"The sting of sea salt burns your eyes, adding insult to injury as an endless storm rages on. The memory of countless ships dashed upon jagged shores is fresh in your mind as a streak of lightning cracks across the sky, briefly illuminating the dense forest that surrounds you. The heavy scent of pine and sodden earth is interrupted by the sickly sweet note of decay, and a thousand flickering eyes in the distance serve as warning—if the madness of Greyhollow Island does not take you first, the beasts surely will."— Area summary(src)
Steeped in intrigue, many myths abound about Greyhollow Island, ranging from its supposed great treasures to a great evil said to plague the island. What few facts are known have been passed on by crazed hermits, demented Wizards, and the whispers of demons.
The island itself is located several miles off the coast of Westmarch, and can be seen from its capital. However, not even the might of Westmarch's navy has ever been able to verify its location, and many believe it to be little more than legend. Rumors abound that those who visit are doomed to never return. Wild beasts and supernatural creatures prowl the island, and the land itself is said to be hungry for blood. Forests cover the island, and its jagged shores are littered with shipwrecks. The island is surrounded by rocky shallows, treacherous currents, and bizarre weather patterns.
Rise and FallEdit
Thanks to the treacherous seas surrounding it, Greyhollow's civilization developed in isolation. Often times, such isolated societies grow and advance at incredible rates, and Greyhollow was no different. In Greyhollow's case, because of its isolation, it did not have to spend any resources on defending itself. Cut off from the rest of Sanctuary's developed civilizations, Greyhollow became the center of a grand empire. However, while Greyhollow enjoyed the benefits of physical isolation, it also had to contend with the cost of philosophical isolation. Ideas that have might otherwise been challenged developed within its culture. A new religion took hold, and as part of this new faith, its citizens devoted their cause to a mysterious and, as is often the case in Sanctuary, completely evil being. Until recently, all was known was that this individual was female, and was within Greyhollow's civilization from its inception, and there at its end. Theories have ranged that this woman was a nephalem, a Wizard, or simply a very charismatic human who managed to prolong her existence. It has even been suggested that there was no one individual, but rather a multitude of individuals who all took on the same identity of the same figure. But for reasons unknown, this unimaginably advanced society collapsed, leaving ruin, chaos, and a lingering curse behind. Greyhollow entered a dark age that it never recovered from. This figure of myth's role was also mysterious, as to whether she caused the fall herself, or whether her death precipitated it. The island was deemed cursed ever since, and few people who dared venture there, exposed to the evil of the Greyhollow, perished as they were quickly driven equally mad.
Over the years, inquisitive adventurers would catch glimpses of this land off in the distance, though many presumed it to be an illusion, perhaps even a trap devised by the many evils that inhabited the world. Some found themselves on the island without choice, such as sailors, pirates, etc. Others who found their curiosity insatiable attempted to travel to and explore the land, dreaming of notoriety or wealth. Instead, each journey ended in tragedy, as those foolish enough to pursue this myth were never to be seen again. Most died on the island's shores, and the few that made it inland did not survive long. This mystery gave Greyhollow an aura of mystique, and numerous myths grew over the years.
The Mystery UnveiledEdit
"I did not believe the legends—all true! This island, it rots you from within. We never should have come here..."— Quentin Sharpe(src)
The Nephalem succeeded where others had failed. As became evident from tomes found across the island, the deity worshiped by the inhabitants turned out to be a demon named Nereza. The young priest Rayeld (who would later be known as The Crazed Man) attempted to rid the island of her, yet only partly succeeded: while the physical body of the demon had been killed, the evil eventually overcame the land, turning it into a dark place infested with horrific creatures, and leaving no sane living people around. Rayeld tried to contain the evil and keep the rest of the world safe from Nereza's corruption by erecting wards and performing rituals, until he finally lost his sanity, trapped alone on the cursed soil..
Greyhollow is exclusive to the game's Adventure Mode, and exists outside the main narrative of Diablo III. It features seven events and a number of tomes; both of these are designed to reveal the story over time. Bounties also feature in the area.
The zone can be accessed via a separate Waypoint in the northern part of the map in Act V.
Greyhollow Island features monster types unique to the zone, some of which are variants of creatures in other Acts with drastically different abilities.
- Bone Breaker
- Glowing Death
- Hive Mother
- Hunter Bat
- Primeval Hunter
- Shipwrecked Soul
- Wildwood Bulwark
- Wood Specter
In addition to the island itself, Tidal Caves below the island's surface feature additional monster types:
- Ancient Tower
- Tidal Cave
- Survivor's Cavern
- Sharpe's Cove
"The enigma behind the events of Greyhollow Island took careful crafting, and several themes were at play. There's an overall creepy ambiance to this thoroughly supernatural slice of nature, and we wanted to make sure that vibe was prevalent in each aspect of the zone, extending from art and visuals to gameplay and creature design."— Developer blog(src)
The initial idea for Greyhollow Island was to make it a forest zone. The concept was first pitched at the same time as Ruins of Sescheron. Early pitches had much less vegetation than the final version.
Few sketches were developed for Greyhollow, and the ideas for the zone came together quickly. The area is designed to embody the motif of Man vs. nature; to this end, it was decided to employ as few humanoid monster designs as possible. Inspiration for the zone was taken for a variety of real-world locations, one of them being "the Graveyard of the Pacific"; a section of the Pacific Northwest coast of the United States, which is known for having a high number of shipwrecks. The island has also been likened to the Bermuda Triangle.
The Greyhollow storyline was designed to be optional, with players allowed to choose the level of their investment within the zone's lore. The storyline was intended to be driven more by exploration than exposition, with less of a main narrative, and more focus on mystery and side story, players being tasked with figuring out the area's story by themselves. The overall story is outside the events of the Eternal Conflict.
It is intended that the monsters of Greyhollow have a "natural" feel to them (e.g. animals), and that there be relatively few human-based enemies (zombies, ghosts, etc.)
- ↑ 2015-11-06, THE NEW ZONES IN PATCH 2.4. Blizzpro, accessed on 2015-11-15
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2015-11-06, PATCH 2.4.0 PTR PREVIEW. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-11-15
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 2015-12-21, Lightning Talk: Greyhollow Lore ft. Brian Kindregan & Leonard Boyarsky. YouTube, accessed on 2016-01-14
- ↑ 2016-01-06, ARE YOU PREPARED FOR 2.4.0?. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-01-08
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 2015-12-11, PATCH 2.4.0 PREVIEW: GREYHOLLOW ISLAND. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-12-16
- ↑ Diablo III, Explorer's Log
- ↑ Diablo III, Journal of Rayeld the Younger
- ↑ Diablo III, Testament of My Failure
- ↑ 2015-11-08, Diablo III RoS Patch 2.4 - Full Blizzcon 2015 Panel. YouTube, accessed on 2015-12-17
- ↑ 2016-07-06, Source: Blizzard Broke A Second 'Diablo 3' Expansion Into Patch Content. Forbes, accessed on 2016-07-07
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 2015-12-28, Lightning Talk: Greyhollow Island ft. Matthew Berger. YouTube, accessed on 2016-01-14