Disclaimer: All characters, locations etc from Legacy of Kain are property of Eidos Interactive / Crystal Dynamics.


I awoke with a fierce start, the bedsheet torn and twisted between my claws, and a scream of rage and terror on my lips. By and by the misted, blood-soaked terraces upon which I had fought my last doomed duel faded, to be replaced by the more mundane images of wooden furniture, silvered now in the light of the waning moon.

I had dreamed of the battle again.

It had been close on a hundred years since I woke from my enforced slumber; a hundred years since I wrought vengeance on the alien usurper who cut me down; a hundred years of that same accursed nightmare. I took a moment to gather my thoughts before rising and leaving my bed to stretch and shake the day's lethargy from my limbs. Already the need for sustenance was forcing the memories of the dream into the darker recesses of my mind, suppressing them beneath growing pangs of need. I approached the window and threw wide the double doors to the balcony, drinking deep of the chill night air, electrified now with the prospect of a hunt.

Below me, in the streets of Meridian, humans walked free and unmolested through the narrow cobbled streets. I raised my lip into a sneering curl: they were cattle, and the city merely the pen in which I kept them until hunger struck. I let out a low laugh, spiced with malice, that resounded hollowly from the crumbling walls that faced my window. The street quickly emptied.

Abruptly, my shoulders slumped. It was not enough. Not enough that I had the mortal populace caught in a comfortable web of complacency and ignorance; not enough that my armies grew by the day; not enough that I held half of Meridian from my seat of power. The dream still haunted my mind while I slumbered by day, and the visible remnants of His Empire galled me incessantly while I hunted and plotted by night. His residual presence made my teeth grind and my innards churn, and, if I were honest with myself, I knew I would not truly be free of His legacy until I had exorcised the last of His memory from the land.

The 'Sarafan Lord'. Even dead and defeated, he consistently thwarted my plans.

Since his downfall at my hands, his followers had been drastically reduced in number: many had found other callings with longer life-expectancies, while others had chosen take their own lives - for fear of death at our hands. Despite this twin cull, still they flourished beyond the boundaries of my influence, sequestered in lofty citadels and dank underground runs. Those who survived and remained loyal to His cause cared not where they made base: they were driven, even as they had been under His command, by a holy sanction, and a fanatical devotion to their cause that made my own kind seem fickle and faithless by comparison.

The keen edge of the Thirst put such depressing thoughts into perspective: my first priority was to secure myself a meal. Later, when my hunger was sated and my thoughts focused, I would gather together the oldest and most trusted of my allies to discuss our next manoeuvre. With my mind made up, I leaped up to crouch momentarily on the balcony-rail outside my chambers, my eyes ready to latch on to the slightest movement in the inky depths of the alleyway below.


As an eagle sights a field mouse from hundreds of feet in the air, so we too are able to track our human prey from long distances, and once the sighting has been made, it is only a matter of brief, bloody seconds before the kill. Tonight was no exception. I emerged from the alleyway into the soft glow of the streetlamps, one of the few remnants of His rule that I welcomed; the diffuse amber light masked the colour of our skin, softened the harshness of our features, and enabled us to walk unseen amongst our livestock.

Presently, I turned my footsteps to one of the less salubrious areas of town, thinking to roust up some sport in a gambling den which had recently come to my attention. As I traversed the city, I gave the eastern quarter a wide berth; though my truce with Vorador had not lasted longer than I had need of him, still both his followers and mine lived and thrived in Meridian. We maintained an uneasy co-existence, and although we had designated certain areas of the city as 'neutral ground', still only a great fool would tempt fate. For the moment at least, we respected each others' territorial boundaries.

The 'Crocked Dice' tavern was well hidden, and in fact I would have had great difficulty in locating it had it not been for the over-loud, boastful tones of one of my latest recruits. I had since taught him the meaning of silence. I chuckled to myself at the recollection as I approached, and shortly bent to peer in through one dusty, begrimed windowpane at the evening's offerings. As I had expected, my use of the word 'tavern' in describing this place had been excessively kind. A rough wooden table and a lone, battered ale-barrel stood against one wall, the table itself littered with filthy drinking vessels. A small number of trestles were spaced about the room, and a smattering of low, rickety stools and barrel tops made up the remainder of the furniture.

I was about to throw open the door and make my presence known when one of the patrons half-turned his face to the window in conversation. I recognised him instantly as Tomas, whom I myself had turned not three days past. That he should have been on duty bothered me less than the fact that he was accompanied by two of my older guard – both of whom should have known better. My eyes narrowed: this dereliction of duty would not go unpunished. Just as I was about to make an even grander and more ferocious entrance, I caught sight of the small gathering of humans with whom they were conversing, and I froze as though rooted to the spot. Each of them was a knight in the full prime of his life; each was dressed in gleaming armour, and all bore the hated sigil of my one-time nemesis.


My own troops were consorting with Sarafan knights! The fury that gripped me nearly sent me hurtling through the window to tear the throats from both humans and vampires; but with age comes wisdom, and the voice of sanity stayed my rash impulse. They were ten and I was but one, and where such odds would not normally deter me, three were my own trained soldiers, and the rest professional killers of my kind, armed with deadly crossbows. Instead, I strained my senses past the barriers of stone, wood and glass that separated me from the objects of my ire, and strove to discern the topic of conversation.

Klaus, the eldest of my treacherous kin, was in the act of leaning across and muttering an accord to the humans' waiting ears:

'We will do as you suggest. You will be permitted access to the mansion in the hours of daylight, and a clear path will be laid to guide you to his chambers. We will ensure that all doors are made open to you.' He cast a sly grin at his companions.

'Oh, to be there when death finally claims him while he lies abed!'

His wish brought an answering chorus of malignant laughter from his two undead compatriots. I ground my teeth, but remained outside, intent on finding out anything that might be advantageous.

It was Ivan, the third of the treacherous little trio who spoke next, leaning forward to whisper his words with hope in his wide, golden eyes.

'So, is it true? Do the Sarafan truly hold a cure?'

My brows knitted together in consternation. Could it be? Had the Sarafan found a way to reverse the effects of vampirism? More importantly, though, were my men really so discontent with their lot that they would reject their very nature? A cold, pious voice cut across my thoughts.

'We can heal and cleanse the deconsecrated flesh, brother,' affirmed one, a sanctimonious smile lighting his face.

I laughed low in my throat. I was almost tempted to leave these betrayers to their 'cleansing' at Sarafan hands – the ignorant fools obviously had no idea of the extent of these men's fanaticism. But it was not fated to happen yet – the knights would allow my men to live so that they could open the doors for my would-be murderers. With a decisive nod, I turned my back on the tavern and stalked towards my house. I had preparations to make.

Ivan, Klaus and Tomas arrived back a little under an hour later to find me lounging on my makeshift throne, waiting for them. They were evidently surprised to find me there – although this was to be expected. It was my custom to take a goblet or two of blood wine in the early hours, and, with suspicion ruling my thoughts, I had discovered the sleeping-draught before I had even sampled it. The dissent had spread farther than I had thought.

'My Lord,' stammered Ivan, quickly striding forward to kneel at my feet. 'My apologies for our absence, but...'

'Silence, dog!'

Ivan's eyes widened, and his companions took a couple of hasty steps to stand beside him, each dropping to their knees to show their false contrition. I sneered at their vain attempts.

'Sire, there were matters in the slums that demanded our immediate attention,' explained Klaus, his attention riveted on the curves of the blade that gleamed as always from its cradle in my fist.

'Is that so?'

Tomas piped up: 'Yes, my Lord. There were – er – some humans – who ah...'

'At least lie quickly!' I snapped.

The three looked at each other nervously, unsure as to the wisest course of action, until at last Tomas' eyes picked out the nearest of the bodies.

I savoured their growing horror as the realisation swept over them; their ill-conceived little plan was discovered; their allies destroyed; their would-be victim pre-warned. As I drew myself to my full height, the Soul Reaver grasped securely in my claw, I wondered which would be the first of them to bolt.

Tomas ran first: he had had a close-up view of the mess I had made of the deceitful harlot who had tried to drug me, and was in no hurry to feel my blade for himself. I let him run. It was more important for now that I deal with those who had served me longest, only to turn on me at the last.

I did not mention that I had seen them in the company of the Sarafan host. I did not need to.

'You asked them for a cure,' I accused.

Neither of them replied, instead remaining on their knees before me, quivering in fear. No doubt they recognised the impropriety of their actions now. Too late.

'What I have given you is not a disease, it is a gift, a divine blessing from the Dark Gods.' My voice rose along with my conviction at every phrase, and I strode forward, lowering the Reaver until it swung before their faces, a mirrored embodiment of death.

'I made you immortal, invincible – and this is how you repay me – by plotting my demise?'

Still neither dared answer. I chuckled inwardly.

'Do you truly wish this cure so much?' I asked, my voice laden with concern now, a tone I practiced for just such occasions.

'Very well, I release you.'

'Thank you, Sire,' began Klaus. He stopped short as I thrust the Reaver through his black heart, twisting it as I did so to ensure full, devastating effect of the curved blade.

Ivan stared at his comrade's body and slowly drew his sword, looking up at me with confusion and distress on his face.

I tutted and shook my head before leaping on my old ally and tearing him apart with my bare hands. Such was the nature of our former friendship that I felt the use of the Reaver to be a little impersonal in his case. I rose minutes later, drenched in gore and the fresh-spilt blood of my betrayer kin, and sought the last of my vampire children. The mansion was already a tomb, newly filled with the corpses of all those I had trusted and nurtured through the years. The carpets in the marble-floored halls and richly-decorated chambers were thick and heavy with blood, and my feet made squelching noises as I made for the door. I did not care. I would never return to this house – let it remain as a grisly warning to all those who would oppose me.

I found Tomas hiding behind a statue near the entrance. My backhand stroke with the Reaver took off his head as I exited the building.

So weak: that was the problem with the children I had made. Their flesh, stolen and mutated from the bodies of diseased villagers, was feeble to begin with. Now I had culled them all, weeded the strong along with the weak, and I intended to start fresh; for I needed allies, men I could trust, men whose flesh - whose resolve - would not falter. My thoughts turned again to the Sarafan knights, and their alluring promise to my former soldiers - and that was when inspiration struck.

A few hours later, as dawn reddened the eastern sky, I stood dusting cobwebs fastidiously from my armour in the musty dank of a great tomb. I strolled slowly around the circular room, reading the names of fallen heroes, and touching each of the stone sarcophagi as though with a view to buy. In these ancient, cracked coffins lay men whose strength of purpose and dedication to their cause was the stuff of legend – and these were strengths I could take for myself. I had seen the folly of creating direct vampiric offspring: they inevitably rejected their nature and turned against me. It was time for a new strategy. I would take Sarafan blood and bone – the most dedicated and selfless of flesh – and bend it to my will. I already knew the secret of stealing corrupted souls from the Abyss. I would reanimate these sainted bodies and make of them invincible warriors - defenders of my own cause. I would take their unmatched strength and flaunt it in the faces of their distant descendants before burying them in mountains of human corpses. For a moment, the prospect delighted me, then a new thought began to take shape. Perhaps the most offensive and insidious move would be for me to conceal the truth, to keep the true origins of my new legion secret from those who would be cut down like bloody corn before their thirsting blades. A laugh burst out of my chest and echoed in a torrent of sadistic glee from the hallowed walls of the ancient crypt as I made ready to raise my new Lieutenants.

I would guard the secret for the remainder of my enemies' limited, futile little lives.

The Sarafan would never know that the devils who decimated their homes, defiled their womenfolk and spilled their most precious blood were the martyred saints of their own race.