Britannian Mining Company

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Gargoyle workers of the BMC
The Britannian Mining Company (BMC for short) is an agency operating in Britannia in the time of Ultima VII which oversees the excavation of industrial ores from various sites throughout the kingdom.

Description[edit]

At the time of the Avatar's adventures in the early Age of Armageddon, the BMC had two active mines within the kingdom. One, operating out of Minoc under the supervision of Gregor, was processing ores found within the corridors of the Dungeon Covetous - which included the covert extraction of the magic-nullifying blackrock, a mineral being used by BMC-affiliated Fellowship members to build various devices for the Guardian. In this key mining site, fast and inexpensive labor was crucial to maintaining the illicit blackrock production, and to this end gargish workers were routinely drugged with silver serpent venom, that they might work for longer hours. The haste of the enterprises also resulted in a great deal of waste runoff into the local river, which contributed significantly to the pollution of Cove's Lock Lake in the years before the passage of prohibitive legislation regarding such dumping.

The second mine, operating near the newly resettled town of Vesper under Cador, appeared more modest in the scope of its endeavors, and seemingly had fewer unsavory labor practices, despite the rampant racial tensions of the nearby settlement. Curiously, Batlin would describe this site in his Book of Fellowship, as being the head branch of the BMC - an odd statement given its comparative size and remoteness to the Minoxian branch. It may be that such a claim was made by the Fellowship leader as a means of misdirection, given that the bulk of blackrock extraction appeared to be taking place in Covetous.[1]

Eventually, the years of the Reformation turned the public gaze onto all BMC operations, as the adventures of the Avatar regarding the black gate had done much to expose the exploitative practices of the company. In the year following the dismantling of the Fellowship, much was reportedly done to adjust the labor laws as regarded mining, with mayor Burnside taking a lead role in the reforms.[2]

In the years that followed, however, the ravages of the Imbalance and the Great Cataclysm dramatically changed the landscape of the world, causing the land which once held Vesper to sink into the ocean and destroying the original City of Sacrifice in the upheavals of the earth. Decades later, during the Avatar's return in Ultima IX no record or trace of the Britannian Mining Company could be found, although abandoned blackrock mines (which had apparently operated publicly for some time) were still present within Covetous' depths.

References[edit]

  1. Herman, Jack et al. "i.The Cities and Towns of Britannia". The Book of Fellowship (Ultima VII). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1992. Page 22.
  2. Grossman, Austin. A Safe Passage Through Britannia (Ultima Underworld II). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1992. Page 9.