SWEETSPEARGIRL'S ADVENTURES - Chapter 13: The Fallen Necromancer
CAST OF CHARACTERS
SweetSpearGirl, lvl 76 Jabazon
Euyfura, lvl 76 Rogue Merc
The Ubiquitous Valk
Nihlathak, the Fallen Necromancer
Anya's portal yawned open, red and forbidding. SweetSpearGirl and friends stepped through, to find Nihlathak's Temple: a building high up on the mountainside, littered with the corpses of Prowling Dead. The snow whirled around them and the wind howled; it was very cold. Euyfura shivered in her skimpy Rogue clothing, far more suited to the temperate climes of the Monastery and Encampment far away to the south-west.
A boss pack of Defiled Warriors with a Might aura, guarded the Temple entrance. Led by Pindleskin (who also was a fire-enchanted mana-burner) they attacked. The undead outside got up and joined in, and Euyfura went down. SweetSpearGirl recast the Valk and fought on. Someone dropped a flawless diamond as she did so; then a Sur rune and a green Hellforge Plate joined the haul. SweetSpearGirl had to recast the Valk twice more before finally defeating Pindleskin himself, but all the enemies in this narrow space had now been taken care of, and it was time to move on. Resurrecting the merc and cubing up the three Sur runes she now had (they became a Ber rune), the trio moved downward into the Halls of Anguish.
Night Lords and Prowling Dead were the order of the day here. There was a lot of valuable loot, which was fortunate because the Night Lords were pretty mean. Euyfura almost went down more than once; SweetSpearGirl was coming to appreciate the Dol rune socketed in one of her rings which caused monsters to flee! Heading back to town to sell off the booty, they discovered the green Hellforge Plate was called Naj's Light Plate (a misnomer if ever there was one! - it was only 'light' because of the -60% requirements on it!) which SweetSpearGirl stashed rather than selling. The rest of the stuff turned out pretty useless but worth selling; gold was not a problem now!
Most of the Halls of Anguish consisted of narrow, intersecting corridors. Monsters could be enticed down them and taken out one by one; SweetSpearGirl made sure to keep Euyfura as much out of harm's way as possible and feed her red potions when needed ("Thanks!" quipped the merc; "Next time, keep out of the way!" SweetSpearGirl said with half a grin, half an exasperated sigh). Where corridors intersected things were a little more hairy, and one lone Night Lord, thanks to the Dol rune, went charging off across half the level and woke up a pack of Prowling Dead before SweetSpearGirl finally managed to skewer it. The Prowling Dead seemed determined to stay Prowling rather than being Dead - every so often they'd move on only to find a pack they thought they'd killed, sneaking up behind them. The Valk - perhaps becoming infected by SweetSpearGirl's sarcasm - muttered something about 'not knowing when to stay dead'; Euyfura just rolled her eyes and fired off another volley of arrows.
A barrel trapped by a perpetual fire (it yielding up 686 gold pieces and a ring), and a battle with two Night Lords and another pack of Prowling Dead, marked the trio's discovery of a glowing golden chest. SweetSpearGirl threw up a portal and opened it; out fell some spiders, 570 gold pieces, a mana potion and a rare Mancatcher. Nothing more. Nothing like the chests she'd discovered back in the westlands! She muttered rudely about 'stingy Barbarians' while slinging the yellow spear into her Cube. It too was no match for Lycander's Flank, but it *did* fetch a shocking amount of gold from Larzuk (75,000 gp...) The ring from the barrel was equally useless (Ring of the Titan; +18 to strength) - but sold for a far *less* impressive price. Her stash was basically up to its gold limit anyway. SweetSpearGirl shrugged and returned to battle.
The rest of the Halls of Anguish was much of a muchness with what had gone before; a Colossus Crossbow dropped, and SweetSpearGirl levelled to 77, but everything else was unremarkable. She sank the stat points into Dex again and the skill point into Critical Strike (boosting her chance of double damage to 66%), and found the way down to the Halls of Pain.
Unholy Corpses - an upgrade on the Prowling Dead with an equal reluctance to stay dead - were the first to greet SweetSpearGirl and friends. They were swiftly followed by Death Brawlers, whose burrowing tentacles tended to attack Euyfura. Fortunately, they went down quickly enough. Also present were Putrid Defilers, who hovered near other monsters and infected them with Torment Worms who burst out and attacked on the monster's death. These were annoying, but not particularly dangerous, just like everything else here.
The trio got into the habit of dealing with Death Brawlers and Defilers first - since once they were down, they *stayed* down - and then taking out any Unholy Corpses. This strategy served them well as they worked their way through the Halls. Drops were unremarkable at best ("It's all junk!" Euyfura said in frustration) but that was OK ("I need to gamble away some of this gold anyway," as SweetSpearGirl replied). Eventually, SweetSpearGirl stopped picking stuff up and just concentrated on fighting; at about the same time, Euyfura levelled to 77. Shortly after, they found the waypoint and headed back to town; despite Anya's protestations of urgency, SweetSpearGirl decided to do some gambling.
Back to the fray a bunch of gold poorer but a few charms richer. The Valk took an age to catch up with them, by which time SweetSpearGirl and Euyfura had already dispatched a pack of Death Brawlers. A well further on helped replenish the Valk's life; then, a little further, was the way down to the Halls of Vaught.
At the bottom of the stairs, SweetSpearGirl threw up a portal. Anya had warned her about Nihlathak's main power: a very dangerous corpse explosion; more dangerous than the Iron Maiden curse the Oblivion Knights had thrown in the Chaos Sanctuary. SweetSpearGirl and Euyfura were very wary...
In the Halls of Vaught they found Ice Spawn - some of whom were infected by Menace Worms. As they moved on they encountered Hell Temptresses and Wretched Defilers (who were doing the infecting). The Halls of Vaught were basically made up of four arms, each of which swarming with monsters; they knew Nihlathak waited at the end of one of them. At one point SweetSpearGirl had to throw Euyfura a fat purple as they were surrounded by enemies. Someone dropped a Shael rune at the end of the third arm of the hall. Nihlathak, as luck would have it, was apparently lurking at the end of the fourth...
Euyfura went down quickly; a big pack of Ice Spawn and Hell Temptresses swarmed them from a central podium where Nihlathak hovered in mid-air. "For my homeland!" he cried. "I will kill you!" SweetSpearGirl fell back, hoping to draw the enemies along with her. Gradually they followed; taking out Ice Spawn, Hell Temptresses and Menace Worms, she hoped to eventually be able to close with Nihlathak one-on-one, which she was able to do soon.
He hit her with blasts of cold and teleported about, but the monsters he spawned she ignored. Shaking them off onto the Valk, she followed the corrupt sorceror, attacking and stabbing. Eventually he fell; his screaming skeleton was pulled down into Hell and he dropped a nice fat purple for her. Heading back to town, SweetSpearGirl roped in Euyfura, had identified the stuff she'd picked up, and talked to Anya. Nihlathak had already given the relic to Baal. This was a Bad Thing...
TO BE CONTINUED...
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