The lore of the Diablo series of video games and books makes it clear that there are Demons that originate in the Burning Hells. While many are minions, there are seven of them that are noteworthy.
The three Prime Evils and the four Lesser Evils are constantly battling with each other in an effort to take over more land and minions. Each one wants to become the most powerful Lord of the Burning Hells.
Here is a brief look at who each of these very important demons are.
There are two easy ways to learn about the Prime Evils and Lesser Evils. One way is to read the early portions of Book of Cain. The other is to pick up the journals, narrated by Deckard Cain, as you travel through the story mode of Diablo III.
There is a Journal in Diablo III titled “The Seven Lords of Hell”. It is narrated by Deckard Cain. It says:
It is with some reluctance that I write on the seven Lords of Hell, for they are the greatest of the demons, and even whispering their names seems to poison the air around me. They are divided into the Lesser Evils (Belial, Azmodan, Duriel, and Andariel) and the Prime Evils (Mephisto, Baal, and Diablo).
I’ll start with the Lesser Evils.
Duriel, the Lord of Pain, is said to be the “brother” of Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish. The two might be twins or siblings. But, even if they aren’t actually related to each other, what one does pairs nicely with the work of the other.
In the Book of Cain, it says that Duriel is the brother of Andariel. He is also known as the Maggot King (because his body resembles that of a maggot). He loves to torture those who end up in his lair, and will start to torture himself if there is no one else around.
Duriel is described by Deckard Cain in an in-game journal. It says:
Duriel is the twin of Andariel. I believe that they conspired together to assist Diablo in releasing Mephisto and Baal, though they had both supported the Lesser Evils in the past. The Lord of Pain was found guarding Baal’s prison – the tomb of Tal Rasha – when he was slain by heroes.
Episode number 005 of Jen’s Lore Corner has more information about Duriel.
Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish, is described in the Book of Cain as the “so-called twin” of Duriel. She is the only female Lesser Evil. Andariel enjoys causing emotional agony, which she considers to be more “pure” than physical pain.
The Book of Cain says that Andariel sustains herself on the anguish of others. As such, she cannot stand being isolated. Those who become victims of Andariel can become so damaged by feelings of guilt, regret, and self-loathing, that they willingly hand themselves over to Duriel.
The journal about Andariel in Diablo III is also narrated by Deckard Cain. It says:
Andariel was the only female Evil. She aided the Lesser Evils for many years, but eventually she lost faith in their plots. Two decades ago, she chose to help Diablo during his resurgence and seized the Citadel of the Sightless Eye. Ultimately, she perished at the hands of brave heroes.
Episode 004 of Jen’s Lore Corner has more information about Andariel.
Azmodan is The Lord of Sin. The Book of Cain says that Azmodan is a “clever manipulator who trades in vice and corruption. He is passionate and plotting, both to very dangerous degrees. He is by far the most charismatic and seductive of all the Evils.”
If you’ve played through enough of Diablo III to encounter a battle with Azmodan, that description may sound strange. Azmodan is rotund, has legs that sort of look like they belong on a scorpion, and too many eyes. I’m going to assume that some demons find those characteristics to be “hot”.
The voice actor who plays Azmodan in Diablo III is David Sobolov. The voice he gave Azmodan is very charismatic. This is especially noticeable when players pick up journals where Azmodan is narrating a letter that he sent to Cydaea.
The Book of Cain notes that Azmodan’s Lair in the Burning Hells is the most densely populated. It is “a warped arena of myriad sins, of both great joy and despair, a place where garish perversions are indulged to the extreme.”
An in-game Journal titled: “Azmodan, The Lord of Sin” is also narrated by Deckard Cain. It says:
The Valrous manuscript lists Azmodan as the best battlefield commander of all demons, having defeated the angels many times in the Eternal Conflict across Pandemonium and the Prime Evils in the demonic civil war. If the Lord of Sin ever assaults our realm, we truly have much to fear.
Belial is the Lord of Lies. In the Book of Cain, he is described as “a trickster and master deceiver”.
The part about Belial goes on to say: “Belial advocates the notion that perception is reality, and it is his sole purpose to dominate reality. He does not lie for the sake of lying, rather, he deceives with the overall intent of controlling others’ perceptions of what is real.”
Belial lives for that moment when his victim realizes that they’ve been deceived. He enjoys watching the victim express the shock of having been betrayed.
In the Book of Cain, Deckard Cain cites his sources that indicate that if you walked into Belial’s lair, it would appear to be a paradise. But, then you find that the fruit that looked good to eat was rotten inside. There are sudden drop-offs that lead to bottomless pits. It is a place of illusion where nothing is as good as it first appeared to be.
Players can find an in-game Journal in Diablo III titled: “Belial, The Lord of Lies”. It is narrated by Deckard Cain. It says:
Belial, Lord of Lies, is the most elusive of the seven Evils and is a master of deceit. It is said that he manipulated Azmodan into revolt against the Prime Evils. This began the Burning Hells civil war, which ended with the Dark Exile of the Prime Evils to our mortal realm.
Players discover that the child Emperor Hakan II is really Belial in disguise. How that happened is a story for another time. It becomes obvious when you fight Belial and he, eventually, turns into his final form.
Let’s move on to the Prime Evils.
Mephisto is the Lord of Hatred. The Book of Cain says: “To Mephisto, hatred is a tool, though one he wields with the utmost precision. The Lord of Hatred despises all, but he loathes angels above all else. And so the inhabitants of Sanctuary are seen by him as weapons to be forged in his likeness, to be aimed one day at the High Heavens.”
It also says that Mephisto is “adept at playing his brothers against each other. Diablo and Baal chafe at his manipulations, but more often than not they comply, most likely because Mephisto provides them with ample opportunities to pursue their ambitions.”
Mephisto has a son named Lucion and a daughter named Lilith. Both of his children are demons. Mephisto hates them, too.
There is a Journal in Diablo III titled: “Mephisto, The Lord of Hatred.” It is narrated by Deckard Cain. It says
The evil of Mephisto, Lord of Hatred, was so pervasive that even after he had been defeated and entombed in a soulstone, his demonic essence oozed upwards into Travincal and corrupted the Zakarum priests. Though he fell to the same heroes who killed his brothers, I fear for us should he ever return.
Tor’Baalos, known as Baal, is the Lord of Destruction. According to the Book of Cain, Baal “revels in the utter annihilation of not only the world around him, but also all those who inhabit it.”
Baal never gets tired of the Eternal Conflict between the Demons and the Angels, mostly because he it gives him plenty of opportunities for destruction. He uses both strategy and deception to achieve his goals.
The Book of Cain also says: “By all accounts, Baal’s realm in the Burning Hells is a frenzy of constant destruction wherein he breeds demons only for the sheer gratification of destroying them. It is said that he has built some of the mightiest structures in the Hells, perfection bastions of impenetrable strength, only to see them pulverized in unique and different ways.”
Baal’s Realm of Destruction is where the Hellforge is located. Great weapons are forged within it. Hellforged weapons are infused with the elements of the Lords of Hell. In other words, Baal’s realm is constantly fluctuating between creation and destruction.
Players can find a Journal titled: “Baal, the Lord of Destruction” in Diablo III. It is narrated by Deckard Cain. It says:
Baal was the most brash and reckless of the Prime Evils. After the Dark Exile, he was contained within the Horadrim Tal Rasha and entombed. Centuries later, Diablo freed Baal, who then corrupted the Worldstone to devastating effect for the barbarians who lived near Mount Arreat. The heroes killed Baal shortly afterward.
Diablo, also called Al’Diabolos, is the youngest of the three Greater Evils. He is the Lord of Terror, and his realm is called the Realm of Terror. The Book of Cain has a lot to say about Diablo.
“Diablo is calm, cunning, and patient, and best understood when we view all his actions as attempts to instill terror in those around him. Consider the components of terror: a mix of fear, shock, and utter hopelessness. Perhaps Diablo’s most insidious power is the ability to cast his influence deep in the minds of his victims and latch upon their greatest, most crippling fears, then to apply that knowledge and, in doing so, use a person’s own worst fears against them.”
Diablo sees himself as an artist of terror. He knows that conquest comes when enemies panic and turn their backs to their fears, rather than face them. But, Diablo doesn’t acquire satisfaction from the conquest itself. Instead, he feeds on the terror that preceeds the conquest. The fear a victim feels is, to Diablo, a greater reward than the pain they suffer when actually tortured.
There is an in-game Journal titled: “Diablo, The Lord of Terror”. It is narrated by Deckard Cain. It says:
Diablo was the youngest of the Prime Evils, but I found him the most dangerous, for his power over terror left him incapable of feeling fear. Though he had easily possessed and corrupted many humans, Diablo’s essence was finally trapped in a soulstone and banished to the unfathomable Abyss twenty years ago.
Lore of the Prime Evils and Lesser Evils is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.
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