This blog is part of the series I am writing for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Most of the days in April have been assigned a letter of the alphabet. The goal is to write a blog that connects in some way to the letter of the day. I have decided to use the opportunity that this challenge brings to finally get started writing about Diablo III (and the “universe” is exists in). Those that are participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge are using #AtoZ on Twitter.
E is for El’druin. One cannot really say much about El’druin without also talking about Tyrael. El’druin is the name of Tyrael’s sword. It has also been called The Sword of Justice, or El’druin, the Sword of Justice. Tyrael and El’druin are connected to each other as though they are part of one being. In many ways, that is exactly what they are. It all makes sense when you remember that Tyrael started out as an angel.
Angels are immortal. They are made up a sound wave and a beam of light that emanates from The Crystal Arch in the High Heavens. This means that angels don’t actually have bodies. Everything about their physical appearance is a manifestation of their unique sound and light wave. Their appearance, armor, wings, and weapons, are all “one piece”.
Tyrael started out as an angel. He was part of the Angeris Council. The group of angels who made up the Angeris Council each represented one of the virtues of Anu (who became The Crystal Arch – to make a long story short). Tyrael was the Archangel of Justice. He, and the others on the Angeris Council functioned something like the Supreme Court of the United States. Each angel gets to cast one vote on whatever the issue at hand may be. (Or, an angel could choose to abstain from voting). They each get to have their “say”. The majority decision is what they go with.
All of the angels of the High Heavens and all of the demons of the Burning Hells, were primarily focused on The Eternal Conflict. The two sides battled against each other for millennia, in an attempt to finally destroy the opposing side. So far, neither side can claim a complete victory over the other. The point of bringing this up is to note that, for a long time, Tyrael’s main focus was fighting demons and securing victory for the High Heavens.
He was good at fighting. His ability as a warrior was well known. Going into every battle with him was his sword, El’druin. Again, the angels and their weapons are all “one piece”, so wherever Tyrael went – El’druin was going along, too. Tyrael is the Archangel of Justice – so El’druin is the Sword of Justice.
Tyrael was a skilled warrior, but he wasn’t a “berserker” or anything like that. His remained calm in battle, using meticulous and controlled execution of combat technique. Tyreal was guided by his impassive judgement. It has been said that El’druin cannot harm any being who was acting with righteous intent. In other words, if Tyrael for some reason decided to go on a rampage – he’d have to do it with a different sword. And, since El’druin is part of Tyrael…. things were kept in check.
When he wasn’t fighting demons in The Eternal Conflict, Tyrael had another job. The area of the High Heavens he “resided in”, so to speak, was The Courts of Justice. It is a huge auditorium where angels can go when they are having a problem. Tyrael would listen and choose the path of righteousness for each situation. Two angels get into a “spat” and now aren’t feeling quite so harmonious towards each other. Tyrael would listen as each angel aired their grievances, and would help them to work things out in a way that would restore harmony and balance. He was perfect for that role because he was able to rigidly adhere to the idea that Justice should prevail.
So, that’s how Tyrael spent his existence before the nephalem appeared. (More on the nephalem in an upcoming blog). In short, the nephalem are the humans that live on Sanctuary. Tyrael became very interested in the nephalem. It was his vote that determined that the nephalem would be allowed to continue to exist. (Imperius wanted them all destroyed, but got outvoted). It was decided that the angels would not interfere in whatever it was the nephalem ended up doing. This edict was something like “The Prime Directive” in Star Trek.
There was a time when Tyrael and El’druin were separated. Well, they were physically separated, but still connected since they are part of the same being. He lost the Sword of Justice when he had to destroy the Worldstone. The sword called out to a mortal named Jacob. His story can be found in the Sword of Justice comic. (More on Jacob in an upcoming blog).
Some of what I am about to cover talks about the events of Diablo III. I’m not going to go too far into “spoiler” territory, and will not mention anything that happens in Act V. Those of you who have played through the game (through Act IV) will not find “spoilers” here. Those who just picked up Diablo III right before the expansion was released, and are working your way through the game, may want to skip ahead a bit to avoid potential “spoilers”.
Shortly before the events in Diablo III took place, Tyrael decides to make a huge change in his existence. He had come to realize that the humans had great potential for selflessness. He admired them for that. At some point, Tyrael started loosening his adherence to rules, and intervened on Sanctuary in order to prevent a catastrophe that would have harmed the humans who lived there. (Mainly, the demons of the Burning Hells were getting ready to invade Sanctuary). Like Captain Kirk, he started to use the “angelic Prime Directive” as more of a … suggestion than a rule.
Naturally, this caused problems with the Angeris Council. Imperius, Archangel of Valor, was extremely displeased by Tyrael’s actions. Imperius is to the Angeris Council like the Chief Justice is to the Supreme Court. Everyone gets a vote, but he’s the guy in charge. As a result of this argument, Tyrael decided to give up his immorality and become mortal so he would no longer be bound by the “angelic Prime Directive” and could help out the humans/nephalem of Sanctuary. We see this happen in one of the cinematics in Diablo III.
Tyrael appears to lose his armor, his sword, and even his wings. It is important to note that he wasn’t literally having his wings fall off. Angels don’t have bodies. The loss of his wings (and armor, and weapon) were mostly symbolic. It was a visual expression of what happens when an angel, who is made up of a particular sound wave and beam of light, becomes mortal and gains a physical body. In other words, what happened to Tyreal when he transformed does not mean that the demons could simply march into battle, start ripping off angel’s wings, and win The Eternal Conflict.
This change, from immortal angel, to mortal… well, not exactly human, and not nephalem, is very significant. It has never happened before in the Diablo “universe”. This brings up some questions that have no answers. What happens to the beam of light and sound wave that Tyreal was composed of? Does it return to The Crystal Arch? If so, does that mean it can get “recycled” into a new angel? Or, does it wait around for Tyrael to somehow transform back into an angel (if that is even possible)? Does the unique waves of sound and light that once composed Tyrael disappear? Nobody knows.
Ok, so Tyrael becomes mortal, and falls from the High Heavens. People on Sanctuary see something fall from the sky, but don’t know what it is. They refer to it as “The Fallen Star”. This is where the player character appears and starts a quest to find the Fallen Star (having absolutely no idea of the backstory). Tyrael himself cannot bring them up to speed because he has lost his memory. It stands to reason that transforming from immortal to mortal, falling out of the High Heavens, and crash landing on Sanctuary would result in some form of memory loss (at least, for a while).
He becomes “The Stranger”. Over time, the bits of his memory that return, combined with Deckard Cain’s knowledge of the history of Sanctuary, start the player character on a quest to find the three pieces of what once was “The Stranger’s” sword. Of course, El’druin, which has always been part of Tyrael, crashed to Sanctuary with him. Without giving away too much of the gameplay, I will say that the moment that Tyrael regains El’druin, he remembers who he is. He becomes himself, once again. At the same time, he is coping with begin mortal after millennia of being immortal.
In addition to giving up his immortality, Tyrael also became “unemployed”. He could no longer be the Archangel of Justice. Without giving away too much from the actual gameplay, I will note that, eventually, Tyrael got a new “job”. He stepped into the vacant position of Wisdom. In other words, he took on the role of Aspect of Wisdom (but cannot be called the Archangel of Wisdom because he is now mortal). The Archangel of Wisdom used to be Malthael, but he took off a while back and nobody knew where he went. (More on Malthael in an upcoming blog). This, too, was unheard of. Tyrael became the first mortal to become part of the Angeris Council.