Meteorite strikes near desert outpost

Jhared Siffom

UP: Baja

    A Sign From The Skies", that was what the mysterious Seer had called it.

    Earlier that night I walked the streets of Minoc, quite taken with the rugged beauty of the city. It had been quite some time since I had made my way through its rough avenues, admiring the architecture of the city, the freestanding statues placed here and there throughout its length. One such statue captured my eye - an image of a man and woman reaching out toward the skies. As I tarried for a moment, to look up at the stony countenance of the couple, I didst spot a streak of fire passing across their very fingertips. At that time, I marveled at the beauty of the celestial event.

    When the town criers announced that the falling star had struck ground near the desert, I was all the more interested. When I finally arrived at the impact site, I was instantly filled with dread.

A glowing sign from the skies.

    A large group of warriors and mages surrounded the glowing rock, each man and woman marked with the bloody signs of battle. To tell the truth, I barely heard their words as I stepped towards the meteorite. I scarcely noticed the black and withered vines that lay here and there, impeding my path as I strode towards the radiant stone. Nothing could take my eyes away from it. Such astounding beauty - yet surrounded by such a foreboding sense of evil. Only when Seer Mythos approached did I find myself able to tear my focus away from the strange rock, to listen to his words.


    He spoke of a Sign, of a vision of days past now come to fruition. I stood quite near to the meteorite, feeling the waves of heat that still washed out from its fiery surface - the heat that seemed to fill my head with equally dark visions. The assembled crowd spoke with the Seer, questions flew about as I tried to retain my focus on the unfolding events. The Seer seemed to feel a similar pull towards the foreign object, and yet he stayed away as he spoke of an old friend of his who might shed some light upon the nature of the stone. Darius the Astronomer was the man's name, and Mythos said he would seek him out, to return two nights hence, to meet again with the congregation. I looked once again to the meteorite, watching its heat blur the air around it, examining the blackened trees and vines that had fallen to the swords and magicks of the gathered warriors. The Seer said that the stone must have tainted the area with its power, corrupting the surrounding vegetation... I began to wonder what other magicks might be released from the stone's fiery center in the coming days.

    With my head filled with dark visions and my heart filled with dread, I began the long walk back towards Minoc - desperately hoping that I could once again find some sense of solace within its quiet streets.


From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Wednesday, December 16th 1998