In the Shadow of Virtue
"In the Shadow of Virtue" is the name of an event cycle that began during the Spring of 2010. It was said to culminate in the rebuilding of the City of Magincia by the close of calendar year 2010. The developers did not stick to this time table, distracted as they are by the High Seas booster pack. It is concluded on late March, 2011 with a final event designed by the Event Moderators.
The theme of the event was, as the developers had stated: "How good are you when no one is around?"
"In the Shadow of Virtue" was the next UO event cycle after the epic Warriors of Destiny. While there were no indication that In the Shadow of Virtue was intended to be as epic as Warriors of Destiny, the UO Producer described it as "bonecrushing". Like the earlier Warriors of Destiny arc, certain details of and events within the In the Shadow of Virtue arc were left up to the various shards' Event Moderators, and thus the details of the cycle differs from shard-to-shard. On some shards the arc's events appeared to be sudden and blind-siding, and on some they appeared to be hinted at, foreshadowed, and built up to, in some cases for some time.
The event cycle consisted of the following chapters:
Chapter 1: Explorers of the Stygian Abyss
This chapter revolved around efforts by Queens Zhah and Dawn to establish outposts within the Stygian Abyss. Evil magics had been preventing house placement, but Dexter, Dawn's court mage, found a way around those evil magics.
This chapter started with a meeting between Queen Dawn and Queen Zhah about the future of the Stygian Abyss where Queen Dawn assured that Britannia has no intention of sealing the Abyss or of trying to banish the entrance as this would prevent travel between two worlds and thus Britannia remains committed to the treaty. During the audience, it is revealed that both sides are unable to build an outpost inside the Abyss which Queen Zhah blamed the chaos inside the dungeon while Queen Dawn said that her advisors mentioned a greater evil, perhaps the Slasher of Veils. Ranger of the Abyss and Warden of the Abyss quest chains are offered to the players to identify the virtue nodes that can be used to decrease the influence of the Slasher of Veils and then to find the most suitable locations for the Human and the Gargoyle outposts.
Chapter 2: Lost and Found
This chapter revolved around Queen Dawn's efforts to uncover Lord British's long-lost vault. In that vault lay the mysterious Crystal of Duplicity, a magical artifact used by Nystul to help him create the Trammel facet, and which Dawn felt could clear away the vile demonic magics preventing building on the site of Magincia. It turned out that the enterprising thief Ricardo, who started the Ophidian War and was currently in prison, had some years prior been ahead of the curve on the Crystal -- a tad too ahead, as thieves are often wont to be.
This chapter started with the Sherry the Mouse finding a vault and a crystal near the throne room, much like the one owned by Nystul which can be used break the curse and restore Magincia according to Dexter. Avery absolved of the crime, pardoned by Queen Dawn and released from the jail. While he was decided by Dawn to lead the effort to rebuild Magincia using the Crystal of Duplicity, he decided to leave the service for a while. Minax, having heard the news about the crystal, ordered a lieutenant of hers named Crag to obtain it. Avery seen in Cat's Lair Inn in Britain, telling the story of a lost treasure found by Ricardo. In the Shadow of Virtue - Lost and Found Part 3 quest is offered to the players to find Ricardo's research about Lord British's Vault and the Crystal of Duplicity. According to this, Ricardo found out that the vault can be opened by using words of power. As of May 6, 2010, all words of power are found:
|Word of Power||An||Sanct||Grav||Vas||Ylem||Nes||Uus|
This chapter was brought to fruition by the fateful decision of Queen Dawn to not just dig out Lord British's vault, but also to dig out the critical Crystal of Duplicity and then put it on display in the Throne Room of Castle Britannia. This decision was to prove to be a major error on the Queen's part. The date of the Queen's fateful decision varies by shard, and the digging out/putting on display was handled by each shard's Event Moderators.
Chapter 3: Rise of the Bane Chosen
This chapter revolved around two perhaps-related, perhaps-unrelated (more likely related, it seems) plot points: The emergence of a group of very suspicious, violent, and genocidal humans known as the Bane Chosen, and Queen Dawn's decision to not just find the Crystal of Duplicity but to put it on display in the Throne Room of Castle Britannia proving to potentially be a major error in judgment.
This chapter started with a live event focusing the war between Ophidians and Bane Chosen. The war began just after the completion of the Stygian Abyss outposts of the Human side and the Gargoyle side. Queen Dawn decided not to take any action against the Bane Chosen.
The Bane's genocidal ambitions, however, were not confined to the evil Ophidians, and continued onto the good-aligned Meer. While not directly attacking the Meer themselves, the Bane encouraged Britannians to do so.
At around the same time, dangerous Demon Scouts appeared in various cities in Britannia, followed in short order by a massive, brutal, all-out-assault by demons and blackrock creatures on the City of Britain. During this assault, the Crystal of Duplicity was stolen by Ricardo after he escaped from his prison cell. Later, Queen Dawn's husband, Ors went missing.
This Chapter has thus far featured the most Event Moderator input.
Chapter 4: Prelude to War
At the begining of this Chapter, it is revealed that the imfamous daemon Virtuebane was the one behind the Bane Chosen forces, seeking the stolen Crystal of Duplicity. A Quest For Truth is offered to players who fought against the Bane Chosen while the Bane Chosen encouraged their followers to corrupt the Book of Truth (as ordered by the Virtuebane to corrupt the truth) and turn it into the Corrupted Book of Truth.
Queen Dawn installed replicas of the Bell of Courage to major Towns accross Britannia, in order to call people to arms if more invasions come, and also to remind them of the Virtues and let them draw courage from it. Virtuebane set foot to Sosaria using an altar in Magincia and welcomed by an army of Bane Chosen. Encouraged by these event, Bane Chosen forces started to attack the Towns across Britannia and even captured a few on some shards, despite the efforts of the defender forces of Ophidians, Meers and Britain. As of February 14th 2011, more than fifteen major attacks are seen in each shard on various major cities like Britain, Cove, Minoc, Moonglow, Skara Brae, Trinsic and Vesper. Virtuebane himself is also seen on some shards leading the invasions.
Following Queen Zhah's advise, Queen Dawn visited Shrine of Humility to bless her sword in order to kill Virtuebane. She was murdered by her husband Ors there who was under the influence of the daemon Virtuebane. Blackrock Golems are started to be seen in the ruins of Magincia dropping Epiphany Armor Set pieces. During the memorial service for Queen Dawn, Virtuebane appeared and stole the Crystal of Duplicity from Ricardo.
Chapter 5: Rebuilding of Magincia
After Virtuebane stole the crystal of duplicity, he used it to create duplicates of himself. Britannian forces, motivated by revenge for the loss of their beloved Queen, set foot to Magincia in late March, 2011 to put an end to the threat of Bane Chosen forces and their leader Virtuebane once and for all. Ethereal Warriors commisioned by the Meer Council joined these forces from the north of the town. After a long fight, all of the duplicates of Virtuebane and dozens of Ancient Hellhounds are killed. Several corrupted Book of Truth having the names of the fallen Bane Chosen initiates are recovered from Ancient Hellhound corpses indicating that the Bane Chosen recuits are turned into Ancient Hellhounds by Virtuebane. Virtuebane is lured to the black moongate near the altar he set foot to Sosaria by the Britannian forces while special pies which are distributed by Ricardo are thrown to further humiliate him. He is sent back to his own realm and the black moongate along with the altar is destroyed.
Shards of the crystal of duplicity that are recovered from the Virtuebane duplicates are used to create a moongate and link it to rest of the Britannia. It is also revealed that Ricardo learned about the plans of the Virtuebane during the first formation of the Bane Chosen army, leading to the demon lord placing a curse on him to prevent him from revealing what he knew. He is declared sane again by a group of healers.
In order to raise funds for the reconstruction and restoration of Magincia, the provisional government of Britannia conducted a lottery for purposes of granting the right to construct private residences and shops around the island which is followed by the New Magincia Bazaar.