"Hello, my friend. Stay awhile and listen."
—Cain's greeting[1]

Deckard Cain was a Horadric scholar well versed in obscure lore and history of the arcane.



"The Horadrim are gone, so you become a storyteller to fill the emptiness. But the people of Tristram are laughing at you. Look around you, Mother! Where are your angels, your demons? Where are your heroes? The Horadrim are long dead, and the town's no different for it!"
—Cain to his mother[2]

Cain was born in the year 1202[3] to Aderes Cain and a tanner as his father. His mother forbid him from taking his father's surname.[2] As a child growing up in Tristram, Cain grew up on stories of the Horadrim, and considered himself proud to be "the last Horadrim." He imagined himself traveling the world, fighting evil wherever it dwelt.[4] By the age of eleven however, he had grown tired of his mother's stories and her growing madness. It was also at this age that he lost his father to sickness. Despite his mother's pleas, Cain wanted nothing to do with her "fairy stories," declaring that if angels or demons really existed, they were free to come for him.[2]

Elder of Tristram

"Cain isn't what he says he is. Sure, sure, he talks a good story...some of 'em are real scary or funny...but I think he knows more than he knows he knows."
Deckard Cain-BoT

Cain caught up in his studies

Years later, Cain served as a schoolmaster[2] and storyteller in Tristram. Of the fellow townsfolk, he counted Pepin as perhaps his closest friend. He also had fondness for Gillian, and respect for Griswold.[1] At some point, Cain married Amelia and had a son, Jered, who bore the name of Cain's Horadric ancestor, in 1233. As the years drew on however, Cain became absorbed in scholarly pursuits, shutting out friends and family, and leaving no time for them. Tension rose between him and Amelia and often they argued, usually concerning Cain's lack of presence in his son's life. In 1237, with Cain now at the age of thirty-five, Amelia took Jered and left Tristram. However, bandits attacked their wagon, killing them. Cain received written notification of their deaths and later visited the site of the attack.[2]

The Darkening of Tristram

During the Darkening of Tristram, Cain provided advice[1] for Aidan and his allies.[5]

In Pursuit of Shadow

With the return of demons to Tristram, Cain was among the only survivors, the others having since departed.[5] He was left in a cage of the center of town to die.[6]

The Order

Artifact Hunting


Deckard Cain

Over the next thirteen years, Leah and Cain hunted for artifacts and lore that would help them piece together the Prophecy of the End of Days. Cain also tried to teach her how to control her abilities. His Horadric knowledge formed the basis of his teachings, but it never really helped. Still, he never gave up on her.[7] During this period, Cain carried out research into Adria. He decided to keep what he learned a secret, and hid the truth from Leah.[3]

Eventually, after thirteen years of travel and with Leah now a young woman, the two came back to what was left of Tristram, with Cain still in pursuit of the prophecy. He spent his days poring over the tomes and manuscripts found in the ruined cathedral, while Leah could only stand by.[8] Unfortunately, the arrival of a fallen star, the first sign to appear in the heavens, blasted Cain into the depths of the cathedral.

Scholar's End

After being rescued by the nephalem from the ruins of the Cathedral, Cain asked them to search for the "fallen star" that nearly destroyed the Cathedral, and to battle the mysterious Coven. After finding pieces of an ancient and powerful sword, he and Leah were captured by Maghda, the evil witch who led the Coven, who sought the sword for her master Belial. After Maghda tortured Cain with her dark magic, an enraged Leah unleashed her hidden power and killed the cultists. Maghda disappeared, taking the Stranger with her, but the torture proved fatal for Cain. His final act before dying was to use his Horadric arts to repair the sword, revealing it to be of the High Heavens and the Stranger's identity as that of an angel. He then died, and Leah broke down crying.

Although Cain and Leah had only been living in town for about a year, Cain was well liked and respected by everyone. His death brought great sadness and anger among the townsfolk, not to mention hopes for merciless revenge against Cain's murderer.[7]

After the Nephalem defeated the Butcher and freed the angel - revealed to be the former Archangel of Justice, Tyrael, Cain was laid to rest on a funeral pyre outside Tristram. Leah and Tyrael paid their final respects before cremating his body.[9]


In Cain's funeral outside the ruins of Tristram, Leah promised to the old man who took care of her that she'll continue his life's work in his place.



Cain appears as an NPC in Tristram. He identifies items for a cost and gives the player(s) background info for quests. Towards the end of the game, Cain reveals his true identity as the last of the Horadrim, and sends the player(s) to destroy both Archbishop Lazarus and Diablo himself.


  • Hello, my friend. Stay awhile and listen...
  • Greetings, my name is Deckard Cain.
Deckard-Cain Diablo1

Cain near the well in the center of Tristram

  • While you are venturing deeper into the Labyrinth you may find tomes of great knowledge hidden there.
    Read them carefully for they can tell you things that even I cannot.
  • I know of many myths and legends that may contain answers to questions that may arise in your journeys into the Labyrinth.
    If you come across challenges and questions to which you seek knowledge, seek me out and I will tell you what I can.
  • Griswold - a man of great action and great courage. I bet he never told you about the time he went into the Labyrinth to save Wirt, did he?
    He knows his fair share of the dangers to be found there, but then again - so do you. He is a skilled craftsman, and if he claims to be able to help you in any way, you can count on his honesty and his skill.
  • Ogden has owned and run the Rising Sun Inn and Tavern for almost four years now. He purchased it just a few short months before everything here went to hell.
    He and his wife Garda do not have the money to leave as they invested all they had in making a life for themselves here. He is a good man with a deep sense of responsibility.
  • Poor Farnham. He is a disquieting reminder of the doomed assembly that entered into the Cathedral with Lazarus on that dark day.
    He escaped with his life, but his courage and much of his sanity were left in some dark pit. He finds comfort only at the bottom of his tankard nowadays, but there are occasional bits of truth buried within his constant ramblings.
  • The witch, Adria, is an anomaly here in Tristram. She arrived shortly after the Cathedral was desecrated while most everyone else was fleeing.
    She had a small hut constructed at the edge of town, seemingly overnight, and has access to many strange and arcane artifacts and tomes of knowledge that even I have never seen before.
  • The story of Wirt is a frightening and tragic one. He was taken from the arms of his mother and dragged into the labyrinth by the small, foul demons that wield wicked spears. There were many other children taken that day, including the son of King Leoric. The Knights of the palace went below, but never returned. The Blacksmith found the boy, but only after the foul beasts had begun to torture him for their sadistic pleasures.
  • Ah, Pepin. I count him as a true friend - perhaps the closest I have here. He is a bit addled at times, but never a more caring or considerate soul has existed. His knowledge and skills are equaled by few, and his door is always open.
  • Gillian is a fine woman. Much adored for her high spirits and her quick laugh, she holds a special place in my heart. She stays on at the tavern to support her elderly grandmother who is too sick to travel. I sometimes fear for her safety, but I know that any man in the village would rather die than see her harmed.

Diablo II

In Diablo II's Search for Cain quest, Cain is rescued by the player(s), and afterward follows the player through each of the game's Acts. Once Cain has been rescued by the hero(es), he will identify items free of charge. If the player neglects to rescue Cain, the rogues will do so after the Sisters to the Slaughter quest and the player must pay 100 gold for each item identified, though he will still follow the player through each act.


  • Hello.
  • Yes?
  • Greetings.
  • Good to see you!
  • Good Morning!
  • Good day!
  • Good Evening!
  • Stay awhile and listen...
  • Never Forget...
Act I
  • "Long ago, Diablo and his brothers were cast out of Hell by the Lesser Evils. It seems that Hell's balance has shifted, as Andariel is now aligned with the Lord of Terror. Her presence here in the mortal realm does not bode well for us."
  • "Long ago, the Soulstones were given to the Horadrim by the Archangel Tyrael. They were used to bind the three Prime Evils. I now know that even these holy artifacts were no match for Diablo's power. I hope that his two brothers are more securely held... but I fear the worst."
  • "It takes time to master your skills... and use will hone your technique. But take care to choose your new skills wisely."
  • "Have I told you about the Horadrim? They were an ancient confederation of mage-clans who sought to bind the three Prime Evils for eternity. The Horadrim are now nearly forgotten... and it appears that the bonds they wove are unraveling! As the last of the Horadrim, I pray that I can help you remedy their failure."
  • "You may recover some mysterious things from the demons you kill. Some of great use to you... some of great peril! Bring them to me and I'll reveal their secrets."
Act II
  • "There is something about Fara that troubles me. Her manner is strange for a lonely desert-maid."
  • "Where the actions of hell seem straight forwardly bent on destruction, the motives of heaven are unfathomable."
  • "Judging from his dress and strange markings, I would guess that Ormus is from the ancient Taan mage-clan. Yet none of the others here seem to know that he is a sorcerer.
    The Taan were once as powerful as the Vizjerei clan, but their studies were even more secretive. I wonder what he's hiding.
  • "Have you met Natalya? She appears to be a member of the Khral-Harzhek, a secret Order that has been around for centuries... almost as long as the Horadrim itself.

    Her presence here makes me uneasy, for they are traditionally sworn to hunt down Magi who have betrayed the trust of their Order.

    I wonder why she is here.
Act IV
  • "I have read much about the enigmatic Archangel Tyrael. He was revered in Horadrim lore both for his compassion for mortals and his unquenchable spirit.
    It was rumored that he went against the wishes of heaven and gave to the Horadrim the original Soulstones in order to trap Diablo and his brothers.
Act V
  • "With hellspawn, size is no measure of their threat. Demons half the size of men can kill with a gesture, while hellish pack animals trample any who stand in their way."
  • "I have spent decades trying to understand the forces at work in this world. But, In the face of all that is transpiring, I realize how meager my knowledge is.

    I will be of assistance where I can, my friend.
  • "It is my belief that the Soulstones are at the center of this conflict. If only that fool Marius had not intervened, Baal would still be imprisoned within Tal Rasha."

Diablo III

Cain face

Artwork of Cain in Diablo III

Deckard Cain returns in Diablo III, though only for the game's first act. Additionally, his journal entries can be found, along with his writings that form the basis of many of the game's collectible tomes.

In addition, in the last quest of Act IV, the nephalem has a chance to meet with his spirit in the second level of the Silver Spire. Unfortunately, after insulting the heroes on their choosing to side with Tyrael, the 'spirit' reveals itself to be the Aspect of Hatred. Players can skip him, however, if they feel they are not up to the fight.


Tome This page contains obsolete content
This article contains information that is no longer relevant to gameplay, but is kept here for informational purposes.

Cain was killed off in Diablo III as Blizzard Entertainment wanted to up the emotional stakes, both for Leah and Tyrael, but for the player as well. Additionally, it was intended to carry and undertone of how had he survived Magdha, some of the tragedy of future events might have been averted.[10] Originally, the death was to occur later than it did in the final product, but it didn't seem fitting from a gameplay point of view. As Tyrael and Adria had taken on the role of advisors by this point in the story, there wasn't much for Cain to do at this point. Having Cain be accidentally killed by Leah as per her not being able to control her powers was also considered, but as Maghda has established herself as the "villain of the hour" at this point in the story, this idea was abandoned.[11]

Personality and Traits

"Sometimes I think that Cain talks too much, but I guess that is his calling in life. If I could bend steel as well as he can bend your ear, I could make a suit of court plate good enough for an Emperor!"

At the age of eleven, Cain was narrow across the shoulders. His face was thin and drawn, so he looked older than he really was.[2]

Cain had an innate ability to discern the true nature of many things.[1]


This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
  • Cain was named after the winner of PC Gamer's Name in the Game contest. The winner received a copy of the game and a commissioned Diablo statue.[12]
  • The Awakening lists Cain's birth as occurring in 1213 (through relative age). Book of Tyrael revised this to be in 1202.
  • Cain has a British accent.
  • Cain was intended for inclusion in Heroes of the Storm as of April 2014.[13] As of December 2014, adding him is a "definite possibility."[14]
  • In Overwatch, a cheque signed by Cain can be found in the game's Route 66 map. The cheque contains a scannable barcode. If scanned, it returns the message "Cain Lives." The cheque itself is also dated 5/15/12 (the date of Diablo III's release).
  • Cain's "stay awhile and listen" voiceover can be heard in the Tristram Cathedral ride in the Blizzard World map in Overwatch.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Diablo
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 The Order
  3. 3.0 3.1 Book of Tyrael
  4. Deckard Cain's Journal
  5. 5.0 5.1 Book of Cain
  6. Diablo II, The Sightless Eye
  7. 7.0 7.1 Diablo III, Act I
  8. Diablo III, Act I Intro Cinematic
  9. Diablo III, Act II Intro
  10. 2013-12-08, BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III Lore and Story Q&A Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-03-26
  11. 2014-05-19, More Info From The Anniversary Dev Stream. Diablo, accessed on 2014-05-20
  12. Imgur, accessed on 2014-05-21
  13. 2014-04-11, Heroes of the Storm Pax East 2014 Panel, New Characters, Character Creation Q & A Full Conference. YouTube, accessed on 2014-06-24
  14. 2014-12-05, HEROES OF THE STORM AMA TRANSCRIPT. Blizzpro, accessed on 2014-12-07
Diablo I NPCs
DiabloAdriaDeckard CainFarnhamGillianGriswoldKael RillsOgdenPepinWirt
HellfireCeliaComplete NutLester
Diablo III NPCs
Act I
Adenah the Curio Vendor
Arghus the Collector
Beleaguered Farmer
Brother Malachi the Healer
Bron the Barkeep
Captain Rumford
Crazed Hermit
Deckard Cain
Ghost of the Cow King
Ghostly Woman
Kyr the Weaponsmith
Lloigor the Crazed
Mayor Holus
Mira Eamon
Nek the Brawler
Queen Asylla
Radek the Fence
Rodger the Alchemist
Tashun the Miner
The Ferryman
Vendel the Armorsmith
Wandering Tinker
Willa Rathe
Wounded Man
Act II
Captain Davyd
Ghaine the Healer
Hakan II
Iron Wolf Jarulf
Javad the Merchant
Lieutenant Vachem
Lugo the Miner
Mehtan the Necromancer
Nek the Brawler
Sadeir the Innkeeper
Silmak the Fence
Squirt the Peddler
Tilnean the Collector
Zaven the Alchemist
Zoltun Kulle
Andreus the Healer
Botulph the Miner
Former Mayor Holus
Garell the Quartermaster
Halmin the Alchemist
Hansen Haile
Ironsmith Maldonado
Lieutenant Clyfton
Lieutenant Lavail
Lieutenant Merityn
Litton the Fence
Messenger Martyns
Nek the Brawler
Private Mattius
Sergeant Burroughs
Sergeant Dalen
Sergeant Pale
Vidar the Collector
Act IV
Andreus the Healer
Botulph the Miner
Garell the Quartermaster
Litton the Fence
Nek the Brawler
Act V
Captain Vonn
Diadra the Scholar
General Torion
Lorath Nahr
Master Crusader
Master Necromancer Ordan
Mehtan the Necromancer
Nek the Brawler
Patriarch Anisim
Powell the Miner
Sergeant Samuels
Zayl (Humbart Wessel)
Adventure Mode
Abd al-Hazir
Dane Bright
Daivin the Adventurer
High Cleric
King Kanai
Lorath Nahr
Quentin Sharpe
The Crazed Man
Covetous Shen
Haedrig Eamon
Myriam Jahzia
Zoltun Kulle (Kanai's Cube)