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Dungeon Type: Prison
Associated Virtue: Honesty
Word of Power: FALLAX

Deceit is a dungeon typically accessed via a small outcropping located off the eastern shores of Dagger Isle. One of the eight major dungeons of Britannia, Deceit is associated with the concept of Honesty, and throughout its history, many artifacts have been found within its depths relating to that particular virtue.


Ultima IV[edit]

Main article: Deceit (Ultima IV)

The prison of Deceit was constructed by slaves sometime after the fall of Exodus,[1] and was one of the eight dungeons through which the Stranger quested in ascending toward Avatarhood. During the hero's first journey, the dungeon contained the Blue Stone of Honesty, in addition to numerous magical orbs that gifted those who touched them with supernaturally enhanced intelligence. It also connected to the great Altar Room of Truth, which interlinked it with the dungeons Wrong, Shame and Hythloth.

Ultima V[edit]

Main article: Deceit (Ultima V)

Following the raising of the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom from its seat in the Abyss, the Great Council placed a seal over Deceit and its seven subterranean cousins, hoping to bar the horrors within it from reaching the surface world. The immense magicks required in raising the Codex, however, had the unforeseen outcome of creating a vast and expansive Underworld beneath Britannia's soil, causing the minions of evil to fester and multiply therein.

After Blackthorn's rise to power, the members of the Council were criminalized, and suffered persecution at the hands of the Oppression. With those who knew how to unseal the dungeons forced into hiding, the returned Avatar had to search for some time to discover Malifora, who knew the Word of Power that would reopen Deceit: Fallax. Once armed with knowledge of this evocation, the hero could use Deceit as a means of reaching the Underworld below it, and could thereby locate the Shards that had birthed the three Shadowlords responsible for the kingdom's plunge into tyranny.

Ultima VI[edit]

Main article: Deceit (Ultima VI)

No longer appearing man-made, but rather a series of natural caverns, by the time of the Gargish conflict a society of evil wizards had made the lowest levels of Deceit their home. An intrepid adventurer seeking fortune could find some scant artifacts of worth in the dungeon during this time, but the cavern was removed from the events in play across Britannia.

Ultima VII[edit]

The walled tunnels of Dungeon Deceit in Ultima VII
Main article: Deceit (Ultima VII)

Two centuries later, during the time of the Guardian's first attempted invasion, Deceit had become home to the interdimensional conqueror's Tetrahedron Generator, which distorted the ethereal waves of Britannia such that magic became unstable and dangerous. In order to repair the damage done by this diabolical contraption, the Avatar would have to journey into Deceit that it might be dismantled, wielding the power of the Ethereal Ring to penetrate the construct's defenses. Once this was done, the ether slowly returned to normal, and practitioners of the arcane could once more pick up their abandoned art.

During this age, the entrance to Deceit had emerged on Dagger Isle, shifted from the nearby satellite island whereupon it had typically been found.

Ultima IX[edit]

Main article: Deceit (Ultima IX)

In the last days of the Age of Armageddon, Deceit once again saw purpose as a prison, and was used by the returned Lord Blackthorn to hold the captive Avatar. While Deceit's entrance had returned to its traditional location off Dagger Isle, the cavernous part of the dungeon was overrun with burning lava due to seismic activity stemming from the Great Cataclysm, and the only exit from the cave was via magical teleportation. Eventually, the hero would find freedom from this gloomy gaol, possibly encountering former companion, Mariah, who had been converted into the service of the Wyrmguard by the dark powers of the nearby column.


The dungeon Deceit can be found on a small island off the coast of Dagger Isle in the northeast corner of Britannia. Indeed it is a temple of guile, in which little is as it seems. Gold may be found in abundance on the 4th Level, but beware of the Mimics found in these depths, for they take on the appearance of chests in order to lure hapless explorers close, then they treacherously attack. The blue stone may be found in the dungeon Deceit, somewhere on the 7th Level. Seek ye also the Altar Room of Truth.
Deadly traps and bottomless pits are among the furnishings of this terrible prison. 'Tis said that the lower reaches are filled with sulfurous fumes and bathed in the mephitic light of dragon breath, making Deceit a storinghouse of untold, unreachable treasures. Seek it on a barren outcropping in the Great Sea, just east of Dagger Isle.
I got this map from a fellow in Serpent's Hold. He said that the dungeon was filled with traps, and worse besides. Corpsers live down there that'll grab you by the feet and drag you under. There's also a strange society of evil wizards, shunned by all decent folk, who call Deceit home. Rumor has it they perform experiments on children...

- Mandrake

A tougher collection of beasts and enchanted foils would be difficult to find. I was forced to enter Deceit, and hastily leave, a number of times. Endurance and the ability to withstand physical hardships is necessary to

survive all this dungeon's lightning bolts and other projectiles. I visited Deceit while looking for a legendary, civilized Cyclops named Iskander. I did not find him, but I must admit my search was cut short by multiple retreats out of the dungeon.

In this place, rule by deceit ensures that only the most treacherous liars and pitiless beasts keep head and limb together. Abandoned long ago, the prison now houses evil creatures whose lives are an imprisonment. A spate of recent earthquakes has centered at the dungeon wherein it is believed that a fissure grows in its deepest depths. For, temperatures inside have elevated greatly, clouding the eyes of a visitor with sweat, draining the will, till one of the many illusions trips him forever.
- from Journal (Ultima IX)


Ultima V: Lazarus[edit]

Ultima VII[edit]

Ultima IX[edit]


A shaftlike entrance to Deceit, as depicted in early Ultima IX concept art
  • In Ultima V, the room that connects to the Underworld is split in two by a three-tile-thick wall. Inside this wall are five 1x1 rooms. The center room contains a troll, the next two out ettins, and the last two dragons. The ettins and troll can be reached via morning star but the dragons cannot; however, they can be charmed with the sixth circle spell. Pushing the walls behind the torches is the way to get through.
  • The Word of Power for Deceit, fallax, is misspelled as fallaw in the walkthrough for Ultima V in both editions of The Official Book of Ultima.[2][3]
  • The small isle upon which the entrance to Deceit typically lies is not named throughout the series, save for the anomalous Super Nintendo port of Ultima VII, in which it is labelled Janus Island.
  • In earlier drafts of Ultima IX from Bob White's tenure as lead designer, Deceit was to act as a testing ground for the Avatar in seeking to join the Circle of Mages and thereby being granted a spellbook. As a member herself, Mariah would have sponsored the hero's induction and provided accompaniment to the dungeon's entrance, where the Avatar was to be winched to its lowest level by a golem and perform a ritual to be bonded with the recently acquired grimoire, that future spells within might be drawn upon. In this version of events, returning to the surface would have required solving a series of puzzles posed by various other golems, concurrently deactivating one of the Guardian's columns by removing the Glyph of Corruption at its heart.[4][5]
  • In Ultima IX, the door to the Avatar's cell is wooden in the preceding cutscene, but a portcullis during gameplay.
  • In Runes of Virtue, Deceit appears on the Britannian mainland, and the Rune of Honesty can be found within. A powerful magic wand with the ability to destroy even the strongest of spider webs can be liberated from the dungeon. The trickster Finn, as well as the horse Klip Klop, can also be found within its depths attempting lead the hero astray.
  • In Runes of Virtue II, the hero must rescue the mayor of Moonglow, Lord Aganar, from the depths of the Cavern of Deceit. The hero can also find the magical Talisman of Lightning within the foul catacomb. A special set of magical windpipes, which possess the power to temporarily halt the advancement of monsters, also lie within its depths.
  • In the cancelled Ultima Online 2 and the Technocrat War trilogy, Deceit was to be included as a dungeon on the eastern continent of Jukaran.


  1.  "Forbidden Places of Darkness". Paths of Destiny (Ultima V). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1988. Page 56.
  2. Addams, Shay. "Say the Magic Words of Power". The Official Book of Ultima - First Edition. COMPUTE! Publications: 1990. Page 221.
  3. Addams, Shay. "Say the Magic Words of Power". The Official Book of Ultima - Second Edition. COMPUTE Publications International: 1992. Page 217.
  4. White, Robert. Ultima IX: Ascension Dungeons - Deceit. May 1, 1995.
  5. White, Robert. Ultima IX: Ascension - Plot Treatment. July 17, 1997. Page 9.

Cities YewMinocSkara BraeBritainNew MaginciaMoonglowJhelomTrinsicMagincia
Castles Castle BritanniaEmpath AbbeyLycaeumSerpent's Hold
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
Settlements Argentrock IsleDaemon's CragTenebrae
Other Carthax LakeCatacombsCemeteryFishermen's ReefHall of the Mountain KingHerdsman's ValleyPlateauShrine of the Ancient OnesStone CoveTreasure CoveVengeance Bay