Chapter 1: The Acts

Story

"Seven is the number of powers of Hell, and Seven is the number of the Great Evils"

Duriel, the Lord of Pain

Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish

Belial, the Lord of Lies

Azmodan, the Lord of Sin

Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred

Baal, the Lord of Destruction

Diablo, the Lord of Terror

Since the Beginning, an eternal war has been engaged between the forces of Heaven and Hell: The Great Conflict, which yet remains unsolved. For centuries, the battles raged from the High Heavens to the arcane Hellforge, yet neither side could gain domination over the other for long. Both factions sought some way to turn the tides of the war to their favor, until the ascension of Man and his mortal realm happened. At that point, the Great Conflict ground to a mysterious halt and the battle once fierce in the divine world, descended down to the mortal realm of Man. The Sin War had began.

Both Angels and Demons anxiously tried to get into the favor of Man, yet the battle remained unsolved. Many powerful mortals were driven into the ensuing battles and become true legends of all times, for both the sides of good and evil.

During the Sin War, a great revolution began in Hell, as the Lesser Four, frustrated by the unsolved Great Conflict, tried to overthrow the Prime Evils and take control of Hell for themselves. Hell raged as the Great Evils battled against each other, but eventually the Lesser Evils reclaimed victory. Mephisto, Baal and Diablo, weakened and bodiless, were banished to the mortal realm where the Lesser Evils hoped that they would remain trapped forever. Under the new order, the hordes of Hell ran into a great civil war as the Lesser Evils forgot their pact against the Great Evils and argued which of them held the highest authority and these battles have lasted to this day.

On the mortal realm, the banished Prime Evils wandered through the waking world and ravaged the lands of the Far East with terror and chaos for centuries. Eventually, a secret order of mortal magi, Order Horadrim, was gathered by the Arch-Angel Tyrael. These sorcerers from numerous mage-clans of the East, were to hunt the Three Evils and put an end to their vicious rampage. They were victorious and managed to trap two of the Three Evils within magical artifacts called Soulstones, but the Horadrim were unable to locate the last of the Three, Diablo.

Decades after, they managed to capture the Lord of Terror as well, and the Soulstone was buried deep down in catacombs of a great Monastery which the Horadrim constructed after the victory. Ages passed, the Sin War was forgotten, and slowly the numbers of the Horadrim dwindled. Eventually, the great Monastery fell to ruins as well, and the secret of the Soulstone was forgotten.

Years after the last of the Horadrim had died and a small city of Tristram had grown up near the once great Monastery, a great northern lord Leoric came unto the lands of Khanduras and declared himself King. With his trusted advisor, Arch Bishop Lazarus, Leoric made his way to the city of Tristram and appropriated the ancient Monastery for his seat of power. Years passed and the people of Khanduras grew to respect the kind Leoric, but a power long asleep awakened within the dark recesses beneath the Monastery. Diablo, still captured in the Soulstone, sensed that his freedom was within his grasp and entered the nightmares of Arch Bishop Lazarus and lured him to the subterranean labyrinth. Lazarus shattered the Soulstone and Diablo once again dwelled in the world of Man. Weakened by the long sleep, the Lord of Terror required an anchor to the world - a body of a powerful mortal was needed, so that Diablo could begin to reclaim his vastly depleted power. Diablo choose to take the strongest of them - that of the righteous King Leoric.

Years passed and Leoric fought against the evil presence that twisted his thoughts and emotions. Although driven to the madness, Leoric was able to resist the evil presence of Diablo and thus the Lord of Terror was unable to reclaim Leoric's body as his own. Leaving Leoric as a corrupted and twisted shadow of his former self, Diablo choose an another victim, Leoric's only son Albrecht. The weak mind of the young boy was easily possessed by Diablo, and the Lord of Terror altered Albrecht's body to match that of his demonic body.

After noticing that his beloved son had disappeared, Leoric lost his sanity and was slain by his own priests and guards, lead by Lachdanan, Captain of the Knights of The Order of Light, as the terrified men realized that Leoric was beyond salvation.

As the king was dead, the young Albrecht still missing and the proud defenders of Khanduras were no more, the people of Tristram were dismayed. They soon realized that their troubles had merely begun as strange and eerie lights appeared in the darkened windows of the Monastery and misshapen creatures were seen venturing forth from the shadows of the church. Horrible cries infested the wind and obviously something quite unnatural had infested the once holy monument.

Deep beneath the foundations of the ruined Monastery, a ancient evil had began to harness his depleted power. The Lord of Terror, Diablo, welcomed the shadows and smiled to himself in the sheltering darkness as he dreamed of his final victory that was fast approaching.

Until, one day, a lonely traveler arrived to the town of Tristram…

The Town of Tristram

After the rise of Diablo, the town of Tristram suffered a lot and many of it's previous habitants either died or moved away. The few left are there to help the mysterious wanderer in his/her quest to defeat Diablo, although some of them try to earn some gold at the same time. When in trouble, always remember to seek shelter from the town. The many services that its folk provide you, will prepare you for another foray into the dungeons.

Here are the non-player characters which you can find in Tristram:

Adria the Witch: The mysterious Adria, who lives in lonely cabin on the other side of the river, provides you with all the necessities of spellcraft. Selling both books and staves, Adria is a true friend of every spellcaster. She also has an unlimited amount of mana potions and Town Portal scrolls on sale and is capable of selling Elixirs to characters who have reached dungeon level 13.

Pepin the Healer: To Warrior-type characters, Pepin's services will be widely used throughout the game, but other classes might have greater use for the ''resurrection'' scrolls which he has for sale.

Griswold the Blacksmith: As a skilled blacksmith, Griswold provides the basic weapons and armor for all adventures at a fair price. You had better check his offerings every time you visit town, just to make sure that you don't miss something spectacular that he might have crafted. He can also fix all your broken items, if you just have the gold, and buys items which you have found in the dungeons. So pick up items which you don't need to gain few additional gold pieces.

Wirt the Peg-Legged Boy: Providing you with items from questionable sources, Wirt has a lot to offer for every adventurer. Although the price of his items is high, you can often get your hands on the highest quality equipment in the game through him. Watch what you do while talking to Wirt though. That little bastard will take your every penny if you aren't careful. Even to take a look of what he has to offer costs you 50 gold, so watch your wallet while dealing with him.

Farnham the Drunk: Once a brave warrior but now just a common village drunk, Farnham has little to offer besides a few confused tales. At a price of a liquor bottle, he will tell you endless stories about his earlier days.

Cain the Elder: The last member alive from the Order Horadrim, Cain is the wisest of all the village people. Besides providing a lot of background information about every quest you embark on, Cain also identifies all magical items that you find in the dungeons for the fair price of 100 gold.

Ogden the Tavern Owner: As a owner of the Tavern of the Rising Sun, Ogden knows a lot of what is happening in the town. You can stop by for a beer or two at his marvelous tavern, or you can always seek for his assistance with whatever problems you have run into.

Gillian the Barmaid: Working as a barmaid at Ogden's, Gillian is also aware of things going on in Tristram. Although she can't provide you with anything else useful, go talk with her every now and then if you don't seem to be making any progress with your current quest.

Wounded Townsman: Although near death, the wounded Townsman will tell you his horrible story about the cruel demon which dwells in the dungeons of the Cathedral. He will only appear if you have The Butcher quest.

Dungeon Levels

Levels 1-4: Church/Dungeon: The gothic dungeon of the Church has brazier stands and greyish-blue walls and floors. Doors are wooden, and although the level usually snakes around, it will often curve back on itself. Rooms are random assortments of rectangles thrown together, sometimes connected by corridors, with pillars along some of the larger corridors. A large (120' x 120') room with four pillars in the center is a common feature. Libraries are more common on these levels than those below. Grilled arches provide a way to pick off creatures that don't have ranged attacked. Skeletons, dark ones, scavengers, and zombies are the most common enemies here, and you'll run up to the Butcher on the 2nd floor and the Skeleton King on the 3rd.

Levels 5-8: Catacombs: The light radius of an item such as a torch is reduced by 10% in here, including magical light. Doors are stone, the floor is dirt, and walls are a dark brown stone. The levels are still mostly rectangular, but much more claustraphobic. A common feature is a 40' x 80' room with a single door surrounded by a 15' wide corridor. Most of the shrines are goat shrines so you should be cautious what you do. There aren't any fire-through grilled arches; most archways are wide and open. Goat clans, some skeletons (including many archers), acid spitters, and hiddens are the common creatures on these levels, with horned demons and overlords making occasional appearances.

Levels 9-12: Caves: The cavern levels are far different from the earlier levels: large, snaking magma pools cover much of the floor (Deals 6d6 fire damage when stepped on, Fortitude DC 28 negates), the rooms are irregularly shaped (if they can be called rooms), and the walls are the simple rock walls of a natural cavern. Thin, wooden, corral-like walls separate some areas of the dungeon (and all are open to missile fire) with small, crossbarred doors. Some creatures on these levels are smart enough to open these doors. Common enemies include mud men, gargoyles, and magma demons. Some of the lesser denizens of hell, including cave vipers and black knights, can be found on level 12.

Levels 13-16: Hell: Although level layout is someone like the dungeons, the Hell levels are unique in architecture and level design. Very large, open rooms are connected by short, wide hallways, making the dungeon appear much smaller than the previous levels. The walls are bones and fire, and the floor obsidian. Heinous denizens of Hell populate these levels, of course, and it is on level 16 that Diablo himself appears. Other creatures include blood knights, advocates, and snow witches.

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