There are many vendors in Diablo III, but only one of them is a child – Squirt. (Well, before the expansion, anyway). Where is this kid getting the goods she is selling from?
The Barbarian vendor in the Keep gets his goods from caravans that occasionally make it through the battlefields. Some of the other vendors travel into the sewers or aqueducts to pick up “trash”. Players can easily find this out because those NPCs (non-player characters) clearly state it. Squirt, on the other hand, never specifically mentions where she gets her goods from.
Where are Squirt’s parents? She is the only child in the game who appears to be completely alone. She’s also the only vendor who has an amulet with her name on it – that just so happens to also mention the name of a god. In this blog, I will speculate about what Squirt’s backstory could be, based on the scant information that players are given about her in-game.
There are two kids who chase a rabbit in the Caldeum Bazaar, where there are tons of adults all over the place. One can reasonably assume that their parents are nearby. There is a little boy in the Keep who learns that his father, who was a soldier, has died. He asks the player character what he should do now. The rest of the kids in Diablo III are standing right next to their mothers or are in a populated town where there are lots of adults.
It makes it especially strange that Squirt’s parents are nowhere to be found. Squirt isn’t in the highly populated Caldeum Bazzar. Instead, she’s located in The Hidden Camp, waiting for random adventurers to walk by. It would be entirely possible for one of those adventurers to kidnap her, or for the creatures that attack players in Act II to invade the camp.
One could argue that nowhere in Sanctuary is truly safe. That’s a given. But, The Hidden Camp doesn’t have guards or soldiers to protect people from invading forces. It’s just a small camp, that is currently “hidden”, but that could potentially be discovered at any time. Not the best place for a little girl to set up shop.
Squirt calls out to adventurers who walk through The Hidden Camp. “New goods today! Please look; you won’t be disappointed.” If you play a female character, Squirt will yell “Hey lady! I got some new things. You should take a look.” If you play a male character, Squirt refers to you as “Hey Mister!” These types of statements aren’t so different from what other vendors say.
Sometimes, Squirt will say “I can’t believe what people throw away. Want to buy some of it?” This implies that Squirt goes out into the world and picks up “trash” to sell. Other vendors do the same, but those vendors are full grown adults who would appear to have a better chance in surviving an attack of flies, spiders, demons, or whatever else in Sanctuary they ran into. It’s hard to believe a little girl, all by herself, would fare as well.
The screenshot above shows the most curious piece of dialogue that Squirt the Peddler says. “I heard you came here from Tristram. My family came from there. That place has had some very bad luck, hasn’t it?” At first glance, this sounds like small talk. Look closer, and it starts to seem extremely strange.
First, there is a difference between “Tristram” and “New Tristram” in Diablo III. Tristram is in ruins. New Tristram was built in an entirely different location than Tristram (probably in an effort to avoid all the evil that Tristram soaked up). Everyone in Sanctuary would know what happened in Tristram. If Sanctuary functioned like the “real world”, all the news programs would be talking about Tristram on an annual basis. No one is going to refer to New Tristram as “Tristram”. These are two entirely different places.
Second, the player didn’t come to The Hidden Camp directly from the ruins of Tristram. If you are playing through Story Mode, your character came to The Hidden Camp after going through Leoric’s torture chamber and killing The Butcher. That’s a much more noteworthy accomplishment than wandering through the ruins of Tristram.
We know that news spreads quickly in Sanctuary. For example, after the player kills the Skeleton King, the entire town of New Tristram seems to know about it. The NPCs (non-player characters) have dialogue about your character slaying the Skeleton King immediately upon your character’s return to New Tristram. By the time your character gets to the Keep, the people there already know about the “big bads” that your character has killed off.
My point is, if any news reached The Hidden Camp, it would most likely be about your character killing off the Butcher or maybe the Skeleton King. The ruins of Tristram aren’t as newsworthy as those two battles. It’s just plain weird that the only thing Squirt the Peddler associates your character with is that he or she visited the ruins of Tristram.
Another thing to consider is that none of the player characters were born and raised in Tristram or New Tristram. They all came from somewhere else. So, if Squirt is trying to find common ground with the adventurer that she hopes will buy some stuff from her, she’s missed the mark.
Squirt also says that her family came from Tristram. They didn’t come from New Tristram, they came from the original Tristram. This is highly unlikely. Tristram has been in ruins for at least twenty years or so, which means that Squirt couldn’t have been born there. She appears to be somewhere between 8 and 10 years old. Squirt didn’t grow up living in a nice house with her mother and father in Tristram.
Could her parents have been born in Tristram? It might be possible, but it’s a long shot. Like I said, Tristram fell about 20 years ago. If her parents came from Tristram, they would have been infants or young children when they lived there. Very few people made it out of Tristram alive after the demons took it over. The chance that her parents, as small children, escaped the demon invasion, and then somehow became a couple after they reached adulthood, is highly unlikely. Squirt is too young to confuse Tristram, which is in ruins, with New Tristram, which is a functioning town where people live and work.
There’s another thing that Squirt says that is memorable. She warns the player that if he or she tries to steal from her, she will cut them. (Technically, she says she will hurt them.) Perhaps she’s “talking tough” in an attempt to convince a potential customer that she is tougher than she looks. At first glance, though, a child wouldn’t have much of a chance in a fight against a large adult who is skilled with either weapons or magic and who is covered in armor.
Squirt’s Necklace is a Legendary Amulet that might provides some clarity about Squirt the Peddler’s backstory. The flavor text on it says: An unassuming chunk of stone covered with runes. The name of Kantwirt, the ancient god of thieves, is scratched onto its back.
This explains everything! Squirt the Peddler isn’t really a little girl. She’s actually Kantwirt, the ancient god of thieves. Her appearance is nothing more than a disguise that would make her look harmless. She’s far from harmless, though – she’s a god. When she threatens to “cut” those who try and steal from her – she fully intends to follow through with that threat and is more than capable of carrying it out.
A little girl wouldn’t last long walking by herself through the dangerous parts of Sanctuary. A god like Kantwirt, however, could easily fight off whatever monsters attack him and collect the loot they drop. That’s how Squirt is getting the items she sells. One of the items she sells is Wirt’s Bell, which she must have found in or around Tristram (before it fell into ruins).
Kantwirt is ancient, and probably immortal. She’s been around long enough to have been in Tristram before it fell. This is why Squirt appears to have confused Tristram and New Tristram, and why she says her parents came from Tristram (which has been in ruins for a long time). Kantwirt forgot that the adventurers he is selling goods to are too young to remember Tristram, first hand, back before the demons overran it.