This blog is part of the series I am writing for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Those who participate in this challenge are going to write one blog that matches up to each letter of the alphabet. The topic can be anything at all, so long as it somehow fits with the letter of the day.
The more difficult part of the challenge is to keep up with the blogging as the month rolls on. If you fall a little bit behind, you could catch up on a Sunday. (No letters are assigned to Sundays). Those that are participating are using the #AtoZ when they post their work onto Twitter.
I have decided to make all my blogs about Diablo III (and its “universe”). I’m enjoying what I am writing, but have now come to the conclusion that this set of topics is a bit too much for the project. I haven’t quit yet, though.
N is for Nephalem. I’ve mentioned the nephalem in many of the previous blogs in this series. This blog will explain how they ended up on Sanctuary. Please note, this blog may contain “spoilers” if you haven’t read The Sin War Trilogy by Richard A. Knaak, or if you have not finished Act V of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.
It all starts with Inarius and Lilith. (That’s them in the artwork you see above). Inarius was an angel. He, like the other angels, was immortal. Angels all come from The Crystal Arch in the High Heavens. They don’t have physical bodies. Instead, they are the embodiment of a particular sound wave and light beam that emanates from the Crystal Arch.
Inarius was not part of the Angiris Council (the “Supreme Court of angels”, so to speak). But, that doesn’t mean he was a “nobody”. Inarius served under Tyrael, the Archangel of Justice. I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that Tyrael was a formidable warrior against the demons. Inarius held a position that would have put him right into battle in the Eternal Conflict.
The Eternal Conflict is an apt name for the ongoing battle between the angels and the demons. It has been going on for millennia, and is unlikely to come to an end. Neither the angels nor the demons can overcome the other side. Both are extremely motivated to keep trying, though. Each side wants to control the Worldstone, which is the heart of creation itself (in the Diablo “universe”).
At some point, after eons of battle, Inarius grew tired of it. He couldn’t take the brutality of the never-ending war. Inarius had come to the conclusion that the Eternal Conflict was unjust. This would be a big problem for an angel who was serving Tyrael, the Archangel of Justice. How do you keep fighting a war that you no longer believe in, and that you feel is unjustified?
The answers is – you don’t. Or, at least, Inarius didn’t. He desperately wanted the Eternal Conflict to end, but didn’t think that the way to end it was to keep on fighting. All he wanted was a quiet, safe, place where he could go to escape this war without end.
Inarius believed that there must be others who felt the same way he did. He sought out, and recruited, a small group of angels who also wanted to exist in a peaceful place. In addition to angels, Inarius also was able to find some like-minded demons. The most noteworthy of them was Lilith.
Lilith was the daughter of Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred. She was a demon (of course) who was born in the Burning Hells. At the time Lilith was born, Mephisto was one of the Prime Evils. In short, she was the daughter of a demon who had a lot of power. Unfortunately, Lilith and her father didn’t really get along. Like many daughters who believe their fathers hate them, she was more than ready to rebel against him. Considering that Mephisto was the Lord of Hatred… there is potential that Lilith was right about his feelings toward her.
What happened next was unheard of. Inarius, and the renegade angels and demons who joined him, took the Worldstone. They altered its frequency and/or dimentional alignment and created a new world. The newly formed world was a paradise where the renegades could exist in peace, without having to fight in the Eternal Conflict. It was named Sanctuary.
What they did was absolutely not allowed. No one was supposed to just “opt-out” of the Eternal Conflict, especially not by joining up with members of the opposing side! They definitely did not have permission to use the Worldstone to create Sanctuary. Realizing this, all of the angels and demons who went to Sanctuary vowed to keep it a secret. They knew that the peaceful place they had created would not be allowed to exist if either the angels of the High Heavens or the demons of the Burning Hells discovered it.
Unexpectedly, Inarius and Lilith fell in love. Inarius was probably more surprised by this occurrence than Lilith was. He never imagined that he would get along with demons, much less fall in love with one! Lilith, on the other hand, set out to seduce Inarius. She wanted to give him children. Lilith and Inarius are the Romeo and Juliet of the Diablo “universe”. Of course, they were doomed.
They weren’t the only couple that was composed of one angel and one demon. Some of the other renegades paired up and fell in love, too. They were able to produce children who were a mixture of both angel and demon. These offspring were the first nephalem. They are neither angel nor demon, neither “good” nor “bad”. They had powers, but were mortal. Each had the potential to side with either the forces of order or the forces of chaos.
In short, the people who live on Sanctuary (including the player characters) are not human. If they all woke up one morning and suddenly had a deep interest in genealogy, they would be able to trace their ancestry back to an angel and a demon who arrived on Sanctuary with Inarius and Lilith. Or, they might be related to Inarius and Lilith themselves. The people of Sanctuary are descendants of the first nephalem, and are nephalem themselves.
If you want to learn more about the nephalem, I would suggest reading The Book of Cain. That is where the artwork that you see at the top of this blog came from.