Penumbra

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Penumbra
PenumbraU7.png
Penumbra, from Ultima VII
Species: Human
Appearances
Ultima VII
Location: Moonglow
Ultima VI
Penumbra U6.GIF
Penumbra, from Ultima VI
Location: Moonglow
U6 Transcript: Penumbra
The Ultima 6 Project
UnfinishedF3-U6Project.png
Penumbra, from The Ultima 6 Project
Location: Moonglow
Ultima: Runes of Virtue
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Penumbra, from Ultima: Runes of Virtue
Location: Britannia

Penumbra, also known as the "Daughter of the Eclipse," is a powerful mage and seer of gypsy descent. She lived in Moonglow for over two hundred years, appearing in both Ultima VI and Ultima VII.

Description[edit]

Age of Enlightenment[edit]

Little is known of Penumbra's youth, although Karina, daughter of Zoltan, claimed her as a sister, and would ask the Avatar for news of her during their conversations.[1] Whatever her past life among the Britannian gypsies, however, the magician eventually abandoned the itinerant life of her people and settled in the towne of Honesty, where she became romantically involved with Beyvin, the keeper of the city's Rune.[2][3]

In the year before the events of Ultima VI Beyvin was fatally stabbed in an altercation, and Penumbra buried her dead partner with the Rune he had sworn to protect.[4][5] When the Avatar journeyed to Moonglow during the gargoyle wars, the fortune-teller revealed this to the hero, further offering to discover the mantra of Honesty and to perform a more general divination of events to come, albeit all for a price.

Fellow gypsy and mystic, Taynith, would nevertheless push the Avatar to consult her, and should the hero indeed hire Penumbra's services, the mage would fall into a trance, intermittently asking for additional gold to assist her as she attempted to scry into the future. While such a performance could end up costing the Avatar a fair amount of money, the visions she claimed to see in her crystal ball eventually gave genuine insight into the hero's imminent venture to the gargoyle homeland and subsequent quest for the two lenses.[6]

Age of Armageddon[edit]

Following the eventual end of the war, Penumbra secured her house with a cryptic enchantment and cast herself into a deep magical stasis, predicting her future reawakening by the Avatar when the hero would again need her aid.

In Ultima VII, the Avatar was tasked with solving a puzzle locking Penumbra's house, which required the hero to place a variety of items before her door. When the sleeping mage at last revived from her two-hundred-year slumber, the effects of the damaged ether overwhelmed and debilitated her, necessitating the use of four blackrock pieces as a protective filter to prevent her falling into the same madness plaguing other magicians of the realm.[7]

Once shielded from the ethereal waves, Penumbra revealed the source of their disruption, the Tetrahedron Generator, as well as its location. She then directed the Avatar to obtain Lord Draxinusom's Ethereal Ring, citing it as a prerequisite in breaching the generator's defense. Eventually tracing the ring's whereabouts to the vaults of Spektran's eccentric sultan, Martingo, the hero was able to retrieve it and bring it to Penumbra for enchantment, that its power might be exploited in the effort to restore the ethereal flow.[8]

After lending her vital assistance, Penumbra resumed her former business in Moonglow as a practicing mage, selling reagents and spells.

Trivia[edit]

Penumbra's counterpart, 'Manda, photographed during the Wild Basin expedition for Ultimate Adventures.
  • Penumbra's counterpart in reality is 'Manda (formerly 'Manda Dee), an artist and writer for Ultima VI, Savage Empire, Martian Dreams, and Runes of Virtue. Since co-founding Dragon's Eye Productions with Origin colleague Dr. Cat to develop their 1996 MMORPG, Furcadia, she has also taken the pseudonym "Talzhemir Mrr".
  • Penumbra claims to be the "daughter of the eclipse".[9] This alludes to her name, which is a Latin word meaning "almost shadow" and particularly used in astronomy when describing shadows of celestial bodies.
  • In Runes of Virtue, Penumbra can be found in the Lycaeum and proffers help to the Avatar. She is later found in the city of Moonglow in Runes of Virtue II, where she tells the hero to seek out the Amulet of Lightning in the Cavern of Deceit, and offers various magical restoratives for sale.
  • In the SNES Port of Ultima VII, Penumbra's home has no magical defenses, although the potion of awakening needed to rouse her is quite expensive, and may be purchased from Sarah for one thousand pieces of gold. Once Penumbra is awakened she will require the Blackrock Talisman from the Vesper Mines in order to stave off the ill effects of the ether.[10]

References[edit]

  1. KarinaEtherealSoftwareUltima VI. "Penumbra, sister".
  2. PenumbraEtherealSoftwareUltima VI. "Beyvin".
  3. Shapiro, David et al. "Moonglow". The Book of Prophecies (Ultima VI). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1990. Page 11.
  4. PenumbraEtherealSoftwareUltima VI. "Beyvin".
  5. Shapiro, David et al. "Moonglow". The Book of Prophecies (Ultima VI). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1990. Page 11.
  6. PenumbraEtherealSoftwareUltima VI. "foretell, fortune, future, honesty, mantra, rune, teller".
  7. PenumbraUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "blackrock, protect".
  8. PenumbraUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "ring".
  9. PenumbraEtherealSoftwareUltima VI. "name".
  10. PenumbraUltima VII SNES TranscriptUltima VII. "ether, give talisman".