Iolo (full name Iolo Fitzowen) was one of the Companions of the Avatar, and is an important NPC in the history of Ultima Online and the Ultima single-player games. He stood for the Virtue of Compassion and the City of Britain.
He was based on a real person, a friend of Lord British's player Richard Garriott. The real person that Iolo was based on was married in real life to the lady who played Gwenno, who was Iolo's wife in the Ultima fiction.
Iolo in Ultima Lore
As long as he has been in our land, first Sosaria, and now Britannia, Iolo has sought to bring music to its peoples. During the Three Ages of Darkness, he traveled to many cities, bringing his tales in the form of songs. It was during this time that he met Shamino, who would become one of his closest friends, and most trusted companions. As they both moved from place to place, they often accompanied one another, and their friendship grew.
After the fall of Exodus, when Britannia was founded, Iolo settled in Britain, the City of Compassion. There he helped the children spread Compassion to all through their songs, until the Hero arrived on his quest for Avatar-hood, and asked Iolo to join him. Iolo agreed, and followed the Hero through mountains high and dungeons deep, until at last his quest was attained.
When the Avatar had left the world and the Codex raised from the Abyss, Iolo made his new home in the Forest of Yew, southeast of Empath Abbey, where dwelt also the talking horse Smith. He also created Iolo's Bows in Britain, in which he was aided by his wife Gwenno. When Lord Blackthorn assumed the throne when Lord British was lost, and the Shadowlords roamed the lands, Iolo was made a wanted man, and here he stayed, only venturing out when he and the other Companions summoned the Avatar. And it was here that the Avatar came, carrying Shamino, who had been struck down by the Shadowlords. At this time Iolo once again joined the Avatar in his quest, this time to save Lord British and Britannia. At last they succeeded, and the Avatar returned to his world, and Iolo to his home in the Forest of Yew.
Until the Avatar's next visit, Iolo continued to work at his shop in Britain, creating the finest bows and crossbows in the land. But when the Gargoyles summoned the Avatar to their land in an attempt to kill him, Iolo, along with Shamino and Dupre, rescued the Avatar, a bolt from Iolo's crossbow killing the Gargoyle priest instants before he would have plunged the sacrificial dagger into the Avatar's heart. Iolo accompanied the Avatar on this quest, and helped him to save Britannia from peril once again.
During the Avatar's two century absence, Iolo continued to live in his home in the ever shrinking Yew, though he took long trips to many cities, including Trinsic. Also during this time Iolo opened a new Iolo's branch, called Iolo's South, on the Isle of Deeds, near Serpent's Hold. His business in Britain flourished as well, and his newest invention, the triple-crossbow, sold well. During his last visit to Trinsic, Iolo's wife Gwenno journeyed to Buccaneer's Den, where she was searching for, and indeed found, information concerning the legendary Serpent Isle. Upon his return to his home in Yew, Iolo found a note telling where she had gone.
While visiting in Trinsic, the Avatar mysteriously appeared through a red moongate, which was later found to be the Time Lord's doing. Iolo and the Avatar set off to investigate a gruesome murder of the blacksmith Christopher and a wingless gargoyle. This lead them, along with the other Companions, to discover the true nature of the Fellowship, and the Guardian's plot to enter Brittania through the Black Gate. Iolo aided the Avatar in thwarting the Guardian's evil plans, and Brittania was safe once again.
When the Guardian trapped the entire castle within the huge Blackrock Gem, Iolo was trapped as well, along with the Avatar and many others. He was quick to give his friend advice and training as the Avatar braved the many perils before him, journeying to other worlds through the gem, in hope that he could somehow break the Guardian's power over the Gem, which at last he did.
The last adventure of the intrepid bard was to the Serpent Isle, in a search to find his wife, Gwenno, and Batlin, who had escaped before the destruction of the Black Gate eighteen months earlier. While in Fawn, city of Beauty, Iolo was given the white diamond necklace by Lady Yelinda, ruler of Fawn, to give to Gwenno when she was found. It was during this time that he was possessed by the Bane of Chaos known as Madness, and destroyed the City of Fawn. The Avatar eventually exorcised the Bane from his friend's body, freeing him. Iolo was finally reunited with his beloved Gwenno on Monk Isle, after he was freed from the Bane. Iolo followed the Avatar to Sunset Isle and the Grand Shrine of Balance, until the Avatar entered the void and was taken away by the Guardian.