Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle

My Life and My Beliefs

by Svenjaja

I do not have much time left. I hope it will be enough time to write everything down, before THEY come for me. And THEY will come... I came here to this Temple full of love and inspiration. All I wanted was to read the writings of artistic truth. The wise men would talk to me and I wanted to listen to them. But then it happened... I did everything right, I followed the rules, but I still got confused. After fasting for two days in the meditation room and staring at the red and black floor, I was still waiting for a sign. A sign which would show me the right path to follow. And finally, I could rejoice. I found my calling and I was taken to the Pool of Dedication.

But then the soldiers came and destroyed everything. They killed the Great Hierophant of Chaos in the garden. Somehow the people saved the Sceptre of Enlightenment. They were able to hide it beneath the lectern... I hope for the safety of my brother Sethys, for he doth have the key to the Altar of Tolerance. The Great Hierophant had entrusted him with the key, before the soldiers arrived... I cannot hope for mine own safety, for I am sitting here now, awaiting my death. The Order fanatics will come soon and with them my death is arriving...

   

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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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