Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle

Library of the Order Hierophant

The Great Library of the Hierophant contains all the history and knowledge that defines and guides the followers of Order. Though it is hidden away within the bowels of the mountain, a student of Order may enter it through the portal in the Temple of the Hierophant.

In times of disaster and of war, the Great Library was sealed to prevent its valuable works from being destroyed, or from falling into the hands of Chaos. Entry into the Library meant first opening the door to the Temple of the Hierophant. This could only be achieved by a student placing the correct symbols of Order on the pedestal before the door to the temple. Since only true followers of Order would have the understanding of the symbols, this was the first test to prevent those of Chaos from desecrating both Temple and Library. Only those who have studied the writers and poets of Order will have the wisdom and knowledge to open the door.

Once the door opens the student doth need the Sceptre of the Hierophant to gain entry into the Library. Since the Hierophant keeps it in his charge, only by asking his permission can one gain access. Should the Sceptre be lost, or the Hierophant killed in battle, the Library will remain forever closed, away from the corruptions of Chaos.

With Sceptre in hand, the student must stand in front of the blue pedestal of the temple. He must place the Sceptre atop the pedestal. The student will then gain instant access to the Library. All knowledge of Order is held there as a bastion against corruption and Chaos.

   

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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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