- "From the moment of my arrival, I had the constant and palpable sensation of being watched. Someone, it seemed, was keenly interested in my presence here."
- ―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]
- Name: Vorador's crows
- Category: Soul Reaver 2 terms
- Introduced: • Soul Reaver 2 (2001)
- Appearances: •
- Related Articles: Vorador, Animals, Scarecrows, Silver Half of Vorador's Crest
After Raziel left the Sarafan Stronghold and explored Nosgoth in the Pre-Blood Omen era in the early chapters of Soul Reaver 2 he was silently observed by a number of small groups of crows. When Raziel approached any of the crows they would appear as though taking off before vanishing into a green wispy energy. Noting a grouping nearby the Pillars of Nosgoth, Raziel commented on the "palpable sensation of being watched" they gave him, deducing that someone was "keenly interested in [his] presence".[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C2]
After being observed by the vanishing crows for some time, Raziel eventually made his way to the Swamp where upon hearing a disturbance among the crows he was able to spot a vampire watching him from a balcony along with the crows - with both disappearing into green smoke. Raziel was able to quickly identify the mysterious observer as Vorador. It seemed that Vorador had used crows to keep surveillance on Nosgoth - and more particularly Raziel - this was all but confirmed a short while later as Raziel left the Dark Forge and conversed with Vorador, who admitted to watching Raziel since he left the Stronghold.[SR2][SR2-C3]
Vorador's crows would continue to watch Raziel as he explored Nosgoth in the Pre-Blood Omen era. They would be absent from the Post-Blood Omen era but were seen again in Nosgoth's early history.[SR2][SR2-C3][SR2-C5][SR2-C7][SR2-C9] Later titles did not explicitly feature a return of the concept although regular crows were seen on occasion.[BO2][DEF]
- The crows are never named in official sources and the original scripts of Soul Reaver 2 make no reference whatsoever to their presence, only mentioning that Raziel "senses he is being watched" and "sees Vorador silently watching him". The only sources to mention them are transcripts of the retail version of the game which mention the "crows" disturbed by Vorador on the Dark forge balcony. Potentially this implies that the crows were not initially intended to be present in the title and were only added to as a manifestation of Raziel's sense of "being watched".[SR2][SR2-C2][SR2-C3]
- With no direct references to the crows, there are also no direct references made to the link between Vorador and the crows, however a number of factors suggest they are his agents or otherwise related: They are the sole focus of the camera when Raziel mentions he is being watched, with the observer later revealed to be Vorador; Crows are present from soon after Raziel leaves the Sarafan Stronghold (initially watching from the cliffs above the path before appearing in and beside the pathway), with Vorador later claiming to have been watching Raziel from this point; When approached the crows unnaturally disappear into a green mist virtually identical to that used by Vorador when teleporting; and ultimately when Vorador is discovered he is found watching Raziel among a group of crows. Contributing to this is Vorador's use of crow symbols.[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C2][SR2-C3][DEF]
- A crow is featured prominently on Vorador's crest along wih a creature resembling an Asian "Lung" dragon. The full crest is assembled from two halves in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, With the silver half containing the crow depiction and the gold half containing the dragon depiction.[DEF][DEF-C8] The meaning of the symbols within the series was elaborated by artist Daniel Cabuco: "Vorador had 2 symbols, the dragon and the crow. The crow was used as a secondary symbol for allies and followers. The dragon was a longer symbol, seen all over his mansion."
- The Crows are most prevalent in the Pre-Blood Omen era where Vorador is watching Raziel's movements closely. They can also be seen in Nosgoth's early history albeit in fewer numbers, however they are completely absent from the Post-Blood Omen era, presumably due to the death of Vorador by this time.[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C2][SR2-C3][SR2-C5][SR2-C7][SR2-C9]
- The crows bear a similarity to Familiars in European Folklore, but they are never referred to as such in the series and it is ultimately unclear whether they are his agents, or simply extensions of Vorador himself (as in the case of Kain's Bat Form) - Vorador does seem capable of observing Nosgoth through their eyes however.[SR2][SR2-C2][SR2-C3]
- Crows or similar Animals are seen in other titles in the series, but few are as directly used by a major character. Crows were first seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, where the Scarecrow enemies used them as an attacking method, sending a number of crows to fly after Kain.[BO1][BO1-C7] Crows were also seen around the Sanctuary of the Clans in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, far in Nosgoth's future - retroactively speaking, these may indicate that Kain used a similar method to keep watch on his Empire.[SR1][SR1-C2][SR1-C5][SR1-C7] Both Blood Omen 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance make use of bird textures in the sky which could be flying crows or similar birds, but these are not seen up close.[BO2][DEF]
- The crows outside the Dark Forge can trigger one of the series most infamous bugs, as disturbing them in Through the Swamp could cause the entrance to the Dark forge to remain closed at the end, preventing Raziel from exiting when the forge was complete. Referencing this bug, a later temporary placeholder texture in Legacy of Kain: Defiance read "Dont' scare the crows" during development of the title, although it was removed before the retail version - a similar placeholder reading "hide the marmosets" did survive into the retail version of Defiance however.[SR2-C3]
- Pre-release screenshots appear to show some changes relating to the crows. Soul Reaver 2 pre-release screenshots show different effects for the crows vanishing with a brighter, 'glowing' effect used - this was changed to a more 'misty' dissipating effect for the retail version. Defiance pre-release screenshots show crows in several shots around Vorador's Mansion, presumably meaning that the crows were intended to reappear in Defiance, however none are present in the retail version.