The rite had worked.
Ten minutes ago the clearing held nothing, but now there was a* something. *A small, strange tear in the fabric of the air, just an arm’s length away from the edge of the circle. The candles fluttered as the rift breathed wider.
“Darkness shield us,” Egan whispered.
Umbral aether lashed through the tear, forcing the portal wider still. There was movement now. Restless movement. Egan could feel the weight of his heart in his chest, pounding.
“We have done it,” said the other. “The Unseen prophecy will at last be fulfilled.”
The rift had grown to nearly human height.
“Great Unmaker,” began the Speaker, “We summon you and name you Riftstalker.”
Umbral aether dripped from the rift, pooling on the ground below. A candle, too close to the pool, fell into the slick and out of reality.
“Walk with us in the darkness.”
A shape emerged from the umbral tear. Four powerful paws, tipped in claws. Tall ears. A sinuous tail. And a coat of writhing umbral aether that clung to it all like a living thing.
It snatched the Speaker in its jaws and dragged him, screaming, beyond the rift.
A Growing Shadow
Dark Harvest is usually a time for celebration, but this year’s long night feels darker than usual. Untended alleyways pulse with fresh Unseen glyphs and cultists gather in Ramsgate’s shadows. There are even reports of unsettling effigies being raised across the Shattered Isles.
But all of these are nothing compared to what has appeared in the Maelstrom.
Into the Rift
The Riftstalker is a new umbral Behemoth that blends cat, bat, and extreme speed into an encounter unlike any other we’ve created. Its name, “Riftstalker,” comes from its ability to open and move through umbral rifts – dark, swirling portals to another dimension.
But the Riftstalker doesn’t just move through rifts. It can also drag its prey through them – into the dark dimension it calls home. Make it out of there alive and you might just live to see Ramsgate again.
Step into my Lair
When we first started working on the Riftstalker, it didn’t have the ability to pull Slayers through its portals. Instead, we tried to convince Slayers to engage voluntarily with the rifts by tying them to valuable stagger opportunities.
First, we tried coaxing players closer with various visual indicators – an umbral circle, a visible buff, etc. But nothing would convince Slayers to stand near something that looked like certain death. We even toyed with the idea of making all areas except the area around a rift deal damage to Slayers, but this solution proved ridiculously resource-intensive.
Once we accepted that we weren’t going to overcome years of “don’t stand in the fire” RPG instinct, we started looking at other options. How could we get Slayers through these rifts and fighting the Riftstalker on its own turf?
By taking away the choice to flee.
We hope that you enjoy (and survive!) your new non-voluntary time in the place beyond the rift.
One other thing that sets the Riftstalker apart from previous Behemoths is its intelligence. Learn its moves and it will change them. Memorize its patterns and it will invent new ones. This new, more adaptive mode of combat brings more variety and a new level of challenge to even our most accomplished Slayers. It was also a huge learning experience for our Behemoth engineers and designers – one that taught us lessons we’ll be leveraging for a long time to come.
Let us know what you think once you’ve battled the Riftstalker a few times. We’d love to hear how you’re faring.
Killer Cat Suit
Ramsgate’s smiths are also working on something special for the Riftstalker – a new set of Behemoth armour and weapons. Gather enough umbral trophies and you’ll be able to build your very own cat-bat suit, complete with ears. (We won’t spoil the weapons for you.)
Beyond Dark Harvest
The Dark Harvest event runs through November 1st, but that won’t be your last chance to fight the Riftstalker. Like our other powerful Behemoths, it will remain in the Maelstrom, ready to take on any Slayer brave enough to face it. If you want Dark Harvest cosmetics or emotes, though, you’ll need to act before the festival ends. These items are time-limited and will leave the store as soon as light returns to Ramsgate.