I'm inclined to agree with all three of those. I'll add the 20th anniversary ones under the tribute section and the speedruns one to the useful information (though it might move if someone can think of a better subject).
Rapierian dodged another of the whirling "shadows," feeling the burning heat on his face as it barely missed him. He let fly another arrow at Alcyon, but her answering bolt of lightning tore through the projectile and struck the wall beside him. Anticipating the blast, he rolled with the force of the explosion, closing with his opponent. Alcyon again retreated rapidly down the corridor. The ranger knew she was just stalling to cover the retreat of her allies, but, try as he might, he couldn't close the distance any faster.
Persephone stumbled back, reeling from the heavy blow of the golem. With a roar, Tantalus leapt to her defense, trying to drive his axe into the golem's leg. The stone monster barely seemed to notice, throwing him aside. Still, the moment brought the magess time to recover and throw a fireball into the creature's face.
Behind her, she heard Sisyphus and Prometheus engaging the other golem.
Normally, the fight should have been over swiftly. Skilled as the four undead mercenaries were, the two golems were large and powerful, apparently untouched by any attack. However, as Beorn had said, his spell kept reanimating them every time they fell.
Suddenly, the ground heaved around them, throwing all combatants to the ground. The wind rose to a piercing howl as a sudden tempest erupted. The world flared green as a second star burst to life in the mountains above them.
Persephone hardly noticed any of these events, however, for she felt something else. A massive explosion of wild, chaotic power swept over them. The distant thread of Beorn's control--not active but a menacing threat--snapped, and they were free.
Stumbling to her feet, she saw the others rise. Hesitating, they all stood for a moment, uncertain what to do now. Then, driven by the curse and by the desire for revenge, they rushed toward the glow without a word.
Behind them, the golems rose as well. Like the undead, the spells that controlled them were broken, and they paused in confusion, bereft of goal or purpose. Then, they spotted the mercenaries heading up the mountain. With a roar, they followed.
Above them, Katerei worked quickly, trying to draw as many of the symbols as she could. Beorn leaned over the fissure, the Crolna still glowing in his hands. The kaleidoscope of purple and green continuing to grow by the minute. The wind screamed about her, and she could hardly stand as the ground rocked beneath her.
She had no idea how much time had passed--minutes, hours, days?--when Beorn's head snapped up, startling her. With glowing eyes, he looked toward the north. Then, he began step away from the fissure, slowly pulling the Crolna out of the heart of the storm. This change had no effect on the fissure however. If anything, the chaos rose, and the din about them increased.
Looking toward the sky, Katerei saw nothing...until another flash of the eerily colored lightning illuminated a small black dot, tearing through the clouds in its speed. With a sinking feeling, she realized then what Beorn had sensed.
Struggling to complete the spellwork laid out on the scroll, Katerei somehow frantically managed to draw her weapon. Rapidly, Beorn turned from the fissure, hastily slipping the Crolna back into the pouch at his belt and drawing his swords.
They were only just in time as Selax broke threw the tortured sky and dove on them out of the gale.
@Wizard Well, domains are relatively cheap and even if he doesn't want to keep the website up, that doesn't necessarily mean he wants it taken over by a porn domain. Long running website domains tend to be a good target for scammers and spammers.
Since the livestream, this topic felt like the last important thing to discuss. Tree of Life was confirmed an incomplete side-quest, Seldane as a language with historic inspiration, and then the hints given about the Cythera sequel.
Looking back through the prophecies, I'd thought of a couple comments as well.
In the first prophecy, I agree with your uncertainty about the Lost returning. See, I'd initially figured the "Voice of a God" referred to Alaric and the Lost being the mages, but then with the Voice being destroyed as the last act of the Tyrants, it must be a reference to the Cult of Scylla, which makes sense given the religious overtones tying them together. But that does leave the question of Lost. It makes me wonder as to the nature of the Scylla themselves. Perhaps a subservient species to the Undine or exiled or something, but are they trying to come back in opposition to the Undine? Or are the Undine themselves the Lost? Tavara said the Undine played him for a fool with Abydos, but he was clearly still associated with them during the times of the Cult, despite UrSylph saying the "traitor" attempted to subvert the humans by worshipping false gods.
Again, I agree with most everything you say about the second prophecy. I'm also baffled why it says the Traitors do not fail since that seems to invalidate the Comana brothers. But from what we know about the Cythera sequel, it's not clear that we actually saved Alaric at the end, so I guess they didn't fail? If so, it's also unclear whether or not they were responsible for Alaric's fall or something more insidious (recall gandreas specifically called out "trust no one" when we spoke with Jhiaxus during the livestream).
The Hidden does seem like the Undine since they joined forces with the Traitors, but my initial thought was the Cult of Scylla. That feeds back into prophecy one where the connection between the cult/scylla and the undine is not completely clear.
In this case, I think assigning Master to Alaric is the most reasonable interpretation. The in-game mention of Master is interesting though. Perhaps the Hidden are the scylla and they are trying to overthrow the Undine? Comana may also have been trying to overthrow the Undine in the same way Tavara was working with them while seeking personal revenge.
The third prophecy beginning with the end of the second age and passing of the Great Unifier lines up with the first and last line of prophecy two, suggesting to me that the "Second End" is a reference to the second age ending.
The rest is really open to interpretation. Are there more Air and Fire around to wreak havoc? We know the land will break into pieces, so is the One to Many Cythera itself or a reference to the crolna being broken again? The world is mentioned as being sundered separately, and so is the Opener of Ways (crolna from prophecy two) but as One.
The Fifth Element seems to tell us how the Cythera saga will end. I thought humans had been referenced as a fifth somewhere before but may be misremembering. These "Walkers" seem like something different. I suppose today that refers to zombies, but I expect here it refers to humans or a class of humans like evolved mages.
Those are my long rambling thoughts about the prophecies.
One and Two are mostly clear. I just question the exact nature of the Cult of Scylla and how they tie into the Lost/Hidden. That question affects a couple little things, but in the grand scheme of the things, we know the third prophecy is more concerned with Alaric's death and the havoc of the other elements until the "Walkers" appear.
I hope this covers a lot of the discussion that was had about the prophecies on Discord. Thanks again for making the topic!
... This reminds me I still need to make a topic about difficulty level in Cythera.
Good point about transliterated as a separate branch, Buzzzzy! I guess it's true that we don't know what all was inspired by Egyptian or Greek, and you and Pallas are right about the original intention for the language possibly being different.
Adding their names and places makes sense too. I recall having some discussion in the past about whether Ayrit and Maayti are the formal place names or more general terms like "home."
It's opening in a separate window for you because the .rtf file downloads and gets recognized as a TextEdit document by your system. You can disable automatic opening of downloaded files to avoid that, so it would just go to your download location and you could choose what to do with it. That's considered a little more secure but wouldn't change much otherwise.
To avoid the Rich Text version download, here's a plain text version which will open directly in most browsers:
Music and fading have never worked on my SheepShaver build for some reason.
This is a symptom of pre-2013 Sheepshaver builds which lack support for the gamma ramp functions frequently used for fade effects. The main indicator is the screen being visible instead of black during sleep (you can see how the time & location pane updates live). Those older builds were also more likely to stumble over audio, and a number of games like EV Nova and Ferazel’s Wand will crash.
I feel compelled to complain more about the Ultima user interface. As I mentioned, it's too much like a DOS game for my liking with mediocre graphics and bad UI, but honestly, that's being a bit generous about the UI. Just trying to test the different games, I found you can't exit from the main menu, only in game, and the method of exiting changes every single game! Sometimes it's X or Q, it could be ctrl-x or alt-x, or maybe alt-ctrl-right-click-x-q! AAAGGGHHH! It's really awful. It should not be so hard to save and exit.
Anyways, I toyed around with the Exile series the other day, and it's another franchise very similar to Ultima and Cythera. I guess I'd never played these turn-based RPGs outside Cythera, so I had no point of reference, but all of them have underlying commonalities in terms of dialogue, party management, and combat.
Exile is actually pretty nice. The plot is interesting, and each game further builds on the world and lore. You get a lot of control over each member in the party and combat is fun. I found the controls much easier to understand. It's hard to beat the simplicity of Cythera's modular system, but Exile feels more like a Mac game than Ultima ever could.
While I liked the story, Jeff Vogel, the creator of Spiderweb Software, must have loved it! Not only did he remake Exile in the early 2000's as the Avernum series, but he remade it a second time in the 2010's by rebooting Avernum I, II, and III. That's a reboot every 5 to 10 years; even Hollywood would be jealous!