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The Battle with the Bird of Life
"I had traveled from the very distant lands of Hyrule for what, at first, had seemed like a simple adventure and meeting. A good family member of mine, Lord Brian, a tamer of the city of Moonglow, told me that he had moved to the great land of Britannia. All seemed well enough as I entered his fine tower of stone, which was adorned with many fishing nets. But all was not well with him. As I ventured up to the second floor, I found him laying face down on his bed, sobbing over the loss of his pet. Unbeknownst to me, a legendary dragon that I heard of was in fact a pet that he had kept; a beast with the hue of ember and a temper to match. But whereas other animal keepers seem to care not for the longevity of their mounts, this dragon had been his closest companion, staying with him for over 6 months before its untimely demise.

"'Who or what could have done this unjust act?' I questioned Brian as he sat on his bed, slumped over, face turned toward the ground.

"'A Phoenix,' he said wearily.

"With that, I hastily stood up from my bowed position, knowing that my visit was going to be quite different than I had anticipated. Upon hearing his answer, I knew that I couldn't wait any longer. The monster that hurt my brother so, even if it was a Phoenix, was going to pay for the damage it caused -- with its life.

"After quickly mustering up all the necessary materials from out of the local bank including armor, my green tunic, shield, a powerful mace of force, and many bandages, I set off. I recalled to the distant city of Delucia and hastily hiked toward the cave the beast claimed as its home, letting nothing detour me from my quest.

"Before long, I arrived at the vast cavern. Locals had named it the Trinsic Passage. I, never having been there before, simply knew that the cave was large and that the dreaded Phoenix was somewhere inside. Upon entering, the smell of sulfur and ash was dominant. Twisted, road-like paths led in many directions, and several bubbling lava pits burned with the intensity of a thousand torches. Since I was used to the art of exploring, I thought little about having to search tirelessly for the Phoenix in the darkness. Nearer the pits of flame, the illuminating glow of the beasts created by fire helped to remove some of the encumbering darkness that enshrouded the cavern. Although the light was helpful, it was necessary for me to brandish both sword and shield, for the creatures of this passage were less than happy to gaze upon an intruding visitor. 

"At long last, beyond the lava pits and toward the back of the cavern, I finally found the fabled creature of rebirth - a Phoenix! Perched on an extremely stumpy stalagmite, this eagle-sized bird appeared to be harmless, for it did not attack me, but instead, continued to eat the remaining flesh and bones of a creature far less fortunate.

"I did not want to overstay my welcome. My sole intent was to vanquish this dragon-killer of a bird as quickly as possible. Gritting my teeth, I hastily targeted the blood-red bird of prey, my sword wielded and ready. To say that the bird did not appreciate my presence was a true understatement. That much was apparent from the look in its eyes. I saw death mixed with a thirst for blood in its glowing gaze. Not hesitating in the slightest, it leapt from the dismembered corpse it had been feeding on, and took swift flight towards me, reaching me within mere seconds. I stood ready and was able to give it a solid blow with my sword, connecting cold steel to the fire-red plumage along its wing. To my amazement, only a few feathers fell to the ground! Immediately, it retaliated and sunk its cold beak into my plate chest, ripping though the hardest part of my armor with ease, leaving me at what I felt was about half of my power. In another half-second, it swung again; its golden claws slashed my upper torso, sending a pool of blood to the floor. Gasping for air and mustering all my strength, I dealt another blow which stunned the creature for a second, giving me time to heal some of my wounds as I ran. 

"I knew now that this was no ordinary bird. Each blow that it had dealt was like a hammer, sending a dull, aching throb throughout the parts of my body it had hit. I needed to hatch my plan quickly before I would be the one needing to be reborn. I swiftly ran through the winding trails in the cave and past the burning pits of fire; the loathing creature was literally on my heels every step of the way. I ran towards a large series of what appeared to be earthen ramps near the front of the cave.

"Sheathing my sword, I pulled out the mace of force that I initially brought along for protection from the other evils in the cave, as I did not think I would need such a powerful weapon for a mere bird. As my heart beat like the thumping of a drum, I ran along the ramp and knew that this is where I wanted to lead the bird, into my nest of sorts. With a wild swing of my mace, I landed a solid blow on the bird's skull and it recoiled in confusion and pain, screeching in anguish. It, too, dealt some more damage, leaving me feeling nauseated from a hefty dose of poison. Retreating to the other end of the path, I tended to my sudden sickness. As I was distracted, an intense wall of fire belched forth from the ground and traveled up my body. Such magical energy from the Phoenix caught me in complete surprise, for I had not expected such mystical powers from a physical creature. By this time, I had cured the poison that had ravaged my body and was attending to my wounds and charred skin, but it was too late. I could heal all my wounds, but not in time for the speedy creature to catch me off guard. As I prepared for the worst, the bird did not rush in the manner it had before. Instead, it landed squat upon the ground, cocked its head sideways, and gazed back towards the distant entrance of the cave.

"'Hello! Is anyone in there?" stammered a stranger. It was obvious that he was not aware of the predicament that I was in at the moment, or the danger that lurked just beyond the cave entrance, for he begun his climb up the ramp in quite a relaxed manner. 
"'NO! Look out!" I screamed as the bird swiftly turned in its perched position and glared hungrily at this new, unannounced visitor. With a sudden flap of its fiery wings, it took flight.

"Nay, I did not have a chance to say more to this visitor before I heard the sounds of ripping armor and cloth. Casting a brief glance in the direction of the scuffle, I noticed the bird ripping through the stranger's simple armor, and after a mere second or two, a blood-curdling scream of death echoed throughout the cave, followed by a sudden silence, except for that of my terrified heart. The blood-thirsty bird then began to devour the corpse in ways that would sicken even the heartiest of adventurers.

"Without wasting another moment, I pounced upon the bird as it fed on the new bloody corpse, administering several solid blows before it retreated and began to attack me once again. After it pecked a substantial gash along my arm, I sped to the top of the ramp and tended to my wounds. Once again, the bird caught up to me and lashed out. I had had enough for one day. Not wishing to suffer further pain, I blocked its attack with my shield and again smashed it with my mace. Using this tactic again, I ran to the bottom of the ramp and suffered from a momentary blow before striking it yet again, sending it into temporary submission. 

"Repeating this tactic again and again, I struck the Phoenix multiple times as I ran to and fro. The bird, in combination with its magical prowess, also exhibited resistance and a life-force unlike any other creature I had ever encountered before. With the thunderous pounding of my mace, the Phoenix eventually weakened. And finally, with one last *thud*, it spiraled toward the ground, ramming it with tremendous speed, and then laid silent. The Phoenix was dead at last!!! As I healed my battle-scarred body, I knew that I would never forget this ordeal. Slicing the bloody corpse open, I collected my reward of over 1,000 gold coins and other assorted findings. But for once, the glittering gold was not the most valuable loot. Instead, it was the gratification and pride that I gave back to my brother, and to myself, after the loss of a very close friend."

-Link of Chesapeake 

Join us next week as we continue to Spotlight your tales of adventure in the lands of Britannia. Be sure to keep an eye on FYI for future spotlight topics, and send in your stories!

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