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Maltatais Archive Thread

Maltatai

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Mar 17, 2020
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A thread to repost my guardian threads and maybe some more stuff from the old forum.

Oh look, the squid is here: 🦑
 

Maltatai

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
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3 November, 2010. Maltatais very first post.

Guardian Sigfrid the cleric
Today my first guardian earned his title at level 85 :jig:

I played untwinked from the start but lot's of magic finding made him rather "self-twinked" in the end. The game was played at p1, no atma stash or RWM. Sigfrid is a "pure" cleric in the sense that he is investing everything possible to make the holy bolt spell devastating, namely;

20 holy bolt
20 blessed hammer
20 fist of the heavens
20 prayer

Additional skills (excluding prerequisites):
1 redemption
1 vigor
1 meditation
1 cleansing
1 salvation
1+any spare points into smite

Meditation and salvation were main auras and redemption was used to clear corpses. I sometimes switched to cleansing to get rid of curses and poison.
Sigfrid used smite as his main attack against anything not undead.

Equipment:

Blackhorns face socketed with a sol
Griswolds armour socketed with sols/"Stone" scarab husk
Plated belt of atlas
Cleglaws pincers
Goblin toe
Scintillating amulet of life everlasting, 12 resist all, 18 PDR
Dwarf Star x 2

Wizardspike/"rhyme" bone shield
The generals tan do li ga/priests tower shield

Inventory filled with charms for resistances and life.

Mercenary equipment:

Socketed winged helm with 3 sols
"Treachery" full plate mail
Rare mancatcher with 250 %ed but not much else

The tale of Sigfrid
I have made many characters but never guardianed any, because I got so bored with them. So I thought that I would try to make each character have at least some kind of theme or unique style. Sigfrid was intended to be a defensive and preserving paladin, using defiance as well as cleric skills. Later I dropped that idea because the regenaration from meditation was much more fun and seemed more useful since I did not expect to find any high defence gear. The main idea was to be able to heal the mercenary so fast that he could tank and destroy any non-undead enemy, while Sigfrid would make short work of any undead. Thats what clerics do, and it is rather boring. Perhaps he could do something more?

The only attack that seemed viable was smite or conversion. Converting monsters with a defensive character would do little good except for crowd control. Smite it was. Smite is a great skill since it auto-hits and stun. Brilliant for someone with no attack rating! So Sigfrid could stun for 0.2 seconds (hardly noticeable), knock enemies back and hit-lock (I think is the term) individual enemies. The only way to damage with smite would be crushing blow. I started with the strength runeword, later found crushflange and finished with only goblin toe. Now he had something to occupy himself with until more helpless skeletons arrived.

Another option would be a weapon with ITD or -% to enemy defence. I did in fact found hexfire in late nightmare and used it with some success. Combined with the crushing blow from goblin toe and venom from Treachery he could do some damage in the river of flame. I never used that setup in hell though.

From the start Sigfrid focused on prayer and zealed his way to act 2. The he bolted his way to act 3 together with a prayer town guard whose name was Azrael. Progress became sluggish until he got meditation and could recover some mana. The jungle was easy but tedious, Sigfrid was restricted to healing and the moron mercenary to chasing little kids with masks. Act 4 was more fun with some undead to bolt. Somewhere in act 5 he found an amn rune and could start to deal some damage on his own. Azrael could tank frenzytaur packs which was quite nice. In nightmare the progress continued to be slow but steady. Act 2 was fun, act 3 was horrible. Azrael used the tannr gorerod pike and killed sluggishly. He was so slow that he became locked i hit recovery. Sigfrid magically made him switch to the holy freeze aura to give him some breathing space. Act 4 was even slower, although undead fell very quickly to the bolts by now. After reaching Shenk I went back to run Diablo, as slow as it may be.

Then came the turn of the...not tide because there is no water in the chaos sanctuary...something. Diablo dropped a dwarf star and the pierre tombale couant partizan! Azrael turned into a juggernaut and Sigfrid became very safe from fire. And quite rich. The runs continued and yielded a second dwarf star. Other good pieces of equipment he had picked up during nightmare was rattlecage and suicide bransch (50% fcr made Azrael very happy). Then Sigfrid finished Baal after a surprisingly easy ancient fight. I stayed in nightmare and did lots of runs on diablo and baal. Lister and the others were a piece of cake since I had dropped crushflange for the slowing flail which worked great in combination with Azraels aura.

Then, hell. Throughout the game I had tried to collect Irathas set. I only missed those accursed gloves. Upon entering hell I gave up. I had found blackhorns and intended to give it to my mercenary but reconsidered. It is a great thing with a very odd collection of mods, like 20 % slow. I also stumbled across cleglaws pincers. Hmm, combined with my flail it would give Sigfrid 95 % slowing (at least I think slow stacks). Combined with holy freeze it would be..interesting. So I went for slow as crowd control. It worked wonders and Azrael would never have made it without it. In the crypt some unique bone knife dropped. WIZARDSPIKE! Probably the ultimate weapon for a cleric.

Act 1 was rather easy once I got used to the play style. All depended on going in first and hitting everyone to slow them down, then step back before Sigfrid died and heal Azrael before he died. The hard thing was the tower where dual archer boss packs killed Azrael time and again. With too little space to dodge arrows I dared not rush in and the healing was insufficient to compensate for the effects of conviction/extra strong/extra fast/extra stupid mercenary etc. Andy went down with some trouble since her poison made me have to heal Azrael every third second. Eventually she went down to smite and mercenary poking.

Act 2 was heavenly. Undead, undead, undead. Scarabs? Maxed lightning resist+20 absorb from blackhorns+28 MDR from dwarf stars+regeneration from aura= Scarab-proof character. In tal's tomb I found that lovely amulet and started to contemplate the path of PDR.

Act 3 was, for the first time, a breeze until the durance of hate. Those disgustingly disfigured dolls decided that my mercenary did not exist and went straight for Sigfrid. And they were immune to holy freeze...This was scary. I had to smite them with the flail, run away and bolt them before they caught up. Never have I been happier to reach level 3. Mephisto went down without much trouble.

Act 4 was slow until I reached the chaos sanctuary. Glooms were laughed at in the same way as scarabs. And bolted to...some other hell? The slow pace was due to big demons with lots of life and flesh spawners that my moron never targeted. It sure is fun to be immune to fire;

Sigfrid: :coffee: There seem to be a warm breeze blowing today.
Azrael: For your information sir, that is the inferno from venom lords, the bugged attack that have become the nr 1 danger here since IM was removed.
Sigfrid: Sure?
Azrael: Yep.
Sigfrid: Then this is not a bodybuilder with horns practising posing with a replica of the butchers cleaver from D1?
Azrael: That is a venom lord, sir. But the difference is hardly noticeable.
Sigfrid: "Sigh", Let's get to it then...

(WHACK, STUN, WHACK, STUN) x 100

Sigfrid: Azrael?
Azrael: Hmm?
Sigfrid: How do you know about the patching history of D2? We were not created until after 1.13 was installed.
Azrael: How do you know about the monsters and items of D1?
Sigfrid: Nevermind, uh...let's get going I can see some OK:s down there...
Azrael: OK.
Sigfrid: What do you mean; I said OK:s. Do you think I said IK:s?
Azrael: No, not OK as in "OK:s in hell", OK as in "OK let's do it". You get it?
Sigfrid: OK...
Azrael: "sigh" As you said, sir, let's get going. (mutters) Paladins...

Hellforge yielded an um rune! All undead went down quickly. Azrael died to de seis minions but they were quickly bolted. The venom lords were hard. I rolled a map where I was trapped in a corner and ran past them. Very scary and very stupid. I should have TP:ed away and gone back from the waypoint. Anyway, on open ground they were easily split and crushed. Diablo proved helpless. Azrael managed to avoid the red lightning but was badly burned. Sigfrid was more or less immortal.

After searching in vain for a 3 socket elite plearm I got tired and gave up Crescent moon. I didn't want to make it in a sword since I would have to give up slowing or FCR to wield it. I made a stone armour instead. The clay golem was fun but not necessary at all. I did not finish the Nihlatak quest since i wanted to run Pindle for polearms. Hell ancients was anticlimactic. I had imagined horrible demigods killing mercenaries in two hits and slaying Sigfrid in three. After rerolling them twice I got a really easy set and managed to shake off Talic. The others were CE,LE,mana burn and something else. But they just stood there, swinging in vain against Azrael and being slowed into manlike slug mutants. Barbarian Mutant Ninja Slugs, would that perhaps be a catchy title for a comics magazine? Talic actually did some damage, his whirlwind would have killed Azrael in two attacks with no healing.

WSK 1 had invaders and witches and took some time. But it wasn't really dangerous. WSK 2 held gloams and massed soul killers with blow guns that could not harm Sigfrid the slightest. PDR is also quite fun sometimes. Level 3 had something similar and occasional frenzytaurs but no bosspacks.

TOD greeted me with doom knights and blood lords (vampires) and one or two frenzytaurs. Ridiculous. First wave went down as fast as Sigfrid FOH:ed Callisto to heaven (or hell maybe, but since he is a demon it would be more punishment for him to got to heaven, wouldn't it?).

Quiz: How did the second wave fare?
1: They did well and drained Sigfrid of all rejuv potions
2: Sigfrid lured them away and parked them in a remote corridor
3: They are undead. Sigfrid is a cleric.

Third wave was easy as well despite hydras often eating mercenaries for lunch. Ventars demons were smited and slowed into submission and humiliation, believing that their orange breath would have some sort of effect on their foe.

Lister then. He spawned LE. His minions were easily separated although Sigfrid managed to tank at least half of the pack. Hit-lock does terrible things to lonely monsters.

Lastly Baal, the lord of destruction, the ultimate foe etc. He did not clone. He landed some hits on Sigfrid and used some spells.

His best hit inflicted 20 points of damage. I'm not kidding, no more than 20 damage. Healed from meditation in 1-2 seconds, approximately. This is supposed to be the end boss, what is going on? Poor Baal.

Finds:
A third dwarf star
Etheral edge
Gimmershred(!)
IK gloves
Jalals mane
Bartuc's cutthroat
Tal's amulet
2 pul
1 lem
1 lum
1 fal
...and many more that I don't remember

Conclusion
I expected Sigfrid to be able to beat the game, barely, constantly having to resurrect his mercenary and running back and forth to split up crowd. Instead he turned out to be a demi-abbot who humiliated crowds, slaughtered every undead and individual enemy and achieved immunity to the two most dangerous elements. Needless to say he exceeded every expectation and was quite fun to play despite slow killing speed. As mentioned he is superb in the chaos sanctuary. I only miss a crescent moon to get past the river of flame.

He could be made more offensive by dropping gloves and flail for more crushing blow (black flail+blood gloves), relying on smite stun for crowd control.

Clerics are indeed viable for single play, better equipment improves killing speed but is not necessary to beat the game. Since the mercenary does the job it is a very item-independent class.

Future plans: I contemplated using thorns to make enemies hurt themselves as they swing against Azrael. If he is able to cast amplify damage with a brandistock or something it could be real fun. I will probably make such an "evil cleric" later. Right now I continue with another themed paladin, a knight in very shining armour maxing out sanctuary and using other shining skills like holy shield and conversion to be as shining as possible.

Thank you for reading this overgrown post!
 
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Maltatai

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wielanja:
First off, welcome to the forums!
Secondly, amazing job taking an interesting build all the way through the end. I know for sure that I would not have the patience for such a character.
What are your future plans for the pally? Some pindle runs perhaps?
Maltatai:
Thanks, no future plans at the moment. I'm a bit tired of him right now.
Regarding pindle, I did run him alot but it only yielded rare items despite full mf gear. If I decide to run anything it will probably be Mephisto or Diablo (if I find a way to bypass the river of flame). I rolled a great tower map so I maybe it is worth running the countess as well.
wielanja:
I believe you can shop for staffs with tele charges although some of the other members would be able to tell you the best places to look for them. Put one of those on your weapon switch and you should be able to speed your runs up a bit.
@Kestegs :
Nice write up, very entertaining, I find it funny that you never Guardianed a character before because of boredom, and then you Guardian a Cleric!
Very nice and welcome to the forum!
I like the merc conversations, much like what goes through my head, although it never makes it onto paper.
mattinmn:
At least you set the bar high with that writeup :p. Really enjoyed it, especially the merc convos as kestegs said. Congrats on finishing one of my favorite (MP) characters. Dunno if I'd have the patience to make it through with only my moron as company.
Maltatai:
Thank you all!
wielanja: Good point, I never thought of charged teleporting somehow. The only drawback is repair costs of course, but the gold from the dwarf stars would compensate for that.
kestegs: Yes, a cleric is not the obvious first build. I tried a zealot or two before but was disapointed at the drop in damage in hell. With clerics, the default is no damage (except undead) so I was always positively surprised.
Arkardo :
Hey there, welcome! That's one awesome entry you made, thanks for a helluva read!
@Grisu :
Awesome! Great write-up and way to step onto the stage of SPF! 👍 I really enjoyed those merc conversations, too 😁, and found it quite interesting to see how well you adapted your playing style to your current situation/equipment you found! Huge congrats on that achievement!
I'm eager to read about your next themed build!
Oh, and welcome to the SPF! Read the stickies etc. etc. :p
crawlingdeadman:
I too would like to congratulate you on the write up. I've toyed with the idea of a cleric, but didnt think i could take the boredom i figured it'd represent in SP.
purplelocust:
Nicely done! Those are nice finds untwinked and you've got quite a sturdy character there. Not using ATMA makes things quite tricky as far as deciding what to keep and what to sell, particularly when you are trying to assemble complete sets, for example. It would be depressing to give up on Iratha's and then have the gloves drop soon thereafter!
Have you visited the Mausoleum much? I think Sigfrid would be very happy there for MFing and experience.
tavaritz:
Congratulations on the guardian. Don't you know that if you don't collect the WP in the Hall of ???, you can kill Nilathak and Anyas portal will stay open.
Maltatai:
@purplelocust: No, I didn't visit that area much at all. I had gained levels by killing nm Baal and later choose the ancient tunnels and sewers to try out running undead. I did consider the mausoleum but I am not so comfortable with the lack of space - bolts tend to hit walls and pillars and my mercenary always block the doorways. The drawback with the desert areas is of course that they hold some non-undead but they didn't bother me so much.
@Kestegs :
What was the damage on HB? I'm guessing around 5k damage and 300 healing, but am curious.
Maltatai:
With my casting switch (wizardspike/rhyme) I have 0 +to combat skills so bolts do about 4100-4600 and heal 156-328. Bolt damage increase by around 200 for each new skillpoint, so a few more skill levels makes a huge difference. Think what Sigfrid could have done with the Herald of Zakarum! I really wanted to find that shield or some rare with +to combat skills, would have made a tremendous difference.
The healing is more unstable than one might think, so you need to throw a purple bottle occasionally to be safe from mercenary deaths. Three bolts heal between 450 and 900, a rather big range when Azrael have about 1700 life.
Vox Dei:
I would also like to extend my congratulations on the Guardian, and the top notch write-up (the conversation between Sigfrid and Azrael is priceless). Masterfully done, Hero 👍
Oldsoldier:
Congrats and welcome. I guardianed a couple of clerics and found them to be fun to play but somewhat of a two trick pony. Undead = mass obliteration. Not undead = wait for merc. I think this type of character is what finally broke my addiction! Thank you, clerics!
Evasive:
I have a cleric-in-progress, this excellent Guardian thread has given me the motivation to keep pushing forward with him.
DaveW:
Nice job Maltatai and good write up. I don't think I cud play SP without ATMA. I'm too much of a twinkadin. Grats!
Maltatai:
Here are a few ways I can think of to make clerics more offensive and versatile. Since the class really is based on only prayer and holy bolt it offers a lot of customization;

Both blessed hammer and FOH synergize the holy bolt and offer attack possibilities if you devote 20 points from the bolts to their respective synergies.

As I mentioned I think a cleric using thorns and having his mercenary taking lots of painful hits could work. Mercenary should have high life,life steal,regenaration but not much PDR sice returned damage is based on the damage you actually take. This will speed up demon slaying. Maybe possible to combine with conversion and make a missionary hybrid - in that case I recommend a rogue to keep the mercenary from killing himself.

Thorns can be combined with either a synergy to holy bolt, which will let you kill undead at decent speed, or even some attack skill. Vengeance come to mind since it will let you deal with PI:s that are untouched by thorns. The high mana cost can be compensated for with meditation.

Zeal is a very cost-effective attack if you can manage the attack rating (I was fortunate enough to find hexfire with ITD which really helped). The reason is of course that you can apply all sorts of interesting process effects with those many hits.

Crushing blow and open wounds are great mods to combine with a low power smite and zeal. They complement each other very well so try to find both. Hit as many enemies as you can to spread the stun and the wounding.

As I also mentioned I found slowing to be vital for my survival. It is also of great use offensively since it allows characters to be more aggresive than would otherwise be safe. One situation where it is especially handy is when facing packs with maggots or the disgusting flesh spawners. Slow and curses allow clerics to smite their way inside the crowd to reach and kill the spawner without being killed by the minions.

@Evasive: What kind of cleric are you building?
Swamigoon:
Same here. My SP cleric build is very different, though. I have maxed his holy bolt, prayer, and sanctuary, and so far I'm almost halfway to maxing cleansing. He's in Act V NM. With no investment at all in the offensive synergies of holy bolt, he has a very different cleric play style; he likes help from the mercenary for all battles (not just non-undead battles). He heals the mercenary with his fully synergized holy bolts every now and then, but most of the time, he swings a black runeword tyrant club at non-undead, usually with a cleansing aura. For undead, he weapon-switches to a rose-branded mace and a hawk-branded targe, with which he flings moderately low-damage (about 250 magic damage) unsynergized holy bolts at undead, while running sanctuary, which periodically pings them with almost 200 magic damage that knocks them *way* back. My experiment with the synergized sanctuary aura is turning out to be more entertaining than I expected, and I'm looking forward to trying a few leisurely mausoleum strolls with it when I get to hell difficulty.

After reading your report, I have decided to put one point into smite sometime before I get to hell difficulty; the black runeword should work nicely with it.
Maltatai:
Thats interesting, my current paladin project is also using a maxed sanctuary. It is a really underrated aura, I must say. Not much damage, but fun and safe.
pharaoh:
I'm also playing with a cleric build myself. I've tried a few times, but always get bored, so maybe now I'll finish him. For some reason, Smite just never occurred to me, possibly because I like the idea of running with an Insight staff for the double heal (Cleansing being my main aura). However, since I have a high-end Exile, I'm thinking I'll forsake the extra healing for added defense and damage.

I might also switch to a Holy Freeze merc as suggested. I was running a Prayer merc with Insight (slvl 16 Meditation), so he would get healing from his Prayer plus his synergy through Meditation, along with my Cleansing aura when I run it. My understanding is that since Meditation normally does not apply to minions (as they have no mana pool), the only way they can have the aura active on them is by making the aura themselves (Insight merc/Iron Golem). My Insight had slvl 17 Meditation, so I got his Prayer, plus the synergy on my own Meditation (since it was higher level than his, and thus overrode it) and Cleansing auras. Thus, we both got healing from three auras whenever I ran Cleansing. However, it might be overkill, and if I switch to using the shield, the added defense from Defiance might make up for less healing.

To those advocating Sanctuary, I've not really used it, but it occurs to me that Lawbringer is an effective way to get a respectable level without spending points. It also offers -50% target defense (good for characters with crap AR), potential staffmods (Redemption and Salvation are excellent skills, and having them through the scepter means more synergy points), elemental damage (for PI non-undead), and 20% ctc Decrepify (which fits nicely with the 'slow enemies' theme, and can likewise help vs. PI non-undead). I'm pretty sure ctc effects work with Smite, too, though not having used Smite much, I'm not certain on this. If they do, it means that you can easily Decrepify the most troublesome enemies. The RIP mod might help against annoying shaman bosses, but since most non-merc kills will be against undead, I*'m not sure it'll much matter. Of course, the most important reason to use this runeword is that the name 'Lawbringer' reeks of holy paladin badassery. :)

Maltatai: Thanks for the nice writeup, and inspiring me to carry on with my cleric.
Maltatai:
Yes, minions do not benefit from paladins meditation. I don't know if they get the healing when they generate the aura themselves, but it would be logical.

Labringer's aura is a nice complement for melee paladins, who get most of their power from other skills. It is however not sufficient to keep undead from the paladin, so if one decides to go for a cleric with enough sanctuary to keep undead at bay when bolting, a maxed sanctuary with +skill from items is required. A cleric wielding lawbringer could of course achieve some decent survivability from 20 points in another skill...

Hitting things with -% to defence beats smite on one level; it allows you to use vengeance and dispose of PI non-undead, who are a pain for the mercenary in most cases. FOH and hammers work but are very slow. The knockback from smite is sometimes good and sometimes bad so is guess it is evened out.
 
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Maltatai

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
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Guardian Livexia the multishooting Amazon
Presenting my most nerve-wracking character ever created, and my second Guardian!

Livexia is a dedicated multi-shot amazon with a rogue mercenary and a one-point valkyrie and decoy. She runs up to most stronger foes and slashes them with a halberd before engaging in ranged combat. What kind of stupid character is this that Maltatai is trying to push on you, or is there something sensible behind his words? Read on if you have a lot of time to spare.

First, the part that everyone here apparently find most interesting, judging by how many Guardian threads that are dominated by one big heap of copied GoMule dump file or something similar. Who am I to break such a fine tradition? Here we go:

Statistics

Code:
Naked/Gear
Strength:   132/133
Dexterity:  153/173
Vitality:   205/205
Energy:     15/63
HP:         829/975
Mana:       138/140
Stamina:    351/577
Defense:    38/513
AR:         735/1050

Resistances

Fire:       192/152/92
Cold:       128/88/28
Lightning:  176/136/76
Poison:     97/57/-3

Skills
Naked/Gear
Magic Arrow: 1/6
Multiple Shot: 20/25

Inner Sight: 1/4
Critical Strike: 8/11
Dodge: 9/12
Slow Missiles: 1/4
Avoid: 11/14
Penetrate: 20/23
Decoy: 1/4
Evade: 1/4
Valkyrie: 1/4
Pierce: 20/23
Equipment
I played untwinked without any ATMA stash or similar, with patch 1.13 and no mods.


Livexia used a vast wardrobe of gear, this was the main setup:
Code:
“Lore” Grand Crown
Livexia's “Smoke” Gothic Plate  Cleglaw’s Pincers
Wilhelm’s Pride
Aldurs Advance

Dwarf Star

Corruption Finger Ring
+73 to Attack Rating
4% Life stolen per hit
Replenish Life +4
+6 Maximum Stamina
All Resistances +5
Damage Reduced by 2

Eagle Talisman Amulet
+1 to Warcry Skills (Barbarian Only)
+12 to Attack Rating
4% Mana stolen per hit
+8 to Energy
+6 to Life
Lightning Resist +39%

Lycander's Aim Ceremonial Bow. socketed with a Shael Rune.
Livexia's Woestave Bec-de-Corbin

Charms for a total of:
Fire Resist +44% + Fire Resist +16% (reserve grand charm in the cube)
Lightning Resist +39%
Cold Resist +33%
Poison Resist +12%
+26% Faster Hit Recovery
+50 to Life
+1 to Strength
1 - 5 Lightning Damage
+5 Defense
+105 to Attack Rating
+2 to Mana

and...

Gheed's Fortune
Grand Charm
127% Extra Gold from Monsters
Reduces all Vendor Prices 13%
36% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Equipment on Switch(es)
This is what the character was almost all about – the ability to use a wide variety of items for different situations.
Code:
Magic Finding Gear:
Socketed Ancient Armor with 4 Perfect Topazes
Livexia’s Chance Guards
Circlet of Luck (later sold to make place

Blood Spiral Ring
Cold Resist +19%
Poison Resist +30%
Damage Reduced by 2
10% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Chaos Knot Ring
Replenish Life +5
All Resistances +11
Lightning Resist +11%
+1 to Mana after each Kill
9% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Valkyrie Casting Gear:
“Peace” Breast Plate
The Stone of Jordan
Athletic Amulet

Rattlecage (used by Kyoko against bosses)

Hellmouth (good against Diablo and great against immune foes, as well as burning herself)

“Nadir” Cap (used to neutralize potential stairtraps, see below)

War staff of Teleportation (later sold, used to get to the snakes altar)
Statistics for Kyoko, her annoying little sister (also known as a rogue scout with icy arrows)
Code:
            Naked/Gear
Strength:   133/133
Dexterity:  200/210
Life:         1346/1346
Defense:    1118/1228
AR:         2146/2362

Fire:       138/98/38
Cold:       168/128/68
Lightning:  138/98/38
Poison:    138/98/38

Her Equipment:

Howltusk
Treachery Ring Mail
Magewrath, socketed with a Shael
Rune Bow
The Tale of Livexia
(at last I can drown thee in my own musings instead of mindless copied readouts)
Livexia is a proud, arrogant and greedy mercenary, a queen of archery and ranged combat (avoid, multishot and pierce) but skilled with almost all kinds of weapons. She has no qualms about using vile poisons or heretical curses to gain the upper hand. She is obsessed with treasure (up to 427% gold finding and personalised Chance Guards).

It was ages since I made this character so I don’t remember too much about her early career. Originally, I had an idea of an amazon that could use any weapon skilfully – hence the large investment in passive skills. I decided to try out multiple shots and pierce, envisioning Livexia weakening approaching enemies so much that when they reached her she could finish them off with her melee weapon even if she wasn’t particularly skilled with it. Obviously that would require some rather good items, as with any combat character focused on pure physical damage.

In the early game, multishot was good and expensive. For once, a skill that stayed the same throughout the whole journey! In act 5 normal she found a rare war scythe which was rather effective. Not to mention cool!

Early nightmare was slow because she lacked a good weapon like all my characters entering nightmare. Almost, at least. I don’t remember anything of how she fared against Duriel or Mephisto but they would hardly have been much of a problem since she had collected the runes for Peace in act 1. As you have probably guessed, the level 15 valkyrie from this armor was a key component in her strategy. Keeping it alive was sometimes difficult, sometimes not worth it and sometimes imperative but impossible. The latter were the dangerous occasions.

As Livexia marched through nightmare it became increasingly apparent that it was bows that would have to be her main weapons rather than an even mix between bows and melee. Andariel had given her a nice unique hatchet which was fun but the blocking peculiarity of amazons made it horrible to use in crowds. I think Kyoko went with her from the start or at least for most of nightmare. She was quite competent most days. Rogues have always been either complete idiots or highly useful for my characters.

Somewhere late in nightmare she found Magewrath and I was very happy. Now she was a little bit of the process’zon I intended. It was a little low on damage though. In an icy cave in act 5 – I think it was the crystalline passage or glacial trail – she stumbled on a unique Ceremonial bow. Later in the game she found it again... This is a strange phenomenon I have seen sometimes (like my cleric Sigfrid and his Dwarf Stars). Is it intended that you should find several copies of a select few unique/set items? Woestave had also dropped by this time.

What are the odds of finding two unique bows, one of them class-specific, with an archer character? Livexia was lucky with items. Really lucky. Perhaps personalising the Chance Guards appealed to a hitherto unknown god of magic finding? Livexia used Magnus skin as gloves for a long time and used the socket reward in normal to put a Nef Rune in her bow. Knockback is really game-changing for missile characters. Just saying that if someone didn’t know.

Anyway, by now she had become the exact opposite of what she was intended to be. Woestave was and is superb to make big and dangerous enemies more manageable and Lycander’s Aim was quite devastating. So she weakened enemies by meleeing them (or rather striking them while the foe in question was busy with the decoy or valkyrie) and then stepped back and ran around shooting them. A bit weird... I actually upgraded the woestave for no apparent reason. It just used up more strength points that could have gone into vitality. The halberd still dealt pathetic damage in itself, it was the “open wounds” and “prevent monster heal” effects that really took down the enemy.

Prevent Monster Heal. The offensive mod of all offensive mods for all my characters. Slowing comes close but this one beats all and everything in my opinion. This Guardian would never have come close to finishing without those two. And woestave looks incredibly cool too.



Hell, then. Act 1 was not especially difficult, after I had remebered the Lem Rune that was collecting dust in my stash. Back to normal to buy a socketed armor. Twice. All my savegames became corrupted one time when Livexia was somewhere in act 1. My backup saves where from when she entered Hell. Sigh. At least it gave her an excuse to butcher even more helpless fallen ones. Once venom had been casted, Kyoko could wear the Treachery and Livexia dressed in a smoking gothic plate. Smoke is usually hallowed for its resistances but the weaken charges aren’t bad either. At least not for a character without other curses at her disposal. Weaken actually helped a lot against nastier boss packs. It was also at this time Livexia found the epic and ideal Cleglaw’s Pincers. Out with Nef and in with Shael in the bow. Gheed’s Fortune dropped when magic finding somewhere in the beginning of this acts.

The large open areas of the Western Kingdoms are ideal for this kind of character. The chilly catacombs and crypts are hideous, UNLESS she happens to run into an enemy pack at a doorway where her valkyrie can stand and be engaged by only one enemy at a time.

Andariel was the hardest thing in the whole act I think. Her poison just eats through valkyries like the original strafe skill ate through the quivers of arrows. I think Kyoko fell quite quickly too (can’t imagine how she could have survived for long). So it was up to Livexia and her recastable joke of a decoy and Valkyrie and the excellent combination of 40% faster running from Aldurs advance and the slowing gear to handle the situation. It was annoying and took a lot of potions and scrolls but as far as I remember not very difficult.



Act 2 also has fine outdoor areas, and nice leechable creatures. Some idiot did sadly also decide to dig out enormous tunnels under the ground and build a silly cellar under the architecturally dubious palace. This was not a major problem in itself, but for some reason these places were always filled with stinking rotting creatures that caused huge amount of poison damage which killed the valkyrie. Booo! I hate poison! The Claw Viper temple was scary enough to deserve a section of its own. Livexia hated the place completely so I wont give it one, though. The place was filled with bone warriors paired with guardians, which should surprise nobody. The trouble is that the bone warriors are
1) highly resistant to both poison and physical damage and
2) immune to cold damage, meaning no corpse control by Kyoko’s ice arrows.
She did of course have to run into one boss and his pet skeletons on one side of the entrance and a pack of champion guardians on the other. Aaaah! Agony! It took her a looong time to work up the nerve to run past the skellies and slash the guardian boss with her halberd. Before that, he regenerated so fast that he was more or less invincible.

Livexia: I say! But then I tore through it all and crushed his false hopes! What kind of loser puts his faith in regeneration to prevail?

Sigfrid the Cleric: Shut up!
After a long and hard journey through the temple she came to the second level. She casted a decoy to attempt to lure a lone salamander into her sight. Nothing yet. She stepped forward a little and casted it again. BAM! In one flashing flash Fangskin was upon the intruders. He did not instantly slay the valkyrie, but knocked her back time and again and did the same with the decoy. Soon Livexia had her back against the wall and no way to keep the serpents away. It looked hopeless and the Omniscient Ruler of Characters wisely decided to save and exit. New try, new temple but at least not the same two packs initially. After long and slow battles she once again stood in the cellar. Trying to be a bit more careful, she directed the decoy to the right, luring a couple of bone warriors to her. So far so good. No, valkyrie, don’t go there! BAM! Knockback, knocked back, nowhere to run. Save and exit.

Livexia: Did it really happen that way? I don’t remember all those unwomanly worries and the valkyrie messing everything up.

Maltatai: Allright, maybe not entirely. But it made a thrilling section of the story, didn’t it? The important thing is that I/you failed twice, as far as I recall, after finishing the first level. It was only then that I finally saw sense and acquired a staff of teleporting to get into the middle and grab that stupid trinket before Fangskin woke up.

Livexia: Wait a second, what do you mean “you” did this and that? It was I who went through that hellhole! You probably sat in comfortable chair enjoying yourself in the meantime, or something equally lazy.

Maltatai: Now calm down! I happen to be the Omnisci...ah, just shorten it to ORC.

Livexia: You’re going to describe yourself as “orc” in an rpg game? And you expecting to survive for even four minutes?

Maltatai: Come on, this is Diablo II, not Baldurs Gate II or something. There are no classical fantasy monsters here. Nobody has ever heard of orcs or goblins or whatever. We could perhaps talk about risky behaviour if I said I was a “disgusting defiler” or “putrid heretic” or something like that. All monsters are either spawned from religious mythology or slime-oriented. The same goes with names. If I would select from the most evil and badass of names in the history of fairy tales nobody would recognise it. I could call myself Morgoth Bauglir, or Palpatine or just Grom, and nobody will lift a finger. If, however, I would introduce myself as “Blade Snarl the Axe” or something equally absurd, I would face an army of D2 characters in no time. Not to mention if I would call myself “Putrid Snot the Goo” – that would trigger prophets to announce the coming of apocalypses and end of days. Again, the more slime-oriented something is in this game, the more powerful is it in the hierarchy of the Prime Evils.

Livexia: I am speechless. You may be on to something. We do actually treat our enemies like objects...
So, the next time Livexia entered the second floor she teleported to the middle, grabbed the loot and opened a portal home. Then she hesitated. Fangskin was still there. Undefeated. And her little army held a castle of sorts with only one entrance, blocked by the valkyrie.

Livexia: Loose the arrows and hold your ground! Fire at will, that is, MY will - NOW! Livexia wills it!

Kyoko: “Livexia wills it”? We are not templars, you know. Don’t you think you should have been a Paladin the way you command and bark at us? Or a barbarian...
Fangskin and his pesky minions where finally broken. Unable to storm the citadel in the middle of the room they fell for the mighty arrow flurry of Livexia and Kyoko. None of the serpents thought of digging or crawling over the little sand dunes. Stupid serpents... I don’t remember the fight against Duriel very much. His lair is naturally very un-archer. But he is still only one and was distracted by the decoys. On to act 3 it was!



The little rascals that populate the jungle like to wear nearly nothing on their bodies. They also like to run in huge groups and not carry shields. Livexia liked that custom too. They were almost as fun as the carvers. Now, gloams waited, ready to blast her into oblivion. The valiant amazon approached the great marches with a heavy heart.

Kyoko: Why are you so miserable today? We have lots of leechable targets and we are done raiding the treasure chest of those pesky spiders. I never knew spiders had big shining treasure chests with eyes inside. Perhaps I should have taken that extra classes about bestiaries.

Livexia: Soon we will have to venture into the great marsh. There we will face terrible spirits who can shoot all-piercing lightning from out of sight.

Kyoko: How do you know that?

Livexia: I have lived through it in a past life, or rather, the same life in an easier world when I was younger.

Kyoko: If you lived through it, then it sounds like something we could handle now as well. What do you mean with “past life” by the way?

Livexia: It’s like, first everything is rather simple, then it becomes a nightmare, and now it’s hell.

Kyoko: You mean the taverns, right? Yeah, I agree. I mean, Akara had some quite decent potions but
Lysanders where just dry and Alkors are just liquid manure.

Livexia: No! I mean life itself. First you have, like, good resistances and then they are lowered and you can’t leech properly and...

Kyoko: “blank stare”

Livexia: Ok, I know you are a bit messed up when it comes to memories, having died so many times. Let’s continue.
They went and went and suddenly saw a large sign and a billboard.

“Welcome to the Flayer Jungle! We are one of the fastest growing forest communities – in fact we have maximum population each new day!

New here? Wash carefully and rub your skin with the salt and pepper in the pot below. Please await a tour guide inside the big kettle to the left”

Kyoko: The flayer jungle was the place where the heart of Khalim would rest in a murky dungeon, right?

Livexia: Yes.

Kyoko: So now we could, theoretically speaking, perhaps postpone the visit to the dangerous marshes?

Livexia: A prudent idea. I think we could postpone it to...let me check my calendar..."when pigs fly".

Kyoko: Aeeeh, a bit early. How about “when hell freezes over”?

Livexia: :coffee:“Hell” actually derives from the norse “Hel” or “Helheim”, which was cold and frozen. But I see your point. Sadly, I’m busy at that time. But I have a free spot here...”never”.

Kyoko: [writing] visit Great Marsh N-E-V-E-R.

Livexia: Excellent! Let’s continue. I feel better already!
Thus, the first potential encounter with gloams was cancelled out. Livexia and Kyoko handled the rest of the act quite well until they entered Travincal. Dragons ate valkyrie breakfast, valkyrie lunch and valkyrie dinner. At least the place has a lot of space. More than can be said about the Durance of Hate. I do indeed hate the little dolls that thrive in those places. This area is completely exhausting to play through. It’s freaking enormous and of course the waypoint had to be in the room I looked last. Livexia decided to go and finish Mephisto the same session since the waypoint was so far away. But his immature habit of throwing snowballs could turn out to be very unpleasant for a shieldless character with under 30 in cold resistance.

Livexia: :whistling:Hmmm, hmmm, that armour Kyoko is wearing looks interesting. I wonder if it could somehow, say, gather and store the heat from a fire if I wear it and stand in a fire. Then I would be protected from the cold. Let’s go to the cold plains (ironically enough) and try it out in one of the ruined houses.
The prebuff from fade helped a lot. Especially combined with a thawing potion or two. Standing in the flames aren’t that bad with a dwarf star on your finger. I am unsure whether I had Hellmouth by this time. Those gloves made Livexia almost immune to the little indoor campfires. Mephisto went down after a very aggresive fight – I have rarely seen him casting and moving so furiously. Perhaps he thought Fade was cheating?



Act 4 welcomed her warmly with two packs of doom knights that forced Livexia back to the stairs of the Pandemonium fortress. The rest of the act was easy since the burning souls of the plains of despair had burned up. Some venom lord bosses were a bit scary because of their speed and flesh spawners were slow to kill and disgusting.

The river of flame had maggots that (again!) killed the valkyrie time and again. Livexia burned scrolls to keep her minion alive like it was the early days of classic Diablo II. Hephasto was hilarious. By this time Kyoko had Howltusk so the pair knocked him back and pinned him to the shores of the flaming river. I’ve got to hand it tohim that he never fell in though, despite all those hits. Hellforge yielded a rare and impressive Gul Rune which was utterly useless for Livexia. Why couldn’t it had been, say, a rune to upgrade her bow with?

The Chaos Sanctuary wasn’t really bad with decent space to move on. De Seis minions were scary with their fanaticism and curses. Livexia lured them out in the open and took them down slowly one by one from a safe distance. The venom lords had the honour of being the last ones and split up eventually, only to gather again once they had seen the valkyrie. Weaken was especially useful here.

The battle with Diablo was truly epic and worthy of a better tale than this. In seconds, Kyoko and the valkyrie lay dead and rose unsummoned, repectively. Livexia headed back to the fortress and had Tyrael resu...what! No gold?! The slimy angel has been reading too much about the medieval Catholic Church! Demanding money for resurrections. What is he spending them at? The worst of it all was that Kyoko had been carrying The Treachery armour. Against most odds and better judgement Livexia went back and started to skirmish Diablo. Taking down D without crushing blow (didn’t want to take the risk which dropping Smoke meant) and the venom is a long affair. All while running away from lightning and fire. The fire wasn’t especially effective (Dwarf Star+Hellmouth) but the firestorm is a spell of legendary fearsomeness so Livexia ran away anyway.



The beginning of act 5 was easy with nice, leechable monsters and open ground. Then came the prospect of being stairtrapped in the icy caves. Here is where the Nadir played its part.

Cautios tactic of caution: Prebuff fade to get resistance up. Drop Lore and wear Nadir to be able to cast Cloak of Shadows as soon as you enter the cave. Run to the side if someone happens to be there.

No minotaur packs lurked in the shadows of the crystalline passage but physically immune ones waited a bit further away. Livexia was lucky to have a lot of cave to run across to split them up. She decided to rescue Anya after hearing she was in the Frozen River even if nobody knew where she was. The Frozen river was a despicable pit of misery. Gloams. Witches shooting red balls of off-screen-line-of-sight. Multishot shines here, with the ability to hit foes beyond the screen too. Sadly, the mana cost is too high to make it a viable tactic with such low damage as from Lycanders Aim. Running up to gloam packs on the opposite bank of the river to lure them to you – such a primitive tactic unworthy of any bowazon worth the title. That’s what being dependant on Woestave processes does for you. “Shudder!”

Somehow Livexia survived the place and released Anya. In return, she was tasked with assassinating a fallen magician named Nihlatak. What the...isn’t this the kind of things you send assassins for? Apparently not. There where none of those fabled venomous vipers in Nihlataks halls but there were ghosts (dual immunity) and witches and reanimated hordes. Time and again Livexia and her companions were pushed back to the entrance to regroup. Then, how to approach Nihlatak? His minions are cold immune. Livexia lacked any form of corpse control. And I thought the frozen river was scary?

Nihlatak may be a traitor but he keeps his quarters quite clean and admirably well tended. He even has the habit of blowing up unused corpses even if they could be of use when uninvited guests appeared. After many long minutes of running between the two entrances to his room, Livexia found one of them cleaned up and could cruise between the outer corpses and face Nihlatak face to face. I mean of course bow to face. He did manage to hit Livexia once with his corpse explosion and tore away a third or so of her health, or maybe half.

The other icy caves did not hold any stairtraps or any impossible monsters. So it wasn’t long before Livexia stood before the altar of the ancients.
First try: Kyoko and valkyrie dies before Livexia had even spotted anything else than the writhing flames of amplify damage. Resurrect Kyoko, recast and try again.
Second try: Curses again, valkyrie dies. No, no, never against cursed enemies. Reroll.
Third try: Apparently the valkyrie will never endure this fight – no point prebuffing it. No curses but conviction. Kyoko fell almost immediately while Livexia managed to run away from the middle. I paused to consider the alternatives. The ancients were just too strong. Another hireling? How terribly boring and what an epic failure it would be. Besides, I don’t have any equipment for that. Then Livexia just became pissed with the ancients and throw caution overboard in a display of reckless stubborness

:rant:“To hell with you, I am an archer that can outrun any of you slugs! Magic arrows are endless arrows! Raaagh!”
Thus began the longest and most exhaustive battle any of my characters have ever fought. Madawc chased her with conviction and cold enchantment. Korlic was lightning enchanted and Talic extra strong. Livexia only had eyes for Madawc. She was wearing Treachery and her cold resistance was something like – 70. Thanks to luck, divine interference or my supreme playing skills she only got hit once. That was more than enough. Madawc tore away at least half her life bulb and chilled her for what seemed like ten seconds or so. Outrunning ancients jumping at you when chilled...do people do this for entertainment? Her boots and gloves saved her. An added treat was that Madawc – being cold enchanted – could not be killed near her since the explosion would mean death and doom for Livexia. So she had to use the half second her decoy could last to run away and aim at Madawc, who had the nasty habit of running very close to her before throwing. When he at last blew up I thought the danger was over. It was at least halved with the conviction gone. Korlic was easy because Talic got lost somewhere south on the summit. The valkyrie could even stand against Korlic for some time.

Talic then. He had of course another mod besides extra strong. Stone skin. It doubled his defence to something that totally outclassed Livexias attack rating. I was sure he could block with his shield or something for this was just unbelievable. 1/20, at most, of the arrows hit him, doing 1/10 of their normal physical damage + half the poison damage from venom. The wretch took two hours and around fifteen seconds to bring down. Livexia had to lure him off with a decoy and run to the other edge of the summit to regenerate mana many times. Far too many times. The worldstone keep didn’t have any great dangers so Livexia could reach the waypoint and call for a break.

The last level of the worldstone keep held doom knights and some other insignificant opposition to fill out the ranks. After searching the entire level 3, Livexia stood before the Throne of Destruction. There she faced the first stairtrap. As if the game wished to compensate for the lack of such earlier, she was met by a pack of undead soul killers rith next to the stairs. Here, the cautious tactic of caution really shone. Cloaking and running to the side and firing multishot like mad took them down in short but horribly tense time.

A bit further north the next monster type introduced itself in the form of a dark lord boss pack. They took ages to take down because I didn’t want to provoke any more undead dolls lurking nearby. And what was the third monster type if not guardians. The ones that raises undead like the other two types. You’ve met them too? Charming trio, don’t you think? Especially when you lack corpse control... Knockback saved the day since dolls could be knocked back to their masters – clearing the path to shoot the guardians down. Thankfully, no guardian bosses or extreme crowds appeared.

Livexia made her best to knock the dolls back to Baal to make him clear away their corpses but and succeded in all cases but one. After the warped ones had been warped away at warp speed she would pay for that mistake. Achmel the cursed and stinking revived the doll time and again. What a childish enemy, playing with dolls at his age! Achmel was truly stinking because the very aura of him infected everyone with poison. Especially the valkyrie and Livexia who had – 53% poison resistance. Not the easiest to hit with Woestave. Now add cold immune horror mages and the unholy bolts flying. The second wave took more time than all the others together. Some day, perhaps even in my next life, I will try to lure these fellows out from Baal and see if I can split them up.

The hydras were hungry as usual but multishot shone and thrashed the councillors from a safer distance. Balrogs and Minions of Destruction were pathetic; they could barely take down the valkyrie. Pfefh!

In the first minute of the battle against Baal all went well. Livexia managed to hit him with woestave and Kyoko got in position. Then he threw spell after spell at the party and suddenly knocked everyone back with his hoarfrost. After that the place exploded in demon spells – tentacles all over and ceaseless cloning. Kyoko fell and all rejuvenation potions were gone. Livexia went to town and resurrected her and then tried again. But she just couldn’t get in position to hit Baal and keep him occupied. Slowly and steadily Livexia was pushed back and suddenly Kyoko fell again. Now she was out of gold to resurrect her rogue. It was extremely frustrating. To have it end NOW! Grumble...

After a minor tidal wave of less flattering epithets hurled at Baal I took some time to think a bit. The strength of Livexia was always her items and wealth. She is a greedy and arrogant mercenary and should be played like such. The lack of rejuvenation potions had also hindered her dramatically in the second round. So, off it was to act one to restock the supplies, hoard gold for Kyoko resurrections, prebuff and recast the valkyrie.

Then the final battle. This time Baal did nothing. He just stood there and cast no spells and didn’t strike down the valkyrie. The arrows whittled him down and the slowing kept him in the sluggish state. What had happened with the demon? After three minutes or so the fade ran out but Livexia stubbornly decided to stay despite the risk. After another minute Baal at last fell. I don’t understand this behaviour. Is it because of 75% is some sort of magical breakpoint for slowing? Is it just pure chance? Whatever it was, Livexia was a guardian!

While starting on this text I noticed that she hadn’t done nightmare Nihlatak. Such an incosistency could not be tolerated of course, so I sent her to nightmare. There she fell to his corpse explosion, sadly. At least she made it to guardian before. Sigh...

Nah, just kidding! Nihlatak had no monsters blocking the corridor leading to him so Livexia and Kyoko could get into firing positions and then multishot took down Nihlatak and the whole room. All quests completed!

Then I went away to make dinner. I was frying mushrooms with olive oil in a frying pan when they started to jump around and more or less explode! Mushroom Explosion (skill level 10 at least)! Beware Nihlataks revenge! :evil:


__________________________________________________________________________

Notable finds:
I can’t recall if there were any particularly great unique or set items along the way (except for the equipment) but with all the magic finding she did, there probably was some here and there.

Gul Rune (Hell Hellforge)
Lum Rune

Ruby Jewel
31% Enhanced Damage

Realgar Jewel of Bliss
25% Enhanced Damage
+5 to Minimum Damage

I waited forever for a nice item to use those jewels with but never found one. They collected dust until the end.

__________________________________________________________________________

Conclusion
As I have mentioned, Livexia became the opposite of what I intended with a weakening melee weapon and a damaging ranged weapon. Her huge emphasis on pierce and multishot was inefficient but the point for me is never to make the most efficient character possible. Multishot was dreadfully expensive and thus limited to desperate situations or really large groups of leechable monsters like the fallen ones. I often felt that pierce was the real crowd killing skill here. The dodge skills saved Livexia many, many times.

Going with a one point recastable decoy and valkyrie is certainly a challenge. Also going without a tanking mercenary was quite hard. Knockback with a bow is a very powerful crowd control method, especially since it can be combined with a curse.

Kyoko was often very good, but after the ancients she became scared and hid behind pillars a lot. Frustarting but I can’t really blame her. Kyokos deaths against Baal could maybe have been prevented had she had a decent helm with resists. Proper gear for the mercenary was an issue shamefully neglected by me.

Livexia was very lucky with some things and very unlucky with others. She found good gear and had some horrible monster rolls while others were blissful. She never faced a conviction gloam pack in hell. I honestly don’t know how that would have ended. I suppose either in victory by multishoting them from a screen away or in defeat due to lack of space.

Terrain is everything for this kind of character.
Halberds are the best-looking weapons in this game in my opinion, not least on amazons.

:wave:Thanks for reading this and congratulations on your great endurance if you made it this far!👋
 

Maltatai

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
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Sweden
@coju :
Holy cow! This is a wall of text! Did I say wall? I mean entire street block! I don't have the time for I am about to nap:
Congrats on the guardian! Wacking them with a polearm? Nice! Look forward to reading about that! Looked like it was to prevent monster heal?
Look forward to reading about how you liked the Peace Runeword. I'm tempted to make for a nonamazon character soon. If ctc works with kick, may use for a kicksin.
Anywho: This is a long list of white words and doodaddies I will read after while!
Congrats again!
Maltatai:
Yes I know it's much. I like to write stories about game characters. I have formatted and edited the whole thing a bit to make it more readable.
Peace does NOT work with a non-amazon character because it requires the wearer to have at least one hard point in valkyrie. otherwise there will only be a casting animation but no valkyrie will be summoned. So even amazons need a point in the skill from the start.
@coju :
Are you sure about the peace stat?
I'm going to have to look this up!
Peace runeword test
The formatting looks great maltatai! I'll read it tonight after dinner!
Greebo:
OK, I had to check what Woestave actually does:
Slows Target By 50%
Hit Blinds Target +3
-50 To Monster Defense Per Hit
Freezes Target

What I don't understand is, why wouldn't you give it to A2 Moron. I mean, that's just bound to work out better, I think. Especially that your Rogue didn't have some very cool bow that'd add to your damage/safety too. With Valk & Decoy around he should be safe enough. And for a worst case scenario, if you were worried about moron dying? You could carry one as well...
And why wouldn't you put more points in Valk for a character like that? Pierce has some harsh diminishing returns, you know. And MS is so dense that a few arrows not piercing a monster is no big. Also, even I don't max MS. Pick a number of arrow that's enough and stick to it is my strategy. 26 is overkill for me. I agree your choice of D/A/E investment is right for this character.
Certainly not something I'd have done, but a cool idea. I love MS, so I'm always happy to see those ladies around. Didn't read your "Our Adventure" story, but it's an interesting character, made quite an accomplishment by playing her in Hardcore.
Grats!
--Greebo
Maltatai:
coju,
Thanks, and about Peace: I tried it long ago but it didn't work and the one-point explanation was something I read about and assumed was the case. Your link looks like more thourough testing. I am admittedly less sure about it now, but I have never gotten it to work without a valkyrie hardpoint.

Greebo,
Thanks. I did certainly not place points to make Livexia as effective as possible, nor hire the strongest possible merenary. This character was all about role-playing. Livexia is an arrogant mercenary that want's the glory of holding the enemy off for herself and would loathe to focus on a skill that summoned a helper for that. She is obsessed with being the queen of massed archery at any cost and obtaining treasure. So if the valkyrie comes from her fancy breast plate, it is another story... Furthermore, she is fond of her little sister Kyoko and would hate to part with her, who has died so many times for their sake.

Yes, I am well aware of the dimishing returns of pierce and 26 points in multishot was indeed overkill.

But as I said, the point was never to make the most effective character possible. Otherwise I would always go with town guards and maxed valkyries and that would bore me to the point it would hardly be fun playing anymore. I try to mix between skills and mercenaries. As for another woestave, I am unsure if I actually ever found one.

As I mention in the ""Our Adventure" story" Livexia was first intended to be a mix between archer and shieldmaiden, being able to tank on her own. The original idea was that she wouldn't need a valkyrie.
@Kestegs :
Congrats 👍
Quite the achievement to get this one to guardian.
But the real question is... did it take you longer to play it or to write it up? I kid, I kid :p
Never done the MS guardian, but I'm pretty sure I see it in my near future.
@coju :
I've had baal do that a few times. Never hell baal, but nontheless. Just standing there shouting his profanities. He'll act like he wants to do something, like wave, or just say hello, but thinks twice about it and stops.
Did a mp where Andy ran up and danced with everyone. That was pretty sweet. She threw her green glow sticks everywhere, run up to us, and we all did a little :jig: (That's for you mal)

I lost in on this one. Started laughing historically. Until I read you were joshing. Then I was saddened.
lol. I did start laughing though. Thought it being funny that you, didn't actually, died going back to nm!
I did like your story-line between the moron and the character and the ORC.
Fredoferik:
... I should NOT have pressed that spoiler button!
Luckily my boss is out of town so I actually had time to read the whole thing - very impressive and entertaining write up! :)
Really really cool guardian with some quite nice gear as well (for untwinked). And no Atma/gomule aswell. awesome. Did I miss the part where you found your SoJ or did you not mention it?
Thanks for making the last ~20 minutes of my workday a bit more entertaining ;)
Maltatai:
Thanks a lot, I'm happy that people liked the story!
kestegs,
Hehe, the writing didn't take that much time, at least it didn't feel like so much. I had quite some fun writing it all down and making up jokes. More than I can say about the battle with Talic...
This forum has struck me as quite unused to long texts and stories. I'm admittedly more used to Total War games forums where long stories are more common.
coju,
I have also seen Baal do it before, or rather not doing anything, but it was on hell actually. My first guardian had a totally anticlimactic fight with hell Baal.
FredOfErik,
You're most welcome. You didn't miss anything, I haven't mentioned where I got the historical SoJ. Livexia is my only character ever to have found that ring, but I don't remember where it was.
Arkardo: Hey, congrats! Quite an unusual character you got there; I like it! I bet writing that awesome story took you a few hours, no?
Crawlingdeadman: congratulations and good job on the write up, i read the whole (long) thing!
Maltatai: Thank you, yes it took a few hours. I had it all thought out but getting it down on print (or at least virtual documents) took time.
JoeBruce:
I started reading this the first day you posted, and told myself I would finish it on a later day. Excellent write up, thanks for sharing. Indeed, the forum does not experience many long stories or write-ups anymore, but it is nice to see them.
You definitely set yourself some challenges for this character. Was it all single-pass or did you rerun? Self-found or not? (I'm sure you answered at least one of these, but I forget or didn't catch it - the curse of long write-ups 👍)
nubikoen:
That's one fabulous guardian thread. Thanks a lot for it.
And congratulations too, of course. :)
Ugla:
Congrats on the guard :flowers:
Your Ancients fight does ring a bell. It's kinda typical for bowzons to MA their way to glory, once they've run out of both mana and arrows. There is no way to abandon the battle with one Ancient left, even if reroll meant saving plenty of time.. Been there, done that :rolleyes:
Works even better if you lower MA's mana cost with few additional points. As the others already said, there is no need to go overboard with MS.
Very nice use of gear, including those special-purpose items, and props for handling it with no external stash.
The thing with the CtC Valkyrie is that it poofs almost instantly without a hard-point in it, making her fairly unstable.
Maltatai:
JoeBruce,
It was anything but single pass, but the more spectacular gear like the bows were found while questing if I remember correctly. All equipment was self-found except Irathas crown that Kyoko used briefly (should have saved that for boss fights...). I have only ever made three or so characters that receive items from other characters regularly.
Ugla,
No argument there. As mentiooned, Livexia is built for style and theme and not for efficiency.
Thanks for reading, everyone!
 

Maltatai

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
314
49
28
Sweden
Guardian Galthran the Summoner
Presenting another of the unbearably many summoning necromancers. But at least he is a little unusual in that he never used corpse explosion, decrepify or clay golem in hell.

Meet Galthran, based on a necromantic knight in Heroes of Might and Magic III. His specialty is skeletons. All kinds of them. He constantly keeps a supply of spare parts for his minions, which can be used to create huge walls randomly across the battlefield.

The skills won't surprise anyone, but here they are anyway:

1 Amplify Damage

20 Raise Skeleton
20 Raise Skeletal Mage
20 Skeleton Mastery
10 Summon Resist
1 Clay Golem
1 Golem Mastery

1 Bone Armour
20 Bone Wall

Only two prerequisites (golem skills) must be a record for any character I have made. If I had played more any remaining points would have gone into Summon Resist.

Some Stats

Strength: 93/117
Dexterity: 47/74
Vitality: 340/340
Energy: 25/38
HP: 878/1030
Mana: 189/194

Resistances wearing "Smoke"

Fire: 258/218/158
Cold: 185/145/85
Lightning: 253/213/153
Poison: 249/209/149

Mercenary: Rozene the Fiery Rogue

She. Is. Awesome. More on that later.

Equipment

Hat: Galthrans Undead Crown - socketed with a perfect skull of course!
Armour: Galthrans Gemmed Gothic Plate - socketed with a perfect skull and three perfect topazes
Shield: Large Shield - socketed with three perfect diamonds
Weapon: Aldurs Rhytm - socketed with three Eth:s
Belt: Credendum Mithril Coil
Boots: Galthrans Goblin Toe - Goblin Toe, the cutest shoe name in the history of role-playing games
Gloves: Rare gauntlets with 21% magic finding, 25% lightning resist
Amulet: Rare amulet with +1 skills, 37 life, 9% resist all, 10% faster cast rate.
Ring1: Rare ring with 20% lightning resist
Ring2: Rare ring with 24% fire resist, replenish life +4

Casting switch

Golemlords Grim Wand (= +3 summoning skills) and rare Preserved Head with +1 to Summoning Skills.

Inventory filled with tome of identify, cube and charms for life and resists.

Extra stuff

War Staff of Teleportation (for ancients and Baal)
"Smoke" Field Plate (to raise cold resist against bosses)
Goldwrap and Crown with three perfect topazes. Guess for what...

Rozene

Hat: Crown of Thieves
Armour: "Treachery" Breast Plate
Bow: Kuko Shakaku

The epic crown is all that kept this character from being totally untwinked. He was wearing a circlet that actually was better that the undead crown, but when another character found it I felt it was worth sacrificing the glory of untwinkedness to get it. Galthran had a relaxed and easy time from the start to hell (surprise, surprise). I don't remeber much of the early progress. Galthran had decent luck with gems and could wear the stylish black armour at least from late nightmare. I must say that he was very lucky with items, finding just the kind of things that would allow him to do a little fighting on his own and keep to the theme. The - 75% to enemy defence don't make him a paladin but he can contribute to downing large enemies with the crushing blow or resistant ones with the lightning damage. Somehow, I never remebered to borrow Treachery and prebuff his attack.

The strategy was to amplify anything in sight and use bone walls to keep the army together, protect it and separate enemies in smaller managable groups. In short, walls were the backbone (pun intended...) of Galthrans tactics. There weren't that many curses to chose from...

Now to the awesomeness of Rozene. She is a well behaved rogue in most casesbecause the skeletons and walls keep people away. The combination of explosive arrows and venom turned her into a walking artillery battery for the skeletal army. Thanks to Rozene, dangerous enemies could be trapped behind walls and destroyed from a safe(er) distance. She also supported the skellies with her inner sight. A mighty town guard will make skeletons so much stronger, I know, and blah blah blah. I'll go for versatility over power with any character, except for style and theme reasons.

Notable areas in Hell

Galthran got the best catacombs I have ever seen, He regularly paid hell Andy a visit at the end of each playing session. Diablo's buddies were managable except for the venom lords who were hideous. Diablo himself was taken down by skeletons after a long and troublesome game of running around and being caught by evil forces (it was before I had the teleporting staff).

The ancients were so scary that I put off facing them for a looong time, playing other characters in the meantime. After some tries I discovered that they were actually managable and once I remembered to stock up on mana potions Galthran scored a good roll (no cursed). It was especially notable because Talic was Fire Enchanted/Stone Skin, just like when another character of mine had to waste over two hourse taking him down. The skeletons did it in a few minutes.

The Worldstone Keep held annoying hierophants and zealots on the first level, and for some reason almost every boss was cursed! Copyright infringement! Galthran promptly decided to sue and made a mental note to raise himself a lawyer after finishing Baal.

The Throne of Destruction had burning souls greeting every visitor (no conviction boss, luckily) along with serpent maguses (serpent magi?) and doom knights. It was a slow and nervous advance until Galthran had secured some space.

The first two waves of Baal were easy...

Achmel the Cursed: What the (insert name of difficulty level here)! Those are MY skeletons, and "cursed" is supposed to mean that I am despised, not actually cursed! Stay away from my minions, you thief!

Galthran: Join the Necroskeletons today! Free spare ribs for all newcomers, hehehe!

Achmel the Cursed: That's not funny! By the way, are your skeletons called "necroskeletons"?

Galthran: Yes?

Achmel the Cursed: Because a skeleton is by definition dead, so only a very stupid jerk would call them necroskeletons - with a prefix meaning dead. It's like calling the "dead dead ones" or "dead deadlings".

Galthran: Ah, shut up. The stupid name is probably the work of your masters.
The third wave was surprisingly doable even if the hydras are very hungry for minions. They had nothing against spare ribs either. Carefully roasted. Anyway, timely use of a town portal and some well-placed walls limited the damage and caught the council members.

Galthran: I thought the Council of Zakarum was slain in Act 3. What council are you members of?

Bartuc the Bloody: We are the Council of Ministers, of the European Union.

Galthran: What on earth are you doing here?!

Bartuc the Bloody: We're looking for funding to solve the Euro crisis, of course! We hope that Baal will join other foreign investors to grant loans to save the monetary union.

Galthran: Negotiate fast then, because Baal's days are numbered, and the number is even lower than your poularity.

Bartuc the Bloody: What!? That low!? We haven't had the time to negotiate yet! Hydras, attack!
Wave four was slow due to big demons being resistant and sturdy but they didn't come close to break the line of skeletons. Only Ventar managed to get past by teleporting but he was soon shot down after that.

The minions of destruction were much easier to contain since they are slowwr and fewer. Rozene and her bony mascots took them down from afar. Slow, safe and humiliating for the minions of not-so-much-destruction-wreaked -today.

0.JPEG

Baal was angry. Really angry. He was nothing like when he is hit with slowing items and turn to an overgrown slug (minus the charisma of the slug). Maybe having lot in two previous difficulties and having had his brothers banished had something to do with it. Baal knocked the skeletal army from one end of the room to the other, cloning and spawning appendages wildly.

Galthran: Will you pleae stop this foolishness and ATTACK THAT DEMON!?

Skeleton: But we're surfing and having fun!

Galthran: That blue thing is not a wave, it is an evil spell that causes knockback!

Skeleton: But we are not destroyed, we are just knocked back. How can it be a spell then?
As said, the skeletons endured Baals spells pretty well as soon as he didn't clone, but they were knocked away time and again. I wonder if that was actually good for them - if they regenerated enough before getting back to be smacked by Baal to make the spell damage worth it:scratchchin:? The Lord of Destruction proved worthy of his title for once, and took several trips to resummon the army and dozens of trips to buy potions, to go down. But in the end Galthran claimed his title. :alright:

Then suddenly a white light appeared, and behold! Tyrael the Archangel was there! He explained how he had to destroy the worldstone, whose abundant power had been corrupted by Baals touch and...but No.

Galthran: Now I have had ENOUGH of you celestial gits interfering and sending us humans on erratic errands. The combined might of you and the Horadrim couldn't even beat Baal at the height of your power, and you haven't lifted a finger to help me, you even demanded money to resurrect Rozene! Shame on you!

Tyrael: Now, please calm down. You see, the powers of heaven can not interfere directly...

Galthran: Why on earth not!?

Tyrael: Errr, because...then we wouldn't be heavenly. If you humans actually saw what we could and could not do - especially the latter - we wouldn't be so celestial and mysterious anymore and...

Galthran: And you would lose your blind followers and be reduced to, what a terrible thought, having to actually work for the prayers you receive!

Tyrael: Something like that, yes. Hrrrm....

Galthran: But that ends now! As you said, this is the hour of mortal mans triumph, MY triumph! I will take the power that the worldstone holds and consume it MYSELF!

Tyrael: NO! It must not happen! This will be the doom for us all! I will destroy it before I see that power in your hands!

Galthran: No you won't.

Tyrael: Sorry pal, but only Baal had the power to block my presence here, as the ancients would have told you.

Galthran: They did. But you forget who you are talking to!

Tyrael: What do you mean?

Galthran: I am a ruthless necromancer after all. And there is a rather large corpse right in front of you. Watch!

Tyrael: NOOOO!

1.JPEG

Galthran: Arise, minion of darkness! Bow before your master!

Baal: Yes master. What is thy wish?

Tyrael: I MUST BE DREAMING! THIS MUST BE A HEAVENLY NGHTMARE!

Galthran: We're well past that stadium. THIS! IS! HELL! "kicks Tyrael into the bottomless pit next to the worldstone"

Tyrael: "flying back up" But why? You are already the most powerful necromancer in the land. What more do you hope to gain from the worldstone?

Galthran: Only one ability is still beyond my power. When I consume the worldstones power I will be able to ressurect Rozene myself, anywhere, and not be dependant on greedy priests in towns. I will also be able to give us both eternal life and power!

Rozene: Oh, Galthran, that's soo sweet of you! I almost think you fancy me, despite being caught up in your dusty crypt studies.

Galthran: Baal! To make up for all the trouble you have caused the world in general, and us in particular, you will have to serve me and Rozene for an eternity as our butler! And that will be a looooong time. No "death do us part" crap here!

Rozene:wub.gif

Galthran: Butler! Take out that angel trash!

Baal: Yes masterrr...

Tyrael: I need a vacation. Heaven doesn't pay me enough for this... Alright, I'm leaving! Get your appendages off me! Last time (Tal Rashas tomb) was more than enough for an eternity!

Rozene: What will you have the skeletons do now?

Galthran: They have earned their break. I promised them we should watch some movies back at my crypt. They all voted for stuff like "Corpse Bride" and "Night of the Living Dead" and stuff. Well, well... Some wanted to become fashion models but I somehow don't think they have the physique for that. Being all bones and so...

Rozene: Oh, but they will be perfect! Being as bony as possible is the most fashionable for women.

Galthran: But...they are, like, skeletons?

Rozene: Yeah, they will be able to beat all human models by a wide margin.

Galthran: Goodness, I got to go out more. I thought the ideal was to look pretty. How old-fashioned of me.

Rozene: For someone dealing with things long since dead, being old-fashioned is perhaps not that bad.

Galthran: May I say then, that you have a very old-fashioned look about your face and body?
Rozene: wub.gif

Then they lived happily for a very short time until becoming undead and then haunted the world happily for an eternity together with their surfing skeletons, always served by their new butler.
 
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Maltatai

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
314
49
28
Sweden
Guardian Marlotta the Flaming
Once upon a time there was a very hot and burning sorceress named Marlotta. She was so fiery that her armour became black as coal except the studded leather breastplate, which she gave to her hired town guard and waiter from time to time so it would cool down a bit. Marlotta had to drink blue water potions constantly to sustain her searing flames for a longer time. She was also very immature and childish even after reaching level 82 and frequently tormented her waiter Pratham with stupid jests such as conjuring hot clouds over his head and then daring him to play hide and seek as she teleported away.

Marlotta: Hihihihihahaha!
Pratham: Not again!

Pratham brinner.jpg


Skills (with Hexfire):

Fire Wall: 20 (23)
Fire Ball: 20 (23)
Meteor: 20 (23)
Fire Mastery: 20 (23)
Fire Boolt: 7 (10)
Enchant: 1 (4)
Prerequisites: 1 (4)

Telekinesis: 1
Teleport: 1

Stats with gear equipped:

Strength: 81
Dexterity: 125
Vitality: 312
Energy: 35

Life: 1014
Mana: 263

Equipment:

Hexfire/Marlotta’s Spineripper and Whitstans Guard socketed with a Perfect Diamond

Want of Lifetap/Lower Resist and Ancients Pledge in a Kite Shield

Irathas Coil (crown) with 15 resist all jewel (found the jewel in early normal if I remember correctly!)
Irathas Cuff
Irathas Collar
Irathas Cord
Twitchthroe socketed with a Tal rune
Marlotta’s Goblin Toe
Scintillating ring of the fox (15 resist all)
Crafted ring with 66 mana, 4 pdr and 23 lightning resists

Inventory filled with cube and charms for resists and life and a little poison damage

Treasure hunting gear:

Gull
Crown and Gothic plate with perfect topazes
2 Nagelrings

Pratham the Praying, town guard.

Treachery
Rare mancatcher with 40 enhanced damage and 5-115 lightning damage
Great helm with 3 Sol runes
___________________________________________________________________

Progress

Normal and Nightmare was not especially difficult. The most remarkable things that happened were the lucky item finds I guess. At last I succeeded in collecting Irathas set! I also found Gull early enough to gain many interesting items from Andariel and others.

During all of normal and nightmare Marlotta had been relying on discretion and teleport to stay out of harms way. I had hoped to break immunities with the wand and find enough equipment to let Pratham deal with the others successfully. Then Marlotta toasted nightmare Baal and what little trinkets glimmered on the ground if not Twiththroe and Whitstans Guard! Never have a character of mine gotten such a One moment fragile caster, another moment – queen stabbity-stab…stab stab…kill kill…

Yes, jumping through hellish fire immunes with teleport and a little poignard. But it works! Spineripper actually owns, ignoring target defence and preventing monster heal. With the obscene blocking bonuses, Marlotta could reach 75% without running dangerously low on life. Early in hell I discovered that breaking immunities was not only impossible in most cases but also worthless in others. Then I started to run into the Blood Clan. Their bosses cut through Pratham in a most depressing manner. I cursed myself for not having kept that wand of lifetap I found earlier. Then I started to shop for one and spent ages at that. Until I happened to open the cube and saw…a wand of lifetap that I had earlier left inside. There is no facepalm smiley large enough to describe that moment…

From there, things started to work out much better. I had not found the runes for Treachery yet which was most annoying. Prathams poking was thoroughly pathetic throughout the game actually. Andariels poison was dangerous for the hireling but she burned like usual. I think Duriel fell rather quickly and Pratham tanked well, but I don’t remember so much about act 2 and 3. The Durance of Hate and the slimy sewers and dungeons where other undead dolls live were horribly scary as usual. I hate dolls more than any other monster (except possibly for Talic).

Then, the dreaded Act 4. Filled with fire immunes and big melee monsters. Yes, quite hard. The wide open spaces makes it quite good for a teleporting character though. The most dangerous foes were the doom knights. Venom lords and such where not so hard. And, since Hexfire and Irathas set gives 95 % fire resist, the fire attacks were not exactly noteworthy:

Marlotta: :coffee:There seem to be a warm breeze blowing today.
Pratham: For your information my lady, that is the inferno from venom lords, the bugged attack that have become the nr 1 danger here since Iron Maiden was removed.
Marlotta: Sure?
Pratham: Yep.
Marlotta: Then this is not a bodybuilder with horns practicing posing with a replica of the butchers cleaver from Diablo 1?
Pratham: That is a venom lord, my lady. But the difference is hardly noticeable.
Marlotta: "Sigh", Let's get to it then...

(Just had to add those memorable lines)

Sigfrid: Plagiarism!
Azrael: Copycats!

Diablo was easily roasted. Once you get to him there is abundant space to jump around on and the evil bone prison force is thankfully not teleport-proof. It has always struck me as a little strange that fire seem so effective against the red and most hellish of the three.

Diablo brinner.jpg

Marlotta: Burn, burn! Burn with the fires of change! Scream your hymns to Marlotta!
Pratham: I think he is quite roasted now.
Marlotta: Hmm, I guess so. Well then, I think we will take a glass of Chateau de Jerhyn to the Flambeau Terrible. You may serve the wine now, Pratham.
Pratham: With the same procedure as last year, miss Marlotta?
Marlottas: As every year Pratham.
(Pratham trips on a stone on the ground)

I think I found the Lem rune in the remains of Mephsto’s soulstone. It was at least not later than that. Venom made a huge difference against fire immunes and teleport was quite good to catch the little teleporting imps. After a tiresome and long march across the melees of the fields Marlotta could look around in the welcoming ice caves. Here there would surely be many melting and burning things. Which it indeed was, but also scary minotaurs and some fire-proof creatures. Anya was guarded by burning souls, ghosts and cursing witches. A hated and feared combination for many characters but not Marlotta. All of the were easily burned.

I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.
I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.
I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.
I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.
I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.
I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.
I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.
I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.
I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.
I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.
I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.
I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.
I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic. I hate Talic.

WHY must he be constantly immune to fire? Why, why, why, why? Could it not at least be one of the harmless other two? After probably twenty or more rerolls I got a Talic that Pratham could tank and whittle down with his little poking. I had to teleport him away when Talic started to whirl. It was nervous like the name of the difficulty level. The sidekicks of Talic disappeared early on. I guess they got lost among the flames, they could not have died that fast, could they?

The Worldstone Keep greeted me with manageable but hard witches and some other monsters until I found the waypoint and quit. During the last session I faced soul killers on the first level – fire immunes and LOTS of them. One such pack actually rushed to waypoint-trap Marlotta. What a nice start of the gaming day… The next level had doom knights – fire immune and dangerous. Baal was guarded by doom knights, a couple of serpents and…venom lords, who are of course fire immune. Aaaargh! A pack of champion Oblivion Knights stairtrapped Marlotta which was quite frightening but luckily there was nobody on the other side of the stair wall block so Marlotta could escape. At least there were no dolls.

Baals first wave was not immune (which I thought) except of course for Colenzo. They ran around and screamed and rose from the dead for a while. The second wave was tougher than expected. Those mages had some resistance despite their similarity with the worthless horror mages of earlier levels. After many mana potions and lots of running Achmel (whoa actually was cursed as special ability and not only name – style point to him) bit the dust, or stone.

After him came the dreaded council whose hydras apparently got beefed up somewhere in the later patches.

Marlotta: Awww, what a cute little hydra! Come here, do you want some cookies?
Bartuc the Bloody: What the this difficulty level?!
Marlottas: Quiet, back there. You’re scaring them!
Bartuc the Bloody: You’re supposed to die a grim death from their flames! They are terrible monsters!
Marlotta: Monsters? No, no, no, if they were monsters they would have harmed me.
Pratham: “clears his throat loudlyâ€
Marlotta: Oh, right…I’m sure they will behave better once we have gotten to know them. It’s just a temporary inconvenience.
Pratham: I pray it is…
Marlotta: Precisely! Your prayer fills me with life!
Pratham: No! Not the aura! I meant as an idiom!
Bartuc the Bloody: Look, they are MY hydras and they will eat you alive!
Marlotta: Still here? Can’t you take a hint, demon? Get stuffed and stop bother the hydras with your evil commanding.
Bartuc the Bloody: You insolent…
Marlotta: Eat meteors!

Marlotta: That got him. Can we keep them? I promise I will clean up burned rugs and pillows and go out with them! Please, please, please!
Pratham: Keep what? Hydra is a timed spell.
Marlotta: But, they were here… Boooooooo!

The venom lords stayed together in the beginning but after they had gotten a taste for bashing Pratham some got impetuous and broke formation. They were easily stabbed apart by the fearsome spineripper. Actually, they were quite weak. Ventar was enchanted with something useless. Lister was not. He was fire enchanted and extra fast apart from the spectral hit. His minions were a bit harder to split up and way more risky to face. Marlotta was quite good versus them compared to Pratham, due to the prevent monster heal. Pratham was knocked back and stunned so much that he didn’t deal much damage. Wands of life tap rule… Lister himself took a looong time, but not nearly as long or agonising as Talic. Marlotta positioned herself right behind Pratham to prevent him from being knocked back.

Lister blockerad.jpg

Marlotta: You may now serve the minion soup, Pratham.
Pratham: Certainly miss Marlotta.
Marlotta: I think we will have a glass of Red Dwarf brandy to the soup.
Pratham: Is Lister the Tormentor really a hint to Lister on the Red Dwarf ship?
Marlotta: How should I know that? But I hope Baal is tormented by his Lister just like the space Lister torments his superiors. Now serve the brandy!
Pratham: The same procedure as last year, miss Marlotta?
Marlotta: As every year, Pratham!

The lord of destruction himself actually fought fiercely. Appendages were everywhere, clones were cast and teleported from pillar to pillar. Marlotta had changed to a wand of lower resist and of course Hexfire to burn him in the most overpowered and impressive way possible. She teleported across the room to avoid the appendages and drank mana potions like it was Midsummer’s Eve in the sorceress academy. Baal was finally no more than main course!

Baal brinner.jpg

Marlotta: I think we will take Tristram Beer to the Baal Steak.
Pratham: Same procedure as last year, Miss Marlotta?
Marlotta: Why, the same procedure as every year Pratham!
Pratham: Same procedure as every year…
Marlotta: Mr Prathamroy!
Pratham: Cheeeers miss Marlotta!
Marlotta: Necromancer von Schneider!
Pratham: Schall!
Marlotta: Sir Brian Guilbert!
Pratham: Happy new year Marlotta dear!
Marlotta: What do you mean, new year? It’s almost Midsummer!
Pratham: I don’t know why I said that. Must be all the drinks…
Marlotta: Lady Wintercotton!
Pratham: Well here we are again…

Tyrael: “clears throatâ€
Marlotta: Yes? Can’t you see we’re in the middle of a picnic?
Tyrael: Praise be to the light! You have accomplished the impossible!
Marlotta: Shouldn’t you praise us then and not the light? Stupid heaven, always taking credit for others efforts. You don’t even deserve a capital “hâ€.
Tyrael: Ummm, I was supposed to demolish the worldstone. Would you be so kind to evacuate the building, please? It would be much appreciated. Thank you.
Marlotta: Listen here, I have just finished off the lord of destruction! The least I deserve is to get a chance to finish my dinner undisturbed. Now leave or I’ll set your wings on fire!
Tyrael: But, I have a sacred quest…
Marlotta: Pratham, you may now serve the dessert!
Pratham: Dessert?
Marlotta: Yes, Pratham. I think we will have Archangel Wing* Cake for dessert. I can assist with the cooking if you don’t have any ready. I am sure you will find the ingredients somewhere very near… And to that we would like some port wine.
Pratham: With the same procedure as last year, miss Marlotta?
Marlotta: With the same procedure as every year, Pratham.

*Angel and Archangel wings are made of cream and sugar, which is why they are so white. It is one of the less known facts about the world of Sanctuary and its neighbours.
_______________________________________________________________

Marlotta: Aaaah, that was excellent. I feel great. I think I will cast the Mayhem of Marlotta and then go to bed.
Pratham: Mayhem?
Marlotta: It is a new spell I have been working on. It combines explosions and fire walls. Like this:

Marlotta.jpg

Happy Midsummer in advance! 👋
 
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Maltatai

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
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Sweden
Guardian Linuviel the Sniper
:whistling: Melodramatic Intro:
Fallen i mörkret.jpg

(Melody: Fear of the Dark by Iron Maiden)

I am a foe who walks alone
And when I’m walking the dark road
At night or strolling through the dark
When the light begins to change
I sometimes feel a little strange
A little anxious when it’s dark
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a constant fear that something’s
Always near
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone’s
Always there

Have you run your fingers down
The wall
And have you felt your neck skin crawl
When you’re searching for the light?
Sometimes I am scared
To take a look
At the shadows of the room
Sense something sinful’s
Watching me
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
Have a constant fear that something’s
Cloaking near
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
Have a phobia that someone’s
Aiming there

Hope I’ll never be alone at night
Thought I heard footsteps behind
I turned around but no one’s there?
And as I quicken up my pace
I find it hard to look again
Because I’m sure
That’s someone there
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a constant fear that bolts are
Flying near
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a phobia that mind blast
Will hit here



Fear of the dark
Fear of her bolts
Fear of her rogue
Fear of the dark

Fear of the dark
Fear to be slowed
Fear the Woestave
Fear of the dark

Watching ranger types the Act before
With shadows treading at their fore
The unknown troubles on my mind
Maybe her blast is playing tricks
I sense, and suddenly ears fix
On sounds of bowstrings from behind
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a sudden fear that corpse is
Blasting there
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone’s
Running near

Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a constant fear that something’s
Drawing near
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone’s
Guardian there



When I’m walking the dark road
I am foe who walks alone​

Level 81 Assassin

Statistics (with equipment)


Strength: 118
Dexterity: 193
Vitality: 252
Energy: 57

Life: 1027
Mana: 241

Fire resistance: 75
Cold resistance: 38 (not as bad as it may seem thanks to Raven frost, and nothing a potion wont fix when needed)
Lightning resistance: 75 (58 with Blackhorns but the absorption compensates well)
Poison resistance: 75 (85 with Venom Grip)

Faster running (when prebuffed): 77



Skills

Shadow Disciplines:


Psychic Hammer: 1 (superb for knocking foes back and catching fleeing ones!)
Cloak of Shadows: 20 (turn off the light to hit things better – isn’t the logic flawless?)
Mind Blast: 1 (the games most ridiculously strong one point skill, excellent complement to the cloaking and fun to lock out strong melee enemies on occasion)
Claw Mastery: 1
Weapon Block: 1 (actually added some safety and feeling of security with the claw switch, even if I didn’t need to rely on it)
Burst of Speed: 20
Fade: 1 (always useful on occasion)
Venom: 20 (
Shadow Warrior: 1
Shadow Master: 20 (she drove me half-mad many times and gave away the position, but still a very effective if also very unreliable mnion)

Traps:

Fire Blast: 1
Lightning Sentry: 1
Charged Bolt Sentry: 1
Death Sentry: 2 (one point in all but the last level, nice corpse control and for illuminating the path ahead and add a little explosion damage when I feel for it)

Martial Arts:

Bah, kicking and flailing madly with little knife things. So indiscreet and unstylish.



Equipment:

Lore in a cap (a little of most things but not quite so much of everything one would like)
Smoke in a quilted armour (ever the lifesaver)
Hwanins belt (Prevent Monster Heal!)
Cleglaws gloves (so original…)/Linuviels Venom Grip (insanely suitable name isn’t it? The only source of crushing blow)
Raven Frost (present from nightmare councillors)
Scintillating ring of the sentinel (14 resist all)
Saracens Chance (good bonuses but the iron maiden sometimes disrupted my cloak)
Ruby boots, 38% fire resistance (had a pair with 32% for much of hell)

Linuviels Buriza-Do Kyanon (this thing is just absurdly powerful) socketed with a perfect skull (what could be more stylish? Also, finally a source of leeching) + not ever enough of bolts

Claws/Cestus with +2 to assassin skills each (for prebuffing and used when going down stairs for a little block in case of ambushes)

Linuviels Woestave (so cool. so useful. so traditional for my archer characters)

Inventory filled with resistance, life and running charms, cube and a tome of identify

Equipment of Maeko the Fantastic Fire Rogue

Kuko Shakaku socketed with a Shael
Blackhorns Face socketed with a jewel with 39% damage to demons (borrowed by Linuviel against bosses)
Duress in a breastplate (used skin of the vipermagi before getting the Um from the Hellforge in, uh, hell)



Five Cool Things about Linuviel:

Speeeeed
Maeko!
Crowd control like few others
95 % slowing + cold damage chilling
Shoving frustrated foes away with psychic hammer

Five Annoying Things about Linuviel:

Can barely hit a thing that isn’t cloaked
Utterly fragile
The shadow masters mutinous disobedience
Conversion of monsters interfere with tactics and stealth (see above)
Long waiting time for cloak to recharge



Funny Moments:

The idiot bird in Nightmare Bloody Foothills. You’re not at sea looking for fish, Mr. Vulture. Move it so I can hit you, you camper!
Linuviel och fågeln 1.jpg

Linuviel och fågeln 2.jpg
When sneaking through Hell Jail level 3 I was listening to “Fear of the dark” and Linuviel was hit by a death clan (embarrassing, I know) which prompted the amulet to cast Iron Maiden just as the song ended.

In the catacombs I was extremely cautious. I put lamps in all rooms before entering to scout for foes. After reaching a corner I turned in another direction and saw a light behind a door. Aha! Clearly a dark one shaman and his mischievous minions! Cunningly I waited and cast Cloak of Shadows, preparing to open the door and open fire…ice…before anyone would notice what was happening. Linuviel burst in and found…one of the lamps I had put there when passing through the room before, shining brightly. It was made even funnier by the fact that my girlfriend was sitting next to me and watching it all.

Hitting the Grumpy Old Men with slowing gear and Weaken charges… Aaaah, few things in Diablo II ever felt as good as humiliating them in this manner.

Listers minions slowed to a crawl in a similar manner. It made the game look like it was seriously lagging.

:whistling: Melodramatic End Theme:
Linuviel i mörkret.jpg

(Melody: Poison by Alice Cooper)

(Instrumental Intro)

My cruel device
Spits bolts, of ice
One look, could kill
Your pain, my thrill

You wanna hit but won’t manage to touch – won’t touch
You wanna hold me but your senses tell you to stop
You’re gonna miss me cause I run off too much – too much
You wanna taste me but my bolts are venomous poison
They’re poison running through your veins
You’re poisoned
I’m not gonna get in range

My rogue, so hot
Mind blast, you’re caught
My skin, so fair
Black boots, and hair

You hear me calling wanting quarrels and bolts – more bolts
You try to spot me just to hear me sniping your friend
Don’t think you’ll touch me or reach under my skin – deep in
You want to kiss me but my lips are venomous poison
I’m poison running through your veins
I’m poison
And you’ve gotten within range
Poison

...

One look – one look
Could kill – could kill
In vain – you’re still

You wanna love me but you better not touch – don’t touch
You wanna hold me but my shadow tells you to stop
You wanna kiss me but you want it too much – too much
You wanna taste me but my soul is venomous poison
I’m poison running through your veins
I’m poison
Death sentries light up the lane
Poison – poison

You wanna read on but you better not touch – don’t touch
You wanna try this but have patience or you will stop
You might be twinking if you find it too much – too much
To make Linuviel with a soul of venomous poison
80 levels did I gain
Poison – poison
Burning deep inside my veins
Guardianhood is what one gains
Poison…

Will post the story of her progress later, too tired now. Thought I would make an ordinary Guardian post first for those who don't like long texts.

The Tale of Linuviel

Normal and Nightmare

It is some time since I started this character. I had a kind of imprecise idea about a ranged assassin using a shadow master like an Amazon can use a valkyrie and venom to boost damage. It was around the time I had guardianed Livexia the multishooting Amazon and thought of linuviel as a kind of Assassin counterpart. I also decided to go for light armour and as much mobility as possible. Cloak of shadows seemed necessary to hit things and burst of speed proved incredibly funny. Originally I planned to leave that skill at 7 points but then reconsidered as running fast became such an integral part of the character. Linuviel was lucky enough to find some elemental damage charms in Act I and could therefore make the most of her incredible speed. Maeko followed her from the beginning just like Kyoko had followed Livexia.

The progress slowed down a little until level 30 when venom became available. I collected a nice Stealth quilted armour and Zephyr bow. The speed was insane and all other characters felt like they walked through deep snow after a session with Linuviel. Normal was finished without any notable difficulty and nightmare was also fairly easy. Progress was not that fast with basically only venom as damage source but it was safe and steady. The most important events in nightmare was the collection of various items (who did not see that coming?) and thinking up ways of using them with varying effect. After finding Twitchthroe I tried a kind of melee setup with fade to compensate for resists, a Strength:y sabre and a shield. It blocked all right but hitting things was a rare experience when facing bosses. Especially Mephisto had a lot of visits, since Linuviel had gotten a very nice map to him.

By the end of nightmare it had since long been apparent that venom and cloaking was not nearly enough to make an effective archer. Ventar, Lister and Baal were painfully slow to dispatch. Ah, maybe something would turn up in hell. At level 67, Linuviel stepped into hell with good resistances, a stout shadow and pathetic damage from afar. Ok, fallen ones fell pretty quickly and the shadow provided extra types of damage to deal with immunities. Linuviel was wielding a fools short siege bow of grinding and Maeko a magic composite bow or something with fire damage. With the cloaking, hammering and mind blasting the party were pretty safe. I could probably beat hell like this.

BUT, it would be beating hell in a wait-for-shadow-to-do-the-job-and-assist-a-bit-sometimes way which was not what I desired. I liked Linuviel far too much, and would really like to see the potential of burst of speed to show. So, after claiming the Black Marshes and maybe even the Outer Cloister I went back to Nightmare for some frantic and mindless magic finding. After much far too late effort I had assembled some half-descent treasure hunting gear with flawless topazes. The big problem was the weapon and hit chance. Act bosses were painfully slow to take down with the bow and normal monsters are boring to run in nightmare. I also found it tedious to have to pick out the Woestave from the cube every time Linuviel was nearing a boss.

Then I got the tremendously terrific idea of actually throwing the bow away and focus on just running through packs with the great speed directly to Andariel who at least could drop the lower unique exceptionals like Langer Briser or Riphook. And that WORKED! With Venom Grip (don’t remember where I found that) there was some crushing blow at last. Andariel was truly assassinated with her minions standing stupidly in the shadows of their clouded minds around her. She became so angry that she was at one time both fanatic and mighty. I have never made so many rounds of treasure hunting from a single boss with any character ever. In a forum where the Pindle and Lower Kurast runs are measured in thousands the modest amount of sixty or seventy will of course likely pale in comparison, but it’s a lot compared to what I usually do.

So, finally Linuviel got some with primary equipment! Kuko Shakaku! With the awesome success of the rogue Rozene (guarding the summoner/knight Galthran with that bow and Treachery) fresh in memory I looked forward to see the fireworks light up the field. Maeko got the bow of course. One has to take care of ones rogues and Maeko did of course like the bow since she is a fire rogue. Now something for Linuviel. Come on, Andy. How long can this take? Cough up something. Not literally, of course. But NO. Not even a second Kuko Shakaku (that would by the way have been very cool, dual explosions). I did find great stuff for all other kinds of characters like Spineripper, Heart Carver, Hexfire and Coldkill. Just for the sake of variety, I visited Shenk and Eldricht and…what’s…that?

Linuviels eviga plundring.jpg

Overpowered imbalanced exceptional-that-is-on-par-with-elites – because I’m worth it. Here I had been hoping for something like the Langer Briser or even Skystrike… I have only found the Buriza once before if I recall correctly, years ago with a Paladin that I thought couldn’t make much use of it. To field test it, let’s go to Diablo and melt his little doom knights… Oooooh, looks promising! And what’s that on the ground? Thanks you so much, D, even if I can’t make any practical use of it. I’m sure you are sad to see me leave. And how about visiting Baal again? Whose hideout happens to have…that extremely convenient map I all the time ignored because I was too busy running Andy…I feel so not baffled by how this turned out…Later Linuviel would get a similarly awesome map in hell, but that was slightly too late to be of any particular use. On to hell at last! Fear my piercing bolts!

Linuviels sista kartor och Ist.jpg

Letter from Maeko to Kyoko
Dear Kyoko,

I hope you are well wherever you are since you ran off with that greedy Amazon. Maybe we’ll run into each other some time because I have also got a job abroad now! I’m apparently hired by this strange black rogue or whatever I should call her, called Linuviel. Gosh, I din’t even remember signing up for that but maybe I’m just a little dizzy. I slept awfully bad this night. I dreamt about glorious adventures saving the world from demons but then I had this horrible, horrible nightmare about having to do it AGAIN, just now everything was harder. And me and my allies could never get any good bows no matter how much we ran into dungeons. It’s just like one of those dreams when you want to run and never seem to move no matter how much you try.

My boss dresses in all black in a modestly protective outfit. She apparently prioritizes speed over armour. Gosh, she is fast! I almost get tired just looking at her, not to mention trying to keep up. She has long black hair that never seems to get tangled, it looks just like a leather cap or hood from afar. Linuviel is apparently some sort of hunter of mages primarily. From what I’ve heard about them they do little to deserve the nickname “assassins” because they fight with spectacular fire, lightning and cold attacks (that for some reason are completely NOT magical, don’t ask me about the logic here). But Linuviel is truly an assassin. She hides us in a kind of strange shadowy darkness that blinds most enemies yet lets us see them. It’s almost like they are easier to hit in the dark. It’s odd and a little frightening. She wields a great crossbow with a small demon skull inserted in it. That thing is scary too. The string is pulled so tight by a lever mechanism that the bolts just pierce right through enemies. The bolts are chilled by the crossbow in some way and Linuviel coats them in a vile poison, making them dreadful for any demon or animal we face.

I have gotten a fantastic bow that makes all my arrows explode and even pierce the enemies too sometimes. I also have a suit of blue viper skin and a mask with black horns. Don’t laugh! The mask is very useful I’ll tell you. It protects against lightning. Linuviel, I and a kind of shadowy minion of hers with claws went out to clear out a cave near the rogue camp. The fallen ones didn’t see what hit them! As fast as she is, Linuviel treads lightly and uses a kind of lamp to scout ahead. It emits lightning if enemies are near. It’s actually kind of funny: She first lights up the place with a lamp, then reconsiders and turn the light of with her shadow cloak and then I turn it back on again when I cast inner sight!

We proceeded on to defeat Blood Raven the corrupted. I never liked her anyway. Pompous brat. Linuviel can turn enemies away with some weird mental power and even stun and sometimes convert them too. It’s handy for a ranged character. Her shadow can do this also but Linuviel often gets mad when that happens because the shadow tends to convert them just when Linuviel is about to shoot them. Despite our light armour, we are rarely hurt. Linuviel carries a whole belt of great restoring potions but I doubt she drank any of them before we faced Adariel in the deep catacombs of the monastery! Linuviel had to resummon her shadow due to Andariels great poison attacks but she slashed the demon with a great halberd that seemed to inflict much pain which slowed Andariel down and caused her to bleed. Most demons and undead are said to recover quickly if left alone but none seem to heal a bit after Linuviel hits them. She is indeed a mean one but she looks out for me very well unlike some other employers I’ve heard about.

We are going to Aranoch soon, hope we can meet you there,

Maeko
Evaluative Report Regarding the Upheaval of the Demonic Siege of Lut Gholein,

comprised by Court Advisor and Vizier 2.0 Drognan for Lord Jerhyn of the Dynasty Apparently Not Noteworthy Enough To Be Mentioned

My lord, the department of administrative affairs has concluded that the mysterious visitor it was assigned to investigate the background of is, as shocking as it may sound, not a harem girl running off with an overgrown crossbow from your armoury. Although it defies logic and lacks credibility, the only possible conclusion is that there are some more or less professional adventurers that freely chooses to dress in just their underwear and high boots. It is possible that that is part of the explanation why they are so keen on conducting their battles wrapped in a complete darkness which would seem to impede the vision of everyone trapped in it. Strangely, creatures arriving to the spot after the darkness has been summoned do not suffer the same difficulties.

The sewer inspectors have concluded that the city drains do indeed seem free of infesting undead but the remains of Radament the Fallen stink profoundly enough to render the entire area subject to the direst of quarantines. Many of the undead seem to have melted on the spot as if frozen and others bear signs of burns from explosions. Radament appear to have kept a small guard with him that, judging by the remains, was lured out from him and somehow kept at the spot where they were destroyed by exploding as well as freezing projectiles along with something that made their corpses explode. Inspectors have recovered a few spare metal parts, some marked “Death Sentry v 1.01 Cheesy Skills Inc”. The exact meaning of the message remains unknown. Consulted books have so far yielded no notable information on the subject.

Archaeological excavators have uncovered fairly recently deceased claw vipers and salamanders in the abandoned temple near the lost city. They seem to have been shot by arrows and bolt. In the second level a light green one and many minons lay cramped together in a tight spot as if kept there by mysterious powers. It seems like a logical conclusion that the serpents tried to ambush their attacker at the narrow corridor but found themselves trapped and shot from afar instead. Especially the light green corpse seems to have been desecrated and ripped apart even after death with savage fury, leading to the conclusion that the culprit must have borne a special hatred for that particular salamander. The archaeologists have been transferred to the Canyon of the Magi, recently rediscovered, where a maggot of unfathomable size and obesity has been discovered, apparently in a tomb where it must have stayed for considerable time given the fact that it is much too big to get out of the place and no burrowed tunnel was visible. There are speculations about some sort of vampire involved since the creature had been drained of a greta deal of it’s blood but the wounds on it’s body suggest a slashing weapon and arrows.

Lastly, the Vizier would like to note that the requested funding for next years Integrated Transport Policy has still not been cleared out completely. A proposal is being drafed on the appointment of a Transport Supremo to deal with the different transport issues.

So sayeth Ormus the Concise and Clear
Shadows creep in from the sea
Through which nobody can see
Green bolts flying all around
Flayers dropping to the ground
Every fetish she handled well
Which from that outfit, all could tell
Spiders blasted to the corner
Of their cave that’s gotten warmer
By sightless arrows from a scout
That missed when spiders turned about
The earthly fools look out and dream
Spiritual wise guys the inner see

Kurast high and mighty grows
Into gardening racks in rows
Stairtraps beckon in all temples
Dual claws the danger gentles
Blowing flayers and bony dolls
Is a pest and take their tolls
On the careless and the closing
Yet cloaks and mind blasts turn them losing
Tumbling into little heaps
Of bone that blow up with faint shrieks
Nuns and priest the favoured targets
Of a slayer of spell-chargers

Far the trail below the ground
Take the party till they found
A waypoint in the demons durance
Why is it there, it’s an insurance
That someone will get out or in
The layer of sense is indeed thin
But what to expect from Cains old colleagues?
Masters of idiocy, lords of follies
So large the place
It has the space
To fit all jungle within the maze
Under Mephistos benevolent gaze

Orbs of frost spell death and doom
Their sound did echo through the room
Yet shadows are a hardy breed
Several spells the demon need
To strike her down yet again she appears
More powerful than one could possibly imagine
That does not rhyme but what do I care
When a silly movie reference I got to bear
Behind her minons Linuviel swings
The evil Woestave that slows and stings
The shadow as tank, of genius a sample
Her rogue safe and sound, a textbook example!

Hell Mephisto.jpg

Journal of Linuviel
Day 666 since the random day I started counting from just so that this day would become day 666

I am in hell. Again. Bu this time it’s Hell Hell. That will make so much sense if anyone ever reads this. Third time here, but don’t tell anyone. I’m not really THAT evil. I like to think of myself as more of a bad girl actually. Naughty me, ending up here time and again, and not even having the decency to do the “ending” part properly. Naughtya Maxima. Wonder if one could run into any suitably sinful Biggus D…hrm, then there was this thing about professionalism. Yes, maintaining professional distance is the key in this job. Unless you are a shadow, in which case keeping your distance is the wrong thing to do and thus of course a seemingly irresistible thing to do. No matter, having to look closely at the frontal or rear midsection of the venom lords should be more than enough punishment for anybody. I shall resolve not to get too angry with shadow master.

Day 668

Have talked Jamella into becoming an assassin I think. At least she smiled politely and listened attentively. She has some promise if she could just get rid of the spare paladin armour parts on her arms and part of her upper body. Why keep them anyway if you leave your most vital areas unprotected? Izual down (again). What a loser. Hell does not impress much.

Day 669

Visited River of Flame and Hellforge. Venom lords prove slow to destroy with their resistances and habit of spreading out. Shadow master erratic. Why is she called shadow master and not shadow mistress, the feminine form of master? If she is a proper shadow of me she is certainly a mistress. Hephasto has been seriously humiliated by the wonders of psychic powers and ranged capability. The blue stone of random gems yielded and Um rune when beaten! Maeko had an early birthday present snatched from the past Act II and socketed with runes by Tyrael, under great duress. Serves him right after goofing the whole soulstone fiasco and debacle. Go overprotected little minions! Will murder the devil of them all tomorrow. Must also find way to fix my armour. The leather parts are not happy in this dry environment.

Day 670

Maeko eager to try out new equipment. Met Urdar bosspack that proved to fast for her to handle alone which sort of ruined the demonstration. Chaos Sanctuary now Shadowy Sanctuary. Feels good to snipe Oblivion knights since I am after all supposed to be a mage slayer. Diablo killed Maeko with his spells, the scum, but I distracted him with the shadow and hacked his spiky behind to pieces. Maeko resurrected but in foul mood about always dying to D’s spells. Heading to Harrogath, the glorified village that thinks itself a city.

Journal of Talic the Ancient
Day 1 235 391 762 8…well, a heck of a long time since my days among the living.

Dropped my glasses today. Think Madawc took them.

Day 1 since yesterday

Found my glasses. Turns out they were hanging by a strap around my neck. Thinking of going with amulet of inner sight instead, might be more stylish.

Day 1 since yesterday

Played bridge with Madawc and Korlic. A bit boring by this time. Sort of repetitive. Not like back in my days when we would…

Day 1 since yesterday

Some polite young man passed through carrying a relic of old. He asked what wise bits of advice someone as old as I could share with him. Such decency is never seen among the youth today! Just listening to this blacksmith music or whatever it is, and partying. “Heavy Metal”, bah! As I finished my tirade about the ineptness of today’s teenagers and younger adults (turns out to be most of them) I noticed the polite young man had disappeared. It still puzzles me how he got on and off the summit (which isn’t actually a summit but rather a small plateau close to the mountains summit) since he was far too big to get through the tiny portals with that walking wheelchair of his.

Day 1 since yesterday

Watched the ground below today. Strange. The whole countryside seems to be filling with demons. Don’t know what could cause that. I am sure that Qual-Kehk will handle it. He is a fine young man who knows to look up to his betters and keep to traditions. As everyone knows, if something was good enough for your ancestors it’s good enough for you.

Day 1 since yesterday

Seems that the youth of today is not up to the task. I’ll have them know, when I was a warrior I…

Day 1 since yesterday

Not even my own journal seems to listen when I talk about past times. Harrogath under siege.

Day 1 since yesterday

Korlic has lost his toupee somewhere. He’s getting so forgetful! We all have to look for it before I can go back to whatever it was I was doing…

Day 1 since yesterday

There seem to be some sort of storm driving in from Harrogath. Black clouds appear and disappear and some sort of tiny whirlwind move here and there with unbelievable speed. Apparently it’s hailing and lightning also strikes down there. The hails seem quite fatal to the demons. What weeds. I’ll have them know, when I was at their age I…

Day 1 since yesterday

Storm seems to have disappeared down through the icy caves. Strange. Apparently demon prison cages fot damaged by it and prisoners escaped.

Journal of Linuviel
Day 675

Plains filled with archers and succubi, all with too long range to blind by cloaking. Hate this place. It’s freezing, too.

Day 676

Rescued Anya. Ice caves filled with bony poison resistant mages but otherwise better than upstairs. Frozen river held gloams and succubi. Maeko owned them. Think I am catching a cold.

Day 677

Adya sab se wad gredbul or de regdue. Gabe bad clav. Aaaaatschoo!

Day 678

Malah gabe redistant scdoll and soup. I hade soup. Wand ice creab wid bluebeddy soup. Thad dot nod count ad soup. Aaaaatschoo!

Day 679

Cough! Slightly better today. Staying near Larzuks smithy. Maeko enchanted spoon to keep my tea warm. Larzuk is good for wind cover. About as broad as the city gate. Wonder how the Barbs would look in black leather instead of red?

Day 680

Think I managed to talk Anya into trying black leather too. She has the hair to go with it. Larzuk looks a bit like enlarged Rammstein singer in his new outfit. Just needs to hit his forehead with his hammer from time to time. Approaching ancients. More long ranged scum on the tundra. Minotaurs laughably stupid.

Day 681

I BEAT THEM! WOOOOOOO! AND MAEKO LIVED! I RULE! I RULE! GO LINU! GO LINU! Never have they known such humiliation and since the days of Sigfrid and not even then were they so outclassed! Even though the ancients had very bad luck with mods when rerolled just once, a fire enchanted one is still nasty. I slowed them. I separated them (good luck catching me without being extra fast). I weakened them. I WON! I PROTECTED MAEKO! I AM THE GREATEST! TAKE THAT TALIC, EVER CURSED AND MOST HATED FOE EVER! THAT’S ONE FOR LIVEXIA! AND ANOTHER FOR MARLOTTA!

Antikviteter.jpg

Day 682

Bow before Guardian Linuviel! Baal had zealots and skeletons and whatever until the lowest level which had the horror triumvirate of doom and oblivion knights, undead flayers whio blend in among all the red brick and burning souls. But I beat them all! Ha! Luckily Achmel did not have any such corpse near enough to revive. Colenzo was a joke, Achmel was slow but harmless but Bartuc caused some trouble (=I had to retreat a little and cast cloak of shadows again). Ventar venom lords were totally harmless (and ugly from behind) and Listers minions moved in slow motion after I donned all slowing gear and whacked them with the Woestave. I almost fainted from laughing at them. Lister was lightning enchanted, spectral hitting and cursed and would probably have been pretty nasty for the primitive melee beings. Baal himself cloned a lot of times and took some time but he wasn’t any great danger. Potions and Raven Frost made me nigh cold immune. Maeko survived them all!

Just to wrap things up and persoanlize venom grip I hunted down Nihlatak. He had TOMB VIPERS. I OWNED THEM! No stairtrap, thankfully, but vipers close by. Cloaking and a shadow kept them at bay and they fell apart like some really sensitive metaphorical creatures I will think of later when I and Maeko blasted them. Nihlatak himself had surprisingly few minons close to him and death sentry took care of many corpses while the shadow caused him to blow the rest prematurely. The foolish corrupted mage even started by positioning himself close to me. The fool. He fell quickly once we got hi in sight. Now I have Linuviels Venom Grip…the style of that name…

Loot

Etheral rare Colossus Voulge with -30% requirements and 95% ED. Interesting thing for a town guard perhaps.

A Fal rune that I would have liked to have the resistances to spare to make a useful Lionheart with.

Gheeds Fortune just before meeting Hell mephisto (quite convenient).

Draculs Grasp from Hell Duriel (typical cruel humour of Mr Five-Scrolls-Of-Town-Portal – Linuviel could not use them since she was dependant on cloaking to hit things and stay safe! Even when he drops possibly the best gloves in the game it is a mockery of you! Aaaargh!).

Spike Thorn from one of Frozensteins minions. Interesting thing if you max fade.

Conclusion

While Linuviel rely on stealth, she is the most offensive character I’ve made with just about no defence if caught. For 95% of the game that was never an issue since no foe really saw what hit them. The rejuvenations potions collected a thick layer of dust. Diablo II goes splinter cell!

The main approach was to scout with Death Sentries, especially in dark areas, then cast cloak of shadows when all enemies where in range of it. Mind blast was intended to be used along with psychic hammer to deal with enemies until Linuviel could cloak again. Sometimes it was useful to take pressure off the shadow as well and to stop approaching mobs in their tracks. I preferred when that wasn’t needed, since the conversion interfered with actually shooting the enemies, as mentioned earlier. Leaving enemies behind you is a very bad idea with this character.

Psychic hammer is frowned at by most it seems. I do beg to differ. It is certainly weaker and less devastating than mind blast but there are some very valuable effects of psychic hammer that mind blast lacks. First, it is a way to stop an enemy without risking converting it when you don’t want to. Second, it targets an enemy and not an area, and the skill homes in on a nearby target, meaning you don’t have to name-lock it. That is incredibly valuable when fast and small enemies approach (especially undead dolls) that are hard to hit with mind blast. Likewise, it allows you to catch fleeing enemies by knocking them when they flee, again without converting them or having to hit them directly. I find psychich hammer to be the natual complement to cloak of shadows because there is always one or two annoying buggers that continue walking towards me after being blinded. After they are hammerd back, they stand still. Besides, it’s a cheap skill and it’s funny to use a one-point low-level skill effectively.

Bows versus Blade Fury: In my experience Blade Fury is a little slower because it takes time for the assassin to get into the throwing animation with the arm oustretched. It's sort of like the difference between strafe and multishot. Blade fury is stronger with more variety from weapons available but I think bows are cooler.

Death Sentries are great as lamps for scouting and corpse control. I dislike using them routinely because their lightning tends to obstruct my view and I need to see if someone is sprinting out of the chaotic mob around the shadow and need to be hammered or blasted back. Still fun to throw in sometimes for a little variety.

100% pierce is ridiculously funny. None can escape her bolts, no matter how many meat wall minions they have before them.

Crossbows look really good on assassins, bows also. With her traps and stuff I think the more mechanical crossbows fit better.

Woestave is as awesome as ever.

I love Prevent Monster Heal. Linuviel managed to find no less than three sources of it. Linuviel is awarded Grade A in Advanced Treasuring.

Linuviel is definitely the best character I have made so far due to her style, speed and total outclassing of so many of my most hated foes, specifically Talic and Fangskin. Being the incarnation of two of my favourite rock songs doesn’t hurt either. Lastly and most importantly, she is the favourite character of my girlfriend who watched most of Linuviels progress through Hell.

👍 Top grades in patience if you have managed to stay awake this far. 👋
 
Last edited:

Maltatai

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Mar 17, 2020
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Guardian Rödluvan
Level 82 Amazon

Stats With Gear

Strength: 137
Dexterity: 213
Vitality: 230
Energy: 25
Charisma: 666

Life: 1062
Mana: 296

Resistances without Shield

Fire: 75
Cold: 67
Lightning: 75
Poison: 51

Skills

Fire Arrow: 20
Exploding Arrow: 20
Magic Arrow: 1
Strafe: 1
Prerequisites: 1 each

Decoy: 18
Penetrate: 20
Pierce: 3
All other passive and magic skills: 1 each

Hotness: 6 000 000

Potion Mastery: 18

Equipment

Rödluvans Langer Briser Pellet Bow (upgraded) socketed with a Shael Rune or
Popeiis Wrath socketed with a Jewel of Fervor (orange, but that counts as a kind of red) and a Rhyme Pavise

Treachery Ring Mail/ Smoke Quilted Armour (shared with Telash, used Greyform instead of Smoke for two thirds of the game – great early armour)
Crown of Thieves socketed with a Jewel of Fervor (red, of course)
Cleglaws Pincers/Rare gloves with increased attack speed, cold resistance and some luck
Rare boots with faster running, poison and cold resistance
Manald Heal/Raven Frost
Rare ring with life leech, cold resistance, mana and attack rating
Amulet with mana stealing, strength and resistances, particularly lightning

Many charms with resistances, life and mana

Peace in a Breast Plate (for summoning valkyries)
Demon Limb (for enchanting and bashing occasional people for some variety)
Nadir in a Full Helm (the trusty old life saver when going down stairs)
Spellsteel (used to teleport to viper sand mound)
Strength in a Kris (to pick on Diablo and Baal)

Various treasure hunting gear kept in the stash too.

Telash the Lightning Wolf

Treachery/Smoke armours shared with employer
Crescent Moon in a Broad Sword
Mosers Blessed Circle socketed with a Diamond and a Shael Rune
Lore in a Skull Cap

Story

👋[post=8058436]The Misadventures of Two Untwinked Bowazons[/post] 👋


Tactics

Strafe allow for some fairly reliable scouting since it auto-target enemies that are close, so you can see in which direction they are and how many (at least up to five foes with Rödluvan meagre one point strafe). Stygian witches shooting balls from far away and guest slingers in Act V are examples of monsters that outrange strafe as far as I could see. Those are very annoying.

Treachery was used to charge up venom and sometimes speed things up against less dangerous monsters. Magic arrow was the main attack to conserve ammunition and mana. Strafe was used against most fire resistant enemies and groups spaced out. Exploding arrow was less useful due to the lack of +skills equipment but good against small tightly packed groups and very useful against ghosts.

Telash did very well and survived the whole battle with the ancients! He very nearly survived against Baal also but got one-hitted by the clone once near the end. It was more due to me being tired after a three-hour gaming session than anything else. He stayed out of trouble well in most situations and illuminated things with his lightning.

The strong decoy allows for more relaxed gameplay and is great for scouting as always. The standard approach was to strafe to see if anyone was near and then cast decoys ahead to see if someone was attracted to them. While Rödluvan was generally stronger and tougher than her arch-rival Snövit she sort of missed Snövits control of the battlefield that came from Freezing arrows and higher speed. In the late stages of the game, the recastable but still durable valkyrie made a huge difference.

The fire arrow skills are comparably weak and there are many immune enemies. Still, they work and look very cool (contradiction in terms, maybe). Penetrate is awesome both for the archery and the ability to use whatever secondary weapons you wish, which is my favourite thing about Amazons. Rödluvan hit extremely fast with her axe or demon limb. She was very fortunate to find a lot of red and orange items which suited her theme, most spectacularly finding Pompeiis Wrath while Snövit had found the blue-ish Woestave, both excellent slowing weapons. In general, Rödluvan was very, very lucky with items. And NPC encounters.👋
 

Maltatai

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Mar 17, 2020
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Guardian Snövit the Frost Maiden
My third Amazon guardian. Snövit is a blue themed frost maiden with white skills as backup (originally guided and magic arrow, later guided arrow and inner sight). She wields the blue Woestave to weaken powerful enemies and a pale white bone shield as reserve equipment. Most notable of all her accomplishments is definitely that she is the only character of mine to defeat the ancients in hell without ever getting hit and without needing anything else than an extra quiver of arrows (she did drink two mana potions but they were not necessary at all). It was quite the humiliation for the old wise guys.

Level 83 Amazon

Statistics with Equipment


Strength 143
Dexterity 200
Vitality 237
Energy 18

Life 1025
Mana 180

Resistances with Bow

Fire 75
Cold 61
Lightning 85 (tremble, gloams!)
Poison -2 (sensitive stomach)

Skills

Cold Arrow 20
Ice Arrow 1
Freezing Arrow 20
Magic Arrow 1
Multiple Shot 1
Guided Arrow 20

Inner Sight 20
Other Passive and Magic Skills 1

Equipment

Kuko Shakaku with Shael Rune/Arrows

Damage with Freezing Arrow (after enchanted)
304-708 + 1339-1373 Freezing Splash Damage

Snövit’s Woestave with Shael Rune (my favourite weapon ever)

Rare Circlet with 30% faster run/walk, resist all 20, 16 to strength, 4 mana fter each kill and socketed with a whitish jewel of fervor
Socketed Gothic Plate with Sapphire (for colour), blue jewel of fervor, Ort and Thul rune
Snövit’s Laying of Hands (to which Rödluvan frequently attaches small notes with the text “soon to be felt by Meshifâ€)
Thundergods Vigor
War Traveller
Rare Amulet with poison damage, 17 resist all and 1 to skill levels
Dwarf Star
Rare Ring with 5 % mana leech, 30 lightning resist and 5 fire resist (very useful item)

Strength in a Kris to pick teeth and bosses
Rhyme in Bone Shield (only naturally white or blue shield available)
Nadir in a cap (anti-stairtrap equipment #1)
Todesfaelle Flamme to enchant
Peaceful ring mail to summon valkyries

Equipment of Waheed, the Cool but Stupid Desert Mercenary

Strength in Hyperion Spear
Skin of the Vipermagi
Rare Circlet with 28 to strength, 1 to amazon skills, 20 faster cast rate and 39 fire resistance

Story
👋[post=8058436]The Misadventures of Two Untwinked Bowazons[/post] 👋

Strengths and Weaknesses

The cold allows for effective locking out of small crowds that are not immune to it but it is costly. In many cases, a slash with the halberd is well worth the time it takes to get close and in right position, using the good range to stay out of trouble. The peaceful valkyrie is a pain to use when poisonous enemies are close but otherwise it is surprisingly durable. Waheed…has his useful moments but on the whole… Let’s just say the amount of time spent watching over him does not stay below the expected limit. Many times town guards are highly praised but the performance of Waheed has left me with serious doubts about their usefulness.

The high running speed proved very important in some situations such as when fighting the ancients. For someone with no life leech it is extra important to get out of danger quickly. Kuko Shakaku is wonderful with the fire damage, speed, skills and piercing attack. The colour theme (blue and white) obviously meant resistances and such were problematic but Snövit found unusually good charms which solve the problem except for the poison resistance. All in all, a fragile, specialised and relatively hard-to-play character.
 

Maltatai

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Mar 17, 2020
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Guardian Verdish, Spirit of Christmas


Jingle Spells:whistling:
We’re dashing through the snow
With a one-point teleport
Across the fields we go
And flame them just for sport
The spells of Verdish ring
They’re making spirits bright
What fun it is to cast and fling
An icy bolt tonight

Jingle spells, jingle spells
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to freeze
All monsters in my way
Jingle spells, jingle spells
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to chant
And hex and jinx all day

An Act or two ago
I thought I’d stop a while
And soon some new adventurers
Would pass by with great style
A witch, a ranger and
Two amazons who just
Would bicker, banter and go on
About their liquid lust

Jungle spells, jungle spells
Jungle all the way
Oh what slime and bloody grime
When flayers have their way
Jungle spells, jungle spells
Jungle all the way
Through the temples, down the stairs
Below Mephisto lairs

In hellish Hell the fire
Did not look out of place
The open plains ensured our foes
Had plenty open space
The venom lords would hardly burn
But neither would they move
They line the path to Terrors home
Like trees of ice that grow

Jingle hells, jingle hells
Burning all the way
Into the Chaos Sanctuary
Where none of us will stay
Jingle hells, jingle hells
Burning all the way
Until Diablo seemed to be
A flaming stack of hay

Jingle spells, jingle spells
Such a witch to play
Freeze them, melt them, burn them up
All foes defeated lay
Jingle spells, jingle spells
A merry time to say
Guardianhood is rightly hers
For Verdish won today




Christmas Tale
It was a cold and rainy day worthy of a British Christmas tale. Verdish the witch eyed the landscape carefully. Someone had stolen all the snow so now there would be no Christmas at all and instead autumn all time until May. Reluctantly, she put down her drink and exited her favourite bar to attempt tracking down whoever had stolen the snow. Rumors spoke of various Hellish minions which seemed plausible. Maybe they had melted all the snow with Hellish warmth so it always rained. Verdish grabbed the nearest drunken mercenary looking for work she could reach which turned out to be an incredibly competent Barbarian eager to fight for a witching witch. That did not make him a witcher, though, so he had no card collection. Therefore, the pair would have to find Christmas cards as well.

First they went to the ruins of Tristram whose demons were the usual culprits. There Verdish met the ghost of Diablo past. Griswold had no clue who had taken the snow but he could inform them that it was the lord of terror who had taken his smithy as well as his life and resting peace. The witch gently lighted a fire which calmed the ghost of Diablo past so he could rest peacefully. The game had passed on from the legendary village and the unmatched feeling of the first game was gone. Not all was bad for new spells and character classes had sprung forth like the sorceresses themselves.

Verdish and Ragnar pursued the devil himself all through the sunny deserts and misty jungles where none had even heard of snow. Ragnar suggested that Diablo had failed to declare his luggage at the customs hut and Verdish pointed out that it would be understandable because the customs department had been eaten by soul killers last month and they were now chewing on the roof of the hut itself. If the lord of terror had hidden the snow in his bags then none would have checked them. Perhaps they would find it hidden in his home. In hell there was no snow and not a single Christmas tree. The witch searched through the entire Outer Steppes before finding the stairs that led further away, just as she returned to where she had started going around the whole place. The ghost of Diablo present was the title character himself who carried the whole concept on his red shoulders. He had changed over time but kept his classical red image, just like everyone would expect of the main character of Christmas tales. Verdish and Ragnar had a snowball fight with him and lighted another cozy fire wall.



The ghost of Diablo present thought that his brother might know something about the snow and sent them up north where Baal was nesting. There there was indeed much snow but it seemed in order and not too much anywhere. The dead frozen Barbarians had just the expected amount of frost on their ice cubes and no more buildings than usual had collapsed from too much snow on the roof. After many snowball battles Verdish and Ragnar found where the Cristmas trees grew which was unimaginably called the Frozen Tundra. After getting lost in icy caves and even stumbling into a retirement home of grumpy elders who complained about the general ineptitude of younger people all day, the met Baal in the basement of the great mountain. It was just as in Kurast where the Horadrim had built a tower to place Mephisto below ground, the witch thought. Baal was so struck by the Christmasly warmth and charisma of Verdish that he melted on the spot. Then the ghost of Diablo future appeared which was the stupid angel Tyrael. His foolish actions like messing with the soulstones had set all the misery of the first two games in motion and now he was about to screw up even more so that the third game would have a slighttly less far-fetched lore than it would otherwise have. He had stolen the snow to use in Diablo 3. Furthermore, he told them that only online play would be possible and intended to conscript the witch to aid with maintaining a firewall against hackers. Obviously his terms, it would seem, were not acceptable, as Baal would have put it. Verdish froze him on the spot with Ice Blast and then set him on fire. The snow was recovered and the people and demons of Sanctuary could at last celebrate Christmas.


The Usual Stuff
Verdish is the spirit of sorceress Christmas. Christmas is about having snowball fights - ice blast and glacial spike - and then get warm in front of a nice fire - fire wall and warmth. Christmas is also about exchanging gifts with friends, or hirelings at least, while eating and drinking until you faint. Verdish collected a vast number of odd items and was extremely dependant on her potions. With red field plate she is all set to break demon doors and ask if there are any nice fallen ones around.


Skills

Prerequisites: 1

Fire Wall: 20
Warmth: 20
Fire Mastery: 3

Ice Blast: 20
Glacial Spike: 20
Cold Mastery: 3
Snowball Making: 666

Teleport: 1
Static Field: 1
Present Shower: 100

Life was about 1100 and resist were close to maxed except poison resistance.


Standard Equipment

Hat: Nadir Circlet
Body: Raven Hide red Field Plate
Gloves: Chance Guards to finance all drinking and charges
Boots: Infernostride
Belt: Nightsmoke which could have been upgraded but, meh...petty details
Amulet: Rare with resists and life
Rings: Rare ones with resists and combat character bonuses
Staff: Verdish's Short Staff with 3 to Ice Blast from the staff and the Leaf runeword
Switch Weapon: Ancients pledge and jareds stone with 3 to glacial spike, later sold


Special Equipment

About full magic finding out fit but sold to make room in hell
Spellsteel
Wand of lifetap
Little witch rod with bonus to energy shield and amulet with bonus to lightning skills

Ragnar

Age: Unknown
Occupation: Brawler and Drunkard
Battlecry: Ragnar-rök!
Equipment: Below

Hat: Tal Rashas Melee Mercenary Mask
Sword: Pain Impaler, the fearsome executioner sword
Body: Templar Coat where his dear witch has inscribed the words "Verdish's Guardian Angel" adorned by a Ral rune

The Ral rune is not just any rune, it is one of those given by Hell Qual-Kehk. Ragnar wears it with pride.


Concluding Random Thoughts
As the song hints, this is a very old character. It was a fairly simple concept to start with, freeze people with ice blas and set them on fire. I added the Nadir because I thought that cold immunes could be blinded and then set on fire. That did not quite work because they had the insolence to actually move around randomly. But the Nadir was good still as crowd control to take pressure off Ragnar. Lifetap became the standard help due to being much more economical than cloaking or decrepifying. Spellsteel did however manage to shine late in the game. First it was a very annoying dual immune and stoneskinned oblivion knight. Cursed and holy bolted! Holy bolt - a spell to trust. Holy bolt - the sound of it will be music to your ears. The Lister himself came in the same style and decrepify shone once again. And last of all but not least Baal himself turned into a pile of passive slothfulness when cursed and chilled by the ice blasts (for those new to this phenomenon; Baal has a tendency to become almost passive if slowed enough).

Ragnar died countless times but he was nevertheless an essential asset and the best melee hireling I've seen. Verdish needed him as a tank and for the poisoning of enemies as well as dealing with weak individuals to conserve mana. Freezing witches are on the other hand amng the more pleasant to work under since three quarters of the foes i the game will be ice cubes when it's time to cut them up. Teleporting out of danger helps too. Ragnar is the mobile section of the team while Verdish makes the plans to steal the Horadric cube and other things...Swedish readers should get the reference (hint: it is less known that the chest with the cube in was manufactured by the company Franz Jaeger).

Apart from the rings I guess the equipment is modest. Personally I found it rather touching after a while. Not many characters finish the game with a weapon shopped in normal act 1. And having Ragnar wear a piece of armour saying he's her guardian angel can be nothing but priceless. Against Baal, Ragnar actually entered with 90 fire resistance and 95 cold resistance...fairly decent for a hireling. He stood up to both Diablo and Baal without dying and tanked a cursed Korlic and an unboosted but ever so despicable Talic.

Verdish burned Fangskin years ago when he had spawned on his little sand mound and couldn't get down to bite her. I treasure that memory incredibly... Hehehehehehe....

Merry Christmas 👋
 

Maltatai

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Mar 17, 2020
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Guardian Askungen the Green
Askungen is Swedish for Cinderella the fairy tale character. She is a green javazon focusing of course in the green poison skills and the blue and green inner sight and decoy. She is also wearing green plate and a green shield and is forbidden to use curses other than the green terror. Shamefully, she wields weapons of other colors, but only because she failed to find a Lem rune to make them green.

Being a green javazon she figures in my [thread=847133]story[/thread] representing environmentally concerned green parties as well as green grassroot movements protesting against top ruling establishments. She is joined by Ip the barbarian because barbarians are much in touch with nature and other such stuff that environmental amazons aspire to be. Askungen was left at home by the bowazons in a most stepsisterly way and had no help with the maintenance and cleaning. She could not find any green plate for ages until a colony of mice living under her hut offered help.



Statistics
The game was played with patch 1.13 and with no mods (like the Rune Word Mod) or extra stash or muling (like Atma and GoMule).

Resistances (with shield and without Nadir)

Fire: 75 but 30-40 for most of hell (also absorption from dwarf stars)
Cold: 56
Lightning: 75
Poison: 37

Physical Damage Reduction: 60 (40 with Nadir)
Magical Damage Reduction: 44 (37 with Nadir)
% Physical Damage Reduction: 11

Life: 1005
Mana: 138

Poison javelin damage: 9000-10 000
Plague javelin damage: 5600-5800
Jab with Hone Sundan damage: 202-412 (+ 350% versus demons)

Skills
Passive and Magic Skills

Decoy: 20
Inner Sight: 20
Dodge: 3
Pierce: 3
The others: 1

Javelin and Spear Skills

Poison Javelin: 20
Plague Javelin: 20
Jab: 1
Lightning Bolt: 1

Bow and Crossbow Skills

Boooo!

Equipment
Hat: Nadir Circlet, Askungens Scintillating Circlet of Life Everlasting (socketed with Mal rune), The Face of Horror
Armor: Full plate with perfect emerald and Sol runes
Belt: String of Ears
Boots: Rare boots with 36% cold resistance, 35% lightning resistance, 20% faster running, 11% magic finding
Gloves: Chance Guards, Venom Grip against bosses, Laying of Hands after passing the Arreat Plateau
Rings: Dwarf Stars
Amulet: Amulet of Life Everlasting, Amulet of Teleportation

Peace armor for summoning a valkyrie

Weapons: Rare harpoon with 40% increased attack speed, 187% enhanced damage and 4% life stealing and unfitting golden color and tower shield with perfect emerald and diamonds, The Generals Tan Do Li Ga Flail (what on earth does the name refer to???), Black Flail (Boom!), Hone Sundan with Shael runes

Charming resistance and life charms

Equipment of Ip the Bold Barbarian

Hat: The Face of Horror, , Askungens Scintillating Circlet of Life Everlasting (socketed with Mal rune), Tal Rashas Mask
Armor: Gothic plate with Sol runes
Weapons: Upgraded Coldsteel Eye, Malice Legend Sword after Act III

Deaths
Three. The first one was complete laziness on my part when Ip strayed into a pack of Hungry Dead in early nightmare on 8 players settings. So unnecessary. The second was when facing a bosspack of horror mages with conviction in the Ancient Tunnels in Hell. Ip died from what seemed like one shot. I was tremendously disappointed over that, especially since the mages could have been lured over corpses and blown up, which I did later. The third time was saddest of all, when Duriel tore Ip apart. That is so hopeless for melee hirelings. I honestly don't know what you are supposed to do. Tanking on your own is damn risky and Duriels knockback still makes it inefficient. Perhaps Shaftstop and Rockstopper would have done the trick, I don't know.

Tactics
First, poison versus plague javelin. Both maxed, plague javelin was more useful most of the times with faster damage and clouds spreading through packs of enemies and not needing a hit check to poison an enemy. Poison javelin shines with the fast recast rate which is a huge benefit for the mobile play style I favored and valuable when you face large groups of weaker monsters like fallen ones, imps and ranged fetishes that spread out and run around. Poison javelin also has higher damage per cast. That is of great worth when you make hit and run attacks against enemies or formations of enemies that you wish to have to see for as few times as possible. A prime example were sirens. These cursing flying artillery regiments were quite lethal, especially for Ip, and would usually survive one plague javelin but not one poison javelin. So it wasn't that great to only have to wait ten seconds or so for the quicker plague poison to work if you had to go back for another attack after that. Lastly, with a Lem rune poison javelin would have ruled and conquered all.

Askungen: Yes, and what do I get in hell? A Mal rune! Misplaced malware, that is!

No character of mine has so far been as dependant on decoy as Askungen. In order to protect Ip, battles would begin the normal way with casting decoy to scout and attract attention. Once a group approached that was too dangerous, a new decoy would be cast closer to Askungen to block the group and also to enable them to be engaged closer to her than potential reinforcements ahead. Then Askungen would cast a javelin and retreat, hoping to separate them.

If the group would be manageable in melee, a decoy would first be cast next to Ip to take pressure off him in the melee. If he proved to be able to tank properly, Askungen would recast it between Ip or herself and the direction of a possible other attack, so as not to be surprised. A very good example was when engaging spread out archers or mages, where the decoy served as a small wall between the engaged enemy and its allies.

Since poison damage was often insufficient in itself, Askungen followed up with melee attacks from Hone Sundan or corpse explosions from the flail when things got too boring. Her javelin was a bit too weak to make it worthwhile most of the times. She sorely missed some regeneration, which would have gone superbly along with her high damage reduction. The generals flail was not used very often in the field, despite its usefulness. The spider cavern was one such place though, with lots of tough and poison resistant enemies against which the javelins were a waste of time.


Progress
Maltatai: Should I really write anything here or just leave a link to the story? It's all there, after all...

Askungen: So few people reads that anyway, so we have just decided, with a qualified majority vote, that a shorter summary shall be written here.

Maltatai: We?

Askungen: Me, Ip and Kaylee the peaceful valkyrie.

Maltatai: Thanks for being included in the decision making...

Fine, then. Starting out with maxing poison javelin, Askungen ruled the beginning of normal with sensitive foes and open areas. From Act IV things slowed down and Ip was a most welcome addition with his tanking and high instantaneous damage. Askungen dressed in a rusty gemmed ring mail and gemmed large shield but it was not very stylish. She got peace of mind when she could summon tough valkyries in early nightmare even though Ip had died embarrassingly. I think it took all the travel to Act III to finally find a gothic plate with four sockets. Finally stylish armor!

Other important acquisitions were a Pul rune and Ips cutlass. Two dwarf stars added nice safety and lots of gold. Chance Guards added more gold. Extra gold from monsters is usually an extra bonus, like magic finding. For a character with no extra space in her inventory it is quite important, I would say, to sustain charged items and not hesitating to buy lots of potions when required. Continued use of Nadir hats, for example, is a powerful tool that sort of implies lots of gold or item finding as well. Askungens amulet of life everlasting was a weak point in her equipment, in that it lacked a prefix. A chromatic or skilled amulet of the same would have made a big difference.

Hell, then. Act I went alright, with dangerous irritating zombies killing the mood as usual and fallen ones falling to poison with ease. Archer packs were highly dangerous. Andariel was extraordinarily terrible and threatened to destroy Ip dozens of times. In retrospect, I should probably have played more aggressively against her but I hadn't realized by then how tough Askungen could be against bosses. Ip survived in any case which I considered quite a feat.

Act II threw a world of anguish against the poisoning and physical team. Dual immune sand maggots, Cold Worm whose army appeared to be undefeatable until Ip donned Tal Rashas mask and hordes of resistant undead. On the brighter side, Askungen totally blew Fangskin into shreds which was very amusing and a big contrast to some other characters' experiences. Ip died twice, as mentioned. It was a sad day for the grassroots, even if Duriel could be taken down with the most classical of manners with thrown javelins and retreating. Boss battles would be so indescribably easier if you could make your hireling wait outside for a minute.



In Act III Askungen faced the dreaded spiders and they were vey hard. One had the insolence to be immune to both poison and physical damage and I just couldn't find the energy to spare. Ip proved to be a superb tank against unique monsters with his stun and bashing, which was quite a surprise and something of a comeback after his hopeless display earlier against Duriel. He even survived the dangerous hydras and Askungen proved to be immune to their firebolts. Mephisto could be successfully tanked and slowed down a lot after being whipped with the ever useful generals flail. His durance was very scary but fairly manageable, and yielded the socketed legend sword in which I made Malice.

In Act IV, I had expected poisons to be useless and Ip to die. Neither happened, in fact, but it was close. Poisons did work well on burning souls, on all things. I have stared too much on their immune cousins in Act V. Doom knights were dangerous as always but they could be poisoned even if it went slowly. The decoy really saved the day in these situations. Hephasto had a big load of nastiness in him and was genuinely unmeleeable. With the River of Flame cleared out he could however be lured to follow and be poisoned time and again. It was very tricky since ran to engage him all the time but in the end the poison got him. The Mal rune was as mentioned a big disappointment. Diablo was worthy of his title and chased Ip and Askungen around and around with his unpredictable charges and spells. Initially I had intended to poison him like Hephasto but it proved to take too long time and be too risky despite the lessening of contact it would mean. Standing in one place and even tanking Diablo was easier but very dangerous. It was the closest Askungen had come to dying in a very long time when Diablo smashed her three or four hard times in a row and she had no purple potions left.

Finally in Act V, burning dead archers and madly foul crows greeted Askungen. Javelineers followed and later sirens and their cousins. These were perhaps the most dangerous normal monster type of them all. In themselves, they were manageable despite the scary cursing. Decoys broke up their concentrated assault pretty well and cloaking worked wonders. The problem is when sirens retreat, which they do irritatingly much and often. Combined with their hideous off screen range it forced Askungen to chase after them, cursed, right into the arms and other extremities of waiting new monsters. The prime example being the frozen river with their charging vipers and reanimated dead, the latter sometimes having risen again when Askungen and Ip retreated from the next group.

The ancients were outclassed on the very first try after a very lucky roll! Mana burn on all combined with stone skin or lightning enchantment and seemingly weak equipment. Askungen and Ip teleported one full lap around the summit which separated the ancients nicely.





Paired with sirens came minotaurs, doom knights, assailants (the improved sand raider) and flayer packs in the Worldstone Keep. Of Baals minons, Achmel the cursed was by far the most difficult. Cursed and with holy freeze, which made a maddening pair with Baals decrepification, and with his poison aura, he took many assaults to bring down. Ips malicious blade proved very important to prevent healing. The councillors were split up and Ventars demons were by now something Askungen ate for breakfast in spinach stews, since she had the Laying of Hands. She jabbed and stabbed so fast and hard they were locked in hit recovery in a most comical way.

Lister was no joke, though. Fire enchanted and stone skinned, and with enormous poison resistance. Ip could for some weird reason seem to do bleeding damage. Askungen made him switch between his slowing coldsteel eye and malicious legend sword to sustain both bleeding and slowing. On the way back to Baal, now with flail and yari, they encountered a few straggling minions of destruction. Outclassed. After a few slashes with the slowing flail they broke apart like paper under the crushing jabs of the Hone Sundan. It boded ill for the lord of destruction.

Baal cloned himself. Askungen cast a town portal and got back. The clone was still there. Askungen ran away and cast a portal and got back. The clone was gone! Aaaand...that was it. When the green goons...grassroots...charged in and began to lay at Baal with the slowing flail and other unpleasant objects the demon slowed down and staggered so much that he could do just about nothing. Soon Askungen felt so secure that she brought out her yari, and away flew Baals hit points. Ip had slashed him repeatedly with all his might and malice (reducing defence with 100 per hit) which combined with a maxed inner sight left little to protect the lord of not especially much destruction.


Conclusion
Askungen failed to become the poison javazon I hoped she could be. This was primarily due to not finding a Lem rune for a treachery armor, the holy grail of poison javelin users. It would also had made her weapon GREEN instead of the blasphemous golden. Alternatively one can go for lots of skills to improve the clouds but she was not very lucky with that and I did not spend very much time searching for such. Until Ip acquired the malicious sword, dual immunes were an absolute pain and impediment. It was utterly unnecessary since Malice is one of the easiest rune words to make. One of several serious oversights on my part.

If her poison damage was unimpressive, she did manage to excel in other areas. With the tremendous shell of PDR and MDR coating her she was one hard nut to crack.

Askungen: How dare you?! I'm not a nut! You are a nut!

Maltatai: It's a figure of speech. You had a thick and strong armor plating, nothing more.

Askungen: OK. Right.

Maltatai: Her feats of toughness included but were not limited to complete immunity to hydras, near immunity to blowgun darts apart from the poison damage, fallen ones and probably the inferno from venom lords at the end but Ventars pack died too quickly and I was too proper and careful to try it out completely. Which was quite sad because that meant Askungen didn't get to make the signature comment about a warm breeze blowing today.

And then there is the crushing physical damage. Hone Sundan did not (before the end) deal very much physical damage with just a point in jab but the crushing blow triggers very quickly. And the incredible revenue from Chance Guards meant a disturbing amount of explosions from the black flail. Incredibly effective against cats and claw vipers, among others.

Even if I am very disappointed in losing Ip the three times I did it was a huge improvement from my earlier characters, and from a more logical point of view I do recognize that barbarians are hard to keep alive and very exposed when they rush into everything and everyone. Still outclassing town guards of course.

The color theme and restrictions was a serious impediment. Life tap or weaken from wands might have saved Ip against Duriel, who knows? Weaken can be acquired from gloves too and that would have fit tremendously with Askungens other equipment, not to mention being able to get a fully Sol-ed plate and a highly blocking Rhyme shield as well. Her charms were on the whole of high quality which did compensate to some extent.

Accomplishments

Survival
Immunity to several attacks
Tanking Mephisto
Killing Hephasto with textbook hit and run poison attacks
Tanking Diablos magical attacks
Humiliating Ancients
Slaughtering normal minions of destruction
Humiliating Baal

Failures

Making a malice sword too late
Not managing to protect Ip
Not finding a Lem rune
Not getting regeneration
Not getting mana leaching
Minimal poison damage
Unable to tank Andariel
Unable to tank Duriel
Unable to tank Diablos physical attacks
Uncured Arachnophobia

Askungen: What do you mean with arachnophobia? It is you and the rest of the world that are deluded and fail to realize the danger! They will trap us in the eternal web of doom around the whole world - the WORLD WIDE WEB! It has begun, I tell you! The spider conspiracy is evident!

The Outrageous Taunting Of This Game
Askungen: I am a javazon! How hard is that to get? Aaaargh!




Best Of Askungen














 

Maltatai

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
314
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28
Sweden
Guardian Törnrosa the Illuminated
Maltatai: Presenting the amazon Törnrosa, Swedish for the fairytale Sleeping Beauty.

Törnrosa: I do still very much doubt this idea of yours.

Floria: I have explained it many times, this is what people do in these parts. Exactly what you need to be more popular and appeal to the broader masses.

Törnrosa: The rabble.

Floria: Maybe you should use a more diplomatic expression in public.

Törnrosa: Fine, fine. How does this concept work, then? I am writing some sort of memoir or memorandum, is that correct?

Floria. Yes, you are supposed to post a summary of your considerable skill and power and the overwhelming thrashing delivered to your opponents.

Törnrosa: I see. But isn't that a bit over their level of comprehension? The public is for the most part comprised of dimwits who are not even able to, I don't know, find the activation button for the Angelic Wings amulet!


Floria: Well, maybe, but there are some insightful people out there as well. And not just insightful because they are out there, and thus by definition looking in, and therefore having their sights in.

Törnrosa: How shall these summaries begin then?

Floria: They need to have a heading without dots. So "Törnrosa" needs to be spelled "Tornrosa" instead.

Törnrosa: Preposterous! How utterly primitive! That's what you get when trying to appeal to the unrefined mob.

Floria: And then the posted content tends to begin with a guiding presentation of you as a character.

Törnrosa: A...summary in the summary?

Floria: Precisely!


Statistics
Törnrosa: My statistics are facts but your facts are merely statistics!

Level 82

Resistances with shield

Fire: 75
Cold: 75
Lightning: 75
Poison: 43

Physical Damage Reduction: 0
Magical Damage Reduction: 0

Life: 1024
Mana: 171
Skills

Passive and Magic Skills

Valkyrie: 20
Pierce: 0
The others: 1

Javelin and Spear Skills

Power Strike: 20
Charged Strike: 20
Lightning Strike: 20
Fend: 1

Bow and Crossbow Skills
Boooo! Never!
Equipment

Hat: Törnrosas Athletic Circlet with a Ral rune, Chromatic circlet of luck for most of Hell
Armor: Smoke in a Full Plate
Amulet: Angelic Wings
Left Ring: Angelic Halo
Right Ring: Angelic Halo
Belt: Upgraded Nightsmoke belt
Gloves: Sigons gauntlets
Boots: Sigons greaves

Weapons

Rare harpoon with 66 % enhanced damage, 30 % increased attack speed, 4 % life stealing/Rhyme tower shield
Lycanders Flank socketed with a Shael rune

One athletic grand charm and others of resistances and Life
Extra items

Nadir mask against stairtraps
The generals flail
Athletic amulet to summon a stronger slugmaid
Varied spare charms in stash

Equipment of Floria the Scouting Rogue

Kuko Shakaku with a 15 % attack speed jewel
Duress in a ring mail
Tal Rashas mask, Coif of Glory until after hell Duriel
Notebook filled with scribbles of peculiar bowazon customs

Tactics
Maltatai: Törnrosa and her team required precise positioning. When that worked, they were the mightiest ever. When it didn't work, nothing worked. Petronella the valkyrie could tank just about anything and Floria would in time destroy everything. Törnrosa dealt massed damage to crowds and individuals and added limited control of the battle with her puny decoy. With high blocking but no PDR she was great against Act Bosses but not an ideal tank against normal monsters and their captains. This fixed order of battle did suit her personality quite well since she is fond of both having good order and giving orders in the javazon [thread=847133]story[/thread]. The center of battle was usually Floria, being the part that had to be protected at all times and kept out of harms way to be effective. So the bossiest of characters played as bodyguard for most of the game. Logical.

Progress
The mana-hungry lightning skills made her a late bloomer, starting to trample everything deep into the ground some time early in Act V with lightning strike and an invincible valkyrie. The plan was at first to max fend instead of charged strike but going all out in one area seemed to suit her personality more and be more effective. The angelic jewelry was actually quite handy even if wearing it was something of a concession in favor of style and story. Good weapons were not abundant but Floria got herself an explosive bow and Törnrosa found a nice white pike before hell. No Act boss could stand before Törnrosa. The proudest of moments was when facing hell Diablo and he went down without any trip to town being needed. Eat charged bolts, terror of hirelings! One of the most dangerous situations was in the Palace Cellar with horror archers filling a room. The humans wisely decided to observe and direct from afar, leaving the dirty work to Petronella. Törnrosa could have survived a storming assault fairly easy I think but it would have been very hazardous and a game of chance for Floria. There is a long and detailed account of the adventures of the three and their green rival in my javazon story. I won't go into details here because it would only be repeating and also because I'm a sore loser.

Deaths
RAAAAGH! One cursed damned #4'/!§+& time! It was so stupid! I had already finished the game with the other javazon Askungen who neatly circled the Arreat Summit with her teleport staff. Textbook approach. But I still neglected to get one for Törnrosa and thought it could be managed by running around the summit and tanking them one at a time. But then Floria got lost along the way somehow. I don't know what happened to her, the health bar was full one moment and she was dead the other. Slime-brained mountaintop oldtimers!

Conclusion
Lightning skills are indeed powerful. My favorite is lightning strike since it is quite devastating despite the next delay bug and allows for hitting everything in an area while attacking the outer rim of enemy formations. All other things aside, Törnrosa is the most powerful Amazon I've played, eating Act bosses for lunch and with a group that could take down any enemy they faced. She kept to the color theme - snobbish gold and silver and pearly white - decently except for the javelin with a red tip she used. The lack of ranged weaponry was a considerable hindrance some times, like the mentioned archer filled room. With a bow she could have picked the enemy apart and forced them to move instead of being forced to move.

I still consider all this a defeat and the last chapter of the story in which both Javazons triumph is most aptly named The Death of Floria. She got so very close!

The Outrageous Taunting Of This Game



Best of Törnrosa