- "Behind Kain’s eyes, I could see new memories blooming and dying, as history labored to reshuffle itself around this monumental obstruction...
And I could see by the dawning horror on his face that perhaps we had strained history too far this time...
... that by trying to alter my fate, he may have introduced a fatal paradox."
- ―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]
This event, identifiable as the third paradox witnessed in the Legacy of Kain series, was an extreme temporal distortion created by Raziel, Kain and the Reaver in the Sarafan Stronghold, during Nosgoth's early history. It postponed Raziel's destiny to become the soul-devouring entity trapped within the Reaver, and spawned a "monumental obstruction" which forced the course of Nosgoth's history to reshuffle. The paradox replaced the third timeline with the fourth timeline, directly altering the destinies of virtually every significant character in the Legacy of Kain series, and enabling the events of Legacy of Kain: Defiance and Blood Omen 2 to occur.
The third paradox occured in the Epilogue chapter of Soul Reaver 2 and changed the Third timeline to the Fourth timeline - causing widespread alterations in the timeline that totally changed the Era following Blood Omen in particular - many of which were not fully explained for the rest of the series. The paradox was caused by Kain's manipulation of a brief Reaver-convergence in Nosgoth's early history at the creation of the Soul Reaver, to allow Raziel to temporarily postpone his fate to enter the blade.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2/Epilogue][Blood Omen 2][Defiance]
After exploring Nosgoth's past and discovering his role within it, Raziel had been told by Kain of the First paradox and the significance of the Reaver-convergence and had used just such a convergence to trigger the Second paradox, sparing Kain from his fated death. Uncovering his human past as murderer of Janos Audron, Raziel had chased the Sarafan commanders back to the Sarafan Stronghold in Blade of Vengeance, determined to avenge Janos' murder and recover both the Heart of Darkness and the Reaver.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2/5][Soul Reaver 2/9]
Breaching the stronghold, Raziel was able to recover the Reaver blade after a brief confrontation with Moebius and Malek and although wary of the ease with which he was able to find it, Raziel was left with little choice but to wield the sword as his own Wraith Blade was disabled by Moebius's Staff. As he progressed through the building, Raziel was confronted by each of the commanders in turn, finally appreciating that he had been their killer all along. Fittingly the last to confront him was his former human self, who met him in the Chapter House - where the deaths of the commanders had been memorialised years later in the history preceding Blood Omen - and Raziel realised that he was his own murderer as well.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2/9][Soul Reaver 2/Epilogue]
After the death of the Sarafan Raziel, the Wraith Blade was able to manifest again and doing so it turned the physical Reaver against the wraith Raziel, impaling him on the sword and pulling his soul into the it as Raziel reached the epiphany that he was and had always been the captive Soul devouring spirit within the Soul Reaver blade - the physical blade he held was vacant and destined to be his prison.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2/Epilogue]
As Raziel despaired Kain showed himself. Raziel immediately blamed Kain for his predicament and Kain urged Raziel to simply let go. As Raziel's strength faded he felt a growing distortion and he realised that there was a brief paradoxical moment where his soul hovered both outside and within the blade - when two Soul Reavers were present. Taking advantage of this brief window of opportunity, Kain was able to wrench the blade free, supposedly sparing Raziel from his fate. But as the temporal distortions continued it became clear that as much more serious and threatening change had occured - the distortions ultimately subsided, but Kain was left with new memories and desperately tried to warn Raziel of the future - these ultimately went unheard as Raziel slipped into the Spectral Realm.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2/Epilogue]
Both Blood Omen 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance took place on this new Fourth timeline, but it was initially unclear how the consequences of the Third paradox had caused such drastic changes in the timeline and the heavily altered Era following Blood Omen. Ultimately Defiance revealed that Raziel's continued existence and Free will had contributed greatly to the new changes: allowing him to revive Janos Audron and thus provide the Hylden with the vessel they sought to open the Hylden Gate and begin their return to the Material Realm.[Blood Omen 2][Defiance] A further facet to this new timeline was Vorador's resurrection after his events of Blood Omen death - leading to the creation of a new generation of Vampires - Vorador and his progeny were featured heavily in Blood Omen 2, but the resurrection went unexplained in Defiance, although it was intended to have been featured at that stage.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/11][Blood Omen 2][Defiance]
- Third timeline (Unseen) - Kain arrives in the Chapter House in Nosgoth's early history as Raziel is being absorbed into the Reaver, but is unable to change history. Raziel is absorbed into the blade and the Soul Reaver is created.
- Fourth timeline (Fulfilled) - Kain arrives in the Chapter House in Nosgoth's early history as Raziel is being absorbed into the Reaver and is able to use a brief Reaver-convergence to prevent Raziel entering the blade. Raziel's extended influence upon the timeline means that before the Soul Reaver is created in the events of Blood Omen he is able to revive Janos Audron - unwittingly freeing the Hylden in the process - and purify Kain; thereby contributing to the rise of new factions that will battle for control of Nosgoth in a greatly altered Era following Blood Omen.
- The Third Paradox is never explicitly titled in sources and it may not truly be the 'third' of such temporal distortions - with potential evidence for "previous timeline[s]" prior to those seen in the series even suggesting there were unseen paradoxes before the First paradox. It is however the third to be shown in the narrative order of the series and is thus the third paradox event seen by the audience.
- The heavily altered Era following Blood Omen of the Fourth timeline (as seen in Blood Omen 2) ultimately hinges upon the decisions made by Raziel in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. The revival of Janos Audron is one such change that has far reaching consequences.[Blood Omen 2][Defiance] The other major change is the resurrection of Vorador following his death in the events of Blood Omen at the hands of Vampire hunters (as seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain).[Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen][Blood Omen/11] The event has to date not been shown or explained within the series, although both Vorador's death and subsequent revival are implied to have occured in Blood Omen 2 dialogue.[Blood Omen 2][Blood Omen 2/11] The resurrection was planned to have been shown in Defiance, with Raziel completing the revival as part of a quest set by Umah, however it was ultimately cut and left for a potential sequel to explain - probably in a different manner given the conclusion of Defiance.[Defiance]
- Dialogue in Epilogue suggest that the Third paradox comes perilously close to triggering a Fatal paradox. Such a possibility was discussed by Kain and Raziel beneath the ruins of Janos Audron's Retreat in A Fateful Meeting - with the supposed result being that the "irritant[s]" would be expelled from the timeline. Raziel's dialogue in Epilogue suggests that this scenario nearly plays out in this paradox but the distortion eventually subsides.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2/Epilogue][Soul Reaver 2/5]
- My Visit to Crystal Dynamics at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- Question and Answer with Jen, Richard, and Kyle at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- Question and Answer with Amy Hennig at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- The Resurrection of Vorador at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln).
- The Players at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
- GLoK Interviews with Amy Hennig at Nosgothic Realm (by Raziel Fan), post #4 (by RazielFan)
|Timelines and Temporal Paradoxes