The technical documents that Ultima Aiera recently posted for Ultima VI: The False Prophet obviously focused on the technical side of things, so it's refreshing to read through Edward del Castillo's plot summary document for Ultima IX: Ascension. Spoilers obviously apply, but if you haven't played Ultima IX at this point, it probably doesn't matter. A few key chapters:
First Visit to Britain:
'¢ Is strapped by famine (which should be very visible). The Britains blame it on the mages of Moonglow for not providing food to ease their suffering. As the story goes, the Britains sent a ship full of Serpentwyne to Moonglow which was to be reciprocated by a ship from Moonglow full of food. The Moonglow ship never came, and the Britain ship never returned. In retaliation, the Britains killed all the mages in Britain. When the Moonglows found out about this, the Tribunal was disbanded and now a civil war is brewing. The general populace speaks of the shipment, since in their eyes, not only did they not get the food, but the ship never returned.
'¢ There should also be a rumor of a ghost ship that prowls the seas.
'¢ Somewhere in the town, there must be a setup where the player meets Julia and gets to know her well enough, so that when he sees her dying in Despise, it has meaning. She can even mention going to the Caverns of Despise, and the player could discourage her.
'¢ If the player wanders into the Cathedral of Love, he sees Blackthorn, as Ebontyne, manipulating Amoranth, who is one of the fomenters of the Civil War.
'¢ The Hall of Virtues is closed at this point
'¢ Moonglow hates Britain for never sending the Serpentwyne.
'¢ There is lots of food and plague here.
'¢ The sailors treat this place like a leper colony.
'¢ There is so much food that rats and rotting abounds.
'¢ In the street there is a plague victim with a dog that guards him.
'¢ Mages don't visit the populace.
'¢ People in the town should talk about the column in the Dungeons of Deceit.
'¢ There should be marked doors for the sick and barricaded doors for the well.
'¢ The player must contact Arthur the guild member for the location of the secret door to get into the court.
'¢ To spy on the court you enter via the Lyceum, you watch some event, and while watching, the player gets cold cocked... and wakes up in a cell in the Prison of Wrong.
Shrine of Justice:
'¢ The armies of both sides are meeting at the shrine to do battle.
'¢ When the player arrives, Janna (the druid) rushes forth to greet him and explain what is about to happen, at this point the avatar will present the treaty to both generals.
'¢ In the treaty, the truth about Blackthorn's plot is revealed to all, at which point he reveals himself, confesses to his evil deeds, and flees the scene, taunting the player. Upon fleeing, the Guardian's eyes appear and taunt the avatar with challenges to come and get him at the Isle of Terfin. The Guardian will gloat about how difficult this is and will in summary fashion, reveal all the obstacles that the player has yet to overcome in order to get to the Guardian's lair.
'¢ After seeing the error of their ways, Morwen and Wellen swear fealty to the avatar's cause of bringing peace and unity to Britain in addition to signing the treaty. Moreover, M&W band with you to destroy the true cause of all this Blackthorn and the Guardian . "let's kick his butt!"