Ultima VIII: Pagan

Eye of the Boulder, The Runes of the Myth Drainer

My love, my life, my doom! I began my search for the Eye shortly after my nineteenth year, while still in training with the Necromancers. Had I known at that young age what would befall me upon the completion of my undertaking, I would have spent my days differently, seeking companionship over mystic power; warm love rather than cold stone. But my desire for the Eye was all consuming.

It is said to have been found at the heart of an otherworldly chunk of rock, perhaps a part of some ancient tool or weapon, that fell from the sky during a time when godlike beings fought for dominance of this world and the worlds beyond. The Eye was later sundered into half a dozen finely chiseled runestones by the Leechlord, referred to in some texts as 'the Drainer of Myths'. The subsequent details concerning the runestones and their uses became the events of legend, as Tempests and heroes fought for possession of the pieces of the Eye.

Though it took many years, it was I who finally managed to collect all the pieces. And with each part of the Eye that I added to my collection, my power grew, enabling me to recover successive pieces with greater ease. Obsessively, I laid the groundwork during those years of searching, preparing for the time when I could finally reintegrate the six disc-like pieces of the Eye. On the day of completion, once I had enacted the last of the rituals, my primary apprentice and I fitted the Eye directly into the freshly carved socket at the base of my skull, linking the mystic stone's energies with those of my own nervous system.

Only then did I learn that the Eye's sorcerous operations were antithetical to my own. Immediately, its dire effects became apparent. My memory and other mental faculties grew weaker, the images I beheld lost resolution, and the sounds around me began to seem like bland reproductions. I left my hidden tower, staggering forward at a gruelling pace, one step at a time. And since then, the events of my days have seemed the tired tellings of a poor storyteller, and all I have wanted is release.I am ashamed to have wasted so much time and so many of my resources upon such a disappointing thing. I sought nothing less than the Ultimate, but instead received only a pale reflection, a hint of what could have been.

   

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Ultima VIII: Pagan

Following the defeat of the charismatic religious leader Batlin on Serpent Isle, the Guardian banishes the Avatar to a world that he has already conquered: Pagan. Ultima VIII has a much darker tone and a very different premise, in comparison to most of the Ultima games. The world of Pagan is entirely different from that of Britannia: the Virtues are not part of Pagan's culture, and the magic systems and monsters are entirely different.

The world of Pagan is in eternal twilight as the result of an ancient battle between the Elemental Titans and the evil "Destroyer", which resulted in the victory of the Titans. However, the people of Pagan had to pay a high price: the Titans had to henceforth be worshiped as gods. The Titans bestow powers on their most ardent followers, but they are otherwise cruel and unloving rulers, and their followers terrorize the general population.

Launch Year: 1994
Ultima VIII: Pagan Cover

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