The Elder God is the main antagonist in the Legacy of Kain games. He was voiced by the late Tony Jay.
The deity is a giant soul-devouring subterranean creature who dwells in all the deep places in the world. He feeds on the souls of Nosgoth's sentient beings. He describes this process as his Wheel of Fate, "an endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth". The creature is spread almost infinitely and has innumerable eyes and tentacles, giving it a squid like look. It exists in both the spectral and material realm, stretching as far as the Abyss. However, in spite of his size and nature, the Elder God is visible only to Raziel and no one else.
The Elder God hates anyone whose souls he can't spin in his wheel. In Nosgoth's history, the Ancients used to worship the Elder God but the other major species in the world, the Hylden, refused to be part of his wheel of fate. The Elder God incited a war between the two to get rid of the Hylden. Using the Pillars, the Ancients banished them to the demon realm and in revenge, the Hylden cursed them with sterility, immortality and a predatory bloodthirst - converting them into vampires. No longer able to spin them in his precious wheel, the Elder God shunned these ancients away and focused his attention on the humans. Because no new vampires were born, the ancients had to rely on these humans for the Pillar guardianship, until Moebius and Mortanius (under the influence of the Elder God) revolted and started a war against the vampires.So in a way, the Elder God has been responsible for all the conflicts in Nosgoth, just to keep his wheel turning.
We see the Elder God's influence in Blood Omen as well, since Moebius was acting under his command. When Kain was born as the Scion of Balance, Moebius decided to leave him with an impossible choice at the end of the game. Either he would destroy the vampire race forever or condemn the Pillars and Nosgoth to doom. We see Kain's struggle to find a 3rd option out of this situation in the later games.
We first meet the creature in Soul Reaver, as Raziel wakes up after his descent to the Abyss. He claims he saved Raziel from total destruction. He reveals that due to Kain's empire, the vampire souls were trapped in the body they animate and they cannot complete their destiny. He tries to justify his hunger by saying that this led to Nosgoth's demise and for balance to be restored, these souls must enter his wheel of fate. He provokes Raziel to destroy Kain and his clans to "free their souls". He offers Raziel the chance to avenge his betrayal by becoming the Elder God's soul reaver, his angel of death. Driven by his indignation, Raziel accepts the offer and becomes the Elder's agent.
During the course of the game, he guides Raziel to various locations where his brethren were hiding.He helps Raziel come to terms with his new form and the wraith blade, the Soul Reaver. At every step of the way, he fuels Raziel's anger by telling him stories about Kain's cruel empire and how he was a disease to the land. At the end of the game, as Raziel chases Kain through the chronoplast chamber, the Elder God warns him that he won't be able to assist the wraith once he passes through the time portal. Raziel rejects his warning and enters the portal, arriving into Nosgoth's past.
Soul Reaver 2
At the start of Soul Reaver 2, he finds Moebius and comes to know that Moebius's master is none other than the Elder God himself. After refusing to kill Kain at the Pillars, Raziel travels to a chamber underneath and surprisingly finds the Elder God here as well. The Elder is not pleased and warns Raziel about his refusal to kill Kain. Raziel berates the Elder and proclaims his freedom from the creature's grasp. He was no longer interested in the squid's plan for his future. The Elder God tries to influence Raziel by warning him about Kain's deception and reiterating his role as his reaper of souls. Raziel departs as the Elder God tries to fuel his rage against Kain.
Back inside the Sarafan Stronghold, Raziel refuses to kill Kain once again. When he travels to a century in the future, he finds the Elder thriving under the fallen Pillars. The Elder God is again angry that Raziel refused to kill Kain. In response, Raziel questions the creatures motives and is curious why the Elder God is thriving as the world around him is falling apart. Raziel starts to test his patience by pointing out the poetic irony of the Elder's parasitic hunger for vampire souls. Raziel finds a way back into Nosgoth's past, about five centuries before the events in Blood Omen. After Janos Audron's death, Raziel returns to the chamber underneath the Pillars to speak with the Elder. He ponders his origin and his true destiny. Raziel suspects that the Elder God didn't create him but was in fact a mere bystander when the wraith woke up under the Abyss. An indestructible and gullible tool, ready to be used against Kain. He leaves the chamber, seeking his true fate.
At the end of Soul Reaver 2, Kain saves Raziel from imprisonment inside the Reaver but unable to sustain his physical form, Raziel slips into the spectral realm.
Defiance starts with Raziel trapped in the spirit realm as a prisoner of the Elder God, who tries his best to break the wraith's will. As Raziel tries to escape, the enraged Elder God shuts down all planar portals which were used by Raziel to shift between the material and spirit realm. Raziel finds another way to manifest his physical form (by reanimating corpses) and gets away from the giant squid. Raziel finds out that he had been held captive for five centuries and he was now in the Blood Omen era.
With Raziel out of his reach, the Elder focused his attention on manipulating Kain (who was incidentally still in the Nosgoth's past - some five hundred years away from Raziel). As Kain explored the Vampire Citadel, he found murals depicting the Ancients praying to a god (who was actually the Elder God himself). This worship was the reason of the conflict between the Hylden and the Ancients. The Ancients were possibly manipulated by the Elder to wage war on the Hyldens (as the Hyldens didn't believe in the Elder God philosophy). When the Hyldens cursed the Ancients and turned them into vampires, they liberated them from the wheel of fate by making them immortal. This trapped their souls in their bodies. Displeased by these turn of events and deprived of his precious souls, the Elder God turned away from the vampires and manipulated the humans to revolt against the vampires. He used Moebius as his agent to incite the war between humans and vampires.
When Kain comes across the Elder God inside a secret chamber in the Citadel, the Elder disguises himself as the vampire's old Oracle. Trusting his judgment, Kain follows the Elder God's advice and goes into the future to face Raziel. Just as the Elder had planned, this resulted in Raziel ripping out Kain's heart and banishing him into the demon realm. However, inexplicably, Kain was still alive.
We next meet the Elder God when he congratulates Raziel on fulfilling his destiny by vanquishing Kain. However, Raziel doesn't trust him and is inside the vampire citadel only to find answers. He notices the Elder hiding a Reaver forge with his tentacles and concludes that it must be something important. Raziel was right as he manages to defeat the giant tentacles and use the Spirit Forge. The forge calls upon the souls of all balance guardians for the final baptism of the wraith blade. However, soon after this, Raziel is defeated by a possessed Janos Audron and is banished to the spirit realm where as always - the Elder God is waiting for him.
The giant squid summons Moebius to the citadel, the place of their first meeting. However, events don't go as planned. Kain ambushed Moebius inside the citadel and impales him with the Reaver. Moebius's soul pleads for his life but is stopped in the middle by Raziel, who impales the ghost with the wraith blade this time. He goes on to devour Moebius's soul and end his existence forever. The Elder God doesn't seem to be too bothered by this act of defiance as he is confident that Raziel won't sacrifice himself. But realizing his true fate, Raziel decides to use Moebius's body to manifest himself in the material realm. The altruistic Raziel gives up his soul to purify the Soul Reaver and heal Kain. Raziel's act of redemption allows Kain to finally see the architect behind all the lies and manipulations.
The Elder proclaims himself as the hub of the wheel (of fate) and the origin of life. Kain sees through his lies and calls him a false God. Armed with the purified Soul Reaver, Kain defeats the wile creature and escapes as he tries to bury Kain in the rubble of the citadel. An infuriated Elder God declares that the vampire race will end and one day, he shall have Kain's soul. Kain laughs at his empty threats and leaves him buried inside the citadel.
[ Defiance] - I am the origin of life, the devourer of death. I am the hub of the Wheel, the purifying cycle to which all souls must be drawn.
[ Defiance] - You cannot destroy me, Kain - I am the Engine of Life itself. The Wheel will turn... The plague of your kind will be purged from this world... And on that inevitable day, your wretched, stagnant soul will finally be mine.