- "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."
- ―Kain — Listen (file info)[src]
The temporal distortion, identifiable as the second paradox in the Legacy of Kain series, was the second of three history-altering events witnessed in Nosgoth and it expunged the events of the Second timeline replacing them with the Third timeline. The paradox was created by Raziel and Kain in the Pre-Blood Omen era and appeared to have relatively little effect on the Time-stream - with the only discernible difference being that the Elder Kain survived his destined death in the pre-Blood Omen era and travelled through time long enough to encounter Raziel on two further occasions.
The second paradox was a temporal event first seen in Soul Reaver 2 in the chapter A Fateful Meeting. The paradox was enabled by a Reaver-convergence which occured as Raziel - armed with the Wraith Blade - was presented with an earlier version of the physical Soul Reaver by Kain in the Sarafan Stronghold in the Pre-Blood Omen era.[SR2][SR2-C5]
After their confrontations in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Kain had lured Raziel back in time to the Pre-Blood Omen era, but upon arriving Raziel found that he had been "snatched out of the Time-stream" by Moebius and taken to the Time-streaming chambers within the Sarafan Stronghold. As Raziel investigated the fortress in A Reaver in Time he discovered many artifacts and murals relating the history of the stronghold and the past of the mercenary vampire hunters inhabiting the building.[SR1][SR1-10][SR2][SR2-C0][SR2-C1]
As he passed through the Sanctuary cathedral area, Raziel discovered a chapel dedicated to the martyrdom of William the Just, whose death - caused by Kain's changing of history - had provided the catalyst for Moebius's crusade against the vampires. Within the chapel, Raziel discovered the Soul Reaver blade used by William, broken from the conflict with Kain and as an increasing distortion built, the Wraith Blade leeched Raziel's soul to restore the physical one. After temporarily threatening Moebius with the conjoined blades, Raziel left the physical blade behind and left the fortress to explore Nosgoth in this era and pursue Kain.[SR2][SR2-C1]
After discovering many ancient hidden secrets and beginning to doubt Kain's culpability for the corruption of Nosgoth, Raziel returned to the Stronghold in A Fateful Meeting, seeking to find his way back to the Time-streaming chambers and into Nosgoth's early history. As he passed William's chapel again he discovered Kain waiting for him at the altar and the two discussed the circumstances of the First paradox and Kain's previous change of history.[SR2][SR2-C2][SR2-C3][SR2-C4][SR2-C5]
Discussing the nature of history, Kain revealed that time in Nosgoth was immutable and unchangeable in most circumstances, but revealed there was a loophole he had unwittingly used when he triggered the First paradox - the proximity of two versions of the Soul Reaver could cause a temporal paradox powerful enough to change the course of history. As he talked, Kain approached Raziel with the Reaver from William's altar, causing Raziel's Wraith Blade to manifest of its own accord, but Kain surprised Raziel by offering the blade to him hilt first. Realizing the power Kain had given him Raziel swiftly threatened Kain, who conceded that this was his destined death and as the wraith blade again acted of its accord - pulling Raziel to strike down Kain, who pleaded with Raziel that he could change his fate. Raziel barely managed to divert the blade, thus changing history and sparing Kain's life.[SR2][SR2-C5]
Consequently, Kain was not killed by Raziel and managed to survive to meet with Raziel twice more: once at the base of a ruined Janos Audron's Retreat in the Post-Blood Omen era in A Fateful Meeting, and again in the Chapter House within the Sarafan Stronghold in Nosgoth's early history in the Soul Reaver 2 epilogue - ultimately leading up to a Third paradox.[SR2][SR2-C5][SR2-C10]
- Second timeline (Unseen) - Raziel kills Kain with the conjoined Reavers in William's chapel and continues on his quest, travelling through time.
- Third timeline (Fulfilled) - Kain is able to persuade Raziel to divert the blade in William's chapel. Kain survives and both continue on through time. Kain meets Raziel beneath Janos Audron's Retreat in the Post-Blood Omen era and makes an appearance in the Chapter House in Nosgoth's early history as Raziel is being absorbed into the Reaver.
- The Second Paradox is never explicitly titled in sources and it may not truly be the 'second' 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 the First paradox. It is however the second to be shown in the narrative order of the series and is thus the second paradox event seen by the audience.
- Throughout his explanation of the Reaver-convergence and persuasion of Raziel, Kain makes repeated reference to the First paradox, which was triggered in Stranded in Time in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and was recapped when Raziel first encountered William's Chapel in A Reaver in Time in Soul Reaver 2.[SR2-C5][BO1][BO1-C10][SR2][SR2-C1]
|Timelines and Temporal Paradoxes|