Part 43: In Which Everyone in Britannia is Outed as Gigantic Wimps
In Which Everyone in Britannia is Outed as Gigantic Wimps
I had planned to head to Cove, as instructed by Geoffrey, before attacking the Shrine of Compassion to free it from those wascally gargoyles, but unfortunately it turns out the path to Cove runs directly through the shrine. So I guess I'm forced into combat with that giant winged abomination and whatever minor gargoyle buddies he's got on his team.
In combat, the winged one promptly paralyzes Steve, which lasts about 10 seconds tops. Dupre hits him with a halberd and promptly slays him. Shamino and Iolo let fly with bolts and arrows while Seggallion and Sherry rush the remaining gargoyles in an epic charge...
Wait sorry, did I say gargoyles? I meant gargoyle. There were only two gargoyles at the entire fucking shrine. These jerks killed ten trained soldiers? Iolo could have soloed this shithole. Sure, I prepared well for the assault, but if Lord British would just have spent 3500 gold he could have prepared ten guys just as much as I prepared myself. It wasn't even hard. These gargoyles didn't have weapons.
Anyway, a strange stone rests on the altar, surrounded by a powerful force field. Curious indeed. How might we dispel it?
All together now kids, remember the Mantra of Compassion?
That's right! Mu! I guess the shrine is retaken now, or something.
"That moonstone looks important, Steve."
"Yes, you should probably take it with you in case we find someone who can identify it."
"But it's so heavy."
"Bitch, you try carrying a boat around all day! You made me sleep with the boat on my back!"
"Come on, that's basically sleeping in the boat."
"You made me sleep on my stomach!"
Welcome to the town of Cove, which is two buildings for two residents, a wizard's lab, and an infirmary. Also this strange magically locked building. I wonder what could be inside?
It's a well. A well protected by a magically locked door that is itself protected by a poisonous gas trap. Are these people idiots? ...or is there something about this well that is important? Sadly, I don't have a bucket, so there's nothing I can do here.
More magically locked doors. This one protects somebody's house, which has nothing in it. I don't know either.
Along the way, we bump into one of the town's three permanent citizens, and its leader.
You see a distinguished looking gentleman
"Greetings, milady, and welcome to the town of Cove. How might I be of assistance this fine morning?"
"Are you in charge around here?"
"I am the Viscount Ahrmaand. And what is thy name?"
"I govern here in Cove. We have fine facilities here for healing the wounded and the sick. 'Tis hard work, but my people love me for it. I always thought it a blessing to live so close to a shrine, though since gargoyles came none dare go near it."
"Yeah, about that shrine..."
"In Britannia there are eight shrines, one for each of the eight virtues of the Avatar. They are places where people can go to meditate on these virtues.
"You, uh, you know who you're talking to, right?"
"Each shrine has its own mantra. This is a chant which one should recite whilst meditating therein. Once there was a time when a special rune was required to enter each shrine as well. Now the gargoyles have taken the Shrine of Compassion, and it is lost to the people once more.
"Look, I'm the Avatar, the shrine is cleansed, there were two unarmed gargoyles there. That wasn't an invasion. That was loitering. I feel a little dirty at having to kill them. Just tell me about the dead guys before I get cross."
"A party of adventurers came here after their attempt to defeat the gargoyles at the Shrine of Compassion. I spoke with their leader when they arrived. Thou shouldst speak with him thyself. He told of a strange violet energy field. I think mayhap 'tis similar to the force which blocked entry to the shrines many years ago. The eight mystic runes were most useful in those days."
"I already said: Avatar. If you can't figure that one out, I think we're finished here. Good day, sir."
Also when he said his people love him, I have to assume that means he's talking about the town's one wizard and the nurse, because there's nobody else living in this dump.
That's a very encouraging warning.
The beast in question. He shoots fireballs at you as long as you're within one screen of him and is quite annoying. Almost killed Sherry. I could kill him easily but I think it would upset the owner of the place.
And there he is. But of course I can't actually talk to him yet, because wizards don't get out of bed before 11am. Kinda like college students.
You see a dark, bearded man dressed in flowing white robes.
"Greetings, mighty Avatar. I am Rudyom. For what has thou come to my place?"
"To harass you and rifle through your stuff, but also to see what you have to offer."
"I sell magic books and reagents, and teach spells."
And that's it. That's all the dialogue Rudyom has in Ultima VI. It's funny, because he's a fairly important (if unstable) character in Ultima VII Part 1, and he owns an item which is absolutely necessary to complete that game. In this one, he just sells a couple of spells.
However, the few spells he does sell are all very nice. Rudyom is a master of healing magic, but he also sells the useful Create Food spell. Now it might seem kind of useless to spend reagents to conjure food, but consider this: Mandrake Root + Ginseng costs, at most, about 5 gold, and doesn't weigh very much. It produces 10 meat rations ever time it's cast, and uses almost no magic points since it's a 1st level spell. If I were to actually purchase 10 meat rations, it would run me slightly more (maybe 10-20ish gold depending on where I buy it) and I have to carry all that food around. Whether I want to stock up or just cast it once and hand out a ration to everybody in the party, Create Food just makes more sense than buying some.
Rudyom also sells a few nifty utility spells. Pickpocket lets me pick pockets, quite literally, swiping items that are equipped on people. Of course one has to be a bit careful with that, but it has some fun applications.
He also sells, to my knowledge, the only Resurrect spell available in the game. It's 8th circle, so it unfortunately isn't all that helpful right now, but eventually it could prove very nifty.
This is what the X-Ray spell does. I can see there are a couple secret rooms in Rudyom's house, but I can't seem to locate any switches or secret doors. That bag probably has something neat in it.
Here's Cove's "exceptional facilities" for healing the sick: a couple of beds, two potions of Heal, and one nurse. Ahrmaand also dropped by the infirmary, possibly to beg these injured men not to leave Cove since they more than doubled the population by showing up here.
You see a pretty young nurse with violet eyes.
"Leave these men alone! Can't you see they need to rest?"
"It's not like I was going to use Pickpocket to take their wallets, lady."
"Actually, that's a really good idea."
"Yeah, it is. I'll do that right after we talk to her."
"These soldiers are the only survivors of an attempt to free the Shrine of Compassion. Show thy compassion now and let them sleep."
"Aaaaaaand we're done here. Lootin' time."
"Hey, that tickles! Also, ARRGHGHGHGHGHGHGH."
Unfortunately, it turns out none of them have anything.
You see a burly man, who looks a little healthier than the other patients.
"Good (cough) day, milady. What is thy name?"
"I am called Gertan. My fellows and I are recovering from a fierce battle."
"Um, about that. We just kicked their ass and saved the shrine, so your efforts have been shown to be kind of laughable, I hope that isn't a problem."
"We sought to liberate the Shrine of Compassion. My men fought valiantly, but the gargoyles were too much for us. They didst slay more than half our party."
"More like two many for you! Ha ha!"
"Wow, Iolo, you have to pick on dying men to find somebody worse off than you."
"Aye, I doubt not they were using foul magic of some kind. A moonstone was upon the shrine, surrounded by a strange violet glow. I tried to get to it, but 'twas surrounded by some kind of force field."
"Well, since you've pretty much demonstrated your uselessness, would you happen to know where I could find a dragon's eggs?"
"Hast thou heard, then, of the time I slew the great dragon Freitag? Ah, that was a long time ago. Those were the days..."
"So then no, you don't know. Get well soon then I guess."
"May thy efforts meet with more success than mine!"
"Way ahead of you."
I tried casting Great Heal on the injured men, but strangely enough, it didn't do anything. You would figure I could have helped them somehow.
A fun fact: The men are named, in order: Gilron, Artegal, the aforementioned Gertan, and ed. Yes, no capital E. Just ed.
You'd never know this without a conversation extractor, because you can't actually get them to tell you their names. The Avatar's psychic conversation power might also work, I'm not sure, but they seemed to just show up as "Injured Man" to me.
With the Shrine of Compassion cleansed, I can use the Rune to meditate here again and gain a level if I want to. Or rather I could if I had enough experience to raise myself a level. That means I need to kill some stuff.
To the Britannian sewers!