Blizzard will slowly unravel Diablo 4 in the coming months but what can be ascertained right now is the involvement of Rathma in the new storyline.
While unnamed in the cinematic trailer, there’s ample evidence from the lore to suggest that the mysterious stranger who baited the three adventurers into summoning Lilith in Diablo 4 is none other than Rathma.
First comes his appearance. Rathma is described as a tall person with pale white skin who covers his head with a hood. Except for the part about having black hair, the description fits the character from Diablo 4 like a glove.
Next comes his powers. Rathma is said to be able to raise and manipulate the dead, as well as read thoughts and feelings. In the cinematic trailer, one of the adventurers, thought to have perished, came back to life. In addition, Rathma was able to read the inner yearnings of the final adventurer and have him sacrifice his life by reminding how he came in search for knowledge.
Finally, there’s the moment where the stranger hailed Lilith as “blessed mother” and asked her to “save us.” Rathma is a first-generation nephalem, the first son of Lilith and Inarius. Based on the lore, Inarius imprisoned Lilith and made it so that nephalems would continue to lose their powers. It’s why over the course of generations, nephalems have more or less become mortals. In Diablo 4, Rathma could possibly be wanting to regain his full powers. Hence, the very reason to ask his mother to save them all, who created the nephalem in the first place.
That being said, there’s also a possibility that the character is actually a priest of Rathma. However, seeing how he interacted with Lilith in the cinematic trailer, it’s more likely that he was Rathma himself. The setting, though, opens up a ton of avenues for Diablo 4 and later installments to explore.
Rathma could be trying to manipulate Lilith for a greater purpose seeing how he isn’t too fond of both of his parents, according to the lore. Take note that the summoning incantation in the cinematic trailer was “by three they come, by three the way opens.” It’s likely in reference to the three souls that need to be sacrificed, or the three prime evils Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal returning to Sanctuary in Diablo 4.
Lilith may even help Rathma free Inarius from his eternal torture in hell. There’s likely to be another bout between the armies of heaven and hell. Lilith may not even be the prime antagonist, which Rathma — based on lore — is perfectly capable of taking the lead on.
Diablo 4 was previously rumored to have a strong Diablo 2 influence, being darker and grittier. The cinematic trailer and all of its gory details pretty much hammered that rumor into place. Blizzard also released gameplay footage on the side for three classes announced so far — Barbarian, Druid, and Sorceress. The gameplay likewise showed bloodier and morbid action-packed instances.
Diablo 4 remains without a release date but the highly anticipated sequel doesn’t seem to be releasing anytime soon. Speculation pins a release in late 2020 or somewhere in 2021, making it primed and ready to grace next-generation consoles.