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A Tale of Britannia
As the bustling capitol of Britannia, the streets of Britain offer exotic goods, fantastic delights, and adventures plenty, drawing visitors from the far reaches of the continent. However, as Frank Braun learns in our spotlight this week, sometimes in traveling a long journey, you might discover that what you wanted was right beside you all along.


 “A crimson shadow in the forest, moving with silent grace from tree to tree, quiet as a deer, Willow was slender and beautiful as her namesake. Behind her, Frank Braun moved with the ease and care of a lame troll, stumbling over vines, testing hidden holes in the forest floor for their ankle-breaking capability.
“They were going to Britain, the longest journey on foot he had ever undertaken in his life.

“The trip was Willow’s idea, and he could only agree it was a fine one, for it meant a long journey beside her, moments in sun-spotted clearings when they would stand close and talk and touch. Anywhere with her. Anywhere.

“She wanted to see the city, the largest in the land. Frank had never been there, his father’s promises to take him on one of the cargo ships empty as the old man’s heart. Some of his father’s employees, not much older than Frank, had told him wild tales of the place * hundreds of people in the bank square alone, endless streets of shops and houses, filled with folks of all kinds. The most beautiful women in the world were in Britain it was said. And the worst men.

“So he approved her plan and they set out, the pretext being a quest for a supply of the silk mages use for binding and summoning, the shops of Skara Brae being empty of it. She was at home in the forest, as certain of her step as he was of his manners in a dining room. He was amazed by the wildness of it, the riot of green nature and life. Parting a brush-clogged gap between the trees, he came face-to-face with a wolf. Not afraid, for he was armored in leather and armed with a blade he was learning to use, but astounded at the proximity of the animal, close enough to smell the blood on its breath. It bristled but did not attack and man and wolf carefully circled each other, passing on their respective journeys.

“They saw no one. He had always heard the lands between the towns were empty, except in those places where monsters lived. If you did meet someone, it was best to bypass them without lingering, for there were outlaws and brigands everywhere and a close-lipped smile might hide teeth filed to cannibal points.

“Progress was slow, between their pauses to talk and Frank’s total failure as a woodsman, but in time, the trees thinned and farmhouses appeared. Ahead, Frank could see stone buildings, perhaps a palace. The air stank.

“They followed a road and came to a bridge, the largest one Frank had ever seen, vast and spanning a river where sea monsters squirmed and blew flames. There were people everywhere, strange messengers running on unimaginable errands, hawkers calling their wares at every corner.

“Frank paused on the bridge, smiling at Willow but fearful inside that they had made a mistake coming to the city. They would be lost here, their throats cut, or Willow thrown back into a life of servitude and misery. To hide his nervousness, he brought out his fishing pole and cast from the bridge, the hook sailing down in graceful arc to land in the water. Willow sat beside him on the stone railing, watching him.

“And peace came over him like a mage’s spell of calming. Britain or the forest. He understood a dream he had recently dreamed. It did not matter where he was, if he was with her. Fishing helped too, and he grinned as he drew out an enormous trout, and cast again. They would be fine here for a day or two.

“He had barely seen Britain, but already he knew his old friends had been right about one thing.

“The most beautiful woman in the world was there.”

- Frank Braun
Catskills

We are pleased to present these tales of your battles and memorable moments in Ultima Online. Join us next week, as we continue to spotlight your tales of adventure and excitement within the world of Britannia

Published: October 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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