Dumah's mountain stronghold was constructed in Nosgoth's northern wilderness as part of Kain's empire, and teemed with the life of vampire kind. Following Raziel's execution, however, the Dumahim were taken by surprise by the human vampire hunters. In the attack, Dumah was impaled by multiple stakes, and the walls of his city were torched. The few Dumahim that escaped were reduced to scavengers, and the "silent city sat in frozen tableau."[Soul Reaver/Miscellaneous]
"Beyond the cliffs that witnessed your execution, a silent city sits in frozen tableau. Locked in eternal limbo, they await redemption, or release." Ariel
Much like Raziel's own territory he found it abandoned and desolate, with only the occasional Vampire Wraith present. Initially Raziel believed that there the Dumahim were subject to a vampire genocide, much like his own clan, which scattered the Dumahim clan and left them nomadic scavengers. However after prompting from the Elder God, he discovered that it was in fact human vampire-hunters who were responsible. Dumah, in his arrogance had not suspected an attack from the least likely assailants.
In the throne room, Raziel discovered and revived Dumah, and was able to lure him into the Ash Village's furnace room to dispose of him, and gain the Constrict ability, enabling him to enter the nearby Oracle's caves and the Chronoplast.
The Ruined City has several elements that were changed during development and appeared differently in the alpha builds:
- Differing passages through the city may suggest that a different route through the city was originally intended.
- The main gate and gatehouse is missing in early alpha builds
- The main courtyard has some issues with textures and lighting. There is no tunnel leading to the reservoir area where one is present in retail. A Passage on the second level of the courtyard leads over the top and descends directly into Dumah's throne room.
- The obelisk courtyard area has different textures on the obelisk and a different animation - as the obelisk breaks off from its base instead of merely toppling over. The room also has an additional block but it's unclear where it fits.
- The throne room itself has completely different stained glass murals with a pattern and face design. The chamber has two entrances in the corners of the room separated by a stained glass window – in retail there is only one which comes right through the middle of the stained glass while the original entrances are blocked off. Statues are positioned in T-poses.
- The Furnace area has only one entrance instead of the two seen in retail. Notably the effects of the explosion are yet to be implemented in alpha, so instead cue cards are presented saying “gas”, “fire” and “explode”.
- The back courtyard has a plain constrict dial rather than a statue. Instead of rooms housing collectables, the courtyard has two notable areas accessed via the dial: One of the side chambers contains the Stone Forge; while the back chamber leads through to a previously unknown snowy mountain pass. The pass leads on to the Oracle's caves, while a passage part way along leads to a unknown forge room labelled as "adda2"
The "Clan territory of the Dumahim" was briefly mentioned in the Nosgoth background story for the Dumahim Reavers, explaining that in the early events of Soul Reaver the area was home to the "eternal forges, where their blacksmiths specialise in crafting the finest armour in Nosgoth."
Being the furthest point North visited in Soul Reaver, The Ash Village was liable to snowing and much of the area surrounding the Dumah's territory and the Oracle's caves was covered by a blanket of settled snow. This may presumably be a reason for the large furnace room.
The name "The Ash Village" however may suggest a different possibility altogether, in that Dumah's territory was close to the deleted Turelim clan territory, which was also home to furnaces and the smokestack seen in the opening FMV. It is possible therefore the falling particles were a mixture of snow and ash falling from the smokestack.
- The Ruined City of the Dumahim (Ash Village) at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn).
- Map at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya, Guilherme Coelho and Andrew Fradley).