- "There is a Magical operation of maximum importance; the Initiation of a New Aeon. When it becomes necessary to utter a Word, the whole Planet must be bathed in blood..."
The 'Blood Omen' was an apparent prophecy delivered at the onset of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain that seemed to foretell the upheavals of the Blood Omen and era following Blood Omens. The passage is also significant for it's real world origin, which is explicitly acknowledged when the prophecy returned in the Legacy of Kain: Defiance comic. The lines were written by prominent real-world occultist Aleister Crowley and were adapted into Nosgoth, where the prophecy was spoken by Neil Ross, it is unclear who the speaker is intended to be.
Role and Interpretations
The 'Blood Omen' was featured at very beginning of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, where the text of the prophecy appeared in a 'bloody' font and the lines were spoken by voice actor Neil Ross. It is effectively a prelude which summarises the plot of the game.[Blood Omen]
Within Blood Omen the prophecy was almost certainly related to the manipulations and plans of the Dark Entity; using the 'demonic' possession of Mortanius to murder Ariel and cause the corruption of the pillars (a 'magical operation of maximum importance') and, through the bloody efforts of Kain as the scourge of the Circle '('bathing the planet in Blood'), the Pillars would eventually be toppled and the circle of guardians destroyed, thus beginning a new age in Nosgoth ('the initiation of a new aeon')[Blood Omen].
Later titles would further develop the motivations of the Dark Entity and reveal the Hylden conspiracy to escape the Demon Realm as their reason for the destruction of the Pillars. This deepened the role of the prophecy; highlighting further the Hylden use of the 'magical operation' Possession to manifest in the Material Realm through various means[Defiance] and demonstrating the 'maximum importance' to be the fate of the Hylden (as they attempted to escape the Demon Realm)[Defiance][Blood Omen 2]and Nosgoth itself, 'the planet bathed in blood' could also be expanded to include the large scale conflicts in the centuries following the events of Blood Omen, with the new aeon likely referring the era following Blood Omen after the destruction of the Pillars.
Real World Significance
'The Blood Omen' is perhaps most significant because of its real world origins. In perhaps the only instance of an excerpt in the series, the Blood Omen is in fact a small sample from the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley's book Magick (Book 4), often considered his 'great work'. The passage arises in a section of the work, Part III: Magick in Theory and Practice, written in 1911, which deals with the subject of blood sacrifice and its supposed benefits.
- "One last word on this subject. There is a Magical operation of maximum importance: the Initiation of a New Aeon. When it becomes necessary to utter a Word, the whole Planet must be bathed in blood. Before man is ready to accept the Law of Thelema, the Great War must be fought. This Bloody Sacrifice is the critical point of the World-Ceremony of the Proclamation of Horus, the Crowned and conquering Child, as Lord of the Aeon."
- ―Aleister Crowley[src]
The full paragraph much more clearly indicates the prophetic nature of the passage and refers to Crowley's belief that he was a prophet of a new 'age of horus' and that the dawn of the new age could only come with a massive 'blood sacrifice'; amongst the supposed interpretations for Crowleys prophecy are the First World War and the Biblical End Times.
The themes of some of Crowley's work and its use at the start of Blood Omen notably suggest that Crowley's work was a significant influence on Denis Dyack and Ken McCulloch's development of Nosgoth and its mythos.
- The 'Blood Omen' was never explicitly named, however it appears to be the 'Blood Omen' referenced in the title of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.
- The status of 'the Blood Omen' within Nosgoth is unclear; presumably it is a prophecy within Nosgoth, though it is unclear when the prophecy was foretold or who is speaking it (the lines spoken by cast member, Neil Ross, but it is likely not in his usual role of Malek). In Legacy of Kain: Defiance the Hylden Lord apparently made reference to the passage and the quote is again mentioned in reference to Kain in the Legacy of Kain: Defiance comic (which complicated matters by listing the original author of the piece).
- The origins of the prophecy are unclear, with the prophecy apparently referring to many aspects of the Hylden conspiracy, it could be considered to be likely to be a Hylden prophecy regarding the rise of the Hylden and their take-over of Nosgoth - a belief apparently held by the Hylden Lord when he declares "a new epoch" upon his defeat of Raziel in Defiance, apparently referencing the 'Blood Omen' prophecy's "new aeon" (a defeat which enables the opening of the Hylden Gate and the Device to be powered). The 'new aeon' could also be a reference to Kain's empire; either way the new age begins with the destruction of the circle of guardians rule in Nosgoth.
- The most frequently misunderstood line within prophecy appears to be the line "when it becomes necessary to utter a word"; loosely simplifed as 'when someone gives the order'; and this could be a reference to the despotic tendencies of either the Hylden Lord or Kain. The line can also more literally be interpreted as 'when a word is spoken'; possibly referring to Kain's decision at the pillars.
- Other known prophecies in Nosgoth include those referring to the Vampire champion, Hylden champion, Scion of Balance and the rise of the Legions of the Nemesis. None feature as much known text as 'the blood omen' however.
- "There is a Magical operation of maximum importance; the Initiation of a New Aeon. When it becomes necessary to utter a Word, the whole Planet must be bathed in blood..." Silicon Knights / Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. (Crystal Dynamics). PlayStation. (November 15, 1996) Transcript.