Last week, we asked followers of @Diablo to send us their burning questions about Crusader lore and history.
After pouring through all the wonderful tweets we received in response, we then worked with lead writer Brian Kindregan and Blizzard historian Justin Parker to provide answers to some of your most popular inquiries below. Check it out!
Answer: A heavily armored, deeply driven warrior is traditionally depicted with a flail or mace. Maces generally learn towards the clergymen or clerical type of character, and the Crusader definitely leans more towards the martial side of things. Plus, they’re just awesome!
Answer: The Crusaders are searching for anything that might redeem their faith. They don’t know what form it will take, whether an item, a lost text, or perhaps an ally. However, they do strongly believe in signs and symbols, and a falling star raining down on a small town not yet explored by their brethren could be a very good lead.
Answer: As detailed above, the Crusaders are very different than Paladins! While it’s true that the etymology of the term "Crusader" has its origins in the term "cross" and carries some real world connotations, it has grown in meaning (at least in the English language) to represent a faithful soldier of any kind, particularly those who devote themselves to a powerful cause or life-long task. This is exactly the kind of mission the Crusader is on, and their faction as a whole can certainly describe their journey as a "crusade."
Answer: Crusaders generally recruit their apprentices in the wilderness or working-class parts of a city. When they identify a child who exhibits talent with the Light, they often negotiate with the child’s family to start the apprenticeship. Rich families are less likely to initiate their children into such endeavors, so Crusaders usually come from peasant or lower class families.
Answer: When the Crusaders departed on their journey, they weren't heard from again. They didn't keep in contact, and Akkhan's belief that the rest of the church was corrupted kept them from communicating with the other sects. As a result, only very high level members of the Zakarum church are aware of the Crusaders' existence. Crusaders respect other devout and pure worshipers of their faith, but are wary of those who may have been corrupted. Depending on their Order and rank, some Paladins might react poorly or not at all to a Crusader.
Answer: In the Swamplands to the east, many male Crusaders (and some female!) would buzz their heads to reduce the chance of carrying lice infestations. Gross, we know, but for some that was a less cumbersome option than having to bathe more thoroughly and regularly between battles. Ain't nobody got time for that!
Answer: Mostly, from the same place Paladins do! The Crusaders follow the tenets of the old Zakarum faith closely, which in its simplest form states that all humans have the Light somewhere within them. While many Crusaders often show signs of their ancient nephalem heritage, simply being born with strong affinity to the Light is not enough. Crusaders train extensively throughout their apprenticeship to master their innate abilities.
Answer: Akkhan only knew some force was corrupting his beloved faith. He had no way of knowing the cause was Mephisto, and therefore couldn't act directly. He believed everyone above him in the Zakarum hierarchy was corrupted in some way, and without any real knowledge the best he could do was form the Crusaders to find the answer and solution to that corruption.
Answer: Not at all! As adherents to the Zakarum faith, they believe in the ascent of man, and that the melding of demon and angel produced the only truly balanced beings in creation.
Answer: Crusaders are incredibly experienced veterans. As they often spend their lives on the move, in the wilderness and city alike, they take part in thousands of fights from epic battles to back alley brawls. They see allies and enemies alike fall in combat. Even the very act of becoming a Crusader involves seeing your master die. Despite the core of seriousness and discipline that drives them deep within, they've been around too long and seen too much to take anything aside from the crusade itself seriously. This allows them to generally be relaxed individuals, and they enjoy witty conversation whenever possible. Excitement comes only from the thought of ending their crusade.
Answer: Many Paladin orders have been disbanded at this point. Some have formed into new orders, such as the Templars, while others have gone rogue or freelance. Others have simply died. The Knights of Westmarch have become a largely secular order, separated from the Zakarum faith and more focused on the defense of Westmarch from physical harm rather than spiritual. In Reaper of Souls, Lorath Nahr is a newly introduced character who has close ties to the Knights of Westmarch. If you'd like more information on this particular group, I recommend speaking to Lorath in-game once the expansion launches, or reading through Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon.
Thank you to everyone who sent us questions! We look forward to sharing even more information about the Crusader class all this week—so stay tuned!