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"From the very moment of the existence, the High Heavens and the Burning Hells clashed in the Eternal Conflict, an apocalyptic war for dominion over all creation."


The Eternal Conflict (a.k.a. "Great Conflict") is the name for the war between the forces of the High Heavens and Burning Hells. It has since spilled over into the mortal realm.

Only a few angels and demons have ever questioned their purpose in the Eternal Conflict. Fewer still have acted upon it.[1]


"There is a war that rages on even now, beyond the fields that we know--between the utopian kingdoms of the high heavens and the chaotic pits of the burning hells. This war is known as the great conflict, and it has raged and burned longer than any of the stars in the sky. Neither side ever gains sway for long as the forces of light and darkness constantly vie for control over all creation."

The Great Conflict (excerpt)(src)

Early History

"All worlds will fall before the burning standards of Hell. I have seen it."


Angels and demons do battle

The Eternal Conflict is as ancient as Creation itself, with Heaven and Hell vying for dominion. On one side were the angels of the High Heavens, led by the Angiris Council, who believed that only absolute order could govern the realms. Opposing them were the demons of Hell, led by the Prime Evils, who claimed that darkness and chaos were at the center of all things.[2]

The war was most commonly fought in the realm of Pandemonium, as both sides fought for control of the Worldstone. It is said that whoever controlled the Worldstone had the ability to shape reality and create life and worlds almost without restriction. Angels used the stone to create worlds of perfect order in line with their ideals. Demons used it to create engines of annihilation and worlds of destruction, terror, and hatred. However, none of the worlds, regardless of their maker, ever flourished, and were doomed to wither and die due to the war.[3] Some worlds were put to the torch as both sides sought control of the Worldstone.[4]

At some point, the archangel Tyrael ordered a bastion to be built around the Worldstone. This stronghold came to be known as the Pandemonium Fortress. It changed hands many times over the course of the conflict and as such, its structural and metaphysical traits of both demons and angels.[3] Over time, the Worldstone itself became 'poisoned' by Heaven and Hell, per their desire to control the relic.[5]

Tyrael confronts demons

At times, the war would reach Heaven and Hell itself. The Diamond Gates of the High Heavens were assailed at least five times,[6] but the gates themselves were never breached. Likewise, angels assaulted Hell. One such assault was made against Mephisto himself in his own realm, and another against the Hellforge himself, where Izual was lost. But while the Great Conflict burned hotter and longer than any of the stars in the sky, neither side could gain dominion over the other for long. Both factions sought some way to turn the tides of the war to their favor.[7]

Disappearance of the Worldstone

While the armies of Heaven and Hell clashed, Inarius and Lilith were disgruntled and disillusioned by this unending conflict, both seeking a way out of it. They led a renegade group of like-minded angels and demons to steal the Worldstone and used it to create a world of their own, where angels and demons can co-exist peacefully away from the Eternal Conflict and soon bore the nephalem.

The disappearance of the Worldstone soon caught the attention of both Heaven and Hell, puzzled on how such a powerful item to create worlds disappeared without a trace.[3]

The Sin War

Eventually the forces of Hell learned about Sanctuary. Not wanting to attract Heaven's attention, they worked in secret to try and corrupt humanity via the Triune reasoning that their potential would allow them to finally break the deadlock in the Great Confict. They were opposed by Inarius, although both Inarius and Lucion were defeated by Uldyssian. The High Heavens found out about Sanctuary and moved to destroy it. Eventually Uldyssian's heroic sacrifice drove both armies back and resealed humanity's potential. After the Heaven's voted to spare sanctuary a truce was reached with the Burning Hells; both factions would respect Sanctuary's right to exist. However, the Prime Evils had no intention of honoring the truce.[3] From then onward, Hell (or at least the Prime Evils) were more interested in corrupting humanity than taking to the battlefield directly.[8]


This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
  • A "Second Great Conflict" was referenced in the Diablo Writer's Bible in 2000, where paragraphs outlined that in a battle between order and chaos, powerful heroes would emerge.[10] This bears resemblance to the rise of the Nephalem in the released version of Diablo III, though dialogue within the game places the game's events within the scope of the same Eternal Conflict, rather than a separate one.


  1. Book of Adria: A Diablo Bestiary
  2. 2021-09-17, DIABLO II: THE STORY SO FAR. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2021-09-24
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Book of Cain
  4. Diablo III, Act II, Unexpected Allies
  5. 2018-11-02, Diablo Immortal Cinematic Trailer. YouTube, accessed on 2018-04-11
  6. Diablo III, Act IV
  7. Diablo Manual
  8. Diablo III, Act III, Machines of War
  9. 2015-06-07, Blizzard announce the Eternal Conflict. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2015-06-13
  10. 2015-09-20, I'm the author of Garwulf's Corner and Fooling Garwulf - want to ask me a question?. The Escapist, accessed on 2015-09-20