"There is, however, another person who deserves recognition—someone who I fear that generations to come will misunderstand or even vilify. Her name was Leah."— Tyrael, recounting Leah's story to the Horadrim(src)
From the outset, Leah was conceived as a host for Diablo. While the three Prime Evils had masterminded their exile to Sanctuary, Diablo had taken the plan one step farther. He would become the Prime Evil, combining the essences of the Great Evils into a single form. And to do that, he would need a vessel to inhabit.
To this end, when Prince Aidan struck down Diablo in the Tristram Cathedral and bound himself to the soulstone in the hope of containing Diablo's essence, the demon had been given the means to fulfill his plan. Not long after Aidan's 'victory,' he met the witch Adria, who realized that Diablo was influencing the prince. By Diablo's will, Leah was conceived and born a year later in 1264.
While Aidan became corrupted by Diablo and so became the Dark Wanderer, Tristram fell to the forces of Hell. Adria escaped with Gillian and the two made their way to Caldeum. Adria set up wards around Gillian's residence and departed, leaving the barmaid to care for the infant.
"Listen, I don't like you either. Understand? Nobody does. You're a sewer rat. We should toss you in the fountain, wash off the stink from those filthy tunnels you crawl around in, but then we'd sell no tickets to the show."— Pig-Eyes bullying Leah(src)
Leah had a hard time growing up in Caldeum. Gillian's mind had been adversely affected by her contact with demons, and so was not always in the right state of mind to function in society, let alone raise a daughter. Gillian's stigma made its way down to Leah herself and she was regarded as an unlucky child. "Sewer rat" was a name that bullies gave her, in part due to her time exploring the sewers beneath the city. For all her time in the city, she learned to live with the insults and indeed, her time exploring the city imparted survival skills to her. Throughout her life, Gillian never told her the truth about her father, or that Adria was her biological mother. And all the while, Leah had to contend with the powers she had inherited from her mother, such as prophetic dreams. Throughout her entire life, Leah would suffer from nightmares. Dreams of blood and war, of bloated corpses, of the eyes of crows glaring at her with hate. Other times she would dream of angels and demons with frightening clarity, as if she were seeing memories.
However, at the age of eight, the insults were starting to become unbearable and dark times were settling over Caldeum. Belial had set his minions in motion, and were on the hunt for her. To make matters worse, Gillian's state of mind was deteriorating even further. It was also at this time, however, that Deckard Cain arrived, who took her under his wing.
Over the next thirteen years, Leah and Cain (or "Uncle Deckard" as she called him) would hunt for artifacts and lore that would help them piece together the Prophecy of the End of Days. Other areas of study included that of the Vizjerei and their (supposed) summoning of demons. 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.
Leah found her travels to be quite exciting, a boring summer in Bramwell notwithstanding. However, while she saw many strange things and loved her adopted uncle, she remained skeptical of Cain's claims of a looming apocalypse. She did not believe in the existence of the Eternal Conflict or that of demons, or at least, not what many people believed them to be. At some point they entered Westmarch, arriving at Kingsport, looking for a Zakarum cipher. Cain had her stay with an old friend while he went looking for the cipher. In reality, he was looking into Adria's origins, a truth that Leah would discover over a decade later.
Eventually, after thirteen years of travel and with Leah now a young woman, the two headed for New Tristram. As soon as they set out, Leah began asking questions about her mother with growing frequency. On the first day they arrived, Leah sketched a portrait of Adria, despite having never seen her mother before. Cain was put off by the perfect likeness. He wondered if straying near Adria's hut had awoken some kind of dormant memory. He warned Leah not to linger around the place, but Leah refused to listen.
The End of DaysEdit
The Fallen StarEdit
In 1285, what had begun over twenty years ago began coming to an end. Tyrael, Archangel of Justice fell to Sanctuary, having abandoned his place in the Angiris Council to aid humanity. However, his trajectory took him straight into the Tristram Cathedral. Leah escaped the inferno, but Cain was trapped inside the structure. To make matters worse, Belial was aware of Tyrael's descent, and had his minions attack New Tristram. However, history repeated itself and a new band of heroes arrived in the town, having all answered the call of the "fallen star."
Leah aided the heroes in their quest, helping them find her mother's cabin, retrieving Tyrael's El'druin and saving Wortham. She also displayed her dark powers, killing cultists that were attacking her uncle and Tyrael, though his identity was unknown at the time. Ultimately, New Tristram was saved, but it was a bitter victory—Cain had been wounded during the conflict, and succumbed to his wounds in front of her, causing Leah much sadness.
Under the light of star and moon, Leah and the stranger prepared to cremate Cain's body. An emotional Leah lashed out at the stranger, only for him to reveal himself as Tyrael. Taking up Cain's writings, Leah vowed to finish her guardian's work before cremating his body.
Devils in the DesertEdit
The heroes traveled east to Caldeum. While the heroes departed to kill Maghda, Leah roamed the sewers of the city in the hope of finding her mother. She was kidnapped, but the heroes rescued her. Now reunited, they went and freed Adria, who relentlessly made Leah practice her powers. Through this, she was able to resurrect Zoltun Kulle and bring down the city gates. Confronting Belial, Leah used her powers to trap his essence in the Black Soulstone.
The Lord of SinEdit
"You thought you were so clever, that you had outwitted us all. One by one, our brethren fell into your trap. But not me...I defy you. I now know the Black Soulstone is the key, and it shall be mine. Soon, my armies shall pour forth from the Shattered Mountain, ravaging this world and all hope of resistance. My minions will find the stone, wherever you choose to hide it. Then, at long last, Azmodan shall reign as the Prime Evil."— Azmodan threatens Diablo through Leah's nightmare(src)
Returning to her studies, Leah poured through scrolls of lore, seeking a clue as to where Azmodan would emerge. Even as she searched through the tomes, her thoughts drifted to Deckard, as she was still haunted by his death. She felt herself under pressure from Adria, Tyrael, and the Nephalem, believing that they believed her to have all the answers, while, in her own words, "I don't know a damn thing." She recorded her thoughts, reflecting on her fears and her uncle's absence, hoping that if there was indeed something waiting for mortals after death, her uncle had found it to be everything he wished for.
After days of searching, Leah finally succumbed to her weariness. It was a brief moment that led to a vision, where she saw Azmodan, Lord of Sin, and the last of the lord of Hell, boasting of his impending and inevitable victory to the younger brother. Through the vision, he revealed his plans, that the Demonic Legion would emerge from the Arreat Crater and lay siege to Sanctuary. Tyrael pulled Leah back into reality. Sobbing, she informed him of what she had seen. Azmodan was coming, and all that stood in his way was the fortress of Bastion's Keep.
Before setting off for Bastion's Keep, Leah came across one of her uncle's old journals, where he detailed his findings on Adria. She was touched as she read her uncle's thoughts on her, as he expressed his love for his ward within the pages. What was less touching however, was his uneasy thoughts on her mother. Leah supposed that her uncle had thought he was protecting her by not telling her the truth about her mother. Her unease weighed down on her, filling her thoughts even more than the threat of Azmodan. She tried to ask her mother about her past (which she had gained insight to thanks to Cain's journal), but Adria kept changing the subject. As she continued to read, she discovered that her mother had once been part of the Coven.
"This doesn't seem to be addressed to anyone in particular. Is it one of Uncle's personal journals?"— Leah, upon discovering Cain's journal(src)
Leah was left at a crossroads—it made no sense for Adria to have ever been part of the Coven, for after all, hadn't she spent her life fighting against the power of Hell? She didn't tell her mother about the journal, but pondered what she should do. She didn't want to ruin Adria's opinion of Deckard, as she knew Adria considered him to be a friend. Meanwhile, she reflected that ever since they'd recovered the Black Soulstone, her nightmares had been getting worse. She kept vigil over the stone, and could sense the five Evils within it, watching her, battering against the prison's walls, their screams filling her ears. Adria's lessons, helping her how to control her magic, allowed her to stay in control. Leah was uneasy at first, given how Cain had tried and failed to help her control her powers, but Adria made her see her power as a natural extension of herself. That she was tapping into something that was meant to be set free.
Eventually, Leah confronted her mother about her role in the Coven. Adria admitted to her connection, claiming that it was part of her quest to fight against the forces of Hell, but admitted she had gone too far. Leah kept this revelation a secret from her companions, for their trust couldn't afford to be jeprodized at this critical hour. As she continued to read Cain's notes on Adria, and his assessments became more damning, Leah's notes took on a tone of self-rationalization. Adria was her mother. Adria couldn't have been there for her because she had been planning the defeat of Hell. Just because Adria and Cain had chosen different paths, it didn't mean that Adria's path had been wrong.
The Bitter Taste of VictoryEdit
Leah and her comrades arrived at Bastion's Keep in time to confront Azmodan's army. She tended to the Black Soulstone with Adria supervising, the relic becoming harder to control. Adria informed her that the tide had turned in the defenders' favor, as the Nephalem and Tyrael had routed Azmodan's forces. However, it was hard to be hopeful, as her mind was focused on the Black Soulstone. She could sense that the Evils knew that the end was coming, and as such, they were growing desperate in their efforts to escape. The energy radiating from the artifact was changing how she saw and felt things, stretching Leah to her physical and psychological limits. It became harder to sleep, but at least when she found it, her dreams became more pleasant, as she dreamt of Deckard, of New Tristram, of happier days. But she would always wake, and be faced with the ugly reality of siege warfare. In what would be her final note, Leah wrote that she understood why Cain had doubted Adria, but it was all right now. Adria was here for her. Adria told her how proud she was of her daughter, of how much she missed her. Talked of the things they would do when it was all over. Just a bit longer, her mother promised, and then they would begin their lives together anew.
"Whenever I stumble, she's at my side, holding me. Telling me how proud she is. How much she's missed me these long years. We talk about the things we'll do when the battle is over. She urges me to push forward just a little longer so that everything we've worked for will come to fruition. She promises me that this pain will all be over soon. Then, we will begin our life together anew."— Leah's final note(src)
Azmodan's legions were defeated and the Lord of Sin imprisoned in the stone. However, what should have been a celebrated victory turned into despair. Adria showed her true colors and turned the stone on Leah, revealing that Diablo had conceived her as a vessel for future use. The powers of the seven Evils were transferred into her, her mind shattered as a result. The heroes grieved, but circumstance dictated action. Diablo had possessed Leah, but had no intention of stopping there. Rather, he departed for the High Heavens, intent on finishing the Great Conflict once and for all.
The Prime EvilEdit
"My old enemy. You cannot hide from me...no matter what form you choose to wear. Let your true self be revealed...Diablo!"— Imperius to Diablo in Leah's form(src)
Outside the Diamond Gates, Diablo, still in Leah's body, was confronted by Imperius. The archangel turned Solarion on him, prompting the demon to reveal his true form, which came from the seven Evils merged into Diablo's being. It was partially feminine; when Diablo had possessed Aidan and Albrecht, he had been a hulking brute, their greatest fears made manifest. Leah was no different in this regard. When the Prime Evil emerged from the torrent of Solarion's holy flames, he was slim, with iconic horns and spikes, what appear to be remnants of breasts, and pronounced hips, as well as multiple mouths. Hellfire burned within his form at all times, engulfing the Black Soulstone plunged deep into his chest.
Ultimately, Diablo was cast down. Unlike Aidan and Albrecht however, whose mortal forms had remained Leah's body was nowhere to be found. Diablo's physical form crumbled into dust as he fell from the Silver Spire, leaving only the smouldering Black Soulstone to be discovered later.
After the Nephalem defeated Diablo, Tyrael found a collection of notes in Leah's possessions in Bastion's Keep. He would later collate this in his own work. He was racked with guilt, wondering if he could have somehow saved her.
"But when I think of Leah, I do not see the face of evil. I see the niece of Deckard Cain, a kindhearted young woman who was the light of her uncle's life. I see a determined scholar hunched over stacks of empty tomes, spending every waking hour searching for answers to forestall the coming End of Days. I see a friend, braving the legions of the Burning Hells, her hope and inspiration to everyone who fought at her side."— Tyrael(src)
When Tyrael reformed the Horadrim, he told them about Leah. He expressed his fear that future generations would misunderstand, or even vilify her. He considered that given her corruption by Diablo, her tale may be seen as just another example of the darker side of mankind's nature, and of Man's penchant for corruption. He gave her great praise in his reflections of her actions and nature, and to look to Leah as an inspiration in the days ahead.
In-gameEditLeah appears as a follower of sorts in Diablo III, following the hero during several plot-relevant quests. She is armed with a bow and will engage enemies with it, dealing little damage, but being able to draw away their attention, buying the player time. Since she is marked as a quest NPC, Leah has no Life bar and cannot be killed, although some non-damaging effects will still be able to put her out of combat for a short time. As of the second half of Act II, she is no longer able to fight alongside the player.
Her journal can be read between the main quests of the first three Acts.
PS3 version of the game also allows players to obtain Leah's Ring.
If left idle
- "Aren't adventurers supposed to, I don't know, do some adventuring?"
- "Don't we have important things to be doing?"
- "Shouldn't we be going?"
- "This is about as exciting as the time Uncle Deckard and I spent the summer in Bramwell. People are quite boring there."
Personality and TraitsEdit
"Has anyone seen my dear niece Leah? She is brave, kind, and disinclined to believe in any of my stories. Hmm..."— Deckard Cain(src)
Leah was a kind soul and arguably a sensitive one as well. She tended to see the good in people and be hopeful. While versed in Horadric lore, she was something of a skeptic. She initially loved traveling and seeing the world, but as Sanctuary became more dangerous, it lost its allure. In part because of this, she had aspirations to open her own inn.
In terms of ability, Leah was able to competently wield a bow and had inherited powers from Adria (and, most likely, Diablo). These included prophecy/foresight and a degree of magical ability. However, it wasn't until she was reunited with her mother that she was able to wield these abilities at will to a certain extent. Said abilities were strong enough to give Maghda pause, destroy the gates of Caldeum, and contain the Evils within the Black Soulstone. Tyrael noted that Leah was not a scholar, nor was she a great mage, but she was nonetheless committed to the road ahead, and refused to take the easy path. Tal Rasha had once said of mortals that "we cannot always change the future, but we can fight to guide it. In doing so, even if we fail, we will have set a path for others to follow." In Tyrael's mind, there was no better example of this wisdom than Leah.
- Leah was one of the wives of Jacob in the Hebrew Bible. She was later seen as a symbol of non-monastic life in medieval Christian symbolism.
- Leah appeared in the announcement trailer for Diablo III. It closely mirrors the final intro to the game itself, but depicts the events as a vision rather than actually happening, not to mention that Leah is on her own in them. After the cinematic, more work was done on her model and her physical features were changed by final release.
- Chris Metzen has hinted that Leah's spirit may be "floating around somewhere" after the events of Diablo III. Covetous Shen also tells the player not to underestimate Leah's spirit and implies he had seen something similar before. In Heroes of the Storm, Leah is portrayed as still being merged as part of Diablo's Prime Evil form. In his 'poke lines', she is portrayed as a separate entity, whereas in Diablo's interactions with Deckard Cain, Diablo appears to be able to use Leah's voice at will.
- Leah was brought into Diablo III due to Cain's age. The designers felt that a new character was needed to take the role he'd filled in the earlier games, not to mention being able to aid the player in a more dynamic sense. Certainly Leah was designed as a character the player was meant to empathize with.
- As of BlizzCon 2013, Blizzard Entertainment has no intention of revisiting Leah's storyline, though she remains on their 'radar.' Brian Kindregan has stated that he feels that for characters who have suffered a sad fate, that state has to exist for a period of time for it to be meaningful. In March 2014 it was stated that the Diablo III development team intends on addressing her storyline eventually.
- Leah is voiced by Jennifer Hale.
- Leah is intended for inclusion in Heroes of the Storm.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Diablo III, Act III
- ↑ The Harrowing
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Diablo III: Behind the Scenes DVD
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 The Order
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Book of Cain
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Diablo III, Act I
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 2013-12-08, BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III Lore and Story Q&A Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-04-21
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Book of Tyrael
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Diablo III, Act I Intro Cinematic
- ↑ Diablo timeline
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Diablo III, Act II Intro Cinematic
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Storm of Light
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Diablo III, Act II
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Diablo III, Act III Intro Cinematic
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Diablo III, Act IV
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 Diablo III, Act IV Intro Cinematic
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Diablo III Ending Cinematic
- ↑ Diablo III, Act V
- ↑ 2008-06-29, Diablo 3 announcement Trailer (By blizzard). YouTube, accessed on 2012-06-01
- ↑ Blizzard Comments, accesed on 2012-06-01
- ↑ 2013-12-08, BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III Lore and Story Q&A Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-03-29
- ↑ 2014-03-09, Expect More Diablo III Expansion Packs. Tom's Hardware, accessed on 2014-10-12
- ↑ 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