Go through the door behind the wounded man. There is a waypoint here, in case you want to go back to town for anything. When you are ready to proceed, head down the stairs and enter the Halls of Agony Level one. Here you will fight a unique enemy known as a Cultist Dark Inquisitor; a Dark Summoner Boss with more health and power than a regular Dark Summoner.
There are new types of undead monsters on this level, including Bloated Corpses and Disentombed Hulks. There are many torture tools, torture rooms, and a lot of blood on the floor, evidence of the cruel torture that takes place here.
As you delve deeper into this dungeon, you will eventually come across an Iron Maiden spawning Voracious Zombies. Destroy the Iron Maiden as quickly as possible to stop it from producing these zombies. There are also more Dark Vessels around here that transform into demons known as Unholy Thralls if you fail to eliminate them quickly enough.
Don’t neglect the opportunity to use the surrounding environment to aid you in battle. There are many traps, such as spike traps, spread throughout the Halls of Agony. If you lure monsters underneath these traps, you can activate them and take out large groups of enemies simultaneously.
As you delve deeper into the Halls of Agony, watch out for the giant cleaver traps, and plan your approach carefully so as to avoid get cut to ribbons by the huge blades. Inferno Zombies climb out of fire pits to attack you, so be careful not to wander to close to the traps when you’re battling those.
Soon you will reach a Rusty Door. Open it and enter a room that contains a Musty Lecturn. Interact with it to receive the story item Leoric’s Journal part 4. Step through another door and go towards the blinking quest marker. There will be one last group of enemies standing between you and the exit from this dungeon level. Eliminate them and enter Halls of Agony Level 2.
Be prepared for an attack by several groups of monsters at the beginning of this level. We suggest that you take the time to explore this level thoroughly before taking the exit to the Highlands Passage. Upon close examination of the torture rooms, you will find chests and torture tool racks containing loot. For those of you who are interested in the story, there is a Lectern on this level that contains Leoric’s Journal part 5. There is also a waypoint around here somewhere that you can use to return to town and resupply if you need to. Most importantly, there is an event quest that can be initiated here. As you move around, you will suddenly hear a cry for help:
Merhan: “Help me, I’m trapped! In Here! in the Iron Maiden!”
This begins the side quest: A Stranger in Need.
When you are done with the Halls of Agony Level 2, take the exit to the Highlands Passage.
Cross a stone bridge. There are enemies waiting for you on the other side of the bridge, including Dark Moon Clan Warriors, Dark Cultists, and Dark Berserkers. There is also an NPC merchant hanging around here by the name of Hadek the Fence, who could stock some good magical and rare items, so be sure to check his inventory. When you are done, go down some stairs and past another bridge to enter the Cursed Hold.
You should now speak to Queen Asylla, who can be found standing inside the hold near the entrance.
Queen Asylla: “I am Asylla – Once queen to our beloved Leoric. My servants and I were consumed by his madness. Now, I give you my blessing, champion, to release my people from their eternal torment.”
Your objective now is to free the six Prisoners’ Remains in the Cursed Hold below the Highlands Passage. The quest log will show you how many prisoner’s remains you have freed. But first, go inside a small chamber next to where Queen Asylla was standing. Search the Queen’s chest next to her bed to find a green story item: Queen Asylla’s Journal. Now enter the main area of the Hold, where you will find many jail cells. Break open all the cell doors and search each of the cells for the prisoners’ remains.
Enemies you’ll encounter here include returned executioners, undead horrors, savage fiends, tortured summoners, jailed deserters, and jailed poachers. This prison is quiet big, and there are many cells, so it might take you a while to locate all the prisoners’ remains. Interact with each of the remains in order to free them. As you free each one, you hear the threatening voice of a furious warden who is not impressed by your actions.
After you have freed all six prisoners, Queen Asylla will appear and thank you for freeing her servants. The curse over this place remains, however. She asks you to seek out the Warden at the prison’s center and put an end to his evil forever.
Go and confront the elite boss: The Warden, Head Jailer of King Leoric. He will perform the following attacks on you: Mace Swing, Knockback Slam. Savage Fiends will join the battle and aid the Warden in attacking you. Focus your attacks exclusively on the Warden and let any followers you have deal with the fiends, who are a good source of health globes. Strike the Warden and then back off quickly to avoid his mace attack. He has a lot of health so this fight can take a while.
After killing the Warden, gather all the loot and make your way to the exit, which should be towards the back of the prison. Use the yellow blinking circle on the mini-map to guide you.
You will be fighting some more Tortured Summoners, Jailed Poachers, and Returned Executioners as you make your way off of this level of the dungeon.
In the very last parts of this prison, you will encounter a large group of Savage Fiends. Area of effect attacks or spells work very well here. Before you descend a flight of stairs leading you to the exit, open a Rusty Door at the top. You see the scene of Queen Asylla being executed, recreated by some spirits:
Lazarus’ Ghost: “My lord, the prisoner is ready, as you requested.”
King Leoric’s Ghost: “Thank you, Lazarus. Your loyalty is invaluable in the midst of all these traitors. And you, my dear, my own wife and queen, conspiring against our kingdom…”
Queen Asylla: “My love, I swear I have never betrayed you…”
Lazarus’ Ghost: “Lies until the very end.”
After the scene fades, pick up a green item that you will see lying on the ground and make your way down the stairs and enter the Halls of Agony Level 3.
You will face Dark Berserkers and Dark Cultists at the beginning of this dungeon level, and later you will run into Dark Summoners, Dark Vessels, Unholy Thralls, Dark Hellions, Vicious Hellions, and Inferno Zombies. Search Torture Barrels and Sacrificial Heads for loot. There’s also a chest or two to be found in this dungeon. You will also come across a Musty Lecturn in one of the corridors that yields a green lore item.
Make your way to the back of the Dungeon and enter the Chamber of Suffering. A cut-scene unfolds:
Maghda: “Leah must be back in Tristram, crying over the old man’s corpse. She’ll soon have another one to cry over – yours. Meet – The Butcher.”
With 5,000 hit points, The Butcher is a difficult boss to defeat. He uses the Melee, Smash, Frenzy and Grappling Hook attacks/abilities against you. Your character should be at least level 12 for this battle; ideally level 13 or above. If you are lower than level 13 and you keep getting killed trying to do this, you should head back to previous areas and kill monsters until you reach level 13 or 14. Or you can get a friend to help you.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that during this battle certain parts of the floor will erupt in flames that can damage your character.
Unlike the Skeleton King, the Butcher does not summon minions to help him. While this sounds like an advantage, it actually isn’t, because minions summoned by bosses are usually sources of red health globes, but there are none of those during this fight. There are two healing wells in the upper corner of the chamber, but they dry out after being used and take time to replenish.
You should therefore make good use of your healing potions, and possibly the health spell and regeneration ability of the Templar. The Templar is a more useful follower to have with you in this fight for that reason, so if you are having difficulties defeating the Butcher with the Scoundrel as your follower, you might want to return to town and pick up the Templar.
The first thing to do is avoid the flaming eruptions from the floor that will cause you to lose critical health; every ounce of health is important during this battle. When a section of the floor is going to erupt it will turn reddish and continue to do so for a couple of seconds until the fire bursts. When you see the section of floor you’re standing on start to glow, move to a different tile immediately.
Be sure to also avoid the Butcher’s cone attack, which is when he shoots his grappling chain across a wide area. Another move with his grappling hook is when he catches you and pulls you over next to him so he can strike you with a melee attack. When he glows orange, he is preparing to execute a special frenzy attack in which he knocks you back then sprints and charges towards you for a devastating strike.
All classes: Stay constantly on the move throughout the battle and do everything possible to evade the attacks mentioned above. Make use of the healing wells at the top of the room and your healing potions.
Barbarians: Use Bash, Hammer of the Ancients and Leap Attacks with hit and run strategies. Draw back when the Butcher is carrying out his melee attacks. Lose Pound of Flesh as it is of no use here, and instead take Nerves of Steel as your passive.
Wizards: Stay on the run, avoid the Butcher’s melee attacks and grappling hook chains, and don’t get caught by the flames beneath you. Use your basic magic missile attack, as well as the Ray of Frost, as the Butcher is vulnerable to cold damage. Have Blur in your loadout as a passive skill, as it will be of some help if you get stunned and attacked in melee. Diamond Skin should be equipped to your defensive action bar for when you are in danger.
Witch Doctors: Ditch the Corpse Spiders and the Toads, which are not helpful in this battle. Equip poison darts with the Splinter Runes instead, and use that as your primary attack, shooting them when you stop motion for a split second. You can deploy Zombie Chargers and Zombie Dogs from time to time to distract the Butcher and buy you valuable seconds. Be aware, however, that Zombie Dogs will not survive very long in this battle, so they are put to better use in conjunction with the Sacrifice Skill. Use Sacrifice as soon as the Zombie Dogs get close to the Butcher. If you do not use it immediately, the Zombie Dogs will be dead and it will be too late.
Monks: Fists of Thunder should be your primary attack, with Lashing Tail kick your secondary attack to knock the Butcher back and give you some breathing room. Fleet Footed is crucial as your passive skill, since you will be running about a lot to evade the Butcher and the erupting floor throughout the battle.
Demon Hunters: Bola Shot is a very good skill to have as your primary for this battle, accompanied with Impale, which always comes in handy during Boss Fights. Caltrops are effective at slowing the Butcher down, and Vault will help you while you are running about. Complement these with Tactical Advantage as the passive skill as that will make you even more evasive.
Stay composed and follow these instructions and the Butcher will eventually fall before you.
Head north through the corridor and take the exit into the Cells of the Condemned. Follow the trail of blood down the stairs. You see cultists and members of the coven performing some sort of ritual on the amnesiac stranger. You will be attacked by Dark Ritualists, Dark Berserkers, Dark Cultists, and Dark Wizards. Dispatch all the enemies and then speak to the stranger. He says he is dying. When you return his sword to him he regains his memory. His name is Tyrael. He was an archangel of the High Heavens; he was the embodiment of justice.
The current quest is now completed. Talk to Tyrael again. He now remembers the warning that he came to deliver: Belial and Azmodan, the last Lords of Hell, are unleashing a tide of darkness that will drown this world. Already, Belial’s shadow has crept upon Caldeum. We must move quickly. Let us return to Tristram to make ready.
Tyrael opens a portal to New Tristram. Follow him in, then talk to him again back at the town. He tells you that time grows short. Belial’s influence is spreading through Caldeum. He believes that Maghda and her coven will lead you straight to Belial. Leah does not want to go anywhere until her uncle Deckard has been laid to rest, so she will not be joining you as a follower.
Tyrael tells you that he has called for a caravan to guide you to the east. Speak to the caravan master when you are ready to depart. You should finish any exploring or other unfinished business around New Tristram before leaving. Your followers (Templar and Scoundrel), and Blacksmith travel with you. You will be asked: “Do you wish to travel to the next act?”. Once you’re sure you’re ready, speak with the Caravan Leader and choose to proceed.
This concludes Act I of Diablo 3.