Who is Astaroth in Diablo 4?
One thing we see a lot of in Diablo 4 as we slay our way through it is a variety of old familiar faces. From the rebel Archangel Inarius to returning Great Evils like Andariel, lots of angels and demons from Sanctuary’s rich history pop up left and right.
However, one name that initially had us wondering when we saw it in the list of titles available from challenges during the beta was Astaroth. While they weren’t a Great or Lesser Evil in the lore of Diablo’s universe, they were listed right alongside several of them, implying importance. Initially we speculated that perhaps Blizzard would draw from real-world occult literature or Babylonian mythology, which they have done in the past for at least some of the names of the wide array of supernatural beings in the Eternal Conflict; perhaps this was a fallen angel based on the Phoenician goddess Astarte, whether corrupted like Izual or willingly turned away like Inarius.
Now that the game is live and players have had a chance to experience its story for themselves, we know that neither of those is the case. Here’s what we know about Astaroth in Diablo 4.
Warning: story spoilers follow — it’s hard to talk about Astaroth without getting into spoiler territory, since his lore is entirely within this game!
Astaroth’s work in Sanctuary seemingly occurred offscreen between Diablo 3 and Diablo 4. You’ll find mentions of him all over the Scosglen region in Act 2, where he’s a major player. An unknown period of time prior to the events of Diablo 4, Astaroth — a servant of Mephisto, Lilith’s father — attacked Scosglen, revelling in death, destruction, and especially burning things. He is, as we learn, called the Charred Duke. The Druid college of Túr Dúlra especially felt his touch; it’s an empty stronghold in Diablo 4 for players to retake, full of Druids who live out their last battle against the demon, perpetually burning in the fires that destroyed their home.
However, Astaroth was defeated by a combination of both Glenfolk and the Horadrim. From the moment you arrive in Eldhaime Keep in Act 2, you’ll hear talk of how Donan, the Horadric mage, allied with the powerful Druids Nafain and Airidah to defeat Astaroth and save Scosglen. That story’s almost true, but eventually Act 2 reveals Astaroth isn’t quite so dead because he seemingly can’t be defeated on Sanctuary. Instead Donan used good old Horadric knowhow to shove Astaroth’s essence into a soulstone, buried it underground, surrounded it with protective wards, and worked with the Cathedral of Light to build a consecrated fort on top as a sort of capstone.
This construction kept the demon’s magic from seeping out and has kept him imprisoned up until Lilith arrives on Sanctuary: she makes deals with Donan’s Druid counterparts to find Astaroth’s soulstone and break the wards around it. In exchange for safe passage to “a place she is no longer welcome,” she gives him freedom, as well as something he wants even more — revenge on Donan’s family line, by implanting Astaroth into the body of Yorin, Donan’s son. He rides into battle astride the Amalgam of Hate, serving as the final boss fight of Act 2 (mirroring one of the things Blizzard perhaps did draw from occult writing, where Astaroth is said to ride an infernal dragon).
You can’t keep a good demon down, though; as the guardian of the hellfire barrier surrounding the Cathedral of Hatred where Mephisto has been reforming, Astaroth does in fact make good on his part of his bargain with Lilith and allow her passage through the barrier, remarking that “we all return home sooner or later.”
It seems Astaroth is back home now — but will he stay there? Only time will tell.
Originally published April 14, 2023; updated June 8, 2023
Please consider supporting our Patreon!
Join the Discussion
Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our commenting and community guidelines.