"Imperius, the archangel of Valor, is the greatest warrior in all of creation. He revels in war and combat and has led the hosts of Heaven to innumerable victories. With Malthael's absence, it is Imperius who now rules over the Angiris Council, seeking always to defend the High Heavens from any foe."— Selathiel, writing on Imperius(src)
Imperius, Archangel of Valor, is an angel of the High Heavens and the de facto ruler of the Angiris Council. He has led the Heavenly Host to numerous victories over the Demonic Legion, but his pride and rashness has often caused recklessness that would ultimately cost him.
"A creature that kills indiscriminately with the unshakable belief that his cause is just."— Adria on Imperius(src)
The Great Conflict
"We have argued for thousands of years—"— Tyrael and Imperius on their history(src)
"And we have also saved each other's lives on the battlefield countless times."
Over the aeons of the Great Conflict, Imperius trod where other angels dared not. When the war turned in Heaven's favor he was always the first to spearhead the most daring assaults into the Burning Hells. When Hell's legions lay siege to the High Heavens, it was Imperius who rallied his fellow angels to action, always the first to storm out of the Diamond Gates and charge headlong into the scattering armies of Hell. It is written that in one of Imperius's invasions of Hell, Solarion (his spear, forged by Imperius in the heart of a dying star) felled so many demons that rivers of blood flowed throughout the seven realms of the Great Evils. By Imperius's own account, he and Tyrael saved each other's life on the battlefield countless times.
"Your rage makes you powerful. Yet you hide it from your brethren. Perhaps you fear them seeing you for what you truly are."— Diablo and Imperius(src)
"I fear nothing!"
On one such battlefield, Imperius and all four other Angiris Council members took the fight to their demonic foes. Imperius bested a gigantic one-eyed demon by himself, and the demons retreated to their fortress. Imperius sent the Heavenly Host after them. Tyrael urged caution, but Imperius ignored him and entered the fortress himself. Arriving in the structure's depths, he found his fellow angels dead, and Diablo, Lord of Terror, waiting for him. The two came to blows, fighting each other to a standstill. Diablo commented on Imperius's rage while in battle, wondering aloud if his angelic enemy feared of what the other angels would think of him, if they saw what he truly was; in doing so, Diablo questioned whether "valor" was little more than a manifestation of "rage". Imperius responded that he feared nothing and continued fighting, and if anything, the taunt merely served only to enrage him further. It was at this point that the other Angiris Council members arrived, imprisoning the Prime Evil. Auriel and Tyrael suggested capturing and imprisoning the defeated Prime Evil, for if slain, Diablo would return in time. An enraged Imperius however, declared that demonkind could only be dealt with through blood, and slew the Lord of Terror. It was an act that Auriel declared "sacrilege" and Diablo mocked the angels with his last breaths. Nonetheless, Imperius's actions would later be immortalized in the Tristram Cathedral.
The Pandemonium Loop
Imperius was present at the Pandemonium Fortress when Iskatu, a demon in service to Diablo, led an assault on the fortress. Iskatu wore the Pandemonium Loop, a ring given to him by Diablo that sowed fear amongst the angels defending the fortress. Imperius was unaffected by the loop however, and hacked off Iskatu's arm. Iskatu fled the field of battle, and the ring was lost.
The Sin War
The Great Conflict came to a sudden halt with the disappearance of the Worldstone. It was eventually discovered that it had been stolen by renegade angels and demons led by the archangel Inarius, and that they had used it to create an entire world—Sanctuary. The renegades had even coupled with each other to create a new race—nephalem, and their descendants, humanity. Upon the discovery of this world and its people, the forces of the High Heavens (intent on eradicating the "abominations" they beheld), Burning Hells, and Edyrem met in battle, that was only ended through the sacrifice of the nephalem Uldyssian.
"I say that the renegade must be forever imprisoned and his nest of demon-spawn eradicated!"— Imperius casts his vote(src)
Thus, the Angiris Council met to reconsider the fate of Sanctuary and its people. Imperius reaffirmed his belief that the "demonspawn" be eradicated, while Auriel and Itherael voted that humanity be spared. Malthael cast no vote, so all eyes turned to Tyrael. Imperius expected that he would vote for humanity's annihilation, and in the event of a tie, the Angiris Council would carry out its original intent on scouring humanity from existence. Tyrael, much to Imperius's surprise (and resentment), sided with humanity. Imperius, though irritated by how events had gone, nonetheless agreed to honor the council's judgement. And in return for Inarius, he made a pact with the demon lord Mephisto that Sanctuary and its inhabitants be free to choose their own path.
"Tyrael, the ancient law of the High Heavens strictly forbids us from interfering with the mortal world! Yet you have done so—brazenly"— Imperius and Tyrael(src)
"All I am guilty of, Imperius, is bringing justice; while you hide, cowering, behind your throne!"
The millennia following the Sin War were not kind to Imperius. With the pact made between Heaven and Hell, the Great Conflict was brought to a grinding halt, thus robbing Imperius of further opportunities to prove his valor in combat. The rift that Tyrael's actions had caused between them refused to close, and since that time, it is said that Imperius became a highly legalistic and unbending tyrant. Deckard Cain speculated that it was not his intent, but nonetheless, Imperius's actions caused disharmony to creep into the Angiris Council. With the departure of Malthael after the destruction of the Worldstone, Imperius became the council's de facto leader.
Twenty years after that event, events between Imperius and Tyrael came to a head, as he demanded that Tyrael account for his interference in the mortal world. The two traded blows, first verbal, then physical, until Tyrael had Imperius at the tip of his own spear. Refusing to bow to Imperius's mandates, the archangel ripped off his own wings and became mortal, in an act that Imperius declared to be sacrilege. Subsequently, Tyrael fell upon Sanctuary, cast out from Heaven.
Valor and Terror
"My old enemy. You cannot hide from me, no matter what form you choose to wear. Let your true self be revealed...Diablo!"— Imperius to Diablo(src)
Not long after Tyrael's departure, Imperius found himself looking out from Heaven, to see Diablo before him, possessing the body of a mortal. Not fooled by the disguise, Imperius unleashed Solarion upon the Lord of Terror, revealing Diablo's true form. A form that was nothing like what Imperius had seen in the past, but something else entirely. A singular Prime Evil, with the essences of all seven Great Evils in the one body. Outmatched, it was not long before Solarion had been split in two, and Imperius himself impaled. Despite his wound, Imperius managed to teleport away. What he couldn't do, was prevent Diablo from destroying the Diamond Gates, giving entry to both himself and the forces of Hell also.
Despite his wound, Imperius nonetheless attempted to rally the angels to defend their home. As things turned out, Tyrael and his mortal allies had followed Diablo and met Imperius in the Silver City. Imperius blamed Tyrael and the Nephalem for Diablo's invasion, and ignored Tyrael's insistence that, wounded as he was, he could not face Diablo again. He headed off, warning the nephalem to be gone from his sight.
At the Crystal Colonnade, Imperius encountered the Nephalem again. After destroying several demons, he warned them to leave (again). Itherael and Auriel dissuaded him somewhat, but Imperius nevertheless threatened to kill the Nephalem should he see them again. And at the base of the Crystal Arch, Imperius and a group of fellow angels threatened to do just that, along with Imperius vowing to deal with Tyrael as well. However, the angels were too late to carry out his threat; by this stage, Diablo had begun to corrupt the Crystal Arch, and the corruption of the source of angelic power caused Imperius and his fellow angels to fall, incapacitated and drained of strength. Tyrael was no longer bound to the Arch, however, and due to this, remained unaffected and was able to allow the Nephalem to continue onward to the peak of the Arch. There, in the terrible fight that ensued, they were able to defeat Diablo and save all of Creation from Diablo's wrath.
Storm of Light
"Malthael would have never been without an answer, yet this one is silent once again. I shall speak for him, then. We break the stone at the Hellforge."— Imperius, in light of the Council's debate over the Black Soulstone(src)
Imperius recovered from Diablo's invasion, but remained bitter. Having seen Heaven burn around him and his loyal followers perish, he was deeply impacted by Diablo's actions. Due to his pride, he could not accept that mortals had saved Heaven from destruction. He allowed his shame and anger to feed off one another. Additionally, he refused to acknowledge Tyrael as the Aspect of Wisdom (a position he had taken after Diablo's fall), and mocked him for his inability to live up to Malthael's legacy. He meanwhile ordered Balzael to create a group of angelic destroyers called Sicarai, to ensure that Diablo's assault would never be repeated. Although Diablo's defeat had left demonkind largely leaderless, Imperius still viewed them as dangerous. Balzael pushed Imperius to imprison Tyrael in the Fist and judge him for his crimes, but Imperius refused.
In the midst of this dissonance the Council discovered the Black Soulstone, which Diablo had used to become the Prime Evil, and now contained the essences of all seven lords of Hell. The Council debated over the stone's fate—Imperius wanted to shatter the stone upon the Hellforge then launch a final sweeping invasion of the Burning Hells. Auriel wanted to seal the relic in a chamber of light and sound, while Itherael was paralyzed by indecision, and Tyrael remained silent. The dissonance between the angels blossomed, Imperius included. Eventually Tyrael spoke—the Black Soulstone had to be hidden in Sanctuary.
It was a suggestion that Imperius and the other Council members reacted to negatively. Passions flamed, and in a repeat of their actions not long ago, Imperius and Tyrael nearly came to blows. Tyrael refused to come to blows, but nonetheless exited the chamber. Outside, he met Balzael of the Luminarei, and this time, was not as successful in refusing to rise to the bait. Imperius intervened, ordering Balzael to let Tyrael go. It was not in good grace however, as Imperius mocked Tyrael as to his refusal to look into Chalad'ar. Mocked him as to whether he would join humanity if the Council voted in favor of eradicating Sanctuary. Tyrael murmured in the affirmative, and departed.
Balzael visited Imperius in his chambers awhile later, confirming that Tyrael had gathered a band on humans in New Tristram. Imperius ordered Balzael to retrieve Tyrael, giving him leave to kill his human companions if necessary. Balzael questioned Imperius's decision to take Tyrael alive, but Imperius stood firm—he wanted Tyrael tried in the Ring of Judgment and be made an example of, making the case against Sanctuary that much stronger when his mortal weakness was on display. Balzael still questioned his orders until Imperius lost patience. Finally, the angel departed to do his master's will.
The Parting of the Ways
Tyrael returned to the Heavens, but not at the hands of Balzael, but instead with a group of Horadrim intent on stealing the Black Soulstone. In the midst of the chaos, Imperius found Balzael and Tyrael dueling in the Angiris Council Chamber, with Balzael intent on killing rather than incapacitating his quarry. To save Tyrael's life, Imperius impaled his servant with Solarion before flinging his body aside. Imperius declared that Tyrael would answer for his crimes, but not in a manner such as this. Tyrael accused Imperius of sending Sircarai to hunt him down, to which Imperius responded that he would have never condoned such an act, that he had ordered Balzael to retrieve him alive. The pair were interrupted by Auriel and Itherael; Auriel announced that she had let the Horadrim depart with the Black Soulstone, stating that already she could see the effects of its corruption fading. She called an emergency vote to decide whether Tyrael should be put on trial, or whether he should be allowed to remain a member of the Angiris Council and act as an ambassador between Heaven and Sanctuary. She voted for the latter, while Imperius voted for the former. Itherael sided with Auriel.
"If you turn your back on me, we are forever enemies. There will be no returning from this, Tyrael."— Imperius's warning(src)
Imperius called them fools, holding Tyrael responsible for the lives that would be lost when the Black Soulstone paved the way for the return of the Prime Evil and Hell's resurgence. Tyrael was not swayed, and declared he would depart, remaining with humanity. Imperius declared that if Tyrael departed under these circumstances, they would forever be enemies. Tyrael tossed Chalad'ar to Imperius and left, the last remnants of their brotherhood sundered.
Reaper of Souls
"He dares to attack us?"— Imperius, after Malthael's attack on the Pandemonium Gate(src)
The Reapers attacked the Pandemonium Gate in Heaven, seeking to prevent the Nephalem from following Malthael into Pandemonium. In the aftermath of the fight, Imperius appeared, shocked that Malthael would dare attack his former brethren. That Malthael attacked his own kind shook Imperius far more than the genocidal Reapers on Sanctuary prior to this. When confronted by the Nephalem, Imperius did not care whether Malthael wanted to destroy humanity, but knew he had to be stopped since, according to the Archangel of Valor, Malthael had grown sick and must be put down for his own sake. Imperius, however, did not have the heart to make such a move and knew that the task would have to fall upon the Nephalem. Imperius led the Nephalem across the Path of War to an Abandoned Siege Camp where from a cliff, the pair saw a battering ram that led to the front gates of the Pandemonium Fortress, which was the only way to breach. Imperius instructed the Nephalem to gather three Siege Runes that would activate the battering ram from the Battlefields of Eternity. Before departing, Imperius warned the Nephalem that even if Malthael was stopped, he would not thank them for it.
Imperius first appears in Act IV of Diablo III. He has a boss instance of sorts, but no actual combat occurs: when the Nephalem and Imperius are about to start fighting, both he and his angels are rendered powerless as Diablo corrupts the Crystal Arch, therefore severing the entire Heavenly Host's life link.
The Wings of Valor aesthetic item are modeled after Imperius's wings.
In Act V, talking with him starts The Battlefields of Eternity quest, where Imperius accompanies the Nephalem to Pandemonium, instructing them how to activate the Ram. He also helps to clear the siege outposts of demons. After letting the Nephalem know that even of they kill Malthael, he will not thank them for it, Imperius vanishes, only appearing again in the final cinematic. Still, he sends his angels to assist the Nephalem in battle for the Forgotten Battlefield.
Heroes of the Storm
- For the detailed description, see the relevant article on HotS wiki
"Leader of the Angiris Council and Aspect of Valor, Imperius has valiantly led the armies of the High Heavens to innumerous victories over the demons of the Burning Hells. While his methods are exact and severe, there is no greater defender of righteousness in the entirety of creation."— Official description(src)
In game, he retains some abilities seen in Diablo III:
- Celestial Charge (lunges towards a targeted direction and stabs the target)
- Solarion’s Flare (releases a fiery wave that deals damage and slows enemies)
- Wrath of the Angiris (charges in the target direction, lifting the first enemy Hero hit into the Heavens, then slams the target into the ground)
In Heroes of the Storm, he is voiced by Chris Metzen himself.
Personality and Traits
"Mercy is a sign of weakness. It has no place in war."— Imperius(src)
Imperius's tactical brilliance encompasses all facets of warfare, from maneuvering armies on the battlefield to leading covert strikes against Hell's outposts. The mere sight of Imperius is enough to embolden angels with valor and strength. Very few angels can remain standing tall after earning Imperius's ire.
Imperius has demonstrated the ability to resist the powers of fear where other angels have failed. However, his valor has come with the flaws of pride and arrogance, and when enraged, he may become reckless beyond reason. He has had many arguments with Tyrael that could only be put to rest through Auriel's intervention. When not in battle, Imperius often strategizes and trains other warrior angels in the Halls of Valor, his personal domain in the High Heavens. He possesses a strong hatred of humanity because of their free will — Diablo's assault on Heaven has only added to that hatred, both because it was only made possible by a mortal and because the mortals succeeded in defeating Diablo where he himself has failed. Myriam Jahzia also foresaw that his hatred for the Nephalem would grow even stronger after Malthael was defeated by their hand. In Imperius's eyes, there is only right and wrong, good and evil. There are no shades of gray.
"With valor, all things become possible. Strike with every ounce of righteous wrath you possess, and you shall be lifted on high by wings of valor."— Imperius(src)
Imperius's abilities include teleportation, the ability to render other angels silent with a mere gesture, and telekinesis. Solarion, his spear, can be called to his side at a moment's notice. Imperius can also unleash great energy upon his descent, obliterating swarms of demons while leaving allies untouched.
- The word "Imperius" is derived from the Latin "imperium ", a concept in Ancient Roman law approximately meaning "the power of command".
- In the Roman Republic and later Empire , imperium power had a civilian aspect, which was approximately equivalent to modern "executive power", and a military aspect, which was the power to issue what would now be called "legal orders" to the military. As the de facto leader of Heaven, the archangel seems to possess both of these kinds of power.
- In modern English, the adjective imperious means roughly "having a tendency to order others around" or "domineering". Again, the angel's personality matches this quite well.
- Imperius's role in the Council was possibly inspired by Michael the Archangel, said to be the leader of the Army of God in the Book of Revelation. However, Michael's signature attribute, the flaming sword, is borne by Tyrael instead, while Imperius wields a spear.
- He is voiced by Rick Wasserman.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Book of Cain
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Storm of Light
- ↑ 2013-12-01, BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Preview Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-01-13
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Diablo III: Wrath
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Diablo III, Pandemonium Loop
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 The Veiled Prophet
- ↑ Diablo III, Archangel Imperius, the Aspect of Valor
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Diablo III, Act II Intro Cinematic
- ↑ Diablo III, Act IV Intro Cinematic
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Diablo III, Act IV
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Book of Tyrael
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Diablo III, Act V
- ↑ 2014-05-19, More Info From The Anniversary Dev Stream. Diablo Fans.com, accessed on 2014-05-20
- ↑ Diablo III, Act V Ending Cinematic
- ↑ 2018-12-28, Heroes of the Storm Twitter, Twitter, accessed on 2018-12-31