly. Eventually, I arrived at New Magincia where I sought employment as a Shepherd. Most of the following two years was spent in perfect solitude, living in complete humility. It was an experience that left me significantly changed. When I noticed that ten years had almost passed, I began the journey back to Britain.

v. The Two Brothers and the Trickster

On the road back to Britain I noticed a small mine being worked by two brothers. They greeted me suspiciously but eventually shared with me their tale, and I shall share it with thee. Their father died and left them a map to some unclaimed land that contained valuable minerals. By law a claim can only be made in one name, and this led the brothers into conflict. One brother was the eldest, the other was more worldly, both wanted the claim. They became so fearful that the other would make the claim that each spent all his time spying on the other. No work was done.
One day, they met a stranger who said he was a mining engineer. They did not trust him at first, but he assured them that their claim was too small to be of interest. He was on the way to stake a much larger claim. The stranger turned their heads with tales of the riches they could have, replacing their distrust with avarice.
The brothers asked the stranger to make their claim for them, and went back to working their mine. They worked without stopping for months, and afterward travelled to the mint to sell their ore.
At the mint they learned the stranger had staked their claim in his own name and then sold it outright for a fortune. As the brothers had taken ore from land they did not own, they were sent to prison in Yew for many years.
Their sad fate taught them to be more trusting of each other, for a man who does not trust his brother is always vulnerable. After hearing their tale, I went to the mint, for I was curious which of the two brothers held the claim to their new mine. I had tried to guess and was quite surprised when I saw the answer. It was in the name of their father.

vi. The Creation of The Fellowship

I was overjoyed when Elizabeth and Abraham both arrived at the Blue Boar safe and sound. It was a splendid reunion. The tales they told me were truly astounding, gentle friend and traveller. But as I have mentioned, I do not wish this tome to be and intrusion upon their privacy.
Not all of our memories were pleasant ones. Most of the people of Britannia, it seemed, were more interested in helping themselves than in helping their fellow person. As travellers – strangers wherever we went – we had become used to the cold eye of suspicion upon us. Everywhere there were people who expected something for nothing, as if owed a debt by the world. Most of all, each of us had met many people who were fundamentally unhappy. Everywhere there were people who knew that they needed something in their lives, gentle friend and traveller, but that they had not a hope of finding it.
The three of us had learned much of history. There was once a time when life was infinitely more fragile, but was cherished much more dearly. We yearned to recapture that aspect of Britannia’s former glory. After much discussion, we decided to found a society called The Fellowship. At this time I was also conceiving what would become its philosophy, but that will be discussed further in another chapter. It was Abraham who suggested that I propose The Fellowship to Lord British. I agreed, little realizing the task I was undertaking.

vii. The Ratification of Wise Lord British

It was with much anxiety that I stood before the throne of wise Lord British. I was in a long line of subjects as our Liege made numerous pronouncements. Although I had been waiting for hours when I at last had my audience, I still felt unprepared. His unwavering glance fell on me.
I said that I had a modest proposal. My colleagues and I sought to establish a philosophical society known as The Fellowship. Lord British asked me who would see the benefits of this Fellowship. I replied that no one would benefit from it, for it would not be run for profit. With a word I was dismissed. I found myself leaving the throne room before it had even sunk in that I had been refused.

By the look on my face Elizabeth and Abraham knew I was not the bearer of good news. In discussing the matter, Elizabeth suggested that Lord British had desired a tribute from us. If we could present an impressive enough tribute, he would grant his favor. After a time we raised a thousand gold pieces by selling nearly every possession we owned. With renewed confidence I returned to the castle.
This time there were several women with me to carry the chests of gold that were our tribute. As I reached the front of the line I spoke boldly. I said that I wished to discuss The Fellowship, but first wished to present Lord British with suitable tribute. With consternation I realized that I had spoken before Lord British had finished reading an important looking scroll placed before him by one of his advisors. He signed it as he spoke, not even bothering to look up at me. First he ordered my workmen to remove the boxes. The he ordered the workmen to remove me as well!
Angrily I stormed from the throne room. Once more did I face my two friends. We were most disappointed. The dream we shared now seemed to have no hope of becoming reality. I spent days somberly brooding over my failure. One morning found me so completely lost in my thoughts that I did not hear the passing beggar approach. When at last I noticed him he spoke. "A coin for one denied the rewards of worthiness." The illumination was pure and instantaneous. He thought I had gone mad when I gave him my chest full of gold. I ran back to the palace as fast as I could.
At first, Lord British would not see me, but I implored him. He looked me over, and seemed to see something different about me. He listened as I spoke.
"Our society, The Fellowship, will be a union of spiritual seekers that shall strive to bring Unity to our fractured society. We will promote Trust and understanding among all the people of Britannia. With your approval our society will teach one to seek Worthiness, rather than mere personal reward. To that end, I seek your recognition of The Fellowship."
After a long moment, Lord British replied.
"Batlin, thou dost know the meaning of perseverance. I care not for what thy Fellowship dost wish of me and I care even less for what thy Fellowship would seek to do for me. But if thy Fellowship would seek to serve the subjects of my land then my support is unequivocal."
Thus was born The Fellowship.

viii. The Value of Virtues and the Virtue of Values

In creating the Fellowship philosophy I had no intention of cobbling together a collection of platitudes that would be presumptuously intended as a replacement of the Eight Virtues of The Avatar. I knew there would be those who would accuse me of doing just that, no matter what philosophy I developed! I hereby wish to state that The Fellowship fully supports the Eight Virtues of the Avatar, and as one who has endeavored to follow their example I can personally assure thee of their immeasurable worth.
But as one who has followed the Eight Virtues, I know whereof I speak when I say that it is impossible to perfectly live up to them. Even the Avatar was unable to do so continuously and consistently. Can anyone say that they have been honest every moment of every day of their lives? Can anyone say that they are always compassionate, valorous, just, sacrificing, honorable, humble or spiritual at all times? The philosophy of the Eight Virtues does little more than emphasize our own personal deficiencies. I have met many adherents to the ways of the Virtues who are racked with guilt over what they perceive to be their spiritual failures, for that is what the Virtues are based upon. Having been shown our weaknesses, now is the time to strengthen them. The philosophy of The Fellowship has been created to eradicate the failures from one’s life. It is a philosophy based upon success and it enhances everything that has come before it. The Fellowship philosophy can be expressed as three values derived from the personal experiences of my life. They are known as The Triad of Inner Strength.

ix. The Triad of Inner Strength

The Triad of Inner Strength is a rigorous mental discipline. It takes concentrated effort to apply this triad of values to thy life. But in doing so thou will see a change in thy life so significant that thou shalt no longer be able to look at the world in the same way again.
The first value of The Triad Of Inner Strength is expressed as "Strive For Unity." People apply this value to their lives by working together to achieve that which shall benefit everyone in a state of mutual cooperation. We have seen by the parable of "The Old Man and the Bandits" how Unity is essential. If we are not working together then we are certainly working against each other.
The second value of The Triad Of Inner Strength is expressed as "Trust Thy Brother." People apply this value to their lives by dealing with others without accusations or suspicions that limit others and themselves. We have seen by the parable of "The Two Brothers and the Trickster" just how vulnerable lack of Trust makes on. Without Trust we restrict ourselves from that which we wish to accomplish.
The third value of The Triad Of Inner Strength is expressed as "Worthiness Precedes Reward." People apply this value to their lives by placing a greater emphasis on their accomplishments rather than on personal gain. We have seen by the parable of "The Ratification of Wise Lord British" that one must not expect something for nothing. Blindly chasing reward is a path that leads nowhere.

x. The Philosophy of The Fellowship

The scholarly name for the Fellowship philosophy - which I did not personally coin - is "sanguine cognition." This is merely an important-sounding way of saying "cheerful knowledge," and that is as accurate a description of The Fellowship philosophy as any I can imagine.
As long as on maintains his confidence and hopefulness one is continuously open to the opportunities that perpetually exist in life. I firmly believe that, gentle friend and traveller, and thou shouldst believe it as well.
Without confidence, one does not perceive the world correctly and hence one misses opportunities. This sad sate of "fevered" reason currently holds the majority of the population in its icy grip.
Such "fevered" persons begin to adapt illusory notions to their thinking and entangle themselves in twisted, conflicting emotions which reinforce their failures. These sad people become afraid of themselves. They begin to believe that they will fail, and this belief can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Such a fevered person, whether he realizes it or not, desperately needs to recognize that the world is not a tangled know of failure. The entire process of thought needs to be permanently fixed to a confident nature. Such a person needs to "find the best in himself," and accept his basic worth. This is rarely an easy task. It requires a reflection upon one’s self that can be emotionally painful. But as we say in The Fellowship, "Sometimes one must face harm in order to find healing." Upon achieving Recognition one will follow his own inner voice of reason that will guide him through life and help him avoid failure.
One of the most difficult things to accept is how reliant we are upon others. We fear the rejection, the real or imagined hidden motives, and the potential deceit of others. Accepting our inevitable reliance upon others as an integral part of our role in this world requires the courage to walk on fire.
To achieve the recognition necessary to break free of the fever, one must dedicate every fibre of being to accomplishing that end. We of The Fellowship travel that path, and I extend my invitation to thee, gentle friend and traveller, to join us. Together we shall reach our destination.


A Reinterpretation of the HISTORY OF BRITANNIA
Being in part a collection of historical facts with a modern interpretation thereof supplied by the author, Batlin of Britain

i. Ancient Sosaria

Long ago, before the formation of the kingdom of Britannia, the land was known as Sosaria. It was little more than a multitude of warring city-states and feudal fiefdoms, and the people of the land suffered for it. It was wise Lord British, then ruler of the city-state of Britain, who eventually brought the land and the people of Sosaria together.

ii. The Ages of Darkness

The Ages of Darkness are well named, for they were a time when dark terrors walked the land. It may also be said that during the Ages of Darkness, the peoples of Sosaria were the furthest from illumination, for this was truly a time when spiritual pursuits were at their ebb.

iii. The Tale that is Called ‘The First Age of Darkness’

In the beginning of the First Age of Darkness is marked by the coming of a sorcerer named Mondain. The father of Mondain had refused to share his secret of immortality with his son, and their disputes ultimately led to the father’s death. Torn with anguish and no doubt by his fears of persecution, Mondain turned his dark powers against the kingdoms of Sosaria.
In desperation, Lord British called forth a champion to rise to the defense of the realm. The hero who responded to his summons would many years later come to be known as the Avatar. It was through the actions of this Avatar that Mondain’s foul gem of power was shattered and Mondain himself did come to a very sad end indeed.

iv. The Tale That is Called ‘Revenge of the Enchantress’

The triumph of the Avatar did not last long, for in slaying Mondain he brought the wrath of Minax down upon the land. Minax was the young lover of Mondain and a sorceress with magical powers even greater than Mondain’s. She had the power to command legions of foul creatures, and in her quest for vengeance over the death of her lover, she brought much misery to the people of Sosaria.
Again the hero who would come to be known as the Avatar returned to Britannia in the first recorded use of the Moongates. The Avatar slew Minax’s minions and did eventually destroy her as well.
While there have been speculations as to the motivations of the Avatar, there is insufficient evidence to show that the Avatar was driven to violence by jealousy over Mondain’s romantic involvement with Minax. That being said, such theories are hereby denounced and should not be given consideration.

v. The Tale that is Called ‘Exodus’

No one in all of Sosaria, not even the Avatar, could have realized that by ending the lives of Mondain and Minax, the Avatar would be orphaning their only child. The name of this unusual child was Exodus, and he was neither machine nor human. Exodus rose from the bottom of the Great Ocean to carry out a campaign of revenge and destruction against the land of Sosaria.
So terrible were the forces unleashed by Exodus that the hero whom we would come to know as the Avatar required the assistance of the mysterious being known as the Time Lord to thwart them. And thus it was that the Avatar did deal with Exodus in a similar manner as he had dealt with his mother and father.
Since that time much speculation has been given to the potentially immeasurable good such a creature as Exodus could have brought the land had he been persuaded to become beneficent, but I wish to formally disagree with those who say the Avatar should have handled the situation differently.

vi. The Rise of Britannia

After the smiting of Exodus, the people of Sosaria, who lived in terror during the onslaught of these evil magical beings, did unite together as a measure of self-protection under the sovereign rule of Lord British. Thus was formed the kingdom of Britannia.
Led by wise Lord British, the land did come to flourish. The eight major townships rose upon the foundations of the old city-states. A renaissance of culture and civilization was highlighted by the formation of great institutions devoted to the study and advancement of the arts and sciences.

vii. The Tale that is Called ‘Quest of the Avatar’

It was at this time of growth and prosperity in the kingdom of Britannia that Lord British put out a call for one to show the way of spiritual growth and virtue. The call was answered by the hero who would come to be known as the Avatar.
It was at this time that the champion of Britannia did come to earn the title of ‘Avatar’ by establishing the Eight Virtues and by seizing the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom from the depths of the Stygian Abyss.
It has been said that the primary motivation of the Avatar has been personal redemption for the fate of Mondain, Minax and Exodus. While there has been no proof of this, I say that even if it were true, all the positive things brought forth in the world through the virtues would be enough to make amends for almost any misdoing.

viii. The Tale that is Called ‘Warriors of Destiny’

It seems that by removing the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom the Avatar had inadvertently set into motion a cosmic chain of events which led to the release of three Shadowlords from remnant shards of the black gem of Mondain. These Shadowlords were sinister agents of evil. Soon they managed to dethrone Lord British and hold him prisoner in a foul dungeon. Denied his wisdom and compassion, the kingdom of Britannia quickly grew oppressive and cruel.
This was the Britannia that greeted the return of the Avatar. After a score of valiant struggles, Lord British was liberated, his throne regained and the Shadowlords banished from our world.
However, Lord British’s escape from the underworld did cause a tremendously destructive series of earthquakes as the vast network of subterranean caverns collapsed. Much of the gargoyle race did perish in that tragic cataclysm.

ix. The Tale that is Called ‘The False Prophet’

After the tremors that shook Britannia subsided, gargoyles, inhabitants of the other side of the world who now found their homeland virtually destroyed, began to appear on the Britannian side of the world in increasing numbers as aggressors. They launched vicious attacks against the human race and many were they who lost their lives in defense of our realm.
The gargoyles even attempted to assassinate the Avatar. They set a Moongate trap which lured the Avatar into their clutches, but the Avatar was rescued by his companions. So it was that Lord British did once again call upon his champion to set the world right. Ending this violent racial conflict was the greatest challenge that the Avatar had ever faced.
At last is was revealed that the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, which had been removed from the underworld by the Avatar, was actually the property of the gargoyles. Therefore, the Avatar placed the Codex into the great ethereal void where it would be possessed by neither human nor gargoyle. Two lenses, used to view the Codex, were given to Lord British and the gargoyle ruler King Draxinusom. As the cause of the conflict between the two races had been removed, it was hoped that the rift between the two would eventually be closed.
Those who would say that this terrible and destructive war could have been prevented entirely had the Avatar not appropriated the Codex from its true owners are merely dissidents who are grossly misinformed.

x. The Last Two Hundred Years

It has been two centuries since the Avatar last appeared in our good kingdom. Some have written that at last it is possible to interpret the tales of the Avatar as they should be, with the proper historical perspective. Some argue that as time moves on, the truth of what actually occurred will fade even further away and that we have a responsibility to preserve the legends as we now know them. However, most agree when it comes to a number of basic theories.
While there are those who maintain that the stories of the Avatar are only myths, practically all credible scholars say that at least some elements of the Avatar’s tales are historical fact. In reality, one need look no further than the Isle of the Avatar to see very persuasive evidence that the Avatar did indeed exist - at least as a person if not as a spiritual being!
It is most likely that there has been more than one Avatar. All of the writings insist that the Avatar who negotiated the peace between Britannia and the gargoyles is the one and same person who first appeared to vanquish the sorcerer Mondain those many years ago. While saying it is most unlikely, historians do not firmly deny the possibility of there having been only on Avatar. After all, our good sovereign monarch, wise Lord British, has himself displayed an amazing longevity!
Whatever interpretation of history proves to be most accurate, it seems undeniable that the Avatar will not return to our fair kingdom. By all indications the age of magic is coming to an end. With the decline on reliability of mages, and with the kingdom turning away from the magical arts, it is doubtful that extreme danger - that which would require an Avatar’s aid to defeat it - will ever return to Britannia. And thankfully so.
Upon us is the age of The Fellowship, in which one does not simply wait in anticipation for a heroic savior when a crisis occurs. In this less spectacular but more practical day, we are left to solve our problems with our own minds and our own will.


The Fellowship TRAVELLER’S COMPANION
guide to travelling in Britannia,
as written by Batlin of Britain

 

i. The Cities and Towns of Britannia

Built upon the foundations of the ancient city-states of Sosaria, the towns of Britain, Jhelom, Minoc, Moonglow, New Magincia, Trinsic, and Yew have risen up to become major cities in their own right. Numerous other cities have also grown and doing so deserve recognition as proud jewels in the crown of Britannia. All of these cities are described below, being listed in alphabetical order for the sake of the traveller’s convenience in using this book as a reference guide.

 

Buccaneer’s Den

This island is the notorious home of pirates and thieves. It is a place that is not without risks and dangers - especially if one is too free in displaying one’s money. Still, Buccaneer's Den has attracted many travellers in recent years with the lurid thrill of its well-monied House of Games and sensuous indoor Baths. It is also a place where one may purchase many exotic goods.

 

Britain

This is the opulent and majestic capital of Britannia, famed city of Compassion, and it is where thou mayest find the Castle of Lord British. Britain is built on the shore of Britanny Bay. It is easily the largest city in all of Britannia and it has seen much new development. It is the home of the historic Wayfarer’s Inn, Royal Theatre and the Music Hall. It is a center of commerce for the entire kingdom. Here in Britain thou will find vendors hawking their wares, a Farmer’s Market, shops of every type and fabulous entertainment for everyone. Britain is also home to the headquarters of The Fellowship.

 

 

Cove

The city of Cove is the cleanest city in all of Britannia. Although the city itself is pristine, a traveller would be wise to avoid Lock Lake, which has become very polluted in recent years. One of the most romantic places in all of Britannia is the "Lovers’ Walk," which is not far from the Shrine. Across the mountains from Cove the traveller will find the Bloody Marsh, site of one of Britannia’s most savage wars.

 

Isle of the Avatar

While no formal city has ever been built upon the Isle of the Avatar, it is such a place of interest that it is included here in this section. This strange volcanic island - which arose from the tumultuous upheaval of the Great Stygian Abyss - receives numerous visitors on pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Codex. The Shrine is considered to be a national monument of great historical importance to Britannia and as such is under armed guard day and night.

 

Jhelom

Located in the Valorian Isles in southwest Britannia, Jhelom is a meeting place for fighters, paladins, and rangers. It is the birthplace of many an esteemed Britannian warrior. This city of Valor is also known for its well-stocked armoury, the hospitality of its barmaids and for its local fighting club, the Library of Scars.

 

Minoc

This thriving seaport is located in northern Britannia at the mouth of Lost Hope Bay. Minoc, also known as the city of Sacrifice, has an active sawmill, armourer, shipwright and branch of the Britannian Mining Company. It is the home of the Artist’s Guild, where craftsmen of all types display their craft. In Minoc there is also an active branch of The Fellowship.

 

Moonglow

Moonglow is the city of Honesty and sits upon the southern tip of Verity Isle. It is where the Lycaeum, the great storehouse of knowledge and wisdom, is located. Nearby, the traveller will also find the observatory, which contains a orrery. An active branch of The Fellowship also operates in Moonglow.

 

New Magincia

New Magincia is known as the city of Humility, and hence it chooses to remain isolated from much of the rest of Britannia. If thou venture there, thou will find that the people are basically shy, but also warm and hospitable once they have gotten used to thee. The city is located on an eastern island well past most of the main trade routes. Time progresses more slowly in New Magincia than anywhere else in Britannia. The economy of New Magincia is based on shipbuilding, horticulture and raising sheep.

 

Paws

Paws is a small coastal village that, because of the continuous expansion of the capital city, has essentially merged with Britain. While there was a time when this village held a quaint rustic charm, in more recent years the village of Paws has languished in poverty. A terrible, seven-year drought has forced the closure of many of the local farms. The industry of paws consists primarily of milling flour, dairy farming and meat curing. Paws is where The Fellowship runs its shelter for the poor.

 

Serpent’s Hold

This opulent castle fortress is home of the honorable Order of the Silver Serpent, the training camp for the armed militiamen of Britannia. Here fighting men learn more than just the martial arts. They are taught honor and valor as well. Instruction in the ways of the warrior may be obtained and one may purchase reliable weapons, armour and provisions here. The Meditation Retreat of The Fellowship is located on an island east of Serpent’s Hold.

 

 

Skara Brae

This sad town was once know as the city of Spirituality. Few are those who venture to the spot where the city of Skara Brae once stood, near the mystic forest of Spiritwood, for all that remains are buildings that stand nearly deserted. While there have been many strange stories as to the going-on in this uninhabited place, there are few who would seek to verify them. The wise traveller avoids Skara Brae altogether.

 

Spektran

The sparse isle of Spektran is ruled by the notorious Sultan of Spektran. The sultan is renowned for his unfriendliness to outsiders, and Spektran is not recommended to travellers.

 

Terfin

Terfin is the home of the gargoyles, built upon the island once occupied by Sutek the Mad. Most gargoyles travel daily to Minoc in order to work in the mines. In Terfin one may find the gargoyle Hall of Knowledge and an active Fellowship branch. Not far from Terfin are the ancient ruins that were once the palace of the traitorous Blackthorn.

 

Trinsic

This active seaport south of Paws and north of the Cape of Heroes is known as the city of Honor. Trinsic is the home of Paladins and also has an active branch of The Fellowship. Travellers might question the need for the walls that surround the city. As if this would not be enough to keep the city secure, the guards of the city will not permit anyone to enter or leave the city unless they know the secret password. While this was once done to maintain the security of the city and the safety of its citizens, it is now done mostly to sustain a traditional ritual. (Britannian law forbids the open publication of Trinsic’s password.)

 

Vesper

Located on the edge of the desert in northeast Britannia, Vesper is an industrial town. Here the main branch of the Britannian Mining Company is located. Vesper is one of the few places in Britannia where humans and gargoyles live together in an approximately equal number.

 

Yew

Yew is known as the city of Justice, but it has changed considerably over the years. The buildings that remain where the city once stood have been abandoned for many, many years. The citizenry of Yew have chosen a life independent of normal civilization. They now live scattered throughout the Great Forest. Their only remaining link with outside civilization is Empath Abbey. The Abbey has assumed responsibility for the court of Yew as well as its prison. Many travellers to Empath Abbey come to visit the graves of loved ones at the nearby graveyard.

 

ii. The Commerce of Britannia

Britannia is not only a kingdom of great cities, but also of prolific commerce and industrial might. In any city, thou canst find a pleasing variety of goods and services available for purchase. Each city has an economy based upon its industry and the endeavors of the people who work within it. The goods each city produces are bartered or sold to the people of other cities, which provides them access to other goods not usually available in their own city. Through this continuous flurry of commercial activity all the townships of Britannia are supplied with the products and services that they need to survive and thrive.

 

The Farmers of Britannia

While in recent years a series of droughts has hurt agricultural production in certain areas of Britannia, most farmers are enjoying a resurgence of bountiful harvests. Farmers will usually be glad to sell the passing traveller eggs, fruits, vegetables or whatever else they produce.

 

The Merchants of Britannia

The merchants of Britannia survive by one basic rule - buy for less and the sell for more. However, most merchants truly desire to please their customers, and any merchant who engages in unfair business practices is sure to lose out to his competition in the end.

 

The Farmer’s Market

At the Farmer’s Market in Britain, the fruits, vegetables, eggs and meats produced on the farms of Britannia may be found for sale.

 

Pubs

In a Pub one may relax and enjoy a refreshing drink or a fine meal. In many pubs one will hear the local bard sing rousing songs of legend and lore. When conversing with the other patrons of a pub, be prepared to hear anecdotes, war stories, local history - perhaps even useful information!

 

Food Vendors

For a quick meal one could do no better than to sample the wares of the local food vendor. To find the local food vendor, one need only listen for his friendly bark and call.

 

Provisioners

There is no end to the number of odd things that a traveller of adventurer may find himself in need of, and the one place where nearly all of these might be found for sale is the local Provisioner’s Shop.

 

Stables

There is no faster mode of land travel that riding in a horsedrawn wagon. When travelling in the wilderness, the quicker one is, the safer one is. Horses and carts can be purchased from the stables in Britain.

 

Magical Reagents

Now that magic is severely on the decline, those who still pursue this dying art may find that many mages are willing to sell their magical reagents. One need not concern oneself with the freshness of these reagents, for all things magical only increase in potency with age.

 

Inns

The inns of Britannia provide the traveller with safety and a place to rest. Camping in the wilderness is always a risky proposition and the danger to one’s health is great, especially in time of inclement weather.

 

Craftsman

The craftsmen of Britannia are skilled artisans who sell wares made by their own hand. While such items are often of high price, the price reflects compensation due for the time, toil and talent of the craftsman, as seen in the high quality of the item.

 

Armourers

Here one may purchase armour and shields made for the protection of a fighting man in combat. Most armourers will also sell weapons, thus completely preparing any would-be fighter. Armour is generally sold piecemeal, but certain armourers have been known to sell entire suits at a cheaper price than the total cost of each individual piece.

 

Fletchers and Bowyers

Without question, the bowyer that is held in highest regard throughout all of Britannia is Iolo Fitzowen, the proprietor of the establishment that has come to be called "Iolo’s Bows." So popular is this bowyer’s shop that a similar establishment was set up in Serpent’s Hold.

 

 

Healers

Many who succumb to injury or illness have their conditions worsened and their purses lightened by a healer. The wise traveller knows that sickness and injury is rooted chiefly in the mind and that only through self-discipline can pain, illness and injury be overcome.

 

Apothecaries

It is the shrewd apothecary who mixes his strange chemicals and produces the formulas to create potions. Apothecaries have long since stopped the sale of magical reagents, as magic has become so unreliable.

 

Clothiers

The marketplace of Britain provides the traveller with an opportunity to purchase clothing, ranging from the latest fashions to the more comfortable and functional.

 

Shipwrights

Ships may be purchased from shipwrights in nearly any coastal city. By Britannian law no ship is considered to be legally held unless the owner has in his possession that ship’s deed of sale.

 

iii. The Rune Writing of Britannia

 

Following a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries, many signs and placards in Britannia are written in a unique and attractive runic script that was once the language of the druids. This strange writing is older than Britannia itself. While the presence of such writing might befuddle a casual tourist, the wise traveller knows that it is a worthwhile pursuit to learn the meaning of this writing.

Nowadays, the use of rune writing is beginning to fall out of fashion, and its use generally denotes an establishment that clings to an antiquated style of operation.

 

iv. The Arms of Britannia

 

It is the wise party of travellers who make sure that they are well armoured and heavily armed when travelling in the wilderness. To that end, the following is a brief introduction to the armour and weapons that one may use to insure one’s safety.

 

Armour and Shields

There are six parts of the body that one does seek to protect: the head, torso, the legs, the hands, the feet and the neck. All pieces of armour are specifically designed for the protection of one of these places.

There are basically four types of armour: leather, scale, chainmail, and plate. Leather provides the least protection, but it is exceedingly light and is relatively inexpensive. While scale and chainmail provide roughly the same level of protection, scale is the heavier and the less expensive of the two. The heaviest type of armour is plate; since it provides great protection, it is also the most expensive.

Unless one is armed with a weapon that requires the use of two hands, a wise combatant, in addition to wearing armour, will also carry a shield. Generally, the more protection a shield provides, the heavier it is.

One can quickly see that such activities as fleeing from a superior opponent, carrying a full load of equipment, or travelling a great distance become quite daunting tasks if one is heavily armoured. Therefore, the wise traveller moderates the type of armour worn, taking into account one’s own physical strength, the combined weight of any other items one may wish to carry and the distance one expects to be travelling.

Weaponry

There is such a great variety of weaponry available in Britannia that it is impossible to properly examine all of it in this short space. The wise traveller knows that it is important is to select for oneself the most fitting weapon. After all, the weapon itself is not nearly as important as the one who uses it. The choice of a weapon should be tailored around the user and not vice versa. What are the factors one considers when choosing a weapon?

Many weapons such as pole arms and the larger swords are heavy enough to require the use of both hands. If one is not of sufficient strength, attempting to wield a two-handed sword could be worse than fighting unarmed. Generally, the smaller and lighter a weapon is, the easier it is to conceal and quicker it is with which to strike. It is not by accident that the simple dagger is the weapon of choice for many an assassin.

A weapon of great length, such as a spear of two-handed hammer, can be used to keep one’s opponent at bay as well as to attack him. The advantage of reach has decided the day in many a battle. Likewise, a long weapon is a proven disadvantage when the fight is in cramped quarters. Edged weapons such as a sword must be handled with precision - it is usually not enough to simply contact one’s opponent. The skilled combatant knows how to use the cutting edge of his weapon to its greatest advantage.

Blunt weapons such as maces, clubs and hammers enable the combatant to concentrate raw strength in the delivery of crushing blows to one’s opponent. The punishment of such mighty impacts has often been the key to achieving victory.

The strategic effectiveness of well placed missile fire cannot be over-emphasized. On many occasions an outnumbered party has been able to repel an attach through the proper application of missile weaponry. The disadvantage of bows, crossbows, and slings is that loading them requires the use of both hands. Bows and crossbows also require two hands to fire. Daggers, axes, torches and spears can also be effective as improvised missile weapons.

 

v. The History and Customs of the Adventurer Classes

 

The Fighter Class

Many Britannian fighters receive formal training in the martial arts at Serpent’s Hold, and in return they serve for a specified term as members of the Royal Militia. Some fighters study in Jhelom or with other trainers across Britannia. Other fighters never receive any formal training. Their unforgiving teacher is the battlefield, where many lives are lost when lessons are not mastered quickly enough. Fighters generally possess great strength and endurance, a proficiency with many types of weapons and the courage to face the demanding trials of combat time and time again.

 

The Bard Class

A true jack-of-all-trades - a trickster, a minstrel, a battler, a spellcaster - the bard possesses all of these skills. Physically, the bard falls somewhere between the brawny physique of the fighter and the delicate frame of the mage. The bard is dextrous and agile. He tends to be more clever than intelligent. He also possesses a presence and charm that come in handy in all manner of situations. The bard has a natural gift for missile weapons and a mind for riddles. The bard also plays an important part in society by recording local history in such a way that it is well remembered, through rousing tale and song.

 

The Mage Class

A pity to those who live their lives following the treacherous road that is the way of the mage, now that the time of magic is coming to an end. The days of wonder, when miracles could be performed on demand through wisdom and a devotion to the arcane arts, are a part of the past. A mage’s mind perceives that which resides in the invisible world, but as recent history has shown us, but this keen mind upon which the mage depends is ever in danger of slipping into lunacy.

What is also tragic is that the way of the mage is not one that is consciously chosen. One is born with the calling of the mage. While magic has not yet ceased to function altogether, it has become inaccurate to the point of being unreliable, making the mage’s life one of constant uncertainty.

A Bestiary of Britannia

The wilderness of Britannia is the home of a multitude of strange beasts and magical creatures. While many creatures are mundane and harmless, others are terribly dangerous and barely understood. For the traveller it is vitally important to be able to recognize any type of beast that may be encountered so that one can respond accordingly. The following is a list of beasts now known to live in Britannia.

 

Acid Slug - This very unpleasant creature tends to inhabit dark places underground. Its skin exudes secretions of acid that can burn flesh and are especially damaging to metal. The best weapon to use against this monster is fire.

 

Alligator - This vicious man-eating creature lives in swampy terrain and can inflict heavy damage with its bite and tail.

 

Bat (Giant) - This large winged rodent attacks by night, aided by it’s night vision and acute hearing. Its body is very light and fragile.

 

Bee (Giant) - This energetic flying insect will instantly attack anything that it perceives as a threat to its hive. It attacks with a sleep-inducing poisonous sting.

 

Bird - This type of creature is not openly hostile to human beings, but will probably attack if provoked or frightened.

 

Cat - A domestic animal commonly found in city alleyways, this creature performs an invaluable service in continuously thinning the rat population.

 

Centipede (Giant) - This large, multi-legged insect frequents cool, dark places. Its poison is considered to be among the most deadly of any creature. It can be destroyed by fire.

 

Chicken - This bird can be found on many farms. It is the source of both eggs and delicious meat often served in inns. It poses no threat to humans, as it will generally run away if attacked.

 

Corpser - This creature is a type of ghoul that ensnares its victims with its tentacles in order to drag them off to its lair and presumably kill them in a manner that has never been discovered. Its only known weakness is fire.

 

Cow - This harmless farm animal is the source of beef and dairy products.

 

Cyclops - One of a race of incredibly strong one-eyed giants, when it is not hurling large boulders at its enemies, its favorite weapon is a large wooden club.

 

Deer - This swift but timid forest creature has sharp antlers to defend itself. It is the source of venison.

 

Dog - A domesticated cousin of the wolf, this animal guards homes from intruders, tracks game during hunts, and is a playmate for children and a pet for adults.

 

Dragon - Dragons are a mysterious ancient race of highly evolved reptiles that possess magical abilities and a high degree of intelligence. They have large wings and are capable of rapid flight. A dragon is formidable in combat and is all the more lethal due to its noxious flaming breath. Its lair is usually a cave or dungeon where it guards its eggs and treasure.

 

Drake - This creature is a dragon that has not yet fully grown to adulthood, a process that takes several hundred years. Like its mature relatives, this creature can also breathe fire and fly. It is commonly found in the lair of a dragon.

Emp - This extremely peaceful creature lives in the forest. It shuns violence to such a degree that it is doubtful it will want to have anything to do with any humans it comes into contact with. Some emps possess a remarkable degree of intelligence and magical ability. Emps are so named because of their empathic abilities. So sensitive are they to the pain and discomfort of other living things that they subsist on a diet of such foods as milk and honey.

 

Fairy - These flirtatious and mischievous tiny flying creatures are rarely hostile.

 

Fish - This generally harmless water-breathing creature can be found in abundance in the seas, rivers and lakes of Britannia. It greatly contributes to the local food supply.

 

Fox - This small, wily mammal is related to the wolf, but is not as powerful or aggressive.

 

Gargoyle - This red-skinned creature originally comes from the subterranean domain of the gargoyles. There are two classes of gargoyles - the larger winged gargoyles that possess keen intellect and magical ability, and the smaller worker drones that possess little thinking ability but are embodied with great strength.

 

Gazer - This strange creature is found mostly in dungeons. It hovers about, looking for victims to mesmerize with its multiple eyes. Upon being killed, the body of a gazer will break up into a tiny swarming colony of insects.

 

Ghosts - This magical spirit of the dead has the power to move through solid walls and has been known to use magic. It can appear anywhere, but tends to frequent graveyards or places significant to the life of the deceased.

 

Gremlin - This tiny creature travels in a pack and attacks in a large group. Its primary threat is that it likes to steal food.

 

Harpy - This half human/half bird creature nests in mountainous caves. It attacks from the air with the sharp talons on its feet.

 

Headless - This ensorcelled creature appears to be a living ambulatory, beheaded human being. It is unknown exactly how it compensates for its apparent lack of sensory organs, but it manages to do so quite well. Its favorite method of attack is strangulation.

 

Horse - This strong, swift animal can be found in the wild or domesticated in the stables. Horses are most commonly used for rapid transportation from town to town or through the wilderness.

 

Hydra - This creature is a type of dragon that possesses three heads. Like the dragon, a hydra also can fly and breathe fire.

 

Insects - This is an insect swarm capable of causing an intolerable number of bites and stings, as well as severely spooking horses and destroying crops.

 

Kraken - This mysterious peril of the sea is not well understood. There have been numerous reports of sailors being snatched from the decks of ships by huge suckered tentacles and dragged down to the bottom of the ocean, never to be seen again. No one has yet reported an actual sighting of the full body of this creature.

 

Liche - This is an extremely rare type of undead creature that is both dangerous and very difficult to destroy.

 

Mongbat - This bizarre and frightening creature is a cross between a bat and a monkey. Its attacks are fast and powerful, but it usually only inhabits the deepest dungeons.

 

Mouse - This harmless rodent lives on whatever little scraps of food it can find, although it is especially fond of cheese. It occupies the space just beneath the cat on the food chain.

 

Rabbit - This fast, long-eared animal lives primarily on the carrots grown by local farmers.

 

Rat (Giant) - This filthy, overgrown rodent is a severe hazard to the health of human beings. Immune to poison and too large to be trapped, this creature has a voracious appetite for garbage and carrion. When it roams in packs it loses its natural fear of human beings. The bit of a giant rat can cause a variety of potentially fatal diseases.

 

Reaper - The reaper is actually a malevolent tree spirit that has the power to reach out and grab passers-by in its long, powerful branches. The reaper also possesses the magical power to unleash destructive bolts of lighting. As it is a creature made of dry deadwood, it is quite vulnerable to fire.

 

Sea Serpent - This creature is a sea-going dragon. It is capable of spitting out fireballs, much the same as dragons breathe fire. A sea serpent can severely damage a ship with a single lash of its powerful tail.

 

Sheep - These non-threatening beasts are raised by shepherds, who take them out to graze in great numbers. Sheep produce both wool and mutton.

 

Silver Serpent - This creature, seen in the symbols of ancient Sosaria, once more holds the fascination of Britannia. The venom of the silver serpent is reported to have a strange and lasting effect on people. No doubt this shall be the subject of further study.

 

Skeleton - This is the undead reanimation of a fighter who was slain on the field of battle. Skeletons tend to cluster in hordes and are often following the commands of a sorcerer. In fact, they may continue to do so well after the sorcerer himself is dead!

 

Slime - This grotesque gelatinous mass lives in the depths of a dungeon or in the murkiest corners of a swamp. It reproduces by dividing itself and grows through the absorption of other slimes. Slimes attack by hurling foul blobs of slime at their intended victims. Fire is known to be a very effective weapon against them.

 

Snake - This creature spends the night coiled among the cool rocks and comes out into the sun during the day. This warms its blood, enabling it to strike more quickly. The creature is venomous and can even spit venom from several yards away.

 

Spider (Giant) - While this creature may be encountered anywhere in the wilderness, its lair is its giant web, which will almost always be hidden in a cool and dark place. A giant spider is capable of spraying its poisonous spittle from a considerable distance. Its bite is also tremendously painful.

 

Troll - This brutish creature is the bane of all travellers. Many tales relate how trolls hide beneath bridges in order to terrorize and prey upon all those who would cross it. The wise traveller would do well to exercise caution when crossing any bridge, especially those one may come across in the wilderness, far from the security of a city.

 

Unicorn - Fanciful stories of these creatures abound in rural areas. The unicorn appears as a splendid you white stallion with a single great horn rising from its head. Legends speak of how only those who are truly virtuous may approach a unicorn. Unicorn sightings are rare - so rare in fact that most serious scholars deny their existence.

 

Wisp - These mysterious floating lights have been a puzzlement to many an adventurer. They seem capable of inflicting only slight physical damage, but they also see impervious from physical harm themselves. It has been said that these strange creatures are very knowledgeable and that they come from a world other than our own.

 

Wolf - This plains and forest hunter has long had the greatly undeserved reputation of a vicious predator. While wolfpacks do thin the weak and the sick from the herds of wild animals, and while farmers must occasionally be wary of their curiosity, there is little to support the notion that these animals are bloodthirsty man-eaters.

 

The Book Of

Archaic

Knowledge

a historical look at the mechanics and use of the arcane arts

before the end of the Age of Magic,

as written by Batlin of Britain

 

Before anything further is written, it must be noted that the following section is included only as a matter of historical documentation. The use of magic has long been proven to be unreliable and the suspected cause of mental deterioration. The author takes no responsibility for anyone who may attempt to practice magic based upon the information contained herein.

 

  1. The Mage’s Spellbook

The first component necessary for the successful casting of spells by a mage is his spellbook. It is his principle tool and without it the mage cannot function. This book contains the formulae and incantations required to cast the specific spells that a mage knows. As mages become more experienced they can acquire new spells. A wise and long-practicing mage may have a great tome filled with strange drawings, diagrams and writings. These writings will be explained in greater detail in a forthcoming section. Every mage’s spellbook contains several basic magical spells called linear spells. These too will be explained in their own section.

 

ii. The Mage’s Reagents

The second component required for spellcasting is the proper reagent. These chemical materials serve as a link between the physical world that the mage wishes to affect and the psychic energies of the ethereal waves that the mage is drawing upon to effect that change. Some reagents are relatively common herbs, others are rare and exotic items. The following is a list of reagents used by all mages.

 

Black Pearl

Black pearl is an exceedingly rare commodity; fewer than one in ten thousand pearls is black. They have been found at the base of tall cliffs on Buccaneer’s Den. While a less than perfect pearl may be perfectly acceptable for decorative purposes, the black pearl of a mage must be perfectly formed or it is virtually worthless. Black pearl is ground up into a fine powder.

 

Blood Moss

In recent years the only places where this strange substance can be located are in the Bloody Marsh across the mountains from Cove (where many years ago thousands of soldiers lost their lives) or in the enchanted forest of Spiritwood, beneath the rotting bark of dead trees.

 

Garlic

Certainly this is the most commonly available of all magical reagents. There are few kitchens in all of Britannia that are not supplied with at least a few cloves of this spice. Garlic cloves are washed and ground into a paste, providing significant protection from harmful magic.

Ginseng

The healers of our fair land have known of the healthful and restorative powers of this bitter root for hundreds of years. But to the mage it requires special preparation. It must be boiled and reboiled in the freshest of water no less than forty times! This reduces it to a strong-smelling syrup that makes a very potent reagent.

 

Mandrake Root

This rare plant extract, found only in the darkest, dankest corners of the foulest of swamps, is a most sought after magical reagent. It is also one of the most difficult of all reagents to prepare, for in being dug up the tap root of the mandrake plant must not be broken. Also, that root itself must be properly prepared, boiled and dried. Mandrake root can be found on the Blood Marsh and in a place known as the Fens of the Dead, south of Paws.

 

Night Shade

This plant, found only in swamps, only blooms at night. The fungal cap from this rare and unusual mushroom may be either crushed or boiled into a tea. The mage must always use great care when handling nightshade, for it is not only a very potent hallucinogenic, it is also extremely poisonous.

 

Spider’s Silk

While this is a common reagent, it can be very difficult to gather any significant quantity of it from any single source. Mages have been known to frequent caves and crypts and even run their own personal spider farms in order to maintain an abundant supply of spider’s silk. It usually takes at least an ounce of silk to cast a spell.

 

Sulfurous Ash

The great quantities of ash generated by a volcanic eruption makes this a common commodity as far as magical reagents go, but one does usually have to travel in order to acquire a large quantity of it. In recent years the most common source of sulfurous ash has been the Isle of the Avatar, location of violent volcanic activity many years ago.

 

iii. The Mage’s Words of Power

The final component necessary for the mage to cast a spell is the spoken mantra that constitutes the words of power. Far more than simple memorization of the words and their meanings is required. The mage must have a consciousness-altering comprehension of each individual syllable of a word of power. The pronunciation of each syllable resonates through the etheral waves as the spell is being cast. Incorrect pronunciation invariably causes ethereal turbulence. Long periods of meditation upon each syllable and many hours of controlled breathing exercises are required before the proper use of the mage’s words of power can be learned. The following is a list of the known syllables that make up the words of power.

 

SYLLABLE MEANING

AN………….Negate/Dispel

BET………….Small

CORP………….Death

DES………….Lower/Down

EX………….Freedom

FLAM………….Flame

GRAV………….Energy/Field

HUR………….Wind

IN………….Make/Create/Cause

JUX………….Danger/Trap/Harm

KAL………….Summon/Invoke

LOR………….Light

MANI………….Life/Healing

 

SYLLABLE MEANING

NOX………….Poison

ORT………….Magic

POR………….Move/Movement

QUAS………….Illusion

REL………….Change

SANCT………….Protect/Protection

TYM………….Time

UUS………….Raise/Up

VAS………….Great

WIS………….Know/Knowledge

XEN………….Creature

YLEM………….Matter

ZU………….Sleep

 

iv. Spellcasting

The mage is able to cast spells when the three elements - spellbook, reagents and words of power - are combined in one unique and fluid action. The mind of the mage must be properly focused, as some spells affect just one person, other affect a group of people and still other affect a specific area. As a mage’s experience in casting spells increases, so too will the potency of many of his spells. Outside distractions and interference, as well as the intended target’s natural resistance, might prevent the successful casting of any spell.

One factor over which the mage has no control is the state of the ethereal waves when a spell is being cast. While the ethereal wave are often subject to turbulence, such turbulence is a temporary condition.

 

  1. Magical Spells

Once again, the author takes it upon himself to warn his readers that the following is included as nothing more than a matter of historical record. It is a statement of absolute fact that most of these spells do not work and many will turn back upon the user. The use of magic is strongly suspected to be the cause of a strange mental deterioration than can affect anyone who has practiced magic. The reader is strongly discouraged from experimenting with the spells listed here.

 

 

Linear Spells

There are certain spells that a mage will immediately be able to learn upon completing his apprenticeship. They are called Linear spells because they do not directly correspond to any of the eight circles of magic that exist in the ethereal waves. Linear spells are the only types of magical spells that require no reagents to cast.

 

AN ZU (Awaken)

This spell awakens one sleeping or unconscious creature.

AN FLAM (Douse)

This spell extinguishes any small, non-magical fire.

BET ORT (Fireworks)

This spell creates an impressive display of multi-colored moving lights. When the mage becomes more experienced, he can use these lights to frighten his enemies, sometimes causing them to flee.

BET LOR (Glimmer)

This spell creates a small light source that lasts for a short period of time.

KAL LOR (Help)

This spell resurrects the mage and his party and teleports them to Lord British’s castle, where they will be fully healed. Remember that this spell is usable only once by any mage.

IN FLAM (Ignite)

This spell generates a tiny missile of sparks that can ignite flammable material.

VAS KAL (Thunder)

This spell causes a single thunderclap to be heard, as if a terrible storm is imminent.

REL HUR (Weather)

This spell can create a storm or cause an existing storm to stop.

 

The Circles of Magic

There are eight circles of magical spells, each successive circle representing a more powerful level of magical energy. The ethereal waves are made up of eight rings or circles which correspond to the levels of the spells. Each circle is one of eight swirling vortices, all spinning one within another and expanding out through the universe. The more powerful the spell a mage casts, the deeper into the inner circles of the ether must the concentrated psychic energy of the mage penetrate. Required for the mage are many, many hours of meditation, the strength of concentration, and the will to reach into one of the higher circles with his psychic energy. Every mage is fully aware that a backlash would upset our physical world, possibly harming the mage and those around him.

 

The First Circle of Magic

 

VAS AN ZU (Awaken All)

Reagents: Ginseng, Garlic

This spell awakens all unconscious members of the mage’s party.

 

IN MANI YLEM (Create Food)

Reagents: Garlic, Ginseng, Mandrake Root

This spell creates enough food for the mage and each member in his party to have one meal.

 

AN NOX (Cure)

Reagents: Ginseng, Garlic

This spell cures poison and restores a person afflicted with paralysis. It has also been known to work against an assortment of other malicious maladies.

 

WIS JUX (Detect Trap)

Reagents: Spider’s Silk, Nightshade

This spell reveals the location of all traps within sight of the mage and his party.

 

VAS AN FLAM (Great Douse)

Reagents: Garlic, Spider’s Silk

This spell is a more potent version of the Linear spell Douse. It extinguishes all dousable items within a certain area.

 

VAS IN FLAM (Great Ignite)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Spider’s Silk

This spell is a more potent version of the Linear spell Ignite. It will cause all flammable items within a certain area to burst into flame.

 

IN LOR (Light)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash

This spell is a more potent version of the Linear spell Glimmer. It creates a source of light that will illuminate a darkened area. This light source can travel with the party and lasts for a significant amount of time.

 

IN WIS (Locate)

Reagents: Nightshade

This spell reveals the sextant position of the mage, even when underground.

 

The Second Circle of Magic

 

AN JUX (Destroy Trap)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Blood Moss

This spell destroys any one specific trap upon which it is cast.

 

ORT YLEM (Enchant)

Reagents: Black Pearl, Mandrake Root

This spell causes up to an entire bundle of arrows or bolts to become enchanted and glow blue. Enchanted missiles will always hit their target and do significantly more damage than normal.

 

VAS FLAM (Fire Blast)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Black Pearl

This spell causes great jets of flame to burst forth from the mage and strike his target.

 

VAS LOR (Great Light)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Mandrake Root

This spell is a more potent version of the First Circle spell Light, and has a substantially longer duration

 

VAS AN NOX (Mass Cure)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Garlic, Ginseng

This spell cures the mage and all members of his party at once.

 

UUS SANCT (Protection)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Ginseng, Garlic

This spell temporarily makes its subject more difficult to strike in combat, as well as rendering him invulnerable to traps and other hazards.

 

ORT POR YLEM (Telekinesis)

Reagents: Blood Moss, Mandrake Root, Black Pearl

This spell allows the mage to manipulate objects without touching them.

 

POR ORT WIS (Wizard Eye)

Reagents: Blood Moss, Nightshade, Mandrake Root, Sulfurous Ash, Black Pearl, Spider’s Silk

This spell enables the mage to extend his sight out over great distances, passing through any barriers that exist between himself and anything he wishes to look at.

 

The Third Circle of Magic

 

DES SANCT (Curse)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Nightshade, Garlic

This spell is a minor curse that temporarily makes an enemy easier to hit in combat, while making it harder for him to strike the mage or any member of his party.

 

MANI (Heal)

Reagents: Ginseng, Garlic, Spider’s Silk

This spell heals half the injuries that its subject has sustained.

 

AN POR (Paralyze)

Reagents: Spider’s Silk, Nightshade

This spell paralyzes an enemy in his tracks for a short period of time.

 

VAS WIS (Peer)

Reagents: Nightshade, Mandrake Root

This spell gives the Mage a look at the entire world as well as showing his location in it.

 

IN NOX (Poison)

Reagents: Nightshade, Blood Moss, Black Pearl

This spell enables a mage to poison one enemy.

 

VAS UUS SANCT (Protect All)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Ginseng, Garlic, Mandrake Root

This spell is the equivalent of casting the Second Circle spell Protection on every one in the mage’s party simultaneously.

 

IN ZU (Sleep)

Reagents: Nightshade, Spider’s Silk, Black Pearl

This spell causes the enchanted person to fall asleep.

 

KAL BET XEN (Swarm)

This spell summons swarms of insects to attack the enemies of the mage from all directions.

 

The Fourth Circle of Magic

 

KAL XEN (Conjure)

Reagents: Spider’s Silk, Mandrake Root

This spell summons a wild beast that will fight for the mage against any enemy.

 

ORT GRAV (Lightning)

Reagents: Black Pearl, Sulfurous Ash, Mandrake Root

This spell enables the mage to cast a bolt of lightning that will strike his target. This lightning is so destructive that no armor can protect its wearer from it.

 

 

KAL POR YLEM (Mark)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Black Pearl, Blood Moss

This spell creates a magical (but invisible) "mark" on any of eight specific colored stones. The Fourth Circle spell Recall can then be cast on that stone.

 

VAS DES SANCT (Mass Curse)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Nightshade, Garlic, Mandrake Root

This spell is similar to the Third Circle spell Curse, but it affects an entire group of the mage’s enemies.

 

KAL ORT POR (Recall)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Black Pearl, Blood Moss

This spell is a minor spell of teleportation. Casting it on a Marked stone takes the mage and his party back to where the Mark spell was cast on that stone.

 

WIS QUAS (Reveal)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Blood Moss

This spell makes visible all things that were invisible within a specific area.

 

KAL WIS CORP (Seance)

Reagents: Blood Moss, Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Spider’s Silk, Sulfurous Ash

This spell allows the mage to speak to all recently dead ghosts, until sunrise. If one were travelling to Skara Brae, the wise mage would have a healthy supply of appropriate reagents to cast this spell many times.

 

EX POR (Unlock Magic)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Blood Moss

This spell unlocks magically locked items, including doors and chests.

 

The Fifth Circle of Magic

 

AN XEN EX (Charm)

Reagents: Black Pearl, Nightshade, Spider’s Silk

This spell can be used either to ensorcell an enemy or creature into doing the mage’s bidding, or to free one who is under the effects of a charm.

 

POR XEN (Dance)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Garlic, Blood Moss

This spell makes everyone in sight (except the mage and his party) start to dance.

 

AN GRAV (Dispel Field)

Reagents: Garlic, Black Pearl, Sulfurous Ash, Spider’s Silk

This spell can dispel any type of magical field, such as a Fire Field.

 

VAS FLAM HUR (Explosion)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Sulfurous Ash, Black Pearl, Blood Moss

This spell creates a ball of flame that rushes toward the mage’s intended target and explodes.

 

IN FLAM GRAV (Fire Field)

Reagents: Black Pearl, Sulfurous Ash, Spider’s Silk

This spell creates a wall of fire between the mage and his enemies.

 

 

VAS MANI (Great Heal)

Reagents: Ginseng, Spider’s Silk, Mandrake Root, Garlic

This spell completely heals an injured person.

 

SANCT LOR (Invisibility)

Reagents: Nightshade, Blood Moss

This spell renders the mage undetectable, not only from sight but to all means of normal detection. There are certain creatures that, for various reasons, are capable of seeing invisible objects or people.

 

VAS ZU (Mass Sleep)

Reagents: Ginseng, Nightshade, Spider’s Silk

This spell is a more potent version of the Third Circle spell Sleep. It puts to sleep a group of targets that are not in the mage’s party.

 

The Sixth Circle of Magic

 

QUAS WIS (Cause Fear)

Reagents: Nightshade, Mandrake Root, Garlic

This spell causes such a wave of fear that each man and creature who is not in the mage’s party might flee as if in danger of death.

 

IN QUAS XEN (Clone)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Spider’s Silk, Blood Moss, Ginseng, Nightshade, Mandrake Root

This spell creates an exact duplicate of any mortal creature, who will then fight on the same side as the original.

 

KAL FLAM GRAV (Fire Ring)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Black Pearl, Mandrake Root, Spider’s Silk

This spell create a ring of fire that will encircle the mage’s target.

 

VAS IN FLAM GRAV (Flame Strike)

Reagents: Sulfurous Ash, Black Pearl, Blood Moss

This spell creates a field of fire at the feet of all the mage’s enemies that are within sight.

 

VAS ORT HUR (Magic Storm)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Sulfurous Ash, Blood Moss

This spell summons a swirling storm that will randomly attack the enemies of the mage with powerful bolts of lightning.

 

IN NOX GRAV (Poison Field)

Reagents: Nightshade, Spider’s Silk, Black Pearl

This spell creates a field of energy that will poison all who come into contact with it.

 

IN ZU GRAV (Sleep Field)

Reagents: Ginseng, Spider’s Silk, Black Pearl

This spell creates a thick wall of energy field where the mage desires. All who enter this energy field will fall asleep.

 

VAS POR YLEM (Tremor)

Reagents: Blood Moss, Sulfurous Ash, Mandrake Root

This spell creates violent tremors in the earth that will cause the mage’s enemies to tremble frantically. The effects of this spell will not inhibit the mage or his party.

The Seventh Circle of Magic

 

REL YLEM (Create Gold)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Spider’s Silk

This spell changes a chunk of lead into ten gold nuggets.

 

CORP POR (Death Bolt)

Reagents: Black Pearl, Nightshade, Sulfurous Ash

This spell enables the mage to project a bolt of lethal energy at a specified target.

 

TYM VAS FLAM (Delayed Blast)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Sulfurous Ash, Black Pearl, Blood Moss, Spider’s Silk

This spell causes whatever it is cast upon to violently explode, destroying much of the surrounding area. The explosion is delayed long enough to give the mage and his party time to get out of range of the blast.

 

IN SANCT GRAV (Energy Field)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Spider’s Silk, Black Pearl, Sulfurous Ash

This spell creates an electrical field that protects the mage by harming all who attempt to pass through it.

 

IN HUR GRAV YLEM (Energy Mist)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Sulfurous Ash, Blood Moss

This spell causes an electrified mist that flows from the caster, enveloping his enemies and harming them as long as they remain within it.

 

VAS AN XEN EX (Mass Charm)

Reagents: Black Pearl, Nightshade, Spider’s Silk, Mandrake Root

This spell is similar to the Fifth Circle spell Charm, but it affects an entire group of the mage’s enemies.

 

IN VAS POR (Mass Might)

Reagents: Black Pearl, Mandrake Root, Ginseng

This spell doubles the strength and combat abilities of everyone in the mage’s party.

 

VAS MANI (Restoration)

Reagents: Ginseng, Garlic, Sulfurous Ash, Mandrake Root

This spell instantly heals all injury, dispels all harmful magic and cures all poison or paralysis inflicting the mage and his party.

 

The Eighth Circle of Magic

 

VAS KAL AN MANI IN CORP HUR TYM (Armageddon)

Reagents: Black Pearl, Blood Moss, Garlic, Ginseng, Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Spider’s Silk, Sulfurous Ash

This spell is believed to be so powerful that it may be capable of destroying all known living things in the entire world. Fortunately, this spell has never been cast!

 

VAS CORP HUR (Death Vortex)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Sulfurous Ash, Blood Moss

This spell creates a swirling black vortex at the point the mage designates, which will thereafter move at random. Everyone within this vortex will be continuously struck by lightning.

 

VAS SANCT LOR (Invisibility All)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Blood Moss, Black Pearl

This spell is the equivalent of casting the Fifth Circle spell Invisibility upon the mage and everyone in his party.

 

VAS CORP (Mass Death)

Reagents: Garlic, Ginseng, Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Blood Moss

This spell causes everyone in sight (except of the mage and his party) to instantly drop dead.

 

IN MANI CORP (Resurrect)

Reagent: Garlic, Ginseng, Spider’s Silk, Sulfurous Ash

This spell, when successful, empowers the mage to restore life in one who has died.

 

KAL VAS XEN (Summon)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Garlic, Blood Moss

This spell summons a powerful creature that will fight for the mage and his party.

 

IN JUX POR YLEM (Swordstrike)

Reagents: Black Pearl, Nightshade, Mandrake Root

This spell creates a deadly pinwheel of eight spinning swords that sails toward the designated target.

 

AN TYM (Time Stop)

Reagents: Mandrake Root, Garlic, Blood Moss

This spell stops the passage of time for the entire world, with the exception of the mage and his party.

 

vi. Cosmology

There was once a time when much consideration was given to the phases of the moon and the movements of the heavens. There was much concern over an event, the reoccurrence of which is eminent, called the "astronomical alignment." It was said that the astronomical alignment would create a gateway between this world and another. In recent times the astronomical alignment has been all but forgotten. With the end of the time of magic, it is doubtful that such an event will have any significance to anyone but astronomers.

During this time of magic, a strange form of travel existed, through doorways of light that were often called "Moongates." There were at least two types of Moongates - blue and red. Blue Moongates sprang up wherever fragments of extraterrestrial rocks called "moonstones" were buried. These gates allowed magical travel from one gate to another.

Red Moongates are generated by the powerful artifact known as the Orb of the Moons. A red Moongate can take a traveller anywhere in Britannia. It has even been said that it can also be used to travel to other worlds. There have only been two red Moongates in all of known existence - one used by Lord British, and the other by the Avatar.

Little is known about these gates, but like magic spells, Moongates no longer function as they once did. Use of Moongates today cannot be discouraged strongly enough. They are dangerous and their use in this less-than-reliable state has resulted in numerous fatalities.