Lore in Diablo 2 focuses on the story and setting of the game. Set on the world of Sanctuary and following the story line of the Diablo Franchise.
Diablo 2 Lore
The World of Sanctuary
The coming of the Three marked a time of evil in the history of Sanctuary unlike any other. The cataclysm that followed their arrival brought immense change to the world when the Three unleashed their hellish followers upon the world. These followers wrought great destruction upon the lands of Sanctuary. That which was not consumed by the arrival of this malevolence was often twisted and altered by the effects of the resulting chaotic forces. Many of the native creatures inhabiting the world became vile and depraved shadows of their natural forms. A world that once allowed the unfettered development and expansion of mankind became a place where only the strongest could survive. The areas most tainted by the Prime Evils’ arrival in the mortal realm are the Western Kingdoms, the desert regions of Aranoch, and the jungles of Kejhistan.
Unnatural and evil forces are influencing most, if not all, of Sanctuary’s beasts to at least some degree. Many have witnessed creatures outside their native habitats, assisting the minions of Hell’s wrath. Such sights grow more common as one nears a lair of demonic nobility. Greater demons gather these controlled beasts to their location in an effort to protect themselves. These powerful monsters harbor deadly capabilities, and occasionally appear in unexpected areas.
The Western Kingdoms
Sandwiched between the Barbarian lands to the north and the vast deserts to the east lie the mountainous, verdant forestlands of the Western Kingdoms. The Western Kingdoms are comprised of the three regions: Entsteig, Khanduras, and Westmarch. The smaller, self-contained kingdoms contained herein have developed unique rules of protocol and etiquette, leading many to consider the Western Kingdoms as the most civilized of lands. Such exalted opinions stand in surprising contrast to the youthful age of the realm. While long a destination of merchants and peaceful travelers, recently infighting has made the Western Kingdoms a common destination for mercenaries and other, more sordid, visitors.
The Western Kingdoms are well known for their rich woodlands, a result of the area’s nutrient laden soil, pleasant rainfall, and mild climate. From the massive pine and spruce, to the supple yew and ash, these woodlands are unequaled anywhere in Sanctuary. These abundant, fine-grained woods are forested for housing, farming tools, and weapons of warfare. The Sisters of the Sightless Eye, who make their homes within the provinces of Entsteig, are renowned for the bows that they fashion from these trees.
But as the shadows fall across all of Sanctuary, the Western Kingdoms too, are changing. The once familiar creatures that have inhabited these forests have become warped, aggressive versions of their natural forms. Woodsmen have spotted several of the following creatures, and have submitted their report so that travelers and heroes alike may be better prepared to encounter these foul beasts.
The Great Deserts of Aranoch
The Tamoe mountain range, which lines the eastern border of the Western Kingdoms, acts as a natural barrier into these provinces. Although impassable in most areas, these mountains hold a vast and lush woodlands. These forests stand in stark contrast to the bleak wastelands lying beyond them to the east: the flat, unforgiving, sand-swept deserts of Aranoch.
Boasting one of the harshest climates in the world, the deserts of Aranoch claim the lives of many each year. Only the most robust and highly trained nomads survive longer then a few hours in this scorching environment. This vast desert land is mainly comprised of vast, empty tracts, punctuated with but a few specially adapted plants and trees. Water is a rarity among the sand dunes of Aranoch, with dry spells reportedly lasting for years. The climate of this desert ranges from life threatening heat during summer days, to dry frigid winds during winter nights.
Set on the western edge of the Twin Seas, the jewel city of Lut Gholein has actually prospered in the merciless environment of Aranoch. Most credit this to the city’s coastal location and strong sea trading ties with the kingdoms to the east and west. Although a few bands of nomadic people have found ways to survive in this hostile desert, most steer clear of these sandy wastelands.
The perilous nature of Aranoch’s unique and deadly environment is without equal. Few creatures could survive in habitats so unforgiving, but some hardy beasts have managed. Now twisted by the chaos brought about by the arrival of the Prime Evils, these unique beasts are fearsomely powerful.
Kehjistan and Kurast
On the eastern edge of the Twin Seas lie the emerald jungles of Kehjistan. Several thousand years ago, hunter-gatherers found themselves drawn to the lush, fertile rain forests and bountiful game inhabiting
Kehjistan. But there was something else; Kehjistan’s geography was rife with nodes of magical energies, and eventually those with innate, arcane abilities began to sense and recognize these forces, gathering in groups to settle these special areas. It was here that the original mage clans, the Vizjerei, the Ennead and the Ammuit, were founded. Unfortunately the history of Kehjistan is not a peaceful one, and the Mage Clan Wars that erupted nearly destroyed the clans.
Geographically, Kehjistan encompasses almost one-third of Sanctuary’s eastern hemisphere. With an average rainfall of over four hundred inches per year, Kehjistan has the largest rainforests in the known world. This huge expanse of jungle feeds the Argentek River, which is the longest, widest river in Sanctuary. Hundreds of smaller rivers and tributaries twist and turn their way through the lush tropical forests until they finally unite with the mighty Argentek. Herbalists and alchemists revere the rainforest environment for its ecological diversity. Until recently, these sages would come from far and wide to study and
collect the rare plants and animals that make their homes here. Now the jungle is far too dangerous to visit, let alone inhabit. Entire villages, even small cities have been wiped out. News has broken that Kurast, the current capitol of Kehjistan, is now under siege by the powers of Hell, and is kept safe only through powerful magical barriers that even now begin to ebb and fade.
What reports do escape this besieged area tell of terrible creatures
Scattered throughout all the lands of Sanctuary are these walking vessels of Hell’s influence on the mortal realm. For in recent times, the newly dead have risen anew to terrorize and assault the living.
These corpses and spirits of the deceased, twisted and corrupted, are imbued with a hatred for the living that defies understanding. The undead loathe the living and seek only to consume warm flesh and blood.
It has reached the point where all who value their lives are sure to butcher and burn the remains of loved ones and pets who have fallen prey to death. One needs to be sure in these troubled times.