August 2017


Special Maintenance for Lake Superior today

Submitted by UO_Herald on August 30, 2017 at 1:53 PM CDT
UO Customer Service

Originally posted August 30, 2017 by Bonnie "Mesanna" Armstrong on the UO Herald:

Good afternoon everyone,

Due to circumstances beyond our control we will be taking down Lake Superior for approx. an hour today starting at 1pm ET 8/31/2017.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.

UO Team



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The House Between There and Here

Submitted by UO_Herald on August 30, 2017 at 1:51 PM CDT
BNN

Originally posted August 30, 2017 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:
By EM Malachi

Over two years ago…

From the top of the plateau, an old man looked down at the ruins of his world. A small herd of sickly Torax lizards wandered among the crumbling stones of fallen Morgaelin, watched by a lone shepherd. Though midway through the day, the dim star in the sky gave very little light. Seeing nothing of interest, Mythran muttered to himself and started to limp back to his shack.

At the small hut, the mage traced a rune of entry and pushed the worn door inward. Mythran stepped around various mystical traps in the long corridor, and climbing the winding staircase at the end, he entered a large study filled with tomes and scrolls rescued from ruins across the continent.

The old mage sat in a rocking chair and summoned a small animal. The squirrel scampered into a hole in the wall and returned a few minutes later carrying a cup of tea. As the creature faded away, Mythran traced his finger around the edge of the brim, slowly heating his drink. Leaning back in his chair and sipping the bitter root tea, he stared up at the ceiling. Instead of seeing the underside of thatched roof, there was only the vast darkness and distant lights of the Ethereal Void. The great emptiness between worlds did little to help his mood.

Then, in the vast distance between Pagan and the rest of reality, there was a flare of light, as if from two powerful spells clashing. When the flare faded, there was a strand of silver reaching out across the darkness. It was a most unexpected sight, something he had not seen in his decades studying the ethereal framework.

The old mage leapt out of his chair and hobbled over to a pile of scrolls. Digging through the heap, he found the “Restore to Sight” scroll. Invoking it, he saw hidden objects appear in the Ethereal Void – fragments of the ancient Dark Path. He traced a connecting path made by these objects and the strand of silver. It would be a long and difficult journey, but he believed it would be possible to make his way to the source of this new magic.

“This changes everything.”

*****

Across the world of Pagan, the elements stirred. Boiling lava vents under the Daemon’s Crag burst forth, forming lava flows in the shape of claws. The dark underground currents of Carthax Lake because whirlpools in Vengeance Bay. The face of Stone Cove was reshaped by a rockslide. The winds around the monastery at Argentrock Isle murmured, “Soon, Master, soon.”



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An Ethereal Journey - UPDATED

Submitted by UO_Herald on August 30, 2017 at 1:48 PM CDT
UO Community News

Originally posted August 30, 2017 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:

We are pleased to announce that Part III of the Shattered Obelisk is in the process of being activated.

This part is now active on Origin & Europa, and as we monitor the event it will become active on additional shards.  Siege will be active following its next scheduled maintenance.  This post will be updated as more shards become active.

See the Shattered Obelisk page for more details, EM support events and the latest fiction!

Update as of 4:45pm ET:  Part III is now active on Atlantic.  If the monitoring period goes well, we will activate all shards at 8pm ET.  Thank you for your patience while we roll out the next phase of the arc.



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Talking Through Wisps

Submitted by UO_Herald on August 23, 2017 at 1:28 PM CDT
BNN

Originally posted August 23, 2017 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:
By EM Malachi

Heigel looked around nervously. Suddenly, a window exploded outward, and a smoking rune landed at his feet. The mage shook his head and knocked on the door. When the frustrated mutterings on the other side didn’t acknowledge him, he entered the house. The room was cluttered with books, runes, and random artifacts piled against the walls. The table was covered with dirty dishes and highly toxic reagents. A disheveled mage in blue robes stood at the center of a pentagram.

Gilforn didn’t seem to notice him, so Heigel waved at the other mage. Gilforn smiled at him and waved back, before starting another casting on a blank rune. After a second shattered window, Gilforn seemed ready to talk. “I don’t understand. I’ve double-checked my calculations. The arcane geometry was perfect. It not as if some massive structure is occupying the same ethereal space as Britannia or anything.”

Heigel coughed. “I really need to speak with you.”

Gilforn gave an embarrassed grimace. “Sorry, it’s so easy to get lost in one’s experiments. What can I help you with?”

Heigel started his practiced spiel, “I’m calling together Moonglow’s best and brightest, because I believe we face a crisis. After talking with a wisp—”

“Wisp! Where?” shouted Gilforn as he hid behind a chair.

“The wisp isn’t here. I spoke with the Xorinite creature earlier.”

Gilforn cautiously stood back up. “Go on.”

“We were exchanging information a few weeks back, when the wisp asked if I was interested in sharing messages with a mage from beyond Sosaria on the topic of ‘interdimensional movement’ to and from Sosaria.”

Gilforn looked giddy with excitement. “Ethereal pen pals! I’m hoping you said yes.”

Heigel realized he had Gilforn’s full attention for the first time. “Given the terrible threats that have come to Britannia from across the Ethereal Void, it seemed the duty of a responsible citizen to learn such information.”

Gilforn replied, “And also you were really curious.”

“That too. With the wisp’s help, I have been exchanging letters with this other mage about the nature of the space between worlds, relics in the Ethereal Void, and important current events that affect Sosaria.”

Gilforn grabbed a scrap of paper and a broken quill from the table. “Tell me everything!”

“I don’t want to go into details yet, but what I’ve learned has me very worried. That is why I’m inviting important mages to meet at the Lycaeum tomorrow at dawn. Everyone needs to be there. Promise me that you will hear what I have to say.”

Gilforn nodded, “Of course I’ll be there. I’ll even set my alarm clock.” He motioned to a pile of tinkered gadgets and socks. “Hmm, I wonder if all of this will change my calculations…”

Heigel bid Gilforn farewell and headed back to the Lycaeum. He looked over his list, “Dexter. Check. Dryus. Check. Gilforn. Check. Only a few more to invite. Everything is going so well.” Still he couldn’t shake the feeling he was being followed.



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Hickory Dickory Dock

Submitted by UO_Herald on August 21, 2017 at 12:51 PM CDT
BNN

Originally posted August 21, 2017 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:
By EM Malachi

A small mouse dreamed in a box of yarn by the inn’s hearth. Sherry was enjoying a most satisfying piece of dream gouda and watching a play she had seen so long ago. The chair was built for a child, and one of the actors had been nice enough to loan her a cushion. She was watching a man smash a paste gem with his prop sword when someone sat in the empty seat beside her. She nodded to the man and continued to watch the soliloquy on stage.

After listening for a few moments, the man beside her started talking, “As this is one of the few events I did not witness, I often wonder if the Stranger understood the importance of his act. Did he know that shattering the gem would lead to everything that followed?”

Sherry turned to look at the speaker. He appeared to be an older human, wearing a light blue robe. He was smiling at her, but there was a hint of sadness in his eyes. He would have been perfectly normal if not for his shadow, which formed the silhouette of a grandfather clock on the wall behind him. “Do I know you?”

The old man nodded, “I spoke to three people that night: a virtuous king, a doubtful lord, and the small mouse who would tell the world. I met with the others each again, so it seemed fitting to finish the circle. My name is Hawkwind.”

Sherry stared at the Time Lord in awe, “So this is not a dream?”

“All dreams touch the place I walk, but some dreams are something more. I have much I need to tell you, but we are not alone.”

Sherry looked around the theatre. The audience were not the people she remembered, but strange beings. There was a granite-faced man who watched the play in silence while being waited upon by skeletons. A blustering red-faced man holding a great torch shouted at an usher. With a voice like the wind across crystal, a laughing woman sang along with the minstrels on stage, but the laughter did not reach her cold eyes. An older woman with pale skin and blue hair stared at Sherry like a hungry shark. In the back corner, there was something hidden by shadow.

Sherry whispered to Hawkwind, “Who are they?”

“Powers and principalities. Great beings who have noticed Sosaria for the first time. In trying to avert a tragedy, I have inadvertently drawn their attention.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

“At this moment, what little I am capable of.” Hawkwind’s body seemed to shimmer slightly, and Sherry saw that his hands and feet were bound. “With this sliver of freedom, I am talking with you.”

“But I am but a mouse.“

“You have acted when others, more powerful and better able, did nothing. Those you need to find and encourage will trust you, just as I did so many years ago.” Hawkwind turned back to the stage. The play was ending, and the actors stepped forward. There were hundreds of them, all of Britannia, people she recognized and those she didn’t. Those she needed to find. They gave a great bow, and Sherry woke to the clock striking one in the morning.



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Publish 98 Hotfix

Submitted by UO_Herald on August 16, 2017 at 1:51 PM CDT
UO Publishes

Originally posted August 16, 2017 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:

Beginning with European shards this evening, 8/16/2017, and continuing with all shards tomorrow, 8/17/2017, we are in the process of deploying a server crash fix to all shards during regular maintenance times.  Once the fix has been deployed to all shards, Part I of the Shattered Obelisk will be re-enabled.

We apologize for any inconvenience while we address this issue.

See you in Britannia,

UO Team



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Producer Note

Submitted by UO_Herald on August 16, 2017 at 1:48 PM CDT
UO Community News

Originally posted August 16, 2017 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:

Greetings Everyone,

I would like to address a very serious issue with you all.  As most of you are aware we have had players threaten other players that are coming to the 20th Anniversary Party.  We treat these issues incredibly seriously, and all harassment pages, including threats, are logged on the server.  We then forward these logs as a potential threat to law enforcement, who will follow up to the fullest extent of the law.  Please know we do not take this lightly.   For all of those that are worried regarding the 20th Anniversary Party the issue has been resolved and you should not have any concerns regarding your safety.

Thank You,

Bonnie “Mesanna” Armstrong

Producer



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Part I – The Not-So-Ordinary World

Submitted by UO_Herald on August 16, 2017 at 11:49 AM CDT
BNN

Originally posted August 16, 2017 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:
It is just another day in Britannia, or is it?  In an effort to stimulate trade and bolster city treasuries his Royal Highness has announced a reduction in tariffs, giving a large bonus to all city trade deliveries.  With an increase in trade traffic, royal trade carts are finding themselves ambushed on Britannia’s roads.  Who are these unknown attackers and what is their intent?  Are they merely highway men looking to score some easy coin or are there more sinister forces at work…


Enlightenment
by EM Malachi

The path to the lazar house was long and overgrown, and the day was hot. Despite her pale skin, the traveller wore no coverings. It had been decades since the healer had felt the Sun, and she enjoyed the warmth. The ramshackled house was marked with symbols to warn of the pestilence inside. They had laughed at her dire words in the city, but if she could help these unfortunate souls, maybe they would start to believe her.

The old woman knocked at the door, and when there was no answer, she pushed it open. When the crumbling manor had been repurposed as a sanitorium, no repairs had been made. Dirt and debris filled the halls, and there was a constant buzzing from one room in the back.

She searched the rooms, looking for those who were still alive. Despite the heat, each was huddled in a tattered blanket, to cover the disease that ravaged their bodies. The healer approached the closest figure and pulled back the blanket.

The young woman pulled herself into a shadow, her pretty face scarred by pox. Her voice was only a rasping whisper, “Get back. You don’t want to catch the sickness.”

The pale stranger held up a silver talisman, a small shimmer of mana glowing across the surface. “I am here to heal you.”

The wretched woman gave a dismissive wave of a skeletal hand. “Magic won’t help us. The greatest mages in Britain turned us away in fear.”

“Their spell circles are children’s toys. I practice a magic far older and purer.” The healer moved the spell focus across the woman’s face, melting away sores and healing the skin. The ash pale face came alive with a rosy bloom.

The healer continued around the room, curing the rest of the outcasts. When she was finished, one who had been near death asked the question on everyone’s mind, “What happens now?”

The stranger removed a small glowing obelisk from her robe. “I have healed you, but there is a price. I need you to help me save this world.”



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20th Arc - The Not-So-Ordinary World

Submitted by UO_Herald on August 16, 2017 at 11:45 AM CDT
UO Community News

Originally posted August 16, 2017 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:
We are pleased to announce that Part I of the Shattered Obelisk is now active on all shards.  See the Shattered Obelisk page for more details, EM support events and the latest fiction!



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The Oracle and the Bard

Submitted by UO_Herald on August 10, 2017 at 7:56 PM CDT
BNN

Originally posted August 10, 2017 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:
In preparation for the upcoming 20th Anniversary event arc, The Shattered Obelisk, we are pleased to present The Oracle and the Bard.

The moongate opened, and a mage stepped through, carrying a heavy picnic basket with both hands. A few gargoyles in the settlement waved to her, and Mariah put down her basket to wave back. Mariah had taken to visiting Naxatilor every few weeks for tea. While the seer would share Ter Mur delicacies like grilled skree or salmon and thistle tart, the elder gargoyle had developed a sweet tooth for pastries from Moonglow’s bakery. Today, Mariah had also brought along spiced dates from Nujel’m for the two to share as they discussed history and arcane lore.

As she came into view of the seer’s home, she noticed two armored gargoyles standing guard in front. When she got closer, they nodded at her and moved their pikes out of the doorway. Inside the stone house, her friend was lying unconscious on a futon, his entire body trembling with fever. Zhah, queen of the gargoyles, sat beside the seer, holding his hand and looking very worried.  When Mariah was noticed, Zhah turned to her. “Mariah of Moonglow. I’ve been expecting you.”

“What happened?

“Naxatilor collapsed in the midst of an intense vision. Something he experienced so affected him that this happened.” Zhah pulled back a sheet to reveal that the old gargoyle’s wings were badly mangled, as if they had been slashed and burned. “This has never occurred before.”

“Will he recover?”

“I do not know. He is the last of his generation and the oldest of us. My best mystics have not been able to do much more than help him sleep.”

“What happens now?”

“Now, I will have him moved to the Royal City to keep him safe. Whatever did this may try again. You must deliver word of these events to your king.” Queen Zhah handed a scroll sealed with her mark to Mariah. “We all must be ready for what is coming.”

*****

Bundor Bard unpacked a box of quills as he watched the movers put the last of the furniture into place. The rented room was small, but it would do nicely for what he had planned. He nodded to the workers as they left and continued to unpack his writing supplies. On a desk nearby, a magic quill continued to make copies of a sheet of paper.

After a time, a woman dressed in the finest silks strode into the room and sat in a chair across from him. She played with an ink bottle and stared at him.

“You look like you want to ask me something, good lady.”

Lady Machiavelli gave a laugh. “You really are serious about all this? Getting the old gang back together?”

Bundor handed her a piece of paper, a copy from the enchanted desk.

She glanced at the paper. “That colloquial misspelling always did make me want to cry. Still, I do miss the excitement. Very well, I have a scoop for you.”



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20th Anniversary Grandfathered Castle Giveaway!

Submitted by UO_Herald on August 9, 2017 at 2:14 PM CDT
UO Community News

Originally posted August 9, 2017 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:

We are happy to announce that as part of the 20th Anniversary we will be raffling off a total of 6 grandfathered castles on the shard of your choice!!

Three of these castles will be raffled off live and in person at the 20th Anniversary party in September, and for those of you who cannot attend, three will be raffled off via a raffle stone on Test Center 1 that has been placed today at the New Haven Bank!

In order to enter the raffle you must double click on the stone and enter a valid e-mail address that is associated with an active Ultima Online subscription that can be used to contact you in the event you win!

Only one entry per account will be accepted via the stone.  You can enter on any character on that account, and can update your email address by using the raffle stone again.  The raffle stone will accept entries until September 15th, 2017 at 12:00pm ET.

Trial accounts may not enter the raffle.

All winners will be announced at the 20th Anniversary party on September 22nd, 2017!  Good luck to all those who enter!



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Publish 98 Comes to Origin, Izumo, & Baja

Submitted by UO_Herald on August 8, 2017 at 7:24 PM CDT
UO Publishes

Originally posted August 8, 2017 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:

Greetings All,

We are pleased to announce that Publish 98 will be deployed to Origin, Izumo & Baja by 2pm ET August 8, 2017 and we are targeting a World Wide release date of August 15th, 2017.  We are also pushing a client patch for both the Classic and Enhanced Clients to address with stack splitting.  Publish 98 is full of new features, so make sure you patch up your client and head over to TC1 or one of the first release shards to check out the latest update.  Please note that some features will not be available on these shards, check the notes for full release details.

As mentioned in the notes, Publish 98 brings our latest content arc, The Shattered Obelisk.  Check out this page on the Shattered Obelisk for more details!

We are also pleased to announce our Dev Meet & Greets for August:

August 14th, 2pm ET – Drachenfels

August 28th, 4pm ET – Europa

See you in Britannia,

UO Team



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