Time Lord

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Time Lord
Timelord.gif
Time Lord, from Ultima VII
Species: Unknown
Appearances
Ultima VII
Location: Shrine of Spirituality
Ultima IV
Hawkwind.png
Time Lord, from Ultima IV
Location: Castle Britannia
U4 Transcript: Time Lord
Ultima III
U3 TimeLord.jpg
Time Lord, from Ultima III
Location: Dungeon of Time

The Time Lord is a powerful being of ambiguous origin who ensures the smooth and orderly flow of time through space, a task —in his words— beyond the comprehension of mortals. He holds dear the well-being of the universe, opposing those who would seek to bring destruction and chaos. It is later revealed that he has at times donned the seemingly mortal persona known as Hawkwind, through which he has been responsible for the moral and spiritual guidance of the Avatar - guiding the hero first into the taking on the mantle of Avatarhood and later assisting them in their final quest towards reunification with the Guardian and ultimately ascension.

History[edit]

Age of Darkness[edit]

The Timelord as he appears in the Amiga port of Ultima III
NES port
The Timelord as he appears in the FM-Towns port

The Time Lord is first known to have intervened in Sosarian history during the events of Ultima III, in which he could be found manifested in the lowest bowels of the Dungeon of Time. The Stranger, requiring knowledge of how to defeat the hellspawn Exodus, consulted the Time Lord at this time to learn the correct order in which to apply the Four Cards to the daemon-machine, that the interface keeping it viable might be destroyed.

Records of this era also indicate that a great cartographer of the age was known by the name of Hawkwind, implying that the Time Lord may have taken on a human mien in the hopes of furthering his desires for Exodus' defeat. At the time of the Strangers quest, however, the map-maker bearing this appellation was alleged to have been severely injured in an attack by bandits - which casts doubt as to whether this was an early incarnation of the entity as a man. Still, the ways of celestial beings are often inscrutable, and the identity of this surveyor remains uncertain.[1]

Age of Enlightenment[edit]

For Hawkwind's dialogue regarding the state of the Stranger's karma, see Hawkwind's Dialogue in Ultima IV

Later, following the defeat of Exodus, Lord British heralded in a renaissance of learning and culture in his kingdom - now known as Britannia. During this period of spiritual revival, the sovereign established a series of virtues to guide the populace into the new age, dedicating cities and citadels alike to the cause of principle and morality. Eventually, the young king gave out the call for a champion of his virtues to arise - becoming an exemplar of ethicality that his people might look to for guidance.

The Time Lord, having interests in this end, took on the guise of Hawkwind, establishing himself as a seer and using his othernatural powers to measure the strength of virtue in those souls seeking Avatarhood. By the time of Ultima IV, when the returned Stranger began their quest towards this state, Hawkwind had been given the use of a chamber in Castle Britannia, where he awaited aspirants seeking knowledge of their karmic worth from behind a veil of slumber-inducing mists. Such evaluations were crucial to the hero's ascent toward enlightenment, and were themselves sessions delivering deep spiritual growth.

Age of Armageddon[edit]

TLil.gif
Following the Stranger's attainment of Avatarhood, the Time Lord appears to have remained inactive in Britannian affairs for several centuries. Eventually, however, the passage of time fomented the dark urges which the mortal hero had cast off in becoming an agent of pure virtue into something truly sinister. This malevolent entity, known as the Guardian, began a campaign of conquest across the multiverse, which eventually culminated in an attempt to invade Britannia. Rightfully fearing the Time Lord would intervene, this evil being tricked him into entering a space-time loop which imprisoned him within a celestial barrier in the Shrine of Spirituality.

The Time Lord, however, managed to muster the power to summon a moongate on Earth's plane, successfully luring the legendary Avatar back to Lord British's realm. After numerous trials throughout the events of Ultima VII, the hero was eventually able to reach the imprisoned entity with the aid of the Xorinite wisps - whereupon the Time Lord explained the Guardian's intent and the nature of his Cube, Tetrahedron and Sphere generators. The latter of these devices, being directly responsible for perpetuating the Time Lord's confinement, had to be destroyed in order to free him, a task which the Avatar rose to quickly. Communicating with the champion of virtues through means of an enchanted hourglass, the Lord of Time was further able to advise the Avatar as to how to overcome each generator's defenses and ultimately how to prevent the Guardian's entry into the world through the Black Gate.[2]

In later years, after Britannia had weathered numerous other attempted incursions by the Guardian and the plagues of Imbalance, the Time Lord again intervened in the Avatar's destiny, snatching the divine champion from near certain death in the jaws of a dragon following their return from the dark world of Pagan. Dragging the hero back to their native Earth, the Time Lord helped to mentor the hero as they recuperated and prepared for their final task. While Hawkwind appeared to have little other influence in bringing the Avatar towards reunification with the Guardian, the enigmatic being eventually revealed his full identity in a scroll set aside for the hero in the Abyss, telling the Avatar of a dark alternate future wherein Blackthorn would rule over the remnants of the land.[3]

Lore[edit]

Hawkwind as he appears in Yoko Tanaka's Quest of the Avatar manga
Hawkwind in the NES manual
"To aid thee in thy cryptic search, to dungeons thou must fare.
There seek out the Lord of Time to help you if he cares."
Residing within Lord British's castle is the Royal Seer, Hawkwind. Many aspire to tread the Path, but very few find their way. Seek the advice of the Seer as to thy progress upon the Path. He can look into thy heart's heart and read thy progress or failure. Heed his advice, for feet that have strayed may be brought back upon the Path.
You may remember me as a name from the past, but I have been more involved in your life than you may realize. We share a past and a present, but for me, the past is as the future.


Trivia[edit]

Hawkwind as he would have appeared in the "Bob White" plot of Ultima IX
  • An Angus Mac Taggart is listed in the SCA as claiming the name "Hawk Windwalker" for a craft name, and appears to have also used the nickname "Hawkwind."[8]
  • In the so-called Bob White Plot of Ultima IX, Hawkwind was slated to appear as a physical character once again, first teleporting the Avatar to Stonegate where he was to have guided the hero through the character creation process, before later reappearing in the penultimate moments of the game with information pertinent to saving Britannia from the Guardian. Hawkwind would also have been revealed as the Time Lord in this iteration of the plot (as a matter in the very first minutes of the game), but also as the last survivor of an ancient race called the Ultima who was destroyed by their evil halves that they had cast out of themselves, much like the Guardian was born out of the Avatar in the final game. Hawkwind was also to be revealed as being the creator of the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom.

References[edit]

  1. Adams, Roe R.. "Preparing for Thy Journey". The Book of Play (Ultima III). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1983. Page 2.
  2. Time LordUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "about time, crisis, Cube, Guardian, hourglass, mission, Sphere, Tetrahedron".
  3. Time Lord. Time Lord's Note (Ultima IX - in-game).
  4. Scorpia et al. "Speaking of Clues". Computer Gaming World. Golden Empire Publications Inc.: May 1988. Pages 12-13.
  5. Bagnall, Mike et al. "Pirates". QuestBusters. September 1987. Page 1.
  6. Lee, Wyatt et al. "Ultima Versus Wizardry". Computer Gaming World. Golden Empire Publications Inc.: October 1987. Page 62.
  7.  "Kingdom Archery History Information". SCA East Kingdom Archery. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
  8.  "Dance Practice...". Ansteorra Lists. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  9. Tanaka, Yuko. Quest of the Avatar (Ultima IV). JICC: August 29, 1989. Pages 201-237.