Mehtan the Necromancer is an NPC (non-player character) that appears in Diablo III. It seems to me that some players are confusing Mehtan with other well known necromancers in Diablo lore (such as Zayl or Mendeln/Kalan).
Mehtan the Necromancer is a new character. You can find Mehtan the Necromancer in two different bounties/events in Diablo III.
If you play through Story Mode in Diablo III, the first place you could potentially encounter Mehtan the Necromancer is in Act II in the Stinging Winds. He appears in an event called “The Restless Sands”.
If you play Diablo III through Adventure Mode, you might get “The Restless Sands” as a bounty. Ideally, you want to do “The Restless Sands” bounty before the second bounty that Mehtan the Necromancer appears in. (The story line makes more sense if you do them in order).
The goal of “The Restless Sands” event/bounty is to help Mehtan the Necromancer.
I did “The Restless Sands” encounter while playing my Demon Hunter (whom I named Dusk). In Diablo III, the comments said by the player character might differ based on which class you are playing.
Dusk: You’re a necromancer, aren’t you? What brings you here?
There are a few skeletons in this area, but they do not attack either Mehtan the Necromancer, or the player character. It’s clear that Mehtan the Necromancer has them under his control.
Mehtan the Necromancer: Powerful spirits haunt these ruins. I was not strong enough to defeat them, but I was able to trap them. I fear the coven that invades the region will try to use the spirits for their nefarious purposes.
Mehtan the Necromancer: But if you dare, you can try to put them to rest. Activate the totems to release the spirits, and be prepared to fight.
This is when “The Restless Sands” event/bounty officially begins. The instructions are: “Help Mehtan the Necromancer banish the trapped spirits.”
The player must attack each Necromancer Totem that is in the area. They are located on each side of the small area the event/bounty takes place in.
It doesn’t matter which one you choose to start with. Attack one Necromancer Totem, and spirits will appear. Kill all the spirits.
The above screenshot shows a Deadly Haunt that appeared after my Demon Hunter attacked one of the Necromancer Totems.
Mehtan the Necromancer has things to say after you kill all of the restless spirits that he had trapped in the Necromancer Totems.
Mehtan the Necromancer: The howling of the spirits lessens. You have put them to rest.
Suddenly, several members of the Coven pop out of the ground right around where the player and Mehtan the Necromancer are standing. It turns out that Mehtan the Necromancer was right to fear that the Coven would want to try and use the spirits for the Coven’s own nefarious purposes.
The Coven brought a Wargiant – Brute of the Coven – along with them. Kill them all!
After the player kills the Coven (and their Brute) Mehtan the Necromancer speaks again.
Mehtan the Necromancer: We have denied the Coven, but I fear they will find other, darker powers to exploit.
Mehtan the Necromancer: Thank you, and go with the blessings of Rathma.
The first time you complete this event/bounty, you earn an Achievement.
The Restless Sands: Complete the Restless Sands event.
Mehtan the Necromancer drops a journal that you should click on.
Necromancer’s Log: Two decades ago, my mentor faced the forces of evil and emerged victorious. I cannot hope to surpass his achievements, but I will try to bring balance to the raging forces that threaten to tear the world asunder in these days. The spirits are restless near Caldeum. I must quiet them. – Methan the Necromancer.
Two decades ago, (or twenty years ago) was when Tristram fell. Leah was born about twenty years ago. If you pay attention, you’ll find that much of the lore that is scattered through the Diablo III game references “twenty years ago”.
According to Diablo Wiki, the mentor Mehtan the Necromancer is referring to in the Necromancer’s Log is Xul. Much can be said about Xul, so I’ll leave his lore for another blog post.
The second time the player encounters Mehtan the Necromancer is in Act V in Westmarch (inside a place called “Hall of the Dark Arts”.) There is an event/bounty called “Necromancer’s Choice”. The player’s goal is to “Assist Mehtan the Necromancer.”
Players can find Mehtan the Necromancer upstairs. He has something to say.
When I did this event/bounty, I was playing my Barbarian (whom I named Gurr). What the Barbarian says to Mehtan the Necromancer might be somewhat different than what other classes say to him.
Gurr: Necromancer, are you here to fight for or against the forces of Death?
In Act V, the player character is on a quest to defeat Malthael – Angel of Death. The Barbarian wants to know whose side the Necromancer is on.
Mehtan the Necromancer: I strive to maintain balance between the two. Death’s minions threaten to overwhelm the living, so they must be culled.
Mehtan the Necromancer: This beacon will draw many of Death’s soldiers here to their demise. I was about to activate it.
Gurr: Allow me.
This begins the “Necromancer’s Choice” event/bounty. The screenshot says: “Help Mehtan the Necromancer defeat the reapers in the Hall of the Dark Arts.” The player activates the event by clicking on the Necromancer’s Beacon.
There are three waves of “Death’s soldiers” that the player must defeat. Methan the Necromancer has something to say after the player completes this task.
Mehtan the Necromancer: It has been good fighting by your side, but I have much work left to do. Perhaps we shall meet again someday.
Players who brought the Templar along as their Follower will discover that he responds to Mehtan the Necromancer.
Templar: You are an honorable warrior, necromancer.
Mehtan the Necromancer runs down the stairs and out the door. The Templar has one last thing to say.
Templar: Haven’t we seen him somewhere before?
There is one more reference to Mehtan the Necromancer in Diablo III, and it’s rather obscure. The reference is on an item that came with the Reaper of Souls Collector’s Edition (or the digital deluxe version).
The Canem Mortuum Liber was an item that looked like some kind of skeletal creature. Clicking on it enabled players to summon a spectral hound. To me, the spectral hound looks, and sounds, like a skeletal undead pug dog.
The flavor text of this item says: “When first practicing the Art of Rathma, it pays to start small. Trust me on this.” – Mehtan the Necromancer.
The implication is that the spectral hound was once someone’s dead pet that Methan the Necromancer decided to raise (so he could practice the Art of Rathma). I suppose it is possible that the undead pug dog belonged to Mehtan. The spectral hound faithfully follows the player around wherever he or she goes. It was the first pet introduced into Diablo III Reaper of Souls.