The Dumahim are a clan of vampires first encountered in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and revisited at an earlier stage of evolutionary development in cancelled title Nosgoth. They are the descendants of the lieutenant Dumah.
The primary territory of the Dumahim was originally Ash Village, though this area was largely abandoned and the nomadic Dumahim are instead encountered in many additional locations including Raziel's Clan Territory, the Sanctuary of the Clans and the Tomb of the Sarafan.
As with all the clans seen in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, the Dumahim are split into two distinct active types: the older, stronger and more evolved adult Dumahim, and the younger, weaker and less evolved fledgling Dumahim. No members of the clan are encountered in their inactive pupating state. For their return in Nosgoth a less devolved 'Reaver' variant class was among the initially available classes.
The Dumahim vampires were progeny of Dumah, who personally raised his clan during the Soul Reaver era, over the century following the Raising of the lieutenants at the Tomb of the Sarafan.[Soul Reaver/9][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)] Alongside the Melchahim, Rahabim, Razielim, Turelim and Zephonim, it was one of the "six legions of vampires" involved in "the destruction of the major human Kingdoms"; pillaging Nosgoth, they had thoroughly domesticated humans within a hundred years, despite the efforts of the Vampire hunters.[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)] Dumah's clan dominated an area in territory north-east of the Lake of the Dead and west of the Oracle's Cave. In the millennium after the raising of the lieutenants and establishment of Kain's empire, the "lesser vampires" provided "amusement and spice to an increasingly uninspired court"; and presumably the Dumahim clan were involved in these internal struggles. The Council would help and foil plots between the clans, betting upon the outcome as the factions warred.[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)]
At some point the Dumahim clan territory was attacked by human forces and overwhelmed. The ranks of the Dumahim were decimated by the hunters and Dumah himself was impaled to his throne.[Soul Reaver/12][Soul Reaver/13] The city was abandoned by the clan who became nomadic scavengers.[Soul Reaver/2][Soul Reaver/12][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]
After Raziel returned as a wraith centuries later, he would encounter the devolved Dumahim as enemies. The first vampires engaged by Raziel and the most widespread clan in Nosgoth by the time of the story’s setting, the clan had been scattered due to their patriarch having been slain by vampire hunters. They were also the first clues of the change of times for Raziel and he saw them as "foul, scuttling beasts [that] could not be kin of our high blood."[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/1][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]
Dumahim appear to still dress in a form of armor and adults have one limb larger than the other indicative of a half-remembered ritual of weapon wielding. One of the most notable features of the clan is an elongated tongue often used in combat by fledgelings as an extension to their melee range, making them reach further in hand to hand combat. The clan, lacking ranged attacks, could still score some painful surprises with this maneuver and also utilized the tongue when feeding. Rarely do the adults showcase this talent, even though they seem capable.[Soul Reaver]
In close combat, all Dumahim tended to be easier foes: they were relatively quick and could cause sudden damage but were also predictable and avoidable. They weren't too strong or powerful but represented a situation better dealt with sooner rather than later as they could often surround their prey and even engage in ambush-like activities, although they were easily stunned and stayed stunned for a longer time than most other clans. When not in battle they could be watched as they go about their business throughout the land of Nosgoth.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]
In the mid-Soul Reaver era of Nosgoth - set some time after Raziel's execution and Kain's abandonment of his empire - the Dumahim vampires were one of the clans that took part in a vampire civil war as Kain's empire fragmented and later the 'Reaver' class Dumahim would participate in the subsequent War for Nosgoth against the resurgent human threat, where they were often seen as the most reliable and versatile of the clans.[NOS]
Like their fellow vampires, the Dumahim clan carried the blood curse, Blood-thirst, immortality and sterility inflicted on their ancient vampire ancestors by the Hylden, during the Vampire-Hylden war, and developed the yellow or amber irises and tridactyl claws and feet characteristic of their race.[Defiance/4][Defiance/6] They were created from reanimated human corpses, restored to unlife with the infusion of souls, and "gain[ed] their advantage from the powers of the underworld".[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)]
As a result of Nupraptor's corruption - which was passed on to all of Kain's descendants - the Dumahim clan devolved and pupated as the centuries passed, "becoming less human and more... divine".[Soul Reaver/1] With Dumah the third lieutenant raised he inherited a strong portion of Kain's soul and his descendants were initially among the most powerful vampires in Nosgoth. However after the attack on the Dumahim city and Dumah's staking, the clan were much reduced in stature and were only recognized as "the most common vampires in Nosgoth"[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)]
The Dumahim were one of the few to retain remnants of existence before the feral devolution of the clans, with the Dumahim being the only clan to wear armor and wield a form of weaponry - which could be seen strapped to one arm giving it larger appearance than the other. These rituals were vestiges of their reputation as "professional soldiers" and "weapon masters" prior to the downfall of the clans, however as feral vampires this usually manifested as a brute force melee-based approach - although they were known to use strategical planning such as arranging ambushes.[Soul Reaver] One unique trait of the clans was their usage of elongated tongues - particularly by fledgling - to feed and in combat. Although not seen in use by adults, this was a trait possessed by the Adult Dumahim and Dumah himself.[Soul Reaver] Clan leader Dumah did develop a unique ability - constrict - whereby he could "wind a constricting band of spectral energy around [his] enemies". However this did not seem to have been passed to his offspring and ultimately it is unclear if this ability was a product of his Evolution or of his extended presence in the Spectral Realm and subsequent revival, as most of his other unique abilities seemed to be.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/13][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]
Membership and forces
Clan patriarch and leader Dumah was initially observed in the opening videos of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, where he aided Turel in casting Raziel into the Abyss at Kain's command.[Soul Reaver/1] Sometime after this the Dumahim territory at Ash Village was attacked by Human Vampire hunters and Dumah himself slain and left impaled on three large wooden stakes - with the loss of their leader the surviving Dumahim became nomadic scavengers.[Soul Reaver/2][Soul Reaver/12][Soul Reaver/13][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)] After Raziel returned as a wraith, he would travel to the vacant city after defeating his lesser brothers and revive Dumah, before consuming his soul and gaining the Constricting ability.[Soul Reaver/12][Soul Reaver/13]
Besides Dumah, two major variants of Dumahim vampire were seen in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver - Fledglings and Adults. A few Dumahim vampires could also be discovered in a revived state.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)] For Nosgoth, set much earlier in history, a different less devolved variant of Dumahim called the 'Reavers' were seen, though an Evolved Dumahim skin was available which evoked their devolved forms from Soul Reaver[NOS]
Fledgling Dumahim were the younger, less evolved members of Dumah's clan, and the lesser Dumahim enemies in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver in contrast to Adult Dumahim. As with other clans, Dumahim fledglings were devastated by the touch of Sunlight and even the weak rays of Nosgoth’s daylight in the Soul Reaver era, which is filtered by dense smoke. The fledgling Dumahim are smaller, have lighter coloration, and use their tongue in combat and feeding.[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/2][Soul Reaver/3][Soul Reaver/9][Soul Reaver/Fire][Soul Reaver/City]
Adult Dumahim were the older, more evolved members of Dumah's clan, and a greater threat compared to the fledgling Dumahim. As adults, these Dumahim could walk through areas of Nosgoth’s smoke filtered daylight without danger of being burned by the weak sunlight. The eyes of the adults glowed with a red color, They have darker armor coloration, bigger size, and are the most common enemy in the game.[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/2][Soul Reaver/3][Soul Reaver/9][Soul Reaver/Fire][Soul Reaver/City]
'Reavers' were the playable class of Dumahim for Nosgoth in the mid-Soul Reaver era War for Nosgoth centuries before their encounters in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. They were effective soldiers of the Vampire armies of the time and were a dangerous threat to the Humans.[NOS] An 'Evolved Dumahim' skin bridged the gap between the Nosgoth and Soul Reaver classes.
Unfortunately their bloodline’s pupating methods have not been witnessed, nor is there any hint from official sources, or any information in cut material. They are the only clan with no information at all about their pupation methods.
The Main territory of the Dumahim was Ash Village visited in the chapter Ruined City of the Dumahim. Situated in the northeast of Nosgoth, the city was blanketed by snow - or ashfall from the Smokestack[Soul Reaver/12][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)] - and consisted of large sweeping promenades, open courtyards and an ornate throne room; along with several industrial elements and notably a large furnace.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/12][Soul Reaver/13] Supplementary sources also related the territory was home to "eternal forges" which crafted "the finest armour in Nosgoth".[NOS] By the time of Raziel's resurrection as a wraith, Ash Village was largely abandoned however having fallen to an attack by the human vampire hunters. Many of the population had been eliminated and the city itself was largely unoccupied save for corpses and Vampire wraiths - with Dumah himself impaled on his throne. Passing through the city in the course of the game, Raziel removed the stakes impaling Dumah and revived him before consuming his soul to gain the Constricting ability to gain access to the Oracle's Cave.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/12][Soul Reaver/13]
While the loss of their patriarch and abandonment of their primary territory largely relegated the Dumahim to nomadic scavengers, this was not the only territory they held and they had also occupied Raziel's Clan Territory in the wake of Raziel's execution - in the years since the Dumahim appeared to have maintained residence there save for the flooded water areas. Unlike Ash Village the occupied Razielim territory showed few signs of struggle or permanent abandonment, although some of the iconography was crumbling or had been vandalized.[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/3]
The nomadic nature of the Dumahim also meant that the clan was widely spread throughout Nosgoth and could be seen in a number of other areas including the Sanctuary of the Clans, the tunnel system between the Tomb of the Sarafan and the Drowned Abbey, the Fire Glyph Altar, and corpses could even be found in the City.[Soul Reaver/9][Soul Reaver/Fire][Soul Reaver/City]
Manuals for Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver gave further details about the Dumahim clan:
and it was further elaborated that:
Other sources noted them as "natural hunters. Swift, silent and smart" and as a " professional soldier class, sharing their skills and tactics with one another.". Compared to their Turelim brethren they were seen as "not as shackled by notions of honour or glory as their brethren and have developed more of a reputation for playing with their food".
Several early designs are known to exist for vampire clans in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. Two of these models have been identified as early Dumahim designs, although nearly all aspects of its appearance were eventually reworked, making them unrecognizable as such. One design features a "pear-shaped pale vampire with a round mouth full of spikey teeth" which was officially identified as an early Dumahim by Chris Bruno, the other - a small armored beetle-like design bearing the trademark tongue - was identified by Daniel Cabuco and appeared in Soul Reaver alphas publicised in 2020 - Cabuco was apparently responsible for the latter redesign to make them more intimidating. Another early design - appearing as much more human-like with stretched arms and a spiked nose - is seen in early screen shots using the Dumahim tongue attack, however these designs are generally thought to be placeholders or test models - although the general design bears many of the features on the pear shaped design potentially suggesting the early 'pear-shaped' Dumahim may have been a development of the placeholder design.
Initial designs for Nosgoth represented fledglings of the period, but more evolved adult skins were available for higher level players.[NOS] For their redesign and adult appearance as Evolved Dumahim Daniel Cabuco noted:
and further elaborated:
- The name of the Dumahim derives directly from clan patriarch Dumah, whose 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".
- During the development of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, the Dumahim vampires were referred to as Ronin and Dumah as "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.
- The US and UK manuals describe the Dumahim as "the most common vampires in Nosgoth" who "wander the land in search of humans" to "devour" or "feed on".[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)] To explain this situation, the UK manual notes that "Dumah is rumoured to have be slain by the vampire hunters".[Soul Reaver manual (UK)]
- In alpha and beta versions of the game, the Dumahim were present in the Sunlight Glyph Altar section, but in the final game this zone is instead inhabited by the Turelim. This is likely due to the removal of the Turelim clan territory.
- The Elder God comments that the Dumahim were 'decimated' by the human vampire hunters.[Soul Reaver/12] It is unclear if this strictly refers to the classical meaning - that one tenth of the population had been removed - or the modern expression that would indicate the destruction of a large ambiguous proportion of them. The amount of corpses compared to living Dumahim at the time of Raziel's return may favor the former option,[Soul Reaver/12] perhaps indicating that most of them were out of the city when the attack happened, or were allowed to survive the destruction; alternatively there may have been large scale population changes in the intervening years.
- The Dumahim at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni).
- Adult Dumahim
- Fledgling Dumahim
- Ash Village
- Nosgoth (cancelled game)
- Soul Reaver: Background Story at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni)
- Evolved Skins – Community Q&A with Daniel Cabuco at Nosgoth official website (by Daniel Cabuco/George Kelion)
- 'Reavers – Harsh Masters of Human Cattle' at the Nosgoth official blog (by George Kelion) (preserved at Tales of Nosgoth/Nosgothic Realm)
- The Blood Curse (The Dark Gift) at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni)
- Warp's answers from Amy at the Eidos Forums (by Blincoln)
- Question and Answer with Jen, Richard, and Kyle at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- Vampire Clans at DCabDesign (by Majinkura), post#2 by (Daniel Cabuco).
- About Kain's Empire at DCabDesign (by Cradlis), post#2 by (Daniel Cabuco).
- Vampire Clan ‘Evolved’ Skins – The Reaver of Clan Dumahim at Nosgoth official website (by George Kelion)
- The Ruined City of the Dumahim (Ash Village) at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni)
- Ash Village/Ruined City questions at DCab Design Legacy of Kain forums (by Raina Audron, post#2 by Daniel Cabuco)
- 'The Fall of the Razielim – part 2' at the Nosgoth official blog (by George Kelion) (preserved at Tales of Nosgoth/Nosgothic Realm)
- 'The Fall of the Razielim – part 3' at the Nosgoth official blog (by George Kelion) (preserved at Tales of Nosgoth/Nosgothic Realm)
- 'The Fall of the Razielim – part 4' at the Nosgoth official blog (by George Kelion) (preserved at Tales of Nosgoth/Nosgothic Realm)
- Early Vampires at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- Chris@Crystal's Greatest Hits at the Eidos Forums (by Divine Shadow).
- Retail Action Figures at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- 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)
- Dumah's Design at DCabDesign (by DumahLord), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- Beta Comparison - Graphics at The Lost Worlds (by Raina Audron).
- The Turelim Clan Territory at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)]
- Decimate at Wiktionary