"Let the wisdom of Rathma protect us from those that would do us harm."— The Books of Kalan (excerpt)(src)
Rathma, whose birth name was Linarian, is a first-generation nephalem and tutor to the first Necromancer of his namesake's order, the Priests of Rathma. Rathma's parents were the ringleaders of Sanctuary's creation, Lilith and Inarius; he balked against their different yet equally domineering ways from an early age.
Rathma was a key participant in the Sin War, acting in the shadows alongside the mystical being Trag'Oul to sabotage both his parent's causes and preserve the Balance by ensuring neither, nor their respective races could dominate the future of the world. Subsequently, he was one of the few residents of Sanctuary able to recall the events of the war, which was assumed to be an allowance for the original nephalem due to their highly advanced ages by that time. He then established the Priests of Rathma along with founding necromancer Kalan, ensuring the Balance would forevermore have its protectors even if the world could not remember the events that nearly destroyed it.
Linarian was born to the angel Inarius and the demon Lilith, who, among their followers, had escaped the Eternal Conflict and created Sanctuary. He was born as the first nephalem, but was not the last. He sought out the deep recesses of the world, and studied the cycle of life and death, teaching it to those willing to venture into his subterranean habitat.
"Inarius and I stole the Worldstone, and now we have a group of renegades to follow us. I have created a new world where we can live in peace. A place of infinite possibilities. Inarius believes that escape is enough. In time, I will show him that even victory is possible. But first, I will give him children."— Lilith(src)
The renegade angels and demons, seeing that the nephalem were far more powerful than their parents, argued as to whether to kill or spare their new progeny. While Inarius weighed his options in solitude, Lilith lashed out and killed the remaining demons and angels to prevent them from harming the nephalem. Horrified, Inarius could still not bear to kill Lilith, and banished her into the Void. He then attuned the Worldstone to cause the powers of the nephalem to diminish over time. Through each subsequent nephalem generation, their powers diminished, effectively giving birth to the weaker, mortal race known as humanity. During this time, Linarian rebelled against his father’s plans, strengthening his power while seeking those who were aligned with his goals. Living among the first generation of humanity, Linarian discovered a fundamental truth; that the forces of Light and Darkness would clash eternally, and that both were a threat to the world.
Linarian and the other members of the first generation, such as Bul-Kathos, retained their supernatural powers, although all later generations needed to be trained or discover magic some other way. Many of the firstborn were destroyed by Inarius, who did not tolerate defiance to his rule. This prompted Linarian to feign death and flee to a mysterious nether-realm; the realm of Trag'Oul, a dragon-like being who watched over Sanctuary as its guardian. Linarian became Trag'Oul's disciple, who taught him of the concept of the Balance—the delicate interplay between the powers of order and chaos. Linarian eventually changed his name to "Rathma" which meant ''student", given to him by Trag'Oul, and began working to keep Sanctuary hidden from the High Heavens and limit the influence of the Burning Hells there.
The Sin War
During the events of the Sin War, Rathma sensed the return of his mother Lilith, so he started searching for a way to stop her. Rathma and Trag'Oul worked alone for some time until they knew about the young Ul-Diomed brothers (Uldyssian and Mendeln), both of whom distrusted Rathma and were very skeptical towards him. Nonetheless, after some time, Rathma decided to select Mendeln as his first disciple. He and Trag'Oul felt that Mendeln had great potential for helping them maintain the Balance, and he began to examine and watch Mendeln without Mendeln being aware. Rathma eventually confronted Mendeln directly, and though the young man was doubtful at first, he joined forces with Rathma and Trag'Oul, becoming the second necromancer in history. Even after Mendeln became his student, Uldyssian found it hard to befriend or even trust Rathma after what happened between him and Rathma's mother Lilith.
Rathma was briefly banished by his father to a vast realm of 'nothingness'. This was also the same realm to where Inarius had previously banished his former love Lilith. Only by the combined efforts of Trag'Oul and Mendeln could Rathma be rescued.
Rathma played several key roles during the Sin War. He aided Uldyssian on many occasions. The most important of those is when Rathma teleported to the Worldstone to help him, at which time Uldyssian made his alteration to the stone which ultimately leads to a great rise in power among the edyrem. Rathma also tried to negotiate with his father to cease hostilities with Uldyssian and instead focus his attention on Heaven and Hell, and although the attempt failed he also rallied the remaining living nephalem for the final confrontation between Inarius and Uldyssian on the Grasslands.
Along with the remaining firstborn, Rathma assisted the edyrem in their fight against the Cathedral of Light during the Battle of the Golden Path. After the battle was won, Rathma explained to Mendeln that his time on the world would eventually come to an end, instructing him to train additional disciples so that the Balance would always have dedicated guardians.After his father was defeated by Uldyssian and captured by Edyrem, Rathma was horrified to learn that the High Heavens had discovered Sanctuary's existence. In his mind, the angels were no better than the demons, as they were likely to obliterate the entire planet simply for having demons present.
The Priests of Rathma are a mage clan that follows the teachings of Rathma and Trag'Oul; created by Mendeln. They aim to achieve balance between Heaven and Hell and protect Sanctuary. Those who achieve the rank of Master Necromancer are honoured with a few bones from the skeleton minions that once served Rathma. These artifacts are generally used in the priest's gloves. Rathma is venerated by the priesthood, who depict him as a great writhing serpent.
In Diablo III, there are multiple items from the Bones of Rathma set which are named after Rathma. Additionally, Rathma's Shield is a Necromancer specific passive skill that carries the first nephalem's name.
Rathma will very likely make an appearance in Diablo IV.
Personality and Traits
Rathma is said to have inherited his father's stoicism. He was a brooding and solitary individual and valued the Balance of light and dark above any other consideration. He was a very calm and rational man, was not cold or uncaring. He was a good person but very rarely displayed emotion making others believe he was hardhearted and thus came off as such.
Powers and Abilities
In addition to all the abilities relevant to the necromancers such as raising undead and manipulating them, unleashing bone spears and controlling the essences of the dead and living. Rathma possessed foresight and the ability to read thoughts and feelings. He also demonstrated the ability to instantly teleport massive distances across Sanctuary and other realms.
Rathma has shown to possess somewhat of telekinetic abilities. Furthermore, it is unclear whether Rathma is capable of shapeshifting or teleporting into an undead body under his control.
Rathma was described as a tall male, looking like a person in his forties. His skin was pale white with tall black hair in his head. He wore a rather special cloak. It shifted and moved in response to his emotional state and covered his head with a hood.
Thousands of years after the Sin War, Rathma retains his pale skin and hooded cloak; however, he appears to be bald with two metal piercings above his forehead. Additionally, Rathma's eyes are revealed to be pitch black lacking any identifiable irises or pupils. It is worth noting that half of the left arm's pinky finger is missing.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Book of Cain
- ↑ Scales of the Serpent
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 2017-06-23, Deadly Roots: The Lore of the Necromancer. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-06-30
- ↑ Rise of the Necromancer, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2017-06-30
- ↑ Diablo III, Rathma's Macabre Vambraces
- ↑ Diablo III, Inarius's Reticence