Minax

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Minax
Minax.gif
Minax, from Ultima VI
Species: Unknown
Appearances
Ultima VI
Location: Shrine of Passion
U6 Transcript: Minax
The Ultima 6 Project
Minax-U6Project.png
Minax, from The Ultima 6 Project
Location: Shrine of Passion
Ultima II
Minax2.jpg
Minax, from Ultima II
Location: Shadowguard

Minax is a powerful enchantress who served as both apprentice and paramour to the magician Mondain. After her lover's demise at the hands of the Stranger, Minax attempted revenge, going on to devastate the hero's home world in Ultima II before she was slain.

Biography[edit]

Minax as she appears in the introduction to the FM Towns port of Ultima I.

It is not known when and where Minax was born, although her potential for magic was discovered at an early age. It is known that she was already a prodigy by the age of three, having mastered the powers of telekinesis. At eleven years of age she was willingly apprenticed to Mondain.[1] It is unknown at what point their romance began in the course of her tutelage, although an account which Lord British provided for the Stranger implies she was still a child at the time of Mondain's eventual death at the hands of the hero.[1] Between the two of them, they were able to devise the creation of Exodus, a complex daemonic machine which would eventually arise to attempt vengeance for them both. Minax also co-authored a tome known as the Black Compendium with Mondain and Exodus, which gives elaborate instructions on how to prolong ones life through dark ritual magic.[2]

After the destruction of Mondain, Minax was outraged and heartbroken, although still inexperienced and not at the full apex of her power. She mourned the loss both of her beloved and of the Gem of Immortality, which she had hoped one day to obtain.[3] Years passed while she worked to amass magical skill that would dwarf that of her former mentor. Eventually she began her revenge.

Minax as she appears in the Hintbook for the NES-Port of Ultima III

From her fortress, the castle Shadowguard in the Time of Legends, Minax began to subtly tamper with the history of the Stranger's Earth, slowly turning nations against one another as she clandestinely bred an army of monstrosities. The culmination of her plans came in the year 2111 A.D., when the major powers of the world slaughtered one another in a nuclear holocaust, leaving the planet a lifeless waste. Although Minax attacked Earth, she is also known historically as the harbinger of Sosaria's Second Age of Darkness, implying that her influence may have affected multiple worlds.

However, in spite of this seemingly absolute victory, the Stranger was still able to counteract her plans. The emergence of mysterious silver time doors on the planet had made it possible for observers to traverse through various eras, making it possible comprehend her machinations over history. A committee of such observers, which included Lord British, was able to inform the hero of Minax's actions, and the Stranger was thus able to prepare to fight her, knowing that her demise would put an end to her works.[4]

In Ultima II, the Stranger traveled through time and distance to assail Minax's keep, armed with the Quicksword, Enilno. The hero was able to slay her with the enchanted weapon, and time returned to its original course, with all memory of Minax's legacy gone from the minds of all save a select few.[4]

Existence After Death[edit]

After her demise, the Gargish race managed to remove Minax's spirit from its place in the Void, and placed her consciousness it into their Shrine of Passion, convinced that her tempestuous life of desires had made her a fitting representation of the Principle. It was here, upon the gargoyle homelands that the Avatar found her in Ultima VI. In this meeting, she explained to the hero that she now regretted her actions, having had time to comprehend their full weight. She explained that passion had been the essence of her soul, but that in life, her passion had been boundless and without limit. She cautioned her former adversary that passion must be focused and given direction, and that unbridled passion - the desire for all things - can lead only to chaos.[5]

It is not known what became of Minax after this encounter, as the gargoyle's lands were eventually destroyed, and it is unclear if the altar to Passion later established on Terfin was the original which held the enchantress or a facsimile. However, it is known that Exodus, whose psyche was similarly enshrined by the gargoyles, appeared to make an attempt to reunite itself with the Dark Core during the events of Ultima VII, implying that the construct's spirit was free from constraint. It may be that after the destruction of the world of the gargoyles, Minax's was likewise at liberty to wander.

In Manga[edit]

Minax in the manga

Minax appears in Seiji Tanaka's manga re-imagining of Ultima III, in which she appears as one of the lieutenants of Exodus, along with Mondain after the hellspawn resurrected them following their original respective defeats.[6] In the narrative, Minax's control over space-time proves a crucial plot point, as it allows for the protagonist, Genji, to have had a formative childhood encounter with the cleric Aida - who is flung across space and time by Minax to a moment years before Genji meets her.[7]


Lore[edit]

Minax is defeated
After Mondain's passing, Minax the enchantress brought forth terrors to menace the populace. She had been apprentice to Mondain. Perhaps more than that, if the moaning and wailing that echoed through the halls outside their shared bedchamber bore any meaning. She established a reign of death and destruction, her magic fueled by the strength of her passion. Again it was only the return of the Avatar that put an end to the oppression. Minax was vanquished, as Mondain before her.
Through darkness and despair

The land was bare
Looking for Thee, Mondain
Alas, but in vain
My soul and mine heart
Pierced by Cupid's dart
Will never heal
Without Mondain's will
Love is a desolate land
Unless Thou, Mondain
Takest me by the hand
To thy youth fountain
-- Minax

Trivia[edit]

  • "Minax" is a Latin word meaning "threatening" or "ill-boding."
  • In Ultima II, Minax's dialogue, "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero only one," is a quotation from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.[8]
  • The book Artifacts of Darkness references Minax's Crystal Ring as being an item of note. The ring was not an immediately apparent object in Ultima II (unless it was the Force Field Ring obtained from the old man) and did not feature in any later games, and hence this artifact's powers and uses are not known.[9]
  • In Ultima VII, the blind mage Erethian, who had long dwelt upon the Isle of Fire as it lay beneath the ocean, spoke tenderly of Minax, as though he had known her in life. Whether Erethian was actually a contemporary of the enchantress or whether the mage was simply speaking out of a nostalgia for ages past is unclear. [10]

See Also[edit]

External Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Rollo, Mary Taylor. "The Story of Minax". The Second Age of Darkness (Ultima II). Sierra On-Line, Inc.: 1983. Page 14.
  2. Mondain et al. The Black Compendium (Ultima VII - in-game).
  3. Garriott, Richard et al. "Folklore". The Book of Lore (Ultima V). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1988. Pages 4.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Rollo, Mary Taylor. "The Story of Minax". The Second Age of Darkness (Ultima II). Sierra On-Line, Inc.: 1983. Pages 14-15.
  5. MinaxUltima VI TranscriptUltima VI. "name, job, pass".
  6. Tanaka, Seiji. Exodus (Ultima III). JICC: August 15, 1988. Page 30.
  7. Tanaka, Seiji. Exodus (Ultima III). JICC: August 15, 1988. Pages 116-130.
  8. MinaxUnderworld Dragon's Ultima II TranscriptUltima II.
  9. Morgaelin, Mordra. Artifacts of Darkness (Ultima VII - in-game).
  10. ErethianUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "Minax".