Blackrock Serpents

From Ultima Codex
Jump to: navigation, search

The three blackrock serpents—each formed from the enigmatic mineral in the image of the divine embodiments of Chaos, Order, and Balance—are ancient mystical relics of their respective Ophidian acolytes on Serpent Isle, and function as keys in activating each Wall of Lights found in the subterranean cities of Spinebreaker and Skullcrusher, as well as the Shrine of Balance. In the case of the former two locations, any of the blackrock serpents may be used interchangeably in this capacity; at the Shrine of Balance, however, all three artifacts are required in conjunction with one another.

These unique carvings each came to be scattered far from their provenances over the centuries that followed the devastating War of Imbalance.

Blackrock Serpent of Chaos[edit]

BlackrockSerpentChaosSI.png

Upon the era of the land's New Sosarian settlement, the blackrock serpent of Chaos was first uncovered by the ancestors of Monitorian artist Andral as they laid the foundations of the city, and eventually passed down to him as a family heirloom.[1] During his expedition to the City of Courage after fleeing Britannia, Batlin purloined it from the sculptor that he might later activate the Wall of Lights in the depths of Spinebreaker.[2][3] This effort would ultimately become a debacle, however, with the ill-prepared sage struck down at the scene by the three Banes of Chaos, leaving the Avatar free to recover the serpent carving.

The hero would themselves have use of this relic, first in Skullcrusher as part of the Ritual of Reunification to restore the Chaos Serpent, and finally at the Shrine of Balance to open its Wall of Lights and enter the Ethereal Void as the newly-denominated Great Hierophant.

Blackrock Serpent of Order[edit]

BlackrockSerpentOrderSI.png

The blackrock serpent of Order came into the possession of an otherworldly traveller who, grievously wounded, abruptly appeared near a goblin encampment in Britannia's Serpent's Spine mountains more than a century prior to the Age of Armageddon, and succumbed to his injuries there as he uttered the name of Pagan with his dying breath. Remaining with the tribe throughout the intervening years, it was later given to the Avatar by a nameless goblin hailing from this camp upon their meeting in Ultima Underworld II, as a token of appreciation for clearing an infestation of bloodworms around one of his kinsmen's prospective fishing waters beneath Castle Britannia.[4]

Returning to the brisk shores of Serpent Isle amongst the inventory of the hero's party six months later, mere moments passed before a teleport storm ravaged the new arrivals and transposed the blackrock carving with a pair of moonsilk stockings belonging to Moonshade's Green Enchantress, Columna. The thief Stefano, who had previously pilfered these fine garments on behalf of the city's philandering MageLord, Filbercio, then locked the newfound treasure in a vault behind his former house. When later defending Stefano from the relentless pursuit of a Death Knight in the aftermath of Moonshade's desolation, the Avatar was gifted the vault's key by the grateful rogue, thereby allowing a recovery of the ancient artifact within.[5]

The hero later employed the blackrock serpent in the ceremony to activate the Wall of Lights at the Shrine of Balance.

Blackrock Serpent of Balance[edit]

BlackrockSerpentBalanceSI.png

The third serpent carving, fashioned in the name of Balance, would come to find itself among the treasures of the pirate Silverpate, who ensconced his spoils within the Glacier Mountains deep in Serpent Isle's frozen north.

Following the buccaneer's map found beneath the Inn of the Sleeping Bull, the Avatar located the vital relic amongst the haul and used it at the Shrine of Balance, along with its counterparts in Chaos and Order, to activate the Wall of Lights found there.

Trivia[edit]

SIcombinedsnakes.png
  • While the final release of Ultima VII Part Two features an individual slot for each blackrock serpent at the Grand Shrine of Balance, unused graphics (seen right) in the game's data files indicate it was once intended for all three to be combined into a single object before the Wall of Lights could be opened.

References[edit]

  1. AndralUltima VII Part Two UsecodeUltima VII Part Two: Serpent Isle. "artifact."
  2. AndralUltima VII Part Two UsecodeUltima VII Part Two: Serpent Isle. "rob."
  3. ArgusUltima VII Part Two: Serpent Isle UsecodeUltima VII Part Two. "interesting, relic."
  4. Unnamed GoblinEthereal Dragon's Ultima Underworld II TranscriptUltima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds.
  5. StefanoUltima VII Part Two UsecodeUltima VII Part Two. "reward, grateful, trouble."