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I think it's safe to say that Azmodan is speaking to Diablo in the black soulstone cutscene. We know that Leah is the child of Aidan and Adria, and was conceived while Aidan was possessed by Diablo. We also know that Diablo has an affinity for Leoric's bloodline, and being the daughter of Aidan, she is Leoric's granddaughter. All signs point to Diablo, and I don't think that Leah is just a red herring. She's a descendent of Leoric, she was conceived while her father was possessed, she has a seemingly zombified model in the game, and Diablo's model is obviously feminine.
The problem lies in how Diablo will escape from the Abyss. My thinking is that the black soulstone IS the Abyss, and the ultimate goal of the player is to destroy the abyss whilst all the evils are trapped within it. How will it happen? Well, watch the first few seconds of the black soulstone cinematic. Leah is flipping through the pages and passes over four very interesting images. One is a serpentine demon, the next is a pentagram with a distorted humanoid figure, the third is diablo's skull, and the fourth is the black soulstone.
I'm assuming that the pentagram image is some sort of ceremony that will be performed on Leah to retrieve Diablo from the abyss and, through the small bit of influence he has on her from indirectly fathering her, allow him to possess her body, which will transform her into the undead looking model that was datamined.
But who is the serpent? My bet is Belial. He's been confirmed to be in the game, but no one knows what he looks like. It wouldn't surprise me if Belial mascarades as an important character that either tricks Leah or forces her into the ritual. At the same time, it wouldn't surprise me if Adria is the one to do it too. She did, after all, sleep with Aidan while he was quite obviously not himself (after all, he did have Diablo's soulstone in his forehead).
The importance of the black soulstone to Azmodan is most likely the same to Diablo if it is infact the Abyss. Possession of the Abyss could give a demonic lord the ability to absorb the power of his brethren trapped within. Obviously being one of only two remaining great evils doesn't make Azmodan a prime evil, so he needs some sort of catalyst, which we know from the trailer is the black soulstone. There's an interesting line in the trailer, however. Azmodan specifically says that he will reign as THE prime evil. THE prime evil is Tathamet.
While speaking to Leah, Azmodan speaks of some sort of trap. It seems possible to me that the trap he's speaking of was a scheme laid out by Diablo to have all the evils but himself trapped within the black soulstone so that he could absorb their powers and become Tathamet, with Leah being the ace up his sleeve to escape from the Abyss himself.
If I'm right, it wouldn't surprise me if we see Tathamet as a boss a la the Uber bosses from Diablo 2.
The Black Soulstone was originally created for Zultun Kulle to use on himself. Here's a quote from the Book of Cain.
"He [Zoltun Kulle] had become obsessed with soulstones, and believe that he could crease one of his own--a vessel capable of harnessing the essences of both angels and demons. Zoltun Kulle would then use this Black Soulstone, filled with rage and hope, fear and valor, as a substitute for his own black and empty heart."
It is also worth noting Zoltun Kulle was the one in charge of Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal's soulstones. So he has some knowledge of them. It also states that the Horadric Mages stopped him before he reached his twisted goal.
From what I have taken from the Book of Cain regarding the Black Soulstone is that it was created for use against the Nephalem, as we are the only beings of both Light and Dark. As of its uses in Diablo 3... I haven't a clue.
Edited by Jettatura#1816 on 5/1/2012 9:16 PM PDT
Interesting read. Couple notes, though:
You might be confusing the Void with the Black Abyss. I was guilty of that myself for quite a while. The Void basically acts as a 'prison' of sorts since angels and demons can't really be killed.
The Black Abyss is where all demons go after they're killed to be reborn. While we don't know where it is, its been established that this is a physical location, so I'm not sure how the Black Soulstone could factor into it.
Unless you're stating that the black soulstone is actually the Void, which would be interesting. My only question would that would be that it is never mentioned in the Sin Wars of Inarius using a black soulstone to send Rathma or Lilith to the Void.
Again, good read, though. Sparks some interesting ideas.
Actually we do know how he looks. We saw loads of pictures at Blizzcon 2011.
Im almost a 100% sure the serpent is Trag'Oul.
EDIT: Here's how Belial looks:
Edited by Nidhogg#2604 on 5/2/2012 3:35 AM PDT
85 Night Elf Warrior
i agree with the above. This theory fails.
Its not safe saying that Azmodan is talking to Diablo on the cinematic.
Though, i agree that Diablo would come back by the herritage form Leoric's blood.
Its no coincidence that Leah is conceived by Leoric's Son (Aidan) WHILE he was carrying the diablo's soulstone itself....As you said, Diablo always had problems with Leoric's family, and it seems very reasonable that he would choose a descendant of Leoric to be reborn.
This is an interesting theory. But, we've already seen what Belial looks like, so I doubt he's the serpent. Although, I recall a dragon being mentioned somewhere in the early lore. I'd bet on Belial being the one to trick Leah into performing the ritual considering he's the Lord of Lies though. I'm unsure as to whether this theory is possible or not, regardless it's well thought out.
Edited by Avocado#1766 on 5/7/2012 9:26 AM PDT
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