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Kain nears the Pillars:
The Pillars of Nosgoth.Even in life, few sights have moved me such as this. I marveled that such beauty should grace our dying world.

 
The Pillars of Nosgoth

Kain approaches the Pillars at night; wind blows eerily between the solemn sentinels of marble and other indescribable materials.  Moonlight plays on the surfaces, lending the scene an eerie blue cast.  The figure of a comely woman appears among the Pillars, talking to herself it seems. 

Ariel
Nupraptor, your madness has shattered our dreams and blinded you . . .

Kain
Keep your distance or Iíll send you back to Hell, spirit!

Ariel
There is nothing left of me to fear, vampire.  I am only a shadow of my former self . . . Ariel - the Balance of the Circle of Nine.  Even so, I can provide the answers you seek.

Kain
I seek only a cure.

Ariel
There is no cure for death.  Only release.  You must destroy the sorcery that is now poisoning Nosgoth.  Only then will you realize peace.
The Nine of the Protectors of Hope were sworn to use their powers to preserve our world.  Now these pillars have been corrupted by a traitor.

Ariel turns to reveal her ravaged face.  Flesh has been ripped away to reveal the naked bone beneath. 

Ariel
My murder at the hands of this beast drove my love Nupraptor mad.  Now he spreads misery and pain among the Circle, crumbling the very foundation of Nosgoth.  You must restore balance.  You must right the Pillars of Nosgoth.

A ‘hallucination’ of Nupraptor sewing his eyes shut floats, semi-transparent in the moonlit air.

Kain
(with distaste)

I care not for the fate of this world.

Ariel
(fading out)

Then for yourself Kain . . . 
Beware the Unspoken . . .

The specter disappears, leaving Kain to ponder his situation.

Kain VO
Nupraptor, with his blind act of vengeance threatened to destroy all of Nosgoth. 

Each Circle member was bonded to the Pillar he served.  The Pillars reflected the mental state of their servants, and as the minds of the Circle degenerated and descended further into dementia, the Pillars crumbled.

To restore them, each member of the Circle had to die, and the artifact that served as their link to the Pillar had to be returned.

Only when all the Pillars were restored, did Ariel claim my curse would end.  And so my hunt for Nupraptor began.

The Pillar of the MindThe Pillar of DimensionThe Pillar of ConflictThe Pillar of NatureThe Pillar of BalanceThe Pillar of EnergyThe Pillar of TimeThe Pillar of StatesThe Pillar of Death

 
Bat Beacon

These beacons serve as landmarks during my flights in bat form.  Once I have committed their locations to memory, I can always return.

Bat Form Bat Form
In bat form, I can travel great distances with ease.  From my vantage in the heavens, no region of Nosgoth is forbidden to me.
Light Light Spell
While it is true that natural light weakens a vampire, magical light can have many uses indeed.
Wolf Form Wolf Form
My lupine form enables me to move like lightning and leap over obstacles barring my path.  But the guise of the wolf brings with it its own kind of hunger and rage.

 
Kain comes across the first of many Spirit Forges:

Kain VO
One must be wary in dealing with the Spirit Forges.  The Wraiths and Shades that inhabit them offer items beyond mortal dreams, in exchange for a sampling of your blood.

The Wraith Smiths forge their items with forfeit souls.

As Kain enters...

Wraith Smith
Shed your blood for me, and these artifacts will be yours.

...and approaches the sacrificial font:

So - you come to the Spirit Forge for help, do you vampire?  Trade you secrets for the blood of the dead, I will . . .


 
Energy Bolt Energy Bolt
The energy bolt employs magical force in its rawest form . . . a messy spell, but a potent one nonetheless.

 
As Kain first enters the cave, the fountain of blood beckons him:

Blood Fountain
The Blood of Ages flows so sweet.  Come - drink from us.

After he drinks he is told:

Your strength has increased, for our blood enhances.

Blood Fountain of Strength

Nachtholm

Implode Implode
Of all the methods I employ, this is perhaps the cruelest, causing my victimís body to shrink on itself, crushing bones and rupturing organs Ďtil the pressure inside burst the sac of fleshy skin, spraying its contents for all to see.
  Blood Fountain
The rain will do you no harm, for our blood preserves.
Blood Fountain
  
Slow Time Slow Time
At times, my magic extends into very exotic disciplines such as the manipulation of time.  I am able to slow time down, so I can move about quick as a wolf, while all others move as though they were mired in mud!
Steinchencröe

As Kain reads the entrance sign, he comments to himself:

Kain VO
The town of Steinchencröe bore with it the infamous aroma of its inhabitants.  In life, I would not have graced the place with my presence.  In death, I merely added to the stench.

Inside the town he discovers an old man, madly stirring a pot:

Kain VO
This lunatic was delighted to see me.  Perhaps his madness would reveal a greater truth . . .

Irmok the Mad
The bastards in Steinchencröe shun me as Nosgoth shuns them!  I know what it means to be an outsider, vampire.  I fear you not, but remember this - there are others who will speak to you, so long as you know how to look.
 

Vasserbünde

Kain approaches a Gypsy encampment, settled directly south to the entrance of Vasserbünde:

Kain VO
The gypsies - purveyors of distrust and superstition.  Most of their babble should be taken with a pinch of salt, since the gypsies often tinker with weary travelersí minds . . . However, a few gypsies have something interesting to say.
 
Disguise Disguise
There are benefits to traveling beneath a human guise.  The threat to my person is lessened and much information can be gleaned.  However, the illusion is flimsy, and any act of aggression on my part can break the spell.

Reading the entrance sign of Vasserbünde:

Kain VO
Vasserbünde lay, its glory now stained and faded, a faithful child in the looming shadow of Nupraptorís Retreat.

Nupraptorís Keep lay west of Vasserbünde.  I would seek to cut the cancer from its heart.

 
Nupraptorís Keep

As Kain crosses the bridge out of Vasserbünde towards Nupraptor's:

Kain VO
The wind carried screams from the west.  I could not help but smile: someone else in this world was suffering more than I.

Passing through the main gate leading to Nupraptor's Keep:

Kain VO
The gaping maw of Nupraptorís Retreat rained upon Nosgoth all his pain and misery.  The disease begged to be cleansed.

Upon entering Nupraptorís Retreat:

Kain VO
The Mentalist Nupraptor was renowned through Nosgoth for his tricks of the mind, telepathy and telekinesis.  Pilgrims traveled from all across the land seeking the comfort of his lies.  I sought not his wisdom but his life.

Nupraptor
You dare intrude upon my sanctuary?  Can I not mourn in peace?  Leave . . . leave and let my solitude be complete . . .
 

Kain VO
I came upon one of Nupraptorís serving girls, catatonic with fear, choking out half-words through bloodied, broken teeth.  Although tempted by hunger, I stayed my hand, allowing her to tell her story . . .

She spoke of her Lord Nupraptor, driven to insanity by the brutal slaying of his beloved Ariel.  She spoke of his self-mutilation, sewing his eyes and lips shut to deny the outside world.  Fueled by despair and hopelessness, he turned his magic on the Circle, infecting their minds with his madness.  Nupraptor cared for nothing now, save his pathetic self-pity.

Scars such as hers would never heal.  Death would only be a mercy.

Kain discovers a room full of carnage:

Kain VO
The cretin squandered life and left it seeping on the floor.  Such waste was a travesty.  Perhaps Nupraptor needed to be taught a lesson as to the value of blood.
 
 
Energy Bank Energy Bank
When conjured, the Energy Bank permits me access to mass amounts of magical energy for a brief period of time.  However, when the moment passes, I will be drained of all magic, unable to cast even the simplest of spells.
Font of Putresce Font of Putresce
Should this object strike an enemy, rot and decay would instantly eat their flesh, and leave only a pool of blood and tissue.  For a time after, the toxins are still active, and therefore lethal to the touch.

 
From the depths of the Retreatís eye sockets, I viewed Nosgoth in a different fashion.  The glass seemed to warp the image and taint the color.  As if Nosgoth needed assistance in making its corruption apparent.

As Kain enters the heart of the Retreat and reaches Nupraptor, he finds that Malek is there as well:

Nupraptor
So, Malek, have you come to fail the Circle once more?  Leave, paladin!  I do not need your protection.

Come, Kain . . . come share my pain . . .

Kain VO
So this was the Mentalist Nupraptor, this broken, pathetic little man.  Yet crippled as he was, he would not yield without battle.  Very well, old fool.  If it is death you seek, I will not deny you.

Upon defeating Nupraptor:

Perhaps the head of her beloved will convince Ariel that I have accomplished my task.
 

Nupraptor's Head Nupraptorís head.  Alas, poor Nupraptor - I knew him well.  Well, not really.

Leaving the Retreat:
 
Spiked Mace Spiked Mace

The mace is amongst my most useful of weapons, for it merely stuns my victims, allowing me ample time to feed.