The Let's Play Archive

The Bard's Tale

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 14: Chapter 1 - 07b

My new computer is working, now the annoying part: Re-installing everything. That'll take at least a day. No update tomorrow, even if I didn't have stuff to do, I haven't recorded more then 4 shots of the dungeon. I'm not even sure how long the next update will be, if it's short, I can combine it with the boring part of the next Kirkwall update.

Anyone have any idea where the Bard's Tale hides its saved games? I can't find them, not in the install directory, not in "My Documents/My Games", not in "Documents and Settings/User"...

Chapter 1 - 07b

Darraud - Snarky

Darraud - Nice

The dialogue doesn't change if you switch gears mid conversation, but the end result does, and I'll show that when we collect our reward.

: And the gift of gab, Old Timer. So, tell me where might I find a bit of silver and I'll be out of your hair. What's left of it.
Darraud: Oh, I know how you might come by some money, you impudent rascal! For it's a cruel Bugbear that's been keepin' the farmers from observin' their rituals in the Houton Cairn. Without 'em, the crops won't grow and the wee'uns go hungry.

: So it's a bit of killing you want done, eh? Fair enough, but I should warn you, my blade doesn't come cheap.

Darraud: It's a hard young man ye are, to be sure, and ought to be kinder to your elders. As for the Bugbear, you;ll find him in the cairn. When you're done with him, come back here and we'll pay you what we can.
: Hold on a minute... you keep talkin' about Bugbears. Ha. There ain no such a thing. They're mythical creatures! Made up to scare children into being good. While I'm in there, any other fictional creatures causing you trouble? Man-eating unicorns, perhaps?

The Bard grinned at his own cleverness, but Darraud was unfazed. A slight smile creased his face as he spoke, "Well, if there's no such thing as Bugbears, then I guess you should have an easy time of it, shouldn't you."

The smirk faded on the Bard's face, and he walked out of the broch with a faint sense of unease. He made his way to the Cairn, and outside he paused to remind himself, "There's no such thing as Bugbears."

The Bard unlocked the door to the cairn with the key Darraud had given him. It opened with a nasty creak. The Bard gave his eyes a few moments to adjust to the gloom. He heard rats moving and squeaking in the shadows.

The Bard moved slowly down the hall. Each footstep echoed before him, announcing his presence to the entire cave. The Bard could see the altar of the cairn bathed in light from some hidden window, but as he stepped forward, he realized something had subtly changed in the atmosphere. It took him a moment to realize what it was. The rats had gone silent.

Suddenly something slammed into the Bard from a hidden side passage, slamming him against the wall and knocking the wind out of him. The Bard's claymore fell from his hands. "Grrrrarrrrr!" the creature said.

The Bard frantically punched at the creature with his left hand while trying to draw his broadsword with his right. With a quick tug it came free and the Bard slashed at the creature, which retreated back into the small tunnel from where it had come. The Bard recovered his two-handed sword and leaned heavily against the wall as he waited for his heart to stop racing.

The Bard had indeed recognized the picture from a book he had once flipped through. Naturally, at the time he'd been checking to see if it was a hollowed-out book filled with treasure.

The Bard immediately rejected the idea of following the Bugbear down its tunnel, which was too narrow for proper use of the claymore, not to mention pitch black.

Something about that nagged at the Bard. "I thought Bugbears were supposed to be these great huge brutes, but this one couldn't a been more then 5 foot 6 at most. And that sound... there was something not right about it."

: Could it have been that the Bugbear said Grrrrr, instead of growling it?
: Yeah... yeah that's it.

The Bard continued to the main room of the cairn, with the altar where the farmer of Houton made their offerings. A shaft of light from some hidden opening on the cavern roof landed on the altar, giving the whole room a mystical feel.

This was a sacred place, which the Bard wasted no time in defiling by opening up the offering chest in search of valuables.

From the altar room, two passages went in opposite directions further into the rock. The Bard chose one at random, but he hadn't quite made it out of the altar room before he detected the floor shift unnaturally under his feet. He quickly dived and rolled just as spikes shot up from the floor underneath him. Unfortunately, he rolled right into the waiting arms of the Bugbear, which sprung upon him from another hidden tunnel, swiping at the Bard a couple of times before retreating.

The Bard continued down the tunnel cautiously, and the Bugbear leapt out at him once again, but our hero was ready and fended the beast off without taking a hit.

The Bard pushed open a crude door made stone, carefully balanced with hidden pulleys and weights. A well-used passage continued further down, but the Bard spotted another stone door off to the side. Pushing it open cautiously, he walked in the room, expecting another ambush to come at any point, but all he found was a chest.

The Bard pried it open with the tip of his boot before diving backwards. When no trap sprung, the Bard peered inside and grinned.

The Bard headed down the tunnel towards what he presumed to be the lair of the Bugbear.

The tunnel curved back towards the left and ended in a large room with another tunnel leading out of it, presumably back to the altar room. There were several spike traps in the floor, but they didn't trigger when the Bard "accidentally" shoved the Heroine onto them, so the Bard decided that they were fairly safe to walk on. There were several levers in various corners of the room, which the Bard was wary of.

There was no sign of the Bugbear, or any indication that this was its lair, but there was a large chest, padlocked securely.

The Bard approached it, confident he could pick the lock... if he wasn't disturbed, that is.

He was about to be disturbed.

The Bard confidently swung his huge claymore at the creature, giving it a nasty gash. But the Bugbear had other tricks.

It flung a pouch to the floor of the cave, where it burst and sent up a cloud of choking dust. Through watering eyes, the Bard saw that his dog and summoned creatures were also incapacitated the same manner he was.

The Bard was unable to move, and saw the Bugbear moving towards one of the levers. The Bard remembered the spike traps filling the room, and he had a nasty premonition about what the levers would do.

For once, the Bard hated to be right.

The powders effects wore off and the Bard once again got in a couple swipes at the creature before another bag of the damnable powder choked his lungs and eyes.

Eventually though, the Bard prevailed against the fearsome creature... or so he thought...

The Bugbear raised its' arms and cowered in a gesture of submission, and then it did something the Bard didn't expect. It spoke.

The Bugbear Surrenders

The 'Bugbear' removed its' mask and revealed that it was actually Old Man Vinters, the eccentric fellow the Bard had met earlier that day.

Old Man Vinters: Please, don't kill me. Please! I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt anyone. Oh, I'm bleeding. I think you broke me arm. Ah! Is that a tooth!? I just spit out a tooth! Oh, not another tooth!

Old Man Vinters cowered in shame as the Bard once again couldn't find any words.

Old Man Vinters: Oh, look at me! Look at me! No! Don't look at me! Oh, hell, do what you want! I don't care! Go ahead and look! I'm not a bugbear! I'm just a dirty old bastard running around in a smelly old rug with a bucket for a head! Go ahead! Take all my silver! I don't need it anyway! I was saving it all up for a date with the Widow MacRary, until she found out I'm still living with me mother!

Old Man Vitners: Now she won't even speak to me! You know what else!? I'm forty-two and still a virgin! How pathetic is that!? Ahhh, just kill me! Please! Just get it over with!

The Bard shook his head in disbelief.

: You're just pathetic.

The wretch ran from the room sobbing to himself, and never showed his face in Houton again.

Experience: 250

The Bard then turned his attention to the chest of silver that contained Old Man Vitners life savings, as well as money stolen from the cairn offerings.

Touching the Bugbear's Chest

: Thank goodness the heroic Bard was present to STOP that horrible Bugbear from looting the tomb of all its' precious treasures.
: There must be nearly two thousand silver here! Ha ha! I'm rich, an' that's BEFORE that old fart hands over the reward for drivin' off - heh heh - the "bugbear".

Actually, there's always only 500 in the chest. The 2000 is for narrative purposes. You don't HAVE to take it, but it's a lot better then what Darraud gives you, and Old Man Vinters leaves it behind anyway.

The Bard returned to Darraud for his just reward.

Darraud - Just Snarky

Darraud - Just Nice

Darraud - Snarky and Nice

Darraud: Look who it is. The cock o' the walk ye are now, I'll bet, and just as nasty to your elders. Still, a deal's a deal, so here's your blood money, you spawn, and I hope you choke on it!

Only now did the Bard feel some small regret for being nasty to Darraud earlier, as the man tossed only 5 silver coins at the Bard's feet.

: Well, thanks for nothing you crazy old bastard!

If you're Nice both times to Darraud, you get 75 silver. If you're snarky and nice (in either order, it doesn't change the conversation), you get 35 silver.

The Bard left Darraud's broch in an extremely foul mood.

"Who does that old coot think he is?" the Bard grumbled, "I was going to return the money... well, minus a twenty-five percent finders fee of course."
: How charitable of you.
: Screw this wretched town. I'm never coming back here.

But as the Bard was on his way out, he caught a glimpse of a sign posted. It read "Authentyc Treasur map for Sale. See Seamus in the Smithee."

"And what better revenge could there be," the Bard grinned to himself, "then blowing the bag of stolen loot on some tattered old map."

Let's Buy a Treasure Map

Seamus: Peekin' at my map, are you? I can tell you this much; it's as old as the hills an' chock-full of danger and delight. The fellow I had it from said there's plenty of frights to make things hot, plenty of X's markin' the spot.
: Just what I was looking for.

The Bard plunked the sacks of pilfered coins onto the countertop, making it creak dangerously under the weight.

Seamus: I'm filthy stinkin' rich I am! All that silver for a scrap of a map I had off a wizened old bugger for the price of a piece o' bread! Ah ha ha ha! Well so long and farewell, good sir, I'm off to Dounby to spend me days drunk as a lord and ticklin' every lass I can lay hand to. Ah, bless you sir! Bless you and goodbye!!

With that, the Bard was hustled out the door so fast he didn't have a chance to speak, as Seamus nailed up sign up outside his show that read "Closed: Foreever!"

The Bard paused and considered what he'd done. He'd had the four thousand silver for only a scarce few minutes, and he had managed to blow something he could have retired on in barely the space to takes to draw a breath.

"Well, there's nothin' for it now but to see if the map is real after all," the Bard sighed resignedly.

But sure enough, the map did indeed lead to a forbidding old fortress hidden by thick forests.

The Bard took a deep breath and approached the rotting door...

All Movies:

Darraud - Snarky

Darraud - Nice

The Bugbear Surrenders

Touching the Bugbear's Chest

Darraud - Just Snarky

Darraud - Just Nice

Darraud - Snarky and Nice

Let's Buy a Treasure Map