During the Avatar's adventures on Serpent Isle, Moonshade was home to a stratified society split between mages and Mundanes. The former comprised the ruling class of the city, dwelling in luxury and opulence, while those without talent in the mystic arts eked out existences as tradesmen and artificers. While limits on the powers of magicians were established by the ruling Council of Mages, the Moonshadian emphasis on the illusory seemed to be manifest in the ruling classes' behavior, with numerous mages flouting laws or engaging in clandestine projects.
The mages of Moonshade were descended from the people of the Old Sosarian city of Moon. During the early years of the Britannian Enlightenment, many of these magicians rejected Lord British's push to install the Eight Virtues as state philosophy, rejecting the ideals of Honesty that would prove foundational to Britannia's own city of Moonglow. Believing that magic was inextricably tied to the illusory and phantasmal, these mages joined with Erstam in his flight from the nascent Britannia on a ship known as the Osprey. They eventually made landfall on what had formerly been the Sosarian Lands of Danger and Despair and established a city in keeping with their own ethics of magic. Erstam, however, who had been both mentor and leader to Moon's spellcasters, grew both increasingly unstable of mind and increasingly impatient with his former students, and he eventually withdrew from Moonshadian society to live in isolation on a neighboring isle.
At the time of the Avatar's adventures on Serpent Isle, Moonshade was under the governance of the MageLord Filbercio, who was supported by a Council comprising of the weather magician Gustacio and the red sorceress Rotoluncia (who was shortly thereafter replaced by Mortegro following her death and by Fedabiblio following Mortegro's disappearance). The hero's encounters with the constantly politicking magicians led them through a number of harrowing experiences, but the Avatar and their companions were eventually able to leave the city relatively unharmed and in possession of a book of magical spells. After the release of the three Banes of Chaos, however, Moonshade was laid to waste by the Bane of Anarchy, who slew a large number of the city's inhabitants while in control of the body of the Avatar's companion Shamino.
The mages of Moon rejected the Oath of Honesty which Lord British demanded of them, believing that absolute honesty was both cruel and contrary to civil peace. Moonshade's name derives from the deep Moonshadian appreciation for the indirect and ephemeral, with the "Moon" part of the name being indicative of the ascendant and mystical power of magic over mortals and the "Shade" part of the name symbolizing the shadow in which mages hide from the unrelenting light of Honesty.
As a society, Moonshade organized itself into castes depending on individuals' proficiency in the magical arts. Adepts, who are capable of casting the highest levels of spells and who typically specialize in specific fields, formed the ruling class, and only adepts could serve as the ruling MageLord of the city or as one of the members of the supporting Council of Mages. Below these were ranked the lesser mages, who were trained in the mystic arts but who possessed powers less extensive than the adepts. The lowest ranked citizens of Moonshade were the Mundanes, those who have no capacity for spellcasting at all. While mundanes skilled in crafting goods or providing services useful to mages were allowed some measure of respect, to be a mundane in Moonshade was to be practically guaranteed second-class citizenship.
|“|| Both in Sosaria and here on the new continent, this town is dominated by members of my profession. In an attempt to rid ourselves of Lord British's tyrannical rule, we set out, joined by the residents of Fawn and the twin cities of Montor, to find the Serpent Pillars. Upon discovering land, my fellows and I settled immediately upon the Isle of Beyond's lake shores. So far, we have agreed upon government by a council of mages. Those who live in Moonshade trade with the Guilder.|
Later note: As the surrounding area is filled with useful resources, Moonshade has attracted a great many artisans. They trade in wood-workings, glass, weaponry and wine, in addition to our own supply of reagents. I know the others are displeased, as am I. However, I find still less pleasure in the ridiculous propositions of my fellow enchanters. Beragdole even had the audacity to claim I was becoming paranoid! I have no need for their petty squabbles and inconsequential spells, for my research has taken me far beyond their capabilities.
- Andrio: novice
- Bucia: shop girl
- Columna: mage
- Ducio: master artisan
- Ernesto: ranger
- Fedabiblio: mage teacher
- Freli: novice
- Filbercio: MageLord
- Flindo: merchant
- Frigidazzi: ice sorceress
- Gustacio: senior mage
- Captain Hawk: sailor
- Julia: Ranger Commander
- Melino: mage
- Mortegro: necromage
- Mosh: homeless woman
- Petra: automaton woman
- Pothos: apothecary
- Rocco: tavern owner
- Rotoluncia: mage
- Selina: mage
- Stefano: thief
- Topo: artisan
- Torrissio: automaton-maker, mage
- The fountain in the center of Moonshade provides a healing effect.
- While there is little information about Moonshadian holidays in the game, it is mentioned that the city celebrates a "Feast of Illusions," and it is at such an event that Filbercio made a gift of a fur cap to his mistress Frigidazzi.
- Plot documents for Ultima VII Part Two show that considerably more content was planned for Moonshade at one point in time. In these outlines, the Bane of Anarchy was supposed to seize control of the city and invert the social order within it, rather than simply slaughtering most of the populace.
- Hobbs, Sheri Graner. Balancing the Scales (Ultima VII Part Two). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1993.
- Morris, Andrew P.. Beyond the Serpent Pillars (Ultima VII Part Two). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1993.
- Fedabiblio. Paul Carr's Ultima Transcripts. Ultima VII Part Two. "Adepts".
- Julia (U7 pt 2). Paul Carr's Ultima Transcripts. Ultima VII Part Two. "ideals".
- Pothos. Paul Carr's Ultima Transcripts. Ultima VII Part Two. "Adept".
- Fedabiblio. Paul Carr's Ultima Transcripts. Ultima VII Part Two. "Adepts, artisans, lesser mages, Moonshade, mundanes".
- Bucia. Paul Carr's Ultima Transcripts. Ultima VII Part Two. "fur cap".
|Cities||Fawn ☥ Monitor ☥ Moonshade|
|Settlements||Inn of the Sleeping Bull ☥ Isles of the Mad Mage ☥ Monk Isle|
|Dungeons||Skullcrusher ☥ Spinebreaker ☥ Furnace ☥ Knight's Test ☥ Mountains of Freedom|
|Ruins||Shamino's Castle ☥ Castle of the White Dragon ☥ Shrine of Balance ☥ Temple of Discipline ☥ Temple of Emotion ☥ Temple of Enthusiasm ☥ Temple of Ethicality ☥ Temple of Logic ☥ Temple of Tolerance|
|Islands|| Claw ☥ Isle of Crypts ☥ Gwani Death Temple ☥ Ice Dragon's Lair ☥|
Isles of the Mad Mage ☥ Monk Isle ☥ Penguin Island ☥ Sunrise Isle
|Interesting Areas||Gorlab Swamp ☥ Great Northern Forest ☥ Ice Plains ☥ Knight's Forest ☥ Serpent Isle Guard Towers ☥ Western Forest|
|Settlements||Argentrock Isle ☥ Daemon's Crag ☥ Tenebrae|
|Other||Carthax Lake ☥ Catacombs ☥ Cemetery ☥ Fishermen's Reef ☥ Hall of the Mountain King ☥ Herdsman's Valley ☥ Plateau ☥ Shrine of the Ancient Ones ☥ Stone Cove ☥ Treasure Cove ☥ Vengeance Bay|