The History of the Soul Reaver

We attempt to trace the history of Raziel, who was cast down, and that ancient device which is lately called the Soul Reaver.

This chart was prepared after study of the four "Legacy of Kain" games (as of 2002): Blood Omen (1996), Soul Reaver (1999), Soul Reaver 2 (2001), Blood Omen 2 (2002). It contains major plot spoilers for all four games.

Kain's travels through time are less well documented (aside from his brief journey in Blood Omen) and thus are not shown. Raziel chases him through time in SR2, and they meet in several eras, but we do not know the details -- or even the order -- of those meetings from Kain's perspective.

The journeys of Moebius, the Time-Streamer, are entirely unknown and likely unknowable.

For more discussion of this timeline, see my Notes on the History of the Reaver.

A note on page layout:

If the vertical charts are broken up -- if you see white gaps -- try widening your browser window. Yes, it's painfully wide already. (977 pixels minimum.) There's enough room in each section for the text, under my browsers. If your browsers use a larger font, there may not be. Sorry about that.

All the events listed are in the correct section of the chart -- between -520 and -500, for example. However, individual events do not line up with individual marks (duels, murders, junctions of history). For this too we apologize. Maybe someday I'll do a PDF version that is more precise.

If you are viewing this chart with a text-mode browser, you'll be able to read the text, but the parallel diagrams will be lost on you. And, frankly, they're the cool part.

-11000? - The Hylden Wars.
-10000? - The Elder Race defeats the Hylden, banishing them from Nosgoth.
- The Elder Race creates the Pillars. Nine Guardians serve the Pillars, and one -- Janos Audron -- guards the Soul Reaver.
- The Hylden, in revenge, afflict the Elders with vampirism.
... - The Elder Race diminishes, and humans come to dominate Nosgoth. Humans replace vampires as Guardians.
-520 - The Circle of Nine creates the Sarafan, sorcerer-priests dedicated to the extermination of vampires. Malek is the leader of the Order.
- Raziel, Melchiah, Turel, Rahab, Dumah, and Zephon join the Sarafan Order.
-500 - Raziel appears out of Time. He meets Janos Audron, who has the Reaver.
- The Sarafan attack Audron's retreat. The human Raziel kills Audron, and takes the Reaver and Audron's heart.
- The first Massacre of the Circle. The vampire Vorador kills six of the nine Guardians. Only Ariel, Mortanius, and Moebius survive. Malek of the Sarafan arrives too late, and is struck down by Vorador.
- Raziel takes up the Reaver blade. He kills the other five Sarafan leaders, including his earlier self. The Reaver devours part of his own being, but Kain intevenes -- changing history.
- Malek is punished by Mortanius for failing to protect the Circle. His soul is torn from his body and fused into a suit of animate armor. In this form, he becomes the new Guardian of the Pillar of Conflict.
- Nupraptor, DeJoule, Bane, Anarcrothe, and Azimuth become Guardians.
-50 - Kain appears out of Time. He kills King William the Just, shatters William's Reaver with his own, and then vanishes again -- changing history.
- Moebius plays upon William's murder, inciting the population into a genocidal war upon all vampires.
-30 - Raziel appears out of Time, in the Sarafan Stronghold, which is now occupied by Moebius's army.
- Raziel encounters the broken Reaver blade in William's tomb. The blade becomes whole at his touch.
- Ariel, Guardian of Balance, is murdered by Mortanius. Her lover, the Guardian Nupraptor, is tortured by grief; his madness infects the entire Circle. The Pillars become corrupted.
- Kain of Coorhagen is born. He is destined to become the new Guardian of Balance -- one way or another.
- Raziel meets Vorador.
- Raziel assaults Kain with the Reaver, but refrains from the death blow -- thus changing history.
-1 - The nobleman Kain of Coorhagen is killed, assassinated by brigands in the street.
- Mortanius revives Kain as a vampire, and offers him the opportunity for vengeance. The second Massacre of the Circle begins.
- Kain meets Vorador. Kain kills Nupraptor, then Bane and DeJoule. Vorador destroys Malek.
- Kain finds the Soul Reaver in Avernus Cathedral, and with it kills Azimuth.
- Kain travels back in time fifty years, kills King William the Just, and returns.
- Moebius's vampire purge comes to a crest, as Vorador is executed. Kain is the only vampire remaining in Nosgoth. Kain kills Moebius.
- Mortanius kills Anarcrothe. Kain kills Mortanius, and then Hash'ak'gik, the mysterious dark creature who had controlled Mortanius's actions.
0 - The Fall of the Pillars. Kain refuses to sacrifice himself, and vows to found an empire upon the stump of the Pillar of Balance.
- The barrier which seals the Hylden from Nosgoth is weakened. One Hylden returns, calling himself the Sarafan Lord, and begins restoring the Sarafan Order.
+100 - Raziel appears out of Time. He meets Moebius's spirit, and then Ariel's.
+200 - Kain and Vorador lead an army of vampires against the new Sarafan. They are defeated; Kain is left barely alive. The Sarafan Lord takes possession of the Reaver.
- The Sarafan Lord imprisons Janos Audron, and begins preparation for a new Hylden invasion.
+400 - Kain awakens from two centuries of sleep in the city of Meridian.
- Kain destroys the Mass, an ancient Hylden weapon.
- Kain closes the Hylden Gate, retrieves the Reaver, and kills the Sarafan Lord. Janos Audron is lost to the Hylden prison-dimension.
+500 - Kain violates the Tomb of the Sarafan, and raises the six corpses as vampires.
+1500 - The vampire Raziel achieves the Dark Gift of flight. Kain strikes him down, and orders him cast into the Abyss.
... - The Decline of Nosgoth. Humans are ruled by vampires.
- Kain's five remaining lieutenants slowly evolve into distorted, inhuman forms.
- Dumah's fastness is assaulted by human vampire-hunters, and the Dumahim scatter to remote corners of Nosgoth.
+10000? - The Elder God intervenes, and Raziel is reborn as a spectral predator, a devourer of souls.
- Raziel kills Melchiah.
- Kain strikes Raziel, shattering the Soul Reaver. The Reaver's essence is bound to Raziel, becoming a wraith-blade.
- Raziel kills Zephon, Rahab, and Dumah. He assaults Kain; Kain flees into the Chronoplast portal, and Raziel follows.

With apologies to Edward Tufte.

Last updated September 24, 2003.

Notes, questions, and references on this chart

My review of Soul Reaver 2

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