Part 29Well, here we go - the beginning of the end. Remember Kain's realization at the end of SR2? "...The Hylden! We walked right into their trap! Raziel! Janos must stay dead!"? well, good. Keep remembering it.
Thus it begins!
Watch it here:
Video - Raziel finds the Mansion
Raziel runs full out through the Black Forest to the Mansion.
"Nestled deep in the black forest, Vorador had once held court over a private kingdom, as decadent as it was depraved. Now, all was still. I hoped I had not arrived too late..."
Watch it here:
Video - Raziel enters Vorador's Mansion
We head strait for the front door...
But when we grab the handles...
...they're stuck, and there's a loud rumbling from behind. Raziel is immediately on edge.
Does a nifty jump spring off of one of the columns...
...and still doesn't know what the fuck.
Those statues... look familiar...
oh, right. Now I remember!
Raziel deals with these two. There's a nifty trick when fighting two or more statues - they hit for a lot of damage. You can use this to your advantage, if you lure them close to each other, and move between them - they'll swing at Raziel, you then dodge out of the way, and they hit each other. Easiest way to kill them.
After we take care of them, their dying screams crack a window and break a balcony on the mansion itself.
Raziel begins his visit with Vorador on the right foot, by vandalizing his window.
We shift to the spectral realm and pass through the now-shattered window, into the mansion proper.
Shifting back to the Material Realm, the mansion takes on a more normal state, and we can take a look around.
However, while we're doing so, these familiar green barriers spring up, as Hylden-possessed corpses spring up from the floor (...) and attack us.
We do the only thing we can do, and murder them.
Passing the foyer, we have our choice of two identical long hallways, one on each side. They both lead to the same place, so we'll take the right one. Not the right one as in the correct one, but the right one as in the righthand one. The right way is usually the right way anyway, right?
At the end we come to this door, with a familiar switch and two even more familiar statues on either side.
Hitting the switch causes two torches to swing out form the walls, and lighting them, opens the door. Oddly, the statues don't attack us. Yet.
We find ourselves in this impressive room.
"This pool seemed related to the portals which had transported me into the Vampire ruins - but its surface was disturbed by the spouting of these gargoyles."
We'll ignore the statues for now, and head into the first door on the top of the balcony (which we reach via the Air Reaver).
"This mural was similar to one I had seen before in the fountain room."
Well, actually, it's not, because we didn't go up and take a look at them. Raziel's getting ahead of himself slightly. But if we had gone up and taken a look at the statues, a similar mural would have been seen behind them - one mural for each statue.
Our path leads us eventually outside the mansion once again, in the back this time.
We encounter more of these nasty things, kill them, and move on.
Here's another of these same murals. We can't do anything with this, yet.
Also in this area, we can find this door, with six braziers around it. Trying to ignite one with the fire reaver doesn't work - it goes out again immediately.
"This mysterious chamber was clearly significant. Perhaps I would find the elusive Vorador within."
I need that "It is Significant!" emoticon someone in here earlier.
Moving on, we complete a jumping puzzle and enter this window.
Beyond, we find this rather lavish hall. This is more to the tune of what Kain found when he explored Vorador's Mansion in BO1, minus the concubines of course.
Yet more Hylden assault us on the way.
We reach this fire place, light the braziers on the sides, and the fire goes out, allowing us to vandalize Vorador's mansion some more and gain access to a new area, above the foyer.
Below is more of that deadly mist - so we'll have to jump our way across. We can shift to the Material Realm before going through the door on the other side.
As was mentioned earlier, it's odd that Vorador keeps a limitless supply of corpses for Raziel to use to rematerialize buried under his floor, but this one takes the cake. Raziel finds this conduit on a balcony that's no more then 6 inches thick. Explain that one.
On the other side of the door, we find...
Another similar hallway?
Oh! Here we go. Raziel can now pull off the same combo Kain's been able to do since level 3.
We come, then, to Vorador's (very dark) library.
"This statue appeared to be the same hero I had seen depicted in the fountain room. This had to be significant."
This puzzle involves finding 6 globes around the room and lighting them.
Most of them are pretty simplistic.
Some of them, not so much.
As we light them, these white lights appear around the base of the statue. When we finish...
...a spear materializes in it's hands.
"This was indeed the Vampire warrior depicted in the fountain room - for here was the hero's weapon. This could be the key to solving the riddle of the fountain..."
Even though he hasn't explored the fountain yet, and doesn't know of any riddle to solve...
Raziel grabs that up. Vandalization and looting.
As we make our way back to the room with the statues...
...we have to destroy another set of statues.
We make it back to the pillar room, climb up and...
Watch it here:
Video - Raziel places the first spear
"These gargoyles were effigies of the Vampires' enemies. In the corresponding murals they were impaled by heroic Vampire warriors. Perhaps this was a clue..."
Way ahead of you there, buddy.
As you can see from the video, Raziel's motion is all blurred as he does the deed. This was the best I could get.
As we impale the statue, the corresponding mural cracks.
We head through the door on the other side, through some fairly uninteresting tunnels, and have to climb this wall... in the spectral realm. Raziel can do this now, on certain walls only, which glow with this irridescent light.
"This door clearly required some artifact before it would open."
Rematerializing and moving on...
...we come to another mural. These will become significant later.
We proceed and find our way out of the Mansion into the courtyard once more.
Breaking a pillar allows us to jump up onto the ledge and saves us having to go through the jumping puzzle again.
In the spectral realm, this place is completely fucked.
Moving on, we arrive shortly at a second library.
This one, too, has a statue, and a number of lit globes.
The puzzles here all revolve around using the dark reaver's invisibility power to approach and darken them.
Once again, upon completing this...
...the second spear is ours.
Returning to the fountain room, these statues decide they've had quite enough of our coming and going and decide to do something about it.
But no matter! We dispatch them and proceed.
Much better screenshot this time.
We've now got two of the statues spilling blood. The mural behind this one, too, cracks.
We've got nowhere to go that we haven't already been, now, so we start retracing our steps, and...
"These murals were attuned somehow to those in the fountain room - for this wall too had shattered."
So we break that fucker.
This proves only to be a shortcut out to the back end of the Mansion, but...
...we find another similarly broken mural here. Well, we find a cracked mural, and make it a broken one... same difference.
This leads to the sewer.
We can see our goal across the water...
...and to reach it, we have to shoot that button and jump these platforms. It's a bitch. They stay up for about 5 seconds. If you don't execute each jump flawlessly, you don't have time to get off the last one before it lowers.
After many tries, we make it.
"Perhaps this arcane emblem would unlock the sealed door in the crypt."
On the way back, we have to do some swimming, and find this wall. We can't swing the Reaver while swimming, and can't break things in the Spectral Realm - clearly this is inaccessible now, but we'll come back for it later!
We climb out of the sewers and head back to the room with the door we couldn't open, on the slim chance that this half of the crest will open it.
"Hm. The artifact I had was not sufficient. There was clearly still a missing piece of this puzzle."
So we break the last mural, and...
...pick up the other half!
Placing both in the socket, the door opens.
We find a bloodstone, which clearly means there's a puzzle requiring one of the reavers to be charged. I choose you, Fire Reaver!
Standing in the middle of these braziers, we let loose the Reaver charge.
All of them simultaniously light - maybe this is also the solution to the puzzle behind the mansion.
This produces the final spear.
"With this third and final weapon, the mystery of the fountain would be solved."
And more statues.
Raziel narrowly escapes a blistering fate!
Anyhow, moving on, we place the last spear.
Ah ha! The pool is actually a portal, which activates when the water stops flowing.
It takes us to a familiar locale.
"Here the images were unadulterated, and their meaning ominously clear... The Vampire hero, the bearer of the Reaver blade, was confronted by an adversary worthy of his powers."
"The enemy race, long banished, had an adversary of their own - with flaming eyes and a fiery sword."
We only know one character in this game with flaming eyes and a fiery sword, Raziel...
"The resemblance I bore to the adversary mocked all my hopes."
"Had Kain been the Vampire hero of prophecy all along? Did he suspect what I was?"
"For if I was this foretold adversary, then Moebius was right, and had always been right - I was destined to fight Kain and destroy him...or be destroyed. What part did free will play in any of this?..."
We proceed into the main chamber, and are once again confronted by two former Guardians.
Guardian of Death:
"Your deliverance is at hand -- in Death is your release."
Guardian of States:
"This state is merely atonement..."
These are ultimately fairly challenging.
One of them has this Raiden-style spinning floating move wherein he propells himself at Raziel.
The other manifests a huge ball of flame and envelopes Raziel, which deals a good bit of damage, and holds him immobile, at the mercy of the other Guardian.
Upon killing them, their souls power the spirit forge, and we can reap our prize.
"Once more the Reaver absorbed the spirits of the former Vampire Guardians, and thus was imbued with the elemental power of Water. Perhaps now I could enter that mysterious crypt at the end of the garden."
This reaver, when fully charged, will freeze any enemy it touches for a few seconds, making them unable to move. If the charge is expended, everything in range is frozen. Very powerful, definitely one of the best. However, it doesn't work on the game's more powerful enemies. D'oh.
It also, when plunged into streams of water, freezes them solid. This allows us to climb them.
To get out of the forge, we need to extinguish a number of flames, which the Water Reaver can do with a touch.
After our exit, we make our way back to the previously locked chamber, to meet the great Vorador at last.
Watch it here:
Video - Raziel meets Vorador
"The braziers were all lit, but still the door remained sealed. Perhaps I had ignited too many..."
We put out the three marked with the Water symbol, and the door opens.
Raziel cautiously makes his way into the chamber...
"So...our wretched little savior returns... Come to join the last pathetic battle of the vampire race?"
"But on which side, I wonder..."
"I've not come to fight you, Vorador."
"You don't know why you're here."
"I know this much: that you are the author of my fate - and as such, only you can rewrite it."
"You give me too much credit."
"You forged the Reaver - I have seen the evidence."
"I was its maker, yes."
"Then you know its purpose."
"No - only the scraps of prophecy my master shared with me."
"And do these scraps explain why you would forge a weapon to imprison your savior?"
"Ah, well then... it seems we have our answer. You've chosen your path."
"I have chosen nothing. I've been deceived at every turn."
"You seem to know what I am. Tell me."
"I thought I did, once. But now all the prophecies have failed."
"The Pillars are corrupted... I am the last of my kind...and when Moebius's hunters find me, it will have all been for nothing."
"You've forgotten about Kain."
"Ah yes, Kain... I fear he shoulders a greater burden than he realizes."
"I cannot help you - even if I was inclined to."
"I crafted the Reaver blade, but only at the behest of my sire, Janos Audron."
"What sorcery he and the others laid upon the sword afterward, I cannot say."
"Janos tried to give me the Reaver before he died. He said that it was forged for me... but what did he mean? As my weapon, or my prison?"
"Perhaps you should ask him yourself."
"Janos is here?"
"In a manner of speaking."
Vorador opens a secret door in the chamber, and takes Raziel beyond, to Janos' crypt.
"The greatest of us all - the father of our race. The Sarafan tore the heart from his living body five centuries ago."
"But there's no sign of decay - how is this possible after all these years?"
"Somewhere, the Heart still beats. And while it does, the body will remain preserved. If his Heart could be restored, Janos might yet be raised."
"And you haven't tried to recover it, in all these years?"
"Many times...but our enemies hid the Heart too well. It was taken as a trophy to Avernus Cathedral centuries ago, where they christened it 'the Heart of Darkness.'"
"Believing that it embodies the essence of our dark gift, they hid the Heart away, lest it fall into the wrong hands. Our hands."
"Redeem yourself - you may be our last hope. Perhaps you alone can find the Heart, if it is meant to be found. If Janos can be resurrected, he will have all the answers you require."
Vorador reaches into his cloak and hands something to Raziel.
"This key will open your way to Avernus. But be advised, there are dark sorceries at work in the cathedral. You must be on your guard."
Raziel runs quickly back to the library, where he finds Vorador waiting for him.
Watch it here:
Video - Vorador meets Raziel in the Library.
"Avernus is in flames... and with it, our hopes may evaporate."
"How can I find the Heart in the midst of such chaos?"
"You must act quickly. But beware - an ancient evil dwells within, long Unspoken among our kind."
"Undoubtedly this is the source of the corruption that infects the Circle. If you are to succeed, you must resist its influence."
Vorador teleports away.
Raziel uses Vorador's key to unlock the door...
...and begins his journey to Avernus Cathedral.
Next time: Kain gains entry to the Vampire Citadel, and makes a startling discovery.
Remember that Raziel has finally seen the complete mural, and knows now that he is the vampire's enemy's champion as depicted. This leaves Kain to be the Vampire Champion. The vampire's enemy is, of course, the Hylden. Ariel knew this - she called him on it when she visited her at the Pillars, but he didn't understand.
Does Kain know? No, he doesn't - he hasn't seen the murals. But it's inevitable that he will find out. What then? Later today, we'll find out!