The Herald

UO Herald - Game Updates

Login Server Maintenance – 06/19

We will be bringing the login server offline tomorrow, Tuesday June 19, at 7:30 am EDT (11:30am GMT) for maintenance. At this time we anticipate that the login will be back online no later than 8:30 am EDT (12:30pm GMT).

During this maintenance you will not be able to login to Ultima Online, however you will be able to continue to play if you log in before the maintenance.

Please be sure to check the Herald for updates regarding this downtime.

UO Herald - Game Updates

Account Center Maintenance – 02/06

Update 11:15am EST: The maintenance is complete.


We will bring down the Account Center for a maintenance today, Monday February 6th, at 10am EST (16:00 CET). During the maintenance you will not be able to change subscription or redeem game codes.

At the moment we anticipate the Account Center to be back online at 1:00pm EST (19:00 CET).

Thank you for your understanding.

UO Herald - Game Updates

Sudiva Contest – The Winners

The Jury has spoken and the winners of the Sudiva Contest have been chosen. Thank you and congratulations to all participants. It was great to read all the different stories, but there can be only … three. And here they are:


‘Sudiva Enshrined’ by Jhym
Sudiva stopped in her endless pacing and shivered in the darkness.
She had heard… something. A distant, keening, fitful wail, almost as though a puff of smoke had extinguished the last of the embers remaining from a conflagration that had almost destroyed the world. She raised an eye ridge in thought, unconsciously mimicking the bipeds that had interrupted her solitary torment for centuries.
“Perhaps, change has come?” She let the thought percolate through her brain, until it found one tiny, unnoticed shred of Hope. She touched the thought carefully, pulling at it as a fledgling would at his newly born wings. “I…”
Whispers surrounded her. The Shadows had held her for so long, had kept her from so much. She carefully folded her wings and settled down to ponder these thoughts. After the thousands of attempts at breaking her bonds, after the painful offers of help from the bipeds only to crash in disappointment, after the solitary darkness of yearning for something… something…. all she felt now was absence. Absence that wouldn’t turn into yearning or longing. It had been so long she didn’t know what was missing, and didn’t know what to do. A nearby stalactite dripped onto its matching stalagmite, causing her to automatically count it.
Dragonkin were solitary in their nature. Other more social creatures would have gone mad in the centuries of mind-numbing absence and repetition. But Dragons, True Dragons, could resist the ease of madness. It served no purpose, it gained nothing and lost too much. Their pride would not allow them to succumb. And so, a Dragonkin could abide. However, they are not unaffected by the driving sameness of imprisonment, the constant absence of outside life or the loss of the touch of the air and sun upon their skin as they flew.
She shifted slightly on the cool cave floor, murmuring.
“It has been long since they have appeared.” She nodded.
“Perhaps the bipeds have defeated….” She stopped, perplexed. She only knew them as the Shadows now, but there were names in the far past. Long moments passed as her thoughts wrapped around each other, the tiny shred of Hope gradually blowing into an ember.
Blinking, she raised herself up and stretched her limbs. She had found it simpler and less painful to squash the flames of Hope early, now should be no exception.
She stepped lightly through the cavern towards the distant exit, waiting for the signs of her shackles to begin. The soul shaking cold that would turn into pain and finally freezing, deadly agony. Each step, she tensed in anticipation only to relax. Her steps slowly began to increase in speed, in strength, as she forged her way to the entrance. Suddenly she was through and into another cavern, and another. Faster and faster she raced, her great heart beating faster than it had in many years, muffled roars of excitement escaping from her throat as gazers, headless and harpies raced to get out of her way.
With a great roar of triumph, she burst out of the final cavern and out into the light of a bright morning, frighting a flock of ravens into flight. Standing clear of the sheltering rock she let forth a huge bellow of flame into the sky.
“Freeee!!!” she called into the wood and sky. She laughed at a doe as it raced from the scene. Then, in unfettered delight, unfurled her wings and launched herself crookedly into the sky. Scraping various trees, she veered over the landscape until her muscles once again remembered how to move. Up she flew, straining with all her might to touch the sky, to feel the sun upon her carapace, to taste the cool rain bunched within the morning clouds. Higher, until she felt the snap of cold of the upper atmosphere. Momentarily fearful, she dropped, until the sun touched her wings again. She laughed at a normal, physical cold, something she could now relish.
After hours of flight, Sudiva settled to the ground and picked up some deer, her appetite suddenly larger than ever. After finishing the herd, she settled contentedly in a clearing, the midday sun warming her through. She napped, a luxury she barely remembered sharing….
“Under a warm sun Sudiva relaxed with Ferrude, idly touching his chest plates with her claw. He opened an eye, laughing, and pulled her close in a slow embrace of passion that took her breath away…
… in the coolness of the night sky, they flew together, twisting and diving, touching and embracing in silvery laughter…
Ferrude draping her in the cloak of his wings as…
… a rumbling gentle laughter… random images…
warmth of a cave, Ferrude bringing food since he knew she couldn’t hunt… why was that… It is time, my love…”

Startled, she raised herself and looked around the clearing.
“Time? Ferrude?” Her features anguished in thought as she tried to remember. The Absence made itself known, she dropped to the ground, shrieking. “Lost.. I’ve lost… I…!!!”
Rising again, she concentrated, her eyes wide in panic.
“What have I lost… WHO have I lost?!!?” she moaned. “I… I need to go HOME.”
Concentrating, she closed her eyes and thought of the word, turning slowly until a mental tug pointed her in a direction. Lifting herself into the air, she allowed herself to mindlessly fly northwards until coming to a high range, softly dropping to a ledge that opened into a large cave. Inside she haltingly stared at the disused trappings of Dragonkin. Shaking, she touched shredded books, various furniture pieces, beds of fine straw, a hearth shaped from the natural stone. The glint of a small golden chest caught her eye as she shifted some items.
Her claws touched its lock in some automatic way and it opened. Her eyes beheld a gentle golden cloth, which her claw shifted carefully to show several golden/reddish shards of what appeared to be an egg. Tears blurred her vision as she vainly tried to remember….

‘Sudiva’s Last Tear’ by Martyna Z’muir
A barbed tail lazily flicked the surface of the crystal clear subterranean pool, sending gentle ripples lapping against cavern walls. A curious darkfish darted out of its concealment to investigate, oblivious to scaly manus poised to seize it. With preternatural speed, the doomed fish found its world suddenly upended in a flash of talons, flipping end over end through cool dry air, before falling into massive maw of gnashing teeth. A light snack for an ancient draconian.
Her minor diversion passed, Sudiva returned to endlessly surveying her domain. Nay, she thought with some disdain, my prison. A fate more than earned for colluding with primeval malevolence, the sacrifice fitting.
A weary sigh sent wispy tendrils of smoke twining toward the all-too-close stalactites as she coiled around her sole possession for a brief respite. The overlarge flawless citrine had been skillfully cut into a teardrop. A symbol of that which her existence had come to embody, a gift from a being who walked between the shattered realms. She settled into a dreamless sleep, the brief comfort of oblivion.
A single slitted eye cracked open, amber pupil briefly flaring.
Crunch. Crunch.
Silently, Sudiva shifted to focus her gaze on the worn brick construct at the far side of the cavern.
Biped, the thought came unbidden. Finely scaled nostrils flared as a forked tongue tested the air, Human.
Crunch. Crunch.
She coiled tighter. Another adventurer braving the depths of Covetous. Perhaps it will think this cavern barren and leave me in peace. Memories of past encounters peppered her thoughts. Righteous petitioners seeking to undo her aid to the Shadowlords’ corruption. Angry souls seeking retribution for the chaos consuming their world. Boastful warriors seeking to prove their valor against her immortality. She had stoically weathered them all.
“Filthy dungeon,” a shrill voice complained.
She tested the air again, tasting the unmistakable tang of magic. A lone female mage, hardly worth bothering. Her eyes slowly closed, preparing to resume slumbering.
Crunch. Crunch.

“You there, beast! Remove thyself at once!”
Ah, the impudence of youth. Without opening her eyes, Sudiva gracefully rose to her full height, flattened her spiked hood and spread wide her leathery wings for dramatic effect before letting lose a menacing roar. Beast, indeed.
Opening her eyes, the wyrm saw a tanned, hawkish woman clad in gaudy green armor, flaxen hair coiffed in unflatteringly severe buns. Clutched in eel skin gloves, she carried a radiant cerulean crook which shimmered with barely contained magics. The woman’s narrowed eyes and icy expression conveyed poorly restrained contempt.
“Puh-thet-ic.” The woman enunciated slowly, as if speaking to a dense child. With a flurry of movement, she spun the crook around her lissome form, “My turn,” she slammed the end of the crook onto the ground before her. Azure energy crackled along the ground, radiating towards Sudiva.
Showy, the wyrm thought the moment before the energy writhed around her talons, resulting in a subtle wave of fatigue washing over her, magical energies ebbing away. An enraged snarl was the only warning Sudiva gave before lunging at the mage, jaws gaping as an inferno burst from her craw.
Defiantly, the woman stood her ground, the conflagration spreading around her. The only thing she moved to protect was a roll of vellum tucked into her belt. As Sudiva’s fire abated, the woman seemed to steam slightly, barely phased. “Loathsome beast! How dare ye presume to defile my person with thy feeble flames, I who shall command the ether!”
Were the wyrm prone to laughter, this would have been worthy of a derisive howl. Such arrogance, little one. She mused sadly. There may be power within you, but I also sense much hate. The memory of Astaroth’s foul bargain came to the fore. No, I shall not sit idle as another ill infects Sosaria.
Ignoring the great wyrm before her, the woman took the vellum from her belt. Unrolling it, several pages of a large book presented themselves, unharmed by the flames. The woman appeared pleased with herself, a covetous taint aglow in her eyes as she pressed the pages to her bosom.
Sudiva’s eyes widened upon seeing the scraps of text visible on the page. She watched in disbelief as the words reformed themselves through several languages: runic, gargl, Anskitan, Jukan, Elven, and even Ophidian before settling on an ancient language common to draconian species. Abject horror gripped the wyrm’s heart. How? she managed to think. This woman must be the one who caused the great rent in the veil. The Codex wasn’t meant to be possessed by any single being! The damage she could wre…
“It’s MINE, beast!” The woman spat, her face contorting in exaggerated rage. She began to advance, the crook twisting wildly before her.
Sudiva backed against the cavern wall, toppling the citrine tear. Inspiration struck as her talons grasped the precious symbol. With a surge of speed born of desperation, the great wyrm reached out and seized the woman, slamming her to the cavern floor. Focusing the power gained from the Virtuous of Sosaria on the symbol of Sacrifice, the gem began to glow with an ever increasing incandescence.
After more than sixty years of silence, Sudiva spoke. “I bind you here, to forever covet that which belongs to all, to learn the bitter loneliness of greed.” A blinding pulse of orange light suffused the cavern. The citrine tear turned to ash as Sudiva’s form faded from sight, unshackled.
“No!” screamed the woman. “Nobody binds Cora! Nobody!”


Sudiva found herself standing atop cool stone pavers in the form of an ankh, floating amongst the scintillating majesty of the Void. Next to her stood a man in a gold-trimmed white shroud.
“Splendid, my friend, splendid!” the Time Lord congratulated, patting her left foreleg affectionately. Removing his hood, he looked up at her with startlingly blue eyes and a wide, toothy grin. Running a hand through his unruly mop of brown curls, he continued mysteriously, “Welcome to your next adventure…”

‘Treasure’ by Alouenikah
It was in the winter that he came for her.
She was old, and a lack of sunlight had warped her bones like mouldering wood. The winter cold turned her blood to syrup. She lay still and silent for most of the season, barely breathing, unaware of the passage of time.
Then, one day, a sound woke her. A slither in the shadows: something moving, vast and slow.
Sudiva snarled, arching her neck like a scorpion’s tail, and slid down from her mountain of gold. The ground here was charred and scored by her talons; the stalagmites at the lake’s edge were slumped like soft butter, melted by her rare but white-hot rages. He stood beyond them. She could make out little but a silhouette, massive and craggy, more like some rock formation than a living creature.
Her firelight reflected off a pebbled hide. Far above, toward the ceiling, she caught the gleam of golden eyes.
It was a dragon.
He did not respond to her aggression; he merely stood silent, unafraid, haunch-deep in the icy water. Posturing and snarling before his vast and inscrutable bulk, Sudiva felt suddenly small and absurd and very young.
In a voice like the deep rasp of continental plates, he asked her why she was here, alone.
Sudiva pranced backward toward her hoard of treasures. She hissed defiance, her saliva boiling into steam. She hated him. She hated him because he’d come to her now – after all this time – to see her like this. She had been beautiful once. Now she was old, a scarred and ugly cave creature hiding from the light. And, at last, here he was.
They had sent her here. Her people, his people: the ancient wyrms. She had been young, still gangly with adolescence, when they’d sent her away. They’d sent her to find treasure in the realms of men, the true treasure of the ancients, and they’d told her to wait. She had gathered riches, nesting in them like some monstrous bower-bird, and she had waited.
A thousand years. They’d never come.
He asked her then: were these the treasures that they’d sent her to find?
Slowly, gracefully, the ancient wyrm emerged from the water. Sudiva crouched and growled as he approached her. He lowered his head; his icy eyes met hers. She saw herself reflected in them. Her back was hunched and twisted, her wings flaccid from lack of use; her hide was dulled to the colour of old rust.
Look at you, he said, with immeasurable pity.
Behind her loomed the wall of treasure. There were raw jewels and finely made weapons, filigreed crowns and coins from city-states long since fallen into dust; there were human skeletons and crushed daemon skulls, bits of driftwood and yards of rotting cloth. In her youth, she’d seized the bulk of it by force. Later, the dead men who lived above her, hollow-eyed and sticklike in their sumptuous robes, had brought her tributes. She’d grown to love her wealth, as she lay in this abyss alone. The hoard was her child; she had guarded it like a precious egg.
But now she saw it through another’s eyes, and she realised suddenly what it was.
It was all human garbage. Sudiva reared and snarled in grief. How long had she nested down here, coveting this trash heap? What had she become? A mindless magpie, drawn to the glitter of fool’s gold, rotting away on her throne of debris? She rose onto her hind legs, reeling with disgust at the pathetic, greedy, broken thing she saw in the mirror of the great wyrm’s eyes. Her tail lashed. Coins and skulls shattered and bounced away into the darkness. She swiped with her forepaws, breaking down the wall of debris, weeping tears that sizzled on the silt floor like burning oil. Fire leapt into her throat, and she convulsed with the force of it. Her spine arched sharply. She vomited a searing, pure stream of flame.
Wild shadows danced on the walls. For a moment she saw her hoard silhouetted in the blaze; then it burned, wood popping and gold melting into bright rivulets.
The wyrm let out a laugh like distant thunder. Sudiva whirled around.
He kissed her.
She felt the flame in his throat, deep and old. It warmed her. Her blood ran hot; her bones thawed. There, as she drank in his power, he showed it to her: the treasure of the ancients.
Opals, emeralds, and sapphires beyond compare; sterling silver and rich yellow gold. The dancing opal of the northern sky. The emerald of open fields. The sapphire of a sunlit sea, broad and calm beneath a clear blue sky. The silver of the snowy peaks. The gold of unbroken sand, a pristine beach at the height of noon.
Sudiva closed her streaming eyes.
The ancient wyrm laid his head against her flank and said:
Let me take you home.


The day dawned bright and clear. Sudiva lay coiled in the sand. Lenmir Anfinmotas was a perfect crescent, a cove tucked into the hollow of the mountain. It was silent, save for the babble of gulls and the hiss of the incoming tide. Overhead, the Ilshenari sky was cloudless, the full twin moons and the stars faintly visible even in broad daylight.
She slunk toward the cliff’s edge. She’d built a mound out of bits and pieces that had washed ashore. It was not as grand as her old treasure pile; it was mostly feathers and scraps of bark, old petrified driftwood bleached white by salt and sun. But it would do.
She lay down, curling her tail protectively around it. Snaking her neck, she nudged the meshed branches aside with her nose, revealing something smooth and bone-coloured within.
It was warm as a coal, and stirring with some dreamy internal motion. She lapped it gently with her tongue.

A single hairline crack split the surface of the eggshell.

And Sudiva smiled.

UO Herald - Game Updates

Account Safety Reminder II

Three weeks ago, we posted a reminder about account safety and mentioned the option to set up a secret word to add extra security to your account. The secret word will identify you as the true owner of the account in case your details got lost or changed.

  • If you don’t have a secret word, you should go to the account center and add it to your account right now.
  • If you don’t remember your secret word, send an to email, supply them with your account name, email address, cc info, and any other information (e.g. game codes), and request to have the secret word changed.

Please make sure that nobody else knows this word.

UO Herald - Game Updates

Hot Fix Notes – 06/15

We have published a few fixes to the following issues. 

  • We put in a fix for losing the Quiver of Infinity when altering the quiver to Gargoyle Wing  Armor,  this will be active tomorrow after maintenance.
  • Resolved the issue which was causing equipped items, mounts and even backpacks from disappearing in dungeons
  • Fixed the issue involving healers getting looting rights properly

UO Herald - Game Updates

Publish 74.0.2

We will stage a server publish for all shards during the maintenance tonight. The publish will address two topics:

  • Resolved an issue related to containers in the Wrong prison
  • Resolved a few issues with the protesters, rioters and raiders

UO Herald - Game Updates

THE YEW TIMES – A Newspaper for Sosaria

Written by members of the Community

Issue 5


Homeowners On Alert
Yew homeowners are up in arms following a scam where several families were hustled from their homes while colleagues with picks and shovels tore up kitchens and living rooms, leaving all in disarray before departing. The Yew Times has been asked by authorities to keep the public informed of parties posing as officials associated with a non-existing agency calling itself the Bureau of Building Foundation Structural Integrity. According to accounts, a number of disheveled characters bullied themselves into the households of several Yew citizens insistent upon checking the buildings’ supports. The culprits are believed to be treasure hunters with a poor sense of direction and questionable map reading skills. Should you be confronted by such persons pitching a story of corpser roots digging into your home’s foundation, you are advised to report the incident to local law enforcement, so that proper action may be taken.
Pirate Gold Still Missing
Leads are still being pursued regarding the the theft of a sum of 900 million gold from the banking accounts of retired pirate, Redbeard Steelhook Pegleg Patcheye Carpal-Tunnel Morgan. Morgan insists that the money evaporated overnight following the disappearance of his long-time companion, Mister Crackers. Morgan is insistent that the bird impersonated him and withdrew his life savings and is probably eating rum-soaked parrot wafers on some secluded isle somewhere. Morgan swore upon his sainted mother’s moustache that he would personally make the bird walk the plank if he managed to get his hands on him.
Mystery Meat Business Busted
Crown food inspectors shut down operations of the Boarshire Farms Slaughterhouse and Meatpacking in Cove when it was revealed that the family owned business owned no actual farm or slaughterhouse. Boarshire sausages, deemed the favorite sausage of Britannia’s breakfast table, was specifically targetted, as inspectors remained clueless as to the origin of its mysterious contents. An overseeing investigator stated, “We have no idea what it is, but is sure ain’t pork.” When we asked local consumer, Glenard Blardfoot, what he thought about the recent and shocking revelations concerning the perplexing meat conundrum, he shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I don’t care. That *#@! is tasty.”
Madman’s Journal Discovered
Mondain Remembers… how he got the Gem of Immortality. A collection of writings believed to be Mondain’s memoirs was recovered by a collector and turned over to the Lycaeum for study. Although many of the pages were extremely brittle and worn with age, one clearly legible page was of particular interest.
“Minax and I lived on an island in those days. We were young and in love and very happy. While I busied myself with my research, Minax spent her days doing Minax things to small furry animals. My research centered on the small lights that flickered offshore. They were very bright at night and sometimes blood would swell up into the sea from the dancing lights. Minax discovered this first. I found her one moony night, keening and gibbering madly on the beach, covered in the blood of the sea. Only by letting her suck my neck could I sooth her long enough to get her to the water trough and bathe her. I determined to discover for myself what lay in those depths. And, with the help of my trusty island pygmy, Baldric, I built a diving chamber. We loaded it onto a small ship and sailed one evening to the spot where the lights came out at night. As those devilish lights began hopping about the surface, I crammed Baldric into the chamber and lowered him by rope into the bleeding sea. Although he lacked an air supply, Baldric had confidence in my ability to decipher his tugs on the rope. The mere frantic, I ignored. But truly convulsive tugs meant his skin was turning blue and I would haul him up for a wheezy debriefing. Soon, a picture emerged of a sunken ship resting on the bottom. Before poor Baldric went into permanent convulsions, I learned the prow of that ship was adorned by a skull pouring blood from its eyes! Well, that settled it. Baldric would have to go down one more time and get that skull.Of course, I was deeply concerned about Baldric. The way he was flopping around now, he could damage the skull in retrieving it. But we scientists must take risks so, shouting my instructions, I plopped him in one last time and prayed for the skull’s deliverance. “This is your last dive, Baldric,” I crooned soothingly as he sank. And he did it! Baldric got the skull! He was never quite right after this, but he had always been a bit twitchy to begin with. And I had the skull! I immediately spotted the key clenched in the skull’s teeth. I pried the key loose and read the inscription on its side, “Pacemaker.” This key would unlock my dad’s pacemaker! I could get the Gem of Immortality that powered dad’s pacemaker! Oh! WoW! Was I excited!
And, well, you know the rest of the story.”

Evil Just Trying to Get By During Hard Times
No party is exempt from the recent economic slump. Every day, another infographic group dips below the wire as the cost of living increases; demons, undead, elementals, etc, are forced to work longer hours just to make ends meet as reagent prices escalate. A representative of the Collectors of Souls complained bitterly of having to work overtime to do twice as much work with fewer hours for recreation and no benefits. The anonymous representative stated “We get our marching orders from the Godfather of Souls. We have very little say in the matter. The price for souls has plumetted recently, and we’re forced to offer souls at a considerable discount. Nowadays, the going offer is for “Buy one soul and get one free soul of lesser or equal value.” A competing Balron union has offered to undercut the competition by providing lower quality souls at a bulk rate. In related news, a fire elemental made a symbolic gesture in protest against declining services by carrying two pitchers of water to a busy spawn point and extinguishing himself to death.

A Special Public Servive Announcement
Everyday, hundreds of unprotected unicorns are brutally killed for a cruel market that utilizes their horns for commercial purposes. With only their spells to protect themselves, proud and noble unicorns are clubbed to death by thrill seekers and collectors, while the rest of Britannia remains ignorant of this shocking activity. Won’t you listen to their bleating cries and do something to end this needless cruelty?
In the backrooms of workshops, carpenters craft furniture fashioned from the elegant and beautiful ivory horn, rendering pieces that are both lasting and elegant. A piece such as this would be a welcome addition to any home. Any prospective buyer upon seeing such craftsmanship would be compelled to own one themselves. Although pricey, one would expect to pay a little more for the quality of such magnificent pieces. And let’s not forget the deplorable use of unicorn horns for the creation of magic wands. Cut from the unicorn’s head, the poor beast dies shortly after it’s horn is removed. Smuggled into the hands of artisans, the horn is crafted into a flawless light-weight wand that never fails to deliver the perfect spell. Casting at 3 levels higher, it is a must-have item for any serious spellcaster. Although difficult to obtain, we have seen them regularly restocked on various vendors in close proximity to the Luna moongate. And most heartbreaking of all, is the exploitation of innocent doe-eyed unicorn foals. Born in captivity, the foals are raised in the poorest of living conditions. Fed a nutrient deficient diet and caged in small pens to keep their young muscles weak, their tiny horns are harvested for the most selfish of purposes. You would have to be inhuman not to be moved to tears by their mistreatment. And surely if heartless consumers were to learn of their value, they would be culled to extinction by the demand for such a wonderous item. You see, their tiny horns, lovingly tipped with fine 14 carat gold and crafted into a pendant is hung from a polished white gold foxtail chain providing immunity from the most lethal of poisons, and granting luck equivalent to 10 full imbued gold plate suits of armor practically guaranteeing the best loot drops for any monster farming enthusiast. Some are fooled by a market of cheap imitations, but only true baby unicorn horn radiates an aura of comfort and well-being and carries the Real Baby Unicorn Horn Seal of Approval. Some of the most disreputable of authentic baby unicorn horn dealers have even gone as far as including a selection of horns complete with birthstone making for that gift for that special someone. Oh! and most offer free gift-wrapping and delivery. So, let’s band together in a campaign to stamp out this terrible practice. Monitor your P.A.T.E.U. channel to see how you too can become involved.

So, you and your friends are having a good time out at the Valor spawn. Everything is going just fine until some fool sprints past you pursued by two paragon greater dragons, and it looks as though the paragons have suddenly changed their minds about the dinner menu. You turn to say something to your pals, but they have already recalled out, leaving you behind. Well, it’s a good thing that you are wearing a pair of brightside lenses. These rose-colored glasses are magically enchanted so that you will always see the positive side of any situation. So, even as you have run out of tithing points, you are already looking forward to two large chests brimming full of loot, a sweet artifact, and some delicious home-made chocolate when you get back, that you won’t have to share with your so-called friends. Brightside lenses are sure to be a hot item this summer, so get them while supplies last.

To Members of the secret organization who are actively working on that thing we’re not supposed to talk about:
The Black Brigade has been forced to reschedule its Tuesday meeting due to unforseen circumstances, and there have been several changes to our plans to poison Britain’s mayor and forge official documents on major policy, which will allow us to move forward with our objectives. First: Steve, you will introduce the poison extracted from the pollen of the twilight orchid which will mimic a heart attack. It is critical that no one suspects poison to be the cause of death, as this will cast suspicion, and possibly foil future undertakings. Secondly, new information has come forward regarding the guard that Helena was supposed to seduce and distract while Steve sneaks into the Mayor’s quarters. It seems that certain observed proclivities would indicate that this particular guard might not actually like women, so we may have to substitute Helena with something like a cornish gamehen instead. For everyone else, the plan remains the same, but we will be meeting instead at the Britain library at 3 pm on Thursday. Remember, Friday is Casual Friday and we will be ordering lunch from Rib Shack.
Now Hiring: Individual with exceptional taste buds to serve as food taster and line of defense to particularly obnoxious and despised nobleman. Apply in person with the steward of Lord Crudgeworth’s estate.

New Weight Loss Secret
You might not be able to tell from looking at me now, but I used to weigh 54 stones. I was in complete denial. I used to tell myself that I was big-boned or gravitationally challenged. But it started getting harder to lie to myself. I had to sleep on the floor on top of four bedrolls because I couldn’t find a blacksmith that could make me a new bed. Tailor shops would lock their doors when they saw me coming; I had to make a deal with a titan to sell me some of his togas. They didn’t want me around the telescope in Moonglow, because they said I was blocking the view. Pretty soon, I was told that I should avoid public transport beacuse they couldn’t figure out how to widen the moongates. But those days are behind me, because I slimmed down to a healthy 13 stones by starting the fishsteak diet and a modest excercise regimen. I started out catching my own fish by doing a cannonball from the docks and would burn off excess calories trying to climb back out of the water; pretty soon I was in top shape. If you are looking for a good way to shed some pounds, the fishsteak diet is a good place to start. I’m living proof.
Bento Box Concerns
We get a lot of mail on the bento boxes on how clever they are, but what a shame it is that they cannot be reused. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the special magic of bento boxes is that they can only be filled by moms with things like peanutbutter sandwiches cut into heart shapes, a healthful snack, and a love note saying how proud she is. We just thought you should know.
Prop Jester Appearance Perfomance Fizzles
Organizers are already regretting their decision to book unfunny entertainer, Bramble the Git for the recent Shelter the Homeless Gargoyles Before They Get Eaten by Void Monsters fundraiser. Bramble stoked the audiences excitement level in anticipation of some grand guffaw that would never come. “The guy only had three props,” said one disappointed spectator, “A stick, a string, and a dead squirrel, and he just tied the string to the end of the stick, and dangled the squirrel from the other. And it just went downhill from there.” When asked after the performance on why he figured that he had failed to elicit a better reaction from the audience, Bramble replied, “Sometimes you get a lowbrow audience that expects you to dumb down your material. I just won’t do it. I have my principles.”

Dear Tabi,
Could you explain to me how everyone buys into this fishmonger thing? It is a well know fact that like several other flourishing enterprises, the fishmonger is a front for the mob. Every time decent fishermen turn over their catch to these ‘mobsters with lobsters’, they are aiding and abetting organized crime in Britannia.
Signed Fishy Business
Dear Fishy Biz,
Wow, that is quite an accusation. So you believe that the decent fishermen who are trying to make an honest living are actually crooked as a barrel of fish hooks? I wonder what thier loyal wives, daughters and sons response would be. For you would have them to believe the gold filled pouch brought home is actually the Mobsters with Lobster’s slush fund. Of course there are those who believe that men and fish are alike. Both get into trouble when they open their mouths, but that’s another letter….. I think we need more evidence provided before lumping all the good people of Brittiania in the same “kettle of fish” as organized crime. There will be no “walking the plank” nor shivering timbers today. I think there are bigger fish to fry these days, for “To talk much and arrive nowhere is the same as climbing a tree to catch a fish” as an ancient proverb states.
Shake a leg,
Survival Tips:
When you are out dungeon hunting, a good item to have on hand should you run into an acid elemental, is a box of baking soda. Not only does the baking soda neutralize the acid, but it’s fun to watch them bubble too. Look for this tip and many others, such as shriveling slimes with common table salt in our helpful column that teaches you how to survive on a shoestring budget.
Remember. Push, don’t pull when tipping cows.

Britannia witnesses the passing of one of its more memorable if not more colorful personalities, experiencing throughout his life alternating shifts of fortune. Julian Swansong rose from impoverishment and obscurity, his talent for music discovered by a benefactor who nurtured him before dying in the most horrific fashion. Julian’s fortune again changed and recieved an offer and scholarship from Britain’s prestigious Royal Conservatory. He graduated with honors, and while celebrating blew off his fingers when a fireworks wand malfunctioned. Fortunately, a skilled physician was able to reattach the fingers, however unfortunately they were attached backwards. With his musical career formally ended, he would spend his days and nights at the taverns. His unusual condition became a curiosity amongst the patrons and he never had to pay for his own drinks ever again. He spiralled down further into alchoholism. He meets a woman with backwards feet who saves him from his self-destructive path who later leaves him for a charming podiatrist who swept her off her backward feet. This trend of reversals continued for some time until finally he had turned his life around following some tragedy and embarked on a spiritual journey to seek enlightenment. His mountain guide related Swansong’s final moments as he decended from the hermit’s retreat; a look of bliss upon his face as a fatal mistep carried him over the side. He reflexively attempted to grab the edge, but failed as his fingers bent in the wrong direction. It is of some consolation to think that what happens to him next will be of some positive consequence.

The Peddler-January
It doesn’t take a lot to make a difference. Why not get out there with an axe and chop some trees until you are proficient enough to get some bark fragments. Then cook those fragments up into a pulp, and use your scribe skills to make paper. Then write a touching note that says “Your house looks cool. I wish I could steal all of your awesome stuff.” Sometimes it’s the little efforts that are the most important.
The Mongbat- February
If you can rub your belly and pat your head at the same time, you may have a bright career in the Britannian guard. Why not look into future employment prospects today.
The Phoenix – March
There is someone closely following you, who will always disappear the moment you look over your shoulder. You probably would never have known this was actually occurring if this horoscope had not mentioned it to you in the first place.
The Sea Dragon – April
An assassin will be hired by some party to remove you from the picture. Consider this to be kind of like the answer to your recent request of wanting a “little more excitement out of life.”
The Hermit – May
You will gain great wealth and fame first by blackmailing some hag living in the woods running a “potion ingredient” scam and later by breaking your deal with her and ratting her out to the authorities for the reward.
The  Llama -June
You will feel elated after successfully picking a chest in a dungeon and obtaining a sizable amount of loot. But you never question the point of why someone would stash their gold in such an unsecure container in the first place. Wouldn’t a bank or a house be a better choice? It never occurs to you but you probably stole some poor fire elemental’s life savings.
The Ancient Wyrm – July
You think to yourself that you can make the world a better place in some small way by trying to find a way to kill that guy that always spars with his cat in town.
The Anvil – August
You will be invited into a close friend’s home and will show you her new piano made from a writing desk, several piles of cloth, a crate, a cloak, and some chessboards. It will be at this point that you will ask her to demonstrate her fine musical skills by requesting a performance.
The Weaver – September
The most precious things can come from the most unexpected sources. A hideous, foul-smelling sewer-dwelling beggar will teach you the true meaning of friendship; filling your life with laughter and love.
The Wisp – October
It is advisable to avoid any signing of legal documents or contracts after the drinking of magical moonfire brew.
The Unicorn – November
Stealthing is a great way to find out what people really think of you. Just avoid spicy foods.
The Wanderer – December
You initiate a silly disagreement over armor preferences and cause it to escalate. Hundreds will be guardwhacked as a result. Congratulations!

UO Herald - Game Updates

Judging the Sudiva Fiction Writing Contest

Hello Everyone,

   I was asked to judge the Sudiva fiction writing contest and recruit more judges to join in. The first person I asked to read the entries was Mike “Phoenix” Moore. But there are other people even outside of the UO team who have a lot of knowledge and love for the UO history – one of them is Kate Flack, one of our Lead Designers who also has a great collection of the old UO games. I respect her opinion and love her creativity, so Kate was a logical choice to be a judge. With that said she has written a note to you guys.

  When Ultima Online producer Bonnie Armstrong asked me to help judge a fiction competition, little did I know just how creative and inspired the entries would be! As a Lead Designer for BioWare Mythic, I deal with writing every day. Whether it’s technical precision or emotive dialogue, I’m constantly assessing my team’s writing and pushing them to deliver at ever higher grades of quality.
   I fully expected to be the ‘bad cop’ judge. I’ve made a career of IP interpolation (that’s industry jargon for ‘coming up with new stuff that fits the game world’) and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to explain ‘that’s a good idea, but it doesn’t quite fit because of x, y or z’ to an eager designer with a new idea. I was worried how I’d give you feedback that was kind, but accurate. You know the sort of thing- should I choose Justice or Compassion?
   Imagine my happy astonishment at the depth and more importantly, subtlety of the entries we received. Ultima isn’t an easy Intellectual Property to grok. The heritage of the game is long and winding. The systems of the various games are intricate. It’s high fantasy with even higher ideals behind it. It was a pleasure to read stories dealing deftly, even effortlessly, with the world. From despair in the darkness to the glittering heights of dragonflight, these tales do Ultima proud. Whether it’s Paladins with Mice, cunning peasants or spiritual insight, you’ve found inventive and entertaining ways to free Sudiva from the shackles of the Dungeon Covetous.
   It’s been hard to choose a few winners from amongst this crop. I was particularly charmed by the use of ‘dragonsmirk’ and even the idea of Sudiva settling in Moonglow Zoo. Still, this is a competition, so I’ve tried to pick stories that speak to the Virtues and the history of Ultima, whilst also being a damn good read.
   Well done to everyone who took part. Let’s do this again sometime!
Kate Flack
Lead Designer, BioWare Mythic.

We are currently compiling the results of the different judges and will announce the winners soon.

Thank you for all the great stories!