Following our conversation with the Elder God, we jump into the water...
...get a good close-up look at him...
...and exit through that tunnel we saw during the conversation.
It's a confusing place to navigate, but we can follow these convenient yellow crystals to find the way.
We exit the water in a swamp.
"I surfaced into a very different landscape. The daylight barely penetrated the dense canopy of this forest."
"Here I discovered an ancient ruin, unmistakably one of Moebius' Time Streaming chambers, but long ago sealed and abandoned to the encroaching swamp."
"I didn't currently possess the means to break this seal, but I thought in time that I might."
The Reaver Bolt, while we still have it, is not strong enough here to break things like this. We'll have to find another way.
Trudging through the muck, we find this grand structure...
...and on it, someone familiar.
"So, my lurking observer was exposed. The creature vanished when he realised he was discovered, but I caught a glimpse of him, and his features were distinctive enough."
"This was the vampire Vorador, the monstrous assassin depicted in the Stronghold. Strange that a creature brazen enough to assault the Circle single-handedly would avoid confronting me."
"Very well, if Vorador would not come to me, I would go to him. But first I needed to find some means of reaching that terrace."
Hey, a save point. This wasn't here when Kain passed through...
"There appeared to be a passage here, leading northward into the mountains. The opening, however, was obstructed and too high for me to reach."
"Perhaps later I would find the means to bypass these obstacles."
Of course you will, that's how these games work, don't you know anything?
For now, however, we find something we can use, which takes us up onto one of the ledges surrounding Vorador's mansion.
"My lurking friend was nowhere to be seen, but I found these ruins even more intriguing."
"I recognised these arcane symbols from the chamber beneath the Pillars, and realised that this shrine too was sealed to all but the bearer of the Reaver."
However, if we try to open it, the Reaver is expelled from the opening, and the door does not move. Clearly we've got something to do yet before we can open this. We can note, however, the somewhat different symbol on this door - two concentric circles.
Proceeding inside the structure via another tunnel, we come to this guardian. It holds a seal which we need to use on the door behind it to open it.
Raziel uses some slick kung fu, and easilly dispatches him.
Beyond the door, we're forced to shift to the Spectral Realm to proceed.
Shifting back, we find a number of curious objects...
Mostly revolving around light and the manipulation of it.
And also, another set of murals.
"Throughout this ancient shrine, murals depicted the winged race, the apocalyptic war against their mysterious and equally inhuman adversaries.
These winged beings, it seemed, were not only the architects of the Pillars, but of this enigmatic place as well, and just as in the Pillars' chamber, this shrine was adorned throughout with imagery of the Reaver, depicted with the reverence of a holy icon."
I won't go through all the details of the puzzle, but one interesting feature is this pillar. We pull it in front of a light source, and it casts a shadow, which hangs in mid air. "Wow, that's a crappy graphics bug!"
But it's not a bug - this is hard to see, but the shadow, we find, has material substance, and we're able to walk across it like a bridge to reach the balcony beyond.
The key to the puzzle, anyway, is to arrange a series of lights and mirrors with the ultimate objective of lighting this one...
...which shines onto this planet-like object suspended in the middle of the room...
...causes an eclipse-like effect...
...lights this crystal with an eerie black light...
...and ultimately leads to this very dark room and a font on the floor becoming emblazoned with the same black light.
"As I neared the altar, I suddenly felt the Reaver quickening of its own volition, just as in William's chapel. The balance of power tangibly shifted. Voracious and wilful, the Soul Reaver was now in control, and I, merely its helpless puppet."
"The Reaver plunged itself into that mysterious altar, and devouring the energy that emanated from within, drained this place of its power."
Raziel is actually being lifted off the ground here by the Reaver itself, as dark tendrils snake around it.
"Thus sated, the Reaver released me, and I realised as I recovered control, that these ancient shrines were forges, each purpose-built to enhance the Reaver with elemental power."
We've now got the Dark Reaver, which has the annoying side effect of canceling light around it, casting the area around Raziel into perpetual darkness. This Reaver, like the Fire Reaver from SR1, embodies the properties of darkness, allowing us to use it not only to kill things but also to complete puzzles. These forged reavers are the equivilants of Raziel's brothers' abilities, in SR2. The Dark Reaver allows us to open doors with the concentric circle mark, as well as having various other effects which we'll come to shortly.
"Now I understood the purpose of the mysterious basins I had seen throughout my journey. They were elemental fonts, each attuned to a fundamental essence. When I forged the blade, every font in Nosgoth with the same elemental attunement would simultaneously quicken."
"The Reaver's enhancements were never permanent, but these fonts enabled me to re-imbue the blade by bathing it in the elemental energy distilled therein."
If we enter the Spectral Realm, or imbue the Reaver with another element, we'll lose this one - but these fonts can be used to get it back again. Predictably, a number of puzzles revolve around trying to juggle various elements and produce various effects to allow us to reach various fonts and eventually get the reaver imbued with the one we need. Unlike the block moving puzzles, though, these are actually fun, and require some thought at times.
Approaching the door leading out...
"Concentric circles, one eclipsing the other.
I recognised this symbol from the door sealing that other ancient shrine, the one I had seen in the lake outside the Sarafan Stronghold. Perhaps now, armed as I was with the elemental power of darkness, I could return and gain entry."
And as we leave...
"You're a ragged excuse for a savior."
Next time: We see what Vorador has to say. Ooh, cliffhanger!