The Bard's Archive



The Mad One Returns...

I pray my body does not fail me before I am able to complete this most important missive. I pray as well that, somehow, the heroes who once before saved Skara Brae will find this accounting and act upon it. I leave this record so those who come after will know what horrors that the Mad God Tarjan has perpetrated, and so that they will not be lulled into believing that Skara Brae was his sole target.

How can I describe that day. Nay, it did not begin like all others, for on that day we celebrated the victory over Mangar that had so recently liberated our city. Bards from the world over arrived in Skara Brae to play and herald the brave deeds of those heroes who saved us. The townspeople danced in the streets with happiness, and the great festival filled all with an overwhelming joy of life and renewed hope for the future.

Then Mangar's Master, The Mad God Tarjan, arrived to reduce our day of celebration into a day of mourning. His shadow sank the city into pitiless black oblivion. Foul creatures that had festered in his flesh like maggots burst forth to assault fair Skara Brae. People ran, but could not run swiftly enough to escape. Tarjan's minions left none untouched.

Forgive the shakiness of my script, for life ebbs painfully from my body as I write. Tarjan, mocking my death curse, told me Skara Brae was merely one in a series of conquests he had long contemplated to complete his revenge. He laughed when I said heroes would come to destroy his mad plan, yet I sensed fear in his voice when I promised that the legendary Hawkslayer, and those who defeated Mangar, would return again to triumph. As payment for my threat, he gave a swift twist of his jewelled sword into my belly.

Tarjan must be stopped. Whosoever reads this, you must get word to the heroes. This will be their greatest challenge, for upon their efforts rests the fate of more than Skara Brae, more than the Six Cities of the plains. Their failure will mean the extinction of all life - save for the wretched Tarjan and his servile parasites. Pray for success... and life renewed.

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