Venom’s Diary

Entry 104, Act I: The Rogue’s Encampment, Sanctuary

Is there no end to this madness? I recall that but a few short days ago, I vanquished the demon lord Baal on the floor of the Worldstone chamber, only to find myself here, back where it all began, with Andariel. She who I mercilessly slaughtered in what seems like a lifetime ago. Now, I’m returned unceremoniously to the Rogue’s Encampment with Akara acting as though she had never met me. And Warriv saying “greetings stranger” to me as I walked near the bonfire. Is this some form of new devilry? My first thought was that this was a trick of time, and that I had been cast backward in history… but I have come to find that lands I crossed as a fledgling hero are now full with evil, and on par with my evolved strength. These minions would have destroyed me if I had met them before, but now they fight anew with enhanced vigor and fortitude. I can’t explain how all the days and weeks of labor I poured into cleansing this land of the shadow of the three can suddenly be undone. I am back. And Andariel is my foe once more, and THAT is my reality; some form of living nightmare to which I am bound.

Regardless, evil stands before me once more. I can rise to fight, or I can die, along with everyone who calls Sanctuary their home. I can’t let that happen. If I must do it again, I will.

My companion Tylena, a Rogue archer, has come with me into this madness, and somehow all the world has forgotten us. Yet she still wears the runeword armor I crafted for her, and still carries The Breath Of The Dying, which I inscribed on her longbow for her, just before we were to face Baal. She and I will stand beside the archangel Tyriel once more, but we must earn our way there… all over again.

I am unsure what new challenges we may face, but upon coming here, I felt my strength lessen, as I am hurt quickly my magic and elemental attacks, much as I was when my hero’s quest began. It would seem there is no end to this punishment, and evil is strong in Sanctuary once more. But not for long. Even as I write, Deckard Cain sits by the fire, having been freed (again) from Tristram. When I try to explain that this has happened before, he becomes cross with me and demands I focus on Andariel. I had hoped he, in his wisdom, would have an answer.

I must go on. There is no return to Horaggath for celebration. No Mala to cheer for the demise of Baal. Nothing but a world once more replete with evil. And Tylena and I must face it together, again.