"We have all heard the tales associated with Tristram. The very mention of its name brings to mind images of undead monstrosities, demonic possession, monarchy driven to lunacy, and, of course, the greatest legend of all: the Lord of Terror unleashed. Although many now claim that a peculiar mold upon the bread or perhaps a fouling of the water drove the populace mad with visions, I have seen too much in my varied travels to dismiss such stories out of hand."

Abd al-Hazir(src)
Tristram D3

The ruins of Tristram

Tristram (later known as "Old Tristram") was a small, humble town[1] in the western realm of Khanduras, now nothing more than ruins.




Tristram, before the coming of Leoric

In ancient times, Jered Cain, and his fellow Horadrim, slew Diablo during the Dark Exile, and sealed him within one of the three soulstones. Jered then hid the soulstone in the Horadric monastery. Over the course of many generations, the Horadrim Order began to dissipate, with the three Prime Evils bound within the soulstones. As their numbers dwindled, the monastery fell into ruin. Over time, villages were established in the surrounding area, the denizens unaware of the terror that lurked in the labyrinth beneath. Tristram was a case in point.[2]

A tree on the road to Tristram was used to hang those accused of practicing the dark arts.[3] This practice continued (or started) during the reign of King Leoric.[4]

The Darkening of TristramEdit

For the Diablo III event of the same name, see The Darkening of Tristram.
Tristram comp

A map of Tristram, both before and after its fall

After many years, Leoric established himself as king of Khanduras, and brought with him the Zakarum faith. He made Tristram Khanduras's capital, with his seat of power in the ancient Horadrim monastery, now a cathedral. Archbishop Lazarus, Leoric's most trusted adviser and an envoy of the Zakarum, ventured deep into the cathedral, attracted by some mystic energy. In the deepest recesses, he found Diablo's soulstone.

Diablo, having fully corrupted the soulstone, was able to influence Lazarus into shattering it. He tried to take control of Leoric's body, and while he managed to drive the king mad, he was never able to fully possess Leoric. Diablo then left the king's body and demanded that Lazarus bring him Albrecht, Leoric's son. Rapidly possessing the prince, the Lord of Terror finally was able to fully manifest in the mortal realm once again. Leoric was left completely insane by the disappearance of his son, and thought the townsfolk, and even his loyal knights guilty of betraying him.

His knights, led by Lachdanan, were sent (by the advice of Lazarus) into a suicidal war against the larger kingdom of Westmarch; more than half of Tristram's citizens were charged with treason and murdered. When Lachdanan returned, defeated, to Tristram, he found the city devastated. He confronted the king, finally understanding that there was no salvation for Leoric. When King Leoric attacked Lachdanan and his knights, Lachdanan ordered them to defend themselves, and a fierce battle ensued. Lachdanan and his forces were at last able to overcome the darkened monarch. With his dying breath, Leoric cursed Lachdanan and his knights to serve him in darkness, forever.

Tristram D1

Death and desolation

Soon after, Tristram was attacked by a horde of demons, and the once-holy cathedral became a place of dark cults and rituals. The archbishop emerged from the ancient Horadric monastery, and rallied the townsfolk into finding the lost prince in the dungeon; only to lure them into a confrontation with the Butcher, a powerful demon, who slew many that night, and left very few survivors. What was left of Tristram's townsfolk either left or tried to survive however they could in the demon-infested town.[2]

Salvation and DamnationEdit

"No one could save Tristram. The people there never understood that. Not Cain. Not Prince Aidan. Not the others who remained in town to stop the chaos. Tristram was already lost. It was gone the moment my master's influence slipped into the minds of Leoric and his people. The moment he sensed the king's fears and made them into living nightmares. Diablo defeated the people of Tristram before they even knew of his presence. How could anyone ever stand against a force like that?"


The culling of Tristram

Many heroes were attracted to Tristram, whether it be for the rumored riches within the cathedral or a chance to test their mettle against the monsters that plagued the town. Among them was Prince Aidan, son of Leoric. He ventured into the cathedral's depths and slew the Lord of Terror, binding his essence within the soulstone, and joining it to his flesh. This was an act intended to contain the demon, but it only resulted in Diablo asserting his will over the prince. Tristram celebrated the victory, but Aidan, now the Dark Wanderer, left the town. Upon his departure, demons returned to the town, slaughtering its inhabitants,[5] though they were able to take some of their attackers with them. Survivors included Gillian and Adria (both having left before the carnage)[6] and Deckard Cain, who was rescued by a new group of heroes in pursuit of the Dark Wanderer.[7]

Among the RuinsEdit

"The memories of my time in Tristram are sharper than any others I have. If I close my eyes, I can see my hut at the edge of town. I barely knew the people I met, but I remember exactly how they looked. The things they said. The potions and salves they bought from me. My memories of the dead rising in Tristram are even clearer. When I saw them shambling through the forests, I realized they were the product of true power."


Tristram never recovered from the horror Diablo inflicted. A new settlement dubbed "New Tristram" grew up in an area not too distant from the original town site, based on travelers seeking to reap what treasures remained in the cathedral, but this settlement too faded into obscurity. By 1285, the fires of the past had long since burnt out, leaving nothing but charred ruins.[8]


Diablo IEdit

Tristram is the hub of Diablo and its expansion. The following NPCs can be interacted with:


Tome This page contains obsolete content
This article contains information that is no longer relevant to gameplay, but is kept here for informational purposes.
The original concept for Tristram included a temple, general store, and training center.[9]

Diablo IIEdit

Tristram (Diablo II)
Act Act I
Quests The Search for Cain
NPCs Deckard Cain
Monsters Carver, Carver Shaman, Skeleton Archer, Returned, Night Clan
Adjacent Zones -
Area Level Normal 6
Area Level Nightmare 39
Area Level Hell 76
Waypoint No

In Diablo II, Tristram is shown to be destroyed by demons. The zone can be accessed through a special portal opened within the circle of Cairn Stones in the Stony Field. The zone is not randomized in the environment. Near the portal entrance to the zone, and scattered across the town, are cow corpses that explode if the player character clicks on them, dealing a small percentage of their Life in damage as Fire (a possible reference to The Secret Cow Level).

In the southern part of the town the now undead Griswold can be found, and west of him is usually a Unique Skeleton Archer and his minions. In the center is Deckard Cain's prison, guarded by Champion Skeletons and surrounded with gold. In the northwest are Carvers and their shamans, along with Wirt's corpse and a house with gold in it. Other monsters are randomly spawned.

In addition to Wirt's body, corpses are shown near the locations where the original townsfolk of Tristram once stood, apparently signifying that they were killed. However, Deckard Cain wasn't the only person who avoided death at Tristram; Adria the Witch left the town before the massacre, and her hut across the river was inaccessible to anyone, including the demons.

Diablo IIIEdit

The Old Ruins are the ruins of Tristram, and players visit this area in Act I. Risen have been attacking the town, under the command of the newly risen Skeleton King. Captain Rumford and his guards tried to defend the town, and it would have fallen if not for the actions of the nephalem. It is here where Tyrael was brought when he was rescued by the heroes. Near the shattered fountain, the remains of Deckard Cain's infamous cage still sits where it was lowered to. The exploding cow corpse has rotted away, leaving the skeleton behind.[8]


Tristram Burning

Tristram ablaze

Known InhabitantsEdit

The following is a list of all known inhabitants of Tristram, NPC or otherwise:


This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
  • "Tristram" is an alternate spelling for the more common male given name Tristan. Tristan, who was also known as Tristram, was one of the Knights of the Round Table and the son of Meliodas from Arthurian legend.
  • Tristam is the only town to appear in all three games.
  • A town called "Twistram" can be found in Goat Simulator. It features similar lighting, architecture, and background music to the town as it appears in the Diablo series, along with leading to the Not So Secret Cow Farm.[11]
  • Max Schaefer has likened Tristram and its surrounding area to being set in the Irish countryside.[12] Blizzard Entertainment originally objected to the region being featured in the beginning of Diablo II, due to the shared location with Diablo I,[13] but the game nonetheless began there.


  1. 2016-11-04, BlizzCon Recap: Day 1. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2016-11-07
  2. 2.0 2.1 Diablo Manual
  3. Diablo III, Set Dungeon
  4. Diablo Cinematic Intro
  5. Diablo II Manual
  6. The Order
  7. Diablo II, The Sightless Eye
  8. 8.0 8.1 Diablo III, Act I
  9. 2016-03-19, Original Diablo Pitch Document. Graybeard Games, accessed on 2016-03-23
  10. 2013-11-11, Heroes of the Storm: Sixen Interviews Dustin Browder. YouTube, accessed on 2013-12-01
  11. 2014-11-22, Goat Simulator's MMO expansion has an Easter egg homage to Diablo's 'cow level'. Polygon, accessed on 2014-11-23
  12. 2015-09-08, Page 2: In Their Own Words: An Oral History of Diablo II With David Brevik, Max Schaefer, and Erich Schaefer. US Gamer, accessed on 2015-09-13
  13. 2015-09-13, Page 3: In Their Own Words: An Oral History of Diablo II With David Brevik, Max Schaefer, and Erich Schaefer. US Gamer, accessed on 2015-09-15
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