Temple of Virtue

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The Temple of Virtue

The Temple of Virtue, located in Cove, is a sanctum for devotees of the Eight Virtues of the Avatar. It appears in Ultima IV and Ultima V, and is the town's dominant structure of the period.


During the Quest of the Avatar, the Temple of Virtue was occupied by a sentient ankh and harbored the Candle of Love, which the Stranger found ensconced in a secret passageway within its walls. Under Lord Blackthorn's corrupted regime, the sanctuary remained as a testament to the Virtues and was tended by sisters Ava and Leona.

In the years following the subversion of the Shadowlords and ensuing rescue of Lord British from the depths of the Underworld, the temple was no longer to feature in Cove's humble townscape.


But perhaps the most striking edifice in Cove is the Temple of Virtue where disciples of the Avatar's ways commune together, contemplating the meaning and the power of Good. Here the visitor will find peace, wisdom, and a chance to truly strengthen the spirit.

The Ultima 6 Project[edit]

This is an Ultima 6 Project-related article or section. The information within may not apply to Ultima VI or other Ultima games.

In The Ultima 6 Project, the Temple of Virtue makes another appearance, instead of disappearing without a trace like in the original game.

In it, the temple has been overrun by gargoyles, and the Avatar and companions must free it from the invading force. During the battle in which they are locked into the temple, a militia group saves the Avatar from another abduction attempt. Afterwards, Ava and Leona (now aged to their mid-thirties) return to the temple to again take care of it, revealing that by this time, the Candle of Love no longer resided in the temple.

Ultima Saga[edit]

This article or section is about the Ultima Saga series of novels. The information within may not apply to Ultima V or other Ultima games.

In Lynn Abbey's Ultima Saga, the structure is known as the Temple of the Avatar. Within, Ava and Leona stood vigil, and the Flame of Virtue burned in the center of the room. In its flames, doubts were purged and trouble consciences can be cleansed, and citizens might improve their clarity of the virtues. It was most often visited by Virtue peers whose quests failed to grant them enlightenment.

The temple is mentioned in the Notebooks of the Grimaldi, which was written over a hundred years before Lord British's fateful descent; it says the Avatar's sisters guard the Flame until he returns. The same book also claims the Shrine of Spirituality sits atop a mountain in the Underworld...[1]


The Avatar's temple was not large: some twenty paces long, half that in width on the outside and only slightly smaller within. The rootbeams were exposed and unless there were a crypt beneath the floor, there was no place to hide, or live. Two women meditated beside the eternal Flame; neither of them looked older than Althea.
They tried not to disturb the acolytes as they searched the temple with the the inert talisman, hoping that Balthan's presence would bring it back to life. Althea and Drum left their baskets against a marble column, but none of the men would be parted from his weapon, and their hard-soled shoes tapped against the polished stone floor despite their best efforts to move silent.
"Have you come in search of understanding? You may step into the Flame whenever you're ready--but if it is your first time, we suggest you leave your weapons, your mail, and any other metal behind."
Jordan stiffened. The Flame of Virtue blazed to a man's height above the wide, empty brazier. It roared; it made the air around it shimmer. Looking at it, the young man did not believe he could enter it without being harmed.

- from The Temper of Wisdom (Ultima Saga)


  1. Abbey, Lynn. The Forge of Virtue. Questar Fantasy: 1991. Pages 241-245.