Unicorns

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Unicorns
Unicorn
Unicorn, from Ultima VII manual
Only appearance: Ultima VII

Unicorns are an entirely male race of intelligent magical equines, who appear as white stallions with a long slender horn emerging from their foreheads. Legendary for their ability to detect the virginity of those who approach them, these beasts make only a brief appearance in Ultima VII.

Description[edit]

Once noted as a breed of virile and provocative nature spirits, the unicorns of the ancient past had no aversion to carnality, and were often called upon in bacchanalian rituals. At one point, a powerful wizard, finding himself unable to seduce a maiden he desired, bound the unicorns into his service to win her. Unfortunately for the bold creatures, they were led astray from their task by the stallion Sharp-Hoof, who had them chase after a herd of mares rather than perform their summoner's bidding. Furious with this betrayal, the mage placed the entire unicorn race under a thousand year geas and laid upon them the Curse of Chastity, driving them to murder all females of their kind and forcing them into discomfort and pain in the presence of any form of sexual energy.[1]

Rare to the point of being discounted as mere legend by most Britannian scholars, unicorns have nevertheless long been sought after as a means of proving chastity, especially amongst yet-to-be-married women.[2]

Lore[edit]

Fanciful stories of these creatures abound in rural areas. The unicorn appears as a splendid, young, white stallion with a single great horn rising from its head. Legends tell of how only those who are truly virtuous may approach a unicorn. Unicorn sightings are rare - so rare in fact that most serious scholars deny their existence.


Oh, to belong to the chosen of the Unicorn,

The wealth of spirit, no fear of the forlorn.
We can dance in the meadows by the whispering wonders,
and ride forth on lightning and command the thunder.

Notable Examples[edit]

Lasher the Unicorn

Trivia[edit]

  • Like many high fantasy settings, Ultima portrays the unicorn as a horse with a horn. In the medieval and renaissance traditions which have led to the modern conception of the unicorn, however, the unicorn was a much more complex mythical hybrid, possessing the beard and cloven hooves of a goat and the tail of a lion. The association of unicorns with virgins comes from the Physiologus of Alexandria, which uses the fable of the mythical beast being trapped by a chaste maiden as an allegory for the Incarnation of Christ.[5]

References[edit]

  1. Lasher the UnicornUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "binding, Chastity, curse, purpose, Sharp-Hoof, unicorn, wizard".
  2. Lasher the UnicornUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "bachelorhood, fools, getting married, male virginity test, ravishing maiden, unpleasant, virgin detector, wife".
  3. DaphneUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "job, princess".
  4. CosmoUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "pure".
  5.  "Unicorn". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2011-05-20.