This is version 1.2 of a walkthrough for Origin Systems' add-on for Ultima 7, "The Forge Of Virtue".
Feel free to make any comments or corrections to the address at the bottom of the page.
I'd like to thank "Skullkar" and the Culp family for some suggestions and for pointing out some really un-Avatar-like oversights.
And to "Melisande" for also keeping me on my toes FoV-wise.
Part One is below. Click to jump to parts two,three and four.
Or If you want to go to the Tests, Truth, Love and Courage.
Part One: "How do I get to start the quest?"
Once you have noted an earthquake - this occurs upon starting the game proper after installation.
(It should of course be noted that FOV is installed by default with Black Gate if you have the
Complete Ultima 7 CD-ROM)
You should then venture to Britain and ask your old pal Lord British about "earthquakes". He will "start you off" and give you the deeds to the "Golden Ankh", which is moored on the dock (?) at Vesper.
Make your way to Vesper - I prefer going via Cove. The dock (glorified jetty) is directly south of the pub on the human side. note that the hold has many useful items such as food, torches and yellow potions.
Set sail due south from here, until the earth starts to shake (yes, it did for me too :-)) This is the Isle of Fire. Have a good hol., folks! Sail around the coast until you find a northward "river mouth" You should see two towers either side as you sail in. Pull in and alight from the ship, and walk north. The castle, which looks like the aftermath of a party at my place is here. You may also note a Moongate nearby, which takes you back to the mainland. (I haven't used it myself.)
That was the easy bit.
Part Two: Erethian.
The only living inhabitant in the castle is an old wizard, Erethian. Talk to him and he will basically fill you in on some history, namely Exodus, the creation of the Shrines of Principle, and most interestingly some of his "research" and tidbits about some "upcoming attractions". Don't take his implied malevolence and condescension too seriously. He is a mage after all.... ;-)
Have a poke around the rooms, but don't enter any portals yet. In the far east room on the first floor, you will find two items of interest, namely an odd mirror and the Dark Core of Exodus, which you will will deal with at the appropriate time ie. not yet.
When you feel you are ready, take a peek in the northernmost room, where you will see three stone statues. These represent the three Principles: Truth (Mage) Love (Woman) and Courage (Fighter).
Talk to them to undertake the tests. They may be done in any order, but there are "smart ways". Here's how I did them. (Dramatized for "entertainment" purposes)
Part Three: The Tests, as taken by Shimeril the Avatar.
"I had made the decision to firstly endeavour to overcome the Test Of Truth. I stepped forward and spoke unto the Shrine, which teleported our party to a small room which seemed to have no exit. Knowing such a place to be illogical I searched along the south wall. An Illusion hid a rough passage southward, which led to a more ornate complex. Moving westward we happened upon a large room that was too quiet for my liking. As we passed through the centre of the room we were assailed by light- ning bolts. Fortunately none of us were badly hurt. This will teach me to trust my instincts in future.
We continued through the corridors until Shamino noted a hood lying on the floor. "Avatar, I see the hood but spy no owner. Shouldst we search the area?" We did and found another illusory wall along the northern wall. We moved northward until we spied a small room seemingly in the middle of nowhere. We entered and found a small "slice" - this must be the Talisman of Truth. As I picked it up we were teleported back to the Shrines, whereupon I was "rewarded" by the Shrine."
My next decision was to take the Test of Love. We were directed to a moongate in the western end of the castle. next to Etherian's rather humble belongings.
Upon entering the gate we were teleported to what may have been another part of the Isle. As we wandered south through the valley we came upon a small abode, seemingly abandoned. However it contained many tomes of magic and "myth". I knew nought about the events inside but kept them in case.
As we continued to wander we found two huge creatures of stone, unlike any I have ever seen. One, laying in a circle of stones seemed to be badly injured, maybe dead. His "twin" requested our assistance to revive his "brother", producing an old book by a man known as "Astelleron", as well as a parchment with a magick I know not of. This "Astelleron" is a name I noted from the other books, and he seems to have been both powerful and important.
Our task was to find the famed "Stone of Castambre", as it is believed that this has the power to give life, and thus aid the fallen "golem". According to our texts we need blood from the stone. This may prove most interesting.
We entered a semi-fashioned tunnel northward, picking up a bucket and pick along the way. Venturing south we exited the tunnel to a seemingly dead-end clearing, with just a backpack to bee seen. As we entered the clearing we were again teleported.
Heading south from our destination we saw the fabled Stone of Castambre, with the Tree of Life growing out of the Stone!. I took the pick in hand as Iolo placed a bucket next to the stone. Upon striking the stone, it started to bleed into the bucket! A truly amazing sight!
As we turned to leave Shamino, his ranger's instincts as sharp as ever noted a small lever partially hidden near the stone. "Shimeril", he mentioned, "Should we investigate? This may be a clue or lead to something of use to us."
I noted Shamino's observations as I always do; but we are on a Quest, and thus have a more pressing duty. We may return later.
We headed back through the tunnels to the circle of stones and the golems, and started the casting. We poured the "blood" onto the stones in turn, but just before using the scroll from Astelleron's book it was pointed out that we needed a "heart" to succeed.
Before we could act, we witnessed one of the truly great acts of Compassion and Sacrifice - Bollux, the surviving golem literally gave his own heart to his "brother" - tore it out of his own chest, and placed it in his fallen comrade.
We continued the casting successfully. The now revived golem looked upon Bollux and explained to us what Bollux had not realised - the Stone could have provided the heart we needed. So again we set off, back to the Stone, where we "crafted" a new heart for Bollux, and brought "blood" for the "resurrection".
We repeated the incantation as we did previously, and again it was successful. We were thanked for our efforts and rewarded with the Talisman of Love we had been seeking.
We were again teleported to the Shrines, Something that our senior fellows - namely Iolo - were starting to tire of - "Makes mine stomach turn, Avatar.." The comments from Shamino and Dupre aren't fit for a "family" scroll. I was also rewarded in a similar manner to the Shrine of Truth.
The next Test was the one that I instinctively felt the most challenging, Courage. Having recalled Erethian's mentioning of a large and near invincible dragon, as well as knowing that Avatar's tests are not for the meek or even average adventurer, I decided to let my companions "rest". I am willing to sacrifice myself for the Virtues, but to sacrifice my companions is foolish. They protested loudly - especially Shamino and Sentri - but trusted my judgement. I relieved myself of unnecessary items and walked to the Shrine of Courage.
The teleporter to the Test of Courage was on the eastern side of the castle, in a small room just past the Core of Exodus (a gentle reminder of the purpose of our visit..). The charred remains of the door did nought for my previously sunny disposition. I stepped through the portal.
Leaving the small room into which I had been teleported, I encountered the first of many locked gates. Not having the correct key (as usual) I duly picked the lock and entered. Whereupon I was set upon by hordes of undead - I had the feeling that my sword arm was going to get quite a workout. They appeared to be led by an old mage, so I surmised that if I targeted him successfully his minions would dissipate. I was incorrect, but he did yield an interesting key. The lich was my next "priority", and the long and fruitless battle left me angry with myself for not carrying better weaponry.
A quick search of some of the remnants of past victims yielded little bar plenty of bones. A small number of magical items were found and duly put to good use. I then headed east, to another locked gate and two golems who, unlike Bollux and his "brother", were less than pleased to see me. Knowing that I had not the tools to dispatch the pair, I pushed past them and hurriedly unlocked the gate. It led to a mushroom covered series of tunnels and rooms, and a seemingly imapssable stone wall to the west. Knowing that there had to be a means of passage, I searched the fungus covered room to the east, whereupon I found a small lever. It had to be of some import so (with some trepidation) I pulled upon it, and left the room in a hurry.
The lever appeared to do away with the first wall, but a second still remained. Checking a second room just north of the walls, a second lever was encountered. Surely enough, it lowered the second wall and facilitated my further passage.
Moving northward through another rough-hewn passage, I came across a side passage and a feeling of warmth from the north. Eschewing the old Britannian game of choice, I left Eeny and Meeny and took the passage to the west. A large iron door lowered (!) as I approached, revealing a crystal ball. As crystal balls are usually fairly insightful I peered into it. Ah! a clue. A nice change from violence and mayhem. The vision of a Glass Sword and a key may mean something, but it is likely I'll know soon.
Upon rejoining the northerly passage I found the source of the heat: a dragon. After a mighty effort and singed extremities I bested the creature, and found several Gems of value. Having both time and space, I placed them in my pack. Perhaps they will pay the healers I'll surely need on my return from this place. A chest and a corpse lay near the dragons form, and the armour found a happy wearer. The Glass Sword made me happier still. I left and moved to the iron door.
To my dismay, it was locked. As neither pick nor spell undid the latch, I cursed the paranoia of Britannian dungeon keepers. Having vented my dismay, the vision flashed back - Glass Sword, Key. AHA! I raced back to the Crystal Ball.
I dislike leaving such a powerful weapon behind, especially in this context, but it appeared to be the only way to proceed. I placed the sword upon the floor, and the crystal ball duly shattered, revealing a key! It fitted the lock on the north door perfectly.
Proceeding north I noticed the western wall was a more "architectural" texture than the rest of the dungeon. Perhaps this was a sign of a larger structure within?
At the end of the tunnel was a camp, with a troll and ogre present. They did not welcome me, and I defended myself as I saw necessary. Out of the corner of mine eye I noted more iron doors - with neither handle or lock. It appeared to mean more exploration was ahead.
Noting an entryway to the "castle" (for want of a better term) I noted a pedestal with a helm to the north. I proceeded to retrieve said armament, and as I picked up what was a magic helm, a grinding sound emanated from the north. I imagined that to be one of the doors opening. Not having time to check, I moved south where I was set upon by a duo of golems. I did my best to defeat these stone giants, and made my way to what appeared to be the remains of a giant lizard-like creature. To my dismay it proved to be impassable, so I made my way south.
Into a group of slimes and other foul miscreants. Deciding that hacking through the slimes was not productive, I ran east and north until I noted another entryway to the "castle". In what seemed to be a mirror image of the west side, a helm sat upon a pedestal. Easy, thought I as I grasped the old helm. I expected to hear the welcome sound of wheels turning and the opening of doors, but none were heard. I placed the helm back. Same result. A thought hit me, but I didn't initially consider it. It didn't want the magic helm I just acquired, surely? I tried mine magic helm. The sound I sought "arrived", and I rushed to the north, where I found both iron doors open.
Through the passages was a large cave, containing many a corpse - human and animal - as well as the Dragon that Etherian had spoken of. It conversed with me, boasted about it's puissant might and "immortality", and then endeavoured to prove my lack of it.
Neither weapon nor spell appeared to hurt the dragon much, and I cursed not having a Glass Sword handy. If they can dispatch a Shadowlord, then surely it can do the same to this beast?
As I fought my way around the room, following the beast as he teleported - a ploy to confuse or frustrate obviously - I noted a familiar hilt on one of the charred bodies at the entrance to the cave. I bolted toward the corpse, quickly searched and duly found what I had wished for: a Glass Sword! This ex-adventurer had the means but not the nerve.
Remembering the phrase "He who hesitates is lost" I took the sword and struck my adversary, mortally (?). As he lay on the floor of this dank cave, he spoke of a blue gem of great power: If I had the Courage to take it from it's maw, it was mine.
I reached into the cavernous mouth of the fallen drake and retrieved the gem, which was cool to the touch. The corpse, however was not. I quickly searched for items which may be useful in our travels and was rewarded. I then moved north to another iron door - unfortunately it was very definitely shut - I would have to slay this beast once and for all -but with what??
Part Four: The Black Sword; The Dragon and the Dark Core.
After making my way back through the dungeon I rejoined my companions who were more than pleased to see me. Sentri noted that he heard Erethian muttering about a "powerful artifact" and suggested we ask about it. A true swordsman's line of thought.
Erethian explained the Black Sword, and how it was started but remains unfinished. He told us if we wished to finish the work, it was ours. We agreed, and the tools were provided - in a fashion typical of a mage.
I soon found out that the work of a blacksmith was a hard task. Taking the hammer in hand I laid the sword blank on the "furnace" and heated it until it was white hot. Before it could cool I moved to the anvil and hammered the blade into shape. I repeated the exercise until the blade was as good a quality as possible. Moving to the trough (which Spark and Iolo had filled whilst I shaped the blade) I dipped the blade to cool it.
What emerged was a perfectly formed two - handed weapon. However it really needed some sort of magic to work "fully".
Erethian was still recovering from his last casting, and I had not the power to imbue the weapon. It was Shamino who noted a possibility. "Avatar, whilst you were away on your last Test I noted a rather strange mirror. Unless I am mad it spoke to me. I believe it to be worth investigating."
It was agreed, as I too had noted such a mirror as I left for the Test of Courage. It was a daemon of some description, and begged to be released from it's "prison". To do so it needed some sort of "vessel", and surmised that the blue gem I carried served the purpose.
I did as instructed, taking the gem in hand and smashing the mirror with it. The daemon's glee was short lived as it became apparent that the "freedom" it sought was merely another, more mobile prison. It explained that now I was its "master". Looking at the sword and the gem made me think: join them! I asked the "gem" to bind with the sword. It did so, forming the mythical Blackrock Sword.
A thought then occurred to me: Is this "artifact" the very thing that can finish the foul (and proud) drake I thought I had bested beforehand? Perhaps. A short conversation with my now talking sword enlightened me to its powers.
Deciding to "take a chance" (a result of many trips to Buccaneers Den..) I took the Shade Blade with me and returned to the Test of Courage.
After working my way through what now seems like home territory I re-acquainted myself with a very much alive dragon. The drake stated in no uncertain fashion that the only means of getting through to the door was through him - and making his demise truly permanent. As the battle started, I felt my best course of action was to call upon Arcadion (our friend in the gem) to show us both what he was capable of. What happened next was spectacular and fairly bloody, as the daemon made short work of the defeated dragon.
The corpse fizzled and I was left with my thoughts and a Black Sword (as well as piles of bones..). Much to my joy the previously impassable iron door opened as I approached, allowing me to access the teleporter at the end of the hall.
This sent me to a very ornate room, guarded by several golems. Fortunately my combat skills were not necessary - they either weren't aware of my presence or perhaps I was actually welcome!
On a pedestal in the middle of the room was the Talisman of Courage. As I grasped it, I was teleported back to the main room of the castle, whereupon I consulted the "Warrior" and was duly rewarded. And I was back with my trusted companions!
I then recalled the purpose of our time on this Isle: to rid Britannia of the Dark Core of Exodus.
The Finale: The Core and the Void
We sought Erethian regarding the Core, and spoke of a scroll explaining how to deal with it. Realising that we meant to send the Core back into the Void, he protested and refused to assist further. I feel that he wished to use the power of the now rejoined Psyche and Core, not realizing the havoc they may cause, as Exodus once did.
Assistance was offered by Arcadion, the Black Sword. It interpreted the "code" ('Punts note: is this C? looks like it. Definitely a programmer's joke. Back to normal scheduling and sorry I broke character.) and explained what we had to do.
We needed the talismans (I have the three) a light source ( two torches on the walls either side of the Core will do.) and another thing..
The Lenses, created during my last visit and kept at the Avatar Museum in Britain.
We set sail back to the Mainland, with the sword explaining its powers. It can heal all of the owner's wounds, send forth great fireballs, kill a creature on command (regardless of how powerful) and return the owner and his companions to the Isle of Fire.
The remainder of the trip to and from Britain was uneventful. However the "cloak and dagger" antics of the party (we had to steal the lenses) will doubtless provide us with in-jokes for eons to come.
We returned to the Castle of Fire, and began the task of relieving Britannia of the potential evil of the Core.
I placed the three talismans on the core, forming a three quarter wheel. As Shamino and Sentri placed the Lenses either side of the core, lightning flashed and thunder roared. As this was occurring, A panic - stricken Erethian appeared, admonished us and proceeded to cast a spell. In his panic, he miscast his intended spell, destroying himself. As this was occurring a "vortex" appeared, engulfing the Core and pulling it into the void. Our task here was complete, and we returned to the mainland.
Lord British was most pleased to hear of our success, and I was rewarded. I felt more powerful, experienced and virtuous than I had before.
No doubt that these qualities will be needed to stop the Guardian and his designs on this fair land. Our journey continues.
Copyright © 1996 Contrapuntal Dragon aka. Michael Fleming
This page was created Friday, 13 September 1996
Most recent revision Wednesday, 5 January 2000
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