Mysterious Sage Eldrich makes a second appearance

Genn Wintord

UP: Catskills

    Just a week past, identical copies of a riddle appeared in several of the Counselor’s Halls throughout the realm. The riddle was this:

In a land bereft of justice
In the forests of this blighted land
There is but one oasis
In a land too cruel to fathom
Where fey spirits roam
There is but one refuge
In a word of black and white
Where to stray from Virtue is to die
There is a sign of grey
For those who may solve this riddle
Look to the grey for enlightenment
And perhaps a bit of gold
- Sage Eldrich

    It was unclear then—as it remains—just who this man is. Does he have some relation to the Counselors Guild? Is there some type of hidden motive behind such riddles? When the first curious citizens found him waiting in the Yew jail, he congradulated the winners, handed out a prize of several hundred gold pieces to each and promptly left the location. Those who encountered this man, who styles himself a sage, had little time to query him upon his motives and as such we remain ignorant of his true goals.

    In the week following this first riddle, I was unable to find Sage Eldrich for questioning—and in fact I have been unable to find even a single person who can say that he knew this man before the riddles began appearing. For yes, another riddle appeared in a different set of Counselor’s Halls again just this week:

  • while the virtues hold for half the realm, half again forego
  • in the absenCe of the virtues, a brotherhood Of Likeminded men Prosper
  • in a loCation of a Kingdom-wide brotherhood ye shall find me
  • bring to me that which I seeK and be rewarded

    Again, the mention of the Virtues figured prominently in the riddle although this time it was the lack of virtues that was the key. Upon discovering that the location that the riddle speaks of is the Thieve’s Guild in Vesper, I rushed there only to find that I again was too late to question this mysterious man. In his wake I found a fair woman on horseback who had apparently been first to the scene with the lockpick that the Sage desired. Upon questioning, Madam Hope described the prize as a magical chest of some sort although she seemed a bit close lipped about what its powers were.

    So again citizens rush across the continent searching for a man they’ve never met and I have to ask myself ‘why?’. What could this man’s motives be? The Virtues have figured prominently in both riddle so far, so perhaps he is an agent of Lord British’s camp.... I have many questions and few answers.


From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Friday, July 31st 1998