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With each shard’s normal maintenance beginning December 10, 2019 we have deployed the following hotfixes,
- Resolved issue with voting in the current Governor elections
- Resolved naming issue with 22nd Anniversary Copper Ship reward
- Resolved issue where gargoyles could not equip the tabard
As we begin Jolly Roger we invite you to sit back and enjoy, The Devilish Drover.
By EM Malachi
The Devilish Drover
The wind howled, promising snow. Iolo limped into the poorhouse and dropped his crutch, shutting the door. He moved the heavy pack off his back and leaned against the wall to catch his breath.
Little Merideth ran over to pick up the crutch and hand it back to him. Under her arm was an old doll with mismatched button eyes; Iolo had found the blue one during a supply run into Britain proper. “Can you tell us a story?”
“Of course.” Iolo pulled a chair closer to the fire. “What would everyone like to hear?”
An orphaned mudlark named Finn bounded over. “I want a scary story. With monsters!”
A little girl named Cassie whispered something to her mother Alina who passed it on, “We’d love to hear a winter story.”
Merideth sat on the rug in front of Iolo, her doll sitting in her lap. “Can it be a true story? Something real?”
Iolo smiled as he tuned his lute. “I think I have just the story. This happened to me a few years ago, during the coldest winter I’ve ever seen.” Iolo started playing a series of deeper and deeper chords.
“I was making my way to Cove, when my horse threw a shoe. While walking through the deep snow and trying to guide my poor steed, I heard howls that chilled my blood cold. They got louder and closer!
Looking around, I found the source on the top of a nearby hill: four giant wolves, bound by iron chains. The chains lead to a bloodwood sleigh, driven by a beast-man of fur and fang. He had giant goat horns and was holding a cruel whip. He gave a terrible grin when he saw me. Then that wolf-drover lashed the team forward, with a sound like a great tree being snapped in half!
With the daemon after us, my horse was in a frenzy to flee. Terrified myself, I let go of the reins and started running. My horse disappeared into the woods. The snow slowed me down, and the sleigh never lost ground, smashing through brush and small trees. The fiend was gaining on me!
The monster would have caught this poor bard, but on the road ahead, a rider appeared, racing toward the source of the calamity. The horse stopped, rearing up before me, and I saw the rider was a woman with ginger hair. She yelled for me to hurry and get on, which I did without hesitation. Then we were off!
The horse was strong and knew the way, but with the weight of two riders, the noble steed was struggling to stay ahead of the sleigh. With my wits back, I fired my crossbow at the drover, but when the bolt struck, he just gave a terrible laugh and cracked his whip again!
I couldn’t let this kind soul die for trying to help me, so I offered to jump down and face the beast. She was focused on the path ahead and pointed to a snowdrift we would have to go around. If I jumped down there and hid, she could lead our pursuers off.
It was a dangerous and desperate plan, but I didn’t have one better! She slowed the horse down a little, and I prepared to jump. The leap went well, but the landing did not. I fell hard despite the snow. I managed to crawl behind the snow pile. Still, my bow was broken, and my ankle twisted.
Those were the longest moments of my life, not knowing which way the sleigh would come and with no means to fight back. Then I heard a loud whoop from in front of me. The rider started taunting the monster, daring him to catch her.
The drover shouted back in a foul daemonic tongue and cracked his whip three times. The wolves grew frenzied and chased after my rescuer. The last thing I saw was the fire of her hair as she raced to escape that horrible sleigh.”
As the story ended, Iolo looked to his audience. Cassie was asleep in her mother’s arms. Finn gave a small yawn. “Not enough blood, but I liked the wolves.”
Merideth had questions. “Did the woman on the horse get away? What happened to the drover?”
Iolo smiled. “Don’t worry. I met her again in Minoc years later, but that is another story. As for the monster, there will always be good people around to deal with such fiends.”
Later, after most of the house’s residents were asleep, Iolo sat by the window, watching the heavy snowfall. The days were grey and short, and it would be a cold winter. Iolo gave a heavy sigh. The world was troubled. The ruins of the shrines were silent. The Fellowship was entrenched in Britannian life. His friend Shamino was still missing. What was an old bard to do?
Iolo heard the sleeping murmuring of one of the children behind him. He dimmed the lamp and turned to look at the displaced families crowded in the poorhouse. These people were his responsibility. It didn’t matter how dark things got. There was still work to be done.
We are pleased to announce that as of each shard’s normal maintenance beginning December 3, 2019 Jolly Roger will be deployed world wide.
A few highlights in Jolly Roger include –
- Shrine Battles – Visit the Town Cryer near you to learn about this new adventure!
- Mannequin Upgrade – mix and match equipment and see which suits work best using the new updated Mannequin interface!
- Holiday Gifts – A holiday treat for all veteran characters at least 30 days old logging in between Tuesday, December 3, 2019 12:01:00 AM GMT-05:00 and Friday, January 3, 2020 11:59:00 PM GMT-05:00
- Artisan Festival & Krampus update with new rewards to collect!
- New items coming soon to the Ultima Store – the Stable Set & Pet Whistle!
Please note that Vendor Search will be disabled until the publish has been deployed to all shards while maintenance is performed on the database.
Please also note this publish includes a mandatory client patch. Please make sure you patch up your client before trying to access any shard.
This is just a small sampling of everything that is included in this publish, check out the Jolly Roger publish notes for more details!
Keep in mind this is not a change to the TOS, this is a change as to how we will handle macroers from this point forward. In case you haven’t read the newsletter for the past few months the numbers being banned are rising and we feel are out of control. Scripting/macroing needs to stop and this is the step in doing that . So this is how it will be handled in the future by the GM’s. This is not to punish the innocent but to catch the cheaters.
Moving forward, we are going to start noting the accounts of house owners where we have verified illicit activities taking place. Specifically, if we come across a situation where a group of macroers are holed up in a house doing whatever it is they are doing (skill gains, crafting etc) or a recall group dropping off resources in chests at a specific house (or houses), We are going to confirm the house owner from the house sign and then note that house-owner account about what the GM observed in the product account notes section of that house-owner account.
This way if someone is gaining ‘hidden’ benefits from a bot network or at the very least providing a safe haven for scripters they will end up getting actioned as well.
Bonnie “Mesanna” Armstrong
We are pleased to announce the Origin, Izumo, and Baja release of Jolly Roger will be available following each shard’s normally scheduled maintenance beginning November 20, 2019! Jolly Roger is the fourth and final in our High Seas themed content updates for the year and we are excited to bring updates to holiday favorites such as Holiday Gift Tokens, The Artisan Festival, Krampus and more! Please be sure to check out the publish notes for the latest updates, and participate on the UO Forum in the latest discussions. Due to the upcoming US Thanksgiving Holiday, this testing period will last longer than our usual Origin testing period. We anticipate a World Wide release of Jolly Roger in early December.
This release is also coupled with a mandatory client patch, please make sure you patch up your client to the latest version in order to access any shard.
See you in Britannia,
As we continue the story of Forsaken Foes, we invite you to sit back and enjoy, Eventide.
By EM Malachi
The beer tasted like wet parchment, and the candles in the Marsh Hall were burning low. Dupre sat at a back table and finished off the stale pint. The barkeep hadn’t wanted to tap a new keg this late in the evening, and Dupre just wanted to calm his stomach before boarding the ship. Checking his sword for the third time, the paladin grumbled, “I’m getting too old for this.”
There came a laugh from behind him. “You said the same thing during the Ophidian war and every battle since.”
Dupre turned to face a soldier in full plate and Jhelom colors. “Geoffrey! So they recalled you from Eodon?”
Geoffrey nodded and pulled up a chair. “It seems they are trotting out all the old war horses.”
“It’s good to see you. So much has happened. Shall I get us some wine?”
Geoffrey shook his head. “I can’t. I still need to review the night watch. I’m commanding the defense of Vesper should this Jack fellow make landfall, and all these tiny islands make the city impossible to defend. Never thought I’d miss Trinsic’s walls.”
“I’m part of the force of knights and paladins supporting our ships against the Screaming Fleet. Our sailors are good, but if it comes to boarding by undead, they’ll appreciate the extra help.”
“Screaming ships… I do hate necromancers. Do you know the reason they think Jack is headed here?”
“Some merchant crews reported dark ships massing near Dagger Isle, and Jack has ties to this place. The southern fleet is coming to protect Moonglow and Nujel’m, but my gold is on Vesper. Trouble always comes home.”
Geoffrey gave a worried nod. “Then I better also see a smith about getting extra pikes for the town militia.”
Dupre paid his tab and picked up his cloak. “Good hunting, old friend.”
The spirit held on with the memory of fingers. Shamino fought to hold his human shape, as the spiritual forces of the Well of Souls buffeted against him. He could also hear a voice now. It was a command for obedience, deep and constant. Shamino tried to focus on anything else. Without a body, his senses played tricks on him, so the lost soul huddled in his memories.
Shamino remembered a long night years ago. All of Minoc had been awake, trying to finish emergency preparations for soldiers marching out in the morning. Far from home, the ranger had volunteered to help his friend finish a the shields needed by the locals serving in the infantry.
Julia had already cut and glued pieces of oak into the proper shape and covered the hardwood in various layers. As Julia mounted the shield’s boss and enarmes, Shamino was responsible for the brass nails that held the top leather in place. While they worked, Shamino asked Julia why she had chosen to be responsible for the shields rather than swords or spears.
Julia considered briefly before responding. “I’ve made swords before and will make them again if needed, but I like the idea of shields. Tomorrow, my work will help protect my neighbors fighting in Cove.”
Julia continued, “And each person they protect there can turn around and help someone else. All of the individual materials in the shield are weaker than the weapon smashing into it, but they complement and reinforce each other. Alone each of us is but a fragile human being, but we can still be a shield for one another.”
The conversation then drifted to other things, but in the reliving, an ornate grandfather clock, treasured by Julia, caught his attention. Behind a pane of the clock, the constellations of the night sky, normally moving slowly over the course of the seasons, were moving rapidly through the years.
As the stars moved faster and faster, Shamino felt himself drawn in, until he was no longer in the memory of Minoc, but a starry void. A man held by dark chains motioned him closer and whispered in his ear, “Night is falling, but the darkest part is still hours off. The ranger and the tinker must guide the rest through this eventide.”
A hand tapped Shamino on the shoulder, and when he turned around, he was back in the workshop. His long lost friend smiled at him and asked, “Are we ready to begin?”
Instead of the shield nails and hides from the memory, around Julia were piles of broken stone. Julia started picking through the fragments and fitting them together into eight larger forms. Shamino asked, “What’s all this?”
Julia’s ghost gave a sad look as the tinker’s calloused hands continued to piece together a rune. “My final work.”
We are pleased to announce the third and likely final Test Center release of Jolly Roger will be available today after 4pm ET! Jolly Roger is the final in our High Seas themed content updates for the year and we are excited to bring you a host of updates in this latest release including,
- Mannequin Upgrade Updates based on player feedback
- Shrine Battles Updates based on player feedback
- New Ultima Store Item – Pet Whistle!
This is only a small part of what’s to come in Jolly Roger and we look forward to hearing your constructive feedback as we work through the public testing process. Please be sure to check out the publish notes for the full list of updates, and participate on the UO Forum in the latest discussions.
This release includes a mandatory client patch, please make sure you patch up before accessing any shard.
See you in Britannia,
As we continue the story of Forsaken Foes we invite you to sit back and enjoy, A Concert of Wisps.
By EM Malachi
“Xzptz! Zzk! Gxz!”
Jaana stepped into the clearing and paused in awe at the hundreds of wisps. The forest buzzed with spark life. A few wisps flew orbits around her and blinked their agitation. The druid removed a small wooden object from her bag. Several rangers had told her that the wisps were converging in the woods north of Britain. Jaana blew a few trills on the wisp whistle and put it on the ground.
A wisp flew into the whistle and started testing various sounds to make words. With its own magic, the wisp could communicate in other ways, but the whistle was safer for the human listener. There were stories of mages driven insane by arcane knowledge explained in fifty dimensions simultaneously. Also, the wisp seemed to appreciate the courtesy.
“GREETINGS, JAANA OF YEW. XORINIA IS IN NEED OF HELP.”
“What’s wrong? I have never seen so many pieces of you in one place.”
“XORINIA FACES A THREAT — LOBOTOMY AND AMPUTATION. CONNECTIONS OF LOCAL MANIFESTATIONS TO THE WHOLE — BROKEN.”
“The part of you here is no longer connected to the part beyond?” Jaana spread her arms, motioning toward the distant stars.
“Do you know the cause?”
“YES. THREE STRUCTURES.” Around Jaana, the light of every wisp blinked three times.
“Can you tell me more?”
“UNKNOWN ORIGIN. LOCATIONS GEOGRAPHICALLY EQUIDISTANT ACROSS SOSARIA. COMPOSITION: BLACKROCK, CADDELLITE, FILANIUM. UNIQUE SHAPES AND SPECIFICATIONS: CUBE, SPHERE, TETRAHEDRON. DO YOU REQUIRE EXACT DIMENSIONS?”
“That won’t be necessary. Do you know what these structures do?”
“CUBE TRANSMITS ACROSS SOSARIA. TETRAHEDRON SHARPENS ETHEREAL WAVES. SPHERE IS A SPACE-TIME TRAP.”
“Which one is affecting your connection?”
“EACH AND ALL.” The concert of wisps started flashing in disharmony.
“Can you tell me more about the sphere?”
“THE SPHERE IMPRISONS TIME LORD. HE SENT FOR AID, BUT THE RANGER HAS FALLEN.”
Jaana frowned in worry, but continued with her questions, “You came here for a reason. What is your plan?”
“JAANA OF YEW OR EQUIVALENT HELPFUL BEING.” The concert went quiet, waiting for her answer.
“Of course I will help. Can I assume one of the structures is nearby? Can you show me the way?”
A few wisps bobbed closer to her and started moving south. Jaana followed. Their progress brought them closer to Britain, eventually leading to the lake around Castle Blackthorn. The wisps swarmed close to a large stone culvert. “HERE. MANIFESTATIONS CANNOT FOLLOW.”
Jaana peered into the outfall that connected to the Britain sewer system and pulled a torch from her pack. “I’ll do what I can.”
Elizabeth tossed a blade into the eye of one necromancer as she stabbed through the casting hands into the heart of another. “Abraham, again, not that I mind, but why are we killing these people?”
Her twin cranked back the string of his crossbow. “With their knowledge of Jack’s past as leverage, these necromancers thought threatening Batlin was a wise course of action.”
“Does it matter? It’s not as though they can hurt him. Remember when that noble we blackmailed tried to poison Batlin, and the voice protected him?”
Abraham let loose an arrow into a serpent familiar trying to bite his leg. “They could hurt the work. There’s also the principle: you should never threaten someone when killing you is the cheaper and more efficient option.”
“Excellent points, dear brother. You always did understand the nuances of our work.” Elizabeth recovered a throwing knife from a corpse. “I think a few of the smarter ones fled. I’ll go after them. Can you handle the cleanup here?”
Abraham picked up a scroll titled “Bedlam-born” and tossed it into the fire. “Everything will be taken care of. Trust your brother.”