"Hello, my friend. Stay awhile and listen."

Cain's greeting(src)

Deckard Cain was a Horadric scholar well versed in obscure lore and history of the arcane.



"The Horadrim are gone, so you become a storyteller to fill the emptiness. But the people of Tristram are laughing at you. Look around you, Mother! Where are your angels, your demons? Where are your heroes? The Horadrim are long dead, and the town's no different for it!"

Cain to his mother(src)
Cain was born in the year 1202[2] to Aderes Cain and a tanner as his father. His mother forbid him from taking his father's surname.[3] As a child growing up in Tristram, Cain grew up on stories of the Horadrim, and considered himself proud to be "the last Horadrim." He imagined himself traveling the world, fighting evil wherever it dwelt.[4] He similarly read tales of Anu, Tathamet, the Mage Clan Wars, and the Sin War. However, he regarded them as just being stories.[5] When not listening to stories, he was out playing fetch in the fields outside Tristram, or stealing eggs from Grosgrove's henhouse.

By the age of eleven however, he had grown tired of his mother's stories and her growing madness. It was also at this age that he lost his father to sickness. Despite his mother's pleas, Cain wanted nothing to do with her "fairy stories," declaring that if angels or demons really existed, they were free to come for him.[3]

Elder of TristramEdit

"Cain isn't what he says he is. Sure, sure, he talks a good story...some of 'em are real scary or funny...but I think he knows more than he knows he knows."

Deckard Cain-BoT

Cain caught up in his studies

At some point, Cain studied "archaic writings" while in Kehjistan.[6] In his youth, he had some encounters with Zakarum priestesses. As to what may or may not have happened between him and them, he would later comment "they don't take vows of chastity you know."[7]

In adulthood, Cain served as a schoolmaster[3] and storyteller in Tristram.[8] Cain didn't get on well with the children, and found it difficult to connect with them. He'd give lectures, but they didn't share his love of books.[3] Of the fellow townsfolk, he counted Pepin as perhaps his closest friend. He also had fondness for Gillian, and respect for Griswold.[8] At some point, Cain married Amelia and had a son, Jered, who bore the name of Cain's Horadric ancestor, in 1233. As the years drew on however, Cain became absorbed in scholarly pursuits, shutting out friends and family, and leaving no time for them. Tension rose between him and Amelia and often they argued, usually concerning Cain's lack of presence in his son's life. In 1237, with Cain now at the age of thirty-five, Amelia took Jered and left Tristram. However, bandits attacked their wagon, killing them. Cain received written notification of their deaths and later visited the site of the attack.[3]

Cain served as the tutor for Prince Aidan. He grew greatly fond of the boy and found himself loving him akin to a son, despite Aidan's self-absorbed nature.[3]

The Darkening of TristramEdit

Dark TidingsEdit

"The events of the past year are unbelievable and have driven me to again write my thoughts. No matter how hard I try, the facts are unavoidable: our King Leoric has gone mad, lashing out in crazed frenzy at the abduction of his son Albrecht, and our steady losses of the ill-advised war against Westmarch, leading to an open revolt among the guards. There is something almost palatable in the air. It feels like...terror."

Deckard Cain(src)
During the Darkening of Tristram, Cain noticed (as did the rest of the town) how King Leoric's mood had steadily darkened.[9]

Reflecting on the events of the past year, Cain began recording his thoughts in a journal. He began to reflect on the tales that his mother had told him, as to whether there was truth to them. Could there really have been some evil entity buried underneath the town?[4] He spent time in the library of the Tristram Cathedral, going over old Horadric texts. They contained the stories that his mother had once told him, and he couldn't help but notice that the texts treated the accounts of angels and demons as history, not as myth. From what he read, and given how Leoric was acting, he could only guess that, based on what he had read, that Diablo himself had affected the king.[3]

Cain soon came to regret not acting upon his concerns, as the situation went from bad to worse.[4] After the disappearance of his son, Albrecht, Leoric lashed out in a crazed frenzy[4] Gillian told him of the events, of how the Royal Army of Khanduras had been destroyed by Westmarch's superior forces (sent in a suicidal attack by the king). Gillian begged him to leave the library, vacating in time to escape the fight that erupted between Lachdanan (who'd returned from the futile attack) and those of the king's men who remained loyal to him. He saw the bodies that Lachdanan and his men left in their wake as they hunted their former king, and could only wonder how things had come to this.[3]

Archbishop Lazarus led a group of villagers into the depths of the [cathedral to look for Albrecht, only to lead them into the clutches of a demon called The Butcher. Cain wondered if Lazarus was acting on his own accord, or was an unwitting pawn. The nights dragged on, and sleep did not come easily, as he heard the hellish drones emanating from the cathedral. He resolved to return to his texts, believing that they would hold the answer to defeating the evil that plagued them.[4] Amid the chaos, horrific creatures began roaming the town by night, which reminded him of the ones he had read about in the old Horadric tomes. He came to realize that the tales his mother had told him of angels and demons were true. Although humbled, he was filled with a sense of purpose, believing that the Horadric knowledge could be used to fight the demons. From that day forward, he vowed to arm whomever he could with enough wisdom to defeat the evil that had arisen.[5]


A sketch of Cain by Adria

More and more townspeople left the village. They did however, receive a newcomer in the form of the witch Adria,[4] whom he met at the Tavern of the Rising Sun.[5] That she was a witch was something she made no secret of, and Cain saw that she had access to arcane knowledge that he didn't. He wondered why she came to Tristram now, of all times, and felt that something was amiss with her.[4] Eventually, he wound up the courage to speak to her,[2] and Adria told Cain that she had come to Tristram to stop Diablo. She shared what she knew of demons, and he offered her stories about the Horadrim, Zoltun Kulle, and other subjects in return.[10] He found her knowledge of mysticism and demonology to be most valuable, and the two spent many nights pouring over the history of the Horadrim,[5] the Mage Clan Wars, the origins of the Zakarum faith, and the Sin War. In particular, she had interest in the Horadrim and tales related to Zoltun Kulle and the Black Soulstone. Adria's curiosity never alarmed Cain, though he suspected that she was looking for some kind of 'truth' among the old stories.[2] Having immersed himself in their lore, Cain began to see himself as a Horadrim.[5]

After Adria's arrival,[4] adventurers began to arrive at Tristram, either to test their mettle against the monsters that plagued it, or to obtain the rumored riches that lay beneath the cathedral.[11] Cain could not consider any of them to be worthy of the name of "hero" however, and remained sequestered away, still scouring the old texts for answers.[4] He did warn them against descending into the cathedral, and one by one, they ignored him. Their screams echoed out from the cathedral's depths.[3]

The Lord of TerrorEdit

"This does not bode well, for it confirms my darkest fears. While I did not allow myself to believe the Ancient Legends, I cannot deny them now. Perhaps the time has come to reveal who I am. My true name is Deckard Cain the Elder, and I am the last descendant of an Ancient Brotherhood that was dedicated to safeguarding the secrets of a timeless Evil. An Evil that quite obviously has now been released."

Cain to the hero(es)(src)
Deckard-Cain Diablo1

Cain in Tristram

The course of events changed with Aidan's return. Cain was impressed that the spoiled boy he'd tutored had returned from war a man, and began to refer to Aidan as "the hero."[3] Aidan was eager to plunge headfirst into the catacombs, but Cain urged caution, given their numbers, and that Aidan would be facing the reanimated bodies of those he had once known. He urged Aidan to let others accompany him, pointing to the likes of Moreina (a Rogue) and Jazreth (a Sorcerer). Aidan consented,[3] and Cain provided advice[8] for Aidan and his allies.[5] As the days passed by, Cain came to accept that it was indeed Diablo who was the root of the evil that plagued Tristram, even if he'd been unable to admit it. Aidan brought him the Staff of Lazarus, further confirming his suspicions. There was now no longer any doubt that Lazarus was the one who kidnapped Albrecht, and perhaps even freed Diablo from his ancient prison. However, he suspected that Lazarus didn't have much longer to live, and Aidan proved him correct.

Events reached a head when, one night, the wail of a child emanated from the depths beneath the cathedral. Cain awoke, and realized that Diablo had met his end. Unable to return to his sleep after such an unsettling cry, Cain ventured outdoors to await Aidan's return. He finally emerged, covered in blood. Cain was glad that Aidan had survived the ordeal, and that the horrible events that had plagued Tristram were behind them. However, he remained troubled, wondering if the recent horrors could have been avoided if he had not dismissed his legacy so lightly.[4]

The Fall of TristramEdit

"How could I have been so blind? I believed my friend's melancholy to be a natural reaction of the horrors he lived. How could I not have seen that he carried within him the very being of Diablo? After brooding for weeks, he finally slipped away in the night. Perhaps he had gone to "the east" that he so often woke screaming about in the days following his victory over the Lord of Terror. Shortly after he left us, legions of foul demons attacked and burned our town to its foundations. None of the townspeople were spared, and not even the women or children were allowed the peace of the grave. Instead, all were reanimated in grisly undeath. And Griswold, who had so faithfully armored the one I had called friend, suffered perhaps the worst fate of all, being corrupted into a slavering demonic beast thirsting after human flesh. This is no simple madness. It can be nothing less than possession by the Lord of Terror himself. The fool, he thought he could contain Diablo's evil. His reckless overconfidence has proven costly to us all. I sit now, caged, amongst the screams and the hellfire, as I await my own end."

Deckard Cain(src)
The defeat of Diablo kickstarted celebrations in Tristram that lasted weeks. Aidan humbly endured them, but Cain could see that the scars he carried weren't just physical.[4] Despite the celebrations, Cain was reserved—the ground was cursed, and he thought it better to just burn the town to the ground. He gathered some books from the cathedral, where he learnt of the existence of the nephalem. To commemorate their victory, Cain addressed the town, and tossed the Staff of Lazarus into a fire. He noted that the fire seemed to 'embrace' the staff, and watched as it emitted green smoke as it burnt, emitting a high, hissing scream as it did so. Eventually the staff was completely incinerated. Afterwards, he discussed matters with Griswold, while out of the corner of his eye, he saw Aidan walking away with Adria.[3]

It was days before Aidan related his experiences to Cain, describing his battle with Diablo in an area that he referred to as "the threshold of Hell itself." He further told Cain of how Diablo had forced him to relive his worst nightmares, and how in killing Diablo, he had killed his brother, Albrecht, whom Diablo had taken as his host. As he reached the end of his tale, Aidan began murmuring "I thought I could contain it" over and over. He rambled further about his "brothers," but Cain interpreted them as meaningless ramblings.[5] He offered Aidan counsel, but he remained distant. However, while Cain thought that Aidan's melancholia was simply a reaction to the horrors he had experienced beneath the cathedral, in truth, he had become enthralled by Diablo himself. The day after his conversation with Cain, Aidan left town. Adria informed him that he had headed east to find mystics that might help him expunge his nightmares. Adria herself left town shortly after Aidan did.[5] Adria's departure filled Cain with a deep and overwhelming sense of loss. He later learned that she had taken Gillian with her into the East.[2]


Cain is imprisoned

Shortly after Adria's departure, and mere weeks after the death of Diablo,[5] a legion of demons attacked the town. The townspeople were slaughtered and reanimated afterwards.[4] Cain was severely wounded,[5] and was placed in a cage as the town burnt and the people were slaughtered, awaiting his own end[4] while he was forced to watch his people die around him.[3] With plenty of time to reflect and mourn, he thought back on Aidan's words—"I thought I could contain it." Cain wondered if he was referring to Diablo, and if so, what were his true intentions in going east?[5]

The Dark WandererEdit

"Although I had long given up hope and surrendered to my inevitable fate, the impossible happened today. I was rescued. Heroes have come to Khanduras to combat the corruption of the man I've come to call the Dark Wanderer has brought upon these lands. He had long since departed on some unknown mission, but they could not follow until they defeated the vile demoness, Andariel, who barred the only passage east. I have decided to join them, in the hopes my knowledge of the ancient ways might be of some help."

Deckard Cain(src)

The heroes find Cain

Although having lost hope, Cain was rescued from his cage by a new group of heroes. They were in pursuit of Aidan, though knew him only as "the Dark Wanderer," and informed Cain of the corruption he had inflicted upon Khanduras. The Wanderer had departed east, but Andariel barred the passage from Khanduras into Aranoch. Cain decided to join them in the hope that his ancient knowledge might be of some help.[4] He shared his fears with them that Diablo was guiding Aidan east to release Mephisto and Baal from their soulstones.

Andariel was slain, and they traveled across Aranoch to Lut Gholein. Though he told no-one, Cain had been marked by Diablo's terror. He often woke up in the night, suffering unholy visions of the destruction of Tristram, the slaughter of its people, and the dark acts carried out beneath the earth. He hoped that they would pass in time, but feared that he would never escape them. While in Lut Gholein, he gathered what information he could about the Wanderer, and while information was scarce, learnt that a man traveled with him named Marius. He could only wonder what part this man played in the Wanderer's goals.[4]

At some point during his travels, Cain learnt that Adria had given birth to a daughter, and that Gillian was raising her in Caldeum. He made a note to come to Caldeum to see her when time permitted.[3]

Cain and his fellows arrived in Aranoch. Valiant as the heroes were, they could not stop the Wanderer from freeing Baal from the Tomb of Tal Rasha. The group assumed that Baal and the Wanderer were now en route to Travincal to free Mephisto. Travelling across the Twin Seas to Kurast, Cain caught a fleeting glimpse of the Wanderer in the jungles that now strangled the area. He simultaneously wept for the man that Aidan had once been, and cursed him for the arrogance that had led him down this path. His companions brought news of their defeat of Mephisto, and that the Wanderer had become completely subsumed by Diablo.[4] He journeyed to Travincal, and was pained greatly in beholding the carnage that the heroes' conflict with Mephisto's thralls had caused. However, he knew that it wasn't over, for if Diablo was able to rally an army in Hell, he would most assuredly return to wreck havoc on Sanctuary. Thus, the heroes plunged through the Infernal Gate, and Cain followed them.[5]

Hall of Heroes

Deckard Cain and a Paladin inside the Pandemonium Fortress

The gateway did not lead into Hell, but instead, to the Pandemonium Fortress. Cain found himself overwhelmed by the place, but remained committed to provide whatever assistance he could to the heroes. It was also here that Cain laid eyes on the archangel Tyrael for the first time, who the heroes had first encountered in the Tomb of Tal Rasha. The heroes plunged down into Hell to destroy Mephisto's soulstone, and defeat Diablo.[5] He found himself unnerved by the fortress, and welcomed the heroes' presence whenever they returned to the fortress.[12]

Lord of DestructionEdit

"Diablo is dead. I have long desired to hear those words, but now that they come, I feel little joy. News has reached us of a demonic army marching upon Arreat. This is Baal's doing, no doubt. We depart for the north with the tide. Still, we must count our blessings: the Soulstones of Mephisto and Diablo have been destroyed in the Hellforge and they will trouble us no further. Only one remains."

Deckard Cain(src)

Cain in Harrogath

The heroes brought Cain news of their defeat of Diablo, along with the destruction of his soulstone (and that of Mephisto's). However, the news brought Cain little joy, as word reached them of a demonic army marching upon Mount Arreat, under the command of Baal. The group departed for the Northern Steppes to help stem the tide. Cain remained in Harrogath while his companions climbed the slopes of Arreat to confront Baal. However, although the heroes succeeded in defeating Baal, it was only after he had corrupted the Worldstone. Cain knew little of the object, but Tyrael had informed the heroes that it had to be destroyed. Cain could only hope that Tyrael was making the right choice.[4] Before he did so however, Tyrael warned him that destroying the Worldstone would leave Sanctuary vulnerable to both Heaven and Hell.[3]


The resulting explosion from the Worldstone destroyed Baal, Tyrael, Mount Arreat, and much of the land around it.[5] Cain and his fellows survived the blast however, and parted ways shortly afterwards. Cain warned the heroes as to what the destruction of the Worldstone could mean for Sanctuary, but the heroes departed, wanting to return to their loved ones and rebuild their lives. Cain supposed he could hardly blame them, but with Tristram destroyed, he had no home to return to. Remembering Tyrael's warning, Cain began searching for information that might aid him in defending the world against the invasion he feared was coming. His focus on the coming invasion caused him to renege on his former promise to see Gillian when time permitted.[3]

At some point after the destruction of the Worldstone, Cain traveled to a burnt out sanitarium, where Marius had been killed by Baal. Marius had been driven mad by his experiences with Diablo, and he'd carved his story into the walls of his cell with his fingernails. They were still legible, despite the damage to Marius's room.[5]


Deckard Cain-DI

Cain in the Forsaken Ruins

Five years after the destruction of the Worldstone, Cain was on the island of Bilefen. He was aided by a new group of heroes[13] within the Forsaken Ruins, where he instructed them to stop a cultist summoning ritual. They succeeded, but he warned them that their task wasn't over, and ordered them to find the source of the corruption.[14]

The OrderEdit

The Secret RepositoryEdit

"Are you really the last of the Horadrim?"
"What I learned, I learned from books. It's a forgotten order. If there were any others left, they would surely be more prepared than I am, and would have made themselves known by now."
"So if you are the last, what then?"
"I must do what I can to stop what is coming to Sanctuary. And pray it is not too late."

Akarat and Cain(src)
Seven years after the destruction of the Worldstone, Cain met the Paladin Akarat in Westmarch. He told him his stories, and they set out into the Borderlands in search for an ancient Vizjerei repository. Recently, before this, Cain had started dreaming about his childhood and his mother's stories, waking up in a cold sweat each night. Regardless, they made their way into the repository, and Cain found himself being reminded of Aidan by Akarat, given their similar youth and naivete. Making his way into the repository, Cain realized that he'd entered a ritual chamber, where Vizjerei had summoned demons into Sanctuary. One demon was still present, and tried to torment Cain, taking the form of Aidan before dividing itself into replicas of Jered and Amelia. Akarat came in and tried to strike the demon with his sword, but it was no use, as it went straight through its body. Akarat might have strength of steel, but he was suffering from the demon's psychological assault even more than Cain, and the demon ended up possessing him. As the demon mocked Cain, it let slip that others had come to the repository before he'd arrived, and hinted as to the true master that he served. Cain was able to reverse the summoning spell that had brought the demon into the world, sending it back to Hell, and with it, Akarat's body.

Cain made his way back to the surface, and found that among the texts he'd scavenged from the repository were Horadric ones. One referred to the Tomb of Al Cut, and the rise of a false leader arising from the ashes after Heaven laid waste to Sanctuary. However, the demon had also mentioned a savior, "hidden among thousands in plain sight, not three days' journey from here." Cain set out for Caldeum, as it matched the distance/travel time the demon had referenced, plus, it would have vast amounts of literature that he could study.[3]


Arriving in Caldeum, Cain went to Gillian's house. To his dismay, he could see that Gillian's experiences in Tristram had taken a toll on her, both physical and psychological. He also kept his eye on Leah, whom he knew to be Adria's daughter. He could also sense that she had some magic about her. Regardless, he asked for Gillian's help in identifying the makers of a replica book he'd found in the depository; the one of Horadric text. Looking at the binding, Gillian mentioned a bookseller named Kulloom. He was confronted with the severity of Gillian's madness, and was wrecked with guilt that he hadn't come sooner.

Cain stayed the night, and the following morning, found Gillian in much better spirits. He set off in search for Kulloom, and was advised to search for him in the Searing Sands Inn. Cain attracted a few stares from people who thought he was of the Zakarum faith, but finding Kulloom, he recognised Cain as just being a wanderer. His impressions of Gillian and Leah were less favorable however. Cain showed him the book he'd found, and Kulloom's mood darkened, telling him of a group that was calling itself Horadrim. As for the book, he opined that it had been bound in Kurast. He offered to make some inquiries, but Cain said he'd go to Kurast himself. To that end, Kulloom told Cain to speak with a man named Hyland. On a final note, Cain asked him if he'd ever heard of a man named Al Cut, but Kulloom responded in the negative.

Cain left the inn, intent on heading for Kurast. However, Kulloom's words about this group of "Horadrim" weighed heavily on him, and he was guilty about leaving Gillian with Leah given the former's state. He doubted that the Horadrim were real (likely just a mage group), but did worry about the Tomb of Al Cut. He spent the rest of the day in the city, searching for any information on a group of mages who might refer to themselves as Horadrim. He had no luck, as people weren't keen on talking to him, especially when he mentioned Kurast. Hours later, with nothing to show for his efforts, he returned to Gillian's house as night began to fall. He found that Gillian's mood resembled that of their first meeting rather than the one earlier in the morning. Cain realized that Gillian was in more dire straits than she'd let on, as she'd lost her job as a barmaid and was low on money. Suddenly, Leah sat up from her bed, though with her eyes closed, she let out a wave of magic that slammed Gillian against a wall. Leah woke up, terrified, and Gillian lost it, screaming about the dead coming for Leah. Cain used some powder to incapacitate both of them.

Left with time to reflect, Cain surmised that Leah had reacted defensively to Gillian. However, the magic she'd used was unlike any he'd seen before, and he knew that without training, Leah could become very dangerous. Cain fell asleep, and when he awoke, realized that Gillian's house was on fire. Cain called out for Gillian, but heard no answer. He found Leah though, who begged him to help save her adoptive mother, but Cain explained that she was likely already dead. A man named James broke down the door and managed to get Cain and Leah out, while men used buckets of water to attempt to extinguish the blaze. James took them to his house, and Cain reflected that given the rumors that already existed about Leah and Gillian, the blaze likely wasn't going to improve their reputation. Gillian was drawn out of her house, but ranted at the crowd, claiming that she'd lit the fire herself to "burn away the sin." She yelled that the world was coming to an end and accused Cain of being a demon. Cain tried to get her to calm down, but failed, and the people were whispering. Gillian eventually calmed down, begging Cain to "make it stop." A nobleman suggested that Gillian be taken to a madhouse. Cain grieved for Gillian, knowing that none of the people could comprehend the horrors Tristram had marked her with, but also knew that there was nothing he could do for her. He told the nobleman that he would take Leah with him, and that he would leave Caldeum at first light. Gillian yelled at Cain, briefly slipping back into madness, before whispering "go to Kurast. They are waiting for you there, Deckard. Your brothers. Take Leah and go, please, and search for Al Cut. It is our only chance." Cain tried to get more out of her, but she was dragged away to the Caldeum Madhouse.

With a heavy heart, Cain returned to James and Leah. He told her that her mother could no longer care for her, and that she had to come with him. Leah remained mute, and Cain said that they would leave immediately.[3]

The Road to KurastEdit

"I'm trying to help you, Leah. But you can' off like that. You must understand that there are things...the road to Kurast is a dangerous one. A child could disappear in an instant, with nobody to witness what happened!"
"Are you trying to frighten me even more?"
"I am simply telling you the truth. It is my way, to speak plainly. There is evil in this world, things you cannot imagine. There are goatmen and demons and creatures even worse than that. It's best to be cautious and prepared."

Cain and Leah(src)
Cain and Leah left Caldeum, travelling down the road to Kurast. While he was concerned about bringing Leah to Kurast, he had to consider the possibility that these Mages who called themselves Horadrim would be found there. They travelled all through the day, exchanging few words, before settling down to camp. Sitting by the fire, Cain told Leah that Gillian wasn't her real mother. Her real mother was Adria, who'd travelled with Gillian to Caldeum and given birth to her there. Leah accused Cain of lying. She ran off into the night, and Cain could sense her magic energy crackling in the air around him. He found her lying motionless and unresponsive on the ground near a river, and carried her back to the fire, where she sat slumped in shock. Eventually she opened up, wanting to know everything. He answered her as best as he could, telling Leah abut how Adria had arrived in Tristram, but that he'd read a report months ago that Adria had perished in the Dreadlands. This brought Leah to tears, but she eventually fell asleep. And likewise, so did Cain.

They set out the next day, not discussing events from the night before. However, Leah noticed the lack of anyone else on the road they were travelling down, and Cain revealed that they were headed for Kurast. Leah, knowing Kurast's reputation, accused Cain of being a Sorcerer, wanting to sacrifice her. Leah ran off, and given his age, Cain had no hope of keeping up with her. He headed on down the road, but found Leah waiting for him at the top of a hill, stating that she had nowhere to go, and no-one to help her. Cain assured her that he was trying to help her, but that she couldn't run off like that. Leah noted that Cain was speaking to her a lot like Gillian had, plainly stating that he was strange and that she didn't like him much. She pointed to a town on the bottom of the hill, wondering if the people there could help them. Cain consulted his map, but found that the town didn't appear on it. Still, he led Leah down the hill to the town.[3]

Lord Brand's ManorEdit

"You are weak, Deckard Cain. You search for others to do your dirty work for you, yet you call yourself Horadrim. Those who put their trust in you have known only pain. The cards speak the truth: chaos and destruction is coming for you, and you will face a final judgment for what you have done."

Lord Brand(src)
By the time they neared the town, night was close. The town guards were suspicious, but stood down with the arrival of Lord Brand. Brand told the pair that they could stay at his manor. Passing through the gates, Cain noted how empty the town's streets were. Only a dozen townsfolk were present, and all of them looked terminally ill. He began to wonder if he and Leah should have taken their chances in the jungle, but it was too late, as Brand led them to his manor. The two were served supper, and Brand inquired about their travels. Cain and Leah remained silent though, and after finishing, Cain evaded answering as to why they were headed for Kurast. He offered Brand payment for the hospitality, but Brand refused, instead offering them a card reading via Taratcha. Afterwards, the two were led up to their rooms, both of them showing symptoms akin to being drugged.

Cain had nightmares before he woke, and when he did awake, found himself in a bare room with his arms and legs immobile. His rucksack and staff were out of reach, and he couldn't see Leah. Brand entered the room and mocked Cain, telling them that he would stay in his manor for now. That his master commanded it. The Hell would destroy the world and the gates of Heaven would fall. That they couldn't stop it, but they might be spared if they sacrificed the girl. On cue, Cain heard a high-pitched scream from the adjacent room. Afterwards, Leah came into his own room, displaying the magic that had previously manifested itself. Cain used her magic to tear Cain's bed to pieces and sent the surrounding cultists flying against the walls. Cain, no longer immobilized, got to his feet, but was unable to wake Leah from her trance. Grabbing her hand, Cain led Leah out of the manor and into the town. The fog was thick, and townspeople crowded around, chanting. However, they were slow and clumsy, and he was able to swing at them with his staff. Looking back at the manor, he saw Brand, and a dismal, one story house in its place. Leah, having returned to her senses, ran. Cain did as well, but lost sight of her in the fog. Someone called out to him, telling him that the girl was safe. Cain slipped into an alley, following the voice. He found a man, along with Leah, and he led them out of the village. Cain recognised him as being a Monk. Heading into the jungle, the Monk told them that his name was Mikulov, and that he had been tracking Cain since Caldeum. They briefly spoke, Mikulov explaining that he had written scrolls written by the Patriarchs and other Ivgorod scholars that warned of a demonic invasion of Sanctuary. Scrolls that were similar to Cain's Horadric texts. Doing the bidding of his gods, he had come to correct an imbalance in the world. Afterwards, Cain and Leah fell asleep.[3]


The following morning, Cain reflected on what the demon had told him in the Vizjerei ruins, that his savior was "so close, hidden among thousands in plain sight, not three days' journey from here." He was wary of putting too much stock in the words of a demon, but he also knew that their lies could be hidden with the truth. Regardless, Mikulov announced that they had to wake Leah and head for Kurast. Cain told Mikulov that he could not take her there—Kurast was no place for a child, and it was a mistake for him to have taken her this far with him. Once he found a home for her, he could get back on the road. Mikulov told him that there was no time for it, that the month of Ratham was only days away. He further explained that he had had visions of hidden chambers underground, filled with the dead. And a man who called himself the Dark One, who in the visions, called the dead to light. The scrolls he possessed spoke of a coming war and the rising of the dead, which would occur on the first day of Ratham. Cain read the scrolls and noted that they were similar to his own, albeit with an exact date. Assuming they were correct, that meant they only had seven days to avert the coming disaster.

Cain reflected on Brand's words, of the master he had claimed to have served. They guessed that this was this "Dark One" that Mikulov spoke of. Mikulov revealed that this Dark One served another evil, and going by its description, Cain recognised it as Belial. He told Mikulov of his encounter with the demon in the tomb, and Mikulov concluded that they had to find the group who called themselves Horadrim. Which left them the issue of Leah. When he raised the issue, she begged him not to leave her. Relenting, Cain announced that they would head for Kurast together.[3]


Cain suffered nightmares on the trip, recalling his imprisonment in Tristram. Finally, they arrived at Kurast and began their search for Hyland. One of the people they met, aghast they'd come to stay here, rambled of people coming from Gea Kul. The man led them to The Red Circle, an inn, where they met Cyrus. They asked him about Hyland, to whom Cyrus was less than positively inclined. However, he told them to head to the docks tomorrow, that Hyland would be there.

The following morning, the three of them headed for the docks. They found Hyland there, trying to rally a crowd, but when Cain mentioned that he had studied the ways of the Horadrim, the crowd turned on them, accusing him of being a Feeder or the Dark One himself. Two men attacked, but Mikulov easily dispatched them. Afterwards, Cain talked with Hyland in a makeshift building that doubled as his 'office.' Cain showed him a Horadric book, and Hyland, after studying it, told Cain that it was likely made by a man who had come to stay in Kurast. A group of young scholars had come here looking for someone who could reproduce some ancient literature, and had found Gareth Rau. Eventually, impressed with the works the scholars had brought him, he joined the order and left Kurast. However, from what Hyland had heard, Rau had been killed by a Sorcerer who was called the Dark One. He further explained that the scholars who had come here spoke of the Horadrim as if they were Horadrim themselves, hence why the people had reacted so negatively, fearing that the Horadrim had been corrupted. The people believed that the Horadric texts, and the magic they contained, had brought the Dark One here.

Hyland told them about the Feeders, and that the people believed the scholars had summoned them into Sanctuary. However, he doubted that the scholars had willingly done this, venturing that they had been corrupted. He showed Cain some sketches he had retrieved from a dying boy. On one of them were the words Al Cut. He warned Cain that if they stayed in Kurast, they might not have to worry about finding more about the Feeders. Chances were they'd see one in person soon enough.[3]

Cain talked to Mikulov about what Hyland had told him. Cain had little doubt that the Dark One was the false leader from the book of Horadric prophecies he'd found in the ruins, and most likely the same man Mikulov had seen in his visions. Also likely the master Lord Brand had served. Mikulov suggested that they head for Gea Kul. They returned to The Red Circle, but Cain shunned the Monk's compnay. He needed to search for answers, and they had only five days left until the 1st of Ratham.[3]

Artifact HuntingEdit


Deckard Cain

Over the next thirteen years, Leah and Cain hunted for artifacts and lore that would help them piece together the Prophecy of the End of Days. Cain also tried to teach her how to control her abilities. His Horadric knowledge formed the basis of his teachings, but it never really helped. Still, he never gave up on her.[15] During this period, Cain carried out research into Adria. He decided to keep what he learned a secret, and hid the truth from Leah.[2] He came to suspect that Leah's father was Diablo.[16] During their travels, they visited the Great Library in Caldeum, though Cain knew that Leah was spending her time exploring the sewers.[5]

Over the years, Leah remained plagued by bad dreams, and Cain too was at times plagued by them. In one dream, he saw angels and demons, and Leah, standing between them, appearing as she would at the age of 21, not as the child that was still beside him. Cain came to learn of the Prophecy of the End of Days; a prediction of the End Times which he came to fear might be inevitable.[5] He would talk about it non-stop, much to Leah's annoyance.[2]

Eventually, after thirteen years of travel and with Leah now a young woman, the two came back to what was left of Tristram, with Cain still in pursuit of the prophecy.[17] When Cain told her they were setting out for New Tristram, Leah began asking about her mother with growing frequency. Cain had expected that this would happen, but still, it vexed him. On the first day of their arrival, Leah sketched a portrait of Adria that filled him with disquiet. Despite having never seen her mother before, Cain was put off by the perfect likeness. He wondered if straying near Adria's hut had awoken some kind of dormant memory. He warned Leah not to linger around the place, but Leah refused to listen. Cain wondered if he could blame Leah for wanting to know more about her mother, and in truth, his thoughts were lingering on Adria as well.[2]

Cain spent his days poring over the tomes and manuscripts found in the ruined cathedral, while Leah could only stand by.[17]

The End of DaysEdit

"It has begun."

Cain, upon seeing the Fallen Star(src)

Cain in the Tristram Cathedral

In 1285, Cain's fears proved justified, as he beheld the coming of the Fallen Star. It hit the cathedral, blasting Cain into the depths of the structure.[17]

After being rescued by a group of heroes, from the ruins of the cathedral, Cain asked them to search for the "fallen star" that nearly destroyed the building, and to battle the mysterious Coven. In doing so, they encountered a stranger; a man without memory.[15] Cain began to realize who the stranger really was, and had suspiscions about the true nature of the heroes that were aiding them.[5]


Cain's last moments

After finding pieces of an ancient and powerful sword, he and Leah were captured by Maghda, the evil witch who led the Coven, who sought the sword for her master Belial. After Maghda tortured Cain with her dark magic, an enraged Leah unleashed her hidden power and killed the cultists. Maghda disappeared, taking the Stranger with her, but the torture proved fatal for Cain. His final act before dying was to use his Horadric arts to repair the sword, revealing it to be of the High Heavens and the Stranger's identity as that of an angel. He then died, and Leah broke down crying.

Although Cain and Leah had only been living in town for about a year, Cain was well liked and respected by everyone. His death brought great sadness and anger among the townsfolk, not to mention hopes for merciless revenge against Cain's murderer.[15]


Cain's body before being cremated

After the Nephalem defeated the Butcher and freed the angel - revealed to be the former Archangel of Justice, Tyrael, Cain was laid to rest on a funeral pyre outside Tristram. Leah and Tyrael paid their final respects before cremating his body, Leah promising to carry on his work.[18]


"My dear Leah. In the inevitable event of my death, may I precede you by many decades to the grave. Do not mourn me, Leah. Despite all I have been through, I have had a long and amazing life. I have died doing exactly what I was meant to do. I have lived and loved freely these long years—and have known only joy at seeing the bright, beautiful woman you've become. I believe that I now go on to a place beyond imagining, though I have no name for it, nor real understanding of where it lies, save beyond the broken bounds of this world."

An excerpt of Cain's last note to Leah(src)
Cain left behind a final note to Leah in his tome,[5] which she took into her own possession.[18] She missed her uncle dearly,[2] and Cain's death was avenged by the Nephalem when they killed Maghda.[19] After Leah's death, Cain's writings passed into Tyrael's hands, and he incorporated them into his own work.[2]



Deckard-Cain Diablo1

Cain near the well in the center of Tristram

Cain appears as an NPC in Tristram. He identifies items for a cost and gives the player(s) background info for quests. Towards the end of the game, Cain reveals his true identity as the last of the Horadrim, and sends the player(s) to destroy both Archbishop Lazarus and Diablo himself.

For his dialogue, see Deckard Cain/Dialogue.

Diablo IIEdit


In Diablo II's Search for Cain quest, Cain is rescued by the player(s), and afterward follows the player through each of the game's Acts. Once Cain has been rescued by the hero(es), he will identify items free of charge. If the player neglects to rescue Cain, the rogues will do so after the Sisters to the Slaughter quest and the player must pay 100 gold for each item identified, though he will still follow the player through each act.

For his dialogue, see Deckard Cain/Dialogue.

Diablo ImmortalEdit

Cain DIportrait

Cain's portrait in Diablo Immortal

Cain appears as an NPC in Diablo Immortal.[20] He is located in the Forsaken Ruins[21] on Bilefen.


Diablo IIIEdit

Cain face

Artwork of Cain in Diablo III

Deckard Cain returns in Diablo III, though only for the game's first act. Additionally, his journal entries can be found, along with his writings that form the basis of many of the game's collectible tomes.

In addition, in the last quest of Act IV, the nephalem has a chance to meet with his spirit in the second level of the Silver Spire. Unfortunately, after insulting the heroes on their choosing to side with Tyrael, the 'spirit' reveals itself to be the Aspect of Hatred. Players can skip him, however, if they feel they are not up to the fight.


Tome This page contains obsolete content
This article contains information that is no longer relevant to gameplay, but is kept here for informational purposes.
Cain was killed off in Diablo III as Blizzard Entertainment wanted to up the emotional stakes, both for Leah and Tyrael, but for the player as well. Additionally, it was intended to carry and undertone of how had he survived Magdha, some of the tragedy of future events might have been averted.[22] Originally, the death was to occur later than it did in the final product, but it didn't seem fitting from a gameplay point of view. As Tyrael and Adria had taken on the role of advisors by this point in the story, there wasn't much for Cain to do at this point. Having Cain be accidentally killed by Leah as per her not being able to control her powers was also considered, but as Maghda has established herself as the "villain of the hour" at this point in the story, this idea was abandoned.[23]

Heroes of the StormEdit

Deckard Cain appears as a support hero in Heroes of the Storm.[24] His appearance appears to be modeled after his Diablo II incarnation, while his abilities draw reference to both Diablo II and Diablo III.

Personality and TraitsEdit

"Sometimes I think that Cain talks too much, but I guess that is his calling in life. If I could bend steel as well as he can bend your ear, I could make a suit of court plate good enough for an Emperor!"

Deckard Cain-HotS

Cain in his more hale years

A kindly[24] and avid scholar, Cain dedicated his life to the pursuit of knowledge[25] and the protection Sanctuary from demonic threats. He had a soft spot for storytelling.[24] At the age of eleven, Cain was narrow across the shoulders. His face was thin and drawn, so he looked older than he really was.[3] At one point in time, Cain had the intent of writing a history of Sanctuary, starting from the myth of Anu and Tathamet.[5] Cain had an innate ability to discern the true nature of many things.[8] He was proficient in sketching[5] and could utilize magic to a limited degree.[3]

Cain was a lonely man, from his days at Tristram, to his last days. Always lost in his books, Adria wrote that Cain was "looking for his purpose by digging through the past." And as such, a man who didn't know himself was too eager to trust.[10] He remained haunted by the physical and psychological wounds he'd suffered at Tristram for the rest of his days. By the end of his life however, Cain had made peace with himself, believing that he had done what he was meant to do.[5]

Cain generally preferred books to people. He could empathize with people, but found himself struggling to offer comfort a lot of the time. He struggled to connect with most children, even as a schoolmaster.[3] However, he had great love for Leah, and regarded her as a daughter. In his final note to her, he wrote that she was "the single greatest joy of my life."[5] He had similar affection for Aidan, though not to the same extent.[3]

Cain always prayed that the angels would one day actively fight on mankind's behalf, but carried some resentment towards them, claiming that they had never helped humanity as much as they could have. Auriel, for her part, considered Cain to be a validation of her belief in the worth of mankind.[3] He believed in the existence of an afterlife, one beyond the reach of Heaven and Hell, and that when he died (and presumably, all humans), he would go there. He believed that given humanity's propensity for both good and evil, it was clear that the 'essence' of their nephalem ancestors remained in them, as taken from angels and demons. He wondered if it might be possible for mankind to become something more, and suspected (correctly) that the powers of the nephalem might again manifest themselves within humanity. However, he also believed that mysticism and rationalism were two competing ideologies that humans would always be torn between.[5]

Cain was not normally given to hysterics. He considered his greatest strength to be his measured, calm approach to crises.[3]


This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
Deckard Cain-HotS2

Deckard Cain's 3D render from Heroes of the Storm.

  • Cain was named after the winner of PC Gamer's Name in the Game contest. The winner received a copy of the game and a commissioned Diablo statue.[26]
  • The Awakening lists Cain's birth as occurring in 1213 (through relative age). Book of Tyrael revised this to be in 1202. The Order gives Cain's year of birth as being 1202 through relative dating, but also 1213 later in the text.
  • In gossip from Act V of Diablo II, Cain mentions spending time with the Horadrim. This appears to have been retconned by The Order, where Cain's experience with the Horadrim was limited to his mother.
  • Cain has a British accent.
  • In Overwatch, a cheque signed by Cain can be found in the game's Route 66 map. The cheque contains a scannable barcode. If scanned, it returns the message "Cain Lives." The cheque itself is also dated 5/15/12 (the date of Diablo III's release).
  • Cain's "stay awhile and listen" voiceover can be heard in the Tristram Cathedral ride in the Blizzard World map in Overwatch.



  1. 2018-04-07, HEROES DEVELOPER INTERVIEW FROM PAX EAST. Blizzpro, accessed on 2018-04-10
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Book of Tyrael
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 The Order
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 Deckard Cain's Journal
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 Book of Cain
  6. Diablo, Chamber of Bone
  7. Diablo II, Lord of Destruction
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Diablo
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named CainJornal
  10. 10.0 10.1 Book of Adria: A Diablo Bestiary
  11. Diablo II Manual
  12. Diablo II, The Harrowing
  13. 13.0 13.1 2018-11-05, BlizzCon 2018 Diablo Immortal Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2018-11-09
  14. 2018-11-10, DIABLO IMMORTAL: Barbarian / Monk / Wizard Gameplay [Blizzcon Demo - First Look (Part 4)]. YouTube, accessed on 2018-11-22
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Diablo III, Act I
  16. Diablo III, Act III
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Diablo III, Act I Intro Cinematic
  18. 18.0 18.1 Diablo III, Act II Intro
  19. Diablo III, Act II
  20. 2018-11-03, BlizzCon 2018: Diablo Immortal. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2018-11-04
  21. 2018-11-19, BlizzCon 2018 Diablo Immortal The Bilefen Map. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2018-11-22
  22. 2013-12-08, BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III Lore and Story Q&A Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-03-26
  23. 2014-05-19, More Info From The Anniversary Dev Stream. Diablo, accessed on 2014-05-20
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 2018-04-05, Heroes of the Storm: Deckard Cain Spotlight. YouTube, accessed on 2018-04-06
  25. Deckard, Heroes of the Storm. Accessed on 2018-04-06
  26. Imgur, accessed on 2014-05-21
Diablo I NPCs
DiabloAdriaDeckard CainFarnhamGillianGriswoldKael RillsOgdenPepinTremain (cut) • Wirt
HellfireCelia (cut) • Complete Nut (cut) • Lester
Deckard CainJacob StaalekJinJosenLeahValla
Diablo III NPCs
Act I
Adenah the Curio Vendor
Arghus the Collector
Beleaguered Farmer
Brother Malachi the Healer
Bron the Barkeep
Captain Rumford
Crazed Hermit
Deckard Cain
Ghost of the Cow King
Ghostly Woman
Kyr the Weaponsmith
Lloigor the Crazed
Mayor Holus
Mira Eamon
Nek the Brawler
Queen Asylla
Radek the Fence
Rodger the Alchemist
Tashun the Miner
The Ferryman
Vendel the Armorsmith
Wandering Tinker
Willa Rathe
Wounded Man
Act II
Captain Davyd
Ghaine the Healer
Hakan II
Iron Wolf Jarulf
Javad the Merchant
Lieutenant Vachem
Lugo the Miner
Mehtan the Necromancer
Nek the Brawler
Sadeir the Innkeeper
Silmak the Fence
Squirt the Peddler
Tilnean the Collector
Zaven the Alchemist
Zoltun Kulle
Andreus the Healer
Botulph the Miner
Former Mayor Holus
Garell the Quartermaster
Halmin the Alchemist
Hansen Haile
Ironsmith Maldonado
Lieutenant Clyfton
Lieutenant Lavail
Lieutenant Merityn
Litton the Fence
Messenger Martyns
Nek the Brawler
Private Mattius
Sergeant Burroughs
Sergeant Dalen
Sergeant Pale
Vidar the Collector
Act IV
Andreus the Healer
Botulph the Miner
Garell the Quartermaster
Litton the Fence
Nek the Brawler
Act V
Captain Vonn
Diadra the Scholar
General Torion
Lorath Nahr
Master Crusader
Master Necromancer Ordan
Mehtan the Necromancer
Nek the Brawler
Patriarch Anisim
Powell the Miner
Sergeant Samuels
Zayl (Humbart Wessel)
Adventure Mode
Abd al-Hazir
Dane Bright
Daivin the Adventurer
High Cleric
King Kanai
Lorath Nahr
Quentin Sharpe
The Crazed Man
Covetous Shen
Haedrig Eamon
Myriam Jahzia
Zoltun Kulle (Kanai's Cube)
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