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Phoenix Rising
A place to rest, a mug of ale… it’s the people who make the world come alive, and it’s the friendly towns of Britannia that make a traveler feel welcome. In this week’s spotlight, a wanderer tells of the day he found something he never anticipated… a home at the crossroads.

“My loving parents,

“It has been many moons since I left your care in search of a place to use my arts. I hope things are well with you and that this letter finds you in good health and fortune. As I promised, I am writing so you will know I am alive and well. My journeys have held great excitement for me, yet I did have quite the scare a few days back. However, I was also introduced to the most spectacular place! The day I found Phoenix Rising will be forever imprinted in my mind.

“I had just finished my trek through the swamps north of Britain, and there were two lizard creatures chasing after me. Had I not been exhausted from casting against their fellow warriors, they would have stood no chance against my magic. However, I feared that this day would bring my demise. As they moved closer, I closed my eyes and prepared to meet the next life. I heard rustling all around me, but my terror kept me from opening my eyes. I felt myself falling and blackness engulfed me...

“I awoke to several strange faces staring down at me. I knew not if I was dead, but these men surely did not look like angels. One of them extended his hand and helped me to my feet. I looked around at the group and saw that they were a mismatched bunch. There were a couple that could only have been magi, two that wore heavy shadow armor and several wore leather clothes and carried a variety of weapons. I felt my head for wounds.

“‘Do not worry yourself, young one,’ one of the armor clad men said. ‘I think one of those reptiles must have just cast a fainting spell on you.’ The broad smile under his graying moustache made my face burn with embarrassment. I was mortified.

“After the men helped me to gather my strewn belongings, they took me to a large log cabin sitting a way up the road. ‘Who are you and how can I repay your kindness?’ I asked. One of the men from the back of the room walked up. He had a long ponytail draped over one shoulder and he smiled warmly.

“‘We are all citizens of Phoenix Rising. You owe us nothing, for it is our jobs to protect the travelers in this area.’

“‘Phoenix Rising?’ I asked. ‘I don’t understand.’

“The man continued. ‘Phoenix Rising is a town, but you won’t find it on any of Lord British’s maps. You see, we are self-governed and thus not recognized by the rulers of our land. However, here we are... alive and strong. We are the Rangers of Phoenix Rising. It is our job to patrol the area and come to the aid of people who wander through this hostile place. We were on a training mission with the Phoenix Knights,’ he said as he motioned to two armor clad men talking quietly in the corner, ‘and a couple of the wizards from the Conclave of Mages when we happened upon you.’

“Well, I can tell you that I was intrigued greatly by this! It seems that the town of Phoenix Rising has been around for a while, surrounding the massive Guard Post over the crossroads, but most people haven’t ever heard of its existence. The men told me I was welcome to walk through town and visit any of the buildings therein. I took them up on their offer.

“My first stop was the Drunken Lizard Pub that the Rangers had raved about. I will admit, in all my days I have never seen such an impressive place! From the meeting room to the rooftop pub, this tower was an amazing sight. Next, I stopped in at the Inn next door. There were a few craftsmen inside, busily working with the tools of their trade. I was browsing through the spectacular assortment of goods when a kind man offered me one of the robes he had just finished sewing. Now normally, I would have refused handouts, but the cold and wet robe that I wore was quite threadbare. The man insisted. I visited many of the buildings in town after that. My favorite was the library, which I could argue is the most extensive I have seen, short of the Empath Abbey itself.

“As I was walking near the Guard Post, I heard a great commotion coming from the road toward Yew. I looked up to see horses by the dozen coming over the hill in the distance. Then from behind me, the two Knights on pure white steeds raced to meet the group, with their squires following close behind. It was hard for me to make out what was going on when they met the group, but I could tell it was a friendly exchange.

“The Knights led the travelers into town and I heard someone say they were going to the pub for dinner. I followed the large group of people into the pub and saw that many of the men from before were already there. In fact, I would not be surprised to hear the whole town was there! It was a festive occasion. I sat down at a table and asked the man next to me who the travelers were. He told me that two of them were Council members and that the others were members of the BloodGuard (which it seems is a guild who makes their home in this place), and dignitaries from Phoenix Rising’s close ally Riverveil. Another town I had never heard of... I just shook my head. Shortly after the merriment began, the already cramped pub was joined by a large band of citizens returning from their weekly resource gathering. The tired smiles on their faces told me that they had had a successful day, and that this place would be better tomorrow for the hard work they had done. For many hours, the drink flowed freely and music rang throughout the town.

“Well, I can say that I had an amazing time that evening. I met many interesting people, learned much of this new place, and found a town that would offer to be called home. Early the next morning, I slipped quietly out of the Inn and walked back through town on my way to my next adventure. As I came around the corner of the Guard Post, I bumped into a lady in a white dress. I recognized her from the party the night before.

“‘Leaving so soon?’ she asked.

“‘While these people have shown me nothing but hospitality, mine is the way of the nomad,’ I replied.

“‘I can respect that. Just know that should you ever decide to rest your head in the same place from night to night, Phoenix Rising will be here.’ I bowed deeply and walked toward the road.

“I had walked down the trail a considerable distance before I looked back at Phoenix Rising. The streets were beginning to bustle with activity, and I almost took a step back toward them. ‘No’, I told myself,“There are too many things you have yet to see.’ However, I knew in my heart that the road would lead back to this place and that Phoenix Rising would welcome me home.

“Your loving son,

“Gilmer”

- Gamaliel Gaiblin of Phoenix Rising, Great Lakes

Phoenix Rising (TPR) is a player-run town located at the crossroads of Britain, Vesper and Yew in the lands of Trammel on the Great Lakes Shard. The town currently consists of seventy-five citizens, and various allied guilds. The government is headed up by four council members, who also take advice from the Captain of the Rangers and the High Judicate of Mages. Strongly based in friendship and roleplay, Phoenix Rising has no requirements for citizenship other than a good attitude and a willingness to participate.

It is with pleasure that we present these tales of your communities and adventures in Ultima Online! Join us next week as we share another of the many stories of Britannia that you have created. Please keep an eye on FYI for new spotlight 

Published: April 2001
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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