"Baal was the most brash and reckless of the Prime Evils. After the Dark Exile, he was contained in the Horadrim Tal Rasha and entombed. Centuries later, Diablo freed Baal, who then corrupted the Worldstone to devastating effect for the barbarians who lived near Mount Arreat. The heroes killed Baal shortly afterward."
Tor'Baalos, the Lord of Destruction, more commonly referred to as Baal, is one of the three Prime Evils.
"Where Hatred and Terror tread, Destruction is sure to follow."
The Great Conflict
Baal's early existence was much like that of his fellow brothers, Diablo and Mephisto—an endless battle with the forces of Heaven. He never got tired of it, partly because he never exhausted all the opportunities for wanton destruction.
One rare exception where Baal worked with his brothers was the Fifth Battle of the Diamond Gates. So certain of their impending victory, the Prime Evils turned on each other, battling over spoils they had yet to win. Their discord allowed the forces of Heaven to drive them back.
The Sin War
"Enough of your idle speculation, Mephisto! I breached the fortress and saw it firsthand. The Worldstone is gone! The angels I killed knew nothing about it. But since you are so perceptive, maybe you remember who else has been missing: Lilith. We must find her, rip her limb from limb, take the Worldstone back!"
While leading his forces on the battlefields of Pandemonium, Mephisto noticed that the angels were withdrawing. He ordered his forces to withdraw so he could analyze the situation. Baal, losing patience, stormed the Pandemonium Fortress and discovered that the Worldstone was missing. The angels he killed could not enlighten him to its whereabouts. However, Baal did have his suspicions, and pointed out to Mephisto that Lilith was missing. Believing her to be responsible for the Worldstone's disapearance, he demanded that they find her, kill her, and take the Worldstone back.
Due to the actions of the Vizjerei, the powers of Hell came to learn of the existence of Sanctuary and its inhabitants. Diablo informed his brothers of this new world's existance. Sensing the dormant power within humanity and reasoning it could be turned to suit their own ends, the Prime Evils began a campaign to tip humanity over to their side. To this end, they founded the Triune—a seemingly benevolent religion that was actually a front for their true motives. Each of the Primes took on an alter ego for worship and in Baal's case, he was known as Bala, the Spirit of Creation, represented by a leaf in Triune iconography. "Bala" was depicted as wielding a hammer when he himself was portrayed, along with a bag, which the Triune's priests preached contained the seeds of all life. Both nature and the architectural triumphs of humanity were said to be under the auspecies of his spirit.
The Triune's efforts to ensnare humanity were hindered by the rogue angel Inarius however, who founded the Cathedral of Light. Thus began the Sin War. In the end, the conflict ended with both Heaven and Hell agreeing to respect Sanctuary's neutrality in the Great Conflict. After the war, the followers of Inarius were gifted to Baal.
The Dark Exile
"What is the strength of man against Hell itself?"
— Baal to the Horadrim(src)
Baal and his brothers had kept Sanctuary's existence a secret from the Lesser Evils, and that had driven a wedge between them. That they continued to be interested in Man's potential after the Sin War did not sit well also and the Lesser Evils rose up in rebellion. Baal and his brothers were banished into Sanctuary in what became known as the Dark Exile. In truth, this was a plan on the Primes' part to corrupt the Worldstone and corrupt humanity. While Baal and his brothers were free to wreak havoc for a few decades, their presence came to be discovered by the archangel Tyrael, who formed the Horadrim to find and capture the three brothers.
In time, both Baal and Diablo journeyed west across the Twin Seas to the deserts of Aranoch. Baal took refuge in the city of Lut Gholein while the Horadrim patiently waited. After three days, Baal fled north, the Horadrim in close pursuit. In the end, Baal stood his ground, directing his powers of destruction against the Horadrim, summoning a force of demons to engage them. However, they would not be swayed.
Baal ended up facing Tal Rasha in single combat, before Horadrim led by Zoltun Kulle arrived, aiding Tal Rasha in incapacitating the Lord of Destruction. The two used the soulstone against him, intent on sealing his essence inside it, but Baal was able to shatter it, before escaping through a portal into the valley below. Tal Rasha teleported after him, while Kulle led the Horadrim through Baal's forces, finally arriving to aid Tal Rasha. In a battle as vicious as the last, the Horadrim battled Baal before incapacitating him, and sealing him inside the soulstone fragment. However, the shard would not be able to hold Baal for long.
Thanks to Tal Rasha, a surrogate soulstone would be created. Heading underground into the burial chambers of long-dead kings, the Horadrim built a binding stone etched with runes of containment in one of the largest tombs. Tal Rasha ordered his brethren to contain him, upon which, a sorrowful Tyrael jammed the broken soulstone into his chest, sealing his fate and transferring Baal's essence into his body. The Horadrim departed, leaving Tal Rasha to wrestle with Baal's spirit, presumably for all eternity. Over the centuries, the soulstone became infused with Baal's destructive essence.
The Release of Destruction
"I have walked the earth, always searching for that which will make me whole. High in the mountains of Kae Huron, deep within Mount Arreat lies that thing. I shall have it. My brothers will not have died in vain...and I shall rule unchallenged."
Centuries later, Baal was released at the hands of Diablo (in the guise of the Dark Wanderer) and Marius. While the archangel Tyrael kept the Wanderer at bay, Baal was able to dupe Marius into freeing him. Baal joined his brother and Tyrael was captured. Unfortunately for Baal, Marius had escaped with his soulstone.
With the Lords of Destruction and Terror wearing the guises of the Dark Wanderer and Tal Rasha respectively, the brothers arrived in the Temple of Light in Kurast, where they reunited with Mephisto. In the depths of the temple, they planned their stratagem. Baal would travel north to corrupt the Worldstone. Through it, humanity and its nephalem birthright would fall into enslavement, and through their nephalem birthright, would be enough to re-establish the Primes' place in Hell. However, to fulfill his role, Baal had to re-obtain his soulstone. Deckard Cain would later theorize that as the soulstone had been infused with his destructive essence over the centuries, it would be vital to corrupting the Worldstone.
"Baal comes...and destruction follows him like a storm."
Baal tracked down Marius in a sanitarium in Westmarch, disguising himself as Tyrael, where the man told his tale of the journey he had taken with the Dark Wanderer. Marius recounted his experiences, and handed the soulstone over. Baal revealed his true colors and slew the man, setting the sanitarium ablaze as he exited.
Now possessing the shard, Baal traveled north, butchering entire villages en route to Mount Arreat. Those who were slain were possessed and transformed into demonic soldiers. Every act of destruction committed by Baal and his minions increased the shard's power. Thus, rather than approach Mount Arreat through stealth, Baal's approach meant that the soulstone (now named the Shard of Destruction) pulsed with untold corruptive energies. Additionally, he summoned a legion of demons to his side that reveled in destruction and chaos. Baal swore that his brothers would not have died in vain, and that he would rule unchallenged.
Assault on Mount Arreat
"Baal is true to his namesake. He has ravaged through our lands like a merciless plague."
By the time Baal reached the lands of the Barbarians, his Army of Destruction numbered in the thousands. By all accounts, the Barbarians fought ferociously, yet it was not enough to stop Baal from storming their lands. Reaching the gates of Sescheron, the Barbarians attempted a parlay with the demon, but Baal casually killed the emissary and ordered his forces to attack. Soon, all that stood between Baal and the Arreat Summit was Harrogath. To stave off Baal's assault, the Council of Elders sacrificed themselves to enact a warding spell to keep Baal's forces at bay. Nonetheless, Baal's forces laid siege to the fortress.
The defenders were betrayed by the elder Nihlathak, the only survivor of the spell. Believing his people would be doomed unless he negotiated a pact with Baal, he provided the Lord of Destruction with the Relic of the Ancients, in exchange for sparing Harrogath. With the relic in hand, Baal raced up the slopes of the mountain, able to bypass the mountain's guardians thanks to the relic. In the Worldstone Chamber, Baal fused the Shard of Destruction with the Worldstone. All of the strife and horror that had accumulated within the shard began to spread through the gargantuan crystal.
Yet Baal's plans were stymied by a group of heroes; the same group that had defeated his brothers. After a ferocious battle, Baal was defeated, yet the Worldstone was already past saving. To save humanity, Tyrael threw El'druin into the stone, destroying it. In the ensuring explosion, Baal's body was obliterated, and in the belief of Deckard Cain, his spirit banished to the Black Abyss to join his brothers. The shards of the Worldstone remained corrupted, and five years later, would bring even more misery to the world.
"The power of destruction is not an easily controlled thing. My ritual did not attempt to do so. The central rune, carved into a human jawbone, amplified Baal's power, but the outer runes anchored it within the circle. I could feel a moment of pure satisfaction racing through his spirit, for the spell made him feel like he had just inhabited a new host body. He quickly understood the truth, that I was imprisoning him until my master could make use of his spirit, but he did not lash out as I expected. I felt something close to amusement from him. I did not understand, but perhaps it is impossible to understand the ways of the Greater Evils."
— Adria on her imprisonment of Baal(src)
Baal's essence ended up in the Black Soulstone, as per the machinations of Adria. He was the third of the Great Evils to be marked, coming after Andariel and Duriel. When Adria came across the remains of his spirit, she discovered that like Duriel, he yearned to bring about the End of Days. He quickly learnt the truth of Diablo's plan, to use his essence to become a singular Prime Evil, and that Adria was imprisoning him until that day came to pass. However, to Adria's surprise, Baal didn't lash out, but rather, felt something close to amusement from him.
Twenty years after his defeat at Arreat, the day came to pass, and Baal briefly merged Diablo as a single Prime Evil. However, Diablo was defeated by a new hero and the Great Evils were drawn back into the Black Soulstone, their souls screaming for release. Because of Malthael, the stone was destroyed, and Diablo was freed, still retaining the essences of the other Evils. Eventually however, Baal's spirit was able to break free from Diablo, just as all the other Evils.
The Lord of Destruction is almost spider-like in his appearance. When confronted in Diablo II, Baal moves on four insectoid legs. Compared to his brother Diablo, Baal still retains some humanoid features Granted, it is only his upper torso, which is pale, emaciated, and skeletal. Most likely one of the most recognizable traits of Baal is his Festering Appendages, tentacles that manifest in various places on his body. In battle, Baal summons these from the ground to impede the player's path.
Tips and Other Additional Information
Before the encounter, Baal summons monsters from each Act. Once all 5 groups of monsters are slain, Baal will go into the Worldstone Chamber. Baal is the final boss in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and possesses a variety of deadly special attacks. He has moves such as:
- Hoarfrost - Sends a chilling wave that chills and knocks back the player at the same time, dealing damage multiple times if the player is knocked back a decent ways.
- Incineration Nova - Similar to Diablo's Flame Circle, a ring of torches (like those the Act V Imps cast) is sent out in all directions.
- Mana Rift - A move which halves your current mana (seen in cinematic).
- Destructive Strike
- Vile Effigy - Summons a duplicate of himself, which can cast all of the real Baal's moves as well, except creating a second clone (only one Baal clone can be up at a time).
- Festering Appendages - Summons tentacles that come out of the ground to attack the player.
The duplicate is not as strong as Baal and does not drop any items. The player can identify the duplicate by looking at their names. The duplicate has the word "Demon" right below the 'B' in his name (so that the B and the D are perfectly aligned) and has no light radius. The real Baal has the word "Demon" centered below his name, as with most monsters.
While he does not use the ability in the final battle, he displayed use of the spell Blaze in the final cinematic of Diablo II as a swarm of scarabs follow him. This is a skill more useful for humanoids, and not as useful in his quadruped form, as he does not move around very much.
He also seems to be capable of some form of remote viewing or extrasensory perception. This is evident when players, if they stand at one place anywhere in the Worldstone Keep, find themselves suddenly attacked by an unseen assailant, while a terrible laughter (none other than Baal's) is heard from nowhere. This also means that he is capable of manipulating far-away surroundings, since he should be in the Throne of Destruction.
- (Baal sits down in a corner) "So, Marius...at last I find you." (intro cinematic)
- "I've been searching for you for a long time, Marius. I was rather beginning to think you didn't want to be found." (intro cinematic)
- "Not your fault? Tell me Marius, how was it 'not your fault'?" (intro cinematic)
- (Impersonating Tal Rasha) "Look what they've done to me! Release me! Help me! Hurry, please, hurry!"
- (Rises and walks towards Marius) "Marius...give me the stone, and all is forgiven."
- "Give it to me, Marius." (epilogue cinematic)
- "You haven't failed, old man...you've done exactly as you were meant to do. However...I am not the Archangel Tyrael..." (brings the glowing soulstone to his face, revealing a demonic visage)
- "(laughing) You have done well, Marius. Now I think you should have your reward." (proceeds to kill Marius)
- "I have walked the earth, always searching for that which will make me whole. High in the mountains of Killaronn, deep within Mount Arreat lies that thing. I shall have it. My brothers will not have died in vain...and I shall rule unchallenged!" (from the expansion trailer)
- "ENOUGH!" (voice continues to echo through the mountains until Baal silences it)
- "I shall take your position into consideration." (proceeds to kill the Barbarian)
- "(grins) Well...it seems your terms...are not acceptable!" (laughs as the Legion rushes forward)
- "My brothers will not have died in vain!" (when Baal creates a clone)
- "BLAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHH!" (This can only be heard when his intestines spill and he vomits, which is actually his death cry.)
Baal is fought twice during the dungeon, and each time, the player is aided by Tal Rasha and Zoltun Kulle, though neither have much influence over the battle. The second fight is harder, but the player has some recourse from Tal Rasha, who can generate a shield to protect the player from Baal's fireballs.
- Those who seek destruction...shall find it! Hahaha! (at the start of the first phase)
- What is the strength of man against Hell itself? (at the end of the first phase)
- Hahaha! I will tear you apart limb from limb. (during the second phase)
Baal appears in Diablo Chess. He represents Hell's bishop piece.
Personality and Traits
"One of the three Prime Evils and corruptor of the Worldstone, Baal revels in absolute annihilation whether he incites or inspires it. The Lord of Destruction would have razed all humanity from Sanctuary if not for the Archangel Tyrael’s sacrifice."
— Monster summary(src)
The most reckless and brash of the Prime Evils, Baal revels in utter annihilation, not only of the world around him, but those who dwell in it. This is regardless as to whether he incites or inspires such destruction.
On the surface, Baal appears to be the most base and easiest to comprehend of the Prime Evils, and many have claimed as such. Deckard Cain wrote in opposition to this, maintaining that Baal is just as cunning and nefarious as his siblings; quite capable of using strategy and deception to further his goals. Adria once speculated what might happen if Baal succeeded in reducing Heaven and Sanctuary to ash. Would he destroy Hell likewise? Would he destroy himself? Or was he clever enough to ensure that such a thing never came to pass, embracing defeat, death, and rebirth, lest his cycle of annihilation be jeopardized.
Those who follow Baal prefer to surround their enemies and attack from all sides simultaneously, and are bred for strength and agility. They seek the undoing of Creation, striving for disorder and destruction. To Baal's minions, Order is anathema, and his lieutenants are bred for strength, endurance, and cunning, constantly training themselves in the art of war. Many of Baal's demons are intangible on the mortal plane.
- The 15th of Kathon is referred to as the "Eye of Baal" (otherwise called the crimson moon). Destructive spells are most potent during this month.
- Baal's name is likely derived from the ancient title "Ba'al" which was used for deities widely worshiped during the 1st and 2nd millennia BC. The term was most consistently used for Hadad, a storm god, but could be used for any male divinity, or even for the cult image used to represent one, as the word itself means "lord" or "master".
- A specific Ba'al was Baʿal Zəbûb, literally "the Lord of the Flies", worshiped in the Philistine city of Ekron. In Christianity, he is referred to as "Beelzebub" and is often referred to as an ally of Satan. In terms of appearance, he is portrayed with many one-joint spider-like legs, resembling Baal's four legs and manner of walk.
- Despite the Lord of Flies title typically being associated with Baal, it's Belial who gets botflies as his signature manifestation in Diablo universe (and an achievement named Lord of Flies as well).
- "Excidium" is a Latin word which translates as "demolition" or "destruction."
- Baal (also Bael) is a Demon and the King of Hell in Goetia.
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