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The Book of Virtues
A Summary of Ultima's Virtues, by Joshua Rowan
What makes the Ultima Universe unique to any other game on the market today? Easy - It's philosophy of ethics that it instills in the people that play it. In no other virtual world will you find the need to decide between justly taking a thief into custody or compassionately letting him go so that he can bring stolen bread to his starving children. And in no other place will you feel compelled to fight for or struggle against the principles that these virtues represent. Ultima Online will be not just a game now, but a living world full of cultural and philosophical differences for you to struggle with. With that in mind, we present you with a breakdown of the Principles and Virtues of Ultima.

First, we begin with the contents of a book found within the world of Ultima Online, simply called Virtue by Lord British (also found in our Books Section:

    Within this world live people with many different ideals, and this is good. Yet what is it within the people of our land that sorts out the good from the evil, the cherished form the disdained? Virtue, I say it is, and virtue is the logical outcome of a people who wish to live together in a bonded society.

    For without Virtues as a code of conduct which people maintai(n) in their relations with each other, the fabric of that society will become weakene(d.) For a society to grow and prosper for all, each must grant the others a common base of consideration.

    I call this base the Virtues. For though one person might gain personal advantage by breaching such a code, the society as a whole would suffer.

    There are three Principle Virtues tha(t) should guide people to enlightenment. These are: Truth, Love, and Courage. From all the infinite reasons one may have to found an action, such as greed or charity, envy or pity, the three Principle Virtues stand out.

    In fact all other virtues and vices can be show(n) to be built from these principle(s) and their opposite corruption's of Falsehood, Hatred an(d) Cowardice. These three Principles can be combined in eight ways, which I will call the eight virtues. The eight virtues which we should build our society upon follow.

    Truth alone becomes Honesty, for without honesty between our people, how can we build the trust which is needed to maximize our successes.

    Love alone becomes compassion, for at some time or another all of us will need the compassion of others, and most likely compassion will be shown to those who have shown it.

    Courage alone becomes Valor, without valor our people will never reach into the unknown or to the risky and will never achieve.

    Truth tempered by Love gives us Justice, for only in loving search for the truth can one dispense fair Justice, rather than create a cold and callous people.

    Love and Courage gives us Sacrifice, for a people who love each other will be willing to make personal sacrifices to help others in need, which one day, may be needed in return.

    Courage and Truth give us Honor, great knights know this well, that chivalric honor can be found by adhering to this code of conduct.

    Combining Truth, Love and Courage suggest the virtue of Spirituality the virtu(e) that causes one to be introspective, to wonder about ones place in this world and whether one's deeds will be recorded as a gift to the world or a plague.

    The final Virtue is more complicated. For the eighth combination is that devoid of Truth, Love or Courage which can only exist in a state of great Pride, whic(h) of course is not a virtue at all. Perhaps this trick of fate is a test to see if one can realize that the true virtue is that of Humility. I feel that the people of Magincia fail to see this to such a degree that I would not be surprised if some ill fate awaited their future.

    Thus from the infinite possibilities which spawned the Three Principles of Truth, Love and Courage, come the Eight Virtues of Honesty, Compassion, Valor, Justice, Sacrifice, Honor, Spirituality, and Humility.

With that in mind, we look further into the meaning of each Principle and Virtue. Read on and enjoy.


...the states of virtue by which the soul possesses truth by way of affirmation or denial are five in number, i.e., art, scientific knowledge, practical wisdom, philosophic wisdom, intuitive reason; we do not include judgment and opinion because in these we may be mistaken.
- Aristotle on Truth

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
- Kahlil Gibran on Love

Fate often saves an undoomed warrior when his courage endures.
- Beowulf on Courage


Derived From: Love
Anti-Virtue: Despise
Original Class: Bard
Original Home City: Britain
Opposing Dungeon: Despise
Anti-Class: Brigand
Mantra: Mu
Companion: Iolo

Compassion is nonjudgmental empathy for one's fellow creatures. - Ultima V

Human is to have compassion on the unhappy.
- Boccaccio in Decameron

Derived From: Truth
Anti-Virtue: Deceit
Original Class: Mage
Original Home City: Moonglow
Opposing Dungeon: Deceit
Anti-Class: Daemon
Mantra: Ahm
Companion: Mariah

Honesty is scrupulous respect for truth - the willingness never to deceive oneself or another. - Ultima V

I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy.
- George Washington on Honesty

Derived From: Truth and Courage
Anti-Virtue: Shame
Original Class: Paladin
Original Home City: Trinsic
Opposing Dungeon: Shame
Anti-Class: Gargoyles
Mantra: Summ
Companion: Dupre

Honor is the courage to stand for the truth, against any odds. - Ultima V

Nothing is less worthy of honor than an old man who has no other evidence of having lived long except his age
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca on Honor

Derived From: Absence of Any Principle
Anti-Virtue: Pride
Original Class: Shepherd
Original Home City: Magincia
Opposing Dungeon: None In Ultima Online
Anti-Class: Noble
Mantra: Lum
Companion: Katrina

Humility is perceiving one's place in the world, not according to one's own accomplishments, but according to the intrinsic value of all individuals. - Ultima V

The greatest friend of Truth is Time, her greatest enemy is Prejudice, and her constant companion is Humility
- Charles Caleb Colton in The Lacon

Derived From: Truth and Love
Anti-Virtue: Wrong
Original Class: Druid
Original Home City: Yew
Opposing Dungeon: Wrong
Anti-Class: Goblin
Mantra: Beh
Companion: Jaana

Justice is the devotion to truth, tempered by love. - Ultima V

There is one universal law....That law is justice. Justice forms the cornerstone of each nation's law.
- Alexis de Tocqueville on Justice

Justice without force is impotent; force without justice is tyranny.

- Pascal on Justice

Derived From: Love and Courage
Anti-Virtue: Covetous (also Greed)
Original Class: Tinker
Original Home City: Minoc
Opposing Dungeon: Covetous
Anti-Class: Not Known
Mantra: Cah
Companion: Julia

Sacrifice is the courage to give of oneself in the name of love. - Ultima V

The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
- Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

Derived From: Truth, Love, and Courage
Anti-Virtue: Hythloth (also Sacrilege)
Original Class: Ranger
Original Home City: Skara Brae
Opposing Dungeon: Hythloth
Anti-Class: Not Known
Mantra: Om
Companion: Shamino

Spirituality is the concern with one's inner being and how one deals with truth, love, and courage. - Ultima V

The natural inheritance of everyone who is capable of spiritual life is an unsubdued forest where the wolf howls and the obscene bird of night chatters.
- Henry James Sr. on Spirituality

Derived From: Courage
Anti-Virtue: Dastardly
Original Class: Fighter
Original Home City: Jhelom
Opposing Dungeon: Destard
Anti-Class: Dragon
Mantra: Ra
Companion: Geoffrey

Valor is the courage to take actions in support of one's convictions. - Ultima V

It is a brave act of valour to contemn death; but where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valour to dare to live.
- Sir Thomas Browne on Valor