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What a Day
A tale of the history of Avalon, adapted from the Journal of Aidenna Shethane
14 October 99

The man they called Pinchy approached the Historian named Aidenna Shethane. He introduced himself, and introductions were also made of Shadomir, and her companion, Bridgette. Pinchy drove right to the point.

“Historian,” he began. “Teach me please, about early Avalon and its founders.”

Aidenna took a deep breath, feeling curiously old in front of her audience, and began her recollection.

“Well...it started a while ago... Avalon was originally a concept, an idea. It was a place for all to gather, not like one of Lord British’s cities. A place where you would not be judged by the color of your skin, but rather by the color of your deeds. There were a few founders, a few who fought to protect this city... Their names... well, the list is too long to tell in a story.”

Pinchy interrupted, suggesting that they could sit outside for the remainder of the tale, and enjoy the fresh air. They agreed, and moved outside.

Aidenna continued, “Anyway...all this was done before the change of the laws, where there were no such people as murderers, only dread lords and all those that were deemed ‘evil’ by Lord British’s standards. They were all good people, but they were deemed ‘evil.’

Seer Thayer appeared, and Aidenna’s audience began to become larger, and was much the richer for his presence. Greetings were exchanged, and Aidenna continued her story.

On one such night, my dear friend, Galenius Borai, ran into our guild hall...his hands covered with blood. I looked up, and his skin was red. On his armor, scars from the halberds of the city guards could be seen.” Others now began entering the area, enthralled by the Historian’s recollection.

“He merely said, ‘we need to start a city...’ and that's how I got involved.” Aidenna paused. “We held many meetings at the guild hall of OoS... The Order of Singularity. My guild. And we decided to put our full efforts into this concept, at the time, called ‘The Player Run City on Baja’.”

The audience collectively frowned, agreeing that the name was too long. Aidenna smiled. “I don’t remember how we got Avalon, but it was one we all loved...”

“After an initial large all-city meeting in front of Dungeon Wrong, we decided to add the title ‘City of Destiny’ to Avalon. During that meeting, we also elected our first mayor, Dynamo.” Aidenna leaned forward, as if gifting her audience with a state secret. “Who by the way, ran away with a russian bombshell. True story!” She composed herself, and continued.

“I was elected as Secretary, and Galenius was elected as Treasurer.“ Aidenna looked off at the horizon, remembering some long-ago memory, “There were some problems with the first Captain of the Guards, and we...I think we finally decided on Blackwolf... but I could be wrong.”

“Anyway, we placed the city, worked some events, and had lots and lots of trouble from the PK guilds of Baja...all very powerful. They held sieges and tried to take the city by force...but the citzens and guards of Avalon prevailed.”

Pinchy broke in, “I know of them well.”

“You do?” asked Aidenna.

“Aye...” admitted Pinchy. “...Long story...from a long past.” Pinchy shrugged, and bid Aidenna to go on with her tale.

“Well, another trouble group brewed...from the grounds of Avalon itself! You see, we weren't the only ones here...there were another group affectionately called the ‘boobs.’ Their name came from the symbol guild symbol.“ Aidenna made some curious motions in the air with her hands, which the audience interprested as “[.][.].”

Aidenna continued speaking, “Anyway, they were a bunch of troublemakers, but they weren't the ‘attack attack attack’ types. They were led by an intelligent man, a man I admire, who we only know as Artemus.” Some of the listeners recalled the “grumpy old mage” before the Historian began again.

“He would fund all their missions and exploits in driving us out of this peninsula. At any rate, they failed in driving us out, but they taught us a very good lesson: we are not alone, and we cannot be the masters of the peninsula without help. So we petitioned and petitioned for blessing from the gods. In the end, we succeeded in locking down our tower, a feat unmatched at the time.”

“Did you know that the tower originally did not look like it does today?” she asked.

Pinchy responded, “Aye. I once knew of it...when it was owned by killers!”

Aidenna was shocked, trying to consider of which events Pinchy spoke. “Well, the tower crumbled during a freak accident, possibly caused by Artemus, and we had to rebuild it. We didn't have the fancy teleporter and drapes before...”

Seer Thayer postulated that Artemus had perhaps merely sought credit for the destruction of the original Town Hall during a time when physics were running wild.

“You know Seer,” said Aidenna, “we will never know....”

Seer Thayer nodded, adjusting his green robe, and begged pardon for interrupting. Once again, Aidenna Shethane fell into her story.

“Anyway...even while we were under constant attack, we had many events, fight nights, contests and all that. We tried to model ourselves on what we thought to be a good city. And then...then...I forget...”

“I left on a trip to the lands of Physics and studied under Sir Newton. RIght about the time the Amazons formed,” Aidenna Shethane finished.

The audience thanked Aidenna for the lesson, applauding her memory, and her knowledge.

Aidenna Shethane thanked them all. “I wish I could do better Seer, but my memory fails me, and I do not have my book.”

The crowd shifted, some left, some came to join, and Aidenna Shethane was struck with an idea, that the others might tell thier own tales.

The conversation drifted for a time, and they recalled Lady Jamilyn (whom Aidenna had not heard of in ages) — a fine warrior as well as a knowledgable person...and very kind hearted. They talked of Jamilyn for a time, and some cake was brought out, and Aidenna was reminded of Jack the Fool and his infamous appetite.

Shadomir interrupted the conversation, as a bit of news came to her attention. “Aidenna.. its your birthday?”

Aidenna looked thoughfully surprised. “It’s my birthday?”

Shadomir nodded, “Is it?”

The Historian paused, considering. “I don't know... Probably not...”

Shadomir laughed at Aidenna’s silliness, and the others joined her.

“Happy Birthday!!!” chimed in Pinchy. “...Just in case.”

“I really don't remember my birthday...” mused Aidenna.

“It’s your birthday,” asserted Shadomir decisively, and started singing. “Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Aidenna! Happy Birthday to you! ...And many more!” Shadomir giggled at herself, and her antics, and the general amusement that filled the room.

Aidenna opened her notebook and jotted, “Today: my Birthday.”

Everyone clapped, and cheered for Aidenna Shethane, who blew out the candles on a cake they had hastily set up for her special day.

“How old am I again?” Aidenna laughed at herself, thanking her friends. “I guess it is my birthday now...deemed so by the official Avalonian registry...which of course, I run anyway.”

The friends chuckled, comforted in the company of each other. Pinchy was the first to excuse himself. “I better get going.”

The others politely began excusing themselves as well. There were “creatures to slay,” “seas to sail,” and the company of more friends to enjoy.


Avalon: City of Destiny is a player-city, located on Ultima Online’s Baja Shard.
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