The Diablo Lore series is a collection of articles delving deep into the history of many important Diablo figures and events. Since Diablo’s story is ongoing in the famous ARPG, I will try to constantly update these articles. I started with a Warcraft Lore series but I decided to give Diablo a chance as well, since its lore is really interesting. The following article will inform you about the Prime Evil Baal.
Because Baal is a very important Diablo figure and he has a huge story, I will separate his lore into two articles. The first part contains the Prologue, the Fifth Battle of Diamond Gates, the Pandemonium Fortress siege, the Triune Religion, the Sin War, the Dark Exile and the imprisonment of Baal by Tal Rasha. Keep in mind that 2 paragraphs are exactly the same as in Mephisto’s article.
The second part will feature the Release of Baal, Marius’ Story, The Reunion of the three Prime Evils, The Assault on Mount Arreat and the Black Soulstone. A link to the second part can be found here.
Let me know in the comments about any errors or inconsistencies you may find. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Enjoy!
Baal, the Lord of Destruction, is one of the three Prime Evils (The other ones are Diablo and Mephisto). Baal was born from one of the seven heads of the ancient evil dragon Tathamet. When Tathamet fell, every one of his heads became a Great Evil. Great Evils are separated in three Prime Evils and four Lesser Evils. Baal was reckless and he always enjoyed the endless conflict with Heaven, in contrast with his brother Mephisto. In his early days, Baal used to rule the Realm of Destruction in Hell. He is also known as Tor’ Baalos.
The Evil Dragon Tathamet, father of the Great Evils
The Fifth Battle of the Diamond Gates
Perhaps the most important fight in Diablo’s history, the Fifth Battle of the Diamond Gates was one of the few times that the Prime Evils worked together. Their combined might and armies of demons managed to drive the angelic forces back to Heaven. The brothers managed to reach the gates leading to Heaven itself and it looked like the demons would win the Eternal Conflict once and for all.
The Fifth Battle of the Diamond Gates
However, Diablo wanted to be the sole ruler of both Heaven and Hell. In an act of betrayal, he attacked his brothers causing confusion in Hell’s army. The siege was halted as the forces of Baal and Mephisto clashed with Diablo. The Angel, Izual, seized the opportunity and with the help of his fellow Angels and his runeblade Azurewrath, he pushed the demonic forces back to Hell saving the Diamond Gates and therefore Heaven itself.
Pandemonium Fortress Incident
Several years later, Baal teamed up again with his brother Mephisto for an attack on the Pandemonium Fortress. After days of endless fighting, the Angels suddenly retreated. Mephisto, who was a master tactician, ordered his forces to retreat as well so he could analyze the situation. However, Baal who was the most brash and reckless of the Prime Evils, was losing his patience. He asked Mephisto to push forward but Mephisto declined.
Baal took his remaining forces and proceeded to storm the fortress, destroying anything in his path. When he reached the Worldstone room he noticed that the Worldstone was missing. Baal noticed that Mephisto’s daughter, Lilith, was also missing. In a bloodthirsty rampage, he contacted Mephisto telling him about his daughter’s betrayal.
Lilith, the daughter of Mephisto
Without the Prime Evils knowing, Lilith had tricked the angel Inarius into giving her the Worldstone. Baal insisted that they must hunt Lilith, torture her and kill her after they claim the Worldstone for themselves. Mephisto once more refused, stating that they need to be patient and analyze the situation better. The Eternal Conflict had halted.
Because of the actions of a human mage clan, the Vizjerej, Hell’s powers came to learn of the existence of Sanctuary and its inhabitants. Sensing the immense powers that the mortal nephalem had, Baal began the preparations to go to war with them in an attempt to enslave humanity. Mephisto suggested that instead of fighting the human clans, they could try to manipulate them into serving their own ends. Baal and Diablo agreed and together they founded the Triune, an evil religion which was just a front for the Prime Evils’ plans.
Baal as Bala the Spirit of Creation in the Triune religion
In the Triune, Baal was known as Bala the Spirit of Creation. Bala is represented by a leaf in Triune’s iconography. Bala is depicted as holding a hammer along with a bag which contained the seeds of all life. Both nature and the architectural triumphs of humanity were said to be under the guidance of his spirit. Over the years, Baal grew impatient of Mephisto’s plan, revealing, by mistake, important information about the presence of some evil force behind the Triune.
The Sin War
Soon, the rogue angel Inarius discovered this false religion and formed the Cathedral of Light to counter their influence. Thus the Sin War began, a war between angels and demons for the control over humanity. A small note here, Inarius served as an advisor to the Angiris Council, under the command of the Archangel Tyrael. The Angiris Council is the ruling body of the High Heavens. It initially consisted of five archangels each of a particular aspect said to represent the chief virtues of Anu.
After several battles between the forces of Heaven, Hell and the humans (Edyrem), both sides suffered great casualties. Mephisto decided that the wise course of action was to make a truce. He met with the Angiris Council and he made them an offer. Sanctuary would be left untouched by both angels or demons to see what the children may yet become on their own for good or ill. It was agreed that Mephisto cast his mark on the ruins of the Cathedral of Light to seal the flux between worlds and in return, Mephisto was given Inarius. The Sin War had ended.
The angel Inarius and his lover Lilith
While Inarius was taken to Hell as a prisoner by Mephisto, Inarius’ soldiers were given to Baal to torture for all eternity. After years of torment, Inarius’ followers had their spirit completely broken, becoming mindless slaves to the Prime Evil. Later, Baal would add these poor spirits to his army during the assault of Mount Arreat.
After the ceasefire, the Prime Evils turned their full attention to humanity. They withdraw their forces from important locations and they forsake the Eternal Conflict. One of the four Lesser Evils, Azmodan, was not pleased with these latest events. He believed that the most important goal for the Hell’s forces was victory in the Eternal Conflict. He contacted his siblings, Andariel, Duriel and Belial and together they rebelled against the Prime Evils.
The four Lesser Evils, Azmodan, Belial, Duriel and Andariel
Baal, Mephisto and Diablo were not expecting an attack from the Lesser Evils and they quickly lost the battle. They were cast out of Hell, exiled forever into the mortal realm. This era in the Diablo lore is commonly known as The Dark Exile. Therefore, the four Lesser Evils took control over Hell’s forces and they resumed the Eternal Conflict.
Tal Rasha and the Imprisonment of Baal
When the Prime Evils arrived in the mortal realm, the Archangel Tyrael immediately sensed their presence. He rallied several of the Mage Clans, the most powerful nephalem mages in the world, and together they formed an alliance known as the Horadrim. The Prime Evils could not be killed in the mortal world so the only solution was to bind them forever in an eternal prison. The Angels created the Soulstones, some powerful stones able to contain the essence of a Prime Evil.
While Mephisto stayed behind in Lut Gholein, Diablo and Baal advanced to the deserts of Aranoch. There they split, Baal following the road to the north. However the Horadrim managed to track the Prime Evil and confronted him in his hideout. Baal unleashed his full force on the human mages, giving them a really hard time. Zoltun Kulle, one of the Horadrim mages, was responsible for holding Baal’s Soulstone. However, Zoltun was not able to protect the Soulstone from the Lord of Destruction leading to the destruction of the precious stone by the Prime Evil.
Tal Rasha binds himself and Baal in the tomb
Although the mages managed to deflect Baal’s attacks and defeat him, without the Soulstone, Baal could no longer be contained. However, one of the strongest nephalem mages, Tal Rasha created a sealing stone inside a nearby crypt, binding himself to the rock. He then stabbed his chest with the broken Soulstone transferring Baal’s essence into his body. Tal Rasha ordered the Horadrim to seal the tomb and he became the first living vessel to hold a Prime Evil’s spirit. For centuries the noble mage was fighting Baal’s spirit inside his body, but in the end, Baal came out victorious.
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Foivos Karkanis (Special thanks to khaos_kyle for the corrections)