Eye of Stratos

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The Eye of Stratos is a name given to the obscured sun of Pagan.

History[edit]

Before the rise of the four Titans, Pagan's sky was illuminated by a star and had a typical day night cycle. Then the Titans embodied themselves within the Great Temple and waged their cataclysmic battle against the Destroyer, however, the changes that ravaged the world were extreme to the point that the sun was obscured, plunging the realm of Pagan into eternal twilight.[1]

It has never been made fully explicit how or why the sun ceased to be visible from Pagan's surface, although accounts by both the theurgist Stellos and the scholar Remvatos seem to imply that some sort of cloud obfuscates the sun from sight. Whatever the cause of the world's darkness, the years following this radical change to Pagan's environment saw the dying off of most flowering plants and a wide array of animal life dependent on them. Eventually the landscape came to be dominated by mushrooms, lichens and mosses, which flourished in the dim light.[1] Mankind appears to have adapted to the transformation of Pagan as well, with their eyes adjusting to the twilight such that the sight of the unveiled sun is said to have struck Stellos blind when he beheld it.[2]

In time, the very existence of the Pagan sun appears to have passed into the realm of legend. During the Avatar's travels in the realm, the Sorcerer Malchir would summon Pyros himself to ask him about the mythological celestial body, although the Titan denied any knowledge of the topic.[3]

Lore[edit]

Sometimes, when the pearly covering of Pagan grows thin and looks like sheets of kith silk billowing in a storm, you can dimly glimpse a pale disk. It is called the Eye of Stratos. Cold and still in a turbulent heaven, it peers from above as if trying to see into the dim and shadowed world of Pagan. There is no one left, not even Stratos, who could put the name "sun" to the Eye of Stratos--but long before the new gods came and vanquished Apathas, my father, the sun shone brightly on an island of verdant life. In the space of a day, too long ago for mortal memory, the clouds came and the rays of the sun were warded away.

The first to die were the flowering plants, then the animals which fed on them. Grasses and soaring trees disappeared, replaced by moss, fungus and hardy shrubs. In time, the mushrooms and shrubs grew in size, but they do not provide the shelter and good for wildlife that the light-drenched world supported. The people, in their own way, adapted to their new world, but the teeming farms and bustling cities of yesterday are quiet and still. These generations do not find it unusual, nor do they notice that their numbers are decreasing. I find it almost unsettling to think that unless things change, I may not have a world to observe in a few millennia, just a bare dome of rock in a cold, lifeless sea. And then I, too, shall perish.



The final moments of sunlight were glorious moments, ones we would have cherished had we known they were to be our last.

The war against our very kindred seemed never ending, day after day of bloodshed. In their eyes burned the hatred of intolerance. And these flames kindled the fire of violence. After a while, it became easy to forget the faces of those you had slain -- a sister with one chop, an uncle with another. Yet still they came, outraged that we dared to listen to the voice of warning.

By the time the Destroyer came we were ready. Not for the Destroyer, but for an end to the fighting. Too many had not heeded, so we thought. To many refused to acknowledge the might of the Titans. We were doomed to devastation, but with the doom came the sickening thought of peace and silence. In the end, we wondered, would Pagan and Zealan know one from the other as lifeless corpses filling the pyres, the result of the Destroyer's carnage.

But then came the Titans. First rose Lithos, the Mountain King. Then came Stratos, the Mystic Voice, and her sister Hydros, the Lurker. Finally, the blazing image of Pyros, Lord of Flame, appeared to challenge the Destroyer. On the ground, both Pagan and Zealan alike ceased battle, awed by the presence of the these Titanic Elements. The sky became a whirlwind of smoke and dust and hail as the Titans joined forces to and began to rise up.

As the battle was fought above, the very lands upon which we stood we rended piece from piece. Mountains shifted, rose, and spewed fiery death. Wind ripped through buildings and torrents of water cascaded over the walls of the cities. The very enemies who stood against each other, bared fangs and flashing eyes, were unable to face off, blinded by the smoke, tumbled by the quakes, scorched by the searing flames.

There was naught but chaos.

And when the fight ended and the Destroyer vanquished, there was naught but ruin.

The quakes ceased, the wind slowed, the waters calmed, and the smoke cleared. Pagan again saw Pagan. Despite the recent tumult, the moment was one of serenity.

But the sun was no more.

There is no knowledge of where the light of the sky has gone. There is no true night, but there is no true day. And the Titans, demanding ever-increasing sacrifices in payment for their deed, offer no answers.


- from The Final Sunlight, by Nolandru the blind idiot of Tenebrae (Ultima VIII)

Reference[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Nolandru the blind idiot of Tenebrae. The Final Sunlight (Ultima VIII - in-game).
  2. Morris, Andrew P.. "History of Pagan". The Chronicle of Pagan (Ultima VIII). Origin Systems Page 8.
  3. MalchirEthereal Software's Ultima VIII TranscriptUltima VIII.