Once upon a time there was a cold witch that was called Skadlotta. She was not at all as ridiculous as the fire sorceresses but very collected and calm in most situations. She managed to keep her head cool during the long campaign against evil invaders of Sanctuary and foul heretical enemies of the winter. May she teleport to aid our world with the utmost expeditiousness. Much to her baffledness she found an obscure clause in the witch license that stated that in the event of potential conquests and triumphs she would have to present her experiences to a very shady bureau of reviewers, known as "singular peculiarities". At least she thought that was what was said since the license document had been somewhat frayed and the ink smeared on that particular page. It could have been "simple players" too. Or "single places". No matter. Along with her trusty companion Healfdane, who was a sturdy northlander who could stand the cold and not some pansy town guard who couldn't duel a single tough melee uniqueling on his own, she planned for the arduous task. It proved to be easier planned than done. Skadlotta: Finally! Here are three majestic comic boards of presentating information detailing our journeys and exploits! The discovery of that crown for you was most welcome, as was the shield for me which allowed me to switch into green and grey stabbing mode with the Spineripper! While I otherwise maintain the blue elegant and ominous casting mode. The staff would have been very interesting to use but my own precious Spectral Shard I would not part with for a second. Healfdane: I like the triumphant thought that I, the mighty Healfdane, remained standing against the ever-stinking Andariel, bane of barbarian hirelings! The flesh spawners were a complete pain, though. Totally unbearable. Skadlotta: Yes, they almost drained every gold coin with all the explosions needed to put them in their place. Healfdane: The oblivious knights were almost as annoying. Running away, the cowards. And now that I think about it, did you have a thing for the lord of terror? Why do we have several pictures stored detailing the battle against him? Skadlotta: That is pure coincidence... On an unrelated note, just out of the blue (of which I have plenty), Diablo isn't really dead, is he? He's just banished to another plane of existence? Healfdane: Don't ask me, you are supposed to be the scholarly one. Skadlotta: Maybe so, but honestly - how much does it take to know that you should hide in the dark when traversing caves filled with chargers? Healfdane: I must add that that comes from the same sorceress who decided to stand passive in one spot for many minutes on the summit while I fought Korlic. Skadlotta: I was doing my best to remain discreet and not attract the extra fast Talic. Damn, that was nervous! Korlic took forever. Healfdane: I know, I could barely hit him. In retrospect, since Talic proved to be such a weakling we should have nailed him first, perhaps, so our extra potions didn't expire. Ah! I like the last one! We had just gone down the stairs, no unexplored room to hide, and are immediately assailed by assailants! Cold immune, and while the cloaking shake most off, only the mighty Healfdane stood between the terrible cursed leader (nicknamed "Beardbane") and the witch! Skadlotta: By all means, that was a nice save. I prefer the next ones, the strategy is so brilliantly dazzling it would be blinding lest the light was shut out. To think, that there are such N00b witches as those that would rush forward around the corner madly hurling glacial spikes! No, the proper witch only cast spells once the ambush is already neutralized (basic The Art Of Cold, verse 7). First cloak, so that the leader is blocked and imprisoned by his unseeing minions, Then you go around and cast and return, calmly waiting for them to be smashed to ice cubes. The last stair was of course also a fine example of proper emergency cloaking, as well as the exquisite flanking attack against the unravellers while you engaged their skirmishing line of light skeleton infantry. Baal was in fact much more dangerous than his minions. Not least because his rapidly spawning appendages are cold immune and also could hit me very rapidly and lock me into hit recovery. Such an ambush almost nailed me once, it was quite unsettling. In retrospect, I could have used a wand of lowered resistance instead of life tap since you had little opportunity to land any hits on him. Healfdane: I am afraid we do not meet the quota of humorous details in our presentation. It is far too much to the point to meet the requirements of the target audience. Skadlotta: The target audience is lazy then, and attempts to excuse its poor scholarly efforts with feeble comments about walls of texts and whatever. Healfdane: No argument there. But the requirements still remain. Couldn't you do something a little more populist that makes people connect to the presentation? Skadlotta: I am a cold and distant cold witch, remember? Very well, what would that be? Healfdane: I don't know, you could try singing something? Skadlotta: With my voice? It's terrible! The birds will migrate to Aranoch in terror! The rabbits will dig down into the other side of the earth! Healfdane: It's not that bad...there were only a few birds that fled last time and it was probably about time for their yearly migration anyway... Skadlotta: I can't sing. End of discussion, minion. Healfdane: But I have a plan! Here is the text to a song where you just need to hum. Almost. You can be all like "hmmm-mmm-hmhmmmm hmhm-hmhm-hmhmmm" and people will celebrate your beginning singing career in no time! While Skadlotta and Healfdane waited to see if any fan mails would arrive they sorted their numerous pieces of equipment. Healfdane carried a treacherous plate and malicious champion sword - the perfect combination with teleport support and his life stealing crown. Malice can really take down any enemy along with an easily found source of varied damage, even the humblest of circlets will do. He wielded a kings grace before but the malice quickly proved superior even against others than physically resistant foes. And how barbarian stunning and bashing and regeneration own the enemy leaders... Skadlotta used the essential Nadir in many situations, particularly against spawners and charging enemies. She blew up corpses with a black flail and cursed mighty monster heroes with a wand of life tap. Skadlotta found several items that could have suited an insanely mighty melee sorceress, like Draculs grasp and Bonehew. Unfortunately she never became insanely mighty enough to use them, although she did some early stabbing with the Spineripper in traditional sorceress fashion. Draculs is interesting for a caster though with the life per kill and I think it would have been notable if Skadlotta had a heavy PDR /MDR rig. Guardian angel could also have been utilised to great effect had she managed to fill all resistances to max. As it happened, only lightning was maxed at some times, but it was useful enough against burning souls in the Throne of Destruction. Poor souls, blinded and near useless. In the end Skadlotta found the very fitting bladebuckle that would probably had been a key component to becoming a more stable melee fighter. As with all my characters, I played with patch 1.13 and no rune word mod, ATMA or GoMule. So chest space was a serious issue. Cold is nice, especially with the corpse control and lack of resistant enemies (thanks to cold mastery they are either immune or helpless) and the speed in late normal was staggering compared to most of my earlier characters. Skadlotta gained ten levels in one gaming session, and six more in another in nightmare Act IV (ending in level 66, most fittingly) where she also located the Lem rune and gambled a glacial amulet. Healfdane died at least once, to an intermingled bosspack of horror archers in the palace cellar in Hell. Might, fanaticism, curse, multishot and possibly the conviction from a nearby bosspack. He fell in one shot which was incredibly annoying. I am not altogether satisfied with Skadlotta because she didn't really succeed in dealing with the cold immunes as well as I would have liked, but at least she and Healfdane managed to defeat every enemy coming into their path and prove once again the decisive superiority of skill charges for a modestly equipped character. Some day I have to try a character setup focused on gold finding and using charges routinely instead of reserving them for emergencies.