Unlikely Heroes: Ian Stormbringer

Sometimes when the circumstances are just right and the need is great, people not normally accustomed to saving the day are thrust into the spotlight. From the quiet and reserved fighter who suddenly leads the charge against a hoard of marauding orcs, to the gangly and clumsy mage who somehow manages to summon the strength to cast the spell that turns the tide of a battle, you never know who the next hero of the day will be. Our Spotlight this week tells the tale of Ian Stormbringer, the Followers of Armageddon, and a heroic moment with a slightly different twist.

A soft fall sunset fell over the buildings of Vesper, and the normally bustling city was bathed in an eerie silence.

Amethyst and Ian Stormbringer walked through the town square, stopping briefly to question passersby of the uneasy feeling floating on the air that eve. At last, a small boy whispered to Amethyst of the Followers of Armageddon, explaining that many of the citizens of Vesper feared Armageddon on the horizon.

As Amethyst related the tale to Ian, he quickly sent word to The Sacred Knights of the Golden Rose of the impending doom. Galbraith, Captain of the Knights, and Ravaloft, Captain of the Paladins were quick to join, and the foursome waited impatiently for word of the impending battle.

"Lord Halston Montil is in need of all that will defend Britannia!" rang out the cry of a guard, late that evening on the streets of Pax Lair.

"He awaits at the First Bank of Britain!"

Hastily, Ian and Amethyst departed for Britain where they enlisted in the forces with nary a moments hesitation. Word quickly rang out that Buccaneers Den was being invaded by the vilest sorts, and the volunteer forces rushed to battle eagerly.

Upon arriving at the Buccaneers Den, a barrage of evil rushed the Knights. Ettins, orcs, elementals and humans most evil attacked with brutal force. Swords flashed and spells lit the night as the brave legions defended the town. As the battle died down, word reached that the FoA had fled, and evil menaced the other territories of Britannia.

After searching for many hours, Amethyst and Ian had nearly given up hope when a passing gypsy told them of whispers of wrongdoing in the Dungeon Shame. Sending their companion Flinn before them, they awaited Damar. He quickly arrived and Amethyst opened a gate to shame, and thus to their destiny.

Arriving in Shame, Amethyst and Ian were once again attacked by evil elementals and battle ensued. When all lay quiet, Lord Halston arrived and amidst the corpses, unlocked the room where the FoA leaders lay trapped. Declaring the FoA leader a criminal, they brought him forth to the Court of Truth in Yew.

Awaiting their return was Nissa, an elite guard. Quite pleased with the capture of the FoA leader, Nissa and Lord Halston thanked the tired and ragged warriors for offering their lives for the safety of Britannia. Handing out gold and reagents to the army, Nissa told Lord Halston that she could grant titles upon two of the warriors who had shown valor and courage in the battle.

"Where is Ian Stormbringer?" boomed Lord Halston.

His weariness fading in the excitement of hearing Lord Halston singling him out, Ian stepped forth from the crowd as Nissa came towards him asking him to take knee.

As Ian kneeled down, Nissa lay sword to his shoulder and announced that he would from that day be known as Illustrious Lord Ian Stormbringer. Marvelling at his new title, Ian thanked Amethyst and the Knights of the Golden Rose for their bravery in defending the citizens of Britannia.

As the FoA leader was led off to await trial for his crimes, Amethyst and Ian hugged, wiping blood and sweat of battle from each other. Weary, but proud, they joined Galbraith and headed to the City of Pax Lair to celebrate at the famed Luigi's. With ale and pies bought all around, they shared the daunting tale of their adventure and of the smiting of the FoA.

The citizens of Britannia slept safely that night.

Ian Stormbringer was a hero that day, stepping up to a daunting challenge when the Followers of Armageddon threatened to destroy that which he knew and loved. On October 9th, far from the world of Britannia, in a crowded stadium in New York, Ian Stormbringer stepped up to a new challenge. With the game tied in the tenth inning, Ian slammed a baseball deep to center field. As the ball sailed over the center field wall, Ian rounded the bases and the New York Mets moved on to the next level of the Major League Baseball playoffs, The National League Championship Series, for the first time in over 10 years.

As you may now have guessed, Ian Stormbringer is none other than Todd Pratt - backup catcher for the New York Mets and the unlikely hero of the National League Divisional Playoffs. Todd Pratt has been in the Major Leagues for 6 years, most recently hunched over home plate catching for the New York Mets. An avid role-player since the ago of 10, Todd first started playing computer games about three years ago. Unimpressed with the solo player games he found, he gave Ultima Online a try after reading about it in a magazine in October of 1997 - and he's never left.

During the regular season, Todd finds time to play UO before and after games. In fact, he received his Counselor robes during the 5th inning of a night game. You won't see him in Britannia while Todd is playing though; he stopped bringing his laptop to games. During the off-season, Todd visits the world of Britannia anywhere from 40 to 50 hours a week!

As Ian Stormbringer, Todd takes great pleasure interacting with other players along with his guildmates in the Sacred Order of the Golden Rose. They often travel about Sosaria with bags full of items, quizzing wandering travelers by asking them questions and rewarding correct answers. The naming of a virtue, for example, may earn you a GM weapon or armor.



Updated 11/1/99: An interview with Todd Pratt

We at Origin were fortunate enough to have an opportunity to sit down with Todd Pratt and get his opinions on online gaming, Ultima Online, and more.


Heroes come in all shapes and sizes; and often, the most revered and remembered heroes are not who you would expect them to be. Sometimes the most heroic among us are those who walk through life quietly, and when life hands them a moment of glory, they step up to the challenge and shine as bright as stars.

Join us October 30th for a special Halloween spotlight! And be certain to keep an eye on FYI for future spotlight topics. We look forward to highlighting many more stories of achievement and success, of valor and heroism, of community and fellowship - perhaps the next one will be yours.