"My name is Lachdanan, and I am cursed. Once the captain of King Leoric's army, I lived only to honor my land and my king. No man has a greater love for his king than I had for mine, even as I drove my blade through his dark and corrupted heart."— Lachdanan(src)
Lachdanan apparently once served the Zakarum church and was honored for his service. Afterward, he was among those Leoric brought with him into Khanduras, and he served the land with justice and honor.
The Black KingEdit
When Leoric entered the throes of madness, Lachdanan tried to discern the cause of his deteriorating spirit. However, Archbishop Lazarus waylaid him at every turn and admonished him for questioning the actions of his king. As tensions grew between the two, Lazarus charged Lachdanan with treason against the kingdom. The priests and knights of Leoric's court considered the notion ridiculous, considering Lachdanan to be honorable and just, and began questioning the motives of their king. Lazarus, seeking to contain the eroding situation, manipulated Leoric into declaring war on Westmarch. Lazarus declared that Lachdanan would lead the Royal Army of Khanduras into the neighboring kingdom. Lachdanan protested against the necessity of such a conflict, and correctly suspected that Lazarus had given Leoric the false idea that Westmarch was planning to invade Khanduras. Nonetheless, he was honor-bound to follow his king's command.
"It was Lazarus - of that I am certain. He alone had the king's ear and whispered dark and evil magics into it, instilling the notion of an imminent attack by Westmarch. Afraid to speak against the archbishop, the councilors nodded their empty heads in agreement and sent us off to die. When we returned from our horrific defeat in Westmarch, my beloved king lost all pretense of sanity. He seethed with rage, spitting curses upon us as traitors. With great sorrow, I ran him through. I will forever live in anguish for my last attempt to honor my king. As we lay him to rest in his burial chamber, he manifested as a hideous skeletal demon. Gorash and my other knights were overcome at once, but I fought on."— Lachdanan(src)
The war was a disaster, the royal army being decimated. Lachdanan quickly gathered together those who were not captured or killed and ordered a retreat back to the safety of Khanduras. They returned to find the town of Tristram in shambles—Prince Albrecht had gone missing, and Leoric had taken to execute the town's villagers in the belief that they were responsible. As Lachdanan and his fellow survivors returned to confront their King, Leoric sent his few remaining guards against them. Believing that Lachdanan was somehow part of the townsfolk’s conspiracy, Leoric decreed that he and his party were to die. Lachdanan, finally realizing that Leoric was beyond salvation, ordered his men to defend themselves. The ensuing battle carried them down into the very halls of the Tristram Cathedral. Lachdanan won a bittersweet victory as his men were forced to kill all of Leoric’s deceived protectors. They cornered the ravenous king within his own sanctuary and begged him to explain the atrocities he had committed. Leoric only spat at them and cursed them for traitors against both his crown and the Light. Lachdanan walked slowly towards his mad king and sorrowfully drew his sword. Full of grief and rage, all honor having been cast to the winds, Lachdanan ran his blade through Leoric’s shriveled, blackened heart. As Lachdanan and his knights lay Leoric to rest in his burial chamber, Leoric rose in the form of a skeletal demon. Lachdanan's knights were overcome instantly, but he fought on. It was to no avail, and as Leoric's madness finally overtook him, he brought down a curse on his "betrayers." Calling upon the forces of darkness, Leoric condemned Lachdanan and the others to eternal damnation.
"And now I wander, cursed by my once-beloved king. Evil gnaws at my bones, and I cannot risk putting my beloved Tristram in danger should I fail to contain that which tears at me. I must venture down into the labyrinth to die alone."— Lachdanan(src)
While Lachdanan's fellow knights succumbed to their curse, Lachdanan was able to retain his free will. Fleeing from the burial chamber, he sought to find a way to free himself from Leoric's curse but failed. He could feel the effects of Leoric's curse, and dared not return to Tristram lest he succumbs to it. As such, he ventured down into the depths of the cathedral to die alone.
By the time Prince Aidan and his companions reached Lachdanan in the depths of the labyrinth, the knight still possessed a hold on his sanity. He told them of his fate, and of an elixir that could lift the curse and allow him to die. However, he no longer had the strength to find it, (he was so weak he could barely lift his own sword) and as his strength waned, so did the remnants of his humanity. His servitude to Diablo forbade him from attacking any minion of the Lord of Terror as well. The trio were able to find the elixir, and in gratitude, Lachdanan gave them his helm. With that, the once proud knight of Khanduras was finally granted peace, fading away and leaving behind only his helm and sword.
"Keep your distance from him. This burden is mine to bear. May death bring peace from your madness, Leoric!"— Lachdanan, making the decision to slay Leoric(src)
Over twenty years after his death, the ghostly apparition of Lachdanan was observed by the Nephalem as the hero(es) made their way through the Tristram Cathedral. Lachdanan's confrontation with Leoric was played out before their eyes.
Eventually, the player will find his ghost in the Royal Crypts, where a spectral reenactment will play out of Lachdanan slaying Leoric, and Leoric's final curse upon him and the knights under his command.
Lachdanan can also be found in The Darkening of Tristram event as a corpse. Once again, he is found on level 14. His helm, Veil of Steel, will simply be looted from his body.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Lachdanan was fiercely loyal to his king and country and declared that no man had a greater love for his king than he did. Deckard Cain held a similar opinion of the knight, considering him to be an honorable and just man, and a great hero. Upon hearing of Lachdanan's plight, he stated that Lachdanan would be the least likely to submit to darkness without a fight. Griswold, whom Lachdanan had treated with prior to Leoric's curse, found him to be honest and loyal in nature. Adria sensed great honor in him as well.
"If it is actually Lachdanan that you have met, then I would advise that you aid him. I dealt with him on several occasions and found him to be honest and loyal in nature. The curse that fell upon the followers of King Leoric would fall especially hard upon him."— Griswold after hearing of Lachdanan's curse(src)