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Message: | composed: 24-12-2021 18:02 Go to the top of this page Zum Ende der Seite springen
WyrdWeb WyrdWeb is a female



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WyrdWeb is offline

Hi everyone!

I'm a member of Team Archon working on creating the Ultima 6 Project mod. I have a couple of questions to open up for discussion regarding the timeline, and its source info - I believe it may prove mutually beneficial.

On your timeline, there are 2 years that are of interest:

***
[0153 A.B.]
Captain Hawkins' ship, the Empire, is destroyed when its crew mutinies. Their treasure is buried on the island later known as Spektran, and a map is created and split among nine pirates.

[0156 A.B.]
Captain Johne sets out to explore the dungeon Hythloth, and befriends the gargoyle Beh Lem.
gargoyles begin attacking Britannia, capturing the shrines one by one.
***

Here is some of the information I have encountered, put into my own words of thought:

Subject: silver tablet
Captain John(e) is the one that had the silver tablet originally, and it was in one piece. He personally gives it to the gypsies to deliver to Mariah. The Empire, Captain Hawkin's ship, wrestles the gypsies for the tablet (still whole) and it is then broken into 2 pieces. The Empire makes off with their piece and the gypsies finally deliver the other piece to Mariah.

It makes sense that Captain John(e) came across the silver tablet before he went to Hythloth, personally seeing the gypsies, and arranged having it sent to Mariah before making his journey. Otherwise, this would mean he went to Hythloth, came back to civilization to find the gypsies, then went back to Hythloth. I'm unable to find info that would support this situation. So, I determined that it makes more sense that he gave the whole tablet to gypsies before departing for Hythloth. Also, the discovery of the silver tablet may have been one of the reasons for his expedition.

To make everything mesh, I'm thinking the Empire would have gotten a hold of the silver tablet piece somewhere in 155/156. So, to bring all the loose ends together, and to account for the NPCs that served aboard the Empire and are still living, that makes an elapsed time of 5-6 years since the attempted silver tablet theft, when it was broken, and shortly thereafter was when the pirates' half was buried on Spektran. Additionally, I would think that the theft of the silver tablet would add to the gargoyles appearance in the world.

As to the years your timeline establishes, is there perhaps some source information I have missed that would suggest differently? I'm appreciative of any insights you may have.


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Message: | composed: 24-12-2021 20:30 Go to the top of this page Zum Ende der Seite springen
-Direhaggis- -Direhaggis- is a male

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WyrdWeb:

Hello! Welcome to the forum. It's great to have contact with a representative from another mod team.

I had forgotten about the silver tablet until you brought it up, but it's a critical document for letting the Avatar know why he is considered the False Prophet.

What you write re: the tablet makes sense. Johne may well have found the silver tablet in a part of the Underworld that'd been abandoned by the Gargoyles, perhaps an outpost of some sort with a resident priest's quarters. There's no mention of Johne among Gargoyle dialogues, so it's unlikely he was able to access their main city in the Underworld.

Perhaps having some rudimentary understanding of the Gargoyle language through his extensive Underground trekking, Johne may have realized the import of the tablet. He then wanted to send it via two channels that'd get back to the Avatar: the Gypsies, with whom the Avatar has a very long-standing relationship with and could be trusted, and Mariah, one of the Avatar's companions. Johne may well not have known that Gwenno would probably have been the better choice (being a linguist and language expert).

Having to give a piece to the Empire's crew also makes sense. Prophecy is integral to Britannian Gypsy culture. I'd guess they would see the turn of events as merely pushing back an inevitable event: the Avatar getting the whole tablet. Meanwhile, no harm comes to them.

To my mind, there might be several copies of the silver tablet, much like the story of Gilgamesh being inscribed on many clay tablets. To my mind, its' importance in the survival of the Gargoyle race would have ensured a great deal of study and reproduction on the part of the Gargoyle priests and scribes.

Re: the potential year that the Empire got the silver tablet from the Gypsies, there does seem to be a contradiction in terms of when Johne sets out versus when the Empire and its treasure is buried. It would be easy enough to revise that particular part of the timeline. I'm not familiar with any documents that specify 153 or 156 for any specific event.

Corv would need to edit the timeline.


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Message: | composed: 24-12-2021 22:59 Go to the top of this page Zum Ende der Seite springen
WyrdWeb WyrdWeb is a female



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Thread Starter Thread Started by WyrdWeb

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Hi DiIrehaggis! Well met.

Seeing that you are the Lead Writer, I'm sure you can appreciate the following, but especially my last question at the end.

I can see your point regarding the story of Gilgamesh, but there has to be something, the proverbial final last straw, to have the Gargoyles coming up from below. If it were merely a copy, they have more. But the theft of the Silver Tablet could infer that this might have been the only copy, something of great import OR it was the actual original. To use a RL religious example - may religions have copies of their sacred texts. For someone to steal a copy, they might be angered, but it was only a copy and can be replaced. But if someone stole the original, this would never be acceptable, considered a great loss, and would bring great emotional, spiritual, psychological reactions as well, I'm sure.

Now, back to the Gargoyles... We know one reason they are appearing is that the Codex has been removed so that none from their world can view it. But this situation happened long before, soon after the end of U4. Why wait so long to recover it, if it is their only reason from coming to Britannia?

But, if you add now to the mix, another text, the Silver Tablet, has been stolen from them, and, by the wingless pale creatures in the Underworld (as they see it), this adds additional credence and would give more urgent need for action. The delay in time of from the end of U4 to 156 is significant time to waste with inaction considering their Codex has been stolen. I theorize that they may not have known what happened to it exactly, or in whom to blame or retrieve it from. But with the Silver Tablet theft, they knew what race to blame - and guess what? - it's the same race of the Avatar, the bringer of their doom. Add to that the earthquakes which cause great hardship, not to mention, one of the signs of the Prophecy, on top of an already difficult and hostile living environment, and it becomes more and more clear that action needs to be taken and now they have a target in mind. This seems to make sense of why the Gargoyles are coming from the depths to take the Shrines. There is more also, but I don't want to ruin any fun for players of U6P. Wink

As far as the Gypsies - not all are trustworthy, as U6 shows. But to me, it always seems to be a select few that are chosen, or choose to live according to a higher purpose for the virtues.

Now for John(e), he may have recognized that Taynith was a good and trustworthy soul, a true seer. The group to which she is a member, would make sure Mariah received it. I find it difficult to fully trust Zoltan, so Taynith might have been at least one in the group to make sure they made their way and it was delivered. But with the Empire attacking them on the way to the Lycaeum, only to have the Tablet broken into 2 pieces in the skirmish, this was a problem, as Mariah points out. If you notice in the convos in U6, the Silver Tablet is very much like a Rosetta Stone, as well as the Prophecy. At least this is the reasoning that Mariah gives.

I must admit that I do feel a little uncomfortable with the timeframe of 5-6 years that the Gargoyles have been coming to Britannia and taking the Shrines. It seems such a very long time. I'm sure the Gargoyles would have taken however long to await the Avatar's return, so they can avert the Prophecy, but, why did LB and the companions wait so long before bringing the Avatar into the equation? I realize this may have escaped the original Dev's thoughts, but it presents a certain challenge in finding a way to have a cohesive explanation. Anyone have any thoughts?


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Message: | composed: 25-12-2021 01:23 Go to the top of this page Zum Ende der Seite springen
-Direhaggis- -Direhaggis- is a male

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I'll answer in kind:

*One could use the theft of the silver tablet as a final cause for invasion, sure. To my mind, Johne or someone in his party would have needed to find and take the tablet from its resting place, likely a high priest's sanctum. The only drawback is that, to the best of my knowledge, gargoyles do not cite the tablet as the precedent for war. It seems that the gradual destruction of the Underworld via the Ether might figuratively or literally force Gargoyles above ground. They do speak to the prophecy as inciting them, however, so perhaps the symbolic representation of that--the silver tablet--does indeed set in motion war.

As an alternative, the theft of one of a few copies could incite war among the hawks of the Gargoyles. I recall synagogues in enshrining the Torah. As far as I understand, each copy is sacred and holy, given that it's the word of God passed down for millenia. Each copy is a reflection of the original covenant held between God and humanity. So the idea that humans would steal one could precipitate war.

*The Codex was indeed removed after the end of U4 (97 A.B.). The Gargoyle war occurs soon after Captain Johne's expedition to Hythloth (~156 A.B.). That's nearly 60 years, and to my mind an oversight on the part of the developers. In their defense, perhaps the Codex being taken an enshrined in the Prime Material Plane in roughly the same space only slightly perverted the Ether. The Underground was sustained, in part, perhaps, because of this fantastic object of power whose veneration by the Gargoyles acted to maintain their kingdom. When that conduit was moved, the capability of it to harness the collective will of the Gargoyle people in the Underworld may have dampened. Distant parts of the Underworld collapsed, followed by more. It may well have taken 60 years for the situation to get so bad that everyone thought the time of prophecy was now at hand.

As for the Codex itself being stolen and what that entails, the high priests may well have considered that an act of the Ether itself or that this was the intention of the Codex. I figure it's an all-knowing, perhaps god-like book, so it's not totally far-fetched.

*Some gypsies are crooked. Some are honest. I suspect that Johne would have entrusted it with the Rom Baro or perhaps the fortune teller. Still, he may have thought all gypsies could be counted on to do well by the Avatar. And indeed they would, they just would let prophecy take it's course and in the meantime not submit to slaughter by the Empire's crew.

*The Avatar was brought in by a red moongate from Earth, but the companions (or likely Nystul) apparently could only pick up his 'signal' when he was in Britannia's local Ether space. Before then, the secret of sending a red moongate to Earth may have been lost or not discovered (where I could swear U6 is the first time that a red moongate is used. The intro, if I remember right, clearly emphasizes the Avatar's surprise at the red moongate).

Maybe the Gargoyles know more about dimensional travel than humans. Maybe the Timelord needed to do a favor for the Gargoyles, given that he knows how to command red moongates without an Orb of the Moons. In any case, I'd say that there's something fundamentally different about a blue moongate--tied to natural forces, I suspect--than a red moongate. Red is the color of the imbalance storm, which suggests a manipulation of the Ether. Literally, a red moongate could be a small tear in the Ether. Like a man-made wormhole. It's not natural, it's not 'proper', but with the right methods can be done.

So for 6 years, there may well have been an increasingly high cost war that the humans were slowly losing. Then the Gargoyles steal the Avatar (perhaps with the Timelord knowing all would be well eventually so he wasn't really betraying the Avatar), the companions come to the rescue, and the Avatar sets out to end the war.

Those are my thoughts at the moment. I need to do the Christmas thing now.


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Message: | composed: 25-12-2021 05:38 Go to the top of this page Zum Ende der Seite springen
WyrdWeb WyrdWeb is a female



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Thread Starter Thread Started by WyrdWeb

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Direhaggis, you are correct - U6 was the first to show the red moongate and it was a shock for many that played other Ultimas first.

It is very true that the gargoyles don't specifically incite the tablet as the precedent for war. But since the Silver Tablet is a Rosetta Stone, (it is written in Gargl and Britannian runes), and we know that Iolo took the priest's book at the opening, perhaps there is a need for the gargoyles to retrieve the Silver Tablet, and now, the priest's book, lest the Avatar should decipher the Prophecy, find a way out of harm's way, and the fate of the gargoyles might be sealed. In this light, copy or not, knowledge in the hands of the Britannians, especially the Av in regards of the Prophecy, could greatly harm the very existence of the gargoyles, as they see it. So, it is reasonable in this light, that the theft of the Silver Tablet may have caused alarm and, if there had been any reservation before, the need to act would become more important for the gargoyles.

You said "some gypsies are crooked." Have you met the bad gypsies of U6? *lol* Next time you see him, give Uncle Arthur a hug for me. Wink

Since John(e) has already been face to face with evil in U5, I'm pretty sure he has a great sense of discernment. I'm sure if he had run into the bad gypsies, he wouldn't have entrusted them with the tablet. Those gypsies would sell their mother for a crown, if you know what I mean. Now as far as the good gypsies, not that Zoltan is completely untrustworthy, but, he is a bit narcissistic and self-absorbed. Perhaps Taynith and Karina help to keep him a bit grounded and on course.

You said "Maybe the Gargoyles know more about dimensional travel than humans." I've had the same line of thought. Though you did elaborate with the Timelord, and the scenario you give (knowing all would be well eventually), is definitely worth considering.

Yes, Nystul detected the Av's presence. What great fortune to have the Avatar in their hour of need, even if the whole reason was the gargoyle's deception of sending a red moongate. But one still wonders why LB and the companions after ~ 6 years of dealing with the gargoyles, and describing them as the greatest threat they've ever known, still do not summon the Avatar to help. But then again, to make the convos sound dire is a great way to drum up drama, but it can pave the way for plot-holes and discrepancies, as we all have seen along the Ultima path.

Thank you, Direhaggis, for taking the time to respond. I appreciate the informative and stimulating conversation.


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Message: | composed: 25-12-2021 15:56 Go to the top of this page Zum Ende der Seite springen
-Direhaggis- -Direhaggis- is a male

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You're welcome. It's my pleasure to offer my ideas on some of the underlying reasons for the conflict in U6. Attention to detail and a realistic interpretation of facts from past games is key for these projects. I look forward to when the Ultima 6 project is a reality.


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