Castle Britannia

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Description[edit]

Castle Britannia in Ultima Underworld II

Castle Britannia is the royal keep of Lord British, ruler of Britannia. Encircled by a moat and heavily guarded, it is typically found in close proximity to Britain, and has long served as the political heart of the country. Within its walls, Britannia's legislative assembly, the Great Council, regularly convenes to debate the concerns of the land and implement solutions, and Lord British himself also holds weekly public audiences, in which his subjects are invited to bring their matters before the king.

Two major sights within the keep are the great hall, where feasts and celebrations are held; and the throne room, where Lord British holds audiences.

History[edit]

The Castle of Lord British in Ultima I
The castle's location in Sosaria

Before Castle Britannia was named as such, Lord British could always be found presiding over a stronghold, usually referred to as "Castle of Lord British" or "Lord British's castle." These designations were also later applied colloquially to Castle Britannia; otherwise, the exact relation between it and the monarch's earliest dwellings is not clear.

The Age of Darkness[edit]

In Ultima I, the Castle of Lord British was a single-story structure, and was of fairly spartan devising compared to the its incarnations in later Ages. It had storehouses for armour, weaponry and food, as well as a prison with a modest two cells. Within its confines, there lay the imprisoned Princess Julia, whom the Stranger could rescue.

In Ultima II, Lord British's castle in Sosaria was not seen; however, he maintained a keep in multiple time periods on Earth, existing in both Earth (1423 B.C.) and in Earth (1990 A.D.). During this time, the castle housed a chapel, a mess hall and kitchen, a vault, and a prison. In the 3,413 years that separated the two temporal instances of the castle, nothing changed in its environs, save for its inhabitants.

In Ultima III, the Sosarian castle housed a healer and an Oracle. Additionally, the royal store rooms were now sealed off by an energy field, and the prison now contained a torture chamber, which was later removed.

When Exodus was destroyed, the foundations of Sosaria were rocked by cataclysmic changes. Whether the old castle was destroyed by these events and rebuilt, or stood strong against the twisting geography has been lost to history. In the end however, the castle found its way to the centre of Britannia on the shores of the Britanny Bay.

The Age of Enlightenment[edit]

In Ultima IV, the royal keep was first referred to as "Castle Britannia"—the eponymous realm having just been unified under Lord British's rule and given its name—and was located outside of the urban region, in the wilderness a short distance from Britain. The building was now a two-storied structure, sporting a barracks and a special chamber that housed the Seer, Hawkwind. A hidden entrance to Dungeon Hythloth existed behind the castle at this time, although this later disappeared.

In Ultima V, the Britannys had expanded around the castle, which now sported a forge, a basement, stables, and numerous new storerooms and bedchambers. During this time of Lord British's disappearance and Lord Blackthorn's dictatorship, the absent king's bedchamber, which contained his sandalwood box and the fabled magic carpet, was kept under close guard.

In Ultima VI, Britain, which now included what was formerly the Britannys, continued to expand around the castle, such that it eventually became part of the city. By this time, the castle had also returned to a single story architecture.

The Age of Armageddon[edit]

The Great Hall

Renovations on the castle continued throughout the centuries, adding chambers for a court magician and for an expanded serving staff, and (despite Lord British's objections) inserting a royal nursery, which housed children of the members of the Great Council. It was during this time that the Castle's sewer systems began to expand into pre-extant tunnels beneath the earth, creating a vast underground dungeon-like expanse beneath the castle - although access to these sewers was not available during the Avatar's initial quest regarding the Fellowship and the construction of the Black Gate.

In Ultima Underworld II, most of the action took place within the confines of the castle, which had been cut off from the rest of Britannia by the Blackrock Dome by the Guardian during a feast which celebrated the Reconstruction following the disbanding of the Fellowship. The castle had changed significantly in the year since the destruction of the Black Gate, with the sewers once more opening onto an expansive underworld, several of the castles chambers seemingly converted for the use of guests, and Lord British's throne notably absent. At this time, the castle was referred to as "Castle British" by its occupants.

During this crisis, tensions ran high as the castle's well ran dry and its inhabitants were mocked by the voice of the Guardian. Leaving the stranded part-goers to mete out rations and strategy, the Avatar delved into the bowels of the castle's sewers, finding such oddities as a tunnel leading to Buccaneer's Den, through which thieves were attempting to raid the treasury and a tribe of goblins who had become stranded in the tunnels during a fishing expedition. Eventually, the hero found a blackrock gem echoing the larger structure of the Guardian's devising. It was through this gem that the hero was able access other worlds which had been victimized by the red titan's magic and after numerous adventures in these realms, the champion of virtue managed to free the inhabitants of the castle from the dome - shattering it with the sound of the Horn of Praecor Loth, which the Avatar blew only with the assistance of a trapped air djinni in their lungs. This climactic event was accompanied by an extra-planar siege by the soldiers of the Guardian-controlled Killorn Keep, which eventually was repelled.

In Ultima VII Part Two, the ravages of the Imbalance sent multiple plagues across Britannia, including earthquakes. Lord British, meeting the Avatar briefly in the realm of dreams, told the hero of a crack in the foundation of the castle, and of his fears that the keep would fall.

In Ultima IX, little had been added to the castle, which had apparently either weathered the Imbalance or been rebuilt in the time that followed. It was again two-storied, although the building and it's staff had shrunk in scope. Lord British's throne room now took up most of the bottom floor, with his private chambers moved to the second. A large hedge maze sat to the west of the castle.

Lore[edit]

LBC.gif
Castles, often built by stone, are peopled with merchants, guards and fools.Beware the jesters; for even as they amuse, they may also deceive.
The seats of government, castles contain prisons, cathedrals, private vaults and chambers. Explore as you will but note that the guards in castles are the cream of the crop.
"Welcome All!" The Royal jester Chuckles issues his greeting inside the entrance to the castle of Lord British. Passing through the main hall, past the fountain and guards, thou dost come upon the Royal Throne Room, and there thee and those with thee are accepted into the presence of His Majesty, Lord British.

Only by gaining audience with His Lordship can those adventurers, who wouldst fight for the glory of Sosaria, raise their stature. Within the mighty fortress walls, if ye search well and come prepared, ye may succeed in finding the mystic oracle, who will reveal to thee thy true quest. Ye will find, too, the Royal Store Rooms, well-guarded, of course, by a field of force. Though prisoners are oft evil and corrupt, ye may find them a useful source. Into the prison, then, ye should fare, and speak to all within. And if thou searcheth out of doors, perchance to find a special clue.

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.
Headquarters and home of Lord British, located on Britanny Bay. Those aspiring to the Way of the Avatar should become familiar with this landmark. The marble and tile castle has been enlarged and improved since the Age of the Avatar. Now five stories, the castle has among its many features two kitchens, and excellent armoury, a rooftop observatory, and the finest stable in the land.
Lord British's magnificent castle stands high in the heart of Britannia, overlooking Britanny Bay. A breathtaking fortress of marble and tile, Castle Britannia is five stories tall including its dungeon. Within its imposing stone walls are vast storerooms, a little-used prison, bedchambers ranging from austere but comfortable barracks to lavishly appointed guest quarters, two kitchens, a fine stable, and the acclaimed smithy of Max the Armourer. Our True King is above all a man of philosophy and learning, as well know who have seen His Majesty's private rooftop Observatory. And though there seems little hope for Lord British's return, dozens of devoted subjects still keep his castle warm and safe for all who would defend his virtues and his name.
Chief among the places in Britannia, my keep overlooks the town of Britain from the protected flanks of the Serpent's Spine. Visitors to the castle will find evidence of my many interests and hobbies within its marbled halls. Though my authority extends from the throne to the most remote regions of the Kingdom, none shall be turned away who come to me for counsel in their time of need. And forget not, Avatar, that I have prepared a room for you in my castle that you might find a place of rest from your long journeys abroad.


Inhabitants[edit]

Ultima I[edit]

Ultima II[edit]

Castle Britannia in Ultima II
(motionless characters from both ages are shown)

All time periods:

Earth (1423 B.C.):

Earth (1990 A.D.):

Ultima III[edit]

Castle Britannia in Ultima III


Ultima IV[edit]

Overview of Castle Britannia in Ultima IV (Ground)
Overview of Castle Britannia in Ultima IV(Level 1)

Services:


Ultima V[edit]


Ultima V: Lazarus[edit]


Ultima VI[edit]

Overview of Castle Britannia in Ultima VI

Sewer-dwellers:

The Ultima 6 Project[edit]

  • Almric: caretaker of the royal dogs


Ultima VII[edit]

Overview of Castle Britannia in Ultima VII


Ultima Underworld II[edit]

Map of Castle Britannia in Ultima Underworld II

Sewer-dwellers:


Ultima IX[edit]


Runes of Virtue[edit]


Runes of Virtue II[edit]

Services[edit]

Ultima IV[edit]

Ultima IV (Nintendo Port)[edit]

Ultima V[edit]

Things to See[edit]

  • Large pond: Bonus 10% of pence dropped (round down) to Random Stat
  • Northern small pond: Bonus Random weapon, must drop at least 10 pence
  • Southern small pond: Bonus 300% of pence dropped to Food

Trivia[edit]

The castle in the manga
  • In no two installments does the interior of the Castle Britannia look the same.
  • In Ultima V, it is possible to repeatedly access the treasure vault without using more than one skull key. If a bed on the same level as the vault is used and the party members sleep for an hour, they can return to the vault and find the door still unlocked, but full treasure chests will have reappeared.
  • In the manga Ultima: The Quest of the Avatar, Castle Britannia looks quite different from its usual appearance, instead resembling a French château constructed over a lake. It appears to have been photo-referenced from the famed manor house of Chenonceau in France's Loire Valley.
  • A Kraken can be found in the moat in Ultima VII, ready to attack the unwary townsfolk.

See Also[edit]


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

Minax' Ahistorical Time-Space
Pangea Baradin's Town
1423 B.C. Castle of Lord British Le Jester Towne Linda
1990 A.D. Castle of Lord British New San Antonio Port Bonifice
2112 A.D. aftermath Earth (Pirates Harbour) Planet X (Towne Basko Castle Barataria)
Sun Mercury Venus Mars (Towne Mary) Jupiter (Village of the Preppies) Saturn Uranus (New Jester) Neptune (Computer Camp) Pluto (Towne Makler Tommersville)
Time of Legends Shadowguard