BlizzCon 2011: Diablo 3 Lore Primer — New and Returning Characters

From the angels of the High Heavens to the demons of the Burning Hells — and all manner of mortals in between — the Diablo series has introduced some memorable characters. During the BlizzCon 2011 Diablo 3 Lore panel, Blizzard gave us a crash course on some of D3′s back story.

Assuming you’ve at least played Diablo 1 or 2, we’ll get you caught up on what familiar faces to look out for and what new faces to expect.


The Angiris Council

The High Heavens are presided over by the Angiris Council, a group of five senior Archangels. Among them is our favorite angel: Tyrael, Angel of Justice. Impressed with humanity’s self-sacrificing potential, he has intervened in the affairs of mortals on more than one occasion — against the will of the rest of the council.

Auriel, Angel of Hope, is the only female in the group, and is the grounding force among the angels. Her role was compared to that of the cleric in an RPG party. Malthael is the grim Angel of Wisdom, the scythe-wielding voice of reason who acts as the council’s consiglieri. Itherael, Angel of Fate, can see the future, but is blind to the affairs of mortals, who weren’t meant to exist.

Imperius, Angel of Valor, is the “badass commander” of the group. He’s killed “billions” of demons, and is the loudest voice on the council, to the point of being a bully. Valor can turn to pride, and Tyrael and Imperius often clash. I’m expecting to see some interesting dynamics between these two in Diablo 3.

The Lords of the Burning Hells

The diametric opposite of the High Heavens, the Burning Hells were ruled by three Prime Evils: Diablo, Lord of Terror, Baal, Lord of Destruction, and Mephisto, Lord of Hatred. However, a civil war started by the Lesser Evils usurped the Prime Evils and banished them to the mortal realm, an event that came to be known as the Dark Exile.

Of the four Lesser Evils, Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish, and Duriel, the Prince of Pain, were defeated in Diablo 2. That leaves Belial, the Lord of Lies, and Azmodan, the Lord of Sin, who will feature in Diablo 3.

Belial operates through agents, behind a veil of secrecy and a web of lies — he doesn’t like to get his hands dirty. Through manipulation, he took over a major trade city, and among his agents are a witch’s coven and shape-shifting snake demons.

As for Azmodan, he ruled Hell for 300 years after Dark Exile; he’s behind Diablo 3′s demon invasion. And he knows you’re coming for him. Azmodan is the last Lord of Hell — take him out, and there will be no one left. All evil will be gone, forever…

Yeah, I don’t buy it, either. “Or will it?” has heavily implied at the panel.

Speculation aside, Azmodan has seven lieutenants, each representing one of the classic seven sins. Revealed at BlizzCon was Cydaea, Maiden of Lust — previously known as the Mistress of Pain. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, you may remember her as the winner of the BlizzCon costume contest a couple years back:

The Mistress of Pain was actually cut from the game, but after seeing that fantastic costume at BlizzCon, Blizzard found a way to bring her back.

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