Are you sure about that? Unfortunately the link that had the interview Sheri Graner Ray with (http://pcgtw.retro-net.de/index.php?id=games:alegends) seems to be dead, but I recall specifically saying that you were the Avatar in it. Makes sense though that they would move it to stand alone since WoU didn't sell real well.
I wonder why that was though. I can understand why Serpent Isle didn't sell as well as Black Gate.
I remember reading that Ultima VIII actually started as a general concept for a WoU game centering around the Greek Gods.