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So I was recently going through the lore behind Diablo, and I seem to have confused myself a little bit. Perhaps someone can fill me in.
So in Act2 of Diablo II, we are told about Tal Rasha, the ancient Horardrim mage that volunteered his body so that they may contain Baal's soul. This is where I begin to get confused. After Diablo, disguised as the Wanderer, eventually finds Baal's tomb, Marius pulls the stone from Tal Rasha's chest. My first question is: how does this benefit Baal? When we saw the hero from Diablo I pull the stone from Diablo's body, it immediatley becomes a dried husk and withers away. Why doesn't Tal Rasha's body do the same? (We see him again summoning a portal to Hell with Mephisto and Diablo in Act3). Then there is the cinematic in which Baal disguises himself as Tyrael so that Marius hands him his own soulstone...
Furthermore, I am lost on the transition between Baal's apperance in Act 3 and his appearance in Act 5. Diablo Wiki says there are indications of Tal Rasha's face within Baal's new appearance, but I'm afraid I don't see it.
So yeah I'm probably overlooking this, but nonetheless it would be nice to have an answer and have my mind at ease. Thanks all.
Edited by MilkSteak#1498 on 9/17/2013 3:42 PM PDT
It's a difficult question to answer because as far as I'm aware, it's never really been addressed. I only have speculation.
It could be that the magic that bound Baal/Tal Rasha to their joint prison used the soulstone's power, and removing the stone broke the imprisonment.
It could also be that it severed the final spiritual ties that Baal and Tal Rasha had, giving full control to Baal.
Later in the game, Baal must reobtain his soulstone from Marius to complete his essence and fully root himself on Sanctuary.
This is probably different than Diablo's deaths (both in Diablo I and II) because Baal's host was not slain like Albrecht and Aidan were previously.
We never have gotten a good look at Tal Rasha, but given that a demon takes on some form of their host, it's entirely within reason to assume that Baal looks a bit like Tal Rasha.
Well from what I understand the reason Tal Rasha had to be imprisoned with the stone in the first place was because when the horadrim first tried to capture Baal he escaped and the soulstone was damaged in the process. This is why Tal Rasha offered his body and eternal torment to help contain Baal's essence within the stone. As the broken stone itself was not enough. This is also likely why once the stone was removed it broke the bond between it and Tal Rasha that held Baal in check. Thus allowing Baal to take control of what remained of Tal Rasha. Although I would imagine this did not make him whole. As part of his essence I would imagine was also still trapped in the soulstone and thus why he had to hunt down Marius in order to truely free himself and manifest at full power within our world.
I reckon Valdez is spot on.
Furthermore, I suspect that the soulstone kept Tal Rasha alive, immortal, and therefore alive enough to combat Baal enough.The removal of the soulstone killed Tal Rasha, giving Baal complete control over the body, but he had to reclaim the soulstone in order to be whole again.
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