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"As the handsome coffin hides the putrefying corpse within, the great Cathedral of Avernus seemed to hold its own secrets, hidden in the catacombs beneath its vaulted chambers. Was this the source of the corruption that infected Nosgoth? Vorador had hinted at something more."
―Raziel[src]

The Avernus Catacombs were a set of underground tunnels and burial chambers in the city of Avernus beneath Avernus Cathedral. Often associated with the worship of the Hash'ak'gik cult and demonic forces, the tunnels were hidden from the ordinary citizens of the city and were visited by Kain and Raziel in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and Legacy of Kain: Defiance respectively.

ProfileEdit

Defiance-DC-Mural-TheHyldenMessiah-010

In the course of his quest in Blood Omen Kain visited Avernus and its Cathedral in the chapter Defeat Azimuth seeking to challenge the Guardian of Dimension - Azimuth the Planer.[BO1][BO1-C8] Beforehand he was advised before by Ariel that he would have to "rise and fall and find [his] salvation in between"[BO1][BO1-C7] and when Kain arrived in Avernus Cathedral he found it was apparently split into several 'realms', with teleporters linking them. The regular Cathedral was effectively mirrored in a shadowy alternate realm and along with those Kain breached a bright white 'heavenly' realm that rose up to the clouds, and a dark, shadowy gory 'hellish' realm that descended underground - as well as a secret chamber underground in the catcombs dedicated to the worship of the 'god' 'Hash'ak'gik'.[BO1][BO1-C8]

Main article: Avernus
Main article: Avernus Cathedral
Main article: Hell
Defiance-DC-DarkRitesInTheAvernusCatacombs-030

The Catacombs were revisited in Defiance, apparently a short while after the young Kain had been through. Raziel, coming to the Cathedral in search of the Heart of Darkness was able to gain entry to an underground chamber beneath the Cathedral which contained a warp gate leading to the Earth Forge within the Vampire Citadel where Raziel was able to imbue the Earth Reaver.[DEF][DEF-C10]

Returning to the Cathedral with the Earth Reaver, Raziel was able to summon a set of Earth platforms which allowed him to climb high in the Cathedral to a balcony where he could pick up a Dark Scripture which opened up a portal to the Catacombs when placed in the altar of the Cathedral.[DEF][DEF-C10]

Defiance-DC-Reunion-040

Inside the Catacombs Raziel was confronted by Cenobites who summoned Red Fire Demons and he soon discovered murals of the Elder Wars, except this time they were from the Hylden perspective and showed the Ancient Vampires as terrifying aggressors, descending from the skies to attack their enemies for refusing to submit to the Wheel of Fate. He also found an image of how the Hylden saw their own champion - a dark silhouette in the shape of Raziel himself, whose flaming sword now seemed much more like the Wraith Blade. This champion was prophesied to "destroy the shackles of the vampires tyrannous god".[DEF][DEF-C10]

Further along the chambers he found his way to a large pit where Mortanius and the Cenobites were apparently worshipping and giving sacrifices to the Hash'ak'gik himself. When they had finished Raziel moved close enough to the pit to be telekinetically dragged into it by the entity within, which was revealed to be his devolved brother from the far future - Turel - who was being possessed by several Hylden and used as an impressive vessel to command the disciples of the Hash'ak'gik cult.[DEF][DEF-C10] Battling Turel, Raziel was able to devour his soul and finally gain Enhanced telekinesis (a newer version of the Amplified Force Projectile that was removed from Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver along with Turel) which brought his telekinetic abilities up to the same level as Kain.[DEF][DEF-C10][SR1][1][2]

Defiance-DC-MortaniusRedemption-008

Exiting the Pit, Raziel met the Mortanius as he was leaving a message for the younger Kain. Mortanius, much like Turel was possessed by the Hylden, although this time by a single Hylden - the Hylden Lord - who confirmed that it was he who put the chain of events that led to the Corruption of the Pillars in motion by murdering Ariel. Raziel also got Mortanius to admit to hiding the Heart of Darkness inside Kain and replaced his own heart.[DEF][DEF-C10] As Raziel exited the Catacombs and returned to the Cathedral, Kain entered and the two battled - believing they represented the opposing champions of ancient prophecy. Raziel won the battle, claiming the Heart of Darkness and blasting the apparently dying Kain through the portal back to the Catacombs.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C11][DEF-C12]

Some time later the heartless Kain awoke and found himself in Turel's pit in the Demon Realm. Attacked by a 'demon horde', Kain was able to fight them off and make his way back to the Material Realm through the portal. Shortly afterward he left the Catacombs and Avernus itself and returned to the Vampire Citadel -apparently feeling the pull of the Spirit Forge.[DEF][DEF-C13]

Defiance-DC-KainAwakesInTheDemonRealm-035
Main article: Avernus
Main article: Avernus Cathedral
Main article: Demon Realm

EnvironmentEdit

Like many of the areas from Blood Omen that are revisited in Defiance, the catacombs changes radically between its appearances and much depends upon which areas are counted and compared - although both retain the feel of darkened underground caverns fashioned into a cult-like atmosphere and lit by low-level candlelight. In Blood Omen, the walls are piled high with bones and there are numerous blood splatters and gory remains covering the floors, whereas In Defiance the bones are seen to be merely bone-like ribbed walls.[BO1][BO1-C8][DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13]

In Blood Omen, the altar of Hash'ak'gik is devoid of inhabitants, although there are many Undead creatures, Demons, and the cultist-like Fire mages in the nearby underground areas of the Hell dungeon.[BO1][BO1-C8][3] In Defiance fewer undead supernatural creatures are seen but Demons are featured as well as the cultist-like Cenobites.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13][4]

These main area of the catacombs in Defiance consists mainly of a series of winding darkened corridors with tiled floors running through through bare earth and rock along with a low ribbed ceiling supported by pillars. Occasional blank walls were filled with candlelit murals and patterns. The first corridor of these opened out into a wider clearing with murals along one side before narrowing into another curving corridor - this too opened into a second clearing before narrowing into a third smaller corridor which contained a mural of the Hylden champion and the door which led onto Turel's pit and Mortanius's chambers. (see below)

The exact borders of what constitutes the Catacombs are not conclusively discussed. The main area of the catacombs is obviously identified by Raziel in dialogue in Defiance and includes all the underground areas after the portal from the Cathedral - but by strict definition any artificial underground location associated with religious practice could be considered to represent part of the catacombs, including nearby underground areas such as the Hell dungeon and the secret altar of Hash'ak'gik in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, and the Earth forge warp room in Legacy of Kain: Defiance.[BO1][BO1-C8][DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13][3][4][5]

  • The Hell dungeon seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain in particular could be considered to be the same location as the catacombs - with both representing somewhat similarly designed underground areas beneath Avernus Cathedral that are populated by Demons and their worshippers and were similarly skeletally or hellishly themed. It too was unclear how it related to the rest of the Cathedral, appearing to be underground but only entered via portal - some of its area also bore particular resemblance to those in the catacombs.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13][BO1][BO1-C8][DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13]
  • The secret altar of Hash'ak'gik in Blood Omen - which is entered from the main Cathedral but passes through the top of the descending chamber of the Hell dungeon on the way to the altar room - is noted by Chris Bruno as being placed in the catacombs, but it is unclear if this implies the entire Hell dungeon is in the catacombs or just the altar itself.[BO1][BO1-C8][6][7]
  • The Earth forge warp room of Legacy of Kain: Defiance is an area of bare rock and earth positioned slightly behind and beneath the main altar of the Cathedral. It was never acknowledged as part of the catacombs but it's apparent underground location could potentially qualify it as a part of the catacombs.

The most significant area of the Cathedral included several important areas and rooms that could be considered to represent areas of the catacombs - some were explicitly confirmed to represent part of the Catacombs while others were not but seemed to be highly related:

Main AreasEdit

Turel's Pit and Mortanius's chamberEdit

Defiance-Prima-Map-Cathedral-Turel'sPit

map of Turel's Pit and Mortanius's chamber in Defiance

Turel's Pit was perhaps the most significant area of the Catacombs visited in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Similar to Hash'ak'gik's altar in Blood Omen the pit was an area dedicated to the worship of dark god Hash'ak'gik.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13]

The pit was first visited by Raziel in the chapter Seek Mortanius as Raziel explored the Catacombs and found Mortanius and a crowd of Cenobites performing a sacrificial ceremony over the pit. After the conclusion of the ceremony Raziel was telekinetically dragged into the pit and found that his brother Turel was trapped there, possessed by several Hylden and used as a vessel to act as the god Hash'ak'gik to command the disciples of the Hash'ak'gik cult. The area acted as the arena of the boss battle with Turel as Turel attacked Raziel to strenthen himself against the Hylden. Shortly after, Raziel would confront Mortanius in a small chamber off the side of the pit.[DEF][DEF-C10]

The pit would be visited again after Raziel confronted Kain in the main Cathedral and blasted him through a portal to his apparent demise.[DEF][DEF-C11][DEF-C12] Kain awoke in Turel's pit in the Demon Realm and had to fight off waves of Demons before returning via portal to the Material Realm. From here he could proceed back through the catacombs to the main Cathedral and on towards the Vampire Citadel.[DEF][DEF-C13]

The chamber itself was a wide open cavernous area dominated by a large circular pit filled with murky smoke. The outside of the chamber had a pair of balconies extending along the outer walls, with one terminating and then extending into a false balcony - the other led around the outside of the chamber to where a raised platform extended out over the pit flanked by torches - from which Mortanius made the sacrifices of the cult.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13]

Directly behind the platform was a private chamber of sorts used by Mortanius. This appeared as a roughly square shaped chamber with a curved back decorated with four pillars and a skeletal throne flanked by two tall pillar-like braziers. The centre of the room was dominated by a circular floor pattern consisting of two sets of golden rings made out of various Arcane symbols with a pale red circle at the centre - this too was flanked by two tall pillar-like braziers. A health talisman was positioned in the back left corner.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13]

The pit itself was a wide deep hole with vision blocked by a dark layer of murky smoke. Beneath the smoke was a wide circular room filled with scattered skeletal human remains. Several spherical lights on chains descended into the pit from the ceiling above. One side of the pit was dominated by four circular gongs covering square alcoves and held in place by chains. On the opposite side of the pit a large ornate doorway was visible but it was permanently locked and immovable. The high platform above was supported by a pillar which descended into the pit. This was flanked by Scalable walls and the pillar itself could be broken with Enhanced telekinesis, allowing it to be climbed through to continue the ascent back to the rim of the pit. The demon and spectral realms both lacked the gongs and instead featured empty spaces, with the demon realm also showing a number of deep red cracks in the ground.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13]

Additional NotesEdit
  • Turel's Pit has the dubious honor of being one of the only places in the entirety of Nosgoth that is seen in the Material Realm, Spectral Realm and the Demon Realm, allowing something of a comparison between the realms and their effects - and one of the few places in the series where the Demon Realm is directly seen. This highlighted that the Demon Realm was even more warped than the Spectral realm, featured a large amount of wispy smoke, a distinct orange hue and several deep red cracks. It did not strictly mirror the other two realms with the area above the pit appearing to have a much lower ceiling and the areas above the pit appearing to be entirely absent of completely changed. Later developer interviews confirmed that the Demon Realm only intersected with the other two in certain weak areas like Avernus.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13][8]
  • The final chamber of the Hell dungeon...
  • ...Malek's execution at the start of the game...
  • ...and Mortanius's chamber nearby Turel's pit in the Catacombs of Defiance
  • Kain's throne in the bad ending of Blood Omen
  • Mortanius's throne in Defiance
  • Mortanius's chamber and Turel's pit in Defiance bear a resemblance to the area where Malek was punished by Mortanius in the initial cutscenes of Blood Omen[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13][BO1][BO1-C8][BO1-C1] A similarly appearing area with a golden circular floor symbol and nearby pillars is also seen in the final area of the Hell dungeon in Blood Omen with a skeleton chained between two pillars - the skeleton is referred to in the official guide as Malek's remains, however the guide also claims the remains in Malek's Bastion as his - as does Malek himself.[BO1][BO1-C8][BO1-C4][3] It is ultimately unclear if the areas were literally intended to be the same area or just similar chambers.[BO1][DEF] The golden circle also bears a passing resemblance to the circular symbol at the base of the pillars and is openly acknowledged in stage directions as "an arcane magical circle, similar to the one at the Pillars, but darker in intention." The symbols are also noted to glow as Mortanius speaks to the younger Kain.[DEF][DEF-C10] Similarly the throne seen in Mortanius's chamber in Defiance bears a remarkable resemblance to the throne Kain is seen sitting on in the bad ending of Blood Omen - perhaps hinting that Kain found the catacombs and took it before toasting his victory at the pillars.[BO1-C12][DEF-C10][DEF-C13]
  • The Turelim symbol door
  • Turelim symbols on the high platform
  • Turelim symbols on the brazier poles
  • concept art from the Bonus materials featuring Turel's symbol within the pit
  • Despite appearing to be the same area, the Demon Realm version of Turel's pit in Defiance is actually counted as a separate area unconnected to the rest of the level - in contrast to the Spectral Realm variants of levels which are usually counted as the same area. When examined using a free camera it becomes clear that even discounting the visual effects a number of stark differences exist between the demon realm and other variants. Notably the ceiling in the demon realm is a lot lower with a number of hanging rocks. Passing through it reveals the high platform above the pit still present and fully constructed above the ceiling but it is backed by a bright orange background. An apparently unused health talisman - which may be the same as the one from in Mortanius's chamber - can be seen in the distance.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13]
  • Turel's pit features several subtle Turel/Turelim symbols in its design. Most obviously the symbol can be seen on the doors that lead into the pit area, but additional symbols are placed on the high platform and on the poles of the braziers atop it and in Mortanius's chambers.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13] Concept art and Bonus materials show the symbol on the side of the pit itself, but this is not visible in game.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13][9]. A Death symbol can also be seen on the side of the throne of Mortanius.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13]

Hash'ak'gik's altarEdit

BO1-Map0009-Sect00-HashakgikAltar

The secret altar of Hash'ak'gik

Hash'ak'gik's altar was a secret area within Avernus Cathedral, visited by Kain during the Blood Omen era. It was a perverse, occult shrine to the god Hash'ak'gik, and contained battle artifacts and a tome recounting his commands to human worshippers. The altar could be visited in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.[BO1][BO1-C8]

In the first timeline, while exploring Avernus Cathedral in his search for Azimuth, Kain discovered the Soul Reaver and the Wraith Armor, but these were not the only curiosities he could uncover within its nooks and crannies before confronting the Dimension Guardian. At the north-east end of the Cathedral's main hall, near the public altar, a well-hidden door led to the uppermost balcony of the Hell dungeon. The balcony led to one adjacent passage - a stone corridor containing many battle artifacts, which, when followed, culminated in a second, much darker shrine.[BO1-C8][10]

The shrine room was gory and chaotic, and it contained a blood-stained tome which read as follows:

"And Hash'ak'gik spoke to the world, and all who heard trembled.
"Bring me your first born, and shed their blood on the altar of the world, so I might take nourishment from them.
Do this without question, or suffer my wrath for eternity."
And its will was done."
―Hash'ak'gik's altar[src]
  • The bloodied tome upon the altar.
  • A windowed depiction of the Hash'ak'gik tome (BO1).
  • The Dark scripture from Defiance
  • The Dark scripture in the inventory
  • The Dark scripture in the inventory

The floor of this altar room was decorated with a demon-like image, but Kain had yet to recognize its significance.[BO1-C8] When he confronted Mortanius at the end of his quest, he realized that the Death Guardian had been possessed by a malevolent entity - an entity which, through him, had orchestrated the death of Ariel and the corruption of the Pillars. As he died, Mortanius's body was transformed by the entity, taking on the shape of the monster depicted in the shrine's image. It was the "Unspoken" which Ariel had warned him to be wary of; he defeated it handily.[BO1-C12][BO1-C2]

When Raziel later visited the Avernus Catacombs in the fourth timeline, he discovered the truth behind Hash'ak'gik and his worship.[DEF-C9] Hash'ak'gik was a pseudonym forcibly used by Turel, his vampire brother from the Soul Reaver era: Azimuth, a devout worshipper of the Hylden, had summoned Turel back through time using a time-streaming device stolen from Moebius.[DEF-C9][11][12] The Hylden were an ancient race whose banishment in the Demon Realm was sustained by the Pillars of Nosgoth; they and the Unspoken were one and the same, and they were capable of possessing creatures in the Material Realm to do their bidding.[DEF-C11]

The entity behind Hash'ak'gik and the possession of Mortanius was the Hylden Lord, a leader among the banished militants. Turel, in his devolved state, was trapped, and utilized as the mouthpiece for the Hash'ak'gik cult; periodically possessed by various Hylden, he was used to command the cenobites of Avernus, thus facilitating the downfall of the Pillars, which would eventually give rise to Kain's empire.[11] The words in the tome which Kain had discovered implied that it was all a cyclic phenomenon; Turel had taken part in Raziel's execution under Kain's command, and his order to his disciples that they "shed their [first born's] blood on the altar of the world" to sustain him appeared to emulate the fate which would befall his brother in the distant future.[DEF-C9][SR1-C1][13]

The passageway leading to the altar area was very dimly-lit, and was wrought from stone spattered with blood. The altar area itself was a grim sight, shaped to resemble a jaw (with teeth for walls), and decorated with skull imagery. Innumerable real skeletons filled pits on either side of the trail towards the altar itself, with a few skulls, ribcages spilling over onto the walkway. Nine toppled marble pillars were also strewn around the rubble-laden room, possibly lending suggestion to the ultimate intent behind the Dark Entity's plan.[BO1]

Additional NotesEdit
  • the descending chamber of the Hell dungeon
  • The passage leading to Hash'ak'gik's altar (BO1).
  • Hash'ak'gik's altar (BO1).
  • The correct usage of the term "Hask'ak'gik" is notably kept somewhat vague throughout the series. It is initially implied (but not categorically stated) that the Dark Entity confronted at the end of the Blood Omen is the demon "Hash'ak'gik" with it also taking on the image from the floor of Hash'ak'gik's altar at the end of the game.[BO1][BO1-C8][BO1-C11] Later titles however cast doubt on this: showing that the Hash'ak'gik cult actively worshipped the Possessed Turel as "Hash'ak'gik";[DEF][DEF-C10] showing a different explanation for the transformation of flesh seen at the climax of Blood Omen;[DEF][DEF-C12][4] showing the Dark Entity was a Hylden (the same individual as the "Sarafan Lord" from Blood Omen 2) and addressing him specifically as "Hylden Lord" and not "Hash'ak'gik" - with him not one of the trio controlling Turel.[DEF][DEF-C12][11] The Defiance design team addressed the complication as follows:
    "Hash'ak'gik" is the name the human worshippers use for their god. The actual Hash entity is a leader among the Hylden, who has his own agenda. In Defiance, he possesses Janos. In Blood Omen, he uses the transformed body of Mortanius as a vessel. In Blood Omen 2, he appears as the Hylden Lord (AKA Sarafan Lord). When Raziel meets Turel, Turel is actually being possessed by a number of other Hylden (not the Hylden Lord). Many different Hylden did so in order to command their disciples.
    ―Amy Hennig[11]

    Within the story only Turel is directly addressed as "Hash'ak'gik"[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C12] and it is ultimately unclear whether "Hash'ak'gik" is the actual name of the Hylden Lord, a story created by the Hylden to inspire worship, or an actual myth or legend adapted and co-opted by the Hylden.[13] Some sources do however actively refer to the entity controlling Mortanius as "Hash'ak'gik".[14][4][6][7][15][16]
  • The origin of "Hash'ak'gik" and the Hash'ak'gik cult is similarly kept vague with it suggested by texts in the Library of Willendorf that the cult was present in Nosgoth "ages" before the Blood Omen era.[BO1][BO1-C9] It was suggested by developers that Azimuth and Mortanius unearthed a "power" beneath Avernus that may have led to the formation of the cult, though what exactly this was was never specified.[11] It was also mentioned that Azimuth had used the Time streaming device she had possessed in Blood Omen (or the Chronoplast) to summon Turel from the far future of the Soul Reaver era (or beyond) - therefore she at least was likely aware that Turel was simply a mouthpiece for the true leadership of the cult.[11][12][13]
  • Before Crystal Dynamics obtained the Legacy of Kain intellectual property, Silicon Knights had different plans for what they described as the "Blood Omen series".[17] Although these plans would not come to fruition, their next game, 2002's Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, focused very heavily upon a grimoire dedicated to a dark god and found in a secret room - the Tome of Eternal Darkness.[18] It seems possible that Hash'ak'gik's altar was originally intended to serve as a "teaser" for a potential sequel to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, and that this concept was absorbed into Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem when Silicon Knights lost control of the Legacy of Kain IP.[19]
  • It is unclear whether the tome on Hash'ak'gik's altar was supposed to relate to the Dark Scripture in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. The maroon, leathery covers of the tome and the Scripture greatly resemble each other, but they were discovered in what seemed to be very different areas of the Cathedral.[BO1-C8][DEF-C9][13]

Potential AreasEdit

The Earth Forge Portal RoomEdit

The Earth forge was a sealed chamber within the Vampire Citadel where the Wraith Blade could be forged with elemental Earth to imbue the Earth Reaver. Like all the forges of Defiance, the forge was linked to the outside world via a hidden warp gate.[DEF][DEF-C10]

The warp gate for the Earth forge was hidden in and underground chamber of bare rock hidden behind the altar of the Avernus Cathedral and though not named as part of the catacombs the underground nature of the room meant it could be considered a part of the catacombs.[DEF][DEF-C10]

Additional NotesEdit
  • In stark contrast to the rest of the Cathedral the Earth forge areas would appear to be more associated with the Ancient Vampires the the Hylden, suggesting that both ancient races had some hand in settlement or worship at Avernus.[DEF][DEF-C10]

The Hell dungeonEdit

Main article: Hell

The Hell dungeon was a supposed alternate realm featured in Blood Omen. Consisting of a number of 'hellish' underground chambers which descended into the earth to the bottom of the dungeon where Kain gained the Wraith Armor.[BO1][BO1-C8]

Significant chambers within included the oft-seen 'descending shaft' - with a number of bridges which Kain crossed progressively as he descended through the dungeon - and the final excavated chamber where Kain gained the wraith armor which featured a prominent golden circular pattern along with a bound skeleton - as well as the apparent skeleton of a dragon.[BO1][BO1-C8]

The Hell dungeon seemed to be highly related to the catacombs - it bore a similar design, a similar underground setting, similar enemies and similar theming. Although it was not directly implicated as part of the catacombs, the Hell dungeon was passed through on the way to the secret altar of Hash'ak'gik - which was implicated as part of the catacombs and thus could indicate the inclusion of the Hell dungeon was as well.[BO1][BO1-C8][DEF][DEF-C10][6][7]

DevelopmentEdit

The architecture of the Avernus was acknowledged to have been greatly influenced by medieval Cathedral architecture in the real world and included a combination of various French, Italian and Spanish influences, with items identified from several real-world Cathedrals such as "Florence Baptistery doors, Notre Dame Paris Cathedral rose window, Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona fasade, Pere Lachaise cemetary figures". The catacombs beneath Paris were also used as an inspiration for the Avernus Catacombs.[20][21] Cabuco commented:

"As a general rule, ancient Vampire and Kain's architecture followed Arabic designs, while human areas followed more European designs. Sarafan took from French architecture, while Averness took from a combination of areas (like Notre Dame, or Florence cathedrals). We took some influence from spanish gravesites as well. Venician influences touched the the true vampire burial sites in terms of material (the variety of marbles used) and the dead vampires themselves (influenced by carnivale masks). We mixed and matched within styles mercilessly."
Daniel Cabuco[21]
"Yep, Roman catacombs and Spanish graves were all used. The Catacombs under France with all the skulls was used for the under area of Avernus.
Search with the term 'French catacombs under Paris' and you'll
A) Freak out what's under Paris and
B) see some cool reference we used. ..
and if you're like me
C) Re-freak out when you see what's under Paris."
Daniel Cabuco[21]

The Avernus Cathedral and Catacombs in Defiance had several areas removed from the game before completion due to timing and budgetary constraints, with some of of these deleted areas visible in concept art and Bonus materials. Ultimately the Defiance version of Avernus Cathedral and Catacombs is left as a much smaller area than the Blood Omen version of the Cathedral, and one of the smallest areas in the game.[9][DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13][BO1][BO1-C8]

ApocryphaEdit

The destruction of Avernus was mentioned in the backstory to Nosgoth with the background of the Lost Seers of Avernus revealing them as descendants of a divinatory order of Cenobites known as "the Prophets" who had fled Avernus in shock at Azimuth's actions - taking rare treasures and artefacts from the cathedral and catacombs as they did.[NOS-Official][22]

The origins of the Prophets mean they are related to the religious groups and Cenobites seen in Avernus, particularly the Fire mages and Black fire mages seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and the Cenobite acolytes and Cenobite summoners seen in Legacy of Kain: Defiance.[NOS-Official][22][DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13][4] They are also related to the Witches and Witches' coven deleted from Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and the Demon worshippers removed fron Soul Reaver 2.[22][BO1-Cut][23][24][25]

NotesEdit

  • The Avernus Catacombs are directly named as either "Avernus catcombs", "subterranean catacombs", "the catacombs" or similar variants in Defiance dialogue, transcripts, original scripts, the official guide and title screen images.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13][4] Blood Omen sources do not refer to any area by this title, although subsequent interviews with Chris Bruno associated at least the altar of Hash'ak'gik as part of the catacombs - and this possibly implicated further areas such as the Hell dungeon.[6][7]
  • In Defiance the catacombs are split into several distinct map areas. "Avernus 3a" refers to initial corridors and trails surrounding the first clearing area, "Avernus 4a" refers to the corridors and trails surrounding the second clearing area, "Avernus 5a" refers to Turel's pit and Mortanius's chambers, and "Avernus 6a" refers to the Demon Realm alternate of Turel's pit. The official guide mentions the catacombs in passing but refers more to Avernus and The Cathedral as the main start points of the area - in contrast to other areas of the game the only individual room area listed is "Turel's pit" (which includes Mortanius's chamber and the demon realm variant of the room), all of the other catacombs chambers are listed as under the single title of "Connector". Tuel's pit is the only area which has a map provided.[DEF][4]
    • Hash'ak'gik's altar in Blood Omen is labelled under it's own unique "Map 0009" designation in files, with "Sect 00" referring to the main altar room and "Sect 01" referring to the entrance passage. The top level of the Hell dungeon descending chamber is actually passed through on the way between the main cathedral and the altar entrance passage, with that section labelled as "Map 0038 Sect 52". Given that the altar counts as a secret it is listed in the Developers' level select as secret number "38".[BO1][26][27]
    • The Hell dungeon in Blood Omen is labelled under its own Map 0038" designation in files and contains no less than sixteen different map areas. The area can also be found in the Developers' level select where it is labelled as "HELL" under the "OL7" designation that relates to the Defeat Azimuth chapter.[BO1][26][27]
    • The Defiance Earth forge warp room is labelled as "Avernus 2a" in game files and as "Earth Forge Portal Room" in the Prima guide.[DEF][DEF-C10][4]
  • In Blood Omen, Hash'ak'gik's Altar has on it a bloodstained book (which may be related to the Dark Scripture seen to open the way to the Catacombs in Defiance). The book has in it the text "And Hash'ak'gik spoke to the world and all who heard trembled "bring me your first born and shed their blood on the altar of the world so I might take nourishment from them, do this without question or suffer my wrath for eternity." and its will was done".[BO1][BO1-C8] The passage certainly bears a resemblance to the Kain's execution of Raziel and may be indicative of Turel's witnessing of the event in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.[SR1][SR1-C1] Further clues to Turel becoming the Hash'ak'gik entity can be seen on the doors to the Pit Chamber in Defiance, which are marked with Turel's clan symbol from Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver - as is the platform over the pit and the torches on it.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13][SR1]
  • Although Azimuth is absent from Defiance - having already been killed by the younger Kain[BO1][BO1-C8] - she is still heavily implicated in the events there. Her role as Dimension Guardian means that she was likely to have been aware of the Hylden pulling the strings of the Hash'ak'gik Cult.[DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C13] In Blood Omen she carried with her a Time Streaming Device, which she had planned to use to gather Demons from other times[BO1][BO1-C8] - with Defiance perhaps implicating that she had actually already used this device to bring Turel to Avernus from the far future.[DEF][DEF-C10][SR1][11][12][28] This also means that she would likely have been aware that Turel was merely an impressive front to encourage worship of Hash'ak'gik among the Circle of Nine and their followers, making them vulnerable to the plans of the cult. Despite actively resisting the Possession of the Hylden Lord, Mortanius still didn't seem to be aware of the true face of the cult in Defiance.[DEF][DEF-C10] Later interviews also hinted at excavations beneath Avernus uncovering great secrets, with those found by Azimuth and Mortanius particularly linked to the rise of the Hylden.[11][12]
  • Avernus Cathedral contains perhaps the largest collection of religious themed imagery in the series, with no other building approaching its size or significance.[BO1][BO1-C8][DEF][DEF-C10][DEF-C11][DEF-C12][DEF-C13][SR1][SR2][BO2] The content and practice of the religion is not elaborated upon but superficially seems to bear a number of parallels to Medieval European Christianity.[BO1][DEF][28] The introductions of the Hylden and Ancient Vampires and their conflict later in the series may suggest a basis for this religion potentially implying that early humans may have worshipped the previous races - like the Feral humans of the Vampire Citadel - with this developing on the mainland into an organized religion.[SR2][BO2][DEF][4][28] Thus the imagery seen throughout the Cathedral may be based upon the appearance and beliefs of the Ancient Vampires, Hylden and their demon allies.[28]

GalleryEdit

Blood Omen Tiles (Hash'ak'gik's altar)Edit


Defiance concept art and Bonus materialsEdit

Defiance TexturesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Wiki-Icon-TLW Turel at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  2. Wiki-Icon-TLW Amplified Force Projectile at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Icon-Prima Prima Games / Ian Osborne. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain: Official Game Secrets. (1996)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Icon-Prima Prima Games / JDP and Gerald Guess. Prima's Official Legacy of Kain: Defiance Guide. (2003)
  5. Icon-Wikipedia Catacombs at Wikipedia
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Icon-EidosChris@Crystal's Greatest Hits at the Eidos Forums (archived at the Square Enix Forums) (by Divine Shadow/Chris Bruno).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Icon-EidosWarp's answers from Amy at the Eidos Forums (archived at the Square Enix Forums) (by Warpsavant/Blincoln/Amy Hennig).
  8. Icon-DCab Blood Omen 2 at DCabDesign (by Divine Shadow), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Wiki-Icon-TLW Avernus Cathedral Deleted Areas at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  10. Wiki-Icon-DC Legacy of Kain Secrets: Page 9 of 9 at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 Wiki-Icon-TLW Question and Answer with Amy Hennig at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Icon-Eidos Answers to questions from the Defiance team at the Eidos forums (by Chris@Crystal)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Wiki-Icon-DC Hash'ak'gik and Hash'ak'gik's Altar at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
  14. Wiki-Icon-DC Legacy of Kain: The Plot at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
  15. Icon-FacebookOk LOK fans, here's a canon chronology we had during Defiance. Whenever someone new joined the team they were given this to help them understand the timeline. Merry LOKmas! at Legacy of Kain Fans on Facebook (by Daniel Cabuco).
  16. Legacy of Kain: Funk Soul Brother - A Brief History of Nosgoth, Official US PSM Issue 36/September 2000 (Archived at Baziel-LoKWiki on Tumblr).
  17. Icon-NR Recreated PSXnation.com Interview with Denis Dyack at Nosgothic Realm
  18. Icon-ED Silicon Knights. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. (Nintendo). Nintendo GameCube. (June 23, 2002)
  19. Icon-NR GLoK Interviews with Amy Hennig at Nosgothic Realm (by Raziel Fan)
  20. Icon-DCab A Few Questions at DCabDesign (by Paradoks), post #6 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Icon-DCab Nosgoth architecture at DCabDesign (by Lexy), post #3/post#5 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Nosgoth-Promotional-Logo-Official 'New Human Class - The Prophet, aka The Lost Seers of Avernus at the Nosgoth official blog (by George Kelion) preserved at Tales of Nosgoth/Nosgothic Realm
  23. Wiki-Icon-TLW Blood Omen Scripts at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  24. Electronic Gaming Monthly, August 2000 issue
  25. Wiki-Icon-TLW Vampires (Soul Reaver 2) at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Wiki-Icon-TLWMap Survey at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
  27. 27.0 27.1 Wiki-Icon-TLWBlood Omen Developers Level Select Page at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Wiki-Icon-DCAvernus Cathedral and Catacombs at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn).

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