An Introduction to Ilshenar : Part III



World News

Virtue

It seems that the Virtues exist across facets. Though not all have been seen by our exploration parties, the eight shrines of Virtue are spoken of in all the areas of Ilshenar. Ilshen herself had the first shrine built. That was the shrine of Compassion. Again, very little of anything involving Ilshen exists, this is one of the rare pieces, in the form of a poem.
    “Ilshen stood with hands of light,
        At sun’s height without a sound.
    The Ankh was stood upright,
        upon Compassion’s ground.”
Strangely enough a shrine to Chaos is also to be found. Lord Blackthorn is pleased by this news I am sure.

People and Mysteries

The biggest question we have to face is what happened to all the people of Ilshenar? Little by little we are finding the clues and are amazed at what we are finding out: knowledge that will change our view of things, forever.

Somewhere around 150 years after the “shattering” the most amazing thing happened. A brilliant mage name Ulvol opened a portal between facets. The Anskitas do not call them facets, they call them Arktermar or “hidden worlds”. Ulvol discovered that he could tune these portals like a lute string and find new destinations. At this time we are hoping to find a record of how to do such a wondrous thing, but so far to no avail. The people of Ilshenar traveled between facets like you or I would walk to the moongate in Britain in order to get to Skara Brae. This in itself is amazing. The question then is, where are these gates? The texts speak of permanent gates, called Vasgres, used for commerce between worlds. No one has found such a thing. Instead we found these passages in several different books in Mistas:
    “The four traitors have been sent through the Justice Vasgres into the void. We who remain have ensured the bal-lem is imprisoned. The last Vasgres, at Sacrifice, between the Arktermars are now sealed. Ensuring safety of our people and of all who exist outside our world. We can live out our last days knowing we have done what is just and that we have restored mistas. To my friends who have sacrificed themselves, may Virtue shine upon you always.”
    “The bal-lem (a word here is scratched out) has taken the north tower and made it rubble.”
    “(a word here scratched out) has come. He is bal-lem, he seeks to be Anilem.”
    “The bal-lem is in league with the Anorlor fiends. Together they seek our doom.”
    “The eight have offered themselves to seal the bal-lem (a word here scratched out) for eternity in the prison we have made. May Virtue guide them.”
    “The migration through the Vasgreses is near completion. If (a word he scratched out) will be held back so that all who wish to go may escape.”
Bal-lem is “evil one”. Everywhere it would seem to name this “evil one” the text has been scratched out. It appears that what ever the bal-lem was it is now imprisoned and most of Ilshenar has fled to other facets. This is a bit unsettling. Why if this beast were captured would they not return? Why destroy the Vasgreses between facets? Again I hope for scrolls and books to arrive soon.

Conclusions

Many things are not fully explained. It would seem to boil down to this place, Ilshenar, like Felucca and Trammel is another Facet of Sosaria. A world that was torn apart when the Gem of Immortality was shattered. A world that knew of the Virtues and followed them. A world set upon by some great evil that they conquered but feared so much that, even though it was imprisoned, they still not dare return. That simple fact has given some of us pause as to the continuation of our exploration for the fear that we may unwittingly unleash that, which has been imprisoned.
    Jerno Milik, Grand scholar of the Lycaeum




From the Britannia News Network - The Journal of Ultima Online, March 16th, 2001.