Diablo Universe: The Lore
Hello again everyone, we’re with you here today to discuss the Diablo Universe. This article is of course in relation to the soon (hopefully) to be released “Diablo 3.” I know.. I know.. everyone hopes to see this game before we meet Tyrael and Diablo in person in 2012 but alas Blizzard has opted to take their time with the release to work out every kink and bring to us a paragon of games.
Before we begin there are a few disclaimers. When Diablo was first schemed of it was not expected to become the success it is today. With that in mind we have to accept that the lore is subject to change with every game and novel released with approval by Blizzard. So in short, the newest books, videos, and lore are current and accurate and everything else void.
Moving on to the subject at hand, lore. These are not strictly introduced in chronological order but also in order of importance.
No one is sure how the Diablo Universe came about but it is believed that Anu, the first being in the Diablo universe is viewed as the creator. An omnipotent being that inhabits what resembles a pearl. Over time Anu sheds his imperfections in order to become the perfect being, and in doing so creates Tathamet, a seven headed creäture composed of all evil. Over the course of thousands of years the two beings battled inside this pearl, and with their death came the universe. Anu’s perfected body becomes the High Heavens and the Angels. Tathamet’s corpse becomes the Burning Planes and The Great Evils.
Spawning of the Great Evils
The Great Evils are comprised of seven demons, once the heads of Tathamet.These demons are categorized with regards to their innate power. The Prime Evils, Diablo, Baal, and Mephisto are the most powerful. Of the three Prime Evils, Diablo is arguably the most power. Then there are the Lesser Evils, Andariel, Duriel, Azmodan, and Belial. After the banishment of The Prime Evils, Azmodan and Belial fight a civil war for the control of The Burning Planes. Azmodan, the main character in Leah’s vision cinematic, vows to obtain the WorldStone and wage war on The Sanctuary.
Heaven and Hell have been waging a war for eons (Cool word, eons.. it’s a hyperbole.) This “Great Conflict” seemingly with no beginning or end has never yielded much for either side in terms of resources. Over time a faction of ethereal beings under the banner of Inarius branch out in search of the like-minded. Inarius makes contact with Lilith, Mephisto’s daughter. Together they stage an exodus of both Heaven and Hell and search for a new home.
After successfully forming an alliance, the two factions establish rule over a world they name “The Sanctuary.” Inarius and Lilith, understanding the threat that both Heaven and Hell posed, took several precautions in the upkeep and defense of “The Sanctuary.” First and foremost was the construction of The Worldstone.
The Worldstone, constructed by Inarius, acts as a barrier between The Sanctuary, and Heaven and Hell. The Worldstone before Uldyssian’s tampering also inhibited the power of the Nephalem and ultimately humans. It’s not known exactly what The Worldstone draws its power from, or how, but for a long time it worked soundly. During the fifth act of Diablo 2 it is discovered that Baal had not only reached The Worldstone, but corrupted it as well. To what perverse end Baal intended to use The Worldstone for is unclear but without a doubt Tyrael was obligated to destroy it. Diablo 3 picks up some twenty years after these events.
Nephalem and the Exile of Lilith
As the peace held, the two factions became closer, even producing offspring. These offspring are known as the Nephalem, ancestors to humans. As time went on Inarius realized the potential of the Nephalem and grew fearful for the potential threat. Seeking to destroy the Nephalem, he was met with opposition from none other than Lilith. Lilith had tried to persuade the Nephalem to go to war with both Heaven and Hell in an attempt to subjugate all
beings. Inarius and Lilith fought, ultimately Lilith is banished to The Void. Lilith later plays a role in the ultimate demise of Inarius by influencing Uldyssian, and granting him power. Not knowing the source of his power, Uldyssian believed the power to be an intrinsic part of all humans. Uldyssian, while seeking answers, formed the Edyrem, a group of people with the potential for magic.
During this time, Tyrael discovers The Sanctuary and informs his fellow arch angels. Though, now knowing of The Sanctuary, the Archangels still lacked the means of entering due to The WorldStone.
Not going into too much detail, Uldyssian is the first to tamper with The Worldstone before Baal. The Worldstone now, instead of inhibiting humans, bolstered their strengths. Eventually Inarius and Uldyssian meet in immortal combat. The battle ravages the face of The Sanctuary, moving mountains and tearing plains apart. Eventually Uldyssian severs the connection between Inarius and The Worldstone, isolating the celestial being and sapping The Worldstone’s influence. Without the assistance of The Worldstone, Inarius is bested. During this time however, the forces of Heaven entered The Sanctuary by means of a rift torn during the battle between Inarius and Uldyssian. Once the the angelic warriors breached Sanctuary’s defenses, all Hell broke loose, literally. The battle was fought by three factions, Hell’s Minions, the High Heavens and finally the Edyrem.
Witnessing this in horror. Udyssian commanded time itself to stop. Udyssian then used his vast power to remove both Heaven and Hell from The Sanctuary. Udyssian begins reshaping the face of The Sanctuary in an attempt to undo the damage. Udyssian is unable to undo the damage and in turn only worsens the situation. Udyssian in a last ditch effort takes in all the destruction and pain caused during their battle and released it all into the void. The act was one of Martydom and Uldyssian passes from this world.
An unstable truce is established between the forces of Heaven and Hell. During this time, the Archangels of Heaven gather together to seek council and call vote regarding the fate of the new world. It’s decided that Tyrael will be involved with the development of this world. The Archangels use their power to erase the memories of all living being save the remaining, Nephalem and a handful of humans. It is this truce that the civil war is waged for in The Burning Planes and the reason for the banishment of Diablo and his brothers.
Tyrael gathers human mages and charges them with the task of tracking and apprehending the weakened Prime Evils in Soul Stones. The powerful human magi include : Jered Cain, Deckard Cain’s ancestor, and Tal Rasha.One by one, the Horadrim were able to capture the souls of the Prime Evils into the soul gems and hide the gems from the world. They had to hide the gems because the demons inside were far too powerful to destroy permanently.
Baal’s soul stone was hidden in a tomb that was specifically designed to keep him in and everyone else out. Unfortunately, in part of Baal’s destructive nature, the soul stone received some damages upon Baals’ capture, causing him to get free.
Tal Rasha, after learning that the broken piece of Baal’s soulstone wasn’t a great enough container for the Prime Evils, imprisoned himself to his own body and binded himself to a pillar where he stayed contained with many an evil for over a century.
Mephisto, after originally being imprisoned with Baal, was moved to the temple of Kurst due to the desire to separate two of the powerful Prime Evils. The zakarum monks were appointed as the guardians of the temple to ensure Mephisto’s imprisonment. However, Mephisto’s Soul stone corrupted the monks and in turn, Mephisto took a host among them.
Diablo, after learning of this brother’s imprisonment, fled west and evaded capture for as long as possible. Eventually, he was captured by today’s Westmarch. The Horadrim constructed a cathedral upon his soul stone in order to stand guard. As time passed, the Horadrim fell apart and the knowledge of the great Prime Evils was long forgotten.
If you are interested in the history of Diablo, or Diablo literature in general, you can find and buy the books online!
This has been a quick glimpse into the lore of Diablo III. I hope that you will stay tuned this Thursday for another Review of Diablo III beta.