Abd al-Hazir Returns to Diablo 3

Flux

Administrator


[caption id="attachment_384993" align="alignright" width="175"] Hello, friend.[/caption]During Diablo 3's development, much of the game lore was communicated via the writings of Abd al-Hazir, an in-game figure who was said to be an intrepid explorer devoted to creating an encyclopedia of Sanctuary's many oddities. Blizzard posted dozens of short articles by Abd al-Hazir, and while they are no longer accessible on Blizzard's site, you can read all of them in our DiabloWiki.net.

Abd al-Hazir wasn't just on the website, he's heard in the game, as the author/narrator of many of the monster lore entries mostly from Act One. (Exceptions are mostly due to Bliz shuffling monster locations during final development. Details in comments.) He's only lightly heard in the game beyond Act 1, and his last entry (#42) was a grim tale of running for his life after spying on a horrific Cultist ritual. Widely presumed dead, Abd al-Hazir has staged a miraculous return to the game, appearing as a chatty NPC who you can rescue during an event in the new Act Three area, the Ruins of Sescheron.

Some players have asked spoiler warnings about the new content in Patch 2.3, so click through if you'd like to see screenshots of Abd and more details, including his dialogues when encountered.



Abd is found in a random event in the new Ruins of Sescheron area. He's locked in one of those iron cages you first see in and around Alcarnus in Act II, and surrounded by a great number of the arctic goatmen found in Sescheron. After they are killed his cage becomes clickable and he gives the following intro speech, and then has a second dialogue chain, all delivered in his self-aggrandizing style.

He follows you around the Ruins of Sescheron once you rescue him, but does not make the trip back to town when you leave the area, and is not seen afterwards. (Some commenters say the saw him in town, but he was not clickable there.) I didn't notice, but apparently al-Hazir does provide a new Sescheron lore entry as well.

It's possible we'll see more of him once Patch 2.3 goes live, since the PTR might not have the full lore/story content.

[caption id="attachment_384995" align="alignright" width="280"] Intro speech.[/caption][caption id="attachment_384994" align="alignright" width="280"] Recent history.[/caption]



A compilation of Abd al-Hazir's monster lore heard in-game.
Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
 
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el shendee

Diabloii.Net Member
Yeah, the Colossal Golgor and Succubus entries were from him. Unfortunately, when it comes to lore, Flux isn't the best person to ask...
 

Thortok2000

Diabloii.Net Member
He can't even pay attention to the fact that the lore of one of the new monsters (ice porcupine I believe) is from him as well.
 

DaveTheBrave

Diabloii.Net Member
Did they adapt the name from Abdul Alhazred? The (fictitious) author of the (fictitious) Necronomicon. Would kinda make sense as an homage to Loveceraft.
 

Flux

Administrator
We've long assumed that's where they got the name. You don't see much of them in the current game, but there were a lot of Lovecraft homages and connections in the early Diablo 3 lore and monster design. And Bliz has Lovecraft references in their other titles.
 

Flux

Administrator
You are correct that I don't pay much attention to the monster lore pop ups. My background info about Abd was talking about how Blizzard presented him via their website in the 2009-2012 time frame, as a a world explorer and archivist. As his writings make clear, he explored Tristram and those regions extensively, and only lightly ventured into other regions, just enough to offer some class introductions.

http://www.diablowiki.net/Writings_of_Abd_al-Hazir

There is a Barb/Mt. Arreat mention, as well as a WD jungle mention, but those events are set well before events in the game, where Demon Lords come to Sanctuary and raise armies, etc. Basically as Bliz presented Abd, he explored the world in the years before D3, but saw monsters almost exclusively in the Tristram area before his disappearance.

I'll clarify the wording in the post, but the monsters he lores about are all creatures originally set in Act 1; Golgor originated as the Thousand Pounder, succubi were found in the Cathedral during development, etc. Monsters got shuffled around a lot in the final game, rendering Abd's geographic clustering somewhat obsolete.

e.g. http://www.diablowiki.net/Thousand_Pounder
 

Flux

Administrator
Let me clarify. Abd al-Hazir was used by Bliz as a narrator and lore device on their website from 2010-2012 or so. In his writings, he was a world explorer who got around a fair amount in the years before D3, and he mentions the WD jungles and the Monk homeland and the Mt. Arreat region, but the bulk of his writing focuses on Tristram area, and almost all of the monsters he wrote about were (originally) located in Tristram. Succubi were in the Cathedral, Thousand Pounder was the original Golgor, etc.

As presented by Bliz, Al-Hazir vanished shortly before events in D3 began, after witnessing a Cultist ritual, so he had nothing to say about Diablo's return, the Skeleton King, or anything in later acts.
http://www.diablowiki.net/Writings_of_Abd_al-Hazir:_Entry_no._0042

During later development Bliz shuffled monsters around a lot, so al-Hazir's comments aren't grouped so geographically or thematically as they were developed. And yes, I probably know more about the Lore and story as developed pre-game than as presented in the actual title, where I mostly skip the lore pop ups and click the lore books just to make achievements ding.
 

HardRock

Diabloii.Net Member
You nicely sidestepped the fact that he actually knows quite a bit about the lore of the game, proving your original claim wrong.
 

fsj

Diabloii.Net Member
It's OK. Tamariel is obviously busy fetching the link to his own fansite that he does off his own back and puts a load of work into and is 100% accurate in every aspect.

Oh wait.... ;)
 

Thortok2000

Diabloii.Net Member
A little more familiarity with current in-game lore wouldn't be a bad thing. It's often mildly amusing. And breaks the monotony.
 
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