The Tale of Lycamber, Part 1 (vlong)

The Tale of Lycamber, Part 1 (vlong)

Charis
Charis

December 5th, 2001, 3:23 pm #1

It's been a while since I've had a good story writeup. But I had such fun the past two days with my newest character, a converted D1 friend, that I had to tell her story. Doc, CC and Thenry should be sure to catch this, for their great deeds are included. (Excuse some minor poetic license... the merc story/find at the end however was true, and the biggest surprise). Enjoy
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The Tale of Lycamber (Part 1)

CharisLycamber was sore, tired, and in bad need of a bath. It was a long
and treacherous journey to the east. Back home, she had been known as
CharisAmbar, Champion Queen of the Southern Barbaric Amazon Nation of
Ambrosia. But she was always restless, drawn with an unnerving pull to
realities that frightened and confused other Barbarians. She also found
out that her given name at birth was Lycamber, and that her mom was
Lysandra. Her mothers death and the carnage seen in the West drove her
to these strange new lands. She had no idea what was in store for her...

Met up early on with a thrower Bar, a Moorish Javelineer named TipToes, who
got her attention by carving out hearts to make fresh elixirs of health,
and who understood what it meant to be a Bar. If he wasn't a shaman, he
was the closest she was going to find, and they became friends. She cleared DOE
solo, with her fists and a damaged hand axe she found. No skill points or potions
drank at this point. The fight vs Blood Raven, at lvl 6, was bloody and brutal,
for she still refused to drink. With Raven's last vestige of life, however,
she bit Amber on the arm, passing on a horrible disease that Amber would only
learn about later. It was an unusual form of lycanthropy, that was more like
a rabies or lunacy, where the victim would go mad. However, in this tough
AMZ-BAR woman, it had almost an opposite affect. She would instead, show a
refined side, that seemed almost latent within her, a sohpisticated intelligent
woman longing to get out, to break free of the "Me SMASH!" shell.

Each subsequent death was of sufficient shock to the system that it set off
this "transformation", from a refined Amazon to a fearless Barbarian. Both
were deep down wondering about where she came from and where her true
allegiances lie. Each appearance of the refined woman came with a new attempt
to find her roots, taking up special 'tribal set items'. In the end, she
feared, that she would have no homeland, would simply be known as an Orphan,
with nothing left to tie her to her past except a simple bow and pike left
by her mother, Lycandra. Javelins were seen as cowardly weapons that symbolized
the new "weak amazin" and were shunned. The starter set given her by Kashya
was broken over her knee and thrown defiantly in the camp fire... which did
not exactly go over well with Kashya. She would have had kicked Amber out of
camp then and there if not for a fear that Amber would single handedly rip
every limb from her aging sockets. She humiliated her by sending a rogue
mercenary to protect her. Lycamber dutifully protected the weakling from Rakadishu,
through the passage, to Tristram and back, but refused to have her follow along
any further. Later, Amber would seek the companionship of a Barbarian companion,
one of Q's men, but they would always disappoint her with their ineptitude.
Lyca, on the other hand, preferred the refined spear attacks of the Town Guards
and would invite them on her journeys. She flirted with several types to see
which could best satisfy her, although truly, none could.

In both barbaric and refined states, Amber had a disgust for any items that
reeked of juju, clearly distinguished by their blue aura. From her earliest
days, however, she had an obsession with all things amber, golden, yellow,
and could not seem to keep away from them unless their power was too unusual.
The new grey socketed items were a fascination for a while, as they were
not seen in her homeland around Tristram, nor did they have any trace of
juju when found. While both personalities remembered the AMZ training
regime, it was Amber that took it most seriously. (Lyca recognized that she
was in fact already a queen, albeit far from her people, and saw fit to choose
items that befit her. Amber always had to prove herself.) It was with great
relish that she took a plain white large axe found with her own hands, to the
heart of the Smith's forge and rescued the malus for her amzbar friend Charsi.
The two became special friends, and Lycamber would only allow Charsi to
repair her gear. Gheed, Elriz and Alkor were seen as fools, and no money
was spent to further their existence. Atma was met, and seen as a snivelling
coward who should have gone out and avenged her husband's death. Anya was
tolerated, but seen as weak and naive.

So what became of young Lycamber? Where did her search for tribal roots lead
her? It was a while after her first infection by Raven (at lvl 6) until she
met again with death and transformation. When she did, Lyca (for so she
preferred to be called) donned the set of the Sigonese people, and did relish
its shiny sleekness. With it she chose to brandish a tribal weapon of cold
hard 'Steel', to which (or so it is said) there is no immunity. Thereafter,
the Countess dropped a fresh sword used to slay the Smith who gave up the Malus
which was used to face the Maiden of Anguish. The battle versus Andariel must
have been a sight to see for poor Tip Toes, who out of respect mostly watched.
One minute she would be in full Sigon regalia, and complaining of smelling like
a cur, and the next she would say "Why me smell like perfume? Why me have tin can
on head? No can see! Me SMASH!" After several such rounds... she fell.

Amber knew what the True Amazon training called for, and she sought out two
handed weapons of a white or amber hue, to slay a fresh dozen bosses.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) Lyca was the persona alert on the entry to
Lut Gholein. Her timing was excellent in that the tomb to Tal Rashsa was
open and ready to go, and she could not pass it up. Radament, she reasoned,
should wait, since there was no skill he could teach her at this time. With
an amber trident in hand, she ran into the tomb, set the weapon to receive
a charge, and (with much heart juice) did see him fall.

Once more, in Kurast, Lyca's ambition and zeal got the best of her, and she
managed to find companions heading straight for Mephisto. With trusty bow
in hand she did nock many arrows that would sting the demon. Maffer however,
took the chance to ambush the shield-less Amazon, and took her out. Amber,
re-emerging, was confused. No, more than confused, she was truly dazed.
Waking in the durance, there was carnage all about, blood all over her weapons
and armor, and no one else to be seen. (For they had left for the Fortress).
She could not remember slaying the required bosses, and was upset in the
disruption to her training!! She need more SMASH! Back she went, and cleared
every last tomb back in Lut Gholein, until Soulless Kaa was found and executed.

Likewise was Sarina and the council of Kurast sought, as Amber made up for
lost time. Meanwhile, in the higher realms, her companions had been pressing
on the Chaos Sanctuary. Then came a boss with enchantment of Lightning...
"There you are!" chimed Lyca as she came up to the Pandemonium Fortress.
"Ah, there YOU are!" replied TipToes. "Just in time, we're about to face Diablo!"
"Splended, old chap! Most swimmingly done!" This received incredulous looks from
the others, who had last seen her as a cursing neanderathalic barbarian she-hunk.

"Tally ho!" said Lyca as she ran to meet Diablo. A breath of lightning met her,
and she crumpled. "Where am I? Who did this? ME SMASH!" cried the awakening
Amber. "Stay back! You're too young!" was heard. This just incensed Amber all
the more. Further cries of "But you have no resistance, stay away!!" were likewise
ignored. There had to be someone watching over the young girl, for she tanked
Diablo with a fervor none could believe. TipToes provided withering artillery
support, and a pale necromantic ranger provided further firepower. It was a
macabre seen hard to describe. A near naked barbarian throwing flechettes
(brutal darts) along side a small army of bolt slinging necromage rangers,
all the while a young unkempt girl one fifth the size of Diablo was in his
face, clinging so tight he could not angle his breath to hit her. Whether
he was overcome with darts, bolts, sword wounds, or by fear itself, it is not
known, but the Lord of Terror fell with no further party deaths.

Amber was just delighted to see the homeland of the barbarians!! Maybe this
would reveal some answers to her past! (She knew not the details of what
tribe her father had come from.) Immediately she went to rescue to the lost
15, but not without commenting that it was so like men to get drunk and
captured and have Ambar come out and fight a hundred monsters to rescue them!
Right after they were freed, a fierce monster known only as "Lagge", along
with a demon imp on a crush beast, took down the mighty warrior. Lyca awoke,
not happy with the new smells of Harrogath, and sat down to do some thinking.
It was pretty clear at this point that Sigon was not her father's tribe, there
was just something not right about this set. This was clarified when a glorious
suit of plate mail was recovered. It was dark amber, with green trim, identified
by Cain as being a glorious relic of the Isenhart tribe. ThenryGOTH, who wielded
this fine and mighty set, confirmed its identity and power. For saving his life,
he was eager to help her learn if in fact she was from this legendary Goth Bar
lineage, and calling in some attendents, was able to help her don the full
set. (Lyca, you'll recall, saw herself as a Queen far from home, and thought it
fully proper to wear such finery. Amber however, would wake in a start, and
toss off pieces to avoid being thought a prima donna!) Lyca found it a very
precise set, with each swing of the sword making a precision cut with repeatable
effects, and the Parry she thought was well named, blocking the fiercest of
blows with ease.

Back in the Chaos Sanctuary, from one of the seal battles, a special quinta-socket
Maiden Pike was found. It was grey, but it just cried out to be held longingly
and turned into an amber weapon of honor. She was precisely of the age to wield it,
and took it up with pride. To earn the honor of wielding it, and socketing it,
she determined that the must tank the Ancient Guardians and help defeat them.
Lyca and Amber alike were fascinated by these socketable items, for they
had no match or equal in the lands of Tristram. With the Parry and Lightbrand
of Isenhart in hand, she ascended the summit. Again, the Moorish Barbarian TipToes
was ready for battle, this time with his companion Scorch. Scorch was an incredible
man, unlike any Lycamber had seen! He unleashed Moorish fire with a vengeance,
and yet, he was fearlessly tanking and going to point blank range to scorch
foes with an inferno blast. His precision impressed Lyca, while Amber was
caught off guard by his power and fearlessness, and most of all, that his
attacks, by all appearance juju, were NOT harming her in any way!! Oh how she
remembered the old days, where juju mages slinging fireballs were a constant
source of deep pain. (Well they didn't like the axe swing to the chest they
would get in return either!). The good GOTH was there was well, as was the
pale ranger. It would be a battle royale, and Lyca was designated to tank.
Tank she did! Talic and Korlic both took her on, while Madawc and TipToes locked
eyes in a thrower-a-thrower deathmatch! The Ancients were no match for the
quick reflexes and strong sword of Lyca, and victory was achieved with nary
a potion drank! (Amber, of course, would want to solo them later in a Champion
run Now 25, Lycamber was free from the shackles of inexperience. She was,
in a full sense, a mature women, and could learn much faster. Shenk was dispatched
for breakfast, and Frozenstein for lunch, the next morn. Everyone knew what was
on the plate for dinner, and that was a bagel! At this point Lyca realized that
as fine as the Isenhart set was, it was not the set of a barbarian -- it was
far too precise (and failed to do much damage!) For the showdown with Baal,
she went back to cold hard steel, and a plain grey large shield, picked up
off the floor. Or should I say Amber? It was a total blur from the time Lister
was let loose. Baal was, like his predecessors, tanked in a ferocious style,
and he was unable to drop the Amazon. Slayer was now what they would call
Lycamber. Yet she was still ill-at-ease, for she was no closer to finding out
her roots than when she started, and she (Amber, most likely), put on a simple
white leather jerkin to stay warm. An Amber Short Battle Bow of piercing, and
the Honor Maiden Pike, was all she needed -- the rest was gravy.

It was then a most curious thing happened. Lyca was just plain bedazzled by
the Iron Wolves. If the others were like Scorch, she had to know more about
them. So she saw Ashera, and took on a mercenary named Thadar, or "Thad".
He was a Lightning specialist, who seemed especiallly agile. "I will hire you
for a time, just to see what you are capable of. Do not have any illusions
about any long term relationship, do you hear me?!" Thad would probably have
been insulted by this, except Scorch took him aside and explained...
Thad, you have the unique privelege of aiding one of the greatest warriors
of the realm of Tristram!! This girl is a legend, do not let her naivete about
the ways of the east fool you! She is also, I fear, under a dread disease,
lunacy or such. When she speaks to you thusly, she prefers to be called
Lyca, and will give you respect according to your merit. But... when the
mood strikes her, she is Amber, and she will curse you as a jujuman! She
will order you to leave, threaten you, and spit at you. Do not falter!!!
Stay by her side, and you will know the glory of being one day the General
to a great Queen!" Thad thought this over... considered the alternative
of living in the same town as Ormus, with no adventure on the horizon.
He also had a dream, the night before, and this he did share with Lyca...

"My good lady. I accept your offer, and ask only that you cover hospital
expenses. You may dismiss me when you feel I am of no further aide. Yet
I have had a vision that with your guidance, as an honorable Matriarch of
unparallelled skill, I will learn to fight with such speed and fury that
it will make your foes shriek in fear. If our future is to be together,
comrades in arms, this will be the sign. There is a shield of marvelous
power -- it is Amber in color, and yet made of bone. It is lightweight
and deft, and with it, men such as myself can increase their powers
greatly. This shield shall we find before nightfall, or you may treat me
as a hired hand." "This is lunacy!" cried Lyca. "I think, old bean, that
you are suffering from a delirium and delusion of grandeur. Yet I too have
known visions. If what you say comes to pass, may it be so, and may you
find a new friend and ally in Lyca! I shall make this pledge, then. Take
this sword of mine, for it is right powerful, a blade of finest steel.
Use this for now, and if your vision is true, I shall find you a blade
of power you cannot dream of, to bring you closer to your destiny."

Off they strode together, Lyca and Thad, TipToes and Scorch, to the Foothills
of Blood. Thad was excited, yet scared. He let loose streams of charged
bolts, and precision lightning bolts. He took care to avoid the lady,
in preparation for the appearance of this one called "Amber". His attacks
were strong, although he craved speed! Suddenly, the were ambushed! Catapult
fire dazed them and filled the air with smoke, and Lyca was surrounded.
Thad stuck right next to her, taking crushing blows that would kill a
lesser man, and electricity coursed through his sword -- for Steel was
a fine conductor. One Mauler lasted longer than the others, for he had
a shield. When he dropped, Thad could not believe his eyes. "Bone Shield"
was all Lyca saw, but Thad new it for what it was... the Wall of the
Eyeless!!! His vision was true! Oh happy day!! Lyca was dumbfounded. She
could not believe this simple and honest man, nay, boy, was destined for
such greatness. Ever the kind hearted one, she apologized for doubting
him, and immediately went to her stash. A grey suit of chain mail was
taken out, and fitted with runes as Cain detailed. Tal-Eth. Stealth.
With the new armor and shield, Thad was slowly becoming a terror! If he
could prove himself further, and live to the age of 25, she promised him
a new runic helm, called "Lore." Lycamber knew what it was to look forward
to the honor of such special items. For in her stash were the Flank and the
Aim that her mother had hid away for her, and she longed to reach the sage
age of 43, the age her grandmother had been when she became queen. That
was a long ways off, and she went home to study and try to figure out this
"Pierce" skill. She was too young, but knew she would have it figured out soon...

Thus ends the 'Normal' chapter in the book of Lycamber

Charis
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Occhi
Occhi

December 5th, 2001, 4:48 pm #2

staggers from the slap delivered by Lyca

Sorry, Nice Tale.
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Dr Douglass
Dr Douglass

December 5th, 2001, 7:49 pm #3

As some might know, Charis in particular, I have made something of a study on merc AI.

Scorch has me rethinking a little bit of it for the two ranged characters.

Usually there is three types. Agressive, Hip Huggers, and Passive. Agressive is self explainitory. Hip Huggers always stay close, and, if you go into a mob, they will follow and some times die. Passive ones will almost always stay far behind you, and, sometimes, will hide around a corner and do nothing. These live the longest usually.

Scorch is Agressive. Overly so. I would actually classify him as Hyper Agressive. Why is this?

Well, for starters, he will actively chase down fleeing monsters. He will run in and tank nasty mobs. Wookies, frenzytaurs, it dont matter. He will go in and Inferno them to death. This is going to be a lot of pain and suffering later, as well as res costs. He charged into Listers mob and only died when I did. I have seen him RUN acrossed the screen, thinking he was fleeing, only to run into the nastiest mob you could think of. He was not fleeing... He was hunting.

The irony is, Tip Toes is a Barbarian who hired a mage to tank for him.
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Joined: June 8th, 2001, 4:54 am

December 6th, 2001, 2:48 am #4


So if I don't like the way my Rogue companion is behaving, I can trade her in and get one that's a better fit for my character?

-- CH
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Dr Douglass
Dr Douglass

December 6th, 2001, 5:00 am #5

Nasty Tacos
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Joined: November 29th, 2000, 9:05 pm

December 6th, 2001, 3:13 pm #6

OK if you give him +4, what does it do?

For example:

Lore
Culwen's Point
Sigon's Shield
Spirit Shroud, or Silks.

A few weeks back, I saw an interesting post on Dii.net from one of the modders who pointed out that the +3 feature was a bug that accessed the wrong .txt file and pointed to the Lightning skill of the sorcie(Act III merc). Not sure if I can believe that, but it seems to be plausible.

Occhi
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Dr Douglass
Dr Douglass

December 6th, 2001, 5:02 pm #7

Plain and simple. The Rogue's lightning hose is short ranged. Sorcies lightning skill has a range of 81. (Tile spaces) The hose has a range of 5 IIRC. The .txt file bit, as far as I can tell, is a sloppy guess. Me personally, I dunno. I think it is an intentional easter egg. Rogues were the least used mercs at one time, and now, cause of the hose, they are standard issue for melee classes to kill PIs.

No other merc, stand alone, not counting auras, etc etc etc, can measure up to the Rogue now for sheer damage output. Barb mercs and town guards, while they can be brutal, lack elemental punch. The Rogue on the other hand, with slight adjustments, can produce heavy fire damage, medium cold damage, and cataclysmic lightning damage.

Interesting note on Fire Arrow Rogues. Like the Might Mercs of act 2, they never stop gaining skill levels. All other mercs cap out at level 17 for skills.

For pure damage, Fire Iron wolves come in at a close second, and, over time, I believe they can do more damage in some situations, given the right conditions, than even a well equipped rogue, but, these are perfect conditions lacking immunity, where, even the rogue can loose out. Inferno does 170 to 182 damage per second at level 17, and, with +8 skills, Hexfire, Volcanic circlet, Shroud, and a Sigons, a level 25 Inferno is 257 to 270 per second, and has a range of over 15 yards, meaning a full screen and a half, and fireball at level 25 is 277 to 285. The fire Iron Wolf has the most consistant damage out of the three. For a point of reference, Cold and Lightning mercs have problem getting skills. +6 is their top end, but, if you do that to the Lightning mage, you will screw him over. Lightning Iron Wolves have special equipment needs. (They need lots of IAS and fast cast) So, but, for numbers, +6 for cold and lightning.

Ice Blast is 318 damage Gspike is 192 to 200.

Charged bolt is 25 bolts 16 to 18 damage. With out fast cast, this becomes totally useless.Lightning is 1 to 332.

So why is the fire one more damaging you ask? Ice Blast damage looks king! Well, Fire merc's Inferno is damage per second, and, they commonly fire in 8 to 12 second bursts, meaning, a TON of damage. As I mentioned, I plan to have a write up on mercs soon. I am still working out little details, and I need some people to help me test stuff, pain stuff, like rogues shooting them with arrows, awareness radius, I need people to be targets and let mercs pound them into pudding.

Also in that article, mercs, magic find, and you. How to make it a working reality :P
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EarOfTheRube
EarOfTheRube

December 7th, 2001, 3:52 pm #8

We do need to work out a time and game. This weekend may see much exterior painting of the trim on my house.

Which makes my availability quite limited.
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Joined: November 29th, 2000, 9:05 pm

December 7th, 2001, 5:54 pm #9

Plain and simple. The Rogue's lightning hose is short ranged. Sorcies lightning skill has a range of 81. (Tile spaces) The hose has a range of 5 IIRC. The .txt file bit, as far as I can tell, is a sloppy guess. Me personally, I dunno. I think it is an intentional easter egg. Rogues were the least used mercs at one time, and now, cause of the hose, they are standard issue for melee classes to kill PIs.

No other merc, stand alone, not counting auras, etc etc etc, can measure up to the Rogue now for sheer damage output. Barb mercs and town guards, while they can be brutal, lack elemental punch. The Rogue on the other hand, with slight adjustments, can produce heavy fire damage, medium cold damage, and cataclysmic lightning damage.

Interesting note on Fire Arrow Rogues. Like the Might Mercs of act 2, they never stop gaining skill levels. All other mercs cap out at level 17 for skills.

For pure damage, Fire Iron wolves come in at a close second, and, over time, I believe they can do more damage in some situations, given the right conditions, than even a well equipped rogue, but, these are perfect conditions lacking immunity, where, even the rogue can loose out. Inferno does 170 to 182 damage per second at level 17, and, with +8 skills, Hexfire, Volcanic circlet, Shroud, and a Sigons, a level 25 Inferno is 257 to 270 per second, and has a range of over 15 yards, meaning a full screen and a half, and fireball at level 25 is 277 to 285. The fire Iron Wolf has the most consistant damage out of the three. For a point of reference, Cold and Lightning mercs have problem getting skills. +6 is their top end, but, if you do that to the Lightning mage, you will screw him over. Lightning Iron Wolves have special equipment needs. (They need lots of IAS and fast cast) So, but, for numbers, +6 for cold and lightning.

Ice Blast is 318 damage Gspike is 192 to 200.

Charged bolt is 25 bolts 16 to 18 damage. With out fast cast, this becomes totally useless.Lightning is 1 to 332.

So why is the fire one more damaging you ask? Ice Blast damage looks king! Well, Fire merc's Inferno is damage per second, and, they commonly fire in 8 to 12 second bursts, meaning, a TON of damage. As I mentioned, I plan to have a write up on mercs soon. I am still working out little details, and I need some people to help me test stuff, pain stuff, like rogues shooting them with arrows, awareness radius, I need people to be targets and let mercs pound them into pudding.

Also in that article, mercs, magic find, and you. How to make it a working reality :P
Can whittle down a PI, since Open Wounds will still do damage. Chances are one would need to feed him quite a few pots, so mayhap back up pikes or lances with lots of perfect

emralds
topas
rubies

would be a way to address Groups of PI.

This would take quite a bit of equipment switching, of course.

And, it sure aint uber.

Occhi
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Nystul
Nystul

December 9th, 2001, 7:18 am #10

Sometime since I stopped playing much D2, the game has turned into Pokemon! Make sure you take those pets into the grass and let them fight to toughen them up

-Nystul
"Gotta catch 'em all!"
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