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Returning Home
Returning fondly home after an extended adventure, Willow Chase tells of the ties that bind her to the village of Kinship. Join us to learn of one of the many places that our citizens call home.

“Willow Chase’s lungs burned from her wild race through the woods west of Britain. So close now. She had taken to the trees to avoid the Crossroads, where evil men and women waited to waylay the innocent. She had dodged ettins and trolls and orcs, her only thought to get back to the village as soon as she could, back to Frank Braun and all her friends at the tavern in Kinship Village.

“Her path led to the Skara Brae road and she emerged cautiously from the green. The wide lane offered no hiding places, but she gladly traded exposure for the smooth and level ground. Sure of her footing, Willow opened up her gait and sprinted towards Kinship. Her lungs felt as if they would explode and her heart raced faster than her feet. A trickle of sweat inched down her spine. Her legs screamed with pain, and her throat ached, dry from panting.


“Willow ignored it all, sprinting past familiar homes and shops, almost to the village. Fate had kept her too long in Britain, months of sad loneliness in the midst of crowds, and now her own determination brought her back to Kinship. She pushed herself, finding a reserve deep within her soul. She recognized the woods on either side of the road, trees that had known the kiss of her axe, the whisper of her prayers to the forest for a plentiful harvest. Some she passed bore the faint scratches of her dagger, words cut in the bark. BEAR. TROLL. LOVE.

“Basic and simple, words from when he had taught her how to read and she had carved them joyfully on the trees.

“FRANK.

“Willow smiled. Would he still be there in Kinship?

“Not far now, she saw the statue of the Lady of Peace loom above the roofs. Her breathing raged in rapid surges, threatening to steal vision and consciousness. She stopped, hands on her knees, to gain control of her breath and racing heart.

“Kinship. Village of Peace.

“Willow straightened up and she ran the last steps to the village. Her legs shook and trembled as she reached the pond behind the tavern. She left the road, skirted the edge of the blue pool and passed between the stable and the tavern. Soft green grass cushioned her footfalls. She spied Jason the stableman standing vigil. Without thought, Willow ran to the burly animal keeper, threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly.

“’Jason! I’m back!’

“Laughter bubbled among ragged gasps of breath. She released the stunned man and headed for the tavern. Exuberance lifted her in a smooth leap over the flowers and hedges that lined the walkway into Kinship Hall. Her feet barely touched the steps as she threw the door open.

“The tavern stood empty, but she expected that at this early hour of the morning. Willow didn’t care. By evening, familiar voices would ring off the walls, travelers would be welcomed by Mishca, the owner of the tavern, or by one of the other bartenders. Maybe even Frank.

“’All are welcome,’ Mishca had told her long ago when Willow first stepped into the tidy hall. ‘All are welcome who come in peace.’ All indeed. Some nights within the tavern, Orcs noisily drank beside knights and even those branded red by the law were welcomed if they respected the tavern’s simple rules. The Kinship folk held festivals in the fields, and opened their shops and homes to any who came to learn a craft or trade. The village offered a haven in the middle of a land of endless turmoil. Warriors and mages, fishermen and scoundrels. Even a ragged girl, a thief looking for a better life could find one among the people of Kinship.

“Willow stood in the middle of the hall, the tables and chairs the only witnesses to her arrival. Nothing stirred but memories. Her panting echoed through the building. Lost in the joy of her return, she touched the counter, the tables, the tapestry on the wall, the clock.

“The sensation started in her throat and swiftly rose into her face, a heat that released itself as tears from her eyes, spilling down her cheeks. With a deep, ragged breath, she loosed her joy.

“’I’m back!’ Willow sank to the floor weeping, overcome.

“She had known roofs and walls, warm hearths and cold. She’d made her bed in the forest and under the steps of houses. She’d spent far too many nights in cold places, curled in dark corners, trying to escape notice. She knew the comfort of a soft bed, but often that bed came with an awful price.

“Here in Kinship, the only demand anyone made of her was peace. Willow had known places to sleep, spaces one occupied to pass time, but this place was different. Friendship and shelter, camaraderie and even love. Kinship Village had given Willow so many things, and most of all a new understanding of a simple word.

“Home.”

-Willow Chase, Catskills

The player run community of Kinship can be found on the Catskills shard, across from Skara Brae on the Felucca facet. The village still stands as a haven of peace and home to many, including Willow Chase. More information on the village of Kinship can be found at http://www.awnomads.com/kinship/.

Whether you call Trammel home, or Felucca, or even the Orc Fort in Yew, we look forward to hearing your stories. Keep an eye on FYI for future spotlight topics!


Published: May 2001
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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