Abd al-Hazir is a renowned gentleman, historian, and scholar. Hailing from Caldeum, he traveled all over Sanctuary, writing many tomes on the lands and peoples he encountered in his journey. It was a journey that resulted in his capture and subsequent release.
"Before my first sunset in Zhou, I was insulted; stripped of currency, clothing, and dignity; and left for dead in a puddle. I have since been told I was fortunate to escape so lightly."— Abd al-Hazir(src)
At some point, al-Hazir visited Xiansai. On his first day in the town of Zhou, he was robbed and left for dead, but managed to survive the experience. During his travels through the nation he crossed paths with Franklin Burroughs, who would stay his friend. He would later recount his experiences in the Xiansai Chronicles.
On a separate occassion, al-Hazir visited the ruins of the temple city of Travincal. While exploring one of the long-abandoned temples, he was drawn by the flickering of faint torchlight through a distant doorway. As he crept nearer, he heard the sound of a voice, which he discovered belonged to an Archivist.
Departure from CaldeumEdit
"Our list of ills seems never-ending: the state of our downtrodden and the slums they are forced to live in, our incompetent leadership, the reemergence of the intolerant Zakarum, and their quarrels with our mage class...I could go on for pages. It is all too much for one to bear, really."— Abd al-Hazir(src)
A resident of Caldeum, al-Hazir was forced to look on as the city began its decline. In his mind, it began when nobles fleeing Kurast (the result of the carnage Mephisto unleashed) entered the city and demanded a place on its Trade Consortium Council. Caldeum's emperor was able to rectify the situation, but when the emperor became ill and his son took control of the throne, the decline continued.
Abd al-Hazir decided to leave the city and set out on a journey, to gather the world's knowledge together in one tome. While he was preparing, he received news that a dune thresher had killed a citizen just outside the city. Thus, he contacted his old friend Franklin Burroughs so that he could take part in his quest to rid Caldeum of the burrowing nightmare. Burroughs was reluctant at first, but al-Hazir could tell it was an act and soon, they headed out to find their foe.
Encounter with Burrowing DeathEdit
"You really want to feed some thresher, don't you, al-Hazir? What, haven't you seen scavengers before?"— Franklin Burroughs(src)
al-Hazir met Burroughs at dusk, at the sandy rocks that ringed that Tardin Wastes. There, Burroughs showed him the corpse of an unfortunate soul who had been attacked by a thresher, clinging to the rocks. It was a grisly sight and he was treated to more unpleasantness, as Burroughs used scavengers to lure the thresher out. The thresher's maw closed around them, but they ended up eating it apart from the inside, killing the thresher, but they themselves dying due to its digestive juices. A delighted Burroughs engaged in a lecture about the properties of dune threshers while al-Hazir nodded weakly and wondered when he could head home and crawl into bed.
al-Hazir headed east, entering the Torajan Jungles of Teganze. Translating ancient carvings, he learnt of the origins of the khazra and came into contact with the Umbaru themselves. He interacted with the people of the Tribe of the Five Hills, who were currently engaged in a ritual war with the tribes of the Seven Stones and Shrouded Valley. He learnt what he could of his beliefs and their culture, but due to the social upheaval they were experiencing, he had to leave.
"We have all heard the tales associated with Tristram. The very mention of its name brings to mind images of undead monstrosities, demonic possession, monarchy driven to lunacy, and, of course, the greatest legend of all: the Lord of Terror unleashed. Although many now claim that a peculiar mold upon the bread or perhaps a fouling of the water drove the populace mad with visions, I have seen too much in my varied travels to dismiss such stories out of hand. It is within this context, then, that I have to say my journey to what is now called "New Tristram" was somewhat of a disappointment."— Abd al-Hazir(src)
Heading west, al-Hazir entered Khanduras, arriving at the town of New Tristram. He had heard the tales of the Darkening of Tristram at the hand of Diablo, but found the settlement that had grown near the old town's ruins to be quite dreary. He explored the ruins of old Tristram, but could not bring himself to enter the town's cathedral. He learnt what he could of the cathedral from an adventurer who had entered it two decades ago Before leaving the town, he was confronted by Deckard Cain, who told him of the tomes that lay within the cathedral. al-Hazir decided to take his word for it, for he had no intention of entering the structure.
The Festering WoodsEdit
al-Hazir traveled to Wortham, hoping to find a guide to take him into the Festering Woods so he could observe the Gnarled Walkers that inhabited it. However, the few people he encountered in the town were unwilling to answer his inquiries. As he wandered throughout the town, he noticed that the bridge that led into the woods had been destroyed. It was another point the townsfolk refused to elaborate on. He found it odd that only elderly people seemed to inhabit the village, with the exception of a beautiful young girl, whose father insisted that al-Hazir stay away from. He introduced himself as Pablo DeSoto, and told al-Hazir of the Festering Woods and the rationale behind its namesake. He blamed the woods' dark nature on the Priests of Rathma, and expressed the belief that they had played a role in the Darkening of Tristram as well. Unsure about the truth of the matter, al-Hazir found himself greatful that he hadn't found a guide to take him into the woods—they seemed better suited to those of a more adventurous temprement.
Bastion's Keep and IvgorodEdit
al-Hazir traveled to Bastion's Keep. Standing on the ramparts, he had come to see the legendary Barbarians of the north, but only beheld the Arreat Crater. He wrote on what he knew of the Barbarians, of their vigil, and of the destruction of their home. He reflected that if any Barbarians still lived, they would be without hope.
By the time al-Hazir reached Ivgorod, winter was starting to come. Taking refuge in a tavern, he encountered a Monk. al-Hazir gingerly approached the man and was welcomed. Food was provided, but al-Hazir touched little of it, as he was more intent on learning what he could of the Monk's life. The man told him of the Sahptev faith and of his fighting style, claiming that his mind and body were the weapons he used. These were 'weapons' that the Monk put to good use against some thugs who entered the tavern. The Monk easily defeated them, and revealed one of their number as a demon before killing it.
The Demon HuntersEdit
al-Hazir traveled to the edge of the Dreadlands. He later headed for the village of Bronn, but found that most of the buildings had been burnt to the ground, with bodies strewn everywhere. From the town's inn, gray-skinned creatures charged forth, intent on adding al-Hazir to their bodycount. Frozen in terror, al-Hazir let one of them grab him before he was saved by the Demon Hunter Valla. With her crossbows she laid waste to the demons. That night, she told al-Hazir about her life, how demons had laid waste to her village, and how she had survived and joined the Demon Hunters to take vengeance. Each and every Demon Hunter, she said, had a story like this.
al-Hazir returned to New Tristram. A few days out of town, he saw a falling star soaring across the sky. He could sense that something was wrong, and coming across a badly mangled traveler, his fears were confirmed. Before the man passed away, he referred to his killer as an "Unburied," and how he and his fellow guardsmen had succeeded in felling the beast.
Note: The following events aren't necessarily in chronological order.
Around this time, al-Hazir apparently entered Westmarch, with a temporary assistant. They encoutered various creatures on their travels. While searching for a Maggot Brood, they observed the corpse of one near the road to Westmarch. His new assistant vomited twice due to the smell, said vomit ending up on al-Hazir's traveling cloak. The stains came out eventually, but he was sorely vexed. He had a low opinion of his assistant due to his incessant noise, and that was added to when they came across a Terror Bat. His assistant screamed loudly—enough to give al-Hazir a headache.
al-Hazir and his assistant took shelter in the caves outside Westmarch, with the intent of organizing al-Hazir's records. However, Vile Bats appeared and tore several of the scrolls to pieces, much to al-Hazir's lament.
al-Hazir planned to explore the Ruins of Corvus, but then discovered they were filled with Scarabs. Of course, he claimed, such creatures didn't frighten him, but they made his research too time consuming.
"I knew the cultists had found me when I saw the bloody, curved knife stabbed violently into my door this morning. I have spent months trying to ease the fevered imaginings that have tormented me since that encounter a scant few months past, but to no avail. And now they know who I am."— Abd al-Hazir(src)
Back in Khanduras, al-Hazir traveled through a forest near Tristram. Finding the darkness of the night oppressive, he saw a fire crackling in the gloom. Heading towards the source of the light, he felt a sense of overwhelming dread, and heard the sound of chanting. Checking himself, he didn't head straight towards the fire, but instead sought a vantage point to observe the proceedings. Before him was a collection of cultists, arrayed in a circle. While he had heard of these cultists before, this was the first time he had seen them himself. As he watched them chant on, he thought to leave, but then saw a pale supplicant being drawn forward, and was compelled to stay and watch. The supplicant knelt in the center, and the cultists' leader stepped forward, before drawing out a spike that he rammed into the supplicant's back. al-Hazir almost screamed, but the supplicant made no sound. As the leader readied another spike, al-Hazir couldn't stand it any longer. He broke into a run, running as hard as he could, as long as he could, until he could do no so longer. As soon as he was able, he staggered to his feet, and ran some more.
Returning home, al-Hazir began to research the cultists in an effort to ease his mind, to assure him that what he had seen hadn't actually happened. And yet, every whispered, frightened tale served to confirm his fears. Then, one morning, he saw a bloody, curved knife stabbed into his door. He had been marked.
The Ruins of SescheronEdit
"Greetings! I am Abd al-Hazir, you may have heard of me? And my disappearance? No? Well, I was captured months ago by the Coven in retaliation for secretly observing one of their rituals. But you, sir/madam, have secured your place in the history books by rescuing me, I can assure you. No, no, no—no thanks are necessary."— al-Hazir, after being rescued by the Nephalem(src)
Shortly after Malthael's defeat, late in the year, al-Hazir was abducted by the Coven: they discovered him observing their rituals. He even befriended one of the cultists, Kalvesan, by constantly pleading for his life, and eventually escaped, his friend sacrificing himself to buy al-Hazir time to flee to safety. The freedom was very brief, though, as soon afterwards, al-Hazir has been recaptured by Ice Clan khazra. He was thus imprisoned in Sescheron. However, he was rescued by the Nephalem and taken to Bastion's Keep, promising to write books about the heroes to return the favor.
Once rescued, he will accompany the Nephalem for the rest of their exploration of Sescheron, commenting on Barbarian history, Kanai's fate and some other issues. He cannot be killed, and does not attack. Upon returning to the Keep, he leaves and is on his way.
- Skular's replies included where possible
- —Your civilization was much nobler than most people realized.
—Do not tell me about my own people.
—People once thought of the barbarians as savages, but their civilization was actually based on honor and nobility.
- —Your people's belief that they must be buried on Arreat to find peace has sentenced your dead to eternal wandering.
—Shall we see what happens to your kind after they die?
- —The Khazra are insidious trap makers.
—They will soon be dead trap makers.
- —These cannibals are obviously driven by black acrimonious humours.
—No. They have fallen to dark magics. There is no other way.
- —Demons! Kill them!! Kill them!!!
—Feel free to just stand around screaming.
- I managed to befriend one of my captors, Kalvesan, by constantly acting the fool and pleading for my life. Then, we were set upon. Kalvesan, bless him, freed me before confronting the attackers. I quickly took advantage of his heroic sacrifice and made my escape. As he screamed his last, I swore his death would not be in vain. Sadly, I was soon captured by the Khazra and was unable to avenge him.
- I am not accustomed to standing around; I'm a man of action!
- Greetings! I am Abd al-Hazir, you may have heard of me? And my disappearance? No? Well, I was captured months ago by the Coven in retaliation for secretly observing one of their rituals. But you, sir/madam, have secured your place in the history books by rescuing me, I can assure you. No, no, no—no thanks are necessary.
- Have you heard of the great barbarian elder Kanai? Silly me, of course you have, he was your people's best hope for the future; and the final one, as it turns out.
- It is strange they have placed Kanai's corpse on the Immortal Throne, as he died before he could be crowned king.
- Safety at last! You have not only my eternal thanks, but also the thanks of the world at large for rescuing me.
- You seem quite intelligent, especially for a barbarian. (to Barbarian)
- You gained quite a reputation from your youth in Caldeum! You don't seem half as bad as they say. (to Wizard)
- You are an impressive warrior, despite your rudimentary beliefs. An unseen land filled with spirits? How droll! (to Witch Doctor)
- You are an impressive warrior, despite your rudimentary beliefs. It must be difficult keeping all those gods straight. (to Monk)
- You are so dedicated! You cling to the idea that you can rid the world of demons, when it is demonstrably untrue! (to Demon Hunter)
- It impresses me that someone with your intelligence continues to adhere to their religion when it has been so thoroughly discredited. (to Crusader)
- I thought lying in wait for cannibals for 20 years was tedious. Then I met you. (after meeting Skular, to Barbarian)
- You know, people have compared me to the great historians and philosophers – Brast, Lysra, Jeram, Valthek. Humility prevents me from commenting on such things, of course.
- —Ahhh, Sescheron, the once grand capital of the whole of your civilization. Every stone exudes memories of its violent fall.
—You talk of things you don't understand.
—I beg to differ. I was held against my will for months. I now know what hell truly is.
- Spikes? Not a very welcoming place, is it?
- Khazra. Pfft. Lice ridden mongrels. They steal human babies. You don't want to know what they do with them.
- What? Spirits? That's... that's unfair! We killed them already! These beasts are so retched even death doesn't want them. (The Three Guardians)
- I believe thanks are in order, as we just rescued you, though I am surprised barbarians could be caught so easily by common Khazra. (upon rescuing Skular)
Personality and TraitsEdit
Judging by his journal entries, al-Hazir was often quite dismissive of the more supernatural and spectacular aspects of Sanctuary and the Burning Hells, often dismissing tales of demons and monsters as fabrications and/or exaggerations. However, some threats he treated with due credit, such as the undead and that of uncontrolled use of magic.
Abd al-Hazir has been repeatedly compared to famous historians and philosophers such as Brast, Lysra, Jeram or Valthek by his readers, yet he himself (as he said, out of modesty, humility and honesty) rejected such comparison.
al-Hazir was accompanied by a number of assistants over his travels. In his mind, he paid them quite generously.
- Abd al-Hazir's name is a possible reference to Abdul Alhazred from the Cthulhu Mythos. Both devote their lives studying the unseen forces at work in their respective worlds.
- In Arabic, Abd al-Hazir roughly translates at "servant of the Omnipresent" or "servant of the Great presence".
- al-Hazir's view on the Burning Hells seems to differ in two journal entries. In one, he doubts the existence, or the 'theory' as he calls it, of the Burning Hells. Yet, in one of his later entries, namely that of the Fallen Ones, he is aware of the Burning Hells. This likely signifies that he learned of the Burning Hells in an encounter that is yet to be revealed in one of his entries, or is simply a mistake by Blizzard Entertainment.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Encounter with Burrowing Death (part 2)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Writings of Abd al-Hazir: Encounter with Burrowing Death (part 1)
- ↑ The Orphan and the Jeweler
- ↑ Writings of Abd al-Hazir: Writings of Abd al-Hazir#Entry 41: The Archivist|The Archivist]]
- ↑ Writings of Abd al-Hazir: Caldeum
- ↑ Entry 9: Khazra
- ↑ Writings of Abd al-Hazir: Entry 13: Witch Doctor
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Writings of Abd al-Hazir: Entry 16: New Tristram
- ↑ Writings of Abd al-Hazir: Entry 17: Tristram Cathedral
- ↑ Writings of Abd al-Hazir: Gnarled Walkers
- ↑ Writings of Abd al-Hazir: Barbarian
- ↑ Writings of Abd al-Hazir: The Monk
- ↑ Writings of Abd al-Hazir: The Demon Hunters
- ↑ Writings of Abd al-Hazir: The Unburied
- ↑ Diablo III, Maggot Brood
- ↑ Diablo III, Terror Bat
- ↑ Diablo III, Vile Bat
- ↑ Diablo III, Scarab
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Writings of Abd al-Hazir: Marked by Cultists
- ↑ Diablo III, Adventure Mode
- ↑ Records of Diablo III
- ↑ Entry 8: The Skeletal Undead
- ↑ Entry 7: The Wizard
- ↑ Diablo III, The Return of Abd al-Hazir
- ↑ Diablo III, Bogan Brute