This blog is part of the series that I am writing for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. The goal is to write a blog that matches up to each letter of the alphabet and to post it on the correct day. That last part is the most difficult for me because I have days when my chronic illnesses make me exhausted. That’s why this blog is being posted a little bit late.
I have decided to make all of my blogs for this challenge about Diablo III (and the “universe” it exists in). This gives me the opportunity to finally start writing about my favorite game. K is for Kenyon and Knaak, two authors who created a lot of the lore of Diablo.
If you really want to know more about the lore behind the characters, locations, and history of Diablo, you should take the time to read the work of two of the authors who have written books about it. Nate Kenyon and Richard A. Knaak are the authors who wrote the majority of the books related to the Diablo video games. Together, these two amazing authors have created a lot of what is considered to be “cannon”. In addition to writing books about Diablo, each author has written books for other games and each has their own, original, work as well.
Nate Kenyon is the author of the newest book in the Diablo “universe”. It is called Diablo III: Storm of Light. It describes the events that took place in the “gap” between when the original Diablo III was released and when the Reaper of Souls expansion was released.
There are several characters in the book that come from previous Diablo books. I love when those kinds of “crossovers” happen! Without giving away any “spoilers”, I will say that this book features Tyrael, who has just taken up the position of Aspect of Wisdom (despite being mortal). He reforges a group called the Horadrim and gives them the goal of stealing the soulstone from the heart of Heaven.
Nate Kenyon also wrote Diablo III: The Order. This book filled in the “gap” between the events in Diablo II and the release of Diablo III. Diablo III: The Order features Deckard Cain and gives you a look into his personal history. Cain is the last surviving member of the Horadrim, and is on a quest to find the few who are remaining. The book also goes into exactly how Cain ended up becoming the “Uncle” to a young girl named Leah. They are not biologically related, but he does become her guardian. Why would he bring a little kid with him on his quest? It is explained in the book.
You can listen to an interview that the Shattered Soulstone podcast did with Nate Kenyon around the time that Diablo III: The Order was released. (Full disclosure, I am part of the Shattered Soulstone podcast). Nate Kenyon can be found on Twitter at @natekenyon.
Richard A. Knaak is the author of The Sin War Trilogy. My very first time reading books about Diablo (or any video game, for that matter) were this trilogy of books. I had played Diablo I and was absolutely delighted to find books that fit into its “universe”. The Sin War books take place long before the events that happened in Diablo I. In short, the books explain how Sanctuary was formed and what the nephalem are.
The Sin War trilogy starts with Birthright. Without giving away any “spoilers”, I will note that this book featured Uldyssian. He is a farmer who lost almost his entire family to a plague. His brother, Mendeln survived. Mendlen isn’t much of a farmer, he’s more of a scholar. Uldyssian’s best friend is a hunter named Achilios, who is in love with a younger woman named Serenthia (who has a crush on Uldyssian).
Uldyssian meets a noblewoman named Lylia who is beautiful, charismatic, and who arrived in town all by herself. A series of events takes place that results in Uldyssian being charged with a murder he didn’t commit. This is when he learns that he has developed mysterious powers.
Book Two of The Sin War is called Scales of the Serpent. It picks up where the first book left off. Uldyssian is now leading what might be considered the beginnings of an army of people who also have developed mysterious powers. He is helping them to improve those powers. Their main goal is to destroy the Temple of the Triune, a religion that isn’t what it has been presenting itself to be. There is something darker behind it.
In the meantime, Mendlen has learned that his mysterious powers are unlike those of anyone else. He sees the dead, and strange things are happening to his body. He begins to learn some of why that is so in this book. If I had to describe Scales of the Serpent in one sentence, it would be this one: Nothing is as it seems.
The third book is The Veiled Prophet. Uldyssian’s group of people have developed into a formidable army. This book is almost impossible to discuss without giving away any “spoilers”. I’ll say this much. A great sacrifice was made by one of the important characters. The book also “takes you” to the vote that the Angiris Council cast regarding the fate of the nephalem.
Two more of the books that Richard A. Knaak wrote in the Diablo “universe” can be found in the The Diablo Archive. The other two stories in the Archive were written by Mel Odom and Robert B. Marks.
Legacy of Blood is the story of the unfortunate Norrec Vizharan, who has been cursed. He ended up wearing the ancient armor of Bartuc (a legendary warrior of blood). Now, the armor is controlling him by forcing him to walk in a certain direction. It is also trying to make him fly into a bloodlust and kill people. Norrec must find way to undo the curse!
The Kingdom of Shadow features a Vizjeri sorcerer named Quov Tsin. He brings along Kentril Dumon (and his band of mercenaries) so that Tsin can watch the rebirth of Ureh (which is a city). They were expecting to find treasure. Instead, they discover that the city of Ureh is a nightmarish place.
Richard A. Knaak also wrote Moon of the Spider, a book that has become rather difficult to find a copy of. In this one, a necromancer named Zayl (and his “friend” Humbart Wessel, a skull that Zayl carries around with him) are the main characters. Zayl is one of the most beloved characters in the Diablo books. They are trying to stop Lord Aldric Jitan from awakening Astrogha, a nefarious demon that looks like a huge spider.
You can listen to the interview of Richard A. Knaak that the Shattered Soulstone podcast did (back in the early days of the podcast). Richard A. Knaak can also be found on Twitter @RichardAKnaak.