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Diablo 4 Lore Recap: The Story So Far

Kanishka Thakur Posted:
Editorials 0

Diablo 4 just launched its head start access with its official release around the corner, and if you have never played any of the previous titles, here is a summary of all the events that lead up to the game. The world of Diablo is centered around the war between the angels of the High Heavens and the demons of the Burning Hells. Angels and demons who were tired of the war decided to create Sanctuary, a world open to both demons and angels. 

The children of the angels and demons of Sanctuary are known as Nephalem, and their descendants are humans. There are seven Great Evils that preside over the Burning Hells and Diablo (Lord of Terror) is the primary antagonist of the series. Diablo eventually becomes the ‘Prime Evil’ by absorbing the other Great Evils, including two siblings. He poses a major threat and it is up to us to put an end to his reign of terror.

Diablo (1997)

The battle between angels and demons came to a stalemate and the demons of Hell were looking for an advantage. The Lords of Hell decided to influence the mortal realm (Sanctuary) to gain power and Diablo was trapped in a monastery.

Several generations passed and the town of Tristam was born near the monastery. The ruler King Leoric decided to build a cathedral where the monastery once stood, and it gave Diablo the opportunity to manipulate the archbishop Lazarun into destroying the soul stone prison. Diablo then seizes control of the King and starts a war in the kingdoms. Tristam became a lawless land and that is where our journey begins as the protagonist.

Upon starting the game, we are joined by Deckard Cain and other townsfolk who assist us. We eventually subdue the evils that surround the lands. At the end of Diablo, we manage to capture the soul stone and contain Diablo within ourselves. The hero that put an end to Diablo’s reign ended up being possessed and it led to the events of Diablo 2.

Note: Diablo 1’s ending was retconned in Diablo 2 and it was changed again when Diablo 3 was released. Diablo 3 established that the hero that contained Diablo was the eldest son of Leoric, Prince Aidan. 

Diablo 2 (2000)

Diablo 2

Moving onto Diablo 2,   The hero (Prince Aidan) who contained Diablo in the first game was corrupted by Diablo. The Lord of Terror managed to free Mephisto and Baal and we were back to square one. This time a band of adventurers arrive at a Rogue Encampment and lend their aid. 

We play as one of the adventurers and try to find out why the hero failed in the previous game. It is revealed that the soul stones were meant to imprison the Prime Evils. We rescue Deckard Cain and start following The Dark Wanderer, who is a lesser evil.


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During our adventures, we manage to defeat Mephisto and Diablo and destroy their soul stones. The expansion Lord of Destruction lets us fight Baal. Tyrael, the Archangel of Justice, arrives and congratulates us on our victory. He destroys the Worldstone, the tool that was used to create Sanctuary. The implications of Tyrael’s decision were unknown at the time and it was explored in Diablo 3.

Diablo 3 (2012)

Diablo 3

The game is set 20 years after the final events of Diablo 2. A mysterious star falls from the skies and strikes the Tristam Cathedral and Deckard Cain seemingly disappears. In Diablo 3, we play the role of a Nephalem with great powers and are tasked with investigating the fallen star.

We run into Cain’s war Leah who accompanies us during the prologue. We manage to rescue Cain and find out that we need to go through the Skeleton King (formerly King Leoric) to investigate the fallen star. We succeed at taking down Leoric and finding a stranger who lost his memories. He has a broken sword of angelic origin and we discover that the stranger is actually the Archangel Tyrael.

Tyrael arrived at Sanctuary because the other angels were reluctant to help humans which made the Archangel relinquish his divinity and aid us. After many adventures, we arrive at the High Heavens with Tyrael and find out that the place is under attack by demons.


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We meet various aspects of the heavens including Imperius, the Aspect of Valor. After being tasked with closing the Hell Rifts that were opened in the High Heavens, we try to stop Diablo from reaching the Crystal Arch, which gives the High Heavens its power.

We manage to defeat Diablo’s physical form and Tyrael becomes the new Aspect of Wisdom. But he chooses not to become an angel and retains his mortality to form a connection with humans. 

The story is continued in Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls and the essence of all seven Great Evils is contained in a Black Soulstone, the artifact is sealed below the tomb of Rakkis. But the plan fails as Baal managed to corrupt Archangel Malthael, who steals the Black Soulstone.

After trying to uncover what happened to the Black Soulstone, we discover that Malthael intends to consume all demonic essence in Sanctuary. We end up fighting Malthael who destroys the stone and consumes the power of all Seven Evils. While we defeat the former Archangel, the Seven Evils are freed.

Diablo 4 (2023)

The story takes place three decades after the events of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls. Lilith is the main antagonist of the new game and she seeks to seize power as the forces of demons and angels are weakened. We find out that Lilith and the angel Inarius are the ones who created Sanctuary and are responsible for the creation of the Nephalem.

We only got to experience Act 1 of the story during the beta and we will not be discussing any important plot points of the latest title. Diablo 4 will give us a closer look at Lilith’s character and her motivations. The Lord of Terror is also likely to be involved in the story and we can’t wait to see what wild adventures we end up in.


Kanishka Thakur