This document is typed from the original manual itself for the benefit of people who dont know how to play the game. Enjoy! Look for updated versions at http://bootstrike.com .
In Ultima VII - The Black Gate, in order to advance in gameplay, you must be able to correctly answer questions about a map and other topics. The following lists the questions and their correct answers
(Author's Note : This part of the information must be kept private, or else, that is illegal)
Ultima VII uses a special memory manager called "Voodoo." This manager, created by ORIGIN, comes with your Ultima VII game. Voodoo will run on any 386SX or higher IBM PC compatible computer. It uses extended memory, so it can co-exist with the HIMEM.SYS driver. However, HIMEM.SYS is not necessary for Voodoo to function.
The other popular memory manager, called Expanded memory manager (EMS), is not compatible with Voodoo. If you are using an expanded memory manager (such as QEMM, 386MAX or EMM386) you must remove it to run Ultima VII. If you do not know how to do this (and if the following instructions dont help you), please call ORIGIN Customer Service for assistance. If you are familiar with this process, disable the EMS memory manager. The acceptable minimum configuration is an empty AUTOEXEC.BAT and a CONFIG.SYS with the lines:
FILES=20 BUFFERS=25 DEVICE=C:\MOUSE\MOUSE.SYS*
* Your mouse driver may be located on another path. Replace C:\MOUSE with the correct path if neccessary.
If you wish to retain your original CONFIG.SYS file, refer to your DOS manual for how to copy it to another file name before making changes.
As mentioned above, an extended memory manager (XMM) such as HIMEM.SYS (which is compatible with MS-DOS 3.3 or higher) is compatible with Voodoo, and does not require disabling.
If you have more than two megabytes of RAM, a disk cache will improve upon extended memory and increase the speed of the game. However, if you have a disk caching program that caches the floppy drive, we recommend that you disable the floppy caching before installing or running the game.
Your computer must have at least 640k of RAM plus one megabyte of extended memory to play Ultima VII: The Black Gate. Regardless of the amount of RAM your computer possesses, there must be 524,000 bytes free to run the game. Sound and speech options can push this total to 561,144 bytes of DOS memory.To find out how much free RAM your computer has before installation, run the DOS program, CHKDSK, by typing "CHKDSK" at the root directory (e.g.,C:\>CHKDSK). On some machines, CHKDSK may be located inside the \DOS directory. When you run the program, the last line of the information presented tells you how much free RAM there is. For example, the last line might tell you that the system has 565,239 bytes free.If you have less than the required amount of RAM, you will not be able to run the game until additional memory is freed. If you are not familiar with this process, please call ORIGIN Customer Service.
If you are familiar with this process, you can:
Never delete your AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS files completely, for without them, your computer will not function as you expect it to.
At some time you may want to reinstall the game (generally, to change or add a sound card, or to adjust the IRQ/DMA settings). Follow these directions. (You wont need to use the CD-ROM the program is on.)
are a few common problems and their solutions.
Speech fails to work after playing for only a short while You may have chosen an incorrect IRQ setting for your sound card. Reinstall the game from your hard disk to change the IRQ.
Speech skips lines of dialogue.You may have an IRQ conflict. This means that another card is operating on the same IRQ as your sound card.
Ultima VII fails to load or run properly.You may not have enough RAM. Run CHKDSK to determine your computers available RAM. Free up RAM if necessary.You may have a memory-resident TSR program that conflicts with the game. Boot the computer from a DOS system floppy disk or remove memory-resident programs before running the game. See Voodoo earlier in this manual and Making a Floppy Boot Disk at the end of this manual.You may need to remove your expanded memory manager.You may have filled all free space on the active disk drive.
The mouse pointer doesnt respond properly.Ultima VII supports the Microsoft Mouse and Microsoft Mouse Driver, version 7.0. Some other mouse brands may not be compatible.
The game runs too slowly.Your hard drive may be fragmented. Run an optimization program, such as DOS 6s DEFRAG.You may be able to use a disk caching program. If you have 4+ megabytes on your machine, a disk caching program can speed up your game.
None of the suggestions seem to help.Refer to ORIGIN Technical Support information at the end of this manual.
To load Ultima VII, go to the drive that contains your game, then go to the directory containing your game (e.g. CD\ULTIMA7). Type ULTIMA7 to start the game.After the game loads, an introductory sequence automatically begins, but it may be skipped by pressing Escape. Then the main menu appears, listing four options:VIEW INTRODUCTIONSTART NEW GAMEJOURNEY ONWARD, andVIEW CREDITSTo select on of these options, single-click it with the mouse or use the arrow keys and press Enter. To exit the introduction, character creation or credits, press Escape.
The introduction reveals how and why the AvatarTM has returned to Britannia. Information presented here is very relevant to your quest. This scene is the same one that you see the first time you run the game.
This is where character creation takes place. It must be selected the first time you play the game. When you are asked to name your character, type the desired name (up to 14 letters) at the flashing cursor and press Enter. Next, you determine the gender of your character. With the mouse or space bar, select the gender of your choice and press Enter.
After you first create the first character, this option takes you to the beginning of the actual game. In future sessions, this option returns you to your last saved game.
This option lists all of the many people who worked on Ultima VII.
guides you through the first few minutes of Ultima
VII. It doesnt reveal any deep secrets,
but it does introduce you to all of the basic
actions you may perform in the game. It assumes
you are using a mouse, which is highly recommended
by both Iolo and Lord British.The scene opens
as you, the Avatar, step out of a red Moongate
into the Britannian town of Trinsic. Before you
stand your old friend Iolo and the stable master,
Conversations. When Iolo addresses you, read each line of text and then click the left mouse button ("left-click"). Continue until Iolo has finished speaking, at which point he automatically joins your party.Next, Mayor Finnigan approaches you. Again, left-click after each line of text. Finnigan asks you to investigate the Trinsic murder. Position your mouse cursor (represented by a green arrow) over the word "Yes" and left-click to answer him.Finnigan asks if youve visited the stables. Put the cursor on the word "No" and left-click. He suggests that you visit the stables and you can begin moving around.
Moving. You (the Avatar) are always in the center of the screen. The stables are through the doorway to your north (i.e., toward the top of the screen). Position the cursor so that it points upward (northward) and right-click. You step to the north. Continue moving the cursor and right-clicking until you enter the building.
Examining Things. When you (the Avatar) enter the stables the roof disappears, allowing you (the player) to see inside. A horrible murder has occurred! You can look at each object in the stables by left-clicking on it. Place the cursor over the gold key (lying just west of the body) and left-click. The word "key" appears (to identify it, if you couldnt tell what it was).Perhaps the key will provide a clue. Move the cursor to the left of the key and click the right mouse button twice ("double-right-click"). You walk to that location. Notice that moving around is accomplished by right-clicking, and all other actions, like talking and examining objects, are accomplished by left-clicking.
Using Things. You dont want to be disturbed during this invertigation, so close the door by placing the cursor on it and double-left-clicking.
Taking Things. The key may be a clue. Place the cursor so that the tip of it overlaps the key. Click and hold down the left mouse button ("left-click-and-hold"). As you continue holding, move the cursor around. If the mouse was properly positioned, the key is attached to the cursor. Dont let go yet!To give yourself the key, move the cursor (and key) over your character and release the left button. The key will vanish.
Examining Yourself (and other things). Find out if you have the key by double-left-clicking on your character. An image of your character appears (your Inventory Display), with blue lines indicating the locations of equipment and clothing. The key is in your right hand.Put the cursor on the large red check mark and left-click-and-hold. This lets you move your inventory window; move it to the upper right corner of the screen by dragging it in that direction. Release the button when you are satisfied with the new position. You can remove your Inventory Display by left-clicking on the red check.
Talking to People. Perhaps your companion Iolo knows more than the murder. To speak with him, double-left-click on him. His portrait appears, along with speech. Responses you may select appear in the center of the screen. Left-click on "Murder" to discuss the murder with him.When you are finished talking to Iolo, left-click on "Bye" to end the conversation.
Further Investigations. There are other things you might try while inspecting the stables. Its a good idea to examine everything. Be sure to check out the dead gargoyle at the north of the stables, as well as the bag lying on the ground. You can see the bags contents by double-left-clicking on the bag. Try removing items from the bag, such as the torch. Once the torch is on the ground, you may double-left-click on it to light it. Double-left click on it again to extinguish it. (Note that while the torch is lit you cannot move it into any container.) In general, open the inventory of everyone in your party and both single- and double-left-click on every object. You may discover all sorts of handy things.When youve finished here, youll want to leave. You can talk continuously by right-click-and-holding. You always walk in the direction the cursor points. The further the cursor is from the center of the screen, the faster you travel. Luck be with you as you journey onward!
My travels took me to Trinsic, and there I encountered a group of men at arms with whom I became most impressed. Many fighters I have known were men of valorous heart on the battlefield, but off it little more than thugs. These men were not mere fighters, but Paladins. They were all skilled swordsmen and expert horse-men, as well as learned scholars and perfectly mannered gentleman.
Above all, they were devoted to the preserva-tion of honor. It was with eager grati-tude that I accepted their invitation to join them. The following years were filled with excitement, as we jour-neyed through the and, righting wrongs and helping those in need! During one of our adventures I was injured and forced to remain in Minoc while my companions rode on. A healer there told me that without the proper treatments (for which he charged outrageous prices) I would most probably die! I angrily sent him away. After a time I did mend. I had learned that the healing pro-cess takes place mostly in ones mind and have since placed no trust in healers who greedily prey upon the afflicted. At that time, the town of Minoc was in need of a Tinker. As I healed, I sup-ported myself by fixing, building and inventing things. I had never before realized how much a town is reliant upon its Tinker, nor how appreciative the local towns-people are to those who sacrifice themselves to continuously solving the problems of others. So welcome did they make me feel that I stayed for several years. Then, filled with the urge to roam and longing for the outdoors once more, I joined a band of Rangers in Spiritwood. Rangers are a deeply spiritual people. Liv-ing with them reminded me very much of my druid childhood in Yewwith one big difference. These Rangers drank the most wonderful wine I have ever tasted! The bottles came from the old winery at Skara Brae, having survived the terrible fires which ravaged that island. Later I made a pilgrimage to the desolate ruins of Skara Brae and there I had a spiritual experience so profound that I have vowed never to relate it to anyone. Leaving their band, I gave away all of my possessions and for months I wan-dered aimlessly. Eventually, I arrived at New Magincia where I sought employment as a Shepherd. Most of the following two years was spent in perfect solitude, living in complete humility. It was an experience that left me significantly changed. When I noticed that ten years had almost passed, I began the journey back to Britain.
The Two Brothers and the Trickster On the road
back to Britain I noticed a small mine being worked
by two brothers. They greeted me suspiciously
but eventually shared with me their tale, and
I shall share it with thee. Their father died
and left them a map to some unclaimed land that
contained valuable minerals. By law a claim can
only be made in one name, and this led the brothers
into conflict. One brother was the eldest, the
other was more worldly both wanted the claim.
They became so fearful that the other would make
the claim that each spent all his time spying
on the other. No work was done. One day, they
met a stranger who said he was a mining engineer.
They did not trust him at first, but he assured
them that their claim was too small to be of inter-est.
He was on the way to stake a much larger claim.
The stranger turned their heads with tales of
the riches they could have, replacing their distrust
with avarice. The brothers asked the stranger
to make their claim for them, and went back to
working their mine. They worked without stopping
for months, and afterward travelled to the mint
to sell their ore. At the mint they learned the
stranger had staked their claim in his own name
and then sold it outright for a fortune. As the
brothers had taken ore from land they did not
own, they were sent to the prison in Yew for many
years. Their sad fate taught them to be more trusting
of each other, for a man who does not trust his
brother is always vulnerable. After hearing their
tale, I went to the mint, for I was curious which
of the two brothers held the claim to their new
mine. I had tried to guess and was quite surprised
when I saw the answer. It was in the name of their
I was overjoyed when Elizabeth and Abraham both
arrived at the Blue Boar safe and sound. It was
a splendid reunion. The tales they told me were
truly astounding, gentle friend and traveller.
But as I have mentioned, I do not wish this tome
to be an intrusion upon their privacy. Not all
of our memories were pleasant ones. Most of the
people of Britannia, it seemed, were more interested
in helping themselves than in helping their fellow
person. As travellers strangers wherever
we went we had become used to the cold eye
of suspicion upon us. Everywhere there were people
who expected some-thing for nothing, as if owed
a debt by the world. Most of all, each of us had
met many people who were fundamentally unhappy.
Everywhere there were people who knew that they
needed something in their lives, gentle friend
and traveller, but that they had not a hope of
finding it. The three of us had learned much of
history. There was once a time when life was infinitely
more fragile, but was cherished much more dearly.
We yearned to recapture that aspect of Britannias
former glory. After much discussion, we decided
to found a society called The Fellowship. At this
time I was also conceiving what would become its
philosophy, but that will be discussed further
in another chapter. It was Abraham who suggested
that I propose The Fellowship to Lord British.
I agreed, little realizing the task I was undertaking.
It was with much anxiety that I stood before
the throne of wise Lord British. I was in a long
line of subjects as our Liege made numerous pronouncements.
Although I had been waiting for hours when I at
last had my audience, I still felt unprepared.
His unwavering glance fell upon me. I said that
I had a modest proposal. My colleagues and I sought
to establish a philosophical society known as
The Fellowship. Lord British asked me who would
see the benefits of this Fellowship. I replied
that no one would benefit from it, for it would
not be run for profit. With a word I was dismissed.
I found myself leaving the throne room before
it had even sunk in that I had been refused.By
the look on my face Elizabeth and Abraham knew
I was not the bearer of good news. In discussing
the matter, Elizabeth suggested that Lord British
had desired a tribute from us. If we could present
an impressive enough tribute, he would grant his
favor. After a time we raised a thousand gold
pieces by selling nearly every possession we owned.
With renewed confidence I returned to the castle.
This time there were several workmen with me to
carry the chests of gold that were our tribute.
As I reached the front of the line I spoke boldly.
I said that I wished to discuss The Fellowship,
but first wished to present Lord British with
suitable tribute. With consternation I realized
that I had spoken before Lord British had finished
reading an important looking scroll placed before
him by one of his advisors. He signed it as he
spoke, not even bothering to look up at me. First
he ordered my workmen to remove the boxes. Then
he ordered the workmen to re-move me as well!
Angrily I stormed from the throne room. Once more
did I face my two friends. We were most disappointed.
The dream we shared now seemed to have no hope
of becoming reality. I spent days somberly brooding
over my failure. One morning found me so completely
lost in my thoughts that I did not hear the passing
beggar approach. When at last I noticed him he
spoke. A coin for one denied the rewards
of worthiness. The illumination was pure
and instantaneous. He thought I had gone mad when
I gave him my chest of gold. I ran back to the
palace as fast as I could. At first, Lord British
would not see me, but I implored him. He looked
me over, and seemed to see something different
about me. He listened as I spoke. Our society,
The Fellowship, will be a union of spiritual seekers
that shall strive to bring Unity to our fractured
society. We will promote Trust and under-standing
among all the people of Britannia. With your approval
our society will teach one to seek Worthiness,
rather than mere personal reward. To that end,
I seek your recognition of The Fellowship.
After a long moment, Lord British replied. Batlin,
thou dost know the meaning of perseverance. I
care not for what thy Fellowship dost wish of
me and I care even less for what thy Fellowship
would seek to do for me. But if thy Fellowship
would seek to serve the subjects of my land then
my support for thee is unequivocal.
Thus was born The Fellowship.
Britannia is not only a kingdom of great cities,
but also of prolific commerce and industrial might.
In any city, thou canst find a pleasing variety
of goods and services available for purchase.
Each city has an economy based upon its industry
and the endeavors of the people who work within
it. The goods each city produces are bartered
or sold to the people of other cities, which provides
them access to other goods not usually available
in their own city. Through this continuous flurry
of commercial activity all the townships of Britannia
are supplied with the products and services that
they need to survive and thrive.
The Farmers of Britannia
While in recent years a series of droughts has hurt agricultural production in certain areas of Britannia, most farmers are enjoying a resurgence of bountiful harvests. Farmers will usually be glad to sell the passing traveller eggs, fruits, vegetables or whatever else they produce.
The Merchants of Britannia
The merchants of Britannia survive by one basic rule buy for less and then sell for more. However, most merchants truly desire to please their customers, and any merchant who engages in unfair business practices is sure to lose out to his compe-tition in the end.
The Farmers Market
At the Farmers Market in Britain, the fruits, vegetables, eggs and meats produced on the farms of Britannia may be found for sale.
In a pub one may relax and enjoy a refreshing drink or a fine meal. In many pubs one will hear the local bard sing rousing songs of legend and lore. When conversing with the other patrons of a pub, be prepared to hear anecdotes, war stories, local historyperhaps even useful information!
For a quick meal one could do no better than to sample the wares of the local food vendor. To find the local food vendor, one need only listen for his friendly bark and call.
There is no end to the number of odd things that a traveller or adventurer may find himself in need of, and the one place where nearly all of these might be found for sale is the local Provisioners Shop.
There is no faster mode of land travel than riding in a horsedrawn wagon. When travelling in the wilderness, the quicker one is, the safer one is. Horses and carts can be purchased from the stables in Britain.
Now that magic is severely on the decline, those who still pursue this dying art may find that many mages are willing to sell their magical reagents. One need not concern oneself with the freshness of these reagents, for all things magical only increase in potency with age.
The inns of Britannia provide the traveller with safety and a place to rest. Camping in the wilderness is always a risky proposition and the danger to ones health is great, especially in times of inclement weather.
The craftsmen of Britannia are skilled artisans who sell wares made by their own hand. While such items are often of high price, the price reflects compensation due for the time, toil and talent of the craftsman, as seen in the high quality of the item.
Here one may purchase armour and shields made for the protection of a fighting man in combat. Most armourers will also sell weapons, thus completely preparing any would-be fighter. Armour is generally sold piecemeal, but certain armourers have been known to sell entire suits at a cheaper price than the total cost of each individual piece.
Fletchers and Bowyers
Without question, the bowyer that is held in highest regard throughout all of Britannia is Iolo Fitzbowen, the proprietor of the establishment that has come to be called Iolos Bows. So popular is this bowyers shop that a similar establishment was set up in Serpents Hold.
Many who succumb to injury or illness have their conditions worsened and their purses lightened by a healer. The wise traveller knows that sickness and injury is rooted chiefly in the mind and that only through self-discipline can pain, illness and injury be overcome.
It is the shrewd apothecary who mixes his strange chemicals and produces the formulas to create potions. Apothecaries have long since stopped the sale of magical reagents, as magic has become so unreliable.
The marketplace of Britain provides the traveller with an opportunity to purchase clothing, ranging from the latest fashions to the more comfortable and functional.
Ships may be purchased from shipwrights in nearly any coastal city. By Britannian law no ship is considered to be legally held unless the owner has in his possession that ships deed of sale.
Cow This harmless farm animal is
the source of beef and dairy products.
Cyclops One of a race of incredibly strong one-eyed giants, when it is not hurling large boulders at its enemies, its favorite weapon is a large wooden club.
Deer This swift but timid forest creature has sharp antlers to defend itself. It is the source of venison.
Dog A domesticated cousin of the wolf, this animal guards homes from intruders, tracks game during hunts, and is a playmate for children and a pet for adults.
Dragon Dragons are a mysterious ancient race of highly evolved reptiles that possess magical abilities and a high degree of intelligence. They have large wings and are capable of rapid flight. A dragon is formidable in combat and is all the more lethal due to its noxious flaming breath. Its lair is usually a cave or dungeon where it guards its eggs and treasure.
Drake This creature is a dragon that has not yet fully grown to adulthood, a process that takes several hundred years. Like its mature relatives, this creature can also breathe fire and fly. It is commonly found in the lair of a dragon.
Emp This extremely peaceful creature lives in the forest. It shuns violence to such a degree that it is doubtful it will want to have anything to do with any humans it comes into contact with. Some emps possess a remarkable degree of intelligence and magical capability. Emps are so named for their empathic abilities. So sensitive are they to the pain and discomfort of other living things that they subsist on a diet of such foods as milk and honey.
Fairy These flirtatious and mischievous tiny flying creatures are rarely hostile.
Fish This generally harmless water-breathing creature can be found in abundance in the seas, rivers and lakes of Britannia. It greatly contributes to the local food supply.
Fox This small, wily mammal is related to the wolf, but is not as powerful or aggressive.
Gargoyle This red-skinned creature originally comes from the subterranean domain of the gargoyles. There are two classes of gargoyles the larger winged gargoyles that possess keen intellect and magical capability, and the smaller worker drones that possess little thinking ability but are embodied with great strength.
Gazer This strange creature is
found mostly in dungeons. It hovers about, looking
for victims to mesmerize with its multiple eyes.
Upon being killed, the body of a gazer will break
up into a tiny swarming colony of insects.
Ghost This magical spirit of the dead has the power to move through solid walls and has been known to use magic. It can appear anywhere, but tends to frequent graveyards or places significant to the life of the deceased.
Gremlin This tiny creature travels in a pack and attacks in a large group. Its primary threat is that it likes to steal food.
Harpy This half human/half bird creature nests in mountainous caves. It attacks from the air with the sharp talons on its feet.
Headless This ensorcelled creature appears to be a living, ambulatory, beheaded human being. It is unknown exactly how it compensates for its apparent lack of sensory organs, but it manages to do so quite well. Its favorite method of attack is strangulation.
Horse This strong, swift animal can be found in the wild or domesticated in the stables. Horses are most commonly used for rapid transportation from town to town or through the wilderness.
Hydra This creature is a type of dragon that possesses three heads. Like the dragon, a hydra also can fly and breathe fire.
Insects This is an insect swarm capable of causing an intolerable number of bites and stings, as well as severely spooking horses and destroying crops.
Kraken This mysterious peril of
the sea is not well understood. There have been
numerous reports of sailors being snatched from
the decks of ships by huge suckered tentacles
and dragged down to the bottom of the ocean, never
to be seen again. No one has yet reported an actual
sighting of the full body of this creature.
Liche This is an extremely rare type of undead creature that is both dangerous and very difficult to destroy.
Mongbat This bizarre and frightening creature is a cross between a bat and a monkey. Its attacks are fast and powerful, but it usually only inhabits the deepest dungeons.
Mouse This harmless rodent lives on whatever little scraps of food it can find, although it is especially fond of cheese. It occupies the space just beneath the cat on the food chain.
Rabbit This fast, long-eared animal lives primarily on the carrots grown by local farmers.
Rat (Giant) This filthy, overgrown
rodent is a severe hazard to the health of human
beings. Immune to poison and too large to be trapped,
this creature has a voracious appetite for garbage
and carrion. When it roams in packs it loses its
natural fear of human beings. The bite of a giant
rat can cause a variety of potentially fatal diseases.
Reaper The reaper is actually a malevolent tree spirit that has the power to reach out and grab passers-by in its long, powerful branches. The reaper also possesses the magical power to unleash destructive bolts of lightning. As it is a creature made of dry deadwood, it is quite vulnerable to fire.
Sea Serpent This creature is a sea-going dragon. It is capable of spitting out fireballs, much the same as dragons breathe fire. A sea serpent can severely damage a ship with asingle lash of its powerful tail.
Sheep These non-threatening beasts are raised by shepherds, who take them out to graze in great numbers. Sheep produce both wool and mutton.
Silver Serpent This creature, seen in the symbols of ancient Sosaria, once more holds the fascination of Britannia. The venom of the silver serpent is reported to have a strange and lasting effect on people. No doubt this shall be the subject of further study.
Skeleton This is the undead reanimation of a fighter who was slain on the field of battle. Skeletons tend to cluster in hordes and are often following the commands of a sorcerer. In fact, they may continue to do so well after the sorcerer himself is dead!
Slime This grotesque gelatinous mass lives in the depths of a dungeon or in the murkiest corners of a swamp. It reproduces by dividing itself and grows through the absorption of other slimes. Slimes attack by hurling foul blobs of slime at their intended victims. Fire is known to be a very effective weapon against them.
Snake This creature spends the night coiled among the cool rocks and comes out into the sun during the day. This warms its blood, enabling it to strike more quickly. The creature is venomous and can even spit venom from several yards away.
Spider (Giant) While this creature may be encountered anywhere in the wilderness, its lair is its giant web, which will almost always be hidden in a cool and dark place. A giant spider is capable of spraying its poisonous spittle from a considerable distance. Its bite is also tremendously painful.
Troll This brutish creature is the bane of all travellers. Many tales relate how trolls hide beneath bridges in order to terrorize and prey upon all those who would cross it. The wise traveller would do well to exercise caution when crossing any bridge, especially those one may come across in the wilderness, far from the security of a city.
Unicorn Fanciful stories of these creatures abound in rural areas. The unicorn appears as a splendid young white stallion with a single great horn rising from its head. Legends speak of how only those who are truly virtuous may approach a unicorn. Unicorn sightings are rareso rare in fact that most serious scholars deny their existence.
Wisp These mysterious floating lights have been a puzzlement to many an adventurer. They seem capable of inflicting only slight physical damage, but they also seem impervious from physical harm themselves. It has been said that these strange creatures are very knowledgeable and that they come from a world other than our own.
Wolf This plains and forest hunter has long had the greatly undeserved reputation of a vicious predator. While wolfpacks do thin the weak and the sick from herds of wild animals, and while farmers must occasionally be wary of their curiosity, there is little to support the notion that these animals are bloodthirsty man-eaters.
The Fighter Class
Many Britannian fighters receive formal training in the martial arts at Serpents Hold, and in return they serve for a specified term as members of the Royal Militia. Some fighters study in Jhelom or with other trainers across Britannia. Other fighters never receive any formal training. Their unforgiving teacher is the battlefield, where many lives are lost when lessons are not mastered quickly enough. Fighters gener-ally possess great strength and endurance, a proficiency with many types of weap-ons and the
courage to face the demanding trials of combat time and time again.
The Bard Class
A true jack-of-all-trades a trickster, a minstrel, a battler, a spellcaster the bard possesses all of these skills. Physically, the bard falls somewhere between the brawny physique of the fighter and the delicate frame of the mage. The bard is dextrous and agile. He tends to be more clever than intelligent. He also possesses a presence and charm that come in handy in all manner of situations. The bard has a natural gift for missile weapons and a mind for riddles. The bard also plays an im-portant part in society by recording local history in such a way that it is well re-membered, through rousing tale and song.
A pity to those who live their lives following the treacherous road that is the way of the mage, now that the time of magic is coming to an end. The days of wonder, when miracles could be performed on demand through wisdom and a devotion to the arcane arts, are a part of the past. A mages mind perceives that which resides in the invisible world, but as recent history has shown us, but this keen mind upon which the mage depends is ever in danger of slipping into lunacy. What is also tragic is that the way of the mage is not one that is consciously chosen. One is born with the calling of the mage. While magic has not yet ceased to function altogether, it has become inaccurate to the point of being unreliable, mak-ing the mages life one of constant uncertainty.
Before anything further is
written, it must be noted that the following section
is included only as a matter of historical documentation.
The use of magic has long been proven to be unreliable
and the suspected cause of mental deterioration.
The author takes no responsibility for anyone
who may attempt to practice magic based upon the
information contained herein.
The Mages Spellbook
The first component necessary for the successful casting of spells by a mage is his spellbook. It is his principle tool and without it the mage cannot function. This book contains the formulae and incantations required to cast the specific spells that a mage knows. As mages become more experienced they can acquire new spells. A wise and long-practicing mage may have a great tome filled with strange drawings, diagrams and writings. These writings will be explained in greater detail in a forthcoming section. Every mages spellbook contains several basic magical spells called linear spells. These too will be explained in their own section.
The Mages Reagents
The second component required for spellcasting is the proper reagent. These chemical materials serve as a link between the physical world that the mage wishes to affect and the psychic energies of the ethereal waves that the mage is drawing upon to effect that change. Some reagents are relatively common herbs, others are rare and exotic items. The following is a list of reagents used by all mages.
Black pearl is an exceedingly rare commodity; fewer than one in ten thousand pearls is black. They have been found at the base of tall cliffs on Buccaneers Den. While a less than perfect pearl may be perfectly acceptable for decorative purposes, the black pearl of a mage must be perfectly formed or it is virtually worthless. Black pearl is ground up into a fine powder.
In recent years the only places where this strange substance can be located are in the Bloody Marsh across the mountains from Cove (where many years ago thousands of soldiers lost their lives) or in the enchanted forest of Spiritwood, beneath the rotting bark of dead trees.
Certainly this is the most commonly available of all magical reagents. There are few kitchens in all of Britannia that are not supplied with at least a few cloves of this spice. Garlic cloves are washed and ground into a paste, providing significant protection from harmful magic.
The healers of our fair land have known of the healthful and restorative powers of this bitter root for hundreds of years. But to the mage it requires special preparation. It must be boiled and reboiled in the freshest of water no less than forty times! This reduces it to a strong-smelling syrup that makes a very potent reagent.
This rare plant extract, found only in the darkest, dankest corners of the foulest of swamps, is a most sought after magical reagent. It is also one of the most difficult of all reagents to prepare, for in being dug up the tap root of the mandrake plant must not be broken. Also, that root itself must be properly prepared, boiled and dried. Mandrake root can be found on the Bloody Marsh and in a place known as the Fens of the Dead, south of Paws.
This plant, found only in swamps, only blooms at night. The fungal cap from this rare and unusual mushroom may be either crushed or boiled into a tea. The mage must always use great care when handling nightshade, for it is not only a very potent hallucinogenic, it is also extremely poisonous.
While this is a common reagent, it can be very difficult to gather any significant quantity of it from any single source. Mages have been known to frequent caves and crypts and even run their own personal spider farms in order to maintain an abundant supply of spiders silk. It usually takes at least an ounce of silk to cast a spell.
The great quantities of ash generated by a volcanic eruption makes this a common commodity as far as magical reagents go, but one does usually have to travel in order to acquire a large quantity of it. In recent years the most common source of sulfurous ash has been the Isle of the Avatar, location of violent volcanic activity many years ago.
The Mages Words of Power
The final component necessary for the mage to cast a spell is the spoken mantra that constitutes the words of power. Far more than simple memorization of the words and their meanings is required. The mage must have a consciousness-altering com-prehension of each individual syllable of a word of power. The pronunciation of each syllable resonates through the ethereal waves as the spell is being cast. Incor-rect pronunciation invariably causes ethereal turbulence. Long periods of medita-tion upon each syllable and many hours of controlled breathing exercises are re-quired before the proper use of the mages words of power can be learned. The following is a list of the known syllables that make up the words of power.
The mage is able to cast spells
when the three elementsspellbook, reagents
and words of powerare combined in one unique
and fluid action. The mind of the mage must be
properly focused, as some spells affect just one
person, others affect a group of people and still
others affect a specific area. As a mages
experience in casting spells increases, so too
will the potency of many of his spells. Outside
distractions and interference, as well as the
intended targets natural resistance, might
prevent the successful casting of any spell. One
factor over which the mage has no control is the
state of the ethereal waves when a spell is being
cast. While the ethereal waves are often subject
to turbulence, such turbulence is a temporary
Once again, the author takes it upon himself to warn his readers that the following is included as nothing more than a matter of historical record. It is a statement of absolute fact that most of these spells do not work and many will turn back upon the user. The use of magic is strongly suspected to be the cause of a strange mental deterioration than can affect anyone who has practiced magic. The reader is strongly discouraged from experimenting with the spells listed here.
Cosmology There was once a time when much
consideration was given to the phases of the moon
and the movements of the heavens. There was much
concern over an event, the reoccurrence of which
is eminent, called the astronomical alignment.
It was said that the astronomical alignment would
create a gateway between this world and another.
In recent times the astronomical
alignment has been all but forgotten. With the end of the time of magic, it is doubtful that such an event will have any significance to anyone but astronomers. During this time of magic, a strange form of travel existed, through doorways of light that were often called Moongates. There were at least two types of Moongates blue and red. Blue Moongates sprang up wherever fragments of extraterrestrial rocks called moonstones were buried. These gates allowed magical travel from one gate to another. Red Moongates are generated by the powerful artifact known as the Orb of the Moons. A red Moongate can take a traveller anywhere in Britannia. It has even been said that it can also be used to travel to other worlds.There have only been two red Moongates in all of known existence one used by Lord British, and the other by the Avatar. Little is known about these gates, but like magic spells, Moongates no longer function as they once did. Use of Moongates today cannot be discouraged strongly enough. They are dangerous and their use in this less-than-reliable state has resulted in numerous fatalities.