Bard's Tale Lore

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"Harkyn's Castle..."


Harkyn's Castle is the home of Baron Harkyn, located in the northwestern-most corner of Skara Brae, and watched over by enormous stone guardians.

Within its walls are located a number of treacherous rooms, traps, hosts of Harkyn's thugs, and a number of prized possessions. Many of its walls were decorated with ornate tapestries, and the Harkyn's very throne1 was built with the stature of a king, even rigged to hide the entrance to the rest of Harkyn's domain, revealed only by those with musical prowess.

Slaves were known to live in the castle, guarded by Mangar Guards. Legions of berserkers were housed in large barracks. A deathly prison cell saw the end of many pitied souls. All this contrasted only by the presence of a well-kept library.

The "Temple of 100 Blessings" just outside the castle door, behind the protection of his guardians, was also surely home to Harkyn's supernatural guides and advisors.

Harkyn also stored a number of valuable items within his walls:
  • A Crystal Sword sat guarded by a monstrous Jabberwock
  • The powerful Ybarrashield was hidden in a shadowy corner of the domain
  • An old man, whether hired or covertly residing without Harkyn's knowledge, protected a significant artifact - a Silver Square

Most notably, however, was a very unique, special monument, likely Harkyn's object of worship. A 15 foot tall stone statue of a warrior, missing one eye, was kept in a deep corner of the upper level of the castle. Surrounded by spinners and magic-killing wards to deter any ill-prepared visitors, this statue was an inanimate container for the Mad God Tarjan himself.

Both Lord Garrick and the heroes who rescued Skara Brae encountered this statue, and had to face this powerful being in battle. However, it turns out that this... apparation perhaps, was only a brief taste of the evil Tarjan. After Mangar's ultimate defeat, Tarjan, revealing that he was himself never truly defeated, would later return to the realm of Skara Brae in person2, this time with a vengeance

Trivia

  • Harkyn's Castle levels were designed by Brian Fargo3

Footnotes

  1. BT1 Map: Harkyn's Castle level 1
  2. As the primary nemesis in Bard's Tale 3: The Thief of Fate
  3. Bard's Tale 1 Manual, Michael Cranford's acknowledgements

Related links and further reading:

Lore that links here:

Baron HarkynBerserkersCrystal SwordJabberwockMangar's TowerSkara Brae

Other pages that link here:

bt1bt1/walkthroughbt1/walkthrough/no%20adsbt1/walkthrough/no+ads

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Searching deeper...

Caution: Potential spoilers

Bard's Tale 1

Map texts and clues

Position: (0,19)
Content: Stairs up: Harkyn's Castle 2
Position: (9,0)
Content: "A wide corridor leads into Baron Harkyn's castle. Fabulous tapestries adorn the walls. The flickering torchlight casts strange shadows."
Position: (19,19)
Content: Portal up - Harkyn's Castle 3
Position: (0,19)
Content: Stairs down: Harkyn's Castle 1
Position: (19,19)
Content: Portal down - Harkyn's Castle 2
Position: (4,24)
Content: Harkyn's Castle
Position: (28,27)
Content: Teleport in: from Harkyn's Castle - level 3

Item Catalogue

Item: Robes (Location: Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, Sewers 1, 2, 3)
Item: Helm (Location: Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, Sewers 1, 2, 3)
Item: Leather Glvs (Location: Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, Sewers 1, 2, 3)
Item: Gauntlets (Location: Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, Sewers 1, 2, 3)
Item: Mandolin (Location: Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, Sewers 1, 2, 3)
Item: Harp (Location: Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, Sewers 1, 2, 3)
Item: Flute (Location: Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, Sewers 1, 2, 3)
Item: Mthr Sword (Location: Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, Sewers 1, 2, 3)
Item: Mthr Shield (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1,)
Item: Mthr Chain (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1,)
Item: Mthr Scale (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1,)
Item: Samurai Fgn (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1,)
Item: Bracers [6] (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1,)
Item: Bardsword (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1,)
Item: Fire Horn (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1,)
Item: Lightwand (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1,)
Item: Mthr Dagger (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Mthr Helm (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Mthr Gloves (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Mthr Axe (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Mthr Mace (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Mthr Plate (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Ogre Fgn (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Lak's Lyre (Location: Sewers 3, Catacombs 1, 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Shield Ring (Location: Catacombs 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Dork Ring (Location: Catacombs 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Fin's Flute (Location: Catacombs 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Kael's Axe (Location: Catacombs 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Blood Axe (Location: Catacombs 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Dayblade (Location: Catacombs 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Shield Staff (Location: Catacombs 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Elf Cloak (Location: Catacombs 2, 3, Harkyn's Castle 1, 2, 3)
Item: Hawkblade (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Admt Sword (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Admt Shield (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Admt Dagger (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Admt Helm (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Admt Gloves (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Admt Mace (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Broom (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Pureblade (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Exorwand (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Ali's Carpet (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Magic Mouth (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Luckshield (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Giant Fgn (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Admt Chain (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Admt Scale (Location: Kylearan's Tower, Mangar's Castle 1, Harkyn's Castle 2, 3)
Item: Crystal Sword (Effect: Special: Perma-kill Crystal Golem; Retrieved from Harkyn's Castle) (Location: Harkyn's Castle 1)
Item: Silvr Square (Location: Harkyn's Castle 2)

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