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Are you looking for King Leoric, the Diablo I boss?
Are you looking for Aidan, the Dark Wanderer?
Are you looking for information on the Covetous Shen conversation "King Leoric"?

Skeleton King, King Leoric, the Black King and The Mad King are all names for the same person: The king of Khanduras that grew mad from the attempted possession by Diablo, and then cursed to a life of unlife. The Skeleton King is undead, a superunique, and a quest boss.


He is found in the Crypt of the Skeleton King below The Royal Crypts and you'll encounter him on the Reign of the Black King quest.

He is also the target of a Bounty, Kill the Skeleton King.

The Skeleton King Fight[edit]

  • Melee Attack - As with all bosses, Leoric has a basic melee attack where he swipes almost blindly at the hero with his massive mace.
  • Teleport Smash - Leoric will, as with all of his abilities, broadcast this one outright. He'll cock his head up, grinning, while a ghostly apparition of himself moves through the air towards the player. Afterwards, Leoric will teleport into melee range, swinging his mace for high damage.
  • Summon Skeletons - Leoric will float away from the player, put his gauntlet on the ground, and then rise up. After, true to form, he will summon Returned and Shield Bearers in melee range of the player. This attack can be interrupted with stuns and freezing, but there's diminishing returns on both debuffs. The skeletons are the only source of non-potion health regeneration during this fight, as they drop health globes. In Inferno and Hell difficulty, skeletal archers will be summoned along with shield bearers.
  • Spinning Strike - Leoric will laugh and then spin in three consecutive circles, doing a moderate amount of damage to the player.

Farming the Skeleton King[edit]


  1. From the Quest Selection screen take quest No. 4. Reign of the Black King > The Royal Crypts.
  2. Take the waypoint from Tristram to Cathedral, level 3
  3. Work your way down through level 4 to The Royal Crypts
  4. Run past the ghostly sword; no need to play the scripted scene.
  5. When the ghost of the Skeleton King appears, ignore him and go right past him through one of the side gates and to the very back of the Royal Crypts and on to the Crypt of the Skeleton King.
  6. Once the Skeleton King is dead exit the game and Resume Game at the menu to restart outside of the crypt doorway again to try to earn his achievements.

Special Notes:

  • Playing the ghostly sword scene or fighting the skeleton minions at the four pillars has no impact on the quest line so you're able to pass by them.
  • If you want to do the Destroyer of Destiny achievement you will of course need to stop at the four pillars.

Associated Achievements[edit]

Leoric is in some way involved in the following achievement(s).

Name Points Description Banner
The Last of the Horadrim

Campaign/Act I
10 Complete all quests in Act I.
Short Reign

Challenges/Act I
10 Kill the Skeleton King in under 20 seconds.
The Mad King's End

Campaign/Act I
10 Kill the Skeleton King on Normal difficulty.
The Mad King's End (Nightmare)

Campaign/Act I
10 Kill the Skeleton King on Nightmare difficulty.
The Mad King's End (Hell)

Campaign/Act I
10 Kill the Skeleton King on Hell difficulty.
The Mad King's End (Inferno)

Campaign/Act I
10 Kill the Skeleton King on Inferno difficulty.
Instant Karma

Campaign/Act I
10 Have the Skeleton King kill 15 of his own Forgotten skeletons before killing him.
I'll Be Your Wingman

10 Let a follower get the killing blow on all of the following enemies.

10 Kill the following enemies while wearing head, shoulder, feet, leg, hand, and torso equipment colored with Lovely Dye.
No Award
Death from Afar

10 Kill one of the following enemies with a thrown weapon.
No Award

The Skeleton King's History[edit]

The Madness of the Black King.
The tragic tale of King Leoric's fall is told in The Return of Terror, a book by the Horadrim, and through the quests and Tomes of lore found in the dungeons in the game.

Leoric was an Eastern Lord, who came down to Khanduras, which was without a king, with knights and priests of the Zakarum and took the role upon himself. Despite some rumblings, he became known and loved by the people in the short time he ruled. He was a just and wise king.

He established his castle in the town of Tristram, near the ancient and decayed Horadric Monastery. Deep within the monastery laid the soulstone containing Diablo's essence, and though trapped within the stone, Diablo was strong enough to send forth his spirit. The Lord of Terror invaded Leoric's dreams, attempting to corrupt and possess the King. Leoric was able to resist Diablo's presence, but he was driven mad by the ordeal.

Diablo had already drawn in Archbishop Lazarus, Leoric's most trusted adviser, and with Lazarus whispering into his ear, the mad king turned on his own people, executing those who disobeyed him, ordering his army into a suicidal war against the friendly neighbouring kingdom of Westmarch, and finally purging most of the townspeople from Tristram when his son, Prince Albrecht, vanished. The horrible truth was that it was Lazarus himself who kidnapped the boy.

Leoric's most loyal knight, Sir Lachdanan, finally led a revolt against the deranged tyrant, and after a pitched battle the King was cornered. His knights demanded explanations, but Leoric spit defiance to the end. Ultimately, Lachdanan was forced to commit regicide, plunging his sword through the King's heart. Bitter to the end, the dying Leoric called down a curse on his former servants, the power of which ultimately consumed them all.

Despite his madness, Leoric was given a royal burial, entombed beneath the Monastery in a special crypt. Diablo's growing power refused to let the king rest though, and the Lord of Terror was able to call Leoric back from the dead, granting his skeleton an unholy life and new powers. Leoric was unable to venture forth from his tomb, but he slay many adventurers who dared enter his lair, until he was finally dispatched by the hero who ultimately defeated Diablo, took the essence of the soulstone into his forehead, and became the Dark Wanderer.

Leoric lay broken and still for two decades after those events, but rumor in New Tristram is that the Black King stirs, as evil men seek some sacred objects in the catacombs below the Monastery, and hope to call Leoric's spirit back to his bones, to join them in serving their unknown dark lords.


The Zakarum High Priests in Kurast proclaimed Leoric King of Khanduras many years ago. He ruled well until Diablo's influence drove him mad and the loyal knight Lachdanan was forced to slay him. Afterward, Diablo himself raised Leoric from the dead as the Skeleton King until the monarch's son, Aidan, vanquished him. -- Deckard Cain

Further Reading[edit]

This is just part of the material available on this topic. The Diablo2Wiki Leoric article is available in the Diablo 2 wiki, which has a specific Diablo I and Diablo II focus. A lot of information unique to the first two Diablo games is available there. You can find it here:

  • Diablo2.DiabloWiki.net/Leoric.


See screenshots and concept art of the Skeleton King in the Image Gallery.