Early Versions of The Story
Early story version from the Eidos website
[ This text originally appeared on the Eidos website. There was no specific author credited. ]
A millennium has passed since Lord Kain set his capital in the ruins of the Pillars and began his conquest of the world. His first act was to recruit a cadre. Dipping into the underworld, Kain snared six souls and thus birthed his lieutenants, of which I, Raziel was one. We, in turn prowled the twilight of purgatory building six legions of vampires to pillage Nosgoth.
The destruction of the major human kingdoms was inevitable. Within a hundred years, humanity had been thoroughly domesticated. To be sure, there remained some feral humans scattered across the hinterlands, clinging to their hopeless holy war to rid Nosgoth of 'the vampire scourge'. They were tolerated. They made existence for the fledglings more challenging.
After the taming of the humans, our real work began; shaping Nosgoth to our will. Slaves built a shrine around the Pillars. A monument worthy of our new age. Worthy, of our dark renaissance. Huge furnaces were constructed to belch smoke into the sky, shielding the land from the poisonous effects of the sun. Never had the world known such a time of beauty. However, we grew bored.
We allowed the lesser vampires, the remains of the legions, their intrigues. They provided amusement and spice to an increasingly uninspired court. As faction fell against faction we bet upon the outcome. We helped and foiled plots at our whim. We were the Council and Lord Kain, our only master.
The humans think it is a poison of the blood that makes us what we are. Fools, the blood only feeds the bodies we live in. To create a vampire, one must steal a soul from the abyss to reanimate the corpse. It is the body that demands the blood sacrifice; our souls gain their advantage from the powers of the underworld. As we matured, our earthly bodies evolved into a higher form. Through The Change, we assumed the power and nobility of the Dark Gods. With each Change, the trivial affairs of vampire and man held less interest.
Always, it was Kain that would Change first. After the master had experienced a new gift, one of us would follow, in a decade or so. That is, until I had the 'audacity' to evolve before my master. I was gifted with wings. And for my impertinence I was damned.
To us the touch of water is agony; it burns our flesh like acid. My punishment was to be cast into the Lake of Lost Souls - the execution ground for traitors. As my brethren heaved me into the air I could see the bemused expressions on their faces. The transitory thrill of something new. Then the pain began. Melting, twisting, burning, falling. A new experience indeed. Time. I have no concept of how long I fell. Only that there was an end to the fall and through the pain I heard a voice. At first, I thought it merely the echoes of my own tortured mind, but I grew to understand that it was more.
Something primal. Something desperate. Something righteous. Something ancient.
The Elder explained much to me. It told me of creation, of death, of souls and of hunger. For eons the Elder fed upon the souls of Nosgoth. Until, Kain's empire of vampires deprived the Elder of sustenance. For centuries his hunger grew and festered in this place.
The elder offered me redemption; if I would stalk the material plain slaying my former brethren, I would have the chance to avenge myself against Kain.
How could one refuse?
Now I stalk the ruins of Nosgoth seeking to destroy my creator.
Early story version from a pre-release brochure for Soul Reaver
|Pre-Release Brochure for Soul Reaver|
Graciously contributed by Umah Bloodomen from the Eidos forums.
The text in this brochure is identical up to and including the second paragraph of the "Raziel" section. This is a transcription of the text after that:
To us the touch of water is agony; it burns our flesh like acid. My punishment was to be cast into the bottomless vortex. As my brethren heaved me into the air I could see the bemused expressions on their faces. The transitory thrill of something new. Then the pain began. Melting, twisting, burning, falling. A new experience indeed. Time. I have no concept of how long I fell. Only that there was an end to the fall and through the pain I heard the voice. At first I thought it merely the echoes of my own tortured mind, but I grew to understand that it was more. Something primal. Something angry. Something righteous. Something ancient.
The Elder explained much to me. It told me of creation, of death, of souls and of hunger. For eons the Elder fed upon the souls of Nosgoth. Then Kain's empire of vampires deprived the Elder of sustenance. For centuries his hunger grew and festered in this place.
Now, I serve a new master. A demanding master. A master that must be fed, with souls.
The second page of the brochure contains some interesting tidbits mixed in with the technical specifications:
In the final version of Soul Reaver, there are seven bosses if one uses the term in the broadest possible sense: Melchiah, Kain (at the Pillars), Zephon, Morlock, Rahab, Dumah, and Kain in the Chronoplast. Three which were deleted are well-known: The Priestess, Turel, and The Final Battle with Kain. This still leaves two missing entries to reach a total of twelve. Was obtaining The Ariel Reaver going to be set up as a "battle" of some sort? Was there some plan to have Raziel actually fight the Elder God after defeating Kain, similar to the turn that events took in Defiance? Perhaps obtaining the Spirit Reaver (see The Elemental Reavers) involved fighting a mini-boss similar to Morlock? There is virtually no information from which to reach an informed conclusion.
The claim of twenty enemies is easier to reconcile: in Soul Reaver, each NPC other than sluaghs and vampire wraiths have two subtypes, so it could be argued that ten of most types of enemy are actually "twenty". In the final version of the game, there are 12 or 22 depending on which counting method is used: one for each type of vampire (five total), plus human vampire-worshippers, human vampire-hunters, three types of "villager" (non-combat humans), and sluagh/vampire wraiths.
"Recruit[ing] other vampires" is probably a reference to the deleted Possession ability. However, perhaps at some point there was an intent to allow Raziel to "befriend" some of the vampires in the same sense that he can with the humans in the game? In other words, those vampires would not attack him on sight, and might attack other types of vampire on Raziel's behalf. There does not seem to be any supporting evidence for this theory, however.
|1.||This is an interesting piece of text. In the released version of Soul Reaver, Raziel is cast into the Lake of the Dead (located southeast of Malek's Bastion and southwest of the Oracle's Cave on the Blood Omen map). However, the same map also includes a Lake of Lost Souls, which is just west of the Lands of the Nemesis. It seems unlikely that someone would simply happen to substitute one for the other - perhaps the Abyss was located there in an early draft of the story?|