Sean: Thank you, Sebastian; and if I may say, actually thanks to Jessie and everybody up here for inviting me to this panel. It’s really geeky and super cool to be up here with you. So, thank you very much. Hello, Lore Friends. My name is Sean Copeland. I am the head historian for Blizzard’s story and franchise development group; and I’ve had the privilege of working in the Diablo universe for over 11 years, and that’s pretty wickedly cool to say.

Sean Copeland

You’ve seen my little Lore fingerprint on all of our published work. So the novels, the comics, the short stories and even the source books that we released like the Book of Cain, the Book of Tyrael, and the Book of Adria. It’s just been a hell of a ride if the department of mine.

I’m actually here to give you a super quick Lore summary of all the events in Diablo III, Reaper of Souls, and to kind of basically set this world state of Sanctuary in Diablo IV, and to give you some really quick Lore bits on who the lovely lady named Lilith is. Guys it’s a really treat to say its Diablo story time, so gather around. Alright. Here we go.

It’s Diablo III. Diablo has worked a seriously long game to acquire an artifact known as the Black Soulstone, and he was able to get all the great evil essences within it so he can power himself up to be the singular prime evil. As soon as he did so, he marched up to the High Heavens and tore down the Diamond Gates. How metal. Is that mad?

After that, Diablo started laying waste to the High Heavens, and it was up to us heroes to go up there to rescue some angels and kick some demon butt; and we totally did so; and by doing so, the Black Soulstone eventually was freed from Diablo and came into the hands of our friend Tyrael.

Now, Tyrael knew it wasn’t safe to keep this thing in the High Heavens. So he took his reformed Horadrim, and he brought it back down to Sanctuary where it would be safe. Well, I used the air quotes because if you remember the introductory cinematic of Reaper of Souls, his brother Malthael had other plans for the Black Soulstone, and confiscated it in the most violent way possible.

Unfortunately, after he did so, he did something wickedly awful. Malthael started committing human genocide across Sanctuary. Scores of humanity were just being slaughtered wholesale. It was up to us heroes to stop that awfulness from going down; and again, because we’re heroes and we like loot we totally did so.

But unfortunately, our ultimate win was a loss. You see, for Diablo IV, we would like to say to you that when the Black Soulstone was shattered by Malthael, and when he consumed the great essences to power himself up to beat us (whispers: which he totally didn’t), those great essences rocketed back out into reality; and let me tell you folks… that as a Diablo historian them being out there? … seriously bad news for us. So yeah. So that’s the how we kind of ended Reaper of Souls. I have to say, it is so cool to say these words: “It’s time for Diablo IV.”

I don’t want to get into any spoilers, because that would totally be not cool; but some quick Lore bits about who this lovely lady is. Her name is Lilith. You’ve heard the words daughter of hatred being said around, it’s because she is the daughter of Mephisto: The Lord of Hatred. It’s kind of funny also that the Lord of Hatred, his daughter actually would become the one to form a relationship with one of their wicked enemies, the angels — Inarius, specifically; and Inarius and Lilith created the Sanctuary in which we all inhabit, and the Nephalem that were created from unions of both Inarius, Lilith and other rebel angels and demons are the reason we have the universe today. So, that’s just to set that stage a little bit about who this lovely lady is; and now Sanctuary, the world.

As we talked before, Malthael’s genocidal campaign has just wrecked our world. Scores of death everywhere you see. In that death, massive power vacuums have opened up across the world and people have begun to fill those power vacuums. Our household Lore names that you may have heard before like the Zakarum and the Temple of the Triune. Honestly, when I think about it all, I think about Lilith, and I think about the world she created, and the way we see the world now — that Sanctuary they created to hide out from the Eternal Conflict, it’s hard to believe there’s any refuge left on Sanctuary. With that lovely thought, I want to kick it back over to my friend Jessie here that can dive into a little bit more of the world building.


1. Intro2. The Tone of Sanctuary3. Lore4. World Building
5. The World6. Monsters7. Q&A
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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts