From the Great Lakes Tribune at Ultima Online Roleplaying Community - Great Lakes Shard: As has been reported previously, Britannia has lost her Queen in the most tragic of ways. I have tried to pen something heartfelt since her murder. However, I have been unable to properly distil my feelings into words that would not appear overly harsh. I knew our Queen. I performed the Oath of Office at her coronation. I was there for her passing from our world. Her last public speech highlighted her love for her people and her devotion to duty: "My beloved subjects, you have fought wonderfully well against Virtuebane. I am very proud of you all. No monarch could ask for a better or more loyal people. I'm pleased to tell you that I've learned of a way we may be able to defeat the evil that menaces our towns. Virtuebane is vulnerable to Humility. I shall imbue my sword with that Virtue. Then I shall lead you into battle against Virtuebane! Join me as we go forth to our destiny! FOR BRITANNIA!" Her last act as our queen was to infuse her own family sword with the power of Humility at the Ilshenar shrine so that we may rest easier. The sudden return of her long-lost Ors seemed a miraculous blessing, coming on the eve before the Festival of Love. The Queen embraced her dazed husband, unprepared for what was to come. Sadly, Ors' mind had been thoroughly warped by Virtuebane's evil. As Dawn pulled away, her face beaming, a thin stiletto blade thrust through her heart. As Dawn crumpled to the ground at her husband's feet, his face didn't show any emotion. Even Virtuebane's arrival failed to register. The vile archdaemon gloated over his use of the human puppet, before releasing Ors' mind so he could torment the man further. His mind freed for the first time in months, Ors saw his dead wife before him, the stiletto still in his hand, slick with her blood. Grief overcoming him, he threw down the blade and fled through the moongate. Virtuebane's laughter echoed off the sides of the canyon as he retrieved the knife. He then held it aloft, claiming, "With this dagger, I control Love. Love in the form of a dagger rather than a candle...appropriate for the pain Love can cause." Ignoring the derisive shouts of the crowd, Virtuebane continued to boast. "Corrupted Books of Truth so many secretly hoard... I control your Virtues! The cities WILL fall. The bells will be tainted." He then callously prodded Dawn's body, searching for the infused sword - a prize he did not find. Sometime during the commotion, the sword had disappeared. Roaring in anger, the archdaemon set a legion of his blackrock golems on the crowd. If whoever stole it wouldn't give him the sword, he would take it from their corpse. The battle with the golems was long and hard fought, but ultimately the Britannians were victorious. As the reality of the Queen's death overcame the victory, Minister Magnus Grey arrived to retrieve the body. He led those still able to the throne room of Castle Britannia, where he began to speak: "A great tragedy has befallen Britannia this night. Our queen is dead, beyond the reach of healers or mages. As is true of many political leaders, she was sometimes controversial. None though can deny that Queen Dawn dedicated her life to Britannia. Queen Dawn was a warrior, with a strong sense of duty, and a devotion to the virtue of Valor. There is much work to be done in the coming weeks. We will hold a memorial for our late queen. We will strive to wrest that dagger from the foul hands of Virtuebane. We will seek out Dawn's ancestral sword, which she gave her life to imbue. We will continue to defend our cities. Most importantly, we will avenge our queen, we will avenge Virtuebane's insult to our great nation, we will avenge his desecration of the Principles and the Virtues!" Several days have now passed since these events and Britannia has tried to regain some semblance of normalcy. In fact, one of the architects of the queen's murder has already been brought to justice. A man named Cole, a traitor to the Ministry of Security, was the one to supply Virtuebane with both the stiletto and the unusual poison that coated it. He was tracked to a small fortress near the ruins of Montor in Ilshenar, where he chose to meet a very violent end. Presently, the body of Queen Dawn lies in state in the Castle throne room. A memorial service is being planned, but does not yet have a firm date. Citizens have been invited to speak during the service and those wishing to are directed to send a copy of their words to the castle staff. Tangible evil lurks in the dark places of our world, skittering into the light only long enough to inflict grievous wounds on the virtuous. We pretend to be outraged, even to the point of making a show of slaying one or two vile beats. But ultimately, we tend to allow the larger evils to stalk their prey without contest . We watched Magincia destroyed by an extradimensional daemon horde, then looted the city while its citizens fled. We allowed a dictator to seize our throne, blithely ignoring his ties to the Shadowlords. We allowed the Bane Chosen to make war against others without protest, some even joining them. We feigned shock when the Bane Chosen invaded Magincia and summoned their daemon master. When evil is allowed to roam free, to subvert our culture as they see fit, how can we claim to be a Virtuous people? Our queen lies dead. Our cities are under constant threat. How much longer can we continue to pay the high price of failure?