Who Killed Quenton?

by Flying Omelette

This mystery has haunted me for the longest time, ever since I first played Ultima 6. I always knew that Quenton in the town of Skara Brae was not really killed by the Gargoyles, but until I did some research on the internet, I never really knew who the real killer was. I was a little surprised by the answer, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it does make some sense...but not entirely...And, yes, I know, I know that the whole thing is explained in Ultima 7, but I haven't played that game, yet, so I'd rather give my pre-Ultima 7 thoughts on it.

Now according to what I read on the internet, the man who lives in a house halfway between Skara Brae and Britain is the real killer. I often did find it weird that the topics of discussion that come up when speaking to this guy relate to the events in Skara Brae. It was weird because nobody in Skara Brae seems to know that this guy even exists, so how does he know so much about them, yet no one mentions him? Well, with that aside, let me explain who I had orginally thought to be the killer.

The answer seemed to be Stivius for several reasons. First of all, Stivius was the only witness. He is the one who made up the story about seeing the Gargoyles attack Quenton. But he changes his story several times. At first he says there were about 50 of them, then he says it was more like 4 or 5, then he says they were kneeling when he saw them and it was dark, so he couldn't get a good look. Several people in the village doubt the truth of the Gargoyle story because there were visitors at the inn the night it happened. None of those visitors heard any noises, and nobody knew that Quenton was killed until his body was found the next day. Other villagers think that if he had been attacked by gargoyles, there would not have been any body left to find. So, gargoyles are ruled out as the real killer, so why would Stivius lie? My thought was that Stivius, himself, was the killer. Quenton's daughter Marney questions why he was even outside at that late hour when he was killed. If it was that late at night, then why was Stivius out there, too? Someone in the village gives a clue that Stivius was losing profits. But no one suspects Stivius as the real killer, despite all this lopsided evidence. Why is that? Well, because Stivius is small and meek, and no one would suspect that he could've killed Quenton, and no one had any idea he would have had a motive. But the idea that Stivius could be the real killer is further evidenced by the fact that Quenton's ghost haunts Stivius's orchard!

Now, fastforward to what I read on the internet about this case. According to what I read, the man on the road who refuses to give his name is the actual killer. It is said that Quenton borrowed money from him, but could not repay his debt, so this guy bumped him off. But I am VERY unsatisfied with that as an answer. Why have so much evidence point to Stivius, when the explanation of the murder does not even include him? And this solution completely ignores the question of why Stivius would've been out that late at night along with Quenton! In all probability, the mystery man is probably the real killer. He is somehow involved because he knew that Quenton owed a debt to someone. Why would someone who is totally removed from the village know a thing like that? He also flat-out tells you that the story of the gargoyles killing Quenton is not to be believed. (Strange, that if he is the murderer he would give out clues that seem to point to his own guiltiness.) His obsession with brandishing knives and his overall attitude clearly indicate he knows more than what he's saying. So, I've come up with one of two possible scenarios. One supports Ultima 7's explanation, and one does not.

We know that Quenton owed a debt to someone, but we don't know who. Ultima 7's explanation says he borrowed money from the mystery man to pay the debt, but could not pay the money back to the mystery man, so the man killed him. But who did Quenton owe this money to? Could it have been Stivius? But if Stivius had already been paid his money, and it was the mystery man who Quenton now owed money to, then why would Stivius have been out that night? And what about the clue regarding Stivius losing profits? What about Quenton's ghost haunting Stivius's orchard? Shouldn't he haunt the mystery man's house, instead?

Here is a more likely conclusion that I have drawn from this plothole. I think Quenton actually borrowed the money for his debt from Stivius. But Stivius began losing profits from his juice business, and needed the money back. Quenton did not have the money, so Stivius hired the mystery man to bump him off. Nobody else in the town of Skara Brae seems to know this man even exists, but maybe Stivius knew of him from traveling back and forth to Britain, selling his juice. (The man even tells you that he's had Stivius's juice.) But since they don't know about him, the townspeople took Stivius's word that it was Gargoyles who killed Quenton. Of course, in this scenario, we don't know who Quenton owed the original sum of money to, that he borrowed from Stivius, but perhaps that is one of those things that we don't really need to know.

Well, that's my thoughts on this matter. I've heard that the mystery man is eventually brought to justice for his crimes, and executed, but if my theory is correct, then Stivius is guilty, too.

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