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The latest developer blog post for Echtra Games’ upcoming action-RPG Torchlight III is presented as a merchant’s diary documenting his travels through the game’s Goblin Forest location, along with all the perils one can encounter in that particular neck of the woods. Check it out:
Here begins the Travelogue of Aleph, the Map Vendor
I arrived at Trevail Point several months ago after departing from Red Haven with nothing but General Graye’s blessing to keep me safe. It took some pleading, but the General let me join this expedition through the Goblin Homeland in an effort to complete my Explorer Sprite training. My only patches left to earn were “Forest Survival”, “Frontier Bivouacking” and “Improvised Weaponry.” In my time here, I have yet to claim these badges, but I have found something far more valuable. My Cartomancy skills have been growing, and have thus far earned me a pretty profit. But what’s the point of profit without even more profit? With that in mind, I set out deep into the Goblin Forest to chronicle what I might find.
I arrived at Lake Gobdunk early in the morning, just as the sun was cresting over the treeline. The Lake itself was beautiful in the morning light, but a sense of danger pervaded the area. Deep in the burning heart of Firebelly Tribe territory, Lake Gobdunk is surrounded by their Firebelly fishing village. Long after it was outlawed, these goblins are still fishing with dynamite. Even at this early hour, you can hear the echo of explosions cut through the stillness. I guess safety isn’t really a primary concern.
Mossrat of Unusual Size
Also roaming around Lake Gobdunk, the Mossrat of Unusual Size, or M.O.U.S., is a particularly aggressive subspecies of the invasive forest-bound mossrat. Unable to squeeze through the smaller openings that the common mossrat uses to escape predators, M.O.U.S. have become more hostile. They hunt in smaller packs than the common mossrat, but their larger, stronger jaws are capable of dealing a bit more damage. Nothing that a skilled Adventurer shouldn’t be able to handle, but how often do you meet one of them these days?
I braved the treacherous route around the Lake hoping that the booming dynamite would hide the sound of my footsteps as I ventured deeper into Firebelly Tribe territory. Imagine my surprise as I stumbled upon what could only be described as a serene natural wonder: If it weren’t infested with Goblins, that is. Nestled along the course of these Hidden Falls, I spotted the signature rickety platforms and ramshackle scaffolding the goblins call architecture. I couldn’t make my way to the bottom of the Falls without drawing their attention, but I suspect they have some kind of fishing operation going.
While carefully forging a trail the long way around the falls, I nearly disturbed the shamanic rituals of several Goblin Chanters. These shamans serve the Worldgnasher, a particularly nasty deity, who they believe will rise again and devour all things (starting with us humans). They earned their name for the ceremonial chants they utter in an effort to rouse this dark god from its slumber. Their dark rituals give the Goblin Chanters the ability to raise their fallen comrades again and again, whether those comrades like it or not. While Chanters are waiting for their magical energies to replenish, or if they are caught alone, they unleash a spread of fireballs using their fire staves. However, it is said that Goblin Chanters are never truly alone. They always bring a party of their dead friends along for the ride.
I arrived at the Witching Grounds just as the sun set over the Hidden Falls behind me. These blighted graveyards once were considered consecrated ground, but have since been infested by covens of witches. Perhaps drawn here by the sheer amount of death and blood, these witches channel their dark, Netherim-stolen magic to raise the dead on Zul’Rasha. No matter what brought this scourge to the goblin homeland, it is an ill portent for anyone who prefers the company of the living.
As I crept through the shattered headstones and ravaged crypts littering the Witching Grounds, I could sense the presence of a great, burning malevolence nearby. I ducked behind a toppled gravestone just as a trio of Infernal Archers patrolled by. The witches here use their dark magics to resurrect the remains of humans bold enough to enter the goblin homeland. Given new, smoldering life, these flame-bound archers use their own endless fires to ignite their arrows, granting them extra burning potency.
After my near-fatal run-in with the Infernal Archers, I attempted to withdraw from the Witching Grounds. My explorations would have to wait until the sun’s rays could drive back some of the evil pervading the area. In the meantime, I could make camp and maybe finally earn that “Frontier Bivouacing” badge. I backtracked through the tombstones, when suddenly a blood-curdling cackle caught my attention. Peering around one of the desecrated tombs, I spotted the mysterious hag known as Irma Swampseer. One of the many witches who have converged on the goblin homeland, Irma roams the area searching for ingredients for her dreadful brews. Though elderly and infirmed, if Irma Swampseer takes an interest, you may end up as the next ingredient in her vile concoction.
The Shattered Void
While I can’t say I showcased the bravery befitting an Explorer Sprite, I can say that I managed to escape becoming the latest addition to Irma’s stew. In my haste, however, it seems I now find myself in a site of even greater danger. Somehow, I have lost my way and stepped into the endless darkness of the Shattered Void. If I don’t make it back, may these words reach the eyes of other bold Explorer Sprites looking to earn their badges. I pray that none of them meet the same fate that shall invariably befall me.
In all directions, dark energy crackles and pulses. Ahead of me, the Netherim armies assemble. Through glowing portals emerge Netherim Scrappers. These grunts look strong, but their lumbering forms speak to a lack of speed. If I watch for their telltale Netherim portals, I should be able to avoid them without much challenge; assuming I don’t get surrounded. What worries me more are the armored Netherim Warriors backing up the Scrappers. They are surprisingly quick and much better protected. Best course of action is a prudent retreat. No one should underestimate the Netherim.
Here ends the travelogue of Aleph, the Map Vendor