UP : Great Lakes
An amazing sight was beheld at the bank in Vesper recently. A sheet
of flame appeared from nowhere, and when it vanished, a large chest containing a single
book was found. The book was labeled HELP ME and it contained a
wondrous story of how a mage named Horace had been captured by a thing called the Doom
The Doom Tree, it went on, had placed Horaces soul in a small
gold statue that bore Horace likeness, and was determined never to free him. The tale went
on to say that Horace could be freed by defeating the Doom Tree in combat and then
releasing Horace from the grip of the statue.
Many took up the rallying cry, and soon the town Criers were
involved as well, spreading the word throughout the land. No information about the Doom
Tree is known, save that it is worshipped by the Rat Men as a god, and that they will
fight dearly to protect it.
Finally, someone stumbled across the hideous thing in the woods near
Minoc. It taunted the warrior with threats and dark promises, and told him to leave the
woods immediately for they were his domain. The warrior ignored these taunts and bravely
attacked the beast with magic.
Soon the tree summoned a horde of rat men, and they vermin-esque
creatures ripped and clawed at the brave soul and his horse. But the rat men were
outmatched as soon as reinforcements arrived, and shortly after, they were all dispatched.
The Tree was next. It was destroyed soon and the Statue taken from it.
Upon releasing Horace from the statue, he profusely thanked everyone
involved and gave them all a small sum of money. He then made cryptic remarks to the
effect that the beast may return and he disappeared into thin air.
Who knows if or when the beast shall return, but if it does, pray
that there are more on hand like those today, who saved Horaces life, and defended
the woods with valor and honor.
From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Wednesday, March 4th 1998