Well, I have a bit of catching up to do! The usual bits of moving/new job anxiety have interfered with my gaming, but nonetheless I got some questing done over the past couple of days. I began with a quick jaunt to Emp-land, where I was instructed to acquire honey from the local bee caves. With a smoke bomb and luck, I did so, and fed the Emps. I also did some exploring, thought not too much because I died so regularly. I managed to encounter some renegade mages, some fighters who bizarrely called the guards if I moved their meat, and some pirates.
I didn't feel too much empathy for the Emps, pun intended, because it seems to me there are plenty of other trees they could live in. Adapt or die, ya bums! Well, maybe not. Anyway, after ending the destruction of their homes, they gave me a whistle which allowed me to commune with the local Wisps, who in turn wanted a notebook from our friend Alanger in New Magincia. After talking to him, and finding a lost locket, I was booted to Skara Brae--the job of an Avatar is to be led around by the nose to a lot of locales to solve problems no one will solve on their own! But I'm glad to do it, because helping people is good and helping people is even better when you get big piles of cool magic weapons out of the bargain.
Skara Brae, the city destroyed by fire, is one of my favorite sequences in all the games. First, you learn the long and depressing story of Quenton, whom you met in Ultima VI and whose murder was unsolvable. Turns out his wife was raped and sold as a prostitute by a group of guys (not Mondain's henchmen, I guess) and Quenton himself was murdered for failing to repay a debt. Marney, his daughter, died shortly thereafter. How depressing! But I guess everyone I knew in Ultima VI is dead now, right? Anyway, the wizard Horace went even more insane than he already was and built up an army of the dead with which he would conquer Britannia. My goal in being there was to ask the alchemist who destroyed the town about the secrets of life and death--but as expected he only offered to help me if I got rid of Horace.
I did so, with the help of the Mayor, and freed a lot of souls of Skara Brae's past, save for the alchemist--who explained to me that I was a fool and that there were no answers--and a creepy ferryman who carries a blue scythe that you cannot get in the game save for one of the so-called cheat locations. With the information in tow, I got Alagner to let me fetch his notebook, which was well-hidden, and at long last I finally managed to meet the Time Lord through the wisps, the whole point of this tiring venture! He immediately told me to head to Despise and destroy a spherical generator there. Humorously, I don't actually remember what keeps you from doing so, but I will find out.
The plot sure picked up some steam the past couple of days! I played about six hours, I think, and got pretty far. I think I will do the Forge of Virtue as soon as I destroy the second of the three generators, depending on how long that process takes. I figure that's about halfway?
Surprisingly, gathering gold has proved to be a problem! I need a whole bundle of it to buy magic spells, notably mark and recall, but it's hard to come by. Once I have a ship I will do a little cheating at Buccaneer's Den to 'earn' more, but in the meantime I fetch it mostly from mages in the woods. Food is much less of a problem. I discovered that among the best, most filling things to eat are the meats-on-a-stick that you can get from dead deer. They each have about six, I think, and a single serving seems to fill my party up quite readily!
Dungeon Despise awaits, but before hitting that realm, methinks I should do some training and pick up Dupre. That will involve visiting the only own left that I have not spent a moment in, save Buccaneer's Den and Serpent's Hold, which require boats. Oh yeah, Terfin, too. I forgot about that place.