#14 / 49 From the Chronicles of Gengis, Paladin: "I don't fancy the odds, boss" Azrael said, and I couldn't help but agree with him. We had just entered the strange portal we found in the palace cellar and already I was wishing I had never heard of Lut Gohlein. This was not the first time we faced the undead, but I doubted there had ever been that many of them before. "Take heart, my friend. That rabble shall never be able to prevail against our divine might!", I said, trying to keep my voice steady. It would not do for a holy warrior to show any sign of fear or anxiety. Silently, I cursed myself for defying my brothers' teachings and chosing to arm myself with a staff instead of a lighter weapon and a sturdy shield to hide behind. For the final time before the battle I took measure of our opponents. There had to be close to a hundred of them, it was difficult to count them as they passed through each other and flickered in and out of sight. If I remembered the old scrolls right they were Specters. Similar to the ghosts we had fought in the rogue's monastary but more powerful. We both realised the danger of these flying, non-corporeal foes: They would not block each other on the narrow path - unlike the goatmen whose blood was still dripping into the void. Four or five of the ghostly figures glowed with unholy auras, presumably fallen brothers of mine. I made a mental note to try and redeem their souls after this was over. If there was anybody left to redeem anything, of course. Only moments had passed since Azrael had made his fatalistic comment but it seemed ages to me. I could feel a bead of sweat dripping from my bow and I had to force myself to relax the grip on my weapon somewhat. "Prepare yourself" I ordered Azrael calmly and did the same. I judged all that I saw and found them lacking. The righteous wrath that lent strength to my vengeance and my conviction marked the line between this horde and the innocent townsfolk above. Roaring something suitably heroic I charged. "This is it" flashed through my mind, "Do or die". We did. But barely. Panting with exhaustion we leaned on our weapons. Nothing bespoke the fierce battle that had raged here moments earlier except for heaps of dust that had been vicious undead seconds ago. I went to one knee, getting a firm grip on the scepter that had been clipped to my belt and prayed for their souls' redemption while I let the battle flow by me one last time. That rickety old crown that buxom blonde with the bow had given to me had proven to be our salvation. A delirium crown she had called it. I don't know what it did, but it seemed to have strange effects on my enemies - and my allies, I thought, looking at the midget skeleton that I knew to be Azrael. He shot me an accusing look. Well, at least that's the way I interpreted his skinless grin. "Oh, boss, look what you did now! What a mess... This just ain't right! How the heck am I going to explain this to Baile? She likes her men tall and chubby. Not short and bony." Baile? Ah, yes, the rogue scout that seemed to have taken his fancy while we were helping out Akara. "Oh, don't worry my son", I reassured him. "I am certain this is but a temporary change". I hoped that sounded educated and like I knew what I was talking about. The fact that paladins had a reputation of being honest probably helped me get the lie across. In truth I had no clue as to my ally's condition. Silently I prayed that I had guessed correctly. I certainly didn't want to explain to Baile why I had changed her beau into a 2 foot tall walking pile of bones. She had quite the temper, that one. "Well, the sooner we get this done, the sooner we'll have you back in your old body" I told my hired help. "Come on, this way, that's where the maniacal laughter seems to come from". And with that I strode purposefully into the darkness, leaving my tiny companion with little choice but to hurry along with me, muttering a string of complaints as he went... Well, seems like I've done it yet again, this time - obviously - with a paladin. Couple moments ago, Gengis the 2h avenger made guardian. As usual, here's some stats & skills and all that good stuff: Stats: Skills: Gear: Weapon: Ribcracker 325% ED Rings: Rares with leech,resis and stuff Belt: SoE Helm: Darksight Helm (Ort) Armour: Fortitude Boneweave Boots: Wartravs Ammy: Highlord's Merc: Azrael the Mighty: He used a reaper's toll, delirium crown and shaftstop for most of the game. Swapped out for vamp gaze and crescent moon at the ancients and left it that way until the end. Random Thoughts: In case you don't realise the name, this char is a tribute to gengis_chuck who was to my knowledge the first one to upgrade a ribcracker and play a fully synergised 2h avenger in the beta. (in SC, though) Might have been the first time I noticed the ribcracker which sparked my addiction but I can't say that for sure. Avengers do a ****load of damage. Seriously 6-10k with most of that doubled due to conviction. Teh shizzle. Shieldless pallies have a hard time vs the ancients if they're cursed and extra strong. Otherwise it's not so bad. Single Target characters are no fun. Well, okay, he does a ****load of damage and can kill pretty much everything in one swipe on p1 but targeting with the left mouse button sucks big time. Iron Maiden is no fun. The chaos sanctuary in NM and Hell was cleared by azrael and corpse explosion from helhel bonehew. Tedious buisness but we live to tell the tale. When I got bored and only a few OKs were left I even did the russian roulette and got lucky... Darksight Helm is probably the strongest item in the game. Not only can I cast CoS when I'm in trouble, the 6% chance to cast DV shut up most ranged attackers. CBF and mana leech as an added bonus. I can't believe nobody uses this. Fighting 100 ghosts at the same time is great fun. I wasn't exaggerating with the story, I did manage to anger about 5 boss packs at the same time, a couple champs and a few random ghosts on top of that. I couldn't see anything on the screen anymore, so many ghosts were there. Goes to show how strong delirium is. I definetly won't play a melee single target char again anytime soon. I'm thinking about my bladefury sin now. Thanks to corpsie for trading me the fortitude, it really pwns, even though he made it in the wrong armour He found a ****load of uniques and sets, despite wearing only 34% MF. None of them were good, though. But at least there were a lot of them. I like ribcrackers but I'm not playing another ribcracker paladin. 2 is enough. Well, this concludes my random thoughts, thanks for reading. This one gets me 2/7 of the way to my 49 guardians, I guess. Stay tuned for more guardians sometime in the next months. Fisheh out.