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The Virtues: Spirituality and Humility
Tales of spirituality and humility complete our month-long spotlight on the virtues of Ultima. Difficult to aspire to, the virtues of Spirituality and Humility often exact a painful price upon those who would honor them.

The loss of that which one holds most dear is a swift and oft painful path to understanding humility and is the first step towards perseverance. Our first tale spotlights the lesson learned by Cain of Great Lakes, whose loss taught him to seek out the good in others, and in himself.

"Traveling alone among the minions in this world of Britannia, I have come to rely on none but myself. My ambition and drive to become the wealthiest and most powerful mage of all the realm burns like a hot ember into my soul.
"On a day unlike others that have recently passed, I found myself escorting nobles and lords across the realm, filling my pockets with more gold than I had ever collected on a single day. I envisioned a mage tower, glorious valorite armor hanging from the walls, and crates and boxes filled with all my magical spells. I concocted plans to wreak havoc upon those that had taken from me everything I had earned as a new apprentice mage. Their names were written in my ledger with their dastardly deeds documented.

"All of these thoughts ran through my brain as I later did my daily accounting at the bank in Occlo. In my greed and revelry, I failed to notice that in my excitement I had dropped a crate filled with expensive items: a full set of valorite armor, my first real purchase of extravagance and two full books of my most devious of spells.

"Alas, what a mistake! Quickly trying to recover, too late!! The crate was gone.

"Amidst the tirade of words uttered by myself, I heard a scantily clad scrawny youth ask me politely if I realized that the crate I had dropped contained precious items. This ragged youth named Shaliko had my items! Then another stepped up to claim that he too had some of my things. Matrix - the name screamed at me through my rage. Who where these men to steal what I had so carefully hoarded, cheated, and connived to obtain? What was I to do?

"Well friends, not only did they return every item I had misplaced, but they refused payment, asking only for my friendship. I was dumbfounded. I assured them that they were as brothers to me, and to please accept a reward. They both declined stating that friendship was enough. I was so taken aback that I presented them both a gift of 25k and would not take no for an answer. This time it was their turn to be dumbfounded. They still do not know that they taught me a most valuable lesson.

"Now my plan is to become a healer and help those that I can. You see my friends, a random act of kindness can sometimes change the course of ones life."

-Cain, master mage, Great Lakes

As the truly spiritual adventurer knows, acceptance brings peace. The world is large and filled with wonder and danger alike, and those who know the virtue of spirituality know that each moment has value. Our second story this week tells of Farly, and a lesson learned - as you accept the world around you, so too do you become and important and beloved part of the world.

 "Greetings, fair citizens of Britannia. My name is Dallian, and I do travel the ways of Britain in the role of humble (if jocular) bard. I have met many a noble Goodman or Goodwoman in my travels, but there is one whom I hold in highest esteem - one that I would attempt to honor by relating to you his virtue in Spirituality.
"I myself was a novice, new to the ways of the world when I met Farly at the Hammer Forge. He was a kind, open bloke who patiently listened (and occasionally laughed) at my amateurish wit as he worked his fletching and bowcraft. We grew friendly therein, and I was most touched by his natural, unaffected kindness. He possessed an incredible tolerance, patience and understanding of others, as well as a marked charity I found refreshing, and not at all arrogant. A seemingly simple man who knew how, simply, to "be," Farly worked diligently and honestly, and achieved much success.

"A day came where I had been testing my newfound independence and waxing skills, but, alas, I ran across cunning thieves on my way to promised treasure. I lost most everything I had that day-most all of what I valued I carried on my back (and few things at that) and I grew very despondent. I was blinded with grief and rage, and considered giving up my dreams of travel and storytelling, of bringing joy to the world, as I no longer could perceive joy in myself.

"Farly easily sensed the pain I was in, and spoke plainly, with sympathy and a natural wisdom. "You're still here. You still have a goal. You have talent and ambition. It would be a shame to lose them. Items come and go. They are things, but you are more than the things you will ever lose. You can stay at my home for as long as you need to, for as long as you like."

"I suddenly felt much better.

"With his support and clarity, I licked my wounds, and continued to embark on my soul's work, honing my skills, spinning my yarns, singing my songs. A few days later, Farly brought me a gift. His business had been going well, and he gave me a beautiful gold chain mail suit of armor and a bow he had himself crafted of exceptional quality. To this day, they remain to me symbols of the best in all of us that can shine, when we allow ourselves to see reality for what it is and develop an awareness and sensitivity to others who share our world.

"The story almost ends there.

"Eventually, Farly was inadvertently betrayed by an act of kindness. Another friend with whom he had entrusted a key to his house had perished, and the key was stolen from his corpse. Farly returned one day to discover his entire house pilfered of anything that was not locked down. All of his hard work and earnings had vanished into the slick palms of some wretched thief, who, ironically, likely had less of a sense of value of things than Farly.

"Farly, understandably, was stunned. I began to perceive a black melancholy hanging o'er his head, and began to fear for his will and joie de vivre.

"But, dear reader, it was the seeds he had sown of kindness, compassion, wisdom and clarity during times of his life where a lesser man might have found scrounging and meanness of material and spirit more favorable to advancing his goals-it was those seeds which he had naturally and unknowingly sown within myself and others which restored his thirst for this great story we call life. We rallied around him, giving back that which he extended in his almost unconscious kindness.

"To me, the matter was laughingly obvious, and I said so: "It's simple, Farly: the world would be poorer without you."

"So, still hopeful, still sharing, eyes still on the future, Farly has, of late, taken up the fishing pole. It suits him, somehow, in its multi-faceted, metaphorical dimensions: a patient fisherman in an ocean of Spirituality. Indeed, that is how I will always see him."

- Dallian the Bard

Join us next week, as we look back on the past year and spotlight a player who has brought something special to Ultima Online. 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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