Diablo I Manual
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The Diablo I Manual is transcribed here. All theof the Diablo games contain a lot of lore of the world of , and is one of our primary sources of information. They contain texts that are meant to be excerpts from written in the actual world, but as a reader you need to be aware of the fact that much of the actual years written down have been " ". This means that we currently don't know exactly what yearly calendar is actually canon information. However, the actual events that take place are usually correct, so if you are adding material from the manuals to an article, feel free to add years and events into the article, and we will have to update the article when more accurate information comes out from Blizzard.
Some words have been wiki-linked for easy information navigation, and in some cases the formatting has been changed to work with the wiki. No words below the introduction (this text) has been altered.
Make sure to read all of the manuals:
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- 1 The Initiate
- 2 Tutorial
- 3 Character Summary
- 4 Warrior
- 5 Rogue
- 6 Sorcerer
- 7 Items
- 8 Spells and Magic
- 9 Beastiary
- 9.1 Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred (Odium)
- 9.2 Baal, Lord of Destruction (Excidium)
- 9.3 Diablo, Lord of Terror (Metus)
- 10 Librarius Ex Horadrim - Book One
- 11 Librarius Ex Horadrim - Book Two
- 12 The Nature of the Soulstones
- 13 Credits
Which way is the right path, as I stand upon
this chaotic crossroad of hate…
How many ways are there to roam
on this dark and damned road of Fate…
“There are many ways, my son,
to find where the souls of Demons remain…
But it takes only one second of despair and of doubt
until at last, your soul, they will gain…
Inherit these lands, these things, these dreams
that are yours, forever, to adore…
For there is no life, in the depths of chaos, my son,
C. Vincent Metzen
[Most content cut out]
Character Information Screen
on the same wheel…
following information about your character:
- (Page 12)The character’s name and class
- The character’s current level and experience
- How much experience the character needs to achieve the next level
- How much gold your character currently possesses
- Your character’s attributes, including any bonuses or penalties from magical items. Bonuses are displayed in blue, while attributes that are below normal are displayed in red. Statistics at their maximum are displayed in gold.
Strength represents how strong your character is, and adds to the damage that your character does in melee combat.
Magic is your character’s innate ability to channel magic, either through memorized spells or enchanted items.
Dexterity covers your character’s agility and nimbleness. Your chance of successfully striking an opponent in combat increases with your level and dexterity.
Vitality is an indication of the overall health and fitness of your character.
Life is the current physical state of your character. This indicates how much damage your character can take before dying.
Mana is the magical energy that your character possesses, and is used to power spells.
the phantoms of our land.
The right column of the Character Information screen displays your hero’s current combat statistics, which are:
Armor Class A measurement of how well protected your character is from physical harm. It is a total of the armor classes of all the armor that your character is currently wearing, as well as any dexterity and magical bonuses. The higher your character’s armor class, the less likely you are to be hit in combat.
To Hit This is the relative chance that your character has to hit an unarmored opponent in combat.
warrior’s right and left
Your resistance to various types of magical effects are located below your character’s combat statistics.
Magic This includes spells that summon pure magic to create their effect.
Fire This will help shield you from the effects of fire based attacks and spells.
Lightning Resistance to lightning will help protect you from electrical spells and attacks.
Once you have looked over your hero’s statistics, close the Character Information screen by clicking the button, or pressing C on the keyboard.
Character Level and Experience
As your character explores the world of Diablo and combats the evil that threatens to overrun the land, he or she gains “experience” and becomes more skilled. The character’s total experience determines his or her Level. A character’s Level provides a quick approximation of his/her overall effectiveness, but different characters of the same Level can have different strengths and weaknesses. Increasing a level gives your character additional points to spend on Attributes, as well as increasing effectiveness in combat, spell casting, and skill use.
The most direct way to gain experience is to destroy the denizens of the labyrinth. The exact amount of experience gained by killing a creature is based on the relative Levels of the character and the creature. A seasoned Warrior does not gain any benefit from destroying a mere skeleton, for he has faced far greater evils before.
Your character has several Attributes corresponding to abilities he or she will use during the game. Each character Class starts out with different starting values to represent training that they have already had. Each Class also has limits on how high some Attributes can be raised. Warriors, for instance, cannot normally raise their Magic rating as high as an experienced Sorcerer. While gaining experience is the surest path, there are known to be magical means to raise Attributes as well.
The different Attributes, and the aspects that they represent, are as follow:
Strength represents the raw physical power that the character possesses. Very strong characters are capable of using more powerful weapons and can wear heavy armor. A high Strength gives a bonus to the amount of damage done in close combat.
Magic is a measure of the character’s ability to manipulate the forces of magic. It is a combination of intelligence, willpower, and innate magical aptitude. A high Magic rating is required to learn and control complex and powerful spells and staves.
Dexterity rates the character’s general agility and accuracy. A character with low Dexterity has a very difficult time hitting opponents in combat. Dexterity is a very important Attribute for archers to develop.
Vitality indicates the character’s overall physical fitness. Characters with high Vitality are very healthy, rarely become sick, and have a strong endurance.
Mana is an overall rating that determines how much Mana a character can safely channel when spellcasting. It is based on the character’s Class, Level, and Magic Attribute. A character that has exhausted his or her Mana is no longer able to cast learned spells. Scrolls and staves may still be used, as they draw their own power from the environment on their own. Special Mana potions are able to restore the hero’s spell casting abilities by refreshing the body and clearing the mind of the imbiber.
Life is how much physical harm the character can suffer before dying. The Life total is based on Class, Level, and Vitality. A Warrior, for instance, can take more physical punishment than a Sorcerer of the same Level and Vitality rating. Once Life reaches zero the character is dead. Potions and healing spells can rebuild the human body at an incredible rate, restoring precious Life points.
A character’s effectiveness in combat is influenced by many factors, including the equipment that he or she is using, the Class of the character, his or her Attributes, any enchantments that are in effect, etc. The Combat Statistics displayed on the Character Information screen represent the character’s current values, but do not include the effects of non-Identified magical items.
Armor Class is a total of all the protection that your character is currently receiving from armor, talismans, shields, etc. A high armor class allows the character to resist the effects of physical attacks, and may help against various magical effects as well.
To Hit is a rough indication of the chance that your character has to successfully hit and damage a single unarmored opponent. It is a combination of many factors, and is strongly affected by the opponent’s armor and overall toughness.
Damage is the current range of damage that your character can inflict on a successful hit during combat. An opponent hit by the character will lose this much Life. The Damage rating is based on the weapon being wielded, the character’s Attributes, Level, and any magical bonuses.
Magic is a fickle and unpredictable force, and every character and creature is able to resist the effects of spells. The chance of successfully avoiding the effects of a dangerous spell is primarily affected by Level, but outside factors may give the character a bonus. The Resistance ratings displayed in the Character Information screen display only bonuses granted from outside sources.
Magic resistance protects the character from spells that expel raw magical energy, or spells that attempt to change or transform the character’s physical form.
Fire resistance provides defense against fire spells of all types. It can also help to resist the attacks of creatures and weapons that use fire or heat to cause damage.
Lightning resistance defends against electrical attacks of all types, from lightning bolts to the powerful charges exuded by certain creatures.
The Warriors of the lands of Khanduras are well trained in all of the weapons of war. Ranging from crusading paladins to unscrupulous mercenaries, Warriors can be found wherever there is conflict amongst their countrymen. Many of these adventuresome men joined with King Leoric's army and went to battle against the Northern kingdom of Westmarch. As the fires of war burned themselves out, these Warriors returned home to find their kingdom in shattered disarray.
Dark rumors of the mysterious demise of King Leoric abound and the evil that lurks within his Cathedral has drawn many Warriors to Khanduras seeking fortune and glory. Though they were warned by the people of Tristram, a few of these brave souls have ventured into the chaotic labyrinth beneath the old church- never to be heard from again...
Whether they are driven by valor, honor, madness or greed, new Warriors arrive in Tristram every day, ready to challenge the dark unknown that awaits them beneath the earth.
The Warrior is the strongest and toughest of the three available Classes, and he excels in the art of close combat. His primary weakness is that his extensive physical training has left little time to develop more than a rudimentary knowledge of magic. The extended periods of time that most Warriors spend away from their homes and civilization requires that they learn to repair their own weapons and armor, although their skill is no match for the talent of a true blacksmith.
The Sisters of the Sightless Eye are a loosely organized guild shrouded in mystery amongst the peoples of the West. These highly skilled archers employ ancient Eastern philosophies that develop an "inner-sight" that they use both in combat and to circumvent dangerous traps that they may encounter. Known only as wandering Rogues in the West, the Sisters conceal their secret affiliation by posing as simple travelers. Many pompous fools have made the mistake of underestimating these steel nerved women in combat and paid a terrible price for their vanity.
The strange events transpiring in Khanduras have caught the attention of many of these Rogues. They have come from as far as the Eastern dunes to test their skills against the dark evil that is said to be lurking in Tristram. It is also believed that untold riches wait to be discovered among the ruins of the Horadrim monastery.
Although not as powerful in close combat as the Warrior, the Rogue is the undisputed master of the bow. A skilled Sister can send a stream of arrows at an opponent, each fired with a seemingly careless precision. The innate sixth sense that all Rogues seem to possess also allows them to sense trapped fixtures, and aids them in attempts to disarm these traps.
Although practitioners of the mystic arts are scarce within the often superstitious and religious lands of the West, many magi have made the pilgrimage from the Far East to see for themselves what horrors lie beneath the ruined Cathedral of Khanduras. The veiled Brotherhood of the Vizjerei, one of the eldest and most dominant mage-clans of the East, has sent many of its acolytes to observe the dark events unfolding in Khanduras first hand.
The Vizjerei, known for their brightly colored turinash -or spirit-robes have taken a keen interest in both gathering knowledge of demons and seeing them slain. The Vizjerei elders hope that their acolytes will learn the secrets of the dark evil that they sense growing in the West and can destroy it. The possibility of discovering long-lost tomes of magical knowledge within the confines of the labyrinth has also captured the interest of many wandering Sorcerers.
Most magic in Khanduras is in the form of enchanted items and elixirs. The Eastern Sorcerers have developed a greater understanding of spellcasting than the other classes, and while a Vizjerei neonate knows only the simplest of spells to start, he can expect to rapidly grow in power as he discovers new incantations. All Sorcerers possess the ability to recharge spell staves by drawing power from their surroundings and channeling them through the staff.
As you explore the world of Diablo you will encounter many items that can aid you in your expeditions. Items can be examined by picking them up and highlighting them in your inventory. A description of the item will appear in the Description Box at the bottom of the Interface Bar.
By using precious metals, magical gems, and eldritch symbols, many items can be magically enhanced. Any enchanted items that your character discovers will have their descriptions displayed in blue. While your character can sense the unnatural nature of the treasure by its appearance and magical aura, he or she will need to have it magically identified before these abilities make themselves known.
Items which have their name and description displayed in gold are unique items and are treasures of legendary power. Although your character may recognize the artifact from stories and myths, he or she will still need to identify it to discover the truth behind its reputation.
Many items require that your character meet certain Attribute minimums to be used effectively. A war maul, for instance, can only be used by extremely strong heroes. Very powerful scrolls and books can only be understood by those with the highest magical abilities. If your character does not meet the requirements to use an item, that item will appear in red when picked up or carried.
Over time, weapons and armor wear down until they eventually break. Equipment found in the labyrinth is almost always worn by time and improper care. A gold silhouette of the worn equipment will appear in the corner of the Play Area when it is close to breaking. The silhouette will turn red just before the item is completely destroyed.
Warriors can perform quick repairs on their equipment, but this inevitably lowers the items’ quality over time. A good blacksmith can repair equipment without lowering its long term effectiveness, for a price. Enchanted weapons and armor must be repaired by using the same precious metals and gems that were used during its construction, and can be expensive to have repaired.
Very few creatures in the labyrinth can be reasoned with, and only a fool or a very powerful sorcerer would dare enter the confines of the church without a sturdy weapon in hand. It is rumored that there are many enchanted weapons buried
beneath the church, remnants of the Horadrim’s war against the Three.
The sword is the epitome of the warrior’s weapon. Forged in fire and tempered to a fine edge, a good blade can cut through armor or a demon’s thick hide with equal ease. Some warrior clans of Khanduras go so far as to forsake any other weapon besides a sword, and abandon the use of a shield in favor of greatswords that stand the full height of a man.
Axes are favored by those who are willing to sacrifice defense for power. In addition to being slower than other weapons, even the smallest combat axe requires two hands be free to wield properly, precluding the use of a shield. However, no other mundane item can match the damage of a good axe. Legends speak of enchanted axes capable of slicing through flesh and steel as if through butter.
Maces and Clubs
Sometimes the simplest tools are the best. Whether it be a stout piece of wood or a spiked mace, a good clubbing weapon
can be deadly in the hands of a strong warrior. The minions of Mephisto—the undead—are said to have an especially difficult time resisting the effects of broken bones and shattered limbs.
The art of staff fighting has never gained much acceptance in Khanduras, but long ago the Brotherhood of Vizjerei discovered ways to use a simple wooden staff as a container for focused magical energy. The process of creating a spell staff is very time consuming, but even an apprentice Vizjerei can recharge a staff by channeling magical energy into it. Spell staves may be used to cast spells that the wielder does not yet know, and that do not require the expenditure of mana. The staff must be wielded in order to use the spell it contains.
Oddly enough, the act of infusing a staff with sorceries seems to grant the staff a will of its own. Only those skilled in the arts of magic can hope to control very powerful spell staves. It is also possible to find staves that have been further enchanted to make them more effective in combat or to grant other abilities to the wielder.
To prepare a spell from a staff, use the Speedbook to ready the spell. Spells from staves will appear on an orange background. To cast the spell right-click on the spell’s target.
Bows are excellent weapons for those who to prefer to strike at their foes from a distance. The greatest archers in the world are the Sisters of the Sightless Eye. They are trained in the use of every instrument of archery, from the short bows used by the Horsemen of the Kataan Steppes to the great war bows of the Northern Tribes. Even the most skilled of the Sisters, however, knows that a bow is no match for a sword or other weapon if the fighting should come to close quarters. Note:
Holding down the Shift key while attacking with a bow will prevent your character from moving closer to his or her target.
Good armor is essential if you wish to survive the attacks of the creatures lurking in the labyrinth. Even a simple leather jerkin or thick cloak can help to turn aside a weapon’s edge or a demon’s claws and prevent the wearer from being mortally wounded. There are three general classifications of armor.
Light armor ranges from simple clothing, such as robes and cloaks, to hardened leather armor. Even tossed aside rags will provide some protection. Although armor of this type offers minimal protection from most attacks, it is very lightweight and inexpensive to repair.
This category includes basic metal armor, such as chain mail and ring mail. In general, armors of this type provide good protection from physical attacks, but are heavy enough that only athletic characters can wear them comfortably.
Most heavy armor consists of solid metal plates over a chain mesh. The extent of the plate coverage determines the exact type of armor. Field plate, for instance, covers only the torso and arms with solid plates to provide maximum mobility. Only the strongest heroes can wear heavy armor, and it is very expensive to repair. Plate armor does provide the highest protection possible from physical attacks, and enchanted plate armor can make a warrior nearly unstoppable.
Even a simple leather cap can spell the difference between life and death, and it is a good idea to use the best helmet
that you can afford. Many members of the Horadrim wore crowns of unearthly metals to reflect their status, and often these crowns were enchanted for superior protection.
Shields are extremely popular as both a means of defense and decoration. Your character will automatically attempt to
block any incoming blows with his or her shield, and in times of desperation it can even be used as a bashing weapon. Bows, axes, staves, and other two-handed weapons cannot be used in conjunction with a shield.
Precious gems and metals make excellent foci for magical enchantments. Although most of the knowledge of creating such talismans has been either been long lost or is jealously guarded by the Eastern mage clans, rings and amulets of power may still be discovered. The primary drawback of enchanted jewelry is that multiple pieces seem to interfere with each other. For this reason, only one ring may be worn on each hand, and but one amulet may be worn about the neck. The greatest advantage of rings and amulets is that they are nearly impossible to strike in combat, and as such do not need to be repaired or maintained as armor does.
One form of magic that is still strong in the West is the brewing of elixirs that can have a variety of beneficial effects on the imbiber. By far the most common of these draughts are healing potions, which can instantly mend torn flesh and knit broken bone back together. Mana potions are infused with raw magical energy to restore the abilities of spell casters that have expended their power. The old church is sure to have a strong supply of both types of potions, as the clergy used them to care for the sick and wounded. Locals skilled in herbcraft may also be able to supply your character with potions, for the right price. It’s known that the greatest of the Horadrim alchemists created strange concoctions that permanently affected the drinker.
To drink a potion, right-click on it when it is on your belt or in your backpack. You can also use the potion’s hotkey if it is on your character’s belt.
By carefully preparing special parchment with magical inks, a focus for spells can be created. Such magical scrolls provide the reader with the ability to cast a spell that they normally may not know, without expending any mana. Very powerful spells cannot be used by the untrained, however, for the cryptic symbols upon them are difficult to comprehend. The act of casting the spell drains the scroll of all magical power and causes the parchment to crumble to dust instantly.
To cast a spell from a scroll, either right-click on a scroll that your character is carrying, or use the Speedbook to prepare the spell. Spells from scrolls will appear on a red background.
More valuable than gold to any sorcerer, books may contain clues to quests, spell formulas, or other pieces of knowledge. The time of the Horadrim is considered to be the greatest age of magic, when untold discoveries in the arcane arts were made. These powerful mystics used every ounce of power at their command to preserve humanity. Although the Eastern mage-clans keep watch over vast libraries of magical tomes, it is suspected that a great part of this knowledge was lost when the last of the Horadrim died. There may be lost works beneath the church that could bring some of these ancient magics to light…
You can discover a book’s contents by left-clicking on it when your character discovers it. Books that contain spell formulas can be carried by your character to trade - or to study. Rightclicking on such books will increase your ability with a specific spell. No single book can teach your character all that there is to know about a spell, however. The more books that your character reads on a specific spell, the greater his or her ability with spell will become. Mastering a spell requires intimate knowledge of the ways of magic, This is reflected by an increasing magic requirement to memorize the spell.
During the long reign of peace that existed in Khanduras most towns and cities agreed upon a standard gold coin to use in trade. The Church of Zakarum has tried to have its own currency accepted as the new standard, but so far it has gained little acceptance. Although it would seem that the minions of the Three would have no use for gold coins, many demons hoard all the wealth that they can find.
To drop a specific number of coins, right-click on gold in your character’s inventory. Type in the amount of gold that you wish your character to drop, and press the Enter key.
Spells and Magic
The Nature of Magic
| “Either slain thou shalt gain|
heaven, or conquering thou
- The Bhagavad Gita
Some scholars use natural manifestations to explain the workings of the universe. In a common archetype, the physical world is likened to the sky while the ethereal realm of magic is set as the ocean. If we follow this line of thought, spells are much like the turbulence that occurs where the two interact with each other. During the Sin War, Demon and Angel alike wrought powerful magicks that threatened to tear the fabric of reality apart. The physical and magical realms began to blur and merge, which, in our archetype, would be the equivalent of a fierce hurricane.
The Forces of Order sought to preserve our reality by limiting the power of mortal man. As a consequence, only the strongest wills can harness more than the most basic of magical effects. Even then, much energy is lost in the transition of power between the two Realms. As a practitioner of the arcane arts grows more knowledgeable he is able to create these effects with greater efficiency, resulting in spells that are more potent, have more endurance and drain less Mana in their casting.
The true essence of Fire lies at the edge of Energy and Matter. It is, therefore, a fairly simple matter to shape Mana into a magical flame. Controlling a bolt of this fire as it flies towards its target is another matter entirely. As experience and knowledge with this spell grows, both the intensity of the flame and the speed of the bolt can be increased with the caster feeling less exertion.
Inferno sacrifices the mobility of a Firebolt for pure damaging power. Rather than attempting to control the path and
cohesiveness of a single bolt, the caster conjures forth an individual, focused stream of flame. Although it dissipates
beyond more than a few paces, with a greater understanding of the forces at work the stream of fire can not only be
extended a significant amount, but also can be maintained for a few moments more. The heat of an Inferno is more intense than that of a Firebolt as more Mana is being converted into essential energy.
Wall of Fire
Magical fire feeds upon no earthly source, being fueled instead by the mystic energies known as Mana. While the heat of
conjured flames may cause normal matter to combust and burn on its own, the flames themselves will burn as long they
have Mana to draw upon. By carefully controlling the flow of Mana to a magical fire, its life-span can be extended well
beyond that of a Firebolt or an Inferno. The Horadrim were skilled enough to create torches that burn with an eternal
flame, but those abilities have been long lost. With this spell, the caster creates a wall of eldritch flame that will burn until the Mana in that area has been exhausted. As knowledge of this spell increases, the rate at which Mana must be consumed can be better controlled and the Wall of Fire can be made to burn longer.
|<center>“When all magic fails, rely on
three feet of steel and a strongarm…”
The caster of this spell seeks to control the discharge of electrical energy by focusing it into a single stream of Lightning. The effects of channeling this powerful force of nature onto an unprotected creature are awesome indeed. With experience, these bolts of lightning may be maintained for a longer period of time while requiring less Mana to be used.
The Flash spell was created to fight the servants of Baal, whose minions prefer to surround their enemies and attack from all sides simultaneously. To properly form most incantations, the caster must be able to concentrate long enough to complete the necessary invocations and gestures. With this spell, the caster draws in as much Mana as possible as quickly as possible from the surrounding area and concentrates it into a single point within his own body. This Mana is then released in a single burst of raw energy that dissipates very rapidly – and very violently. While this spell is usable only in close combat, it is extremely potent and will strike creatures on all sides of the caster.
While the Horadrim were the greatest mortal spell casters ever known, not all of the followers of the Light were as proficient in magic as they were. During the quest to bind Mephisto, common soldiers were hard pressed to combat the seemingly endless tides of the undead that guarded the First Brother. During this time, Cathan, a devout priest who was also a fierce warrior, found that by invoking the powers of the High Heavens and then infusing them with the essence of Fire, a bolt of great speed and intensity could be created and used by those otherwise untrained in the use of magic. This Holy Bolt harms only the undead, making it far safer to use while on a chaotic battlefield.
The art of self healing is an invaluable ability, and it is for this reason that this spell has been preserved throughout the ages. When cast, Mana courses through the body, instantly knitting broken bone, replacing torn tissue and reducing the effects of shock and fatigue. With time, this spell can be developed to the point that it can instantly restore even those on the brink of death. The ability to heal others is much rarer, and those that can do so are greatly respected.
During the assault upon Mephisto's Fortress of Bone, the army led by the Horadrim was nearly overwhelmed by the legions
of the damned. As soon as one of the crusaders was slain in combat, his body would rise again as an undead warrior to
fight against his former companions. On the eve of what was to be the final attack upon the Fortress, a mysterious figure in white appeared before the Council of the Horadrim. This apparition revealed to them the secret of piercing the barrier between Life and Death. By Resurrecting the slain soldiers, they could be saved from eternal corruption. Those present at the Council swore an oath never to use this ability once the battle was over, but somehow the secret escaped. This spell has the power to bring a dead soul back to the physical world, but it must be performed at the site of the person’s death.
Any object imbued with magic exhibits an aura that is easily noticed. To determine the exact nature of this enchantment, however, requires intense study and an extensive knowledge of arcane materials and symbols. While none have mastered the ability to memorize a spell of this magnitude, the Vizjerei have developed a means for the untrained to discover the secrets of an ensorcelled object by using a rare crystal that is extremely sensitive to magical
auras. This sensitivity makes it very fragile, however and the crystal will shatter if it is brought too close to an enchanted item. The very act of Identifying such an object also destroys the crystal. Scrolls and staves have been crafted that can be used to Identify magical auras. By using special inks and dyes that contain tiny grains of these crystals, the stability of the crystal is maintained until it is used to examine the enchanted object.
The Horadrim constructed numerous magical gateways between the mighty fortresses so that they could quickly concentrate their defenses against any incursion by the Demons. With but a thought, the Crusaders of the Light could transport themselves to predetermined destinations many leagues apart. Although the secret of creating these gateways has been long lost, it is still possible to use the pathways that are already in place. A Portal opened by means of this spell will always take the caster to the location of the nearest gate and remain open long enough to bring
the caster back to his point of origin. The Church of Tristram is built upon the remains of a Horadrim monastery, and it is quite probable that a gateway lies nearby.
This versatile spell is derived from a training exercise that was used by the Horadrim. Once they reached a certain point in their training, acolytes were bound and locked in a cell, with the key to the door lying on the floor in front of them. The student had to unlock and open the door without being able to physically move. Through intense concentration and fine control, the acolyte could manipulate the key as if it was held by an invisible hand. Those that were able to open the cell door were allowed to proceed to the next level of training. There is some speculation as to the fate of those unfortunates that lacked the magical prowess to escape. Today, this spell serves as a reminder that what was once a simple mental exercise for the Horadrim is now a difficult spell known by few sorcerers. Telekinesis could prove very useful in the labyrinth, as there are many trapped doors and chests that could be safely
opened from a distance. By exerting greater force, at a cost in fine control, creatures can also be pushed away from the caster.
- Arthur Rimbaud
I have summarized the information that I discovered. Due to the length of time that has passed since most of the original accounts were written, and the uncertainty surrounding the present evil that plagues this land, I cannot guarantee the veracity of this information. I do, however, believe that this information is as accurate as possible under these trying circumstances.
It is known that the Three Brothers often acted through personal servants. While I would not classify all of these servants as Demons, they do represent the most horrible aspects of their Masters. What follows is what has been documented concerning the creatures that were known to serve the Brothers during their reign of evil. It should be noted that in their battle against the Seraphim, the Brothers would constantly twist and change their servants to best resist the powers that they were facing. Two demons of the same physical shape may have dramatically different weaknesses, depending upon the whims of their Master. The specific species described herein were those most commonly encountered by the Horadrim.
Take the greatest of care when journeying through the cursed lands. It is well known that the creatures of Darkness are a cowardly lot, and will attack using strength of numbers to their advantage whenever possible. I fear the knowledge contained herein is incomplete, at best, for there were no living witnesses of the most powerful horrors. If one of the Three has truly come free of his binding, he will call as many of these infernal servants to him as possible, as well as creating new and more powerful minions to command.
Brotherhood of the Vizjerei
The Minions of Darkness fall into three categories, and are divided according to their masters. Study these words well, for this knowledge may be all that keeps your immortal soul from being devoured by the denizens of the underworld.
Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred (Odium)
Tomorrow, and I have the
-Egyptian Book of the Dead
them in eternal agony and rage.
Skeletons (Ossium Animatum)
These are the skeletal remains of warriors who either died as soldiers in some dark campaign, or were betrayed by those they most trusted. Now animated by unnatural forces, these troops of the Damned forever seek new recruits to join their ranks. If our greatest fears do prove to be true, the skeletal warriors that are rumored to haunt the town of Tristram might well be the corrupted remains of the valiant Horadrim monks laid to rest in the catacombs beneath the church. Only an incredibly potent evil could have disturbed the peaceful slumber of these eremites.
Skeletons are usually found in places where the dead are laid to rest or at the sites of great battles. While physically fragile, they are never lacking in numbers, for those that fall to them in combat are damned to an eternal lust for living blood. Coupled with their unthinking rage, this makes them a
Zombies, (Cibus Animatus)
Worm-ridden and reeking of foul decay, Zombies are formed from the corpses of men executed for committing the most depraved and degenerate crimes against the innocent. They are driven by both the hatred that consumed them in life and an insatiable hunger for the flesh of the living.
Tenacious and possessing stamina of infernal origin, Zombies and their ilk make for a difficult encounter. Fortunately, these undead minions are lacking in both wit and mobility which can be used to great affect against them.
Overlords (Tyrannus Pinguis)
Even the Seraphim are not immune to the corruption of the Dark Lords. One such angel, Inarius, was proud of his beauty and boasted loudly of his purity and worth. His thoughts became so clouded that he believed himself to be above both Angel and Demon, and he left the High Heavens to form his own dominion. He constructed a great cathedral of mirrored glass and crystal, and followers flocked to him, drawn by his numinous charm and wealth. Once Inarius had gathered a sizable army, he decided to prove his power.
Inarius first laid siege to an infernal temple devoted to the worship of Mephisto, but made the foolish mistake of overestimating his prowess. The armies of Inarius laid waste to the temple and killed the dark monks that dwelled within. The Three Evils had considered the vain warrior a mere nuisance and amusement until this time, but this was an insult that they could not bear.
Mephisto himself is said to have appeared at the cathedral of Inarius. He laid waste to the church and the surrounding countryside. The Lord of Hatred took the proud archangel and his followers captive. He bound Inarius with tremendous chains and slowly tore the wings from the back of the angel. Great barbed hooks were then used to stretch out the once glowing skin and his features were distorted by vile powers. Many of the followers of Inarius were given as gifts to Baal and Diablo, but the rest were molded to match the bloated image of the now crippled angel. To this day, Inarius is said to be trapped in Hell within a chamber of mirrors, his eyelids torn from his face as he is forced to gaze upon his misshapen form for all eternity. His misguided followers now serve as Hell’s taskmasters, taking the anguish of their lost glory out upon the bodies of others.
These grotesque demons have considerable brawn hidden beneath their layers of greasy flab. Do not underestimate their strength or their intelligence for crossing swords with them is ill advised. You will be far better served to combat them with ranged weapons or magic.
Magma Demons (Dominus Ardor)
During the Great Conflict tremendous battles were fought in both the High Heavens and the Burning Hells. Both sides often carried the conflict deep within the realms of their enemies. During one epic battle into the very heart of Mephisto’s fiery lair, a group of brave Seraphim warriors fronted an assault against the Lord of Hatred himself. One of these angelic soldiers made a bold attack and struck a fierce blow that caused the foul blood of Mephisto to rain upon the ground. Each drop that fell seared through the crust of Hell itself and formed powerful demons shaped from molten rock. These demons quickly rose to the aid of their master, and drove back the forces of Light by striking them with thrown masses of lava that seared both flesh and bone with the intensity of the Burning Hells. The losses dealt by these Magma Demons were tremendous.
Baal, Lord of Destruction (Excidium)
the invisible worm
Fallen Ones (Nanus Improbus)
Swarms of these impish terrors have been known to come out of the night and tear apart a sleeping village in minutes. Small of stature and simian in appearance, these creatures possess surprising strength and unnatural agility. Other than killing, the only act which gives them pleasure is breeding, so expect to encounter them in large packs.
The small size of these devils does fill them with cowardice, however, and this fear can be used against them. They prefer to attack under the guise of darkness and in large numbers whenever possible. If they are shown great strength, preferably by killing one of their kind, they will retreat and regroup. Do not turn your back on them, though, for their appetite for destruction will eventually overcome their caution and they will attempt to strike again.
Goat Men (Aries Vehemens)
The lieutenants of Baal are bred for strength, endurance, and cunning. These demons constantly train themselves in the art of war, for battle is their bread and the blood of innocents, their water. There are several known “clans” of Goat Men, each given a different gift from their Dark Master. It is believed that to earn their powers they once held mock wars in Hell for the entertainment of the Three Brothers. Do not expect them to fight amongst themselves on the mortal realm, however, for they much prefer to slaughter the innocent.
Like most of Baal’s spawn, the bestial Aries are incredibly strong and agile. Be especially wary of their archers, for they are renowned for the accuracy and power of their great bows. Fleet of foot, they may try to evade an unwary foe and then attack from a different angle.
Spitting Terrors (Bestia Acerbus)
After an especially violent battle, Baal enjoyed celebrating with his Brothers by holding a disgusting feast of blood, human flesh, and other Hellish delights. The Bestia Acerbus are the descendants of doglike creatures that lived by feeding upon the remains of Baal’s nightmarish feasts. The variety of vile substances that the creatures consumed, along with their close proximity to the Lord of Destruction, twisted and warped the viscera of these Hounds of Hell. This diabolic species is capable of spitting up a variety of caustic fluids and projecting them a considerable distance. Packs of these terrors are especially devastating, as their bile has been known to eat through the strongest of armor and poison the most hearty men.
Great care must be taken when within the lair of these Bestia. Their venom retains its potency for a considerable amount of time and puddles of it may be found everywhere. When killed, the beast’s inner toxins eat through the now-dead flesh, leaving a dangerous trap for those foolish enough to tread upon the corpse.
Horned Demons (Impetum Cornuta)
shrilled terror to the ears that
Diablo, Lord of Terror (Metus)
Using illusion and fear as their greatest weapons, the attendants to Diablo are formidable adversaries. They prefer to wait for their opponent to display a moment of weakness before they attack. Equally dangerous in the dark or in your dreams, they are the fears of man made flesh by Diablo’s will. These nightmares lurk at the edges of mortal perception from the moment that you take your first breath - and they long to be with you when your take your last.
Winged Fiends (Alae Nefastus)
Some people are so hungry for power and knowledge that they are willing to sacrifice their humanity to the Lords of Hell in exchange for gifts that inevitably turn against them. One such group, a dark cabal of wizards, decided to take the power of creation into their own hands and magically created a race of creatures to act as servants and messengers. Using infernal abilities granted to them through their arcane pact, they formed small bat-winged imps that they believed would prove useful in carrying out deeds that were too trivial for their own efforts. Each of the sorcerers created an entity that reflected his magical specialization. The creatures thus created were small, nimble and possessed an unnatural cunning.
At first the corrupt sorcerers were overjoyed at the success of their experiment, but they soon began to notice that the Alae did not serve them as loyally as they had hoped. The creatures had taken to secretly feeding from the very essence of their masters, weakening them and eventually killing them. The sorcerers tried to destroy their creations, but the fiends banded together to combat them. The Winged Fiends had been secretly breeding outside of the sorcerer’s domains, and swarms of them attacked, killing their former masters. To this day, the descendants of these creations terrorize the countryside.
Do not underestimate these foul demons. They are physically weak, but posses great speed. Many of them possess unearthly abilities reflecting the powers of their creators and they also enjoy using their razor sharp claws and hooked wings to tear the flesh from the faces of their victims.
Scavengers (Maleficus Vorax)
Maleficus Vorax are the smallest of a related group of demonic creatures that feed upon carrion, mostly the remains of victims killed by their larger cousins. Unlike most scavengers, however, they are extremely aggressive and will not hesitate to attack anyone hapless enough to encounter them. They have powerful legs which they use for swift springing attacks, striking at vulnerable faces and throats. Their primary weakness is their voracious appetite; the smell of death may drive them into a feeding frenzy where they will stop their attacks to feast upon remains that are nearby.
The Hidden (Metus Occultus)
The Hidden are the bogeymen that haunt our dreams and live in the nightmares of children. Although they dwell at the edge of the Physical and Ethereal Realms where they remain unseen by mortal sight, they can quickly manifest and strike those that appear vulnerable. Metus Occultus and others of their ilk feed on the essence of fear. When wounded, they will seek to retreat back into the Ether to heal themselves. It is important to note that even while invisible the creature exists partially on the Physical Realm, and can be affected by spells and weapons.
Gargoyle (Signum Vitiosum)
In ages past, it was customary to decorate buildings with stone statues of demons that were enchanted to serve as guardians and protectors of those within. The misshapen figures of the statues were designed to taunt and anger any demons that attempted to gain entrance. Diablo worked to unlock the wards that protected these granite images, and eventually was able to gift them with a Hadean life. The Gargoyles arose from their captive sleep and swooped down to prey upon those whom they were created to protect. Naturally, the remaining statues were immediately destroyed, but there are Signum that escaped and continue to terrorize the innocent to this day.
The act of transforming from flesh to stone allows the creature to heal any wounds that it has suffered, so it is best to either avoid these demons entirely or to hunt them down until they are dead. Do not allow them to flee, for they will soon return in full force.
Librarius Ex Horadrim - Book One
OF HEAVEN AND HELL
The Great Conflict
Since the Beginning, the forces of Light and Darkness have engaged in an eternal war: The Great Conflict, whose victor will rise from the apocalyptic ashes to hold sway over all creation. To this end, the Angels of the High Heavens adhere to strict militaristic disciplines. Seraphim warriors strike at the enemies of Light with swords imbued with righteous wrath and justice. The Angels believe that only absolute discipline can properly restore order to the myriad realms, while the demonic denizens of the Burning Hells hold that absolute chaos is the true nature of all things.
The battles of the Great Conflict rage across both time and space, often infringing upon the very fabric of reality itself. From the Crystal Arch at the very heart of the High Heavens to the arcane Hellforge of the Underworld, the warriors of these eternal realms journey to wherever their timeless conflict carries them. The legendary deeds of the heroes of the realms beyond elicit both veneration and insight.
The greatest of these heroes was Izual, lieutenant to the Arch-Angel Tyrael and bearer of the Angelic Runeblade Azurewrath. He once led a fierce attack upon the Hellforge as the creation of the dark demonblade Shadowfang was nearing completion. His quest was to destroy both wielder and weapon - a charge that he was destined never to complete. Izual was overcome by the legions of chaos and, tragically, was lost to the Darkness. His fate stands as testament to the fact that Angels and Demons alike shall fearlessly enter into any domain - so long as their hated enemies dwell within.
Although the Great Conflict burned hotter and longer than any of the stars in the sky, neither side could gain dominion over the other for long. Both factions sought some way to turn the tides of the war to their favor. With the ascension of Man and his mortal realm, the Great Conflict ground to a mysterious halt. Both armies paused in a breathless stalemate, waiting to see to whose side Man would eventually turn.
Mortals had the unique ability to choose between Darkness and Light, and it was held that this would be the deciding factor in the outcome of the Great Conflict. Thus, the agents of the nether-realms descended to the mortal realm to vie for the favor of Man…
The Sin War
The coming of the Great Conflict to the mortal realm is known as the Sin War. Angels and Demons, disguising themselves while traveling amongst men, attempted to secretly lure mortals to their respective causes. Over time, the forces of Darkness discovered that mortals responded much more to brute force than to subtle coercion, and so began to terrorize Man into submission. The Angels fought to defend humanity against this demonic oppression, but all too often their austere methods and severe punishments succeeded only in alienating those whom they sought to protect.
The violent battles of the Sin War occurred often, but they were seldom witnessed by the prying eyes of Man. Only a few “enlightened” souls were aware of the supernatural beings that walked amongst the huddled masses of humanity. Powerful mortals arose and accepted the challenge of the Sin War, allying themselves with both sides in the Great Conflict. The legendary deeds of these great mortal warriors served to earn both the respect and hatred of the netherworlds. Although lesser demons kneeled before those possessing power and strength, they also cursed the very existence of mortal man. Many of these fiends believed that the deadlock brought about by the emergence of Man was a perverse offense to their “higher” role in the great scheme of things.
This jealousy of Man led to harsh, atrocious acts of violence by the demons against the mortal realm. Some men learned of this deep hatred and used it against the denizens of the Underworld. One such mortal, Horazon the Summoner, delighted in summoning demons and then breaking them to his will. Horazon, along with his brother Bartuc ,were members of the Eastern mageclan known as the Vizjerei. This mystic clan studied the ways of demons and had catalogued their lore for generations. Empowered by this knowledge, Horazon was able to take the work of the Vizjerei and pervert it for his demented purposes. The denizens of Hell sought revenge against this bold mortal, but Horazon managed to keep himself well protected within his arcane sanctuary.
Bartuc, the brother of Horazon, was eventually lured to the side of Darkness. He was granted exceptional strength and longevity, and fought alongside the legions of Hell against the cursed Vizjerei, and eventually his own brother during the Sin War. Although Bartuc was renowned amongst the warriors of many realms, his dominance in battle came with a terrible price. An insatiable lust for mortal blood pervaded his every thought and deed. Bartuc soon became as fond of bathing in the blood of his enemies as he did of shedding it, and in time he came to be known only as the Warlord of Blood.
The Dark Exile
“Seven is the number of the powers of Hell, and Seven is the number of the Great Evils.”
Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish
Belial, the Lord of LiesAzmodan, the Lord of Sin
These are the true names of the lesser of the Great Evils. For ages uncounted each have ruled over their own domains within the Burning Hells, seeking absolute dominion over their infernal brethren. As the Lesser Four continuously vied for the control of those forces that dwelled within their realms, the Greater Three held absolute power over the whole of Hell. The Lesser Four used dark and evil measures in their quest for power, and herein begins the legend of the Dark Exile.
Baal, the Lord of DestructionDiablo, the Lord of Terror
These are the Prime Evils of Hell that wielded their power as a dark, sovereign triumvirate. The Three Brothers ruled over the Lesser Four by brutal force and malicious cunning. Being the eldest and strongest of the Evils, the Three Brothers were responsible for countless victories against the armies of the Light. Although they never held sway over the High Heavens for long, the Three were justly feared by enemies and subjects alike.
With the ascension of Man and the subsequent standstill of the Great Conflict, the Three Brothers began to devote their energies to the perversion of mortal souls. The Three realized that Man was the key to victory in the war against Heaven, and thus altered their rigid agendum that they had propagated since the Beginning. This change caused many of the Lesser Evils to question the authority of the Three, and so brought about a great rift between the Prime Evils and their servitors.
In their ignorance, the Lesser Evils began to believe that the Three were afraid to continue the war with Heaven. Frustrated by the cessation of the war, Azmodan and Belial saw the situation as their chance to overthrow the Prime Evils and take control of Hell for themselves. The two demon lords made a pact with their minor brethren, assuring them that the wretched plague of humanity would not deter the ultimate victory of the sons of Hell. Azmodan and Belial devised a plan to end the stalemate, achieve victory in the Sin War and ultimately ride the bloody crest of the Great Conflict straight into the very arms of Armageddon. Thus, a great revolution was set into motion as all of Hell went to war against the Three Brothers…
The Brothers fought with all of the savagery of the Underworld, and to their credit, annihilated a third of Hell’s treacherous legions. In the end, however, they were overcome by the Horned Death led by the traitors Azmodan and Belial. The Prime Evils, weakened and bodiless, were banished to the mortal realm where Azmodan hoped that they would remain trapped forever. Azmodan believed that with the Three set loose upon humanity, the Angels would be forced to turn their focus upon on the mortal plane - thus leaving the Gates of Heaven abandoned and defenseless. Those few demons who still pledged allegiance to the Three Brothers fled the wrath of Azmodan and Belial, escaping to the realm of Man to seek out their lost Masters.
As the warfires died out upon the battlefields of Hell, Azmodan and Belial began to argue over which of them held the higher authority. The pact that they had made quickly fell to ashes as the two demon lords took up arms against each other. The legions of Hell that remained were polarized behind either warlord, launching themselves into a bloody civil war that has lasted to this day…
The Binding of the Three
In the ancient days, before the rise of the Western Empires, the dark and terrible entities known as the Three Evils were exiled to the world of Man. These eternal entities wandered throughout the waking world and fed upon the lusts of men, leaving chaos and attrition in their wake. The Evils turned father against son and prompted many great nations into brutal and petty wars. Their Exile from Hell left them with an insatiable hunger to bring suffering and pain to all who would not kneel before them, and so the Three Brothers ravaged the lands of the Far East for countless centuries.
Mephisto and Baal, trapped within the swirling, spiritual constraints of the Soulstones, were then buried beneath the dunes of the desolate Eastern Sands.
The powers of Hatred and wanton Destruction seemed to diminish in the East as a nervous peace began to settle over the land. Yet, for many decades the Horadrim continued their grim search for the third Brother, Diablo. They knew that if the Lord of Terror was left untamed there could never be any lasting peace within the realm of humanity.
The Horadrim followed in the wake of terror and anarchy that spread throughout the Western lands. After a great battle which claimed the lives of many brave souls, the Lord of Terror was captured and imprisoned within the last of the Soulstones by a group of Horadrim monks led by the Initiate Jered Cain. These monks carried the cursed stone to the land of Khanduras and buried it within a secluded cave near the river Talsande. Above this cave the Horadrim constructed a great Monastery from which they could continue to safeguard the Soulstone. As ages passed, the Horadrim constructed a network of catacombs beneath the Monastery to house the earthly remains of the martyrs of their Order.
Generations passed in Khanduras, and the numbers of the Horadrim slowly dwindled. With no quests left to undertake, and too few sons to sustain their guardianship, the once powerful Order faded into obscurity. Eventually, the great Monastery that they had built fell to ruins as well. Although villages grew and thrived around the shell of the old Monastery, no one knew of the dark, secret passageways that stretched into the cold earth beneath it. None could have dreamed of the burning red gem that pulsed within the labyrinth’s heart...
Librarius Ex Horadrim - Book Two
THE RETURN OF TERROR
The Lands of Khanduras
Years after the last of the Horadrim had died, a great and prosperous society grew in the lands of the West. As time wore on, many Eastern pilgrims settled in the lands surrounding Khanduras and soon established small, self contained kingdoms. A few of these kingdoms bickered with Khanduras over holdings of property or routes of trade. These quabbles did little to upset the lasting peace of the West, and the great Northern kingdom of Westmarch proved to be a strong ally of Khanduras as the two lands steadily engaged in ventures of barter and commerce.
During this time, a bold, new religion of the Light known as Zakarum began to spread throughout the kingdom of Westmarch and into many of its northern principalities. Zakarum, founded in the Far East, implored followers to enter into the Light and forsake the darkness that lurked within their souls. The people of Westmarch adopted the statutes of Zakarum as their sacred mission in the world. Westmarch began to turn towards its neighbors, expecting them to embrace this “New Beginning” as well. Tensions rose between the kingdoms of Westmarch and Khanduras as the priests of Zakarum began to preach their foreign dogma whether they were welcomed or not.
It was then that the great northern lord Leoric came unto the lands of Khanduras and, in the name of Zakarum, declared himself King. Leoric was a deeply religious man and had brought many Knights and Priests with him that comprised his Order of the Light. Leoric and his trusted advisor, the Arch Bishop Lazarus, made their way to the city of Tristram. Leoric appropriated the ancient, decrepit Monastery on the outskirts of the town for his seat of power and renovated it to match its time-lost glory. Although the free people of Khanduras were not pleased with being placed under the sudden rule of a foreign King, Leoric served them with justice and might. Eventually, the people of Khanduras grew to respect the kind Leoric, sensing that he sought only to guide and protect them against the oppression of Darkness.
Not long after Leoric took possession of Khanduras, a power long asleep awakened within the dark recesses beneath the Monastery. Sensing that freedom was within his grasp, Diablo entered the nightmares of the Arch Bishop and lured him into the dark, subterranean labyrinth. In his terror, Lazarus raced throughout the abandoned hallways until he at last came to the chamber of the burning Soulstone. No longer in command of his body or spirit, he raised the stone above his head and uttered words long forgotten in the realm of mortals. His will destroyed, Lazarus shattered the Soulstone upon the ground. Diablo once again came into the world of Man. Although he was released from his imprisonment within the Soulstone, the Lord of Terror was still greatly weakened from his long sleep and required an anchor to the world. Once he had found a mortal form to wear, he could begin to reclaim his vastly depleted power. The great demon weighed the souls residing in the town above, and chose to take the strongest of them - that of King Leoric.
For many months King Leoric secretly fought the evil presence that twisted his thoughts and emotions. Sensing that he had been possessed by some unknown evil, Leoric hid his dark secret from his Priests, hoping that somehow his own devout righteousness would be enough to exorcise the corruption growing inside him - he was sorely mistaken. Diablo stripped away the core of Leoric’s being, burning away all honor and virtue from his soul. Lazarus too, had fallen under the sway of the Demon, keeping close to Leoric at all times. Lazarus worked to conceal the plans of his new Master from the Order of Light, hoping that the demon’s power would grow, well concealed amongst the servants of Zakarum.
The priests of Zakarum and the citizenry of Khanduras recognized the disturbing change within their liege. His once proud and rugged form became distorted and deformed. King Leoric became increasingly deranged and ordered immediate executions of any who dared to question his methods or authority. Leoric began to send his Knights to other villages to bully their townspeople into submission. The people of Khanduras who had once grown to see great honor in their ruler began to call Leoric the Black King.
Driven to the brink of madness by the Lord of Terror, King Leoric slowly alienated his closest friends and advisors. Lachdanan, Captain of the Knights of the Order of Light and honored Champion of Zakarum, tried to discern the nature of his King’s deteriorating spirit. Yet at every turn the Arch-Bishop Lazarus would waylay Lachdanan and admonish him for questioning the actions of the King. As tensions grew between the two, Lazarus charged Lachdanan with treason against the Kingdom. To the Priests and Knights of Leoric’s court, the prospect of Lachdanan committing treason was ridiculous. Lachdanan’s motives were honorable and just, and soon many began question the reason of their once beloved King.
Leoric’s madness was growing more obvious with each passing day. Sensing that the advisors of the court were becoming increasingly suspicious of foul treachery, Lazarus desperately sought to contain the eroding situation. The Arch-Bishop masterfully convinced the delusional Leoric that the kingdom of Westmarch was plotting against him, secretly planning to dethrone him and annex Khanduras into its own lands. Leoric flew into a rage and summoned his advisors to his side. Manipulated by the Arch-Bishop, the paranoid King declared a state of war between the kingdoms of Khanduras and Westmarch.
Leoric ignored the warnings and admonishments of his advisors and the royal army of Khanduras was ordered to the North to engage in a war that they did not believe in. Lachdanan was appointed by Lazarus to lead the armies of Khanduras into Westmarch. Although Lachdanan argued the against the necessity of the coming conflict, he was honor-bound to uphold the will of his King. Many of the high-priests and officials were forced to travel to the North as emissaries on errands of diplomatic urgency, as well. The desperate ploy of Lazarus had succeeded in sending many of the King’s more ‘troublesome’ advisors to their certain deaths…
The Darkening of Tristram
The absence of prying advisors and inquisitive Priests left Diablo free to assume total control over the King’s battered soul. As the Lord of Terror attempted to strengthen his hold upon the maddened King, he found that the lingering spirit of Leoric fought with him still. Although the control over Leoric that Diablo held was formidable, the Demon knew that in his weakened state he could never take complete possession of his soul as long as a glimmer of his will remained. The demonlord sought a fresh and innocent host upon which to build his Terror.
The demon relinquished his control over Leoric, but the King’s soul was left corrupted and his mind crazed. Diablo began to search throughout Khanduras for the perfect vessel to act as his focus, and found such a soul easily within his reach. Enjoined by his dark master, Lazarus kidnapped Albrecht - the only son of Leoric - and dragged the terrified youth down into the blackness of the labyrinth. Flooding the boy’s defenseless mind with the essence of pure Terror, Diablo easily took possession of the young Albrecht.
Pain and fire raced through the child’s soul. Hideous laughter filled his head and clouded his thoughts. Paralyzed with fear, Albrecht felt the presence of Diablo within his mind as it seemed to push him down, deeper and deeper into darkness and oblivion. Diablo gazed upon his surroundings through the eyes of the young prince. A lustful hunger still tortured the demon after his frustrating bout for control over Leoric, but the nightmares of the boy provided ample substance to sate him. Reaching deep into Albrecht’s subconscious, Diablo ripped the greatest fears of the child from their hiding places and gave them breath.
Albrecht watched, as if out of a dream, twisted and disfigured forms appeared all around him. Unholy, writhing visages of terror danced about him chanting choruses of obscenities. All of the ‘monsters’ that he had ever imagined or believed that he had seen in his life became flesh and were given life before him. Large bodies comprised of living rock erupted from the walls and bowed to their dark master. The ancient, skeletal corpses of the Horadrim arose from archaic crypts and lumbered off into the red washed corridors beyond. As the cacophony of madness and nightmares hammered its final blow against Albrecht’s shattered spirit, the bloodlusted ghouls and demons of his mind scattered and scrambled maniacally into the lengthening passageways of his waking Nightmare.
The ancient catacombs of the Horadrim had become a twisted labyrinth of raw, focused Terror. Empowered by Diablo’s possession of young Albrecht, the creatures of the boy’s own imagination had gained corporeal form. So strong was the terror that grew inside of Albrecht, that the borders of the Mortal realm began to warp and tear. The Burning Hell began to seep into the world of Man and take root within the labyrinth. Beings and occurrences displaced by time and space, and long lost to the history of Man were pulled screaming into the ever-expanding domain.
The body of Albrecht, fully possessed by Diablo, began to distort and change. The small boy grew and his eyes blazed as tendril-like spines ripped through his flesh. Great, arched horns erupted from Albrecht’s skull as Diablo altered the form of the child to match that of his demonic body. Deep within the recesses of the labyrinth, a growing power was being harnessed. When the moment was right, Diablo would venture once more into the mortal world and free his captive Brothers Mephisto and Baal. The Prime Evils would be reunited, and together they would reclaim their rightful place in Hell.
The Fall of the Black King
The war against the zealous armies of Westmarch ended with a horrible slaughter. With the army of Khanduras ripped to shreds by the superior numbers and defensive positions of Westmarch, Lachdanan quickly gathered together those who were not captured or killed and ordered a retreat back to the safety of Khanduras. They returned to find the town of Tristram in shambles.
King Leoric, deep within the throes of madness, went into a rage when he learned that his son was missing. After scouring the village with the few guards that remained with him at the monastery, Leoric had decided that the townsfolk had abducted his son and hidden him somewhere. Although the townsfolk denied any knowledge of Prince Albrecht’s whereabouts, Leoric insisted that they had crafted a conspiracy against him, and that they would pay the price for such treachery.
The mysterious disappearance of the Arch-Bishop Lazarus left no one in Tristram with whom the King would take council. Overcome by grief and dementia, Leoric had many of the townsfolk executed for the crime of high treason.
As Lachdanan and his fellow survivors returned to confront their King, Leoric sent his few remaining guards against them. Believing that Lachdanan was somehow part of the townsfolk’s conspiracy, Leoric decreed that he and his party were to die. Lachdanan, finally realizing that Leoric was beyond salvation, ordered his men to defend themselves. The ensuing battle carried them down into the very halls of the darkened Monastery, bringing a final desecration to the once holy sanctum of the Horadrim. Lachdanan won a bittersweet victory as his men were forced to kill all of Leoric’s deceived protectors. They cornered the ravenous King within his own sanctuary and begged him to explain the atrocities he had committed. Leoric only spat at them and cursed them for traitors against both his crown and the Light.
Lachdanan walked slowly towards his King and sorrowfully drew his sword. Full of grief and rage, all honor having been cast to the winds, Lachdanan ran his blade through Leoric’s shriveled, blackened heart. The once noble King screamed an unearthly death-cry, and as his madness finally overtook him, he brought down a curse upon those who had so betrayed him. Calling upon the forces of Darkness that he had spent his entire life combating, Leoric condemned Lachdanan and the others to eternal damnation. In that last, fleeting moment within the heart of the Monastery, all that was ever virtuous or honorable about the stewards of Khanduras was shattered forever.
The Reign of Diablo
The Black King lay dead, slain at the hands of his own Priests and Knights. The young Prince Albrecht was still missing, and the proud defenders of Khanduras were no more. The people of Tristram looked about their lifeless town and were greatly dismayed. Awash in feelings of both relief and remorse, they soon realized that their troubles had merely begun. Strange, eerie lights appeared in the darkened windows of the Monastery. Misshapen, leathery-skinned creatures were seen venturing forth from the shadows of the church. Horrible, wounded cries seemed to linger on the wind, emanating from deep underground. It became apparent that something quite unnatural had infested the once holy sight…
Travelers on the roads surrounding Tristram were accosted by cloaked riders that seemed to now constantly roam the deserted countryside. Many villagers fled Tristram, making their way to other towns or kingdoms, fearing some unnamed evil that seemed to wait in the shadows all around them. Those few who chose to remain seldom ventured out at night, and never tread foot upon the grounds of the cursed Monastery. Whispered rumors of poor, innocent people being abducted in the night by wicked, nightmarish creatures filled the halls of the local inn. With no King, no law, and no army left to defend them, many of the townsfolk began to fear an attack from the things that now dwelt beneath their town.
The Arch-Bishop Lazarus, frayed and disheveled, returned from his absence and assured the townsfolk that he too had been ravaged by the growing evil of the Monastery. With their desperate need for reassurance clouding their good judgment, Lazarus whipped the townspeople into a frenzied mob. Reminding them that Prince Albrecht was still unaccounted for, he persuaded many of the men to follow him into the depths of the Monastery to search for the boy. They gathered torches and soon the night air glowed with the flickering light of hope. They armed themselves with shovels, picks and scythes and so prepared, they boldly followed the treacherous Arch-Bishop straight into the fiery maw of Hell itself...
The few who survived the horrible fate that awaited them returned to Tristram and recounted what they could of the ordeal. Their wounds were terrible, and even the skills of the healer could not save some of them. As the stories of demons and devils spread, a stifling, primal Terror began to consume the hearts of all of the town’s inhabitants. It was a Terror that none of them had ever known...
Deep beneath the foundations of the ruined Monastery, Diablo gorged himself upon the fears of the mortals above him. He slowly sank back into the welcoming shadows and began to harness his depleted power.
He smiled to himself in the sheltering darkness, for he knew that the time of his final victory was fast approaching...
The Nature of the Soulstones
It was long ago that the enigmatic Arch-Angel Tyrael bestowed upon us the secrets of the mysterious Soulstones. Tyrael bequested upon our Order three of these Stones so we could contain the vile essences of the Three Prime Evils who had been let loose upon our world. Although the artifacts were constructed in realms far removed from our own, we found that they were simple to understand.
The Soulstones effect only beings that are non-corporealand thus have no power over living, breathing creatures. When invoked, the Soulstones bring into being a strong “spiritual” vacuum. Any non-physical entities caught within this vacuum are drawn into the burning recesses of the Soulstone and are forever trapped within. These spirits are released only when the Soulstone is deactivated or destroyed.
The power of the Soulstones proved to be much more difficult to employ when used against the great Prime Evils. Voraciously disposed to possessing hapless mortals, the Three Brothers found that they were immune to the effects of the Stones while occupying human souls. Sadly, we were forced to hunt down and kill the innocent victims of the Prime Evils so that their demonic essences could be subject to the effects of the Soulstones.
Mephisto and Diablo, once found, were easily lured into the Soulstones. The capture of their brother Baal, however, became complicated when the Soulstone that was to be his eternal prison was shattered and fragmented. We found that while the shards still held the power to lure the demon to them, they could not properly contain it. Tal Rasha, a fellow Initiate who has been since immortalized in Horadrim lore, theorized that a mortal of strong will might be able to contain Baal within his own mortal soul. This sacrifice meant that the essence of any mortal so chosen would be forever tortured while locked in eternal conflict with the enthralled demon. To this end, Tal Rasha volunteered to contain the raging Lord of Destruction.
Piercing his breast with a shard of the Soulstone, Tal Rasha took within himself the essence of Baal, the Lord of Destruction. The Initiate’s body was shackled, chained and buried deep within a tomb under the desert. The sacrifice of Tal Rasha has kept Baal imprisoned for many years now, and although the demon was imprisoned without the use a whole Soulstone, we believe that our victory may be a hollow one. Should Tal Rasha ever escape, he would have the formidable powers of Baal added to his own. By ridding the world of this present Evil, we may have created a nightmare worse than that which we first sought to contain...
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