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 Archangel Malthael.
“I have seen visions of him in Pandemonium, lost in contemplation. He is searching for something. The calmness that once shrouded him is gone and replaced with a dark new power. It radiates off him, even in my visions. A wave of icy black surging over me, stabbing at my spirit like a thousand needles. Like me, he has taken a path to power. One from which there is no going back.”
Because Malthael is a very important Diablo figure and he has a huge story, I will separate his lore into two articles. Let me know in the comments about any errors or inconsistencies you may find. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Enjoy! You can find a link to the second part here.
The Archangel Malthael was the first leader of the Angiris Council and, before his death, the eldest angel alive. He was also known as the Archangel of Wisdom before he became the Angel of Death. Malthael participated in the Great Conflict and he played a very important role on it. When the rest of the Angiris Council were still young, he found the Eye of Anu in Pandemonium. He was the one who named it Worldstone and suggested that the angels must be united in order to protect it.
The Angiris Council (Imperius, Auriel, Itherael, Tyrael and Malthael)
When Pandemonium was under attack by Diablo’s forces, Malthael summoned the Angiris Council in order to protect the fortress. He single handedly killed several of Diablo’s demons and he used his iconic scythes to incapacitate the Lord of Terror himself. However, the reckless Archangel Imperius struck down Diablo in an act of vengeance. As with all the Prime Evils, when Diablo was physically killed and not jailed, he respawned back into the Burning Hells.
Diablo is confronted by the Angiris Council
Two of the council’s members, Tyrael and Auriel were outraged by Imperius’ actions. Tyrael verbally attacked Imperius, stating that an angel should never put his ego over the greater good. The battle for the Pandemonium Fortress was over, but unfortunately Diablo was free again. Strangely, Malthael remained silent during the entire time, a fact that have not been clarified yet by Blizzard.
The Missing Worldstone
One day, the rogue angel Inarius left the Angiris Council and led a group of renegade demons and angels with his wife, Lilith (Mephisto’s daugther), in order to create a new world called the Sanctuary. Before he left, Inarius stole the Worldstone in an attempt to materialize this new peaceful land. Malthael did not suspect that his subordinate could have stolen the precious stone and he became consumed with discovering where the artifact has disappeared to.
Inarius and Lilith
Soon, the Archangel of Wisdom became obsessed with finding the Worldstone and every day he was tortured by his inability to find it. When he finally learned about the existance of the Nephalem and of Inarius’ betrayal, Malthael’s mood darkened. When the High Heavens clashed with the Burning Hells and the Edyrem during the Sin War, Malthael did not participate and began to realize the potential of the Nephalem. With his vision clouded by his brother’s betrayal, the once noble Archangel of Wisdom, slowly started to transform into the Angel of Death.
The Sin War
The potential of the Nephalem drew the attention of Mephisto who advised the Prime Evils to pause the Great Conflict and work towards influencing humanity. Soon, Mephisto and his brothers cast their influence into the mortal beings spreading their demonic ideas across Sanctuary. Their evil whispers led to the creation of the Triune, a religion where each Prime Evil had the role of a seemingly compassionate deity.
When Inarius discovered this false religion, he 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. After several battles between the forces of Heaven, Hell and the humans (Edyrem), both sides suffered great casualties. During this war, a man named Uldyssian altered the Worldstone and began to develop powers befitting a Nephalem as did his Edyrem followers. When he realized that so much power was insanely dangerous he killed himself in an act of sacrifice, restoring the Worldstone to its previous “settings”.
The three Prime Evils (Diablo, Mephisto and Baal)
Mephisto terrified, 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 either angel or demon 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.
Inarius was taken to Hell as a prisoner. Mephisto bounded him on chains and great barbed hooks were used to tear his skin and destroy his face. Slowly, the Prime Evil tore the Inarius’ wings from his back. After weeks of torture, Mephisto took the Angel to a chamber full of mirrors and he forced his eyes open so he can watch his misshapen form for all eternity. It is currently unknown why the forces of Heaven agreed to give Inarius to Mephisto.
The Destruction of the Worldstone
After the Sin War, Malthael left the Angiris Council, taking a great interest in humanity. His departure broke the unity of the council and Imperius became the de-facto leader. Years later, when Baal tried to corrupt the Worldstone, Tyrael was forced to destroy it. When Malthael saw a vision with Tyrael shattering the Worldstone, his increased wisdom allowed him to understand the Archangel’s reasons for destroying the precious artifact. However, in the same time he also realized that no matter what the angels did, Hell would always find a way to control humanity.
The Chamber of the Worldstone during Baal’s corruption
After the events of Diablo 3, with Diablo’s defeat in the High Heavens, a now mortal Tyrael took Malthael’s place as the Aspect of Wisdom (Tyrael was previously the Archangel of Justice). The self exiled Malthael saw these events, showing a great interest in the actions of Zoltun Kulle, a Horadrim mage that has joined the forces of Hell. Many years ago, Zoltun along with Tal Rasha and a group of spellcasters had easilly defeated Baal, a feat that not even Malthael could achieve alone. Terrified about the power of the Nephalem, the broken angel understood that if humanity joined the Burning Hells, all hope would be lost. In a final act of “wisdom” Malthael decided to eradicate all humanity therefore becoming the Reaper of Souls.
Malthael as the Angel of Death
I plan on making one Warcraft lore post and one Diablo lore post per week (I’ve started a YouTube channel as well and hopefully I will upload my first lore video in August – September). If you enjoyed the article and want to support me, feel free to throw a like on my site’s Facebook Page and a follow on Reddit. Thanks for reading!