|“|| All who live know my name, all who oppose me shall know Death.|
— Death, "Know Death" Trailer
Death is the main protagonist of Darksiders II.
He is the leader and most powerful of the Four Horsemen. He is the eldest of the surviving Nephilim ever since he and the other Horsemen carried out the extermination of the rest of their kind on the orders of the Charred Council. He is feared throughout the Darksiders universe, more so than any of the other Horsemen.
|“|| Like his fellow Horsemen, Death is of a race known as Nephilim – among the most powerful beings in the Universe. When Mankind was given the prize of Eden, Absalom – leader of the Nephilim – led his armies against Heaven and Hell in an attempt to steal it back. For this crime, the Charred Council condemned the Nephilim to destruction. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were granted a reprieve from this fate on the condition they aid the Council’s victory over their kin. The Horsemen accepted, but it was Death who bore the greatest burden of guilt for the near extinction of his race. Donning his iconic mask to represent his role as executioner on the day he slaughtered his brethren, he has not removed it since.|
— Official Description
Death's past is mysterious and by all indications, he prefers it that way. What is known is that he is one of the oldest of his kind, the Nephilim, one of the Firstborn. When the Nephilim went on their world-destroying crusade under Absalom, it was he, as the closest thing they had to a crafter, that suggested the creation of the lesser and Grand Abominations from the bodies of the Ravaiim, the race that inhabited the first world the Nephilim attacked. This was, indeed, the very reason they targeted the Ravaiim's world. These were terrible weapons made of metal meshed with sinew, organs, and flesh, far more powerful than the Nephilim's other efforts, such as the sword Affliction and Death's scythe, Harvester. They were eventually sealed away by the Firstborn in the Abomination Vault, though not before many were lost or destroyed on battlefields like Kothysos.He led three other Nephilim; War, Fury, and Strife, away from the rest of their kind, defecting to serve the Charred Council at some point before the final battle at Eden.
Before they could fully take up their mantles as the Four Horseman, the four Nephilim were sent to The Far Fields and the mysterious being known only as The Horsemaster. The Horsemaster demanded that they discard their weapons as the ancient beasts they sought to tame would bow only to their will.
War proposed a wager as to who would tame their horse first. Fury and Strife proceeded to needle War about his tendency to boast, but the Horsemaster criticized them for bickering like children. Death, silent during the exchange, charged into the stampeding horses without a backward glance. He soon grabbed a hold of one horse and mounted it. The Nephilim gained control of it and directed it back to the Horsemaster and his siblings, where he named it Despair as its appearance changed to bone and pale dead flesh to reflect its master.
Now fully fledged Horsemen of the Apocalypse and imbued with great power by the Charred Council, Death donned his executioner's mask and led the Four Horsemen against the Nephilim at Eden alongside the forces of the Angels. As he slaughtered his fellow Nephilim, Death gathered their souls in a green amulet he wore around his neck. Eventually, he dueled Absalom himself and slew the first Nephilim personally. Seemingly grieved by this action, Death took Absalom's hand but the leader of the Nephilim was dragged down into darkness and, unbeknownst to Death at the time, became Corruption. After that day, the Horseman rarely ever removed his mask if at all. The Charred Council ordered Death to destroy the amulet, but he disobeyed them. He gave the amulet to the Crowfather to keep safe and had Dust bound to him to link him and the Crowfather, allowing the ancient being to carry the amulet. With the other Firstborn gone, Death was also the only being in existence that knew the location of the Abomination Vault.
The Abomination Vault
A millennium before the premature Apocalypse, Death took a leave of absence that lasted several centuries. After he returned, he built a home for himself on a dead world that consisted entirely of a nigh endless expanse of dust and ash. His reclusive lifestyle was short-lived, however, as the Council sent Panoptos with a mission almost immediately after his ghouls finished construction. After an unpleasant exchange in which Death expressed his utter disdain for the Watcher, Panoptos revealed that there had been a skirmish between a garrison of angels and an unknown enemy at the borders of Eden. The name Eden capturing his full attention, Death departed for the lost realm immediately.
Upon arriving, Death found the battlefield curiously lacking in overt signs of carnage such as corpses and rubble. He eventually found the body of one angel, so hopelessly tangled deep in the brush that his comrades had been unable to find him. Using necromancy, he was able to summon the spirit of the deceased angel to describe the battle. Through his method, he was able to discover that the angel garrison was attacked by an army of constructs that nearly overwhelmed them through sheer numbers before they received reinforcements from Abaddon himself. Death's interview was cut short when a small group of angels attacked him, angered by his desecration of their fellow's corpse. Death defeated them handily, and in doing so realized why he had been unable to detect them earlier and why the site was barren of battle signs. At his call, the angel that had cast the powerful illusion, Azrael, allowed it to fade. After discussing the angels' purpose at Eden, being the protection of Eden where the Council had not bothered, Azrael brought Death to the small fortress that was the angels' camp to speak with Abaddon. The three grudgingly discussed the terms of an alliance to uncover the perpetrators of the attack. When Death discovered that Abaddon had lost his eye to a long thought lost Nephilim sword named Affliction, he immediately became worried as to what other ancient weapons they might have liberated from the dead worlds, the old battlefields of the Nephilim. The eldest Horseman refused to elaborate on his fears to the angels and departed at once.
It was to Kothysos, the site of the fiercest battle the Nephilim had fought before Eden and the world where they had lost Affliction, that Death journeyed to next. He found that a massive force of constructs was excavating the ancient battlefield, scavenging what they could of Nephilim weapons. By the light guard and small prizes the constructs uncovered, Death surmised that whoever had made the constructs had already found what they were looking for and were merely wrapping up their operation. After dispatching several constructs and examining the pile of scavenged materials, he discovered fragments of handles, grips, and other material crafted from leathery flesh, confirming his fears that the constructs had discovered a lost Grand Abomination. Shortly after this discovery, Death's companion, Dust, fell into a fit and through him, the Horseman received a vision of the Crowfather's realm under attack by yet another construct army.
Death went to the Crowfather's frigid domain and made his way to the Crowfather himself, sneaking and ambushing his way across the battlefield where constructs did battle with flocks of crows so large they blotted out the sky and the elements of the realm itself, gusts of blizzard and even bolts of lightning, as the Crowfather marshaled his power. When he found the Crowfather, the pair combined their abilities to drive the last of the constructs from the icy plains. After arguing about the Crowfather's lingering connection to Dust, they worked out a way to get the knowledge they wanted from a dead construct. The Crowfather placed the soul of one of his dying crows within the construct, mingling it with the memories of the construct itself. Death then used his necromantic powers to consult the spirit, discovering that the Maker that had built the construct army was named Belisatra and his worst fears were confirmed: someone was looking for a way to awaken the Grand Abominations.
Death then returned to the Charred Council to give his report and warn them of the danger posed by the Abomination Vault with the other three Horseman present. He told the Council and the other Horsemen about the Abominations and the Abomination Vault, though he refused to reveal its location regardless of the Council's threats. Death managed to convince the Council that his usefulness in this matter outweighed his insolence and they agreed to send the Horsemen to investigate. However, the eldest Horsemen ordered War, Fury, and Strife to stay behind. Despite their protests, they eventually agreed to abide by his wishes.
Before leaving the Council's domain, Death paid a visit to the Keeper of Oblivion, the being that held power over the portal to the realm of nonexistence known as Oblivion and a fellow servant of the Charred Council. As a friend, Death expressed his discomfort with the feelings of guilt that the resurfacing of the Abominations had brought on. He then told the Keeper most of his history concerning the Abominations, not because he was seeking council, but because he wished to unburden himself of at least some of his guilty secrets to someone that might understand. During the conversation, the Crowfather contacted Death with a memory from one of his crows concerning the construct invasion of his realm. It revealed that the invasion had been led by an unknown angel. The Horseman then set his next destination as the Library of the Argent Spire in the White City, searching for records of the Maker Belisatra.
Death received a frosty reception from the angels in the White City, owing to a massacre War had recently perpetrated there while eliminating an angelic weapon of mass destruction on the Charred Council's orders. The Horseman was, however, able to convince the guards to let him through. On his approach to the Argent Spire, Death was approached by an angel calling himself Semyaza, who claimed to be his escort. Soon after, Semyaza ambushed Death and pushed him off the bridge they were standing on, plummeting several layers deeper into the city. As he recovered from the impact, Semyaza impaled the Horseman with Affliction. Before the angel could continue his attack, War appeared and attacked him from above. Unwilling to fight two of the Four Horsemen simultaneously, Semyaza fled the field of battle. Death and War argued vehemently over the latter's disobedience to the former's orders but they were cut short by the arrival of Abaddon and his forces. After a standoff and reminding the angels of the pacts and treaties that bound them, the pair was able to continue to the Argent Spire.
At the Argent Spire, they consulted Azrael for information on Belisatra and her angelic ally. They determined that Semyaza was most likely an alias as the real Semyaza was stationed at an angel outpost far from the White City. As Death gave Azrael a curtailed account of the Abominations, omitting any mention of the Ravaiim or the precise nature of the Grand Abominations. In the meantime, Azrael's subordinates had gathered information regarding Belisatra. They discovered that she was once an apprentice to an ancient and powerful Maker named Gulbannan that was murdered some ages ago. Furthermore, Gulbannan had been a lover of Lilith.
Their next destination was the home of Lilith herself in Hell. Leaving War at the door, Death confronted Lilith alone. She alluded to her status as the "Mother" of the Nephilim, but he refused to acknowledge it. Lilith evaded his questions about Belisatra, but he threatened her with the Charred Council's retaliation should she not aid them in stopping the Maker's efforts to awaken the Abominations. She admitted that it had been Belisatra that murdered Gulbannan when he was going to reveal what he had taught Lilith to the other Makers out of guilt and that Belisatra had become Lilith's servant soon after. However, the Maker recently left Lilith's service after the visit of an angel named Hadrimon. Realizing that Hadrimon was the angel that had attacked him and led the assault on the Crowfather's realm, the Horsemen departed for Lilith's old laboratory in Gulbannan's former domain.
After breaking their way into the laboratory, Death and War found Hadrimon and Belisatra. They immediately struck, but the battle had hardly begun when a small army of demons attacked both sides. The Nephilim defeated the demons handily, but the rogue angel and Maker escaped amidst the confusion. Confused by the demon presence, Death was still able to surmise that the workshop had contained a large Grand Abomination before the conspirators had absconded with it. He also acquired the Abomination Mortis, still powerful though nearly dead. He underestimated it and left his mind vulnerable when he put it on, accidentally revealing the secret of the Grand Abominations' activation to Hadrimon through the mental link between Abominations.
Furious at his failure, Death led War to the Ravaiim homeworld, where he knew Hadrimon and Belisatra would go to retrieve the key necessary to awaken the power of the Grand Abominations: Ravaiim blood. Frustrated by his brother's opacity, War cajoled Death into revealing the reason for his guilt: his complicity in the creation of the Abominations. Before they got far, both Nephilim were shocked by the appearance of a small army of angels under the command of Azrael. Death, having sent Dust to the Charred Council, was expecting Fury and Strife, but the Council had chosen to hold them in reserve and sent Dust on to the White City to request assistance. Upon hearing Hadrimon's name, Azrael explained the rogue angel's past and his reasons for hating both Heaven and Hell.
The angels and the Horsemen searched the plains of the Ravaiim world until they came across Belisatra's construct army. They were able to deal with the constructs easily despite being outnumbered eight to one, but once again, as in Lilith's laboratory, a demonic horde attacked. Between the battle prowess of the Horsemen, the angels, and Azrael's magic, the demons stood little chance of victory. In the heat of battle, Death glimpsed the profane form of a Lost Angel lurking as a commander in the rear of the demonic forces. Just as the battle seemed to be winding down, another army of constructs joined the battle. This time they were joined by Hadrimon, who wielded the Abomination Black Mercy, a pistol that killed each of its targets no matter how minor the injury inflicted. Even unrelated injuries caused in its presence would be fatal. That was revealed to be the least of their worries as Belisatra appeared with the massive Grand Abomination known as Earth Reaver, a weapon capable of causing a full-scale volcanic eruption. Many demons, constructs, and a good number of angels fell to the first shot. In light of such power, Death convinced Azrael and War to retreat. After setting up his brother and the angels in a defensive position, the eldest Nephilim used ammunition from the angels' Redemption cannons as explosives to destroy Earth Reaver's footing, temporarily disabling it for many hours.
Death regrouped with War and Azrael shortly, hatching a plan to deprive Hadrimon and Belisatra of Ravaiim blood. He concocted a necromantic spell to draw all the Ravaiim blood into the cavern they had made their camp in, a feat made possible by the pooling of Azrael's mystical energies with his own. He condensed the blood and placed it in a cylinder, also creating several duplicate decoy cylinders. He told Azrael and War that he would stay with a decoy cylinder while Azrael would take most of his angels with a second decoy. War would carry the real Ravaiim blood in an attempt to outmaneuver Hadrimon and Belisatra. After they had gone, Death carefully lowered his mental defenses and revealed the plan to Mortis, and thus to Hadrimon. Unbeknownst to Hadrimon, Mortis, Azrael, or War himself, Death had sent the younger Horseman with a decoy while he carried the true Ravaiim blood. In this way, he ensured that he would be able to depart with the Ravaiim blood freely though all but guaranteeing his brother's demise. Death then took the time to interview the deceased spirit of a dead demon, discovering that their master was the Lost Angel Raciel, who was Hadrimon's lover before she was banished to Hell when he reported their illegal romance to Heaven's leaders.
The elder Horseman then departed for the realm of the Charred Council. Rather than visiting the Council, Death went to the Keeper of Oblivion and persuaded him to cast the cylinder of Ravaiim blood through the portal into Oblivion, thus ensuring that nobody would ever be able to use it to awaken the Abominations ever again. Despite Panoptos' attempts to stop him, the Horseman immediately returned to the Ravaiim homeworld once more in the hopes of saving his brother. He spent days with Dust and Despair scouring the plains for War. When Death found him, the younger Horseman was already dead. However, Death stabbed himself with War's soul bound sword, Chaoseater, allowing it to feed off the violence and pain of the act, and used the spark of War's life lingering in the blade combined with his necromantic powers to revive his brother. He lied to War, telling him that he had stolen back the Ravaiim blood after Hadrimon took it and destroyed it. Death was consumed by guilt at his actions that led to War's death and his inability to tell his brother the truth afterward. He took some solace in his certainty that the threat of the Abominations was resolved.
Unfortunately, that solace was premature. Upon their return to the realm of the Charred Council, Death and War learned that Belisatra's constructs and Hadrimon had attacked an angelic outpost using an inexplicably still awakened Black Mercy. The eldest Horseman surmised that the attack was a test for their new method of obtaining Ravaiim blood, seeing Earth Reaver's absence as a sign that they had cannibalized the Grand Abomination to get the blood they needed to fuel the smaller one. He kept this fact to himself until after the meeting. The Council, having grown frustrated by Death's repeated disobedience, tortured him with paralyzing agony. Death told them that they needed him, but the Charred Council retorted that they did not need servants that were unwilling to obey. Fortunately, War stepped in and told the Council that they would need to kill him too, though Death's guilt was deepened by his brother's faith in him. The Charred Council relented given Death's personal history with the Abominations, but warned him that they could strip his power away should he disobey them again. He and War were assigned the duty of standing guard over the Abomination Vault itself while Fury and Strife would hunt down Hadrimon and Belesatra.
The eldest Horseman sent Dust with a message to Azrael with a request to trick Raciel's forces into attacking the Abomination Vault soon after departing the Charred Council's realm. Death then led War to the world of ashes upon which he had made his home, revealing that it was the last world the Nephilim had destroyed before their defeat at Eden and the location of the Abomination Vault's entrance. It was not long before Belisatra's constructs attacked, first fighting the ghouls and necromantic wards Death had placed around his home, then the Horsemen themselves. Their easy fight was complicated by the arrival of Hadrimon and Black Mercy, then Belisatra herself with a massive cannon she had constructed. It was then that the demons led by Raciel intervened in the battle and devastated the remainder of the construct army. Death confronted Hadrimon over the seal of the Abomination Vault. He shattered the ward protecting the vault in the hopes that the psychic presences of the Abominations within would overwhelm Hadrimon long enough for him to deal the final blow. Instead, Black Mercy took control of Hadrimon and fired at Death, a shot he barely blocked with Harvester but nonetheless drained his energies and left him too weak to move. Just then, a wounded Raciel entered the chamber. Black Mercy once again took control and killed her, leading Hadrimon to try and use the Abomination to kill himself, but it refused to slay its wielder. Azrael then appeared, projecting an illusion of Raciel before she became a demonic Lost Angel. The distraction allowed Death the time he needed to recover and slay the mad angel.
Death and Azrael then exited the building to confront Belisatra, who had been fighting War. Upon seeing Black Mercy in Death's hand, she surrendered and Death's ghouls restrained her to be brought to the Charred Council. Azrael and War expressed their distaste at the deceitful way they had achieved victory, but Death told them they were being foolish and that it only mattered that they had won at all. Azrael told Death he was grateful they could stop the Abominations, but to wait a long while before ever calling upon the White City for aid again. War asked his brother what he meant to do with the Abominations, to which Death responded that he would return Black Mercy to the Abomination Vault, though he might keep Mortis seeing as it was nearly dead, posed little threat, and could be useful. They then set about re-securing Death's home and the Vault. War, laughing, refused to help his brother clean up the corpse laden battlefield.
On his return to the Charred Council's domain, Death encountered Panoptos advancing his suggestion to the Council that each Horsemen be assigned a Watcher to keep them loyal. Catching him alone, Death suggested that it was Panoptos that had hired Raciel's demonic mercenaries, that he had grown unsatisfied with being the Council's slave, sought to use the watchers based off of him as soldiers and the power of the Grand Abominations to free himself from the Council. The Horseman acknowledged that he had no real proof and but promised to be waiting when Panoptos made a mistake. He left the watcher to his uncertainty and went to give his report to the Council.
Darksiders Comic Book
At some point, when War had gone on a rampage and slaughtered an entire army, Death led the other Horsemen to retrieve him. War refused to come quietly and attacked the other three. He managed to subdue Fury but Death interposed himself between War and their sister, taking the blow meant for her without flinching. Fury was then able to trap War's arm with her whip and Death severed it, intending to teach War a lesson.
Later, shortly before the Apocalypse, Death accompanied the rest of the Horsemen in delivering a warning to Samael to not break the treaties between Heaven and Hell.
Centuries before the Apocalypse, Abaddon asked Death to destroy a rogue demon that had made its way to Earth. As such an invasion signified a disruption of the Balance, Death agreed. As his scythe, Harvester, required the permission of the Council to act and this excursion was not sanctioned by the Council, the Horseman made his way to the demon merchant Vulgrim in search of an alternative weapon. Vulgrim demanded an exotic fee for such an unusual request, the tongue of the Leviathan.
Death traveled to the River Styx, a river containing wrathful souls lost between the Three Kingdoms and the Well of Souls, where the Leviathan resided. He plunged his arm into the river to allow the creature to get his scent, heedless of the hate-filled souls grasping at him. When the creature arose, he did battle with it and it soon attempted to swallow him. Instead, Death beheaded the creature from within and brought it crashing through the roof of Vulgrim's store, demanding his weapon as he pried open its mouth.
Death then went in search of the Horsemaster, the very being that had helped the Four Horseman gain their steeds. After bantering about Death's current mission and the Horsemaster's recollection of Death being the rash Horseman when the four had come to him so long ago, he agreed to provide Death with a Serpent Hole to travel to Earth. As he did so, he left Death with a parting warning: that "when the Heavens tremble with rage... it is always the Earth that suffers."
Death arrived on Earth in Marseilles, France during the human year 1722. The Horseman found a massacre, many human bodies rotting or burned. He discovered that the dead peasants wore a peculiar necklace in the shape of a Crossblade. Donning a black cowled cloak, a disguise Death had used on Earth in the past, the Horseman continued his search. Death was beginning to use his necromantic powers to consult the dead when he was ambushed by an attacker wielding a Crossblade and soon realized that Abaddon's rogue "demon" was no demon at all. His attacker was an angel. The angel, who had built up a cult around herself amongst the humans, identified Death by his name and told her followers he was the source of all their suffering. She ordered the humans to attack.
Despite being heavily outnumbered, the Horseman dealt with the humans without killing them, merely knocking them aside and pursuing the angel as she fled. He followed her into a cathedral, where an unnatural black growth had begun to spread across the walls as if bleeding from the stone itself. When he confronted the angel, she initially assumed he was sent by the Council. After he corrected her, she mocked Abaddon for being obsessed with defending the White City while sin and corruption spread on Earth. The angel revealed a diseased human with the same black substance as covered the cathedral walls oozing from his skin and claimed that she was trying to put faith back into the hearts of humanity by imbuing her Crossblade pendants with holy light and using them to cleanse humanity of corruption. She dropped one of the pendants and, in the resulting flash of light as it shattered, proclaimed that Death would not stop her as she attacked him.
Death defended himself easily from the Angel's frenzied attacks. During the fight, the Angel's own eyes turned black and a black liquid began to flow from her eyes, nose, and mouth. After he killed her, the Nephilim picked up one of the Crossblade pendants and surmised that, while it cured all who wore it, it poisoned everything else. The Horseman returned to Abaddon and confronted him about the supposed demon. Abaddon claimed that he did not know the enemy had been an angel, that he had lost ten of his best warriors to the foe and assumed it was a demon. Death responded that the time for assumptions had passed. The Nephilim realized that some force, some corruption, had been controlling the angel and driven her to madness. That corruption had dissipated when she died, but Death saw that it would one day return and pledged to be ready.
After War was accused by The Charred Council of starting the Apocalypse prematurely and imprisoned, The Council informed Death and the other two Horsemen of War's fate. Upon hearing this news, Death would not believe that his brother was guilty, as War was the most honorable of the Four Horsemen, and decided to find some way to save the younger Horseman.
The VeilLater, unknown to The Charred Council, Death traveled to the ice-covered realm known only as The Veil to find the Crowfather, the keeper of secrets, in order to discover a way to resurrect the human race and thus erase his brother's supposed crime. The Horseman fought ice skeletons and an ice giant as he climbed to the pinnacle of the Crowfather's spire. When Death finally found the Crowfather, he asked for his help in proving War's innocence. The Crowfather, clearly at the edge of madness, initially refused and asked why he should care about War. Death persisted, insisting that the Old One's secrets could resurrect humanity. The Crowfather told the Horseman that the key to proving War's innocence would be found in the Tree of Life and opened a portal there.
The Nephilim approached the portal, but the Crowfather closed it quickly and urged Death to take the amulet containing the souls of the Nephilim and destroy it, saying that the vengeful voices within were tormenting him. The Horseman refused and demanded the Crowfather reopen the portal. The Old One again denied him and told the Nephilim that as long as he lived, Death would not pass. He took the form of War to fight the Horseman, leading to a ferocious battle. Eventually, Death defeated the Crowfather and told him that his secrets would die with him. The keeper of secrets agreed but noted that Death's would not. The amulet, which had fallen free from the Crowfather's neck, shattered and its glowing green fragments became imbedded in Death's right pectoral muscle. The Nephilim was rendered unconscious and the Crowfather died, his energies collapsing into a dark vortex that consumed the Horseman.
The Forge LandsWhen Death awoke, he found himself in the Forge Lands, home of the Makers, and the Maker called Elder Eideard standing over him. The Horseman questioned him about the Tree of Life, but Eideard told him that his world was filled with Corruption that would soon destroy the Tree along with the rest of his people. The conversation was interrupted by corrupt constructs that attacked Death. After the Nephilim destroyed the constructs, Eideard congratulated the Horseman but told him that the Corruption could not be destroyed with only a blade. The Maker told Death that the Fire of the Mountain would need to be restored if Death was to proceed and advised him to seek a female maker named Alya, who knew of the Fire of the Mountain and would help him reach the Tree. The Horseman also revealed his intentions to resurrect humanity, to which Eideard responded that, if Death sought the tree for that reason, he was on the right path.
Death then left to look for Alya. He found the Maker in Tri-Stone and she told him about the Corruption, revealing that it blocked off the path to the Tree of Life. She asked the Nephilim to help the Makers forge a key to help activate a construct they created to fight it, the Guardian, to which Death agreed. The Horseman set off to the Cauldron for the Fire of the Mountain.
When Death arrived at the Cauldron, a temple nestled in a volcano, he helped another Maker named Karn fight off corrupted constructs. Karn asked the Horseman to find a way to restore the Cauldron, which was sealed off by the Makers when the Corruption struck. The Horseman eventually found a way in and navigated the fiery structure, but was attacked by a large corrupted construct named Gharn. Death killed Gharn and unsealed the Fire of the Mountain, allowing magma to flow back into the forge at Tri-Stone. The Nephilim then returned to Alya, who was happily surprised that he had successfully restored the Fire of the Mountain and thanked him. Alya also asked the Horseman to restore the Stonefather's Tears in the Drenchfort, as both the Fire and the Tears were required to reactivate the forge. Death shortly set out for the Drenchfort.
Upon arrival at the Drenchfort for the Tears, the Horseman met up with Karn, who told him that the Stonefather's Tears were the first to be sealed up when the Corruption struck out of fear of what would happen should they be corrupted. Karn also revealed that before the path to the Tree of Life was sealed, a few Makers used the Tree to escape from the Forge Lands, including the infamous blacksmith Ulthane. Upon reaching the depths of the fort, Death was attacked by Karkinos. The Horseman eventually slew Karkinos and was able to restore the Tears, allowing the pure waters to flow back into the forge. Death then returned to Tri-Stone, where Alya was waiting.
The Lost TempleAt the Maker's Forge, the Nephilim met up with Alya, her brother Valus, and Elder Eideard. Alya and Valus completed a Maker's Key, the tool needed to activate the last Warden and the Guardian. Eideard presented the key to the Nephilim and told him of the Guardian and the Foundry where it had been abandoned before its completion. Eideard instructed Death to go to the Lost Temple and activate the Warden using the key so that it could help Death access the Foundry.
Death journeyed to the Lost Temple to reach the Warden, eventually fighting the Construct Hulk. The Horseman then awoke the Warden with the Makers' Key and told it of the Corruption plaguing the Forge Lands. The Warden then carried Death back to Tri-Stone, where it awaited to help him access the Foundry.
The Warden restored the bridge leading to the Foundry, allowing Death to cross to awaken the Guardian. The Warden warned him that the way to the Guardian was too dangerous to go through alone and Karn insisted on accompanying the Horseman. Death and Karn worked together to awaken the Guardian, eventually completing it by placing its Heart Stones, but they discovered that one of the Heart Stones had succumbed to Corruption, leading to a battle with the Corrupted Custodian it had infected. The Nephilim had hoped that the purity of the other two Heart Stones would cleanse the third, but he was mistaken and the Guardian went on a rampage.
Elder Eideard confronted the mad construct in the Stonefather's Vale, not knowing it was corrupted. The Guardian wounded him, but he used a mystical shield to protect himself and seal off the area while Death fought the massive construct. After a protracted battle, the Horseman managed to destroy the Guardian, but Eideard told Death that if the path to the Tree of Life was to be cleansed of Corruption, he would need to resurrect the construct. Using his magic, Eideard restored the Guardian purged of Corruption but used his soul to recreate the Heart Stones, dying in the process. Before his death, Eideard told the Horseman to get to the Tree and that his journey had just begun. The cleansed Guardian used its hammer to crush and destroy the corrupted growth blocking the path to the Tree of Life, sacrificing itself in the process.
The absence of Corruption allowed Death to pass. Upon arrival at the gate to the Well of Souls, the Horseman was dragged inside the gate by Corruption. Inside the portal, the Horseman encountered a mysterious being shrouded in darkness. The figure asked Death of his purpose, and, when the Horseman revealed his intentions, disagreed vehemently with his assessment and believed the humans did not deserve resurrection. The figure then accosted Death for the annihilation of the Nephilim. The Horseman realized, much to his shock, that the figure was none other than Absalom himself, leader of the Nephilim whom Death had killed when they tried to take Eden.
The Kingdom of the Dead
When Death passed through the portal in the Tree, he found himself in the Kingdom of the Dead. He was greeted by a merchant named Ostegoth of a long-dead race, who told him to seek out the Well of Souls if he wished to resurrect humanity. To find the Well of Souls, Ostegoth told him, he would need to travel to the Eternal Throne to seek the aid of the Dead King. The Horseman eventually made it to Serpent's Peak and boarded the flying fortress that was the Eternal Throne, where met Draven, an undead soldier from the Third Kingdom, who directed him to the Chancellor. The Chancellor denied the Nephilim entrance to the throne room, saying that he would need to defeat the champion of the arena if he wanted an audience with the king.
The Gilded Arena
The Horseman made it to the Arena, where the champion, Gnashor, awaited. Death was forced to gather three Animus Stones from within the Arena, fighting a horde of undead and scarabs in the process. Once gathered, he used the stones to summon Gnashor and defeated him, taking his skull as proof of the deed. Armed with the champion's skull, the Chancellor could not deny him his audience. The Nephilim asked the Dead King for the way to the Well of Souls, but the Lord of Bones refused to help Death until the troubles in his realm were addressed. He asked the Nephilim to find the missing Dead Lords and return them to him. In exchange, he would help Death in his quest.
The Horseman eventually found the tomb of the first Dead Lord, Phariseer. The Dead Lord warned the Nephilim to leave while he still could, but Death proceeded to navigate the tomb until he came upon the Dead Lord resting in a coffin. Phariseer confronted the Nephilim angrily, accusing him of disturbing his rest. Death won the ensuing battle handily and threatened him, forcing him to his service to return him to the Dead King.
The Nephilim later found the second Dead Lord, Judicator, in his tomb. The Dead Lord claimed to still serve the Lord of Bones and worked to bring lost souls to the City of the Dead. He told the Horseman that there were three such wandering souls, asking that Death retrieve them as the price for accompanying Death to the Eternal Throne. The Nephilim did as he was asked, scouring the Dead Lord's tomb and eventually fighting The Bone Keeper. The Dead Lord laid bared the lives of the three souls and allowed them to move on to the City of the Dead, then pledged himself to return to the Dead King.
As Death was leaving Judicator's Tomb, the Dead Lord Basileus appeared and chided him, claiming that the realm already belonged to Corruption. He proclaimed the Horseman weak without the power of the seals behind him. Basileus challenged the Nephilim to face the trials of the Psychameron if he wished to find him. After entering the Psychameron through the Gilded Arena, the Nephilim fought his way through its trials until he met Basileus, who attacked him with the great spider, Achidna. After killing Achidna, Death brutally struck Basileus repeatedly until the Dead Lord relented and consented to return to the Dead King.
Death then brought the three Dead Lords back to the Eternal Throne, where the Lord of Bones killed them immediately for forsaking him. Despite the Horseman's protests at being toyed with, the Dead King showed him the way to one who knew the path to the Well of Souls by sending him to the City of the Dead.
The City of the Dead
Death was confronted by the Chancellor at the gates of the city, who explained the purpose of the city, is a place where old souls are cleansed of their former lives so that they might return to the Well of Souls and be reincarnated. Eventually, Death made his way through the city to the Wailing Host, a beast that blocked the passage of humanity from the City of the Dead. After a prolonged struggle, Death killed the creature and met, to his surprise, the Crowfather's ghost. The keeper of secrets told Death that to open the gate to the Well of Souls, Death needed to find a key that had been split in two, one entrusted to the Angels of Heaven and one to the Demons of Hell.
He told the Horseman that, to reach the keys in their respective realms, he would have to return to the Tree of Death, the Tree of life as it existed in the Kingdom of the Dead. The Crowfather warned Death that Absalom was spreading the Corruption across all of Creation and would destroy the balance if Death did not stop him. The keeper of secrets also warned the Horseman that, although releasing the souls of humanity would normally be enough, something was drawing power from the Well that prevented their restoration and a sacrifice would be required to bring back the Third Kingdom.
Death returned to the Tree of Life and used a portal to travel to an angelic outpost in a realm called Lostlight. The Horseman wondered why the angelic half of the key to the Well of Souls was hidden there rather than in the White City and the Old One explained that there were angels in the White City who would use the key for their ambitions, so the angels secured their key in Lostlight. The Crowfather also told Death that the Well was kept a secret from the Nephilim because the Charred Council feared that they would use its powers to disrupt the balance, prompting the Horseman to realize that the Well of Souls had the power to resurrect not only the humans, but angels, demons, and even the Nephilim themselves. The keeper of secrets then revealed that the Corruption Death had encountered on his journey was born from the war and chaos caused by the Nephilim and assured the Horseman that he was right to destroy them.
Upon arrival at the Crystal Spire, the Horseman was attacked by corrupted angels. While fighting the corrupted angels, an armored angel flew onto the scene and helped Death in his battle. The angelic warrior introduced himself as Nathaniel and revealed that he had been present at Eden when the Four Horsemen aided the angels in defeating the Nephilim. He was saved by Death during the battle, though Death did not remember Nathaniel specifically. Nathaniel told Death that he guarded the Crystal Spire and the Archon from demons and other evils before asking Death his reason for being in Lostlight. The Horseman told Nathaniel that he was there searching for the Angel Key to the Well of Souls and Nathaniel advised Death to seek the Archon.
The Horseman traveled up the Crystal Spire and found the Archon, who revealed that he knew of Death and his quest. The Nephilim asked for the Angel Key, but the Archon retorted that he had guarded the key for centuries and would not relinquish it now. The point was moot, however, as he claimed the key to be within the Ivory Citadel, which had fallen to the Corruption that had spread throughout Lostlight. He then explained that when the seals were broken and the demons took over most of Earth, many divine relics were lost, including the Rod of Arafel, which could reverse the damage the Corruption had caused in Lostlight. The Archon told the Horseman that he could not retrieve the rod himself, as no angel that set foot on Earth would be allowed to return to the White City, and asked Death to find the Rod of Arafel. He promised the Nephilim that he would clear a path to the Citadel with the Rod, but warned that even Death may curse War's name when he saw the Earth. The Archon opened a portal and Death departed.
Death arrived on Earth to find reanimated humans attacking the Hellguard led by an angel the Nephilim recognized as Uriel. The Horseman wondered aloud why the Hellguard was on Earth shortly before a hideous monster, the Suffering, joined the battle against the Hellguard. Death intervened and saved Uriel and the Hellguard from further waves of Undead. After the battle, the angel told Death that she should kill him for War's supposed crime, but she would stay her hand because he saved her life and the lives of her soldiers. When Death asked about the Rod of Arafel, Uriel told him that it was a weapon wielded by Archon Hestus during the End War, but Hestus fell and the Rod was shattered. Now, the Destroyer used the Rod's powers to enhance his army. The angel warned Death of the dangers the Destroyer posed and gave him a Salvation cannon, though she was not willing to risk any more of her soldiers helping him.
Death went on to find the Rod, scouring the demon-infested city for its pieces. After the Horseman found the last piece of the Rod, he returned to Uriel. The angel claimed that, although the weapon could turn the tide of the ongoing war on Earth, there was still the risk of the Destroyer recapturing it and suggested Death take it to Heaven. The Horseman told her that he would like to help her, but proving War's innocence was his priority. Uriel warned Death that if she encountered War, she would make him pay for his crimes, but the Horseman insisted that War was not responsible for Earth's destruction. Unbelieving, the angel set Death on his way and told him that Earth was lost and the damage irreversible.
The Ivory Citadel
Death returned to Lostlight and gave the Archon the completed Rod. The angel used the Rod's powers to destroy the Corruption barring the way to the Ivory Citadel. The Archon gave Death an Ortho to help him reach the Citadel and told him to seek out the Scribe, saying that he had information to help Death complete his quest. Death found the Scribe at the top of the Citadel, but he was corrupted and attacked the Horseman. After being defeated, the Scribe, introducing himself as Jamaerah, told the Horseman that the Archon had been the very first to be corrupted and had gone mad, accusing everyone of corruption while professing his purity. Death returned to the Crystal Spire and confronted the Archon, who revealed the true extent of his corruption and fought the Horseman with the Rod of Arafel. Death joined battle with and killed the Archon, retrieving the Angel Key.
Death returned to the Tree of Life and presented the Angel Key to the Crowfather. The Old One then told the Horseman that the Demon Key was held in a fortress by a powerful demon. As he traveled through Shadow's Edge, Death was reunited with Ostegoth, who told Death that the demon who kept the Demon Key to the Well of Souls was none other than Samael himself. Ostegoth also warned Death that the Black Stone, Samael's fortress, was in ruins and the Mad Queen Lilith was reigning over the realm in Samael's absence.
Eventually, the Horseman confronted Lilith in the ruins of the Black Stone. The demon remarked that, where he rides, no one is safe, not even her, his mother. Death refused to acknowledge Lilith as his mother, prompting her to recount her creation of Absalom from the dust of angels and demons and questioned why Death did not destroy the Nephilim's souls when the Charred Council ordered him to do so. The Horseman angrily exclaimed that Absalom was responsible for the Corruption and that Lilith must help him stop it, demanding the location of the Demon Key. Lilith told him that it was in Samael's keeping, but the Blood Prince had disappeared and the key with him. However, Lilith assured Death that time, like sin, could be undone and granted him the Phasewalker, an advanced form of the Voidwalker, to reach Samael by traveling to the past.
The Black Stone
Death eventually reached the past Black Stone and found Samael, who was surprised that only one of the Four Horsemen had come for him, but quickly recognized that the Horseman's visit to the past was unsanctioned by the Council and nobody knew he was there. The Horseman was unperturbed by the demon's knowledge and demanded that the demon relinquish the Demon Key. The Blood Prince attacked Death, calling the Horsemen "Flawed castings from a perfect mold", saying that Absalom was stronger than the rest, but the Nephilim retorted that he was strong enough. To Samael's surprise, Death defeated him in the ensuing battle and the Blood Prince gave him the Demon Key, telling Death that he might succeed in redeeming War after all and that it would be quite a show either way, before vanishing.
The Well of Souls
Death presented the Demonic key to the Crowfather, who ushered the Horseman on to the Well of Souls, but warned Death that the Well was corrupted and that the Corruption now had a champion that would challenge the Horseman in his greatest trial yet. The Old One warned that Corruption was the end of all things, even Death himself. The Horseman then used the Angel Key and the Demon Key to open the Well of Souls, where he found Absalom. The Avatar of Chaos taunted Death, saying that the Horseman was tainted by the sin of betrayal. The eldest Horseman and the first Nephilim engaged in a final battle at the lip of the well. Death defeated Absalom and, dying, the first Nephilim asked Death to take his hand as a brother one last time, but the Horseman ignored him and tore his scythe from the Avatar of Chaos' chest, killing Absalom and ending the threat of Corruption.
Death walked to the edge of the Well and pondered on what to do next. The Crowfather appeared at his side and gave him two choices: to resurrect Humanity or the Nephilim, knowing that choosing one race would forever doom the other. Death vowed to protect War above all and cast himself into the Well, sacrificing his life and the souls of the Nephilim in the process. Meanwhile, on Earth, War had killed the Destroyer, who was none other than the Archangel Abaddon, and the Seventh Seal had been broken, summoning the Four Horsemen. Death was revived and summoned to Earth, where he regrouped with Fury and Strife and was finally reunited with War.
In the ancient home of the Makers, the Horseman was tasked by numerous individuals from the Makers of Tri-Stone to Constructs scattered about the land.
The Warrior's Challenge
- Main article: Thane's Quest The Maker warrior Thane challenged Death to a duel in Tri-Stone and, after his defeat, offered four enemies of the Makers for Death to prove himself against.
The Nephilim eventually made his way to the lair of Gorewood, a powerful but corrupted nature spirit, beneath the Weeping Crag where he ended the spirit's existence. His journey took him through the Nook, below which lay the lair of Bheithir, a monstrosity that had been the Makers' bane since time immemorial. After finding the creature, Death slew the beast despite its fiery powers. When the Nephilim's journey brought him through the Kingdom of the Dead, he had the opportunity to hunt down the Deposed King in his tomb, where Argul was slain at last. The spider queen Achidna was nowhere to be found until Death faced Basileus in the Psychameron, where the Dead Lord appeared using her as a mount. She was killed in the ensuing battle, thus completing Thane's challenge.
The Shaman's Materials
- Main article: Shaman's Craft The Maker Shaman Muria tasked Death with retrieving several raw materials for her in exchange for making a talisman for him.
He acquired the first material, Stalker's Bone, by slaying one of the aforementioned creatures in the Cauldron. The second material, Mordant Dew, could be found by slaying a Stinger near the Drenchfort while the final material, Carven Stone, could be found in the Lost Temple through the destruction of a Construct Sentinel. Upon returning to Muria, she provided the Horseman with the Grim Talisman.
The Explorer's Possessions
- Main article: Lost and Found The explorer and warrior Karn asked Death to retrieve several sentimental items from the Cauldron, the Drenchfort, and the Lost Temple. From the Cauldron, the Horseman retrieved the Journeyman Platter. He found the Journeyman Helm in the Drenchfort and the Journeyman Compass in the Lost Temple.
The Lost Hammer
- Main article: The Hammer's Forge The Maker Alya asked the Nephilim to retrieve her brother's "friend" from a place called the Shattered Forge in the Shadow Gorge. Death navigated the Shattered Forge and found Valus' "friend", a forging hammer called Splinter-Bone. Valus was grateful, if still mute when his hammer was returned to him and proceeded to make much higher quality arms and armor for Death to purchase and utilize in his quest.
The Shaman's Mistake
- Main article: Spark of Life The Shaman Muria confessed to Death that she had attempted to bring life to a construct without using the soul of a Maker. She had used a spark from the Stonefather's fire in her attempt, but the construct became utterly mad and possessed strange fiery powers.
The Nephilim attacked the Scar, a temple hidden near the Charred Pass where the construct, which had taken to calling itself Ghorn, had ensconced itself. Eventually, Death found and killed Ghorn, much to Muria's gratitude.
Restoring a Warden
- Main article: The Lost Stone
- Main article: Wandering Stone After awakening the Warden in the Lost Temple, the Warden asked Death to search for an ancient Warden long thought lost named Oran. Death eventually found what remained of Oran on a shore near the Fjord and awakened him with the Maker's Key. Oran did not recognize what Death was, being so ancient that when he was last awake the Nephilim did not exist.
Oran was not entirely intact, however, and requested that the Horseman find his scattered limbs in the Forge Lands and awaken them to return to him using a piece of his Heart Stone. Death eventually found and awakened each of the Warden's lost limbs and returned to replace the Oran's Heart Stone, making the Warden whole again.
Feeding the Stone
- Main article: Sticks and Stones While exploring the Shadow Gorge, Death encountered a peculiar construct called Blackroot. The construct asked the Horseman to procure Stonebites for him to eat in exchange for small increases to Death's abilities for every three Stonebites given. The Stonebites could be found throughout the realms Death traveled through on his journey.
The Death Tombs
- Main article: The Book of The Dead When Death first encountered the demon merchant Vulgrim in the Forge Lands, the demon offered to buy chapters from the Book of the Dead from him should he find the scattered pages. The Horseman scoured the realms throughout his journey and reassembled four chapters.
For each chapter, Vulgrim gave Death a key to open the four Death Tombs located in the Forge Lands, the Kingdom of the Dead, Lostlight, and Shadow's Edge respectively. Each contained powerful weapons, armor, and large quantities of gilt.
The Dead Court
In the inhospitable realm of the dead, Death became acquainted with the court of the Lord of Bones and the peculiar merchant called Ostegoth, both of which were eager to acquire his services.
- Main article: Bloodless On the Eternal Throne, the Master of Blades, Draven, asked Death to track and kill the Bloodless, creatures that the Dead King has become fond of. The Bloodless are vicious spirits that escaped their torments in the City of the Dead and resist common means of killing. To that end, Draven provided a talisman that would allow the Horseman to harm their spectral forms.
Death hunted and killed the Bloodless throughout the Kingdom of the Dead and killed even those that had escaped to the Forge Lands. When he returned to Draven, the warrior was gleeful that the Dead King would be displeased and told the Horseman he would have the Lord of Bone's head one day.
Artifacts of the Dead
- Main article: Lost Relics The merchant Ostegoth asked Death to gather the relics of his dead people throughout the realms in exchange for rewards of gilt, skills, and equipment. Death gathered the relics of Etu-Goth, Renagoth, and Khagoth from the Kingdom of the Dead, Lostlight, Earth, and Shadow's Edge.
- Main article: GnoMAD's Gnome At some point Death recovered the gnome statues left behind by the mysterious being known only as GnoMAD, one each from the City of the Dead, Ivory Citadel, Weeping Crag, and the Black Stone, receiving a unique weapon as a reward.
The Crystal Spire
Though few angels yet lived in the realms of Lostlight and Earth, those that remained sought Death's aid in the wake of Heaven's loss on Earth.
The Fate of a Soul and the Maze
- Main article: The Lost Soul
- Main article: The Soul Arbiter's Maze The angel Nathaniel requested that Death take a scroll to the Kingdom of the Dead to ascertain the fate of a particular soul. When the Horseman questioned the Chancellor, he found that the soul had never passed through the realm of the dead but the Chancellor refused to tell the Nephilim the identity of the soul unless he destroyed the Soul Arbiter. After fighting his way through the Soul Arbiter's Maze and killing its master, the Chancellor told Death that he would know the soul's name as Abaddon. Death also acquired The Crown of the Dead, which the Chancellor had requested, but decided not to give it to the Chancellor when he realized its greed enhancing properties.
When Death returned to Nathaniel with what he had learned, the angel was excited by the idea that the leader of the Hellguard may yet live. He decided he needed to learn more before acting and sent the Horseman to show Muria the scroll in the Forge Lands.
Once he had given the scroll to Muria, the Shaman told him that the soul was alive but changed. Its name was now Vovin, meaning "Dragon", and demons called it lord. When he returned to Nathaniel with this knowledge, the angel realized that Abaddon was the Destroyer and became deeply distraught. He gave Death his reward but wished he had not earned it.
Mercy to the Angels
- Main article: Light of the Fallen When Death came to Earth seeking the Rod of Arafel, Uriel asked him to find angels that the Destroyer had captured. He told her that he could only grant them a merciful death, but she said that was all that could be done for them.
The Nephilim found each of the missing angels and ended their suffering. When he returned to Uriel, she told him that if more angels suffered they were beyond either of their help and rewarded him for his aid.
During his journey to resurrect humanity and save his brother, Death performed several challenging if overall unrelated endeavors.
- Main article: The Crucible Death was one of the few beings in Creation to be invited to take on the challenge of the Crucible after his defeat of the Guardian. After defeating over a hundred waves of monstrosities in the arena, he became only the second being to complete the Crucible in its entirety, the Crucible's master, Kargon, being the first to do so.
The merchant Ostegoth called upon Death to visit the icy realm of Argul's Tomb, a place the Lord of Bones cast out of the Kingdom of the Dead to separate the Deposed King from the majority of his power. Ostegoth wanted Death to find and destroy the source of Argul's power there, offering Death whatever treasure he may find in the tomb.
The Horseman proceeded to traverse the tomb until he discovered that source, a creature from the Abyss named Frostbane molded into the form of an ice dragon by Argul's will and existing only to serve him. Despite Frostbane's boasts, Death destroyed the creature and returned to Ostegoth, who was satisfied with the results.
The Abyssal Forge
At some point during his journey, Death found himself in the Shadow Lands, a realm existing between the mirrored trees of life and death. Within that blighted realm, the Horseman encountered a mysterious being called The Mad Smith. Initially, the former Maker assumed the other Makers had sent Death to kill him and attacked the Horseman, but was soundly beaten.
After the Nephilim explained that the power of Corruption had broken the seal on his prison, the Mad Smith grew panicked over what his creation, The Abyssal Forge, might do. He explained that the Abyssal Forge was a construct that drew on the power of the Abyss to create armies of powerful constructs capable of building more Abyssal Forges. To aid Death in destroying his creation, the Mad Smith sent the Horseman to retrieve pieces of Chaos Ore so that he could create a talisman to protect Death from the Shadow Lands' deadly water. When the Nephilim returned, he gave Death the Mad Smith's Device and bade him destroy the Abyssal Forge's, Heart Stone.
The Horseman made his way through the mire to the Abyssal Forge's core, where its Heart Stone was embedded in a metal body. The Abyssal Forge told Death of its intention to fill all of Creation with its progeny and conquer it, asking the Nephilim what his function was when it failed to identify what he was. The Horseman responded that it was death and destroyed the Heart Stone in the ensuing battle. When Death returned to the Mad Smith, the former Maker asked the Nephilim to kill him as well but he said the Mad Smith's insanity was punishment enough, prompting the Mad Smith to say that it was time to create a new masterpiece.
The Demon Lord Belial
During his quest through the realms, rumors of human survivors yet on Earth reach the Horseman. He traveled to the war-torn world to ascertain the truth in them and soon encountered Uriel, the angel claiming that she too sought the truth. After some discussion, Death journeyed further into the city. Eventually, he saw a human in the distance shooting at the demons he was encountering in great numbers.
He tracked down the human, who expressed great distrust in Death initially, but eventually admitted that he survived because of a bargain he had made with a demon lord named Belial, who claimed to hold his soul. For his part of the bargain, he revealed the location of other human survivors who were subsequently slaughtered. The Horseman agreed to confront Belial and fought his way to the demon's lair. Upon confronting him, Death remarked that the Second Kingdom must be in a sorry state for Belial to be made a lord. The demon scoffed at him and, when he was asked about the human's soul, Belial told the Nephilim that it was merely a threat to hold the Hunter in check. Death taunted the demon further, but Belial claimed that, while Lilith and Samael "coddled" the Horseman, he would not and attacked. Death defeated the demon shortly and impaled him with his trident.
The Nephilim returned to the Hunter, who was quite happy to hear of Belial's death but horrified to learn that the demon had never possessed the power to take his soul, meaning that he had been fooled into betraying his kind for nothing. The human asked Death to kill him, saying that he could not live with what he had done. The Horseman obliged his request and slit his throat before returning to Uriel.
Death is described as an arrogant, sarcastic, cold and calculating anti-hero who is resourceful and opportunistic. He has seen and done many things that could be considered immoral; aiding in mass genocides, participating in the destruction of entire worlds, and providing the inception for The Grand Abominations. Death also appears to be quite cunning, as shown during the Abomination crisis. During the incident, he formulated an intricate plan, based on deceiving both his enemies and allies, to destroy the Ravaiim blood needed to power the Abominations. The plan, though requiring the sacrifice of his brother, succeeded entirely as he intended. He is typically extremely ruthless as well and has stated that victory by any means is preferable to him than losing. Though he was called honorable once by Uriel, Death himself has indicated that he believes honor to be a fool's prize. Unlike War, who considers killing to be a duty, Death sees killing as an art. He also possesses a dry, sardonic wit and sense of humor, and has no problem with speaking his mind to other people or directing his cold, biting cynicism towards them.
Though his actions and nature would seem to indicate that Death is somewhat sociopathic, he has demonstrated on several occasions that he is fully capable of feeling both remorse and empathy. For instance, Death has stated that, before the Abomination Vault Crisis, he had never regretted any of his actions, even the most terrible ones, because they were always taken in service to a greater cause, and never for his self-gain. For this reason, he also stated that while he has had cause to regret the necessity of some of his actions, he never regretted the execution of them. However, during the Crisis, Death expressed to the Keeper that he felt considerable guilt over having created the Abominations because the cause that he created them in service to was no longer something that he believed in. Additionally, he was apparently the only one of the Horsemen who showed remorse for the slaughter of the Nephilim. He also felt terrible guilt and remorse for purposely allowing War to die as a result of his planning during the Crisis, so much so that he could not bring himself to tell War the truth about what had happened after resurrecting him. This guilt was further exacerbated by War's defense of him before the Charred Council, to the point where even the Council's torment was more or less forgotten in light of the anguish of his guilt.
The guilt and shame of his deeds when part of the Nephilim Crusade makes Death an extremely secretive and private individual. Death does not enjoy speaking about his past and prefers to keep it shrouded in mystery. Death's secretive nature makes him rather rebellious in regards to The Charred Council, as he disobeyed their orders to destroy the amulet housing his brethren's souls and refused to reveal the location of the Grand Abominations even when faced with the Council's threats.
Despite his considerably dim outlook on reality, Death is an adherent believer in the nature of upholding the Balance. One of the few races in creation that Death seems to have a care for is Humanity. Death holds the kingdom of man in pretty high regard, more to the point, he has great unspoken respect for mankind in general, shown while citing their underlying potential as he passed through their structures and works in the early 1700s. He even took a mission from the unscrupulous Abaddon without the Charred Council's knowledge and/or their consent in order to travel to Earth to protect the very nature of his job parameters. He even pulled his punches against the corrupt angel Makhala's servants when confronting her as she'd convinced them that the pale rider was the cause of their troubling hysteria. In that regard, the expression Death wore behind the mask as the people he'd come to save from their false prophet were charging at him, was akin to that of grief. This indicates that part of the reason why Death fights so hard to protect humanity coincides with the extremity of guilt he's carried around with him for millennia. All due in part to aiding the reviled nature of his sibling species, on top of leading their genocide as the Nephilim threatened the universal balance. This is shown in how far he was willing to go to, despite the risk to body and mind, to save the tainted humans under the rogue angel's hold. Death showed great remorse in ending the life of The Hunter when asked too, doing so while sullenly looking away when he slit the former's throat upon his request. He even deferred to the mortal soul known as Draven with greater deference than most, offering the undead human release from his bondage to a debauched king and council as he knew and felt it was a fate worse than death.
Death is also kinder than his aloof and harsh demeanor would suggest, and has been known to help many in their endeavors, even if the end goal does not benefit him personally. During a brief sojourn to Earth, he also saved Uriel and her squad of Hellguard angels from a Suffering, though not without grumbling to himself about it. Death's tendency to help others was commented on once by the Guardian Oran, who observed that he was not as cold as he pretended to be, to which Death responded that he should keep it to himself.
As the oldest member among the surviving Nephilim, he cares deeply for all his siblings and is rather protective of them. He once took a deathblow meant for Fury and brought War back to life after being killed. He also showed that he was willing to stand up to The Charred Council itself more than once to do what he felt was right. Most prominently, to prove his brother's innocence, and said to Crowfather at one point that he would "storm the White City" itself if it meant saving War. Additionally, he sacrificed both himself and the souls of the Nephilim to erase War's supposed crime and resurrect humanity. Despite these traits, the only Horseman that Death seems to have a sour relationship with is his brother Strife but loves him nevertheless. However, not even his siblings are exempt by Death's harsh and secretive nature, shown by Death chopping off an out-of-control War's arm to teach him a "lesson" and keeping certain secrets like the Grand Abominations from them, despite being a part of their history. This attitude seems to cause some friction among the siblings as Death isn't above using his authority as the leader to make his younger siblings obey him, though he largely does this to protect them.
Armaments and Abilities
Death is an immensely powerful and acrobatic warrior. He uses his tremendous agility to climb, wall run and leap large distances. He primarily wields the shapeshifting scythe Harvester or other shapeshifting scythes when needed. He is capable of wielding a wide variety of secondary weapons, from bucklers, arm blades, gauntlets, and claws to massive maces, axes, and spears. The Horseman also wore many different pieces of armor though he eventually obtained the full suite of Abyssal Armor.
Death has demonstrated the power to summon and converse with the spirits of the dead. He also makes use of his Phantom Horse, Despair, as a steed and his crow companion, Dust, to search for the correct path. Death also makes great use of his superior intellect to solve puzzles that unlocks his path to redeem his brother's name. The Nephilim is also an exceptional swimmer, being able to breathe underwater and swimming extremely fast. Death also possesses great psychic strength and force of will. He was able to overpower the Crowfather when the latter was disguised as War, as well as free himself of Samael's powerful telekinetic grasp. Death was also able to carry a large lantern that was almost taller than he was, with no difficulty. He can turn large statues, create small tremors upon striking the ground with his fists, and more.
Death, though not as good as a Maker, is an exceptional crafter, being able to invent powerful weapons but, unlike his fellow Nephilim, he created artifacts that were able to give life too, such as the Nephilim's Respite, which he gifted to Fury.
His arsenal of weapons and powers includes:
- Redemption: One of Strife's handguns that Death wields.
- Death Grip: A power that allowed Death to use a ghostly hand to pull items towards him or pull himself to certain points.
- Voidwalker: A power that allowed Death to create portals in certain surfaces, it could also be used to travel through time once it had been upgraded with the Phasewalker.
- Wrath Powers: Death could wield powers from both the Necromancy and Harbinger skill trees.
- Soul Splitter: A power that allowed Death to split his spirit into two forms while turning his physical body to stone.
- Reaper Form: Death can transform into a large hooded being with skeletal wings and wielding a massive scythe. He can also summon this form for brief moments during battle and when opening chests and doors. Although this materialized shape is smaller and ghostly in comparison, transparent and smoky. His Deathgrip appears to be the hand of his reaper form.
- Accelerated Healing and Regeneration: Death appears to have both an extraordinary amount of durability and phenomenal regenerative capabilities. He has shown to be capable of being impaled through the chest by Chaoseater and thinking virtually nothing of it, which has, in fact, happened on two separate occasions (one of which was by his hand). On one occasion, he was also run through the chest by the Nephilim weapon Affliction, a sword that inflicts wounds that become instantly necrotic. The angelic General Abaddon, for instance, was grazed across the eye with it, and not only could angelic medics not save the eye, but they were barely able to keep Affliction's necrosis from spreading further. Had the blow been dealt to any lesser angel, they almost certainly would have died, and the blow greatly weakened Abaddon himself for a considerable time. Death, however, managed to not only survive being impaled through the chest by Affliction but was in good enough shape mere minutes afterward to engage with War in an armed standoff against Abaddon and a squad of angelic soldiers. During his fight with a corrupted angel, he had his torso cut in two along with his arms. Only to have them grow back, demonstrating potent regenerative abilities.
- Death's crow is named Dust. He is commonly seen sitting on Death's shoulder, and serves as Death's "clue giver" and guide in Darksiders II, similar to The Watcher from the first Darksiders.
- Unlike War in the first game, Death's ranged abilities seem to be part of his power, because instead of wearing gauntlets to perform the Voidwalker or Death Grip, everything is done with his bare hands.
- Death's appearance has been altered somewhat from the Darksiders comics to Darksiders II. While still without upper body armor, the lower robe seems to have been replaced with lower body armor adorned with skulls, keeping with his motif. His hair is completely black, and he now has a green crystal located on his right pectoral near the shoulder along with a scar/tattoo on that shoulder. Also, in the comics, Death was shown with green eyes while in the game, they're reddish-orange.
- Death is one of the only two original horsemen from the actual book of Revelations that remain in the game, the other being his brother War.
- Death's Reaper Form resembles modern and traditional depictions of the Grim Reaper. Throughout Darksiders II Death is also often called "The Reaper". Interesting enough, in the "Death's Door" comic, when Death goes to earth, he chooses to appear as the traditional Grim Reaper, saying that humans recognize and fear that look.
- The chosen look for Death is very similar to Raziel in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.
- Both Death and Absalom possess the same mark on their shoulders.
- At the start of the game, Death is completely shirtless and will remain bare-chested no matter what armor he wears.
- Death's voice actor, Michael Wincott, also portrayed Top Dollar in the 1994 film adaptation of The Crow.
Theological: "When he broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature cry out, "Come forward." I looked and there was a pale green horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades accompanied him. They were given authority over a quarter of the earth to kill with Sword, famine, and plague, and by means of the beasts of the earth." Rev 6:6:7