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The Gathered Spirits Community
Beyond the window, firelight dances across the evening forest, painting the trees with flickering shadows. A twirling melody spins through the air, strummed on a distant lute. Passing travellers might pause a moment, to gaze upon the buildings, to wonder at the fountain, or perhaps to listen to the muted sound of laughter and merriment from beyond the tavern door. Perhaps one of those travellers might approach the wooden door, and venture to join the revelry within.

This week, we spotlight the Gathered Spirits Community, located on the Pacific shard. Born among the founders and patrons of the Gathered Spirits Tavern, this community has grown and expanded to include tower, community store, hunting lodge, and now plays host to many events and projects.

“I said to the man as we passed on the road,
’Pray where are you headed with that heavy load?’
He replied with a wave of his rough calloused hand,
’This ale's on it's way to the best pub in the Land.’
”’Surely not on your own Sire?’ with a chuckle I said,
(for t'was less than hour since I'd run from a red!).
But he laughed with a gust of breath laden with beer,
And declared ‘My young Minstrel you're in no danger here’

”’For though quite accustomed to steel at my side,
To not have to draw it is a matter of pride.
We are neutral you see an' it don't matter to us
if you're red, blue or grey boy, long as none make a fuss.’

”’Fair enough" I replied, and thrust out a hand,
And made my first friend in this dangerous land.
’I would see for myself of this place you describe...
for I'm parched and quite starving (only barely alive).’

”With a smile shining bright from his ruddy complexion,
He assured me of warmth and a friendly reception.
And he made me so welcome as he led the way
That I became a 'Gathered Spirit' and remain so today.

“This April marks the second anniversary of the Gathered Spirits Community. Our story - the story of the Gathering of Spirits - began in Britain, two years ago...

 The sight of a well brought-up young lady heaving great iron-bound barrels of newly forged weapons around town must have been unpleasant for some... perhaps amusing for others. But, at only 22 years of age, my excitement at playing a part in preparations for the forthcoming Britain City Council auction had me bursting with energy... and I blithely ignored all the strange looks and snide comments as I trudged along Virtue's Path in the direction of the East Bank.
Then, just as I crossed the bridge, a cheerful figure clad in black and forest-green leapt down from a branch into the road ahead of me. As he grinned and bowed, I recognized the handsome Steihl (leader of the Black Hand of Vesper), and I acknowledged him with a nod and a polite smile. Then, happy to take advantage of any distraction to rest my weary arms, I stood the barrel on its end, smoothed my wrinkled skirt, and bid him "Good Afternoon". By the time our conversation had ended however, both the polite smile and my scruffy attempts to appear lady-like had been replaced with a beam of delight and an undignified scramble to follow kind Steihl out of the City... leaving the barrel, forgotten, in the centre of the road.

I imagine that the citizens of Britannia (and there were fewer of us then) became all too familiar with the "mad young woman of Britain" over the next few weeks, as I dashed breathlessly here, there, and everywhere in my ever more stained and tattered garb, unwilling even to pause to wash the ground-in dirt from my hands and face.

But eventually, on that day in April two years ago - after much furniture-heaving, lumberjacking and carpentry - the Gathered Spirits Tavern opened. And I believed that could rest awhile...

“Needless to say, I was wrong. The Gathered Spirits Tavern is now one of the most popular establishments on the shard and has become part of the greater Gathered Spirits Community, a group of like-minded citizens who strive to serve the Britannian public. The early years of the tavern were extremely challenging - trying to repair the damage after trouble-makers stole our furniture and hurled insults at our staff was a true test of character for myself, Balin, and Gantoris Durran, the tavern founders.

“We were greatly relieved when the Seer Adamantyr announced that our establishment was to be blessed. In a matter of weeks, our tavern was completely transformed. With an impressive outdoor area, a specially crafted bar and the acclaimed “Bob the Troll Head”, we are still indebted to the Seer and his carpenter friend. Most importantly, though, the blessing meant that we didn’t have to worry about furniture thieves and could concentrate on offering additional services to our patrons.

“In the few months following our blessing, the Gathered Spirits Community was founded. The tavern staff decided that it was time to widen our horizons, looking to take up opportunities beyond the tavern.

“Today, the Gathered Spirits Community is home to more than thirty staff members, who work ‘round the clock to ensure the tavern and our facilities are constantly functioning and more than eleven buildings including the Gathered Spirits Hunting Lodge, Treasure Library and Community Store all located in close proximity to the tavern.

“Most importantly, though, we are confident that the public is enjoying our Community’s facilities and services. The Gathered Spirits Tavern has logged more than 11,000 visitors since the introduction of the new housing laws. The popularity of our events and quests also stand testimony to this fact.

“The Gathered Spirits tradition is set to continue on an island near Trinsic. In the near future, we will be opening our island town to the public - complete with tower, shops, unique facilities and staffed establishments. Furthermore, we have been in contact with architects and carpenters to discuss a possible extension to our tavern in the form of a convention centre. Such a centre will lay the foundations for our seminars, including those that aim to promote the creation of player establishments across shards as part of the Crestabernus project.

“Join us in celebrating our second anniversary. Come to the Gathered Spirits Tavern, still the cornerstone of our Community, located on the road South-East of Yew, 46o 50’ N, 18o 0’W, during our staffed hours - 7pm to 10pm PST Thursday through Sunday and 7pm to 9pm on Mondays. Our second anniversary party will take place on Saturday the 8th of April at the Tavern, from 7pm onwards.

“Thank you all for your tremendous support over the last two years, and here’s to an even more successful third! *raises glass*”

- JuffaArchui, Gathered Spirits Community Coordinator.
(Poetic introduction with compliments from Strumm...
...a minstrel who nearly wandered past.)

For more information on the Gathered Spirits Community, please visit their website at: http://gatheredspirits.xrgaming.net.

Published: October 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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