When you name a location “Blood Marsh,” you are creating certain expectations; that visitors will bleed or at the very least see blood, and that it’s probably going to be a marsh.
Blood Marsh is the next location in Blizzard’s First Look series, detailing the new environments in the upcoming expansion, Reaper of Souls. It lives up to the name.
“Enveloping a large portion of the western reaches of Khanduras, the Blood Marsh is a massive, swampy stretch of land, split by rivers and tributaries often utilized for passage and trade. Despite its current inhospitable nature, it was not always a dread-inducing locale and in fact was once the home of one of Sanctuary's greatest civilizations.”
Since the fall of the city, Corvus, that was built on the marsh, the place has become a bit nasty, helped along by the return of Malthael. The native bogans have become more aggressive, peppering their territory with deadly traps and crude fortifications. “What was once a verdant wetland has quickly evolved into a repugnant quagmire that grows less habitable by the day.”
Punctuating the bogs and blood-red fauna are the ruins of civilisation and the lost city of Corvus. Within are hidden ancient secrets, protected by the defenses left behind by the nephalem.
The theme of blood goes beyond the physical and ties into the narrative of each hero. “At this junction of their journey, each hero has fully embraced their birthright and shown but a glimpse of their powerful potential. This power has a long history, and though it was once thought to be lost to the passage of time, it's certainly not been forgotten. As you explore the Blood Marsh and surrounding areas, distant remnants of the past will reach forward in time, resonating and responding to your very presence. In fact, don't be too surprised if you find the ancient relics and defenses that lie within coming to your aid.”
Senior game designer Michael Chu explains the way the blood theme is explored: “From the standpoint of the visuals, you can see how the marsh, the water, the mud, seems to evoke that feeling of blood. There are also the blood golems, enemies created through blood magic rituals. If you really take a step back to think about the various storylines in the area, you can definitely also see the influence of the idea of blood, in the concept of lineages, relations, and in the more traditional sense.”
Blood Marsh bridges the gap between the city of Westmarch and the final stage of Act V, Pandemonium. You’ll be able to explore it yourself when Reaper of Souls launches on March 25th.