I had the pleasure of an audience with
Lord Blackthorn. And
he actually sought me - I didn't have to even ask to speak
with him. To be honest, I hadn't been aware Lord Blackthorn
had returned following his mysterious absence. I even went
so far as to consider the entire thing a hoax being portrayed
at my expense by some friends. But in reality, Lord Blackthorn
wished to speak to me of recent events. Especially concerning
the Followers of Armageddon.
In return, I was interested in where he had been.
His story began in a battle near Trinsic
where the liches, Lathiari
and Kyrnai, had begun an assault on the city. For reasons
he wouldn't reveal, Lord Blackthorn had traveled to Trinsic
and rallied the warriors there against the liches. His presence
helping to turn the tide against them, Lathiari and Kyrnia
decided to rid themselves of this nuisance. Kyrnia opened
a red moongate, and Lathiari pushed Lord Blackthorn into it.
He tumbled out in a strange building followed
closely by both of the liches. They bound him tightly then
stepped into another red moongate and disappeared. That was
the last Lord blackthorn had seen of either of them. I told
Lord Blackthorn the story of Sage
Humbolt's brave sacrifice to defeat Lathiari and Kyrnia
once and for all by actually consuming their black hearts.
Doing so caused his death, but Sage Humbolt willing gave his
life since it meant ridding the land of the liches' menace.
Lord Blackthorn eventually escaped his
bonds and left what appeared to be a lab. He stumbled out
into a strange land. Traveling roads he had never seen or
taken before this. When he finally found civilization in the
form of a town, Lord Blackthorn quickly discovered that none
of it's inhabitants had ever heard of Britannia or even him.
Spending every waking moment trying to
determine where he was and how to return to Britannia, Lord
Blackthorn passed the next couple months exploring and researching
the area. He found little in the way of texts or books on
this land in which he found himself. Everything was much simpler
and less developed than Lord Blackthorn had ever imagined.
Why, they didn't even have moongates for travel! But Lord
Blackthorn found that the spells he was used to casting still
worked, and so he used magic to return to the safe haven of
the city after exploring the countryside.
Even in his exploring, Lord Blackthorn
found nothing of any use in determining where he was. Not
a single clue as to how he could return to Britannia. Then
unexpectedly, the entire land was shaken by massive earthquakes.
When the seizures subsided, Lord Blackthorn was amazed to
have actually survived. A quick glance at his surroundings
revealed one major change - openings in what had before been
solid rock. Lord Blackthorn returned to town for rest, a meal,
and a chance to think things over.
Making preparations for a journey into
one of the openings, Lord Blackthorn packed the meager belongings
he had scraped together in his new home. Determined to explore
one of the new openings and see where it led, he set out.
Strange noises emanated from the darkness until Lord blackthorn
cast a spell of nightsight. Rough walls spread out before
him and plunged into the earth. With a resolved sigh, Lord
blackthorn began his journey into the unknown.
Lord Blackthorn made his way along the
winding passages when he suddenly emerged into the sunlight.
He was standing beside a mountain. The land looked very different
from where he had just come from, but he wasn't sure yet where
he was. Following the mountain side to the east, He began
to recognize the jungles west of Trinsic.
With a relieved, but weary, smile on his face, Lord blackthorn
turned to the north and began his trek home.
I asked his current plans for the moment,
and after a short pause, he responded by saying he wanted
to find out even more about the Followers of Armageddon. I
had already told him of all my findings. When I asked him
how he would find out anything else, he again smiled. He said
that since Sage Winslow
was supposed to be released from his cell in the Yew
prison, Lord Blackthorn would go to Yew and escort the sage
back to Britain.
Lord blackthorn intended to invite Sage Winslow to his castle
and find out if the sage knew anything about the FOA. I wished
him luck, as no one else had managed to learn anything of
use from the sage.
I received another bit of news from the
other castle in Britain. Nystul,
the mage to Lord British, has been working on finding a way
to open the enchanted chests in which the Followers of Armageddon
were so interested. It was already known that each chest contained
a large piece of blackrock.
Nystul did not know what the purpose for the blackrock was,
but wished to experiment on some if he could. He asks any
citizen who manages to come into possession of a piece of
blackrock to bring it to him at Lord British's castle. He
warns that he may be deeply involved in his research and may
not be easily reached, but that a call into the ether should
grab his attention. Or at least the attention of those who
generally watch for such calls. In exchange for the blackrock,
Nystul has three items to offer as well as his own abilities
which may allow him to modify the enchantments on existing
magic items. He can, for example, recharge a wand. The three
items he offers are an ancient mage's hat, an ancient robe,
and an ancient staff. All three have magical qualities, but
he did not go into the details of those. Thank you for helping
him collect any blackrock you find.
From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Thursday,
October 1st 1998