The Demon Realm/Avernus
Kain lies sprawled on his back in an unfamiliar chamber, his chest bloodied, the Reaver fallen at his side. He appears to be dead. Suddenly his eyes fly open and he gasps once more into life, reflexively clutching at his heart. He sits up, holding his hand over the place where his heart used to be, feeling nothing. He brings his bloodied hand away, looks at it, and looks down at his chest.
I awoke to find myself in a shadowy realm. A disquieting stillness lay where my heart had been - the heart that had belonged to Janos Audron all along. How was it possible that I still lived?
Tentatively, he begins to rise, and then hears disembodied voices in the ether of the demon realm. Suspicious, he retrieves the Reaver from the ground and looks around his surroundings.
You are still fair of form, vampire...
That will go first...
This realm will render you hideous...
You will go mad, and will not know it...
What is this place?
Do you not think of this place every day, vampire?
Or are we truly forgotten.
We were forgotten...
This is the exile into which we were driven --
But soon now, soon we will be free...
We will be free.
Suddenly, a number of demons rip into the scene, and attack Kain. Upon defeating them, a portal manifests, leading back to the sacrificial pit in the catacombs beneath Avernus Cathedral.
I felt strongly drawn - compelled, even - not to linger here, but to go to the Vampire Citadel, at once.
Kain arrives at the Citadel via bat-flight. Here he sees that the Pillars have fallen.
I knew what ominous hour this was in Nosgoth's history. For here was the event that had shaped my entire existence... I had cast my fate, refusing the sacrifice, damning the Pillars, and founding my doomed empire upon their ruins. I would raise the Sarafan priests to be my closest lieutenants, and would one day cast the strongest of them, my servant Raziel, into the abyss - dealing one last hand to play against Fate. But in the end, had it made any difference? Had I misread the signs, as Moebius told me? In my arrogance, had I missed my cast at destiny?
Kain enters the Spirit Forge silently and finds Moebius there, his back to Kain, communing with the Elder God. He appears to be talking to himself, as the Elder God is not visible to Kain. Kain smiles and advances, drawing the Reaver from his back.
... the Hylden are merely an inconvenient consequence. They will be dealt with in time. It's a small price to pay for Kain's death.
You're a bit premature.
At the sound of Kain's voice, Moebius whirls around, genuinely frightened and surprised. He turns to see Kain standing before him, the wound in his chest still visible, and the Reaver in his hand.
Is there a crack in your omniscience after all, Moebius?
Moebius flourishes his scepter at Kain, and the orb flashes as before. Kain hesitates, not sure himself what might happen next. The scepter has no effect on Kain this time. Moebius flourishes it again -- again with no effect. Kain glances down at the wound in his chest, where the heart used to be -- Moebius' eyes also go to Kain's chest, realizing now. Kain looks back up at Moebius with a grim smile.
First your omniscience, and now your powers. You are slipping badly.
Moebius takes a step back.
This is not possible...
Kain steps forward and knocks the staff from Moebius’ hand, which he then pulls into his bloodied chest.
The part of me that staff affected is no longer in its place.
The staff falls from Moebius' other hand.
But you already knew that, didn't you.
Moebius yanks his arm away, and takes a step back.
I always was considered heartless. And now, Moebius, it is time.
Moebius backs up, but he has nowhere to go.
To kill me? Again? Your only solution, for every problem: kill -
This is not a debate. You see, this time, you have nothing that I want.
He impales Moebius with the Reaver.
laughing, though clearly in pain
You think this will matter?...
Moebius grasps Kain's arm and draws himself up the blade until they are face to face. Moebius spits his words hatefully at Kain, triumphant and grinning despite his obvious agony.
...I serve One who has power over life and death.
Then go to him
Kain withdraws the Reaver sharply.
Moebius gasps in pain, drops to his knees, and sinks to the floor, dying.
I am His obedient... His devoted servant... Soon, all pain will fade, and my master will bring me life once more.
Moebius arrives in the spectral realm. The terrain shifts slightly around him as he rises, a spirit now -- and we realize once again that this is not the chamber Raziel sees. There is no evidence of the infesting mass of the Elder God that only Raziel can see. The spirit of Moebius stands and addresses the chamber --
Master, my apologies, a momentary oversight. Somehow Kain still lives, and has unexpectedly dispatched me. Make use of your good servant, and --
Moebius is impaled.
As Moebius speaks, we can see Raziel -- also in the spectral realm -- approaching from behind, armed with the newly-transformed wraith-blade. Moebius doesn't know he's there. Raziel impales him with the wraith-blade, cutting him off mid-sentence, and holds the blade there as he speaks in an intimate snarl over Moebius' shoulder.
Go to your master, then. I release you to the Wheel.
When the purified wraith-blade enters Moebius, it transforms him. We see the room change around them, as the veil is lifted from Moebius' sight. Moebius -- with the wraith-blade still in him -- sees the horror of the Elder God at last. Moebius' expression changes from confidence to horror -- Raziel sees this transformation, and understands.
Ohh... god - no ...
Do you see it now? The monster that you served? Is this what you imagined when you worshipped it?
And in that knowledge, go - and feed it. I release you.
Mirroring Kain's recent act, Raziel pulls the wraith-blade from Moebius -- then, opening his cowl, he devours Moebius' soul, thus delivering him to the Elder God.
Raziel looks defiantly up at the Elder God, having destroyed his long-lived and loyal servant.
Your petty actions are irrelevant, Raziel. Moebius was a good servant, but he was of no further use. His long life had run its course. You see? - even when you rebel, you are doing my will.
Perhaps, but something has changed, hasn't it? You didn't foresee Kain's return.
The Elder God dismisses Raziel's statement --
You have both traced your paths along the Wheel - this is where the journey ends.
You haven't the means to kill either one of us.
Ah, but you can be stopped. And you will come to understand how oblivion can be a mercy.
The citadel trembles as the Elder God pulls at its very foundations.
You and Kain will spend eternity buried here together, praying for the merciful release of a death that will never come.
The citadel trembles again, more violently this time, and even in the spectral realm, bits of rock and masonry begin to fall.
But I was armed with newfound knowledge, and it burned within me...
....redeemer and destroyer...
Moebius had never seen his master until the Soul Reaver purified his sight. Even the ancient Vampires had no idea what it was they so righteously worshipped.
....you must unite what has been set asunder...
All the conflict and strife throughout history, all the fear and hatred, served but one purpose - to keep my master's Wheel turning. All souls were prisoners, trapped in the pointless round of existence, leading distracted, blunted lives until death returned them - always in ignorance - to the Wheel.
...the coin is still turning...
But what hope had there been? One cannot fight the unseen.
...only then will the Scion of Balance be armed for his true endeavor...
With ominous finality, the Elder God speaks to Raziel for the last time --
Despair, Raziel. There is no escape.
It was then I knew what I had to do. I alone could end this.
In the material realm, Moebius' corpse suddenly comes alive again. Kain turns as he sees Moebius rising behind him.
Moebius (actually Raziel)
Kain reflexively brings up the Reaver and impales Moebius through the chest once again.
Do you so enjoy death--
Moebius responds strangely, with satisfaction--
Moebius (actually Raziel)
Then Moebius transforms, and Kain sees that it's Raziel impaled on the blade -- just as Raziel's soul begins to leech into the Reaver.
Raziel? - No -
Kain tries to pull away, but Raziel takes hold of Kain's arm so that he can't.
Yes - this is how...
Kain resists, but Raziel pulls himself farther onto the blade --
The Soul Reaver -- pure of all corruption -- this is what it is for. This is what I am for --
-- and puts his right hand over Kain's wounded chest. We see the purifying energy of the Spirit Reaver pass through Raziel and into Kain at this point, and we see the wound heal.
The two become one - both Soul Reavers - together - and the Scion of Balance is healed. And I -- am not your enemy - not your destroyer - I am, as before, your right hand. Your sword.
Kain resists, but more weakly --
No, Raziel - this can't be the way...
And now you will see -- the true enemy --
Raziel fades as his soul is consumed completely, passing into what is now, finally, the Soul Reaver.
And it was then -- I saw.
Kain staggers backward, still shocked at Raziel's sacrifice, and trying to comprehend the monstrosity that has just been revealed to him. The citadel trembles, and the Elder God's voice booms within the chamber --
So... I am revealed to you at last.
What in hell...
a little stridently
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.
Had I condemned Raziel to this nightmare when I cast him into the abyss?
The Citadel quakes, causing architecture to topple, and rubble to fall into the pit.
You may ponder the futility of your ambitions as you spend a deathless eternity beneath a mountain of rubble.
The Citadel rocks again, causing more debris to fall.
You and your Soul Reaver will go equally mad as the eons pass. The Citadel of the apostates will become your living tomb.
The Elder God moves, and the Citadel trembles again. Stone and masonry begin to tumble down. Kain looks around the room, realizing what's going on, but stands his ground, flourishing the now-transformed Soul Reaver.
Your words are heartening -
He slashes at the Elder God with the Soul Reaver, causing spectacular damage. The Elder God shrieks as the spirit energy that is his lifeblood flows out. He has never been injured like this before.
- for you would not fear us unless we could truly do you harm.
Kain slashes again, severing the Elder God's nearest tentacle and causing him to recoil again in terror and pain.
No! You are nothing!
Kain strikes out again, once more causing the Elder God tremendous damage.
--this is the end - the final turn of your Wheel.
The Elder randomly calls out the following lines as it battles Kain:
You will never break from the Wheel of Fate.
Submit to my will…
You will never defeat me, Kain.
Feed the Wheel.
I have endured your game long enough!
You will never escape!
This is futile.
I will bury you.
This defiance is pointless.
Your sacrifice has been made in vain, Raziel.
I will crush you, vampire!
Your broken body will be buried here for all eternity.
That almost hurt.
This cannot be!
You cannot defeat me.
Nooo! This cannot be!
Kain defeats the Elder God, causing it to flail in fury and agony. Kain teleports himself out of the pit.
You cannot destroy me, Kain - I am the Engine of Life itself. The Wheel will turn... The plague of your kind will be purged from this world... And on that inevitable day, your wretched, stagnant soul will finally be mine.
In the meantime, you'd best burrow deep.
Kain steps free from the chamber just as the walls around him begin to collapse.
Kain enters the Citadel Council Chamber, overlooking the Nosgoth landscape and the smoldering wreck of the Pillars in the distance.
Now, at last, the masks had fallen away. The strings of the puppets had become visible, and the hands of the prime mover exposed. Most ironic of all was the last gift that Raziel had given me, more powerful than the sword that now held his soul, more acute even than the vision his sacrifice had accorded me - the first bitter taste of that terrible illusion: Hope.
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