After confronting and killing each of his former
Sarafan brethren in turn, Raziel finally comes face-to-face with his former Sarafan
Inquisitor self, who has apparently been waiting for him alone in the Chapter House of the Stronghold. This is a dead-end,
a trap calculated by Moebius. As he crosses the threshold, the portcullis slams down behind him, and
there is no way out. This is an intense psychological event for
Raziel, who knows that he’s facing all the negative, “shadow” aspects of his own personality. Sarafan Raziel addresses him with self-righteous disdain, blissfully ignorant of this demonic creature's true identity. He is hateful, arrogant, and bigoted.
(hateful; says “vampire” like a dirty word)
So, vampire – here we are.
You’ve destroyed my brethren – and now you’ve come for me?
You’ll find I am not such easy prey.
Raziel is somewhat taken aback and intimidated. He sincerely doesn’t want to become his own murderer (though he realizes
it’s probably inevitable).
I don’t want to kill you, but I will if I must.
Return the heart to me, and we can end this now.
So you’ve come to avenge that filthy parasite, and reclaim his foul
You’re a righteous fiend, aren’t you?
(referring to Sarafan Raziel)
Apparently I am.
No, vampire. This is where it ends, but you won’t
be leaving this room.
Now let’s finish this – I’ll make it mercifully quick.
As you did for Janos?
No, that beast had eluded us for far too long.
It would have been a shame to end him too quickly.
(pause; then hatefully goading)
It’s ironic, really – the ‘great Janos Audron’ turned out to be no
challenge at all... thanks to you. Did you hear his cowardly screams when I tore that black heart out
of his carcass?
Raziel can no longer contain his rage – raising the Reaver, he lunges at the Sarafan Inquisitor.
The Sarafan Inquisitor is defeated, and as he staggers, Raziel runs him through with the Reaver. Transfixed
on the blade, Sarafan Raziel chokes and gasps as his lifeblood is drained from his body. Face to face in this deadly
embrace, Raziel curses his former self with the solemnity of an oath –
(with revulsion and finality)
I renounce you.
The Sarafan Inquisitor collapses to the floor, and the Reaver blade slides free of his body.
(quietly, to himself)
And so it ends. My history comes full circle.
As Raziel stands over the corpse of his former self, the wraith blade begins to manifest, its power gradually returning. Raziel watches in growing alarm as the wraith blade abandons its symbiotic grip on his arm, and coils itself around its twin – its former, physical self –instead.
Sensing its twin, the wraith blade uncoiled itself from me – and instead
wound lovingly around its former self.
I felt its grip loosen, and as the blade left me, its absence chilled
me more than its presence ever had. A foreboding sense of emptiness and loss stole over me... and a terrible
revelation gathered like a storm at the edge of my awareness...
Thus joined, the conjoined blades turn on Raziel – with the blade still bound to his hand, Raziel is dragged helplessly as the Reaver exerts its own will. Raziel struggles, but is powerless to resist the blades as they turn inexorably toward him.
(a horrible epiphany)
With all other foes exhausted, the conjoined blades turned themselves
on me. And I realized, finally, why I had sensed nothing when Janos offered me the blade.
The Reaver was never forged to be a soul-stealing weapon...
The Reaver plunges toward Raziel and impales him. His eyes widen in agony, despair and recognition
...the ravenous, soul-devouring entity trapped in the blade was – and
always had been – me.
This is why the blade was destroyed when Kain tried to strike
me down – the Reaver could not devour its own soul.
The paradox shattered the blade.
So – this was my terrible destiny – to play out this purgatorial cycle
for all eternity...
I could not bear it – despair overwhelmed me.
Raziel falls to his knees, transfixed by the Reaver. His hand, still bound to the blade, forms a perverse, vicious circle as his soul is gradually but relentlessly drained away, absorbed slowly and torturously into the Reaver. Raziel strains against the blade, trying vainly to escape this horrible fate.
At this moment, Kain reveals himself, stepping
out from the shadows of the Chapter House. Raziel sees him, and immediately believes
he has been betrayed – that this is a trap set by Kain himself.
Overcome with rage and agony, Raziel accuses Kain –
Kain approaches, watching Raziel with intense fascination. Raziel cries out in anguish –
Are you enjoying this, Kain?!
Don’t fight it, Raziel...
Give in to it...
Was this your destiny for me, all along?!
Kain urges him intently –
Raziel cannot hold out any longer, the blade is winning. This is his historical destiny; this is where it ends.
I felt myself weakening... unable to hold on any longer.
The Reaver was too strong... the compulsion to simply let go too great...
Out of strength, Raziel surrenders his will. As he nears the brink of oblivion, a fluttering distortion tangibly begins, and Raziel approaches a dawning revelation
And then... a growing sense of vertigo, and the familiar displacement –
– the paradoxical moment when my twinned soul hovered both outside and inside the Reaver blade...
This was the instant – the glimmer of temporal distortion –
Kain had been counting on all along.
This was the edge of the coin – the minute flicker of probability
upon which Kain had gambled everything.
This is the split-second temporal distortion that Kain has risked everything for. Kain lunges forward –
and with a massive, history-defying effort, tears the Reaver from Raziel's chest.
(screams in agony)
The Reaver flies across the room, and the wraith blade flickers and fades as it is separated from its twin. Raziel falls forward, rescued from the threshold of oblivion, but nearly completely drained.
(exhausted, but triumphant)
Now you are free to reclaim your true destiny, Raziel.
The room begins to warp around them. As the future strains to reshuffle itself, a look of horror slowly dawns on Kain's face, and he realizes he may have just made a terrible mistake.
Raziel begins to rise weakly.
Behind Kain’s eyes, I could see new memories blooming and dying, as
history labored to reshuffle itself around this monumental obstruction...
And I could see by the dawning horror on his face that perhaps we had
strained history too far this time...
...that by trying to alter my fate, he may have introduced a fatal
Then the reshuffling begins to settle, as history
finds its new course. But the horror on Kain’s face remains, as he
realizes what price has been paid to restore Raziel’s future.
(quiet, awestruck horror)
My god... the Hylden...
...we walked right into their trap...
Then, with a sudden realization, Kain tries
to warn Raziel –
Raziel! Janos must stay dead!
But Raziel, drained almost to the point of
annihilation, is losing consciousness. He falls to his knees, and begins
to waver out of existence as he sinks into the spectral plane.
But Kain’s warning was lost as I slipped into the spirit realm, too
weak to maintain my physical form...
And there, waiting for me as always, was the Reaver... the wraith
blade – my own soul, twinned and bound eternally to me.
And I realized that I could never escape my terrible destiny...
I had merely postponed it.
History abhors a paradox.