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DiabloAug 31, 2020 2:00 pm CT

The history of Diablo’s Druids, Sanctuary’s last line of defense

Druids were first introduced as a playable class in Diablo 2, and they were an immediate player favorite. But they never showed up in Diablo 3, despite the suggestion that they might be added in a hero pack like the Necromancer. But now Druids are making their triumphant return in Diablo 4. These shapeshifters will be able to command the forces of nature and summon plants and animals to aid them, bringing a unique playstyle to the table.

But just who are the Druids in the Diablo universe? Where did they come from and where do they get their magic? Let’s dig in to the history of Diablo’s Druids.

In the beginning, Sanctuary needed protectors

Before there were mortals, before there was this world where mortals could even exist, there was the Worldstone. Angels and demons endlessly fought for control over the Worldstone, which would let them create worlds and shape them into the nature of their choosing. But some grew tired of this Eternal Conflict. Led by the angel Inarius and the demon Lilith, renegade angels and demons built a world around it, called Sanctuary.

To keep the Worldstone safely hidden, Inarius encased it in a shell, which would become Mount Arreat. This was the first landform on Sanctuary, and from there the world grew, inhabited by the Nephalem — children of angels and demons — and eventually their human descendants.

The human tribes of Mount Arreat were wholly dedicated to protecting the Worldstone, keeping any outsiders from venturing into their lands. Known as “Northmen” or the “Brokenpeople,” they were named for their leader and called the Children of Bul-Kathos.

However, they are most commonly called by their playable class name: Barbarians.

Barbarians became the first Druids

In the early days of Sanctuary, there were no Druids. These tribes that dwelt near Mount Arreat, under King Bul-Kathos, a Nephalem. Yet beside him was another and Nephalem: Fiacla-Géar. Perhaps they were brothers or perhaps they were just close friends, as descriptions of their relationship differ. However, the two of them worked together to lead the Barbarians, protecting the Worldstone and Mount Arreat.

Then their methods began to differ. King Bul-Kathos wanted to stick to the old ways, with a focus on weapons and martial discipline. Fiacla-Géar reasoned that if they were protecting the land, then they should use the land: to draw upon its energy and use the resources it provides. The two would never come to an agreement.

They split, and those Barbarians that followed Fiacla-Géar would become the first Druids. They set up huge mortarless stone towers and covered them in vines to hide them, so they could safely hone their skills. They created their own language and culture, incorporating Caoi Dúlra — harmony with natural elements of the world, plants, and animals.

Druids draw their magic from Sanctuary itself

At their core, Druids are Barbarians. But instead of focusing on martial prowess, they draw from the magic of the world to protect the world. The elements, the plants, the animals are all at a Druid’s beck and call.

Druids shun the traditional forms of magic that the other classes use, instead focusing on nature and the elements. They can summon fire, earth, and wind. They can commune with plants and animals. Druids believe in harmony with all of these.

In combat, they may call on the elements to attack their foes, to defend themselves, or to give a boost to their own attacks. Druids may ask aid from plans and animals, summoning them fight beside them. But the real magic of a Druid is shapeshifting: they can transform into Werewolves and Werebears, giving into their bestial nature.

(Want to know more about Druid gameplay? We have a writeup of everything we know about the Diablo 4 Druid class.)

Druids as Sanctuary’s defenders

Druids live in isolation from the rest of the world, gathering in Druid Colleges. The largest of these is Túr Dúlra in Scosglen, where the former Barbarians first split from King Bul-Kathos. It was here, under the great oak tree Glór-an-Fháldham, that Druids first learned their magic. At this, their greatest Druid College, they not only teach the traditional Druid magic, but the skills of their Barbarian ancestors.

While the Druids keep their distance from society, they hold to a key part of their heritage: their role is to protect the world and the people. Druids consider themselves themselves the last line of defense, but they traditionally avoid the trials and tribulations of Sanctuary.

But they’ve involved themselves in the world before. When there was an insurgence of denizens of the Burning Hells, the Druids stood up against the minions of chaos, helping defeat of the Lord of Destruction — even though they wound up destroying the Worldstone, the very thing they had sworn to protect. That is to say they played their part in Diablo 2.

With Diablo 4, they’re being called on once again. Khazra — goat demons that any Diablo player is likely familiar with — are rampaging through their sacred town of Scosglen. If the threat had not been on their doorstep, The Druids likely wouldn’t have have stepped in — at least not until the event was truly world-shaking. Apparently they never considered the horrors in D3 to be on that scale, so their return in D4 speaks to a serious crisis.

Now Sanctuary is calling on its last line of defense, and the Druids will jump in with all that they have and see in through to the end.

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