In case anyone hasn’t read about the Diablo 4 Season 5 PTR, the Infernal Hordes is a new feature in Diablo 4 that has 8 Tiers of difficulty and provides a guaranteed Greater Affix reward (requires Level 100 and Infernal Hordes Tier 3+). You can read more about the mechanics and requirements at the official blog.

What you will read here is no mere non-canon use of characters for a game feature. The Season 5 questline is canon, and directly ties-in with Diablo IV: Vessel of Hatred.

Toward the end of your Infernal Hordes run, three random bosses out of 5 spawn to attack you. The Fell Council bosses are demonic versions of the Council of Travincal from Diablo II (2000). These were formerly known as members of the High Council of Zakarum who served the Temple of Light in the city of Travincal.

The soulstone containing Mephisto was held in the depths of the Temple of Light after the Binding of the Three Prime Evils. For centuries, the fervent servants of the Light guarded the soulstone. However, Mephisto’s corruption stained the Zakarum over time causing them to become fanatics spreading hatred throughout the land. Eventually, the 6 members of the High Council of Zakarum served Mephisto, who transformed them into demons.

  • Bremm Sparkfist (Lightning Enchanted)
  • Geleb Flamefinger (Fire Enchanted)
  • Ismail Vilehand (Cursed)
  • Maffer Dragonhand (Extra Strong)
  • Toorc Icefist (Cold Enchanted)
  • Wyand Voidbringer (Teleportation)

In Diablo II, players killed the High Council. But they are back and canon with the introduction of the Infernal Hordes feature.

In Diablo: The Sin War trilogy by Richard A. Knaak, Blizzard Entertainment introduced the concept that the humans of the world known as Sanctuary are descendants of the rogue angels and demons who joined to step out of the Eternal Conflict. Inarius stole the Worldstone from Pandemonium and with it created a pocket dimension veiled from creation to build the world of Sanctuary.

The joining of angels and demons resulted in the birth of the Nephalem, including Inarius and Lilith’s son: Rathma.

The descendants of these original Nephalem became humans when Inarius tuned the Worldstone to depower them.

Fast forward, Mephisto augmented the demonic side of the High Council latent in their birthright. The fact that the High Council is back means that they were regenerated in the Burning Hells, like any other demon.

We have seen this regeneration in action in Diablo Immortal where we saw Diablo being regenerated.

The implication of the High Council coming back to life means that former humans can be regenerated in the Burning Hells; and this opens the door for Diablo, Diablo II, and Diablo III characters to return in Diablo 4 in the same method — including the playable heroes who later succumbed to Diablo in Diablo II, and those from Diablo III.

The question now is whether the tainted Crystal Arch in the High Heavens can spew forth former-humans as well. Say… a younger Deckard Cain in a new body?

The creative team has not explored this concept in any Blizzard video game yet, but the seeds were planted in the Diablo III story mode, and in Diablo III: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon.

Tyrael could see through his mortal eyes that the new angel born from the Crystal Arch’s Lightsong was tainted. The Angiris Council couldn’t see this taint. Only mortals can.

Did Diablo hijack the Crystal Arch as a new method of body/soul regeneration as a facsimile of what is done in the Burning Hells to bring demons back to life?

If so… now that the High Heavens have been closed to mortals in Diablo 4, it might be a matter of time before those tainted angels that have been born in the past 40+ years since Diablo III might lead a revolution against the Angiris Council … or be purged from the High Heavens and sent to Sanctuary the way Tyrael was.

Future Diablo 4 expansions might get interesting once those concepts introduced in the Diablo III story and the Diablo III: Storm of Light novel come into the video game.

Another thing that hasn’t been explored in novels or Diablo video games is … when Malthael killed large numbers of humans, by stripping away their demonic essence… did their souls, now purely angelic, avalanche back into the tainted Crystal Arch?

Did the demonic essence of those slain humans … avalanche back into the Burning Hells, empowering the Prime Evils?

Excerpts from Diablo III: Storm of Light

“But one day, he awoke to an unusual resonance from the Arch echoing through the soaring spaces of the Silver City, and all that was put aside for the moment. He knew what the Lightsong meant: a new angel would be born.

“Outside, he joined the growing stream of angels moving toward the Silver Spire.”

“The angels resonated in harmony with the Lightsong, but the sound did not emerge from their immortal throats; instead, it came in a thrumming energy as they vibrated to a perfect pitch. In the courtyard, he could see a throng of angels gathering under the soaring structure. Although he had seen the spire countless times, it remained magnificent, and as with everything else, his newly mortal soul viewed it with fresh appreciation. Its height was nearly impossible to comprehend, rising like twin blades, crystalline facets glittering. Circular ringed platforms thickened the base, while other, smaller towers and spires rose up around it, and near the top was a structure like angels’ wings, where the Crystal Arch was housed. The spine of Anu.”

“Those in attendance at the summit of the Arch were Imperius’s angels; the new angel born today would be assigned to the Halls of Valor, and it was customary for that realm’s brothers and sisters to pay tribute.

The birth of a new angel could occur only when light and sound were in perfect harmony, resonating at a synchronized pitch that led to a tremendous surge of power. The spine of Anu birthed these angels as finite aspects of itself. It was said that only when an angel died could another be born.”

“He turned to go, but the throng pushed forward as the song grew. Feeling as if his ears might burst, he gritted his teeth and turned back. The light pulses were joining at one brilliant spot above him, where fine, threadlike filaments crackled and snapped across one another. The strands began to weave themselves together, forming an intricate mat that rolled into an orb, and within it, he could see a wriggling shape made of a light so bright he could not look directly at it.

But something was wrong. He began to notice a discordant tone in the air. One of the threads of light had turned gray, so thin it looked like a hairline crack across the surface of the birth orb. But it was there; he could not deny it.

Tendrils of light continued to snap upward from Anu’s spine and wrap around the shape within, adding to it, and the resonant song kept building. But that one note, so faint it was barely audible, was just slightly off pitch. It made Tyrael wince and look around at the quivering angels, their wings extended in ecstasy. Did no one else feel it?

Perhaps the tone was coming from him. Perhaps his presence here as a mortal was causing the change. But when he put a hand on his own chest, he felt no vibration, no resonance at all, and the core of him was empty and silent. The thing inside the orb was growing quickly. He could see the outline of furled wings, the radiance of the angel swelling moment by moment. At the height of the Lightsong, the orb suddenly burst apart, sending the strands of light crackling over the crowd, and the new angel unwrapped its wings as the light and sound reached a crescendo, hovering above the other angels in a magnificent display of power.

The other angels’ Lightsong pulsed gently, a sign of acceptance and welcome. It was a female. The moment should have been transcendent, joyful, breathtaking. But there was a subtle change that cast shadows where none should be, as if the gray filament wrapped like a snake around the birth orb had incorporated itself into her essence, and although the Lightsong should have matched the new angel in perfect harmony, her resonance was the slightly different pitch that grated at Tyrael’s ears and seemed at odds with the others.

The angels still did not seem to detect it. They were buzzing with excitement. He had hoped to be inspired by the birth, reconnected with the Heavens in some way, but he could not join in the song, his physical senses bruised, his mortal eyes and ears burning. Again, he felt like a stranger here among the immortal. The Lightsong filled him with dread.

It is the stone, Tyrael thought. Its foul tendrils have reached the Arch and corrupted the birth. The idea chilled him in a way nothing else could. The stone’s influence was spreading even faster than he had thought possible.

Tyrael turned again and stumbled away, his entire body aching, his mind reeling with terrible possibilities. He was alone in this, one against an army of angels. The entire fate of the Heavens fell on his broad shoulders. If he failed . . .

But he could not. There was no other option, not now. He must find the solution to the soulstone’s black sickness before it was too late.”