"The Silver City, the Crystal Arch, the Diamond Gates. I can scarcely imagine what it must be like to behold these magnificent structures in person, or how it might feel to cross bridges of light, or bask in the glory of cascading fountains of music and harmony. After all, how could I, a mere mortal, ever hope to comprehend such splendor?"
The concept of Heaven has been romanticized by humanity over the ages, yet prior to Diablo's final assault on the realm, no mortal had ever set foot in the realm. But through observation, both direct and indirect, Heaven is a realm of clouds and light that seems to enjoy a perpetual dawn, stretching into infinity. However, despite these clouds, it never rains.
As the Burning Hells were spawned from Tathamet, Heaven came from Anu. After the final battle between the two deities and the birth of Creation, his spine spun out into the primordial darkness, where it slowed and cooled. Over countless ages it formed into the Crystal Arch, around which the Heavens took shape and form. And thus, as the Hells gave rise to demonkind, so too did the Arch give birth to angels. Two races who would war against one another for eons in the Great Conflict over the Worldstone. Heaven was besieged many times, yet over the conflict's history, no force ever succeeded in breaching the Diamond Gates and gaining access to the Silver City.
And the Heavens Shall Tremble
"Take one last look at your shining Heaven, Imperius. For soon, nothing of it shall remain but my laughter"
Heaven's apparent impregnability came to an end at the hands of Diablo, the Lord of Terror having become a singular Prime Evil. The Diamond Gates were breached and for the first time in history, demons stepped foot inside the Silver City. All hope seemed lost, and Diablo managed to reach the Crystal Arch itself. However, the Nephalem were able to slay Diablo and prevent the Arch from becoming corrupted. As the arch shone once more, Diablo's corruption was cleansed from the realm. For a moment, it looked like both Heaven and the mortal realm could face a new dawn. Together.
It was a moment that did not last. Heaven continued to 'heal' after Diablo's assault, but the Black Soulstone remained in the realm. After being recovered, it was guarded in the Silver City. However, its corruptive influence remained, and discord began to seep back into Heaven. Despite Tyrael's protests, Imperius and the other Council members refused to move the artifact. With the aid of the Horadrim he was able to retrieve it from Heaven, and the corruption lifted.
Reaper of Souls
With the Reaper assault on Sanctuary, the various factions of Heaven reacted differently. However, it was drawn into the conflict when the Reapers assaulted Heaven in order to prevent the Nephalem from pursuing Malthael into the fortress of Pandemonium. Malthael was subsequently defeated with the aid of Imperius. However, this was not before the Reapers killed many angels, which prompted Heaven to shutter its gates to the realms beyond.
The Realms of Fate
After Malthael's defeat, the High Heavens were still recovering from Diablo's assault. To make matters worse, a new peril arose in the form of the Realms of Fate. As a result of the Nephalem's battle with Diablo, tomes within the Library of Fate were changing Heaven itself, transforming into small pockets reflecting the past, present, and potential futures, marring the skies of Heaven. Though none could make sense of why this has occurred, it still posed a threat to Sanctuary. Tyrael invited the Nephalem to investigate.
During development of Diablo III (which was originally carried out by Blizzard North), it was also intended that the game take place in Heaven. It featured a drawn out conflict between Heaven and Hell that players would interact with, in a situation similar to the Alliance vs. Horde paradigm from Blizzard's Warcraft series. After Blizzard North's version was canceled in 2005, and Blizzard Entertainment rebooted the project, Heaven remained in the game, but with an apparent artistic overhaul.
While Hell is divided into several realms whose borders constantly shift, the locations of Heaven remain static. Much of Heaven is concentrated within the Silver City, including its five notable domains (one for each member of the Angiris Council). Otherwise, the land outside the city is quite empty. The land itself is composed of light and sound. Every one of the domains can induce adverse psychological effects on humans, corresponding to the nature of the domain in question. These effects can be both positive and negative.
At the borders of Heaven are portals that lead to other realms.
- Courts of Justice (domain of Tyrael)
- Gardens of Hope (domain of Auriel)
- Halls of Valor (domain of Imperius)
- Pools of Wisdom (domain of Malthael)
- Library of Fate (domain of Itherael)
Other Silver City Locations
- Angiris Council Chamber
- Blessed Chancel
- Column of Tears
- Diamond Gates (entrance to the city, destroyed)
- Girth's Ascent
- Holy Sanctum
- Radiant Chapel
- Ring of Judgment
- Silver Spire
- Crystal Arch (the center of Heaven)
- Tabernacle of Light
- The Crystal Colonnade
- Vestibule of Light
The following are areas that exist outside the Silver City, but are still part of Heaven. This includes temporary fortifications of Hell.
- Angelic Lands (cut content)
- Nod (likely demonic forward base)
- Phoenix Lands
- Worm Bridges (used by the Demonic Legion)
- Book of Cain
- Diablo III, Act IV, Prime Evil
- Storm of Light
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- Diablo III, Act IV
- Diablo III, Act IV Ending Cinematic
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- Storm of Light
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- Diablo III, Act V
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