--- Table of Contents
--- Autumn 4986, 16 Aoimoth
Shon slid down the side of a tree to the ground and watched the tower burn. Ivelm did a circle of it, dousing the surrounding trees with his water wand, while Nangran inspected the few bodies he could reach without burning himself. At one point, he tried to pull a corpse further from the fire only to have its arms snap off at the shoulder, meat pulling away from the bone like a well-cooked turkey.
Somewhere in the back of Shon’s mind, he knew he should be sickened by the sights and smells. When they first stepped through the portal, he‘d had to hold back retching from the scent of smoking hair and cooking flesh. Now he could hardly muster the energy to keep breathing. He took long and slow, but shallow breaths. As if he were about to fall asleep despite the horror before him.
So much death. Shon had never seen a dead person before. Though he wasn’t sure if these still counted, so blackened they could almost be mistaken for macabre statues... if it wasn’t for the smell.
“What was going on here ‘Elm?” Nangran demanded of Ivelm as the mage rounded the other side of the tower and rejoined them.
Ivelm sheathed his water wand, pulling forth the diamond-studded wand again. He didn’t answer.
Nangran growled, grabbing Ivelm's arm as it rose to point the wand toward the forest. The Archmage shook him off and spun, his robes fluttering around him as he gestured angrily at the fire, “I don’t know, Flintchest. This tower was supposed to be empty, abandoned. I’m the only Mage with authorization to set up in this area.” he pointed his wand over Shon’s shoulder and spat something indistinct. A rush of cool air flowed from behind accompanied by shouting and armor clanking. Knights running.
Shon rolled limply to the side, planning to stand but finding his arms shaking as he tried to push himself up. Boots stomped around him as Paladins flooded from the magical gate into the clearing. Shon managed to lift his head, though even his neck seemed to be rebelling against his attempts at holding himself up. His vision swimming, he saw Major General Selibra and Master Daunas step through the portal, their mouths agape.
Shon’s arms gave out from under him, and he fell to the side, hearing as if from a great distance, “Squire! Shon… Shon… Nangran, what happened?” From the ground he could see the girl, now wrapped in Nangran’s cloak, leaning against the side of his tree. When had they brought her there? Why hadn’t he noticed?
“He’s fine.” Ivelm’s voice, Shon couldn’t see anymore, so he closed his eyes, “He’ll wake up in a few days. Hell of a Sorcerer that one…” No… no, no, no... he wasn’t a Sorcerer. He was a Squire. He would be a Paladin…
For a brief moment, a flicker of an image played in Shon's mind. He saw himself lying on the muddy ground, Master Daunas knelt by his head, and Ivelm spit off to the side. Then, only the sweet relief of darkness as he passed out.
“Any other survivors?” Sir Selibra’s soft voice drifted through the darkness.
“Only the girl,” Daunas whispered from nearby.
“I doubt she’s human,” Ivelm spoke loudly, and Shon flinched, his head pounding as the mage didn’t bother to keep his voice low, “No fire-resist spell should have lasted in that heat. Even fire Sorcerers can't survive melting stone.”
“She looks human.” a fourth voice, the Hamerfoss Cleric. Shon couldn’t move. The light filtering through his eyelids sent stabs of pain into his head, making it hard for him to concentrate. He tried to lift a hand to cover his eyes, but the limb wouldn’t obey his call.
“And a table looks like it’s made of wood but does that mean it’s still a tree?” Ivelm snorted, and something wet splattered on stone.
“Archmage, please, this is an infirmary…” the Cleric said, shocked.
The mage didn’t apologize and continued to speak at full volume, “Whatever was going on out there it wasn’t sanctioned by the Guild, and that girl has most certainly been subject to experimentation. Those scales? That hair?” he spat again.
“Let’s take this outside, shall we?” Sir Selibra said, and three pairs of boots thumped away, a door swinging open. Sir Selibra’s voice retreated as they left the infirmary still in conversation, “We have sent for the Temple and Guild. They should be here shortly.” The boots left, and the door closed again.
Only one pair of feet remained, shuffling around the room before the rustling of curtains being pulled closed accompanied the sweet relief of darkness. Shon steeled himself and forced his eyes to open just a crack. More pain. He closed them again, his ears ringing. With a slow breath, he tried again, blinking in the weak light filtered through the cloth covering infirmary window.
A groan slipped from his lips, and the Cleric rushed to his bedside, “Don’t try to sit up, Squire. You’re drained, but unhurt,” which seemed a direct contradiction to Shon’s pounding head. The Cleric continued, “After a bit of sleep, you should be fine…” Shon let his head fall to the side, wanting to look away from the window, and saw a second bed, where a girl with golden hair slept.
“It happens to Paladins too, you know. You have to be careful not to expend too much of your own energy when casting magic…” the Cleric continued to talk, busying himself by checking Shon's vitals, “It’s inevitable, but with practice, you can mitigate some of the effects…” She was the only survivor, and she had been experimented on… “After you take your Oath, you'll receive training in divine magic…” even if she was okay physically, would she be alright mentally?... “For now, just rest. You did well. It’s thanks to you the girl got out alive…”
Shon closed his eyes. Thanks to him? Nangran had seen the smoke, Ivelm had taken them there. He… he hadn’t known what to do, had frozen at the sights and smells. He'd formed a path of ice, but the girl hadn’t been burning… Her feet had melted his ice... Shon let himself drift back to sleep. He wasn’t a hero. Not yet.
The tower was supposed to be empty. General Rasnah and the Mages Guild had combed through their records finding that the building had been abandoned over fifty years ago; when the old alchemist living there passed away. Archmage Ivelm reported that he'd surveyed the tower twenty years previous, before setting up his lab miles further south.
“Having a tower like that is practically begging for wanna-be-apprentices to come interrupt you. Looking for a teacher and free room.” he'd explained, with obvious disgust at the idea, even spitting on the floor of Sir Selibra’s office.
Sir Rasnah personally led the Temple Paladins and Guild Mages through a gate from Smilnda to Hamerfoss and from there to the ruins of the mysterious tower. Mages and Paladins crawled together over the still-smoking remains, now a mear hill. Trying to break apart the stones that had melted together and find anything that could explain what had happened here. Bodies covered in white cloth lay in lines along the edge of the forest, ten in total, though how many had been trapped in the tower was still unknown.
The Clerics of Lune would identify the bodies, though she wished they could do more than just give names. It would take months, possibly years, to scour the records to determine who these poor souls had been in life. And more years besides to track their movements through the meticulous paperwork kept by the kingdom.
She could practically hear Veon-Zih snickering at her, ‘Silly Ras, you gave up the battlefield of blood and stone for one of words and paper…
’ she shook her head, banishing thoughts of the Monk. This work would be just as important. How else would those fighting the physical battles find their enemies without information and resources? And yet… She rested her hand on her sword with a sigh, “Some retirement…”
“Sir Rasnah,” a female Mage with dark hair and tan skin approached from the tower, “We found the basement…” she looked over her slumped shoulders back at the pile of melted rock.
“Not as promising a find as we'd hoped?” Rasnah asked, arching her steely eyebrow at the Mage. What had her name been? Vevi…
To her credit, the woman straightened her shoulders and answered clearly, “Oftentimes, we learn as much from a rejected hypothesis as a failed-to-be-rejected hypothesis.” As Rasnah tried to wrap her mind around what in the hells that meant, the Mage continued, “We had hoped that the basement level would be relatively unscathed as heat should rise to destroy the upper levels and possibly spare the lower…”
Those were words the Paladin understood at least, but they implied bad news, “And that wasn’t the case?”
The Mage sighed, “It was. The fire behaved as fire always does, barring external influence,”
“Mage Vevi, I admire your Guild's desire for specificity, but please, get to the point.”
Vevi blinked then shook herself, saying, “Evidence suggests that the fire started in the basement and that the heat there was far greater than we assumed.” Rasnah arched an eyebrow at the woman again and the Mage threw her hands into the air, “It looks more like a cavern carved by pure magma. Nothing but melted stones remain in the form of caves we can only guess were originally rooms.”
“Damn,” Rasnah gripped her sword and glared past the Mage toward the tower, “So we have no way of knowing what they were doing.” The girl still hadn’t woken up. What were the chances that she had any information of value? Archmage Ivelm was convinced that she'd been the subject of magical experimentation. Would those who had abused her also give her information?
“We have one way,” Vevi interrupted Rasnah’s worries, and the Paladin focused on her again. The Mage turned away, motioning to some of her fellows standing near the bodies. An old man with a bent back and shuffling gait split from the group and approached slowly. Rasnah had to resist the urge to walk to him just to speed up the process.
“Sir Rasnah, this is Archmage Meshed, our divination master.” Vevi introduced the old man while he was still a few steps away, “There is a chance we will be able to obtain some information from the tower remains. Though I’m afraid it might not be as clear and concise as you wish. Divination often creates more questions than answers.”
“I am well acquainted with the frustrations of interpreting symbols and signs…” Rasnah led, unsure of the value in this new idea. Arcane magic didn't get its power from a higher intelligence or any god, it utilized the natural magic and energies running through the world and every object in it, manipulating them with precise words and symbols directed by human will. It was all well over her head.
Meshed’s laugh turned into a dry cough. He cleared his throat, “I think you will find, Mage Vevi, Sir Paladin, that the information I will glean from this place to be far more clear and concise than you are accustomed to. It simply won’t be as complete as you wish.”
With a groan and many popping joints, he sat down on the ground, fishing through his robes and pulling out a small bag. From it, he withdrew a massive tome and a silk cloth that Vevi quickly helped spread on the ground before him. Next came a censor and many jars of herbs and incense, which, after checking his book, he carefully measured before pouring into the censor.
He waved a hand towards the tower without looking up from his work, “Stones, please, Vevi. Choose wisely, I don’t want to do this all day…” Despite being a senior Mage, well on her way to Archmage, Vevi rushed off towards the tower herself and eventually returned with two fist-sized stones.
“One from the upper floors and one from the basement, Meshed,” she explained, handing them to the Divination Master. Meshed pulled a set of brass scales from his small pouch, measuring the stones and muttering to himself as he adjusted the volume of herbs in the censor.
He placed the first stone with the herbs, and his eyes glazed over, “A light if you will.” Vevi performed some complicated motion with her hands, flicking her fingers forward at the end with a muttered word. A spark of flame appeared over the censor, lowering onto the herbs and setting them alight. Smoke billowed in a gray noxious cloud, and Rasnah covered her nose as Meshed began to chant.
He ran his hand through the smoke, which wrapped around his fingers, and continued skyward. “No divine magic was cast here…” he mumbled, moving his hand again. The smoke shifted above his fingers as they passed, creating images of people in robes leaning over books, “Arcane magic…” Obviously.
Still, for some reason, his brow furrowed. He passed his hand through again, and the smoke turned nearly black. Before Rasnah could make out any shapes Meshed pulled his hand away and shook it violently before rubbing it on his robe, “Warlocks, Sir Paladin.”
“Damn.” Rasnah smothered more colorful curses and managed a half step closer, “What were they doing, Archmage?”
He didn’t answer. Instead, he chanted a new spell, and his hand glowed with a soft red light. Reaching into the censor, he plucked out the stone and replaced it with the second. The smoke again turned gray and rose lazily into the air. Once again, he passed his hand through the flowing tendrils, and once again, they turned black. He shook his head, “Obviously… damnation… what to ask… what to ask…” He seemed to settle on something, muttering, “The fire, tell me about the fire…” he ran his fingers through the smoke. Flames leaped from the censor, the smoke turning red and billowing out before them.
Rasnah stepped back as great smoke wings spread wide, illuminated from below by flames. A horned head atop a sinuous neck stretched for the heavens and Meshed scrambled to his feet. Vevi kicked the censor over, spreading burning debris across the silk to smolder, releasing tiny lines of, blessedly, normal smoke.
“What was that? A wyvern?” Rasnah asked, her heart in her throat.
Meshed coughed his dry cough and shook his head. Vevi stared at the upturned censor with wide eyes. “Much worse, Sir Rasnah,” the Mage whispered, “A dragon.”
“It was dragon fire that destroyed this tower,” Meshed confirmed.
--- Part 2/2
--- Table of Contents
Thanks for making it this far, you are the real MVP
Credit goes to u/Momo_Best_Girl
for the original concept. And yes, i know, i included a FEW monsters from those two wacky games. I had to, they were on the wiki list lmao...now enjoy 4 hours of work!
Acidic Glavenus: Steel/Poison
Aurora Somnacanth: Ice/Water
Azure Rathalos: Fire/Flying
Berserk Laviente: Dragon/Rock
Bishaten: Poison/Grass OR Electric/Normal
Blackviel Vaal Hazak: Ghost
Black Diablos: Ground/Fighting
Bloodbath Diablos: Dark
Boltreaver Astalos: Electric/Dragon
Breeding Season Hypnocatrice: Psychic/Normal
Brute Tigrex: Dark/Ground
Chaotic Gore Magala: ???
Conflagaration Rathian: Poison/Grass
Coral Pukei-Pukei: WateFlying
Crimson Fatalis: Dragon/Fire
Crimson Glow Valstrax: Dragon/Flying
Crystal Basarios: Ground/Rock
Daimyo Hermitaur: WateRock
Dreadking Rathalos: Fire/Dark
Dreadking Rathian: Poison/Fairy
Ebony Odogaron: Ghost/Dark
Elemental Merphistophelin: Fire/Dragon
Flaming Espinas: Fire/Grass
Four Heavenly Kings Deviljho: Fire/Fairy
Frostfang Barioth: Ice/Flying
Fulgur Anjanath: Electric/Fighting
Furious Rajang: Electric/Fighting
Garangolm: Ground/Grass (When its ability activates, changes to Fire/Water)
Ghost Caesarber: Normal/Ground
Gold Rathian: Steel/Poison
Gore Magala: ???
Goss Harag: Ice
Great Bagggi: Ice
Great Girros: Electric/Dark
Great Izuchi: Fighting
Great Jaggi: Normal
Great Maccao: Fighting
Great Jagras: Dark
Great Wroggi: Poison
Grimclaw Tigrex: Dark/Fighting
I have a Hunterdex entry for this one.
"A rare version of Tigrex, with pulsing red viens and a light blue colour to its head and forearms. The only thing the beast cares about is lust for violence. It will spend whole weeks roaming the area, slaying anything that dares wander close."
That One Gypceros From Frontier That Thernomuclear Bombs You: Fire/Electric
Hellblade Glavenus: Fire/Steel
Kulve Taroth: Steel/Fairy OR Steel/Dragon
Kushala Daora: Ice/Dragon
Lucent Nargacuga: Poison/Dark
Magma Almudron: Fire/Water
Nightcloak Malfestio: Psychic/Dark
Nightshade Paolumu: Dark/Fairy
One-Eared Yian Garuga: Poison/Flying
Pink Rathian: Fire/Poison
Raging Brachydios: Fire/Rock
Red Khezu: Electric/Fire
Redhelm Arzuros: Dark/Fighting
All Risen Monsters: Poison/Dragon (their ability will give them STAB on types they should have, like Poison for Chameleos or Ice for Daora)
Royal Ludroth: WateFairy
Ruiner Nergigante: Steel/Dragon
Rusted Kushula Daora: Ice/Dragon
Rustrazor Shogun Ceanataur: Steel/Rock
Savage Deviljho: Fighting/Dark
Scorned Magnamalo: Ghost/Fire
Seething Bazelgeuse: Fire/Flying
Shagaru Magala: Dragon/Fairy
Shattered Monoblos: Ground/Fighting
Shogun Ceanataur: Steel/Water
Shrieking Legiana: Ice/Flying
Silver Rathalos: Steel/Fire`
Silverwind Nargacuga: Poison/Fighting
Snowbaron Lagombi: Ice/Fighting
Soulseer Mizutsune (IS THAT SANS UNDERTALE BUT MIZUTSUNE?????): WatePsychic
Stonefist Hermitaur: Steel/Rock
Stygian Zinogre: Electric/Ghost
Swordsmaster Shogun Ceanatuar: Steel/Water OR Steel/Rock
Narwa The Allmother: Dragon/Electric
Vaal Hazak: Ghost/Dragon
Violent Laviente: Dragon/Fire
Violet Mizutsune: Fire/Water
White Fatalis: Dragon
Yian Garuga: Poison/Flying
Yian Kut-Ku: Fire/Flying
Zorah Magdaros: Fire/Rock
Preface: While this guide will not include EVERY facet of leveling, it will give a deep dive into unique items for leveling. While some of these may be known, there are others that I hope will change how you level new characters. The focus is on gear sub level 20 that can be used all the way until act 10 or at least until you can get a better replacement unique throughout the leveling process.
Hello, my name is PeanutButterZebraHacker, or Peanut for short, and I love Path of Exile. I find myself playing this game whenever I have free time and with nearly 19k hours in the game, it's something I have loads of experience with. I am making this guide because I always hear about people HATING the leveling experience and for me... well I tend to enjoy it; however, this is because the way I level lets me pick nearly any build I want, something people often feel they cannot do when they make a new character.
This post will be VERY long, I understand that many may not read it, and that my formatting and order for this may need work if I want something more formal; though, for now I will just post how I see fit!
Leveling in PoE is often considered a chore that pigeon holes you into playing the same exact build (Hollow Palm normally, my aim is to change that). This guide will demonstrate every good leveling unique in the game and show how an individual can leverage these unique items to play almost any build they desire.
The bottom of this write-up will have a PoB with my favorite uniques to mess around with and a sample setup to see what you can do with the right gear!
Unique Items per slot: My favorite item per slot is in Bold.
Helmets: This slot is flexible for survival, damage, or speed!
- Honourhome: This is by far the BEST leveling helmet in the entire game. While +2 may seem like a minor bonus, the fact that it can get TWO +2 implicit corruptions and then also have a level 2 empower socketed allows any skill with the right corruptions to have +9 to gem levels! The mana cost reduction is an additional bonus that shouldn't be forgotten either! It is INSANE when used alone or moreso when combined with the rest of the items on this list.
- Thrillsteel: While I only consider this to be a glorified MTX, there is some merit with running this helmet on builds that cannot take advantage of Honourhome. The Onslaught is nice to have while leveling but because they removed its effect from in-town use, it is just that bit worse off.
- Goldrim: The CLASSIC leveling helmet. This thing is cheap solid leveling helmet that can easily cap resistances through the acts.
- Fairgraves Tricorne: This helmet is old but potentially usable. The "can be touched by tormented spirits" mod provides 50% increased attack, cast, and movement speed as well as 50% increased damage; however, you hardily encounter spirits in acts and will likely be overall less strong than the above.
- Crown of Thorns: Really only viable with Ghostwrithe and Energy Blade, otherwise just a solid tanky option when you have nothing else.
- Asenath's Mark: While I wouldn't suggest this for a spell casting build as long as Honourhome exists, especially because you give up the potential for two axioms for a bow, this can be solid for auxiliary damage in a bow build or extra curses/utility while leveling with a bow!
Note: The corruptions for helmets are avaliable on all helmets, not just honourhome. If there is a helmet you want to use, always be sure to price it out with the corruptions you want! A +2 Aoe/+2 Aura helmet is still really good for leveling with haste for the extra movement speed!
Body Armour: These options each have benefits that can be compared when choosing your build.
- Thousand Ribbons: While everyone knows tabula as "the leveling unique", it should always be remembered that Thousand Ribbons exists. ESPECIALLY when corrupted with up to 50% increased damage, Thousand Ribbons provides large flat damage bonus, resistances, and other modifiers that are VERY helpful for leveling. If used with a +4 helmet or Honourhome, the number of sockets doesn't even matter because you will be using the helmet for your links. This thing is INSANE.
- Tabula Rasa: The most well known leveling unique in the game, Tabula is a great "generic" item that provides extra damage or utility through extra links. It is advised to get an increased damage corruption for this body armour, though it is important to remember that mana cost may be an issue with 6L skills while leveling.
- Ghostwrithe: This is a great item for builds transitioning into CI at some point or builds that want to use Energy Blade to level, otherwise, it is just a solid chest when you have nothing else.
- Foxshade: This body armour can provide some solid stats and movement speed while leveling if you can stay at full life! Get yourself a % damage corruption and you have yourself another way to hurt and run!
Note: There are quite a few good corruptions for body armours, +! socketed being one often overlooked at low levels; however, it is often just best to take the increased damage corruption for that small boost while leveling.
Gloves: These options all provide an offensive bonus that will help speed up leveling!
- Lochtonial Caress: These are a SIGNATURE for leveling form level 1 in any build, try getting a max rolled cast or attack speed for your build and they could last you to act 10 Kitava alone. There are other options to upgrade into after these gloves; however, these are the premium gloves to use when you first start out.
- Hrimsorrow: These gloves are perfect for any player that wants to use a physical attack that then gets converted into cold. Otherwise they are just a lump of stats.
- Sadima's Touch: The flat damage provided can be largely helpful early game and quant could always be fun to have but I would rate these poorly compared to other options.
- Doedre's Tenure: The ULTIMATE spell leveling gloves. Fear not the reduced cast speed; by time you can use these, you can also toss on a pair with cast speed corruption to negate the downside. These gloves provide SO much extra damage while leveling a spell build and should ALWAYS be used on any build that wants to level with spells. Buy these with cast speed corruption and youll be blasting!
- Flesh and Spirit: The rampage CAN be nice; though, it isn't often you are stopping to clear entire screens that these will see much use beyond Lightning arrow or other solid clearing skills that would allow you to actually get stacks easily.
- Facebreakers: With the existence of Hollow Palm, these gloves have fallen behind. They CAN still be used but the other options are much better.
- Ondar's Clasp: These gloves are hard to take advantage of until you can use arrogance to reserve some of your life, otherwise, I wouldn't suggest using them.
Note: The curses or speed corruptions can REALLY round out a pair of leveling gloves and should not be forgotten about if you can get a pair with it!
Boots: The options below are chosen to assist with the speed through the acts!
- Seven-League Step: These are generally a bit pricey, especially early, but they are easily the BEST leveling boots in the game. When corrupted with increased movement speed, they turn you into a speeding bullet, but even without they are VERY strong.
- Abberaths Hooves: A solid leveling alternative that gives good damage and a fun mechanic to mess with to kill monsters. The ignite prolif can add to the fun on ignite builds as well!
- Wanderlust: The most budget option, these boots give freeze immunity which is awesome and solid movement speed to run through the acts!
- Nomic's Storm: A cheap alternative to Seven-Leagues, these boots can provide a great movement speed buff with some stats; though, it is important to remember you will take a big first hit while wearing these!
- Stormcharger: With a good roll on the movement speed, you can get yourself a really fast pair of boots that also scale shock very well for that extra damage!
Note: Always remember to look for cheap pairs with movement speed corruptions! These can really make leveling feel that much better!
Shields: Overlooked for higher damage option, shields are great for tankiness in the early levels.
- Lycosidae: This shield is great for builds that use attacks but is often looked over because accuracy isn't much of an issue early. Using counter-attacks with this shield can be fun though!
- Crest of Perandus: The life given by this shield can really pump up your early game tankiness and the extra stats are nice too. This shield is a comfy "I don't want to die" alternative.
- Kaltenhalt: This shield is GREAT for any build that wants to level with a strong physical skill. The gained as can feel great for early game chills/freezes for additional "defense" as well.
- Springleaf: Really only used for EARLY EARLY RF leveling, this shield is solid for adding some additonal regen to a build that doesn't die quick but doesn't heal quick either!
Note: Shields are often weak for leveling but it is important to realize they do exist! While it may be better to run a stronger weapon for damage, a shield can make leveling a bit more comfy and open doors for other options.
Jewellery: Jewellery has a large list of strong usable items. While there are technically some unique items that can have their level requirement removed via corruption, I will only list the unique items that I find to be genuinely beneficial to use.
Amulets: There is a large list of usable amulets, just remember to pick the one that best fits your build!
- Sidhebreath: This amulet is very niche for minion builds and pretty much requires you run added cold with the minions to counter lack of other damage they can no longer deal. If you REALLY want to run this, you're going to notice a drop in damage as your minion gems level up.
- Blood of Corruption: Really strong for early game levels but falls behind the Karui setup for benefits. Usable but not strong.
- (Replica) Karui Ward: The BEST leveling amulet in the game. This amulet should be purchased with a movement speed corruption if possible to help BLAST through the game. The speed provided by this slot alone is huge and with the right annoint can turn you into a speed demon!
- Tear of Purity: The extra resistances and ailment immunity provided by and early game Purity of Elements can feel great while leveling but otherwise isn't that strong.
- Xoph's Heart: Now usable at level 5, this amulet and the ash covering ability really add some nice early game damage for leveling if you are using a fire build.
- (Replica) Atziri's Foible: If built around, these amulets are easily some of the coolest. The bonuses they provide given the right build are astounding, otherwise its just a filler amulet.
- Astramentis: INSANE for leveling because it cuts back your need for stats, Astramentis is always great to have around and can make for some easy gearing without worrying about stats.
Note: Make sure to annoint your amulet! While I always check for a movement speed corruption, the extra tainted oil can make the cost too high so going with an uncorrupted amulet might be the play!
Rings: The ring slot options are somehow large and small all at the same time.
- Blackheart: The extra chaos damage added can really boost the early game clear, though the flee can be VERY annoying for melee builds.
- Doedre's Damning: While additonal curse may seem strong, the lack of curses early makes this ring really just a ball of resistances.
- Perandus Signet: My favorite ring to use as it gets me closer to using my full set at level 16, otherwise I run a few other options once I get there.
- Berek's Rings: These rings are all solid for leveling assuming your build uses their bonuses correctly, read each of them to see what you might want to use!
- Call of the Brotherhood: Great for those early game lightning builds (Spark is a favorite for me). Being able to do cold damage is huge for early game and can feel awesome for defense as well!
- Le Heup of All: This ring is a generalist ring that fills the gap you may need for certain stats or resistances. It is always nice to keep a few on hand and use them when you are lacking somewhere!
- Mark of Submission: This ring feels REALLY good early game to get extra damage from a curse and if it can be used, should be used! A early curse on hit can add a LOAD of extra damage, much more than most other rings this early into PoE.
- Praxis: The reduced mana cost from this ring is a godsend and when used as a pair, your skill will often cost ZERO mana! Just remember, if you use inspiration, you want at least 1 cost for the mana!
- Pyre: This ring is CRAZY for ignite builds and can even enable some cold ignite builds early game (just slao some elemental catalysts on it!) The bonus from destroying corpses is also very nice and can cutback on some on death stress effects that occur during the acts!
- (Replica) Tasalio's Sign: This ring is GREAT for any build that can apply a chill! The huge added flat can really boost up your leveling speed while slowing down your enemies!
Note: Rings are pretty flexible and it is best to use a pair that best fits your build, though it doesn't hurt to run Perandus Signets until you can toss on two Le Heups!
Belt: Belts are a pretty large slot for unique items but like many other slots, there is generally one that is best. (Yes, MB is obviously the best belt BUT this writeup is moreso about uniques that people may not always think about and also ones below level 20, give or take a few items. Anyone WITH MB know they're going to use it and anyone without is either going to buy one or can't afford it)
- Darkness Enthroned: This belt is the BEST if you are willing to hunt down good abyss jewels. The fact that you can gain loads of life, movement speed if you haven't been hit recently, and other benefits, really makes this belt take the number 1 spot for early into late leveling stages.
- String of Servitude: This belt can have some solid mods; however, it's often lacking in areas that could make it feel good and unless you're going Hollow Palm, the belt is on the sidelines.
- Meginord's Girdle: The added flat physical damage can be great for Pillar or Facebreaker builds; otherwise, this is just a filler belt with some stats.
- Perandus Blazon: This belt is GREAT for the extra attributes and some quantity, though these stats are either made up elsewhere or generally useless for the acts!
- Belt of the Deceiver: This belt can provide some additional damage to attack builds through intimidate as well as some resistances and life, it is still often better to run a Darkness Enthroned to make up for those potential missing stats.
- Bated Breath: If you are looking to focus on an ES build or Energy Blade, this belt is just about the best you can go with until later in the game.
- (Replica) Prismweave: This belt is INSANELY strong for the added flat it can provide to both attacks and spells and makes for a REALLY good leveling belt if you opt out of the huge added flat from a +9 Honourhome.
Note: While belts are often flexible, it is generally understood to just run with a Darkness Enthroned and search for level 1 jewels that fit your build. Remember that each abyss jewel has different rolls. (Ghastly: Minions, Searching: Bows/wands, Murderous: Melee/Attacks, Hypnotic: Spells)
Weapons: Weapons will be classified by their type, though some types may be more popular than others. When it comes to leveling with attacks, its often you will upgrade your weapon with something throughout the acts. Spells don't need much of an upgrade with some of the options below. I will not be listing weapon classes that have mediocre uniques, if a class isn't listed a cheap rare is best (Ex. Daggers have poor options and should instead be a rare if you want to use them.)
Axe: This weapon type is often overlooked for leveling but can be beneficial given some extra "tech".
- Screaming Eagle: The movement speed provided makes this axe worth dual-wielding in your offhand to swap to for extra speed!
- Limbsplit: While the culling strike isn't neccessary for early-game, having a way to cull early on weapon swap can cut some seconds off of killing some tanky rares! (I am looking at you spinning birdcage skeletons with extra life!)
Notes: Axes are often just kept on weapon swap for their bonus, if you want to use an axe for damage, an axe purchased from a vendor, qualitied, and essenced often do far more damage.
Bows: Bows are something I really enjoy leveling with and the options are quite large, below are the some solid choices if you don't want to craft a rare every 5-10 levels!
- Silverbranch: This bow is a generic leveling bow that when found early can really assist with early game bow clear.
- Widowhail: With the right quiver, this bow is INSANE! It does require further planning but given the right setup, this bow can be used from level 1 to level 100, even being something to build around! If you want to go with stat stacking, remember that 249% is only 2x effect while 250% is 3x effect, so buy a max roll!
- Quillrain: The classic leveling bow that can be used from 5 to 100, the speed and mana gained on hit make this bow feel nice and comfy for leveling, though the damage reduction is a bit noticable.
- Storm Cloud: This bow does so much for an early game build and should not be forgotten. While the attack speed is much lower than Quill Rain, it does feel very nice to use with LA and other bow skills early.
Note: Bows can be bought with corruptions but it is often easier to just buy high rolls, but never overlook a high roll AND corruption that still retains the low level requirement.
Quivers: Using the right quiver can really change the bow leveling experience, though a crafted rare often does the trick too!
- Hyrri's Bite: Insane for leveling, this quiver is VERY good with the extra stats it provides, it will really change how your gems level early game!
Note: Quivers are often better if just cheaply essence crafted, otherwise, Hyrri's Bite is the strong go-to quiver.
Maces: While the choices are small, it is fun to run a mace with slams early!
- Gorebreaker: The damage done by this mace early game is enough to kill most rares in a hit or two; however, it falls off quickly given the slow attack speed.
Note: There are technically more options in the 20s range; though, they are often overshadowed in damage from a crafted rare.
Sceptres: This is where the fun weapons begin!
- Axiom Perpetuum: This is by far the BEST spell caster leveling unique in the entire game. When combined with other unique items in this list (often the ones I bold), the damage provided is MASSIVE. This is brought up even HIGHER with a cast speed corruption. This sceptre is the BEST spell caster leveling weapon in the entire game and should ALWAYS be kept in pairs of two with cast speed corruptions. The Crit and Cast speed alone turn a boring spell into a KILLING machine.
- Brutus Lead Sprinkler: I know this is level 28 but it holds a strong place in my heart. This is one of my favorite items in PoE (I WISH I could get one with a great crucible tree for standard but I don't have the desire to make one right now, maybe later, I REALLY want one!) It is VERY fun to level with for Str stacking and should be remembered if you are looking to try a stat stacking build early.
Note: There really isn't a better caster weapon than Axiom for leveling and really limits the unique items worth using for said builds.
Staves: An uncommon leveling piece, staves can see some use but are often outclassed by Axiom or other items:
- Fencoil: Great for early damage until you get two axioms but not needed when you can use +1 All X Spell gem magic wands instead.
- Replica Bloodthorn: The increased fire damage can feel great for early game Rolling Magma until Axioms; however, it is useless afterwards.
- Pillar of the Caged God: This is often used at much higher levels after stats are scaled better but can be used early if you can find some good added flat physical damage and strength while leveling.
Note: It is generally much better to use +1 wands but staves can still make for an easy to store unique weapon to hold until you can use Axioms.
Swords: The choice of swords for leveling is pretty open with one clear winner; though, it is often better to use a crafted rare if you want to level with them.
- Oni-Goroshi: This sword has so much lore behind it and is very strong to level with. While farming it may not be fun and making sure you get enough ignite chance to trigger the proc may not be fun, it can scale all the way to level 100 if built around and is very solid for leveling with melee weapons.
- Redbeak: This is often dropped for a rare the moment you can hit a Thrusting sword with an essence or two, this sword is still strong for early levels if given the chance!
- The Princess: I really enjoy dual wielding this sword with another copy when using a physical build, it is still often better to use Axiom or a crafted rare.
- Shiversting: When it comes to two hander swords, Shiversting takes the cake for early game damage. Sady it is still outclassed by a crafted rare if you have the essences, otherwise, it can clear early levels easily until you can upgrade.
Note: Like other melee weapons, swords are often better crafted ever 5-10 levels, unless you use Oni.
Claws: Claws really only have one option for leveling and it always requires Elemental hit to work. (Replica) Last Resort:
This claw is VERY good when leveling with elemental hit once you can get to low life; however, it is otherwise useless.
Note: If you want claws, use a rare, its really that simple.
Wands: While outclassed by Axiom, wands can be used early for an extra damage boots until you can use those sceptres.
- Lifesprig: A solid wand to use until you can use Axioms, the life it heals is nice for early sustain.
- Abberaths Horn: This wand is useable if you cannot get +1 wands early, is should be dropped as soon as possible. While ignite isn't insanely strong early, the reduced ignite duration can be noticed when it comes to additional damage from fire builds.
- Ashcaller: This wand is really strong with SRS from the covered in ash debuff, it is otherwise not that usable.
- Poet's Pen: This wand, while not as popular, is a cult classic for leveling. Throw on two with your favorite spells (and make sure to use clarity to counter to trigger costs!) and you can BLAZE through the game using frenzy as your trigger. Poet's Pen builds do require some planning but can be VERY fun for early game.
Note: It is often better to use a magic +1 to all X spell set for leveling. Aside from Poet's Pen, the benefit of using the above wands is worse than a simple +1 wand.
Jewels: The number of leveling jewels has dropped drastically after the jewel change but here is a short list of some!
- One with Nothing: Your typical "leveling" jewel. This build has been tried and true for years and is always something to look into if you want the generic Hollow Palm leveling experience.
- Thread of Hope: A late game found jewel that can be used in early leveling to get some extra passives early in the game (Think about getting two extra projectiles for a bow build early instead of pathing all the way to those nodes).
- Watcher's Eye: Another late game found jewel that can add some convivence to an early leveling experience but needs to be built around.
- Sublime Vision: The final of my suggest jewels, using the haste version of this can add some extra speed to an otherwise speedy leveling experience!
When deciding your build, the most important part is deciding the "prime unique" to build around, when it comes to spells, make sure you can buy the perfect +4 Honourhome helmet and then go from there, a perfect Honourhome is the difference between 6k DPS at level 16 and 800 dps. Build around this helmet and you'll LOVE the spell caster leveling experience, I PROMISE!
Build Template(s): I will add more templates if this thread gets some views but otherwise here is my generic "Spark leveling template" that I used. The damage is VERY high for a level 16 and I have personally leveled a character all the way to act 10 with this gear setup without using a SINGLE passive point. (Though I did need to swap in Astramentis and swap rings to make up for lost resistances and stats to level up skill gems.) None of these builds have passive points in, just gear.
Lightning Arrow: https://pobb.in/hDzo2YyYcOp-
Generic Spell Level 2 Build: https://pobb.in/prpMjcZLrdLG
Freezing Pulse: https://pobb.in/yQc_4q20wMQQ
Ignite Ice Shot with Pyre: https://pobb.in/aqUBF7Vk-OKk
Molten Strike (Cheaply crafted swords): https://pobb.in/B45bzsd9DWF5
If you have any questions feel free to ask! I can also make a video guide that is a bit more fleshed out so let me know if you like it!
I was able to overlook fainting twice to the same Magma Almudron nuke, even though it was clear you were just button mashing. I was also pretty okay with you continuing to spam your attacks on a monster going to sleep while all 3 of your teammates were sharpening. But then you join my next hunt, see I'm fighting an Apex Rathian, and then just fuck around the spawn and refuse to come help?
It's clear you're a talentless hack who requires other people to carry you, even against mid-tier challenges. You're a fucking scrub, you don't deserve that longsword, and you need to spend some time soloing instead of being a fucking burden on every game you enter, you deadweight motherfucker.
Part 23: https://www.reddit.com/Viidith22/comments/13o2jsg/my_roommate_is_slenderman_part_23_revised/
Pushed off the left of my desk, I worked on the laptop. I’d gotten through to the data Scott stored on the drive, and while it wasn’t encrypted, it was definitely corrupted. Some of it was intact, but for the most part, the documents were filled with errors and random text. After scrolling through a few more useless documents, a familiar ache took over my side. I raised my fist then hesitated, taking a deep breath, I relaxed. Standing, I headed to the kitchen to make some food.
I turned on the TV as I heated water for the rice, opting to just throw on cable, happening across a show about a guy that went by the name Earl. I turned back to my stove, throwing a couple pans on the available spots. I opened several cans of veggies, pulled out the mildly expired ground beef, sniffed it, and set to work with a canned stir-fry and rice, topped with some seasoned beef.
“...two unknown wayfarers discovered just outside the city limits…” A news station had caught my attention. The voice was distorted with an audio mixer, but something about it sounded familiar, “...one male, one female, both seemed to be wearing suits at the time of their deaths…” I looked at the tv, two scorched corpses side by side.
“What the hell?” It was staticky, and the quality wavered. For a brief moment, Earl made an appearance through the static, but the news footage overtook it.
“Their IDs are melted along with their wallets and clothing, however, considering there are no missing person reports in the area, I’ve concluded they were from out of town…” I stared as the amateur camera work scanned the area, a small patch of forest within city limits.
“It’s fair to say government officials likely weren’t responsible given the people’s confinement within the walls. However, it’s im–” there was a brief period of static, “...eir intentions were unknown, as for why they’d come here is anyone’s guess.” The camera panned over the bodies again, their height giving me pause.
Heading to the living room, I scanned the ground, eventually finding the card under the TV stand. I looked it over,
“The Remnants of the Crystal Age
“If you need help, give us a call
“But remember, we expect the same help from you”
Flipping it revealed three phone numbers. Ryouka, Jericho, and Kalthrulre. “Was it really them?” I looked back up at the silent screen, static overwhelming the bodies, an actual news station taking over.
“We apologize for the interruption, it seems someone decided to play some kind of prank, and our signal was taken over. To quell any worries, there were no unmarked deaths as of late. Why anyone would pull such a sick joke is anyone’s guess.”
The co-anchor laughed nervously, “Quite a mystery. Let’s get onto the weather now, shall we?” A sizzle came from the kitchen, followed by burning starch and a wave of steam. I dropped the card, rushing to pull the rice off the stove. For a split second, it crossed my mind that the show I’d been watching never continued.
Once I’d gotten back to the laptop, I did find traces of intact information. I made note of all of them, but unfortunately there wasn’t much in the way of useful data. I had an address, a few notes about other organizations in town, and my name completely out of context. That last one was in an over 100 page file of nonsense thanks to the corruption.
Not having much else to go on, I took to checking out the address, have a look around, see if anyone was living there, assuming it was a house. Then if the stars, planets, and moon alined, I might actually learn something.
As I zipped my hoodie, I looked to the liquor cabinet above the fridge, craving a bottle. But I turned away, promising myself I’d have one when I had answers.
Having left the chains on my car, it wasn’t much of a pain heading to as bumfuck nowhere as you could get in town. Next to the small amount of forest we had access to, only accompanied by a few other homes, there was a dingey, unkempt crackhouse. There was only one car, but having lived in Salem most my life, I knew a crackden when I saw one.
I parked a couple blocks away. Sighing, I got out of my car and took to walking around the house. All the windows were intact, the backyard was a mess, patches of random objects only obscured by the snowfall stood out in the otherwise flat foliage. Looking closer, it was less of a crackhouse, more of a farm house, just without the space. Sheet metal laid propped against the house and other currently invisible objects, random patches where tools and other metal things lay discarded seemed to melt the snow in their wake.
Strolling around the rest of the house told me nothing about who was actually living there. Despite my better judgement, I went up to the door and knocked, and knocked, and knocked. When I hit the doorbell, a shuffling sounded from the other side.
A familiar voice lifted the mail slot, “Who is it?”
A whiff of stale weed smoke wiggled its way into my nose, making me cringe as I groaned, “No, fucking, way.”
“Oh God.” There was a metal clink as the slot fell into place. Shink, clunk, rattle, rattle, clunk, clunk, shink, rattle.
The door opened leaving me to stagger for just a moment. The overwhelming power of days old mexican food and bong water causing my head to go light for a moment, “How the hell did you find me?”
Once I’d regained my composure, I stared Scott right in the eyes, “You really needa find a way to encrypt your drives.”
“Allow me to rephrase. The fuck do you want?”
He looked around behind me, “You might wanna come in.”
He stepped to his side gesturing for me to enter. I hesitated, making sure he didn’t have any weapons at the ready. When nothing immediately stood out to me, I took a deep breath, trying to focus on my ears like I had when we were kidnapped. A few seconds later, I crossed the doorframe, and braced myself.
Scott took the lead, glanced back at me, then led me to the livingroom. A bong sat along side an open grinder and air tight metal case at the center of a dusty coffee table. He flopped onto the pleather couch in front of it, a cloud of ash puffing up thick enough to rain.
I stood across from him as he packed a bowl. He gestured to me before lighting, “After all that shit, you really are just some fuckin asshole.”
He a blew out a cloud, packing the bowl back down, “You got that right.” As he took another massive toke, I noticed the dark yellow water, and gagged, “So?”
“You know who I am.”
“Yeah, we’ve met–”
I rolled my eyes, ready to put my fist through his mouth, “Really, that’s what you’re going with?”
He paused, setting the bong and lighter down. He twiddled his thumbs for a moment, testing a few facial expressions before resigning to a neutral dead-eyed gaze. He stood with a groan, “Come on.” With a wave, he headed to a new room. It was an office, desk against the back wall, the laptop Darren gave him sitting in the center of it, “You should be able to read them now.”
He turned it on, clicking a few times before hopping out of the seat, “You’re up.”
I sat, keeping the bat in my right hand, one ear out for anything, “This it?” The door shut without a response, looking around, he was gone.
I sighed, swiveling to the screen. My vision seemed to collide in on itself, the image left behind was oversaturated. I dry heaved, clutching my stomache, desperately vacuuming in air. The air around me held a bloody mist as I struggled to face the screen again. A lengthy document, the first page listed every basic aspect of my life like a table of contents. Each word on the screen shocked a different neuron starting it back up like a mini defibrillator. A migraine pulsed from the back of my head, amplified in the front, sending waves of nausea straight to my stomach, making me lightheaded.
When the door opened, I stood, hanging onto the chair stand upright. Just behind my right eye sat a knife, stabbing me any time I moved too suddenly. Eventually balancing myself, I stared at Scott who held a steaming mug, “Sit your ass down. I’m not gonna hurt you.” I collapsed to the chair, rolling back a few inches, “Here, man.” He put the mug on the desk, “It’s ginger turmeric.” The smell of it brought me back a bit, the pain receding just that bit to let me set my hand down.
I took a sip from the mug, my throat warmed, and I sat back in the chair. “What the hell man?” I let out a sigh filled with stale, moist air.
“I think old memories coming back. Never had it happen so I’m not sure.”
I took another swig, “Really?”
He stood there for a moment, hesitating at the thought of turning around, then went through with it.
Taking the hottest gulp of my life, I finished the mug off and turned back to the screen, finally able to read what it held. I drank in the summary of my life, it went down just as hot as the tea, a nail hammered into the back of my head, but I managed. Though as the pain waned, fresh memories made themselves known. Not new, but it was like they’d been vacuum sealed, saved for later. As if the information was compressed into a file, and reading what was on the screen decompressed it. Tears streaked down my face as I remembered Jane, my Jane, and I suddenly pieced the odd experience in Darren’s doorway together. My mind had been fighting to remember ever since… ever since the mushroom incident. A mental exhaustion tried to take over as the pain left me entirely. So I scrolled to the first written page of my life.
Everything dimmed, and suddenly my brain wasn’t decompressing a gigabyte over five minutes, but ten terabytes in seconds. My skull throbbed, fluid sloshed around my brain, my vision went black, and every single memory since I was a baby reformed more vivid than ever, even before the town. Like dropping a match into a puddle of nitro glycerin, my entire body was on fire, the air in my body sucked out until everything stopped.
When I awoke, the room was too bright to see anything, I squeezed my eyes shut. I screamed and could hardly move, “We still have one more, hang in there miss.”
I tried to stop and ask what the hell was going on, but the atmosphere was oppressive, I was weak, and everything was hot and cold and wet. Someone moved me, but my skin was wrong, I couldn’t tell what I was laying on.
“1, 2, 3, push. 1, 2, 3, push. Come on, give me one more of those, we’re almost there.” I heard a woman screaming over me, when suddenly everything stopped. All that could be heard was panting and concerned murmuring. “He’s not crying, someone get a flashlight!” I noticed then that the light wasn’t torturing my eyes anymore. Slowly, I opened them, I was in a hospital, laying in a bassinet. Understanding filled me as I looked around. My mom and dad looked so young, and my twin brother… twin brother?
A suckerpunch came in that moment, the shards of glass finally coming together, just needing the glue, “Is Scott okay?”
A flashlight flicked on, and a nurse made her way out of the room, the doctor observing my brother, “He’s responsive, just not crying. I’m sorry, I’ll have a nurse come to keep you all updated.” The doctor left the room, baby in his arms. My mom cried, the darkness enveloping us before the emergency lights flicked on. It shouldn’t have taken this long. Should it?
We stayed there for a good half hour, in that time I’d been given to my mom. She held me, stroking my head, tears flowing down her cheeks. My dad had tried to get information out of the nurse several times but in the end simply paced around the room.
That was when a man in a suit came in, nothing but emergency lights illuminating him, “His name is Joseph right?” My mom nodded, and the suit nodded to the nurse, “Take care of Joseph for a moment will you? Take him to the infirmary.”
“No! You can’t have him!”
“Miss, please, Joseph is fine, he’ll just be resting.”
My dad sized the suit up, chest puffed up, his serious face on, “What authority do you have to make a call like that?”
The man flashed a badge, one that look almost, but not quite like it said FBI, “We’re inspecting the power outage, we suspect it’s come from somewhere in this hospital. It’s possible this is a terrorist threat. As such, we are securing all the children first. We’re on top of the situation sir, I assure you this will be the safest option for your child.”
The nurse attempted to pull me from my mom a couple more times. By the third, she’d given me up, and I was taken. But as the door shut, a muffled voice made it’s way out, “Unfortunately, Scott didn’t make it–” before he was cut off by the diminishing sound of screaming.
I woke in high alert, thrashing, but I was handcuffed to a medical table. I looked down and saw some of the links were misshapen, almost stretched. I scanned the room, lifting my head as far as it would go before something around my neck tugged me back down. It was mostly barren aside from a rolling table of medical supplies, and a chair with a single person sitting in it.
“You’ve got to be the biggest asshole I’ve ever met.”
He feigned sadness, wiping a crocodile tear from his eye, “I can’t believe you’d treat your own brother so harshly.” His face rose to neutral.”
I looked him in the eyes, a strange sense of calm washing me, pacifying me, “You’ve got more faces than a d6 I swear.” I tried to force a laugh, but it just made me cringe, “God, how do you keep that shit up?”
“I do what’s necessary, I’ve gotta think about myself here.”
I grimaced, “What the hell man? I mean seriously, who the fuck are you really? What’s your game?”
“Eh…” He glanced at the door, then shrugged, turning back to me with a smile that never reached his eyes, “Well, had you joined in with the revolution, you might not be here. Heavy maybe though, vampires are rare, and humans that have turned, even partially, oh well that’s a commodity. So whether or not you being with them would change the minds of the Axons, eh, come to think of it…” He trailed off, “But yeah, everyone in this town wants a piece of you for a different reason, whether they know what you are or not.”
I remembered the guy who spoke in metaphors, my brain tagging something. “What about that news interruption? The voice was distorted, but that was definitely you.”
He threw up a “whoopsie” gesture, then laughed to himself, “Well, guess the jig is up on that one. You can call it… brushing the pond, gotta bring the scum up every so often to keep things interesting.”
“So what’s that? Number three?”
“Four if you count…” His face went blank, “Damn, guess I am a bit soft on you.”
“Eh, you wouldn’t know them, I think they go by the mechanics or something though?”
“Metaphor man?” I mumbled to myself.
“Well I’ll be.” He looked panicked for a moment before the door opened.
The man held a clipboard and wore a white apron over scrubs, the lack of a mask showing the tip of his nose was missing and scarred over, as well as three scars down his bottom lip, giving it separation lines when he smiled, “I am very excited to work with you Joseph.”
Scott walked to him, whispering in the man’s ear.
“Oh, I see. Feel free to check his belongings. If it’s there, make sure it’s taken care of.” My brother left in a hurry, leaving the doctor and I to ourselves. He sat in the rolling chair Scott had been in, rolling over to me and pulling a lamp from behind me over my face, “Hello, my name is Doctor Fräger.” He peeled my eyes open wide, observing them, “I am a crypto anatomist, and I will be giving you a FULL checkup today. It is my understanding that you have been uh…” He let go of my eye lids, pulled down his glasses, and looked down at his clipboard, “Genetically modified through a vampire bite by your wife.” He looked at me with feigned sadness, “I am so very sorry to hear that. Now, before we get started, do you have any unusual pains or discomforts you’d like to discuss with me?”
I looked at him with as much “what the fuck” as I could manage, my emotions coming back to me, “Yeah, these fucking chains!”
He looked down at his clipboard, “I would love to help you, however it says right here that if I were to do that you’d likely rip my throat out. That doesn’t sound pleasant, so I’ll have to leave you with them on. I’m sure you can understand.” He stood, setting the clipboard on a metal table out of sight. Pulling a wooden stick out, he asked me to open my mouth. When I tried to say something, he grabbed my lower jaw, forcing it open with his grip on a couple pressure points, “Very good, now say ‘ahhhhh.’”
I bit down , chopping the stick in half, then spitting it in his face, “Let me go.”
His face dropped for the slightest moment, revealing the dry ice behind his gaze, “But there’s just so much to learn! Now, if you’ll follow me.” He walked to the feet end of the table, dragging me out the door to a few rooms down.
An x-ray welcomed me into the sterile white room, “While we wait on your MRI results, what say you and I have some fun in here. I’ve never gotten a good look at how vampires tick.” He set me up, the x-ray hovering over my right hand, before snapping my thumb, I yelped, but the pain hadn’t been as bad as I expected. I remembered all the broken bones I’d gotten during the bunker. A massive gap in my memory suddenly filled in, clearer than ever, as if the memories were just waiting their turn. I remembered Terry, the way he’d treated me. Somehow, it felt odd, the caring nature he had for my well being, it didn’t feel real.
The doctor hurried behind a wall, and a few moments later let out a, “Fascinating!” that came from somewhere on my left, “I’ll definitely need some blood samples too, so if you don’t mind, once we’re done here we can get you a proper blood panel.” We spent another hour in the x-ray room, enough time to regrow a couple fingers and start on one of my thumbs.
My body vibrated as Fräger shoved me through the door, “How about some grub before we get some of that red nectar of yours. I hear vampires have quite the appetite.”
“Sure.” I dwelt on how everyone had treated me back then. Despite everything Fräger had put me through, it was like I had a shark on my line, but it was only meant for salmon fishing. The thread could snap any moment, and I’d lose whatever revelation was sitting there.
“I must say, you’ve been one of my best patients to date. I’ll be sure they supply you with plenty of nutritious food for your politeness.” As we entered another room, the smell of garlic and onions soothed my mind, “If you want the truth, I wasn’t planning to feed you, I wanted to see what would happen. But we’ll save that for later, sound good?”
“Yeah, sounds great doc.” He smiled.
I was fed two full chicken breasts, a large helping of rice, and a side of grilled vegetables along with a fruit smoothie. Then I was quickly carted into an empty room, the pain in my side already fading.
“Now, before I leave you here, is there anything at all you need?”
“Yeah, a bathroom.”
He laughed, “Please, like we’re going to let a vampire walk around all willy-nilly. Once I’m done testing you, we will set up a room just for you. But for now, a catheter and a bedpan will have to do. My sincerest apologies we won’t be able to accommodate you a toilet.”
I didn’t respond.
“Alright, enjoy the next few days. I have someone coming in to take care of you in just a moment.”
When he opened the door to leave, I heard a familiar set of footsteps take the doctor’s place. The unsettling relaxation took me over yet again, “Hope you enjoyed your meal.”
“So what are you, the babysitter?”
“Depends on how you look at it.” He grabbed my face, sticking things around it before moving down to my chest and so on. By the end, my body was covered in sensors. Someone had rolled in a machine that let out a continuous beeping at some point. Leaving nothing but a metronome-like ticking to fill in the gaps.
“I’m tired of beating around the bush, what’re you guys really doing?”
“It’s a study, I figured that was obvious by now.”
“And you’re fine knowing I’m the one they’re putting through all this?”
“You’re still on that?” He blew a raspberry, chuckling to himself, “Yeah, okay, I’m real choked up about it.” He shook his head, rolling his eyes, “You can starve, I don’t mind.”
“Fuckin psychopath,” I muttered, letting out a sigh.
“Pretty sure they call it antisocial personality disorder these days.”
“I don’t hear you denying it.”
“Who said I would? You’re kind of an arrogant asshole you know that? I’m almost excited to see what’s going to happen.” He finished putting the last sensor on, heading to the door, I could him murmuring to himself, “...doesn’t kill this one…” Then, I was alone.
The first day wasn’t too bad, aside from the boredom, beeping, and having to piss and shit myself whenever the occasion arose. The lack of food did start getting to me after those first 24 hours though. I was overly aware of every little thing, the beeping behind me that initially fell into my subconscious became the only thing I could focus on. Every little movement of my body sent a minuscule echo of sound bouncing around my skull. It was around that time the throbbing in my side returned. What started as a mild ache eventually became the only physical sensation I noticed. It became a beacon of sensation that compiled with the beeping to piss me off. Everything was annoying, the way the ceiling looked, the faint buzz from the presumable monitor behind me, the way the ceiling was just barely lit, the fact my toes were just slightly cold, it was all so frustrating.
A craving began to emerge then, the desire to rip someone’s arm off, just cause that pain to someone, then eat it.
Around 36 hours, my attention shifted, every light flicker of light caused me to jump, everything just out of my line of sight was suddenly a person watching me. The tingle in my feet was someone dragging their fingers along them, I wanted to rip their throat out with my teeth. I tried to sleep, but my body was too alert, it wouldn’t allow it.
By day two, I was wide awake, I could feel the difference in time between each beep. It was no longer a sound, but a measurement of time. I could tell, it’d been approximately 173,000 beeps since I was locked in. The pain in my side was fire, I could feel the magma churning in a tiny spot on my right side. It wasn’t just a vague ache anymore, I could feel every nerve fiber that interacted with whatever the pain was coming from. A 3D model had formed in my head, it was like a worm wrapped around my intestine, as thick as a hose and about 6 inches long. With each pulse, I saw the worm grow just that much larger.
By hour 60, my vision had tinted red, the pain wasn’t a part of me anymore, I was pain. I couldn’t think anymore, I just needed food. I felt the chains strain against me, slowly bending as I pulled at them. I screamed and a metallic snap reverberated in the claustrophobic room. I screamed again yanking the other chain off. I tore the chain from under my neck when someone rushed in. He shoved me down, trying to hold me in place, but my body ran on instinct. I sat up with enough force to shove him back, immediately grabbing his wrist, pulling him in, and ripping a chunk out of his forearm.
The man screamed, stumbling back, giving me enough time to rip my legs free and yank out the catheter, a pain that somehow eclipsed all others at that moment. I jumped on the man, ripping chunk after chunk out of him. When he stopped moving, I took a moment to breathe, my vision clearing, and my brain easing up on adrenaline. I was able to think again, but despite my desire to cry, my brain wouldn’t allow it.
I stumbled to my feet, wiping the blood from my chin. Then I was on the ground, my head pressed against the linoleum floor. I tried lifting my head, but it was to no avail. The person flipped me onto my stomach, one arm behind my back giving me a chicken wing. I chuckled, the pain throughout my body already subsiding. He had both legs on the backs of my knees, but it took both arms to keep my right in check. So with my left, I grabbed his left arm at the elbow and yanked, it took a few more tries, but when his arm was loose enough, I freed my right, pushing myself as hard as I could, flipping him onto his back.
His cheekbones were sharp, and as each of my fists made their mark, it sent a shrill pain through my knuckles. But as fist met face over and over again, he fell unconscious.
With the pain still agitating my side, I took a few bites from the man. My human and vimpiristic minds at odds, but with each taste of human flesh, my humanity was persuaded just that much more. My body didn’t stop until my mind allowed it, and when I stood, the only sensation that didn’t feel right was my sleep deprivation.
I bolted out of the room, seeing a few doorways in a short hallway with an elevator at the end. I ran for it, but just as I got there to press the button, it opened, revealing two men with pistols waiting for me.
The banging deafened me, forcing me into the elevator. The guy on the right lost his gun as I slammed my fist down on his wrist, snapping it, the guy on my left grabbed me by the back of my neck, shoving me into the metal wall. He put a bullet through my tailbone, sending molten tungsten through every nerve fiber in my body. My vision flashed, then flickered, then went black momentarily.
When I came to, both the men were on the floor, throats ripped out, and I was laying between them, mostly unable to move. I twitched my finger and felt the metal fragments pushing out of my tailbone in slow motion. With each piece of metal, a new wave fried my nerves like thermite. Before I could stand, the elevator door dinged, opening. I pulled myself up with the railing when five prongs dug into my back, like were trying to grab my spine. I was yanked from the railing and thrown into the short hallway, one that looked identical to mine.
I looked over, staggering to my feet, it was a skinwalker, looked like a more traditional one, “God you’re weak, Jacob would mop the floor with you.”
The creature lunged at me, “I’m getting out of here!”
I put up a forearm, unable to dodge. He scraped down to the bone, but couldn’t break it. I grabbed him with my other arm, yanking him down and kneeing him in the face. He staggered, attempting to reorient, but I kicked him in the jaw, knocking him to the floor, jumping on top of him. I punched, my fist crunched into his face like a scarecrow. I kept going until he stopped moving.
I panted as I made my way back into the elevator, taking a few bites from one of the security guards for good measure, and hitting the “ground floor” button. I leaned against the railing, looking down at my arm, which is when I first noticed I was healing faster than usual. It wasn’t quite scabbed over, but the wounds were already about half their initial size. The elevator dinged and I readied for a fight.
After a few seconds, I took my first step out, then another. When I made it into the room, I looked around. Desks, computers, and monitors galore took up most of the room. The chairs were flung about, and nobody was around. Doublechecking my surroundings, I took off through one of the doors looking for anything to cover up.
Eventually, I came across a “personal belongings” hall that was really just a bunch of lockers like one you’d find in a school. They all had padlocks, but when I found mine, I yanked, a metal snapping bouncing off the walls. Everything I had on me when Scott knocked me out was in there, except my phone. “Better hope you never see me again shitstain,” I muttered, before getting dressed and running to find an exit.
After some searching, I made my way out, revealing I’d been in one of the few abandoned buildings in town. It was an old office complex that I remembered being open when I “moved in” but I couldn’t say for certain, the building looked about a month overdue for a power washing.
It was about a 5-minute jog to my house, and while the snow had melted some, there were still a few inches, and by the look of the clouds, that night it’d be coming down again. When I shut the door behind me, I hoped no one had seen the blood and called the cops, but it couldn’t be helped even if they did.
I took the most satisfying shower of my life, it felt like I hadn’t had one in a month, and as I scrubbed myself down, it felt like I was the grill boy scraping gunk into the grease traps. When I slipped on a fresh set of clothes and had a minute to take a breath, the exhaustion took hold. Surprisingly though, it only felt like I’d had a 14-hour shift… after not sleeping for a couple days. Either way, I knew I couldn’t fall asleep in my bed, everything about the town was fucked. I felt like if I fell asleep, I’d be waking up somewhere new and I’d have to escape again, I needed to get somewhere safe, somewhere I knew I could sleep without being captured. That was when the realization struck me, “The revolution.”
Part 25: https://www.reddit.com/Viidith22/comments/13yj6jh/my_roommate_is_slenderman_part_25_revised/