stay a while, and listen

It’s been quite a while since I’ve touched the subject of Sanctuary – the world of the Diablo franchise (actually, it’s been a while I’ve written anything at all, but that’s a tale for another time). The latest was my 2010-submission to the Blizzard Writing Contest, under the title of “Purpose”. Still worth a read!

However, what I wanted to revisit is something even older – the post titled “the soul in search of answers”, from the ancient times of July, 2008 (yeah, that’s 3.5 years ago), where I sat down and tried to plot out various ideas and stuff coming in Diablo III. The reason for that, is that I spent the start of this year blazing through the “Book of Cain”, which fleshes out a ton of lore to prepare for the release of Diablo III.

So, what new revelations did we learn? At least a very interesting point regarding Leah, which was – while being nothing more than a very good guess at the time – now solid and canon lore. Let me quote what I wrote back then:

Adria the Witch:
Shortly put, she was a mysterious witch, that appeared in the first Diablo game. She was somehow a riddle to most of the townsfolk, as she seemingly first settled down when the troubles of the Cathedral started. Her fate is unknown, but believed by many to be dead, as most of the townsfolk of Tristram were.

This is going to be a bit different from the other entries, as she doesn’t really connect with the other points I’m going to be making. However, I instantly came to think of her when watching the released cinematic. The reason is the young girl, but naturally it can’t be her, mainly because of her age. Adria, if still alive, should be atleast 40 years old. She does, however, seem to know about the art of a witch. Could this young girl perhaps be the daughter of Adria? If Adria had given birth not long after the events of Diablo I, then her age matches pretty well. Someone named Leah is also mentioned in the gameplay trailer, when Cain is leaving by Town Portal. Curious, if you ask me.

Now, just to clear out the few obvious things first. The cinematic I mentioned is naturally the teaser cinematic (link). We know for certain now, that this is the girl Leah that Cain later mentions in the gameplay teaser (link). As far as I remember, the connection was not officially confirmed at this point. Not even that the girl was Leah.

Time passed, theories arose. A lot more time passed, and more details about her identity was revealed – she referred to Cain as uncle. This is best experienced in the Intro Cinematic (link) revealed during last years BlizzCon. Now, we all thought that this was who she was – Cain’s niece. But, it did seem that something was amiss.

Book of Cain confirms that something was amiss. Cain is not her uncle – she was adopted by him. However, it also mentions that Cain knew her actual identity – and both her parents. Her mother was/is (as it is not completely certain what her current state is) Adria. That explains the similarity between the two women, and confirms that my (and possibly many others’) guess was correct.

But, what of her father? Who was he? The Dark Wanderer – the warrior who officially was the hero who defeated Diablo in the first game, and continued to turn into him in Diablo II – had gotten an official identity. King Leoric seemingly had two sons. Prince Albrecht, who was the child kidnapped by Arch-Bishop Lazarus, and later possessed by Diablo, who we already know about – and Aidan, the warrior. Except fleshing out the lore, and marking this warrior as a more detailed character in the lore, another very important detail was added. Before leaving Tristram, he had spent time with Adria… who ended up being pregnant. It’s best explained in the short addendum-script on page 112, as a footnote to when Aidan leaves Tristram. Remember that the whole book is written as being Cain writing to Leah.

Shortly after Aidan’s departure, Adria set out as well. I am, of course, aware of many things now that I did not know then: that Adria took Gillian the barmaid with her to Caldeum; that when Adria left, she was pregnant with you, dear Leah; and that she gave birth to you in Caldeum and left you there in Gillian’s care.

As always, no post without a few predictions and guesses. And, I’ll even make it short: Leah will eventually be Diablo in Diablo III.

But, how? With the focus of Leah’s father being revealed, some of Diablo’s essence could’ve been transfered to Adria’s womb, and lying dormant in Leah all these years, being the reason she has weird nightmares, visions and dreams. So, with calling that, I’ll leave that as the blunt statement it is: Leah will be Diablo. Besides, even if Diablo was completely and utterly annihilated during the end of Diablo II, he still shows up in the trailers, so he’s there somehow – and in a brand new form. The game is a Diablo-game, and it would simply be wrong without having any Diablo at all. I could probably make a few more sweeping guesstimates, but seeing as this has been the focus of this post, I feel that’s better off for a later point. Perhaps looking into Azmodan and Belial would be a good target of some pondering.

Need I say that I’m very excited for Diablo III? Good, because I am. Very much so.

Leave a Reply