Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle

Denizens of the Caves

by Isstherios

During our inhabitance of this remote outpost we have been assaulted by creatures of such uniqueness and variety that I have taken it upon myself to create a bestiary.

Arachnian: This terrifying creature has the full body, head and legs of the giant spider common to our island, with the torso, head and arms of a man growing from just behind its spider-head. Speculation abounds as to the origin of these horrible hybrids; some claim the mad servants of Chaos created it in one of their endless foolish experiments, others say it was the work of a long-dead lunatic mage. Regardless of how they came to be, the Arachnian is perhaps the deadliest of all foes we face here at Serpent's Fang.

Liche: This is not so much a creature as it is a being, but I consider it worthy of note here. All of the folk I have spoken to in the keep are rather retiscent about the liche, but I have compiled the following information: The liche was here before the keep was established. It is undead; once alive, it entered a state of "unliving" which heightened its power but nullified what humanity it may have had when it was alive. It can command undead and hurl the most devastating of spells.

Naga: A fearsome creature whose lower half is that of a giant snake and upper half is that of a human woman, the Naga is capable of delivering devastating vollies of arrows at those who dare intrude upon its lair. The Naga's origin, like that of the Arachnian (see above) is questionable. It is best, when a Naga is spotted, to close for battle immediately, lest their arrows bring thee down before thou hast a chance to flee. Additionally, they have been known to use snakes as a front line while the Naga pick intruders off with arrows.

Shasrajah: These menacing, scaled freaks have intimidating forms of attack; with their long, snake-like necks they thrust their heads toward their enemy, latching on with their rending teeth, then with their strong neck muscles ripping flesh off. Though they seldom land hits, they are deceptively quick and resilient to blows. However, they are enormously stupid, unable to even open doors. They often attack in groups, making them more dangerous, but they are easily led into traps. Thus have we been able to repel their regular attacks.

I have considerable information on the origin of these beasts; basically, they were an attempt by the forces of Chaos to fuse viper and man. The Lords of Discipline (those fortunate soldiers whose minds were transferred into the bodies of automatons) had brought the advantage to Order in the war, and these Shasrajah were their attempt to tip the scales in their favor. Fortunately, the soldiers sacrificed to this wasteful end went insane in their new bodies. They escaped from the lab and began spreading their foul race all over the subterranean realms of our isle...

   

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Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle

Back in Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness, one section of the game world was known as "The Lands of Danger and Despair". Shamino, a recurring character in the Ultima series, was a ruling lord here. The Lands of Danger and Despair vanished after the conclusion of Ultima I and became Serpent Isle, separated from Sosaria, as the world of Britannia was called before Ultima IV.

The original inhabitants of Serpent Isle, the Ophidians, had a culture where serpents played a central role. They eventually became polarized as the forces of Order and Chaos, respectively, and fought a great war that destroyed their culture and left their cities and temples in ruins. Order "won" the war, destroying the Chaos Serpent, but thereby upsetting the natural balance to the point where the entire universe is unraveling. (It turns out that the "Great Earth Serpent" that guarded Exodus's fortress in Ultima III was actually the Balance Serpent that Exodus had ripped from the void, triggering the war between Chaos and Order in the first place.)

Much later, Serpent Isle was re-settled by humans who had left Sosaria voluntarily, or who had been exiled. An alternate name for Serpent Isle is "New Sosaria", a reference to the original homeland of these settlers. Many of them referred to Lord British as "Beast British", and had a very low opinion of him. After he united the lands, and with the establishment of the eight virtues, those unhappy with his rule fled to Serpent Isle. Unlike Britannia, which has eight cities representing the eight virtues of the Avatar, Serpent Isle has three city-states, each with their own beliefs, which are warped versions of the Britannian principles of Truth, Love and Courage.

Launch Year: 1993
Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle Cover

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