The Shrouded Moors and Temple of the Firstborn are two of the new zones being added in Patch 2.6. Like Greyhollow Island, these two new zones will include their own sets of events and bounties for Adventure Mode, as well as their own storyline. Unlike Greyhollow, however, the Shrouded Moors and Temple of the Firstborn bring the focus back to the main narrative of Diablo 3, pushing the story a little further past the events of Reaper of Souls.
If you're waiting to uncover the secrets of these new zones for yourself, be warned: there are spoilers ahead.
A New Cult is Forming
Tyrael dispatches the Nephalem to the Shrouded Moors when he hears of a new cult forming in Northern Kehjistan. These lands are covered in a constant mist that has helped to keep secrets buried, allowing the new cult to stay secluded as they practice their horrific rituals. It is through bloodletting sacrifices that the cultists hope to "Ascend", a practice that will increase their power, but warp and mutate their flesh in the process. However, some of their rituals focus squarely on appeasing and empowering their leader.
As we continue across the Moors, we learn more details about this grisly cult. Their leader seems to have witnessed the fall of Belial, Azmodan, and even Diablo from afar, and was left distraught at how the Lords of Hell could be so easily defeated by a mortal. After witnessing the rise of the Angel of Death — and his subsequent defeat at the hands of the same Nephalem who laid the Prime Evil to rest — this mysterious leader saw the untapped potential that was dormant within all humans and understood that the time of reawakening of the Nephalem race was at hand. This figure amassed a cult with the intent to unlock the secrets of the Nephalem, and he is determined to empower himself and his minions through blood rituals designed to bring out their greater potential.
A Hidden Threat
From the Moors, we find an excavation site where the cult has found an ancient Nephalem structure, the Temple of the Firstborn. This place of power is the epicenter of the cult ,and as we delve deeper into the Temple, we'll have to contend with the "Ascended". Having witnessed their rituals and learned their secrets, we now know that this process of Ascension is a twisted and horrific practice that unlocks a small portion of their recipient's Nephalem potential. While no match for a true Nephalem, the cultists have been kidnapping villagers from the surrounding areas, concentrating on children. Their blood has been specifically requested by the leader of the cult in rituals to help empower himself.
The Lord of Envy
When we finally find our way through the cultist stronghold within the Temple, we find ourselves face to face with the leader of the cult — Vidian, the Lord of Envy. One of Azmodan's lieutenants, Vidian rarely engages in direct combat. Instead, he prefers to stay in the back of a fight, and he slowly corrupts his opponents until their own envy festers, forcing them to turn on each other. Vidian acknowledges in his own writings that he's weaker than most of his brethen and is no where near the power level of the Greater Evils. However, his consumption of Nephalem blood has imbued him with a strength that emboldens him to believe that he could take on the Nephalem, despite others having failed before. Alas, Vidian overestimated his newfound power, and he was still no match for the hero that defeated both Diablo and Malthael. The Lord of Envy was defeated and banished back to the Burning Hells.
The Eternal Conflict Continues...
Malthael showed that the he could achieve far greater power by using the Black Soulstone to consume human souls, rather than the essence of the Lords of Hell. What if someone finds a way of imparting a Nephalem's power into a minion of Hell, or a defender of Heaven? Vidian's blood rituals proved to be lacking when faced with the true power of a Nephalem, but what if those techniques were perfected? While the Prime Evil may be dealt with, there are still a great many threats that face the denizens of Sanctuary, and it is up to the Nephalem to protect us while the world recovers...
The Shrouded Moors and Temple of the Firstborn are only two of the new Adventure Zones coming in Patch 2.6, alongside Challenge Rifts, Season 11, and the new Necromancer class.
Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.