Nupraptor the Mentalist
Nupraptor in Blood Omen
Nupraptor the Mentalist first appeared in Blood Omen. He was the Guardian of the Pillar of the Mind; one of the Circle of Nine. He was a master of telepathy and telekinesis, and pilgrims would travel across Nosgoth to visit him. He was 'hypersensitive to peoples' emotions and thoughts'. He was also 'prone to rash action and sometimes unpredictable and illogical decision making', but passionately loyal to people he cared about.[1,2]
Before Kain's birth, Nupraptor had been the lover of Ariel, the Balance Guardian. Apparently he adored her. When Ariel was murdered, Nupraptor plunged into a turmoil of suspicion and grief, suspecting treachery within the Circle itself. He went mad, and unleashed his magic on his fellow Guardians, infecting them all with his insanity. The Pillars of Nosgoth began to collapse, reflecting their Guardians' derangement.[3,4,5]
Madness affected the Guardians in different ways. Nupraptor withdrew into his retreat. Nupraptor's Retreat was an imposing skull-shaped building, located on a cliff top above Vasserbünde. In his self-imposed solitude, he mutilated himself, "sewing his eyes and lips shut to deny the outside world." The Mentalist turned on his own servants, the pilgrims entered but did not leave the retreat, and he was regarded as a lunatic by Vasserbünde's citizens.[5,6,7]
When Kain - as a fledgling vampire - first visited the Pillars, the spectre of Ariel told him about Nupraptor. Kain then sought the Mentalist, intending to kill him. It was to be his first act in restoring the Pillars and ending his vampiric curse.[3,4]
Kain entered Nupraptor's Retreat and was promptly ordered to leave by the Mentalist. Kain pressed on, and was disgusted by Nupraptor's wasteful slaughter of those who intruded and interrupted his mourning for Ariel. Eventually Kain found Nupraptor with Malek. Luckily, Malek was quickly dismissed; the Mentalist did not want his protection. Kain judged Nupraptor as a "broken, pathetic little man".
His head was bulbous and deformed; his green upper-cranium pulsated. He never moved from his chair, "yet crippled as he was, he would not yield without battle". Part of this battle included teleportation, and the Mentalist telekinetically controlling skulls to circle and shield him, then launching them across the room to hit Kain. Kain fought Nupraptor, decapitated him, and claimed the Guardian's severed head. He returned the grisly trophy to the Pillar of the Mind, thus restoring it (Nupraptor's head was his Pillar Token). However, Nupraptor's influence on Kain's destiny did not end there.
After slaying the remaining Guardians, Kain discovered that he was Ariel's replacement. He was the new representative of the Pillar of Balance. Like the rest of the Circle, he had been corrupted by Nupraptor's magic. Kain would carry the effect of the Mentalist's madness for the rest of his life, and only his death could complete the Pillars' restoration.
Nupraptor in Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2
Nupraptor didn't appear in Soul Reaver but there was an image of him. His head appeared in carved stone relief on the wall of the Force Glyph Altar. The altar was only short distance from the ruins of Nupraptor's Retreat, which Raziel could also explore. Its close proximity to the Mentalist's former home - and the fact that the Force Glyph granted Raziel a spell mimicking a telekinenic blast - probably explained why Nupraptor's image was there. When Raziel solved the altar's puzzle, the eyes of Nupraptor (which had been 'sewn shut') temporarily opened and shot forth beams of white light, causing the Force Glyph to appear.
Nupraptor didn't appear in Soul Reaver 2 either, but he was mentioned, firstly by Kain at the Pillars. Having travelled back in time, Kain described the murder of Ariel and the resulting derangement of the Circle as it was happening. Raziel witnessed the corruption of the Pillars as the dark waves of Nupraptor's psychic attack swept across the clearing. Kain tensed and looked a bit unsteady as he weathered the blast, although it didn't seem to affect him beyond that; all the damage that could be done to him had already been inflicted on his newborn self, born somewhere in Nosgoth (likely in Coorhagen) as Ariel died. The effect of Nupraptor's magic was not cumulative.
The second mention of Nupraptor came when Raziel met Ariel at the toppled Pillars, over a century later. Raziel found Ariel reflecting on the differences between herself and Kain: Kain was "terribly real, but corrupted" by "Nupraptor's poison". A little later, when she asked Raziel to be merciful, and stop 'hounding' her (he had followed her into the Spectral Realm), he cruelly asked if she meant the brand of mercy she showed her "beloved Nupraptor" when she "made him Kain's first kill".
The 'Character Biographies' page of the Silicon Knights Blood Omen FAQ claims Nupraptor had singled out Mortanius as Ariel's murderer. This was before he wreaked his indiscriminate retribution on all of the Guardians. Also, it was intentional retribution as suggested by Blood Omen, and not just an uncontrolled overflow of Nupraptor's madness, as could have been inferred from Kain's Soul Reaver 2 description.
Nupraptor might have attacked the whole Circle like that, knowing that he could never strike Mortanius directly; the Necromancer was simply too powerful. The same source says: 'All across Nosgoth, the minds of the sensitive and intellectual are blasted by relentless waves of hatred', hinting that Nupraptor's attack might have affected quite a few people outside of the Circle too.
Kain was finally healed of Nupraptor's corruption at the end of Defiance. The purified, wraith-blade incarnation of the Soul Reaver dispersed into Kain as Raziel allowed himself to become trapped inside the physical sword.[11,12]
- [BO1] Kain: "The Mentalist Nupraptor was renowned through Nosgoth for his tricks of the mind, telepathy and telekinesis. Pilgrims traveled from all across the land seeking the comfort of his lies."
- The 'Character Biographies' page of the Silicon Knights Blood Omen FAQ
- [BO1] Ariel to Kain: "The Nine of the Protectors of Hope were sworn to use their powers to preserve our world. Now these pillars have been corrupted by a traitor.
My murder at the hands of this beast drove my love Nupraptor mad. Now he spreads misery and pain among the Circle, crumbling the very foundation of Nosgoth."
- [BO1] Kain: "Nupraptor, with his blind act of vengeance threatened to destroy all of Nosgoth.
Each Circle member was bonded to the Pillar he served. The Pillars reflected the mental state of their servants, and as the minds of the Circle degenerated and descended further into dementia, the Pillars crumbled.
To restore them, each member of the Circle had to die, and the artifact that served as their link to the Pillar had to be returned.
Only when all the Pillars were restored, did Ariel claim my curse would end. And so my hunt for Nupraptor began."
- Blood Omen Dialogue: Nupraptor's Keep at Nosgothic Realm
- [BO1] Vasserbünde inhabitant: "Something's not right. The pilgrims go in, but I ain't never seen one come out!"
- [BO1] Vasserbünde inhabitant: "The mage is insane, I tell you! Insane! Listen, can't you hear him cackling to himself?"
- [BO1] Kain: "I am the last Pillar. The only survivor of the Circle of Nine. At my whim the world will be healed or damned. At my whim."
- [SR2] Kain to Raziel: "At the moment of my first cry, Ariel's beloved - the Guardian Nupraptor - finds her corpse.
Wracked with grief and tormented with suspicions of treachery, Nupraptor plunges into a madness which overflows and infects all of the Guardians, who are symbiotically bound. Including me.
The repercussions of Ariel's assassination were expertly calculated...
The entire Circle descends into madness, and I am tainted at the moment of my birth - instantly rendered incapable of fulfilling the role destiny has prepared for me."
- The Soul Reaver 2 Dark Chronicle (Chapter 11 - Ariel's Lament)
- [DEF] Raziel to Kain: "The Soul Reaver - pure of all corruption - this is what it is for. This is what I am for -
The two become one - both Soul Reavers - together - and the Scion of Balance is healed. And I - am not your enemy - not your destroyer - I am, as before, your right hand. Your sword".
- The Defiance team FAQ at the Eidos Forums