'tis getting hard to keep up with all this!
'tis getting hard to keep up with all this!
Diablo 2 Manual" page. It's apparently not in the PDF version of the manual on Blizzard's web site, and wasn't added at the bottom with "Lut Gholein: The Binding of Destruction" (at the VERY bottom). I was able to find "Custodians of Hatred" in the main site index though, and it's in the manual I'm currently holding in my hands on page 75. That is a letter from Sankekur to Lazarus about some of his shenanigans that is unbecoming of an Archbishop. There is a clear suspicion of corruption, or at least dark influence, and that is a clear line between Lazarus and Mephisto. The implication is that Mephisto actually broke his bonds first, then sent Lazarus to free Diablo.
I had never actually read that in the manual until a couple years ago and was like "Wha?! That explains so much! How did I miss that?!"
What's weird about the letter though, is that it must have been written after Khalim was killed, since Sankekur is the Que-Hagan as of the writing of the letter, but before he was corrupted by Mephisto? I thought Khalim was the only one to not be corrupted and that's why they killed him. There a bit of a timing overlap there.
Thank you so much for pointing this out.
I wish I still had my manuals, it's piece of lore like this that ties all the rest together.
But it seems to be in contradiction with what Cain says.
if Sankekur was corrupted before he became Que-Hegan, then he shouldn't express any concern over Lazarus "darkening"Mephisto used this device to control the Zakarum Priests and their followers. The Orb can only be destroyed with an ancient flail imbued with the spirit of the one incorruptible priest.
Soon after his imprisonment, Mephisto worked his evil corruption on the Zakarum priesthood. All were turned to his dark ways, save one - Khalim, the Que-Hegan of the High Council.
Mephisto directed the other Council priests to slay and dismember Khalim and then scatter his remains across the Kingdom. The Priest Sankekur succeeded Khalim as Que-Hegan, eventually becoming the embodiment of Mephisto here on the mortal plane.
If it would have been written by Khalim it would have made complete sense.
The letter Technomancer references has been added to the wiki here, I see. It's rather short, so I'll copy it here.
I added a bit of emphasis there. One could infer that Mephisto wanted his Soulstone back, so summoned Lazarus to the temple. Then Lazarus is sent off to Khanduras to free Diablo while Mephy strengthened his hold over Kurast with Sankekur and the Council. At least, that's how I interpret it.A letter to Archbishop Lazarus written by Sankekur, Que-Hegan, Supreme Patriarch of the Zakarum Church.
I write you to address my growing concerns regarding your recent petulance and that of your fellow Archbishops. For the past few months, I have witnessed a certain darkening of your spirits that I can hardly account for. You and your brethren are First amongst the Chosen of the Light. If our retainers and followers so much as suspected a rift in authority between us, I fear we would lose much of the control we have gained over this ancient, troubled land.
Our line was charged, long ago, with watching over Kurast and its peoples. As you well know, it is our duty to spread the glory of the Light to all corners of the known world, whether it be welcomed or not. But most important, the Horadrim trusted our Church to maintain the wardings, that keep our dark guest chained beneath the Temple City. Since it has been your sole responsibility to safeguard Mephisto's Soulstone, I wonder if perhaps your dread task isn't affecting your noble spirit in some malign way.
Whatever the cause of your recent rebellions against my will, I wish to see you and your Archbishops in council immediately. If you have not the strength of heart to perform your duties like a true Servant of the Light, then I will find someone to replace you. The binding of the Lord of Hatred is paramount to the safety and future of the Zakarum Church. I will not see the Church threatened by the pettiness and jealousy of its servants. I will be expecting you.
The problem here is that Sankekur is supposed to have been under Mephisto's possession/influence for centuries. (Cain said "soon after his imprisonment" which was before Diablo's imprisonment under what would become Tristram.) Lazarus surely isn't that long lived.
So what if we're taking this too literally? Sankekur (and the Council and most of Travincal's permanent staff) have long been corrupted by Mephisto. Some new archbishops (who would be below Council member level and may have come from other places throughout Zakarum's domain) are resistant to his dark orders so he accuses them of being tainted, and summons Lazarus to him, in order to corrupt him. We don't know how the Orb worked - it may have required close proximity and the efforts of Mephy in order to initially corrupt an individual.
Perhaps it also isn't intended to mean that Lazarus was ultimate guardian of Mephisto's soulstone, but that maintaining the wardings was his (and perhaps others') full time job. Maintaining wardings doesn't necessarily mean direct contact with the soulstone - or even seeing it. It could be as simple as maintaining watch over a permanently locked room. Which is handy since Sankekur/Mephisto would almost certainly want to keep the soulstone with him. The soulstone not actually being where it's supposed to be could also explain why Lazarus wasn't corrupted by it directly.
I wonder if the reason the letter was excluded from the PDF was because they realised it was all a bit of a reach.
I don't see how Mephisto could want his Soulstone back, as far as we know he is the soulstone until he takes over Sankekur (probably in the same way Diablo took over Albretch and Aiden) and then takes his real form when he is strong enough (just like Diablo)
From this we can assume that Lazarus was stationed in Kurast for a while. Unfortunately there is very little information on this period.
Edit: on the plus side it may explain why Diablo didn't just take over Lazarus. Since he was already corrupted by Mephisto maybe he was unable to do so.
Last edited by Brokenstorm; 28-11-2011 at 15:58.
EDIT: Actually, sneaking in might not be that silly. I doubt the Orb really prevented anyone from entering, that wasn't it's function. It just worked that way in the game because you were a hero fighting your way in in order to kill the Prime Evils and it only made sense to remove a huge portion of the enemy forces by smashing the orb before you entered their stronghold. It would be insane to do anything else. I think not being able to enter without smashing it is more of a game mechanic - forcing you to complete a quest and stay 'in character' - than representing the 'reality' of the situation. Someone who was purely interested in sneaking into the Durance and going through the gate probably could do so (not easily, mind).
The Nature of the Soulstones
by Jered Cain of the Horadrim
Mephisto and Diablo, once found, were easily lured into the Soulstones. The capture of their brother Baal, however, became complicated when the Soulstone that was to be his eternal prison was shattered and fragmented. We found that while the shards still held the power to lure the demon to them, they could not properly contain it. Tal Rasha, a fellow Initiate who has been since immortalized in Horadrim lore, theorized that a mortal of strong will might be able to contain Baal within his own mortal soul. This sacrifice meant that the essence of any mortal so chosen would be forever tortured while locked in eternal conflict with the enthralled demon. To this end, Tal Rasha volunteered to contain the raging Lord of Destruction.
Piercing his breast with a shard of the Soulstone, Tal Rasha took within himself the essence of Baal, the Lord of Destruction. The Initiate’s body was shackled, chained and buried deep within a tomb under the desert. The sacrifice of Tal Rasha has kept Baal imprisoned for many years now, and although the demon was imprisoned without the use of a whole Soulstone, we believe that our victory may be a hollow one. Should Tal Rasha ever escape, he would have the formidable powers of Baal added to his own. By ridding the world of this present Evil, we may have created a nightmare worse than that which we first sought to contain...
Well in the intro cinematic the hole in the wanderer's forehead is a lot smaller than the one Albrecht had.
And in the cinematic where you destroy the Soulstones they also appear smaller.
Well, the Wanderer's head will have had some time to heal by that point, not to mention he's undergoing a physical transformation. More importantly, the soulstone is tapered. It makes sense that Aiden wouldn't jam it as far into his own head as Lazarus would do to someone else - in the D1 end cinematic you can see it's jammed in virtually flush with Diablo/Albrecht's skin.
It does look a little bit slimmer at it's widest point in the smashing scene but not notably so IMO. What I have just noticed though, is that the soulstone tapers to a point at both ends in that scene but in the D1 ending it was more or less conical.
That's what makes the matter of the "Black Soulstone" so puzzling to me. That thing is the size of a pineapple, and clearly not meant for being jammed into a head or torso.
Not a human one, at any rate.