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A Battle for Trinsic
A dark woman stalks the ramparts of the City of Honor, gazing out over the destruction below. Her gaze falls upon the desecrated corpses of those who dared oppose her, now strung up as warning to any who plot to strike back. Behind her, the streets of Trinsic echo only the footsteps of her undead army. No mortal man or woman dares walk the cobblestones in safety. The woman gazes over what her whim has wrought… and smiles.

But what of those who have lived in Trinsic for generations? What of the families who lost their homes, their work, even their loved ones? Our spotlight today focuses on the tale of Kotetsu, a young warrior of Trinsic who has joined the battle to free his city.

“As long as I can remember, Trinsic was my home. From the days a youth playing, against my mother’s will, in the mines, to the seasons my father allowed me to watch him peddle his wares at the market place.
“Oh, the wonders I’ve seen at the market place. I’ve found myself still wandering the barren market remembering all the jewelry, the great suits of armor, and even the glimmer of the newest batch of swords from the local blacksmiths. I now remember the gestures magicians used to show off their skills; the way their sorcery seemed to dance about the city. The magical energy made the city seem to come alive with amazing colors and sights. The bizarre creatures the mages would summon to challenge the strength of the strongest fighters. Sure the parties involved were all the best of friends, but they played as if they weren’t. Sometimes the beasts summoned would win, other times the challenger would. It was all in fun and games. Beggars and thieves would coat their pockets with gold staging bets on these fights.

“Those days have disappeared. I’ll never forget that day…

It started with a rainy night. The first group arrived with a thunderclap. Thank the heavens that the sentries were strong enough to repel the first wave. The next few skirmishes weren’t as deadly, but were more organized. They seemed to be testing Trinsic’s defenses. One day, the guards must have become fed up with the unending flow of fighters. The few local guilds decided it necessary to do something about these incidents and took up arms against the dark forces. Being the first born of my family, my father deemed it necessary to teach me the ways of the sword. First for the protection of the family, and second, for myself.

“I remember spending hours sparring with my friends, becoming stronger every day. We decided to patrol the city looking for any sign of the invasions. As luck would have it, we found our sign. A beggar was cowering in the dark corner of the alleyway behind the bank, trying to hide himself from the darkness closing in for the kill. We decided to intervene. We struck at the assailant until it fell unconscious to the ground. That’s when I made a gruesome discovery. These forces weren’t alive. The body on the ground had only armor, a weapon, and the enchanted bones beneath. The beggar expressed his relief and gratitude and I went home to tell father of my discovery.

“I returned home to find, to my dismay, my father was away holding the gates of town secure from the hordes of invaders. I spoke of my discovery to mother, who was struck with disbelief. After all, Trinsic hadn’t seen undead since decades before I was born.

“The hourly calls from the patrols became a pattern for me to fall asleep to, and one night we received a knock at the door. A man dressed in black introduced himself as Kain and said his guild, The Agents of Virtue, were rounding up anyone with combat skills. Trinsic was under heavy attack. Hearing this in my half-sleeping state, I jumped out of my bed, got dressed, and grabbed the trusty sword my father gave me. As I ran to the front door, my mother cried for me to stay home and let the master fighters defend the city. I hesitated a moment, but managed to convince her that if the city fell, the surrounding land would surely be next. We stood a better chance behind the tall walls of Trinsic than in the fields around the City of Honor.

“I roused my friends from their slumber and we headed off to the gates of the city in twilight. It was decided by Kain that torches or lamps would give our position away to prying eyes, so we used none. As we approached the city, the stench of undead and sounds of combat reverberated across the tall walls. I could tell the city was in serious trouble. We headed to a boat used as a ‘back entrance’ into the city. As we headed along the wall towards the docks, one could hear the shrill cries of mercy snuffed out immediately by the ominous silence of death. The city was falling.

“The scene of the familiar market place was gone as piles of bones and bodies littered the now crimson paved streets. Within this jumble of bodies, I found something familiar: the now lifeless body of my father. Carefully removing his body from the pile, I moved it to the place he set his tent up in the market every year and said a word of condolence. Taking his armor as my own, I left his body to return to nature. Sword in hand and anger within, I stepped towards the heart of the city.

“The sight was unbearable. Liches everywhere were reanimating the newly slain bodies and adding them to the now huge ranks of undead. Still, the fighters and mages stood their ground, refusing to yield the city to the dark forces. Our forces began to weaken, until we could stand no more losses. Then, she showed up. Even in the darkness, it was obvious she was behind the overtaking of Trinsic. Her actual role in the melee wasn’t much, but I knew she was up to no good when she began uttering the mysterious syllables of magic. It was a long incantation, enough to make even the creatures we were fighting cringe. I couldn’t stand the scene, or the woman. She radiated pure evil. I was forced to flee. I hid in the hold of our boat until the next morning.

“When I awoke, all was quiet. I opened the hold and peered out at the scene. I couldn’t believe my eyes! The very things we were fighting the night before were crawling around in plain daylight eating the corpses of the people I had fought beside! That is when I saw a disturbing thing. My father’s corpse was walking around with the rest of the undead. A voice called my name. If it was real or my imagination, I do not know. It told me that I was to gather forces, and await a plan for the retaking of Trinsic; find forces of virtue, and drive the evil from the land for future generations.

“I have moved to Minoc. This town is less developed than my birthplace, but has the same resources available. I also have decided to stay with this guild of scouts. The evils within the walls of Trinsic have dishonored all the families of the area, and thus must be destroyed.

“I vow to give my life to the freedom of the City of Honor.

Kotetsu, Wakoku shard

Join us next week, when as we spotlight more tales of the ongoing struggle for control of Trinsic, and perhaps of Britannia. Don’t forget to keep an eye on FYI for future spotlight topics!

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