SweetSpearGirl's Adventures - Chapter 3: Maggot Problems

Cast of Characters
SweetSpearGirl - lvl 64 Spearazon using Lycander's Flank
Debi Euyfara - lvl 64 Rogue merc using Kuko Shakaku
Valkyrie - Your Personal Heavenly Companion, summoned and re-summoned time and again
Coldworm the Burrower - Sand Maggot Queen


SweetSpearGirl stepped off the waypoint into the Far Oasis; she could spot the entrance into the sand maggots' tunnels not far off. Following her dutifully, her faithful Rogue companion Debi Euyfara. It had been a long adventure since she'd first agreed to accompany a then level 6 spearazon on her quest to rid the world of Andariel...

Appropriately-named beastie

Pausing only to eliminate Death Crow (boss black raptor; cursed, cold enchanted, extra strong - which SweetSpearGirl was a little worried about since her cold resist was low!) and Gut Hack the Grim (boss Itchies; cursed, extra fast, fire enchanted), the intrepid duo - with the ever-present Valk dawdling behind - levered themselves down into the sandy tunnel. Slime dripped from its walls and puddles of goo littered the floor (although these often contained gold and potions so it was worthwhile rummaging them).

Gut Hack

Grey Bang

"I hate these things!" SweetSpearGirl yelled as she found her first boss pack of Scarabs. This was led by Grey Bang the Slasher (extra strong, teleportation, extra fast); fortunately, the close confines of the tunnels meant that most of the lightning dissipated harmlessly into the walls rather than frying the adventurers. Euyfara stood back out of harm's way, although her lightning-blasting arrows had little effect on the lightning-enchanted creatures.

After wasting the scarabs, taking out innumerable swarms of stinging Black Locusts and working their way through the occasional pack of Sand Maggot champions and Rock Worms (yuck... SweetSpearGirl hates these creatures, she has a real phobia of creepy-crawlies...), they discovered a large chamber filled with chests and urns. "How on earth did they get down here?" Euyfara mused. "It's not like the maggots brought them down with them..."

Maggot champs

SweetSpearGirl kicked at an urn or two and heard the *crash* of heavy armour hitting the floor. She scanned the floor, seeing through a few piles of potions the shimmer of a golden aura. With some effort, she pulled the thing up.

Gold ornate plate!

It was an Ornate Plate. She was so surprised, she almost dropped it on her foot! Swiftly, she bestowed it in her Horadric Cube, which in addition to storing a great deal of loot, had the added bonus of rendering it all but weightless. A gold Ornate Plate, from a random urn in the labyrinthine tunnels of insects and maggots... this surely made up for the slime and the creepy-crawlies!

On they went, smashing their way through more maggots and Black Locusts. Sliding down a dark shaft, finding themselves on a second level of tunnels and chambers, they encountered Rust Vex the Hungry (boss death beetle; spectral hit, teleportation, sporting a Holy Freeze aura). Neither SweetSpearGirl nor Euyfara were fond of the Holy Freeze effect; fortunately Rust Vex wasn't too great a challenge once his minions and the interfering Black Locust pack were dispensed with. And he dropped another golden treasure that SweetSpearGirl thought was worth the trip!

Rust Vex

Skystrike. w00t!

"Skystrike", she read as the identifying scroll worked its magic. "Adds 1 to Amazon skill levels; adds 1-250 lightning damage; enhanced damage of 199%; increases attack speed by 30%..." The list went on for a further three properties. "Sweet", she said, stowing it in her cube. She looked at Euyfara.
"Good backup bow for you in case we run into any fire immunes, huh?"

Euyfara muttered something about "would've been bloody useful against the Countess..." They both still remembered *that* encounter; the MSLEBs had been bad enough but at least those could be avoided! The Countess herself had been both physical and fire immune and had taken an eternity - and more Valks than either SweetSpearGirl or Euyfara could count - to go down...

Anyway. Onward and downward! The pair would have preferred *upward*, but Cain had insisted that the Horadric Shaft - "yeah, we keep getting Horadric Shafted by these quests and their 'rewards'!" Euyfara commented - lay in the deepest parts of the Maggot Lair where it had been placed by the Horadrim long ago.

The third level of the maggots' lair was much of a muchness with level 2, with the exception that no golden items dropped from anything they slew. A death beetle and Sand Maggot were the only bosses they encountered and as they approached the Queen's Chamber where the staff lay, SweetSpearGirl grew more optimistic about the success of this quest.

Then she saw what lay beyond. Coldworm the Burrower was cold enchanted and magic resistant - as well as two properties which were completely wasted on a beast which never moved about or attacked - Extra Fast and Extra Strong! She almost laughed, but the fact that the three of them had been poisoned immediately on entering the chamber, and the multitude of Sand Maggots crawling around, attacking and spawning young, stopped the laugh before it reached her lips.

Big bad Maggot!

Coldworm herself was not so hard to kill. However, by the time she went down, the maggot young were so thickly clustered around SweetSpearGirl and Euyfara - massive numbers of them - that it was impossible to carve a way through to deal with the adults. Coldworm's death blast had both chilled them and exposed them to massive amounts of lethal poisons, and try as they might, they could not reach either the adult maggots or the glowing chest where the Staff lay.

Overwhelmed, eeek...

Or their town portal. Rejuvenation potion followed rejuvenation potion, replenishing the duo's rapidly depleting health, until finally there were no more fat purples left. The maggot young were so numerous that they had SweetSpearGirl in a permanent attack lock; she couldn't even recast a Valk to distract them and in any case Valks just didn't last more than a few seconds. Euyfara fell with a cry that pierced SweetSpearGirl to her heart. Then, she herself fell to the attacks of the innumerable maggots...


Awaking in Lut Gholein, SweetSpearGirl went to Greiz to restore Euyfara to health, and began pulling out her spare gear from her stash. She bought some arrows and equipped Skystrike, but all to no avail, for her body was surrounded and overrun by hundreds of maggot young and normal arrows just did not do any damage to the adults. Their only choice was to run...

In the end, she had to sleep, and wait for the incomprehensible power that regenerated the monsters, to return her lost items to her. Re-donning her gear, re-stashing Skystrike and once again wielding Lycander's Flank, she headed for the waypoint.

Today was obviously going to be One Of Those Days, since very quickly she was met by a Holy Shock boss beetle and then an Extra Fast one. What was a girl to do? She ran straight for the entrance to the maggot tunnels with Euyfara in tow, but when round the first corner she met Flesh Bang the Axe - a cold-enchanted, teleportation-enhanced Rock Worm who favoured a Conviction aura - it was all too much. The creature nearly killed her; she only just managed to down a fat purple and then portal out.

As she remarked to Euyfara later, as they drowned their troubles in ale and food at Atma's establishment and eyed up some of the local singles, "I'm not trying that again today. Coldworm will have to wait a while for my vengeance."

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