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The Dark Mistress
As the darkness of night ravages the landscape and the sun hides behind the horizon in fear of the inevitable dark, a woman stands at a window, pondering the events that she has set into motion. She is a beautiful woman; long raven black hair that stretches down her back and dances in the wind that blows in from the night. Her eyes are the color of the obsidian stone, deep pools of endless darkness, beautiful and yet steeled and deadly. She is a woman of mature years, but even for her age this woman would turn the heads of every nobleman in the land, her soft brown skin and slender figure hide strength and magic only few have dreamed of acquiring.

“How doth thy wounds heal?” she asks the silent figure that now stands in the doorway. As she runs a finger over the jeweled dagger at her waist, a quaint smile crosses her full red lips. The figure’s face grimaces at the remembrance of the inflicted pain. “It heals mistress, but the scar shall remind me never to cross thee again.” “Come in Keeonean and shut the door behind thee.” Turning from the window, the woman seems to float across the room making no sound as she moves. Her hand brushes along the backs of the antiqued chairs as she passes them. She seats herself in front of the fire and turns slightly toward Keeonean, the flames from the hearth blazing in her dark eyes. “ Well? What news doth thou bring from Britannia?” she states with a razor sharp undertone.

The man steps forward, his head bowed slightly, allowing the shadows to conceal his scared face. A giant of a man, standing some seven feet tall, well toned and muscled from years of battle. His skin looks almost plum in color, yet on closer examination, weavings of intricate tattooing cover his entire body. These tattoos denote his rank in his mistress’ army. His armor is golden in hue and radiates a magical glow, showing little to no signs of battle wear. At his hip rests a sword like no other - the Keeonean blade, forged by his family many generations ago and embodied with the darkest of magic. The blade quietly wails as if crying out for another victim. It seems as if the sword could leap from the sheath and wield itself. 

“The attacks go well and all is according to your plan. Yew has been an easy conquest for my army of orcs and mongbats. They are about as dumb as my once partner Gondor, that drunken oaf, but take orders with out question or hesitation. Empath Abbey doth seem to pose a stronger resistance. It would seem the townsfolk care for the monks. Cove doth not prove to be a problem either, the Gazer fiend raids the city daily with the headless ones and lesser gazers. I feel we should increase the activity in Cove; perhaps we can conquer the city ahead of schedule.” 

“You Feel! Hmpf, I did not acquire thy services for thy mind. Stick to what ye know or feel more than the bite of my blade. Now! Continue, what of the other cities?” the woman replies harshly.

Keeonean backs away slightly and bows his head even further “Aye Mistress! Vesper is proving to be a problem, it would seem the scum of Vesper fight better than expected. The trolls attack on a constant basis with a bloodlust driven by your promise that the lands of Vesper shall once again become theirs. Yet they are still being driven back. Trinsic seems to be falling further and further into Juo’nar control. That liche seems to grow stronger with every death his army brings. The paladins seem to be of little help to the wealthy city and it looks as though Trinsic will be the first to fall under your control. The Ophidians are also proving to be strong allies as they rip through the cities of Papua and Delucia leaving nothing but blood trails and spirits in their wake.”

“Whatever spell ye cast over the land seems to be taking its toll. The cities’ magical protection is failing and Lord British’s guards ignore our armies as if they did not exist. They seem to wander around in a daze even more than usual. The monsters are also being affected by the spell. They are easily swayed to follow us with little to no effort on our part. It seems you control them more that we do.” Keeonean draws his cape around him to ward of the cold and waits for a reply.

“What of Britain and the attacks made by the sorceress Malabelle?” the woman states as she summons a goblet from the table across the room into her hand.

As the glowing trails of the spell fade, Keeonean continues, “Your… Pet, Malabelle has used her dark powers to sway the simple minds of the lizardmen and ratmen tribes between Trinsic and Britain to attack all who travel the road between those two cities. I have even heard the creatures have braved the city of Britain and caused a multitude of deaths.”

The woman stands as she places the goblet on the hearth. She moves toward Keeonean, who towers over her slender figure. Her fingers begin to dance as she whispers unrecognizable words. Reaching out her hand she touches Keeonean’s chest and he is instantly thrown across the room with the force of a whirlwind. Slamming against the stone structure of the keep he crumbles to the floors gasping for breath.

“Ye shall learn to hold they sharp tongue. Thou should be mongbat food by now, but I still require your lust for destruction and death.” She calms her anger as she straightens her silken gown by sliding her hands slowly over her shapely hips.

“Malabelle has potential as long as she believes Lord British has wronged her lover. She is easily swayed by suggestion, yet she is a powerful sorceress. That is why I have trained her myself".

"Increase the raids on all fronts; I want the people of Britannia to suffer endlessly. Have Juo’nar and Malabelle combine their efforts to crush Trinsic. I want no humans left alive in that putrid city of honor. Juo’nar must call forth all who lie beneath the soil to fight for him against the living. Even if he has to call upon the creatures from the depths of abyss to aid him, he will take and hold that city." 

"Begone!! You have much to do.” Silently she crosses the room and stands at the open window.

Keeonean stands; the light from the fire hits his face and illuminates the wickedness of the woman standing silently at the window. The scar on his flesh runs from left brow to opposite cheek, leaving him sightless in one eye. “Yes, Dark Mistress” can be heard as the doors closes.

The wind blows at her raven locks as the woman stares out at the darkened land “Sit on the throne Lord British and watch thy Britannia crumble. Thou art helpless to stop the incoming tide this time. I see your death and my hands are the cause of it. Prepare for the end of Britannia and a new beginning to arise from the ashes.” 

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