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Tale of the Fire Steed
The Fire Steed, a creature of heat and flame, never before seen in Britannia until now -- this week’s spotlight focuses on the discovery of this magnificent beast.
“Lord Oaks has called upon me several times since I left the woods of Ilshenar to live among the young and innocent of Haven, but none of his errands for me have been as interesting as this last one. He had heard rumor of daemons stealing away unicorns and taking them to the deep places of the world. There, they severed their horns and subjected the animals to the tortures of heat and flame, hardening their souls, and putting fire into their veins. What was produced was a creature the world had never seen: a horse of flame, a Fire Steed.

“I tracked the stolen beasts to the Fire Dungeon. Perhaps at one time, there had been many of them, but I found only two. Their daemon captors were nowhere to be seen, but I knew they must be near. I approached the golden horses cautiously, watching them closely. As I neared, I could see something in their eyes. The pain of the fire had driven the creatures insane, and yet they had retained their former intelligence. Somewhere inside these monsters of flame was the majesty of the unicorns they had once been. They were wild and willful creatures now, and I wasn't sure that even my skill in taming would be enough to control them.

“However, Lord Oaks had given me two scrolls a few weeks before, which allowed me to continue my studies in taming and animal lore beyond my previous mastery. I had been working with many types of animals since then, in an effort to put the scrolls to use, and there would be no better time to test out my new abilities than now. I approached the Fire Steed closest to me carefully, watching his movements for signs of aggression. The Fire Steed instantly turned on me, belching fire and burning me badly. At that point, I knew this was going to be a test not only of my abilities in taming, but also a test of survival.

“For at least an hour, I fought with the beast, healing myself often, and considering retreat more than once. Finally, he allowed me to get close enough to gently speak to him, whispering words that had calmed other animals nearly as wild as he. After a few minutes, he allowed me to come close enough to touch him. Tamed, the Fire Steed was surprisingly intelligent, and responsive to my commands. He would be a powerful ally, and for this, I named him Blaze.

“I mounted Blaze, and continued on to the second steed. Unsure if I could command two at once, I approached the second one as cautiously as the first. While I had learned much in my struggle with Blaze, taming this steed was no less difficult. Again, our battle raged for nearly an hour, healing both Blaze and myself for the duration, but, finally, I was able to tame the creature. So it was possible to control two Fire Steeds at once; Lord Oaks would be very interested in that news. I named the second Fire Steed Inferno, and had him follow me. Lord Oaks would want to see them in person.

“Just as we were nearing the exit of the Fire Dungeon, I heard the sounds of an approaching daemon—and I could tell it was blocking our way. I dismounted from Blaze, and waited for the daemon to come within sight of us. As soon as I could see it, I gave both Blaze and Inferno the command to kill. Having fought each of them individually, I thought I knew what to expect of them in combat, but I was surprised. Blaze and Inferno fought ferociously together against the daemon, inflicting significantly more damage then they would have on their own. I had seen this sort of pack instinct in other animals, but never in unicorns or horses. Very interesting.

“I was also impressed to see that both Blaze and Inferno seemed to have an unusually high resistance to the spells the daemon threw at them, despite the fact that they cast no spells of their own. As the fight continued, I noticed Inferno's natural armor was equivalent to that of a human wearing full plate, while Blaze's was closer to a suit of ringmail. This variance forced me to heal Blaze more often than Inferno, but only slightly. However, my veterinary abilities became almost worthless when the daemon cast poison on Blaze. My attention completely diverted to Blaze, I did not see Inferno lay the final hit on the daemon, but suddenly, it was dead. Relieved, I quickly finished my ministrations on Blaze and remounted, once again having Inferno follow us.

“As I rode towards the moongate that would take us to Ilshenar, back to the Lord of the Forest, I reflected on what I had found. Fire Steeds, both beautiful and violent, could be powerful allies for those who could tame them. Lord Oaks would be impressed with the news--and evidence--I was bringing him. Perhaps there were more Fire Steeds to be found in the Fire Dungeon, but I would have to leave that for another time.

“What wonders this vast world can hold.”

-Anwyn Brenna
Dryad of Haven
Thanks to our very own GM Anwyn for bringing us this delightful tale! Please join us again next week as we share another exciting adventure from the realm of Britannia and, as always, keep an eye on FYI for future spotlight topics!

Published: July 2002
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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