This is purely a fan theory and should probably only be used as an alternative storyline for your own entertainment or tabletop games.
This theory requires two intuitive leaps from canon. My ideas or the origin of the Guardian and the time loop idea.
- Synopsis -
The actual story of the Time lord is fairly neat on its own, and shouldn't be discounted in any way. I learned more from the wiki articles than from play as the lore on him was fairly thin and spread out over the entire series. He is a major lynchpin. He's most likely responsible for the ultima 1 time machine. For the avatar's immunity in 2. For the knowledge of how to shut down Exodus in 3. For his role as Hawkwind in 4. and on and on through to 9. But his Origin is ambiguous without delving into plotlines that were ultimately cut from the story.
According to this not-canon, Hawkwind the Time Lord is an Ultima, a race of beings like the avatar who somehow cast of their evil halves.
I can't say I like that idea. The Avatar does many things in 8 and 9 that would be considered evil. The player is always allowed (if discouraged) to commit evil acts. The casting off of evil or splitting of the spirit into good and evil halves, such as the canon origin of the Guardian, just doesn't sound well thought out. It could only be truly simulated if the player suddenly became limited to only performing good or, at least, non-malicious tasks.
It's kind of like the fallacies of the 3 laws of robotics, which sound great on the surface but falter under scrutiny. If the Avatar (and the Ultimas for that matter) cast off or somehow rid himself of all evil, it would limit the freedom of the player and thus make for a weaker game. The gameplay itself, with all of its freedoms seem to contradict the idea (Thank the stars).
And so, for my own peace and purposes, I formed a story of my own that fits in with my other ideas.
It is shakey second intuitive leap to attempt to use my own headcanon of the origin of the Guardian as a basis for this idea. If you liked the previous idea, then this is just a continuation. If you haven't read it, that's okay, I recommend it, but I'm biased, so allow me to sum up.
I theorised Exodus, the infernal machine created by Mondain and Minax, was meant to study, dissect, and experiment with magics that control time, space, and life. The chief purpose of which was to find any means by which its creators would become Gods. The Guardian was the final creation, escaping with the destruction of Exodus.
Exodus was created before the fall of Mondain and Minax (Or now that I think on it again, Minax could have finished it later, either way-) That means that the machine could have been operational the entire time. This would give it decades of data to experiment with on any unfortunate soul or creature to fall prey to its creations. One could imagine, that if the Guardian was created from a demon, what might have happened to a human. Perhaps one with gifts of her own.
The Manual to a copy of Ultima 3 reads thus:
One possible clue as to the identity of thy nemesis has been discovered. A derelict merchant ship was recently towed into port. No crewmen were aboard, alive or dead. Everyone had vanished, as if plucked by some evil force off the boat. The only thing found was a word written in blood on the deck: EXODUS.
Plotline in Ultima 3 was pretty thin, so the reader is free to create their own ideas and draw their own conclusions about the missing merchant sailors and passengers. Therefore, I choose to believe that the first Time Lord was a young daughter of a gypsy family, sailing with the derelict ship.
Okay, why a gypsy? I'll get to that. PROMISE!
Exodus instructs its creations and minions to seize the crew, battle ensues, and the ship is cast adrift. The people are taken to the machine, and are subjected to the horrors of Exodus's curiosity. The girl has potential, a small amount of power over fate and fortune. She becomes the newest focus of Exodus's attempts to artificially infuse a being with with all of the magical abilities it believes a god possesses.
It worked, in a way, one major aspect of magic over time and space merged with her talent of sensing fate, and a young, weak, and confused Time Lord stumbled out of containment. Time and space to her were now simply new directions to walk. She could simple step through a wall around the time of its creation or destruction. As if past and present were as simple to her as left or right.
But it was draining her, she was too weak, too young, too inexperienced to make her way, and so she slipped between worlds. She rested. And she sought out those with the strength to stop the forces of Evil.
Wait- No...Time Lords. Plural. More than one. right.
I like to think a hero from Earth wasn't the first idea. If memory serves me, the player could even choose different races. Not Earth lore friendly, really. Middle Earth, maybe.
Either way, I like to think the first heroes to take up arms against Mondain and Minax were Sosarian. An army or rebels desperate to defeat Mondain before his ambitions destroyed them all.
The young Time Lord, determined to help, uses her powers to help a great hero defeat Mondain by creating a time machine to use. Then again she kept the hero stable as reality was torn asunder by Minax. At last, the hero would engage Exodus.
Then she sensed it. The last of the great and terrible machine shut down and something escaped. Something she could feel the potential or true evil within. She haddn't known it was there until the containment Exodus had created broke down and in that instant she could see the fate of her world.
She knew she couldn't stop it, she didn't have the strength, nor a means to attain it in time. So she used what power remained in her to give her gift to someone with the power to control it better. She gave it to the hero of Sosaria.
From here, I get vague on my own ultimate ideas on what happens next exactly, but it goes something like this: The new Time Lord (NTL) hatches a plan with Lord British, and the first sleeps, her power permanently damaged. Lord British is tasked with the creation of a new power capable of defending his world from distant outsiders(The Virtues). NTL seeks out other potential heroes in nearby worlds, finding Earth, and a large pool of humans with the potential to become the Avatar.
In reference to my post about the Time Loop, this Avatar attains the experience and power necessary to combat the guardian and is drawn back through time to face Mondain, Minax, and Exodus. If he doesn't succeed in some way before his Ascension, then the avatar joins the effort as a new Time Lord and the next Avatar is sought out.
In the end, when the necessary tasks are fulfilled, the 8 virtues are overflowing with the power of mortal followers, and the Guardian is neutralised for all eternity, Britannia will find everlasting peace.
The young gypsy girl will awaken again and live a life in this new land. But, in the dreams of strangers from another world, she will tell of fortunes and fates, deriving her visions from the virtues they embody strongest. From her hard earned paradise, she will set the heroes of Britannia on their journey onward.
The real conflicts with this idea are all in the plot of the original games, but not so much in the actual gameplay. None of this "Alternate Lore" would have much impact on any of the player controlled portions of the games. so the only changes necessary for this to really be implemented ar ing the flavor text of the beginning and endings of the game.
This lore is a different perspective of the plot, but much of a gameplay change, in other words.
I think, possibly, the most drastic gameplay changes world actually be all the way into Ultima 9. I can't say with any certainty, but the shift from trying to merge with the Guardian to simply weakening him enough for him to lose control over the power of time, might entail a rethinking of the quests and objectives of the Avatar.
The final bit, is simply giving the Gypsy woman from the introductions and character creation stories a bit of background. An epic story, really. much like I'd like to do for some other characters in the game, but those would be truly messing with some of the plotlines I found lacking.
But that's another rant.
- The Pitch -
To be completed if/after the rest of the headcanon is complete.
- Too Long Didn't Read -
A Gypsy girl was the first Time Lord created by Exodus's experiments on humans. She turned a hero into a timelord and eventually became the Gypsy woman from the Character Creation screens. The Hero Timelord goes on to find other heroes to become avatars until, utilizing a time loop, they have the power to defeat the God-like Guardian for good.