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One of the things I enjoyed most about D2 (don't worry, it's not going to turn into a rant) was how in the manual, each and every spell, ability, and passive skill got its own hunk of lore. Some of them were only a couple of sentences, but others were entire paragraphs that housed short stories, Sanctuary myths, and superscience explanations for how magic worked. Hell, I recall the passive Spear Mastery skill getting a whole bit on how this one Barbarian tribe had been fighting with spears for generations. It's awesome.
For those that haven't read the D2 manual, the transcribed text is floating around various fansites and Diablo wikis. I highly recommend giving it a quick once-over; it's a fantastic example of how lore can really embellish a game.
ANYWAY, I noticed that the classes of D3 weren't getting that kind of attention, so I decided to try my hand at it myself. I wrote up lore snippets for each one of the Demon Hunter's abilities (first class I played), and I did my best to emulate the voice, style, and tone of the D2 manual.
Lemme know what you think!
Before new demon hunter recruits are instructed in any other facet of their trade, they are rigorously drilled in archery and marksmanship. Aside from the obvious self-defense reasons, this education is intended to hone a much more crucial skill: the ability to imbue weapons with the insatiable hatred for evil that drives a hunter's every waking breath. Their arrows often skewer one foe's heart and immediately pounce to the next, magically animated by the hunter's lust for vengeance.
Demon hunters have long been the uncontested masters of bow and crossbow, but that prowess extends to missile weapons that are thrown or hurled. Such is a demon hunter's pinpoint precision with throwing knives that they always aim for the softest spots on their enemies' bodies, and the weakest patches of their armor. The blade sticks fast, causing severe internal damage where it lands.
After learning how to suffuse their projectiles with indignation, the next lesson for a demon hunter is how to enchant their arrows with less noble energies. The original hunters never shied away from any methods that proved their combat effectiveness, including the dark magics of mage clans long forgotten. By invoking this occult sorcery, the hunter can wrap their rounds in cloying shadows that lash out at adjacent targets, tethering them together and hindering their mobility.
Chief among a demon hunter's manifold skill set is trapmaking, as anyone who has had reason to pursue a hunter will attest. The traps are ingeniously engineered as well as brilliantly concealed, completely invisible to onlookers' eyes. While caltrops are the most rudimentary trap a hunter learns to set, they are by no means any less effective for it. Those who walk on caltrop-infested ground find their feet beset by jagged slivers of glass and metal, making any further movement an agonizing affair.
Despite their cold and emotionally distant tendencies, demon hunters have been known to have a good time when they gather in large groups, particularly when they compete in games of deadly skill. Since virtually all hunters can hit the bullseye on a target with little effort, these contests are usually to see who can fire the most arrows within a given duration of time. Unsurprisingly, this game translates quite well to combat situations, where hunters are known to shoot lightning-fast streams of ammunition into their quarries, within mere seconds.
Once a demon hunter has acquired some familiarity with applying shadow magic to their weapons, they become more comfortable with directing this energy over other objects, such as themselves. They can conjure a cloud of inky darkness that settles on their clothes and armor, masking their form, sound, and even scent from prying senses. The hunter is then free to move to a new position without harassment, or strike at an unsuspecting enemy from behind.
Many theories abound as to who founded the demon hunters, but one of the more persistent stories claims that a member of the Viz-Jaq'taar, the legendary Assassins, gathered the first group of orphaned children together and hardened them into elite warriors. Though the theory is only speculation, one cannot ignore how the hunters have a penchant for acrobatics that mirrors the Assassins' effortless grace. Rather than just run from place to place, many hunters find it more sensible to somersault from one vantage point to the next, evading incoming attacks and potential obstacles in the process.
The demon hunters are no strangers to the utility of blackpowder, especially in weaponizing it against the demonic scourge. One of their favorite tricks is to contain the powder within small metal globes, then have the globes roped together. The end result is a binding projectile that soars through the air as quickly as an arrow, but has the added benefit of a roaring explosion that incinerates anyone within the blast.
A more exotic weapon of the demon hunter's armory, the throwing chakram takes a considerable amount of time to master, as its bizarre aerodynamics make the blade infamously difficult to aim. Once a hunter gets the right of it, they discover that the glaive's unorthodox curvature is meant to direct it in a snaking arc, ensuring that the weapon's trajectory is impossible to predict for targets that would hope to avoid it. So keen is the chakram's razor edge that it slices through multiple marks with ease, without losing momentum or accuracy.
First and foremost of the demon hunter's teachings is to never forget who you are, where you came from, and why it is you fight. Many hunters recite the answers to these questions as a sort of chant, which girds them psychologically for the battles to come. In taking a moment to remember these answers and their special meaning, hunters rejuvenate themselves, and feel ready to slay demons another day.
Though demon hunters are trained in the basics of martial arts, they are quite aware that their fighting efficiency is limited when forced into close quarters. To stay clear of threats that advance without warning, a hunter will combine a well-placed shot with their gymnastic expertise, backflipping away from the approaching danger as it nears.
When demon hunters become more mechanically inclined, they learn how to wire the globes of their bola shots with a pressure-sensitive fuse, turning the spheres into powerful hand grenades that explode moments after being thrown. Hunters often lob several of these bombs at once, creating a wall of fiery blasts and acrid smoke that few enemies can pass.
The black magic that demon hunters practice is best known for its subtler uses of misdirection, but this power can be wielded for far more sinister purposes. If a hunter invites the nether forces into their blood, their every strike becomes anointed in dark blessings. Their shadow attacks siphon the vitality from their prey to restore their own stamina, as cuts on the hunter's body knit themselves back together and weary joints feel refreshed.
The demon hunters' final invocation of shadow sorcery requires them to sculpt the smoky blackness into a partially sentient being, capable of following the hunter around and obeying simple commands. Since amorphous blobs of darkness tend not to maintain their form for very long, hunters are advised to mold their creations into animal shapes, in order to provide the being with a greater sense of identity and definition. Many hunters form lasting bonds with their shadow familiars, as these entities will protect their masters with unwavering loyalty and zeal.
Fan of Knives
All demon hunters can claim peerless precision with a throwing knife, but the number of hunters who can maintain that precision while throwing many knives simultaneously is a much smaller figure. A hunter who accomplishes such skill is introduced to one of the order's oldest techniques, in which the combatant flings dozens of knives at once while spinning on their heel. This transforms the hunter into a cyclone of pointed steel, that stabs at surrounding targets with such ferocity that the victims are made less agile by virtue of their pain.
Coupling their refined blackpowder with their barbed caltrops, demon hunters can assemble a buried device that triggers when it detects motion in its vicinity. The device detonates in an explosion of serrated shrapnel that flies in every direction, puncturing the thickest of hides and laying low anyone within several yards of the blast.
Shooting a projectile weapon on the run while keeping any semblance of accuracy is a near-impossible task, according to most marksmen. Of course, whenever feats of dexterity are involved, the demon hunters take great pleasure in testing the boundaries of the impossible. After clearing one's mind, a veteran hunter can enter a kind of trance where the kinematics and angles of all motion are made astonishingly simple. While in this trance, the hunter is free to move around while firing shots at targets in any direction, at such dizzying speeds that the hunter's form becomes a whirling blur.
With a level of hand-eye coordination that borders on the superhuman, a demon hunter is able to shoot a thick barrage of projectiles from their weapon with only a single firing motion. This mighty spreadshot covers a wide area, felling entire troops at once with its merciless hail.
The most complex of the demon hunters' contraptions is a clockwork turret, that fires upon nearby enemies with weighted, armor-piercing bolts. How the turret knows when and where to shoot is something of a mystery. Some believe that underground pressure sensors are connected to the base, acting as the device's eyes. Others believe that the hunters enchant the machine with their shadow magic, granting the turret a cold intelligence. The truth is guarded by the hunters well, for they would be loathe to disclose the secrets regarding one of the deadliest weapons in their arsenal.
One of the more recent inventions in the demon hunters' long list of technical innovation is the cluster bomb. The main explosive is designed not only to injure targets with force and fire, but also to deliver a payload of smaller explosives into the surrounding area, finishing off anything that survived the initial blast. The hunters planned to use these as replacements for their grenades, but realized that their killing potential could be maximized by strapping modified versions to arrows and shooting them into faraway foes.
Rain of Vengeance
Only the most celebrated champions amongst the demon hunters' ranks are allowed to learn this awe-inspiring technique. Representing both the culmination of their marksmanship and their ability to imbue weapons with hatred, the hunter fires a handful of shots upward into the air. Each of these arrows multiplies by the magnitude of the hunter's undying will to eradicate evil, until the sun is blotted out by a colossal wave of missiles that stretches across the sky. The arrows descend like a storm, each one reaching the ground with enough force to penetrate steel.
It is said by seasoned demon hunters that many times in a fight, knowing how to move is less important than knowing when to move. A hunter that takes this lesson to heart understands when they have a defensive upper hand, and will seize those moments to move across a battlefield with incredible agility.
Thrill of the Hunt
For demon hunters, hitting a target with an arrow is the easy part. The challenge lies in which eye to blind, which hair to sever. Their aim is so sharp that they routinely strike at specific tendons with ease, crippling their targets' ability to move.
Though demon hunters are trained to find a balance between their iron discipline and their spiteful urges, it is often the case that many err on the side of their more warlike sentiments. Those hunters find themselves with more hatred to power their attacks, and their ire burns so bright that it digests consumed rations into energies for dispatching greater foes.
Flawless as their aim may be, demon hunters still find it difficult to line up perfect shots while trying to predict and avoid any dangers that lurk nearby. Trained snipers enjoy the peace of mind that comes when all threats are a safe distance away, and they take advantage of those times by firing their weapon with even finer precision.
Cull the Weak
The only thing that keeps a demon hunter from landing a fatal shot on their targets every time is the fact that most minions of evil have some degree of enhanced reflexes. When the forces of darkness are deprived of their unnatural quickness, hunters might as well be firing at haystacks.
When springing from the shadows or given enough time to prepare, a demon hunter is able to attack their target with such a deadly strike that it slays the defender in an instant. For the hunter, seeing such a moment unfold before them is so gratifying that it replenishes their reservoir of inner power.
A common farewell among demon hunters is to say "May your hatred sustain you." This sounds terribly grim to an outsider, but one must remember that for many of the order, their thirst for revenge was the only thing keeping them alive for years. Some accounts say that there is a literal side to this idiom, as some hunters are capable of nourishing their bodies with nothing more than their unrelenting fury, but all these accounts are hearsay.
Nothing brings memories back for a demon hunter more than chasing a target who is attempting to flee. For a brief moment, the hunter remembers when it was they who had no choice but to run, from the murderers that claimed their homelands and their families. If the hunter makes sure to remember their boundless hatred, no foe will ever move fast enough to escape.
A demon hunter that is well versed in all manner of long-range assaults knows that certain types of weapons are better suited for different purposes and tactics. Whether they are armed with bow, crossbow, or hand crossbow, the hunter will get the best performance out of the weapon in the way that it was meant to be wielded.
Most demon hunter traps and knives are salvaged from the pointiest metal scraps that the order can find, but given enough time and resources, a hunter will hollow these tools out to be filled with an exquisite venom. The poison dramatically debilitates its subject, dampening their alertness and sapping the strength from their muscles.
Occasionally, there will be a demon hunter with an inability to slacken in any conceivable way, with an intensity that approximates neurosis. Every extra second spent resting, every arrow that flies from a bow in vain, every wayward glance or breath could mean that another child somewhere ends up like they did. While these obsessive characters are always grating to those who have to put up with them, their absurd level of attention applies to their hunting skills as well.
Some demon hunters perceive the standard traps and mechanisms distributed by their superiors to be lacking in durability. Those hunters that have a knack for gadgetry will take time aside to design and handcraft their own varieties of each device, and those homemade renditions certainly outperform their rustier counterparts.
Any demon hunter can toss a grenade, but there are a few who make the science of explosion an art form. They concoct their own mixtures of blackpowder, they take wind direction into account for the spread of shrapnel, and they often carry more bombs on their person than they let on, saving them for only the direst of emergencies.
Demon hunters that have spent many years fighting their eternal war acquire an inhuman ability to size up a target in just seconds. Their age, their weight, the plane of Hell they hailed from, and more information are all clear to the hunter simply by noticing which foot the target moves first. The fight only lasts until the hunter ascertains the target's weak spot, as few things survive after that.
Many of the older demon hunters write off rockets as a newfangled craze that will never last, but younger recruits have other ideas. They believe that these blackpowder-filled torpedoes are actually the harbingers of a new future of demonslaying technology. Though this mentality bothers the older generations to no end, they cannot deny that hunters who frequently experiment with rockets improve the power of their blasts by impressive proportions.
I like it. I was disappointed when I bought Diablo III and while looking through the instruction manual while installing, there was no ability lore. I can't wait to see the other classes. And by the way, are you going to do ability lore for the followers as well?
Thanks! Yeah, that was exactly what went through my head as I picked up the game and realized I would never get to read about the esoteric rituals behind umbaru mysticism. Mega-bummer.
I've already done the wizard, and am part of the way through the other guys. I might post the wizard later for the hell of it (still editing for word redundancy and whatnot; only so many synonyms for lightning), and I'll finish up the other classes when I have the free time soon.
Awesome awesome awesome! You capture the tone perfectly. I haven't read the D2 manual (though I may go look for it now), but it feels like reading the skills section of a well-written tabletop RPG handbook. Being the kind of geek that I am, that makes me very happy. I'd be delighted if you posted more for the other classes!
Thank you for the kind words! The past few days have been busy, but I've managed to eke out the wizard skills.
One of the earliest skills a fledgling wizard will learn is how to manifest arcane power as a tangible force, capable of interacting with physical matter. New students often use this ability to open doors from a distance or levitate small objects, but a more adept practitioner can fashion this force into projectile bolts, perfect for striking at opponents from afar.
Ray of Frost
There is a curious correlation between magical energy and heat, as evacuating all the arcane power from a given area will cause the air to take on an unearthly frigidity. Wizards often make use of this effect to conjure beams of intense cold, chilling foes so severely that moving their limbs becomes a painful prospect.
Places with large reserves of unrefined arcane power tend to be permeated by a strange, buzzing static that makes hairs stand on end. Any wizard worth their salt knows this is due to the extreme electrical conductivity of such energy, and with little effort, an initiate can ignite the air into crackling arcs of lightning.
After learning how to create narrow fields of cold, the next step for a wizard is widening the field's effect over a much larger area, all at once. This generates a fierce wave of biting frost that issues forth from the caster, icy enough to freeze enemies solid.
One of arcane power's most well-documented properties is how difficult it is to compress vast quantities into a very small space. Trying to do so may work for a precious few moments, but immediately afterwards, the energy rushes outwards in all directions, creating a burst of raw magical radiation. Unruly wizards often use this property to great effect, triggering explosions that tear enemy ranks asunder.
According to legend, the first attempts at crystalline self-transmutation were conducted by Baoshi the Wealthy, an ancient wizard infamous for racking up gambling debts. In an attempt to raise money quickly, he transformed his fingernail clippings into diamonds. This made him a wealthy man, until the day the enchantment wore off and his moneylenders were left with nothing but broken nails. When they raided his home, they were confronted by a crystal warrior, of Baoshi's height and build. Their finest weapons were unable to scratch his glinting hide, so they fled, and left Baoshi alone from then on. Whether or not the story has any truth to it remains to be discovered, but many wizards emulate Baoshi's technique by transmuting their flesh into resilient diamond when faced with especially dangerous adversaries.
Wave of Force
Magic missiles are often sufficient for one or two targets, but when faced with whole squadrons at once, a wizard will need more potent applications of arcane force in their arsenal. With a word and a gesture, a more learned wizard is able to manifest their power as a massive surge of telekinetic energy, capable of knocking enemies to the ground and scattering incoming projectiles like leaves in the wind.
Another subject of wizard folklore is the swordsman Feng Jian, who wished to practice fencing as a child but lacked the physique. Forced into a life of magical study, Feng spent all his free time training to sculpt his arcane power into a blade-like shape. The sword would dance through the air at the speed of Feng's whims, and its phantasmal edge was sharper than any steel. Feng never lost a battle after he mastered his peculiar weapon, and wizards can certainly believe it after forging their own wills into blades and observing the deadly results.
By the time a wizard has become fairly skilled at their craft, they have become so accustomed to conjuring magic missiles that the act of doing so requires virtually no conscious thought or concentration. With the spell conditioned into a reflex, wizards stop firing single blasts and start to unleash mighty volleys, peppering groups of foes with multiple missiles at once.
As wizards become more attuned to the eldritch energy that swirls around them, they begin to perceive its form like a fluid, complete with currents and eddies and whirlpools. Though it takes great willpower to do so, it is possible for a wizard to take hold of one of these whirlpools and set it spinning faster and faster, until it materializes in the physical plane as a tornado of magical destruction that obliterates all in its path.
A wizard's next feat of frost requires them to wreathe themselves in a shroud of incredible cold. Many upstarts who would think themselves ready for this power have given themselves frostbite by losing control of the spell. Once this dangerous ability is mastered, however, the wizard is expertly protected, as the aura will flash-freeze any enemies that wander too close.
By gathering immense amounts of arcane power in their palms, wizards can briefly spike the electric potential surrounding their hands, causing localized lightning strikes that shock the caster's opponents. Such is the incredible energy of the electricity that it will often jump from one target to the next, affecting many foes at once.
Of the many volatile magics that distinguish wizards from their more scrupled spellcasting cousins, none are more controversial than those that distort the very flow of time itself. More than a few promising wizards have pledged to safely delve into such hazardous research, and many of them have disappeared entirely. Perhaps a transdimensional experiment trapped them in a space between worlds, or perhaps there is a secretive organization that dispatches those who dare tread the line between sorcerer and god. Whatever the case may be, few wizards can resist the allure of magic that brings time to a near-halt, as its combat applications are countless. Enemies that were once agile are made ponderous, and speeding arrows leisurely float through the air as though it were water.
The wizard forms a supercharged field of arcane power around their person, increasing the electrical conductivity of the surrounding area by exponential amounts. Anyone foolish enough to make physical contact with the wizard is assaulted by electric shocks, as lightning courses through their weapon, armor, and body.
Arcane orbs are formidable weapons, but limited in that their blasts are comprised solely of magical energy with little corporeal force. As the wizard increases their aptitude in arcane detonations, they learn how to manifest the explosion in the physical plane, just at the moment of release. This causes a devastating concussion, strong enough to shatter stone.
The more a wizard shapes and commands arcane power, the greater their perception of that energy becomes. Eventually, a formidable wizard will learn that this energy is so fine that it can flow into and out of most objects with some magical persuasion. By focusing intently, the wizard will be able to weave the energy into the fabric of materials on hand, causing weapons to strike truer and inflict more grievous wounds.
Through their extensive studies, wizards attain unparalleled knowledge of the nature of elements and matter. They comprehend the myriad forces that bind together all things into form and substance, and they understand how these forces can be strengthened, twisted, or outright destroyed. Few wizard spells are more terrifying than their ruby-red rays of cold light, which vaporize bone, wood, and metal alike into clouds of dust.
Years ago, the Hydra only answered to the calls of the Zann Esu sisterhood, as it was one of their Sorceresses, the legendary Habacalva, who freed them from their demonic imprisonment and gave them a new sense of purpose in protecting her beloved sisters. After spending more time with humans, however, the Hydra decided that other mortals were just as noble, and would require their aid for years to come. Subsequently, the Hydra vowed to protect any student of magic who demonstrated sufficient ability, and they will heed the call of a powerful wizard in times of great need. Springing forth from the earth, a Hydra will defend its charge by spewing flames at anyone who would do the wizard harm.
Wizards who have spent many hours working with arcane power claim to sometimes sense a faint personality in the plane of magic, a sort of irreverent spirit that occasionally adds its strength to the wizard's own. While the existence of intelligent life in alternate dimensions is a subject of much scholarly debate, it is undeniable that highly experienced wizards have been witnessed calling a lively spark of light to their side, where it bombards distant foes with bolts of force.
One of the trademarks of a truly accomplished wizard is the ability to travel between two spaces instantaneously. To an untrained eye, the caster appears to merely flit between the two points, but the truth is substantially more complicated. In actuality, the wizard is walking into the plane where their magical energies originate, an immaterial realm where space is meaningless and time is a quaint notion. By slipping between this mystical dimension and the physical world, the wizard is able to move great distances in the blink of an eye. But one must always be perfectly aware of their destination, lest they return to our world halfway through a wall.
The esoteric sciences of astrology and astronomy are all within a wizard's purview, along with a limited ability to manipulate the paths of celestial bodies. With a magical pulse, a wizard can detect any object hovering above the skies, and with a second incantation, the wizard can bring that object hurtling downward with earthshattering results. Such is the magnitude of these meteor strikes that their impacts melt the ground itself at the point of contact, creating a zone of molten lava that cremates all in its berth to ashes.
Few fabled wizards command more respect than Kai Ying, the Army of One. He received his moniker after routing a demonic invasion off of the Xiansai capital, even after his reinforcements had fled. The fiendish hordes thought their victory complete as they neared the city walls, with only a sole defender standing before them. Just as they drew close, Kai Ying's image blurred and bristled, and suddenly, five Kai Yings stood there, each hurling spells into the fray. With every second that passed, a dozen more Kai Yings appeared, each one a powerful wizard in their own right. After only a few minutes, a legion of Kai Yings defended the gates, and the demons were eventually driven back to whence they came. As the gates were opened and the people stepped outside to celebrate, all of Kai Ying's illusory selves vanished, until not a single Kai Ying was left. Some say he died that day, others say he went into hiding as an immortal. Whatever became of him, his signature spell has survived with much popularity, as many high-ranking wizards will make use of phantom doubles to provide a distraction as they escape desperate situations.
Often considered the pinnacle of cold-based magic, the blizzard spell is not meant to be wielded by wizards who are lacking in ability or conviction. By magically draining all of the heat from the surrounding air in a staccato series of bursts, the wizard summons a shower of razor-sharp ice crystals from the heavens above, pummeling and slicing any foes in the area.
After learning how to shield themselves with various elemental energies, a wizard comes to understand that these energies are oftentimes extravagant when compared to a bubble of pure arcane might. Rather than countering with ice or lightning, this sphere of protection deprives attacks of their kinetic energy, as strikes are turned away by a powerful repulsive force borne from the essence of magic itself.
Finally versed in the manifold ways of refining and controlling arcane power, the wizard turns to that last conduit that exceeds all else: themselves. By becoming one with the awesome forces that define their station, the wizard transcends mere human existence and morphs into an entity composed of magical energy in its purest state. Moving no longer requires physical locomotion, as it becomes only an act of will. With a thought, the ascended being can project waves of force that send opponents sprawling, or conjure swirling explosions that rip the earth to shreds. Maintaining this alternate form for extended periods of time is taxing on the wizard's psyche, so they rarely remain in this state for long.
With some practice, a wizard can use a negligible amount of arcane power to subtly displace surrounding light rays, causing their personal image to bend slightly from its true location. This minor illusion tricks attackers into striking off-center, keeping the wizard's vitals safe from harm.
Arcane power is the most precious resource a wizard can muster, so precious that many of them learn at an early age how to metabolize food and drink into magical energy at a moment's notice.
Part of the reason wizards refrain from casting too many spells quickly is because they deplete their internal reserves of power, but also because casting particularly complex spells too rapidly can have dangerous repercussions if the wizard loses their grasp on the magic at work. With consistent training, a determined wizard can bolster their skills of concentration and discipline, allowing them to cast their more powerful spells at a faster rate without losing control.
Just by focusing harder on the syllables that constitute a spell, a wizard can amplify the magic's destructive potential. Of course, the wizard will have less awareness to defend against imminent danger, but all power comes at a price.
Some spells are so simple in their execution that the act of casting them gives a wizard's magical faculties much-needed rest, allowing them to recharge some small measure of their power.
A wizard that learns how to attune their senses to the plane where arcane power resides has a greater understanding of that power, and a greater ability to channel it.
Many wizards are eager to dabble in all schools of magic at once, but a few favor the mystifying arts of illusion and magical deception. These wizards are famous for their theatrical escapes, usually involving ghostly doubles, teleportation, or some combination of the two.
While almost all wizards have some experience in manipulating cold, some have an inexplicable affinity for it. The frost they summon freezes its victims with a searing chill that seeps into their skin.
Control over fire magic is one thing, but mastery of it is quite another. Wizards with a flair for pyrotechnics know how to keep a flame burning much longer than it naturally should, irreparably scorching the unfortunate target.
After being electrocuted, many recipients of lightning-based spells suffer muscle spasms that make any motion or physical effort impossible. A wizard who specializes in such magic is well aware of this side-effect, and endeavors to make it occur as frequently as possible.
While disciples of the arcane arts are usually most famous for their flashy displays of elemental prowess, a wise practitioner never forgets their defensive abilities. With intense study, one can learn to augment their shielding spells, as well as how to focus the shield's energy inward, where it can mend bruised skin and broken bones.
There are several signs of a wizard who has spent too many dark hours trafficking in magic that interferes with the cosmic order. Many of their spells muddle the flow of time for their opponents, whether they were intended to or not.
Wizards occasionally report a rising and falling sensation with the expenditure of their arcane power. If a particularly decisive blow is struck, they can almost feel their energies returning to them immediately, congratulating them for a job well done.
While the stereotype of arcane students is that they study in musty libraries and secluded laboratories, many wizards discover that their most brilliant revelations occur while on the field of battle. Casting simpler spells in a fight frees up their thoughts for theoretical guesswork, and after several epiphanies in a row, it will occur to the wizard to alter a single hand gesture, causing one of their spells to gush with unbelievable power.
Very few people are brave or foolish enough to challenge an archwizard, not just because of the incomprehensible sorcery at their disposal, but also because at a certain level of mastery, the archwizard becomes a living engine of arcane power. Magical energy replaces their blood and breath, and to ever disrupt an archwizard's impressive control over such volatile forces would certainly have disastrous consequences.
I liked what you've done with the wizard. My one criticism is that your ability lore implies that Xiansai is full of wizards. From what I've read from the wizard lore and Blizzard's short story, wizard is a title given to a sorceror who delves into arcane research that is deemed to dangerous by the standards of the mage clans. From what I read into your ability lore, it seemed that wizards have an established presence in Xiansai. I doubt such a fringe type of spell casters would have a fixed, organzed presence in any civilized region of Sanctuary like the mainstream spellcasters. But despite my issue, I liked your descriptions of the wizard's skills. Are you planning on doing the witch doctor next? That one I was looking forward to reading next to the demon hunter's.
Oh, Redbalrog, you're HILARIOUS. I actually considered it, then realized that a) it would take forever, and b) not add too much to what was already established by the base lore.
You've got a good point, Tyler. My reasoning was that in the same way that all barbarian characters are from Arreat and all witch doctor characters are umbaru, all wizard characters being Xiansainese(?) implies that a disproportionate amount of them hail from that region. You're exactly right, wizard is really just a moniker slapped on a sorcerer who rebels against the establishment and wears anarchy As and whatnot. I just wanted a sort of cultural background that I could pin wizard vignettes to, and seeing as how you really don't get too much about Xiansai in the game at all, I figured it was a good opportunity to write snippets that had an Asian folklore ring to them.
At any rate, you're in luck, because witch doctor's up next! I'll be posting it as soon as I'm done, hopefully soon.
I absolutely love what you are doing here. These lore snippets were definitely missing from the game, and reading them gave me some goosebumps! really, really great writing! If blizzard catches onto this thread I would be glad. :) keep em coming!
I liked this thread so I thought I would add rune lore for the DH skills...
Puncturing- The hunter's hunger for vengeance allows the possibility to pierce the hearts of twice as many demons
Cinder- The hunter imbues every shot with the fire that drives the hatred
Shatter Shot- A demon hunter with great discipline learns to will a single arrow to break away into smaller arrow fragments upon impact
Devouring- At this point in training a hunter imbues the arrows with shadow power.This grants the arrow more precision for each demon it pierces
Spray of Teeth- Some hunters found that their most lethal shots would implode outwards into shrapnel made of demon rib-cage
Chain Gang- A demon hunter stretches the shadows to entangle more demons
Shock Collar- Manipulating the conductivity of the shadows is no easy feat
Heavy Burden- The very shadows themselves are denser slowing the demons for longer
Justice Served- A hunters need for justice will fuel hatred better than the need for vengeance
Bounty Hunter- The shadows feed on the very vitality of the demons they entangle
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