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[OOC] Know Your Lore: Why the Britannians Celebrate Easter.

Discussion in 'UO White Stag Inn' started by WarderDragon, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran Alumni BRPA

    Oct 9, 2008
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    Know Your Lore: Why the Britannians Celebrate Easter

    Ultima Online is an expansive universe. You have played the game. You have defeated the Champions. You know the how. But do you know the why?

    This is the third of a series of articles - beginning with Sosarian Magic and the World of Daemons - where I intend to explore the controversial and often forgotten elements of Ultima Lore.

    People in Ultima Online often debate the reasons we - the Britannians - celebrate real world traditions. Christmas. Easter. Valentines. And so fourth. To some it seems ludacris that a fictional people in a fictional world recognize such events. Others have attempted to explain the apparent contradiction by suggesting certain historical personages in our parallel universe prompted the development of similar rites and festive gatherings. Some call for unique lore to explain these events - how Warcraft has turned Easter into Noblegarden and Christmas into Winter Veil - while others pretend the holidays do not exist and hope no one breaks their immersion by suggesting otherwise.

    Few on the other hand remember that the Britannians descend from Earth.

    You see, there was once a young man who was playing in the woods not far from the real world town of Cambridge, England. While stumbling through the brush he came upon a Silver Pendant in the shape of a Serpent (or Dragon, the two words meaning the same thing in Medieval lingo). When he touched it, a blue door tore itself open in the fabric of the universe, allowing him to step through and enter the World of Sosaria. On the other side he was discovered by a man named Shamino Salle Dacil, who upon learning of the birthplace of the young man, dubbed him Cantabrigian of the British Isles, or Cantabrigian British for short.

    It was not long before others began to follow Cantabrigian - who would become the Champion of White Light and King - into Sosaria. Of these we know the Stranger, Iolo FitzOwen, and Sir Dupre all hail from Earth.

    Based on the fiction we have available to us - the implication that such doors had been opening long before and after British, the shared Renaissance European and Japanese Cultures, and the fact that a Medallion of Britannian origin made it to Earth - might suggest that the Sosarians themselves came from Earth at various periods, bringing with them their languages, their art, their religions and so fourth. We do not know that all humans descend from Earth, but we do know that some did.

    There is also the question of the wider Fictional Universe. It is a little known fact that Wing Commander, and Ultima, share the same fictional domain. Britannian Solar Space is implied to be on the far end of Kilrathi Space, and thus inaccessable to the Terran Federation in 2654 A.D./C.E. Kilrathi are also found as Easter Eggs in several Ultima Prime Games.

    (In Ultima VII: Serpents Isle, there is an Isle called Claw that is inaccessable to the Avatar. A colony of advanced Kilrathi had crashed there and were forced to cope in this dangerous, dark and often unpredictable world. Considering most current lore buffs consider Ilshenar and Serpents Isle to be one and the same, it would not take a stretch of the imagination to believe the Kilrathi and Meer are of the same species. But that is a debate for a future article.)

    Then at last there is the question of the Ultima Manga. Written in 1988, the Ultima: The Maze of Schwarzchild tells the tale of Genji, a hero from Earth who crash landed on the World of Sosaria. Genji is implied to be one of the incarnations of the Stranger - defeating Exodus and Mondain - and is the first instance the character is named in Ultima Lore. While it was written about two years before the first Wing Commander Game - which was published in 1990 - one could also speculate that a Earthling in the Ultima / WC Universe who crash lands in Britannia is probably goi0g to have been part of the Terran Federation. Which would place Ultima Online somewhere between 2500 and 3000 A.D. Could the Terran Federation - or a predecessor - have been responsible for the human peoples that inhabit Sosaria? (i.e. Crashed Starship?)

    If none of the above are valid, there is at last Cantabrigian himself. We know from Ultima Online Fiction that British - wishing to bring some of his traditions and cultures to a Britannia that had been ravaged by a war - brought with him the Wizard of Oz and prompted a Lord Nicolus to wear the mantle of Father Christmas each Winter. (Yes. In Britannia we have a Red Robed Sorcerer that visits us each December to deliver presents at server up.)

    We could speculate the exact manner in which the traditions and customs of each reached Britannia. Was Britannia populated by people marching through Moongates into Sosaria throughout the history of Human Civilization? Or was it peopled by a crashed Starship centuries ago, forcing the people to adapt to the dark and unpredictable world? We will probably never know.

    What we do know is that these traditions were passed down to our characters from their Terran ancestors. So next time you find a Christmas Stocking or an Easter Basket on your mantle, consider the heritage of your character and where those traditions came from.