Dumah is a recurring character in the Legacy of Kain series who makes major appearances in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2. One of the leading Sarafan commanders of the vampire-hunting Sarafan brotherhood, he was born in Nosgoth's early history, and was himself raised as a vampire, unawares, a millennium after his death by Kain to act as a member of the Council. Dumah created the Dumahim vampire clan and served Kain for centuries in the events of Soul Reaver - notably partaking in Raziel's execution, alongside Turel - before being killed by vampire hunters. On his return to Nosgoth, Raziel pervaded Ash Village and revived Dumah, only to destroy him utterly and consume his soul.
Profile[edit | edit source]
- "My brother, Dumah – a powerful warrior, in life. He would have burned with shame, to have me find him here like a stuck pig."
- ―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]
Complacent in Arrogance[edit | edit source]
- "Your thanks are premature, Dumah. I have not forgotten whose hands bore me into the Abyss."
- ―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]
Dumah was originally a human being, born in Nosgoth's early history.[Soul Reaver/9][Soul Reaver 2/9] He joined the order of the Sarafan, and was among those accordingly "trained to be devoutly loyal to the Circle [of Nine], and the perfect exterminators of the undead scourge" (Nosgoth's vampires). Over time, Dumah attained the high rank of warrior inquisitor, junior to Malek, the youthful Raziel, and the elder Turel.[Soul Reaver 2/9][Blood Omen/5] Alongside these warrior-priests, and his peers Melchiah, Rahab and Zephon, he was considered the "pride of the order"; with the other six commanders, he was lionized as a "Sarafan saint" upon his death. His corpse, like those of the others, was interred in a sarcophagus in the Tomb of the Sarafan.[Soul Reaver/9][Defiance comic]
When Kain - a vampire, and the Guardian of the Pillar of Balance - sought to revive the near-extinct vampire race at the end of the era following Blood Omen, he stole into the Tomb of the Sarafan and found the "well-entombed" remains of six of the former inquisitors.[Soul Reaver/9] Breathing his soul energy into them, one by one, he drew their own souls back into their bodies, and thus resurrected them as his "favored sons". Dumah was most likely the third fledgling to be raised. The cadre was "too long dead to remember much of their human lives; they [were] ignorant of their Sarafan roots, or of Kain's blasphemous private joke". They and Kain resolved to bring Nosgoth under vampire rule.[Soul Reaver/1]
Over the ensuing century, Dumah sired a clan of vampires in Kain's empire - the Dumahim - and participated in the domestication of humanity.[Soul Reaver/1] Eventually, he "retreated with his clan into Nosgoth's northern wilderness" - his mountain stronghold, which would later become known as Ash Village, lay near the Oracle's Cave.[Soul Reaver/11][Soul Reaver/12] Like his fellow lieutenants, he was present for the Council meeting which took place at the Sanctuary of the Clans, a millennium after Kain had raised them. There Raziel revealed he had surpassed Kain; Dumah was visibly perturbed when he noticed Raziel's newly-pupated wings, and reacted with blatant distress when Kain viciously tore the wings from his eldest son's body. Nevertheless, he did not disobey when Kain instructed him and Turel to cast Raziel into the Abyss.[Soul Reaver 2/9][Soul Reaver/1]
Strength Honed by Centuries[edit | edit source]
- "The centuries in limbo have honed my strength. Not even Kain is my equal."
- ―Dumah — Listen (file info)[src]
Five hundred years after his execution, Raziel would be resurrected by the Elder God, and would return to Nosgoth to exact revenge against the vampires.[Soul Reaver/1] In the intermediate centuries, the vampires continued to evolve, and, ultimately, devolve: they had inherited spiritual corruption from Kain's soul, which gradually warped them into monsters.[Soul Reaver/1] Dumah's evolution, though, was prematurely halted. Centuries before Raziel's revival, "Dumah and his offspring failed to see an attack coming from the least likely assailants". Their stronghold was ambushed by the land's surviving vampire hunters; the humans managed to "decimate their ranks with little resistance".[Soul Reaver/12]
Dumah himself was killed - impaled by three massive stakes, and transfixed to the seat of his throne room - and the few Dumahim who escaped the attack were "reduced to scavengers".[Soul Reaver/2][Soul Reaver/12][Soul Reaver/13][Soul Reaver manual (UK)] Drastically-evolved fledgling Dumahim were the first vampires Raziel encountered on his journey - so altered that they had become unrecognizable - but Dumah was the last of the lieutenants he met in the Soul Reaver era.[Soul Reaver/2][Soul Reaver/13] After consuming Rahab's soul, he found Ash Village, and initially believed that his brother and the Dumahim may have suffered the same fate as the Razielim, but the Elder God immediately corrected him, attributing the devastation to their arrogance.[Soul Reaver/11][Soul Reaver/12]
Raziel found Dumah's corpse, and removed the stakes, enabling his soul to reinhabit his body. Dumah expressed gratitude, but Raziel rebuked this, still holding him to account for his execution. Unbowed, Dumah claimed that he, too, had surpassed Kain; he was now a revived vampire, and "the centuries in limbo [had] honed [his] strength". Raziel was forced to retreat, finding that Dumah's armor was impenetrable and his physical prowess formidable, but was correct in his thesis that "even the strongest vampire is vulnerable". He evaded Dumah's constricting powers and tremor-inducing attacks, and lured him to Ash Village's Furnace. There, he used a mechanism to burn Dumah to death, and obtained the ability to constrict upon devouring his soul.[Soul Reaver/13]
To Bury the Fiend Alive[edit | edit source]
- "The fiend intends to bury us alive!
Raziel, we must get out of here!"
- ―Dumah — Listen (file info)[src]
After Raziel pursued Kain through the Chronoplast, into the past, his travels across time led him at length to Nosgoth's early history.[Soul Reaver/15][Soul Reaver 2/Prologue][Soul Reaver 2/8] While searching for the ancient vampire Janos Audron, who supposedly held the key to his destiny, Raziel encountered the troops of the Sarafan in the flesh, and "the victims of their crusade". By this stage, Raziel's former idolatry of the Sarafan - his own noble heritage - had started to wane. He still "felt a twinge of longing, a pang of grief for what [he] had believed was [his] lost virtue", but he "regarded them now with none of the reverence [he] formerly felt".[Soul Reaver 2/9]
Raziel entered Janos Audron's Retreat, and met Janos in person, who offered him the Reaver blade. They conversed briefly, but were soon interrupted by attackers - the Sarafan warrior inquisitors themselves, including Raziel's former self, and Dumah.[Soul Reaver 2/8] The wraith Raziel was prevented from intervening as his Sarafan counterpart ripped the Heart of Darkness from Janos's chest. Dumah expressed alarm as the Retreat began to collapse, appealing to Raziel that they should flee: Raziel instructed him to "remember the sword", and he seized the Reaver as they absconded.[Soul Reaver 2/9]
Janos's murder had dire consequences for Dumah, as the wraith Raziel followed the inquisitors back to the Sarafan Stronghold to avenge his death and recover the stolen Heart and Reaver.[Soul Reaver 2/9] His attack was simultaneous to Vorador's slaughter of the Circle (at the same location, and with the same motivation).[Soul Reaver 2/9] Raziel found the Reaver and, after using it to slay the Sarafan Melchiah and Zephon, confronted Dumah, with Rahab, in the Sanctuary area. Dumah merely inquired as to whether Raziel sought "to reclaim the monster's black heart" before launching into battle. He soon had his answer, as Raziel easily killed him and his remaining comrades. "It was [Raziel] who put these bastards in their tomb – thus providing the corpses for Kain to raise as his vampire sons a millennium from now".[Soul Reaver 2/9]
Development[edit | edit source]
Development[edit | edit source]
Dumah was principally designed by Daniel Cabuco, and is voiced by Simon Templeman in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.[Soul Reaver] Like those of other vampires, Dumah's voice samples were heavily processed for the retail version, but the game's early beta features Templeman's "clean" recording. Dumah's voice actor in Soul Reaver 2 is uncredited.[Soul Reaver 2] In the former game, his leitmotif is the Ruined City theme.[Soul Reaver/12][Soul Reaver/13]
Dumah's boss battle in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver initially intimidated and confused Crystal Dynamics' playtesters: "when [they] were testing him for the first time everyone freaked out that they were being chased by this big ass vampire. Some people had a hard time figuring out how to kill him too".
Between the releases of Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance, Blue Box Interactive created licensed, boxed action figures of Legacy of Kain characters. After releasing versions of Kain and Raziel, they began to produce figures of the devolved vampire Dumah. According to Ben Lincoln of The Lost Worlds, "true to his appearance in the game, this figure did not include accessories but featured a removable helmet and red LED light-up eyes. Although many players did not notice these details in the game due to the relatively low polygon count and texture resolution, they are completely accurate". Earlier prototypes of both the devolved Dumah figure and an unreleased figure - the non-devolved, vampire lieutenant Dumah - have been discovered. Cabuco once entered a store in San Francisco Japan Center which stocked the Dumah figure, but "despite his best efforts, he couldn't get the salesperson to believe that he really designed that character". As of 2012, he still has yet to obtain the toy.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, the vampire Dumah's outfit is one common to the lieutenants: leather leggings, metal boots, greaves, pauldrons and accessories, and a cape hanging from his right shoulder which bears his clan symbol. Tall, stalwart and well-built, he wears his cropped black hair in a ponytail, like Raziel and Turel (though Dumah's ponytail is higher, and shorter). His cape and flags, seen throughout Kain's empire, were purple in hue.[Soul Reaver/1][Soul Reaver] As Dumah's evolution was suspended "centuries" before Raziel returned to Nosgoth, he did not mutate as excessively as his brothers before his final death.[Soul Reaver/13] It is unclear from the games which animal he would have come to resemble - his fellow clan leaders all gradually adopted bestial features - but Daniel Cabuco has revealed that, had he continued to pupate, Dumah would have developed rhinoceros-like traits.[Soul Reaver]
The devolved Dumah, such as he was, is an armored, though agile, titan.[Soul Reaver/13][Soul Reaver] Cabuco explained that the design "was a conglomeration of different styles, the most prominent of which is Japanese Samurai. [He] modified it with [a] layer of Soul Reaver-esque flavor, adding carvings of faces, and the helmet flares" - the style "emphasized the armor and shapes that would make him feel deadly". Dumah has grown far bulkier, and has doubled in height, with glowing orange-red eyes and scaly, olive-colored skin.[Soul Reaver/13][Soul Reaver] Fangs protrude up from his lower jaw, and Cabuco "envisioned him with a bladed and hollow tongue with his fledglings eventually inherited".[Soul Reaver/13][Soul Reaver] Judging from his action figure, this incarnation of Dumah wears intricate, ornately-designed metal armor, including bracers, greaves, pauldrons and a detachable helmet, with leather trousers. His clan symbol is etched into his gloves, and his stentorian footfalls pound and echo as he chases his prey. To Raziel, his vampire wraith form was identical in appearance.[Soul Reaver/13][Soul Reaver]
The human Dumah is memorialized along with his fellow inquisitors in the Chapter House of the Sarafan Stronghold in Soul Reaver 2, and Dumah later makes appearances in person. He is the only inquisitor whose signature color overlaps with another's; both he and Malek wear purple clothes beneath their armor. Dumah wields a pike in action, although his commemorative mural depicts him with a long sword. He has short, cropped dark brown hair, long pauldrons and bracers, and a helmet decorated with a red plume and protrusive "wing" motifs. Whereas some of the inquisitors' future clan symbols appear on their lower vestments, Dumah's does not - distorted shapes reminiscent of the symbol are present instead.[Soul Reaver 2/9][Soul Reaver 2/1] Dumah's Chapter House mural is significant as it features a hostile winged demon behind him - this is almost certainly a bastardized depiction of the wraith Raziel, who murdered the inquisitors. Not many Sarafan lived to see who murdered the commanders, so they had to rely on second-hand accounts and artistic license - hence the inaccuracy of Raziel's image.[Soul Reaver 2/1]
Personality[edit | edit source]
Of all his brethren, Dumah was "supposed to be the most skilled of the warriors in physical combat". Though stoic and perhaps reserved, he was "never meant to be 'dumb' per se". Series art director Daniel Cabuco "always saw Dumah as extremely skilled in weapons, with a cunning darkness about him". As a member of the Sarafan, he evinces prudence, practicality and inquisitiveness.[Soul Reaver 2/9] As a vampire, he is described as "complacent", and repeatedly underestimates his foes, with his "arrogance" playing into both of his deaths.[Soul Reaver/13]
Dumah's leadership is apparently so vital to his clan that they prove unable to operate without him, roaming Nosgoth as nomadic scavengers.[Soul Reaver/2][Soul Reaver/12][Soul Reaver/13][Soul Reaver manual (UK)] Raziel recognizes that he values his dignity and reputation as a fighter: he "would have burned with shame" to be found dead, skewered "like a stuck pig". In dialogue as a devolved vampire, Dumah is direct, and brashly self-confident. He extends thanks to Raziel, but is eager to do battle, and - like Turel - boasts that "not even Kain is [his] equal".[Soul Reaver/13] He also displays the capacity to be highly animated and reactive; his body language expresses obvious shock, if not horror, when Kain destroys Raziel's wings.[Soul Reaver/1]
Out of the seven members of the Council, Cabuco considers Dumah the fourth most cruel: he "would pit his clan against [slaves/food] in gladiatorial combat".
Powers[edit | edit source]
In life, Dumah was respected by Raziel as "a powerful warrior".[Soul Reaver/13] As a Soul Reaver era vampire, he inherited the effects of the blood curse and the corruption of the Pillars from Kain; he was immortal and sterile, sustained by Blood, and capable of pupation over time.[Defiance/5][Defiance/12][Soul Reaver manual (US)] Like the other clan leaders, Dumah would "turn" the corpses of his human victims to raise new Dumahim. Whereas typical vampires could be enervated by only one stake or stave, the vampire hunters needed to pierce Dumah's body with three, and penetrate his heart, to incapacitate him.[Soul Reaver/13][Soul Reaver]
In battle as a revived vampire, Dumah was invulnerable to Raziel's conventional attacks. He laughed off blows from the Wraith Blade, Fire Reaver and all other physical weapons, was unhindered by all glyphs, and was unaffected by sunlight. Only the eruptive fire of the Furnace was enough to damage and eradicate him. His characteristic ability was the power to "wind a constricting band of spectral energy around [his] enemies". If Raziel was at a distance, he would sunder the ground with a mighty punch - the localized tremor was powerful enough to temporarily stun Raziel, enabling Dumah to constrict him. At close quarters, he would use melee attacks.[Soul Reaver/13][Soul Reaver]
Dumah, much like his fellow devolved lieutenants, had "a limited ability to shift between planes, but only momentarily".[Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver manual (US)] As a wraith, he was entirely invulnerable, but he could still attack Raziel, and his abilities were no less potent. Once revived, he only manifested in the Spectral Realm. Since he was a vampire wraith and revived vampire, his strikes created a "soul-devouring tether"; when hit, Raziel's health coil would be continually siphoned until he severed the link by running sufficiently far away from Dumah.[Soul Reaver/13][Soul Reaver]
Etymology[edit | edit source]
Dumah's name is the Aramaic word for "silence". It can alternatively be rendered "Duma" or "Douma", and the character was actually named Duma very early in the production of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver before receiving a "h" for the final game. Gustav Davidson's A Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels describes Dumah as a figure in Biblical mythology - "the angel of silence and the stillness of death... prince of Hell, and angel of vindication". The same work cites his description in the Zohar as "chief of demons in Gehinnom with 12,000 myriads of attendants, all charged with the punishment of the souls of sinners".
Dumah was informally codenamed "Ronin" or the "Ronin Boss" by Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver's programming staff. In feudal Japan, rōnin were leaderless, disgraced Bushi/samurai whose masters had either perished or disowned them. These aspects are reflected both in Dumah's art design and the fate of his clan in the story.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Dumah is depicted in both the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver comic and the Legacy of Kain: Defiance comic, both by Top Cow. In the former, he is seen as a lieutenant at the Lake of the Dead, in the construct of the elder gods' premonition of Raziel's future execution. In the latter, both his lieutenant and devolved forms are portrayed through Kain's flashbacks.[Defiance comic][Soul Reaver comic]
- Dumah's position in the Council is not fully identified in the series - he and Rahab are its third and fourth lieutenants, but it is uncertain who holds which rank. Fans have most commonly assumed that Dumah is the third (senior) lieutenant and Rahab is the fourth (junior), however. As noted at Dark Chronicle, "there are a couple of indicators to support this idea. [Dumah] had the dubious honour of actively participating in Raziel's execution. Also, he was the final 'boss' in Soul Reaver (except Kain), and videogame convention dictates that the strongest enemies are usually faced last".
- As aforementioned, Dumah can be encountered as a wraith in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. An optional cutscene can be triggered if Raziel enters the Spectral Realm in Dumah's throne room before resuscitating him. Dumah's wraith will appear there, and briefly taunt Raziel before attacking. This incarnation of Dumah is truly invincible; he can only be killed at the Furnace in the Material Realm, once revived.[Soul Reaver/13]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
- Dumah (Soul Reaver boss)
- Dumah (Soul Reaver 2 boss)
- Kain's empire
- Ash Village
- Sarafan commanders
- Dumah at Wikipedia.
- Dumah at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni).
- Prototype Action Figures at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- Retail Action Figures at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
References[edit | edit source]
- Soul Reaver 2: Historical Timeline at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni)
- Some questions about SR2 Sarafan at DCabDesign (by Lexy), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- Soul Reaver: Background Story at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni)
- Soul Reaver 2: Background Story at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni)
- GLoK Interviews with Amy Hennig at Nosgothic Realm (by Raziel Fan), post #5 (by RazielFan)
- Dumah at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni)
- Soul Reaver 2 (Raziel) (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- Blood Omen 2 Q&A at GameSpot (by Sam Newman)
- Question and Answer with Jen, Richard, and Kyle at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- A few questions at DCabDesign (by Divine Shadow), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- Warp's answers from Amy at the Eidos Forums (by blincoln)
- Dumah's Design at DCabDesign (by DumahLord), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- Beta Comparison - Music and Sound Effects at The Lost Worlds (by Raina Audron)
- Dumah at deviantART (by SpectralJin)
- Retail Action Figures at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- Prototype Action Figures at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- My Visit to Crystal Dynamics at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- Dumah's Design at DCabDesign (by DumahLord), post #4 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- Dumah's strange follower at the Eidos Forums (by markie), post #6 (by KainPainter)
- The Vampires Of LOK at DCabDesign (by majinkura), post #36 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- The Vampires Of LOK at DCabDesign (by majinkura), post #10 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- Character Names at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Preview at Game Elite Online
- Soul Reaver questions at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #4 (by Daniel Cabuco)
Browse[edit | edit source]