Covetous

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Covetous
Lccovet.gif
Dungeon Type: Crypt/Mine
Associated Virtue: Sacrifice
Word of Power: AVIDUS

Covetous is a dungeon south of Minoc, which for many years could only be accessed through its entrance on the banks of Lost Hope Bay. One of the eight great dungeons of Britannia, it is associated with the virtue of Sacrifice, and throughout the ages many artifacts relating to the concept of Sacrifice could be found there.

History[edit]

Ultima IV[edit]

Main article: Covetous (Ultima IV)

Covetous came into being sometime after the fall of Exodus, having been hewn by slaves as a crypt for the rulers of the area which would eventually become Minoc.[1][2] The Stranger, in questing toward Avatarhood, would have occasion to journey here, seeking the Orange Stone of Sacrifice. Within the dungeon's depths, the hero could also find numerous magical orbs that gifted those who touched them with supernaturally enhanced strength and dexterity. At its lowest level, Covetous was connected to the Altar Rooms of Love and Courage, which interlinked it with the dungeons Despise, Wrong, Destard, Shame and Hythloth.

Ultima V[edit]

Main article: Covetous (Ultima V)
Deep in Covetous (Ultima V)

Following the end of the Avatar's first quest, the Great Council determined that the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom would be raised from the bowels of the Great Stygian Abyss and seals be placed over the great dungeons, including Covetous, hoping to lock within them the evil beasts that havened there. The deluge of magic required to retrieve the Codex, however, had the unforeseen outcome of creating a vast and expansive Underworld beneath the soil, causing the monsters within to thrive and multiply.

After Blackthorn's rise to power, the members of the Council suffered greatly under the Oppression, and were declared outlaws. With those who knew how to unseal the dungeons forced into hiding, the returned Avatar had to seek out former Council member Fiona, who knew the Word of Power that would reopen Covetous: Avidus. With this knowledge, the hero could use the dungeon as a means of reaching the Underworld below, finding Covetous opened onto lands near the Shard of Falsehood, which had birthed the Shadowlord Faulinei.

Ultima VI[edit]

Main article: Covetous (Ultima VI)

By the time of the gargoyle war, Covetous had interconnected with the passages of the dungeon Wrong and served as a bizarre subterranean menagerie, in which numerous beasts were held captive in a series of locked cells. The Avatar would have cause to journey here in the course of questing to locate the Silver Tablet, as a piece of the treasure map of the late Captain Hawkins laid within the dungeon's depths, having been lost there by former pirate, Heftimus McPry.

Ultima VII[edit]

Main article: Covetous (Ultima VII)

Over the next two centuries, Covetous was slowly converted into a mine, as the Britannian Mining Company (BMC) had found rich veins of ore in its passages. By the time of the Avatar's return during the high days of the Fellowship, the dungeon bore little resemblance to the catacombs it had once been, and was largely taken up with BMC operations, with few beasts continuing to make it their home. Exploring it's tunnels, the hero could discover an unsavory side to the company that had claimed it, discovering illicit use of Silver Serpent Venom by its Gargish employees and clandestine operations to mine blackrock. Despite the abundance of blackrock and its magic dampening ability, spells worked unhindered within the dungeon.

Ultima IX[edit]

Main article: Covetous (Ultima IX)

Years later, in the last days of the Avatar, Covetous appeared to have been fully converted into a blackrock mine, although it had been abandoned several years by the time the hero at last returned there. When the Avatar again ventured into its depths to retrieve the blackrock crystal ball required by the local Rom Baro, the area was found flooded with the undead minions of the liche Khelereth, and the ether of the vicinity permanently distorted such that magic behaved strangely: no spells could be cast yet certain spells could be maintained if invoked outside of the dungeon; the cloud-of-death bow technique was still possible; and potions did not function normally, if at all. It was here too that the hero would encounter former companion, Julia, who had been seduced by the Guardian's nearby column and stood among the Wyrmguard.

Inhabitants[edit]

The entrance to Covetous, as depicted in early Ultima IX concept art

Ultima VII[edit]

Ultima IX[edit]

Lore[edit]

Early Ultima IX concept design of a mine passage in Covetous
Aptly named, the dungeon Covetous can be found on the eastern shores of Lost Hope Bay. The entrance is hewn out of the forbidding cliffs of this region and can only be reached by ship. Seek it not on foot. The 5th Level of the dungeon Covetous holds vast wealth for the intrepid explorer, but be wary, for the labyrinthine tunnels and caves are home to large numbers of ferocious orcs and savage trolls. Deep within these caverns, on the 7th Level, one can find the orange stone. One might also visit the Altar Rooms of Love and Courage if the rigors of the depths have not proved too strenuous for the party.
On a rocky eastern shore of Lost Hope Bay, reachable only by sea, the dungeon Covetous was hewn in bygone times as a royal crypt for the rulers of the distant province that is now Minoc.
I spent the night in Covetous on a bet once. Selganor didn't think I'd have the nerve. Covetous connects up with the dungeon Wrong now, and they're pretty much one and the same. Now, normally, I'm not the sort who takes to the idea of wandering around in dungeons when it can be avoided, not even when there's money involved. But I'd heard rumors about Covetous before, about the monsters down there being all caged up and unable to hurt you unless you wander too close. And bust a lute-string if those rumors weren't true — at least, on the first two levels. I heard some nasty sounds drifting up from the ladder that led down further, and I decided not to venture any further. I saw some people imprisoned down there as well, but I didn't take any chances with them. who am I to say that whoever locked 'em up didn't know better than I?
-- Mandrake
This dungeon, one of the eight sealed by the Council of Mages centuries ago, was found to have a seemingly endless supply of iron. When word of the ore recently spread through Britain, the Britannian Mining Company petitioned Lord British and received permission to open the doors. The Mining Company hired a few of us to clear

the levels of evil creatures, and then moved in mighty machines and tireless miners to gather the precious minerals. Now, nothing but a few bats here and there bother the workers.
One rather interesting recent report (though 'tis just as likely a baseless rumor) holds that the Britannian Mining Company hired a mage to conceal some of the passageways. No one I've contacted knows the reason for these enchantments, but I hope one day to return and investigate whether the report is true.

The town of Minoc has played host to the mysterious hollows of a blackrock mine. Noted for its property of foiling magic, the pure blackrock herein commands a high price. With a metallurgy known to few, it can be forged into magic items to astound even mages. The blackrock mine has been in operation for many years, and the shallower veins have begun to dry. Hearty miners and warriors have begun to explore the deeper veins wherein undead creatures and fickle footing have proved their undoing. Yet, the richness of the blackrock therein continues to inspire the hearty townspeople to venture deeper into the mountain.
- from Journal (Ultima IX)

Trivia[edit]

Inaccessible Area on Level 4 of Covetous (Ultima IX)
  • In Ultima V, it may seem the seventh level can only be entered from the sixth via the spell Des Por. However, the ladder down is located in the middle dungeon room, guarded by a complicated puzzle in the western room.
  • In Ultima V, Covetous—true to its name—is abundant in gold. On the first two levels, half the rooms respawn (including a high end weapon and shield per room), there are no pits or traps, and there are healing springs easily available.
  • In Runes of Virtue, Covetous has been mysteriously transported to Dagger Isle, and the hero must brave its depths in pursuit of the Rune of Sacrifice. The hero must recover a magical amulet which fires lightning bolts in order to pass the Black Knight, and might also find a magical chalice that converts magical power to health.
  • In the SNES Port of Ultima VII, the Caddellite Helm may be found in Covetous, having been left there by fellowship members who commissioned it.
  • In earlier drafts of Ultima IX from Bob White's tenure as lead designer, the disused mines of Covetous were to be descended by the Avatar in seeking an abundant supply of blackrock ore, that it might be smelted and fashioned into weapons and armour to overcome the forces of magic-wielding gargoyles at the Guardian's Tower of Exaltation on Terfin. Cooperating with Gargish mining engineer Desbet, in this version of events the Avatar was to have cleared the dungeon of monsters, debris, and various other blockages, and restored its machinery to operational order, before the gypsies of nearby Mystvale (formerly Minoc) could be commissioned to begin excavating its cache of blackrock.[3][4]
  • In Ultima IX, this dungeon includes several incomplete and inaccessible areas including one on the fourth level located behind the the transition point from the lift map, which contains a chest after chest of gold and a small living area. This area, however, can only be accessed with the fly cheat and does have some missing walls.
  • In the cancelled Ultima Online 2 and the Technocrat War trilogy, Covetous was to be included as a dungeon on the southwestern continent of Avenosh.

References[edit]

  1.  "Forbidden Places of Darkness". Paths of Destiny (Ultima V). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1988. Page 56.
  2.  "Covetous". Paths of Destiny (Ultima V). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1988. Page 61.
  3. White, Robert. Ultima IX: Ascension Dungeons - The Covetous Vaults. May 1, 1995. Page 1.
  4. White, Robert. Ultima IX: Ascension - Plot Treatment. July 17, 1997. Page 33.

Geography
Britannia
Cities YewMinocSkara BraeBritainNew MaginciaMoonglowJhelomTrinsicMagincia
Castles Castle BritanniaEmpath AbbeyLycaeumSerpent's Hold
BordermarchFarthingWindemereStonegate
Towns BritannysBuccaneer's DenCoveDawnPawsTerfinVesper
Shrines CompassionHonestyHonorHumilityJusticeSacrificeValorSpiritualityShrine of the Codex
Dungeons The AbyssCovetousDeceitDespiseDestardDoomHythlothShameWrong
Lighthouses FogsbaneGreyhavenStormcrowWaveguide
Caves Ant MoundBee CaveBuccaneer's CaveCyclops CaveDesert DungeonHeftimus CaveHeroes' HoleMoonglow CatacombsSpirit TunnelsSpider CaveSwamp CaveVesper Mines
Islands AmbrosiaIsle of the AvatarDagger IsleDeadman's IslandIsle of Deeds
Isle of FireJanus IslandMarsor's IsleSpektranValarian IslandsValorian IslesVerity Isle
Lakes Lake GenerosityLock LakeLost Lake
Major Areas Bloody PlainsBog of DesolationBritanny BayCape of HeroesDeep ForestDrylandsFens of the DeadHigh SteppesLost Hope BayRealm of the GargoylesSerpent's SpineSpiritwoodUnderworld
Serpent Isle
Cities FawnMonitorMoonshade
Settlements Inn of the Sleeping BullIsles of the Mad MageMonk Isle
Dungeons SkullcrusherSpinebreakerFurnaceKnight's TestMountains of Freedom
Ruins Shamino's CastleCastle of the White DragonShrine of BalanceTemple of DisciplineTemple of EmotionTemple of EnthusiasmTemple of EthicalityTemple of LogicTemple of Tolerance
Islands ClawIsle of CryptsGwani Death TempleIce Dragon's Lair
Isles of the Mad MageMonk IslePenguin IslandSunrise Isle
Interesting Areas Gorlab SwampGreat Northern ForestIce PlainsKnight's ForestSerpent Isle Guard TowersWestern Forest
Pagan
Settlements Argentrock IsleDaemon's CragTenebrae
Other Carthax LakeCatacombsCemeteryFishermen's ReefHall of the Mountain KingHerdsman's ValleyPlateauShrine of the Ancient OnesStone CoveTreasure CoveVengeance Bay