I have some links to various Ultima-themed sites on the web. In theory a blog should point out useful resources, rather than just be me talking.
Well, according to my calculator, ERROR percent of my zero replies so far to my last post would prefer that I actually go to the trouble of exploring Hythloth before exiting and taking the balloon. As a result, I decided to skip that for now. Instead, I went up to the top of Britannia, where I entered a dungeon, specifically, Dungeon Wrong. I found the stone somewhere around level 7 as I recall, but to my dismay the access is blocked by a big room full of slimes and a zorn. They are easy enough, but the passageway to the stone is blocked by a brick wall. To open the wall, I imagine that I need to cast dispel on some of the energy fields around the dungeon room, but sadly I had only one black pearl, a necessary ingredient of the spell. Boo hoo hoo.
At the bottom of each dungeon is an altar room where I will need to use the stones I am collecting, and conveniently they all connect to one another! So in lieu of getting the green stone from Wrong, I took a brief detour to Covetous and snatched up, without any difficulty, the orange stone representing Sacrifice. Ha ha! This was not without some trouble--One room in the dungeon featured a huge mass of sleep fields and some reapers, who could cast sleep. Fortunately, they barely ever hit my character, but getting through was very boring since much of the time was sitting there waiting for Zacharay to awaken. Then I went back to Wrong and cast X-it to get me back out of the dungeon. Just before I entered Wrong, a convenient pirate ship dropped by and I killed its occupants. Finally, a ride! I ditched my useless horse immediately.
Using the ship, I went to the otherwise inacessible towns of Buccaneer's Den and Serpent's Hold. The stupid horsehoe shape of shoals in the middle of nowhere that I mentioned a few days ago actually contained the Bell, which is one of the book (movie?) inspired artifacts needed to get into the Abyss. I also picked up the wheel to the HMS Cape by, apparently, diving solo into deep waters, and the silver horn from a random island. The horn was useful in order to visit the shrine of humility and become a partial Avatar in that virtue. The wheel was useful in learning that the wheel doesn't do crap until the end of the game. I thought it repaired my ship quickly, but using it just got me killed by cannonballs from a competeing ship. Drat. Serpent's Hold was a bit peculiar, because for some reason the guards have the same conversation as the Baron himself. Huh?
I also became a partial Avatar in Valor, and I picked up the blue stone from a dungeon near Moonglow, the city of honesty. I meditated for three cycles, the maximum allowed, at the shrine of Honesty on the hunch that maybe I would become an Avatar in that virtue too (I have been paying the blind herbalists exactly what they are owed!) but all I got was a message explaining how to enter the abyss. Thus I need to head back to all the other shrines and meditate for three cycles and gt the full list of requirements. Hmm.
I have not built up a party to any degree, but I did buy myself a sweet magic bow with which I am rapidly killing enemies. There are orbs in the dungeons to raise my stats, but so far I am not finding their use to be important. I may need higher stats for the abyss, but if I am loaded with heal spells and reagents I think my party will survive to the end.
Except the shepherd, maybe.