Part 40: Semi-Intentionally Misleading is Totally Not Dishonest, Iolo
Semi-Intentionally Misleading is Totally Not Dishonest, Iolo
It's nice to see some things haven't changed in Yew.
You see a long haired, raggedy man in stocks.
"Uh, hey. Who are you?"
"I'm Sinjen the warrior."
"You don't look like much of one."
"Well, these days I'm more into stocks."
"That's actually fairly clever."
"I didn't really do anything wrong. I told them to go ahead and put me here anyway, so I could get a different perspective on life."
"You had yourself put in the stocks to get perspective?"
"Normally we stumble around through life on our own. But here I can stand still and watch it go by all around me."
"That's kind of heavy. Meaning of life heavy."
"Meaning of life? I'm still trying to figure it out myself."
"So can you get out of there?"
"Lenora said I should stay in these stocks for a while and make sure they work properly. Justice may be a virtue, but I think she carries it too far. I prefer Mandrake's version of the eight virtues."
"A friend. You should ask him about it sometime."
In case you haven't figured it out, Sinjen is not being completely truthful. But at least he's cheeky about it.
West of the stocks is the courthouse/city hall, where the aforementioned Lenora resides.
You see a tall, stern woman, with graying red hair and a perpetual scowl.
"Welcome, worthy Avatar, to the Hall of Justice. How may we assist thee in thy quest?"
"You could execute Iolo."
"Oh, how we all wish. I'm working on it."
"Killer. You must be Lenora?"
"I am. Lady Mayor of Yew. It is my honor to preside over this town and its courts. We also provide the finest wood in the realm."
"Not from where I'm standing."
"In Yew we take pride in our system of justice. Indeed, the Rune of Justice itself was sent here for safekeeping."
"I actually need that Rune, and since I am the Avatar and all that I feel I would be entitled to it."
"Unfortunately, a thief stole the rune from the grave of our most respected resident, the former Lord Mayor. Even though the thief was caught, we have not yet found the rune. The thief is in the jail, awaiting the carriage of justice."
That's pretty much the quest for Yew, finding out where the thief stashed the rune. Of course I could also just go where he stashed it and get it, but the things the people say here are kind of interesting and most of them are ugly as sin.
A magically locked door, yet there's practically nothing on the other side. Go figure. It's not like reagents are a problem for me anymore though.
Britannia is full of neat, but ultimately useless shops (the same holds true of U7, where there are considerably more). It adds a bit of color to the land, even if there's no reason to ever buy anything from them. Like this guy:
You see a short, fat, rosy-cheeked man with long hair covering his eyes.
"Wh-what do you want?"
"Whoa, calm down fatty, I'm just the Avatar going around asking people their names and jobs."
As faint as a whisper comes the word "Le'nard." He continues, "I'm a tailor, milady."
"A tailor, huh? You wouldn't think you'd get a lot of business this far out."
"I sew pants, tunics and dresses, milady. I use a lot of thread."
"So if we had some thread, you'd buy it off us?"
"Y-yes, but - but none of you has any thread to sell."
"That's too bad. Well, guess we're leaving."
"Oh, sorry. I thought thou wanted to buy something."
This lovely lady runs the tavern. Try not to stare too long, it can warp your mind.
You see an enormous woman, both in size and personality.
"Hello, dears!" she screams as she strides over to you with beer mugs in her hands. "Welcome to the Slaughtered Lamb. What can I get you?"
"I think I'm going to hurl. I mean, uh, name?"
"Andrea! And yours, my fine friend?"
"It's, uh... Steve."
"Pleased to meet you, dear."
"Pleasure's all mine, um, Andrea."
"Them's who I beat at arm wrestling call me Miss Barlap though. Out of respect." She laughs. She looks you up and down and then feels your arm. "Care for a match?"
"I am so, so uncomfortable right now."
"Oh come on you wimp."
"Is it normal when you can't feel your legs? I think this boat might be causing me serious pain."
"Alright. Fine, let's go."
"Yer on!" She grabs your arm and the contest begins! "Arrghh!!!"
"You know, I'm just saying-"
"-what with me being the Avatar and all, it's reasonable to assume-"
"-that I would be stronger than some fat barmaid." And the winner is... Steve!
"Honey, I've had many jobs in my time. But runnin' this pub is the best, 'cause I get to meet the strongest men."
"I'm actually a woman."
"Look around. Here you'll find the men whose lives have lead them to many dangerous places."
Someone in a dark corner shouts, "Like this pub!" and all the patrons laugh.
Speaking of patrons, who else would we find here but...
You see the druidess Jaana.
"Steve! 'Tis a great joy and relief to see thou hast returned to Britannia, milady!" She greets your other traveling companions.
"SWEET CRAP ON A CRACKER."
"I told you she'd freak out."
"I totally wasn't expecting that."
"Mayhap I can help thee in thy struggle against the gargoyles. Thou needst but ask and I will gladly join, milady."
"What makes you think you could help us even a little bit against the gargoyles?"
"I know little of the gargoyles, milady, save what rumors I hear. But I know that the gargoyles are fierce fighters, and a great threat to the land! Since thy last visit to Britannia, I have lived in Yew, blessing crops and tending to sick animals. Though I know 'tis unbecoming of a simple druid to do so, I miss the excitement of our quests together! I would gladly join thee, milady, if thou had a use for my skills."
"Yeah, not particularly. Nice seeing you though."
Jaana sucks, like most of the other companions available in U6 do. There's one fellow I'll be picking up in a while who is awesome, but Jaana isn't worth wasting my time on. She's okay at spellcasting, but who cares? Steve is better.
Since we probably need that rune, let's head to the jail and shake down the thief.
You see an old man, tall and thin. He spends all his time whittling.
"Good afternoon, milady. What can I do for you?"
"You the jailer?"
"Name's Pridgarm. I mind the jail. Got a prisoner in solitary right now."
"It'd be interesting to get a tour of the jail."
"Say, you looking to get the keys to my jail cells?"
"Ummmmmm, yeah? Sure."
"Well, ya know, I shouldn't do this. But Her Ladyship is a little too strict about who she puts in here."
"You should've seen the last guy who ran this place."
"So I make up fer it by being a little careless with the keys, if you take my meaning." He tosses you some keys, then turns his back on you.
Well, that was easy. Unfortunately these keys only open the main cells. We need to get into solitary.
"Do you have the key to solitary?"
"You'll need my key to get in there. I could give you the key... but not without Her Ladyship's permission."
In any other game, this would be an involved subquest involving subterfuge, but in Ultima it's sometimes easier to just ask:
"Can I have a letter of permission to see the prisoner?"
"A letter of permission? Dost thou truly need to speak with that reprehensible thief?"
"Very well then." Putting quill to parchment, she drafts a quick letter. "The jailer will now let you in, or verily shall he answer to me!"
That's pretty easy. Who knew you could get totally innocent things by asking somebody for them?
You see a short, heavyset man, dressed in rags.
"Who's there?" the thief calls insolently.
The thief's tone becomes more respectful as he recognizes you. "'Strewth, it's the Avatar!"
"What the hell is 'strewth?"
"Presumably 'it's truth,' or something like that."
"Couldn't you just say that?"
"You've got to get me out of 'ere, milady!"
"Hold on a sec, bucko. Who are you?"
"Me name's Boskin, milady. I'm but a poor farmer, forced into crime by the harshness of these times. There weren't no other way to feed me family, milady!"
"Why should I let you out?
"I admit I robbed that grave. But it were only because 'is Lordship wouldn't be needin' that stuff no more. I 'ad me kids to feed, didn't I?"
"I wasn't aware you could feed a rune to your children."
"My poor children've got no one to take care of them now. I only stole to feed them, and that's the truth."
"Is that true?"
"True? Of course it's true! Even a thief like me wouldn't lie to the Avatar."
"That's a fairly good point."
"I'll tell you where the rune is if you'll let me go. I've got me kids to think of."
"Let you go, huh. Well, I can try-"
"You mean it, milady? Are they gonna let me go 'ome?"
"Well I can't make any promi-"
His face lights up. "I knew I could count on you, milady! And I'll keep my end of the bargain. I 'id the rune under a potted plant in the Slaughtered Lamb Inn."
As you leave, Iolo whispers to you. "Maybe it was necessary, Steve, but lying makes me uneasy. Even to someone like him."
"Stop being a whiny pussy, Iolo. Besides, who says I was lying?"
And indeed, I'd like to keep my end of the deal, but the keys don't work and I can't pick the lock. Maybe Lenora will let him out if I vouch for him?
"What, free the thief in return for the rune? Never! To do so would be to betray everything the rune itself stands for! Better to leave it lost."
Oh well, I did my best. A little semi-lying is probably less of an impact on justice than Britannia being overrun by gargoyles anyway.
On the way out, I'll swing by the armorer's. He doesn't sell any particularly good armor, but he does sell Swamp Boots. Swamp Boots are handy because they prevent becoming poisoned if you walk over swamps. Since that's one of the more annoying aspects of walking overland in Britannia, I buy up pairs for everybody and one or two spare sets besides. It's probably a better deal than armored boots, which I don't even think exist in U6.
We'll finally get to Skara Brae now. Next time. Look, this stuff takes time. You have to get a feel for your surroundings and all that. I certainly didn't do this because it would be a short update on a night where I'm tired. Who told you that?