Sarnakyle was a Wizard of the Vizjerei Clan. He was fond of travelling and enjoyed wide open spaces to the stifling cities of his homeland, though took great pride in the architectural and cultural (especially academic) feats of his homeland). He appeared in a perpetually good mood, but could be serious when needed. He reguarly dressed in red, appearing to wear robes and a cloak of no other color.
"I am a Vizjerei. One of the 'Spirit Clan.' I have summoned demons, and I have also fought them."
As a member of the Vizjerei, Sarnakyle had experience in both summoning and battling demons. While in Viz-jun, he was called upon to investigate a demonic possession. A small child, no older than two, had killed his parents. Left without recourse, he had to kill the child to banish the demon, an act with left him morally and emotionally shaken.
Sarnakyle spent decades studying the spirits of demons, and he came to be a member of the Vizjerei ruling council. In his studies, he came to know the names of all the Prime Evils, and learnt of the existence of the Barons of Hell, including Assur.
He later fought in the Mage Clan Wars and helped to slay Bartuc. After the war's end at Viz-jun, he became a wanderer like many other clan lords, trying to "rediscover what was real." In his travels, he had some run-ins with demons as well.
In the year 302, Sarnakyle was in Entsteig. It was here that he met Siggard in a forest. He had seen some disturbing things in the land. Siggard told him that he intended to head for Blackmarch. Sarnakyle hadn't been there, but offered to travel there with him. Siggard agreed, and Sarnakyle took first watch. The next morning, Siggard was eager to get going, but Sarnakyle was not so hasty. He revealed that the army of Blackmarch had been obliterated by a demonic force. Siggard knew that with the army defeated, the demons would be free to rampage throughout Entsteig, and thus, decided to head for the country's capital. Sarnakyle stated that he would come with him.
As they travelled, Sarnakyle told Siggard stories of the east, of the Mage Clans, and of the dark magic of the south. After a day of travelling, they finally emerged from the forest to the fields of Entstieg (a sight that Sarnakyle found most pleasing). The two travelled to the King's Road so that they could get their bearings. They reached at midday on the morrow. Siggard declared that they would head for Brennor. Sarnakyle followed suit. His mood darkened however as they came across a ruined village. Demons had passed through, killing every one of the townsfolk and livestock. Siggard wanted to move on immediately, but Sarnakyle urged rest, stating that the demons would move in a circular pattern, trying to cause as much destruction as possible. Even with rest, they would be able to make it to Siggard's town before them.
The next day, they continued travelling. Sarnakyle pointed out that they would be travelling faster than the demons, given that their army consisted of thousands. That night, Siggard still refused to eat, despite the days of travel. He told Sarnakyle of his history at Bear's Hill, and of his wife and daughter. Upon finally arriving at the town however, they found that it had been destroyed also, its people slaughtered. Sarnakyle suggested that Siggard's family might have made it out alive, but it was not the case, as Siggard found the body of his wife among the dead.
A Blade in the Night
Siggard was left in quiet shock, while Sarnakyle rested under a tree. As sunset came, Sarnakyle told Siggard that they weren't alone, that at least three people were watching them from the shadows. Siggard called out and from the shadows emerged Tylwulf; a man of Bear's Hill. Sarnakyle was suspicious of the man, but nevertheless followed Siggard and Tylwulf to the latter's farm, where they were fed. After dinner, Sarnakyle told Siggard to expect treachery—things were amiss. First, how had Tylwulf and his wife survived the demons? Second, during the conversation, they had called Sarnakyle a "spirit mage." The fact that they somehow knew he was a Vizjerei aside, that was a term used only by the Mage Clans and by demons. Third, where were the graves for the fallen? He suggested that Siggard prepare for someone to attack them...
...which Tylwulf and his wife did, though Siggard and Sarnakyle disarmed them. Tylwulf revealed that they had thrown in their lot with the demons for power, leading the people of the town like lambs to the slaughter. In a rage, Siggard killed both of them, along with the others that had taken shelter in the farmhouse that had also thrown in their lot with Hell. Siggard slaughtered them all, but was left aghast at his actions. Sarnakyle consuled him, stating that demonic possession could not be ended without the death of the host. He told Siggard of his experiences in Viz-jun, and that to end this, they had to slay the archdemon that led the demonic forces.
They set off the following day. Sarnakyle suggested that they find a fortified town and wait for the archdemon to come to them, since hunting him directly would only result in their deaths. They headed down the Queen's Road, noticing the lack of travellers. Given the signs of destruction they saw along the way, it didn't take them long to guess the reason why.
Finally, they made it to Brennor—a city by Entsteigian standards, a small town by Kehjistani ones. They went to the town's castle to see Earl Edgewulf, but the steward, Hunfrith, informed them that Edgewulf had been slain at Blackmarch, and that his son, Tilgar, had taken earlship over Brennor. Sigard told Hunfrith of the approaching demon army, but Hunfrith scoffed at such a notion. He sent the two of them out of the castle, accusing Siggard of being a deserter at Blackmarch despite Sarnakyle defending him. The two retired to an inn and Sarnakyle urged Siggard to try and remember something about the archdemon he had fought. The only distinguishing feature he could remember was a glyph upon his chest. However, the conversation couldn't continue further as Brennor came under attack by the demon army. The two battled the creatures alongside Brennor's defenders. The demons were repelled, though at the cost of lives, and it left Sarnakyle exhausted from the effort required to wield his magic. However, before he could rest, they were approached by Hunfrith and Tilgar, the latter of whom offered a reward. However, Sarnakyle refused, pointing out that the town would come under siege by the bulk of the archdemon's army within days. Tilgar bid them visit his castle the next day, and Hunfrith gave his apologies.
The two took Tilgar up on his offer, and they had a seat at his war council. Sarnakyle told him of how he had fought against Bartuc in the Mage Clan Wars, and suggested that the archdemon was following the same tactics as the Warlord of Blood. Namely to destroy all the settlements supporting a city before assailing the city itself. Certainly that fit in with the number of destroyed towns they had passed on their way. Sarnakyle advised them that if they killed the archdemon leading the army, the other demons would be banished from the mortal plane. However, as the archdemon was enchanted with a glyph of power, this would make it difficult to destroy at best. As they prepared for the siege, Sarnakyle spent time reading old spellbooks he had carried with him. His mood had darkened, and Siggard got the brunt of it. They received a note from Tilgar that the army had been sighted, and would arrive in one day's time, and that all the surrounding villages had been destroyed.
The army approached, and Sarnakyle recognised the standard as belonging to Assur, favored baron of Diablo. Sarnakyle was crestfallen—not only because the army was larger than initially estimated, but in his mind, there was no way Assur could be slain. He told Siggard that they had to evacuate Brennor. They returned to see Tilgar where they met a newcomer, the archangel Tyrael; one whom Siggard had seen not long after Blackmarch. Sarnakyle explained that the glyph Assur bore, while only capable of being cast once a millennium, made him invulnerable to any mortal or angel while he bore it. Tyrael stressed the importance of defeating Assur, but given his apparent invulnerability, advised Brennor's defenders to focus on his army. If they could drive it back, they could claim victory. The alternative was Sanctuary falling to Hell.
Assur's forces besieged the town in two waves. The wall held, but it was for naught, as Hidden had infiltrated the town and began attacking the defenders from the rear. Tilgar led Sarnakyle and Siggard to some tunnels while the defenders made their last stand. They reached a hill that overlooked the town, now in ruins. Siggard announced his intention to slay Assur himself, despite Sarnakyle's protestations. He offered to help him, but Siggard refused, bidding that Sarnakyle stay with Tilgar and the refugees, reasoning that his magic would help protect them.
Despite the odds, Siggard succeeded in slaying Assur, and Tilgar returned to Brennor, removing the remaining demons.
After the events at Brennor, Sarnakyle spent five years traveling in the western lands before returning to Kehjistan. He resumed his leadership role within the Vizjerei and led them back into the practice of elemental magic. However, twenty years later, he again began to wander, and this time, never returned. His death was never recorded. He was remembered as "the Red Wizard," and to this day, the Vizjerei believe that in a time of great troubles, he will come back to lead them.
- Sarnakyle may be a reference to Gordon "Sarnakyle" Brown, who played Diablo I alongside Robert B. Marks.
- Sarnakyle's account of helping to slay Bartuc, while not necessarily incongruent with actual events, is eroneous in regards to the current timeline, whereas roughly five centuries pass between Bartuc's death and the events of Demonsbane (in the novel, it is stated that two years pass between Bartuc's death and the novel's events). The timeline appears not to have been established at the time the novel was written.