Captain Stokes

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Captain Stokes
Captain Stokes.png
Captain Stokes, from Ultima VII Part Two
Species: Human
Appearances
Ultima VII Part Two

Captain Stokes is a wares-dealing pirate in Ultima VII Part Two: Serpent Isle. He resides in the House of Wares in the Knight's Forest west of Fawn. His ship, the Mustang, is never seen, presumably having been lost like most vessels to the teleport storms of the age.

Description[edit]

Little is known about Stokes, save his penchant for smoking indoors elicited repeated protest from the famed bard Gannt one evening at the Inn of the Sleeping Bull. This unwelcome complaint turned into a violent altercation in which Gannt was slain, and the ghost of the poet persisted afterward, driven to seek vengeance upon the man who took his life.

Gannt's spirit traveled to the northern mountains, and would produce a scroll telling its sad tale if the Avatar encountered it, in which it begged for a champion to avenge the wrongs bestowed upon it by Stokes. Found here also was a key that allowed the bearer to unlock the door to Stokes' foul House of Wares.

If the champion undertook this task and slew Stokes, the pirate's sinister work could be found: a mysterious cube within which strange visions of various simulated adventures appeared. In this box's shifting canvas, images of tales known as Strike Commander and Privateer could be viewed.

The strange object also presented the title of Ultima VIII: Pagan, upon which the watching Avatar commented, "This omen doth not bode well," obviously perturbed by the revelation of imminent adversity. Attempting to interact with Stokes' apparatus a fourth time would cause it to combust spectacularly, destroying itself in the process.

Lore[edit]

Hark, adventurer, and read these words well. Many know me as Gannt the Bard, singer of songs, and writer of fine poetry for all to enjoy. Though many know of me, most do not know of my life, or at least of how I came to this end. Read, and read well, dear adventurer. If thou hast any justice in thine heart, or any pity in thy soul, then thou wilt seek vengeance for mine untimely death. If thou, hearty adventurer, hast any sense of duty to avenge evils, then thou must seek out the craven and cowardly Captain Stokes of the rusty old bucket 'The Mustang' and exact just payment, for alas, since I am not of this world, I cannot.

One day as I was at the Inn of Sleeping Bull, plucking my lute, not bothering anyone, but practicing my trade, in walked the swine, Captain Stokes, billowing foul fog upon us with his ill-smelling fag. Seeing that no one in the fair establishment could stomach the pungent smell of his tobacco-like rot, I dared to ask him to put it out, for the sake of all our healths. He stared at me, then turned a blind eye. I went back to strumming my lute, 'til again the smell began to bring tears to mine eyes. Again I asked him, begged him to stop, but again he turned away.

Finally, as gentle ladies began to leave for air, and good children began to cough and cry from the Captain's reeking root, I tried once more. This time, though, he answered with the blade of his dagger. He thrust well through my lute and into mine entrails, stuffing it deep into my belly. He grinned and twisted the blade, not once nor twice, but thrice! Being but a humble bard and quite mortal, I had little choice but to expire. I fell in a pool of mine own blood, mine hand strumming my last chord as I fell.

I ask thee, I beg of thee to give me peace, and exact vengeance for my death. Before thee is the key to his rotten hovel which thou mayest find to the west of Fawn, above the forest of Knight's Test. Many ill-begotten instruments doth he hide in his house of ill-wares. Beware them! Please, noble adventurer, exact justice for my death, and exact the toll from that evil Captain Stokes. Do this and let my spirit rest peacefully... Gannt...

- from Gannt's Scroll (Ultima VII Part Two)

Trivia[edit]

  • Captain Stokes is the namesake of Ultima VII Part Two playtester, Perry Stokes.
  • Stokes is, of course, an Easter egg poking fun at software piracy. His "glowing cube"—in actuality a computer—shows blurbs for various Origin games developed concurrently with Ultima VII Part Two. Software pirates, in general, take pride in cracking and distributing software before its proper release, so distributing the next part of the series (Ultima VIII) while the previous game is still underway would prove a skillful feat indeed.
  • Stokes does not react to the intruding party when his house is entered; however, the party will attack him once combat mode is activated.