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The Exeter Book, Exeter Cathedral Library MS 3501, is an anthology of Anglo-Saxon poetry written during the tenth century, circa 975, in the south of England and is one of the four major codices of Old English poetry. It acquired its name from having been in Exeter since its donation to the cathedral by Bishop Leofric during the eleventh century. The book contains both secular and religious works, providing a diverse range of Anglo-Saxon poetry.
Of note to the Diablo series is the poem, The Wanderer, which serves as inspiration for the opening passage of the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Manual, also titled The Wanderer. The full, original poem, can be found here.
So spoke the Wanderer, mindful of hardships and of cruel slaughters:
Each dawn, I rise alone, mired in ancient sorrows. Wretched and deprived of my
native land, I have had my mind bound with fetter. For many years, I lay hidden in
the concealment of the earth, buried deep in stone. From there, I went, abject and
winter-grieving, over the surface of the waves. I sought the prison of my noble
kinsman. Sorrow is a cruel companion to one who can afford few friends, and the
path of exile attends this mournful spirit.
And so this world, every day, is crumbling and falling. The rulers lie dead,
deprived of revelry, bands of warriors lie fallen proud by the wall. War destroyed
some, carried them away; a sorrowful man hid one deep within a grave. Thus the
creator of men laid waste this dwelling-place, until the old works of giants stood
vacant, without the noise of their inhabitants.
So said the Wanderer, set apart in secret meditations.
The kingdom of the earth is full of miseries, and the decree of the fates shall
change the course of the heavens.
The Wanderer (Anonymous),
from the Exeter Book, ca. 10th century.
If this book indeed exists in the world of Diablo as well, or if it's just a real world reference in the manual is unknown.
- Richard Marsden, The Cambridge Old English Reader, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), (2004), pp.221-222, ISBN 0-521-45612-6
- Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Manual.
- Orginal Text and Modern Translation of The Wanderer
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