BlizzCon 2011: Diablo III Lore Panel Transcript
The Angiris Council
Chris Metzen: Angels. We never have talked about them. You might have heard a few names like Tyrael, Izual, Inarius (this angel that went nuts and stole the Worldstone and a world for us to live in).
As we were developing Diablo III, we thought it would be cool to kinda chase down these angels. Who are these guys? What’s going on? We always deal with the lords of Hell, we know who these seven yahoos are, why not just kinda rip/hook ideas for the other side of the argument.
So what we jammed up long ago was the Angiris Council. The Council of five archangels who pretty much rule and administrate over the High Heavens.
They are the direct opposite counterparts for the Lords of Hell. Much like the Lords of Hell, who each have their own sphere of influence, you know like the Lord of Terror, Hate and Destruction, the Angirls Council also has very specific spheres of influence that pretty much define who they are, and what their function is in the High Heavens.
Tyrael, Angel of Justice
As we are rolling through, Tyrael is the Archangel of Justice. What’s kinda cool about the Eons of history of Diablo before the creation of Sanctuary — Tyrael is about order, Tyrael is about justice, he’s about the system of how things work. Very unbending, very rigid type of guy. What’s cool about the dawn of mankind, the creation of Sanctuary, when Tyrael finds out that this world exists — the result of the Sin War where a nephalem hero named Uldyssian kinda achieves ultimate power, he’s on the verge of achieving … he’s just this maximum nephalem power (I got stop doing these puns) who scares the living (beep) of Heaven and Hell, Uldyssian gives up himself, and he pretty much sacrifices himself instead of attaining godhood.
He chooses humanity at the end, and pretty much dies in an attempt to reset things in the world. Affected by Uldyssian’s sacrifice, Tyrael — this rigid Archangel of Justice pretty much goes “Wow!”
This mortals who scares everybody else have such capacity (Peter Brady!) for selflessness, and honor, and heroism that Tyrael really begins to change. He really kinda begins to drop the whole systemic thinking and legalistic world-view. He kinda becomes the maverick of Heaven.
It’s interesting that the Archangel of Justice pretty much becomes Diablo of the Angiris Council, and we see through his history time and time again that he has intervened on behalf of mankind because he believes that we have some great inner-worth, and it’s essentially why he is our favorite angel (right?). Tyrael. He’s the man. You guys dig that Tyrael statue there? It’s crazy. So bad ass.
Auriel, Angel of Hope
The next archangel is Auriel. The archangel of Hope. Auriel is, as you would expect, the most uplift of the Angiris Council. She’s seriously a heart attack of infinitely wise, infinitely hopeful. If this was a player group she’d be the cleric.
With her power, with her kind of Collar of Hope — it is this item that she wears that she needs to bless, during her blessings you can see this cool energy ribbon.
Auriel is the heart of the group. You might assume the archangels in this family are very disfunctional, they don’t really get along very well — even though they are wonderful angelic people they typically have their heads up their asses, and Auriel really tends to be the grounding force around them.
Malthael, Angel of Wisdom
The next angel we want to talk about is Malthael. Angel of Wisdom. He’s an interesting character. We’re still really kinda chasing down his storyline. He’s the angel of wisdom, and from time immemorial he’s really served the Angiris Council as kinda the voice of reason. When he speaks with this soft little voice everyone listens. He’s usually right, which kinda pisses everybody else off. The interesting thing in the history we’ve deviced is at the point Inarius and his buddies hijack the Worldstone — you know, the heart of creation — to some degree Malthael flipped out. This guy is constantly thinking about the universe and the truth of reality. Suddenly the heart of reality blinks out.
Again, Sanctuary has been created, and these guys don’t know where it went, and it kinda fries his brain a little bit, and over time Malthael kinda begins to darken a little bit. We’re still kinda working on the story, but interesting transition. From the angel of wisdom, he’s become something more like a very grim character.
Malthael has definitely a big part to play in the ongoing story of the Diablo universe.
Imperius, Angel of Valor
Imperius is one of the newest characters we’ve developed. He’s very commanding. He’s an absolute badass in combat. He lives to tool out demons. He’s been fighting them since the dawn of time. He’s killed billions and billions of demons and he’s real good at it, and he tends to have a loud voice on the council.
You could imagine sometimes he almost bullies his things to get his way. The dangers for someone like Imperius is that valor can so often turn to pride, and for that reason Imperius and Tyrael kinda go at it from time to time.
They are kinda the two older brothers, and they kinda get into each other’s skin often. They have different views on things like the nature of creation, things like “should mankind have a right to exist?”, “should they be nuke entirely?”
They don’t necessarily agree on those lines. Imperius is one of the coolest characters we have developed.
Itherael, Angel of Fate
This is Itherael, the Archangel of Fate. The great Lorekeeper of the High Heavens. This guy can literally tell the future and such, but he sees the various strands of possibilities that weave into the future. He’s a guy of vast knowledge. He cannot really speak, but hes’ definitely this guy they go to in times of crisis to try and figure out: “Should we go left? Should we go right?”
An interesting thing about Itherael is that, in terms of the universe, he pretty much got things dialed in. Since the Worldstone was stolen, and Sanctuary created — Metzen whispers: “I think this is true, I might just get in trouble.” Metzen speaks close into Boyarski’s ear to conference if he can leak some info.
Metzen: Alright! Ok, wanted to double-check. Stuck my foot in my mouth. Itherael can’t see mortals. Mortals were not meant to exist. So he can’t see the (?) of our destiny, and that weirds him out.
By extension of where are the other angels out too, mortals are just the guardian nuts that these angels have no answers for. We vex them highly.
So guys, this was a quick sketch look at the Angiris Council. It’d be interesting to see the Diablo franchise get moving here. See how these guys might play or not play out, but we had a lot of fun developing them. So now I’m going to hand it out to Leord Boyarski who is going to tell us a little bit about the bad guys.