5 - An Arty Necromancer Tells his Tale - Apr/27/2000
ChariShadow was beside
himself. Leoric had slain him on the exact moment of lunar perigee, and
laid claim to his soul.For an unknown period of time, Shadow the Sorcerer
served the evil Undead King. Later freed by an unusually tough Barbarian
named Garda, he nevertheless retained the physical form of a skeletal
human - more accurately, a Necromancer. Shadow would travel to the East
to see if this condition could be reversed, for their his kind were in
When he arrrived at the Rogue Encampment, a distasteful chap called Gheed
spat on him, and forbade him to come within 100 feet of his shop. Only
the witch Akara would speak to him, and she seemed to understand something
of his plight. She told Shadow of a Den of Evil that had plagued the Encampment,
and that he could gain the rogues trust by eliminating this threat. This
would be difficult, for unlike other Necromancer who embraced their new
powers, Shadow would have no part whatsoever in raising the dead or skeletal
mastery. He was a sorcerer, dang it, what need would he ever have of a
single lifeless golem, if any? As a seasoned Artillery or 'Arty' Mage,
he would learn to avoid combat and deal death from a distance. So he regained
his composure, got used to the lay of the land and in the Blood Moor outside
the Encampment learned a 'Magic Missile' spell, affectionately known as
'Teeth'. Soon after, he learned how to curse foes so that all damage taken
would be Amplified double - this was a major help. The Den of Evil fell
to his missile attacks, and the Encampment now greeted him as a friend.
Their leader, Kshara, took him aside and told him of an evil Priestess,
Blood Raven, who had taken countless sisters for sacrifice - was there
any way he could help? She was thought to be in sacred burial grounds,
and it was thought that none but Necromancers could hope to surive there.
Off Shadow went in search of the Burial Grounds, and soon, the unmistakeable
gates and tombstones marked upcoming danger. He prepared his now-stronger
missiles and carefully entered. Almost instantly, a stark raving lunatic
assaulted him with powerful spells and attacks. He let out a curse and
began firing. It depleted his mana in short order, and unlike his home
in Tristram, there were no blue potions to buy. But... any Arty Mage worth
his salt knew how to avoid attacks and run. He found in doing that his
mana regenerated, and he could let loose more missiles. This dance continued
for a few minutes, and finally, stumbling into a mana potion, he was able
to put her down for good. Nature itself rejoiced at her death, with a
stunning display of lightning which slew all remaining undead. Shadow
was truly in awe. Kshara was also impressed, and taught him a (weak) substitute
for his beloved mana shield... a protective magical armor of bone that
would absorb damage.
The next quest nearly drove Shadow mad. Absolutely unspeakable horrors
were committed, of which he dare not utter a word. Suffice it to say his
grief and pain were great - he would either crumble uther the wait, or
steel his heart and fight, sending Rakadishu and others to their death.
En route, a goliath of a beast, by the name of Treehead Woodfist, pounced
upon him. Somehow, he locked Shadow in place so he could not move. Terror
filled his heart, but fortunately, he was better prepared (and better
stocked!) He drank fully seven potions, almost a week's supply - as he
cursed "Carciwragighto!" (which is an ancient tongue meaning Amplify Damage),
he let loose a torrent of quadruple teeth into the monsters chest, until
he died. When the smoke had cleared, Shadow found himself in possession
of a wonderful new wand. It provided two more teeth missiles, let him
see better, and increased the strength of his bone armor. By this time,
he was of the 9th circle of power and had learned to Weaken his opponents
To try to find answers to his condition, he went to a Forgotten Tower,
where he met, and dispatched, several rather punishing boss monsters and
cohorts. Who would vilify nature and raise the dead to fight for them
when the Curse of Damage and the power of teeth would shred foes so well?
It was a mystery to Charis Shadow. At the bottom of the tower dwelt an
evil 'Countess', who in her madness set the tower on fire with a Pentagram
of flame. However, this pentagram did not scare the seasoned sorcerer
from Tristam - for its appearance usually met death for the Dark Lord.
With this odd new body of his, Shadow was able to sprint short distances
and fire off a spell. The foes would then close, try to break through
his bone armor, only to find him off and running again. This Arty had
long since brushed aside comments of cowardice - the battlefield littered
with dead for was plain enough answer to detractors!
The Sisters once again asked his help, to recover a very special hammer
of forging known as the Horadric Malus. It was guarded by a fiend quite
familiar to this veteran of Tristram, although he now called himself "The
Smith". It took a few mana potions, for he was indeed rather strong, but
soon he was fresh meat for the Shadow slaughter. This victory gained him
the circle of 12, the new abilities of Iron Maiden, Terror and Bone Wall.
Now he could cause attackers to damage themselves severely for hitting
him, cause whole parties to flee, or but up a physical barrier that kept
them at bay for a time. Charsi the Blacksmith at the Camp was so overjoyed
to see the return of the Malus that she Imbued a rare and special item
for him. He would have to ponder this decision carefully...
Off he headed to what he hoped would be his final destiny, the Monastery
which held the vicious demon Andariel. En route she defeated a Wraith
boss which gave him the skill to raise a Golem of Clay. Now he was starting
to see the return of his old powers, even though he could not for the
life of him recall his old Fireball or Chain Lightning spells. He could
only hope new powers he was hearing about, such as Bone Spear, a Nova
(of poison, not his familiar lightning), Confusion, would one day be learned,
and of course, his old Bone Spirit.
Andariel was a huge demon which embodied the purest evil. Waves of evil
wracked his body as if poison, and his life ebbed and disappeared within
seconds. Fortunately, his soul revived in the Encampment, and he was able
to return grab his course (with typical Arty happy feet dodging), and
portal out to think for a moment. He was quite sad that his various curses,
to Ampilfy Damage and to Weaken, could not both be active on Andariel.
But he did not fear her claws, which would be shielded by his armor. Rather
her poison was the keep danger. So he stocked a few antidotes potions
on his belt, and prepared his favorite combination - Amplify Damage and
Teeth. The latter was now, with the wand, spewing a very healthy 8 missiles
at opponents. So as soon as he saw her, he dodged the poison clouds to
get right next to her, and fired at point blank range. He took a lot of
damage, and drank a few potions prophylactically, but she could not stand
up under the abusve of dozens of magic missiles. Andariel did not simply
die, she exploded in a torrent of flame that brought down the whole level
of the tower. The loot was abundant, although this did not particularly
excite Shadow. For what he most wanted, an answer to the question of how
to return to fully human form and regain his Sorcerer powers, was not
to be found here... Perhaps, it could be found in a nearby town, Lut Gholein.
But that would have to wait for another time.