So as it turns out, I had been poisoned by Lydia, the tatoo lady, when she gave my Wolf tatoo on the face – and Harnna the healer couldn’t do much for me: I need to get to Fawn to get Varo Leaves from the Horticultist there.
So I immediately left for Fawn (also freeing in the process the Fawn Tower which had been overrun by Goblin) since I wanted my Avatar to get healed ASAP. As it turns out a big storm start up when you arrive in Fawn… which Iolo to sing in public a beautiful song about Gwenno and how he misses her.
Since Delphynia was in the audiance, I talked to her and got my cure. I also talked a bit to the few characters that were around and since it happened to include Kylista, I went and get back my Magic Armor as well and proceeded to go back to Monitor.
My first step was confronting Lydia at her tatoo parlor, who admitted her crime and left me no choice but to kill her. Lydia is actually an interesting character because she has an extensive background tie to another character – but it’s never actually spelt out clearly in the game, it’s all with small details and pieces to put together. And it works and it also shows how much developpers back then… trusted in the intelligence of their player really.
With Lydia done for, I got back to Harrna who healed me – and it was time to get to my banquet.
Now this is a pretty awesome part and shows one of the biggest difference between Ultima VII and Serpent Isle. The addition of scripted events – which are basically small ingame cutscenes with people moving around, acting and talking. As the banquet rapidly turns sour here – this lead a couple of characters actually fighting each others live! This whole thing contributes to make the game and the world even more immersive – I mean had it been in Ultima VII it would have solely consisted of long winded narration, which can get tiresome. And this is of course an approach that would later continue in both Ultima VIII and IX.
(Note that this is also a point valid for most dialogues: Serpent Isle actually uses little narration)
So as it turns out, Cantra has dissapeared and the vains Monitorians feeling that she must have been taken and eaten by Goblins see little point of seeking her out, and are more interested on fighting about who might potentially be the traitor. However Harnna asked me to look at her crystal ball which lead to a pretty interesting vision…
Cantra appears to have been possessed by some odd spirit, and his having a huge magical fight with none other than Batlin!
This is actually a pretty mind blowing scene… and the first time I saw it I really in a “What the fuck?!” state of mind, thinking there was some huge secret about Cantra’s past – altough this was obviously not quite the case.
Did I mention I love Cantra anyway? I mean such a young and tragic character…
In any case Harnna asked me to save her daughter… and of course I accepted! But it would still take quite a while before I finally get to her alas…
So being done with Monitor for the time being, I decided to return to Fawn to get a better sense of the city and well… talk to the remaining people.
Ah… what to say of Fawn?
Fawn was built by settlers from old Sosarian city of the same name who disliked British’s Virte for having omited “Beauty” amongst them. Since its inhabitants love Beauty… this is actually a really beautiful town, built of white stones over water. It is just wonderful to behold!
Much like Monitor however, the city is very much an example of Virtue gone wrong. Like Monitor offered a twisted view of Courage, it is very apparent that the value of Beauty that the Fawnians places above all else, is very much a twisted view of the Virtue of Love. So rather that focusing on the inner beauty and heart of the people, Fawn is all about superficiality and considering that Beauty is a sign of goodness, while any form of uglyness is evil since of course: Evil is Ugly!
As it turns out we are in front of a corrupted government with a Queen that is little but a figurehead and a magical Oracle supposed to say the truth and spread love that is used for the Great Priestess and her Captain consort to mold the political landscape to their advantage.
Obviously the point of the Avatar here is to joing the “Cause” of the young people to reveal the sham of the Oracle and bring back Fawn toward the true value of Love. Interestingly since Fawn if the city where the Gwenno expedition from Britannia appears, there are a few Britannian here – and notably Fellowship members, which are this time presented as the persecuted ones. Nice twist!
Now the thing that lead to the revelation of this… well it actually is all Dupre’s fault.
You see the Lady Yelinda who “rules” the city and summoned us to congratulate Iolo about his song and give him a necklace for Gwenno. But Dupre had the good idea of saying this:
Now keep in mind, for the inhabitants of Serpent Isle, Lord British it the BEAST that will come to take revenge someday and eat their babies! So this lead to a somewhat difficulty with the Captain of the Gard and Dupre being sent to Jail, awaiting trial.
But now breaking out for him, since Serpent Isle decide to make you go through the trial in two phases: the first one with the prosecutor presenting the case and witnesses against Dupre, and the second with the Avatar defending Dupre and calling witnesses as well.
This is a very fun part – especially since the scripted events make it all happen in real time with some funny moment.
Of course the trial is a sham, and the plan is to have the Oracle condemn both your and Dupre to death. But thankfully, you have the opportunity to go to the Oracle between the two phases, kill or incapacitate the Great Captain Voldin which was manipulating thing and free the Oracle so that he can tell the truth.
And thus was Dupre freed, the truth reveled, and myself rewarded with the Crystal Rose of Love. And hopefully, Fawn would now get back to the path to the true Virtue of love and learn of its past mistakes…
After leaving Fawn I explored a bit the forest to the west were Goblins meet which lead to a clue… that lead me straight to Simon, the innkeeper of Monitor. As it turns out, he was a Goblin magically disguised as a human who had been living in Monitor for decades, acting as the spy for the Goblin hordes. I had to kill him.. but he gave me the keys to the underground passage leading to the secret goblin village so that I can kill their leader who had betrayed him.
So the mystery of the traitor in Monitor was finally solved (or… was it?), and the logic would be that I go the goblin tribes.
But actually no – because I feel this urge to go to Moonshade instead… so I am now entering the small hamlet of Sleeping Inn Bull, in hope of finding a ship toward the Isle of Beyond…