In Which Rustic Dragon and Richard Garriott Leave Me Humbled

An envelope? For me?

An envelope? For me?

I found an envelope addressed to me whilst checking the mail yesterday. This event was fairly significant; apart from bills, I don’t get much in the mail. At least, not much that I normally care to read or open.

And, of course, the sender should be well known to all who frequent here; Rustic Dragon’s Hearth of Britannia has even been included in Shroud of the Avatar, and his once-frequent Dragonsmeets were always worthwhile to partake of, if one had both the necessary spare time and a deep-seated love of all things Ultima.

Hopefully, you all recall the Telethon of the Avatar that was put on through the Hearth of Britannia some time ago. The 24-hour Telethon didn’t reach its goal of raising another million dollars for Shroud of the Avatar’s development fund, but many people did make or increase their pledges to the game during the Telethon’s run…which, in turn, meant that many of these people were slated to receive prizes of one sort or another.

Rustic’s life, post-Telethon, was rather tumultuous, however, so many of the Telethon prizes didn’t end up getting sent out until December of 2014. Honestly, I’d all but forgotten that I even qualified for a prize, so this envelope came as a surprise, in effect.

Well, inside the envelope was a letter from Rustic, thanking me for my participation in the Telethon and enumerating the prizes to which I was entitled:

Seems straightforward.

Seems straightforward.

And, indeed, I did find enclosed a full set of Virtue Cards and a full set of Legends of Ultima cards. Oh, and sticker:

There was, however, one additional item enclosed in the envelope which was not indicated on the letter above:

I...wait...what? Is this for real?

I…wait…what? Is this for real?

Look, you all know how I feel about Ultima 6; most of you probably have some idea of just how many times I have played that game through to completion since first encountering it over twenty years ago. More than any other game, that game is the one I identify with; when I dream of being magically transported to Britannia, it is to Ultima 6’s Britannia that I journey as I slumber. I’ve quipped, here and there, that Britannia is my Narnia; Ultima 6, then, was my The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen that last screen of the game, the one instructing me to report my feat to Lord British. I never took the opportunity, as a child, to mail my accomplishment in to Origin Systems; I’m not sure my parents would have allowed it anyhow. I did do something of the sort via Twitter once:

But an actual completion certificate for Ultima 6? Never, even in my most fervent hope, did I ever expect I’d actually have one to call my own. But now, somehow, I do. I don’t know what kinds of strings had to be pulled, but I’m informed that this was brought about through a collaboration between Richard Garriott and Rustic Dragon. And that’s the other thing: to be thought of, even for a moment, and to be singled out in this moving way…that’s what I think makes this truly humbling. Because really…who am I? I’m just this guy with a website…and I don’t suppose I’ll ever stop being surprised that people find that valuable or commendable.

So, to Richard and Joseph (Rustic)…all I can say is “thank you”, and I hope that’s sufficient.

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    In Which Rustic Dragon and Richard Garriott Leave Me Humbled

    I received a package in the mail from Rustic Dragon. Little did I know what was waiting inside it.

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