The capture of the FoA leader

Genn Wintord

UP: Britannia

    Responding to an urgent plea for help from, of all places, Buccaneer's Den, Halston Montil gathered some stalwart warriors and skilled mages to his side. Leaving for the island, one could not help but notice the gleam in his eye. Obviously anxious for some action after a week of uneasy quiet, the Royal Guardsman looked eager to fall upon whatever foe he found at the pirate town.

    Arriving at the island town, Halston and his companions found orcs, mages, and elementals everywhere. A fierce battle ensued. Fighting his way across the town, Halston came to the Thieves' Den. In the back room he found a man named Trool cowering behind the desk. Trool claimed to be a member of the Followers of Armageddon. Halston asked him a few curt questions and discovered that the reason for the hordes in Buccaneer's Den was that they were lackeys for the FOA. They had grown restless and jumpy since the Leader after the failure seven days ago. The Leader had not been in touch with them. One thing led to another and then they were cavorting all over the place. Haslton considered a moment then asked where the Leader could be found. Trool swore he didn't know, but that he had heard about a contact in Minoc. A mage named Onjann.

    Traveling to Minoc in search of the mage, Halston those who accompanied him spoke excitedly. A chance to perhaps find the infamous Leader of the FOA. They found Onjann in the tavern, the Barnacle. At first uncooperative, Onjann changed his tone when Trool's name was mentioned. He admitted to helping the Leader in exchange for a debt being erased. He owed the FOA a large sum of gold, but had been promised the erasing of that debt for his assistance in getting the Leader to a hiding place. Onjann said he sent the Leader to speak with Marhta, a gypsy in Yew.

    In Yew, behind the mill as promised, Halston found Marhta. Marhta was eager to help after they mentioned Onjann's name, but had little to say. She had indeed spoken with the Leader, but had been unable to help him. She said that he had gotten angry and had stomped off mumbling something about the dungeon near there. The dungeon Shame.

    Searching desperately in Shame, Haslton eventually found the Leader. But he was in the midst of an interesting tableau. GThunk the troll was threatening him. Julia and Mariah, the kidnapping victims of a few weeks ago stood near by trembling. The Leader was cowardly using them as a human shield between himself and the troll. Seeing Halston and his followers and knowing him to be a virtuous man, the Leader called out to him for help. GThunk growled deeply and warned Halston to back off. The troll made it clear that he wanted to take care of the Leader himself. He blamed the FOA for the death of his brother, GSplat.

    Halston turned to the FOA Leader and told him that he would help, but only if he surrendered to his custody. The Leader stalled a bit, hemming and hawing, but realized he had little choice and agreed. Halston then asked the troll to step down and let him take his prisoner. GThunk roared and became outraged. He yelled that he would be the one to finish the FOA. The troll rushed at the FOA Leader, intending to strike him dead in one powerful blow.

    Surprisingly, Julia stepped in front of the troll and asked him to stop. She told him that the FOA Leader had surrendered. The troll ignored her and continued toward the Leader. Stepping into his path, Julia caught the full brunt of his anger and his wrath. Struck down, she fell with a hollow thud. Halston leapt at the troll, drawing his sword in one quick motion. His folowers did the same except for a few who had been asked by Halston to watch the Leader. The battle with the powerful troll was fierce, and in the confined space, the large beast seemed to have the upper hand. If not for the large number of warriors, mages, and healers who had accompanied Halton, the troll would not likely have been defeated. When the troll finally fell, Halston let out a slow breath and thanked those who helped him. Wiping the seat from his brow, he turned to the Leader, scowled, and then knelt by Julia. Touched by her act of sacrifice for someone who had kidnapped and submitted her to as yet unknown horrors, Halton took her into his arms and quickly asked for a spell to transport them to Yew. With the Leader in tow, Halston stepped into the moongate that was conjured.

    The FOA Leader was deposited in the Yew Prison. And Julia was laid gently in a bed in the court. Knowing that she would likely never regain consciousness, Halston knelt beside her and thanked the virtues that people like Julia were a part of his realm. The tears sliding across his cheek bespoke the emotion he felt at the loss of one such.


From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Tuesday, December 22nd 1998