This year, I’ve been fascinated by the artwork in the 2012 Diablo III Wall Calendar. Each month featured a piece of artwork that really captured my attention. I wanted to know more about the art and the artist who created it. I also wondered about who, exactly, was depicted in each piece. Naturally, I ended up writing about it. This blog is part of my series that takes an in-depth look into the art in the 2012 Diablo III Wall Calendar.

For the month of November, Blizzard selected an incredibly malformed being. You can tell from looking at his torso and the upper part or one arm that this humanoid is male. He is wearing a minimal amount of clothing, but isn’t wearing any armor or carrying a weapon. Instead, this creepy creature has spikes growing out of his head, out of his spine, and covering over at least one of his shoulders. His arms are turning into some really nasty looking weapons that also have spikes.

The figure is contorted and grimacing, as one would if his body was suddenly turned from human to…. something definitely not human. Our “Mr. November” is depicted in mid-transformation, and you can tell that he is in absolute agony from the experience.

So, what, or who, is the unfortunate “Mr. November”? I found the answer to that question on a BlizzPlanet post from April 1, 2011. This particular piece of artwork shows a monster called a Dark Vessel that is in the process of turning into a Triune Vessel.

Let’s be clear. “Mr. November” started out as a human. One day, he joined the Triune, and became one of those crazy zealots called “Cultists”. This guy was so into the whole “let’s raise demons” thing that he allowed his own body to be sacrificed, inhabited by a demon, and painfully mutated and transformed.

The spikes that you see coming out of “Mr. November’s” spine are called “Teeth of Diablo”. In order to be turned into a Triune Vessel (sometimes called an Unholy Thrall), he had to willingly allow another sanity-lacking Cultist to insert those spikes directly into his spine (while awake and without anesthesia).

There is a little bit of lore about the Dark Vessel that comes from a character named Abd al-Hazir. He had this to say:

The cultists were preforming a strange ritual when I saw them, today. One of their number stood soundlessly while others thrust long spikes deep into his spine. He did not perish, and I believe that he may have even been darkly empowered from the implantation, though such terrible magic is foreign to me.

According to Blizzplanet, the artwork that was selected for the month of November in the 2012 Diablo III Wall Calendar was created by Brom. His work has been featured many times in this calendar. He is the artist who created the Skeleton King piece for the month of July, and the Tomb Viper that appeared in February. According to DiabloWiki, the artwork for November is titled “Triune Vessel”.

Want to know what a Triune Vessel looks line in-game? Here’s a very brief, and to the point, video of a Barbarian who is smashing the Cultists to pieces before they can turn into the hideous creature that our “Mr. November” has allowed himself to become. A few do manage to turn, and the Barbarian makes sure that they “die ugly”.