As you know, it's been a couple of weeks since our campaign concluded, and we've been working behind the scenes on pre-production as we work to solidify details on the game. You can expect our updates to slow down for the coming weeks and months until we have more tangible details to share with you guys. But for today, we have a quick update to cover a few odds and ends.
The Story Concludes
During our Kickstarter campaign our backers were able to unlock a series of social media achievements. With each achievement unlocked, we in turn updated progress on a dungeon map, along with an ongoing story told by our lead writer Nathan Long.
With the campaign now concluded and 21 achievements/rooms unlocked total, Nathan concluded the Enclave of the Fairy Host story, which gives a bit of insight into the game's tone, lore and characters. You can see the final two chapters below, and for those who haven't been following along, the full story and dungeon map are available here.
Seven chanting Einarr in white robes surround a pair of jewel encrusted elven sarcophagi, which look to have been those of a king and queen. Leading the chant is an Einarr Gottblut priest with a sacrificial knife in one hand and a pure white albino raven struggling in the other.
"What’s all that about?” rumbles Galli.
“An invocation of binding and compulsion,” says Anders. “He is trying to compel the ghosts of the royal couple to reveal some secret.”
“And we have to stop them or die,” says Fiona.
“Damned elves,” says Galli, then starts forward with a sigh. “Let’s get to it.”
Shanko bounds ahead of him, shrieking at the top of his voice and showing them his knobby middle finger. “Hey, you dirty crow fondlers, fondle this bird!”
The priest looks up, startled, and loses his grip on the raven. It flaps away, screeching, as the Einarr throw back their robes and draw their swords. This is it. You charge in after Shanko and Galli.
It’s a brutal fight. The Gottblut priest counters every one of Ander’s spells, leaving the rest of you to face the Einarr warriors without any support but for Fiona’s musical encouragements.
Fortunately, Galli’s hammer is a blurring whirlwind, and Shanko is as slippery and deadly as a dire eel, leaping from the sarcophagi, hamstringing Einarr from behind before they even know he’s there, while Lioslaith’s spear is everywhere, stabbing, tripping, breaking heads.
Finally there is only the priest, calling on his gods and shaping lightning in his hands as you close in on him. But before you can reach him, spectral forms rise from the sarcophagi of the elven king and queen and their hands reach through his chest and touch his heart.
The priest shrieks and convulses, then drops to the floor, twisted and dead. Without a word, the king and queen sink back into their biers and the room is silent again.
“So is that it?” asks Fiona, looking around. “Can we go?”
“You may not go,” says the ghostly elf woman, stepping though the wall. “One of your number did not keep the compact. One of your number knocked a jewel from the sarcophagus of the queen during the fight and put it in his pocket. Your doom is upon you!”
A host of ghostly elven warriors steps through the walls after her and starts to surround you.
Everybody turns on the trow, weapons drawn. “Shanko!”
As you close in on him - and the ghostly elven warriors close in on you - Shanko pulls the jewel from his pocket, gibbering. "I didn't steal it! I put it away so nobody would step on it! I'm the hero here!"
"You've killed us, Shanko!" says Fiona. "That's not what the hero does."
"I give it back!" he squeals. "I give it back! Here! Take it, you tree loving swindlers!" He hurls the gem at the ghosts, then scrambles for the door you entered earlier. "Come on! We've got a clear road back! Run for it!"
You all race after him, dodging and flinching though the ranks of the fairy host, and dive for the door.
As you run into the room, you realize you must have got turned around somehow. This is not the room where you killed the Einarr guards. This is a room you've never seen before, with a big banquet table in the middle set for a feast, and towering candelabra all around, dripping wax on the marble floor.
The one thing the room doesn't have is another door. There is no way out, and the door you just came through vanishes the second you turn to face it.
As you search desperately for another exit, the spectral king and queen and the rest of the fairy host floats through the wall like so much mist, but they don't attack you. Instead they take their seats at the table, all except the elf who asked you for help in the first place.
She stands by the table and bows to the king and queen, who sit side by side at the center of their court. "Your majesties," she says. "The feast may now continue. We have found you new servants at last."
"Not on your life!" snarls Galli. "I'll smash the lot of you before I wait table for a bunch of..."
He trails off as he sees that his warhammer, which he raised to threaten the elves, is actually a ladle. He looks down. He's wearing a servant's tunic. You all are. Your armor and weapons are gone, as are your shoes, and you wear golden slave torques around your necks.
The ghostly elf turns to you and smiles. "Please. They are waiting. Serve the soup."
Backer Site Progress
Last week we had the final pledge data from Kickstarter collected, and our production team has been working through that data, getting it ready for importing into our own backer site, and of course, building the backer web site itself. There are many moving parts involved, and while we have a great base to build off with our previous campaigns, every campaign is also a little different in terms of its exact needs.
We did want to give you a quick sense of where we're at, though. First, we'll have our backer account system, where you'll be able to manage your rewards and add-ons by selecting them from a list. You'll also be able to make brand-new pledges, if there was an add-on you missed first time around, or if you wanted to upgrade your pledge.
Beyond that, we're hoping to have a number of features that we'll be taking advantage of as time goes on, such as a news posting system, and galleries for screenshots, wallpapers, and video. Many of these features made it to our other web sites later on, but we're hoping to have these earlier for our Bard's Tale site so that you'll have information on the game in one convenient place.
Keep an eye out for more information. We'll alert you through a Kickstarter update as soon as the backer site is ready for you to check out.
Underworld Ascendant Offer
Many of you might know about Underworld Ascendant, another dungeon crawler that funded on Kickstarter earlier this year. Produced by OtherSide Entertainment, we recognized that there was a lot of overlap between The Bard's Tale IV and Underworld Ascendant. So, we've partnered with OtherSide to bring you an exclusive summer offer for backers of both games!
Fans who backed at least $20 for both Underworld Ascendant's and Bard's Tale's Kickstarters will receive a free $5 coupon towards Underworld Ascendant. This applies both to existing backers of Underworld Ascendant, as well as brand-new ones. The coupon can be used towards upgrading your current pledge tier or for any add-on and will be distributed through OtherSide's backer system.
This offer is valid through the last day of summer on September 23rd. Just one more way to enjoy the remaining days of summer!
That's all for now, but keep an eye out for more updates in the near future.
Project Lead – The Bard's Tale IV