Ultima VIII: Pagan

On Sorcerous Ways...

by Corodin of Argentrock

Corodin of Argentrock

Foreword: Sorcery is the magic of Fire. Destruction is the Sorcerer's bailiwick. Being first and foremost an Adept Theurgist of the Order of Enlightenment, I find it hard to reconcile this power with my training as a healer. However, were it not for the Cabal's efforts, our island would have long since perished beneath the ash and lava pouring from the volcano. Some of my Acolytes feel that having this power gives us an elevated status. I cannot agree. Our power gives us the ability to fulfill a duty to our people. No more, no less.

The Pentacle: This is the first instrument we of the Cabal found to use in dealing with the Lord of Flame. It can contain and bind him if properly prepared and administered. Fire flows first through the medium of the pentacle, before being shaped by the Sorcerer. The lines of the pentacle serve different purposes in the web of an enchantment. The outer ring, called the periferon, is a barrier, or ward if you will, that allows a Sorcerer to conjure with safety. The lines of the interior are divided into two groups: the conducia that touch points on the periferon, and the inner pentagon, called the locus. The points where the conducia touch periferon each have a designation that relates to their distance from the volcano. The farthest point is called the aphelion, the middle two are mesostelae. Mesostel pa sits to the right of the aphelion, while mesostel ze is to the left. The final points, closest to the volcano are appropriately named perivolcanae. Perivolcan pa is on the right and perivolcan ze is on the left.

The Candle: The basis for the use of candles in Sorcery is merely to aid in focusing the Sorcerer's will upon the proper enchantment. A black candle incorporates ash with wax to temper the will with order, while red candles, use blood and wax to free the Sorcerer's imagination.

The Reagent: The relevance that reagents have to a spell are two-fold. They provide additional energies for the Sorcerer's use as well as assisting in the formation of the proper spell. Their portions and proximity to each of the candles around the periferon are extremely important and not to be tampered with. Experimentation is only to be attempted in the presence of a full complement of assisting Acoytes.

The Focus: A focus in Theurgy is a purified icon of the spell that the Theurgist concentrates upon to release his inner power. Not so in Sorcery. A focus is merely a receptacle of power. Great amounts of energy are spent to attune a spell to a focus and empower it, but once it is infused, only a minor exertion of willpower unleashes the charge of the spell. Depending upon the size, makeup, and configuration of the focus, as well as the energy of the caster, a number of these charges will be available upon a successful binding.

   

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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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