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"The inhabitants of Sanctuary are puzzling creatures: Terrified of death, yet unable to deny the allure of the unknown."


Humans, otherwise referred to as humanity, (hu)mankind, Man, or exile-born[1] are a mortal race native to Sanctuary. The descendants of the nephalem, humanity has long been the focal point of the ongoing war between Heaven and Hell.


"Human...frail and corrupt."

Human anatomy

Humans are mortal and upon death, their souls enter a location beyond the reach of angels or demons (though various religions claim otherwise).[2] Half angel and half demon,[3] the two components of a human's soul are integral to their existence.[4] Humans possess the ability to choose between good and evil, an ability that causes many angels to fear mankind.[5]

Humans and demons are capable of interbreeding, usually to the horror of the former. Few children of such couplings survive childbirth, and fewer still survive into adulthood, as they are generally killed by those who know them for what they are.[6] Demons can possess humans, and to best knowledge, the possession cannot be ended without killing the host.[7] Humans are also capable of breeding with nephalem.[2] As with angels and demons, human blood carries essence.[8]

Human eyesight is inferior to that of angels in most respects, though the human eye is quite adept in picking up light.[9]

For humans, life in Sanctuary is brutal,[10] and comforts are rare.[11] Humans have a short life expectancy, at least in part due to the horrors that blight their world.[12] Few humans make it to the age of 70,[13] and only a few are able to stand against the darkness that blights their world.[14]

The ability to practice magic is not universal among humanity.[15] Only the strongest of humans can harness anything more than the most basic of magical effects.[16] The lies spouted by particularly black-hearted humans rarely manifest in turning their tongues a milky white.[17]

Humans are more intelligent than animals, and have secured their place in Sanctuary through their intelligence and mastery of tools.[18] Humans are wont to war among themselves. Not all of their woes can be placed at the feet of Heaven or Hell.[19]

Even humans with the utmost mental fortitude can find themselves lost to the unrelenting darkness spread by the Burning Hells. Broken. Shattered. Trapped in the deepest recesses of their mind.[20]


"Man's pleasures give way to pain. His truths are buried in the shroud of lies. It is this time when Hell shall reign. While all of man dies."

- Adria(src)

Early History[]


A human (left) compared to a nephalem (right) in size

The world of Sanctuary was created by rogue angels and demons led by the archangel Inarius and the demoness Lilith, seeking refuge from the Great Conflict. The two races interbred, leading to the birth of the nephalem. Their powers exceeded those of their parents, raising concern that the nephalem might not only become a threat, but could draw the attention of Heaven or Hell to their world. The issue led to bloodshed, as Lilith slaughtered angel and demon alike, fearing for her children's safety. Inarius succeeded in banishing Lilith to the Void, but he was the only one of his kind left on Sanctuary. Alone, he altered the Worldstone to diminish the powers of the nephalem. Each subsequent generation's powers were diminished, to the extent that they became mortal. Eventually, humanity as a whole rose up, unaware of its history bar myths and legends inspired by its nephalem forefathers.[2] Specifically, humanity first emerged in the Temple of the Firstborn,[21] which was constructed in honor of the first nephalem to be born.[22]

Thus, humanity spread across Sanctuary. Building cities, collecting knowledge, and developing distinct cultures and ethnicities.[2] From the outset, humans waged war among themselves,[19] but relatively speaking, humanity's early history was one of relative peace. However, it was not to last, as the lords of Hell eventually discovered the mortal realm. This discovery led to the Sin War, a covert battle between Hell and Inarius to turn humanity to their own ends. It ended with an agreement between Heaven and Hell that humanity would be allowed to choose its own path between Light and Dark. After the pact was sealed, humanity's memories of the terrible events were wiped clean and was given a second chance to start over.

Such has been the state of Man since this time. The Prime Evils have made plays to turn humanity to Chaos, while the archangel Tyrael and mortal heroes have often foiled them.[2]

Recent History[]

"Death of fang and claw. Of freezing. Of the pyre. Our sinful bodies deserve no better."

- Matvey(src)


The plight of mankind

By the destruction of the Worldstone, human civilization was fragmented, with only a few functioning cities left on Sanctuary. The Worldstone's destruction altered the very essence of humanity,[13] and with the Worldstone destroyed, nephalem have emerged amongst humanity, an event coinciding with the end of the Great Conflict. Thus, Tyrael declared that humans and angels would stand together as one.[23] It was a hollow declaration[24] as humanity found itself nearly eradicated by rogue angels called Reapers. While the Nephalem was able to save humankind,[25] angelkind was mostly indifferent to humanity's suffering.[5] By the time of Malthael's defeat, cities had been ravaged, and entire populations had been decimated,[26] with 50%[10] (or even 90%) of the human race having been killed.[27] The survivors fared little better,[10] and Humanity remained in peril, as death and ruin were reaped upon Sanctuary, the champions of the Light unable to protect those in need.[28] Because of Malthael's actions, humanity suffered religious schisms, war, and famine.[26] Numerous structures fell into ruin.[29]

D4 Story 02 A Reign of Enmity

Humanity falls into intercine conflict

Decades since Malthael's attempted genocide, humanity remained beset by chaos, caused by demons, corrupted wildlife, and mankind's own evil. Townsfolk huddled in dark corners, trying to survive one more day. The pious prayed for salvation, but doubts had them feeling that their devotion was misplaced.[30] With the power vacuum that resulted, some rose up to attempt to fill the void, including the Zakarum church and a resurgent Temple of the Triune.[31] Despite this, no single mortal force in Sanctuary had the strength of arms to stand against Hell, should demons ever come in force.[32]

With the return of Lilith to Sanctuary, a new wave of cultists and worshippers were spawned, but regardless of one's faith, all prayers remained unanswered.[30] Lilith's very presence on Sanctuary caused much of humanity to lose all sense of morality.[33]


"Of the many things I find intriguing about humans, the greatest is their endless thirst for knowledge. Angels believe that everything there is to know is written in the Scroll of Fate. Therefore, curiosity is not a common angelic trait. Ironically, my suspicions have been confirmed. Angels do not, in fact, know everything. Seeing the world through mortal eyes has given me much to ponder."

- Tyrael(src)


Humans of various ethnicities

Humans are a diverse people,[34] with a variety of unique cultures.[35] Numerous different human groups exist across Sanctuary, their traits differing in accordance with their location and culture. Human cultures can broadly fall into one of two viewpoints. The first of these is mysticism—the study of magic, and the root desire for humanity to become the master of its own destiny. The other viewpoint is faith—the view that humanity must put its trust in powers beyond mortal understanding to determine its fate and establish ethical and moral guidelines to live by.[2] Various faiths have arisen over time, and often subsume existing practices into their structure. Humans often build altars or shrines on sites of power, knowingly or otherwise.[19]

The prominence of both viewpoints has waxed and waned over time.[2] Humanity cannot help but worship,[36] and many times, human societies have dedicated themselves to malignant beings.[37] Similarly, there are no shortage of martyrs who follow the orders of angels, even though the machinations of Heaven are inscrutable to mortals.[38]

Humans have fought numerous wars across their history.[39] Some humans choose banditry as a way of life.[40]

The peoples of Sanctuary use herbs as medicine, occult reagents, or simple decor through their daily lives.[41]


Humans in battle

A number of human cultures have been lost to history,[29] and entire kingdoms have fallen.[42] Slavery is practiced by at least some human cultures,[43] and wedding rings are used in at least one human culture.[44] Humans have an endless thirst for knowledge,[45] but even years after the destruction of the Worldstone, many humans did not believe in the existence of angels or demons, or worlds beyond their own.[43] Many humans fear the inexplicable.[46]

Many humans don't know how to swim.[47] Seafaring folk are known to spin a tall tale.[48]

Bout of Realms

Humans turn on one another

Most human structures put function before form.[29] Isolated human societies often grow and advance at incredible rates.[37] If destabilized enough, human society will inevitably turn in on itself in bloodshed; a pattern that has been repeated numerous times over Sanctuary's history.[26] For humanity, life is generally a struggle, even for the wealthiest of mortals.[29] Some humans choose to become adventurers, but only those with a razor-sharp sense of survival live long enough to decide their fate.[49]

Humans hold dear the names of old heroes and champions, and often shout their names in battle.[19] Across humanity, many legends speak of a hero's fall, but few speak of a monster's redemption.[50] The vengeful seek to right past wrongs and make their enemies pay for the harm they've caused. This righteousness is blinding, and they often find themselves incurring a debt they could never repay.[51]


Examples of human cultures and ethnicities include the following:


Main article: Askari

The Askari (often referred to as "Amazons") are native to the Skovos Isles, located south of the Western Kingdoms. Their society is matriarchal and caste-based, while their mythology is polytheistic, mostly centered around the nephalem Philios,[2] but also features worship of many other gods.[52]

Children of Bul-Kathos[]

The Children of Bul-Kathos exist in two distinct branches—the Barbarians of the Northern Steppes (now the Dreadlands) and the Druids of Scosglen. Central to both cultures was the Worldstone, and both built their societies around their protection of it. With the Worldstone's destruction, the Barbarians lost their homeland and scattered to various parts of the world in exile.[2]

People of Aranoch[]

A number of nomadic human tribes inhabit Aranoch, though Lut Gholein is a permanent settlement. The land itself acts as a barrier between the East and West of Sanctuary.[2] Many ruins dot the landscape—relics of times long gone.[53]

People of the East[]

Kehjistan is the dominant power of the East, and perhaps no other region has been as influential in shaping human civilization in Sanctuary. It is in this region that some of the most influential discoveries in religion, philosophy, magic, and science, have been made. The land has a tumultuous history, what with the Mage Clan Wars, the coming of Zakarum, the corruption of Kurast and Travincal,[2] and most recently, the corruption of Caldeum by Belial. The kingdom was left paralyzed by his manipulations of Hakan II, but his yoke was removed, much to the joy of the populace.[54]

The Vecin are present in this region.[54]

The Ascenians inhabit a highlands area of the region.[55]

People of Greyhollow Island[]

A human civilization developed on Greyhollow Island that developed into a grand empire. For reasons unknown, the society collapsed, leaving chaos in its wake.[37]

People of Ivgorod[]

The people of Ivgorod are seclusive. Once a mighty civilization, Ivgorod is now confined to its single capital. Ruled by a religious oligarchy, the religion of Ivgorod is Sahptev, which preaches the exist of 1001 gods and goddesses. This system dominates every aspect of the lives of Ivgorod's people.[2]

People of the Torajan Jungles[]

The Torajan Jungles are located southwest of Kehjistan, and have seen numerous civilizations rise and fall over time. The Umbaru are the only exception to this. The Umbaru clans frequently war with one another in ritualistic warfare, to honor the spirits of the rainforest. Their overriding faith is in the Mbwiru Eikura, a "true reality" beyond the mortal realm.[2]

The Opaya inhabit(ed) the southern region of the jungles.[56]

People of the Western Kingdoms[]

The West of Sanctuary encompasses the kingdoms of Westmarch, Khanduras, and Entsteig. The kingdoms have their origins in the crusade led by Rakkis in the name of Zakarum, and consequently, Zakarum is the West's dominant religion. That being said, variation exists—Entsteig still practices ancient pagan rituals, melding their folklore with worship of the Light. Westmarch is a healthy, vibrant kingdom, and is currently a forward-looking civilization as Zakarum influence declines. Khanduras is best known for its suffering at the hands of Diablo, though merchants have since returned to the region.[2]

People of the Swamplands[]

The Swamplands are located in the far east of Sanctuary, beyond Kehjistan.[2] The people of this region are of fairer hair and skin than the Kehjistani.[57]


Main article: Xian

Xiansai is Sanctuary's northernmost nation, and due to its insular nature, Xian culture developed free from major foreign influence. Xian society is dominated by the Great Families, which each controls a portion of their kingdom's economy. Xian religion is polytheistic, featuring numerous gods, albeit without any distinct hierarchy.[2]


The Custerians are a now-extinct race of humans.[58]

The Samurenians were the people of the Samuren Empire.[59]

The Boosenians were a people who possessed exceptionally talented smiths.[60]

The Inari and Lilin are native civilizations of Ancients' Cradle.[61]


Humans have appeared in every Diablo game; mostly as allies, sometimes as foes. With the exception of Diablo III, all player characters are humans. Most humans encountered in the games are friendly or neutral towards the player characters, offering various services as NPCs. Most, but not all, types of undead in the games are risen from human corpses.

In Diablo I and II, humans are rarely encountered as enemies: to some extent, Zakarum zealots in Act III are human enemies, and Mages in the first game are presumed to be ones (even though both types are greatly corrupted). There are no special effects that work against humans.

In Diablo Immortal, some human enemies are encountered, such as Grave Robbers and the Sand Scorpions.

Diablo III marks the first (and so far, only) time the player characters are not humans, but rather, nephalem. In Diablo III, Brigands, Templar InquisitorsWestmarch Soldiers, Hired Mages and Dark Cultists / Dark Vessels of the Coven are human enemies. Pig Sticker is the only item in game with a bonus against humans. Some unique monsters, such as Jondar and Rad'Noj Necromancers, are also humans.

In Diablo IV, humans return as enemies. They can be found in the Cannibal and Cultist monster classes.


This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.


  1. Diablo Immortal, Whispering Bones
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 Book of Cain
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