The Story Spoiler Jael looked at the pile of ashes that she had once called home. She couldn't believe it had only been a day since she had returned. Having finished her training with the Zann Esu, she had come home to find the village ransacked, many of the buildings burned. Jael's home was one of them; and her mother had perished in the fire. Those who survived told stories of the Dark Wanderer who had visited and the evil that followed him. After burying their dead, the grieving villagers tried to piece together what was left of their belongings. Now Jael had lost both her parents because of the Prime Evils' spreading corruption. Her father Lachdanan had once been a great hero, a lieutenant in King Leoric's Army. But when monarch let himself be corrupted, Lachdanan had slain him. Jael and her mother barely escaped Khanduras with their lives, and Jael never saw her father again. There were rumors that Leoric had cursed her father with his dying breaths so that the poor lieutenant's soul was left wandering for eternity. Others said he had been freed by the same hero who had ultimately vanquished the Lord of Terror himself. In times of hope, Jael believed the latter story, but staring at the charred remains of her home, she felt an overwhelming pessimism. It seemed that the forces of evil had erased every happy memory. Not a single memento was left in these ashes. "Jael." The young sorceress turned, startled, having thought she was alone. She stood numb with shock at the figure she beheld, bathed in the light emanating from this otherworldly spirit. The ghost opened it's mouth to speak. "I am thy father’s spirit. I was doomed for a certain term to walk the night, and for the day confined to fast in fires, until that day when a hero set my soul at rest." "Father!" exclaimed Jael. "Listen, listen! If you ever loved your poor dear mother— Revenge this foul and most unnatural murder." Lachdanan extended his hand, offering a massive axe. As Jael grasped it, a peculiar mix of frost, sparks and flames flickered down the length of the weapon. "Take it. It was this that slew Leoric, and I'm sure this Kingslayer will aid you in your quest for vengeance. I am sorry I do not have more of my armory to offer you. I gave my helm to the hero who brought me my freedom." "Then the stories are true?" asked Jael. "Yes." Lachdanan smiled. "My soul is at rest, and it was in fact the powers of Heaven that sent me here to intervene. But now I must go." He embraced his daughter. Then he was gone. Jael was left standing in the darkness. The Character - Jael - Level 83 Sorceress Damage (@10 FPS) Vengeance Damage with Enchant: 15k-23k LCS Vengeance Damage Only: 4401-10K LCS Screenshot: Jael makes Matriarch. Attributes (naked / geared) Strength: 81/167 Dexterity: 28/50 Vitality: 361/371 Energy: 35/35 Life: 1769 with CtA Attack Rating: 2497 (With Infinity on the Merc, hitting wasn't a problem.) Resists in Hell: 75 Fire / 10 Cold / 75 Lightning / 80 Poison FHR: 86% Breakpoint Skills (hard points only) 1 Each - Pre-reqs 1 Static Field 1 Frost Nova 1 Teleport 20 Fire Mastery, Enchant, Warmth 20 Lightning Mastery 1 Cold Mastery 4 Shiver Armor Gear Amulet: Highlord's Wrath Helm: Andariel's Visage with 15 IAS / 15 FR jewel Weapon: Kingslayer in 1.07 Eth Glorious Axe - Screenshot, Readout: Spoiler Code: Kingslayer Glorious Axe MalUmGulFal Two Hand Damage: 320 - 755 Indestructible Required Level: 66 Required Strength: 154 Required Dexterity: 45 Fingerprint: 0x22a21e13 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion +30% Increased Attack Speed 256% Enhanced Damage -25% Target Defense 20% Bonus to Attack Rating 33% Chance of Crushing Blow 50% Chance of Open Wounds Prevent Monster Heal +1 to Vengeance +10 to Strength 40% Extra Gold from Monsters Ethereal Armor: Chains of Honor Wire Fleece (nice boost to resists, +skills) Ring 1: Ravenfrost Ring 2: Rare with +16 str, 7% LL, 3% ML, 15% LR, 13% FR Belt: Arachnid Mesh (+skills) Boots: War Traveler (the +damage gives a boost to Vengeance) Gloves: Laying of Hands On switch: Call to Arms / Spirit Monarch Merc - Neeraj, Holy Freeze Merc Helm: Delirium Bone Visage Armor: Eth-bugged Treachery Wire Fleece Weapon: Infinity in 1.07 Eth Thresher Notes on Gear I started out using Kingslayer in a Colossus Blade, and had 110% off-weapon IAS for 13 fps attack speed (Treachery, Nosferatu's Coil, Guillaume's with IAS Jewel). The Glorious Axe enabled me to attain a much faster attack speed (10 fps), and once Andariel's was available (Act 4 Hell), I could amp the +skills gear up for some increased damage. CoH was also nice, as I could empty out some of the res charms in my inventory and provide more room for fire/light skillers, etc. Gameplay Spoiler I suppose the main thing that surprised me about this character was how much damage she ended up doing. I knew it'd be decent, but I couldn't figure out how to calculate it all ahead of time with how Vengeance interacted with the masteries, so I decided just to wait and try different things out when I was at a high enough level. I also knew that I didn't have the gear/resources to do this character perfectly, so I just had to do the best with what I had. I was pleasantly surprised! I actually switched to the Glorious Axe base for what I thought would be a marginal increase and attack speed, thinking it would make the character feel a little quicker, but it also ended up cranking my damage a lot higher since I could use more +skills gear that helped both my Vengeance and Enchant damage. I know I can prebuff Enchant by switching out gear, but it's a bit of a pain and takes up too much space in the stash, so I generally just prebuff by throwing some fire skillers in the inventory. This character certainly had a much slower attack speed than my most recent Pat (link), a Fanatic Zealot with 13-26k damage per hit, but I think Jael may have actually hit harder when factoring in the Convinction aura. I honestly didn't even expect her to be in the same neighborhood as the Pally damage-wise, and although she swings much slower, I was quite pleased at the LCS numbers. Note: fire skillers and lightning skillers were equal as far as Vengeance damage, but of course fire amps up the Enchant much more. While questing, I decided to try only using lightning skillers. Obviously, the overall damage was much less, topping out at around 15k without no prebuff, but Jael still seemed to hit almost as hard as with the 23k Enchant damage with prebuff. I can think of a few reasons for this. 1) Her damage was already imbalanced with more Fire than Lightning, so a more well-rounded attack would hit harder on most monsters, especially fire immunes or monsters with high fire resist. 2) Infinity lowers Lightning resistance more than Fire. Of course the best of both worlds would be to prebuff with fireskillers, then switch them out for lightning skillers, but I was a bit too lazy for that most of the time. So damage was good. Survivability? I should begin by saying that I think I just like playing brittle characters. I started a Frenzy Barb and parked him in late NM because I just got bored with it. Don't get me wrong, he was a cool character even though I just had random gear on him, but he was so tanky that I felt I needed more of a challenge. That said, I felt this character was quite viable in Hell. I really only had a few deaths when I was trying to play on p8 (I originally had this idea of playing through all of Hell at p8), but otherwise she was fairly safe by my standards as long as I didn't let myself get mobbed and waited on the Delirium to do its thing. The merc's Delirium helm was fantastic. I can only imagine how a 1.07 would work, as I really only had to wait a second or two before something procced. I mostly used the rare ring for the +str and LR/FR, but I was doing enough physical damage that the life leech actually helped, which surprised me. I noticed a slight difference difference when fighting unleechables. I again tried ignoring poison and cold resists, and this time I didn't even stupidly die from letting poison drain me to 1 life. I had no deaths after equipping endgame gear. Most monsters were fairly debilitated by the combination of the procs from Delirium, Holy Freeze, Frost Nova, and Shiver Armor. Being slowed to a crawl, I really didn't have to worry about them much. The dangerous areas (like CS) were more difficult because the Mages would stay out of range and still pack a decent punch. Questing summary: Perhaps the strangest thing that happened was having to re-roll maps in Act 2 of Hell: there was no second level of the Maggot Lair. I thought I was going crazy, carefully covering every inch of Maggot Lair level 1 several times, but as you know it's a pretty simple area, so apparently it was just a bug. Andariel went down hard as she always does with Enchantresses, and so did Duriel and Mephisto. For whatever reason the Chaos Sanctuary was a bit more dangerous than I had remembered. I proceeded through Hell without much problem, but once I got to Act 4 I wanted to use my endgame set up, and needed level 83 because of Andariel's. So, I went back and did Pit runs until 83, and then continued on to finish Act 2. The Ancient's weren't too bad, but Merc couldn't hold up without LL, so I switched back to Vampire Gaze so he could leech from them and have some damage reduction. The procs on Delirium didn't seem to work on them. Though I had to play it a little safer than I expected in the Chaos Sanctuary, Baal's minions were surprisingly a breeze. It's fairly easy to herd them with pillars, and then once the Delirium confuses them, I could pick them off without problem. Lister even spawned Lightning Immune / Fire Immune, and I was surprised at how fast the cold damage took him down. It was definitely slower, but doable. Baal himself wasn't a problem--this kind of build (one focused, powerful attack) is generally well-suited for taking down end act bosses. Finds: Runes: Hell Hellforge was a Mal, Um in NM Chaos Sanctuary. Items: Not much notable, but the thing I took screens of were a rare +skills Amazon amulet with teleport, Arcanna's Deathwand, Manald Heal, Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest, +20 max dmg jewel, Ichorstring, Atma's Wail, Grim's Burning Dead, Snakecord, Blackoack, Tiamat's, Venom Grip, and Hellmouth, Razortail, Demon Machine, Soulflay, Lightsabre. For some reason I've really wanted to find Lightsabre for quite a while, so that was rewarding. To me, it just has the coolest inventory graphic in the game. All in all, a surprisingly sturdy, enjoyable character, who is definitely my favorite that I've made so far! Thanks to those who offered help/encouragement along the way, and thanks to nulio for trading me the shiny 1.07 base! And if anyone got my lame allusions to literature/biblical history, props to you.