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  • Old News: August 2002

    OSI CONTEST-5th Anniversary Birthday Card Contest

    Ultima OnlineT 5th Anniversary Birthday Card Contest

    Did you ever fancy yourself an artist? Well, now's your chance to show it!

    Design and submit your idea for an electronic 5th birthday card for Ultima Online (UO) by September 4th. If your entry is chosen as the one that best embodies the allure and history of UO, you could be immortalized in UO history alongside Blackthorn and Dawn! The winning entry will be sent out via email to all participating (UO) players in North America on September 25th, the actual 5th anniversary of Ultima Online. The winner will also receive a collection of Electronic Arts Inc. PC games valued at over $200!*

    To enter, create an image that is no larger than 600 pixels wide by 2200 pixels tall (1MB maximum file size. Yes, Flash is acceptable!) that captures the spirit of both the history and future of Ultima Online. Send that image, via email, to cardsubmission at uo.com with your design, name, and birthday.

    For official rules please go to uo.com/contestrules.html.

     Posted by Borg
     Sunday, August 18, 2002 8:43 AM EDT

    OSI CONTEST-A Tour of UO

    Spotlight Topic: A Tour of UO

    From shrines to dungeons to quaint little places tucked away in remote locations, Ultima Online is filled with interesting areas to visit. Whether you'd prefer to hold a picnic by a scenic waterfall, or stage a great battle near a viscous lake of lava, these places provide wonderful backdrops for your in-game events and gatherings.

    For out next spotlight, we're taking a tour of UO. If there's a particular area in-game that holds a special place in your heart, or one that merely appeals to your eye, we'd like to hear from you! Tell us about your favorite in-game locations and why they're so special!

    Email your submission, with a screenshot of your favorite location attached, to uo-profiles at uo.com by Thursday, August 22nd. Please be sure your submission falls between 100-500 words, and include "UO Tour" in your subject line. The screenshot should be in bitmap format, and 640x480 resolution. Please provide a name and phone number for verification of the story. Submissions to "uo-profiles" become the property of OSI and may be used for special events, promotions, and/or advertising. All submissions must be made by the original author and are subject to verification.


     Posted by Borg
     Sunday, August 18, 2002 8:41 AM EDT

    Chapter 11 Savage Swamps pt 3 Sand Storm

    Chapter 11 Savage Swamps
    Part 3 Sand Storm

    The Fleet was at sea, the garrisons of Trinsic, Vesper and Olympus were on alert.all was underway.

    From the top of Mondain's Tower a cold dark figure conversed with an eerie voice coming from a spiraling vortex hovering in the air.

    "It has begun..Borg has moved his Knights and Pawns."; the vortex said.

    Below the pair on the grounds patrolled young Daemons that tried to ignore the playful imps that boldy harassed their towering cousins. One Daemon grabbed on of the imps and flung its puny body across the maze hedges; landing impaled on a giant cactus. Snickering.the cold dark figure with eyes gleaming a faint pale yellow turned to face the spiraling vortex..his hood creating a featureless darkness.

    "We need those books translated! Once complete we will command all that have fallen.past, present and future!"; exalted the cold dark figure.

    "Of course...of course you do..but my friend..you have heard of the books guardian..it seeks to regain them."; calmly responded the spiraling vortex in an eerie echoing voice.

    "Bah...If you men aht Army of the Sands.they will be no matter to me.once we have control the power held within those books..they themselves will be mine to command!"; responded the cold dark figure.

    With a hiss and a whirl, the cold dark figure spun and raised an arm and pointed toward the Daemons below.

    "Combined with my army of the Possessed Souls.I will have no further need of the living. Remember my friend...the Juka and Savages are expendable..the more that die.the more I will have at my command!!"; the cold dark figure barks as he casts a spell.

    A catastrophic blast of poisonous energy obliterates a young Daemon below, blasting it to bits just as an imp throws a stone at it. The imp feeling as if he had just slain the giant kin begins to jump boastfully.

    "Mindless these are..but..the will do the job well enough."; added the cold dark figure.

    As the Imps now return to chasing each other about; the dark figure bows his head a bit and upon rising his arms and head..one eye begins to glow brilliant red. A crack in the ground appears and is pried open by a pair of razor sharp claws. Standing upright on the surface appears a searing red form that then looks up toward his master. A deep hum resonates and a metal claw points down toward the Imps. The searing red Daemon howls and in a flash impales all of the Imps with its razor sharp claw. As if it was finishing a meal from a great chef; the searing red Daemon swallows and cleans his fingers of each last drop of Imp Blood.

    "Your pet seems..seems hungry."; the spiraling vortex points out.

    "Yes Paradox.he is.but this is just a snack for him...his dinner time will be soon enough.once his prey are full of themselves with glory and pride...then he and the other Possessed Souls will feast."; answers the cold dark figure as he releases the Chaos Daemon back into the ground.

    "I must return to Ilshenar, the controllers are rebuilding my Golem garrisons.with the release of the Evil Champions keeping the realm occupied..this has given my forces time to rebuild..for that you have been useful to me Paradox."; the cold dark figure states as he casts a red and black pulsating gate and disappears.

    "Useful..heh...Blackthorn you are just like the mortals and immortals that came before you..they all perceived everything so personally..they will never learn."; Paradox says to himself as he glides across the night sky.

    Passing over the road from Trinsic to Britain; Paradox can see the Legionnaire colum marching north for the Britain Crossroads.

    "Pawns...Borg you play a good game.but this game is larger than even you or Blackthorn realize..it is my board you both play upon."; Paradox says to himself as he vanishes into the night sky.

    Below in formation...

    "REMEMBER LADS..KEEP YOUR WITS AND MAINTAIN YOUR LINES!!!"; Marcos the Black shouts to the Legionnaires.

    The Legionnaires were salty and they nearly gleamed with pride at heading out for their first action. As the lines turned toward the Britain Pass, the Imperial colors flew in the distance atop Safe Haven Tower. The Praetorian Guards stood solidly at their posts, but as the column turned south..there stood a gauntlet of Praetorian Guards. The Praetorian Prefect, SerBrightblade, hollered orders and the two single columns of Praetorians reformed a ceremonial arch. As the Legionnaire column passed under their raised halberds.

    FOR HONOR AND EMPIRE!"; shouted the Praetorian Guards.

    The Legionnaires spirits, already high, now were bonded together even more firmly. The elite division of the Empire, the Emperor's personal bodyguards, the Praetorians had saluted them! Marcos could see the bond was now complete and his Legionnaires focus was so strong..HONOR would take the field tomorrow and no force of evil would defeat their line of HONOR.

    Unknown to the Empire though..
    unseen my anyone...
    back in the tomb........
    where Dr Codene and Anfalas translated the Books of the Dead...
    their work was interrupted by a digging and scratching noise resonating from the stones that held them safe

    Anfalas, the Vampire, hovered and felt his way along the walls searching for the source. Dr Codene stood from his chair and also tried to find the source of this noise. The sound stopped. Anfalas and Dr Codene looked at each other and as the Dr sat back down to continue his translations a massive blast and column of sand rose from the corner behind him and began to ensnare him in a sandstorm. Anfalas moved quickly and as he cast spell spell after spell he realized all forms of fire did not weaken the Sandstorm's grip on Dr. Codene. Out of the Sandy pit now rose a Sand Scorpion, Mummy and Skeleton Lancer. Anfalas engulfed the area in chain lightning which damaged the attackers Dr Codene pulled his dagger out and thrust it into the head of the Sand Scorpion. The Mummy grabbed for the books and the Skeleton Lancer impaled Anfalas with his lance. As the Mummy retreated into the sand; the Skeletal Lancer carried the impaled Anfalas on his lance back down into the sand pit.

    The Army of the Sands had regained its powerful books of controlling the Dead and the secrets to the Dark Arcane art of Necromancy. The only thing that remained now in the tomb was a sand pit and the dead Sand Scorpion with Dr Codene's dagger buried into its mantle.


     Posted by Borg
     Saturday, August 17, 2002 2:01 PM EDT

    Chapter 11 Savage Swamps pt 2 Eye of the Storm

    Chapter 11 Savage Swamps
    Part 2 Eye of the Storm

    A pigeon landed on the castle wall as Kalinaf, Senator of War, and Emperor Borg reviewed the Legion assembling below. The seal upon the parchment was familiar to both and as Emperor Borg began to untie the note..

    "It seems Arthil sends us word..it will be odd not to hear his drums of war for this campaign."; Senator Kalinaf remarked.

    "That it will brother"; responded Emperor Borg as he unraveled the parchment and began to read.


    Finishing the note, Emperor Borg rolled up the parchment, clasp his hands behind his back and joined Senator Kalinaf looking down upon the Legionnaire lines training.

    "Do you feel they are ready?"; asked Emperor Borg.

    ""The art of war...they have prepared for greatly..it is the fog of war that concerns me."; replied Senator Kalinaf with a torsion of concern between his lips.

    "Agreed"; responded Emperor Borg as he began to turn toward Lord Dupre's office within Olympus Castle.

    "Send them on foot to join the assault with the Orc Clans..the journey will ease their nerves"; commanded Emperor Borg.

    Senator Kalinaf responded with greater concern on his voice;
    "Aye.m'lord.with the Orcs..it shall be done."

    Marcos the Black, who was the acting Decurion, had trained the Orcs during his captivity years ago. An act that at first nearly cost him his freedom and life itself, but was found to be justified when the Savage allegiance was discovered with Lord Blackthorn. The Orcs learned the bezerker attack, archery and grenadier tactics to counter the beast and healing power of the Savage tribemen and women. The Legionnaires would surely find themselves in the fog of war and beside the Orcs..Emperor Borg was counting on this venture to continue to focus attention on the new evil force and away from ancient hatred. Ancient hatred that nearly wiped out the Orcs once....the Orc clans were no way close to a threat they once were years ago. Lord Blackthorn now was the focus of the realms' attention..and now the Empire moved to eliminate one of Lord Blackthorns allegiances.

    As Marcos received the news his lines of Legionnaires would march to the capital of the Savage Tribes, Nassasho; the horizon across the Bay of Burgouse began to fill with Imperial black and purple sails. The Fleet of Honor was arriving to serve as transport for the Gladiator, Ranger and Warlock lines that would land on the southern swamps of Nassasho and move to converge with the northern land assault by the Orcs and Legionnaires. Alchemists began to bring chests and chests of grenades for the Fleet's Grenadiers, who would soften the defenses of the Savages with a naval bombardment. The Dragon and Heran forces were to be garrisoned in Trinsic and at Olympus, while the Praetorian Guard were assigned to Safe Haven Tower and the protection of Dawn during the campaign. Centurion Baltazar and his Shadowriders were sent to attack and occupy Lord Blackthorns mechanics and occupy his forces in Ilshenar, while the Lancer and Pike Cohorts were marching on the Jukan city of Mistas. Through the months of skirmishes the Legion had learned the weakness of the Juka armor to the Pike and the Jukan Mages and Warriors inability to parry a lance from a charge. This effort would be the first strike in eliminating Lord Blackthorns ability to hold the realm in his iron grip of terror..one by one his allies would be eliminated from his command.

    "One by one we will cut off the fingers of Lord Blackthorn.brothers!"; exclaimed Centruion Coldren as the Gladiator lines boarded their transports.
    "Until all that remains is a bloody stump with no ability to reach out against the realm!"; added Centurion Coldren.

    Up in Lord Dupre's office, Emperor Borg placed the note from Arthil into the communications chest. As he clasp the lock closed..a familiar wake stirred the air behind him.

    "Dupre ye are not..since his feet would be solidly on the ground like a great Gladiator's would..Balandar. Though you try not to make noise..I can always hear you brother"; Emperor Borg said as he turned to face his Magistrate.

    "Something is not right m'lord"; remarked Balandar.

    "Oh...I know you are the cautious one brother..but I sense nothing amis this evening or in recent days."; replied Emperor Borg.

    "That is what is amiss sire..we..you have always sensed something..it is that which is missing." Balandar said as he glided alongside the Emperor as they moved back along the wall of the Castle.

    "The It you speak of..do you mean Parados?..his involvment?"; asked Emperor Borg.

    "Perhaps...this quiet is ..well it is longer than we have ever had before."; answered Balandar.

    "Ahh..yes..I see..this is a long quiet..but my brother..this is but the eye of the storm..we do not stir the air with war...but return into the storm that was brought upon us nearly a year more ago."; replied Emperor Borg.

    As the two watched the fleet begin to set sail; Balandar looked up toward the sky..not a cloud was in sight.

    "It is there brother..just out of view.soon enough you will have your wind and rain.the storm will return"; commented Emperor Borg.

    "I only wish we could see it...at least."; Balandar began to say but was cut off by Emperor Borg.

    "Be careful brother..be careful what you wish for Magistrate."; Emperor Borg stated as he saluted the Legion sailing off to the chants of FOR HONOR AND EMPIRE...FOR HONOR AND EMPEROR.

    "It is not what I wish for m'lord that worries me..it is for what should I wish?"; replied Gbalandar as he cast a gate within the air and vanished.

    Emperor Borg took in a deep breath then turned toward the Dragoons and Herans assembled in the courtyard.

    "PREPARE THE DEFENSES!!!...This is going to be a LONG NIGHT MY BRETHREN!!!"; shouted Emperor Borg.

    From the wind blew a whisper unnoticed by all around...
    "Yessss..yes it will my friend..yes it will"

     Posted by Borg
     Monday, August 12, 2002 12:41 AM EDT