Ultima VII: The Black Gate + Forge of Virtue

The Stone of Castambre

by MacCuth

Legendary rock? Perhaps. Powerful relic? Definitely. The Stone Of Castambre -- named for the mage who is rumored to have enchanted and placed it -- is said to be located on the Isle of Fire, also the location of the Shrines of the Three Principles. Of course, since knowledge of the Isle has long since disappeared, knowledge of the infamous Stone is equally mysterious. However, through research and study of Castambre's diary I have brought to light a few clues to the Stone's whereabouts.

The major purpose of the Stone's power is to animate inanimate objects: statues, golems, tools, etc. In addition, shouldst the desired object be one already imbued with the power of conversation, the Stone will enhance such powers, giving the object, or rather, creature, independent thought. Historians claim that it is with this stone that Castambre concocted creatures of such deep personalities that, from behind a curtain, it was impossible to differentiated between a person and one of his creations.

But how do I capture this ability, I hear thee ask. First, assuming thou hast already discovered the Isle of Fire (no mean feat, I assure thee), thou must then search for the "pentacle of rocks" -- five boulders arranged as though they were vertices in a pentagram. In the center thou shouldst notice a sixth rock, from which grows a large, healthy tree -- the Tree of Life. This sixth rock is Castambre's Stone.

However, finding the Stone is only half the battle, for now thou must perform magicks beyonds the abilities of normal men. With a ... thou must.... ....... Once the "heart" has been placed within the "chest" of the creature, the ritual may begin. First, using perhaps the same pick, thou must strike the Tree hard enough to draw blood. Blood from a Tree, questions thee? Aye, I say, for this Tree is one of life and energy -- collected from the nutrients of the Stone, and bleed it does.

Some say thou wilt be able to hear the shrieks of pain from Castambre's Stone, but that rumor is waning. Thou wilt need enough of the Tree's life force to fill a bucket. After the blood has been properly contained, it must be spilled in five spots about the body of the stone creature as if the creature were Castambre's Stone and the puddles of blood the five rocks of the pentacle. In fact, it is necessary to set down five such small rocks to mark the location upon which the blood must be spilled.

Then must thou cast Vas Flam Uus (see detachable page at end of volume), setting fire to each of the puddles of blood. Following that must be chanted the sacred words gleaned from Castambre's journals (also on detachable page). Now that the creature is enchanted, of course, it will become necessary to instruct it, much as one educates a child. However, a stone golem will learn much more quickly...


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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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