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"I tire of your games, Moebius. Now that I know you fear me, I needn't concern myself with you.
Kain is waiting for me.
"
―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]

Chapter 1: A Reaver in Time is the first true "level", or chapter, of Soul Reaver 2, taking place after the recapitulating Prologue intro. This chapter marks the beginning of gameplay, opening with Raziel meeting Moebius in one of the Sarafan Stronghold's time-streaming chambers, and concluding as Raziel leaves the Great Southern Lake on his way to the Pillars of Nosgoth.

PlotEdit

SR2-DC-Arrival-039

Moebius activates the basin in the gathering-room, revealing Kain's location.

As the mist settles in the time-streaming chamber, Raziel recognizes the man who has addressed him – Moebius the Time Streamer, Guardian of the Pillar of Time.[SR1-10][SR2-C0][SR2-C1] Having listened to Kain's boasted exploits, Raziel is well aware of Moebius's reputation for danger, and immediately accosts him.[SR2-C1][SR1-C9] He brandishes the Wraith Blade, though Moebius's Staff mysteriously dispels it. Moebius reveals that they were familiar when Raziel was one of the Sarafan, during his human life, but Raziel – though placated by Moebius's pandering demeanor – remains unsympathetic to the manipulative sorcerer.[SR2-C1]

In the adjacent Circle's gathering-room, the Time Streamer confirms that murals in the surrounding chamber depict Vorador's slaughter of the Circle, and speaks of the crusade his mercenary army leads against the vampires of Nosgoth.[SR2-C1][BO1-C6] Raziel has pursued Kain to the pre-Blood Omen era, it transpires – a time in which the Pillars of Nosgoth still stand. Moebius encourages Raziel to seek his vengeance there, where Kain lies in wait.[SR2-C1][SR2-C2] Raziel wanders the Sarafan Stronghold in search of an exit, and admires his former nobility – reflected in the corridors leading to the Cloister – as he progresses.[SR2-C1]

The Wraith Blade returns to Raziel as he enters the Sanctuary, no longer under the influence of Moebius's vampire-immobilizing orb.[SR2-C1] In this hall, Raziel comes upon the tomb of King William the Just, whom a younger Kain traveled back in time to assassinate during his quest to destroy the Circle of Nine.[SR2-C1][BO1-C10] The Soul Reaver is here, broken in the battle between William and Kain, and, as Raziel approaches, an indescribable sense of distortion begins to intensify with each step.[SR2-C1]

SR2-DC-TheReaverConvergence-103

Raziel threatens a cowering Moebius with the conjoined Soul Reavers.

As he examines the Reaver, its future self – the Wraith Blade – suddenly begins to leech away Raziel's soul energy to restore the corporeal sword. Moebius, watching on without his staff, pleads for mercy once Raziel catches and threatens him with the conjoined blades. Desperate, Moebius lets slip that he, like Raziel, is an agent of the Elder God – this revelation is enough to stay Raziel's hand, and he departs in disgust, leaving the physical Reaver behind.[SR2-C1]

After the incidents in the Sanctuary, the Wraith Blade undergoes a significant change; its dormant, parasitic sentience is fully awakened, and will turn its hunger on Raziel if over-aroused.[SR2-C1][1][2] In an adjacent chapel, Raziel finds a mural of the infamous vampire, Janos Audron – whose heart was ripped from his body by the Sarafan, centuries ago.[SR2-C1][SR2-C9] The so-called Heart of Darkness, it is reputed, can resurrect vampires. Before departing the Stronghold, Raziel finds the Chapter House, now a memorial chapel to him and his closest comrades-in-arms, the warrior inquisitors. Portraits of the inquisitors line the walls, and Raziel himself is memorialized with a statue. The sight only redoubles his lust for revenge against Kain.[SR2-C1]

As he exits, emerging on a balcony overlooking the abundant life and vitality of the Great Southern Lake, Raziel marvels at Nosgoth's beauty. He recognizes that Kain and the Pillars lie to the northwest, and navigates the region, fending off Moebius's soldiers as he goes.[SR2-C1] On his short journey, he discovers the victims of the humans' crusade, impaled throughout the land – these vampires, he muses, are humanoid, and genuinely persecuted, unlike the deranged monsters he faced in the Soul Reaver era.[SR2-C1][SR1] Finally, he arrives at a set of giant double-doors, standing before his quarry.[SR2-C1] Pulling them open, he strides into the clearing where the Pillars of Nosgoth stand.[SR2-C1][SR2-C2]

WalkthroughEdit

The Sarafan StrongholdEdit

Raziel begins in the Circle's gathering-room, and possesses almost all of the abilities he gained in the Soul Reaver era, with the exception of constricting, the Fire Reaver, and the glyphs. His health coil also starts at its maximum tier.[SR2-C1][SR1] There is a second time-streaming chamber in the gathering-room, the entrance of which is sealed by a light crystal: it's impossible to access it for now.[SR2-C1][2][SR2-C5]

SR2-Stronghold-Strong04-EraA-TopBack

The Sanctuary area of the Stronghold.

Instead, Raziel must pass through the double-doors into the Stronghold corridors, where he will find his first combat with a vampire hunter swordsman. These can be avoided, or attacked and killed for their souls. He can slay them with his claws, or, alternatively, the nearby halberds can be equipped. Even if Raziel is defeated, he will simply be forced into the Spectral Realm, and can easily return using planar portals. At the end of the corridor is a second hunter, who must be killed before the portcullis blocking the exit will open.[SR2-C1][2]

In the next corridor, another vampire hunter guards the east door. When Raziel enters, he will find a deft vampire hunter pikeman who must be slain. After examining the lionizing imagery in the Stronghold, Raziel enters the Cloister, guarded by a further three pikemen. Upon dispatching them, he must shift into the Spectral Realm and phase through the gate in the northeast corner to reach the Sanctuary.[SR2-C1][2] In the Spectral Realm, he is always armed with his familiar sword:[2][1][SR2]

  • SR2-Icon-RingMenu-WraithBlade Wraith Blade: "As a wraith-blade, the Soul Reaver is symbiotically bound to Raziel - as such, it can never be dropped or lost.
    The Soul Reaver is the only weapon that Raziel can carry with him between the Spectral and Material Realms - all other physical weapons are discarded when Raziel shifts into Spectral. The Reaver is Raziel's sole and constant weapon while in the Spectral Realm.
    At the very beginning of the game, the Soul Reaver is relatively weak, and will only manifest in the Material Realm when Raziel's spirit-energy is full..."
    [1][SR2]

The Wraith Blade returns to Raziel in the Material Realm as soon as he uses the Sanctuary planar portal. In this realm, the room is defended by eight vampire hunters. Raziel can choose to ignore or kill them, before climbing the steps to the large eastern gate.[SR2-C1][2] After the events in William's chapel, Raziel emerges with a fundamentally altered weapon:[2][1][SR2]

  • SR2-Icon-RingMenu-WraithBlade Enhanced Wraith Blade: "...but early on, an event transpires which permanently enhances the Reaver and alters its behavior. Once this event occurs, the Soul Reaver can be summoned at will."[1][SR2]

The Wraith Blade's permanent change in behavior introduces a new gameplay mechanic:

  • Feeding the Reaver: "From this point on, the Reaver is fundamentally altered - it's running the show, and you're just along for the ride. You can summon the Reaver anytime regardless of health, but its hunger for souls is now greater than your own. If you use the Reaver to kill an enemy on the Material Plane, it gets all the soul energy. If you need health, use your claws or another weapon. As you attack with the Reaver, it becomes increasingly powerful - note the new bar encircling your health spiral. As the bar increases, so does the Reaver's power, often felling enemies with a single blow. When the Reaver bar forms a full circle around your health spiral, the ravenous Reaver actually saps your soul, so be careful! You should also note that Raziel's health is drained after the incident in the chapel, so be aware of this as gameplay resumes."[2][1][SR2]

Raziel resumes gameplay just outside William's chapel, with his Material Realm health coil now reduced to its minimum level.[2][SR2] To progress, he must examine the adjacent mural of Janos Audron, then exit the sanctum via the door on the south wall. Following the hallway, and encountering another swordsman, he will emerge in the Chapter House. Two pikemen confront him: once they are dispatched, he can continue. Taking the spiral stairway (flanked by wall-mounted halberds) upwards, he will find an exit on the second floor, in the southwest. The following corridor leads to a set of double-doors, leading directly out to a balcony overlooking the Great Southern Lake.[SR2-C1][2]

The Great Southern LakeEdit

SR2-Great Southern Lake

A view of the waterfalls of the Great Southern Lake.

Jumping into the water of the Lake, Raziel must swim to the outcropping on the left, where he finds a pole headed with an ouroboros-shaped ring - his first checkpoint. He can also examine the nearby entrance to the Light Forge, but it is inaccessible at this time. Turning the nearby wheel, he will open an underwater gate. He can either swim through the open gate quickly, or shift to Spectral to prevent it from closing and pass through at his leisure.[SR2-C1][2]

Once through, he must head towards the lakeshore on the left, and approach the Reaver-shaped obelisk just ahead. This is a save altar. Another light crystal crests the Stronghold's giant doors, again unusable for now. Heading east, Raziel must navigate the lakeside platforms to reach the path to the Pillars. This is accomplished with a combination of crouching, jumping and gliding.[SR2-C1][2]

The Pillars of NosgothEdit

Following the path, Raziel must battle or bypass more vampire hunters, including vampire hunter cannoneers. The way is linear, leading past a wooden bridge to Ariel's Shrine and a small stream. Once over the bridge, Raziel is confronted by vampire hunter attack dogs, and can activate a second checkpoint. Continuing up the stairs to the north, and following the wooden footbridge (guarded by a cannoneer), he reaches the gates to the Pillars. After slaying the nearby hunters and dogs, he must pull the lever until the barred doors are fully unlocked, and can then pass through.[SR2-C1][2]

TranscriptEdit

Players (in order of appearance)Edit


Dark Chronicle: ArrivalEdit

[Raziel has just leapt through the Chronoplast portal in pursuit of Kain, fueled by blind rage and a thirst for vengeance. As his surroundings coalesce, he finds himself in a domed room – similar to the Chronoplast chamber, but smaller in scale.
Moebius, the Time Streamer, steps forward to greet him.]
Moebius: 'Where am I?' is the usual question.
In your case, 'when?' might be more apt.
[Raziel recognizes Moebius, and knows how dangerous he is. As he raises the Reaver in defense, the orb on Moebius's staff flares brightly. The wraith-blade sputters out and retracts, its wisps of energy dissipating completely.
Alarmed, and now even more suspicious of the sorcerer's motives, Raziel advances on Moebius.]
Raziel: Very well, you old snake – if you'd prefer I use my bare hands...
[Raziel lunges at Moebius and grabs him by his scrawny neck, throwing him up against the wall. Moebius feigns surprise and fear for a moment –]
Moebius: This is completely unexpected! This orb disables our vampire enemies, leaving them helpless and incapacitated.
Strangely, it seems to have the same effect on that peculiar weapon of yours.
But you must believe me – I mean you no harm.
Raziel: You can drop the benevolent façade, Moebius.
I know who – and what – you are. I should kill you where you stand...
[As Raziel speaks, Moebius's demeanor changes. He no longer appears to be an addled old magician – this Moebius is composed, confident, and completely in control.]
Moebius: (laughing)
Perhaps you should, my boy. But you don't.
[Raziel tightens his grip a bit on Moebius's throat.]
Raziel: Are you so certain of that, Moebius?
[Moebius appears completely unfazed by Raziel's threats.]
Moebius: My role as Time Guardian affords me a certain level of omniscience, Raziel.
No, you don't kill me. That honor belongs to your maker, Kain, some thirty years from now.
[Raziel releases him roughly, with disgust.]
Raziel: Hmph. You two are a pair – you're just as fatalistic as he is.
Moebius: (laughing softly)
Death comes for us all, Raziel. It's just a matter of time.
[Completely composed, Moebius turns his back on Raziel and exits the chamber.]
Raziel: How is it that you know my name? We have never met.
Moebius: On the contrary, Raziel – I know you very well...
And it grieves me to see how cruelly Kain has used you.
I knew you when you were one of the Sarafan brotherhood, Raziel. We were even close.
Raziel: (with revulsion)
Oh, please.
Moebius: Fortunately, you need not love me now to be my ally...
[Raziel follows Moebius into the adjacent room – the walls of this octagonal chamber are decorated with murals memorializing the six martyred Circle guardians, slaughtered here many centuries ago.
The slain guardians are depicted in beatific imagery, while their murderer – the vampire Vorador – is demonized.
In the center of the room stands a distinctive basin engraved with arcane symbols.]
Raziel: Are we within the Stronghold of the Sarafan priesthood?
Moebius: Yes, but the glorious days of the Sarafan have long since passed, I'm afraid.
This is a more... cynical and indecorous age.
My mercenary army now inhabits this stronghold – we strive to honor the memory of the Sarafan with our own humble crusade.
[Raziel studies the surrounding murals, intrigued.]
Raziel: Is this the vampire Vorador?
Moebius: Yes, the scourge of the Circle. The most depraved and decadent example of his whole degenerate race.
He slaughtered six of my fellow Guardians as they cowered, defenseless, in this room.
Raziel: (incredulous)
And you somehow survived this massacre?
Moebius: I, and two others. The Circle was devastated; only we three were spared.
Raziel: (disdainful)
How convenient.
You'll forgive me if don't naively devour every scrap of information you toss me. You have a reputation for deceit.
Moebius: And who has slandered me so?
Your malefactor Kain? The one who betrayed and destroyed you? Our common enemy?
Consider the source, before you judge me too harshly.
We'll forget about rekindling our old friendship, then. But consider an alliance based on our common ground –
We both want Kain dead.
I can help you do it.
Raziel: You don't want to meddle in this, old man.
I know all about your sordid little schemes, but you're simply out of your depth on this one.
Moebius: You underestimate me, Raziel.
Let me show you...
[Moebius ignites the four candles that stand on the basin's edge, and an image slowly materializes in the mystical waters of the bowl.
The image in the basin coalesces, and Kain is revealed. Raziel leans over the basin and peers in, mesmerized.]
Moebius: Even now, Kain is lying in wait for you, unaware that I've snatched you out of the time-stream and brought you here, to me.
(The image wavers, and we see that Kain is standing in a clearing, beneath the Pillars of Nosgoth, apparently waiting...)
See how he lingers at the very Pillars he is destined to destroy, foolishly confident that he has eluded your grasp.
Raziel: (fascinated)
The Pillars are still standing in this time?
Moebius: Yes, Raziel – they are the embodiment of the divine force which preserves the life of our world.
We who serve the Pillars maintain their delicate balance – and Kain is destined to be the fulcrum upon which that balance turns.
I believe you have already endured the wasteland wrought by his terrible, selfish decision.
Kain's very existence is a cancer upon this world. As long as he lives, all of Nosgoth is in peril.
[The image in the basin wavers and fades out completely.]
Moebius: You may never again be human, Raziel...
But you can re-embrace the essence of your humanity, and the nobility of your Sarafan heritage.
Go to him, Raziel, and end this.
But first you will need to find your way out of the Stronghold – and in this, I'm afraid, I cannot help you.
My soldiers will not understand your appearance here; they will try to kill you.
You needn't fear them, of course. They're no match for you.
Try to keep the casualties to a minimum, but do what you have to do.
(ominously)
All great movements require a few martyrs...
[Moebius vanishes, leaving Raziel alone in the chamber.]

Dialogue: The Sarafan StrongholdEdit

[Raziel looks curiously at the room's second time-streaming chamber – sealed, with a distinctive crystal mounted above the door.]
Raziel (V.O.): Alone now, I surveyed my surroundings and noticed a second time-streaming chamber, its entrance identical to the first, but with one distinction.
That crystal was significant, but how I had not yet discovered.
[Raziel sees imagery in the Stronghold, lionizing the Sarafan crusaders.]
Raziel (V.O.): Throughout the Stronghold I discovered evidence of my former nobility, and my life as a Sarafan priest.
This was the heritage so foully stolen from me when Kain raided my sacred crypt and defiled me.
[His thoughts are interrupted as a group of vampire hunters attack.]
[Raziel feels the power of the Reaver returning, after being disabled by Moebius's staff.]
Raziel (V.O.): Away from the influence of Moebius's cursed staff, I could feel the strength of the Soul Reaver slowly returning.
If that orb was as debilitating to vampires as it was to the blade, it gave Moebius a powerful advantage over his enemies.
I finally understood how Moebius's crusade could decimate the vampires so successfully. If he could immobilize his enemies, they were at his mercy.
But why, I wondered, would the staff have any effect on the Reaver?

Dark Chronicle: The Reaver ConvergenceEdit

[Raziel enters the choir area of the Sanctuary for the first time, and feels an inexplicable distortion which intensifies as he approaches the central chapel.]
Raziel (V.O.): As I neared the Stronghold's inner sanctum, a strange sensation crept over me – an indescribable feeling of displacement, a sense of vertigo as reality itself appeared to warp and bend around me.
The disturbance seemed to emanate from the sanctuary's furthest chapel. As I cautiously approached, the sense of dislocation intensified with each step.
[As Raziel enters the chapel, he sees a stained-glass window memorializing William's murder at Kain's hands. At the end of the chapel stands the sarcophagus of the martyred king.]
Raziel (V.O.): So this was the tomb of the beloved King William the Just – beatified here as the martyr and catalyst of Moebius's crusade.
I was reminded of Kain's journey as a fledgling vampire –
How Moebius coerced him to travel back in history and assassinate William, thus igniting a genocidal hatred of vampires among the citizens of Nosgoth.
[Raziel proceeds into the chapel and stands before the sarcophagus, which he realizes now serves also as an altar – for here, clutched loosely in the hands of William's effigy, is the Soul Reaver, its blade broken in two.]
Raziel (V.O.): And here I discovered the source of the displacement – the Soul Reaver itself, laid out like a holy relic... And broken, apparently in the battle between William and Kain.
I had not thought such a thing was possible...
Until, of course, Kain shattered the blade against me when he tried to strike me down.
(Raziel looks at his right hand contemplatively.)
Thus the captive spirit inhabiting the Reaver was released – and binding itself to me, became my symbiotic weapon.
[Mesmerized by the Reaver's presence here, Raziel tentatively reaches out to touch the sword. As if in sympathetic response, the wraith-blade begins to manifest of its own will.]
Raziel (V.O.): And so the Reaver met its former self, still imprisoned in this corporeal shell...
I watched, mesmerized, as the wraith blade uncoiled itself, and snaked down the length of the physical blade...
(As it passes over the hilt of the sword, Raziel's hand involuntarily lunges forward and clamps down. The Reaver has taken control.)
Embracing its twin, its mirror self, the Reaver's long-dormant spirit was now fully aroused.
And for the first time, I felt the true presence of this other entity – willful, ravenous, and deranged from thousands of years of imprisonment...
The Reaver was now in command – and I, now merely its helpless host, felt my soul being leeched to restore the blade.
[Raziel watches in helpless horror as the Reaver draws his soul-energy through his arm and into the broken blade. The two halves of the Soul Reaver come together and are instantly re-fused.
Just before he is drained completely, the Reaver relents, and Raziel recovers control.]
Raziel (V.O.): But the Reaver knew better than to destroy its host – and just as I neared the brink of oblivion, the blade released its hold on me.
As I recovered, I realized we were now bound together in a fragile alliance – the Reaver no longer merely my symbiotic weapon, but a sentient parasite, competing for control.
[As Raziel recovers, he realizes that Moebius is behind him, watching with intense fascination. Enraged, Raziel wheels on Moebius and menaces him with the now-conjoined Reaver blades.]
Raziel: What have you done to me, Moebius?!
Is this your trap?!
Moebius: (apprehensive)
How mine?!
Don't forget it was Kain who led you here, not I!
While you curse me – the only soul in Nosgoth ready to guide and assist you – Kain laughs at our folly and revels in your dismay.
[Raziel raises the intertwined blades threateningly –]
Raziel: These blades now coiled in sinister embrace have inspired terror in the hearts of creatures far more durable than you, old man. Bound together as they are, I can only imagine what they could do to your soul's fragile shell.
Moebius: Raziel, I beg you to stay your hand.
This was none of my doing. I have sought only to aid you in your righteous quest.
Raziel: (mocking)
Why, you're trembling, Moebius. Has your confidence abandoned you?
You seem to have made a fatal error by leaving your precious staff behind. Is that where all your courage comes from?
Moebius: (desperate)
Listen to me, Raziel – you don't know what you're doing.
I have taken an enormous risk by appearing here before you, so defenseless, yet eager to prove my good intentions.
If there's anything left of the Sarafan in you, you won't do this.
While you threaten me, your true enemy eludes you!
Raziel: Don't concern yourself with Kain, old man. He'll join you in hell soon enough.
As you said, Death comes for us all...
[Raziel raises the entwined blades, fully prepared to strike Moebius down.]
Moebius: Yes... the Wheel of Fate demands it.
[Moebius's statement stays Raziel's hand momentarily –]
Raziel: What did you say?
Moebius: The Wheel of Fate – the inexorable cycle of death and rebirth to which all men are compelled.
We serve the same God, Raziel.
(Moebius grows more confident as he sees that this revelation is having some effect.)
To strike me down would be striking God's own attendant, and I don't believe even you would take that risk.
[Raziel throws the Soul Reaver away in disgust. The wraith-blade untwines itself and dissipates as it coils back into Raziel's hand.]
Raziel: I tire of your games, Moebius. Now that I know you fear me, I needn't concern myself with you.
Kain is waiting for me.
Moebius: Go, then, Raziel. Seek Kain out and destroy him, in the name of the One God we both serve.
You, who were once a Sarafan priest – murdered, profaned, destroyed and reborn again from His mercy...
You are now most powerfully equipped to be His agent – His instrument of restoration and retribution.
Raziel: My own vengeance is motivation enough.
[Raziel turns his back on Moebius and exits the chapel.
Moebius closes the gate behind Raziel, and locks himself safely inside the chapel. He breathes a sigh of relief, then turns and says quietly to himself –]
Moebius: By my soul, you almost had me, my little blue assassin.
But that'll be the one and only chance you get, I assure you of that.
[Alone now in the Sanctuary, Raziel stops to examine his newly-enhanced symbiotic weapon –]
Raziel (V.O.): I could now summon the blade at will, regardless of my strength. But once summoned, the blade's ravenous appetite could not be contained.
It devoured the souls of its victims... And if I allowed it to become over-aroused, the Reaver would now turn its hunger on me.

Dark Chronicle: The Heart of DarknessEdit

[Raziel discovers a stained glass window in the Stronghold, depicting the murder of the vampire Janos Audron at the hands of the Sarafan.]
Raziel (V.O.): So this was the legendary Janos Audron – reputed to have been the most ancient and diabolical vampire to have ever existed.
According to folklore, he lived high in the cliffs of Nosgoth's northern mountains, and preyed mercilessly on the defenseless villagers below.
His reign of terror ended when the Sarafan finally hunted him down and tore his throbbing heart from his still-living body.
This relic came to be known as the 'Heart of Darkness', and was supposedly imbued with the power to restore vampiric unlife.
The Sarafan therefore guarded it carefully, lest the Heart fall into the hands of their enemies.
But I wondered – could Janos Audron truly have been as monstrous as depicted here?
Or was this merely artistic license by the Sarafan, who sought to lionize themselves by demonizing their darkest enemy?

Dialogue: The Sarafan StrongholdEdit

[Raziel sees the images in the Chapter House memorializing the Sarafan martyrs – his former brethren and himself.]
Raziel (V.O.): Strange, how my history came full circle...
This chapel, I realized, was a memorial to my former Sarafan brethren and myself... all of us martyred here, and then so cruelly profaned by Kain when he imposed his 'gift' on our noble corpses.
[Raziel sees an heroic statue memorializing his Sarafan self.]
Raziel (V.O.): For the first time, I beheld the image of my Sarafan self, memorialized here among my fallen comrades.
It tortured me to see how noble and pure I had been – and what a vile phantasm I had become.
And a profound sense of injury – of loss and betrayal – welled up in me, so overwhelming I could barely contain it.
All I wanted at this moment was to find Kain, and destroy him.
[Raziel emerges from the Stronghold and sees past-Nosgoth for the first time.]
Raziel (V.O.): (awestruck)
I emerged... and for the first time beheld Nosgoth in its former glory. The land overflowed with abundant life and vitality.
(then steely)
And I knew with certainty then that the world I had left behind was nothing more than the corpse of Nosgoth – a lifeless husk, bled dry by the corruption of Kain's parasitic empire.
This was the fragile world Kain sacrificed to preserve his own petty life and ambition, heedless of the profound cost. The sight only deepened my resolve...
I sensed that the Pillars lay to the northwest – if Kain truly waited to confront me there, I would not disappoint him...

Dialogue: The Great Southern LakeEdit

[Raziel discovers a sealed door on the edge of the lake.]
Raziel (V.O.): I did not yet possess the means to unlock this barrier... but this enigmatic symbol was clearly the key.
[Raziel encounters his first checkpoint-marker.]
Raziel (V.O.): As I passed this arcane landmark, a wisp of the Reaver's energy was drawn into the ring, illuminating it. This created a beacon of sorts in the spirit world – if ever I found myself depleted in the spectral realm, and my soul tossed on the ethereal winds, these beacons would draw me back to safety and restore me.
[Raziel discovers the first save-point milestone in the game.]
Raziel (V.O.): These ancient obelisks were mysteriously attuned to my spiritual essence.
By simply touching the symbol, I could safely preserve an imprint of my soul – and thus create a milestone to which I could return when weary, and from which I could resume my journey.
[Raziel climbs up to a plateau overlooking the moat that surrounds the Stronghold.]
Raziel (V.O.): While I had only just escaped the Stronghold, I sensed that in time my journey would return me full-circle to this place.
Infiltrating the fortress, however, would be no small feat.
The balcony that had provided my escape was now well beyond my reach – leaving this massive gateway as the only means of entry.
The gates were sealed, but like the time-streaming chamber I had seen earlier, their operation was undoubtedly linked to that odd crystal mounted above the entrance...

Dialogue: The Pillars of NosgothEdit

[Raziel sees the vampires of past-Nosgoth, and the Vampire Hunters' barbarity –]
Raziel (V.O.): These vampires had nothing in common with the deranged jackals I left behind in Kain's derelict empire – they seemed to retain much of their former humanity.
In this era, vampires were clearly not the uncontested predators we had been... these creatures were hunted mercilessly, and oppressed.
And while I still believed that vampirism was a plague, and had to be wiped out, there was nothing noble or righteous in this crusade – this was simply ruthless persecution.

ConclusionsEdit

  • Raziel and Kain have traveled through the Chronoplast, passing from the Soul Reaver era back to the pre-Blood Omen era. The exact period they arrive in is thirty years prior to the Blood Omen era, and just prior to the corruption of the Pillars.[SR2-C0][SR2-C1][SR2-C2] Moebius has separated the two by summoning Raziel to his time-streaming chamber in the Sarafan Stronghold.[SR2-C1]
  • Moebius has instructed Raziel to kill Kain. Raziel strongly distrusts Moebius, and more so when it is revealed that he is a fellow agent of the Elder God. He complies in traveling out of the Sarafan Stronghold, beyond the Great Southern Lake and towards the Pillars in pursuit of Kain, but solely for the sake of his own vengeance.[SR2-C1]
  • The Reaver-convergence effect has been established; when Raziel comes into close contact with the physical Soul Reaver, he begins to feel an inexplicable sense of distortion. The nature of this peculiar vertigo has not yet been revealed.[SR2-C1]
  • The broken Soul Reaver previously wielded by William the Just has been repaired by Raziel, probably enabling it to, in the future Blood Omen era, fall into the hands of Kain in Avernus Cathedral (or otherwise partake in history).[SR2-C1][BO1-C10][BO1-C8] Raziel's Wraith Blade has been altered; the dormant, ravenous sentience within the sword is awakened, and will turn against him if it becomes over-excited in combat.[SR2-C1][1]

NotesEdit

  • 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][3]
  • A cutscene was deleted from the end of this chapter - the only excised scene in Soul Reaver 2 for which dialogue was included in the game data.[SR2-Cut] Before reaching the Pillars, just after commenting on the brutality of Moebius's mercenary army, Raziel was to witness the vampire hunters actually slaughtering a female vampire in person. The Lost Worlds fansite covered the excision: "according to former series director Amy Hennig, the vampire slaying cinematic was deleted because it didn't fit in well with the rest of the story. [...] The dialogue as recorded was also deemed less than ideal; in particular, the "whuh-huh?!" exclamation of the vampire hunters became an in-joke at Crystal Dynamics".[4]
  • This chapter shifts the narrative from the Soul Reaver era to the pre-Blood Omen era. The pre-Blood Omen era was last seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain's Stranded in Time. Raziel arrives here in the Sarafan Stronghold twenty years after those events, and thirty years before the Blood Omen era will begin.[SR2-C1][BO1-C10]
  • Some aspects of this sequence relate to other chapters in the series:
    • In his surety that Kain will eventually kill him thirty years later in the Blood Omen era, Moebius makes reference to The Vampire Purges (chapter) of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Moebius's Staff also provides an explanation as to how the mercenary army "[decimated] the vampires so successfully" in that game.[SR2-C1][BO1-C11]
    • Raziel's and his brothers' Sarafan past was previously established in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver's Tomb Of Sarafan (chapter).[SR1-C5]
    • The slaughter of the Circle, last seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain's Vorador's Mansion (chapter), is referenced both in dialogue and in the level design of the Sarafan Stronghold in general. The Stronghold is the same building in which the slaughter took place, and the Circle's gathering-room is a recurring location, reconstructed directly from the Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain cutscene. Corridors from the cutscene, murals of the Pillar Guardians killed by Vorador and stained glass windows lionizing the Sarafan all relate back to those scenes. Moebius also uses the arcane basin the Circle of Nine were seen clustered around in the earlier game.[SR2-C1][BO1-C6][BO1-C1]
    • Raziel notes Moebius's "reputation for deceit", and Moebius asks whether Kain is responsible for giving Raziel this impression of him.[SR2-C1] Kain's "boasted exploits" were indeed the main source of Raziel's misgivings, as he confirmed in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver's Oracle's Cave (chapter).[SR1-C9]
    • Moebius describes the setting of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver as "the wasteland" (which itself relates to The Waste Land, a poem by T. S. Eliot, whose works influenced Amy Hennig).[SR2-C1][5][6]
    • Repeated references are made to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain's Stranded in Time. Moebius mentions that "all great movements require a few martyrs" - William the Just probably being one such martyr. His death at Kain's hands in that chapter is commemorated at his chapel in the Sanctuary. Raziel repairs William's Soul Reaver which Kain broke, thus patching up the Reaver's timeline and enabling it to fall into the young Kain's hands in Defeat Azimuth.[SR2-C1][BO1-C10][BO1-C8]
    • The Wheel of Fate is mentioned for the first time since Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver's prologue.[SR2-C1][SR1-C1]
    • The events of Blade of Vengeance are depicted in the mural of Janos Audron's death. Janos Audron himself is mentioned for the first time since Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.[SR2-C1][SR2-C9][BO1-Misc]
    • Imagery in the Chapter House foreshadows events in the Soul Reaver 2 epilogue, specifically the ouroboros mural on the floor and the demon seen in the beatific mural of Dumah.[SR2-C1][SR2-C10]
    • On the path between the Great Southern Lake and the Pillars, Raziel encounters a shrine which resembles a balance scales. Though this is not confirmed in the game, this is the same shrine where Mortanius/the Dark Entity kills Ariel in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain's Welcome to Hell. Series artist and art director Daniel Cabuco said he "always thought that was where Ariel was murdered. [He] wanted to put up the decorations similar to Blood Omen's intro, but just didn't have time to implement it".[SR2-C1][7]
  • Some of Moebius's powers as Time Guardian are explored for the first time in this chapter. It is confirmed (in the form of his time-streaming chambers) that he has had even more widespread access to time travel than the time-streaming devices and Chronoplast would suggest, and that he is omniscient on some level (his inherent understanding of the time-stream enables him to predict future events).[SR2-C1][SR2-C9][SR2-C5] Furthermore, Moebius "[snatches Raziel] out of the time-stream" to meet him in the Stronghold. Though such a feat is probably well within his power, this remains the only known instance of time travel in the series where a character has conclusively been transported through both time and space.[SR1][SR2][BO1][BO2][DEF] Presumably, if Moebius had not interfered, Raziel would have emerged in this era at either the Chronoplast or the Pillars of Nosgoth.[SR2-C1]
  • Moebius notes that three Guardians survived the slaughter of the Circle. Crystal Dynamics' Chris Bruno and Amy Hennig confirmed that these three were Malek, Moebius and Mortanius.[SR2-C1][8]
  • It is never explained why Raziel loses some of his abilities from Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver from this chapter onwards. The fact that he no longer possesses the Fire Reaver or the glyphs may indicate that he never canonically obtains them, or perhaps loses the Fire Reaver enhancement when the Wraith Blade is altered in the Chapel incident.[SR1][SR2]
  • Although William the Just's sarcophagus is in the Sarafan Stronghold, his place of death was his own stronghold in the far-northern Land of the Nemesis. The presence of his body and Soul Reaver in the Great Southern Lake region indicates that the mercenary army managed to transport his corpse from the opposite side of Nosgoth in order to facilitate their crusade.[SR2-C1][BO1-C10]
  • Raziel was entirely capable of creating (and prepared to create) a significant paradox in this chapter, had he killed Moebius in the Sanctuary with the Soul Reaver. The Reaver-convergence ensures that there was a historical juncture at that point, but it was aborted when Raziel refused to exercise his free will. If he had instead slain Moebius, a new, replacement Time Guardian would have been born (and subsequently corrupted), and the events of the Blood Omen era may have been vastly different.[SR2-C1][SR2-C2]
  • There is an easter egg in the Stronghold mural depicting Janos Audron's life and death. Daniel Cabuco revealed that the panicking human villagers in the left panel are based on Hong Park, Scott Krotz and Jason Bell, "engineers for Soul Reaver, SR2 and Defiance". Cabuco said that "they all got a big kick out of it when they saw it and we had a good laugh at this inside joke".[9]
  • This chapter introduces the Great Southern Lake as a playable location, but does not mark its first depiction in the series. It was originally seen, and identified, on maps included with Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.[SR2-C1][BO1]
  • Ruins relating to the cut Spirit Forge location can be seen at the bottom of the Great Southern Lake.[SR2-C1][10]

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See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Wiki-Icon-SR2 Soul Reaver 2 manual. Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (October 31, 2001) Download.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Icon-Prima Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
  3. Icon-NR Soul Reaver 2 - Dialogue at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya)
  4. Wiki-Icon-TLW Raziel Witnesses a Vampire Slaying at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  5. Icon-PSN Behind the Classics: Amy Hennig Talks Soul Reaver Secrets at the PlayStation Blog (by Sid Shuman and Amy Hennig)
  6. Icon-IGN The Influence of Literature and Myth in Videogames at IGN (by Douglass C. Perry), page 3
  7. Icon-DCab Weaponry and other questions at DCabDesign (by BazL), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  8. Wiki-Icon-SEF Chris@Crystal's Greatest Hits at the Square Enix Forums (by Divine Shadow)
  9. Icon-DCab Some questions about SR2 Sarafan at DCabDesign (by Lexy), post #25 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  10. Wiki-Icon-TLW Deleted Reaver Forges at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
Preceded by:
Wiki-Icon-SR2 Prologue
Soul Reaver 2 chapters
Wiki-Icon-SR2 Chapter 1: A Reaver in Time
Followed by:
Wiki-Icon-SR2 Decision at the Pillars

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