Andariel is one of the Lesser Evils. She has what has been referred to as a “twin”, but isn’t technically a blood relation. She and Duriel work together in different spheres of the Burning Hells. What one does complements and assists the other’s goals (in a weird, twisted, way).
Andariel is the Maiden of Anguish. She enjoys inflicting emotional pain upon people. If Andariel were to exist in the “real world”, she would undoubtedly be using Facebook to “catfish” people and Twitter to send people threats of rape, death, and harm to their families.
Why does Andariel choose to mess with people’s minds (and emotional state of being)? It’s not simply because she thinks it is fun. Andariel believes in “the purity of anguish”. Not a lot is known about her realm in the Burning Hells, but one could reasonably assume that it’s a place that is designed to cause people to feel sadness, despair, regret, and guilt. It is said that her realm is a place where psychological assault happens. It can sometimes include physical means, but mainly focuses on ways to make a person hate themselves.
Andariel literally thrives off of the emotional suffering of others. She needs it like food and also gets a “high” off of it. The Book of Cain describes her as “being in a constant state of ecstasy, experiencing unthinkable pleasures”. In order to keep this “high” going, Andariel regularly seeks out situations that involve conflict and tragedy. She also searches for people who are currently in a state of despair.
Once she finds a suitable situation, she gets involved and attempts to manipulate people in ways that will cause them emotional anguish. Andariel likes to mess with people’s heads, especially in ways that affect their relationships with others. To me, it sounds like she’s the one convincing a selected victim that her husband is planning on leaving her, that her kids hate her, and that her best friend has been telling lies about her behind her back. She convinces a person that his boss is about to fire him… any day now… and that this will result in the end of his marriage and the loss of his kids. She convinces parents that the cough their child has means they have a deadly illness that cannot be cured – and that it is the parent’s fault that the child was ill.
Andariel also enjoys finding something in a person’s past that they feel guilty about. She emphasizes that guilt as much as possible. The more emotional anguish she can put a person into – the happier Andariel becomes. She delights in causing people to hate themselves.
She can break a person who is trapped in her realm so much that he or she eventually chooses to give themselves over to Duriel. They seek an end to the psychological torment Andariel caused – which hurts them so badly – that whatever physical torture Duriel will inflict upon them seems like a better deal. By this time, the person might truly hate themselves and believe that he or she deserves horrific physical torture.
Andariel is only vaguely referenced in the Diablo III game. There is a Journal called “Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish”, which is read to the player by Deckard Cain.
Andariel was the only female Evil. She aided the Lesser Evils for many years, but eventually she lost faith in their plots. Two decades ago, she chose to help Diablo during his resurgence and seized the Citadel of the Sightless Eye. Ultimately, she perished at the hands of brave heroes – Deckard Cain
This is a reference to what the Book of Cain calls “The Dark Exile”. It was a civil war that took place in the Burning Hells and was waged between the Prime Evils and the Lesser Evils. To make a long story short, the Lesser Evils, led by Azmodan and Belial, took over the Burning Hells and banished the Prime Evils (Diablo, Baal, and Mephisto) to Sanctuary. The Primes were in a very weakened state.
Previous to the Dark Exile, Andariel and Diablo were considered to be close confidants. It makes sense, when you think about it. Andariel loves to mess with people’s minds, and strives to destroy their emotional state of being. Diablo loves to figure out what terrifies people the most, and strives to make them believe that their worst fears have come true. Of course, they got along with each other.
Despite this friendship, Andariel turned on Diablo during “The Dark Exile”. The Book of Cain notes that Andariel “reveled” in Diablo’s misery after he had been defeated, and that Andariel was in “a state of unmatched bliss” throughout Diablo’s humiliation. But, after that wore off, Andariel chose to help her friend Diablo by trying to slow down (or defeat) the heroes that were on their way to attack Diablo.
The other place where Andariel is vaguely referenced in Diablo III is in Act IV. Her minion appears in the desecrated High Heavens in disguise.
Players encounter what appears to be the ghost of Maghda. If you played through Story Mode, you would have killed Maghda before reaching this point in the game. In a way, it makes sense that this could be Maghda’s ghost. She even talks like Maghda.
Maghda: I lived only to serve my master, Belial. But you killed him and unleashed the Prime Evil on the world!
It is as though the “ghost of Maghda” is trying to make the player feel bad about their choices in life. You killed Belial, someone that Maghda was devoted to. Imagine how that must have made her feel! In addition, you also unleashed the Prime Evil upon the world. Yeah, that’s not something most people would feel good about doing (even if it was done accidentally).
The “ghost of Maghda” then reveals its true self. It’s not Maghda at all. Instead, it is the Aspect of Anguish, Andariel’s Minion. It immediately attacks the player, and the player has to kill it before he or she can make any more progress through the game.
This brings up an interesting concept. Could Andariel be back in her realm in the Burning Hells, causing emotional anguish upon whomever she has trapped, again? It seems to me that Andariel must be “back in business”. She’s the one who sent her minion to slow down the Hero – who is on the way to fight Diablo. History repeats itself. This time, however, Andariel learned not to actually stand in the way herself. She sent her minion to get killed in her place. It appears that Andariel and Diablo are friends again.
Demons who have been slain go back to the Burning Hells to be reborn again. So, when a player kills off a Prime Evil, or Lesser Evil, it’s only a matter of time until he or she pops up again somewhere. (Unless the Evil has been trapped in a soulstone). I cannot help but wonder if Andariel might make an appearance in an upcoming expansion.
The best way to put a stop to Andariel is not to kill her (over and over again). Instead, it is to completely isolate her. Trap her in a soulstone and put that soulstone somewhere that is too remote for anyone to get close to it. Andariel needs to cause and enjoy the emotional anguish of others in order to thrive. Force her to be all by herself, with no one to harass, and she will wither.