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Diablo II - NPC Dialogue Lore - Act I - Forgotten Tower

Tome
…And so it came to pass that the Countess, who once bathed in the rejuvenating blood of a hundred virgins, was buried alive… And her castle in which so many cruel deeds took place fell rapidly into ruin. Rising over the buried dungeons in that god-forsaken wilderness, a solitary tower, like some monument to Evil, is all that remains.  The Countess’ fortune was believed to be divided among the clergy, although some say that more remains unfound,  still buried alongside the rotting skulls that bear mute witness to the inhumanity of the human creature.

Gheed
The only wealth you’re likely to find there is a wealth of vermin.

Charsi
That old tower is as rotten on the inside as it appears on the outside. I heard that several Sisters came to a gruesome end when a stairwell collapsed on them.

Akara
The dangers there are not solely architectural. Once inside that wretched place, many succumb to a vile miasma.

Deckard Cain
That tower marks a place of danger.  There is an epic poem about it…  How much sorrow one can stand was tested there.

Warriv
Rumors of treasure are no different from rumors of any other kind. They hold false promise to those who should know better.

Kashya
The tome speaks of treasure. Yet, all we have found are death, delirium, and disappointment.

Have you suddenly lost your taste for wealth?

Deckard Cain
Quickly in and quickly out is all the advice I can give you.

Warriv
Better an empty pocket than a full grave.

Charsi
You’re not ready to give up, are you?

Akara
There is no more I can tell you about that ancient tower.

Gheed
Guess what! I’ve named a boil on my ass after you. It, too, bothers me every time I sit down.

Kashya
Your rewards are well-earned. To us,  the tower was nothing more than a headstone looming over a long forgotten grave.

Warriv
Remember. Wealth is as insubstantial as a cloud and passes as quickly.  Ignore Gheed. All that twitters is not bold.

Gheed
Warriv’s advice is like corpse gas; it befouls the air for a moment and then it disappears.

Akara
I thought the stories of treasure in the tower were nothing but lies. I am glad you found something of value in that death-trap. Would that our Sisters had been so fortunate.

Charsi
Those riches will serve you well on the long road ahead.

Deckard Cain
Well done, my friend. Courage and opportunity together have created in you a kind of alchemy.

Diablo II - NPC Dialogue Lore - Act I - The Search for Cain

Akara
It is clear that we are facing an Evil difficult to comprehend, let alone combat. There is only one Horadrim sage, schooled in the most arcane history and lore, who could advise us… His name is Deckard Cain. You must go to Tristram and find him, my friend. I pray that he still lives.

Kashya
The bark of Inifuss holds mystical runes. Akara can translate them… into our revenge!

Akara
Tristram is too far to journey by foot… Cain would likely be dead, when you arrived. However, there is a magical portal that will take you there instantly. To open it, one must stand within the circle of Cairn Stones and touch them in a certain order. The proper order can be found in the runes written on the bark of the Tree of Inifuss. You must find the sacred Tree of Inifuss and bring back its bark. I will translate the runes to unlock the Stones’ mystic pattern.

Charsi
If you bring back the bark of Inifuss, Akara will tell you how to get to Tristram.

Warriv
Months ago, I came across a few survivors from Tristram. They said that Cain had gone half-mad and could no longer distinguish fact from fantasy.

Gheed
I would sooner micturate in a tankard of my own ale than journey to Tristram!

Charsi
Without the bark of Inifuss you can’t find Cain.

Akara
How will you find Cain without going to Tristram? Finding the Tree of Inifuss is the first step on your journey.

Kashya
The Tree of Inifuss is hard to find, but you’ll know it when you see it.

Gheed
Barking up the wrong tree, huh? You’ll find it, just keep looking.

Warriv
He who seeks that which cannot be found must look inside himself for further guidance… or look harder!

Kashya
With this scroll you may open a portal back to Tristram. Only Akara can decipher its logic.

Charsi
Get this to Akara. Only she can understand it.

Gheed
Look, friend… I trade a lot of strange items, but I’m not going to start dealing in bark. Okay?

Warriv
This looks like gibberish to me. Akara may know what to make of it.

Akara
Ah, very good. I have translated the runes on this scroll. You must find the Cairn Stones and touch them in the order that I have written.

Kashya
Deckard Cain has crucial knowledge about the Evils we face. You must find him!

Charsi
I have heard that Tristram is now in ruins! Without Cain I fear for the ruin of all of us.

Gheed
I’m told that Tristram now resembles a mead hall… after a Barbarian wedding! I will wait here for your most glorious return.

Warriv
It is too dangerous to travel to Tristram. I won’t be leaving here until the way is clear!

Akara
If he still lives, Deckard Cain may be in grave peril! You must hurry to Tristram before all is lost!

You have risked your life to rescue Cain. For that we thank you. We must seek his counsel immediately.w

Kashya
Again, you amaze me, outlander. The Sisterhood is grateful to you for delivering Cain to us. I believe Akara has something to tell you.

Gheed
Ah, Cain is here… another customer. I haven’t been this pleased since a love-starved maiden let down a bit more than her hair.

Charsi
Akara wishes to reward you for your bravery in returning Deckard Cain.

Warriv
Only a brave adventurer could return with Deckard Cain. Akara has a reward for your valor.

Deckard Cain
… I thank you, friend, for coming to my aid.  Oh… Blessings on the Rogues! They finally rescued me from that cursed place!

Regrettably, I could do nothing to prevent the disaster which devastated Tristram. It would appear that our greatest fears have come to pass. Diablo, the Lord of Terror, has once again been set loose upon the world! As you know, some time ago Diablo was slain beneath Tristram. And when our hero emerged triumphant from the labyrinth beneath town, we held a grand celebration that lasted several days. Yet, as the weeks passed, our hero became increasingly aloof. He kept his distance from the rest of the townsfolk and seemed to lapse into a dark, brooding depression. I thought that perhaps his ordeal had been so disturbing that he simply could not put it out of his mind. The hero seemed more tormented every passing day. I remember he awoke many times—screaming in the night—always something about ‘the East’. One day, he simply left. And shortly thereafter Tristram was attacked by legions of foul demons. Many were slain, and the demons left me to die in that cursed cage. I believe now that Tristram’s hero was that Dark Wanderer who passed this way before the Monastery fell. I fear even worse, my friend… I fear that Diablo has taken possession of the hero who sought to slay him. If true, Diablo will become more powerful than ever before. You must stop him or all will be lost.

As a token of my gratitude, I will identify items for you at no charge.

Diablo II - NPC Dialogue Lore - Act I - Sister’s Burial Grounds

Kashya
My Rogue scouts have just reported an abomination in the Monastery graveyard! Apparently, Andariel is not content to take only our living. Blood Raven, one of our finest captains in the battle against Diablo at Tristram, was also one of the first to be corrupted by Andariel. Now, you’ll find her in the Monastery graveyard raising our dead as zombies! We cannot abide this defilement! If you are truly our ally, you will help us destroy her.

Death has done nothing to weaken Blood Raven’s combat skills. If anything, she’s more deadly than ever.

Charsi
Blood Raven was the leader of a Rogue band that once fought Diablo at Tristram.

Gheed
I’m sorry… The undead are bad for trade. I have a strict no-return policy.

Akara
Blood Raven fought valiantly against Diablo in the catacombs beneath Tristram… She was never quite the same afterwards. It is now obvious she brought an evil influence back with her.

Warriv
Hmmm… How can one kill what is already dead?

Kashya
Each moment you delay adds another undead Sister to Blood Raven’s army.

Akara
If you fail to destroy Blood Raven, I fear that our Order will perish forever.

Charsi
Akara felt something was wrong even before Andariel descended upon us. She feared that Blood Raven had stumbled upon some evil force beneath Tristram. I wish we had acted then…

Gheed
I wonder if that old gossip, Melra, is among the undead? Oh, she had dirt on everybody.

Warriv
When the dead return to prey upon the living, it is a terror beyond understanding.

Kashya
I can hardly believe that you’ve defeated Blood Raven! Though she was once my closest friend, I pray that her tortured spirit remains banished forever. You have earned my respect, stranger… and the allegiance of the Rogues. I have placed several of my best warriors at your disposal.

Akara
Andariel must be made to pay for her sacrilege!

Charsi
Kashya wishes to reward you for your defeat of Blood Raven. I thank you, too, even though Blood Raven was once my friend.

Gheed
Some of those gals weren’t so nice the first time around.

Warriv
You’ve done well, stranger. I hope all your efforts are worth it.

Diablo II - NPC Dialogue Lore - Act I - Den of Evil

Akara
There is a place of great evil in the wilderness. Kashya’s Rogue scouts have informed me that a cave nearby is filled with shadowy creatures and horrors from beyond the grave. I fear that these creatures are massing for an attack against our encampment. If you are sincere about helping us, find the dark labyrinth and destroy the foul beasts. May the Great Eye watch over you.

I should add that many Rogue scouts have died in that horrible place. We cannot afford to lose any more. If you choose to enter that Den of Evil, you must do so alone.

Kashya
The demons in that cave have claimed many of my finest archers. I wonder how you will fare!

Charsi
The beasts from the cave have begun to roam throughout the countryside. You’d better be careful out there.

You seem like a noble warrior. I hope you can help us.

Gheed
You’re a brave soul! I’d sooner thrust my sacred scepter into the foulest, carbuncular trull than set one boot into that cave.

Warriv
One who seeks that cave, seeks death.

Akara
Your task is not complete until you have killed all the demons in that cave.

Kashya
You’d better come through on this. Your reputation depends on it.

Charsi
You haven’t cleared the cave, yet? Do you need anything?

Gheed
Demons still befouling that cave, huh? I think you might need a new weapon.

Warriv
One who hesitates … does so with good reason.

Akara
You have cleansed the Den of Evil. You’ve earned my trust and may yet restore my faith in humanity. Your reward is training in the skill of your choice.

Kashya
Hmm. I’m surprised you survived that test, outlander. Go see Akara. She may reward you.

Charsi
You are truly brave and skillful … Akara was worried about you.

Gheed
The only good demon is a dead one, I say. By the way, did you happen to find anything in that cave you’d like to sell?

Warriv
… That which does not kill you makes you stronger.

Diablo II – NPC Dialogues Lore

ACT I – Khanduras

ACT II – Lut Gholein

ACT III – Kurast

ACT IV – Hell

Diablo II History


LONG ROAD’S END

“What fires burn within my heart and force me to contend
With the perils that await me at this tragic journey’s end?”

“I have walked the roads that lead to Hell, I have challenged all but Fate.
I have fought and bled and carried on just to reach this final gate.
And now the task before me looms, this dire deed undone;
I shall make my stand against the Three until the battle’s won.”

“What fear or wound could ever still this last defiant cry.
As I stand against the Shadow ‘neath the endless burning sky?”

Chris Vincent Metzen


- EX LIBRIS HORADRIM -



The Hunt for the Three

“The passages contained herein are first-hand accounts of the hunt for
the three exiled Prime Evils: Mephisto of Hatred, Baal of Destruction, and Diablo
of Terror.  Be advised: Though these entries were inscribed hundreds of years
apart and found in lands far removed from one another, they each contain
glimpses into the shadowy nether-realm of the Prime Evils.  These passages
are not intended for the uninitiated . . .”

HISTORY

Diablo II History – The Awakening and the Wanderer

An excerpt from the manuscripts of Deckard Cain: Last of the Horadrim

Regretably, I was the only man in Tristam who knew about the Soulstone buried beneath the ancient Monastery.  As the last descendant of the Horadrim, I alone knew the truth about what the crimson stone held locked within it.  Perhaps if I’d told them all about it, our quiet little village would have been spared.  Perhaps this horrible chain of events might never have come to pass.

In truth, I suspect that it was the Archbishop Lazarus who first fell prey to the Soulstone’s burning power.  He had been sent from Kurast as an ambassador of the Zakarum Church.  Cloaked in the Light as he was, no one even suspected the treachery he proved capable of.  Apparently, it was he who discovered the crimson stone within the labyrinth under the Monastery . . . and shattered it.

Whether it was madness or some insidious agenda that drove him, Lazarus released upon us an unspeakable horror.  Diablo, the Lord of Terror, who was imprisoned within the Soulstone by my ancestors, was set loose upon the world once again.  Somehow, Diablo used his hell-borne powers to transform the dank labyrinth into a gateway that led straight into the gaping maw of Hell itself.  His murderous servants took up residence within it and awaited anyone foolish enough to plumb its darkened recesses. Our own noble sovereign, King Leoric, fell under Diablo’s sway and spiraled down into the depths of madness and fear.  As our maddened King gripped the land in an iron fist, his only son, Prince Albrecht, was kidnapped by Lazarus and spirited away into the ruined Monastery.  We watched as the dark things under the earth began to venture into our village, terrorizing all who had chosen to remain.  Those were dark days for all of us . . .

By day we worked our farmlands as we always had, trying in vain to ignore the growing sense of the terrors which emanated from the ruined Monastery.  By night, we huddled with our families and prayed for the light of dawn to come.  After what seemed like an eternity, deliverance finally made its appearance.

A steady stream of heroes and adveturers from all across the known world came to investigate the rumors they’d heard about the growing evil in Tristam.  Some came seeking fortune and glory, while others sought to test themselves against the mysterious beasts which slept beneath the earth. Even Sorcerers from the ancient Vizjerel Mage Clan came to study the evil that had awakened in our land.  Though the many adventurers nearly bled our village dry, all our hopes for salvation rode on their shoulders.

There was one warrior among them, a quiet, brooding man, who stood out from the rest.  None of us ever caught his name, or spoke more than just a few words with him.  Yet he radiated a calm and a focus that unnerved even the staunchest of the other would-be heroes.  It was this mysterious warrior who fought his way into the deepest recesses of the labyrinth.  It was he who finally defeated the Lord of Terror in single combat.

When I close my eyes, I can hear the sound of Diablo’s tortured death cry echoing in my ears.  It rumbled up from the deep earth and shattered the windows of the decrepit Monastery.  It may only have been my imagination, but I distinctly remember the sound of a young child screaming in the midst of the anguished roar.  The echoes of that cry still torture the few hours of sleep I am able to get.

I still remember the sight of the warrior as he crossed the Monastery’s threshold and stepped out into the light of the sun.  He looked as if he had walked through Hell itself.  And who’s to say . . . maybe he had.

He was covered in both his own blood and that of his enemies.  Yet strangely enough, my eye was drawn to a strange wound on his forehead.  It looked as if he had somehow gouged himself above his eyes, yet the wound already appeared to have healed.  I never did get a chance to question him about it.

Suffice it to say, we believed that our village had been saved, and we bequeathed all manner of rewards upon our nameless hero.  Despite the praises and accolades given him, he slipped further and further into a deep, brooding depression.  I could only imagine the mind-numbling horrors he had seen beneath the dark earth.  I could only speculate as to how they had affected his heart and mind.

He stayed among us for a time.  He had no family and nowhere else to go, so it seemed logical that he should be welcomed in Tristam.  Though he was cordial to those who approached him, he usually kept to himself and seldom came out of the house that we had given him.  Ogden suggested that we throw a celebration in the hope that strong drink and good company would snap him out of his dark mood.  We were mistaken.  At some point during the celebration he slipped away and left us none the wiser.  Later in the evening I paid a visit to his home.  Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw there.

The nameless man sat alone in his own entryway, muttering to himself in different languages, many of which had not been used in centuries.  He had donned a dark travelling cloak, and its deep hood hung low over his face.  When he turned toward me, the firelight glinted off his tortured features, revealing the distorted visage of a man who was no longer himself.  His eyes shone with a crimson haze and an eerie red light pulsed from the depths of the hood.  The wound on his forehead had opened . . .  And I thought
I saw . . . No, it was probably just a trick of the light playing with an old man’s overactive imagination.

I asked him if he was well, yet he just continued to ramble on.  I was thoroughly unnerved by the whole scene and had made up my mind to leave him in order to bring help, when suddenly he seemed to snap to atention and spoke with an icy voice that filled my heart with a paralyzing dread.  “The time has come to leave this place.  My brothers await me in the east.  Their chains will bind no longer.”  I had then no idea what he was talking about.  We were all under the impression that he had no family.  Yet, seeing that he had come back to his senses, I decided to take my leave and let him rest.  In fact, at that moment, I was quite terrified by him and wished to escape his burning gaze.  It was the last time I ever saw him.

Our nameless hero left Tristam early the next morning.  In secrecy he set off towards the eastern pass with only a pack of provisions and his sturdy sword.  I can only guess what he went searching for.  Shortly after his departure, our worst nightmares came true.  The demonic servants of Hell returned to Tristam.

As of this writting, I am the only survivor left.  I have evaded the foul beasts for many nights, but I know that my time is running short.  Why they’ve returned and why they butchered so many innocents.  I’ll never know.  All that I am sure of is that their arrival is somehow tied with the nameless one’s departure . . . I have written all of this down in the hope that someone will find these passages and attempt to right what transpired here.  I expect that my life will end soon, but perhaps these writtings will help to prevent this tragedy from befalling other villages, other lands.  I will remain here until help arrives or the creatures finally come for me.  Heaven help me.  Even after all that’s happened, I cannot bring myself to abandon this dismal place.
Seek out the nameless Wanderer.  Find out what he is searching for I fear that Tristam is only the first of many villages to be consumed by the evil he sought to combat.

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Diablo II History


Diablo II History – Lut Gholein: The Binding of Destruction

On the fifty-eighth day of our campaign, we caught up with Baal near the ancient port city of Lut Gholein. We had tracked the great Lord of Destruction all the way from the lands of Kehjistan some months before.  Our leader, Tal Rasha, believed that Baal was headed north, towards the wintry lands of Scosglen, but for some reason the demon chose to forfeit his lead and take refuge within the sandblasted city.

Wishing to avoid a confrontation in which innocents might be hurt, Tal Rasha ordered us to stay our attack until Baal had left the city’s walls.  We waited and watched for three days before the treacherous creature emerged from Lut Gholein.  Heading north as Tal Rasha had predicted, Baal set off once more.  Before he had traveled more than a few miles into the surrounding desert, we were on him.  With the strongest spells we could muster, we battered the great Lord of Destruction and forced him to give ground before us.

The enraged demon let loose the full fury of his powers.  The earth itself exploded under our feet, swallowing many of our brethren.  Fire leapt up from the split rock and burned many more.  Destruction spilraled around us in every conceivable form, but we had traveled too far to be stopped just then.  Weakened by his exertions, Baal let loose one final strike against Tal Rasha; yet, thankfully, the mage was left relatively unhurt.  Unfortunately, the sacred Soulstone that he had been given by the Archangel Tyrael was shattered into several small pieces.  Reeling in panic, we pressed our attack and succeeded in temporarily subduing the raging demon.

Knowing that the Soulstone’s broken shards would not be enough to contain Baal’s powerful essence, Tal Rasha quickly devised a reckless plan to contain the demon forever.  With a feverish light in his eyes, he coldly walked over to Baal’s writhing form and slit the creature’s throat.  As Baal’s spirit fled the dying body, Tal Rasha chose the largest of the Soulstone’s shards and jammed it into the open wound.  Just as with Mephisto, Baal spirit was sucked into the golden shard’s vacuous recesses and trapped.  The shard pulsed and hummed as though unable to hold its terrible content in check.  Though we questioned his judgement, Tal Rasha seemed confident that the shard would hold Baal until our task was complete.

At this moment, the Archangel Tyrael appeared and held Tal Rasha in his penetrating gaze.  The angel’s shimmering visage was beautiful beyond comprehension, and I distinctly remember him whispering to Tal Rasha, “Your sacrifice will be long remembered, noble mage.”  With the golden shard in hand, Tyrael led us to a series of secret caves buried deep beneath the burning desert sands.  There we found seven ancient tombs built by some long-forgotten people. Our grim procession stopped at the last enourmous vault, and Tyrael bade us to begin constructing a binding stone at the chamber’s center.  It was only then that I realized what he and Tal Rasha had in mind . . .

We etched powerful runes of containment upon the binding stone and used our magic to craft unbreakable chains from the chamber’s walls.  Once preparations were completed, Tal Rasha ordered that he be shackled and bound to the stone.  To our horror, Tyrael walked forward and brandished the glowing shard before him.  Before any of us could react, the Archangel drove the shard into Tal Rasha’s bare chest.  Golden fire blazed from Tal Rasha’s eyes as the Lord of Destruction flooded into his writhing body.  We gaped in awe as the realization of what had transpired took root in our minds.  Tal Rasha had made the ultimate sacrifice: He would remain chained forever, cursed to wrestle with Baal’s foul spirit until the end of time.

Sorrowfully, we made our way back into the sunlight and watched as Tyrael closed the tomb’s giant doors forever.  The last sound to escape the cold tomb was a tormented scream not born of this world.  I pray that Tal Rasha’s sacrifice was not in vain.  I pray that the evil buried under the desert sands remains bound until men forget that there ever were evils that walked among them.

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Diablo II History


Diablo II History – Custodians of Hatred

A letter to Archbishop Lazarus written by Sankekur, Que-Hegan, Supreme Patriarch of the Zakarum Church.

Faithful Lazarus,

I write you to address my growing concerns regarding your recent petulance and that of your fellow Archbishops.  For the past few months, I have witnessed a certain darkening of your spirits that I can hardly account for.  You and your brethren are First amongst the Chosen of the Light.  If our retainers and followers so much as suspected a rift in authority between us, I fear we would lose much of the control we have gained over this ancient, troubled land.

Our line was charged, long ago, with watching over Kurast and its peoples.  As you well know, it is our duty to spread the glory of the Light to all corners of the known world, whether it be welcomed or not.  But most important, the Horadrim trusted our Church to maintain the wardings, that keep our dark guest chained beneath the Temple City.  Since it has been your sole responsibility to safeguard Mephisto’s Soulstone.  I wonder if perhaps your dread task isn’t affecting your noble spirit in some malign way.

Whatever the cause of your recent rebellions against my will, I wish to see you and your Archbishops in council immediately.  If you have not the strength of heart to perform your duties like a true Servant of the Light, then I will find someone to replace you.  The binding of the Lord of Hatred is paramount to the safety and future of the Zakarum Church.  I will not see the Church threatened by the pettiness and jealousy of its servants.  I will be expecting you.

Sansekur,
Que-Hegan

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Diablo II History


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