Diablo III: Lady Victoria and the House of Deep Sorrow

Anyone who has played through Act V of Diablo III will find that many of the buildings include smaller side quests. If you are playing through Story Mode, you can choose to ignore them and stick with the main quests, or to see how many you can find. Some of these side quests turn up as Bounties in Adventure Mode.

Overall, the stories presented in these little, randomly appearing, optional objectives paint a picture of how bleak and dangerous Westmarch has become. Each shows what happened to random people who were unfortunate enough to be living in Westmarch when Malthael and his minions came and started ripping out people’s souls.

One of the stories that grabbed my attention is in an objective called “House of Deep Sorrow”. It is short, and fairly simple to complete. The implications of what this short story reveals are very disturbing, (even in context of Diablo III).

The House of Deep Sorrow objective could appear behind any, random, glowing doorway in Act V. As a player walks in, an NPC (non player character) named Lady Victoria calls out: “Leave now! Save yourself!”

House of Deep SorrowLady Victoria is somewhere in the middle of the glowing magic.  She’s being attacked by what appears to be some of Malthael’s minions.  The player comes in and can help her, but Lady Victoria doesn’t want the help.  At first glance, it seems like she’s being altruistic and trying to prevent the player, and the player’s Follower,  from being tormented by whatever magic those monsters are throwing at her.

Lady VictoriaAfter the player kills off the monsters, Lady Victoria has more to say.

Told you to leaveLady Victoria: I told you to leave!  Those monsters have stripped my humanity from me… I…

Lady Victoria screamsThen, she screams, and the same magic she was being attacked with starts flowing out of her.

Lady Victoria the Doomed WomanShe turns into a demon – Lady Victoria, The Doomed Woman.  The player has to kill her.  Well, I guess the player could choose to let Lady Victoria kill him/her, but that’s not any fun.  It’s also not really a choice for players with hardcore characters.

A player could leave the room, but doing so would mean that he or she couldn’t complete this particular objective.  Act V has a whole lot of NPCs that seem like normal people at first, but then turn into skeletons and/or demons as the player gets near them.  So, it isn’t exactly a shock that Lady Victoria has turned into a demon, or that the first thing she does after turning is attack the player.

The Horrible SecretA journal appears after the player kills Lady Victoria and finishes this objective.  It is called “The Horrible Secret”.

Lady Victoria:  The angels and their monsters are killing everyone!  What will they do to me when they find out what I truly am?  My mother and the demon attack she survived.  It’s…it’s all too horrible to contemplate!  

The icon of Lady Victoria shows a young woman.  She might be a teenager.  Her title, “Lady”, probably isn’t an indication of her age.  Instead, it signifies that she either is from a wealthy family or somehow related to nobility.  In any case, Lady Victoria appears to be no older than 20 or so.

Her journal mentions that her mother survived a demon attack.  It’s not unusual for people in Sanctuary to be attacked by demons.  The player gets attacked by demons and all manner of other monsters throughout the game.  The attack Lady Victoria is talking about is different, though.   She isn’t saying that her mother got beat up by demons – and somehow survived that battle.

Lady Victoria has a “horrible secret” that she has been hiding her entire life.  The secret directly relates to the demon attack her mother survived.  Lady Victoria wrote “What will they do to me when they find out what I truly am?”  Put that all together, and it is clear that Lady Victoria’s mother was not just attacked by a demon, but impregnated by one.

Lady Victoria is the product of rape.  Her mother was human and her father was a demon.  After the player comes in and kills the monsters that were attacking her, Lady Victoria says that the monsters had “stripped her humanity from her”.  She wasn’t speaking metaphorically.  As a result, the demon aspects of her come out.

It makes sense for her to be worried about what “they” will do to her if her “horrible secret” is discovered.  Humans will want her dead.  Demons will want… I’m not sure, but whatever it is wasn’t something Lady Victoria wants to have happen.  She’s stuck without allies in a world that is at war, after spending her whole life worried that someone would find out that she is part demon and reject her.  What a tragic story!

I’m disturbed by this scenario more so than some of the other ones in Diablo III.  Blizzard didn’t need to create a character that was the product of a rape.  They didn’t need to have Lady Victoria drop a journal in which she mentions that her mother survived a demon attack, and which implies that the attack included rape. This scenario would have worked just fine without the mention of the rape that Lady Victoria’s mother endured – and that produced Lady Victoria.

Here’s why: All of the humans on Sanctuary, and the Hero/player character too, for that matter, are already a mixture of angels and demons.  The humans in Westmarch are descendants of the angels and demons that came to Sanctuary in an effort to opt-out of the Eternal Conflict.  Inarius was an angel who created Sanctuary.  Long story short, he fell in love with a demon named Lilith.  There were other angels, and other demons, who also went to Sanctuary in order to opt-out of the Eternal Conflict.  The angels and demons fell in love, and produced offspring, that were the original Nephalem.

The main concept of Act V plays off of this very important piece of Sanctuary’s history.  Malthael knows that the humans who currently live on Sanctuary are a mixture of both angel and demon.  He concludes that this means any human could choose to join either side of the Eternal Conflict, and in doing so, give that side an advantage.  They would unbalance the Eternal Conflict and one side would win.

Malthael wanted to ensure that the humans would not decide to join with the demons.  He, and his larger minions, start ripping out human’s souls.  Of course, this kills them, but Malthael sees that as a better outcome than what would happen if they joined with the demons.  The biggest concept of the Reaper of Souls expansion – and what ties things together in the story line – is that the humans in Sanctuary are a mixture of both angels and demons.

We didn’t need a story about a woman who was raped by demons – told to us by the daughter that was produced from that rape – in Diablo III.  They could have left out the journal entirely.  The player would see Lady Victoria getting attacked by demons, would hear her say that she has had her humanity stripped from her, and conclude that was due to the magic the demons were throwing at her.

Posted by Jen (1105 Posts)

Jen is a cofounder of No Market. She is podcaster and a professional freelance writer living in San Luis Obispo, CA. She contributes to many of the channels here at No Market. She also co-hosts the Shattred Soulstone podcasts.


Connect with author:

Flattr this!

Tags:  

3 comments to Diablo III: Lady Victoria and the House of Deep Sorrow

  • Mal  says:

    But then, it wouldn’t be true to “Diablo” where all has been forsaken.

  • Technicalotaku  says:

    i don’t agree at all, rape is a horrible brutal thing, it’s used as a weapon in human wars but DEMONS wouldn’t stoop to that level ? the butcher is known to paint rooms in the blood and entrails of the ones he murdered, angels have been ,known to have their wings torn off, their skins stretched and mutilated and then have their eyelids removed only to be placed in a room of mirrors so they have to watch their disfigured body for the rest of eternity but hey rape is off limits… of course it’s horrible, that’s what demons do. you expect them to murder an mutilate men but go “oh apologies, i didn’t see you were a woman, go right along ma’am, sorry to have disturbed you.”

    • Jen  says:

      Technicalotaku,

      You have missed the point. I’m not sure if you finished reading the post I wrote, so I will reiterate. All of the humans on Sanctuary are a mixture of angel and demon. It is the main concept that holds together the story line in Act V. Anyone who plays through the storyline option in Diablo III can pick up that piece of the story. (It might not be as obvious to players who skip the storyline and only play in Adventure mode).

      It appears that you may have read The Sin War trilogy by Richard Knack. The angel you are describing that had his wings torn off etc., was Inarius. If so, then you have a second lore resource that points out that all the people in Sanctuary are a mixture of angels and demons. Inarius and Lilith were the first to create hybrid children.

      As such, there is no reason for the game to include a side story that reveals to the player that Lady Victoria is the product of rape – which involved a demon attacking and raping her mother. If Lady Victoria would have been born from a consenting sexual experience, between her mother and another human – she STILL would have been part angel and part demon.

      Regarding the part of your comment that says: “…you expect them to mutilate men but go “oh apologies, I didn’t see you were were a woman, go right along ma’am, sorry to disturb you.” – You are incorrect.

      The earliest version of Diablo had three player characters to choose from. The Rogue was female. In Diablo II, the Amazon, Sorceress and Assassin were female characters. And in Diablo III, every class can be played as a male or female character. There is nothing in any of the lore that indicates that The Butcher mutilated his male victims and let the female ones go (as you are implying).

      The angel you refer to is Inarius, and he was tortured NOT because he was male – but because he angered Lilith’s father, Mephisto. This lore is found in The Sin War trilogy (towards the end).

      The ONLY example we have in the entire Diablo “universe” of gendered violence (that is, violence that is specifically targeted to a person of one gender and not the other gender) is this story about Lady Victoria’s mother. There is no reason for this story to be included in the game – because it doesn’t tell the player anything new about the lore, background, or storyline of the Diablo “universe”.

      Yes, the demons are horrible. Yes, some of the angels are horrible, too. They mutilate and murder the humans on Sanctuary, and would like to do that to the player character, too.

      But, here’s the thing (which, you actually mentioned). Rape is used as a weapon in human wars. What you didn’t mention is that rape is a weapon used outside of wars, too. No one who sits down to play Diablo III, and who sees the bodies on the walls and floors in the Halls of Agony, or the blood and entrails spread by demons who murdered humans – is going to have lived through that experience themselves.

      That’s not so when a video game includes a story line involving rape. Some players (both men and women) have experienced that in real life. Some may have become pregnant as a result. There is no reason to bring up rape in a video game that already includes so many examples of violence. It simply isn’t needed, and the Lady Victoria story does not add anything new to the storyline in Diablo III.

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>