Ultima VII: The Black Gate + Forge of Virtue

The History of Stonegate

by Shazle

The story of Stonegate Castle is, indeed, an interesting one. At one time the keep was occupied by the Shadowlords, during Lord British's disappearance and Blackthorn's evil rule. However, once the Avatar returned our noble monarch to his throne, eliminating the Shadowlords from Britannia, a family of cyclops made the castle their home. Not more than three decades from then the walls were abandoned.

This lasted but for a short time, however, for a small colony of wingless gargoyles found refuge within the confines of the keep. Three years later they were driven out by Lord Vemelon of Jhelom, who chose to retain the castle for his own purposes. For several generations ownership was passed down the Vemelon line until one day the very mountains nearby opened up, and the swamps engulfed the castle. Now, rumors purport that a colony of trolls have taken up residence amongst the ruins, along with an ancient wizard, but no one has ever confirmed their existence.

   

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Ultima VII: The Black Gate + Forge of Virtue

The Orb of the Moons glows, and the Avatar finds that a red moongate has appeared behind the house. The Avatar thus returns to Britannia through the moongate, and arrives in Trinsic, where he[7] meets Iolo. Iolo tells him that two centuries have passed since he left. The whole town is shocked due to a ritualistic murder that occurred the preceding night - the body of the blacksmith Christopher was found in the stable. Finnigan, Mayor of Trinsic, asks the Avatar to investigate the incident.

In Trinsic, the Avatar gets to meet several members of a new religious organization called the Fellowship. Eventually, in Britain, he meets Batlin, one of the founders of the Fellowship. He also meets Lord British, who urges the Avatar to join the Fellowship, which, according to him, has done a lot of good things. It also turns out most of the mages of the realm have gone completely insane without any good explanation, and their magic doesn't work as it should.

Forge of Virtue was an expansion pack that adds a quest to Ultima VII in which the Avatar must pass a series of tests to revalidate himself in the three principles of Truth, Love, and Courage, and destroy the last remnants of Exodus.

With the expansion, an earthquake takes place at the beginning of the game. After speaking to Lord British about the tremors, the player will be given free use of a ship called The Golden Ankh, and can visit the Isle of Fire to begin the expansion subquests. The Isle of Fire was previously the site of Castle Exodus in Ultima III, and reappears only during this game.

Launch Year: 1992
Ultima VII: The Black Gate + Forge of Virtue Cover

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