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Pillars of Nosgoth: magical principle
Recurring term
The Death symbol as it appears in Legacy of Kain: Defiance.
Introduced in Wiki-Icon-BO1.png Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (1996)
Appearances Wiki-Icon-BO1.pngIcon-SR1Comic.pngIcon-SR1.pngWiki-Icon-SR2.pngWiki-Icon-BO2.pngIcon-DefianceComic.pngIcon-Defiance.png
Related articles States (sister principle)
Water (elemental predecessor)
Darkness (overarching element)
Death Guardian
Pillar of Death
Pillars of Nosgoth

Death was a sphere of metaphysical law within Nosgoth, and one of the nine magical principles harnessed and governed by the Pillars of Nosgoth. Alongside its sister principle, States, it was associated with the elemental force of Water, which, in turn, was aligned with the overarching principle of Darkness.

The principle of Death concerned the ultimate fate of souls in Nosgoth, particularly following their demise as living beings in the Material Realm. The Death Guardians, culled by the Pillars, held a measure of mastery over the afterlife, and were charged with helping to ensure equivalency between life and rebirth.

Role[edit | edit source]

The Pillars diagram linking Nosgoth's magical principles.

As a magical and metaphysical fundament, Death was effectively made manifest everywhere in Nosgoth, but was most prominently and saliently represented by the Pillar of Death, which was raised before Nosgoth's recorded history.[BO1-C9][SR2] The Pillar, like its eight counterparts, was intrinsically linked to the health of Nosgoth, and was protected by the Death Guardian, who served as a personification of the principle.[1] At least two Death Guardians were known to exist: the original Guardian, and Mortanius the Necromancer.[SR2][BO1][2]

The ancient vampires recognized Death as being linked to the principle of States by its association with the elemental force of Water.[3][DEF-C6] Water itself was aligned with the elemental force of Darkness.[SR2][3] When Raziel encountered the specters of the original Death and States Guardians in the Vampire Citadel, he harnessed and absorbed their soul essence to obtain the Water Reaver.[DEF-C10]

Locations representing Death included the Avernus Catacombs.[DEF] Items representing Death included the Pillar token, Mortanius's Death Orb, the Carved Stone Skull, and the Death's Head mask.[DEF-C10][4] Abilities representing Death included the power to raise the dead, and the attacks known as Spiral Dive and Chill of the Grave.[BO1-C11][5]

Background[edit | edit source]

This article or section is written from a real world perspective. Not all, if any, of its content is to be considered a constituent part of the Legacy of Kain canon and universe.

Like all of its peers, the representation of Death on the Pillar of Death changed between its Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain debut and Soul Reaver 2.[SR2][BO1][SR1][6] In its original form, Death was symbolized in the form of a texture featuring skulls against a black background adorning the band near the base of the Pillar.[BO1] In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, the same Pillar simply featured a dark, purple texture.[SR1] Soul Reaver 2, and all Legacy of Kain games since, have consistently used a distinct, abstract symbol to represent Death, both on the Pillar band and elsewhere.[SR2][DEF][BO2] One instance of what may be an alternative symbol appears in a mural in Soul Reaver 2's Light Forge.[SR2]

Soul Reaver 2 was planned to feature a glyph spell associated with Death for Raziel to wield, and Legacy of Kain: Defiance was intended to include a Death enhancement and fragment for Kain's Balance Emblem. However, both were cut from the respective titles.[7][8][9]

The mythological relationship between the Pillars' nine magical principles and the classical elements was first suggested by a diagram seen on the main platform in the Subterranean Pillars Chamber of Soul Reaver 2, and was confirmed in Legacy of Kain: Defiance.[SR2][DEF][3] The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain and Prima's Official Strategy Guide - Legacy of Kain: Defiance clarified the definition of Death, and the roles and responsibilities of its Pillar Guardians.[5][10]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wiki-Icon-DC.png Soul Reaver 2: Background Story at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
  2. Wiki-Icon-DC.png Legacy of Kain: All Pillar Guardians at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wiki-Icon-DC.png Soul Reaver 2: Pillars' Platform Diagram at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
  4. Wiki-Icon-BO1.png Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain miscellaneous dialogue. Silicon Knights. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. (Crystal Dynamics). PlayStation. (November 1, 1996)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Icon-Prima.png Prima Games / JDP and Gerald Guess. Prima's Official Legacy of Kain: Defiance Guide. (2003)
  6. Wiki-Icon-DC.png Legacy of Kain: All Pillar Symbols at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
  7. Icon-TPS.png Soul Reaver 2: Director's Interview - PlayStation 2 Feature at IGN (by Douglass Perry), page 6
  8. Wiki-Icon-TLW.png The Pillar Glyphs at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  9. Wiki-Icon-TLW.png Deleted Pillar Reaver Upgrades at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
  10. Wiki-Icon-DC.png The Players at SK: The Complete Guide To Legacy of Kain (archived at Dark Chronicle)
Terms related to the Pillars of Nosgoth