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A Tale of Minoc
Resting in the shadow of Mount Kendall lies the bustling mining town of Minoc, city of Sacrifice. Miners and blacksmiths from the far reaches of Britannia nod greetings in the busy streets, drawn by the rich ore veins near town. And among these craftsmen, the tinkers come forth to ply their wares.

Our spotlight today focuses on Darius, a tinker who found his craft in the city of Minoc.


 My name is Darius the Tinker. I'm the Guildmaster for the Ring of Steel. I was born in Britain about 30 years ago. My father, Phaltran, raised me according to the eight virtues of the Avatar.
"When I was old enough I left home to seek my fortune. Father had always spoken of Minoc, the city of Sacrifice, and its many wonders. He told of the finest blacksmiths able to forge weapons that bordered upon magical, of miners able to pull ore from the bones of the earth where any other person would see naught but stone, of carpenters making some of the finest furniture in all of Britannia, and of the tinkers that created mechanical contraptions that one would swear were powered by magic from the ether.

I left home one morning and headed east out of Britain. I saw many animals and monsters along my way. I had little skill in fighting so I avoided as much confrontation as possible. I passed Cove and stopped in briefly for a rest. My father always called it the city of love, but with the orc fort just to the south I saw very little to love about the place. I knew I was nearing Minoc when I started seeing the mountains looming in the distance. Little did I know that there was a dungeon between my goal and myself.

I didn't dare enter the evil place so ill equipped, so I traveled around it. My geography failed me at that time and instead of traveling east from the dungeon's entrance I went west. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. I found myself caught in a dense forest of oaks, poplars, and walnut trees. Worse there were brambles, rocks, and bushes cluttering the ground so thickly that I could barely find a path. Later I would name this place the Briar Patch. My heart froze when I heard not one, but two grunts. I looked through the thick cover of trees and thought I saw two trees moving towards me. Suddenly two grotesque heads topped the tree nearest me. If my recollection of my father's tales were correct, I was face to face to face with an ettin. I nearly made the fatal mistake of freezing in my tracks. Fortunately my feet had their own mind and they found the desire to run.

It felt like I ran for hours. I tried to stop and rest but each time I stopped a new terror would loom its deformed head out of the brush. Trolls, orcs, ratmen and undead infested the forest to no end. Eastward I ran constantly thinking in my mind "Minoc must be near surely." I finally arrived amongst a gathering of tents beside a road. I fell to my knees and urged more air into my tired lungs.

I recovered with the help of the kind townspeople. I not only recovered, but I prospered. I talked to and learned from the many craftsmen of Minoc. I dabbled in every skill I could learn. I mined for some time, but I discovered I simply didn't have the endurance to pound on the rock all day with pick and shovel. I did at least transform my weak muscles into stouter stuff. I tried my hand at blacksmithing but found again that I did not have the stamina to stand at the forge all day, suffer the sweltering heat and beat the metal into submission. I took up the carpenter's tools and made many a fine chair. This time I discovered a lack of resources. There were only so many trees in Minoc to supply my trade, and I didn't dare venture into the unsafe forests outside of the city.

Finally it occurred to me to try tinkering. Throughout all of my attempts at a profession, I always found myself returning to the tinker shop to have my tools repaired or to purchase new ones. I got to know Ed and Nadine quite well and would spend time at their shop watching them craft fine clocks and make tools for the tradesmen of the town. Nadine smiled me when I told her I'd like to try my hand at tinkering. "You've used all of the tools, so now you can find out how to make them," she said.

Time passed, my skill increased and I found the time to work on other skills that helped me explore the world. I am now one of the best swordsmen and tinkers in the land. More importantly I'm one of the most trusted men in the land. I've taught many a new craftsman or adventurer, I've healed and helped those in need and I've given back to society what I have in plenty. It took some time, but father's lessons about Sacrifice finally made sense to me.

Some time back I found the need for fellowship, so I formed the Ring of Steel. To this day we live in and protect Minoc. We hold our weekly meetings in the Counselor's Guildhall while we wait for our own new guildhall to be built. Whether we're hunting ettins and trolls in Ettin's Pass or the Briar Patch, helping hapless adventurers in the wild or defending the town miners from would be thieves and assassins, we're never far from Minoc and Minoc is never far from our thoughts.

Go with the virtues.

Darius, Guildmaster for the Ring of Steel
http://ringofsteel.tripod.com

Join us next week, when as we continue to spotlight your tales of the famed cities of Britannia. And 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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