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The cities of Cove and Yew, Lord British, orcs, and the Empath Abbey are all part of the Ultima Online game. The characters Xaviel Tannon, Byond, smithy, Gwen, and Kalanna were created by other UO players. Kinship Tavern was a player-created building in UO. Most of the events in this story actually happened in game.
This takes place between An End to the Peace 2 and An End to the Peace 3 (though I think I wrote all of An End to the Peace after this was written).
It was shortly after midday, and the young shadow child, Yan'Chi, was preparing to depart for Yew to visit with Xaviel. While the child was preparing to leave, Arthur was taking a break from his studies. With the aid of one of the farmers in Cove, Arthur prepared a small meal for the young girl to bring with her to Yew.
"Thank you for your help Edward, let us go bid farewell to the child," said Arthur as he and the farmer finished up the last of the bread. The two walked out of the farmer's house and went to Yan'Chi. They said goodbye to the child, and gave her the meal they made before she recalled off to Yew. "If you'll excuse me Edward, but I must go finish my research on the orcs."
"Go right ahead sir. I need to finish gathering my crops anyway," replied Edward.
Arthur walked off towards the guard post next to the gate of the town. In the lower level of the guard tower, Arthur had set up a small library of sorts so that he could work on his research and aid the guards when they needed it as well. For the past week, Arthur had been working on trying to figure out where the various ‘new' orcs had come from, and what each of them was capable of doing. The first orc he took a look at was easiest to figure out, the orc scouts. They were simply specially trained orcish archers, who dated back to the times before Lord British came into power. Why the orcish archers had been idle for so long was the hardest thing to figure out. Arthur guessed that they were just never needed for defense until the savages showed their ugly faces. Why they were never seen was the one thing he couldn't quite figure out about them. The second orc type he took a look at was the orcish bomber. When Arthur came to a conclusion about their origin, he laughed at how simple it seemed. The tactics of the bombers were very simple to duplicate, and obviously poorly developed. The bombers were simply normal orcs with skin that was alchemically altered to give them protection against the blasts of their own explosives. Why they were never seen before was simple, orcish mages never took up the art of alchemy before. The third type of orc was the orcish chopper. Their origin was a simple one as well, orcish lords trained in the art of protective magics. The gold hue of their skin wasn't just covering their skin; it was also covering their armour and weapons. This showed that the hue was a side effect of the magic they used. The final orc he took a look at was the orcish brute. Where those monstrous creatures came from was beyond any conclusion he could reach from the books he had. They most certainly weren't purebred orcs, as orcs can't possibly get that large. They couldn't be a completely new species, as they are too similar to the orcish line for them to be anything else but a mix-breed of orc and some titan. Arthur couldn't find out any type of creature other then the ettin that had enough liking for orcs for there to possibly be a mix, but an orc brute doesn't have any of the physical qualities of an ettin other then the size. Arthur spent the next hour or two looking through books that talked about orcish brute encounters and theories, as well as books about the various titans in the land. He couldn't find any matches between behavioral patters or physical resemblance between any of the creatures he took a look at. After about two hours of researching, Arthur's studies were interrupted by a call from outside.
"ARDER!!! ARDER!!!" called a young female voice.
Rushing out of the guard tower, Arthur responded, "What is it Yan'Chi?"
"Missur Berrund wend puff an missur Xaveralls iz yellin' ad missur smiddy in da Abbery!" replied the child.
"Alright. Stay here, I'll be back as soon as I can."
"Ukie missur Arder."
Arthur searched through his runes until he found his rune to the Empath Abbey, and recalled to Yew. As soon as he was in the Abbey, Arthur rushed around to find Xaviel. It didn't take long to find Xaviel, as his shouts were echoing through half of the Abbey.
"XAVIEL! CALM DOWN!" shouted Arthur. "And you! Where'd you send Byond?" Arthur asked smithy as Xaviel went of in anger.
"He is in a safe place," replied smithy.
"Send me to him."
"He is fine where he is, you don't need to see him."
"If his safety isn't proven to me by the end of the next week, you will be in more trouble then you have ever been in before."
"I've been hunted for most of my life, I don't think you can give me any more trouble then what I've gotten from that."
"Just make sure I know he's safe by the end of next week." With that final word, Arthur walked off to take a look for Gwen. The first place he checked was a good choice, as Gwen was there, in the shrine room of the Abbey. A short conversation with Gwen ended up into a room full of people, most of which had little or no reason to be there. "Gwen, Kalanna, might we speak in Byond's tower?"
Both agreed and the three of them walked to Byond's small tower, Gwen shortly after the other two. Smithy followed them to the tower, and asked that Gwen and Kalanna go see Byond. Kalanna agreed, but Gwen was currently still outside. Arthur walked outside to get Gwen. Gwen was being harshly questioned by Xaviel, and getting very upset about it. Before Arthur could ask Gwen to come inside, she recalled away from the situation. Arthur told Xaviel to go to the Knight's Rest, and told smithy that he was going to go try to find Gwen. It took nearly half an hour, but Arthur eventually found Gwen at the Kinship Tavern. Arthur convinced Gwen to return to Byond's tower and let smithy send her to Byond. Arthur and Gwen returned to Byond's tower, and smithy sent Gwen to Byond. Confident that smithy was telling the truth, Arthur left the tower to find Xaviel so that he could try to calm the young knight down.