|Soul Reaver-era vampire clan|
Raziel's clan symbol as introduced in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.
|Introduced in||Nosgoth (2013)|
|Era of origin||• Soul Reaver era|
|Factions||• Kain's empire|
|Leaders||• Kain (emperor)|
• Raziel (patriarch)
• Eskandor (de-facto leader)
• Lailah (elder)
• Sarakiel (elder)
|Plane||• Material Realm|
- "What I have made, I can also destroy, child."
The Razielim, also known as Raziel's clan, comprised one of the six vampire clans which inhabited Kain's empire, and its members were the vampire children and descendants of Raziel. Initially mentioned in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, they were ostensibly eradicated following Raziel's execution, believed by Raziel to be at Kain's hands.
Nosgoth ultimately revealed that clan had survived for a time after Raziel's disappearance but had been greatly persecuted and devolved due to hiding underground near Coorhagen, while a civil war between the vampire clans erupted due to Kain's absence. By the time of the War for Nosgoth against the humans, the surviving Razielim Sentinels fought for the Vampires against the human threat.
- "Utter desolation. My once-proud kin, wiped from this world like excrement from a boot.
I knew the hand that wrought this deed..."
Unaware of his own heritage as one of the leading warrior inquisitors of the Sarafan, Raziel personally raised his clan during the Soul Reaver era, over the century following the raising of the lieutenants at the Tomb of the Sarafan.[SR1-C6] Alongside the Dumahim, Melchahim, Rahabim, Turelim and Zephonim, it was one of the "six legions of vampires" involved in "the destruction of the major human Kingdoms"; pillaging Nosgoth, they had thoroughly domesticated humans within a hundred years, despite the efforts of the vampire hunters.
Raziel's clan dominated a stronghold in territory west of the Lake of the Dead.[SR1-C2] Over the millennium of Raziel's service, the "lesser vampires" provided "amusement and spice to an increasingly uninspired court"; presumably, his own clan was involved in these power struggles. The Council would help and foil plots between the clans, betting upon the outcome as the factions warred. A thousand years after his resurrection, Raziel convened at the Sanctuary of the Clans with his lieutenant brethren and Kain, where he revealed that he had pupated beyond Kain, transgressing against his master.[SR1] Purportedly acting on "a jealous whim", Kain ripped the bones from Raziel's new wings, and ordered Turel and Dumah to cast him into the Abyss.[SR2-C2][SR1-C8][SR2-C9]
Nearly a millennium later, Raziel returned to Nosgoth as a wraith, apparently resurrected by the Elder God. Upon reaching the Lake of the Dead, his first undertaking was a return to his clan territory; he "was anxious to see how [his] descendants had fared during the centuries of [his] absence".[SR1-C2] To his horror, he discovered the city was desolate, "clearly abandoned for centuries". Only roving fledgling Dumahim inhabited the place, but beyond the decorum and tattered flags which still bore his clan symbol, there was no evidence of his children's presence - he was certain that his "once-proud kin" had been "wiped from this world like excrement from a boot".[SR1-C2]
Raziel did not encounter any members of his clan during his exploration of Nosgoth, and when pressed as to their fate, Melchiah suggested that Raziel was "the last... to die". He hinted that the clan had proven "an upstart inheritance", one which Kain "would [not] risk his empire upon".[SR1-C3] When Raziel directly confronted Kain on the gravity of this supposed "act of genocide", Kain was indifferent; he simply responded that "what I have made, I can also destroy, child".[SR1-C4]
Eventually it was revealed that after Raziel's execution and Kain's abandonment of his empire, The Razielim vampires were one of the clans that took part in the civil war as the empire fragmented and they were heavily persecuted by the other clans, believing they were following Kain's wishes. Later the surviving Sentinels|Sentinel class Razielim would be forced to participate in the subsequent War for Nosgoth against the resurgent human threat in the mid Soul Reaver era.
- "What has become of my clan? Answer me, little brother, or I will beat an answer from your horrid lips."
Like their fellow vampires, Raziel's clan carried the blood curse, blood-thirst, immortality and sterility inflicted on their ancient vampire ancestors by the Hylden, during the vampire-Hylden war, and most likely developed the yellow or amber irises and tridactyl claws and feet characteristic of their race.[DEF-C4][DEF-C6] They were created from reanimated human corpses, restored to unlife with the infusion of souls, and "gain[ed] their advantage from the powers of the underworld".
As a result of Nupraptor's corruption - which was passed on to all of Kain's descendants - Raziel's clan devolved and pupated as the centuries passed, "becoming less human and more... divine".[SR1-C1] Raziel inherited the strongest portion of Kain's soul, and his descendants were likely the most powerful vampires in Nosgoth, apart from the members of the Council.[SR1-C1] They survived beyond Raziel's execution, adults of the clan have emulated the physical developments that their patriarch had begun to exhibit, growing chiropteran wings which enabled flight. Based on the helmet worn by the Sentinel class having no eyeholes, they appear to depend on echolocation to know their surroundings, much like bats, which hints at them either poor eyesight or light sensitivity (although not an increased weakness to sunlight, like the Rahabim)
Artist Daniel Cabuco noted that in Kain's empire prior to Raziel's execution and their devolution, the Razielim had taken roles described as: "Artisans, Philosophers, Spellbinders, Tacticians..., Blood Bankers, and manipulators." and it was further elaborated that the "Razielim would use their spellcraft to spy on other clans, and manipulate them with a wry hand".
Membership and Forces
A partially devolved Sentinels|Sentinel class Razielim
Clan leader and patriarch Raziel is only seen in his Vampire form in the opening videos of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver which depict Raziel's execution and subsequent resurrection as a wraith centuries later.[SR1-C1] When Raziel returned after a millennium in the Abyss he visited the vacant Razielim clan territory, finding it derelict and abandoned he assumed Kain was responsible for the destruction of his clan.[SR2-C2]
Besides Raziel no members of the clan were seen in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and they were not seen or mentioned in the rest of series until their appearance in Nosgoth, set much earlier in the Time-stream, where a partially devolved Razielim variant known as the Sentinels were seen as a playable class.
The Sentinels were the only class of Razielim observed in the series. Encountered in the mid-Soul Reaver era War for Nosgoth, they had evolved quicker than the other clans, gaining the flight capabilities of their patriarch, but had also devolved while hiding underground near Coorhagen.
Unfortunately their bloodline’s pupating methods have not been witnessed, nor is there any hint from official sources, or any information in cut material.
- "I am your creation, Kain - now, as before. You criticize your own work.
What have you done with my clan, degenerate? You have no right--"
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver originated as Shifter, an independent project by Amy Hennig, Seth Carus and Arnold Ayala of Crystal Dynamics which never entered production in its original form. As was the case with the game's other vampiric elements, Raziel's clan was presumably conceived after Shifter was merged into Nosgoth and the Legacy of Kain IP, which incorporated "a lot of research into vampire mythology".
Following their introduction as a story element, Raziel's clan goes entirely unseen and unmentioned in Soul Reaver 2, the Legacy of Kain: Defiance comic and Legacy of Kain: Defiance; thus, they still have yet to make an appearance in the Legacy of Kain series.[SR2][DEF-Comic][DEF] There is no official artwork which is confirmed as representative of Raziel's children, but one image discovered on Arnold Ayala's blog in 2010 depicts an unused devolved vampire concept for Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, with distinctive bat-like wings and traits which closely correspond to Raziel's devolutionary path.
In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Raziel is led to conclude that his clan has been destroyed by Kain, an assumption which Kain does not explicitly confirm or deny.[SR1-C4] With subsequent games, Kain's villainous Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver portrayal has been unveiled as a ruse, part of a complex plan to eventually restore the Pillars of Nosgoth and return them to vampire guardianship; his "one last hand to play against Fate".[SR2-C5][DEF-C13] All along, Kain had been counting on Raziel's "reckless indignation", hoping to deliberately goad Raziel into pursuing him into Nosgoth's past.[SR2-C2] Thus, the question as to whether Kain truly eradicated Raziel's descendants had remained open to debate. When queried on the subject in 2002, then-series director Amy Hennig cryptically replied that "this is currently unrevealed".
Former lead artist Daniel Cabuco, would subsequently offer more on the role of the Razielim:
Their appearance in Nosgoth greatly expanded upon the backstory of the Soul Reaver era, revealing that Kain had abandoned his empire in the wake of Raziel's execution, leaving the clans and lieutenants to fend for themselves. As the clans fragmented and clashed in a bloody civil war for control of the empire, the Razielim were particularly persecuted and victimized by the others with the clan elders wiped out by the others. Meanwhile, the few hundred Razielim secreted away in isolation began to awake, but – deprived of blood, and unable to escape – they physically degenerated over the decades, manifesting chitinous exoskeletons and leathery wing membranes. As the resurgent humans began attacking the Vampires and recapturing territory a new War for Nosgoth began and the few Razielim survivors were forced to band together with their brethren to combat the renewed human threat.
and further elaborated:
- Though never formally given any name beyond "Raziel's clan" in any official sources, it is very likely - following the other vampire clans' official naming conventions - that these vampires were known as the Razielim (or possibly the Razelim, if dropping an "i" as in the unique example set by the Melchahim clan). The fan community universally utilizes this moniker to refer to Raziel's descendants, and they are named as such at Dark Chronicle, Nosgothic Realm and The Lost Worlds, with the moniker even utilized by Daniel Cabuco on his forum. The matter of the correct name for the clan was finally officially addressed in 2013 as material released for Nosgoth definitively settled on "Razielim" as the name of the clan.
- The Razielim at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn).
- Raziel's clan territory
- The Fall of the Razielim Part 1/2/3/4 at the Nosgoth official blog (by George Kelion)
- The Fane – Lost city of the Razielim at the Nosgoth official blog (by Bill Beacham)
- Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver manual (US version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (August 16, 1999) Download.
- Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver manual (UK version). Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (August 16, 1999) Download.
- Soul Reaver: Background Story at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- The Blood Curse (The Dark Gift) at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- Warp's answers from Amy at the Eidos Forums (by Blincoln)
- Question and Answer with Jen, Richard, and Kyle at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- A few questions at DCabDesign (by Paradoks), post#6 by (Daniel Cabuco).
- GLoK Interviews with Amy Hennig at Nosgothic Realm (by Raziel Fan)
- The Razielim at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
- Vampire Clans at DCabDesign (by Majinkura), post#2 by (Daniel Cabuco).
- About Kain's Empire at DCabDesign (by Cradlis), post#2 by (Daniel Cabuco).
- Shifter at The Lost Worlds (by Ben Lincoln)
- Denis Dyack on Story and Content in Games, Part 2 at 1UP.com (by Philip Kollar)
- character concept art << Dogma5150's Blog at Wordpress.com (by Arnold Ayala)
- Soul Reaver- Art of Female, Wolf and Winged Vampires (Razielim?), Hunters and Demons at the Eidos Forums (by Divine Shadow)
- Legacy of Kain Fan-Fictions at Nosgothic Realm
- Dragon Statue Reaver Forge at The Lost Worlds
- Young Kain at The Lost Worlds