Moebius' Staff first appeared in Blood Omen, and Moebius was rarely seen without it throughout the Legacy of Kain series. Although it had little significance in the early games, Soul Reaver 2 revealed that the staff's orb had the ability to incapacitate vampires. Its use for this purpose, in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance, showed it was an effective and important weapon Moebius - and any humans he entrusted it with - had against the vampires.[1,2]
Moebius' Staff in Blood Omen
In Blood Omen, the staff looked like it was made of a light-coloured wood and gold. The thin, wooden pole was tipped with gold at the bottom. It was topped with a dark blue orb, about the size of a tennis ball, also mounted in gold.
Moebius carried his staff constantly in Blood Omen. For example, he was holding it when Kain met him acting as the Oracle of Nosgoth, and during the execution of Vorador. The only time he didn't have it was after his defeat by Kain, when Kain beheaded him.
It appeared the staff had some magical qualities as the orb glowed when Moebius summoned adversaries for the fledgling Kain when they fought in Blood Omen. However, Moebius' Pillar Token was his Hourglass, and as that "was the focus of his Time Streaming magic", the staff seemed unimportant.
Moebius' Staff in Soul Reaver
In Soul Reaver, Raziel found a statue of Moebius, holding his staff, in one of the chambers leading to the Chronoplast. Moebius had the staff with him when he greeted Raziel on the other side of the Chronoplast's portal.
Moebius' Staff in Soul Reaver 2
Moebius' staff looked different in Soul Reaver 2, and these cosmetic changes remained in the following games. An orange snake with a yellow underside was carved, wound up around the pole. The blue orb had become larger (like a bowling ball) and pale purple with internal luminescence. It was held in the snake's mouth. The Moebius' Staff page of Daniel Cabuco's Soul Reaver Portfolio shows the staff in detail. It also explains some of the thinking behind the new design.
Raziel met Moebius as he exited the Chronoplast's portal. The orb of Moebius' staff glowed and caused the Soul Reaver wraith-blade to disappear. The orb disabled vampires, but Moebius claimed its ability to disable the wraith-blade was "completely unexpected". Moebius used his staff to activate and light the candles around the scrying basin in the Sarafan Stronghold so he could show Raziel where Kain was.
Raziel was only able to summon the wraith-blade again when he entered the main hall of the Sarafan Stronghold, apparently out of the range of the orb's influence. He reflected that he "finally understood how Moebius' crusade could decimate the vampires so successfully", if the orb "was as debilitating to vampires as it was to the blade". Moebius arrived in the main hall while Raziel was armed with the physical Soul Reaver, twinned with its wraith-blade incarnation. Raziel noted that the Time Streamer was without his staff, and mocked him, asking if the staff was the source of Moebius' courage. Moebius acknowledged he had "taken an enormous risk" but that was because he was "eager to prove [his] good intentions".[2,5]
Raziel explored Nosgoth, and started to uncover the history of the Ancient Vampires. He returned to the Sarafan Stronghold, wanting to see Nosgoth "in a simpler time - before the Sarafan began their crusade". Once again, he found Moebius unarmed. Raziel threatened Moebius with the wraith-blade, coercing him into working a Time Streaming Device.[6,7]
Raziel met Janos Audron. Janos tried to give Raziel the Reaver. He said the blade was infused "with vampiric energy, empowering the Reaver to drain [the Vampires'] enemies of their precious lifeblood". This seemed to explain why Moebius' staff disabled the wraith-blade. The Reaver was a vampiric weapon, and therefore vulnerable to the staff's magic.
While they were talking, a party of Sarafan arrived at Janos' Retreat, armed with Moebius' staff. Raziel had created a route into the retreat, unwittingly allowing them to infiltrate it. Raziel witnessed the Sarafan Turel use the staff to incapacitate Janos, while the Sarafan Raziel cut Janos open and extracted the Heart of Darkness.
Raziel pursued the Sarafan back to the Sarafan Stronghold. He encountered Moebius and Malek in one room. Moebius' staff had been returned to him, and he used it to again disable the wraith-blade. This prompted Raziel to take up the physical Reaver as his weapon instead.
Moebius' Staff in Blood Omen 2
There was a large, broken statue of Moebius in the Eternal Prison, which was restored and re-toppled during the fight between Kain and Magnus. The statue depicted Moebius with his staff.
Moebius' Staff in Defiance
In Defiance, Kain sought Moebius in the Sarafan Stronghold. He found the Time Streamer, but Moebius used his staff on Kain, noting "how remarkable" it was that "the great Kain should succumb to the scepter's power like any common vampire". Kain was forced to his knees, clutching his chest in agony. He could barely move, and was unable to grasp the dropped Reaver, even as Moebius perched on one knee in front of Kain and taunted him about his "messianic delusions". Kain recovered when Moebius departed, and when Kain found Moebius again later, he had learned his lesson: he telekinetically wrenched the staff away from Moebius before resuming their conversation about Raziel's whereabouts.[11,12]
A mural in the Earth Forge illustrated the revolt of the human Pillar Guardians against the Ancient Vampires. The event took place thousands of years before the events of Blood Omen, yet Moebius was shown, standing over the body of an Ancient Vampire, holding his staff up high. The scene could be interpreted as a show of final victory, or as a rallying cry to his fellow humans. Whatever, the mural revealed that Moebius had owned the staff for a very long time, and implied the staff had been a crucial factor in allowing the human Guardians to overthrow their Vampire masters.[13,14]
Near the end of Defiance, Kain found Moebius in the Spirit Forge. Suprised by Kain's arrival, and dismayed that Kain still lived, Moebius used the staff in an attempt to defend himself. Unfortunately for Moebius, it didn't work on Kain any more. The Heart of Darkness - the part of Kain the staff had affected - was "no longer in its place". Raziel had ripped it out of Kain, ending their fight at Avernus Cathedral.
Kain knocked Moebius' staff out of his hands, then killed Moebius with the Reaver. Kain was examining the staff when Raziel possessed Moebius' corpse. Presumably Kain left it there, buried in rubble, at the bottom of the Spirit Forge after his battle against the Elder God.
There has been some speculation on fan forums that the Nexus Stone - which featured in Blood Omen 2 - might have been made of the same material as the orb of Moebius' staff, or otherwise enchanted with similar magic. They both had the power to weaken or disable the Soul Reaver. However, as Kain and Umah were both able to wear the Nexus Stone without difficulty, it clearly didn't incapacitate vampires like Moebius' staff could.
Some people question why Moebius didn't use his staff's disabling power to help him defeat the fledgling Kain in Blood Omen. Blood Omen's creators (Silicon Knights ) likely had no idea that the staff would become a weapon against vampires in later games. With that in mind, however, there is still an explaination that makes some sense:
In Defiance, Raziel met Moebius in Vorador's Mansion after the capture of Vorador. Moebius knew that the fledgling Kain was going to kill him after Vorador's execution - as seen in Blood Omen - but he wasn't concerned. He had served his god. Moebius had faith that the Elder God would look after him, and reward him for his loyalty. He had nothing to fear in death. It's likely Moebius was simply putting on a show when he fought the fledgling Kain in Blood Omen; he never used the staff as he never intended to win. It was all part of the greater scheme.
- [SR2] Moebius to Raziel: "This is completely unexpected! This orb disables our vampire enemies, leaving them helpless and incapacitated.
Strangely, it seems to have the same effect on that peculiar weapon of yours."
- [SR2] Raziel: "Away from the influence of Moebius' cursed staff, I could feel the strength of the Soul Reaver slowly returning. If that orb was as debilitating to vampires as it was to the blade, it gave Moebius a powerful advantage over his enemies.
I finally understood how Moebius' crusade could decimate the vampires so successfully. If he could immobilise his enemies, they were at his mercy.
But why, I wondered, did the staff have any effect on the Reaver?"
- [BO1] Kain: "I knew that Moebius' hourglass was the focus of his Time Streaming magic. Farewell, sorcerer, the sands of time have ceased to flow for you."
- The Moebius' Staff page of Daniel Cabuco's Soul Reaver Portfolio
- [SR2] Raziel: "Why, you're trembling, Moebius. Has your confidence abandoned you?
You seem to have made a fatal error by leaving your precious staff behind. Is that where all your courage comes from?
Moebius: "Listen to me, Raziel - you don't know what you're doing. I have taken an enormous risk by appearing here before you, so defenseless, yet eager to prove my good intentions."
- [SR2] Raziel to Moebius: "This era is of no further use to me. You will operate this device to provide me passage.
I want to see the world in a simpler time - before the Sarafan began their crusade."
- [SR2] Raziel to Moebius: "Ah, yes - I like that look on your face, Moebius. You really don't know what to do now, do you, old man?
Here you are - caught without your damned staff - and I suspect things aren't progressing quite as you'd hoped."
- [SR2] Janos to Raziel (referring to the Reaver): The most formidable weapon ever forged by our swordsmiths...
They infused the blade with vampiric energy, empowering the Reaver to drain our enemies of their precious lifeblood."
- [SR2] Raziel: "The irony pierced me, and with dawning horror I realized that I had been duped by Moebius from the beginning...
For the Sarafan had simply followed the path I gullibly blazed through this sanctuary, and had arrived bearing Moebius's staff. Thus armed, they had Janos at their mercy."
- [SR2] Raziel (referring to the Reaver): "Using his staff to disable my wraith-blade, Moebius had effectively disarmed me, leaving me with only one choice of weapon. "
- [DEF] Moebius to Kain: "Don't threaten me, Kain - you see, I have the upper hand. How remarkable that the great Kain should succumb to the scepter's power like any common vampire."
- [DEF] Moebius to Kain: "But your messianic delusions have blinded you to Raziel's true nature."
- The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Mural: The Human Guardians Revolt)
- [SR2] Janos to Raziel: "For thousands of years, I have waited... alone here, losing faith..."
- [DEF] Kain to Moebius (referring to the Heart of Darkness): "The part of me that staff affected is no longer in its place. But you already knew that, didn't you."
- [DEF] The Elder God to Kain: "You may ponder the futility of your ambitions as you spend a deathless eternity beneath a mountain of rubble. You and your Soul Reaver will go equally mad as the eons pass. The Citadel of the apostates will become your living tomb."
- [DEF] Moebius to Raziel: "For a true servant of the one God, death is never bitter. I will go - again at peace with the knowledge that I have played my small part in our master's plans. Kain is at last destroyed, and you have carried out the deed."