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The Prime Evils are the antagonist of the Diablo universe.  

Members


Diablo -  The Lord or Terror

Mephisto - The Lord of Hatred

Baal - The Lord of Destruction

Machinations


     When the Prime Evils first found out about Sanctuary they set plains in motion.  The first was The Triune.  In books written before the events in the games, The Triune had  temples in various major settlements, mainly in the eastern regions of  Sanctuary. Each temple was subordinate to the main temple in Kahjan. The Triune consisted of three smaller cults, all bent on worshiping a guiding spirit, the alter egos of the three Prime Evils, and all three cults were watched over by the Primuis, the highest religious authority. The three guiding spirits were named after the Prime Evils themselves, Dialon Spirit of Determination was Diablo, Bala spirit of Creation was Baal,  and Mefis spirit of Love was Mephisto. Unsuspecting initiates were lured into the cults, fooled by the seemingly kind guiding spirits. Gradually their hearts would darken as they dove deeper into the true teachings of the Triune, and the true spirits they served.  In the Books the Triune was defeated and destroyed, not long after, Inarius was defeated and taken by Mephisto in a deal between the Angiris Council.   Finally after those events the Angiris Council wiped the minds of every mortal on Sanctuary.  I wouldn't have added this here if not for one fact, The Tuiune seem to have been reborn and will play a roll in Diablo 3.   Evidence can be found in art work and game play footage showing models with garb similar to the art work.  (note art work was done in 2006 so this is something they have been thinking about for a long time) 
Triune Cultist


     The Prime Evils next machination is the base of the story for Diablo 1 and 2.   After the capture and betrayal of Izual the Prime Evils gleamed the knowledge they needed to manufacture a revolution in the Burning Hells to overthrow their own rule and be exiled to Sanctuary.  (reason why they had to be exiled, was for the fact that Mephisto promised to leave Sanctuary and never come back if Inarius was given to him) There the Prime Evils tricked Tyrael into creating Soulstones, that where made from part of the Worldstone.  By Tyreal and the Horadrim entrapping the Prime Evils in the Soulstones they in fact gave them the chance to increase their power via the connection between the Soulstones and the Worldstone.  As the Prime Evils where trapped in the Soulstones they started to spread their influence throughout areas in which they where contained

    
In the year 1262 The eastern lord Leoric comes to Tristram, declares himself its king, and converts the old, long-unused Horadric monastery to a Zakarum cathedril his advisor, Archbishop Lazarus, who was already converted by Mephisto.  Confering with Diablo they set their plains in motion to abtain a mortal vesel so that Diablo my walk free. King Leoric descends into madness as he valiantly struggles to resist Diablo's possession.  A year later Increasingly deranged, King Leoric begins imprisoning all who question his authority and executing them as traitors. He declares war on the kingdom of Westmarch.  Under Diablo's influence, Archbishop Lazarus kidnaps King Leoric's only son, Prince Albrecht. The terrified child is possessed by Diablo.  Lachdanan, captain of King Leoric's army, returns from the disastrous war with Westmarch and is forced to kill Leoric. The fallen monarch curses Lachdanan and his followers with his dying breath. Not long afterward, Lachdanan and the king's guards are attacked by Leoric, resurrected as the Skeleton King, as they attempt to bury him.  Archbishop Lazarus leads a group of villagers into the cathedral and abandons them to a bloodthirsty butcher demon. People begin fleeing Tristram in droves.

     A lone warrior arrives in Tristram and makes his way through the Monastery.  He defeats the butcher then and Lazarus.  The hero fights all the way down Diablo himself and defeats him.  As Diablo lay on the floor the warrior takes out a blade and cuts free the Soulstone in Diablo's head.  The body changes back in to the young Prince Albecht, who gasped his last breath as a freed inmate would.  The hero week from the battle is convinced that he must embed the Soulstone in his head as to contain the evil within, a decision that might not been his own.  Diablo himself may have planned this sequence of events.  Diablo let the Warrior defeat him so that he could posses a stronger host body.  It didn't take long before Diablo to take full control.  In the span of a few months the warrior, now called the "Dark Wanderer" started to travel to the east as if pulled by some invisible force, that force was Diablo.  Everywhere the Dark Wanderer went destruction followed demons and undead would rise from the ground summoned by Diablo from within the Soulstone.  At a hostel in the mountains Diablo found a man by the name of Marius.  Marius lived in the rouge monastery till Diablo's minions overwhelmed it.  He had been taking refuge with other outcasts hoping to run from the horrors he endured.  Unfortunately for him the Wanderer happened to stop there in his trip to the east.  Diablo must have felt how week minded Marius was. He planned from that point to use this human to further the Prime Evils agenda.

   Together Marius and the Dark Wanderer traveled over the mountains and through the broken lands to the city of Lut Gholein.  Lut Gholein is a powerful port city south of where Diablo's brother Baal is imprisoned.  As the two neared Tal Rashas tomb, Marius noted a changed in the Dark Wanderer:


"My companion drew in the dank, cold air of the Tomb. It seemed to... strengthen him. I stood in the doorway between Light and Dark. What was left of my sanity implored me not to enter. But that voice... was just a whisper now. As we worked our way down, deeper and deeper into the Crypt, I began to see a change in my companion. He seemed to be gaining strength. I could hardly see in the gloom, but my companion seemed to know the way. We came at last to a great hall... It was then I realized my companion hadn't been gaining strength. He had been losing what was left of his humanity."


   As Diablo crossed the bridge to free Baal, Tyrael showed up and stopped him.  As the two fought, Baal took this opportunity to fool Marius into freeing him.  Marius was helpless to resist.  He pulled the Soulstone from Tal Rasha's chest.  Tyrael seeing this snatched up Marius by the throat and said:

"Fool! You have just ensured the doom of this world. You cannot even begin to imagine what you've set in motion this day. Go to the Temple of Light, in the eastern city of Kurast. There you will find the gate to Hell opened before you. You must find the courage to step through that gate Marius. Take the stone you hold to the Hellforge, where it will be destroyed. Now run! Take the stone and run!"


The brothers teamed up and imprisoned Tyrael in the very tomb he imprisoned Baal.  The irony must have been palpable to the brothers. 

Baal and Diablo then made their way to the Temple of Light where Mephisto was waiting.  Mephisto said these memorable lines:


"My brothers, at long last we stand reunited. The Infernal Gate has been prepared, and the time of our final victory is at hand. Let the way to Hell be opened!  And the Evil that was once vanquished shall rise anew. Wrapped in the guise of man shall he walk amongst the innocent and Terror shall consume they that dwell upon the Earth. The skies shall rain fire, and the seas will become as blood. The righteous shall fall before the wicked, and all of Creation shall tremble before the burning standards of Hell!  The Gate stands ready!  Now my young brother, the time has come to assume your true form! Arise Diablo, Lord of Terror!  You are the harbinger of our return Diablo! Send forth your Terror into Hell!"


As Diablo transformed Marius said ”What I saw then was not meant for mortal eyes...

     Marius unable to will himself into the portal runs.  Not long after Diablo leaves so does Baal.  Baal heads to find Marius and the Soulstone he carries.   In the meantime  Mephisto stays behind to slow down anyone trying to stop their plain.  Heroes who had been following Diablo's trail, find their way to Mephisto.  After defeating him, and taking his Soulstone they go through the gate to the Burning Hells.   There they find Diablo and defeat him and take his Soulstone as well.  The Heroes then go to the Hellforge and destroy both Soulstones in hopes to prevent the brothers from ever coming back.


      Baal Finds Marius and tricks him into believing he is Tyrael.  Only when Marius pulls the Soulstone from his tattered clothing does Baal reveal himself to Marius's horror.  After killing Marius, Baal travels to the Worldstone which is kept high in the mountains of Arreat.  Baal Corrupts the Worldstone shortly before the heroes defeat him.  Tyrael decides the Worldstone mush be destroyed and hurls his sword at it shattering the Worldstone into a million shards.  The Prime Evils and their machinations are thwarted or so they think...   The Prime Evils true plain may have been to destroy the Worldstone all along, only time will tell as the story of the Prime Evils continues in Diablo 3

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