The Book of Cain is an artifact from the land of Sanctuary.
Oh, how I miss the days of PC games packing in physical artifacts set in the game world. Game publishers used to cram all kinds of specially crafted objects - or "feelies" as text adventure company Infocom referred to them - in the box such as a "Don't Panic" button for Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or a cloth map of Brittania for the Ultima games. Some publishers included pamphlets or books written from the point of view of characters in the game, while others used the game manual to give oodles of background information. Modern games still sometimes include stuff like this but such pack-ins are more often relegated to expensive collectors' editions. It's a shame really, because these artifacts often enhance game immersion.
Blizzard puts an emphasis on the lore behind its games, and Diablo III is no exception. For the upcoming release of the action RPG, Blizzard partnered with Insight Editions from San Rafael, CA to create an amazing tome - The Book of Cain. The lovingly crafted hardcover book is written by Flint Dille, but the narrative is a first person account from the voice of the sage Deckard Cain. In the book, Cain explains to his niece Leah all his scholarship on the Prime Evils and their involvement in the human world of Sanctuary, even making notes in the margins and highlighting sections for her review. It's almost like Cain doesn't think he's going to make it ...
The Book of Cain is a wonderful artifact. The pages have a satisfying thickness, and the detail work is exquisite. The hand-drawn style illustrations of Diablo and his brothers, as well as archangels like Tyrael, are great, but I just love the that the whole book is basically a lore-dump explaining everything from the Diablo mythology and bestiary to the regions of Sanctuary hidden behind the first-person voice of Cain. At times, it does read like a videogame database, but I look forward to perusing more of its pages when Diablo III finally goes live.