Demons are evil entities native to the Burning Hells, and are the primary enemies of the Diablo series. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can wield a wide range of magical powers depending on their type. They propagate and serve to spread pure chaos, making them diametrically opposed to the Angels of the High Heavens (who stand for Order and fight for the Light). The never-ending war between Angels and Demons is known as the Eternal Conflict.
The Demons of the Burning Hells are ruled by the seven greatest demons: the Great Evils of Anguish, Pain, Lies, Sin, Hatred, Destruction and Terror.
CharacteristicsDemons are bloodthirsty, vicious monsters who only care about being more powerful than the ones they deem weak. Unlike the angel's order and discipline, demons are rampant and unorganized. In battle, they relentlessly attack their enemies with brute force. Some are very small like Imps, or very large like Siegebreaker Assault Beasts. Demons usually use claws, talons, or fangs to rip apart enemies they fought during battle. Demons can also sustain a large amount of pain and wounds before dying. Demons, unlike angels, are physical beings, and when they die stay where they are. Demon blood has been seen in strange colors, like purple, green, and orange. It is also important to note that Undead are not demons.
Demons can crossbreed to almost any other race: there have been precedents of demons mating angels (most notably Inarius and Lilith), humans (Lady Victoria and, to some extent, Leah are the recent examples of such hybrids) and even Ancient Beasts of Pandemonium (Deckard Cain believed that Barbed Lurkers are partially demonic creatures).
The souls of deceased demons are always reborn in Hell.
There are some cults in Sanctuary that worship demons, most notable the Triune and Dark Coven. While the Triune worked more in the shadows, the Dark Coven outright attacks towns and forces the people to do their work. Both cults worship a Great Evil.Lucion, Lilith's brother, during the Sin War in order to lead humanity to the forces of Hell. At first they seem kind and compassionate, but then reveal their true intentions to their recruits, darkening their hearts. They worshipped three "spirits", which are actually the Prime Evils themselves. The Triune was destroyed by Uldyssian and his nephalem followers.
- Dialon, Spirit of Determination: Dialon was represented as a stubborn ram, and was believed to bring purpose to humanity. In truth, worshippers of Dialon were really worshipping Diablo, Lord of Terror.
- Bala, Spirit of Creation: Bala is represented as a leaf, and taught the ways of nature and architectural triumphs of humanity. In truth, worshippers of Bala were really worshipping Baal, Lord of Destruction.
- Mefis, Spirit of Love: Mefis is represented as a red circle the Kehjani symbol of the heart. Mefis taught the ways of love and kindness, and the Primus would often say how vital Mefis would be to Creation and Determination. In truth, worshippers of Mefis worshipped Mephisto, Lord of Hatred.
The Dark Coven's origins are unknown, but they appear to be a new version, if not remnants, of the Triune. The Coven is led by the witch Maghda. However, it should be noted that the Dark Coven worships specifically and only Belial, the Lord of Lies, and as such it cannot be considered an extension of the Triune.
Presence in Sanctuary
Demons cannot exist naturally in Sanctuary and must be summoned through a magical ritual. Their spirits cannot usually manifest itself, so they require mortal hosts in order to take shape. Dark Cultists often summon up demons from the Burning Hells to serve them in battle. Thralls, after killed, are banished back to Hell after they have been defeated.
The Sin War
During the Sin War, when Mephisto and the renegade angel Inarius sought to lure man to the forces of dark and light, demons battled the High Heavens relentlessly to gain control. This kept on until Uldyssian made the factions have a brief truce, for the sake of humanity.
During the events of Diablo I, when the Lord of Terror had possessed the King of Tristram, Leoric, demons were attacking the small town and attempting to gain entrance to the Tristram Cathedral. He then later gains control of Prince Albrecht, after Archbishop Lazarus impales him with Diablo's soulstone. Diablo then summons countless hordes of demons, making the town an outpost for the Demonic Legion. He doesn't stop there, and summons demons to attack the town, as well as freeing his brothers, Baal and Mephisto. The hero then fights his way through the hordes until he reaches the cathedral. There, he kills the rest of the demons and traps Diablo by shoving the soulstone of Diablo into his forehead.
In Diablo II, the Dark Wanderer summons a group of demons inside a tavern; Marius, the narrator of the story, witnesses the attack and decides to follow him. Diablo leaves groups of demons to slow the group of heroes trying to find and kill him. He also enlists the two Lesser Evils, Duriel and Andariel, to protect him from the heroes. When Baal is freed, Diablo begins to wrest control of the Burning Hells from the upstart lesser evils that had banished the three brothers.Sescheron. He kills a Barbarian guarding it, and the demons storm the fortress and raze it to the ground. He continues to lead his army on a murderous rampage across the land to Mount Arreat, and lays siege to Harrogath. The Lord of Destruction leads his army into the mountain, where he hopes to corrupt the Worldstone and end the Great Conflict with Hell victorious.
Twenty years after the destruction of the Worldstone, Sanctuary is preparing for a full invasion from the Burning Hells. But it never happens; attracting the interest of Deckard Cain to find out why. Belial, the Lord of Lies, leads his Dark Coven and a portion of the Demonic Legion, and besieges Caldeum. Belial is later killed and trapped in the Black Soulstone by a group of nephalem. Azmodan, the Lord of Sin, then realizes the power of the Black Soulstone and breaks the Demonic Legion out from Arreat Crater to obtain it. He is later thwarted by the same group of nephalem that killed Belial. The victory is short lived because Adria the Witch reveals that Leah, her daughter, is also the daughter of Diablo. Adria then forces the Black Soulstone into Leah who becomes Diablo "The Prime Evil"; Diablo (or Tathamet reborn) then opens a portal to The High Heavens and proceeds to wound the Archangel Imperius and destroy the Diamond Gates, leading the full force of the Demonic Legion into the Silver City. Diablo attempted to corrupt the Crystal Arch but was killed later by the Nephalem, defeating the forces of hell.
With the Prime Evil defeated the demons were left largely leaderless. The Demons remaining in Sanctuary continue to be a threat, though far less so then before. Malthael took the Black Soulstone, altering and using it to trap all demonic essence within it, planning to end the Eternal Conflict. During his battle with the Nephalem, Malthael shattered the stone, absorbing Diablo's soul to gain more power. His death at the hands of the Nephalem freed all the souls he had absorbed, unwittingly freeing the Prime Evil as well.
HistoryDemons originate from the Black Abyss or are spawned within the Hells themselves. It is not known how the first demons came into being, but it is revealed that other entities - even humans - can eventually become demons (see the Goatman article for instance). Demons have been in creation ever since Tathamet was killed and his body became the foundation for Hell. Demons are enlisted in the Demonic Legion, serving their masters with a bloodthirsty appetite for battle and blood. The demonic armies usually greatly outnumber the opposing force, but are very unorganized because of their bloodthirsty behavior. There are thousands of different kinds of demons, ranging in size from a small imp to a massive Siegebreaker Assault Beast.
Powers and Abilities
Most demons can only use weapons to fight, but other demons, like Demonic Hell-Bearers, can scale walls and spew out more forces to combat enemies. Many larger demons are used to decimate forces so smaller troops can get into enemy lines. Demons like the Butcher are very skilled in different weapons, such as chains or swords. Some demons, like Serpent Magi, are gifted in magic and can teleport and cast spells. The Great Evils are much more powerful than normal demons, and they can bend them to their will. Arreat Crater Flyers have the ability to soar above the enemy with their wings.
The Great Evils are manifestations of the beast Tathamet, and they lead demons into battle against the High Heavens. The Triune worships these demons as gods, along with the Dark Coven. The evils can only be permanently killed if they are trapped in a soulstone and it is smashed. Otherwise, they will simple respawn in Hell. If they are killed in Hell as well, then the Black Abyss will merely recreate and return them to Hell.
There are officially seven known de facto leaders of demonkind, the three Prime Evils and the four Lesser Evils (each of them representing an aspect of infernal proportions), although other demonic overlords are known to exist as well.
The Prime Evils
Commonly known as "The Three" or sometimes "The Brothers", they were the most powerful demons in Hell until the Dark Exile. Mephisto is the eldest, followed by Baal, and finally Diablo.
- Diablo, Lord of Terror - Youngest brother and doubtlessly the most powerful.
- Mephisto, Lord of Hatred - Oldest brother and arguably the most intelligent.
- Baal, Lord of Destruction - Middle brother and generally the most chaotic.
The Lesser Evils
- Azmodan, Lord of Sin - Regarded to be the greatest military tactician in the Burning Hells, but falls short on that claim as evidenced by his stupidity in his invasion of Sanctuary. He is the last Evil to be defeated and subsequently trapped in the Black Soulstone. His chief lieutenant is either Cydaea or Ghom.
- Belial, Lord of Lies - Implied to be the most deceptive of all demons, he prefers manipulating others into doing the dirty work for him. He secretly takes over Caldeum through the boy emperor but is evidently defeated through simply combat and trapped in the Black Soulstone. His chief lieutenant was either Maghda or Xazax.
- Duriel, Lord of Pain - Alternatively known as the Maggot King (an indication of his lordship over insects and the like with his physical form resembling that of a giant bug), he is the "twin" brother of Andariel. He is summoned from the Burning Hells and forced to guard the entrance to Baal's prison in the true Tomb of Tal Rasha wherein Tyrael is imprisoned. Twenty years later, his soul is imprisoned within the Black Soulstone. His chief lieutenant was Coldworm the Burrower, who is said to be the Maggot Queen thus perhaps implying that the two were mates.
- Andariel, Maiden of Anguish - Alternatively known as the Demon Queen (a metaphorical allusion to her status as the first female Evil), she is the "twin" sister of Duriel. Her concurrent domain in the mortal realm is the Rogue Monastery which she took over after corrupting Blood Raven and assaulting the Sisterhood. She later sides with Diablo after finding out that he has revived himself and is the first Evil to be defeated in the series and trapped in the Black Soulstone. Her chief lieutenant was likely Rakanoth.
There have been many plots to overthrow the Evils, and none were successful with the sole exception of the Dark Exile. Even then, people say that the latter was actually masterminded by Diablo himself all along. Many of these attempts were orchestrated by Evils themselves (against other Evils), and some demons, like Fallen, were changed beyond recognition as result of such attempts.
"Long ago, the Heralds of Pestilence were once lesser demons who rebelled against Azmodan. The Lord of Sin vanquished them easily, but instead of slaying them, he granted each one a long arm infested with a poison that could kill anything but Azmodan himself. The heralds have been plague-riddled menaces ever since."— Deckard Cain(src)
These demons once tried to overthrow Azmodan, but failed. Instead of killing them, Azmodan gave them each a single long arm that could harm anything but the Lord of Sin himself.
Kabraxis was one of the most powerful demons in the Burning Hells. Because of his intelligence and uncanny patience, Diablo and his brothers saw him as a threat and had him sealed. So far, he is the only known demon that can remain in the mortal realm without a host even if he is killed.
The KhazraThe Khazra, or "Goatmen" are a lesser form of demon. They were once human, until the powerful Vizjerei turned them into satyrs during the Mage Clan Wars. They now serve under the seven lords of Hell, and inhabit many areas around New Tristram.
Some Khazra, like Serpent Magi, are gifted in magic and the spiritual arts, sometimes even in magic. The Khazra are agile, quick, and efficient in melee and ranged combat. They wield long, deadly polearms that can be fatal if stricken with. They like to travel in packs, so they can overpower the opponent. Khazra are described as sluggish and filthy beasts.
The Khazra are divided into many different clans, and they often war with each other over resources or land. The following are the clans of the goatmen:
"Though I have searched every corner of the Great Library of Caldeum, I can find no references to the true fate of the Blood Clan khazra. Some crumbling papers hint that they made a pact to serve the mythical Lesser Evils, but surely such a thing cannot be considered proper scholarship... can it?"— Abd al-Hazir(src)
"Some time ago, I revealed that the khazra, or goatmen, were originally humans until the Vizjerei corrupted them. For many years these creatures were simple and lethargic. These days have ended. Khazra attacks are widely reported, and the number of fatalities is higher than anything in my records..."— Abd al-Hazir(src)
Hellflyers are a very special kind of demons, bred by Azmodan himself. After many victories for the Heavenly Host against Azmodan's forces, he wanted to design a demon that could soar through the air and reach the angels. The outcome was the Hellflyer, which had long wings, sharp teeth, and rigid claws that were powerful enough to rip angels apart. Some Hellflyers set their wings on fire. Hellflyers first appear in Act III of Diablo III.
"The Morlu were once men, great warriors of old. But each of them had darkness within his soul, and Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred, used this flaw to trick them into his service. Mephisto's fury slowly burned away their mortal forms, leaving them fiery apparitions who know no pain, fear, or doubt."— Deckard Cain(src)
The Morlu were once great warriors of men. However, Mephisto, Lord of Hatred, saw the darkness in their hearts. Mephisto then corrupted them and recruited the warriors into his ranks. His fury blew away their mortal forms, turning them into vicious demons. The Morlu then became great warriors of Hell, and some were gifted with sorcery. The Morlu now serve in Diablo's portion of the Legion. Morlu appear in Act IV of Diablo III, and serve Diablo in the Fall of the High Heavens.
Enslaved Nightmares are another example of humans turned to demons by the corruption influence, this time by the demonic magic. It is believed that these creatures are sorcerers who tapped into forbidden powers. They appear in Act IV of Diablo III.
There are no ranks in Hell, except for the Great Evils. However, there are many important demons worth mentioning: they are either incredibly powerful, or unusually loyal to their masters and, consequently, trusted by them.
- Assur - Leader of demons in Demonsbane, Diablo's favorite
- Astrogha - Fought in the Sin War
- Gulag - Servant of Baal; killed by Uldyssian
- Lilith - Daughter of the Prime Evil Mephisto and sister of the demon Lucion. Led demon rebels into the void and created Sanctuary with the Worldstone. Mother of the Nephalem and Succubus Queen.
- Lucion - Son of Mephisto and brother of Lilith. Led the Triune into the world and was killed by Uldyssian
- Xazax - Transforms an army of mortals into demons. Diablo kills him because of his power.
- Thonos - Summoned by Lilith to kill Achilios and Uldyssian, killed by Achilios
- Hephasto - Works at the Hellforge
- Kabraxis - Extremely powerful demon; rivaled the Three
- Shenk - Commander of Baal's siege of Sescheron
- Cydaea, Maiden of Lust - Azmodan's consort, Sin Lieutenant, killed by a group of nephalem
- Ghom, Lord of Gluttony - Sin Lieutenant, kills anything in its path, killed by a group of nephalem
- The Butcher - Type of powerful demon, one was killed by a group of nephalem in Leoric's Manor
- Mallet Lord - A very powerful type of demon, just below the Prime and lesser evils in their power.
- Iskatu - Diablo's most trusted and powerful Terror Demon.
- Rakanoth - Lord of Despair, who changed his affiliation over time.
Demons are more or less encountered in nearly every location of Diablo III. Bonus effects against Demons are less common than in the second game, but still exist: for example, Tyrael's Might. The only Act that has less Demons than other enemies is Act V.
- ↑ Diablo III, Enraged Phantasm Lore
- ↑ 2013-12-08, BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III Lore and Story Q&A Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-04-21