And we're off!
"The vampire hunters - brazen as they were - feared to walk these paths. I knew one spirit haunted this place... perhaps there were others, as well."
Ooh, action shot. These big titanous bastards hit pretty darn hard, and throw Raziel all over the place when they do, but for whatever reason, you can just stand up next to them and spam Lift Attack and juggle them in the air just like any other enemy.
Contrary to appearance, Raziel is actually not flying away after being smashed, that's one of his combat dodges in progress to avoid the incoming smash.
Fortunately, these big things have souls just like anyone else.
As we near these vampire hunters...
...they become possessed by the Hylden, and attack us. Eesh.
This is an easilly recognizable site, however, unlike Kain, Raziel doesn't have the ability to ignite things telekinetically.
"These smoldering sconces seemed as though they would ignite, if only I had a fire source."
So instead we climb this conveniently placed wall, and jump to the ledge to the right, before proceeding to...
The fire forge. How convenient that it should be placed right here.
To open the portal, we just have to push this block over to the flame and ignite it, then move it back to the center of the room. Obligatory comment about unrealistically absurd puzzle construction here.
As we pass through...
"I sought to unravel the mystery of my fate, and in this image lay my first clue. For this scene depicted the forging of the Reaver- the weapon destined to become my prison - and I recognized its maker."
"The years had changed him, but this was unmistakably the vampire, Vorador - and in this era, he still lived. If I could reach him before Moebius' mob hunted him down, he would provide the answers I sought."
There's the answer to the question that was asked a little while ago.
"These images chronicled Vorador's creation. As I already knew, he had not been born a vampire, but had been turned by the infamous Janos Audron."
"But this mural suggested that Vorador's origins were even more significant - apparently, he was the first human to whom the dark gift had been passed."
"This was the Vampires' desperate bid to preserve their bloodline...for their enemies had cursed them not only with blood-thirst, but with sterility as well."
"This spirit vessel was not yet activated. Perhaps there was some means for me to awaken it..."
The trick here lies in the adjacent chambers.
In the spectral realm (I was going to video this, and as such didn't get any screenshots of it, but when I went to upload it just now, I realized that I must have neglected to actually shoot the video in question! Sorry! It's really not that exciting anyway, to be honest... description forthcoming.) we find a pair of spirits of two of the pillar guardians. They carry on a brief dialog:
"I was met by the specter of the Nature Guardian, monstrously deformed since its death centuries ago."
"Rejoice, creature, for today your spirit will return to the One..."
It then attacks, we kill it, and it's spirit funnels into the spirit vessel.
We then head over to the second...
"Approaching the tomb, I was met by the specter of the Guardian himself."
"Eternity weighs heavily..."
"I have a solution."
"I bear it in atonement... but your moment of existence has passed. Come - and be released..."
We kill him, too, and his spirit as well goes to fuel the vessel. We return to the Material Realm and...
"As the Reaver absorbed the souls of the Nature and Conflict Guardians, it was imbued with the elemental power of Fire with which their principles were aligned. I was now equipped to reach the Pillars."
As we exit, some possessed attack us, and we get a chance to try out the new toy.
Predictably, once charged, the Fire Reaver sets things on fire. Expending the charge sets everything on fire at once. This makes them run around screaming and in general ignore us, which is awesome.
And now we can do something about this.
As Raziel passes the barrier, he finds the Pillars waiting for him.
Watch it here:
Video - Raziel meets Ariel at the Pillars
"Once again I beheld the Pillars of Nosgoth - crumbling in decay now, following the corruption of the Circle."
"Here I would find Ariel, the specter of the murdered Balance Guardian - and the last pure, undefiled member of the Guardian Circle."
"Bound here upon her death, she was doomed to haunt these Pillars until her successor fulfilled his terrible duty, and Balance was restored."
"What manner of creature approaches?"
"I know you well, Ariel - though you do not yet know me."
"I have no time for riddles, strange one."
"All you have is time. I have come to seek your guidance-"
"-I counsel only one man, and you are not he."
"But you will know him soon. The contagion of your kind is coming to an end."
"My kind? What exactly do you think I am?"
"Your name shall remain 'Unspoken', as decreed by our ancestors."
Ahh, and here we have it. The reference back to Blood Omen 1, when the Hylden Lord possessing Mortanius was referred to as The Unspoken (by Ariel herself, no less - she says right in the beginning to Kain, "Beware the Unspoken.") Ariel believes Raziel to be Hylden.
"You serve the one who so brutally took my life and set this tragedy in motion. But even now, hope is at work. Balance will be restored, and your kind will be expelled forever."
"You have pinned your hopes on Kain. He will disappoint you."
"What can you know of Kain?"
"More than you could ever fathom."
"He will do what he must when the time comes."
"By choosing his own death? A sacrifice for the world? You don't know Kain very well."
"I know what he is called to do. My faith sustains me."
"Is it faith, or fear? You know that if Kain refuses the sacrifice, you will never leave here. And you begin to suspect..."
Here, again, we see Raziel being an asshole to the poor tortured spirit.
"-I will not hear your poison, fiend."
"Grant me the answers I require, and I will leave you to your pathetic delusions."
"I seek the vampire, Vorador."
"To kill him, perhaps? Or to join him in death? But for Kain, he is the last of his kind. Moebius's mob has done its work."
"My reasons are my own."
"His refuge lies in the heart of the black forest."
"And may you molder there together until the end comes."
Well, now we have some direction.
we come to this icon on a table, but a green barrier rises around it until we kill the surrounding vampire hunters. And more Raziel acrobatics, and this time I didn't even mean to screencap it!
We finish off the big guy, and grab it up. Obviously it's a key to something.
We come, then, to this. We recognize these from SR2 - once we get the Air Reaver, we can use them to propell ourselves upward on a gust of air.
Raziel, confirming our suspisions:
"This seemed to be attuned to the elemental principal of air."
Short and to the point.
We come to the second barrier, which Kain misted through. We don't need to do that.
Oh! But, as we kill the hunters around it, we get Raziel's next combat ability! Identical to Kain's, this lets him smash something into the ground and bounce them up again, where he can continue to combo them. Equally as useful, same application.
We place the icon in the socket, and the door miraculously opens.
We find the same ruins Kain visited. Oddly, the destruction he wrought on them to gain passage has been rebuilt during this 500 years!
And ultimately, we reach the same place he did. Raziel can't fly, so this is of no use to us.
Here, we encounter a perfect example of the fucking horrible camera. Notice how, even after killing the one that I just plain flat out can't see, and getting up onto the flat ledge above, it still shifts around on a pivot point right in the middle of the fucking fight, so I still can't see more then 1/4 of the combatants at a time!
Watch it here:
Video - Horrible fucking camera
That out of the way, we find a way out of here.
Predictably, the air forge. Convenient how they pop up right when Raziel needs them.
The puzzle to get in involves pulling these blocks in front of these air vents, which allows us to place a heart-shaped flute in front of them, then we move the blocks a second time, blowing air through the flute, and opening the portal.
"These murals had suffered some damage. Once again I recognized the Vampires' hero, but this scene revealed something new..."
"For here they had also depicted his destined adversary, now partially obscured, who seemed to bear a flaming sword."
Hmm, Raziel has a flaming sword, having just picked up the Fire Reaver... Interesting!
Once more, we've got to kill two guardians to get the spirit vessel charged. This time, I have screenshots.
"In winning all, we lost all... In winning what we thought mattered, we lost what truly mattered... But for you, there is a chance."
"What chance is that?"
"The bliss of death. I offer it."
"But I do not accept."
We kill him, and proceed to the next.
"You too share the curse - submit and be released..."
Raziel imbues the Reaver, and...
"As the Reaver absorbed the souls of the Mind and Dimension Guardians, it was imbued with the elemental power of Air with which their principles were aligned."
Now, as in SR2, we can jam the air reaver into these crevices...
...and get propelled upwards! We easilly use this to solve the puzzle and get out. (It involves using the fire reaver on 4 easilly accessible braziers. Woo.)
We proceed back to the area that blocked us before, and...
"With the Reaver endowed with the elemental power of Air, the way to Vorador's refuge lay open at last. If the old vampire still lived, he alone could tell me how to escape the terrible destiny charted for me when the Reaver was forged."
"Vorador's refuge was hidden deep within the black forest. I hoped to find him before Moebius's cutthroats did."
Next time: Kain finds the Vampire Citadel, and jumps through more retarded hoops to get balance emblem pieces.