When I read the intro, it somehow reminded me of Tolkien's Silmarillion. Both intros are very similar.
I actually like that they finally did something like this for the Diablo universe. Yeah, we knew about the creation of Sanctuary and other things from The Sin War trilogy, but this really takes the story to a whole new level! The Worldstone was an Eye of Anu, the God of Diablo universe, the Heart of Creation and Anu's spine is forming the Crystal Arch upon which the High Heavens formed!
I'm so buying this book!
Edit: No mention of Trag'Oul. I wonder how he fits in all of this.
Same thing happened to me, specially with the resemblance of the names, Anu and Eru.
That's exactly what I was thinking! I don't blame them. To me, it's okay if they were to use something similar to help animate their stories, but if they downright copied something from a different source, then I would be pissed.
EDIT: It that times, Trag'Oul was a young dragon without responsabilities like the other guardians. Then this two destroyed each other and created the universe. Now they have worlds to protect.
Before these two destroyed each other, nothing else existed except the two of them. The Dragon came to be as Anu threw away all the evil he held in himself. Their eventual deaths gave birth to the Universe.
So that means that Duriel is the grandson of Mephisto?
That would make 0 sense since all of the Great Evils - Diablo, Baal, Mephisto, Belial, Azmodan, Duriel and Andariel, formed from the heads of the Dragon Tathamet. I guess that Andraeil being Mephisto's grand daughter will be/is retconed.
I don't remember Andariel ever being directly related to someone of course I could be wrong. Lilith was Mephisto's daughter.
I'm still not sure where Andariel = Lilith's daughter came from. We know from The Sin War nearly all of Lilith's children died. Unless she had a demon child before. Anyways I don't see any citation of where this came from.
I think it might just be a misconception because they share the same skin in D2 and Lilith is stronger.
Wall of text incoming. I transcribed the first chapter, about the creation:
The Dawn Anu and the Dragon
As with all things, it is best to begin with the beginning. The Creation. All things after it are a result of it, and the nature of it reverberates down through the millennia.
A great many mystic and tribal storytellers impart some version of this story. I am using a ancient writings from the Black Book of Lam Esen. I choose this source because Lam Esen was a skilled sage renowned for his knowledge of Skatsimi mysticism and folklore. In his time, he collected vast stores of knowledge from diverse places, and had a unique genius for distilling the essence of things from a vast array of different sources.
He describes the creation of our universe in the following terms:
Before the beginning there was void. Nothing. No flesh. No rock.
No air. No beat. No light. No dark.
Nothing, save a single, perfect pearl.
Within that pearl dreamed a mighty unfathomable spirit – the One – Anu made of shining diamond, Anu was the sum of all things: good and evil, light and dark, physical and mystical, joy and sadness – all reflected across the crystalline facets of its form. And, within its eternal dream-state, Anu considered itself – all of its myriad facets. Seeking a state of total purity and perfection, Anu cast all from itself. All dissonance was gone. But what of the cast-off aspects of its being? The dark parts, the sharp, searing aspects of hate and pridefulness? Those could not remain in a state of separation, for all things are drawn to all things. All parts are drawn to the whole. Those discordant parts assembled into the Beast – the Dragon. Tathamet was his name – and he breathed unending death and darkness from his seven devouring heads. The Dragon was solely composed of Anu’s cast-off aspects. The end sum of the whole became a singular Evil – the Prime Evil, from which all vileness would eventually spread throughout existence.
Though separate beings, Anu and the dragon were bound together within the Pearl’s shadowed womb. There they warred against each other in an unending clash of light and shadow for ages uncounted.
The diamond warrior and the seven-headed dragon proved to be the equal of the other, neither ever gaining the upper hand in their fierce and unending combat – till at last, the energies nearly spent after countless millennia of battle, the two combatants delivered their final blows. The energies unleashed by their impossible fury ignited an explosion of light and matter so vast and terrible that it birthed the very universe all around us.
All of the stars above and the darkness that binds them.
All that we touch. All that we feel. All that we know.
All that is unknown.
Everything of which we are aware, and that of which we are utterly unaware was created with the deaths of Anu and the Dragon, Tathamet.
In the epicentre of reality lies Pandemonium, the scar of the universe’s violent birth. At its chaotic center lay the Heart of Creation, a massive jewel unlike any other: the Eye of Anu – the Worldstone. It is the foundation stone of all places and times, a nexus of realities and vast, untold possibility.
Anu and Tathamet are no more, yet their distinct essences permeated the nascent universe – and eventually became the bedrock of what we know to be the High Heavens and the Burning Hells.
Anu’s shining spine spun out into the primordial darkness, where it slowed and cooled. Over countless ages it formed into the Crystal Arch, around which the High Heavens took shape and form.
Though Anu was gone, some resonance of it remained in the holy Arch. Spirits bled forth from it –shining angels of light and sound who embodied the virtuous aspects of what the One had been.
Yet, despite the grace and beauty of this shining realm, it lacked the perfection Anu’s spirit. Anu had passed into a benevolent place beyond this broken universe – a paradise of which nothing is known, and yet represent the perhaps greatest-kept secret of Creation.
Longed for, but unimaginable.
Just as Heaven cooled in the spaces above, Tathamet’s blackened, smoldering husk spiralled into the lower darkness of reality. From his putrid flesh grew the realms of the Burning Hells. The Dragon’s seven severed heads arose as the seven Evils – the three strongest of which would be known as the Prime Evils. They along with their four Lesser brethren, would rule over the ravening, demonic hordes that spawned like maggots from the desiccated cavities of the Burning Hells.
Thus was how all of what we know began…
In time, the Lords of Hell and the angels of Heaven met and clashed. The battle raged unceasing, and thus would come to be known as the Eternal Conflict. It is written in the Book of Long Shadows that the Eternal Conflict shall continue on forever across countless planes of existence, until further mysteries, unknown even to the angels and the demons, shall reveal themselves.
Over the millennia, many scholars have interpreted this in various ways. Some, especially in the primitive tribes who look to the sky for their understanding of the universe, view all this a literally true. They believe that Anu’s spine is a physical object in the universe. That demons are born from the rotting flesh of Tathamet.
Other scholars and mystics take this less literally and perceive the telling of Anu and Tathamet’s battle as an elaborate metaphor for good and evil and the constant warring dynamic seen among the forces of nature.
Edit: I completed the section below. After this text the pages 18 and 19 are missing. It then continues at page 20 with the end of an unknown chapter.
The Eternal Conflict
I take the following knowledge from a surviving fragment of one of the scrolls of the Church of Zakarum. In it, the unknown scribe tells of events which took place millennia before the founding of the church. Thus, the descriptions are of questionable validity. I personally believe that the tales came from earlier and unknown sources. I have my suspicions, which, for the time, I will keep to myself – although I might expatiate on these things in a later writing. The scrolls describe a war fought by agents of light and order against creatures of chaos and shadow. That is to say, forces both of the High Heavens and the Burning Hells (see later sections).
This war was most commonly fought within the realm of Pandemonium. According to one of the earliest necromancers, the angels and demons battled over control of one essential object, the Heart of Creation – the Worldstone.
The Worldstone is not, as the name implies a mere stone. It is a colossal, mountain-sized object which was believed by many (and is supported by multiple petroglyphs and ancient sculptures) to be the actual Eye of Anu, the One. According to legend, to whoch I subscribe, the Worldstone is an artefact of unimaginable power.
Lacking the specificity and background a scholar such as I would like, a belief exists that control of this stone changed hands many times over the eons. Oral history tells us that the Worldstone “allowed the side that possessed it to alter reality and create life and worlds almost without restriction.” The account continues that “angels used the stone to build worlds of perfect order in line with their ideals of justice, hope, wisdom, fate and valor.” Whereas demons used the stone to “create unfathomable engines of annihilation and worlds of destruction, terror and hatred. However, these worlds created by angels and demons never flourished. They were inherently flawed and doomed to wither and die.”
I know not whether such worlds were ever created or, if they were, whether any of them still exist. To the best of my knowledge, no man has ever beheld such a world. Therefore, I suspect that this account is literary license. What we can all agree upon, however, is that this object was of great importance and that, whatever its use, it was greatly coveted by the angels and demons. Further research suggests that in time an archangel called Tyrael ordered a bastion to be built around the Worldstone, a stronghold which would come to be known as the Pandemonium Fortress. Throughout these writings, I will explore much further the tales surrounding Tyrael, as I have indeed actually met the angel.
Page note (Likely from Cain to Leah):
Read these sections carefully, my dear. Read all things about him carefully, for if my suspicions are correct, he still has some role to play in this grand drama.
Long ago, an angel known as Inarius seized the Worldstone and, though some impossible act of magic, veiled it from the sight of both Heaven and Hell. He had accomplished this with the aid, I presume of the mysterious demoness Lilith and a cadre of other angels and demons who had grown disillusioned with the Eternal Conflict. Inarius succeeded in manipulating the power of the stone to create the world of Sanctuary, a hidden paradise where he and his followers could live free from the madness of unending strife.
This is the place we know as the mortal realm. This is our world. We must pause a moment to think upon this. Our world, unlike all the other worlds, was created by both angels and demons.
The days of Sanctuary’s creation, the nature of the Eternal Conflict changed. Much confusion spread through the Burning Hells and the High Heavens. The center of all things they had fought over for countless millennia had vanished. It was simply gone. At first both sides suspected the other, but in time, they realized that the truth was something different. Thus it was that the battle for possession of the Worldstone became the search for it.
It is interesting to note, before we beg in delving into the Burning Hells and High Heavens, that not all things assumed of them are true.
For instance, there were different cults which reigned in the period between what we now know as the Sin War and the Dark Exile (both of which I will discuss later). It was believed by some that the High Heavens and the Burning Hells were places where the souls of men went when they died – that men either were rewarded for their virtues (the High Heavens), or received punishment for their failings (the Burning Hells). Aside from the unfounded beliefs of various cults, there is nothing in academia to support this. It is important that the reader understand that the High Heavens and the Burning Hells, much like the realm of Pandemonium, are actual, physical locations in this universe.
Personally, I believe that there exists a place where the souls of men go after their death, but that discussion is beyond the place of this treatise.
This being said, I must confess that even I do not always know where myth ends and truth begind. That, reader, I will let you judge for yourself.
Page 20 (Unknown chapter)
Still more knowledge has been gathered from scattered fragments, such as the Guhawj Cave Inscriptions, found chiselled into a limestone cave wall beneath Kehjistan, inked long ago with blood. We know nothing of their author or the circumstances of their writing. We can only speculate that they might have been transferred to humans through dreams and divination.
Seven Evils spawned of seven heads.
Seven realms birthed from death,
Infested, unending cycles upon cycles.
Sin beget sins as men beget men
Terror begets Hate and Hate begets Destruction
Destruction begets Terror as Terror begets Hate as Hate begets Descrution as Destruction begets…
(The inscription is unredable from this point, but it has been speculated that this incantation repeats many times.)
Paper note – The Neztem Petroglyphs:
The Nextem Petroglyphs were found on what is believed to be a natural pillar far out in the desert of Aranoch. I have sketched them myself and am pleased at the result. As a personal note and observation, my young ward, Leah, was with me on this journey. Upon staring at this rock, she began having vision of a most violent nature. I had to confine her to the tent for the rest of our time there. I have used some of what she said during those vision to inform my descriptions of Hell in the following section.
Here's the last part of the pages (note that I edited the previous msg and added a whole bunch), describing Diablo and Baal. Unfortunately we don't get to see the full text about Baal, or anything of Mephisto's entry in these images.
I decided to post this in here even though it's not fully on topic since I figured it would be better to keep all of it in one place.
The Prime Evils The Lords of the Burning Hells
Mark well the words of Vischar Orous that follow, and let them serve as a warning to all men of what the Lords of the Burning Hells may have planned for the future of Sanctuary, should they ever invade our realm.
Let it be known that there exists a hierarchy to the Hells. There are three Prime Evils and four Lesser Evils.
The Prime Evils are Diablo, Lord of Terror; Baal, Lord of Destruction; and Mephisto, Lord of Hatred. These Prime Evils are brothers – it is said that they were the dominant heads of the Dragon, Tathamet. These three Evils endeavour to maintain a strict rule over the legions of the Hells. As the Guhawj Cave poem indicates, these powers fuel each other. Terror leads to Hatred, and Hatred leads to Destruction. This has allowed them to be the dominant force of Hell in such a way that they generate energy that has been analogized to an alchemist’s engine.
The Lesser Evils are four in number. The first is Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish. Andarial is the twin sister of Durial, a male Evil who is referred to as the Lord of Pain. The final two Evils are the ones most mysterious to us, for they have not yet come to Sanctuary. However many of the prophecies express a fear that they will. These two are Belial, Lord of Lies, and Azmodan, Lord of Sin.
As we have now briefly introduced the hierarchy of Hell, it is time to explore each individually. We shall focus also upon what is known of the Evil’s domains in Hell. It is interesting to note here that the borders of their domains are constantly shifting as the boundaries within the Hells crash into and encroach upon one another. Judging by the texts and accounts, it is as if the borders themselves are in conflict.
Let us not dwell overlong on these horrors, however, lest we ourselves sink into the depths of madness.
Diablo, the Lord of Terror
Of all of the Great Evils, it is much to our misfortune that we know the most about the Lord of Terror, Al’Diabalos, known more widely as Diablo.
He is the root of all fears buried deep within mortal minds. He is the nightmare that awakens us, sweating in the dark. He is an entity of pure malevolence and depthless evil. He has plagued Sanctuary on several occasions and tormented mortals time and again, more often than any of his foul brethren.
Despite the fact that age as we know it does not seem to apply to the Lords of Hell, Diablo is generally considered to be the youngest of the Three. It may also seem odd to assign positive traits to a demon; nonetheless, it is said that Diablo is the most creative and farsighted of his brothers, perhaps of all the evils. Many claim that Mephisto is the most intelligent, but intelligence has as many facets as does evil.
Diablo is calm, cunning and patient, and best understood when we view all his action as attempts to instill terror in those around him. Consider the components of terror: a mix of 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 so doing, use a person’s own worst fears against them.
As perverse as it may sound, Diablo sees himself as an artist of terror. I can attest that when I was subjected to Diablo’s evil, it seemed to me as if he derived from it the pleasure that an artist takes in his work. Perhaps he sees each of us a canvas.
Diablo knows that conquest comes when enemies panic and turn their backs to their fears, rather than face them. However – and this is an important concept to grasp – Diablo does not acquire his satisfaction from conquest itself, as perhaps Mephisto might. Diablo feeds on the terror that precedes the conquest. To him, the fear a victim has is a greater reward than the pain they suffer when they are actually tortured.
With this perspective on Diablo’s nature, it remains now for us to describe his realm of Terror within the Burning Hells.
Vischar Orous states, from the extracted testimony of demons who claim to be familiar with this realm of living nightmare, that it is the least populated of all the terrorise of Hell, for fewer demons can withstand its unrelenting torment. The realm of Terror is lonely and desolate, filled with horrific scenes of darkness and shadow, fear and surprise. The resultant tension constantly cycles to a crescendo of madness and horror. To catch even a glimpse of this festering netherworld would be to spiral into the depths of unceasing despair.
Orous’s abhorrent description of this realm seems to fit my own knowledge of Diablo. He attacks most effectively by twisting the fears that already reside within every human being. Is it possible to conquer our fears? I truly hope so, though I also believe that terror can ever truly die
For as long as man fears the dark, Diablo will remain the most insidious and, I would argue, the most powerful of all the Evils.
Baal, the Lord of Destruction
Tor’Baalos, known by most as Baal, is the Lord of Desctruction. On the surface, he may seem the basest and easiest to comprehend of the Prime Evils. He revels in the utter annihilation of not only the world around him but also all those who inhabit it.
The particulars of Baal’s early existence are much like those of the other Evils: the endless battles within the Heavens. Baal likely never tired of the war, partly because he never exhausted all the opportunities for wanton destruction.
Given this, it would be easy to assume that Baal is simply an elemental brute, and I have encountered many who believe just that. But I must say that I differ from this view and feel that he is just as cunning as his nefarious siblings. His assault on Mount Arreat, which I will address later in this tome, is just one example of his ability to use strategy and deception to further his ends.