"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."

The temporal distortion, identifiable as the first paradox in the Legacy of Kain series, was the first of three history-altering events witnessed in Nosgoth and it expunged the events of the First timeline and replaced them with the Second timeline. The paradox was created - under Moebius's influence - by Kain and William the Just, and took place in the pre-Blood Omen era. The paradox revised much of the pre-Blood Omen era and successive events, causing alterations which compounded Kain's decision not to sacrifice himself to restore the Pillars of Nosgoth; it removed the legions of the Nemesis from history, but introduced Vampire hunters, which pushed the Vampire race to the brink of extinction. The paradox was seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and referenced heavily in Soul Reaver 2.


The first paradox was a temporal event first seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain in the chapter Stranded in Time and recapped in Soul Reaver 2 in A Reaver in Time and A Fateful Meeting. The paradox was enabled by a Reaver-convergence which occured as Kain - armed with the Soul Reaver - found himself trapped in the Pre-Blood Omen era facing a similarly armed William the Just, however the roots of the conflict stretch back further to the manipulations of the disguised Moebius.[BO1-C10][SR1-C1][SR2-C5]

The first paradox was preceded by the rise of the Legions of the Nemesis and the corruption of boy king William the Just into the despotic tyrant known as "The Nemesis" in the Pre-Blood Omen era. In his youth Kain had watched the rise of the legions, however he did not truly appreciate the seriousness of the threat until he became a vampire in the Blood Omen era.[BO1][BO1-C9][BO1-C10][SR2-C5]

In the course of his quest to restore the Pillars of Nosgoth as a young vampire, Kain had been unable to defeat Malek and sought the advice of "the oracle of Nosgoth" - actually a pseudonym of the Time Guardian Moebius - to aid him in Find the Oracle. Whilst dispensing advice to Kain 'The oracle' prompted him about the tragedy of King Ottmar, who he claimed was the last hope to defend Nosgoth against the Legions of the Nemesis but was paralysed by grief for his lost daughter. Kain's quest was boosted in Defeat Azimuth when he discovered the Soul Reaver hidden in Avernus Cathedral's Heaven dungeon unknown to the guardian Azimuth and was able to use it to kill her, recovering a time-streaming device in the process.[BO1][BO1-C5][BO1-C8]

When seeking Moebius later in his quest, Kain was directed to Willendorf in Ottmar's Daughter to "understand his machinations" and seek the aid of the Lion Throne and the troops loyal to King Ottmar of Willendorf. After Kain fulfilled a quest to return the captured soul of Ottmar's Daughter and witnessed the devastation wrought on Stahlberg by the bloodthirsty legions of the Nemesis, Ottmar pledged his kingdom to Kain who only accepted his army to defend Nosgoth against the horde. At the Battle of the Last Stand the two armies met and the Army of the Last Hope was thoroughly routed, leaving Nosgoth at the mercy of the Nemesis.[BO1][BO1-C9]

Using a time streaming device he had acquired in Avernus, Kain was able to escape the battle and found himself thrown back in time fifty years to the Pre-Blood Omen era of Stranded in Time, where the Time Guardian Moebius - acting as adviser to William - gave him a shipment of weapons and warned him of a vampire assassin sent to kill him.[BO1][BO1-C10]

Realising the opportunity presented to him, Kain soon confronted William and with both armed with the Soul Reaver blade, a Reaver-convergence ensued. The temporal distortion allowed Kain to change history and kill William, fragmenting his blade and ensuring the Legions of the Nemesis would never rise to conquer Nosgoth. This action however had unexpected consequences and as Kain returned to the Blood Omen era in The vampire purges and discovered the Moebius had manipulated the grief of William's subjects to form a mercenary army to hunt the vampires to extinction. Kain returned just in time to witness the execution of Vorador - leaving Kain as the sole survivor of his race.[BO1][BO1-C10][BO1-C11]


  • First timeline (Unseen) - William defeats Kain; presumably Kain is not killed but returns to the Blood Omen era. The Legions of the Nemesis rise to conquer Nosgoth
  • Second timeline (Fulfilled) - Kain utilises the Reaver-convergence and changes history, killing William and breaking his version of the Reaver. William's grief-stricken subjects pledge to eliminate the vampires under the leadership of Moebius - Vampire hunters is formed, effectively replacing the Legions in history and eventually succeeding in virtually eliminating the vampire race from Nosgoth.


  • The First Paradox is never explicitly titled in sources and it may not truly be the 'first' of such temporal distortions - with potential evidence for "previous timeline[s]" prior to those seen in the series even suggesting there were unseen paradoxes before.[1][2] It is however the first to be shown in the narrative order of the series and is thus the first paradox event seen by the audience.
  • Though not made made explicit in Blood Omen, Kain comes to believe that the first paradox was created by the manipulations of Time Guardian Moebius - as he hints in his initial reaction to the changes in The Vampire Purges (chapter) and later reaffirms in Soul Reaver 2 in his explanations in A Fateful Meeting. This suggests that not only was Kain's involvement with Willendorf influenced by Moebius, but so was the placement of both Soul Reaver blades and the Time-streaming devices found by Kain, all of which could be considered likely possibilities given his role as time guardian.[BO1-C5][BO1-C9][BO1-C10][BO1-C11][SR2-C1][SR2-C5]

See alsoEdit


  1. Wiki-Icon-DC The Players at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
  2. Icon-NR GLoK Interviews with Amy Hennig at Nosgothic Realm (by Raziel Fan), post #4 (by RazielFan)
Preceded by:
Wiki-Icon-BO1First timeline
Timelines and Temporal Paradoxes
Wiki-Icon-BO1 First paradox
Followed by:
Wiki-Icon-BO1Wiki-Icon-SR1Wiki-Icon-SR2Second timeline
Wiki-Icon-SR2Second paradox