Prison of Ice is a quest in Act 5. Not mandatory, but very nice rewards.
|Given:||Given by Malah or get within range of Anya in the area known as the Frozen River.|
|Triggered By:||Entering Arreat Plateau (surface area #3)|
|Tips:||Find and search the Frozen River.|
|Description:||Anya, a young alchemist and daughter to one of our slain elders, has disappeared. She is a strong crafty woman with a spirit like no others, except for maybe your own. One night just before your arrival Malah saw her and Nihlathak arguing about something. The next morning she was gone.
Nihlathak has his own stories as to where she went, but Malah fears he is hiding something, something Anya knows about.
Find Anya and bring her back to Harrogath. If something is wrong with Nihlathak, she’ll know what to do.
|Rewards:||+10 to all resistance, Rare (usually) class-specific item.
From Malah you get a scroll that permanently adds +10% to all of your resistances. Do this on all three difficulties and you will have +30% to all, making up most of the increased resistance penalty in the Expansion. Like the other +quest items (potion of life, book of skills) you can only get this reward once per difficulty level, so don’t bother trying to mule the scroll or get two of them.
In addition to the resistance scroll from Malah, Anya gives you a Rare, class-specific item for your character class. A sorceress gets a Rare orb, a Druid a rare animal pelt, etc. The Amazon gets either a Javelin, Spear, or Bow, but it’s not tied to what you are using, so good luck with that.
Another benefit to rescuing Anya is that you can now gamble again. Nihlathak lets you gamble when you first reach Act Five, but he vanishes soon after and you have no way to gamble until you bring Anya back. (You can take a waypoint to a different act to gamble, if you can’t wait for Anya.) You also need Anya to buy throwing potions from.
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If you’re hurting for resistances, this quest from Malah is an important one. After completing the last quest, you can start this one. All you need to do is head past the Frigid Highlands into the Arreat Plateau and then make your way to the Crystalline Passage. Somewhere in this dungeon, you’ll find the entrance to the Frozen River, which is where you’ll find the town’s alchemist Anya who you’ve been sent to rescue. Before heading down, keep looking around the Passage to find its Waypoint to save yourself sometime later.
Once you’re in the Frozen River, prepare yourself for a winding maze of a dungeon. Anya is found at the end of it, but it’s nearly impossible to predict how to get to her. So, just stick to the walls and you’ll eventually stumble upon it. As far as encounters go, you’ll start to come across Frozen Horrors and Abominables once you enter the Passage. The Horrors are nasty because they use Arctic Blast to slow you down and hit you hard from melee. Abominable don’t have that skill, but can still inflict heavy cold and melee damage, as well as use a knockback attack. You’ll also likely run into Stygian Harlots who can cast a few nasty curses, including one that halves your defense and another that causes you to damage yourself if your max mana is greater than your max life. Finally, there are Moon Lords who can chunk you down in melee and activate Frenzy to deal even more damage.
Down in the Frozen River, you’ll mostly come up against new versions of the monsters you’ve seen so far, along with Rot Walkers. These zombies can self-resurrect and use a charge attack to stun you. As long as you take them on in small groups, you should be fine, but finding a big pack can cause problems. At the end of the maze, you’ll find Anya guarded by Frozenstein, who is cold enchanted and has mana burn. He shouldn’t be too tough, but keep your wits about you. After you take him down, interact with Anya. You’ll then need to return to town and get an elixir from Malah before heading back to get Anya out of her icy prison. Then, go talk to Malah to get a scroll that increases your resistances by 10%. You can also talk to Anya to get a rare, class-specific item.
Be sure you find the Crystalline Passage Waypoint, or even go on and find the Frozen Tundra Waypoint, before you enter the red portal Anya opens for Quest Four. There is no waypoint in the Frozen River, and if you don’t find the Crystalline Passage WP before you go down, you will probably go right back to town and on to Quest Four, and when you portal back from the Quest Four dungeon, you’ll have a long walk all the way from the Arreat Plateau waypoint through the Crystalline Passageway back to where you were.
Think of it like Act One. You need to find the Dark Wood Waypoint before you go back to town with the Scroll of Inifus, since you’ll then go to the Field of Stones and Tristram, and probably end up having to run all the way from the Field through the Underground Passageway to get back to the Dark Wood. If you do this in the next game you’ll have to clear it as you go, which is annoying.