The bodies of the fallen Divus, Metatron and Ambraxas, were laid out with full ceremony upon the white alter in the middle of the hallowed ground of the ascended. Their wounds had been dressed and the corpses had been dressed in full honorary golden robes. The two bodies were placed so that all could see them and pass by the corpses laying their respects, although a troop of well armed homunculi kept people out of arms reach.
The hallowed ground was a large central square ringed by luxurious gardens that play on the top of the massive statue made up by the city buildings, made in the likeness of their fallen king. This was the central gathering place for the chosen and where events of importance were announced.
Asmodeus stared down at Metatron's body, pleased with the alteration Ophiel had made to the cadaver, giving it a scar across the neck to make it appear the once mighty warrior had fallen in battle rather than being struck from behind.
The crowd gathered in the space below were not all Divus. There were, after all, less than five hundred beings with the title 'Divus' added to their names. The mass majority of the throng were composed of lesser favoured souls, servants of heaven and honoured warriors. A few were slaves brought up to serve the needs of their masters. Asmodeus did not personally approve of letting the lower classes see beyond their station but he supposed this was a unique event that warranted some leeway.
At the moment he was far too jubilant to let anything spoil his mood. The time had finally come.
Somewhere, a massive gong was struck. The sound radiated through the air and the crowd's dull roar of conversation began to die away, heads turning. Even the slaves looked up.
That was his signal. Asmodeus started forward up the ivory steps one by one, his smile broadening. When he reached the top he stood upon the stood upon the pinnacle of battlements overlooking the hallowed ground, polished marble platforms standing above the rest of Fanum-Divus.
Awaiting him there was his ever loyal servant, Ophiel. She bowed her head to him, eyes to the floor as he passed by. He ignored her. Asmodeus gaze was focused upon the item that rested upon the seat of the throne facing towards the square. The crown of heaven, the symbol of the highest station of authority, was everything he had imagined it to be. Raziel-Divus had refused to wear it even to important events. That had been prudent on the former kings part, considering how tainted of soul he was. But Asmodeus stared at the crown longingly, knowing that he was worthy to place it upon his brow.
But he could not simply take it, despite all his machinations till now. There was one final hurdle to jump.
"Asmodeus-Divus." The voice that spoke, seemingly out of thin air, silenced the entire crowd; indeed the entire colossal city. It was heard everywhere and seemed to echo deeply through the corridors of eternity.
Asmodeus dropped down onto one knee, facing the throne. The seat itself was mostly unimportant but it was set into a long stone obelisk with the symbol for eternity, the Moebius ring, engraved into its pinnacle. Through this medium came the voice of their master, the Hub of the Wheel of Fate and the Lord God himself.
All over the city of Fanum-Divus, the beings that dwelt near dropped to their knees and pressed their faces to the floor in utter submission.
"My selected avatar, the Scribe of Heaven, has finally completed his circle." The voice continued, half to itself. "And now he is lost to me."
"He served your cause and your noble purpose as much as he was able, my lord." Asmodeus intoned keeping his face down. "And we weep that his current incarnation is our enemy."
The voice of God was silent for a moment before Asmodeus felt its full attention on him.
"You speak true, my servant." It said. "Speak to me, your council."
That was the invitation he needed and Asmodeus raised his head.
"Since the first, Raziel-Divus has been the scribe. We all knew that his time was finite. That time has come and now we must announce his replacement." When the disembodied voice did not immediately reply, the Divus pushed on. "My lord, allow me to fill his shoes and I will continue to serve you and the grand rhythm of the universe. Conflict shall continue and death shall rain down. The Wheel will turn and upon my soul I pledge to you that the fallen apostates will flee from your wrath."
It was a rehearsed speech but it had the desired effect. After only a brief moment of silence the crown upon the thrown began to rise up. It floated there in mid air, the jewels set into the metal emitting an otherworldly green glow.
"You have the soul and passion of a Scribe of Heaven, a king in my service." Their God, the Elder, announced in reverent tones as the crown floated forward. "Be the spinner of the Wheel... Asmodeus-Divus, King of my chosen."
After so long a wait, Amodeus felt his soul ready to burst with elation as he felt the crown settle around his head.
In response, the crowd below got back up to their feet and roared in approval, recognising his new authority with the benediction their god had laid upon him.
The crown sparkling on his head, Asmodeus smiled and turned to gaze upon his new subjects. The game had been long and complex, a session of political chess which had involved players from across the spectrum. But the effort, the patience and the planning, had all been worth it. Raziel-Divus had had to be removed of course, he was a poor monarch marred by his impure destiny and would only have brought disaster to Fanum-Divus.
It had always brought him intense anger and frustration that such a flawed servant should win so much confidence to ever be awarded the title 'scribe of heaven' and become King. As much as he would never publically fault their lord, his judgement in this particular had been dubious from the start. But at last all was as it should be, or at least close enough for the rest to fall into place.
This was a day of renewal, of rejuvenation and of course... of change. It was a change that some would not like but was entirely necessary and of course those that dissented too much would be dealt with.
He raised his hands to the crowd of Divus before his dais throne, gesturing for silence. After a moment the multitude began to calm down.
Asmodeus smiled warmly at them and began into his second well rehearsed speech, the prelude to the performance to come.
"This day you have seen the death of a king and the coronation of a new one." He intoned loudly and through the skills of his aide standing just behind his throne, the crowd heard him. "Such an event is unique and unprecedented for our blessed realm." His voice carried further than them, echoing deep into the many labyrinthine corridors of the angelic city so that even the slave race would hear him speak. None would be ignorant of his ascension this day.
"But do not despair. We have not lost to the dark ones, the black Nefastus. Indeed we cannot loose. It is impossible."
He was of course pandering to his audience's elated and zealot driven ego. Belief in ones own invincibility was one thing but he needed them fired up, angry and filled with drive for it to work to his advantage.
"Kain's efforts have not hindered us, nor even slowed us. The work of the fallen Ambraxas will be finished in his absence and soon. The Ark will fly! We are the ones who still stand at the end of days, victorious to receive our reward; the passage to the heavens themselves!"
His purposely changed his expression, chosen to be his sternest and most grim.
"But even so we cannot let his actions or those of his allies go unpunished. Nosgoth was purged once before but we let compassion sway us and corruption was allowed to ensure." He clenched a fist and held it up high. "This time we will stamp it out! This time we will leave no stone unturned, no crevice unexplored in pursuit of those who stand in opposition to our authority!"
His speech caught their ire and they roared their agreement, the noise of the crowd deafening. Despite his glee at having roped them in, Asmodeus did not smile. This last act required a great deal of play in order to get them involved emotionally.
This time he didn't wait for their emotional response to die away but talked over them, Ophiel using her own abilities in blessed sorcery to raise the volume of his voice above the melee of sound.
"And we shall do so in the guise most appropriate to this task!" He declared and turning, beckoned for two figures behind the throne to step forward. As they came, Asmodeus addressed the crowd once more. "Lost to the time streams now due to meddling by the unspoken and Kain, was an unstoppable army. Although merely human they exemplified the true qualities of the soldiers of heaven and the lord."
The two figures approaching the edge of the platform were of the slave race, chosen for their muscular build and devotion to training and of course to his cause. The armour they wore had been carefully crafted for its visual effect.
It was made of blood red plates over jet black mail, the helmet pushed forward in an almost draconic visor that hid the face entirely. Across the armour's pauldrons and crest of the helm, spikes made of bone had been screwed in to stand out prominently giving them a very demonic appearance. The facade was completed by the goat horns attached to either side of the main helmet. On one side of their belts hung a broadsword sword and on the other a double headed battle axe. The two of them beside him looked big and intimidating and the crowd of Divus stirred, not in puzzlement but expectant confusion. They were waiting for him to explain.
Asmodeus could not help but smile; now he had them.
"Chosen of the lord our God! He called out to them. "It is time to become that which our faithful amongst the mortals have desired us to be! To galvanise ourselves into the unstoppable legion! To set ourselves steadfastly against our enemies and let them know their nemesis has come!"
Even from this distance he could see the hungry and jubilant look in their eyes. With expert finesse he hooked them and reeled them in.
"Let us reform ourselves into the TRUE Legions of the Nemesis!"
The dark cellars beneath even the catacombs of his castle had been sealed off for some considerable time, allowing fungus and other luminous forms of growth to spread over the doorway. The chamber had been insulted against the water and the air was dry and musty smelling. Stepping forward, Vorador entered the chamber and looked around with a growing expression of displeasure. Behind him, Sally stood off to one side keeping her gaze averted from the chambers interior but looking decidedly sheepish all the same.
The light from the outside penetrated only a few feet but it was far enough. The room was a large antechamber with a vaulted high ceiling and a curving circular floor around a dais where a stone sarcophagus lay. Alone the floor were metal grates through which running water from the castles many aqueducts was running; a complex drainage system to keep the castle dry on these rain soaked islands. The chamber was clearly intended to be a tomb but had been usurped for another purpose.
Covering the walls were thick slimy pods each about the size of a horse, membranous bulges covered in thick yellow mucus like substance. They were attached by organic tendrils to the walls themselves and were gathered together in large groups like spiders eggs. Each sack was rhythmically moving in and out, as if breathing and they extruded a nose wrinkling smell.
Sally had not meant to tell her lord about the existence of this chamber until much later, once he had settled down and taken stock of the situation abroad on the mainland and perhaps taken the time to tend to the still incapacitated Janos Audron. But he had pressed the issue, demanding to know what had happened to the rest of the Cabal during his absence. She could not directly lie to him for while she was last active vampire of their race left she was hardly the last left alive.
And so she head led him to this chamber, where she had watched her siblings and blood kin go into hibernation to wait for the time when their master awoke.
Vorador was not impressed.
"When I went into sleep myself, I did not mean for the Cabal to follow my example." He said, his voice echoing in the vaulted room. He spoke not only to his ward at his side by also to the chamber itself, to the sacks covering the walls. "I would have thought you could survive without me."
"Sire..." Sally began stepping forward, coming to the defence of her kin. Her taloned feet clacked on the stone surface louder then she meant them to and Vorador turned to look back at her over his shoulder, his face a mask of stern judgementalism. "The others saw no purpose to going on without a purpose, without you to give us that purpose."
Vorador's glare and tone was full of scorn.
"Are you all so like children that you need adults to tell you what to do?" He asked. Sally opened her mouth to reply but he silenced her with a gesture, holding up one hand. She shut her lips tightly in her reprimand.
Vorador turned again and looked back up the fleshly bulbs around them, some covering the ceiling so that little of the wall would actually be seen.
"This is abhorrent." He said in disgust. "The Cabal are supposed to rule these islands, even if it is our exile. Yet my children lock themselves into a tomb like ghouls and sleep."
"Sire, is that not what you did?" Sally asked. Vorador flinched slightly at the reminded but stiffened with indignation.
"True..." He eventually conceded in a flatter one. "But the time for wallowing in self pity has long since past." With purpose in his stride the ancient vampire crossed over to where the nearest of the pupating sacks lay, dripping slime onto the floor.
Without pause he drove the talons of his left hand directly into the sac and tore down. Sally started but paused as her sire ripped through the fleshy skin of the pod. Slime from inside slopped out, a thick yellow mixed with streaks of red. Amongst the slime was a defined shape that Vorador caught tenderly with both hands and pulled free of the pod. Carrying the slime coated bundle to the side of the stone dais he laid it out. It was man shaped but so thickly covered it was hard to tell more than that.
Vorador set to wiping the body clean of the mucus which had kept it in is suspended animation so long. Within lay the prone body of another of the Cabal.
Isolated on this island so long, the Cabal had evolved to their environment. Like Sally the vampire Vorador stared down at was covered in small scales with jagged barbs running across his hips and collarbone. Sally's scales were a dusty brown and gold while this one had scales that were more of a pale green. He was of medium height and had a well built body which had not suffered from its slumber inside the pod.
Vorador knew him. His name was Alaric. When he had been human had had been a mercenary warrior fighting for the highest bidder and had been Turned by Vorador at the start of the Cabal's creation. He was one of the first of his children, who had survived the disaster of the attack on Meridian, the two centuries of fascist Sarafan rule and the brief civil war with Kain's own brood. The vampire gasped with a wheeze and, acting on instinct at first, Vorador held his wrist to the mouth.
Fangs punctured the skin in an instant, red life giving blood oozing from the wound to be drained in a ravenous and eventually unconscious feeding. Alaric's eyes were still closed and he was feeding, entirely by subconscious reaction.
Vorador let him feast for perhaps a whole minute before he firmly disengaged him and laid his head back down.
Sally watched from the sidelines as Alaric laid there, mouth agape with blood running from one corner down over his cheek. The body laid still and silent for a moment and then with a sudden burst he arched his back and gasped with suddenly new life.
Alaric swung up into a sitting position, his chest heaving. He was bald so his smooth head and its many scales reflected the light from the passage beyond the entrance. His eyes bulged and he looked around in confusion, first at Sally and then to his creator.
Laying eyes on Vorador he paused and at first did nothing. Perhaps his body was still recovering from its sudden awakening to allow him to respond but with some effort he cleared his throat.
"M...m...master?" He croaked and then coughed, spitting up some of his pod's mucus which had become lodged inside his windpipe. Vorador shook his injured wrist until it healed and then nodded once.
"Yes my son, I am here." He replied. Alaric turned his head to look at Sally as if seeking confirmation. Since Alaric was older then she in the hierarchy of the Cabal he technically outranked her but her volunteering to stake awake and a sentinel when the others went into sleep had given her a unique position of authority. With a bit of surprise, she also realised that since she had been awake and they had not, she might very well have evolved past them and was thus stronger.
She nodded to him anyway to cover her own confusion.
"Master, I had ..." He started, faltered in guilty surprise and then tried again. "Forgive me master, I had thought you might never wake up... I despaired."
Vorador laid a hand on his slimy shoulder but his expression was stern.
"There is no time for despair." He told his offspring. "There is much to be done and a future to be grasped." The ancient vampire gestured with a flick of his chin up at the other pods still all around the chamber. "I have need of my children to awaken from their dreams."
Sally and her elder sibling looked up at him wide eyes at his use of the word 'children'. Vorador had rarely used that designate when referring to the Cabal, because to him there had only been one true child; an ideal they had tried and failed to live up to.
He left them with the order to awaken the Cabal one by one and feed them their stock pile of human blood, stored in the Serioli method, until they were at full strength again. Vorador was going to need his children able to fight and defend themselves for when the Hylden finally elected their new House leaders and resumed their efforts to whip the world clean of vampires.
His realm was a small selection of rocky archipelago islands far to the south west of the Nosgoth mainland. It had been to these islands that Kain had banished him and his brood after the short lived civil war. The Cabal had adapted and galvanised the humans they had brought with them into a prime breeding stock, using the ruins of the Hylden city they found here to built their own stronghold and castle.
The existence here had been one of black banishment and isolation and Vorador had squatted here, sinking in upon him. Surrounded by unceasing gloomy thoughts he had brooded until he sequestered himself and gone into a deep sleep to wait out the time until the end of days came. Raziel had brought him out of his apathetic slumber and stirred his interest in the world and its new politics. Events of proportions were coming to ahead and Vorador had to be sure that his section of it at least would weather the storm.
The alliance with the Serioli ancients in their sanctuary of Kain's mountain retreat had allowed him to keep abreast of events within the fortified and established Hylden nation. While the Hylden had been demoralised and shocked into stalled, their politics were coming to ahead. Soon new leaders would be chosen and then the onslaught would begin again.
"And so your stir yourself finally, my old friend." A sultry and smooth female voice with an exotic accent asked as he entered his castle's central dining hall to await the awakening Cabal. Glancing to one side the ancient vampire saw that sitting cross-legged upon a windowsill with her back to the glass was a Hylden woman; by far the fairest of them with unblemished features and silky uncorrupted skin.
He knew her of course. They had such an interesting history together.
"I must say this new proactive stance of yours..." The Seer said with a smile. "...it suits you." Vorador flicked one large ear and then smiled back in turn.
"After so many thousands of years, I'm just tired of letting depression rule me."
The Hylden Seer, immortal like the rest of her race due to their connection to the energies of the demon dimension, continues to smile but she shook her head at him ruefully.
"Did it really take you that long to do so, Vorador?" She asked. Vorador narrowed his eyes and crossed the hall to look out the window next to her at the choppy sea, arms folded in the small of his back.
"The world gave me little reason to change my opinion." He said but she pointed a finger sideways him.
"Until now." She added. Vorador controlled his expression but despite centuries of trying he could not control the reaction of his ears. They would either move up or down depending on his mood, a process that seemed entirely independent from his control. She was right and he knew it and it bothered him immensely that had wasted so much time consumed by self pity.
"Oh my dear Vorador." The Seer sighed. "You have taken the first step all by yourself but the time has come for you to take more."
He turned his head to look sidelong at her, an eyebrow arched up in silent inquiry.
"If you have come to tell me something..." He started but she cut him off.
"I have come to set you upon the path to your destiny." The Seer said. "I did this first with Kain, then Raziel... now it is your turn." She reached up and laid a finger upon the tip of his nose. "It is time Vorador, to free your soul and for you to know and claim your birthright... your heritage."
Kain and Raziel return to their roles in the game but another piece comes into play, a piece who had long denied his responsibilities but will learn of his importance and delve secrets left for him to find. Vorador uncovers his birthright in Legacy of Kain: Heritage. Coming Soon!
Didn't THAT take some time and effort to write... phew...
Firstly a BIG thank you to be BETA editors. You saved me from making many grammar and spelling mistakes. Hope you guys stick around
Well I hoped you enjoyed Absolution. Stick around, because coming soon Vorador gets his chance to shine. Can I tell a Nosgoth story from neither the point of view of Kain OR Raziel and still make it as much like Eidos' excellent work? Well I'm certainly going to try. For those of you who know where my DA page is hang around there for an introductory Comic. But what I'd like to do is for you guys to gimme your ideas and feedback.
I wanna know what you think about the following dilemmas about how to portray Vorador and his story:
1) What powers should he use?
2) What locations would you like him to revisit? (from any previous games or my stories)
3) What characters 'Official LOK or from my stories' do you wanna be included and why?
4) What time periods do you want ol' Vorry to muddle through and why
5) Just for fun, is Vorador did get his own game, what would the gameplay be like?
6) So far I've used a great deal from Babylon, Jewish and Christian mythology. Any other references from folklore you think would be good in LOK and why?
"You're nothing but a grave robber Kain." – This line was taken directly from the uncut version of the Soul Reaver script.
Elzievr – (I hope everyone understood what happened there. I wanted to include the dollmaker in order to tidy up that loose end from Blood Omen 1 and it was a unique experience for Raziel to go through.)
Alicia Ottmar and Ewoden - (like Sally from Soul Reaver3 they were from my previous fanfictions and adapted here, hopefully better than they were before. Ewoden will have a larger role in a future story. )
Dolls – well aside from the 'Dollmaker' connection, if you want to know my real inspiration for this, go to youtube and type in 'destination truth island of the dolls' thank you for cheap supernatural documentaries!
Malek's bastion and the possessed armour – (I'm sure a few LOK nerds realised that, yes, I plagiarised here. Some of you will have heard about the cancelled game after Defiance 'the Dark prophecy'. Concept art made for the game revealed that there would be Hylden souls inside armour. The Nexus' stones forging chamber came from BETA screenshots. Will I continue to pinch ideas from the dark prophecy? Like hell I will)
Pipers – well I was inspired for these guys by the Blood Omen concept art you'll find at Nosgoth dot net and I vaguely remember them being enemies of some kind in the game. I played to the pied piper of Hamelin story there.
Ashar – briefly mentioned at the end of Soul Reaver 3 and now greatly expanded. Is he gone for good? Well I'm not telling you, wait until I write more and find out. If you want to know what he looks like, again look up the Hylden king design from the Dark Prophecy concept art.
Ophiel – angelic spirit, actually a man in mythology
Asmodeus – king of lust demons from Jewish mythology
Ambraxas – spelt 'Abraxas' in mythology, was originally an Egyptian god made into an angel by later scribes
Metatron- Jewish angel. It was VERY hard not typing 'Megatron' every time I wrote his name. Last thing I want is to accidentally cross over LOK with transformers.