Home » Ultima Underworld 2 » Guardian's Antics as seen in UW2 (by Crowley)
While several important people were attending a festival at Castle British one year after the destruction of the Black Gate, Guardian created a huge blackrock dome around the castle with the help of an unknown agent within the castle. The Avatar descended to explore the caverns beneath the castle, and found a large blackrock gem within (as Nelson notes in the game, this was not unlike the three prisms within the three generators). This blackrock gem provided a gateway to other dimensions. According to Nystul, this was because the Guardian's spell to create and sustain the dome was drawing power from many planes he had conquered. There were eight other planes you could visit. Descriptions follow:
Prison Tower: In this plane, humans and goblins were locked in a grand war. Guardian had offered help to the goblins (they were probably losing) and they had gotten the upper hand in the war. There was a human champion named Bishop held in the tower who recognized the Avatar's name and explained that communication between dimensions was not all that unusual and many who fought against the Guardian knew and respected the Avatar. Bishop also told Avatar about another who opposed the Guardian, namely the mage Altara.
Killorn Keep: Interestingly the architecture of the keep mirrored almost perfectly that of Castle Britannia. The Guardian had long reigned in this dimension, and the people even followed his own eight virtues. Lord Thibris resided in this Keep, and he could tell about the many campaigns he had fought in for the Guardian on other planes. The Keep floated high above a desert, held there by two brain creatures Guardian apparently had put there. The mage Altara who opposed the Guardian in secret also resided in the keep. She told that she had once been a part of a political movement that had sought for the people of this world (or land?) to rule themselves, but the Guardian had swiftly disbanded the movement.
Ice Caverns: Here Avatar found the city of Anodunos, run over by ice. A lone ghost was all that was left of the people of Anodunos. She relayed their tale: once the people of Anodunos had struck what had seemed like a good deal with the Guardian, and had worked for him. However, when they tried to end this deal, the Guardian made the city of Anodunos and its surroundings freeze in an instant. Many died, and the city was quickly abandoned and ruined. How long ago that was, it was impossible to tell.
Talorus: One of the stranger dimensions, this was inhabited by creatures that looked like floating translucent spheres, who called themselves Talorids. It was explained that they were like ants, collectively working towards a single goal with each assigned a specific job, but still retaining a rich individuality and also pursuing their own goals. The Guardian had introduced himself to this dimension as a being who wished to improve the Talorids' efficiency in any way possible. The Talorids agreed, and Guardian made several drastic changes. While the physical efficiency of the Talorids was increased, they all became more compartmentalized and knew virtually nothing beyond what was needed for their own function(=job). New Talorids were created not through birth, but some kind of construction they called 'skupping'. Avatar helped the Talorids by setting the skupping chamber to run by a programming they had used before the Guardian came.
Scintillus Academy: Little is revealed of this world beside the fact that it held the Scintillus Academy, an academy of magic that was known as the best even in several other dimensions. Avatar arrived at the entrance to the exam that one was required to pass before being admitted to the Academy. Once within the Academy grounds themselves, Avatar found them abandoned. Some notes mentioned a powerful interdimensional force approaching the Academy. Apparently the Guardian had entered the Academy and simply killed everyone. There was little evidence of fighting except for one large room that had a pentagram on the floor, and bones and runestones strewn around it.
Pits of Carnage: The Pits were a magically sealed dungeon where those were thrown who were considered to be too violent or otherwise unfit for the world above the surface. This world had been a rough place where proficiency at arms was greatly respected even before Guardian had arrived, but he twisted it into an even more violent and cruel place. Nothing was revealed of how the Guardian had actually gained control of this world. In the Pits resided a mage named Zoranthus who also told Avatar about the multitude of planes and the Guardian's lust for them. He said that while Guardian's resources were huge, they were finite as it seemed that he had drawn forces form many planes to be stationed elsewhere.
Tomb of Praecor Loth: Lord Thibris of Killorn Keep fought in the campaign to take over this world. Praecor Loth was the leader of the people here. His troops were slowly but surely losing, and when Loth himself was killed, a huge tomb complex was dug into the mountains where the army had been forced to retreat, and sealed magically afterwards. Among other people, Loth's wife and three of his most trusted champions were also buried here. Guardian's servants had made several attempts to reach Loth's final resting place, mostly because of the powerful magical horn Loth wielded in battle, which had the power to shatter castle walls. All those who had triedso far had fallen for traps or the restless undead. Because everyone here you can talk to are long dead, nothing is revealed of what this world is like today.
Ethereal Void: The Great Void where the Shrine of Spirituality, Codex of Ultimate Wisdom and the Great Serpents reside among other things (you only see the shrine in the game, though). It never is really revealed how the Guardian controls this plane (or why he just doesn't grab the Avatar from here like he does at the end of Serpent Isle). However, it is shown that while the Time Lord has managed to break free from the Shrine of Spirituality, some of the bonds the Guardian placed around the shrine remain in the form of a physical cage.
To bring down the blackrock dome the Avatar had to collect small blackrock gems from each of the worlds, which served as a magical support structure of sorts for the large dome. He also had to block sources of power from which energy was drawn to support the spell. While Avatar was accomplishing this, Guardian sent dreams and visions to him and others trapped in the castle of how his armies were marching across Britannia. He also tried to convert many to work for him by promises or threats. Mayor Patterson succumbed, and killed Nelson and Lady Tory in the castle before he was uncovered and killed.
The final blow came from the Horn of Praecor Loth. Avatar him/herself lacked the strength of lungs that was required to blow it, so (s)he bound an air demon (djinn) to him/herself, instructed by Zoranthus. Also, the lines of power were cut by a magic wand Altara made especially for this purpose. She told the Avatar to look for a place in each world where the Guardian had done some influental act. In Prison Tower, this was a force field around Bishop's cell, in Killorn Keep the room with the brain creatures, in Anodunos the frozen fountain in the middle of the city, and so on.
As the Avatar was near to shattering the blackrock dome, Guardian sent his forces through the gem to Castle Britannia, led by Mors Gotha, who was the Guardian's champion in a similar way as Avatar was Britannia's. In the end, Avatar slew Mors Gotha as she screamed for Guardian to save her. There was no answer.
To summarize, it would seem that the Guardian applied varied methods to take over various dimensions. He struck deals, offered help or orchestrated an all-out interdimensional war or entered the plane himself if he deemed that necessary. A common nominator would seem to be that if Guardian's servants try to turn against him, response will be swift, but not necessarily a large show of force. Apparently a world may live peacefully with its people seemingly content for centuries under the Guardian, as long as they don't try to stage an uprising. Zoranthus explained that various planes provide various goods for the Guardian's conquest. The world where Pits of Carnage was located supplied many vicious and loyal warriors, whereas for example runestones were produced in large quantities for Guardian in Talorus (and the Runekeeper there did not question producing them, since their application was not in his(?) function).
It seems that it is a rather common practice for Guardian to speak directly into the minds of those he deems particularily useful for his cause, suggesting actions and promising rewards (as seen with the inner voice of the Fellowship and voice of Brom for Gorn). In the world of Killorn Keep hearing the voice of the Guardian was generally considered a great honor.© by Daniel D'Agostino 2002-2019