This page is part of a frameset. Click here to reload the frameset including navigation.

Chapter Nine - The Device - "Into The Depths"

Return To The Device

Kain arrives back at the Device. He enters the Beast's room.

The Beast:
I sense a change in you. You found the Builder.

Kain:
You are perceptive. He gave me his blood as a gift. I gave, in return, the gift he most wanted. Death.

The Beast:
You are ready to descend to the Device. Time grows short. My life is drawn from me. The Device is alive, you must destroy it.

Kain:
What can you tell me of the creature within?

The Beast:
The slaves speak of it as 'The Mass'. It has great power, yet it is just an animal. The blood in your veins will kill it.

Kain:
How do I enter the Device?

A door opens.

The Beast:
This passage will lead you there.

Kain:
I will return when the Device is destroyed.

Kain turns to leave.

The Beast:
Wait! You must know your true enemies, my captors. They are not of this world. They control the Glyph magic by which Meridian is enslaved. They pull the strings of the Sarafan while in the disguise of the Glyphwrights.
They are called 'The Hylden', and their leader is, of course...

Kain:
The Sarafan Lord.

The Beast:
They are powerful creatures, Kain. You will encounter them below. Beware their magic.
Now, find the Mass. Destroy the Device.

Kain:
You may toast my victory at days' end. Until then.

Kain leaves down the passage. In the room at the end, Kain witnesses a Glyphwright revert to its Hylden form. Kain triggers the switch in that room and continues.
Kain finally reaches a huge chamber. In the centre is the Mass, a towering creature that resembles a plant more than an animal. Its body is coloured in shades of red, green and orange.

Kain:
At last I had found it. The foul Mass, hidden within the bowels of the Device. Here was the Sarafan Lord's ultimate weapon, his trump card to be played against human and vampire alike. But I had my own weapon. I could feel the Builder's blood course coldly through my veins. If I could use it to poison this creature, the Sarafan Lord's plans would be ruined.

Kain follows the walkways to the top of the chamber. He cuts his wrist with his claws and allows some of his blood to poison the Mass. The creature shrivels and ruptures as it dies. Kain takes a lift back to the upper levels of the Device.

The Restoration Of The Beast

Kain re-enters the room that held the Beast. The Beast has gone, and crouched in its place is an individual with blue skin and black feathered wings.

Janos:
You do not know me for the poor, oppressed beast that crouched here before?
Behold, I am restored.

Janos stands, stretching his wings.

Kain:
What are you?

Janos:
Not what, Kain, but who. My visage is unknown to you, but my name is not.
Have you heard the story of the oldest vampire?

Kain V.O.:
Janos Audron. The legendary vampire of ancient days. How was this transformation possible?

Kain:
But Janos is dead - his heart torn from his body.

Janos:
Not dead, but imprisoned in this place. My blood was needed to power the Device and feed the Mass within. Starved of blood and sapped of life, I devolved into that horrible creature. The moment you poisoned the Mass, I felt my strength return. That which is divine cannot be wholly suppressed.

Kain:
Divine? Your imprisonment has damaged your mind, Janos. The curse of vampirism is no mark of divinity.

Janos:
Ah. You must delve further back into history, Kain, to know the truth of our heritage. Long ago, and long before I first walked the earth, vampires were godlike, and our kind ruled the land. But we were opposed by another race, similar to ours in power, but different in method and intention. The wars between us flamed for a thousand years, but we prevailed at last, and we banished our enemies from the face of the earth by powerful magic, sealing them into another plane of existence.

Kain:
What has this history lesson to do with my task at hand?

Janos:
Patience, Kain.
The race that fought the vampires was the Hylden. The very Hylden that you have just encountered. They control the Sarafan, they are striving to wipe out the vampires, enslave the humans and reclaim all Nosgoth as their own. They are the evil that plague us once again. Authors of the demons, and the Device, and all else that threatens the land. They have returned to enact a terrible revenge.

Kain:
I thought you said that they were banished.

Janos:
They were, Kain, but several centuries ago, one of the Hylden was able to return to our world. He then used his magic to draw other Hylden through, but had not yet the power to begin a full invasion. He required an army here, and humans to drain of energy. He learned of a legendary order whose purpose was to purge the world of vampires long ago. He revived this order, and the Sarafan were born again.

Kain:
The Sarafan Lord. It was he that broke through - but how?

Janos:
Ah, now we come to your part in this story. When you chose to destroy the Pillar of Balance, you caused a rift throughout the world, sufficient to breach through the dimensions.

Kain V.O.:
Was it I then who had engendered this war? No. I had been set step by step upon the path that led to this outcome. Hadn't this all been a Hylden plot from the beginning?
My mind reeled at the implications.

Janos:
It was in this way that the Sarafan Lord was able to enter the world, by building a magical gate. This is the Hylden Gate. Close this gate Kain, and all the Hylden within Nosgoth will perish.

Kain:
The gate sustains their existence?

Janos:
Precisely. It is their umbilical cord to the other world. When it is closed they cannot dwell in our world.

Kain:
And so, all the Hylden will die, and the Sarafan Lord as one of them, dies as well. I see...

Janos:
Ah, close the gate, and kill the Sarafan Lord, Kain. Close the gate, and shut the Hylden from the world once again.

Kain:
And how is this to be done?

Janos:
Let us go to Sanctuary. Vorador must be informed of all that has occurred, and a plan can be drawn to finish this once and for all.

Janos transports Kain and himself from the Device.

Sanctuary

Meanwhile, at Sanctuary, Umah is speaking with Vorador.

Umah:
You should have sent me with him.

Vorador:
You were wounded.

Umah:
There is no way to know where Kain has gone or what he is doing. Even you haven't been able to contact him.

Janos and Kain appear in Sanctuary. The Cabal vampires recoil, surprised by the sudden intrusion.

Vorador:
What's this?
No, wait. Do I dare believe my senses? Janos? My sire, they killed you.

Janos:
No, far worse. But that is a story for another time.

Kain:
But there will be no time for any of us.
Vorador, we need your counsel.

Umah:
We were wondering where you were.

Kain:
I've been doing what I said I would do.

Vorador:
Kain, the Device?

Kain:
I have destroyed it. But we are now faced with a peril even greater than before.

Vorador:
How is this?

Janos:
The ancient history I will convey to you in a better hour should any of us be so fortunate as to reach such a time.
For this moment, you must believe me when I tell you your enemy, our great enemy, the Sarafan Lord, is one of a people that come from another world. His plan, beyond all others, is to bring this enemy race back into this world from which my kind, in another age, once banished them. He must be prevented, or all our kind will perish.

Vorador:
Sire, what must we do?

Janos:
He has created a base in this world. The Hylden City, across the sea. There he has opened a gate to bring his kind into our world. My plan was to teleport us to the Hylden City, and launch a final assault on the Sarafan Lord, but now I find there is some kind of shield of magic that prevents me. If we are to fight them, that shield must be destroyed.

Kain:
Vorador, where is the Hylden City? Have any of your spies brought you this knowledge?

Vorador:
Umah, what do you know of this?

Umah:
There has been, in the past months, enormous activity at the Wharves. Warships, and freighters loading and unloading in great secrecy. Our people who have infiltrated the area, and returned alive, have told me that the ships all seem to take the same course out of the harbour. But we do not know their destination.

Janos:
It must be the Hylden City. Why else would there be such interest at this time?
You must take a ship to the city at once. There you must find and deactivate the shield, so whatever forces we can bring may come to your aid and close the gate for all time.

Kain:
Have someone show me to the Wharves. I'll make my way aboard one of those ships that's about to sail. When I have deactivated the shield, I'll contact you.

Umah:
I'm going with him.

Vorador:
But I will need you here.

Umah:
Sire, I know the Wharves. And where one may fail alone, two may succeed.

Kain:
I have no need of a guard at my back. You will find me perfectly competent for this task, I assure you.

Umah:
It is a chance we cannot afford to take. Not when all we have fought for is at stake.

Janos:
There is more at stake than you can imagine. Take help where it is offered Kain.

Vorador: (decisively)
It is settled. I will prepare our forces for the final attack.
(to Umah)
Go well, my child.

Janos:
Go well, both of you.

Kain V.O.:
Take help where it is offered. Yet I've always found that help offered when not needed, is usually no help at all...

PREVIOUS PAGE - NEXT PAGE