Blizzard Entertainment and Pocket Books released Diablo Archive to bookstores. The 752-pages book gathers four of the novels based on the Diablo universe by authors Richard A. Knaak, Mel Odon, and Robert B. Marks: Legacy of Blood, The Black Road, The Kingdom of Shadow, and the rare-to-find Demonsbane. Last week, the Diablo II: Battle Chest reached # 1 on the US PC Sale Charts and #4 on UK PC Sale Charts. At the bottom please read a statement from Robert B. Marks, Mel Oldom and Richard A. Knaak as an exclusive to all Diablo fans.
With the recent announcement of Diablo III at the 2008 Paris Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals, Diablo Archive will also be highly sought by fans of Blizzard's RPG/hack'n slash as a resource and lore reference to the Diablo III single-player. Do you want to buff up your Diablo lore now that Diablo III was announced? This book will perfectly suit you. Order it online here.
Since the beginning of time, the angelic hosts of the High Heavens and the demonic hordes of the Burning Hells have been locked in a struggle for the fate of all Creation. That war has now come to the mortal realm...and neither Man nor Demon nor Angel will be left unscathed....
LEGACY OF BLOOD: Norrec Vizharan has become a living nightmare. While on a quest for magical treasure, he discovers an artifact beyond his wildest dreams: the ancient armor of Bartuc, the legendary Warrior of Blood. But the mysterious armor is cursed, channeling a malevolent power into Norrec's tortured soul. Pursued by demons who covet the dark armor for their own purposes, Norrec must overcome a bloodlust he can scarcely control and learn the truth about his terrifying curse before he is lost to darkness forever.
THE BLACK ROAD: Darrick Lang is coming home. Years ago he left the town of Bramwell to walk the wide world as a champion of the realm. But Bramwell is not as he left it. Something dark and terrifying has ensnared the townsfolk, something very old and very patient, tangling innocents in a web of malice and profaning the very earth itself. Now that same power calls to Darrick...and his only hope may be to walk the same perilous path of damnation.
THE KINGDOM OF SHADOW: Legend speaks of a long-dead city known as Ureh, thought by many to have been a gateway to the High Heavens. It is said that every two thousand years, Ureh is reborn -- and all its lost riches are revealed to those brave enough to seek them out. Now the Vizjerai sorcerer Quov Tsin has come to witness Ureh's rebirth for himself with Kentril Dumon and his band of mercenaries in tow. But what awaits them is like nothing they imagined.
DEMONSBANE: What was to have been a victorious last stand against a demonic invasion of Blackmarch has instead become a massacre. Only Siggard remains, a warrior unable to remember the final hours of the battle. As he hunts the demon lord who butchered everything dear to him, Siggard pieces together the truth of that terrible battle...and finds that his nightmare is only beginning.
Below you can read their exclusive statements made to us today with the release of Diablo Archive:
Robert B. Marks: "I would like to add just one thing - I am very grateful to Marco Palmieri for having given me the chance to write Demonsbane. If it hadn't been for him, Demonsbane, my column Garwulf's Corner, my book The EverQuest Companion, and much of my writing career would never have gotten off the ground as well as it did. It was a blast to work for him, and I owe him more than I could ever express or repay.
Demonsbane was the first book published set in the Diablo world. It was published on Halloween 2000, and it was part of the first e-book "revolution." Unfortunately, as history has shown, the market for e-books was quite small at the time, and so while Demonsbane was advertised for some months on Battle.net, the sales were in the hundreds, rather than the thousands, and it ended up being more or less a "lost gem." I am delighted beyond words that Demonsbane can now be enjoyed by the public as I had always hoped it would be.
Demonsbane is, of the entire collection, the story that is set earliest in the Diablo story line - it's set right after the defeat of the Warlord of Blood in the Sin War, and tells in part the story of Sarnakyle, the Vizjerei Lord who brought his people back to elemental magic. It also introduces Siggard, a character I am very, very fond of, and one of the little known but vital battles that kept the demonic powers from taking Sanctuary and using it as a base against the Angelic hosts.
Because it was the first piece of Diablo professional fiction (and my first book sale, for that matter), and because we really did expect e-books to be a lot bigger than they turned out to be, it felt like I had to set the tone for the series, and help establish Sanctuary not only as a living and breathing game world, but also as a living and breathing world in literature. So, I did a lot of world building using flavour quotes at the beginning of each chapter - in effect, I built up a body of literature written by people from the world of Sanctuary like Godfrey of Westmarch, Gesinius of Kehjistan, and even King Leoric himself. This was a bit of a necessity, as since Demonsbane was an e-book, it was limited to being only about a quarter of the size of one of the print books, and there wasn't a really good way to do massive world building otherwise. In the here and now, I hope those quotes are something that Diablo fans will be able to sink their teeth into, and imagine how the rest of the Lay of Arkaine might have gone, or what else King Leoric would have written about the art of war.
(Personally, I knew that I had gotten the story, characters, and world building right when Chris Metzen read the finished draft and replied with "I f---ing love it!")
So it is my greatest pleasure that the story that began the Diablo fiction line is now available in this way to Diablo fans - I hope that they have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. Writing Demonsbane was an absolute blast, and while I am not lined up at this point in time to write another Diablo book, if I was offered one I would do it in a heartbeat."
Today at Robert B. Marks blog he said: "Well, the author's copies of Diablo Archive have arrived, and they made my day. The book looks lovely, and the neat things I had put into Demonsbane, like a quote from an epic poem about Arkaine in Beowulf-style verse, came out just as I had hoped they would.
My story is the last in the book, starting at page 681 and ending on page 738 (it's a novella- it's going to be shorter than the full length books).
It feels good - I've waited eight years to hold Demonsbane in my hands like this...it's a great feeling."
Richard A. Knaak: "Well, Diablo 3 is at last revealed! I'm glad to finally be able to at least talk about its existence, if little about the upcoming details of it. However, just in time and at Blizzard's special insistence, the DIABLO ARCHIVE is now available! As with the WARCRAFT ARCHIVE, this trade paperback includes the original three novels set in Sanctuary, including two of my own, LEGACY OF BLOOD and KINGDOM OF SHADOW! In the first, a treasure hunt goes terribly awry as the monstrous curse of the Warlord of Blood's armor forces Norrec Vizharan to murder his companions and begin a deadly quest, all the while pursued by demons, sorceresses, revenants, necromancers and an ambitious general. His only hope is to survive the armor's evil intent as it searches for one who escaped it centuries ago...
The second of my novels brings together the necromancer, Zayl, the mercenary Kentril Dumon, the sorcerer Quov Tsin, and others as their destinies lead them to the lost city of Ureh --- once called the Gateway to the High Heavens, so pious was it. But there is a shadow over the city that stretches into evil and what is a ruin is not necessarily empty, for Ureh is said in legend to come back to life...
In addition, the archive also includes not only Mel Odom's BLACK ROAD, but also, as a special bonus, Robert B. Marks' tale, DEMONSBANE! The DIABLO ARCHIVE is the largest of the Blizzard collections yet, and I'm excited to be a part of it...and a part of the shadowy world of Sanctuary itself. From the beginning, I've enjoyed delving into it and adding to its history, even when many wondered if there would ever be another game in the series.
I'd like to thank many people for their part in this, also, including Chris Metzen at Blizzard, Marco Palmieri at Pocket Books, Medievaldragon at Blizzplanet, Tanith at Gamersvault, and all those who believed that we had not seen the last of Sanctuary! I hope that those of you who try the archive enjoy these first tales!"
Richard A. Knaak
Richard A. Knaak is planning to write a new Diablo novel after World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon. Other Diablo novels by new authors was hinted on our October 2007 video interview.
-My Position on Black Metal: "So you know those annoying kids you see running around listening to crap radio rock bands wearing tripp jeans and shopping at hot topic? Well, Black Metal is just the next big thing... have fun with your trends, I'm gonna stay metal"
The books offer canon lore. Kingdom of Shadow for example is set on the lost ruins of Ureh. Check the Sanctuary world map -- Ureh is on the map. Atrumentis commented the other day that the Diablo III cinematic teaser reminded him of Ureh's description in the book.
So, I would say, the books are important to things you may find in Diablo III. Not only the locations we have never visited in Diablo II, but NPCs and what they will talk about in their dialogues.
You would be surprised how much of World of Warcraft originates from the novels.
1. Caverns of Time: Old Hillsbrad - Young Thrall and Taretha are from Warcraft: Lord of the Clans by Christie Golden
2. Grim Batol in Wetlands and the Chromatic dragonflight - Warcraft: Day of the Dragon by Richard A. Knaak
3. Aegwynn at Jaina's tower in Theramore - Aegwynn (Medivh's mother) is disguised and serves Jaina. You can find that at World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred by Keith R.A. DeCandido and recently at World of Warcraft # 6-7 (DC Comics).
4. Kalecgos and Anveena in Sunwell Plateau and Magister's Terrace. Tyri and Jorad Mace at the Celestial Ridge (Netherstorm), Dar'Khan at level 15-20 in Eversong Forest - from Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy by Richard A. Knaak
5. Karazhan, Moroes and Caverns of Time: Black Morass - Warcraft: The Last Guardian by Jeff Grubb
6. Tirion Fordring and his son Taelan (Highlord of the Scarlet Crusade) - from Warcraft: Of Blood and Honor by Chris Metzen
7. The talbuk, Ata'mal Crystals, K'ure and Oshu'gun, the Mag'har and most of what you see in the Burning Crusade quests -- World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden
8. Caverns of Time and the Nexus (Coldarra, Northrend) were first mentioned in Warcraft: Day of the Dragon.
There is far more references around. The point is ... Blizzard wants fans to know the novels are canon, and they work a lot to implement stuff from the novels into the games. Rise of the Horde novel influenced a lot of stuff for Burning Crusade quests. I have contacted the novel writers for the past five years, and they email me quietly often. They work with Chris Metzen to make this novels. The Diablo novels will influence Diablo III a whole bunch. It is not the same to play Diablo III as is, than to read the novels and suddenly go ... whoa? I recognize that from this book. It's quietly enjoyable to find this stuff in the games. Like a trivia.
So it's basically like the star wars movies, first they made 4 5 and 6, and later they made 1 2 and 3...(look at the dates).
The Sin War series
1. Birthright (2006)
2. Scales of the Serpent (2007)
3. The Veiled Prophet (2007)
4. Legacy of Blood (2001)
5. Kingdom of Shadow (2002)
6. Moon of the Spider (2006)
The one called "moon of the spider", takes place after the worldstone has been destroyed in Diablo II, so if you're going to read one, I'd reckon that one is the one to go for. That's probably why they didn't include that, so people would buy that seperately.
*disclaimer* haven't read any of these books, though ordered em :-)
Awesome, Im definately going to pick up all the Diablo books (along with a friend of mine). We have both been playing Diablo I/II/LoD for several years, and have always been interested in the storyline, but never sat down and read all the books.
Now that these 4 are all in one, (and Amazon has it for $12.00~) it seems like a great time to buy them all ($43.00~ New @ Amazon), and get reading!
UPDATE: Added Robert B. Marks's lengthy message addressed to the DiabloFans celebrating today's bookstores launch of Diablo Archive. Get back later on for exclusive comments from Richard A. Knaak and Mel Odom.
PlugY for Diablo II allows you to reset skills and stats, transfer items between characters in singleplayer, obtain all ladder runewords and do all Uberquests while offline. It is the only way to do all of the above. Please use it.
Supporting big shoulderpads and flashy armor since 2004.