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Showdown on Dagger Isle
Love is a powerful emotion, proven by the lengths that people will go to in order to protect those close to their heart, or, in the case of this tale, avenge their wrongful death.

"Eliana stepped onto the frozen shore of Dagger Isle, and pulled her cloak close as the wind kicked up a fierce spray of snow in greeting. Her slate-grey gaze thinned as she surveyed the immediate area for any signs of danger. She had heard of certain orcs that thrived in this type of environment, and was not going to take any chances by venturing further while unprepared.
"Unsheathing the ivory-handled dagger at her hip, she regarded the finely crafted blade with a small amount of trepidation. As a mage, she was unfamiliar with hand-to-hand combat; this would be her last resort should her spells fail her. She slipped the weapon back into its protective case, and proceeded across the island, towards the tower where he lived.

"It had taken her a year to find his domicile; a year of dealing with shady characters in dark alleys, trading gold and precious, personal items for information. And finally, she would have her revenge. Darius Blackheart, the man who murdered her beloved Ashlar, would meet his end this day, and she would dance upon his fallen body.

"The closer she got to the tower, the more heated her anger became. She could already feel the sensation of magical energy swelling within her, teasing each and every nerve ending in her small frame to a tingling madness. Just when she thought should could stand it no longer, she was there, looking up at the dark gray structure of his home. The hood of her cloak had fallen back some time ago, exposing the long, lustrous mass of her violet hair, whipped into a frenzy by the unforgiving wind. She noticed none of this.

"'Darius Blackheart!' she called out, her intent gaze scanning the rooftop of the tower. 'Darius Blackheart, murderer of Ashlar Valdemir, face me!'

"She was suddenly shrouded in silence. Not even the wind dared to cut through the tension that hung heavy in the air. The metallic creak of doors announced his arrival. There, in the doorway, Darius, the blood mage, smiled at her. For the longest moment, nothing happened. It was as if time had stopped to watch the two of them with bated breath.

"With a primal scream, Eliana suddenly let loose an energy bolt, but Darius dodged it easily enough, and returned one of his own. She flung herself to the snow, and the bolt missed all but a few tips of her hair, singing them to black ash. The dark mage was already murmuring another incantation, and before Eliana could react, she was paralyzed in place. Darius laughed aloud as he placed a boot against her vulnerable throat, intent on suffocating her where she lay. She could do nothing, but stare up in horror at the man who had killed her husband - the man who was about to kill her too.

"Just as darkness began to invade her periphery, Eliana felt something. The paralysis was wearing off. She felt her fingers twitch at her side, but quelled the panic that tried to grip her mind and urge her to grab for his boot. It would have accomplished nothing. Instead, she slipped her palm around the handle of the dagger at her hip, pulled it from its sheath, and with all the strength that remained in her weakened form, she thrust it upwards and into the mage's thigh.

"Darius howled in pain and staggered backwards, both hands clutching his leg. Eliana was on her feet immediately, shaky and slightly disoriented. When the dark mage's hate-filled gaze met hers, she steadied herself, and breathed the words: 'Kal Vas Flam'. Darius' expression contorted into one of pure agony as he was suddenly engulfed in flames. Eliana watched as his clothes melted against his skin, twisting with his flesh; with a ragged breath, she whispered another incantation, 'Corp Por', and again, and again, until Darius fell over with a low moan, dead.

"Eliana slumped to the ground, her knees sinking into the cold snow. Weary, she lay back atop the winter blanket, and looked up towards the bleak gray of the cloud-filled sky. Snow flakes fluttered from the heavens and caressed her cheeks. She smiled.

"'For you, my love. For you,' she said to the clouds, and then drifted off to sleep."

We appreciate the opportunity to share the stories of your adventures and enjoyment of Britannia. We hope you'll join us again next week when we bring you yet another fascinating tale set within the world of Ultima Online. As always, keep an eye on FYI for upcoming Spotlight topics and the chance to share your own tales with the Ultima Online community.

Published: November 2002
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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