Trigger character: The Wounded Townsman at the church entrance
As you approach the desecrated cathedral for the first time, you encounter a dying man. "Please master," her says. "Listen to me. The Archbishop Lazarus, he led us down here to find the lost prince. The bastard led us into a trap! Now everyone is dead . . . killed by a demon he called the Butcher. Avenge us! Find the Butcher and slay him so that our souls may finally rest. . . ."
Two-thirds of the time, this is the first quest you encounter in Diablo, though you'll note that it's actually culled from the second set in terms of computer randomization. What that means, in practical terms, is that you may not be ready fo the Butcher the first time you encounter him, on level 2.
Actually, you are ready for him the first time you pick up a Short Bow.
The Butcher, as Adria tells you, "is a sadistic creature that delights in the torture and pain of others." He weilds a large cleaver, with which he kills opponents. Often a Warrior can live through a couple of swipes, but a Rogue or Sorcerer tends to lose HP very quickly.
You'll find the Butcher in a large, square room on level 2. It has dead bodies scattered around and hanging on poles. Make sure you clear out the entire floor before opening the door that leads to the Butcher, because you don't want any other enemies in the neighborhood when he rushes out to greet you.
The battle can be quite comical, though. The first time I faced him, I ran around and around the large square room, and since he is slow, he never caught me, but I did no damage. The simplist trick to humbling the fiend lies in the dungeon layout itself. As you've probably noticed, there are several areas on the level where stell grating flanking a doorway allows you to see (or shoot) into a room before opening the door.
Yes that's right: The Butcher's only major tactical deficiency is his inability to open doors. After clearing out the level, simply find such an area with a steel grating-flanked doorway (unobstructed by monsters, of course). The Butcher will chase you at this point, and when he gets near the door, slam it in his gace. Equipe the Short Bow and fire at will.
This may take awhile if you are playing a character other than the Rogue, since any other character doesn't have the dexterity that the Rogue has. But anyone can hit a demon broadside with the bow from point-blank range, and it's worth plucking the bow a few times to kill him without expanding health or mana.
When the Butcher is done, you'll lay hands on the Butcher's Cleaver (for stats on it, check my uniques section). For the next couple of levels, that will kill most any monster with a simgle swipe. Sooner or later (probably sooner if you are playing as the Srocerer or Rogue), you'll want to unload the axe and purchase something more suited to your class.
Trigger character: Pepin the Healer
This quest begins when Pepin the Healer seeks your help in stopping a sickness running through the town. Its source is a fouled water supply, that is cuased by an infestation on Level 2: The presence of evil taints an underground stream.
Down on Level 2 you'll find an obvious entrance, "to a dark passageway"-- a crack in the wall surrounded by an array of elements usually reserved for important tomes of lore. Beyond the crack lies a set-piece level of caverns. Prepare for combat on arrival: a small band of Fallen Ones awaits you.
Traverse the few rock corridors and dispose of the Goat Demons and lesser beasts. When you've dropped the last of the level's monsters, you'll hear a trumpet of triumph in the distance, and the fouled water will turn blue before your eyes.
Return to Pepin, and He'll give you the Ring of Truth, a unique item (for stats on it, check out my uniques section) that will serve you well early in the game, and possibly into the deeper levels of the dungeon.
Trigger character: Ogden the Tavern Owner
This quest begins when Ogden the Tavern Owner solicits your help. He'll tell you the story of King Leoric who, years ago, lost his son to kidnappers. Grief drove Leoric mad, forcing his knights and priest to destroy him. Upon his death, he cursed the town and his former followers, and now, risen from the dead, he rules a legion of undead minions within the labyrinth.
"Please, good master," Ogden implores you, "put his soul at ease by destroying his now-cursed form."
Plan on expending some serious health and mana resources to finish off Leoric. You'll be fighting in cramped quarters with a bunch of enemies, and there's just no way for a low-level character not to take some damage. Refresh yourself before you go looking for trouble, and bring a club or axe, the better to smash skeletons with.
Go to level 3 and locate the obvious passage to Leorc's Tomb. Enter and find yourself on a small level, stuffed just with skeletons, and in fact, Leoric produces them as you watch. Put him out of business, lest he create hordes of insurmountable bonemen
As reward fo Leoric's demise, you'll receive the Skeleton Crown, another Unique item that has decent enhancements, but you will want to unload it when an upgrade becomes available that better suits your character.
Also, notice that there is a secret antechamber to Leoric's tomb (aside from the small room with the obvious treasure chests). To access the hidden area, destroy each of the crucified skeletons in the large room's corners. When the last falls to the ground, a door opens in the middle of the long northern wall. Inside wait more foes and treasures.
Trigger character: Ogden the Tavern Owner
Those demons have stolen the sign to Ogden's Rising Sun Inn and Taver, and it's up to you to get it back. Cain the storyteller thinks the demons may deem the sign sacred and powerful, like the sun, which they fear. Adria the witch warns you not to let seemingly bizarre demon behavior fool you. "No mortal can truly understand the mind of a demon," she says. "Never let their erratic actions confuse you, as that, too, may be their plan."
In fact, you must claim the sign before a disgusting little named Snotspill will let you advance from the fourth to the fifth level. Snotspill waits on a set-piece of level 4, between you and the staircase to level 5. You must acquire the sign to open the way to the down staircase, although you have two options thereafter.
For starters, the sign is in the large chest in the same small set-piece area as Snotspill. Several massive monsters stand between you and the prize. With the sign in your possession, you can either hand it over to Snotspill (of course, no self-respecting adventurer would do that), or you can return it to Ogden.
If you give the sign to Snotspill, he'll thank you and then you'll have to kill him for some random item. If you take the sign back to Ogden, he'll rummage around and produce the Harlequin Crest as your reward. The Crest is a decent little cap, relative to the other items you'll have access to at this point in the game.
When you return to Snotspill's area after giving Ogden the sign, a massive attack of Fallen Ones ensues. Although there are a ton of them, they'll all panic and flee briefly as long as you can keep killing them. Target the closest monster, and repeat.
Yes, Snotspill will drop a magical item when he dies, usually a decent weapon of some sort.
Trigger character: Gharbad, a groveling Flesh Clan Demon
The first time you find him, Gharbad whines and pleads for his life, promising that, if you let him live, he'll do you a favor in return. The second time you meet him, he swears that "something for you I am making"; he even gives you a token of good faith
When you see him the third time, he's still full of promises, and he's almost done with the project.
It's a decent confrontation but an entirely reasonable proposition for you by the time you meet up with him. When you rid the world of this whiny piece of dungeon debris, he'll drop a formidable Mace you can add to your inventory. There's no real trick to Gharbad's demise; he's a midrange Unique in almost every regard, and as such serves as a good barometer of your skills. Prepare to heal yourself in battle, and dispose of "the Weak" as you see fit.
Trigger character: Griswold the Blacksmith
Griswold tells you about a "sky rock" a caravan brought into the area. Cloaked riders attacked the caravan and stole the rock, which the blacksmith now covets. If you could only lay hands on the prize he could make something useful, he promises.
Down on level 5, in no particular place, you'll find the rock sitting on a small table. If you take it to Griswold, he breaks the rock into smaller stones and sets them in the Empyrean Band. Unless you're tripping over magical rings every time you turn around, the Band's broad positive effects will make it a mainstay for much of the remaining game
Trigger object: The Book of Blood
When you find the Book of Blood, pass through the Book's room and into the next to locate the Altar of Blood. The first of the blood stones should be on the ground nearby. Plug it into the Altar. Now look at the map: a doorway appeared in the wall of the set-piece, very near where you stand. In that room some Horned Demons and another Blood Stone await you. The stone, when set in the pedestal, opens a similar room on the opposite side of the set-piece.
When you've set all three Blood Stones in the Altar of Blood, a final chamber opens and you'll battle yet more Horned Demons for the ultimate prize-- Arkaine's Valor. The armor of the hero Arkaine is simply the best you can hope to acquire early in the game, regardless of class. Through the next five levels of dungeon, it's highly unlikely you'll come across anything better.
Trigger object: A book
A mysterious book you find on level 6 opens the way to a secret staircase, leading to the Chamber of Bone. They don't call it that for nothing. . . .
The chaber is a small seperate level, with two broad hallways flanking a central chamber. At the end of each hall lie two large switches. Horned Demons, Unseen,, and the occasional Skeleton stand guard. Those switches open two small ancillary rooms, featuring more skeletons and two chests stuffed with prime treasures.
Before you open the door to the central chamber, prepare to creak some bones. The room is stuffed with skeletons, and it behooves you to keep them from escaping, if at all possible. Target the doorway, and cut loose. If you're playing the Warrior, you've got a lot of serious whacking in store. Whatever class you play, a couple Firewall Spells can go a long way to evening the odds.
Whe the chamber finally falls silent, pass through into the larger area (prepare for a few more Horned Demons and Unseen). When the last monster succumbs, read the nearby book to acquire the Guardian Spell, a handy three-headed fire monster that spouts from the ground to hurl flaming orbs at any enemy currently attacking within range
Trigger object: The Book of the Blind
The Dark Book foretells of the Halls of the Blind in a book you find, opening doorways to a set-piece from Hell.
You'll probably come across the Halls of the Blind before you can actually enter them-- a large, figure eight-shaped hall around two small rooms. Once you've read the book, two doorways open on either side of the structure, allowing you to peek into a seemingly empty area.
Of course, the area is far from empty. It is, in fact, crawling with diabolical Illusion Weavers. If you stand up in the doorway, the monsters won't be able to pass into the hall surrounding you. That's the key to fighting any monster of this type-- realizing they don't teleport or etherealize, but simply turn invisible. Thus you can jam them up at junctures, and even attack them, while they're invisible. So, if you're packing a bow or some decent magic, you don't even have to wait for them to show up in front of you. Cut loose into the empty room, and bodies will drop.
Expect more Weavers in the small central rooms (clear the halls before opening the doors). In one of the you'll lay hands on the Optic Amulet.
Trigger character: Zhar
You'll find Zhar busy with his thoughts in a library. The first time you meet him, he'll lay a Spellbook on you and tell you to get lost.
If you don't take the hint, or if you attempt to pilfer his bookshelf, Ahar attacks. As unques go, Zhar can be bad news. He lobs fireballs-- probably the first time you've experienced that spell. To make matters worse, Zhar won't give chase; he prefers instead to guard his books and lob fire at yoiu whenever you peek into the room.
Obviously, you must trot out some big guns for this guy. If you're playing the Warrior, epect Zhar to teleport when you run over to attack him. Watch the floor when he disappears: you can judge by the lit section where he's going, and where he'll re-materialize. Anticipate his arrival with the worst intentions.
If you've got a decent ranged attack, by all means use it. Regardless of your offensive tactics, prepare to heal yourself, and equip anything you own that gives even a hint of fire resistance.
Trigger object: The Fungal Tome
This is on of the game's most convoluted quests, but the payoff is worth it, and it really requires no more than a couple of extra trips to town to get the job done.
Down on level 9, encountering the Fungal Tome signals the beginning of the quest. Take it to Adria the Witch, who tells you now she needs only a large Black Mushroom to complete a concoction she's brewing.
(You may have already run across the mushroom patch on level 9. It looks like a small area of incongrous texture on the dungeon floor. When you click on it, you understand that it's not yet usable.)
Give the fungal Tome to the witch and return to the mushroom patch to search. Out pops one big (bloated, disgusting) Black Mushroom. When you take it to Adria, she thanks you kindly, and mentions that Pepin needs a demon brain to make some elixer. If you go talk to him regarding the black mushroom quest, Pepin confirms this.
When you return to the dungeon, the next monster you kill yields a brain you should deliver to the Healer. He'll give you a small sample of Elixer, instructing you to carry it to the witch.
Finally, the Witch berates you for showing up too late with the sample; she no longer needs it, and why don't you just keep it?
Using the Spectral Elixer adds two points to each of your experience characteristics, and makes it worth the trouble.