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The Friendly Knave tavern in Moonglow

Moonglow is a city situated on Verity Isle, which is dedicated to the virtue of Honesty. It has long been home to magicians and scholars and eventually expanded to merge with the Lycaeum, the great keep dedicated to the Principle of Truth and home to the most extensive library in Britannia.

The city also came to be home to a huge Orrery and Observatory, which allowed the scientifically minded to better examine to the astronomical workings of the Britannian Solar System. It also sported, for a time, the mysterious Oracle of Moonglow, which came to guard the Lycaeum's treasure, the Book of Truth.

Given its position as a bastion of academia and magic, the Moonglow's economy has long sported a number of herbalists and magical provisional, although in the course of the towne's history it has naturally had need for professionals of a more mundane nature.

The city shares its island with a Moongate, which allows travelers swift passage to the mainland.


The city of Moonglow likely had its roots in the earlier Sosarian settlement of Moon, also renowned for its mages. It is interesting to note that Moonshade, a city on the distant Serpent Isle founded by colonists from Moon resistant to Lord British's ideals, has a similar etymology to its name - with Moonshade, a city dedicated to the philosophy that magic is based in illusion, employing a word for darkness in its name, and Moonglow, a city dedicate to the tenant of Honesty, employing a word for light.

Age of Enlightenment[edit]

In Ultima IV, with the development of the Quest of the Avatar and the spread of the Eight Virtues, the city became devoted to Honesty. It was during this time that Mariah, then a young mageling with a sense of wanderlust, first joined with the Stranger in the hero's quest for Avatarhood.

By the time of Ultima V, the city, like most of Britannia's major settlements, fell victim to the Shadowlords. It was during this time that astronomy began to take hold as a calling in Moonglow, as Zachariah, an ardent student of the stars, had taken up residence there, and was studying the connected between the ill auspices of comets and the position of the Shadowlords. Malifora, a former member of the newly created Great Council, stayed within the city walls in spite of the threat of discover by Blackthorn's agents.

By Ultima VI, the city had already grown around the Lycaeum, and the members of former keep and the inhabitants of the town mingled as one community. As the Avatar had need of Mariah's skill as a translator during this time, the hero stopped through the city, coming in on the heels of the death of the keeper of the Rune of Honesty. The mayor of the city during this age was Aganar, a knowledgeable and honest man.

Age of Armageddon[edit]

The next two centuries heralded in changes for Moonglow, as the Lycaeum continued to be absorbed into the city and the construction of the famous Orrery and a new observatory was undertaken. At some point over these years the mage Penumbra, who had met the Avatar but briefly in the hero's adventures during the gargoyle war, foresaw that the champion of virtue would someday need her aid. To ensure that she could meet the Avatar when the time came, she placed herself in a deep mystical slumber after locking herself in her house by magical means.

By Ultima VII, Moonglow was a mixed community of mages, scholars, farmers and craftsmen - with the Lycaeum and Orrery towering over much of the cityscape. The Avatar eventually came to awaken Penumbra, who was able to assist the hero in alleviating the corruption of Britannia's ether by the Guardian. For a long time, the slow perversion of magical power had resulted in the insanity of most mages and a general intellectuality of the mystic arts. Once the ether was righted, however, these changes were swiftly undone.

Twenty years late, by the time of the events of Ultima IX, the city had grown smaller and in spite of the mana crisis, the architecture had changed radically in reflection of the inhabitants power including floating lights, a magically fueled flying gondola facilitating transport, and magic forcefield walls (with large unguarded gates). By this time, the Lycaeum had been reconstructed as a small floating building within the sky, with but a modest handful of materials. The people of this era, like so many others, fell victim to the corrupting influence of the Guardian's columns, and grew deceitful and ruthless. It was only after the Avatar was able to cleanse the Shrine of Honesty that virtue again took hold on the hearts of the populace.


On the southern end of Verity is situated the fabled town of Moonglow. The Magi of Moonglow are constantly improving their skills, being tireless in the pursuit of greater knowledge of the mystic arts. Within Moonglow, however, can be obtained the finest in mystical reagents. These herbs will help those with magical skills prepare and cast their spells.
Honest and the quest for truth is foremost to the mages of Moonglow; in fact, they abide no dishonesty and have no room for those who do. This towne, tucked on a southern tip of Verity Isle, has good food, reasonable priced herbs, and a fine observatory. There are rumors that thou mayst see thy future here.
On the southern tip of Verity Isle, the town of Moonglow welcomes those of faithful heart and noble intentions. Mages and scholars frequent this seagoing port because of its proximity to the libraries of the Lycaeum and because its accommodations and services are among the most reasonably priced in the land.
Moonglow is the City of Honesty and sits upon the southern tip of Verity Isle. It is where the Lycaeum, the great storehouse of knowledge and wisdom, is located. Nearby, the traveller will also find the Observatory, which contains an orrery. An active branch of The Fellowship also operates in Moonglow.
Moonglow regrets the temporary loss of one of its famous twin scholars - Nelson is in Britain for a year, to study the extensive archives of Castle British. However Moonglow, home of both the Lycaeum and Brion's Observatory, continues to be a center of scholarly activity. I would encourage aspiring scholars and sorcerers alike to study there.
A spiritual place, Moonglow inspires those who seek honesty in the world for themselves. Home to the renowned Lycaeum, a bastion for scholars of the principle of truth, Moonglow upholds Honesty as its paramount Virtue. In former times, travelers could find about the town many magical wonders, from potions to scrolls to magical relics. A deep and flowing river of ether gathered to Moonglow and its townspeople. Yet, this river has been polluted by unknown forces, and a howling void has divided the people. They whose spirits retain Virtuous mana crave a feeding of pure ether, yet there is none. Without the ether of Virtue, the magical arts of Moonglow have suffered for it. In the desperate search to fill this loss, some have turned away from the Virtues to crueler masters. Many have fled in search of a pure source of ether to renew their magic. In Moonglow, few are worth of trust. They who remain practice the humbler trades of potion making and linear magic. Though the pool of knowledge drains from Moonglow, it is still the first place to visit in search of magical items.


Ultima IV[edit]

Overview of Moonglow in Ultima IV


Nintendo port:

Ultima V[edit]

Overview of Moonglow in Ultima V (Ground)
Overview of Moonglow in Ultima V (Level 1)

Ultima V: Lazarus[edit]

Moonglow - Ultima V: Lazarus Map

Ultima VI[edit]

Map of Moonglow in Ultima VI, from The Book of Prophecy

The Ultima VI Project[edit]

Moonglow - Ultima 6 Project Map

Ultima VII[edit]

Overview of Moonglow in Ultima VII

Ultima VII (SNES Port)[edit]

Ultima IX[edit]

Map of Moonglow in Ultima IX


Ultima IV[edit]

Ultima IV (Nintendo Port)[edit]

Ultima V[edit]

Ultima VI[edit]

Ultima VII[edit]

Ultima IX[edit]

Things to see[edit]

Concept Art


  • As it can be seen on the early concept art, the radically different architecture of the city in Ultima IX actually was planned right from the start. However, the scale and detail-richness of the early plans were much greater, as can be seen in the art which represents only part of the city.
  • In Ultima VI, it is not entirely clear, where the city ends and the Lycaeum property starts. In Ultima VII, the Lycaeum property is reduced to the building itself.

Cities YewMinocSkara BraeBritainNew MaginciaMoonglowJhelomTrinsicMagincia
Castles Castle BritanniaEmpath AbbeyLycaeumSerpent's Hold
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
Settlements Argentrock IsleDaemon's CragTenebrae
Other Carthax LakeCatacombsCemeteryFishermen's ReefHall of the Mountain KingHerdsman's ValleyPlateauShrine of the Ancient OnesStone CoveTreasure CoveVengeance Bay