Well of Souls

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Well of Souls
The Well of Souls is a magical construct in Skara Brae tied to the souls of the dead. It appears in Ultima VII and in Ultima IX.


In its first incarnation, the Well of Souls was housed within the Dark Tower of Horance the liche, where the evil necromancer had used his powers to bind the souls of Skara Brae's departed within it that he might feed off of their vital energies. During the Avatar's journeys in this era, the hero would work to free Horance from the thralldom of undeath, using the powers of the spirits within the Well to imbue a specially prepared Soul Cage with the strength to bind the liche. Once Horance was contained within the cage, the Avatar was able to administer a magical potion which would restore him to humanity.[1]

Unfortunately, reviving Horance from lichedom did not put an end to the woes the necromancer had inflicted, contrite as the now mortal necromancer was. Previously, he had enacted a geas on the restless ghosts of the city, such as that they must continue to contribute their etheric life-forces to the Well. In order that the spirits of Skara Brae --bound within the Well or not-- might ultimately be free to return to the Void, a ghost must sacrifice their tenuous being permanently by casting themselves into the Well, thus destroying it. Eventually this task fell to the former mayor of the city, Forsythe, and the dark artifact was at last unmade.[2]

Years later, however, a Well of Souls would again be erected upon Skara Brae, where it was ensconced within one of the towne's great temples. After the second razing of the city by the Guardian, the Avatar would enter this new Well themselves, passing into the realm of spirits where they were confronted by numerous restless souls in need of peace. It was here that the hero would find the body of their companion, Shamino, whose soul have become trapped within the Spirit Realm as he quested in search of answers regarding the true nature of the Guardian.


Concept Art

Ultima VII[edit]

  • Numerous souls of the Skara Braen dead, including Marney.

Ultima IX[edit]


  • In the SNES Port of Ultima VII, the Well was not a receptacle for the souls of the dead, but merely acted as a component of the ritual needed to free Horance from Rudolfo's grip, as the Avatar would have to immerse the liche's caged bones in the waters of the Well to restore him to life.
  • The Well of Souls appeared in Bob White Plot for Ultima IX. In this outline of the game, the Avatar would descend into the hole created by its destruction in Ultima VII, rather than through the Well proper, entering a place called the Catacombs of the Angry Dead which would house one of the Guardian's columns.
  • A natural cavern known as the "Well of Souls" may be found in Jerusalem, which is thought by some to be the last resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. It was seen (though relocated to Tanis, Egypt) in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark.


  1. MordraUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "cage made".
  2. MordraUnderworld Dragon's Ultima VII TranscriptUltima VII. "sacrifice, Well of Souls".