The black stone of humility
Seven stones were found in the seven dungeons (the White Stone, too, more or less), but the Virtues are eight: the Black Stone of Humility is still missing.
As per any stone, information about it can be found in the corresponding city. In this case, it is the ruins of Magincia. As per the White Stone, there is a thread to follow. Start by talking to Splot, a skeleton in Magincia ruins; he will relay the Stranger to Nate the Snake, in the same city; then, travel to Britain and leave a 99 GP tip at the bar: the Stranger will be directed to Merlin of Cove. Alternatively, the same information can be obtained by meditating for three cycles at the Shrine of Humility.
The Black Stone of Humility can be found by stepping into the Moonglow Moongate when both moons are dark, then search the ground.
This last stone is only used in the Great Stygian Abyss.
Getting ready: checklist
Requirements to enter the Abyss:
- Owning a ship enhanced by the magic ship wheel (see The Strongholds of the Principles);
- Holding the Bell of Courage, the Book of Truth, and the Candle of Love (see The Strongholds of the Principles);
Requirements to enter the Chamber of the Codex (as told by the Ankh in Cove):
- Being an eight-parts Avatar, at level 8, with a party of eight Companions (see The Shrines of Virtue);
- Holding the eight Stones of Virtue (see Dungeons);
- Holding the Key of Three Parts (see Dungeons).
- Knowing the Pure Axiom (see The unfinished thread);
- Knowing the Word of Passage (see The Strongholds of the Principles).
The Great Stygian Abyss
The shortest sea route to reach the Great Stygian Abyss starts from a peninsula east from Minoc (north from Vesper). Remember to use the magical ship wheel to strengthen the hull of your ship (as Allen from Cove instructed you). Sail straight north; when you reach the three volcanoes, turn east. On the west coast of the Dark Island, enter a gulf, where a pirate fleet waits in ambush. Defeat the ships and land at the innermost end of the fjord. The entrance to the Abyss is in the middle of a lava field.
At the entrance of the Great Stygian Abyss, ring the Bell of Courage, then open the Book of Truth, then light the Candle of Love. The aforementioned order is learned by meditating three cycles at the Shrines of Compassion Valor, and Honesty.
In the second group of rooms, dispell just one sleep field, and let the demons come to you; they can actually be affected by the other sleep fields.
The northern fountain in poisonous, the other one is useless (in the Master System port, both fountains are poisonous).
[U]se the stones at the altar.
As thou dost approach, a voice rings out: "What virtue dost stem from Truth?" (Honesty)
As thou dost approach, a voice rings out: "What virtue dost stem from Love?" (Compassion)
As thou dost approach, a voice rings out: "What virtue dost stem from Courage?" (Valor)
The rooms to the south are just a dead end; you may visit them for the sake of 100% completion, but there is nothing of interest in them.
Of the two pair of rooms to reach the altar, the northern path can be faster, and it requires two "Negate" spells; the western path, instead, imposes you tortuous movement through narrow and twisted passages.
As thou dost approach, a voice rings out: "What virtue dost stem from Truth and Love?" (Justice)
About the "five rooms cross", in the two "entrance" ones, the triggers to open the passages are in the corridor beyond the energy fields. In the central rooms, two triggers are in the south-east corner. In the "east exit" room, a hidden trigger perfectly in the way activates a series of poison fields; instead, in the "south exit" room, the trigger to open the way is under the central fire field, in the middle of rocky terrain.
As thou dost approach, a voice rings out: "What virtue dost stem from Love and Courage?" (Sacrifice)
In the room with three Balrons trapped by energy fields, be careful: if you leave to the north, you have to restart the labyrinth; instead, a trigger under the north-east Balron reveals a passage to the south. Same in the next room: the obvious exit makes you restart, whereas the triggers are under the Balrons in the north-west (a second trigger then becomes obious). Leave this room to the south for an easier battle (headless instead of reapers).
As thou dost approach, a voice rings out: "What virtue dost stem from Courage and Truth?" (Honor)
In the fourth room, check carefully the walls for secret passage tiles: at the end of each one, a trigger opens two passages to the center area.
As thou dost approach, a voice rings out: "What virtue dost stem from Truth, Love and Courage?" (Spirituality)
In the second group of rooms, you should then come from the north. You first have to fight a group of seven doppelgänger In the second room from the north, three successive triggers are in the walls, but again there are lava fields on the way out.
If you get to the central room, the north and east exits are just decoys to force you into a fight against many Balrons without using "Negate"; in fact, as soon as you dispel and pass the several magic fields, the two fake exits will disappear. In the fourth room from the north, there is one trigger under the chest and a second one in the lower-right wall tile. The fifth one is analogous to the first one, with a fight against the eight doppelgänger.
As thou dost approach, a voice rings out: "What virtue exists independently of Truth, Love and Courage?" (Humility)
- Doppelgänger is a German word; its plural form is identical to the singular.
The final test of virtues
After you put the eight stone in the altar, a keyhole is revealed for the Key of Three Parts. As soon as it is unlocked, a voice asks for the Word of Passage (see The Strongholds of the Principles). Then, the final test of virtues starts:
- What dost you possess if all may rely upon your every word? (Honesty)
- What quality compels one to share in the journeys of others? (Compassion)
- What answers when great deeds are called for? (Valor)
- What should be the same for lord and serf alike? (Justice)
- What is loath to place the self above aught else? (Sacrifice)
- What shirks no duty? (Honor)
- What, in knowing the true self, knows all? (Spirituality)
- What is that which serfs are born with, but nobles must strive to obtain? (Humility)
- If all esle is imaginary, this is real... (Truth)
- What plunges to the depths, while soaring on the heights? (Love)
- What turns not away from any peril? (Courage)
- If all eight virtues of the Avatar combine into and are derived from the three principles of truth, Love and Courage, then what is the one thing which encompasses and is the whole of all undeniable Truth, unending Love and unyielding Courage? (Infinity)
After the last correct answer, you can finally read the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, and enjoy the ending. Congratulations!