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To Steal a Sigil
A thief. A scoundrel. A pilferer. A rogue. Regardless of title, the wise adventurer guards his pockets when he spots a thief - and the wise faction guards their sigil. In our spotlight story today, Su’Zal finds a new use for this stealthy skills as an member of the True Britannians; in an ongoing war for the fate of Felucca.

 “Su'Zal stood in the shadows of the Main Gate. The thief was depressed. Depressed and afraid. The nearly constant raids of the evil undead servants of the Shadowlords and the minions of Minax had driven all the gullible citizens of Britain into their homes. Their valuables locked safely away. Su'Zal was hungry, but no gold was available to lift. No gold meant no food. The vile attackers seemed to destroy all in their path, and Su'Zal was afraid he would be next. Britain had its small squad of defenders, but they were no match for the overwhelming number of evil ones.

“Suddenly, the thief heard his named called. "Hey Su'Zal, get over here!" a red-robed mage called out. The thief darted his eyes left and right then stammered "Wha...What? I haven't done nuttin..." Rager, a well known member of the Descendants of Darkness, continued "Shaddup! You are a thief, right?" Su'Zal was caught off guard and was not sure how to reply. The mage did not wait for an answer "We need you to do something for the good of Britain. We need you to steal something. We will go with you and ensure your safety as you perform this task." The thief was quite taken aback with this information, and replied "Lemme get this straight, you want me to steal somethin', and you all will protect me while I do this?" Rager nodded. "And what is in this for me?" Su'Zal demanded. The mage could promise nothing in return, so the thief pondered a bit. After some thought, Su'Zal agreed to perform the task. He might at least wind up with a bit of gold or food.

“A short while later a considerable number of knights and mages had amassed and were preparing to escort the thief to his target. He had no idea where he was going, nor what he was to steal, but with this number of powerful escorts, Su'Zal felt safe. When the blue moongate was opened and several of the surrounding people had entered, the thief was ordered to step into it as well. An instant later, Su'Zal found himself blinking, trying to see light in a dark cavern. The foul smell of rotting flesh burned his nose. The oozing slime on the walls stained his clothing. Right away he began to regret his agreement to perform this task. "Stay back and out of the way until we call for you!" barked Baalzephor, one of the red-robed escorts. Su'Zal found this command easy to obey, since he could simply sneak away and hide in the shadows.

“After all the people had arrived through the moongate, the force began pushing further into the cavern. As they advanced, the thief sneaked up behind them and found a quiet place in the shadows nearby. Suddenly the clanging of blades and magical smoke filled the cavern. The thief turned to run, but realized he had no idea where he was or how to get out. It was at this moment that he truly began to realize his mistake in accepting this task. Cries of pain echoed through the corridors as the evil servants battled the Britannians. Unable to assist in any way, Su'Zal slinked further into the shadows and covered his face with his hands. How he wished he was back in Britain!

“Eventually the thief and his escorts were able to push through into the innermost room of the undead stronghold. It was there that Su'Zal first learned of sigils and the true purpose of his involvement. He was escorted to this horrible place to steal the sigil of Britain and return it to the Britannian stronghold. Only by succeeding in this would Britain once again be safe. Only then would the citizens emerge from their homes. Only then might their valuables be accessible to one such as he. He must succeed! His future depends on it!

“Su'Zal quickly grabbed the Town Sigil of Britain and turned to retreat. Upon stealing the sigil he was immediately surrounded in a brilliant violet hue. "By the powers! What has happened to me?! I may as well have a target painted on me!" Jack the Mad reminded the thief of his escorts and told him not to worry. "Just stick with us and you will be OK" Jack said as he headed for the exit. Everyone began working their way back towards the area where they first entered the caverns. Su'Zal, now brightly highlighted, stayed near the back of the pack, and hid in the shadows when he could.

“All of a sudden a large force of undead charged into the middle of the ranks of Britannians. A huge battle ensued with humans and undead falling quickly. The thief slinked away further into the shadows, shuddering at the sight of the carnage. One by one the Britannians fell until Su'Zal was the only mortal left in the caverns. Despair quickly overcame the thief. How he longed to be back in Britain! Even the suspicious gaze of Lord British's guards would be a welcome relief from this hell. As he hid there in the cavern, Su'Zal began to think about his mother. How she had detested the life he had chosen. How she begged him to get a real job and do something decent for a change. He wondered if she had learned of the peril he is in now, how he was attempting to do something good for Britain. All of these thoughts gave way to despair once again. Su'Zal knew the end was near.

“The thief had been hiding for what seemed like days. He had given up all hope and was simply waiting for the evil beings to discover his location. Suddenly, from out of the shadows came a hushed voice. Su'Zal instantly recognized it as the voice of Oliver, one of the Britannian supporters who he had seen around town. Oliver whispered "Don't give up, I hear that a force is being assembled to rescue you and the sigil." Su'Zal took a deep but quiet breath, renewed with the slightest of hope. Perhaps he could withstand a few more hours in this hole after all.

“The sound of footsteps echoed down the halls. Many footsteps. Su'Zal tighened his stance, trying to be as invisible as possible. Muffled voices revealed that the approaching group was human. Could they be Britannians? The thief's spirits soared! When the knights rounded the bend in the cavern, Su'Zal could make out the images of several familiar Britannians. Someone called for him to appear. When the thief and the rescuers were together, the plan was clear - they were going to charge out of the cavern at full speed. It seemed most of the evil servants were away from their stronghold and it would be fairly easy to escape via the single entrance above ground. When everyone was ready, the group charged out of the darkness, with the knights and mages destroying the few servants that stood in the way.

“Once outside, Su'Zal took a few moments to adjust his eyes to the sunlight. "RUN! RUN ALL THE WAY TO BRITAIN!" was yelled, so the thief took off, with a few escorts, in the direction of Britain. Very little resistance was encountered along the way, which the escorts dispatched with ease. As Su'Zal entered the town of Britain, cheers rang out. The citizens understood what was at stake and ran to greet the thief and his escorts. As Su'Zal approached the castle gates, throngs of Britannians stood in defense of the castle. A break in the crowd opened and Su'Zal hurriedly ran on to the castle. He had to get the sigil to its resting place in the castle throne room before it was too late.

“With the sigil returned to its rightful owners, Su'Zal was able to breathe a long sigh of relief. His job was done. He had succeeded. The citizens partied long into the night. A bountiful feast was prepared at the castle, and the hungry thief ate his fill. As he downed the last of his bottle of ale, Su'Zal headed off in search of his mother. He must make sure she knows of the good deed he had performed this day. Along the way, the thief kept a wary eye for pockets that needed emptying.”

- Su’Zal

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 the Council of Mages faction. And as always, keep an eye on FYI for future spotlight topics!        

Published: January 2001
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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