Quests Act Five
Act Five was added to the game with the expansion, and moves the action to the snowy northern mountain stronghold of the Barbarian clans. Their city has been beseiged by Baal's forces, and your hero must pursue the Lord of Destruction up sacred Mount Arreat and stop him from seizing the power of the mighty Worldstone. Good luck with that.
Act Five: The Harrowing
The quests in the Expansion are much like the ones in Diablo II, but have some more variety, and some very cool quest rewards. There aren't any that add a skill point or stat point, but you gain resistance, some very nice items, and experience. All of them are basically on you way through the Act, and there aren't any that are totally out of the way, though not all of them are mandatory. And none are of the "insert quest items into Horadric Cube" variety, like you know from Acts Two and Three.
Quest One: Siege on Harrogath
- Quest Name: Siege on Harrogath
- Triggered By: Reaching Act Five
- Given by: Larzuk the Blacksmith
- Location: Bloody Foothills
- Reward: Larzuk will socket an item of your choice; discounted prices in town.
- Quest Priority: Not mandatory, but has a nice reward and Shenk is on your way.
When you first enter town, if you approach Larzuk the Blacksmith. He will have the "!" over his head, and if you click on him he gives you his introduction speech, and then offer the following:
"If you're here to defeat Baal, you must prove it!"
As we speak, Harrogath is under siege by Baal's demons. Catapults rain death just outside the town walls.
Baal himself travels up the sacred mountain, having left in charge here one of his most vicious generals, Shenk the Overseer. A ruthless taskmaster, he lashes his own minions into suicidal frenzies on the battlefield.If you wish to prove yourself to us, destroy the monster, Shenk, that commands those infernal catapults outside Harrogath. If you manage to do this, return to me."
Your mission accepted, you set out into the Bloody Foothills. Shenk is always found near the end of the long, rectangular level. If you already had the Frigid Highlands waypoint and wanted to go right to Shenk, you could just take that waypoint, and then run back into the Bloody Foothills, and Shenk would be right there.
Upon Shenk's death, dozens of catapult shots rain down on the area. This doesn't do anything in terms of damage to you, but it's colorful and fun to see, if it doesn't cause you incredible machine lag, especially if Shenk spawns with the multiple shots modifier (only applicable in Nightmare and Hell difficulty).
Reward: After Shenk is dead, when you next return to town Larzuk will offer to add a socket(s) to an item, and will discount his prices to you. The socketing quest is just like the imbue quest in Act One, you can wait and do it as much later as you want to, and it will remain an option when you click Larzuk until you use it.
The quest adds the maximum number of sockets possible to the item you choose to socket. You can only use this quest reward once on a given item.
- Normal Items: From 1-6, the max allowed for that particular item. Check our Items section for the exact number for every type of armor and weapon.
- Magical Items: One or two sockets, randomly. In the beta they could get up to three, but this was turned down as Bliz felt it was overpowered.
- Rare/Set/Unique/Crafted Items: One socket only. (Crafted get up to 3 in the beta, but this is a bug that will be fixed.)
- No Sockets Added: RuneWord items, items that have already been socketed, item types that can't have sockets added at all, are not allowed to be placed into the selection box.
Quest Two: Rescue on Mount Arreat
- Quest Name: Rescue on Mt. Arreat
- Triggered by: Entering the Frigid Highlands.
- Given by: Qual-Kehk
- Location: Frigid Highlands
- Reward: Ability to hire Barbarian Mercs and Tal, Ral, Ort runes.
- Quest Priority: Not mandatory, but has a nice reward.
This one is a little more involved than the first quest. You must scour the Frigid Highlands and find fifteen captive Barbarian NPCs. They are held captive in wooden-fenced pens in groups of five, and when you find them you need merely knock the lock off the gate, and they will stream out and vanish into a portal that appears for them.
The three pens are always somewhere in the middle of the Frigid Highlands, not over by the sides of the area, and generally not visible on the mini map from the sides either, until you get close to them. The pens are easily spotted once you get near though, as large white rectangles. You'll always spot one on the minimap first and then close in on it, advancing slowly since there are monsters every step of the way in this area.
The Frigid Highlands (and all the other early surface areas of Act Five) is about as large as the first two surface areas of Act Four put together, so this one usually requires some looking.
None of the Barbarian pens are guarded by any greater concentration of monsters than you find anywhere else in the fortified walls areas of Act Five, so don't expect any massive dangerous battles. There are also at least 15 and probably more random wandering Barbarian NPCs around this area, but they are content to do their own thing and don't need rescuing.
As you free each bunch, the quests menu pops up telling you to "Free ten more warriors", and then "Free five more warriors".
When you return after freeing all 15 of the Barbarians, go to Qual-Kehk for your reward. He will have the usual "!" over his head, and will tell you:
"Thank you for rescuing my men. They have spoken well of your bravery in battle. Perhaps there is hope for us after all.
If you wish, you may hire some of my mercenaries that you saved. And please... take this set of runes. I had been saving them for a socketed shield, but I think you'll make better use of them.Be sure to set them in the right order for their fullest effect."
The Runes you receive are Tal, Ral, and Ort. None of them do a whole lot on their own, each adds elemental damage of one type to a weapon, and 30% resistance to it to a shield, so all three in an item and you'd have all but cold damage/resistance covered. But if you put all three into a three-socket shield in the correct order (Ral, then Ort, then Tal), you get a special better bonus, and a Rune Word item.
- +43 or 48% Resistance to each Element
- 10% damage taken goes to mana
- +50% DR
You get the same three runes for this quest every time (so you'll have three sets by the time you do all difficulty levels with a given character). The actual order to set them in isn't specifically said, but they appear in your inventory in order, top to bottom, just how they should look in the shield. Whether you would know to get a three socket shield and socket it with these three Runes in the proper order if you were seeing it for the first time in the game and didn't know about Rune Words is debatable. This is the first RuneWord most characters will see in a game, check here for full details about Runic Items.
This reward can be placed in a Paladin-shield, and the inherent bonuses to Resistance or Damage/Attack Rating will be preserved in the RuneWord, yielding a much larger total bonus than any other class can receive.
Quest Three: Prison of Ice
- Quest Name: Prison of Ice
- Triggered by: Entering Arreat Plateau (surface area #3)
- Given by: Malah
- Location: Frozen River
- Rewards: +10 to all resistance, Rare (usually) class-specific item.
- Quest Priority: Not mandatory, but very nice rewards.
Malah tells you about this quest with a long speech. By the time you get this quest you've noticed that Nihlathak has been gone from town for some time, and you have no one to gamble with. Malah says:
"Here is a matter which I hesitate to share, but I believe you are the only one who can help me now. Anya, the young alchemist and daughter to one of our slain leaders, has been missing for some time. She is a strong, crafty woman with a spirit like no other. One night, just before your arrival, I overheard her and Nihlathak arguing about her father's death. The next morning she was gone. Nihlathak has his own tale as to where she went and why. Don't believe him! I fear he is at the root of her disappearance. Please, if you can, search for Anya and bring her back to us. She'll know what to do about Nihlathak."
If you go to the Frozen River level and then come back to town, the NPCs have gone past suspicious, and call Nihlathak a "snake" and saying that he's "slipped through our fingers". He's actually been gone since around the time you got Quest Two, but never mind that.
Once you find her, she tells you that Nihlathak did this to her, and to tell Malah what's happened to her. When you return to town Malah is eager to talk and she gives you a thawing potion she's prepared.
You return to Anya and click on her, and when you do a huge plume of blueish-white smoke rises up like a geyser. After a few seconds Anya walks out the left of the smoke, and shortly after it vanishes. She casts a town portal (that you can't use) and vanishes back to town.
When you return to town you should talk to both Malah and Anya. Both give you very good rewards for your actions, so this is an essential quest to complete for the rewards, even if you don't need to do it to finish the Act.
In addition to the resistance scroll from Malah, Anya gives you a Rare, class-specific item for your character class. A sorceress gets a Rare orb, a Druid a rare animal pelt, etc. The Amazon gets either a Javelin, Spear, or Bow, but it's not tied to what you are using, so good luck with that.
Another benefit to rescuing Anya is that you can now gamble again. Nihlathak lets you gamble when you first reach Act Five, but he vanishes soon after and you have no way to gamble until you bring Anya back. (You can take a waypoint to a different act to gamble, if you can't wait for Anya.) You also need Anya to buy throwing potions from.
Tip: Be sure you find the Crystalline Passage Waypoint, or even go on and find the Frozen Tundra Waypoint, before you enter the red portal Anya opens for Quest Four. There is no waypoint in the Frozen River, and if you don't find the Crystalline Passage WP before you go down, you will probably go right back to town and on to Quest Four, and when you portal back from the Quest Four dungeon, you'll have a long walk all the way from the Arreat Plateau waypoint through the Crystalline Passageway back to where you were.
Think of it like Act One. You need to find the Dark Wood Waypoint before you go back to town with the Scroll of Inifus, since you'll then go to the Field of Stones and Tristram, and probably end up having to run all the way from the Field through the Underground Passageway to get back to the Dark Wood. If you do this in the next game you'll have to clear it as you go, which is annoying.
Quest Four: Betrayal of Harrogath
- Quest Name: Betrayal of Harrogath
- Triggered by: Rescuing Anya (Quest Three).
- Given by: Anya
- Location: Red Portal to Nihlathak's Temple, then down into a three level dungeon.
- Rewards: Your name on an item from Anya.
- Quest Priority: Not required, and extremely deadly on Nightmare and Hell. We recommend you skip it past Normal, especially if you are Hardcore. Contrary to popular opinion, it is possible to complete this quest simply for the good XP and loot while still keeping Anya's red portal to Pindleskin's Garden open for future Pindle-runs, so long as you remember: Don't activate the Halls of Pain waypoint. Otherwise the red portal closes permanently the next time you quit, robbing the Pindle-run of its future usefulness.
When you rescue Anya in Quest Three, she returns to town and is found to the south of town center in front of a large building. When you first return her to town after rescuing her in Quest Three, she gives you three speeches in a row.
"Nihlathak told me he struck a deal with Baal to protect Harrogath. In exchange for the demon's mercy, the misguided fool plans to give Baal the Relic of the Ancients, our most holy totem! Doing so would allow Baal to enter Mount Arreat unchallenged by the Ancients. I tried to stop Nihlathak, but he imprisoned me in that icy tomb. Nihlathak must be stopped before he dooms the whole world. As much as I would love to strangle the life out of him, I'm afraid I haven't the strength. You must go to his lair through this portal I've opened, kill him, and then bring back the Relic of the Ancients. Stop Nihlathak from destroying what we have striven for eons to protect."
Once you get past the very popular (to kill) Pindleskin and down into the dungeon, you descend three levels through the Halls of Anguish, Halls of Pain, and Halls of Vaught. (Fred Vaught is one of the background artists on D2X.) In one of the four points of the Halls of Vaught, you'll find Nihlathak, on a raised dais surrounded by Minions. They charge and aren't hard to slaughter, but things become quite interesting once a few Ice Minions go down since Nihlathak then unleashes his Corpse Explosion skill, which can be deadly. Nihlathak himself isn't hard to kill, once you get a bead on him, though he can teleport which might slow the proceedings a bit.
Once you've killed him you have no choice but to return to town, either by a town portal, by going back up to level two and taking the waypoint there (if you bothered to find it) or by walking back up three levels and taking the red portal. Back in town Anya has the "!" overhead, and when you talk to her it's not all good news:
"You have stopped Nihlathak, but he didn't have the Relic! He must have already given it to Baal. Now, Baal will not be tested when he reaches Arreat's summit. I do thank you for trying though. Please, allow me to honor your courage by magically inscribing your name onto an item of your choosing. It's the least I can do."
Tip: Extreme caution was recommended on this quest prior to v1.09, since Nihlathak's corpse explosion was absurdly deadly on hell difficulty; capable of dealing well over 1000 damage with a radius larger than the visible screen. In those early days of D2X, the skill scaled up just like the Necromancer's did, based on the hit points of the monsters Nihlathak was blowing up.
- Normal: 155-194 hit points.
- Nightmare: 880-1100 hit points.
- Hell: 1974-2467 hit points.
Corpse Explosion does 60-100% of the monster's hit points damage with each Corpse Explosion, of which 50% is physical and 50% is fire damage. This was 1184-2467 damage per CE on Hell, until Nihlathak's CE damage was twinked down to the point it could largely be ignored in v1.09.
Plot Point: Earlier in the Act, one of Nihlathak's town gossips foreshadows his turn to evil.
"The demon hordes have grown powerful beyond measure, aided by our foolish mistakes. But I may have found a way to correct those mistakes."
Quest Five: Rite of Passage
- Quest Name: Rite of Passage
- Triggered by: Reaching the Ancient's Way triggers Qual-Kehk to speak of it. Or you can go straight to the Arreat Summit and click on the altar.
- Given by: Qual-Kehk
- Location: Arreat Summit
- Reward: Bonus to your Experience. Normal: 1.4 million, Clvl 20 required. Nightmare: 20 million, Clvl 40 required. Hell: 40 million, Clvl 60 required. This bonus is not cut like experience from monster kills when you are past Clvl 75, so this quest is always a huge boost, but if you can save it (borrow a portal to the Worldstone Keep) until you are Clvl 80 or 85 it's even more valuable.
- Quest Priority: Not mandatory if you can get a portal inside the Worldstone Keep from another player, otherwise you must defeat the Guardians to get in. The reward is enormous though, so we recommend you do it.
Once you advance to the Ancient's Way, the last ice caves level in the game, and then return to town, Qual-Kehk will be eager to talk:
"Every time I hear of you, warrior, your deeds become more legendary. But take heed. You are approaching the very summit of Mount Arreat. I have never dared venture there. It is sacred -- our most holy place. The legends say it is guarded by the Ancient Ones, who block the path of all who are unworthy. Your reputation here does not matter...It will be the Ancients who determine your worthiness. Good luck."
You don't need to talk to Qual-Kehk or anyone about this, you can just advance through the Ancient's Way to the Arreat Summit, and do it. This quest seems straightforward, but has a very tricky element to it you see in no other quest in all of Diablo II.
Quest Prompt: Travel through the Ancient's Way to find the Ancients at the Arreat Summit.
Aside from the quest, the Arreat Summit is probably the most impressive area in the entire game. The screenshots don't do it justice, the amazing part is walking along the edge with the landscape far far below. It's awesome with perspective mode, which the game automatically turns on there, your 3D card permitting (the option for it in the Options menu is grayed out at this point) for the ground moves much slower than the edge of the cliff you are walking along giving a nice illusion of depth. It has to be seen in motion to be appreciated.
The Summit is a small area, not much larger than two screens end to end in 800x600 mode. The center is the raised circle with the three statues, and there are pillars around it in a large circle with some open snowy ground outside of that, with cliffs bounding the area on all sides and a barred stairway to the far right. In the center on the dais you see these three statues, each with a unique name and stats. Click to see more about Madawc, Korlic, and Talic
| Throwing Axes,
| Melee and leap attack,
huge axe weapon.
| Sword and shield,|
melee and Whirlwind.
The altar highlights when you point and it, and when you click a long speech is heard with three voices speaking in harmony.
"We are the spirits of the Nephalem, the Ancient Ones. We have been chose to guard sacred Mount Arreat, wherein the Worldstone rests. Few are worthy to stand in its presence; fewer still can comprehend its true purpose. Before you enter, you must defeat us."
Recall that Nihlathak stole a relic and gave it to Baal, allowing him to enter the Worldstone Keep without having to face these guardians. When the speech ends, the action begins.
You must kill them all, and when they are beaten they explode in a huge burst of yellow flames, and return to statue form. There is another long speech about how Baal must be defeated, and the dire consequences for the world if he's not destroyed. Death animation
So what's the tricky part?
If anyone in the party casts a town portal during the battle, the Guardians immediately vanish and return to statue form. And you have to click on the altar to fight them again, with full regenerated hit points and new random mods, until you kill them all. The stairs down to the Ancient's Way are barred once you reach the summit as well, so portals are the only way out.
This isn't so hard in normal, but prior to being nerfed in v1.09, all three of the ancients spawned with 3 different magical modifiers each time, which stacked with their usual high resistance. It was not uncommon for each of them to have 2 or more immunities, making them extremely difficult to kill without a party of mixed damage types. They also dealt much more damage in v1.08, and dealing with three big damage, very fast bosses at the same time in a small area that could not be an area too small to retreated from was pretty nasty.
It was (and remains) possible to use the town portal trick to your advantage. If they spawn with very difficult mods, simply cast a Town Portal and they will all vanish back to statue form. This makes a nice escape possibility for Hardcore characters.
This is a very unique quest and prior to v1.09 it was the hardest battle in the entire game. In v1.09 and later, the guardians' damage has been toned way down, they get fewer boss modifiers, and their resistances are capped so they don't spawn with multiple immunities. It's a much fairer fight, but quite a bit less interesting as well.
Tips: You can't leave for town during the battle, so be sure you stock up on potions. It's not a bad idea to scatter some around the area before the fight, so you can run and pick them up during the action, reloading your belt more quickly than you could by opening the inventory window. Also, be sure you have enough Town Portals to not run out if you need to cast one to avoid death.
Be sure you check out the Guardians' stats early in the fight in Nightmare and Hell, and if one or more of them have very difficult or impossible mods, respawn them by casting a Town Portal.
Reward: Huge experience bonus! 1.4m on normal, 20m on Nightmare, and 40m on Hell. There is a Clvl requirement to get the reward though, you must be Clvl 20 on Normal, 40 on Nightmare, and 60 on Hell to get it. So no partying with bigger characters to get there quickly and get a huge bonus. The bonus experience is not cut by your Clvl exp penalty if you are over Clvl 75, so it's best to save the quest reward on Hell as long as possible. Skip past the Guardians with a portal to the Worldstone waypoint, and never do them for the quest until level 98, if you can wait that long. The huge 40m exp bonus gets more valuable the longer you wait, since it's easy to earn 40m exp at lvl 70 or 75, or 80. By 90 it takes longer, by 95 the monsters are hardly yielding any experience at all, and by the high 90s, when it takes multiple Baal runs to budge the exp bar, 40m is more than you can earn in many hours of monster killing.
Quest Six: Eve of Destruction
- Quest Name: Eve of Destruction
- Triggered by: Defeating the Ancients (Quest Five)
- Given by: Qual-Kehk, or when you reach the Throne of Destruction level.
- Location: Throne of Destruction.
- Rewards: Baal's item drop, complete the Act, view final cinematic, gain a title.
- Quest Priority: Mandatory to finish the Act and advance to the next difficulty level.
Baal is up on a throne (hence the level name) here, and laughs constantly. Once you have killed all the Blood Lords and Stygian Furies in the immediate vicinity of the throne, the fun begins. He laughs and laughs (yes, it makes you want to kill him) and after a few seconds emits a glowing ball of yellow lightning. It flies up into the air and crashes down somewhere in front of the steps, and there appears a SuperUnique boss with his pack of minions.
Once you kill off that pack, their bodies vanish but leave a lot of blood, Baal laughs constantly, and then spawns another huge glowing orb which crashes down and releases a bunch of monsters. This happens five times, different and more powerful monsters each time, the first four being from Acts I to IV, and the fifth bunch being Minions of Destruction which are monsters seen nowhere else in the game.
Baal's Guardians, in order of appearance. Note that the packs appear in order of the acts of the game; Fallen are an Act One monster, Greater Mummies are from Act Two, and so on.
- Colenzo the Annihilator -- Fallen Shaman
- Achmel the Cursed -- Greater Mummy
- Bartuc the Bloody -- High Council
- Ventar the Unholy -- Balrog
- Lister the Tormenter -- Baal's Minion
One major issue with these packs is the computer lag when they load. Early in the beta it was very bad, with several seconds of lag on your end as your computer loaded in the monster graphics. If you were right where they appeared, you could be killed before you were able to move at all. This was improved in v1.08, and the lag was backloaded, so it came up after each battle, when Baal was laughing and vanishing the corpses. After v1.09 the lag was largely removed, and these days, thanks to computers in 2008 being so much more powerful than they were in 2001 when the game was new, the lag in this area isn't an issue.
Baal's summoned monsters have to be removed from the throne area to bring up the next wave and eventually advance, however it isn't necessary to kill all or any of these special monsters, it is just that they have to be away from Baal's line of sight. A Sorceress can lure monsters away from Baal and then use Teleport to return to the throne area, where Baal will spawn the next batch of monsters. After unleashing his Minions of Destruction, Baal will leave after a while if the monsters have ran far enough away from the throne pursuing your character, so a Sorceress can Teleport back to the throne and enter the Worldstone Chamber. This could be done in theory by other characters, however Ventar the Unholy and his Venom Lords are difficult to outrun. Usually, most characters will play out quest as the developers intended, eliminating each of Baal's champions to get to the Worldstone Chamber.
After you kill all the packs Baal laughs some more, then vanishes down the portal behind his throne. You follow him down and enter a small room with the enormous Worldstone looming in the middle of the area. It's very graphically impressive. Baal is less so, and dies very quickly if there is any Static Field in the area. He doesn't attack that quickly, but does have some interesting spell effects not seen anywhere else in the game, and can even duplicate himself.
Once Baal is down and his death animation, the orbiting spirits light show ends, Tyrael descends from overhead and hovers. And glows, and pontificates in his usual pompous fashion.
"I am impressed, mortal. You have overcome the greatest challenge this world has ever faced and defeated the last of the Prime Evils. However we are too late to save the Worldstone. Baal's destructive touch has corrupted it completely.
Given enough time, the Worldstone's energies will drain away and the barriers between the worlds will shatter -- the powers of Hell will flood into this...Sanctuary...and eradicate your people and everything you've labored to build.
Therefore I must destroy the corrupted Worldstone before the powers of Hell take root. This act will change your world forever -- with consequences even I cannot foresee. However it is the only way to ensure mankind's survival.
Go now, mortal. I have opened a portal that will lead you to safety.May the Eternal Light shine upon you and your descendants for what you've done this day. The continued survival of mankind is your legacy. Above all else, you have earned a rest from the endless battle."
If you've already killed Baal, Tyrael doesn't appear, and you don't get the red portal.
Characters gain new titles in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction for defeating Baal. Converted characters may already have the Normal or Nightmare title, based on how for they had gotten in Diablo II.
|Softcore Characters||Char Gender||Title|
|Normal||Male or Female||Slayer|
|Nightmare||Male or Female||Champion|
|Hardcore Characters||Char Gender||Title|
|Normal||Male or Female||Destroyer|
|Nightmare||Male or Female||Conqueror|
|Hell||Male or Female||Guardian|
|Quests of Diablo II - Quest Items [ ]|
|Diablo II||Lord of Destruction|