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    posted a message on Maltheal not Death? Lore Speculation (Spoilers?)
    An interesting observation I've read is that Tyrael's sword, El'druin, passes straight through Malthael. It is said in the Book of Cain that El'druin cannot harm anyone or thing of righteous intent. Just something to think about.
    Posted in: Lore & Storyline
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    posted a message on Diablo -- Mission: Accomplished?
    I've been doing some idle thinking about what I've seen about Diablo 3 and Diablo's goals; and pondering the Diablo cosmology and realworld mythologies. And I was wondering; has Diablo accomplish his aims? Hear me out.

    Burning Hells vs High Heavens
    The Greater Evils' Motivations

    Diablo's brothers Ball and Mephisto are hell-bent on destroying Heaven and its denizens; Baal for the sheer ecstasy of destruction, Mephisto because he just wants to see the world(s) burn. Diablo however is a maestro of terror and fear. Unlike Mephisto, he does not derive pleasure from conquest in and of itself, but rather the terror and leads up to it and its after effects.

    Diablo has reached the top of the summit, bringing Heaven to its knees and corrupting the Crystal Arch. However, if he had succeeded in achieving Heaven's demise, the conquest would have become complete and there would be nothing left to do. In destroying Heaven he would destroy any motivation to exist; in destroying the Arch he would destroy himself.

    But he didn't, and so the Arch survived, as does any future prospect of terror. Fear lives so long as does hope, and vice versa.

    The Instinctive Eternal Conflict
    Thoughts on the cosmology

    However, the Diablo we face is the sum total of all evil: The Prime Evil (ostensibly) seeks to tear friends and allies apart (Mephisto, Belial); seeks wonton destruction (Baal); sows fear and discord (Diablo); seeks to debase and demoralize the enemy (Azmodan, Andariel); and inflict pain (Duriel).

    If all of this had been accomplished, neither Hell nor Heaven would remain. Which also makes me wonder about the "instinct" imbedded in both Angels and Demons. They came from nothingness (tohu wa-bohu, or ex nihilo), and apparently have the instinct to return to that initial state that birthed the One Anu, which manifests as war (or, in the greater scheme of things, perhaps a form of self-destruction. This theme is called chaoskampf in mythological academia). This pulls upon most every creation myth in the world, but most closely resembles Babylonian myth or Sumerian myth and the Enuma Elish.

    Nephalem and Balance
    Diablo's symbiosis with Humanity

    Taking all of this together, Diablo proves again to be unique among is demonic brethren. All of Hell wants to completely destroy Heaven, and with it see all of reality burn; Diablo, however, very well may want to break away from that strategy and simply pursue a never-ending cycle of terror and hope.

    This cycle, however, pits him against the Nephalem. These beings achieve the balance necessary to stave off complete and utter destruction of Heaven. Which strikes a strange juxtaposition against the Eternal Conflict. The Conflict manifests Heaven's and Hell's inability to live together, whereas Inarius' and Lilith's rebellion saw the exact opposite, seeing a merge between the two. This merger brought about a world peopled by beings that are one step closer to the whole, a step closer to the all-encompassing Anu.

    So we now have two competing theories: An instinct to achieve the nothingness that existed at the beginning of time, as manifest in the Eternal Conflict. And a yearning for unity, demonstrated by the birth of the Nephalem (which in turn birthed humanity). Psychologically speaking, these are comparable to the Thanatos Drive and Eros Drive, respectively.

    These appear completely opposite and contradictory. Can both or either be true?

    There's one more interesting theory from classical philosophy I might invoke to resolve this, if at least in a limited fashion. The phenomenon of entelechy. This is the continual becoming or striving. When this ends, motivation and meaning cease to exist, and that would be as true if someone achieved something just as much if they grew disinterested with achieving something.

    In Summary

    I believe Diablo achieved his goals. He spread terror throughout the three worlds. However, had he destroyed Heaven, there would no longer be any room for fear as hope and life would cease. Therefor, to continue being -- to continue to embody fear -- he must "fail', only to arise anew in another form.

    Sorry, I feel I haven't properly explained myself here. These are just my thoughts and ramblings. I just really like philosophy and mythology. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading. Now go outside. :D
    Posted in: Lore & Storyline
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    posted a message on Favorite Story Character?
    Actually, come to think of it, the tale of Aidan, Leoric and the others of that family is strangely elegant in its tragedy. The sins of the father are passed down from one to the next to the next. I mean, we're dealing with three generations in the lives of a cursed family. That one retcon behind the Dark Wanderer's identity was pretty moving. That sort of ennobles the Dark Wanderer in my view.
    Posted in: Lore & Storyline
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    posted a message on What has become of past classes?
    In Diablo 2 and LoD, the Necromancer, Assassin, Paladin, Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, and Amazon waged war against the legions of Hell. Respectively, they were representatives of the Priests of Rathma, Viz'jaq Taar, Knights of Westmarch, Barbarians, Zan Essu Coven, Druids of Scosglen, and Warrior Women of the South Sea.

    Each of these cultures were primarily founded upon this very event. The Zen Essu, for example, were destined to either prove the purity of their elemental magics, or die off in obscurity. The Druids took their cue from their Babarian cousins and foretold the Uileloscadh Mor, or the final battle between Man and Hell.

    My question is... what become of them? Did the Zan Essu prove their mettle? Are the Priests of Rathma satisfied with the turn of events; or perhaps were their underground cities overrun in the east? Will the Paladins found a new Zakarum; or have they fallen by the wayside, as hinted at in excerpts about Caldeum? Did the few Druids that exist survive the battle to save Arreat? How fall have the Barbarians fallen? Will the Amazons set aside their long-standing enmity with foreign lands and lend their aid? Or, perhaps, will the Assassins be forced to mete out justice against the Heroes that survived but were driven insane by their encounters with Diablo?

    Remember, 20 years have elapsed since Baal was defeated, and few people even now believe that Hell tread upon Sanctuary. Is this a measure of success on the part of the Heroes? Or were they exhausted and fall with their demonic enemies?
    Posted in: Lore & Storyline
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    posted a message on "The Final Gambit"
    I joined some time ago but never had a chance to post until now, so I've not had any interest in reading many posts until just now, and I find that the "Tyrael = bad" formula is somewhat frowned upon. Woops. Well, read and see if this is still worth it. :3

    Now, I'm not one for prophecies. Downright detest them, honestly. They always spoil the ending -- and the ending here is that Sanctuary dies. There are multiple prophecies recited throughout Diablo II material and various iterations thereof, and the following are the elements I wish to focus on: that, according to Lan Esen by way of Alkor, Sancutary is destined for ruination; the Prime Evil's defeat is "illusory", and they've yet to play the "final gambit"; and that the lore of each character faction (Druids, Barbarians, Amazons, etc.) assert that Sanctuary, by the end of days, shall no longer by at the whim of outside powers. For quick and easy reference, I quote the Prophecies:

    Quote from name="Prophecy of Lam Esen (presumably) " »
    "And the evil that was once vanquished shall rise anew. Wrapped in the 'guise of man, shall He walk among the innocent and Terror shall consume they that dwell upon the Earth. Behold, the war amongst the Heavens shall not be contained and the sons of man shall be engulfed in the flood of conflict, and all hope shall be lost unto them. And He shall make war upon the Heavens, and the Heavens shall gur themselves as for battle. The righteous shall fall upon the wicked and lay siege to the very gates of Hell. And He shall take peace from mankind and loose great Destruction upon the Earth. The Lord of Hatred shall ascend his throne, and the fires of Hell shall devour all. And He shall meet out his vengeance upon all flesh and the blood of innocence shall run as great torrents. Who then shall be saved?"

    Quote from Prophecy of Bul-Kathos »
    "And a child will cradle Terror in his breast as the heart of man falls under the shadow.
    A Wanderer will pass through the ancient lands trailing chaos in his wake.
    The Three Brothers will be reunited as the mortal world trembles before their might.
    And so it was foretold that the Three, once reunited, would be shattered again—
    Their defeat would be illusory—that the final gambit had yet to be played..."

    "And now at last the storm surges forth from the southlands, and the hand of Destruction
    Reaches out to undo the workings of the Ancients. The tides of Hell surge—ready to smash
    Down upon the shores of the mortal world — to drown the guilty and the innocent alike."

    Quote from name="Athulua (Amozonia) »
    "[The Amazon's'] oracles long ago predicted the Dark Exile, and they have been preparing to combat it ever since. Amazons regard the destruction of the Three Prime Evils as their destiny, ushering in a new era when mortal men and women can at long last take their rightful place in the universe, no longer merely playthings for the beings of the Outer Realms."

    Assuming all of these prophecies are accurate -- and many HAVE been fulfilled thus far by that Band of Adventurers -- then there is obviously some contradictions, making them mutually exclusive. Right? Not necessarily. This is where I, one who specializes in speculation and ramblings, do what I do best. The following is just a possiblity of what may be to come.

    A major problem facing a continuation of the Diablo franchise centers on the fact that two of the Souls Stones have been destroyed, supposedly casting Diablo and Mephisto to the furthest most reaches of the Abyss. (Digression: I, for one, consider the scenario where Lillith reincarnates the Three as apocryphal.) However, in Mephisto's case I see an easy solution: it is known that he corrupted the High Council of Zakarum with shards of his Soul Stone, the largest of which was implanted in the hand of the Que-Hagan of that Order. What of the other shards? Certainly the Council Members were killed, but their shards were left unacconted for. Might it be possible that a risiduum of Mephisto's essence remains? Obviously. Moreover, were the shards re-united, he may manifest in an even greater, more powerful form, given that their collective mass/energy would probably surpass that of the Stone held by the Que-Hagan. This would then validate the Prophecy wherein it is stated that "The Lord of Hatred ascends his Throne". Mephisto has thrown the Zakarum into chaos and left them decimated. Too, the Eastern Jungles are a loci of great power, so it's reasonable that many of the local mage clans have also suffered heavily. Lastly, Mephisto hasn't received his due, in my opinion, though his influence is arguably the most far reaching in Sanctuary: he bent the Zakarum to his will, clamped down on the East, and sent forth lieutenants to Tristram resulting in Diablo's release.

    Now, what of Diablo? After rallying the legions of hell, his Stone was shattered at the Hell Forge, casting him into the Abyss. (Note a curiosity here: a band of mortals succede at punching through the Hellish legions and ripping out its black heart, where demigods strove to do just this for aeons but failed...) For his return I see little alternative than to again pull upon Mephisto, who may have provided his brother a shard as a backup to take to Hell. It is my belief that Diablo rallied those demonic legions that once helped overthrow he and his brothers, leaving the greater bulk of the loyalists relatively unscathed. Why? Loyalty is a fickle thing, and The Three simply used the lesser evils -- Andariel, Duriel -- and their adherents. As I'll explain later, the Three may have smelled trouble brewing in Hell, and modified their plans accordingly...

    Finally, Baal. We know little of his fate, other than that he succeded in corrupting the World Stone, the bridge between the realms. Before its destruction at the hands of Tyrael, Baal's spiritual essence fled into the Stone. Where to from there? According to my hypothesis -- HEAVEN!

    See where this might be going? Mephisto remains at large in Sanctuary; Diablo lingers on in Hell; and Baal, by the power of the World Stone (which, as I've read, was created by the Angels, particularly Inarius) awaits in Heaven. Each of them is positioned in each of the dominant Realms. I'll leave this you with this ominous message as I jump to another strand of my web of intrigue.

    Enter Tyrael. Rebel, forger of Orders, curiously neglectful, and refuses to adhere to the dictates of Heavenly isolationism. Repeatedly he intervenes on the part of Mankind, to the chagrine of his colleagues. My hypothesis?

    Tyrael is dead.

    The entity leading the Heroes is an imposter; none other than Belial, Lord of Lies. Having witnessed that the Prime Evils' efforts in the mortal plane, Belial slays Tyrael and takes his place (or, perhaps, "Tyrael" was created by Belial to begin with) and attempts to stop the Brothers in Sanctuary. This would explain Belial's absence. In the end, pulling upon the powers granted him by both Heaven and Hell, "Tyrael" destroys the World Stone and severs all three realms. But to what end? To fulfill the prophecies, of course -- to ensure that SANCTUARY comes to dominance. With the World Stone destroyed, the remainder of the demonic legions on earth are left stranded, as are those Angels who followed "Tyrael". And as we know, Outer Beings are left weak without a connection to their home realms, and can maintain their existence only through using humans and their souls. Maybe it is Tyrael's/Belial's plan to wait out the aeons, rally those Outer Being survivors and lead them in this new world, where they shall corrupt and possess all of mankind, the most plentiful source of energy through out the realms. Years into the future, when the link between the three realms is re-established, Belial will have succeded where Diablo, Mephisto and Baal "failed" -- procuring an endless source of spiritual, HUMAN energy, and directing it via an Angelic and Demonic alliance against both Heaven and Hell. In this way, Sanctuary is no longer at the whim of outside forces.

    It is at this time that The Three, strategically located in Heaven, Earth and Hell, pull their final gambit, using an unwitting Belial as he used them, and strike out with a ferocity this world -- no world -- has ever witnessed.

    All will quake with Fear.

    In the absence of any sovereign power, the dissidents of the Burning Hells are polarized by Fear.

    Hatred leads to suffering.

    Mankind, resenting being the playthings of others, gurs itself for battle to prove itself superior against the Hated outer realms.

    And the suffering begets the final Destruction.

    The righteous fury of the Heavens, ill-content with the sins of Man, prepare to fulfill the original plans of the Anguinis Council to Destroy Sanctuary.

    Who, then, shall be saved?


    One strand to tie up: Asmodan. What has the lord of Sin been up to? I've no clue, honestly, but I think he had something to do with the onset of the SIN Wars. Perhaps it was he who secretly suggested to the Three totake Sanctuary as their own, and used this as an excuse to unite the other Evils together in an attempt to overthrow them. Of course, he vainly believed Heaven would abandon its own defense to aid Mankind against the banished Three; actually, they would up doing the exact opposite, fortifying their realm even further. But again, where does he FIT? Sins lead to Terror, Hatred, Destruction, Lies, Pain and Anguish....

    Another prominant character whose fate is unknown is Horazon the Summoner. He vanished, leaving some depraved Vizjerei contemporary of Drognan to take up his mantle. Might he prove pivitol in empowering the Three, or re-establishing a balance between all Realms? Will he at some point embody one of the Evils? I see no reason that Horazon, possessed by the essence of Mephisto, could not take advantage of the blurring of the lines between the Realms and pull Diablo's essence from the Abyss before it is fully diluted. The ensuing chaos and a quick marshalling of demonic forces could liberate Baal's Soul Stone from Tyrael's clutches, allowing for his own reincarnation as well. Who knows.
    Posted in: Lore & Storyline
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