Letter from Samuel Mekings

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Britannia is in a panic! Early this morning, the sky darkened as a group of steel like birds descended upon the land. Like huge, terrible, flying dragons, the huge birds shoot fire from their gaping mouths at humans, creatures, and buildings without discrimination.

I stood paralyzed when I first saw these mammoth beasts. I was minding my own affairs, handling my resources at the bank when the horrible monstrosity came near me. Some of the more veteran warriors and magicians near me charged towards the ferocious animal and attempted to use their high arts to conquer it. They thought this was nothing more than a new variety of monster, as yet undiscovered, and easily destroyed.

They were woefully mistaken. I watched in horror as the mighty ones fell all around me while the fire breathing steel bird still swooped about, doing damage to all in its path. Finally, my wits about me, I turned on heel and ran for the protection of my friend's house nearby, narrowly escaping the same fate of the fighters. From the safety of the house, I quickly penned this report, and I hope to find eventually find a cryer to whom I can deliver the news, so that they might warn the other cities and villages of the attack. All seems in chaos, and I fear the worst. But if you are reading this, then perhaps my message has found its way into good hands. For this, I can only pray. And that we might have some brave souls who can defend us against this enemy.

Watch the skies! Beware! These huge birds may be those that are called Kilrathi, a mysterious race that only the wisest of sages are privy to. Written about in the ancient tomes, and prophesied of in the most secret of scrolls, the Kilrathi are said to be a race from beyond the skies, from between the stars. Most of the educated scholars who have heard of them, believed them to be fairy stories, conjured to frighten the young ones. But by the virtues, today I believe, and I warrant by the end of today, so shall all of you.

Go in peace, and may the virtues keep you safe.

Samuel Mekings

Behind the Screens

This was originally published as an April Fools' update to the Ultima Online website on April 1st, 1999. The fighter in the image is either a Salthi (Super Wing Commander and Privateer) or Shok'lar (Wing Commander Armada).