|Quests||Arcane Sanctuary, The Summoner|
|Monsters||Wraith, Hell Clan, Ghoul Lord, Lightning Spire|
|Adjacent Zones||Palace Cellar, Canyon of the Magi|
|Area Level Normal||14|
|Area Level Nightmare||48|
|Area Level Hell||79|
The Arcane Sanctuary is a dimension created by the Vizjerei mage Horazon. In Diablo II, the Arcane Sanctuary can be entered through a portal found on the lowest level of the Palace Cellars. Players then need to brave the many dangers of the Sanctuary in order to find Horazon's Journal. After reading the journal, a portal leading to the Canyon of the Magi opens.
Horazon studied demonic magics. He sought to break demons and bind them to his will. Eventually this drew the attention of the Lords of the Burning Hells. Therefore Horazon created the Arcane Sanctuary and retreated to this mythical domain. From there Horazon could continue his dark studies and hone his skills, whilst the labyrinthine layout of the Sanctuary would confound and trap any invading demons. By legend, Lut Gholein was built over the foundations of an ancient Vizjerei fortress. Therefore it is likely some information regarding the Sanctuary can be found within its cellars.
However, there were more people searching for the Sanctuary. Sometime after the Dark Wanderer passed through Lut Gholein, an old Vizjerei mage visited Jerhyn's palace. He took special notice of some ancient seals on a portal gate on the bottom basement level of the palace. He felt agitated and left without a word, never to be seen again. It was then the troubles in the palace began.
The four paths are essentially the same layout, but each with a specialty: one path would contain portals/teleporters, another with stairs and platforms in an impossible geometric shape (which turns out to be the bane of the minions/mercenaries' pathing AI), yet another with regular stairs, and the final one with floor traps. The Summoner, along with Horazon's Journal and his summoning circle, can be placed in any of these arms.
The thinness of the walking space and the constant turning of the paths means that people with Teleport (such as possibly Horazon himself) would have an easier time than those without.
The Arcane Sanctuary is also featured in Legacy of Blood, which takes place shortly before the events of Diablo II.
The area is filled with wraiths, vampires, goatmen, and lightning spires. The description would be that of a set of cathedral-like stone platforms suspended in outer space; stars and a black void whiz by in the background.
When you and/or your battalion range-attack a Specter while it flies above the dark, surfaceless void, the Specter's corpse will fall and land in mid-air, on the same elevation as the floor you're walking on. Due to an apparent game programming oversight, the Specter's corpse will not fall forever through the bottomless void; the void has an invisible floor inaccessible to you and your cohorts that the corpse will land on.
Arcane Sanctuary, along with Arreat Summit, is one of the two locations in the game where the "perspective" video setting does not work. This is because perspective requires two layers to work with: one being the ground and the other for the objects (characters, trees, etc.) that move relative to it. The Arcane Sanctuary has one layer reserved for the background that shows the stellar void, hence perspective cannot work because both the foreground and objects share the other layer and thus cannot move relative to one another.
- Some aspects of the Arcane Sanctuary seem to be inspired on the work of M.C. Escher, for instance the impossible constructions in stairwells.
- As stated in Horazon's Journal, the area around the book shows the six fake symbols that belong to the six fake Tal Rasha's Tombs.