Exploits of an Avatar

Truth Behind the Actions of the Avatar,
Britannia's "Paragon" of Virtue
As recorded by Erethian, Scholar of Truth

Rest assured, dear reader, that had I foreseen my encounter with the Avatar, I never would have freed the Isle of Fire from its ocean grave. Indeed, could I have foretold my fate, I would still reside beneath the waves, my studies of the Dark Core intact. In another year or so I would have shared my findings with my peers: Secrets and mysteries of the Ethereal Void that will take my incompetent colleagues at the Lycaeum years, if not decades, to unravel. But, alas, it is not to be. And as you shall see, dear reader, I am not the first mage whose work has been silenced by the Avatar, nor has this silencing gone unplanned. . .

The Three Ages of Darkness

Mondain, the great wizard of aeons ago, was the first to suffer the Avatar's doctrine of repressing knowledge. In those days, the lands of Britannia were known as Sosaria and ruled by a myriad of feudal Lords, including the reknowned Lord British. 'Twas British who cried out for a hero when Mondain began to reign the countryside, and 'twas the Avatar, known at this time as the Stranger, who answered the king's summons. Despite the growth of technology that prospered during Mondain's rule, the Stranger slew Mondain in battle by shattering Mondain's Gem of Immortality, but what arcane knowledge the Gem held (with an exception I will note below), we shall never know. . . all thanks to the Stranger. Nonetheless, British praised the Stranger's actions, and a vast friendship formed between the two.

But unbeknowest to British or the Stranger, Mondain had tutored an apprentice, a child-lover of his own, who rightly sought revenge for the death of her paramour. The sorceress Minax laid war upon the Stranger's homeworld, a desolate place called Earth. Time lost all meaning during Minax's reign. Past, present, and future became one as Minax ripped apart the continuum of time and history in her quest to destroy the Earth. But Lord British, who took this opportunity to establish his own rule on Earth, called forth the Avatar who traversed time and space to the Age of Legends. There the Stranger slew Minax within her fortress, restoring Earth's history and destroying all that remained of her work (or so British and the Stranger thought). 'Tis a shame such important research was lost, I think, for the Time Doors created by Minax offered humanity one of the greatest, technological tools of all time. Instead, the backlash of Minax's death echoed throughout time and space, serving only to muddle the history of this era. . . if, in fact, any of these events ever happened at all.

In a rather timely fashion, Lord British took advantage of the ensuing chaos and united the people of Sosaria under his rule. His reign was interrupted, however, when a fiery island rose from the ocean floor. Plumes of volcanic ash and rivers of molten earth shrouded the castle within the island's center: The fortress of Exodus, a thing neither machine nor man, the spawn of Mondain and Minax, and, perhaps, the first independent, artificial intelligence to grace Sosaria's shores. Threatened by this new technology, Lord British once again called for a hero. Again, the Stranger arrived, infiltrated the castle, and defeated British's foe. But so powerful was Exodus that Sosaria shuddered in its death. The fortress and island sank beneath the waves, and the land reshaped itself.

An Era of "Enlightenment"

The years following the demise of Exodus were ones of reconstruction and the solidification of Lord British's rule. During this era, British established a system of virtue that he decreed all subjects should strive to achieve. And, in retrospect, 'tis not surprising that the individual British selected to serve as a paragon of these virtues was none other than the Stranger, soon to be heralded as the Avatar. And though 'twas the Avatar who ventured forth into the Great Stygian Abyss to retrieve the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, 'twas Lord British and his Council who consecrated the Codex, making it unavailable except to those who studied and followed the way of the Avatar. Yet another demonstration of British's repression of free-thought.

Ironically, Lord British's incarceration of this artifact ultimately led to his own when he adventured into a new Underworld that he and his Council had unwittingly forged when they had enshrined the Codex. Three Shadowlords, spawned from the last vestiges of Mondain's shattered gem, imprisoned the Lord King and Britannia fell under the reign of the Shadowlords' puppet, Lord Blackthorn who encouraged a new system of Ethics. Once again, the Avatar was summoned to save British. But 'twas at the expense of artifacts and Blackthorn's new system of thought that British was freed. For in order to defeat the Shadowlords, the Avatar destroyed the final shards, and hence any data, that might have been accumulated by studying Mondain's gem. And when he was freed, British exiled Blackthorn and his Ethics from Britannia.

Though British once again imposed his Virtues upon Britannia, the land prospered after the end of Blackthorn's reign. But 'twas only to confront the ravages of war when a race of demonic-like beings, known only as the Gargoyles, invaded the land and captured Lord British's sacred shrines of Virtue. The Avatar, summoned for the sixth time, soon resolved the conflict. The Avatar sacrificed the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, the heart of the conflict, by casting it into the Void, supposedly making it available for both humans and gargoyles. In reality, however, the Codex's isolation made it only more difficult to study. More knowledge lost, I dare say, to preserve the rule of the Avatar and British.

Conquest of the Pagan Lord

Two centuries passed. Enough years that Lord British's hold on the populace lessened and many no longer toted his Virtues as a sacred theology. Folk began exploring alternative philosophies, but since so many had been dependent on the Way of the Avatar, they were uncomfortable with their new freedom, and thus easy victims for those willing to show them a new "Way."

An extradimensional entity who called himself "The Guardian" realized this, and manipulated a segment of the population, specifically those who heeded the philosophy of a convent called the Fellowship, for his own devices. He commanded the leaders of the Fellowship to construct a Black Gate, through which he planned to enter and conquer Britannia. Yet the Guardian's devious planning was to no avail, for none other than the Avatar arrived in time to halt the Guardian's ascension to Britannia's throne. The Guardian attempted another overthrow of Britannia by encasing Lord British's castle in a prison of blackrock, but the Avatar was able to defeat him yet again.

Eighteen months after the destruction of the Black Gate, the Avatar left Britannia in pursuit of Batlin, the Guardian's lackey and the ousted leader of the Fellowship. The Avatar first journeyed to the Serpent Isle, a lost continent of ancient Sosaria, where the Avatar bested Guardian for a third time. In doing so, the Avatar was incarcerated in one of the Guardian's prison worlds: Pagan, ruled by the four titans of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. And during this time, the Guardian conquered Britannia.

The Discovery of the Dark Core

Though those fools in Britannia are unaware of the Avatar's whereabouts and many wish for their hero's return, I am all to well aware of the Avatar's latest predicament. For this little else to do in this place but study and follow the actions of the foe who imprisoned me here.

Yes, my own tale begins during the Era of Enlightenment when I left the Lycaeum to pursue my studies of Truth. In time, I discovered the lost Isle of Fire, the island which once housed the Fortress of Exodus. Within the ruins of the castle, I came across a remarkable discovery, certainly the discovery of the era. Exodus had not been slain, as once was thought. Instead, the Avatar had merely severed an interface that linked the psyche of Exodus with a repository of information that I entitled the Dark Core.

I spent years studying the Dark Core until, at last, I learned how to raise the Isle of Fire from beneath the waves of its watery prison. That was my first mistake of many, for the disturbance alarmed Lord British and he sent the Avatar, who was currently confronting the Fellowship, to investigate. Foolishly, I allowed the Avatar free access to the Isle of Fire and its treasures, unaware of the Avatar's ultimate plan: To banish the Dark Core to the Ethereal Void. In my effort to stop the Avatar from destroying yet another valuable resource, I, too, was sentenced to the Void. Most certainly, I would have perished, if not for an unexpected twist of events. . .


The Avatar. Paragon of Virtue? I think not, dear reader! 'Tis quite plain the motives of the Avatar and Lord British are anything but. True, the Avatar rid the land of several evils, but at what cost, and for what reasons? 'Tis clear to me that the Avatar and Lord British used these victories as an excuse to institute their own ideals through the repression of knowledge and the destruction of many valuable artifacts. However, their own actions ultimately led to their defeat and the Guardian now rules the folk they once tried to repress. And, dear reader, 'tis not necessarily a bad thing. 'Tis my humble opinion that Britannia has less to fear of the Guardian's conquest than the mind-numbing oppression savored by her former heroes.

Signed this day,
Erethian, Scholar of Truth