Memorable Moment's Winners Announced for Baja Bonnie Armstrong Congratulations to the winners. We received many stories from Baja and our winners shared some inspiring memories of camaraderie. The top 5 most memorable UO moments from Baja: * * * Fig The Ancient I struggled with this one for a while...their are so many good moments to remember but this one touched me deeply, and also gave me insight to the folks that played on our server. It was a few months after guilds were introduced into the world. It was during the times when houses were often vandalized by red characters. They would often kill members and steal the keys to your home then empty it of all its inventory. Because of this I had instructed my guild members not to carry their keys to the guild house, unless they were coming straight from the bank to the guild house. It was late night and I was escorting our latest member into the guild house as we were about to enter the house we were attacked by three red chars. I instructed the new member to run for his life, while I attempted to hold off the red hoard. He managed to get a recall off just in time to escape, while the three reds proceded to hack my body into little pieces, and gained the keys to our guild house. It was late at night so most of the guild was gone for the night, so I could not even call for help. I stood by dead and impotent, watching while the reds started loading up the goods stored in the house by my guild brothers and sisters. I was not a happy camper, esp since I had just instructed my guild to never carry their keys with them. I watched sadly as all of my guild assets were being carted off. I was then surprised as as first one gate then another appeared outside my house. Through the gate poured every person I had ever helped in the game since I started playing....no less than 25 folks showed up and started fighting the reds who then sent a call to their brothers and sisters until it became one of the biggest battles I had ever watched. The battle was so bloody I never got the chance to be rezzed until the battle was over, so i didn't know what or how all this had happened. Turned out the person I had saved, recalled to Trinsic, and ran around the city telling everyone that Fig's house was under attack...the word spread and the battle cry was issued. A tear rolled down my cheek as I watched them fight for me. The battle raged for what seemed like a lifetime. When all was said and done, ninety percent of my guilds resources were returned, the reds were defeated and driven back to their house which was raided for all the gear they had stolen, and was all returned. Just goes to show you.....you never know if the person who you helped, will one day return the favor. In my case they all did...it was a great day. * * * Trinsic, with its fortifications, battlements and walkways, would seem the least likely place for an invasion, and yet... and yet here we were, chasing Juo'nar the undead paladin and his accomplice the traitorous girl Malabelle across the rooftops and around the city. Down below, in the streets, the faithful Britannians were fighting off scores of undead. From the rooftops I could hear the clang of sword upon sword. The stench of the undead and the coppery tang smell of blood reached up even this high. Oh the carnage! Malabelle paused to face her pursuers for a moment, and another Britannian bit the dust. Haunting laughter drifted back from Juo'nar who was farther ahead still. The evil pair descended down to street level, and I lost track of them in the melee. I was swinging my Exceedingly Accurate Silver Halberd of Vanquishing, dropping zombies and rotting corpses and walking skeletons left and right. Piles of re-dead bodies reached mid-thigh level. Hours went by, and it was late in the night. People were shouting about something going on at the town center. I fought my way there slowly, at times joining other groups of Britannians. The United Tamers of Britannia group were holding the central park. The Golden Knights from the Golden Brew Tavern were holding the south gate -- they did not come after me although I was "kill on sight" to them. The Mage Tower and Dark Tower had a temporary truce while fighting the common foe. Atop the town hall, something had been built of dark brick. A gate briefly shown, and then a Casiid dragon stepped through. I'd never seen the like -- a black dragon! and strong! Everyone who went against it fell. Then, suddenly, waves of undead rotting corpses overwhelmed the Britannian defenders. I fell, and all was shades of gray, and then I knew no more. In the morning, having found a wandering healer, I ventured back to Trinsic. Most of the city was sealed off behind wicked sharp-pointed palisade, decorated with the bodies of those who had attempted to scale them. Trinsic had fallen. We had lost. Outside the city it was as if the whole world had turned barren -- all the trees were leafless. I came upon an odd moongate on the road. Next to it there was a sign reading: "Britannian citizen, this is a time of sorrow. We abandon this, our world, to Minax, and go to another place. Step through this moongate to join us. By order of His Majesty Lord British." And, it was with heavy heart, that I abandoned the Sosaria that I knew and loved and stepped through into a whole new world that was strangely reminiscent of the old and yet not the same. Epilogue: Now and then I visit the bones of Malabelle where they lie, north of Vesper. I give them a good kick. * * * Anyone Want To Do An Ancient SOS? A Tale Of Chaos and Pandemonium So this morning I was just finishing up a cup of coffee and going through my fisher's backpack and noticed that the White Ancient SOS was still sitting there being ignored. So I decided it was time to do it and figured, heck, I'll ask in general chat if anyone wants to come along since the last one I did one I died a few times and had to bother the Count of Berg (my real life husband that I met in game) to come rez me.. again.... So ask I did and I got a few folks who said sure, including one who said ya know they're pretty tough, bring the cannon, greater dragons etc. I'm thinking to myself, okay, I think I've listened to this guy in General Chat before and he and seems like a tough guy. I snicker saying to myself I guess not. A Kracken and a few of it's friends is pretty easy. As I'm getting ready I'm hearing these guys in chat talk about cannon and Greater Dragons still and I'm smirking to myself. We meet up at Buc's Den docks for the deep water and then I realize this is a map that we have to sail to. Yeah, I forgot we had to do this. It's been a while since I've done one. So we get into a few dragon ships and sail to the coords to fish up the map. While I'm fishing up the map I'm thinking that the kraken et all is going to spawn but instead I fish up a chest. Aha! The white net is inside the chest!! Now I remember... So here we are...(note that the font starts to get smaller) 5 or 6 people, one dragon... on two dragon ships... I toss the net...... into the ocean.... far from land. I've been invised... Good people around me! They thought of me! The net sinks.. the waves splash around... the seconds tick by.... This ain't your Mama's kraken! This ain't your Papa's kracken! I'm getting hit hard by I don't know what, I'm dying, everyone around me is dying. Snakes all over the place... this big blue thing has spawned.. I'm hearing in chat something about a 25% chance of something or other spawning in Tram. I don't know.. I just know I'm confused and bewildered and trying to stay alive. Well it starts to sink in that this is Scalis... I swear I didn't know(font gets even smaller)! We die. We move our little dragon ships away... we rez, we go back and attack a few more times(how many times does it take for one to realize that this is a battle you don't have a chance of winning?). Someone says(probably the one who said so at the start) that we should get our ships and cannon. So after what seems forever we now have a ship with cannon and a few more players have signed on. That same someone says we should head for land and fight from shore. So we sail backwards all the way to Moonglow shooting our front cannon filled with heavy grapeshot as quickly as we can reload and everyone shooting away trying not to die from what I've now identified as eels. I HATE eels. But that's another story. We FINALLY get to Moonglow where we disembark and fight like dogs and not making any headway with Scalis. His life bar declines just enough to be able to see that we've done some damage only to have it return to full health a few minutes later. More people arrive.. more greater dragons more cu's. I look at the time.. It's 2:30CST.. It's 4 hours after we started!!! And we haven't put a dent in it. Some of us try different chars to see if that will make a difference. Nada. What was suppose to be a simple kracken and a few of its buddies has turned into a relentless death fest with no end in sight. At some point most of us threw in the towel including myself. Some did not. For the rest of the story I let those that are stronger willed than I tell their story. I only know that sometime after 6:00CST this evening these fine people finally beat it down. I do not mention any names because I don't want to leave anyone out and I'm sure if I did mention names I would forget someone. There is only one that I'll mention and that is Roac Zoroff and his pet THOSAS. The reason is that tonight he showed me the treasure he received for his day long battle. I don't know if anyone else received anything. I can only hope you did. In the mean time I hope you'll forgive an old Lady. I really didn't know that there was a chance this would happen. To those of you that tried to tell me that we really should have brought cannon etc at the beginning I apologize for not listening and thinking those very silly thoughts about you. * * * I don’t remember now how long ago it was, perhaps 5 years, perhaps more, that Inu the Crone was kidnapped and imprisoned in an ante chamber under the Etheral Fortress. Early in the day, a small group of adventures banded together to solve the secrets to reach Inu in her cell. Only the brave who would be able to heal themselves and invis themselves were able to travel to the small hallway marking the entrance to the cells. We were a determined bunch… as our passwords, our supplies and our patience were tested beyond all measure. We worked each room as a group ensuring the weakest could advance while the fighters kept the evil and craven defense lines at bay. We managed to make it to the small hallway... I’d wager no more than 20x3 tiles in all. Impossible to just find… one needed to scratch, claw and outwit the vast defenders. We broadcast the secrets to the rest of the shard. We had found INU, and laid out the trail for others to follow. Most arrived bloodied, bruised and without so much as a single morsel to feed themselves on. Everyone threw themselves into the fight at one point or another. Archers and dexers seemed to have little to no effect. Mages and Necromancers also failed to make any serious dent. Our foe would raid our downed bodies for supplies to regain his health, stamina and dexterity. Our own medicinal concoctions were turned against us! Tamed creatures great and small were thrown at the kidnapper and much to everyone’s horror; the foe rejuvenated all his health to the point of causing us to weep over the loss of progress. The day wore long, and as night started to fall, one by one, Baja’s best renewed their determination to succeed, only to emerge moments later into that long cold hallway a ghost. A strategy was a must. The best minds began to brainstorm. A division of labor! The weaker mages and healers would remain in the tight hallway, healing and rezzing the warriors as fast as they were able. Food was conjured. Stealthers ferried supplies in, some making dozens of trips and bringing thousands of band aids and arrows. Some warned new fighters to leave their mounts and summons and pets outside, else all progress would be halted. The call went out to all warriors, hit the foe twice then leave immediately. Take only 25 band aids inside. Leave all potions and supplemental items behind. The battle waged all day and all night. After what seemed like an unwinnable fight, the entire Baja shard came together with their best and brightest to defeat the kidnapper. Inu the crone was freed. A community bonded tightly together and the ale ran plentiful long into the morning hours. United by a common foe, forced to work together great and small, Baja became a community that day. * * * A group of about 10 of my friends would gather together almost twice a week at my house to play D&D. It was hard for us to find a time we could all meet up until one day, one us learned about this new game where any of us could meet up any time of the day, any day of the week to role-play like D&D over the internet in this game called Ultima Online. After getting us all signed up, we started to incorporate the storyline of our D&D sessions into UO. It was a lot of fun, and this is my most memorable moment with them. It hadn’t yet been 6 months, and most of us were still not fully trained, but when evil threatens the peaceful citizens of Britain, our guild the “Circle of Friends” decided we must respond to defend the weak and innocent. Help give safe passage for players who like us enjoyed slaying monsters instead of players. However it was clear that in our own time, we could rarely venture forth without some red named player interrupting our fun, and leaving our packs empty. In the beginning, one bandit in particular named “Errol” was a constant thorn in our side. He preyed upon new players travelling alone. He was quite skilled at stealthing along the road between Vesper and Britain. Rarely could you hunt monsters, dig up treasures, mine ore or chop wood without this murderer ruining your day. It wasn’t so much as he killed you as that he taunted you with vulgar epitaphs. In one such instance this terrorist would kill me then wait until I found a healer, watch me run back to my corpse, and killed me again. He would remove the contents of corpse, and leave them like bread crumbs along the road and forest. Maybe stuff he didn’t value, but stuff you worked hard to acquire like my precious valorite platemail armor. I knew I should have left it in the bank. Anyhow my guild finally decided to take the law into our own hands. We placed a bounty on his head, and laid a trap for this villain of infamy. While the bravest and most skilled of us caught the attention of Errol, the rest of us waited instead the first entrance to Covetous. He never knew what hit him. The excitement of killing him and the trophy owning his head gave us the inspiration we needed to make sure his like would think twice before preying on innocent victims again. Although we no longer play D&D, and I alone still play UO to this day. In remembrance of them, on occasion I will venture forth into felucca to observe if these unsportsmanlike tactics are still employed, and meet out justice whenever I can.