Next day, after I collected my wolf cloak, I visited Lydia for a tattoo, which earned compliments from Dupre and Shamino, and then it was time for the banquet in my honour. Far from a peaceful event, it was rife with interruptions and controversies. First, everyone is agitated by the mentions of magical beasts and other wizardry in the Test of Knighthood. Then Harnna comes in distraught with the news of Cantra’s disappearance. Then there’s a brouhaha over a traitor in the midst of Knights, which culminates in a fight between Luther and Shazzana. Right after the banquet was over, the poisoned tattoo made itself felt and Avatar wasn’t feeling so good.
I looked into Harnna’s crystal ball where you see a vision from the future of Batlin attacking Cantra and calling her the Bane of Chaos. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Batlin’s portrait in Serpent Isle; in TBG he looks like a crafty, intelligent manipulator and here he looks like a fat-faced evil thug. Also, why does his Fellowship medallion look like a boomerang?
Being poisoned is a nuisance, so after releasing Iolo from the prison I hurried to Fawn to get the healing Varo leaves from Delphynia the horticulturist.
It’s nice to see that five-legged deer is just as abundant here on the Serpent Isle as it is in Britannia.
Walking outside the city without the map felt very disorienting; I’m used to being able to check my whereabouts whenever I like and you feel kinda helpless without it. Somehow I missed the road to Fawn, and walked all the way up to the Gorlab Swamp. I thought I’d turn left and eventually hit the coast, but instead I found this bizarre place where a bunch of wingless gargoyles run out of the eerie red doorway and attack you:
Tragically, we lost Iolo in the battle, but when I summoned the Xenkan monks the first one ran straight into the doorway without talking to me and disappeared from sight, which was hilarious. Once Iolo was resurrected, I of course had to check out the doorway myself. You get teleported on a small island presumably somewhere in Furnace, but strangely enough you don’t get instantly fried like you normally would without the protective spell. There’s not much to find there other than some jewelry, but this sort of random WTF place is one of Ultima’s charms.
I followed the coast to Fawn, where I was met by Ruggs, a disfigured sailor who begs you to smuggle a message for his lady love Delphynia. The magical storm sequence as soon as you enter the city is a tad weird: if there’s a storm coming why is everyone running outside? And where does Iolo suddenly get a lute from? Anyway, the townspeople ask Iolo to sing a song and he improvises a weepy ballad about Gwenno.
I only just managed to get the Varo leaves before the poison finally killed me, but then the monks helpfully teleported me back into the middle of Harnna’s field, so that worked out well. After I was cured I went to Lydia and demanded to please explain, which ended in her death. Despite the poisoning, I can’t help but feel a tad sorry for her, since she was essentially manipulated by her evil sister.
Monitorians were much more friendly towards me now that I got the Mark of the Wolf, and Brendann was too friendly with his innuendo-laden offers to spar. Oh and Shazzana can apparently train anyone, hem hem. I talked to Krayg who told me about the Goblin meeting place (by the way, why does he wear those badly ripped clothes in his character portrait like a bum? He runs a supply shop, surely he can afford a decent shirt!).
It was getting dark and I didn’t feel like exploring the woods during the night, so I took up Brendann’s offer. He’s a total sleazebag but hey, Avatar has some stressful times ahead, girl could do with a bit of fun. It’s pretty funny to watch Avatar undress and walk to the bed naked with the two-handed sword still in her hands (unless Brendann is into this sort of thing).
In the morning, I visited the black monolith in the woods and found the bottle of Fawnish Ale, which only one person in Monitor can stomach.
Simon must have been a pretty crappy spy if he’s been selling out Monitor for decades but the city remained standing regardless. He’s fine with betraying his race and revealing the location of the secret Goblin camp before he carks it. A trail of death and destruction is nothing unusual for Avatar, but wow I’ve now killed three Monitorians in three days. At this point in the game, I’d usually follow up and raid the camp, but instead I decided to go to Fawn.