The Let's Play Archive

Ultima VII Part 2: Serpent Isle

by Nakar

Part 17: FAWN - My God, These People Can Talk (Part 1 of ???)

My God, These People Can Talk (Part 1 of ???)

"I am Jendon, milady, proprietor of the Broken Oar. Hast thou need of something here?"
"Just rooting through your basement, other than that, we're in pretty good shape."
"Dost thou desire a stiff drink, a warm meal, or a room where thou canst rest?"
"None of us need to drink-"
"-the goblins gave us about 800 pounds of food, and I just sleep on the floor of wherever I happen to be. Why not talk our ears off about something?"
"Alright then. I used ta serve the sailors that spent their days drinkin' sea spray and their nights drinkin' ale. Not a pretty bunch, but they spent enough ta keep a roof over mine head. But since those cursed storms destroyed the fleet, there hath been precious little business. Used ta have a lad that served the drinks for me. His mother cooked and did the washin' up. But Danysia became ill and died -- the healers could do nothing -- and young Rindor went ta sea... never returned."
"The storms, I presume?"
"Products of evil, I tell ya! We be folks as live off the bounty of the sea. But these storms do not like nothin' on the water! All the fishin' ships have either been destroyed or transformed inta somethin' that was never meant ta touch water. That was what happened ta Rindor -- his ship suddenly became a grain wagon. Wagons don't float too good..."
"It's generally still worth trying as long as it's deeper than five feet."

Jendon is the info guy for Fawn, although with Fawn being what it is, it isn't much to interest. We can ask about all the people in town, and more critically, all the Britannians who arrived. Sadly, Jendon just isn't terribly helpful. I blame Fawn being pretty redundant and unfinished.

"Who dost thou wish ta know about -- townsfolk or strangers?"

The Sailors: "These cursed wizard-storms have destroyed all of our ships. Olon is the only sailor left alive in the city. Used to be a mate on one of the fishin' ships... 'til it sank. Could say he's lucky... though he doth not think so. He doth spend most of his time here drinking... I fear that he is a lost soul. He even refuses ta go ta the Temple!"
The Shopkeepers: "Aside from me, there be only old Delin the Provisioner, and he be half-crazy. Delin hath not been quite right since his wife died, and the Magister came to take away his infant child. His daughter, Alyssand, looks after him these days. She doth make certain that he doth not wander away. Thou dost not know of the Magister? The Mage who comes in the night and steals our children away? The Mages of Moonshade claim that it would be dangerous for magically-gifted children to grow up without proper training. I do not like it, but there is not much mortals can do against a City of Mages..."

Yeah, I always thought this was kind of stupid. Let's put all the powerful mages in one town, that won't completely fuck everyone else. As we shall see when we reach there though, the mages are too busy fucking each other and plotting to actually harm anyone outside their own city.

The Healers: "Last one we had was killed by the Goblins a few months ago. Closest thing we have now is the herbalist, Delphynia. Little slip of a woman. She's usually at her greenhouse or at the healer's hall. Some of the townsfolk are a bit shy of having a female healer -- it doth go against tradition, if thou dost see? But it doth not bother me! But I say that 'tis no duty for a woman. I know thou wouldst agree with me, mate."
The Priestess: "Kylista is the Priestess of Beauty. Ta her falls the duty of keeping Fawn on the path of Beauty through these dark days. An' that be a large job for such slender shoulders, make no mistake!"
Lady Yelinda: "Lady Yelinda be the ruler here in Fawn. She be Fawn's living symbol of Beauty. She be a wise lady. Always concerned with what the people think -- Always listens ta any advice offered."
Chancellor Zulith: "I hate to speak ill of anyone, but for Zulith I shall make an exception. He is called the Chancellor, but Zulith is little more than a messenger with an over-full ego. Thou wouldst be wise ta steer clear of him, for he takes offense at petty things."
Commander Jorvin: "Jorvin be the Commander of the Fawn Guards. He is a fine, strong lad. And I think that he is sweet on the Lady."
The Great Captains: "To ease the burdens which Lady Yelinda must carry, the Great Captains assist her in ruling the city. Voldin be the eldest of the three Great Captains. They say he's a wise man, but I do not much care for him. Then there's Joth, an old sea-farin' man and a good customer of mine. But since he was hurt in the storms, he hath been a bit gruff. Captain Garth is the youngest of Lady Yelinda's advisors. He is always trailing some lady's skirts, that puppy!"

Strangers: "The only visitors we have had of late are connected with the strange voyagers from a distant land. First came the sailors and scholars, and lastly, their leader. Who wouldst thou care to hear about?"
Sailors: "They were the crew of that ship that sailed from the other side of the world -- said something about Serpent Pillars in the ocean. Brunt, Ruggs, Deadeye, Kalen... I found them congenial enough. Excepting Kalen... he enjoyed arguing with my customers. But when the sailors began spouting that Fellowship nonsense, Kylista did right, orderin' their contagion outside the city walls."
The Leader: "He arrived in the most unnatural way! The sailors had erected a great pillar made outa some blackish rock... Then in the night -- BLAM! Lightning, explosions! The pillar is disintegrated. And this mage is standing there. Said his name was Batlin. Came to town askin' about the Daemon artifacts hereabouts. Bothering poor Delin... Told him ta go talk ta others of his ilk, not badger the honest folk. Stay away from 'em myself. But thou canst not miss 'em... Have snakes carved all over 'em. Left behind by the ancient inhabitants of this land. Horrible Daemonic folk. Legend claims that the Lady keeps a Daemon shrine locked away in a secret room of her palace. Hard to believe, eh?"
Scholars: "Came on the ship. Said The Fellowship had sent them here to study our way of life -- make maps, collect histories, and so forth. Scots is the geographer. Spends all his time working on his new map of the continent. Then there was the culturist -- her name was, uh... Gwenno... Askin' about folk tales. Bought the boys a round or two ta loosen their tongues. Her favorites were the tales of the Gwani."

Jendon can also tell us about lost items, but only three items are lost in Fawn (the breastplate, the engagement ring, and the Filari), and Jendon doesn't know any useful information about the others. Most of the remaining items are from Moonshade or related to it, so we'll get Bucia's opinion on them then.

"It would appear that someone is shooting at us."
"I'm pretty sure that ain't the entertainment."
"Perhaps not, although for us the two are often one and the same."

Some dude tries to kill us, so we kill him, same old same old.

"So if we strike you down, yous hall become more powerful than... haha, I can't even finish. No seriously you're just going to die."
"Batlin can resurrect me!"
"Actually, I can resurrect you, with this magical hourglass some monks gave me, but now you've gone and pissed me off so I think I'm going to be an ass."
"Who was that guy?"

That guy was a scripted event that's part of the Monitor plot. Sometime between chatting with Zulith and Jendon and Jorvin showing up to offer you an audience with Lady Yelinda, Kalen (one of the Britannian sailors) will show up with orders from Batlin to attempt to kill you. He has a crossbow and little else, which does make him the most effective assassin in the Ultima VII games thus far, but that says pretty much nothing at all.

Since Kalen is a Britannian, it's probably a good idea to go check out the Fellowship camp northeast of the entrance to Fawn. The Britannians live here, exiled from Fawn because everyone on Serpent Isle is an asshole.

Although to be fair, Leon almost makes me want to agree with them.

"I am Leon, a speaker for The Fellowship and former farmer. As always, I am honored that thou choosest to visit me, Avatar. How may I help thy quest for Unity?"
"Oh boy, another Fellowship speech."
"While the Virtues that Lord British expounded are all very well and good, they are nearly impossible for ordinary people to achieve. Simple people need a simple philosophy. The Triad of Inner Strength is the answer. The Triad of Inner Strength is based on three basic principles that all people can grasp. The first is Unity. The next is Trust, and the last is Worthiness. Surely thou must know the importance of learning to cooperate and work together. If we seek to live in harmony with one another, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. One rock doth not make a wall. But many rocks can -- with a common purpose. The main stumbling block to Unity lies in a lack of Trust. If thou dost trust thy brother, thou wouldst not live in fear. Without fear, our lives are happier and Unity may grow and thrive. How wouldst thou feel, if all that thou hadst strived for were given to a man who had done nothing to deserve it? I will wager that thou wouldst feel the injustice. If everyone strives to be worthy of that which they seek, such injustices would be few. Let every person be rewarded according to their merits and Trust and Unity will follow naturally. Following the Triad of Inner Strength allows one to become attuned to the Inner Voice."
"I've kind of just been letting you talk for a while but now I'm starting to get pissed off."

If Leon's rambling spiel is familiar, it's because it is familiar. His lines on the Fellowship are taken almost verbatim from various Fellowship members and Batlin himself in The Black Gate. He'll even refer you to Batlin if you tell him you want to join! I assume the canned speech is a joke for people who have already beaten The Black Gate.

So let's let Leon talk about something different, shall we? Maybe goblins.

"I never thought that I would rue the day that another intelligent being learned the truths of The Fellowship. But we would be doing far better if the goblins had not found Unity under the leadership of Pomdirgun."
"That guy was right, they are embracing the Fellowship!"
"Wow, now I'm glad we killed them."
"Even now, Kylista refuses us refuge within the city walls. Obviously, she fears the truths of The Fellowship as much as she fears Pomdirgun."
"So she's the one who kicked you out, not Lady Yelinda?"
"She is the Priestess of Beauty -- the cult that controls Fawn. Kylista presides over the Oracle, which never varies in supporting her views... One might suspect that Kylista uses the Oracle to increase her own personal power. But I have no idea how such a thing would be accomplished. The Oracle was commissioned by Lady Fawn herself, and built by the Mages of Britannia. 'Twas to be an instrument of truth... I cannot say that that is still so. It gives revelations throughout the day."
"You've heard one?"
"For the most part, they are simple platitudes that further ingrain their reverence of Beauty. They do nothing to help the people improve their lives. At other times -- like when the sailors and I were banished from the city -- they reflect the wishes of Kylista and the Great Captains."
"We've been told to watch the Great Captains, actually. Anything interesting about them?"
"They are the counselors of Lady Yelinda, by title. They control the fishing fleets... or did before the storms began. In reality, they control all of Fawn. It is painfully obvious that Lady Yelinda is merely a figurehead to be manipulated by Zulith at the behest of Garth, Joth, and Voldin."
"Do you honestly think Zulith is involved?"
"'Tis easy enough to overlook him, unless he wants thy notice. He is a simpering little man who styles himself as the consort of Lady Yelinda. Sadly, she pays no more heed of him than her mirror. Her interests, I think, lie more in line with Jorvin, Captain of the Guard. Zulith is a puppet for Kylista and the Great Captains. But beware of him, friend, for he can be vicious if slighted."
"And the Great Captains?"
"Voldin is perhaps the person who would most benefit from practicing Worthiness. I have heard that he is diverting funds from the fleets for his own gain. But who can say for sure? It is his heavy hand that holds the reins of the city. Thou shouldst be careful around him. He is a violent man."
"Sounds like Batlin."
"Thou knowest Batlin? What canst thou tell us of home? What news of his noble cause?"
"Well, uh, we kinda got it disbanded."
"This is unthinkable! Surely there hath been some mistake! There is nothing evil in our principles! They are meant for all, without regard for station of birth. Batlin must be told of this! If he returns to Britannia to explain to Lord British, I am sure that everything will be settled. Perhaps our good name was degraded by those wishing to stop our ministering... But that shows a lack of Trust. I must meditate on this. Mine Inner Voice will no doubt provide an answer for such horrible news."

Leon was clearly chosen to lead the first expedition because he's a trusting, good-hearted dupe. He honestly believes in the Fellowship principles without understanding Batlin and the Guardian's true intentions, like many of the Fellowship leaders in The Black Gate. He would've been an excellent choice to lead the group, as Gwenno wouldn't have noticed anything untoward about him or the strange blackrock obelisk, which gave Batlin the contingency he needed to flee Britannia.

Speaking of the obelisk, you can see the remains of it in the encampment. As I mentioned, it's sort of a mini-Black Gate, allowing Batlin to warp directly to Serpent Isle, collect his cronies, and get to work. He's got a sizeable lead on us.

It's been a while since I agreed to take Delphynia's letter back to Ruggs. I guess it's about time to do that now, and grill him on information about Fawn.

"'Tis always a pleasure to see another Britannian at Fawn, Avatar. How may I serve thee today?"
"Speaking of which, why are you guys still hanging around here if everyone hates you?"
"Our ship was hired by Batlin to transport scholars to explore a new land and spread word of The Fellowship. Now, even if we wanted to return without Batlin, we cannot venture onto the sea for fear of these terrible storms."
"Yeah, I wouldn't wait for Batlin. I have a feeling he ain't leaving this place."
"Thou hast not heard of Batlin? He was the founder of The Fellowship movement, in Britannia. He is a pious and worthy man, for all that he doth have strange companions. Batlin bade Leon stay and preach to the populace of Fawn and left the ship with three companions: Palos, Brunt and Deadeye. We have not seen them since. Although they promised to return soon."
"Again, they're pretty much cutting and running at this point. You should be so lucky. So, tell me about the people who are left?"
"Well, Leon was especially chosen by Batlin to come and bring the hope of The Fellowship to this land. He hath been the only thing that hath kept us all sane since we have been stranded here. I strive to emulate him, in mine own humble way."
"Leon hath shown me that, by speaking well, people may see beyond my deformity and respect me. I cannot change the way I look, but I can change my speech. And, as Leon sows the seeds of The Fellowship, I sow seeds in the soil. Gardening distracts my thoughts from being trapped ashore."

It's been mentioned before in the thread that one of the thematic things in Serpent Isle is how so many things are inverted from the way they are in Britannia. Even the Fellowship is like this. Although Batlin is still evil, the accidentally-sincere Leon has a positive effect on people like Ruggs and Alyssand, and ultimately on Fawn itself.

Tangent aside, Ruggs is fairly familiar with Batlin's thugs.

"Tell us about Palos."
"I do not know much about him. Most of the time he remained below or went about heavily cloaked. I do not think that he was of the race of Men... We were all very thankful that he was so strong, I tell thee that. During a storm, the main mast was struck by lightning and came crashing down, jamming the winch that operated the sea anchor. Without the sea anchor, we would have been quickly lost to the angry waves. But Palos strode across the deck and shoved the mast aside to free the winch... All by himself."
"What about the large fellow, Brunt?"
"Brunt is little more than a common mercenary, Steve. I suspect that Batlin hired him to act as a personal guard in this foreign land. He is not fit for much else. Brunt is no seaman, 'tis true. If I had not seen his face the day he boarded, I would have thought him a Daemon. He was so green. He was seasick the entire voyage, Avatar! I have never seen anyone worse. And what a temper! 'Tis to be hoped he is better mannered on land."
"Which leaves only the pirate Deadeye."
"Deadeye is the only one of Batlin's companions that I truly know. I cannot say that I'm happy about the association, either. I served with Deadeye on another ship, several years back. He used to bully the crew by telling them that white eye of his could curse a man. Deadeye liked to provoke a fight and dare the other man to hit him. No one would, for fear of that eye. Sailors are a superstitious lot, I fear."
"Still, you guys are sailors. You can't deal with these storms?"
"I've been a seafarin' man for more than twenty years, Steve. And I cannot recall a time that I've seen storms as strange as these. I've seen lightning that jumps from cloud to cloud. I've seen lightning that shoots down like a pitchfork from the heavens. And I've seen lightning that dances across the masts of a ship. But I've never seen lightning that changes a man into a rock, or makes a ship disappear before thy very eyes."
"The lightning can change a man?"
"I saw it happen! I was holding the door open for one of the crew who was running for shelter when one of those storms hit. There was this bright flash and a deafening crash... And when mine eyes cleared, Geof was gone and a chicken stood gawking at me in the very spot Geof had been in."
"That's less plausible than a ship vanishing, I suppose, but still likely."
"With my very own eyes, I saw it! I was on the Fawn docks chatting with a salt named Olon, in the days before I was banned from the city. All of a sudden one of those storms hit and Olon and I dove for cover under a rowboat. We saw the ship that had just put out be hit by the lightning and it just... disappeared! Never found a trace of it or her crew."
"Oh, speaking of. I forgot about this letter of yours."
"Oh, blessings upon thee, Avatar! Delphynia knows of my love, though she is unsure of her feelings for me. As long as she hath not rejected me out of hand, I will be content to wait. Thy good deed hath given me reason to live! As promised, I will send thee to my shipmate, Scots. Scots is a fine fellow, though he often seems a bit distracted. He is a cartographer. Perhaps his maps will aid thee, though they are not as accurate as he wishes. Thou mayest find him somewhere within our camp."
"'Not as accurate?' I'm not sure I like the sound of that."
"Since we dare not stray too far from shelter, Scots cannot explore and map. He hath worked from existing maps that he received from the Fawn fishermen, so he is only sure of the accuracy of the coastline. Scots often complains that we cannot even explore by ship. None of us are happy to be stranded here."

And so it's off to talk to Scots!

"Good, a new face! I am Scots, a geographer. Perhaps thou wouldst share tales of other places with me, so I might add detail to my maps."
"So wait, you're making a map based on what people TELL you?"
"I know. What good is a geographer if he cannot explore and map the lands he finds? The storms keep me and my shipmates from taking to the sea. I ask all those who come to me for tales of distant places. There may be some truth in the telling, and I add what I can to my maps, as Gwenno suggested."
"Then you have seen her!"
"She contacted me back in Britannia with an opportunity to explore a new land. Naturally, I accepted. She was to transport some sort of obelisk here for The Fellowship and then she was free to explore and collect all the tales she wished. It was abominably heavy! Quite a chore to move it on land. Then one day after we had it safely on the shore and Gwenno had already headed inland, there was a huge explosion. When I could see again, there stood Batlin -- and the obelisk was shattered all over the ground. He seemed most upset at the time he arrived. Though I suspect that it was merely a result of the disorientation from the teleportation storm that brought him here. He took several members of the crew with him and headed inland. He was looking for some blackrock artifact... Mayhap it doth have some connection to the obelisk. I don't know."
"Can you describe it?"
"I remember that he mentioned that it was fashioned in the likeness of a snake, but that's all. Thou mightest ask Delphynia, the herbalist. I know he talked to her. She's an herbalist in the city that hath been doing the healer's work ever since the goblins killed the last healer. Thou shouldst ask Ruggs if thou wishest to know more. They spent quite a bit of time together before we were cast out of the city."
"We've heard all about that. So Ruggs said we'd get a map from you."
"Lord British once said that I was the finest map maker in all Britannia. I take great care in my work. Since I have explored very little of this continent, I fear that my map is less than accurate. I would be honored if thou wouldst accept a copy of my map. Perhaps it would aid thee in thy quest."

We don't get a choice, Scots just shoves one in our packs. Since Exult's F3 map is a bit messy, this is a good example of what the Serpent Isle is "meant" to look like. The southern brown area is Monitor, the big white square is Fawn, Moonshade is on the eastern island there, with Monk Isle the large island north of it with the brown patches. The Isle of Cats is the lower mountainous island between the Moonshade and mainland islands.

The things to note here are the swamp that prevents passage to the northern part of the Serpent Isle (we can't get there yet) and the two strange buildings northeast of it. They'll matter later.

Interesting factoid: Almost all of the places we can go now, and for a long while thereafter, are on the "south" side of the coordinate system. In fact, until we hit the frozen north, nearly every coordinate is *S *E/W. You'll notice that by this map that's a little skewed, but that's basically intentional, I guess. Once we hit the north, you'll know, trust me.

On the way back into Fawn, we bump into the youngest of the Great Captains meandering about the park. Alyssand said he was the most sympathetic to the cause, so perhaps we can wheedle something out of him.

"Ah, a sweet savior! No fairer face hath a warrior worn. Now that thou art here, we can truly say that this is the city of Beauty. I am Great Captain Garth, but thou canst call me Garth."
"Yeeeeeeah, the last guy who tried that... well, he didn't get anywhere, I guess, I didn't kill him or anything."
"Going soft in your old age?"
"At least I'm not fat and married to you."
"Come on, Gwenno wasn't even part of this."
"Yeah, if she were here she'd be all of this!"
"Are you all finished?"
"Pretty much, start talking about the storms or whatever it is you were going to whine to us about, Garth."
"Without question, these storms are unnatural. If they do not cease soon, Fawn will perish! Already our livelihood hath been taken from us. And women weep at the loss of those who once sailed in our fleet. We have no idea what became of them. As thou canst see, Fawn is built upon the water. We are... or were... fishermen by trade. That is how we fed our people, and how we traded with the other towns. But we are a hardy lot. We will weather these foul storms and rebuild what hath been destroyed. Lady Yelinda hath charged me with the task of finding a way to sustain the people until the storms pass."
"Sounds like she puts a lot of trust in you."
"Lady Yelinda rules Fawn, assisted by Joth, Voldin and myself. Many say she is the most beautiful woman in the city. Others, like Zulith, say Kylista is more beautiful. Now that I have seen thee, I think they are all wrong. Thou art the most wondrous beauty I have seen."
"Keep it in your pants, for all of our sakes."
"Yeah, that's pretty much your one warning. I've always been more fond of warning shots."
"I should say... Lady Yelinda is a ruler of Fawn, at least in name. Zulith fetches and carries for her, and makes her feel important. But the truth of the matter is that Fawn's real power lies in the hands of Joth, Voldin and Kylista."
"Interesting you'd mention those two and not yourself."
"Zulith is the messenger between the Great Captains and Lady Yelinda. He takes orders well enough, if thou dost stroke his ego enough. But, if thou shouldst belittle him, beware! He hath the ears of both Yelinda and Kylista. As for Joth, he was a fine seaman, before his injury. But he hath little use for the politics of those on the land. He doth do his best to represent the interests of the fleet. But it is plain that his heart is still at sea. Without his support on the Council, I am locked against Voldin and must defer to his seniority. If Joth would waken to life as it is, Fawn would be in far better shape."
"How was he injured?"
"Before one of those freak storms hit, a fine lighthouse stood near the town to guide the fleet home at night. During one very bad storm, its light went out and the sailors could not see to make their way back to the docks. Joth ordered his ship to stand near the shoals and set fire to her sails so that the remainder of the fleet could find their way in. All of the ships docked safely that night, except for his. A freak change of wind cast his ship aground and he was trapped in the rigging. The healers say his back will never be the same again. He can never go back to sea."
"But why did the lighthouse go out?"
"That's worst of all! The heart seemed to go out of the sailors when the storms exchanged our lighthouse for a haunted building. They believed that it was a bad omen... They were right."
"Oh come on, a haunted building?"
"Joth led a party of sailors and guardsmen to check what happened to the lighthouse. We suspected goblin mayhem, to lure us out of the city. The party returned pale and shaken. All they could tell us was that the lighthouse was gone. In its place was a strange haunted building! I know no more than that. I must concern myself with trying to provide Fawn with food."
"Sounds more like Voldin is giving you busywork."
"Aye. He is a very ambitious man with strong opinions and no great love for our fishing captains. I shall merely say that Voldin's views are very old fashioned, madam. He firmly believes in the sanctity of Beauty and the protection of all things beautiful. Voldin doth have a very limited opinion of a woman's intelligence. He doth not believe that they are capable of making decisions more challenging than what to wear in the morning. I fear that Lady Yelinda is too easily led by Voldin's wishes."
"Doesn't a fear like that merely reinforce the very stereotype in which Voldin believes?"
"What? I took a Feminist Literature class in college."
"I'm more interested in how Voldin got on this council in the first place, Garth."
"Funny, that. Voldin hath long been a bully -- from his days as a guardsman, to his days as a sea captain. Few sailors were willing to serve under him for long. When the Council seat opened, they begged Lady Yelinda to appoint Voldin to the post. They told her it was to honor his years of service. But Voldin knows, as doth every other sailor, that it was to bring him in off the sea. This was a vaster mistake than anyone could foretell."
"And the priestess? What's her involvement?"
"Kylista is the Priestess of Beauty. Officially, she presides over the Oracle and insures that Fawn adheres to the tenets of Beauty. It is her duty to advise Lady Yelinda on spiritual matters. Of course, she is a very ambitious woman who is not above using her feminine wiles or the words of the Oracle to obtain what she wants. Kylista holds Zulith in her thrall, I know. I think she seeks to use Voldin to gain power of her own. But Voldin thinks to use her as his own pawn. 'Tis a monumental game, and I fear Fawn is the prize."
"Al... a person told us the Oracle might have been corrupted."
"The Oracle is a strange magical device built long ago as an instrument of truth. But of late its revelations have become echoes of Kylista and Voldin. I do not know how they accomplish this, but I am certain that their plots are anything but divine. When I was a lad, the Oracle was called on to settle disputes and reveal the truth. Now it pronounces marriages based more on wealth and power than on love. The Oracle hath become a political tool, and I have no idea how."
"One last matter, if you have the time. I wanted to know what you thought of the sailors who arrived before we did."
"They sailed in quite a while ago. We had never seen the like of their ship before. Then one of them proved to be a charismatic leader who spoke eloquently of some new belief called The Fellowship. It appealed to many people, especially the women. Kylista was mightily put out, I will tell thee. So she blamed the storms on the strangers and had them banned from the city. She still has everyone atoning for their transgressions against Beauty."
"You sound skeptical."
"She says the storms will not stop until the heavens are appeased. I do not think she knows when -- or if -- they will stop."

I think this clears Garth of suspicion. He could be pulling a fast one (hell, Marsten more or less did), but he's very frank about pointing the finger at Kylista and Voldin. From what we've seen so far, it seems like Kylista is manipulating the Oracle to say what she and Voldin want, using Zulith as their mouthpiece to keep Lady Yelinda ignorant. After all, we haven't even seen her, and this is supposed to be her city.

If only we had some opportunity to find the truth.