Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle

Fighting Is an Art

By Johnson

Lesson One: In fighting, thou must never lose, no matter what thou must do. Anyone fighting thee is an enemy. An enemy must be destroyed. During battle thou wilt be confronted by thine enemy. Thou must defeat him, or thou wilt bring disgrace upon thyself, thy clan, and thy trainer. Battles are always on the horizon. Thou must train hard, and work thyself hard. Thou must think battle, eat battle, sleep battle if thou dost expect to be victorious. Those warriors who do not think they can do this should contemplate another line of work.

Knowing thy weapon is the greatest value. Be it sword, mace, or bow, thou must train with it until mastery if thou dost want to be a true warrior. If thou hast not the time or the mind to train in this fashion then thou shouldst perhaps train with the shovel and the carrying of animal wastes from the fields instead. It is better for thee to serve thy clan as best as thou canst, though it be a less than knight-worthy post, than for thee to run in battle and endanger thy comrades.

Anyone caught running away from a battle should be put to the sword immediately, lest others feel that they may let their womanish fears prevail. The true knight is not he who fights battles, but he who relishes in the spilling of blood. He who is enthralled with the smell of a bowel split wide, or the sight of anothers' blood staining his sword and armour, should be praised above all. This is what a true knight seeks. He is a true master in the arts of fighting.

   

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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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