Posted by Tim Chappell | 2012 Oct 22 17:08 -0400 GMT
We received 13 excellent entries from the Siege Perilous shard. Once again, the entries challenged our judges to make some hard decisions that resulted in another tie!
Here are the 6 winning UO memories from Siege Perilous:
Aang was making his rounds. He wondered if these lands would ever make him feel alive again. He had walked them for nearly 10 years and had experienced all of the blood-curdling, hair-tingling action that Sosaria had to offer and he yearned for those days again. As he wandered the forest and mused about a life without adventure, a large structure loomed on the horizon.
“Ho there, good sir!” bellowed a hulking man from inside the building. His large, brown beard appeared to be brambles falling over the expanse of his mountainous belly but, even as surely as this man was larger than life, a spark of kindness gleamed in his eyes. “Grog’s the name. Who might ye be?” he rumbled. “Aang, good sir. A-a-ang.” I stammered. “Ho there, A-a-ang! Join me for a drink!” he exclaimed, as he motioned me inside and to a rustic, albeit surprisingly quaint, tavern. That night and over the next few evenings, in Grog’s tavern, we discussed a great many things, including my impending retirement. At one point, Grog said to me, “You know Aang, if’n ye not be having fun in these lands, then maybe retirement is your best choice. I always make my own fun. Not taking yourself too seriously is the key!” One evening, I made my way to the man-mountain’s tavern, eager to discuss my day’s musings. However, this time when I arrived, the doors were shut, the house still. There was no tell-tale scent of meat wafting out to greet me. The house seemed…sad. I returned home to check my pigeons. I had no message from Grog but I did have one from a mutual friend. It said simply, “Grog’s gone. He passed away last night.” I sat alone, in shock, at my dark granite table. I fumbled with the book he had given me with his wish-list of Christmas decorations he was missing for his amazing tavern. As I ran my finger down the leather bound spine of the book, his words rang in my mind: “Have fun.” I knew what I had to do. I started packing up my things and began preparing for my new life, in a new land: Siege Perilous!
Aang is just a character of mine on Catskills, however, Grog was a real man, larger than life, who affected me in a way that I cannot begin to express. His words, “Have fun!” are tattooed on my leg, a memorial to a man whom I only knew for a few short weeks but whose philosophy I still try to live by today. Life is so short. If you are doing something that you don’t enjoy, stop. Pick up, move on, and try something else. That’s what I did. Siege Perilous has been my home for nearly 5 years now. Had I not met the man called Grog, I would not still be playing UO for 15 years now and having as much fun now as I did the day I started.
One of my fondest and oldest memories of Ultima Online was my first trip to Felucia.
About three months after I had started playing UO, my friend (whom had got me in to the game) and I decided we would take our first steps in Felucia. We were both master mages and had killed almost every monster and traversed every dungeon in the game so we thought we were well prepared.
We headed out to Minoc moongate; the less popular of the two player vs. player areas, second only to the infamous Bucaneer’s Den. We, along with other players, stood at the moongate hoping for one of the infamous “PK’ers” to appear. Anxiously we waited with the spells ready at the command of our finger tips. We waited and waited but none ever came.
All of the sudden I saw a fireball flying at me and my screen said that my friend was attacking me. He hardly had time to type out, “mistake!” but it was already too late. He had flagged as a criminal and all of the other players were attacking him – casting spells and shooting arrows at him. He ran off into the distance like a madman. Panicing, I didn’t know what to do – I had to help him somehow! I casted greater healing and ran after him. Finally catching up to him I landed my heal on him, saving his life but coincidentally making me a criminal also. A few short seconds later and we were both dead, laughing our butts off.
“Well, we didn’t see any PKs but we still managed to get ourselves killed!”
Still to today he claims that he accidentally attacked me but I don’t buy it. Nonetheless, we will never forget our first failed attempt into Felucia and the rush of adrenaline that we got from our first time fighting other players.
I started playing Ultima Online within the first few weeks that it was released. I was very obsessive about the game (some things never change!) and I played every minute I had spare. The result of this was having very high skills very early on in the game.
Everything was new to most people, so of course not knowing a thing, my first character was a bit all-over the place skill-wise. My swordman was not only a fighter but also a miner, lumberjack, blacksmith, and various other skills. I only had the one character… the thought of making a “mule crafter” was not yet invented!
One day he was out doing some lumberjacking near the forests of Britain. I had not seen anyone in hours so I figured it was safe to get up and use the restroom. On my way back I stopped to make some more coffee and grab a quick snack.
As I began to head back to my computer I hear the sounds of combat – the oh so familiar sound of swords swinging and hitting metal armor. I hurried back and my heart sunk as I approach my computer. A PK (player killer) was attacking my guy and upon comparing our hit point bars I was actually winning! Just as I sit down at my seat he landed a lucky blow and my guy keeled over.
The PK then started to talk to me. He was not making fun of me, infact it was the opposite. He said it was one of the best fight he has ever been in and because of this he was not going to loot my corpse. He was so impressed he helped me find a healer so I could get ressed. After I was ressed, he escorted me back to my body and guarded me while I reequiped my gear. We spoke for a few minutes and then headed our seperate ways.
I saw him several times in the weeks to come but I never, ever, had the heart to tell him that I was AFK and my character was automatically defending himself the entire fight. I have thought about this many times over the years and still brings a small chuckle.
It was within the first year of moving across the seas from Lake Austin. I had never really learned how to master the art of a magi before crossing to play within Siege Perilous. It was a normal night, all was quiet and calm.. All of a sudden a tournament was being announced through the mountains. I quickly dropped everything and I raced over to where it was held. I was just in the knick of time to receive entry into the tournament. I was nervous as all could be when I looked upon my opponents… Many names who I had fought in the field before and was lucky to have survived. They had even accidently added an additional person to the tournament, thus throwing off the ladder. I was to be pitted against 2 players for the first tier instead of just one. My first fight was Uncle Check which I was able to battle my way through him to victory, only to be faced with another opponent, Dequique Deprone. A short battle was fought, however I was to emerge the victor against him as well.
In the second Tier, I faced one of the better opponents; Mangar of Minoc. He was skillful in the art of Fencing, but was also part magi. It was quite a long battle, as he a was a courageous warrior. However, in the end he would take a mighty fall. It was so exciting after I won against him, as I knew he was one of the better competitors in the tournament. For my third battle, I was to fight against the villain known as Wyrm. He was known for practicing the dark arts and sacrificing poor innocent souls. I was excited for this fight, as I wanted to put this murderer to rest and seek revenge for those lives he had sacrificed in his journeys. The battle was quick and mostly blur. I was so focused on beating him down to prove victory over the evil doer. I was to walk away to the final round still undefeated as Wyrm crawled back into his dark hole of demise.
The final fight was against a female warrior known as Cattiebrie. She was a skillful swordswoman and wielded a wicked cleaver doused in poison. This was it, the final battle for the championship. I was very nervous as I stared at the edge of her mighty cleaver, dripping with the deadly toxin. The battle started and felt like it lasted a life time. I was poisoned again and again only nearly escaping death a few times. Eventually, I would manage to wrestle her cleaver away from her and put her face first into the dirt. I had finally done it.. I had won the Tournament! I couldn’t believe that I had finished first place amongst all of the other competitors. This was a day I would never forget, as I had become a skillful mage and gained confidence in my abilities.
A moment that is filled with sadness, accomplishment, success, anger, and then back to sadness… This was and is a fond memory that has it all. Back in my early days as a young girl wondering the lands of Sosaria, I learned of a sacred basket of fruits known as “Fruit Basket”. Wonderful is such an item that many has obtained, and many still seek to obtain, I too desired it. After obtaining the whereabouts of such an item, I was determined to seek out this “Fruit Basket”. I soon came to realize I was not alone on this adventure for this prized basket of fruits. Many were there in the wake of the morning seeking to profit and satisfy their greed. I myself was there for greed, but the greed for obtaining it for my personal enjoyment. As many mornings passed, I find myself inching closer and closer to grabbing the elusive “Fruit Basket”. Some mornings I wake and find the basket has already been taken, those mornings were quite sad. The mornings that I grab hold of the basket and only to have it bounce back onto the table and another grab it right in front of me was the saddest of the mornings… I always knew that one morning I would be that early bird that would catch the worm, or rather basket. One particular morning I was the one that had the fast hand, I was that early bird… As I grabbed it, and noticed for a few seconds it was still in my grasp, I quickly placed it in my bag and ran as fast as I could and placed it safe in my bank. Oh the accomplishment I felt… The feeling of success has finally come upon me… I quickly called upon my older brother to share this extraordinary news. As I stand there staring at this basket with joy, my brother says to me, “Hey little sis, you want to see something really cool?” I thought to myself, what could be cooler then this? My brother looks straight into my eyes and says… “Double-click on it and you will see how cool it really is!” My brother has always been my rock in the lands of Sosaria. Him and his band of “red” friends has always protected me and sheltered me under their wings. So without a second thought, I doubled-clicked on it… “You feel quite full after consuming the food”… What the heck! As I stand there in dismay, my brother with a gentle smile on his face says to me, “Cool huh? Once you eat the fruits, it becomes a container. Now you can put stuff in that container.” As the clouds grow darker above us, he quickly realizes that his little sister was about to kill him… As he recalls away with about a thousand apologies, the only thought I had was… I was wish I had a “Fruit Basket” to place into this stupid container…
Years ago, there was a night our guild remembers as “Who has a thief? QUICK!”….
The year was 2006 and our alliance consisted of 3 guilds. There were about 40 of us at this point and, more specifically, there was a ‘late night crew’ that would consistently be in-game from 1am to 6am almost every morning.
The late night crew was doing their thing: some running champ spawns, some farming keys for peerless, and a couple guys were down in Doom hoping for an Artifact drop. It was nearing time for server down time, and one of the Doom party went to log out in Nix’s Secret Shoppe.
It took him a moment to utter the words, as he was shocked to see the rarest of Doom artifacts hanging on the wall! The Ruined Painting! As one of few Artifact Level 12 items, very few of our group had ever seen this item and we all knew this would be a chance to get a priceless item.
The word shot out thru headsets across the globe! (We have players on 3 continents in our alliance)… “Who has a thief!?!?! QUICK!”
As the night crew goes, it’s a mixed bag of skill-sets that are logged on at any given time, but as fate would have it, my original character Slick Jack is a Legendary Thief! I answer the call to pilfer the painting and several guildmates start to scoured every famous vendor for a golden skull to pay my passage across Lake Mortis.
When we arrive in Nix’s shop, we gazed at the Ruined Painting on the wall. The elation we felt was only matched by moments of stellar teamwork when we had defeated a Harrower or the defense of our faction base! This was a moment to savor!
And then fate stepped in and crushed our dream!
In the excitement, we had completely forgotten we were nearing the nightly server re-set… Would the rare painting, modeled after the Italian painter Parmigianino’s 1535 “La Madonna del Collo Lungo” still be there when the shard was re-awakened?
We waited in agony as no one knew the answer to the question: does server re-set ALSO re-set stealable items?
To our delight, the famous Ruined Painting was still there, right in front of our eyes! I let my well trained rogue work his magic and the artifact slipped quietly into my pack! Cheers rang out, messages were sent around the world! We had won the day! After much deliberation, we decided to NOT sell the rare item, which would have gotten us all great riches: the painting would forever grace our guildhall as a reminder of that glorious night and the awesome camaraderie that this wonderful game, Ultima Online, had provided us.