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Foliaged Again!
It is becoming increasingly difficult as of late to sit back and enjoy a tankard of ale in my beloved Cat’s Lair Tavern…and to be honest, while I do miss mulling my thoughts over in a cup of the barkeep’s finest, my journalistic heart is exalted to live in such exciting and perilous times even if it is at the expense of a half-finished flagon of liquid gold. 

One such abandoned beverage fell aside in favor of an investigation of the Town Crier’s yells from outside my perch next to the window facing the West Britain Bank. In a rapid flurry of scrolls, inkwells, and spare quills, I was off towards the much-maligned Britain Graveyard, where I hoped, based upon the frantic Town Criers babbled instructions, a battle against the forces of evil was taking place…almost under my very nose. As I drew ever closer to the cemetery, scattered crowds of eager citizens ran past me carrying an odd assortment of weaponry, most of which for some odd reason seemed to be axes. Curious, I pulled a scruffy looking fellow aside and asked him the nature of his errand. 

“There’s all kinds of weird colored trees up there milord! Ain’t never seen nuthin the like of it in these here parts, why I reckon some foul magic is afoot…my granny told me to never trust nutin but my instincts, and right now, they’re telling me to head on up there and lend a hand to chopping them there nasty things to kindling.” 

 And with that he scurried off, axe in hand, into the distance, running to catch up with a likeminded group of hatchet-wielding combaters of evil. Being a bit more cautious, I slowly approached the cemetery…tis fortunate that I did so, for no sooner had I reached the outer gate than a bone-chilling chuckle filled the air. Quickly I ducked behind a headstone and spied, to my horror, a shambling, decayed liche arising from its grave, accompanied by a chittering group of bandage-wrapped mummies and creaking skeletal warriors. 

Slowly and with deadly purpose the group of undead marched forward towards a group of townsfolk perched on the top of a small rocky hillside, who unsuspecting of any menace from behind, had foolishly turned their backs to the unknown threat behind them. It’s a rare thing when I express any form of bravery, after all its my job to report the news…not be a one liner in the obituary page, but in a rather gallant (if I say so myself) charge I screamed rather loudly…and some would say shrilly, alerting the beleaguered group to the rapidly approaching menace. 

 It was then that I noticed what had distracted the townsfolk to begin with. Huge towering trees had sprung up amongst several smaller writhing plants on the hillside, and to my astonished eyes each herbal menace was a strange garish hue. Vibrant purples, blues, and even several sickly green enchanted trees twirled and stretched out their angry branches at the small group clustered beneath them, and from my perspective and to my horror they began to move and groan as if intelligently alive. Seconds later, the undead clashed with the defending townsfolk and began pushing them helplessly back towards the writhing woodland. 

 Fighting for their lives, the valiant townsfolk fought for each blood-soaked inch of ground, desperately caught between the two nightmarish forces. Several heroic warriors broke free of the undead and rushed to town for reinforcements, returning scant minutes later with a throng of enraged townsfolk who quickly swarmed and overwhelmed the angry dead. Armed with little more than common garden tools, they managed to prune the savage garden to a more manageable and easily contained shrubbery - thereby restoring peaceful slumber to the poor, restless souls awakened by whatever vile sorcery befouled their resting place. 

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