The following was written by Dauroth-
Okay, before I start with this, I'd like you to read this excerpt from Kingdom of Shadow:
Ichor dripped from a scaly, barely fleshed skull that almost appeared to have been stretched long. Two wicked, scaled horns rose high above bat-winged ears. Over the deathly crevices that were all that formed a nose, the thick-browed orbs of the demon lord glared at the impudent human, the hatred and evil within them matching exactly that which the horrified mercenary had noted in the image of the false archangel Mirakodus.
This is the description of Diablo's appearance, as he appeared to Kentril Dumon. Now look at this picture:
The description matches perfectly, especially the part about "two wicked, scaled horns that rise above bat-winged ears".
Now take a look at this picture:
Now, the first thing you should notice is, that the horns are scaled, just as they are in the description and on the first picture. There is also one extra pair of horns. If we compare the two pics, it looks like those are not the same monsters/demons. But, take a look at the details. The bat-winged ears are nowhere to be seen in the second pic! However, the extensions of the demon's horns could be interpreted as wings (not literally). If you take a look at the animation, you can see that those things are moving simultaneously with the demon's mouth. When they stretch, the skin between the bones stretches in a similar manner just like bat wings.
Now, to the second and smaller pair of extensions that are located at the base of his cheeks (they are actually closer to his mouth than to his cheeks). You can see those in both the first and the second pic, and if you look at the animation, you can see that those things are moving in the same manner as their larger counterpart. If we take another look at the first pic, we can notice small, claw-like things that are located right by the horns. Now, let's take a look at this picture:
Notice those small sharp endings right by the side of his horns? I know, it's not the same, but they are conveniently placed at the same position.
Horns aside, there is something else I want to show you. This is the last thing, I promise!
If we take another look at the first picture, we can see a sign, some kind of a seal or even a rune, on the demon's forehead.
Now if we look at any of the remaining pictures, we can see a bright spot on the demon's/Diablo's forehead. Many people claimed that this is a hole where his Soulstone used to be. But, the Wanderer's body was destroyed in Diablo II, which means that this can't be the before mentioned hole!
The first picture is the artistic representation of Diablo's true form. Pay attention to the word "artistic"! I would like to compare this picture to a group of images that can be found in Collin de Plancy's "Dictionnaire Infernal", a book on demonology. Kingdom of Shadow tells us that Diablo has bat-winged ears, and the first picture is showing this perfectly. If we look at the other pictures, there are clearly no bat-winged ears, but the extensions I mentioned before could represent them, since the first pic is an "artistic" representation. After all, what do we know about demonic anatomy! Also, the excerpt from Kingdom of Shadow shouldn't be taken literally, since you can never know what the writer wanted to say. The best example for this is J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. To this day, there are some fans that doubt that the Balrog was indeed a fiery 20-foot tall horned demon or that Sauron literally took a form of a great fire eye. They think that those are just a bunch of metaphors. I think we can say that the bat-winged ears in our case is just another metaphor.
The sign/seal/rune on the demon's forehead is probably telling us that there is something of great importance located here. It is also an artistic representation of what we see as a bright spot on Diablo's forehead. What could it be, it's open to debate, but the artist clearly wanted us to know that there is something going on there.
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
It's been five weeks, but the next installment in the cosmology series is here. Last time I went over how the various worlds in the universe were created, what their purpose is and how they relate to each other. Before then, I delved deeper into how the world was actually created, and how it all began.
This time, the article will be slightly different. This article focuses on the most powerful and prominent angels and demons, and seeks to describe them more than anything. The element of speculation is, I believe, considerably less in this installment. To compensate, it also seems to be much longer.
(The pagenumbers currently have ?-marks after them. These numbers do not correspond to the printed pagenumbers, as I use .pdf documents when writing these. I have not yet had the time to double-check the pages in the books, so they are only approximations at current.)
What are angels and demons exactly? On a basic level, they are pretty much the iconic representations of what you would think of when you hear their names: angels are pure beings who fight in shining armor, while demons are mostly ravenous beasts thirsting for blood. After that however, subtle and large differences start to appear that separates them from other games and popular culture.
One thing that is very important to note is that angels are not really a force of good. This is not clear at all if you've only played the games; Heaven in D2 is portayed more like the good guys, who watch to see if humanity is strong enough to stand for themselves. Reading the books however, another picture is painted.
Another difference that is important to note is that there is no indication or suggestion of a god who supervises the angels. In fact, the angels are even confirmed not to follow a deity. They are as autonomous as the demons are.
Because of this, Heaven is just as bad for Sanctuary if it were to win over Hell as the reverse would be, and so the humans are trapped between both. The following quote sums up very nicely what angels think of Sanctuary:
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 211']Tyrael — and it dismays me yet to hear you verify that it is he who is here — would see no contradiction in his role as a warrior of light by twisting his words and leading you and likely Achilios to believe him kindly and benevolent!” Rathma’s cloak fluttered almost nervously, an effect more pronounced by the fact that there was no wind. “All he has desired during his time here is to create more chaos that will keep those interested in the world’s survival at one another’s throats, the easier for them to be judged by the High Heavens and erased from existence.”
“Not possible!” Mendeln blurted. “I spoke with him. He was concerned over Inarius’s madness and the fear that demons were gaining control over humanity. He —”
“The truth can hide many lies within it.” The Ancient’s shoulders slumped. “To Tyrael, we would be monsters, things that should have never existed. Therefore, we are not worthy of trust or truth. All that matters is our annihilation, so that we do not blemish creation.[/quote]
Of course, before the end of the Sin War, Tyrael has a change of heart. In a vote between the Angiris, Tyrael votes for humanity, stating the following:
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 330']BUT I WAS NOT THERE…AS WERE NONE OF YOU, Tyrael reminded his counterparts. AND SO THIS THING GREW…AND GREW…UNTIL IT BECAME WHAT NONE COULD FATHOM, WHAT NONE COULD HAVE EXPECTED! THIS PLACE CALLED SANCTUARY HAS BROUGHT FORTH SUCH AS WE HAVE NEVER WITNESSED, THINGS I MYSELF CALLED ABOMINATIONS! Before Imperius could interrupt, Tyrael pressed, BUT ABOMINATIONS DO NOT FEEL SUFFERING, THEY DO NOT STRUGGLE FOR ONE ANOTHER AGAINST GREAT ODDS AND THEY DO NOT…THEY DO NOT…OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL…CHOOSE…YES…CHOOSE TO COMMIT SUCH GREAT SACRIFICE FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS.
Mendeln felt the hope rising among his companions, even the generally dour Rathma. Was it possible of Tyrael, of all the angels?
WE SACRIFICE, responded Imperius. OF WHAT DIFFERENCE WAS HIS?
WE SACRIFICE BECAUSE WE MUST…BECAUSE IT IS PART OF OUR CALLING! WE DO IT BECAUSE IT IS OUR DUTY AND NO MORE! THE MORTAL, ULDYSSIAN UL-DIOMED…HE CHOSE TO SELFLESSLY GIVE HIMSELF BECAUSE HE CARED FOR HIS COMPANIONS! IT WAS NOT HIS DUTY…BUT HIS DESIRE. Tyrael looked at each of the other judges, ending with Imperius. I DID CALL THEM ABOMINATIONS…AND I WAS WRONG! MY VOTE IS FOR THEM…FOR I WOULD SEE WHAT THEY MIGHT BECOME…AND MARVEL IN IT.[/quote]
The change of heart Tyrael has here explains his heavy involvement later on in the games, when the rest of Heaven seems to be extremely passive. However, it also reveals more about Heaven than at first glance. Total domination of heaven is often seen as a grave potential, with a rigidity and order imposed on humanity that it would be terribly to live in.
Astrogha further comments on this point:
[quote name='Scales of the Serpent, page 73']Humans could become the weapon the demons needed to at last seize total victory from the sanctimonious angels, yet the tendency toward good in them might make them ally themselves with the High Heavens…until the piousness and rigidity of the winged warriors sickened their stomachs as much as it did the demons’.[/quote]
Of course, a demon would probably feel that any amount of piousness is sickening. But Tyrael's speech remains. He spaks of selflessness and comassion prominent in humans, and views it as good. Perhaps Heaven is not as bad after all. It's probably no good for Sanctuary if Heaven were to beat Hell and the angels invade, but that does not mean that an equal 50-50 balance between Heaven and Hell is preferable either. While both must exist, a greater tendency towards Heaven is probably preferable for humanity and Sanctuary as a whole.
If we start at the easiest and most straightforward end, we have the demons. Since both Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 have focused on us as players killing demons by the scores, the games have given us a pretty good grasp of what they are. In large part, many of them would hardly be more than what the games show us had they been dropped down in our world. Most would have run around and killed everything in sight.
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 307']The demons were not like the angels. They had no uniformity save their savageness. They did not come in rank upon rank but spilled out like water, quickly covering vast ground, then rising up into the sky.[/quote]
The more powerful demons however are not very accurately portrayed in the games, and so knowledge of them must be gathered from the books.
Big D himself is the iconic demon in the Diablo Universe. Big and red with lots of spikes, horns, claws and teeth, Diablo is as fearsome as they get. He went through some minor changes in Diablo 2 compared to how he appeared in Diablo 1. His original form was quite humanoid, standing upright. The image to the left, from Diablo 2, depicts a more beast-like Diablo, who runs on all fours, with a massive tail to accompany him. Some say he looks like a dinosaur, but in large part he is still humanoid, with two legs, two arms and all that.
In the Sin War however, Diablo takes on another shape. He is encountered many times throughout the books by different characters, and throughout all of them Diablo constantly changes appearance in accordance with the fears of the watcher.
[quote name='Scales of the Serpent, page 74']As the hideous specter neared, Astrogha then caught glimpses of a fiery red shape, huge fists with black talons, and a horrific countenance that was in part a rotting skull with blazing eyes that burned into the arachnid’s own. Monstrous, curled horns—like those of a ram’s gone amok—topped the thick-browed, scaled head.[/quote]
Fiery red shape, huge fists with black talons, curled horns, thick-browed and scaled head. Excepting the rotting skull, the description fits very well with the appearance Diablo has in D2. In other instances however, this is not the case.
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 190']From below came a wild roar. Out of the water burst the monstrous shadow, and as it rushed up at Uldyssian, it transformed a hundred times. Each incarnation was more horrific than the last, and nearly all the son of Diomedes could trace to his own innate terrors.[/quote]
Clearly here then, we see that Diablo resembles that which his onlookers fear. The question though is, does he do this purposefully, i.e. is it a power he can choose to control, or is it an innate quality of his very being, his natural form?
First, an encounter between Inarius and Diablo.
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 148']Inarius showed no sign of anxiety when that figure became another winged warrior he knew so well. “You are not Tyrael, and I am not afraid of him.”
Are you not? Then why do I resemble him?[/quote]
It should be noted here that Inarius quite probably does fear Tyrael, he's obsessed with the angel throughout the latter parts of the books. Diablo's response would indicate that his own shape merely changes to what Inarius fears.
On the other hand, during an encounter between Uldyssian and Diablo, something else happens.
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 190']And so Diablo looked upon himself.
Under any other circumstances, Uldyssian doubted that the demon would have been affected. Prepared for such a trick, the Lord of Terror would have adjusted. Here, though, Uldyssian’s spell happened so quickly, and with so much instinct as opposed to preparation, that the demon could not have known what to expect.
Thus, Diablo inflicted upon himself that which he did unto others. The fears he had been thrusting upon the human altered to his own.
The shadowy figure let out a shriek that nearly made Uldyssian flee in mindless panic.[/quote]
Of course, Uldyssian cannot know for sure what Diablo can or cannot do. But the idea that simply holding up a mirror is enough to stop him at all times seems ludicrous. Diablo must be able to exercise active control this power of his for it to make any sense. He's not medusa.
This of course does not say whether or not Diablo does in fact his true for is the one we see in Diablo. Thus I fall back on the fourht cinematic in D2. At about 2:10, Mephisto says:
Quote from "cinematic" »
Now my young brother, the time has come for you to assume your true form.
Which is his dino form with tail and all.
All in all, Diablo probably looks something akin to how he appears in Diablo 2.
Mephisto is the eldest of the Three (which of Baal or Diablo is the youngest has never been made clear anywhere thus far). He is also the master of the undead. Indicated by his skeletal appearance in D2, it is made clear in the Kingdom of Shadow, spoken by a mage of the Vizjerei.
[quote name='The Kingdom of Shadow, page 12?']The Prime Evils. Whatever land one had been born in, whether in the jungles of Kehjistan or the cooler, rockier realms of the Western Kingdoms, all knew of the Prime Evils, the three brothers who ruled Hell.
Mephisto, Lord of Hatred, master of undead. Baal, Lord of Destruction, bringer of chaos[/quote]
What this means exactly is unclear, but it is an interesting tidbit of knowledge.
Still, what does Mephisto look like? Contrary to Diablo, his appearance in The Sin War does not agree well with how he appeared in D2.
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 331']The shadow coalesced somewhat into a tall, macabre shape that instantly brought to Mendeln’s mind the monstrous morlu or, worse yet, their heinous master, Lucion, who, like Lilith, was also offspring of this sudden and dread visitor.[/quote]
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 332']A green, scaly hand thrust forth from the shadow to condemn Inarius.[/quote]
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 332']A hint of great, sharp teeth momentarily flashed into sight where the demon’s head should have been.[/quote]
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 333']A black substance oozed from the bite, and this the demon let drip onto the spot the angels had chosen.[/quote]
To fully understand this description, we must also have a description of Lucion and Lilith, Mephisto's two children.
[quote name='Birthright, page 252']Rather, it was taller and hideously scaled, with a mass of fiery quills for hair, quills that ran down the spine to…to a reptilian tail ending in savage barbs. Where the delicate hands had been were now clawed fingers—four, not five. Worse, the feet were like hooves, yet splayed, too.
The body was unclad and, although monstrous, still very, very female. The lush curves enticed, drawing his eyes despite his dismay. But most horrific of all was that, when he looked up into the face -the face with its burning orbs that had no pupils and teeth designed for shredding—he could still see the features that he recognized as that of the woman he loved.[/quote]
[quote name='Birthright, page 312']And as he spoke, the facade of humanity fell away. Lucion’s aspect grew terrible to behold, even more so to Uldyssian because there was resemblance to Lilith after all. Lucion stood half again taller than the demoness and much broader, but he, too, had the thorns that acted as mane all the way down his scaled back. Yet, where she had only had one tail, her cursed brother had three, all spiked from top to tip with daggerlike projects longer than Uldyssian’s hand.
Lucion took a step toward him again and, in doing so, revealed that he also had the hooved legs his sister did. His hands were different, though, for the fingers on each numbered more than five and the claws were like those of a badger, but dripping with what surely had to be poison.
And of the face, only the eyes were identical. Lucion, who played at being the handsome, schooled cleric, was a beast whose head more resembled a toad. His mouth was wider than the top of his skull, and row upon row of teeth greeted Uldyssian. The brother of Lilith had no nose, not even nostrils, and his chin was hooked so sharply in the middle that Uldyssian could almost imagine it being used as a weapon.[/quote]
Clearly then it would seem that Mephisto would share some traits with his brother Diablo. He is no undead himself, even though he may be the master of them.
We cannot be certain of Mephisto's finer features though. Lilith and Lucion have similar shapes, but differ in their faces. Likewise, Mephisto probably looks like them in body, but has a different face. It is not impossible he share some features with Diablo as well. They are, after all, brothers.
Why then does Mephisto not look like this in D2? Why is he a hovering skeleton? The answer to that question is simply that, in D2, Mephisto possesses the body of Sankekur, the leader of the Zakarum. Like Tal Rasha for Baal and the Wanderer for Diablo, they are all much more human while still in their bodies. Diablo, shedding his human form, is the only one of them who truly returns to his demonic form in the games.
Unfortunately, there's is little to be said about Baal. He plays such a minor role in the books, never appearing and only being mentioned here and there in passing that there's little new to say. I did however find one interesting thing: Baal appears to be more stupid than his brothers, or at least he has more stupid demons serving him.
[quote name='Birthright, page 207']“Stupid is Gulag,” came Astrogha’s monstrous voice from above. “Like his master he is…”[/quote]
[quote name='Birthright, page 207']“And you, Gulag, do you have any reservations about accepting what I offer even before hearing the price?”
He smiled at the simple question. “Yes, there could very well be some.”
It was as close to an acquiescence as Lucion would get from one of Baal’s minions.[/quote]
[quote name='Birthright, page 274']Satisfied that it was not Gulag, Lucion sought then for Astrogha. The spider was a more cunning creature, being of Diablo’s calling.[/quote]
Both of these indicate that demons of Destruction think little, and it clearly shows that Astrogha is more cunning because he is a demon of Terror.
Whether Baal is more stupid isn't necessarily true, Astrogha will likely not give much credit to a Prime other than his master Diablo. But Lucion has the same thought of Gulag, while at the same time acknowledging that Astrogha is not dumb. If this were simply a matter of hate between servants of different Primes, Lucion should not have upheld Astrogha so.
It seems strange that Baal should be noticeable dumber. But why would he surround himself with stupid demons then?
Now, how do the Three interact with each other? There is much mystery regarding this, and I have in the past tried to figure out how their relationship works. It is well known that demons constantly plot against each other:
Astrogha against Lucion:
[quote name='Scales of the Serpent, page 73']If Lucion was no longer fit to command, then someone would rightly have to step in and take his place…but that would prove difficult, considering Mephisto’s role in this. The other Prime Evil would not take kindly to his offspring’s role being usurped…unless the results of that proved most promising.
And so Astrogha was debating plots of his own.[/quote]
And Kabraxis against the Three:
[quote name='The Black Road, page 139?']If we grow too quickly, we will attract the attention of the Prime Evils, and I’m unwilling to deal with them at the moment. For now, though, you have a service to give.[/quote]
There are others, but the thing I have always remarked about is that the Three do not seem to plot against one another. Even when they were all shattered and imprisoned, they reunited in Kurast. And Baal, like most of you have heard, screams "My brothers will not have died in vain!" when you enter the Worldstone Chamber at the end of D2. Is it in fact so that the Three do not plot to overthrow one another?
There is much on this topic. First, Malic summons a demon:
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 122']“My master is Mephisto, brother to your master…Diablo….”
Again, the demon bubbled. By this point, there was hardly anything left of the dead mage save a few bone fragments, including the skull.
“By the pact of the Three, you must bow to my power. You must obey my will! Understand?”[/quote]
Clearly Malic is here using some sort of agreement between demons. If a servant of another Prime if specific terms are met (in this case a human sacrifice), then the summoned demon is forced to obey the summoner. This is important, for it shows a matter of trust between the Three. They are allowing demons not of their own to command their servants... provided they belong to another Prime.
However, when Diablo and Inarius meet, Diablo is of another mind:
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 148']I deal with a traitor, a liar, and a murderer, said a voice that, despite Inarius’s claim, sent a slight chill through him. It’s almost like dealing with one of my brothers.[/quote]
This could mean much. On the one hand, it could mean that the Three are as treacherous against each other as against other demons and servants. At first glance, it certainly seems that way.
On the other, if one ponders this for a bit, this makes little sense. By all accounts, the Three have reigned in Hell forever. If they backstabbed each other constantly, there must have been fluctuations in power, either in favor of themselves or for other demons (such as Kabraxis or Azmodan and Belial).
And if we consider the Three, they are most certainly traitors, liars and murderers in their own right (though it's hard to use that last term on them when they are obviously not bound by any law). That does not mean they commit any of these acts against one another however. In the Veiled Prophet, Diablo betrays Inarius, lies to Uldyssian and probably murders somebody along the way as well, which would make him all three things.
Now there may be scheming between them, but there are different levels of betrayal. Are any of them willing, or in fact even able, to overthrow the others?
On the same topic is an interesting exchange between the Auriel and Mephisto when he appears.
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 331']YOU OFFER PARLEY…LORD MEPHISTO? Auriel asked the shadow. YOU…NOT YOUR BROTHER?
“My dear brother is beside himself. Therefore, I, who am also supreme, do indeed offer parley — and more! I offer…a truce.”[/quote]
It is obvious that Auriel would expect Diablo to handle this exchange. In fact, up until this point, only Diablo of the Three has appeared on Sanctuary during the entirety of the series. Only after Uldyssian "scares" Diablo away does another Prime Evil enter the picture.
What's more is that Mephisto is not at all surprised by Auriel's reaction, or angered that he is not viewed as Diablo in this matter. (This may be entirely unintentional and simply a detail Knaak did not consier however).
Tyrael lends another piece into the puzzle:
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 177']The angel dipped his head ever so slightly. AND PERHAPS THE WORST OF THE THREE…HE WHO IS THE ESSENCE OF TERROR…THE LORD DIABLO.[/quote]
What Tyrael expresses here seems to confirm what was suggested earlier: Diablo is the foremost of the Three.
It is not entirely clear though, for Mephisto is apparently able to seal a truce between Heaven and Hell, which includes Diablo, and Tyrael only says that Diablo is perhaps the worst. Not very clear at all.
Still, two times in favor of Diablo, as well as a lot of appearances from him. If nothing else, Diablo is probably a first among equals.
But wait a minute some of you will say. What about the 4th cinematic in D2, the one where Mephisto seems to be commanding Diablo into Hell?
It has been argued that this scene, where Mephisto says "Send forth your Terror into Hell." implies that Mephisto is the foremost of them. The problem though is that Diablo is well on his way through the gate before Mephisto says anything. It seems less of a command, and more of a... encouragement, for lack of a better word.
Angels are different from their popular depiction. To the left we have Hadriel, the only angel we've ever seen in Diablo game except for Izual in his spirit form and Tyrael himself.
The key features of the angels are illustrated here though: a hood or helmet with no face but only a silhouette inside it, only black, a body covered in armor, and the iconic shining wings that are not really wings with feathers, but tendrils made of light. The description is solidified in the Sin War however when the Heavenly Host arrives to Sanctuary and are described by Uldyssian:
[quote name='Scales of the Serpent, page 51']They were angels, as humans portrayed them at least. The Prophet, more the wiser, acknowledged the artisan’s exceptional attempt, but an attempt was all it truly was. A mere mortal could not have grasped the true essence of such beings. A mere mortal could not conceive of creatures who were not exactly physical in nature, but instead harmonic resonances.[/quote]
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 302']And through that tear flowed an astounding, breathtaking swarm of magnificent beings whose armor gleamed brighter than the sun and whose many wings created a dazzling display of colors unmatched upon the mortal plane.[/quote]
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 307']The celestial host dove in perfect order, row upon row spreading out in every direction over Sanctuary. All held ready fiery weapons — from swords to lances to scythes and more — which somehow Uldyssian understood were actually manifestations of their individual powers.[/quote]
In terms of angels, there's is little to be had, and next to nothing about any of them before the last few chapters of the Veiled Prophet, save regarding Inarius and Tyrael.
[quote name='Scales of the Serpent, page 51']In his place stood a looming, hooded figure with vast wings of flame. Within the hood there was no face, instead a radiance—formed from the blending of both light and sound—so wondrous that it would have been almost blinding to most humans. What appeared to be long, silver hair draping around it was also no more than pure light and sound mixing together.
He was clad in breastplate and robes, the former a shimmering copper, the latter as if sewn from the very rays of the sun. In mortal terms, what had been the prophet seemed now some divine warrior, and in truth, he had faced many a harsh battle against the demons of the Burning Hells.[/quote]
This description is of course akin to the one I made above, and it's not really how Hadriel looks. It is close, but Inarius' hood is evidently not black inside, and whether Hadriel's wings can be called fiery is debatable. Regardless however, while there may be small differences, both are evidently angels.
Who was Inarius though? For those of you who don't know, I advise you check the first article in this series, as I go in heavily on his part. In short however, he can be called the (main) creator, or shaper, of Sanctuary.
He is also a rebel however, a rebel who left the High Heavens. Before then, it is often claimed by fans that he was a member of the Angiris Council, the highest ruling body in Heaven. While it is certain that he had some position there, it is unclear just how high his rank was.
[quote name='Birthright, page 157']And in announcing it to himself, he felt a rush of jubilation. He was again Inarius, once of the Angiris Council, once a commander of the Heavenly Hosts![/quote]
[quote name='Birthright, page 158']Making contact with such—either those of his own kind or, especially, the demons—proved a tricky situation, but Inarius had not been an advisor to the Council for nothing.[/quote]
This does not make any sense. How can he both be a member and an advisor to the Council? It seems as if one of the statements must be false, but both thoughts come from Inarius himself.
There are several possible ways to solve this apparent problem.
All members are advisors, even Tyrael, Imperius etc.
The Council employs advisors to aid in their decisions. By this line of thought, Inarius would not have had any executive power in the Council similar to what Tyrael displays.
The term advisor is simply a mistake that slipped by the editors.
The first I am ready to refuse outright. The Angiris is the highest ruling body in Heaven, there is no god or supreme being that they report to. Thus they cannot all be advisors, unless advisor was a title. However, as such it should be capitalized (the Angiris Council is always shortened to Council with a capital C in the books, likewise should advisor have been had it been a formal title). It is not however, and so I rule out that alternative.
The second option is more probable. The Angiris are only five, and they cannot possibly handle all decisions that must be made. For all their vaunted power,neither Angiris nor Prime seem to be all that much more intelligent than humans, and their mental capabilites are not so vast as to be able to handle all decisions. Thus, work must be relegated to other angels. In this sense, we can imagine that an advisor such as Inarius would have similar duties to a member of the Cabinet in the US; he very much has real power, but the five councilors of the Angiris are his superiors.
The last option is that this is just a typo on Blizzard's behalf. While it is possible (the term advisor is only used once in the entire series), drawing this conclusion seems weird. "Blizzad only mentioned it once, and I don't like the idea, so they probably didn't mean it."
Lastly though, a point against Inarius having been a fully-fledged member: who in their right mind creates a council, which makes it's decisions based on voting, with an even numbr of members? Why create a council with six members, when five or seven is much preferable? This I believe speak in favor of the second point. This of course means that there would be other advisors to the Council, and why not? Reasonably they must have councilors, no rules can know everything, and Inarius having such a position seems very reasonable.
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 175']A brilliant light blossomed from there, one that made Serenthia immediately tighten her grip on her spear. In the midst of that light, she saw the tall figure emerge. Vast wings composed of tendrils of energy rose up behind him.[/quote]
Notice the difference in description here between Inarius and Tyrael. Not wings of fire, but of energy. It could be that they mean the same thing, but at the same time we have up-to-date artwork that clearly shows different wings for different angels. Tyrael, whom we can see at www.diablo3.com, clearly does not have wings of fire, while much artwork of what must be other angels show wings that are dazzling in color and could very well be described as fiery.
This also brings stark contrast to how Inarius looks. Tyrael has a completely black inside of his cowl, while Inarius was described to have a combination of bright light and sound inside. But enough of that, mots of you know how Tyrael looks simply by having visited Blizzard's site.
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 306']Uldyssian could not see the other angel, but he felt his power. Tyrael was naturally far stronger than Inarius. Uldyssian might have still defeated him easily, but the second angel had wisely used the Prophet’s fury to hide his own efforts until it was too late for the human to notice.[/quote]
Interestingly, Uldyssian judges Tyrael to not only be stronger than Inarius, but far stronger. This, should be noted, is right after Uldysssian severs Inarius' link to the Worldstone, so this does not take into account the added power Inarius received from there during most of the books.
The Angiris Council
Another point I wish to raise here though is the epithetof angels. We all know the Three and their domains: Destruction, Hatred and Terror, as well as the lesser demons: Anguish, Lies, Pain and Sin. But what of the angels, do they not have similar domains?
It has long been theorized that they do, and there is some support for it.
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 71?']“Yes. Tyrael. I believe that the Angel of Justice has come on his own to judge his brother’s crimes…and, in the process, Sanctuary.”[/quote]
Notice the capital J, this is most certainly a title of Tyrael. At it seems reasonable that Justice is his domain, for there are other passages in the books that continually speak of his as bringing justice.
If Tyrael has an epithet like the demons however, it seems vey reasonable that all high-ranking angels do as well. So let's break down the Council and see what we can figure out
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 326']THERE IS NO NEED FOR THIS DEBATE TO CONTINUE…. OR TO HAVE EVEN BEGUN, declared a majestic angel with robes of royal red and a shining breastplate upon which the image of an upturned sword blazed.[/quote]
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 328']Imperius did not reply, but if he had had a face, Mendeln felt certain that it would have glowered.[/quote]
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 331']Imperius summoned a sword of fire.[/quote]
Commonly, Imperius has been thought of as the Angel of War, at least here on DFans. His demeanor supports a war-like nature, but I do not think it is as simple as that. War seems not quite fit as an epithet. Terror is not a domain of Heaven, and Justice is no cause of Hell, but both sides deal avidly in war. It seems weird that an angel should be specifically linked to war, while a demon is not. And even so, the two sides should be opposite one another.
What could Imperius be then instead? I have a few suggestions:
Imperius very name (Imperial, Empire) speaks of of order and power, and he is certainly has Heaven's best wishes in mind when he votes. He's strong of character, but if I had to pick one, I'd guess he was the Angel of Order. Sanctuary is, for all intents and purposes, a disruption to the order that Heaven represents.
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 327']SHOULD WE NOT DEAL WITH THE RENEGADE FIRST, IMPERIUS? asked one whose robes were a softer blue and who seemed, as angels appeared, a female.[/quote]
Auriel, like Imperius, also has a common attribute given to her, and that is Love. I am inclined to agree here somewhat, though Benevolence might also be her domain, as she is sympathetic of Sanctuary from the start and argues most fervently for it.
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 328']LET IT BE SO, interjected a gray-clad angel who seemed neither male nor female in aspect.[/quote]
This one is tought. There is very little to go by, but when Itherael makes his final decision (he votes in support of Sanctuary) he calmly considers all the facts and the situation. I propose that he is the Angel of Reason. Demons think, true, but they are also very impulsive and sudden. Itherael's entire being speaks of calm and contemplation. The gray robes also indicate this; he arrives at logical conclusions, regardless of what results that might yield.
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 328']The female angel looked to a fourth member of their council, a very gaunt figure whose robes were black and whose breastplate was likewise colored.[/quote]
[quote name='The Veiled Prophet, page 328'']A visible shiver ran through not only Mendeln but also the rest when the angel Malthael spoke. His voice brought nightmares of death to Mendeln — a permanent, empty death.[/quote]
It seems probably this is the angel of death, the colors and descriptions fit. Still, this is also in contrast to Hell; they dabble in death just as much if not more so, yet the epithet of death would belong to Heaven? It doesn't seem right, but I can't think of what else to give to him.
This article hasn't been aimed at a specific target, but has instead simple explained various features about demons and angels. I cannot really summarize what s written here.
I am not really sure what will come next time. This article created some additional aspects I wish to explore, but I do not know if they warrant an article of their own. You will just have to wait and see what comes next.
Yahoo Games recently posted a newsbit on Activision-Blizzard's plans for the coming years, with an interesting tidbit built in:
[quote=Yahoo]Blizzard is also working on Diablo III, the third game in their hit role-playing series. It's currently planned for release in 2011.[/quote]
With no official word directly from Blizzard, this may be more speculation than fact, but it's definitely more than any information we currently have on a release date. You know: nothing
Kudos to ForeverBARB for posting about this here, and I would like to remind everyone that if you find any Diablo or Blizzard-related news, we encourage you to report it to the news staff (the folks in green) so that it can be put on DiabloFans as soon as possible. Thanks!
Starcraft II At Curse
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Hey, it's an old topic, but it looks like we don't have much more going on, so without further adieu, topic necromancy for all!
Leveling in Diablo III? What do you want to see make a come back, or do you want something new? A fan over at that other forum petitioned, or rather suggested, an age-old formula for simplicity and character growth that's been around for nearly as long as the role-playing video game, itself:
Since they've [unofficially] announced that they've been experimenting with some large changes to the skill system in Diablo 3 there have been a lot of rumours and guessing going on about what they plan to do.
One suggestion that i thought was interesting was that your skills are "trained" in a way that the more you use them the stronger they get similar to the old styles of Ultima Online and a couple other games.
Official Blizzard Quote:
I think it's really cool in principle but doesn't always work out, and is certainly better suited to certain types of games. It's the very realistic concept of 'as you practice something you get better at it'. And that's easily understood through mechanics with very little information given to the player. You swing your sword, and hey, you skilled up in your knowledge of using a sword! You don't wonder where that came from, you know that as you play your character you'll become better at the things you like to do. That's awesome.
What ends up happening though, I find, is through the infinite goal of the player to make their character as powerful as possible as quickly as possible, it turns from a concept of reality into this twisted game of getting near a rat, putting a stapler on the crouch key, and going to work while your stealth skill auto-levels. Obviously that's an extreme case but it sort of points out a flaw in the system. You can and will do things that are very unnatural to gain skill levels that do not keep in the fundamental theme of roleplaying in which the system solely exists for.
As it applies to Diablo though, there are a lot of reasons it doesn't fit[...]
And he may be on to something. That same form of level-grinding could be considered detrimental to the whole fast-paced facade that the Diablo franchise has shot for. But is the grind all that bad? It was certainly present in Diablo III's predecessors, and it did give players things to do, even if they were the same ones. Over and over again. And again. And killing Baal again. *cough*
What would you suggest for some level-up up-scaling in Diablo III? Should anything change from Diablo II's system?