Ariel in Blood Omen
In life, Ariel was one of the Circle of Nine: the Guardian of the Pillar of Balance. A beautiful and powerful sorceress, she was the lover of Nupraptor the Mentalist. Her role was a regulatory one, and her magic influenced others' in Nosgoth.
Ariel was murdered by Mortanius. The Necromancer - under the control of the Dark Entity - stabbed her. This act initiated the corruption of the Pillars of Nosgoth. Nupraptor, overcome with grief, and suspicious of his fellow Guardians, plunged into madness. He unleashed a devastating psychic attack on the Circle, infecting them with his insanity. As the Guardians became deranged, their Pillars began to crack and collapse.[1,2,3]
Death was not the end for Ariel; her former role bound her to the Pillars. She was trapped as a spirit, unable to leave the columns. The left side of her face appeared greatly decayed; it was stripped of flesh and her skull was exposed. From her prison, she could only watch as her beloved Nupraptor suffered and dragged Nosgoth into ruin.
In Blood Omen, thirty years after her murder, Ariel encountered her successor: Kain. Kain was looking for a cure to his vampiric curse, and although Ariel didn't promise him one - only "release" - she persuaded him purge the Circle. She aided and guided Kain in his quest to slay the other Guardians, never enlightening him of his true destiny.[4,5]
Kain only learnt that he was the new Guardian of Balance after he defeated The Dark Entity at the Pillars. Ariel presented him with a choice: kill himself and restore Nosgoth's Balance, or survive and preside over Nosgoth in its decay. Kain chose the latter option, preferring to survive as a vampire with the power he had gained, rather than destroying himself to be rid of the affliction.[6,7]
Ariel in Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2
Centuries later, when Kain set his throne at the base of the Balance Pillar, and built the Sanctuary of the Clans around the Pillars' ruins, Ariel was still there. And long after that, when Raziel returned to the Pillars as a Reaver of Souls, intent on killing Kain, Ariel offered her wisdom to him. After that, throughout Soul Reaver, she was available at the Pillars to dispense advice. She gave Raziel enigmatic clues to find Kain and his mutated brethren.
Raziel met Ariel again in Soul Reaver 2, but he didn't show her the respect he had previously. He was stranded in time, one hundred years after Kain abandoned his restoration of the Pillars in Blood Omen.
Ariel was lamenting her fate, bitter at Kain for turning his back on the Pillars and her by continuing to live. Consciously he had kept her trapped, and her wrath was directed at him alone. Raziel found himself debating Kain's guilt with her, even defending his decision to a point. His arguement was partly based on the conversation he had with Kain at the Pillars, earlier in the game.[4,9]
Raziel became rather bullish, taunting Ariel with the possibility that Balance might never be restored, and that her imprisonment could be eternal. She fled into the Spectral Realm to get away from him, but he followed, and continued to torment her until he tired of it. Raziel mentioned how Ariel had volunteered Nupraptor as Kain's first Guardian target, cruelly implying that she hadn't cared about the Mentalist at all.
Ariel in Defiance
Ariel featured prominently in Defiance, and again, it was Raziel who talked to her. He emerged from the Underworld and realized he was in the Blood Omen era. He overheard some Vampire Hunters discussing a ghost haunting the Pillars, and decided to visit Ariel for guidance.
When he reached the Pillars, he found Ariel confident and certain that the fledgling vampire Kain - whom she was currently aiding - would restore Balance. She appeared to have some knowledge of the Hylden, and she accused Raziel of serving her murderer. She, like Mortanius later, seemed to think he was a Hylden. She flatly refused to listen when he warned that Kain would disappoint her. She said her faith sustained her.
Raziel had recently learned that Vorador was the maker of the Reaver, and as the vampire was still alive in this time, Raziel hoped to speak with him. He asked Ariel where Vorador might be, and she told him, commenting that Vorador was the last of his kind now, except Kain. She was happy for Raziel and Vorador to "molder there together" until the end came. She had no concern for either of them.
Ariel finally got the release she sought from the Pillars when Raziel activated the Spirit Forge, near the end of Defiance. She appeared to him, restored to her former beauty, and told him that the forge summoned "the spirit of every Balance Guardian to itself, for this final purpose". She was enlightened; no longer blinded by her own prejudices and hatred. The "veil" was lifted from her sight, and her soul - united with the souls of her predecessors - was needed to imbue the Reaver with Spirit, purifying it. It was the final destiny of the Balance Guardians, the reason they were called.
Raziel took Ariel's hand and she was absorbed into the wraith-blade. She faded, gently telling Raziel that he must "unite what has been set asunder" to arm Kain "for his true endeavor". Later, these words helped Raziel to realize his own purpose, and prompted him to be willingly drawn into the physical Reaver blade.
There is a common belief amongst Legacy of Kain fans that Ariel was drawn back in time from the post-Soul Reaver era, and it was this post-Soul Reaver incarnation that was absorbed into the Reaver. They argue that Raziel has to encounter Ariel in Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2 - meetings that chronologically occur after the activation of the Spirit Forge - therefore her Blood Omen/Defiance incarnation must still be at the Pillars.
At some point during the development of Blood Omen, Ariel was going to be named 'Adonathiel'.
Daniel Cabuco's Soul Reaver Portfolio contains some concept art of Ariel.
- The 'Character Biographies' page of the Silicon Knights Blood Omen FAQ
- [BO1] Ariel to Kain: "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."
- [SR2] Kain to Raziel: "Thirty years hence, I am presented with a dilemma - let's call it a two-sided coin.
If the coin falls one way, I sacrifice myself and thus restore the Pillars.
But as the last surviving vampire in Nosgoth, this would mean the annihilation of our species. Moebius made sure of that.
If the coin lands on the reverse, I refuse the sacrifice and thus doom the Pillars to an eternity of collapse.
Either way, the game is rigged.
- [BO1] Kain: "I seek only a cure."
Ariel: "There is no cure for death. Only release. You must destroy the sorcery that is now poisoning Nosgoth. Only then will you realize peace."
- [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."
- [SR1] Ariel: "Kain refused the sacrifice. The Pillar of Balance, corrupted to its core, stands as a monument to his blind ambition.
Now these pillars serve only to bind me here - my prison and eternal home, thanks to the avarice of your master, Kain... "
Raziel: "That bastard can claim no allegiance from me."
Ariel: "Then we share a common foe, Raziel. Return here when you have need. Ariel remembers what others have forgotten..."
- [SR2] Raziel: "Far from channelling me into Nosgoth's past, Moebius had propelled me over a century into its ghastly future."
- The Soul Reaver 2 Dark Chronicle (Chapter 11 - Ariel's Lament)
- [DEF] Raziel: "These were Moebius' hunters - mercenaries enlisted in his crusade to exterminate the vampires. His insignia was unmistakable... But this meant I had been captive in the underworld for centuries. I had lost five hundred years. Then I knew what ghost it was that haunted the Pillars - Ariel, the specter of the murdered Balance Guardian. Perhaps she could provide the answers I sought."
- The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Ariel, Specter Of The Balance Guardian)
- The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - The Transformation Of The Reaver)
- The Blood Omen: Early Character Names page at The Lost Worlds
- Daniel Cabuco's Soul Reaver Portfolio