Lady Tessa
Lady Tessa, from Ultima VI
Species: Human
Ultima VI
Location: Serpent's Hold

Lady Tessa is a recurring character. She first appears in the written material for Ultima III. She is the lady of Bordermarch in Ultima V and the keeper of the keeper of the Flame of Courage in Serpent's Hold in Ultima VI.

Early on, a Mistress Tessa was listed as part of a project known as the "Great Work," in which Lord British, then king of Sosaria, commissioned a series of exploratory travels to provide detailed maps of his realm. She explored and mapped the mysterious Dungeon of Time, a strange location that could only be found through use of the moongates. Within it, dwelt the Time Lord, whom the Stranger would eventually have to consult for knowledge as to how to defeat the dreaded Exodus.[1]

In Ultima IV, Lady Tessa could be found along with Sir Simon in the armoury of the village of Paws. She had been entrusted by Zircon[2] with securing the Mystic Weapons, and had hidden them in the training room in Serpent's Hold. She awaited an Avatar, ready to divulge the secret location of the weapons when one appeared. When the Stranger approached her, already eight parts an Avatar, Lady Tessa revealed the weapon's location. [3]

In Ultima V, Lady Tessa was the ruler of Bordermarch along with her husband, Sir Simon. Lady Tessa told the Avatar that the Lord British's Amulet could be found in the Underworld amongst the graves of valiant warriors. She further mentioned that the amulet could light the way even in the deepest darkness, and was essential to reach the lair of the Shadowlords.[4]

Lady Tessa was forced to flee Bordermarch's island after it sank beneath the ocean during a massive earthquake, following the events at the end of Ultima V. Along with Simon, she went on to administer Serpent's Hold in Ultima VI.


  • There is a barony within the Society for Creative Anarchonism known as Bordermarch, which was founded by a Sir Simon of the Amber Isle and a Lady Tessa of the Gardens. This fief is in the greater kingdom of Ansteorra - where Richard Garriott has been known to participate in the persona of Shamino Salle' Dacil in the barony of Bryn Gwlad. It is probable that the Ultima character is based upon this Lady Tessa, given Garriott's penchant for giving his friends in the SCA in-game cameos.[5]


  1. Garriott, Robert. Ultima III Clue Book: Secrets of Sosaria. Origin Systems, Inc: 1983. Page 25.
  2. Zircon. Underworld Dragon's Ultima IV Transcript. Ultima IV. "mystic."
  3. Lady Tessa. Underworld Dragon's Ultima IV Transcript. Ultima IV. "mystic."
  4. Lady Tessa. Underworld Dragon's Ultima V Transcript. Ultima V. "amulet."
  5. The Barony of Bryn Gwlad. History Barony Bordermarch. Retrieved: 2010-10-08.