- "In merely a decade, Moebius’s cutthroat citizen army has nearly accomplished what the Sarafan could not."
Moebius's Mercenary Army, also known as Moebius's Peoples Army, Moebius's Vampire Hunters or simply Vampire Hunters, were a vampire hunting faction in Nosgoth's Pre- and events of Blood Omens in the second and later timelines. Led by Moebius, the order was founded in the history preceding Blood Omen after Kain's murder of King William the Just (orchestrated by Moebius) changed history causing William's grief-stricken subjects to develop a genocidal hatred of Vampires. Fifty years after its foundation the execution of Vorador, last of the eras vampires left the vampire race virtually extinct, with unique vampire Kain the last survivor of the species. After the death of Moebius and extermination of the vampires, the hunters adapted to new threats, becoming Demon hunters.
- "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."
Moebius's Army had its roots in the time-manipulations of Moebius and Kain in the history preceding Blood Omen. In the First timeline, Kain would witness the rise of the Legions of the Nemesis who would come to dominate Nosgoth, as Moebius's corrupting influence turned the young boy-king William the Just into the tyrant 'the Nemesis'.[Soul Reaver 2/5] Years later, having experienced the final victory of the Nemesis, Kain was transported fifty years into the past [Blood Omen/9][Blood Omen/10] and presented with the opportunity to alter history, unaware he was being manipulated by Moebius.[Soul Reaver 2/5]
Seeking to assassinate the young-boy king before he became the Nemesis, Kain traveled to the Stronghold of William the Just and confronted William, shortly after a meeting with Moebius. With both Kain and William armed with the Soul Reaver blade[Blood Omen], a paradox was created, allowing Kain to change history and murder William before his time.[Soul Reaver 2/5] Confident he had thwarted Moebius's plans, Kain returned to the present, ignorant of the true scale of the changes he had made.[Blood Omen/10][Blood Omen/11]
Moebius took advantage of Kain's reckless act and with William dying as a martyred saint, he was able to galvanize William's grief-stricken citizens into a genocidal hatred of vampires. Backed by popular support, Moebius organized a new vampire purge, raising an army of hired mercenaries to hunt down the vampires.[Soul Reaver 2/5][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Defiance manual][Defiance strategy guide]
- "In my absence, the estate had been overrun by Moebius's soldiers. I hoped that they had not yet found the entrance to the crypt, or discovered the body of Janos. Of Vorador, there was no sign. "
By the time Raziel arrived in the history preceding Blood Omen a few years after William's death, Moebius's hunters, though somewhat disorganized, had become a major force in Nosgoth and their vampire purges had begun to have a devastating effect on vampire populations.[Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)] The mercenaries lionized the legendary crusades of the Sarafan and William's martyrdom and had taken control of the former Sarafan Stronghold,[Soul Reaver 2/1] which was appropriately decorated it with chapels dedicated to the fallen martyrs of the past.[Soul Reaver 2/1] Apparently assisted by technology that immobilized the vampires (such as Moebius's Staff[Soul Reaver 2/1]) the army was acknowledged (by elder vampire Vorador) as already close to accomplishing the complete extinction of the vampires and eclipsing their predecessors.[Soul Reaver 2/3]
The height of the order would occur in the events of Blood Omen fifty years after William's death and by this time the victory of the hunters was nearly complete, with few vampires remaining. When Kain returned from his excursion into the past changing history, he was soon assailed by Vampire hunters and began to grasp that something was amiss.[Blood Omen/11] Following the sound of cheers and the scent of vampire blood,[Blood Omen/11] Kain came across a crowd of citizens gathered to watch as the last of the eras vampires, Vorador, was guillotined.[Blood Omen/11][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)][Defiance strategy guide]
Recognizing Moebius as 'the Oracle' who had led part of his journey, Kain realized that he had manipulated all along and that his murder of William had provided the catalyst Moebius required to ignite a genocidal hatred of vampires.[Blood Omen/11] Identified by Moebius as the last vampire,[Blood Omen/11] Kain angrily fought his way through the crowd and vampire hunters to reach and confront Moebius.[Blood Omen][Blood Omen/11] After killing Moebius's Champion (and apparently confronting figures from other times)[Blood Omen],[Blood Omen/11] Kain was able to dispatch the time-streamer himself, beheading him as Vorador had been.[Blood Omen/11] With their leader dead and the vampires reduced to a single individual, the vampire hunting crusades of Moebius army would effectively cease at this point, although the organisation itself would continue to exist and adapt for some time afterward.[Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]
- "If I had any doubts about the era I now occupied, this grotesque tableau certainly eliminated them. For here was Moebius – long since murdered by Kain – lionized and beatified as the martyred leader of his bloodthirsty crusade. And if I required further evidence, I needed only to behold the gruesome trophy Moebius held aloft: the severed head of Vorador, the final triumphant kill of Moebius’s cutthroat mob. His execution marked the annihilation of the vampires."
By far the most significant impact of Moebius's hunters would be on the vampire populations,[Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)][Soul Reaver 2 manual] as with the death of Vorador, the Vampire generation of the era would be wiped out completely, leaving unique vampire Kain as the only survivor of the entire species.[Soul Reaver 2/5][Soul Reaver 2/2] This fact would apparently continue to motivate Kain and the preservation of his species would be cited as a reason for Kain's rejection of the Sacrifice at the Pillars of Nosgoth, which caused their collapse.[Soul Reaver 2/2] Ultimately Kain would remain the only vampire in Nosgoth for some time, eventually raising his own vampire progeny and giving rise to a new generation of vampires five centuries later in the second and third timelines[Soul Reaver]; though Vorador's resurrection in the fourth timeline would entail with it a revival of the vampire race within two centuries (the fourth timeline would also see the resurrection of Janos Audron, who would remain a Hylden captive until the late-Era following Blood Omen)[Blood Omen 2][Defiance].
For the humans of Nosgoth, the crusades of Moebius's hunters engendered much popular support in its brief existence, though the brutal methods of the army seems to have caused much suffering to the humans as well as the vampires. The army was noted as "a ruthless persecution" that also targeted "social deviants" and "unusual and unfamiliar people" with them often referred to as a cut-throat mob. The army was also highlighted as "sleazy vicious and driven by greed rather than ideology",[Defiance strategy guide] with the group typically portrayed as enthusiastic and skilled fighters, but somewhat disorganized and tactically unaware.[Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)][Defiance strategy guide] The crusades of Moebius's hunters would be marked into the Era following Blood Omen with a statue of Moebius holding aloft Vorador's severed head in the ruined Sarafan Stronghold.[Soul Reaver 2/5]
In the aftermath of the Collapse of the Pillars in the events of Blood Omen, the boundaries between dimensions were weakened and Demons began to penetrate into the Spectral and Material Realms.[Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)] With thevampires virtually wiped out, the now-leaderless mercenaries of Moebius's army saw the demons as a greater threat and began to adapt to combat and actively hunt them, becoming Demon hunters by the time Raziel visited the Era following Blood Omen, a century after the collapse.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]
Moebius's Mercenary Army and its origins first appeared in the final stages of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain as Kain investigated the manipulations of Time Guardian Moebius. Following several enigmatic hints (including by Moebius himself disguised as the 'Oracle',[Blood Omen/5] but against the counsel of Vorador [Blood Omen/6]), Kain became involved in a sub-quest to rouse Ottmar to defend Willendorf against the Legions of the Nemesis[Blood Omen]. Witnessing the final victory of the Nemesis at the Battle of the Last Stand,[Blood Omen/9] Kain was transported by a time-streaming device to a period in Nosgoth's past when 'the Nemesis' was still the boy-king William the Just.[Blood Omen/9][Blood Omen/10] Realizing that Moebius had corrupted the young boy-king, Kain seized his chance to murder William, changing history (With both combatants armed with the Soul Reaver blade)[Blood Omen]. After murdering William, Kain returned to the events of Blood Omen, believing he had thwarted Moebius's plans.[Blood Omen/10]
When Kain returned to the present in the final stages of Blood Omen the Vampire Hunters were his main enemies and his first clue that something was amiss with the new timeline.[Blood Omen/11] The hunters themselves were quick and skilled fighters, but seemed less organised. [Blood Omen] As Kain discovered the fallen Nemesis Colossus and heard the tales of the villagers of Stahlberg[Blood Omen/11][Blood Omen/Miscellaneous] he realized that his murder of William had ignited the citizens' genocidal hatred of vampires.[Blood Omen/11]
Following the sounds of cheers and smelling outpourings of vampire blood,[Blood Omen/11] Kain traveled to a fortress south of Stahlberg and came upon the final victory of Moebius's hunters as a crowd of angry peasants cheered on the execution of Vorador, the last of the eras vampires.[Blood Omen/11] After Vorador was beheaded, Moebius pointed Kain out to the crowd as the last of the vampires.[Blood Omen/11] Realizing that he had been manipulated by Moebius all along,[Blood Omen/11] Kain angrily battled to reach Moebius. After defeating the villagers, Kain would be confronted by several of the vampire hunters and later Moebius would summon a significantly more powerful vampire hunter as a representative of the present. Regardless of their interference, Kain was able to kill Moebius, rendering the vampire hunters leaderless.[Blood Omen/11]
Moebius's hunters would return in Soul Reaver 2 as Raziel arrived in the hunter-inhabited Sarafan Stronghold in the history preceding Blood Omen,[Soul Reaver 2/1] (thirty years before Kain's quest in Blood Omen). Examining the stronghold Raziel discovered much iconography related to his former Sarafan heritage as well as a chapel dedicated to William's martyrdom as the catalyst of the vampire hunters' crusade.[Soul Reaver 2/1] The Vampire Hunters would be the first and most basic of the enemies encountered by Raziel,[Soul Reaver 2] and as with their Blood Omen incarnation, although trained, they were typically less organised and less powerful enemies.[Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)][Soul Reaver 2 manual]
The hunters would continue to attack Raziel as he ventured out of the Stronghold, but coming across the remains of the hunters victims he would quickly recognize the crusade as a "ruthless persecution".[Soul Reaver 2/1][Soul Reaver 2/7] Meeting with the vampire Vorador in the swamp[Soul Reaver 2], Raziel was able to uncover the vampire perspective Moebius hunts and Vorador acknowledged they had "nearly accomplished what the Sarafan could not". Vorador was already resigned to his fate - apparently greatly effected by the original Sarafan crusades and regarding the renewed vampire purge as a "sick drama" brought on by "Vampires meddling in the affairs of men".[Soul Reaver 2/3]
As Raziel traveled to the future of the Era following Blood Omen, he found evidence of the end of Moebius's crusade, discovering in the ruins of the Sarafan Stronghold a statue of Moebius holding aloft the head of Vorador, memorializing the final kill of Moebius's crusade (appropriately placed next to the chapel dedicated to William)[Soul Reaver 2].[Soul Reaver 2/5] In this era, Raziel could also encounter the 'descendants' of the People's Army, the Demon hunters, who had adapted to combat the prevalent threat of Demons in the era.[Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]
The Merecenary army returned at the height of their purges in Legacy of Kain: Defiance and when Raziel found his way to the Material Realm in the Cemetery, the presence of Moebius's hunters was enough for him to realize the era he now inhabited.[Defiance/4][Defiance/6] Moebius's mercenaries would be the most prevalent of the enemies encountered by Raziel in human areas and as in previous appearances, they were skilled and enthusiastic, but lacked discipline and organization (especially when compared to the tactical awareness of their Sarafan predecessors).[Defiance][Defiance strategy guide]
With Raziel's journey once again leading to Vorador, Raziel met Ariel at the Pillars, who opined that " Moebius's mob [had] done its work.", but directed Raziel to Vorador's Mansion.[Defiance/6] Racing to beat the mercenaries to Vorador,[Defiance/6] Raziel arrived at the mansion but in stark contrast to the populated mansion observed in Blood Omen[Blood Omen], Raziel found the estate abandoned[Defiance/8] (save a few statue and revenant enemies[Defiance]). When Raziel met with Vorador he found the old vampire apparently waiting for Raziel and Moebius's hunters to arrive.[Defiance/8] Though resigned to his fate,[Defiance/8] Vorador offered Raziel a chance to redeem himself by finding the Heart of Darkness and reviving Janos Audron, seeing it as their last hope.[Defiance/8]
By the time Raziel returned however, Vorador's estate had been overrun with Vampire hunters, including Moebius himself,[Defiance/12] and the old vampire captured, though not without a "considerable price in blood".[Defiance/12] As Moebius left to attend to Vorador's execution, the vampire hunters continued to impede Raziel's progress by demolishing parts of the mansion[Defiance]. Eventually Raziel was able to reach the undiscovered crypt of Janos and used the heart to resurrect Janos[Defiance/12] ensuring that at least one other vampire would survive the purges of Moebius's hunters;[Defiance/12] though he would soon be possessed by the Hylden Lord and used to further the Hylden plans[Defiance/12][Defiance].
The Vampire hunters and their predecessors - the Sarafan - were mentioned in the background materials to multiplayer spin-off Nosgoth as stories passed down by subjugated humans in the events of Soul Reaver that eventually inspired their rebellion against the vampires and the war for Nosgoth.[NOS]
Membership and Forces
Leadership and Unique Forces
Moebius is the only known leader of the Mercenary Army, however significant known individuals in the army include Vorador's executioner[Blood Omen/11] and the champion summoned by Moebius to represent "the present" in his boss battle[Blood Omen/11] - a particularly skilled vampire hunter with health and power far surpassing the ordinary troops.
The troops of Moebius's people's army encountered by protagonists varied between games, maintaining their 'enthusiastic' and undisciplined style throughout. When they were first encountered in Blood Omen, Kain would face hunters armed with sickles, stakes, torches and water balloons; apparently targeting vampire weaknesses [Blood Omen strategy guide][Blood Omen]. The Vampire Hunters in Soul Reaver 2, in the earlier Post-Blood Omen era had much less refined attacking methods, combining pikemen[Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)] and swordsmen,[Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)] with ranged-attacking cannoneers[Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)] and long-range alert Vampire hunter attack dogs|attack dogs [Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)](with similar methods that utilized by other 'hunter' factions in that game)[Soul Reaver 2]. Defiance's return to the Blood Omen era saw the hunters adapted to a variety of different roles[Defiance] including mid-range mercenaries,[Defiance strategy guide] kick-attacking ascetics,[Defiance strategy guide] ranged-attacking pillagers,[Defiance strategy guide] heavy-attacking juggernauts[Defiance strategy guide] and spell-casting sorceresses.[Defiance strategy guide]
This is the era of Moebius's genocidal vampire purge, and these hunters are the soldiers of his mercenary army. Because the crusade is still in its infancy, Moebius's forces are more of a cutthroat militia than an orderly army - but what they lack in organization they more than make up for in zealous brutality.
- Both the Legions of the Nemesis and Moebius's mercenary army may arguably have their roots (in different timelines) in a speech given by Moebius to William the Just's subjects shortly before William's death in Blood Omen, in which Moebius roused the citizens against an unspecified "evil".[Blood Omen/10] The scene implies that part of the inspiration for the scene (and arguably the similar imagery seen along with the Legions of the Nemesis and Moebius's Army) was the Nuremberg Rallies. Silicon Knights Guide also mentions this inspiration, including with it themes of Fascism (Nazism) and describing Moebius as "Hitler-esque".
- The symbol of Moebius's Mercenary Army is an hourglass defaced with an eye and a torch[Blood Omen][Soul Reaver 2][Defiance]. Within Blood Omen, this would appear to be a reference to Moebius's Pillar Token (and apparent source of his power), Moebius's Hourglass[Blood Omen],[Blood Omen/5] as well as the design on the Pillar of Time[Blood Omen][Soul Reaver 2][Defiance]. Later games would seem to imply that the 'eye' symbol may be representative of the Elder God[Soul Reaver][Soul Reaver 2][Defiance]. The symbol itself is described by Raziel as "unmistakable".[Defiance/4]
- Moebius's hunters appear to have greatly revered the crusades of the legendary Sarafan, with the army re-inhabiting the former Sarafan Stronghold[Soul Reaver 2/1] and lionizing their predecessors (as well as William the Just[Soul Reaver 2/1]) in idolized depictions. Moebius even comments that they "strive to honor the memory of the Sarafan" with their crusade.[Soul Reaver 2/1] The demon hunters were also notably connected with Moebius's mercenary army; described as their "descendants",[Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)] bearing similar disorganised tactics and a symbol that seemed to be a simplified, hand-drawn version of the symbol of the mercenary army (worn about the waist of the hunters - The symbol is noticeably less obviously displayed than those of the other hunter factions)[Soul Reaver 2]
- Given the laws of Nosgoth's time-stream, it would appear that Moebius's army effectively substituted for the Legions of the Nemesis in the First timeline (also made up of William's subjects).[Soul Reaver 2/5]
- The presence of Moebius's hunters has apparent effect on the populace of Vorador's Mansion in the events of Blood Omen, as When Kain passes through the mansion in the First timeline it is populated with several enemies[Blood Omen], including three discreet 'vampire bride' variants; When the mansion is revisited in the Fourth timeline however, Raziel finds it virtually abandoned, apart from Vorador himself (and various 'animated' enemies)[Defiance].
- There are some discrepancies in the timing of the events of the order. In Blood Omen Kain's murder of William is acknowledged as fifty years before the events of Blood Omen;[Blood Omen/10][Blood Omen/11][Defiance strategy guide][Blood Omen strategy guide] however several Soul Reaver 2 sources indicate that the history preceding Blood Omen Raziel arrives in at the start of that game, explicitly set thirty years before the Blood Omen era, is only a decade after William's murder (for a total of forty years between William's murder and the Blood Omen era).[Soul Reaver 2/3] The original Blood Omen scripts also refers to the forty year figure. Vorador's execution also seems to have subtle changes, with it implied in Blood Omen (with Kain hearing several cheers and smelling vampire blood at each) that Vorador's is not the only Vampire execution that took place at the event;[Blood Omen/11] whilst in Defiance, Vorador openly acknowledges himself as "the last of my kind" prior to his capture by Moebius's troops.[Defiance/8] It is unclear these discrepancies are retcons or subtle time-stream changes.
- Moebius's Vampire Hunters: "Upon emerging from the Chronoplast time portal, Raziel discovers he has been transported nearly two thousand years into Nosgoth’s past, to a time roughly 30 years before Kain’s resurrection as a vampire... but a decade after Kain’s own ill-fated journey into Nosgoth’s history, and his assassination of William the Just.//This is the era of Moebius’s genocidal vampire purge, and these hunters are the soldiers of his mercenary army. Because the crusade is still in its infancy, Moebius’s forces are more of a cutthroat militia than an orderly army - but what they lack in organization they more than make up for in zealous brutality." Crystal Dynamics (Eidos Interactive)(2001). Vampire Hunters at the Official Soul Reaver 2 site (preserved at Dark Chronicle)
- SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain - Misc Q&A - Questions About Plot (by Silicon Knights)(preserved at Dark Chronicle)
- SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain - The Plot - The New Nosgoth (by Silicon Knights)(preserved at Dark Chronicle)
- Demon Hunters at Dark Chronicle (by Ardeth Silvereni).
- Enemies - Fighters at the Blood Omnicide site
- 'Hunters – Sworn to Exterminate the Vampire Scourge' at the Nosgoth official blog (by George Kelion) (preserved at Tales of Nosgoth/Nosgothic Realm)
- SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain - Themes - Act13 Nuremburg (by Silicon Knights)(preserved at Dark Chronicle)
- Enemies - Undead at the Blood Omnicide site
- Blood Omen Scripts at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)