Children of Bul-Kathos


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The Children of Bul-Kathos, also known as Barbarians, are a tribal race previously located in the Northern Steppes of the Western continent of Sanctuary. The Children of Bul-Kathos have abandoned their homelands and brought their nomadic way of life outside the Steppes.



Barbarian ready to fight.

It is said that when the world was very young the tribes of the Northern Steppes were given sacred charge. Somewhere deep within the great mountain Arreat, lay a source of great power, crucial to the well-being of all humanity. The tribes acted as guardians of this artefact and this sacred duty has shaped their way of life, and built their cities in observance of this power. They called it their "vigil". They believed that if they failed to uphold their duty to the great mount, or were not given a proper burial upon its slopes, they would be denied a true warrior's death, and their spirits would roam the land without honour for all eternity.

Steeped in mystery and tradition, these people refer to themselves as the Children of Bul-Kathos, the great and ancient king. To better protect their lands from outside forces they adopted a nomadic lifestyle, frequently moving within the confines of the Steppes and maintaining few permanent settlements. Isolating themselves from the world outside their territories, they eschew the use of magic and complex machinery, as they believe these things can only weaken the resolve developed over so many years.

The Children of Bul-Kathos have developed a kinship with the land and have learned to harness the primal energies in nature to enhance their own substantial physical prowess, popularly referred to as "Fury". Because of this, and their freedom from the trappings of the outside world, the Western Kingdoms has historically referred to these tribes as barbarians, an epithet that belies the rich cultural and spiritual history these people possess.

Although some have traded with these curious folk, they did so only along the outmost borders of their lands. All intrusions into the territory surrounding what now is the Arreat Crater were forbidden, and warriors from the northern tribes were quick to thwart any incursions.

Every attempt at conquest has always been met with fierce and decisive resistance. In one account of a skirmish, it is said a horde of Barbarian tribesmen suddenly appeared out of thin air. Their bodies painted in mysterious designs, the tribesmen descended on the invaders, howling as they charged like the fierce mountain winds. At once, half of the trespassing soldiers dropped their weapons and fled. Those who remained were set upon by the Northmen with a fervour that not one of the battle-hardened invaders had ever witnessed. No quarter was asked and none was given, but in the end, when the outlanders sounded a full retreat, no chase was given either... at least none that could be observed.

20 Years Ago[edit]

Nearly twenty years ago, a number of Barbarians started roving the lands outside the Steppes. They were prepared for war, and began seeking information regarding the recent activities of Diablo. One particular Barbarian followed Diablo from Tristram to Lut Gholein, Kurast and Hell itself to stop the Prime Evils. As this hero began his final battle with Diablo, yet another Prime Evil, Baal, had gathered his demonic army and laid siege to Bastion's Keep. Baal was headed for the Arreat Summit, and the Worldstone.

After vanquishing Diablo, the unnamed Barbarian fought on and managed to defeat Baal and save his homeland, only to learn from Tyrael that the Worldstone was corrupt and would have to be destroyed. Though he had won the battle, he had failed in his sacred charge to defend the Worldstone. The angel Tyrael's destruction of the Worldstone blasted Mount Arreat to rubble, destroying the remainder of Baal's army but leaving the Barbarian homeland in ruin.

The swift and terrible battle with Diablo and Baal devastated the Barbarian culture. The Children of Bul-Kathos gained their identity and cultural pride from protecting the Worldstone within Mount Arreat. To see it defiled by Baal and his minions, and later destroyed, tore out the heart of these proud people. They abandoned their homeland and became nomadic, wandering the lands of Sanctuary and fighting battle after battle in an effort to forget the pain of their shattered homeland.

Modern Day[edit]

Over the next twenty years, the Barbarian tribes of Bul-Kathos dispersed, travelling as nomads outside their Steppes.

Abd al-Hazir visited the Barbarian lands and wrote about his experiences and observations in the 25th entry of his writings, where he found the barbarian lands empty, and the massive Mount Arreat destroyed. He asks: "What truly happened here? Where are those majestic warriors of old?"

Abd, as an enlightened man, knew of the misunderstandings surrounding the people as "bloodthirsty invaders", and saw their long and noble history rightly acknowledged.

He also mentions "rumors of monstrous things reported to resemble the barbarians in size and ferocity", reasoning that it might be barbarians who have fallen from the light, lost heart, or have even become demonic beings themselves.

Bul-Kathos' Children[edit]

The item set Bul-Kathos' Children consist of two two-handed weapons. If this could have any relation to the Children of Bul-Kathos is unknown. One possibility is that his followers wanted to like themselves with his weapons. On the other hand, the set could have been made much later, instead signifying the swords themselves are also Barbarians.

Barbarian Names[edit]

Names commonly used by Barbarians are here collected from various sources of the Diablo franchise. Many are inspired by real world Scandinavian names:

Alaric - Alban - Alcuin - Barloc - Bill - Bohdan - Bors - Brom - Bulwye - Caden - Damien - Drus - Eadgils - Egtheow - Elgifu - Emund - Erfor - Ethelred - Folcwald - Freawaru - Frisian - Garmund - Gorm - Guthlaf - Halgaunt - Healfdane - Heatholaf - Hengest - Heorogar - Heremod - Hild - Hnaef - Hoku - Hollis - Hrothgar - Hygelac - Ip - Kaelim - Khan - Klisk - Klatu - Kord - Lanth - Lief - Magnus - Onela - Oslaf - Qual-Kehk - Ragnar - Scyld - Sigemund - Sigurd - Tharr - Theodoric - Torkel - Tostig - Ulf - Ulric - Unferth - Uther - Varaya - Vikhyat - Weder - Weohstan - Wiglaf - Wulf - Wulfgar - Wulfstan - Yrmenlaf


The Druids are a race of nomadic warrior-poet-kings. They were part of the Children of Bul-Kathos, but left their homelands long ago. The Druid tribes live primarily in the northern forests. Using mystic secrets passed down through the generations, they summon the elements of fire and wind to do their bidding, and command the creatures of the forest to aid them in battle. Shifting from their human forms into that of wild beasts, gives them abilities far beyond those of other mortals.

In the ancient tome of the Druids, the Scéal Fada ("Long Story"), it is written that Bul-Kathos, the great and ancient king of the Barbarian tribes, had a mysterious but trusted confidant, who was only referred to as Fiacla-Géar ("Sharp-Tooth"). This man is sometimes described as Bul-Kathos's close friend, and at other times, he is referred to as his brother. Whatever the source of their relationship, their bond was strong, and together they shared the secrets of the ancients: of the mysteries below the peaks of Mount Arreat, of the venerated task put to their people to protect those mysteries, and of the prophecies regarding the dark times ahead. They both agreed that, in order to fulfill their sacred trust, their people must devote themselves to nothing save that charge. However, they disagreed on exactly how the people could best do this. Bul-Kathos believed that only by bringing the tribes together and training them in strict martial discipline could the tribes faithfully concentrate on their goal for generations to come.

Fiacla-Géar, on the other hand, believed that only through obtaining a spiritual oneness with the land they had sworn to protect could the people truly appreciate the importance of their role. Both agreed the other's philosophy had merit, and so around the time Bul-Kathos united the tribes, Fiacla-Géar gathered together a small group consisting of the tribes' greatest warrior-poets and shamans and mysteriously retreated into the forests surrounding the area known as Scosglen.