The official Bard's Tale: Tales of the Unknown Clue Book was written by T.L. Thomson for Electronic Arts in 1986. He was helped by John P. Manley and Maryrose Doherty, and the book was edited by Nicholas Lavroff.
The book is presented as being the war diary of Lord Garrick, who, together with his band of adventurers, fought his way through the dungeons of Skara Brae right up to the uppermost level of Mangar's Tower. The narrative is introduced by an old man named Pellis.
The clue book does not offer a complete solution of the game, but provides many useful hints as well as basic maps of all the dungeons. Traps, stairs and other important features, however, are not marked, so there is still enough left for the player to discover.
Lord Garrick's Diary Edit
The clue book's narrative is not really conclusive about the (fictional) characters featured. The narrator Lord Garrick tells that a paladin was killed in the Wine Cellar by mad dogs. It is uncertain whether this paladin was Isli and thus subsequently revived.
Three out of eleven adventurers fled when they were confronted with the horrors of the Catacombs.
Four other adventurers were killed by the Berserker legions in the castle.
There are five main characters whose names are mentioned.
- Lord Garrick, the leader; a paladin
- Corfid the Bard
- Ghaklah the Magician
- Isli the Paladin
- Soriac the Archmage
These survived until the uppermost level of Mangar's Tower, but were eventually trapped. Only one of them, the female paladin Isli, escaped with Lord Garrick's diary and brought it back to Pellis.
The author used some poetic license, as certain elements of his story do not tie in with the gameplay. For example, there are no female characters in Bard's Tale I. Also, an archmage as a character class is not available in the first game.
- "The Bard's Tale leichtgemacht", in: Happy Computer Sonderheft 24: Spiele-Sonderheft, pp. 27-34. (A German translation by Anatol Locker and Heinrich Lenhardt, authorized by Electronic Arts)