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Diablo Lore: The Soulstones Saga, Part 1

Soulstones are at the very heart of the Diablo game series.

Diablo Lore: The Soulstones Saga, Part 1


Neyrelle Journey 001

When we last saw Neyrelle, the heroic NPC from the Diablo 4 main campaign, she had, clutched in her remaining hand, a Sapphire Soulstone, imprisoned within which was the essence of Mephisto. How was it that such a powerful artifact had come to be in the possession of this young girl?

It was Vhenard who first taught the names of Mephisto and Lilith to her daughter Neyrelle. The two of them had devoted themselves to searching for Horadric artifacts and scrolls. Vhenard’s goal was to find the Horadric Vault, a repository of arcane knowledge, which she believed contained answers to the origins of life on Sanctuary.

Neyrelle Journey 002
The Bloodied Wolf

It is unclear as to what initially caused Vhenard to embark on this quest. Perhaps it was the arrival of the Angel Inarius in the Fractured Peaks. It could have also been the corruption borne by Lilith following her summoning from the Void. Regardless of the cause, Vhenard had justified her decision to take Neyrelle along with her based on the belief that the knowledge gained would help her daughter to better survive what was to come.

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Neyrelle, in time, embarked on a quest of her own, which culminated in an encounter with Mephisto in the Cathedral of Hatred. Then, with Soulstone in hand, and while being shadowed by the Bloodied Wolf, Neyrelle ventured west from the Fractured peaks and eventually boarded a boat at the Kurast docks. There she set sail across the Twin Seas with the intention of traveling even farther west in search of a way to deal with the Lord of Hatred.

This is the newest chapter in the Soulstones Saga, and only time will tell what terrible fate awaits us all with nasty, big, pointy teeth (sorry, couldn’t resist 😁). Nevertheless, Soulstones have been a part of Diablo lore ever since the first game in the series was released in 1996. While we sit on the edge of our seats in anticipation of learning more about Neyrelle’s journey, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and revisit the other times when Soulstones made an appearance in Diablo games.


The period of time in the history of Sanctuary known as the Sin War concluded with Inarius being imprisoned by Mephisto in the Burning Hells and Lilith being banished to the Void. It’s what I would refer to as a sort of diabolical restraining order. In any case, the Angiris Council had consented to handing Inarius over to Mephisto, and all parties agreed that they would never again interfere with the fate of Sanctuary.

Before long, however, our favorite titular character Diablo, being Diablo, secretly broke that truce and launched a covert campaign with his brothers Baal and Mephisto. The three Prime Evils returned to Sanctuary during a period known as the Dark Exile, and planned to conscript its inhabitants as a weapon against the High Heavens.

The Horadrim
Horadric Seal

In time, Tyrael, the Archangel of Justice, became aware of the presence of the Prime Evils in Sanctuary. At the same time, he knew very well that his fellow brethren on the Angiris Council would have no interest or concern in this matter. Nevertheless, Tyrael regarded the presence of the Prime Evils in Sanctuary to be a gross injustice to humanity. However, he also knew that merely defeating the Prime Evils would never be enough to prevent them from achieving their devilish plans. That’s because the souls of the demon lords are immortal and, even if killed, they will eventually, and inevitably, be resurrected.

Therefore, Tyrael’s principal strategy in his cold war against the Primes was to imprison their souls for all time. He began by forming a brotherhood of mages known as the Horadrim, the foremost members of which were Jered Cain, Zoltun Kulle, and Tal Rasha. With the assistance of Zoltun Kulle, Tyrael used the Worldstone beneath Mount Arreat to craft three Soulstones. He then tasked the Horadrim with defeating the Prime Evils and capturing their essences within the stones.



Over the next several years, the Horadrim succeeded in tracking down and capturing the souls of the Prime Evils. The Crimson Soulstone, containing the essence of Diablo, was then hidden away beneath a cathedral located in a small backwater settlement called Tristram. The safekeeping of the Sapphire Soulstone, containing the essence of Mephisto, was entrusted to the acolytes of the Zakarum church in Travincal.

However, during the process of capturing Baal, the demon lord managed to shatter the Amber Soulstone. Fearing that Baal’s soul would not be adequately contained in the remaining shard, Tal Rasha plunged the shard into his own chest. Tal Rasha was then sealed inside a tomb located in the Canyon of the Magi, left there to battle with the Lord of Destruction for all eternity.

All those involved in the capture of the three Prime Evils believed that Sanctuary had been cleansed of this scourge once and for all. What’s more, it had been accomplished without the knowledge of the High Heavens and the Burning Hells. As fate would have it, however, the GM of the brand-new Diablo franchise spoke up and said, “But, we haven’t even released the first game yet!” Then, just in the nick of time, the turncoat Angel named Izual popped into the meeting and assured the development team that they had nothing to worry about.

It turned out that Izual, one of Tyrael’s lieutenants who had fallen in battle and had been taken prisoner by the forces of Hell, had also tipped off the Prime Evils about the true nature of the Soulstones. Consequently, the Prime Evils were able to secretly taint the Soulstones at the time of their capture. As a result, all three Prime Evils, from within their respective Soulstones, were able to corrupt the minds of those charged with guarding them.

The Birth of ARPGs

Dark Wanderer
The Dark Wanderer

Albrecht, the younger son of King Leoric, was eventually lured into the depths of the Tristram Cathedral by Archbishop Lazarus, the King’s corrupted chief advisor. Having been delivered to the deepest chamber (on Level 16), which had been used to store the Crimson Soulstone, the young Albrecht became the mortal host for Diablo, the Lord of Terror.

Albrecht’s older brother, Aidan, subsequently returned to Tristram following a doomed war with Westmarch and found his home in utter chaos. Aiden then bravely volunteered to be the Warrior player character for Diablo I. He journeyed down into the labyrinth beneath the cathedral in the hopes of finding his brother and saving the town. It was only upon striking down Diablo that Aidan finally discovered what had become of his younger brother.

By then, however, he, too, had been corrupted by Diablo. Aidan was compelled to remove the Soulstone from his brother’s corpse and thrust it into his own forehead. Thus, Aidan assumed the mantle of being the mortal host for Diablo. Over the days and weeks that followed, Aidan, now transformed into the Dark Wanderer, traveled away from Tristram and headed East, always into the East, with a petulant vagrant named Marius by his side. Aidan’s journey as the Dark Wanderer served as the framework for the events that followed in the second game in the series, Diablo 2.

Tune in Next Time

So, what happened to the Dark Wanderer and Marius? What about Diablo’s brothers Mephisto and Baal? There was also some gossip going around Tristram about Aidan looking a bit disheveled when he was spotted sneaking out of Adria’s hut on the morning before he left town. The answers to those questions, and much more, will be revealed in Part 2 of the Soulstones Saga.

I am also delighted to announce that I’m on the schedule for Phoenix Fan Fusion again this year on Memorial Day weekend. To make the weekend even more special, I will be joined on stage by none other than Diablo streaming luminary WyzeFool! Together we will be presenting three Diablo 4 panels, the first of which will feature even more of Neyrelle’s story as part of the Vessel of Hatred lore. Additional details will be announced here at PureDiablo over the next few weeks, including some exclusive giveaways. Diablo fans in the Metro Phoenix area will not want to miss this exciting event and we hope to see all of you there!


We would love to hear your feedback on this topic, so please sound off in the comments section below, or contact me on Twitter. Do also let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions for future topics here at PureDiablo. In the meantime, be sure to keep an eye on the news feed so you’ll have all the up-to-date info you need to get the most out of your game.

If you believe that any of the information shared above is inaccurate in any way, please let us know, along with a reference for the correct information so we can update this document accordingly.

Gazerrick ArmsGazerrick is a staff writer for PureDiablo who focuses primarily on casual gaming interests and lore for the Diablo community. When not hacking and slashing his way through a new Season, he can be found participating in, and presenting at, various pop culture conventions in southern Arizona. You can follow him on Twitter @Gazerrick9000 for even more of his gaming indulgences. A collection of his creative media is also available at Cactus Palm Perspectives.

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