Absolutely nothing happened to me after this exchange. Maybe I was just too fast on the magic carpet.
I didn't mean to hit Blackthorn's palace so soon, but I was on my way to the Island of the Abyss, and then suddenly there it was. I figured the worst that would happen was I'd wake up in Lord British's castle again. As it turns out, with the magic carpet--which moves faster than the guards--I was able to get in, get Lord British's crown, and leave quite easily. In the meantime, I freed a bunch of prisoners, collected an NPC named Gorn, and talked to Blackthorn himself.
After I got through it the first time, I actually quit without saving just so I could do it again and make a video of it. You can see the result below. The video also highlights a bunch of gameplay elements.
At the end of the video, I decide to attack Blackthorn just to see what happens. First, when I attack what I assume is Blackthorn sitting on his throne, it turns out to be his jester! Then, when I hit Blackthorn in his chambers, he and his daemons slaughter me almost instantly. I remember from playing previously that he's an unkillable character, so I'm not overly upset; I just wanted to see what would happen.
After reloading, I skedaddled and went to the Island of the Abyss, where I learned a lesson about honesty--as if I needed it.
In quick succession after Blackthorn's, I hit Jhelom, Buccaneer's Den, New Magincia, the Lycaeum, Cove, Empath Abbey (again), Greyhaven lighthouse (again), and Blackthorn's castle (again--I found out a clue later on that the prisoner Hassad had a Word of Power).
Some quests and items along the way:
- I now have the names of the three Shadowlords: Astaroth (hatred), Nosfentor (cowardice), and Faulinei (falsehood). Lord Shalineth suggests that knowing these names somehow gives me power over them, although I'm not sure how.
- Each of the Shadowlords is apparently associated with some kind of shard. I have a line on where to find two of them in the underworld (including coordinates), but not exactly what to do with them if I find them.
- I also have the Words of Power for seven of the eight dungeons. I'm not even sure what the eighth dungeon is, frankly. But I got each of them from the associated council members--the last was Hassad, in Blackthorn's castle, who I encountered on my first visit but didn't know he had a Word of Power until someone told me in New Magincia. My return trip to Blackthorn's had some pretty bad consequences, which I cover below.
- I have the eight mantras (which I still had from Ultima IV anyway), but I still have to meditate at each of the shrines and apparently visit the Island of the Abyss after each meditation. That's going to get tedious.
- Just as I was wondering where I was going to find the sextant in this game, a guy in Buccaneer's Den told me that David, the lighthouse keeper in Greyhaven, had it. David gave it to me without a fuss after I complimented him on it.
- A pirate in Buccaneer's Den told me that he heard of glass swords hidden somewhere in Serpent's Spine, the mountain range north of Lord British's castle. At first, I wasn't sure how I was going to get up on the mountains (there doesn't seem to be a balloon in this game), but then I heard about a grapple that allows you to climb over mountains. Someone told me that Lord Michael in Empath Abbey had it, and in short order I got it from him and, with the help of some gems, found the glass sword. My recollection about glass swords is that they do a lot of damage but shatter on the first hit, so I'd better save it for something special. (K)limbing through mountains with the grapple, incidentally, makes you take damage every move, so I won't be using it a lot.
- From a mad wizard in Jhelom, I got a clue that when moongates disappear, I can search and get moonstones at those locations and move the moongates to new places. I guess that would help me get out of the underworld or something, although for role-playing reasons I'm wary about moving the moongate locations around. People use those! I don't want some guy traveling from Britain to Moonglow suddenly surrounded by mongbats.
- In New Magincia, where almost all the NPCs oddly had Asian names, I found my old companion Katrina. She had been a humble shepherd in Ultima IV before I apparently ruined her:
As I mentioned above, when I went back to Blackthorn's some unpleasant things happened. I got the Word of Power from Hassad, but then I accidentally ran into a guard. Instead of giving me a chance to fight, the game just said I was bound and shackled and blindfolded. Pretty soon, Blackthorn showed up and ordered me released, claiming he was seeking Avatarhood. He wanted to know the mantra for the Shrine of Honesty. I wasn't about to tell him.
Furious, he had his guards grab Shamino and put his head on a guillotine or something. Three more times, he demanded the mantra. This was a fairly difficult role-playing choice for me, as Shamino is a good fighter and...well, he's Shamino, for god's sake. He's in every Ultima game. He was one of my original companions in Ultima IV. But I stuck to my guns, hoping Blackthorn was bluffing. Unfortunately...
That unbelievable bastard. Even worse, he stole my magic carpet! Now I have to walk around like a caveman. He tossed my party back in prison, but I managed to pick my way free and get out of his castle, minus one stalwart companion and one handy traveling device.
My last "to do" before doing the shrine quests and exploring the dungeons in earnest (I still have to save up enough for magic axes) is to visit Sir Simon's place "west of Spiritwood." I couldn't find it in my first pass, but I suspect it might be surrounded by mountains and I need the grapple to get there. I also need to collect two new party members--I'd ditched Gorn at some inn, and of course I lost Shamino. I figure I need at least one solid spellcaster, so I might return to Yew and pick up Jaana.