Below are five (5) images of an item that Rustic Dragon procured some time ago: the contents of a mailout of a patch 2.12 for Ultima 8. This was, if memory serves, the final patch released for Ultima 8, and in addition to fixing a number of bugs, it also added the Birthplace of Moriens to the game.
Rustic Dragon happened to procure an intact copy of the patch diskette, the letter from Origin Systems explaining how to install the patch, and a list of patch notes (including updates to the game’s Cluebook, which we’ll come to in a minute). Oh, and the original envelope was also included; given the overall good condition of everything, this could have been mailed out last month.
The letter (which doubles as a patch installation guide) is fairly straightforward, and if you’ve ever read an Origin Systems reference card you’ll find nothing out of the ordinary therein. Likewise, the diskette is fairly nondescript.
The patch notes, however, are rather interesting…because they also include notes that correct several lines in the game’s cluebook. And, indeed, one of the most notable corrections (beyond the renaming of the Hammer of Strength to Bonecrusher, natch) is the correction that applies to page 92 of the Cluebook:
You don’t walk into the Guardian’s homeworld anymore; you return to Shattered Britannia.
The envelope’s postmark is dated June 14, 1995, so this change to the lore and continuity of the series was made either just before, or very, very early into, the development of Ultima 9. And while it certainly doesn’t answer the question of how the Avatar ended up back on Earth at the start of that game, it should at least serve to put to rest the nitpick involving how the game wasn’t set on the Guardian’s homeworld.
This would seem to be the official word: as of the end of the most recently-patched version of Ultima 8, the Avatar was sent back to Britannia.