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Zoltun Kulle was one of the original, founding members of the Horadrim who took a precipitous turn towards evil. A mage of immense power, at one time he was the most dangerous man in the world of Sanctuary. To confront this threat, the forces of Sanctuary teamed together and worked in vain to destroy Zolton Kulle, as he had already discovered the secret to immortality. As a working solution to this, his head was severed and buried in the desert while his body was imprisoned in an alternate dimension.
Much of the background of Zoltun Kulle remains largely a mystery. The scholar, Abd al-Hazir, however, possessed one of the texts written by this Horadric mage: Demonicus de Zoltun Kulle. Abd al-Hazir used this text as a corroborating cross reference to the Vizjerei tomes he frequently consulted. However, the information in Vizjerei texts were highly suspect, as Abd al-Hazir describes:
- "As my readers are well aware, early Vizjerei writings are often little more than self-serving propaganda aimed at whitewashing heinous deeds committed by the mage clan."
How Abd al-Hazir came by this records is unknown.
Brother of the Horadrim
Zoltun Kulle was among the founding members of the Horadrim, alongside six other mages. Records passed down from Jered Cain to his descendant, Deckard Cain, implied Zoltun Kulle was an accomplished member of the Ennead clain, implying implicit skill in transmutation, alteration and alchemy. While Kulle originally proved to be a noble and insightful addition to the Horadric brotherhood, the hunt for the three Prime Evils left him hollow and twisted. He endeavored to craft a soulstone empowered to contain the souls of angels and demons. While its creation may have originally been an attempt at repairing his broken spirit, an aspect of madness and hunger for power manifested itself. At some point in the throes of madness, Kulle was convinced that this singular Black Soulstone would prove critical in saving mankind from an unseen threat.
The remainder of the Horadrim learned of Zoltun Kulle's experiments. Under Jered Cain, the brotherhood hunted down their former comrade-in-arms. Although Kulle was acknowledged as being one of the most powerful beings in the world, the combined efforts of the Horadrim finally defeated him. The Black Soulstone, though left incomplete by Kulle, was never found.
Much to the chagrin of the Horadrim, Kulle's experiments had left him effectively immortal. They dismembered his body, isolating his head and draining his blood. Even so, Kulle's spirit remained restless and refused to leave the mortal plain.
Rise of the Nephalem
Centuries after Zoltun Kulle's defeat, the Prime Evils were released from their bondage and once more wreaked havoc on the world of Sanctuary. Diablo, Mephisto and Baal, empowered by the Soulstones that once bound them, rallied the armies of Hell and attempted to conquer humanity. However, a brave band of warriors retraced the steps of the Horadrim and defeated the Prime Evils one by one. In the end, only Baal, the Lord of Destruction, remained. He was successful at corrupting the World Stone, the monolithic artifact that hid the world from Heaven and Hell, as well as limited the power of humanity. After Baal's defeat, the archangel Tyrael obliterated the Worldstone. As a result, Baal's spirit was cast into the Black Abyss, and Sanctuary was unveiled to Heaven and Hell. Most importantly, its power restrictions over humanity were lifted, paving the way for the power of the Nephalem to resurface in humanity.
Twenty years later, the remaining lords of Hell, Belial and Azmodan, began their plans to conquer Sanctuary. A party of Nephalem emerged to counter the armies of Hell. In time, the adventurers crossed paths with Adria, a witch and former resident of Tristram. She discovered the Black Soulstone of Zoltun Kulle and posited it would be pivotal in turning the tide against Hell. The Black Soulstone would be capable of imprisoning all the lords of Hell, saving the world from their corruption forever. However, the Black Soulstone had been left incomplete, necessitating the revival of Zoltun Kulle himself.
Archives of Zoltun Kulle
The Archives of Zoltun Kulle was an area that was teased during Blizzcon 2011. Portions of it were playable in the Blizzcon 2009 floor demo and were the crumbling underground dungeons within the desert surrounding Caldeum.
The subterranean complex is a place of great power, with the relics of an age long past still humming with magical energy. Ancient wards and defenses were placed to guard the imprisoned head of Zoltun Kulle from the ill-intentioned seeking to restore or disturb the once great, Horadric mage.
The Archives of Zoltun Kulle will feature into the main quest of Diablo III in some way, but the pretext for the heroes' exploration of these ruins is still a mystery.
The boss encounter with Zoltun Kulle is a bit different from others as he begins the fight with two very large Sand Golems, called the Eternal Guardians, accompanying him. The sand golems have no real special abilities other than hitting hard, and occasionally performing a knockback attack.
Kulles abilities are listed below:
- Fiery Boulder - Kulle will launch a fiery boulder at the player which explodes for AoE damage, leaving behind a desecrator-like lava pool.
- Time Bubble - Similar to Slow Time, Kulle will erect a bubble right on top of a player that slows their movement and attack speed.
- Ceiling Collapse - Kulle will laugh, and then strike his staff against the ground. The screen will shake, and loose rock from the ceiling will fall in a small area, dealing low damage.
- Energy Twister - Similar to the Wizard's Energy Twister, he will launch a whirling cone at the player which deals moderate damage, and normally this is cast when the time bubble is up.
- Vanish - Kulle will vanish from sight in a puff of dust to re-appear somewhere else in the arena.
- Creepy Laugh - Kulle will laugh, creeping out the player.
- Inferno Difficulty - As of Patch 1.0.3, after 3 minutes, Kulle will teleport more frequently and inflict damage on the player upon arrival. This is Kulle's enrage timer.
- Blizzcon 2011 - Diablo III Lore Panel. Comments by Kevin Martens.
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