This is the story of the greatest artifact/World Wide Quest in MMORPG history, that I mentioned in another thread.
I had so much information that I'd gathered over a period of around 3 years, in researching this, that I'm going to try to limit this just to keep it "short."
But I'll try to hit all the important points.
To start, you need a little background.
UO came from the Ultima SP games that made Richard Garriott's name.
In the plot that spanned all of those games, was the story of Mondain the evil wizard, his lover and apprentice Minax, how Mondain took control of the world of Sosaria, and how "The Stranger" (the SP game player character) came from Earth, met Lord British (who also had come from Earth), and went on to defeat Mondain and free the world of his evil.
The start up movie for UO held an important clue. It's short.
Notice at the end as the camera pans out from the dying Mondain, the final "Shard" (yes, this is where that term came from, kudos to Raph Koster)
is darker than the rest of the Shards at close up inspection. It's a transparent black.
This was a critical clue to this mystery.
What was suspected by fans of the Ultima series, once UO was released, was that when the Gem of Immortality shattered into Shards, each shard held a copy of the world. And some of these worlds might still be held by the power of Evil.
This became known over the years of releases of new additional lands in UO.
Next Post, I'll start telling the story. This is still going to be long, try as I may to keep it "short."