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"The Worldstone. It was the power of creation and the birth of our Eternal Conflict. From the High Heavens to the Burning Hells, our desire to control that power poisoned its very nature. And so... I gave my life to destroy it."
Worldstone-DI2

The Worldstone

The Worldstone, otherwise known as the "Eye of Anu," "Heart of Creation," and "Heart of the World"[1] was a colossal, mountain-sized object of immense power. Sought by both angels and demons, it would be used to create Sanctuary before being destroyed as a result of the Great Conflict. And yet for all its importance, few of Sanctuary's inhabitants are aware that it even existed.[2]

Lore[]

"By Rathma...An endless sea of souls have perished because of this stone. It is a beacon to life and death."
Worldstone and Tyrael D2R

Tyrael before the Worldstone

Possessing infinite power,[3] the Worldstone had the power to shape entire realities[4] or unmake worlds with but a thought.[3] Anything that came into contact with it, even its shards, was altered.[5] If anything was corrupted by the Worldstone, the condition was impossible to reverse,[6] and its shards by themselves are able to force sudden and violent change to a landscape on a whim.[7] The Worldstone could shape souls.[8]

The Worldstone itself could be damaged only by exceptionally powerful weapons,[9] such as the blade of an archangel.[10]

One could not teleport straight up to the Worldstone—there was apparently a proximity where the process became too dangerous.[11]

Even fragments of the Worldstone possess immense power.[12] Examples include the soulstones, the Fragment of Destiny and according to the beliefs of some, Blood Shards.[13]

History[]

Early History[]

Worldstone-DI

The Worldstone in Pandemonium

The Eye of Anu originally lay in the realm of Pandemonium, the scar of the universe's violent birth from the battle between Anu and Tathamet. It was the foundation of all places and times, a nexus of realities.[1] When the angels were young, Malthael was the one who discovered the Eye, and named it the Worldstone, and swore all of Heaven to protect it.[14]

Both Heaven and Hell sought control over the Worldstone. Oral history states that whichever side controlled the stone allowed it to alter reality and create life and worlds with barely any restriction. Both angels and demons created worlds that reflected their nature, but all of these worlds were inherently flawed, and were doomed to wither and die. At some point, the archangel Tyrael ordered that a bastion be built around the stone, which would come to be known as the Pandemonium Fortress. The fortress changed hands many times over the course of the Great Conflict, and the possession of the Worldstone alternated in turn.[1] As the conflict dragged on, the Worldstone became 'poisoned' by Heaven and Hell according to Tyrael, due to their desire to control its power, altering its original nature.[15]

Sanctuary and the Sin War[]

"It is the reason why no nephalem or anything akin to it has risen lo these many centuries, my friend. It is the reason why you and yours should not exist! You stand before the curse of all of all the descendants of those angels and demons who forged Sanctuary! You stand before the Worldstone..."
InariusWorldstone

Inarius uses the Worldstone to create Sanctuary

Over the course of the Great Conflict, a number of angels and demons had grown tired of the endless war and desired a place away from the conflict. These renegades were led by the angel Inarius and the demon Lilith. Either through strength of arms or misdirection, Inarius and his renegades gained access to the Worldstone. Altering its frequency or dimensional alignment, they used its power to conceal it from the angels and demons still fighting in the Eternal Conflict. Subsequently, the Worldstone was shifted into a pocket dimension. There, Inarius and his followers shaped a world around it. A world of refuge they would call Sanctuary. The forces of Heaven and Hell became aware of the Worldstone's disappearance, but had no idea where it was or who had taken it.[1]

The Worldstone was initially located on what would become known as Ancients' Cradle before being moved.[16] Far removed from the squabbles of his former allies and enemies, Inarius shaped Mount Arreat as a kind of protective shell around the Worldstone. From there, the rest of the world would be formed.[1]

The Worldstone could be used to alter the abilities of certain individuals. Unknown to the renegades, Inarius tied the energies of the Worldstone into himself, enhancing his powers greatly.[17] The Worldstone was further used to inhibit the powers of the nephalem—the offspring of both angels and demons and with the potential to become greater than both. Over time, as each generation of nephalem became weaker than their predecessors, the race that would be called humanity arose. However, the potential for Man to reclaim his former strength still existed, and during the last days of the Sin War, it was potential that began to be reclaimed. Lilith, having long since fallen out with Inarius, cast a spell on the Worldstone that would allow humanity's former power to return.[1]

Events began to get out of hand, however. Uldyssian, the first to reclaim his nephalem birthright, came into contact with the Worldstone, changing the pattern of a small part of the artifact from five-sided to six-sided, thus changing its resonance. Unlike Lilith, he had changed the nature of the Worldstone itself, and the nephalem's powers began to return at an even faster rate. And Inarius could not undo the effects that Uldyssian's contact had wrought.[11]

Uldyssian ultimately defeated Inarius and severed his connection with the Worldstone, but lost his own life as well. At the end of the Sin War, the Angiris Council and Mephisto agreed that Sanctuary and its inhabitants would be allowed continued existence, though one of the conditions was that humanity be taken 'back to the beginning.'[17] This meant a second loss of their nephalem abilities,[1] per another alteration of the Worldstone.[18]

Worldstone's End[]

"And now at last the storm surges forth from the southlands, and the hand of Destruction reaches out to undo the workings of the Ancients. The tides of Hell surge—ready to smash down upon the shores of the mortal world—to drown the guilty and the innocent alike."

It is stated that when the world was young, the people of the Northern Steppes were given a sacred charge of protecting that which lay in the heart of Mount Arreat. These people were called Children of Bul-Kathos, a moniker that encompassed two distinct groups— the Barbarians, who remained in the steppes, and the Druids, who developed their own culture in Scosglen but vowed to return to the steppes at Uileloscadh Mor, the final battle between Heaven and Hell.[19] For the Barbarians, the protection of the Worldstone was the cornerstone of their culture. Consequently, the Barbarians were quick to thwart any incursions into their lands and developed a reputation for savagery in the kingdoms to the south.[20]

Eventually, the moment came. Baal, Lord of Destruction, approached Mount Arreat at the head of a demonic army. His plan was to infuse his soulstone shard with the Worldstone that had spawned it. His shard pulsated with energies of destruction, and, if fused with the Worldstone, humanity would fall prey to the powers of destruction as well. The Barbarians fought to stem the tide, but were driven back to the slopes of Arreat and their last bastion of Harrogath. Baal's forces laid siege to the fortress while thanks to the treachery of Nihlathak, Baal was able to claim the Relic of the Ancients, allowing him passage up the slopes of the mountain.[1]

Shattered Stone

Tyrael destroys the Worldstone

Ultimately, Baal was defeated by a group of heroes that had previously defeated his brothers, Diablo and Mephisto. However, they were too late to prevent him from enacting his plan. Tyrael, coming to aid the heroes one last time, determined that the only recourse available was to destroy the Worldstone. After opening a portal for them, the angel hurtled El'druin into the stone, shattering it.[21]

Legacy of Destruction[]

"A shard of the Worldstone... we swore to defend it, and paid the price in blood."

- A Barbarian(src)

Splinterstorm

A splinterstorm

The destruction of the Worldstone had grave consequences. Baal's body and his demonic forces were destroyed, but the surrounding area was devastated.[1] Mount Arreat was left a smouldering crater,[22] and even 20 years later toxic clouds of ash and arcane dust hung over the surrounding area. What was once the Northern Steppes became known as the Dreadlands and the demonic corruption ran rampant, altering both man and beast.[1] The Southern Dreadlands were particularly affected, as shards of the corrupted Worldstone turned the region into a horrifying new environment.[23] Splinterstorms[24] — horrifying red storms that carried tiny splinters and particles of the destroyed Worldstone— raged for years after the Worldstone's destruction. When a storm passed through a settlement, it either cut the inhabitants to pieces or transformed them into Shardborne.[25] Seven years later the storm, though weakened, had spread to various parts of the western continent. The Untameable Wilds Circle sent their surveyor to retrieve some of the splinters for study.[26]

The Barbarians were left scattered. The heart of their culture had been destroyed, and many tribes fell into a state of regression.[1] With the destruction of the Worldstone, the very essence of Sanctuary and every person in the world began to change.[27]

The Worldstone's destruction also held grave implications for Sanctuary as a whole. Sanctuary was no longer hidden from the sight of Heaven and Hell, and both angels and demons stared intently at the mortal realm.[27] Furthermore, its dampening effect had prevented armies of demons and angels manifesting en masse, but with that protection gone Sanctuary was open to invasion[28][29]

While the Worldstone itself was destroyed, multiple shards were scattered across the world by the blast that followed its destruction.[27] The shards carried its corruption with them across Sanctuary;[15] wherever they landed, corruption and death followed.[30] The power of the shards varied, some imbued with the power of Creation, others with the ability to warp reality itself.[27]

Ancient evils emerged, looking to take control of the shards to use them to enslave humanity. One such evil was Skarn, who sought to use the shards to reignite the Eternal Conflict.[31] If he could obtain just one shard of the Worldstone, he would be able to remove humanity's angelic essence, leaving only their demonic side.[12]

Barbarian-shard

The Wortham shard is retrieved

The Coven also took advantage of the chaos, spreading corruption wherever they trod.[31] Deckard Cain, who'd conducted a Horadric ritual to ascertain the location of the shards, sought to destroy them. He enlisted the aid of a hero/group of heroes in this endeavor. The Wortham shard came into the hands of Eskara, who attempted to summon Skarn into Sanctuary, but was thwarted by the hero(es) and the shard retrieved. Cain informed them of the existence of the Ashwold shard.[32]

Crusader-shard

The Dark Wood shard is retrieved

The Ashwold shard came into the possession of Lethes a rogue Necromancer. She was confronted by the hero(es), and despite using the shard to bolster her own power, she was slain, and the shard taken into their possession.[33] The hero(es) returned to Cain in Westmarch, who had no means of destroying the artifact, but told them of the Dark Wood shard,[34] which had come into the possession of the Countess,[35] which she wore around her neck.[36] After the Countess was slain, her Worldstone shard was likewise retrieved.[37]

Deckard Cain-ritual

Deckard Cain attempts to destroy the shards

The hero(es) returned to Deckard Cain in Westmarch, where he attempted to conduct a Horadric ritual to destroy them. However, the shards pulsed with corrupting energies (a result of Baal's corruption of the Worldstone five years prior), and the shards not only resisted their destruction, but spawned demons as well. While the demons were destroyed, Baal's corruption had apparently made it impossible to destroy the shards.[38] The shards were later destroyed using Yl'nira.[39]

Another shard landed on Mount Zavain and was found by Veradani Monks. It was stored in the Sanctified Earth Monastery. By 1270, Dravec summoned demons to attack the Sanctified Earth Monastery[40]. In the midst of the chaos, he stole the shard[41] and made his way to the Frozen Tundra. There, he was able to give Skarn the shard[42].

The Shard-seeker killed Skarn and retrieved the shard, but by then Skarn had corrupted it and attuned it to himself. When it was destroyed his spirit was released.[43]

Tenacious Damnation

The corrupted shard is destroyed

The largest shard[44] landed in the sea near the shores of Stormpoint. It was swept into a tidal cave where Woodruh found it. From him, it warped all occupants of the prison. Woodruh also exposed the shard to a sea creature that he befriended, causing it to turn into a behemoth, which came to reside beneath the Abandoned Prison of Stormpoint.[5][45]

The emergent Cult of Terror invaded the island, summoning hordes of demons to retrieve the shard.[46]

At the end, Akinees was able to claim the shard, and delivered it to the Bride of Hell, who would then give it to Diablo.[47] Having claimed the shard, Diablo used its power to speed up his rebirth.[48]

The End of Days[]

Twenty years after its destruction, the Worldstone's absence allowed Azmodan, the Lord of Sin, to summon his army onto the mortal plane in the year 1285 leading them against Bastion's Keep.[22] Yet this was thwarted by the Nephalem, for without the Worldstone's dampening influence, humanity's inherent power was able to return in at least a select few.[49]

Months later, angels were also able to manifest in force under the direction of Malthael, though they too were defeated.[50]

Reign of Enmity[]

In order to imprison Lilith, the Wanderer and Neyrelle, together with Lorath and Donan, attune a shard to create a soulstone to trap her.

Horadrim Shard

Donan taunts Inarius with a Worldstone shard

With the shard prepared, they follow Inarius and his army to Caldeum in order to use the Hell gate located there. Donan reveals the shard, but Inarius takes it. In the chaos of the conflict in Hell, the Wanderer and their allies retrieve the shard. However, when the time comes to use it on Lilith, Neyrelle takes charge of the stone and chooses to imprison Lilith's father Mephisto instead, having deemed him a far greater threat to Sanctuary.

The current location of the stone is uncertain, but Neyrelle is known to be traveling with it.

In-game[]

Diablo II[]

The Worldstone appears in the last part of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, however, it is never interacted with directly.

Quotes[]

Malah

"If Tyrael says the Worldstone must be destroyed, then it must. We cannot let Baal's corruption prevail! The world will change, true -- but who is to say it isn't for the better?"

QualKehk

"The destruction of the Worldstone does not bode well for our world. But I'll try not to worry… After all, we have warriors like you fighting for us and for the Light. Farewell!"

Deckard Cain

"So… The Worldstone was corrupted by Baal. And now Tyrael must destroy it. Worry not. Through whatever lies ahead I have faith that the Light will guide us both.

Anya

"Strange that you say that the Worldstone must be destroyed. The prophecies said nothing about that. Perhaps all we have fought for will be lost… or perhaps we'll never need fight again!"

Diablo Immortal[]

"The power to create worlds, or a simple rock. Perhaps both"

- The Shard-seeker upon obtaining the first shard(src)

Worldstone shards or just shards are fragments of the Worldstone that remained after it was shattered by Tyrael in 1265. They play a very important role in the plot of Diablo Immortal, however, they have no direct influence in-game.

Wielders[]

The following individuals carry/wield Worldstone shards in Diablo Immortal. They are listed in chronological order within the game's storyline:

Trivia[]

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This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
  • In 2014, it was unknown (in a real-world sense) what happened to the pieces of the Worldstone after it shattered. According to Valerie Watrous, it would be an "interesting" idea to explore this plot point in the future.[51] This idea became the basis of the plot in Diablo Immortal.[15]
  • A Worldstone Shard was temporarily available as an artifact in Heroes of the Storm.
  • The Worldstone shards have been likened to "free uranium," in regards to their accessibility and power.[27]
  • Comments from Ryan Quinn indicate that by Diablo Immortal, if not earlier, the Worldstone had some kind of latent intelligence, and a malignant one at that (by the events of Immortal, this malignancy could be attributed to Baal's corruption of the stone). The core theme of Terror's Tide is to show "what happens when the Worldstone has its way with a place and its people." Up to that point in the game's storyline, the Worldstone shards had been wielded by malignant individuals, whereas in Tide, the shard itself corrupted the Warden.[5]
  • In The Sanctuary Tarot Deck and Guidebook, the Worldstone represents The World card.

References[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Book of Cain
  2. Diablo III Introduction, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2013-01-29
  3. 3.0 3.1 Book of Lorath
  4. Diablo Immortal
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 2022-12-13, Diablo Immortal | Dev Update | Terror's Tide. YouTube, accessed on 2022-12-23
  6. Diablo Immortal, All Wolves Starve
  7. 2023-01-21, Looking at 2023: Diablo Immortal. Reddit, accessed on 2023-01-31
  8. 2024-05-17, Diablo Immortal Devs Introduce New Tempest Class, Say Players Tend To Prefer Brand New Classes. Gamer Braves, accessed on 2024-05-17
  9. Diablo Immortal, The Dark Exile
  10. Diablo Immortal, Destruction's End
  11. 11.0 11.1 Scales of the Serpent
  12. 12.0 12.1 2022-05-25, Diablo Immortal | New Gameplay Today. YouTube, accessed on 2022-05-31
  13. Diablo III
  14. Diablo III, The History of Pandemonium
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 2018-11-02, Diablo Immortal Cinematic Trailer. YouTube, accessed on 2018-04-11
  16. 2023-06-16, Diablo Immortal | Dev Update | Destruction's Wake. YouTube, accessed on 2023-08-12
  17. 17.0 17.1 The Veiled Prophet
  18. 2017-06-23, Deadly Roots: The Lore of the Necromancer. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-06-30
  19. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Manual
  20. Diablo II Manual
  21. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
  22. 22.0 22.1 Diablo III, Act III
  23. 2023, November, Diablo Immortal Splintered Souls is the RPG’s “biggest update ever”. PC Games N, accessed on 2023-12-07
  24. 30-11-2023,Sanctuary's newest threats are more powerful than ever before.. Twitter (X), accessed on 30-11-2023
  25. 23-11-2023,A new zone — and new terrors — await you in our upcoming Splintered Souls update. Twitter (X), accessed on 24-11-2023
  26. 20-1-2024; REPEL DEMONIC DEFILEMENT IN SPLINTERED SOULS. Blizzard Entertainment; accessed on 12-12-2023
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 2022-05-31, DIABLO IMMORTAL: THE STORY SO FAR. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2022-06-03
  28. Moon of the Spider
  29. The Order
  30. 2018-11-05, BlizzCon 2018 Diablo Immortal Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2018-11-09
  31. 31.0 31.1 Diablo Immortal, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2018-11-05
  32. Diablo Immortal
  33. Diablo Immortal, Battle for the Shard
  34. Diablo Immortal, Fragments of the Past
  35. Diablo Immortal, Between Two Evils
  36. Diablo Immortal, Tree of Inifuss
  37. Diablo Immortal, Forgotten Tower
  38. Diablo Immortal, Fragments of the Past
  39. Diablo Immortal, Fragments of the Past#Part 3
  40. Diablo Immortal quests,Monastery in Crisis
  41. Diablo Immortal quests,Take Back the Worldstone Shard
  42. Diablo Immortal quests,The Realm of the Dead
  43. Diablo Immortal,Bearer of Ill Omens
  44. 2022-12-14, CRASH INTO HELL’S MINIONS IN TERROR’S TIDE. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2022-12-23
  45. Diablo Immortal,Warden's Journal
  46. Diablo Immortal,Terror's Tide
  47. Diablo Immortal, Bound for Eternity
  48. 2023-12-07, Diablo Immortal | Splintered Souls | Dev Video Update. YouTube, accessed on 2023-12-14
  49. Diablo III, Act I
  50. Diablo III, Act V
  51. 2013-12-08, BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III Lore and Story Q&A Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-03-24
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