Backer Beta Update & New Website!
TL: DR - Backer Beta info, New Website, Bonus Backer Goodies
Backer Beta Update
Hi all, Paul here with a quick update! To start off, many of you have asked, so we wanted to share a quick head's up with you: the Backer Beta is coming out this July, and while we don't have a set date to announce yet, it will be in the earlier part of the month. Stay tuned for more information on the beta as we get closer to its release!
We wanted to reach out because we announced the launch of our new website on Wednesday: http://bardstale.com! The site is mainly for folks looking to discover more about the game, but there are a couple of items that are of interest to you (since you are getting them), so we wanted to share a first look at them with you!
Part of the new website is a suite of pre-order packages for non-backers. If you have any friends that have been following the game or might be interested, we would be grateful if you helped spread the word. The pre-orders include a pair of new in-game items - Kael's Axe and the Fire Horn! Returning fans will recognize both names as two of the more powerful weapons from the original Bard's Tale. While these items are special pre-order bonuses for new players, every backer receiving a copy of the game ($20 pledge level and above) will be receiving these items for FREE, so you've got these returning classics to look forward to wielding against your enemies! It's our way of saying thanks for backing the game and helping us to reach this point! Each item has its own story, and we'd like to share that with you in a first look.
Centuries before Mangar encircled Skara Brae in ice, the great bard Kael, one of the founders of the Adventurers Guild, had been given foresight of the city's peril in a dream. Kael thought to kill the Dark One before he struck, so he commissioned from the elves an enchanted axe. Weapon in hand, he then sought Mangar's tower, which manifested like a cancer in many realms throughout the ages.
Though the axe defeated all the enemies which Kael faced, it sadly could not protect him from the madness which seeped from the tower's walls, leaving him gibbering and lost before he was able to confront Mangar.
No one knew what became of Kael or his axe until those days of icy doom in Skara Brae when a brave band of adventurers entered the tower and defeated Mangar at last. It is said that they found poor Kael in his resting place within the city's catacombs, along with his now legendary weapon.
Since then, it has been passed from adventurer to adventurer, always given to one from whom great things are expected. Now it is yours, but its secrets must be unlocked through cleverness and valor. Fortunately, you have also been given a few pages from the journal of the last hero so honored, and these may - if read carefully - help you reveal the long-forgotten powers of Kael's Axe.
The Fire Horn is a relic from long before the days of the Three Great Evils. It was forged by the dwarven smiths of the Haernhold, having been commissioned by King Aildrek of the Baed to make for him a battle horn that would set aflame the ships of Gotten raiders before they could enter Skara Brae's harbor. This was before Aildrek became known as the Witch King, so the dwarves did not yet know of his villainy. They were soon to learn.
In good faith the dwarves crafted the horn and delivered it to Aildrek's castle in Skara Brae. The Fire Horn was presented to him with great ceremony...along with their bill. Aildrek, however, insisted that he test the horn before he paid for it and, putting it to his lips, blew a note at the dwarven smiths, turning them all into smoking ash.
By the time word of this barbaric treachery reached the Haernhold, Aildrek had revealed his true nature, prompting an uprising against him. The dwarves sent a champion to aid Skara Brae and recover the horn, but though Aildrek was defeated, the horn was never found. It remained lost until a century later when Baron Harkyn occupied the castle and betrayed his people to Mangar the Dark. The legend goes that the brave adventurers discovered the horn in the depths of the castle and used it to defeat the baron's corrupted berserker horde.
Since then, as the tales tell, the horn has always appeared when Skara Brae was in deepest peril. Now, with new evils rising, the Fire Horn has appeared to you. Claim it and light the way (and your foes) to victory!
Regarding the Fire Horn, this has been a long wait for me. A year ago, we did a backer survey asking about which returning weapons you most wanted to see. We didn't list the Fire Horn, and easily our largest write-in answer was "FIRE HORN!!!" and variants thereof! I'm pleased to finally let you know that the Fire Horn is making a triumphant return!
The launch of the website represents another milestone as we quickly approach the release of The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep. As an added peek behind the curtain, if you look at the pre-order tiers, you can get a first glimpse of what some of your backer digital and physical rewards are going to look like when you receive them! Take a look, let us know what you think, and please help us to continue spreading the word out in the world and across social media! Thanks for your time, and for those of you in the U.S., have a great Memorial Day weekend!
Until Next Time,
Public Relations & Community Manager