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Discussion in 'UO White Stag Inn' started by WarderDragon, Dec 28, 2010.
What do we know - IC - about the demise and dissolutionment of this illustrious organization?
That is an interesting question and may vary depending on the shard experience of the players..
On GL, a dedicated rp group formed the guild "Order of the Silver Serpent, [OSS] and were based out of Serpent's Hold (Fel) and when Tram was created, settled that side so that both were matching.
They were led by Nero of Tenebrae, The Serpent General and role-played the organization consistent with prime fiction as the elite knights of Britannia. In game the Order of the Silver Serpent was everything you might expect of an elite military order; skilled in battle, loyal to the crown, courageous and unwavering in their service.
I was not a member of the OSS but had many interactions, so my view should be taken with a grain of salt as it is certainly an outsider's perspective.
Except from The Unauthorized -BUT COMPLETELY TRUE – History of the Britannian Armed Forces by Marzin Oratis III
"..General Nero of Tenebrae was the second Grand Marshall of Virtue elected to lead the Britannian Armed Forces after the assassination of the First Grand Marshall, whose name eludes me right now.
Nero was a natural leader and a great fit for the position, The Serpent General served as Grand Marshall for many decades and led the combined Britannian Armed Forces against many foes including notable victories over the Empire of the Armageddon and the Urks of the Blockrock Clan.
As years past, the battles began to take their toll, and the work of a young man was now being carried on by an aging general. After a few decades of unwavering dedication to Britannia, General Nero felt his time of service to Britannia was at an end, and he announced his retirement. General Nero was recognized in a ceremony conducted by the High Council of Britannia, honoring him for his service to the Kingdom.
Before departing the lands, Nero entrusted the Order of the Silver Serpent to his most trusted captains who continued to lead the OSS for many years. Jakob Covenant, General of the Highland Guard succeed Nero as the next Grand Marshall of Virtue.
The Order of the Silver Serpent remained an integral part of the Britannian Armed Forces but as the years passed, fewer soldiers enlisted into the once prestigious knighthood. Finally, when the last of the original captains retired, the days of the Order of the Silver Serpent ended, closing the chapter on one of the greatest knighthoods in Britannian history."
Are you referring to Order/Chaos? I don't recall much about how that ended. I don't recall any fiction about it either.
Ahh if he is talking about the day the Order Guard was disbanned[system went inactive] then that is another tale entirely....
Well, GL's player version was done much, much better anyways. I went to some training with them once or twice. I didn't really need it since I'd been fighting since day one, but I had re-started and some others wanted to go anyways. So I went and it was every bit as good as you had said.
They also ran some "house to house" battles, and while I didn't go, from what I read about them they were very well done skirmishes too.
And always in character just the way you'd expect from that Order.
The Order of the Silver Serpent, as far as I ever knew, was just the name given for Lord British's personal Knights.
In non-UO Ultima, they eventually disbanded and were replaced after some disaster with some other order. In Ultima Online, my impression was always that they never disbanded, they just had to have their name changed, for some reason, to the Royal Knights.
This is what I wrote in the UO Guide article on the topic:
I remember them saying the copyright thing at the time. But it was awhile ago, back around the time of Third Dawn. It was in reply to someone raising this very question: What happened to the OSS? And the response was, it didn't go anywhere, we just had to change the name.
Also note that the symbol survives.
So, to answer the initial question? If I am right, then we know nothing in-character because in-character it never quite had a demise, just changed the name on-record when no one was looking.
I don't recall any official UO references to the Order of the Silver Serpent in game, events or fiction (doesn't mean there weren't any) However the evolution of the Order of the Silver Serpent, to the Royal Knights of Britannia to the modern day Royal Britannian Guard makes sense both fictionally and logically.
However I think it’s important that people don't confuse the Order Guard with the Order of the Silver Serpent. The Order Guard, originally named the Virtue Guard, was created by Lord British to stand for his Virtues and Do NOT exist in prime (for good reason). In UO, The Crest of the Silver Serpent could only be carried by members of the Order Guard until the Age of Shadows (something my character was absolutely appalled).
This is not to say that the Order of the Silver Serpent did not officially exist in UO or does not share the same symbol, only that in UO fiction, the Knighthood Lord British created to represent his Virtues and carry the serpent crest was the Order Guard - hence why the shields are often referred to as Order Shields.
Founding of the Virtue Guard
Some may view the two knighthoods as one and the same with the Order of the Silver Serpent simply being the Order Guard stationed at Serpents Hold and fictionally this makes a great deal of sense, but in game the OSS on GL remained consistent to the Prime Fiction of its founding, rather then the Order Guard fiction of UO. (I.e. they were loyal soldiers of Britannia not aspiring paragons of Virtue nor did they have much concern for the Order/Chaos conflict which revolved around the Philosophic debate of individual rights vs. the greater good, etc).
If we want to get into a thread on the Order Guard, its unofficial disbandment and the end of the in-game system I could talk for pages on that topic as it is dear to my heart and remains the driving force in my character's life.
I refer to the aforementioned Order of the Silver Serpent.
While the two are no doubt similar - the Order Guard and the Knighthood of the Silver Serpent share the same Crest and Liege - I understand them to be separate organizations. Lore Denin touched on it. The OSS is a Monastic Knighthood based out of Serpents Hold that was created following the defeat of Exodus' Armies (U3) on the Crimson Plains or - as Trebr Drab discovered in old chiloc files - the defeat of Lord Robere the Upsurper (UO). The Order Guard on the other hand are the Lords in the Service of Cantabrigian that arose after the visit of the Time Lord and the schism between British and Blackthorne.
We have the Order of the Silver Serpent mentioned here.
"Only the bravest knights belong to the Order of the Silver Serpent. 'Twas they who defeated the forces of Lord Robere."
"Though a kind and generous man in his youth, Lord Robere thirsted for power in his later years, so legends say. Had not the Order of the Silver Serpent been ready to fight for Lord British, this very land could have belonged to the ambitious conqueror."
We know that Britain - and the Kingdom of Britannia - were still named Akalabeth before the War of Lord Robere as stated in the UO Renaissance Guide.
"Renamed when the entire realm was given its new title - when Lord Robert was defeated on the Crimson Plains - Britain is the Capitol City of Britannia. Lord British's seat of power is located at what could be considered the interior vertex of the angular continent."
The Order of the Silver Serpent was founded before the renaming of Britain.
Lore Denin led us to the Founding of the Virtue Guard where - at this point - Blackthorne recognizes the Capitol as being named Britain. The Virtue Guard was therefore founded after this renaming.
Blackthorn came to stand beside his liege at the window, squinting out past the white snowflakes, over the moat, to the small blacksmithy on the northern side of Britain. Just as every day of late, a funeral procession wended its dark way across the cobblestones, figures hunched against the cold and the vagaries of fate. He rested a hand on his friend's shoulder.
Later in the tale Lord British glances over a map depicting the Crimson Plains and muses on the War of Succession. This ties it together. "Only then did Lord British sag into his chair, to trace his hands across the parchment of the map. His fingers lingered lovingly over the browned ink, until they came across the desert left by his warring with Lord Robere, the desert where brothers shed each other's blood and nothing now can grow. The desert whence sprang the seed of Britannia."
We can conclude that the Order Guard and the Order of the Silver Serpent are distinct and were founded at separate points. The OSS before the renaming. The Order Guard after.
However Trebr Drab's discovery comes from a chiloc file that was associated with the Virtue Guard. We know the Fiction was never introduced in game - as Lore Denin pointed out - and it might have been the original intent of the developers at the time to have the two be one and the same before moving in a new direction.
If that be the case I wonder if the OSS could again be referenced. The Developers - at one point - could not refer to Lord British in fiction and instead used 'the King.'
But that could be problematic considering the Orders on Great Lakes and Siege Perilous.
In fact I would like to hear it. Both OOC and what Lore Denin's IC feelings and opinions are on its disbandment.
I am curious about the OSS - and the Virtue Guard - because I have a character implied to have once served British in a Knighthood before his descent into Darkness. I have a mental picture of this Knighthood - something of a Knights Templar meets Jedi Order - and have been wanting to elaborate on this piece of his tale. I am debating using the Order of the Silver Serpent as the basis - a monastic group that meditated on the Virtues and served as the Defenders of Britannia - or creating something separate and new.
And from that article about the Virtue Guard Founding...
A challenge shall be made
That breaketh lances and severs growth
And stains fair grass with hate
Someday perhaps shall reconcile
Two men whose hearts were once the same
Till then the world shall tremble dire
And none shall fix the blame
"And none shall fix the blame"...I've always wondered about that. We've fixed blame on Minax, Exodus, others, and even The Guardian.
Have we not fixed the blame where it belongs yet?
Note that Blackthorn is dead, and British has left. There shall be no reconciliation. If that prophesy is right, the world of Sosaria shall "tremble dire" and the fair grasses shall be "stained with hate". Until...to what end?
It could be interpreted in more than one manner.
Cantabrigian - one could argue - ended the War between Order and Chaos when he buried his friend and conceded to him.
To one character I possess this is no Evil. Chaos and Order are two paths to the same Eight Virtues. One who stresses Conformation to an Ideal is no less Compassionate or Just than one who stresses the Importance of the Individual. But so long as these two Philosophies are considered exclusive - that to adhere to one means to claim the other is Evil - the War will resume.
But while Cantabrigian ended the War - the bloodshed and hate refered to in the Poem - the consequence of a World Divided amongst a thousand Shards might exert its own toll.
Where does the blame belong? If we have learned anything from the Shadowlords and Virtue Bane it is that the blame lies with the Evil in mens own hearts.
This will be a busy week in game as we are finally putting together our move to Origin but when things calm down I will start a new thread on the Virtue/Order Guard from an IC perspective as it evolved over the years.
Galen great entry about the Order of the Silver Serpent on UO Guide.
Warder and Treb, great job researching the origins of the Order of the Silver Serpent as it exists in UO. Fantastic work!
Galen can you add the additional info to your entry, I think together it really brings to light the origins of the OSS as it exists in UO.
Thank you so much for this discussion!!! We've been trying to dig up more about Order vs. Chaos history as Catskills currently runs a shard-wide RP theme based on OvC (Order vs. Chaos | A Catskills Role Playing PvP Theme).
Here is a very curious piece of information that may (or may not) be relevant. Mythic, before it was acquired by EA, had a very popular MMO called Dark Age of Camelot. My guild played that game for quite some time. There was an initiative within that game based around the "Order of the Silver Serpent", much like you see here in UO. It was a player-joined system in the DAOC game that had some storylines tied to it. I am not sure if Mythic had the copyrights to that name at that time, a competing gaming company to OSI. My thoughts are, probably Mythic has registered rights to that name before OSI ever got around to it. Then EA acquired OSI, and now much later it has acquired Mythic. So this leads me to believe that if it was true that Mythic had copyrights to use of that name, that has now once again been transfered to EA.
Reason I say this is that I am a publishing lawyer and deal with copyrights all the time, so that's my reasoning... not fact, just shot in the dark.