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Glyph magic

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Glyph magic
Blood Omen 2 terms
Glyph Box
A Glyph Magic 'Box' with Glyph 'Switch' in the Slums
Introduced in Icon-BO2 Blood Omen 2 (2002)
Appearances Icon-BO2
Related articles Glyph batteries, The Device, The Mass, Glyphwrights

Glyph Magic, also known as Glyph Energy or simply Glyphs, was the magic energy used by the Hylden in the Post-Blood Omen era of the Fourth timeline, it was seen in Blood Omen 2.

History and UseEdit

Glyph magic was first brought to Nosgoth in the Post-Blood Omen era, in war between the (Hylden backed) Sarafan and Kain's Vampire Army. In the battle of Meridian, The Sarafan Lord wielded this "new kind of magic, deadly to [vampires]"[1] and it was instrumental in the Sarafan victory. As the Sarafan conquered Nosgoth, Glyph magic became an important tool in hunting down the Nosgoth's vampire population[2] and It was notably seen as part of magical (Vampire detecting) armor worn by Glyph Guards and Glyph Knights.[3]

With their rule over Nosgoth established through the Sarafan Order, the Hylden continued in their plans to complete the Device and slowly, in the guise of the Glyphwrights, they created and maintained a Glyph Energy Network, which flowed throughout Meridian (if not all Nosgoth).[4][5][6] This network provided power for a variety of applications - It was used as a light source, to lock doors, to operate machinery, and was even used to make a sort of magical bomb. Glyph magic powered much of the advanced technology seen in Meridian, including Ward Gate[7](though steam powered machinery was also present in Meridian) and it appeared to have driven somewhat of an 'Industrial Revolution' within Meridian, providing some benfits to Meridian's citizens, which likely won the Sarafan support among the Humans.[8][9] Glyph energy was used much like electricity is in the real world (although it travelled much slower through 'pipes').[10] Though Glyph magic provided heat and light for much of Meridian, it also had a darker purpose; the Device could focus the deadly thoughts of the Mass onto the Glyph Magic network and use it to kill all the non-Hylden life in Nosgoth.[11]

When Kain returned in Blood Omen 2, he was initially taught about the Glyph magic and energy by Umah in her tutorial in Chapter 1:the Slums.[12] Kain would utilise the energy numerous times to complete puzzles throughout the game. When Kain found the Builder in the Eternal Prison, seeking a way to destroy the Device; The Builder explained to him that the Device had never been completed because it required a network to transmit the thoughts of the Mass onto.[11] Realising that the Glyphs installed by the Sarafan had completed the network Kain set off to destroy the Device and by poisoning the Mass using the Builder's blood Kain was able to nullify the Device[BO2].

After he had destroyed the Device, the Glyph Energy network was still shown to function in Chapter 10:the Wharves. In Chapter 11, The Hylden City lacked any of the previous established 'machinery' associated with the Glyph magic network (it was unlikely to have been included in the network anyway) but it did feature the usage of a kind of raw 'Glyph energy' with several instances of green glowing 'liquid' and green glowing symbols and devices apparently providing power[BO2].

Observed Glyph Magic Machinery and FunctionsEdit

  • Glyph Pipes[10]/Lines[13] - carried Glyph magic from source to 'appliance.'
  • Glyph Boxes[12]/Switches[13] - glowing green symbols from which Glyph piping flowed from, appeared to function like electrical plug sockets.
  • Glyph Generators[14] - two green glowing blocks, with green smoke emanating. marked with "Danger Magic" sign.
  • Glyph Valves[15] - altered the flow of glyph magic down different pipes.
  • Glyph batteries [16]- apparently held glyph magic charge, useful in puzzles, but highly unstable.
  • Glyph Boilers - seen filling Glyph boxes in the Industrial Quarter[BO2].

Machinery in the Industrial Quarter seems to involve the creation of Glyph Magic, though the processes are not elaborated upon, the Industrial Quarter seems to use a lot of water (seen flowing in piping) and steam. This connection was also seen in the Hylden City[BO2].


  • The use the terms "Glyph Magic" and "Glyph Energy" could be considered to refer to two different yet highly related 'Glyphs': with "magic" referring to the raw, (yellow colored) magic used by the Sarafan, notably seen in Glyph armor)[17] and "energy" referring to the (green colored) 'energy' flowing through the Glyph network.[18] However comments when Umah first introduced Kain to the Glyph Energy in Chapter 1:the Slums may imply that the terms are synonymous.[8][12]
  • Of the various Glyph magic 'machinery' seen in Blood Omen 2, only the Glyph batteries and 'Glyph Boxes' are named in game; though Glyph 'Lines' and 'Switches' are named in the Blood Omen 2 manual and Glyph Boxes and Glyph 'Valves' are named in Prima's Official Blood Omen 2 Guide. Other terms are conjectural based on appearance.
  • It is unclear how the Glyph Magic seen in Blood Omen 2 relates to the Glyph seen in Soul Reaver. It is possible, based on their names and effects on Vampires, that they are related or even the same. However, the two types of glyph noticeably function completely differently; also perhaps relevant to this distinction is the fact that the Glyph magic of Blood Omen 2 is clearly linked to the post-banishment Hylden, whereas Soul Reaver's (unexplained) Glyphs are used in a timeline where the Hylden do not escape the Demon Realm. Designer comments indicate that behind the scenes, Blood Omen 2's Glyph magic was originally planned as an explanation for the Soul Reaver glyphs in "days of full operation"[19]
  • As suggested by their names, the 'magical armor' of the Glyph guards and Glyph knights was made with Glyph magic.[3] The size of the Demon spiders was also due to exposure to Glyph Energy (Demon spiders were not true demons but mutated animals).[20]

See also Edit



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