Ultima VIII: Pagan – Day 5

Intro | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

Theurgy

I travelled to the Argentrock Isle, where the Order of Enlightenment resides. There are only four characters to talk to: Stellos, the 200-year-old founder of the order; Cyrrus, son of the farmer couple from the valley; Torwin, whose father you see executed at the start of the game; and Xavier, who administers the Theurgy tests.

The Test of Wisdom is easy to pass, if you keep in mind that Theurgists value compassion and put truth above all else. The Test of Centredness is basically a balance test, and involves standing on a peak at Windy Point and overcoming the gusts of wind Stratos sends at you.

All up, the first two Theurgy tests took me a couple of minutes of gaming time.

The third test is a tad more difficult – Stellos told me that, in order to construct my Foci, I must find pieces of silver (which gives the island its name Argentrock) in the caves below the monastery. Which they filled with annoying shooting traps and giant spiders. While searching for silver, I found a small structure where, after using the secret door scroll again, you discover an enchanted sword called Protector. It doesn’t have a nasty name like all the other magical weapons in the game, and it outclasses Deceiver.

I collected silver pieces and took them to Korick, the blacksmith in Tenebrae, who, intriguingly, reveals himself to be a follower of the Zealan gods. He believes that eventually the old gods will come back, and I guess it’s a very likely outcome in the post-Titan world where people might look for something else to worship and pray to. Unfortunately, I can’t unsee Spoony’s review of Ultima 8, where he points out an, er, obscene gesture Korick makes while talking to you.

I took my raw Foci back to the Monastery and activated them on the altar, but no one wants to hear about my success because Brother Xavier’s Focus has disappeared and theft is suspected. With the help of Hear Truth spell, I got Cyrrus to confess that Torwin took the Focus and can be found at Windy Point.

I confronted Torwin, who admitted to theft and explained that he meant to eventually resurrect his father. When you tell him that Toran was fed to the Lurker and his body can’t be recovered from the Pit of Death, he loses his mind and screams in all caps.

He then jumps off the cliff and leaves behind Xavier’s Focus and his ring… which doesn’t make much sense unless he somehow knew he was going to die.

To become a full Adept, I then had to perform a literal leap of faith at the Windy Point, and jump on hanging rocks for a while to get to Stratos.

The worst thing I can say about Stratos is that she’s patronising in a mother-knows-best way maybe, but she’s really the only Titan whose loss represents a genuine cost to the people of Pagan. Without the healing powers of Theurgists, Pagan’s healthcare system is definitely dealt a blow. Stratos chides me for wanting to take the Breath of Wind, but still rewards me with the Air Walk focus, which allows you to leap over great distances.

I took Torwin’s ring back to Tenebrae and told his mother of his passing; the poor woman has now lost her husband and her son. I then had fun with the Hear Truth spell by casting it in Orlok’s presence and exposing his stories for a pile of torax dung they are.

Hydros

I travelled to Carthax Lake and visited Hydros in her underground temple.

When asked for Tempest powers, Hydros tells me that, trapped as she is, she can’t grant me that favour – a blatant lie since being trapped hadn’t stopped her from bestowing the powers on Kalen, the first Tempest. Sadly, you can’t point out to Hydros that she’s full of shit, so I’ve no other choice but to do what’s probably Avatar’s dumbest action in the game, and release Hydros, by casting Open Ground near the grave of Kalen’s beloved.

To no one’s surprise, Hydros turns out to be a double-crossing bitch, and swears vengeance upon the humankind and Devon in particular. So much for mastering all four schools of magic; I wonder if in the original draft you still end up with the powers of Tempestry somehow.

Back in Tenebrae, I fessed up about releasing Hydros to Devon, who takes the news pretty calmly and suggests, in a nice way, that it’s now my job to clean up the mess.

Intro | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

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