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The Phantom’s Betrayal
Yet more developments in the battle against Artarion and those closely intertwined in the conflict. 

According to eyewitness reports the phantom Xenthyl appeared a few days ago in the forests outside of Empath Abbey. Xenthyl seemed eager to know the status on Ventryn, and whether he remained secure in preparations for his trial. After being reassured that Ventryn was still captive and amply guarded, Xenthyl revealed information of his own. It has been suggested some time ago that it could prove beneficial to investigate Artarion’s past as a shopkeeper to determine if it has any relevance to his recent motivations. Xenthyl hoped to gather a small force of adventurers to search the city of Yew for any indications of Artarion’s past connections to the city. 

Within a couple days a reasonable force had gathered outside the Abbey and awaited the phantom’s arrival. When the phantom did arrive the adventurers could identify a sense of urgency in his voice as the phantom divulged some information regarding Artarion’s former residence. After crossing over to the Felucca facet, the adventurers followed Xenthyl to a home just outside the city limits of Yew. Once inside, Xenthyl explained he had investigated the location several times earlier, and on one of his later trips to the residence he witnessed an armored individual cleaning bloodstains from the carpeted floor and then vanishing from sight. The adventurers found no evidence of foul play but only a shopkeeper’s delivery log nestled inside of a flowerpot. Inside were listed several delivery recipients and confirmations that the deliveries had been completed. However, the final entry, a delivery planned for the Baker’s Dozen in Jhelom, had not been marked as completed. The adventurers began making several relevant connections to recent events, discussing that Qua’Tel’s home had been in Jhelom and the possible murder of a couple weeks ago also occurred in the Healer building within Jhelom. The adventurers wisely suggested a trip to Jhelom to investigate the Baker’s Dozen, despite the fact that the phantom was reluctant to travel there and apparently deemed the journey a waste of time. 

Once the adventurers arrived in Jhelom they traveled to the Baker’s Dozen to begin their investigation. The search for evidence yielded little result and Xenthyl repeatedly stressed his belief that the trip to Jhelom was a waste of time and suggested that the group move on to another location. Fortunately just as the group started to depart one of the bakers returned from his daily rounds. Although slightly aggravated that his shop was being rummaged through, he began to answer the questions posed. When Artarion’s name was mentioned the baker remembered little, but supposedly a physical description of the bald mage jogged the baker’s memory. The baker remembered Artarion as a shopkeeper from Yew who delivered flour and vegetables on a regular basis. The baker then mentioned that he had not seen Artarion in several months and several other shopkeepers who received deliveries from Artarion assumed he had moved out of Yew or was deceased. The adventurers thanked the baker for his time and began making preparations for their departure. 

Unfortunately, the phantom had other intentions. Just as the phantom thought the last adventurer had departed through the moongate to Yew, he immediately attacked the baker. However a few adventurers reemerged through the gate and witnessed Xenthyl slaying the baker in a few swift blows. When Xenthyl realized there had been witnesses to his crime he fled the scene quickly, vanishing from sight before anyone could confront him. 

There is little more to tell regarding the phantom’s betrayal, but it seems the phantom could possibly be working both against Artarion as well as those attempting to stop Artarion. The rationale for Xenthyl’s actions are unclear but it is quite possible he is also responsible for the possible murder in Jhelom which some speculate was an apprentice healer who was the understudy of Qua’Tel’s friend, Fann. Perhaps Xenthyl does not want the adventurers to learn of Artarion’s past and feel sympathy for him, much like others felt sympathy for Ventryn in the past. Perhaps Xenthyl wants to ensure Artarion’s death and will stop at no means to do so. It was also recently learned that Artarion can possibly take on the guise of anyone, and has masqueraded as the Pit master Tykryon Valier on occasion. According to reports, the baker in Jhelom was bald and bearded, bearing a resemblance to Artarion. Perhaps Xenthyl believed the chef to be Artarion under the guise of the baker. 

Regardless of Xenthyl’s motivations, it seems that as it stands now some adventurers may need to side with the lesser of two evils, if they side with anyone at all. Artarion relentlessly attacks those who oppose him with powerful creatures and quite possibly could be allied with Ventryn, but his past may reveal a once honorable individual corrupted by an unknown evil. Xenthyl the Phantom seems to oppose both Artarion and Ventryn but utilizes cold-blooded murder as a twisted solution for the difficulties that have arisen. And with Qua’Tel missing there seems to be no trustworthy ally, assuming that Qua’Tel can even be trusted. It is because of occurrences such as this that I am appreciative I only need to report these situations and not attempt to resolve them. 

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