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The Destruction of Xenthyl
A methodic gallop echoes through the forests, it’s repetition a constant reminder of what rapidly approaches. What at a glance appears to be a dancing shadow across the trees begins to take shape of something far more elusive. From beneath the shadow a figure seems to appear, a horse and rider galloping increasingly faster through the trees and brush. With elegant ease and grace the horse and rider begin to slow as a tower becomes visible through the clearing ahead. Clouded visions and conflicting intentions cloud the consciousness of the dark rider. Occasionally he pauses clutching at his head as if grasping at a recently severed wound. A noise from beyond draws the attention of the rider and his gaze fixes upon movement in a patch of brambles. A girl stumbles from behind the brambles and falls against the legs of the rider’s mare. She gazes up at the rider and draws a sharpened kryss from her backpack. She lunges upward with her kryss directed at the rider’s chest. Without turning to observe, the rider raises his arm rapidly and grabs the kryss from the air in mid-strike. He carefully removes the kryss from his attacker’s hand and sets it upon the ground in front of her. She stares in astonishment and turns to flee. The rider maneuvers his mare in front of her, blocking her from escaping him. He looks down to address the girl as she looks for a means of escape: 

“The amulet.” The rider’s voice echoes throughout the surrounding forest. 

“Nev’r! I found it fairly an’ is worth a fortune. Its mine.” Demands the girl as she turns to escape. 

The rider then turns and carefully takes the girl’s arm and removes a golden amulet that has been fastened to her wrist. In doing so an overwhelming energy seems to channel itself throughout the rider. 

“No its mine!” The girl leaps forward in an attempt to salvage the lost amulet, but only stumbles, her head crashing against a fallen log and rendering her unconscious. 

The rider reaches down in an attempt to bring the girl to her feet, however he is quickly distracted by the sounds of battle near the tower ahead. Again he clutches his head as if in overwhelming pain and begins moving toward the tower ahead. 

“I have little time left,” his echoing voice continues, “I will return for you, girl.” 

The rider gallops forward at full pace and soon emerges from the forest, arriving at a tower set in a clearing. Around him warriors, mages and commoners battle against a gathering of liches, skeletal mages and other varied undead. As a few turn and notice the rider the name “Xenthyl” can be heard faintly over the vicious sounds of battle. Another utters “the Phantom” and then returns to battle. Xenthyl clutches at his helmet yet again, while thoughts of destruction conflict with those of honor and dignity. 

“I have little time left, however I have found something I believe you to be looking for,” the Phantom utters as he holds out the recently acquired golden amulet, “I encountered the girl in the forests.” 

Xenthyl turns to notice Thain Fallshorn, the decedent of the lost estate of Stormguard. Thain seems to recognize the Phantom, but his recent memory loss has yet to improve enough to allow him to make concrete associations with those he may have known. Xenthyl rushes forward to approach him. 

“Take this Thain, it is rightfully yours. I have little time left, I must leave this place before it is too late,” utters Xenthyl as he places the Amulet into the hands of the descendent of Stormguard. 

In an instant all of Xenthyl’s energy and remaining strength seems ripped from his being. He nearly collapses forward but quickly maneuvers his mare into the forests. Pain rapidly overwhelms his entire essence as he seeks refuge away from the tower. Thain himself had collapsed when the amulet had been passed to him, but turns his head just as Xenthyl seems vanish instantly from sight, with no evidence of his existence left behind. Thain wearily turns to the group of warriors, mages, and commoners that stand triumphant over the slain undead, seemingly waiting for an explanation of what had occurred. Thain turns away and averts his eyes away from the gathering: 

“I fear I do not know. However I fear this is great danger for Northwood.” 

Published: May 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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