Into the Slums, where I was fighting a rare snake when I noticed some of my minions had the Blind icon. Turns out that Wiraqucha was around a corner and had drawn off some of the horde. Something weird happened where he got stuck and wasn't moving, and I wasn't going to complain about it...tossed raging spirits at him until he died. Found Clarissa and killed the guards without difficulty, then into the Crematorium.
All the fire, all the time. Lots of zombie charcoal thanks to many spawns of those fire-bomber guys. Once I revived a couple of them, things went quicker, since mine were giving better than they got thanks to LMP and Fire Penetration. Found Piety without seeing an Invasion boss, and had no trouble with her...even reduced her HP down to zero before she ported away, which is always amusing. Quest reward: Clarity. Going to keep it at level 2 for now, and see how the mana holds up.
Slums Sewers were filled with poison bomb throwers, of course. The horde pretty much held its own until I hit a room with a rare and his friends plus Thena Moga. She casts Vulnerability, so that was a recipe for disaster. Ran away to resummon and she followed me, which worked out well since the minions ate her in short order, then it was easy enough to go back and clear the rare guy. Also came across Evocata Apocalyptica, who soon had a half dozen totems out and was casting Firestorm, so I decided to retreat and come back with a full horde. When I did, she was dead...apparently the minions had eaten her brain but the totems had stuck around a while after she died. Found the bust and headed onward.
Warehouse Sewers started off with Grath, fortunately without too many other monsters around to block the minions. Killed him off quickly, found the bust and the waypoint, and moved on. The Warehouses were equally quick, no Invasion boss spotted, but I did take a brief side trip into a Blind Alley corrupted zone (shocked ground, 12% elemental reflect). M'gaska, the Living Pyre was an interesting fight...the horde wasn't able to stay out his flameblast so it was basically my raging spirits against his. Had to run away several times to recover and summon more minions for his raging spirits to target, but eventually wore him down. Sacrifice at Dusk again, that's four if you're counting. And I am counting, because there's nothing else worthwhile to do with them.
Rolled through the Marketplace to the waypoint, killing Marceus the Defaced on the way. Found the sewers next, and made my way through to the stash room for the bust. Hit 52 along the way. Saw Mother of the Hive but left her alone, since it takes so long to kill her with all those invincible children distracting my minions.
Skill points from the quest and level went to finish out the Gravepact cluster except for the 10% Minion Life node, which I can get later.
Back to the Marketplace and onward to the Battlefront; was fortunate enough to spot the Ornate Chest along the way, so I won't have to come back later. Once in the Battlefront, headed northeast to revive me some Flame Sentinels. One of the rare instances where I appreciate having invading monsters, as it's quicker to find those in this zone than having to go into the Solaris Temple. Spotted a Neglected Cellar corrupted area, but I want no part of Rima Deep Temptress and her crazy AoE traps and ice storm. Went back and found the waypoint and Ribbon Spool, then headed for the Docks. Killed Grath on the way.
Rolled through the docks like...well, like a horde of the unstoppable undead. Even took out the Guardian of the Mound, who killed three zombies with one totem and a few storm calls, but got mulched before he could go crazy with the AoEs. I think the spawn location helped, as he was at the bottom of some stairs, and so there was a natural firebreak against his fireball totem. Got the sulfite, said hello to Fairgraves, and grabbed the waypoint.
Found a slightly better shield with better life, evasion rating, and block chance, plus 14% to all elemental resists. It's not 3-linked, but I'm not using all three links in the shield right now anyway. Since I'm using the weapon switch to Queen's Decree when summoning (credit to Braunar, that was a good idea), I don't want anything in the shield that will turn off when I swap, so all I have in there right now is Convocation.
Back to the Battlefront waypoint and onward to the Solaris Temple. Level 1 was full of invading archer statues, not particularly dangerous but annoying with all the ice arrow frozen ground. Killed off the Voltaic Seal, Infernal Seal, and Grath as I roamed the halls looking for the stairs. Finally found it and moved on to level 2, where there were more invading statues as well as a lot more Flame Sentinels. They're dangerous in groups, but if you can get Enfeeble on them, the fireballs are a lot more manageable. Hit level 53 and started in on the Grave Consequences node cluster. Killed off Glassmaul, who has apparently learned Warlord's Mark, and the Goddess of Purity. Found a Sacred Chamber corrupted zone (12% elemental reflect) and cleared it. The Shadow of Vengeance is fairly easy as long as you get minions close to him so he won't summon a ton of animated weapons. Vaal drop was...wait for it...Sacrifice at Dusk! Number 5. Got a useless amulet and the Talc from Dialla.
The RNG obviously felt bad for me after giving up yet another Sacrifice at Dusk, so it also dropped my first 6-socket item and a Desecrate. Oh happy day, corpses on demand! Won't use it in battle, because I don't have a spot on my skill bar for it, and I haven't noticed lack of corpses being an issue. But I will definitely use it to get Flame Sentinel corpses at the Solaris level 2 waypoint whenever I first log in.
Went down to the Sewer Waterway and headed over to grab the Battlefront waypoint. Lots of poison bombs, so took it slow and resummoned zombies as they died. Found the Mother of the Swarm in a side passage and let the horde destroy her; I did little other than cursing her and tossing a few spirits in, as they pretty much did the job themselves.
Docks farm time again. Did 3 runs to get to level 54, 5 runs to 55, and 4 runs to 56. Plus a Stagnant Canal corrupted area (monsters cannot be stunned) during that last run; normally I'd skip that but my last couple of encounters with Wiraqucha went OK, so I figured it was workable. Once I cleared the voidbearers out, he didn't take too long to take down, with me staying well back and throwing spirits into the smoke while the horde kept all the snakes busy. Vaal item was Sacrifice at Dawn, bleh. Notable encounters during the Docks runs:
Harbinger of Elements (twice): First time spawned with some voidbearers that had to be taken down first. Second time was pretty much alone. Both easy kills.
Evocata Apocalyptica: Ugly fight that needed multiple resummons. Two rares, about a dozen other monsters, and Evocata all on the same screen. Once most of them were down, I was able to hide behind a crate out of the totems' line of sight and use the skeleton totem and spirits to finish off the last rare and Evocata.
The Book Burner: Mainly just dodged his Lightning Warp and the whirlwinds while the horde took care of him. Contributed a few raging spirits when it was safe.
Mother of the Swarm: Hid around a corner and let the skeletons and raging spirits take her down. She killed the zombies quickly enough, but the totem kept enough skeletons going to keep her distracted while the spirits fried her.
Coniraya, Shadow of Malice: Spawned in an odd location with him at the bottom of some stairs but his accompanying dudes at the top. Pulled everything away from him and killed them, then took him out with a lot of raging spirits while the horde kept his attention. Even alone, he still wiped out half the zombies with that lightning Rain of Arrows attack.
Corrector Draconides: Tough fight that ended with the entire horde wiped out, spectres and all, but the raging spirit damage did him in.
Orra Greengate: Not much of a threat once I got Enfeeble on her. Her Rain of Arrow seemed pretty wimpy after seeing Coniraya.
Konu, Maker of Wind: The most dangerous skill he has is Molten Shell, so I stayed well out of range. Had to run a couple of times when he jumped at me, but otherwise an easy battle.
Droolscar: He didn't do much but cast Desecrate a few times. Probably confused by the horde, who took him down pretty quickly.
Sheaq, Maker of Floods: He spawned in an odd location directly behind the sulfite cart. All the surrounding monsters died at the top of the stairs, but he hung back, so I was able to send the horde in to meet him. Only killed one zombie before they had him down.
Decided it was time to respec out of Minion Instability, as the horde survives most things now and does a goodly amount of damage. When stuff does die, it's usually to some ugly AoE that kills things at range anyway, where the explosions won't matter much. I'd rather have them dealing damage until the bitter end than dying at low life. Also picked up a couple of those life/mana nodes since I've been running short on mana more than I'd like...levelled Clarity to 3 also. Here's the current tree
Found my first couple of Cartographer's Chisels during the Docks runs, and a goodly amount of other currency, though nothing earthshakingly good. No items worth mentioning.