Part 46: Hey Everyone, Check Out How Humble This Guy Is!
Hey Everyone, Check Out How Humble This Guy Is!
And we're back in New Magincia, to seek out the Rune of Humility. If you guys were paying attention through the cannon madness you'd recall that we've gotten 5 of the 8 shrines, uh, "dealt with," leaving Humility, Sacrifice, and Honesty. As it so happens the last two are the hardest to get, so we're not going to worry about them yet. This one, however, is really pretty easy.
First, we need to meet the citizens of New Magincia.
You see a stalwart fellow, with a look of placid concentration.
You think you see a brief flicker of recognition pass between Iolo and the fisherman. But before you can be certain, he turns to address you. "Good afternoon. Is there anything I can do for you?"
"And you are?"
"Oh, forgive me for not introducing myself. I am Conor Starfalcon. And what is your name?"
"Well met, milady!"
"It looked like you knew Iolo, but Iolo doesn't have any friends, what gives?"
"We've met before. But that was many years ago. Yes, long ago."
"What is it you're doing out here?"
"I am a fisherman. I used to be a guildmaster, but that was long ago. I no longer follow the way of the warrior. In catching fish, as in all of life, there is something to be learned. I still have not mastered the way of the fisherman. But I think perhaps the key to enlightenment lies not so much in the destination as in the road one travels. I am satisfied to live here and learn what I can from the fish."
"Have you heard anything about the shrine?"
"The Shrine of Humility is far to the southeast. I'd be glad to take you there in my boat, but I'm afraid it is too small to weather the high seas. It's down at the beach. Feel free to borrow it if you have need."
You see the humble peasant Katrina.
"Steve! I had heard that thou hadst returned to our land, but I dared not believe it! Hast thou returned to save our land from the gargoyles?"
"Funny story about that."
"Then perhaps the crisis is not so severe as rumor says. If there is aught a humble peasant might to do aid thy quest, milady, I am yours to command."
"Aren't you supposed to be a shepherd?"
"Times have changed, milady. Where once I grazed sheep, now I till the land. All work is the same to a peasant. We do what is expected of us."
Katrina can join, but other than wielding a hoe (which is awesome), she sucks badly. Where she had quite good stats in Ultima V, she has particularly bad ones now. At least she's debatably the least ugly of the potential female companions. If a little meaty.
You see a plump, jovial fellow chewing on a leg of lamb.
"Welcome to the Humble Palate. My name is Dunbar," he says between bites of mutton. "Anything I can do for you?"
"Know anything about the folks in town?"
"I hear Conor used to be the head of some important guild. I don't know anything about it, but maybe it explains that strange glow you can see over by his house at night. Go see for yourself."
You see a pretty young woman with downcast eyes.
"Good afternoon, milady. I am called Charlotte Weaver."
"I suppose that's your occupation as well?"
"Gosh, I wonder what it was that tipped you off? The folded cloth? The loom? Just stop me if I guess right."
"Aye, I am but a humble weaver. I turn wool into cloth. I am not very good, but some people take pity on me and buy my cloth anyway."
You see a short man dressed in shepherds clothing.
"Hi there! Is there anything I can do for you?"
"Sorry we keep teleporting into your sheep. Who are you again?"
"Once I was Aurendir the mighty - now I live a more modest life. I came here to meditate, tend sheep and sell wool. From earth, to grass, to sheep, to me... when I die, I'll return to the earth."
I could buy wool from Aurendir, but why not just take it? Pickpocket works on wild animals, but it doesn't... uh... quite have the effect I was looking for. Pickpocketing the meat and ribs out of critters is a little awkward.
You see an old farmer who looks to have made his peace with life.
"Howdy, stranger. M'name is William. I'm a farmer."
"You haven't seen the Rune of Humility around, have you?"
"Ask Antonio, the lord of New Magincia."
Might as well.
You see a gentleman of slight build and refined manners.
"Greetings! I am Lord Antonio. Might I ask thy name?"
"It's Steve. Seriously."
"I didn't think otherwise. The pleasure is all mine."
"Are you the lord of New Magincia?"
"My name is Antonio. I govern New Magincia. Fortunately the fine people of this town have few disputes to settle, leaving me plenty of time for my hobby."
"I do magic tricks. It brings a bit of cheer into this imperfect world. Wouldst thou like to see one?"
"Splendid!" Antonio reaches into his pocket and takes out a balloon. He blows it up until it bursts, and four doves appear from inside it, flying off towards the four points of the compass. "Did you enjoy that?"
"One time I cloned 18 suits of Magic Armor."
"Perhaps I should learn a better trick."
"I know this one that involves a ca-"
"Awwwww, guys. Look, I'm kind of in a hurry solving gargoyle and cannon crimes here, I need the rune."
"If thou canst find out who the most humble one amongst us is, tell me, and I will give thee the rune. Dost thou know who is the most humble person in this town?"
"You seek to find the humblest in New Magincia? That's a difficult task. I'd hate to commend one of my neighbors to you and fail to do justice to the others. The one thing I can tell you for certain is that it isn't me you're looking for."
"I am most sorry, milady, but I cannot answer thy question. 'Twould be vain of me to answer truthfully, and 'twould be worse to lie."
"Serving others is the humblest occupation I could imagine. That's why I opened this place." He pauses to wipe his mouth with the back of his hand.
"'Tis not really my place to speak of that, milady. But honesty is a virtue too, and honesty forces me to admit that I am the humblest person in New Magincia."
"I used to be a powerful and wealthy mage. I wore silk robes, and fine jewelry. In fact, I even had my own castle. But one day in my travels I visited the Shrine of Humility. Meditating there, I had an idea. I would give up all my earthly possessions and quit the practice of magic. I would live as a shepherd! Surely this would be the greatest act of humility a man could perform. And so you see me here today."
"Working the earth is the lowest form 'o labor. But it provides food for them as writes books, plays music, and other such things. Surely 'tis humble living, to devote yer life to farmin'. It's about all I can do with meself, 'cept when I find time for carvin' hippos."
"I'll show ya one." The old man gets a fiendish gleam in his eyes and reaches into his pouch and takes out a small wooden hippo. "Ain't she purty? If I don't make the purtiest gol' danged hippos you ever did see, you can call me Mortimer."
"Yeah, I do." But do you?
"Very astute of thee! Here is the rune, and I wish thee success on thy mission."
"I hope you didn't answer 'not me' again."
"Nah, didn't work. He's read the thread."
"But whatever, it all works out in the end, right?"