A Fateful Meeting, or Chapter 5: A Fateful Meeting, is the fifth "level", or chapter, of Soul Reaver 2. The chapter opens with Raziel reentering the Sarafan Stronghold in the Pre-Blood Omen era and follows his fateful meetings with Kain, Moebius, Ariel and the Elder God as he is propelled into the Post-Blood Omen era. The chapter concludes as Raziel reaches the Air Forge.
- Name: Chapter 5 - A Fateful Meeting
- Classification: Soul Reaver 2 chapters
- Game: Soul Reaver 2
- Protagonist • Raziel
- Objectives: • Return to the Time-streaming chambers • Explore the Post-Blood Omen era • Discover Janos Audron's Retreat • Enter the Air Forge
- Setpieces: • The Great Southern Lake (Pre-Blood Omen era) • The Sarafan Stronghold (Pre-Blood Omen era) • The Sarafan Stronghold (Post-Blood Omen era) • The Great Southern Lake (Post-Blood Omen era) • The Pillars of Nosgoth (The Pillars • The Shrine) • The Subterranean Ruins (The Subterranean Pillars Chamber) • The Swamp • Uschtenheim
- Era: • The pre-Blood Omen era • post-Blood Omen era
- Timeline: • The second timeline • third timeline
- Objects: • N/A
- Preceded by: The Light Forge (chapter)
- Followed by: The Air Forge (chapter)
Having completed the puzzle of the Light Forge and imbued the Light Reaver, Raziel returned to the Great Southern Lake armed with the new enhancement. Firing the projectiles of the Light Reaver at the crystal above the Sarafan Stronghold dock entrance, he was able to open the doors and reenter the fortress, intending to use its time-streaming chambers to travel to the past and meet the ancient vampire Janos Audron.[SR2-C5]Soon after Raziel once again reached the chapel of the sanctuary cathedral within the stronghold: where murals commemorated the murder of William the Just by Kain decades earlier - with both armed with the Soul Reaver and the Soul Reaver itself placed on the sarcophagus of William like a holy relic. As Raziel entered the gated area he realized that Kain was there waiting for him. Despite Raziel's declarations of his independence and free will, Kain began to explain the complicated mechanics of Nosgoth's time-stream: starting with the revelation that "History [was] irredeemable" and unchangeable. Kain went on to explain the means surrounding the death of William the Just by his own hand and how this action had altered the history of Nosgoth, removing William and his Legions of the Nemesis and replacing them with Moebius's vampire hunting army. Reconciling the contradictory accounts, Kain exposed a deeper loophole within the structure of history to Raziel: how with the presence of two versions of the Soul Reaver blade, a paradox would be created that enabled one to reshuffle and briefly change history. Surprisingly, Kain willingly gave Raziel the Soul Reaver from the chamber - recently restored by Raziel from its formerly shattered state - causing the wraith blade to manifest and present Raziel with just such an opportunity. At first Raziel sought to test Kain's sincerity, but soon the wraith blade began to act on its own, forcing Raziel's hand and dragging him to assassinate Kain. At that point Kain revealed that he was destined to die there by Raziel's hand. Kain urged Raziel to fight it and assert his free will; and with great effort Raziel was able to just barely divert the blade, sparing Kain and in the process creating a second paradox and third timeline. As the change subsided, Kain congratulated Raziel and conjectured that with this change it might still be possible for him to reclaim his role as balance guardian and return the pillars to the vampires. Raziel however was far from convinced by this outcome, still revering his humanity and believing he was being used as part of a game between time guardian Moebius and Kain, he left intending to be influenced by neither. Kain meanwhile congratulated Raziel as he left on being a champion of free will and promised that there was more for him to unearth.[SR2-C5]
Raziel continued on through the stronghold and made his way to the Circle's gathering-room, unlocking the time-streaming chambers using a Light Reaver bolt. He found Moebius within, apparently shaken and alarmed by the recent change of history. Moebius accused Raziel of succumbing to Kain's devious influence and condemning them all by sparing him, but Raziel countered that he had a choice and denounced Moebius for his own devious manipulations of history. When Moebius reminded Raziel of his messianic destiny, Raziel opined that he saw little reason to save bother saving Nosgoth and threatened Moebius with the Light Reaver, forcing him to activate the time streaming device and ostensibly set it to a period before the Sarafan crusades. Rejecting Moebius's pleas, Raziel activated the device and was swept away, but not before Moebius - away from Raziel's gaze - broke into a cunning grin.[SR2-C5]
When the dust cleared Raziel found himself in the same chamber in a different time, but immediately suspected treachery as he found that the stronghold he had emerged in was abandoned and collapsing into ruin, with Demons regularly attacking the material realm and the humans formed into ragged demon hunters to counter them. As he made his way through the stronghold encountering demon and hunter attacks, Raziel found his way to sanctuary again where a new statue of Moebius holding aloft the severed head of Vorador commemorated the final kill of Moebius's mob: confirming that instead of being sent to the past, Raziel had ended up in the Post-Blood Omen era, a century after the fall of the pillars. Stranded in this era Raziel made his way to the exit of the stronghold and soon found himself faced with the specter of the deceased Moebius, who justified his act as a necessary evil; an attempt to show Raziel the wasteland created from Kain's survival. Dubious of Moebius, Raziel countered that these events were set in motion by Kain's original refusal at the pillars and would not have been effected by actions against his elder incarnation. Expressing continued doubt in the time-streamer, Raziel speculated that Moebius wanted Kain disposed of simply because he was unsure what he was planning and that Kain was "a wild-card" in Moebius's 'carefully shuffled deck of cards'. Raziel finished by expressing his doubt that Moebius even was a spirit and offered to consume his soul and confirm this for sure, causing Moebius to vanish and retreat.[SR2-C5]
Finally escaping the stronghold through the destroyed dock doorway, Raziel was able to follow the trail to the pillars and find the spirit of Ariel there lamenting her fate. The two debated Kain's decision at the Pillars and against Ariel's wrath Raziel found himself defending Kain's actions, retorting that the pillars were toppled by forces invited by the guardians themselves and raising the possibility that Kain's choice would have brought down the Pillars either way; and the scenario would have been worse had Kain chosen sacrifice. Whilst Ariel argued that Kain had to die for the Pillars to be restored, Raziel taunted her with the thought that Kain's death might not restore the Pillars and she would be trapped and bound at the pillars for all eternity. Distressed at this Ariel fled to the spectral realm, but Raziel was able to follow and after exhausting all lines of questioning he left Ariel with a final promise that she was merely at the threshold of her purgatory.[SR2-C5]
Progressing further beyond the pillars to the Subterranean Ruins and into the Sub-Pillars chamber, Raziel next found himself confronted by the Elder God - bloated and grown large in this era - with its tentacles wrapped around the shattered Pillars. The Elder chastised Raziel for his failure to kill Kain and condemned him for the fate of Nosgoth. Raziel meanwhile returned to his earlier distrust of the entity, observing the guilty scene as if it has pulled down the pillars and commented on its apparent thriving in this era of devastation. As the Elder used its usual bombastic claims about fate and death, Raziel countered by claiming that it was simply a hungry parasite and the two parted ways.[SR2-C5]
Passing through the ruins and into the now mutant-infested swamp, Raziel found that the time-streaming chamber in the swamp was still sealed, although its entrance bore several deep cracks in this era. Progressing further, Raziel found that the tree blocking his way to the northern mountains had fallen and he was able to follow the passage northward through several mountain passes until he arrived in the village of Uschtenheim. Recognizing the legends surrounding Janos Audron implicated Uschtenheim as Janos's hunting ground, Raziel speculated that he was not far from the retreat of the ancient vampire and soon after venturing beyond the hamlet he found Janos's Aerie – a high cliff-bound dwelling with a large winged sculpture beneath a high balcony – however the years had taken their toll and the retreat was collapsed into ruin, impenetrable to further exploration.[SR2-C5]
As Raziel turned to explore the canyons further, Kain arrived at the scene and the two discussed Moebius's deception with Raziel openly admitting that he no longer believed that Kain's death would make any difference to the fate of Nosgoth. Kain encouraged Raziel to make his way into the past to meet Janos but warned Raziel of the forces being "marshaled to eliminate [them]", assuring him that regardless of Raziel's sentiments they would be regarded as allies. Kain soon departed, cautioning Raziel that greater unseen forces were at work and warning him of another ominous possibility – that if history were pushed by either one into a "fatal paradox", they could both be expelled from the time-stream – and that their enemies may be intending to trick them into such an act.[SR2-C5]
Left alone at the foot of the retreat, Raziel explored the canyons furter and a short distance west of the aerie he found another ruin that was possible to enter from the ground, and using the Reaver to unseal the door, Raziel entered the Air Forge.[SR2-C5][SR2-C6]
Raziel began the chapter in the inner lake area having completed the Light Forge and gained the Light Reaver in the previous chapter. From here, Raziel could swim across to the island opposite to activate the checkpoint and spin the wheel nearby to open the underwater gates, allowing passage to the outer lake area. Swimming through, Raziel would emerge on the outer lake near the external stronghold doors and could then follow the short passage to the northeast to use the nearby save altar before turning back to the stronghold doors. If necessary, Raziel could follow a series of jumps along the northeast of the lake banks to reach a Light Reaver font to imbue the Light Reaver, before firing a Light Reaver bolt at the Light crystal mounted above the stronghold doorway to open the door and allow Raziel to swim into the stronghold docks.[SR2-C4][SR2-C5][SR2]
Once Raziel had surfaced inside the stronghold, he could climb out to the right and follow the passage at the back further into the stronghold. Progressing through the corridor as it turned south, Raziel would encounter two Vampire hunter swordsmen before passing through a doorway and facing another hunter and a pair of Vampire hunter pikemen. Upon entering the Sanctuary area the gates would be sealed and Raziel would be confronted by two swordsmen, two pikemen and a pair of Vampire hunter cannoneers. After defeating them Raziel could go through the main gate to the inner sanctum area and reach the chapel of William the Just, where he would meet Kain in an encounter that explained the nature of and changed the Timelines of Nosgoth.[SR2-C5][SR2]
After the meeting with Kain, Raziel could imbue the Light Reaver at one of the nearby Reaver fonts and continue out through the southern doorway in the inner Sanctum, dispatching two hunters on the way through the corridor to the Chapter House. Defeating or evading the pikemen in the room, Raziel could progress through the western doorway, where once again the exits would be sealed as Raziel was confronted by a swordsman and a cannoneer. After dispatching them Raziel could continue on through to the Cloister where he was confronted by a cannoneer, a pair of pikemen and two Vampire hunter attack dogs. [SR2-C5][SR2]
Killing them or fleeing, Raziel could continue through the western doorway to another antechamber which sealed behind him, locking him in with two pikemen and an attack dog. Once they were defeated, Raziel could reach the final corridors leading to the Circle's gathering-room. Dispatching a swordsmen and a cannoneer, Raziel could pass through the doorway and defeat or evade two more swordsmen and a cannoneer as the corridor turned east, before imbuing the Light Reaver if necessary at the font at the end of the corridor. Entering the double doors next to the font led to the gathering room, where Raziel could target the Light crystal above the second Time streaming chamber with a Light Reaver bolt. As he did so, Moebius would enter the room and a debate ensued, with Raziel ultimately being sent to the Post-Blood Omen era.[SR2-C5][SR2]
Emerging from the Time-streaming chambers and discovering Moebius's treachery, Raziel would immediately be confronted by two Acid demons and with a combat barrier preventing escape it was necessary to defeat them to progress. Once they were defeated, he could continue on into the gathering room corridors where two Demon hunter swordsmen could be seen battling a Lightning demon at the end of the hallway and as Raziel moved forward two Acid demons would drop from above and confront him. Killing or evading them, he could continue onto the next section of the hallway where two Demon hunters awaited and two Lightning demons would spawn as he entered. Dispatching (or even Sneaking by) the threat Raziel could enter the font antechamber to the east where another barrier would be raised, forcing him to battle two Acid demons. Once they were defeated, Raziel could move into the Cloister where three Demon hunters awaited, only to have them defeated by three Lightning demons as he moved into the chamber. Dispatching or evading the enemies within, Raziel could progress to the antechamber on the eastern wall where two Demon hunter cannoneers flanked the chamber.[SR2-C5][SR2]
Passing through the doorway and through the corridor into the Chapter House, Raziel would find three hunters battling four Lightning demons and two Acid demons. After clearing the chamber, he could continue through the northern door into the corridor beyond where he would be ambushed by two Lightning demons using a combat barrier. Defeating these adversaries, Raziel could press on to Sanctuary where he could discover a statue of Moebius in the sanctum and was confronted by two Lightning demons. Defeating them, Raziel could move down into the nave where four more demons attacked and he was able to exit Sanctuary via the main doors in the west. In the small antechamber beyond, Raziel would encounter the supposed specter of Moebius before moving northward into the corridor beyond where he would be confronted by combat barriers and three Acid demons. Killing these enemies, Raziel could finally reach the dockyard doorway of the stronghold and after imbuing the Light Reaver at the nearby Reaver font, he was able to progress outside by Swimming through the now removed double doors.[SR2-C5][SR2]
From the dockyard doors, Raziel could now swim out to the outer Great Southern Lake and climb out on the nearby bank to reach the Save altar at the end of the trail. Returning to the lake and jumping up the platforms to the northwest, he could follow the trail back towards the Pillars of Nosgoth. As Raziel reached the kink in the trail he would be confronted by two Demon hunter axemen and a cannnoneer, though he could evade them and continue up the trail. As he continued he would encounter several Demon hunters one at a time until he passed over the small bridge into the Shrine area and into the wider Pillars location.[SR2-C5][SR2]
Crossing over the bridge, Raziel would soon be assailed by a Demon hunter attack dog and two swordsmen as he made his way to the bottom of the Shrine area. With the passage to the west blocked it was necessary for Raziel to use the fallen obelisk to reach the top of the waterfall and the upper shrine area, and from here he could head north into the enclosed cavern area where he would be confronted by his first Gas demon. After defeating or evading the demon Raziel could head up the stairs to the top bridge which was fallen in this era, and by jumping and gliding using the broke stump in the middle, Raziel could cross to the other side where he would be confronted by another Gas demon. Following the curving path around, Raziel would be assaulted by another demon and several would drop in to ambush him as he reached the gates to the Pillars.[SR2-C5][SR2]
After meeting Ariel at the Pillars Raziel could progress towards the northern staircase in the Spectral Realm but as he did so he would be attacked by a dangerous Fire demon blocking his path. After defeating the demon, Raziel could progress up the stairs and through the narrow twisting passages, passing a Gas demon and continuing until he reached a planar portal and could return to the Material Realm; refilling his Health coil from a nearby Sluagh and Greater sluagh if necessary. From here he could head down to the large decorated doorway and defeat another gas demon before proceeding into the Subterranean Ruins.[SR2-C5][SR2]
As Raziel ventured into the initial caverns of the ruins, he would be accosted by several shades and two acid demons would warp in as he attacked them. Continuing on, another shade and demon ambush awaited slightly further in and this was followed by another two shades as the cavern narrowed. As Raziel reached the top of the stairs two acid demons joined the fray followed by two shades on the staircase. After evading or defeating these enemies Raziel could progress to the Subterranean Pillars Chamber and another meeting with the Elder God.[SR2-C5][SR2]
As soon as the conversation was over two acid demons warped in, forcing Raziel to fight of flee. Afterward progress could be saved at the nearby save altar and Raziel could continue by jumping into the water and swimming down beyond the Elder and through the opening below. Following the caverns through as he had previously, Raziel would be attacked by a pair of acid demons as he surfaced in the tunnels beyond and after defeating them he was able to follow the ramp upward, jump across the gap and continue upward following the route highlighted by glowing crystals. Two more acid demons would drop in separately before Raziel reached the top of the chamber and could jump down the climbable wall into the statue room which was now partially drained, exposing the statue in the center of the room.[SR2-C5][SR2]
Jumping down into the main room, Raziel could avoid the projectiles fired by Shades in the distance and surface in the alcove in the southeast to defeat a shade and imbue the Dark Reaver at the Reaver font positioned there. From here, Raziel could swim through the tunnel in the northeast to reach the partially submerged ascending chamber. With the change in water level the layout and directions through the ascending chamber were slightly different from before, with Raziel initially required to swim straight ahead through the bottom of the chamber, surfacing as the chamber rose to a small island and then defeating a shade before returning to the water and swimming onward.[SR2-C5][SR2]
Following the crystals until the trail stopped and headed upward, Raziel could surface and high jump to a raised ledge facing southwest. Following this ledge along, he would be attacked by an acid demon before the trail stopped at a gap in the northeast with a shadow bridge activation plate on the other side. Jumping and gliding across the gap, Raziel could reach the plate and activate it with the Dark Reaver to summon a Shadow bridge to cross the chamber. Continuing on toward the northeast, he would be confronted by a final acid demon before reaching the climbable wall that led up to the Swamp.[SR2-C5][SR2]
Climbing up the wall led to the building in the first area of the Swamp and as Raziel exited, he would trigger a checkpoint and be confronted by two mutants. Defeating or evading them, he could move across the clearing to investigate the now cracked door bearing the symbol of Moebius the Time Guardian. Imbuing the Light Reaver at the nearby font and continuing along the trail to the northeast and jumping platforms over the terrain, Raziel could progress through the trail as he had previously, following the path as it curved south where he would be confronted by a Demon hunter axemen in front of the now open doorway.[SR2-C5][SR2]
Passing through, he would be confronted by another pair of mutants before the trail turned in a wide arc around a circular structure and headed back to the north. Another two mutants would attack before he reached the clearing containing the save obelsik in the east. Following the trail north to the northern-most clearing, Raziel would be attacked by two axemen with a cannoneer further ahead, defeating these enemies, he could observe the now cleared path to the mountains and evading the nearby mutants, continue to climb up the wall into the canyons on the way to Uschtenheim.[SR2-C5][SR2]
As he reached the top of the wall, Raziel would trigger another checkpoint before coming to a ledge looking over a wide rocky area with a waterfall and a group of Demon hunters including two swordsmen two cannoneers and attack dog. Defeating these enemies, he could climb the wall in the north flanked by torches and follow the northern/western path to continue up the trail where he would shortly be confronted by Lightning demons summoning combat barriers as the trail curved back around. Defeating them to dispel the barriers, Raziel could drop down the ledges in the east to reach a path that curved northward, widening into an open clearing as it did. As Raziel reached the bottom level and followed the path to the open clearing he would be assailed by an attack dog which could attract the main group of two swordsmen, an axeman and a cannoneer set up in the clearing. Climbing the northern wall or western ramp after defeating them would lead down a short trail to the gates of Uschtenheim.[SR2-C5][SR2]
The gates ahead were closed, but by crouch-jumping Raziel could reach the second level of the rampart where two swordsmen guarded the gate lever and by defeating these enemies he could use the lever to open the gate and enter the crumbling village. Progressing northward through the town, Raziel would be ambushed by an acid demon shortly after he entered and as he passed through the arch and neared the church, a hunter swordsman would attack while an attack dog and another hunter awaited nearby. Defeating these enemies, Raziel could enter the open church and use the save altar inside. Continuing north and passing the fountain on the western side of the church, Raziel would be confronted by an attack dog and its two hunter handlers before passing through the open gate in the northwest and leaving the village behind.[SR2-C5][SR2]
Following the trail as it led west and curved back to the east, Raziel would be confronted by an acid demon summoning combat barriers, before he could reach the ledge overlooking the clearing below. In the clearing an attack dog and four swordsmen awaited, with two cannoneers on ledges above and as Raziel dropped down, two acid demons would join the battle. If knocked back to the Spectral Realm, Raziel could avoid the demons and sluagh and return to the Material Realm using the planar portal on the southern balcony though a cannoneer could be present if he hadn't already been defeated. Once the enemies were dispatched Raziel could jump up a small ledge in the north west to where a cannoneer guarded a climbable wall flanked by braziers and after defeating him, Raziel could climb up to another clearing where three swordsmen awaited. Defeating these enemies, he could move to the far western end of the clearing where another scalable wall flanked by braziers was positioned in the north. Climbing up and following the trail northeast, Raziel would be confronted by two lightning demons who summoned barriers and by defeating them he could progress up a small staircase to a lake dominated by the exterior facade of Janos Audron's Retreat.[SR2-C5][SR2]
After an unexpected conversation with Kain, Raziel was able to swim to the Light font on the south west bank of the lake, defeating the nearby axeman and imbuing the Light Reaver if necessary. From here he could follow the trail as it rose along the western wall of the lake area and jump up to a raised ledge where two hunters awaited. Following the trail west away from the lake, Raziel would be confronted by three axemen, with two lightning demons warping in as he approached. Defeating or evading the survivors, Raziel could follow the trail as it curved northward to where a climbing wall led up and as he reached the top two cannoneers would be present to fire at him but as he approached they were attacked by two Fire demons. Keeping his distance and firing Reaver bolts, Raziel was able to defeat them and continue to the next climbing wall at the far north, which led up to an overhanging balcony.[SR2-C5][SR2]
As Raziel reached the top and the balcony level, two swordsmen and an axeman would attack him and after defeating them he could follow the trail eastward towards the facade in the background, but as he approached a fire demon and two lighting demons appeared and cut off his escape using barriers. Using the charged Wraith Blade, Raziel could defeat them - using the checkpoint and planar portal in front of the building to ensure his quick return to the material realm quickly if sent into spectral. If Raziel approached the building too closely, he would be targeted by the sentry eye mounted above the entrance and once the enemies were defeated it was necessary to imbue the Dark Reaver at the darkness-attuned font on the overhanging balcony in the south of the area and use its Reaver bolts to blind the eye so he could approach and enter the Air Forge.[SR2-C5][SR2][SR2-C6]
Players (in order of appearance)Edit
- Raziel (voiced by Michael Bell) and Raziel in Voiceover/Soliloquy
- Kain (voiced by Simon Templeman)
- Moebius (voiced by Richard Doyle)
- Ariel (voiced by Anna Gunn)
- The Elder God (voiced by Tony Jay)
Dark Chronicle: History and Destiny CollideEdit
|[As Raziel enters the Relic Hall within the Sanctuary, he discovers the fresh corpse of one of Moebius's guards. Raziel kneels to examine the body – the soldier's neck appears to have been snapped, his throat is torn open, and the pallor of his skin suggests that the victim has been drained of blood.|
Suspecting Kain, Raziel glances up and begins to rise. He addresses the seemingly-empty hall –]
|Raziel:||Show yourself, Kain.|
|[Kain's voice emerges from the depths of William's chapel –]|
|[Raziel crosses the threshold of the chapel – just as in his previous visit, he feels the distortion caused by the nearness of the Reaver. As he enters, he discovers Kain inside, standing before William's sarcophagus.]|
|Kain:||Everything is decided here...|
You cannot comprehend the magnitude – the rapture and the tragedy – of this moment...
And yet you must if Nosgoth is to be dragged from the wreckage of its damnation.
|[Whatever game Kain is playing, Raziel is tired of it. He responds irritably –]|
|Raziel:||I understand only this, Kain – that you and Moebius have impelled me to this moment simply means I can trust neither of you.|
I don't know who's pulling the strings, but it no longer matters – because I'm cutting them. I set my own course from here.
|[Raziel turns to leave. Kain watches him go for a moment, then replies.]|
|Kain:||If it were only that simple.|
|[Raziel stops and responds, exasperated.]|
|Raziel:||Your fatalism is tiresome, Kain.|
|Kain:||...and profoundly ingrained, Raziel.|
|Kain:||You must understand, our presence here doesn't alter history. You and I meet here because we are compelled to – we have always met here.|
History is irredeemable.
Drop a stone into a rushing river – the current simply courses around it and flows on as if the obstruction were never there. You and I are pebbles, Raziel, and have even less hope of disrupting the time-stream.
The continuum of history is simply too strong, too resilient.
|Kain:||Except... then how do we explain William, here?|
(Kain gestures toward William's funereal effigy, and turns to face the sarcophagus.)
The beloved boy-king turned tyrant.
(He lifts the Soul Reaver from the casket, and turns back to Raziel, flourishing the sword.)
In my youth, I witnessed William's rise to power, and his transformation into the 'Nemesis' who laid waste to Nosgoth.
Keep your distance, Kain.
|[Kain walks slowly forward, Reaver in hand, as he speaks.]|
|Kain:||Years later, I stumble upon a chance to journey back in history, unaware that the entire affair has been carefully orchestrated by Moebius.|
In my wisdom, I seize the opportunity to murder the young king before he can ravage Nosgoth...
...and thereby provide the catalyst Moebius needs to incite a genocidal war against our race.
|[Raziel grows more agitated as Kain advances.]|
|Raziel:||I warn you – no further!|
|[Kain continues, his voice taking on a greater sense of urgency.]|
|Kain:||This one reckless act unravels the skein of history.|
The Nemesis never becomes the Nemesis; William dies a martyred saint. I, the vampire assassin, become the author of my own species' extinction. And Moebius profits from it all.
I destroyed a tyrant only to create one far worse.
(Kain gestures toward the stained glass window, which depicts a lionized William and a demonized Kain in combat, both armed with the Soul Reaver.)
But how can it be so? How, if history is immutable?
(Kain advances slowly on Raziel, gripping the Soul Reaver. As he approaches, the feeling of displacement intensifies.)
The answer is here in this room, Raziel.
Moebius propelled William and me together – but ensured first that we were both armed with the Soul Reaver.
The Reaver is the key.
Two incarnations of the blade meet in time and space – a paradox is created, a temporal distortion powerful enough to derail history.
|[As Kain takes a final step toward Raziel, the surrounding distortion reaches its peak, and the wraith-blade begins to manifest of its own will. Raziel reacts in alarm –]|
|Raziel:||Is this your sorcery?|
|Kain:||Not mine, Raziel – yours.|
|Kain:||You have nothing to fear from me, Raziel.|
You hold all the cards.
|[Kain turns the blade and extends it to Raziel, hilt first. Raziel reaches out tentatively and takes the Reaver – Kain releases the blade willingly, and extends his hands to show that there's no deception. As Raziel grips the hilt, the displacement intensifies around them.|
Raziel addresses Kain icily. As he speaks, the wraith energy of the Reaver manifests and begins to twine itself around the physical blade.]
|Raziel:||Then perhaps I should test your sincerity.|
(Swiftly, Raziel brings the point of the blade up to Kain's throat. Kain steps back, and Raziel advances with him, keeping the sword at his throat.)
If what you say is true, you should be terrified. I could kill you here and now.
|[Kain responds, clearly apprehensive, but also strangely resigned –]|
|Kain:||And so you do, Raziel.|
|[The blade begins to tremble slightly, as if possessed of its own will. Raziel is confused and alarmed –]|
|[The trembling intensifies as Raziel struggles against the pull of the Reaver.]|
|Kain:||We are hurtling toward our destinies, Raziel. What you feel is the pull of history rushing to meet us.|
This is where history and destiny collide.
|[The Reaver lunges at Kain – he stumbles against William's sarcophagus, and falls to the ground. As Raziel fights to resist the pull of the blade, Kain urges him with earnest intensity.]|
|Kain:||If you truly believe in free will, Raziel, now is the time to prove it.|
Kill me now, and we both become pawns of history, dragged down the path of an artificial destiny.
I was ordained to assume the role of Balance Guardian in Nosgoth, while you were destined to be its savior. But the map of my fate was redrawn by Moebius, and so in turn was yours...
|[Raziel struggles to maintain control.]|
|Raziel:||This is madness!|
|Kain:||Fight it, Raziel... This moment does not have to be an ending – it can become a prelude.|
|[The pull of the Reaver is too powerful; Raziel is losing strength.]|
|Kain:||You can, Raziel – look inside and see that it is so. You have the power to reshape our inevitable futures.|
|[Raziel raises the Soul Reaver and brings it down violently. Kain turns his head and tenses for the impact. The sword crashes downward in a blinding flash of light, and Raziel staggers back, his hand now free of the blade.|
Raziel has diverted the Reaver's course, avoiding Kain by mere inches – the blade stands embedded in William's sarcophagus, the impact having fractured the stone.
Rising unsteadily, Kain regards the impaled, fractured coffin, and makes a weak attempt at a joke –]
|[At once, the room is overwhelmed by an indescribable disturbance – their surroundings warp and blur, and a colossal groaning fills the air as history labors to admit this alteration.|
Raziel looks around the room in confusion and alarm.]
|Raziel:||What is this?|
|Kain:||History abhors a paradox, Raziel.|
Even now, the time-stream strains to divert itself, finding its old course blocked by your refusal to destroy me.
The future is reshuffling itself to accommodate your monumental decision.
|[As Kain continues, the distortion begins to subside.]|
|Kain:||This is where we restore ourselves, Raziel, and reclaim our intended destinies.|
It may yet be possible for me to assume my role as Balance Guardian and return the Pillars to their rightful inheritors –
|[Raziel interrupts disdainfully –]|
|Raziel:||– to the vampires.|
And this is the destiny you have urged me to discover?
I don't know what game you and Moebius are playing, Kain – but I refuse to be your pawn.
Unlike you, I still revere whatever shred of humanity I've managed to preserve. You will not use me as the instrument of your messianic delusions.
|[Raziel turns his back on Kain and strides out of the chapel.]|
|Kain:||Very well, Raziel. I'll not ask you to trust me – your truths are for you to discover alone.|
|[Raziel pauses briefly, and replies without turning –]|
|Raziel:||Humble words for one who presumes to teach me a lesson at every turn.|
|Kain:||Then continue your journey and learn your own lessons, Raziel.|
Remember – Moebius led you here, but you walk away unfettered. A champion of free will, and conqueror of false histories.
|[Raziel stalks away without looking back.]|
|Kain:||There is much more for you to unearth, if you have the heart for the truth and the will to see it...|
Dark Chronicle: Time StreamingEdit
|[Following his history-altering encounter with Kain in the chapel, Raziel returns to the Circle's gathering-room. Armed with the Light Reaver, he is now able to unlock the second Time-Streaming chamber.|
Just as the chamber's door slides open, Moebius rushes into the room, shaken and alarmed. He knows that Kain has survived what was supposed to be a fatal encounter with Raziel in the chapel, and that the course of history has therefore been changed.
Raziel greets Moebius smugly, realizing that he has the upper hand and relishing it.]
|Raziel:||Ah yes – I like that look on your face, Moebius. You really don't know what to do now, do you, old man?|
Here you are – caught without your damned staff – and I suspect things aren't progressing quite as you'd hoped.
You're not used to the fly turning to confront you in your web, are you?
|[Genuinely shocked and distressed, Moebius struggles to regain control of the situation. He admonishes Raziel –]|
|Moebius:||Kain's devious influence has poisoned your mind, Raziel.|
Now you see betrayal everywhere, even in your closest allies.
|Raziel:||We were never allies, Moebius.|
Conspirators, perhaps. Briefly.
|Moebius:||Why did you not kill Kain when you had the chance? He was at your mercy!|
|Raziel:||Precisely. I had a choice, and I chose mercy.|
And now I know your sordid little secret – the significance of that displacement I felt when the two Reavers came together.
Strangely enough, I was enlightened by the 'devious' Kain, not by you.
In fact, I've learned much more than you counted on – I understand now how you've tried to manipulate all of history for your own personal gain.
But now all your little schemes are whirling in ruin around you, aren't they?
All because I chose to exert my will for once, rather than obey the demands of sorcerers and spirits and demons all singing the same tiresome refrain: kill Kain!
I'm setting my own path from here, Moebius.
I intend to discover the truth behind all of this.
|Moebius:||But you condemn us all with this impetuous act!|
|Raziel:||Hardly impetuous; it took all the will I could muster.|
Has my refusal to kill Kain reshuffled your carefully stacked deck of cards?
|[Moebius responds angrily –]|
|Moebius:||You really think that you're exercising your free will, Raziel?|
You're simply Kain's servant –
I do not serve Kain. I merely did not kill him.
|[Desperate, Moebius implores Raziel –]|
|Moebius:||Raziel, do not forget your purpose here – you are destined to be the savior of Nosgoth!|
|[Raziel replies disdainfully –]|
|Raziel:||Oh, I'm sick of hearing that particular phrase.|
As for saving Nosgoth, so far I see precious little reason to bother.
And I'll choose my own purpose from here on out, Time-Streamer. Right now, I choose to manipulate you, for a change.
Go – in there.
|[Raziel summons the wraith-blade and flourishes it at Moebius threateningly. Gesturing with the Reaver, Raziel directs Moebius toward the Time Streaming chamber.|
Moebius refuses to move –]
|Moebius:||What are you doing?|
|Raziel:||Come now Moebius – you're a cunning serpent.... you'll piece it together, I imagine.|
|[Raziel shoves Moebius and brandishes the Reaver to usher him into the chamber.]|
|Raziel:||This era is of no further use to me. You will operate this device to provide me passage.|
I want to see the world in a simpler time – before the Sarafan began their crusade.
|[Moebius obediently adjusts the device's arcane switches, but continues to entreat Raziel –]|
|Moebius:||And what about Kain? You're leaving your quarry behind!|
|Raziel:||You kill him, if it's so damned important.|
|Moebius:||You need only touch the two poles of the switch, and the device will transport you.|
But I urge you to reconsider –
|[Raziel places his hands on the poles of the time-streaming device.]|
|Raziel:||You've lost your powers of persuasion, old man.|
Rot here and forget me.
|[Moebius turns away dejectedly, but once his face is averted he breaks into a cunning grin.|
Raziel throws the switch, and the chamber blurs around him as he is swept to another time.]
Dialogue: The Sarafan StrongholdEdit
|[As Raziel exits the time-streaming chamber, he realizes that Moebius has tricked him. The Stronghold is abandoned, and has been overrun by demons. It is night, and a cataclysmic storm rages outside. Recent human corpses litter the ground.]|
|Raziel (V.O.):||Even as I emerged from that infernal time-streaming chamber, I suspected treachery.|
The Stronghold was vacant – derelict and abandoned...
|[An energy barrier materializes to block Raziel's passage, and two demons drop down from the air – vaguely rasping Raziel's name.]|
|[Raziel sees memorials commemorating Moebius's murder at Kain's hands, and the climax of the vampire purge – Vorador's execution.]|
|Raziel (V.O.):||If I had any doubts about the era I now occupied, this grotesque tableau certainly eliminated them.|
For here was Moebius – long since murdered by Kain – lionized and beatified as the martyred leader of his bloodthirsty crusade.
And if I required further evidence, I needed only to behold the gruesome trophy Moebius held aloft: the severed head of Vorador, the final triumphant kill of Moebius's cutthroat mob. His execution marked the annihilation of the vampires.
Far from channeling me into Nosgoth's past, Moebius had propelled me over a century into its ghastly future.
|[Raziel pauses – he turns away from the statue, and begins to walk toward the gate that leads into the nave of the Sanctuary.]|
|Raziel (V.O.):||The intent behind this little detour was unmistakable.|
Having failed to make me his obedient assassin, Moebius intended to keep me ignorant of my true destiny, which clearly lay in Nosgoth's past.
While his deception only reinforced my purpose, Moebius had effectively stranded me here.
This left me no course but to explore the era I now occupied, and see what changes the century had wrought following Kain's ill-fated decision.
Perhaps time had cleared a path for me into the mountains, where I might unearth more clues behind the mystery of Janos Audron.
Dark Chronicle: Moebius's Martyred SpiritEdit
|[As Raziel exits the time-streaming chamber, he realizes that Moebius has deceived him. Rather than arriving in Nosgoth's past, he has been propelled into its ghastly future. The Stronghold is derelict, abandoned and overrun by demons.|
As he departs, Raziel encounters the spectre of Moebius, dead now for a century following his murder at Kain's hands.
Moebius greets Raziel in an anguished, withered voice –]
|Raziel:||What pathetic charade is this now, Moebius?|
|Moebius:||No charade, Raziel. Only the entreaties of this martyred spirit.|
|Raziel:||Your pleas mean nothing to me, after all your deceit.|
You have propelled me into Nosgoth's future, Moebius – and left me stranded here.
|Moebius:||I am truly sorry, Raziel, but it was necessary. Consider it the last valiant act of a doomed man.|
You have strayed from your purpose, and now behold the result – gaze upon the wasteland you and Kain authored together!
|Raziel:||I fail to see how I'm responsible –|
|Moebius:||You spared Kain! And by doing so, you have released a multitude of horrors upon this world.|
I can accept that Kain has murdered me, Raziel. As the Time Guardian, I foresaw that incident long before it occurred.
And I take some small comfort in the fact that Kain remains the sole survivor of his vile breed.
But you have single-handedly made my sacrifice meaningless.
|Raziel:||Your argument is disingenuous, Time-Streamer.|
I cannot see how killing or sparing Kain's future self would alter these events. This wasteland was created by Kain's original refusal at the Pillars – and amidst all these twists and turns, that event has never changed.
You are cunning, Moebius – but I think you've gotten tangled in your own web.
|Moebius:||As Kain clings to his precious seat of power, the Pillars sink into a mire of decay, dragging all of Nosgoth down with them!|
|Raziel:||I don't think this has anything to do with the Pillars or Kain's failure to sacrifice himself.|
I think you're simply afraid - because you don't know what he's up to.
He's a wild-card, isn't he, and you don't want his influence in your game.
Which is why you wanted me to eliminate him.
Now that he's survived, you have no idea what's coming, do you? Maybe for the first time in your entire life.
You're terrified that he may have truly found a third option out of the dilemma you orchestrated for him.
|Moebius:||Kain's lies have addled your mind.|
Leave this place, and trouble my spirit no more!
|[Incredulous, Raziel taunts Moebius –]|
|Raziel:||If you even are a spirit.|
You've forgotten I have a way to tell for sure...
(Raziel grabs his cowl as though prepared to devour Moebius's soul –)
...if you're willing to risk it.
(Moebius scowls at Raziel, and vanishes.)
I didn't think so. Either way, you lose.
Dark Chronicle: Ariel's LamentEdit
|[Stranded now in Nosgoth's nightmarish future, Raziel enters the ruined Pillars clearing and sees the devastation wrought by Kain's fateful decision a century ago. Toppled columns litter the clearing, their sheared-off stumps protruding crookedly, like broken teeth.|
Raziel stands in stunned silence for a moment as he surveys this apocalyptic scene.]
|Raziel (V.O.):||These were the Pillars so familiar to my blighted eyes.|
But now that I had begun to learn their true significance, I regarded the Pillars' destruction with a new, enlightened sense of horror.
And I questioned now whether Kain’s simple refusal – his mere ambition – could truly have caused such devastation.
I felt that some darker influence was at work here.
(In the gloom, Raziel sees the spectre of Ariel drifting restlessly among the toppled Pillars.)
As I approached, I discerned the spirit of Ariel – bound here now for more than a century.
|[As Raziel approaches, he hears Ariel lamenting to herself, unaware of his presence.]|
|Ariel:||Forever am I bound, hope abandoned, my spirit tethered to this place...|
What destroyed the Circle could not touch me. For I was newly dead, and beyond harm's reach.
I alone was spared the descent into madness, and Kain alone was spared the pain of death.
When Nupraptor's poison seized Kain even in the safety of the womb, much more than just his destiny was lost. All of Nosgoth lost Balance.
Consider us now... both of us less than we once were.
I, pure but insubstantial; and Kain terribly real, but corrupted.
|[Raziel interrupts Ariel's reverie, and she turns in alarm.]|
|Raziel:||Your imprisonment here has deranged you, spirit.|
You fixate on Kain because you believe he is the tether that binds you here. But we both know he is not the author of your agony.
The Pillars were subverted by dark forces, invited by the Guardians themselves.
The more I learn of your Circle, the more I see a tangle of nested manipulations.
|[Ariel responds angrily –]|
|Ariel:||Kain handed them their victory.|
They sought to topple the Pillars, and he was their willing instrument.
|[Raziel interrupts, challenging her –]|
|Raziel:||Or was he their unwilling pawn?|
Would it blunt your wrath to know that Kain's dilemma was calculated to bring the Pillars down, regardless of the choice he made?
And that the devastation would have been even greater had he chosen the path you would prescribe for him?
|Ariel:||You are a subtle, deceitful creature.|
But your clever arguments do not absolve Kain.
He must die for the Pillars to be restored; there is no other way.
|Raziel:||Then consider this more ominous possibility – what if Kain's death does not restore the Pillars?|
Consider that it may simply be too late. That this world may be beyond redemption.
And that you may be bound here eternally.
|[Distraught, Ariel flees into the spirit realm, unaware that Raziel is able to follow. Raziel shifts into spectral and startles her as she cowers behind the Balance Pillar.|
Cornered and miserable, Ariel implores Raziel –]
|Ariel:||Why do you hound me, demon?|
You can see that I am captive here. Show me some mercy.
|Raziel:||Like the mercy you showed your fellow Guardians when you set Kain on them?|
Or the mercy you showed Kain when you kept him ignorant of his destiny while you used him as the scourge of the Circle?
Or perhaps like the mercy you showed your beloved Nupraptor when you made him Kain's first kill?
|Ariel:||You are cruel. Why do you torment me?|
|[Weary of this, Raziel relents –]|
|Raziel:||I'm merely looking for answers, Ariel.|
Very well – I'll leave you in peace.
But know this – about you, and this purgatory from which you long to escape...
...you're merely at the threshold.
Dark Chronicle: Raziel Defies The ElderEdit
|[Raziel revisits the subterranean Pillars grotto after having been propelled over a century into Nosgoth's ghastly future. He is shocked to discover how the Elder God has encroached into the chamber – its tentacles wind chokingly around the shattered Pillars, and the room's murals have nearly been obliterated by the passage of its grasping limbs.|
The Elder God greets Raziel disdainfully –]
|Elder God:||Raziel, the failed assassin.|
You had Kain at your mercy but lacked the courage to fulfill the act.
And now you see the wasteland wrought by the tyrant's hand. By his selfish decision to preserve his own life, even when it meant sacrificing the whole world.
This is the fate of Nosgoth, as long as Kain remains alive.
|Raziel:||An ironic condemnation, given this guilty scene.|
One would think you'd torn down the Pillars single-handedly.
What are you trying to obliterate as you drag your loathsome body through this chamber?
And why, as Nosgoth descends into madness and misery, do you appear to thrive?
Things in this world, I am learning, are rarely what they seem.
You, apparently, are no exception.
I am the Engine of Life, the source of Nosgoth's very existence.
I am the hub of the Wheel, the origin of all Life, the devourer of Death.
|Raziel:||...or maybe you're just hungry – could it be as simple as that?|
Wouldn't that be poetic irony? The great adversary of the vampires turns out to be the biggest parasite of them all.
|Elder God:||Do not test my patience, Raziel.|
I made you, and I will unmake you if I become so inclined.
As your agent, I am beyond death.
|Elder God:||There are fates worse than death, Raziel.|
|[Raziel responds with disgust –]|
|Raziel:||Oh, I see you now as you truly are.|
A cancer – a spooling parasite burrowed deep in the heart of this world.
|Elder God:||Go now.|
Play out your pitiful rebellion, and take your place among the destroyed, the used, and the damned.
But know this – you are mine for eternity.
You have always been, and will always be, my soul reaver...
|[Returning to the swamp in the future era, Raziel comments on the still-sealed entrance to the time-streaming chamber.]|
|Raziel (V.O.):||Beyond this edifice lay my sole hope of escaping this demon-infested wasteland.|
The time-streaming device contained therein offered my only prospect of journeying back into Nosgoth's early history.
Unless I discovered some means of breaking this seal, I was condemned to be stranded here eternally.
|[Raziel discovers that the mountain pass is open in this era; he can proceed to explore the northern mountains, beyond.]|
|Raziel (V.O.):||The passage of time had indeed cleared my way forward, enabling me to explore the northern mountains of Nosgoth.|
I was anxious to discover if some evidence of Janos Audron's existence might still remain.
|[Raziel enters the ruined village of Uschtenheim for the first time.]|
|Raziel (V.O.):||(with a touch of sarcasm)|
Here I discovered the quaint hamlet of Uschtenheim, now long-abandoned and collapsing into ruin...
Legend claimed that Janos Audron terrorized its villagers until the Sarafan hunters ferreted him out and destroyed him.
If there was any truth to the old tales, the lair of the infamous vampire could not be far away...
Dark Chronicle: The Ruined AerieEdit
|[Exploring the blasted landscape of Nosgoth's future, Raziel discovers the ruins of an ancient cliff-dwelling civilization. The majestic facades are collapsed and toppled, as though some great upheaval occurred here ages ago.|
Raziel stands on a terrace beneath the cliffs, surveying the devastated architecture.]
|Raziel (V.O.):||This edifice was clearly not crafted by human architects. As the figure beneath the balcony silently attested, these were the aeries of winged beings.|
Undoubtedly, I stood before the mountain refuge of the legendary Janos Audron – but the entire sanctuary lay in ruin, collapsed under the force of some ancient cataclysm.
As I suspected, the Time Streamer's deception ensured that I was centuries too late to unearth anything of consequence here.
|[Raziel scans the ruined canyon, and sees a narrow pass leading off to the west.]|
|Raziel (V.O.):||With nothing behind me but the wasteland I had traversed, I resolved to press on and explore these canyons further.|
|[Hearing footsteps behind him, Raziel turns to see Kain approaching. He acknowledges Kain wryly –]|
|Raziel:||Oh, no. Every time you turn up something monumental and terrible happens.|
I don't think I have the stomach for it.
No drama this time, Raziel.
|Raziel:||You are persistent, crossing time like this to follow me.|
Still waiting for that coin of yours to land on its edge?
|[Kain joins Raziel on the terrace overlooking the canyon.]|
|Kain:||I'm biding my time.|
(He glances up at the ruined balcony above –)
I see that Moebius has played a little trick on you.
|Raziel:||Yes – he clearly doesn't want me to meet this 'Janos Audron'.|
|[Kain looks away thoughtfully –]|
(Then, with sarcasm –)
Or maybe he merely hoped that it would harden your heart against me to see this wasteland which I single-handedly authored.
|Raziel:||My heart doesn't need hardening, Kain.|
If I even suspected that destroying you would make any difference, I would do it this instant.
I knew you'd see through them, Raziel.
Janos is indeed the key to your destiny, but you'll need to find your own way back into Nosgoth's past.
Make no mistake though, Raziel – you and I are now in great danger.
We are irritants here – malevolent forces are being marshaled to eliminate us.
|Raziel:||You talk as though we're allies.|
|Kain:||Regardless of your sentiments, Raziel, in their eyes – we are.|
|Raziel:||Well, they're certainly trying to eliminate you, Kain, there can be no doubt of that. I am assaulted relentlessly with demands for your demise.|
Whatever it is that you're plotting, they're scared to death of you.
As for me, I suspect they made a grave error when they allowed my unique resurrection.
I don't think they know how to destroy me.
|Kain:||You mustn't underestimate them, Raziel.|
|Raziel:||And who exactly is this diabolical 'they' to which we keep referring? If there's some grand conspiracy going on, the right hand doesn't appear to know what the left is doing.|
Even Moebius seems to be caught out at every turn.
|Kain:||Moebius is a puppet, Raziel – haven't you realized that yet?|
That's the sweetest irony in all of this – Nosgoth's 'great manipulator' is their plaything.
But the ones pulling the strings haven't shown their faces, yet.
|Raziel:||They don't like us unwriting their carefully choreographed history, though, do they?|
|[Kain corrects Raziel –]|
|Kain:||You must understand, Raziel – we haven't unwritten history, we've merely rewritten it.|
The future flows around our petty actions, finding the path of least resistance while admitting only the slightest alterations.
This is the reshuffling you felt, when you refused to kill me.
And remember, Raziel, we are irritants in this regard, as well – history will not allow the introduction of a paradox.
|Raziel:||And if events cannot be reshuffled to accommodate the change?|
|Kain:||It is the irritant who's expelled.|
Bear in mind that this may be exactly the outcome our enemies are trying to provoke.
We must tread very carefully.
|[With this admonition, Kain vanishes.]|
- After solving the Light Forge in the previous chapter, Raziel has used the Light Reaver to reenter the Sarafan Stronghold and has ultimately used the blade to return to the Time-streaming chambers in the Circle's gathering-room.[SR2-C5]
- Kain has explained the nature of history in Nosgoth to Raziel, noting that it is immutable and unchangeable. He has also explained the loophole in this law: the Soul Reaver paradox – whereby history can be altered if two versions of the Soul Reaver meet in space and time.[SR2-C5]
- Raziel has used the Reaver-convergence paradox to spare Kain when he was destined to die at Raziel's hands – thus igniting the Second paradox event and creating the Third timeline.[SR2-C5]
- Raziel has used the time-streaming chamber to travel in time, but has been manipulated by Moebius. Instead of the Age of the Sarafan and Nosgoth's early history, Raziel ends up in the Post-Blood Omen era, roughly a century after the Collapse of the Pillars.[SR2-C5]
- The Post-Blood Omen era is a dangerous time period, with weakened dimensional boundaries caused by the collapse of the pillars allowing Demons to cross over to the Material and Spectral Realms from the Demon Realm, as well as allowing several other creatures to cross. The humans have adapted to combat this new threat, becoming Demon hunters.[SR2-C5]
- In this new era, Raziel has encountered the apparent spirit of Moebius, the Elder God and spirit of Ariel. All three believe that Kain has to die for this wasteland of this era to be rectified. In this devastated era, the Elder is at his largest and Raziel appropriately accuses him of being a Soul devouring parasite.[SR2-C5]
- Raziel has managed to travel beyond the Swamp, has continued north and passed through Uschtenheim, before discovering the ruins of Janos Audron's Retreat.[SR2-C5]
- Raziel has again met Kain beneath the ruins of Janos' retreat and Kain has encouraged Raziel to find his way back to the past to meet Janos Audron. He has also warned Raziel about the dark forces gathered against them and cautioned him against the possibility of a fatal paradox – where history cannot accommodate the changes made and will thus expel the 'irritant' causing them.[SR2-C5]
- Raziel has discovered and entered the Air Forge.[SR2-C5][SR2-C6]
Time Travel and the Reaver ConvergenceEdit
The mechanics of Nosgoth's Time-stream are given their most detailed explanation in this chapter with the descriptions by Kain in History and Destiny Collide and The Ruined Aerie. It is established that history is irredeemable and unchangeable, but also that there is also a loophole in this - the presence of two Soul Reavers allows history to be altered. This concept of history was inspired by research into time travel fiction - with the 1995 Terry Gilliam film 12 Monkeys cited as a major influence. Hennig's full interpretation of the concept was described in an interview:
- "Is it impossible to escape preordained fate? And it's interesting to layer this quesiton into a time travel story. This is really the whole crux of the time travel concept - can you change history or not? And if so, what does it mean to change history - in terms of being responsible for the repercussions? I did some research into time travel fiction, in preparation for Soul Reaver 2. For me, the most interesting approach in time travel stories is summed up with the statement: 'you can't go back in time and change history because you didn't'. That's my favorite way of looking at it. If you do go back - then you did go back. Which means that time travel is ultimately a journey of epiphanies, where the protagonist realizes the role that he already played in history. Of course, Blood Omen established that history can in fact be changed - and we'll be respecting this precedent in Soul Reaver 2."
- ―Amy Hennig
Series producer Andrew Bennett described it as follows:
- "Initially, Raziel naively believes that history is fragile and may be altered easily. He gradually comes to understand, however, that there's a 'conservation of reality' at work, and that history is essentially immutable--that it requires a kind of 'temporal wildcard' to change its course. Raziel ultimately realizes that his comprehension of Nosgoth's multilayered, twisted past is much more limited than he initially believed. He also discovers that he continues to be manipulated by others who understand Nosgoth's history--and the nature of time--better than he does."
- ―Andrew Bennett
Previously both William and Kain had versions of the Soul Reaver in their battle in Stranded in Time in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, but the full circumstances were not explained by Silicon Knights.[BO1-C10] The paradox created by the meeting of two versions of the Soul Reaver was ultimately developed by Amy Hennig both to satisfy the previous alteration of history in Stranded in Time against their concept of history, but also to account for the further changes to the background that would be introduced in the upcoming Blood Omen 2 by finding a loophole already existing within Blood Omen to justify the historical changes. As Daniel Cabuco explained:
- "the Paradox was created to help explain some of the inconsistencies of BO2, and to create the ability to change fate. It was entirely Amy's creation: she found a way to use coincidences in BO as a way to explain the ability to change time. I thought it was a brilliant solution!"
- ―Daniel Cabuco
Retroactively these developments made the meeting between William and Kain in Stranded in Time a juncture point where history was changed and a new timeline was created; while the convergence seen in A Reaver in Time became a point where history was not altered (by the possible death of Moebius at Raziel's hand).[BO1-C10][SR2-C1]
A Limiting factor was also introduced in this chapter as it was explained that only relatively slight diversions could be triggered; most major events remained constant in Nosgoth between each timeline. If a paradox blocked the time continuum, history would always follow "the path of least resistance while admitting only the slightest alterations". Defying the force of history was always a dangerous gamble - "if events [could not] be reshuffled to accommodate the change", the irritants responsible for the contradiction would simply be expelled from the time-stream.[SR2-C5] Such a fatal paradox did not overtly happen in the Legacy of Kain series, but the concept served as a looming danger which Kain and Raziel were forced to acknowledge and remain wary of.[SR2-C5][SR2-C10]
Demons and the Post-Blood Omen eraEdit
The Post-Blood Omen era appears in this chapter for the first time since its brief showing in To the End of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Here it is similarly characterized as "nightmarish" - portrayed at night with darkened skies and a raging storm, with only lightning and scattered standing braziers providing significant lighting. Many of the major areas are overrun by Demons with few traces of other plant or animal life seen (save the mutants of the swamp). Much of the previous greenery has been replaced by bare rock and several buildings and other edifices - including the Sarafan Stronghold, the Shrine, the Pillars, Uschtenheim and Janos Audron's Retreat are seen as abandoned and collapsed into ruins. These may be the part of a long-term ecological collapse leading into the wasteland seen in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver or shorter term symptoms of the immediate devastation following the Collapse of the Pillars and associated weakening of dimensional boundaries; some may even be conditions that merely coincide with Raziel's visit. Titles dealing with stages after this do not appear to feature such a drastic scenario, but instead show more gradual changes and this has occasionally misled unwary fans into assuming that the era visited here is much later in history.[SR2][SR2-C5][BO1-C12][BO2][SR1]
This chapter implies that the boundaries between dimensions were weakened for a time after the collapse of the pillars, allowing creatures such as Shades and Demons to cross between realms - similar attributions are also made in manuals and the Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance Prima guides.[SR2][SR2-C5] Some demon variants seen resemble or have similar attributes to their Blood Omen predecessors but it is ultimately unclear whether these were intended to be different sub-races, related species or merely different artistic interpretations of the same creatures - The Lightning demons and Fire demons of Legacy of Kain: Defiance are ultimately the first recurrence of a classification in and the only official comment from developers is that there are "different type[s] of demon".[SR2][SR2-C5][BO1-C8] Several alternate and unused designs for demon types can be seen in concept art and Bonus materials. One particularly rare demon sub-type - Groundlings - can be seen in this chapter and are most frequently encountered along with the Fire demon at the Pillars of Nosgoth. Originally groundlings were apparently intended to feature more often and had a much more elaborate method of attacking Raziel - with a 'swarm' of them intended to 'gang up' and immobilize Raziel in preparation from a fire attack from the parent Fire Demon. Multiple groundlings would seem unlikely to achieve in the final game with Fire demons apparently only being able to produce one Groundling each, though pre-release screenshots show this to have been technically possible in at least one previous build of the game.[SR2][SR2-C5]
The 'Spirit' of MoebiusEdit
In this chapter Raziel meets the spirit of the deceased Moebius in the Post-Blood Omen era. While Moebius was long dead by this time, Rcaziel speculates that he is not in fact a spirit but an illusion being conjured by the time guardian. Soul Reaver 2 offers no definitive answer as to whether or not the martyred spirit is genuinely Moebius's specter,[SR2-C5] but Crystal Dynamics staff members Jennifer Fernández, Richard Lemarchand, and Kyle Mannerberg later confirmed in an interview at The Lost Worlds that "it was an illusion created by Moebius to influence Raziel". Stage directions in the original Soul Reaver 2 scripts are similarly definite: "This isn’t really Moebius’ ghost – this is past-Moebius who has traveled forward in time to deceive and influence Raziel. He’s masquerading as a ghost."[SR2-Cut] The real specter of Moebius is eventually encountered by Raziel near the end of Legacy of Kain: Defiance. It is appreciably similar in appearance to the fake, illusory spirit he created.[DEF-C13]
The Elder God and the Pillars of NosgothEdit
On his entrance to the Subterranean Pillars Chamber in the Post-Blood Omen era, Raziel noticed that the murals in the chamber had decayed and been smudged by the tentacles of the Elder God, which were holding onto the shattered stumps of the Pillars. Witnessing this scene deepened the suspicions between Raziel and the Elder - with a souring of their relationship previously hinted in Decision at the Pillars and Through the Swamp. In their heated debate here Raziel pointedly suggested the Elder looked as if it had "torn down the pillars single-handedly" and noted that it "appear[ed] to thrive" in the turmoil of the era, finally Raziel accused the Elder God of being "a spooling parasite burrowed deep in the heart of this world". All of these claims would eventually be shown to have a degree of truth to them as Raziel's meetings with the Elder become increasingly adversarial through the rest of Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance. [SR2][SR2-C5][DEF][DEF-C13]
By the end of Defiance, the Elder is seen as "the prime mover" and a "parasitic fraud", responsible for "all of the pain and strife throughout history" in an effort to feed itself Souls from the Wheel of Fate. Thus the Elder can be viewed as initiating or complicit in most of the major events of the series, including the fall of the Ancient Vampires and the Collapse of the Pillars. Ultimately the turmoil seen in the Post-Blood Omen era provided the Elder with a plentiful supply of souls from which it could feed and profit and thus it can be seen to be largest in this era. This theme will return in Legacy of Kain: Defiance as the Elder is eventually seen as a "false god" by Kain for its self-righteous stewardship over the ancient vampires.[SR2][SR2-C5][DEF][DEF-C13]
Thematically, the character of the Elder is derived from the concept of the 'false god' Demiurge in a branch of pre- and early-Christian religious thought named Gnosticism and his status as a parasite on the Wheel of Fate would subsequently be explicitly confirmed by Daniel Cabuco.
'Urban' and UschtenheimEdit
At least one area featured in this chapter underwent major design changes during development, with the hamlet of Uschtenheim originally intended to reappear as early as the tech demos of Soul Reaver 2 which demonstrated a town area labelled as "urban" with a church. The area was long unidentified and speculated to be an early concept for an Avernus reappearance (eventually seen in Legacy of Kain: Defiance) but was ultimately revealed to represent Uschtenheim.
- Soul Reaver 2 is not formally divided into chapters or levels in-game.[SR2] The chapter names and definitions used at the Legacy of Kain Wiki originate from the supplementary Prima Guide, Prima's Official Strategy Guide - Soul Reaver 2
- The dialogue transcripts used in this article are, wherever possible, adapted directly from the Dark Chronicle summary transcripts available in game. Scenes not included in the Dark Chronicle feature are instead adapted from Tenaya's transcript of Soul Reaver 2 at Nosgothic Realm - itself derived from the Dark Chronicle and an official game script provided by Crystal Dynamics' Kyle Mannerberg.[SR2]
- A Fateful Meeting is perhaps the largest level of the entirety of Soul Reaver 2, covering the biggest area and with the weightiest stroyline content. The chapter contains no less than six distinct dark chronicle storyline chapters, covers two separate time periods and features playable content covering six different major locations, while extending to the exteriors of four further locations which cannot be explored at this time (two have already been completed and sealed and two will be explored in upcoming chapters).[SR2-C5]
- The Post-Blood Omen era and its inhabitants, the Acid demons, Lightning demons, Gas demons, Fire demons, Groundlings, Demon hunter swordsmen, Demon hunter cannoneers, Demon hunter axemen and mutants all make their first appearances in this chapter. The era itself was seen briefly in the conclusion cutscenes of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and would be revisited in Blood Omen 2.[SR2-C5][BO1-C12][BO2]
- The theme music of Soul Reaver 2 - Ariel's Lament - is titled from the Dark Chronicle chapter where Raziel encounters Ariel at the Pillars of Nosgoth and finds her lamenting her fate in the aftermath of the Collapse of the Pillars. Several excerpts from Ariel's lines in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2 are sampled in the track including some cut dialogue.[SR2-C5][SR1][SR2][SR1-Cut]
- Some aspects of this sequence relate to other chapters in the series:
- After passing by in A Reaver in Time, Raziel again passes through the Sanctuary chapel whose murals make reference to the death of William the Just in Stranded in Time of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Kain goes further in describing these events here, explaining the circumstances surrounding William's death and the fact both were armed with the Soul Reaver, as well as explaining why this enabled him to change history.[SR2-C5][SR2-C1][BO1-C10]
- As with A Reaver in Time, the mural illustrating the murder of Janos Audron is also seen in Sanctuary again, hinting at the legends told throughout Blood Omen and foreshadowing the events of Blade of Vengeance.[SR2-C5][SR2-C1][BO1][BO1-C2][BO1-C7][SR2-C9]
- Demons were first seen in the chapter Defeat Azimuth in Blood Omen, where they were summoned from the Demon Realm by dimension guardian Azimuth to attack the city of Avernus.[SR2-C5][BO1-C8]
- The statue of Moebius and its gruesome trophy refers to the Blood Omen chapter The Vampire purges in which the results of Moebius's time manipulations and vampire hunting crusade were revealed and came to a climax with the execution of the last of the vampires of the era - Vorador - and Kain's retaliation by beheading Moebius.[SR2-C5][BO1-C11]
- Ariel is once again featured, following on from her 'guide' roles in Blood Omen and Soul Reaver. Here she is over a century removed from the confidence of guiding Kain to restore the pillars and over two thousand years before she will guide Raziel to revenge against Kain. She is appropriately seen in a state of self pitying despair here and Raziel's promise that she is merely at the threshold hints at their meetings in the far future. Raziel will ultimately meet a far more confident Ariel guiding the young Kain in Defiance.[SR2-C5][BO1][SR1][DEF-C6]
- Ariel's lamenting recall the events of the Welcome to Hell and Seeking Revenge as she was murdered by dark forces and her lover Nupraptor descended into madness causing the corruption of the Pillars and ultimately motivating her guidance of her successor, Kain.[SR2-C5][BO1-C1][BO1-C2]
- As Ariel argues with Raziel, she mentions that Kain handed the dark forces their victory, evoking the events of To the End as Kain rejected the final sacrifice and initiated the Collapse of the Pillars, ultimately causing the devastation seen in the Post-Blood Omen era as well as keeping Ariel bound.[SR2-C5][BO1-C12][SR1]
- Raziel's 'hounding' of Ariel also alludes to Ariel's guidance of Kain throughout Blood Omen, with her deliberately setting Kain against her fellow guardians in Seeking Revenge, while keeping him ignorant of his further destiny as Balance Guardian. As was suggested by Ariel, Kain's first kill was indeed Nupraptor in the chapter Nupraptor - this was because he was the source of the Corruption of the Pillars.[SR2-C5][BO1][BO1-C2][BO1-C12][BO1-C3]
- Raziel once again highlights the Time-streaming chamber in the Swamp as he initially observed in Through the Swamp – it is still impassable though he will return later. The high passage he noted in Through the Swamp is now clear, enabling him to progress to the mountains and Uschtenheim.[SR2-C5][SR2-C3][SR2-C7]
- Uschtenheim is featured as a playable location for the first time since Threaten the Circle in Blood Omen and the village is again accompanied by legends of vampire Janos Audron and his death at the hands of the Sarafan, though the design of the village has changed somewhat.[SR2-C5][BO1-C7]
- Kain's comments regarding Raziel finding his way back into the past to meet Janos Audron foreshadow him doing just that in On to the Past and Vampire Interview.[SR2-C5][SR2-C7][SR2-C8]
- The dark forces hinted at by Raziel and Kain are slowly revealed over the course of Blood Omen 2 and Defiance, with their lack of co-ordination explained by their opposing natures. Kain's comment about Moebius being a puppet also relates to his revelation that he served the Elder in A Reaver in Time and his more explicit service throughout Defiance.[SR2-C5][BO2][DEF][SR2-C1][DEF]
- Moebius explicitly states here that Raziel is destined to be the savior of Nosgoth, building upon the ambiguity of previous murals and the hints of Vorador. These foreshadow the later roles that Raziel will agonize over in Defiance before ultimately fulfilling both.[SR2-C5][SR2-C2][SR2-C3][SR2-C4][DEF][DEF-C13]
- Janos's retreat is notably dominated by a large sculpture of a winged being (with another seen later inside the retreat in Vampire Interview).[SR2-C8][SR2][SR2-C5][SR2-C9] Presumably depicting Ancient Vampires, the figures - like a similar depiction in the Dark forge - bear a remarkable resemblance to a winged Kain.[SR2-C3] Given the developments of Legacy of Kain: Defiance it is possible that these more generally relate the ancient vampires artistic interpretation of Scion of Balance figure, in a similar manner to later depictions in the Spirit Forge.[DEF-C12][DEF-C13]
- Pre-Blood Omen era
- The Sarafan Stronghold
- The Second paradox
- Time-streaming chambers
- Post-Blood Omen era
- The Pillars of Nosgoth
- The Subterranean Pillars Chamber
- The Swamp (location)
- Janos Audron's Retreat
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Soul Reaver 2 manual. Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (October 31, 2001) Download.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Question and Answer with Jen, Richard, and Kyle at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 GLoK Interviews with Amy Hennig at Nosgothic Realm (by Raziel Fan), post #4 (by RazielFan)
- ↑ Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 Feature Preview at GameSpot (by Miguel Lopez), page 2
- ↑ Initial Soul Reaver Plot at DCabDesign (by Boltar), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Prima Games / JDP and Gerald Guess. Prima's Official Legacy of Kain: Defiance Guide. (2003)
- ↑ Prima Games / Mark Androvich. Prima's Official Blood Omen 2 Guide. (2002)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Question and Answer with Amy Hennig at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ Small demon/Small demon gang-up at Spectraljin.com archives (by Daniel Cabuco), Archived at Legacy of Kain Wiki
- ↑ Screenshots zu Soul Reaver 2 at 4Players.de (archived at Category:Soul Reaver 2 pre-release screenshots on Legacy of Kain Wiki)
- ↑ Behind the Classics: Amy Hennig Talks Soul Reaver Secrets at the PlayStation Blog (by Sid Shuman and Amy Hennig)
- ↑ The Influence of Literature and Myth in Videogames at IGN (by Douglass C. Perry), page 3
- ↑ Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #11 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ So many questions at DCabDesign (by Luke27), post #10 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ The Soul Reaver 2 Proof of Concept at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ Soul Reaver 2 - screenshots from cancelled PS1 release, internal Air Forge Design documents unearthed at Nosgothic Realm Forums (by Divine Shadow)
- ↑ Soul Reaver 2 questions at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ Soul Reaver 2 - Dialogue at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya)