Ultima VIII: Pagan

The Art of Flame

by Maedron

by Maedron, First Acolyte of the Cabal

Fire is the crucible of Life. Before it, all impurities are burned away. All that remains is a pure, unclouded will. A Sorcerer should revel in this and know that power is his servant. The will of the Sorcerer is the crucible of the reagents. But I speak herein not of the reagents, but instead, of the foci of Sorcery.

The first focus we Sorcerers created was made by casting a metal disk with shavings of a black, rock-like substance. This substance was found to be throughout the island, and in fact, all of our foci use this substance, to a greater or lesser degree. The disk was then engraved with the pentagram, symbol of Fire. This dedicates it to our purposes. No Sorcerer should be without his symbol, as it is the outward token of our superiority. A note about the Sorcerer's pentagram symbol: It may cast several of the Ignite or Extinguish cantrips. Any other power, it may cast but once.

The symbol, while versatile, lacked power. So we crafted a wand. It was only stable with less of the blackrock, but a gem from the core of the volcano gave it the power necessary. These Fire gems focused the will of the Sorcerer's own inner Fire. Casting capacity of the Sorcerer's wand: It has the power to focus the Ignite and Extinguish spells in quantity, as well as the Flash and Flame Bolt spells to a slightly lesser degree.

In attempt to further increase the prowess of our spells, we created a rod, suffused with blackrock, with a Fire gem at either end, as well as the center. This focus allowed the casting of spells of defensive nature, in addition to those of the wand. Casting capacity of the Sorcerer's rod: This focus can cast the wand spells in greater measure, and is empowered to cast the Endure Heat, Fire Shield, and Armor of Flames spells.

Master Corodin, continued upon the work of the others by making another focus in a similar vein. It is formed mostly of solid blackrock, fused into the shape of a staff by the power of Pyros. At either end, it holds a Fire gem, capped within blackrock metal. Casting capacity of the Master's Staff: Unknown, but it can cast create Fire and cause explosions as well.

I myself, becoming consumed with the idea that a more efficient, more powerful focus was possible, crafted the most powerful focus of all. Using the bones of Pyros' daemonic servants, I made a fine powder. Then, mixing this powder with clay and the blood said deamon, I fashioned a small replica of its skull. With Fire gems as its eyes, and baked in the heat of lava, it hardened to the strength of good masonry. With this talisman, I was able to summon daemons to do my bidding, and banish them with mere words. The wielder of this focus should truly be considered the Master of the Enclave.


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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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