When I was small I really liked stories about fight between good and evil. My brother accidentally bought Diablo 1 because he also wanted some game from Blizzard as me. I bought Warcraft 2 🙂 We started to explore plot of story and fought against forces of hell. I was almost immediately caught by battle between high heaven and burning hells. So, I decided to find something more about lore and world of Sanctuary. As release of Diablo 3 is quite close, I decided to bring list of resources about world of Diablo. For the beggining you should start with Diablo Timeline and continue with Diablo Lore Summary. Summary of the first two games can be found in Cain's Journal. If you want to know something more about background of story in games you should read pieces from manuals – Diablo 1 Manual, Diablo 1: Hellfire Manual, Diablo 2 Manual and Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction Manual. Hellfire expansion is not canonical!
A lot of wisdom about world of Sanctuary and it's history can be found in tomes, tomes for Diablo 1
and tomes for all games
. But if you want to know more about history of Sanctuary, you should study from primary sources, book trilogy Diablo: The Sin War
, Scales of the Serpent
and The Veiled Prophet
. You can read something about Angiris Council
, where angels and archangel Tyrael
decided about future of humans, ancestors of Nephalem
. On the other hand there are "representatives" of burning hells. There are two kinds of the Great Evils, there are the Lesser Evils and the Prime Evils. The "Lesser" are still formidable entities, but generally controlled by the Prime Evils through cunning and sheer force in a lethally evil combination.