- Objective: Defeat the Ancients.
To activate the fifth quest in Act V, speak with Qual-Kehk after returning from the Halls of Vaught and killing Nihlathak. You can speak with Anya to receive your reward for finishing off Nihlathak (she will personalize an item for you), then locate Qual-Kehk in Harrogath and speak with him to trigger the next quest. You can also trigger the quest by exploring the Ancient's Way and returning to Qual-Kehk.
- Objective Text From Qual-Kehk
"Every time I hear of you, warrior, your deeds become more legendary. But take heed. You are approaching the very summit of Mount Arreat. I have never dared venture there. It is sacred--our most holy place. The legends say it is guarded by the Ancient Ones, who block the path of all who are unworthy. Your reputation here does not matter...it will be the Ancients who determine your worthiness. Good luck."
You'll encounter the Ancient Ones far from Harrogath. You should use the waypoint marker to transport yourself to the Crystalline Passage or the Glacial Trail if you have already triggered its waypoint. Once in the Glacial Trail, locate the entrance into the difficult Frozen Tundra. Cross the Frozen Tundra to locate the entrance into the Ancient's Way. From there, you must enter the Arreat Summit to spot the Altar of the Heavens. Approach the Altar of the Heavens to speak with the Ancient Ones.
Recommended Level to Complete Act V, Quest V: You should probably be at least level 34 to 36 by the time you reach the Ancient Ones, especially if you are taking time to explore the side dungeons (which include the Infernal Pit in the Frozen Tundra and the Icy Cellar in the Ancient's Way). You will also gain a level upon defeating the Ancient Ones in battle. Read on to hear about the battle and its rewards.
Log Entry #1
Travel through the Ancient's Way to find the Ancients at the Arreat Summit.
The Arreat Summit is quite far from Harrogath. Exit Harrogath and move through the Bloody Foothills and Frigid Highlands into the Crystalline Passage. Alternatively, simply use the waypoint marker and travel instantly to the Crystalline Passage. From there, you must locate the entrance into the Glacial Trail, into the Frozen Tundra, and through the Ancient's Way into the Arreat Summit.
Log Entry #2
Consult with the Ancients by activating the Altar of the Heavens.
You'll notice that the Arreat Summit is a small area. You begin on one side of the Arreat Summit, the Ancients rest in the middle around the Altar of the Heavens, and the far side of the Summit includes the entrance into the Worldstone Keep, Level 1.
The stone statues surrounding the Altar of the Heavens will play an important role within moments. The statues represent powerful barbarians; their names are Talic the Defender, Korlic the Protector, and Madawc the Guardian, and they use barbarians' skills. For instance, Talic the Defender uses whirlwind, while Korlic employs leap attack.
Before you click on the Altar of the Heavens to summon the Ancient Ones, cast a town portal and restock health potions and mana potions and do whatever else you may need to do before a difficult battle. There's a reason you need to town-portal before the battle!
Click on the Altar of the Heavens to hear from the Ancient Ones.
"We are the spirits of the Nephalem, the Ancient Ones. We have been chosen to guard sacred Mount Arreat, wherein the Worldstone rests. Few are worthy to stand in its presence; fewer still can comprehend its true purpose. Before you enter, you must defeat us."
Nihlathak's betrayal of Harrogath included giving a special relic to Baal. This relic permitted Baal to enter the Worldstone Keep without having to deal with the powerful Ancient Ones. You're without the relic, however. Therefore, to follow Baal into the Worldstone Keep, you must battle the Ancient Ones.
Log Entry #3
Defeat all three Ancients without leaving Mount Arreat.
As the new entry in your quest logbook indicates, you must defeat all three of the barbarian Ancients without leaving the Arreat Summit. You can town-portal back to Harrogath if you wish, but upon your return to the Arreat Summit, the barbarians will have returned to their initial state--with full health restored! Although you may need the town portal for a quick escape, realize that you must restock your potions and return to the Arreat Summit for a brand-new battle.
The same occurs if you perish during the fight. Not only will you have to traverse all the way through the waypoints back to the Arreat Summit, but once again you will have to combat and defeat the barbarian Ancients at full strength. As you battle, be ready with your potions, and use any damage-assistance skills you possess. The barbarian Ancients are fast and powerful, especially at nightmare and hell difficulty levels, and they have several special properties and immunities.
These immunities are reset each time you use a town portal scroll or die in battle. Even though resetting the barbarians to full health doesn't sound like the most inviting prospect, it's possible to simply reset the barbarians because of their difficult immunities. You'll find this even more important in nightmare and hell difficulty.
You receive the quest reward the instant the last barbarian Ancient falls. The reward is an experience reward. You receive approximately 1.4 million experience points for defeating the barbarians on normal difficulty, 20 million on nightmare, and 50 million on hell difficulty. Essentially, the quest offers an instant level-up or multiple levels-up depending on your current level and experience. It's an excellent reward but a task quite difficult to accomplish on higher difficulty levels.