Threat or not?

Garth Ranzz

UP: Sonoma

    Many have heard the various rumors of a man named Balart and his suspected activities of late. Is there any truth to these accusations? This writer took a few days to see what he could uncover.

    It seems that talk has been heard of a gathering of odd and rare ingredients that have been delivered to the ArchMage Balart, who resides in a house found in the middle of the infamous hedge maze. Among these oddities is said to be BatWing, Daemon’s Bone, and Eye of Newt. One man who wishes to remain anonymous stated, “Don’t think that getting these items was an easy task. Lets just say many paid in blood so that Balart could have these items for his own motives.”

    But what could those motives be?

    Various sources claim that Balart has plans to use these ‘ingredients’ for less-than-honorable motives, although little tangible evidence has been uncovered to substantiate these claims. A missing diary belonging to Balart is said to exist that may give some strength to this argument, but this writer has yet to see such a document.

    Sereuth, a well-renowned scribe and alchemist from Moonglow stated, “Well I suppose these items could very well be used for dishonorable means. Daemon’s Bone is said to be a very effective sedative when combined in the correct manner. But it takes far more than those three items alone to make anything too dangerous. On the other hand, there are certain mixtures and formulae which could yield anything from a highly efficient hair growth elixir, to an extremely virulent poison.”

    Claims come from all over Britania that Balart has staged many assaults on towns and private homes through out the lands. Some even say he has ways of speaking directly into your thoughts. I was unable to substantiate these claims however as I was never present during these “raids”. Further claims of Balart’s responsibility for the theft of a poison sac from the Spider Queen of Avatar Isle from Ceridwen the historian’s home in Britain also failed to produce evidence.

    Is this all hearsay? Are we all at risk from a mad man on the loose? I decided to ask the man himself. Balart had this to say:

“Many dangers ride upon our realm; dangers to the sovereignty of our current politic leaders. Myself, I am but a poor and humble scholar, one whom suffers daily from slander and abuse heaped upon him by the self-righteous. My goals are, and always have been, opening the minds of the multitudes, and the gathering and security of magical artifacts so that the...wrong people do not do harm. But I assure you this: as threats to the status quo of the realm present themselves, you will find me there at the forefront. And for those who would be foolish enough to try and do harm to me, I have many...allies I can call upon to aid me in protection.”
    The ArchMage had a quick smile, but this writer was left with a measure of uneasiness after the encounter. Still, there was nothing overt nor substantial one could point to. In fact, his manners were precise, and he was quite generous with both his time, and his tea during my visit.

    We will continue to cover this and other breaking stories.

From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Sunday, October 3rd 1999