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"My brothers will not have died in vain!"
—Baal after casting his trademark Vile Effigy
Tor'Baalos, the Lord of Destruction, more commonly referred to as Baal, was one of the three Prime Evils.
The Great ConflictEdit
Baal's early existence was much like that of his fellow brothers, Diablo and Mephisto—an endless battle with the forces of Heaven. He never tired of it, partly because he never exhausted all the opportunities for wanton destruction. Of all the Prime Evils, he was the most brash and volatile.
Baal presided over the Realm of Destruction, at the heart of which lies the Hellforge. This realm was the site of some of the most impregnable and well-fortified fortresses of all the Burning Hells, as well as birthplace of the most fearsome weapons available to demonkind.
In the Realm of Destruction, demons endlessly toil away to create large monuments which are subsequently destroyed to satiate Baal's need to destroy.
The Sin WarEdit
Due to the actions of the Vizjerei, the powers of Hell came to learn of the existence of Sanctuary and its inhabitants. Sensing the dormant power within humanity and reasoning it could be turned to suit their own ends, the Prime Evils began a campaign to tip humanity over to their side. To this end, they founded the Triune—a seemingly benevolent religion that was actually a front for their true motives. Each of the Primes took on an alter ego for worship and in Baal's case, he was known as Bala, the Spirit of Creation. Their events were stymied by the rogue angel Inarius however, who founded the Cathedral of Light. Thus began the Sin War. In the end, the conflict ended with both Heaven and Hell agreeing to respect Sanctuary's neutrality in the Great Conflict.
The Dark ExileEdit
Baal and his brothers had kept Sanctuary's existence a secret from the Lesser Evils, and that had driven a wedge between them. That they continued to be interested in Man's potential after the Sin War did not sit well also and the Lesser Evils rose up in rebellion. Baal and his brothers were banished into Sanctuary in what became known as the Dark Exile. While Baal and his brothers were free to wreak havoc for a few decades, their presence came to be discovered by the archangel Tyrael, who formed the Horadrim to find and capture the three brothers.
In time, both Baal and Diablo journeyed west across the Twin Seas to the deserts of Aranoch. Baal took refuge in the city of Lut Gholein while the Horadrim patiently waited. After three days, Baal fled north, the Horadrim in close pursuit. In the end, Baal stood his ground, directing his powers of destruction against the Horadrim. However, they would not be swayed. Over the course of battle, the soulstone meant to contain Baal was destroyed—some say by Baal himself, others that the Horadrim (particuarly Zoltun Kulle) had handled it poorly and this led to it breaking. Whatever the case, Baal was drawn into the the soulstone's largest shard, but it was clear that it couldn't contain him forever.
Thanks to Tal Rasha, a surrogate soulstone would be created. Heading underground into the burial chambers of long-dead kings, the Horadrim built a binding stone etched with runes of containment in one of the largest tombs. Tal Rasha ordered his breatheren to contain him, upon which, a sorrowful Tyrael jammed the broken soulstone into his chest, sealing his fate and transferring Baal's essence into his body. The Horadrim departed, leaving Tal Rasha to wrestle with Baal's spirit, presumably for all eternity.
But Baal's spirit won over the mortal Tal Rasha, and was set free indirectly by his brother Diablo by Marius' intervention. After Marius witnessed the reunion of the Prime Evils, he found himself unable to take Baal's Soulstone to the Hellforge and spent the remainder of his days in an asylum. Baal walked into Marius' hiding place wearing a hood and cloak. Thinking he was talking to Tyrael, Marius told his tale. After reclaiming his Soulstone, Baal revealed his true identity. He then killed Marius with Festering Appendages and set the place ablaze behind him.
Assault on Mount ArreatEdit
Shortly after, Baal came to assail Mount Arreat. Believing that common rabble and poorly disciplined Earthly mutations would never do, Baal instead gathered some of his most powerful minions from the depths of his demesne. He first unleashed his minions on the capital of Sescheron, and his trail of Destruction spread all the way to Harrogath. He sought to claim the sacred Worldstone and unleash the hordes of the Prime Evils. He was given the Relic of the Ancients by Nihlathak, and entered the Worldstone Keep unchallenged by the Ancients. Though Baal was successful in reaching the prize he sought, he was slain in the Worldstone Chamber.
Physical Appearance Edit
The Lord of Destruction is almost spider-like in his appearance. When confronted in Diablo II, Baal moves on four insectoid legs.
Compared to his brother Diablo, Baal still retains some humanoid features, most likely from his inhabiting of Tal Rasha's body. Granted, it is only his upper torso, which is pale, emaciated, and skeletal.
Most likely one of the most recognizable traits of Baal is his Festering Appendages, tentacles that manifest in various places on his body. In battle, Baal summons these from the ground to impede the player's path.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Baal has, unlike his brothers, not yet appeared in any media outside of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. As such, it makes it very hard to gauge what he's actually capable of. What we do know however is that by possessing Tal Rasha, Baal gained considerable knowledge that had before been unknown to the forces of Hell, the location of the Worldstone being one such example. Although the Three had previously known that the stone existed, they did not know where prior to Baal receiving Tal Rasha as his host.
When he met Marius, though he could have killed him immediately and taken the Soulstone, he instead chose to sit and listen to his tale. It's ambiguous as to why he did this.
Baal displays some qualities that set him apart from his two brothers:
- It has also been hinted at in the Sin War Novels that Baal is the least intelligent of the Three, and that his demons tend to be stupid compared to the servants of his brothers. The Book of Cain however denies this, saying it's merely an assumption made based on his elemental nature. In the Diablo II plot, Baal himself proves to be of a deceitful nature in his manipulation of Marius.
- He seems to be left handed, as he uses his left hand to do a variety of things, e.g. He uses his left hand to kill Marius in the epilogue cinematic, and he seemed to have used it a lot while having a conversation with the Barbarian in the additional cinematic in Lord Of Destruction. However, this is pure speculation- it is also possible that Tal Rasha was left handed and Baal's left-handedness was simply a holdover from his host.
- He displays a dry sense of humor laced with hints of whimsical sarcasm. Mephisto's behavior suggests a more farcical sense of humor, while Diablo has never displayed one.
- Finally the type of evil he governs, destruction, is physical, as opposed to his two brothers who embody an emotion.
Tips and Other Additional InformationEdit
Before the encounter, Baal summons monsters from each Act. Once all 5 groups of monsters are slain, Baal will go into the Worldstone Chamber. Baal is the final boss in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and possesses a variety of deadly special attacks. He has moves such as:
- Hoarfrost - sends a chilling wave that chills and knocks back the player at the same time, dealing damage multiple times if the player is knocked back a decent ways.
- Incineration Nova - similar to Diablo's Flame Circle, a ring of torches (like those the Act V Imps cast) is sent out in all directions.
- Mana Rift - a move which halves your current mana (seen in cinematic).
- Destructive Strike
- Vile Effigy - summons a duplicate of himself, which can cast all of the real Baal's moves as well, except creating a second clone (only one Baal clone can be up at a time)
- Festering Appendages - summons tentacles that come out of the ground to attack the player
The duplicate is not as strong as Baal and does not drop any items. The player can identify the duplicate by looking at their names. The duplicate has the word Demon right below the 'B' in his name and the fake Baal has no light radius. The real Baal has the Demon at the center of his name.
It is unknown what becomes of Baal's Soulstone when he is slain. It is presumed that it was buried when the Worldstone Chamber collapsed, or that Tyrael or the player character took it and destroyed it in the Hellforge.
While he does not use the ability in the final battle, he displayed use of the spell Blaze in the final cinematic of Diablo II as a swarm of scarabs follow him. This is a skill more useful for humanoids, and not as useful in his quadruped form, as he does not move around very much.
He also seems to be capable of some form of remote viewing or extrasensory perception. This is evident when players, if they stand at one place anywhere in the Worldstone Keep, find themselves suddenly attacked by an unseen assailant, while a terrible laughter (none other than Baal's) is heard from nowhere. This also means that he is capable of manipulating far-away surroundings, since he should be in the Throne of Destruction.
- (Baal sits down in a corner) "So, Marius...at last I find you. I've been searching for you for a long time, Marius. I was rather beginning to think you didn't want to be found." (intro cinematic)
- "Not your fault? Tell me Marius, how was it 'not your fault'?" (intro cinematic)
- (Impersonating Tal Rasha) "Look, what have been done to me! Release me! Help me! Hurry, please, hurry!"
- (Rises and walks towards Marius) "Marius...give me the stone, and all is forgiven."
- "Give it to me, Marius" (epilogue cinematic)
- "You haven't failed, old man...you've done exactly as you were meant to do. However...I am not the Archangel Tyrael..." (brings the glowing soulstone to his face, revealing a demonic visage)
- "(laughing) You have done well, Marius. Now I think you should have your reward" (proceeds to kill Marius)
- "I have walked the earth, always searching for that which will make me whole. High in the mountains of Killaronn, deep within Mount Arreat lies that thing. I shall have it. My brothers will not have died in vain...and I shall rule unchallenged!"
- "ENOUGH!" (voice continues to echo through the mountains until Baal silences it)
- "I shall take your position into consideration." (proceeds to kill the Barbarian)
- "(grins) Well...it seems your terms...are not acceptable!" (laughs as the Legion rushes forward)
- "My brothers will not have died in vain!" (when Baal creates a clone)
- BLAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHH! (This can only be heard when his intestines spill and he vomits, which is actually his death cry.)
- He is the only one among his brothers that has no offspring.
- Contrary to popular belief, Baal displays a level of intelligence in that he chooses to spare Marius and listen to his tale, allowing him more knowledge of the past to better plan for the future. Another reason is because during the assault on Harrogath, he manipulates Nihlathak. Lastly, when Diablo was finally ressurected again in the second game, Baal instead chose to remain behind in the mortal realm and travel far across the lands to search for something that would help him succeed at the Mount Arreat: the Soulstone of Destruction.
Relation to other literatureEdit
Baal's name is derived from the ancient title "Ba'al" (a homophone to the English word "ball") which was used for deities widely worshiped during the 1st and 2nd millennia BC. The term was most consistently used for Hadad, a storm god, but could be used for any male divinity, or even for the cult image used to represent one.
A specific Ba'al was Baʿal Zəbûb, literally "the Lord of the Flies", worshiped in the Philistine city of Ekron. In Christianity, he is referred to as "Beelzebub" and is often referred to as an ally of Satan. In terms of appearance, he is portrayed with many one-joint spider-like legs (see picture) resembling Baal's four legs and manner of walk. On the other hand, in the book he has three heads: a toad, a man and a cat; if this was indeed an inspiration, it is easy to accept that a toad and cat heads are not suitable for the air of the game. His in-game sprite and his cinematics appearances display different facial properties (such as length of nose and chin). His voice is described as "raucous", possibly aligning with his cinematics voice, but probably unrelated. In terms of function, he is described as "the head of all the infernal powers", making him a suitable last-level boss. It is also stated that "his estates are in the East", falling along with the "always to the East" motive of the game. Furthermore, he commands sixty-six legions, but it is impossible to relate this to any formal lore. It appears from the book that he can turn invisible at will, although this has not been seen in the game.
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction opening cinematicEdit
| Prime Evil — Tathamet|
Prime Evils — Diablo • Mephisto • Baal