Chuckles

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Chuckles
Chuckles.gif
Chuckles, from Ultima VII
Species: Human
Appearances
Ultima VII
Location: Castle Britannia

Chuckles the Bumble is royal jester of Lord British's court. Having a longevity comparable to those Britannian's of Terran origin, the fool of Castle Britannia has had ample time to carve out a reputation through the centuries - and is well known for his irritating mannerisms and veiled clues. While not a appearing a malevolent man by nature, Chuckles seldom breaks his jovial character, which can lead to rapid frustration in those not accustomed to his person.

Contents

[edit] Biography

[edit] Age of Darkness

Chuckles first appeared in the post-apocalyptic Soviet settlement of Pirates Harbour during Earth's twenty-second century as created by Minax. If encountered by the Stranger during their quest in Ultima II, the wandering fool appeared another victim of the cataclysmic desolation wrought by the nuclear wars of the age, asking repeatedly if "it" was over yet. The eventual reassertion of conventional time following Minax's death, however, made the future in which Chuckles was found ahistorical - and as such the man's exact origins are difficult to pinpoint.[1]

Regardless of whatever world and time Chuckles was originally native to, the jester eventually found employ with Lord British as his personal entertainer and could be found in Sosaria by the time of Exodus's incursions in Ultima III, where he served as a greeter for travelers coming to the young lord's castle.[2]

[edit] Age of Enlightenment

With the death of the last member of the Triad of Evil, an outpouring of academic, political and philosophical renewal was fostered in by the sovereign of the nascent realm of Britannia, and it was heralded throughout the land that the ambitious Lord British wished a champion to arise in guidance of his people. During this exciting period, Chuckles maintained his post as a welcomer to the Castle Britannia, asking those who entered its demesnes if they bore an ankh - a symbol which had been adopted by pilgrims in pursuit of virtue. Should the Stranger approach Chuckles for advice, following the instructions of his friend Zajac[3] of the Lycaeum, the royal fool would instruct the aspirant hero to speak to the living waters of the castle well and ask them of the altar rooms fitted to the stones of virtue.[4]

Later, after the tragic disappearance of his lord during a mission to the Underworld, Chuckles struggled to keep the corrupt regent, Blackthorn from seizing British's enchanted Crown Jewels. After the public appropriation of the royal crown shortly after the Oppression's rise to power, the loyal jester arranged for the king's sceptre to be delivered to Lord Malone of Serpent's Hold, although ultimately his couriers were intercepted by the Shadowlords.[5] Despite such failures, the jester attempted still to bring cheer to wayfarers seeking refuge in Castle Britannia during this dark time, and could be found here providing merriment as best he could during the course of Ultima V.

Curiously, an inmate of the castle's prisons, Drudgeworth, made accusations at this time which insinuated that Chuckles was somehow involved in the accidental death of a woman - a crime which he had been jailed for.[6] While Chuckles denied any knowledge of this affair[7] and his accuser proved violent if freed, a secret passage could, in fact, be found in Chuckles' room, with a corpse stowed inside it. What the body of this scandal entailed, however, was never fully explained.

Years later, during the threat of the gargoyle wars, the affair of the body seemed to be long forgotten, with the passage that hid it absent from the remodeled castle architecture. Chuckles, jovial as ever, would tempt the Avatar during Ultima VI with a scavenger hunt of notes scattered throughout the kingdom, purporting that a clue awaited the hero should they get to the end of the game. Humorously, this chase after information ended with advice to go to Smith, the talking horse, who gave the hero sage words as to how to solve problems already long resolved.

[edit] Age of Armageddon

Over the next two centuries, Chuckles remained of much the same humour, and when the hero again returned to Castle Britannia in Ultima VII the fool once more offered a clue - but only if the champion of legend could master his linguistic "game." Should the hero manage this, the jester would give the hero genuine and apt advice (albeit at the end of an exasperatingly long scroll), and would direct the Avatar to Margareta of Minoc, a wise woman who had much insight into the current state of Britannian affairs.

After this, the jubilant Chuckles eventually faded from the annals of Britannian history - either having died or been otherwise removed from the realm by the time of Ultima IX. While Sir Dupre gave brief mention during his imprisonment in the Guardian's blackrock dome that the frustrating jokester had remained outside of the castle, no record of Chuckles' fate after this point has been discovered.

[edit] Lore

"'Welcome All!' the Royal Jester Chuckles issues his greeting inside the entrance to the castle of Lord British."

- from Secrets of Sosaria (Ultima III)

I tried to enter the castle proper but was prevented at first by that rascal, Chuckles. He continually forced me to play a foolish word game which took some time to untangle. Finally, I noticed the pattern of single-syllable words in all of his sentences, and was able to satisfy his thirst for amusement.

- from Key to the Black Gate (Ultima VII)

[edit] Trivia

  • Chuckles' real world counterpart is Chuck Bueche, a highschool friend and college roommate to Richard Garriott and one of the original founders of Origin Systems.
  • Chuckles is the author of a book entitled 101 Avatar Jokes.[8]

[edit] References

  1. ChucklesUnderworld Dragon's Ultima II TranscriptUltima II.
  2. ChucklesUnderworld Dragon's Ultima III TranscriptUltima III.
  3. ZajacUnderworld Dragon's Ultima IV TranscriptUltima IV. "unhappy".
  4. ChucklesUnderworld Dragon's Ultima IV TranscriptUltima IV. "clue, job".
  5. Lord Shalineth et al. "Treasures of Magic and Wonder". Paths of Destiny (Ultima V). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1988. Page 51.
  6. ChucklesUnderworld Dragon's Ultima V TranscriptUltima V. "Chuckles, crime, commit, her, kill, fault, who".
  7. ChucklesUnderworld Dragon's Ultima V TranscriptUltima V. "Drudgeworth".
  8. Chuckles. 101 Avatar Jokes (Ultima Underworld II - in-game).
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