Spellbook (item)

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This article is about an in-game item. For the Ultima IX manual, see Spellbook.

Holding a spellbook
The spellbook is the most important part of casting spells in Britannian Magic, and without it, no magic can be done. In the spellbook, all spells known to the mage are written down for easy access. Spells can be learned from other mages (of course after paying in gold), and are then recorded in the book for later use. Typically, the more experienced a mage is, the more expansive his or her spellbook becomes.

Thankfully, the usage of a spellbook makes the mixing of reagents obsolete, as the book uses the right qualities of reagents once the spell is spoken. It appears in Ultima VI, Ultima VII, Ultima VII Part Two and Ultima IX.


Spellbooks came into widespread use at beginning of the Gargoyle invasion. Before this, spellbooks weren't required, and the spells were mixed directly. In prior times, magic scrolls appeared which duplicated the various spell effects, but they were somewhat unpractical, and fell out of use.

In Ultima VI, spells could be readily purchased from other mages and then added manually to the spellbook, and Lord British even had a spellbook ready for the Avatar in his castle. In Ultima VII, purchased spells were automatically recorded into the book. Again, Lord British had a spellbook ready for the Avatar, while two more could be found in the dungeons Destard and Hythloth. In Ultima VII Part Two the Avatar started with a spellbook, but lost it in a teleport storm. Fedabiblio in Moonshade was able to create a replacement for the Avatar, using three fresh Mandrake Roots.

The rules for spellbooks changed significantly in Ultima IX, see Ultima IX Magic. The Avatar here found a spellbook in Stonegate.


The pages of a Spellbook
An Ultima IX spellbook
The mage's principle tool is his spellbook, a collection of incantations and alchemical formulae which empower him in marvelous and often unexpected ways. Learn now the inner secrets of spellcasting, information reserved for the elite society of sorcerers.
The first component necessary for the successful casting of spells by a mage is his spellbook. It is his principle tool and without it the mage cannot function. This book contains the formulae and incantations required to cast the specific spells that a mage knows. As mages become more experienced they can acquire new spells. A wise and long-practicing mage may have a great tome filled with strange drawings, diagrams and writings. These writings will be explained in greater detail in a forthcoming section. Every mage's spellbook contains several basic magical spells called linear spells. These too will be explained in their own section.
The spellbook is the most fundamental facet of casting, for within it lie the complete details for every spell in the mage's repertoire. Descriptions of the necessary reagents, explanations for the words of power and listings of the incantations are all presented. Most such references are unreadable by the common person, but a wizened spell caster can understand any spell he has already learned. The more enchantments a wizard has in his spellbook, the more powerful he becomes.
I might also note that I have discovered scrolls engraved with spells in this new realm. I know that such spells can be cast directly from their scroll (rendering them subsequently useless, unfortunately), and I am investigating the possibility that they can be transcribed into my spellbook for repeated use.
A tome suitable for the permanent storage of the spells of a mage. To store a spell, a mage must perform the Ritual of Binding with the proper reagents. Once bound to his spellbook, a spell can be used by the owner of the book when he has sufficient mana to cast it.


  • Despite the Avatar's reliance on the spellbook, in Ultima VII, Jaana does not require a book for healing.
  • The Avatar's Britannian spellbook carries spells native to the Serpent Isle upon first arriving in the new world. Testing it however is impossible. At the start, the Avatar has no reagents, and once the spellbook is rediscovered, it is ruined and disintegrates when the Avatar attempts to use it.