And without further adieu, we assume Bat Form and head for the Oracle's cave.
Hey look, it's...
The Oracle's Cave is without a doubt my least favorite area of the game. It's a massive maze full of things that kill you, and it's long.
As we enter the area, we hear Mortanius say:
"Oh, little vampire, the game grows interesting. But with so many pawns, can you find the true player?"
There are a number of nice items to find, however.
"The human mind is a fragile thing. One minor shock, properly timed, can render them catatonic and ripe for feeding."
This spell disables enemies, allowing Kain to feed (which of course kills them). This would be more useful if it didn't cost a shitload of mana and if the majority of the enemies it works on weren't so easy to kill anyway.
As we proceed through the caves, we find the Oracle's personal museum. Let's see what he's got on display!
Approaching the shield:
"The shield was newly crafted, its metal shone brightly in the firelight. The crest I did not recognize."
The crest on the wall:
"I recognized this crest from my youth. 'Tis the sigil of the Mighty Lion of Willendorf, bloodstained and rusted upon this battered shield."
The book in the center:
"Hidden amidst the many obscure artifacts in that museum, I discovered an ancient chronicle. This passage caught my eye:
"It was during these dark times infested with the plague of the undead, that the Circle brought the Sarafan to existence. Trained to be devoutly loyal to the Circle, and the perfect exterminators of the undead scourge, they were led to many victories by the righteous paladin, Malek. They cleansed the vampires with fire, and released their souls to more blessed realms. There is no wrath as terrible as that of the righteous."
I had read enough. At once disgusted and intrigued, I placed the book back down in that museum."
"A guillotine, its blade still wet with blood."
The broken armor on the floor:
"Odd. This armor resembled that of the Ward and his minions. Yet, the steel seemed newly fashioned and untarnished by time."
As we leave the room, we find Incapacitate:
"Through this magic, I can stop my enemies in their tracks. Frozen in time, they can do nothing to hinder their own doom. Sometimes, I draw out their fate, for the added fear sweetens their blood."
And here, we find the Oracle himself.
You can watch the video here:
Video Kain meets the Oracle
"A nobleman? Seeking wisdom? Death has taught you well."
"Enough philosophy - I seek answers."
"Answers indeed. I have them all if you have the questions. And what are the questions for these answers?"
"King Ottmar - the only hope to defeat the legions of the Nemesis."
"King Ottmar - paralyzed by his princess' malaise."
"King Ottmar, the useless.
Pray good sir, what are the questions?"
"A pox upon your tricks and babble, old man! Answer me this: Who is Malek and how can I defeat him?"
"All in time sirrah. Yes, time. Unless you master it - it will master you.
And now it's time for your answer:"
"Malek - defender of the Nine and last of the Sarafan sorcerer-priests. His vanity led to the slaughter of the Circle at the hands of the vampire Vorador. For his failing, his spirit was fused to a hellish set of magical armor. He has allowed no member of the Circle to fall since.
Well, until we killed Nupraptor, anyway!
"What of this Vorador?"
"Follow the glow of the Ignis Fatuus to the Termogent forest."
"The Ignis Fatuus lights the path to Hell, nobleman. Your path.
"Time Kain. Next time..."
Well, since defeating Malek is what we're interested in, and this Vorador clearly knows more then us of doing so, we'll have to seek him out.
As we approach the Termogent Forest:
"The black forest reigned here, its kingdom rarely invaded by those that live in the light. But it was called home by this mysterious Vorador. Legend told of a time when Vorador defeated Malek of the Sarafan. If such a man did exist, then he could perhaps be the key to defeating the Ward."
But we won't be flying there, not just yet. Vorador lives in a swamp, and in it are a number of interesting locales which we'd be foolish to pass up.
First and foremost...
"When in mist form, I am invulnerable to physical weapons, blade and claw! I can seep through locked doors and cracks and move swiftly, like a shadow fleeing light."
This form allows Kain not only to pass by many difficult encounters unscathed, but also to walk through insubstantial barriers, like gates or spike traps. Handy, that.
You can see Kain in mist form, emerging from the gate he just passed through, near the middle.
Just past the Mist Shrine, we reach this previously impassable body of water. We'll have no problem crossing this now.
Taking a look at our map, we can see our destination clearly.
But, since we now have the ability to... maybe we should explore over here...
Oh, this is interesting...
By popular demand...
The Lost City. Unfortunately, however, the city is only accessible during a full moon, which is rather difficult to get. A day/night cycle is more then an hour realtime.
The only saved game I have during a full moon is, ironically, past a "point of no return" in the game wherein you can't backtrack anymore. So for now, we'll have to leave it at this. Now that it's clear where to find it, if you're playing along and get a full moon past this point, feel free to hijack the thread and throw up some pics.
Ok, sorry about the mild disapointment. I'll see about getting in there later - we can come back to it at any point during the majority of the rest of the game.
Here in the swamp leading to Vorador's Mansion, there's a couple ruined structures. Let's investigate, before proceeding.
What have we here...
A new weapon?
Yes! It's the Flame Sword, and while it completely destroys the corpses of anything it kills (and sets the landscape on fire!), it does very nice damage. Further, there's times when you want to destroy corpses (some undead, for example, stand back up a few seconds after they're defeated).
"The sword ravages flesh with teeth of metal and flame, leaving only scorched remains."
Next we find Control Mind:
"This spell allows me to enslave my enemies, giving me control of their bodies. When I release my grip, their bodies will shrivel and die, as I displace their souls, and replace them with my own."
The main use of this spell is to take control of random people and using them to open otherwise inaccessible doors. It has virtually no combat use.
Ahh, and here we have Blood Gout:
"This spell allows me to use blood from my own body as a weapon. When struck, my enemies' blood would flow from their bodies to fill me with life. 'Tis a risk, yet the rewards are a temptation."
It hurts Kain slightly when cast, but if it hits, it drains the blood directly from the target to Kain, refilling him far past what was spent. Further, it doesn't guerantee an instant kill, and thus can be used more then once on strong targets. On some endgame enemies, you can completely fill Kain's health vial by repeatedly casting this on a single enemy.
And we also find another Blood Fountain, granting another Strength increase. Now we can move even larger rocks! Hurray.
After collecting our trinkets, we head for...
"Strange that Vorador would choose a dwelling so perilous to him. The swamp could only offer a vampire hazard and pain.
Vorador's keep was hidden deep within the Termagent forest, nestled amongst vines and creepers that clung desperately to its dark weathered stone."
"The luxury with which this Vorador surrounded himself was impressive. His wealth would shame the haughty nobles of my former court. That this vulgar display of fortune remained undisturbed was a testament of fear's dominion over greed."
"Their charms were almost visible through the gauze of their clothing. Yet beauty such as theirs delivered only death. For these were Vorador's pets, nothing more than beasts, slave to his will and the easy prey he provided. Vampires, all of them, held in thrall by one stronger still."
Vorador has a lot of nice stuff lying around, which Kain has no qualms with looting.
"My enemies are quite vicious and the Chaos armor extracts from them a heavy price for their bloodlust. The blows are meant for me, but it is their bodies that carry the wounds."
Wearing this armor reflects damage to the attacker every time Kain is struck.
"Oh, to bathe in the blood of others! This spell is especially useful in the face of multiple combatants. Beware those with tainted blood."
This powerful spell instantly kills and drains the blood from every enemy onscreen. However, this includes the undead and other unsavory targets, which poison or harm Kain when their blood is consumed.
"The room I had entered had but one purpose - the torture and execution of human beings for the sadistic pleasure of its engineer. Blood was splattered on every surface.
The dread and agony of victims past still echoed through the lethal walls. A symphony of terror and agony filled the air. Then, from amidst the cacophony of screaming souls came the perverse laughter of the Vampire himself...
And upon the wall, scrawled in blood, were the words: Manus Celer Dei."
This translates to "The Swift Hand of God".
"Amongst Vorador's possessions, I found an ancient chronicle... Long ago, vampires grew in such number as to capture the attention of the Circle. The Order of the Sarafan, or the "Angels of Light" as they were called, was instated to counter the menace. Thus, the "Vampire Purge" began."
Here, we discover the origins of the Sarafan, whom we've heard referenced before. They're an important part of the entire Legacy of Kain storyline across all 5 games - vampire hunters.
"The tapestries wove a tale of chaos ignited, an orgy of fire and pain. Undead beings, with rotted skins caked with sulfur and ash, beckoned at me through a burning abyss. Their tortured stares were a testemonial to the price of weakness. Their fate would not find me. Yet blood calls to blood."
And then, we come across the man himself.
Watch it here:
Video Meeting with Vorador
"In the bowels of that black forest I found something worse than Hell. A vision of what I was becoming..."
"It's not often I see one of our own, especially one as young and foolish as yourself. Nonetheless, drink. Drink deep and indulge your gift."
"Gift? Pah! Vorador thought my curse a blessing. That we were gods and that mortals offered their blood as sacrifice so that we could enjoy our supernatural powers. And somewhere deep inside my new self I knew he was right. That mortal dreams were prayers. Prayers to us - begging for our power.
"I pondered this as the decadent old fool prattled on about his past; a boorish account of how he defeated Malek of the Sarafan and took his vengeance upon the Circle of Nine for supporting the Sarafan's holy war to exterminate us..."
"After slaughtering six of the sheep I defeated their pathetic little shepherd - Malek. Since then our kind has not bothered with the cattle, except to feed. And I suggest you do the same. Meddling with the affairs of man can do us no good. Sarafan witchhunts are much too tedious to concern ourselves with. Am I understood Kain?"
"Good. Take this ring. If you ever need assistance it will summon me. Despite your youthful arrogance, you amuse me, Kain - it would be such a pity to lose you to the Abyss. Now be gone!"
"My visit with Vorador only strengthened my resolve. His power uncontested by mortals, he had fallen to another enemy. Decadence has claimed itself many a great warrior."
We pick up Vorador's Signet Ring:
"Turning the ring over in my hands, I realized that it was crafted from some strange alloy formed from broken teeth - ground down and soaked in blood."
"And so I left that place, with clear knowledge of what sort of monster I would become if I let my curse consume me, and with an ally for the future."
As we leave, Mortanius intones:
"A triad congregates at the roof of the world, Kain; a plot to twist the land, to shape the world. North is where your vengeance lies."
Next time: Dark Eden, where we bring the remaining Circle members down to 4.