The term Virtue refers to the moral system of Ultima Online.
There are eight components of the virtue paradigm: Compassion, Honesty, Honor, Humility, Justice, Sacrifice, Spirituality, and Valor. The game mechanic is accessed via the Virtue Gump. The philosophy behind the Virtues is opposed by the philosophy of Chaos; the individual virtues are opposed by a sin that is its opposite. Additionally, each virtue has a mantra that is usually of use at the respective Shrine.
Virtues and In Por Ylem
Virtues are currently slated to be implemented into the game as the server continuously grows. While not much is publicly known yet, the virtues are intended to be affected by virtually ever action you do from stealing to killing a skeleton.
Ultima Online Virtue System
Most often, Virtue refers to the in-game system wherein players can perform certain actions based on or related to the Virtues, and achieve certain in-game powers. The virtue system is not yet active on In Por Ylem.
Each of the eight virtues are derived from one or more of the following Principles: Truth, Love, and Courage. Each principle is in turn embodied by an item: The Book of Truth, The Candle of Love, and the Bell of Courage.
Here is a popularly-used chart that states the mantra of each virtue, its associated sin, and the principles from which it is derived, along with other information (for example, one will need to know the associated color of Humility to accomplish the Cloak of Humility quest).
|Virtue||Principles||Towns associated||Mantra||Dungeon/Sin||Color||Symbol||Word of Power|
|Honesty||Pure Truth||Moonglow||Ahm||Deceit||Blue||Open hand||Fallax|
|Spirituality||Truth, Love, and Courage||Skara Brae||Om||Hythloth||White||Ankh||Ignavus|
|Humility||Truth, Love, and Courage independently||New Magincia||Lum||Doom or Hythloth||Black||Shepherd staff||Veramocor|
The mantras are occasionally used in-game, but the "Words of Power" have never been used. The Virtues in Ultima lore were also associated with certain professions, but those seem less important in UO's more flexible system, and thus have been omitted from the chart.
The Embodiment of the Virtues in the game is the Avatar. In the single-player Ultima games, the Avatar was the character being played. In UO, the Avatar is basically a mythical "Christ figure" who is referred to but is not seen. He was the "stranger" who slew Mondain.
The relationship between the Principles and Virtues is sometimes explained this way:
- Honesty is respect for Truth ("that which, when you possess it, means all may rely on your every word");
- Compassion is Love of others ("the quality that compels one to share the journeys of others");
- Valor is Courage to stand up against risks ("that which answers when great deeds are called for" and "the cloak that protects the other virtues");
- Justice is Truth, tempered by Love ("that which should be the same for nobles and serfs alike");
- Sacrifice is Courage to give oneself in name of Love ("that which is loath to place the self above all else");
- Honor is Courage to seek and uphold the Truth ("that which shirks no duty");
- Spirituality is to seek Truth, Love and Courage from one's own self and the world around ("that which, in knowing the self, knows all");
- Humility is the opposite of Pride - the absence of Truth, Love or Courage ("That which serfs are born with, but nobles must strive to attain").
- This article from the Wikipedia is useful, at least until someone desecrates it in good Wikipedia fashion.
- Writeup on the Virtues from the Ultima Wiki "The Codex of Ultima Wisdom"
- ImaNewbie may be one of the greatest "scholars" on the Virtues of Ultima, and in this comic strip he proves it