Before the game actually begins, some events occur:

– Ariel, the guardian of the Pillar of Balance, is murdered. Her lover, Nupraptor, (also guardian of the Pillar of the Mind), thus goes crazy. His insanity affects the Pillars of Balance and the Mind, (which then poison Nosgoth), and all the Pillars began to break down. This break in the Pillars also allows the Hylden passage into Nosgoth; (the Pillars normally act like a lock, keeping the Hylden away). Not good.

Broken pillar :(

 – A scene from long ago is shown, which depicts the ancient vampire Vorador killing Sarafan priests. The protector of the Sarafan, Malek, shows up too late to save them, and is punished by Mortanius, the Guardian of the Pillar of Death. Mortanius melds Malek’s soul to his armor, ensuring that he will serve the Sarafan forever.

Poor guy.

And then, the events of the actual game begin!

Our main character, Kain, is murdered by some thugs and is brought back to life as a vampire by Mortanius.

He can do that cuz he's a necromancer, duh.

Kain quickly realizes his newfound vampirism is a curse, and he wants to a cure– NOW!

He goes to the Pillars and comes across the ghost of Ariel, who tells him there is no cure for his condition; only release. She suggests he can gain peace by curing Nosgoth, which can be achieved by killing the current, corrupted Guardians of the Pillars.

How could you not trust someone who looks like that?

Kain agrees to carry out this duty and Ariel leaves him with the warning, “Beware the Unspoken;” whatever that means!

Kain sets off to kill Nupraptor first. However, Kain is unable to kill Malek, protector of the Circle, who was with him. So Kain goes to the Oracle for advice. After rambling about ‘King Ottomar’ and the ‘Nemesis’, (whatever those could be!), the Oracle tells Kain to visit Vorador and ask him for advice, seeing how he fought Malek all those years ago.

So Kain goes to Vorador’s mansion.

Vorador is one of those dill vampires who likes to say things like, “This is our gift! We are gods! Remember the good old days when vampires used to just kill whoever they wanted?”

He's a bit of a dick, basically.

Kain holds Vorador in contempt, but is intrigued. Vorador offers Kain a ring that will summon him at will. With this in hand, Kain sets off to continue his systematic muder of the Circle of Nine. (The Guardians of the Pillars).

As Kain nears a tower where some of the Circle are hiding out, he encounters several strange monsters. It’s the Hylden! Oh noes! He kills them.

Here's a picture of Kain, btw, in case you were wondering wtf he looked like.

 Once inside the tower, Kain finds three guardians– DeJoule, Bane, and Anarcrothe. With them is Malek. Kain calls upon Vorador to take care of Malek, and Kain kills the remaining guardians, save Anarcrothe, who escapes.

Five guardians down, (Ariel, Nupraptor, Malek, DeJoule, and Bane), four to go!