|Release date||9 May 2005 (Update)|
|High Alch||3 coins|
|Low Alch||2 coins|
|Store price||Not sold|
|This book must be really old!|
The Crumbling tome, or Legend of the Brothers, is found on a desk in a building just east of the entrance to the Barrows. It is also obtained from the Strange Old Man in the Barrows if the conversation begins as "what? I didn't ask for a book!"
It describes the story of the brave heroes that are buried there and what just happened to them to bring about the beginning of their end.
After finding the book, players can also find it in the bookshelf in their player-owned houses.
During the great god wars there were six brothers who fought side by side against the forces of evil. Their fervor in battle was awed and feared by all who saw them. Nothing is known of their origins, only that they were first seen when the legions of evil were pressing their hardest into civilised lands. It was the eldest who struck the first blow in that battle, hurling powerful battle magic into the enemies' ranks, opening a hole for four of the other brothers to charge through and into the heart of their forces. Little was seen or known of the sixth brother at the time, only that when one of the other brothers looked in danger his foe would be felled by a shower of crossbow bolts. It wasn't until the dust had settled that those left could look on their saviours, the six brothers who stood proud with the bodies of the fallen at their feet.
For years these brothers fought hard against the enemy, throwing themselves into battle with little regard for their own safety and relying only on each other for aid. Stories were told around camp fires by soldiers of the feats they'd witnessed, they became legend long before the end.
Some say he'd always been there, but no-one really knows for sure. The first real tale was after an incursion deep into the dark lands, where once again the brothers proved their worth. It was after the battle that a bent and robed figure was seen amongst the bodies of the dead. Most took him for a scavenger, but he moved towards the camp fire of the brothers with such directness that some at first thought him another companion. The brothers however reacted as with suspicion at his approach, drawing their weapons and rising from their places. The stranger merely stood before them, as though sizing them up before turning and walking back into the mists. Some say that it's the first time they'd ever seen the brothers unsure.
As the campaign moved deeper into the dark lands the stranger appeared with greater frequency, often appearing on a rise near a battle and watching over it. The most disturbing thing was how his presence started to affect the brothers, they became distracted and on occasion even received injuries that required attention.
It was deep in the heart of the enemies' territory, in the failing light of dusk, that the enemy struck back. Great monstrosities swept through the camps tearing at all in their path, soldiers scattered like chaff in the wind before the onslaught. The brothers, valiant as ever, stood back to back before the enemy and fought with all their might. As dawn broke the enemy fled the battle, moving faster than any man could give chase. It was as the soldiers went about rebuilding the camp that the brothers collapsed at their camp fire, they lay as tough yet breathing muttering in strange tongues. Their injuries were found swollen and infected, none of the physicians knew what to do, it was like no infection they had ever seen before. all through the day the brothers were tended and cared for while the soldiers waited nervously for their heroes to rise once again. It was then, just as the sun's last rays vanished behind the horizon, that all hope was lost. As if on cue all the six brothers sighed one last breath and died. It was only then that the stranger once again, standing on a rise just outside the camp.
That night the camp was surrounded by the great beasts of the enemy once again, but they didn't attack, they merely baited the soldiers to come out and meet them. Once again at the break of dawn the enemy fled without a trace, leaving the soldiers tired from a restless night to worry and fear. That day the commanders decided to turn back, they could advance no further without the brothers' aid. As was the custom at the time, out of honour and respect for the mighty fallen, they constructed six great barrows for the brothers. A crypt for each brother covered in a small hill of earth that would hold their remains undisturbed by predators. The work took many days, for each night the enemy returned and the soldiers had to flee back inside their camp to wait away the night to the sounds of howling and scratching at the fences. But each day they resumed their work, their sense of duty to the brothers surmounting their fear of the dark forces in the land. On the last day the assembled troops buried the brothers inside their stone tombs, then with great reverence, but little ceremony, they covered the tombs with earth. As the army broke camp and turned to march back to their lands the stranger was seen once again, standing atop the central barrow... standing tall against the failing light with his arms outstretched to the sky.
Not many of the original army made it back to these lands, many more had perished on the journey home, but tales were told of how each night an unnatural glow could be seen on the horizon where they had buried the brothers. Even today there are stories told about those mounds of earth, and of the sights and sounds that have been witnessed nearby.