Destard

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Destard
Lcdestard.gif
Dungeon Type: Cave
Associated Virtue: Valor
Word of Power: INOPIA

Destard is a dungeon in the mountains west of Trinsic that has long been known as a haven for dragons. As one of the eight major dungeons of Britannia, it is associated with the Virtue of Valor, and throughout the course of history, numerous articles relating to Valor have been found within its tunnels.

History[edit]

Ultima IV[edit]

Main article: Destard (Ultima IV)

Destard was formed around the time of the foundation of Britannia, and in the course of questing toward Avatarhood, the Stranger sojourned through its caverns. During the hero's descent into the dungeon, the Red Stone of Valor would be found, in addition to numerous magical orbs that gifted those who touched them with supernaturally enhanced strength. In its deepest passages, Destard was adjoined to the great Altar Room of Courage, which interlinked it with the dungeons Covetous, Shame and Hythloth.

Ultima V[edit]

Main article: Destard (Ultima V)

After the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom was raised from the Abyss, the Great Council placed a seal over Destard and the other seven great dungeons, hoping to shield the surface world from the terrors that lay below. This, however, had the unforeseen outcome of creating a vast and expansive Underworld beneath the soil, providing a haven for dark and unnatural beasts to flourish.

After Blackthorn's rise to power, the members of the council were criminalized under the Oppression, and suffered persecution from the authorities of the realm. With those who knew how to unseal the dungeons forced into hiding, the returned Avatar had to seek out the maddened Goeth, who knew the Word of Power that would reopen Destard: Inopia. Once armed with knowledge of this password, the hero could use the dungeon as a means of reaching the Underworld below, where it opened onto an area near to the lost Amulet of Lord British.

Ultima VI[edit]

Main article: Destard (Ultima VI)

It was during the years after Blackthorn's exile that Destard became a home to the dragons for which it would later be infamous. By the time of the Avatar's return to the realm amidst the Gargish conflict, the caves of the dungeon were home to a number of flights of dragons and their young. The Avatar would again have cause to journey here in this era, this time to procure dragon eggs for Sandy of Trinsic, that the ex-pirate might reveal information regarding the treasure map of Captain Hawkins.

Ultima Underworld I[edit]

During the eruption of the Stygian Abyss in the midst of the Avatar's fight to banish the Slasher of Veils, the spirit of the powerful wizard Garamon transported the remaining settlers from Sir Cabirus' colony to the tunnels of Dungeon Destard. Here, the remnants of the experimental settlement supposedly attempted to build another dungeon city, although no trace of them remained by the time of the Avatar's next return to the realm, some two centuries later.

Ultima VII[edit]

Main article: Destard (Ultima VII)
A dragon's lair, typical of Destard, in Ultima VII

By the time of the Guardian's first attempted invasion, Destard was once more a haven to dragonkind, although a solitary unicorn inhabited its southern caves. In the days of the Avatar's adventure concerning the Black Gate, the deceitful Fellowship leader, Batlin, would send the hero to the dungeon in search of a nonexistent cache of money, falsely claiming Destard to be deserted. While the Champion of Virtue ultimately survived the ordeal, the sheer number of dragons could easily have proven overwhelming to the wayfarer's party.

Ultima IX[edit]

Main article: Destard (Ultima IX)

At some point in the course of the Guardian's slow corruption of Britannia in the late Age of Armageddon, a single female dragon rose to prominence in Destard, now located north in the mountain range traditionally occupied by Shame. This creature, known as Talornia, made a compact with the Destructor of Worlds, offering up her eggs that her young might outfit Blackthorn's growing Wyrmguard. In exchange for this, the red titan's followers offered her a cult of worship and helped to drive foes from her territory. By the time of the Avatar's final return, Destard was divided between Talornia's domain and the regions where Wyrmguard slavers oversaw mining operations to benefit the forces of the titanic conqueror. In addition, Destard was sealed from the inside by one Sir Drake using its historical Word of Power, which on this occasion could only be spoken to reopen the entrance from within the cavern itself.

The Avatar would eventually descend into this hellish dungeon through a secluded and ice-covered hole to face a former comrade-in-arms, Geoffrey, who, like numerous other companions, had fallen under the sway of the columns. Eventually, the hero would best Talornia in combat, that her head might be brought before the knights of Valoria.

Inhabitants[edit]

Ultima VII[edit]

Ultima IX[edit]

Lore[edit]

Due west of the Fens of the Dead, in the mountainous region in the southwest part of Britannia, lies the entrance to the dungeon Destard. The brave traveller will find wealth aplenty on the 4th level of this villainous series of caverns, but guardians of unsurpassed ferocity are also to be found here. Seek the altar that holds the red stone on the 7th level, and hie thee to the Altar Room of Courage that may be found herein.
- from Way of the Avatar (Ultima IV)
Far to the west of the Fens of the Dead, along the untamed coast of southwest Britannia, the cavern called Destard is a dank haven for savage tribes of orcs, trolls, and the like.
I prepared a map with the assistance of Gertan, one of the few people foolish enough to brave the depths of Destard. Everybody knows this is the lair of dragons. Gertan has a thing about dragons, though. Says there are drakes down here too, to eat up anything too small for the dragons to bother with. Legend has it there's an egg chamber on the fourth level, but I don't think anyone's ever gotten that far and lived to tell about it.
-Mandrake
There is little to say about Destard that has not already reached every tavern from Vesper to Jhelom: dragons! I once stole into this den on a dare from my good friend, Tim — well, he was a friend, until I got out! I passed through the entrance and actually made it as far as the north chamber. That was when I encountered mama and papa dragon ... and their thirty or so children. I cannot remember another time when I have run so quickly.

Another, lesser known rumor tells of the one creature that can coexist with the dragons in Destard. It is not a hydra or a drake, but a unicorn who wanders the cavern tunnels freely! Unsurprisingly, no one has been able to stay long enough within the dungeon to confirm this legend ...

For centuries, the caverns of Destard housed an ancient dragon and her treasures. Many of the brave warriors of the city of Valoria tested their mettle in her lair, and few returned. The legend of Talornia, the great red dragon spread through the countryside, as she fed upon village and farm. The Knights of Valoria mounted an expedition to seal her lair which apparently arrested her roamings about the countryside. Some claim that she yet lives and has grown old and mighty in her lair. Rumors of a cult of worshippers persist and are fed by the many disappearances. Plans for a new campaign to root out the dragons of Destard have become mired in the squabbling among the Knights of Valoria. Little is done, and all complain about it.
- from Journal (Ultima IX)

Trivia[edit]

The cavernous entrance to Destard, as depicted in early Ultima IX concept art
  • The name Destard is likely derived from dastard, meaning an insidious coward.
  • In Runes of Virtue, Destard, known as the Cavern of Cowardice, appears on Verity Isle. The Rune of Valor can be found within the dungeon, as well, a powerful magic rope which allows the hero to cross waterways dwells within its depths.
  • In Runes of Virtue II, the Cavern of Cowardice is located on a small island to the south of Jhelom. From these depths, the hero would rescue Lord Zellivan from his imprisonment by the Black Knight. Also located within this dungeon is a magical shield and a powerful whip.
  • In earlier drafts of Ultima IX, developed under Bob White's tenure as lead designer, Destard was to have been found at its traditional location west of Trinsic—with a sheer cliffside entrance inaccessible without rope and grappling hooks—and explored by the Avatar in search of Britannia's missing paladins, who had mysteriously vanished in the course of the Guardian's invasion upon the realm. In this version of events, the hero further had cause to seek out the Queen of Dragons, Alexadraconia, that she might be moved to lend the aid of her kind against the dragon-riding Wyrmguard in the great battle set to take place against the Guardian's forces on Terfin.[1][2]
  • In the final release of Ultima IX, there is an unhatched dragon egg in Destard that can be picked up and kept in the player's inventory. This may be a vestige of an earlier plot design, in which various egg chambers could be found throughout the dungeon.[1]
  • In the cancelled Ultima Online 2 and the Technocrat War trilogy, Destard was to be included as a dungeon on the southwestern continent of Avenosh.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 White, Robert. Ultima IX: Ascension Dungeons - Destard. May 5, 1995.
  2. White, Robert. Ultima IX: Ascension - Plot Treatment. July 17, 1997. Pages 34–37.

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