Act 5: Prison of Ice Details
- Quest Name: Prison of Ice
- Triggered by: Entering Arreat Plateau (surface area #3)
- Given by: Malah
- Location: Frozen River
- Rewards: +10 to all resistance, Rare (usually) class-specific item
- Quest Priority: Not mandatory, but very nice rewards.
Malah has an important task for you. She reveals that Anya, the daughter of one of the slain leaders, has gone missing. Anya is a strong and clever woman who possesses a unique spirit. Malah suspects that Nihlathak, who had a heated argument with Anya about her father’s death, is responsible for her disappearance. She urges you to find Anya and bring her back to uncover the truth about Nihlathak’s involvement.
Upon reaching the Frozen River and returning to town, the NPCs express their suspicion towards Nihlathak, referring to him as a “snake” who has eluded their grasp. Although Nihlathak has been gone since you started the second quest, this only strengthens the belief that he is connected to Anya’s vanishing act.
Eventually, you locate Anya and discover that Nihlathak is indeed responsible for her predicament. Anya instructs you to inform Malah about what happened to her. When you return to town, Malah eagerly awaits your report and provides you with a thawing potion that she prepared.
After clicking on Anya, a massive plume of blueish-white smoke erupts, revealing her emergence. She casts a town portal and disappears. It is crucial to speak to both Malah and Anya upon your return to town, as they both reward you generously for your assistance. Therefore, completing this quest is highly recommended, not only for the rewards but also to progress in the Act.
An additional benefit of rescuing Anya is the restoration of the gambling option. Without her presence, Nihlathak is the only NPC who allows gambling in Act Five, but he vanishes soon after. With Anya back in town, you regain the ability to gamble and purchase throwing potions.
Before entering the red portal opened by Anya for Quest Four, make sure to find the Crystalline Passage Waypoint or even proceed to find the Frozen Tundra Waypoint. This is crucial because there is no waypoint in the Frozen River. If you fail to find the Crystalline Passage Waypoint before going down, you will likely end up returning to town and embarking on Quest Four. When you portal back from the dungeon, you will face a long walk from the Arreat Plateau waypoint through the Crystalline Passageway back to your previous location. Similar to Act One, where finding the Dark Wood Waypoint before returning to town with the Scroll of Inifus is essential, this precaution will save you from having to clear the area again in the next game.
Malah: There is a matter which I hesitate to share, but I believe you are the only one who can help me now.
Anya, the young alchemist and daughter to one of our slain leaders, has been missing for some time. She is a strong, crafty woman with a spirit like no other.
One night, just before your arrival, I overheard her and Nihlathak arguing about her father’s death. The next morning she was gone.
Nihlathak has his own tale as to where she went and why. Don’t believe him! I fear he is at the root of her disappearance.
Please, if you can, search for Anya and bring her back to us. She’ll know what to do about Nihlathak.
Deckard Cain: I would listen to Malah. Nihlathak speaks with a venomous tongue and acts as if the entire weight of this town rests upon his shoulders.
Perhaps there is more going on here than we know.
Larzuk: Anya is an amazing alchemist, especially for her young age. As long as I’ve known her, she’s never let anything stop her from pursuing what she believed in.
I wouldn’t doubt that Nihlathak is involved. Ever since her father died, they haven’t gotten along.
Malah: When you talk to Nihlathak, be careful. There is no telling what he will say or do.
Nihlathak: Anya! Who have you been talking to? Likely it was that meddling Malah.
Well, I’ll tell you what really happened. Anya came to me for guidance, after receiving a vision that her mother and younger brother were trapped in the lands beyond the Ice Caves. She had decided to go rescue them.
I told her that her quest was a foolish one and that she would be safer staying within the city walls. However, she is a willful girl and would not listen to me.
The next morning, she was gone. No one is more distraught than I over losing her.
However, if you feel the need to be Malah’s errand child, I won’t try to stop you.
Qual-Kehk: Anya’s father, Aust, was our wisest Elder. He was killed along with the other Elders who erected the ward that protects this city. The ward has kept Baal’s demons out of Harrogath, but at a costly sacrifice.
Nihlathak, on the other hand, was the only Elder to escape the demons. Somehow, he alone managed to find sanctuary, while the others died around him.
Ever since that day, Nihlathak and Anya have been at odds.
Deckard Cain: Nihlathak’s story does sound reasonable, considering what I’ve heard about Anya. However, the best lies are often hidden within truth.
Larzuk: As the daughter of Elder Aust, Anya is the only person, besides Nihlathak, who has any real knowledge of Mount Arreat’s secrets. I’d hate to see our fate in the hands of Nihlathak alone.
Malah: If it were anyone else, I would assume her dead. However, Anya is not so easily beaten. I know she must be alive.
Nihlathak: Look, I’ve told you! She’s dead! If you knew what was good for you, you’d concentrate your efforts on saving Harrogath — not on lost causes like Anya.
Qual-Kehk: It seems like everyone feels Nihlathak played a part in Anya’s disappearance.
Why would he do such a thing?
Return (after finding Anya)
Anya: Hero. Nihlathak did this to me!
If you’ve come to help me, my only hope lies with Malah.
Please…Tell her you’ve found me…
Anya (after rescue): Meet me in town! Hurry!
Deckard Cain: Goodness! Anya frozen by that fallen Barbarian, Nihlathak…Perhaps Malah can help you where I cannot.
Larzuk: Poor Anya! I should’ve known Nihlathak was a traitor…
If you find him alive, kill him for me!
Malah: So! That snake Nihlathak was behind Anya’s disappearance…and he trapped her with a freezing curse.
Here. Take this potion to Anya and give it to her. That should release her.
Qual-Kehk: The snake has slipped our grasp! While you were gone, Nihlathak disappeared.
I’ll bet Anya knows how to track him down.
Anya: Thank you, hero, for rescuing me.
To show my personal gratitude, I give you this. I had it custom-made for you by Larzuk.
Deckard Cain: For one so young, Anya commands great respect. Now that she is here, I will make it a point to talk to her about Mount Arreat.
You should do the same.
Larzuk: I never liked Nihlathak, but I never suspected that he’d betray us! I just can’t understand how an Elder could do such a thing.
Malah: Thank you so much for bringing Anya back to us. I have devised this spell to increase your resistances as a token of my thanks. I know it isn’t much, but I hope you find it helpful.
Please go talk to Anya. She has urgent news concerning Nihlathak.
Qual-Kehk: Your rescue of Anya was quite an accomplishment.