Lord British Speaks

Clayton Trembell

UP: Britannia

    As soon as I heard that Lord British himself was going to give an address concerning the attacks plaguing the realm, I rushed over to his castle. Lady Luck was smiling on me this day, because I was the first one to arrive. I took advantage of the situation and began to search for the exact perfect location from which to hear Lord British speak. To the left of the throne; to the right; in front but slightly back and to the left; on the left side again; and so on. It dawned on me that I was actually waiting for someone else to turn up so that I could judge where I wanted to be based on where they stood. It then dawned on me that absolutely no one else had come to the castle in all this time.

I stood shocked for a moment. Then grinned. Wow! Basically a personal audience. Just Lord British and myself. Lady Luck was truly smiling on me today!

A royal guard walked into the throne room shortly after I had my moment of enlightenment. I was probably grinning like an idiot in anticipation, but could not help myself. The guard glanced at me then sidestepped a bit further away. I was too excited to even care.

While waiting, my stomach growled noisily. The royal guard looked up and then sidestepped even further away. I grimaced and suddenly wished I had thought to grab a bite to eat on the way to the castle. I could see it now Lord British telling me about the troubles in the land and my belly roaring like a 23-piece orchestra. I decided to sneak over to the kitchen and see if I could snag a bite to eat and settle my stomach.

But it occurred to me that Lord British could appear while I was gone, think no one had come to hear him speak, and then leave. So I walked over to the guard and asked him when Lord British would be speaking.

"Heís speaking right now, sir," replied the guard.

Puzzled, I turned slowly to face the throne. Empty. I put my hand to my ear in case he was hidden somewhere and speaking softly. Not a sound. So I turned back to the guard. "He's speaking now, is he? But, um, I don't see him or hear him."

"Well, that is probably easily explained," the guard told me.

Unable to contain myself, I blurted, "And What, pray tell, would that explanation be?"

"'Tis a simple matter." the guard said. "My Liege is giving his speech over by the Chamber of Virtue, while thee, good sir, are here at his throne room."

'Eeep!" I said as I sprinted (well, okay walked with pronounced urgency) out of the throne room and castle. Remind me to glare at that guard at some future date, by the way.

Winded before I was half way to the Chamber of Virtue, I paused to catch my breath. Having no time to spare, I forced myself forward again, slowly. As I crossed the bridge, Virtue's Pass, I saw a massive throng gathered in front of the Chamber of Virtue. In the midst of the teeming masses was a large stone structure that had not been there the night before. Standing on top of this stone pedestal was Lord British.

Okay. Nothing to worry about. I made it in time to hear his speech. Not a private audience. Not a prime location from which to hear the speech either, I discerned, as I leaned on a warrior in plate armor toward the back of the crowd. He turned and favored me with a menacing look, but I valiantly pretended not to take notice and strained to make out what Lord British was saying.

"Farewell to thee all, I shall speak to the again when more hath been revealed," said Lord British. He then bowed solemnly to the crowd and left.

"Well," I thought to myself, "that was an amazingly short speech. Barely a single line... " Wait! No! I had missed it! I missed the speech! How could this be? How could fate be so cruel?

Oh bother.

What was I to do now?

The answer was obvious, of course. I needed to find someone who had heard the entire speech and had made note of Lord British's words. Then as far as anyone need ever know, I had heard and applauded Lord British's speech myself.

And, of course, thatís what I did.

And now the moment of truth, the moment for which we have all been waiting. I present to thee Lord British's speech, in its entirety as witnessed by Clayton Trembell:

Hail and well met to all!

People of Britannia, I come to thee this day with a heavy heart and troubled mind. The reoccurring attacks upon the cities of Britannia hath increased in intensity. That these attacks stem from a single source is far from certain. We still lack any worthwhile information to help us in locating, and neutralizing, our enemy.

Nystul, my advisor, and a scholar of magic, hath discovered the first link between all of these attacks: A mysterious spell veils each of the besieged cities. This spell hath lulled the city guards into ignoring the attacks of monsters upon our cities and hath nullified the defenses against the use of magic within city bounds. It is this act of sorcery that has brought repeated victory to the enemy assaults. I thank thee all for thy swift blades and deadly casting, but we are sorely compromised in our knowledge of who the enemy is I beseech thee citizens, seek the source of this dark spell and bring us this knowledge that we may end these attacks upon Britannia.

Though it saddens me, 'tis likely that a captive will need to be taken so that it may be interrogated for knowledge of our enemy. Sir Geoffrey, of my Royal Guards, shall oversee this task.

Of Trinsic, I must also speak. Armies of the undead rise up from beneath the feet of paladin and merchant alike, attacking ceaselessly. Our hold on the City of Honor grows tenuous. With our forces spread thinly throughout the realm, reinforcements may yet be a while in coming. Those who are not essential to the city's defense should flee to the protection of Britain without delay. For now, I simply cannot say if reinforcements can reach Trinsic in time.

Everything within my power shall be brought to bear on this evil that hath befallen us. I give thee my word. Ready thy wares of war, keep watch upon thy neighbor's flank, and walk in the path of the virtues.

Farewell to thee all, I shall speak to the again when more hath been revealed.



From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, February 3rd, 2000.