Diablo: The Kingdom of Shadow

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Diablo: The Kingdom of Shadow is a Diablo novel published in 2002 and written by Richard Knaak.

The book tells of Captain Kentril Dumon and his group of mercenaries as they try to find the city of Ureh for a Vizjerei sorcerer named Quov Tsin.

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Diablo: The Kingdom of Shadow is a Diablo novel, and may not be directly related to any of the games, but contains important lore information about the Diablo universe that is canon.

SPOILER WARNING! This article contains spoilers about the Diablo universe and Diablo: The Kingdom of Shadow!

Possible Relation to Diablo III[edit | edit source]

The fabled City of Ureh built on the slopes of Mountain Nymyr.

The cinematic intro of Diablo III shown at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational 2008 in Paris showed a ruined city resting on the wall of a mountain. The ruined statues came to life suddenly. This could mean Blizzard was hinting players will visit the ruins of Ureh in Mountain Nymyr. These locations have up until 2008 only appeared in the novel Diablo: The Kingdom of Shadow by Richard A. Knaak.

This stirred a lot of excitement among Diablo lore fans who had previously read this novel. Richard A. Knaak hinted on 2006 that Blizzard had big plans for Zayl the Necromancer, one of the main characters in this novel. Ureh is located in the Swamp Lands, a large region on the southeastern side of the world of Sanctuary which is known to be the secret homeland of the necromancers.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Since the beginning of time, the angelic hosts of the High Heavens and the demonic hordes of the Burning Hells have been locked in a struggle for the fate of all Creation. That struggle has now come to the mortal realm...and neither Man nor Demon nor Angel will be left unscathed....

Legend speaks of a long-dead city known as Ureh, thought by many to have been a gateway to the High Heavens. It is believed that every two thousand years, when the stars align and the shadow of Mount Nymyr falls upon the ruins, Ureh is reborn — and all its lost riches are revealed to those brave enough to seek them out.

Now, after a lifetime of research and intense calculation, the Vizjerei sorcerer, Quov Tsin, has come to witness Ureh's rebirth for himself. But that which awaits Tsin and his hired band of mercenaries is nothing like what they expected. They will find that the dream of radiant Ureh is, in fact, a twisted nightmare of horror — one that will draw them inexorably into The Kingdom of Shadow.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Locations[edit | edit source]

Story[edit | edit source]

Captain Kentril Dumon and his group of mercenaries travelled through the jungles of Kehjistan. Moving toward where screams could be heard, they found Hargo within the maw of a huge serpentine creature with tentacles. After a long attempt to pull the tentacle beast to shore with ropes and nets around its horns, one of the two archers stroke its eye, and the creature reeled in pain back to the waters. Captain Dumon took one of the archer's bows and struck Hargo in the chest with an arrow. Better to die a quick death than to be tormented as the creature feasted on him. Three of their men had died in this journey. One of them to the poisons of giant spiders.

Kentril blamed the deaths on his employer, Quov Tsin, who mostly travelled ahead of the mercenaries, not minding the fate of his men. Quov Tsin is an elder Vizjerei sorcerer driven by the search of the lost city of Ureh, known as "The Light among Lights" by the ancients. The most pure of realms in all the history of the world, built upon the very slope of the towering mountain called Nymyr -- a place fabled to be the one kingdom where the darkness of Hell had feared to intrude.

Quov Tsin signaled down toward a ruined city built on the slope of mountain Nymyr. On their way down the mountain toward Ureh, Kentril found an ancient brooch with the photo of a beautiful woman. He kept it secret from the mercenaries and from Quov Tsin. Except for Gorst who discovered him.

After they settled a camp not far from Ureh, Kentril came to Quov Tsin and asked him why they were here. Quov Tsin told the ancient tale ... the city was built during the Sin War. Bartuc the Warlord had risen and been defeated. The Sin War lasted hundred of years with forces of Heaven and Hell battling in Sanctuary behind the scenes, a war fought beyond the eyes of mortals. But Ureh was untouched. Diablo was offended by the glorious existence of Ureh, and grew determined to lay waste to its inhabitants.

A city revered by followers of the Light, ruled by regal and kind lords who guided souls toward Heaven. A kingdom so pure that legends say had risen whole above the mortal plane, and its inhabitants had transcended to join the angels ... (a tale that later is proven very wrong).

The tales said Diablo wanted to turn this city's inhabitants into slaves of Hell. The city was isolated and surrounded by demonic forces. No one could enter or leave the city. As time passed, Lord Juris Khan gathered his greatest priests and mages. Khan had been granted a vision by an archangel who claimed to have seen the trials of their most honored followers, and offered the safety of Heaven.

He followed the Archangel's instructions and his priests and mages initiated a ritual spell.

A red light engulfed Ureh, and a second ethereal twin of the city could be seen ascending to the sky. Juris Khan created a plane to bridge the mortal realm and Heaven with a complex spellwork -- told Quov Tsin to Captain Dumon and Gorst.

Only one remained behind. Gregus Mazi faltered in his faith and he did not ascend with the others. He was taken care of by the necromancers while his body and mind healed. Later departed to seek clues of how to recreate the master spellwork. Twelve years later, Gregus Mazi returned to the ruins of Ureh and was never heard of again.

Quov Tsin has collected various scrolls and journals of Gregus Mazi. This is why the vizjerei had hired the mercenaries to lead him toward the eastern jungles in search of Ureh. After explaining to the mercenaries all this story, their enthusiasm strengthened knowing that Ureh might hold riches left behind by its former inhabitants.

Kentril was still skeptic thinking this Gregus Mazi may have disappeared because the beasts of the jungle have eaten him. Quov Tsin retrieved another scroll for Kentril to read. It was written by Gregus Mazi's mercenary captain -- Humbart Wessel -- who led the expedition toward Ureh.

They saw how the shadow of Mountain Nymyr engulfed the ruins of Ureh. Suddenly, the ruins looked alive again, and torches within the ruins glowed alight. Only Gregus Mazi dared to enter the ruins. The mercenaries awaited until the next day to see if he returned. In the morning, the ruins were themselves once more. Gregus Mazi had disappeared.

Quov Tsin tried to convince Kentril and his mercenaries that he could attempt to recreate the spell of Lord ]]Juris Khan]] and Gregus Mazi. It took Gregus Mazi 12 years of calculations to recreate the spellwork. It took Quov Tsin merely 3 years using Gregus Mazi's scrolls.

Satisfied, Kentril and the mercenaries agreed to follow Quov Tsin into the ruins.

Zayl the Necromancer had seen the intruders arrive, and spied upon them. He didn't want them exploring Ureh, specially a day before that time when the shadow of Mountain Nymyr sets upon the ruins of Ureh. This was a place which delicately held balance among the various planes of existence. The sorcerers of Lord Juris Khan had blurred the lines between life and death.

Zayl had sensed the death of one of the mercenaries near a river and found a piece of cloth, enough of a link to summon Hargo's spirit with necromantic magic. Zayl assaulted the intruders' minds during their sleep with a nightmare in which each of the 15 mercenaries would see Hargo's decomposed and mangled body, half eaten by the reptilian tendril beast to warn them to leave the place. All woke up frightened, and decided to stay through the night, and to leave early in the morning. Only Quov Tsin remained asleep in his tent protected by his magical wards.

The next day Kentril informed Quov Tsin they were departing. While lifting the camp, to leave, a massive storm came out of nowhere. The men had to take shelter in a nearby building adjacent to the ruins.

After many hours, Gorst asked where the Vizjerei was. Captain Kentril Dumon wondered the same thing, and whether this storm had something to do with the old Quov Tsin. Kentril fought to stay on his feet as he left the building in search of the vizjerei. The gust winds barely allowed him to stay afoot. Thunder stroke near him, making his journey more perilous. Finally, he reached the vizjerei's tent and jumped in. Tsin looked surprised at Kentril. He thought the mercenaries had departed in the morning.

Kentril told him about the tremendous storm. The vizjerei looked at Kentril with disbelief ... he was dry, and the sun shone outside. Quov Tsin thought Kentril was drunk. Regardless, it was too late in the afternoon to attempt to leave the ruins. They wouldn't make it far before the dusk. Quov Tsin requested their help to recreate the spellwork at the exact time of his calculations.

The time came and the men formed a pentagram with Quov Tsin in its center. The vizjerei chanted the spellwork: “Lucin Ahn! Lucin-”, and before he could finish, Zayl the Necromancer demanded them to stop their efforts. The men readied their blades and looked in Zayl's direction. Quov Tsin ignored the warnings and continued to say the last words of his spellwork: "Ques Ty Norgu!” -- said Quov Tsin -- “Protasi! Ureh! Protast!”. Nothing happened.

Their attention once more on the necromancer, Quov Tsin recommended to keep the necromancer confined and restrained back in the camp. The shadow of Nymyr started to darken Ureh and its surroundings. The men returned to the camp with the necromancer guarded by four of the mercenaries.

As the men marched to the camp, Kentril looked back to discover a light in one of the towers of the ruins. Then another, and another. The ruins had come to life. A crumbled tower he had seen before, was now restored to its former position and alight. The ruins were no more. They were before the Ureh of golden age.

As they entered Ureh, a seven-foot tall feline humanoid tore apart Benjin and slashed Toko through the chest killing both. The mercenaries searched for the monster. A tense fight ensued and its mace-like tail crushed the back of Oskal's skull. After a lengthy fight, the beast was slain.

They continued their search through the city of Ureh, and suddenly heard music. A tune from a flute. Ghostly men appeared in the inn down the street, more started to appear out of nowhere surrounding the mercenaries. Kentril asked Zayl if he could do something with these ghosts. Zayl was uneasy about their nature. Kentril decided it was best to leave the city at once. However, the gates were guarded by two guardians that didn't look human. Even if the creatures weren't there, the way out was no more. They were trapped in Ethereal Ureh.

Zayl chanted silent words and pointed his now glowing ivory dagger toward the ghostly figures, to no avail. They kept moving toward the mercenaries. It should have worked, but these were no ordinary ghosts. Zayl informed they were been led to where the ghosts wanted them to go.

A huge stony hill was ahead amidst a plaza. A tall stair led to the top of Nymyr, to Lord Juris Khan's palace. At the end of the stairs was a gate guarded by two winged humanoid gargoyles with lion-like faces and hawk-like beaks. Their white orbs staring at the intruders. Everyone passed through, but when Quov Tsin attempted to pass, the gargoyles sprung to life reaching for him. He stepped back, and the gargoyles reverted back to stone.

According to Zayl, gargoyles are considered the guardians against Hell, and these were placed there so that only the good of heart may pass.

Zayl and Kentril escorted Quov Tsin, hiding him in between both. The gargoyles sprung to life trying to reach Quov, but won't harm Zayl and Kentril to reach him. Finally, Quov made it past the gate and the flute music started once more on the other side, putting the gargoyles to rest.

Lord Juris Khan and his daughter Atanna welcomed the visitors. The ruler of the kingdom revealed to them he ordered his men to lead them to the castle. He couldn't have welcomed properly at the gates because he was prisoner of his chair. He stood up, and showed beneath his tunic his legs were magically merged to the wooden chair.

This was done to him by the treacherous Gregus Mazi, who he considered a brother of brothers.

Lord Juris Khan said Gregus Mazi chanted the spellwork backwards to damn them all, to cast them to Hell instead of to Heaven. He and Tobio attempted to cast the correct spellwork to counter Gregus Mazi, but instead they were cast into a in-between realm. A limbo. He said Gregus Mazi's spell sucked the life force of all the priests and wizards except for Tobio and Juris Khan. Thus without their help they were unable to unstuck Ureh from its limbo. They cast Gregus Mazi away, but to the cost of Tobio's life.

And so the kingdom and its people had floated in the midst of nothingness, time forever locked. Juris Khan deviced two gemstones hoping to unstuck Ureh back into the mortal plane. The Key to Light and the Key to Shadow. Some men placed the Key to Shadow in a deep cavern below Ureh. Five men placed the Key to Light at the top of Mountain Nymyr. However, Gregus Mazi probably sensed this and struck the top of Nymyr with lightning slaying the five men. Thus Gregus Mazi assaulted the castle by surprise, merging Khan and his wooden chair. However, Khan was able to cast against Gregus Mazi, incinerating him.

Some men tried to retrieve the Key to Light to return it to the top of Nymyr, but they were burned by the sun. Another tried in the evening, but he too was burned. Now there was no hope for Ureh to return to the mortal plane.

Khan used his magic to probe for anyone nearby Ureh, and thus he sensed Kentril and his mercenaries. They agreed to help. Kentril, Zayl, Gorst, Jodas and Orlif climbed to the peak of Mountain Nymyr. Using a crystal given to them by Khan, Kentril was led by its glow toward where the Key to Light rested, under a pile of rocks that fell time ago when Gregus Mazi struck the top with lightning. The dawn was set upon Nymyr, and the sunlight was absorbed by the Key to Light. The sunlight no longer touched upon Nymyr, casting its shadow on the city.

The city of Ureh was reborn. The ghosts were no more, replaced by people. Some wearing helmets and proper armor. Everyone cheering and welcoming those responsible for their revitalized city.

Everyone was given freedom to explore Ureh, and celebrate with the people with food and wine. Humbart the skull requested a moment to talk with Zayl, warning him that nothing of what Lord Juris Khan said fit with his former employer ... the praying Gregus Mazi he remembered. One who sought redemption. Humbart the skull suggested to find any object that belonged to Gregus Mazi to summon his shade for interrogation.

Zayl tricked one of the women citizens, Nefriti, he pretended he considered Gregus Mazi a monster for cursing this place. Zayl suggested any belongings, even his home, should be burned. The woman said there wouldn't be much to burn, his housing was the old monastery inside a cave which existed before the city was even built.

Zayl broke the wards sealing the stony doorway into Gregus Mazi's sanctum with help of his skull companion (off-hand item) Humbart, and within found a cape that belonged to Gregus Mazi. Taking a couple of hairs off it, he cut his finger to place three blood drops on the hairs. He chanted a spell and expected the shade of Gregus Mazi to appear before him for questioning.

However, the figure of smoke vanished, and the hairs turned to ash. Zayl told Humbart this only meant that Gregus Mazi was still among the living. Kentril on the other hand went to the library to convince Quov Tsin to make Lord Juris Khan change his mind about making another attempt to make the way to Heaven. Instead, to permanently get Ureh to return to the physical world. Thus Kentril could keep Atanna, and Quov Tsin could have access to the library permanently. Otherwise, they would both lose their interests once Lord Juris Khan had accomplished his desire to transcend Ureh to Heaven.

Zayl revealed Captain Dumon what he discovered at the old monastery in the cave and requested not to tell anything yet to Atanna or Lord Juris Khan. There was something fishy about their tale concerning Gregus Mazi. He sensed he was still alive somewhere within the palace.

They sought the vizjerei Quov Tsin, but to their surprise the library was empty, and Gorst who was set to watch over the old man was missing too. Atanna arrived to the library and led both to the throne room, where the servants placed a table before Lord Juris Khan who couldn't move off his wooden chair. Quov Tsin convinced the king to dismiss his wish to transcend Ureh to Heaven. The reason they wished to do so in the first place no longer is a threat to them. They could teach mortals in the world the ways to earn Heaven, bringing a new era to the people of Sanctuary.

Quov Tsin was convinced within three days his calculations based on all he had read in the library could allow him to counter the spell of Gregus Mazi to free Lord Juris Khan of his curse, the one binding him to the wooden chair.

Thus, Lord Juris Khan offered Quov Tsin to be his left hand, the Royal Sorcerer. To Captain Kentril Dumon to be his commander, his general, a prince of the land with his own state and right to have servants. As a member of nobility, he could marry Princess Atanna if he wished so.

Kentril and Gorst made their way out of the palace, to the mountain side beneath the palace. Their Zayl awaited. They entered the pass toward the natural inner-caverns beneath the palace, where the Key to Shadow was placed long ago, in search of Gregus Mazi.

Withn they found the Key to Shadow, and a macabre sculpture on a stalactite, arms and legs pulled back bound to the stalactite. Shortly after Captain Dumon hit it with his sword, the grotesque figure opened its mouth and screamed in agony. Lesser-demons, some bat-like flying at them, others reptile-like on ground to knee-level attacked the trio.

After a fog spell by Zayl, all of them were dead. Kentril took another look at the sculpture, and declared this might be Gregus Mazi. Zayl confirmed it when Humbart the skull took a look at it, recognizing his former employer. Humbart Wessel requested the trio to give Gregus Mazi a proper death. In his state, he was still alive, in agony, trapped for eternity as part of the mountain.

Borrowing Zayl's ivory dagger, Captain Dumon buried it in Gregus Mazi's chest. Now he rested in peace.

They returned to the palace just to find Lord Juris Khan restored from the curse, now able to walk without the prison-like wooden/stone chair. Quov Tsin and Atanna were successful. The king went to the balcony to announce to his people the day was drawing near for when they would return to the world. He presented before his people below the now General Kentril Dumon who would marry Princess Atanna.

Back in private, Kentril found Gorst and Quov Tsin. Gorst had revealed to the elder wizard what happened in the cave. And worst, during the spellwork to restore Lord Juris, he had moved almost risking to fail their mission to dispell the curse. Gorst calculated that happened about the same time they were killing Gregus Mazi, and wondered if somehow the king knew.

Kentril suggested Zayl to perform his ritual to find out if the three missing men were dead or alive, but for all intent they couldn't find any belongings in their rooms, and suspisciously they couldn't find any of the palace's servants.

Suddenly, it stroke Zayl. Gregus Mazi was now dead, he could attempt the summoning of the shade of Mazi to find out the truth. Zayl went to the passage opening of the caverns to perform the summoning. Gregus Mazi was only able to utter a single word before his smoke form burned away: Diabloooooo.

A warning too late. The rock around Zayl took life of its own and crushed Zayl. The pressure caused him to black out.

Lord Juris Khan reached the library and requested Quov Tsin to follow him. Both walked past a door the elder mage didn't realize was there before, and both went down a long stairway to the depths of the palace.

Deep beneath the palace, long before Ureh was built this room existed. Before the Eastern or Western Kingdoms existed. Created by precursors of the Rathmians, Lord Juris Khan's people, and the Vizjerei brotherhood. Lord Juris wondered if they were even human or heavenly servants sent to prepare the way.

The platform where Lord Juris wished Quov Tsin to work their spells upon, had been built to be a focus of primal forces. Runes of power were etched around the platform. One mark caught Quov Tsin's interest. He couldn't make out what the stain was. Lord Juris said it was blood.

Zayl was unconscious. Humbart called to him. Zayl realized he was under a stalactite, his arms and legs pinned backward, suffering the same fate of Gregus Mazi. That one, however, sunk on Mazi for centuries making it impossible to revert. Zayl's curse was slowly transforming his body to be part of Mountain Nymyr, but he still had hope.

Humbart described where his ivory dagger was, not far from Humbart. In his mind, Zayl visualized it, and called upon it. The ivory dagger flew across the cavern to his hand, and with all his might he spoke a spell. The curse shattered allowing Zayl to fall to the ground.

Kentril told Atanna about Gregus Mazi. Her father had lied. The wizard was alive all this time deep in the caverns, cursed into stone, but alive. Until he freed his spirit. He asked if she noticed anything different from his father, or suspected anything was amiss with him all these years.

He also confronted her about the three missing men that never returned, and now Zayl and Albord were missing too. She dismissed his words, and declared they only need themselves, everyone else is didn't matter. She had asked her father she wanted Kentril. And her father granted her that wish.

This sunk hard on Kentril. It was madness. Accidentally as he walked away from her, he felt pushed forward. Atanna fell through the balcony to her apparent death. Kentril couldn't believe what happened. He had to tell Lord Juris it was an accident. He went through the door in the main hall where he saw Atanna come from when he found her.

The door led to a long spiral stairway. No torchlights on sight, yet the place was illuminated. He reached an iron door with a gargoyle head and a ring on its beak. Suddenly he heard Atanna's voice: "Tezarka". He thought he imagined the voice out of guilt. The door opened.

There in a vast hexagon-shaped room Kentril found Quov Tsin. Lord Juris Khan had brought Quov Tsin here to aid in the spell to bring Ureh back to the physical world of Sanctuary.

Suddenly, Lord Juris Khan appeared behind Captain Kentril Dumon. Kentril apologized for his daughter's death, but Juris acted as nothing was wrong. He said she was alright. Behind him, Atanna spoke. Her head was bent to the side barely held by her neck, and her left arm was bent in an impossible manner. Lord Juris said she was a little broken, but not dead.

Gorst couldn't find Kentril, and decided to return to his room. He walked past the six soldiers guarding their rooms, and a shadow caught the corner of his eye. He investigated, and saw nothing. He looked something odd in a wall, and suddenly the mirage broke. Zayl fell to Gorst's receiving arms. Zayl asked him in pain to take him to his room.

There Humbart the skull asked Gorst to retrieve a yellow potion from one of the bags found in the room. Gorst put it in Zayl's mouth. Shortly after, Zayl was healed completely. Both walked out of the room under a spell that would make them invisible to walk past the guards. However, these were no humans as Zayl thought. They were golems. They attacked them.

Zayl used his favorite spells for this type of threat: Talon of Trag'Oul (a bone spear) and summoned the Den'Trag (the Teeth of Trag'Oul -- a shower of swift, deadly shafts). Gorst fought with his mighty axe. However, these golems adapted to both spells and weapons, and wouldn't be affected a second time. Zayl asked Gorst to switch targets. They succeeded and went on their way to search for Captain Kentril Dumon.

Zayl asked Gorst for any belonging of Kentril. Gorst had a brooch of a previous Westmarch Monarch given to Kentril by his father as a token of good luck. The words inscribed on it read: For Honor, For Duty, For King and Kingdom.

Kentril gave it to Gorst a year ago when he almost gets killed. Kentril said Gorst needed it most. Zayl used it to lead them to Kentril's whereabouts. They descended the long stairway to the depths of the palace. The iron door with the gargoyle head stopped them from reaching their friend.

They attempted to open the door, but the gargoyle head grew, and the entire body of the gargoyle appeared out of nowhere chasing them with its talons. Zayl conjured a spell that made Gorst invulnerable to attacks, and reverting any attacks upon Gorst back to the Gargoyle which ended in shreds.

Yet the door wouldn't open. The gargoyle doorknob was a mere guardian, the way to open the door was of magical nature. Gorst suggested Zayl to use Humbart for this task. Humbart saw the magical lines converging to where the gargoyle head was placed. Following Humbart's instructions, Zayl placed the tip of his ivory dagger on the proper spot. Words of power formed in the lips of Zayl, to divine the key to open the iron door: "Tezarka".

The door opened to reveal an empty hexagon-like chamber with countless books and specimens in jars. And the stone platform in the center, but no trace of Captain Kentril Dumon. Zayl couldn't detect anything unusual.

Humbart took a look at the platform. The skull could sense great power, the runes glowing like a star, primal earthly and unearthly forces flowing from the runes around the platform. Yet Humbart couldn't see Kentril anywhere, even when the medallion pointed straight at this point.

Lord Juris Khan, Atanna and Quov Tsin continued their spellwork. The king revealed Kentril the truth. He had created a secret spell that would suck the life force of his priests and mages to complete the transcendence of Ureh into Heaven. He didn't want the chance of any traitors in their amidst. However, Gregus Mazi figured out the purpose of what would happen after their spellwork was fulfilled, and used some of the power to teleport himself away from Ureh. Everyone died, except Tobio.

The spell went awry. Instead of heading to Heaven, Ureh was stuck in a timeless limbo between Heaven and Hell. The Archangel Mirokodus convinced Lord Juris Khan to merge to gift him with power. In this limbo, he crafted a way to return to the world of Sanctuary: the Key to Light and the Key to Shadow.

Tobios refused to help Lord Juris Khan telling him he had gone insane and corrupted by demons. For this, the king imprisoned him. Some of the men of Ureh helped to place both Keys in place. One at the depths of the caverns and the other at the top of Mountain Nymyr.

Gregus Mazi may have sensed this, and returned to Ureh in secrecy. Gregus freed Tobios from the prison, and both crafted a plan to avert the return of Ureh to the mortal plane. Tobios went to the top of Nymyr to destroy the Key to Light, while Gregus Mazi went to the caverns below to do the same to the Key to Shadow.

Gregus Mazi failed, and Lord Juris Khan cursed him into becoming stone around a stalacmite, becoming part of Mountain Nymyr. Tobios was struck with lightning by Lord Juris Khan, but he succeded throwing the Key to Light to the other side of the mountain where he couldn't reach it.

Kentril suspected everything he had said when they arrived was a lie. However, he was curious. Kentril asked Lord Juris Khan to show him an image of the archangel that gave him the visions. With a spell, he summoned forth an image of Archangel Mirakodus.

The tall angelic form glowed as bright as a sun. Clad in glorious bright platinum armor, intricate runes and sculptured glyphs decorating hsi breastplate. His shoulders radiated a display of crackling, writhing tendrils of pure energy, fiery wings. He held a flaming sword.

His hood was thrown back, in contrast with other angels which are depicted as hooded faceless beings. Golden hair with a visage of perfection. The beauty and perfection of the image of this archangel was rapturing. However, as the image drew off his very soul, and engulfed his mind with horror, one name in all of Sanctuary came to mind that could inflict such terror within him ... Diablo.

Diablo disguised to fool Lord Juris Khan into casting a spell to create an inbalance in Sanctuary by trascending Ureh to Hell, but this failed when Gregus Mazi broke away from the ritual's spellwork, sending Ureh to a timeless limbo between Heavena nd Hell.

By returning Ureh to Sanctuary, Diablo sought to create a permanent gateway between Hell and Sanctuary and other realms beyond.

With Kentril's request accomplished, Lord Juris Khan proceeded with the final rites of the spellwork aiming a dagger to Captain Dumon's heart. The blood is the strongest representation of life. Khan dealed with powers that are part and sum of that which keeps the natural order in balance. To bind the power, they needed Kentril's blood.

Blood is the river of life. Blood is the sustenance of the heart, and the heart is the key to teh soul. The soul is the guide to Heaven and the guide to mortality.

Right before Lord Juris Khan plummeted the dagger to Kentril's heart, Zayl had managed to draw from teh power of the runes on the platform to open a small crack in the magic around the platform that separated this spot into various versions of itself. He undid Kentril's magical cuffs and pulled him out of harm's way.

With the power of the runes, he managed to teleport Gorst, Kentril and himself. He intended to return to their camp outside Ureh, but the spell went awry and sent them somewhere on Mountain Nymyr.

Kentril revealed all he learned from Lord Juris Khan's confession. Zayl figured out everything else with his own findings. Diablo intended to return Ureh to the physical world to unleash his army of zombies against Sanctuary and to establish a gateway from which the forces of Hell could enter Sanctuary.

Kentril said he won't be able to. They needed Kentril's blood, and now they are safe. Zayl said the spellwork was very advanced and in a desperate moment like this Khan still had Quov Tsin to draw the blood. Indeed, Khan pushed Quov Tsin upon the platform and stabbed him in the heart to complete the ritual.

It was a matter of waiting for the set of the sunlight upon Nymyr to touch the Key To Light to make Ureh permanently bound to Sanctuary.

Zayl requested Gorst and Kentril to let him take three drops of blood from each. He created two golems looking like them. With what remained of the powers he drew from the runes, Zayl teleported to the caverns beneath Ureh to remove the Key to Shadow.

This distraction woudl allow the real Kentril and Gorst to climb to the top of Nymyr to take care of the Key to Light.

As expected, Lord Juris Khan attacked Zayl and his golems sending Ureh zombies at him. When this failed, he reanimated Gregus Mazi's stony corpse. Zayl caused it to explode causing his own golems to shatter slightly. Yet Khan did not see through the facade in the dim light.

Both magicians dueled one on one, but Khan was far superior with his master's support. Humbart's voice snapped at Lord Juris Khan who looked to the ceiling thinking his master had just talked to him. This distraction allowed Zayl to stab at Lord Juris Khan past his magical shield defenses.

Wounded, he summoned the zombies to overwhelm Zayl. Above, hundreds of zombies climbed at fast pace to reach Gorst and Kentril. Gorst decided to stay behind to distract them. His sacrifice would give Kentril enough time to reach the Key to Light.

Gorst was overwhelmed and in a last act of sacrifice jumped off the cliff taking those zombies strapped to his back and arms with him down; and forming an avalance of zombies as he struck those still climbing the mountain below.

Kentril reached the Key to Light but was lured by the sweet voice of Atanna who plead for him to stay forever to her side. He snapped off the trance and faced a few of the zombies. With his sword he managed to fight them, and throw a few off the edge. Now Lord Juris Khan projected an image as big as the mountain growing skyward still offering Kentril all the riches he had first promised. When this didn't work, he threatened Kentril.

Kentril grabbed the Key to Light and jumped to his death hoping his swift fall would shatter the Key. His fall slowed down as Lord Juris Khan grabbed him, commanding Kentril to return the Key to its base atop Nymyr.

He instead released the Key and let it fall. It shattered as it stroke the ground. All the zombies still climbing reeled in unearthly pain and melted cascading down to the city. Lord Juris Khan's magical image melted as well, his flesh becoming the zombie-like features of the citizens of Ureh, then pieces of his face and body crumbling. Yet beneath all that, one who lurked within manifested briefly. The image of Diablo appeared before fading away.

His descent fastened and Kentril awaited his quick death. Just a hundred feet from the ground, his descent slowed down. High atop the balcony, Atanna's arms reached toward Kentril. The dawn arrived and sunlight touched upon Ureh. As it touched Atanna, curiously it didn't melt her. She simply faded away. Kentril's descent fastened once more, and he lost consciousness.

Zayl used his ivory dagger to awaken Kentril. He had blacked out for two days and a half. Kentril had broken ribs and a shoulder, but he wanted to leave the city. Zayl took him to their former camp, and from there they would travel to Zayl's people for proper healing. As they looked back to Ureh, Kentril said it was better to forget about Ureh forever. Nevertheless, hidden from Zayl's view, Kentril put the brooch with Atanna's portrait in his bag.

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