(No datamined information though)
The Book of Cain
This elusive book, recently covered by the late Sixen, appeared on Amazon.com some time ago before quickly disappearing. But now we can all rejoice as it has appeared once again and can be preordered. Release is scheduled for mid december, and it's going to be a treat for lore fans.
What the Book of Cain is trying to accomplish is to clarify and unify the currently canonical lore. And the fans are appreciating it, with the preorders sky-rocketing. As anyone who has ever debated over these things will tell you, Diablo lore is very sparse and contradicting at times. Combining information from two games over a decade old, three canonical novels and five that are not really canon, coupled with the speculation regarding D3, gets pretty muddled. The Book of Cain aims to rectify these discrepancies between lorebits and bridge the gaps between the Diablo books.
Inside its pages are many different things. For the first time ever, we're given a creation myth and an explanation of where angels and demons come from, detailed profiles on all Great Evils (and presumably Angiris Council angels as well), an account of Sanctuary's history as well as Deckard Cain's personal experiences during the events of Diablo I and II.
Many will undoubtedly wonder whether it will introduce a large amount of retcons into the continuity, and at this point it's impossible to tell just how much has been rewritten or ignored from previously established lore. What we have seen so far from Blizzard however, both in terms of the books and the current Diablo III Beta, is that they prefer to clarify previously murky areas with some small changes rather than change large swathes of information. The prime example of this from the previews we have is the creation myth: it depicts two great beings, Anu and Tathamet, who battle and in their deaths spawn the High Heavens and Burning Hells. We didn't know anything about their origins before, and so it expands on our current knowledge without destroying much of it in the process.
The book totals 148 pages, complete with Blizzard artwork throughout all of the pages, so there's certainly tons of information in it. If you want to stay up to date on the lore in the future, this book will be the one to get.
Check out the publishers page, Insighted.com, or our our wiki for the preview images.
Blizzcon Lore Panel
Reported by ScyberDragon last weekend, the Lore Panel was a first for the Diablo series. The panel begun with mostly the preview information we had about the book of Cain as well as a more detailed account of the lore from the http://diablowiki.com/Sin War Novels" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Sin War Novels"/> Sin War Novels. After that they kicked in with some detailed descriptions of both Azmodan and Belial and a few brand new areas before rounding it off with questions.
While the panel, coupled with all the other information, didn't necessarily give a lot of groundbreaking information, it was very nice to see an entire panel dedicated to it. They did stress that they don't want to upset the lore with tons of new arbitrary changes, much like we saw above in regards to the Book of Cain. The most telling example here was probably the Aidan, the Dark Wanderer who has now been made into the eldest son of King Leoric. The change is markant to be sure, but it has also been implemented very smoothly without disrupting much. Tidbits have had to be retconned, but the larger picture remains clear and better for it I believe. Blizzard really wants to develop the lore and story in a powerful yet continuous way it would seem.
The Black Soulstone Cinematic
Now for the juicy part. By now I assume all of you have already seen it and that any of you who are interested in the lore about it have taken a dive into the Lore Forum, but I'll provide a brief summary just in case.
Leah writes in book, looks at Black Soulstone, has vision of Azmodan and his demon army invading from Arreat Crater. Azmodan also tries to chat her up, but ends up making her cry. He should probably work on that routine of his.The finer details of this cinematic are quite interesting. The initial reaction people have, other than being mind-blown with the quality of it, is the rather weird talk sequence between Leah and Azmodan. Why is he even talking to her? If we however substitute Leah for Diablo, the conversation (monologue really) starts to make a lot more sense.
This has of course caused a lot of speculation to spring up, not only here on DiabloFans but over on the Battle.net forum as well. Is it Diablo he's talking to, or the Horadrim/Belial/Tyrael/Deckard Cain/Bob/Leah/someone else? We don't know, but we haven't had this much speculation since D3 was announced three years ago!
Note: No datamined spoilers in this thread.
This has to be mentioned too, whether you like it or not. Datamined stuff has been appearing since the beta started, and it does hint at some specific plot developments pretty strongly. However finding it all was a little troublesome, and so Daemaro compiled it all into one huge spoiler thread. If you want all the information currently available to us, you will have to check that too. I won't spoil any here though, but do check it out if you want to.