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Meeting Lord British

September 23rd 1997 will always be remembered as an important day. Important as it was the final night of the open beta of Ultima Online, but also important for another, completely unexpected reason, namely I met its creator.


Rivan, Aries, and Zordax of the Sinners Among Saints were setting out on that evening on an adventure to the Dagger Island, inspired by a collective desire to see the game’s only land mass completely covered in ice and perhaps also to find the infamous Dungeon of Deceit before the game officially went gold. Tonight would be our last chance.

We began our adventure in Trinsic and seeing no alternative transport, we ‘borrowed’ a boat from a fisherman down by the docks. Unhelpfully the boat’s owner hadn’t left its key meaning that it was going to have to be unlocked – it also, somewhat frustratingly meant it would in all likelihood only serve us as transport for one leg of our journey as as soon as we left it unguarded it would probably be stolen by somebody else… but being in no position to take the moral high ground… we pushed onwards… we were adventurers and this mission needed to happen!

Not being natural seamen, getting control of the ship took some slight getting used to, but eventually we managed to get some basic mastery of the technique and we navigated the boat out of the ancient harbour of Trinsic and set a course for due North. Assuming the map we had acquired from Ba’alzamon of Trinsic was accurate, then we were sailing a course towards Bucaneer’s Den, an old, long ago abandoned township on a jungled island. After 30 minutes at sea, we struck dry land.

Identifying that this was indeed Bucaneer’s Den, meaning that our map was the real deal, I navigated the ship on a course around its edge of the island before continuing northwards. Another 30 minutes or so passed in agonizing silence, were we going the right way? What would we find? Would we even recognize what we were looking for? Only time would tell.



Something was registering on the ship’s radar in an easterly direction.

A quick consultation told us that this was the sandy island town of Nujel'm which meant we were headed in the right direction towards the infamous Dagger Isle! The adventure stayed on course… for now.

We moored the ship slightly to the north of the dungeon entrance in the vague hope it would make it more difficult to steal, we wanted to avoid being completely stranded here if at all possible. Before getting off the ship, we all stowed as many of our personal possessions down in the hold so as not to slow us down.

The Meeting

Luggage stowed and hoping we wouldn’t lose both our transport and all our possessions we prepared to disembark – what happened next couldn’t have been predicted by any of us!

We expected that as we neared Dagger Isle we’d meet other groups of adventurers going a similar way to join with, what we’d not expected however was that we’d bump into Lord British himself.

Lord British was the in-game character alter ego of Richard Garriott, the creator of Ultima Series and Ultima Online.

Hail and well met!, — Lord British greeted us.

We were all obviously dumfounded, and had no idea what to say or how to react.