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A Deadly Encounter
What is the lure of the dragon? Why do brave men and women throw down their lives again and again trying to tame the wyvern, the wyrm? What compels thoughtful mages and wide-eyed knights to rush forth in battle against this ferocious beast? For each, there is a reason, perhaps not known or shared. In our spotlight tale today, Nocturne tells the story of an epic, and constantly testing, beachfront battle with a dangerous wyvern.

"The dark is my way of life, and in this dark I am at the peak of my abilities. Every other moon I entertain myself through a rather unique form of hunting. Wyverns are my specialty, the monstrosities are a horrendous force to fight against, and it gives me a feel of great power defeating them. I am going to tell you a tale of one of my most, intriguing.... incidents while skirmishing with these great beasts.
"The sun was finally beginning to dissipate by the time I reached the secret slab of stone that enters into the demonic transporter hidden inside. I cracked my bones, and readied my bow. I strung my first arrow from my quiver. Ready and prepared I entered the gate.

"After the darkness spit me back out, I was in the new lands. I adorned my charred colored helmet, and walked up the ladder to the famous lighthouse. From there I exited through the doors, letting the salt-filled air fill my helmet. The sun was setting and the day coming to a close, but the time to hunt was just beginning.

"I sat crouched within the rocks near the lighthouse as I usually do. Sand was everywhere, the ocean hammered against the rocks on the sides. I noticed large tracks near the shore, and I knew from experience this was a prime location for the large wyverns. I sat with my legs crouched, my black chainmail rattling every now and then. I normally would wear leathers, but hunting these beasts requires strong metal to protect one from the wyverns poisonous talons.

"As I was watched the waves caress the sand, I heard a large flapping in the distance. Wind was blowing strongly now, from the west. Through the moon's silhouette, I saw a figure gliding towards the lighthouse. A moment or two more and I heard a splash, which I assumed was the beast diving to gulp the large schools of fish taking shelter amongst the rocks.

"Quietly I waited. My heart was racing, as I knew the great hunt would begin. A few minutes that seem to take an eternity passed. I heard the 'whoosh, whoosh' of wings coming closer. From the sounds I guessed this was a female wyvern, larger and fiercer than the male counterpart. I stared out into the darkness, my eyes attuned to the night.

"Then I saw her. She was a massive wyvern, the size of perhaps five horses. By far the biggest I have seen. With a loud clash of foot to ground, she had landed nearby. I could hear her breathing now, and could feel the shockwaves of her taloned feet padding along the sand, creating vibrations even through the rocks. Her massive fanged head peered over the ledge, staring down at the meat I had lain out for her. Saliva dripped from her mouth, her wings folded at her back. The size of her claws were of the like I had never seen. They seemed to teem with deadly poison. I knew this very well could be a deadly encounter and began contemplating turning back, to the safety of the lighthouse. But what a price this one's head would bring me. I had to stay, I felt this was my destiny, to slay the biggest wyvern I had ever seen.

"She began descending the rocks from where she landed, and cautiously sniffed at the aroma of the meat. I remained silent. She padded closer, moving slowly as a curious cat would. Letting a loud snort of air loose through her nostrils, she lowered her head over the meat. At this critical point I raised my bow with disciplined skill. Quietly creaking back the shaft, I tensed the bow and its deadly cargo. I steadily aimed for the great beast head, which was now licking at the bloody meat. As my hand reached my head, and I felt the bow fully tensed, I let the shaft fly.

"Within that instant I let out a deep sigh. This is what must have cost me the element of surprise. Hearing the wind escape my lungs, she jeered upwards. The shaft went soaring just inches under her enormous maw. I instantly froze. The great beast slowly creaked her head towards the rocks where I sought shelter. My heart seemed as if it would leap out of my chest. She let loose a low grumble, and I felt like a trapped mouse. "Think, think!" I kept telling myself. "Maybe she doesn't quite know where I am yet." But just as I thought this to myself, her jaws opened and a bellowing scream came forth. I had to clench my teeth at the sound; more hideous than anything I have heard.

"I then made the biggest mistake I could have. I ran. I leaped from the rocks, notching another arrow from my quiver. She immediately caught my scent, and flapped her majestic wings. I turned around, and let the shaft loose, neither caring nor looking where it went. I heard another loud roar, and began running yet again. I could almost feel her breath on my neck, and didn't dare look back. My head was filled with horrible sounds, and death, and pain, and ... and… silence. I stopped running and risked a look back. There was nothing.

"I threw my helmet off, and bent over taking a breath. I must have outrun her. But something was not right.... she would have followed me. I looked cautiously around, but nothing was there. I felt that I had completely messed the whole ordeal up, and my prized kill was gone.

"As I began turning around, I felt a cold draft on my face. I ignored it, thinking it the sea breeze, until I looked to the sky. There I saw a large black object screaming down towards me. I froze in fear. It was coming straight for me! I let loose a loud yelp as the terror built within me. She came crashing down upon me, with great talons outreached.

"In that instant I was smashed into the air, having been scooped up by her great claws. I felt myself fly through the air, feeling a large gouge in my chained armor as I slammed against the rocky shore on the other side. Having the wind knocked from me, I knew I could not stay here. I groaned and got myself to my feet, only to see the wyvern gliding over the sands for me. I began running again, this time with great effort, for I knew my life depended on it. I began frantically searching for a cave, anywhere to protect myself. As I ran I felt the wind from her wings beating against me. I knew she was gaining fast. I notched another arrow as I ran, quickly turning around for a split second and letting it fly. I heard a familiar "thunk" as the arrow slammed into her thick hide. She let out an angry yelp, and seemed to slow. I fired another arrow, and another.

"Then I saw my chance, a narrow pass between the rocks. I jumped into the crevice, and cringed as her large mass slammed against the rocks. Her arms slashed into the pass, trying desperately to claw me to death. As I looked behind me, I knew I was safe, for the moment. AI began to relax, and watched as the wyvern screamed at the rocks to no affect. My stomach suddenly churned with pain. I groaned, and soon my head began to fill with agony. My hands were trembling. What was going on! Then I knew. As I examined my wound caused by her wicked claw, I saw a green puss forming on the rim. I was poisoned! I knew I would not last long in such condition. I pulled out my bandages and tried to wrap the wound together. I could barely feel my chest where the wound lay. I vomited to the side in violent convulsions. Potion... yes the potion! I always keep cure potions with me. I searched through my bag with trembling hands. I pulled out a small flask of orangish fluid. I quickly opened the top, and guzzled the substance. Immediately I began feeling relieved of my horrible symptoms.

"As I regained my stature, I noticed the clamoring and screaming had stopped. All that was left at the entrance were crude claw scratches where she had tried to hammer herself in. I knew I couldn't stay in this crevice forever. Holding my wound I slowly crept to the entrance. I peered out with as much caution as I could.

"'ROOAARRR!' A large talon came swooshing overhead, nearly cleaving my torso off. I fell back into the narrow pass, just as her fierce head slammed through the entrance. Snapping her maw like a demonic alligator, I tried to escape her menacing anger. Without thinking, acting purely on instinct, I leaped for her giant head. Somehow, I don't know how, I managed to wrap myself around her neck. She retreated from the crevice, me with it.

"I withdrew my knife from my scabbard at my leg. I slammed the small knife into her neck, desperately trying to hang on with my aching left arm. As I continued to stab at her, she took flight. Warm blood began seeping from her wounds as I wrapped both my arms around her neck. The higher she flew, the less she seemed to move. My arm was drenched in blood, and I could feel her slowly drifting from exhaustion. I could feel her heartbeat slowing, and her wings began to flutter. I knew then I was in an even more precarious situation.

"Finally she gave up, and her large mass began tumbling to the waters below. Hanging on for dear life I fell along with her. With a mighty splash we both entered the sea, and I was overcome with the cold waters of the ocean. The last I remember was letting go, and floating to the surface, while her body sank farther and farther down.

"The sun again. That agonizing sun was piercing my eyelids. I opened my black eyes, feeling the warm sand around me. The waves quietly splashed along the shore. As the memories flooded back into my mind I realized I was... was… alive! I had survived where normal men might not. Only I knew my prize was lost. All I had fought for gone, down into the sea.

"As I rolled over to stand up, I felt a large presence next to me. The corpse of the largest wyvern lay washed up at my feet.


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: October 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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