The Friends of Sysiphus - Occhidiangela
A few notes about FOS:
Who are they? A four person team of hardcore players whose objective is to defeat Diablo at the lowest possible level: in HC, in all three diffs. As Mr_PeaCH once said: ambitious, arent we?
Slicer [now Dicer]
Complete each act and quest without repetition. No extraneous experience.
Diablo defeated on each difficulty level as soon as practicable. If the
can create the synergy that the game allows, that D-Hell will go down
at clvl 35-39. If someone dies, he/she has to start all over again, thus
the analogy to Sysiphus, who gets the rock to the top of the hill, only
to have it roll down again and start all over.
Act I : Rogues Revenge
Part I: Meetings in the Mud
SissyFOS: Sorceress and jet setter wannabe, with a thing for clean cut warriors. A real fan of jewelry. Hi, my name is Swashintawhamaklaprashina, but you can call me Sissy, ok?" Dad a prosperous fisherman, and mom made these cute Khanduran curio candles that go well with any decor." Two working parents, often on her own--spent far too much time hanging out at the marketplace where she proceeded to learn, like, stuff. Apprenticed under a Sorceress because she thought making those flashy light thingies is really, like, soooo tubular. She left town after a rave at a county fair came to a premature conclusion when the main tent caught on fire. Last seen arguing with the promoter, apparently about tweaking the light show. In a desperate search for a qualified hairdresser, she traveled south and stumbled into the Rogue Encampment. Here she encountered . . .
SaucyFOS: A junior
champion archer who gave up career as a big game hunting guide to seek
adventure in the Kingdom of Khanduras. Liked her beer room temperature,
her men warm, and her meat spicy. Slain in the Cathedral by Dark Ones,
and Bone Ash, under the command of the Evil Lag Monster . . .
SlicerFOS: A Barbarian
who broke his mothers heart when he gave up on the family business
[he was training to be a chef], and followed his inner voices to the Tamoe
Highlands. Trained with sword and shield-- hed had dizzy spells
the first time he touched a spear. Swords were comfortably similar to
the chefs knives he had been handling all his life. A devout scavenger
hunter. Slain in the Jail when a horde of Misshapen Champions and skeleton
archers caught the party in a cross fire. Succeeded by his brother
EddyFOS: Son of a master builder and mason, [sort of a medieval architect], and drummer in his school band, he entered the Temple of Light in Westmarch, but quickly wearied of the endless rote memorization, illuminating texts, and lack of a suitable civil engineering syllabus. The Brotherhood soon found him work as a squire of the Questing Crusaders. He earned his spurs in near record time, but irritated the Paladins of Westmarch by focussing on building complex field fortifications and earthworks at the expense of his equestrian skills. He was sent forth horseless, with a sword and shield, to study the insides of ruined and burned out buildings, caves and temples . . . along the way, he stumbled into the Rogue Encampment . . .
Hold, Stranger, and identify yourself!
Eddy looked up from the dark, muddy path and immediately returned from his reverie. The unsmiling woman was pointing an arrow, nocked to a taut bowstring, directly at his chest. Shifting his gaze beyond her leather capped head, he could make out a wooden stockade rising up through the driving rain, like dragons teeth, just behind this menacing archer in studded leather. Rain dripping from his hood, he raised his right hand to his breast in the salute of the Brotherhood.
I am Eddy of Westmarch, Warrior of the Light; I seek rumor of The Wanderer.
A warm bowl of food and anywhere out of this rain wouldnt be amiss
either. None who serve the Light need fear me. May I pass?
Report to Kashya, our commander. The woman inspected him in a curt appraisal. She may find you a spot where you can pitch your tent." She paused, then added, Keep your sword loose in its sheath, Paladin. Fallen are on the Blood Moor.
Nodding, Eddy entered the stockade and found it nearly deserted, save for a number of semi-permanent tents and a caravan master playing mubblety peg with a scimitar. Looking about slowly, he saw a red glow emanating from under the flaps of a large tent, next to a loaded merchants wagon to his left. Assuming this to be the leaders pavilion, he strode through the muck and opened the tent flap.
Eddy of Westmarch--" His salutation died on his lips. Six pairs of eyes fixed him with hard neutrality. So this is how a dancing bear at a town fair must feel, he thought to himself, as the occupants regard changed to both interest and curiosity.
Directly in front of him, behind a map table, sat a woman in chain mail wearing a red leather headband flanked by two standing, grim faced archers in studded leather. Her wrinkled brow and piercing gray eyes leant her an air of unmistakable authority. This must be Kashya, he thought, and two rogue henchmen. He then turned his attention to the other three figures.
To his right stood a tall blonde woman with her hair in a pony tail. Her leather skirt, javelin, shield, muscular legs and broad shoulders left no doubt as to her occupation: mercenary, perhaps an Amazon from the southern islands. Across from her was an imposing physical specimen, over two strides tall and as broad across the chest as an ox, his sword and buckler like toys in his hands. Head shaved save for a single, long, black topknot, his blue face paint marked him as a warrior from the mountains in the North. Eddy shifted his gaze to the slight woman just to the right of the man mountain . . . and froze.
A shock ran through his body. The lovely, slender young woman in a green gown with an olive complexion and jet black hair returned his gaze with frank interest. Her dark eyes seemed to grow into inky pools of warm mystery-- he caught himself staring into their depths. She gripped a long wooden staff with easy confidence, and smiled, nudging the large man in the ribs.
Soooo, Mr. Grim-dark-and-handsome, are you going to come in out of the rain, or just stare at us till the wind blows the lanterns out? Her tone was flirtatious, but her eyes lingered on his before she looked up to see if the scowling warrior appreciated her jest.
Peace, Sissy. Kashyas tone left no doubt as to who was in charge in this tent. Come in here, knight, I have been expecting one of your order. We received a pigeon from the Temple last fortnight, asking me to be on the look out for you.
Kashya, twas hasty to send the pigeon away, rumbled the large man. Weve had no fresh meat for three days. I could make you a tasty meal: pigeon sautéed with peppers, barley and sage in apple wine.
Slicer, barked the tall blonde, enough already with this constant yammering about food. We are down to hard tack and bacon: either eat it or dont. But lay off with the gourmet references, for Lights sake. She clamped her jaw shut, biting off further rebuke under a stern glare from the Rogue commander.
grated Kashya, with obvious effort at control, if you havent
had your daily ration of beer, you are an utter bitch. Keep a lid on it,
or you can sleep outside the stockade tonight.
I have a mission for those who would earn the right to bivouac here. My scouts tell me there is an advanced party of Fallen and other demon spawn running free on the Blood Moor. She motioned to an area on her parchment map marked with caves, farms, and skulls. I have called in my patrols until reinforcements arrive from the North Downs. We cannot afford to have this outpost overrun. I need a reconnaissance-in-force to firm up my plans for a raid to poke out the Enemys eyes. If he knows how weak we have become, the Sightless Eye may be blinded in this sector.
Heres the deal. You carry out this mission, and you can pitch your tents and eat here with us. Charsi will repair your weapons, Akara will heal your wounds, and we will offer you replacement equipment from our armory. Whatever you find is yours to keep. But I need to know the Enemys strength. The fewer left to report our dispositions, the better I like it, if you catch my drift.
Slicer turned to Sissy to mumble a quiet question, and moved to interpose his body between her and Eddy. The blonde woman stepped forward, gesturing at the map, but before she could open her mouth, Eddy rose, bowed, and addressed Kashya with military formality.
Commander Kashya, consider it done. I will gladly lead a reconnaissance. He looked quickly around at the others in the tent. Whos with me?
Kashya gazed quizzically at him as the two archers gave him blank gazes of indifference. The barbarian regarded him uncertainly, resentment at his calm assumption of command plain on his face. Turning to the tent flap, he drew his sword, headed through the opening and said, loudly enough to be heard, Whoever slays the most demonspawn drinks free for a week. Any takers?
The blonde woman was
out of the tent in a trice. So, she said with a throaty laugh,
you Paladins are serious about this lead, follow or get out
of the way stuff, arent you? I like a fellow who takes command.
Her lascivious grin inferred a heavy handed double entendre.