Diablo 4: Who is Rathma the first Necromancer?

Sam Smith
rathma in diablo 4Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo 4’s Rathma is one of the most important characters in the whole franchise, but who exactly are they, and just how on Earth did he become the first Necromancer in all of Sanctuary?

If you’ve ever played a Diablo game before, chances are you’ll have heard the name ‘Rathma’ at some point. The rather ambiguous figure has operated in the shadows, sending his Priests of Rathma – better known as Necromancers – out into the world to battle Diablo’s minions.

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As the very first Necromancer, Rathma was gifted with the unimaginable power of being able to raise the dead and instructed his loyal followers how to also summon undead minions for combat use. Yet, why does this mysterious figure use his dark powers for good and how did he become the first Necromancer?

Finally, what does this ancient and powerful master of death want, and why has he dedicated his life to using the dark arts against the forces of evil? Here’s everything you need to know about Rathma in Blizzard’s Diablo 4.

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necromancerBlizzard Entertainment
The Priests of Rathma have become the Necromancer order.

Who is Rathma in Diablo?

Rathma is one of the first Nephalem in the backstory of Diablo, a hybrid between angels and demons that would eventually spawn humanity.

He is the son of the angel Inarius and the demon Lilith and is almost as old as the world of Sanctuary itself. As Nephalem are potentially even more powerful than demons and angels, the forces of Heaven and Hell sought to exterminate them. In response, Lilith used her Nephalem children as weapons of mass destruction, forcing back both armies until Inarius had to banish Lilith to a dark oblivion before he went into hiding.

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This left Rathma and his siblings to survive alone in Sanctuary – where they helped build the new world. Rathma found he had inherited the ability to use dark demonic magic from his mother and could raise the dead. In time, he developed his skills and created the practice of necromancy. Having no interest in the Eternal Conflict between Heaven and Hell, Rathma choose to protect Sanctuary instead, from both of them. He created an order for his pupils to study his dark art and taught humans how to use necromancy to battle demons.

When Diablo and his brothers started threatening life in Sanctuary, Rathma’s philosophy was if Diablo was declaring war on life, then he was also declaring war on death, which is an essential part of life. Rathma would then become an agent of death and would oppose the Prime Evils whenever a demonic incursion took place. In Diablo 2, Rathma sends a Necromancer to join the band of heroes going into battle against Diablo. He then does so again in Diablo Immortal and Diablo 3.

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Bones of RathmaBlizzard Entertainment
The Bones of Rathma is his signature armor set.

Rathma in Diablo 4

Whenever Diablo, Baal, and Mephisto rise to threaten Sanctuary, a Priest of Rathma is never far away, using their mastery over death to slay the demons – and then recruit them to their own undead army.

Rathma is a secretive individual, choosing to send his Necromancers into battle rather than reveal himself in person. However, by Diablo 4, entire religions have sprung up in Sanctuary that are dedicated to the worship of his parents. His father, Inarius, has taken advantage of this, and the return of Lilith, to attempt to kill her and return to Heaven.

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This will draw Rathma out into the open for the first time in the Diablo series, as both Inarius and Lilith have need of the first Necromancer and will seek to recruit the powerful Nethalem to their cause. After all, the Priests of Rathma have often been instrumental in the defeat of Diablo and other threats.

The question is, where does Rathma’s loyalty lie? Will he side with his father or mother? Or will he oppose them, seeing both Lilith and Inarius as threats to Sanctuary?

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If you want more Diablo 4 content, be sure to check our other guides below:

Diablo 4 Review | Diablo 4: Best way to make money | Diablo 4: Fastest ways to get XP & level up | How to Transmog gear in Diablo 4: Armor, weapons & more | Does Diablo 4 feature followers or mercenaries to hire? | Diablo 4 couch co-op explained: | When is Diablo 4 Season 1? Possible start date, theme, & rewards | How to play Diablo 4 Early Access: Dates, times & how to preload | What is Diablo 4 Hardcore mode? | How to get a mount in Diablo 4 | Diablo 4: How to upgrade your healing potion | How to swap weapons in Diablo 4 | Diablo 4: World Tiers explained | How to use emotes in Diablo 4

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About The Author

Sam is a games writer for Dexerto specializing in Diablo, Final Fantasy, and Pokemon. An NCTJ accredited journalist, Sam also holds a degree in journalism from the University of Central Lancashire and has many years of experience as a professional writer. Being able to marry his love of writing with his addiction to video games was always one of his life goals. He also loves all things PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo in equal measure. Contact at sam.smith@dexerto.com