The Dark Wanderer is the warrior from Diablo I who has been possessed by Diablo, the very demon he sought to contain within himself. After finally engaging Diablo in a duel in the depths of the hell beneath Tristram, the unnamed Warrior defeated and killed the Prime Evil. However, by this time he had been thoroughly corrupted by the demon's influence, and was led to believe the only way he could contain the Lord of Terror was by placing Diablo's foul soul within his own body, inserting the soulstone in his forehead.
Diablo I Ending
"The Soulstone burns with Hellfire as an eerie red glow blurs your vision. Fresh blood flows into your eyes, and you begin to hear the tormented whispers of the Damned. You have done what you knew must be done. The essence of Diablo is contained for now.
You pray that you have become strong enough to contain the Demon and keep him at bay. Although you have been fortified by your quest, you can still feel him, clawing his way up from the dark recesses of your soul.
Fighting to retain control, your thoughts turn toward the ancient, mystic lands of the Far East. Perhaps there, beyond the desolate wastes of Aranoch, you will find an answer.
Or, perhaps... salvation!"
The Journey East
Now thoroughly under the demon's control, the warrior assumed the guise of the Dark Wanderer and left to journey east, towards Diablo's brothers Mephisto and Baal. Wherever the Dark Wanderer went, the minions of Hell followed, terrorizing and murdering countless innocents. One such peasant, Marius, was inexplicably drawn to the Wanderer, and chose to follow him on his journey.
The Dark Wanderer eventually reached the deserts of Aranoch, where he found and uncovered the true tomb of Tal Rasha. Intending to free his brother Baal, Diablo found instead the archangel Tyrael awaiting him, who knew of the Prime Evil's plans and had laid in wait to stop him. Diablo and Tyrael then engaged in a lengthy duel.
While they were fighting, Baal compelled Marius to remove his soulstone, which would free him from his bindings. Marius, almost driven to insanity by the horrors he had witnessed following Diablo on his journey, complied, freeing the mutated form of Tal Rasha. Diablo and Baal then worked together to defeat Tyrael and chained him to the tomb.
The Brothers then arrived in Kurast, joining their third and eldest brother Mephisto, who had already freed himself long ago and had the jungles under his control. It was there, in one of the deep durances of Mephisto's influence that the Dark Wanderer completed his journey and transformed fully into the shape of Diablo, before the three opened a portal to Hell whereupon Diablo returned to gather his armies.
The Dark Wanderer, or some illusion of him, can be encountered in Act III right upon leaving the Kurast Docks, where he disappears before summoning some Flesh Beasts. By the next encounter in the game, the Dark Wanderer has ceased to exist and has fully taken on the body and mind of Diablo.
In the book "Diablo II: The Awakening", an NPC named Qarak takes the Soulstone and sticks himself in the head with it, rather than one of the PC adventurers. This is the only time that anything remotely near to even being mistaken as "canon" in Diablo has come close to giving a proper name to the Dark Wanderer. And even then, the attempt ultimately was a miss in the end, as it is revealed in Diablo 3 that the warrior who became the Dark Wanderer was named Aidan
|Diablo II NPCs|
|Act I||Akara • Charsi • Deckard Cain • Flavie • Gheed • Kashya • Warriv|
|Act II||Atma • Deckard Cain • Drognan • Elzix • Fara • Geglash • Greiz • Jerhyn • Kaelan • Lysander • Meshif • Tyrael • Warriv|
|Act III||Alkor • Asheara • Deckard Cain • Hratli • Meshif • Natalya • Ormus • Dark Wanderer|
|Act IV||Deckard Cain • Hadriel • Halbu • Izual • Jamella • Tyrael|
|Act V||Anya • Deckard Cain • Larzuk • Malah • Nihlathak • Qual-Kehk • Tyrael|