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Mixing it up in Alexandretta's Bowl
Tired of stories with happy endings? Join us in Ilshenar for a tale of great deeds - and even greater consequences.
"Time in Ilshenar runs at its own pace. Where the mists of the morning lay over the lands left behind, here it is blackest night. Kirth, Pagan Mistress of the Pagans of Evergreen, immediately takes note of the area surrounding the Moongate. The Shrine of Compassion is behind her with darkness fringing the purplish glow of the gate. Choco the Fourteenth shivers between Kirth's legs and fidgets; her horse sense telling her it IS morning, yet the darkness is that of the deepest slumber time.

"After a nudge to the horse's sides, they move forward. Keen to the slightest sound or movement, Kirth readies one of several shields slung to her back. She has journeyed this way before. Also evident is the slightly glowing sword strategically strapped to the saddle, its pommel in easy reach. Another sword is sheathed in the customary fashion of a mounted warrior, under the saddle and over the blanket with the pommel facing rear. This blade is touched with the deadliest of venom.

"A few hours back, a friend of Kirth's took this same journey, following this same trail, hearing the same noises. Having just figured out how to traverse the facets into Ilshenar, this friend was ill prepared for what roams here. He didn't realize that the greater denizens of the realms have a steadfast hold here. He had never encountered a demon, dragon, or wyrm in the wild... until tripping across those three not far from the Shrine of Compassion. Kirth's purpose here is to hunt them down and reclaim her friend's belongings. Prepared to die in the attempt, she rides toward ominous doom with her chin held high and the wisdom of battle accompanying her.


"Suddenly, there is a roar out of the blackness followed by a stream of fire. From behind an outcropping of rock and bush charges the demon Be'elzebub. Screaming with rage, Kirth draws out her poisoned blade. The demon's fire has little effect as it bounces off her magical shield. She urges Choco into the reach of the demon. The battle is short-lived and almost disappointing as blow after blow lands on Be'elzebub. His bellows, once fierce, become whines and then finally a pitiful whimper as he falls in death at Choco's hooves. Kirth glowers at the carcass and then spits upon the cooling flesh. Turning the mare back to the path, she doesn't even bother checking the demon's body. He was unworthy of battle.

"Something snorts on the other side of the outcropping, and Choco instantly reacts to the sound. Not caring about her rider, the mare leaps over the rock, screaming out a challenge as she lands directly upon the tail of a dragon. Surprise is not something dragons are used to and this gains our heroes the advantage. Kirth leaps from her seat upon Choco's back, landing just to the side of the dragon's maw. With a quick thrust her poisoned blade is driven into an hourglass eye. Screeching, the dragon flings its head back, taking Kirth's weapon with it. Choco kicks furiously upon the dragon's withers as the creature hurls magic toward the barbarian.

"Fast thinking and quick feet keep Kirth from being instantly turned to dust. Her shield, taking the brunt of the energies, is flung aside as another magical shield is pulled from her back. Running fast behind a boulder, the warrior quickly applies bandages to her wounds. The screams of horse and dragon in battle are all too clear in the night. Kirth mutters a short oath as her bandages stay the bleeding. She grabs a scroll from her hip and utters the scribbled words as she rounds the boulders, praying the spell works. Out of nowhere meteors shower down from the sky and plummet into the dragon's flesh. Choco, a wise horse indeed, leaps back from harm's way. Vaulting back upon the steed and drawing out the now fiercely glowing blade, Kirth turns her mount towards the beast.

"Charging in, slashing, darting away, Kirth valiantly jousts the dragon. Round and round they go, circling and striking the beast, wearing it down. It is not long before the dragon, already weakened by the poison, falls with a deathly sigh. Heaving from exertion, Kirth dismounts her sweating steed to examine the carcass. Hidden neatly in the concealed pouch all dragons have is the agapite armor and shield belonging to Kirth's friend. As she pockets the gold the dragon carried, there is a half whinny, half yelp and Choco is suddenly...

"'Hu..?' is all the barbarian can utter as a tree-trunk sized tail slams into her chest. She flies back, smashing into the rocks that provided her protection from the dragon. Landing in a heap as armor dents into her ribs, she winces. Looking up just in time, she watches Choco the Fourteenth become breakfast to an Ancient Wyrm. Her eyes widen as the veteran warrior realizes she just might not be able to handle this one. 

"The golden hued wyrm munches lazily on the once great warhorse. Saddle, tack, pack, all is crushed within the gargantuan maw, then swallowed down with an audible gulp. There is a small rumbling within its belly, then the beast emits a loud and gaseous belch that shakes the ground beneath Kirth. She tries to move but, alas, the creak of metal joints screeches into the air."

"As if summoned, the head of the ancient wyrm is suddenly there. Its breath is an unimaginable stench, and its teeth still have horseflesh stuck between them. Kirth blinks, and then laughs. Loudly the bellowing of mirth is heard then cut short as the Celtic Barbarian is chomped. Armor and flesh blend together with the remains of Choco and the corpse of some other warrior, whose hand is clearly seen jutting out from between the wyrm's two front teeth."

Do you have a tale of battle that ends more successfully than this one? We want to hear it, so keep your eye on FYI for future Spotlight topics, and join us next week as we continue to spotlight your tales of adventure and excitement within the world of Britannia!

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