Tyrael is one of heroes featured in Diablo series. He was originally Archangel of Justice before took Malthael's place as currently Aspect of Wisdom after the latter's disappearance.
Out of all archangels, he was closest to humanity and had better capacity to see potential goodness within them in spite of their inherent vulnerability to corruption. Because of it, he was willing to do anything to protect them, even goes so far to become the very being he swore to protect — something of a maverick to the High Heavens, and a stalwart defender of Sanctuary, the dark-fantasy realm of the series.
The Great Conflict
The Great Conflict was fought for time immemorial, and Tyrael was no exception in regards to waging it. As the Archangel of Justice, his exploits in battle became the stuff of legend. Off the battlefield, he administered the Court of Justice. One such engagement was in battle against demon forces led by Diablo himself. The Lord of Terror was captured, with Tyrael and Auriel pointing out that holding him captive would serve their cause better than slaying the demon outright, knowing that he would return no matter how many times they killed him. However, Imperius carried out his own form of justice regardless, slaying the Lord of Terror whom before his death, marks the fracture within their unity. In another engagement, Tyrael faced the Lord of Sin, Azmodan. However, he was forced to led the demon go when Ardleon calling him for help.
Unfortunately, some of those from his side eventually betrayed him and also High Heavens due to having bored with the war that has lasted for eons: Izual, one of his lieutenant whom captured during the failed siege on Hellforge, turned out planned his own apprehension at hands of Prime Evils where he leaked the Heavens' secrets, including means to corrupt shards of Worldstone called Soulstone. Izual's act of betrayal also had a high price for himself: he must sacrifice his angelhood where his essence transfered into a husk of demonic beast that resulting him gained more demonic body. Other traitor, Inarius, fell in love with the demoness Lilith where they stole the Worldstone and use it to create the new world named Sanctuary for their offspring nephalems. Either way, the Great Conflict ground to a halt on its own—the Worldstone had disappeared, and the forces of Heaven and Hell could only blame each other before realizing that a third party had absconded with the artifact.
The Sin War
In the course of the Sin War, both opposing side ultimately discovered what Inarius and Lilith created: Sanctuary, the world inhabited by the race of men—beings descended from the nephalem who had been brought into the world through the coupling of angels and demons. Venturing into the world, Tyrael spirited away Achilios, telling him that he had need of him. He forced him to target hi Edyrem comrades including their leader Uldyssian, seeing them as key threats and unnatural blights upon the face of Creation. Achilios managed to refuse however, surprising Tyrael. He later convinced the edyrem that Uldyssian had been possessed by Malic. Surveying the situation, Tyrael was satisfied. Despite earlier considerations, he would not have these "abominations" allying with Heaven. They had to be eliminated due to the threat their inherent powers posed. And with the edyrem fragmented, Sanctuary's potential defenders would not be able to stand against his justice.
As such, Tyrael was among the Heavenly Host who descended upon the world, meeting in battle with the Edyrem and the Demonic Hordes themselves. Uldyssian, realizing that his growing power risked the destruction of the world, sacrificed himself to end the battle, saving Sanctuary, all those he loved, and perhaps most importantly of all, his own humanity. It was an act that touched Tyrael and swayed his heart—he had called these beings abominations. Yet no abomination would have made such a sacrifice as Uldyssian had.
The Angiris Council convened to discuss Sanctuary's fate. Imperius opted to eradicate Inarius and Lilith's progeny while Auriel and Itherael voted in favor of humanity, believing that humanity's potential to serve the Light could surpass even their roles and that the Conflict might be ended for good. Malthael abstained. Thus, the deciding vote would be left to Tyrael—were he to side with Imperius (as everyone suspected he would), Sanctuary would be destroyed, as a tie would still result in their original goal being carried out. Tyrael however, sided with humanity. They would be left to their own devices, free to choose between Light and Dark.
In 302, Tyrael was present in Entsteig. Having taken the disguise of a golden-haired man, he met Siggard on the Night of Souls. Siggard, having supposedly survived the Battle of Blackmarch from two days past, wanted to return to the area. Tyrael pointed him northwards to his destination, but recommended that Siggard instead head south for Entsteig. Siggard nonetheless headed north.
The two reunited at Brennor, which was about to come under siege by the forces of the archdemon Assur. Siggard was incredulous that Tyrael was an archangel and that those around him knew so, but as Tyrael pointed out, he'd never asked. But to answer the question of what aid he could provide, all Tyrael could offer was advice. As Assur was protected by the Glyph of Invincibility, Tyrael advised the fortress's defenders to focus on his army instead.
Brennor fell, but Siggard was nonetheless able to defeat Assur in single combat, despite his glyph making it impossible for any living being to slay him. Meeting him afterwards, Tyrael revealed what Siggard had begun to suspect, that he had in fact died at Blackmarch, but his soul had not been claimed by death. Tyrael advised him that it was unlikely that he would find rest through revenge, but an act of love might suffice. Yet for the immediate future, Siggard would be a good ally against the forces of Hell. With that, Tyrael faded away and departed.
The Dark Exile
Tyrael would at times make sojourns into Sanctuary. However, greater tragedy was to come—Hell had not given up on Sanctuary, believing that humanity could be swayed to their cause. This was a view not shared by the Lesser Evils however, and in what became known as the Dark Exile, the Prime Evils were banished into Sanctuary. However, they were still capable of bringing woe to the mortal realm, and by the time Tyrael discovered their actions, they'd been active for decades. This concerned Tyrael greatly—Sanctuary had been spared by a margin of one vote when the Angiris Council had discussed its fate. If Heaven learned that Hell was focused on Man, it might carry out what he and Imperius once, and perhaps still, intended. As such, he kept silent. He would intervene on Sanctuary's behalf, and do so alone.
Fashioning three soulstones out of the Worldstone, Tyrael gathered a number of mages, forming a group called the Horadrim. Over many years, they hunted down the three Primes. Mephisto fell first, and Baal second, though he shattered the soulstone meant for him in battle. There was not enough time to reformulate the soulstone, but with the suggestion that a mortal heart could serve as a surrogate soulstone, Tal Rasha stepped forward, plunging the stone into his flesh. Tyrael assured him that his sacrifice would not be forgotten, and led the mages to a tomb beneath the sands of Aranoch. There, the Horadrim built a binding stone etched with runes of containment. Tal Rasha ordered that he be bound to the stone, and as the other mages looked on in sorrow, Tyrael jammed the soulstone shard into Tal Rasha's heart, transferring Baal's essence into the mage's body. Sorrowfully, the Horadrim departed, leaving Tal Rasha to wrestle with Baal's writhing spirit for all eternity.
Finally, after a decade of searching, the Horadrim confronted Diablo in the lands of Khanduras. The soulstone worked and was hidden away within a labyrinthine cave system near the River Talsande. Tyrael appeared before the Horadrim one last time, commending them for having achieved a victory despite their losses. He declared that the site would have to be guarded and to this end, the Horadrim erected a monastery over the site.
Tyrael had succeeded—the Primes were captured, Sanctuary still existed and Heaven was none the wiser. However, he had not counted on the Prime Evils' ability to exert their will over Men. Over time, Mephisto would corrupt the Zakarum faith and Diablo would do likewise through the archbishop Lazarus. This worsened by the fact that imprisonment within Soulstone also part of Prime Evils' evil plan all along: Prior to their exile, Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal have captured Izual, one of Tyrael's comrades and tortured him for Heaven's vital information including nature of Soulstones that would be used against them upon arrival at Sanctuary. Izual, who fed up with Great Conflict, leaked the information the Prime Evil seek, allowed them to easily corrupt their prison without much problem, setting the events of the game in action.
Events in the Game
The Return of Evil
Upon Diablo's escape, Tyrael immediately give chase on the escaping Prime Evil, who has possessed Aidan aka. Dark Wanderer who then headed east, seeking to free his brothers, Mephisto and Baal. Baal was first, bound to Tal Rasha's body. Just thenm Tyrael appeared to stop the release and did battle with the Wanderer. However, another had traveled with the Wanderer—Marius, and thanks to Baal's manipulations, released the Lord of Destruction. Tyrael telepathically ordered Marius to take Baal's soulstone to the Temple of Light in Kurast, where he would find a gateway to Hell and by extension, the Hellforge, where the stone could be destroyed. Immediately afterwards, Tyrael was ensared by Baal and bound to the Binding Stone until protagonists found him and set him free. They traveled to the Pandemonium Fortress, where he guided them to face Izual and Diablo himself. He dared not help them directly, as he had been weakened by Baal and feared that direct action could lead to the High Heavens discovering the danger Sanctuary was in.
Though the heroes prevailed they done the short work on both Mephisto and Diablo as well as destroying their respective soulstones, Marius, however, had not been so courageous. He had failed to venture into Hell and consequently, the stone was still in his possession. As result, Baal, the last of Prime Evil, able to resume what he started by attacking Harrogath for source of soulstone, Worldstone, but not before retrieved his soulstone from Marius. Alarmed by Baal being at large, Tyrael transported the heroes to Harrogath, but weakened as he was, could not face Baal directly.
The heroes came to defeat Baal, but were too late to prevent him corrupting the Worldstone. After transporting the heroes to safety, Tyrael cast his sword into the stone, shattering it. The resulting explosion destroyed Tyrael's physical form and rendered Arreat and the surrounding lands a barren wasteland. Worse still, although humanity had been saved yet again by the Archangel of Justice, the destruction of the Worldstone meant the world was open to both Heaven and Hell.
Eventually, Tyrael regained physical form. He returned to the Heavens and summoned El'druin to his side. The act of reformation was unprecedented, as usually angels were replaced through the Crystal Arch, a new angel embodying their aspect rather than rebirthing the original angel who was deceased. At some point after this, he advised Urzael to search Sanctuary for the missing Malthael, as the Archangel of Wisdom had taken an interest in humanity prior to his disappearance.
The End of Days
In 1285, evil threatened Sanctuary, this time from the Lesser Evils Belial and Azmodan. He promised that Man would not face the coming darkness alone. Imperius however, had since discovered his transgressions, and was unmoved by Tyrael's defiance. The two came to blows before Tyrael declared that if Heaven would not intervene on Man's behalf, he'd do so himself. Tearing off his wings, Tyrael deliberately chose to become mortal, sacrificing his angelic essence. In doing so, Tyrael hoped to demonstrate to the High Heavens that laws could be bent for a greater good. He had a degree of control over the process, and as he intended to walk amongst humans, taking on their form would serve his goals. Furthermore, by becoming mortal, he would no longer be bound by his nature as an angel, as the other members of the Angiris Council were. Such an act was without precedent amongst angelkind.
Now mortal, Tyrael fell to Sanctuary as the Falling Star, smashing into the Tristram Cathedral. The journey left him weakened, but he was saved by a group of heroes, among which was a nephalem. Tyrael suffered from amnesia and over the first few days of his now mortal life, he tried to fight his body's need for sleep, something that he'd had no need for as an angel. When exhaustion took over, he dreamt—another new experience that filled him with disquiet, for while his dreams were initially wondrous, they steadily became darker. As an archangel who had watched entire generations of Men live and die, studying the forces that governed their lives, he had previously come to the conclusion that he'd learnt everything there was to know about being mortal. It was an assumption that the reality of his mortality shattered.
By retrieving the shards of El'druin, Tyrael's memory was restored, and Belial's followers were defeated. However, his old friend, Deckard Cain, was killed in the battle, survived by his adopted daughter Leah, daughter of Aidan. The pair carried out Deckard's funeral before heading east, to Caldeum.
Caldeum was suffering from Belial's machinations, but there was a hope in the darkness. Adria, Leah's estranged mother, joined the heroes, presenting the Black Soulstone, capable of capturing all the lords of Hell within it. Thanks to the heroes, Caldeum revolted against Belial and the Lord of Lies himself was imprisoned within the soulstone.. All that was left was Azmodan. And thanks to a vision Leah had, Tyrael and the others learnt that his forces were amassing at the Arreat Crater. The group headed for Bastion's Keep, where the forces of Sanctuary and Hell met in battle. After a titanic struggle, the heroes came to confront Azmodan himself, capturing his essence in the Black Soulstone. Victory seemed assurred, though Adria pointed out the stone would have to be destroyed under specific circumstances.
Adria, however, had been in league with Diablo since he awakened in Tristram, and turned the artifact on Leah. To the group's horror, it was revealed that Diablo had bred her as a vessel. A vessel that would contain the essences of the Seven Great Evils, all so neatly packaged within the Black Soulstone. Diablo now stood as the Prime Evil, and departed for the High Heavens. Tyrael and the others followed him.
Diablo and his forces rampaged through the High Heavens and Tyrael gave into despair. He reflected on his actions, wondering if it was mortal weakness that had prevented him from seeing through Adria's deception. Whether by siding with mankind, had he set the End of Days in Motion. As Diablo's assault continued, as he heard the wails of his breathren as they were torn apart, Tyrael became crippled with terror—a mortal emotion that he had never truly comprehended until now.
However, his human companions refused to give up, and turned the tide of the invasion, even casting down Diablo himself. In the aftermath, Tyrael decided to rejoin the Angiris Council, but as a mortal. Heeding the call of the Crystal Arch, he would now be the aspect of wisdom (though would remain as the Aspect of Justice). Accepting the Arch's call was one Tyrael made voluntarily—he believed that to ensure a new dawn for angels and humanity, the virtues of wisdom were required more than those of justice. Taking his place, Tyrael vowed that forevermore, Heaven and Sanctuary would stand together.
Between Diablo and Diablo 3
Through Mortal Eyes
Tyrael's euphoria did not last long. His mortal comrades departed Heaven and, now mortal himself, he struggled to find his place. Food and other necessities of mortal life were non-existent in Heaven, and the constant light of the realm interfered with his sleep patterns. While he could find rest, he began to suffer nightmares from the corruption that Diablo had brought to the realm. What had been familiar was now foreboding, and he felt out of place as a mortal amongst his angelic brethren. In the Courts of Justice (his former domain), fleeting visions of every angel who had perished at the hands of Diablo assaulted him. The fallen angels held Tyrael responsible for their deaths. Overcome with guilt, Tyrael lacked the courage to face their judgement and fled. More and more, Tyrael longed for the simplicity of his life as an archangel, to exist beyond mortal limitations. Such yearning reached its apex when he witnessed the Lightsong. Now mortal, he could only watch the event, not take part as he had done so previously.
Alienated and alone, Tyrael reflected on his former companions—Cain, Leah, and the Nephalem. All of them with the ability to find hope in despair and muster courage in the face of overwhelming fear. Rather than cower from his emotions, Tyrael resolved to face them. Slowly, he adapted to his status. Slowly, he began to notice that something was wrong—with mortal eyes he beheld the High Heavens, and with mortal eyes, he noticed a subtle darkening of the realm, as discordant notes tainted the chorus of the Crystal Arch. And at the center of this growing disharmony, he beheld the Black Soulstone.
As angel, Tyrael appeared as a huge man dressed in golden robes and armor. His "face" was constantly shrouded in black like all angels, and his wings were shaped like white glowing tentacles, always gently swaying in the air. Tyrael also carries his sword named El'druin, Sword of Justice, but lacks other personal objects.
After discarding his angelhood to protect humanity since the world now vulnerable to demons' invasion, he become a muscular black skinned mortal man. In this form, he was bald. He still wore his angelic robes, which damaged as result of his fall from grace. His El'druin also damaged for the same reason, but eventually fixed through Deckard Cain's sacrifice as the Horadrim has gave his life to protect him from Maghda, one of Belial's mortal lieutenants.
Personality and Traits
Tyrael was once seen as the most rigid of all angels, firm in his adherence to laws, rules, and order. He had a single duty, namely to secure victory for Heaven in the Eternal Conflict. He was renowned for being calm and controlled and meticulous in his execution of combat technique with his El'druin, unlike his more hot-tempered brother Imperius. Outside of combat, Tyrael was noted for being fair and impartial, as justice itself must be. Because of exposure to Chalad'ar, Tyrael's senses have been heightened.He possesses great raw strength, but even at his most powerful, could not defeat Diablo in single combat.
Because of Uldyssian's sacrifice, Tyrael underwent a change of heart, and became something of a maverick to Heaven. He intervened on humanity's behalf, despite the edicts of his fellow Council members.Even as a mortal, he stayed true to the ideals of justice.
As a mortal, Tyrael had a little bit of trouble understanding humanity. He couldn't comprehend how humans could press forward, even if they are living in a time of great despair. His true test came when he too was overcome with despair when Diablo assaulted Heaven but his nephalem companions pressed forward. After seeing the Hell rifts close however, Tyrael rejoined his companions and finally understood that although mankind faces death and darkness every day, they still find the courage to move forward. The human spirit never ceases to amaze him and he has embraced aspects of mortal life such as the ability to dream.