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"You must delve further back into history, Kain, to know the truth of our heritage. Long ago, and long before I first walked the earth, vampires were god-like, and our kind ruled the land. But we were opposed by another race, similar to ours in power, but different in method and intention. The wars between us flamed for a thousand years. But we prevailed at last, and we banished our enemies from the face of the earth by powerful magic, sealing them into another plane of existence."
―Janos Audron[src]

The vampire-Hylden war was an epic conflict which raged before Nosgoth's recorded history. It was fought between the Ancient vampires and the Hylden, and was provoked by their fundamental disagreement regarding the philosophy of the Wheel of Fate. Though the ancient vampires revered the Wheel and the Elder God, the Hylden rejected this doctrine, and the vampires declared war in response. Several atrocities ensued over the following millennium, punctuated by the vampires' Genesis of the Pillars. which sealed the Hylden race in the Demon Realm. The Hylden responded with one final retaliation: the blood curse, which transformed the vampires into sterile, immortal predators.

The war spanned some of the earliest known points of the Nosgoth timeline. Old vestiges of its events were recorded as murals at hidden sites across the land, but, for the most part, it was entirely forgotten by the human commonfolk as soon as Nosgoth's early history, living on only in the memory of a handful of individuals. The enmity between both races never healed, with the ancient vampires becoming extinct as the Hylden strived to break the Binding which perpetuated their banishment. The war was first introduced to the Legacy of Kain backstory in Soul Reaver 2, and further elaborated on in Blood Omen 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance.


Combatants Like None I Had Ever Seen[]

"What am I to make of these secrets I've uncovered, then? The depictions of the winged race, the Pillars, and the Reaver?"
―Raziel — Listen (file info)[src]

The war between the Ancients and the Hylden began because of the Hylden's open rejection of Ancients' God and his Wheel of Fate, which cast their souls in a cycle of reincarnation.

The war prompted the creation of a weapon with which the Hylden hoped to wiped out the life of the world apart from their own race. This was known as the Device, channelling the energies of a creature known as the Mass, constructed by a Hylden known practically as The Builder. The Mass was said to be able to destroy any creature with a thought, but lacked an energy source or personal sentience with which it could project its ability. Before a solution could be found, the Ancients defeated the Hylden, and constructed the Pillars of Nosgoth, which utilised powerful magic to banish the Hylden to the Demon Realm.

The Hylden did not go quietly, however, and retaliated as a last stand with a final Blood curse, turning the Ancients into Vampires. The nature of this curse was three-fold: To first impose an animalistic blood-thirst upon their noble enemies, turning them to savage beasts; to render them sterile and incapable of continuing their species, and thus, their magic on the Pillars; and to render them immortal, and thus unable to die of old age to naturally return their souls to the Wheel of Fate. As the curse became apparent, many Vampires committed suicide to rejoin their God who, in light of their new abilities, had gone silent to them.

The War Between Your Kind and Mine[]

"Throughout this ancient shrine, murals depicted the winged race, and the apocalyptic war against their mysterious – and equally inhuman – adversaries. These winged beings, it seemed, were not only the architects of the Pillars but of this enigmatic place, as well. And just as in the Pillars chamber, this shrine was adorned throughout with imagery of the Reaver – depicted with the reverence of a holy icon."

To Keep My Master's Wheel Turning[]

"Yes, yes... The Device was built as a weapon, eons ago when two races warred with each other for dominance of Nosgoth. It houses an ancient creature, whose very mind is capable of killing any living thing with but a thought. The Device was to channel the mental energy of this creature, and direct it onto Nosgoth. It would attune the creature's mind to kill all living creatures except for my race. Before it could be completed, however, I was imprisoned here, and the rest of my race was banished to another, far more terrible, realm."
―The Builder[src]

"Throughout these ruins I found murals depicting the seminal events of Vampire history. These scenes commemorated a great war between the Ancient vampires and their rivals. In triumph, they banished their adversaries from the world, and raised the Pillars as the lock that binds them."



See also[]



Preceded by:
The Earliest history
Nosgoth's historical events
The vampire-Hylden war
Before Nosgoth's recorded history
Followed by:
The Genesis of the Pillars