Ahh, back to Kain - maybe he'll fair better this time around.
He's still right where we left him - fighting off hordes of shadows in the Stronghold's catacombs after Moebius made his daring escape.
Finishing them off, we head for the exit, and find a curious emblem sealing the door - we take it, because it may just be used elsewhere in the Stronghold!
We find ourselves back on familiar ground after exiting the catacombs.
"Malek, the great Sarafan warrior. I had met him before."
"His sword and shield seemed to have gone astray."
Kain makes the entirely logical assumption that restoring the missing sword and shield to this statue will cause doors to open. Well, of course! Why didn't we think of that!
Leaving the room, we encounter some Sarafan...
And killing them nets us our second combat ability. I neglected to post the first when we got it (halfway through the first level), so here it is, now. It causes Kain to vigorously swing his sword from side to side, dicing everyone in a fairly large range in front of him.
And here's the second - it's the same, but works in the air.
On our way out, we find this lone Sarafan guard guarding a perfectly isolated balcony.
Repeating the performance we witnessed in the intro movie, Kain mists through the gate and headlocks him - but doesn't snap his neck this time.
"Tell me - where can I find your master?"
The Sarafan is reluctant to reveal such information.
"Quickly - Moebius is...?"
"...in the tower..."
And with that, Kain hurls him from the ledge.
Continuing on our way, we come to this curious door, which we passed by earlier.
The emblem we took from the catacombs fits perfectly, and the door slides open.
Continuing down the only available avenue...
...and completing a Raziel-esque block moving puzzle...
...we're rewarded with the missing shield.
"Malek's missing sheild. I hated to restore his dignity, but I would need to return this to his monument before I could progress."
We put it back in place on the statue, and sure enough...
...the door emblazoned with his shield opens.
This allows us access to the balcony above the courtyard.
After dealing with it's defenders, we come across another of Malek's missing artifacts.
"Malek's sword belonged in his right hand. However distasteful this errand was, I would return it to its proper place."
Random slaughter on the way...
Restoring the sword has a similar effect, and...
"The way to the tower now lay open before me. I looked forward to finding Moebius, and resumng our conversation."
We first come to this bridge - these are actually very entertaining, albeit short, fights, to me at least.
The bridges have all kinds of guards on them...
...but really give us a chance to use telekinesis to some effect. See that pillar type thing that archer is flying past? It had a statue on it, till he struck it and knocked it apart!
Inside, we find this room. It has 4 doors, and 4 torches at the corners, as well as this rotatable column in the middle. Turning the column causes one torch to go out, another to light, and the door between the two torches to open.
Beyond one, we find another piece of the Balance Emblem.
"This artifact, joined with the relic I discovered earlier, appeared to be but one fragment of a larger emblem."
"This shard was endowed with elemental Fire, enhancing both the Reaver and my telekinetic powers."
Now, we've mastered the element of fire, and Kain's telekinetic abilities can be used...
...to light torches and whatnot. We use this to light the two torches bracketing the door we want to leave through, and proceed to do just that.
Outside, we dispatch some guards, and earn Kain's third combat ability. This one's one of my favorites, especially when coupled with the second and fourth.
On the ground, Kain can use this to smack his enemies into the ground, whereupon they bounce up a few feet, and Kain can continue to combo them. A good sequence is to use this, followed by a lift attack (throwing them into the air), follow that with a jump then a Sanguine Centure, then finish by hitting Lift Attack again, which smashes them into the ground. This will kill most opponents at this stage of the game.
Sadly, Lift Attack alone is fairly exploitable, and if you're facing a single opponent, you can just spam it and 'juggle' them in the air till they die, making this tactic ruefully unnecesary except against groups.
We use our new ability to light these torches...
...which causes an aesthetically appealing effect in which the tiles that make up the wall dislodge themselves and form this walkway.
We proceed up it.
We continue along the same note forming more walkways up the tower, each one with decidedly fewer tiles, till the last is only 3, and we have to jump up it. camera.
And finally, at the top...
Watch it here:
Video - Kain finds Moebius again
Kain kicks the door open.
"Here you are at last. I see you found a fragment of the Balance Emblem."
"This will be of even further use to you - if you can find the other three. Now, shall we-?"
"Yes. Let us continue our conversation-"
Kain telekinetically tears Moebius' staff from his grip.
"-but on a somewhat different footing."
He then follows up by tearing Moebius himself from the floor.
"Now, what do you have to tell me, Moebius?"
"You cannot kill me. We both know that this is not how - or when - I die."
"Death is not the only possible outcome."
"Your delusions of fulfilling the Vampires' foolish prophecies have badly distorted your judgment."
"And Raziel is not what you think."
"You dare imagine what I think?"
"So you prevented Raziel's soul from entering the Reaver."
"Do you believe for a moment that by this you have averted your fate? Or his? Or that of Nosgoth itself?"
"Your manipulations are pathetic."
"Yet Raziel retains his free will. And that's what frightens you, isn't it, Moebius."
"You cannot see his path, and so you cannot control it."
"And neither can you."
"Yes, Raziel is shrouded from us, but we see the ripples of his potential actions."
"And every path he might choose leads to the same outcome:"
"He will kill you, Kain. In sparing Raziel, you have written your own death sentence."
"You still have not answered the question I came to ask..."
"Where is Raziel?"
"He is not, in a true sense, here. Not now."
"Don't try my patience, Moebius. What have you done with him?"
"He is contained. In time, it may be safe to release him. His destiny must be completed - he will enter the sword."
"But until that time he is dangerous - far more dangerous than you could understand."
"And your incontrovertible evidence?"
"The answers are plain if you know where to look."
"Go west of the Pillars - there you will find a testament written in stone."
With that, Moebius teleports out.
"But stones, too, can lie."
"The Pillars of Nosgoth stood pristine against the horizon. To the west I would find the enlightenment Moebius felt I lacked."
Next time: Raziel discovers an alternate, somewhat more disagreeable way into the Material Realm.