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Britannia (Ultima)

Britannia is a fictitious land in the Ultima universe. It consists of the remains of Sosaria which were united under the rule of Lord British after the defeat of the evil wizard Mondain and his offspring Exodus. It is the setting for The Age of Enlightenment Trilogy (Ultima IV through Ultima VI) as well as Ultima VII, Ultima IX and Ultima Online.

The timeline of the Ultima universe can be aligned with that of Earth, however for every year that passes in our world, many centuries may pass in Britannia. This timeline includes all the canon single-player Ultima games, as well as the cancelled MMORPG Ultima X: Odyssey, which would have existed in the same continuity.

The universe of Ultima Online (UO) branches off from this timeline just after the events of Ultima I, and thereafter follows an alternate continuity. However, the UO universe still aligns with real Earth time, where every real hour equals one day in-game.

The information on these places is according to the following games: Ultima I, Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress, Ultima III: Exodus, Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny, Ultima VI: The False Prophet, Ultima VII: The Black Gate, Ultima VII: The Forge of Virtue,, Ultima VII Part 2: Serpent Isle, Ultima VIII: Pagan, Ultima IX: Ascension, Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss, and Ultima Underworld II: The Labyrinth of Worlds.

For information on Britannian cities in Ultima online, see Britannia (Ultima Online).

Legend (for virtue notations)

Italic = Virtue
Bold Italic = Principle (Truth, Love, Courage)

See Also: Virtues of Ultima

Sosaria

Originally, the world was made up of four continents.

  • Lord British's Realm - ruled by Lord British and the Lost King. Later known as Britannia.
  • The Lands of Danger and Despair - ruled by Lord Shamino and the King of the White Dragon
  • The Lands of the Dark Unknown - ruled by Lord Olympus and the King of the Black Dragon
  • The Lands of the Feudal Lords - ruled by the lords of Castle Rondorin and Castle Barataria

After the defeat of Mondain, three of the four continents seemingly disappeared, leaving only Lord British's realm. The Lands of Danger and Despair were later rediscovered as the Serpent Isle, so it seems likely that the other two continents still exist. Ultima Online: Samurai Empire posits that the Land of the Feudal Lords was transformed into the Tokuno Islands by the cataclysm.

Lord British's realm was then referred to as "Sosaria" and was nearby the lost continent of Ambrosia.

After the defeat of Exodus, Sosaria became Britannia.

Worlds

There are currently five worlds:

  • Trammel
  • Felucca
  • Ilshenar
  • Malas
  • Tokuno

Cities

Britain

The Capital of Britannia, where the palace of Lord British is located. It is the original City of Compassion and it also has a major port.

The city was rather small through Ultima I and Ultima IV. During the Age of Enlightenment, it started to grow; In Ultima V, three smaller suburbs appeared. The city was united into a large metropolis around Ultima VI; the city grew around Lord British's castle.

Buccaneer's Den

The home of the pirates. They were incorporated into Britannia after the Quest of the Avatar, but remained rife with gambling and piracy even during the Guardian's attacks.

Cove

Originally hidden near Lock Lake, it became the city best known for hosting the Shrine of Compassion. It became the City of Compassion as Britain grew into the Capital, but lost the title after the Guardian's tectonic shifts pushed the city onto a new island along with Minoc.

Jhelom

Jhelom is the city of Valor and is home to the Shrine of Valor. The city is comprised of many smaller islands, collectively located in the SW region of the map of Britannia. Jhelom, as with other major cities in Britannia, embodies the virtue it is associated with: Valor. It is home to many fighters and warriors and the city itself centers around fighting, weapons training, and the overall warrior's way of life.

In Ultima VII: The Black Gate, Dupre is found on this island and can be asked to join your party.

In Ultima IX: Ascension, Jhelom has been renamed Valoria. After a volcano erupted, many of the smaller islands that once made Jhelom disappeared (hence the name change). Valoria is home to a few wily warriors, a few good items, and a demon that just begs to be slain.

Minoc

City of Sacrifice. The city is known for their tinkers, craftsmen and artists. The notable places include the Guild of Artisans, and a branch of the Britanninan Mining Company. Around Ultima VII, the city also had a lumber mill, particularly supplying building materials for Owen the Shipwright.

Moonglow

Formerly known as Moon, Moonglow is the city of Honesty. Moonglow is located on the Verity Isle, on which it serves as a major port town. The city is known for its mages and scholars.

The famous stronghold of Truth, the Lycaeum is located north of the city. Other major sites include the observatory, which is famous for its large orrery.

New Magincia

Became City of Humility, it was built on the ruins of old Magincia, a rich, prideful port that was destroyed by demons. When it was rebuilt as New Magincia, it became a humble shepherd village.

Paws

Original city of Humility, it became a farming village and eventually a poor swamp.

Skara Brae

The City of Spirituality. It was destroyed by an alchemistic experiment and taken over by a lich. After the Avatar's intervention, the city was eventually rebuilt, only to be destroyed again by The Guardian.

Terfin

Volcanic island once home to Lord Blackthorn's palace, and later home of the Gargoyles after the collapse of the Underworld of Britannia. Lord Blackthorn's palace was built exactly at the spot where the Avatar had earlier recovered the Skull of Mondain from the seabed between three volcanoes (Ultima IV), before the island had risen.

Trinsic

City of Honor. Trinsic is a walled city that served as a major port of the southern half of the continent. It is known for its Paladins.

Trinsic plays major role at the beginning of Ultima VII.

Vesper

Vesper was the easternmost city on the Britannian mainland. Originally a shepherd's camp, it was abandoned when the region turned to desert. Later repopulated, it was home of the Britannian Mining Company. It was later deserted yet again.

Yew

City of Justice. Housed the Court of Justice, as well as the Empath Abbey. At its height the second largest city in the land, it was briefly abandoned, and later rebuilt amidst the treetops of the Deep Forest.

Lost cities

Some of the cities featured in the first and third games disappeared or were otherwise replaced during the Reconstruction. Also, the defeat of each of the three wizards sundered the land and reshaped it, destroying many towns

  • Fawn - A holy town full of Clerics. Rebuilt on the Serpent Isle.
  • Paws - Was in Ultima I, and later repopulated during the reconstruction. Was present up until Ultima VII: The Black Gate
  • Montor - Later split into Montor East and Montor West, which housed the prison. Rebuilt on the Serpent Isle as Monitor
  • Tune - A city of musicians
  • Grey - A town full of jesters
  • Dawn - A city of mages. There was a big horse-stealing industry there (this city later reappeared in Ultima IX: Ascension)
  • Death Gulch - A corrupt town with a hidden treasury. Demons were said to have dwelled here
  • Devil Guard - A town full of fighters
  • LCB - A town full of thieves

Castles

  • Castle Britannia - Home of Lord British, capital of Britannia. Located in Britain.
  • Empath Abbey - Cathedral of Love. It was located north of Yew and produced wine. The Abbey was eventually destroyed by tectonic uplift, and rebuilt in Britain as the Cathedral of Love in Ultima IX.
  • Lycaeum - The stronghold of Truth. It had a vast library and trained many mages from Moonglow. In Ultima IX, it was elevated above the city, but the Avatar was still able to get there through the city's airship.
  • Serpent's Hold - Stronghold of Courage. It held the Knights of the Order of the Silver Serpent.
  • Spektran - In Ultima VI, it was an uninhabited island where a group of pirates buried their treasure, including a silver tablet of the gargoyle language. In Ultima VII, the island housed the mad "Sultan" of Spektran.

Dungeons

  • Deceit - Anti-Honesty. North of Moonglow on Dagger Isle.
  • Despise - Anti-Compassion. North East of Britain in Serpent spine.
  • Destard - Anti-Valor. West of Trinsic. Shifted to Southern Serpent's spine during Guardian upheaval.
  • Wrong - Anti-Justice. Near Yew. Once served as Sosaria's greatest prison. Shifted to NE part of continent after Guardian invasion.
  • Covetous - Anti-Sacrifice. Near Minoc. Initially a tomb, yet became a Blackrock Mine later in the series.
  • Shame - Anti-Honor. Entrance on Lost Lake between Yew and Trinsic. Shifted to near Trinsic in Ultima IX during Guardian upheaval.
  • Hythloth - Anti-Spirituality. Location of entrance has been known to shift. In Ultima IV the backdoor entrace could be found hidden in a grove just outside of Castle Britannia. Main Entrance originally on Isle of the Avatar. Shifted to under sea at Shrine of Humility near New Magincia in Ultima IX during Guardian invasion as New Magincia Sewer System.
  • Doom - Anti-Humility. Entrance in the Underworld. Speculated to be the same dungeon as the Great Stygian Abyss.
  • Great Stygian Abyss - Original home of The Codex. Center of Isle of the Avatar. Simply called Abyss in Ultima IX.

Shrines

Lighthouses

In Ultima V Britannia had the following lighthouses:

  • Fogsbane Lighthouse - South of Castle Britannia.
  • Waveguide Lighthouse - West of Verity Isle (the home of Moonglow).
  • Stormcrow Lighthouse - Near Minoc.
  • Grey Haven Lighthouse - South of Trinsic.

They were all subsequently destroyed in the great earthquakes that shook Britannia after the collapse of the underworld at the end of Ultima V.

Special places

  • Ambrosia - a lost continent, probably (but not certainly) located northeast of the mainland. Place where Caddelite is found in Ultima VII.
  • Ambrosia - The Gargoyle home city (replacing Terfin) in Ultima IX before it collapsed, killing off most of the Gargoyle race. The Avatar preserved a Queen egg from the collapse, saving the Gargoyles from extinction. (This place is different from the aforementioned Ambrosia and its location was known).
  • Isle of Fire - Housed the Castle of Exodus.
  • Isle of The Avatar - Rose when the stranger became the Avatar. Held the Codex for a time, also where the Black Gate was assembled by the Fellowship.
  • Moongates - magical means of space or time travel. Blue moongates will transport one across the world. They appear in places where moonstones are buried, and the destination of the travel is based on the phases of Trammel and Felucca, the planet's moons. One moon determines when the moongate will be visible, while the other determines the target moongate. The behavior of blue moongates isn't consistent in games; in Ultima VII, all moongates are constantly visible. Red moongates requires an Orb of the Moons. Activation allows for travel to any destination, determined by where the Orb was used. These allow the traveller to travel across worlds, most notably between Earth and Britannia. The rare silver moongate allows time travel. Black moongates allow travel through space and dimensions. They can be produced by electrically charging blackrock.
  • Serpent Isle - One of the lands (specifically, the Lands of Danger and Despair) split from Britannia by the effects of the shattering of the Black Gem (Ultima I), and the only one with a known direct connection with Britannia via a gate in the polar region. The Fellowship leader, Batlin, fled here after the Black Gate was destroyed, preventing the Guardian's first invasion. 90% of the island population was destroyed by evil Banes released by Batlin in a foolish attempt to capture them for his own use.
  • Terfin - An island in the southeast, between Serpent's Hold and the Isle of the Avatar. In Ultima IV it was just a trio of volcanoes, but by Ultima V enough land was there that Lord Blackthorn was able to build his castle on it. After the Gargoyles began arriving from the Underworld in Ultima VI, they found themselves on the island and established a city, which remained there until sometime before Ultima IX, when the Gargoyles retreated to the underwater city of Ambrosia. Terfin was then used as the Guardian's stronghold in Ultima IX.

See also

References

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