I’ve been looking forward to Transylvania from the moment I purchased The Secret World but the Besieged Farmlands zone was a bit of a disappointment. It’s not that it was bad, it just wasn’t the knockout zone I was anticipating. However this past week I’ve been working my way through The Shadowy Forest, the second zone in Transylvania and it has more than made up for my disappointment, with a colorful cast of characters at every turn. I’m only about half way through the zone but there were two mission hubs that I wanted to highlight today. For those wanting to experience the content first hand, fair warning, there will be spoilers ahead.
The Amazing Brothers Blaga
This was one of the first missions of the zone and it began with Mihas telling me of his two brothers who have not come back from hunting werewolves. What I loved about this character was that first of all he was filthy. Milhas is more or less camping in the woods and he definitely looks the part and that added to the immersion. More than his appearance though, I liked the way he and his brothers were introduced. The mission cut scene begins with Mihas telling stories around a campfire of the amazing exploits that he and his brothers have undertaken. With each tale Mihas’ stories become more unbelievable—or maybe not, this is The Secret World we’re talking about.
The tone shifts at this point as Mihas becomes serious, sharing with the player character his concerns about his missing brothers. Immediately after that somber moment, he goes back to telling another tall tale to his captive audience, about the time he and his brothers fought their own shadows. Instantly I liked Mihas and felt like this short cinematic painted a detailed picture of life in Transylvania. The people there are brave, but not without real fears for the wellbeing of their loved ones. And so they share stories to boost morale and to dispel the fears that might neutralize their bravery.
Silviu and his Mother
If Mihas was an NPC I wanted to hang out with and have by my side in a scuffle, Silviu and his mother were the exact opposite. No, these two were the kind of creepy that made you want to back away slowly and then beat feet to the nearest CDC decontamination shower. Silviu is the inbred Sweeney Todd of Transylvania, making sausages for his mummy out of Ghouls that they essentially keep as livestock nearby. His mother is not much better, perhaps worse because she seems in her right mind enough to know better.
Silviu’s mother tries her best to convince the player character that what they do is necessary for survival and she goes on to argue that those of us who are in the upper echelons of the Secret World have no understanding what it’s like for the common folk and have no basis for passing judgement, a position that sounds very similar to one given by the Vampire Hunter in the Besieged Farmlands. Of course, she and her son are both Bat-guano crazy and so you the player set about dismantling their nausea-inducing sausage operation.
There’s a few more that I’ve just met worth mentioning—members of the Draculesti, a group of vampire slayers in the line of Vlad Dracula (who was apparently NOT a vampire, but the greatest warrior of his time fighting against the strigoi)—but I’ve only just begun to interact with them so I’ll save their stories for another time. What I can say is that thus far they seem just as interesting, especially the two children. Suffice it to say, I’m very pleased with the cast of this zone; Transylvania is starting to live up to the expectations I had for it at the start.