The Diablo I: Hellfire Manual is transcribed here. All the manuals of the Diablo games contain a lot of lore of the world of Sanctuary, and is one of our primary sources of information. They contain texts that are meant to be excerpts from books written in the actual world, but as a reader you need to be aware of the fact that much of the actual years written down have been "retconed". This means that we currently don't know exactly what yearly calendar is actually canon information. However, the actual events that take place are usually correct, so if you are adding material from the manuals to an article, feel free to add years and events into the article, and we will have to update the article when more accurate information comes out from Blizzard.
Some words have been wiki-linked for easy information navigation, and in some cases the formatting has been changed to work with the wiki. No words below the introduction (this text) has been altered.
Make sure to read all of the manuals:
- Diablo I Manual
- Diablo I: Hellfire Manual
- Diablo II Manual
- Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Manual
- Diablo III Manual
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The Dark Mage
Not long ago, before the betrayal of Arch-Bishop Lazarus and the freeing of Diablo, a Dark Mage was seen on the outskirts of Tristram. Many claimed that he often lurked near the cemetery at night. As this skulking figure did not appear to harm the graves, the townspeople left him alone. One evening smoke came drifting from the soil, as from a smouldering fire. An orange glow from below lit up the tombstones, and someone saw the Dark Mage descend into earth itself. The smoke dissipated, the glow faded, and the cemetary was still. Whispers of evil sorcery and necromancy filled the tavern's gossip for a while, but were soon forgotten as King Leoric grew madder and other troubles plagued the town.
Shortly before the Hero came and descended into the depths below the Monastery, the ground began smouldering again in the cemetery. A passing traveller told of spying a cloaked figure fleeing from the smokey site. Splattered with a thick, glowing substance, the Dark Mage ran to the river and crossed the bridge, where he collapsed. To the traveller's unbelieving eyes, the stained, glowing body of the mage seemed to dissolve and melt into the hearth, the soil greedily soaking up the remains.
Alarmed, some of the townspeople investigated the area by the river. To their dismay, they found an unclean, alien growth near the spot where the Dark Mage fell. A hard, dome-like shell, inpenetrable and bizarre, sat in the centre of the large atrocity. Since a small a small meteorite had fallen and exploded at this same location years earlier, it was now a place not only to be avoided, but also to be feared. The people pitied the poor Farmer whose land was affected, and many were concerned for his sanity, as he had taken to talking to his cattle for hours.
Disturbed and filled with dread, the people of Tristram have lately had many tragedies befall them. Signs of evil and chaos are everywhere, and the odd events by the river and in the graveyard are only a few of the many horrors that they have to contemplate. It is their hope that the Hero can unravel these mysteries as well as defeat the Lord of Terror, Diablo.
Monks of the Brotherhood of the Bough are a rare sight. It is said that they come from a desolate wilderness, where their people were forced to flee after being conquered by an invading horde. Because of their great defeat, these people vowed to master the arts of combat. Lacking resources such as iron, they learned to use their bare hands and simple wooden staves as deadly weapons, and do not depend on metal armour to provide protection in battle. Instead, they rely upon speed and concentration. In their harsh native clime, they have been forced to find food and other essentials in the most unlikely of places. Over time, this careful searching has honed their visual perception to an almost supernatural level.
It is rumoured that a dark sickness has fallen upon the homeland of the Monks, and many of their people have died. The Brotherhood of the Bough has sought to unearth the foulness, to no avail. Desperate for answers, lone Monks have ventured to distant lands, searching for regions suffering a similar affliction. Tales of the evils besetting Tristram will have already attracted the attention of the Brotherhood.
The Monk is extremely skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and is a master of the staff, which he can use to strike many opponents with a single blow. However, he is not well trained with bladed or projectile weapons, and is unused to wearing heavy armour. Foes of weak or moderate ability tend to fall easy before him, but tougher enemies may provide him with a considerable challenge. All Monks have the ability to find items easily because of their exceptional eyesight.
As the eternal struggle between the forces of Light and Darkness rages on, all of the powers in the universe bend and twist in the storm of their conflict. The realms of the physical plane warp and merge with the planes of the etheral, and chaos grows stronger while magical essence seeps into every corner of reality. In the past, those who studied the arts of magic and wielded the forces of the arcane were capable of learning and retaining only four pages of spells, and this only through tremendous difficulty and long hours of study. Now, as more spells and sources of Mana are created or unearthed from ancient places of power, many magic users have found that they can obtain and remember a fifth page.
In ancient time the Horadrim built many magical gateways, and though the secret of their construction is long lost, many uses and manipulations of these portals have evolved over the centuries. Akin to the spell of Town Portal is the spell of War[, though far less versatile as a means of exact teleportation between two specific destinations. Rather, Warp sends the caster on a one way trip to nearest exit from a place. Immidietly thereafter the portal is closed and dissipated, leaving the traveller with only conventional means with which to return to the point of casting. Limited as a means of travel, this spell can, however, prove to be extremely useful in finding an exit when the caster is lost or besieged ina a dark and dangerous place such as a dungeon or a cave. Unfortunately, the forces drawn upon by the Warp spell make no distinction between types of exits, since they merely focus their energies on the nearest at hand. As often as not, the caster is sent to an exit downward, which almost always leads to even greater peril.
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