Part 26: Questing the Shrines - Part II
Questing the Shrines - Part II
Pirate ships always turn up in the worst places. I've had to crabwalk these two close to shallow water (that's Deceit up there). Fortunately you can just ditch a ship, sail the other, and come back on the magic carpet. Or just ditch the ships; they'll stick around.
Which brings me to Moonglow, since I'm close to it. Sadly, all the blind old herb ladies seem to have died out in the intervening generations and I now actually have to pay for reagents, but at least there aren't any Shadowlords in town!
And of course there's the law. Delightful. I just wanted to talk to this gentleman here.
You see a stately, white-haired man of many years.
: I am called Zachariah.
: I study the stars.
: I watch signs amongst the planets!
: Comets have come! A sign of evil!
: There are three comets in the firmament. Likely, each of these represents one of the Shadowlords.
: That's a pretty incredible coincidence.
: Right, because all this other magical shit happening around us is perfectly rational.
: It seems that when a comet aligns with a planet, the city of that virtue comes under attack!
: Wouldn't it be better for them not to be so predictable? Or for there to be more Shadowlords or something?
: Have you considered that, just maybe, the number three is there for a reason? Do you even know what the source of the Shadowlords is?
: No, but I certainly don't care!
Oh well, so much for that, let's ditch this place and head back to Magincia. You can't tell, but I jacked a ship shortly after arriving. Realizing this was a golden opportunity, I dug up Magincia's moonstone. I have use for it later.
But since it's night, I decide to camp until morning. Sadly, I'm interrupted by... these things. I have no idea what they are either.
So anyway, Magincia is no more. From here on out, we'll be dealing with New Magincia, the city of Humility. It's not much more of a city than the Brittanys are, but whatever, that's how humility rolls.
In New Magincia, people are up before dawn. Let's meet a few.
You meet a simple farmer.
: My name is Yasuda. What is your name?
: Steve. (funny thing, if you call yourself Avatar nobody understands; in later games, you'll actually be able to introduce yourself as such, and in Ultima IX, you have to)
: A pleasure!
: I am a farmer.
: We have worked very hard here to rebuild Magincia.
: But not too hard, apparently.
: It has been a very long and laborious task, but we are near completion.
: You know, I've seen Magincia and it had roads and stuff.
: We would be through now if 'twer not for the black devils who come and take fully half our yield!
: That's kind of racist.
: I was talking about the Shadowlords!
: That's still kind of racist.
: The Shadowlords are Blackthorn's enforcers of his self-righteous regime!
: Do the Shadowlords even eat? What are they doing with your yield?
You see a stout hearted young woman.
: I am called Fumiko.
: I work in the community fields.
: Commies, eh? Can't trust them.
: Aren't you a druid?
: Not anymore.
: We work long days, but 'tis a choice we make freely!
: Devoid of freedom, what would virtue be...
: The Avatar?
: Oh my, aren't we clever Iolo. Come here, I've got a glass sword I want you to take a look at.
: None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free!
You see a weary but contented villager.
: My name is Tomoka.
: I work the communal fields.
: Don't even start, any of you.
: Each of us profits from the labours of the group.
: We are all dependent upon each other, more than ever now that Blackthorn takes so much of our harvest!
: He says he means to improve our lives, but he does little to keep his promise.
Blah blah everyone's suffering. Here's another virtue law. I really love this one, it's actually kind of clever.
Oh hey, a graveyard!
And here I said there weren't that many recurring characters from Ultima IV. Well, at least these poor suckers can rest in peace now.
While we're on the ocean, what's up in Buccaneer's Den? Since Buc's is a town, the Shadowlords never show up here, and with paved roads and city walls the place is actually a better city than many of the cities. Also, pirates.
You see a scruffy, smelly man.
: My name is Bidney.
: I loves to drink!
: That's a job that many of us wish we had.
: Rum, that's me favorite. Hic! 'Scuse me.
: Yo ho ho!
So yeah, pirates. But that's not all that's here!
You see a large and impressive fighter.
: Steve! Greetings, and well met! 'Tis I, Geoffrey, thy old friend of battles past!
: Dude, you're like the single most forgettable Ultima companion. Most people don't even know who you are.
: That is unfortunate. I presume thou hast heard of our troubles.
: With Blackthorn and the Shadowlords!
: Gosh, never heard of 'em.
: Indeed, what a tyrant! Such foul spectres of evil!
: Yeah well, if you'll excuse me, you're a Fighter and the party is already full, so I'm terribly uninterested in anything you have to say.
: Oh well. See you in Ultima VII!
You see a swarthy pirate.
: I am called Sven.
: It's strange, I never actually ask people for their names anymore.
: I'm a pirate!!!
: That's interesting. A pirate, here in Buccaneer's Den? Unfathomable!
: Aye, but once upon a time, I was a glassblower.
: Wouldn't that h-
: Shut up, Iolo.
: Used to make fine and wonderful things, I did.
: Oh, sculptures, crystals and the like. But there weren't much money in it, so I 'came a pirate!
Buc's has a lot of good shops, so it's actually well worth checking out. It's a better candidate for a Moongate than New Magincia anyway, but it's so close to Britain that it isn't worth bothering. I have bigger plans for the moongate anyway.
Here's the Codex on Spirituality. Now that I have a portable Moongate, I can go there any time! I also figured out what triggers going there. Now, entering any Moongate at exactly midnight takes you to the shrine.
Remember that cluster of volcanos where Mondain's Skull was found? Now it's an island, and on that island is Blackthorn's castle. I want to be able to come back here quickly, so I bury the Moonstone here (for now). Why do I bury it so far away? Because you can't bury any moonstone within a rather large radius of the Codex, presumably to make the shrine quests harder on you. This is as close as the game will let me bury one.
Baddaboom. That's what I call a stat boost.
Where are all these pirate ships when I actually want one? Let's not try walking back to the skiff right now.
Instead, let's use the Grapple to get to the shrine of humility. It's a lot easier that way, plus there's no more daemon hordes around.
A STRANGE WIND CAUSES THE PAGE TO TURN!
(the following is all in the runic script, but here's what it really says)
Beyond Shame's Egress in the centre of the Underworld there is a place of darkness.
Beyond this darkness lies the gate to the core of the world.
When thou art ready thou must call forth VERAMOCOR to unlock the gate and venture past Ethereal Wards and Stealers of Souls.
That which the world hath lost awaits thy coming.
This should make a bit of sense, I guess. It's directions to the final dungeon. Remember how Humility didn't have one, really? Well now it sort of does, the dungeon Doom. Doom is located in the Underworld, which we haven't tried to go to yet, at the center of all things, and Lord British (what the world hath lost) is trapped there. The "Ethereal Wards" and "Stealers of Souls" suggest that there are dangers within.
So let me just lay it out to you guys straight: To rescue Lord British, we need Steve to be lv8. We also need to destroy the Shadowlords. The only way to do this is to recover the shards of Mondain's gem from hidden places in the Underworld, take them to the castles of principle, and call forth the matching Shadowlord using his name, then destroy the shard. We also need to find Lord British's crown, which prevents possession (the Stealers of Souls), his scepter, which dispels wards (the Ethereal Wards), and his amulet, which he lost on an expedition to the Underworld.
The Scepter is located in the hidden keep of Stonegate, the lair of the Shadowlords. It's possible to get it now, but if I try that, the Shadowlords will be waiting and I will have to outrun and outsmart them to recover it. If they catch me with it before I can destroy them, there's a risk they'll take it back. I can also just destroy the Shadowlords, and then walk in and take it, but the Scepter is an infinite-use Dispell Magic Field spell, so it'd be nice to have.
The Crown is in Blackthorn's Castle. If I go there now, the guards will try to arrest me, and one of my companions will be permanently killed. That's if I get caught, of course. If we're willing to talk to Archmage Flain, he might be able to give us the password to the Oppression, which we can use to gain a Black Badge that will make Blackthorn's guards ignore us. This will severely harm my Karma, however.
The Amulet is in the Underworld, through a secret tunnel near Skara Brae. I could mount an expedition down there, but getting out may be tricky. It might be a good idea to unseal more of the dungeons first, but I'll have to find other members of the Great Council to do that. Unless I can cleverly deduce the Words of Power myself (yes, I already know them, let's just pretend I don't for now). They actually do follow a logical pattern.
To destroy the Shadowlords, I'll need their Shards. Those are in the Underworld, which won't be hard to reach if I can get into the dungeons. The Underworld is pretty dangerous though. However, perhaps more important is to know the Shadowlords' names. Calling a Shadowlord's name summons him; obviously this is bad, except that the Shadowlord and his Shard must be destroyed at the same time. So I have to figure out not only what their names are, but which Shadowlord is which.
So what do I do first? The Crown and Scepter are useful, and I can get them without messing with the Underworld. But sooner or later I have to go down there. How shall I prepare?
Oh, and going back to the shrine of humility gives me a big whopping nothing. But that's what being the Avatar is all about, right?