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Thrill of the Hunt
This week we focus on a brave warrior in Ilshenar. Will luck be on his side, or will death be waiting for him on the outskirts of Compassion?

"Artic had lived the life of adventure and fame for over two years now. He had served Britannia well by ridding the dark forest of Yew of lurking scum. It had been two long years of preparation and training. Every fight until that day was just another learning experience. However, all of that was now in the past. The moongates had finally opened to the newly discovered land of Ilshenar. Now, before him lay a new adventure that could be his last.

"Artic made his mind up at the stroke of midnight to venture forth and face whatever lurked about in that new land. He made preparations, starting with his gallery of weapons. With thoughts of dragons, daemons, and titans flowing through his mind he decided to take his Spear of Power. That weapon alone would double his chances of survival. Artic donned a newly acquired suit of Shadow that he claimed from the corpse of a criminal he slew in the forest surrounding Moonglow. Once he was fully equipped, he saddled his steed and prepared for the journey into Ilshenar.

"The night-lights of Moonglow, a mixture of magical discharges and street lamps, faded behind him as Artic struck into the woods toward the city's moongate. After taking one more moment to gaze upon the city he had called home for as long as he could remember, Artic turned and led his steed into the shining blue vortex.

"As Artic appeared on the other side at the Shrine of Compassion, he cautiously surveyed the area for creatures lying in wait. Almost immediately he could smell the stench of Ratmen. As his noble steed took him further into the new lands, he came upon a disturbing sight; Death had already struck down an unlucky adventurer. An arrow was protruding from the man's chest, and Artic surmised it was from the bow of a Ratman archer. He prayed he wouldn't suffer the same fate. With great care, he pulled the arrow from the fallen adventurer, laid his body near the shrine, and commended him on his bravery.

"It was an unusually clear night. The stars lit up the pathway as Artic rode south. He passed over a bridge and came upon the outskirts of a desert. As he listened from a distance, he could hear unusual chanting. A little voice inside his head told him to stop there and turn back, but curiosity took over and Artic found himself telling his steed to move forward. Hesitantly, his mount obeyed and crept ahead.

"As Artic turned a corner, that's when it happened. A furious frontline of minions had been waiting for the warrior's arrival. Ravenous scorpions impatiently thrashed about as they tried to thrust their poisonous tails into Artic's flesh. An Earth Elemental and a Stone Gargoyle joined the fray, adding their muscle and might to the mayhem. However, that's not what kept Artic there fighting. Lo and behold, behind these savage beasts stood an Efreet! He had heard myths about these magical beings. The desire to see what an Efreet carried with him was too much.

"Artic found himself thrusting his spear into the frontline of scorpions, immediately drawing a puddle of blood. He began applying bandages with his free hand, trying to keep his wounds from getting any worse. A deep pain suddenly overcame him from the poison that oozed from a scorpion's tail. With steadfast determination, he went through bandage after bandage, keeping himself alive.

"Once the scorpions were eliminated, things got a little sticky. The brute force of the elemental and Stone Gargoyle, along with the cunning attacks from the magic of the Efreet, made Artic retreat; however, he didn't stay away for long. After a few seconds of healing his wounds, the valiant warrior rode back into battle, this time more headstrong than ever. Images of great magical items passed through Artic's mind as he shoved his spear into the Stone Gargoyle for the last time. Even though the odds were still a little uneven, the warrior began to believe there was a strong chance he would come out on top.

"The Efreet's attacks intensified. As Artic tried to finish the Earth Elemental, he was engulfed in flames and almost put to death. However, he quickly downed his last Greater Heal potion, saving himself from meeting his keeper. He knew that it was going to be between him and the Efreet in the end. With one last thrust of his spear, the Earth Elemental soon collapsed to the ground. Finally, the battlefield was left to the last two standing: the Efreet and Artic.

"Thus, the duel began. This is what every warrior looks forward to: a one on one war with the enemy. Low on bandages and out of healing potions, Artic doubled the intensity of his attacks. As he connected with his spear, he noticed that more damage was being done than usual. Was it his will to survive, or his strong desire to add to his collection of trophies? Whatever it was, Artic was starting to get the upper hand. The Efreet was wounded and bleeding badly, but his magical energy was still strong. Luckily, Artic was able to resist most of it, saving him from certain death. However, the warrior was down to a measly three bandages.

"Both short on life, Artic and the Efreet started to lay it all out on the table. Magic spewed from the Efreet in wave after wave of vicious energy, and in return, the warrior continued to savagely thrust his spear into the creature's flesh. As luck would have it, Artic managed to land a paralyzing blow that took what little life the Efreet had down to ground zero. The creature started to run away, but his combatant was close on his heels. Again, the spear landed another critical blow. Knowing he was doomed, the Efreet turned and engulfed Artic, taking him down to barely any life. With one last strike of blade against flesh, the Efreet fell to his death.

"Barely alive and mentally drained from the magical attacks, Artic opened the pouch of the dead Efreet. Reaching his hand inside, he picked up a blood red Daemon Bone Armor chest plate. This made his efforts all the more worthwhile. He stood there for a long moment, proud of his accomplishment, and then, with his new trophy in hand, he headed towards home. His first venture a success, Artic was sure to visit this strange, new land again."

It is with pleasure that we present these tales of your adventures in Ultima Online. Please join again next week as we share another of the many stories of Britannia that you have created. Please keep an eye on FYI for new spotlight topics!

Published: September 2001
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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