Ghosts

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Ghosts
Ghost
Ghost, from Memoirs of Sir Cabirus
Variants: Dire Ghost<br\>Red Haunt<br\>Spirits
First appearance: Ultima II
Last appearance: Ultima IX

Ghosts are the lost souls of individuals who have died without achieving peace, and who are subsequently tied to the material plane until such time as they can achieve a closure which will allow them to ascend to the Void. Oftentimes, however, such beings find no rest, and cave to their baser instincts, persisting as hostile apparitions which plague the living. Such creatures have existed on numerous worlds, and appear in Ultima II, IV, V, VI, VII, VII Part Two, Ultima VIII, and IX, as well as in the Ultima Underworld series.

Description[edit]

Aggressive ghosts often appear as amorphous, translucent beings, with only the vaguest vestige of human features remaining. Oftentimes, these entities haunt graveyards, or at the site where they met their demise, making such creatures prevalent in dungeons. Throughout the years, these spectral beings have demonstrated a number of other natural properties, such as the ability to pass through solid matter (Ultima IV), or the capacity to render themselves hidden from sight Ultima V and VI). On Earth, such spirits were known to extinguish all light in the vicinity of their intended quarry, making them difficult to find in the midst of combat; whereas on the gloomy world of Pagan, ghosts were impervious to all forms of attack not visited by an enchanted weapon or special blessing, and could summon hordes of undead to fight by their side. Such dark entities as the latter were even capable of physically detaching their own heads, which would proceed to drift towards their prey that they might combust in a conflagration of spectral fire.

U4nes-ghost.jpg

More peaceable spirits, however, would often retain the rough appearance of human beings, albeit a pale and faded one. Ghosts such as these are more likely to seem sapient and aware of their surroundings, and may at times contact and petition the living in the hopes of finding some means to escape their bondage to the physical world. While these more human-seeming shades could nevertheless be capable of violence, they would seldom attack with the same unprovoked fury characteristic of more monstrous ghosts.

White Ghosts[edit]

A ghost (Ultima V, dungeon)

On Britannia, certain varieties of ghost have grown more substantially linked to the material plane, causing them to appear nearly opaque due to their greater physical presence. Such monstrous spirits typically dwelt in the darker regions, mainly dungeons such as the Abyss, and proved far more challenging to dispatch than their more transparent cousins.

Dire Ghosts and Red Haunts[edit]

Theorized by some to be the ghosts of departed monsters, dire ghosts are pitch black in hue with piercing golden eyes. Filled with unceasing hatred, these devilish shades seem to delight in their assaults on the living, attacking with unmatched ferocity. Hard to see due to their sable coloring, most who find themselves besieged by dire ghosts are unaware of the creature's presence until their eyes begin to flash.

A similar ethereal creature, known as a red haunt, seems to have many of the same properties as these fiendish apparitions, differing only in that their coloration is blood red, rather than black.

Spectres[edit]

During the last days of the Avatar, yet another variety of monstrous spirit appeared upon the physical plane of Britannia: the spectre. Unlike the marauding shades of previous generations, these ghosts would slowly siphon the magical energies of mortals unlucky enough to confront them, leaving their prey helpless, as such beasts could only be slain through the magical arts.

Lore[edit]

The restless spirits of those trapped between planes, Ghosts can pass through walls, so use extreme caution when they are thought to be nearby. Evil Ghosts are often found in ruins, battlefields and crypts.
Ghost2.gif
Spirits of the uneasy dead, these bodiless creatures compensate for their lack of strength with excellent dexterity and the ability to disappear at will. Although ghosts do not inflict much damage with a blow, defeating them will require cunning.
Ghosts are generally found in cemeteries and other places of the dead, though their movements are all but unlimited. These ethereal spirits pass easily through solid walls and other obstacles, making them difficult to chase and difficult to elude. Though they do not possess great strength, their mobility and ability to use magic make them a force to be reckoned with.
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Our Seers have been at a loss to explain the presence of the several types of spectral beings which are sometimes found within the Underworld. We do not know whether these are the spirits of Britannia's dead or merely beasts of an ethereal nature. The typical Ghost is no match for an experienced warrior, as two or three well placed blows will quench its essence, and in such a short fight the specter cannot seriously injure its foe. More dangerous are the rarer, more powerful ghostforms. The White Ghost, which differs from a typical ghost by being opaque and blazingly white in hue, is more substantial in this plane and thus much mor difficult to slay. Therefore, combat against this foe typically takes much longer - and the White Ghost can easily slay its foe in such a span of time!
This magical spirit of the dead has the power to move through solid walls and has been known to use magic. It can appear anywhere, but tends to frequent graveyards or places significant to the life of the deceased.
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The dead of Britannia do not always lie quietly. Occasionally, one who has died will not depart in good order, but instead something called a ghost will arise in his place. Ghosts are frequently malevolent, and can sap heat from the human body, as if drawing it off into some infinite reservoir of cold. The pale white ghost is easily dispersed into air, but the dire ghost and the reddish haunt have a more tenacious hold on their unnatural existence.
Manifestations of the remains of the deceased, ghosts are known for their ability to ignore most natural laws, floating about at whim. Presumably in deference to their origin, ghosts tend to gravitate toward locations relevant to the dead.
Ghosts, also known as wraiths, are the disembodied spirits of those who died so tragically that even the Titans have no use for them. They appear as twisted shapes of gray floating above the ground. Tied to the general location of their demise, ghosts rarely travel far in search of victims. They consume life forces to give them strength. Ghosts have complete control over their visibility, often remaining invisible until prey is near enough to scare. Feeding on the spirits of the living, wraiths attack with a draining touch that leaves the victim weak of body and will. Armour is useless against their attack, and weapons without some sort of enchantment cannot hurt them. Legend claims that some of the Necromantic magics may affect a ghost, but I doubt there is any evidence to support the supposition. Note that a ghost's non-corporeal nature permits it to access many areas sealed to ordinary folk.
These ethereal creatures carry the embittered spirits of people who were wronged or cursed in death. Oft encountered near their final resting place, they kill with the gentlest touch. In consuming the energy of life, they feed the rage of the undead till whatever wrong done to them has been righted. At will, ghosts can phase in and out of the ethereal void. Thus, the constraints of wall and door have little hold upon them. In this plane, these apparitions resemble humans, albeit in a translucent form. To defeat a ghost requires light feet and sturdy magic.
- from Journal (Ultima IX)
The spirit of a mage defeated in battle may return as a spectre. In seeking revenge, a spectre draws magical strength from its foes. Their sapping of your mana limits attacks in return, as they are immune to weapons of iron and steel. In combat, spare no magical attack, for a failure to defeat a spectre may leave your spirit eternity to contemplate your error. Spectres resemble ghostly skeletons of a barely human form.
- from Journal (Ultima IX)

Notable Examples[edit]

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See Also[edit]

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