Ultima VIII: Pagan

My Rival, My Love - Part I

by Elise

A Shadowy Jester Book, By Elise

It all started when I met the one and only man who had the ability to make me question what I once regarded to be sound ideals. I never was a religious person; perhaps that was due to the fact that I was never an insecure person. I have always believed that people that are insecure turn to their gods for guidance, love, and protection. I never needed that. Never, that is, until Alain walked into my life.

I had been sewing a new gown for the season party when I realized I had broken my last needle. I had no choice but to find the tailor and purchase new needles from him. I had never been to his shop, and felt nervous about going there. We were rivals for I, too, made my living sewing clothing. When I got to his shop, I found the door pulled closed, but not latched. I let myself in and looked around. There was no one present. I took advantage of the moment and looked at what could very easily put me out of business. I knew that the only way to save my job, my LIFE!, was to destroy all of his work, thereby bringing all of his customers to me.

As I proceeded to rip seams and remove buttons, I heard what I thought to be a door creaking. I turned around, and there he was, shining in all his glory. Lighting up the room with his golden blond hair, momentarily, I forgot where I was and what I was doing. I quickly dropped the gown I was demolishing and stood there slack- jawed. 'Just what do you think you are doing?!' he melodically asked. 'I purchased this gown, and it was delivered to me in this state of disrepair,' I answered, frightened by the look on his face. 'Oh, no you did not purchase that gown, nor was it delivered to you in any state of repair or disrepair! I know who you are! You are Elise, the Seamstress, and I will not allow you in my shop! GET OUT!'

He was beyond anger. I had never known anyone to act so irrationally over a silly piece of fabric, so I placed it down upon the table before me. 'Do you really think that I am a Seamstress? How silly!' I was doing my best to convince him that I was not who he had accused me of being. 'I just came to your shop to look at your fashions, and perhaps employ you to sew a new gown for the season party.' I knew it wouldn't work, but I had no other choice but to flatter him. 'I don't believe you,' he said, staring deeply into my eyes. 'The reason I don't believe you is because I have watched you from afar, with joy in my heart and loathing in my soul. How can I love a woman whose very existence is my downfall?'

His eyes were pleading now. 'I have looked upon you forever, it seems, and fought with myself constantly over my predicament.' He was coming closer to me now, and I could smell his manly scent. 'I didn't know how I should ever hope to meet you and then walk away, back to my own life without you...' He reached out to touch my arm and I pulled away, fearful of what his touch might do to me. Already I was heady with the excitement he was stirring in my empty soul. I was willing to do anything to keep him here before me, but I was fearful, for he was my rival, and I could not allow myself to love my fiercest competitor.

'I must be going now,' a tiny, quivering voice said. Was that me? I had thought I was a far stronger person than what I was experiencing. I had once been so aware of my emotions and in control of my feelings, that the way I was feeling and reacting to him was completely alien to me. I looked at him, knowing that his feelings for me mirrored those burgeoning in me. He took me in his arms and his silken lips touched my forehead. 'I knew you would come here tonight,' his deep voice revealed. 'I wanted you to come here, and I knew that the only way to get you to do that was to bring about the breaking of your one and only needle,' he confessed.

'But how did you...' 'I went to your house earlier today, when you were at the weaver's. I knew that the only way to get you to come here would be dishonest, but I no longer cared. I scored your needle so deeply that it would break when you set out to use it. Please forgive me, but it was the only way.' 'Oh, Alain, I forgive you! Please, please, don't regret what you have done, for it has brought me to you...'

   

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All Books from Ultima VIII: Pagan

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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