The return of Terror I wrote this in response to a post on the normal forums about how they will work out his return. One thing led to another. I hope you like it. The Worldstone shattered at Tyreal's blow. Our only hope to stop Baal's mad plans. It's power was as of the Gods, but even that mysterious structure was imperfect and not intended to be ripped from the hidden seals it was meant to protect. A crack in the void. An imaginary imperfection in the seal buried far below the great keep in a place men cannot imagine. All might have been well but for our inability to conquer fear. Destruction can be repaired. Hatred passes as quickly as friendship. But fear... Fear lives with us like a soft blanket. It drives us forward. And it holds us back. Just the memory of Diablo was strong enough to find that trembling thread in the impenetrable and return to the realm, without corporeal form, pulled back by the whispered tales of those unable to forget. He enters alone. Not a true mind or being. Just the dust of terror. The whispered myth in the wind. Slowly, as the feel of him in the air lingers, his mindless, formless power grows. Time passes. The years roll on... until..... An old man walks slowly through the woods without knowing why. He has walked through hill, swamp, and mountain for weeks. His emaciated body is done for this world. His final thought is to remember... his last conscious effort is to push the memory away with his heart pounding and bile in his mouth. He remembers the sense of terror that washed over him as he sat up in his bed, the dream clinging to him like a tangible miasma. He remembers the terror that clamped onto him forever and then sunk into his bones. He remembers the hint of anguish at being forever lost in an empty place. And a terrifying taint of anger. A wrath that poured determination into him so strongly that it was like a physical blow. And a desire for revenge. Until all the world burns. He knows he lives only because of the power of the dream that will not end. And will not forgive. He reaches the forgotten graveyard in the wreck of a village not even the forest will touch. Rain has barely softened the char on timbers that litter the grounds. The only thing standing is a small sign that hangs over a branch. Blown by the wind or by force he knows and cares not. If he could have read, it would have held just one word for him. Tristram. Without knowing how, he finds a place in the midst of a collection of what were once markers of the dead. And with his bare hands he digs.... Clink.... He stops and immediately grabs his head at a spike of wrath that he may have damaged the treasure he seeks. His eyes begin to roll into his shrunken sockets but his back stiffens with a strength never intended for his frail, awkward limbs. With the care of a mother handling a babe, he exhumes the skeletal remains with a light touch. Over hours he lays the body out, not a shard of bone or a finger out of place. His limbs fall to his side. His head lolling to one side. It is almost done. Even fear cannot drive him much longer. He stands. Without a change in expression he stabs his stiffened fingers into his own chest. They retract without a stumble with his own beating heart. With empty eyes, he opens his mouth and words never heard by any mortal race grate into the blackness. And his heart burns. With the last word, his form blackens and crumbles to dust, the heart falling with a thump onto the shattered bones of the unknown. They explode, shattering the night with a flash that is gone to quickly to have been real. The forest almost seems to hold it's breath. Without warning the trees bend nearly double, almost whimpering in the wall of wind that carries... something scabrous. With a flash that punctures the very earth, lightning consumes the shallow grave and most of the remaining hints that a town once stood here. With a sound like all the sorrow and suffering since the dawn of days the storm stops and the clouds disperse. A form rises from the ground. Haltingly. Then with increasing smoothness. It's head is down. It stands thus for many minutes. With inhuman speed the figure leaps to the top of the crumbling, stone wall and screams with a voice like knives being dragged over granite coated in tears. The howl goes on for what seems an age. Horrible beyond words. The woods seem to wilt. At last it ends. And Lysandus the betrayed stands tall in the shadows of the town that once claimed him and nearly all the world. But, he remembers nothing of such things. All he knows is that his master is gone. He seems to listen. Motionless. His eyes come alight with the fires of hell. He strides purposely into the night. He stops once, at the wreckage of a cathedral. The voice of hopelessness rends the night. "The Lord of Terror will walk again".