Win a copy of Stay Awhile and Listen; Give us your Butcher stories

Win a copy of David Craddock's book, Stay Awhile and Listen. Just give us your best stories about your encounters with the Butcher in the original Diablo for our Tales of Fresh Meat contest. Check out the rules to participate.

Diablo's random dungeon generator is a cruel master. On some occasions, players can inch their way through the second dungeon level without incident. But sometimes, a vindictive roll of the dice plants a square stone edifice on the second dungeon floor. Peering inside its transparent top reveals a scene straight out of a slasher movie--floors covered in blood, torn bodies hanging from meat hooks and skewered on spikes. Wise players ignored the wooden door leading inside and lived to fight another day. The tragically curious peaked in and were immediately assaulted by the Butcher, a gargantuan demon clutching an axe as tall as a man and charging forward while bellowing an infamous battle cry now burned into the brains of millions of gamers: "Ah, fresh meat!"

The Butcher's lair

Everyone who played the original Diablo has a Butcher story, and DM Press wants to hear yours. Did you just barely cut him down the first time you went up against him, or did you beg off and return later with bigger, heavier, sharper tools of destruction? Maybe you exploited a glitch or rounded up a mob, only for the Butcher to chop your party into bits and serve you to the Lord of Terror as a delicacy. To enter the Tales of Fresh Meat contest, register a account and submit a story of up to 300 words describing your most memorable Butcher battle in the comments section below. All entries must be received before November 4th, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific, and entry is limited to one story per participant. The winning entry will be included in Stay Awhile and Listen, and the winner will receive a free copy of the eBook on the Kindle, iTunes, or Nook eBook platform. Five runners-up will see their entries commemorated in the DM Press Hall of Heroes, an online gallery dedicated to the most campfire-worthy stories our readers have to offer. Please note that we will only consider Butcher stories from the first Diablo, not Diablo 3. Check out the official rules on the DM Press site. If you enter, you agree that you have read them. Participants must be at least 18 years of age, and must submit stories in English. Start posting below, and have fun. If you missed any part of this week's Stay Awhile and Listen content, be sure to give it a read.
Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
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    November 2, 2012 9:00 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Win a copy of Stay Awhile and Listen; Give us your Butcher stories.

    Win a copy of David Craddock's book, Stay Awhile and Listen. Just give us your best stories about your encounters with the Butcher in the original Diablo for our Tales of Fresh Meat contest. Check out the rules to participate.

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      November 2, 2012 9:27 AM

      The first time I fought the butcher I did what most probably did. Die horribly. Come back and this time with a strategy in mind. The plan was simple. Fill you inventory with health potions, always place a town portal so you can run away when you run out of potions. When you run out of potions go back to town, buy more potions, go back to butcher, put down another town portal, rinse and repeat until butcher is dead.

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      November 2, 2012 9:31 AM

      Dark, clotted blood covered every visible surface. Shredded bodies dangled from hooks like spent piñatas. The smell was unspeakable. I had seen horrors that would hobble lesser men and soldiered on, but this... this was different. Pain was sewn into the very fabric of this room; horror and despair permeated the air.

      I had made up my mind to close the door and move on when I caught movement out the corner of my eye. A bloated monstrosity leaned over a table covered with gore, clutching a huge notched cleaver. It turned to me and spoke.

      "Ah, fresh meat!"

      The thing thumped across the room with sinewy speed. I fell back through the doorway, barely raising my shield in time to block the swinging cleaver. The force of the blow numbed my arm. I struck back, but my meager blade barely scratched the demon. It laughed and struck again.

      We battled, for how long I can't be sure, but the clever brute maneuvered me back into the room as I frantically dodged its attacks. I was out of potions and the demon had cut off my escape. My feet skidded in the old blood and I fell. I closed my eyes and waited for death.

      But the killing blow never fell. Instead I heard an explosion and opened my eyes to see the room around me engulfed in flames. A horrible gurgling screech issued from the demon as it perished in the fireball's blast. My wizard companion stepped into the room casually and looked down at me.

      "WTF?" I said.

      "Dude sorry, I was AFK. Mom made pizza bites."


      The end.

      I can't remember my actual first encounter with the butcher, so I made that up.

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      November 2, 2012 9:58 AM

      I killed the Butcher.

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      November 2, 2012 10:13 AM

      Best way (in Diablo 1) is to grab a bow, find a room with a grate, shut the door, and then shoot away.

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        November 2, 2012 3:03 PM

        I'm not too proud to say that this is exactly the way I cheesed through my first battle. After dying pathetically several times, of course.

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      November 2, 2012 10:17 AM

      I didn't even notice him because the sound was drown out by combat and was surprised by a big pile of loot after a particularly messy fight.


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      November 2, 2012 10:27 AM

      My favorite run-in with The Butcher was when I was playing the PS1 version in Swedish. Instead of the mild panic that the original encounter caused, this one made me laugh and drop the gamepad so my character got killed:

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      November 2, 2012 10:28 AM

      I already won a shack contest with this story, but if you're bored it's worth a read.

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      November 2, 2012 10:30 AM

      I think every time I ran into the Butcher I would think "yea my character is fucking bad ass I'm rape this bitch".


      Fine ok guess I'll go level up some more :(

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      November 2, 2012 10:45 AM

      We played Diablo I on a pair of midrange Pentiums connected by an ethernet crossover cable my freshman year of college. There were I want to say... 5 or 6 of us who took turns at one or the other seat to play the game. So between swapping out players regularly and the newness of it all, strategy was the sort of thing that happened by accident. Our characters were a sorceror and a rogue, and we spent half of our time recovering the other guy's corpse.

      Well. The first time I remember encountering the Butcher was a complete ambush. The sorceror opened the door and was killed before we knew what was happening. I was playing as the rogue at the time and foolishly tried to kill this hulking mass that had just eaten my friend... it didn't go well.

      So now both of us were naked and in desperate want of our gear. Relying entirely on holy bolt for damage, we worked our way back to our corpses, picking up garbage equipment on the way. I don't know what we were thinking - we couldn't take the guy fully outfitted... how could we hope to kill him wearing rags and clubs? But whatever.

      Then, in the final approach, a bow Of The Bear dropped. I hadn't ever seen one before, and I didn't pay any attention to the affix's stated effect... but when we rounded the corner and I started shooting the boss... and kept knocking him back... well, there was much rejoicing and also maniacal laughter.

      We got our stuff back but I kept that bow as my primary weapon. To this day, knockback is one of my favorite game mechanics, regardless of genre.

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      November 2, 2012 10:59 AM


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      November 2, 2012 11:09 AM

      Excellent stories so far, Shack. Keep em comin!

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      November 2, 2012 11:19 AM

      I'm not entering, but Rehevkor's prose inspired me:

      I sat in the corner, trying to catch my breath, but watched for any type of movement. The demons and skeletons just kept coming, but luckily my bow was able to dispatch most of them at a distance. Only a few got close, and the deep gash in my arm was a reminder to watch my back.

      I rose slowly, still listening for any scratching or shuffling echoing off the stone walls. The next sound I heard, however, put me in a crouch, a trickle of urine warming my leg. The thud of heavy metal on wood and a laugh that iced my blood came from behind a wooden door across the room.

      Curiosity had left me more than a few scars. Another sound came from behind the door, this time more of a dull, moist thump. My arm wound ached. I knew that sound. I reached for the door, when I heard the faintest whisper ... "help me."

      I steadied my nerves. Hopefully I could surprise whatever was inside by being incredibly brash and charging in. Unfortunately, the surprise was mine as I burst into the room, only to vomit at the sight and stench.

      "Ah, fresh meat," came a gurgled greeting. Through watered eyes, I saw rising from a table perhaps the largest demon hell itself could spew forth, a meat cleaver in one hand and what looked like a human leg in the other. The demon didn't come at me immediately, obviously enjoying the horror on my face as I gazed around the room. Bodies impaled on poles, body parts on meat hooks, with blood covering almost every inch of the square room.

      There was no backing out now. Instinctively I let two arrows fly, enraging the beast. Its speed surprised me for its size and he raised the massive cleaver with ease. I ducked, feeling a shower of stone chips as the cleaver crashed into the wall where my head had been.

      "Help me." The whisper grew louder now. I let more arrows fly, and watching in a combination of horror and awe as they embedded half a shaft deep into the monster's chest. He charged in unfazed, brushing the huge carving table aside as if it were made of straw. It was upon me in an instant and the blade sank deep in my flesh.

      I fumbled meekly in my belt pouch, grabbing one of the magical draughts I got from Tristram. Unfortunately I did not have time to drink it as I was slammed into the wall. I slumped, my sight fading. I recognized my own voice as I blacked out.

      "Help me."

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      November 2, 2012 12:54 PM

      Pretty sure EVERYONE died the first time they fought the butcher. there was just no fucking way you could possibly be prepared for him

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      November 2, 2012 12:56 PM

      I shot the butcher...but I did not shoot the deputy.

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      November 2, 2012 1:13 PM

      I don't really remember my first encounter with the Butcher but I do remember one other encounter with him. A friend of mine had parents that lived in the bush out of town on a fairly substantial property. There was a smallish guest cabin out back in which my friend lived. We were all around 16-18 at the time and eagerly awaiting the release of diablo 2 and honoring said release with an extremely in depth replay of diablo 1, that lasted weeks. Warrior, Wizard and Rouge were our character classes and we played on a LAN in the middle of the woods in a cabin with one massive speaker set blasting from one PC. We had all played the game before multiple times for years up to this point but we were all totally hooked again. We were well aware of the existence of the Butcher and had walked past his room and cleared to the 5th floor of the dungeon before figuring we were finally strong enough to take him on. We went back up to the 2nd floor and approached the famed room with bravado. I stood at the front ready to open the door my wizard buddy to my left and my bow wielding rouge friend to the right I opened the door and "AAAHHHHH FRESH MEAT" echoed through out the small cabin. At that exact moment my ranged class friends proceeded to unload all their ammunition into the back of my leather wearing warrior sending me to a stun locked death at the hands of the butcher. Once I was down two more hits from the butcher were enough to kill the rest of the party and 15 seconds after opening the door we were all dead. We turned to each other in shock and amazement even though we thought were ready and more than prepared the Butcher, with a few swings of his mighty cleaver, proved that we weren't.

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      November 2, 2012 1:34 PM

      screw that I'm PAYING for this!

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      November 2, 2012 1:45 PM

      The doorknob was red and sticky. That's all that remained, one blood-smeared doorknob. I came through the cathedral basement injured but intact, wading through the undead one axe-swing at a time. I was weary, my weapon was starting to crack, and all I wanted to do was run away and forget about any treasure that Tristram may have held.

      A dozen skeletons lay shattered behind me, this single door in front. I downed a red vial that closed my wounds.

      I cracked open the door.

      What I remember most was the whisper. Not the overwhelming stench of blood and excrement, not the sounds of chopping meat, not the beast that stood at its work. The whisper: "Please, kill me." Whoever on that hook didn't have long: their limbs were gone, and an oozing pile of flesh lay below.

      Then the monster realized I was there, and turned, thrilled to see me. "Ah! Fresh meat!" it yelled through a yellow grin.

      It was on me before I could react, swinging a gigantic cleaver. It carved right through my armor and into my shoulder, but I twisted aside in time.

      I'm not ashamed to say I ran.

      I sprinted across the basement, pulling doors shut behind me and knocking barrels into the beast's path. Finally, my legs limp and my breath raw, I bought a few seconds. I pulled out a scroll and let the words wash over me, invoking a blue portal ahead. I leapt through it and heard the giant cleaver crunch on the floor where I stood a moment before.

      Maybe some day I'll vindicate myself and conquer that beast. Once I fix my gear and visit the healer, maybe I'll make another trip back into that basement.

      And maybe, just maybe, I'll lay that whisper to rest.

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      November 2, 2012 2:48 PM

      I remember firing up firing up the public test from the latest edition of PC Gamer. Two levels of pure joy ended with the biggest suprise ever. Fresh meat. Diablo and Warcraft 2 in 1996 made Blizzard what it is today.

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      November 2, 2012 2:54 PM


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      November 2, 2012 3:07 PM

      You've seen the butcher:

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      November 2, 2012 4:30 PM

      A bump for evening readers.

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      November 2, 2012 4:35 PM

      I took him outside and I wupped his ass.

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      November 2, 2012 11:04 PM

      I remember Playing the First Diablo, back in the day where there wasn't a lot of voice acting (Cain did most of it), and running around the Dungeon hearing "FRESH MEAT!" scaring the crap out of me. The instant, 'oh my god... what the hell said that...' feeling of panic :P

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      November 3, 2012 2:27 AM

      I died. My friend told me I needed a small shield. I bought one. I went back down and a few minutes and potions later I added a corpse to the floor (not mine).

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      November 3, 2012 9:44 AM

      We met. Fought. Fell in love. And he died.

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      November 4, 2012 3:54 PM

      **Just a reminder!*** The contest closes in a few hours. If you planned to submit a story, please do so soon. I look forward to reading all the entries!

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        November 4, 2012 8:46 PM

        I know I don't have much time left, but I just registered with Shacknews, and have one quick question:

        1. Does it have to be my most memorable Butcher battle, or would most memorable Butcher "moment" count? I know the article specifically says battle, but I wanted to ask anyways, because for me, these are two different things.


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        November 4, 2012 11:16 PM

        Actually, nevermind- I mixed up my story with another game. For some reason, I remember the pre-release demo fading out to the splash-screens upon opening the Butcher's door and hearing the iconic, "ahh, fresh meat!" However, it appears that this is not the case; the screen doesn't fade until you kill him and return to the surface.

        With that being said, the fact that I have less than one hour to submit my story and it's already been a long day, I'm just going to let it go... even though being immortalized in SAAL sounds so fantastic. I really wish I would've had more time, but fair is fair.

        Good luck everyone!

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          November 5, 2012 5:41 AM

          Sorry for the late reply! The contest has indeed closed, but don't worry. We've got many more story contests coming up--one this Friday, 11/9, in fact, right here on the Shack. I hope you'll enter. Best of luck!

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            November 5, 2012 12:57 PM

            Thank you very much for the information, I'll be looking forward to them!

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      November 5, 2012 5:41 AM

      The contest is now CLOSED to submissions. Thanks to all who entered! We will announce the winner and runners-up this Friday, 11/9, at which time we'll also run a second story contest on Shacknews. Stay tuned for news.

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