Part 6: Honor - Part I
Honor - Part I
This update is filed under Honor because this is the time to start getting it back. Plus, you get Honor for solving quests and acquiring items, which I'm now going to do. So let's do it to it!
As you may have recalled, we spent the last update robbing this blind herbalist in Moonglow in order to get cheap reagents and prepare tons of spells. Doing this completely ruined our Honesty, Honor, and Justice. Fortunately, that which robbing the blind takes away, giving extra can return.
Let's do a little Avatar Math.
99 of 6 kinds of reagents at 1g each is 594g total. Done 6 times lowers Honesty, Honor, and Justice by something like 30 each (out of 100, I believe). Assuming you buy them all in one transaction apiece.
Overpaying for a transaction gives about one Honesty, Honor, and Justice apiece.
Your virtues can fall to zero, but they can never go below that.
The cheapest reagents available are something like 2g each, so overpaying would be 3g.
Knowing all this, how much gold does it take to pay off the bad karma of robbing a blind herbalist of almost 600g?
300g. That's right, achieving partial Avatarhood in three virtues actually earns you 300g profit. And they said you should never expect anything in return, ha!
Don't believe me? Check it out. Mariah now wants to join me, but my level is too low so she can't, because I forgot that you can only have as many people in your party as your level. I thought I had gone up a level, but then I realized you can't level up the normal way in Ultima IV. There's something you actually have to do first.
Before we do that though, let's find some awesome items and solve us some quests.
Within this mysterious triangle of volcanos is a very obvious searchable area of shallow sea. Of course, there's nothing there unless you happen to be searching under two new moons, at which point you get the Skull of Mondain.
The Skull is pretty awesome. Used in combat, all your opponents die. Used in a town, all its inhabitants die (they'll be back if you leave though, which is a bit silly). Of course ultimate power comes at the price of your Virtues, which take massive hits from every use of the Skull. There is a normal way to do it, although I'm not sure I'm going to do it until the end of the game, so for now let's just carry ol' Skully around.
In the bay northwest of Serpent Hold and southwest of Trinsic is the shipwreck of the H.M.S. Cape, a powerful ship with a magical ship's wheel that I want and that we technically need to have to beat the game.
The wheel is awesome because it sits in your inventory permanently and can be used on any ship you're traveling in. This sets the ship's hull strength to 99 instantly. Most ships start with 50 hull, so the wheel provides pretty much invincibility against marauding pirates and sniping sea serpents. It also allows ships to sail through dangerous whirlpools and waterspouts without sinking and instantly killing you. All of these things are good, and again, I cannot stress enough that the wheel is permanent, free, and can be used on any number of ships.
Unfortunately, it offers no benefits against sailing against the wind. But you can't have everything.
Another ocean secret, this one is pretty much screaming search me! So I do, and voila, Bell of Courage. One of the three items I'll need to beat the game. Someone might tell you about this somewhere, but screw it, I knew it was there.
Note the coordinates here. There's something over to the east, but no matter where you sail you can never seem to get close enough to this place to actually find out. This is where the dungeon Hythloth is, but as I noted, it's impossible to actually reach. Maybe there's another way...
On the way back to land, a brief stopover in the southern islands of Britannia and the Serpent Hold, castle of Courage. Not much of interest here right now, except the last part of the word of power needed to become the Avatar.
You meet a destitute, stinking beggar.
: I am Roderick.
: I have no job!
: I lost my hand!
: A Xorn bit it off. Wilt thou give me gold?
: You are most kind.
Giving to beggars is inexpensive and, most critically, raises our Compassion. Saying no I think has a neutral effect, but it might also punish our Compassion, but there's no really sensible reason not to give. Plus I mean come on, these people are in pretty bad shape and you get like 70g from killing an orc, don't be a jackass.
You meet a stately baron.
: I am Sentri.
: I rule this province.
: Yes, these islands and much more.
: I know but one of three syllables - "cor." Dost thou know the four cities of courage?
: Very good.
Note that when I talk to this guy he claims to be not a guard, but the ruler of Serpent Hold! At first I thought this was a cool example of a lord doing his own grunt work, but actually it's a bug; every guard in Serpent Hold claims to be Sentri. I suppose it's possible that they actually all are Sentri, and just take turns sitting in the throne made out of windows, but that's still pretty creepy.
Sentri is one of the earth-born Britannians, apparently, as he is in later Ultima games and is even usable as a party member in quite a few of them. Oh, and the four cities of Courage are Trinsic, Jhelom, Minoc, and Skara Brae.
You meet a wounded sailor.
:I am Lassorn.
: I was a sailor.
: I alone survived the shipwreck.
: The H.M.S. Cape. Ever heard of her?
: I have her magical wheel here, but otherwise no, not really.
: She was a mighty vessel!
: Then why did she sink?
: Shut up Iolo. Although he does raise an excellent point.
Here's the real Sentri, who mysteriously shares a sprite with the Avatar. He too claims to be Sentri, but then so do the guards next to him. Anyone else hear banjo music?
Anyway, back to Britain. A pirate ship follows me, so I take out the pirates and park both ships near Britain. Ships tend to stay where you left them, although they can sometimes disappear if you save the game while in another ship. I leave one of them at Britain just in case I ever have to abandon it for some reason and Moongate back here. Finding a new ship can sometimes be a pain in the ass, and since the Wheel has infinite uses, any ship becomes awesome in my hands.
Back to Hawkwind, who tells me that my Honesty is worthy of Avatarhood! Also I'm pretty Valorous, Humble, and Spiritual, but not enough yet to qualify.
So I forgot this part. When you gain enough experience to level up in Ultima IV, you have to go back to Lord British to actually level up. Steve hits level 6 and Iolo level 4, which is pretty impressive. Guess it was all those murdered guards. with 6 levels, Steve can now assemble a decent party, which means I'm going to go running around the world to pick up Mariah, Dupre, Shamino, and maybe Julia or Geoffrey although they kind of suck (like Katrina does).
The reasoning for five or so party members is mostly convenience, but there's more to it than that. Iolo, Mariah, and Jaana (I'm a Druid so I can't get Jaana) are nice because all three of them can use the Magic Wand, the game's most powerful weapon under normal circumstances and a ranged weapon to boot. Dupre is awesome because as a paladin he can wear Magical Plate and although he cannot use the Magic Wand, he can use a Magic Bow. Shamino can also use a Magic Bow and is one of the canon buddies of the Avatar, so we can't skip him. Mariah can wand it up and cast spells. Geoffrey can, I believe, use the Magic Bow, and Julia may or may not be able to use it as well. I'll probably take neither of them though.
Also, as someone noted, you can ask Lord British about Health and he'll offer to heal you. Which completely obsoletes the Healer in his own castle since British is free and fully heals all party members of their HP and negative status no matter what.
Two secret passages lead to the northern part of British's castle exterior. Someone is here to warn us of imminent doom, however!
You meet a grim shepherd.
: I am Landri.
: I am here to warn thee!
: Ahead lies a perilous place!
: Once thou enters thou may not return whence thee came! Wilt thou go on?
: Then thou art doomed!
Glibly unaware of the risk, I jimmy the lock and descend this ladder.
Oh dear. It's rather dark in here! Good thing I've got torches...
Ah, there we are. Welcome to a dungeon, Ultima IV style. Unlike the rest of the game, but like Akalabeth from which Ultima is derived, dungeons are 3D. They're pretty similar to the rest of the game other than that. There's a ladder going down in this square, but no ladder going up, and Force Fields in all directions (those blue things). I could dispel them, but I'm not going to, because we're not actually doing anything in this dungeon yet. For fun, note the ladder here goes down all the way...
...to level 8. Where Poison Fields replace the Force ones. This is actually Hythloth, which has an entrance from Lord British's castle in this and basically no other Ultima for no easily discernable reason. It barely even makes sense since Hythloth is on the other side of the planet from Britain. This is the "easy" entrance to Hythloth, but it's kind of a strange dungeon overall so don't give it too much thought. The only reason I'm here right now is to leave it.
Specifically, to cast an X-it spell and appear here, outside the "hard" entrance to Hythloth. Since the Britain entrance is kind of not a "real" dungeon entrance, the X-it spell takes me here instead. Do these coordinates seem a little familiar? Like I said.
Bitchin'. This hot air balloon can fly over anything, but it has a bunch of problems.
The first is that it drifts on the winds, and you have no way to control where it goes except by very quickly casting the Winds spell, which will turn the winds magically for all of two seconds before they switch to some other direction. I landed here by this shrine after drifting for about ten minutes without seeing land I could actually stop on (you can only land on grass). I think this is Sacrifice or something, but I don't have the right rune so I can't even enter the shrine.
The balloon really sucks. There's a much, much more awesome flying device in Ultima V, but regrettably we need to use the balloon for one thing in this game and that thing is the White Stone of Spirituality, which is hidden in the mountains NW of Britain.
Here, specifically. You can't see around the mountains since I landed, but we're just kind of in the center of an outcropping of mountains.
But there's the stone. Now that I'm actually partially an Avatar, I suppose it's time to start acting like it, so next time around we'll actually earn our first of eight Partial Avatarhoods!