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Wisps

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Wisps
Wisp
Wisp, from Ultima VII manual
First appearance: Ultima IV
Last appearance: Underworld II

Wisps are blue, glowing balls of light. These being are totally harmless, as long as they are not provoked to an attack. Unknown by many, the wisps are information gatherers from the dimension called "Xorinite", and trade information as well. However, should someone foolishly attack them, they will counter it with strong magic, and their teleportation ability makes it impossible to hurt them. So it is best to leave them alone to their doings.

They can only be seen in the Deep Forest or in the Spiritwood, but why is still unknown.

When encountered in Ultima IV and V, the wisps had nothing of their later nature. They were simply hostile magical beings that were hard to defeat. This changed in Ultima VI, where the Avatar could speak to the wisps. This was also the case in Ultima VII and the Ultima Underworld I and II.

LoreEdit

Wisp2

More insubstantial than most evil creatures, Wisps can actually teleport around the battlefield and attack from anywhere. It is most disconcerting to be involved in an encounter than contains a Wisp.

- from The History of Britannia (Ultima IV)

It simply is not known exactly what a wisp is. Harmless looking little bits of flashing light, wisps are extremely agile and highly intelligent. Although they are not strong, they do serious damage, taking their victims by surprise again and again, blow after blow. They often attack in large groups and they teleport from place to place on the battlefield. Worst of all, they can magically possess members of the opposing party. Wisps seem to have impossible strong constitutions and are quite difficult to destroy.

- from Book of Lore (Ultima V)

Often mistaken for a harmless, forest firefly, the nocturnal wisp can both mystify and antagonize the adventurer. Though only causing minor harm in any single attack, its uncanny ability to dance about the field of battle, striking at will, can lead to serious cumulative injury.

- from Compendium (Ultima VI)

Wisp3

The wisp (we encountered only one) was different from any other creature on the planet. The Avatar was not surprised to see it, and, indeed, seemed familiar with its odd behaviour. From what I could gather, the wisp was not a creature, but rather part of a larger entity composed entirely of energy. This portion was apparently sent out to communicate with other entities and to gather information. Damaging it was unnecessary, and in fact, counterproductive. It could be dangerous when provoked.

- from The Lost Notebooks of Nellie Bly (Worlds of Ultima: Martian Dreams)

These mysterious floating lights have been a puzzlement to many and adventurer. They seem capable of inflicting only slight physical damage, but they also seem impervious from physical harm themselves. It has been said that these strange creatures are very knowledgeable and that they come from a world other than our own.

- from The Book of Fellowship (Ultima VII)

Notable examplesEdit

Wis

The Wisp in Ultima VII

  • It is impossible to separate one Wisp from the other, since they have all a collective mind, therefore the Avatar actually spoke with the same Xorinite Wisp every time.
  • The biggest impact the Wisps have is in Ultima VII, where they are very important to the plot, because they would tell the Avatar where to find the Time Lord, and reveal the true nature of the Guardian.

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