This blog is part of an “A to Z” challenge that I started over a year ago… and am finishing now. It’s also my Day 13 post for #Blaugust. Why not kill two blogs with one stone?
Z is for Zayl. He is a beloved character in the Diablo III universe, along with his friend Humbardt.
Zayl is a necromancer. He carries with him the undead skull of Humbert Wessel (often in a pouch). The two play off of each other in was that can seem very comic at times. Overall, these two characters function like good friends, even when they bicker. Humbardt often complains that he wants to be taken out of the pouch because he can’t see anything. Zayl reminds him that he doesn’t have eyes anyway.
Zayl is a main character in the in Moon of the Spider which was written by Richard A. Knaak and published in 2006. The book’s first page says “For all those asking for more of Zayl and Humbardt…”.
In Moon of the Spider, Zayl stumbles upon a the plot of Lord Aldric Jitan. In short, Jitan wants to unleash a terrible evil upon Sanctuary. Zayl and Humbardt get involved without knowing what they’ve gotten themselves into. The “big bad” of the book is a demon named Astrogha, who resembles a spider. Astrogha is ready to unleash his minions upon Sanctuary as the Moon of the Spider rises.
The book also introduces Lady Selene Nesardo, who asks him for his help. I’m not intending to make this blog into a book review, so I’ll leave things there. In short, Zayl ends up developing feelings for Selene.
Later, Zayl makes a return in Diablo III: Storm of Light, which is written by Nate Kenyon. In short, the story takes place between the original Diablo III and the Reaper of Souls expansion. Tyrael is pretty much gathering up Sanctuary’s version of The Avengers to help him with an important quest. That group become part of the Horadrim.
Zayl, and therefore, Humbardt, are part of this group. Zayl is shunned by the others at first because he is a necromancer. In general, people who aren’t necromancers are fearful and distrustful of the necromancers they encounter. It’s isn’t because all necromancers are evil; it’s mostly because people just don’t understand what necromancers do. It freaks them out.
It has been said, on a Battle.net Diablo Forum that Zayl is in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. Somebody says that Zayl is in the Blood Marsh. Another person says that not only is Zayl in the Blood Marsh, but that he is a rare encounter, and that you have to be playing through Story Mode to find him. Personally, I’ve never seen Zayl in-game.
UPDATE: I eventually was able to find Zayl in Diablo III.
The way to find Zayl is to play through story mode. He will sometimes appear in the Blood Marsh while your character is being accompanied by Lorath Nahr, an NPC (non-player character) that can be found in Act V.
Lorath Nahr: Zayl! I’m glad you are well.
Demon Hunter: Who is this?
Zayl: I am Zayl, a necromancer who seeks to maintain the balance.
Humbert Wessel: Plus, he’s a Horadrim!
Zayl: That’s my friend Humbart. He’s a skull. Please ignore him.
Lorath Nahr: Zayl helped Tyrael steal the Black Soulstone from Heaven!
Zayl: I did. But I was not in the tomb when Malthael struck.
Humbart Wessel: If he was, Zayl would have shown that angel what it means to cross a necromancer!
Zayl: That’s enough, Humbart.
Demon Hunter: What brings you all the way out here?
Zayl: This place has fallen to deep imbalance. Something is very wrong here, and I wish to heal the land.
Demon Hunter: It’s Adria. Her witchcraft poisons everything around her. But I mean to end her life.
Humbart Wessel: Well that’s taken care of! Let’s go get a drink.
Zayl: Even after she is slain, equilibrium will not immediately be restored. It will take time.
Humbart Wessel: Always so serious.
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