Lydia, from Ultima VII Part Two
This article is about an NPC in Ultima VII Part II. For and NPC in Ultima IX, see Lydia (U9).
A member of the Bear Command, Lydia was Monitor's tattoo artist, working at a small parlor adjoining her personal apartment on Pedigar street. It was her hand that gave each initiated Knight the mark of their Command, and she was also given authorization by Lord Marsten to do additional tattoo work to memorialize certain deeds of great valor accomplished by fighters in their later years. Lydia claimed that she hailed from a line of tattooists reaching back twelve generations, and she learned her craft from her mother. She often practiced on herself that she might perfect her art, and swirls of ink were tattooed all over her body, spelling out ciphered messages about her past deeds.
When she was eight years of age, her older sister, Selene, was abducted by the Magister of Moonshade, who had detected magical potential within the girl and required her to be raised as a mage. The children's mother, devastated by the loss of her daughter, was later slain by bandits, although Lydia believed that her defeat in battle could ultimately be traced back to her broken heart, which had sapped her will to live.
About a month prior to the Avatar's arrival on the Serpent Isle, Lydia was at long last reunited with her sister, now going by the name Celennia or Selina. The young adept had come under the employ of the sage Batlin, and while the details of what exactly transpired are unclear, she was instrumental in leading Lydia into an conspiracy to assassinate Lord British's champion. The Avatar, who completed the ordeal of the Knight's Test in order to attain the respect of the Monitorians, was required to visit Lydia to receive a ceremonial tattoo denoting the Command to which the hero belonged. Lydia mixed a rare poison into the ink she used for tattooing, expecting the Avatar to sicken and die after contracting an infection. The hero, however, would be able to overcome the resulting sickness with the aid of Harnna and the Fawnish herbalist Delphynia, and after learning of the nature of the illness, the Avatar could confront Lydia about her treachery. Should this transpire, Lydia would attack the Avatar with an envenomed dagger, denouncing the new-made Knight as the servant of "Demon British." Her attempt on the Avatar's life, however, would ultimately prove unsuccessful.
|“|| -- just because a woman tries to kill thee, is no reason to defame her good name.|
- It is technically possible to simply ignore Lydia's attack and thus avoid killing her, although she will remain a hostile NPC for the remaining duration of the game.
- A search of Lydia's quarters will turn up 4 monetari and some sleeping powder.
- Lydia apparently has a number of tattoos on hidden parts of her body, and should Dupre be in the party while talking to her, he will make a flirtatious request to examine her more intimate work.
- The picture of Lydia in the Serpent Isle Clue Book omits the character's many tattoos, which feature prominently in her in-game portrait.
- Lydia is named after the 1939 song Lydia the Tattooed Lady by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, which was featured prominently in many Marx Brothers films.
- The character portrait for Lydia was based upon the wife of an unknown member of Origin Systems' management team. Disapproving of the character's negative portrayal and unbeknownst to the Serpent Isle team, the character was at one point rewritten in-game to be less negative, until the change was discovered and corrected.
- Lydia. Paul Carr's Ultima Transcripts. Ultima VII Part Two. "artist, duties, patterns, special tattoos, tradition".
- Lydia. Paul Carr's Ultima Transcripts. Ultima VII Part Two. "daughter, mother, Selene, Warlock".
- Harnna. Paul Carr's Ultima Transcripts. Ultima VII Part Two. "Lydia".
- Julia. Paul Carr's Ultima Transcripts. Ultima VII Part Two. "Celennia's disappearance, Mage".
- Lydia. Paul Carr's Ultima Transcripts. Ultima VII Part Two.
- Lydia. Paul Carr's Ultima Transcripts. Ultima VII Part Two. "spots?".
- “The Night the Directors Left.” – An Interview with Bill Armintrout. Retrieved 2012-03-25.