One year after the disappointment of BlizzCon 2018 and a lack of a major Diablo reveal, Blizzard Entertainment gave the people what they wanted and pulled the curtain back on Diablo 4. Although numerous leaks spoiled part of the surprise, fans were treated to all sorts of new information on the game including actual gameplay of the three playable classes so far: Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid.
A stunning cinematic trailer for Diablo 4 showcased the revival of a major character named Lilith, though neither the trailer or Blizzard developers really delved into who this creature actually is or what her motivations will be. Based on her history, Blizzard may be setting her up to be a morally gray character instead of an outright diabolical villain due to her long history in the franchise and her impact on shaping the world of Sanctuary.
Lilith is the daughter of Mephisto, one of the Prime Evils and Lord of Hatred. To the world of Sanctuary, she's known as the Queen of the Succubi, female demons who have a craving for blood and use beauty to seduce their victims.
With the Eternal Conflict raging on for millennia, Lilith grew tired of the stalemate between the High Heavens and her father's Burning Hells. She, along with her brother Lucion, desired a different way to put an end to the conflict. Her fate and the fate of the world would change as, during a battle against the angels, Lilith took a prisoner named Inarius.
To her surprise, Inarius also shared her view in wanted to escape the Eternal Conflict and her touch seemingly breathed new life into him. She was originally going to use this to her advantage, seeing Inarius as someone she could manipulate and control. As time passed, Inarius developed strong feelings for Lilith, who used that knowledge to coerce him into liberating the Worldstone before they could be together.
The pair rallied renegade angels and demons towards this goal and soon invaded the Pandemonium Fortress to capture the Worldstone. With it in hand, they created a brand new world called Sanctuary, a place between Heaven and Hell where their kind could hide out from the Eternal Conflict. While Inarius was now satisfied with escape, Lilith continued to push for more, even believing they could eventually end the war entirely.
The next step of the plan was to have children, which soon became the Nephalem like Lilith's first child and necromancer, Rathma. These individuals predated humans and were a mix of angels and demons. In Diablo lore, the nephalem would tip the scales of the Eternal Conflict due to their unspeakable power. The citizens of Sanctuary feared the nephalems' power as well as being found out by the Angels and Demons, who would have decreed this union as blasphemous.
To Lilith, the nephalem represented a way to end the Eternal Conflict for good and the calls for their extinction set her off. She began mass murdering her fellow renegades, including the followers of her lover Inarius. After discovering the madness and carnage, Inarius banished Lilith into the void, unable to bring himself to kill her for good. He then altered the Worldstone to slowly weaken the power levels of the nephalem over the course of generations, eventually giving rise to humanity.
History in the games
This isn't actually the first time Lilith has been utilized in the long running games. She first appeared as a miniboss character in Diablo 2, using the same model as the Act 1 boss, Andariel. During a special in-game bonus quest called the Pandemonium Event, Lilith could be fought in a location called Matron's Den after using the horadric cube to transmute the three keys of hate, destruction, and terror. She hits harder and has more health than Andariel, and also drops the quest item Diablo's Horn.
Although she did not return for Diablo 3, Blizzard added new collectibles players could come across in the Pandemonium Fortress of Act 5. Known as Lilith's Writings, players could discover a bit more of her history through her eyes.
For Diablo 4, she retains her dark color scheme, but has lost the extra bug-like arms, wild hair, and now has features that align her better with her father, Mephisto. While she's been featured in the Sin War novels as well as Blizzard's own Book of Tyrael, Diablo 4 will be the first time she's a featured character.
What is her role in Diablo 4?
With the name Diablo on the box, it's assumed on some level that Diablo and at least a few of the other Evils may end up playing a role in the story. Still, the fact that Blizzard chose to showcase Lilith on one of the biggest stages is significant and likely means she will have a defining role in the game's story. However, using her history as a guide, it's possible she will have more of an agenda than previous villains who sought chaos for chaos sake.
While Lilith could certainly help revive the Prime Evils, it's more likely that she could seek to recreate/reshape the world of Sanctuary after it has been ravaged by the events of Diablo 3. Perhaps to undue what Inarius did to the Worldstone and bringing back the nephalem, end the Eternal Conflict, and rule over what remains as she rightly believes. The moral grey area here is that her goal would be to end the conflict once and for all, which is a good thing, but the way she goes about it by resetting the world would be the major issue.
If Lilith is back, it could also mean the rogue angel Inarius may play a big role, though the player would first have to rescue him from the Burning Hells where he's currently in chains by Lilith's father Mephisto.
Diablo 4 is in development for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.