Editable Codex


Destroyed Skara Brae

This is the city of Spirituality and the home base of the rangers of Britannia. The city itself was rebuilt only recently, therefore all of the buildings are relatively new. Years earlier, the city had been utterly destroyed by a magical explosion, the buildings ruined shells, and the inhabitants ghosts wandering the streets.

It is situated on an island west of the main continent, separated from Spiritwood by the Misty Channel. The city can be reached in Ultima VII with the aid of the mysterious Ferryman, who waits at the Ferry Station. He demands 2 gold pieces for travel to Skara Brae, but travel to the mainland is free.

A sight in the city is the Dark Tower of Horance. Once the headquarters of the liche, it is now a harmless place, where Horance dwells and meets visitors.

In economic terms, the rebuilt city hadn't really rooted into the Britannian economy again, but already provides everything a traveler should need and has secured the lives of its inhabitants. Other than that, none of the more exotic things are offered in the shops of the city.

A moongate on the island itself ensures fast transportation.

History of the city[]

Skara Brae was founded after the destruction of Exodus, and the following re-shaping of the land. It was dedicated to the virtue of Spirituality and remained a quiet place throughout the ages. The island location preventing much city growth. The city however, was not the place of one of the runes in Ultima IV.

In Ultima V, the dark mage Flain, who was in league with the Oppression, took residence in Skara Brae, and ordered a moat constructed around the city, while his tower was erected in the city center. Also, the Shadowlords haunted the city like all of the eight cities of Virtue. After Blackthorn's regime was over, the moat was filled up and normality returned to Skara Brae with Flain gone, as seen in Ultima VI.

But bad fortune was with Skara Brae after that time. When the mage Horance was possessed by a Liche, a horrible accident in the efforts to stop him, caused by the stupidy of the mayor, burned down the whole city, killing the entire populace. The city was declared off-limits. It wasn't until Ultima VII, when the Avatar managed to free Horance from the Liche, and therefore lift the ban from Skara Brae.

Destruction of Skara Brae

Free for the Liche's bane, a new Skara Brae was later erected and it once again became a place of Spirituality and the home of Rangers from all Britannia, under the care of a mysterious stone effigy called the Sentinel. When the Cataclysm ravaged Britannia, the Sentinel protected the city from destruction and ended up being buried in rubble. However, the city survived and thrived for twenty years, the Spirituality of its inhabitants preventing them from succumbing to the columns' influence. However, in a demonstration of his power, the Guardian destroyed the city during Ultima IX in front of the Avatar's eyes, reducing it once again to a lifeless wasteland.


Off the western shore of Britannia is the island home of the doughty Rangers. Skara Brae is a beautiful city and spaciously laid out. For those suffering from rare diseases or grievous wounds, a Mystical Healer resides within those walls. The Healer will aid the destitute as readily as the wealthy, expecting no payment save what the sufferer can afford.

- from The History of Britannia (Ultima IV)

A centre for rangers, Skara Brae is a city immersed in the study of Spirituality. The city lies on the southernmost of three isles just west of Spiritwood. A gentle towne of kind, thoughtful and generous people, Skara Brae houses a fine but inexpensive inn, an excellent apothecary, and a healer who uses physical, magical and spiritual medicine. Those in need are always welcome at the Skara Brae healer, and can be healed regardless of their wealth.

- from The Book of Lore (Ultima V)

It has oft been said that Skara Brae, close by the mystic forest of Spiritwood, is the Spiritual center of Britannia. But the word "spirit" has many meanings, and only some of the town's inhabitants, notably the healers, magicians and priests, concern themselves with matters of the soul. Others in the area have a different meaning in mind: those inclined to take advantage of Skara Brae's fine winery!

- from Compendium (Ultima VI)

This sad town was once know as the City of Spirituality. Few are those who venture to the spot where the city of Skara Brae once stood, near the mystic forest of Spiritwood, for all that remains are buildings that stand nearly deserted. While there have been many strange stories as to the goings-on in this uninhabited place, there are few who would seek to verify them. The wise traveller avoids Skara Brae altogether.

- from The Book of Fellowship (Ultima VII)

As of this writing, we are still waiting to see the sad isle of Skara Brae resettled, after the tragic accident that destroyed its entire population. Thus far, none have proven bold enough to occupy a house on this once-haunted isle.

- from A Safe Passage Through Britannia (Ultima Underworld II)

On this isle west of the continent, a hearty people found harmony with nature. One did not have to venture from town to feel the connection of the rangers to the forest and the fisherman to the seas. From the tallest towers to the protected treetops in the famed parks down to the fishmonger stalls along the wide boardwalk, where a smiling nod placed the freshest fish in a buyer's basket, life was neither pushed not pulled beyond the will of nature. In that harmony, Skara Brae gathered a spirituality which people of s similar mind came from all over Britannia to witness. The strength of the people grew from the ashes of loss, as Skara Brae was burned to the ground in a battle to eradicate a roosting lich. To know loss was to build strength, and Skara Brae grew into a place of spiritual might. Much of it emanated from the Sentinel, a stone effigy whose power protected the town. In the Cataclysm, the Sentinel was buried in rubble, and its influence since faded. Yet, the town continues to thrive to this day.

- from Journal (Ultima IX)


Ultima IV[]

Map of Skara Brae in Ultima IV

Ultima V[]

Skara Brae level 1

Skara Brae level 2

Ultima VI[]

Map of Skara Brae in Ultima VI

Ultima VII[]

Map of Skara Brae in Ultima VII

(Note that they are all ghosts, and therefore their "jobs" are only things of the past)

Ultima IX[]

Things to see[]

This puts all of the locations into a easy to read list.


  • Skara Brae is the name of a real prehistorical settlement on the west coast of Orkney (off northern Scotland).
  • Skara Brae is also the town where the computer game The Bard's Tale - Tales of the Unknown takes place. The city is destroyed in The Bard's Tale III - Thief of Fate. Interestingly, on some platforms, you could import characters from Ultima III and Wizardry into The Bard's Tale. In Ultima V there is an easter egg behind the apothecary's house—a tombstone reads 'Here lies the tale end of a bard'.
  • In Ultima VII it's possible to use the Magic Carpet to bypass the ferryman and land on the island.

Cities YewMinocSkara BraeBritainNew MaginciaMoonglowJhelomTrinsic
Castles Castle BritanniaEmpath AbbeyLycaeumSerpent's HoldCastle of Fire
Towns Buccaneer's DenCovePawsTerfinVesper
Shrines CompassionHonestyHonorHumilityJusticeSacrificeValorSpiritualityShrine of the Codex
Dungeons The AbyssCovetousDeceitDespiseDestardDoomHythlothShameWrong