Ultima VIII: Pagan

The Destruction of the Temple

by Nadayr of Tenebrae

by Nadayr of Tenebrae

The early days of the Great Temple were a dark time. The blood from the wars flowed freely as Pagan fought Zealan in the grand struggle of religious cleansing. Battles were planned and executed. Lives were lost all in the name of archaic beliefs. All the while, Pagans toiled daily to construct the Great Temple on the apex of Mount Morgaelin, as commanded by the benevolent being called the Guardian. The fear of the Destroyer was strong.

Years of sweat ultimately resulted the Temple's completion. There the Pagan leaders met to focus their energies into the worship of the Elementals. Tremendous magical forces were used to collect a strange black mineral and shape it into a large, dark obelisk. From inside the Temple, the followers channeled their thoughts through the obelisk to the four elements, giving them even greater power. Soon they had amassed enough energy to become the great Titans of Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.

The war continued, but now the Pagans had considerable assistance. Lithos moved the lands to trap the Zealans, while Hydros removed her waters from their reach. Pyros' fires raged and grew, fueled by the winds of Stratos. It was only a matter of attrition before the Zealans and their petty beliefs fell.Then came the Guardian's final words of warning: `Take your people and depart from the Temple. The Destroyer has come.'As the Pagans left the Temple, the red head of the Destroyer filled the darkened sky, its yellow orb-like eyes staring malevolently at the mountain top.

Then, out from those very eyes lightning shot out, striking the Temple. A few moments later and the great edifice was no more.The cry of shock was heard throughout the land. The Pagans pleaded for the aid of the Titans. They were not disappointed. The four Titans appeared to challenge the invader. The land was all but destroyed as rock, rain, wind, and fire hailed down from above. The battle was long and fierce.Finally, however, the Titans returned victorious. The land, though scarred from the terrible fight, was still theirs.There was nothing left of the Temple -- no ruins, no stones, no dust.

However, there are legends that claim the great obelisk was shattered into several fragments, spewn across the island when the mountain was hit by the Destroyer's bolts of lightning. The locations of the fragments are known only as rumors. Such stories indicate that each of the Titans possess one of the fragments, either as a source of power or to keep the other Titans in check (since the black stone seems to be an anathema to the Titans).

The first fragment, called the Heart of Earth, fell to Lithos, who keeps it in the fabled Pit of Death. Hydros set hers, the Tear of the Seas, on the floor of the ocean in a deep undersea city. The third fragment, the Breath of Air, is said to be on the island of Stratos' followers. A fourth fragment fell to the lands that became the cemetery, though many years later it was given to the first five Sorcerers and used to bind the Titan of Fire to their will.

There is considerable speculation about a fifth fragment. Apparently the tip of the great obelisk was seen hurling through the air almost entirely intact. However, no one ever saw the item land, so its location remains a mystery.Were all of the fragments to be gathered together and taken to an area near the location of the ancient Temple, it might be possible to recreate the effects of the obelisk. Of course, it to would still be necessary to fabricate a magical field of some sort to channel the energy from whatever source first gave the obelisk power.


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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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