Cenobite Summoners were an enemy class encountered in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Part of the sect of Cenobites, they were human servants of Azimuth - Guardian of Dimension and matriarch of Avernus. Summoners were the senior ranks of the Cenobite faction and were chiefly encountered by Raziel as he explored Avernus Cathedral in the Blood Omen era in the chapter Seek Mortanius.
Cenobite Summoners were advanced enemies of the Cenobites enemy faction that were featured in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. The faction was an important political grouping within the administration of the city of Avernus and existed in the Blood Omen era. Despite appearances, the class also had a dark side and were heavily involved in the worship of the dark god Hash'ak'gik and were known to kidnap travellers for sacrificial purposes.[Defiance][Defiance strategy guide]
Like their acolyte brethren, the Cenobite acolytes dressed in a creme-white robes with gold trim and maroon-red band around the bottom. A pair of patterned gold sashes were worn from the shoulders forming an golden 'X' pattern over the chest - and gold bands were also worn around the wrist. The class wore a golden 'greek-style' tragedy mask on their faces, but balding heads with horseshoe shaped thinning hair could be seen behind the masks. Primarily the class attacked with a series of magical attacks along with a number of support spells - making the class something of a 'spellcaster' role akin to the Vampire hunter sorceresses and Sarafan inquisitors - although they were also able to utilize the simpler strikes and fire plumes used by their acolyte brethren.[Defiance][Defiance/10][Defiance/13][Defiance strategy guide]
The class were first encountered in Defiance by Raziel as he explored Avernus Cathedral in the Blood Omen era in the chapter Seek Mortanius. The first summoner attacked shortly after Raziel returned from the Earth forge and they were frequently encountered as he progressed through the Avernus Catacombs, gradually replacing their more junior acolyte brethren. The Cenobites could be encountered throughout Seek Mortanius and could again be fought in Return to the Guardian Citadel as Kain escaped Avernus.[Defiance][Defiance/10][Defiance/13][Defiance strategy guide]
Cenobite summoners could attack using melee strikes or summon plumes of Fire like Cenobite acolytes, however they also have further attacks that can summon Fireballs or lightning (similar in appearance to TK Force). Their main special attacks come from the use of several more advanced spells:[Defiance][Defiance strategy guide]
- Nether Rift - The caster summons a Fire Demon from the Demon Realm to attack. The demon will continue the attack even if the original summoner is killed.[Defiance][Defiance strategy guide]:
- Glyph Shield - The caster summons a set of magical floating runes that act as a shield and absorb damage until each rune is destroyed.[Defiance][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]
- Demonic Benedictions - a series of abilities to 'bless' their brethren and summoned demons with empowering spells. Usually these take the form of the regular 'ally buffs' of the other spellcasters:[Defiance][Defiance strategy guide]
- Amplify Damage - The caster a red spell which manifests around the weapon of an ally and allows them to cause more damage when attacking.[Defiance][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]
- Regeneration - The caster summons a yellow spell which heals allies, allowing them to recover from damage inflicted.[Defiance][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]
- TK Shield - The caster summons a violet spell which protects their allies from the use of Telekinetic powers.[Defiance][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]
In the cancelled game Nosgoth one of the playable classes - the Prophets of the Lost seers of Avernus - were descended from the Cenobites of Avernus in the Blood Omen era who had defied Azimuth and escaped the city of Avernus, taking their secrets with them and over time reorganizing into a blood based divinatory order by the time of the Soul Reaver era.[NOS]
Description: They have been privileged to its deepest and darkest secrets. Because of their prestige, they tend to stay the furthest back from you to remain safe and to give them plenty of room to conjure their dark arts. These Summoners can use their weapons for melee, but prefer to use their magic to deal with any threats.Special Attacks:
Nether Rift: The first and most powerful of their abilities is a ritual to call servants from the demon realm. This servant takes the form of the formidable Fire Demon. Once summoned this creature will be forever loyal to the Cenobites, even if the original Summoner dies.
Demonic Benedictions: Their second set of abilities is rituals to bless their brothers and summoned Demons with unholy blessings. These blessings can take many forms.
Strategy: Cenobites are very powerful magic users and if you learn one thing in this game it is that you should always eliminate the spell casters as fast as possible. Always try to eliminate them before they can summon and cast their unholy blessings. One they have blessed their allies be sure to take out the weakest and unenchanted enemies first. There is a lot of incentive to stun, freeze or immobilize them since they can call in a Fire Demon that will really complicate the battle.
- The Cenobites Summoners are not directly named in game but they are however titled as such in the Legacy of Kain: Defiance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide where they are classified and grouped along with other Cenobite enemy types which are similarly given the overarching title "Cenobites". The class is also briefly mentioned in manuals simply called by the overarching "cenobites" title[Defiance manual] - they are also acknowledged in scripts as "Avernus cultists" or "worshipers".[Defiance][Defiance/10][Defiance/13]
- In the real world the title "Cenobites" refers to a member of a monastic order that lives in a religious community rather than in solitude - with the title often associated with Greek origins. In recent times the title has also become associated with fictional dimension crossing and hell-associated beings from the Hellraiser franchise. An "summoner" similarly applies to a person who summons or 'evokes' - bringing together groups. Often this is used in a legal or personal context, but can also have connotations of calling spirits, deities or demons.
- The Cenobite Summoners have a virtually identical appearance to their more junior cenobite faction members the Cenobite acolytes. The classes are only distinguished in the Defiance strategy guide where their chief difference is based on their moveset and ability to summon Demons - with acolytes only able to summon flame plumes.[Defiance][Defiance strategy guide] The game itself has both classes using a model labelled as "ceno_summon" in game files. Summoners can usually be distinguished in game from acolytes through their use of Rune Shields, and only they have the ability to summon Demons and use other spells.[Defiance][Defiance/10][Defiance/13][Defiance strategy guide]
- Cenobite classes appear to be derived from or otherwise related to the Mages that could be seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain as Kain explored Avernus Cathedral in the chapter Defeat Azimuth.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/7] The Defiance official guide explains more of the Cenobite order, explaining them as "a benevolent priestly order. They Outwardly they care for the people of Avernus by providing basic law enforcement, health care and political representation." - although it also notes they conduct secret rites and abduct travellers in service of "their monstrous god".[Defiance strategy guide] It is unclear if these traits could equally be applied to the Mages.
- 'New Human Class - The Prophet, aka The Lost Seers of Avernus' at the Nosgoth official blog (by Bill Beacham) (preserved at Tales of Nosgoth/Nosgothic Realm)
- Cenobite at Wiktionary
- Cenobitic monasticism at Wikipedia
- Cenobite (Hellraiser) at Wikipedia
- Summoner at Wiktionary
- Summoner at Wikipedia
- Evocation at Wikipedia