"It is difficult to believe the stories of Bartuc, the Warlord of Blood...difficult to believe how a man could lose himself in such a deep abyss of depravity and barbarism."— Deckard Cain(src)
Bartuc and Horazon lived in the third-century pre-Anno Kehjistani. Both were equally powerful and ambitious, and both were fascinated by the power one could obtain through the practice of demonic magic, following the teachings of the Vizjerei. Bartuc received instruction from Attis Zuun. However, while Horazon believed in bending demons to his will, Bartuc grew to sympathize with demonkind, a view that stemmed from the baleful influence his interactions with the creatures were inflicting on him. He believed that demonic forces were best understood by allying with the powers of the Burning Hells so their secrets could be shared freely, and did so. At some point Bartuc was close to an unknown woman and with her, fathered a child.
The Mage Clan WarsEdit
When the Mage Clan Wars began, Bartuc fought for the Vizjerei. He earned the title of "Warlord of Blood" for his bathing in the blood of his enemies as part of a ritual. According to Vizjerei accounts, this infused him with incredible powers. His armour was said to have been empowered with demonic sentience. During the final battles of the wars, Bartuc became an unstoppable force, instilling fear in not only the enemy clans but among his own people as well. Demonic corruption spread through the Vizjerei, and the hellspawn that Bartuc continued to summon lacked any kind of control, destroying everything in their path. By this stage, Bartuc believed that demons were humanity's masters, and that loyalty to them would be generously rewarded, though such was his madness that even the demons he summoned feared him. Acting on Horazon's warnings, the Vizjerei Ruling Council stripped Bartuc of his command on the cusp of victory, even as victory seemed assured for them. The brothers' diametrically opposed philosophies caused a great schism that split the ranks and tore the Vizjerei Clan apart. The result was a civil war within the Vizjerei Clan as Bartuc turned his forces against his own people, leading an entire legion of demons. He regularly used the tactic of moving his forces in a circular pattern, trying to cause as much destruction as possible. He would raid undefended villages, cutting off support for walled towns before moving against them. After many hard-fought battles, Bartuc's forces gained the upper hand, and he gave his armies the task of conquering Viz-jun.
At some point during the war, Bartuc came across a Vizjerei spy. He used the spy's body as a candelabra to illuminate his quarters, an act that instilled fear in his own demon servants.
In what would be the final battle of the war, as a defeat for the Vizjerei neared, Horazon met Bartuc's challenge. The cataclysmic battle between the two siblings tore destroyed Viz-jun, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands. In the end, both siblings realized that they had been played as pawns by leaders of the Demonic Legion. In the midst of casting a counterspell, Bartuc was decapitated. As the fire and smoke cleared, Bartuc lay dead, with Horazon standing over his corpse.
Legacy of BloodEdit
Horazon and his fellow mages were unable to destroy Bartuc's corpse, as his armour protected him even after death. That he had failed to cover his throat properly was the reason he had been able to be decapitated. Wary of his brother's vast power even in death, Horazon ordered that Bartuc's body be forever hidden from the sight of Man. The Vizjerei worked with the Priests of Rathma to ensure that Bartuc would not be able to rise again. Bartuc's head and body were separated and sealed into two different caves. As time passed, horrific legends of Bartuc reached the ears of the people of Sanctuary. Many sought to find his tomb, especially those interested in the black arts (due to the possibility of lingering magic around his body/armour), but none succeeded.
"I always knew that the curse of Bartuc could not be contained forever. Always knew that."— Drognan(src)
Over a millennium after Bartuc's death, the Warlord of Blood nearly lived again in the form of Norrec Vizharan, his descendant. Norrec was possessed by his armour, while Augustus Malevolyn possessed his helm. Xazax, a servant of Belial, also sought the armour in order to create a new Bartuc, one who would serve his master. Under the armour's influence, Norrec nearly became Bartuc incarnate, as the warlord's spirit resided within the armour. However, with the aid of Kara Nightshadow and Horazon, the armour's power was negated, freeing Sanctuary from Bartuc's legacy.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Bartuc was powerful, ambitious, and ruthless. He relished in embracing the powers of Hell, but trusted no-one but himself, and refused to ally with or serve any other mortal. Augustus Malevolyn was of the opinion that Bartuc's failing was that he was not a career soldier, that he was first and foremost a sorcerer and as such, had been unable to react to sudden shifts in the battle that an actual commander would be able to.
- The Awakening claims that the Warlord of Blood, a unique monster in Diablo, is the same individual as Bartuc. While both individuals possess the same title, the Warlord's backstory in the first game is incompatible with Bartuc's.
- Demonsbane gives Bartuc's year of death as being the year 300. More recent sources such as Book of Tyrael place it as being centuries prior to this. The article has gone with more recent sources.