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Mage Clans

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The mage clans are organized groups of practitioners of magic in the Diablo universe. They are mostly based in the eastern regions of Sanctuary, in Kehjistan. The mage clans often have little love or trust for each other, and vary greatly in their views on the ethics, purpose, and practice of magic.

History[edit | edit source]

Before the Sin War[edit | edit source]

The Forming of the Mage Clans[edit | edit source]

As the nephalem gradually disappeared from the world, their descendants formed into various societies and orders all over the Sanctuary. In the land of Kehjistan, some of these groups eventually became the mage clans. These first clans were not just schools of magic populated by mages, but large societies in themselves. These clans had distinct cultures, traditions, and even laws, but were jointly presided over by the Mage Council, which was centered in the city of Kehjan at the time.[1]

Sanctuary Unveiled[edit | edit source]

Sanctuary had enjoyed years of relative isolation from the conflicts of the High Heavens and the Burning Hells due to the occulting powers of the Worldstone. But the mage clans, specifically the Vizjerei, would eventually be the ones to alert the Burning Hells of Sanctuary's existence, ultimately causing the events of the Sin War. The Vizjerei, having witnessed what beings necromancers and druids could conjure, were convinced that there were other extrawordly beings which could be summoned for their own purposes. It took many years, but eventually the Vizjerei Jere Harash managed to bring the very first such being to Sanctuary.[2]

Jere Harash's Discovery[edit | edit source]

What Jere Harash had really summoned was a demon, and while the other Vizjerei mages had no idea what it was, some thought them potentially dangerous and uncontrollable. The clan agreed to keep this new discovery secret from the other clans, but continued to summon more demons and eventually grew confident enough that they felt they could use the creatures to learn more about the universe. However, they soon realized the magnitude of the power that the demons possessed, and their aspirations changed from knowledge to conquering. They decided that they could use their newfound entities to dominate the rest of the clans and the world.[3]

War and the Mage Clans[edit | edit source]

Building Conflict[edit | edit source]

The Vizjerei mage clan's plans to dominate the other mage clans never came to fruition. The other clans discovered the Vizjerei's dark secret, and while it is unknown what their response was, there was no immediate conflict. However, differeing opinions over the summoning and utilization of demons eventually lead to the Mage Clan Wars thousands of years later. Meanwhile, the Prime Evils had created the Triune cult in Sanctuary, which would soon grow to challenge the authority and power of the mage clans. This would lead to the Sin War.[4]

The Sin War and the Fall of Bartuc[edit | edit source]

During the events of the Sin War, the mage clans were, along with the Cathedral of Light and the church of the Triune, one of the most powerful forces in Sanctuary, yet the inner squabbles of the clans kept them from ever toppling or even affecting either of the other two powers.

One such squabble split the Vizjerei order apart. Bartuc, better known as the Warlord of Blood for siding with the Burning Hells in the Sin War[5], and his brother Horazon were two of the most prominent figures in the clan. Where Bartuc embraced the chaotic and gruesome ways of the demons he summoned, Horazon saw the demons fit only for complete domination, supplanting their wills with his own. The clan was split over the ideal, and Horazon, along with his following of Vizjerei mages and with the help of the Priests of Rathma, defeated the corrupted Bartuc and broke his power.[6]

The Mage Clan Wars[edit | edit source]

Full Article: Mage Clan Wars

The Sin War left all of the mage clans ravaged, but they quickly rebuilt and grew even stronger than before. In particular, the Vizjerei began to outgrow the other clans, resulting in the Mage Clan Wars. This war tore the clans apart, and resulting in magic being shunned by the populace and banned by many kingdoms.[7]

The wars, themselves, were ferocious. It was recorded by the archivist Lysra that Brast, a Zakarum scholar, believed that a region near the city of Caldeum called the Desolate Sands became bone-dry and deathly during a battle in the series of mage clan conflicts.[8]

A few remaining mages would shortly thereafter be united by Tyrael as the Horadrim during the Dark Exile. Though the Horadrim disbanded after the Three had been captured, some mage clans endured, albeit in far less splendor than in previous ages.

Hierarchy of the Mage Clans[edit | edit source]

The mage clans are ruled by the Mage Council, or the Al'Raqish. The clan consists of representatives from all of the clans, and the leadership of the clan rotates every new moon to another clan.[9] The Mage Council presides in the Yshari Sanctum, a center of magical knowledge and secrets.[10]

In Demonsbane, the Vizjerei clan is known to have some manner of hierarchy for itself, with Sarnakyle being a lord at some point.[11]

Mage Clans and Orders[edit | edit source]

Ammuit[edit | edit source]

The Ammuit clan manipulates reality and favors the art of illusion.[12]

Ennead[edit | edit source]

The Ennead clan focuses on manipulating the physical world through the enchanting and transmuting of matter.[13]

Horadrim[edit | edit source]

Full Article: Horadrim

The Horadrim, while not technically a mage clan, itself, was composed of humans from all of the mage clans, sorcerers with "disparate magical practices and disciplines" which would make the group more diverse in skills and knowledge.[14] The order was gathered during the time of the Dark Exile by the Archangel Tyrael to defeat the Prime Evils.[15] It is said that Tyrael formed the Horadrim from only humans because he feared including the angels would lead to a cataclysm which would destroy Sanctuary.[16]

Known Members:

Skatsim[edit | edit source]

The Skatsim Cult (or Skatsimi, as the people are referred to in newer sources) originated in the jungles of Kehjistan. Its practice of magic seems to be correlated with specific beliefs about the supernatural. There are no factually known members of this cult.[18], although there are those that have been known to study its ways, such as:

The Gidbinn, a quest item in Diablo II, was created by the Skatsimi. It was located by the heroes in order to protect Kurast Docks from the demons and fanatic servants of the Zakarum out in the jungle.

Taan[edit | edit source]

The Taan is based in the jungles of Kehjistan. Little is known of them, except that they stem from the time before the Sin War, like most clans.[20]

Known Members:

Vizjerei[edit | edit source]

Full Article: Vizjerei

The Vizjerei, unlike the other two original clans, is quite well-known. They appear both in the games and in the books, and have at times affected the world greatly. Their focus lay in the summoning and controlling of otherworldly beings, or demons.[21]

Known Members:

Zharesh Covenant[edit | edit source]

The Zharesh Covenant is a small offshoot of the Vizjerei clan, for which the only popularly-known member is Vischar Orous, who held the position of chief librarian.

Zann Esu[edit | edit source]

The Zann Esu clan only allows female members. Once every seven years, Zann Esu travel across Sanctuary and meet with families who have seven-year-old daughters. The girls are asked some questions, and some of them are visited again and offered apprenticeships. Why they only do this every seventh year, and why they only take girls who are seven years old, is not known.

The women of the clan focus exclusively on the elemental magics of fire, cold and lightning. Believing that strictly harnessing the purest and most basic form of magic will raise them above all other clans, the Zann Esu spur other forms of magic, including demonic magic.

Formed from the fourteen original Zann Esu witch covens, the Sorceresses came together long ago for some unknown reason--although it seems likely that it was a premonition of the Emergence of Evil (event of Diablo II) that unified the covens. The clan remains one of the oldest to the day.[24]

The clan derives its name from Esu, who was a nephalem.[25]

Known Members:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 70.
  2. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 71.
  3. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 74.
  4. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 75.
  5. Of Heaven and Hell
  6. Knaak, Richard A., Legacy of Blood, page 45.
  7. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 86.
  8. On the Desolate Sands, Part 3
  9. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 70.
  10. See Abd al-Hazir on the Wizard
  11. Marks, Robert B., Demonsbane, page 94.
  12. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 70.
  13. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 70.
  14. Of Heaven and Hell
  15. Of Heaven and Hell
  16. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 87.
  17. Ex Libris Horadrim
  18. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 69.
  19. See Diablo II Quest Lam Esen's Tome
  20. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 69.
  21. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 71.
  22. Ex Libris Horadrim
  23. Marks, Robert B., Demonsbane, page 94.
  24. See lore entry for the Sorceress
  25. Cain, Deckard., Book of Cain, page 69.
  26. Blizzard Entertainment, Diablo II Manual, page 86.
  27. Blizzard Entertainment, Diablo II Manual, page 86.