The UO Virtue System

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The Virtue System of Ultima is based on the three principles and the eight virtues.

The Virtues were first introduced with Ultima VI and explained in the book named “The Quest of the Avatar” that came along with the game.
The Three Principles



Its home lies in the Lycaeum in Moonglow, the city of mages.

The book of truth stands for the Principle of Truth

…the states of virtue by which the soul possesses truth by way of affirmation or denial are five in number, i.e., art, scientific knowledge, practical wisdom, philosophic wisdom, intuitive reason; we do not include judgment and opinion because in these we may be mistaken.

– Aristotle on Truth



Has its home in the lush Forest of Yew at the Empath Abbey
The candle of Love represents that principle

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

– Kahlil Gibran on Love




Courage claims Serpents Hold as its home , hidden inside the deep walls of the keep
The bell of Courage rings for those brave warriors there

Fate often saves an undoomed warrior when his courage endures.

– Beowulf on Courage


Together those 3 principles combine into one;
The Axiom of Infinity (represented by Castle Britannia) and form the eight Virtues of Ultima.



The eight Virtues


The eight Virtues


This movie explains the eight Virtues of Ultima beautifully.


Double click above to view the video in Quicktime format
or click here to open in a new window. (MOV 7.69 MB)


The eight Virtues are:

The Virtues are represented by Shrines inside Ultima online.

Virtue System:

To activate your Virtues simply double click your virtue Button:

  • in 2d it’s located on the top Center of your paperdoll
  • in KR it’s located in the bar at the bottom left

Ankh Pendant:

The Ankh Pendant is a 10th Anniversary item that can be obtained as a Virtue Artifact. You can take the pendant to any of the eight shrines and receive a bonus by chanting to the shrine.

Each principle is related to a regeneration statistic as follows:

  • Truth – Mana Regeneration
  • Love – Hit Point Regeneration
  • Courage – Stamina Regeneration

The bonus can only be activated once per day. Each of the shrines will give a unique bonus combination to regeneration statistics based on the virtue for that particular shrine. A character need not wear the ankh once the bonus has been earned.


The Book of Virtues:
by Joshua Rowan

What makes the Ultima Universe unique to any other game on the market today? Easy – It’s philosophy of ethics that it instills in the people that play it. In no other virtual world will you find the need to decide between justly taking a thief into custody or compassionately letting him go so that he can bring stolen bread to his starving children. And in no other place will you feel compelled to fight for or struggle against the principles that these virtues represent. Ultima Online will be not just a game now, but a living world full of cultural and philosophical differences for you to struggle with. With that in mind, we present you with a breakdown of the Principles and Virtues of Ultima.
First, we begin with the contents of a book found within the world of Ultima Online, simply called Virtue by Lord British (also found in our Books Section:


Within this world live people with many different ideals, and this is good. Yet what is it within the people of our land that sorts out the good from the evil, the cherished form the disdained? Virtue, I say it is, and virtue is the logical outcome of a people who wish to live together in a bonded society.

For without Virtues as a code of conduct which people maintai(n) in their relations with each other, the fabric of that society will become weakene(d.) For a society to grow and prosper for all, each must grant the others a common base of consideration.

I call this base the Virtues. For though one person might gain personal advantage by breaching such a code, the society as a whole would suffer.

There are three Principle Virtues tha(t) should guide people to enlightenment. These are: Truth, Love, and Courage. From all the infinite reasons one may have to found an action, such as greed or charity, envy or pity, the three Principle Virtues stand out.

In fact all other virtues and vices can be show(n) to be built from these principle(s) and their opposite corruption’s of Falsehood, Hatred an(d) Cowardice. These three Principles can be combined in eight ways, which I will call the eight virtues. The eight virtues which we should build our society upon follow.

Truth alone becomes Honesty, for without honesty between our people, how can we build the trust which is needed to maximize our successes.

Love alone becomes compassion, for at some time or another all of us will need the compassion of others, and most likely compassion will be shown to those who have shown it.

Courage alone becomes Valor, without valor our people will never reach into the unknown or to the risky and will never achieve.

Truth tempered by Love gives us Justice, for only in loving search for the truth can one dispense fair Justice, rather than create a cold and callous people.

Love and Courage gives us Sacrifice, for a people who love each other will be willing to make personal sacrifices to help others in need, which one day, may be needed in return.

Courage and Truth give us Honor, great knights know this well, that chivalric honor can be found by adhering to this code of conduct.

Combining Truth, Love and Courage suggest the virtue of Spirituality the virtu(e) that causes one to be introspective, to wonder about ones place in this world and whether one’s deeds will be recorded as a gift to the world or a plague.

The final Virtue is more complicated. For the eighth combination is that devoid of Truth, Love or Courage which can only exist in a state of great Pride, whic(h) of course is not a virtue at all. Perhaps this trick of fate is a test to see if one can realize that the true virtue is that of Humility. I feel that the people of Magincia fail to see this to such a degree that I would not be surprised if some ill fate awaited their future.

Thus from the infinite possibilities which spawned the Three Principles of Truth, Love and Courage, come the Eight Virtues of Honesty, Compassion, Valor, Justice, Sacrifice, Honor, Spirituality, and Humility.

With that in mind, we look further into the meaning of each Principle and Virtue. Read on and enjoy.

Tales of Virtue

Stories taken from the official Ultima Ascension site
All Virtue stories written by Chris McCubbin
An Incan Monkey God Studios production

© 1999 Electronic Arts. All rights reserved.




Lady Aalia
April 2009

Last modified: September 10, 2011

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