Tracking The Dark Wanderer

Leviticus Darksyde

Diabloii.Net Member
Tracking The Dark Wanderer

Foreword By The Author

This storyline is based mostly on Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and characters I'd created in Single Play Mode. It is intended for entertainment use only; I am not receiving money from this project either by Blizzard, Inc. or by any other means.

What prompted me to write this story in the first place was the idea that the game makes a good story, especially if you can develop the characters in a way that displays their personalities as well as their inherent skills. What I hope to accomplish here is to put out a story everyone will enjoy, and possibly inspire players to build characters based on what is written here.

It should be noted the story will not follow the game exactly; some things will be modified to fit the characters and/or the plot. So if you see something that doesn't look like it's from the game, chances are I made it up to move the story along.

It should also be noted that some game mechanics (i.e. "leveling up") will not be included. No, I'm not really going to explain why.

May the Great Eye watch over you.

*Leviticus Darksyde*
 

Leviticus Darksyde

Diabloii.Net Member
Chapter 1: The Way East Is Blocked

"Halt!"

The rogue commander gave the order as our caravan was making its way east. The driver, Warriv, was puzzled at this action, as he had been through this way numerous times without incident, save a few zombies now and then.

"What's going on, Flavie?" he asked. "You know I have business in Lut Gholein."

"If I were to allow you to pass, you would march into certain death," she replied.

Seated inside the caravan, my only thought was that I had a mission that was a matter of life and death, and this rogue was interfering. I decided to intervene.

"Is there a problem?" I asked.

She could tell by my armor and sheld I was not just some joker trying to pass through. "As I was telling Warriv here, going east will mean certain doom if I allow you to pass, outlander. You would be advised to turn back and return from wence you came."

"You would be advised to stand aside and let us pass," I cautioned her. "I am Leviticus, a Knight of The 23rd Circle, on a mission that could determine the fate of the world, and every second you keep us here is a second lost." I sized her up, to determine whether to tell her more. "I have reason to believe The Dark Wanderer passed through here recently."

"The Dark what?" she asked, looking at me as though I'd had too much ale the night before. "I'm sorry, sir, but I have my orders not to allow passage until it is safe again."

"When will that be?" I asked sternly, not really expecting an answer. When she gave none, I demanded to see her leader immediately.

"How many are with you?" she asked.

"Five, including myself," I replied. "Are you going to allow passage?"

"I'm afraid you'll have to come with me," she replied. "Akara will want to know of your mission, whatever it is."

"Very well, then." I motioned to Warriv to follow the rogue. Maybe once I explained to her why stopping this Dark Wanderer was important to save the world, the rogues would allow us passage east.

* * * * *​

Once we drove into what appeared to be a makeshift encampment, we got off the caravan, one by one. First there was Warriv, the driver. He was driving us to Lut Gholein, as he was on his way there himself. Of course I had to convince him (by way of a bribe) that it was imperative he take us with him. He was a stout man, of maybe forty years. He would wait for us by the caravan, until it was safe to travel eastward.

Then there was Marissa, a petite sorceress whom I'd met in my travels, and fell madly in love with. She had green eyes, dark hair, and slightly darkened skin. For some reason known only to her, she wore no armor, in spite of the danger we'd faced together, other than the clothes on her back. In spite of this, she'd managed to stay alive, as she was a walking arsenal of weapons. She interposed herself between me and the rogue, Flavie, to send the message I was spoken for, "in case these rogues had any ideas."

Following her was Kanine, a druid from the north. He only wore leather armorwith fur lined shoulders, and carried no weapons. He didn't need to; he was a shapeshifter, a werewolf. In his human form he had very long red hair, blue eyes, and a lean build. When he transformed into beast form, he had white fur, sharp teeth, and even sharper claws. He could assume this form whenever he wanted to, or when he forgot himself and flew into a rage.

Thanatos, the necromancer, was next. One word would describe him best: albino. He had white hair, white skin, white eyes, and a frail looking build. He wore chain armor fashioned partially out of bone, so it looked like an exo-skeleton. Many fancied him a witch doctor; he has been know to raise the dead, concoct all kinds of healing potions, and practice black magic.

Finally, there was Katrina, an assassin from the Shadow Cat's Guild. She had short black hair, blue eyes that resembled those of a cat, and a curvacious build she used to seduce her victims to their deaths. Her black armor barely covered her, and she used claws for weapons. It was said she had a way of getting aroud without being seen, which aided her in killing people. A mercenary by trade, she was along for the promise of a big payday. I suspected maybe there was more than that, but so far, she'd not let on as to what.

Now, I suppose you're wondering why a Paladin of the 23rd Circle would be doing with a group like this. The reason is simple. You see, I was visited by an angel named Tyrael, who informed me of this Dark Wanderer. He told me it was a hero from Tristam, who had defeated Diablo in the town cathedral. In an attempt to contain the demon, he embedded the soulstone into his head. Soon after, he began talking incoherently, about heading east. Since then, the town had been ravaged by demons, and all the townsfolk were either slain or corrupted.

When I went to my circle to enlist volunteers for this mission, my fellow knights just laughed me out of the castle, saying I was deluded, insane, or maybe possessed myself. I was forced to set out to find volunteers elsewhere. Fortunately, I had friends outside the circle, and was able to assemble this small group.

The rogue Flavie led us into a small tent which was serving as temporary shelter. I explained my mission to Akara, the spritual leader of the rogues, who looked at me with intrigue. She however, explained that the way east was blocked; their monastery was taken over by a demon goddess named Andariel, and all who had attempted to retake it were either killed or made into Andariel's minions. The surviving rogues were forced to set up camp just west of the monastery, and kept watch to insure the demons didn't defile the grounds any further.

It was then another rogue spoke up, identifying herself as Kashya. "Your tale is quite interesting, outlander, but how do we know we can trust you? Akara my be our spiritual leader, but it is I who command the rogues in battle. As you said, your own order laughed at you; perhaps you've come to lure us to our deaths as well?"

There was mumuring in the crowd. Apparently most of the rogues agreed with Kashya; there was no way they were going to lay down their lives for an outlander who, for all they knew, could have been in league with this Andariel. I could see out of the corner of my eye that Kanine was trying to hold his rage in check; if he suddenly lost it and assumed werewolf form...

It was then a rogue scout ran into the tent. She whipered something to Kashya, who replied, "Are you sure?"

The scout nodded in the affirmative.

Kashya then turned her attention back to me. "My rogue scout has informed me of a terrible crisis! Blood Raven, once my most trusted lieutenant, has been corrupted by the demon goddess Andariel, and is defiling our burial grounds! We cannot allow this defilement! If you are truly our ally, you will go now and stop Blood Raven before she turns our sacred hallowed ground into a haven for demons!"

"All right," I replied. "We will leave immediately. But we will need a guide to show us the way there."

Kashya nodded in agreement. "Flavie, go with them," she commanded. "But, your girlfriend stays with us. If you betray us in any way, she dies."

Marissa was about to protest, but I took her aside. "Don't worry, love. I will not let anything happen to Flavie...or you."

I kissed her goodbye before heading toward the site where Blood Raven would no doubt be waiting for us.
 

Aradhai

Banned
Damn... thats one decent story you have there. Gripping yet easy to read I loved it :). Congrats! Can't wait to see more.
 

Leviticus Darksyde

Diabloii.Net Member
Chapter 2: Finding Blood Raven

It wasn't a long walk to the burial grounds, but we still needed Flavie to guide us through the Black Marsh, a dark swamp which had dead trees, patches of tall grass, and plenty of fog to obscure our vision. Somehow, Flavie had no trouble seeing through this fog, possibly because she had some magic sight or something to that effect.

Soon we were past the dense fog, and could see the graveyard from a distance. Flavie stopped us before we could get closer.

"The place is heavily guarded it appears," she warned. "Corrupted rogues from the looks of it. I don't see how we'll get past without getting killed."

"That's because you look not in the right direction," Thanatos replied. "They can't kill us if they can't see us."

Flavie gave him a puzzled look; though she had heard of necromancers' dark powers, this was the first time she'd actually seen one in action. "I suppose you have some kind of spell to obscure their vision?" she asked.

Thanatos did not respond, unless it was by pulling out a shrunken demon's head on a string, and shaking it at the corrupted rogues, whispering some magic words. After a few minutes of this, he said, "It is done."

Flavie was still a bit skeptical, but she kept her opinions to herself.

I led the way, with Kanine and Katrina flanking me, and Flavie and Thanatos bringing up the rear. Kanine was in wolf form, as he'd been the entire trip. I had my shield up, and my broadsword drawn. Katrina had her claws out, ready to pounce on anyone who dared get too close to our position. Flavie had her bow drawn and an arrow readied, waiting to shoot anything that moved. Thanatos had his dagger ready, though I was not quite sure for what. He'd used daggers for various things, including creating what he called "Iron Man", a golem which took on the properties of whatever metallic object he created it from. We slipped by the guards without so much as a reaction, and were now within the burial grounds.

The cemetery looked like grave robbers had in fact desecrated it. Graves appeared dug up as we passed. There was a masoleum closest to us, and a crypt a few feet beyond, both looking a bit creepy for my taste.

Kanine halted, and sniffed around. "We've got company."

No sooner had he said that than a flaming arrow whizzed by, just missing us by a foot. No doubt Blood Raven was around, and had seen us before we'd seen her. "That was just a warning shot," Flavie cautioned us. Blood Raven was the best shot in our order."

Nice. Just what we needed to hear.

"Spread out," I commanded. "She can't hit all of us!"

"Don't be too sure," Flavie replied. "I've seen her hit multiple targets in rapid succession! She'll kill us all!"

It was at that moment Raven had come out of her hiding place. "Five against one, Kanine? I would have thought you'd come for me alone."

Both Flavie and I were surprised at that statement. Raven and Kanine knew each other? When was this, before or after she'd become corrupted? Kanine had never spoken of his past, either in battle or otherwise.

"You know I can shoot you right where you stand, Wolfie," Blood Raven called to Kanine. "Why don't you drop your lycanthrope form and fight me?"

"Drop your weapon, and I will," Kanine fired back.

"Tell your friends to do likewise," she demanded. "Otherwise, I'll just kill them one by one, starting with Flavie over there."

"Do as she says," Kanine called to us. "I know she'll keep her word."

"It's a trick!" Flavie called out. "She's not the same person you knew, wolf. As soon as we drop our weapons, she'll kill us all!"

"I'll kill you all anyway," Raven answered. "So you might as well allow me this chance to settle things between us, and buy yourselves some time!"

Kanine assumed human form, then drew a dagger from his boot. We knew he was willing to go through with this, so I slowly sheathed my sword. Flavie followed my cue, and lowered her bow. Thanatos dropped his dagger, and looked at Kanine for some sort of signal. None came. Katrina was nowhere to be found. At least I couldn't see her.

Seeing to her satisfaction everyone had complied with her demands, she dropped her bow and arrows, and drew a dagger of her own. "You should be grateful I'm giving you this chance, Wolfie. I wouldn't have done it for anyone else, not even for Kashya."

They stalked each other, like lions ready to pounce at first opportunity. He lunged at her, but she was able to flip him over. "Not so tough now, are you, Wolfie?" she scoffed. She then tried to stab him in his prone position, but he rolled out of the way before steel tasted flesh. On his feet now, Kanine sized his former friend up. She lunged at him, but he deftly sidestepped her and tripped her up.

"Next time, less talk and more action," he told her.

"Why prolong the inevitable?" she asked. "I will kill you, and your friends as well!"

"Don't sing it, bring it," Kanine taunted her.

She lunged at him again, and this time he caught her in a headlock. He looked at her right in the eyes as he said the following: "You know I've always loved you, Raven." He then kissed her, then slit her throat. A look of shock came across her eyes as she died in his arms. Tears welled in his eyes as he closed hers.

"Goodbye, Raven," he whispered.

I looked at the now slain Blood Raven, and gave her last rites. "May Heaven have mercy on her misguided soul," I said when finished.

Katrina finally came out of her hiding place, knowing the battle was over. She'd been hiding behind the masoleum, ready to kill Blood Raven should she have gained any advantage.

Even in human form, Kanine had a keen sense of smell, and he knew we had trouble. "Looks like Raven's minions figured out we're in here."

Sure enough, we were surrounded by the very corrupted rogues whom we'd snuck by earlier.

"Any other bright ideas?" Flavie asked.

Thanatos just looked at them, and gave a command: "Lead us back to the camp." The rogues simply did as they were told!

"What did you do?" Flavie asked.

"Simply brought them back to life after Katrina killed them," he replied. "Anything else you want to know?"

"Not really," Flavie replied.

"Let's go, then," I said. "Maybe now your friend Kashya will be a little more cooperative."

We headed back across the swamp, to the camp, where Akara and Kashya were waiting for us.
 

Aradhai

Banned
Again, this part was very gripping and I really want to read on! It's a shame no one else can be bothered to write a comment on your story though :(.
 

RevenantsKnight

Diabloii.Net Member
Aradhai said:
It's a shame no one else can be bothered to write a comment on your story though
Oh, people can be bothered. It just takes some time.

And anyway...I’d say this is definitely better than the first “draft,†if you will; the level of detail’s much higher, and therefore I had a much easier time imagining the scene play out and getting into the story. Anyway, here’re some specific comments on the first chapter, and let me know if you want me to hold the rest until your story’s done:

Leviticus Darksyde said:
The rogue commander gave the order as our caravan was making its way east.
Minor nitpick: I’d use “scout†or “guard†instead of “commander,†since Flavie doesn’t appear to have any other Rogues under her command.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
She could tell by my armor and sheld I was not just some joker trying to pass through.
Typo: “sheld†should be “shield.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
"As I was telling Warriv here, going east will mean certain doom if I allow you to pass, outlander.â€
This sentence seems a little redundant with “going east†and “allow you to passâ€; I’d reword this to something like “...you would face certain doom if I allowed you to pass...â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
“You would be advised to turn back and return from wence you came."
That should be “whence.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
Seated inside the caravan, my only thought was that I had a mission that was a matter of life and death, and this rogue was interfering...

"You would be advised to stand aside and let us pass," I cautioned her. "I am Leviticus, a Knight of The 23rd Circle, on a mission that could determine the fate of the world, and every second you keep us here is a second lost."

Now, I suppose you're wondering why a Paladin of the 23rd Circle would be doing with a group like this.
Hrm...I’m not sure if you meant to make Leviticus come off as self-important or overblown, but parts like these definitely made him seem that way to me. The above sentences emphasize the whole “I’m important and holy and off to save the world†sort of idea, and when he’s saying himself, it sounds a bit like he has an inflated view of what he has to do and takes every opportunity he finds to point out that perceived importance, whether true or not, to others. If that was intentional, it’s a very believable fault that adds an interesting dimension to this paladin and makes him seem more human. Either way, it’s probably worth developing some more.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
"The Dark what?" she asked, looking at me as though I'd had too much ale the night before.
Nice descriptive touch.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
"I'm sorry, sir, but I have my orders not to allow passage until it is safe again."
Technically, this should read “...I have my orders to not allow passage...,†though since it’s dialogue, the grammar doesn’t have to be perfect.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
Once we drove into what appeared to be a makeshift encampment, we got off the caravan, one by one.
It couldn’t hurt to throw in one or two sentences on the encampment; again, if the reader has an iffy memory of the game, “makeshift encampment†won’t, on its own, give him or her a good mental image. Also, you don’t have to stick completely to Blizzard’s images; if you want to add your own details on the fortifications, this is the time to do that.

Also, just a thought...shouldn’t there be more people in this caravan, like maybe some of Warriv’s underlings? Though there aren’t any shown in the game, I’d think that managing a caravan on the move is something that would be beyond a single merchant.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
Of course I had to convince him (by way of a bribe) that it was imperative he take us with him.
There should be a comma after “course.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
He would wait for us by the caravan, until it was safe to travel eastward.
This sounded like you were generalizing Warriv’s role for the entirety of Act I; maybe something like “He stayed by the caravan, waiting for us to bring word of the Rogues’ decision†would work better.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
For some reason known only to her, she wore no armor, in spite of the danger we'd faced together, other than the clothes on her back. In spite of this, she'd managed to stay alive, as she was a walking arsenal of weapons.
I’d try to remove the repetition of “In spite of...â€; the second instance could be reworded as “She’d managed to stay alive, though...â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
He only wore leather armorwith fur lined shoulders, and carried no weapons.
Typo: that should be “...armor with...â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
He could assume this form whenever he wanted to, or when he forgot himself and flew into a rage.
Heh...nice touch.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
He had white hair, white skin, white eyes, and a frail looking build.
Erm...albinos have red eyes. Also, by “white eyes,†do you mean that he has no irises, or are they just very pale like the rest of his eyes?

Leviticus Darksyde said:
Many fancied him a witch doctor; he has been know to raise the dead, concoct all kinds of healing potions, and practice black magic.
The second complete clause here is in the present tense (sort of), while the first part is in the past tense. I’d revise the second one, since the rest of the narration’s in the past tense, to “he had been known to raise the dead...â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
She had short black hair, blue eyes that resembled those of a cat, and a curvacious build she used to seduce her victims to their deaths.
That should be “curvaceous.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
It was said she had a way of getting aroud without being seen, which aided her in killing people.
Typo: that should be “getting around.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
You see, I was visited by an angel named Tyrael, who informed me of this Dark Wanderer. He told me it was a hero from Tristam, who had defeated Diablo in the town cathedral. In an attempt to contain the demon, he embedded the soulstone into his head. Soon after, he began talking incoherently, about heading east. Since then, the town had been ravaged by demons, and all the townsfolk were either slain or corrupted.
I don’t know if you want Tyrael to be the one who divulges this information, because then that takes out one of the major reasons for Cain’s rescue. After all, he was the one who revealed this, so if Tyrael says this beforehand...

Leviticus Darksyde said:
I was forced to set out to find volunteers elsewhere.
I’d just delete “to set out†here; it seems to me like “to find volunteers elsewhere†gets your point across.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
The rogue Flavie led us into a small tent which was serving as temporary shelter.
“Temporary shelter†sounds redundant to me; tents are designed for shelter and tend not to be permanent.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
I explained my mission to Akara, the spritual leader of the rogues, who looked at me with intrigue.
That should be “spiritual.†Also, the game texts do hint that the Rogues are already aware of the Dark Wanderer, at least to some degree, so this shouldn’t all be news to them.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
She however, explained that the way east was blocked; their monastery was taken over by a demon goddess named Andariel, and all who had attempted to retake it were either killed or made into Andariel's minions.
There should be a comma after the first “she,†and “...were either killed...†should be “had been either killed or...â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
The surviving rogues were forced to set up camp just west of the monastery, and kept watch to insure the demons didn't defile the grounds any further.
That should be “ensure.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
"Akara my be our spiritual leader, but it is I who command the rogues in battle.â€
Typo: that should be “may be.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
“As you said, your own order laughed at you; perhaps you've come to lure us to our deaths as well?"
The phrase “as well†suggests that Leviticus was responsible for some deaths among his order. Somehow, that seems off.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
There was mumuring in the crowd.
That should be “murmuring.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
She whipered something to Kashya, who replied, "Are you sure?"
Typo: that should be “whispered.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
"If you are truly our ally, you will go now and stop Blood Raven before she turns our sacred hallowed ground into a haven for demons!"
“Sacred hallowed†is redundant. I’d drop one of them (doesn’t matter which one, really.)

Anyway, this looks like a pretty good start, and the details here are engaging. You could, depending on what you want the pace of this to be like, add a few more bits into this, to paint a more intricate picture, though I wouldn’t call it necessary per se.

And a general thought about what you’ve said on the story as a whole:

Leviticus Darksyde said:
It should be noted the story will not follow the game exactly; some things will be modified to fit the characters and/or the plot.
Personally, I’d encourage adding in original plot lines; don’t worry too much about adhering to the game’s specific plot. If you can stick to it and do it well, then great, but I’d argue that new details can get both you and the reader more interested in a story that’s been, essentially, already sketched out.

Thanks for posting!
 

Leviticus Darksyde

Diabloii.Net Member
Thank you for the commentary.

I apologize for not catching all the typos and spelling errors before I lost the edit button. Oh, well.

As for not describing the encampment in better detail: Since this is narrated in the first person, it should be assumed Leviticus and company didn't really have time to look around before being escorted to Akara. When they return from the Burial Ground, more detail will be given.

Since we're not following the game exactly, the fact I had Tyreal summon Leviticus means he is going to leading him to Cain, rather than the other way around (I had to think of some reason he is in the area of the rogues encampment in the first place, and why he is trying to head east). Also some parts of the game will either be ignored, or used in flashback in reference to certain characters (for example, how Kanine met Blood Raven). I do have some subplots (and even some characters) planned that will be totally different from what you see in the game.

Also, you will get more insight into the character of Leviticus as the story goes on, some of which may surprise you...
 

Leviticus Darksyde

Diabloii.Net Member
Chapter 3: All Hail The Conquering Heroes!

Upon return to the base, the first to greet me was Marissa, who threw her arms around me, and kissed me passionately, as if I had died and been resurrected. Akara then greeted us, knowing we had completed our mission before we could tell her. Even the skeptical Kashya started warming up to us.

"You have won my trust, and the loyalty of the rogues, noble paladin," she said. "Though Blood Raven was my closest and dearest friend, I am glad you were able to release her tortured soul."

"Actually, it's Kanine you need to thank," I replied. "It was he who did the deed."

She looked around to find him, but he had already gone off by himself.

I found him seated in a corner, obviously not in a celebratory mood. "I think an explanation is long overdue," I told him. "You know we've all lost friends in battle."

"Picture this if you will," he replied. "You just lost your best friend in battle. Hurts, doesn't it? Now picture that friend is the love of your life. Picture that is Marissa." I began to see what he was saying, but he wasn't finished. "Now imagine it is you who had to do the deed. Do you understand now what I'm going through?"

I saw his point. It wasn't often one had to put a woman he loved to death to save her soul.

He gave me a stern look. "Pray that you never have to do to Marissa what I just had to do to Raven," he snarled.

I decided it was best to leave him alone in his misery. I only hoped he didn't become suicidal.

I was able now to take a look around the encampment, and saw the place was not quite up to snuff as it would have been in the monastery. Tents were set up all around the place as temporary lodging for the rogues, and any strangers they took in. There was a blacksmith's shop to the northwest of the camp; a woman clad in a leather apron was working there, crafting some sort of weapon. She appeared quite strong; she could have passed for an Amazon. South of her was a trading post loaded with all kinds of armor and weapons. There was an old man there who looked about as trustworthy as a two-headed snake. He was dresssed in a white fur lined jacket. I knew I was better off doing business with the blacksmith than with this fellow.

Marissa caught up to me at this point, giving me great news. "Akara and Kashya have pleged their allegiance to you, Leviticus! They are willing to assist us in your quest! They're preparing to retake the monastery to open the way east for us! Isn't that wonderful?"

"They do realize they might not make it through this alive?" I asked.

Marissa ignored that comment to make one of her own. "Akara also says there is a Horadric Sage who can help us with our quest. His name is Deckard Cain..."

"Deckard Cain? Of Tristam?" I remembered something Tyreal had told me. Demons had overrun Tristam when The Dark Wanderer left, and annihilated the town. Many of the townfolk were slain or converted into undead. It was unlikely Deckard Cain could have survived. I told this to Marissa. She looked at me with a fierce determination I'd never seen from her before.

"If there's a chance he's alive, we have to go to Tristam and get him out of there!" she replied.

"Even if Cain is alive, Tristam is so far away," I replied. "We'll never get to him in time!"

"Akara says she know a quick way to get there," Marissa said, not willing to let this go. "Just hear her out, Leviticus! There has to be a reason we ended up here!"

I finally relented. I figured if this Deckard Cain could help us, it was worth a shot to rescue him from whatever hell he was imprisoned.
 

Leviticus Darksyde

Diabloii.Net Member
Chapter 4: The Road to Tristam

Marissa and I entered Akara's tent, eager to find out how this rescue was to be executed. Akara had a map spread out on top of a table, and she and Kashya were going over the details of the plan.

"The idea is you have to go through this stony field, into this underground passage, and into the dark wood, where you'll find the Tree of Inifuss." Akara looked up at us to make sure we were with her so far. "In the tree, you will find the scroll, which you must bring back to me. I alone can tell you what to do next."

"What do we do next?" I asked.

"You will return to the stony field where there will be five stones. You will touch these stones in the order I inscribe on the scroll."

"And then what?" Marissa asked.

"Then a passage to Tristam will open, sweetie," Akara replied. "I must warn you, though; many perils await you. The tree is guarded by a pack of wendigo." When we looked at her questioningly, she answered, "Big hairy ape men. Ugly brutes. Likely to rip you in half as look at you."

"Kind of like Kanine when he gets angry," Marissa joked.

"Anything we need to know?" I asked.

"Their leader many call Treehead Woodfist. He is the biggest, strongest, and meanest of these wendigo, and has been known to eat people who dare venture into his realm."

Marissa and I looked at each other. A wendigo who would just as soon eat us as look at us? Somehow, I wasn't sure what to say or do at that moment.

Marissa, on the other hand, was up to the challenge. "A few ape men are not going to deter us from our mission! We leave tonight!"

"We'll need some of the rogues to accompany us," I said. "Safety in numbers, and all that. Heaven only knows what else we'll encounter."

"Take as many as you need," Akara replied. "Kashya, why don't you go with them as well? They'll need someone to lead the way."

"By your command," Kashya replied.

* * * * *​

We mananged to pass through the stony field without incident, but the underground passage was a different matter. We ran into some ugly monsters which shot lightning balls at us. This would have deterred most people, but getting hit by one only seemed to drive Kanine into an uncontrollable rage, which worked out pretty well for us. He turned rabid, and tore into these beasts one right after the other, clearing our way through the dark passage. Marissa was ready to lose her dinner upon seeing the corpses, but Thanatos simply raised skeleton mages from these, adding to our already large army.

The Tree of Inifuss was the largest dead tree in a forest of dead trees. Finding it was no problem. It was getting by the wendigo that would be the problem. All around, I could see preparations for battle; Kashya's rogues were already readying their bows, Marissa was preparing a cold spell, Kanine was licking his chops, looking like he was ready for a meal rather than a fight, Thanatos was casting yet another curse using his demon's head, and Katrina had her claws out, ready to fight. I unsheathed my sword, and waited for Kashya to give the word.

On the command, "ATTACK!" we launched into action. Many wendige were rained on with arrows before they could even get close to us, and those that did would victim to my broadsword. To say the wendigo were no match for us would be an understatement.

Of course, that was before we met Treehead Woodfist.

Treehead Woodfist was even bigger, stronger, and meaner than Akara had described. He seemed oblivious to the arrows the was raining on him. He picked up one of Thanatos's undead rogues, and snapped her in two. Five others fared no better (one of them had her head bitten off), and soon this vicious beast was face to face with Kanine.

Of course, Kanine was in such a rabid state, it didn't matter how big, strong, and mean Woodfist was. Our wolf friend wasted no time in tearing into the big wendigo, and eating him. We would have been in shock had we not been busy fighting Woodfist's minions. When the last wendigo went down, I found a hole in the tree, and reached inside. Sure enough, there was a scroll depicting some kind of symbols, probably representing the stones we were supposed to touch in order. Not wanting to go back though the passage with all those ugly monster corpses, Marissa opened a portal back to the encampment, using a scroll.

* * * * *​

Akara looked over the scroll, and wrote numbers next to each symbol, indicating which order the stones would have to be touched. "There is one more thing I must warn you about. Beware Rakanishu. He is a lot more dangerous than he looks."

"Who, or what, is Rakanishu?" I asked.

But Akara would elaborate no further.

* * * * *​

The demon imps guarding the stones were so easy, I could have taken them myself! What did we have to fear?

I was about to find out.

Rakanishu was a teal colored demon imp who seemed to be the leader of this brood. I found out first hand what made him "more dangerous than he looked." When I cut him down, electric sparks flew every which direction, striking many of our troops. Every time I hit him, more sparks flew. I nearly anhihilated my own army trying to kill this little pest!

It didn't stop when I finally killed him, either. The last few sparks flew, hitting anyone unfortunate enough to be standing in the area. By my count, five rogues were killed; another ten were seriously injured. I instructed Kashya to take these rogues to safety; we would take it from here.

Now we would each touch the stones in the correct order: Katrina touched the first, Marissa touched the second, Kanine touched the third, Thanatos touched the fourth, and I would tap the fifth and final one.

We stood back as multicolored rays of light formed a pentagram in the center of the stones. This was followed by a portal opening in the center. We knew it was now or never; we entered the portal, unsure what we would find there.
 

RevenantsKnight

Diabloii.Net Member
On Chapter 2: this was a decent read, in my opinion, and I’m glad that the fight didn’t turn into page after page of hack and slash. However, I’d think it couldn’t hurt to touch more on Kanine and Blood Raven; even if you intend to reveal most of Kanine’s past later, it felt to me a little like the whole thing could be distilled down to one point: Kanine has a weird history. With a few more details and such, this could stick in the reader’s mind more and bring up some more interesting questions. Anyway, some specific thoughts:

Leviticus Darksyde said:
It wasn't a long walk to the burial grounds, but we still needed Flavie to guide us through the Black Marsh, a dark swamp which had dead trees, patches of tall grass, and plenty of fog to obscure our vision.
Erm...I’d avoid calling areas such as the Black Marsh by their game names, because a lot of the names just wouldn’t be used by any self-respecting local (“Yeah, over there’s the Dry Hills, and the Rocky Waste is just over there...â€) Also, isn’t the Black Marsh not between the encampment and the burial grounds?

Leviticus Darksyde said:
Somehow, Flavie had no trouble seeing through this fog, possibly because she had some magic sight or something to that effect.
“...possibly because she had some magic sight†seems like a halfway sort of method of addressing the whole inner-sight thing. Personally, I’d think that this would work better if you either just say that she had no trouble or take the time to describe what she was doing. A side note: you use “fog†a lot in this part; to cut down on the slightly monotonous feel, you could replace one or more of the instances with a more descriptive title, such as “gray-white curtain.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
"The place is heavily guarded it appears," she warned.
There should be a comma after “guarded.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
"Corrupted rogues from the looks of it."
There should be a comma after “rogues,†which should also be capitalized. Perhaps more importantly, the true name of the Rogues is the Sisters of the Sightless Eye; seeing as Flavie’s a member, I don’t think she’d use the common term for her former comrades. And on that note...would she really be able to say this with a straight face, since she probably knew some of them? There’s so much possible material there that it couldn’t hurt to touch on it; frankly, I think you could write whole chapters on this particular aspect of the Sisterhood.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
Thanatos did not respond, unless it was by pulling out a shrunken demon's head on a string, and shaking it at the corrupted rogues, whispering some magic words.
Interesting way of depicting this particular skill...I guess it makes sense that Dim Vision would be a pretty stealthy spell in terms of the casting requirements.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
Kanine was in wolf form, as he'd been the entire trip. I had my shield up, and my broadsword drawn. Katrina had her claws out, ready to pounce on anyone who dared get too close to our position. Flavie had her bow drawn and an arrow readied, waiting to shoot anything that moved.
While this does provide a pretty comprehensive picture of their weaponry, I’d see if you can’t make this sound a little less like a list. One or two of these, particularly Kanine and Flavie, could probably get moved to an earlier point in the chapter, such as before Thanatos casts Dim Vision. For the rest, you don’t necessarily need to keep the same sentence structure for each person; a sample change might be something like this: “I led the way, my shield up and broadsword drawn, with Katrina, and her two razor-sharp claws, keeping a watchful eye to the right.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
He'd used daggers for various things, including creating what he called "Iron Man", a golem which took on the properties of whatever metallic object he created it from.
That should be “...a golem that took on...,†and I’d try to find a more specific word than “things†here; maybe “purposes†would suit your needs.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
We slipped by the guards without so much as a reaction, and were now within the burial grounds.
“...without so much as a reaction†sounded a bit odd to me, as it suggests that “a reaction†would be a minor consequence of the guards noticing them. Perhaps something like “without so much as a twitch from them†would work better.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
There was a masoleum closest to us, and a crypt a few feet beyond, both looking a bit creepy for my taste.
That should be spelled “mausoleum.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
No sooner had he said that than a flaming arrow whizzed by, just missing us by a foot.
I find it hard to believe that the arrow would land a foot away from each person, which you seem to suggest by “us.†I’d just name someone and leave it at that.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
No doubt Blood Raven was around, and had seen us before we'd seen her.
Technically, “we’d seen her†is incorrect, since they haven’t seen her yet. “...and had seen us first†should work fine, I’d think.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
Blood Raven was the best shot in our order."
You need an opening quotation mark here.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
"I've seen her hit multiple targets in rapid succession!"
To me, this sounded like something a machine would say; it has a very technical feel to it that doesn’t sound natural. Personally, I wouldn’t mind if it just ended at “Don’t be so sureâ€; there’s something vaguely menacing about that that works with Flavie’s opinion of Blood Raven.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
It was at that moment Raven had come out of her hiding place.
That should be “...Raven came out...â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
Both Flavie and I were surprised at that statement.
Since Leviticus doesn’t mention anything about knowing this previously, I’d take his surprise as a given. In addition to just stating his surprise, then, it might be more helpful to the reader to describe his reaction specifically; is his surprise a sort of ugly revelation, or is it just born of curiosity? Also, how does Flavie show that she’s surprised? Since Leviticus presumably doesn’t have telepathy, she must have reacted in some way that suggested surprise to him. If you describe that reaction, and then leave the reader to see that and conclude “She’s surprised...†then it might stick more.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
"So you might as well allow me this chance to settle things between us, and buy yourselves some time!"
This sounds too...friendly for a demon-touched warrior bent on killing; I assume she’s trying to intimidate them with this, not reason with them. Given that, “allow me†and “buy yourselves some time†don’t exactly fit. I’d reword this to something like “You worms might as well back off while I finish this, and live your pathetic lives a little longer!â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
They stalked each other, like lions ready to pounce at first opportunity.
That should be “ready to pounce at the first...,†and you don’t need a comma after “other.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
He lunged at her, but she was able to flip him over.
This might be a little too general for some people; I didn’t much mind, but it is on the broad side.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
"Why prolong the inevitable?" she asked. "I will kill you, and your friends as well!"
Hrm...Dune, anyone?

Leviticus Darksyde said:
"Don't sing it, bring it," Kanine taunted her.
This sounded a little too modern to me; I’d suggest trying to come up with a line that has more of a gothic fantasy feel and less of a teen-trying-to-be-smart attitude to it.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
He looked at her right in the eyes as he said the following: "You know I've always loved you, Raven."
This whole paragraph was over too fast, in my opinion, for much of an emotional impact. I’m not sure exactly what you should do to make this more real for the reader; this sort of thing is pretty case-by-case. However, I can be sure that if you make this stick, it’ll lend much more depth to Kanine and give the whole chapter some more punch.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
He then kissed her, then slit her throat.
The first “then†is unnecessary.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
She'd been hiding behind the masoleum, ready to kill Blood Raven should she have gained any advantage.
That should be “mausoleum.â€

Leviticus Darksyde said:
Thanatos just looked at them, and gave a command: "Lead us back to the camp." The rogues simply did as they were told!
The second sentence makes it sound as if the Rogues did take them back to the camp, and the rest of the chapter happened there, which made the end a little weird. I’d suggest reworking this a little.

Leviticus Darksyde said:
"What did you do?" Flavie asked.
There’s a lot about Flavie that goes unsaid here; personally, I’d like to know what her reaction to this would be like, because there’re a lot of ways you could take this.

Overall, I think this chapter wasn’t quite as good as the first, largely because the heart of this didn’t quite take, but it’s decent nonetheless. If you can get that Kanine and Blood Raven thing worked out, then this should be a lot stronger. Righty then...I’ll try and get to further chapters as I can. Thanks for posting!
 

Clarke667

Diabloii.Net Member
Hi all. Hate to sort of railroad this for a moment, but this has been sticking in my throat like a ****ing chicken-bone for some time now...

Revenantsknight said:
Erm...I’d avoid calling areas such as the Black Marsh by their game names, because a lot of the names just wouldn’t be used by any self-respecting local (“Yeah, over there’s the Dry Hills, and the Rocky Waste is just over there...â€)
I've heard you make this claim a few times Rev, and more and more, I just don't agree with it. You see, I was always under the impression that, say, the Black Marsh WAS actually called the Black Marsh. And why not? You mention that no self-respecting local would use terms like that, but keep this in mind: here on our own beloved planet, we have places called "The Dead Sea", "The Rain Forest", etc. I mean, these aren't exactly super-original names, are they? In fact, I'd go so far as to say they're purely descriptive... much like, oh, I don't know, The Black Marsh.

I'm having a hard time explaining the rest of it, so here's a descriptive dialogue. Hopefully it'll do the trick:


Alien: "Hi, I'm conducting an intergalactic poll, here, and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions."
Man: "No problem, buddy. I'm in shock right now from coming in contact with extra-terrestrial life, and I'm sure I'll run screaming to the first mental institution in about an hour or so... but tell then, ask away."
Alien: "Alrighty." (takes out clipboard) "Now, what I want to know is... what did you folks end up naming your moon?"
Man: "Ummm... Moon, actually."
Alien: "Hmm. Interesting. And your sun?"
Man: "Well, way back when, I hear they had all kind of nifty names for it, like Ra and such... but we sort of settled on Sun."
Alien: "I see. That's, well… nice and simple, I suppose. Lastly, what did you name the actual planet?"
Man: "Glad you asked! That one's waaaay different! You probably think we named it Planet or something, but uh-uh. We named it Earth."
Alien: "Would that be because all the continents are covered in earth?"
Man: "Maybe..."

Get what I mean?


I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything, Rev; in fact, I'm honestly curious. Is there something I'm not taking into account?
 

RevenantsKnight

Diabloii.Net Member
Clarke667 said:
I've heard you make this claim a few times Rev, and more and more, I just don't agree with it. You see, I was always under the impression that, say, the Black Marsh WAS actually called the Black Marsh. And why not?
Well, my line of reasoning is that it would certainly be reasonable for someone living in Lut Gholein, say, to tell a traveler something like "Yeah, all the stuff out beyond the gates is basically a rocky wasteland, and if you were to go through it, there's a bunch of hills on the other side." The big change here from the sentence I posted earlier is the lack of capitalization; capitalization implies a proper noun, which for places usually means some sort of standardized name that everyone (or a significant group of people) accepts. In this particular case, dropping the capitals would be one way of addressing this problem.

Now, why is it so bad, in my opinion, to suggest this standardization? Part of this, as is true of all my comments, is personal preference. I think it sounds much more in line with the whole medieval theme to not use a lot of proper nouns, because with the lower educational standards, a lot of quick name references wouldn't have worked. And really, some of the game names just do sound a bit stupid, especially in Act II (the Dry Hills being the most ridiculous example in my mind.)

Also, I have to admit that what I wrote in this thread about that wasn't as complete a reason as I'd like; to quote from what I said on The Art of Dying: "while Diablo fan fiction by definition works within the realm of the games made by Blizzard, no one (OK, few people) wants to read direct translations of things from the game. This particular instance wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t capitalize it, making it evident that you’re referring to the game."

Of all the above reasons, the last one is probably the one that I'd call the most powerful; for instance, if you tagged the Cold Plains with the title of "the Great Field" in a story, I probably wouldn't mind as much.

Clarke667 said:
You mention that no self-respecting local would use terms like that, but keep this in mind: here on our own beloved planet, we have places called "The Dead Sea", "The Rain Forest", etc. I mean, these aren't exactly super-original names, are they? In fact, I'd go so far as to say they're purely descriptive... much like, oh, I don't know, The Black Marsh.
Hrm...well, maybe it's just me, then, but I have never seen "rainforest" capitalized or as two words. As for the "Dead Sea," it is a descriptive name, but it describes a very unusual aspect of the place, namely the extreme salt concentration. I'd argue that the uniqueness here is beyond something like the Black Marsh of Diablo II.

Clarke667 said:
I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything, Rev; in fact, I'm honestly curious.
Believe me, you didn't come off as a jerk. In fact, it's kinda nice to see that people are thinking about what I say, instead of just swallowing it all without a second glance. It means you're willing to direct some of your circuits...I mean, neurons, to your writing, and believe me, that's a good sign.

And sorry about the somewhat off-topic post, Leviticus. I'll try to get back on track soon.
 

Snowglare

Fan Fiction Forum Moderator
The way I see it:

Videogame - name every area so that waypoints are easier for users to remember.
Reality - go through same hills, valleys, and marshes for entire life without caring whether they have names.

Few people refer to their own house as anything other than "my house", so why would they attach names to featureless expanses of dirt? We name important things, like buildings, bodies of water, and cities. Things we can't just call by their common name. Heck, when we can, we'll fall back on "the city", "the lake", and "the store". You going into the city? Meet me up by the lake. I gotta run to the store real quick. Take a left at the Black Marsh, a right at the Cold Plains, and three caves down you'll spot the Den of Evil. S'right by the Dairy Queen. Can't miss it.
 

Clarke667

Diabloii.Net Member
I guess I'll tentatively concede defeat. Which means, you win until I think up a really gnarly argument.

But one thing, Snowglare:

Snowglare said:
Few people refer to their own house as anything other than "my house", so why would they attach names to featureless expanses of dirt?
Perhaps... but we sure have a hardy propensity for naming featureless expanses of asphalt, don't we?
 

chi987

Diabloii.Net Member
you dont need to take things in the video game so literally. the animation in the game is merely a representation of the underlying "real idea". it's likely that everything is scaled down, among other things. for example, we all know you cant run from one end of town to the other in a minute, yet you can run from one end of lut gholein to the other in a very short time. does that mean that lut gholein was intended to be the size of my street? not necessarily. whos to say whether the Black Marsh is just a puddle in the ground, or stretching for miles on end?

pretty much all of them are valid as names. does it really matter if they sound like silly names?

so what is the real way the diablo world was intended to be like? well, a lot of it is up to your interpretation :thumbsup:
 

Leviticus Darksyde

Diabloii.Net Member
Why do I even bother writing?

This is why I hate when people post during the storyline.

Now I have to read all this CRAP before I can get to the next chapter! That's it! I give up! I can't work like this! You people have totally RUINED my concentration! Can't a guy write a story without all these interruptions!? It seems I can't leave this place alone without people cluttering this place up with their unnecessary comments!

I don't think I'll be writing anything in this forum anymore! There's no way to get around the clutter!
 
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