The Diablo series has always had an overarching story, but Diablo 4 is the first game to really put the narrative front and center. There are beautifully rendered cutscenes, characters you want to root for and against, and a plotline that’s easy to follow without supplemental reading. However, there is some crucial backstory to know before jumping into Diablo 4, specifically surrounding two key characters: Inarius and Lilith.
In this Diablo 4 guide, we’re going to walk you through a very brief history of Inarius and Lilith. What is their relationship? Why does everyone keep calling them “Mother” and “Father?” And how did humanity come to exist in Sanctuary, the main setting of Diablo 4? Keep reading to find out.
Who is Inarius?
Inarius was once an Archangel (that’s basically an angel but cooler and a bit more powerful) who served under Tyrael, the Archangel of Justice, during the Eternal Conflict — a long-standing war that’s exactly what it sounds like (which we’ll cover in a bit). He’s known as the Prophet and, most commonly in Diablo 4, the Father.
Inarius fought constantly and became a war hero. But over time, he began to grow tired of all the fighting and started to question the entire conflict. Then he was captured in battle and taken down to the Burning Hells as a prisoner.
There he met Lilith, and hatched a plan to change the world of Diablo forever.
Who is Lilith?
Lilith is known by many titles, but is most commonly referred to as the Daughter of Hatred, Queen of the Succubi, and the Mother of Sanctuary (we’ll get to that last one soon).
She is a high-ranking demon and the daughter of Mephisto, Lord of Hatred (hence the title), and one of the three Prime Evils. Like Inarius, Lilith held a special place among her people and spent years battling in the Eternal Conflict.
And also like Inarius, Lilith grew tired of the pointless war over the Worldstone (which we’ll cover shortly). So when she came face-to-face with an Archangel who held similar beliefs, she saw an opportunity to change her situation
Where do angels and demons come from?
To understand Inarius and Lilith — and therefore the story of Diablo 4 — you must understand a little bit about the birth of angels, demons, and “The Eternal Conflict.”
In the beginning, there was an all-powerful creator called Anu (who is the closest thing to “God” in the Diablo universe). Anu decided to purify himself, and cast out all the evil from inside of him, creating Tathamet, a seven-headed dragon and the first Prime Evil. Anu and Tathamet battled and, eventually, killed each other. Anu’s spine then formed the heavens, while Tathamet’s body created the hells — and his seven heads spawned the four Lesser Evils and the three Prime Evils.
Angels — born from the spine of Anu, called the Crystal Arch — began to populate the High Heavens, while demons began to populate the Burning Hells. These two forces (each descendants of Anu) clashed for millennia, most commonly in the world of Pandemonium, over the Worldstone.
The Worldstone — born from the eye of Anu — was capable of shaping reality and creating life. Both sides would win and lose, but neither angels nor demons could hold to Worldstone for long.
The Eternal Conflict lived up to its name, and with no end in sight, Lilith and Inarius came into play.
Who is Rathma?
After meeting in the Burning Hells, Inarius and Lilith formed a bond and a pact. Lilith set Inarius free, and the two of them gathered angels and demons who shared their dream of peace. With their rogue band, the two rebel leaders captured the Worldstone and used it to create Sanctuary: a planet hidden from the Archangels of the High Heavens and the Evils of the Burning Hells.
In Sanctuary, Lilith, Inarius, and their Allie’s could be safe from the eternal conflict — although they could never go home again. But as with life, children complicated everything.
Lilith and Inarius were more than just rebel buddies — they were also lovers. And in their new world of Sanctuary, the two had a son named Linarian, who is better known now as Rathma (the first Necromancer). Other angels and demons also coupled together, creating a race of people called the Nephalem from their “unholy unions.”
These Nephalem were even more powerful than their parents, and so Inarius and many members of the rebels began to fear their children. Inarius called for a period of reflection, where he would contemplate whether he should genocide his offspring entirely. Fearing for the Nephalem, Lilith killed all the angelic and demonic rebels who helped found Sanctuary. This led to Inarius and Lilith facing off, but Inarius would not kill Lilith, and so he banished her to the “Void” instead.
Inarius then made modifications to the Worldstone, which would cause the Nephalem’s power to diminish over time. Inarius disappeared, and the Nephalem kept on living over the generations, and the severely watered-down Nephalem offspring eventually became known as humans.
Over the years, the High Heavens and Burning Hells learned of Sanctuary, Inarius established his own religion (called the Cathedral of Light), Lilith returned and was banished again, Inarius was captured by the High Heavens and tortured by Mephisto, and the first three Diablo games took place — most notably ending in the extermination of 50-90% of all human life on Sanctuary.
How do Lilith and Inarius impact the story of Diablo 4?
At the start of Diablo 4, Inarius is already back in Sanctuary — although it’s unclear whether he was released from the Burning Hells or if he escaped. He’s returned as the leader of the Cathedral of Light, and his goal is to return to the High Heavens and take his place alongside his fellow angels once again.
The opening cutscene for Diablo 4 shows a group of adventurers summoning Lilith back into Sanctuary. Once back on the planet she created, her motivations become a little difficult to parse — as she plays her cards very close to the chest.
One thing is very clear, however: Lilith and Inarius are spurned exes, and no amount of therapy will ever be able to mend their relationship. For the first time in a long time, they find themselves leading two movements against each other, and that’s where The Wanderer (that’s you!) comes into the story.