Chapter Five

The Final Rebellion

Dumah roared excitedly, the wine in his enormous goblet sloshing onto the floor as he waved his arm. In the caged-off arena in the center of the huge hall, two humans armed with dull swords faced one of Dumah's clan. All around the cage, his brethren shouted and cheered, waiting for the blood to spill.

The humans were thin and weak, captured during one of Dumah's short-lived campaigns in the west against the lingering human tribes there. They'd been locked in the dungeons for weeks now, poorly and rarely fed, and their ribs stuck out as evidence of their malnutrition. Their bodies were as thin and frail as match sticks, and they looked almost comical in their attempt to hold off the vampire attacking them, wielding the useless weapons and with nothing to protect them except their shredded, dirty clothes.

The vampire, named Karesh, was one of Dumah's personal favorites. He loomed over the puny humans at a height of seven feet, and like his Lord, he had lost all traces of his former humanity. His face had a bestial appearance, like some mythical lion-like beast, his skin was dark brown and hard as tree bark, and his black hair ran down the back of his head like a mane. He wore nothing but a metal belt and loincloth, normal clothes no longer fitting him.

As screams pressed upon the fighters like waves, Karesh dove forward, his thick, muscular arm striking one of the humans right in the chest. He flew backward and slammed into the cage bars, crumpling to the ground. He tried to get to his feet, but he opened his mouth and blood began to pour out. He gripped his chest and collapsed back to the floor. The vampires surrounding the arena roared even louder, shaking the bars as if trying to rattle the entire building apart.

The remaining human backed away, holding the sword out like a totem to ward off the vampire coming for him. Karesh jumped forward like a dog breaking free of its chain, and went straight for the human's throat. The sword embedded itself in his shoulder, but he didn't even notice as he clamped his huge jaw on the human's small neck, practically biting it right through. He drank deeply and tossed the body aside, taking a moment to dislodge the sword from his shoulder.

"Don't forget the other one!" Dumah bellowed, laughing violently at the brutal sport played out on front of him.

Karesh sauntered forward, hunching his back and letting his arms hang down as if he was a gorilla. The other human was still alive, barely able to breath with his broken ribs jamming into his lungs. Karesh lifted him with one hand and reveled in his agonizing scream, and then hurled him over the top of the cage. The human fell to the floor on the other side and was immediately descended upon by half a dozen of Dumah's brutish kin.

"Good show!" Dumah roared, standing up. Now towering over everyone at almost twelve feet tall, Dumah barely fit in the room at all. His skin was mottled blue, his arms as thick as tree trunks, and his large eyes glowing fierce red. Almost nothing remained of his former human shape, as now he resembled some demonic titan.

When his brethren finished devouring the pitiful human, they all stood up with blood smeared across their faces and gore dripping down their chests. They were little more than wild wolves crowding around the alpha male of the pack. When he spoke, they listened like brainwashed slaves, having abandoned their individuality for the simple pleasures of bloodlust and animalistic brutality.

Dumah waved his arm at some of the vampires crowding around the side hallway. "Get some more prisoners from the cellar! I want to see more blood!" The crowd of brutish thugs surrounding him cheered madly at the proclamation. "And bring one for me! A female! I need a drink!"

More of the miserable human prisoners were brought up, some of them barely able to walk without help. Their clothes hung in filthy tatters, and they slumped under the weight of the heavy iron manacles around their neck and wrists. Five of them, three men and two women.

One of the females was separated from the others and dragged to Dumah. She tried to struggle, but didn't have the energy, and succeeded only in kicking at her captors and whimpering weakly. Dumah grabbed her and lifted her with one arm, holding her up to eye level.

Once, she might have been attractive, even beautiful. Her long brown hair was a dirty tangle, but once it might have been luxurious, and while her blue eyes were sunken in and red with crying, at one time they might have sparkled.

"Don't worry, love," Dumah growled sardonically. "It will be over soon."

Meanwhile, two of the humans were shoved into the cage and armed with the same two swords their butchered predecessors had been. Another of Dumah's kin entered the arena for the next round.

Dumah dropped the girl's lifeless body onto the floor and nudged it away with his foot. He had drained her so thoroughly that her skin was almost white, and his brethren left it alone, since there was nothing left for them to drink from it.

All day it went on. By the time most of the Dumahim had passed out or wandered off to sleep, they'd slaughtered almost thirty humans in the arena. Most of the bodies still littered the hall, torn to pieces or drained completely. The constant stink of blood and decay permeated the entire compound. The deafening cheers of the day had died down, leaving only uneasy silence.

One vampire remained awake, however. He moved silently down the shadow-filled hallways and made his way down the stairs to the dungeons below, his eyes illuminating the dark passageways. He made his way to the cells and crept quietly to the final row. Peering into one of the cells, he saw its last remaining occupant, a young women with dirty blonde hair, sleeping fitfully.

When he entered the cell and picked her up, she awoke immediately and tried to scream, but his huge hand covered her mouth and his voice grumbled harshly in her ear.

"Silence, or you will die here and now."

Paralyzed by fright, she girl stayed quiet at the vampire carried her out of the dungeon and back up the stairs. But instead of going to the main hall, he carried her down a rear hallway and to a narrow doorway in the back of the building. He pushed it open with his foot and set the girl down. The moon was barely visible in the sky as the first rays of dawn crept over the mountains.

"Now go," the vampire said simply. "Your people are hiding in a cave east of this place. They will find you."

The girl hesitated, thinking it was some cruel joke. If she walked ten feet from the door, she expected a dozen of the monsters to attack her. It was something a vampire would do; make her think she was about to escape before finishing her off, to add extra thrill to the slaughter.

The vampire said nothing more. It just stood in the doorway, staring down at her, as if unsure what to do next. If she could read expressions in the beast's face, she would have guessed sadness. No vampire she had ever seen looked so totally harmless. It was like a tamed wolf.

"Why are you doing this?" she asked brazenly.

The vampire looked up to the mountain ridges beyond the castle walls, and then looked down at its large, paw-like hands. "I do not want to be this way any more," it said slowly, as if trying to pronounce the words correctly.

"What do you mean?"

"I looked human once. We have changed, and I do not like the change. We are not vampires any more, we are just monsters." The beast clenched its fists and looked at the ground.

The girl backed away, keeping an eye on the vampire as she did so. Dim rays of light spread across the hard ground, but the vampire wisely stayed in the shadow of the doorway. As the girl walked away, continually looking over her shoulder, the vampire said, "I will leave this door open. Your people can find their way inside. They can attack us while we sleep."

"You want us to attack the other vampires?" the girl asked incredulously.

The vampire nodded but said nothing.

"You want us to kill them?"

This time the vampire did nothing. At this point, nodding in agreement was no longer necessary.

"Do you have a name?" the girl asked.

"Why?" the vampire replied.

"Because you're not like the others. I didn't think vampires had a conscience, but maybe you do." A cold breeze swept across the ground, whipping the ripped tatters of her clothing around her legs, but she did not shiver. The sun had almost risen, bathing her in sunlight. "You saved my life," she said sincerely, suddenly feeling sorry for the vampire, although she didn't know why. "I want to have something to call you."

The vampire squinted its red eyes against the growing light. "I do not have a name anymore. But many years ago, my name was Arkos."

-----

One morning, Rahab awoke with an unbearable desire to plunge into the water swirling only feet from his sleeping tank. It felt like a knife twisting in his gut, a searing pain in his lungs. And immediately, he knew.

He staggered to the window and jumped through, barely feeling the cuts and slashes from the fragments of shattered glass. They flew outward and combined with the falling rain, and in his descent into the churning water, he felt as if he was being showered with glittering gems. He splashed into the water and dove underneath the surface, feeling weightless for the first time in his life. And also for the first time, the water did not sting, did not burn, did not scorch his vampire flesh like acid. He could swim through it as easily as any human, and he did not even have to come up for air. The water became his new world.

Coursing through the water like a shark, he stayed beneath the surface for hours and hours. He explored the depths of the drowned alleys and crevices of the abandoned human town. It was like experiencing freedom after years of torturous imprisonment, like tasting food after days of painful starvation.

He had been right! That one burning thought coursed through his mind as he moved through the waters. They had doubted him at first, but over time they began to believe. And now it was proven! He had willingly, forcefully manipulated the very evolutionary patterns that his brothers had become victims to.

He had to show his clan! He had to give them the final proof that his ideas had been right. He finally came up to show his clan the fruits of his labor, and was immediately struck with a blinding pain as intense as water had ever been. He sunk back below the waves and stared up to see what had wounded him.

Through the wavering surface of the water, he could see that the rain had stopped momentarily and the feeble rays of Nosgoth's sun were trying to break through the clouds. The sun? Rahab had nothing to fear from the sun, partially blocked by the clouds as it was. He wasn't some fledgling, ruthlessly scorched by even the merest hint of sunshine, he was one of Kain's lieutenants! Sunlight as weak as this was no threat to him!

Once more, he attempted to climb out of the water, and once more, the sun blasted him, burning his skin the moment he lifted himself from the waves. He shrieked and fell back underwater, the water cooling his scorched skin.

And then, looking up through the water at the dull sun glowing through the gray clouds, he realized that in conquering one foe, he had merely made himself more vulnerable to another. Fate, it seemed, was a crueler master than he had envisioned.

-----

The attack seemed to come from everywhere at once. Dumahim, drowsy and lethargic from the rowdiness and exciting brutality of the day before, awoke to the screams of their brethren as hordes of humans armed with flamethrowers and sharpened staves poured into their stronghold. Stupefied by the shock of seeing the humans actually attacking them, the vampires were easy prey. Instead of attacking in force, which might have held the humans at bay, the vampires retreated down the corridors of the castle in small groups, and the few vampires who attempted to fight back were outnumbered and killed quickly.

It was as if, overnight, the world had flipped upside down. The humans, considered by most of the Dumahim to be little more than defenseless weaklings to be murdered and tormented at their whim, had suddenly organized a ruthless offensive and actually invaded the vampire's home. One vampire could stand alone against half a dozen humans armed with spears, but one vampire could not stand alone against fifty humans spraying liquid fire. Instead of slaughtering the invaders, the vampires were chased down hallways and killed one by one as the humans swept through the castle like a flood of water, incinerating each vampire they touched.

Bodies, impaled and burned, littered the halls, and the stink of burned vampire flesh filled the air. After their initial panic and confusion, the Dumahim organized themselves enough to fight off the humans, but the suddenness and effectiveness of the attack demoralized them, and gradually the humans fought their way through the stronghold, leaving dozens of dead vampires in their wake.

Dumah was one of the very last ones left. Barricaded in his enormous throne room, he kept the humans back for almost a day before they finally breached the doors and flooded into the room, quickly killing the few vampires left. Dumah single-handedly killed almost twenty humans himself, crushing their bodies in his huge hands and knocking them around the room like discarded dolls, before one of the soldiers ducked under his arm and brought the end of his spear right into Dumah's huge chest. Weakened by the injury, Dumah could not stop three more humans from impaling him with long spears. He collapsed back into his throne with them sticking from his chest.

The few vampires able to escape the carnage did so, but their home was destroyed, their master was defeated, and they quickly lost what little remnants of civility they still possessed after decades of slow cultural devolution. Without Dumah to organize them, they scattered across Nosgoth, becoming little more than mindless scavengers.

The vampire once called Arkos was killed by the humans when they invaded the castle, passively neglecting to defend himself as a human jammed a sharpened wooden staff directly into his heart.

-----

"My Lord," the Melchahim whispered, his voice sounding like wind blowing through dry leaves.

Melchiah was concealed in the deep, penetrating shadows of his throne room. His red eyes glowed in the darkness, however, giving away his position. "What is it?" he asked, his own voice booming grotesquely across the room.

"There is news that the clan of your brother Dumah has been exterminated by human vampire hunters, my Lord," the retainer said. Dressed in a white cloak turned dingy gray with time, the vampire hunched over sideways like a cripple, his leg twisted and deformed. His skin was the color and texture of dried mud.

Melchiah said nothing for a few moments. "Dumah as well?" he asked finally.

"Dead, my Lord."

"How interesting," Melchiah grumbled. "You may go."

The vampire shuffled out of the room, leaving Melchiah alone once more. They rarely came in anymore, the few of his deformed kin who still remained loyal to him. Most of the Melchahim had run off in the past century or so, revolted by the hideous form their bodies had taken, or in most cases, simply unable to remain civilized enough to stay loyal as their minds slowly deteriorated. Melchiah knew well that many of his brethren were about as intelligent as the decomposing zombies they so resembled.

Melchiah moved to another corner of the room, dragging half of his body behind him. No longer even remotely human in appearance, Melchiah had transformed over the centuries into a rotting behemoth, over two thousand pounds of horrible decayed flesh. His legs had devolved into a tail-like extension of warped flesh, and his arms were like the legs of an elephant, dragging around his carcass as if it was some cancerous growth, which perhaps it was.

Even in his position, Melchiah had not lost his cynical sense of humor, though. To think that Dumah, supposedly the strongest and most powerful of the vampire lords, had been defeated by a bunch of human peasants, struck Melchiah as hysterically funny, and ironic as well. It was perfect symbol for the outrageous paradox that their once-dominant empire had become. The Dumahim were decimated and the Melchahim had expanded across the world. With Dumah's clan scattered to the four winds, that made Melchiah's clan the most powerful in Nosgoth!

The remaining brothers – Zephon, Rahab, and Turel – were all content to remain in whatever remote little corner of the world they had retreated to as the true nature of their vampirism became apparent. Zephon, the hideous arachnid, holed up in his decaying human cathedral. Rahab, the aquatic lurker, swimming in the stagnant depths of some underwater human city. And the proudest of them all, Turel, now a deformed goat-man in the snowy mountains of the north. Somehow, although Turel's form was the least abhorrent, he was dealt the strongest psychological blow, for he had always considered himself above his brothers. To be reduced to their level probably tore him up inside.

Melchiah didn't really care. He might have at one time, but he learned to feel no sympathy for those who felt none for him. His brothers had effectively abandoned him to his fate, so why should be pity their equally pathetic fall from grace?

He could just imagine Dumah with his degenerate breed, desperately fighting off the humans he had tormented for so long. Finally, his incredible arrogance had done him in. Unable to even conceive of the humans mounting an assault on his citadel, he had never bothered to prepare for such an eventuality. Melchiah envisioned hordes of torch- and spear-wielding humans surging into the compound and butchering any vampire dumb enough to get in their way. Melchiah wished he could leave his home, just so he could see what remained of Dumah's once-glorious citadel.

That would never happen to Melchiah. Over the decades, his vow never to leave his castle expanded into a vow never to let anyone else in. His own clan could come and go as they pleased, but the complex series of gates and secret passages leading to Melchiah's own throne room made it very difficult for even the most efficient vampire hunter to break his way inside. By design, Melchiah was unreachable, and almost completely cut off from the outside world. Which was the way he wanted it.

He gazed up at the shining series of blades installed in the ceiling. One day, he told himself, they would be used. But not just today. With the death of Dumah, maybe things were looking up.

-----

Turel's bulk barely fit through the doors to the Sanctuary. Eight feet tall and sporting shoulders six feet wide, he was nearing Dumah's mythic stature. And like his dead brother, he had lost all traces of the humanity he once lay claim to. His entire body was covered in brown fur, and his face new resembled some demonic goat creature, with a protruding snout, long whiskers, and huge, bull-like horns jutting from his head. His hooves stomped loudly on the ground, almost shaking the floor.

With a slight push from his gigantic arms, he opened the doors to the Pillars and stepped inside. It was the first time he had been there in over two-hundred years, and it felt like a homecoming of sorts. After all, this is where it all started.

How long had it been since the day they hurled Raziel screaming in to the Abyss? Six hundred years? Seven hundred? Surely not a thousand, but Turel could not be sure, since he had long ago stopped trying to keep track of the accumulating years. At least five centuries had passed since that fateful day. And in that time, all of Nosgoth had fallen into ruin. In essence, Turel had spent the first two-thirds of his life as a vampire watching the Empire grow and flourish, and spent the last third watching it disintegrate like a castle made of sand. Along with the Empire, he had watched his physical form disintegrate as well.

"Ah, Turel. I knew you would come."

The deep, baritone voice was like a ghost coming back to haunt him. Turel looked up and saw the figure sitting nonchalantly at the Pillar of Balance. Red sash draped over his shoulder, arm resting casually on the Soul Reaver, as always.

Kain.

Turel stepped to the center of the room and examined his former Lord and Master with a sense of futility and growing frustration. Kain had not changed at all in all these centuries, he looked exactly as he had the day he ordered Raziel executed.

"Surprised to see me?" Kain asked, smiling devilishly. "You came here to see me, did you not? I certainly came here to see you."

"Why?" Turel asked, his voice low.

"You are merely the first," Kain replied. "I'm going to see all of my wayward children soon. There is much I have to discuss with them. With you." He leaned back in the throne and smiled again, baring his fangs.

"I know who we once were," Turel said, casting his gaze away. He let his shoulders droop. "You made us from the bodies of the Sarafan Priests."

"Indeed I did. How does that make you feel, Turel?"

Meeting Kain's gaze momentarily, Turel knew with a sense of hopelessness that nothing could surprise Kain. He could say anything, admit to anything, and Kain would never be caught off-guard. There was a cold pit in his stomach, the feeling that Kain somehow knew everything he was going to say before he even said it.

"Angry at first," he replied simply. "But not anymore. We were monsters then and we're monsters now. Just monsters of a different breed."

"Well said, Turel. First, the slayer of vampires, and now the slayer of humans. You could almost call it poetic justice."

"Are you going to tell me that you did it for our benefit?"

Kain shrugged theatrically. "Let us just say that I wanted to give your soul a taste of the other side. I was equalizing your karma."

Turel nodded. "Spoken like a true sophist."

"I never claimed to be anything else, Turel. Given enough time to think about your actions, you can learn to justify anything," Kain said, leaning forward as if to push the point home. "Trust me when I tell you that I know what I'm talking about. Turning the Sarafan into vampires is the least of what I am guilty of."

"That does not surprise me," Turel said.

Kain leaned back again, the easy smile returning to his lips. "What to talk about next? We've discussed your tragic heritage. What do you think about the current state of affairs in Nosgoth? What do you think about this grand catastrophe that I have orchestrated?"

"You're getting ahead of yourself, Kain. Even you would not be so bold as to accept credit for the whims of our evolution. You could not have know what was going to happen to us."

"You're half right," Kain conceded. "I did not cause your changes, but I most definitely knew about them. I knew that you would evolve before it ever happened."

"And you did nothing to stop it?"

Kain waved his hand dismissively. "There was nothing to be done. Attempting to delay or prevent it would have had no effect. It may have even accelerated the change."

"But we'll never know, will we?" Turel said.

"Well," Kain said, "let's just say that you'll never know." His constant, patronizing smile was beginning to wear thin on Turel's patience.

Turel dimly wondered if he could kill Kain. It was the only time the thought had ever crossed his consciousness, and it surprised him that he had never considered it before. Even when the Empire began to fall apart, when Kain began to show just how little he cared about anyone else, Turel had never thought of acting against him, let alone attempting to kill him. He thought about killing Dumah on occasion, but never his Lord and Master. Kain was too powerful, too important, and he had too many allies. Murdering him then would have solved nothing and probably created a host of new problems.

But now, Turel felt less restricted by such inconveniences. Kain was important no more; he was a relic of a dead age, a symbol of a destroyed past. No one would care if he was killed here and now. Kain had been gone from their lives for so long now that he may have been dead already. And Turel was now three times Kain's size, not so easily defeated.

Then again, of course, Kain still had the Soul Reaver.

"Go ahead," Kain said softly, as if reading Turel's mind. "You'll be dead before you can get a hand on me. Many have tried, but none have succeeded."

"You think yourself invincible?" Turel asked, eyeing the blade. "Without that sword, you're just as helpless as we used to be. Unarmed, I would tear you apart."

"Not so," Kain said. After a pause, he sighed. "It's of no consequence. You and I are not going to battle to the death in this room. I know this for a fact, Turel."

"So you're invincible and omniscient?"

"I'm not invincible. But omniscient?" Kain chuckled softly. "I am most certainly omniscient."

"You're deranged," Turel stated bluntly.

"Have you forgotten that the Time Streamer Moebius was killed by my hand?" Kain asked suddenly. "Did you think I would end his life and not reward myself with all of his knowledge? Moebius possessed the keys to the doors of time, Turel. How could I not take them once he was dead?" Kain's voice grew with emotion as he spoke, and he sat up straighter in the throne, as if addressing a crowd instead of just one person. "I am privy to the very mysteries and secrets of time, Turel. I may have been born the Guardian of Balance, but with Moebius' blood on my hands, it appears that I became the Guardian of Time as well. For me, looking into the future is no more difficult than reading a book."

"That's where you've been all this time, then. The Oracle's Chamber." It was not a question.

"Yes," Kain said. "I've spent many years there, studying the past and the future, seeing how they intertwine and intersect. The threads of Fate spin around in the river of time, becoming a net to catch its victims."

"So what happens now?" Turel asked. "Tell me the future, Kain." Truth be told, he didn't really care anymore about Kain and his twisted mental games, but he decided to go along with the little drama just the same.

"Something very interesting," Kain said cryptically. "I've been waiting hundreds of years for it."

"For what?"

Kain put his finger to his lips. "Shh, wait just a moment and you will see."

Turel waited and saw nothing. For a moment, he was about to conclude that Kain was a madman after all, but just as he was about to say something to that effect, he felt something. It was like a psychic tremor, a disconcerting mental wave that made him shiver involuntarily. He felt dazed for a moment, as if stunned by some unconscious revelation.

"What was that?" he gasped.

"The prodigal son returns," Kain said. "Your long-lost brother has come back to haunt us."

"What are you talking about?" Turel demanded.

"Raziel," Kain said, the word dropping like a stone to the bottom of a stream. "Your brother Raziel has just been resurrected. Soon, he will be coming for us."

The words almost knocked Turel over backwards. "Resurrected? By whom?" he shouted, completely stunned. "He's been at the bottom of the Abyss for centuries!"

"Yes, and his desire for revenge has been burning for all this time. Even now, he is making his way to the surface, where he will come to destroy me. But not before destroying his brothers."

Turel could think of nothing to say. He just stared in complete, utter disbelief at Kain, who seemed totally indifferent to what he had just said. Raziel? Coming to destroy them all? Had Kain lost his hold on sanity? Did all his years staring into the future at the Oracle's Chamber distort his perception of reality?

"You'd better go now, Turel," Kain said finally. "Go to your stronghold in the mountains and stay there. Raziel won't be coming for you, at least not now."

"What about my clan?" Turel asked.

"Who cares?" Kain scoffed. "They don't matter. I know that you've left some of them to guard the Sarafan's tomb. If it will make you feel better, send some of them to guard the Oracle's Cave as well. They won't stop Raziel, but they may slow him down."

"Are you saying I should send my kin to be slaughtered?"

"Don't worry about your clan," Kain ordered. "Just do as I say. Raziel is going to kill everything that gets in his way, so there's no use trying to protect your precious offspring. Fairly soon you'll be my only remaining lieutenant, Turel, so concern yourself with your own safety."

"But I don't understand what is going on," Turel said desperately. "Why is Raziel coming to kill us?"

"Revenge," Kain said simply. "Is there a better motive for murder?"

Before Turel could say anything else, Kain ordered him away. There was no incentive to argue, no reason to fight. Turel could do nothing but accept Kain's demand and do what he was told. He left the Sanctuary with hunched shoulders and a defeated posture, unsure what to make of the whole situation. He didn't know what to think or what to feel. And to his surprise, he really didn't care.

-----

Long after Turel had left the Sanctuary, Kain got up from his throne and walked slowly around the Pillars. He admired them, as if for the first time. He let his gloved hand slide across the polished surface of each Pillar, almost convincing himself that he felt a coldness emanating from each. They had stood, broken and withered, for nearly two thousand years now. Soon, Kain would return to a time when the Pillars stood strong and mighty, but not for a few more days at least. It would take Raziel at least that long to hunt down and murder his brothers.

Would Raziel ever understand the truth? Kain remembered well how Raziel stared at him in uncomprehending hate and surprise, moments before his execution. Why are you doing this to me? his eyes had screamed. Even after all the centuries, Kain remembered those eyes as clearly as if he had just seen them. Raziel, his first-born son, his first lieutenant, his most prized possession. Thrown to the Abyss so long ago.

In his hate and lust for revenge, Raziel would find his way here. In a strange way, Kain pitied him. Brutally executed for reasons he did not understand by those he trusted most, only to be resurrected and once again thrown into chaos. Before it was done, Raziel would face torment hundreds of times more painful, although it would be emotional torment and not physical. Raziel's fate was even more twisted and maddening than Kain's. But in the end, he would understand. Kain was sure of it.

He would understand that he had been killed for his own good. If Raziel had lived, he would never have learned the truths of his past, never have become the crucial fulcrum that the streams of history pivoted upon. He would have mutated like his brothers, probably into some hideous bat creature. Coming to extract his revenge, he would not be able to understand that, of course. But in time, Kain would make him believe. He would convince him of the truth. He had to.

For Kain's life, and the very future of Nosgoth, hung in the balance.