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The Virtues: Honor and Sacrifice
Our month-long Spotlight on the virtues of Ultima continues with tales of Honor and Sacrifice. Each requires the adventurer to make difficult, and at times, costly choices in order to remain close to the path of virtue.

The junction of truth and courage, honor is the steadfast principle of he who lives up to his obligations and promises, no matter the consequences, no matter his feelings and beliefs.

The virtue of honor is the focus of our first tale, Spotlighting Tristum of Chesapeake, guildmaster of EOC, and a man willing to put aside personal differences to come to the aide of a guild member in need.

“I come to tell you a story of not only bravery, but decency and gallantry. Let me preface this story by telling you that the hero involved, Tristum of Chesapeake, the GM of the guild EOC, and I had at one time been friends but had fallen out of late. Issues had come between us and bad blood lay about our relationship. The anger and hurt I experienced (and he too I later found out) had led me to adventure a great deal alone. There was one with whom I traveled extensively, but in this darkest moment of my trial, it was my “enemy” - my former Guildmaster, Tristum - who came to my rescue.
“I live on a small island off the coast of Skara Brae and have always enjoyed the peace and quiet I found there. Of late came the “treasure hunt”. Gone were the quiet peaceful days I had enjoyed. Gone was the safety I felt when logging into my home. Now I had not only other adventurers to be wary of, but the creatures who guarded their treasures would also be sometimes left wandering the island in search of revenge for their pillaged goods

“In time I grew used to the random appearance of a water elemental on land, or an ogre lord trampling my flower bed. As I grew stronger, I also grew more arrogant. Alas!

“One day, my morning began with the usual routine. I logged into my small home and, as I looked about, I heard a thunderous slam against the side of the wall.

“My word! There beside the east wall waited not one but two Ogre Lords! An Air Elemental had joined them in their murderous quest for my blood and in the distance I was sure I could hear the nattering of those vile beasts, ratmen. Then a sound that made my blood run cold came to my ears - the laugh that haunts the sleep of many an adventurer. A Lich, dragging his foul robes about him, came to stand with the Lords and Air Beast!

“I waited, peering through the windows to catch sight of the hunters who had released these beasts from their subterranean hell. None came in search. I was alone! I gathered my wits about me and opened the door, forgetting I carried within my pack the keys for both my small houses on the island. I darted out the door and the Lich scurried around to meet my advance. Swiftly I darted back inside to slam the door behind me. Just in time! With a few quick words of power the creature was pinned to my signpost and I was out again, gathering arcane powers about me as I muttered spells to attack. Success!

“But behind me came the Ogre Lords. I feigned right, then left, desperately seeking my doorway, but it was not to be. Within seconds I lay dead on my step, the world fading to black about me.

“I became a mad typist! Help! Help help! Calling out to all I thought might help me save my home from looters! One of the folk I asked could not come, but asked Tristum of EOC if he would. I recoiled from the thought! Tristum!? Tristum?! My former Guildmaster with whom I’d fought angrily and denounced publicly?! Never!

“But come he did. How brave! He shouted to my spirit to wait, that in time all would be well. Galloping forth on his steed and craftily drawing the creatures away until one by one, with his superior skill and patience, their bodies lay strewn about the island. Carefully he looted each creature, searching for the keys. Success! He res’ed my poor spirit and refreshed me, handing over my lost items.

“I was humbled, as I sat there at the keyboard. The tears gathered to my eyes as the shame enveloped my soul. Knowing that after all we’d been through, after all the harsh words and toxic thoughts, he’d come to my aid simply because he was a decent fellow. Words failed me then as I tried to convey my thanks. Thanks not only for saving my trifling items in a silly game, but my thanks for restoring my faith. My thanks for shaming me enough by kindness to show me how wrong I’d been about some things.

“We have begun anew, my former Guildmaster and I. And with that new beginning came a fresh love for UO and its people.

“Tristum was not only a UO hero that day. He was a -real- hero that day.“

- Lady Arwen Despona Moonsong of Chesapeake

Sacrifice, born of courage and love, requires an adventurer to forsake something dear – perhaps a treasured possession, perhaps his very life – that others may be assured of happiness and prosperity.

Our second tale Spotlights Ximtrili, who sacrificed his profitable and beloved business and in return, learned to aid others in ways he never knew possible.

"’To truly know a man, you must walk a mile in his shoes.’
“That is one of my favorite sayings. It is definitely true. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Ximtrili, a simple cobbler. Here is my tale of the Ultimate Sacrifice.

“Shoes. For as long as I can remember, I remember shoes. I believe it was even the first word I spoke, but that matters not. For generations past, all in my family have been cobblers by trade. When it came time for me to take up a trade skill, I never thought of anything else. I worked very hard to be the very best at what I did, and I believe that I was. Shoes were the first things I saw in the morning, and the last before I went to bed. I was falling in love with my work, and even though I am ashamed to say it, I was falling in love with shoes.

“When I was good enough, I opened my own shop. It was a glorious day. At least that is how I saw it. I settled down in the town of Vesper, started a family, and was generally happy. Something was nagging me. For the longest time I felt that something was missing - there was something I could be doing for the good of all. It was close to this time that a strange man came into my shop. He wasn’t evil or anything like that, just different. He had an aura of wisdom around him, the kind that lets you know you are in the presence of a greater power. This man told me that it was my destiny to help those in need.

“At first I had no idea what this man spoke of. I thought he meant to give shoes to the beggars and the poor. Being a man who was not one to argue with destiny, I did just that, but received no satisfaction out of it. After a while, the poor started demanding the shoes, which bothered me, but I kept working for them. My regular customers were getting angry that I was pushing work for the poor ahead of them, but if this was my destiny, what could I do? Doing the work for my regular customers and the work for the needy was taking its toll. I needed a break.

“I put a sign on the door of the shop, "Back in a week." Told my family I had some business to take care of in Britain, and simply ran off. Into the woods I wandered. Not going anywhere in particular, simply getting away from my life. I ran and ran into the woods until I was as lost as could be. Surely I would perish out here, for I would never find my way back. Then I heard a weak, frightened voice.

"Excuse me sir, could you help me? I am lost and have been in these woods for days."

“Instinctively I was able to point her in the direction of Vesper. How I was able to do that, where the knowledge came from, I know not. But I knew, deep in my heart, that the directions I gave her were correct and she would be fine. For a brief moment while walking along, I wore a smile on my face. I knew that I had helped someone. The smile did not last long as I heard two voices arguing in the distance.

"’We can build it here I tell you!’

"’No we can’t! Look at the ground, it is too uneven, not to mention the rocks!’

"’Bah! It WILL go here, you don’t know what you are talking about!’

"’Fine! If I don’t know what I am talking about, let’s ask him!’

“Both men look at me and ask my opinion. Once again, the knowledge is in my head. I explain to them that I am no expert on construction, but it looks to me that the ground is unsuitable for a building. It is too bumpy and the rocks would definitely make the foundation unstable. Both men thanked me for my opinion and walked away, one a little disgruntled and one slightly happier. The smile again crossed my face, but this time it stayed longer.

“After a short walk, I ran across a young boy, whimpering, holding a cut of ribs in his hand. I was a bit perplexed by the situation. I walked up to him and asked if there was anything I could do to help. All I could get out of him between the sobs was, "All I ever wanted in life was a pet dog. I have followed this dog around for hours. Offered the ribs to him, but he could not take it. All I ever wanted was a pet dog…."

“I explained to him about the art of taming, how to gain the skill, and who would be willing to train. He was very grateful for the information, and as I turned to leave, he asked me one more thing, the thing that changed my life forever. "’Thank you sir, but I thought Counselors always wore robes?’

“This hit me like a rock. I now knew the path in life I was meant to take. With this knowledge, I hurried back to Vesper. I thought long and hard about it, but in the end, the joy of helping those in need was well worth the loss. I made the Ultimate Sacrifice. I gave up my family, my friends, my shop, even my beloved shoes to wander the world helping those in need.

“If I had it all to do over again, I would not change a thing. This is who I am, this is who I always was, and this is who I always will be. I am…”

- Counselor Ximtrili of the Atlantic Shard.

Join us next week, as we finish our month of virtue spotlights with tales of Humility and Spirituality. And be certain to keep an eye on FYI for future spotlight topics. We look forward to hearing more of your tales of excitement and adventure in the world of Britannia.

Published: October 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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