Volcanoes

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The destruction of the Abyssal Colony, Ultima Underworld

Forces of both creation and destruction, volcanoes have a carved themselves a significant past in the lore of Britannia, and many other worlds.

History of Volcanoes in Britannia[edit]

The first known volcanic disturbances came to light in the last third of the Age of Darkness, when the daemon-human hybrid, Exodus, first appeared. The Isle of Fire rose from the sea in a hail of lava and steam, curtaining a castle within. Not until Exodus' arrival did scattered pools of lava appear throughout the lands of Sosaria, and even after his defeat, they remain.

The volcanic isle of Valoria, Ultima IX
In Ultima IV, a set of three volcanoes marked the spot where the extremely powerful skull of Mondain the Wizard could be recovered from the ocean depths. (The Avatar was later able to dispose of the Skull by casting it into the fiery depths of the Abyss.) By the time of Ultima V, a full-fledged island had emerged at the site of the volcanoes, and was where the tyrant Blackthorn chose to build his castle. After Blackthorn's banishment, the island was given to the gargoyles following the destruction of their old home. There they remained until the Great Cataclysm struck, forcing the gargoyles to abandon it and thus leaving it open to claim by the Guardian, where he built his own fortress.

A colony was started in the Abyss by Sir Cabirus, who had intended it to be a testament to virtue. Without his leadership, the colony fell into disarray and ruin. In the final events of Ultima Underworld, the colony was destroyed by an immense volcanic eruption from which the Avatar narrowly escaped.

Prior to Ultima IX, the town of Jhelom was destroyed by a volcanic eruption, and was subsequently rebuilt around the volcano's summit, being rechristened Valoria.

Volcanoes in Other Lands[edit]

A volcano in Savage Empire

The hidden valley of Eodon hosted at least one active volcano, as evidenced by the intro sequence to Savage Empire. The Avatar also heard the pleas of Jumu, chief of the Jukari Tribe who had lost his father and village shaman to a recently-activated volcano. The Jukari had become separated from their sacred hide by rivers of flowing lava, and tasked the hero with recovering it.

Morgaelin on the island of Pagan

Furnace, an ancient Ophidian city on the Serpent Isle, was so superheated by volcanic activity that the Chill spell, was required to prevent any visitors from bursting into flames upon arrival.

The island of Morgaelin in Pagan is home to the Elemental Titans, and is really just the extended cone of the still-active volcano (also named Morgaelin). The volcano is an ever-present threat to the people of that land. Daemon's Crag, the sorcerer's enclave in Pagan, surrounded by an active lava river, is accessible only through the Mouth of the Daemon.

Lore[edit]

Time passed, and the omens began to be troubled. Comets clashed across the sky and rumbles were heard deep in the ground. Then one day, in a fiery birth of molten lava, an island rose up in the middle of the ocean. None could approach it for the heat and steam were too great. Some drunken sailors claimed to have had a glimpse of the island when the steam was momentarily blown away by a strong wind. They swore that a castle existed in the middle of that inferno, but thou knows how reliable is the word of a drunken sailor
Jhelom, the old city of valor was destroyed by volcanic eruption, and Serpent's Hold, home to the Order of the Silver Serpent, was lost. Now dubbed the Knights of Valoria, these warriors rebuilt the city at the summit of the volcano that destroyed Jhelom, as if to dare the Titan of Fire.
- from Journal (Ultima IX)