SweetSpearGirl's Adventures - Chapter 4: Maggot Triumph
Cast of Characters
SweetSpearGirl - lvl 64 Spearazon
Debi Euyfara - lvl 64 Rogue merc
The Ubiquitous Valk
Various Maggot and Beetle bosses
TAKE HEED AND BEAR WITNESS TO THE TRUTHS THAT LIE HEREIN, FOR THEY ARE THE LAST LEGACY OF THE HORADRIM...
The sun rose over the earth, as a new day dawned. SweetSpearGirl slowly drank her morning coffee, pondering over the problems that had driven her from the maggot lair the day before. The Horadric Shaft (she could think of some very off-colour jokes about that...) seemed beyond her reach.
But quitting was not in her nature. Pulling on her heavy armour, dropping a fresh set of fat purple potions into her belt slots, reconjuring her glowing Valk and waking Euyfara from her beauty sleep, she finished her coffee and, feeling invigorated, twinkled through the waypoint.
In the Far Oasis, trouble awaited. Plague Maw - a boss vulture who not only specialized in cold enchantment and teleportation, but was also physical immune (SweetSpearGirl hated stone skin beasties!!) took out three valks before our heroes wisely decided to skip the bugger for now, and charged straight on to the maggot lair entrance. Sliding down into the dank tunnel, SweetSpearGirl consulted a map of the tunnels she'd drawn up the day before. "This way," she said, heading directly for the lower levels...
Of course, it couldn't possibly be that easy. Grief Sludge - a death beetle who was lightning-enchanted (like he needed that enhancement!), cold enchanted and on top of that, capable of dealing a spectral hit; barred their way on one side. On the other - blocking the tunnel they needed to go down - was Haze Crawler, a Rock Worm, whose minions were spawning young at a frightening rate. Haze Crawler was physical immune, so SweetSpearGirl concentrated her attack on Grief Sludge and friends until all the lightning-spewing beetles were gone. Clearing a path through the young rock worms to reach the adults took quite some time! Gouts of flame suddenly appeared over the trio's heads, and SweetSpearGirl realized that the boss worm was Cursed. She tried to recast the Valk but couldn't; her mana had also been burned away! Fortunately there were still enough minions, eggs and young around to leech it back, but she decided not to stick around and take out the boss. She headed straight on.
Except for some Black Locusts and a few lone maggots, level 2 was uneventful. Onward... and downward. This was the test. SweetSpearGirl and Euyfara stopped in the first chamber of level 3 to discuss strategy.
"Take out some of the maggots and eggs around the queen before you go for her," Euyfara suggested. The Valk contributed nothing; choosing that moment to take interest in a stalagmite reaching up from the cavern's floor. SweetSpearGirl rolled her eyes. This was not a geological expedition!
Round the corner they already had something to deal with. Ice Burn - a bright purple Sand Maggot who was lightning-enchanted, magic resistant and extra fast - barred their way. The minions were easy to deal with when they weren't spawning young, but Ice Burn was lightning immune and took a bit longer. Still, no-one was in any real danger. Except maybe the Valk, who seemed even less disposed to living than usual.
Finally, they reached the inner chamber; there, the golden chest glowed from within, hinting at the treasures it contained. SweetSpearGirl darted around the edges of the chamber, attacking adult maggots, eggs, and hatchlings. Euyfara targeted whatever took her fancy, and the Valk wandered around not doing much of anything except dying. Coldworm the Burrower was already down to half her hitpoints by the time SweetSpearGirl decided it was safe to target her, and while Euyfara died from poison and the Valk went down another three times, SweetSpearGirl was able to escape the chamber despite the maggot queen's cold-enchanted - and fire-enchanted! - death blast. As a side note, the beast also had spectral hit... as useless an attribute as she could've had, considering that she had no melee attack...
Greiz accepted a shockingly high sum in exchange for raising Euyfara from the dead, and together they headed back down to gather in the loot and slay the remaining maggots. Finally able to flip open the golden chest, she picked up an ancient staff that tingled in her hands, as well as a lot of gold. Back in Lut Gholein, Cain was very excited by this - "The Staff of Kings! You astound me!"
She stowed the staff, returned via waypoint to the Far Oasis, and proceeded to turn her physical-immune vulture adversary Plague Maw into a dead physical-immune vulture adversary. Later on they met two packs of death beetles, led by Wrath Head the Tainted (extra strong, mana burn, teleportation) and Beetleburst (magic resistant, mana burn, teleportation, immune to lightning). These were dispatched without too much trouble, and SweetSpearGirl also recovered a golden pavise from the remains. Gerke's Sanctuary was a rather nice shield... if you used shields, that is.
Finally, they ventured through into the Lost City. In ancient days, the civilization of the desert must have been vast and powerful... now, just a lost memory and crumbling stones. The waypoint was close to the entrance, so she activated it and twinkled her party back to Lut Gholein. Darkness fell with an unusual suddenness, and Drognan had a few words to say to her on the matter.
"Tomorrow." was her firm reply after his talk of Claw Vipers and evil altars and desert temples. She slung her spear down by the stash, stripped off her armour, and was soon sleeping the sleep of the just in the warm desert wind.
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