This story will detail the events of Diablo 2, populating the game's version with more detailed characters. If anyone reads this and would like me to continue, I will, I just figured I need some inspiration, need to find out if this in any good or interesting to anyone here. This is the first fanfic I wrote and English is not my first language so I apologize if I made any big mistakes.
This is a prologue, the rest of the story is more fast-paced.
Thank you for your time.
Akara lit another candle. The small light flickered in the gloom of the cathedral, lighting her solemn face under the hood of her purple robe.
The great stone torches were already lit, the sound of crackling fire echoed in the nave. The shadows of the rustic wooden furniture and the stone sarcophaguses danced on the walls and the broad columns. The altar stood in the front under a roof with carvings of religious figures. It wasn't a grandiose cathedral, but nevertheless it was a pleasure to look upon.
At the other wall was a young rogue named Hannah. She seemed thoughtful as she spread the light with her candle in hand like the High Priestess. She was rounding her small but rather thick lips, forming a question in her mind.
'What do you think will happen, Akara?' she asked finally. She stopped doing her task and turned to the Priestess. Akara did not do the same.
'What do you mean?' she asked back while she walked to another table full of unlit candles. Hannah was sure the woman knew the answer to her question, but she answered anyway. Akara was like that, there was nothing to do about it.
'I mean Tristram,' the rogue said. 'It's been a while since our Sisters went to fight… the Lord of Terror.'
She said the title of the Prime Evil Diablo with dread. She wasn't a coward of course, she was a trained rogue. But the thought of demons always scared her.
Akara finally stopped to turn to the girl. 'Such demons of the Burning Hells cannot walk this world for long, even if they are powerful as Diablo,' she said. 'They have no right to be here, and no matter how hard they try they will be defeated.'
'But all that death and suffering,' Hannah shook her head hopelessly. 'How can a mortal being defeat a Lord of Hell?'
'Remember that the High Heavens are with us, Hannah,' said Akara and stepped closer. 'Have confidence in the abilities of the inhabitants of this world. We will not let Diablo take over our land.'
'Maybe I am too weak for confidence' said the girl. She was quieter with every word she had spoken.
'No, you are not,' said Akara in a soothing voice. 'You are a Sister of the Sightless Eye as much as I am. We live in this monastery together. You don't have to face dangers alone. Have confidence, child.'
This little speech wasn't revolutionary, but it worked. Hannah raised her head, then did a strong nod. 'You are right, Akara. Forgive me for bringing this up.'
'If you haven't brought it up, you would be troubled still,' said the High Priestess. 'Thank you for letting me help you.'
Hannah smiled, and turned back to light the candles. Akara did the same with a peaceful look on her face. She had only a few wrinkles in the corner of her eyes, making her seem younger than she were. She had silvery blue eyes which could comfort a soul looking for help but pierce a dishonest one just as easily.
A while later, when she was almost ready lighting the cathedral she stopped again, concentrating. There were loud, cheerful noises coming from outside quieted down by the thick walls of the church. They must had come from the monastery gate.
Kashya heard the cheering outside when she was sitting in her quarters at a table reading a book. She looked up and thought for a while. Then her green eyes widened in anticipation as she realized what could be happening.
She stood up leaving the book open, and stepped out of the room. She saw two rogues in the corridor, both hurrying towards the outer cloister. Another rogue captain, Gaile opened her door in front of Kashya, looking out.
'What's the cheering?' she asked.
'I don't know,' said Kashya. 'I'm going to see it now.'
'Right. I'm coming too,' said Gaile and followed Kashya.
Kashya was not the prettiest Sister in the monastery, but her long red hair was sure unique. She was taller than most too with her long, muscular legs and slender neck.
She hurried past the doors of the corridor, passed the smithy, then reached the gate of the barracks. Outside, in the cross-shaped outer cloister she saw a crowd of Sisters standing near the great fountain around someone she couldn't see but nevertheless she knew who she was.
She could not hide her joy as she worked her way amongst the laughing, cheerful rogues. Some of them were already heading back to the barracks, probably to spread the word to the ones who stayed there.
First she saw Charsi the blacksmith hopping happily like a little girl, with her blond hair and rather full figure. And in front of Charsi was a woman with dark red hair, a face with pretty but strong features and light blue eyes. Blood Raven.
She was back!
She was smiling at Charsi and nodding to something she said. Next to her were five other rogues, and while Kashya was glad to see them, she couldn't shake the thought from the back of her mind that there were forty of them who went with Blood Raven to fight the Lord of Terror at Tristram.
However this was no time for grief. She stood behind Charsi, smiling. Blood Raven recognized her and answered with a warm, loving smile Kashya didn't see for almost a year now.
'Kashya!' she said in joy. Charsi stepped aside giggling. Raven spread her hands, and Kashya jumped in her arms. The two fierce warriors embraced each other like innocent girls. Kashya almost cried.
'I'm glad you're back' she said over her friend's shoulder.
'And I'm glad to be back' said Raven.
When they parted and saw each other's faces again Kashya asked: 'Is it over, Raven? Have you defeated Diablo?'
'Yes,' nodded Raven. 'It's all over now. The world is at peace again.'
'I was worried,' said Charsi. 'But I was sure you would come back.'
While the rogues praised and questioned their returned Sisters Kashya and Charsi managed to get to a quieter spot with Blood Raven at the monastery wall. While they were talking they saw the crowd slowly withdraw to the barracks, probably to hold some kind of feast or celebration.
Kashya did not ask Raven about details of the battles she fought. This was a time of celebration rather than sharing unpleasant stories. However she saw the mourning and the past horrors in Raven's eyes behind the joy of seeing her friends.
'Are you all right?' she asked. 'Aren't you hurt or something?'
Raven smiled. 'I will be all right, since I'm home at last.'
Then she looked behind them as she saw someone coming. Kashya and Charsi turned to see who it was.
It was Akara.
'Welcome home, Blood Raven,' she said. There was a faint smile on her face, but to Kashya she seemed cold.
'It was cold down there,' said Sharyn, one of the rogues who had returned with Blood Raven. 'And darker with each step. But then we saw that there were torches lit all over the place.'
'So demons need light to see too,' said Elexa surprised. She was sitting next to Sharyn with her friends Aliza and Diane, listening to the hero's story.
'It seems that way,' nodded Sharyn. She was a tall woman in her thirties with longish features. The brown of her eyes and hair were almost identical, her thin lips were rather pale. Her quiver was still on her back.
Elexa was a slim, blonde girl, one of the youngest rogues in the sisterhood. She was a typical beauty with slightly blushed white cheeks and long-lashed blue eyes. On her left side was Aliza, a pony-tailed brunette with big, almond-shaped hazel eyes. She was three years older than Elexa. Diane was the oldest of them, five years older than Aliza, and like a big sister for her. She had wise eyes and a solemn but pretty face.
'So we started looking for that Butcher demon the dying villager mentioned,' continued Sharyn. 'We formed some groups and spread out. I was with captain Raven, a barbarian warrior and a paladin.'
'A barbarian!' repeated Elexa. 'And a paladin! Rare sights to behold around here.'
'Indeed,' said Sharyn. 'The barbarian was even more excited to meet other kinds of people than us. They were pretty much lost here with his comrades. His people are not used to endless plains and swamps.'
'Even I'm not used to swamps sometimes,' smiled Elexa.
'You don't like muck on your boots?' asked Sharyn playfully.
'Well, that's one thing,' giggled the blonde girl. 'I hate scraping it off!'
All of them used the following short silence to drink from their wine cups. There was laughing and talking all around them. In front of them, on the other side of the table some rogues were eating bread and onions. Somewhere the sound of a falling cup could be heard with the spilling of its contents. The scent of roasting meat coming from the kitchen started to reach the dining room.
'Continue your story please,' asked Aliza gently.
'I'm sorry, I was just watering my throat,' said Sharyn. 'So as I was saying we started exploring with captain Raven and the paladin and the barbarian. It was quiet at first, but then we started hearing battle-noises in the direction of the other groups.'
'An ambush?' asked Elexa with rounding eyes.
'No, it wasn't planned,' said Sharyn. 'But there were many evil creatures down there. We found that out pretty soon too, when the paladin opened a door, and those monsters poured out. There were little creatures with scimitars and spears, speaking some evil language. They weren't that intimidating, and not strong either. Their strength was in their numbers. There were ten or fifteen of them. And behind them came some human skeletons.'
'Human skeletons?' gasped Elexa. Aliza's eyes were widened too.
'I have never seen anything like that before,' said Sharyn. 'And there weren't just skeletons, there were corpses too. Moving, rotten human corpses.'
'Necromancy,' said Diane quietly. 'Death magic.'
'That's what the paladin said too' nodded Sharyn, then she resumed her account: 'We defeated the monsters and went on. Nobody called for help – we had horns to call for help.'
'How do you bear a skeleton down?' asked Diane. 'Surely you can't shoot it in the head with an arrow and kill it. Or can you?'
'No,' Sharyn shook her head. 'You have to crush it into pieces. The barbarian did that with his hammer, and the paladin with his mace and his shield. Captain Raven and I focused on those little demons. Those were killable just like anything of this world.'
Diane nodded slowly showing she understood. Sharyn continued on.
'We cleared the first level in no time. It was surprisingly easy. We lost no one, and just a few were injured, and even they could carry on, nothing serious.'
Here her face went more serious.
'The troubles started when we descended to the second level. That place was swarming with these enemies. Hundreds of them. At first it was quiet, like the level before, but then they pounced on us from the dark.' She looked at Elexa. 'That time it was an ambush.'
The three listeners were grimly quiet. They waited patiently until Sharyn resumed.
'We've lost ten people or more. None of them were our rogues, we were in the back shooting with our bows. When it was over, there were so many corpses I almost tripped in them. Some paladins decided to remain behind so they can pray for the souls of the fallen. The rest of us carried on. It wasn't long till we found the Butcher.'
'So you weren't spread out in groups this time?' asked Aliza.
'We decided not to risk it after an ambush like that. We all remained together – a hundred and fifty people or something around that. Armored paladins and knights and barbarians and other warriors in the front, spellcasters and archers behind them. And we tried not to get attacked from the back or from our flank. So we explored slowly and cautiously – it was much more tiring than you would think.'
She sighed looking up to the ceiling, either because she was thinking or repressing her feelings.
'We found a closed room in the middle of a great chamber. The warrior who opened the door was careless. We heard the noises from the inside, but we weren't prepared for what happened.'
'The Butcher?' whispered Elexa.
'Yes. The Butcher. He… or it is called that because of the weapon he used – a giant, bloody cleaver. He rushed out of the door when he saw us, and started hacking away. The ones in the front didn't have a chance.'
'May the Heavens bless their souls,' said Diane.
'How did he look like?' asked Elexa putting aside manners for curiosity.
'Tall, and fat, and red, with horns, covered in spilt blood,' explained Sharyn without delay. 'We shot him full of arrows and still he went on hacking. He killed thirty of us before the warrior Aidan killed him.'
'Is he the barbarian you spoke of?' asked Elexa.
'No,' Sharyn shook her head. 'He was slain by the Butcher. Aidan, he is the hero. The one who killed Diablo.'
Now all three listeners rounded their eyes in surprise.
'Where did this Aidan come from?' asked Akara. She was walking in the inner cloister in front of the cathedral gate with Kashya, Charsi and Blood Raven.
'No one knows,' said Raven spreading her hands. 'He was a silent warrior – he was definitely hiding something bad in his past. Or so I think.'
'I see,' said Akara.
'Well, after he leaves Tristram, he may come this way, to the East,' said Charsi.
'Maybe' shrugged Raven.
'I'm excited at the thought of meeting him,' Charsi smiled. 'I hope he comes this way.'
'You would be disappointed,' said Raven. 'He's not the talkative type. He wouldn't tell stories. Especially now, since he has Diablo's Soulstone inside of him.'
'It is a great sacrifice,' said Kashya. 'He has to battle Diablo's soul for the rest of his life, doesn't he?'
'Well, yes,' nodded Raven. 'But he has a strong will. He is a remarkable man.'
Kashya saw the sadness in Raven's eyes, but she didn't ask anything. However, Akara did.
'Did he change after these events?'
'Everybody changed,' said Raven quietly, staring in front of herself. 'It was a glorious but horrible experience.'
'I'm sure of that,' said Akara. 'But the Great Eye granted us a gift. Did you feel anything in Aidan with our gifted senses?'
Raven stopped for a moment, then went on, thinking, with a bit of confusion on her face.
'I don't know. I guess I could feel something. But down there everything was so evil it dampened my senses. Even those could feel evil who don't have talents like us. And as for the visible signs, everyone become quiet and mournful.'
'I see,' said Akara again slowly.
'I think you need some food and rest,' said Charsi. 'Let's rejoin the Sisters in the barracks.'
'All right,' said Raven.
They passed the magnificent fountain sculptured with three statues of bow-holding rogues. The sound of water mixed with the noises of the feast inside the barracks.
'The celebration has begun, I hear!' said Charsi excitedly.
She was right. Inside the mess hall some sisters were serving a roasted pheasant, and it was not the first, as bones were scattered in many plates and others were still eating. There were drinks too – barrels of wine and ale were next to the tables, sisters were waving and clinking their cups. Laughter and chatter and storytelling filled the ears of the new arrivals.
'He was huge, tall as two men, and bright red,' one of the returned rogues was saying to her listeners when Akara and the others passed next to her heading for a row of empty seats. 'He had many-many horns, on his back, on his terrible monstrous face, and on his long tail, and claws on his giant hands!'
She was talking about Diablo, the Lord of Terror. Kashya frowned while taking a seat with the others, Blood Raven next to her, Akara and Charsi in front of them.
'They have to talk it out of themselves,' said Akara guessing her thoughts. 'They are glad they survived, and they have to share the joy of that with their sisters.'
'But they are so eager!' said Kashya quietly, leaning forward. 'Not a hint of grief in them!'
'They were mourning their losses since they went down to the catacombs of Tristram Cathedral,' said Akara. 'As I said, they have to talk it out – otherwise they would go mad.'
Akara didn't look at Blood Raven when she said that, but Kashya did. Raven stared down to the table in front of her. Kashya was forming a question of concern in her head, but before she could say anything a group of rogues came to the table cheering.
'Akara!' shouted one of them.
'Captain Raven!' yelled another.
'Here, have a cup of wine!' they offered. Some of them had full cups in their hands, and now they put them down in front of the ones at the table. Soon others brought some food too, laughing all the way.
Akara was reluctant at first, but then even she grabbed a cup and drank with Kashya, Charsi, Raven, and the other sisters who sat next to them. The food was delicious, made by Visala the cook.
'What about you?' asked Raven suddenly, her eyes lighting up, finally showing her smile. 'What was life in the monastery while we were away?'
'It's been much quieter,' said Charsi. 'I was used to you shouting your orders, or… Or Brina and Ostella and Paetlyn, fighting among each other in their childish rivalry.'
Brina and Ostella and Paetlyn weren't here today. They were dead, fallen under Tristram, with many more sisters. Charsi cleared her throat and picked up her wine cup.
'The feel of terror was on the land,' said Kashya. 'It even seemed darker.'
'But life hasn't changed that much really,' said Charsi with regained enthusiasm. 'We were in no danger inside these walls.'
'Did you feel anything when Diablo was defeated?' asked Raven. Charsi shrugged, then nodded.
'I guess I felt something.'
Kashya nodded too. But Raven was looking at Akara. The High Priestess only realized this with some delay, she was deep in her thoughts. She looked into Raven's eyes, and nodded.
'Yes. I felt it.'
And she smiled. But again, to Kashya she seemed cold.
Life went on in the Rogue Monastery, now with Blood Raven and the five who came back with her. They soon returned to their daily routine, their usual task. In days they ceased to be great heroes of Tristram and became Sisters of the Sightless Eye again.
Blood Raven took her place as the military leader again, working alongside Akara, training the younger sisters. She took her old room again in the sleeping quarters next to Kashya's.
Soon everybody heard everything what could be heard about the events at the catacombs, and nobody was speaking of them anymore. What remained were just the pleasant memories of their lost friends. And with their minds their life too went back to order.
And that order lasted seven months.