HMS Cape

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The location of the shipwreck of the HMS Cape
Finding the plans for the HMS Cape
HMS Cape was a mighty galleon which sailed the Britannian seas in the days prior to Ultima IV.


The Cape was known as the fastest vessel of her age, designed by the great shipwright, Hawkins. Her hull was said to be twice as strong as any seaworthy frigate of the era and her sails were rigged by enchanted means to increase her speed at sea. Many of the ships powers, however, were bound into its enchanted wheel, and such an artifact could convey some of the Cape's powers to another vessel were it installed upon her.[1]

Despite its craftsmanship, the mighty Cape nevertheless met its end in a storm just off the Cape of Heroes and sank into the waters of the bay southeast of the Shrine of Honor. Only one man survived this calamity, a sailor known as Lassorn, who managed to make his way to Serpent's Hold, fighting off starvation and exposure. He could be found here recuperating by the time of the Stranger's first journey into the newly christened realm of Britannia during Ultima IV, and was able to impart to the hero knowledge of where the sunken wreckage of the once proud ship lay. Should the Stranger manage to locate the Cape and salvage its wheel, the artifact would prove invaluable in confronting the ghostly pirate fleet anchored in the western bay of the Isle of the Abyss.

Decades later, during the time of Ultima V, the returned Avatar could encounter a Master Hawkins who was descended from the Cape's original designer. Should the hero locate the misplaced construction plans for the legendary ship that the shipwright had left in his shop, they would be able to use the written plans for the magical rigging to improve the speed of any vessels they might sail upon in the course of their adventures.[2][3]


The H.M.S. Cape had seen better days. Algae and ribbons of seaweed covered her. Bloated, dead sailors bobbed with the current, arms and legs tangled in the seaweed and wreckage. I shuddered at the sight of their watery grave, but I did not hesitate.
Once thought lost, these antiquated plans describing a means by which a ship may be rigged to travel twice as fast as any other in its class have recently been found buried in the archives of the Oaken Oar Shipwrights in East Britanny.


  • In Ultima IV, retrieving the Wheel grants (only) the player's character 400 XP.
  • Although both the wheel and the plans are extremely useful items, neither are essential for completing Ultima IV or Ultima V.
  • In the alleged journal of the Avatar discovered by historians Robert DeMain and Carlotta Stein, the Stranger recounts in detail their dive to recover the Cape's wheel. The hero is impressed that they are able to make such a swim, and remarks to themselves as to how they have changed since entering Britannia. In this episode, it is also revealed that Jaana, Shamino and Geoffrey all do not know how to swim.[4]


  1. JimmyUnderworld Dragon's Ultima V TranscriptUltima V. "bow, Cape, enchanted, extra, H.M.S., hull, magic, power, rigging, special, speed, strength, wheel".
  2. JimmyUnderworld Dragon's Ultima V TranscriptUltima V. "Hawkins, Master, Oaken, Oar, plans, shop".
  3. Squire JimmyUnderworld Dragon's Ultima V TranscriptUltima V. "apprenticed, Cape, HMS, Master, ship".
  4. DeMaria, Rusel et al. "Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar". Ultima: The Avatar Adventures (Ultima IV). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1992. Page 67-68.