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The Dungeon of Fire
Guilds represent one of the first forays into the world of online player communities within Ultima Online and have continued to be a vibrant source of interest throughout the game's history. Varying in size from a few close friends to hundreds of dedicated adventurers, guilds are the ideal mechanism for building long lasting, evolving friendships and relationship in the online space. Guildmates will often stop at nothing to help a friend in need, and in no place is this more evident than the dark confines of a dungeon.

After a long day of maintaining the peace in Serpent's Hold, several members of the Guardians of Light joined each other to view the sunset out on the docks. It was a beautiful site to see as it lit up the western sky with a color that is unforgettable to this day. As the sun continued to set, more and more people dressed in the purple capes of the guild arrived to join us. Many of our friends and comrades were present including Omicron, Moonman, Chaos, Kim, Lazrith, Shoust, Galen Wilding, Phineas Sulgran, Midnight, Azboklin Link, Seven of Nine, Lord Zed, and of course myself, Niak. Upon twilight starting to set in, an entrance to a cave could be seen in the side of the mountain. Such a cave was never noticed before, yet the lights of a fire seemed to be emanating from within. What cave is this? Why are the lights of a fire burning within? What evil lies beyond that entrance? These were the questions that entered our minds and would be followed shortly by the experience of a lifetime.

Placing our torches in hand and wielding our weapons, entered the cave to continue our mission of ridding the land of the evils that plague it. Some went on horseback, others went on foot, but our goal was the same...to explore this cave and rid it of all its evil inhabitants.

As we entered the cave, strange things started to happen. Some of the mages complained that their night-sight spell was not as effective as usual and that they could not seem to recall or gate people in or out of this cave. We new something was not right here. We could have exited the cave and returned to life as we knew it to be, but our quest had to continue and it would apparently be without any method of contacting our other friends and allies.

Pressing onward through the cave, we soon encountered rats, snakes, spiders, and other creatures that we'd never encountered before tonight. Suddenly, fire breathing lizards, some form of strange being that looked like an elemental, yet was called an Efreet, and those hellish fiends known as hell hounds were attacking. The fighting was fierce and many came close to death itself, yet the forces of good prevailed. Further down the path, we heard an innocent little cat in the distance. We decided we would try and help this feline escape these horrors that lie within here, only to discover that this cat was attacking us with balls of fire and it's claws. Clearly another creature that seems to call this cave home. We dispatched it quickly and moved on.

Moving through the caverns and getting deeper and deeper into this cave, we soon realized that it must be a dungeon of some sort, for it's size was to large to be a mere cave. Then we stumbled across a river of molten lava. As it flowed right in front of us, we watched from a safe distance on the banks. Down the coast a fair distance, there was what appeared to be rope of some kind bridging the river. Why it did not burn is beyond me; however, out of curiosity we decided to cross it. Upon reaching the other side we were set upon by a large number of angry animals and monsters.

Kim the bard was fortunately on hand, as she provoked them into a fight amongst themselves. As the activity settled down and we crossed into the field of corpses, we reached a dead end. It was time to turn back and cross the bridge once more. This time we were fearful of tempting fate twice. The bridge did not look sturdy and many were praying to the gods that it did not plummet into the river below with so much weight upon it. Luckily, the entire group made it across and continued on our way.

Following the river further to the east, we found another bridge. This one, being made of stone, gave us a little more security in our travels. As we crossed the bridge, we entered a room with stalagmites and stalactites scattered across the area. There were elevated areas as well, until the path finally brought us to a door. A building of some sort made of stone. We knocked on the door to see if anyone answered. After seeing that the door was in fact open, we entered.

Suddenly, someone yelled out that the floor was not flat. This was most unusual, yet it was true. This building had its ups and downs, yet we managed to successfully get through the runes and rooms to the other side. We entered into a pathway, which started to split in all directions. To maintain our bearings we followed the right wall and stumbled around piles of garbage and debris. The culprits of this mess, bands of orcs and ettins whom had taken up this place as their home made their presence known soon after. These evil creatures were destroyed in the appropriate manner, and our group moved on.

After nearly a day of roaming the halls in search for an exit, we found a set of stairs leading down into uncharted territory. We ventured own only to find hordes of orcs, ettins, and other evil creatures waiting to defeat us. The numbers were to great and our supplies were limited, so the decision was made to return to Serpent's Hold and come back another day.

Walking back the paths just taken and removing the threats along the way our mission was a success, but only partially complete. Surely the Guardians of Light will return once more, but in the meantime...

Travelers be wary of the Dungeon of Fire.

-Niak, Guardians of Light

As we roll into the second half of dungeon month, we'd like to thank everyone that sent in a dungeon story. These stories truly reflect the vastly different experiences that people can have while adventuring in the depths. The Dungeon Month spotlight continues next week with the Most Daring Dungeon Adventure.

Published: October 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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