Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle

The Lost Orbs

Compiled by Isstherios

I have compiled this work so that, when we have the manpower to seek out the four lost orbs, all of the information we have will be available to the seeker.

The first orb, golden in hue, was stored within the keep in a secret location until stolen by a soldier of Chaos. He imbibed a potion of invisibility and followed behind the commander, who had gone to retrieve the orb. When he found the room, he attacked the unwary commander and stole the orb. However, his invisibility wore off as he was making good his escape and he was seen by a troop of guards. The guards chased the thief until he was cornered southeast of the keep; his only escape from the guards would have been to plunge into the Fiend's Domain. This he did, and was never seen again. We presume it has come into the Fiend's possession and expect he will try to use it to his advantage.

The purple orb, reputedly housed in the Commander's bedchambers, was also purloined by a Chaosite, though this one was no soldier. Those few who saw it will never forget it; they know not whether the thing was man, beast, or both. The thing was bipedal and vaguely humanoid, but it had the fur, large ears, feline face, and claws of a cat. It was being held prisoner in the keep, but an undisciplined soldier on duty relaxed on his watch and the cat-man escaped. I know not how it found its way into the Commander's bedchambers; I assume that its escape was not well-planned and he happened upon it by chance. However it did find the orb, the cat-man stole it and ran into the Maze. No one has seen the creature or the orb since.

The red orb was not stolen, but is out of our hands all the same. Prior to the closure of the addition to the outpost, to the southwest of the keep, SubCommander Gareth was charged with the task of transporting the orb to this area; we can assume he accomplished his mission, but Gareth never did return. Shortly thereafter the area was surrendered to the creatures that currently reign there. It is my presumption that the orb still rests within this catacomb.

The blue orb is certainly the strangest tale, but its possessor is a known entity; it rests in the decayed hands of the lich Aram-Dol. How that malevolent entity came to possess the blue orb is where the strange tale doth lie. Approximately the same time the red orb was carried to presumed safety, the blue orb was to be carried to a location only SubCommander Gareth knew. The six automatons sent on this mission were ambushed not far from the outpost; lookouts witnessed the battle but could not send aid in time. The attackers were assumed to be spies of Chaos, but their identities will forever be unknown. They outnumbered the automatons by fully a score; the battle was quick. They fled away with great haste.

Later a merchant traveling to the keep from Shasavrah reported that he had seen the thieves in a small town west of the keep, but the orb was stolen from them, along with much of their supplies, in the night. The orb appeared again in the hands of authorities in Thiriastith, who siezed it from a suspected stolen goods fence. Not knowing its import, the authorities auctioned it as a bauble to a wizard who knew what the orb was. This wizard, who was known only as the Asp, aspired to steal the silver seed. He came to Serpent's Fang as an adventure seeker and was told that the other orbs were stolen or lost. He discerned their whereabouts from this information, but that which he was told was apparently not true, for he set out immediately for Aram-Dol's lair.

Foolishly, he brought the one orb he possessed with him into those foul tunnels of Aram-Dol's lair. The dead that walk those caverns and tunnels soon forced the Asp to join them in their ever-living death. This new soldier of Aram-Dol brought the orb to the lich, thus bringing a momentary end to its lengthy sojourn.

   

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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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