Catch up on Diablo lore with our rundown of the many horrors of Sanctuary
There’s both Diablo Immortal and Diablo 4 guaranteed on the horizon, with a potential revisiting of Diablo 2‘s story in a remastered (nay, Resurrected?) version. But how did New Tristram get started? What drove Malthael from embodying Wisdom to Death? Why are the citizens of Westmarch on the verge of revolt?
A lot of this is stuff nobody knows outside of the folks at Blizzard working on the new game — it’s lore we’ll (hopefully) see revealed to us over time as the game comes out. But we here at Blizzard Watch have been paying attention to Diablo lore from the beginning, and we’ve covered quite a few of the details that are currently available.
So, if you want to refresh yourself on the story of Diablo series — lore that Blizzard started building back in 1996 — we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the world of Sanctuary and beyond.
The origins of the Diablo universe
- Diablo’s Creation Story — How did this all get started? Where do all these demons and angels come from? Who are Tathemet and Anu, and why do they matter?
- The start of Sanctuary — The origins of the world humans call home in the Diablo setting.
- The History of the Nephalem — You’ve heard the word used to describe your hero when playing Diablo 3, but what does it mean? Are Nephalem just powerful humans?
- The Nephalem Rises — Could the Nephalem change Diablo forever? Let’s review.
Meet the main cast
- Diablo, the Lord of Terror — There’s a reason the whole game series is named after this particular member of the Greater Evils.
- Diablo, Lord of Terror, in Tristram — Learn the events of the original game from Diablo’s perspective.
- Diablo and the Dark Wanderer — If you were wondering what Diablo got up to in Diablo 2, this post covers that game.
- The Seven Great Evils — Be they Prime or Lesser, the Evils of the Diablo universe are the most powerful demon lords of the Burning Hells.
- Imperius, the Archangel of Valor — He doesn’t like us much, but he really hates demons.
- Imperius and the Nephalem — What happened between the Archangel of Valor and the Nephalem in Diablo 3? Quite a lot.
- Malthael, the Archangel of Wisdom — Even the best can go bad. Once the head of the Angiris Council, now self-proclaimed Angel of Death, what made Malthael turn on his own? What made him decide to destroy humanity?
- Lilith, the Mother of the Nephalem — Demon. Co-creator of Sanctuary. Daughter of Mephisto. There’s a lot to know about Lilith.
- The Angiris Council — The angels of the Angiris Council may be on a quest to destroy demons, but that doesn’t make them friends of Sanctuary.
- The Horadrim — A secretive sect of wizards and occultists out to save Sanctuary from the Evils of the Burning Hells, sure. But who are they? Where are they from, what do they do, and what happened to them?
The game’s current storyline
- Our first encounter with the Diablo universe — Diablo 1 launched way back in 1996, and the game set the stage for everything that was to come.
- Returning to Tristram, 20 years later — Diablo 3 is something of a nostalgia trip, sending us to some familiar locales — but that’s only the start of the game’s story.
- Diablo 3’s “fallen star” is no mere mortal — The former Archangel of Justice makes a return to the Diablo universe in Diablo 3.
- The Lord of Terror rises again — It’s hardly a Diablo game without Diablo himself, so it’s no surprise the demon reemerged at the end of Diablo 3.
The classes of the Diablo universe
- The Mystery of the Crusaders — Where did they come from? Where did they go? Why are they back now, and what are they after?
- Bul-Kathos and Diablo’s Barbarians — Our favorite furious maniacs come from somewhere, and we decided to explain their origins.
- The origins of Diablo’s Necromancers — While we don’t see the class until Diablo 2, Necromancers originate far back in the universe’s lore. Let’s discover the roots of the Priests of Rathma.
- The history of Diablo’s Druids — As with the Necromancers, Druids were introduced in Diablo 2 but have a storied history in the lore of Sanctuary. Where did they come from and where do they get their magic?
The geography of Sanctuary
- Khanduras — The nation of Khanduras is where Tristram is, so it’s where all of Diablo happened, and we’ve seen it again in Diablo 3. Come read about how the Lord of Terror made his return.
- The Burning Hells — Where demons come from, and where the Greater and Lesser Evils plot and scheme to end the Eternal Conflict in their favor.
- The regions of Sanctuary, and what we may see of it in Diablo 4 — Sanctuary is a broad and mostly unexplored world. We have yet to explore the whole of it in three Diablo games, but who knows what the open world of Diablo 4 will bring?
- The Secret Cow Level — There is no Cow Level. It does not exist. What does this zone (that is clearly imaginary) bring to Sanctuary, and will the Infernal Bovine herd take over?
Diablo 4 — reflections of the Eternal Conflict?
- Inarius, the Father of Sanctuary — Formerly advisor to the Angiris Council, Inarius grew disillusioned with the Eternal Conflict and ran off with Lilith to create the world as we know it. But will we see him in Diablo 4?
- Lilith, revisited — The Blessed Mother exploded onto the Diablo 4 scene in the introductory trailer, but what is her role? How has her imprisonment changed her?
- Lilith as the Diablo 4 villain — we don’t know yet how Lilith will show up, but she is very much the focal point of the trailer. See the “why” behind this theory.
- Diablo in Diablo 4 — conspicuously missing from the trailer is the eponymous Lord of Terror. Will he present a more significant threat than even Lilith, or will he be absent from the game?
- Rathma, the first Necromancer — we’ve speculated as to the identity of the mysterious magus in the trailer, but is it Rathma? If so, why oh why is he freeing Lilith when he helped imprison her in the first place?
- The characters of Diablo 4 — who else can we expect to show up in D4? Blizzard has a whole host to choose from, let’s walk through them.
The lost generation between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3
- The gap between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 — We know next to nothing about the 20-year gap between these two games, but Diablo Immortal should fill in these stories.
- Questions we hope Diablo Immortal will answer — There are a lot of them.
What’s next for Diablo?
- The loose ends of the Diablo Story — What happened to Leah’s soul? Is Covetous Shen more than he appears? How many Nephalem are there? All this and a lot more that we hope gets at least some explanation soon.
- What is Trag’oul — Seriously, what is it? How did it talk to Rathma? What does it want, what can it actually do?
- The Inheritors of Anu — Someone had to clean this messed up universe up, and it might just have to be us.
While not quite all of the Diablo story, this is a good place to start — particularly if you want to be up to date on what’s going on when Diablo Immortal or Diablo 4 finally make their debut. Have a particular question we haven’t covered? Pose it to our Lore Watch podcast where our lore experts can address it!
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