GAMES

The Bard's Tale Series ...

It is very likely that The Bard's Tale shares most of the responsibility for Decklin and his adventurous meanderings!

Although Decklin is presently wandering the dungeons of Dejenol in the DEMISE™ universe, he has lost count of the number of towns, castles, caves and dungeons from which he has barely escaped.  Oh? You don't know Decklin? ... Well he is a kind of a well-meaning character in some ways although he wouldn't admit it.  Presently Guildmaster of the Warlock's Guild in Decklin's Domain II, he is a neutral aligned Dwarf and a multi-class character apprenticed as Artisan, Cleric, Explorer, Thief and Warlock.

There are no really clear pictures of him around, but an artist in the tavern claims he looks a little like the inset:
His first taste of adventuring was in the town of Skara Brae, a long, long time ago.  No, not the stone age settlement in the North of Scotland, but the town of which The Bard's Tale is sung.  Lurking in one of the cobwebbed corners of Roscoe's Energy Emporium he was caught trying to steal a purse from Warlock Lord, the leader of a party of adventurers who ultimately defeated the evil wizard Mangar the Dark.  It was as well the party was short of a rogue or Decklin may well be languishing in a cell in Baron Harkyn's Castle to this very day.  It seems that his character has improved somewhat over the years - he lost his nickname "Grovel" after the fourth adventure!

Once Mangar had been defeated, the ice and snow that had cut off Skara Brae from the outside world retreated and it was not long before Decklin and his former captors were engaged in seeking the seven missing pieces of the Destiny Wand, a powerful magic scepter, in the second Bard's Tale adventure The Destiny Knight.  At every turn it seemed that treachery was afoot in the six cities of the plains but the band of adventurers prevailed yet again.

A getaway vacation that the band embarked upon turned sour when the ship on which they traveled was seized in the land of Dilmun, where magic is outlawed, and as obvious practitioners of the magic arts, the group was banished, stripped of all possessions and dumped unceremoniously within the walled 'city' of Purgatory from where they eventually escaped in the adventure  Dragon Wars.  

Once again returning to their homeland, they were horrified to find the land devastated, the city of Skara Brae in ruins, the Adventurers Guild destroyed and only one member of the review board left alive as Mangar's master, the Mad God Tarjan wreaks his revenge.  In this adventure, Thief of Fate, it fell upon Decklin to overcome the most powerful foe in the final battle.

SUMMARY

Title:

Tales of the Unknown Volume 1:
The Bard's Tale

The Bard's Tale II
The Destiny Knight

The Bard's Tale III
 Thief of Fate

Released

1985

1986

1988

Setting

City of Skara Brae

The Realm, six cities of the Plains

The ruins of Skara Brae and the Wilderness

Levels

16 (22x22)

1(32x48), 6 (16x16) 24(22x22)

80 (various sizes)

Party

Create up to 6 player characters

Transfer from Bard's Tale I or create 6 new characters

Transfer from Bard'sTale I or II or create 6 new characters

Classes or Professions

Warrior, Paladin, Rogue, Bard, Hunter, Monk, Conjurer, Magician, Sorcerer, Wizard

Warrior, Paladin, Rogue, Bard, Hunter, Monk, Conjurer, Magician, Sorcerer, Wizard and Archmage

Warrior, Paladin, Rogue, Bard, Hunter, Monk, Conjurer, Magician, Sorcerer, Wizard, Archmage, Geomancer and Chronomancer

Races

Human, Elf, Dwarf, Hobbit, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Gnome

Human, Elf, Dwarf, Hobbit, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Gnome

Human, Elf, Dwarf, Hobbit, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Gnome

Plot

The evil wizard Mangar the Dark has frozen the lands surrounding the little walled town of Skara Brae. Evil creatures roam unchecked, the town militia have been eliminated and only a handful of adventurers can save theday.

Saradon, a famed wizard has contacted you and asked for your help in retrieving the pieces of the broken Destiny Wand from seven Snares of Death. You must defeat the evil Archmage Lagoth Zanta, reforge the scepter and reunify the Realm.

Revenging your defeat of his evil minion Mangar the Dark, the Mad God Tarjan has returned and Skara Brae lies in ruins. You must travel to the seven dimensions to seek the evil one and destroy him. If you succeed in this, Skara Brae will be restored.

Comments

Very clever (if not diabolical) dungeon designs.

Great idea – Real time kicks in once you enter the Snares of Death!

Annoying code-wheel copy protection. Good story line

Fan Links      
Publisher Links      

Notes:      1) The Bard's Tale was the first Fantasy Role Playing Game that I played and you probably guessed that a particular group of characters became my favourites.  They were ported to the next games, and the narrative above follows their adventures in sequence.  I know the release order of Dragon Wars and The Thief of Fate is transposed but I think it tells a better tale that way!  And yes!  I know some will argue that Dragon Wars has nothing to do with The Bard's Tale - but I transferred my characters and I enjoyed that game!!  So :P to you!!

                2)  BTCS or The Bard Tale Construction Set was released later, allowing 'custom' Bard's Tale worlds to be created, I wish I'd known about the patches (!) and a number of them are available ... there is still an active fan base out there, and one day perhaps Electronic Arts and / or Interplay may be persuaded to release a Bard's Tale IV....

                3) Devil Whiskey is something to keep an eye on, we also refer to Bard's Legacy above ... a dedicated group of adventurous artists and programmers have been working on these projects for nearly three years, a demo release was made available late in 2003 and the full game boxed set is due to be available for mail order in early 2004! 

Now available ... you may download the free demo from here ... check out their website at devilwhiskey.com ... purchase Decklin's Domain Demo Disk or pre-order the box set ... shipping 1st Quarter 2004.





 http://www.geocities.com/thebardstale/index.html  is highly recommended as is Tom Greene's Adventurers Guild
which may be reached by the webring link below ...

 

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Decklin's Domain
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Revised - 2004/January/26
Contact -
decklin@pacbell.net
URL -
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