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Defenders of Ilshenar
In this week's Spotlight, Zweihander shares the tale of an expedition into Ilshenar and the brave adventurers who took up arms against Barracoon the Piper, Master of the Vermin Horde.

"Hail and well met, my friends. I am Zweihander, Paladin of Hellfire. Once a week, I gather Napa Valley's finest and we pursue the Champions of Evil in the Crown Forest of Ilshenar. Allow me to share with thee the tale of our first gathering, when we sought out Barracoon the Piper, Master of the Vermin Horde.

"'T'was a cold spring evening as we gathered in Lord British's throne room. Few had gotten the message, but those that did were eager to enter battle. Barracoon, once recognized as the world's most famous bard, had become obsessed with his unmistakable talent of controlling the Ratmen. Since then, his armies have blockaded the Crown Forest in Ilshenar, cutting off the main supply lines for various herbs and plant life necessary for magery and potions. As a Paladin, I could not let this go on.

"It took almost a day for us to gather a sizable attack force, but once we did, we set forth. We were a small, but well trained few: Prince Garrion and his Nightmare, Loki; Paige, the young but experienced warrior maiden; Stovakor, the blue mage; Fraylock, the woodsman who had taken his skill with the axe to become a slayer of evil. Then there were my friends from the famous Order of the Flaming Knight, Lord British's special forces. Three of them accompanied us. They were: Tazzed, one of my rivals and close friends and a master of the blade, whom when combined with my strength transformed us into an invincible fighting duo; Rayden Malicus, an outstanding combatant; Ice Cold, an officer Tazzed seemed to work with quite often. His skills were extraordinary; finally, myself, Zweihander the Hellfire Paladin, whose skill with a sword is unmatched.

"As we traveled into the forest, we could hear the bushes rustle with life. Barracoon's minions were aware of our presence. We came to a halt, only to be surrounded by an army of the furry devils! Unsheathing my blade, I leapt into the fray with Tazzed by my side. Within moments, the eight of us had vanquished over a dozen ratmen. As I started to sheath my sword, the ground below me rumbled, and through the darkness flame shot at us! I blocked the blast with my shield, which nearly knocked me off my horse! T'was a dragon, burning red and seeking fresh prey. Tazzed, Stovakor, and I began to lead the dragon away, taunting the beast with our swords and magic. Finally, after forcing the beast across the bridge, we dragged him into the dying forest and lost him among the trees. Soon after, Tazzed's communication crystal erupted with noise and he informed me that he and his guildmates must leave. 

"Having lost three of our small fighting force of eight, we felt out chances had almost run out. It was not to be so; as we neared the center of what seemed to be a dead volcano, Barracoon's music could be heard. Surrounded by his minions, he noticed us and laughed. His eyes burned with feral instinct, for the man himself was no longer human. The ratmen charged at us, but they were no match against our combined strengths. After disposing of his guard, Barracoon got to his feet and rushed us! Paige blocked the blow of his dagger with her shield, but the second one made its mark and she fell to the ground wounded. I rushed at Barracoon, but he thrust the dagger through my plate armor, piercing the flesh above my shoulder. Prince Garrion fired multiple bursts of energy bolts at the fiend, but Barracoon retaliated by summoning a whole new group of ratmen. He was knocked off Loki, causing the beast to go berserk! I managed to gather my wits again and taunted Barracoon, provoking him to attack me. I led him back to the edge of the forest near the white bridge, aided by Stovakor and Freylock. Just when we thought we had the sick man at our mercy, another troop of ratmen assailed us! I managed to round up most of them and lose them in the forest as Stovakor and Freylock fought valiantly against Barracoon. As I rejoined them, Freylock had taken a fall, leaving only me and Stovakor against the madman. Luckily, Prince Garrion and Paige had gained a second wind and returned to us, successfully defeating the first ambush. With four of us battle-ready, we charged Barracoon.

"The battle was to last us till dusk, as Barracoon unleashed upon us his utmost fury time and time again. Finally, Freylock, Paige, and I delivered crushing blows to the crazed piper, and while I held the madman off, Prince Garrion and Stovakor finished him with a well placed double-flamestrike. The forest had been saved, thanks to Napa Valley's finest....

"Or has it...?"

-Zweihander, Hellfire Paladin of CLA (Napa Valley)

We are pleased to continue to present these tales of your adventures in the world of Britannia. Join us next week as we turn our spotlight on another exciting battle. And as always, keep an eye on FYI for future spotlight topics! 

Published: April 2002
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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