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Halloween Spotlight: Marrach Lir
In the halls of the old castles, the stones sometimes yield up secrets, and sometimes they hold fast to them. Marrach Lir, older than most, certainly has its share of these. Here a room can become suddenly chill or distressingly warm. Here the dreams of the living are sometimes touched by those on the other side. The Genealogica Lir tells of the generations of the clan, but it is filled with strange cryptic writings, and many names have disappeared or been lost beneath the dried old bloodstains upon the ancient tome. Here the spirits linger still within these walls… but what do they seek?

 Millie has some thoughts on the subject, and the maid knows more than her share of secrets: "Aye, I know a few things about th' castle. It be haunted, most definitely. Dinna e'en think of goin' in t' th' Philosopher's Den unless ye take t' dark spirits. Isolde be a nice one, always peekin' in on me sewin' or e'en watchin' as I cook o'er in th' kitchen. Wordsworth an' I ha'e taken t' goin' on holiday jus' so's I dinna ha'e t' worry about seein' ghosts. Fer some reason, though, he always seems t' miss seein' them." Millie gives a shrug of her shoulders and goes back to her dusting and straightening up of the rooms.
Wordsworth has something, too, to say upon the subject of the hauntings and on Millie. " Ghosts? Bah! Old castle is the correct term. There's a lot of history here and so much history breeds imagination. After reading about Demnos, I could whole-heartedly understand why the Philosopher's Den would be so unsettling. Also there is a crack in the foundation stone that causes all these 'cold drafts' people keep talking about." Wordsworth sets down the book he was reading and settles into the chair in deep thought. "Still Millie seems troubled by these…these things she sees. I just hope we can work through them."

Here in the Great Hall, the quests begin. The book that lies on the table outlines the story and tells what is to be done. Strangers and friends are met at the gate, and join us in the Great Hall and in the Castle Bar until they are needed. The quests may range from dungeon rescues to searching for clues to elaborate puzzles to braving some of the worst terrors of the game. Whatever the quest, Ciesa is always generous in her rewards to those who aid the ghosts that tarry here.

The defenses of the castle are always a concern. Here Valya, the captain of the guardians, discusses with her assistant, Jonathan, his special covert duties within the castle. They have little to do with ghosts and a lot to do with very real folk that visit Lir. Working alone, yet in concert with the Guardians, Jonathan helps Valya to strive to maintain the integrity of the castle and the safety of the Baroness and the inhabitants within. An odd pairing, this short, Elven guard captain and her tall, quiet, human subordinate, yet the two seem to be friends, and manage the safety of the castle well.

At night, when the darkness seeps into the very stones of Lir, others gather here in the great hall, ones whom we know and whom we have yet to discover. They do not feel cold, nor heat, nor touch of the rain. They gather to speak of what was, and perhaps to tell stories and sing songs of old. Each ghost does not rest, but walks the earth seeking something, some revenge, some truth, some love, some peace. Whatever they seek, it is our duty to aid them in finding it.

Old Darby Yrnrick, the caretaker, sits in the library pouring over ancient tomes with MaraRose, the priestess of Caridwen. Many secrets are lost in the pages of these old histories, which span the centuries since the cornerstone of Marrach Lir was laid so many ages ago. And for those centuries, his family has faithfully served the descendants of Lir. Yet even more secrets are whispered in the evening shadows, as Darby remembers visits from spirits past during the many years he watched over the empty castle alone. Now the castle teems with life, and many of the secrets, lie as always, in knowledge, in books, and in the past.

Ciesa and Arthur meet the owner of the new Feast Tavern, Fret Etraydes. He seems to have planned the decor to invite the spirits as well as serve them. The tavern's grand opening will be on October 29th, the day of All-Spirits. The spirits of Lir often wander here, for the Tavern's foundations are built upon the old graveyard below.

And lastly, we leave Ciesa to her thoughts in the Lover's Trysting Room, though it seems obvious what those thoughts are as she looks up at Arthur. Yet… what are those two shadowy figures reaching out to touch, yet seemingly unable to? And when these two are together, what strange things do they say to each other, almost without knowing what they speak? But certainly, you may be sure that wherever you are in Lir stronghold, like Ciesa and Arthur Val, you are never completely… alone.

The community grows with each new friend who visits, and who aids us. Here there are noble and base, gentle and wild, strong and weak, enchanting and terrifying. One never knows what will happen next within the ramparts. Visit our library at http://rivendell.fortunecity.com/lunar/577/ to keep abreast of what is happening inside the castle. Read the stories. Listen to the legends. Many are the secrets. Help us to bring them to light one by one. Come to… Marrach Lir.

Join us in November for Virtues Month, as we highlight tales of the eight virtues of Ultima. And be certain to keep an eye on FYI for future spotlight topics. We look forward to hearing more of your tales of excitement and adventure in the world of Britannia.

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