Lut Gholein celebrated.

The heroes strode into town, eyes blazing it triumph as they humbly welcomed the gratitude of the town. The prince himself came out of his newly de-demoned palace to congratulate the heroes.

For today, Duriel, the Lord of Pain, has fallen in mortal combat. The heroes strode upon his ignoble corpse and announced their triumph to the wonder of the trade city.

It made Duane of Skelgard sick, although most of his comrades assumed it was because he himself wasn't one of the heroes being celebrated.

"Not that any of us are, really," Sasha quipped.

Niklaus nodded. As he watched the band of Paladin march down the road. Simon and his band had slain Adthck, but the Greater Demon didn't seem quite as threatening as Duriel, who was much more reknowned and feared than his favored disciple.

Given the choice, Sasha would have preferred Duriel.

"Well, he's not the brightest," she explained, "and besides, Duriel didn't have half the offensive abilities Adthck did. All Duriel can really do is the whole battering ram thing, and even there Adthck had him outclassed."

"So Duriel was a pushover?"

"I wouldn't say that, but Adthck would have been his superior if he had been made first."

"Ah."

Niklaus excused himself and made his way towards the blacksmith shops. Finding Fara's he made his way in and soon found the blacksmith over her forge.

Silence lay disassembled on a nearby table, the ruined blade set aside.

"You should be out with the other's celebrating the defeat of Duriel," she said with a small smile.

"And what about you, former Protector?"

"I've had my fill of adventures and cheering. I'm happiest here. But you're more interested in Silence, I'll wager."

"I don't mean to offend..." Niklaus began.

"Don't apologize, I can hardly blame you. It's a fine sword."

"Can it be repaired?"

"Oh yes, but it will be hard to find the alloys and materials. I'll have to order it from the smithies in Kurast, but I hear they're on hard times. If it's true that Diablo is attempting to free his brother, he will journey there to do so."

"Then Silence will have to wait for our heroes to free up the trade routes."

"You won't accompany them?"

"Duane plans to. My journey lays elsewhere."

"Where?"

"Yeah, where? What happened to killing demons and all that for the Light?" Sasha inquired.

"And can you honestly say you have the same passion for killing all of the Light's creatures?" Niklaus replied.

"...that's beside the point."

"Is it?"

Sasha paused. "Y'know, this world does have some appeal. Sex is very interesting for guys."

"Maybe we should spend some time getting used to ourself for a while before we go worrying about anyone else. Right now I hear rumors about something new arising in Westmarch. And it'd be nice to see forests again."

Niklaus smiled at the once-paladin. "When it's ready send it to the Rogue Monastery. They're expecting it."

"I never send weapons of this quality away, it's too unlikely they go astray. I'll send word there when it's ready and you can come here for it."

Fin.

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Author's notes

Gosh, that was an abrupt ending, it doesn't make much sense for the character, but at this point there is enough stuff about this story that I want to revamp anyway.

Okay, so that's a real rough draft of the Niklaus Saga. And looking back over it, I really regret not writing out a more concrete storyline.

Also, looking back, I'd make a few changes.

First off, leave everything in Westmarch. I feel a lot more comfortable writing in a temperate climate instead of a desert climate. I'm weird.

Second off, leave off some of the other characters, including Simon and Math. I had a few problems with them, one of which being I didn't know what kind of character they were. With Niklaus the idea was to have someone who'd just had his world turned upside down and was trying to cope. I think I had mixed success and he ended up reacting to life much the same way I would have (without all the demons and walking dead, of course). Ulfgar was easy: a big jovial guy who liked food, women and killing things.

Sarah was a little different, and there I think I kinda screwed up. Originally she was there to get killed in Kurast ('cos in the first draft I'd gotten attached to all the rest). There was gonna be a romance between her and Nik, yet it would be unrequited, kind of like a Romeo and Juliet but where Romeo didn't nix himself afterwards.

It didn't work. I found it awkward to write, and the drafts I wrote (I generally go through about four to five per chapter) sucked. Not so much in that they weren't well written IMHO, but that they ran counter to the mood I was trying to create.

See, when this started it was your typical diablo fic with all the character classes marching off to death and glory against a lizard with halitosis a la PLBoD. I thought I'd do something different and make it light-hearted, to counterpoint the dour mood of the game itself.

After a while I realized that the idea of following the storyline sucked. For whatever reason, I had trouble keeping the humorous tone I like to write and it got bogged down.

So I scrapped the diablo storyline and went for my own.

The only problem was that I was about halfway through writing this thing and I didn't want to rewrite all of it. I'm lazy, deal. :P

So I'm eventually going to rewrite this thing from the beginning, and after that I'm going to give everyone their own saga.

Including Duane of Skelgard. Pardon me while I laugh evilly at the hapless Paladin.

Finally, I'd like to thank everyone who reviewed. As corny as this sounds (some wine with my cheese?) everyone's reviews kept this story afloat.

Hopefully, the rewrite will be worth the wait.