There are three Shadowlords and thus one for each of the Anti-Principles: Hatred (Astaroth), Falsehood (Faulinei), and Cowardice (Nosfentor). Similar to the Candle of Love, Book of Truth, and Bell of Courage, the Shadowlords are the embodment of their respective anti-principles.
Astaroth, the Shadowlord of Hatred, was behind attacks on the Shrines associated with Love during the Spring of 2007.
After many years of being referred to but not actually seen (for example, see The Darkness and The Principle Pieces), the Shadowlords were finally seen when the "Mad Mage" Kronos unleashed his Blackrock Detector upon the world in early Spring 2008 (as part of the Warriors of Destiny event cycle, wherein the Shadowlords served as the primary villains). Kronos's machine brought the Shadowlords into the world, and ethereal "echoes" of them could be engaged, fought, and slain by players. They occasionally dropped a rare Artifact Robe called the Cloak of Corruption. The best "weapon," in terms of damage done anyway, to use against them was the Armageddon spell, while holding Blackrock. "Manifestations" of the Shadowlords, similar to the ethereal forms seen earlier, spawned in the Tokuno Islands, later in the Warriors of Destiny event cycle (see The Last in Line).
The graphic used for the Shadowlords was a variant on the one originally marked for them, but larger, more difficult to see against the background, and had been given two visible eyes which were very disconcerting to notice.
The Shadowlords in Ultima Lore
The Shadowlords were introduced to the single-player game with Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny.
Captain Johne and his crew, aboard the ship Ararat were sailing the Sea of Britannia when they were overtaken by a whirlpool- and all went dark. When Capt Johne awoke, he discovered that their wreckage had washed up on a subterranean shore of the Underworld. Examining the crew, Cpt. Johne discovered that only he, and three others had survived. Exploring the area, Cpt. Johne located three shards of a once great gem (long lost pieces of the Gem of Immortality), and in doing so, he awoke a great corrupted magical force.
Years later, Cpt. Johne told the Avatar that “the shards, full of evil, drove me to kill my three companions, and from their blood sprang the Shadowlords. They spared me, only to taunt me until my dying day.”
Once the Shadowlords became manifest, they took possession of the gem shards that had created them, and immediately secreted them away in the far corners of the Underworld. Then, once they reached full power, and intent upon ill will, they kidnapped Lord British and corrupted Lord Blackthorn, aiding him in subverting the eight Virtues (ie. violating Honesty meant that the “offender’s” tongue was cut out).
Roaming Britannia, the Shadowlords haunted the towns, further twisting the Virtues into evil parodies of themselves. The only warnings that the townspeople would receive would be the sight of a comet in the sky shortly before one of the Shadowlords would descend upon the helpless town.
When not scouring the lands, the Shadowlords could often be found in the remote island citadel, Stonegate, where they guarded Lord British’s stolen Scepter.
The Shadowlords were finally defeated when the Avatar tricked them into entering the flames of Truth, Love, and Courage while at the same time he cast their gem shards into the purifying flames.
- See the main article: Shadowlords (Faction)