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Sarafan Stronghold

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The Sarafan Stronghold as seen from the Pillars vista (Defiance)
"And so I returned to the sanctuary of my enemy - the fortress of the Sarafan brotherhood, deemed impossible for any man to penetrate."

The Sarafan Stronghold was a major building in Nosgoth, situated on the southern banks of the Great Southern Lake, it served as headquarters of the Sarafan in Nosgoth's early history and would later be used as the central base for Moebius's mercenary army in the Pre-Blood Omen and Blood Omen eras. The fortress witnessed much significant Nosgothic history before being abandoned to Demons attack in the Post-Blood Omen era . The Stronghold was first glimpsed in cutscenes in Blood Omen and was a playable location in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance.

Profile[edit | edit source]

Role[edit | edit source]

Wiki-Icon-BO1.pngThe Scourge of the Circle[edit | edit source]

Vorador's Slaughter of the Circle in the Stronghold

The Stronghold was the headquarters of the Sarafan crusades against the Vampires in Nosgoth's early history. The Stronghold was seen only briefly in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain as cutscenes in Chapter 1 and Chapter 6 depicted several of the Pillar Guardians observing the Sarafan killing fields through the viewing basin of the Circle's gathering-room and Vorador's subsequent Slaughter of the Circle and defeat of Malek in Nosgoth's early history. Only the gathering room and the corridor leading to it could be identified.[BO1][BO1-C1][BO1-C6]

Icon-SR1.pngWiki-Icon-SR2.pngA more Cynical and Indecorous Age[edit | edit source]

External view of the Stronghold and Southern Lake in the Pre-Blood Omen era

Though initially unidentified, the Stronghold would feature briefly in the finale of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Prologue to Soul Reaver 2 as Raziel pursued Kain backwards in time arriving in one of the Time-streaming chambers of the stronghold in the Pre-Blood Omen era, when Moebius's mercenary army occupied the stronghold.[SR1][SR1-10] The Stronghold was featured in a much greater role in the rest of Soul Reaver 2, where it was a significant recurring playable location. Raziel began Chapter 1 in the similarly appearing gathering room and much of the level followed Raziel's exploration of the Stronghold and his rediscovery of his Sarafan heritage among the rooms of the stronghold. Raziel would pass through several significant chambers within the stronghold (including finding the Soul Reaver in William's chapel) and would often be confronted by the swordmen and pikemen of Moebius's order.[SR2][SR2-C1] Exiting the stronghold from a high balcony above the Lake,[SR2-C1] Raziel was unable to re-enter the Stronghold until he had gained the Light Reaver enhancement from the Light Forge.[SR2-C4] Returning to the Stronghold in Chapter 5 Raziel used the enhancement to infiltrate the stronghold docks, attempting to reach the Time-streaming chambers in the gathering room to return to Nosgoth's early history. After a significant meeting with Kain in William's chapel and the ignition of the Second paradox, Raziel was able to reach the Time-streaming chambers and persuade Moebius to send him into the past.[SR2-C5]

Wiki-Icon-SR2.pngDerelict and Abandoned[edit | edit source]

The Ruined gathering room in the Post-Blood Omen era

As Raziel emerged from the Time-streaming chamber he discovered that Moebius had instead sent him to the Post-Blood Omen era, a century after the Collapse of the Pillars. In this era, the boundaries between dimensions had become weakened, allowing Demons to penetrate into the Material Realm and the stronghold was partially ruined and largely abandoned to Demon infestation; with the Demons and a few Demon hunters the only inhabitants. Many of the features seen in the Pre-Blood Omen era remained in this time although most were eroded, worn or missing completely and only one major addition was seen as a statue of Moebius holding aloft the severed head of Vorador had been added to the inner sanctum of Sanctuary commemorating the final kill of Moebius's mercenary army. The ruined stronghold was of little use to Raziel and once again he ventured of out the building to the Lake and beyond, though the ruined dock entrance allowed Raziel to re-enter the building freely in this era.[SR2][SR2-C5]

Wiki-Icon-SR2.pngTheir Loathsome Fortress[edit | edit source]

Raziel confronts Rahab and Dumah in Sanctuary in Nosgoth's early history

After gaining access to the Air Reaver[SR2-C6] and the Time-streaming chamber in the Swamp, Raziel was finally able to travel to Nosgoth's early history, at the height of the Sarafan Vampire purge. In this era, the Lake by the stronghold was frozen over, sealing the dock entrance shut and preventing Raziel from entering the Stronghold until he had gained the Fire Reaver.[SR2-C7] After witnessing the death of Janos Audron at the hands of the Sarafan warrior inquisitors,[SR2-C8] Raziel pursued them back to the stronghold in the final chapters of Soul Reaver 2, entering by using his newly acquired Fire enhancement to melt the ice around the dock entrance and hoping to recover the Reaver and the Heart of Darkness. With his assault coinciding with Vorador's legendary Slaughter of the Circle, Raziel was able to find the Reaver in a small antechamber, but confronted by Moebius and Malek; and with Moebius's Staff disabling the wraith blade, Raziel was left with no other choice but to use the Reaver, causing the two guardians to retreat. Bound to the Reaver, Raziel was made practically invincible as he moved through the major areas of the stronghold, facing battles with major Sarafan warrior inquisitors in each.[SR2-C9] Raziel would finally confront his former human self and uncover his destiny in the Chapter House, as well as Kain's triggering of the Third paradox.[SR2-C10] The stronghold itself appeared much simpler in this era, with few of the elaborate murals of later times and with Raziel channeled into facing the elite inquisitors and away from Vorador, he was unable to access areas around the gathering room.[SR2-C9][SR2-C10]

Icon-Defiance.pngSanctuary of my Enemy[edit | edit source]

Kain in the small Battlements area in Nosgoth early history (Defiance)

The Stronghold returned as a playable location once again in Legacy of Kain: Defiance as Kain returned to the fortress in Nosgoth's early history seeking answers from Moebius, some years after the conclusion of Soul Reaver 2. Kain would spend his first chapters in the stronghold and finding the Balance fragment and Flame fragments of the Balance Emblem in William's chapel and the gatehouse respectively, was able to confront Moebius first in his chamber and then in the upper tower, from which point he could use Bat Form to fly to the Pillars. The stronghold itself was expanded over what had been previously seen and many rooms were lavishly decorated (though still lacking major murals) or modified from their original design. Perhaps due to the combat-focus of Defiance, the stronghold is notably more populated by enemies than before, with a variety of Sarafan Archers, Sarafan crusaders, Sarafan zealots and Sarafan inquisitors confronting Kain on regular occasions.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

History[edit | edit source]

  • Icon-Defiance.pngThough losing most of their command structure due to the vengeance of Raziel and Vorador (and with their highest ranking warrior Malek disgraced), the Sarafan order was able to continue operations in the stronghold for some time afterwards, with Moebius apparently leading the order. Some years after the legendary assault on the fortress, Kain would return to Infiltrate the Stronghold, attempting to find out from Moebius what had happened to Raziel. Recovering several fragments of the Balance Emblem, Kain was able confront Moebius, first in Moebius' chamber and then again in the Tower and after being persuaded to investigate "west of the Pillars of Nosgoth", Kain left the Stronghold. Some time after this, the Sarafan crusades drew to a close and the usage of the Stronghold is unknown for several centuries.[DEF-C1][DEF-C3]
  • Wiki-Icon-BO1.pngWiki-Icon-SR2.pngNearly five centuries later in the Pre-Blood Omen era, the fledgling Kain's murder of the William ignited another Vampire Purge, with Moebius leading a new generation of Vampire Hunters - Moebius's People's Army. Striving to "honor the memory" of the Sarafan Brotherhood, Moebius' hunters inhabited the fortress and like the Sarafan before them, the Stronghold became a major base for the faction as it sought to eliminate the vampire plague.[BO1-C11][SR2-C1]
  • Wiki-Icon-BO1.pngBy the Blood Omen era thirty years later, Moebius' army had virtually eliminated the Vampires and with Vorador's execution at Stahlberg, Kain would be left the last Vampire in Nosgoth. Despite this victory for the order, it's days were numbered. Shortly after the death of Vorador, Kain would be presented with a fateful decision to decide the fate of Nosgoth; his refusal to sacrifice himself caused the Pillars of Nosgoth to Collapse and created a rift that breached through dimensions.[BO1-C11][BO1-C12]
  • Wiki-Icon-SR2.pngIn the wake of this many Demons species were able to cross from the Demon Realm and mount attacks upon the Material Realm. The Vampire Hunters of Moebius' army adapted to combat this new threat and became Demon hunters. By the time Raziel visited the Post-Blood Omen era, a century after the Pillars Collapse, the fortress had been abandoned for some time and was in a derelict state; with the Stronghold overrun by Demons the Demon Hunters had not made their base there.[1][2][SR2-C5]

Design and Layout[edit | edit source]

The Sarafan stronghold is one of the more complicated structures seen within the Legacy of Kain series, with many interconnecting and revisited areas; and many different routes through it. Despite featuring in some form in four titles in the series, the only official reference to the layout of the stronghold is presented in the Soul Reaver 2 World map which depicts the area simply as a rectangular structure on the southern banks of the Great Southern Lake next to a circular area to the east which represents the Time-streaming chambers.[SR2][3][4] In term of in-game design and layout, the main features and orientation of the stronghold and its internal areas are often inconsistent between titles, though highly reminiscent of those seen previously.[BO1][SR1][SR2][DEF][5] The stronghold was first playable in Soul Reaver 2, where some areas (such as the Circle's gathering-room and adjacent corridors) seem to be particularly faithful to sections seen in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.[SR2][BO1-C1][BO1-C6][SR1-10]

Legacy of Kain: Defiance revisited the stronghold, with many areas appearing to be the same rooms as seen in Soul Reaver 2 but with minor changes (having incredibly similar layouts, design features and identical names); however this possibility was ruled out by their clashing locations within the stronghold - notably the Chapter House, Cloister and Sanctuary chambers appear to recur between Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance, but cannot fit together as such in terms of layout. Further to this, other orientation information (from the directions to external landmarks such as the Pillars) may suggest that the areas visited in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance are distinct, with no recurring areas (despite the naming conventions and room design/layouts) - effectively suggesting that the stronghold is comprised of two similar (largely symmetrical) 'wings' with Soul Reaver 2 taking place inside the west wing and Defiance inside a similar eastern wing; this would solve the inconsistent directions; by rotating the maps, placing the tower at the center and matching the Pillars direction (with the time-streaming chambers and circle's gathering room close by or directly beneath) - but would ultimately mean that the stronghold has two Sanctuary rooms, two Cloisters and two Chapter Houses .[SR2][DEF][5]

Wiki-Icon-BO1.pngIcon-SR1.pngWiki-Icon-SR2.pngSoul Reaver 2 Areas[edit | edit source]

Time-Streaming chambers[edit | edit source]

Featured briefly at the finale of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and throughout Soul Reaver 2. Two of Moebius's devices positioned on opposite sides of the gathering room which allowed the user to be transported in Time.[SR1][SR1-10][SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5][SR2-C9]


Circle's Gathering Room[edit | edit source]

Features in Blood Omen and Soul Reaver 2 . Room adjoining Moebius' Time-streaming chambers; where the circle meet and observe the Sarafan troop movements in Nosgoth's early history. During Vorador's legendary attack six of the Pillar Guardians were killed in this room and later eras feature murals depicting the fallen guardians and their killer.[BO1][BO1-C1][BO1-C6][SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5][SR2-C9]


Gathering Room corridors[edit | edit source]

A set of two corridors comprising an 'L'-shape that linked the Circle's gathering-room with the rest of the stronghold through the Sanctuary Entrance and Font Antechambers. The corridors appeared briefly in cutscenes depicting the Slaughter of the Circle in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and were a playable location Soul Reaver 2, maintaining much of the same layout and presentation. The first corridor of the two (which adjoins the gathering room) cannot be accessed in the early history era of Soul Reaver 2.[BO1][BO1-C1][BO1-C6][SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5][SR2-C9]


Font Antechamber[edit | edit source]

A small square antechamber with a font at its center, situated off the side door of the gathering room corridor and leading into the Cloister area. The chamber was notably where Raziel discovered the Reaver in Nosgoth's early history.[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5][SR2-C9]

  • Cloister ("Strong3"), Gathering Room Corridors ("Strong5")

Cloister (Courtyard)[edit | edit source]

Main article: Cloister

A large open air courtyard with several distinctive statues, this was the location where Raziel murdered the Sarafan warrior inquisitors Melchiah and Zephon in Nosgoth's early history, the area was also seen in the Pre and Post-Blood Omen eras in Soul Reaver 2.[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5][SR2-C9]

  • Cloister-Chapter House Antechamber ("Strong8"), Gathering Room corridors ("Strong5"), Sanctuary ("Strong4")

Cloister-Chapter House Antechamber[edit | edit source]

A small square antechamber between situated directly between the Chapter House and Cloister areas of the stronghold and connected to both. The room cannot be accessed in Nosgoth's early history and though present under Debug menus, does not load correctly.[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5]


Chapter House (Sarafan Memorial Chapel) [edit | edit source]

Main article: Chapter House

Octagonal room which bears a prominent 'Ouroboros' floor symbol in all appearances. The Chapter House was the location where the Wraith Raziel met and killed his former Human (Sarafan warrior inquisitor) self in Nosgoth's early history, leading to the Reaver's attempt to consume him and the subsequent ignition of the Third paradox and fourth timeline by Kain. By the Pre-Blood Omen era the walls of the Chapter House were decorated with images of the fallen Sarafan Warrior Inquisitors and a statue of the human Raziel.[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5][SR2-C9][SR2-C10]

  • Chapter House Entrance corridors ("Strong9"), Cloister-Chapter House Antechamber ("Strong8"), Corridor to Balcony ("Strong10")

The Balcony[edit | edit source]

A high balcony off the side of the stronghold, overlooking the 'internal' Lake area and connected to the upper level of the Chapter House by a small 'Z' shaped corridor. The balcony was notably used by Raziel to leave the stronghold in the Pre-Blood Omen era but neither the balcony, corridor or internal lake were seen in other areas and were not present in Debug menus, (though the first part of the corridor was partially loaded along with the chapter house).[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5]


Chapter House entrance corridors[edit | edit source]

A corridor leading from side of the inner sanctum area of Sanctuary into the Chapter House. Single level and 'Z'-shaped, the corridor was playable in Soul Reaver 2.[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5][SR2-C9]


Sanctuary (Sarafan Cathedral)[edit | edit source]

A large Cathedral-like area that was the site of the murder of the Sarafan warrior inquisitors Dumah, Rahab and (in the raised 'inner sanctum') Turel by the Wraith Raziel in Nosgoth's early history. Chapels dedicated to the Sarafan murder of Janos Audron and Kain's murder of William (complete with William's Soul Reaver blade) had been added to the 'inner sanctum' by thePre-Blood Omen era and in William's Chapel Kain persuaded Raziel to spare him, igniting the Second paradox and Third timeline (shortly after Raziel had unknowingly averted one by sparing Moebius). In the Post-Blood Omen era the inner sanctum would contain a statue of Moebius holding Vorador's head aloft commemorating the final victory of Moebius's mercenary army. Raziel would also meet the supposed martyred spirit of Moebius just outside Sanctuary.[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5][SR2-C9]

  • Chapter House entrance corridors ("Strong9"), Corridor to Cloister ("Strong3"), Sanctuary Entrance Antechamber ("Strong6")

Sanctuary Entrance antechamber[edit | edit source]

A small antechamber containing the main front entrance door to the Sanctuary area and a playable location in Soul Reaver 2. The room also contained doors leading to the Gathering Room Corridors and the Docks.[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5][SR2-C9]

  • Sanctuary ("Strong4"), Docks ("Strong7"), Gathering Room Corridors ("Strong5")

The Dock[edit | edit source]

A Water-filled Dock area with walkways either side and dominated by the large light crystal opened stronghold entrance, which led out to the Great Southern Lake. The dock appeared to be for water-bound transport, although no ships or equipment were seen and the water themselves seem unconnected to other areas. The Dock was connected by a small 'Z' shaped corridor to the Sanctuary Entrance antechamber.[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5][SR2-C9]


Icon-Defiance.pngDefiance Areas[edit | edit source]

Street[edit | edit source]

A cobbled street area where Kain first entered the stronghold in Defiance. A small balcony led onto a second level bridge across the street leading to the Dungeon or Connector to Moebius's Chamber.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

  • Connector ("Shold24a"), Dungeon ("Shold2a")

Dungeon[edit | edit source]

A large dungeon area for the holding and torture of human prisoners. The Dungeon contained several cells and torture equipment. The main door led out to the bridge over the Street area, a breakable wall led into the Wall Cavity and the top level doorway led to the Dungeon passage (and onto Sanctuary).[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

  • Streets ("Shold1a"), Wall Cavity ("Shold3a"), Dungeon Passage ("Shold21a")

Wall Cavity[edit | edit source]

A partially Water-filled room behind a breakable wall in the dungeon containing an apparent sewer and several pipes. High wooden bridges led up to to the Main battlements.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

  • Dungeon ("Shold2a"), Main Battlements ("Shold4a")

Main Battlements[edit | edit source]

An open two tiered courtyard overlooking the side of the stronghold. The battlements area was encircled by upper level walkways which led from the upper Cloister to a statue of Malek holding his sword in a central chamber above the battlements. Lower doorways led through a grate into the Wall Cavity and through double-doors into the lower Cloister area. A significant doorway marked with Moebius's symbol was protected by a Blessed barrier and led into the Staircase and onto the Cistern beneath the stronghold.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

  • Cloister ("Shold5a"), Wall Cavity ("Shold3a"), Staircase ("Shold23a")

Cloister (Courtyard)[edit | edit source]

Main article: Cloister

A large open air courtyard with distinctive statues, similar to identically named room from Soul Reaver 2 apart from the addition of a second level balcony. Another new feature was a statue of the Sarafan Warrior Inquisitor Malek in the middle of the chamber that was central to the puzzles involving Malek's Sword and Malek's Shield - doorways marked with these symbols were intially protected by barriers which would disintegrate when the items were returned to the statue.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

  • Sanctuary Entrance ("Shold6a"), Small Drawbridge ("Shold11a"), Gatehouse1 ("Shold16a"/"Shold17a"), Main Battlements ("Shold4a")

Sanctuary Entrance[edit | edit source]

Sanctuary Entrance in Early history (Defiance)

An arrow-turreted 'Z' shaped corridor leading from the Cloister into the main front entrance to Sanctuary.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]


Sanctuary[edit | edit source]

A large Cathedral-like area, similar in design and purpose to its predecessor in Soul Reaver 2 although notably having a domed roof and second level balconies. Location of the Balance fragment of the Balance Emblem in the raised choir and relic room containing Malek's Shield off the balconies.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

  • Chapter House Entrance ("Shold8a"), Sanctuary Entrance ("Shold6a"), Relic Room ("Shold15a"), Dungeon Passage ("Shold21a")

Chapter House Entrance[edit | edit source]

Chapter House Entrance in Early history (Defiance)

A double-level arrow turreted 'Z'-shaped corridor leading between Sanctuary and the Chapter House.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]
Connections Chapter House ("Shold8a"), Sanctuary ("Shold7a").


Chapter House [edit | edit source]

Main article: Chapter House

An Octagonal room featured which bears a prominent 'Ouroboros' floor symbol and appears similar in design and purpose to its Soul Reaver 2 predecessor. The Chapter House features a door unlocked by the Falcon Insignia, which led onto the upper levels of the Stronghold.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

  • Chapter House Entrance ("Shold8a"), Small Battlements ("Shold9a")

Small Battlements[edit | edit source]

A smaller square courtyard battlement area off the Chapter House overlooking the side of the Stronghold. The small battlements had low second level walkways around two sides of the courtyard leading to a small round bastion area which offered views of the tower, chapter house roof and a nearby inaccessible wing of the stronghold. The area was dominated by the large round Training fortification which could be entered through a second level grate.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]


Training[edit | edit source]

A circular chamber containing several Dummies apparently used for training Sarafan troops (as well as Kain's own combat training). The training area contained a small upper level walkway which led around the top of the chamber leading through a grate out to the Small Battlements and a lower level doorway which led to the Small Drawbridge area.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

  • Small Battlements ("Shold9a"), Small Drawbridge ("Shold11a")

Small Drawbridge[edit | edit source]

A partially water filled moat-like area between the Training area and the Cloister, crossed by a drawbridge from a small gatehouse. The drawbridge could be lowered from a second level chamber inside the small gatehouse.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

  • Cloister ("Shold5a"), Training ("Shold10a")

Staircase[edit | edit source]

A large partially ruined spiraling staircase leading down from Moebius's door in the Main Battlements into the cavernous areas beneath the stronghold. The bottom of the Staircase led into the Cistern cavern.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

  • Main Battlements ("Shold4a"), Cistern ("Shold13a")

Cistern[edit | edit source]

A large water filled cavern-like area at the bottom of the staircase and beneath the main stronghold, which led into Moebius's chamber.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

  • Staircase ("Shold23a"), Moebius's Chamber ("Shold14a")

Moebius' Chamber[edit | edit source]

A Cavern underneath the stronghold apparently used by Moebius to communicate with the Elder God through a block partially submerged in a small pool of water and marked with an infinity sigil. The chamber contained several symbolic references to the Elder god (including apparent sacrifices on Wheel of Fate style plinths). The chamber was where Kain initially found the Falcon Insignia and was entered from the Cistern, with the Falcon doorway leading up the Connector back to the upper level bridge of the Street area.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

  • Cistern ("Shold13a"), Connector ("Shold22a")

Connector[edit | edit source]

the connector

A small rocky corridor with a scaleable wall leading from the back of Moebius's Chamber upto the Street area.[DEF][DEF-C3]

  • Moebius's Chamber ("Shold14a"), Streets ("Shold1a")

Dungeon Passage[edit | edit source]

A extension to the top levels of the Dungeon, consisting of a long corridor flanked on both sides by various prison cells, gently sloping upwards to a scaleable wall leading up to Sanctuary.[DEF][DEF-C3]


Relic Room[edit | edit source]


A small chamber off the second-level balconies of Sanctuary containing several paintings and artifacts, including a statue which revolved to reveal Malek's Shield.[DEF][DEF-C3]


Gatehouse 1[edit | edit source]

A stairwell leading away from the Malek's Shield door in the Cloister led to the first of two fortified gatehouses, consisting of a small gatehouse leading out to the high bridge area, with a hidden side chapel containing the Flame fragment of the Balance Emblem.[DEF][DEF-C3]

  • Cloister ("Shold5a"), Bridge ("Shold18a")

Bridge[edit | edit source]

A high bridge between the two fortified gatehouses overlooking the external stronghold and water far beneath. A large amount of Sarafan and related iconography could be observed in the masonry of the external stronghold including a dragon, presumably representative of the nearby Flame fragment of the Balance Emblem.[DEF][DEF-C3]

  • Gatehouse 1 ("Shold17a"/"Shold16a"), Gatehouse 2 ("Shold18a")

Gatehouse 2[edit | edit source]

The second gatehouse area led from Bridge and onto the lower tower area. By passing through and lowering the drawbridges, Kain could gain the Decorative Sword in the second gatehouse using it to open a passage to the Flame fragment of the Balance Emblem in the first gatehouse, which allowed him to ascend to the upper tower.[DEF][DEF-C3]

  • Bridge ("Shold18a"), Lower and Upper Tower ("Shold19a" and "Shold20a")

Lower Tower[edit | edit source]

A large round tower at one end of the stronghold, the tower could be observed from the Small Battlements area and could be reached from the second gatehouse in the Gatehouses/Bridge area. The Lower Tower area comprised of a large open room with a central Sarafan symbol on the floor flanked by two pillars topped with braziers. Once Kain had gained the Flame fragment of the Balance Emblem, he could use it to light the braziers and use several Telekinetic switches to summon some makeshift stairs to reach the upper levels of the tower.[DEF][DEF-C3]

  • Gatehouse 2 ("Shold18a"), Upper Tower ("Shold20a")

Upper Tower[edit | edit source]

The upper levels of the tower comprised a small passageway which led into the lavish upper tower, apparently once used as a 'council chamber' of sorts for the seven Sarafan warrior inquisitors, where Kain confronted Moebius from the second time. A balcony provided a vista looking towards the Pillars of Nosgoth.[DEF][DEF-C3]


Era Comparison[edit | edit source]


Maps[edit | edit source]


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.

As with other recurring areas, The design of the initial Stronghold areas was heavily influenced by the appearance of the rooms seen at the Slaughter of the Circle in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Art Director Daniel Cabuco elaborated:

"in general, when I was Art Director on the LOK series, I'd basically look at what was done before as a 'TV version' and then apply rules for our game as if it were the 'Movie version'. A great way to think about is to compare the original Star Trek TV shows to the Movie versions. Material detail are increased, designs are more fully realized, and more craftsmanship is allowed with bigger time and money budgets. BO1 was the absolute template for SR2 and Defiance's world creation. It had to be a 3D version of the world, and fully realized. As we went through it, we looked at each problem as part of a whole. "
—Daniel Cabuco[6]

The architecture of the Stronghold was also greatly influenced by medieval French architecture in the real world:

"As a general rule, ancient Vampire and Kain's architecture followed Arabic designs, while human areas followed more European designs. Sarafan took from French architecture, while Averness took from a combination of areas (like Notre Dame, or Florence cathedrals). We took some influence from spanish gravesites as well. Venician influences touched the the true vampire burial sites in terms of material (the variety of marbles used) and the dead vampires themselves (influenced by carnivale masks). We mixed and matched within styles mercilessly."
—Daniel Cabuco[7]
The Sarafan symbol

Real-world inspirations for the Sarafan brotherhood itself includes the Roman Military, Crusades, Knights Templar, Spanish Inquisition and the Knights of Malta;[2][8] with the visual upgrade from Roman- to Crusader-style uniform used to suggest the passage of time after Soul Reaver 2.[8] The symbol of the Sarafan appears to have been inspired by the 'Spirit of Light' sculpture atop the Niagara Mohawk Building in Syracuse, New York,[9] and may be related to the Sarafan's alternate title the "Angels of the Light".[BO1-C6]

In the early stages of Defiance development, it was initially planned that the title would flow directly on from the end of Soul Reaver 2, with Raziel also beginning the game in the Sarafan stronghold.[10] In the retail game the Stronghold area is only usually accessible to Kain - though Raziel could be substituted in through the use of Debug menus, his unique abilites could not be utilized properly (often resulting in the game crashing) and it appears that any Raziel-specific features (including Spectral Realm-morphing effects) were removed from the area before release.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]

Concept artwork by Kory Heinzen featured in Bonus materials and developmental images in the portfolio of artist Isabelle Lemay suggest that a number of platforms in the lower levels of the Bridge area were initially intended to be reached by a scalable wall[DEF][11] but both wall and platforms are missing in game, with possibly the only remnant of this concept being the elongated glide distance permitted over the area - as the area is surrounded by Water, any attempt to leave the central bridge will result in the death of the protagonist or the game crashing.[DEF]

Notes[edit | edit source]

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A Sarafan flag within the stronghold
  • Some of the most significant rooms of the stronghold in Soul Reaver 2 are given titles in a variety of sources. The "Sanctuary" area and its "inner sanctum" and "William's chapel" sub-rooms are directly spoken in Soul Reaver 2,[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C3][SR2-C9] whilst stage directions and bonus materials give titles to Sanctuary, the "Relic Hall"(in place of the inner sanctum), William's chapel, the "Chapter House", "Cloister" and the "Circle's gathering-room".[SR2][SR2-C5][SR2-C1][SR2-C9] Prima's Official Strategy Guide - Soul Reaver 2 lists these as the "Sarafan Cathedral" and its associated "inner sanctum" and "William's crypt", "Sarafan Memorial Chapel", "Cathedral Courtyard" and simply lists the gathering room as "the room where your adventures began".[2]
  • Debug menus in Soul Reaver 2 label the Sarafan Stronghold as "Stronghold" and both the debug menu and game files numbers the areas as "Strong1" - the Circle's gathering-room and Time-streaming chamber, "Strong2" - the Chapter House, "Strong3" - the Cloister, "Strong4" - the Sanctuary Cathedral, "Strong5" - Gathering room entrance corridors, "Strong6" - the Sanctuary entrance antechamber, "Strong7" - the Dock area, "Strong8" - the Chapter House entrance antechamber and "Strong10" - the balcony entrance corridor above the Chapter House. Each room is given a separate entry for each era, with room names amended to "StrongB" to denote the Post-Blood Omen era and "StrongC" for Nosgoth's early history. Because of the way the game is put together, certain rooms exist only in certain eras, as they are visited in game. As such, "Strong10" is only present in the Pre-Blood Omen era and "Strong1" is not present in the early history era, whilst "Strong8" is present in all eras but loads as a broken (and unused) room in the early history era. "Strong9" is present in game files (which suggest a very small generic room) and debug menu, but crashes if loaded, debug options suggest it relates to the Sanctuary-Chapter House Corridor. The antechamber containing the Reaver is not numbered in the debug menu, where it is counted under "Strong5" with the gathering room corridors.[SR2]
  • Prima's Official Strategy Guide - Legacy of Kain: Defiance goes into great detail about the individual rooms of the stronghold, giving each a name and a map. Similar rooms are identified again as the "Chapter House", "Cloister" and "Sanctuary" respectively. The other rooms in the Stronghold are listed as: "Street(s)", "Dungeon", "Wall Cavity", "Main Battlements", "Santuary Entrance", "Chapter House Entrance", "Small Battlements", "Training Area", "Small Drawbridge", "Cistern", "Moebius' Chamber", "Connector", "Dungeon Passage", "Relic Room", "Gate House 1", "Bridge/Gate House 2", "Lower Tower" and "Upper Tower".[12] Legacy of Kain: Defiance scripts rarely directly note locations within the stronghold, though stage directions note the "Dungeon", "Chapel" (within Sanctuary), "Courtyard" (Cloister), "Tower" and "[Moebius's] hidden chamber".[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]
    Light Crystal in the Sarafan Stronghold (SR2)
  • Legacy of Kain: Defiance game files and Debug menus list the Stronghold rooms as "Shold1a" (Street), "Shold2a" (Dungeon), "Shold3a" (Wall Cavity), "Shold4a" (Main Battlements), "Shold5a" (Cloister), "Shold6a" (Sanctuary Entrance), "Shold7a" (Sanctuary), "Shold8a" (Chapter House), "Shold9a" (Small Battlements), "Shold10a" (Training), "Shold11a" (Small Drawbridge), "Shold12a" (Staircase Top), "Shold13a" (Cistern), "Shold14a" (Moebius's Chamber), "Shold15a" (Relic Room), "Shold16a" (Gatehouse 1 Stairway), "Shold17a" (Gatehouse 1), "Shold18a" (Bridge and Gatehouse 2), "Shold19a" (Lower Tower), "Shold20a" (Upper Tower), "Shold21a" (Chapter House Entrance), "Shold22a" (Dungeon Passage), "Shold23a" (Staircase Bottom) and "Shold24a" (Connector). Debug menus in Legacy of Kain: Defiance also label the area units as "Strong1", "Strong2", "Strong4". "Strong8", "Strong24", "Strong32", "Strong53" and "Strong100", though it is unclear which units relate to which areas as all crash the game when loaded.[DEF]
  • The exact age of the stronghold is not discussed in the series, but many instances of Sarafan symbols and iconography within the masonry of the structure may imply that it was purpose built for the faction in Nosgoth's early history.[SR2][DEF] The Stronghold's proximity to Soul Reaver 2's Light Forge and Spirit forges may also suggest that the stronghold was deliberately built on or around the older forge structures.[SR2]
  • Of the six guardians killed by Vorador in the Circle's gathering-room of Sarafan Stronghold, only four of them were shown in the cutscene in Blood Omen. Developers comments indicate that this cutscene was simply "an edited montage" of the Slaughter of the Circle and Vorador had indeed killed six guardians.[13]
  • The Sarafan Stronghold seems largely uninhabited by Spectral-fauna in its working life, with Sluagh only seen in appreciable numbers in the Post-Blood Omen era, after the ruin of the fortress.[SR2][SR2-C1][SR2-C5][SR2-C9][DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3] It is unclear if this is plot-related as in most of its appearances (notably in Legacy of Kain: Defiance and Soul Reaver 2's early history era) the protagonist is not intended to access the Spectral realm.[SR2-C9][DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3] In a similar manner, ordinary Sarafan enemy troops are surprisingly rare in the stronghold in the early history era as this is section of the game is dominated by the Sarafan warrior inquisitors boss encounters.[SR2-C9]
Sarafan symbol in the flame fragment room

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Murals and Textures[edit | edit source]

Concepts and Bonus materials[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wiki-Icon-SR2.png Soul Reaver 2 manual. Crystal Dynamics. (Eidos Interactive). (October 31, 2001) Download.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Icon-Prima.png Prima Games / Demian Linn and David Hodgson. Prima's Official Soul Reaver 2 Guide. (2001)
  3. Icon-NR.png Soul Reaver 2 - Map of Nosgoth at Nosgothic Realm (by Tenaya)
  4. Wiki-Icon-DC.png Soul Reaver 2 - Map of Nosgoth at Dark Chronicle (by Marie Tryhorn)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Icon-Eidos.png The (almost) definitive Legacy of Kain maps thread at the Eidos Forums (by Shrykull/Bazielim)
  6. Icon-DCab.png Pillars of Nosgoth areas at DCabDesign (by Bazielim), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  7. Icon-DCab.png Nosgoth architecture at DCabDesign (by Lexy), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Legacy of Kain archives
  9. Icon-Eidos.png I found a REAL Sarafan temple! at the Eidos Forums (by Ber)
  10. Icon-Eidos.png Answers to questions from the Defiance team at Eidos Forums (Chris @ Crystal), question #16 (by Chris Bruno)
  11. Legacy of Kain: Defiance at Isabelle Lemay's portfolio (by Isabelle Lemay)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Icon-Prima.png Prima Games / JDP and Gerald Guess. Prima's Official Legacy of Kain: Defiance Guide. (2003)
  13. Icon-Eidos.png Chris@Crystal's Greatest Hits at the Eidos Forums (by Divine Shadow)
  14. Icon-SR1.png Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver miscellaneous dialogue. Crystal Dynamics. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation. (August 16, 1999)