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.
“Much uncertainty surrounds the archangel Malthael. Once the calm guiding hand of wisdom, he was lost to us the moment the Worldstone disappeared. Unable to fathom that catastrophic event, he abandoned Heaven. His departure created a colossal fracture within the council, one that, to this day, remains unrepaired.”
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 the link to the first part here.
The Reaper of Souls
Following his decision to completely eradicate humanity, Malthael discovered a vortex of trapped human souls within the Pandemonium Fortress. He seized the opportunity to absorb the poor spirits’ energy, an action that earned him his nickname, The Reaper of Souls. With all forces of Hell defeated or imprisoned, Malthael decided that humanity was the only demonic force left in the world. He, soon, started to recruit Angels to join him in his crusade against the Nephalem. Imperius’ lieutenant, Balzael, and the Maiden-Leader, Uzrael, both shared Malthael’s vision and pledged themselves to the Reaper of Souls.
Malthael’s lieutenant, Uzrael, in Diablo 3
Malthael also manipulated the Templar Order in Westmarch in order to have informants in the human realm as well. When Diablo sieged Heaven during the events of Diablo 3, Malthael stayed in the shadows and was kept informed by Balzael. He felt the corruption that the Black Soulstone was emitting and envisioned a future where a totally corrupted Angiris Council would completely eradicate the mortal world, bringing an end to the Nephalem’s threat. However, The Archangel Tyrael reformed the Horadrim Order and the newly established Knights of Westmarch murdered most of Malthael’s Templar puppets.
Knowing that Tyrael had found Corvus, the Angel of Death ordered Balzael to retreat and let the Archangel and the Horadrim take the stone. He then proceeded to possess one of the captured Templars in Sanctuary, killing every other man who was imprisoned there. After killing them, Malthael absorbed the souls of his old allies and then moved down into the catacombs that would take him to Corvus and eventually the Black Soulstone.
Corvus, the place where the Black Soulstone was kept
Tomb of Rakkis Incident
Inside the Tomb of Rakkis, Malthael was ambushed by his brother, Tyrael, and a group of elite Horadrim mages who were containing the Black Soulstone. The Angel of Death effortlessly slew all of the Horadrim, except Lorath Nahr, and attacked Tyrael in a one versus one duel. Tyrael was able to defend against the Reaper of Souls but he was not strong enough to harm him in that mortal shell. After a short battle, Malthael incapacitated the Archangel and was ready to deliver the killing blow. However, he saw the purity inside Tyrael’s soul and decided to spare his life.
Malthael versus Tyrael and the Horadrim
Tossing the injured Tyrael aside, Malthael approached the Black Soulstone. In an act of desperation, Tyrael warned his fallen brother that the Nephalem would kill him if he took advantage of the stone. Malthael immediately stopped and turned to face his, now mortal, brother. With a cold voice he responded that no one can stop Death, before destroying the restrain spells and claiming the Black Soulstone for himself. Shortly after the events in the Tomb of Rakkis, Malthael led his Reapers army on Westmarch, setting his humans’ eradication plan in motion.
The Siege of Pandemonium Gate
The Nephalem sensed the huge danger that Malthael posed and quickly travelled to Westmarch in order to confront him. Meanwhile, Tyrael managed to decipher a small piece of the Black Soulstone that was left behind. Much to the horror of the Arhangel, Malthael was altering the Black Soulstone to consume and contain all demonic essence in Sanctuary. If his plan succeeded, the Reaper of Souls would be able to completely tear human’s demonic heritage from their souls therefore ripping their bodies apart. Not only Malthael has found a way of a mass-human eradication but, with every death, the amount of souls he absorbed was getting larger, making him more powerful with each passing moment.
Malthael absorbing the souls of his fallen enemies
To distract the Nephalem, Malthael led his Reapers to attack the Pandemonium Gate in the High Heavens. The Angiris Council was shocked to learn about his betrayal and quickly rushed to the defense of the Gate. Imperius did not really care if Malthael would destroy humanity, but he did not want him inside the High Heavens. Therefore, the Nephalem joined forces with the Angels against Malthael in Pandemonium.
The Nephalem, empowered by the Angels, quickly eliminated Malthael’s forces and confronted the Angel of Death himself. Malthael, one of the strongest Angels alive, displayed masterful prowess with his sickles and his undeath magic, killing several of the allied forces’ soldiers. He also shattered the Black Soulstone and absorbed Diablo’s essence, gaining a massive boost in power. However, he was ultimately defeated by the combined forces of the Angels and the Nephalem. During his final moments, the souls of all he had consumed, Diablo’s included, managed to escape him. Then, his body slowly disintegrated leading to a slow and agonizing death. The Lord of Terror was free once again. Humanity had only traded one Evil threat for another.
The end of Malthael
I plan on making one Warcraft lore post and one Diablo lore post per week. [Sorry for the delay on that article but I’m having some health issues]. I’ve started a YouTube channel as well and hopefully I will upload my first lore video soon. 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!