Britain

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Map location of Britain in Britannia

Description[edit]

Britain in Ultima Underworld II
Britain in Ultima Underworld II
Britain is the capital of Britannia and its largest, most prosperous city. It is dedicated to the Virtue of Compassion and is the realm's cultural center. Situated between Britanny Bay and the Serpent's Spine mountain range, Britain has grown over the ages, expanding from a simple town in the early Age of the Avatar to a sprawling metropolis that came to border Castle Britannia and, for a time, engulf Paws.

At the apex of its development, the northern section of the city contained numerous state buildings and royally funded public institutions, such as the Royal Mint, the Royal Museum, the Royal Theatre and the Music Hall. It is within Britain that the Great Council held its meetings and the Britannian Tax Council arbitrated the use of the kingdom's funds.

Britain has been famous for its musicians since the days of Exodus, and the bards of the city who demonstrate the virtue of Compassion in their profession. During its early years of Britannia's founding, songsters and entertainers could regularly be found on the public green, educating and amusing the city's children.

The economy of the city has long been one of the strongest in Britannia, and it is also well known as a major port. During its heyday it boasted an extensive commercial district. Iolo's Bows, a bowyer's shop startled by the legendary companion of the Avatar, Iolo FitzOwen, was active in the city for centuries, as were the Blue Boar Tavern and Wayfarer's Inn.

Its moongate is situated east of the city.

History[edit]

Britain is one of the land's oldest settlements, originating no later than the early days of Lord British's ascent to power after arriving in Sosaria.

Age of Darkness[edit]

Overhead tile view of Britain in Ultima I
Overview of Britain, in Ultima I
Overhead tile view of Britain in Ultima III
Britain, as seen in Ultima III
In Ultima I, Britain stood within the confines of British's fiefdom in the Lands of Lord British, standing alongside such cities of Moon, Old Fawn, Montor and Yew. It was home to an armour shop, a weaponsmith, provisioners of magical supplies and transport, a grocery and a pub.

After the sundering of Sosaria following the defeat of Mondain, Britain still existed on the remaining continent comprising Sosaria. During this time, Lord British commissioned a project known as the "Great Work" in which he ordered a series of exploratory travels to provide detailed maps and descriptions of his realm. Iolo FitzOwen, a bard of some renown, composed a song in honor of the city, lauding its position as a center of commerce and home to entertainers and song-writers.[1]

Age of Enlightenment[edit]

By the time of Ultima IV, Lord British had united all of Sosaria under the new name of Britannia, following the destruction of Exodus by the Stranger. Britain became dedicated to the virtue of Compassion, in keeping with British's new agenda of ethicality and learning. In this age, the city was roughly the same size as the other major settlements of the land, with Castle Britannia a short distance to the southeast. It was also during this time that Iolo, now residing in the city whose song he had written, could join in the Stranger's quest to attain Avatarhood.

In Ultima V three villages, known as the Britannys, had grown around Castle Britannia. Britain was now known as a major port in the kingdom, with an active shipwright's workshop operating out of East Britanny. Due to the increased tourism following the formation of the Great Council, a hospitality industry grew in Britain, catering to visitors of the castle. During the oppressive reign of Lord Blackthorn, Britain, like the other major cities, fell victim to regular incursions by the Shadowlords. Iolo FitzOwen, like many of the companions of the Avatar, was driven into hiding, although his shop, Iolo's Bows, still operated under the industry of his wife Gwenno and apprentice Gwenneth. Annon, the city's representative on the Great Council, remained in Britain, hiding from the persecution of Blackthorn's regime in a secret basement within the Wayfarer's Inn.

By Ultima VI, Britain had grown to engulf the former Britannys and now bordered the lands of Lord British's estate. New public institutions, such as the Royal Museum and the Conservatory, had been founded, while a Royal Mint and Royal Orchards were also established in the city. The commercial district, although still home to the well-established Wayfarer's Inn and Blue Boar Tavern, had significantly expanded over the years. The city was governed by Tholden von Bazillius as mayor at this time.

Age of Armageddon[edit]

Over the next two centuries, Britain continued its growth, absorbing the village of Paws as one of its suburbs. Commerce expanded, bringing jewelers, bakers and clothiers to the city. The Royal Theatre was established and the nascent philosophical group known as the Fellowship opened its head branch within the heart of Britain, which was now acknowledged as the kingdom's capital. By the time of Ultima VII, the city, like much of the land, was falling to the slow moral decay that plagued the realm during the early Age of Armageddon. In spite of earlier edicts claiming the abolition of the class system, a social nobility remained, and many suffered due to the Britannian Tax Council's uneven regulations. Patterson, the mayor of the city, gained his position riding on Fellowship support, which shunned the farmer running against him. Although progressives such as Great Council member, Miranda, attempted to improve the regime, Britain, like so much of Britannia, was beset with subtle social problems of classism, racism, and apathy.

Later, following the eventual disbanding of the Fellowship and the Reconstruction in which many of the realm's deep-seated issues were addressed,[2] Britain was host to the crisis in which Castle Britannia was attacked by the Guardian during a celebration of the kingdom's progress since the destruction of the Black Gate. During this trial in Ultima Underworld II, in which the inhabitants of the castle were walled off from the city by means of a magical Blackrock Dome, Patterson, who was still mayor of Britain at the time, caved to the Guardian's temptations, and murdered two of the other entrapped revelers before being cut down by the Avatar. While the blackrock dome was eventually destroyed and the attempted invasion it prepared for quashed, it is uncertain as to what direction Britain's leadership took thereafter. To compound matters, the growing Imbalance of the multiverse took its toll on the city over the next year, with teleport storms and earthquakes ravaging the city. The Royal Mint and its supply of the country's gold were transposed with the great lighthouse of Fawn from the Serpent Isle. A crack formed in the base of Castle Britannia at this time due to the constant tremors, threatening to topple the citadel.[3]

By the time of Ultima IX, the city had shrunk considerably in size, and the inhabitants of the city had become corrupted by the influence of the Guardians columns, becoming callous and cold-hearted. At that time, Aidon, the mayor of the Britain, had enacted a policy of deporting the infirm and ill of the city to Paws, which had been flooded by the local swamps and reduced to a miserable shanty town. After the Avatar cleansed the local shrine, Aidon was confronted with his daughter's exile (due to his own uncompassionate policies), and the city began to return to its roots of Virtue, re-embracing Compassion.

Lore[edit]

Artistic depiction of a bard from Britiain
Center of commerce in these fair lands!

Has much to offer, bold and grand.

Lord British's magnificent castle is situated in the centre of the continent, overlooking Britanny Bay. This tall building is the greatest architectural structure of the new age. Loyal subjects may pay homage to His Majesty, and renew fealty whenever they are in the vicinity of his castle. Nearby lies the arts centre of Britannia: the town of Britain, where Bards weave tales of legendary deeds and serenade visitors.
Principal towne of the Empire of Britannia, the busy seaport of Britain lies in central Britannia on Britanny Bay. The bards headquartered in this Towne of Compassion and the arts put their emphasis on hospitality. Britain has a large hotel and outstanding pubs and food. There is also an armoury wherein thou canst buy the finest bows made.

Three suburbs recently sprung up around Lord British's castle and provide many of the goods and services needed by the court of Lord British. East Britanny specializes in shipbuilding and boasts a fine healer. North Britanny offers a small, rustic inn and fine stables among its several farms. West Britanny is a farming towne, supplying its own needs and those of the four surrounding settlements.

Britain is a thriving, picturesque city just a short distance from Lord British's castle on Britanny Bay. The towne is an important center of commerce for all of Britannia and has a number of interesting places to visit, including Iolo the Bard's arbalest shoppe and a highly recommended pub. Those who dwell here are welcoming and compassionate, so travelers often find Britain one of the most hospitable places in the Realm to visit.
Centrally located on the shore of Britanny Bay, the town of Britain is the site of the castle from which I rule. It is also host to multitudes of travelers and to purveyors of goods of all kinds. The adventurer will surely appreciate the hospitality shown by Britain's Compassionate citizens. The shops, inns and armouries of Britain are much renowned and frequented by all who prepare for and return from long journeys. The historic Wayfarer's Inn is considered a second home to many a road-weary adventurer.
This is the opulent and majestic capital of Britannia, famed city of Compassion, and it is where thou mayest find the Castle of Lord British. Britain is built on the shore of Britanny Bay. It is easily the largest city in all of Britannia and it has seen much new development. It is the home of the historic Wayfarer's Inn, Royal Theatre and the Music Hall. It is a center of commerce for the entire kingdom. Here in Britain thou will find vendors hawking their wares, a Farmer's Market, shops of every type and fabulous entertainment for everyone. Britain is also home to the headquarters of The Fellowship.
In Britain, Mayor Patterson, although a Fellowship member, remained in office after the Black Gate fell. I must say he has done an excellent job since that time; Britannia's largest town thrives under his leadership.
The capital city and home to Lord British, Britain sits in the center of the lands, equidistant from the far corners. To her broad streets she attracts the most prominent individuals who are drawn by her fine arts, the temperate climate, and the bustle of the Court. Of late, the court has debated a new standard for its people. Disease and defect have spread among the poor, and the people have clamored for protection from them. Those wounded by fate or circumstance have been banished to Paws, wherein they may live among themselves. The mayor of Britain, who championed this standard, claims victory. The spread of disease, he says, has reduced. Theft has decreased. The economy has grown. Yet, the mayor does not lack opponents. Among the splintered families grows a disquietude that the mayor has sought to silence.

Where that rage finds no false victory, it flies across the Brittany River to the north, to the castle of Lord British. The King, some say, has abandoned his people, for he has not been seen outside the walls of his home for a long time. Though the king continues the tradition of granting a monthly public audience, supplicants are shouted down by those behind them in line. Shortly, the Kind retires to his chanbers to listen to bardic serenades from more romantic times. At the sight of his departing visage, the rage of the people grows. Where is our King?


Inhabitants[edit]

Ultima I[edit]

Ultima III[edit]

Ultima III (Nintendo Port)[edit]


Ultima IV[edit]

Overhead tile view of Britain in Ultima IV
Map of Britain in Ultima IV


Ultima V[edit]

Overhead tile view of Britain's first floor in Ultima V
Britain level 1
Overhead tile view of Britain's second floor in Ultima V
Britain level 2


Ultima V: Lazarus[edit]

Britain - Ultima V: Lazarus Map

Ultima VI[edit]

Map of Britain in Ultima VI
Map of Britain in Ultima VI

The Ultima VI Project[edit]

Britain - Ultima 6 Project Map


Ultima VII[edit]

Map of Britain in Ultima VII
Map of Britain in Ultima VII
Map of Britain in Ultima VII
Overview of Britain in Ultima VII, with street legend

Ultima VII (SNES Port)[edit]


Ultima IX[edit]

Map of Britain in Ultima IX
Map of Britain in Ultima IX

Services[edit]

Ultima (Apple)[edit]

Ultima I[edit]

Ultima III[edit]

Ultima IV[edit]

Ultima V[edit]

Ultima VI[edit]

Ultima VII[edit]

Ultima IX[edit]

Places of interest[edit]

There are a number of famous sites located in Britannia's capital:

Trivia[edit]

Britain in Ultima I (PC-88)
Britain misspelled as Britian in Ultima I (PC-88).
Britain in concept art for Ultima IX
Early Ultima IX concept art.
  • In Ultima I, dropping coins into Britain's lake rewards the player with an increase in total hit points (by 1.5 times the number of coins) and sometimes a random spell.
  • The word Britain is misspelled as Britian in the DOS and PC-88 versions of Ultima I.
  • An Eldric D'Charbonneux appears on a Society for Creative Anachronism library listing as the author of "Making a Small Blacksmith's Forge" and "Archimedes Drill". It is possible that the name of the shop in Britain in Ultima I is based upon this person, given Garriott's penchant for giving his friends in the SCA in-game cameos.[4]
  • Early Ultima IX concept art (seen right) indicates Britain was originally envisioned to be of comparable size to its appearance in Ultima VII. This sketch also shows Castle Britannia (with its traditional moat), the Cathedral of Love (situated east instead of west), and the hedge maze.

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Garriott, Robert. Secrets of SosariaOrigin Systems, Inc: 1983. Page 11.
  2. Grossman, Austin. A Safe Passage Through BritanniaOrigin Systems, Inc: 1993. Page 9.
  3. Lord BritishUltima VII Part Two UsecodeUltima VII Part Two. "storms, mint, earthquakes, castle".
  4. Harris, Mark S.. "SCA Library List". Stefan's Florilegium Archive. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  5. Yamashita, Yukio et al. "The Royal City". Ultima Exodus: Hintbook (Ultima III: Exodus). Fujisankei Communications International: 1988. Pages 32-33.

Geography
Britannia
Cities YewMinocSkara BraeBritainNew MaginciaMoonglowJhelomTrinsicMagincia
Castles Castle BritanniaEmpath AbbeyLycaeumSerpent's Hold
BordermarchFarthingWindemereStonegate
Towns BritannysBuccaneer's DenCoveDawnPawsTerfinVesper
Shrines CompassionHonestyHonorHumilityJusticeSacrificeValorSpiritualityShrine of the Codex
Dungeons The AbyssCovetousDeceitDespiseDestardDoomHythlothShameWrong
Lighthouses FogsbaneGreyhavenStormcrowWaveguide
Caves Ant MoundBee CaveBuccaneer's CaveCyclops CaveDesert DungeonHeftimus CaveHeroes' HoleMoonglow CatacombsSpirit TunnelsSpider CaveSwamp CaveVesper Mines
Islands AmbrosiaIsle of the AvatarDagger IsleDeadman's IslandIsle of Deeds
Isle of FireJanus IslandMarsor's IsleSpektranValarian IslandsValorian IslesVerity Isle
Lakes Lake GenerosityLock LakeLost Lake
Major Areas Bloody PlainsBog of DesolationBritanny BayCape of HeroesDeep ForestDrylandsFens of the DeadHigh SteppesLost Hope BayRealm of the GargoylesSerpent's SpineSpiritwoodUnderworld
Serpent Isle
Cities FawnMonitorMoonshade
Settlements Inn of the Sleeping BullIsles of the Mad MageMonk Isle
Dungeons SkullcrusherSpinebreakerFurnaceKnight's TestMountains of Freedom
Ruins Shamino's CastleCastle of the White DragonShrine of BalanceTemple of DisciplineTemple of EmotionTemple of EnthusiasmTemple of EthicalityTemple of LogicTemple of Tolerance
Islands ClawIsle of CryptsGwani Death TempleIce Dragon's Lair
Isles of the Mad MageMonk IslePenguin IslandSunrise Isle
Interesting Areas Gorlab SwampGreat Northern ForestIce PlainsKnight's ForestSerpent Isle Guard TowersWestern Forest
Pagan
Settlements Argentrock IsleDaemon's CragTenebrae
Other Carthax LakeCatacombsCemeteryFishermen's ReefHall of the Mountain KingHerdsman's ValleyPlateauShrine of the Ancient OnesStone CoveTreasure CoveVengeance Bay

Sosaria
Lands of Lord British (just Sosaria in Ultima III)
Cities BritainDawnDeath GulchDevil GuardGreyMontor
MoonFawnPawsTuneYew
Castles Castle of Lord BritishCastle of the Lost King
Landmarks The Pillars of Protection The Tower of Knowledge
Dungeons (Ultima I) Death's Awakening ☥ The Dungeon of Doubt ☥ The Dungeon of Montor ☥ The Dungeon of Perinia ☥ The Lost Caverns ☥ The Mines of Mt. Drash ☥ The Mines of Mt. Drash II ☥ Mondain's Gate to Hell ☥ The Unholy Hole
Dungeons (Ultima III) Dardin's Pit Dungeon of Doom Dungeon of Fire Dungeon of the Snake Dungeon of Time Mines of Morinia Perinian Depths
Islands and Other Sites AmbrosiaIsle of FireMt. Drash
Lands of Danger and Despair
Cities The Brother ☥ Bulldozer ☥ Dextron ☥ Gorlab ☥ Lost Friends ☥ Magic ☥ Turtle ☥ Wheeler
Castles Castle of the White DragonShamino's Castle
Landmarks Grave of the Lost Soul The Eastern Sign Post
Dungeons The Dead Cat's Life ☥ The Dead Cat's Life II ☥ Dead Man's Walk ☥ The Dungeon of Doom ☥ Free Death Hole ☥ The Hole to Hades ☥ The Morbid Adventure ☥ The Skull SmasherThe Spine Breaker
Lands of the Feudal Lords
Cities Arnold ☥ Gerry ☥ Helen ☥ John ☥ Linda ☥ Owen ☥ The Snake ☥ Wolf
Castles Castle Rondorin Castle Barataria
Landmarks The Pillars of the Argonauts The Pillar of Ozymandias
Dungeons Advari's Hole ☥ The Dead Warrior's Fight ☥ The Gorgon's Hole ☥ The Horror of the Harpies ☥ The Horror of the Harpies II ☥ The Labyrinth ☥ The Savage Place ☥ Scorpion Hole ☥ Where Hercules Died
Lands of the Dark Unknown
Cities Clear Lagoon ☥ Gauntlet☥ Imagination ☥ Nassau ☥ Ponder ☥ Poor ☥ Stout ☥ Wealth
Castles Black Dragon's CastleCastle of Olympus
Landmarks The Sign Post The Southern Sign Post
Dungeons The End ☥ The Guild of Death ☥ The Long Death ☥ The Metal Twister ☥ The Slow Death ☥ The Tramp of Doom ☥ The Troll's Hole ☥ The Viper's Pit ☥ The Viper's Pit II