From Ultima Codex
Jump to: navigation, search
Jester, from Ultima IV manual
First appearance: Ultima I
Last appearance: Ultima VII Part Two

Jesters are those employed for the telling of jokes and the contribution of public entertainment. They stereotypically wear clothing of a motley pattern and a tri-pointed belled hat as emblems of their profession, and can often be found in the entourage of kings and lords, brightening the day to day affairs of castle life with their jibes.

Early History[edit]

In the earliest days of Sosaria, much like the larks of the age, jesters had a reputation for occasional maliciousness, and were known to engage in petty theft and cruel pranks. In the days of Ultima I, the Stranger found that the jesters which served within the eight castles of the then divided realm all held keys to the cells of imprisoned princesses, and it became necessary to murder these fools that the women might be freed.

Later, during the temporal distortions of Ultima II, jesters were figures of import in two settlements. The town of Le Jester in archaic Namibia, featured what appeared to be a jester walled up in some manner of monument in the center of the village. Even more bizarrely, in the 22nd century, a colony known as New Jester could be found on the planet Uranus, inhabited entirely by jesters who would swarm unrelentingly around any who entered their domain - going so far as to block their victim's egress until the target died of starvation.

In later years, such troubling associations with the profession eventually dissipated, and jesting became one of many perfectly normal occupations held amongst the Britannian populace.


The castles are often built of stone and peopled with merchants, courtiers, guards and fools. Beware of the jesters, for although they amuse, they may also deceive.
Bouncing about in eternal jumping jacks, jesters are usually the buffoons you'd expect—but occasionally the buffoonery masks great wisdom.
They entertain Lord British with their antics. Occasionally they even harass visitors.

Notable Examples[edit]

  • Chuckles the Bumble, the personal jester of Lord British, is probably the most notable jester within the series. While often frustrating and obnoxious, he has served the Avatar numerous times as a font of useful clues, even if they are occasionally difficult to unravel.
  • Gwenno, the wife of famed bard Iolo FitzOwen, was employed as a jester in some of her earlier appearances and served as an entertainer for the children of Britain at one point, instructing them in the art of dance and the virtue of Compassion.
  • Foulwell, the personal jester of Lord Blackthorn in Ultima V , entertained in a manner reflecting the dark atmosphere of the age - jesting about the attempted rape of a women by guards and the execution of a young child.
  • Hardluck, a jester in residence at Empath Abbey during Blackthorn's regime in Ultima V was a good example of how subtle political messages which sometimes crop up in the songs of wit-crackers and fools. He composed a ballad relating to the downfall of Blackthorn and how his debased state had its root with the Shadowlords rather than having sprung from the regent's own heart.


Remains of the killer jesters
Crusty the jester
  • In Ultima III, a group of homicidal jesters can be found imprisoned on the lost island of Ambrosia.
  • In Ultima VII Part Two, the Banes of Chaos in the Castle of the White Dragon at one point beset the Avatar with a hoard of killer jesters, who are capable of throwing balls of magic fire. Elsewhere, on the southwestern edge of Knight's Forest, a particularly amiable jester (referred to as Crusty in the game's internal data) inhabits a squalid hut with few belongings of note, save for a trapped chest holding modest sums of filari and guilders. Once approached, the eager recluse doggedly follows the Avatar's party while offering unrelenting pleasantries, until a time at which combat mode is engaged and he is automatically identified as a foe.

See Also[edit]