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Defense of the Keep

Bastion's Keep's, with Mount Arreat in the background

Bastion's Keep is a fortress located in the Dreadlands.


The keep was designed to be able to hold a garrison of 3000.[1] Soldiers were stationed there along with their families. Children would play a game called Defend the Keep.[2]


Early History[]

The fortress was constructed by King Korsikk of Westmarch in order to pen the "Barbarian threat" to the north.[3]

After years of military disasters, the frustrated king led a large army out of the fortress and into the north to conquer the Barbarians once and for all. None of them returned.[3] Since that time, Bastion's Keep has remained as a bulwark between the violent tribes of the north and the lands of the south. The soldiers who manned its walls remained ready to confront any foe, human or otherwise, who might besiege them.[4] Legends of the fortress were known even in Ivgorod.[5]

The walls of the keep were damaged from the explosion that stemmed from the destruction of the Worldstone. Even two decades later, the damage had yet to be repaired.[5]

The Siege of Bastion's Keep[]

"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!"

- Azmodan's declaration(src)


The beginning of the siege

In 1285, the fortress's impregnability was put to the test as Azmodan and his Army of Sin moved south from the Arreat Crater,[6] the crater itself serving as staging grounds.[7] By this point, the keep's garrison had been reduced from an intended 3000 to 1000.[1] In contrast, the Army of Sin's numbers were practically without limit, as more demons emerged from Hell to join it with every passing hour.[8]

On the tenth day of the siege, Tyrael and his allies arrived. The Nephalem was able to turn the tide of battle and defeat Azmodan. However, victory was short lived, as Adria revealed her true colors, turning on the defenders and killing many of them. While Azmodan was defeated, Diablo, reborn as the Prime Evil, was let loose upon the world.[6] Many of the survivors were demoralized not only by Adria's betrayal and the death of Leah, but by the capture of Auriel, the Archangel of Hope, which brought despair to the High Heavens and Sanctuary until her rescue by the Nephalem.[9] While Diablo was defeated, Bastion's Keep was left in a precarious state, as all of its food stores had been spoiled by Ghom. Sister Frances wondered how the garrison would cope over the next season.[10]

During the battle, Tyrael commented that even Imperius would have been hard pressed to have held the keep against Azmodan's forces, and that the world owed its defenders a great debt.[1]


Starting in Act III of Diablo III, the Bastion's Keep Stronghold is a playable area, serving as the town and NPC hub for Act III and Act IV.

The fortress is under attack by Azmodan's demonic army. The Lord of Sin attacks the fortress without mercy, killing hundreds of soldiers and bombarding its walls with his demonic war machines. He also sends one of his commanders, Ghom, to destroy the walls and attack from the inside. The Lord of Gluttony is shortly after hunted down and killed by the nephalem. After his attacks are pushed back, the group joins Archangel Tyrael in an offensive attack on Azmodan's army and into Mount Arreat. There, the hero hunts down Cydaea, the Maiden of Lust, and destroys the Heart of Sin. Shortly after Azmodan is killed and trapped in the Black Soulstone by Leah, Adria, and Tyrael.

During Act IV and Diablo's assault of the High Heavens, if players choose to return to the mortal realm through a town portal or a waypoint, they will return to the keep stronghold. However, players cannot venture outside as the gate is shuttered and none of the previous waypoints are available.

Known Residents[]

Keep Catapult

One of the keep's denizens tending to a catapult in storage


"These soldiers look barely old enough to be away from their mothers. They are not prepared for the evil that seeks to consume this keep."



"I'm beginning to think the keep's main defensive strategy is getting the enemy lost in endless little parapets and side corridors."

- Lyndon(src)


This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
Bastion's Keep Concepts

Concept art

  • From a story sense, Bastion's Keep was meant to convey the change of tone in Diablo III's story, as events escalated to a battle that would determine the fate of humanity.[7]
  • The keep had been conceptualized by 2010.[11]
  • In Skycrown Battlements and Stonefort, there are guards with bows and arrows; however, upon coming into close proximity to them, a Winged Molok will appear and fly off with the guard.
  • The Wizard's quest log in Act III makes reference to Bastion's Keep being besieged for weeks. This is in contrast to other sources within the act, which establish that the siege lasts for ten days.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named TheBreachedKeep
  2. Diablo III, Act III, Machines of War
  3. 3.0 3.1 Diablo III, The History of Bastion's Keep
  4. Book of Cain
  5. 5.0 5.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named TheSiegeofBastion'sKeep
  6. 6.0 6.1 Diablo III, Act III
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Art of Diablo III
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named MachinesofWar
  9. Diablo III, Act IV
  10. Diablo III, Set Dungeon
  11. Bastion's Keep Concept Art, Aquatic Moon. Accessed on 2015-10-17