The full story of Diablo: Timeline, lore, and history summarized

Diablo Lore: Nephalem and The Purge 

Inarius, Lilith and their followers lived in relative harmony in Sanctuary. In fact with no war to be had, they amused themselves in other way. Specifically copulating and reproducing. The offspring that came of this inter-breeding was known as the Nephalem. The first being the son of Inarius and Lilith, Linarian.

Linarian would later come to be known as Rathma, the first necromancer. Linarian and the other first nephalem are known as The Ancients. There were supposedly tens of thousands of Ancients at some point in the history of Sanctuary, who all spread across this new world in their efforts to discover and understand it.

Just as Sanctuary had been the only successfully stable world made using the World Stone using the efforts of both Angels and Demons, it seems the combination of these two species also spawned a much more powerful and stronger offspring in the Nephalem. 


(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

What was at first viewed a blessing by our unlikely couples, quickly became a concern. The Nephalem were far more powerful than anything that had come before, and some were concerned of what this mean for angels and demons. Could the Nephalem become a threat? Could they make either Heaven or Hell aware of the existence of Sanctuary and put this relative paradise in danger?

The concerns over the perceived threat of the Nephalems power caused much fighting between Lilith and Inarius and their band of runaways. Inarius took some time away to contemplate the potential destruction of these children.

Lilith, seeing the potential in the Nephalem's power wanted to use it to her advantage to end the Eternal Conflict once and for all, by using them to destroy Heaven and Hell leaving her as the ruler over all creation. Sensing the impending slaughter of these offspring she struck first by weilding a total bloodbath over Sanctuary. Lilith made quick work of murdering all of the other Angels and Demons whilst Inarius was still contemplating his final move.

Returning to find that his love had seemingly gone insane and wiped out all of their followers, Inarius still did not have the heart to kill her. Using the World Stone Inarious banished Lilith to the Void, an area that sits outside of the known Universe never to return. Let's see how that turns out.

Inarius ultimately decides that all of this bloodshed was not the fault of the Nephalem, and they should be allowed to live, however only under his control. Wielding the powers of the World Stone once again, he supresses the powers of the Nephalem. As generations of Nephalem are born and die, eventually all their power is lost and we are left with much less impressive humans.

Diablo Lore: The Cathedral of Light and The Triune

Member of The Triune

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Following an unspecified amount of time, and humans having no memory of their ancestors' history or power, humans still found a way to get themselves into trouble.

 The World Stone was missing from Pandemonium, and the disappearance of some key characters had not gone unnoticed by the High Heavens or the Burning Hells, most pointedly the Prime Evils. With Sanctuary being concealed and them having no knowledge of its existence they didn't have many avenues of investigation.

Some humans were still capable of practicing magic, not at their previous levels of proficiency but enough for a clan of mages in Kehjistan to accidentally summon a demon. The Vizjerei Clan responsible for this monumental mess-up are mentioned throughout the games, and were known for their skills in summoning spirits. Except they weren't spirits, they were demons.

The Prime Evils sensing not only the potential of Sanctuary but the dormant powers of the Nephalem in the human descendants of the Ancients, hatched a plan to corrupt humanity to their own ends. Rather than beam down to Sanctuary and start wreaking havoc, and alerting the High Heavens to its existence, The Prime Evils created a religion to corrupt unsuspecting humans — The Triune. The cult of the Three.

The Triune consisted of Three distinct sub-sects devoted to three guiding spirits, that were not at all suspicious:

  • Order of Dialon dedicated to the Spirit of Determination (not Diablo)
  • Order of Bala serving the Spirit of Creation (most definitely not Baal)
  • Order of Mefis serving the Spirit of Love (not Meph.... ok you get it)

As humans joined the religion of The Triune with good intentions, they would eventually be corrupted and brainwashed with the true teachings of the order. The leader of The Triune 'The Primus' was actually the son of Mephisto and Lilith's brother, Lucion. He obviously had a much better relationship with his father and wanted to take on the family business of hatred, destruction and general terror. 

Inarius leading an Army from the Cathedral of Light

Diablo 4 trailer shows Inarius leading an army from the Cathedral of Light (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Inarius was not blind to the corruption of the Triune, and that there were others now at least in Hell that knew of Sanctuary. Still unwilling to let the High Heavens in on the secret of his paradise and the now powerless humans, he started an opposing religion — The Cathedral of Light. Taking on a mortal disguise Inarius became The Prophet, the leader of this competing religion. For centuries the two religions co-existed, competing for ultimate control over the hearts and minds of mortals, though with no direct conflict or confrontation that would alert the High Heavens.

Jennifer Young

Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather. 

  • Samuel Tolbert
    This is utterly fantastic work, Jen.
  • Ron-F
    Really good article! I only played the first one to the end and thus I wasn't aware the story was so deep.