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Biography

Soul Reaver era

In Soul Reaver, Raziel was thrown into the Abyss on Kain's orders. It was an execution - vampires' bodies were expected to dissolve entirely as the Abyss waters ate away at their flesh like acid. But Raziel wasn't destroyed, and the Elder God was the being who claimed to have spared him from total dissolution.

The Elder God resided (at least partially) under the Abyss. It was a huge creature - so large that its actual size could not be determined - and it resembled a giant squid. The Elder fed on the souls of Nosgoth.¹ With the growth of Kain's empire, the number of vampires had increased. These immortal vampires held on to their "essence of life", so there were fewer souls wandering the Spectral Realm, and this was depriving the Elder of sustenance. The Elder God did not specifically describe its hunger to Raziel, but it did describe its role in Nosgoth. The Elder God controlled the 'Wheel of Fate', influencing the destinies of souls that came to it. The existence of the vampires was preventing souls fulfilling their true, fated roles, and the land was stagnating as a result. This stagnation - this lack of balance - was "the demise of Nosgoth".

The Elder God instructed Raziel, introducing him to his new role as an "Angel of Death", the Elder's assassin of the vampires. Raziel was only interested in revenge, so he followed the Elder's direction, largely without question. He was channeled into confrontations with his evolved brethren and Kain.

At the end of Soul Reaver the Elder God claimed that it would be unable to assist Raziel further once he followed Kain through the Chronoplast's portal. Raziel did not expect to encounter the Elder again, but he was not that lucky.

Soul Reaver 2 era

When Raziel entered the subterranean Pillars chamber in Soul Reaver 2, the Elder God was waiting for him. It was coiled, growing around the Pillars where they descended into a watery cavern, underneath the subterranean platform. It justified its presence by claiming it was "eternally present - here and everywhere, now and always." The Elder warned Raziel against being deceived by Kain, or by the murals that decorated the chamber walls around him.

Raziel was far less polite to the Elder when he met it in Soul Reaver 2. Raziel was no longer interested in the Elder God's plans for him - he wanted to learn about his role in Nosgoth's destiny for himself. His distrust in the Elder may have been partly fuelled by learning that Moebius - a notorious manipulator - was its servant. Raziel saw the Elder God on several occasions throughout Soul Reaver 2, and the Elder God's words became increasingly threatening, particularly after Raziel spared Kain's life within the Sarafan Stronghold. For his part, Raziel called the Elder "a cancer - a spooling parasite burrowed deep in the heart of this world".

After Janos Audron's death, Raziel encountered the Elder God one last time. The Elder addressed Raziel with 'ominous finality'.² It knew Raziel would never again willingly be its agent, and it was likely aware that Raziel would become trapped in the Reaver. Raziel expressed his doubts that the Elder had any part in his rebirth as a devourer of souls; perhaps the Elder had just been in the right place when Raziel awoke at the bottom of the Abyss - a convenient, "durable and gullible tool" for the Elder to exploit.

Kain saved Raziel from the Reaver at the end of Soul Reaver 2, but Raziel was so weakened by the event that he slipped back into the Spectral Realm, unable to maintain his physical manifestation.

Defiance era

In Defiance, we saw that Raziel was detained in the Spectral Realm - apparently at the point of starvation - by the Elder God. Kneeling before the Elder in a Spectral cavern, Raziel was still resolute in his Soul Reaver 2 opinion that the Elder was a parasite. However, the Elder identified the other reason for Raziel's stubborn refusal to submit - Raziel was afraid of returning to the Material Realm where he would surely encounter the Reaver again.

Bristling from the Elder's accusation of cowardice, and weighing up his options, Raziel made the choice to end the stalemate. Outwardly he submitted to the Elder God's direction again. The Elder gave Raziel a soul to devour, and had Raziel perform a few tasks to demonstrate his renewed loyalty. As a last test, Raziel had to race up a tall cavern. It appeared to Raziel that the Elder may not have really wanted to let him go at all. The Elder God smashed walkways and vocally expressed its displeasure when Raziel escaped. The Elder God then tried to impede Raziel's progress into the Material Realm by causing all planar portals in Nosgoth to vanish. Raziel resorted to reshaping the matter of corpses to be his physical body. He found that five hundred years had passed in the Material Realm while he had been away. He was in the Blood Omen era.

The Elder left Raziel alone for a while. Its next appearance in Defiance was in one of Kain's chapters. Kain - having collected all the fragments of the Balance Emblem - opened the sealed chamber in the heart of the Vampire Citadel. The chamber contained a shallow pool, and a mural showing the Ancient Vampires being expelled from the Wheel of Fate. Kain understood it enough to see that, for them, "the dark gift was clearly a curse, damning them to a kind of spiritual purgatory".

While he was looking at the mural, the Elder God's voice addressed him from the pool. Kain - having never met the Elder - could not identify this. The Elder claimed to be "the Oracle of [Kain's] ancestors", and said there was no need for Kain to speak - it already knew Kain's mind: Kain wanted to know the whereabouts of Raziel. The Elder caused images to appear on the pool's surface that illustrated Raziel's progress. Kain realized that Raziel was five centuries ahead of him in time, and trying to find the Heart of Darkness. Kain feared the consequences if Raziel succeeded, but he didn't know where it was. We can probably assume that the Elder God did know; it turned the pool into a time portal for Kain, allowing him to cross those five centuries, and meet Raziel at Avernus Cathedral, where they would fight.

Leading up to their battle, Raziel had seen the same 'Wheel of Fate' mural inside the Earth Forge. He took more from it than Kain had, realizing at last what the Ancient Vampires had worshipped. They had revered the Wheel of Fate, and their god was therefore the Elder God. Once the Hylden's curse had made them immortal, the Elder had abandoned them, driving them to despair, madness and mass suicide. Raziel reflected on the discovery that this "wisest, strongest, most noble race" had been "gulled by the voice of that old parasite". Raziel certainly didn't think the Elder was a god, whatever it was.

In the Avernus catacombs, Raziel learned more. The Ancient Vampires had started the war with the Hylden as the Hylden: "opposed the Vampires' god, and refused to submit to the Wheel of Fate". The Elder God likely requested the Vampires' action against the Hylden. Raziel also came to the conclusion that he was possibly the Hylden champion, and the Elder God broke its silence to reinforce that idea. It wanted to give Raziel an extra push to destroy Kain, and it didn't hurt for Raziel to think they were destined to fight to the death.


Kain and Raziel fought, and it seemed that Raziel killed Kain when he took the Heart of Darkness from him. Raziel resurrected Janos Audron and Janos teleported the both of them to the Vampire Citadel. There, he elaborated a bit on the history Raziel had already uncovered, and the beliefs of the Ancient Vampires. Janos directed Raziel to the Spirit Forge. The Elder was pleased that Raziel had destroyed Kain, and made it difficult for Raziel to activate the forge - it dragged the altar deeper and deeper into the ground, and knotted its tentacles over the aperture. Despite the interference, Raziel eventually managed to imbue the wraith-blade with Spirit.

Raziel returned to Janos, and was forced to fight the Ancient Vampire when Janos became possessed by the Hylden Lord. Raziel initially defeated the Hylden Lord, but he could not bring himself to destroy Janos, and the Lord was able to consolidate his power for a final counter-attack. Raziel's physical form was obliterated, and he found himself back in the Spirit Forge, in the Spectral Realm with the Elder God. Once again, he was trapped, with no way of leaving the Elder's presence or re-entering the Material Realm. The Elder laughed off Raziel's attempts to attack it with the Spirit-imbued wraith-blade - it could not touch the Elder. The Elder God was satisfied that there was "nothing more for [Raziel] to do", and intended that Raziel would spend eternity imprisoned with it in the Underworld. The Elder then summoned Moebius to the Spirit Forge - the place of their first meeting.

Moebius responded to the summons, and was talking to the (invisible) Elder God when Kain arrived at the Spirit Forge. Kain had actually survived the battle with Raziel, and he had felt compelled to return to the Vampire Citadel. Apparently neither Moebius nor the Elder God had foreseen this occurring. Kain impaled Moebius on the Reaver, killing him. As Moebius died, he told Kain: "soon, all pain will fade, and my master will bring me life once more". The Elder God had already resurrected Moebius once - as this was the Blood Omen era, the fledgling vampire Kain had beheaded him shortly before the Pillars toppled. Moebius hoped that the Elder would restore him to life a second time, and as a ghost in the Spectral Realm (still unable to see the Elder) he started to make that request of his god. However, he had not counted on Raziel being there.

Raziel mimicked Kain's earlier action, and impaled Moebius' ghost/soul on the Spirit-imbued wraith-blade. This "purified his sight", allowing a horrified Moebius to see the Elder God's true form for the first time. Raziel then devoured Moebius' soul, returning its energy to the Wheel of Fate. The Elder God described the action as "petty" and "irrelevant"; "Moebius was a good servant, but he was of no further use". However, Raziel started to understand that he was not quite as powerless as the Elder claimed. Kain had survived, and although there had never been any hope of battling the "unseen" Elder God, the Spirit Reaver had allowed Moebius to see his master for what it truly was. If Kain could see the Elder too, and was armed with the Soul Reaver, he would be able to fight it. This revelation prompted Raziel to sacrifice himself to the Reaver.

Raziel re-entered the Material Realm, using Moebius' corpse as a host. Kain ran 'Moebius' through with the Reaver before realizing his mistake, but Raziel stopped him from withdrawing the blade. As Raziel was being absorbed by the Reaver, he placed his hand on Kain's chest, allowing the Spirit-imbued wraith-blade to disperse into Kain. This healed him of the spiritual corruption he had had since birth, and revealed the Elder God to him.

Raziel had called the Elder God: "the true enemy". After a brief battle - where it was seen that the newly-created Soul Reaver was an effective weapon against the Elder's tentacles - Kain left the Spirit Forge before the enraged and threatening Elder God could bury him in its rubble. In the Vampire Citadel's council chamber, Kain paused to look across Nosgoth, towards the ruined Pillars. He reflected that "the strings of the puppets had become visible, and the hands of the prime mover exposed".

In the end of defiance Kain was originally intended to return to the soulreaver era and heal nosgoth ,though the game was to late into production to have this it is likely that healing nosgoth would have meant destroying the elder thought it would be more likely he would have been banished to the demonic hylden realm,though given his size it is unclean the physical impact this would have had on nosgoth or even the spirtiual cost as it is still possible that the elder is an important part in the life cycle of nosgoth as it was never proven to be wrong

Notes

The Elder God had his agents the Archon working the spectral realm in Defiance (the Blood Omen 1 realm that Raziel primarily inhabits). As his agents both Raziel & the Archon are immortal & are reapers of souls, souls that are spun into the Wheel of Fate. Both he & the Archons have features of particulary sea creatures, the Elder God does resembale "a giant squid". Seeing as how he feeds on souls, destroy Planar portals & edifices it is safe to say that he inhabits both the Material realm & the Spectral realm like Melchiah or Dumah.

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Note: it is possible that the Elder God is Nigh-Omnipotent but this is never proven.

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