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 Nephalem.

“The day of the nephalem is, as they say, long over. One by one, I and my kind will cease to be. There are fewer now than during the battle even. The future is what is important.”

Lilith’s son, Rathma

Let me know in the comments about any errors or inconsistencies you may find. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Enjoy!


The Nephalem are humanity’s ancestors. They are the offspring of the rogue angel Inarius and Mephisto’s daughter, the demon princess Lilith. When Inarius left the Angiris Council, he led a group of renegade demons and angels with his wife, Lilith, in order to create a new world called the Sanctuary. With the stolen Worldstone, they managed to be free from the Great Conflict and in the peaceful lands of the Sanctuary they produced an entire new race, the Nephalem.

Lilith and Inarius

The Ancients

The first generation of Nephalem were called the Ancients. The Ancients had an addiction with exploring, seeking answers and generally understanding Sanctuary. The only known Ancients are Bul-Kathos, Vasily, Esy and Rathma. However, it is rumored that thousand of Ancients existed during that time. Soon, both rogue angels and demons found out that the Nephalem were way more powerful than either angels or demons. Inarius and Lilith began to fear that the High Heavens or the Burning Hells will notice this newborn source of power.

The Ancients in Diablo 2

Many of Inarius advisors suggested a complete eradication of Sanctuary and its inhabitants. However, the angel did not want to kill his own children so he asked for some time to find a less brutal solution. Lilith however, as a mother, was outraged by the threat of her children’s extinction. She went on a bloodthirsty rampage killing several of her fellow renegade angels and demons. Inarius could not kill his beloved wife so he banished her to the Void instead. He also tuned the Worldstone in order to reduce the Nephalem’s power.

Rathma, son of Lilith and one of the known Ancients

Dark Age

Over the years, the Nephalem’s power began to fade, their lifespans reduced. In their endless search for answers, some of the them understood Inarius’ plans and challenged the angel. Inarius killed the protesters one by one. The rest of the Nephalem, unaware of Inarius’ interference with them, entered a Dark Age slowly becoming more and more mortal. Eventually the Nephalem became Humans, a weaker and more fragile race without knowledge of its origin and ancestry. For a very small time interval, there were some rare occasions of Nephalem and Human mating.

The Sanctuary

The Sin War

Unfortunately Inarius forgot one simple fact. The Humans still had the power to be restored to the Nephalem, should the Worldstone is ever corrupted. This potential 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”.

Uldyssian versus Inarius

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.

Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred, and father of Lilith

Corruption of the Worldstone

In 1265, the Worldstone was destroyed by the Archangel Tyrael in order to protect humanity from Baal’s corruption. With the stone destroyed, the mortal realm was left exposed to both Heaven and Hell. A new generation of Nephalem appeared, that managed to defeat Diablo and end the Great Conflict once and for all. The same Nephalem defeated the fallen Angiris’ Council archangel, Malthael. (We will discuss this last paragraph more in another article.)

The fallen angel, Malthael

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!

If you want, you can also check my other Warcraft Lore articles or my other Diablo Lore articles.

Foivos Karkanis

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