The barbarian people originated on the Northern Steppes of the western continent on Sanctuary where they lived a nomadic lifestyle, constantly moving around the Northern Steppes and possessing few permanent settlements. They called themselves the Children of Bul-Kathos after their great king, Bul-Kathos, who is also referred to as the Immortal King. They lived in isolation from the outside world and rejected both Magic and technology, as they believed these devices would weaken their resolve.
While the world was still young, the Children of Bul-Kathos were given a sacred duty which they called their "vigil". Within Mount Arreat the great Worldstone lay, ensuring the safety of all humanity. The Children of Bul-Kathos were tasked as guardians over this artifact and this significant responsibility shaped their entire culture. They even believed that if they neglected their duties or were not buried properly upon the mountain when they died, they wouldn't receive a true warrior's death, and their souls would be left to wander for all eternity.
The Children of Bul-Kathos developed a close relationship with the natural land, learning to tap into their primal energies to empower their physical being, commonly referred to as "Fury". This primal connection and their isolationist ways have given them a reputation within the Western Kingdoms that has resulted in earning them the label of Barbarians.
Attempts have been made to conquer the barbarian lands, but have always been ferociously repelled. Invaders have witnessed hordes of barbarians seemingly appearing out of nowhere, adorned in strange body paint and howling as they charged like the fierce mountain winds. At least half the enemy soldiers dropped their weapons immediately and ran, those that stood their ground were attacked by the fierce barbarian warriors with a never before seen vehemence. Eventually the invaders had no choice but to retreat, but no chase was given... at least none that could be observed.
Twenty years ago, the Prime Evils arose and the barbarians began to leave the Steppes, searching for information pertaining to the recent activities of the Three and preparing for war. One barbarian warrior tracked the wanderer through the ruins of Tristram, the deserts of Lut Gholein, the jungles of Kurast, and the fires of Hell itself. Unfortunately, the Lord of Destruction, Baal, brought his Demon army to besiege Bastion's Keep. Ultimately, he succeeded in reaching the Arreat Summit and corrupted the Worldstone.
Baal was defeated, but Tyrael determined the corrupted Worldstone now had to be destroyed. The Worldstone's destruction annihilated a large portion of Mount Arreat, but also eliminated what was left of Baal's army and saved the barbarians from their invasion. Nevertheless, the barbarian people had lived to protect the Worldstone, and to see it first corrupted and then destroyed devastated the entire barbarian culture. The people abandoned the ruined mountain and began to roam across Sanctuary.
Twenty years later, Abd al-Hazir visited the barbarians and recorded his experience in the Writings of Abd al-Hazir. He questions, "What truly happened here? Where are those majestic warriors of old?"
The Druids are a division from the Children of Bul-Kathos. They live in the northern forests where they commune with nature and harness its power. They have developed the ability to command both the elements and animals, and can even transform themselves into the shapes of the wild creatures with which they abide.
In the Scéal Fada ("Long Story"), and ancient tome of the Druids, it is written that Bul-Kathos had a mysterious but trusted confidant, only known as Fiacla-Géar ("Sharp-Tooth"). Sometimes described either as Bul-Kathos's close friend or his brother, their bond was strong, and together they shared the secrets of the mysteries off the peaks of Mount Arreat, the task put to their people to protect those mysteries, and the prophecies concerning a foreboding future. They agreed that to fulfill their sacred duty, the people must devote themselves to that sole responsibility. How, exactly, this was best accomplished, they did not agree. Bul-Kathos thought only by unifying the tribes and training them in strict martial discipline could they remained faithfully dedicated to their goal for generations to come.
Fiacla-Géar alternatively believed that only by acquiring a heightened spiritual relationship with the land they had to protect could the people realize the importance of their sacred task. They could perceive each other's philosophy had potential, and so while Bul-Kathos unified the tribes, Fiacla-Géar brought together a small group of the tribes' greatest warrior-poets and shamans before disappearing into the forests of the area called Scosglen.
Barbarians you play the game with:
- Barbarian (Hellfire) — unreleased class
- Barbarian (Diablo II) — playable class
- Barbarian hirelings — includes many different warriors
- Barbarian (Diablo III) — male or female playable class
- Anya — woman rescued in the Prison of Ice quest
- Bul'Kathos — the legendary Immortal King
- Charsi — blacksmith in the Rogue Encampment
- Larzuk — blacksmith in Harrogath
- Malah — old healer woman in Harrogath
- Nihlathak — traitor, killed in the Betrayal of Harrogath quest
- Qual-Kehk — senior man-at-arms in Harrogath
Barbarian guardian gods: