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An Open Address To The Baja Community

Discussion in 'UO Baja' started by WarderDragon, Sep 26, 2009.

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  1. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    An Open Address to the Baja Community
    By WarderDragon

    Hello,

    I’ve been asked to publicly address the issue of the Widow in an Open Letter to the Baja Shard Community. It is my understanding that several of you have been left confused and wondering as a result of recent events. Therefore it is my sole purpose and intention to clear up those questions for you and dispel any myths being spread. To those who have expressed concerns about the Widow and the roleplayer behind her, it is my most sincere hope that we can resolve this matter in a mature and adult manner that leaves each of us walking away satisfied at the end of the day. I don’t want anyone to feel like they are going to be blacklisted for expressing an alternative viewpoint.

    The Widow has been a member of our shard for a number of years. I do not know exactly when she first appeared and made herself known to us, but I have been told by more than one individual that she goes as far back as 2004. That predates both the Baja Roleplaying and Event Alliance [BRPA] and the Baja Roleplaying Community [BRC]. Others have told me she goes back even further than that. The Widow has always played the same character; a maiden who would sweep the halls of Castle Britannia, and who only would make the rare appearance to the wider roleplaying community. These appearances usually occurred during times of war, famine, or great change within Britannia. She would offer her sagely advice and elderly wisdom to the characters who would listen, and would often sweep out her Tarot deck to add a little mystical insight into what the future might hold. There is even a book in the Partisans of Chaos Tower Library about the Widow. This entire time, the elderly woman spoke openly of a “husband being lost on a long journey to distant realms,” and the sacrifice he had made. This is where the characters name obviously derives from.

    She made her most recent appearance shortly before the Spring Bazaar here on the Baja Shard. The character was actually something of a hit with roleplayers and non-roleplayers alike. I remember roleplayers who were visiting from Chesapeake that evening asking me who this mysterious woman was. They were amazed by the readings this woman was giving them, and the depth to which her character was being played. The players lined up, even after the Bazaar was over for that evening, to get a personal reading from this mysterious Gypsy. Seppo, Pallando, and Mesanna even received a Tarot reading that night.

    The character then began to make her appearances with increasing frequency, which had not happened before. She began telling individuals of their future roles, and how they might help to topple Lord Casca and the Oppression. She visited every proclamation by the False King. The Widow essentially began to mobilize the roleplayers, my character amongst them, to prepare for what would eventually become the War of Shadows. She was also responsible for the Festival of the Way.

    And all this time, we had been listening to her hints and speculating within the alliance as to who the character might be. Some suggested Sigrun. Others thought she was attempting to play the Gypsy who had helped the Avatar in the Ultima Series. I thought it was Xenka, a Prophetess from Dawnite History. It was not until we began to look up the History of Lord British that we began putting two and two together. It was then that we realized that she had been hinting, this whole time, that she was the Secret Lover of Lord British.

    I hosted a Roleplaying Tavern Night shortly before Treasures of Tokuno at the Cat’s Lair Tavern in (New) Britain. Casca had been making threats to invade the neighboring kingdoms, so there was some open talk of retaliating before he could strike. It was here that the Widow appeared and asked to make an announcement to the characters in attendance. Casca had been oppressing the Britannians for long enough, and she needed Britannia’s old allies to make sure he didn’t begin harming her people. She revealed that she was the Secret Wife of Lord Cantabrigian British, and that she had bore our former monarchs child, which could someday pose a threat to Lord Casca. She did not want the Crown, but she wanted to represent the Britannians not serving the False Monarch. She was the Lady Fazhnjell “Nell” British, and she needed our help to begin shipping food and supplies into the Capitol.

    Obviously, there were those who scoffed at the idea. Wife of Lord British!? But others believed her. Ceno Cottonwood and Nicholas Tarrant didn’t know what to make of it personally, but as former Royal (Order) Knights of the Britannian Kingdom; it was their solemn duty to protect Lady Fazhnjell. She had earned their trust before, and they couldn’t live with themselves if the Child of Cantabrigian British was put in harms way.

    I had my own personal reservations about this from the beginning. I belong to a philosophy of roleplaying where you never roleplay a character related to one or more of the famous background characters. It’s not because people don’t do it well sometimes, and even I’ve had to resist the temptation, but what we don’t want to see happen is everyone claiming to be Lord Blackthorn’s and Lady Minax’s secret love child. But then I thought about it from the flip side. I mean, why not? The roleplayers have been left to our own devices for almost a decade. The developers can’t even complete the fiction for Age of Shadows, so we’ve always come in and filled in the gaps ourselves. Europa and Siege Perilous have had roleplayed player Kings and Queens. So why not Baja? Lady British gives us a figurehead, an alternative to Casca.

    In the weeks that followed her announcement, the neighboring (independent) sovereignties determined that if she was indeed Lord Cantabrigian’s Wife, then as such a time as Lord Casca’s demise, they would throw their support behind her and have her placed on the Throne of Akalabeth. Some did this out of honor. Others had Machiavellian schemes, such as trying to control her as their own personal puppet ruler. If you asked the roleplayers right now, Dawn was chosen because Fazhnjell was supported by the Sovereign Kingdoms. The Kingdom of Dawn and the Kingdom of Britannia have always had a mutually antagonistic relationship.

    Whatever their reasons, as the months rolled on and the War of Shadows intensified, many characters began to refer to her as Lady British openly. This was never regarded with concern or a problem. I even have reports dating back halfway through the summer that mention her by that name. Why it has become a problem now is beyond me.

    The problem itself didn’t arise until the Night of Lord Casca’s Death. Lord Casca had invited Lady Dawn to Castle Blackthorn. We came along. He dies. Who rules now?

    We had already known by this point that Lady Dawn would become Queen. It was announced on Stratics. It had happened on other shards. The Developers knew that upon the event of Casca’s death, the first thing that most players would do would be to call for Lady Dawn to accept the Crown. Then she could “humbly” accept the Throne until such as time as Lord Cantabrigian British’s Return.

    But our shard has always been different. We’ve always been the rebellious, complicated shard. What can I say? We’ve been the luckiest shard of all in terms of Event Moderators. They’ve always allowed us to be different. We didn’t just have a Royal Guard. We had the Partisans of Chaos, Operation Royal Flush, and the Britain Town Guard.

    So while we knew Lady Dawn would become the Britannian Queen, our characters aren’t simply going to betray “Lady Fazhnjell British.” So we began calling for The Widow to accept the Crown. To my knowledge, The Widow was going to turn around and give Lady Dawn her blessing. She had practically foretold that the Lady Knight would become Queen. But amidst all the shouting by the players, Dawn chose to insult The Widow. Bad idea. Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad!

    So in the days that followed, we have this story that comes out claiming that the nobles are calling for Lady Dawn. That she is the people’s choice. We know why they did it. The Event Moderators have to advance the storyline. They cannot put it on hold for the characters to switch their loyalties to Dawn. But that left a lot of the actual characters scratching their heads. A self-appointed Royal Council from no where, electing their own monarch? Sound familiar? Its not because we're trying to create problems. We're trying to be consistant with our characters and not let out-of-character information influence in-character actions.

    Seppo pulled a couple of us aside that night, and explained that if it really becomes necessary, he can have Sherry the Mouse come out and claim the Widow is a liar and a madwoman. I can see his point. The Widow did put herself in this position. But at the same time, they have never expressed a problem with the claim before. It was only when the players rejected Dawn, who had been in hiding this whole time, for Lady Fazhnjell that it became a serious issue. This player has been around since before the Event Moderator Program.

    I would rather come up with a solution that everyone can be happy with than destroy a player who has been around for five or more years. I don't think anyone here would like their characters backgrounds picked apart. Others talk of being blacklisted? We're talking about blacklisting the Widow for having an interesting character.

    A couple days following this event, The Widow formally relinquished any claim she had to the Throne and became the Queen Dowager. The Queen Dowager is a formal title with no power or authority outside what her own charima can make. It is the title given to Queen’s whose husbands have died. So while a character like Nicholas Tarrant has now acknowledged Lady Dawn as his Queen, he still refers to Lady Fazhnjell in a respectful manner and polite manner.

    I understand where a lot of folks are coming from. If she is the Queen Dowager, she should make sure to show the Queen Elect the proper respect. But I think a lot of people, the Event Moderators included, think that the Roleplaying Community is attempting to make Lady Fazhnjell the Queen. We are not.

    We’re just trying to continue the story and not loose a good roleplayer in the process.

    So I ask the Community, our Event Moderator Staff, and the Developers to please bear with us while we figure out a solution that works for everyone. And lets please cease from dragging these debates through the mud on a public forum. You don't have to like the character, but please show the player behind the character the same respect you would hope they would show you.

    Warmest Regards,

    Donavan "WarderDragon" Lacy,
    The Baja Roleplaying & Event Alliance.
     
  2. Cadsuane Sedai

    Cadsuane Sedai Journeyman
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    Thank you Warder, I could not have said it beter.
    I just don't have the Tact. *gypsy huggles*
     
  3. Ceno of MT

    Ceno of MT Seasoned Veteran
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    *claps*
    I think a lot of confusion is people don't understand RPers very well...
    the best way i can describe it is that its "Acting" the players controlling the characters are Actors and Actresses.
    Its acting with improv.
    No one knows what is going to happen so we play our chars and whatever comes we think on what that character would do and "act" it out.

    Does anyone really believe a player could become queen? That messes with the whole of UO and its future stories. I wasn't around for any of the events due to work but it all sounds like no one even gave the Widow a chance to "step down" till all hell broke loose.

    The Widow is an amazing RPer, not once has she ever broken her character and said something OOC. And for her meeting, I am not looking forward to it at all because I never wanted to see her break her character and I know it pains her to do so. This may be the last time we get to see The Widow since she is having to break her character.
     
  4. Magdalena Chef

    Magdalena Chef Journeyman
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    Yep, I think this is it - she's not coming back.
     
  5. Cymidei Fier

    Cymidei Fier Guest

    Doh Warder! That lore says Nell never married Lord British in secret, she had his illegitimate child and married Carrocio. There were lots of royal bastards in the history books, if the King doesn't recognize them they are commoners.

    Problem solved! If that character is the one the Widow is based on, she never had the slightest claim to the throne, marriage to Lord B, etc. If she wants to play Nell, fine! She wouldn't have any claim or reason to be called Queen, Lady, Dowager, Queen Mother, etc. she would just be an old servant that was close to the family. No need to break character, she was just a bit confused about her past or trying to con people like that person who claimed to be Anastasia Romanov.

    You can believe whatever you want about her and her intentions, makes for fun role play; Of course no one would know the truth in character although you could be suspicious like Cymidei.

    So really there's nothing wrong with Sherry ratting her out either if Sherry has IC knowledge of what happened. That is just what Sherry would do if it was an issue and the throne was in jeopardy of going to a servant who was telling lies.

    We could all do Widow's player a big favor by giving this so-called controversy a rest and not making such a big deal out of it. All this fuss and fighting every day has to be a bit overwhelming how would you feel if it was your character? Just be a good friend, be supportive and have fun because that is the best way to keep a good role-player around right?
     
  6. Lord Gareth

    Lord Gareth UO Content Editor | UO Chesapeake & Rares News
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    Wasn't Queen Elizabeth I a ******* child? So then I wouldnt her baby would be the queen?
     
  7. Cymidei Fier

    Cymidei Fier Guest

    Elizabeth I was restored to the succession and left the Kingdom in Henry the VIII's will after Edward and Mary I. If Henry hadn't, Elizabeth wouldn't have had a legitimate claim to the throne. Elizabeth I never had any children and the Crown went to King James of Scotland after she died.
     
  8. Cadsuane Sedai

    Cadsuane Sedai Journeyman
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    Which is a moot point as she (the widow) never asked nor wanted the throne...
     
  9. Ancient Sosarian

    Ancient Sosarian Journeyman
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    Hail Sosarians,

    FIRST,

    and above all else...The Player and the Character "The Widow," should be applauded and supported by us ALL. This Player and their Character have provided us ALL with awesome examples of exceptional role-playing.

    Secondly, while role-playing characters with ties to real virtual characters of Ultima lore or UO lore is both bold and risky, it need not be forbidden or disparaged.

    An EM in another area, has said [Sherry the Mouse could have been mobilized to call the Widow a liar and disprove her claims.]

    While an EM may be able to mobilize an in-game Mouse, any attempt to denegrate a virtual character by an EM, or by Mesana or any EA member, may have many unintended and unforseen consequences.

    The Widow, aka Lady British, NEVER expressed any claim to the Throne. Moreover, she has acknowledged Queen Dawn as the current "official" Queen (yet we all know Dawn is no more legitimate than Casca was).

    EM's serve a purpose, and are kept on short leashes by their EA masters. I do not know to what extent they are permitted to interact with, and/or cooperate with, in-game Player-Characters. However, to the extent they are able to learn from our Players, and to guide their EM story-lines in concert, rather than in conflict, to long-standing Player story-lines, so much the better.

    While it IS true that like GM's EM's have some virtual Powers, it is also true that they may earn our Players love and admiration ... or scorn and derision ... based upon their choices and actions.

    While I do not ask EM's to unite our Players [perhaps an impossible task), I do expect them to avoid dividing our Players deliberately, or through negligence or ineptitude.

    So, let us hope the Widow NEVER need appear in-game OOC, out of character. Let us hope that each of us (we Players with our created Characters) may take deep breaths and re-think our current situation.

    Lady Dawn is our current Queen. Lady British is the wife of Lord British. IF Lord British returns to deny this, let us deal with that should it happen. IF an EA representative seeks to manipulate revered Characters such as Sherry the Mouse to interfere with a Players in-game Character, that representative may risk the same derision and scorn gained recently by Lord Casca, and at best dividing our in-game Characters. I doubt that is an EM's intended role or purpose.

    Perhaps Lady British aka the Widow could send one of her closest servants to represent her at any in-game meeting so as to preserve her in-game IC in character persona.

    Drama isnt necessarily a bad thing. Let us use this Drama to advance many story lines, while uniting rather than dividing our Players and their Characters.

    An SoS
     
  10. Magdalena Chef

    Magdalena Chef Journeyman
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  11. Magdalena Chef

    Magdalena Chef Journeyman
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    This needs to be the last post up so it's read.
     
  12. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    I do remember that Ultima Online diverges from the Ultima story line after the events of the original Ultima game. Just because something happened in the Console games does not mean it has or will happen in Ultima Online.

    Secondly, Players shouldn't be RPing characters from Ultima Fiction, they are copyrighted.

    *EDIT A few more thoughts on the subject*
    The major issue I see here, is that players personal RP has come into conflict with those of the EM's and EA path for the story line. When this happens who's correct? EA is, when this happens the players should respectfully find a way to separate their own fiction from causing conflict with that given out by EA. Not doing so is disrespectful, not only to the EM's, EA, but to the other players that are trying to enjoy the events that are not involved with the RP Community.
     
  13. Ancient Sosarian

    Ancient Sosarian Journeyman
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    To your points:

    For a player to role-play that they married Lord British violates nothing. Others may wish no one did such a thing, but their wishes are irrelevant.

    Secondly, the players role does not conflict with what EA nor EM's have decreed. Only other in game players have declared any conflict.

    Since none of your points apply, no one has disrespected anyone, other than those other in game players seeking to control other players in game roles.

    That needs to be avoided.

    An Sos
     
  14. SuperKen

    SuperKen Slightly Crazed
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    I'm not seeing a conflict either. Nor am I seeing any disrespect.

    I am seeing a lot of feathers ruffled over nothing though. What other players do can be interpreted any number of ways, and respones to it can be even done in game, in character, rather than on forums.

    If someone comes up demanding an official title and respect (which isn't even the case here), you can think to yourself: this person might have a claim, or this person might be some insane. Isn't the whole point of this to allow for creativity?

    A person could very well start up an Anti-Widow group, in game, to decry her actions and to accuse her of being false and spreading lies; it'd be interesting and would add a new wrinkle to the roleplay rather than try to solve it on the forums.
     
  15. Ancient Sosarian

    Ancient Sosarian Journeyman
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    Fellow Sosarians,

    Nell is not involved in this directly. The Widow has produced no child, nor claimed any Royal Heirs.

    So your comments are also irrelevant to the current discussion.

    Let us move slowly forward, and I fully expect this matter to resolve itself in rather short order.

    We do not need "winners nor losers" from this discussion.

    We need to respect each other and by the end of the discussion emerge from the other end, All As Winners :)>]

    An SoS
     
  16. Ancient Sosarian

    Ancient Sosarian Journeyman
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    Hail SuperKen and Fellow Sosarians,

    It is also possible to discuss in game situations and scenarios here in a Baja Forum designed for just such discussion.

    An SoS

     
  17. Magdalena Chef

    Magdalena Chef Journeyman
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    Originally Posted by Cymidei Fier
    Lord British did not recognize the child Mags, it's not a royal heir. The child was kept secret from everyone and she married the other guy. Princes and heirs are christened, paraded around and are the pride of the monarchy.

    It didn't happen...to make a servant's ******* child the heir would take a special act by the royal council, a will or something substantial like a storyline or event. Which again never happened in the official storyline. It is clear Nell was never intended by Lord British to have the throne or any title or association with it other than cleaning the chamberpots.


    Lord British did legitimize their child. I sent the link about Nell to Warder and he posted it for all the people who said that there was no such character as Nell to begin with. I'm not handing out another freebie, he legitimzed the child, if you are that interested, go find it like I did.

    And, this I feel terrible about, some poor innocent bystander roleplayer who has nothing to do with anything is now having their completely awesome character ripped apart, debated and argued over - over nothing.

    If she/he wanted to roleplay a hexadactyl half-blind hybrid orc-elf character that basketweaves naked once a month under the full Sosarian moons
    then that is her/his RIGHT to do so. You may not like hexadactyl half-elves, and so it is YOUR RIGHT to ignore her baskets and nakedness if you so choose to do so.
     
  18. Oriana

    Oriana Babbling Loonie
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    The best thing I can do for Widow and the rest of us is close down this thread. I mean seriously, let's move on already.
     
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