Return to the main page...
Return to Main Page

Raziel emerges from the Swamp time-streaming chamber into Nosgoth’s early history

Raziel V.O.
(suspicious; wary)
Beyond all hope, and against all probability, it seemed that the device had unerringly delivered me to the era I sought.
For these were Sarafan banners – and these vampires, apparently the victims of their crusade.
The coincidence seemed too convenient to naively ascribe to Fate – but whether my opportune arrival had been orchestrated by Moebius, or some other influence, I didn’t know.
If Janos Audron still lived, I would find him – but I was wary of further deception, and resolved to tread carefully.


Raziel sees the vampire-victims of the Sarafan for the first time

Raziel V.O.
For all the butchery of Moebius’s crusade, this massacre was somehow more chilling...
The killing fields of the Sarafan betrayed a kind of orderly ruthlessness – the cold-blooded righteousness of the true believer.


Raziel sees Sarafan warriors for the first time. They regard him with hostility as he approaches.

Raziel V.O.
Here at last, in the flesh, I beheld my former brothers-in-arms – the warrior-priests of the Sarafan order, their lives devoted solely to the annihilation of the ‘vampire plague.’
And while I confess I felt a twinge of longing, a pang of grief for what I had believed was my lost virtue, I regarded them now with none of the reverence I formerly felt.
For I had seen the human face of the vampires - and now I beheld the monstrousness of these men.



Raziel realizes that the frozen lake prevents him from entering the Sarafan Stronghold.

Raziel V.O.
The frozen surface of the lake had bound the gates of the stronghold shut.
The Sarafan surely had some other means of entry, but this was the only one known to me.
To infiltrate the fortress, I would need to find some way to release these gates from their icy bonds.


Raziel sees the pristine exterior of Janos Audron’s Retreat for the first time

Raziel V.O.
After my long journey, I finally stood on the threshold of enlightenment.  For here was Janos Audron’s mountain retreat, intact and unblemished.  The upheaval that would one day topple this ancient edifice had not yet occurred.  And while I had no certainty that Janos still lived, this scene boded well – for I presumed that the collapse of the retreat must have followed the ancient vampire’s demise.
There was only one obstacle: how to reach the balcony suspended at that maddening height, so far beyond my reach?
For this was the architecture of winged creatures, and the tattered ruins of my wings were of no use.
I would need to devise some other means into that mountain...


Raziel enters the Retreat Interior, and sees the balcony leading to Janos’ chamber

Raziel V.O.
The mountain’s interior was hollow, I discovered, and graced with soaring architecture unique to its creators.
As with the outer facade, these balconies and galleries could only be reached by those gifted with flight.
With only my ruined wings to carry me, this towering labyrinth seemed impassable... while the object of my quest lay just beyond my grasp.
For here, suspended at the apex of the chamber, was the threshold that surely led to the great vampire himself.
I didn’t know whether Janos Audron was the monster depicted in the Stronghold, or one of the noble creatures memorialized among the ruins of the ancient vampires – and I didn’t care.
Demon or angel, he alone held the key to my destiny.

The Tenth Guardian

Having finally reached the summit of Janos Audron's balcony chamber, Raziel opens the double-doors and enters the room cautiously.  As he enters, he discerns a striking winged figure standing at the far end of the chamber, his back turned to Raziel, silhouetted by the wintry morning light filtering in from the canyon below.  Raziel is a bit uneasy – he has crossed the world, and crossed time, to meet this being; but he doesn’t know what to expect from Janos.  The only things he knows about him are the rumors and legends which demonize him.  He has seen only the image of Janos in the Stronghold, which depicts him as a demonic beast.  Raziel addresses the winged figure tentatively –

(slightly uncertain)
Janos Audron?

Janos turns slowly at the sound of Raziel's voice – he wonders if this could actually be “the one” that he’s been waiting for all these centuries.

(wondering who this visitor is)
It is heartening, after all these years, to hear my name spoken without contempt.

As he turns, his features are illuminated by the fire-lit glow of the chamber.  This is no demon; he is darkly beautiful.  Janos has a priest-like demeanor, and radiates a kind of infinite, long-suffering patience.
Janos appears to recognize Raziel, but regards him with horror and pity.  Janos is clearly disheartened – this is not the heroic figure described by the prophesies.  His features are right – the blue skin, cloven hands, and wings – but this ragged specter looks like he has been nearly destroyed.  Janos approaches Raziel gently, almost paternalistically –

My child, what have they done to you?

I have been dragged through hell and back – all, it seems, to reach this moment.
But I don’t yet know why.

Janos wants to explain it all to him, but speaks haltingly, as though not sure where to begin –

For thousands of years, I have waited... alone here, losing faith...
At the time of the Binding, nine guardians were called to serve the Pillars.  And I was summoned as the tenth guardian – the keeper of the Reaver, the weapon of our salvation.
Over time, our race died out.  Until I alone remained... sustained only by my obligation to you, and by my guardianship of the blade.

Janos turns and walks contemplatively away toward the balcony, gesturing for Raziel to follow –

And the other nine?  Why did their guardianship not sustain them?

Janos considers for a moment, then responds wistfully –

I don’t know.

Janos gazes beyond the balcony pensively as he recounts the vampires' history –

As our race dwindled, the humans prospered.  I have watched, over the centuries, as our history faded into myth, and finally receded altogether.  The humans have forgotten us entirely, and claimed the Pillars for themselves - wholly ignorant of their true purpose.  To them, I am merely a devil; the origin of their vampire ‘plague’.

Raziel approaches inquisitively –

Why would the Pillars summon human guardians, then, if they are meant to be served by vampires?

Janos walks to the edge of the balcony as he replies –

The Pillars choose their guardians from birth, Raziel – and vampires are no longer born.
This is the crux of our dilemma.
And this is the terrible irony – with their vampire purge, the members of the Circle have assaulted the very architects of the Pillars they are sworn to protect.
They have embarked on a treacherous path.  With every vampire they kill, the humans are slitting their own throats.

Janos and Raziel stand together at the edge of the balcony, looking down at the canyon below.

They know I’m up here, beyond their reach, and it terrifies them.

Janos gestures to the killing fields of the Sarafan, below.  A forest of impaled vampire corpses litters the canyon below, planted here to defy and intimidate Janos.

You can see how they flaunt their kills to torment me... or perhaps simply to lure me out.
They have this foolish notion that destroying me will somehow topple our entire bloodline.
Thankfully, we’re not that fragile.

I have seen them mustering their forces in the village, below.

Yes.  I don’t know what they’re plotting... but I fear our time may be bitterly short.

Mankind seems to have brought you only torment and grief.
You must hate them.

Janos responds slowly, considering

They fear what they don’t understand; and they despise what they fear.
But no - I do not hate them.

Vorador does.

(considering for a moment)
He has suffered much.  He cannot forgive them.

Should they be forgiven?

(thinks for a moment)
They don’t understand what they’re doing.
They are simply unenlightened... and vulnerable to manipulation.

Raziel considers this silently for a moment, then asks the question that’s been tormenting him

(half to himself)
So it’s all true, then – what Kain and Vorador have told me – I really am some kind of unholy vampire messiah...

(gently correcting him)
Unholy? – no.  Messiah... perhaps.

I don’t like that word – it smells of martyrdom.
Raziel, your role in this world’s destiny is more crucial – and more benevolent – than you’ve allowed yourself to believe. Your journey will not be easy – dark powers are allied against you.
(considers Raziel’s ragged appearance)
But I think you already know this... you appear to have been cruelly tested.

Janos turns back to the interior of the chamber.

The Binding must be secured, Raziel.
The Pillars are the lock –

Following him, Raziel completes the thought –

– and the Reaver is the key.


Janos turns to a decorative chest set against the wall, and opens it – revealing the Reaver, laid out like a holy relic.
Raziel is uneasy – every time he has encountered the Reaver during his journey, he has felt the “convergence-effect”, the temporal distortion created when two Reavers meet in time and space.  And now – nothing.  As disconcerting as the convergence-effect feels, this nothingness is worse...

The Reaver is here?  Why do I feel nothing?

Janos lifts the blade gingerly and turns to Raziel, presenting it to him.

The most formidable weapon ever forged by our swordsmiths...
They infused the blade with vampiric energy, empowering the Reaver to drain our enemies of their precious lifeblood.

Raziel (VO)
As Janos presented the blade, an inexplicable sense of dread crept over me, more palpable than anything I’d felt before.  I was at once horribly repelled by the sword and yet irresistibly compelled to touch it, to take it up.

Raziel reaches out but then withdraws his hand, refusing to take the blade.

Please – take it away from me.

At once, from the hallway beyond the double door comes the unmistakable sound of armored soldiers rapidly approaching. With a sudden sick recognition, Raziel realizes that by blazing a path for himself through the Retreat, he has unwittingly exposed Janos to the Sarafan.

(dismayed; but resigned)
I fear you have been followed...

With this, the door crashes open, and a squad of Sarafan warriors burst into the room.  Their leader is armed with a cruel-looking weapon, and they are bearing Moebius’ staff.
Raziel charges forward to defend Janos from the Sarafan, but Janos restrains him –

You must save yourself, Raziel.

Laying his hands upon Raziel, Janos teleports him to safety, away from the chamber.  Raziel resists, not wanting to leave Janos to face the Sarafan alone –

Janos – no!

But it’s too late.  The room recedes dizzyingly – and Raziel finds himself transported to an adjacent chamber within the Retreat – safely away from the Sarafan, and helpless to save Janos.

Raziel V.O.
My surroundings whirled sickeningly, and I found myself transported safely away from the ambush, to an adjacent chamber.
Janos had delivered me from the Sarafan, selflessly forfeiting his own safety to preserve my life.
And now I feared that my newfound mentor would be slaughtered by the very crusaders I had so recently revered.
The irony pierced me, and with dawning horror I realized that I had been duped by Moebius from the beginning...
For the Sarafan had simply followed the path I gullibly blazed through this sanctuary, and had arrived bearing Moebius’s staff.  Thus armed, they had Janos at their mercy.
Through the door, I could hear them battling, less than a dozen paces away – but it may as well have been a thousand miles, for this barrier was sealed by elemental forces I did not possess.
It seemed Janos had conveyed me into the heart of the Fire shrine.  I thought perhaps if I could galvanize the forge and imbue the Reaver in time, I might have a slim chance of saving Janos from his grisly fate.


Raziel forges the Reaver with Fire, and can now return to Janos’ chamber

Raziel V.O.
I plunged the Reaver into that furnace, and forged the blade with elemental Fire.
With the Reaver thus imbued, I was now armed to unlock the elemental barrier, and rescue Janos from his executioners.