Diablo® III

Plot gaps - Soulstones

From the start:

- Soulstones are described as a prison for spiritual beings. They hold their prisoner for eternity, unless the soulstone is destroyed or deactivated. (D1 manual appendix)
- The Three brothers´spirits are sucked into their soulstones, in which they are thrown into sleep and being guarded by the Horadrim for generations, without any trouble. When Leoric settles down on top of the soulstone, Diablo, in his sleep, is able to reach out to Lazarus and lure the man to destroy the soulstone. Diablo is awakened and free. (D1 manual)
- Diablo tries to posesss Leoric telepathicly, fails, then chooses prince Albrecht instead. The boy is brought before Diablo, so the demon can posess him directly, which succeeds and Diablo gets his embodiment. (D1 manual)
- After Diablo is defeated, he is shown to have his (unbroken) soulstone inserted in his body. The hero removes it and the body reverses into prince Albrecht again, with a hole in his forehead. That means that Diablo´s spirit is still in the soulstone and in order to posess a human, the soulstone must be inserted into the human body. The hero chooses to take the soulstone into himself in order to contain Diablo´s spirit, so that the demon, apparently, won´t be able to reach out again to some other human. (D1 ending)
- The hero is however overcome by Diablo´s spirit, gets posessed and Diablo wanders off to get his brothers (D2 manual)
- Diablo finds the imprisoned Baal in a tomb. Here is where the story gets interesting: Baal is in the possession of a body, which is shackled and has his soulstone pierced into the chest. Baal´s soulstone is removed from his chest, which disables his shackles and he is free. That means that Baal is not in the soulstone, but fully in his body and has no need of having the stone inserted into his body in order to posess it. The soulstone is taken by Marius and Baal will later hunt him down for it. (D2 cinematic)
- When the Three brothers unite in Kurast, Mephiso makes his appearence; in a body with his soulstone inserted. So when it comes to Mephiso and Diablo, they must have their stones pierced into a body in order for their spirits to posess it. Baal however has his body posessed without the soulstone, seemingly without any problem. (D2 cinematic)
- Mephisto is defeated and his soulstone is retrieved, apparently with his spirit inside. We go to Hell and defeat Diablo and retrieve his soulstone, with his spirit inside. The two stones are destroyed at Hellforge, which does not set the spirits free as stated in D1. Instead the spirits are destroyed, according to Tyrael. (D2 gameplay, cinematic)
- The last brother, Baal, finds Marius and take back his soulstone. Then he carries it around his neck, but his body is able to change from a humanoid into a spider-like form. Finally Baal is defeated, but his soulstone is nowhere to be found afterwards. We do not destroy it in Hellforge, but still his spirit is stated to have been destroyed, just like the others. (D2-LoD)

The soulstones functions are depicted rather inconsistently throughout the games. They are intended as eternal prisons, but can also apparently function as a channel for taking energy from the Worldstone, which their creator should have thought off before using them on the most evil creatures in the universe.
And then comes the Black soulstone, which is intended as a super-catalyst to create superhumans. But apparently also can be used to capture every spirit of all the Evils, which are stated to have roamed the world for 20 years. Everyone of them, including the two who were destroyed in Hell... And not has anyone of them posessed any human, most obvious because they have no soulstones... which they didn´t need during the Dark Exile...somehow.

Retcons and plot inconsistencies are common, yes. But not necessary.
Feel free to correct this if I misssed anything.

Love and sharp axes guys!
Edited by Solidpontus#2324 on 6/5/2012 5:34 AM PDT
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Baal's soulstone was damaged before he can be trapped in it.
Tal rasha decided to use his body along with the soulstone to contain Baal.

D3 just retconned a lot of things that it no longer makes sense.
Edited by CKres#6255 on 6/5/2012 4:15 AM PDT
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I just have one nitpick, regarding Baal's soulstone and Tal Rasha - remember that the whole reason Tal Rasha was the host in the first place was because Baal's soulstone was damaged in the struggle. It WAS different than the other (intact) soulstones, so it acted differently, so I don't see that one as a plot hole.

But yeah, otherwise I agree that the lore is very inconsistent about what Soulstones actually do.

edit: scooped by CKres.
Edited by Meteoric#1962 on 6/5/2012 4:16 AM PDT
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Changed the headline
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So Tal Rasha´s body essentialy becomes a soulstone. Which would explain why Baal can walk around without the actual stone imbedded in his body. Ok, that´s logical, and can also explain why when we kill Baal´s body we also destroy his spirit, without the need of crushing the soulstone.
But then I wonder why Baal hunts Marius down for the soulstone and later keeps it around his neck, if it is not vital for his existence...
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So Tal Rasha´s body essentialy becomes a soulstone. Which would explain why Baal can walk around without the actual stone imbedded in his body. Ok, that´s logical, and can also explain why when we kill Baal´s body we also destroy his spirit, without the need of crushing the soulstone.
But then I wonder why Baal hunts Marius down for the soulstone and later keeps it around his neck, if it is not vital for his existence...


First, I don't remember the soulstones ever being needed for one of the evils to exist in sanctuary, I think you got your lore mixed up.

Second, he took it from Marius because it was the one thing that could stop him. No different then if superman got the idea to hunt down all krypton in the universe and destroy it.

Only reason I can think of as to why Diablo and Mephisto had their soulstones in them was to keep it from you(And Diablo's too badass to wear a necklace, only !@#$%es wear
necklaces).

Maybe, I dunno, I don't question it and just !@#$ all over the cutscenes so feel free to ignore me.
Edited by JesusV2#1317 on 6/5/2012 6:03 AM PDT
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If the soulstone is needed in order to possess a body, then why the heck did Aidan decide to insert Diablo's in his own forehead? Isn't it, like, the last thing you should in order to contain his spirit?
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What I cannot understand is this: if Diablo's and Mephisto's soulstones were destroyed, and thus their spirits, in DII, then why, how and when did their spirits get into the Black Soulstone? And Baal's? And Andariel's and Duriel's? I mean, all of a sudden we have like 5 spirits insided a soulstone that nobody knew existed and, furthermore, was locked inside Zoltun Kulle's lair. Is there something I missed or is this some kind of error in the storyline?
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06/05/2012 11:33 AMPosted by Polo
What I cannot understand is this: if Diablo's and Mephisto's soulstones were destroyed, and thus their spirits, in DII, then why, how and when did their spirits get into the Black Soulstone? And Baal's? And Andariel's and Duriel's? I mean, all of a sudden we have like 5 spirits insided a soulstone that nobody knew existed and, furthermore, was locked inside Zoltun Kulle's lair. Is there something I missed or is this some kind of error in the storyline?


Its stated that they were able to corrupt their soulstones, perhaps through this is how Adria was able to "mark" them for the black soulstone or perhaps it was the mark itself that caused the corruption.
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What i don't understand is how was Adria able to "mark" the evil's souls if we destroyed those.

Andariel and Duriel souls were probably in Hell, being reformed (since we killed just their physical form).

But Diablo's, Mephisto's and Ba'al's were truly destroyed. So where did they came from???
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- The last brother, Baal, finds Marius and take back his soulstone. Then he carries it around his neck, but his body is able to change from a humanoid into a spider-like form. Finally Baal is defeated, but his soulstone is nowhere to be found afterwards. We do not destroy it in Hellforge, but still his spirit is stated to have been destroyed, just like the others. (D2-LoD)
Book of Cain revealed that Baal used his soulstone on the Worldstone as the means to corrupt it.

When Tyrael intervene and threw his sword at the primordial relic what remain of the soulstone was destroyed Arreat's destruction, and in extension, Baal's soul was definitively sent into the Abyss with his brothers.
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@JesusV2: Agree with you, obviously a soulstone is not required for an Evil to exist in the mortal world, since the Three roamed for generations before being vacuumed. So there is no reason why Baal cannot walk around without a soulstone, he´s already got Tal Rasha´s body.
But then why does he hunt down Marius and take the stone, if he does not need it? One explanation could be that he doesn´t want anyone using the stone to capture him again. But then, why doesn´t he just destroy the stone together with Marius?

As for the Black Soulstone: It seems a lot like a plothole, a stone that is so powerful that it can vacuum everyone of the Great Evils (including two from Hell-realm), from afar, into it´s particular spot in Kulle's lair... That thing should have vacuumed every spiritual being in the universe.
But there could be a solution to this plothole: It´s been 20 years between D2 and D3, lot of room for an explanatory story.
Edited by Solidpontus#2324 on 6/6/2012 2:59 AM PDT
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I gotta have me a Book of Cain... :D
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We don't actually know that smashing the stone on the Hellforge wouldn't set the spirit inside free. Recall that the entire plan regarding Soul Stones was suggested by Izual, who's been a traitor the entire time.

Most of the plan we see in game involves Tyrael, who refuses to believe that Izual could possibly be evil. In Diablo 2, we explicitly tell him "Hey, so, Izual? We killed him and his spirit said he was evil the whole time, and this whole Soul Stone thing was a plan to help the Prime Evils." Tyrael replies "He's been tortured for centuries. Clearly this is just a guilty conscience talking. Izual would never do something like that, and I don't want to hear anymore about this."
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Interestingly enough, the teaser trailer for D2 shows DW holding the soulstone in his hands and later it´s shown thrown to the wayside... Sure it´s non-canon now ^^
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFWZpRtt6_M
Edited by Solidpontus#2324 on 6/9/2012 12:45 AM PDT
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It is still completely unanswered how the 5 souls got into the Black Soulstone. Again, this is the Black Soulstone that is:

-Unfinished
-Zoltun Kulle's creation that only he knows how to use and where it is, requiring his ressurection
-Created by Zoltun Kulle to make human's more powerful
-Locked away in Zoltun Kulle's lair (which is still locked when we arrive)
-Unheard of by Deckard Cain in a LIFETIME of searching for information on the distruction of evils, but apprently found by an heard of witch, and easily found in a book by Leia during the opening to Act 3 cutscene..... apparently we were mislead about Deckard Cain's level of knowledge and research skills.

Considering 2 of the Prime Evils (yes Prime Evils were their titles, not the title of a single being... which actually be more like a Composite Evil if it was the combination of multiple evils) had their souls trapped in soulstones and destroyed in Hell. These souls were said to be destroyed completely.
One of the Prime Evils was a wildcard that was trapped in a body and possibly part of the stone, and was also destoryed, and assumed in a fashion that would destory it forever.
2 of the lesser evils were not trapped in soul stones in anyway way shape or form, which would mean they should have either DIED, as they didn't have souls strong enough to survive through death requiring the use of the soulstone to trap.... or they should have just been instantly reborn, and probably would not have wandered the world to find a soul stone to jump inside.

So the writers want to us beleive that Adria apparently was tapped by Diablo years ago while in the guise of the Dark Wander to come up with a plan to lure out all his brothers and sisters. He knocked he up, and had her find this soulstone, break the locks to gain entry, finish creating the soul stone, follow out hero around and suck up these souls just after he left, somehow prevent the destruction of the souls on the anvils of hell, and again caputure the souls, get baal's soul through a similar process.... and then she return the soul stone to the camber, broke it again, but in a fashion that would not allow the souls to escape, lock the doors again behind her in a way that Zoltun Kulle wouldn't notice she had been there, leak information to her daughter about her presence, and then get herself captured by the heros so she can have a poor excuse that revive Zoltun Kulle, unlock all the doors she'd already been through, revive him from the dead, and have him fix the stone so you can use it on the last 2 evils without suspecting too much.... the whole time acting as evil as she can be so we know for sure she's one of the good guys.

I just don't buy it... and Blizzard and its writers should feel bad for themselves and hand their heads low... not be claiming it was a good story. No one expected War and Peace, but did want a few ounces of logic.
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@JesusV2: Agree with you, obviously a soulstone is not required for an Evil to exist in the mortal world, since the Three roamed for generations before being vacuumed. So there is no reason why Baal cannot walk around without a soulstone, he´s already got Tal Rasha´s body.
But then why does he hunt down Marius and take the stone, if he does not need it? One explanation could be that he doesn´t want anyone using the stone to capture him again. But then, why doesn´t he just destroy the stone together with Marius?

As for the Black Soulstone: It seems a lot like a plothole, a stone that is so powerful that it can vacuum everyone of the Great Evils (including two from Hell-realm), from afar, into it´s particular spot in Kulle's lair... That thing should have vacuumed every spiritual being in the universe.
But there could be a solution to this plothole: It´s been 20 years between D2 and D3, lot of room for an explanatory story.


First one, I would have to assume it would be so no one could use it against him. The destruction of it along with the worldstone doesn't mean his soul was sent to the abyss either as his soul wasn't in the soul stone to begin with.

There is a LOT of explanation needed for the BSS to make sense, but ofcourse all the fan boys will scream retcon.
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So Tal Rasha´s body essentialy becomes a soulstone. Which would explain why Baal can walk around without the actual stone imbedded in his body. Ok, that´s logical, and can also explain why when we kill Baal´s body we also destroy his spirit, without the need of crushing the soulstone.
But then I wonder why Baal hunts Marius down for the soulstone and later keeps it around his neck, if it is not vital for his existence...


It probably contained a part of Baal's soul or was still linked to his soul in some way such that Baal needed the last piece of his soul or needed to gain back the soulstone because the link between his body and the soulstone posed a danger to him in some unexplained way.
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I dont' freekin know anymore. I thought they were a way to imprison the evils but if you smash them they are destroyed forever. However they were not destroyed forever and they somehow ended up in the black soulstone and now my brain just died...
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06/07/2012 11:34 PMPosted by Dreadnaught
I dont' freekin know anymore. I thought they were a way to imprison the evils but if you smash them they are destroyed forever. However they were not destroyed forever and they somehow ended up in the black soulstone and now my brain just died...


There there... *pat pat* ^^ I know the feeling
Edited by Solidpontus#2324 on 6/8/2012 12:05 AM PDT
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