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Sluagh
17th Feb 2014, 22:25
I was having a think after scribbling away on this Nosgoth inspired fan fic I've been working on: the Zephonim seem to be big into getting the humans to worship them, (or at least this is suggested as a future event in the blog entry). So then I thought, wouldn't this constitute some kind of heresy on the part of Zephon?

If Kain is essentially deified, and Zephon goes about setting himself as a worshipped being, then I can't see the other clans liking that too much. So how could he get round it? Then I thought, if the Razielim were some kind of philosophers for the regime, setting out the basis of Kain worship, then Zephon would have some kind of reason for hating them. A problem with trying to deify himself would be - if he came out and said "Look, I'm a god" when a bigger god, i.e. Kain was in play.

However...

- If Kain disappears after Raziel's execution, which he does in this time period, and the Council of the clans is weak, then Zephon can cement his position.
- If the old system was brutalist, and saw the humans as "masters" and the humans as "cattle" then he can try and replace this with something more self magnifying and insidious, trying to actively get the humans to worship him and offspring. Using the mind control powers that are the mark of his clan, he could start using the humans are mere vessels for vampire will, as well as a food source. He could try and rope in the weakest sibling Melchiah into thinking like this, who is vain, but also aware of his own physical frailty and weak position.
- However the Razielim will see this as heresy, and going against the traditional idea of vampires as dark gods, who are no more interested in the minds of humans, than whales are by the minds of krill. However, because they are weak and few in number, they have to ignore this heresy temporarily while the clans are at truce. They are in no position to take the high ground, because of Raziel's position as a traitor. They also don't know the full facts about Raziel's execution (as Dumah recounted it to Eskandor to fit his needs). Zephon and his kin are also mutually suspicious of them as obstructing his plans, causing a certain blood between them.



I just thought with Zephon's behaviour there's one of the best potentials for seeing how the clans end up fractured and scattered during the SR, as he seems to have a poisonous influence on the others, which make him one of the more interesting lieutenants - definitely the most Machivellian, but also a bit Elder God-ish for adding a level of sanctimony. Also, he in some sense gets what he wants, essentially turning part of a cathedral into his own ghastly body. It seems poetic really. Does this account sound like a likely scenario? Any thoughts would be good, as I am thinking of weaving it into my fan-fic.

Khalith
17th Feb 2014, 22:56
Kain is deified, but at the climax of soul reaver 1 remember what Kain says:

"Are we not like gods? So long as a single one of us stands, we are legion." Raziel also comments how the vampires become "less human and more divine." It's got me wondering if the vampires see themselves as gods of nosgoth?

Sluagh
17th Feb 2014, 23:22
Yeah good point. However, I was kind of drawing from the fact, he seems to see himself as a dark god, most definitely at the end of Blood Omen, in a cosmically indifferent world. He doesn't demand love, or worship, and seems very scathing of individuals who hide behind a mask of sanctity (the Sarafan, Moebius, eventually the EG who at first he can't see as an operator). He sees the humans as slaves, food, fun etc. but he doesn't care about their mentality. He's all about conquer, but not much about rule, as it's too passive. This is why his relationship with Raziel is interesting later in the series, as Raziel tries to get moral (justifying the Sarafan's purges, on the basis that vampires are predators), but Kain is having none of it. I'm not saying that by Zephon having vampire worshippers he is in any sense not a dark god, just one who wants to be worshipped. However Raziel was destroyed on the ostensible grounds of heresy and I s'pose a kind of hubris, even though it is evident that by the SR era some of the vampires think they are greater, more omnipotent than Kain (crazy Turel, possibly Zephon as well).

Your quote is telling about Kain's deification, however I was never sure whether he was prematurely basking in the glow of victory with that line. Especially when you consider later on the implications of his corruption. However, it turned out necessary, as he could never have done half the things he had done, whilst merely a mortal human. In essence, I think Kain can call himself a god in terms of power, immortality, vision (having done all that time travel), but is kept from being a false god, in that he makes no demands of victims/subjects other than to be loyal, get out of the way, or die. He is god-like but not any sense powered, like the EG is by souls seemingly (I can't quite find the word here). He just has "sensuous appetites."

In fact one of the things that annoyed me about Blood Omen 2 was the way it made far too much of Kain getting uppity about people betraying him. If it had been Blood Omen Kain he would have just said something about them not being good enough, smelling like a peasant and then hacking them up. I suppose they had to change character slightly in the time span between BO and SR time frames (he's certainly more weary, but also more patient, as he gets older), but it was done a bit slap-dash and not so thought out. However, lots of elements were good, like the steam punk, stealth kills and key bits of the plot were alright.

Lord_Aevum
18th Feb 2014, 00:01
I'm fairly sure the vampire worshippers under the command of the Deceivers still deify Kain above all else, not Zephon. There's no mention that they're being compelled to idolise the Zephonim in particular, just the vampire race in general it seems.

And it is known that Kain still visited the lieutenants on occasion during this time period, so I don't think it's a free-for-all. Arrogance is a key trait for his character, and any attempt to undermine his authority would probably be met with consequences (http://spectraljin.deviantart.com/art/Scolding-Melchiah-202241226) :p

Sluagh
18th Feb 2014, 00:15
I'm fairly sure the vampire worshippers under the command of the Deceivers still deify Kain above all else, not Zephon. There's no mention that they're being compelled to idolise the Zephonim in particular, just the vampire race in general it seems. And it is known that Kain still visited the lieutenants on occasion during this time period, so I don't think it's a free-for-all. Arrogance is a key trait for his character, and any attempt to undermine his authority would probably be met with consequences (http://spectraljin.deviantart.com/art/Scolding-Melchiah-202241226) :p

That is probably most likely true. Good link XD I might have to change tack with this. I suppose, if vampire worship had some benefit that the other bros. didn't like, or was construed wrongly, then it could still be narratively viable as some form of heresy. However, I must admit, when I played SR years ago I assumed they were worshipping Zephon, over-awed by his enormous spidery (eggy?) behind rather than Kain. I mean who would go live in a church, unless they wanted to be a god, or they really liked hymns? Or really liked rubbing it in ("Haha, humans we have your church") or were mad. The last seems fairly possible and fitting. And yet, Zephon is well more impressive than Kain in size, even if the old man is still da boss, and moreover humans are pretty stupid (just ask that guy from Ducats Traders), worshipping gigantic dog-vampires also during the series. That is funny, and quite revealing, about Kain popping back though...

"How are you guys getting on? Playing nice?"

"Well, we're fighting a war with a load of fairly tooled-up rebel flesh-sacks, Dumah hit Turel, we lost some cities and the Razielim are all dead or a bit devolved and flying around all over the place."

<REAVER SLAPS>

I am a bit tired to look up links, but the idea of the VWs worshipping Kain I suppose is also supported by the priestess too, as well isn't it? I am a bit hazy, and too tired to look up links, but didn't Raz in the deleted bits basically accuse her of being Kain's Moebius or some such. Of course, the plot has altered a lot since then, cos wasn't Kain supposed to die in that game?

Lakdav2
20th Feb 2014, 08:25
The priestess was cut content that didnt make it into the final release of Soul Reaver. However, there are a lot of interesting tidbits with her. Killing her would have granted Raziel some of her sorcery that was centered around possession, much like the deceivers are now. If i remember right, it would have worked on vampires as well.

for the short encounter with her, there is this on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv89j7xURH0

As for the topic at hand, Kain was deified above all. I dont think even the vampire lieutenants dared to claim to be greater for at least half a millenia after his departure from the world. Dumah and later Turel were the ones who dared. Dumah was an arrogant idiot with big words right after he was found like a stuck pig. Turel was worshipped as Hash'ak'gik for who knows how long with hylden in his head, so he was not really in the best state of mind.

Though vanity must have been a major trait in vampires, deification of Kain would have been most prominent. The fact that he is gone doesnt weaken this statement. We have gods that dont seem to care about anything going in the world, yet worship is up and running, with the valid possibility of fanatical tendencies.

As for Zephon claiming godhood to his human mind-controlled subjects, humans might have little idea about the ranks and hierarchy of the lieutenants. Even if they did, Raziels execution and the destruction of his clan would have destroyed any concept they might have had.

Monkeythumbz
20th Feb 2014, 13:51
As in ancient Egypt, just because one would have worshipped Ra above all other gods, that wouldn't have precluded particular worship and veneration of Osiris, especially for specific sects.

The same applies for Kain and the Lieutenants in relation to vampire worshippers - Kain was the creator-god and would have commanded universal submission. Nevertheless, different sects would have venerated certain Lieutenants over others, even while acknowledging a degree of parity in power and influence between the Lieutenants. It's this that Zephon would have been keen to use to his advantage.

Sluagh
20th Feb 2014, 19:45
As in ancient Egypt, just because one would have worshipped Ra above all other gods, that wouldn't have precluded particular worship and veneration of Osiris, especially for specific sects.

The same applies for Kain and the Lieutenants in relation to vampire worshippers - Kain was the creator-god and would have commanded universal submission. Nevertheless, different sects would have venerated certain Lieutenants over others, even while acknowledging a degree of parity in power and influence between the Lieutenants. It's this that Zephon would have been keen to use to his advantage.

Yes that seems likely to me. I mean, if we take Christianity as a non-polytheistic example, which has splintered and fractured throughout the centuries (although some would argue divisions were always there, disagreements about the exactly nature of the Trinity etc. as well as the Gnostics, who strike me as quite a Legacy of Kain influence in some ways), you have the Marian elements of Catholicism, which some Protestants surely could argue was idolatry, as that scale of devotion to Mary is seen as wrong. However a lot of this is perspective, and coming from my rather non-faith perspective, a bit academic. Linking this to Kain etc, perhaps the humans are bit more vague about who is who, as everyone above is pretty terrfying, as Lakdav2 poined out...




As for Zephon claiming godhood to his human mind-controlled subjects, humans might have little idea about the ranks and hierarchy of the lieutenants. Even if they did, Raziel's execution and the destruction of his clan would have destroyed any concept they might have had.

Although - not so sure that Raziel's execution would have stopped anyone getting above themselves, at least at times, especially as their own power grew.

It is interesting the point about Razielim being the philosophers of the regime. Seeing as philosophy in many forms has appeared as a hand-me-down from theological premises, it would be quite an interesting blog post to develop. I was thinking about philosophical systems that have suggested natural hierarchies, or divisions between groups. The thing is with the Legacy of Kain situation, is that vampires obviously have that physical advantage, but running blood farms etc. must be quite difficult. Human beings are not cows, even if they are "cattle." As much as I think Kain's regime must utilise a lot of force, force is not always much good if the object/prey etc. is self destructive. Do you think they would raise the humans a bit like the Morlocks did in The Time Machine, leaving the Eloi unaware (perhaps by successive generations forgetting a common heritage or something?) and there being some kind of slightly disturbing dependent relationship?

Vampmaster
20th Feb 2014, 22:25
As in ancient Egypt, just because one would have worshipped Ra above all other gods, that wouldn't have precluded particular worship and veneration of Osiris, especially for specific sects.

The same applies for Kain and the Lieutenants in relation to vampire worshippers - Kain was the creator-god and would have commanded universal submission. Nevertheless, different sects would have venerated certain Lieutenants over others, even while acknowledging a degree of parity in power and influence between the Lieutenants. It's this that Zephon would have been keen to use to his advantage.

There's actually proof that it was Zephon himself the humans worshipped even if not exclusively. The block puzzle rooms in the cathedral depict humans worshiping a being with 4 arms and 2 faces. I'm pretty sure that represented Zephon considering he had the splitting face thing. I think Daniel might have confirmed that as well.

Monkeythumbz
21st Feb 2014, 16:16
There's actually proof that it was Zephon himself the humans worshipped even if not exclusively. The block puzzle rooms in the cathedral depict humans worshiping a being with 4 arms and 2 faces. I'm pretty sure that represented Zephon considering he had the splitting face thing. I think Daniel might have confirmed that as well.

Yes, I'm definitely of the opinion that the Vampire Worshippers in the Silenced Cathedral were venerating Zephon in particular, however that may not have been the case with the High Priestess of the Vampire Worshippers and the acolytes in the Undercity and Temple.

Despite not being present in the final version of LoK:SR1, it's worth considering them (or at least their concepts) as canon given the original intentions of the dev team at the time. Plus, nothing (as fas as I'm aware) contradicts their existence on a societal level in the land of Nosgoth in that era.

Sluagh
24th Feb 2014, 18:04
There's actually proof that it was Zephon himself the humans worshipped even if not exclusively. The block puzzle rooms in the cathedral depict humans worshiping a being with 4 arms and 2 faces. I'm pretty sure that represented Zephon considering he had the splitting face thing. I think Daniel might have confirmed that as well.

Oh yeah I never made the connection with the arms, how dense. I can imagine Zephon as rather fond of telling porkies/tall tales seeing as he is a bit of manipulator (having two faces, on another level?) Those murals looked rather like a rosy version of events, rather than a "warts and all."


Yes, I'm definitely of the opinion that the Vampire Worshippers in the Silenced Cathedral were venerating Zephon in particular, however that may not have been the case with the High Priestess of the Vampire Worshippers and the acolytes in the Undercity and Temple.

Despite not being present in the final version of LoK:SR1, it's worth considering them (or at least their concepts) as canon given the original intentions of the dev team at the time. Plus, nothing (as fas as I'm aware) contradicts their existence on a societal level in the land of Nosgoth in that era.

Yes. I mean, such a character could exist, but was never met by Raziel.