Hythloth

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Hythloth
Lchyth.gif
Dungeon Type: Mine
Associated Virtue: Spirituality
Word of Power: IGNAVUS

Hythloth [hith-loth] is a dungeon located on the southern shores of the Isle of the Avatar, near the Shrine of the Codex. One of the eight infamous Britannian dungeons, Hythloth is historically associated with the virtue of Spirituality.

History[edit]

Ultima IV[edit]

Main article: Hythloth (Ultima IV)

Hythloth was formed around the time of the christening of Britannia, and in its earliest incarnation, managed to span a large portion of the globe—having entrances on both the Isle of the Abyss and in the environs of Castle Britannia itself. During the Stranger's pilgrimage toward Avatarhood, the hero would have occasion to traverse Hythloth, entering the secret passages within Lord British's castle that led to the dungeon's deepest reaches and later emerging to find the lighter-than air device.

For reasons never made clear, the White Stone of Spirituality was missing from its altar within Hythloth during this age, have come instead to rest atop the Serpent's Spine mountains. Within Hythloth, however, an adventurer could still find numerous magical orbs that gifted those who touched them with supernaturally enhanced strength, intelligence and dexterity. At its lowest level, Hythloth was connected to the Altar Rooms of Truth, Love and Courage, which interlinked it with the dungeons Deceit, Despise, Destard, Wrong, Covetous and Shame.

Ultima V[edit]

Main article: Hythloth (Ultima V)

After the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom was taken from its seat in the Abyss, the Great Council placed a seal over the major dungeons, including Hythloth, in the hopes that they could confine the beasts that lay within beneath the soil. This, however, had the unforeseen outcome of creating a vast and expansive Underworld beneath the earth, fostering a sprawling haven for the monsters the council had sought to banish.

After Blackthorn's rise to power, however, the members of the council were named outlaws, and suffered grievously at the hands of the Oppression. As such, the returned Avatar had to search out the imprisoned Hassad, who lay captive in Blackthorn's dungeons, that they might learn the Word of Power that would reopen Hythloth: Ignavus. Once armed with this knowledge, the hero could use the dungeon as a means of reaching the Underworld below, finding its caverns now opened onto lands near the Shard of Cowardice, which had birthed the Shadowlord Nosfentor.

Ultima VI[edit]

The lava fields of Hythloth
Main article: Hythloth (Ultima VI)

As the collapse of the Underworld instigated the subsequent destruction of the Gargish homelands, Hythloth alone remained open to the lands that existed below, and by the time of the gargoyles' war on humanity, it had become the sole means of reaching their crumbling homeworld. During this time, the scholar, Captain Johne, had taken residence in Hythloth's tunnels, where he had been making a study of the Gargish language through his friend, Beh Lem. The Avatar would eventually have cause to pass through here and to seek Johne out, as understanding the words of the gargoyles would be crucial in forming a lasting peace with them.

Ultima VII[edit]

Main article: Hythloth (Ultima VII)

During the Fellowship's rise to power, the group saw fit to prepare Hythloth as a base of their operations, filling its passages with a hidden compound that housed numerous followers of the Guardian. Within its deepest recesses, they erected a chamber to house the Black Gate, through which their master was intended to pass into the world of Britannia.

As the Avatar came to understand the Destructor of Worlds' intentions for the realm, the hero was driven to confront the Fellowship elite deep within their fortress in Hythloth, killing numerous members of the group's inner circle before eventually shattering the blackrock moongate in the very moment it became permeable, thereby barring the Guardian's entry into the world.

Ultima IX[edit]

Main article: Hythloth (Ultima IX)

During the Avatar's last journey in Britannia, a dungeon known as "Hythloth" could be found near the waters of New Magincia, rather than upon the Isle of the Avatar, perhaps having been some reemerged remnant of the tunnels that once connected Hythloth to Castle Britannia. The returned hero would have to navigate this sewer-like maze (which now appeared to be juxtaposed with the virtue of Humility) to return to the surface following the destruction of the Gargish underwater city of Ambrosia.

Inhabitants[edit]

Ultima VI[edit]

Ultima VII[edit]

Ultima IX[edit]

Lore[edit]

The dungeon Hythloth is perhaps the most curious of mysterious of underground Britannia. There are two entrants that are known of, one out in back of the castle of our liege lord, and the other on the Isle of the Abyss, 'Tis said that the tunnels run far beneath the ocean and to great distances. Indeed, one must begin at the very bottom of this dungeon and work upwards to the surface, which leaves one at the farthest reaches of our land. There are Altar Rooms of Truth, Love and Courage to be found in the depths here.
A chilling stronghold of danger, Hythloth is situated on the Isle of the Avatar's distant southern shores. Among its denizens are nightmarish creatures as daemons, ghosts, and dragons. Those who venture inside must be prepared to negotiate diabolical mazes while watching their backs for attacks from unexpected places...
Hythloth - that's an ugly word, almost as ugly as the memories it brings back for me. when I was escaping from the gargoyles, I bumped into a pair of rogues who'd just looted one of those big pyramids they have down there. Morwin and Daglar, they called themselves. Making our escape together seemed like the obvious thing to do. If I'd have known them better, though, I'd have run back the way I came and taken my chances with the gargoyles...

Once we managed to sneak into Hythloth, they showed their true faces. They decided I should walk in front the whole way, in case of traps, and they backed up the notion with drawn swords. Lucky for me there were no traps down there. What's worse, though, they also thought it best that they should lighten my load by about the weight of my wineskin, the contents of which they disposed between them - not even a drop for me.
Truth be told, I don't remember many details of the dismal caverns we climbed through. Between the bickering of my "companions," and running from vile beasts, I was pretty distracted. I did see a hut down there, which could be where Captain John is staying these days. He'd have to be crazy though. Volcanic activity seems to have chased off most monsters that used to dwell in Hythloth, but the drakes and dragons seem to thrive on it. Mayhap they eat lava to replenish their inner fires.

This dungeon is a collection of several complicated mazes and teleportation magics. Much of my mapping in the northern tip comes from speculation only, based on the shape of the chambers and where I would expect them to fit.

I do not like discussing this place in length, despite the great number of years that have passed, for 'tis another dungeon in which I lost a comrade. She was an adept explorer, but we became separated while searching for keys to open some of the many locked doors. I glanced in an alcove and when I turned back to speak with her, she had disappeared — fell through an illusionary wall, I suspect.

Once the sewers beneath the grand city of Old Magincia, Hythloth has become fouled by the vain creatures herein and the false pride their conquest inspires in those who venture through the twist and turns. Emptying into the ocean, the tunnels of Hythloth have filled with polluted water, souring the grazing fields of the humble flocks of New Magincia. Adventurers are advised to train to swim and to carry many healing remedies, for if the waters do not prove one's undoing, the beasts that guard many fine things will.
- from Journal (Ultima IX)

Trivia[edit]

Hythloth, as depicted in early Ultima IX concept art
  • Hythloth derives its name from hylotheism,[1] and for its first appearance in the Apple II version of Ultima IV, it is styled as "Hylothe." In all further ports of the game this was changed to "Hythloth," the spelling maintained throughout every subsequent Ultima in which the dungeon appears.
  • In Runes of Virtue, the Cavern of Pride also served as an underwater trans-oceanic tunnel leading to the Isle of the Avatar. Delving into its dark recesses, the hero located the Rune of Spirituality, as well the famed Mystic Sword. Further adventuring would also reveal the magic Troll Ring, which would disguise the hero as a troll so monsters would not attack.
  • In earlier drafts of Ultima IX from Bob White's tenure as lead designer, Hythloth appeared as a labyrinth of natural tunnels spanning the oceans of Britannia to connect the underwater Gargish city of Ambrosia with Britain's sewer system, much as in previous entries. In this version of the game, the Avatar was to navigate Hythloth in order to return to the mainland after seeking out the gargoyle ruler, Vasagralem, and his loyal subject, Desbet, as they took refuge in their abandoned subaquatic city.[2] The dungeon's cavernous surroundings were subsequently removed in the numerous alterations that preceded the final release of Ascension, with the environment of the former Britain sewers instead adopted as the setting for Hythloth.
  • An entire section of Hythloth in Ultima IX was deemed too difficult by play-testers and the dungeon was truncated. Curiously, however, that section was left in the finished game instead of being deleted or sealed off; there is only an optional transporter disc that allows the player to bypass the final areas.
  • The exit/entrance of Hythloth is blocked before going to Ambrosia but open afterward.
  • In the cancelled Ultima Online 2 and the Technocrat War trilogy, Hythloth was to be included as a dungeon on the southeastern continent of Logosia.

References[edit]

  1. Garriott, Richard et al. "Twitter / RichardGarriott". Twitter. 2013-12-23. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  2. White, Robert. Ultima IX: Ascension Dungeons - Hythloth. May 2, 1995. Page 1.

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