Barbarian cities

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The Barbarian cities were once populated by this proud race of warriors, but have been abandoned after the destruction of the Worldstone and Mount Arreat.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

"To better protect their lands from outside forces they adopted a nomadic lifestyle, frequently moving within the confines of the Steppes and maintaining few permanent settlements." - Diablo II Manual

Since the time of the Bul-Kathos of the nephalem the Barbarians have adopted their lifestyle to the task of guarding the Worldstone. However, to achieve this they did form some permanent cities and towns in strategic locations. What has happened to these settlements since the end of Diablo 2 can only be infered from hints, and is a source of contention among fans. [1]

Harrogath[edit | edit source]

The best known of these cities is probably Harrogath, which was a town at the foot of Mount Arreat forming one of the last barriers of defence. It was the safe town area of Act 5, and withstood the host of Baal when the elders (except Nihlathak) sacrificed themselves casting a forbidden druid spell which blocked demonic energies from entering. However, it was later destroyed in the powers unleashed by the shattering of the Worldstone.

One confusing aspect of the destruction of Harrogath, is that even though it was apparently destroyed by the Worldstone, at the end of Diablo 2 you can go back and talk to the people about it. They seem relatively happy about the outcome, although there is more than a little confusion about the imminent destruction of the Worldstone:

"You have done the impossible, hero. Your defeat of the last of the three prime evils is a great victory for the light. Strange that you say the Worldstone must be destroyed. The prophecy said nothing about that. Perhaps all we have fought for will be lost. Or, perhaps, we will never need fight again." - Anya, Diablo 2x final speech

This is at the heart of the controversy about Tyrael. In any case, no-one seems to be evacuating the city, so we can only assume that no-one knew it would explode. On the other hand, we know of at least two survivors of the destruction of the city - the Barbarian, and Cain, so maybe the mountain exploded in parts, and the residents had time to evacuate through a portal or waypoint.

Sescheron[edit | edit source]

Sescheron was the capital city of the Barbarians. The people of Harrogath "lost contact" with it just before they were sieged by Baal, who threw a huge army at it in the Act 5 cinematics trailer. It's possible the city was destroyed since Baal later made it to Harrogath, and it took both ancient wards and the intervention of the main character at his strongest to stop this last stronghold being destroyed by Baal's surviving forces.

Alternatively, the siege on the barbarian lands were held mainly to keep Harrogath isolated, and the demons were swiftly killed off after Baal had been defeated.

Bastion's Keep[edit | edit source]

Bastion's Keep was added to the game as part of the Diablo 3 lore, and according to the map it's on what's (as of the start of Diablo 3) the south coast between the mountains and the Sharvel Wilds. Abd al-Hazir visited it and calls it "ancient", but he also says he didn't see any Barbarians there.

Speculation[edit | edit source]

All the great Barbarian cities seem to have been abandoned. At first it seems probable that Baal's armies, combined with the power unleashed in the shattering of the Worldstone destroyed the cities, but there is at least one other possibility, as Abd al-Hazir reports on his search for Barbarian warriors:

"If there are any barbarians left alive, they must truly be without hope. Perhaps this is the genesis of the rumors of monstrous things reported to resemble the barbarians in size and ferocity, but that are in reality nothing more than unreasoning, inhuman beasts. Could the destruction of not only their home but also their very beliefs have actually brought this magnificent race so low?" Writings of Abd al-Hazir: Entry no. 0025

This seems unlikely, since there is at least one Barbarian who has not gone mad - the Barbarian hero. However, this could be put down to his own personal history and experience.