The Reaver, and, later, the Soul Reaver, is a weapon which has appeared in every title in the Legacy of Kain series. It is a flamberge-class sword with a broad, undulating serpentine blade, forged from unknown materials. Through most of the series, it is the signature weapon of the vampire Kain, and plays a key role in the games, as both the protagonists' ultimate weapon and a story element. In its physical manifestation, it can be wielded in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Soul Reaver 2, Blood Omen 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance also include the later, spiritual version of the sword - the Wraith Blade - as a weapon.
The Reaver was originally an enchanted sword, forged by Vorador at the Ancient vampires' behest to destroy their prophesied adversary, the Hylden champion. It could drain its victims' Blood, but was altered when it absorbed the soul of the time-traveling wraith Raziel. Hereafter, Raziel's spirit inhabited the blade, and it obtained the ability to devour the souls of those it struck. Much later in Nosgoth's history, when Kain attacked Raziel with the physical blade, it proved unable to devour its younger self, and shattered, releasing Raziel's soul (the Wraith Blade). The sword's passage through time is a complicated one, and its existence has been, and will be, entwined with Raziel's for all infinity within the Nosgoth universe.
The Soul Reaver possessed many unique qualities beyond its originally-intended purpose. As it acted as a vessel for Raziel's soul, it could be used to decouple history, creating paradoxes and new timelines if brought into proximity with Raziel or another version of itself. Its power could only be temporarily quelled by an artifact known as the Nexus Stone, and it could be enhanced with magical powers by the Balance Emblem. Most importantly, the physical Soul Reaver was the only weapon in Nosgoth capable of harming the Elder God, damaging him in both the Material and Spectral Realms. Thus, it was a vital component in Kain's ambition to destroy the Elder and restore the land.
- "Time fades even legend, and the origin of Soul Reaver has been lost long ago. But its purpose remains – to feed on the souls of any creature it strikes. Kindred, this blade and I."
- ―Kain — Listen (file info)[src]
Compelled to Take it UpEdit
- "For all her magic, the Lady Azimuth was little trouble; once her demonic thralls had been dispatched she fell quickly to my blade."
- ―Kain — Listen (file info)[src]
In the events of Blood Omen, during his journey to kill the corrupt Circle of Nine and restore the Pillars of Nosgoth, the fledgling vampire Kain traveled to Avernus on his quest to cleanse the Pillar of Dimension, advised only that he would need to "rise, [and] fall, and find [his] salvation in between".[Blood Omen/7][Blood Omen/8] Once Kain entered Avernus Cathedral, he found that it touched upon different "dimensions", with a Heaven dungeon and a Hell dungeon creeping into the usual reality it had been built in. Negotiating the hazards of the building, Kain was able to "rise" into the Heaven dungeon, where he discovered and claimed the Soul Reaver, a "prize" caressed in the arms of an angelic statue.[Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen 2/5]
Kain recognized this fabled soul-devouring weapon, whose origin had "been lost long ago". He deemed it his "kindred", thoroughly unaware just how true his remark would prove.[Blood Omen/Miscellaneous] Azimuth, the Dimension Guardian, noted his discovery with surprise, having been unaware that the Soul Reaver was hidden in her Cathedral. The newfound blade was greatly effective in the battle against her; a single strike was enough to kill her.[Blood Omen/8] On his exit from the Cathedral, Kain found another artifact - a time-streaming device - and, investigating the manipulations of the Time Guardian Moebius, he later found himself embroiled in the Battle of the Last Stand between the legions of the Nemesis and Willendorf's Army of the Last Hope.[Blood Omen/8][Blood Omen/9]
As the Army of Hope was defeated, the time streaming device activated, and propelled Kain nearly fifty years into the past - the history preceding Blood Omen.[Blood Omen/9][Blood Omen/10] Seizing a chance to alter the fate of Nosgoth, Kain traveled to the stronghold of William the Just to eliminate the boy-king William the Just, who would one day become the tyrannical Nemesis and threaten the land. Kain overheard a conversation between Moebius and William, in which the Time Streamer provided William with the Soul Reaver of that earlier time period. Kain confronted William in battle, and, as arranged by Moebius, both were armed with incarnations of the blade. The presence of two Soul Reavers created a Reaver-convergence, enabling William to be killed and history to be changed.[Blood Omen/10][Soul Reaver 2/5] William's earlier incarnation of the blade was broken in two in the fight.[Blood Omen/10][Soul Reaver 2/1]
Now Coiled in Sinister EmbraceEdit
- "The Soul Reaver, Kain's ancient blade – older than any of us, and a thousand times more deadly.
The legends claimed that the blade was possessed, and thrived by devouring the souls of its victims.
For all our bravado, we knew what it meant when Kain drew the Soul Reaver in anger – it meant you were dead."
- ―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]
Kain, still ignorant of the Soul Reaver's true power and the implications of his actions, returned to the Blood Omen era to find that his murder of William had sparked a genocidal hatred of vampires amongst Nosgoth's human population.[Blood Omen/10][Soul Reaver 2/5][Blood Omen/11] Moebius had taken advantage of this, creating a mercenary army that had decimated the vampire race.[Soul Reaver 2/5][Blood Omen/11] Though he was able to defeat and kill Moebius, and continued his quest, the Time Streamer's manipulations had left him the last surviving vampire in Nosgoth.[Blood Omen/11][Blood Omen/12][Soul Reaver 2/2] After he discovered he was the Balance Guardian, and refused to sacrifice himself to restore the Pillars and Nosgoth, Kain retained possession of the soul-devouring blade, adopting it as his weapon of choice.[Blood Omen/12][Soul Reaver]
The Soul Reaver remained in Kain's hands for many centuries after the collapse of the Pillars, as he subjugated humanity and raised his vampire lieutenants.[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver/1] While he built his empire alongside his sons, the "ancient blade"'s already-fearsome reputation was compounded further; even the Council feared it above all else, appreciating that if Kain drew it against any foe, their death was imminent.[Soul Reaver/4] When Kain's firstborn lieutenant, Raziel, revealed his newly-pupated wings to the Council at the Sanctuary of the Clans, the sword sat cradled next to his throne.[Soul Reaver/1] After Raziel's subsequent execution in the Abyss, Kain held it until Raziel returned, revived by the Elder God as a wraith, five centuries later.[Soul Reaver/4]
Bent on revenge, Raziel soon infiltrated the Sanctuary of the Clans, where he found Kain waiting, armed with the Soul Reaver. Raziel feared the sword's power, but fought Kain, and, after a short battle, Kain raised it against him, preparing to attack.[Soul Reaver/4] "The ancient blade, believed to be indestructible, shattered when Kain attempted to strike Raziel down. The soul-devouring sentience captive in the blade was thus released, and binding itself to Raziel as a wraith-blade, became his symbiotic weapon". Incredibly, "Kain seemed not stunned, but strangely satisfied with this shocking outcome".[Soul Reaver/1] Raziel wielded the Wraith Blade throughout the events of Soul Reaver, but had barely begun to understand its significance - to his own future and all of Nosgoth's.[Soul Reaver]
The Reverence of a Holy IconEdit
- "And here I discovered the source of the displacement – the Soul Reaver itself, laid out like a holy relic... And broken, apparently in the battle between William and Kain.
I had not thought such a thing was possible...
Until, of course, Kain shattered the blade against me when he tried to strike me down.
Thus the captive spirit inhabiting the Reaver was released – and binding itself to me, became my symbiotic weapon."
- ―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]
Raziel pursued Kain back in time through a portal to the pre-Blood Omen era, still armed with the Wraith Blade.[Soul Reaver/15][Soul Reaver 2/Prologue] Initially, he attempted to use the blade to threaten Moebius after his arrival in the Sarafan Stronghold, but Moebius's Staff temporarily disabled it. Left alone in the Stronghold, Raziel found his way to the Sanctuary and William's chapel: William's body had been interred here, twenty years after Kain killed him, and the two halves of his broken Soul Reaver were splayed out on his sarcophagus. A "strange sensation" of "vertigo" and "displacement" crept over Raziel as he approached the chapel; it seemed as if "reality itself appeared to warp and bend", with the sense of dislocation intensifying as he came closer to the Soul Reaver.[Soul Reaver 2/1]
Here, as Raziel curiously examined it, the Wraith Blade involuntarily "snaked down the length of the physical blade". Though damaged, the "corporeal shell" was still inhabited by the captive, soul-devouring spirit - the Wraith Blade's "mirror self". As the Wraith Blade embraced the Soul Reaver, it took parasitic control of Raziel's actions, and he "felt [his] soul being leeched to restore the blade". Soul energy passed down his arm and into the sword, drawing the two halves of the Soul Reaver together; they were "instantly re-fused". Raziel confronted Moebius with the conjoined swords, but soon relented, discarding the corporeal Soul Reaver in the Sanctuary and continuing on his journey.[Soul Reaver 2/1]
While exploring the area beyond the Pillars, Raziel found a large sealed door depicting the Reaver and an ancient vampire. Using the Wraith Blade, he unlocked the door, and followed the passage to a Subterranean Pillars Chamber. Murals within were inscribed with images of the Reaver, revered as a holy weapon by this long-dead civilization.[Soul Reaver 2/2] In the Swamp, Raziel found the Dark Forge, one of a series of ancient vampire shrines engineered to enhance the Soul Reaver with elemental powers.[Soul Reaver 2/5][Soul Reaver 2/3][Soul Reaver 2/4][Soul Reaver 2/8] On his exit from the Forge, he encountered Vorador, who suggested he track down Janos Audron - the last of the ancient vampires, whom he referred to as the "Reaver Guardian".[Soul Reaver 2/3]
The Source of the DisplacementEdit
- "This one reckless act unravels the skein of history.
The Nemesis never becomes the Nemesis; William dies a martyred saint. I, the vampire assassin, become the author of my own species' extinction. And Moebius profits from it all.
I destroyed a tyrant only to create one far worse.
But how can it be so? How, if history is immutable?
The answer is here in this room, Raziel.
Moebius propelled William and me together – but ensured first that we were both armed with the Soul Reaver.
The Reaver is the key.
Two incarnations of the blade meet in time and space – a paradox is created, a temporal distortion powerful enough to derail history."
- ―Kain — Listen (file info)[src]
After forging the Wraith Blade to obtain the Light Reaver, Raziel was able to re-enter the Sarafan Stronghold and return to William's chapel, where he met Kain.[Soul Reaver 2/5][Soul Reaver 2/4] Kain elucidated on the nature of free will and destiny, explaining the Reaver-convergence effect created when Raziel's Wraith Blade came into contact with the Soul Reaver. He had long since deduced that only while in the proximity of two Soul Reavers had he been able to slay William and alter history: "the Reaver is the key", he uttered. Moebius had masterminded that particular paradox, but now Kain sought to trigger one of his own.[Soul Reaver 2/5]
Amidst the temporal distortions, Kain seized the healed Soul Reaver, back at its resting place on William's casket, and presented it to Raziel: now Raziel "[held] all the cards". History dictated that he would kill Kain here, but Raziel had the opportunity to defy his destiny and spare his former master. He tested Kain's sincerity by holding the blade to his throat, but the time-stream suddenly took hold, the pull of history compelling the Soul Reaver to strike Kain. At Kain's urging, Raziel gripped it and resisted its influence, trying to divert its course.[Soul Reaver 2/5]
The Soul Reaver smashed downwards and cleaved William's casket in two, narrowly avoiding Kain. History was changed, and visibly reshuffled before their eyes, the distortions in the room beginning to subside. Disdainful of Kain's future schemes and ambitions, Raziel departed, leaving the Soul Reaver embedded in the sarcophagus. Kain congratulated Raziel for sparing him, and simply told the wraith that his "truths [were] for [him] to discover alone" - that "there [was] much more for [him] to unearth, if [he had] the heart for the truth and the will to see it". He knew the Soul Reaver's deeper secret - the nature of its very origins - but divulged nothing as Raziel walked away.[Soul Reaver 2/5]
Safeguarded, and Rightfully MineEdit
- "The most formidable weapon ever forged by our swordsmiths...
They infused the blade with vampiric energy, empowering the Reaver to drain our enemies of their precious lifeblood."
- ―Janos Audron[src]
Threatening Moebius with the Light Reaver, Raziel got him to activate the Time Streaming Chamber intending to travel to Nosgoth's early history, but he was tricked by Moebius and sent to the demon infested Era following Blood Omen. In this era Raziel discovered the forge for the Air Reaver and was able to use it to unseal an abandoned Time Streaming Chamber in the swamp and use it to travel back to Nosgoth's early history.[Soul Reaver 2/5][Soul Reaver 2/6][Soul Reaver 2/7]
In this new era, Raziel infiltrated Janos' retreat and met the ancient vampire who attempted to give Raziel the original blood-devouring Reaver blade; but their meeting was interrupted by the Sarafan Inquisitors who were armed with Moebius's Staff and Raziel was teleported to the nearby Fire Forge as the Inquisitors battled Janos.[Soul Reaver 2/8] Imbuing the Fire Reaver, Raziel was able to return to the battle but was powerless to prevent the Sarafan killing Janos and taking the Heart of Darkness and the physical Reaver blade.[Soul Reaver 2/9]
Seeking revenge and to recover these losses, Raziel returned to the Sarafan Stronghold and soon discovered the physical Reaver laid across his path and when the wraith blade's power was nullified by Moebius's staff, Raziel was forced to wield the Reaver, using it to kill the Sarafan Inquisitors, including his human self.[Soul Reaver 2/9][Soul Reaver 2/Epilogue] After all foes were exhausted, the wraith blade returned as the power of the staff faded, but the wraith blade surprised Raziel by leaving his arm and entering the physical Reaver, turning the blade on him and impaling him. As he was slowly absorbed into the Reaver, Raziel realised that the Soul devouring entity within the blade was his future soul and the current physical Reaver was vacant - destined to be his eternal prison and creating the legendary 'Soul Reaver' blade. However Kain had other ideas and was able to exploit a momentary Reaver-convergence to save Raziel from the Reaver, changing history, creating a new timeline and temporarily sparing Raziel from his imprisonment within the blade; though as Raziel would quickly learn, the presence of the wraith blade in the Spectral Realm confirmed that Kain had only postponed Raziel's fate.[Soul Reaver 2/Epilogue]
In His Foul PossessionEdit
Blood Omen 2 showed that in the Era following Blood Omen of the Fourth timeline Kain had retained possession of the Reaver for two centuries following the Collapse of the Pillars of Nosgoth and he would be wield the blade throughout the rise of his vampire army and its conflict with the new Sarafan Order. Kain would wield the blade into the Battle of Meridian,[Blood Omen 2/1][Blood Omen 2 manual (UK)][Blood Omen 2 manual (US)] unaware that the Sarafan Lord had in his possession the Nexus Stone, an artifact that was able to negate the power of the Soul Reaver.[Blood Omen 2/5] With Kain unable to use the power of the blade, he was defeated and apparently killed by the Sarafan Lord who took the Reaver and began his own conquest of Nosgoth.[Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen 2/1][Blood Omen 2 manual (UK)][Blood Omen 2 manual (US)]
When Kain returned two centuries later, killing the Sarafan Lord and regaining control of Nosgoth were his main objectives, but he remained unaware of the whereabouts of the Soul Reaver for some time. After Kain infiltrated the Sarafan Keep to rescue Umah (in chapter 5) he was confronted by the Sarafan Lord, who was armed with the Soul Reaver.[Blood Omen 2/5] Umah was able to Teleport both vampires to Sanctuary before the Sarafan Lord struck,[Blood Omen 2/5][Blood Omen 2 strategy guide] but the revelation that the Sarafan Lord had possession of the Soul Reaver deepened Kain's resolve to kill and overthrow the Sarafan Lord.[Blood Omen 2/5]
The Sarafan Lord would again be armed with the blade when he interrupted Kain's meeting with the Seer at the Seer's Cottage (where the Sarafan Lord also demonstrated his ability to use Reaver Bolts).[Blood Omen 2/7] When Kain travelled to the Hylden City, he was confronted by the Sarafan Lord with the Reaver and with Kain now in possession of the Nexus Stone, their roles from the Battle of Meridian were reversed and the Sarafan Lord was unable to harm Kain with the Reaver.[Blood Omen 2/11][Blood Omen 2 strategy guide]
The Sarafan Lord briefly retreated, reappearing shortly afterward with the Reaver, to fire Reaver Bolts at Janos and Vorador shortly after they teleported to the Hylden City. Kain finally confronted the Sarafan Lord above the Hylden Gate and in the initial phases the Sarafan Lord fired Reaver Bolts at Kain, switching to direct attacks with the Reaver when Kain used the Nexus Stone to collapse the Hylden Gate. Only in the final phase of the battle was Kain able to regain use the Soul Reaver, after interference from Janos[Blood Omen 2/11][Blood Omen 2 strategy guide]. (it was however possible to access the Soul Reaver earlier using several methods - see 'Notes' below[Blood Omen 2].). With Kain armed with the legendary blade once again, the Sarafan Lord was defeated and killed along with the remaining Hylden in Nosgoth.[Blood Omen 2/11][Blood Omen 2 strategy guide]
Instrument of my DoomEdit
Defiance returned the narrative to the Elder Kain and Wraith Raziel's travels through time and revealed that with Raziel lost to the Spectral Realm, Kain had collected the vacant Reaver blade and kept possession of it as he investigated Nosgoth's early history in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. During his search throughout Nosgoth for the answers to his destiny and the whereabouts of Raziel, Kain found fragments of the Balance Emblem to augment the powers of the Reaver and when completed, the Balance Emblem consisted of the Balance Hub [Defiance/1] along with the Flame,[Defiance/3] Dimension,[Defiance/5] Lightning,[Defiance/7] and Time fragments;[Defiance/9] which each allowed a specific enhancement for the blade based upon the Pillars of Nosgoth. During the events of Defiance, Kain was able to use the completed Balance Emblem to enter the inner sanctum of the Vampire Citadel; where the "Oracle of the Ancient vampires" (the Elder God) sent him forwards in time to the events of Blood Omen to prevent Raziel's attempts to restore Janos Audron.[Defiance/9]
Meanwhile Raziel continued to use the wraith blade in the events of Blood Omen, now aware that it was in actuality a future version of his own soul; and parallel to Kain's search for augmentations for the physical (Blood) Reaver, Raziel also advanced his own wraith version by entering ancient spiritual forges and imbuing more permanent elemental enhancements. At each forge entrance, Raziel would be Teleported by a warp gate to sealed forge chambers within the Vampire Citadel, where he would be able to imbue the Reaver by allowing the wraith blade to consume the souls of the original ancient vampire pillars guardians. Forging the wraith blade with the Dark,[Defiance/4] Light,[Defiance/4] Fire,[Defiance/6] Air,[Defiance/6] Water[Defiance/8] and Earth,[Defiance/10] Raziel slowly discovered the ancient prophecy of the champion's battle. Learning of Vorador's forging of the blade and Janos's enchantment of it, Raziel became convinced once again that Janos held the key to his destiny and headed to Avernus to seek out the Heart of Darkness, where Raziel discovered that it had been hidden inside Kain.
Pure of All CorruptionEdit
As Raziel left Avernus Cathedral, Kain entered the building armed with the physical Reaver - with the two believing that they were the opposing champions of ancient prophecy and both were armed with their respective versions of the Reaver blade. With the Hylden fueling Raziel's rage, they fought and Raziel once again narrowly averting being absorbed by the vacant Reaver blade. Ultimately Raziel was was able to defeat and apparently kill Kain, blasting him into the Demon Realm and recovering the Heart of Darkness.[Defiance/11]
After Raziel revived Janos with the heart, Janos gave Raziel access to the final ancient enhancement at the Spirit Forge, locked deep within the ancient Vampire Citadel. All six acquired elements of the sword were required to open the means of imbuing the final transformation and as the other elemental forges had their energies guarded by their original Guardians, the Spirit Forge was operated by every balance guardian (represented by Ariel). After activating the forge and releasing Ariel, the final baptism of the blade cleansed the sword, gaining Raziel the powerful Spirit Reaver and giving Raziel a cryptic hint that he must "unite that which has been set asunder" for the Scion of Balance. Shortly afterward Raziel wielded the Spirit Reaver against the Hylden Lord when he possessed Janos at the Collapse of the Pillars, but was unable to prevent the Hylden Lord's escape and soon found himself in the Spectral Realm with his Material body dissolved, unable to strike the taunting Elder God with his phantom weapon.[Defiance/12]
But Kain had survived was able to survive and brought the physical Reaver back with him into the Material Realm and feeling the pull of the Spirit Forge activated by Raziel, returned to the Vampire Citadel where Kain killed a resurrected Moebius and Raziel sacrificed himself to create the Soul Reaver; whilst simultaneously dispersing the Spirit Reaver into Kain to heal him of his injuries and cleanse his corruption. Raziel was then drawn into the blade, transforming it into the legendary soul-devouring "Soul Reaver". After a short battle demonstrating the effectiveness of the Soul Reaver against the Elder God, Kain retired with the newly created Soul Reaver blade.[Defiance/13]
Rewrite to be completed
A complete history of the Reaver blade is difficult to produce because of the many loops it goes through in the timeline and the many gaps in its chronology - although much of its history from its creation to Kain's blade in Defiance can be deduced, as can the history from Kain's acquiring of the blade in Avernus to its ultimate dispersal It is currently not definitively known what happened to the blade following the creation of the Soul Reaver at the climax of Defiance: original plot outlines for Defiance contained a scene (which was ultimately cut) which featured Kain returning the Soul Reaver to Avernus, apparently for his younger self to find, though it is unclear how this scene would have fit in with the known chronology of the blade. Daniel Cabuco instead suggested that the Reaver was intended to be returned to "the base of the Pillars so William the Just could find it" (likely via Moebius) - with this action presumably allowing William to come into possession of the blade and wield it against the younger Kain in the history preceding Blood Omen in Blood Omen, thus triggering the First paradox. Other notable gaps surround the Soul Reaver blade used by William the Just against Kain; with it unresolved how William came into possession of the Reaver (though the influence of Moebius may be implied), and the path of the blade after its restoration and abandonment by Raziel (following the Second paradox) later in the Pre-Blood Omen era in Soul Reaver 2 also unclear; though it may be required to make its way to Avernus Cathedral by the events of Blood Omen for the fledgling Kain to acquire originally.
- Before Nosgoth's recorded history - the Reaver is forged by swordsmith Vorador who is turned as a reward. His sire Janos Audron and the other guardians cast various sorcery on the blade. Janos is called to be a tenth guardian - the guardian of the Reaver. Janos retains ownership of the blade for the next several centuries.
- Nosgoth's early history - Raziel arrives at Janos Audron's Retreat during the Sarafan Vampire purge. Janos tries to give Raziel the blade but Raziel rejects and the Sarafan storm the retreat, killing Janos and stealing the Reaver along with the Heart of Darkness. Raziel pursues the Sarafan commanders to the Sarafan Stronghold and find the Reaver laid across his path. He uses it to kill the inquisitors (including his former human self). Ultimately the vacant Reaver attempts to consume Raziel but Kain uses a brief Reaver-convergence to ignite the Third paradox, creating the Fourth timeline where Raziel is temporarily spared his fated imprisonment in the blade (in the third and presumably previous timelines, The 'Soul Reaver' is created here). As Raziel is 'lost' to the Spectral Realm, Kain retrieves the vacant Reaver blade.
- Nosgoth's early history/events of Blood Omen (time travel) - Kain wields the blade as he investigates Raziel's disappearance and succeeds in completing the Balance Emblem, temporarily imbuing the Reaver with the powers of Balance, Flame, Dimension, Lightning and Time, and gaining access to the "Oracle of the ancient vampires" who sends him to the Blood Omen era. Here Kain confronts Raziel but is unable to stop him and is blasted through a portal to the Demon Realm. Retaining possession of the Reaver blade Kain battles his way back to the Material Realm and finds his way to the Spirit Forge, where Raziel sacrifices himself to the blade to heal Kain of his corruption and create the 'Soul Reaver'
The Soul ReaverEdit
- events of Blood Omen - the Soul Reaver is created and is used by Kain to battle the Elder God, proving it to be an effective weapon.
Following this point the chronology of the blade is uncertain for some time and requires some time travel to match previously established appearances
- - ???
- Pre-Blood Omen era - Perhaps gifted by Moebius, William the Just wields the blade as a young Kain attacks him armed with a future version of the same weapon. A Reaver-convergence ensues that allows Kain to ignite the First paradox, change history by killing William. William's Reaver is broken in the battle.(in the First timeline Kain is unsuccessful and William continues to wield the blade for some years after) William's subjects are mobilised by Moebius into a mercenary army bent on eliminating the vampires.
- Pre-Blood Omen era - The broken Reaver blade is recovered by and placed on his sarcophagus in a dedicated chapel within the Sarafan Stronghold - now occupied by Vampire hunters. The wraith Raziel - armed with the future Reaver the Wraith Blade - finds the chapel and unwittingly causes a Reaver-convergence: in this encounter his energy is leeched to restore the Reaver. Some time after, Raziel returns to the chapel and discovers Kain waiting for him, Kain intentionally triggers a Reaver-convergence as he explains the nature of the phenomena. Kain is ultimately able to persuade Raziel to spare him at his fated death, triggering the Second paradox and changing history. (Regardless of any change in timeline, the Reaver remains here)
Following this point the chronology of the blade is uncertain for some time
- - ???
- events of Blood Omen - After being prompted by Ariel, Kain discovers the Soul Reaver in the Heaven dungeon of Avernus Cathedral and takes it as a weapon, using it to kill Azimuth, matriarch of Avernus and discovering a time-streaming device. Some time later Kain is tricked into going back in time to the history preceding Blood Omen and attempting to murder William the Just.
- Pre-Blood Omen era (time travel) - Kain arrives in the Pre-Blood Omen era and wields the Soul Reaver against the young king William who is likewise armed and a Reaver-convergence is triggered, with Kain successfully changing history and eliminating William from history, breaking his blade in the process. Kain discovers another time-streaming device and flees.
- events of Blood Omen - Kain returns to the events of Blood Omen and realises the changes that have taken place. He continues on his quest, although the Reaver is not necessarily required or seen in further battles. Ultimately rejecting to sacrifice himself, Kain causes the Pillars to collapse and may carry the Reaver as he does so.c
- Era following Blood Omen - Kain wields the Reaver as his signature weapon for the next two centuries, building up his vampire army and conquering Nosgoth. His path to conquest is stopped by a the Sarafan Lord who uses the Nexus Stone to nullify the power of the Reaver and Kain is defeated, with the Sarafan Lord recovering the Reaver after Kain is knocked off a cliff to his apparent demise. The Sarafan Lord holds the blade for the next two centuries as the new Sarafan take over Nosgoth.
- Later Era following Blood Omen Kain recovers and allies with the Cabal to defeat the Sarafan and recover the Reaver from the Sarafan Lord - who is seen wielding the blade on several occasions. Uncovering a Hylden plot Kain steals the Nexus Stone and wears it into the final confrontation with the Sarafan Lord, reversing their roles from centuries before. Ultimately Kain is victorious and manages to to recover the blade, Kill the Sarafan Lord and banish the Hylden. Kain retains ownership of the blade for many centuries after.
- events of Soul Reaver - Kain wields the blade for over a millenium as his empire conquers and rules Nosgoth. He carries it during Raziel's execution and still holds the blade centuries later when Raziel returns as a wraith. During his confrontation with Raziel at the Pillars, Kain attempts to strike Raziel down with the blade, but with the paradoxical meeting of the two versions of Raziel's soul causes the blade to shatter completely, freeing the Wraith Blade within. Raziel takes and wields the new sword as his symbiotic weapon.
The Wraith BladeEdit
- events of Soul Reaver - Raziel takes the wraith blade and uses it to enter the Silenced Cathedral, using it as his main weapon throughout the ret of his time in the events of Soul Reaver. Ultimately he takes it with him as he follows Kain to the Chronoplast and into the past.
- Pre-Blood Omen era (time travel) - Raziel wields the Wraith Blade as he explores Nosgoth's history and the history preceding Blood Omen, using it to trigger a Reaver-convergence that restores William the Just's broken blade and visits forges to temporarily imbue the Dark and Light Reavers. He returns to William's chapel and another Reaver-convergence aids Kain in ingniting the Second paradox, giving birth to the Third timeline. Raziel continues on and is sent to the Era following Blood Omen.
- Era following Blood Omen (time travel) - Raziel discovers the Air forge and imbues the Air Reaver, using it to open a Time streaming chamber which sends hime to Nosgoth's early history.
- Nosgoth's early history (time travel) - Raziel uses his Wraith blade enhancements to reach and enter Janos Audron's Retreat, where he meets Janos Audron who attempts to give him the physical Reaver. The Sarafan storm the retreat and Janos sends Raziel to the Fire forge where he imbues the Fire Reaver returning just in time to see the Sarafan murder Janos and steal the physical Reaver. Raziel gives chase and finds the physical Reaver but the wraith blade is disabled by Moebius's Staff. The Wraith blade recovers after Raziel has murdered his brothers with the physical blade and it turns the sword on Raziel, drawing him into the blade. Kain appears and ignites the Third paradox, spawning the Fourth timeline and sparing Raziel from this fate. Raziel slips into the Spectral Realm, where the presence of the Wraith blade confirms this is a temporary reprieve. (in the third and presumably prior timelines, Raziel is absorbed here and the Wraith blade is presumably dispersed)
- events of Blood Omen (time travel) - Raziel retains the Wraith blade as he is trapped in the Underworld until the events of Blood Omen. Exploring Nosgoth he finds warp gates which enable him to travel to the Vampire Citadel and activate permanent versions of the Dark, Light, Fire, Air, Water and Earth Reavers. Raziel wields the Wraith Blade in a confrontation with Kain in Avernus and is victorious, blasting Kain into the Demon Realm. Ultimately Raziel is sent to the Spirit Forge and uses his previous enhancements to imbue the Spirit Reaver. When Kain returns Raziel sacrifices himself to the physical blade to create the 'Soul Reaver' while at the same time dispersing the purified Spirit Reaver into Kain to purify him of his corruption - thus freeing himself from millennia of imprisonment.
The Soul Reaver first appeared as a weapon in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, where the fledgling Kain found the Reaver for the first time in the depths of Avernus Cathedral. In that game, the Reaver was a two-handed weapon, meaning that whilst wielding it, Kain was unable to cast any spells or use any items. The Reaver was incredibly powerful in game and when fully charged, it could kill (non-boss) enemies in a single strike but also drained Kain's magical energy[Blood Omen manual (Windows)] and was only as powerful as his Iron Sword when his magical energy was fully depleted.[Blood Omen strategy guide] Though the plot implications of the Soul Reavers usage were only discussed in later games, it is necessary to use it to kill both Azimuth and William the Just in their boss battles.
The Soul Reaver blade returned in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver where the blade was observed in the opening cutscene and during Raziel's confrontation with Kain at the Sanctuary of the Clans. After the destruction of the physical blade in that battle, Raziel gained a version of the blade as his symbiotic weapon, the Wraith Blade. The Wraith Blade, much like the physical Soul Reaver in Blood Omen, was the most powerful weapon in the game and was able to dispatch most enemies with a small number of strikes and a finishing move (Spears were the only other weapon that allowed the use of a finishing move).Once gained, the Wraith Blade could be used at any time in the Spectral Realm, though it could be used in the Material Realm only when Raziel's Health coil was completely filled. Once manifest in the Material Realm it would sustain Raziel's form, preventing the usual drain on his health, however a single strike from an enemy would disperse the blade until Raziel topped up his Soul Spiral.[Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver/4][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)] After Raziel gained the Telekinetic force projectile, he was able to use the Wraith Blade to fire Reaver bolts and the Wraith Blade could also (optionally) be upgraded with the Fire Reaver enhancement.[Soul Reaver manual (UK)][Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]
Raziel's use of the Wraith Blade continued into Soul Reaver 2 with much of the same game mechanics asits predecessor(though Raziel did not initially have the Fire Reaver). After Raziel's first meeting with the physical Soul Reaver blade the Wraith Blade was 'upgraded', allowing Raziel to summon it at will, regardless of his health; this had a cost however, as using the Wraith Blade quickly filled the Reaver bar 'over-arousing' the Reaver and causing it to turn it's hunger on Raziel. Throughout the game Raziel was able to imbue the Reaver with various enhancements (Dark,Light, Air and Fire) and in the final stages Raziel gained the physical (Blood) Reaver which along with being the most supposed most powerful weapon in the game (it could only be tested on the elite Sarafan Inquisitors) also temporarily made him invincible.[Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]
In Blood Omen 2 the Soul Reaver was stolen from Kain by the Sarafan Lord [Blood Omen 2 manual (UK)][Blood Omen 2 manual (US)] and it would be seen throughout the game in the hands of the Sarafan Lord, though in the storyline it could only be used by Kain in the final boss battle against the Sarafan Lord. The Soul Reaver could be unlocked earlier by using cheats or other methods such as Bonus mode - upon starting a new game, Kain would be attired in the Iron Armor and armed with the Soul Reaver (this combination is also visible in the first cutscene at the intro which glazes over the Collapse of the Pillars of Nosgoth) when used, the Reaver was immensely powerful allowing Kain to easily defeat all non-boss enemies with approximately three slashes. The Reaver's moveset made it effectively a Long swords variant; with the same combinations, pommel/impale grabs (the power of the impale grab upgrades it to 'instant kill' status) and Fury strikes. As with the other 'instant kill' weapons, the Reaver's Stealth Kills were a decapitation and jumping downward smash (an upgrade over long sword variants simple downward smah). Unlike other weapons, Kain was unable to drop the Reaver and it was unbreakable.
In Legacy of Kain: Defiance, both Raziel and Kain were armed with different versions of the Reaver as their only weapon (Raziel armed with the Wraith Blade and Kain with the physical 'Blood' Reaver blade). As the only weapon available, the Reaver was a vital part of combat technique, with both Raziel and Kain able to Feed The Reaver, thereby filling Reaver charge, which enabled the use of Charged attacks and Reaver spells (see also Combat (Defiance)). The Reaver could also be upgraded with several enhancements (with Dark, Light, Fire, Air, Water, Earth and Spirit for Raziel; andBalance, Flame, Dimension, Lightning and Time for Kain) which could be imbued by forging the blade in a particular forge within the Vampire Citadel, or by collecting fragments of the Balance Emblem.[Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide] Each collected enhancement had specific applications for combat or puzzles and these often changed the Charged Attacks and Reaver Spells. In the final part of the game, Raziel's sacrifice created the final enhancement; the Soul Reaver blade, supposedly the most powerful weapon in the game (though as in other games; it can only be used in the final boss battle).
Throughout Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance it has been possible for Raziel and Kain to imbue the Reaver with a series of different 'elemental' enhancements; most were cut from the Soul Reaver but in successive games, more of the planned Reaver list was completed .
Legacy of Kain: Soul ReaverEdit
Though only the Fire Reaver made it into the finished game a series of other Reaver enhancements (related to the methods of killing vampires in that game) were planned but cut before release. Each enhancement would have been gained from small specialized forge (like the Fire Forge in the finished release) and once enhanced the elemental affinity could be regained by exposing the Reaver to the appropriate element.
Soul Reaver ReaversEdit
- Spectral Reaver (unmentioned)
- Material Reaver (unmentioned)
- Fire Reaver
- Water Reaver (cut from final game)
- Stone Reaver (cut from final game)
- Sound Reaver (cut from final game)
- Sunlight Reaver (cut from final game)
- Spirit Reaver(cut from final game)
- Ariel Reaver (cut from final game)
- Amplified Reaver (cut from final game)
Soul Reaver 2Edit
The enhancements included for Soul Reaver 2 were based on more traditional elements than those used in Soul Reaver. As before each enhancement had a (large and complicated) individual forge that could be used to imbue the enhancement and once forged, the element could be re-imbued at Reaver Fonts throughout Nosgoth. Once again several Reaver enhancements were planned but not included in the final game, with their respective forges removed (though ruins of the Spirit Forge remain)
Soul Reaver 2 Reavers Edit
- Spectral Reaver (unmentioned)
- Material Reaver (unmentioned)
- Dark Reaver
- Light Reaver
- Air Reaver
- Fire Reaver
- Water Reaver (cut from final game)
- Earth Reaver (cut from final game)
- Spirit Reaver (cut from final game)
Legacy of Kain: DefianceEdit
In Defiance the Reavers list from previous games was finally completed, along with a set of new Reaver enhancements for Kain. Each was imbued at a specific forge in the Vampire Citadel (in the case of Raziel) or by collecting fragments of the Balance Emblem (in the case of Kain) and once forged could be selected again at any time. As in previous games several Reaver enhancements were planned but not included in the final release.
Defiance Reavers: RazielEdit
- Spectral Reaver (default Spectral Realm manifestation)
- Material Reaver (default Material Realm manifestation)
- Light Reaver (blinds enemies, operates crystal oriented devices)
- Dark Reaver (makes Raziel invisible, can create matter from darkness)
- Fire Reaver (burns enemies)
- Air Reaver (launches shockwave)
- Water Reaver (can turn water into ice and vice-versa)
- Earth Reaver (grants Raziel control over his own weight, used to create earth brigdes)
- Spirit Reaver (the only Reaver attuned to the Balance element, can also manifest in the spectral realm)
Defiance Reavers: Kain (Balance Emblem)Edit
- Balance Emblem - A blast that damages surrounding enemies and strengthens its wielder
- Flame - Deals Fire Damage to attacked foes and causes its enemies to attack each other (also enhance Kain's own pyrokinesis)
- Dimension - allows the wielder to move at the speed of light and make clones of themselves. Also allows the wielder to disperse damage done to one of the enemies in the area.
- Lightning - allows its wielder to manipulate lightning
- Time - all enemies are slowed down drastically
- The Soul Reaver - obtained at the final battle with the Elder God.
- Mind (cut from final game)
- Nature (cut from final game)
- States (cut from final game)
- Death (cut from final game)
The Soul Reaver was notably not originally conceived as part of the Legacy of Kain series but was part of Silicon Knights early concepts for another title - Too Human. In 1993 Denis Dyack was searching for publishers for the early concepts of The Pillars of Nosgoth (The precursor to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain), Too Human and one other (unknown) proposal, and met with Crystal Dynamics Lyle Hall. Too Human was almost pursued, but Crystal Dynamics "thought fantasy would go over more then Sci-Fi", and chose to craft The Pillars of Nosgoth for the 32-bit marketplace. The Soul Reaver, which was originally intended to be a weapon in Too Human, was then transplanted to the "vampire action RPG", which Hall and Dyack felt could evolve the genre.
- The Soul Reaver is illustrated in all of the Legacy of Kain comics[SR1-Comic][Soul Reaver strategy guide (Eidos)][DEF-Comic], appearing in all of its forms in the Legacy of Kain: Defiance comic[DEF-Comic].
- The Soul Reaver in Blood Omen:Legacy of Kain depletes Kain's Magic energy and is only effective when Kain has an appropriate amount of Magic Energy[Blood Omen][Blood Omen manual (Windows)]. In later games The Soul Reaver's dependence on 'magic' is dropped, though this may be because Magic Energy itself is not seen again in the series. Arguably Defiance's Reaver spells and Charged attacks can be seen as developments of this concept[Defiance][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide].
- In Blood Omen, the Soul Reaver makes a distinctive 'screaming' sound[Blood Omen]. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver gave the Wraith Blade a Light Saber-like 'Swoosh' sound effect (perhaps as homage to the Star Wars Franchise)[Soul Reaver]. Throughout Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance the tone and pitch of the 'swoosh' varied with the various Elemental Reavers[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver 2][Defiance]. When Raziel finally acquired the Spirit Reaver in Defiance, the sound effect has graduated to once again become a 'scream' reminiscent of the sound effect in Blood Omen.[Defiance]
- The Soul Reaver also appears in other Crystal Dynamics titles and available to use as a weapon in Tomb Raider Legend, where it unlocks for Lara to use completion of the game or through a cheat code. The Reaver also appears as an Easter egg in Rise of the Tomb Raider where it can be found embedded in a wall on the level directly above the 'Tomb of the Prophet' fast travel point after completion of the game. It can also be glimpsed in Legacy of Kain artwork featured in the 'Raziel and Kain' DLC pack of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. but does not physically feature in that title.
- Wraith Blade
- Blood Omen Weapons and Armor at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn).
- Defiance - Kain's Reavers at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Walter).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Soul Reaver 2: Background Story at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- ↑ Miscellaneous Questions & Answers at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ SR2 Air Forge and Defiance Forges at DCabDesign (by The Hylden), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ Placing the Soul Reaver in Avernus Page at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- ↑ Soul Reaver 2 questions at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
- ↑ Weapons: The Soul Reaver Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Blood Omen:Legacy of Kain. Silicon Knights (Eidos Interactive). (1996) Official Silicon Knights Blood Omen Guide - Items, Spells and Forms.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 SR1 The Elemental Reavers at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- ↑ SR1 - The Ariel Reaver at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- ↑ SR1 - The Amplified Reaver at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 SR2 Deleted Elemental Reavers at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Defiance Deleted Reaver Upgrades Page at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- ↑ Behind the Scenes at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Playing Catch-Up: GEX's Lyle Hall at Gamasutra (by Alistair Wallis)
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Tears in Rain - Blog #35 at the IGN Boards (by silicon-knights), post #17 (by DenisDyack)
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 Too Human: the game that will never be at Unseen 64 (by monokoma/Denis Dyack)