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Ultima II Revenge of the Enchantress

   The young girl had followed the sounds of the heated battle to her master's private chamber. This fledgling woman had been much more than just his apprentice in recent months. Though he spent hours therein, alone and secluded, he would spend all other time with her. With their work. With each other. But fantastic and terrible noise had called here from her own solitary study. The din had faded and disappeared into the faint sounds always heard in the keep. She unsealed the chamber's portal with a word and entered, prepared for anything. Or so she believed.

   The hall, normally stiflingly hot from the scalding walls, was cooling. That did nothing to detract from the acrid smoke billowing through the opening. Wandering distractedly into the space ahead, her horror slowly grew noticing the shards of a once larger gem strewn about the floor, their inner fires waning. As she crept, the haze further cleared to reveal an impossibility. Mondain, her teacher, her master, her love, lay lifeless on the ground. Tears streaming down her face, hate burning in her heart, cradling the head of her fallen master, the woman screamed a promise at the unfeeling castle walls. Minax the Enchantress would avenge herself on his killer, and their entire world!

   Minax grew in power, nursing the venom of her vendetta for the hero of British. She advanced to terrible power in her breeding and control of minions both magical and common. On securing her fortress in a realm outside time, she scried the nature of a secret power from there. Using this advantage, she then began unleashing her hordes upon the world she discovered had birthed and harbored not only the murderer of Mondain, but also the fiend British himself!

   The realm of Lord British had been thrown into a dark age by the tremendous forces unleashed from Mondain's death and the cracking of his gem. The continents four of the Old World had been ripped apart, accessible now, if at all, only by powerful magics. In the rebuilding, Lord British had transferred his banner to his home world for a time.

   Soon, however, stories from his outer guard and many a traveler or merchant told of foul creatures never seen on the lands or seas or only spoken of as legends. A brooding heaviness  marred the very fabric of nature. A profundity of magical occurrences, unheard of in these lands, swept the world. Time itself seemed under attack. Across history and future, anomalies were twisting events as they had once been and those that could sometime be. Advisors informed British of the discovery of the 'Holes,' the windows that man and beast could pass great distances through. Speculation as to their coincidence with the recent chaos, whether cause, effect, or both, was thin on basis and mostly unreliable.

   Word came to the king of a hapless traveler thrown on distant shore by one of these 'Gates.' The poor soul had died of his wounds but not before relating a dire tale to a patrol. Before narrowly escaping through another shimmering, silvery doorway, he had seen a fell land of frightful skies, a terrible glowering fortress in the mist. And the hordes that fell upon him mumbling and screaming, barely comprehensible, of  "foul British's murdering hero" and "revenge of the Enchantress."

   Wisdom held the obvious course. One time, British called, and the adventurer answered, saving a land not his own. Now Lord British called again, that with his aid, the traveler might save the true home world of them both from the Revenge of Minax the Enchantress!

For reasons I will not expound upon here, Sierra Games published the second tale of Ultima. For more information, dear reader, see if you can come across a copy of Shay Addams The Official Book of Ultima (Compute). Richard Garriott was still developing his programming mojo. Even so, improvements in depth and concept held the forefront. Many have pointed out the omage to the movie, "Time Bandits" in the Time Door Map and the holes in time, which were almost directly lifted in concept. Garriott worked a plot around that concept beautifully given the limitations of the computers of the time.

This game is a pain to play on modern hardware. But as with many things, I put greater stock in the ability to complete under technical duress. *hehe*

E-Mail: Silver Dragon