Bats

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Bats
Giant Bat
Cave Bat, from Memoirs of Sir Cabirus
Variants: Vampire Bats
First appearance: Ultima I
Last appearance: Ultima IX

Bats are (generally) insectivorous flying mammals, common to many worlds and dangerous to man in a few. They appear in Ultima I, IV, V, VI, VII, VII Part Two, and IX, as well as in the Ultima Underworld series.

Description[edit]

A bat within a cavern (Ultima V)

Numerous species of bats have been found in the lands of Sosaria and later Britannia. While often similar to the shy nocturnal creatures of Earth, several blood-drinking breeds of bat which inhabit the lands of Lord British and its connected worlds have proven uncharacteristically aggressive, attacking travelers and infecting human victims with disease and venom.

Cave Bats[edit]

The most numerous bats of Britannia are similar in most regards to the large body of terrestrial chiropterae, timid and of little threat to humans who do not provoke them. While these cave bats may prove a mild threat to those who encounter a hostile cauldron of the animals, this common bat of the Britannian caves and wilderness has done little to earn the ill reputation commonly associated with these animals.

Giant Bats[edit]

The Sosarian Giant Bat and its relatives are a more aggressive species of bats than their diminutive kin. Seemingly a relation of the vampire bats of Earth, these bats are hemotophages, feasting on the blood of animals for their nightly sustenance and going so far as to seek out and attack waking victims. Far more threatening than the peacable cave bats, giant bats are relentless aggressors, attacking viciously in coordinated groups.

Vampire Bats[edit]

The vampire bats of Britannia's dungeons, unlike the similarly named creatures on other worlds, are actually poisonous mammals, possessing venom glands in connection to their fangs. These small animals are characterized by their bright red fur and unrelenting ferocity, and have been known to hunt and kill humans as prey.

Perception of Bats[edit]

U4nes-bat.jpg

Like their cousins on the Avatar's homelands, the bats of Britannia are associated with wickedness, disease and darkness, although their reputation for such characteristics is somewhat more solidly rooted than that of the Terran chiropterae, as the Britannian bats often live up to the image of a ferocious, infection-spreading predator. Long intermixed with evil men and dark places, these animals have an ongoing association with the wicked, going all the way back to the wizard Mondain, who assumed a bat's shape in times of peril.

On Earth, bats are largely free of disease, with only 0.5% of vampire bats being infected with the commonly bat-ascribed rabies virus. Sick animals, however, account for the majority of rabies case not caused by dog bites, and the disoriented and volatile behavior of a rabid bat may account for many of the fears of bat aggressions. Unlike the beasts of Britannian, most Terran bats are largely uninvolved with humanity, staying far from the light of day and silently contributing to the ecological balance of that world by curbing the realm's insect populace.[1]

Lore[edit]

Bat4.gif
Although the Sosarian Giant Bat is but a dumb brute, this large cousin of the more powerful vampire bat found in other lands is indeed a menace to those unfortunate enough to disturb its subterranean slumber. The Giant Bat lives on a diet of animal blood and is not adverse to feasting on adventurers.
A non-evil subterranean dweller found in the deepest caverns, the principal diet of the bat is animal blood. They are quite large and may attack any who disturb their rest.
These annoying creatures live by night, usually, and travel in flocks. Often their high pitched screech is heard before they are seen. Though flighty and hard to hit, bats are not difficult to kill. As attackers they are relentless and vicious.
Equipped with keen hearing and night vision, these large, winged rodents are swift and efficient in their nocturnal attacks. Though difficult to hit, their fur-covered bodies are extremely vulnerable to damage.
Bats2.gif
These verminous, disease-ridden pests proliferate in the more remote portions of the Underworld. Bats are bird-like in aspect, but covered with a rough fur rather than feathers. Bats make annoying foes, as they are difficult to strike and very swift, and are almost always found in flocks. Our Knights report finding two varieties of bat in the Abyss. Cave Bats are not known to be fearsome antagonists, preferring to avoid battle when they can. Being dark as midnight, they are difficult to sight but may be detected by the high squealing sounds they make when communicating amongst themselves. One is easily killed with a well-placed blow.On the other hand, the Vampire Bat is a robust creature which seems to seek out opponents. This cunning beast - which can be distinguished from the Cave Bat by its red fur - prefers to attack from above, and may easily remain unseen by those who keep their eyes fixed on the ground, looking for traps or gold. Beware the bite of the Vampire Bat, for the venom it releases is strong enough to sear one's skin.
This large winged rodent attacks by night, aided by its night vision and acute hearing. Its body is very light and fragile.
Bats are small flying mammals, almost completely blind, who navigate by means of high-pitched squeaking noises - it is not known whether magic is involved in this process. They are active only in darkness, and tend to live in deep forest or underground terrain. We know of two major varieties of bat.
Cave bats are small and have a relatively mild disposition - they will usually only attack if provoked. Although hard to hit, they can do very little damage to a properly armored opponent, and can be killed in one blow. They are, of course, more dangerous when found in flocks. Vampire bats are larger than their cousins, and can also be identified by their red coloration. They are vicious predators, and have been known to stalk and kill human prey. The wise adventurer will remain alert to surprise attacks from above.
Bats4.gif
As its name implies, this is an enlarged version of the common bat, a small flying mammal capable of sensing creatures in total darkness. Their nests are found most often in caves and other areas where little light is present.
Hunters of the night wherein their keen ears pierce the mysteries of the dark, bats rarely seek out human prey. Rather, their sharp claws and poisonous bite find the flesh of creatures of the bush. Yet, do not dismiss them without a thought, for when threatened, they can deliver a powerful bite. With its bite, the larger vampire form can poison. It is best dispatched by bow and arrow, for it attacks without provocation.
- from Journal, (Ultima IX)


Trivia[edit]

See Also[edit]

Bats-ROV1.jpg

References[edit]

  1.  "Bat". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
  2. RawstagEthereal Dragon's Ultima Underworld II TranscriptUltima Underworld II.