This is a list of characters and associated tropes from Legacy of Kain. Characters who span multiple installments and play important roles in the overarcing plot are listed under "Main Characters." Other characters are listed in the folder for the game they first appeared in. Be warned, unmarked spoilers are present.
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"Given the choice; whether to rule a corrupt and failing Empire, or to challenge the fates for another throw, a better throw, against one's destiny... What was a king to do?"
Voiced by Simon TemplemanThe titular character and the guy who the series revolves around. Not always the main protagonist though. Was killed as a nobleman and revived as a vampire, and when he came to revel in his new powers he decided to conquer the world. When he discovered the destiny that had been set up for him though, he decided to play a game of Gambit Roulette to try and Take a Third Option between the choice of ruling a dying world or dying himself to save it. In his arrogance though, he failed to realize that Screwing Destiny isn't as simple as he'd hoped.
- A God Am I: Set himself up a God-Emperor.
- A Lighter Shade of Grey: Compared with his enemies, his goals at least would leave humans and vampires alive. The manipulators he grapples with are uninterested in such trifles.
- Admiring the Abomination: In Blood Omen, when seeing creatures mutated by the Circle's magic, while he finds the sight of them horrifying, he admits to having some admiration for the mind that created them.
- Ambiguously Human: At the end of Defiance, he isn't really a vampire anymore, as Moebius' vampire-weakening staff no longer affects him, because the Heart of Darkness that originally gave him his vampirism has been removed. However, he retains all of his vampiric abilities and possibly vulnerabilities. Kain is definitely no longer human, but also no longer a vampire; what he is is as uncertain as the rest of the series since the story was Left Hanging after Defiance.
- Ambition Is Evil: Repeatedly accused as such, considering the fact that he essentially doomed Nosgoth to an eternity of decay purely so he could rule over it.Sarafan Lord: Your ambition to rule this world is but the youthful craving of a petty noble who has gained too much power, but never enough.
- Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain: Zigzags either way. He's trying to save the world from destruction and demonic invasion, but he's trying to save it so he can conquer it with a vampire army. On the positive side, he is not without some capacity for mercy, values his allies and considers some of them friends, and has some lines he still won't cross. On the negative side, he's a remorseless mass-murderer, very arrogant and self-absorbed, and will act ruthlessly if it's more advantageous to do so. In any other franchise, Kain would be a straight villain, but in the Black and Grey Morality of this one, he's the guy to root for because his enemies are worse.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Was a noble in his human life, and even then was not a very nice guy.
- At Least I Admit It: In Blood Omen 2, he was at a point where learning that his own plan drove away his followers struck a nerve. By Soul Reaver, he won't deny that his motives are selfish and looks down on hiding selfish motives behind supposedly altruistic ones.Kain: There's no shame in it, Raziel - revenge is motivation enough. At least it's honest. Hate me, but do it honestly.
- Back from the Dead: It's what sets the events of the franchise in motion — his revival as a vampire by Mortanius. Late into Defiance, he invokes it again by somehow surviving having his heart ripped out.
- Badass Boast: Kain's self-confidence is pretty much impossible to undermine. He treats any enemy like an insect that will soon be squished under his boot, even if they are clearly a lot stronger then he is. For a sample, here's his Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? moment, though a major spoiler."False god! This is the end! The final turn of your wheel!"
- Badass Cape: His iconic attire for the series as pictured involves a sash with his clan emblem round over his chest and draping over the shoulder.
- Bad Boss/Benevolent Boss: Zig-zags between these. On one hand, there's what he did to Raziel and the fact that he planned for him to kill his other lieutenants, but on the other hand, he does value the lives of those loyal to him enough to extract a high price when he sells them.
- Bad Liar: He makes some attempts at lying in Blood Omen 2, and they don't fool anybody. Then again, he does lie to Raziel about the eventual fate of the Razielim to make him angrier, so he either had a good training during his reign or he wasn't even trying in Blood Omen 2.
- Battle Cry: "VAE VICTIS!" It's Latin for "Woe to the conquered/vanquished". In other words, the conquered have no rights. It should tell you everything you need to know about him.
- Big Bad: The closest thing to one in Soul Reaver as his actions set the plot in motion and he's Raziel's main enemy. Soul Reaver 2 he moves away from antagonistic role to a supporting one.
- Blood Knight: He certainly seems to be enjoying himself when he shouts out his battle cry after impaling an opponent, and he's always pleased when he's presented the opportunity to kill something.
- Break the Haughty: Set up a couple times, but ultimately subverted — even when Kain's plans blow up in his face, his arrogance is unshaken, and he sets out to find out what went wrong and how to correct it. As such, he isn't shown to dwell on failures and generally continues on with his usual behavior. However, Moebius's Batman Gambit of using the death of William the Just to enact a vampire genocide thanks to Kain likely shattered what limited idealism he had in the early days of the series.
- Butterfly of Doom: His assassination of the past William the Just in Blood Omen before he could become the Nemesis ended up kick-starting a new vampire purge in the present day... which is exactly what Moebius was planning all along.
- The Chessmaster: Very much so. Spending centuries with access to a time machine certainly helps him predict and plan the various results he wants, but even so, Kain is damn good at this. He switches over to Xanatos Speed Chess in Defiance; now that his gambit has been played and the result was not something he expected, Kain is at a loss for what has changed and has to scramble to find answers and keep up with Moebius.
- The Chosen One: Defiance reveals Kain thinks he is the prophesied Scion of Balance who is destined to return Nosgoth to vampire rule. Actually his true destiny as Scion is to wield the Soul Reaver to destroy the Elder God and free Nosgoth from his control, and with Raziel's sacrifice, he fulfils it.
- Complete Immortality: To the extent that in Defiance, he was able to survive having his heart ripped out. According to Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance, only the Soul Reaver can truly kill himnote .
- Cool Sword: Wields the material Soul Reaver, also known as just "The Reaver").
- Cosmic Lottery Winner: It's a bit fuzzy on exactly why having his heart torn out and being banished to a Hell dimension doesn't kill him. There's been a Hand Wave from Word of God that it has to do with his nature as the Scion of Balance, but that's it. There's a discussion about this on the WMG page.
- Cosmic Plaything: The series is all about Kain fighting back against people trying to make him this because the fate of the world hinges on his actions and his destiny being fulfilled or not. The problem for Kain is they know he's fighting back, which is why almost everyone in the series, past or present, wants him dead because he's too hard to manipulate (unlike say, Raziel). This fact is lampshaded by Raziel several times when he notes that people are lining up to tell him Kain has to die, and he knows there must be a bigger reason for it than they let on.
- Cursed with Awesome: After he comes to terms with being a vampire Kain lives and breathes this trope. "Heh heh heh heh heh..."
- Dark Messiah: Kain's destiny is to Save The World, but he's still a right bastard while doing it. His refusal to become a martyr to save the world at the end of Blood Omen is a perfect example — while it turned out to be the right thing to do because of the Hylden, Kain's refusal at the time was mostly because he wanted to find a way to save the world without having to resort to sacrificing himself, and in the meantime the world suffered for his decision.
- Deadpan Snarker: Kain has a very dry wit and a well-developed sense of sarcasm. The result is a magnificent amount of snark series-wide.Marcus: You tried to murder me!
Kain: I seem to have failed.
- Despotism Justifies the Means: He refused to sacrifice himself to restore the Pillars of Nosgoth, preferring to conquer the world in its rotting state. That being said, he's also trying to find a way to restore the world.
- Devil's Job Offer: In Blood Omen, he's shown trapped in a Hell dimension until Mortanius ropes him into service.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He ultimately battles and defeats the Elder God, which was apparently the destiny set up for him all along.
- Disc One Final Boss: He's implied to be the main antagonist of the Soul Reaver games but Raziel decides not to kill him at the end of Soul Reaver 2's first act, during an encounter in the time distorting chamber of William the Just's crypt. Then Raziel's guides turn against him with Moebius and the Elder God become the antagonists, a big bad duumvirate for the rest of that game.
- The Emperor: Is this to Nosgoth pre-Soul Reaver.
- Escaped from Hell: In Defiance, he's banished to the dimension of the Hylden, which conveniently looks like the same place as he was sent in Blood Omen, and he fights his way out.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He detests hypocrisy and moral posturing, and early on in Soul Reaver 2, he explicitly chews Raziel out for claiming he's going to kill Kain to restore Nosgoth when he really only wants revenge:Kain: There's no shame in it, Raziel. Revenge is motivation enough — at least it's honest. Hate me... but do it honestly.
- Evil Is Petty:
- It's initially believed that Kain had Raziel executed because he grew wings, and Kain was simply jealous that Raziel evolved before he did. The truth is far more complicated.
- Kain holds a particular dislike of Malek, as he was the only Pillar Guardian in Blood Omen he couldn't defeat in single combat; he had to summon Vorador to do it. He defaced Malek's headstone in the Tomb of the Sarafan, and in Defiance when he needs to retrieve a sword and shield for a statue of Malek to open the path forward, he takes a moment to snark that restoring the statue's dignity is not a task he enjoys.
- Evil Laugh: Heard quite often during Blood Omen when he's swinging his sword around, and again in the canon ending.
- The Fatalist: He's taking a huge gamble on his plan, so he's spent centuries gazing into the time stream to decide the best way to go about executing it. Thus, he knows how a lot of things are meant to be.
- Femme Fatalons: In Blood Omen 2 — as do all the other more human-looking vampires in that game. It seems that vampires develop long, black claws prior to their hands (and feet) becoming cloven.
- Find the Cure: The main reason behind his quest in Blood Omen is to find a cure to his vampirism... until he learns to embrace it.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Hard to believe that the Vampire Monarch/God-Emperor of Nosgoth in Soul Reaver 1 and beyond began life as a simple human noble — a youngest son, in point of fact, unlikely to inherit anything.
- Golden Super Mode: According to artists in Eidos, his original design was going to be golden, but due to lighting, he looks green. Concept art, and action figures further support this theory. The "horns" he has are similarly symbolic of a crown, marking his status as the King of Nosgoth.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Between him and Raziel at least twice in Soul Reaver. He also gets some hammy time with Moebius in Defiance.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Has one at the end of Soul Reaver 2 when he realizes everything that he has planned and gambled on throughout the entire game has served the ends of his enemies.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: In Blood Omen. He carries his normal iron sword, a spike mace, two axes, the sword and the Soul Reaver, which in this game is longer than he is tall when he attacks with it.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Regarding his manipulation of Raziel. He doesn't show a ton of regret, possibly hiding it because he didn't think Raziel would believe him, but he never expects Raziel to forgive him for it.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Gets to be behind both ends of the blade in different games. How he deals with Moebius in Defiance.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Killing the defenseless Moebius in Defiance while taunting him about how his abilities have failed him. Moebius might not have posed a danger to him anymore, but after five games, he's had it coming.
- Large Ham: And how... which inevitably leads to plenty of Ham-to-Ham Combat against either Raziel or Moebius.
- Legendary in the Sequel: By the time of Soul Reaver, Kain's exploits in Blood Omen are the stuff of legends.
- Longhaired Pretty Boy: He's at his prettiest in Blood Omen 2.
- Magic Knight: He has straight magic in Blood Omen, but in later games sticks to his telekinetic and vampiric powers more.
- Mega Manning: Absorbs power from his former lieutenants in Blood Omen 2.
- Mercy Kill: Kain's pulled these off a few times. Though generally a sadist, he doesn't seem to have a taste for prolonged torture, preferring quick (if extremely painful and messy) deaths. Notably shown when he gives quick deaths to Nupraptor's mentally-shattered servant girl in Blood Omen and the twisted Magnus in Blood Omen 2.
- Mind over Matter: As of Defiance, telekinesis seems to be the most-used power in his magical repertoire.
- Mr. Exposition: In Blood Omen, providing everything from info on abilities, weapons, and just information on the world and the characters he meets.
- Multi-Melee Master: Kain has demonstrated skilled use of a large variety of weapons; in Blood Omen he carried three different swords (one of which was on fire and the other was the Soul Reaver), a mace, and a pair of axes. In Blood Omen 2 he used a variety of disposable, breakable weapons. However, he's never been shown using ranged weapons, only using magic at a distance; indeed, he admits to having fairly poor aim.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When he sees the Elder God in Defiance, he realizes that what he forced Raziel to go through is much worse than he earlier believed.
- Name of Cain: Goes without saying, really.
- Noble Demon: Not as noble as Raziel, but Kain does have a sense of honor and morality, however loose and skewed it may be.
- Older and Wiser: In Soul Reaver, he's much craftier than in Blood Omen and Blood Omen 2, and thinks far more before charging in, given the time he's spent plotting and looking across the timeline. He's also far more willing to admit his own selfishness.
- Orange/Blue Contrast: Wears red clothing, his checkpoints in Defiance and health meter are red, and lets not forget the hellish dimension of the Hylden he keeps revisiting. In contrast: Raziel's blue skin, blue and green checkpoints and life meter, and the design aesthetic of the Spectral Realm.
- Pet the Dog: Now and then Kain does show altruism and kindness without any selfish motives behind the act. He sees Raziel as a valued ally or even friend, really does want to save him from his fate, becomes saddened when he fails, and seems to have affection for Umah, commenting she was at least brave to try and confront the Sarafan alone, and if she hadn't betrayed him she could have been his queen. In Blood Omen 2, he performs a Mercy Kill on Magnus, ending his centuries of torment and comforting him that he was a loyal lieutenant and the cause he fought for is not lost.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: His and Moebius' exchange in Blood Omen:Moebius: You have seen my plan, vampire, as I've seen your destiny. The future says you die!
Kain: But I am dead... (chops Moebius' head off) as are you.
- Psychotic Smirk: He unleashes an epic one shortly before killing Moebius for the second time.
- Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": If he's not yelling "Vae Victis!", he's doing this. Kain really enjoys hacking away at stuff.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Many of his outfits in the Blood Omen games, as well as his iconic image in the Soul Reaver games and Defiance, namely black leather pants and a red cape tied over his chest.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Has them as a fledgling vampire in Blood Omen. By the time of Blood Omen 2, he's got Creepy Blue Eyes instead. Come the Soul Reaver era and subsequent appearance in that timeline, he has Supernatural Gold Eyes now that he's evolved to his full potential.
- Removed Achilles Heel: In Defiance, Raziel tearing the Heart of Darkness from Kain's chest has the handy side-effect of making him immune to Moebius' vampire-weakening scepter.
- Revenge Before Reason: In Blood Omen, he's so determined to exact revenge on the brigands who killed him that he eagerly accepts Mortanius' offer without bothering to consider the cost. The rest is history.Kain: Nothing is free. Not even revenge.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
- His very first act as a vampire is to hunt down his assassins and kill them.
- The whole of Blood Omen 2 is Kain helping to overthrow the Sarafan that deposed him.
- Sadistic Choice: Is presented with one at the end of Blood Omen. On one hand, he sacrifices himself to restore the Pillars of Nosgoth, but as the only remaining vampire in Nosgoth, this would render the vampires extinct; on the other, he refuses the sacrifice and thus dooms Nosgoth to an eternity of decay. Neither solution would properly solve anything; thus, Kain's plan throughout the rest of the series is to find a way to Take a Third Option.
- Scars Are Forever: It's not easily visible, but he still has the scar on his torso from being assassinated as a human. It gets healed in Defiance.
- Shrouded in Myth: As Raziel states in the opening of Soul Reaver, few people in Nosgoth are aware that Kain Was Once a Man like all vampires.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: Gives such a speech in Soul Reaver 2 to Raziel in response to his insistence that he's after him to restore Nosgoth, especially since Kain knows for a fact that Raziel only wants to kill him for revenge:Kain: Let's drop the moral posturing, shall we? We both know there's no altruism in this pursuit. Your reckless indignation led you here; I counted on it! There's no shame in it, Raziel. Revenge is motivation enough; at least it's honest. Hate me... but do it honestly.
- Smug Super: As noted on more than one occasion, Kain is quite arrogant. That being said, he has more than enough power to back it up.
- Sociopathic Hero: Sure, he's saving the world, but in the meantime, Kain has absolutely no problems with slicing up anyone in his way, be they extra-dimensional demons, Sarafan knights, or just innocent civilians going down the wrong alley at night. That evil laugh mentioned above? Perhaps most terrifying when heard as he's about to feed on helpless prisoners chained to walls begging him for help.
- Sophisticated as Hell: When he first sees the Elder God, after five games of spouting all kinds of Shakespearean dialogue, the only thing he can say is "What in the hell?!"
- Spikes of Villainy: Sports them in Blood Omen 2, and with the Chaos Armor in Blood Omen.
- The Strategist: Described as being a master strategist.
- Super Strength: as the games focus more on his magical prowess and careful planning skills, it's easy to forget that Kain in Blood Omen was pushing car-sized boulders with ease and felling trees with a single axe swoop.
- Take a Third Option: His entire plan from Soul Reaver onwards is to find one to his Sadistic Choice at the end of Blood Omen.
- Transhuman Treachery: Over the course of Blood Omen; while he initially seeks a cure for his vampirism, he soon grows to embrace it.
- White Hair, Black Heart: His transformation into a vampire turned his hair white, and thus his transformation from an unpleasant nobleman to a wicked vampire overlord begins. Bonus points for having a heart that is literally black: the Heart of Darkness
- Vampire Monarch: Emperor of the clans, progenitor of all vampires post-Blood Omen era (the Continuity Snarl of Vorador in Blood Omen 2 not withstanding) and ruler of Nosgoth (for a time, anyway).
- Villains Never Lie: Leaving aside the question of whether he is truly a "villain", this trope holds true with Kain. He tells ambiguous half-truths and makes vague hints, but he rarely lies. The few times he does he's a Bad Liar and the recipient tells him so, which he confirms with no qualms. The reason for this trope is mostly his arrogance — he's confident that the truth can never be used against him and he will still prevail if he tells it. There are times when lying would work to his advantage, but he still plays it straight. Also note this dialogue in Defiance, where he combines this trope with his trademark boasting.Sarafan Guard: Surrender, fiend, and we will grant you an easy death!
Kain: I could promise you the same, but that would be a lie.
- Villainous Valour: Kain's motives might be selfish, but he's not afraid to risk his life to achieve his goals. In Soul Reaver 2, when he meets Raziel at the moment he was supposed to kill him, and while he does show some fear of his possible end, he takes the riskier option of talking Raziel into asserting his free will rather than trying to fight him.
- Villain Protagonist: Kain is The Protagonist, and does have some good traits, but he is by no stretch of the imagination The Hero. When the series shifts to Raziel's point of view in the Soul Reaver games and parts of Defiance, Kain is treated as a villain while still having the same goals and personality as when players control him.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Maintains the ability to transform into either a cloud of mist or a swarm of bats throughout the series (though the bat form does vanish during Blood Omen 2). In the first game, he also could become a wolf.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: In the two Soul Reaver games and Defiance, and for the first part of Blood Omen 2.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: As revealed in Defiance, his casting Raziel into the Abyss wasn't petty jealousy as originally believed. The visions within the Chronoplast informed him of Raziel's future, and in executing Raziel and ensuring his resurrection as a wraith, he created a creature that truly possesses free will and thus was Immune to Fate, a key factor in his ultimate goal to restore Nosgoth.
- Will Not Tell a Lie: He'll withhold information, usually from Raziel, but he doesn't outright lie. It's not made clear if he's actually honest by nature or just too proud. He lies a bit more in Blood Omen 2, but usually just to talk his way past guards.
- Worf Had the Flu: His defeat at the hands of Raziel in Defiance wasn't exactly decisive. He gained the advantage early on and held his own throughout; it was only when he let his guard down in surprise at the Reaver absorbing Raziel that the latter was able to strike the finishing blow.
"This one thing I readily admit—I have been used by others time and again. But always I seem to stray from their path...What is it about me, Demon, that makes me such an unreliable instrument?"
Voiced by Michael BellThe other protagonist of the series besides Kain, he was Kain's right-hand man in his vampire empire, until he grew wings before Kain. Kain had him tossed into the Lake of the Dead to burn forever, but he was saved by the Elder God, deformed but given new life and a chance to avenge himself. However, Kain instead led Raziel on a trip through Nosgoth's bloody and complex history to make him see the bigger picture and the grander destinies they both deserve. Raziel discovers he has free will and so he alone has the power to change history, and in doing so he could bring about the doom of Nosgoth, or its salvation. Everyone knows it, and is trying to sway him into helping them more than their enemies — and unfortunately, he often falls for it.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: As a result of his disfigurement in the Lake of the Dead and subsequent resurrection as a wraith, Raziel has blue skin.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: He has no memories of his life as a human when he's raised as a vampire. This turns out to be a plot point.
- And I Must Scream: First, he gets cast into the Lake of the Dead and burns for several centuries until the Elder God plucks him from the time stream, then between Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance he spends a few more centuries as the Elder God's prisoner. According to the Elder God this is the best he can do — Raziel's nature as his agent means he's physically incapable of dying, so he settles for keeping Raziel weak and immobilized. Raziel's fate to be drawn into the Soul Reaver may be considered this, the series doesn't make it clear if the "Raziel" spirit in the Reaver has full sentience or not, though fortunately it's implied not. Either way though, he's finally freed at the end of Defiance when he releases the purified spectral Reaver into Kain.
- And Show It to You: In Defiance, he tears Kain's heart out.
- Anti-Hero: He's fundamentally good, but not above morally questionable acts depending on the circumstances. He's also willing to kill whoever he needs to that gets in his way, but unlike Kain (who relishes combat) Raziel takes no pleasure from it and stays his hand on occasion. However, Raziel is self-righteous and ignorant of Nosgoth's Gambit Pileup for most of the series. This leads to a habit of helping villains without realizing it, which in tandem with his initially selfish motivations (i.e. revenge), keeps him from being considered a true hero.
- Badass Normal: In life he was a very powerful warrior.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: In part because he was burned alive in the Abyss.
- Body Horror: After being tossed into the Abyss, Raziel is little more than a blue walking skeleton and has no lower jaw.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: When he defeats Kain in Defiance, he calls out Kain's own "vae victis" as he deals the final blow.
- Break the Haughty: Was described as proud of his looks before the execution.
- Broken Pedestal:
- He initially has Undying Loyalty to Kain... until 1000 years of loyal servitude is rewarded by Kain destroying his wings and having him executed simply for daring to evolve before Kain.
- Upon finding out that he was once a Sarafan priest, he idolizes them and tries to live up to his heritage. This fades away throughout Soul Reaver 2, as he discovers the humane side of the vampires and sees the Sarafan for the Knight Templars they truly were.
- Cape Wings: Sort of. He did have bat-like wings, but Kain tearing the bones out and a few hundred years burning in water (which is acidic to most vampires) left them as dead flaps of skin. They act like a cape, and Raziel can hold them up with his hands to catch wind and glide with them.
- Complete Immortality: As stated in the first Soul Reaver, Raziel is "beyond death." If he is slain in the Material Realm, he merely shifts back into the Spectral Realm, and if he is defeated there, he will eventually reform.
- Cool Mask: He uses his clan banner as one, to cover up his missing lower jaw.
- Cool Sword: Wields the spectral Soul Reaver to Kain's material Soul Reaver.
- Cosmic Plaything: By virtue of possibly being the one being in existence who truly has free will, everyone tries to manipulate him into helping them, mostly all at the same time.
- Deadpan Snarker: He definitely begins to pick up Kain's wit as the series goes on.(to the Elder God) "Ah, my ancient 'benefactor'... And I dared to hope we had parted ways forever. Your silence was refreshing, while it lasted. No doubt you have a conveniently inexpressible reason for your presence here?"(to Kain) "Oh no... every time you show up, something monumental and terrible happens. I don't think I have the stomach for it."
- Decoy Protagonist: Ultimately, Defiance reveals him as this.The Elder God: Your fate is trivial, Raziel. It was Kain's destiny that mattered all along.
- Deuteragonist: To Kain's Protagonist — the fact that Kain's name is in the series title proves the series is his story, but Raziel is clearly the secondary protagonist. And if not for the last half hour of Defiance, one could argue Raziel is the true protagonist with Kain as a Decoy Protagonist.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In Defiance, Raziel in no uncertain terms lets the Elder God know repeatedly that any gratitude he had for his revival has been exhausted.Raziel: I should have known I'd find you here.
Elder God: Here and everywhere, now and always. I am the Wheel and its turning, I am the circle of life and death.
Raziel: And I am beginning to think the Vampires committed suicide only to escape your voice.
- Doomed Protagonist: Unless he wants to undo history with dozens of paradoxes, eventually Raziel has to merge with the Soul Reaver whether he wants to or not. According to Word of God however, he eventually subverts this with Defiance, as the wraith blade Raziel holds is released into Kain to purify his sight during his Heroic Sacrifice, freeing Raziel's future self at last.
- Easily Forgiven: Since Kain was responsible for what he went through in the first place, he never holds any ill will against Raziel for killing him and tearing the Heart of Darkness out in Defiance.
- Fallen Angel: A recurring motif connected to him, particularly with him being thrown into the Lake of the Dead and rising as the Elder God's servant to hunt the vampires. The Elder God even directly refers to him as "my angel of death" a few times.
- Faustian Rebellion: When he discovers more about what the Elder God really is, he stops serving him willingly. The Elder God and Raziel discuss that because of the way he was revived, the Elder God actually can't kill Raziel, he can only weaken him to keep him contained, and when Raziel is moving on his own the Elder God's only method to keep him in line is his Combat Tentacles.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Aside from that scarf, as well as his gauntlets and shin guards, he's completely naked. Of course, he also doesn't have anything to conceal, unless you're really into pelvic bones.
- Future Me Scares Me: Given that his future self is a ravenous, barely sentient ethereal entity eternally imprisoned in a sword, it's understandable.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: His eyes glow white, sometimes green. Green denotes that Hylden possession is influencing his actions.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Has a brief one in Soul Reaver 2 when he discovers that it was his Sarafan self who murdered Janos, and again when he discovers that the Soul Reaver is actually his own soul, sucked into the blade and trapped there for millennia.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: While decidedly less hammy than Kain, the two shared some hammy moments in Soul Reaver.
- Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of Defiance, he lets himself be impaled by Kain to grant him the power to defeat the Elder God.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: Thrice over, believe it or not. He hunts vampires in Soul Reaver, wraith-creatures like himself in Soul Reaver and Defiance, and Sarafan in the latter half of Soul Reaver 2.
- I Hate Past Me: While Raziel initially aspires to his past life as a Sarafan knight, by the time he discovers the true nature of the Sarafan, he is utterly disgusted and renounces his human self.
- Immune to Fate: By virtue of being able to Screw Destiny freely. Defiance explains that while Moebius (and presumably other omniscient beings) can see the ripples in time from Raziel's potential actions, they cannot see which single path he will take of them because he really does have free will. Raziel essentially has a blank check to do what he wants because he's either too valuable or too powerful to be killed, but is also too emotionally unstable to manipulate with certainty.
- Instant Expert: After consuming Rahab's soul, along with gaining immunity to water, he immediately learns how to swim.
- Irony: He spends the whole of Defiance trying to avoid his fate of becoming the Soul Reaver, but at the end, he willingly submits to it to help Kain defeat the Elder God.
- It's Personal: His rivalry with Kain is centered on Kain casting him into oblivion and disfiguring him for a relatively petty act of treason.
- I Was Quite a Looker: While he doesn't dwell on it too much, Raziel does often lament his current visage is a big step down from how he looked in life. Of course, this might be less about how handsome he once was and more about the fact that he used to have skin, a stomach and a jawbone.
- Knight Templar: Raziel has a natural urge to behave like he's entirely justified and in the right, and his enemies are entirely wrong, regardless of what causes or motives are involved. His Sarafan and vampire selves were exactly the same, only working for different sides. It's only after he becomes a wraith that Raziel learns to see the viewpoints of others and understand the Black and Grey Morality that permeates the series. He fully realizes this trope when his Sarafan self kills Janos and obviously feels no guilt or shame for it, leading to this exchange:Sarafan!Raziel: You're a righteous fiend, aren't you?
Raziel: Apparently I am.
- Lesser of Two Evils: At the end of Defiance, he allows himself to be absorbed into the Reaver rather than be the Elder God's captive for the rest of eternity. He's a prisoner either way, but one of his prisons can do more good than the other.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Look carefully at his concept art, and cutscene when he is thrown at the Abyss in Soul Reaver. He has his hair tied.
- Magic Knight: Not as much as Kain though — he was at the height of his magical prowess in Soul Reaver when he could find glyphs that gave him access to magic attacks. The Glyph system and the abilities Raziel got from them were dropped in the next game, and the only magical powers or equivalent that Raziel was left with were his telekinetic skills and the powers of the Soul Reaver itself, which he cannot use on his own.
- Meaningful Name: The Archangel Raziel is known as the Keeper of Secrets and Angel of Mysteries, and is associated with the Sephira Chokmah, for wisdom. Appropriately, Raziel is often compared to a dark angel due to his grotesque appearance, and his discovery of Nosgoth's bloody history and how he handles the information are the crucible on which the plot comes to turn.
- Mega Manning: As he kills his brothers he absorbs their souls and powers. In Defiance, he unlocks new powers for the Reaver by feeding it the souls of former Pillar Guardians.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: According to the Elder God, even though Raziel's more or less a skeleton, his physical strength is greater as a wraith than it was as a vampire. Indeed, he's able to push and pull big stone blocks and overpower vampires with ease. He was muscular when he was a Sarafan and a vampire though.
- Mysterious Past: Discovers it during the course of the series.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: So many times. Killing Kain most prominently, not to mention giving the Sarafan access to Janos' lair to kill him, and reviving Janos later to give the Hylden Lord the vessel he needs for his plans.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Following his casting into the abyss, he's an undead vampire. In the spectral realm, he's a ghost of a vampire. This in total makes him a zombie vampire ghost.
- Noble Demon: While Kain is only in it for himself, Raziel really does want to do the right thing, he just doesn't see the larger scheme of things and so doesn't know that "the right thing to do" is a very hard term to define in this series.
- Not So Different: Killed and revived to take vengeance on his murderers via a Deal with the Devil, forced to do morally unpleasant things for a greater good, prone to manipulation by others, prone to being very self-righteous — for all their differences, Raziel and Kain are very much the same. Kain lampshades to Raziel that if he would just learn to trust Kain, he'd understand they could be allies, since in his opinion they work for the same causes.
- The Only One: As revealed over the course of Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance, due to his rebirth as a wraith, Raziel is the only being in Nosgoth who truly possesses free will, thus making him the only being Immune to Fate.
- Orange/Blue Contrast: See Kain's entry for the same. Raziel is associated with blue-greens while Kain is associated with red-oranges.
- Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: Sorta. He's more moral than many of the characters in the series, and he displays a lot less respect when meeting Kain and Moebius than they show him in turn.
- The Power of Hate: While Raziel doesn't claim it himself, Kain sees it in him. In Soul Reaver, he even claims this is how he knew Raziel would come back for revenge.Raziel: Did it trouble you when you ordered me into the Abyss?
Kain: No. I had faith in you. In your ability to hate. In your self-righteous indignation.
- Prophecy Twist: Throughout Defiance Raziel and Kain both find murals depicting two champions locked in combat to decide the fate of Nosgoth, but the murals variably depict either of them victorious. Raziel presumes the two champions are him and Kain, though he's uncertain which is which. According to Word of God, it's much more complex than that — Raziel is both champions. He is the champion of the Hylden by way of reviving Janos and giving them the vessel they need to break the seal on their dimension, and he is the champion of the Ancients by allowing Kain to kill him and receive the empowered Soul Reaver needed to fight the Elder God. The murals show either champion victorious because Raziel allows himself to die to serve the greater good, perishing and triumphing with the same action.
- Properly Paranoid: He's very mistrustful, but it's still not enough to keep him from getting played.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: As noted under Knight Templar, this is an in-universe case. Raziel typically behaves like he's always acting in the right and his enemies are evil and should be defeated; the causes either of them fight for or the morality of their actions are secondary to this. Kain lampshades this repeatedly, referring to it as "self-righteous indignation".
- Removed Achilles Heel: When he devours Rahab's soul, he gains immunity to water and the ability to swim.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A majority of his quest during the games, though he develops other motives eventually. Goes on a smaller-scale one at the end of Soul Reaver 2 against the Sarafan when they kill Janos.
- Scarf of Asskicking: his cowl is iconic.
- Screw Destiny: This becomes his driving force once her learns that his fate is to become the ravenous soul-devouring spirit within the physical Soul Reaver. Ironically, he ultimately succeeds in doing so by giving into this fate...but under entirely different conditions. In doing so, he was able to purify the Soul Reaver, which allowed Kain to see and fight the true enemy: the Elder God.
- Spanner in the Works: By virtue of possibly being the one creature in all existence who can Screw Destiny. Double Subverted since this simultaneously makes him the guy who can ultimately screw with everyone else's evil manipluations, but at the same time makes him the one guy to be the subject of said evil manipulations as everyone but him realizes this. Ironically, despite this power, he is the character in the game most likely to angst about how he seems to have no control over his own fate and finds himself manipulated at every turn.
- Transformation of the Possessed: In Defiance. After the Elder God removes all portals between the material and spectral realms to punish Raziel for his rebellion, Raziel finds a way around it by possessing corpses and then reshaping their flesh into his own form.
- Tragic Hero: Lets himself die so Kain can fulfill his destiny.
- The Unchosen One: As Moebius and The Elder God point out to him in Defiance, despite Raziel's belief he's The Chosen One, that title belongs to Kain. Raziel isn't the savior of Nosgoth, he's the guy who can make it right/screw it up for the real thing.
- The Unintelligible: Defied. Though Raziel has no lower jaw to speak of, he is still capable of perfect speech. Amy Hennig has given a Hand Wave this as a result of "very supple throat muscles."
- Unwitting Pawn: Ho boy, where to start. Pretty much everything Raziel ever does up until his sacrifice at the end of Defiance helps further the plans of someone else in ways he doesn't realize until it's too late. And even with that act marked in the spoiler tag, he's still submitting to the will of someone else and going along with their plan, he's just doing it willingly now.
- Villain Protagonist: In the later parts of Defiance. The player knows that reviving Janos is a terrible idea, but Raziel does not and pursues his goal regardless of warnings from Kain. And ultimately and inevitably, it backfires and causes the events of Blood Omen 2.
- Walking Spoiler: He is the spirit of the Soul Reaver.
- Winged Humanoid: Though he didn't get to enjoy it for long.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: By the time Defiance rolls around, Raziel has wised up and realized everyone is going to try and manipulate him for their own ends. However, when Kain tries to play it straight and tell Raziel the truth, Raziel assumes it's just more manipulations and refuses to trust him.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Raziel devours souls to sustain himself. In Soul Reaver 2 the Soul Reaver itself will devour the souls of enemies Raziel fights with it, ultimately leaving nothing for him to snack on for healing if he deals the final blow with the sword. Furthermore, if he lets it get too worked up, it'll start to suck the life out of him instead.
The Soul Reaver
"The image of the Reaver was inscribed throughout this place, always depicted with reverence. The Vampires' holy weapon was borne by their prophesied hero, for whom it was forged."The Soul Reaver is a legendary Vampire weapon, forged in ancient times by Vorador at the command of the ancient Vampires. The sword drains the blood of its victims, and is originally known as simply "the Reaver", but at some point it gained the ability to devour souls, transforming it into the Soul Reaver. The blade houses a parasitic entity that has a semblance of sentience, causing the Reaver to act on its own accord at times. This parasitic entity is eventually freed as the sword's spectral half to be bonded to Raziel. The history of the blade connects it to many of the power struggles and gambits being played through history.
- Ancestral Weapon: As of Defiance, the Soul Reaver Kain wields in the Blood Omen games was originally used by his future self further in the past, making both versions of the weapon this to the other in a sense.
- And I Must Scream: The parasitic intelligence in the blade has been trapped in it for centuries verging on millennia. It is implied when Raziel purifies it at the end of Defiance and transfers its power to Kain, his future self in the blade is finally freed.
- Art Evolution:
- In the Soul Reaver games the spectral sword is a simple blade of energy emerging from Raziel's hand. In Defiance the Soul Reaver is instead a complete spectral sword with crossguards and a hilt that Raziel holds. This was the intended design all along, but graphical limitations of the time prevented it.
- As for the material Reaver, it looked slightly different in Blood Omen, with only two horns on the side and a different hilt.
- BFS: While the sword is much longer in Blood Omen than in the later games (the longer reach probably because in that game it drained magic everytime it was swung) where it was longer than Kain was tall, the rest of the series the still presents it as a very long sword.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: As described above, originally the spectral Soul Reaver was a blade of energy Raziel conjured from his palm.
- Cool Sword: A weapon of prophecy forged for The Chosen One, and worthy of the deed.
- Elemental Powers: Raziel and Kain each gain Spell Blade powers channeled through the Reaver, though Kain only gets them in Defiance while Raziel has them in several games. Kain gets Fire, Dimension, Lightning, Time, and Spirit, while Raziel has Light, Dark, Fire, Air, Water, Earth, and Spirit.
- Empathic Weapon: In Soul Reaver 2, Raziel awakens a parasitic intelligence within the blade, granting it a semi-sentience and causing it to act of its own accord at times. Turns out this entity is Raziel's future self, when he goes back in time and is absorbed into the material Soul Reaver.
- Laser Blade: Its spectral form is technically made of spiritual energy, but the visual effect is the same, and it has sound effects similar to a Star Wars lightsaber.
- Name's the Same: Raziel is often referred to as a "soul reaver" as well. This is very relevant.
- Not So Invincible After All: The blade is stated to be indestructible, and yet it has been broken twice: once by Kain himself during his battle with William the Just, and once in Soul Reaver when Kain shattered it over Raziel's head (though this latter case is explained as having been the result of the Soul Reaver being unable to consume its own soul.)
- Oddly Shaped Sword: The blade undulates back and forth.
- Overly Long Tongue: The blade of the Soul Reaver is actually the tongue of the skull carved into the handguard.
- Power Glows: Takes on an aura when fully charged in Defiance, the type of aura depending on the elemental power equipped. Fire, of course, makes it a Flaming Sword.
- Reforged Blade: Ironically, it was Kain himself who broke it, breaking William the Just's past version of the sword with his own Soul Reaver that was repaired between the two incidents.
- Soul-Cutting Blade: The blade drains the souls of enemies. This also allows it to instantly kill vampires, normally immune to normal weapons bar impalement or decapitation.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: For reasons that are obscenely complex to explain, the short of it is that the fate of the world hinges on the Soul Reaver, who uses it, and how it is empowered.
- Weapon Wields You: Sometimes the Soul Reaver does things Raziel does not necessarily want to do, and even when it doesn't exert direct influence, Raziel comments he can feel when the sword is compelling him to do something.
Moebius the Time-Streamer
"Poor, deluded Raziel... did you somehow imagine you had the guile to change history on me? I'm the Time-Streamer: I knew your every intention before you did, you imbecile."
Voiced by Richard DoyleOne of the Circle of Nine and a central antagonist, he controls time and thus can travel though time and see the past and future. He manipulated Kain in Blood Omen to further his agenda to exterminate all vampires, but was killed. He reappears later in the series, where it's revealed he had plans for Kain and Raziel in place that transcend his death.
- Arch-Enemy: To Kain.
- Ascended Extra: Goes from just being another antagonist in Blood Omen to being a major antagonist in the rest of the series.
- Asshole Victim: Moebius meets his death in an unpleasant fashion, but no one can say he doesn't have it coming.
- Back from the Dead: Got revived in Defiance about ten minutes after he died during the events of Blood Omen. He got to enjoy his second chance for all of another ten minutes before he found out Kain had also invoked this trope.
- Badass Longrobe: His standard attire is a blue hooded robe with gold trim.
- Bad Boss: When Raziel meets him in Soul Reaver 2, Moebius gives him permission to slay his vampire hunter servants on his way out of his lair. He could let them know Raziel is their ally, but nah."Try to keep the casualties to a minimum. But, do what you have to do. All great movements require a few martyrs."
- Bald of Evil: Though not always apparent due to his hooded robes, he is bald beneath them.
- Because Destiny Says So: He can see through time. It's kinda part of the package.Raziel: I should kill you where you stand.
Moebius: Perhaps you should, my boy. But you don't.
- Big "NO!": In Defiance when his spirit is Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by Raziel and he gets his first and last glimpse at the Elder God's true form.Raziel: Do you see it now? The monster that you served? Is this what you imagined when you worshipped it?
- Big Bad: In Soul Reaver 2, between him and the other antagonists he has the most direct role, since the Elder God doesn't do much and the Hylden are only brought up in the ending.
- The Chessmaster: Plays a very mean game of Xanatos Speed Chess against Kain's Magnificent Bastard as the series progresses. And he seemingly won, up until Kain pulled Didn't See That Coming.
- Consummate Liar: He manages to fool Raziel even though he knew he was untrustworthy.
- Deader Than Dead: At the end of Defiance, his physical body is impaled and its blood drained by Kain, his soul is reaved and consumed by Raziel, and his corpse is then possessed by Raziel where it fades into nothingness after he's absorbed into the Soul Reaver. About the only thing left of Moebius by that point is his staff.
- Did You Actually Believe...?: Gives Raziel such a speech during the climax of Soul Reaver 2:Moebius: Poor, deluded Raziel... did you somehow imagine you had the guile to change history on me? I’m the Time-Streamer – I knew your every intention before you did, you imbecile.
- Didn't See That Coming: As Kain delights in pointing out, Moebius definitely didn't expect him to survive his battle with Raziel in Defiance. Doubly effective because not only is Moebius The Chessmaster, he can also see the future.
- The Dragon: For The Elder God.
- Evil All Along: As revealed across the series, Moebius was the devious Manipulative Bastard he is long before Nupraptor's psychic attack on the Circle of Nine drove him insane.
- Evil Gloating
- Evil Feels Good: When Raziel figures out he was manipulating him, Moebius states he enjoyed manipulating his actions.
- Fantastic Racism: He absolutely and completely hates vampires, especially Kain.
- Faux Affably Evil: Often speaks politely to those he's duping, only to drop the act while he's gloating about how it was so easy to trick them. In his first meeting with Kain in Defiance, he even greets his old foe with an almost cordial "It has been a long time, hasn't it?"
- Foil: To Kain. While they're both manipulative, Kain at least places some value on loyalty and the lives of those faithful to him, and isn't afraid to risk his life to achieve his ends. Moebius cares nothing for those under him, and is a Dirty Coward that only acts brave because knowing the future means he already knows how nearly every encounter he has will turn out.
- Freudian Excuse: Kain discovers the reason for his hatred of vampires over the course of Defiance: When he was a child, he was kidnapped by vampires who knew he was to become the Guardian of Time, and wanted to turn him into a vampire so he would be better suited to his duties.
- Humiliation Conga: See Kick the Son of a Bitch further down the page. In the span of about sixty seconds, all of Moebius's schemes blow up in his face, his powers fail him, and we see him reduced to a simpering old man before he's finally put out of his misery for good.
- Jerkass: Far more so than Kain even, as he often shows his face before his enemies just to mock them for how futile their actions are and/or that they've played into his hands.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: In Defiance, he's impaled and killed by Kain, and then his spirit rises from his corpse to be impaled and reaved by Raziel in the Spectral Realm, and both times they taunt him before he goes. Harsh, but after all that he's done up to that point, it can't be denied he had it coming.
- Kryptonite Factor: His staff can subdue vampires with a wave. Even Kain and Janos can't resist its powers. It can also disable Raziel's spectral Soul Reaver.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Three times, in fact! At the end of Defiance, Kain impales his body, his spirit rises in the Spectral Realm to be impaled by Raziel, and then Raziel possesses his corpse for Kain to impale yet again.
- Magic Staff: His signature staff can subdue vampires. It also has the power to subdue Raziel's spectral Soul Reaver, being that it's formed from Raziel's former-vampiric soul.
- Manipulative Bastard: Oh yes. He has definite advantages in this regard (what with being The Omniscient time-streamer and all), but his ability to play Raziel, who is Immune to Fate, shows that his more conventional manipulative abilities are still pretty impressive.
- Non-Linear Character: At any one point, the Moebius you're seeing could easily be the Moebius from another time period. He appears in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance at times when he's technically supposed to be dead. Word of God said that the Continuity Snarl in Defiance when he appears at Vorador's mansion when he should have been killed by the Blood Omen-era Kain by then, was just Moebius jumping ahead in time briefly to taunt Raziel before he went back to face his death.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Invoked when Raziel first meets him. He doesn't buy it and Moebius quickly drops the act and laughs in his face. However he still hides his true role in the events of the series, and it isn't until Defiance that he lets everyone see just how powerful and in-control he really is.
- Oh, Crap!: In Defiance, the look on his face when he realizes Kain is not dead and is right behind him is absolutely priceless. Were he not Impaled with Extreme Prejudice shortly afterward, he would have had to change his pants right then and there.
- The Omniscient: He can see through time, backward and forward, at will, so he not only knows all that has and will happen, but any time the timeline changes you can be sure he already knows exactly what's changed by the time Kain or Raziel find him next, and will know better than them. However, his sight is not completely foolproof. He can't see Raziel's future or what he'll do because he has free will — he can see the ripples in time from the potential actions Raziel might take if he chooses to, but they're liable to change any time so all he can do is manipulate Raziel into making the choice he wants him to take and hope he falls for it. And come the end of Defiance he doesn't foresee Kain's return either. Kain practically invokes Not So Omniscient After All by name when he realizes Moebius has his limits.Kain: Is there a crack in your omniscience after all, Moebius?
- Smug Snake: He is eternally confident and in-control, and tosses out a lot of smirks and sneers at Kain and Raziel. Mildly subverted in that this never bites him in the ass, he's just that good at what he does. And when he finally meets his end at Kain's hands in Defiance, it's due to something no one thought possible.
- Squishy Wizard: Without his anti-vampire staff, he's not much of a threat, to say the least.Raziel: These blades now coiled in sinister embrace have inspired terror in the hearts of creatures far more durable than you, old man.
- This Cannot Be!: Exclaims "This is not possible...!" when Kain returns from the dead, something he didn't foresee, and is now immune to his staff's powers.
- Time Master: His entire shtick, having the title of "Timestreamer" and all.
- The Unfettered: In his goal to exterminate all vampires, he doesn't seem to care how many humans he sacrifices, needless or otherwise, to do it.
- Unwitting Pawn: He was just the Elder God's tool with which to marginalize the vampires, once he's done that the Elder God has no problems letting him die.
- We All Die Someday: Points out to Raziel at the beginning of Soul Reaver 2, in response to his acceptance that Kain will eventually kill him:Moebius: Death comes for us all, Raziel. It's just a matter of time.
- Vocal Evolution: Initially his voice is rather high-pitched and scratchy- by the time of Defiance, his voice has become more of a baritone.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: If we're to believe the murals Raziel finds, the humans were dominated by the vampires before Moebius led his rebellion, so for a while being a human in Nosgoth got a lot better thanks to him. He led that rebellion in the first place because he thought the Elder God was a genuine god, and believed his decree that vampires were a plague on Nosgoth that needed to be wiped out. As Raziel lampshades, when Moebius finds out he's been serving an Eldritch Abomination all this time, he realizes to his horror how wrong he's been.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Almost invoked word for word by the Elder God in Defiance."Moebius was a good servant, but he was of no further use.
The Elder God
"I am the origin of life...The devourer of death...I am the hub of the wheel, the purifying cycle to which all souls must be drawn!"
Voiced by Tony JayAn ancient entity dwelling in Nosgoth's underground, he controls the Wheel of Fate, which controls the destinies and souls of all of Nosgoth. As such he naturally despises the immortal vampires, and revived Raziel as a wraith to wipe them out and allow the Wheel to turn freely. After Raziel begins pursuing Kain through time and comes to doubt if Kain needs to die, the Elder God tries to sway him back to this path.
- A God Am I: Presents himself as one. And the Ancients worshiped him as one too, as does Moebius.
- Ambiguously Evil: Raziel doesn't fully trust him in Soul Reaver, but given that he's offering him a chance at resurrection and vengeance and helps him in his path for the latter, how can he say no? Turns out he was right to be suspicious.
- Badass Baritone: He has a very deep voice that lends itself well to his personality.
- Badass Boast: See his quote a little higher up. He uses variations of this speech a lot throughout the series.
- Big Bad: Though there are many antagonists in the series, the Elder God is the central one. Defiance reveals he's the one who convinced the Ancients to war with the Hylden, making him responsible for the creation of Hash'ak'gik and thus guilty of his deeds by proxy, and he's also the one who gave Moebius the power to exterminate the vampires and motivated him to overthrow them. All he does is to further his goal to conquer Nosgoth and spin all souls in his wheel without dissension.
- Big Bad Ensemble: With Hash'ak'gik. Whatever events can't be traced back to Hash trace back to the Elder God or one of his servants.
- Boss Banter: His Badass Boasting keeps going even in the middle of combat.
- The Chessmaster: He's The Man Behind the Man to almost everything that happens in the series, including the plans of the other main Chessmaster, Moebius.
- Combat Tentacles: The main way he acts throughout the series, primarily in Defiance when he tries to keep Raziel imprisoned in the spectral realm.
- Eldritch Abomination: A classic example, he's an ever-changing mass of tentacles and eyes who exists outside the normal boundaries of space and time. Even his name is straight out of Lovecraftian mythos.
- Evil Mentor: He does not have Raziel's interests in mind when he revives him as his servant.
- Evil Sounds Deep: As deep as they come with Tony Jay doing his voice work.
- Fantastic Racism: He has nothing but disdain for the vampire race.
- Final Boss: Of Defiance, and therefore the entire series.
- Giant Eye of Doom: In Defiance, it's the center of his mass of tentacles.
- God Is Evil: Ambiguous since it is hinted that the Elder God may not be a god, but instead a very, very powerful Eldritch Abomination. However, since all other "gods" in the series are also shown to be some variation of demonic creature, and Nosgoth is a Crapsack World, a genuine god being an Eldritch Abomination fits right in.
- Go for the Eye: How you fight him in Defiance.
- Greater-Scope Villain: He's been around since Soul Reaver, but his role in Nosgoth's bloody history isn't revealed until Defiance.
- Hellish Pupils: Not only slitted, but shaped like an infinity symbol in Defiance.
- Hidden Villain: Until the end of Defiance, only Raziel has ever seen his true form.
- Jerkass: When his true colors are revealed in Defiance. He cares nothing for his followers, loyal or otherwise, and mocks Raziel's misfortune any chance he gets, which is to say, a lot.
- Large Ham: Naturally given his voice actor.
- The Man Behind the Man: To almost everyone. Even if the Hylden are his enemies, it was the Elder God's actions that set them on the path to becoming secondary antagonists with him.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Only the Soul Reaver can hurt him, and it needs to be imbued with a lot of powerful souls to get to that point. Furthermore he's entirely immune to spectral weapons, laughing when Raziel directly attacks him and nothing happens.
- Non-Action Big Bad: He prefers to manipulate people, and when we see him fight someone, his combat abilities are severely unimpressive.
- Non-Linear Character: Raziel is quite surprised when he travels back in time and the Elder God calls to him by name. Given his omniscience, it's not surprising.
- No Name Given: He's only ever called "The Elder God", and the title is never mentioned in-game at all. The only specific title or name given to him is "the Oracle", which he identifies himself when speaking to Kain.
- The Omniscient: Being that he seems to control the concept of fate itself, he exists outside the boundaries of the normal spacetime continuum.
- Puny Humans: While "human" isn't apt for most of the people he talks to, in general he doesn't think too high of much anyone.(While fighting Kain) "Pathetic creature."
- The Stoic: Impressive example given the number of insults Raziel throws his way, up until Defiance where he starts taking more amusement in Raziel's suffering.
- Stupid Evil: Wanting the extermination of the vampires. He's trying to kill the race that served him loyally and are keeping his enemies the Hylden from entering Nosgoth. Word of God says that he may have known this would be the result and didn't care, since the return of the Hylden still results in more war and death, and thus more souls for him to spin in his Wheel — presumably he'd find more servants to use against them once they got out of control as he'd done before.
- Threat Backfire: Does a variant of his Badass Boast against Kain in Defiance while also threatening to bring the entire cave down on him. Rather than be intimidated, Kain realizes that if the Elder God wants him dead, it must mean he's a threat and can hurt him now with the empowered Soul Reaver.
- Ungrateful Bastard: The vampires follow his orders and wage war against the Hylden in his name, and for their efforts got cursed. He abandons them and spends the rest of time trying to wipe them out.
- Unreliable Expositor: Sometimes he's telling the truth, sometimes he's lying. Raziel settled on never trusting a word he says.
- Unskilled, but Strong: He wields godlike power, and his tentacles are strong enough to smash walkways to smithereens... but as shown when Kain fights him in Defiance, his combat skills amount to little more than flailing his tentacles around.
- Walking Spoiler: His real hand in the events of the series completely turn the plot on its head.
- Wild Mass Guessing: An in-universe example — Raziel suggests the Elder God isn't a true god but just a powerful entity presenting himself as one, and also wonders if it was really the Elder God who revived him, or if it was another force that did it and the Elder God just took credit for it to win Raziel's allegiance. Both theories are entrely possible, and Word of God says they would have explored them in future games that never came to light, but in the canon it's unknown what the truth is.note
- The Voice: In Soul Reaver, he's heard in voice but he doesn't make a physical appearance until Soul Reaver 2.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: No one is in-disposable to him; anyone that serves him shall be deemed not worth keeping around anymore if he decides so, even entire races.
"Rest...? A body is needed for sleep. Flesh and bones are required to recline. No, child, all I may do is watch, and remember, ceaselessly conscious as this wretched world's history unfurls. Ghastly past, insufferable future, are they one and the same...? Am I always here?"
Voiced by Anna GunnKain's predecessor as the Guardian of Balance in the Circle of Nine, her death sparked the circle's corruption and the events of the first game. The corruption of the Circle binds her spirit to the Pillars, and she will haunt them until the Pillars are restored — namely, until Kain dies. Thus she's pretty much condemned for eternity, and she knows it.
- Break the Cutie: Not only did she have a terrible death, but she ended up with this after, too. See below.
- Facial Horror: The entire left side of her face is stripped of flesh.
- Fantastic Racism: She's none too fond of the vampires.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Not only is she dead and unable to interact with the physical world, but thanks to Kain refusing the sacrifice, she's bound to the Pillars for all eternity.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In Defiance.
- Morality Chain: Her death is what caused her lover Nupraptor to go insane and corrupt the Circle of Nine.
- Spirit Advisor: For Kain in Blood Omen and Raziel in Soul Reaver. Briefly revisits the role for Raziel in Defiance, but having a different idea of what he is compared to her future self, she just aids him so he'll leave her alone.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gets one from Raziel when he points out that she caused Nupraptor to be among Kain's first victims and deceived him into doing her bidding.
"Centuries of persecution have taught me well. Five hundred years ago, our race was nearly exterminated by the fanatical crusades of the Sarafan. And now the same sick drama unfolds again: in merely a decade, Moebius's cutthroat citizen army has nearly accomplished what the Sarafan could not. Vampires meddling in the affairs of men... Look where it has brought us."
Voiced by Paul LukatherA high-ranking Vampire and the first human to be "blessed" with the dark gift from the Ancients. He's the one who forged the Soul Reaver for Janos Audron, though he doesn't know its true purpose. He prefers to remain absent from human affairs, as he considers them nothing but trouble, and fully embraces the idea that the vampires are superior beings.
- Back from the Dead: They never fully explain why he's alive in Blood Omen 2: chronologically his death during the events of Blood Omen still happens, as Defiance takes the time to demonstrate. Defiance was supposed to explain it, with some cut content indicating Kain (present version) would have revived him, but it was left out.
- Badass Boast: Vorador gets one in Blood Omen when he meets Kain for the first time."After slaughtering six of the sheep, I defeated their pathetic little shepherd Malek..."
- Bald of Awesome: He's certainly a powerful fighter, though rarely shown in combat on-screen. Moebius remarks when his vampire hunters capture him in Defiance that the deed came with a high cost paid in blood.
- Been There, Shaped History: Defiance reveals that Vorador was the very first human to ever become a vampire, and he was the one who forged the Soul Reaver.
- The Blacksmith: The maker of the Soul Reaver.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: His favorite hobby. His "pantry" is a specially designed torture chamber with acoustics that allow screams to reverberate for years after his victims are dead.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Though it happens offscreen, it's stated in Defiance that while Moebius' thugs managed to capture him, it was not without "a considerable price in blood."
- The Hedonist: Owns a ludicrously opulent mansion, and surrounds himself with concubines. Kain even refers to him as a "sado-hedonist."
- Jade-Colored Glasses: Earned them after the Sarafan vampire purges killed off Janos Audron and keeps them on for the rest of his life.
- La Résistance: In Blood Omen 2.
- Large Ham: Vorador gets in on the ham in Blood Omen."Call your dogs! They can feast on your corpses!""Whelp! As if you knew what eternity was. Grovel before your true master!"
- The Mentor: For Kain. Plays with the role to Raziel, briefly advising him in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance, but aids him much less than Kain.
- Monster Progenitor: As revealed in Defiance, he was the very first human-derived vampire in Nosgoth.
- Off with His Head!: After Moebius manipulates Kain into altering time, Kain returns to find Vorador beheaded by a guillotine.
- Retired Monster: And for good reason.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Soul Reaver 2 shows us that Vorador's slaughter of the Circle was direct revenge for the murder of Janos Audron, his Sire.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Kain in Blood Omen 2. While they have a common enemy, they don't like each other, and nearly come to blows after Vorador learns about Umah's death before Janos breaks the fight up.
- Unexplained Recovery: It's never fully explained how Vorador came Back from the Dead in Blood Omen 2. It's only confirmed by a comment by Kain ("Do you so wish to return to the grave, old friend?") that he did indeed die before.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Pretty similar to Kain in this respect, though he doesn't often use it.
Mortanius The Necromancer
"Strange, isn't it Kain? That one cannot quite accept that which sustains him: you in your death and me in mine. But death cannot reign in a world without life... and soon you will find the quest ahead of you is yours and yours alone."
Voiced by Tony Jay (Blood Omen) / Alastair Duncan (Defiance)The Guardian of Death in the Circle of Nine, he's the one who revived Kain as a vampire in Blood Omen. Kain eventually finds out he's also the one who killed Ariel and caused the Circle's corruption. Outraged by the rest of the Circle's abuse of their power, he had Kain killed and revived him as a vampire to use as an assassin to kill the Circle, including himself. Defiance reveals he helped Moebius overthrow the vampires and some time later became a vessel for Hash'ak'gik to corrupt the Circle and loosen the shackles on the Hylden. His resurrection of Kain is his attempt to set the prophecy of the Scion of Balance going and put things right.
- The Archmage: Mortanius was considered by most to be the most powerful magic wielder in Nosgoth at the time of the corruption of the Pillars. He's powerful enough that he could easily kill another member of the Circle on his own.
- The Atoner: Mortanius, having unwillingly murdered Ariel, spends most of the first game trying to repair the damage this has caused. It's also revealed that he's atoning for an even bigger misdeed - helping Moebius overthrow the vampires and removing the Pillars from vampire ownership - by his resurrection of Kain as the Scion of Balance
- Badass Baritone: In Blood Omen, being voiced by Tony Jay
- Batman Gambit: Once he figured out the Vampires were supposed to be the ones in charge and Moebius' rebellion was in error, he revived Kain since he knew Kain was supposed to be The Chosen One, and hoped for the best.
- Comes Great Responsibility: The reason Blood Omen gives for him killing the rest of the Circle besides the corruption, he views the power granted from the Circle gives them responsibility to the rest of Nosgoth. Pretty much the only character besides Janos that believes in this.
- Big Bad: Of the first game. Actually was the unwilling puppet of Hash'ak'Gik, the real villain of the first game.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Mortanius' Necromancy is a perfectly natural form of magic tied with the Pillar of Death; also, demonic possession aside, Mortanius himself is actually one of the nobler characters in the series, especially compared to the rest of the Circle.
- Defector from Decadence: As he believes that the Circle exists for the benefit of Nosgoth, unlike the rest of the corrupted members.
- Demonic Possession: Something dark is inside him and influencing his actions. Defiance reveals he's a vessel of the Hylden Lord, controlling him to bring down the Pillars from within the Circle.
- Do Not Go Gentle: He freely admits prior to his battle with Kain that he has embraced his fate to die at Kain's hands. Doesn't mean he's gonna go down without a fight.
- Easily Forgiven: While Kain does still kill him, he doesn't seem to hold any ill will against him despite learning he was responsible for Kain's death in the first place.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: In Defiance, it's revealed that under his mask, he's mostly human in appearance except for his unhealthily pale skin - which would be an Undeathly Pallor if Mortanius hadn't still been alive at the time.
- Expressive Mask: His skeletal "face" in the first game is actually a mask - a very convincing one at that.
"Embrace your destiny, Raziel. You must reclaim the Reaver—it was forged for you and you alone...Without it, there is no hope."
Voiced by René AuberjonoisThe last Ancient Vampire and one of the highest-ranking of them, he is Vorador's sire and the one who commissioned the forging of the Soul Reaver. This also makes him the only person who understands its true purpose and thus the key to many mysteries. His heart, torn out of him centuries before Kain's birth, is known in legend as the Heart of Darkness, and is said to be able restore vampiric unlife.
- Almost Dead Guy: In Soul Reaver 2.
- Anti-Hero: Janos is probably the only character in the series who is unambiguously good and is always portrayed as helpful, gentle, and wise. However, he's still a servant of the Elder God with the rest of his race, even if he doesn't realize it, which potentially casts a shadow on everything he does.
- Back from the Dead: Raziel's quest to revive him and get some answers out of him is his driving motivation in Defiance.
- Beat Still, My Heart: Almost invoked word for word in Soul Reaver 2.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Despite being kind and affable, Janos can and will kick ass if it's required of him. He would prefer not to, though.
- Big Good: In Soul Reaver 2 he seems to be the only person Raziel looks up to. Janos was originally a tenth guardian of the Circle and protector of the Soul Reaver, whose power binded the demons away in the Demon Realm His true nature in revealed in the next two games where we find out Janos worships the Elder God and took a part in sealing the Hlyden away, who didn't worship the Elder God and they went mad.
- Body Horror: In Blood Omen 2, he's deformed and devolved from powering The Device.
- Cosmic Plaything: He worshipped an Eldritch Abomination that desires the death of all vampires, got murdered by Sarafan and was brought back thanks to the manipulation of the Hylden to serve in their plans to wipe out humans and vampires alike. And as of the unaltered time, his final fate is to get chucked into the Hylden dimension.
- Demonic Possession: What happens to him in Defiance, and kick-starts the events of Blood Omen 2. With the Pillars of Nosgoth corrupted by Kain refusing the sacrifice to purify them, the Hylden seal cracks wide enough for the Hylden Lord to seize Janos as a vessel.
- Fate Worse Than Death: His ultimate fate, as of Blood Omen 2; Thrown through the Hylden Gate into the Demon Dimension.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: He has black feathered wings.
- Humans Are Flawed: His thoughts on humans. As vampires prey on humans, and also kidnapped the humans chosen by the Pillars to turn into vampires, he understands why humans see vampires as monsters.
- Last of His Kind: He's the last Ancient Vampire.
- Leitmotif: The gorgeous piece of music/ambience that plays in his mountain retreat in Soul Reaver 2 is briefly reprised in Defiance when Raziel brings him Back from the Dead.
- Mr. Exposition: Though pretty much every character in the series can qualify for this (it's a very dialogue-heavy series), Janos deserves special mention as this is his purpose in-game. Raziel goes through hell to seek him out and later to restore his heart and bring him back to life just so that Janos can tell him what the heck is going on. When watching a cutscene featuring Janos, be prepared for a very long history lesson.
- Lampshaded rather hilariously by Michael Bell (Raziel's voice actor) in the outtake videos for Defiance.Bell: Oh good. You have the big chunk. You have the big exposition. Thank you! Thank you for giving him the exposition!
- Lampshaded rather hilariously by Michael Bell (Raziel's voice actor) in the outtake videos for Defiance.
- No Pronunciation Guide: It's yaw-nohs.
- No Shirt, Long Jacket: His chest is bare under his robes.
- Real Men Love Jesus: Unfortunately, what he's really worshipping is an Eldritch Abomination masquerading as a god.
- Religious Bruiser: He prefers not to fight, but he can when needed. And like the rest of the Ancients, he is a devout follower of their God.
- Team Dad: Treats everyone, including Kain in Blood Omen 2, in a gentle and paternal manner.
- Token Good Teammate: Between Nosgoth being a Crapsack World and the series running on Black and Gray Morality, Janos is probably the only character that is truly "good" through and through. He has no hidden agenda, he doesn't manipulate anyone, he has no selfish or self-serving motivation or goal, doesn't hold any grudges against humans for their actions, whenever he's on screen he's polite and affable, and he plays it straight when Raziel demands answers from him. It says something that in a series where most recurring characters are varying degrees of Magnificent Bastards, Janos is not.
- Vampire Vords: The only vampire to play this straight.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: In Blood Omen 2.
- Winged Humanoid: The defining trait of the Ancients.
"Don't you see? My silencing of Ariel and its calculated repercussions is but the first act in my theater of Grand Guignol, of which you are the tragic hero. Play on, little vampire, play on..."The main antagonist of the original game, he possessed Mortanius and murdered Ariel with the intent to destroy the Pillars of Nosgoth. His existence was revisited in later games, revealing he was a much more important character than Kain suspected at the time, and his plans were not limited to just the Circle.
- Arch-Enemy: To Kain, mostly by virtue of being the Big Bad of both Blood Omen games, as well as the mastermind behind Kain's assassination and the corruption of the Circle.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The apparent leader of the Hylden and the strongest of their ranks, and was also the strongest among the Sarafan.
- Batman Gambit: As Kain realizes when he saves Raziel at the end of Soul Reaver 2, Hash was banking on Kain doing this so Raziel would eventually revive Janos, giving him the vessel he needed to open the gate to the Hylden realm.
- Big Bad: In Blood Omen and Blood Omen 2.
- Big Bad Ensemble: With Moebius and by proxy the Elder God. Most of the conflicts Kain and Raziel face throughout the series trace back to one of them, and while we never see them come into conflict during the games, the backstory establishes that the two are enemies and are directly opposed to each other. The end of Defiance has Moebius addressing that now that Kain and Raziel have been dealt with, it's time to turn attention to the Hylden.
- Body Surf: He's possessed Mortanius, Janos, and has likely used other vessels when needed.
- Breaking Speech: Gives a good one to Kain at the end of Blood Omen 2, ridiculing him as a man that got far more power than he ever should have and still couldn't be satisfied with it and endlessly craved more while destroying everything touched, hence why everyone around Kain kept betraying him. Even though Kain follows with a Shut Up, Hannibal!, it's not a particularly convincing one, and the player is left thinking that Kain was trying to avoid facing the fact that his enemy was right.
- Chekhov's Gunman: [Apparent] Giant Space Flea from Nowhere in Blood Omen... then Blood Omen 2 and Defiance came around and revealed he was playing a much larger gambit than he showed in the first game.
- The Chessmaster: Orchestrates the events of Blood Omen with the intent of collapsing the Pillars, and it worked. See also Batman Gambit above.
- Demonic Possession: His main method of action is to control others, since he can't manifest in Nosgoth directly (or at least, not permanently).
- Evil Is Bigger: In both Blood Omen and Blood Omen 2 he's much larger than Kain.
- Evil Sounds Deep: All the different forms he uses have really deep voices, often with a Voice of the Legion effect too.
- Genius Bruiser: He's not only a powerful warrior in combat, but also a brilliant manipulator.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In Blood Omen, there's almost no foreshadowing (only a secret altar beneath Avernus Cathedral with his name and appearance) to his existence and very little explanation as to what he even is.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: A signature trait of those he controls.
- Hijacked by Ganon: Retroactively hijacks Blood Omen 2. Blood Omen 2 came out and named the villain "the Hylden General" aka the Sarafan Lord, but it wasn't until Defiance that it was revealed that he was the Dark Entity / Hash'ak'gik from the first game.
- I Have Many Names: Hash'ak'gik, the Hylden Lord, the Sarafan Lord, the Hylden General, the Unspoken. Though he's nice enough to share one with Turel, who also goes by "Hash'ak'gik".
- Large and in Charge: As the Sarafan Lord, to his human servants, some of the Hylden under him are even bigger than he is.
- Knight Templar: The war between the Ancients and the Hylden was started by the former, and only because the Hylden refused to submit to the Elder God's control. Hash is entirely justified in wanting to wipe the vampires out and free his people. He could be an outright Hero Antagonist except that, much like Kain, he has no regard for any humans caught up in his plans.
- The Man Behind the Man: To Mortanius in Blood Omen, and the Sarafan in Blood Omen 2.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: His victory over Raziel in Defiance weakens Raziel enough for the Elder God to reign Raziel in and trap him in his realm again, thereby setting the stage for Raziel to have his epiphany moment and grant Kain the empowered Soul Reaver.
- Not So Different:
- In Blood Omen 2 the rule of the Sarafan under him is just as bad as the rule of Kain's empire in Soul Reaver, and worse when one realizes he planned on wiping out the humans. Noted by Umah, who asks outright how Kain's empire will be any different from the Sarafan, and by Hash himself.
- With regards to Janos, they both feel their race was in the right with the war and the acts they committed, Hash'ak'gik feeling the vampires deserved their curse for starting the war and Janos feeling the Hylden deserved to suffer for what the curse did the vampires and what it drove them to do to the humans.
- Omnicidal Maniac: His Evil Plan in Blood Omen 2 had him planning to use a superweapon wipe every remaining vampire and human.
- The Omniscient: Possibly, since he seems to exist outside the boundaries of the normal spacetime-continuum. He clearly knows a huge amount about time travel, and is able to manipulate Kain and Raziel to his own ends across centuries backwards and forwards. If he doesn't have some way of seeing through time, he's a king among Magnificent Bastards for pulling it all off in a linear timeframe.
- Puny Humans: His thoughts on humans are never made clear besides not caring if he wipes them out to wipe the vampires, but if he actually has the same disgust from them that the rest of the Hylden who appear in Blood Omen 2 do or is indifferent to them in unknown.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Along with the rest of the Hylden.
- Tautological Templar: Insists that he, and by proxy the rest of the Hylden, are on the side of "justice" with their actions, including the curse on the vampires, even the part of it that drove them to pray on humans.
- Xanatos Gambit: Through Mortanius, it orchestrated the events of Blood Omen in the hopes of destroying the pillars. Specifically, the pillars would collapse if either the Scion of Balance remains corrupted, or if there are no vampires left to sustain the barrier between worlds. By ensuring that the corrupted Scion of Balance was also the last vampire in the world, the pillars would fall regardless of whether Kain lived or died.
- Walking Spoiler: His influence in the plotlines of later games is a big plot twist.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: A person spending countless centuries imprisoned in a hell dimension that twists its inhabitants and inexorably makes them mad, banished there for defending himself against crusading oppressors who are ultimately serving a parasitic abomination, could be excused for being a bit angry when he comes out. Targeting the now-innocent generations of humans in addition to the vampires with The Device might be a result of rage carried over from the war of the ancients spurred by the demon realm's madness, as the humans sided with the ancient vampires in that war.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: During his final battle with Kain at the end of Blood Omen 2, he and Kain are at a stalemate with Kain holding the Nexus Stone keeps him him being harmed by the Soul Reaver, but he doesn't need to kill Kain because as long as the gateway is open he can just stall for time and let the rest of the Hylden pass through it. He didn't count on Kain having the guts to throw the Nexus Stone into the gateway and seal it, leaving himself vulnerable to the Soul Reaver but keeping the Hylden from entering Nosgoth.
Introduced in Blood Omen
Nupraptor The Mentalist
"Come, Kain... come share my pain..."The Guardian of Mind in the Circle of Nine, Nupraptor went mad when he found that his lover Ariel had been murdered; with his psychic powers, he went about spreading his insanity to the rest of the Circle, kicking off the events of the first game.
- The Empath: According to the Silicon Knights FAQ, Nupraptor is "hypersensitive to peoples' emotions and thoughts" and was more than a little unstable due to this - even before Ariel's death.
- Eye Scream: During his Freak Out, he ends up sewing his eyes and lips shut.
- Love Makes You Evil: His lover's death drove him insane.
- Off with His Head!: His eventual fate.
- Psychic Powers: Including Mind over Matter, Telepathy, and Villain Teleportation
- Small Role, Big Impact: He's the very first member of the Circle that Kain kills, but it was his psychic attack on his fellow guardians, as well as Kain, that instigated the Pillars' corruption.
- Tragic Villain: Went mad after girlfriend's death. Then said girlfriend sends a vampire to put him down.
Anarcrothe the Alchemist
"The Circle exists for us, we don't exist for it! Our powers will save or damn Nosgoth at our whim!"The Guardian of States in the Circle of Nine.
Azimuth the Planer
"Come to me my children! We shall ravage Nosgoth together!"The Guardian of Dimension in the Circle of Nine.
Bane the Druid
"He is an affront to Nature itself! It is our duty to purify him!"The Guardian of Nature in the Circle of Nine.
- The Beastmaster: According to Silicon Knight's biography, he can control the behaviour of animals.
- Creating Life: His ability to influence animals and their biology made him one of the most integral proponents of the Dark Eden triad.
- Druid: As noted by his epithet, he's a Druid.
- Kill It with Water: During the boss battle, he converts the ground into water, exploiting Kain's vampiric weakness.
Dejoule the Energist
"Burn, wretched vampire, burn!"The Guardian of Energy in the Circle of Nine.
- Black Cloak: Until the boss battle, of course...
- Walking Wasteland: According to both deleted lines and the Silicon Knights character biographies, Dejoule's powers have grown to the point that her presence can blister the skin and sterilize the cells of anybody standing too close to her- hence the reason why she wears an insulating cloak.
Malek The Paladin
"It is not often that a man sees his own corpse: it is a sobering experience. But I am far less interested in my own corpse than I am in yours..."The Guardian of Conflict in the Circle of Nine, and the official bodyguard of the other members. After his failure to protect the Circle of Nine from Vorador's attack, Malek was punished by having his body destroyed and his soul bound to a suit of magical armour, condemning him to the post of Defender of the Nine for all eternity. In Soul Reaver 2, it is discovered he only failed to protect the rest of the Circle because Moebius stopped him from doing so; given that Moebius went on to be one of the people who sentenced him to eternal imprisonment within the armour, this makes him quite The Woobie.
- Animated Armor: His soul was sealed into a suit of armor.
- Anti-Villain: Was cruelly manipulated by Moebius the entire time. Granted, he was a Church Militant Knight Templar already, but his fate and the reasons for it push him into this territory, as he was only ever trying to do his duty and became an Unwitting Pawn as a result.
- Arch-Enemy: To Vorador, and on a more one sided note, to Kain. With the exception of Moebius, Kain never held a grudge like he held a grudge against Malek, defacing his (never used) tomb centuries after his death. This is likely because Malek is the only foe Kain faces in the series that he was never able to personally defeat. For his part, Malek's hatred was too firmly rooted on Vorador to care that much for Kain.
- Badass Boast:"I'll cut you from crotch to gizzard and feed what's left to your brides!"
- Blade on a Stick: Resembles a Naginata, which justifies the Weapon Twirling.
- Dead Guy on Display: In the throne room of his fortress, he's left a rotting corpse "holding court." However, it's ambiguous if the body is actually Malek's or not.
- The Dragon: Served as the Dragon to the Circle during their crusade against the vampires. Was dragon his feet during Vorador's assault on the Circle Thanks to Moebius, and Kain was smart enough to go after him early on.
- Empowered Badass Normal: As a human he was already a strong warrior that could fight against vampires on his own, even Vorador (though he still lost). As Animated Armor, he could reassemble himself if damaged, making him the only antagonist Kain couldn't defeat.
- Fate Worse Than Death: For his failure to save the Circle from Vorador, his soul was ripped from his body and fused to his armor, leaving him with no purpose but to serve the Circle for eternity.
- Foil: His back story is similar to Raziel.
- Genius Bruiser: He might not be the most tactically-sound mind in the Circle, but he did manage to construct a number of machines built to recycle and fuse the souls of dead warriors into suits of armour.
- The Hedonist: Before Soul Reaver 2 established that this was due to Mobius' manipulation Blood Omen had contained some subtle hints that Malek was late to defend the Circle because he was busy carousing. Being turned into a fleshless suit of Animated Armor knocked it out of him anyway.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Kain cannot kill him personally because Malek simply reassembles himself, and eventually creates an Advancing Wall of Doom. All you can do is keep up the attack long enough for the exit to appear.
- Last of His Kind: Last of the Sarafan priesthood by the time of Blood Omen.
- Revenge Before Reason: He lets Kain chase after Bane and Dejoule so he can focus on Vorador, just for the chance at personal vengeance. Granted, Vorador was the greater threat.
- Say My Name: Most of the Circle Members he failed to save at the beginning of Blood Omen end up shouting Malek's name a lot. So Narmtastic that even Vorador laughed.
- Weapon Twirling: Likes this trope a lot. He does this every time he attacks Kain, presumably combining a more powerful blow with Intimidation Demonstration.
William the Just
A once virtuous king, he became corrupted and turned into the Nemesis, a tyrant bent on conquering Nosgoth. Kain travels back in time to kill him before this happened, an event that sparks the destruction of the Vampire race since oops, a Vampire just killed a young and kind king in cold blood.
- 0% Approval Rating: After turning evil he was a brutal tyrant. Not terribly popular, as you can imagine.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: It takes a ton of hits even from the Soul Reaver to take him down.
- Don't Create a Martyr: Kain falls victim to this trope — by killing the Nemesis before he became evil, Moebius rallies the humans into exterminating the vampires out of vengeance for William.
- Face–Heel Turn: He was a kind king at first, but turned evil later in life.
- The Good King: He started out as this.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: You don't want a guy called the Nemesis descending on your village.
- Spikes of Villainy: His armies, along with their creepy red armor. The Nemesis himself is extra-spiky.
- Tin Tyrant: Post Face–Heel Turn.
- Vocal Dissonance: One of the few characters who shouldn't have been voiced by Tony Jay. As the Nemesis, perhaps, but not the polite, unsure boy we see.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He doesn't show up in any other games after Blood Omen, but him being a ripple in the time stream impacts Raziel's decision to kill Kain.
Ruler of Willendorf, the kingdom that opposed the Nemesis. After Kain retrieves his daughter's soul, he rallies his people against the Nemesis's army.
- Animal Motifs: He's called the Mighty Lion of Willendorf, and this is reflected in his weaponry and banners.
- Carry a Big Stick: He wields a mace shaped like a lion's head.
- The Good King: He just needs to get his motivation back.
- Rousing Speech: "The scourge of Nosgoth is upon us, friends! We shall die today as heroes, lest we live tomorrow as slaves! Ready thine arms! FOR NOSGOTH!"
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He is never seen again in the series after Kain goes back in time to kill William the Just.
Elzevir the Dollmaker
An accomplished toymaker and minor magician. During the backstory, he took part in a contest to produce a doll worthy of the Princess of Willendorf's birthday and won; as a reward, he requested a lock of the princess's hair- which he received. Shortly afterwards, the princess fell into a coma, and Elzevir ended up becoming one of Kain's targets in his mission to rally Willendorf against the Nemesis.
- Animate Inanimate Object: Specialises in animating his dolls and turning them into warriors.
- Psychopathic Man Child: "You shall not have it! Mine, mine, mine!"
- Sympathetic Magic: Another specialty of his.
- Wicked Toymaker: He imprisoned the soul of King Ottmar's daughter with a doll he made. When Kain crashes his workshop, he goes up against Elzevir's creations.
- You Do NOT Want To Know: It's probably for the best that we never find out just what he wanted with the princess' soul. Even Kain seems pretty creeped out by it.
Introduced in Soul Reaver
"Do you not recognize me, brother? Am I so changed?"
Voiced by Michael BellOne of Raziel's brothers, he was the last to be resurrected by Kain, and having the least of his power, still suffers from decay. Thus, on top of having to drink blood, he has to skin the corpses for hides to replace his own festering skin; by the time Raziel emerges from the Abyss, this practice has degenerated into incorporating entire bodies into his own, transforming Melchiah into a hulking mass of corpses and mangled organs. Even his fingers are actually severed limbs grafted onto the ends of his arms.
- Body Horror: Since his body still decays he has to skin the corpses for hides to replace his own festering skin. He looks like an Eldritch Abomination by the time Raziel gets around to killing him.
- Body of Bodies: His mutated, slug-like form.
- Came Back Wrong: He's the least powerful of Kain's off-spring and for it has devolved into something you would never guess used to be human.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: the Melchahim Vampires have more in common with zombies than vampires, even bursting up from the ground to attack.
- A Fate Worse Than Death: His words indicate that he did not enjoy his existence. Not that you can blame him..."Do you think I feel no revulsion for this form?"
- I Die Free: "I am... released..."
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Courtesy of spiked gates.
- Puzzle Boss: Raziel has to lure him under spiked gates to impale him.
- Sliding Scale of Undead Regeneration: Due to being the youngest and weakest of Kain's sons, his body is afflicted with decay, and he and his clanmates must graft the skins of their victims onto their own bodies in order to prolong their immortality.
"See how the humans' weapon of destruction has become my home - indeed, my body. A cocoon of brick and granite from which to watch a pupating world..."
Voiced by Tony JayAnother of Raziel's brothers, his offspring have mutated into arachnid-like creatures capable of climbing walls and wrapping their prey in cocoons for later meals. Zephon himself has grown more massive and more insectoid, to the point that he resembles a thinly-veiled version of the Alien Queen.
- All Webbed Up: the Zephonim's victims generally end up like this.
- Stationary Boss: He's attached to the wall, so he doesn't move during his boss fight.
- Tennis Boss: Though not in the usual sense of direct deflecting—he spits out eggs that Raziel has to pick up, light on fire and throw back at him.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: "Will... instinct... reflex action... the insect mind finds little difference. I warn you, brother, as my stature has grown, so it is matched by my appetite..."
- Womb Level: The uppermost levels of the Silenced Cathedral have become a part of his body.
"You, of all of us, should respect the power bestowed by a limitation overcome."
Voiced by Neil RossOne of Raziel's brothers, he and his brood have become aquatic creatures and overcame the vampire weakness to water. While his spawn are amphibious, Rahab himself has metamorphosed into a merman rather reminiscent of a shark.
- Boss Arena Idiocy: A rather magnificent subversion—Rahab's territory is a flooded abbey, and both his lair and the passage to it are also flooded. If Raziel couldn't shift to the Spectral Realm where water is insubstantial, he wouldn't even be able to get to Rahab's lair. And once you do get there, the only dry land are small pillars where he can easily knock you back into the water, forcing Raziel to shift back to the Spectral Realm. Played straight in other ways though. If you have an aversion to sunlight, it might be considered unwise to make your lair in a room full of shatterable windows.
- Famous Last Words: "I AM UNNNDOOOOONNNE!"
- Ignored Epiphany: Raziel reveals to him that they were members of the Sarafan as humans; Rahab doesn't care, declaring that Kain "saved them from themselves."
- Meaningful Name: In Jewish tradition, Rahab is the name of a sea demon.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: He's a vampire evolved/devolved into a shark-man.
- Puzzle Boss: Raziel has to shatter the windows of his lair to let in sunlight to harm him.
- The Power of the Sun: How Raziel kills him.
- Removed Achilles Heel: He and his brood have overcome the vampire weakness to water, at the cost of having no tolerance to sunlight whatsoever.
"The centuries in limbo have honed my strength. Not even Kain is my equal."
Voiced by Simon TemplemanOne of Raziel's brothers, and along with Turel one of the two who actually threw Raziel into the Abyss. By the time he is encounted, he has been impaled, trapping his soul in limbo. The centuries like this have transformed him into a wraith, able to exist and act in both realms at once and making him stronger than ever. Ironically, his offspring were scattered and disorganized when he was finally defeated by an army of humans, and serve as the main Mooks of the game, easily killed in two or three hits.
- Advancing Boss of Doom: Even shifting into the Spectral Realm doesn't grant an escape, because he can move through both realms now.
- The Juggernaut: Absolutely nothing in Raziel's armory can harm him.
- Kill It with Fire: Due to the above, Raziel kills him by luring him into a giant furnace.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How Raziel finds his body.
- Meaningful Name: Dumah is the angel of "the stillness/silence of death", reflecting Dumah's trapping in limbo due to his impalement.
- Only Mostly Dead: His killers didn't really kill him, they just trapped him in limbo by impaling his body. Removing the spears allows his soul to return to his body.
- Overly Long Tongue: His offspring sport long tongues capable of draining the blood from victims.
- Smug Snake: It's mentioned that Dumah's own arrogance was what let the humans stake him in the first place. After being revived, he claims that the time spent in Limbo have honed his strength to the point that he is now more powerful than Kain himself.
- Useless Useful Spell: The Constrict power Raziel gets for defeating him—there's a good reason why this is the one power Raziel doesn't retain in later games. It lets you bind enemies in place by running a circle around them, but to do this you're both letting the enemy attack you while you run, and you're relying on them letting you complete the binding in which case they're already holding still anyway. Its only practical purpose is to solve puzzles.
- The Usual Adversaries: Not Dumah himself, but his vampire offspring serve this purpose. Since he was destroyed, his clan scattered throughout Nosgoth and are thus the most common enemies Raziel fights; they can be found not just in Dumah's old territory, but also in Raziel's, as well as around Kain's fortress and near the Sarafan stronghold, and other miscellaneous encounters. In fact, in and near Dumah's haunt is more or less the last place you run into them.
- We Have Become Complacent: Believing himself invincible, Dumah was caught unawares by a human assault, his clan decimated and Dumah himself speared to his throne and left Only Mostly Dead for centuries.
"Yes. I am changed. I have become a God. Greater than you ever were, Raziel. You were never a God. Greater even than Kain!"
Voiced by Gregg BergerThe final brother and the strongest for sure, he has telekinetic abilities surpassing Kain's own. He is spared Raziel's vengeance in Soul Reaver, but returns later in the series.
- A God Am I: Considers himself one, since he has a cult dedicated to worshipping him. Considering he is forced to be worshipped and is a prisoner against his will, however, this could be self-depreciation.
- Boss Arena Idiocy: The giant gongs- though this may have been the Cult's way of keeping him under control.
- Disability Superpower: Went blind in exchange for telekinesis and super-hearing.
- Demonic Possession: When Raziel encounters him in Defiance, he's under the control of the Hylden Lord.
- Dying as Yourself: "We shall all be... free..."
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: He sudden appearance was very out of left field.
- Handicapped Badass: See Super Senses below.
- Large and in Charge: Aside from the Elder God, Turel is probably the largest boss in the series. His vampire offspiring are also the tallest and most dangerous regular enemies in Soul Reaver 1, pretty much serving as Elite Mooks, with the first one you meet actually being a mini-boss fight.
- Large Ham: Just look at his profile quote.
- Left Hanging: The exact means and reason of how and why he was pulled back in time to the Blood Omen era was going to be covered in a future game. Word of God has since explained it was Azimuth who pulled him back, using a time-streaming device of Moebius's. The intent was for him to be a host for the Hylden Lord, but he was too large and hard to control so they left him in the basement of Avernus and used him to invoke fear and reverence to the Hylden Lord among the humans.
- Mind over Matter
- Sanity Slippage: He shows some shades of this. Centuries of imprisonment and being worshiped as an idol haven't done wonders for his mental state.
- Super Senses: In just about every form except for sight - he's almost blind. Note that he first recognizes Raziel by scent, despite Raziel possessing a random corpse at the time; apparently, his sense of smell is so powerful he can smell people's souls.
- Wham Line: When he first appears you probably have no idea who or what he is, you just know he recognizes Raziel somehow. And then Raziel mutters his name, and suddenly the scene takes an interesting turn.
Introduced in Blood Omen 2
A member of the Vampire resistance, she is Kain's contact and assists him when she can.
- Character Tic: Whether it's deliberate or just a quirk of the animation, Umah never seems to stop moving her hands.
- Facial Markings: Has black facial tattoos.
- The Mole: Kain believes this towards the end of Blood Omen 2, but it is never revealed if this is true or not. When Kain boasts to the villain about how he had uncovered her he seemed genuinely confused and claimed to have never heard her name before then.
- Morality Pet:
- Seemed to be becoming Kain's, thanks to the Ship Tease. This makes the manner of her death all the more shocking. Kain's forcing her to acknowledge his dominance before killing her anyway is one of his few Kick the Dog moments in the series.
- Also possibly for Vorador, since he seems to treat her more as a daughter than as the sex toys most of his female companions were in Blood Omen. His reaction to Kain killing her is the only time in the series he is seen to lose control and show strong emotion.
- Ship Tease: With Kain. It doesn't end well .Kain: You should never had betrayed me. You could have been my queen, now you have left me alone.
I care not for those destined to die. I don't weep for them, and I won't weep for you.One of Kain's former lieutenants, he switched sides in the backstory when he decided Kain would lose.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: As he puts it, "Who better to kill a vampire than a more powerful vampire?"
- I Fight for the Strongest Side: He joined up with the Sarafan when he realized that Kain was losing the war. When Kain calls him out on betraying his own kind, he says as much:Faustus: What is our kind? In serving the Sarafan, I have protection, I have power! And who better to kill a vampire than a more powerful vampire? History is Written by the Winners, Kain. That is my kind.
- Jump Physics: The power Kain gets for killing him.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: If you haven't figured out how to block attacks and use your Dark Gift powers yet, prepare to suffer.
I hold the cards now, Kain. Surrender yourself to me, or I will kill him.One of Kain's former lieutenants, Kain apparently tried to kill him. Marcus claims it was because Kain feared his growing powers, but of course Kain denies this. However, Kain nonetheless has trouble shaking off Marcus's mental powers at first, and seems hesitant to fight him. Considering how eager Kain is to flatten other enemies, Marcus could well be right.
- Dirty Coward: He tries to Charm Kain's mind, flees when that fails, and then when Kain doesn't back off when Marcus seizes control of the bishop he's looking for, he begins running from him some more.Marcus: "In your arrogance you presumed me dead, but I was stronger than you knew. I crawled from my haven and fled into hiding."
Kain: "That's the Marcus I remember."
- Kneel Before Zod: Attempts to force Kain to obey him with his mind control powers. Doesn't work.
I dealt the blow that cost you the war. Glorious, was it not? So many killed, so quickly. And all my doing.Yet another of Kain's lieutenants, this one was more direct in his betrayal—he tipped off the Sarafan on how and when to ambush Kain's army. He is encountered in the facility where the Nexus Stone is kept.
- Ax-Crazy: His first scene involves him brutally slaughtering several humans under the pretense of feeding. Kain outright calls him a "sloppy butcher."
- The Dragon: To the Sarafan Lord.
- Evil Laugh: More of a high-pitched annoying giggle than anything else, and he uses it ''so'' often.
- Femme Fatalons: As with other vampires, he attacks with claws.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: Notice a running theme here?
It must be blanched! It must be poached! It must be fresh! Where is my meat!? Sopping with blood and running with gore!Kain's final lieutenant, he ran away before the climactic battle between Kain and the Sarafan to side with the Sarafan. Kain later finds him imprisoned in an extra-dimensional prison where centuries of torment have driven him mad.
- Ax-Crazy: He's gone entirely mad and has little thoughts beyond killing and feeding.
- Badass Boast:"I will divine from your entrails!"
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Or more accurately, driven insane by centuries of torture.
- Body Horror: His nose is cut off, his intestines are hanging out, the top of his skull has been removed with his brain exposed. And oh yeah, he has a burning furnace fused to his back.
- The Champion: He used to be Kain's finest warrior and right-hand man. The two of them even invoke the trope by name.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Being trapped in hell-hole of prison run by cruel guards who define indefinite periods of torture as "peaceful" means of rehabilitation does that.
- Dirty Coward: He fled from the final battle with the Sarafan Lord the night before the attack. Or so Kain believes. Actually Magnus snuck away to try and assassinate the Sarafan Lord himself, but was caught and thrown into his current prison.
- Dying as Yourself: After being mortally wounded, he comes to his senses during his final moments.
- I Die Free: Invoked by Kain, who kills him now that he is himself again.
- Implacable Man: Beat the hell out of him, throw him into running water (which is like acid to him), he just keeps coming.
- The Lancer/The Dragon: To Kain, formerly.
- Large Ham: "WATER IS NOT MY FRIEND!"
- Mercy Kill: The centuries spent in pain and madness that drove him to his current state are ended by Kain, who tells him he's suffered long enough.
- Tragic Monster: Kain pities him after learning the true nature of his fate, and likely the player will, too.
Who I am, what I am, is of no concern to you.An enigmatic woman hinted to be of Hylden origin (Though she does not resemble the ones seen in-game- it's possible she's a hybrid.) Kain encounters her briefly to gain information on the Device being used by the Hylden.
- Bare Your Midriff: Wears a midriff-bearing cloth outfit.
- Foil: Serves as one to Ariel, oddly enough- Ariel is a human, the Seer is (probably) a Hylden/Vampire hybrid, Ariel is modestly dressed and hideously scarred, the Seer wears very little and is comely, and while Ariel hates Kain for his actions, the Seer has a strange attraction to him.
- Kiss of the Vampire: Is on the receiving end of a very erotically-charged one from Kain- an anomaly in the series, where Vampire Bites Suck is the norm.
- Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid: Hinted to be a Hylden-Vampire hybrid.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: If she is truly a Hylden, then she is one of only two sympathetic examples of her race in the entire series.
- Riddle for the Ages: Her motivation in helping the vampires against the Hylden- and indeed much of her existence, as a hybrid of two warring races that appears with little backstory, and disappears never to be mentioned again.
- Seers: It's in the name.
- Stripperiffic: Wears even less than Umah.
- Underboobs: Her top exposes the undersides of her breasts.
A Hylden Kain finds in the Eternal Prison, that built the Device the Hylden Lord attempts to use to destroy all non-Hylden life on Nosgoth.
- The Atoner: Is apparently aiding Kain to atone for his role in creating the Device.
- Heel–Face Turn: Implied to have had one while in the Eternal Prison.
- Last of His Kind: Based of his appearance, it is likely he is the last of the non-corrupted Hyldens- until Kain kills him.
- Reluctant Mad Scientist: Or just possibly a regular Mad Scientist who came to regret his actions.
- Non-Standard Character Design: He is subtly different from the other Hylden- a possible indication that he wasn't corrupted like the rest.
- Mercy Kill: Requests this of Kain- and his request is granted.
- My Greatest Failure: Creating the Device.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Like the Seer, he is a Hylden opposed to their plan of conquering Nosgoth and exterminating or enslaving the other races.