SWEETSPEARGIRL'S ADVENTURES: Chapter 16 - Final Journey
Cast of Characters
SweetSpearGirl - lvl 78 Spearazon
Euyfura - lvl 77 Rogue merc
The Ubiquitous Valk
Colenzo the Annihilator
Achmel the Cursed
Bartuc the Bloody
Ventar the Unholy
Lister the Tormentor
Baal, the Lord of Destruction
TAKE HEED AND BEAR WITNESS TO THE TRUTHS THAT LIE HEREIN, FOR THEY ARE THE LAST LEGACY OF THE HORADRIM...
SweetSpearGirl had boosted her dexterity to 288 and sunk one more point into Critical Strike (her chance to do double damage was now 67%). She knew that there was one more battle to be fought.
"After this," she told Euyfura, "you and I are going to have a well-deserved holiday. Probably in Lut Gholein."
"Sounds good to me," Euyfura said. "What now?"
"Now, we find the Worldstone Keep waypoint Anya told me about. Then, we kill Baal."
The portal back to the Summit was still standing, so they headed through it and into the Worldstone Keep. Vile Witches threw fireballs at them, Defiled Warriors refused to stay dead, and Fetid Defilers infected the monsters with Torment Worms. All things they'd seen and battled before. Loot dropped and SweetSpearGirl fought, her life ball dropping then going back up as she leeched vital energy from her foes. Baal's laughter echoed through the Keep and he assaulted the Decoy with lightning and poison, but the others kept moving so weren't targets. SweetSpearGirl felt utterly confident in her abilities after passing the Ancients' test.
"We can do this!" she yelled over the sounds of battle. "There's nothing Baal can throw at us that we can't overcome!"
"Famous last words!" Euyfura said, but even she was buoyed up by a feeling of almost euphoria as they fought their way through the Keep. In the middle of battling a dozen Defiled Warriors, she levelled to 78, keeping pace easily with the spearazon. Soon after, they found the stairs leading downwards to the next level - deeper into the mountain's heart, towards the Worldstone itself.
Greater Hell Spawn and Frenzied Ice Spawn were the order of the day on level 2; SweetSpearGirl shook the latter off onto the Decoy and Valk, neither of whom were affected by the explosions (Euyfura wasn't either, but she found that out by accident when one blew up right next to her). The way down to level 3 was very near the entrance, but SweetSpearGirl wanted the waypoint first and so continued searching and fighting. As luck would have it, it was only one pack of Hell Spawn away - which everyone thought was very convenient.
Level 3 was alive with Demon Sprites - more of those damn teleporting imps! - and Death Lords were thrown into the mix (bigger, badder cousins of the Moon Lords, eeep...). Rancid Defilers also put in an appearance just to spread Menace Worms around the place. Fortunately the Sprites, while annoying, were easily dealt with, and the Death Lords - while just as bad-ass as their cousins - were few and far between. The fighting was fast and furious; the Valk expired more than once; and when they found the next set of stairs down into the lowest level of the Keep, SweetSpearGirl portalled to town for repairs and loot-selling.
Back in the Keep, they marched down the stairs and found a pack of Stygian Furies tossing fireballs and curses. Those and more Death Lords were the order of business here; SweetSpearGirl set to work, furiously attacking everything she came across. Euyfura went down at a close moment when three Death Lords and a pack of Stygian Furies casting Amp Damage cornered the trio, but SweetSpearGirl weathered the storm and revived her merc.
Soon enough, it was time to face the Lord of Destruction. Baal had set up his throne on a dais at the end of a long hall, guarded by more Death Lords and Stygian Furies. As SweetSpearGirl finished them off, he laughed and cast Decrepify on the trio. She threw up a portal at the hall's entrance, and then he spawned his first pack of minions.
Colenzo the Annihilator (fire enchanted, spectral hit, teleportation) led a band of Warped Shaman, and insisted on resurrecting them until SweetSpearGirl recast the Valk, got in his face and finished him off. The Unravelers and Death Mages of Achmel the Cursed (poison-immune, cursed, fire enchanted) were less easy to handle. SweetSpearGirl led some of the skeletal mages out of resurrection range, and discovered that Achmel didn't resurrect his Unraveler minions; but Euyfura went down thanks to the incredibly potent poison they spewed. Gritting her teeth and swearing, SweetSpearGirl finished the fight.
Euyfura revived and the Valk recast, they returned to the throne room and threw up another portal. Wasting a straggling Mage, SweetSpearGirl cast a Decoy out into the hall and soon attracted some attention.
Bartuc the Bloody was cursed, lightning enchanted, and extra fast (luckily not multiple-shot!). His powerful Council minions threw up Hydras and SweetSpearGirl found herself running and recasting the Valk a lot. Euyfura went down again - which, honestly, SweetSpearGirl had been expecting - but she, the Valk and the Decoy had distracted Bartuc and friends long enough for SweetSpearGirl to make short work of the rest of them.
Next up: Ventar the unholy and his Venom Lord friends. Ventar was extra fast, fire enchanted and lightning enchanted; Euyfura died again very quickly and the Valk was of almost no use. SweetSpearGirl realized that the Venom Lords were clustered so thickly that they *couldn't* flee when the Dol rune in her ring took effect, and used this to good effect in taking down half of the minions. She found herself hitting Ventar himself and charged bolts sprayed out everywhere; she pulled back quickly and attacked another minion, leaving Ventar himself for last.
While she was fighting him, the Keep shook. Baal laughed. She realized she'd led the Venom Lords far enough from him, for him to decide to spawn more troublemakers! She attacked Ventar with renewed ferocity and soon he was gone. Back to town again - healing, repairs, merc revival...
This final set of Baal's friends were huge creatures she'd never seen the like of before. Lister the Tormentor and his Minions of Destruction were extra fast; he also possessed a spectral hit and was fire enchanted. SweetSpearGirl soon realized the fleeing hit of her Dol rune had no effect on these things and she set to work, furiously stabbing them as hard as she could. They knocked her and Euyfura and the Valk around, their attacks stunning and hitting hard...
They were quickly vanquished, considering the ferocity of their attacks (Lister dropped a green Full Plate which SweetSpearGirl stowed away in her cube)! Baal laughed nonetheless before turning and strolling into a portal leading to the chamber of the Worldstone itself. For once Euyfura had survived the minion pack and the trio returned to town to prepare for what surely had to be the ultimate battle.
The green full plate turned out to be Tancred's Spine - useless, but it did pad her nest egg some more.
They returned to the throne room.
"Ready?" SweetSpearGirl asked.
"As I'll ever be," said Euyfura. "Let's do this."
"I'm gonna get my ass kicked," the Valk said.
"Well that's not unusual," Euyfura retorted.
They stepped through the portal to face the Lord of Destruction.
Baal summoned Festering Appendages to distract Euyfura and the Valk. They hit hard enough to take down the former pretty quickly, but SweetSpearGirl - although she had a portal standing - knew she couldn't break off now. Baal was chilling and Decrepifying her, and she knew her only hope was to keep hitting him with everything she had.
Baal and the Valk expired at the same time. He dropped a golden Grim Shield (Lidless Wall), a green Chaos Armour (Trang-Oul's Scales), 23k gold and some other forgettable items. As she slung them into her cube, the Archangel Tyrael descended into the chamber, telling her how - as always - she'd arrived too late. Finally, her patience snapped. "Listen to me for a second, Tyrael. You and Cain and everyone else, you've sent me on all these quests, to fight all these bad guys - and EVERY FRICKIN TIME you tell me I'm there too late! I've had enough! I'm retiring and taking my Rogue with me. You are gonna have to find someone else to fight whatever battles you want fought next!"
Tyrael simply opened a portal. "This will take you to safety."
"Safety is back in Harrogath," SweetSpearGirl replied.
"The portal will stay open for you until nightfall."
SweetSpearGirl returned to town and revived Euyfura. The Barbarians decided it was time to party! Cain spoke to her.
"I've always believed in you, no matter what Tyrael says."
"Thank you Cain," SweetSpearGirl said. "But now, I need a rest. I'm hanging up my spear. At least, for now."
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