- "The black forest reigned here, its kingdom rarely invaded by those that live in the light. But it was called home by this mysterious Vorador. Legend told of a time when Vorador defeated Malek of the Sarafan.
If such a man did exist, then he could perhaps be the key to defeating the Ward."
- ―Kain — Listen (file info)[src]
The Termogent Forest, also known as the Black Forest, was a massive swamp filled forest in central Nosgoth that appeared in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and Legacy of Kain: Defiance. The marshland was filled with crumbling ruins holding many secrets, weapons and powers. At the forest's western edge lay the Lake of the Dead and notably the ancient vampire Vorador made his home within the swamp. Vorador's Mansion stood at the centre of the Termogent Forest, the path leading there marked by the Ignis Fatuus, skull shaped torches that glowed with green energy.
- "Follow the glow of the Ignis Fatuus to the Termogent forest."
- "Ignis Fatuus?"
- "The Ignis Fatuus lights the path to Hell, nobleman. Your path."
The Termogent Forest appeared in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain where it was a playable location visited by Kain in the course of reaching Vorador's Mansion. A nearby area called the Swamp was visited by Raziel as a playable location in Soul Reaver 2 and the Termogent Forest area itself was briefly revisited in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, where it was seen in cutscenes as Raziel visited Vorador's Mansion.[BO1][BO1-C6][SR2][SR2-C3][DEF][DEF-C8]
The Termogent Forest was first mentioned in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain in the chapter Find the Oracle as Moebius - in the guise of the "Oracle of Nosgoth" - instructed the fledgling vampire Kain to follow the Ignis Fatuus to the forest in search of Vorador and a way to defeat Conflict Guardian Malek.[BO1][BO1-C5]
After passing the Lake of the Dead and the Mist Form dungeon, Kain was able to enter the Forest in the chapter Vorador's Mansion, where he found a vast forested swampland filled with many ruins, with several Ignis Fatuus - skull shaped lanterns - indicating a trail westward. Along the way Kain could explore some of the ruins, structures and caves in the area. Three 'dungeon' keeps - the Flame Sword dungeon, the Control Mind dungeon and the Blood Gout dungeon could be found within and caverns led to Spirit forges for Anti-toxin artifacts and Energy bank artifacts as well as a Blood fountain for increased strength.[BO1][BO1-C6]
Following the Ignis Fatuus westward, the path shrank to a single trail which spiraled around the western area of the forest inward to Vorador's Mansion at the center. Exploring the Mansion and meeting with Vorador, Kain was able to secure assistance from the elder vampire and left by a secret path which led him beyond the forest to a cave on the outskirts of Uschtenheim.[BO1][BO1-C6]
When Raziel progressed from the Subterranean Ruins towards Uschtenheim in Soul Reaver 2 in the chapter Through the Swamp, he too passed through a heavily forested location bearing many of the hallmarks of the forest, but was never explicitly identified as such - only as "the swamp" - with its location suggesting that it bordered the Termogent Forest of Blood Omen. Raziel returned through the swamp all three time periods.[SR2][SR2-C3][SR2-C5][SR2-C7][SR2-C9]
Raziel returned to the the Termogent Forest proper in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, when advised by Ariel to seek Vorador in the "black forest" in Find the Location of Vorador's Mansion. Travelling on a lesser used trail from the Pillars through the Forest, Raziel arrived at Vorador's Mansion in the chapter Find Vorador and was able to find Vorador within. Departing for Avernus after Vorador's suggestion of seeking the Heart of Darkness, Raziel would return to the mansion in Battle Kain after recovering the heart by apparently killing Kain. Fighting Moebius's mercenary army through the structure Raziel would revive Janos Audron and be teleported to the Vampire Citadel, leaving the forest behind. The forest itself was only seen briefly and not encountered as a playable location, with Vorador's Mansion fulfilling that role.[DEF][DEF-C6][DEF-C8][DEF-C12]
Design and LayoutEdit
The general environment of the Termogent Forest in Blood Omen consisted of a forested marshland. The area was hemmed in by high cliffs and much it was covered in Water and swampy terrain with occasional patches of grass and many Trees. Skull-shaped lanterns known as Ignis Fatuus were liberally scattered through the area - roughly marking a trail through several dungeons to Vorador's Mansion - and in addition a number of artifacts could be found dotted around the swamp. Several building were positioned in the area in various states of decay and ruin with most apparently abandoned to the swamp - and perhaps suggesting a previous era where the area was more inhabitable. Various enemies could be found inside the buildings of the area, although few ventured out into the swamp which remained the grounds for Zombies and - in the east particularly - Liches and Shadow spots.[BO1][BO1-C6]
The Termogent Forest could be broadly split into two map areas, west and east:
- The western Termogent Forest was more lightly forested and contained more destructible Trees that could be chopped down with the axes. It also extended over a wider, more-open area. The area began at a muddy trail in a ravine which led south from the Lake of the Dead and the Mist Form dungeon. After a short distance, the trail disappeared into grassy and then swampy and watery terrain as the cliff widened to reveal the open area of the forest-swamp. Shortly after the split, a crevice in the north cliff face housed a Font of putrescence artifact. To the south of this on the other side of the trail stood the remains of a keep-like building which was almost completely ruined, with the open walls housing another font artifact, with a third being found just to the east. To the south of the third putresce a small muddy island could be found housing a Blood beaker which was defended by three Zombies. Southwest of this stood another keep on grassy ground and in considerably better condition than the last, although this was still partially ruined and sealed from entry. From here patches of swampy and grassy ground led northwest - passing another putresce artifact - to a cave in the western wall of the forest. Here Kain could find a Blood fountain which increased his strength. Heading southwest from the sealed keep led over another patch of water to a slightly raised section in the southeast of the area which could be jumped to using Wolf Form to gain an Energy bank artifact. Behind the energy bank was positioned a permeable crack in the cliff wall which allowed Kain to use Mist Form to breach and reach the cavernous Energy Bank Spirit forge within. Heading southeast from the sealed keep led down a narrow grassy trail to another putresce artifact, with an energy bank directly south hidden in a crevice in the southern cliffs. Heading northwest across the swamp would lead to another keep with it's entrance protected by Trees - this was the Blood Gout dungeon. A patchy grassy trail led northward to another keep and another dungeon, this time the Control Mind dungeon. As the trail headed up to the northeast a branch could be followed across to the third major keep-dungeon - the Flame Sword dungeon. A putresce could be found around the western side of the keep and from here a short walk across swampy ground led to another cave in the northern cliff face protected by a solitary tree - this led underground to the Anti-toxin Spirit forge. The main trail heading northeast from the control mind keep led to the eastern area of the forest.[BO1][BO1-C6]
- The eastern forest was much more densely forested than the west with heavy concentrations of impenetrable vegetation and woodland that effectively reduced movement through the forest to a single trail - with the cliffs widening again, it was now the treeline which contained the accessible area. The area began at a wide area of marshland hemmed in by cliffs to the north and south with several Liches populating the nearby area. To the south east a gap in the trees contained an Energy Bank and Pentaliche of Tarot Patches of grass and Ignis Fatuus lanterns led up to the northeast as the trees narrowed the path from the south. The cliff to the north soon ended and was replaced by more impenetrable trees, with another Energy Bank hidden in a gap in the trees to the south of this. The trail narrowed between the trees and headed to the northeast, largely made up of swamp terrain with a thin patch of grass or mud along the northern tree-line populated by Zombies and Shadow spots, with a Liche on an island to the south. At the northern zenith a vista point marked the change in direction of the path, with the trail now heading southeast at a shallow angle, passing a spike plant along the way. The trail became almost entirely swamp as it turned south and headed between two Liches, before it turned to the southeast and the thin strip of grass at the northern treeline returned. Passing another spike plant the trail turned to the left, heading at a deeper angle to the southeast before curving to the south with the grass disappearing into patches, before turning sharply to the east and opening out into a wider clearing. A grassy trail began just inside the clearing which headed east, passing another vista point and a Liche on an island to the north, before turning north itself and heading to the top of the clearing, where Vorador's Mansion was positioned.[BO1][BO1-C6]
Very little of the forest area was seen in Defiance with only brief glimpses of a trail featuring Ignis Fatuus lanterns at the opening of Vorador's Mansion - with trees and other Termogent features visible over walls and through windows throughout the level.[DEF][DEF-C8][DEF-C12]
In Blood Omen
For the Western Termogent Forest:
- The northwestern trail leads north to the eastern Lake of the Dead and the Mist Form dungeon - leading onto the Lost City
- The western cave leads to a Blood fountain increasing strength
- A crack in the southwestern cliff leads to the Energy bank Spirit forge
- The northern cave (obstructed by a tree) leads to the Anti-toxin Spirit forge
- The northeastern structure is the Flame Sword dungeon
- The middle-eastern structure is the Control Mind dungeon
- The southeastern structure is the Blood Gout dungeon
- The eastern trail leads into the eastern Termogent Forest
For the Eastern Termogent Forest:
- The western trail leads to the eastern Termogent Forest
- The middle structure is Vorador's Mansion - leading onto Uschtenheim
For Vorador's Mansion:
- The main courtyard door leads back through the forest to the Pillars of Nosgoth
- The Library Vista leads through the forest to Avernus/Avernus Cathedral
- The Termogent Forest area is referred to in dialogue, stage directions and Prima guides alternatively as the "Termogent Forest"[BO1-C5][BO1-C6][DEF-C6] or simply the "Black Forest"[BO1-C6][DEF-C6][DEF-C7]. The Termogent term also has a number of variant spellings, appearing as "Termogent",[BO1-C5][BO1-C6][DEF-C6] "Termagent"[BO1-C6] and "Termagant"; the "Termagant" variant is featured in the original Blood Omen scripts, but appears to have been largely superseded by the "Termogent" spelling in later sources.[BO1-C5][BO1-C6][DEF-C6] Silicon Knights Blood Omen FAQ The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain also occasionally refers to the area describing its terrain, calling it "Vorador's swamp" or similar derivatives.
- The Soul Reaver 2 Swamp location however is never referred to using either the "Termogent" or "Black Forest" terms and is only referred to simply as "The Swamp" in a number of sources including maps,[SR2] dialogue,[SR2-C3][SR2-C6] stage directions[SR2-C3][SR2-C7][SR2-C5][SR2-C9][SR2-C6], the official website and the Prima guide. Complicating matters is the listing of the "swamp" in Blood Omen sources, which is explicitly associated with a terrain type and not a location per se.
- The exact borders of what constitutes the Termogent Forest area is not conclusively known, with forested area extending for some distance in all directions. According to maps, the Termogent Forest area occupies a position roughly bordered by Steinchencröe, the Lake of the Dead, Uschtenheim and Avernus around its western, northern and eastern extremes.[BO1][SR2] With a nearby location, similar structures, features and terrain, the Swamp area of Soul Reaver 2 could be considered to represent a part of the Termogent Forest,[SR2] however the Swamp area is never named as such, only as "the swamp"[SR2][SR2-C3][SR2-C5][SR2-C6][SR2-C7][SR2-C9] - which is listed as a terrain type in Blood Omen and not a location. Additionally the two locations do not appear to occupy the same position on maps - with the area highlighted as the forest in Blood Omen maps appearing to be directly north of the area identified as the Swamp in Soul Reaver 2 maps. The Dark Forge of Soul Reaver 2 seems to be at the border between the two locations and may occupy the raised area seen south of the forest in Blood Omen.[BO1][SR2]
- Much of the history and timeline of the forest is unknown, but given the numerous ruins and the appearance of the area in the Blood Omen era,[BO1][BO1-C6] it would seem that like the descriptions of the nearby swamp location much of the area may have been previously inhabited before being abandoned to the rising swamp waters and marshy terrain.[SR2-C3] By the time of the Soul Reaver era the forest and surrounding areas are left only a desolate wasteland, with no evidence of the forest's existence left during the time of Soul Reaver.[SR1]
- In Blood Omen, the overland forest area is split into two 'overland maps' covering the western and eastern parts of the forest. These areas are labelled in games files as "Map 0001 Sect 43" (or "M000143") for the western area and "Map 0001 Sect 44" for the eastern area, with both under the "Map 0001" designation used for external areas.[BO1] In the Prima guide, the western area is referred to as "the Three Keeps", relating to the various ruins in the area, particularly the Flame Sword dungeon, Control Mind dungeon and the Blood Gout dungeon which could all be entered. The eastern area was is noted as "Into the Mansion", relating to the presence of Vorador's Mansion in this map.
- The major dungeons and internal areas of the forest all have their own file designations with "Map 0025" (or "M0025") referring to the Control Mind dungeon, "Map 0026" referring to the Blood Gout dungeon, "Map 0030" referring to the Flame Sword dungeon and "Map 0029" referring to Vorador's Mansion. The remaining minor rooms share designations based on their content: with the Blood fountain room using the same generic appearance and "Map 0010" designation as most other Blood fountains, with this particular variant labelled as "Map 0010 Sect 01"; and the Spirit forges using the "Map 0014" designation used for spirit forges and their antechambers - specifically using "Sect 14" and "Sect 04" for the Energy Bank forge, and "Sect 16" and "Sect 06" for the Anti-toxin forge.[BO1]
- Two audio Vista points were present in the Forest, both audio excerpts in the eastern map area relating to Vorador and his mansion. In the first Kain comments on Vorador's peculiar choice of the swamp-forest as a home - with vampires such as Kain and Vorador extremely susceptible to the caustic effects of water the swampland was a deadly place for a vampire. The second excerpt introduces the mansion itself and its setting.[BO1][BO1-C6]
- 'Vista'-style views over the top of the forest can be seen at least twice in the series. Blood Omen presents a view from the Lake of the Dead over the forest to Vorador's Mansion that allows Kain to use Bat Form to travel to the mansion directly. Defiance meanwhile presents a similar 'vista' view from Vorador's Mansion over the trees to Avernus which allows Raziel to travel there. In addition views over the trees of what is presumably the forest can be seen in the bat-flight cutscene to the mansion in Blood Omen.[BO1][BO1-C6][DEF]
- Though hinted to lead in a trail through the forest to Vorador's Mansion, the Ignis Fatuus lanterns actually follow a more complicated pattern. A line leads along the north of the area and heads into the eastern map area - following the spiraling path around to the mansion - however just before it reaches the eastern map a secondary trail of lanterns branches off to the south west towards the three 'keep' dungeons. Presumably this serves to guide the player to visiting each of the keeps before pressing on towards the mansion. The lanterns in further titles only serve as vague guides through their respective areas and the Defiance version is little more than a decorative addition outside the playable map area.[BO1][BO1-C6]
- A number of Blood Omen Secrets are related to the Termogent Forest area. Most are found inside dungeons, with five present inside the Control Mind dungeon and no less than eleven present inside Vorador's Mansion - there are however two secrets that can be found through the main overland area of the forest with the Spirit forges relating to Energy bank artifacts and Anti-toxin artifacts both counting as secrets - these are labelled in the Developers' level select as secrets "76" and "78" respectively. In addition both have 'backdoors' that are counted as separate secrets found within the Control Mind Dungeon - with these counted as secrets "29" and "30".[BO1]
- A number of entries in the Blood Omen Developers' level select lead to areas within or connected to the Termogent Forest. The main heading "OL5" related to the latter half of the Vorador's Mansion (chapter) and so all of its entries lead to areas in the forest, including "CNTL" for the Control Mind dungeon, "GOUT" for the Blood Gout dungeon, "FLSD" for the Flame Sword dungeon, "VORD" for Vorador's Mansion and "OL" leading to the main overland at the enrty of the western area of the forest. Other sub menus lead to the forest as well with the "SPFG" (Spirit forges) entries "ENGY" and "ANTI" leading to the Energy Bank and Anti-toxin spirit forges, the "BLFT" (Blood fountains) entry "STR2" leading to the blood fountain and the "SECR" (Secrets) entries "28"-"31", "36", "50"-"58", "76", "78", "87" and "95" all leading to areas within the forest.[BO1] In addition the "BOSS" sub menu contains a unusable entry marked "VOR" which is suspected to correspond to the deleted Chess match against Vorador.[BO1]
- "His refuge lies in the heart of the black forest.
And may you molder there together until the end comes."
- Swamp (location)
- Swamp (terrain)
- Flame Sword dungeon
- Control Mind dungeon
- Blood Gout dungeon
- Vorador's Mansion
- Ignis Fatuus
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Prima Games / Ian Osborne. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain: Official Game Secrets. (1996)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Locations of the Blood Fountains at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Blood Omen Scripts at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- ↑ Strategies to Aquiring Each Spell at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ Legacy of Kain: The Plot at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ Locations of the Spirit Forges at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 The Swamp: Crystal Dynamics. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 (Eidos Interactive). (2001) The Swamp at the Official Soul Reaver 2 site (preserved at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain manual. Silicon Knights. (Crystal Dynamics). Playstation. (November 1, 1996) Download.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain manual. Silicon Knights. (Crystal Dynamics). PC. (November 1, 1996) Download.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 The Revived and Updated (Almost) Definitive LoK Maps Thread at the Square Enix Legacy of Kain Series Forums (by Baziel, Guilherme Coelho and Tenaya).
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Blood Omen - Map of Nosgoth at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Blood Omen - Map of Nosgoth at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Soul Reaver 2 - Map of Nosgoth at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya)
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 Soul Reaver 2 - Map of Nosgoth at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Map Survey at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 Blood Omen Developers Level Select Page at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- ↑ Legacy of Kain Secrets: Page 3 of 9 at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ Legacy of Kain Secrets: Page 4 of 9 at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ Legacy of Kain Secrets: Page 5 of 9 at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ The Chess Match at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).