Diablo: The Sin War 2: Scales of the Serpent
|Author||Richard A. Knaak|
|Cover artist||Gleen Rane|
|Series||Diablo: The Sin War|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 978-0-7434-7123-7, ISBN 0-7434-7123-7|
|LC Class||CPB Box no. 2587 vol. 5|
|Followed by||The Veiled Prophet|
Scales of the Serpent is a 2007 novel written by Richard A. Knaak and is the second novel in the Diablo trilogy, The Sin War. It continues the story from Birthright and is followed by The Veiled Prophet.
This book begins with the attack on the Temple of the Triune by Uldyssian and his followers in the city of Toraja. After destroying the Temple and converting much of the cities populace to his cause, Lilith makes her presence known to Uldyssian, who leaves to confront her. He defeats the demon Gulag at this point by tearing him in two. Astroga (the spider demon) also seeks to attack Uldyssian here, but Lilith sends him away and seals her confrontation with Uldyssian from his sight. A brief fight occurs, during which Lilith reveals that she wants Uldyssian to destroy the Triune and the Temple. While this is happening, the rest of Uldyssian's followers including Mendeln and Serenthia continue to attack the temple, slowed by the statues of Mefis (Mephisto: Lord of Hatred), Dialon (Diablo: Lord of Terror) and Bala (Baal: Lord of destruction) coming to life and attacking them.
Rathma communicates with the dragon Trag’oul, revealing he is the Son of Lilith and Inarius, and decides to take a more active role in things despite the fact that it would mean revealing his survival to both his parents.
When Uldyssian returns to his followers, he displays astonishing power by keeping the entire temple from collapsing until his followers can escape. He warns the Council Senior of Toraja that he will attack again should the Temple of the Triune grow again in the city.
Inarius decides that his power is such that he can now fly again without fear of the Angiris Council discovering Sanctuary, and does so. While he is contemplating Sanctuary's future, he is struck by a familiar sense and realises that his son Rathma is still alive. He doesn't care though, knowing he wouldn't hesitate to treat him any differently than Lilith.
While Uldyssian is camping outside Toraja, some of its people come to see him, hoping to learn of the gift. During this time, some Peace Warder's under the disguise of common folk attack Uldyssian. One of the attackers was outside, and is found slain by an arrow shortly afterwards. This is later revealed to be a reanimated Achilios, brought back by Rathma.
After speaking to the cities new converts to ensure they understand, they come up with a new name for Uldyssian's followers, "Edyrem", meaning "those who have seen".
Serenthia goes to a stream alone to obtain more water for her flask, and unknown to Uldyssian encounters Lilith, who takes possession of her.
Astroga has begun to suspect that Lucion is not who he seems to be, and after speaking to his master, Diablo, decides to put his own plan into action.
On the journey to Hashir, a malevolent force begins to target Serenthia, but Uldyssian and Mendeln manage to draw its attention away from her by using their power to attack the structure they sense it emanates from.
Mendeln meets with Achilios, and decides to tell Uldyssian that he is back. Rathma appears at this point and takes him to Trag’oul, preventing Uldyssian and Serenthia (Lilith) from detecting him, even though they combine their powers in a way they haven’t previously. When they continue their journey they are interrupted by heavy storms, which Serenthia disperses.
Astroga takes on the form of the Primus, and has his high priest Arihan attack Uldyssian’s group when they reach Hashir, believing that taking Serenthia as a hostage will allow him to capture Uldyssian.
Trag’oul and Rathma explain to Mendeln the history of Sanctuary, that mankind is the offspring of Lilith and Inarius (Rathma being their son). Trag’oul says that when Demons and Angels discover a potential advantage, such as the Nephalem, they fight over it relentlessly, usually resulting in its total destruction. They ask Mendeln to stand with them.
Two morlu abduct Serenthia while Uldyssian is talking to the citizens of Hashir, but she quickly reappears and reveals their presence to everyone. When Uldyssian is telepathically attacked by Arihan from the temple, Mendeln appears and takes him to Trag’oul. Arihan, frustrated with the plans failure leaves the morlu and the peace wardens to their fate, returning to the Primus. Needing a scapegoat, Astroga murders Arihan and brings his head to Diablo.
Uldyssian grows angry with Rathma and Trag’oul, believing they are corrupting Mendeln, and uses his power to escape. He ends up on mount Arreat, where Rathma appears and takes him to the World Stone. There, Uldyssian tries to use it to give his followers more power, but ends up altering its structure, something Rathma believed was impossible.
Upon returning to Trag’oul, they discover that Inarius is active, heading for the world stone. The return Uldyssian to the Jungle to confront Lilith, and they go to mount Arreat to confront Inarius. Inarius overcomes them both easily, and inspects the world stone. Upon discovering the change in its structure, he states that Uldyssian may have condemned them all, hinting that he will decide to destroy Sanctuary and start over.
Lilith has seduced Romus, and corrupts him into blindly following her and betraying Uldyssian to her. She kills Romus and attempts to sacrifice Uldyssian and her other corrupted followers to take control of the Edyrem. She fails thanks to Achilios intervening with the spell and freeing Serenthia from her.
When Lilith retreats to the temple she finds traces of Astroga in the Primus’s chamber, and realises he had been masquerading as the Primus as well. Astroga confronts her, and they briefly fight. Astroga being the less powerful retreats and decides to form his own followers (this story is described in Moon of the Spider). Lilith decides enough is enough and gathers a huge army, intending to attack the Edyrem from behind and from the main temple.
Uldyssian tries to remove Lilith’s taint from her corrupted followers, but is forced to kill them all when the evil within them starts to grow, he vows to make Lilith pay for what she’s done.
Achilios decides to speak to Serenthia, but is abducted by an Angel. Rathma and Trag’oul can see no reason for Inarius to do this, and believe another Angel has taken him. They teach Mendeln how to summon spirits, and he summons the dead high priest Malic, offering him revenge against Lilith for information on the main temple.
Lilith’s army attacks and she reveals the Thonos, a tentacle creature that attacks from the ground. They are almost overcome until Achilios is sent back to them with arrows that explode on impact. Lilith casts a spell that has the dead from both sides rise and attack the Edyrem, but Mendeln returns and destroys them. Uldyssian accidentally summons Lilith to him, who teleports him into the main temple. Uldyssian defeats Lilith and brings down the temple, leaving her for dead.
Rathma enters the temple and finds Lilith dead, not realising it is an illusion Inarius has cast. After he leaves, Inarius enters and confronts a badly injured Lilith, revealing that he has been boosting the power of the Edyrem so they could defeat her. He traps Lilith in a glowing ball and shrinks it down to nothing. He states that her fate is fortunate, compared to what awaits Uldyssian and his followers who in their arrogance, believe themselves to be more than they are.
The story continues in third and final installment of the trilogy, The Veiled Prophet.