Who is Rathma in Diablo 4? The origin & role of the first Necromancer

Aakrit Sharma
A Necromancer in Diablo 4

If Necromancer is your favorite class in Diablo 4, you’d definitely want to know about Rathma, the first Necromancer. It isn’t a surprise that the latest Diablo 4 campaign also features Rathma, and here’s everything you need to know about him.

If you’ve ever delved into the captivating lore of Diablo, you’re likely acquainted with Rathma. This elusive character has made his presence felt since the Diablo 2 era, manipulating his Priests of Rathma, also recognized as Necromancers, to combat the minions of Diablo.

Known as the first of his kind, Rathma wields the power to resurrect the dead, instructing his disciples in the art of summoning undead warriors in battle. Let’s dive into the fascinating backstory of this character, his purpose, and his role in Diablo 4.

Ratham, the first Necromancer in Diablo, with skeletons
The Necromancer is one of the most popular character classes in Diablo history.

Who is Rathma in the Diablo series?

Rathma, one of the original Nephalem, holds a central position in Diablo lore. Born out of the union between an angel, Inarius, and a demon, Lilith, the Nephalem later birthed humanity and Rathma stands almost as old as Sanctuary itself.

With the power potential to surpass even angels and demons, Nephalem drew hostility from both Heaven and Hell. This led to Lilith using her Nephalem offspring as apocalyptic weapons, successfully repelling both forces before Inarius banished her into a dark void and disappeared.

Left with his siblings in the world of Sanctuary, Rathma discovered his inherited demonic powers from his mother and learned to resurrect the dead. He honed these abilities over time, leading to the birth of necromancy. Disinterested in the Eternal Conflict between Heaven and Hell, Rathma chose to safeguard Sanctuary from both, establishing an order to teach humans the dark art of necromancy to fight demons.

The moment Diablo and his brothers began posing a threat to Sanctuary, Rathma saw it as a declaration of war against life and death, both integral parts of existence. Standing as a champion of death, he defied the Prime Evils during demonic invasions. Rathma has played a pivotal role in Diablo 2, Diablo Immortal, and Diablo 3, where he dispatched a Necromancer to aid the group of heroes battling against Diablo.

Bones of Ratham armor set in Diablo
Many players misidentified Elisa, the Pale Man, as Rathma in Diablo 4 trailers.

What does Rathma do in Diablo 4?

Rathma has been a mysterious character in Diablo preferring to send his Necromancers to the forefront rather than making a personal appearance. Yet, in Diablo 4, the narrative is set to change. With the rise of religions dedicated to the worship of his parents, his father, Inarius, seeks to exploit this development, plotting to kill Lilith and reclaim his place in Heaven.

This is set to lure Rathma out of the shadows for the first time in the Diablo series, as both Inarius and Lilith would require the aid of the original Necromancer. Considering the instrumental role the Priests of Rathma have played in foiling Diablo and other threats, it’s no surprise that they would contend for Nephalem’s allegiance.

In Diablo 4, Rathma will have these options:

  • Side with Inarius and kill Lilith.
  • Side with Lilith and kill Inarius.
  • See both Lilith and Inarius as threats to the Sanctuary.

Rathma’s decision will clearly change how things play out in Diablo 4’s campaign. Until you find the truth yourself, check out these gameplay guides:

How to preload Diablo 4 | Best Diablo 4 Druid builds | Best Diablo 4 Barbarian build | Diablo 4 skill tree builder | Is Diablo 4 coming to Nintendo Switch | How does Diablo 4 co-op campaign progression work | How to fast travel in Diablo 4 | Is Diablo 4 playable on the Steam Deck | How to salvage gear in Diablo 4 | All Diablo 4 classes | How to transmog gear in Diablo 4 | Diablo 4 Ashava boss guide