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Diablo > Diablo 4 > LoreJun 13, 2024 10:00 am CT

The history and importance of Nahantu, the main zone of Diablo 4: Vessel of Hatred

In Diablo 4‘s upcoming October expansion, Vessel of Hatred, players will follow Neyrelle, who has taken Mephisto‘s soulstone into the jungles of Nahantu, the main setting for the expansion. For some players, Nahantu will be a brand new experience but veteran Diablo players get to return to this zone after first venturing there during the events of Diablo 2

Regardless of your adventuring status, we’ve compiled a historical rundown of Nahantu, its importance to Sanctuary‘s history — and its connection to Mephisto leading up to the events of Vessel of Hatred.

The history of Nahantu and its role in Diablo 2

Also called Toraja, Torajan, or the Torajan Jungles, Nahantu is a lush rain forest zone located in the southern region of the Kehjistan zone and was considered part of the Kehjistan empire until the events of Diablo 2. In stark contrast to everything else in Sanctuary, the region was home to a variety of colorful plants and wildlife, whose appearance and behavior were believed to be affected by the leftover presence of magic during the Mage Clan Wars. Various civilizations and tribes also originated from Nahantu through the regions lifetime, though most have disappeared leaving only a handful remaining, including the Umbaru, the Tusk Lords, and Opaya.

Located in the heart of the region is the city of Kurast, which used to be the capital for the Kehjistan empire and a main hub for the Zakarum Church. As the Horadrim hunted the Prime Evils, they worked with the Zakarum to guard the soulstones containing the captured demonic entities. One of the soulstones contained Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred, and the Zakarum constructed a temple connected to Kurast to help them safeguard the stone. As the Zakarum faith spread and its congregation grew, this temple would eventually become the Temple City of Travincal and the eventual seat power for church.

As the Zakarum faith continued to spread, the church evolved into a religious and political powerhouse, eventually commissioning Paladins and other holy warriors to root out demonic corruption throughout Sanctuary. While within the soulstone, Mephisto slowly began to corrupt the Zakarum in Travincal entrusted with guarding him, including the Zakarum leadership, effectively controlling the church itself. Mephisto’s influence also affected the immediate region — demons appeared frequently throughout Nahantu and affected even the plants in the jungle, which grew so voraciously they effectively began to overtake Kurast.

In Diablo 2, Mephisto makes his move and manipulates the Zakarum and their leader, Sankekur, into breaking apart his soulstone, which allowed him to possess Sankekur. Kurast officially becomes a hellscape of demons, monsters, and zealots. At the same time, Diablo and Baal arrived in Kurast and together, the three Prime Evils opened a portal to Hell. The timely arrival of adventurers to Kurast pursuing the Prime Evils led to an encounter with Mephisto beneath Travincal, where they defeated him and trapped him back in his soulstone before smashing it in a Hellforge.

This was supposed to destroy the Prime Evil but his essence instead transferred to the Black Soulstone.

Nahantu in the aftermath of Diablo 2

Kurast and Nahantu were irrevocably altered by Mephisto’s long-term presence and machinations, despite his defeat. Noble-born citizens fled from Kurast and Nahantu as a whole, choosing to settle in Caldeum which eventually became the capital of the Kehjistan empire and region. After the death of Kehjistan Emperor Hakan I, the empire began to decline in size and stability, leaving Nahantu to fall out of Kehjistan’s control. It devolved into its own ungoverned region with no discernable controlling body, leading to sites worshipping the Triune and the Prime Evils.

While other possible effects linger due to Mephisto’s prolonged presence in the region, in a recent Vessel of Hatred trailer (NSFW) we can see the jungles appear to have overtaken the remaining architecture in Nahantu. The jungle itself looks colorful and vibrant, but as the trailer goes on, we can see that it is reacting to the return of Mephisto’s soulstone — the vines grow and act with violent intent and a river becomes so polluted it nearly turns into black sludge, killing everything within it.

As we chase Neyrelle through Nahantu in Vessel of Hatred, we’ll visit new Towns and old ruins giving us a chance to see who, or what, could have affected from the fallout of Diablo 2 as well as the effect Mephisto’s return could have on the area and its denizens.

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