Ophidians in Delucia Caves

Kardian McLean

UP: Catskills

    Ordinarily I do not take on jobs of this nature… but when I was asked to venture to the Delucia caves to find out what happened there, I decided to accept on a whim. What I saw there has me greatly disturbed and makes me fear for the safety of Delucia and for those on the other side of the passage to Britannia.

When I approached the caves the smell of death hung in the air thickly. It was a daunting thing and almost had me turning back around to head home. Perhaps I should have for what I saw when I entered the caves was the most frightening thing of my life. Dead bodies lay everywhere. They seemed to be clothed in robes of mainly red and blue hues. I heard many speaking of mages in Shame or in the Fire Dungeon, so I asked. It seems that these sorts of mages hail from mainly two places. Though with the appearance of a blood elemental many are considering their origin to be from the dungeon Shame.

Anyway, I digress... the bodies literally covered the floor. It was nearly impossible to walk without stepping on a body, which had me unnerved to say the least. That made the next sight even more difficult to accept without running from the caves in fear. As I turned a bend, I saw before me the body of a hideous beast the likes of which I have never seen before. It appeared to be a huge serpent with arms and a larger than usual head. A weapon lay in its hands.

Seeing my discomfort, a warrior nearby sought to regale me with information about the beast. He told me of the Ophidians and of their home in the new lands. He said he had visited only once and had to quickly retreat as they are fierce fighters. Questions burned in my mind concerning this… Why were such beasts in the caves by Delucia? How had they arrived there?

Finally regaining my composure somewhat, I decided to travel farther into the caves. The warrior accompanied me and told me of a mage that had seemed to lead the attacks. There seemed to be some uncertainty in the warrior’s mind as to whether it was a male or a female. It was bearded he said and he would have sworn the mage was a male but many had claimed he was a female instead. In addition, the mage had appeared to turn into a bone knight just before he died. What odd tricks were these? The warrior commented that the mage seemed to want the creatures to protect an area by a lava flow most of all. This just awakened more questions in my mind and I set out determined to visit the lava flow.

As I approached the molten flow, sweat beaded on my brow. It was swelteringly hot as compared to the relative coolness in the rest of the caves. I looked around the area, but quite frankly I could not find anything of note to explain why it was so important.

After finishing my inspection of the caves, I decided to leave and the warrior came along with me seeming to enjoy regaling me with tales of the events. He told me of the old gypsy woman, Tatiana, in Minoc who had warned the people of Kinship of the evils lurking in the caves. He also said that when she was visited after the attacks she had warned everyone not to be too complacent. That evil still lurked. What this means I am uncertain. It appeared to me that the evil had been soundly routed from the caves by Delucia, but her predictions seemed to indicate otherwise. Needless to say, my recommendation is that the caves be observed for a while for further activity. And as I hear more of this tale I shall be certain to report it here.

From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Thursday, March 9th 2000