Nihlathak was an Elder of Harrogath who possessed the powers of a Necromancer. Though clearly not a follower of Rathma, like proper Necromancers, his status as an Elder may have allowed him to learn these skills for the purposes of performing final rites and communing with the Ancients.
Nihlathak was the only Elder to survive when the elders gathered around the city of Harrogath to cast an ancient Druid spell of warding. After this, Nihlathak struck a deal with Baal, the Lord of Destruction. He would give Baal the Relic of the Ancients, the most holy totem of the Barbarian people, so he could reach the summit of Mount Arreat without being challenged by the Ancients. In return, Baal would spare Harrogath.
Until the Prison of Ice quest is completed, Nihlathak is found in the left-most corner of Harrogath. He has a very hostile personality, even to fellow Barbarians, and desires to keep to his own matters. It is revealed that it was he who kidnapped Anya and placed her in a Prison of Ice in the Crystalline Passage. He fled from Harrogath as Anya was close to being rescued.
After Anya is rescued, he is found in the Halls of Vaught as a super unique boss. He is defeated in the Betrayal of Harrogath quest. He uses the most popular Necromancer Skills, Corpse Explosion along with Teleport and Summon Minion. To top everything off, he will try to freeze you using the Druid skill Arctic Blast. His Corpse Explosion was a sure one-hit killer in Hell difficulty until it was nerfed in future patches.
In Hell difficulty, Nihlathak drops the Key of Destruction, which is a part of the Battle.net Pandemonium Event.
After completing the Prison of IceEdit
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As the last surviving clan Elder, Nihlathak has been driven close to madness by his grief over the imminent failure of his clan to protect the Worldstone. Constantly ruminating on the myriad alternate courses the elders could have taken, he now lives with the guilt of not dying with his peers. Ultimately, he betrayed the world of Sanctuary by striking a deal with Baal.
Tips and Other Additional Information Edit
Nihlathak's Corpse Explosion and Arctic Blast skills are the main reason he is feared among Hardcore players. When you kill one of his summoned Minions, make sure you use a skill that utilizes the corpse before Nihlathak can explode it such as the Paladin's Redemption, Barbarian's Find Potion, or Necromancer's Revive or Raise Skeleton. Equipping Items with the "Slain Monsters Rest in Peace" modifier such as the Nature's Peace Ring has the same effect. In Normal and Nightmare you can also use freezing attacks to shatter the minions so they do not leave corpses. High Fire Resistance and Physical Damage Reduction/Block Rate will help against his Corpse Explosion. It is also possible to lure all enemies aside from Nihlathak far away from him before killing them making their bodies too far away for him to use as weapons against you. If you get too close, Nihlathak will use Arctic Blast on you, giving him greater advantage. Being frozen will put the players in greater danger. Having Thawing Potions, the cannot be frozen ability, or hit recovery will lessen the effects of Arctic Blast.
- "Well, well. The siege has everything in short supply...except fools.
Why would you seek this place, stranger? Are you a vulture come to loot the bodies of our fallen warriors?
Regardless, this is no place to make a name for yourself. The mountain is ours to protect.
It is only a matter of time before Hell's legions are routed."
- "Ah, a Necromancer. While I admire your courage in seeking out the darkest side of magic,
we really have little need for your skill. The Battle will turn soon enough without your meddling.
Yet I should have expected to see your kind here. You're like a moth to the flame, drawn to all this death.
It feeds you in more ways than one, does it not?"
- "Well, well. An assassin. Well I'm sure we are all grateful for your presence
in our troubled town, you need not have made the journey. I can personally say that your skills are not required here.
You would serve your clan better elsewhere."
- "Qual-Kehk is useless. He has blindly sent our warriors to their deaths, assuming Baal's legions would fight as men do. Of course, everyone knows they do not."
- "The demon hordes have grown powerful beyond measure, aided by our foolish mistakes. But I may have found a way to correct those mistakes..."
- "If you have nothing useful for me, be on your way!"
- "The Council of Elders always believed itself prepared for the coming of the Three. Obviously, we were not prepared enough."
- "Oh yes...I remember our warriors as children. Malah would set their broken bones and give them powders for their fevers. Now, they return to her with wounds that will never heal.
I am tired...Please...leave me."
- "I have long been criticized, but especially of late -- since the deaths of my fellow Elders. Through it all, I have learned one thing. Each man must do what's right, no matter what others may think."
- "After so many have died, who are you to think you can accomplish what our warriors could not?"
- "What are you still doing here? I thought you were going off to die.
Go...Be quick about it."
- "Ending the siege does not earn immediate respect, outsider. Respect only comes with sacrifice -- something I'm sure you know nothing of."
- "You have proven you can take life, warrior, but can you save it as well?"
- "Did you ever stop to think why these demons are capturing Qual-Kehk's men?
Why they are attacking us? Have you considered what Baal wants with the mountain?
No. You've not. You have no idea what you are dealing with."
- "So. You brought the lost sheep home to the shepherd.
- "Anya! Who have you been talking to? Likely, It was that meddling Malah.
Well, I'll tell you what really happened. Anya came to me for guidance, after receiving a vision that her mother and younger brother were trapped in the lands beyond the Ice Caves. She had decided to go rescue them.
I told her that her quest was a foolish one and that she would be safer staying within the city walls. However, she is a willful girl and would not listen to me. The next morning, she was gone. No one is more distraught than I over losing her.
However, if you feel the need to be Malah's errand child, I won't try to stop you."
- "Look, I've told you! She's dead! If you knew what was good for you, you'd concentrate your efforts on saving Harrogath -- not on lost causes like Anya."
As an EnemyEdit
- "You have no idea of the power you face."
- "I shall keep my end of Baal's bargain."
- "For my homeland!"
- "I will KILL you!"
- His name is likely derived from the word nihil, meaning "nothing" in Latin.
- He is one of at least two NPCs to become an enemy.
- His death animation implies that he was indeed dragged into Hell to suffer for all eternity, as Anya scornfully remarks that he should.