Most of the charactes in this story are an invention of my own. It was written sometime in February because I was experimenting with alternative characterisation in an established world. (Making up my own people, but using someone elses map, so to speak)

I guess with every story comes the legalese. Okay, Ultima, Lord British and anything that sounds like it comes from Ultima are all copyrighted by Richard Garriott and/or Origin. This was written for the enjoyment of genuine fans, so please don't abuse it. (or me) If you liked it, please tell me so. I enjoy being sent money and/or cake.

This story takes place after the events in U4, just before the events in U5.


by Ianzu Dragon

The morning sun glistened off the highest buildings in Yew, only just visible to the folk of the outer farmlands. Jago looked up from his chores and took in the view that he never grew tired of. The sight of the highest monoliths in the city peeking over the trees always gave Jago the impression of a benevolent watcher, the essence of Lord British keeping sight of his subjects. Jago smiled again and returned to his work. "Thinking of the Quest again?" came a voice form behind. Jago spun around. "No, Uncle. I was just..." Uncle Dagerio put up his hand. "Nay lad," he said with a knowing look about his weathered face, "I've seen that look on you before. Remember, there's more to life than the Quest, you've got your family and you've got your responsibilities now. The Quest is for the rich, folks trained in the arts of combat and magic. People in the courts of lords, and in the company of heroes." "But..." protested Jago. "Remember!" interrupted Uncle Dagerio, "chores first. You can do what you will after you finish your duties." After pausing to underline his point he turned and walked down the path up to the house. Jago turned towards his work.

Come lunchtime, Jago had rushed through his duties and was deciding just where to go. He sat at the table while Uncle Dagerio and Aunt Reke got up and walked slowly outside before sneaking over to his bed and pulling out a narrow wooden box. He slowly opened it up, looking out for his omnipresent uncle, and eased out an antique longsword. It was engraved with the scene of the Avatar slaying the demon Exodus, and it was given to Jago by his grandfather who claimed that the sword was given to him by a companion of the Avatar who assisted him in defeating the unholy child of Mondain and Minax. Jago felt that Uncle Dagerio would probably make him sell it if he found out, as Uncle Dagerio had no time for adventurers and legends. Jago slipped out the back door of the tiny house.

After trekking through the forest for about an hour, Jago came to the site of the moongate situated in the clearing near Yew. His mind ran wild with thoughts of the Avatar using the incredible gate to pursue the quest. The quest which made him the Avatar, the embodiment of the eight virtues and saviour of Britannia. Jago sighed. His uncle was right. Realistically there was little chance that a fifteen year old farmhand could ever follow in the Avatar's footsteps. The lesson wasn't to follow the Avatar, but to simply live with virtue in your life, your soul and your being. Jago wasn't sure, but he thought he already did that. He was always nice to people, especially the elderly. He always showed respect for those of noble heritage. He didn't boast or even show off to his friends his prowess with his grandfather's sword. That was all he knew. Jago turned slowly away from the site of the moongate he decided to visit the swamplands near Empath Abbey and practice more with his sword. Trekking through the forest, as he'd always done all through his short-lived youth, he pretended he was tracking goblins. He hadn't yet learned how to track, but in his own little world he was the hero, and the hero knew how to do everything!

Suddenly Jago heard a rustling in the bushes, and his mind got the better of him.

'It's a goblin. A real one!' he thought as he adopted a fighting stance. The bushes continued to rustle, at first in front of him, but then all around him. Trees shook and leaves whispered as Jago glanced around furtively. A creeping fear drove itself deep into his young mind as he broke and ran from what he considered might just be ten goblins. In leaping great strides he ducked and weaved branches as he continued to run blindly, hopefully in the same direction. The only rustling Jago could hear now was the tremendous noise he was making himself, but he continued to run.

Jago glanced over his shoulder as he ran As he did this forest thinned suddenly and ended where the trees had been cleared for the construction of Empath Abbey. Standing at the forest's edge was a large group of people, which Jago ended up running blindly into. Guards and nobles dodged out of the youngster's way as he continued through the crowd at a terrific speed. A guard who didn't notice the boy coming until it was too late ended up stopping Jago's run. Jago hit the man squarely in the stomach, knocking him to the ground and landing on top of him. He watched as the guard's sword broke free and spun through the air, landing with a quiet splash in the murky waters just off Empath Abbey. Jago noticed a large boat anchored off the coast, and squinted to make out the name.


It was the Britannia.

Jago gaped at the yacht as the guard hauled him to his feet and held him in a steely grip.

"Boy! Thou art in trouble now!" Jago couldn't do much but just stare at the furious man, who kept shaking him with every word. The Britannia wouldn't BE here, unless.....

The crowd parted as one of the nobles walked through. Jago hadn't seen him before, but he had a sinking feeling he was going to find out. "Halt. What has happened here?" called out the noble.

The guard let go of Jago. "Sir! I was standing guard at the shoreline when this scoundrel burst forth from the forest and ran into me. I lost my sword in the collision."

The noble nodded. "I see. What is thy name, guardsman?"

"Tonn, my lord."

"Thank thee, Tonn." he turned to Jago. "And what is thy name, youngster?"

"Jago, my lord." he stuttered.

"Greetings Jago. My name is British."

"Uh, I know my lord." murmured Jago. He meant to sound respectful.

"Indeed." continued Lord British. "Jago, please tell thy part of this story."

Jago considered telling about the goblins, except there probably weren't any. He might get away with lying, but he wanted so much to be like the Avatar. The Avatar wouldn't lie.

"I, ah, was running through the forest. I didn't look where I was going and I came out and collided with, well, one of your guards." He couldn't bring himself to look at the Monarch, even though he ended up telling the truth, because of the overpowering nature of the situation. As an afterthought he added in a quiet voice, "I'm sorry." Lord British nodded. "Thy sorrow is noted. However, the guardsman you struck lost his sword in the water. The waters here are deep and dangerous, and rescuing it would be difficult. Do you live in Yew?"

"Yes, my lord."

"The city of justice. Tell me, Jago. What would thee do in the name of justice about this mishap?" Lord British looked at Jago expectantly with his powerful eyes. Jago lowered his head to the ground again, but he was still aware of the monarch looking at him, waiting for his answer. Jago thought for a long time, what seemed to be hours, and finally came to a decision.

Jago drew his own sword from it's aging scabbard. He held it for a moment and finally spoke to the guard.

"Sir. I apologise for striking thee. It was not meant as disrespect, and I assure thee it was an accident. I also apologise for causing the loss of thy sword. It was inexcusable, and..." He paused, and gazed up at the guard, his eyes filling with tears.

"I offer thee my own sword as a replacement." he said, as he held the fine hilt up to the huge man. Tonn took the sword and turned it over, examining it and running his fingers over the engraved picture. Lord British spoke.

"Guardsman Tonn. Is this acceptable?"

"It is, my lord. T'is a fine sword, showing the slaying of the hellspawn Exodus. It looks to be very old."

Lord British raised his eyebrow and extended his hand. Tonn gave the sword to him and the Britannian king examined the blade himself. He turned to Jago.

"Jago? Where did thee come by this fine sword?"

"My grandfather. He was given the sword by a companion of the Stranger, who later became the Avatar."

"Indeed. This sword could possibly be the only one of it's kind. Are thou certain of thy decision?"

Jago nodded slowly.

"It is done." proclaimed Lord British. He handed the sword to Tonn, who sheathed it and resumed his normal guarding position. Jago turned to start on the long walk home.

"Jago, wait." called out Lord British. Jago turned around as the Britannian king walked over to him. "How old are you, boy?"

"Fifteen, my lord."

Lord British frowned. "I'm not convinced that a young boy of your age should be walking all the way to Yew by himself without a weapon of some kind."

Jago looked up at him. He wasn't sure what to say, so he just kept staring.

Lord British pulled his cloak aside and drew his own sword. He held it up in front of Jago and let the sunlight glint from it. Finally he spoke again.

"Jago, thou hast achieved the true embodiment of justice. Many have tried to achieve what you have already mastered. Also, thou hast shown humility, sacrifice and honour. I offer thee my own sword."

"My lord, I cannot accept this. Your own weapon..."

"Nay, Jago. I have a number of guards and the trip back to Castle Britannia is an uneventful one. Please, take my sword."

Jago reached up and grasped the sword by the hilt and held it in front of himself. He looked up again and opened his mouth, but Lord British cut him off again.

"Art thou in service to thy Father?"

"Nay, my lord. My Father died years ago. My Uncle Dagerio owns the farm where I live, and it is to him I am pledged to serve." Jago decided to try and change the subject. "My lord, I cannot accept your weapon because I cannot exchange anything for it. With your permission, I would like to return it when I get back home." Lord British smiled. "Very well, Jago. I can see that I will not be able to give thee my sword unconditionally. Feel free to return it when thou art ready. When thy service to thy Uncle is complete, travel to Castle Britannia. I will be waiting for you."

"My lord?" asked Jago, puzzled.

"Jago, I would like thee in my service. A young man with such strong virtue would be valuable to my court. When the time is right, make the journey. As I said, I will be waiting." Lord British then turned and walked slowly away.

Jago's heart jumped. He sheathed the sword carefully, as his hand was shaking nervously. He looked up again, tears in his eyes once more, and called out.

"My lord, thank you! I will make that journey!"

Lord British stopped and looked over his shoulder.

"I know." 

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