The Great Conflict
"They call me a hero. I slew demons beyond count. I won battles and broke sieges, that avail me nothing. I know that this war can have no victor, only an eternity of revenge, pride, and hatred. Tyrael does not understand. He cannot see beyond the glory of battle. In time, he may. But that day is not yet here."
During the Great Conflict, Inarius served as an advisor to the Angiris Council, serving under the command of Tyrael. He was highly regarded by his kin for his successes on the battlefield. He faced the Lesser Evil Azmodan in battle on at least one occasion.
After eons of war and witnessing countless acts of brutality, Inarius came to the conclusion that the conflict was unjust and that his part in it had to come to an end. He tried to make Tyrael see his point of view, but the archangel would not be swayed. Inarius reflected that he could not be unique, that there had to be angels and demons who also sought escape from the never-ending war fate had thrust upon them. He resolved to find these individuals and lead them to a new beginning in their own hands. He would stop at nothing to end the war between Heaven and Hell.
During a battle, Inarius led his kin on a charge from an outpost of the Pandemonium Fortress. He was struck down, wounded, and marooned. When he came to, he awoke in chains. He ranted on about his desires to be free of the Great Conflict, and in turn, his captor freed him. She gave him her name, Lilith, daughter of Mephisto, and told the angel that they would meet again. Inarius was instantly captivated by her; the first angel to ever look into the heart of a demon.
Lilith had suffered from her father's hatred and like Inarius, had long awaited an opportunity to rebel against their kindred. Inarius and Lilith joined forces and even came to fall in love; each pledged themself to the other and vowed to escape the Eternal Conflict. Eventually, like-minded followers gathered in support.
The Creation of Sanctuary
"We have created a new world. We can live here in peace, away from war. I have named this world...Sanctuary."
Either through strength of arms or misdirection, Inarius and his renegades managed to gain access to the Worldstone, located deep within the Pandemonium Fortress. Altering its frequency or dimensional alignment, they used its power to conceal it from the angels and demons still fighting in the Eternal Conflict. Subsequently, the Worldstone was shifted into a pocket dimension. There, Inarius and his followers shaped a world around it. A world of refuge they would call Sanctuary. The forces of Heaven and Hell became aware of the Worldstone's disappearance, but had no idea where it was or who had taken it. This act temporarily halted the Great Conflict. Either way, far removed from the squabbles of his former allies and enemies, Inarius shaped Mount Arreat as a kind of protective shell around the Worldstone. From there, the rest of the world would be formed. A world he named "Sanctuary." He knew at this point that he would never again be welcome in Heaven.
As the angels and demons worked the Worldstone to form their new world, Inarius secretly fooled all the other renegades and tied the Worldstone's power to himself. This enhanced his powers unimaginably and made him the strongest being on Sanctuary and the de facto ruler.
Rise of the Nephalem
"When I see Lilith sleeping at my side, I am filled with dark thoughts. My sins are real, and I will surely pay for them. We live in peace for now, but it cannot last. They will come for me."
— Inarius's unease(src)
Inarius and Lilith had done the impossible, by banding angels and demons together and creating a world in which they could co-exist. Yet as he saw Lilith sleeping by his side, fear began to grip Inarius, and he believed he would pay for his "sins." While Sanctuary was at peace for now, he knew his kin would come for him eventually.
Eventually, Lilith and Inarius mated, and created offspring. They were the first, but not the last, and soon, an entire race had taken form - the nephalem. Inarius became watchful as the first generation of nephalem grew. Dissension rippled through the angels and demons of Sanctuary, for not only did this new species have power that surpassed that of angel or demon, but the union of angels and demons would be deemed the ultimate blasphemy by the Great Evils and Angiris Council. The defectors were convinced that they would be destroyed if Sanctuary came to be discovered. Some argued for the destruction of the nephalem, others believed they could be spared. At some point, Inarius did consider taking the route of genocide, but troubled by the dissension, Inarius called for a period of reflection, to consider the matter in solitude.
Lilith, driven into a mad frenzy by the threat of her children's extinction, began slaughtering her fellow renegades, both angel and demon alike, leaving Inarius to discover the carnage she had wrought. Bringing his former lover to heel, Inarius found himself unable to kill her—he had promised that he would never strike her down or let another do it, and the promise still held true. and instead banished her into the Void. Left alone with no-one but himself and a race of "abominations," Inarius sought to reduce the power of the nephalem at any cost. To this end, he attuned the Worldstone to cause the powers of the nephalem to diminish over time, for he could not bring himself to harm them. However, for the first generation of nephalem, he made it clear that any use of their powers would be punished, and insisted that Sanctuary, his world, would remain as he had envisaged it. His perfect world. Some nephalem protested, but any who challenged Inarius were crushed. Those who survived fled, their powers weakening.
Afterwards, Inarius disappeared, though writings of the past suggested that he still walked among Men in a form resembling that of his children. He watched as successive nephalem generations diminished and became humans, watching as human civilization spread over Sanctuary. It is heavily suggested by some accounts that he came to favor mortals, for unlike the nephalem, he did not see humans as a threat.
The Sin War
Due to the summoning of demons from the Burning Hells into the world, humanity had made the Prime Evils aware of Sanctuary's existence. As part of a scheme to bring humanity to their side in the Great Conflict, the Three founded the Triune—a new religion that would convert humans to their cause. When Inarius became aware of the Triune, he recognized the Prime Evils' deception immediately. He became fearful, not only for his own safety, but also that of his adopted children should Heaven become aware of their existence as well. To counter the Triune, he took on the mantle of "the Prophet" and formed his own gospel, disseminating it from his Cathedral of Light. With this act, the secret war for mankind's soul had begun, a struggle that would come to be known as the Sin War.
The status quo was maintained for an extended period of time. However, events began to spiral out of control with the return of Lilith, the demoness seeking an army of followers. The end result was the Edyrem, led by Uldyssian. They systematically began a campaign to scour both the Triune and Cathedral of Light off the face of Sanctuary. In a sense, this worked to Inarius's advantage, as the Triune was the first to feel the Edyrem's wrath and was destroyed. Lilith had revealed her true colors by this point however, and was left in the temple. When Rathma came to investigate the temple, Inarius covertly masked Lilith from detection, only revealing himself once their son had departed. Subsequently, he compressed his former lover into a sphere. Even as she defiantly promised that Uldyssian would be his undoing, he banished her into the Void for a second time. This time though, he took steps to ensure she would never return.
Uldyssian had destroyed the Triune, but the Cathedral of Light was next. After Uldyssian's Edyrem clashed with and destroyed Inarius's inquisitors, Inarius finally descended from his tower and confronted Uldyssian and his army. Inarius first used his overwhelming presence as an angel in an attempt to convert the Edyrem to his side. Uldyssian quickly used his bond to the edyrem to flush them with confidence and outsmarted Inarius. Both Uldyssian and Inarius used magic leading up to and during the battle but when facing each other one on one, they simply relied on infusing their bodies with magic and brawling. Even though Inarius was bonded to the Worldstone and therefore exponentially more powerful than a normal angel, Uldyssian could hold his own. This caused Inarius to lose confidence and slowly he gave way to Uldyssian's attacks. As they fought, there was a tear in the sky as the Heavenly Host finally entered Sanctuary. In his madness, Inarius was only concerned with destroying Uldyssian no matter what cost and therefore ignored the armies of angels. Uldyssian was distracted by the armies and Inarius seized the opportunity. Inarius grabbed the human ready to strike the final blow but just as he was about to, Uldyssian's entire body infused with energy. Inarius sensed Uldyssian was doing something drastic and he was right. Uldyssian changed the very essence of the Worldstone, destroying the bond it shared with Inarius. Without his bond to the Worldstone, Inarius was drastically weaker and Uldyssian easily defeated him, capturing him in a prison. Afterwards, Uldyssian sent both angels and demons from Sanctuary and the Angiris Council convened to decide the fate of the nephalem as well as Inarius. The Council agreed to an armistice between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells to allow time for the nephalem to mature and decide for themselves which side they would aid in their own free will. In this deal, Inarius was also taken into Mephisto's custody, presumably to be tortured for all eternity.
"But what of my great deeds? When I am in torment, who will celebrate those? Who will remember...Inarius?"
— Inarius's fears, long prior to his incarceration(src)
Mephisto took Inarius to the Burning Hells. He bound Inarius with tremendous chains and slowly tore the wings from the back of the angel. Great barbed hooks were then used to stretch out his once glowing skin and his features were distorted by vile powers. Now, Inarius is said to be trapped in Hell within a chamber of mirrors, his eyelids torn from his face as he is forced to gaze upon his misshapen form for all eternity. This remains true to this day, and Inarius has been denied even the freedom of death.
Inarius briefly appears in Diablo IV announcement cinematic, bound in chains.
Heroes of the Storm
Inarius is referenced in flavor lore in Heroes of the Storm. Here, he was slain by Azmodan.
Personality and Traits
In mortal disguise, Inarius appeared as a golden-haired man. There were some aspects of the existence of a face, like the fact that it had mouth and eyes, but these could not be seen well enough to say what color they are, if they had color at all. He had a presence so impressive that humans wished to drop down on his knees in worship, and even Rathma, a nephalem, experienced a similar desire (though was able to resist it). He was proud of his beauty and boasted loudly of his purity and worth. He had a callous view on humanity and the nephalem, for while he might have held some fondness for the former, he viewed it as it being by his will that they were allowed to exist at all, and hence, had no moral compunction against removing them if necessary.
Inarius possessed great power. Because of how he had tied himself to the Worldstone, his strength was great enough to give even the Prime Evils pause, and he could cast individuals into the Void if he so desired. However, this was mixed with arrogance. That said, he could manipulate the course of events to his own ends, and be even more subtle than Lilith while doing so. He had the ability to teleport. While a stoic individual, his sanity slowly degraded to the point that by the end of the Sin War, he was a broken angel.
- Justin Parker has speculated that Mephisto left someone to "look after" Inarius, in light of his banishment from Hell in the Dark Exile.
- Luis Barriga has confirmed that of all the times that playable characters have entered Hell in the series, they have never been near Inarius's prison.
In the original Diablo manual, Inarius was only introduced as a means of explaining the origins of the Overlord demon. In this account, it is said that Inarius' thoughts became so clouded that he believed himself to be above both angel and demon, and left the High Heavens to form his own dominion. He constructed a great cathedral of mirrored glass and crystal, and followers flocked to him, drawn by his numinous charm and wealth. Once Inarius had gathered a sizable army, he decided to prove his power. Inarius first laid siege to an infernal temple devoted to the worship of Mephisto, but made the foolish mistake of overestimating his prowess. The armies of Inarius laid waste to the temple and killed the dark monks that dwelled within. The Three Evils had considered the vain warrior a mere nuisance and amusement until this time, but this was an insult that they could not bear.
Mephisto himself is said to have appeared at the cathedral of Inarius. He laid waste to the church and the surrounding countryside. The Lord of Hatred took the proud archangel and his followers captive. Inarius was tortured while his followers became the overlords.
While this account bears resemblance to the events of the Sin War, there are still irreconcilable differences. This may be a retcon, or in-universe errant history, as per few mortals remembering the exact details of the Sin War.
- The Veiled Prophet
- Book of Cain
- 2013-09-21, (Spoiler) Reaper of Souls - Inarius Lore Sound Files. YouTube, accessed on 2013-10-04
- Sword of Justice: Issue 1
- Diablo III, Inarius's Will
- Diablo III, Inarius's Understanding
- Diablo III, Inarius's Conviction
- Diablo III, Inarius's Reticence
- Book of Tyrael
- Diablo III, Inarius's Perseverance
- Scales of the Serpent
- Diablo Manual
- 2013-12-08, BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III Lore and Story Q&A Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-04-19
- Diablo III, Diablo III, Inarius's Martyrdom
- 2019-11-11, BlizzCon 2019 Diablo IV: World and Lore Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2020-05-12
- 2021-02-21, BlizzConline 2021 - Diablo Q&A. YouTube, accessed on 2021-03-11