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Reaper of Soul Lore Speculation Part Three: Eternities of Conflict

by - 11 years ago

Previously we’ve speculated on who the Reaper of Souls will be and a supporting cast of characters. Across all of it one object keeps coming up, the Worldstone. This object that was first introduced in Diablo II had some mysterious purpose and even lesser known origins. What exactly is this artifact of power? Where did it come? Why is it so important?

 Anu vs Tathamet

The Land Before Time

It’s not a secret to anyone that angels and demons don’t like each other, but the games don’t make it very clear as to why they’ve been fighting each other since the dawn of time. To understand a little bit more about the Eternal Conflict we actually have to go back before time began. In the beginning of all things there was one single entity, Anu – The One. Anu existed as the accumulation of all things, everything that was good or evil was him, but after ages of timelessness passed he decided to perfect his being and shed off all things evil from his being. This discarded evilness coalesced into a seven-headed dragon known as Tathamet, the Prime Evil.

Anu and Tathamet clashed against one another but they were essentially two halves of the same being and could not defeat one another. For what would be thousands of years they fought each other in a dead stalemate with neither side ever gaining an advantage in the conflict. Over time they wore each other down until finally they delivered fatal blows to one another in a karmic strike. In the explosion of their death throes all that we know as Creation came into being. All the stars in the sky, the worlds, the Void and even Heaven and Hell were created in this explosive end.

Anu’s spine eventually settled and hummed with radiant energy in a realm that would become known as Heaven. The angels that are spawned from the melodies of life would later come to call this object the Crystal Arch and built their cities around it. At same time Tathamet’s body fell to the pits of Creation and from it’s rotting corpse Hell was born. It’s severed heads became the Seven Evils; Hatred, Destruction, Pain, Anguish, Lies, Sin and of course Terror. In between Heaven and Hell there is a scar, a mark of the violent birth of Creation, known as Pandemonium. Pandemonium is place of pure chaos and at it’s epicenter is one more hold over from before time, the Eye of Anu. The Worldstone.

The Eternal Conflict

The Eternal Conflict

Continuing on where their creators left off, angels and demon immediately began to war with one another. It is the Worldstone and its vast power that is the center of the battles between Heaven and Hell. The Worldstone earned its name as it has the ability to create whole worlds and is used by either side to try and create a way of defeating the other. But there is one flaw in the machinations of either side. They each represent only one half of Creation and every world ever created is short lived. These worlds are either unable to exist in the extreme dictations of Order that angels imagine or they collapse in upon themselves with the pure Chaos of the minds of demons. The Worldstone has changed hands in the Eternal Conflict countless times but despite neither side being able to use it effectively it is the constant source of war.

Theft of the Stone

After eons and eons of war there began to be some who grew tired of the conflict. One of them was Inarius. He grew sick of the monotony of the conflict and wished to get away from it. He found allies not only among angels but demons as well. Together these children of light and minions of darkness came together with a plot to steal the Worldstone and create a world where they could escape. It was through this simple action that a miracle happened. When both light and darkness joined together a perfect world was created that didn’t collapse on itself. This perfect world was called Sanctuary by those that abandoned the Eternal Conflict and it existed peacefully until the appearance of the Nephalem.

There were major ramifications in the rest of Creation with the loss of the stone. Each side blamed the other for stealing the stone and even more battles ensued until they eventually realized that the Stone was indeed gone. The battle for the Stone became the search for it. Outside of the bigger picture lets focus back on Malthael.

Pandemonium Fortress

Wisdom Shall Be Lost

For ages Malthael used an artifact called the Chalice of Wisdom to see the connections between everything in Creation. It’s from viewing this web that binds everything to together he gained insight into events that others could not perceive. While there is no stated connection between the Chalice and the Worldstone, when the stone was taken it had a great impact on Malthael. He became withdrawn and his demeanor darkened. It’s theorized that it might be the birth of the nephalem that clouded Malthael’s visions in the Chalice. Maybe he didn’t know how to interpret these new webs forming with the nephalem. I feel there may be some other type of connection between Malthael and the Worldstone simply due to the fact that his reaction to the destruction of the stone was so extreme.

When the Worldstone was destroyed Malthael left Heaven and has been wondering the now empty halls of the Pandemonium Fortress, the old home of the stone. What is it he went looking for? Well there are some hints we’ve gotten from Blizzard in some lore panels of past Blizzcons. Metzen has said that you can’t actually destroy the stone and that it still exists in some form, is this what Malthael saw in his Chalice? Did he see the strings of a new stone being formed? Could he have witnessed the reforming of the stone and sought it out before the forces of Heaven or Hell noticed its reappearance?

I think we’ll see the new Worldstone in the Reaper of Souls and it’s going to play a major part in the story. It’s going to be part of whatever turns Malthael into Death. Going into some speculation here, there could be remnants of Baal’s corruption still in the stone and this may be nothing more then another step in plans conceived by the Three. We could see a demonically tainted Worldstone twist Malthael when he sought it out. There are some hints towards this case in the artwork released for the Book of Tyrael. We see a new demonic creature with wispy, angel-esque wings named Malthus. The names are similar and immediately draw a connection but like all speculation this of course isn’t set in stone.


Tomorrow will be my final piece going into some of the places we might visit through the course of the expansion.  And if you liked this articles check out the others:

Part 1 Who is the Reaper?

Part 2 The Usual Suspects

Part 4 Oh, The Places We’ll Go

Whitney Fairchild

Whitney "Neinball" Fairchild has been involved in the Diablo podcasting community since 2011. He focuses on the analyzing game development and the lore & story of the Diablo franchise.

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