Monitor

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Monitor is a city on Serpent Isle that appears in Ultima VII Part Two.

Description[edit]

Monitor's Fighter Park

Monitor is the southernmost city on Serpent Isle, situated just to the west of the subterranean dungeon known as Furnace. For many ages its inhabitants paid homage to the principle of Courage, training themselves in the arts of war and doing battle with the goblin tribes to the west.

At the time of the Avatar's travels in Serpent Isle, Monitor was a populous city, with its denizens divided into three competing military factions known as Commands. While Monitor itself was strongly fortified, its pikemen were a familiar sight outside of the city's walls, as the Monitorian people had established several guard posts across Serpent Isle's mainland, ostensibly to offer protection to travelers from other settlements. During this period, character of the city's culture was considered by many to be in decline, with Monitorian knights being perceived as arrogant and corrupt, caring more for money and personal honor than about the martial values established by the city's founders.[1][2]

History[edit]

Monitor traces its origins to twin cities of Montor in Old Sosaria. During the early years of the Age of Enlightenment, when Lord British first began to establish the Eight Virtues as his state philosophy, the Montorian Lords Kosric and Pedigar convinced their people to join with the inhabitants of Fawn and Moon in fleeing British's reign, feeling that Courage was a value superior to all others. Led by the mage Erstam, these emigrants sailed through the great Serpent Pillars on a ship known as the Osprey[3] and eventually came to land on the shores of a continent that had once been Lands of Danger and Despair before the sundering of Mondain's gem.[4] According to the Monitorian author Andrew, Kosric and Pedigar were responsible for saving the entire expedition from a band of trolls as the Osprey made landfall, although this legend is not corroborated by any other source.[5]

Monitor was founded on this new land by the former inhabitants of the Montors, and it was built close to the area where the Sosarian city of Turtle would have once stood. In keeping with the marital ethics of the Montorans, Monitor was dedicated to the concept of Courage. Even in its earliest days, however, the people of this city were prone to factionalism and disagreement, and the three different Commands, named for different types of animals, came into existence as a result of these disputes. Erstam, working with the Monitorians, helped to develop the Knight's Test, which became used as an initiatory ordeal to induct all Monitorian citizens into one of the Commands when they reached the age of fifteen.[6] Those who refused to undertake this trial were subject to banishment. In the interest of mitigating conflict, rulership of the city was jointly shared by the heads of each Command, who took turns serving as the city's lord throughout the course of each year.

By the time that the Avatar arrived on Serpent Isle, political tensions in Monitor were nearing a breaking point and the war effort against the goblin tribes was hamstrung by a number of Monitorians engaging in deliberate treason. While the hero would have the opportunity to right some of the wrongs being perpetrated within the city, Britannia's champion was unable to save it from its ultimate destruction. Following the release of the three Banes of Chaos, the Bane of Wantoness, possessing the body of Sir Dupre, led an army of goblins and beasts against Monitor. The city fell, and most of its inhabitant were slaughtered.

Culture[edit]

The Monitorians were wholly dedicated to the concept of Courage in a martial sense, valuing bravery, prowess in battle, and glory in combat. Their exact philosophies regarding fighting and military strategy, however, varied greatly among the three competing Commands. The Bear Command valued the cultivation of physical strength and advocated for a defensive approach to war, focusing on bolstering the city's fortifications; the Wolf Command was known for favoring cunning tactics in combat and were in favor of expanding Monitor's reach beyond its city walls, establishing guard towers to protect the roads and other mainland settlements; the Leopard Command considered themselves to be peacemakers, attempting to draw the conflicting views of the Wolves and Bears into compromise.[7]

While the Monitorian people had a deep distrust of the magical arts and a particular disdain for the inhabitants of Moonshade, they had numerous cultural rites that involved some degree of mysticism. The held in special regard the cremated remains of their dead, and the trial of the Knight's Test, which had been designed by magical means, involved the ritual combining of blood with the ashes of their historic enemy, the goblin chieftain Gurnordir, to summon the totemic animal that would determine the Command to which a new knight belongs.[8] Gurnordir's legacy also lived on in the city's Helm of Courage, an artifact that was captured following the goblin war leader's defeat and that was worn by the city's Knight Champion.[9]

Lore[edit]

Coat of Arms of Monitor
Though still a warrior-based society, Monitor bears little resemblance to the Two Montors, its source cities. The town is quickly dividing into three clans: the Bear, Wolf and Leopard. Apparently all three seem to have retained their admiration of the principle of Courage, but their competition has reduced such a lofty aspiration to an object of trivial contention. Not even on the definition of Courage can they agree. There are plans to devise tests of mettle, though I expect there will be no cooperation to speed progress along. The coin used by the residents of Monitor is the Monetari.

Later note: The test was constructed. Despite my prediction to the contrary, all three factions worked in harmony to design this challenge. In more than two hundred years, the tenuous ties among the three have weakened remarkably little. However, the lines of division are still present. Members of each clan color their faces with tattoos symbolizing their totem animal.

Inhabitants[edit]

Map of Monitor

Services[edit]

Places[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • The design for Monitor's coat of arms (seen above) originates, albeit inverted, from the heraldic device adopted by Ultima VII Part Two programmer Eric Brown when participating in the Society for Creative Anachronism as Sir Caladin Ironhearth.[10]
  • An unvirtuous Avatar who sees fit to raid Monitor's treasury may abscond with a total of 270 monetari and 13 gold nuggets.

References[edit]

  1. LucillaPaul Carr's Ultima TranscriptsUltima VII Part Two. "worthy".
  2. ArgusPaul Carr's Ultima TranscriptsUltima VII Part Two. "ideals".
  3. Hobbs, Sheri Graner. Balancing the Scales (Ultima VII Part Two). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1993.
  4. Morris, Andrew P.. Beyond the Serpent Pillars (Ultima VII Part Two). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1993.
  5. Andrew of Monitor. Courageous Deeds (Ultima VII Part Two - in-game).
  6. Morris, Andrew P.. Beyond the Serpent Pillars (Ultima VII Part Two). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1993.
  7. Lord MarstenPaul Carr's Ultima TranscriptsUltima VII Part Two. "Bears, Leopards, Wolves".
  8. RenfryPaul Carr's Ultima TranscriptsUltima VII Part Two. "mysticism".
  9. Lord MarstenPaul Carr's Ultima TranscriptsUltima VII Part Two. "Helm of Monitor".
  10.  Homepage for Eric Brown. Retrieved 2016-11-04.

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