"We are a race of joy and nurturing that is tainted and tempted by sin, but rare is the human who sets out to commit sin: sin is a web we are drawn into."
"The Valrous manuscript lists Azmodan as the best battlefield commander of all demons, having defeated the angels many times in the Eternal Conflict across Pandemonium and the Prime Evils in the demonic civil war. If the Lord of Sin ever assaults our realm, we truly have much to fear."
As with all the Evils, Azmodan originated from one of the seven heads of the great dragon Tathamet. He lorded over the Realm of Sin. For much of his existence he desired to be the sole ruler of Hell.
During the Great Conflict, Azmodan successfully defeated his angelic foes many times on the battlefields of Pandemonium. In one such battle, Azmodan faced the archangel Tyrael. Tyrael bested him and stood ready to deal the final blow. However, one of Tyrael's comrades called for aid and Tyrael rushed to lend aid. Azmodan thus escaped the angel's wrath. In another battle against Tyrael (or possibly the same), Azmodan came under direct attack by his angel foes, who were able to use their wings to outmanauver his host and assault him directly. Frustrated by his near defeat, Azmodan began breeding winged demons capable of tearing the angels asunder.
Seeds of Rebellion
"Azmodan. Belial. Never content with their place in Hell. Always reaching for more, always wanting more power."
The Sin War was waged by the Prime Evils secretly, the existence of Sanctuary and the nephalem kept from the Lesser Evils. This lack of trust soured relations between the Lords of Hell. What enraged Azmodan and his allies even further was that the Primes seemed intent on converting Man to their side of the Great Conflict rather than fighting the war directly. 
Azmodan's first attempt to wrest power involved his close followers—demons that performed acts that he could not or would not be involved in. However, the attempt failed and in his wrath, Diablo turned Azmodan's followers into the Fallen Ones. The infuriated Azmodan held them responsible for the Prime Evils' continued reign, and so he left the fallen in their new bodies, where their degradation would serve to amuse him for all eternity. However, the fallen demons had nonetheless provided him with valuable information.
The Dark Exile
"Follow my orders, Azmodan, as you did in ages immemorial."
You lead us only to failure, brother! I make my own way."
Believing that they were innately superior to mortal kind, and that their war against the High Heavens was theirs alone to fight, the Lesser Evils enacted a stratagem to overthrow the Primes. Led by Azmodan and Belial, Lord of Lies, the rebel demons claimed dominion over much of the Burning Hells. Although the Primes exacted a heavy toll on the rebels, they were, in the end, banished to the mortal realm, weakened and bodiless. Azmodan believed that with the Three set loose upon humanity, Heaven would be forced to turn their focus to the mortal plane, thus leaving Heaven potentially vulnerable to attack.
Most accounts state that Azmodan and Belial soon turned on each other, relations souring as they began arguing over who should ascend to the highest rank of the Burning Hells. When the bickering turned to violence, their pact was forgotten, and Hell's denizens found themselves having to choose their allegiance once again. The result was another civil war. Yet others say that there was no falling out between Azmodan and Belial in the first place, and that they began conspiring to subjugate all life to their will. In truth, Belial and Azmodan did wage war up until at least the Darkening of Tristram. At this point, Azmodan had held the advantage in the Hells' civil war for awhile. However, the two demons nonetheless came to share the same goal of subjugating humanity into their fold. Not content with ruling over the Realm of Sin, Azmodan set his sights on Sanctuary.
Invasion of Sanctuary
"You thought you were so clever, that you had outwitted us all. One by one, our brethren fell into your trap, but not me. I defy you! I now know the Black Soulstone is the key, and it shall be mine. Soon, my armies shall pour forth from the Shattered Mountain, ravaging this world and all hope of resistance. My minions will find the stone, wherever you choose to hide it. Then, at long last, Azmodan shall reign as the Prime Evil."
After Belial's defeat at the hands of The Nephalem, Leah had a vision of Azmodan where he revealed that he intended to lead a full-scale invasion of Sanctuary to find and claim the Black Soulstone with which he could become a fusion of all the Great Evils, the Prime Evil. The vision held true and Azmodan's armies poured forth from the Arreat Crater and laid siege to Bastion's Keep.
His lieutenants, the Sin Lieutenants, were introduced, with Ghom, the Lord of Gluttony, storming the depths of Bastion's Keep while the Nephalem rallied the stronghold's defenders and raised its catapults. Azmodan projected his visage to his foes in an effort to strike fear into their hearts, but had the effect of him unintentionally prematurely revealing his plans. The Nephalem destroyed Ghom and fought their way across the battlefield, destroying Azmodan's war machines. Once again, Azmodan appeared as a vision before The Nephalem, stating that even the destruction of his war machines didn't matter, that he could count on a limitless supply of demons to reinforce his army. Tyrael was unfazed, stating that all Azmodan had left to hurl at them were words.
Azmodan's consort, Cydaea the Mistress of Lust, tried to slow the Nephalem as they fought through the portion of Hell just inside the crater and destroy the Sin Hearts, relics from the depths of Hell that empower the demons. Eventually Cydaea was slain as well and the Sin Hearts were destroyed.
At last the Nephalem confronted Azmodan himself, who reiterated his desire to become the Prime Evil. His plan was ultimately left unfulfilled when Azmodan was defeated and his spirit was sealed within the Black Soulstone, making him the final of the Great Evils to be locked in the stone. Shortly afterwards one of Diablo's secret operatives revealed the Lord of Terror's own plan to become the Prime Evil had reached fruition and the Black Soulstone was bound to Leah's body, through which Diablo manifested himself and proceeded to assault the High Heavens.
Diablo was defeated, and the Lords of Hell were imprisoned in the Black Soulstone, their souls screaming for vengeance and release. The artifact was destroyed by Malthael, which released Diablo, still bearing the essences of Azmodan and the other Evils. Eventually however, Azmodan's spirit was able to break free from Diablo, just as all the other Evils.
Azmodan is the final boss of Act III of Diablo III. He must be fought on a circular arena with a large central pillar, surrounded by chain barriers, the combat starts once player enters the ring. Azmodan moves and attacks slowly, but the main danger is his abilities. He has a total of six, most of them used regardless of whether or not he is currently performing any other attack:
- Melee Attack: The least used of his abilities, Azmodan will slightly lunge forward to swipe at the hero.
- Bellyflop aka Trample: Azmodan will jump into the air a small bit, and then land nearly face-first on the player. This attack is imbued with knockback and will slow the player.
- Eye Laser Attack: The laser attack is cast only when there are no heroes in melee range. It has a very low damage, but it is channeled and continuous, following the target at roughly normal movement speed. Azmodan will use the laser in conjunction with other abilities.
- Falling Corpses: Azmodan will rear up and a red circle will appear around the player in a wide radius. After 1-1.5 seconds, corpses will fall all over the circled area for 3-5 seconds, and if the player is hit by a body, they will take a small amount of Physical damage.
- Demon Gate: Azmodan summons a Portal Device (can have multiple at a time, last until destroyed) which, in turn, summon his minion Hell Brutes, one by one, roughly one every five-ten seconds. The devices have a very small amount of health, but have no limit of how many minions can exist at a time. Destroying a device awards a guaranteed health globe, and heroes can use minions to heal, as the minions are relatively weak. Existing devices are marked on the map. Azmodan will give a warning of this ability when he shouts "Arrogant Nephalem, my servants will feast on your pride as they devour your flesh!".
- Pools of Destruction aka Dark Ground or Hell's Grasp: Azmodan casts expanding pools of bloody, shadowy substance which spread exceedingly fast over the outer edges of the arena, decreasing its safe radius by approximately one half. They do not last very long, and they do relatively small amounts of damage, but the damage can stack if standing in multiple pools and ticks very quickly. Azmodan will preface this attack by shouting "Enough! The dark power of Hell will consume you!"
- Globe of Annihilation aka Fireball: Azmodan throws a homing meteor at the player which slowly descends on the battlefield (descent speed increases as the meteor gets closer to the player), following its target. On hit, it causes very high Fire damage within roughly 10 yards, enough to kill an adequately geared hero outright. The meteor is slow-moving but can be rather hard to dodge if he casts it in melee range. If Fireball hits a central pillar or fully descends before it reaches its target, it will explode prematurely.
On Torment difficulty, Azmodan has a hard enrage timer of 3 minutes. Once it expires, Pools of Destruction will cover the entire arena and will not fade until the fight ends.
- "I am Azmodan, Lord of the Burning Hells!"
- "Clear the walls! Tear them down!"
- "So you're the wretch that's giving me such trouble. Thrash as you might, you will not keep me from the soulstone."
- "You think you know pain, nephalem? You think you know anguish? Soon, my concubine will show you their true meaning."
- "Nephalem, your misbegotten kind is creation's greatest sin. But your time is done. You'll find only death in my realm."
- "Destroying my siege weapons makes little difference. Every hour, more of my forces pour forth from the mouth of Hell. Soon, they will wipe your pathetic keep from existence!"
- "I do not need my siege weapons to slay you. You stand before in the middle of the army of Hell! It will crush you!"
- "While you tinkered with your paltry catapults, my demons have breached the depths of your keep. Once they claim the Black Soulstone for me, your entire world will burn."
- "An empty victory over a useless tool. You have only delayed your inevitable destruction. Your walls have grown no stronger. Our assault continues unabated. The stone will still be mine."
- "ENOUGH! The dark power of Hell will consume you!"
- "Insignificant whelp!"
- "You are no match for the Lord of Sin!"
- "No one escapes the wages of Sin!"
- "Arrogant nephalem! My servants will feast on your pride as they devour your flesh!"
- "You're too late! My servant is already inside your walls, and his hunger is ravenous. He will devour your corpse and those of your friends."
- "Nephalem fool! When the soulstone is embedded in my flesh, the Seven shall be as one within me! I will be the sum of all Hells - the Prime Evil!"
- "Minions, Bastion's Keep has nearly fallen. Many of you have gorged yourselves on blood and manflesh, but don't let your feasting delay you. I will have the keep and its commander before the next dawn. The rest of this world will fall soon after."
- "Minions, the imbecile who slew my brother Belial now means to aid the keep's belligerent soldiers. He/She brings a girl with him/her. She could undo us all. But I am not Belial - he was weak and cowered behind his disguises. Of course they failed him!! We will seize our victory through bloodshed."
- "Minions, the men actually think that they can hide behind their paltry little walls! But they have only had a glimpse of the full host of Hell. We will see them drown in our tide of sin! The girl is still weak, and their "hero" will not expect us to attack from below. Send in the ravening beast.
- Minions, My brothers grow impatient within the soulstone. Yes, I can hear them even down here. Their voices are so pitiful and small that they almost amuse me. Yet they are my prize, not the Nephalem's...or the girl's, for that matter. This is not her time. This...is the Age of Sin!
- Minions, There is nothing I loathe more than failure. You know this well, but if any of you need a further lesson, I will have you delivered into the Circle of Wrath with great haste. The enemy is strong, but he/she cannot pass the demon gate. Secure it, or your lives will be forfeit."
- "Maiden of Lust, I have need of your... ample services. Drag yourself out of whatever carnal corner of the Burning Hells you lounge in, and bring your daughters with you. Be wary - the enemy is proven to be both cunning and strong. But the mortals have always been easy prey for you, have they not?"
Concept art of Azmodan shows him being bi-pedal during early stages of development.
Azmodan appears in Diablo Chess. He represents his side's knight piece.
Personality and Traits
"Only fools celebrate victory before the battle’s begun. Along with Belial, Azmodan has ruled the ravening hordes of the Burning Hells for over three centuries. His cunning is beyond imagining."
Azmodan was a clever manipulator who traded in vice and corruption. Passionate and plotting, he was by far the most charismatic and seductive of the Great Evils. He loved vice in all its forms, but the truest gratification he derived was that from the failure of others. He was a master of temptation, of causing those who held steadfastly to principles and beliefs to ultimately betray them. He existed only to shred morality, and to bring all within his sphere of pleasure to the point of breaking, believing that all beings find their truest identity by embracing the far limits of perversion and depravity. No stranger to oppulance or granduer, greed and pride were among Azmodan's favorite sins. He was close to all of his Sin Lieutenants, with Cydaea, the Maiden of Lust being his favorite. He considered her to be "very distracting."
Azmodan was never content with his place in Hell, and always sought more power. He despised the nephalem, considering them to be "creation's greatest sin." He had a low opinion of Belial as well.
Azmodan was regarded as an "uncanny tactician," cunning, and attacked when his foes would least expect it. However, he also possessed a degree of overconfidence and arrogance, his dealings with the Nephalem at Bastion's Keep being an example.
Azmodan's appearance reflected his station as the Lord of Sin. He was extremely corpulent, emphasizing his dominion over the sins of Gluttony, Sloth and Greed. He appeared to walk on six insect-like legs which, along with his torso, were opulently decorated with treasures and trophies, mirroring the sins of Pride and Wrath. His face featured a large, glowing mouth full of dagger-like teeth and a forked tongue, and his visage had four glowing eyes. From his back, two large horn-shaped appendages extended.
- Azmodan is possibly named after Asmodai or Asmodeus, a demon found in Hebrew lore.
- Jason Babler has created a two-foot wide, 17-inch-tall version of Azmodan, also featuring LED lighting.
- At some point prior to the events of Diablo III, an alchemist named Lyekurn developed a method of siphoning Azmodan's power into an armor without risks of driving the bearer mad from the corruption of the seven sins. As soon as Azmodan learned of this, he immediately sent his minions to bring him the alchemist's head, armor and records, in order to make sure no one ever replicated the armor.
- Az-Lo, a miniature version of Azmodan, is available as a non-combat pet.
- Azmodan is voiced by David Sobolov.
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