Triad of Evil

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The Triad of Evil refers to the three main villains of the Age of Darkness: Mondain, Minax, and Exodus. This is their character profiles put together into one file.

Mondain[edit]

Triad of Evil
Mondain-uo-intro.jpg
Triad of Evil, from Ultima Online
Species: Unknown
Appearances
Ultima Online
Ultima VI
Mondain.gif
Triad of Evil, from Ultima VI
Location: Shrine of Control
U6 Transcript: Triad of Evil
The Ultima 6 Project
Mondain-U6Project.png
Triad of Evil, from The Ultima 6 Project
Location: Shrine of Control
Ultima I
Mondain-arrival.png
Triad of Evil, from Ultima I
Location: Time of Legends

Mondain is a powerful enchanter responsible for numerous evils during the early ages of Sosaria, clashing with the young knight, British during the events of Akalabeth and eventually meeting his end at the hands of the Stranger in Ultima I.

Biography[edit]

Mondain was the second born son of the wizard Wolfgang,[1] the king of an unknown land of ancient Sosaria. Little about Mondain's childhood and formative events that may have shaped his early life are known, and his brother's name has never been uncovered. Whatever his circumstances, Mondain grew into a severely troubled, albeit magically talented youth, subject to frequent fits of rage and depression. By the age of fifteen, his father observed that he had taken to killing animals as a means of coping with whatever ill humors plagued him, finding consolation in his seeming power over life and death. Concerned with this sociopathic behavior, Wolfgang insisted that Mondain take a year away from his magical studies to be tutored by monks at a local abbey, hoping that this intervention would instill virtue and compassion within the violent youth. As a reward for completing such an education, the king promised his son a magical ruby gem, capable of harnessing the power of the sun.[2]

Mondain as he appears in the Hintbook for the NES-Port of Ultima III
Impatient for power and jealous of his brother's birthright,[1] Mondain slew his father the night after this ultimatum was issued. Over the rest of his life, he progressively turned the magic within the gem upon itself, twisting it into an artifact of darkness. At some point in time before the gem's final completion, Mondain took on as apprentice a young girl named Minax, who eventually grew to become his paramour and co-author of many of his evils. The couple's eventual progeny came in the form of a daemonic construct known as Exodus, which lay dormant under the sea for decades following its creation. Mondain also compiled a tome known as the Black Compendium with assistance from Minax and Exodus. The book gives elaborate instructions on how to prolong one's life through dark ritual magic.[3]

Mondain was able to release his wrath upon Sosaria, allying himself with all manner of evil beings and setting them upon the people of land. In a reality perhaps never fully realized, Mondain's terrors assaulted the Sosarians for many years, with their creator eventually seeking allies amongst the heavens themselves, creating dark compacts with savage travellers from the stars. In spite of this seeming stranglehold over the realm, the mage did meet with one early defeat in his skirmishes against the kingdom of Akalabeth, having his forces routed by the young champion, British of the White Light, a Terran youth who was granted a kingship over half of the land for his valor.

The Stranger fighting Mondain

The ill magics now woven into the black Gem of Immortality helped to ensure Mondain's desire to live forever. At the moment before Mondain's gem was completed, a hero, known to history as the Stranger, arrived from one thousand years in the future using a Time Machine.[4] Shattering Mondain's artifact, the Stranger prevented the enchanter from becoming immortal, and thereafter slew him.

Although one thousand years later, British proved instrumental in the defeat of the sorcerer, summoning the Stranger from his homeland through means of a magical amulet.[2]

Existence After Death[edit]

After his demise, the Gargish race managed to remove Mondain's spirit from its place in the Void, and placed his consciousness it into their Shrine of Control, convinced that his intense drive to master the world around him made the sorcerer a fitting representation of the Principle. It was here, upon the gargoyle homelands, that the Stranger, now the Avatar, found him in Ultima VI. In this meeting, the mage explained to the hero that he now regretted his actions, having had time to understand that in his insane desire to control the world around him, he had lost control over himself. He explained to the Avatar that without self-control as a foundation, striving to control anything proves fruitless, and imparted to the hero the mantra of Control: "Un."[5]

It is not known what became of Mondain after this encounter, as the gargoyle's lands were eventually destroyed, and it is unclear if the altar to Control later established on Terfin was the original which held the wizard Mondain or a facsimile. However, it is known that Exodus, whose psyche was similarly enshrined by the gargoyles, appeared to make an attempt to reunite itself with the Dark Core during the events of Ultima VII, implying that the construct's spirit was free from constraint. It may be that after the destruction of the world of the gargoyles, Mondain's was likewise at liberty to wander.

In Manga[edit]

Mondain in the manga

Mondain appears in Seiji Tanaka's manga re-imagining of Ultima III, in which he appears as one of the lieutenants of Exodus, along with Minax. With the hellspawn having resurrected him after his original respective defeat, Mondain confronts the heroes numerous time, with his body becoming increasingly deformed due to his progeny's attempts to sustain him. Eventually, he is slain by Genji, just as Exodus attempts to escape its prison by possessing his body.[6]

Mondain also appears in Yoko Tanaka's manga re-telling of Ultima IV, although far less extensively than he does in the Exodus' comic. In this narrative, Mondain's Skull is necessary to enter the Great Stygian Abyss, and the corrupt sage Hawkwind attempts to unify with the dead magician's soul, hoping it will grant him phenomenal powers.[7]

Legacy[edit]

Mondain's evil did not end with his death. In addition to both Minax and Exodus attempting to avenge him in the years to come, the shattering of the Gem of Immortality had powerful ramifications for the lands of Sosaria, and may have been responsible for the disappearance of three of its major continents - at least one of which was later discovered to have reformed as a world in its own right.[8] In addition to this, shards of the broken gem still existed deep within the bowels of the earth, carrying with them fragments of the evil they once represented. Many years later, the ship-wrecked crew of the Ararat came across three of these shards, which transformed three of their lot into the malevolent Shadowlords - dark beings who would come to imprison the then established Lord British, and to corrupt his appointed regent.

In addition to this, the magician's own skull proved an artifact of dark power, as Mondain had likely placed a magical matrix within it,[9] allowing it to be used to kill numerous victims even long after his death. Any who invoked such dread magics, however, were stripped of the Virtues within them for this wicked act. During the early Age of Enlightenment, this thing of evil could be found at the bottom of the Great Sea between three volcanoes, from which the isle of Terfin would eventually arise.

Lore[edit]

Mondain's hordes, as depicted in the Ultima I (FM-Towns) introduction

Hail, Noble One! Our land is in need of a stalwart hero, one who will brave perils horrific to consider. A plague has befallen the Realm, a scourge is upon the land! Our villages lie sacked, ruinous mounds of ashes where once trod peasants stout of heart and sound of mind, where once lay fields of grain and fruit, where kine and fowl grew fat upon the bounties of our fair Sosaria. All manner of wicked and vile creatures prey upon our people and ravage the land. 'Tis the doing of one so evil that the very earth trembles at the mention of his name.

Mondain the wizard hath wrought his malice well. Our nobles bicker amongst themselves, and each hath retired to the confines of his keep in hopes of watching the downfall of his rivals. Verily, the Evil One hath heaped indignity upon curse by releasing upon the Realm a host of creatures and beasts so bloodthirsty and wicked that our defenseless people fall as grain before the reaper's scythe. These denizens of the underworld hold sway over all that can be surveyed, save for the strongholds of the nobles besotted with their own ambition. Nowhere in our once peaceful country may a traveler find safe passage or lodging, save in the keeps of the self-proclaimed kings - - and they demand hard labors for their indulgences.

Only the young Lord British remains steadfast in the vision of a peaceful and united Sosaria. In his castle and his towne the pure of heart will find an ally and replenishment for the needs of one who hath chosen to fight for the Realm. Aid us in ridding our land of the scourge that hath befallen us, O Noble One. We beseech thee, for without thine aid we shall surely perish before the onslaught of the maleficent necromancer. Slay the evil Mondain!


Early in the reign of Lord British there came unto the land of Britannia a powerful wizard named Mondain. He brang forth many creatures of great evil, using the power of his magic to control them. And there was great suffering throughout the land. It was in these days that the Avatar first came unto our realm, to vanquish Mondain and liberate our people.
To extend one's life is a complicated procedure, taking years to complete. However, there is an additional side effect: invulnerability.

Trivia[edit]

  • In Ultima IV, it is possible (though not mandatory) for the Stranger to destroy the Skull of Mondain by casting it into the flames of the Abyss. It is uncertain as to whether or not this action is supposed to have happened from the point of view of later games, however. While the scholar, Erethian implies that the hero did, in fact, drop the skull into the volcano's maw, the skull itself (or something purporting to be it) later shows up as a curiosity in Britain's museum in Ultima IX.
  • Early design documents for Ultima VII Part Two make mention of an encounter with the communicative, albeit hostile spirit of Mondain, as well as several other deceased adversaries of the Avatar (notably including Lord Blackthorn, along with Batlin, Elizabeth, Abraham, and Hook) in Mortegro's abandoned manor during Shamino the Anarch's perverse rule over Moonshade.[10] With the eventual truncation of the game's plot, however, no such event occurs in the final release.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Garriott, Richard. "The Annals of Akalabeth". Akalabeth Manual (Akalabeth). California Pacific Computer Co.: 1980. Pages 1-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Garriott, Richard et al. "Folklore". The Book of Lore (Ultima V). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1988. Pages 4-5.
  3. Mondain et al. The Black Compendium (Ultima VII - in-game).
  4. Barkeeper. Underworld Dragon's Ultima I TranscriptUltima I.
  5. Triad of EvilUltima VI TranscriptUltima VI. "name, job, mant".
  6. Tanaka, Seiji. Exodus (Ultima III). JICC: August 15, 1988. Pages 30, 159-189, 215-222.
  7. Tanaka, Yuko. Quest of the Avatar (Ultima IV). JICC: August 29, 1989. Pages 143-150, 220-245.
  8. Morris, Andrew. "Lessons of the Past". Beyond the Serpent Pillars (Ultima VII Part Two). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1993. Pages 3-4.
  9. ErethianUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "skull".
  10. Armintrout, Bill. Ultima VII, Part Two: THE SERPENT ISLE - Moonshade Townplot (MOONSHAD.DOC) (Ultima VII Part Two). September 8, 1992. Page 13.

External Links[edit]

Minax[edit]

Triad of Evil
Minax.gif
Triad of Evil, from Ultima VI
Species: Unknown
Appearances
Ultima VI
Location: Shrine of Passion
U6 Transcript: Triad of Evil
The Ultima 6 Project
Minax-U6Project.png
Triad of Evil, from The Ultima 6 Project
Location: Shrine of Passion
Ultima II
Minax2.jpg
Triad of Evil, from Ultima II
Location: Shadowguard

Minax is a powerful enchantress who served as both apprentice and paramour to the magician Mondain. After her lover's demise at the hands of the Stranger, Minax attempted revenge, going on to devastate the hero's home world in Ultima II before she was slain.

Biography[edit]

Minax as she appears in the introduction to the FM Towns port of Ultima I.

It is not known when and where Minax was born, although her potential for magic was discovered at an early age. It is known that she was already a prodigy by the age of three, having mastered the powers of telekinesis. At eleven years of age she was willingly apprenticed to Mondain.[1] It is unknown at what point their romance began in the course of her tutelage, although an account which Lord British provided for the Stranger implies she was still a child at the time of Mondain's eventual death at the hands of the hero.[1] Between the two of them, they were able to devise the creation of Exodus, a complex daemonic machine which would eventually arise to attempt vengeance for them both. Minax also co-authored a tome known as the Black Compendium with Mondain and Exodus, which gives elaborate instructions on how to prolong ones life through dark ritual magic.[2]

After the destruction of Mondain, Minax was outraged and heartbroken, although still inexperienced and not at the full apex of her power. She mourned the loss both of her beloved and of the Gem of Immortality, which she had hoped one day to obtain.[3] Years passed while she worked to amass magical skill that would dwarf that of her former mentor. Eventually she began her revenge.

Minax as she appears in the Hintbook for the NES-Port of Ultima III

From her fortress, the castle Shadowguard in the Time of Legends, Minax began to subtly tamper with the history of the Stranger's Earth, slowly turning nations against one another as she clandestinely bred an army of monstrosities. The culmination of her plans came in the year 2111 A.D., when the major powers of the world slaughtered one another in a nuclear holocaust, leaving the planet a lifeless waste. Although Minax attacked Earth, she is also known historically as the harbinger of Sosaria's Second Age of Darkness, implying that her influence may have affected multiple worlds.

However, in spite of this seemingly absolute victory, the Stranger was still able to counteract her plans. The emergence of mysterious silver time doors on the planet had made it possible for observers to traverse through various eras, making it possible comprehend her machinations over history. A committee of such observers, which included Lord British, was able to inform the hero of Minax's actions, and the Stranger was thus able to prepare to fight her, knowing that her demise would put an end to her works.[4]

In Ultima II, the Stranger traveled through time and distance to assail Minax's keep, armed with the Quicksword, Enilno. The hero was able to slay her with the enchanted weapon, and time returned to its original course, with all memory of Minax's legacy gone from the minds of all save a select few.[4]

Existence After Death[edit]

After her demise, the Gargish race managed to remove Minax's spirit from its place in the Void, and placed her consciousness it into their Shrine of Passion, convinced that her tempestuous life of desires had made her a fitting representation of the Principle. It was here, upon the gargoyle homelands that the Avatar found her in Ultima VI. In this meeting, she explained to the hero that she now regretted her actions, having had time to comprehend their full weight. She explained that passion had been the essence of her soul, but that in life, her passion had been boundless and without limit. She cautioned her former adversary that passion must be focused and given direction, and that unbridled passion - the desire for all things - can lead only to chaos.[5]

It is not known what became of Minax after this encounter, as the gargoyle's lands were eventually destroyed, and it is unclear if the altar to Passion later established on Terfin was the original which held the enchantress or a facsimile. However, it is known that Exodus, whose psyche was similarly enshrined by the gargoyles, appeared to make an attempt to reunite itself with the Dark Core during the events of Ultima VII, implying that the construct's spirit was free from constraint. It may be that after the destruction of the world of the gargoyles, Minax's was likewise at liberty to wander.

In Manga[edit]

Minax in the manga

Minax appears in Seiji Tanaka's manga re-imagining of Ultima III, in which she appears as one of the lieutenants of Exodus, along with Mondain after the hellspawn resurrected them following their original respective defeats.[6] In the narrative, Minax's control over space-time proves a crucial plot point, as it allows for the protagonist, Genji, to have had a formative childhood encounter with the cleric Aida - who is flung across space and time by Minax to a moment years before Genji meets her.[7]


Lore[edit]

Minax is defeated
After Mondain's passing, Minax the enchantress brought forth terrors to menace the populace. She had been apprentice to Mondain. Perhaps more than that, if the moaning and wailing that echoed through the halls outside their shared bedchamber bore any meaning. She established a reign of death and destruction, her magic fueled by the strength of her passion. Again it was only the return of the Avatar that put an end to the oppression. Minax was vanquished, as Mondain before her.
Through darkness and despair

The land was bare
Looking for Thee, Mondain
Alas, but in vain
My soul and mine heart
Pierced by Cupid's dart
Will never heal
Without Mondain's will
Love is a desolate land
Unless Thou, Mondain
Takest me by the hand
To thy youth fountain
-- Minax

Trivia[edit]

  • "Minax" is a Latin word meaning "threatening" or "ill-boding."
  • In Ultima II, Minax's dialogue, "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero only one," is a quotation from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.[8]
  • The book Artifacts of Darkness references Minax's Crystal Ring as being an item of note. The ring was not an immediately apparent object in Ultima II (unless it was the Force Field Ring obtained from the old man) and did not feature in any later games, and hence this artifact's powers and uses are not known.[9]
  • In Ultima VII, the blind mage Erethian, who had long dwelt upon the Isle of Fire as it lay beneath the ocean, spoke tenderly of Minax, as though he had known her in life. Whether Erethian was actually a contemporary of the enchantress or whether the mage was simply speaking out of a nostalgia for ages past is unclear. [10]

See Also[edit]

External Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Rollo, Mary Taylor. "The Story of Minax". The Second Age of Darkness (Ultima II). Sierra On-Line, Inc.: 1983. Page 14.
  2. Mondain et al. The Black Compendium (Ultima VII - in-game).
  3. Garriott, Richard et al. "Folklore". The Book of Lore (Ultima V). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1988. Pages 4.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Rollo, Mary Taylor. "The Story of Minax". The Second Age of Darkness (Ultima II). Sierra On-Line, Inc.: 1983. Pages 14-15.
  5. Triad of EvilUltima VI TranscriptUltima VI. "name, job, pass".
  6. Tanaka, Seiji. Exodus (Ultima III). JICC: August 15, 1988. Page 30.
  7. Tanaka, Seiji. Exodus (Ultima III). JICC: August 15, 1988. Pages 116-130.
  8. MinaxUnderworld Dragon's Ultima II TranscriptUltima II.
  9. Morgaelin, Mordra. Artifacts of Darkness (Ultima VII - in-game).
  10. ErethianUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "Minax".

Exodus[edit]

Triad of Evil
Exmach.jpg
Triad of Evil, from Ultima III
Species: Unknown
Appearances
Ultima III
Location: Castle of Fire
Ultima VI
Exodus U6.GIF
Triad of Evil, from Ultima VI
Location: Shrine of Diligence
U6 Transcript: Triad of Evil
The Ultima 6 Project
Exodus-U6Project.png
Triad of Evil, from The Ultima 6 Project
Location: Shrine of Diligence

Exodus is a malevolent entity created by the magician Mondain and his lover Minax. Frequently considered the "child" of their union, Exodus' exact nature has long remained an enigma, as it is a construct clearly comprised of both organic and synthetic parts. In later years, it was revealed that the creature's two primary components were the "Psyche," which contained Exodus' consciousness and desires, and the "Dark Core" which contained the sum of the hellspawn's accumulated knowledge. The exact interface which allowed these two parts to interact and to co-exist as a sapient individual, however, has never fully been explained, having been destroyed in the course of the Stranger's questings during Ultima III.

Biography[edit]

Exd.gif
It is unclear as to exactly when the being which would become known as Exodus was first formed, as scant record exists of the hellspawn's creation, which was chronicled only in fragmentary writings found in the ruins of Shadowguard.[1] Whatever its origins, the nascent entity appears to have found itself orphaned soon after its "birth," as both its makers were slain by the Stranger. Determined to avenge the memory of those who had forged it, the daemon-machine waited patiently as it accumulated information - slowing learning about everything in the world around it, from the color of the sky on a cloudy day to the secrets of manipulating the fabric of Sosaria, itself.[2]

When it was ready, Exodus began its campaign of revenge, raising for itself a dark citadel as it birthed the Isle of Fire from deep under the oceans. Powerful enough to snatch the Great Earth Serpent from the Void to serve as his protector, the evil being turned the creatures of the land to violence, summoning hordes of monsters to plague the realm which had once seen its "parents'" fall. In this third Age of Darkness, Sosaria saw the destruction of the mercantile fleets by pirates, the regrouping of orcish raiders against humanity, and ill omens in both the skies and seas.[1]

Eventually, Lord British sent his trusted friend Shamino Salle' Dacil on an errand of discovery to Exodus' newly arisen island, hoping to glean the meaning of all of this auspices - however, while the ranger eventually returned from his mission, the contact he had endured with the hellspawn rendered him temporarily insane, unable to fully communicate the horrors he had seen. In the days before the Stranger's eventual appearance, a derelict ship was towed into a sea port, bearing no evidence of its crew save for the letters of Exodus' name written in human blood. In desperation, the young monarch of the realm invoked the powers of his amulet, summoning once more the champion who had laid low the evils of the past two ages.[3]

The Stranger, once more tasked with Sosaria's salvation, undertook the quest of Exodus' undoing with three unknown companions. This company, with the aid of the Time Lord, eventually was able to penetrate the daemon-machine's stronghold that they might destroy the interface connecting its component parts - tricking it into enacting its own destruction with Four Cards representing the concepts of Sol, Moons, Love and Death. Once thus confounded, Exodus' psyche broke from its core, unable to sustain the link between them.[4] The Stranger and their company never spoke again of what they had witnessed.[5]

Existence After Death[edit]

Exodus, as seen in the manual of the SNES-Port of Ultima VII
After this separation, the Gargish race managed to remove Exodus's psyche from its place in the Void, and placed its consciousness it into their Shrine of Diligence, convinced that its existence of ongoing exploration and striving made it a fitting representation of the Principle. It was here, upon the gargoyle homelands that the Avatar found it in Ultima VI. In this meeting, it explained to the hero that it now regretted her actions, having had time to comprehend their full weight. It explained that while operational, its diligence in enacting its revenge had eventually become a more pressing part of its being that the goal of vengeance itself - leaving it purposeless and adrift. It cautioned its former adversary to always keep sight of their actions' ends, so as to not lose themselves in diligence without focus.[6]

After this encounter, the gargoyle's lands were eventually destroyed, leaving Exodus' psyche to wander the Void again. Eventually, through the intervention of the mage Erethian, the Isle of Fire rearose from the sea into which it had long ago sunk, bringing Exodus' Dark Core once more to the world's above.[7] This dangerous chain of events gave rise to the possibility that the psyche might reunite with its mechanical core, allowing the daemonic construct to recreate itself. The Avatar, eager to guard against such a cataclysmic possibility, eventually contrived to banish the core into the Void using the Talisman of Infinity such as that the two halves of the creature could not reunite on the material plane.[8]

In Manga[edit]

Exodus in the Exodus manga

In the manga written by Seiji Tanaka which embellishes the narrative of Ultima III, Exodus' origins are different, with the character being an archaic god of destruction which was sealed away by the other deities native to Sosaria. Tanaka's artistic rendering of Exodus have a decidedly Lovecraftian slant, showing the daemonic entity as a mass of teeth and eyes.[9]

Lore[edit]

Once Minax was gone, peace reigned for twenty years. And then the last of Mondain's legacy became known. For he and Minax had together produced an unholy creation known only as Exodus. For many years it had stayed hidden, patiently gathering information to heighten its powers. Finally it chose to exploit the results of its diligence. Creating a mighty castle to reside in, Exodus brought forth a third plague of monsters, and nowhere in Britannia was safe from its relentless evil. This was the greatest challenge yet for our hero from another world; yet once again the Avatar proved triumphant. And with the defeat of Exodus, a new era of prosperity began.
- from The Third Age of Darkness, (Ultima VI)

Trivia[edit]

  • In the plot of Ultima Online 2, Exodus is a remnant of an Overlord technology from the future of Britannia which had been sent back in time following the magical cataclysm that created New Britannia.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Adams, Roe R.. "Preparing for Thy Journey". The Adventure (Ultima III). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1983. Page 22.
  2. ErethianUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "Dark Core".
  3. Garriott, Richard et al. "Folklore". The Book of Lore (Ultima V). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1988. Pages 4-5.
  4. ErethianUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "interface, two parts".
  5. Albert, Dave. "Political History". The History of Britannia (Ultima IV). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1985. Page 2.
  6. Triad of EvilUltima VI TranscriptUltima VI. "name, job, mant".
  7. Morris, Andrew P. et al. A Guide to the Isle of Fire (Forge of Virtue). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1993. Pages 4.
  8. ErethianUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "the Psyche returns, Talisman of Infinity".
  9. Tanaka, Seiji. Exodus (Ultima III). JICC: August 15, 1988. Page 60.