25th August – the Haunting of Skara Brae

Shamino gazed across the water towards Skara Brae. There seemed to be far more people there than usual, but all was not well. Some of the people were running, and even from this distance their terror was plain to see. The others were chasing the runners, but they appeared to glide across the ground, not run. He drew his bow, notched an arrow, and headed towards the ferry.

Before he could get there, the ground erupted. Undead forms burst from below him, in their droves, leaping up from their unmarked graves, surrounding him on all sides.

Shamino set immediately about his work with sword, bow and shield. The ranks of the shambling revenants he quickly reduced to a few small piles of putrescent but inanimate flesh. With his way thus cleared, he was able to enter the graveyard itself, where he discovered a newly opened tunnel, which lead to an ancient catacomb far below. The ferry would have to wait.

In that dank and haunted place, Shamino found the source of the trouble, a lich, an ancient and potent spirit from the First Age of Darkness. For centuries the evil thing had lain dormant in its stygian tomb, but of late it had bestirred itself, and in its ancient malice had begun the current harassment of the living above.

In his earlier years, he was kindhearted with a passion for magic and writing poetry. The people of Skara Brae initially felt safely protected by his presence. As the years wore on, however, Horance’s mind began to deteriorate into a senile shadow of his former self. His poetry became a “rhyming doggerel” and the only form in which he would speak. His demonstrations of magic also became increasingly violent, provoking fear from his fellow citizens. It was in this state that he was first encountered by Britannia’s defenders.

After a time, Horance had the Dark Tower erected upon the northwestern tip of Skara Brae and completely confined himself within its walls. The mage eventually descended into total madness from years of isolation, his existence dominated by an obsession with discovering the secret to immortality. Though finally able to divine its formula, it ultimately came at the dreadful cost of his becoming one with a malevolent, power-hungry liche. He began to raise the dead from their graves in order to do his ghastly bidding.

It was into this horrific landscape that Shaminio had been sent, dispatched by the king, after a bedraggled rider had collapsed at Britain’s gates, gasping for aid to be sent.

His sword swung around him, again and again, as a ghostly cloud of spent souls rose and filled the skies above Skara Brae…


What you need to know

  • Gates will appear in the usual locations.
  • There will be announcements in General Chat about an hour before the event.
  • This is part of the current Shattered Obelisk Arc.
  • This is not a “drop” event, although I probably wouldn’t say if it was.
  • There will be loot though. Lots of lovely loot.
  • There will be a “quest” aspect to this, as well as lots of PvM.
  • The event will take place in and around Skara Brae.
  • Yes, that does mean that there is a guard zone.
  • If VvV kicks off during the event, we will keep on going, but there will be enough monsters to slay outside of the guard zone as well.
  • “lich”, “liche”, tomato tomatoe.  See you at the event!
(Thanks to the writers at Ultima Wiki and Ultima Codex for some of the fiction. Reading up on “The Tale of Shamino and the Spirits” isn’t required for the event, but you might enjoy it.)
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