- "I awoke to the pain of a new existence, in a dank womb of darkness and decay."
- ―Kain — Listen (file info)[src]
Kain's Mausoleum is the crypt where Kain was buried after his human death in the events of Blood Omen, and the place he awoke as a vampire shortly afterward. Situated within the Cemetery in southwestern Nosgoth, it appears as a playable location in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and Legacy of Kain: Defiance.
When Kain was murdered by brigands in the opening chapters of Blood Omen and was resurrected as a Vampire by Mortanius, Kain awoke in his family mausoleum four days later. The mausoleum served as something of the first 'dungeon' area and was where Kain found many of his most frequently used items, including the Iron Sword, Iron Armor and the Sanctuary Spell. He also gained his first Blood Vial, Rune triangle and Heart of Darkness relics. The area was also where Kain found his first Save altar.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/1][Blood Omen/2]
Through the use of the Sanctuary Spell, Kain could often return to his mausoleum, gaining a small health boost when he did - it was also well-equipped with human sacrifices, and relative safety (though there were low level enemies, like gravediggers and Skeletons.). When he left the Mausoleum he found himself in the Cemetery and recognized his first vampiric vulnerabilities - to sunlight and rain. After passing through The Cemetery and several other Mausoleums, he was able to begin his journey back to Ziegsturhl.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2]
Kain's Mausoleum returned in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, where Raziel emerged from Elder's Lair into the Cemetery. Unknowingly Raziel initially passed through the structure shortly after his arrival in Find the Path to the Pillars and was able to use his first Burial site in the entrance chamber to return to the Material Realm but could not progress any further due to the presence of Guardian gargoyles. After gaining the Dark Reaver from a Dark Forge, Raziel returned to the mausoleum and was able to bypass the gargoyles and discover that he had in fact entered Kain's Mausoleum, apparently shortly after the younger Kain's exit in Blood Omen. Raziel investigated Kain's crypt and recovered Kain's Family Crest, using it to escape the tomb and ultimately reach a high vista that enabled him to breach the warp gate to the Light Forge.[Defiance][Defiance/4]
Design, Layout and Comparisons
Kain's Mausoleum undergoes some radical changes between its Blood Omen and Defiance incarnations and with both seen in the events of Blood Omen the changes are almost certainly due to artistic interpretation.[Blood Omen][Defiance]
At a basic level the color scheme, environment and layout has changed between titles. With the area seen in Blood Omen featuring more artistic pillars and wall flourishes, and generally a much more angular, darker feel than the more rounded and traditional cemetery feel of Defiance. The map of the Blood Omen area is treated as a single map tile and features ten distinct rooms, with the Defiance area treating them as four different sub-areas of the main Cemetery level, with a number of inter-connecting corridors that could comprise of upto seven rooms. Although though some could be considered to represent the same rooms, each is radically different from its predecessor.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2][Defiance][Defiance/4]
- The main 'Entrance' chamber linking to the rest of the Cemetery is a set of three straight corridors in an upside down 'U' shape in Blood Omen with the eastern corridor notably wider than its fellows and containing a wide staircase leading down into the rest of the mausoleum. In Defiance this is replaced with a large circular room with a broken tomb and corpse host in the center which has three entrances (a door and two barred windows) in the north, which leads to a small corridor heading west, where two Guardian gargoyles protect the doorway leading further into the mausoleum.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2][Defiance][Defiance/4]
- In Blood Omen the chambers following this consist of a large square pillared room with a spike pit in the center with a purple magic sphere, a room alongside containing a save altar and a rectangular room to the south which itself has two auxiliary chambers to east and west, each populated with Chained humans and a power up (a Blood vial and a Rune triangle respectively. In Defiance these are replaced by a longer corridor leading to a barred doorway which opens onto a larger double height room with two large 'towers' which alter in the Spectral Realm. To the south a double sided ramp leads up to the crest sealed door which leads through another set of winding corridors to the upper vista above the Light forge megalith circle in the main Cemetery. To the north a high opening - accessible by jumping across the 'towers' - leads directly through to Kain's tomb. A doorway in the east also leads through to Kain's tomb through some auxiliary rooms.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2][Defiance][Defiance/4]
- The following areas were auxiliary rooms leading to Kain's tomb. In Blood Omen these began with a narrow staircase leading down to an 'L' shaped room with a tomb in the center and a small boulder blocking access to the room. The eastern alcove contained a Heart of Darkness artifact behind a boulder and a door in the west led to the next chamber - a square room containing two tombs with a door to the south leading onto another square room which contained the Sanctuary spell. In Defiance these rooms were somewhat different, with the first room from the main chamber being a large circular chamber containing a bust of the human Kain on a circular pedestal which could be rotatated.A corridor behind this led down a small staircase and then turned into Kain's tomb where a barred gate had been ripped open.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2][Defiance][Defiance/4]
- Kain's tomb in Blood Omen was treated as a large open room containing an open empty grave in the east of the room, behind which was positioned Kain's casket with lid removed. A wall button in the north of the room opened a door in the western wall which led through to the room with the Sanctuary spell. In Defiance the room was a double height with a raised outer balcony around the edges room and dominated by a portrait of Kain on the back wall which was decorated with an ornate border containing his family crest as well as a Blood script epitaph. The lower level was a square room with a broken barred doorway (leading to the auxiliary rooms) on the side. At the back of the room was an area slightly raised above the rest of the room, which contained the broken casket of Kain directly beneath Kain's portrait. In front of the casket the Kain's Family Crest item was positioned, along with a soul basin. The balcony contained an dark orb doorway which required the Light Reaver to unlock a TK rune - in addition the 'front' of the balcony contained a high opening from which the main area of the mausoleum could be accessed through the high passage from the top of the 'towers'.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2][Defiance][Defiance/4]
Although the areas change radically between games, the Mausoleum in Defiance is filled with small nods to the original Blood Omen: Kain's grave appears in similar fashion to its appearance in Blood Omen, The painting of human Kain grows small fangs in the Spectral Realm and is decorated with Furthark runes which translate as "Here Lies Kain". Further down the corridor, there is also a grate which appears to have been broken, presumably by the younger Kain's escape, and a large bust of the Human Kain.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2][Defiance][Defiance/4]
A notable overarching difference between the two areas comes from the orientation of the Cemetery itself which is aligned north-south in Blood Omen, but is changed to a more diagonal tilt in Defiance. The Mausoleum still appears to be located in roughly the same position within the cemetery - the northwestern most building in the cemetery - but the building and all its rooms appear to have rotated.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2][Defiance][Defiance/4]
- "Against all odds, I had stumbled into Kain's own mausoleum. This seemed an unlikely coincidence..."
- Kain's Mausoleum is given several similar titles in official sources, appearing as such in several transcripts[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2], being named as "his mausoleum" and other variants in the official Silicon Knights' Blood Omen FAQ The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain and called the "The Mausoleum of Kain" in the official guide.[Blood Omen strategy guide] Defiance sources back up this trend, with Raziel directly calling the structure "Kain's own mausoleum"[Defiance][Defiance/4] and stage directions of both scripts and transcripts referring to "Kain's Mausoleum" or "The Mausoleum"[Defiance], as well as Legacy of Kain: Defiance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide.[Defiance strategy guide] Other variant terms are occasionally used including "crypt"[Blood Omen/2][Defiance/4], "tomb"[Blood Omen/2][Blood Omen/Miscellaneous] or "grave"[Blood Omen/2][Blood Omen/Miscellaneous], but these are not used as frequently as "mausoleum".
- The interior of Kain's Mausoleum is given its own heading in Blood Omen files, where it is listed as a single area designated as "Map 0006 Sect 11" - the exterior area, along with the rest of the Cemetery, is listed along with other overland locations in the "Map 0001" heading and is given the designation "Map 0001 Sect 70". The Developers' level select gives the area the code "Maus", although the unmarked passage next to "Out" also led to Kain's tomb.[Blood Omen] In Defiance the areas are listed under the Cemetery headings as follows: "Cemetery 16A" - the area outside the entrance to the mausoleum, "Cemetery 4A" - the circular 'entrance' chamber with the Guardian gargoyles and following corridor, "Cemetery 10A" - the large main chamber of the mausoleum, "Cemetery 9A" - Kain's tomb and the following circular bust room, with the corridors after the Kain's Family Crest door bundled with the Light forge vista as "Cemetery 6A".[Defiance] Legacy of Kain: Defiance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide gives the rooms more conventional labels, calling the external area "To Kain's Mausoleum", the circular gargoyle chamber "Kain's Mausoleum Entrance" and the rest of the main area "Kain's Mausoleum".[Defiance strategy guide]
- Given the appearance and function of later 'dungeon' areas, Kain's mausoleum in Blood Omen acts as something of a simple dungeon for the Sanctuary spell as well as a training area for power-ups, vampire abilities and combat.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2]
- The exact circumstances of Kain's burial or resurrection are not elaborated upon, but small details can be gleaned from background details in the game. The in game timer indicates that Kain's awakening as a vampire takes place "4 days 17 hours" after his death at Ziegsturhl at the hands of assassins. The Blood Omen version of Kain's tomb also shows a notable hole in the ground next to Kain's grave, suggesting that he may have been dug up by someone (presumably Mortanius) - although this detail is missing from Defiance. Other details are unclear but the repeated decorative use of Kain's Family Crest throughout the tomb in Defiance perhaps suggests 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]
- Kain's mausoleum is also the name of the eponymous musical track played throughout the Blood Omen location. The Defiance location uses the same music as the Cemetery, itself a reworking of the Necropolis track from Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2][Defiance][Defiance/4][Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/4]
- Kain's human 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]
- The portrait of Kain above his tomb was designed by artist Kory Heinzen and is seen prominently in Defiance concept art of Kain's Mausoleum. Both the concept art and the final textures used in the game display Kory's signature.[Defiance]
- The portrait is backed by a border which is decorated with Blood Omen style Blood script runes. These are in the slightly modified alphabet used in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance which is based on phonemes rather than letters. Roughly translated, the runes read "Here Lies Kain".[Defiance]
- The portrait is inspired by a similar real-world portrait of British colonial officer Frank Swettenham by the artist John Singer Sargent, with minor modifications.
- Three versions of the picture were ultimately used - The original showing the human Kain was seen in the Material Realm. The Spectral version notably grew fangs and showed Kain as a vampire, while the third was a background placeholder showing a partially evolved vampire Kain and containing the blood script border.[Defiance]
- The portrait is also ultimately featured in several games in the Tomb Raider series, with the portrait hanging below the stairs in Lara Croft's Manor in the (Crystal Dynamics developed) games Tomb Raider Legend, Tomb Raider Anniversary and Tomb Raider Underworld.
- The general style of the mausoleum in Defiance - and indeed the rest of the Cemetery - was influenced by Spanish gravesites.
- At least one Blood script message in the Defiance Mausoleum remains undeciphered. The message - found above the doors leading from the entrance chamber to the main mausoleum - appears above an image of Kain's Family Crest and clearly reads "Kain" as its first word, however the texture resolution is too low to clearly make out the characters of the rest of the message. When Quizzed about this Daniel Cabuco could not provide the exact wording but claimed that "All of the quotes in the mausoleum should relate to Kain, Kain's family crypt, etc. It should say something along those lines".[Defiance][Defiance/4]
- Pillars of Nosgoth areas at DCabDesign (by Bazielim), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- The Revived and Updated (Almost) Definitive LoK Maps Thread at the Square Enix Legacy of Kain Series Forums (by Baziel, Guilherme Coelho and Tenaya).
- Futhark Runes at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- Blood Omen Dialgoue Script-Page 1 at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya)
- The Plot at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- Strategies to Aquiring Each Spell at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- Defiance Dialgoue Script-The Cemetery at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya)
- Defiance Dialgoue Script-The Cemetery at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni)
- Blood Omen Developers Level Select Page at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- A few questions at DCabDesign (by Paradoks), post #6 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- The Scion of Balance at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni)
- Source of the ancestor painting at Croft Manor at Tomb Raider Forums (by klow)
- Tomb Raider at Legacy of Kain Wiki
- Nosgoth architecture at DCabDesign (by Lexy), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)