The Codex of Editable Wisdom

Palace of Blackthorn

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The Palace of Blackthorn in Ultima V

The Palace of Blackthorn was the stronghold of darkness from whence Lord Blackthorn ruled over Britannia in the absence of Lord British. The castle itself was intentionally built as a maze to confuse intruders and teemed with foul creatures, members of the Oppression, and traps.

It was built on a newly emerged volcanic island—later to be known as Terfin—after Blackthorn was manipulated by the Shadowlords. The castle's position, centered between the isle's three volcanoes, corresponded with the location where the Avatar retrieved the Skull of Mondain from the seabed in Ultima IV.

The hero infiltrated the Palace of Blackthorn in Ultima V to retrieve the Crown of Lord British. After the end of Blackthorn's rule, its halls were left abandoned, but not for long; the mage Sutek assumed occupation in an effort to conduct his experiments undisturbed. The Avatar encountered the deranged wizard in Ultima VI while passing through the castle, hoping to find the balloonist with his plans.

Refugees from their condemned homeland, the gargoyles later founded an entirely new city upon the site, after which all traces of the palace ruins had vanished by the time of Ultima VII.


In the midst of the volcanic fires, west of the hallowed Isle of the Avatar, a vast darkstone palace testifies to the awesome wealth and power that is now Lord Blackthorn's. In the few years since Blackthorn seized Britannia's throne and declared martial law, ostensibly to keep the peace in the land, his personal stronghold has grown to rival Castle Britannia in size and luxury. But there the semblence ends, for those who have had occasion to visit the Palace return - sometimes - with tales of great towers with seemingly bottomless pits, labyrinthine dungeons, nightmarish torture chambers, and daemonic guardians in the royal throne room. Half-human watchers patrol the endless halls, casting all who do not wear the Badge and speak the Password into the dungeon's torture chamber where lethal fates invariably await.

- from Paths of Destiny (Ultima V)

Trivia Edit

  • Entering the castle without the Black Badge in Ultima V was a really bad idea.
  • Batlin still describes the ruins in The Book of Fellowship, which was written some years prior to Ultima VII, giving a rough point in time for when the ruins vanished.

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