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For the Monk resource, see Spirit.
"Break the bones and the body will heal. Break the spirit and the body will die..."

- Anonymous(src)


A human soul, after being ripped from its body

Souls, also called Spirits, are the immortal, incorporeal forms or inner-selves of sapient beings.


"One should never doubt the raw potential of a soul. Especially not after seeing one of these wraiths."

- Adria(src)

Souls carry energy within them that is released if they are shattered.[1] They can be used as catalysts in some processes,[2] and skilled Necromancers are able to manipulate a soul directly, putting its energy to use.[3]

Practitioners of Skatsim refer to the soul as "the essential". They believe that it is a source of energy that is created when a person is born, subsumed throughout their life, and reborn upon death of the flesh. They also believe that the soul could go, see, and even dwell in places the flesh could not; only if it was given a connection to the beyond, and a means of returning.[4]

With the proper tools, a soul may be separated from flesh.[5] Souls may be stored in objects,[6][7] and can be split apart.[8] Human souls can be used to empower objects through certain means.[9] Part of a soul may be torn away from its greater whole, leaving the victim still alive.[10] Essence can be extracted from souls.[11]

Through resurrection, a soul may be returned to the body of the deceased, but must be performed at the deceased's body.[12] Additionally, Necromancers may summon spirits to inhabit bodies.[13] Undead may exist without a soul.[14] Zoltun Kulle was able to create the Eternal Guardian using coalesced souls.[15]

Angel Souls[]


Malthael, observing the angelic essence of Tyrael

Angels, in theory, have some kind of essence that would allow absorption by the Black Soulstone in a manner similar to demons.[16] Each angel is a manifestation of Anu's power. A deceased angel is effectively reborn through the Crystal Arch as a manifestation of this power, but the reborn angel is a different individual from the one preceding it.[17]

The only two (known) angels to ever break that pattern are Izual and Tyrael. Izual's spirit was bound to a creature of the Black Abyss[18], and he took on demonic traits, including the ability to be reborn in Hell.[16] No replacement for Izual came from the Arch.[19] Tyrael was able to regain physical form after his destruction at Mount Arreat and return to Heaven on his own accord,[16] an event that was without precedent.[17]

When angels die, sometimes a burst of light (in rare cases it is of humanoid form), can be seen being released from their broken bodies.[20]

Demon Souls[]

"There are many ways, my son, to find where the souls of Demons remain...But it takes only one second of despair and of doubt until at last, your soul, they will gain..."

- The Initiate (excerpt)(src)

Diablo death

Diablo's soul

The souls of demons are always reborn in the Burning Hells.[21] The Great Evils have souls capable of being stored in soulstones.[22]

Human Souls[]

"Within the breast of every human on Sanctuary lies a mote of pure darkness, proof of the breed’s demonic parentage. I suspect there may be a way to draw out that evil and contain it. Of course, the process is fatal, but I propose death is infinitely preferable to the life of doubt, rage, and confusion this darkness engenders."

- The Arma Mortis (excerpt)(src)

Every human has a soul,[23] and nephalem likewise possess them. Their souls appear to be fundamentally different compared to those of angels and demons. Mendeln ul-Diomed suspected that this is part of why angels and demons fear and covet humanity in equal measure.[24]

According to Adria, when a human dies "before they are ready," their soul, strong or weak, will try to cling to the mortal realm. Devoid of concious thought, their continued existence is a scream of denial. They care for nothing for their own lingering rage. Some angry spirits will cling to any corpse that has its muscles and sinew intact, puppeteering them in a macabre imitation of life.[25]

Various cults have stated that the souls of virtuous humans are rewarded in Heaven while the souls of wicked sinners are punished in the Burning Hells, though Deckard Cain noted there was little evidence for this belief. He believed that human souls passed on to an unknown location, beyond the reach of Heaven or Hell.[22] That said, the souls of the most ruthless, hate-filled and aggressive soldiers of mortal wars often come to reside in Hell, residing in fires of eternal punishment.[26] A human soul may be reborn in Hell as a demon, provided that they have the patronage of a demonic lord.[27] Souls tortured in Hell have manifested in Sanctuary in the form of Wraiths.[28]

The Umbaru believe that the souls of the departed enter the Unformed Land[29] and become spirits.[30] The Priests of Rathma believe that when one dies, their soul passes to the next plane of existence, where they will carry out a role in maintaining the Balance.[31] Malthael found that by following the 'sound' of human souls, he discovered that they had come to reside in the Pandemonium Fortress (or perhaps more specifically, the former resting place of the Worldstone.[32] The souls in the fortress were later bound there and used to amplify his power, before the Nephalem defeated him, apparently allowing the souls to move on.[33]

Human souls are malleable. Both the light and darkness that are found within can be used to empower weapons,[9] and a human soul can inhabit armor and weapons.[34] Parts of a human soul can be torn away, while the greater whole of the soul remains intact. This soul can be 'mended' by taking from the souls of others.[35] Succubi have the ability to extract human souls and take them to Hell.[36] Some human souls are said to be stronger than others.[25] Very rarely, perhaps twice every ten millennia, there is a human soul so full of life that death cannot claim it. If the human perishes, they return to walk the world of the living. This is not the same thing as undeath. Only two individuals are known to have this gift (or curse), one of them being Siggard.[37]

The nature of a human's soul apparently has a relationship with the human's lifespan. For instance, nobles of the Fahiran Empire used dark magic to forge necrosis-warding threads that breathe longevity into their spirits, making them effectively immortal.[38]


Khazra possess souls.[39]

Souls can physically manifest in the mortal realm in the form of Wraiths.[40] Spirits also exist outside Sanctuary—some materials act as a beacon for them.[41]

The Primordial Soul came into existence before the beginning of time.[42]

Wolves are said to possess souls.[43]