My screenshot folder for this particular session is kind of lacking - I suppose a good deal of that is because most of it was spent grinding, and that's not particularly interesting to take screenshots of. Strictly speaking, there wasn't much that happen plotwise. But I did get to poke around a lot of the game world and try things that I hadn't before, which meant a lot of fun from my end.
|I've never been so excited to see so many yellow squares!|
First on that list was to track down the remaining two marks for my party. I'd already found both the marks of Kings and Fire in the Perinian depths, but I knew I needed four in order to complete the game and strike down Exodus, so there were still two more to be found within the depths of Sosaria. With that in mind, I plunged into the dungeon of the Snake to see what could be unearthed from its passages. The trek to the bottom was fraught with a good deal of peril - I kept running into dragons and their brethren, usually in very rapid succession, and I was starting to get a little worried that my HP would give out, so I used Trevor's recently expanded magical prowess to zip the party down a couple levels. Sure, I probably missed out on some treasure that way, but I also missed out on potential gremlins - they were back for this game after vanishing from Ultima II (at least that I noticed), and I must say I didn't really miss them. At least they only stole 100 food from a single party member this time around, instead of half my inventory! Still, I want to know how the little dickens can carry so much of it...
Anyway, with the mark of the Snake now branded onto my party, that only left one more mark, so after poking around for a while I eventually found my way into the dungeon of Doom. Though it had a very foreboding name, not only did the bottom level have the mark of Force that I was still missing, there were simply scads of treasure lying about - surrounded by traps and gremlins, yes, but careful maneuvering meant I could claim it all for myself! That filled my coffers by a goodly amount, and I zipped down to Ambrosia once I had Aric Sequitu the party out. I'd upped everyone's dexterity to somewhere in the mid-30s range on previous trips, so I maxed out Trevor and Aric's and made some headway on Ivan and Olivia's before I made my way back through the whirlpool to seek out the Time Lord in the dungeon of Time - which took a bit to find, I hadn't used the moongates in a while and had to remind myself how they worked.
|Meeting the Time Lord. I'm sure it won't be my last.|
With that done, I once again resorted to unvirtuous means to make some cash - this time by repeated visits to Death Gulch with the purpose of thievery. I mean c'mon, there were piles of gold just lying around waiting to be gathered, and with the Mark of Force on my party, I could gather even more past a barrier. Sure, I took something of a beating from guards in the process - but that just skyrocketed my party through those last few necessary levels!
After a combination of Death Gulch capers and more rampaging through Yew (ugh... I'm half-tempted to make Aric a druid in the next game just out of guilt feelings), I had enough gold to max out everyone's dexterity, boost Ivan and Olivia's strength up, and nudge Trevor and Aric to a decent strength score as well.
|Uh... I think I've been caught in the act.|
...which I saw to in Yew in the midst of one of my rampages. I was told at some point that I would need an invocation to get past the silver snake, and that to find the invocation I needed, I would need to pray in the Circle of Light. Four clerics in Yew welcomed me to the Circle whenever I walked into it (just before I let my party brutalize them), so during one of my gold-gathering trips I strode to the center, prayed (for mercy, presumably, good grief my party's done some heinous acts during this adventure), and was told to yell "Evocare!"
So with everything I need under my belt and close at hand - it's time to face Exodus. To the Isle of Fire!
|Duly noted. I'm coming for you, Exodus...|