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While some adventurers choose to avoid the dangers of Doom, others embrace the challenges that can only be found within it dark halls.
"And so it began...

"I had heard tales of it in bars, taverns, banks--those areas most adventurers frequent and where tongues will wag with the aid of a pint or two. I wasn't sure if it really existed, as the tales were farfetched, sketching outlines of gargantuan undead beasts and horrific dragons in my mind. That and the reason these battle-hardened warriors and mages braved this place: artifacts--relics of the past that supposedly retained power long forgotten to this world. Skeptical I was until I finally took it upon myself to visit the place.

"I was alone, as I often am at both the beginning and end of any good adventure. I am a paladin by trade and often try my hand against the worst and best creatures I can find. I set off for this cursed place called 'Doom' in hopes of finding a challenge and maybe even these riches people have spoken of. I found the former in abundance and the latter well-guarded.

"My first taste of Doom came with a large creature that was intent on devouring souls. Well equipped for the task, I set to work with a daemon-slayer and quickly dispatched the foul beast. Denizens of this forsaken place met me with a vengeance I have seen nowhere else. They seemed to come out of the very walls: rotting corpses, bats, skeletons that should have stayed dead, and much more. I eventually found myself in a strange looking room just south of the entrance and was met by a group of fellow glory-seekers who were attacking a monstrous creature, a daemon made of a multitude of other decaying corpses. I joined their party and watched in horror as a magic-wielder attempted to run from the beast a fraction of a second too late. He was crushed in one blow. Darting close to strike and then away to avoid its massive swings, I was able to help the group defeat the thing.

"When this was done, and the mage returned to the living, the group quickly ran south to another room, one containing a bell and a few undead. A warrior in scarlet ran to the bell and rang it quickly. I stood guard, not knowing what was to happen next. A figure robed in the color of blood appeared from the netherworld not a minute later, demanding payment. The warrior grinned and tossed the skull of the bone daemon to it. It nodded, satisfied, and let us all onto a ship with no crew.

"The boat moved of its own accord across a gurgling sea of empty, putrid water, finally bringing us to another shore. On this shore, I saw fresh bodies. The scarlet-clad warrior saw my look of horror and smiled, 'Welcome to The Gauntlet.'

"After traveling a short distance, we came upon a red door. It wouldn't budge. It was obvious that some of the necromancers and noble paladins I was with had been here before. They moved onto a plate in the floor that was off to the side, and each disappeared. I braced and did the same.

"I appeared in a room with the red doors behind me and torches lighting a grandiose chamber. Two ancient beings immediately attacked us. We charged. The clash made little noise. The beings looked to be reanimated, ghosts of living creatures that must have dwelled in these halls long ago. My blade sunk into one as if it were a sponge. Small chunks of flesh gave way and the fight was on. Despite not being especially agile, these beasts (someone called them 'creepers') carried a deadly magic. Fire and poison assailed us, but in a short time we prevailed. After each creeper lay dead, we searched the corpses and found nothing of much value. The torches dimmed and the red doors that had blocked our way earlier opened to let us back out.

"Continuing in a clockwise fashion, we came to another room and used the same type of floor plate to gain entry. Giant bugs of some sort, veritable abominations of nature, were on us before we could defend ourselves. The warrior dropped first, succumbing to strike after quick, repeated strike. Calling on the powers of the gods, I rushed forward and tried every weapon I had brought with me against these things. Steel was as useful as a twig. Poison did nothing. I finally found something that worked--with a blazing katana made of solid fire, I was able to rip into the thing's flesh.

"It was a losing battle. Knocked quickly from my mount and disoriented by the quick blows, I tried in vain to strike back. I was hit twice in a row. Three times. Four. And then the mages came. Another group of hunters entered the lair. A paladin saw my plight and healed me as I took hit after hit. The mages threw fireballs at the beast. After a number of minutes, never having retreated so much as an inch, the thing collapsed to the floor, cracking tiles and scattering layers of dust. I healed myself as best I could and got back on my horse. The so called Gauntlet would surely be the end of me.

"But we weren't done yet. Next came a group of creatures with razor-sharp appendages where arms should've been. Not only could they cut through armor, they could leave gaping wounds that simply would not heal--the blood would continue dripping for what seemed an eternity. Occasionally, the attacks from these things would leave a warrior poisoned and bleeding from a tremendous hit. More often than not, the warrior would fall. My daemon-seeker once again glowed brightly around these things, and it proved to be my only savior.

"The next room was where I met my end. I sensed evil upon entrance and found it quite easily. A large daemon moved slowly towards the party. I charged, figuring I could easily dispatch such a cumbersome beast. As I closed on the creature, I called on the gods once more to aid my attack. And then it struck me--not with physical force, but with power; a power rooted in magic that made the most potent mages I have ever seen seem like novices. My arms went lax, weak. I couldn't think straight, could hardly move. I slumped where I had stood before, unable to even stand now because of armor that I had worn so easily just a moment previously. The thing slowly moved forward to my hapless form and summoned forth a giant crash of flame. I remember feeling my hair, my skin, my insides burning. And then I was no more.

"It seemed like years later. I recall being in the same room. The torches had gone dark and a daemon corpse lay nearby. I looked up at a mage in white who coaxed me to stand and helped me to gather my belongings. 'Careful now,' he said. 'Coming back to the living is a shaky process.'

"After a few minutes and a potion or two, I was on my feet again, prepared to stand back the next time we had to fight, and to be a bit more precautious. Little did I know, what we were about to face was chaos itself. Exiting the room, I heard someone screaming, 'Dark Father! Dark Father!' The words echoed through the ghostly crypt. The ensuing battle was the longest I had ever been in.

"A gargantuan beast, the truth to the astronomical tales I had heard, was shredding through armor and robes like nothing. I crouched and walked forward slowly, weary from the last fight and ready to run. And run I did. Everyone did. The battle tactic for our side was simple: Hit the Father and run away before it kills you. Scaled in spikes, I had trouble hurting the beast without hurting myself. I soon gave up and struck heedless of the repercussions. Mages were downed. Paladins fell. Necromancers died. Archers were returned to life after it charged. It took time, but we did it. We killed the most evil creature in Dungeon Doom. The second it died, those still standing were on it like savages. The corpse was looted in a matter of seconds. I shook my head until I saw the scarlet-clad warrior break away from the crowd holding a pure white shield, a relic from ages past that emanated power and nobility.

"I left Dungeon Doom that day, vowing to return after having shared a tale or two over a pint with other adventurers who would undoubtedly be skeptical of my story of gigantic undead beasts, horrific daemons, and ancient relics of a forgotten past."

Ghost of Atlantic

We are pleased to present these tales of your battles and memorable moments in Ultima Online. Join us next week, as we continue to spotlight your tales of adventure and excitement within the world of Britannia.

Published: September 2003
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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