This is another short story based on one of my characters from Ultima Online. She was created as a temporary character to appear in a production of the Golden Brew Players, but after ten years or so, I guess she’s not so temporary after all, and deserves a bit of a background story. She’s also the only one of my characters to appear in a non-fiction book, sitting near Lord British in an illustration from Amy Jo Kim’s book, “Community Building for the Web”.
Archive for the ‘Ultima Online’ Category
In 1997, Origin Systems launched an ambitious project called Ultima Online (UO for short). UO is a massive-multiplayer roleplaying game (MMORPG or MMO), which is an intimidating mouthful that refers to a computer game that is played in a shared setting with thousands of other players.
Among those playing the game at launch were three friends who had adopted the character names Joshua Rowan, Robert the Red, and Sir Lancelot. They formed a guild that they called The Golden Knights, Guardians of the Way, and set themselves the task of defending a chokepoint called The Crossroads against other players who had taken on the roles of killers and thieves.
Shortly after launch, one of Joshua’s real-life friends expressed an interest in the game, and soon created a character on the same server as the Golden Knights; Ursula. Her husband at the time, watching over her shoulder, soon got an account and created a character of his own; Thorin Ironbeard. That’s me.
Last December, The Golden Brew Tavern, a virtual player-run alehouse on the Baja shard of Ultima Online, decayed away into memory after nearly 12 years in continuous existence. The Brew is mentioned in books on community building and the history of MMOs, academic symposiums, and other places that we never expected to end up.
Retrospectives were composed, memorials were planned. The event coordinators on the Baja Shard named things after us (including their website). It was a touching tribute, the best funeral we could hope for.
So naturally, we decided to spoil it by not being dead after all.