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“You are known throughout the land as a murderous brigand.”

“These words echoed through the back of my mind each night as I sat alone in my cabin, pondering the strange twist of fate that resulted in my status as a murderer. Denied the comforting presence of others and hunted constantly, that was my life now, and oh, how I hated it! I longed for a release from the torment I had inflicted upon myself. On one cold and lonely night in Felluca, I found it...

“After consuming several bottles of very cheap ale, I decided to seek an end to my pain once and for all. Relieving myself of all material possessions, I headed for the Britain moongate. As I came upon the edge of the forest, I noticed a small crowd of hunters gathered near the gate. They looked friendly enough; however, I think they were a bit put off by my lack of clothing and stumbling walk. Just as I began to shout a slurred greeting, I felt white-hot pain envelop my right arm. As I glanced towards the source of my discomfort, something heavy knocked me to the ground from behind. Blood was pouring from the arrow embedded deep in my right arm and the fall seemed to have paralyzed my legs. I summoned the last of my strength and turned onto my back. Above me hovered three dim figures, all with spears poised over my heart.

“Only one thought came to me in that instant… it's over, it's finally over. I began to laugh hysterically as the spears descended towards me. With a brilliant flash of light, I was jolted onto my feet. My head had cleared from the affects of the ale and I couldn't find any puncture wounds in my body or robe. Awareness hit me like a tidal wave -- I hadn't been wearing a robe! Looking around, I saw the men who had attacked me search my tattered body for valuables and then head towards the moongate.

“With no idea what to do or where to go, I went in that direction as well. I decided to wander around for a bit and see the sights of Britannia for one last time. As the shimmering blue glow of the moongate surrounded me, I closed my eyes and thought about what would be a fitting place for me. When I next opened my eyes, I saw pillars of flame, broken monuments, and daemons all around me. Hell (or so I thought) was the perfect place for one of my vile deeds. I soon discovered, however, that none of the creatures that inhabited this dark abyss were paying any attention to me.

“Hellhounds, succubi, daemons… they all paid me no heed. I was beginning to grow rather irritated by the fact that my eternal soul was not being tormented or molested in any fashion. I expected red-hot pincers, the rack, or perhaps even a simple noose to be my constant companion after death. At least I would have had my tormentor to talk too.

“After many hours of futile searching, I began wandering the outskirts of the daemon-infested town. I soon came upon a path that wound through the mountains. As I descended, I began to see signs of habitation. Bottles were strewn along the roadside and rusty weapons littered the path; I even noticed a crudely fashioned wooden doll. My puzzlement continued to grow as I entered the dense, green foliage of a forest.

“I traveled on this way for some time; with each step it became apparent that someone had taken up residence in the forest. There were a multitude of worn trails stretching off in various directions. At last, I heard a voice shout through the trees… a human voice! Running toward the sound, I came into a vast clearing filled with covered wagons of all styles, designs, and colors.
Among the wagons walked people of every type: tall, short, skinny, fat, dark-skinned and light. It was a gypsy caravan!

“Boldly, I entered the clearing; for what does the dead have to fear from the living? I tried to speak with the gypsies as they went about their tasks, intending to scare them with the appearance of a dead murderer come back to slay them all! To my immense surprise, the only reaction I received was a shake of the head and a finger pointing towards a small wagon with a cross painted on the outside. Feeling rather sullen about their lack of reaction, I wandered over to the wagon, and as I went inside, I felt a tiny voice speak in the back of my mind. 

“Do you wish to return to the land of the living?

“To a life of solitude? Of being hunted? NO! I started to turn away, but the healer who inhabited the wagon began jumping up and down screaming, 'Live! You must live!' Resigned to my fate of being an outcast in this foreign land, I decided to live once more, even if just long enough for the gypsies to kill me. With a loud rush of wind past my ears and a clearing of the mist from my eyes, I realized I was standing inside the wagon. I stumbled from weakness, but caught myself on a nearby cot. I could feel warm blood coursing through my veins once more.

“As I turned towards the healer who had revived me, I expected him to yell for the guards once he realized who it was that had been returned from death. With a chuckle and a weary grin, he wiped the sweat from his balding forehead. 'I thought you were too far gone,' he said. 'It was sure hard getting you back.'

“With a frown I asked, 'Don't you know who I am?' The aging healer shook his head. 'My name is Riyan Kincade...' I paused for a moment to gauge his reaction. 'From Fellucca....' The healer continued to stare blankly at me.

“'All I know, son, is that you needed my help. We gypsies don't judge people like most others do. Now sit down by the fire. You need something filling to eat. Death can take a lot out of you.'

“After spending the evening around a crackling fire with the healer and the others of the gypsy caravan, I learned that some of them had pasts as sordid as mine, and yet they continued to treat each other with kindness and respect. As I lay under the stars that night, I pondered the new start I had been given in this land, and the only words that echoed in my head were those that the healer had spoken. I realized that although death can take a lot out of you, sometimes you get back even more than you lose.”

-Riyan Kincade

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

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