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Kirthag and The Llama Head Point Tavern.
Folklore traditionally features tales of heroic deeds and fair damsels in distress. They are the bardic legends that lived in the minds of troubadours and were carried through the ages by the traveling minstrels that sang for their supper. The land of Britannia is based on those tales, those legends. It's shown through those who would don a sword and armor and rush off to battle the great and mighty beasts of the land. It is reflected through each individual who labors in craft or music, taming or magic. It exists still, just as the Unicorn who walks in Ilshenar and the Dragons nestled within the dungeon Destard. Now, after all this time, you can once again hear the tales.
Welcome to Lllama Head Point tavern. It resides on a branch of land to the Northwest of Cove, and it's owner, Kirthag, strives to keep the old tales lingering in the hearts and minds of all Britannians.
Kirthag, a celtic barbarian who has an in depth story line (which can soon be read here) branching much farther back than her adventures in Sosaria, found her way to Britannia in 1997. A starting point that brought the love of the game, but it would be three years before she would call Napa Valley home. Teetering back and forth between real life and the world of Ultima, Kirthag would own a couple of taverns, even holding the occasional story night. She began by buying the famed reconstruction of The Red Eye tavern in Felucca and later, she herself built another in Trammel. Sadly, each one found it's end when she was drawn away by necessity. Will the new Llama Head Point tavern go the way of the others? No. With her children now grown, she is free of "otherworldly issues," and adamantly exclaims, "I have so much spare time!"
Taking a look at the past... we find that for some of us, the land of Sosaria has always been a place of fantasy and the Heralds, but a means to relive the old ways and remember a time when dying was honorable and the game was more than the items you carried. Kirthag herself was featured in such a story back in 2001. That story remains a part of Ultima and to this day, is featured within it's archives of Guild and Player stories.
Mixing it up in Alexandretta's Bowl
Tired of stories with happy endings? Join us in Ilshenar for a tale of great deeds - and even greater consequences.
"Time in Ilshenar runs at its own pace. Where the mists of the morning lay over the lands left behind, here it is blackest night. Kirth, Pagan Mistress of the Pagans of Evergreen, immediately takes note of the area surrounding the Moongate. The Shrine of Compassion is behind her with darkness fringing the purplish glow of the gate. Choco the Fourteenth shivers between Kirth's legs and fidgets; her horse sense telling her it IS morning, yet the darkness is that of the deepest slumber time.
"After a nudge to the horse's sides, they move forward. Keen to the slightest sound or movement, Kirth readies one of several shields slung to her back. She has journeyed this way before. Also evident is the slightly glowing sword strategically strapped to the saddle, its pommel in easy reach. Another sword is sheathed in the customary fashion of a mounted warrior, under the saddle and over the blanket with the pommel facing rear. This blade is touched with the deadliest of venom.
"A few hours back, a friend of Kirth's took this same journey, following this same trail, hearing the same noises. Having just figured out how to traverse the facets into Ilshenar, this friend was ill prepared for what roams here. He didn't realize that the greater denizens of the realms have a steadfast hold here. He had never encountered a demon, dragon, or wyrm in the wild... until tripping across those three not far from the Shrine of Compassion. Kirth's purpose here is to hunt them down and reclaim her friend's belongings. Prepared to die in the attempt, she rides toward ominous doom with her chin held high and the wisdom of battle accompanying her.
"Suddenly, there is a roar out of the blackness followed by a stream of fire. From behind an outcropping of rock and bush charges the demon Be'elzebub. Screaming with rage, Kirth draws out her poisoned blade. The demon's fire has little effect as it bounces off her magical shield. She urges Choco into the reach of the demon. The battle is short-lived and almost disappointing as blow after blow lands on Be'elzebub. His bellows, once fierce, become whines and then finally a pitiful whimper as he falls in death at Choco's hooves. Kirth glowers at the carcass and then spits upon the cooling flesh. Turning the mare back to the path, she doesn't even bother checking the demon's body. He was unworthy of battle.
"Something snorts on the other side of the outcropping, and Choco instantly reacts to the sound. Not caring about her rider, the mare leaps over the rock, screaming out a challenge as she lands directly upon the tail of a dragon. Surprise is not something dragons are used to and this gains our heroes the advantage. Kirth leaps from her seat upon Choco's back, landing just to the side of the dragon's maw. With a quick thrust her poisoned blade is driven into an hourglass eye. Screeching, the dragon flings its head back, taking Kirth's weapon with it. Choco kicks furiously upon the dragon's withers as the creature hurls magic toward the barbarian.
"Fast thinking and quick feet keep Kirth from being instantly turned to dust. Her shield, taking the brunt of the energies, is flung aside as another magical shield is pulled from her back. Running fast behind a boulder, the warrior quickly applies bandages to her wounds. The screams of horse and dragon in battle are all too clear in the night. Kirth mutters a short oath as her bandages stay the bleeding. She grabs a scroll from her hip and utters the scribbled words as she rounds the boulders, praying the spell works. Out of nowhere meteors shower down from the sky and plummet into the dragon's flesh. Choco, a wise horse indeed, leaps back from harm's way. Vaulting back upon the steed and drawing out the now fiercely glowing blade, Kirth turns her mount towards the beast.
"Charging in, slashing, darting away, Kirth valiantly jousts the dragon. Round and round they go, circling and striking the beast, wearing it down. It is not long before the dragon, already weakened by the poison, falls with a deathly sigh. Heaving from exertion, Kirth dismounts her sweating steed to examine the carcass. Hidden neatly in the concealed pouch all dragons have is the agapite armor and shield belonging to Kirth's friend. As she pockets the gold the dragon carried, there is a half whinny, half yelp and Choco is suddenly...
"'Hu..?' is all the barbarian can utter as a tree-trunk sized tail slams into her chest. She flies back, smashing into the rocks that provided her protection from the dragon. Landing in a heap as armor dents into her ribs, she winces. Looking up just in time, she watches Choco the Fourteenth become breakfast to an Ancient Wyrm. Her eyes widen as the veteran warrior realizes she just might not be able to handle this one.
"The golden hued wyrm munches lazily on the once great warhorse. Saddle, tack, pack, all is crushed within the gargantuan maw, then swallowed down with an audible gulp. There is a small rumbling within its belly, then the beast emits a loud and gaseous belch that shakes the ground beneath Kirth. She tries to move but, alas, the creak of metal joints screeches into the air."
"As if summoned, the head of the ancient wyrm is suddenly there. Its breath is an unimaginable stench, and its teeth still have horseflesh stuck between them. Kirth blinks, and then laughs. Loudly the bellowing of mirth is heard then cut short as the Celtic Barbarian is chomped. Armor and flesh blend together with the remains of Choco and the corpse of some other warrior, whose hand is clearly seen jutting out from between the wyrm's two front teeth."
Do you have a tale of battle that ends more successfully than this one? We want to hear it, so keep your eye on FYI for future Spotlight topics, and join us next week as we continue to spotlight your tales of adventure and excitement within the world of Britannia!
What's an Ancient Wyrm to a celtic barbarian? Well, obviously Kirthag would have liked a better ending to the story. Lucky for us, death is not as exacting in Britannia as it would otherwise be and she has returned to us in full regalia. With the rise of the Stygian Abyss and the newly discovered lands of Ter Mur, Kirthag found herself dusting off the old armor and rejoining the masses. In once again heeding the lure of the game, she is bringing back a missing part of Napa Valley. The origins of the shard, once a matter of role play, will perhaps regain some of it's former glory.
The Llama Head Point tavern is the beginning. For the last couple of months, Kirthag has held themed story nights attempting to rekindle the tradition of the legendary Red Eye. That is what brought her to Napa Valley so many years ago and she hopes to make it a part of our shard once more. Our community has changed much since then, some for the good, and well, some not so much. There are parts of our community that will forever be lost, so it is thrilling to see someone endeavor to return some small part. To carry on the 'ye old tavern' tradition of food, wine, and story. In fact, Kirthag's personal motto says much the same.
"For as long as the shard exists, I will provide community oriented events."
What other events does she have planned? It is possible that we may see the return of the Napa Valley Faire, and the previous aid once offered to new players. Kirthag's tavern also features a growing runebook library and soulstone graveyard that players may peruse to find their lost stones and reclaim them at no cost. What else is in the works? She hints at some future surprises but refuses to spoil the fun by disclosing any further hints. Time will tell what plans she has for Napa Valley and rest assured, I will be ready with my quill to inform all as they come to pass.
From the desk of Kirthag, the following information boasts the details for February's story night. Will you be the next great story teller of Napa?
Yep, that's right. Its time for another Napa Valley Story Night.
WHEN: February 14, 2010
TIME: 7:30pm PAC [5:30pm HST]
WHERE: Llama Head Tavern
To celebrate Valentine's Day, this month's theme is Love !
So bards and lovers, dig up your best love story and come to the Llama Head Tavern for an evening of mushiness, or bitterness - it depends on the story! The best tales will win a portion of the 1million gold prize - as judged by the audience's reaction to your tale. If the audience falls asleep, well, that means you have some improvements to do for next month's Story Night!
Rules are simple:
* Please keep your tale to a maximum of 10 minutes. Anything longer and people get bored.
* Pen your tale before coming [use NotePad, then cut & paste to "tell" your tale in UO]
* Stay on theme
* Please stable your mount - a hitching post is available at the Tavern
* Any disruption not within the Spirit of Sosaria will be dealt with swiftly and judiciously [ban stick is freshly carved]
And how do you get there?
From the luna moongate, simply step to the East, outside the inner city wall and into Nabin's Old Give and Take pub and Communty center. Just inside the entrance, you'll find a teleport pad with a green gargoyle book laying on top.
Step on the pad and you're there. Simply take the stairs to the next floor and as Kirthag says, "Find a seat."
Special thanks to Kirthag for taking the time to answer a few questions! And I sincerely wish you the best of luck and look forward to whatever future plans you have!
Best gaming wishes to all,