Introduction to Britannia
Long before the Stranger ever entered the lands of Sosaria there was a young wizard named Mondain. As Mondain grew in age and knowledge, so grew his thirst for power. Eventually he learned of the Gem of Immortality and, after considerable effort, secure the Gem to use in a ritual that would give him ultimate power.
During the ceremony that bound the Gem to Mondain’s spirit, the Gem itself captured an image of the spirit of the entire land. All of Sosaria was caught in this snapshot, save the wielder of the Gem — Mondain himself. Once imbued with the power of immortality, the Gem provided Mondain the means to rule the world — until the Stranger arrived to destroy the very source of Mondain’s power, that is.
Mondain’s power was gone, and with it the sorcerer himself was destroyed. But as the essence of immortality was loosed upon the land, the very multiverse began to unravel. Aware of the devastation caused by the destruction of the Gem, the Time Lord grabbed a hold of the fabric of space and re-wove the fibers of Sosaria, later to be called Britannia. Concerned by the natural course of events, whereby one man’s quest for ultimate power nearly annihilated the world, the Time Lord set into motion a plan to ensure that the land would come under the rule of the right. Behind the scenes, he reconstructed the world and maneuvered happenstance to permit the reign of Lord British, the virtues, and the Avatar. Thus the continuance of the Ultima series…
But when the Gem was shattered, thousands of splintered fragments scattered across the multiverse. Within the facets of each fragment lay the very image of Sosaria as it had been captured during Mondain’s ritual. Each of these in turn became parallel instances of The World, each replete with their own version of Sosarian culture, kingdoms, and histories.
However, unlike the original Sosaria — which saw such events as the corruption of Mondain, the rise of Lord British, the quest of the Avatar, and the appearance of the Fellowship, all seeded by the efforts of the Time Lord — these Sosarias have been left to their own devices, where the rise and fall of power is often a daily occurrence. It is one of the Worlds that the adventurers of Ultima Online will come to make their fortunes and reputations…
Map of the World
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Cities and Towns
Renamed when the entire realm was given its new title — when Lord Robert was defeated on the Crimson Plains — Britain is the capital city of Britannia. Lord British’s seat of power is located at what could be considered the interior vertex of the angular continent. It is situated beside a great river that runs from the eastern mountain range into Brittany Bay.
For its size, Britain is a clean city, looking much like an English city at the end of the Medieval era, just on the cusp of the Renaissance. Magnificent stone buildings intermixed with sturdy wood-and-plaster shops and homes. In the middle of the walled-city is Lord British’s marvelous castle, complete with moat and draw bridge. Overall, Britain represents the latest and best of every discipline imaginable, second only to those communities that specialize in particular disciplines (and only in the aspects relating to those specific disciplines).
This uncivilized community is located on the large island on the southeast edge of Brittany Bay. Buccaneer’s Den is less of a city or town than it is a collection of hovels and huts where privateers and pirates can hole up to avoid the law or prepare for the next excursion. With the exception of a few blacksmiths who are there to provide weapon and armor repairs, nearly all items of technology found on the island are stolen from coastal cities or plundered from unfortunate shops.
Cove is a tiny coastal village located between Britain and Vesper. This small community has but a handful of buildings, among them a farmers market, a supply shop for warriors, and a healer. There is a fortress to the south that has served in the past as a staging point for periodic Orc attacks on the town.
Jhelom is located on the northern tip of the largest of the Valorian Isles, surrounded by sparse jungles and rocky beaches. Jhelom is very much like a frontier town. The streets are filled with mercenaries — some newly trained, some veterans — looking to sell their sword arms. In addition to the many training sallies, various shops and establishments have sprung up over time to service the fighters.
Near the center of the middle isle lies the arena, where warriors can test their steel and their nerves against monsters, beasts, and each other.
On the central island between Buccaneer’s Den and Moonglow, Magincia is a natural target for plunder and magical side-effects. Ironically, it is the latter that tends to reduce the frequency of the former.
Perhaps the best way to describe Magincia is bright. But then, perhaps that is too kind. Gaudy might be more appropriate. Home to the largest diamond mine in the realm, the residents of Magincia have experienced the sensation of too much money. One of the many ways in which they have found to address this problem involves constructing ridiculously ornate buildings. Structurally sound shops will often have additional columns and supports solely to provide additional places in which to inlay gemstones and gold. The street signs are lettered in real silver, while the local watch wear badges that use precious metals to indicate rank.
Minoc is found in the northeastern region of the realm, nestled within the mountains. Although initially a community of artisans and gadgeteers, recently-discovered precious ores have turned it into a mining town. Minoc is essentially a rough-and-tumble frontier mining town. Furs are common, given the cold climate. It has very much the feel of a communitarian place, like an old Gold Rush town.
The Gadgeteers Guild is located in Minoc in order to provide easy access to the materials they need: the metals and ores, and the raw lumber. Minoc produces most of the raw materials such as ore and lumber for Britain, Magincia, and Vesper. Its inventors and gadgeteers design many of the nifty things found on sale in Vesper, but manufacture of these things tends to be moved to Vesper after the initial design is done in Minoc, in order to have quicker access to the marketplace.
Moonglow is found on the southern tip of Verity isle, which was named to reflect the objective intellectual pursuits of the city’s populace. Although the buildings were designed and constructed by the architects and masons from mainland Britannia, the overall appearance of the city is one of function over form. Buildings are sturdy and devoid of superfluous accouterments. The streets are narrow, but straightforward and well-connected. In many ways, the city looks like one large campus, with the Lycaeum as the central college.
Much of the study that goes on in Moonglow, and especially at the Lycaeum, is of the arcane arts. Nearly every form of sorcery, enchantment and potion is studied here, and most of the realm’s research into new magic is performed here. Almost every great wizard interested in enhancing his or her personal abilities, or in increasing Britannia’s pool of abilities, has spent at least a few months within the walls of the Lycaeum.
Not wanting to worry about inconveniences of daily life, the residents of Moonglow have worked hard to ensure they have every contemporary labor-saving device and invention known to the realm. Although nearly everything is imported, the keen minds quickly dissect and analyze the latest gadgets, as their understanding of technology is usually quite strong.
Nujel’m is located on a remote island off the coast of Vesper. This is a hot place: bathing suits, shorts, pastel colors and filmy fabrics adorn the locals, nothing heavy. Although its level of technology is high, it exists as a place to get away from it all.
Nujel’m is built of gleaming white and orange sandstone, and black and white marble. It is full of arches, sweeping buttresses, narrow and crowded bazaars full of cloth-draped stalls, warrens of ghettoes carefully hidden from the tourist sections, and large airy palaces with pools and Grecian style columns. Nujel’m is considered a pleasure city, and often nobles from Magincia or Moonglow can be found vacationing on it’s sandy beaches. There are rumors, however, that beneath it’s glittery exterior, Nujel’m is a city of corruption that nearly rivals Buccaneer’s Den.
This island community is known for its hospitality and peaceful surroundings. As a result of this, Ocllo is a gathering point for adventurers that are new to the realm. Should a new adventurer find themselves in need of help, there will most likely be a fair number of veteran warriors around willing to offer their companionship and advice.
The civilization of Ocllo lies hidden deep in the mountains on the island located south of Magincia. Their knowledge of what lies beyond their mountains is fairly limited, and to them, everything in the region is part of Huansuytin, the World. The Ocllo build terraces along the mountains, upon which they grow their crops: corn and potatoes and other staples do well enough up here, but the lack of availability of fresh water is a problem for them. Mages often spend their days working at ways to get fresh water for the irrigation of the foodstuffs.
The Ocllo are master stoneworkers and metalworkers, and are expert weapon makers, even though they have no neighbors to fight. In their distant past, before the various mountain tribes (and races) were unified into one culture, they must have fought long and bloody wars. Also, the great and mysterious upwelling of sea water in the Salt Lake drags in fish and creatures of the oceans, and the reed-lashed boats of the Ocllo have permitted them to become expert fishermen.
Everything the Ocllo have must be built out of the shades of stone found in their mountains. They bleach and they redden the gray stone, and they have a highly prized vein of white stone they use as well. Much of their work relies on the squared corner, with pillars a common trait. Most outsiders would find their style to be confining and claustrophobic, although once inside, the habitations are as colorful as the Ocllo can make them. Blue and greens are predominant, mostly in weavings.
Constructed on the largest island just east and south of the Cape of Heroes, the Isle of Deeds, Serpent’s Hold is the training grounds for nearly all of the realm’s fighting population. Serpent’s Hold is a single, compound structure, with an internal castle to house the Lord, Captains, and instructors, meetings halls, and mess hall.
Outside of that, but within the keep’s walls, are the barracks, the smithy, the stables, and the training grounds. The walls are of large stone set with mortar, similar to a generic French keep of the “Middle Ages”.
Serpent’s Hold is less a city than it is a stronghold. Although the keep has been there for some time, very few buildings have sprung up around it. The land is not particularly favorable for farming or hunting, so no one has come to the keep seeking protection. In addition, most of the soldiers move on once they’ve completed their training, so the only non-warriors who have taken up residence in the area are those who can provide for the Hold’s needs, such as blacksmiths, tanners, etc.
Both the name for the city and the island due west of Britain, Skara Brae is a central point for seafaring expeditions heading westward. Spacious and widespread like Yew, Skara is reminiscent of a Renaissance village in the middle of the medieval Scottish highlands. The houses are intermixed with shops, schools, and parks, all connected via stone walkways.
Most of the houses and shops are made of Britannian wood and plaster, though the more permanent (and important) structures are made of stone. Around the outskirts of the city, the rangers set up camps, using shrubs, trees and skins as temporary shelters.
Trinsic is found in the southern region of Britannia, along the eastern coast. Fresh water is supplied through a river delta, doubling the size of the fish market thanks to the city’s proximity to the Cape of Heroes. Trinsic is like a larger version of Serpent’s Hold — one gigantic stone wall surrounding the city that completely borders the interior keep.
Nearly the entire city is made of stone, from the reinforced outer walls, to the inner castle, to the shops, homes, and schools in between. The overall style is the traditional Britannian keep, with parapets, battlements and buttresses for the main walls, and solid rock foundations for the private buildings.
Vesper is located on the eastern coast of Britannia, the northernmost city on said coast. Its positioning almost makes it more a part ofj Magincia, as it serves as a major trade port for the north part of the sea. Vesper is a city of shallow waterways and canals. These canals are largely man-made, but are rough-hewn and seem quasi-natural. Although the climate in this region ranges from the temperate to the cold, Vesper is a city of strong stonework and wide open spaces that serve as breezeways. The stonework is all done by local artists and artisans and has earned Vesper a reputation as a beautiful city. The building of bridges has become an art form in Vesper. Stonework is most common, with granite slabs used everywhere. Carvings and statues appear atop columns and at cornices.
Vesper has the latest of everything, thanks to its position as both trading leader and as the main export center for inventions coming out of Minoc. The shops here carry gadgets from the useful to the inane.
Yew is located in the northwest region of Britannia, on the edge of the Deep Forest. The pastoral city is named for the dense population of Yew trees that surround it. Deep within the woods is hallowed Empath Abbey, home to diligent monks, makers of the best wine in the land. Yew is less of a city than it is a collection of many homesteads. Dirt roads connect most of the buildings, lending credence to the fact that it is a community, but often a considerable distance lies between the houses of the various residents.
Most of the houses are simple wooden cabins, although the abbey is made of wood, stone and plaster to give it durability. The High Court, which also houses the land’s second largest jail, is made entirely of reinforced stone, and looks like a smaller version of Lord British’s castle or Serpent’s Hold.
The Agora is a safe area for all characters to meet and socialize. You can travel there through the custom locations tab on moongates.