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Were you looking for the Paladin skill? See Sanctuary (skill). Were you looking for Diablo's refuge? See Chaos Sanctuary.


Map of Sanctuary after the destruction of Mount Arreat

Sanctuary is the primary setting for the Diablo series.

Sanctuary has always been a deadly world—even before the coming of demons.[1]



Map of Sanctuary before the destruction of the Worldstone

For eons, the High Heavens and the Burning Hells have waged an endless war against each other to dominate the whole of Creation in what is known as the Great Conflict. Yet, neither side has ever been victorious, as each side always finds one way or another to change the tides of the war to their favor.

Inarius, who was once an adviser to the Angiris Council, serving under the command of Tyrael, Archangel of Justice was tired of the endless battle so he decided to create a world where he and other similar-minded Angels and Demons can live together peacefully. This world became known as Sanctuary, and along with it the Worldstone was used in order to hide Sanctuary from both the High Heavens and the Burning Hells. The various Angels and Demons within Sanctuary partnered together and bred the first generation of humans known as the Nephalem. Inarius partnered with Lilith, and Rathma was their child. The Nephalem turned out to be powerful beings, even stronger than both Angel and Demon.

Lilith had a plan of her own for this Sanctuary however; she wanted to use its population as her own personal army. She murdered all the other Angels and Demons in Sanctuary except for her loved one, Inarius. He didn't approve of her plan at all for he wanted the Nephalem to worship him and fuel his ego. Inarius then altered the Worldstone so it not only cloaked this Sanctuary from the High Heavens and Burning Hells, but to also dampened the powers of its Nephalem population slowly over each generation. Inarius wanted control over his creation, and that no one else should surpass him.

The Prime Evils soon learned of this Sanctuary and planted within it, the Triune in an attempt to convert mortals to their side.

Inarius followed suit and created his own religion. The two opposite religions slowly grew in size and strength sending missionaries to the whole of Sanctuary.

Following the eventual capture of Inarius with the help of Uldyssian and the Edyrem, the High Heavens also became aware of the existence of Sanctuary. The Angiris Council decided upon Sanctuary's fate, which ultimately voted for its survival. Mephisto then approached the Angiris Council and a pact was made; Mephisto would leave Sanctuary alone and he would get to have Inarius as a prisoner. It was agreed that they wanted to leave Sanctuary alone to see how it would turn out. However, it was also decided that everyone's memory on Sanctuary had to be wiped clean of the events occurred so that mortals as a whole could properly start anew, unaware of the forces that had created them and, ultimately, might bring them to their imminent destruction.


This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
  • The nature of the Diablo setting (dark fantasy) existed as far back as the original design document, though the name "Sanctuary" was not in use in this time. What was also pitched, but never implemented, was the idea of a "living fungus world."[2]
  • The forces that shape Sanctuary are unknown to most of its denizens.[3]
  • It has been joked that everything in Sanctuary (except cows) kills people.[4]


  1. 2014-11-27, BlizzCon 2014 – Diablo III: What’s Next Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2015-03-14
  2. 2016-03-19, Original Diablo Pitch Document. Graybeard Games, accessed on 2016-03-23
  3. Diablo III, Eyes of the Earth
  4. 2015-05-14, DEBUNKING THE COWSPIRACY. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-05-17
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