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image:KAIN2.jpg|Kain with Hot
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image:KAIN3.jpg|Kain with Heavy Armor
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image:KAIN4.jpg|Kain with Vampiric Armor
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Revision as of 10:33, 15 June 2009

Template:CharBox Kain is the Scion of Balance and the last Guardian of the Pillar of Balance. Born into the privileged life of nobility, he was transformed into a vampire by the necromancer Mortanius. Transcending political manipulation and supernatural assailment, Kain rose from being a lowly albeit powerful fledgling, to the de facto monarch of Nosgoth.

Kain created six vampiric lieutenants to serve him in ruling his empire. By approximately a millennium, Kain's empire extended throughout nearly all of Nosgoth. When Raziel, Kain's first-born lieutenant, displayed his recent vampiric gift - a pair of bat-like wings - during a meeting at the Pillars, Kain reacted by violently ripping out the bones of the wings. Following this, Kain ordered Raziel be cast into the Lake of the Dead.

Several centuries later when Raziel returned from the Abyss, Kain and Raziel battled in the Sanctuary of the Clans. This culminated with Kain shattering the Soul Reaver blade after striking Raziel. After a second confrontation at the Chronoplast, Kain led Raziel through time to alter Nosgoth's fate. Once Kain became purified due to the actions of Raziel, Kain battled the Elder God, and caused it to retreat. Presumably, Kain then went on to heal Nosgoth and undo the damage the Elder God had done.


Human Life

Blood Omen era

Kain was a nobleman, born in the city of Coorhagen. He grew up completely unaware of his greater destiny - that he had been selected from birth to become the Guardian of the Pillar of Balance.

Jungest Vampire Unlife

Blood Omen era

In Blood Omen, Kain was thirty years old. For reasons unknown to him, he was assassinated by brigands outside a tavern in Ziegsturhl. Strangely, he was saved from oblivion by Mortanius the Necromancer, and offered a chance for vengeance against the instigators of his murder. In the Underworld, bound to wooden posts, and still impaled by his assassin's sword, Kain accepted. He didn't consider the cost or the Necromancer's motivations. "Nothing is free. Not even revenge..." He was resurrected as a vampire.

Kain quickly killed the brigands who had carried out the deed, then continued to the Pillars - hoping to find clues about the identity of their employer. There he encountered Ariel for the first time. She told him that there was "no cure for death, only release", and that he would only know peace after he had restored the Pillars of Nosgoth. Only then would his curse end. Kain heeded Ariel's guidance, and began his quest to kill all of the corrupted Guardians. Nupraptor was his first target.

Kain travelled north, passing through several townships. He reached Nupraptor's Retreat and beheaded the Mentalist. However, Kain soon realized his task was far from a simple one. A major obstacle existed in the form of Malek, the Guardian of the Pillar of Conflict. As the protector of the Circle, he was not about to let Kain assassinate them one by one. After a confrontation at Malek's Bastion, where Kain was forced to flee, Ariel suggested that the Oracle of Nosgoth might aid him.

Kain approached the Oracle, and questioned him about how to defeat Malek. The Oracle - none other than Moebius the Time Streamer - directed Kain towards the powerful and ancient vampire, Vorador. He also gave enigmatic pointers toward the kingdom of Willendorf. Kain was unaware that Moebius had an ulterior motive hidden in his helpful advice, and followed the Oracle's path. He met with Vorador.

The elder vampire warned Kain to stay out of human affairs, but offered his assistance if Kain ever needed him. Vorador had defeated Malek five centuries before, and keeping Vorador's signet ring, Kain was able to summon him when he faced Bane, DeJoule and Malek at Dark Eden. Malek was finally laid to rest there, and the other two Guardians fell to Kain's sword.

Kain visited Avernus Cathedral, and claimed the legendary Soul Reaver sword as his own. He killed Azimuth, then continued to Willendorf. By hunting Elzevir and returning the soul of King Ottmar's daughter, Kain was able to rouse the army of Willendorf against the Legions of the Nemesis. However, Ottmar's army was defeated in the Battle of the Last Stand. After the king died, Kain escaped from the battlefield using a Time Streaming device he had discovered opportunely, earlier in his travels. The device transported Kain fifty years into Nosgoth's past, a time when William the Just - the king who would become the Nemesis - was still a boy. Kain took it upon himself to fight and kill William for the greater good of Nosgoth, blissfully ignorant of the magnitude of his mistake.

Moebius had orchestrated Kain's trip through time in order to ignite a genocidal war against the vampires. William's loyal subjects, devastated at the loss of their beloved king, were willing to follow Moebius instead. They became his mercenary army, resolute to rid Nosgoth of the 'unholy scourge'. Kain returned to the present just in time to watch the public execution of the last vampire in Nosgoth, save himself - Vorador. Finally seeing how he had been manipulated, Kain battled Moebius into submission, and cleaved his head from his body.

Returning to the Pillars once more, Kain witnessed a conversation between Mortanius and Anarcrothe. Mortanius admitted his part in Kain's resurrection and assassination, but justified it as being for the good of Nosgoth; the Circle's corruption meant it had to be destroyed. Anarcrothe objected to the Necromancer's willingness to sacrifice all their lives. They fought, and as the Alchemist died, seven of the Circle were no more. Kain approached Mortanius, and was welcomed, although Mortanius warned that he was not the last surviving Guardian. There was still one more, whom Kain had not yet met.

Kain defeated Mortanius, and the Dark Entity that had possessed him emerged from his body. The Dark Entity (actually the Hylden Lord) taunted Kain for allowing himself to be used by others, and they battled. Kain emerged victorious, but he was left with a terrible dilemma. Suddenly the truth became clear to him, and Kain knew he was the last Guardian.

The fate of Nosgoth rested on Kain's decision. He could sacrifice himself to restore the Pillar of Balance, or he could plausibly take control of Nosgoth. He was now likely the most powerful creature in the land. Kain also was the last remaining vampire. Feeling no compassion for the humans that had hunted his kind to extinction, he chose to reject the idea of self-sacrifice. Roughly a millennium and a half later, Kain's empire stretched across Nosgoth.

Blood Omen 2 era

Blood Omen 2 followed Kain's initial attempts to conquer Nosgoth, many centuries before the events of Soul Reaver.

Some time after Kain refused to repair the Pillar of Balance, he set about amassing a vampire army to seize control of the land (at the best guess, it was about a century after Blood Omen). It seemed he had not yet discovered the means to raise vampires himself, so he relied on Vorador (who was inexplicably alive again in this era) to sire fledglings for his ranks. Over time, his army marched south from the Pillars, and took Freeport and Provance. Unfortunately Kain's success did not last.

Two hundred years after his refusal at the Pillars, Kain's army was defeated outside of Meridian. The reformed Sarafan Order, under the command of the Sarafan Lord (the Hylden Lord, inhabiting his own Hylden body), decimated Kain's forces with Glyph magic. Kain himself was beaten in combat by the Sarafan Lord, and was widely believed to be dead. However, he survived - just barely - and was cared for by the vampires who would later form the Cabal.

Re-capture of Nosgoth and Defeat of the Sarafan Lord

Two centuries later (and still one hundred years before Raziel's vampiric rebirth), Kain awoke from his injury-induced slumber. He was in Meridian, and the vampire Umah was watching over him. She told him where he was, and what had become of the vampires under the Sarafan Lord's rule. Umah and the Cabal - the Vampire Resistance - hoped to overthrow the Sarafan with Kain's help. Kain was eager to take his revenge on the Sarafan Lord, but he had lost most of his power and abilities during his brush with true death. His memory was fragmented, and the Sarafan Lord had the Soul Reaver.

Umah retrained Kain in the Slums, then he fought and killed Faustus in the Den. Eventually he met Vorador in Sanctuary. Kain loosely allied with the Cabal, accepting Vorador's guidance, but fully intending to follow his own agenda. Upon hearing Umah had been captured, he visited the Upper City to see the Bishop of Meridian, and killed Marcus while he was there. He then rescued Umah from the Sarafan Keep, showing uncharacteristic concern for her injuries.

Safely back in Sanctuary, Umah told Kain and Vorador about the Nexus Stone. She had seen it in the Industrial Quarter before her capture. Kain learned that the artefact could protect its wearer against the Soul Reaver. He went to the Industrial Quarter to steal it, but he had to get past Sebastian. Sebastian told Kain about the Device before he died, so Kain visited the Seer to find out more about it. She teleported him to the Device when the Sarafan Lord arrived unexpectedly, and set fire to her home.

Destroying the Device temporarily became Kain's priority. He met the Beast, and on its advice, Kain visited the Eternal Prison and drank the blood of the Builder. He also encountered Magnus, his former champion. Kain used the Builder's blood to poison the Mass - the living heart of the Device. As the Mass perished, the Beast was able to regain his natural form - that of the winged Ancient Vampire, Janos Audron. Kain and Janos spoke at length about the Hylden, the Sarafan Lord, and Kain's role in their return to Nosgoth. When Kain failed to sacrifice himself in Blood Omen, his decision had "caused a rift throughout the world, sufficient to breach through the dimensions." The Sarafan Lord, a Hylden, had been able to re-enter Nosgoth from the demon dimension.

Janos and Kain returned to Sanctuary together, and a plan was formed to find and close the Hylden Gate. Against Kain's wishes, Umah accompanied him to the Wharves. Kain's doubts had merit. Umah stole the Nexus Stone from him. She believed that he would betray the vampires of the Cabal, and kill them to ensure his rule in Nosgoth would be unquestioned. Kain threatened her - clearly surprised and enraged by her actions - and she teleported away. When he caught up with her again she was badly wounded and close to death. His anger had abated, but he knew the bond of trust between them was irreparable. Ignoring her pleas for help, Kain killed her. As she died, he expressed some regret that this had happened, that she had forced him into it. In his words, she could have been his queen.

Kain continued to the Hylden City. He was joined by Janos and Vorador once he had destroyed the city's magical shield. Kain was arguing with Vorador about the circumstances of Umah's death when the Sarafan Lord appeared. The Lord injured Vorador, so Kain was forced to go to the Hylden Gate alone.

Kain fought with the Sarafan Lord above the Hylden Gate. Kain used the Nexus Stone to guard himself against the Soul Reaver, but he was faced with a stalemate. He needed to throw the stone into the Hylden Gate in order to destroy it. Kain chose to discard the stone's protection, ensuring that the Sarafan Lord would die, no matter who won their battle.

Eventually the Sarafan Lord dropped the Soul Reaver. Janos intervened, distracting the Lord long enough for Kain to pick it up. The Sarafan Lord threw Janos through the closing gate, then turned his attention back to Kain. The structure of walkways above the gate was nearing total collapse, but on what remained, Kain defeated the Sarafan Lord, and killed him with the Soul Reaver. As he left the destroyed Hylden Gate, he considered the future. He was now ready to establish his empire - the empire we saw in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.

Adult Vampire Unlife (Final Evolution)

Soul Reaver era

In Soul Reaver, Kain ruled a world dominated by vampires. He had raised six elite Sarafan warriors from their tomb to serve him, leaving their past forgotten. The human kingdoms were conquered, and these vampire lieutenants created many offspring. Their control of Nosgoth became all but complete as the Pillars continued to decay. The few rogue elements - humans trying to rid Nosgoth of 'the vampire scourge' and lesser vampires - were tolerated for amusement's sake, and to challenge the young.¹

As the Emperor/King of Nosgoth, Kain's throne was at the base of the eternally corrupted Pillar of Balance. His appearance had changed from his Blood Omen incarnation; centuries of vampiric evolution had transformed his body into a muscular 'higher form'.¹ In his left ear, he wore Vorador's signet ring as an earring. He still bore the scar - misshappen and somewhat displaced by his altered physique - of the wound that ended his mortal life. Kain was "deified" (considered to be a god), and few in Nosgoth realized he had once been human.

One day, Raziel - the first-born of Kain's lieutenants - arrived at the Pillars. He had grown wings, surpassing Kain's own evolution. Kain reacted badly, and ordered Raziel's execution, apparently because of jealousy. Raziel returned from the Abyss as a Reaver of Souls, wanting to destroy Kain for discarding him so lightly despite all his loyalty. They fought twice; the second time was at Moebius' The Chronoplast. Kain led Raziel into Nosgoth's past.

Soul Reaver 2 era

In Soul Reaver 2, Raziel sought Kain with Moebius' guidance. He found Kain at the Pillars and saw the corruption of the Pillars happen while they were there. Kain explained that as Ariel died, he had been born, and thus being part of the Circle even at that early time, he was exposed to the madness of Nupraptor, her grieving lover. Raziel's anger towards Kain started to abate, as his own destiny and past were beginning to catch up with him.

During their encounters in different eras, Kain revealed more of his agenda. He wanted Raziel's assistance to reclaim the destiny he had been denied. In return, he would help Raziel achieve his true destiny. Kain was searching for a third option for the decision he was forced to make as the last tainted Guardian, one that could really restore Nosgoth. The choice he was given at the end of Blood Omen was rigged, and neither his self-sacrifice or survival would have solved anything properly. He had seen the future in Moebius' Chronoplast, and stumbled upon the possibility of finding the elusive third option. But it was a risky path to take. It would involve the manipulation of history, and Raziel was the crucial player. His 'execution' had been necessary.

Kain was able to persuade Raziel to spare his life when history dictated that he should have died. Then there was a second defiance of history that Kain believed would deliver Nosgoth's salvation.

Raziel was being drawn into the Reaver blade when Kain interfered, wrenching the sword from Raziel's body. This altered the course of history again, as he expected, but something had gone wrong. As new memories - reflecting the alteration - were created in Kain's mind alongside his old recollections², he knew that Janos Audron - recently murdered by the Sarafan - must remain dead. He also knew that his actions had ultimately aided the ancient race: the Hylden, the eternal adversaries of the vampires. The events of Blood Omen 2 - part of Nosgoth's new timeline³ - had taught Kain just how dangerous they were.

Defiance era

Defiance returned to the story of the older Kain, and what happened following the events of Soul Reaver 2. Raziel faded into the Spectral Realm after he was almost devoured by the Reaver. Remaining in that era, five centuries before the events of Blood Omen, Kain kept the sword, and tried to find out where Raziel had gone. When he was unsuccessful, he returned to the Sarafan Stronghold to get answers from Moebius. He soon found the Time Streamer, but Moebius used his staff to incapacitate Kain. Mocking him, Moebius claimed that Kain's "messianic delusions" - his belief that he was the 'Scion of Balance' mentioned in the Ancients' prophecies - had blinded him to "Raziel's true nature".

Moebius departed, insultingly leaving Kain armed with the Reaver, but unable to move until he was safely out of the way. Of course, Kain tracked him down again, and in the Stronghold's tower, he telekinetically wrenched the staff away from the Time Streamer before it could be used against him. He used his telekinesis to half-throttle Moebius, and managed to learn about a place west of the Pillars that would interest him. Moebius also said that Raziel was "contained", free-willed but certainly going to kill Kain, and far more dangerous than Kain realized. Kain visited the Pillars, and uncovered the Vampire Citadel that Moebius had spoken of. It was in a lake (likely the Lake of Tears), hidden by mist.

Arriving at the Citadel in Bat form, Kain commented that Moebius had done him a service in telling him of the place's existence. It gave him the opportunity to learn more about his destiny as the Scion of Balance. Exploring the Citadel and Reaver forges, Kain discovered murals that depicted two champions: one resembling an Ancient Vampire, the other Hylden. One champion would inevitably fall. Another mural told the story of the human Guardians' revolt against the Ancient Vampires, led by Moebius and Mortanius, and in a sealed chamber at the heart of the Citadel, he found the Ancient Vampires' Oracle. This Oracle - in fact the Elder God - told Kain that Raziel was five hundred years ahead of Kain in time, and that he was trying to resurrect Janos Audron. Clearly Raziel had not heard (or otherwise not heeded) Kain's warning in Soul Reaver 2 that Janos must stay dead. The Oracle transported Kain to the era inhabited by Raziel - the Blood Omen era - with a warning that Raziel saw Kain as an enemy, even if Kain didn't consider Raziel to be his.

Kain turned up at Avernus Cathedral just as Raziel emerged from the Avernus catacombs portal. Raziel had also learned about the Vampire and Hylden champions, and he had come to the conclusion that he was likely the Hylden one. He had recently devoured Turel's soul, and he appeared to be influenced in a limited way by the Hylden; they were fuelling his rage, so he would not listen to Kain's attempts to reason with him. Most importantly, however, Raziel had discovered that the Heart of Darkness, which he wanted so desperately to restore Janos, was inside Kain, and always had been. Mortanius had eventually realized his mistake in turning on the Ancient Vampires, and found out that the Pillars were holding something back that was far worse: the Hylden. In an act of atonement, he had used the Heart of Darkness to resurrect the nobleman Kain as a vampire, intending to create the champion foretold by the Ancients, destined to destroy the Hylden champion, and return the Pillars to Vampire rule. He believed Kain would restore Balance to Nosgoth.

Kain and Raziel fought. Initially, Kain had the upper hand and he battled Raziel into a semblance of submission. When Raziel asked, Kain admitted that he had no idea where the Heart of Darkness was; he'd never looked for it. Kain tried again to make Raziel listen to him, and understand that he had the free will to choose his own actions, while everyone else, including Kain, was "shackled" to the Wheel of Fate. Raziel was not swayed, and he attacked Kain, restarting their battle. This time Raziel was victorious, but as he tried to deliver a finishing blow, Kain caught his arm. Using Kain's body as a conduit, Raziel's soul started to be drawn into the physical Reaver which Kain was still holding. Flickering and fading, Raziel rallied, plunging his claws into Kain's chest. He ripped the Heart of Darkness out, then used telekinesis to throw Kain through a portal. It seemed that wherever Kain ended up, he was undoubtedly dead.

That assumption was proved false a bit later. Raziel resurrected Janos, forged the wraith-blade in the Spirit Forge, witnessed the fall of the Pillars, and fought with the Hylden Lord when he possessed Janos. The Hylden Lord triumphed over Raziel and destroyed his physical form, stranding him back in the Spectral Realm with the Elder God. While Raziel was detained, Kain awoke in the demon dimension, the "shadowy realm" to which the Hylden had been banished, so long ago. His nature as the Scion of Balance somehow let him survive even without the Heart of Darkness.¹ Kain battled several demons, and then exited the dimension with relative ease. He felt compelled to return to the Vampire Citadel immediately, so he did. Fans have speculated that this compulsion was due to Raziel's recent activation of the Spirit Forge, which summoned "the spirit of every Balance Guardian to itself".

Entering the Spirit Forge, Kain grinned when he saw that Moebius was already there at the bottom, talking to the (invisible) Elder God. Kain floated down behind him, and when Moebius mentioned his death, Kain surprised him, saying the Time Streamer was a "bit premature" in believing he was gone for good. Moebius' staff no longer worked on Kain, now the Heart of Darkness had been removed. Kain impaled Moebius on the Reaver. He wasn't bothered when Moebius insisted that he served "One who has power over life and death" - the Elder God who had already restored him to life once (when the fledgling vampire Kain had beheaded him a short time before), and could do so again.

Moebius died, and as a spirit, he humbly started to ask the Elder God to resurrect him. He didn't get to finish his sentence, as Raziel, standing unnoticed behind Moebius, thrust the wraith-blade through him. Moebius finally saw the Elder God for what it was - as his sight was 'purified' by the Spirit-imbued wraith-blade - before Raziel consumed him. Faced with an eternity trapped in the Spectral Realm, and now aware that Kain was alive with an important destiny to fulfil, Raziel made the choice required to arm the Scion of Balance for "his true endeavor". Kain was examining Moebius' staff when Raziel re-entered the Material Realm using Moebius' corpse as a host. Kain reacted instinctively, running 'Moebius' through with the Reaver.

Raziel manifested fully, and a horrified Kain realized his mistake. However, Raziel would not allow him to draw the sword back. Laying his hand on Kain's chest, the wraith-blade dispersed into Kain, healing his physical wounds (including the scar he had had since his assassination in Blood Omen), but crucially purifying him of the spiritual corruption he had had since birth.² Kain was now able to reclaim his destiny, as he wanted to in Soul Reaver 2. In his final moments before being absorbed into the Reaver, Raziel reaffirmed his loyalty to Kain with the words "I - am not your enemy - not your destroyer - I am, as before, your right hand. Your sword."

Kain was now able to see the Elder God. When the Elder threatened him and sent forth tentacles, Kain severed them with the Reaver - now the Soul Reaver. After a short fight, he teleported himself to the top of the Spirit Forge. The Elder angrily promised that one day Kain's "wretched, stagnant soul" would belong to it. Kain retorted that until that day, the Elder had "best burrow deep", then left.

Defiance ended with Kain gazing at the ruined Pillars from the Vampire Citadel, reflecting that "the strings of the puppets had become visible, and the hands of the prime mover exposed". He finally had hope for the future - that had been Raziel's last gift to him.

Dark Gift


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