"From the east shall come a monarch whose rule begins in blood and ends in bone. In the light of a comet he will die a third and final death at the hands of true men/a chosen woman."
Malachi, referring to Leoric[1]
Title The Black King
The Skeleton King
The Mad King
Gender Male
Race {{{Race}}}
Ethnicity {{{Ethnicity}}}
Affiliation Zakarum (formerly)
Khanduras (formerly)
Burning Hells
Class {{{Class}}}
Occupation {{{Occupation}}}
Relatives Asylla (wife)
Aidan (elder son),
Albrecht (younger son)
Leah (granddaughter)
Status Deceased
Appearances Diablo
Diablo III
The Order (flashback only)
Book of Cain
The Art of Diablo III

King Leoric was formerly the ruling monarch of Khanduras. Once a devout follower of the Zakarum faith, he was ultimately corrupted by Diablo Lord of Terror, the result being the end of his line, his kingdom and everything he strove for.


Arrival in KhandurasEdit

"We have just arrived in Tristram, and I must say I'm a bit dismayed. This place is a backwater filled with serfs and an ancient, broken-down monastery, hardly fit for the king of Khanduras! I cannot fathom why Lazarus was so intent on this becoming our new seat of power."
- Leoric in his journal[1]

Leoric originated from Kehjistan.[2] At some point in the 13th century,[3] in the behest of the Zakarum Church[2] Leoric came into the lands of Khanduras and, in the name of the Zakarum, declared himself to be king.[4] He was unwaware that Zakarum had been corrupted by Mephisto and that Lazarus, subtlely under Mephisto's influence, was to ensure that Tristram would be his seat of power—the resting place of Diablo.[2]

Leoric brought with him his family, knights and priests, the latter two groups forming his Order of the Light. Along with his advisor Lazarus, Leoric and his entourage made their way to the town of Tristram, appropriating the decrepit monastery on its outskirts as his seat of power. Although the people of Khanduras were not pleased with coming under the rule of a foreign king, Leoric served them with justice and might. Eventually, his subjects came to respect him[4] for his purity of heart and deed.[5] A case in point was Griswold, who forged Leoric's mithril sword and crown.[6]

The Darkening of TristramEdit

"I am convinced that some malevolent being is attempting to wrest control of my thoughts away from me. Voices direct me to horrendous acts, and there are times when I seem unable to control my body. Lazarus knows; this is certain. He looks at me strangely when he thinks me otherwise disposed."
—Leoric in his journal[1]

Unknown to Leoric however, his seat of power was the resting place of Diablo, imprisoned in the catacombs beneath the cathedral by the Horadrim long ago. Lazarus fell under the Lord of Terror's sway, shattering his soulstone. Requiring an anchor to the world, Diablo chose the strongest soul available to him to be his host—Leoric himself.[4]

For many months, Leoric secretly fought against Diablo's will. Sensing that he had been possessed by some unknown evil, Leoric kept his condition a secret from those close to him, believing that his piety would be enough to exorcise the demon's corruption. In this he was sorely mistaken, and Diablo stripped away the core of Leoric's being, burning all honor and virtue from his soul. Lazarus, now also under Diablo's sway, kept close to his lord at all times, and sought to keep Leoric's condition a secret. Despite this, Leoric's change in demenour became known to his subjects. His once proud visage became rugged and deformed while his sanity slipped away. Becoming increasingly deranged, Leoric began ordering immediate executions of any who questioned his decisions or authority while he sent his knights to the outlying towns to bully them into submission. Horrified by his actions, Leoric's subjects began calling him "the Black King."[4]

Lazarus, concerned of the suspicions Leoric's subjects had, convinced the now delusional king that the kingdom of Westmarch was plotting to take over and annex Khanduras, manipulating him into declaring war, diverting attention as well as sending many troublesome knights into their deaths when the armies of Westmarch inevitably crushed those of Khanduras. Leoric's priests were meanwhile sent as emissaries.[4] Thanks to Lazarus's words, Leoric even ordered the execution of his own wife.[1]

With the lack of inquisitive eyes, Diablo had free reign to assert his will over his vassal. However, Diablo found that a part of the king's soul still fought against him, and that he would still not be able to take full control. Thus he abandoned his attempts to take over Leoric, leaving him broken and crazed as he much more easily took control of his son Albrecht instead. When King Leoric found that his son had gone missing, he went into a rage and had many innocent people executed for kidnapping the prince,[4] slipping deeper into madness with each passing day.[5] He was eventually slain by his own lieutenant, the knight Lachdanan, who returned from the quickly lost war only to find that he, too, was being accused of the kidnapping, and that the king was nothing but a raving madman who set his other warriors upon those returning. The knights came to blows and Lachdanan begged Leoric to explain his actions. Leoric simply spat at him, condemning Lachdanan and his men as traitors. Sorrowfully, Lachdanan struck down his liege, Leoric damning him in his last moments.[4]

Rise of the Skeleton KingEdit

"The warmth of life has entered my tomb. Prepare yourself, mortal, to serve my Master for eternity!"
- Leoric to his foes

Despite his crimes, Leoric was nonetheless given a proper burial beneath the cathedral.[2] However, he arose once again, this time as the Skeleton King. Commanding a host of undead, he was poised to lead forth his undead horde to the surface. However, he was felled by Aidan and two other heroes. Standing over the fallen king, they assured him they would find his son.[6] Deckard Cain was apparently given a visual description of the Skeleton King.[2]

Return of the Skeleton KingEdit

"You dare to bring the warmth of life into my tomb? Prepare yourself, mortal, to serve me for all eternity!"
- A newly arisen Leoric[1]

22 years[3] after his earlier defeat, Leoric reawakened. The Fallen Star had descended upon New Tristram, smashing right through the cathedral, awakening Leoric and his undead minions. Enraged, he set his minions on Deckard Cain, who had fallen into the depths of the cathedral due to the meteor's impact. However, the scholar was saved by a new group of heroes who went on to defeat Leoric, but this time, permanently.[1]


Diablo IEdit

Main article: Skeleton King (monster)

Leoric appears in multiplayer games in the first Diablo game in his Skeleton King form. He forms the basis of the quest of the same name. He leaves behind his crown, a unique item with life-stealing properties.

Diablo IIEdit

Leoric does not make an appearance in Diablo II, though the player can find a unique necromancer wand called "Arm of King Leoric."

Diablo IIIEdit

Main article: Skeleton King (Diablo III)

Leoric once again appears as a boss in Diablo III. There is also a legendary item called Leoric's Crown.


Leoric appears in the Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients with the name King Leoric- the Skeleton King. He is also under consideration for an appearance in the Heroes of the Storm, again in Skeleton King form.[7]

Personality and TraitsEdit was originally a deeply religious man and a kind one, but lost these traits due to Diablo's corruption. By the end of his (un)life, he was a malevolent being.[4] At some point, he authored The Craft of War.[8]



  • According to the manual for the first Diablo game, Leoric hailed from lands north of Khanduras. According to dialogue in Diablo III and Book of Cain however, he hailed from eastern lands, specifically Kehjistan.
  • In his prime, King Leoric's hair was a mid-dark brown color. As the Skeleton King, his hair is now blue-silver.


Diablo III King Leoric Slain

Diablo III King Leoric Slain


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Diablo III, Act I
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Book of Cain
  3. 3.0 3.1 Diablo timeline
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Diablo Manual
  5. 5.0 5.1 Diablo III Skeleton King T-Shirt. J!NX, accessed on 2014-18-01
  6. 6.0 6.1 Diablo
  7. 2011-10-23, BlizzCon 2011 - Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm and Blizzard DOTA - Art & Technology Panel (Full). YouTube, accessed on 2011-11-07
  8. Demonsbane