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Stygian Abyss Lore

- - - - - abyss lore stygian

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14 replies to this topic

#1
Credinus

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I noticed that there doesn't seem to be a thread dedicated to background lore of the Stygian Abyss based on its existence in the Ultima series, so I will take it upon myself to make one. Disclaimer: This is simply info about the role of the abyss from the single player Ultima games.

The Stygian Abyss made its appearance in Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. Before Ultima IV, the player took on the role of "The Stranger," who was not yet the warrior of virtue. In the fourth installment of the series, the player returns to Sosaria (which has now become Britannia since the defeat of Mondain, Minax, and Exodus and ending the age of darkness) as the Stranger once again, but not to combat a great evil. With the great evils removed from the lands, the people of Britannia seek spirituality in their lives, and they need a role model to be a paragon of virtue and show them the path of virtue. So the Stranger embarks on a quest to show the people of Britannia this path, which ultimately leads him on a journey to find the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom. The Codex itself is a mysterious artifact with an unknown origin. What is known is that it was floating in the Void until the Gargoyles that lived in the Underworld were able to draw it out. They placed the codex in the Shrine of Singularity, which sat at the bottom depths of the Stygian Abyss. The Abyss itself was a massive dungeon built in the middle of a huge volcano, and the only way to access it was by using the Book of Truth, the Candle of Love, and the Bell of Courage. The Stranger traveled through the Abyss and reached the Shrine of Singularity, where he used the Codex to ultimately become the Avatar, Britannia's paragon of virtue.

The Stygian Abyss takes on a more prominent role in Ultima Underworld I. After the Avatar came to be, he escaped the Abyss and the entrance to it crumbled behind him, which essentially destroyed the Gargoyle race of the Underworld. Meanwhile, on the Isle of the Avatar, a shrine was constructed for the codex (simply named Shrine of the Codex). Sir Cabirus of Britannia had the idea of creating a fortress of virtue in the place that most opposed it, which was the Abyss (the Stygian Abyss itself stands to represent opposition to all eight virtues). Another entrance to the Abyss was found on the Isle of the Avatar, which Cabirus used to create and lead a colony. Eventually, however, Cabirus died and the colony became a warzone of opposing factions, and eventually became a prison. The Avatar arrives in Britannia and witnesses the kidnapping of Baron Almric's daughter. He is caught and found guilty in relation to the kidnapping, and banished to the Abyss. By the end, he finds that a great demon known as the Slasher of Veils has been summoned, and must be banished.

The Stygian Abyss makes one final appearance in the Ultima series in the final game, Ultima IX: Ascension. The final dungeon the Avatar ventures to in the game is the Abyss dungeon, which he accesses using Pyros (one of the Guardian's four elemental titans).


Anyway, that concludes the major background of the Stygian Abyss from the Ultima series. If the new SA expansion to UO goes off of the lore from it, one might assume that it would follow the Quest of the Avatar storyline (hey, we've already got the three items of virtue beneath the Lycaeum) with the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom situated in the depths of it. Perhaps the release of the expansion will mark a series of events in which an Avatar is made and the players help/hinder the quest? We can only hope. =)

#2
Corvak

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It's also in the 'spin-off series' Runes of Virtue, for the original game-boy.

The game worked kind of like the top-down zelda games. It was not as story-driven as the main series, more of an action type game. And as the original game boy wasn't too powerful, fairly simplistic.

You had to go into each dungeon, and get the rune at the end. The goal was to get all eight runes, one for each virtue.

(I'd also like to point out, in Ultima 4, Magincia is a smoldering ruin...Coincidence?)

#3
Pitr

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Maybe this was what the Strangers were looking for in the Legacy Dungeons...
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

#4
Galen

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It's also in the 'spin-off series' Runes of Virtue, for the original game-boy.

The game worked kind of like the top-down zelda games. It was not as story-driven as the main series, more of an action type game. And as the original game boy wasn't too powerful, fairly simplistic.

You had to go into each dungeon, and get the rune at the end. The goal was to get all eight runes, one for each virtue.

(I'd also like to point out, in Ultima 4, Magincia is a smoldering ruin...Coincidence?)


Definitely not coincidence.

We basically lived through the fall of Magincia that was only spoken about in U4.

It's all well and good to say in the abstract that they had it coming for their Pride....But we got to see stuff like non-Magincians assisting in the process by dragging demons into buildings hoping to get a piece of rubble.

And if one is inclined to roleplay, as I am, you could say you "saw" innocents die alongside the Prideful.

At any rate....I think they have already said that we'll see a New Magincia. Easy to imagine it'll be like the one we saw in U5.

-Galen's player

#5
Corvak

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Never played U5, unfortunately.

#6
Galen

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Never played U5, unfortunately.


Of the ones I've played (1, 3, 4, 5, 9), the best.

We're living through many of those events now in UO....Corrupted townsfolk; Shadowlords.....In fact, this event cycle has the same title as U5: Warriors of Destiny.

In U5, one Lord Blackthorn was on the throne. He was slick and corrupt, and was at the end of the day a minion of the Shadowlords.

Hmm.

-Galen's player

#7
Corvak

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The king was an agent of the Shadowlords in 5...but since Blackthorn is dead...they invent Casca to fill his role? (dun dun dun!)

I did play ultima 6, and Britannia was being invaded...by gargoyles.

Oh snap.

#8
Tancred RedStar

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I think Casca is a stand-in for Blackthorn since Richard Garriott "was" or "owned" Lord British and there may be a similar IP issue. In Ultima lore, Blackthorn was not inherently evil, just miguided/brainwashed.

#9
Corvak

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Did he own the 'warriors of destiny'? That is, Dupre, Iolo, Mariah, etc?

#10
Tancred RedStar

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Those characters were also representatives of rl people, but the correlating bond was not as strong.

#11
Stewan Seagull

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It's all well and good to say in the abstract that they had it coming for their Pride....But we got to see stuff like non-Magincians assisting in the process by dragging demons into buildings hoping to get a piece of rubble.

-Galen's player


Placing your own "need" for a piece of rubble over harm to life and properties of others is Pride, no? (Well, mainly Greed, but still :D )

#12
Corvak

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Its pride if you glue it to your armor and tell everyone you're invincible.... :)

#13
Ferenhelm

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Its pride if you glue it to your armor and tell everyone you're invincible.... :)


Dang and I found the perfect one to act as a Cod Piece

#14
Galen

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Placing your own "need" for a piece of rubble over harm to life and properties of others is Pride, no? (Well, mainly Greed, but still :D )


Yes.

But that part wasn't the Magincians' fault.

-Galen's player

#15
Corvak

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Placing your own "need" for a piece of rubble over harm to life and properties of others is Pride, no? (Well, mainly Greed, but still :D )


It's sacrifice :P





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