- "Good day! How may I serve you?"
Gillian grew up in Tristram with Canace. In her youth, she played with Jered Cain. She grew up hearing various stories, such as that of the Anvil of Fury from Griswold's father and boys discussing the tale of the armor of Arkaine. Her mother died prior to the Darkening of Tristram—Lazarus spoke at her funeral.
The Darkening of Tristram
- "I don't like to think about how the King died. I like to remember him for the kind and just ruler that he was. His death was so sad and seemed very wrong, somehow."
—Gillian on Leoric's death
During the Darkening of Tristram, Gillian was in her late teens. A shadow fell over King Leoric and he began behaving erratically, terrorizing his people and launching an ill advised war against Westmarch. In the midst of this, his son, Prince Albrecht disapeared, which sent him into a rage, and spurring his remaining knights to turn against him. Gillian was unaware of the identity of the one who slew the king, but heard of his death regardless. She was saddened by the event, and tried to remember Leoric for the man he once was.
Lazarus led the townsfolk into the depths of the Tristram Cathedral in an effort to find Albrecht. Few returned, as they were set upon by demons. Canace passed away after her son Wirt's injuries, inflicted in the depths of the cathedral. Gillian believed that Canace died from a broken heart due to the adverse effects the experience had on Wirt's personality. Farnham mentioned something about a Butcher killing people, but she discounted it. Nonetheless, conditions worsened. and Gillian suffered from horrific nightmares, due to the evil that had taken root beneath the cathedral.
Ogden and his wife gave her a job and residence (along with her grandmother) at the Tavern of the Rising Sun, paying her a few gold pieces. Gillian took on a fair share of the work, which ran through the daylight hours. She was very grateful for their generosity, however, and hoped that one day she could leave and help them start a grand hotel in the East. However, her grandmother was too ill to travel, so she was committed to remaining in Tristram. Ogden begged her to leave, telling her that she would look after Gillian's grandmother, but she refused to do so.
Gillian's grandmother had a dream that a hero would appear before her during the Darkening of Tristram. This came to pass as Prince Aidan and two other heroes would be the trinity that defeated Diablo, who had been responsible for the horrors that had afflicted Tristram.
Into the East
- ""To think I was once afraid of Adria. She is going to take me to Caldeum! I never thought to see it with my own eyes...Though it saddens me to leave Ogden and his wife, Adria assures me that she will find a cure for my nightmares."
—Gillian in her diary
After Diablo's defeat, Ogden and Garda offered to let Gillian and her grandmother stay with them. She considered the proposal, and was inclined to take the offer. However, she was still afflicted by nightmares. She hoped they would fade, but they seemed to be getting stronger. She ended up refusing Ogden's offer and traveled with the witch Adria to Caldeum. It saddened her to leave Ogden and Garda, but Adria assured her that she would find a cure for her nightmares.
Gillian's departure with Adria saved her life, as not long after their departure, Tristram was sacked by demons, its inhabitants butchered. In Caldeum, Adria gave birth to a girl, which she named Leah. The infant was left in Gillian's care, and after casting a protective spell around Gillian's new home, Adria departed on a mysterious errand.
Whispers of Madness
- "They're watching. They're everywhere. They want you, Leah, and if they find you, you're never coming back from that. Never. Understand?"
—Gillian to Leah
Gillian raised Leah as her daughter, Leah believing that Gillian was her biological mother. Gillian refused to talk about her father. Like Gillian, Leah experienced numerous dreams, and Gillian warned her not to confuse them with reality. The two were originally close, and Gillian would take Leah with her into the market, and buy her the occasional treat. Over the years however, Gillian's mind began to slip due to the horrors she had experienced in Tristram. Eight years after Tristram's destruction however, Gillian, in Leah's view, had slipped even further into madness. Coming home one day, Leah watched as her 'mother' seemed to talk as if other individuals were present, whispering of the restless dead and demons.
The same night, Deckard Cain arrived at Gillian's Residence. Cain voiced his fears of a coming invasion from Belial and Azmodan, but Gillian couldn't take it, letting her frustrations boil over. She confessed that she feared Leah, even more than she'd feared Adria back in Tristram.
Wirt has a crush on her in Diablo I, as he reveals to the Hero that he would like to take Gillian away with him when he leaves the town, as well as 'showering gold and riches' upon her. He also mentions a secret project that requires 'a great deal of gold' to the Hero; whether this means setting Gillian up for life or financing some other scheme is not revealed. Sadly, Wirt is killed in Diablo II and is not able to reach this lofty goal. Gillian, on the other hand, while sympathizing with Wirt's previous traumatic experiences, only sees Wirt as "a mean spirited youngster," but harbors memories of Wirt's deceased mother, Canace, as they grew up together.
Gillian also states that she would love to repay Ogden and his wife for their kindness for taking her and her ailing grandmother in and letting her work at the inn by helping them to set up a grand hotel in the East, should the opportunity ever arise.
- Good day! How may I serve you?
- The woman at the edge of town is a witch! She seems nice enough, and her name, Adria, is very pleasing to the ear, but I am very afraid of her.
- It would take someone quite brave, like you, to see what she is doing out there.
- My grandmother had a dream that you would come and talk to me. She has visions, you know and can see into the future.
- Our Blacksmith is a point of pride to the people of Tristram. Not only is he a master craftsman who has won many contests within his guild, but he received praises from our King Leoric himself - may his soul rest in peace. Griswold is also a great hero; just ask Cain.
- Cain has been the storyteller of Tristram for as long as I can remember. He knows so much, and can tell you just about anything about almost everything.
- Farnham is a drunkard who fills his belly with ale and everyone else's ears with nonsense.
- I know that both Pepin and Ogden feel sympathy for him, but I get so frustrated watching him slip farther and farther into a befuddled stupor every night.
- Pepin saved my grandmother's life, and I know that I can never repay him for that. His ability to heal any sickness is more powerful than the mightiest sword and more mysterious than any spell you can name. If you ever are in need of healing, Pepin can help you.
- I grew up with Wirt's mother, Canace. Although she was only slightly hurt when those hideous creatures stole him, she never recovered. I think she died of a broken heart. Wirt has become a mean-spirited youngster, looking only to profit from the sweat of others. I know that he suffered and has seen horrors that I cannot even imagine, but some of that darkness hangs over him still.
- Ogden and his wife have taken me and my grandmother into their home and have even let me earn a few gold pieces by working at the inn. I owe so much to them, and hope one day to leave this place and help them start a grand hotel in the east.
Gossip (About Gillian)
- Adria: Corruption has the strength of deceit, but innocence holds the power of purity. The young woman Gillian has a pure heart, placing the needs of her matriarch over her own. She fears me, but it is only because she does not understand me.
- Deckard Cain: Gillian is a fine woman. Much adored for her high spirits and her quick laugh, she holds a special place in my heart. She stays on at the tavern to support her elderly grandmother who is too sick to travel. I sometimes fear for her safety, but I know that any man in the village would rather die than see her harmed.
- Farnham: The gal who brings the drinks? Oh, yeah. what a pretty lady. So nice, too!
- Griswold: Gillian is a nice lass. Shame that her gammer is in such poor health or I would arrange to get both of them out of here on one of the trading caravans.
- Ogden: Gillian, my Barmaid? If it were not for her sense of duty to her grand-dam, she would have fled from here long ago. Goodness knows I begged her to leave, telling her that I would watch after the old woman, but she is too sweet and caring to have done so.
- Pepin: Ogden's barmaid is a sweet girl. Her grandmother is quite ill, and suffers from delusions. She claims that they are visions, but I have no proof of that one way or the other.
- Wirt: If I were a few years older, I would shower her with whatever riches I could muster, and let me assure you I can get my hands on some very nice stuff. Gillian is a beautiful girl who should get out of Tristram as soon as it is safe. Hmmm... maybe I'll take her with me when I go...
- The Butcher: When Farnham said something about a butcher killing people, I immediately discounted it. But since you brought it up, maybe it is true.
- Poisoned Water: My grandmother is very weak, and Garda says that we cannot drink the water from the wells. Please, can you do something to help us?
- Skeleton King: I don't like to think about how the King died. I like to remember him for the kind and just ruler that he was. His death was so sad and seemed very wrong, somehow.
- Ogden's Sign: Oh my! Is that where the sign went? My Grandmother and I must have slept right through the whole thing. Thank the Light that those monsters didn't attack the inn.
- Magic Rock: Well, a caravan of some very important people did stop here, but that was quite a while ago. They had strange accents and were starting on a long journey, as I recall. I don't see how you could hope to find anything that they would have been carrying.
- Arkaine's Valor: The story of the magic armor called Valor is something I often heard the boys talk about. You had better ask one of the men in the village.
- Chamber of Bone: I am afraid that I haven't heard anything about that. Perhaps Cain the Storyteller could be of some help.
- Halls of the Blind: If you have questions about blindness, you should talk to Pepin. I know that he gave my grandmother a potion that helped clear her vision, so maybe he can help you, too.
- Black Mushroom: I think Ogden might have some mushrooms in the storage cellar. Why don't you ask him?
- Anvil of Fury: Griswold's father used to tell some of us when we were growing up about a giant anvil that was used to make mighty weapons. He said that when a hammer was struck upon this anvil, the ground would shake with a great fury. Whenever the earth moves, I always remember that story.
- Warlord of Blood: If you are to battle such a fierce opponent, may Light be your guide and your defender. I will keep you in my thoughts.
- Lachdanan: I've never heard of a Lachdanan before. I'm sorry, but I don't think that I can be of much help to you.
- Archbishop Lazarus: I remember Lazarus as being a very kind and giving man. He spoke at my mother's funeral, and was supportive of my grandmother and myself in a very troubled time. I pray every night that somehow, he is still alive and safe.
Personality and Traits
Gillian gossiped a lot about her fellow townspeople. She was highly regarded by her fellow townspeople for her kind spirit and beauty. After the Darkening of Tristram however, her mood darkened, and she was prone to bouts of madness as a result to her exposure to the horrors Diablo had unleashed. It took a physical toll on her as well—she appeared to age faster than she should have normally, and her hair turned gray and brittle, her eyes haunted and bruised. In Cain's mind, she carried an 'air of neglect' around her, as if barely able to take care of herself.
- According to gossip/quest text in Diablo I, Gillian's mother died prior to the Darkening of Tristram, and she refers to Garda as "Ogden's wife." To Hell and Back, however, claims that Garda is her mother.