Part 4: Compassion - Part I
Compassion - Part I
The Moongate drops me off east of Britain. I always forget this and go west, because the Moongates for most towns are usually kind of westish. I'm inattentive that way, sorry.
So anyway I accidentally start go east instead of west. A rogue assails me. Human enemies count as evil, I think, so it's okay to kill them, but they like to run off when slightly wounded.
After correcting my dimensional mixup, I find myself before the gates of Lord British's Castle, with Britain to the west. In later Ultimas Britain is west of the inlet and British's castle is north of Britain, but whatever, it's decades to centuries between games, they can always build new castles.
You see a stern guard.
: I am a guard.
: I guard the castle.
: The castle is fair and strong! Do you seek Lord British?
: He is on the upper level in the throne room.
You meet a bouncing jester.
: I am Chuckles.
: I am the royal jester.
: Welcome unto the castle Britannia! Hast thou an ankh?
: Yes. (This is true, if you remember the intro; I do have an ankh!)
: Then enter in peace!
Here's a character that's kind of familiar, Chuckles the Jester. He's cooler in the later games, especially VII. Pretty much any NPC of any importance shows up again in the series, but this is the big debut for most of them.
For some reason, this room is full of purple fields, which are sleep. Green is poison, blue is force (which is impassable without a Dispel). The sleep fields are harmless though since nobody is going to hurt me in Lord British's Castle (well, sort of). As the convenient SEER on the counter suggests, this is Hawkwind the Seer.
: Welcome, Steve. I am Hawkwind, Seer of Souls. I see that which is within thee and drives thee to deeds of good or evil... For what path dost thou seek enlightenment?
: Thou hast made little progress on the paths of Honesty. Strive to prove thy worth! What other path seeks clarity?
: Fare thee well and may thou complete the Quest of the Avatar!
Hawkwind is obviously pretty important. He mysteriously knows how much of a jerk you are. Talking to Hawkwind is a great insight into your Spirituality; in fact, talking to Hawkwind actually raises your Spirituality!
We can exploit this. But not now. Later. Always later. First, we've got to be bad.
Secret wall in the guard quarters? Tons of Honesty-crashing treasure chests? Can it get any better!
Apparently so. I loot the chests too, mind you. Then leave the castle, because they repop when you leave and come back.
Oh, by the way, this is what can happen when you go east instead of west. Cute, huh? Trolls aren't really a problem, fearsome though they may appear, except for the fact that I somehow lost my starting dagger at some point and am fighting unarmed.
Fortunately, a princely 200g can fully heal me at Lord British's personal healer. That's still a bit expensive for now, but don't worry, I've got a plan.
And that plan, to rob the chests over and over, goes horribly wrong. Chests are often trapped, either with acid (which does damage), or poison, the results of which are obvious. Every turn that passes when poisoned knocks off 2HP, and with guards blocking the exit (not because I'm a thief, they don't care, but because they felt like moving there). But death is no big deal. In fact, it takes us where we needed to go anyway.
As always, dying just takes you...
Right to Lord British's throne room. Note that it doesn't take you to Lord British necessarily; that's kind of part of the plot of Ultima V. Anyway, British has a lot to say.
You also lose all your money and food except 200 of each, and any gear in your inventory (but not gear that's equipped). We won't be needing to die again though. Anyway, let's see what the old coot's got going on.
Lord British rises and says:
: At long last! Steve, thou hast come! We have waited such a long, long time...
Lord British sits and says:
: A new age is upon Britannia. The great evil Lords are gone but our people lack direction and purpose in their lives... A champion of virtue is called for. Thou may be this champion, but only time shall tell. I will aid thee any way that I can! How may I help thee?
: To be an Avatar is to be the embodiment of the Eight Virtues. It is to live a life constantly and forever in the Quest to better thyself and the world in which we live. What else?
: The Quest of the Avatar is to know and become the embodiment of the Eight Virtues of Goodness (haha, so lame)! It is known that all who take on this Quest must prove themselves by conquering the Abyss and viewing the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom! What else?
: The Eight Virtues of the Avatar are: Honesty, Compassion, Valor, Justice, Sacrifice, Honor, Spirituality, and Humility!
That's roughly as useful as British is in this game. Not that he's all that useful in most games. He's not even the healbot that he normally would be in later games, but I guess technically you're already the Avatar in those games so he owes you one.
The castle has a few "interesting" characters.
You meet a person with a white hat.
: I am Le Chef.
: I am the chef.
: That I cannot help thee with.
Thanks, asshole. This is worse than the oak grove dweeb.
Screw that, let's roll on Britain, City of Compassion.
You meet a small child.
: I am a child. (THAT'S NOT A NAME, YOU TWERP!)
: I am learning compassion.
: Never care so much for thyself that thou cannot care for others! Know ye the mantra of compassion?
: Ask Cricket!
You meet a tired shepherd.
: I am Shalimar.
: I watch over the children.
: It takes a good deal of compassion to deal with children!
: Compassion strengthens the soul as knowledge tempers the mind! Have any kids?
: Too bad.
The children are being taught "Compassion" by various adutls, and the guards do not care. Let's meet some of these other perverts.
Wait a minute, who is this?
You meet a charming jester.
: I am Gweno (well, Gwenno, but not yet).
: I dance and sing for the children.
And where there's Gwenno, there must be...
You meet charming bard.
: I am Iolo.
: I play for the people.
: I didn't say anything about compassion.
: Shut up and answer.
: If you treat someone else well then they will have reason to do the same.
: Wait, what?
: You're Iolo, let's not beat around the bush here.
: Oh, right then. I am honored to join thee!
: Like you had a choice.
When you're beat up, a good way to avoid spending money is the inn. You can also hole up and camp outside, but you risk getting attacked.
Oh wait, you risk getting attacked in town too! This is why I prefer spells and healers, despite the cost.
You meet a drunken fighter.
: I am Joe.
: Yo ho ho... and a bottle... of rum... hic...
: Rum... hic... Give me rum?...
: Yes! (is that virtuous?)
: Thanxth... my friend Joe can help with the stones... hic...
: I thought you were Joe. Err, I mean, Stones?
: The yellow stone is in the dungeon Despise...
Buyin' rations. They're pretty cheap in Britain, but slightly cheaper altogether in Moonglow. You consume more food with more party members, so it's good to keep stocked.
You meet a spicy woman.
: I am Pepper.
: I am a fighting bard.
: Bards know many things. Dost thou seek something?
: A better companion than Iolo.
: The rune of Compassion lies at the end of a hall somewhere in this towne.
Leather armor and Slings for Steve and Iolo give me ranged power and a little extra beefing up. Nice and handy, but I'll still need better.
You meet an injured person.
: I am Sebastian.
: I know a terrible secret!
: Mondain's influence has not left the world!
: I thought you killed Mondain personally, Steve.
: An artifact remains! I heard at Buccaneer's Den! Wilt thou find and destroy it?
: Then ask at the pub there of the skull!
You see a druid.
: I am Shapero.
: I am looking for Julio.
: He knows the true nature of compassion. Art thou on the Quest of the Avatar?
: Find the Shrine of Compassion east across 2 bridges!
And there's the rune, at the obvious end of the only obvious hallway in town. Now I just need the mantra. And to be compassionate, I guess.
You meet a wise shepherd.
: I am Mentor.
: I escaped Magincia!
: Pride was too great in Magincia!
: The city was destroyed by daemons for its pride! Art thou proud?
: No. (I guess this is the Humble answer?)
: No Pride exists without truth, love, or courage!
Just to test out the new weaponry, I fight some guards in Britain. Note that they give about as much experience as a dragon. So do beggars.
And they pop right back up like nothing ever happened when you leave and return.
As much exp as a dragon.
Pop right back up when you leave.
Nothing ever happened.
So off I go to putz around the coast for a bit, but this just isn't getting me where I want to go. And where I want to go is totally unvirtuous and awesome.
So it's back to the Moongate to get there the hard way.
This is going to be fun.