There is only one way to put it: Mellisan, she of deep decollete and sublime ensellure, bent your humble bard over a convenient washtub, yawned, and proceeded to shellac my non-stoneskinned hide from here to Mt. Rushmore.
She took my Scarlet Ninja-to and made ME see red. She use my hammer as a massage tool. She and her oiled men-at-arms insured that the first, middle, and last thing I tasted was dirt, soon to be heaped up on my grave (my body, of course, will be deposited in the coffin in stages as bits turn up in corners, under the carpet, and next to little-used ottomans).
I threw simulacrums at her. She ate. I threw golems at her. She crunched. I threw animated swords her way -- and like the circus freak she is every one disappeared down her throat. Steadfast, I followed up with skull traps; magic missles; black blades of my-very-own-disaster. Pierce magics were blunted. Desperate camoflogues were casually spotted and dispelled. I made many attempts to distance myself from her energetic conversations, but she would have none of it: her emissaries were sent hither and yon to drag me back to a painful, and ultimately fatal, face-to-face.
Listen, friends, to the sad tale of how my Bard -- ****y, proud, world-weary, confident -- was rendered not simply ineffectual; not simply wounded; rather thoroughly crushed after every strategem I could devise was rendered ineffectual. What is it that goeth before a fall? I bent over to pick up the apple, thinking nothing of it, and forgot to keep an eye out behind me...
OK. I was facing the final challenge. I had just whacked old ElRavager, and found that I had used up quite a few scrolls in the process. As I needed scrolls, had no end of money, I teleported myself back to that desert town where the scroll-seller lives. There, I bought plenty of simulacrums, wishes, limited wishes, absolute immunities, spell strikes, black blades of disaster, etc. Every cool 9th and 8th and 7th level spell there was. This cost a lot, and took some selling of various bits and peices, but it was worth it. I thought.
Back to my pocket plane. I grab every useful weapon there is (putting them in one of my bags-o-holding). I also grab various useful items like the cheetah necklace and the bracers-o-speed. I may have to resort to item-abilities, after all. Then I do something truly unusual: I switch my spells around some. I sleep. Then I read a scroll of spell trigger -- the good one. I select Tensor's, Mislead, Stoneskin. Never used this before. I slept again and got a 9th level contingency going, again Tensor's, Mislead, Stoneskin. I cast stoneskin. I slept one last time.
Then I really get freaky: I open my potion bag and start swilling all the stuff in there. Potions of power, clarity, strength, and last and certainly not least: Roger the Fence's potions of magic resistance. Those things are the bomb! After a few my MR was over 110%, and they last forever.
Ok then I continue on with normal spelling up, blur's, Immunity to divination/abjuration, improved haste, improved invisibility, spell trap, mirror image. I put on the Simulacrum helmet. I place Gate, MKSword, Healing potions in my quickslots. I step through the portal. On to the last battle!
After some dialogue I manage to pause it. I scout it out, looks like a big circle with 3 smaller circles with some bridges missing. My initial plan is to run out of visual and reconnoiter. So I take off, sprint. This Mellisan girls says something, and casts a bunch of true sights that don't get anywhere vs. spell immunity. Then she casts some summons, and before she's out of visual I see a bunch of monsters on crack running after me. Damn.
I spit off a simmy. He spits off a MKsword. I step back, but about 8 baddies descend and though invisible they know I'm there. I let simmy attack them and I run around some, but 1 or 2 always target me as well. Meantime Mellisan has crept up and is casting time stop. Time -- stops. She casts a bunch of true sights and some other stuff. As soon as time gets normal again I equip a Time Stop and read away. Time -- stops. But not for her, she is wandering around some. I run up and smack her, NO effect. Crom does nothing. I try flail of ages+5. She CAN be slowed...she CAN take elemental damage, some. I scroll back through about 100 lines of feedback. There it is: Mellisan casts stoneskin.
Ok looks like Mellisan is some sort of super-mage on acid. Simmy #1 is about to kick it, and I'm being attack by an elder orb. An anti-magic ray or two rocks my world. I grab a scroll of spell strike, equip it, and after simmy#1 dies I scroll off another. Simmy#2 promptly turns and spell strikes Mellisan. After this lovely stroke I wade in again and have about 3 rounds of pure pleasure: hit after hit does damage. Simmy#2 steps up as well. Then it gets crazy, monsters everywhere, Mellisan stonskins again. I circle out, equip a wand of pierce magic, and pop a few off. Simmy#2 is getting squelched. I circle him out as well, then after another PM we both plunge in. Mellisan went from slightly to injured. She is slowed. I'm getting hammered by orbs and level drained! -- I switched over to the necklace of power. What a nightmare! I circle out again, simmy#2 dies, I'm earthquaked suddenly and flying backwards. I shoot off an MK sword, a pit fiend. They take care of a few baddies. I use the wand again, then fly in after drinking a potion. Am I doing anything? I'm 50% red, and suddenly fell asleep in the middle of battle! Huh? Jeez, I wake up and all my summoned monsters are dead, I'm surrounded, I wand her AGAIN and just suck it up. If I'm going to go down, I'm going in style. Then I remember my little-used spell trigger. Dude! I trigger it. Bang I'm nasty again, hitting Mellisan and doing damage. But my stoneskin is dispelled and I'm blur-less. My AC is -10. Yuck. I take major damage from everything. I get to 25% and contingency goes off. I switch to Flail of Ages, slow her again, do more damage but it's over, I can't win, she's only at injured then amazingly, stunningly -- bang! -- she's up to some new tricks. She says she's going to chill a while! She disappears! And the monsters disappear!
Holy mackeral, thought I, how sweet is that? Looks like I made it so far. One of the outlying circles sprouted a rainbow bridge. I pop off ANOTHER simmy, my second to last scroll, and we spell up again since it is mercifully calm. Then we cross bifrost, and some lusciously lame air elemental types attack. Whew! Much easier. Some simple cromming and it's all over. However, once things are calm again, and I am able to "turn the circle" I decide against it. I scout around some more. I prepare myself. I choose a bunch of peirce magics and stuff like that. I cast wish and choose "act like I've just slept" option to restore some of my spells. But my trigger is gone; my contingency gone; a lot of scrolls gone. Not good. Simmy is about half-gone, time-wise. There is nothing else to do but get ready. I summon some monsters; elementals, shambling bounds from some druid staff, a golemn, etc. I spell up totally, have three immunities running. Then I turn the handle. Mellisan appears in the same spot as last time, mouthing off, and summoning more nasties. My nasties attack her/her nasties. It is not pretty. I shoot off anti-magic stuff against her. Some effect. I close and do some damage but...not enough. My monsters are being massacred. I'm gettnig screen-shaken by some earthquakes. My vaunted spells are being dispelled somehow...somehow. Soon I'm at AC-10 again, and the shambling mound turns into a compost heap. I run away, away, away. I equip the Staff of the Arch-Cheese and try inviso, while running, and protection from evil, and help. help. Help! I try to cast a stoneskin and I fail, must be some kind of miscast magic. I circle but Mellisan is stalking, doing some sort of "arms akimbo" dance and twirling around irritatingly. There is only so much running one can do. I go through my items, and swap out and use their abilities -- improved speed, a weak stoneskin. I make a big suckngn sound, read a scroll of black blade of disaster -- run more, read a scroll of bigby's hand -- run more, read a scroll of X where X is a scroll still remaining in my backpack. Then, helpless, tired of runnnig, I kamikaze into the wench herself, chopping with all my might.
Oh the memory! It is too painful to recall. How absurd, how wretched! How ineffectual! Did I even damage her, was she even hurt by my little run? Who was it that threw the last punch, took me negative? I'd like to think it was she herself, not a wretched minion...then the death screen appeared...first time since I began at level 8, Irenicus' prison, that I died from low HP's, from anything other than a maze spell in Watcher's Keep...sigh.
However, my little guy had done his work. I now knew what I was up against, and had plenty of time to scheme about the best way to defeat her. I wasn't going to give up.
Things I learned: it was a three stage battle, there were three outlying cicles, and she returned after I turned a wheel. Each time she was mean and nasty. Also, after using the flail of ages and noticing the "has no effect, has no effect, Mellisan takes +2 damage, no effect" that, by counting which flail head it was that damages her even through stoneskin, you can ferret out a "weakness." Turns out to be poison. She takes full damage from poison, immune it looks like to other elements or weapons less than +4. Maybe +5 I didn't check. A quick run through the inventory found lots of great weapons doing extra fire/cold/acid etc. but hardly ANY poison damage. Flail of Ages wins again.
I slept on the problem of Mellisan. When I woke up I had figured out two ways to whack her, 1) demigorgonize her, 2) spellstrike her. Strategy number once involved the following: defeat her intial form using a simmy to cast 2 spellstrikes from scrolls about 5 rounds apart. In the mean time we are both beating on her with flail of ages/crom F off hand. After her intitial manifestation is dead, simmy lays down all the spike traps he has at he spot where she will reappear. Simmy goes over and kills the monsters around the portal. I wait for simmy to fade away, then mop up some and prepare myself. I spit off another simmy with two more spell strikes, have him lay down spike traps, turn the portal, Mellisan is hurt, spellstrike, flail -- she is down. Repeat 2 more times.
Strategy number two involved every above except no traps. Evey time she appears we just bum-rush her after casting a spell strike. She takes damage immediately. I'm hasted and doing 4 attacks/round, so is simmy, she can't last more than 4-5 rounds. The key is ignoring all the summoned creatures which will disappear, and also timing the spell strikes.
So I did the following, round two: got as many project image/simulacrum scrolls I could (because Project Images can set traps too!). What I used was this: 2 spell strikes, 4 simmy, 3 project image, simmy helm.
As before I went nuts doing preparation stuff, drinknig potions, etc. This time I had about 6 spell immunities though in my spell book; 1 abjuration, 1 divination should get me through each battle with Mellisan.
I stepped through the portal spelled to the gills, plus tensor's. As soon as I saw Mellisan I simmy'ed using the simmy helm. Simmy cast spell strike, etc. She died in about 7 rounds ater the second spellstrike 4 rounds in. Then I did what I outlined above. Placed some traps, killed some elementals, more traps, then the big moment! I turned the wheel!
BANG. Mellisan takes 70, 60, 70 damage from traps. I mop her up, get to the next elemental circle.
Traps hurt her.
End of battle.
After the second battle I burn 3 wish scrolls until I get the "act like I just slept" option. New spells, new item abilities, etc. But it's overkill -- and this message has gone on too long.
Mellisan went down time and again from correctly-placed traps. End of TOB.
Fun battle, very strategic. I MAY have been able to kill her anyway without traps using the bum-rush + Spell strike strategy, but...why bother. My piddling little Bard is done - as am I.
I gotta get some REAL work done! Enough game playing!