History and Use
Glyph magic was first brought to Nosgoth in the Era following Blood Omen, in war between the (Hylden backed) Sarafan and Kain's Vampire Army. In the battle of Meridian, The Sarafan Lord wielded this "new kind of magic, deadly to [vampires]" and it was instrumental in the Sarafan victory. As the Sarafan conquered Nosgoth, Glyph magic became an important tool in hunting down the Nosgoth's vampire population and It was notably seen as part of magical (Vampire detecting) armor worn by Glyph Guards and Glyph Knights.
With their rule over Nosgoth established through the Sarafan Order, the Hylden continued in their plans to complete the Device and slowly, in the guise of the glyph wrights, they created and maintained a Glyph Energy Network, which flowed throughout Meridian (if not all Nosgoth). This network provided power for a variety of applications - It was used as a light source, to lock doors, to operate machinery, and was even used to make a sort of magical bomb. Glyph magic powered much of the advanced technology seen in Meridian, including Ward Gate(though steam powered machinery was also present in Meridian) and it appeared to have driven somewhat of an 'Industrial Revolution' within Meridian, providing some benfits to Meridian's citizens, which likely won the Sarafan support among the Humans. Glyph energy was used much like electricity is in the real world (although it travelled much slower through 'pipes'). Though Glyph magic provided heat and light for much of Meridian, it also had a darker purpose; the Device could focus the deadly thoughts of the Mass onto the Glyph Magic network and use it to kill all the non-Hylden life in Nosgoth.
When Kain returned in Blood Omen 2, he was initially taught about the Glyph magic and energy by Umah in her tutorial in Chapter 1:the Slums. Kain would utilise the energy numerous times to complete puzzles throughout the game. When Kain found the Builder in the Eternal Prison, seeking a way to destroy the Device; The Builder explained to him that the Device had never been completed because it required a network to transmit the thoughts of the Mass onto. Realising that the Glyphs installed by the Sarafan had completed the network Kain set off to destroy the Device and by poisoning the Mass using the Builder's Blood Kain was able to nullify the Device[Blood Omen 2].
After he had destroyed the Device, the Glyph Energy network was still shown to function in Chapter 10:the Wharves. In Chapter 11, The Hylden City lacked any of the previous established 'machinery' associated with the Glyph magic network (it was unlikely to have been included in the network anyway) but it did feature the usage of a kind of raw 'Glyph energy' with several instances of green glowing 'liquid' and green glowing symbols and devices apparently providing power[Blood Omen 2].
Observed Glyph Magic Machinery and Functions
- Glyph Pipes/Lines - carried Glyph magic from source to 'appliance.'
- Glyph Boxes/Switches - glowing green symbols from which Glyph piping flowed from, appeared to function like electrical plug sockets.
- Glyph Generators - two green glowing blocks, with green smoke emanating. marked with "Danger Magic" sign.
- Glyph Valves - altered the flow of glyph magic down different pipes.
- Glyph batteries - apparently held glyph magic charge, useful in puzzles, but highly unstable.
- Glyph Boilers - seen filling Glyph boxes in the Industrial Quarter[Blood Omen 2].
Machinery in the Industrial Quarter seems to involve the creation of Glyph Magic, though the processes are not elaborated upon, the Industrial Quarter seems to use a lot of water (seen flowing in piping) and steam. This connection was also seen in the Hylden City[Blood Omen 2].
- The use the terms "Glyph Magic" and "Glyph Energy" could be considered to refer to two different yet highly related 'Glyphs': with "magic" referring to the raw, (yellow colored) magic used by the Sarafan, notably seen in Glyph armor) and "energy" referring to the (green colored) 'energy' flowing through the Glyph network. However comments when Umah first introduced Kain to the Glyph Energy in Chapter 1:the Slums may imply that the terms are synonymous.
- Of the various Glyph magic 'machinery' seen in Blood Omen 2, only the Glyph batteries and 'Glyph Boxes' are named in game; though Glyph 'Lines' and 'Switches' are named in the Blood Omen 2 manual and Glyph Boxes and Glyph 'Valves' are named in Prima's Official Blood Omen 2 Guide. Other terms are conjectural based on appearance.
- It is unclear how the Glyph Magic seen in Blood Omen 2 relates to the Glyph seen in Soul Reaver. It is possible, based on their names and effects on Vampires, that they are related or even the same. However, the two types of glyph noticeably function completely differently; also perhaps relevant to this distinction is the fact that the Glyph magic of Blood Omen 2 is clearly linked to the post-banishment Hylden, whereas Soul Reaver's (unexplained) Glyphs are used in a timeline where the Hylden do not escape the Demon Realm. Designer comments indicate that behind the scenes, Blood Omen 2's Glyph magic was originally planned as an explanation for the Soul Reaver glyphs in "days of full operation"
- As suggested by their names, the 'magical armor' of the Glyph guards and Glyph knights was made with Glyph magic. The size of the Demon spiders was also due to exposure to Glyph Energy (Demon spiders were not true Demons but mutated animals).
- Glyph Magic at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni).
- Glyph Energy (BO2) at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni).
- Umah: "The Sarafan, an army of fanatical humans sworn to eradicate all vampires from the world. A new leader brought them together and, wielding a new kind of magic, deadly to our kind, was able to destroy your army and kill most of the vampires. You were defeated in mortal combat by this leader, the Sarafan Lord. But that is not the end of the story. Under the guise of protecting the land from the vampire menace, the Sarafan seized control of all of Nosgoth, and their rule is not kind. For two hundred years, the Sarafan have enslaved the humans under their iron rule, and hunted down and destroyed every vampire they could find." Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- Umah: "We are the Cabal, the vampire resistance. We work to undermine the Sarafan at every turn. But we are losing. With the new magic they employ, the Glyph Magic, they are able to find us and kill us. Our numbers are dwindling. Without help, we will not survive. We need you, Kain." Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- "Glyph Guards/Knights:More advanced than normal Guards/Knights, their armor is made with Glyph magic and alerts them to Kain's presence. It is almost impossible to kill these enemies in Stealth Mode." Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2 manual. pg11 (Eidos Interactive). (2002) Download.
- Umah: "Well done. The glyphs are operated by the Glyph Wrights, a secret society existing within Meridian. You may see them working on glyphs, from time to time. They rarely talk with the townsfolk, and very little is known about their origins. " Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- Male Patron: "I saw it with these very eyes!"//Female Patron: "A Glyphwrite?"//Male Patron: "One of those. He was doing something to a glyph – powering it. I was in the ally…resting."//Male Patron: "Hush. What did he do, the Glyphwrite?"//Female Patron: "He turned the glyph on, and then walked right through the wall, into the building, like he was a ghost. I tell you, I saw it, just as I see you. Stay away from them, that’s all I’m saying."//Female Patron: "I know that already." Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- Beast: "Wait…You must know…your true enemies. My captors. They are not of this world. They control the Glyph magic by which Meridian is enslaved. They pull the strings of the Sarafan while in the disguise of the Glyph Wrights. They are called…the Hylden….And their leader is, of course –"//Kain: "– The Sarafan Lord." Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- Umah: "There must be a Glyph nearby that powers the Ward. Find it and shut it down." Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- Peasant: "That’s generous, I call it. You see that? Have you seen what it can do? It will bring light and heat, and no cost for oil or coal. And they bring it right down here for us simple folk to use. Bless the Seraphan for all their doings, that’s what I say – for sharing their magic with the poor." Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- Woman: "I told my lady the girls wouldn’t clean his lordship’s room with that light burning in there. They were that frightened of it."//Man: "The lights stay on of their own accord?"//Woman: "He calls it ‘glyph energy’. He’s lit the whole upstairs with it, now. It’s a wonderful light, so gentle and bright. I like it meself, but the girls near left in a body."//Man: "I’ve seen glyph lights, but not in a gentleman’s house."//Woman: "But he won them over in a minute the day he got the glyph energy to heat his bathwater for him. That’s right, we carry the cans up cold now, and he’s got the water hot in a twinkling. The girls are alright with it now."//Man: "So I should hope. Here’s everything on your list for a week, just as you asked."//Woman: "You call this a peach? Peach stone, more like. It’s green." Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- "Glyph Energy is the lifeblood of the Sarafan's machines, and will be found throughout Meridian. It flows through pipes like electricity and will often have to be re-routed. When in doubt, follow the pipes from the source to the destination...or vice versa" Prima Games. Prima's Official Strategy Guide to Blood Omen 2(2002). Page 12. ISBN 0-7615-3774-0
- Kain: "So this Device was never finished. And yet the creature still lives within it?"//Builder: "It was dubbed “The Mass.” It is eternal and deadly, yet harmless without a channel for it’s mind. We never completed the weapon. We needed a way to send its energy out of the Device and into the land itself. We needed a conduit spread all throughout the cities, a network, if you will. Once this network was created, the Device would channel the mental energy of the Mass, and send death upon our enemies."//Kain: "You say a network? Placed like a web throughout a city?"//Builder: "We never completed the network. We never used the Device."//Kain: "But the Sarafan Lord will. The Glyphs! He is using the Glyphs to channel the Mass, to wipe out the city, humans and vampires alike! That must be his plan!" Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- Kain: (Indicating the glyphbox)"What manner of sorcery is this?"//Umah: "This is Glyph Energy, a new form of magic brought into the world with the rise of the Sarafan. It supplies power to all of Meridian. The gate you see can be opened using this energy. Activate the glyphbox. This will bring power to the gate’s lever, and allow you to open it." Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (March 19, 2002) Transcript.
- "Flipping Switches:Glyph Switches are levers that, when activated, send a glowing green energy along a Glyph line to make something turn on or off. If you follow the green energy traveling along the glyph line, you can trace it to what switch has been activated." Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2 manual. pg16 (Eidos Interactive). (2002) Download.
- "After battling these two to death, pass by the Glyph Generator and look for a low rooftop you can jump and pull yourself upto." Prima Games. Prima's Official Strategy Guide to Blood Omen 2(2002). Page 29. ISBN 0-7615-3774-0
- "Puzzle-Open the Prison DoorClimb the ladder on the left side of the guard tower. On the roof you'll see a Glyph Energy Valve. Turn it to re-route enrgy away from the Ward gate protecting the doorway into the tower. The Glyph energy will flow to the exit door instead, activating a Ward Gate there." Prima Games. Prima's Official Strategy Guide to Blood Omen 2(2002). Page 43 onwards. ISBN 0-7615-3774-0
- "Glyph Batteries:These are egg-shaped Glyph energy containers that can be pushed like blocks and used for completing a circuit or blowing something up to solve a puzzle. Glyph Batteries explode rather easily." Crystal Dynamics. Blood Omen 2 manual. pg16 (Eidos Interactive). (2002) Download.
- Glyph Magic at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni).
- Glyph Energy (BO2) at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni).
- Blood Omen 2 Designer Diary #1 (page 3) at GameSpot (by Steve Ross)
- Demon Spider: "Giant spider creatures that appear later in the game. Apparently their size is due to exposure to Glyph Energy. These creatures generally hunt in packs and cannot be grabbed nor thrown by Kain - though he can still suck their blood."Demon Spiders on the Official Blood Omen 2 Site