Who is the Dark Wanderer in Diablo 2: Resurrected?
If you’re playing Diablo 2: Resurrected you may be wondering who the Dark Wanderer that Marius mentions in the opening cinematic is. Well, he is many things, and telling you about any of them is a wicked great honking spoiler for Diablo 2: Resurrected.
So we’re going to start talking about who he is, what he wants, and what he’s doing, but only after I give you a wicked great honking spoiler warning for Diablo 2.
Seriously, this is the last spoiler warning we’re going to give you.
Who is the Dark Wanderer?
Okay, so who exactly is the Dark Wanderer? Strap in, because it gets pretty crazy.
Before the events of the original Diablo, there were two princes in Khanduras, born to Queen Asylla and King Leoric. One was Albrecht, the younger son, and the elder of the two was Aidan. Aidan accompanied his parents from Kehjistan to the somewhat backward nation of Khanduras when his father Leoric became king. While the words of Archbishop Lazarus filled his father’s ears, Aidan was tutored by Deckard Cain, who was secretly one of the last remaining Horadrim.
As Lazurus’s whispers slowly poisoned Leoric’s mind, Aidan grew to adulthood. As the nominal heir to his father, he trained in swordplay, but the surprising declaration of war upon neighboring — and far more powerful — Westmarch shocked the whole court. Aidan found himself pressed into service, a standard bearer for the royal family in this quixotic war Leoric insisted upon.
While Aidan was gone, Leoric’s madness only grew. He executed his wife Asylla and fell prey to paranoia. Khanduras’ army was routed by Westmarch and scattered, returning to the royal seat in the abandoned abbey at Tristram in disarray. By the time Aidan returned, his mother and father were dead, the latter slain by Lachdanan — his own former Captain of the Guard — and his brother Albrecht missing. Soon Aidan discovered the truth — through the corruption of Archbishop Lazarus, Diablo, the Lord of Terror and one of the three Greater Evils of the Burning Hells, had driven his father mad in an attempt to possess him. When that failed, he chose Albrecht as a more easily possessed victim.
The Fall of Albrecht and the Rise of the Dark Wanderer
In the end, after slaying Lazarus and plunging into the Cathedral and through it into catacombs that seemed to lead to Hell itself, Aidan found and confronted Diablo. But Albrecht could not be saved. Despairing, in the end Aidan had no choice but to strike down his own brother, possessed by the Lord of Terror, and to reclaim the Soulstone that held the demon’s essence.
He then entrusted the Soulstone to Deckard Cain, his old tutor and an expert in Horadrim magics, and left Tristram forever.
Ha, no, no, that would have been the sane thing to do. No, instead, on having seen Diablo change back into his brother, Aidan was so wild with grief that he decided the only way to keep Diablo imprisoned was to jam the Soulstone into his own head. As you might expect, this was a terrific plan. Reeling, confused and slowly going mad from the psychic onslaught of Diablo via the big gemstone in his forehead, Aidan eventually stumbled upon Adria, who unbeknownst to him had been a secret servant of Diablo come to Tristram in search of the Lord of Terror.
Diablo then used Aidan’s body to conceive a child with Adria. That child would grow up to be named Leah, left in the care of Deckard Cain by Adria as part of Diablo’s ultimate plan. Aidan then made his way to the Rogue Citadel, where he met Marius and the evil power of Diablo corrupted all it came into contact with. It was there that he met Marius, who would become the unofficial Sancho Panza to his Don Quixote.
As for the rest of the Dark Wanderer’s story, well, that’s the whole point of Diablo 2: Resurrected. Just remember, never jam a big green gem with a demon in it into your own forehead. No, not even then. I don’t care what the gem whispers to you, it’s lying. Yes, even about that.
Originally published 8/18/2021. Updated 10/4/2021.
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