Warriors of Destiny
Warriors of Destiny is the name given by the UO developers for what is described as the long-term, epic scenario or event cycle that heralds the coming of the Shadowlords.
The name comes from one of the single-player games upon which UO is based, specifically "Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny." The events of the cycle followed the storyline of that game very closely, with Casca taking the place of Blackthorn, who was by this point in the UO timeline long-dead.
The Warriors of Destiny event cycle featured an unprecedented linkage of many different aspects of gameplay, including Event Moderator events (thus giving each Shard a different "spin" on events), Factions, Artifact hunting, and other play-styles.
The Warriors of Destiny event cycle concluded over the weekend of September 4 to September 7, 2009. It can fairly be said to be the longest and most extensive scenario in UO history. Some players liked it, some did not, but either way its great impact is simply undeniable. The scenario consisted of the following chapters.
Prologue: Inu the Crone
This chapter began with the appearance in Britannia of a strange woman from the Tokuno Islands, named Inu. She began to spout incoherent statements about the future that had a funny habit of coming true. A variety of hitherto-unknown monsters made one-time appearances (for example, the Blood Witch of Khaldun). The Void Shadow Dungeon was introduced and players got to see the Ethereal Void, which would play an important role later. Also, Blackrock began to reappear in the lands, and the Time Lord was spotted near dimensional rifts. Along the way, the Ophidian War was fought, having been started by Ricardo the Thief. The Book of Truth was stolen from the Lycaeum, and that institution suffered attacks by Dark Wisps. The minions of the Shadowlord of Hate attacked the Shrines affiliated with the Principle of Love, and characters' visiting the Candle of Love could be helpful.
These events seemed unconnected, or barely connected, for a long time. However, in retrospect they can be seen as foreshadows of the coming of the Shadowlords, and/or the effects of early attempt of theirs to enter our world.
Chapter I: Magincia Invasion
In this chapter, the City of Magincia was invaded, and largely smashed, by Demonic entities. Some said this was a punishment for the city's Prideful ways. A dark, robed figure was seen near the Magincia Moongate. It can now be fairly presumed that this figure was probably at least one of the Shadowlords. The destruction of Magincia was not enough to open the gateway the Shadowlords needed, and thus more was necessary.
Chapter II: Mad Mage
In this chapter, the Blackrock Detector, a long-delayed project of the "Mad Mage," Kronos, was completed. Instead of doing what it was supposed to do, which was find all of the Blackrock in existence, it tore a hole in the fabric of reality, opened a gate to the Ethereal Void, and allowed the Shadowlords to enter Britannia. (Though not from the Ethereal Void, the Shadowlords were effectively "hanging out" there, looking for "holes" through which they could pass into Sosaria and tear it to shreds.) Towards the end of this Chapter, the NPC Andrew, a servant of the Shadowlords, made his first appearance.
Chapter III: The Vanguard
This chapter featured attacks by the Vanguard, the advance forces of the Shadowlords, in non-core towns of the realm, such as Serpent's Hold, Cove, and Nujel'm. Also, mysterious, powerful entities known as The Six eventually began to appear in the Dungeons.
Chapter IV: Hope for the Future
This chapter featured the murder of the Ruling Council, and a desperate race against time by players to track down their killers. The long-dormant Followers of Armageddon were revealed to be in league with the Shadowlords. Given the events of this chapter, it can only be assumed that the title is sarcastic.
Chapter V: War of Shadows
This chapter was dominated by the onslaught of the forces of the Shadowlords against core towns in Trammel. The game mechanics of the invasions featured an unprecedented linkage of Faction play in Felucca and events in Trammel, with the actions of the "evil" Factions in Felucca "triggering" invasions in Trammel, and the defeat of invasions in Trammel having an impact on Faction play in Felucca.
Chapter VI: Ascension
While the Shadowlord onslaught continued, Casca, the last surviving member of the Ruling Council except for the missing Sherry the Mouse and the comatose Clainin, was appointed King pro Tempere ("Temporary King"). It was unclear who appointed Casca. Either he, as the last surviving member of the Council, appointed himself, or a new Ruling Council that he effectively controlled appointed him. Either way, it was clear that Casca's appointment was "shadowy" at best, corrupt at worst. As Casca was played by each Shard's Event Moderator, his actual character varied, but the growing thrust of his evil nature was clear.
An event held the weekend of March 20 to 22, called Fire and Ice, effectively marked the end this Chapter.
Chapter VII: Salvation
In this Chapter, Casca continued to step up his control of the realm, taking credit for the (apparent) end of the Shadowlord invasions. New creatures named Platinum Dragons appeared, who, while they were perhaps not on Britannia's side per se, were opposed to the clearly-evil Crimson Dragons. There was increasing evidence that, in addition to all of its other problems, Britannia was caught in some kind of blood feud between races of ancient, intelligent, and powerful dragons.
Chapter VIII: The Last in Line
Action in this chapter unfolded on multiple fronts, as events rushed rapidly towards their climax. The title of this Chapter was derived from a heavy metal song by the band Dio.
The general themes of this Chapter were the growing obviousness of Casca's evil, the Shadowlords' getting closer to their goal, the resistance to Casca picking up steam, the return of Dawn and Sherry the Mouse, and the increasing intensity of the day to day rush of events.
This Chapter, and the event cycle itself, ended with an event on Fire Temple the weekend of September 4 through September 7, 2009. (The exact date varied by Shard.)