Diablo 4 story Most of you know Diablo as a gaming franchise that allows you to slay mythical creatures, but it’s much more than that. The world of Diablo 4 (and even previous games) has a very strong backdrop to it. Today, I will dig deeper into the Diablo 4 story to help you understand how this gaming world came into being.

History of Diablo

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Let’s start at the very beginning.

The backdrop consisted of an eternal war between heaven and hell, without any side gaining a decisive victory for long. Due to this chaos, angels and demons are consistently reborn and thrust into this endless battle. Both sides seek something known as the Worldstone, which holds the ability to alter reality and create life. The stone was formed during the creation of the universe.

The problem is in the past, both Heaven and Hell have gained this stone and formed a world of their own but those have been flawed and eventually dwindled away. The constant conflict has taken a toll on angels and demons and therefore 2 of them decide to elope together.

The first one is angel Inarius and the second one is demon Lilith (heard their names within the game? You bet!). They do take an army of angels and demons with them respectively. These are ones who believe in their vision. Before eloping, they do manage to get the Worldstone and using it they create a world of their own known as Sanctuary.

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Needless to say, Sanctuary relies on Worldstone to survive and thrive. Not only that, Inarius uses it to ensure Sanctuary stays hidden from Heaven and hell. Apart from that, he uses Worldstone to increase his power.

Cohabitation in Sanctuary eventually leads to offspring among angels and demons known as Nephalem. Many consider these offspring to be the ancestors of humankind. Nephalem are stronger than angels and demons. However, their immense power soon divides the angels and demons. Some among the habitants fear them, some accept them, and others think their power will eventually attract the attention of Heaven or Hell. Due to this reason, the call for the eradication of Nephalem grows.

Inarius hates Nephalem, whereas Lilith considers them her children and believes they can help end the conflict between Heaven and Hell, which has fostered for ages. Inarius doesn’t want to intervene in the conflict, but Lilith is keen on gaining control over both sides.

When Inarius is still pondering what to do with Nephalem, Lilith decides to eliminate all angels and demons in the Sanctuary. She believes that then Inarius will spare Nephalem to ensure they have some company in Sanctuary.

When Inarius hears of this, he is enraged, banishes Lilith to the Void, and uses the power of Worldstone to ensure Nephalem becomes weaker with each passing generation, leading to the birth of humankind. Soon, these so-called humans don’t have any recollection of their connection with their ancestors, and Inarius, too, withdraws into obscurity. Over time, humanity discovers magic and summons demons, which reveal the location of the Sanctuary to hell. Once Hell discovers humanity, it tries to get humankind on its side, and to do so, it creates a religion called Triune.

Inarius then decides to keep humankind and himself hidden from heaven. Otherwise, he fears the repercussions of being discovered by Heaven. To combat the religion created by Hell, he creates what’s known as the Cathedral of Light and makes himself its leader. His new name is The Prophet. This once again sets off a war to win humankind, and not only that, it creates a rift within humankind as well.

Amidst all this, Lilith escapes the void, becomes a Noblewoman, and attempts to influence Uldyssian, who wields a lot of power in Sanctuary. While doing so, she also uses the Worldstone to impart Nephalem-like powers to part of humanity.

Because of Lilith's influence, Uldyysian becomes a prophet even though he is reluctant. Afterward, the Cathedral of Light and Triune consistently attacks him, which leads to the death of his family members and followers.

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Soon, Uldyysian realizes Lilith's true motives. Once that happens, Lilith abandons him but not before revealing to him what Sanctuary is, the religions in it, and the existence of Worldstone. Uldyssian embarks on a quest to obtain the Worldstone, which he does, and then lifts the effect cast by Worldstone on Nephalem, helping them regain their original potential. In doing so, he partially alters the stone itself, eventually bringing Sanctuary to Heaven's attention.

Uldyssian gains strength and builds his own following, weakening Lilith, which causes Inarius to banish her again. However, since Uldyssian and his followers stand up to Inarius too, he is furious with them and decides to destroy Uldyssian and his followers.

The battle between Uldyssian and Inarius is so ferocious that it becomes a threat to the world because of the use of Worldstone. Uldyssian uses the stone to gain power and eliminate Inarius, but before he does so, Heaven attempts to intervene in the battle, which forces hell to follow as well. In the process, Uldyssian gains so much power that he becomes akin to God, which helps him thwart the march of Heaven and Hell in Sanctuary.

However, his immense power makes him a threat to the entire world, forcing him to sacrifice himself for the greater good. After his sacrifice, the power flows back to Worldstone, which resets the stone. In this reset, Nephalem lose their powers again.

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Thereafter, Justice Tyrael intervenes in the council of demons and angels that had convened to decide the fate of Sanctuary. As a tribute to Uldyssian, he casts his tie-breaker vote in favor of not destroying the Sanctuary but rather erasing humans' memories to insulate them from the conflict until they themselves pick a side.

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Mephisto, who is among the 3 rulers of Hell, agrees to this as long as Inarius is handed over to Hell, where he is tortured, disfigured, and imprisoned for eternity.

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The Betrayal

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Despite the agreement on not influencing humanity, the 3 rulers of Hell, also known as Prime Evils, try to influence humankind, angering the other 4 rulers of hell, Lesser Evils. Lesser Evils believe the Prime Evils are relying on humankind to fight their battles because they have become soft.

Hence, they overthrow the Prime Evils and banish them to Sanctuary in bodiless and greatly weakened form. The ulterior motive of Lesser Evils is to shift the attention of Heaven to these Prime Evils in Sanctuary and attack Heaven when it’s vulnerable.

Prime Evils now have to possess humans to do anything, but even then, by possessing humans, they cause a lot of destruction in Sanctuary. Not only that, but the demons that are still loyal to them flood Sanctuary as well, causing even more damage.

This captures Tyrael's attention, and he embarks on a journey to capture these 3 soulstones, which are nothing but a part of Worldstone. To capture them, Tyrael creates human mages called Horadrim.

Even though it takes decades for Horadrim to capture Prime Evils eventually, they do manage to capture them. They hide the soulstones in which Prime Evils are captured in 3 different places in Sanctuary. The first one is under the temple of the Zakarum religion, where the stone that traps Mephisto is buried, followed by a stone containing Baal under desert sands, followed by a stone containing Diablo under the Horadric cathedral.

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The twist in the tale is that the 3 Prime Evils were aware of these soulstones and wanted to get trapped in them to corrupt the Worldstone. This secret was divulged to them by Izual, a lieutenant of Tyrael who was captured when Heaven attacked Hell in the past and turned into a servant of Hell. During this period, he had divulged this secret. The 3 Prime Evils wanted to corrupt Worldstone, enslave humankind, and restore the potential of Nephalem and use that to retake control of Hell and continue their fight with Heaven.

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The subsequent generations witnessed the decline of Horadrim due to a lack of purpose after the capture of Prime Evils and a dwindling population.

With the backstory covered, I will now cover what happened in the Diablo gaming franchise and eventually the story of Diablo 4 to help you understand the chronology of events.

Read more in our: The Complete Diablo 4 World Boss Guide (Timers, How To's)

Diablo I Story

Diablo stone was buried under the Horadric Cathedral. Eventually, a town named Tristam formed near this Cathedral. Diablo starts to influence the people in the town and even manages to corrupt the archbishop, Lazarus, who shatters his stone and sets Diablo free. However, he is still weak and searches for someone he can possess. Eventually, he possessed the ruler of the town known as King Leoric, but instead of achieving anything worthwhile, he drove him to insanity.

After the king, he possessed his youngest son, Prince Albrecht, with the help of Lazarus. Using the soul stone, he takes over his body and turns it into his original demonic form. The cathedral turns into an extension of hell, which grows stronger by feeding on the terror of people in the town.

Eventually, the king's eldest son, Aidan, reaches the catacombs beneath the Cathedral in search of his brother and to fight the evil affecting the entire town. Along with him is Deckard, who is a descendant of Horadrim. Deckard has little recollection of the knowledge possessed by his ancestors, but eventually, whatever knowledge he has will come to the rescue of the heroes defending the Sanctuary.

When Aidan defeats Diablo, his body disintegrates to reveal his dead brother. Eventually, Aidan inserts Diablo’s Soulstone in his forehead to contain Diablo within himself, but Diablo overpowers and possesses him. He then sets out on a quest to free his brothers from the other soulstones and dawns the identity of the Dark Wanderer.

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The goal of the player in Diablo 1 is to free Tristram from the evil influence by going through the multiple levels of dungeons. The final 4 levels are hell itself. The final boss is none other than Diablo, one of the 7 Evils who formerly ruled hell. Depending on the class, the player either dawns the role of Aidan or Blood Raven or The Summoner to defeat Diablo. Once defeated Aidan captures Diablo in himself and sets out on a quest as highlighted above.

Diablo II Story

The Dark Wanderer does manage to free the Prime evils from the Soulstones, after which they head towards the Worldstone.

The job of the player in Diablo II is to defeat these 3 evils but Baal before being defeated corrupts the Worldstone. Tyrael, unhappy with this course of events, destroys the stone which eventually puts Sanctuary into more chaos.

With the stone shattered Sanctuary becomes visible to everyone. The broken pieces of Worldstone spread throughout the Sanctuary. They still wield enough power to alter time and creation. The result is a constant battle to gain and maintain control over these shards leading to even more conflict. A small proportion of the population also regains their Nephalem powers when the Worldstone is destroyed.

Diablo III story

Diablo III starts with a backstory revealing one member of the Horadrim going rogue in the past and creating a black soulstone capable of trapping Prime and Lesser Evils along with angels if need be. His aim was to release full Nephalem potential to humans and help them dominate Heaven and Hell. The ulterior motive was to make himself even more powerful. While his own order defeated him, the black Soulstone persisted.

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Diablo III is the game by which all Evils fall, and their essence gets trapped inside that black soulstone.

The Angelic council constantly rebukes Tyrael for his interference in Sanctuary whereas he blames them for not protecting Humanity.

The argument quickly turns into an altercation between Imperius, ruler of the council, and Tyrael, leading to Tyrael giving up immortality and tearing his wings. After doing so, he is banished from Heaven and falls to Sanctuary with no recollection of past events.

At this point, a backstory is revealed once again. When Diablo possessed the body of Aidan in Diablo I, he also conceived a human daughter named Leah, who remained a secret in Sanctuary. She isn’t even aware of who her true father is. She is adopted by Deckard Cain, whom she regards as her uncle.

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It is this daughter with the help of whom Diablo resurrects himself from the black soulstone. Within him are the essence of other Evils. Result is that he becomes the Prime Evil and also the most powerful demon. Such is his power that he attacks Heaven and overpowers the angelic council and the angels.

The job of the (Nephalem) player is to defeat him with the help of Tyrael who has now regained memory. Despite being a mortal, Tyrael becomes the archangel of Wisdom and takes his place in heaven after the player defeats Diablo.

Defeating Diablo doesn’t impact the existence of black soulstone or the evils trapped within it. The presence of the stone in heaven however, results in its corruption. Tyrael is quick to detect this while the angels don't.

Tyrael steals the black soulstone with the help of the new Horadrim order. His triumph is short-lived because he is ambushed by Malthael, who was the archangel of Wisdom before him but disappeared when Inarius and Lilith fled with the Worldstone.

Malthael sees humankind as something associated with demons and believes it provides Hell an advantage despite the destruction of Worldstone and defeat of Hell's rulers. That's why, he believes by destroying Humankind he can finally help Heaven win this conflict which has raged for generations.

Malthael acquires the black soulstone and becomes the Angel of Death because he starts destroying humankind. While he eliminates humans, he intends to capture demonic essence while killing everyone else.

Here is where the player character (Nephalem) steps in once again to defeat Malthael. The attack on Malthael breaks the black soulstone which leads to absorption of the seven Evils by him. Eventually, the player does defeat Malthael which once again releases the 7 Evils making them resurrect. Once the Nephalem (player) demonstrates his power, Tyrael realizes that the player can also become a threat if they move to the evil side.

Diablo IV Story

Diablo 4 is set 50 years after the player defeats Mathael in Diablo 3. Just when humans were looking to rebuild their lives, an old threat returns by the name of Lilith. Her small number of followers call her back.

Her influence on the Sanctuary citizens is deep which makes Sanctuary even darker than it was previously. She aims to take over the world and for that she wants to first assault Hell, destroy Prime Evils, and grab their power. Her first target in this quest is her father Mephisto.

On the other hand, after so many years Inarius just wants to return to Heaven. However, he believes the only way he would be allowed to do so is by killing Lilith. He tries to clear his path of return by eliminating anyone who stands in between. Prime example being, he killed their son Rathma, who didn’t not side by him. Rathma was a Nephalem and Necromance leader. In a way the goal of the player and Inarius align since both want Lilith gone. However, their end goal varies.

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The player wants to capture Lilith in the soulstone. Inarius instead wants to kill her so that he is welcomed back in Heaven. Nonetheless, Inarius starts helping the player in the hunt for Lilith.

Once again, the feud between Inarius and Lilith takes center stage, and Horadrim plays a crucial part in it.

The players' job is to take on the role of one of the heroes like Barbarian or Necromancer and fight Lilith across the Sanctuary which like the earlier darker times consists of vast lands and hills dotted by monsters.

In your quest to fight Lilith you come across Lorath Nahr who helps you understand what Lilith is upto. In your journey to find her, you find the Strange Amulet, described by Lorath as Horadrim's mark. As you progress through the acts, you will learn more about the history of sanctuary, how Nephalem turned to humans, and how Horadrim was formed.

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Lilith reiterates her noble goal of protecting humanity from Prime evils like Diablo and imparting Nephalem-like powers to those living in the Sanctuary.

Of course, the player that is you wants to trap Lilith in the soulstone to ensure she wields little to no influence. As stated above, Inarius wants to kill Lilith instead. A fight erupts between them, and Inarius hesitates briefly, giving Lilith a chance to kill him.

The battle provides enough time for the player and Neyrelle (Horadric Arts Scholar) to reach Mephisto. Neyrelle then captures Mephisto in the soulstone since he believes he is more of a threat to the Sanctuary.

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The player fights Lilith later in the game in the Throne of Hatred. The player wins this battle and reduces Lilith to dust. However, the story doesn’t make it clear whether Lilith has been killed for good or whether she will resurrect. Going by the history of the gaming franchise Diablo, with time, Lilith might make a comeback in some form or the other.

Diablo 4 Plot

If you are purely interested in the Diablo 4 plot, in many ways it's similar to Diablo 2 because it relies on the player following the footsteps in the story to progress. The aim here is to chase Lilith and eventually stop her from causing so much chaos in the Sanctuary. The entire game revolves around the hate theme influencing the Sanctuary beings and even the player.

In Diablo 4, both Horadrim and Inarius play significant roles. The fight between Inarius and Lilith is cinematic and also the turning point of the plot.

Diablo 4 Ending

In the end, Mephisto tries to sway the player to his side by offering to stop Lilith together, but the player doesn’t fall for it. Similarly, Lilith also tries to influence the player to join the noble cause she is pursuing. However, the player doesn’t align with Lilith either. Since Mephisto’s essence was already absorbed in the soulstone Lilith can’t be absorbed in it. The battle between Lilith and the player is pretty grueling. The intensity increases further when Lilith realizes that Mephisto’s essence is already captured in the soul stone.

Just before the player turns her to dust, she conveys that Sanctuary will progress to a more dire state without her being present to defend it. Following her reduction to dust, the player does see a vision of Diablo contemplating his return.

The end also reveals a twist where Nyrelle, the Horadric Arts Scholar, accompanying the player steals the soul stone in which Mephisto is trapped. She escapes on a ship, but her intentions aren’t known. Later on, she writes to the player, stating that she knows what she's doing and not to pursue her. Later on, it’s shown that the wolf form of Mephisto is pursuing Nyrelle, which can mean that it was a plan by the Prime Evil all along, and by eliminating Lilith, the player has made his return easier.

Read more in our: Diablo 4 Glyphs - Everything You Need To Know

Diablo V Story?

While the story for Diablo V hasn’t been revealed, it's widely believed that Lilith did give a clue when she said evils like Diablo might pose a threat to the Sanctuary once again in the future.

For a large part of the gaming franchise, Lilith served as the primary opponent to be defeated, but with her gone, I think it's time for Diablo, Baal, and Mephisto to take center stage. Mephisto is likely the one who will immediately take the mantle over from Lilith.

3 Things Most People Don’t Know About Diablo 4 Story

Even though I covered the important parts of the Diablo 4 story, most players are unaware of a few aspects. I will cover 3 such aspects below.

1. Lilith Might Not Be a Villain.

Lilith might be an opponent in Diablo 4 but she might ot be the villain. Lilith's aim is to release back the Nephalem-like powers to humankind to help fight the Evils. Even during her last moments, she warns the player about their return.

The story revolves around the fact that she might have intended to rule over the world (including heaven and hell), and she also wanted to protect Sanctuary. Only the next gaming franchise will reveal the truth. However, if the Prime Evils do return (as has been hinted), Lilith might have had noble intentions all along. In that case, the player and Sanctuary might pay a heavy price.

2. Diablo IV Is Darker Than Its Predecessor.

Have you played the previous 3 games in the franchise? If so, you would know that Diablo I and Diablo II were much darker. Diablo III wasn’t that dark; it relied on visceral and action-based sequences to keep the players entertained. When you judge Diablo IV, you will find that the game relies on the same dark atmosphere as the first 2 games. However, it seems the developers have also borrowed the best aspects of Diablo III since there are plenty of action sequences.

Right from the first scene in the prologue, you get an idea of how violent, epic, and dark this particular franchise will be.

So, Diablo IV is certainly darker than its predecessor but is equally, if not more action-oriented than the predecessor.

3. Andariel Makes An Appearance

Very few characters, apart from the main ones, have appeared in all games since they were introduced. Andariel is one such character. Her first appearance was in Diablo 2; since then, she has appeared in every game. The same is true for Diablo 4 as well. In Diablo 2, she was the first act boss. For those who have forgotten about her, she is Lilith’s daughter. Her essence was also used to resurrect Diablo with the help of black soulstone.

In Diablo 3, Andariel’s Visage was a legendary helm that dropped after the player reached character level 60.

In Diablo 4, she has a much more prominent presence. She is the boss of Act 4. Elias performs a ritual through which she is summoned to the Sanctuary. Initially, she fights with her limbs in chains, but eventually, she breaks free. The first phase involves her casting rune chains, flames, and heat-seeking firebolts. In phase 2, she attacks using chains and stings.

The point is that she is present in Diablo 4 as well.


Is there a story mode in Diablo 4?

Yes, there is a story mode in Diablo 4, which usually lasts around 40 hours and will help you progress to level 50.

Is Diablo 4 story connected to Diablo 3?

Yes, the Diablo 4 story is connected to Diablo 3, but it happens 50 years after Diablo 3.

Does Diablo 4 have multiple endings?

Diablo 4 has four secret endings. Triggering them requires completing a few extra steps, like watching the end credits or playing with a second character.

Is there any Romance in Diablo 4?

There is no romance among the story characters in Diablo 4. In fact, the fight between Inarius and Lilith, who eloped together in the past, is the main plot twist in the game.

Is Diablo 4 story mode good?

Yes, Diablo 4's story mode is good because it has excellent narration and depth. Besides, there are plenty of side quests you can embark on to ensure you don’t get bored. The evolution of the player character is another reason why you should play the story mode. At around 40 hours, it doesn’t stretch long, either. All in all, the story mode is certainly entertaining and worth it, as it helps you reach level 50 by the time you complete it.

Is Diablo 4 an endless game?

No, Diablo 4 isn’t an endless game. While the progression after the story mode can be termed lengthy, but in your quest to reach level 100, you will come across a final boss, after which the game will end. You simply can’t level up your character to infinity.

Is Diablo 4 too complicated?

Yes, Diablo 4 can be complicated and overwhelming if you’re directly trying out the 4th version of the game. Keep in mind that you need to look into builds, systems, expansive regions and constantly upgrade your character while understanding its limitations. But if you have played the game's previous versions, it's a natural extension.

Wrapping it up

The developers have done complete justice to Diablo's vast and entertaining story. I would even go a step further and say that the Diablo 4 story uplifts the entire franchise and raises the stakes even higher for the next game. All in all, the Diablo 4 story certainly improves the perspective of this game.

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