"Perhaps no other region in the world has been so important to shaping human civilization as Kehjistan."— Deckard Cain(src)
Kehjistan, otherwise called the Eastern Empire, and known in ancient times as Kehjan, is the great empire of the eastern lands of Sanctuary, located along the eastern coast of the Twin Seas, with the emerald jungles surrounding Kurast in the south, and the desolation surrounding Caldeum in the north. It is the homeland of the Kehjistani.
To Kehjistan's south lie emerald rainforests, and with an average of over 400 inches per year, Kehjistan has the largest rainforests in the known world. This huge expanse of jungle feeds the Argentek River, which is the longest, widest river in Sanctuary. Hundreds of smaller rivers and tributaries twist and turn their way through the lush tropical forests until they finally unite with the mighty Argentek. Herbalists and alchemists revere the rainforest environment for its ecological diversity. Until around the Darkening of Tristram, these sages would come from far and wide to study and collect the rare plants and animals that make their homes here. The wet, humid atmosphere of these rainforests is an environment perfect for fly and mosquito larvae. Pools of stagnant water gather after the frequent rain storms, providing excellent spots for the adults of these species to lay their eggs. Because of the use of magic in the Mage Clan Wars, some flora and fauna of the jungles grew to massive sizes due to the adverse effects of magical energy. Trees and vines would grow to unusual size, rivers and swamps would appear overnight, and once innocuous creatures would gain dangerous abilities with an appetite to match.
Kehjistan's north is dominated by desert. It is here that the Borderlands denote its northern border with the Dry Steppes. To the west, Kehjistan is bordered by the Twin Seas, while swamplands lie at its eastern edges. Few try to cross the desert without a fully supplied caravan.
Several thousand years ago, hunter-gatherers found themselves drawn to the lush, fertile rain forests and bountiful game inhabiting southern Kehjistan. But there was something else; Kehjistan's geography was rife with nodes of magical energies, and eventually those with innate, arcane abilities began to sense and recognize these forces, gathering in groups to settle these special areas. Recovered artifacts indicate that by the year -2300, writing, art, and science had become an integral part of human culture—a period of human history which saw the formation of Kehjan, humanity's first great civilization.
The cultures of Kehjistan formalized the study of magic, which led to the creation of the Mage Clans, the original groups being founded in the jungles of the land, where the nodes of magic had originally been discovered. The growing power of the clans led to the formation of the Al'Raquish, which ruled Kehjan alongside the land's monarchy and trade guilds.
Because of the actions of Jere Harash, the Burning Hells were made aware of the existence of Sanctuary. The Prime Evils made plans to enslave humanity by forming the Temple of the Triune, a seemingly benevolent religion that would act as their front in the mortal realm. In time, the religion's numbers swelled. In order to combat the Triune, the archangel Inarius formed the Cathedral of Light, seeking to stymie the Prime Evils' influence. Both religions grew in power, and achieved immense influence over the people of Kehjan. Thus began the Sin War, as Inarius and the Prime Evils waged a secret war for the souls of mankind. It was a war that only ended with the coming of Uldyssian and the Edyrem. With Uldyssian's sacrifice, Hell and Heaven let Sanctuary be, and hid the truth of what had really occurred.
The Age of MagicEdit
Believing the Sin War to be nothing more than a clash of faiths, the people of Kehjan turned away from religion. They went so far as to rename their land as "Kehjistan," and began to look to the Mage Clans for guidance. Kehjistani culture became the culture of the empire in of itself. A golden age of magic and enlightenment began. Those few in the empire who knew the truth of what had happened in the Sin War forbid the practice of demonology. In this time, the Vizjerei Clan served as the Empire's backbone. Viz-jun served as the Empire's capital.
At some point, the Eastern Empire established a colony in the east of Aranoch, located across the Twin Seas. However, by the Mage Clan Wars, the empire had begun pulling back from the region, as maintaining a physical presence was costing them too much.
In the year -210, the Mage Clan Wars erupted, lasting seven years. Kehjistan became a battlefield and Viz-jun itself was destroyed by the war's end. Kehjistan never regained the glory it had posssessed prior to the conflict, and much of the realm was bristling with untamed magical energies. While much of this dissipated over time, some had effects upon the landscape and creatures of the jungle.
The death and suffering of the Mage Clan Wars pushed mankind away from the arcane sciences. Over the centuries, the people of Kehjistan began to once again see faith and religion as a source of meaning and purpose. A number of religious figures arose within this period, most notably, Akarat. It was in this time that the ascetic formed the beginnings of the Zakarum faith.
The Rise of ZakarumEdit
In the 10th century, the Prime Evils were banished to Sanctuary by the Lesser Evils in an event that would be known as the Dark Exile. With the Three Brothers let loose upon the mortal world, Kehjistan suffered, as the Primes fermented unrest within the empire. The Horadrim eventually bound all three demons, but nearly a century after the Primes first arrived in Sanctuary, Kehjistani society remained in a dire state, plagued by famine and disease. Commoners increasingly viewed the ruling elite as the source of their woes, and rebellion was poised to tear the empire apart.
In this critical juncture, Emperor Tassara converted to the increasingly popular Zakarum faith. In doing so, he gained the adoration of the people, and solidified his hold over the empire. Zakarum became the empire's dominant religion, and the capital was moved from Viz-jun to Kurast. Tassara worked to codify the Zakarum faith, and so began the actual Zakarum church. Tassara dispatched his general Rakkis to bring the light of Zakarum to the West, thus ridding him of a potential rival in the process. Zakarum would grow in influence, but would also grow increasingly despotic, as the church fell under the sway of Mephisto. This would culminate in the heinous Zakarum Inquisition before Mephisto was finally defeated by a group of heroes in 1264.
"The heat was something alive. It burrowed into you, seeped beneath your skin, and eliminated all memory of cold."— Valthek, reflecting on the drought that afflicted Kehjistan(src)
After the defeat of Mephisto and the other Primes, the capital of Kehjistan shifted from Kurast to Caldeum, as nobles fled the city due to the effects of Mephisto's corruption. Hakan I joined them, making Caldeum the new capital. After his death, through a series of elaborate rituals, Zakarum priests found an infant they declared to be Hakan's spiritual successor and made him the new emperor, declaring him Hakan II. Early in his reign, Kehjistan began to suffer from drought, as even into winter, the heat of summer remained within its north. His more superstitous subjects claimed that this was an omen for his reign. Great sandstorms ravaged the desert, as moving dunes created an ever shifting landscape. The desert swallowed villages whole, leaving bare stone foundations or a handful of mud bricks where homes had once stood. A year on, and the drought remained. The Empire began to wither, and the Mage Clans could provide no answers.
Hakan II withdrew support for outlying regions around the capital, leaving them to fend for themselves.
Known Locations Edit
- Caldeum (fourth and current capital)
- Kehjan (first capital)
- Kurast (third capital)
- Lut Bahadur
- Viz-jun (destroyed, the second capital)
- Although implied to be simply a geographic region, it is revealed in Diablo III and related promotional materials that Kehjistan is actual an imperial state exercising control over both the lush jungles that dominate the core of the eastern continent as well as the drier desert to the north.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Book of Cain
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Act III, Arreat Summit. Accessed on 2015-08-06
- ↑ Diablo III, The Hero's Journey
- ↑ Giant Mosquito, The Arreat Summit. Accessed on 2016-07-18
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Frog Demon, The Arreat Summit. Accessed on 2016-07-18
- ↑ The End of Her Journey
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Book of Tyrael
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Legacy of Blood
- ↑ Diablo III, An Abridged History of Caldeum
- ↑ Firefly
- ↑ Writings of Abd al-Hazir: Borderlands