The Let's Play Archive

Ultima VII: The Black Gate

by Nakar

Part 28: The Black Gate - This Was Not Supposed to Happen At All

This Was Not Supposed to Happen At All

So I just broke the game this update. I don't mean that in a figurative sense, as in the made-it-my-bitch sense; I've done plenty of that and I'm sure I'll find excuses to do it again. Rather, I broke it, in the sense that it is now improperly functional. I should be able to complete the game no problem, but I just hijacked and derailed a sidequest. I'm pretty sure I can do it anyway, so I will when the time comes, buuuuuut...

First, let's resolve the Iskander thing. There are a couple of women in Deceit I didn't notice before.

You see a stunningly attractive oriental woman. She is armed to the teeth.
"Well hello there."
"Shut up, Dupre. Who are you and what are you doing here?"
"My name is Eiko. I have no job. I have a quest. My quest is shared with mine half-sister, Amanda."
"I can guess where this is going."
"Eighteen years ago my father was murdered by a cyclops called Iskander Ironheart. Mine half-sister Amanda and I are his only surviving kin and we have vowed to avenge him. Our father was a mage named Kalideth. He was working to find a cause of the disturbances of the ethereal waves that have been preventing magic from working for the past twenty years and more, as well as the madness that has afflicted all mages since then. He was a wise and kind man. His death was a loss for all of Britannia." She sniffs. "His killer deserves to die."
"You said that she was your half-sister?"
"Neither one of us knew that the other existed until after the death of our father. I had always felt like I had a sister somewhere. But I attributed those feelings to the natural loneliness a child feels upon losing a father. Learning about each other has been the only good thing that has happened to me since father's death."
"So about this cyclops, Iskander..."
"Yes, I know I am not pronouncing it correctly. I understand he has a more human nickname that is actually a translation from the ancient cyclops language. But I do not know what it is."
"Heh heh heh."

You see an attractive woman dressed in armour and carrying a small arsenal of weapons with her.
"How may I help thee?" asks Amanda.
"What's up?"
"We are still on the trail of our father's murderer. Our father was slain in a most violent manner by a vicious and terrible cyclops. He was impaled on a spear. It took several hours for him to die." She looks up, eyes glittering. "Hast thou ever watched anyone die from a belly wound, Avatar? The agony cannot be imagined."
"I bet Iolo can imagine it. And by imagine it I mean we're going to do it to Iolo."
"Oh please God no."
"Ha ha! Just kidding! really, I'm not. I'm gonna do it! ...later. Sometime. When you aren't looking."
"Jesus, even I'm not that hardcore, master Steve."
"We have been tracking this creature for years, ever since we completed our training. We have followed him from one end of Britannia to another. Sometimes he was just one step ahead of us. But now we know that we are nearer to him than we have ever been before. When we find him there shall be no escape. We want vengeance and we mean to have it! Our father fought bravely for his life. He did not die easily. He died a hero's death. Although we may both die in the effort, we intend to give his murderer a death fit for a true villain."
Eiko smiles wickedly.

Well that doesn't sound good. Iskander seemed like a pretty reasonable guy. Let's wait and see what he says.

"Eiko and Amanda? Yes, I have heard those names before. Those are the names of two warriors who have been after me for revenge. They say I killed their father and I must admit to thee that it is true. I did kill their father. I know that Eiko and Amanda have been after me for some time looking for vengeance. I say let them come. I will not stand still for them nor shall I run from them. When they find me they are welcome to try and take their justice from me. If they win then it was meant to be. If they do not I will have no regrets."
"What happened?"
"Their father's name was Kalideth. He suffered from the mage madness. His attack on me was unprovoked. For some reason he blamed the failure of magic upon my people. His own magics were still quite potent and I barely survived the encounter. I killed Kalideth in self-defense, but I did not want to kill him. I wish there to still be some magic left in this world and I mourned his passing as much as anyone."

That's unfortunate. Maybe we can get them to call it off if they hear the truth?

You explain to Eiko what you have learned. Kalideth had gone mad when he fought with Iskander and the source of what is causing the problems with magic and the mage's minds was the thing that really killed Kalideth! "Then if thou hast discovered the true force that killed my father, my vengeance against Kalideth would be unjust."
"How canst thou say that? I thought that thou wert my sister? Thou art a traitor!"
"Alright, a catfight!"
Eiko sighs, and her shoulders slump. "Come now, sister. With the matter of our father's untimely death now settled we can at last let it go. Now we can devote our lives to ourselves rather than remain trapped in the past. It is for the best, thou must trust me."
Amanda shakes her head, dazed and confused. "Perhaps thou art correct, Eiko. I must think." Amanda turns and slams her fist into the wall, then collapses onto it with a sob. After a moment, she straightens, but does not turn to face you."Have no fear that I will continue my vengeance against the cyclops. I am not so far gone that I would kill a creature for acting in self-defense. "But I must have some time to myself now. Please, go. I must think. Our lives have been dedicated to vengeance for so long that we feel adrift, aimless without it. We must find a new reason for living. We are considering joining The Fellowship, as they offer guidance for lost souls. But we must consider this longer. We are still unsure."
"This is the part where that horn thing goes wah wah wahhhhhhhhhhh."
"In my head."

One final thing: A lot of NPCs in Ultima VII were based on people who worked for Origin or their friends and family and such. Amanda is a good example of this, and I only point it out because in Serpent Isle they reused the same woman for a completely different character. The expression is nearly identical, so I think it will be pretty obvious when you see it.

Okay right, so away to the Fellowship's Meditation Retreat. It's locked up, but getting in is remarkably simple.

You see a young, tan, muscular, handsome man who exudes much verve and geniality.
"Yes?" Ian asks.
"Nice gate you got here."
"Uh, thank you? I am Ian. I am the director of this Meditation Retreat for Fellowship members."
"Meditation director?"
"I manage the various activities and lead the initiates in their exercises in meditation. The activities of the retreat consist of philosophical training and studies. The members must all grow to hear and understand the voice which guides them down the path of Inner Strength. The exercises in meditation accelerate this process."
"The voice, huh? I think I hear that one just fine."
"It is that voice which one hears inside. We all have the capability of hearing it. Some are able to hear it quite easily and do not have to attend sessions here at the Meditation Retreat. Others, however, find it more difficult to hear the voice. Then they require study at the Retreat."
"No, seriously, I can hear it just fine. So what's up with this place?"
"It was set up by The Fellowship so that new members can attend and learn more about our group, get in touch with themselves, and help them to become better brothers in The Fellowship. Most of the work is done inside the barrier. Most of the people who come to The Fellowship are wrestling with the failures in their lives. They are essentially afraid of themselves. Here at the Meditation Retreat people learn to believe in themselves. And they build up that belief by learning how to best apply the philosophy of The Fellowship to their lives."
"By barrier you mean the wall?"
"Indeed. It was set up to keep out those who are not members. Inside the barrier, Fellowship members find it much easier to hear their inner voice. Each member is given a key which they may use at any time. Oh, wouldst thou like to meditate with us, fellow brother?"
"Yeeeeeeeees, sure."
"Then here is thy key. Be happy! Oh, one more thing. There is a rule which must be followed."
"What rule?"
"Do not venture into the cave which thou wilt find inside the barrier. The cave is off-limits to attendees."
"Will you check?"
"No, I'll probably just stand here."
"Okay, then we won't do it."
"Shouldn't we be finding out where Elizabeth and Abraham aren't going to be by the time we get there?"
"Alas, thou hast just missed them."
"We know."
"My good friends Elizabeth and Abraham were here delivering funds. I believe they have gone from here to Buccaneer's Den."

There's the retreat, by the way.

You don't, I suppose, have to be a Fellowship member to get in here. Ian isn't very threatening (though killing him will somehow spawn guards on a private island in the middle of nowhere), and there are multiple ways to get in without being invited. You could haul some crates on your ship and stack them to climb up the wall, that'd be pretty simple. You could also just land the flying carpet. There isn't anything that really blocks your landing, like in some areas. Doing this doesn't really break the game. Doing what I'm about to do later does.

"So, uh..."
"What exactly are we supposed to, you know... do?"
"Well, this is boring already."

"Let's go check out that cave Ian said not to go into."

In the cave is an old friend whom I have never interacted with in any of my Ultima LPs. His name is Gorn, and like Steve and Seggallion, he's an outcast from another world. Gorn is, however... kind of retarded.

It never really came across until this game, though, where it comes across rather nicely.

You see a familiar face, a stern-looking bearded warrior whom you have met on one of your previous journeys to Britannia.
"Ho, Avatar!" says Gorn. "Thou dost vish to speak mit me?"
"Oh God. Hey Gorn."
"It is good to see thee again." He laughs and slaps you on the shoulder. "My job is a never-ending qvest of high adventure. Ever since I vas a child und vas taken from mine homeland of Balema, I haf spent my life in search of heroic deeds to perform."
"You never really talked much about your homeworld, but I never particularly cared."
"Yah, Balema is vere I vas born. I vas a child dere. It is a vonderland ov snow-covered mountains und dark forests. It vas not an easy life, but it vas a place dat made young boys into strong heroic men. Dat vas long before I came to Britannia. I came t'rough vone ov de Moongates, de same as thee. Dat vas many, many years ago."
"That doesn't explain why you're in this cave, though."
"I perform heroic deeds in honor ov Brom. Everyting I do is in service to him. He is my master, und de master ov all ov de people ov Balema. Brom is all powerful und if I am strong he vill aid me. Sometimes I hear de voice ov Brom inside ov mine head."
"So wait, there's this guy called Brom..."
"Ya! Brom he is my master. If he vishes me to do someting, I must do it! If he does not vant me to do someting, I must not do it!"
"And he talks to you?"
"Ya! Only recently I haf begun to hear his voice in mine head. His voice tells me vat to do! As I came tovard dis cave de voice ov Brom became clearer. Vhen I first heard de voice ov Brom, he told me dat I should follow him. But how does one follow de voice ov someone dat thou cannot see vhen de voice is coming from inside ov thine head? Dis vas very, very difficult for me but after a vhile I vas able to figure out how to do it. Vhen I came nearer to da camp surrounding dis cave da voice vould get louder. Vhen I vould move avay de voice vould be qvieter.
"Okay, but how'd you get in?"
"It vas very simple for a trained varrior like myself to slip into de camp ov dose who are holding Brom prisoner. Dey posed no threat vatsoever. So dat means dat de danger must be vaiting down here. But I cannot find it! I can see by dat medallion thou dost vear dat thou hast snuck into dis place by disguising thyself as vone of dem. Very clever, Avatar!"
Iolo whispers to you, "This fellow is quite sharp, is he not?"
"Zo far de only danger I haf found down here has been a female fighter. She vas beautiful. Vhen I vent to talk to her she hit me over de head mit her svord. Vhen I voke up she vas gone. I bet she tought she had killed me but mine head is harder dan dat. I vas not even vounded."
Shamino whispers to you. "Luckily, Gorn was hit in the one spot where he has no feeling whatsoever -- his head!"
"Hey, vhat are you vhispering about over dere?"
"Oh, nothing. Nothing at all."
"I know dat Brom is somevhere down in dis cave, und I vill not leave dis place until I find him! The nearer I haf come to dis cave, the more times I haf been hearing de voice ov Brom. But lately he has been saying tings to me dat are very, very strange!"
"Strange how?"
"De first strange ting dat he says to me is "Strive For Unity". I say, yah, dat is vhy I am performing mine heroic deeds. Den Brom says someting else dat is strange. Next de voice ov Brom says to me "Trust My Brothers". Dis is strange because all ov my brothers are back in Balema, und I vould never trust dem anyvays. Dey vere all bigger den me and vere alvays beating me. But even dat vas not as strange as da next strange ting. De voice ov Brom tells me dat "Worldliness Receives Avard". I haf been tinking about dat von for a long time und I still haf not figured it out. But I vill not give up until I find Brom."
"A mysterious voice speaking inside someone's head, suggesting the philosophy of The Fellowship. Does this sound familiar, Avatar?"
"Dude, I'm aware of who is responsible for this. He's been talking to me since before I got here."
"Wouldst thou help me find Brom?" Gorn seems distracted for a moment. He places his hand to his ear as if he is listening to something. He looks back at you and there is a shocked look on his face. "I haf just heard de voice ov Brom and he has told me not to trust thee! Go avay from me, Avatar! I tought dat thou vert my friend! I do not vish to speak vith thee anymore!"
"Oh no, whatever shall I do?"

Deeper in the cave, the Guardian pops in to inform me that:

"What are you gonna do, blow me up?"

"Owwwwwwww, quit it!"

And here's where the game broke. When you get too close to the Cube Generator, you're supposed to die, because the noise emanating from the cube is overwhelmingly dangerous and it will slaughter you. This prompts a sidequest (only after you meet the Time Lord, mind you) to acquire protection against this.

But, as you can see, Steve is not dead. This is not because of any kind of cheating. See, the Cube seems to deal a flat 31 damage to everyone who passes the "damage" egg on the ground. This is sufficient to kill anyone with even maxed out strength.

The problem comes in when the Avatar has completed the Forge of Virtue and has double max strength, and thus, 60 hit points. So the 31 hit points bring Steve all the way down to, yes, you guessed it... 29. That means she is still alive, and can walk right into the generator.

"I wasn't even supposed to be here today!"

The inside of the generator is a series of concentric walkways. Passing certain points on the walkway cause connection bridges to appear. There are also invisible barriers. The goal is to reach the center part and click on the cube.

"I get the intense feeling I was definitely not supposed to be doing that."

Well, there you go, two generators down. I was not meant to be able to do that. But now that I have, I have accomplished two very important objectives. First, I have stopped the "voice" of the Guardian from influencing Fellowship members' spongy impressionable brains (which is what the Cube was made to do). I have also acquired another small object, this time a cube. This cube is awesome.

"Was it really necessary to kill all of us in order to accomplish this?"
"Hell, I wasn't even sure what was going on, it's your fault for dying."
"Well, let's try not to do that again, okay?"
"Sure, whatever. Hey, check out this thing I got?"
"Looks kind of lame."
"I don't think you're mentally or morally competent to handle things like that, Steve."
"What the hell?"
"When Shamino said that, the cube vibrated."
"I think it's forcing me to tell the truth."
"Really? I wonder what else we can do with this."
The Cube vibrates. "I'm attracted to cruel, angry, abusive women, which is why I spend all my time hanging out with Steve and none with my wife."
The Cube vibrates. "Iolo seems the weakest out of the three. If I can kill him, I could get a permanent spot in the Avatar's party and full health benefits!"
The Cube vibrates. "I could really use a beer right now."
"Why would I need to force you to admit that with the Cube? You say that all the time."
"I don't know!"

"What the hell just happened in here?"
"Hell if any of us knows!"
"Did you just blow up the Cube generator? You did! You were supposed to go on a sidequest for that!"
"I know what it looks like, but..."
"I'm telling Warren Spector!"
"Like hell you are, bitch."

"We definitely do not want anyone knowing what the fuck just happened here."
"I'm not even sure myself, actually, having spent most of it dead."
"All the same. No witnesses!"

"No witnesses!"

"No witnesses!"

Well, we broke the game and now we have the Cube. I was planning to do this later, but there's no reason not to just put off Serpent Hold for next time and do this now.

The Cube is a cool artifact. It forces anyone you speak with to tell the truth. Of course it only really does this in the case of people who were lying to you as part of the plot.

For instance, the Fellowship leaders.

Like ol' Klog here. Remember him?

"Hello again, Avatar," Klog asks. "How may I help thee?"
"Hello Klog. Mind if I ask you a bit more about the murder?"
The Cube vibrates. "Hook did a splendid job, did he not? Too bad I missed it. Had to keep up appearances and remain at home. Had to have an alibi."
"Really. So what was that gold Christopher had for?"
The Cube vibrates. "That was payment for delivery of the plans for the Black Gate pedestals."
"What is the Black Gate?"
"The subtitle of this game."
"Aside from that, asshole."
"All I know is that it is being built on the Isle of the Avatar."
"And the scroll?
The Cube vibrates. "Christopher received his reward prior to showing his worthiness. He reneged on delivery of the plans for the pedestal. It was merely a warning."
"What is the Crown Jewel?"
The Cube vibrates. "That is Hook's ship."
"Who is Hook?"
The Cube vibrates. "He is the one who was assigned to kill Christopher. I do not know where he is now."
"Well, thank you for your time. I'm sure someone will be along in a little while to help you to prison, although knowing Lord British maybe not."
"If there is anything else I may help thee with, Avatar, let me know."
"This was just fine, thanks."

And Elynor in Minoc?

"Familiar with a man named Hook?"
The Cube vibrates. "Hook lives somewhere on Buccaneer's Den. I do not know where."
"The Crown Jewel is his, right?"
The Cube vibrates. "That is Hook's ship. I have not seen it in some time."
"And the candelabra I found at the murder site?"
The Cube vibrates. "The candelabra was left at the murder site by mistake. Hook and Forskis are getting careless."

This provides us with a lot of useful information. The Fellowship is building a Black Gate on the Isle of the Avatar. They're siphoning a lot of blackrock from the Britannian Mining Company. The Black Gate is, of course, a large gate made of blackrock. Its purpose is unclear, but it seems they want to bring something related to the Guardian, or the Guardian himself, to Britannia. They've killed anyone who annoyed the Fellowship and kill anyone else who might find out about it through ritualized murders carried out by a pirate named Hook and his companion, the gargoyle Forskis. Elizabeth and Abraham have just gone to Buccaneer's Den, where Hook is based, and are always seemingly traveling on the Crown Jewel or going to the same places Hook is going.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out what Elizabeth and Abraham are really doing in the Fellowship.

We can also ask Rankin about Balayna. This makes more sense if you refuse to deliver the drink to her, as you won't see her die suspiciously right in front of you. Instead, she just... disappears. Rankin claims she's on a trip to Britain.

This is not the case.

"Heard anything about Balayna's whereabouts?"
The Cube vibrates. "Actually, I know exactly where she is. She has conveniently stopped breathing!" Rankin laughs.

Not everyone in the Fellowship is lying to you, though.

You realize that the Cube did not bring out anything that Feridwyn did not actually believe himself. He is one of the innocent followers of The Guardian.

The Cube did not vibrate once while speaking with Quan. You realize he is totally innocent of the dangerous powers above him.

Most of the Fellowship's followers are unaware, manipulated by the inner circle.

Now you may say, "Gee, if this thing makes anyone tell the truth, why not just use it on Batlin to get him to confess the whole thing?"

Because he's a tricky bastard.

Batlin's eyes narrow to red slits as he peers practically through you. "Thou hast the Cube! Thou cannot use it against -me-!"

"And like that... he's gone."

I saved before I did this because I'd rather not get rid of Batlin right away. I haven't cast Armageddon yet this game, and he's one of the few people who survives it.

"Soooooo, anything else we wanna do while we're in town?"
The Cube vibrates. "Let's go harass Shamino's girlfriend."
"You truly are my best friend, Cube."

"What's up, losers!"

This lovely actress is dressed in a mouse costume.
"Hello, there!" Amber says.
"Wait, are you..."
"I am Amber. I am an actress at the Royal Theatre. I am playing the role of Sherry the Mouse in the new play."
"Hey, screw you guys!"
"Ahahaha, she must be the mouse that roared in the sack, if you know what I mean."
"I didn't think you'd have even seen that movie."
"What movie?"
"'Tis a lovely space in which to perform. I have dedicated my life to acting, thou knowest. Raymundo himself had a hand in the design of the theatre!"
"Oh yeah, I can see you're... very much into your role."
"Actually, this will be my debut theatrical performance. I have been working as a barmaid waiting for my first chance to be in the theatre. Between thee and me, methinks the play stinks." She winks at you.
"Why is that?"
"Canst thou imagine such drivel? I do not believe there ever was a Sherry the Mouse. Who ever heard of a mouse that could talk! Especially these lines! I would rather play a queen. Much more fitting for me, I would say. I have to memorize this preposterous children's story called 'Hubert's Hair-Raising Adventure'. I asked Raymundo about changing my role and he threw a tantrum. He said that it would not be historically accurate. Ha! As if that were something of any significance!"
"Lucky for you, the role of Sherry gets very interesting in the second act."
"So, um..."
"Poo Poo Head!" she cries. She then rushes to him and kisses him full on the mouth. Shamino turns red and shuffles his feet.
"Oh God hahahahaha."
"Not in front of the Avatar, Poo!"
"Oh no, by all means!"
"To blazes with the Avatar!" She kisses him again. "The Avatar is the last one who will convince thee to settle down."
"She's got you there, man. Hahahahah wow."
"Hey maybe Shamino's new weapon should be a lightning whipped!"
"Hey, that's almost clever, kid."
"Thanks! It took me a while."
"Well, you'll get there eventually.

Having properly humiliated Shamino, it's off to speak to the other actor.

Now, let me explain something. This is Jesse:

Jesse is a thin, frail, weak man. He has the role of the Avatar. This is funny by itself, as he is pretty much the worst possible Avatar you could imagine. But that's if the Avatar is male.

See, this is one of the few things in the game that recognizes and acknowledges the Avatar's gender in previous games. If you are female in Ultima VII, the game understandably assumes you were female in all the previous games.

But Jesse is still the lead actor. What does that mean?

This is a tall, skinny actor with knobby knees. He wears a woman's wig and is dressed in drag.
"Oh God."
Jesse clears his throat. "Hello!" he says in falsetto.
"Who or what are you?"
The actor speaks in falsetto. "I am Jesse and I am a star." He slaps his own face and speaks in a normal register, "Oops, sorry! I am so entrenched in the role that I sometimes forget that I am not a woman!"
The Cube vibrates. "Sounds a bit familiar."
"I work at the Royal Theatre as an actor. I have played -all- the great roles in my career. I now have the chance to play the part of a lifetime -- the Avatar! Because it must cater to the masses, we never have the opportunity to do experimental works -- only the traditional gruel of mediocrity. But 'tis a wonderful space and it has marvelous acoustics. People like to see tales of heroic adventures, knights in armour, beautiful princesses, wise kings, wizards, evil monsters. All that rot."
"At least, uh, you've got a good role for that."
"The role is very challenging. I have a plethora of lines and I had to work with a trainer for weeks to prepare for the enormous amount of activity required. This role will make 'Jesse' a household name! It is easily the most ambitious theatrical production ever conceived. There is over a hundred hours of play time. That is a long time for an audience."
"Wait, what lines?"
"My biggest lines are: "Name!""Job!""Bye!"
"So what would you rather put on instead of this crap?"
"My favorite piece is something Raymundo wrote for me entitled 'Three on a Codpiece'. I stand on stage and invite the audience to join me in tearing an undergarment into tiny pieces, after which they are placed in funeral urns and mixed with wheat paste. The pieces of cloth, not the audience members. Then the audience may glue the pieces anywhere on my body that they wish."
"We're just gonna stand over here now."

The madman behind all of this is Raymundo. We saw his rugrat Max at the nursery a while back. He looks a little like Richard Garriott to me, which would make 3-4 appearances in this game alone. A modest number.

You can see the creativity literally flowing in abundance from this fellow. He looks at you with interest.
"Yes, yes?" Raymundo snaps. "What dost thou want? I'm busy!"
"Are you the director? I had some corrections to the script in the gypsy scene. See Sherry was actually-"
"I am Raymundo. Why, I am famous throughout the land! Hast thou not heard of me?"
"I told thee so! I am the Director of the Royal Theatre here in Britain. I am also Playwright-in-Residence. I compose a tune now and then as well. I sometimes act, but it is not wise to act in something that one directs."
"Take your own advice..."
"We are working on a play at the moment. It's a little something I wrote entitled 'The Trials of the Avatar'. It's about a legendary figure in Britannian history." The artist looks you up and down. "Hmmm. Thou dost have a certain quality... hast thou ever acted on stage?"
"Well, this one time in college I was in this movie..."
"I thought so! Officially, auditions have closed and the play is already cast. However, we need someone to understudy the role of the Avatar. Wouldst thou like to audition?"
"Uh... if you think I can handle the role of the Avatar."
"Excellent! What thou needest to do is to visit Gaye's Clothier Shoppe and purchase an Avatar costume. I can audition thee once I see thee in -proper- attire. Run along and do that, quickly now, I'm a busy man."

"You look pretty good in costume, Steve."
"But this is what I always wear. It's just a costume, over my clothes, which are identical to the costume that I am wearing at this time."
"You can barely even tell!"
"Oh I get it ha ha, you guys are all so funny pretending to not be able to notice."

Raymundo hands you a script and you take center stage. The lights feel hot on your face. Although you are a little nervous, you clear your throat and begin to read the lines on the page.

It doesn't really matter what you pick here.

"No, no, no! That is all wrong! Thou art the 'Avatar'! Thou must feel like the Avatar! Thou must sound like the Avatar! Thou must -be- the Avatar! Try it again."

Again, it doesn't matter.

"Better... better... but I think perhaps thou dost need a prop. Jesse, hand our friend thy staff."
"Here it is, milady."
Raymundo hands you a staff. With the staff in hand, you try the lines once more. This time you feel like a true actor. The lines flow from your lips as if the Avatar were really saying them. You feel an excitement you have never before felt. You like this 'acting' thing. You crave more! You anxiously await Raymundo's critique... Raymundo takes the staff and says, "Hmmmm. Yes, that's fine. I thank thee. Fine. We shall be in touch, yes? Thank thee for coming in. If thou hast a resume, just leave it by the door, yes? Thank thee."
"Yeah, I guess I just wasn't meant for acting. But I did have this great idea for a two-act play!"
"Really? Well, let's hear it!"

"Act one, you all blow up."

"Act two is me getting the hell out of here."