The Pillar of Death is one of the nine Pillars of Nosgoth, and the easternmost one on the dais. Attuned to the property of Death, it was preserved for most of its existence by the Human Guardian Mortanius, and was eventually sundered in the Collapse of the Pillars following his death. Its pillar token was Mortanius's Death Orb. The Pillar appears throughout the entirety of the Legacy of Kain series.
As one of the Pillars of Nosgoth, the Pillar of Death appeared throughout the Legacy of Kain series, debuting in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. The Pillar was present along with its peers in the Pillars of Nosgoth areas of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Legacy of Kain Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance and could be revisited in all titles after its initial appearance.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/2][Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver/6][Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2/2][Defiance][Defiance/5] The Pillar could also briefly be seen in the Blood Omen 2 introduction and was featured in illustrations in comics.[Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen 2/1][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Eidos)][Defiance comic]
Constructed in Nosgoth's early history, the Pillar of Death was corrupted in the history preceding Blood Omen when Ariel was murdered by the Dark Entity. Upon finding her corpse, her lover - the Guardian of the Pillar of the Mind, Nupraptor - was driven mad by grief and unleashed a frenzy of mental energy, which drove all of his fellow Guardians insane and simultaneously corrupted their Pillars.[Blood Omen/2][Blood Omen/3][Soul Reaver 2/2]
The Pillar of Death could be the seventh or eighth of the Pillars to be restored during Kain's initial quest, and enjoyed the least time in its unblemished state. It was briefly returned to normal when Kain offered Mortanius's Death Orb to it, following Mortanius's demise at the Dark Entity's hands.[Blood Omen/11] Shortly afterward, Kain chose to refuse the Sacrifice and triggered the Collapse of the Pillars. Now rotten to its core, the festering stump of the Pillar of Death was all that remained, alongside its eight counterparts.Lasting in this state into the late events of Soul Reaver the pillar would be visited by Raziel in pursuit of his vendetta against Kain and he too would return to gather advice from Ariel.[Blood Omen/12][Soul Reaver/6]
As Raziel and Kain traveled through time in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance they would encounter the pillar several more times in different states in different eras - pristine in Nosgoth's early history and the history preceding Blood Omens,[Soul Reaver 2/2][Soul Reaver 2/7][Soul Reaver 2/9][Defiance/5] corrupted in the Pre-Blood Omen and events of Blood Omens,[Soul Reaver 2/2][Soul Reaver 2/3][Defiance/6][Defiance/12] and collapsed in the Blood Omen and Era following Blood Omens.[Soul Reaver 2/5][Soul Reaver 2/7][Defiance/12][Defiance/13] Ultimately it was revealed that the Pillar of Death - like its peers - was constructed by the Ancient vampires to bind the banishment of their enemies, the Hylden race, into the Demon Realm.[Soul Reaver 2/2][Soul Reaver 2/4][Defiance/4] It was originally guarded by an Ancient Vampire - the Original Death Guardian[Defiance/8] - and its creation marked the close of the Vampire-Hylden war.[Soul Reaver 2/2][Soul Reaver 2/3][Soul Reaver 2/4][Defiance/4]
In Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, the Pillar of Death was decorated with a motif of numerous skulls set against a black background.[Blood Omen] In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, this was replaced with a simple mauve-colored band.[Soul Reaver] All further games have depicted the Pillar with a black-colored band and the Death symbol, introduced in Soul Reaver 2.[Soul Reaver 2][Blood Omen 2][Defiance] Explaining the changes, series art director Daniel Cabuco commented: "The symbol designs themselves from Blood Omen 1 were pretty craptastic wallpapers. I don't believe they served the intention of making the pillars look serious and powerful. So we designed symbols, just like we did for the clans, the runes, and everything else that was important. There's not that much of a story other than all of us looking at each other as we went over the original designs and saying 'Seriously?! We can't move forward with these as originals.. no way!'" One instance of what may be an alternative symbol is seen in Soul Reaver 2's Light Forge.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2/4]
The exposure of the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver alphas in 2020 showed that the process of redesigning the Pillars symbols had originally been tried during the development of Soul Reaver - with prototype symbols for each pillar visible in the earliest builds. The prototype Death symbol was not seen again - although other prototype symbols were reused in a promotional capacity. The prototype Death symbol is the same as the prototype Balance symbol but flipped over.
- Though it does appear in the Vorgeschichte, the Pillar of Death cannot be seen in the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver comic, and is only identifiable from its position in the Legacy of Kain: Defiance comic. In the former, only the Pillar of Balance is seen, and in the latter, only six of the Pillars are depicted - despite the missing intermediates, the Pillar of Death is presumably the easternmost one seen.[Soul Reaver strategy guide (Eidos)][Soul Reaver comic][Defiance comic] It is also uniquely absent from most of Soul Reaver 2's concept art.[Soul Reaver 2]
- Like its peers, the Pillar of Death is seen underground in the Subterranean Pillars Chamber of Soul Reaver 2. Here it bears no identifying marks and only its position allows it to be pinpointed.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2/2]
- Pillars of Nosgoth (BO1/SR1/SR2/Sub/DEF)
- Death Guardian (Original Death Guardian/Mortanius)
- Mortanius's Death Orb
- Death Glyph
- Death fragment
- Legacy of Kain Wiki:Death (Reaver enhancement)