Kain's Family Crest was a heraldic design associated with Kain's human heritage and his family background. Ultimately one such artifact was used as a quest item by Raziel in Legacy of Kain: Defiance where he found the item at Kain's grave within his mausoleum in the Cemetery and used it to unlock a sealed door and open the way to the Light Forge.
- "Against all odds, I had stumbled into Kain's own mausoleum. This seemed an unlikely coincidence..."
Kain's Family crest was a heraldic design and a quest item discovered by Raziel in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. As he explored the Cemetery in the events of Blood Omen, Raziel eventually gained access to a building he soon discovered was Kain's Mausoleum. Within the building, many of the walls were decorated with a distinctive emblem and at the far end of the main chamber of the mausoelum a sealed doorway was marked with a similar symbol. In a chamber nearby, Raziel found the grave of the human Kain with part of the emblem - the central shield - laying on the floor in front of the sarcophagus. [Defiance][Defiance/4][Defiance strategy guide]
The artifact itself consisted of an artistic heraldic shield design with a faded red-brown background. Across the center of the piece a white 'V'-shaped emblem was emblazoned with three tips pointing upward at the center, left and right - giving the symbol a vaguely bird or bat-like appearance. Below the center of the 'V' was positioned a white five sided star pointing upwards, while two white circles were positioned above the 'wings' of the white 'V' symbol. [Defiance][Defiance/4]
Recovering the artifact and following a different path from the tomb, Raziel made his way back to the main chamber where he was able to place the shield in the space on the emblem door and open the way to the Light forge.[Defiance][Defiance/4][Defiance strategy guide]
- Kain's Family Crest is explicitly named as such in the inventory and its name is reiterated in the official guide.[Defiance][Defiance/4][Defiance strategy guide] The crest is labelled in game files as "kainscrest" and the lock as "kainscrest_lock". The various other crests in the background are listed as part of their rooms textures.[Defiance][Defiance/4]
- Two variants of Kain's family crest are seen in Defiance, with the basic shield design used as the artifact gained by Kain. A fuller version is often seen, with the artifact representing the central shield of the heraldic crest and a new helmet, wings and armor flourishes added to the standard.[Defiance][Defiance/4]
- The fuller design of Kain's family crest is used decoratively throughout Kain's Mausoleum perhaps suggesting that the mausoleum was a private burial site for Kain's family and hints they may have been responsible for his burial, assuming they survived the Plague in Coorhagen.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2][Defiance][Defiance/4]
- The full version of Kain's family crest bears a remarkable similarity to his later clan symbol and it may be that the symbol Kain used was ultimately based upon his family crest, whilst real world terms it was probably an intentional callback by developers to the symbols used since Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. Another callback to the Kain symbol would appear later in the game as Kain's depiction as the Scion of Balance in the ancient murals within the Spirit Forge also resembles the Kain symbol. In-universe this may be something of a prophetic foretelling by the ancients.[Defiance][Defiance/4][Soul Reaver][Defiance][Defiance/12][Defiance/13]
- Like the other quest items in Defiance, Kain's Family Crest appears in the secret "artifact1a" room.[Defiance]
- The name of the artifact suggests it is a 'family crest' or 'coat of arms' - a heraldic design generally understood to be associated with a noble family and originally used as an identifier in medieval tournaments and battlefields. However these identifications are technically incorrect: in real world heraldry only the design on the shield is referred to as the coat of arms, while the shield itself is generally refereed to as an escutcheon - the full version of the crest would be an achievement. The other components that Kain's design has include a pair of spiked supporters of unclear design (or mantling), a helm and a pair of wings atop the helm represent the true crest of the piece. While other elements varied with individuals, the crest remained constant through all members of the family - hence being associated as a 'family crest'. In common usage however, both family crest and coat of arms have become associated generally with heraldic symbols. Technically the helm used on Kain's achievement denotes a monarch.
- A few questions at DCabDesign (by Paradoks), post #6 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- The Scion of Balance at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni)
- The Artifact 1a Room at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- Crest (heraldry) at Wikipedia
- Coat of Arms at Wikipedia
- Escutcheon at Wikipedia
- Achievement (heraldry) at Wikipedia
- Supporters at Wikipedia
- Mantling at Wikipedia
- Helmet (heraldry) at Wikipedia