The Let's Play Archive

The Bard's Tale

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 45: Chapter 11 - 01

UPDATE: All Google Videos are now up.

Thanks to everyone who helped fill up the page so I didn't have five image-heavy updates on one page


Stromness is the start of the last Act of the game. There's a lot of action in the last act, and also the longest stretches without funny stuff. Perhaps the developers got tired, but for whatever reason, the game starts to drag around this part. One nice thing about Stromness is that it tells the story of what happened there, but not through exposition. You have to figure it out for yourself. Here's my tale...

Chapter 11-01

As the town of Stromness grew larger on the horizon, the Bard recalled the words of Mary MacRary.

Mary MacRary: I hear that Stromness is lovely this time of year. Perhaps you should go for a visit.

Welcome to Stromness

: However, as the Bard approached the small Viking town, it was apparent that things were dead... literally. Hell had already made its way to Stromness, and the Bard as usual, was right on its tail.

The Draugr at the gate scowled at the Bard.

Draugr 1: We don't allow your kind in here.
: And what kind is that? Bards?
Draugr 1: No... the living.

: You mean the only way to get into this town is to die?
Draugr 1: Yessss... however, we can help you out with that, free of charge.
: Quite neighborly of you.
Draugr 1: We aim to please.
: I don't want any trouble. God knows I've had more then my fair share. All I want to do is get to that island with the big tower. Do you know the way?

Draugr 1: The only way is through this town, or should I say, was through this town... through the Firbolg mines. But it needn't concern you, you'll not stay alive lone. Nobody does.
Draugr 2: Well, other than that crazy old butcher and the shopkeeper, we've been having a little trouble getting to them.
Draugr 1: Yes, good old Hatcher the butcher. He's been nuts ever since he was driven off his farm.
: Here's how I see it. I need to get to the island. So... I might as well just fight you... because, heh, whether I live or die, I get in.
Draugr 1: Well, you have a point there.
: Obviously. Shall we begin?

Once through the gate, the Bard surveyed the damage. Almost the entire town had been razed to the ground. Corpses were scattered everywhere, many still wielding broken weapons.

The Bard decided to head for the docks, to see if a boat was available.

A shimmering barrier cut the docks off from town. There was no boat in sight, but there was a light on in a shack at the end of one of the docks.

The Bard hesitatingly stepped up to the barrier and touched it. Nothing happened. He then stepped through, expecting at the very least that his summons would vanish.

Nothing happened.

"Huh..." the Bard said, "I wonder what all this is about."

He soon got his answer, for a Draugr spotted the Bard and charged with a snarl. The Bard raised his weapon, but when the undead Viking touched the barrier it vanished in a puff of dust.

: Now THAT is useful.

The Bard went to the shack, which bore a sign: "Crazy Thorvald's War Emporium".

The Bard noted some hastily made signs nailed up to the door.

The Bard knocked on the door.

No Zombies Allowed

Crazy Thorvald: Go away! Can't you read?

: I'm a traveler who needs to purchase some wares.
Crazy Thorvald: Ha! I've fallen for that one before. Are you dead?
: Do I sound dead?
Crazy Thorvald: Yes!
: I assure you I'm not. Just let me in.

Crazy Thorvald: Well you see, I can't take that chance. If you go and grab that crazy butcher and bring him back with you, I will let you in. I trust him.
: You don't trust me, but you trust a crazy butcher... That makes sense.
Crazy Thorvald: Crazy is my middle name. No go away!

The Bard followed the docks along the shore. Until he spotted someone standing on one of them.

Trow at the Docks - NN

Trow at the Docks - SN

Trow at the Docks - NS

Trow at the Docks - SS

Peerie Trow: Good day to you my friend, you must be lost to find yourself in this god forsaken town, It seems that the dead are not doing a very good job of staying dead.

: Don't worry, my friend, I won't be staying long, my quest lies elsewhere.
Peerie Trow: Oh, a quest! How esciting! Perhaps I can help you with a magical tune, if you think you're worthy.

: I don't know how worthy I am, but I do know I could use the help. If you'd be so kind, I can use all the help I can get.
Peerie Trow: It'd be my pleasure and honor to help a nice lad such as yourself. Please let me teach you this tune, I hope it'll help you on your journey.

Experience: 880

Upgraded Fire Elemental
Mana Cost: 100 -> 200
Health: 110 -> 195
Melee Damage: 1-5
Ranged Damage: (14-30) -> (26-50)
Armor: (0-0) -> (1-2)

The Upgraded Fire Elemental looks more impressive then it is. The health is good, but the weak armor means it still dies quickly. This is mostly because the fireballs it flings cause enemies to rush up to attack it, and the Elemental is terribly weak in melee combat.

: The Bard turned to look back at Stromness. Draughr were rushing towards him in bunches, smashing fruitlessly against the magical barrier.

: It was becoming clear to the Bard that in Stromness a population boom was in progress. Whenever he killed one Draugr, there was another popping up to take its place. Our hero was in a definite die/die situation.

In most of the game, there are a fixed number of enemies in a map, and you can kill them all. But in Stromness, a constant supply of Draughr keep spawning in.

: So uh, what exactly has been happening here.
Peerie Trow: Well a few weeks ago, the Undead suddenly started rising from the grave and slaughtering the townsfolk, it was really quite exciting!. Some villagers escaped by sea, and other fled the town, but most of the survivors holed up in the Kirk across town. The Priest put up a magical barrier to shield the Kirk, and the villagers started shooting arrows. But it didn't do any good, the Draughr just kept coming. After three days, supplies in the Kirk were running low, so everyone decided to make a run for the docks. Well, except for mad old Hatcher, of course. He's waiting for his son to come back, he's off looking for some kind of mystical weapon or something. Many people died in the run for the docks, of course, but some made it. The priest put up a barrier to shield the docks. The Draughr had naturally burned most of the boats already, but the villagers tore the docks and boathouses apart to make crude rafts.
: What's with the crazy old bugger in the War Emporium?
Peerie Trow: Oh, Thorvald's always been a bit soft in the head, and after more then a week of fending off the undead at his shop, all by himself without a wink o' sleep, his mind totally snapped. He refused to come out when the villagers tried to get him to join them on the rafts, so they left him behind.
: Wow, that's quite a story.
Peerie Trow: You should speak to my brother, I think he's still around the Kirk across town. He's a bit of a sarcastic sort, so don't be afraid to really give him a good ribbing.
: Good advice, thanks.

So the Bard headed across town, looking for the local kirk. It wasn't hard to spot, as most of the other buildings had been leveled.

It wasn't exactly a peaceful stroll, but finally the Bard made it.

He found the Peerie Trow beside the Kirk, just like the Trow at the docks had said.

Trow at the Kirk - SS

Trow at the Kirk - SN

Trow at the Kirk - NN

There is no unique dialogue for the Nice-Snarky path

Peerie Trow: Good Day to you, my traveling friend, you are either very brave, or very stupid to be wandering around this town today. In case you haven't noticed, the dead seem to be rising from their graves.

: Really? I hadn't noticed. I'm just out scouting locations for some land to build a house on. I was thinking of retiring here.
Peerie Trow: Oh ha ha ha! A sarcastic one are you? A man I can relate to. Perhaps I can help you with a magical tune, if you think you're worthy.

: Thus far on this journey, I've only met two types of people, those that have helped me, and those that I've killed. Which type are you?
Peerie Trow: Excellent! It'll be my honor to help out a nasty sort of a man like yourself. Please take this tune and use it in good health.

Experience: 880

Upgraded Gouger
Mana Cost: 200 -> 400
Health: 250 -> 390
Damage: (14-30) -> (21-45)
Armor: (2-6) -> (3-7)

: Most appreciated. But why do I get the feeling that you're holding out on me?
Peerie Trow: Why I'm insulted. I give you a tune with nothing in return, and you accuse me of cheating you.

The Bard looked out at the gathering group of Draugr outside the magical barrier.
: My, it certainly looks nasty out there. How long do you bet you'd last if I tossed out out of this nice, safe area?
Peerie Trow: Oh, alright, I'll tell you what I know, just because I like you. When the trouble started, one of the villagers was killed by a Draugr south of the graveyard. His friend cut the Draugr down, but instead of taking the armor back to the dead man; family, instead he had a mind o keep it for himself. He hid it in a chest south of the graveyard. He probably figured he'd come back for it later after the trouble died down, but the daft fool got cut down as he was runnin' for the gate.
: Thanks, that could come in handy.

So the Bard headed south, through the graveyard, with Draugr nipping at his heels the whole way.

He found a hide-a-purse stump, but it didn't contain anything but adder stones and silver.

There was some minor resistance along the way.

But eventually, the Bard did indeed find what he sought.

The armor inside was sleek and old, and very, very tough.

The Armor of Llyr is the best armor in the game.

The Bard made his way back to the Kirk with some difficulty, hoping that Hatcher the Butcher could help him find his way to the island tower.

Meet Hatcher

WHAT IF: You speak to Hatcher without the Shadow Axe?

: You must be that crazy old butcher I've heard abut.
Hatcher: Ah, I thought I'd never see you gain!
: Excuse me?

Hatcher: D-Don't play games with me Garret, I though I remembered the Draugr getting you, but I guess I was wrong, cause here you are!
: I think you've got the wrong person.
Hatcher: Oh, don't be stupid! How could I not know my own brother?
: Ah, yes well then I guess you're right. It's been a long time eh... uh, brother.
Hatcher: Yes, it has been. It's been rough here these last few weeks trying t survive alone. Well, there's the old shopkeeper, but heh heh, he's crazy.

: It's a shame when your only companion is a crazy person, isn't it?
Hatcher: You can say that again. Why, ever since... my boy *sniff* my only son...
: You all right there... brother?

Hatcher looked at the Bard and saw the Shadow Axe slung across his back for the first time.

Hatcher: What? William? William! It is you! Oh, my son I can't believe it's you; I thought you lost. When you went off looking for that axe...

: Overcome with joy at seeing his son again, Hatcher embraced him.

: Oh gods, get off me old man.
Hatcher: Oh, no shame in public affection, my boy, you're my only son and there's nobody else around... well nobody living, except maybe that crazy shopkeep...

: I hate to interrupt... uh, father, but do you know the way to the Firbolg mines?
Hatcher: What? Of course I do my boy, you know our farm is right next to the mine entrance. Why our families' been trading with those Firbolg for generations.
: Great! Let's go to the farm... dad. Ummm you had better lead the way, all this excitement has caused me to forget which way it is.
Hatcher: We must head through the graveyard.

: Of course, naturally, through the graveyard. Just once it would be nice if the way to get someplace was through a field of flowers.
: The Bard couldn't help but think that once this was all over, he had a new friend he could share a drink with. He was in fact quite overwhelmed by the thrill of spending hours on end with the Crazy ol' Butcher.

: Oh shut up! That's not what I'm thinking and you know it!
Hatcher: What was that son?
: Nothing... you crazy old buzzard.. I mean father.

Experience: 2750

Now begins... An Escort Mission. These are almost always a pain. In this one it's OK to let Hatcher die, you get the key anyway. But if he dies before reaching the store, you can't get in, and if he dies at all, you miss out on the best bow in the game.

Hatcher's Tour, Part 1

As the Bard struggled with Draugr swarming them , Hatcher took the time to point out local sights and attractions.

Hatcher: This is the tree that I fell out of and broke my wrist.
: Aren't we lucky it wasn't your neck.

Hatcher: Oooo! I can still smell Misty's sweet buns!
: What!
Hatcher: Best bakery in town.

Finally, Hatcher stepped into the safe zone on the docks.

Once again the Bard knocked on the door to Crazy Thorvald's War Emporium.

Hatcher and Crazy Thorvald

Crazy Thorvald: I don't see the Butcher with you. Go away!

Hatcher: I-It's OK my friend. It's me Hatcher and my wife Hilde... let us in.

Crazy Thorvald: Oh yes, how silly of me. You're looking as lovely as ever Hilde.

: I'm gonna kill somebody pretty soon.

Crazy Thorvald: Ah, and the same lovely temperament.

With that, Crazy Thorvald opened the door.

All Movies:

Welcome to Stromness

No Zombies Allowed

Trow at the Docks - NN

Trow at the Docks - SN

Trow at the Docks - NS

Trow at the Docks - SS

Trow at the Kirk - SS

Trow at the Kirk - SN

Trow at the Kirk - NN

Meet Hatcher

WHAT IF: You go to Stromness before getting the Axe

Hatcher's Tour, Part 1

Hatcher and Crazy Thorvald