Nosgoth was not just the name given to the computer game but is also the name of the fictional world in which the game was set, a world filled with a rich history and lore which has spanned nearly two decades.
Official Nosgoth Blog Article
Nosgoth: A Land in Turmoil
BLOG ENTRY PUBLISHED ON: 2013-10-07
AUTHOR: George Kelion, Square Enix
Nosgoth: world of Vampires and Humans.
It has been millennia of conflict and hatred since Humanity began their first crusade to eradicate the Vampire race, and even longer since Vampires were cursed with immortality and blood-thirst. Down the ages, Humans have fought to destroy Vampires and Vampires to dominate Humanity. It took the iron will of one Vampire, Kain, to force a resolution to these conflicts, subjugating Nosgoth under his rule and establishing his unassailable court in the Heartlands.
Those Humans not corralled as playthings, servants and fodder for the Vampires were pushed out to the edges of the world, carving out an existence in the mountains and deep forests of Nosgoth, or exiled across the Great Southern Sea to the Hinterlands beyond.
Then, not long after executing his first-raised Lieutenant Raziel by casting him into the Lake of the Dead, Kain disappeared. Gone, in search of a way to deliver Nosgoth from the corruption that had overcome the land, Kain left the throne and his Empire in the hands of his five remaining Lieutenants. Riven by jealousy and conflicts, it was not long before their respective Clans began fighting among themselves.
With the Vampires focused on their internal squabbles, Nosgoth’s Human population seized the chance to grow stronger. Cities were rebuilt, skills relearned and Humanity’s power recovered to the point where they could launch a devastating attack on their Vampire masters. This attack reunited the warring Vampire Clans in the face of a common enemy. Now, each race is pitted against the other.
This is a war for Nosgoth; this is a war for the survival of each race.
Official Nosgoth Blog Article
The Sacred and the Profane
BLOG ENTRY PUBLISHED ON: 2015-11-27
In this era the Humans of Nosgoth have many gods. Some religions have centuries of history, an established hierarchy of priests, saints and martyrs, even if their parables have evolved and fragmented over time. Others are younger, rawer constructs born of oppression and suffering, their stories birthed and grown in the mutterings between frightened survivors and refugees. In their desperation the people offer up prayers to anyone – or anything – that they think can offer them a chance of help or of hope. The truth of any particular belief however is always open to question.
Oldest of those worshipped are the fabled Guardians of legend. Little is now known about many of them, with even their names and precise numbers lost if they were ever once known. Some scant details have survived: Bane the Lord of Life; Dejoule of the Holy Light; and Anarcrothe the Wise. These and their fellow sorcerer-gods once stood as teachers and protectors of all humankind, and tales of their great deeds are still told, along with how one-by-one they fell at the hands of the Vampires. The last of these Guardians the hated Kain himself struck down and so doomed Nosgoth to the domination of his inhuman legions. Their likeness and memories still live on despite the decline of the old Human kingdoms, whether in the form of ancient effigies or tales half-remembered by the sacred storytellers.
Throughout Nosgoth there are also those who revere the legends of the Sun, the now-shrouded source of life and scourge of the enemy. This sacred light has been blocked through the machinations of Vampire-kind and so signalled what seemed the inevitable decline of the Human race. Still the worshippers test their devotion and mark their bodies with molten brands and heated coals, each searing of flesh an act of mortification in hope that the Sun may take pity on the faithful and return to save them.
As with the Sun, the waters of Nosgoth are venerated for their ability to ward off the Vampires. Natural springs and artesian wells are miraculous gifts and the sites of pilgrimages. Sea coasts, lake shores and river crossings are marked with way-shrines each bearing the likeness of an inhuman figure, no two precisely the same. Wells dug in peasant villages have many-eyed faces scratched into their stonework, while the fountain in a great king’s court may have an elegant statue crafted by the finest artisans he can afford. Sometimes he is smiling and benevolent, other times terrible in his anger. Sometimes his aspect is that of a sombre man weighted with chains; others a monstrous amalgamation of sea creatures all bulbous-eyed, fanged and tentacled. His true name is never spoken, but like his face his use-name will change from region to region: the Seagrave, the Salt Lord, the Saint of Dark Waters, and a myriad of others.
Some schools of worship are restricted to a particular faction. To the Red Sisters, Elustra is the Scarred Harbinger of Anarcrothe. The Lost Seers had their ancient Matriarch Azimuth turn to insanity and demon-worship, but still adhere to what they believe are her pre-fall tenets, and now have new oracles to worship in the form of Roxen and Malus. The progenitors of the Drowning Men still revere the shifting-named waters as they once obeyed the orders of the mortal Patriarch of the Waters; but the last of his line died when Vampires came again to Meridian, and with him their old faith. Now that disparate group of ex-convicts, veterans, pirates and battle-priests have their own freshly-forged and brutal immortal: the ever-restless Drowning God who reaches out to claim all in the end. And there are said to be those in the wild places of the world who still look to Bane or Dejoule for their inspiration and protection…
Other churches are more localised. Freeport offers berth to travellers from throughout Nosgoth, and they bring their new cults with them: the Ashen Lady, the Broken-Horned God, and the Weeping Child all have ramshackle shrines on the docks here. If there were scholars to study them they may find echoes of older faiths in these upstart sects, but there are few now with the time or energy to dwell on anything beyond the daily demands of survival. Meridian has its own host of holy places, but one great hollow temple stands on its own half-drowned peninsula where sea and land hold equal sway. Here the Patriarch of the Waters and the Matriarch of the Islands would meet on equal terms in the days before the Razielim swooped down on the Isle of the Dead. Now the Matriarch of the Islands endlessly stalks its wave-lashed balconies alone, calling down curses on the leeches or blessings on the warriors of humanity as the changing winds themselves decree.
It must also be said that the rebel Humans pay fervent tribute to their own more mortal heroes. The tales of legendary figures from ages past are mixed and mingled with those of more recent vintage, the deeds of a long-dead warlord being swiftly attributed to the latest champion to win a stirring victory or make a bold and bloody last stand. While the holy folk may squabble over which of their own kind is truly worthy of sainthood, the fighting men and women of Nosgoth elevate their own idols based on simpler and harsher tallies of allies saved and enemies slain. These gore-slicked heroes, be they cunning and fierce or strong and wild, inspire all who hear tales of their feats, or see a banner bearing their likeness still held proudly aloft over a desperate melee. The foremost are venerated as the Immortals, and their assigned symbols – from chance birthmarks to deliberate ashen scarification – are thought to ward against danger of ill-luck. This particular pantheon has a shifting roster yet some few are a consistent presence, foremost being Tarshna the Winged Huntress, “she who protects from the thirst”, defender of the eternal citadel and protector of the new-born. The soldiers of the Iron Guard in particular give silent praise to her as they gird themselves for battle and their inevitable demise.
For such a warrior sworn to victory or death on the battlefield, that any could be so desperate as to betray their own kind is hard to fathom. However for those faced with no other hope of survival as the world plunges deeper into war, perhaps there is after all surety to be found in slavery. While those Human dedicated to the battle for freedom take up their arms, there are others who have chosen a different path and remained within the embrace of Kain’s brood. For centuries before this uprising the slave population was a passive audience to the culture of their captors; for centuries there were those who like the Vampires believed that their race was divinely blessed. When faced with the unquestionable power of even the average Vampire, let alone catching a glimpse of one of the demi-gods known as the Lieutenants, who could reasonably have any doubt about this? And what does one do when faced with such a holy presence but bow down and offer it your worship? Only a fool would try to fight, when you can buy an existence of sorts for the price of willingly letting the overlords feed from your veins. When would-be liberators raid the Vampire slave pens, some captives simply weep and refuse to leave, fumbling after their loosened chains and crying for their inhuman saviours. Worse, there are insidious rumours of Vampire Worshippers playing along with their rescuers and so infiltrating the ranks of the Human rebels more effectively than even the most skilled Zephonim assassin. Distrust thus breeds weakness and doubt, and in their despair so the ranks of the secret cults of the Worshippers grow stronger.
The Humans of Nosgoth have many gods, who may or may not listen to their pleas.
The Vampires of Nosgoth have only one divinity, and his name is Kain.
Nosgoth - Official map released to support the game
Nosgoth - Official pre-alpha trailer stills
Nosgoth - Official alpha screenshots
Nosgoth - Official beta screenshots
Streams and in-game images
Nosgoth - official item and location renders
Nosgoth - official website and forum screenshots
Nosgoth - Closed Beta in-game screenshots
Nosgoth - Open Beta in-game screenshots
Nosgoth - Closed Beta 'original' user interface
Mixed Factions - NosCam screenshots on GoogleDrive (various contributors)
Nosgoth wildlife - various maps (Baziel)