Name: Gary Muston
Character Name: Blind Otto
Shard: Siege Perilous
As a reporter for UO Stratics, Gary Muston’s duties took him to some of Ultima Online’s most treacherous areas including the shard of Siege Perilous. Regardless of the server’s reputation for being among the most dangerous in the game’s history, Muston instead found an amazing portrait of community at the player-run city of Wintermoor.
Despite Siege’s high levels of risk and unforgiving ruleset, there was a group of players able to invoke the vibe of a classic fantasy tavern, sharing their best stories while a fire blazed on the hearth.
Muston said that as the event became more popular, it shifted from focusing on simple stories to becoming an all-out spectacle.
“Some of the more creative players would sing songs, recite poems, and so on. It didn’t take long for the really creative ones to start telling stories about their exploits on Siege—real or imagined.”
As the popularity of the event grew, bringing players from every corner of Britannia to watch or participate, the Wintermoor tavern soon found itself violating whatever medieval fire codes existed at the time.
“Story Night outgrew the tavern and moved into a larger building more suited to the gathering,” Muston said. “Eventually, the initiates of some of the guilds were put to work as waiters, serving drinks to the tables!”
Read more of Gary Muston’s story in Braving Britannia: Tales of Life, Love, and Adventure in Ultima Online.