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"Avernus lay in ruins before me. Whatever hand slaughtered its people ravaged the city as well."
―Kain — Listen (file info)[src]

Avernus was a major city in Nosgoth that was visited as a playable location in both Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and Legacy of Kain: Defiance at its height in the events of Blood Omen. The walled city was dominated by its large Cathedral and was ruled by its matriarch - Dimension Guardian Azimuth - who ruled the city as a religious autocracy with a secret cult at its heart. The City notably suffered tragedy in the events of Blood Omen as in the wake of the Corruption of the Pillars, Azimuth summoned Demons from the Demon Realm to attack the city and its inhabitants, resulting in the city being set aflame and much of it destroyed.

ProfileEdit

BO1-Render-BatFlight-Avernus

Avernus aflame viewed from afar (BO1)

Avernus was first featured in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain where the settlement was a playable location featured on maps. It appeared as a large walled city in eastern central Nosgoth, directly east of Vorador's Mansion, southeast of Uschtenheim, north of Willendorf and the Lake of Serenity and southwest of Stahlberg and the Plains of Blood. Only the cathedral was named on maps and the city was pictured as the Cathedral surrounded by walls, with little trace of the expansive city around it.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen manual (Windows)][Blood Omen strategy guide][1][2]

The city was once ruled by the Matriarch of Avernus, Azimuth, who upon becoming tainted by the corruption of the pillars, began summoning Demons from other dimensions - presumably the Demon Realm - to attack the city.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8]

After defeating the Dark Eden triad in Threaten the Circle Kain was advised by Ariel to confront Azimuth but that to do so he would have to "rise and fall and find [his] salvation in between". Kain travelled to Avernus in the chapter Defeat Azimuth and found that much of the city had been reduced to ruins and set aflame, with the populace slaughtered or under attack by Demons - none of the devastation outside touched the Cathedral itself, which was apparently the source.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen/7]

Once within the Cathedral, Kain was able to explore a shadowy alternate dimension, "rise" through the Heaven realm to claim the Soul Reaver blade and "fall" through the Hell realm to find the Wraith armor. Finally Kain was able to confront Azimuth in her private chambers. Both of the items he had recovered from the Cathedral would come in useful against Azimuth who - unaware of the presence of both devices in her Cathedral - summoned Demons from bloody runes to combat Kain. When she was within range, a single strike of the Soul Reaver was sufficient to kill Azimuth. After he death Kain claimed her Third Eye Pandant pillar token and along with it found a time streaming device she had stolen from Moebius in order to gather demons from other ages. Kain immediately understood what Azimuth had been intending to do with the device, but did not realize that she had used it already, or why it was his salvation.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen strategy guide][3][4][5] Within the walls of the Cathedral he also uncovered the first clues as to the true nature of the corruption of the pillars in the Avernus Catacombs, where he found a secret altar dedicated to the worship of dark god "Hash'ak'gik".[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen strategy guide][6]

Kain would subsequently use the time-streaming device to escape the Battle of the Last Stand in Stranded in Time,[Blood Omen/10] while the Soul Reaver went on to become Kain's iconic weapon.[Blood Omen][Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver 2][Blood Omen 2][Defiance]

Main article: Avernus Cathedral
Main article: Heaven
Main article: Hell
Main article: Avernus Catacombs

Avernus returned in Legacy of Kain: Defiance in the same time period, where as the city burned Vorador directed Raziel there, in search of the Heart of Darkness so that he could resurrect Janos Audron, apparently shortly after the visit of the younger Kain. Raziel's journey was only seen from when he reached Avernus Cathedral and none of the area outside was seen, although Raziel commented upon the "chaos" in the city. Raziel explored the Cathedral and found a sealed chamber with a warp gate leading to the Earth forge within the Vampire Citadel where Raziel was able to imbue the Wraith Blade with elemental Earth - creating the Earth Reaver. Returning to the main cathedral area, Raziel was able to use an Earth plinth to summon Earth platforms so he could reach the higher balconies of the Cathedral where he could discover the Dark Scripture. Using the scripture on the altar opened a portal leading to the 'hellish' Avernus Catacombs, where he found evidence of Hylden involvement in the secret religion of Avernus and their side of the Elder Wars and 'dual champion' prophecy.[Defiance][Defiance/10][Defiance strategy guide]

Defiance-Avernus-Avernus99a-MainCathedral

Now virtually convinced he was the Hylden champion, Raziel ran into Mortanius who was conducting a ceremony worshipping the unseen Hash'ak'gik over a murky pit along with a group of Cenobites. Curious to see the entity, Raziel approached the edges and was telekinetically dragged into the pit with to find his monstrously devolved brother Turel - periodically possessed by several Hylden and used as the voice of 'Hash'ak'gik to command their disciples. Battling with possession by the Hylden, Turel vaguely explained the circumstances of his capture while various Hylden struggled to communicate with Raziel and warn him of the coming of the Vampire champion. Believing he needed Blood to gather the strength to get rid of the Hylden influence - and not aware that Raziel was no longer a creature of flesh and blood because he was blind - Turel attacked his brother but was defeated: finally gifting Raziel the Amplified Force Projectile and the Enhanced telekinesis ability. Afterward Raziel got the chance to talk to Mortanius, intermittently possessed by the Hylden Lord, who told him that he had placed the Heart of Darkness inside Kain to turn him into a vampire in the first place, believing he was creating the vampire champion.[Defiance][Defiance/10][Defiance strategy guide][7][8]

Meanwhile The Elder Kain - warned of Raziel progress and his journey to Avernus by the Elder God had travelled through time, worried about what would happen if Raziel found the Heart and entered the Cathedral himself and as Raziel left, he found Kain entering the Cathedral. Supposedly fulfilling the prophecy of the champions final battle, Raziel attacked Kain and won, tearing the heart out of Kain, blasting him through a portal between realms and leaving him to die before returning to Vorador's Mansion to use the heart to attempt to bring Janos back to life.[Defiance][Defiance/11][Defiance/12][Defiance strategy guide]

Kain would later wake in the Demon Realm, finding himself in Turel's pit assailed by demons. He was able to escape and return to the Material Realm and after battling his way out of the Cathedral, Kain returned to the Vampire Citadel, feeling the pull of the Spirit Forge.[Defiance][Defiance/13]

Main article: Avernus Cathedral
Main article: Avernus Catacombs

EnvironmentEdit

Design and LayoutEdit

The main area of Avernus City appeared on maps as a square walled city with the Cathedral at its heart. This was not completely represented in game which showed an area is made up of four square map areas arranged vertically in an extended rectangle, each densely populated with a network of houses which clearly overspilled beyond the map edges. In each square only a small number of houses were actually accessible and barrier across streets made frequent trip into dungeons, basements and sewers necessary to cross the city.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][2]

Main CityEdit

The main city was the first area seen and it consisted of a square of a the unblemished city, with houses and fountains in pristine condition, populated with villagers and Blue swordsmen.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen strategy guide]

Ruined CityEdit

The ruined city was the next square down and consisted of an area of the city that was heavily damaged. Gory remains and corpses were strewn around, houses bore a variety of rips, tears and holes, with some even collapsing to some degree and many were aflame. Enemies now included Shadows and Demons. Though not readily apparent, the accessible ruined city was split into four passages in the north, east, south and west - each linked to its nearest neighbors by underground passages.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen strategy guide]

Two further ruined areas were positioned to the south for the area surrounding the top half and the bottom half of the cathedral. These were both dominated by the central Cathedral, but were also surrounded by ruined houses and blocked streets. Again these were each divided into two sections, each covering a smaller area above ground and linked by underground passages and tunnels.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen strategy guide]

Avernus CathedralEdit

The City of Avernus was dominated by the cathedral at its center which overshadowed the entire city. In Blood Omen, Kain approached the Cathedral through the ruined city and was able to walk outside before entering, whereas in Defiance only the inside of the Cathedral was seen, although it was implied that both Kain and Raziel had been outside.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen strategy guide]

The Cathedral interior was split into several dimensions, realms and themed dungeons. In Blood Omen Kain entered the Cathedral and was able to pass between the main Material Realm and a shadowy alternate dimension before, 'rising' to the Heaven realm, 'falling' to the Hell realm and finally confronting Azimuth in her chambers. He could also discover the secret altar of Hash'ak'gik in the Avernus Catacombs. In Defiance Raziel passed through the main cathedral and used the subterranean earth forge portal area to reach the Earth forge before returning and using the Earth Reaver to reach the Dark Scripture and use it to open a portal to the subterranean Avernus Catacombs which culminated in a pit containing the dark god Hash'ak'gik and a chamber used by Mortanius.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen strategy guide]

Main article: Avernus Cathedral
Main article: Avernus Catacombs
Main article: Heaven
Main article: Hell

Interiors and ConnectionsEdit

The layout of the Avernus city area maps and interiors is incredibly complex and not easily illustrated. Most areas of Avernus are listed in game files under the "Map0035" designation. Several different designations exist for the internal areas and dungeons inside Avernus Cathedral, covering the "Map 0009", "Map 0036", "Map 0037", "Map 0038" designation and and parts of "Map 0005".See notes[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8]

The CityEdit

The regular city area is listed as "Sect 01" with the interiors listed as:

The Ruined CityEdit

The Ruined City area is actually made up of four different outdoor maps relating to different accessible sections of the map.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen strategy guide]

  • The first encountered is the eastern section ("02") which contains:
    • north house
    • north house
    • north house
    • west house
    • Mist Trail entrance
    • Mist Trail
  • The southern section ("04") contained:
  • The western section ("05") contained:
  • The northern section ("03") contained:

Upper Cathedral ExteriorEdit

The top Cathedral section was made up of two different outdoor maps relating to different accessible sections of the area - along the north ("06") and east ("07") of the cathedral - these contained:

Lower Cathedral ExteriorEdit

The lower cathedral exterior was also made up of two different outdoor maps relating to different accessible sections of the map - along the east ("17") and south ("16") of the cathedral - these contained:

Mist Dungeon AreaEdit

A secret Mist Form associated dungeon spanned the area beneath the city. It could be entered by using Mist Form to breach the entrance of one of three different boarded up houses:
  • Mist Trail
  • Mist Trail
  • Mist Trail Dungeon
  • Mist Trail Dungeon
  • Mist Trail
  • Mist Trail
  • Mist Trail Dungeon
  • Mist Trail Dungeon
  • Mist Trail
  • Mist Trail
  • Mist Trail Dungeon
  • Mist Trail Dungeon
  • The boarded up house in the center of the eastern section of the ruined city ("12") led through a permeable crack to another chamber ("13") where a staircase led down to a northeastern entrance the upper dungeon area ("11"). A Permeable door in the south led to a lower dungeon area ("21").[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen strategy guide]
  • The boarded up house in the center of the western section of the ruined city ("14") led through a permeable crack to another chamber ("15") where a staircase led down to a northwestern entrance the upper dungeon area ("11"). A Permeable door in the south led to a lower dungeon area ("21").[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen strategy guide]
  • The boarded up house in the east of the southern section of the lower cathedral exterior ("20") led through a permeable crack to another chamber ("22") where a staircase led down to a southeastern entrance the lower dungeon area ("21"). A Permeable door in the northwest led to the upper dungeon area ("11").[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen strategy guide]

Avernus CathedralEdit

Main article: Avernus Cathedral

In Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, The main Avernus Cathedral areas were listed under the "Map 0036" designation, with "Map 0036 Sect 00" representing the main Material Realm body of the Cathedral.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8] Several other areas could be reached from here:

  • The main doorway led outside to the lower cathedral exterior map area, southern section ("Map 0035 Sect 16")
  • Teleporters led to the Alternate Dimension ("Sect 01") and teleporters there led back to the material realm.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8]
  • The initial doorway led through to a room containing a Save altar ("02").[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8]
  • The top left doorway led through to the Heaven Dungeon areas (at "Map 0037 Sect 10").[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8]
  • The top right doorway led through to the Hell Dungeon (at "Map 0038 Sect 43").[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8]
  • The top middle doorway led through to the Azimuth's chambers. The first chamber with the stained glass window ("Map 0036 Sect 10") led through to a chamber with a save altar ("Map 0036 Sect 11") and onto a smaller chamber where Azimuth first met Kain ("Map 0005 Sect 11"). The main boss arena ("Map 0005 Sect 02") was followed by two square chambers containing a Time-streaming device ("Map 0005 Sect 13") and a final Save altar chamber ("Map 0036 Sect 03") with a teleporter which led outside the southern exit of the city (to "Map 0001 Sect 56").[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8]
  • A secret doorway in the southern wall of the top-right side chamber of the cathedral led through the top bridge of the 'descending shaft' chamber in the Hell dungeon ("Map 0038 Sect 52") to a winding passage ("Map 0009 Sect 01") which led into the altar of Hash'ak'gik ("Map 0009 Sect 00").[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8]

In Legacy of Kain: Defiance, the main Cathedral areas are listed under the "Avernus" designation in Debug menus, with "Avernus 1a" (and "99a") representing the main body of the Cathedral.[Defiance][Defiance/10][Defiance/11][Defiance/12][Defiance/13] Several other area can be reached from here:

DevelopmentEdit

As with other recurring areas, The design of Avernus Cathedral areas in Legacy of Kain: Defiance was heavily influenced by the appearance of the rooms seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Art Director Daniel Cabuco elaborated:

"in general, when I was Art Director on the LOK series, I'd basically look at what was done before as a 'TV version' and then apply rules for our game as if it were the 'Movie version'. A great way to think about is to compare the original Star Trek TV shows to the Movie versions. Material detail are increased, designs are more fully realized, and more craftsmanship is allowed with bigger time and money budgets. BO1 was the absolute template for SR2 and Defiance's world creation. It had to be a 3D version of the world, and fully realized. As we went through it, we looked at each problem as part of a whole. "
Daniel Cabuco[9]

The architecture of the Avernus was acknowledged to have been greatly influenced by medieval Cathedral architecture in the real world and included a combination of various French, Italian and Spanish influences, with items identified from several real-world Cathedrals such as "Florence Baptistery doors, Notre Dame Paris Cathedral rose window, Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona fasade, Pere Lachaise cemetary figures". The catacombs beneath Paris were also used as an inspiration for the Avernus Catacombs.[10][11] Cabuco commented:

"As a general rule, ancient Vampire and Kain's architecture followed Arabic designs, while human areas followed more European designs. Sarafan took from French architecture, while Averness took from a combination of areas (like Notre Dame, or Florence cathedrals). We took some influence from spanish gravesites as well. Venician influences touched the the true vampire burial sites in terms of material (the variety of marbles used) and the dead vampires themselves (influenced by carnivale masks). We mixed and matched within styles mercilessly."
Daniel Cabuco[11]
"Yep, Roman catacombs and Spanish graves were all used. The Catacombs under France with all the skulls was used for the under area of Avernus.
Search with the term 'French catacombs under Paris' and you'll
A) Freak out what's under Paris and
B) see some cool reference we used. ..
and if you're like me
C) Re-freak out when you see what's under Paris."
Daniel Cabuco[11]

The Avernus Cathedral and Catacombs in Defiance had several areas removed from the game before completion due to timing and budgetary constraints, with some of of these deleted areas visible in concept art and Bonus materials. Ultimately the Defiance version of Avernus Cathedral and Catacombs is left as a much smaller area than the Blood Omen version of the Cathedral, and one of the smallest areas in the game.[12][Defiance][Defiance/10][Defiance/13][Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8]

ApocryphaEdit

The destruction of Avernus was mentioned in the backstory to Nosgoth with the background of the Lost Seers of Avernus revealing them as descendants of a divinatory order of Cenobites known as "the Prophets" who had fled Avernus in shock at Azimuth's actions - taking rare treasures and artefacts from the cathedral and catacombs as they did.[13]

The origins of the Prophets mean they are related to the religious groups and Cenobites seen in Avernus, particularly the mages and Black mages seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and the Cenobite acolytes and Cenobite summoners seen in Legacy of Kain: Defiance.[13][Defiance][Defiance/10][Defiance/13][Defiance strategy guide] They are also related to the Witches and Witches' coven deleted from Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and the Demon worshippers removed fron Soul Reaver 2.[13][Blood Omen/Cut content][14][15][16]

NotesEdit

  • Avernus appears to be named after a volcanic crater in Cumae, Italy - believed to be the entrance to the Underworld in Roman mythology and later known a synonym for the underworld itself.[17][18]
  • Avernus is notably populated by by guards|Blue swordsmen and Blue poleaxe-wielders. Those soldiers are rarely seen elsewhere, perhaps suggesting that the blue colour is associated with the military of Avernus - similar to the way white armor is associated with Willendorf's Army of the Last Hope and red with the Legions of the Nemesis.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen/9][Blood Omen/10]
  • The Ruined City area and the external area of the Cathedral in Blood Omen conserve memory by using several exact copies of the same map area which appear to be identical but each only contains active elements in the areas immediately around the player - with "Map 0035 Sect 02", "Sect 03", "Sect 04" and "Sect 05" presenting alternates of the Ruined City area, "Sect 06" and "Sect 07" presenting alternates of the top of the Cathedral and "Sect 16" and "Sect 17" presenting alternates of the bottom of the Cathedral.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8] Similar tricks are used in areas such as the main 'descending shaft of the Hell dungeon and the Spirit Wrack Dungeon.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen/9]
  • Avernus is one of the largest areas in Blood Omen and is listed under several different map designations in files. The main area of the city and its interiors are labelled under "Map 0035", the regular Cathedral interior is "Map 0036", the Heaven dungeon is "Map 0037" and the Hell dungeon is "Map 0038" and the secret altar of Hash'ak'gik is "Map 0009" - with the final areas of the Cathedral listed under the "Map 0005" designation used for bosses (specifically "Sect 11", "Sect 02" and "Sect 13").[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/8][19]
    For more detailed interior designations, see Interiors and Connections
    In Defiance the cathedral areas are split into several distinct map areas, with "Avernus 99a" relating to the main area of the Cathedral, "Avernus 1a" referring to the main Cathedral as it appears in the Raziel/Kain boss battle, "Avernus 2a" relating to the Earth forge warp gate room. The areas from "Avernus 3a" to "Avernus 6a" all refer to the Avernus Catacombs, with "Avernus 3a" refers to initial corridors and trails surrounding the first clearing area, "Avernus 4a" refers to the corridors and trails surrounding the second clearing area, "Avernus 5a" refers to Turel's pit and Mortanius's chambers, and "Avernus 6a" refers to the Demon Realm alternate of Turel's pit.[Defiance][Defiance/10][Defiance/13]
  • The Developers' level select uses the label "AVCI" for the Avernus city area under the "OL7" designation that relates to the Defeat Azimuth chapter. The labels "AVCL", "HEVN" and "HELL" under the same entry relate to the Cathedral, Heaven and Hell areas respectively. Additionally the the "AZ" designation under "BOSS" can be used to reach the Azimuth boss battle and the Secrets ("SECR") entries numbered "38" and "82" to "86" all lead to areas inside Avernus - only "38" is positioned inside the Cathedral and it links to the passage leading to the altar of Hash'ak'gik. The secrets "82" to "86" all relate to the Secret Mist Form trail through the ruined city, with "82" relating to the mist house in the eastern section, "84" relating to the mist house in the western section and "85" relating to the mist house in the lower cathedral exterior area. Secrets "83" and "86" relate to items in the upper and lower mist dungeon areas respectively.[Blood Omen][20]
  • The top of Avernus Cathedral in game (BO1)
  • the bottom of the Cathedral (BO1)
  • The Cathedral in bat flight
  • Defiance-Environment-Avernus.jpg Defiance concept art of the Cathedral
  • The Cathedral as seen in the Oracle's pool
  • The Cathedral seen from Vorador's Mansion
  • The Cathedral seen from Vorador's Mansion

GalleryEdit

AppearancesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wiki-Icon-TLW Blood Omen Maps at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Wiki-Icon-SEF The Revived and Updated (Almost) Definitive LoK Maps Thread at the Square Enix Legacy of Kain Series Forums (by Baziel, Guilherme Coelho and Tenaya).
  3. Wiki-Icon-TLW Question and Answer with Amy Hennig at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  4. Icon-Eidos Answers to questions from the Defiance team at the Eidos forums (by Chris@Crystal)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Wiki-Icon-DCAvernus Cathedral and Catacombs at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn).
  6. Wiki-Icon-DC Legacy of Kain Secrets: Page 9 of 9 at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
  7. Wiki-Icon-TLW Amplified Force Projectile at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  8. Wiki-Icon-TLW Turel at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  9. Icon-DCab Pillars of Nosgoth areas at DCabDesign (by Bazielim), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  10. Icon-DCab A Few Questions at DCabDesign (by Paradoks), post #6 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Icon-DCab Nosgoth architecture at DCabDesign (by Lexy), post #3/post#5 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  12. Wiki-Icon-TLW Avernus Cathedral Deleted Areas at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Nosgoth (icon) 'New Human Class - The Prophet, aka The Lost Seers of Avernus at the Nosgoth official blog (by George Kelion) preserved at Tales of Nosgoth/Nosgothic Realm
  14. Wiki-Icon-TLW Blood Omen Scripts at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  15. Electronic Gaming Monthly, August 2000 issue
  16. Wiki-Icon-TLW Vampires (Soul Reaver 2) at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  17. Icon-WikipediaAvernus at Wikipedia.
  18. Icon-WikipediaLake Avernus at Wikipedia.
  19. Wiki-Icon-TLWMap Survey at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
  20. Wiki-Icon-TLWBlood Omen Developers Level Select Page at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).

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