Son of the High Cleric, Rayeld was preparing since childhood to become the High Cleric himself. Taught by his father that human sacrifices to Nereza are necessary to keep the island free of evil, he awaited the time when he himself would bring offerings. However, when the time came, he could not bring himself to do so. After he performed ritual murders himself, Rayeld became disgusted with what the cult was doing. Doubting his faith, he decided to put an end to sacrifices.
At one point, unable to bring himself to kill a girl named Sara in the name of Nereza, Rayeld murdered his father, fled with the girl (other cultists, shocked by the incident, did not even try to interfere), rushed to the top of the Ancient Tower, and plunged his sacrificial dagger into Nereza's chest. Before she died, he saw the inhuman gaze of her eyes, and realized that Nereza was no goddess, but a demon, and the evil the sacrifices were to prevent was not from the outside world, but from herself.
The dying demon killed Sara with her last breath, and her essence went through Rayeld into the island itself, cursing the land and the priest, condemning him to eternal torment for his sacrilege. Rayeld was welcomed as a hero by his people when they found out what he did, yet he realized that the corruption from Nereza's evil would eventually ravage the island. It indeed happened, the land becoming uninhabitable: any human stepping on its shores would be driven insane, if not killed earlier by the unseen evil force.
Rayeld attempted to contain the evil, not allowing it to expand to other lands. To do so, he erected magical wards and kept Nereza's spirit pacified by rituals and sacrifices (ironically, doing exactly what he was raised for, with the same purpose he once believed to be his path). Losing his sanity, he became known as The Crazed Man, living as a hermit on the island, only rarely to be seen by travelers and sailors coming to the shore (mostly from shipwrecks).
Using his knowledge of the binding rituals, Rayeld magically enslaved majority of the creatures on the island, either by prayers, sacrifices, or simply by carving the warding runes into their skin. Though he himself eventually forgot how and why did he do this, he deeply regretted that he was forced to bind living beings to his will. Sasquatches, Bone Breakers, Wildwood Bulwarks, Shipwrecked Souls, Wood Specters and (probably) more creatures of the island were all controlled by him. Rayeld even remarks in his records that he cannot remember if Sasquatches were humans turned feral by evil of the island, or he himself turned them into beasts to protect them from Nereza's corruption. Abyssals, Amputators and Flesh Harvesters, who Rayeld could not control, he battled until forcing them to remain in their caves, though he soon learned that as long as the sea people's idols are not disturbed, they would not be aggressive in the first place.
Nereza's curse effectively made Rayeld immortal (of which he was perfectly aware), bringing him back from the dead should he be killed, to ensure his eternal torture. The only way to ensure his release would be to cleanse his spirit at the site of Nereza's death.
The Crazed Man is a Super Unique foe found on the Greyhollow Island in Act V of Diablo III, in Adventure Mode only. He can be found at one of two possible locations: either amidst the bone totems, or in front of the sacrificial altar.
In either case, he will not be hostile to the player, and in fact, will not even acknowledge their presence, being busy tending to the binding rituals. If talked to, or if his ritual is interfered with, he will turn hostile.
- Altar: if spoken to, The Crazed Man will attack, starting the event Binding Evil.
- Totems: if the Pillar of Cupidity is touched, The Crazed Man will attack, starting the event Ghost Prison.
In either case, he will attack by hurling darkfire bolts that deal tremendous damage from afar. He has no other abilities. However, other monsters in the area will protect him, depending on the event.
He can also be encountered during the unmarked event atop the Forsaken Repose, if player touches any of his satchels (of Testament of My Failure tome) after they collect both tomes. This opens a purple portal to the top of Ancient Tower, at the very site where Rayeld killed Nereza. He can then be talked to, and will tell that he waited for a long time for the Nephalem to come to this place since their last visit.
He will then ask the Nephalem to cleanse his spirit. The player must first destroy his mortal form at the tower. This will be complicated due to Crazed Man gaining an extra ability to summon a slowly moving broad wall of darkfire, which, if touched by player, will deal significant damage over time. Moreover, he will now hurl darkfire bolts in clusters of three, being hit by all three is enough to kill an adequately geared hero outright.
If defeated, his ghost is released, continuing to fight on its own. In spirit form, he gains Illusionist affix, his darkfire bolts are replaced with equally powerful spirit bolts, and instead of the wave of flame, he will launch homing black gouts of spirit fire, which expire after short time.
Killing him in his spirit form will lift the curse, supposedly liberating his soul, and opening the portal back to the island.
- Benedictus es deam Nereza maximum est. Nostra digni gratia tua et amor. (roughly translated from Latin as You are the most blessed of all, goddess Nereza. May we be worthy of your love.)
- The island must be fed lest the evil spread.
- You must submit or everyone will die! Why do you fight me?
- What have you... wait. We've done this before, haven't we?
- What have you done? The totems must remain intact. The island demands it! (when touching the Pillar of Cupidity)
- I know you. You killed me before, didn't you? Or hasn't that happened yet?
- We're going to fight again? Will you kill me this time, or will I kill you? No matter what happens, the island feeds!
- What? How dare you! I have spent lifetimes, and you, you... aaagh!
- Why do you stop me? Can't you hear the island? She's crying. She must be fed!
- You are finally here. It has been long years since I saw you last. There is only one thing left, now. My spirit must be cleansed. (when met atop the tower)
- Thank you, thank you. I have waited for this respite for so long. You have freed me from my torment. (when freed from the curse)
- These... things have no body, they are simple constructs of magical energy, amplified and contained by their armor. As for who created them, I cannot say. Hm... could I have done this? (unused Bestiary entry)
- After the first time players kill him, The Crazed Man will react differently in every game to follow: he will state that the Nephalem has already killed him before. He is therefore the only monster in game to change his behavior after first death.
- Putting his soul to rest atop the Ancient Tower will not prevent him from appearing in subsequent games. Moreover, he can even be encountered (and killed) in the very same game where his curse has been lifted after it happens, if one does not talk to him on the island prior to entering the portal.