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Escape from Yew
n northwestern Britannia, nestled among the ancient trees surrounding the city of Yew, lies the famed Court of Truth. Within the stone halls of this aged fortress, many a man and woman have faced judgment for their actions. In our spotlight today, Jack Han, a young thief, finds adventure both within, and beyond, the walls of the Court of Truth.


 "The cell door creaked open slowly, and a guard walked in. The prisoner lay asleep on his raggy bed, only wearing pants. The guard shook the prisoner's shoulder not at all gently and said roughly "Wake up, you scum." Jack stirred and groaned. "Its time for your trial, gutter rat." The guard said as he pulled him out of bed and threw him out of the cell. Another guard stood outside, with a halberd in his hand. Jack brushed his short, red hair absently, and started walking toward the Court of Truth, being closely flanked by the two guards.
"'All rise. Court is now in session.' The four guards and the few local townspeople who were sitting in the benches, waiting for the judge to arrive, stood. Judge Enar entered the courtroom and sat down at the Magistrate's desk. 'Be seated,' said the Captain of the Guard, and the small audience sat back down. 'Trial number 32. Jack Han is charged with theft and assault.' Two guards entered the courtroom escorting Jack between them. They sat Jack at the front bench. The Captain of the Guard came up to him and said 'Jack Han, do you admit to the robbery of 300 gold pieces and assault on a guard?' Jack nodded slightly. 'Do you plead guilty or innocent?'

"'Guilty.' Jack spoke softly.

"The Captain of the Guard looked up at the Magistrate.

"'Well, this is quite a serious crime. 300 gold coins may not be much, but assault on a guard cannot go unpunished,' said Judge Enar. 'Members of the jury, have you reached a verdict?' The two monks, herbalist, and ranger nodded. Jack swallowed nervously. The Captain of the Guard walked up to the first monk, who handed him a slip of paper. The Guard walked back over to the front, and handed the paper to the Judge. The Judged unfolded it carefully and looked at it. 'Jack Han is guilty and charged with two weeks of hard labor, after which he will be executed.'

"Jack blinked. He couldn't bring himself to believe it. Being killed was not that horrible, as there was always resurrection. But, if you were executed, they took your ghost, and locked him in a room forever. Suddenly, there was a loud bang as the front door slammed open. Men holding swords and bows ran in and attacked the guards. 'Damn! Brigands!' The Captain cursed and joined the battle. Jack looked around. The audience had fled, and the guards were busy fighting the intruders. He slipped out of the chaos as quickly as he could, heading back towards the prison.

"Jack ran down some steps, and entered a storage area. Panting heavily, he leaned against a wall and tried to regain his breath. Suddenly, the wall behind him opened, and he fell back into a secret room. Getting up slowly, he squinted to see in the dark room. He could only make out an altar with strange symbols on it on the floor. The rest of the room seemed bare. Looking back the way he came, he heard the sounds of fighting coming from upstairs somewhere. Sighing, he looked back at the strange altar.

"Alchemistic symbols glowed dully on the altar and there was a strange humming sound. Jack slowly reached his hand out and touched it, then felt a shock of power as the prison walls faded away. Wondering why everything was dark, and his head throbbing, Jack suddenly realized his eyes were closed. Opening them slowly, he found that he was in a cavern. Looking around, he saw a small hole, lined with jagged rocks. It was just large enough for him to fit through. Peering into the hole, he only saw darkness. Shrugging absently, he jumped into it. Darkness surrounded him. Her turned to go back, but could not find the entrance from which he came. Beginning to panic, Jack took a step in one direction, then felt himself plummet downward through the darkness.

"Landing with a loud thud in another cavern, he looked around slowly. It was a narrow cavern, just large enough for one man to pass through at a time. Sighing and wondering how he got himself into these scenarios, he walked through the cavern. After a few minutes of stumbling in the dark, he found a ladder leading upward. He climbed it slowly, and squinted when his eyes met sunshine at the top. After his eyes adjusted to the sudden brightness, he looked around warily, and found himself in a small building. He checked all of the chests and cabinets, but found nothing but cobwebs. Muttering, he walked outside.

"Water, stretching as far as the eye could see, glimmered in the bright sun. The ground was covered with sand, and narrow rocks lined a 20-foot high cliff around the building. To Jack's right, there was a narrow, sandy path that led to mountains. Wiping the sweat off of his forehead, he started down the path. After only moving a few feet, a deafening roar echoed from the mountains. Jack stopped suddenly, and looked frantically around. He had only heard stories of dragons, and never truly believed in them. Until now.

"Behind a mountain range, a winged figure flew through the air. Jack stood, frozen in terror, watching the humongous figure swoop down and land barely forty feet away from him. The creature, fitting the description of a wyvern, stretched its neck high and looked down at Jack with blood red eyes. Jack saw in those eyes a look of superiority and remembered a bit more of the legends of wyverns. Predators and prey. After a few moments of just staring, the wyvern stomped a massive leg on the ground, as if toying with its prey. Jack blinked out of his daze, and ran back toward the building as fast as he could without looking back.

"Appearing back in Yew prison, Jack slumped to the floor sat in shock. After minutes of sitting Jack finally got back up and banged his head against the wall, vowing to never steal anything again. The wall slid back to reveal the forest. Jack blinked and wondered how he kept doing that. He trotted off into the forest, leaving his past behind."

Join us next week, when we spotlight your continuing adventures in the cities of Britannia. And don't forget to keep an eye on FYI for future spotlight topics!

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