The Herald

UO Herald - Lore

Treasure Island

4/1/2019

As the story  of Rising Tide continues and we invite you to sit back and enjoy, Treasure Island.

By EM Malachi

Treasure Island

The damp air on the ship had brought out the mildewed smell of Rankin’s spellbooks. The mage struggled to cram the last tome into his pack. He eventually gave up and removed some clothes to make room. As he dragged the heavy bag to the rowboat, Rankin looked at the others who were preparing to go ashore. Two porters were doing inventory of cured meats and hardtack for the expedition. A bulky gargoyle named Forskis was staring up at the sky. Hook was giving some last minute orders to the crew of the Crown Jewel. The pirate lord was excited. If this expedition went well, the secret that the Guild’s leadership had kept for generations would soon be in his hands.

*****

The expedition had made good progress on the first day, but on the second, disaster struck. They had felt tremors all morning, but thought nothing of them. Hook heard the roar first. He shouted a warning as a river of lava flowed through the jungle around them. Rankin’s panic led to a hasty teleport spell, while Hook and Forskis scrambled out of the way. The two porters had nowhere to run. Only one of them managed to scream.

As the survivors caught their breath, they took stock of the situation. The lava flows cut off the most direct route to their destination. Studying the map, Rankin considered the alternatives. “Not good. We’ll need to go days out of our way, and the safest route will take us at least a week. “

“That’s unacceptable. Even if we had the provisions, I cannot be off ship that long. An unwatched crew is a mutinous one.”

“This path is shorter, but it might be blocked as well. Can your gargoyle scout ahead?” Rankin made flapping wings with his hands.

Forskis shook his head and pointed to jagged scars along his wing patagium.

“Hook, you brought a winged gargoyle that can’t fly? Of all the things! A wingless would have been a stronger porter.”

Forskis snarled and took a step forward, but Hook put a hand out to stop him. “Don’t insult my friend. Like you, he has unconventional value.”

Forskis picked up what remained of the dead men’s supplies and trudged into the jungle.

*****

Rankin was complaining about wanting a clean shirt, when Forskis held up a fist. The path in front of them came close to a brackish stream. At the edge was a giant blue-green creature with the shape of a salamander. Forgetting his complaints for a moment, Rankin exclaimed, “A Triton!”

The triton’s eyes followed their movement, and opening its maw, the beast started to slither toward them. Hook and Rankin prepared for a fight, when Forskis stopped them. “Mine.”

The gargoyle drew a pair of curved knives and charged forward. His first stab took one of the eyes. The triton tried to close its jaw around Forskis to crush him, but the flurry of blades left jagged cuts along the creature’s flank. In agony, the triton gave up and tried to retreat, but Forskis wrapped an arm around its body and kept stabbing until long after it was dead.

Hook laughed. “See why I brought him?”

*****

Staring at the rock face, Hook scowled. “The map says it’s right here.”

Rankin closed his eyes and focused for a moment. “The mana in this location feels strange. There is an entry here, but a spell is concealing it.” Opening his eyes, Rankin sat on the ground and started removing the library in his bag.

“How long is this going to take?” asked Hook.

Rankin already had his nose in a book. “Let me work.”

Rankin had tried several standard counter-spells and poured water on the wall, but nothing at all had happened. Impatient, Hook had Forskis smashing large rocks against the wall. Consulting his books again, Rankin took a length of golden cord from his pack and started chanting.

He whipped out the thin cord, and BOOM! Where the end had struck the wall, explosive magic was crumbling rock and burning away the spells there. When the smoke cleared, there was a cave mouth.

Lighting a makeshift torch on a dying ember, Rankin gave a sweeping bow. “Fire cultists are such passionate teachers.”

*****

They followed the narrow stone tunnel to a chamber which contained a large stone box. On its top was etched the inscription: “A Lawless Lord is the Crooked Key.” There was also an indentation in the shape of a keyhole. Forskis reached to pull off the stone top, but jumped back in extreme pain.

Rankin examined the reliquary. “A minor magical trap. Give me a minute to disrupt it.” He read a chant from a book and focused the spell toward the stone chest. The mana from the spell rebounded onto Rankin. The mage fell to the ground as the arcs of energy wracked his body with pain. Forskis grabbed a bedroll and smothered the mana sparks, thumping the mage against the hard stone floor.

Catching his breath, Rankin thanked him. Forskis tossed the singed bedroll away and shrugged. “Hook said you can’t die. Yet.”

Hook read the inscription again. “What does it mean?”

Rankin picked himself off the ground. “I think it’s a bloodline key. Budo the Second wanted only his line to be able to open it.”

“It mentions a lord. Rule of the Den is not passed by family, but by vote.” Hook took out a knife and made a cut. He smeared his blood against the lock. The stones of the reliquary opened, revealing what was inside: the Rune of Valor.


UO Herald - Special Announcement

Rising Tide – New Rewards for the Month of April!

3/31/2019

Have you ever wanted to display a sinister looking cannon in your home?  Does your ship look paltry compared to the foreboding cannons of the Plunderbeacon?  Looking for your next Botswain?  Now you can have all those things with the latest rewards available from the Pirate Merchant at Buc’s Den!  Get your new Rising Tide rewards beginning April 1st!


UO Herald - Special Announcement

Upcoming House Display Options

3/25/2019

Greetings,

We would like to take a moment to address the recent change related to how items display in player housing. We appreciate the feedback that we have received from all stakeholders and would like to discuss some changes we are going to be implementing in our next publish, Forgotten Treasures,

  • Auction safes will always load, just as mannequins and vendors do.
  • A new client option will be available that will allow players the choice to load all public housing and see the contents.

Performance is always our priority, and this change was done to increase performance. We appreciate your feedback.

See you in Britannia,

UO Team


UO Herald - Hotfix

Rising Tide – Hotfixes

3/21/2019

Greetings,

Beginning March 21, 2019 with each shard’s normally scheduled maintenance the following hotfixes will be deployed,

  • Resolved issue where some bamboo floor tiles would inadvertently display all contents of a house.
  • Resolved issue that prevented linking house teleporter tiles.

See you in Britannia,

UO Team


Rising Tide – World Wide Release

3/18/2018

Greetings,

We are pleased to announce that as of each shard’s normal maintenance beginning March 19, 2019 Rising Tide will be deployed world wide.

A few of the highlights in Rising Tide include –

  • Rising Tide – a new event that takes advantage of re-designed ship combat for a harrowing High Seas adventure, with new rewards coming each month!  Visit the Town Cryers to learn more!
  • New Ultima Store Items – House Teleporter & Decorative Kitchen Set!
  • New Veteran Rewards!
  • Numerous bug fixes!
  • New Castles from the Castle Design Contest!
  • And much more!

You can read all about the latest changes in the Rising Tide publish notes.

See you on the High Seas,

UO Team


UO Herald - Lore

No Quarter

3/18/2019

The story continues in the lead up to Rising Tide and we invite you to sit back and enjoy, No Quarter.

By EM Malachi

The mage had surrounded himself with the maps. Some were ancient parchment, their mistakes and ignorance covered with drawings of dragons and drakes. Others were current shipping routes, still bearing the wax seal of Vesper Customs. The rest were faded or moldy sketches done by pirate captains over the years. Rankin frowned. “What am I supposed to be seeing?”

“A new kingdom,” replied Hook, as he sharpened a knife.

Rankin traced a circle around Buccaneer’s Den on a sea chart with a finger. “I guess I can see that, if you claim another major island or two. Nujel’m, maybe ?”

“You miss the point. Landlubbers look at the world as kingdoms bounded by coasts. The high seas themselves are much larger. The very ocean will be my kingdom.”

“How could you hope to hold that much territory?”

“Does Blackthorn control every mountain or cavern in Britannia? No, he governs the cities and roads. Those roads are dotted with outposts, and the threat of his armies is enough to hold the rest. The Guild’s fleet is the army to claim the shipping routes, but my plan also requires outposts along these ocean roads.”

Rankin thought for a moment and picked up a list of numbers. “These were stolen from the Lycaeum. They are the coordinates of every seamount and vanishing island in recorded history. With some of the spells I learned from a hiding Lithos cultist, I could raise the earth and stone at some of them. Would that help?”

Hook smiled.

*****

The sea serpent had made its home in the waters around the seamount. The waters were warm, and the shallows teemed with schools of fish. The monster had filled its belly for years here.

That changed when the underwater mountain rumbled and cracked. The chaos set off a panic among the fish, which fled for safer waters. Great stones stacked themselves up to the surface.

Something up there had destroyed its home, and the serpent was now very angry and very hungry.

*****

Rankin jotted down the coordinates he needed. “I gather the new cannons being cast are for these outposts of yours? The metal workers did mention that the bores were larger than normally used on a ship.”

Hook polished the steel of his cutlass. “My plunderbeacons needed appropriately impressive artillery. Such weapons also send a message.”

“I can only raise so much stone. You still need to get enough lumber out there for docks and cannon mounts. I guess you could repurpose a ship if need be.”

Hook smiled. “Let me worry about that.”

*****

The sailors lowered the sails on the captain’s order. Everyone knew the crew of the Golden Kraken was honorable and would only steal valuable cargo. It was safer to surrender than risk damage to the ship.

As the Golden Kraken closed for a boarding action, another sailor saw the black flag and drew his sword. The pirate ship slammed into the merchant sloop, and several orcs jumped aboard, all armed with cutlasses. The largest orc grabbed the quartermaster and tossed him overboard. Then the rest of the orcs began the slaughter.

*****

Hook admired the gleam of the polished cutlass. “I do enjoy the finer things in life. Reminds me that I need to go kill a man. Is there anything else we should talk about before I do?”

Rankin nodded. “There was another thing in an old Guildmaster’s notes. He mentioned finding a lost rune…”


Rising Tide Release to Origin, Izumo, & Baja

3/12/2019

Greetings,

Rising Tide will be deployed manually to Origin, Izumo, & Baja today.  Check out the latest publish notes for the full list of updates.

Please note, until Rising Tide has been deployed world wide character transfers to/from other shards to/from Origin, Izumo, or Baja will be disabled.

We are currently planning to deploy Rising Tide world wide on March 19, 2019.  We want to make a very special thank you to everyone who visited TC1 and provided feedback.

See you on the High Seas,

UO Team


Rising Tide Release 4

3/5/2019

Greetings,

We are pleased to announce the next final update to Test Center of Rising Tide will be available after 4pm ET!  This update focuses on a variety of bug fixes, as well as some tweaks to the Rising Tide event!  Check out the publish notes for full details!

We are planning to release Rising Tide to Origin, Izumo & Baja next  week, and barring any issues, World Wide the following week.

We would also like to invite you to our next Dev Meet & Greets,

  • Monday, March 11th at 8pm on Oceania
  • Monday, March 25th at 7pm on Catskills

Please also note – this release includes a mandatory client patch.  You will need to patch your client before logging into all shards.

See you in Britannia,

UO Team


UO Herald - Lore

The Guild

3/1/2019

The story continues in the lead up to Rising Tide and we invite you to sit back and enjoy, The Guild.

By EM Malachi

“Do you think Young Budo is dead?”

Lord Dalgrin looked down his nose at the balding man wearing only worn breeches who had asked the question. The gentleman pirate normally wouldn’t waste his time speaking to such riffraff, but these were interesting times. He reached into a silk coin purse bearing the heraldry of his disgraced house and pulled out a few gold coins. He bought another round of drinks for those at the Pirate’s Plunder and handed an ale to Mole, who was still waiting on an answer. “Does it really matter? If Budo’s alive, he won’t be soon enough. A gathering has been called. The Guild will choose the new lord of this freehold.”

Mole raised his mug, “To better days then! Has your lordship considered putting his name into the pot?”

Dalgrin sipped his whiskey, “Yes, I will put my name forward.”

“You have my support. I still owe you for saving my sloop from the HMS Dauntless. If your broadside hadn’t hit their mast, I’d never have escaped.”

Dalgrin had forgotten Mole was present when he’d scuttled the Dauntless to settle an old rivalry. He smiled graciously. “I appreciate that, but I thought you would stand behind that friend of yours?”

Mole shook his head. “Blacktooth wants no part of this. He says too much blood in the water attracts the wrong sort of company.”

Dalgrin nodded and thought for a moment. “Do you know who else wishes to lead Buccaneer’s Den? Who has the most support?”

“Minor smugglers and thieves — Scirlock, Daem, and the like. Someone claiming to be the son of Edrick Gravs is demanding votes. I wouldn’t choose most of them to be ship’s powder monkey, but right now, Glenno’s a good bet.”

“What sort of leader would the master of the bathhouse make for the Guild?”

“We all like him. I don’t think he’s serious though. He’s just waiting for someone to meet his price, if you know what I mean.” Mole rubbed his thumb across his stubby fingers a few times.

“That is good to know. I should perhaps have a bath then and speak with the earl of soapsuds.”

“Your lordship. Every thief, smuggler, and bilge rat in the world is coming. There’s an opportunity to buy favor, if you have the gold to spare.”

“A gentleman does not buy friends, but your point is taken.” Dalgrin slid his coin purse down the bar to Mole. “Why don’t you find some like-minded individuals to parley with on this matter?”

Mole grabbed the silk bag with his grubby fingers and gave a small bow. The balding man drained the last gulp from his flagon before scurrying off. Dalgrin finished his whiskey in silence.

*****

Dalgrin headed back to the ship he owned and captained: the Golden Kraken. Bribing Glenno would take more than drinking money, so Dalgrin would need gold from his captain’s chest. Walking down the docks, he noticed the deck of his ship appeared almost empty, save for a man with a parrot on his shoulder. The man handed something to the bird and whistled. The parrot flew toward Dalgrin and dropped what it was carrying. The shadow iron doubloon landed at Dalgrin’s feet.

Drawing his sword, Dalgrin ran the rest of the way up the gangplank to confront this threat. He saw a man wearing a blood-red skullcap and missing the eye Dalgrin’s sword had taken. “Hook? I left you for dead!”

“You were always too honorable to actually kill your rivals. I will show you how this should end.”

“This isn’t the first black spot I’ve received. I learned to duel from the finest trainers in Jhelom.” Dalgrin charged Hook, the first slash of his cutlass coming within an inch of the other man’s face.

Hook grinned as he parried the blow. “I never could beat you in a fair fight. Fortunately, I’m a scoundrel and a cheat.”

Dalgrin felt the cold of the paralysis spell before he saw the mage step out of invisibility. His sword hand stopped responding to his will. Helpless, he watched as Hook stepped up to him.

“Did you really think you would be master of the Den? The pompous lord turned pirate? You are more hated than I am.” Hook plunged a long kryss into Dalgrin’s chest and twisted. Dalgrin slumped to the deck.

The mage, Rankin, knocked on the hatch down to the hold. A group of orcs swarmed from below. They were all covered in blood.

Hook kicked the corpse to confirm Dalgrin was dead. He motioned to the orcs.  “Bring me the chest from the captain’s quarters. Then you can begin dumping the bodies, starting with this one.”

A couple of orcs brought out a large captain’s chest and followed behind Hook and Rankin as they walked down the gangplank. The mage asked, “What now?”

Hook smiled. “Let’s go visit the bathhouse. Glenno is going to find he doesn’t wish to run after all.”