The Askari (sometimes referred to as "Amazons") are a matriarchal society based in the Skovos Isles.
Lore[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]
Origins[edit | edit source]
Askari civilization has its origins with Philios, a first-generation nephalem, and Lycander, an angelic follower of Inarius. When Lilith betrayed Inarius's followers, Lycander fled back to the High Heavens, but maintained contact with Philios through a device called the Sightless Eye. In time however, Lycander's fellow angels discovered that she was communicating with someone outside Heaven, though they did not know who. Lycander ended the romance and insisted that Philios hide the Eye so that Heaven would not learn of Sanctuary's existence. A grieving Philios obliged, and hid the Eye on Skovos.
Philios wandered the world, and in time, met the mortal woman Askarra. The two fell in love, and Askarra gave birth to twin girls. The girls grew, and upon hearing tales of the Sightless Eye, vowed to recover it. Finding the Eye on Skovos, they discovered that while they could not use it to communicate with Heaven, they could use it to see the future. So it was that their culture grew with the Sightless Eye at the heart of their society. From the more stalwart sister, the Amazon Caste descended, while from the more ethereal one would come the Oracle Caste.
Later Events[edit | edit source]
At some point, Askarri society experienced the "Time of Troubles."
Askarri oracles predicted the events of the Dark Exile thousands of years before it occurred; their predictions also included the fact that the three Prime Evils would rise again. Thus, the warriors of the Amazon Caste trained for millennia. This came to pass when an Amazon warrior named Cassia took part in the battle against the Prime Evils in the 13th century, allying with a number of other heroes and the Horadric scholar, Deckard Cain. However, their predictions did not end there, and they believed that the demonic hordes would rise again. Thus, Cassia returned to her homeland to train an army.
Culture[edit | edit source]
Government and Society[edit | edit source]
The Askari operate under a matriarchal government. Men are responsible for any number of positions in the community, government, and clergy, as well as merchant and agricultural occupations. However, their voices carry less weight in Askari affairs, and males are prohibited from holding the highest offices. In truth, political power is shared between two castes—the warrior amazons, and the mystic oracles. Each caste is represented by a queen, and thus, both queens rule the Skovos Isles in tandem. There is evidence that princesses exist in the Askari monarchy.
Askari hold their architecture as a source of pride. Having had millennia to adapt to their tropical home, their cities are an architectural phenomenon. They hold the destruction of the Prime Evils as their destiny, ushering in a new era when mortal men and women can at long last take their rightful place in the universe, no longer merely playthings for the beings of the Outer Realms.
A saying exists in Askari society that a gray head is a crown of glory.
External Relations[edit | edit source]
In regards to the wider world of Sanctuary, the Askari are a relatively isolated culture. That being said, as a seafaring culture, the Askari were one of the first civilizations to make contact with both the kingdoms of the West, and Kehjistan of the East. Their prominence in the world's trade establishment has afforded their warriors the reputation they currently enjoy as cunning strategists and skilled combatants. They are much sought after as mercenaries, being both expert soldiers as well as extremely loyal, as long as the assignment does not conflict with their strict sense of ethics. At times though, nomadic bands of Amazon warriors roaming the South Sea come into hostile contact with other peoples. The Askari maintain vast merchant fleets that sail to the far corners of the world.
Martial Prowess[edit | edit source]
In Askari culture, only women serve as warriors, as their lithe bodies and superior dexterity are better suited than men for the dense jungles of their homeland. Amazon warriors are known for their deftness, superior hand-to-eye coordination, and the ferocity of their attacks. In the jungles of their homeland, Amazons are adept at the tactics of misdirection, and can even draw on the jungle to support themselves. The jungle itself can be a hindrance though, and early in training, Amazon warriors are taught how to overcome these conditions. Indeed, all Askarri are taught how to hunt and fight during the night of the jungles.
Intense training and stern discipline make Amazon warriors formiddable foes. Their agility and combination of magical and martial prowess make them flexible and adept opponents in battle. Specific training is carried out to help Amazon warriors avoid potentially devastating blows. Through strict martial discipline and focus, an Amazon warrior can attune herself to her environment and the dangers around her, allowing her to react to these hazards with superhuman agility. One aspect of this ability is her knack for avoiding missile fire.
On the martial side, Amazon warriors are highly regarded with their skill with the bow, their ability rivaled only by the Sisters of the Sightless Eye. Unlike the Sisterhood though, Amazons are also adept in the use of the spear and other such weapons. In regards to magic, Amazons can wield prime and holy magic.
Some Amazons take upon the path of the healer, a worthy path due to the toxicity of many native plant species in their homeland. They may also be blessed by their deities should they prove worthy.
Centurions are (or were) employed by the Askari.
Religion[edit | edit source]
Askarri religion is polytheistic. The core of their mythology revolves around Philios and Lycander, but otherwise, their pantheon of gods consists of a well-defined hierarchy of two prime deities and numerous lesser ones, each member upholding some segment of the balance of Order. It is this strong sense of order that drives the Amazon people to achieve greatness in even the smallest of their endeavors. The Amazons believe this pantheon is the remnant of the original inhabitants that settled the islands centuries ago. According to ancient records, they share the same names as these gods, although aspects of their personalities seem to have evolved over the centuries.  Known deities include:
- Athulua (prime deity, rules over the seasons and weather)
- Hefaetrus (lesser deity, god of fire and rebirth)
- Karcheus (lesser deity, known as "the Watcher")
- Kethryes (prime deity, consort of Athulua, co-rules with her)
- Zerae (lesser deity, goddess of vengeance and storms, bride of Hefaetrus)
References[edit | edit source]
- Diablo II Manual
- Book of Cain
- Heroes of the Storm
- Diablo III, Wondrous Deflectors
- The Arreat Summit: The Amazon. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2012-11-17
- Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- Amazon: Passive and Magic Skills, The Arreat Summit. Accessed on 2015-10-02
- Diablo III, Centurion
- 2013-10-11, New Datamined Patch - Class Changes, Passive Effects, Item Graphics and MUCH more. Diablo Fans, accessed on 2013-10-17