Vorador is a major supporting character throughout the Legacy of Kain series, appearing in every title aside from Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. A long-lived, decadent and abrasive vampire, he acted as something of a mentor to Kain following his transformation, and was considered the paragon of all his kindred by the Blood Omen era. Fiercely loyal to his people, Vorador viewed humanity with contempt, and his exploits against the Sarafan and the Circle of Nine became legendary over several centuries.
Kain's gradual acceptance of the blood curse, and his eventual journey to restore the Pillars of Nosgoth to the vampire race, stemmed from Vorador's influence. With the alterations to history induced after a temporal paradox, Vorador was hunted down and executed by Moebius's vampire hunters, but his legacy endured. He assisted Raziel during his quest for answers across several eras, and was ultimately resurrected with the introduction of a later historical paradox, siring a new lineage of vampires and attempting to retake Nosgoth alongside Kain.
- "In the bowels of that black forest, I found something worse than Hell. A vision of what I was becoming."
- "After slaughtering six of the sheep I defeated their pathetic little shepherd - Malek. Since then our kind has not bothered with the cattle, except to feed. And I suggest you do the same."
Vorador was born in a "more primitive period" of Nosgoth's history, in ancient times, and suffered deeply as a younger vampire at the hands of the Sarafan brotherhood, who had slaughtered his family, friends, lovers and children over the course of their infamous purges. Outraged by the genocide of his people at their hands, Vorador invaded the Sarafan Stronghold during Nosgoth's early history and took his revenge on the Circle of Nine for supporting the Sarafan crusades. There, he slaughtered six of the Guardians and defeated (but spared) Malek, their defender.[BO1-C1][BO1-C6]
Since that time, Vorador vowed to never again concern himself with the affairs of the human race, except to feed - he would declare that "meddling in the affairs of man can do [the vampires] no good."[BO1-C6] Decadent and hedonistic, he held court with his brides in his labyrinthine mansion, a "private kingdom" in the depths of the Termogent Forest.[BO1-C6][DEF-C8] In the Blood Omen era, having been directed to seek counsel from the reclusive warrior by the Oracle of Nosgoth, Kain navigated the halls of this grandiose castle and met Vorador in its dining hall.[BO1-C6][BO1-C5] Kain was unimpressed by the "decadent old fool", and considered Vorador's "boorish account" blasé.[BO1-C6]
Vorador was vocal in attesting that vampirism was a gift and a blessing, not a curse - an ideal Kain would eventually come to adopt as his own. As the two supped from goblets of blood, he chastised Kain as "young and foolish", and instructed him to avoid Sarafan witch hunts. Despite noting Kain's arrogance, Vorador admitted that the younger vampire was an amusement to him, and offered Kain his signet ring, enabling the fledgling to summon him if he required assistance. Kain, however, was still revulsed by his fellow vampire, viewing Vorador "with clear knowledge of what sort of monster [he] would become if [he] let my curse consume [him]".[BO1-C6]
Thinning the HerdEdit
- "Gift? Pah! Vorador thought my curse a blessing. That we were gods and that mortals offered their blood as sacrifice so that we could enjoy our supernatural powers. And somewhere deep inside my new self I knew he was right. That mortal dreams were prayers. Prayers to us - begging for our power."
Later, while assaulting the stronghold of Dark Eden at the roof of the world, Kain confronted his prey - the Guardians Bane, DeJoule and Anarcrothe. Anarcrothe summoned Malek to defend him before fleeing, and Kain used the ring to call on Vorador in response. Exchanging insults, the two ancient enemies challenged one another and clashed vehemently as Kain pursued Bane and DeJoule. When Kain returned after slaying the wizards, he learned the outcome of the battle; though the old vampire was nowhere to be seen, Malek's armor lay strewn in pieces across the chamber's floor, indicating that Vorador had "finally laid his old adversary to rest".[BO1-C7] Kain ignored Vorador's advice, and as the Oracle had suggested, meddled in the conflict in the north between the Army of the Last Hope and the Land of the Nemesis.[BO1-C9]
Cornered during the Battle of the Last Stand, Kain traveled back in time to murder William the Just and prevent the Legions of the Nemesis from rising to power. He succeeded in altering history, removing the Legions from history and creating a new timeline.[BO1-C10] Unfortunately, the Oracle - Moebius the Time Streamer - capitalized on William's death at Kain's hands to revive the ideals of the Sarafan, turning Nosgoth's populace against the vampires once again.[BO1-C11][SR2-C5] In this new present, Vorador and his kindred were again hunted down and slain by Moebius's mercenary army in retribution for Kain's act in the past. Vorador, Nosgoth's last-surviving vampire besides Kain, was executed and guillotined at a garrison south of Stahlberg, his severed head brutally held aloft before a crowd of human spectators.[BO1-C11]
Despite his ignoble demise, Kain - in addition to revising his viewpoint on vampirism - had come to consider Vorador a father figure.[BO1-C12] Disgusted at the machinations of his corrupt fellow human Guardians, Kain realized the truth in Vorador's sentiment and cherished it as an epiphany, concluding that "we are gods - dark gods - and it is our duty to thin the herd."[BO1-C12] Condemning the Pillars of Nosgoth and opting to rule the world in its damnation, Kain donned Vorador's signet ring as an earring, symbolizing the elder vampire's influence over his fatal decision and the creation of his empire.[SR1-C1]
The Dark GodsEdit
- "Whelp! As if you knew what eternity was! Grovel before your true master."
- ―Vorador, taunting Malek[src]
Two thousand years onward, in the Soul Reaver era, Vorador's reputation as a legendary figure still endured in Nosgoth. Raziel was at least passingly aware of his exploits in bygone days, and even referred to Nosgoth's early history as the "time of Vorador" as he commented on the purges while infiltrating the long-abandoned Tomb of the Sarafan.[SR1-C6] In a Chapel near the Drowned Abbey, he could also encounter a stained glass window depicting Vorador, and after pursuing Kain into the pre-Blood Omen era, he had the opportunity to discuss mural effigies in the Sarafan Stronghold with Moebius, painted on the walls of the very chamber in which Vorador had slaughtered six of the Guardians centuries before.[SR1-C6][SR2-C1] The images demonized Vorador, and Moebius spoke his name with contempt. He referred to Vorador as "the scourge of the Circle", and denounced him "the most depraved and decadent example of his whole degenerate race".[SR2-C1]
Having emerged from the Stronghold, Raziel had "the constant and palpable sensation of being watched". After discoursing with Kain at the Pillars of Nosgoth, he frequently encountered strange crows which curiously dispersed into green mist when approached. In the Swamp, Vorador briefly exposed his identity as Raziel's observer; the crows were apparently his agents, covertly tracking Raziel's progress.[SR2-C2] After Raziel obtained the Dark Reaver, the two conversed directly. Perturbed by Moebius's renewed crusade, Vorador was darkly cynical, and was distrustful of Raziel, believing him "more demon than vampire". He probed to determine whether Raziel had caused the recent corruption of the Pillars, but relented upon discovering that Raziel was unaware of his own destiny.[SR2-C3]
Before disappearing, Vorador explained that his sire, the ancient vampire Janos Audron, might have provided the answers Raziel sought, but noting that Janos was dead, apathetically claimed "you – and all of us – are out of luck".[SR2-C3] In the post-Blood Omen era, now in another new, third timeline, Raziel encountered a statue erected in honor of Moebius in the main hall of the Sarafan Stronghold. The tableau - bearing the words "Requiescat in pace" - depicted Moebius brandishing what appeared to be the actual head of Vorador, bloodied and discolored from a century of decay.[SR2-C5] When Raziel finally met with Janos Audron in Nosgoth's early history, the two discussed Vorador's prejudices against humanity: though he himself bore little to no ill will towards mortals, Janos could empathize, remarking that Vorador's hatred stemmed from the fact that he had "suffered much" at their hands. He "[could not] forgive them".[SR2-C8]
A Forthright BeingEdit
- "Call your dogs! They can feast on your corpses!"
Soon afterward, when Raziel assaulted the Sarafan Stronghold to avenge Janos's death at the hands of the Sarafan commanders, Vorador also decided to exact revenge for the murder of his sire. The vampire purges as a whole played their part, but it was the killing of Janos, Raziel realized, that had been the real impetus for the retaliatory slaughter of the Circle.[SR2-C9] While Raziel was delayed by Moebius and Malek, Vorador's sardonic laughter and battle cries could be heard in the distance as he simultaneously annihilated the Circle of Nine in their gathering-room, slaying six Guardians as depicted in the murals some five centuries later. With Raziel safely trapped, Moebius permitted Malek to (belatedly) rush to their aid, and the legendary fight between the two commenced.[SR2-C1][SR2-C9]
Along with that of Nosgoth as a whole, Vorador's history was rewritten by a third historical paradox, when Kain defied fate by temporarily saving Raziel from being devoured by the Soul Reaver.[SR2-C10] In the Blood Omen era of the new, fourth timeline which this event spawned, Raziel discovered - via murals in the Vampire Citadel - that Vorador had been the first human in Nosgoth to receive the blood curse from the ancient vampires, and that he had been responsible for forging the Reaver for the original Circle of Nine.[DEF-C6] Deducing that Vorador therefore held the key to escaping his destiny, Raziel sought him in his mansion, where the mirthless vampire explained that he knew nothing of the Reaver's true purpose. Moebius's renewed purges had continued since their last meeting; Vorador seemed tired of watching "the last pathetic battle of the vampire race" play out, and was suspicious of Raziel, apparently having discerned his destiny: Raziel was both the vampire and Hylden champions, and his free will ensured that he could choose which side to follow.[DEF-C8]
Vorador, having failed to locate the Heart of Darkness over the centuries, instructed Raziel to revive his sire and "redeem [himself]", assuring him that Janos held all the answers. He directed Raziel to search for the Heart in Avernus Cathedral, but spoke of his wariness of the Unspoken within; he warned Raziel to "resist its influence".[DEF-C8] After reclaiming the Heart, Raziel returned only to find the estate collapsing, swarmed by Moebius's mercenary army. Moebius himself taunted Raziel on the imminent execution of Vorador, but confessed that the old vampire - despite his earlier expressions of apathy - had fought passionately, exacting "a considerable price in blood" before his capture. "Let it sustain him until his head is off", Moebius chided, throwing Vorador's sword at Raziel's feet.[DEF-C12] He then departed to partake in Vorador's execution, where the vampire's death would be witnessed by the fledgling Kain, and subsequently avenged.[DEF-C12]
Return from the GraveEdit
- "So...our wretched little savior returns... come to join the last pathetic battle of the vampire race? But on which side, I wonder... "
In the post-Blood Omen era, the revived Vorador regrouped with the young Kain, and agreed to assist in the recreation of the decimated vampire race. Kain was unable to create vampires himself, having not yet discovered a method of doing so, and thus Vorador personally sired the first vampires of the post-Blood Omen era.[BO2-C1][BO2-C3] As the patriarch of this new generation, he allied with Kain in the creation of a vampire army. Over "decades" of war, they clashed with the Sarafan, which had recently been revived by the Sarafan Lord.[BO2-C1][BO2-C3][BO2-C9] During this time period, he or his direct descendants sired Faustus, Magnus, Marcus, Sebastian, and the future members of the Cabal.[BO2-C3]
After claiming the cities of Ziegsturhl, Provance and Freeport, the vampires were betrayed by Sebastian, who orchestrated an ambush which crippled their forces.[BO2-C6] In the battle of Meridian, they were utterly defeated by the Sarafan, and Kain was left for dead.[BO2-C1] Vorador reclaimed and hid Kain's unresponsive body, and over the next two hundred years, he led the Cabal, an underground, vampire-loyal resistance movement in Meridian determined to eliminate the Sarafan.[BO2-C1][BO2-C3] He no longer had "the strength" to create more vampires; it was not a trivial process in his eyes.[BO2-C3] Assisted by Umah, his favored vampire child and spy, he conspired to kill the Sarafan Lord. Only when the Sarafan were eliminated could the vampire race hope to survive.[BO2-C3][BO2-C10]
As the leader of the Cabal, Vorador concealed his identity "for secrecy's sake".[BO2-C3] He attracted several of his descendants to his cause, even attaining the support of the human Bishop of Meridian]], and attempted to convince other, more ambivalent individuals such as Marcus, but was unable to prevent several of his kin from reneging to the Sarafan order's banner.[BO2-C1][BO2-C4] Four centuries after the collapse of the Pillars, he and his followers were headquartered in Sanctuary, which consisted of the basement of the Blue Lady Curios shop.[BO2-C3] They were "divided, and dying", with no prospect of prolonged survival under the "iron rule" of the Sarafan regime. Though distrustful of his power and ambitions, they were left with no choice but to revive Kain from his comatose state.[BO2-C1][BO2-C3]
The Reformed Sado-HedonistEdit
- "Vorador! The reformed sado-hedonist of Termogent Forest – I had met him once before in his new role of patriarch. I still knew not to trust him."
Upon awakening, and resolving to meet the Cabal's "mysterious leader", Kain bypassed wanted posters depicting his old compatriot throughout Meridian's Lower City, but only when he reached Sanctuary did he meet Vorador in person. Vorador welcomed Kain, albeit with obvious wariness and reluctance; Kain, likewise, mused that he "still knew not to trust him", responding with "false courtesies" and attempting to "rouse" his old mentor. For unspecified reasons, the two were on poor terms, and Vorador deemed them "allies only by necessity".[BO2-C3] His personality was substantially removed from his original incarnation in the first timeline: he was "the reformed sado-hedonist of Termogent Forest", no longer brash, arrogant and decadent, but more chastened, senescent and patriarchal.[BO2-C3]
Before they could plan their attack on the Sarafan Lord, an Injured Cabal Vampire burst in, informing them that Umah had been captured by the Sarafan, Vorador was distressed. He instructed Kain to save her life, and immediately directed him to seek out the Bishop of Meridian in the Upper City; the Bishop could provide Kain passage to the Sarafan Keep. Despite their differences, Vorador acknowledged that "Umah's life [depended] on [Kain]. As [did they] all".[BO2-C3] Kain agreed, if only motivated by his desire for revenge against the Sarafan Lord and Umah's information, and Vorador subsequently provided him directions and guidance via the Whisper.[BO2-C3][BO2-C4]
Vorador's "weary admonitions of safety and care" irritated Kain, but his knowledge of Nosgoth proved invaluable. Once Umah was rescued, she informed the Cabal of the Nexus Stone; Vorador was already aware of the Stone's capacity to resist the power of the Soul Reaver, and permitted Kain to claim it for his own, provided that he "commit [himself] to fighting the Sarafan Lord".[BO2-C5] When Kain infiltrated the Industrial Quarter, Vorador sensed Sebastian's presence, and one of his agents rescued Kain after the Main Factory's destruction. Questioned about the Device, he relayed that he had "heard tell of strange discoveries deep underground", and that he "[knew] of one who [could] tell [them] the truth of this matter". He directed Kain to seek the Seer, a being said to be older even than him, who owed him "a favor".[BO2-C6]
- "Do you so wish to return to the grave, old friend? You are in no position to challenge me."
Later, while discussing their unsuccessful attempts to contact him, Vorador and Umah were stunned to see Kain return to Sanctuary with none other than Janos Audron, alive once again. Astonished to see his long-dead sire revived, Vorador chose to remain at the headquarters with Janos and the other Cabal members, while Kain departed to the Wharves in hopes of deactivating the Shield Generator of the Hylden City. Despite Vorador's protestations, Umah insisted on accompanying Kain.[BO2-C9] When she and Kain arrived at the outposts, however, Umah stole the Nexus Stone. She explained to an incensed Kain that Vorador had told her all of Kain's stories, that he "would stop at nothing to achieve [his] great ambition: absolute power."[BO2-C10]
Fearing that Kain would eventually eliminate the Cabal - that he would hunt them down and kill them in his conquest of Nosgoth - she ran, promising to destroy the Sarafan Lord herself.[BO2-C10] When the Shield Generator was destroyed, Janos and Vorador rendezvoused with Kain in the Hylden City, and - anxious for news on Umah's whereabouts - Vorador pressed Kain. He accurately feared the worst, but was appalled and shocked to learn that Kain himself had killed her for betraying him and stealing the Nexus Stone. The two argued fervently, with Vorador denouncing Kain a "monster" whom he was wrong ever to trust, and Kain claiming that he had simply done what Vorador himself would do "to any, human or vampire, who defied [his] will".[BO2-C11]
As they argued, Kain went as far as insinuating that Vorador might have masterminded Umah's betrayal - that she may simply have been "acting as the dutiful lieutenant, following her superior's orders". He threatened Vorador, warning that the elder was in "no position to challenge" him, but they agreed to "settle this in good time". Just as they reached this truce, however, the Sarafan Lord emerged, and fired a Reaver Bolt which cleaved through Vorador's chest, knocking him - motionless - to the ground. Janos impelled Kain to pursue their enemy while he tended to Vorador, and - though Janos assisted in the fight with the Sarafan Lord - Vorador was not seen again.[BO2-C11] His fate after the Death of the Hylden Lord remains undisclosed.[BO2-C11]
- "We will settle this in good time. Tonight, the Sarafan Lord dies. Tomorrow, we shall see…"
Vorador has been voiced by Paul Lukather in all of his appearances.[BO1][SR2][BO2][DEF] He is one of only three characters, alongside Kain and Moebius, who has either appeared in person, or been mentioned and depicted, in all five Legacy of Kain games to date. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is the only game he makes no physical appearance in, but he is portrayed in a stained glass window.[SR1]
The character of Vorador was conceived by Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack and writer Ken McCulloch. After thinking of him during Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain's production, they "knew that there had to be a great deal of history behind this guy", but "did not have a chance to talk about this history much in Blood Omen". Following its release, Dyack expressed in an interview that Vorador had proven to be one of the most popular characters in the game judging from e-mails. He stated that "if we decide to do more in the Blood Omen series then it is a safe bet to say that he will be in it. Thus, we would definitely consider a prequel", and that "it would definitely be fun to fully explore [his] character".
Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain was originally supposed to feature an interactive chess match sequence between Kain and Vorador, held in Vorador's Mansion just before their first meeting together. Vorador, the challenger, would verbally taunt Kain, who could either use Control Mind to secure a checkmate, or lose/forfeit the game and fight the chess pieces (enemies) to progress instead. Series tester Chris Bruno had the opportunity to play through it, but it did not survive to the retail version: "a serious bug was discovered just prior to shipping, and in order to not delay the release, it was removed at the last minute".
The weapon Vorador wields in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is not the Soul Reaver, but his personal Hybrid Sword (so-named because the developers created it by merging the Soul Reaver's blade with the cut Bone Sword's hilt). He carries the same weapon in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, but it is deliberately redesigned to look more personalized and less like the Reaver.
When Crystal Dynamics obtained control of the Legacy of Kain intellectual property, they elected not to pursue a Vorador-centric prequel.[SR1] Nonetheless, they acknowledged that Vorador was a "fan-favorite" character, and he made a return to the series in Soul Reaver 2.[SR2] A variety of outlandish artistic redesigns were proposed, but in the final product he remains visually similar to his Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain incarnation.[SR2] The murals portraying him in the Circle's gathering-room were drawn by series artist Daniel Cabuco.
Despite his death in the Blood Omen era, Vorador inexplicably made extensive appearances in Blood Omen 2 (created and designed by a separate team within Crystal Dynamics), which was set in the post-Blood Omen era, centuries after his execution.[BO1][BO2] Notoriously, his resurrection between these eras has not been addressed in the Legacy of Kain games. The team responsible for Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2 intended to explain Vorador's resurrection in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, but the relevant chapter was cut due to production time constraints. According to Daniel Cabuco, Raziel was to encounter the human Umah (also cut) in Vorador's Mansion, who would orchestrate his revival:
We had to do a lot of reconciliation with BO2... and had to cut it for time. (also, the fact that Raz would rez both Vorador AND Janos seemed.. redundant)"
Another scenario cut from the game entailed the Elder Kain meeting Vorador, and a larger gameplay role for Vorador and his Signet Ring (which the Elder Kain still possessed in Legacy of Kain: Defiance). It was intended to rationalize the Cabal's distrust of the younger Kain in Blood Omen 2: "Kain did have a mission in Vorador's mansion but I think it was to meet living Vorador. We wanted to have Kain be able to summon him afterwards with the ring. Vorador seeing how powerful Kain had become would be distrustful.. And would pass that to his clan (ie Umah)".
Vorador's appearance is extremely consistent between games; he is portrayed as an ancient, highly-evolved vampire, with green skin and yellow eyes, tall, pointed, wolfish ears, a "spiked", four-pointed jaw (except in Blood Omen 2), bidactyl toes, and tridactyl hands with relatively short nails or claws. His attire changes with each appearance, but its coloring is usually similar, consisting of a desaturated red overcoat or mantle, a white undershirt with a circular talisman near the neck or chest area, bracers or cuffs with a hatched texture, and dark leggings or boots.[BO1][SR2][BO2][DEF]
In Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Vorador's undershirt is sleeveless, exposing an Oriental-style tattoo of a dragon or serpent on his left arm. His overcoat - red, with a diamond pattern - is fuller and more lengthy than in later games, acting as a dress robe, and tied by a brown belt with Ulam spiral etchings. His talisman is a red jewel with a golden rim. Concept sketches depict him with defined, powerful muscles, and show a small notch in his left ear (possibly a battle wound). In his Wolf Form, his fur is black, but with a brighter, white muzzle, and his eyes are bright yellow.[BO1]
Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance retain most of these features, with only minor differences; they depict Vorador with a sleeved undershirt, and an open, gold-hemmed overcoat with shoulder ornaments but lacking the diamond textures, revealing his black trousers and boots. His talisman also changes in both games, becoming a trifurcated, orange amulet in Soul Reaver 2, and a golden ball or orb with a bat-like underpin in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Legacy of Kain: Defiance also accentuates the four spikes on his jaw and chin, turning them white to resemble a beard.[SR2][DEF]
In Blood Omen 2, Vorador's neck talisman and the diamond pattern on his overcoat remain consistent with Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, but other features are altered. His chin has no spikes, and he appears markedly thinner and more frail, with a more wrinkled and vein-straddled face. His clothing is more stylized to match Blood Omen 2's aesthetic, with a high collar about the neck and symmetrical seams in his lower overcoat, and his boots are taller. They are metallic, as is his belt.[BO2]
In murals, Vorador's appearance is usually close to the genuine article, but deliberately exaggerated or demonized.[SR1-C6][SR2-C1][BO1-C8] Two of the Pillar Guardian tributes in the Sarafan Stronghold envisage him as wielding a bloodied knife, and another shows him in a brown, Count Orlok-esque robe.[SR2-C1] Vampire Citadel murals in Legacy of Kain: Defiance also portray him as a human. In both, he is seen with black, braided hair, a muscled frame, and some of his distinctive facial features. In one, he is wearing a red shirt with runic hems, but in the other, he dons a blacksmith's vest, and a dragon tattoo can be seen on each of his shoulders (as opposed to just the single one on his left arm in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain).[DEF-C6]
Animals symbolically emblematic of Vorador include the aforementioned dragon, the raven, and the wolf. He is metaphorically compared to a wolf in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain's dialogue, whereas dragon and raven imagery is frequently seen throughout his mansion in Legacy of Kain: Defiance.[BO1-C11][DEF] Daniel Cabuco introduced this symbology, feeling the character had "power and ferocity", but was also "tragic in an Edgar Allan Poe kind of way".
Vorador's personality differs, or appears to differ, slightly between the original Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and the later Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance, but his Blood Omen 2 incarnation is inconsistent with all three previous games, so much so that it has provoked fan questions and criticism. Chris Bruno said that "there are reasons for how Vorador is in BO2, but I can not yet reveal them to you", and "almost everything in the LOK universe happens for a reason", but no further in-universe explanation has been provided for this shift in attitude and behavior. Some fans have attributed it to his resurrection, and to the changes to his personal history brought on by the temporal paradoxes created by Kain.
Blood Omen: Legacy of KainEdit
Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain's Vorador, primarily written by Ken McCulloch, is outwardly portrayed as "an arrogant, egotistical braggart", and his speech was written with "themes of vengeance, anger, violence, triumph and glory" in mind. Proud and hedonistic, he surrounds himself with luxury - a "vulgar display of fortune" which Kain believes "would shame the haughty nobles of [his] former court". He keeps vampire consorts - described as his brides, but truly "nothing more than beasts, slave to his will and the easy prey he provided". A pantry in his mansion is filled with chained humans "like cattle awaiting slaughter, [where] men and women dangled from the rusted hooks upon the dungeon walls, [and] blood and viscera frosted the dirt and stone". Another perverse room dedicated to "the torture and execution of human beings for the sadistic pleasure of its engineer" rang with "the dread and agony of victims past", and upon one wall, "scrawled in blood, were the words: Manus Celer Dei" (the swift hand of God). "His power uncontested by mortals, he had [apparently] fallen" to decadence.[BO1-C6]
This highly extravagant lifestyle serves as little more than sadistic posturing, however, misrepresenting deep undercurrents of suffering and tragedy in Vorador's character. His mansion is more a hermitage than a palace. "The Sarafan murdered his friends, lovers, and his vampire children and gave him a valid reason to hate the living. He fought back once, destroying part of the Circle who supported the Sarafan, but it was not enough. The purges eventually drove him into hiding, and so he became lost to the world of Nosgoth".[BO1-C6] Despite having witnessed "the world grow from being young and vibrant to sour and corrupt", he remains an emotional individual, prone to depression, and in the case of his attack against the Circle, recklessness.[BO1-C1] This "boorish", unrefined and simplistic, yet protecting and loving, nature serves as a foil to Kain's aristocratic tastes and fatalistic, cold practicality as Balance Guardian. Vorador despises humans, viewing them as "cattle", and having entirely embraced the blood curse as a "blessing".[BO1-C6][BO1-C12]
The "eternal struggle" between Vorador and Malek was intended to represent the conflict within Kain's character - the battle waged between his declining relation to his former humanity and the vampiric curse which consumes him. Kain initially views Vorador as a "monster" and a "decadent old fool", a "vision" of what he is becoming, but as Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain progresses, this opinion gives way to acceptance of, and eventually, high respect for, the elder vampire.[BO1-C12] Vorador is Kain's only sincere ally, and Kain becomes increasingly "revolted by the machinations of the human sorcerers" who strive to manipulate him. He eventually looks upon Vorador as a "father figure", and embraces his ideals as correct: that vampires are "dark gods" whose duty is "to thin the herd".[BO1-C12] By the Soul Reaver era, Kain takes to wearing Vorador's Signet Ring as an earring, most likely as a sign of homage and fraternity.[SR1-C1]
The arcane tomes included with Legacy of Kain: Defiance reveal some particularly character-defining dialogue for Vorador - written for Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain - which was not used in the game:
Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: DefianceEdit
Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance were primarily written by Amy Hennig, and Vorador's scenes in both games are almost exclusively shared with Raziel, not Kain. His disdain for humanity, knowledge of ancient affairs and relationship with Janos Audron are at the forefront in most of his scenes, and the sadistic and hedonistic tendencies he exhibited in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain are toned down to an extent, as is his grandiloquent speech.[SR2][DEF]
He speaks with more severity and apathy than pride, and it is clear that the crusades led by Moebius's mercenary army (which did not exist in the timeline Kain interacts with him in during the original game) have driven him to disillusion and supposed dispassion: "centuries of persecution have taught [him] well", and he coldly fears that "it will have all been for nothing" when Moebius finds him.[DEF-C8][SR2-C3] At one point, Raziel comments on his "meek capitulation", expressing disappointment given the vampire's brazen reputation, but privately commends Vorador as "the most forthright being" he encounters in the pre-Blood Omen era.[SR2-C3]
Blood Omen 2Edit
In Blood Omen 2 - written by Bret Robbins and Carol Wolf - Vorador's role, disposition and personality as a whole is very different.[BO2] He is seen directly interacting with his vampire children for the first time, and retains clear compassion and loyalty towards the vampire race he has personally sired, but his characteristic disenchantment with Nosgoth is effectively absent.[BO2-C3] Actively leading his people, he seems unusually pro-active, outwardly sensitive and gentle in method in comparison to his other incarnations, often expressing patriarchal concern for the welfare of his allies - his boorish traits are abandoned.[BO2-C3][BO2-C11]
Vorador's sadistic and torturous tendencies are also discarded, as is his modus operandi as a congenial mentor and father figure to Kain's character.[BO2-C3][BO2-C9][BO2-C6][BO2-C5][BO2-C11] Kain describes him as the "reformed sado-hedonist", and argues that Vorador would typically kill any human or vampire who defied his will.[BO2-C3][BO2-C11] Vorador, meanwhile, overtly disapproves of Kain's hopes of conquering humanity and ruling Nosgoth, having told Umah "all [Kain's] stories" and instilled in her a fear of his ambition.[BO2-C3][BO2-C10] He brands Kain a "monster", seemingly considering the younger vampire more amoral in nature than himself; their strong former respect for one another no longer seems to exist.[BO2-C11]
Fans have frequently expressed confusion or derision regarding the Blood Omen 2 interpretation of the character and what is perceived as its writers' disregard for, and contradiction of, his already well-established personality and defining attributes, with one parody referring to him as the “Call Your Dogs, They Can Feed On These Nice Doggy Treats I’ve Brought With Me” version of Vorador, and the "green flower-power Ned Flanders of Meridian".
Described as "the most ancient and powerful of Nosgoth's surviving vampires" as of the pre-Blood Omen era, Vorador displays a host of powers in each of his appearances, relying on the innate abilities bestowed upon him by the blood curse, his master swordsmanship, and magic energy. In his debut in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain's introduction, he wields the Blood Gout and Energy Bolt spells later obtained by Kain, and wields several battle artifacts with precision. He is easily able to trick and fend off Malek, the Conflict Guardian and one of the most elite warriors of the Sarafan, parrying his attacks with uncanny skill, and using an advanced Mist Form to defeat him and escape.[BO1-C1][BO1-C6]
In other instances in the game, he exhibits considerable agility, making use of his Wolf Form ability (to conclusively defeat Malek), and wields enhanced telekinesis to pass Kain a goblet of blood.[BO1-C6][BO1-C7] It is mentioned that he "has feasted upon the teeming human cattle of Nosgoth and learned everything there is to know about the world, reading his victims [sic] thoughts as he preyed upon their blood". His hardy nature ensures that he can dwell within the swampy Termogent Forest, which Kain surmises is "strange", given that such a perilous environment "could only offer a vampire hazard and pain".[BO1-C6]
Soul Reaver 2 introduces Vorador's crows. It is not made clear whether they are extensions of Vorador himself (as in the case of Kain's Bat Form), or simply his agents, but he is capable of observing Nosgoth through their eyes. When teleporting or dissipating in this game and in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, he leaves behind green "effects".[SR2-C2][SR2-C2] Legacy of Kain: Defiance establishes his prowess as a renowned swordsmith, revealing that he was responsible for forging the legendary Reaver blade at the behest of Janos Audron while still a human, and demonstrates that he can be "supernaturally swift" when wielding such weapons. The game also reveals the effects of the blood curse, which affect him: sterility, immortality, and bloodthirst.[DEF-C8][DEF-C6]
By Blood Omen 2, Vorador has sired a new generation of vampires single-handedly (as Kain is unable to create vampires at that time).[BO2-C3] Amy Hennig revealed his method: "Without going into too much detail, there are various ways a vampire can be born/created. The ancient/original Vampires (like Janos) had one method, by which Vorador was raised, and by which Vorador would also raise his vampire offspring. This would be a more "traditional" method, where the vampiric curse is passed from one vampire to a human." In the same game, he makes use of the Whisper, and is capable of sensing other vampires, but otherwise seems weakened and less effective than usual in terms of personal power, mentioning that he "[has] not the strength" to make more of his kind.[BO2-C6][BO2-C11][BO2] His frailty becomes obvious in his final appearance in the Hylden City, when the Sarafan Lord is able to debilitate him with a single Reaver Bolt (to the extent that he needs to be tended to); these projectiles did not usually deal substantial damage to vampires, and it would normally take several of them to deprive the young Kain of all of his blood.[BO2-C11]
As revealed in the arcane tomes in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, Vorador's name was changed to Infernum during the development cycle of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, but was ultimately reverted back to "Vorador" for the final release.[DEF]
- Vorador is the only major character in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain who does not possess an in-game character sprite (while alive) - he appears only in cinematics, and as a corpse during the battle with Moebius. A static sprite for him does exist in the game's files, and would presumably have been used in the chess match sequence, but it does not appear anywhere in the retail version of the game.[BO1-C11][BO1]
- For all of his power, Vorador's slaughter of the Circle may not have been as simple a feat as he made it seem; other influences might have made the massacre possible. The Circle's magical abilities appeared to fail them when they tried to defend themselves prior to Malek's arrival. When asked "why was the Circle defenseless" (among other questions), Amy Hennig replied that "this has not yet been revealed", possibly suggesting that there was more to the event. No explanation has since been provided.
- Assuming that he survived the injury he sustained from the Sarafan Lord, Vorador's fate after the destruction of the Hylden Gate is unclear. The writers of Blood Omen 2 appeared to be setting up a direct conflict between the Cabal and the younger Kain, and fans have speculated that Vorador and his descendants have to be destroyed or otherwise removed from activity in the Material Realm to maintain the integrity of Nosgoth's timeline (Vorador was not active in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, and it has been confirmed that Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver's events were not changed by historical paradoxes).
- Although Vorador's resurrection was not depicted in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, it still has to occur (albeit probably in an altered form, since Raziel is no longer active due to his cyclical imprisonment in the Soul Reaver).[DEF-C13] Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy may have pursued this loose end; Daniel Cabuco has opined that it would be "cool" for the Elder Kain to be involved in the resurrection rather than Raziel.
- In Legacy of Kain: Defiance, it was revealed that Vorador was the creator of the Reaver blade in the Fourth timeline.[DEF-C6][DEF-C8] However Timeline sources and the murals in the Subterranean Pillars Chamber suggest that this was not always the case and in earlier timelines, Vorador may not have been born until after the forging of the blade.[SR2]
- Vorador at Wikipedia.
- Vorador at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn).
- The Chess Match at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- The Resurrection of Vorador at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Warp's answers from Amy at the Eidos Forums (by blincoln)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 The Players at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Recreated PSXnation.com Interview with Denis Dyack at Nosgothic Realm
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Soul Reaver 2: Background Story at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 A few questions at DCabDesign (by Divine Shadow), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Resurrection of Vorador at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ Question and Answer with Amy Hennig at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ FAQ at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ Bloodomen 2 (Story) (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ The Blood Curse (The Dark Gift) at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 Vorador at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Miscellaneous Questions & Answers at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Chris@Crystal's Greatest Hits at the Eidos Forums (by Divine Shadow)
- ↑ Vorador's Hybrid Sword at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- ↑ The Bone Sword at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Legacy of Kain: Defiance Designer Diary #1 at GameSpot, page 1 (by Richard Lemarchand)
- ↑ Umah´s and Vorador´s role in Defiance at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #7 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ A few questions at DCabDesign (by Paradoks), post #9 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 The Seer at The Lost Worlds (by Divine Shadow)
- ↑ Blood Omen Scripts at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Theme Outlines for Cinematics at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ Vorador at The Legacy of Turelzevir Site (archived at The Lost Worlds)
- ↑ Two Voradors, One Idea, Zero Paradoxes. at The Legacy of Turelzevir Site (archived at The Lost Worlds)
- ↑ Soul Reaver 2 (Vorador) (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ Early Character Names at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ Question and Answer with Jen, Richard, and Kyle at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- ↑ Umah´s and Vorador´s role in Defiance at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #9 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ GLoK Interviews with Amy Hennig at Nosgothic Realm (by Raziel Fan), post #5 (by RazielFan)