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DiabloNov 12, 2019 4:00 pm CT

Who are all of the characters in the Diablo 4 trailer?

Of the people in the new amazing Diablo 4 trailer, we know precisely one of them by name: Lilith. Everyone else is either someone who we’ve never heard of before or someone we could know but wasn’t named as such during the cinematic.

And that’s fine, because that way we get to speculate on who they might be.

Before we get started, you should watch the cinematic above. If you haven’t seen it before this article won’t make much sense, and even if you have seen it, it’s worth rewatching to refresh your memory.

Now, on to the cinematic’s mystery cast.

An group of treasure hunters driven by greed

The first people we see are a group of what certainly appears to be treasure hunters — not mighty Nephalem or other heroes, but straight up seekers for gold who have chosen an old church in the middle of nowhere to dig a shaft into a deep underground tomb or temple. This location is perhaps in Scosglen, based on the appearance of the tombstone in the cinematic, but that’s neither here nor there for now.

They seem to be driven by simple greed, stressed by the fact that one of them is left behind to die with the easy statement that “gold splits better three ways instead of four.” It’s no surprise that the group doesn’t last long.

A Zakarum priest leads the way

But not everyone in the group seems to be after treasure: it also includes a priest of Zakarum, who claims he came for knowledge, but now finds himself beset by demons. He’s identifiable by his constant recitation of a prayer invoking Akarat and the Eternal Light of the Zakarum faith.

Keeping in mind that the Church of Zakarum was corrupted by Mephisto because they guarded his Soulstone prison underneath Travincal, it’s interesting to see a Zakarum priest heading into a tomb like this looking for knowledge. It’s also telling that his invocation of Akarat and the Eternal Light is not, shall we say, the most doctrinally correct, in that he’s easily disabused of it by the end of the cinematic.

Whatever his true purpose for being here, the Priest manages to decipher the ancient ruins — likely from the same time period as the ancient Nephalem ruins that Rakkis found under the Blood Marsh — and discovers that blood must be used to open the path inside. Once in, this unknown priest is horrified to learn that the structure is dedicated to returning “the Daughter of Hatred” to Sanctuary.

What’s interesting to me is, where does a priest of Zakarum get all of this ancient knowledge from well before Akarat saw his vision of Yaerius? It seems likely to me that considering the ritual requires three willing sacrifices (although it seems to liberally interpret willingness) that is somehow connected to the Temple of the Triune, which was active during the Sin War when Lilith last walked Sanctuary and sought to return the Nephalem to power after Inarius used the Worldstone to essentially neuter them into fragile, powerless Humanity.

And Mephisto, who was also the one of the three Greater Evils who was underneath Travincal corrupting the Zakarum for hundreds of years, was one of the three who was involved in the Temple of the Triune as Mefis. The Temple of the Triune was led by Mephisto’s son Lucion for a time, before Lilith herself usurped her brother in an attempt to regain control of Uldyssian Ul-Diomed, the first of the returning Nephalem.

Though we don’t know this priest’s name, he’s a curious figure in this drama — and the role of the Zakarum and Mephisto is even more curious.

A mysterious chalk-faced figure

The reanimated corpse of one of these treasure hunters reveals itself as a chalk-faced figure, and there’s been speculation — but little proof — that this may be Rathma. The only clues as to this person’s identity are in his conversation with the Zakarum priest.

Their exchange is fascinating for how it plays upon the Priest’s less-than-stellar understanding of Akarat’s teachings, which in all likelihood was made possibly by Mephisto’s centuries spent corrupting Zakarum teachings. The argument There is no light here is sophistic, and should not have worked on anyone who understands that the Light referred to by Akarat is inward, carried in the soul of all men and women. The fact that the Priest came to the tomb seeking knowledge in the first place and fell for a doctrinal error so blatantly and easily disproved by any truly faithful follower of Akarat says volumes.

It’s possible this is Rathma, also known as Linarian, the son of Lilith and Inarius and the first Nephalem. This is an easy leap to make, because the figure refers to Lilith as “mother,” but as the original creator of Sanctuary and mother of the Nephalem, this may not imply a direct familial connection.

It could also be Lucion, former Primus of the Triune and Lilith’s brother — he was wished into nothingness by Uldyssian during the Sin War, but we have no idea what that means or if he could somehow have managed to return.

It’s also possible that it’s Inarius himself. He was held in Hell for thousands of years until Mephisto got himself exiled to Sanctuary as part of the Dark Exile, but he might have escaped after that. However, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of an angelic figure in chains — likely Inarius — during the sequence with Lilith returning makes that unlikely.

While there are lots of possibilities, I find it just as likely that this stranger is a new figure, one tied to Mephisto and the Coven that Maghda and Adria led that was descended from the Temple of the Triune.

The return of Lilith

Lilith doesn’t speak a single word in the trailer, but her identity is clear. “Speak the words. Call her home,” the mysterious figure cajoles the priest. The ritual to summon her is completed with these words:

By three they come

By three thy way opens

By the blood of the willing we call thee home

Hail, Daughter of Hatred, Creator of Sanctuary

Hail Lilith

The sacrifice complete, Lilith returns to the world. The mysterious figure refers to her as “blessed mother” and implores her to “save us.”

What does it all mean?

The cinematic leaves us with more questions than answer, and I’m particularly curious about the priest’s role in this. The connection between Mephisto and the Zakarum make me uncertain of the nameless Zakarum priest we see in this cinematic. His knowledge of the language of either Demons or the ancient Nephalem is better than one might expect, he immediately recognizes Lilith and says the rite to summon her is forbidden — where, but from Mephisto and his corrupted Zakarum like Archbishop Lazarus, could he have gained such knowledge? Why is he so weak on actual Zakarum theology? What knowledge was he seeking that led him to aid a group of gold-hungry hunters as they breached a church in search of mere coin?

There’s a lot going on in this cinematic, and I can’t wait until we learn more.

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