The Codex of Editable Wisdom


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Magic Ability: full, depending on INT
Bonus: depending on original class

The Way of the Avatar

The one who shall tread the path of the Avatar to full revelation is not only brave, but honest and filled with compassion for all living things. Britannia needs one who can show how to fight the forces of Evil found both outside of and within the individual. The Way of the Avatar is not to be of one profession, but to combine the best of all of them, living the Virtues and showing the people of the Land the way to enlightenment.

The Quest of the Avatar is never ending. The Virtues are always tested and challenges have to be mastered to prove the Avatar's worth. Only one person in Britannia's history has ever managed to become an Avatar.

The Avatar has no restrictions on weapons or armour.



Becoming the Avatar

The Avatar is the name used to refer to the protagonist (the player) of the Ultima games after Ultima IV.

In Ultima IV, the Stranger completes a series of quests and becomes the Avatar: the embodiment of the Eight Virtues and a true hero of Britannia. The concept of the Avatar is to go against the darkness in one's nature and eternally strive for Virtue, highlighted by the phrase "The Quest of the Avatar is Forever." The Avatar is meant to be an example for everyone in Britannia of what could be accomplished if one but tried. This hero was never perfect, was never infallible, was only ever human, capable of both good and evil acts.

From Ultima IV to Ultima VII Part Two, the Avatar could be male or female, under any name the player wished. Portraits were available from Ultima VI to Ultima VII Part Two, though Ultima VII and Martian Dreams only offered one possible choice for each sex.

In Savage Empire, Ultima VIII and Ultima IX these options were removed, and though the Avatar could still be named, he was always a blond white male.

In Ultima IX the Avatar is called to Britannia once again to re-establish the Virtues. He must do this by himself because his old companions have been corrupted. The Guardian is responsible for the corruption of the Shrines and the creation of the columns. The Avatar must adventure alone into the dungeons of Britannia to bring about the final defeat of the Guardian.

At the end of Ultima IX, Lord British suggests that the Quest of the Avatar had not been entirely successful, because while he had originally envisioned the Avatar as becoming an example for all of them to emulate, the Britannians ended up counting on the Avatar to solve all their problems, rather than following in the hero's footsteps and trying to solve their crises by themselves.


Embodying the fortitude of a fighter, the quickness, and quick-wittedness, of a bard and the mystic insights of a mage, you have spent long years mastering the principles of virtue. Many are the times you have savored the syllables of the mantras and the spicy scent of incense during morning meditation. But you are equally stirred by the sounds and smells of combat, being as much at home on the field of battle as in a solemn shrine. A paragon of integrity, you have always sought total understanding of the world around you, often journeying to the libraries of the Lycaeum or conferring with the scholars of Moonglow and Yew. However, your love of scholarly pursuits does not weaken your ties to the world outside the cloistered halls of academe. Your devotion to your companions and those in need is total, and you are ever aware that the principles of virtue are designed to guide us in our relationships with our fellow man. Your path offers both great risk and grand reward, but you are concerned with neither. Driven to follow this, the highest path, by forces unknown and unknowable, you follow the Way of the Avatar to whatever end destiny has decreed.

- from Compendium (Ultima VI)


  • The idea of the Guardian as a manifestation of the evil parts of the Stranger's soul that were stripped away when he became the Avatar is a confusing-at-best retcon to the existing lore, since the central idea of the Avatar is that he or she is just an ordinary person who chooses to follow the path of Virtue in all things. Suggesting that the evil was stripped out of the Stranger's soul when he became the Avatar would seem to imply that the resulting person, consisting entirely of good, would be incapable of choosing to do evil, or even choosing not to do good.

See alsoEdit

The Major Professions
The Professions Mage Bard Fighter Druid Tinker Paladin Ranger Shepherd Avatar

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