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Nihlathak (Diablo II).gif
Act Act V
Affiliation Elder of Harrogath
Services Gambling
Starts Quest None
Gender Male
Voice Actor Michael Bell

Were you looking for the monster Nihlathak?

Nihlathak was an Elder of Harrogath who possessed powers of a Necromancer. Though clearly not a follower of Rathma, like proper Necromancers, his status as an Elder may have allowed him to learn of these skills for purposes of final rites and communing with the Ancients. This is suggested by him knowing the Necromancer for what he is on sight when they meet in the game.


Nihlathak was the only Elder to survive when the elders gathered around the city of Harrogath to cast an ancient Druid spell of warding. After this, Nihlathak struck a deal with Baal, the Lord of Destruction. He would give Baal the Relic of the Ancients, the most holy totem of the Barbarian people, to Baal so he could reach the summit of Mount Arreat without being challenged by the Ancients. In return, Baal would spare Harrogath.

Until the Prison of Ice quest is completed, Nihlathak is found in the left-most corner of Harrogath. He has a very hostile personality, even to fellow Barbarians, and desires to be kept to his own matters. It is revealed that it was he who kidnapped Anya and placed her in a Prison of Ice in the Crystalline Passage.

After Anya is rescued, however, he is found in the Halls of Vaught as a super unique boss. He is defeated in the Betrayal of Harrogath quest. He uses the most popular Necromancer Skills, Corpse Explosion and Bone Spirit along with Teleport and Summon Minion. To top everything off, he will try and freeze you using the Druid skill Arctic Blast. His Corpse Explosion was a sure one-hit killer in Hell difficulty until it was nerfed in future patches.

In Hell difficulty, Nihlathak drops the Key of Destruction, which is a part of the Battle.net Pandemonium Event.

After completing the Prison of Ice

As the last surviving clan Elder, Nihlathak has been driven close to madness by his grief over the imminent failure of his clan to protect the Worldstone. Constantly ruminating on the myriad alternate courses the elders could have taken, he now lives with the guilt of not dying with his peers. Now he has betrayed the world of Sanctuary by striking a deal with Baal.

Nihlathak disappears after this quest is completed and cannot be talked to again in that difficulty.




  • "What?"
  • "Hmmmm?"
  • "Yes?"


  • "Well, well. The siege has everything in short supply...except fools.
    Why would you seek this place, stranger? Are you a vulture come to loot the bodies of our fallen warriors?
    Regardless, this is no place to make a name for yourself. The mountain is ours to protect.
    It is only a matter of time before Hell's legions are routed.

Introduction (Necromancer)

  • "Ah, a Necromancer. While I admire your courage and seeking out the darkest side of magic,
    we really have little need for your skill. The Battle will turn soon enough without your mettle,
    yet I should have expected to see your kind here, you're like a moth to the flame, drawn to all it's dead,
    it feeds your in more ways than one, does it not?

Introduction (Assassin)

  • "Well, well. An assassin. Well I'm sure we are all grateful for your presence
    in our troubled town, you need not have made the journey. I can personally say that your skills are not required here.
    You would serve your clan better elsewhere.


  • "Qual-Kehk is useless. He has blindly sent our warriors to their deaths, assuming Baal's legions would fight as men do. Of course, everyone knows they do not."
  • "The demon hordes have grown powerful beyond measure, aided by our foolish mistakes. But I may have found a way to correct those mistakes..."
  • "If you have nothing useful for me, be on your way!"
  • "The Council of Elders always believed itself prepared for the coming of the Three. Obviously, we were not prepared enough."
  • "Oh yes...I remember our warriors as children. Malah would set their broken bones and give them powders for their fevers. Now, they return to her with wounds that will never heal.
    I am tired...Please...leave me.
  • "I have long been criticized, but especially of late -- since the deaths of my fellow Elders. Through it all, I have learned one thing. Each man must do what's right, no matter what others may think."

Gossip (About Nihlathak)


  • "Nihlathak was the last of our Elders, whose charge it was to safeguard the mountain. He alone tried to guide us through the most desperate time in our history -- but he was just as helpless as the rest of us. I cannot forgive his betrayal, but I can learn from it."


  • "Nihlathak's despair is infectious -- and his behavior does not befit an Elder of his stature. I think we'd be better off without him."


Siege on Harrogath (quest)

After Initiate:

  • "After so many have died, who are you to think you can accomplish what our warriors could not?"

Early Return:

  • "What are you still doing here? I thought you were going off to die.
    Go...Be quick about it.

Upon Completion:

  • "Ending the siege does not earn immediate respect, outsider. Respect only comes with sacrifice -- something I'm sure you know nothing of."

Rescue on Mount Arreat (quest)

After Initiate:

  • "You have proven you can take life, warrior, but can you save it as well?"

Early Return:

  • "Did you ever stop to think why these demons are capturing Qual-Kehk's men?
    Why they are attacking us? Have you considered what Baal wants with the mountain?
    No. You've not. You have no idea what you are dealing with.

Upon Completion:

  • "So. You brought the lost sheep home to the shepherd.
    Well done."

Prison of Ice (quest)

After Initiate:

  • "Anya! Who have you been talking to? Likely, It was that meddling Malah.
    Well, I'll tell you what really happened. Anya came to me for guidance, after receiving a vision that her mother and younger brother were trapped in the lands beyond the Ice Caves. She had decided to go rescue them.
    I told her that her quest was a foolish one and that she would be safer staying within the city walls. However, she is a willful girl and would not listen to me.
    The next morning, she was gone. No one is more distraught than I over losing her.
    However, if you feel the need to be Malah's errand child, I won't try to stop you.

Early Return:

  • "Look, I've told you! She's dead! If you knew what was good for you, you'd concentrate your efforts on saving Harrogath -- not on lost causes like Anya."


This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article

  • His name is likely derived from the word nihilism.
  • He is one of at least two NPCs to become an enemy.