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GRIMOIRE

VOLUME II
Through the Darkness
CONTENTS
1 . 0 L O C AT I O N S & P L A C E S O F I N T E R E S T
1.1: E A R T H
1.2: M O O N
1.3: V E N U S
1.4: M A R S
1.5: P L A C E S O F I N T E R E S T

2.0 THE DARKNESS

3 . 0 T H E FA L L E N
3 .1: G H O S T F R A G M E N T S : FA L L E N
3 .2: FA L L E N C O M B AT
3 .3: FA L L E N L E A D E R S H I P

4.0 THE HIVE


4.1: GHOST FRAGMENTS: HIVE
4.2: HIVE COMBAT
4.3: EXALTED HIVE
5.0 THE VEX
5.1: GHOST FRAGMENTS: VEX
5.2: VEX COMBAT
5.3: VEX AXIS MINDS

6.0 THE CABAL


6.1: GHOST FRAGMENTS: CABAL
6.2: CABAL COMBAT
6.3: CABAL COMMAND

7.0 THE TAKEN


7.1: RISE OF THE TAKEN
7.2: TAKEN COMBAT
7.3: ORYX'S CHOSEN

8.0 THE SIVA CRISIS


8.1: DORMANT SIVA DATA
8.2: THE SPLICERS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
1
1.1 EARTH
2
EARTH

Once our cities lit the whole world. Now we huddle under the shadow of the Traveler, in the last place it
protects. It is so very fragile, this small blue ship, our home.
~Earth

Dreams of Apha Lupi-


The blaze sits inside a nest of little worlds, still too distant to share its heat but plainly staring out at you.
A face emerges, drawn from plasmas and radiation...

There must be meanings in its roar.

You listen hard and carefully, and sometimes a lucid melody seems to rise out of random noise. Joy
builds, and the first hope in ages transforms you.

It seems important, even critical, to tell every star from here to the black between the galaxies that you
will be strong again.
~Ghost Fragment: Earth

3
4
THE COSMODROME, OLD RUSSIA

I can feel the mites buzzing, pushing against my sub-


The Cosmodrome was where humanity took to the stars - mind. They try to steal fragments of memory, but I do
first in search of what lay beyond, and at the end, in hope not let them.
of escape. Today it is a graveyard, picked over by the
They have no will, but they want to BE.
Fallen House of Devils. But buried among the detritus of the
Golden Age are the pieces we need to forge a new future. I exert electronic will: pushing, shaping. Forcing stasis
~Old Russia on perpetual motion. They are quiet then, but I can still
sense them.

Where once my cargo holds were full of tools, and


weapons, and material, now they hold barely-contained
possibility. New worlds will be built from these tiny
mites. Weapons and cities and ships created by
thought and science.

I fear my will is not strong enough to shape these


worlds. Only the Tyrant can do that, but he will not be a
part of my journey. Even his reach has limits, and we
will be nine billion miles away.

I whisper my concerns to the Tyrant in tiny magnetic


bursts. He does not listen.

The Tyrant says take the SIVA, and so I take the SIVA.

The Tyrant says go to the stars, and so I go to the


stars.
~Ghost Fragment: Old Russia 4

5
SABER GREEN this is ICE MINARET. We have your launch. MAYDAY. MAYDAY. MAYDAY.
Com check.
I keep saying this but I very much doubt that anyone will listen. The
/ICE MINARET this is SABER GREEN we read you. Lattice is humans are too slow or too dead and the Tyrant (bless his intellect,
tight. Com secure. Abort advisory check? vastly does it surpass my own) is far too busy to comfort one forlorn
colony ship and its machine mind.
Check is all nominal. You are now on internal power. SABER
GREEN, please human-verify your payload status. In a way I feel I've come to speak for the whole world! Isn't that
cheery? I rather th
/Acknowledge human verification request. The words are MAYDAY. MAYDAY. MAYDAY.
RIGOR, APEX, SKYSHOCK. I will repeat the payload status
now: RIGOR, APEX, SKYSHOCK. ought we might shoot our way out of this one. But it looks like that's
unlikely. Even the Tyrant is exploring other options.
Those are the words, SABER. Human crosscheck complete. Fly
safe. I am peaceful by nature. These great matters of eschatology
bewilder me. My one love is my ship, and the people aboard it. In a
/Copy your last, MINARET. We are go for final count. fuzzy sense I suppose I also
MAYDAY. MAYDAY. MAYDAY (do forgive me please).
We affirm, go payload, go flight, go final count. [interruption:
masked voice] love to dream of the worlds I'll help make - flowers I'll plant, if you'll
grant me poetry enough to think of my passengers as seeds. But
Yes, it's RIGOR. Yes, I believe that's correct. Yes, it is, uh, it is those dreams have gone! So sad. Now I am packed bulkhead to
an antimatter payload, a strategic asset. Specifically? Ah, I bulkhead with cold terror. Refugees from a nightmare I don't even
believe it's an annihilation-pumped caedometric weapon. know how to understand. I wish I could comfort them.

[masked voice] I'm trying to be brave. But conditions outside are terrible. I suspect I
won't make liftoff.
Yes, it's covert, it's under SECURE ISIS. We have good
confidence in the vehicle. We are not scrubbing civilian By the time you read this, whoever you might be, I suppose you will
launches or clearing the range. Public inferentials would catch know. EXODUS RED will be long gone - or rotting at its gantry, me
that, it's a security risk. dead inside.

/Six at a hundred. Here we go. But if you

Godspeed, SABER. You're all nominal here. MAYDAY. MAYDAY. MAYDAY.

[masked voice] read this, at least something has survived.

We both know where the order came from. To you, then, brave future soul, from the frightened mind of an old
~Ghost Fragment: Old Russia 1 ship: best wishes, and godspeed.
~Ghost Fragment: Old Russia 2
6
THE PLAGUELANDS, OLD RUSSIA
In the age of the Iron Lords, when Lord Saladin and his brothers and sisters encountered this region, they
were faced with an unknowable danger – the techno-plague, SIVA. Their brave attempt to combat and
contain SIVA cost the Iron Lords dearly.

Hundreds of years later, SIVA has been unleashed, its power unearthed by the Fallen. As a result of the
Fallen’s unchecked ambition, SIVA’s corruption has begun to spread, infecting the land and creating a
hostile, otherworldly new threat in the quarantined outskirts of the Cosmodrome known as the
Plaguelands.
~Plaguelands

7
General Chen Lanshu is flying her glider. defensive wall. ships. Imagine cars from here to the horizon— ”
those stupid old-fashioned cars everyone still
She carves around the huge bulb nose of a
Her glider’s a second skin, whipcrack-taut owns, because the strange uneven advancement
colony ship, one of the Cosmodrome’s towering
paramuscle, like a flying fox. of this post-Traveler world leaves some things
children. Her eyes see temperature: she surfs
unchanged.
the winter air rolling down off the cryo-chilled
The Cosmodrome races past beneath her. She
fuel tank. Turbulence rattles her bones.
waggles her wings at a cloud of passing “You expect violence?” Malahayati says, in that
“General,” Malahayati sends. “You’re making sensor mites: a saucy hello. Two of the security conciliatory, careful way of hers, her way of
Rasputin nervous.” division’s MBTs drill in the mothyards. managing meat people. “Something beyond our
capability to preempt or contain?”
“Am I?” Lanshu banks, grinning, spiraling “I don’t understand why you came,”
around the fuel tank. The machine hates risk. Malahayati says. She’s probably lying.
Expect? As a military professional? No, no. But
Risk to the General, sure, but also risk to Malahayati understands Lanshu very, very

Rasputin’s ships. “Is that the word he used, well. “I don’t understand why you masked
exactly?” yourself yesterday, during the launch.” Once, when she was younger, sixty or seventy,
Chen Lanshu pulled rank to get a look at the
“He can be very charming,” the submind The launch. SABER GREEN. Rasputin quietly
Never-Be installation in Taipei. She watched the
assures her. Malahayati works with Chen moving another doomsday weapon into Earth
images in the fresco and she felt... this
Lanshu, and she is certainly charming, but this orbit. And all the other launches, too, not just
foreboding, this enormous weight, a dread that
is Rasputin’s territory, Rasputin the tacit king, the weapons but people, the colonization
refused to attach itself to any specific threat. And
brooding wary first-among-equals. schedule pushed up... as if the need to
she felt it again, last year, when she was briefed
disperse is now imperative.
Yesterday Lanshu spoke to a colony ship AI and on the project in Lhasa, the vision machine...
it called Rasputin ‘the Tyrant.’ Not without General Chen Lanshu banks out across the
She shivers. Her wings shudder and tremble in
affection. And certainly not without respect. Wall. Look at all that beauty! Look at the
the airstream.
highway rolling off across green hills and grey
“He can charm me in person,” Lanshu
mountains. Imagine, now, imagine if she just “Isn’t that what we do, Mala?” she says. “Why
suggests.
landed and started walking, out away from we still have soldiers? Why we made you?
“He’s very private, lately.” everything, into the wilderness... Expectation.”
“Then he can sulk.” “Imagine something going wrong,” she says. The Traveler came out of nowhere. Entirely
“Imagine this road choked with corpses. unanticipated.
She spreads her arms and legs and climbs a
Imagine the security team gunning down
thermal, whirling up, arrowing off the top and Imagine if it hadn’t been friendly. Imagine that.
refugees as they try to force their way onto the
out away from the colony ships towards the
Rasputin surely has.
~Ghost Fragment: Old Russia 3

8
9
THE LAST CITY

"From across the ruined earth they came, seeking shelter from the storm."
Every wayward soul unlucky enough to be born outside The City's protecting arms whispers its truth across the
wastes: a metropolis, risen from the ashes of the Collapse, sheltered by the Traveler. It is a promise and a
dream, the only refuge from the Darkness.

The City is a thriving walled ecumene, rich with the languages and traditions of every surviving human and
neohuman culture. The City's population faces real challenges: inequality, fear, scarcity, and the specter of
internal strife. But the great traditions of the Golden Age live on, and many classes of suffering and injustice
have been eradicated forever.
~The City

"Beneath crossed swords, a refuge for peace."


The Tower is the only home many Guardians ever know.

To the people of the City, it stands as a promise that we can endure. The merchants and citizens who fill its
plazas and halls are as dedicated to the reclamation of our worlds as the Guardians who venture into the
Darkness beyond.
~The Tower

10
THE GOLDEN AGE
Anomaly 779 (Never-Be)
Skyscape fresco of smart crystals and pigments in a ceiling of Vestan
plaster and diamond ribbing.

Apparent size: 14.4 x 3.55 x .022 meters


The Traveler changed everything. It reshaped our solar system as
decisively as it shattered our scientific and philosophical frameworks. Participants witness images set in an undetermined orbital habit. 5 to
To our ancestors it must have been a hammerblow - a glimpse beyond 77 images are generated per participant. The quantity seems
the horizon of expected possibility and into a realm of transcendent insensitive to the participant's time of exposure.
power.
Participants experience strong intuitions. Modal self-reports include:
The Traveler kindled the Golden Age. But we built it. We remember
this with pride, even after so much else has been lost. We settled our An electric sense of belonging to a cause.
solar system and filled it with our work.
The intuition that a pivotal truth is about to be delivered.
Today Cryptarchs and scholars work to distill the legends of the
Golden Age into truth. We know that humans lived longer, flew A persistent foreboding that lingers for days to years.
further, and knew more. We know that countless ancient diseases and
hatreds were extinguished forever. Human aspiration gives birth to Amorphous grief.
vast engineering projects, sweeping social movements, and even new
forms of life. Agape love.

The Golden Age was not without challenges. Sources speak of Outlier reports include the hum of wind, the scent of lilacs, changes in
internal strife, philosophical rifts- particularly around questions of apparent gravity, the ability to sing perfectly, and the perception of
machine intelligence and 'mind forking' - and enduring scientific flesh as transparent.
enigmas. But humanity and its machine children tackled these
problems with pride, vigor, and a contagious sense of pluralist One corner was damaged during the move to the present location,
compassion. affording a glimpse into the work's interior. Key materials have not
~The Golden Age been identified, but there is evidence that the fresco ties into quantum
computers set in a parallel dimension or on a distant world.

The work appears to be unfinished.


~Ghost Fragment: The Golden Age 2

11
"What are you thinking about?" I asked. "I want to show you something special," he universe. People carried pictures of the past
said. "Something rare." and tried to have a clear vision of their
"When I was a little boy," Father said. difficult future. I didn't know everything, of
I tried to imagine what that might be. course. But when I was a boy, I had every
"During the Before," I said. expectation of living a smart short life and
"No," he warned. "You can't guess." learning quite a lot more.
"Yes."
Inside the gray building was a diamond "Then the Before was finished.
He reached down to brush my hair. "I was wall...A projected sky floated above us. It
recalling how very smart I used to be. When I wasn't our sky, alive with metal and light. "You know why.
was your age, I was a genius." Nothing about the grayness was wet and
nothing looked alive. I had never seen a "That's when everybody, particularly the
"You're smart now," I said. sadder piece of ground. smartest of us, learned that we knew
nothing. We were children and our little
He laughed hard. "This was our world," Father said. "When I ideas were toys, and the universe was cut
was your age." apart with great ideas and magnificent,
"Look around," he said. immeasurable potentials."
I touched the diamond wall. He watched my
I always look around. hand jump back. Father stopped talking.

"Miss nothing," he told me. "Hot," I said. I stepped away from the hot diamond wall.

Father was standing beside a big gray He laughed quietly. "Do you know what I wanted to show you?"
building. Father asked.
I shook my burnt hand, and it felt better.
"This is what I want you to see," he said. "Dead rock," I said.
"Our world was this. The entire planet was a
The building had no doors or windows. furnace. Acidic. Dead in so many ways. And I "Guess again." He wasn't happy with me.
was your age."
"Do you know how to make a strong We stepped back into the real sun, the real
password?" he asked. I was bored with the dead world. I looked at world. I blinked and looked around,
Father's face, asking, "Can we leave?" surprised by how green and bright
"I don't know if I do," I said. everything was. How happy everything
He started to reach for my hair again but was. Even the saddest face was happy.
"Tell yourself a story," he said. "Use that one decided not to.
good story you'll never forget, that you can "I know what you want me to see," I said.
carry forever. Let your story take odd turns I was bored with everything.
and wear a few surprising marks, make sure "Don't tell me," he said.
it belongs to you, so you can keep it secret." "When I was your age, people thought they
knew almost everything. We had scientific I didn't tell him.
Father kneeled, putting our faces close... laws and human truths, even a model of the ~Ghost Fragment: The Golden Age
12
THE DARK AGE

From the Journals of Lord Colovance


What does one do when one’s master has gone mad?
The Golden Age burned bright - and the night that overtook us after
the Collapse was swift and total. I admired the man for so long, poured years of study into his leads,
but now, he has grown incapable of focus.
The tally of suffering may be beyond comprehension. But the City
lifted itself from the ash, gathering survivors. Guardians rose to I have followed his latest missives on SIVA and it is flooded with
challenge alien hordes. The Dark Age swallowed so much of our mania. Whatever he thinks this Clovis Bray might hold would make
history...but hope never died. you believe that they were the only entity of any technical know-how,
~The Dark Age that they owned every piece of that tarnished Golden Age.

I write this because I fear none of the others knows or senses it. He
has been so thorough, so right, until now. Something snapped,
"No one knew what had happened to the Traveler. No one infected him, turned him against his own sense of logic and reason.
understood what had happened to the world. But they heard the
whispered call." And here I am, left behind to tend the fires and the Ironwood Tree in
They came from the wild lands, gathering in secret enclaves, slipping this budding City, while everyone rushes at his promise of another
through the howling ruins of shattered cities, hoping to find the coast, wonder from yesterday.
find a ship, pick up the trail of an impossible dream.
But I ask you, Traveler, did you cleanse us from these technological
From the deep black came the Awoken, their eyes haunted. Exos disasters to prove we had gone astray? The Light you raised us with
marched in the refugee columns, cloaked in moss and shattered points far away from the trappings of a processed Earth, to a
memories. And among them came the Ghosts, beginning their search. nebulous power far beyond the stars.

It was a time of vast suffering and terrible evil. But there was one Had we done wrong and this is how you hope to correct us; we, the
hope: the promise of a refuge beneath the Traveler. Light to lead the way? It must be, but even your shattered hull seems
~Ghost Fragment: The Dark Age like a designed system. Lord Timur has notes upon notes on your
runes. Perhaps that is where his madness began.

I wonder how long it will be until he thinks you were made by Clovis
Bray.
~Ghost Fragment: The Dark Age 3

13
Loken's men found Jaren Ward in the want to stop it. No one d id.
courtyard where this had all began.
As Loken belittled Jaren Ward, taunted him,
Nine guns trained on him. Nine cold hearts enumerated his crimes and sins, my eyes were
awaiting the order. Magistrate Loken, stuck on Jaren's pistol, fixed to his hip. His
standing behind them, looked pleased with steady hand resting calmly on his belt.
himself.
I remembered the pistol's weight. Effortless.
Jaren Ward stood in silence. His Ghost And my concern faded. I understood.
peeked out over his shoulder.
"This is our town! My town!" Loken was
Loken took in the crowd before stepping shouting now. He was going to make a show
forward, as if to claim the ground - his of Jaren - teach the people of Palamon a
ground. "You question me?" There was venom lesson in obedience.
in his words. "This is not your home."
Jaren spoke: clear, calm. "Not anymore."
I remember Loken's gestures here. Making a
show of it all. Loken laughed dismissively. He had nine guns
on his side. "Those gonna be your last words
Everyone else was still. Quiet. then, boy?"

I tugged at my father's sleeve, but he just The movement was a flash: quick as chain
tightened his grip on my shoulder to the point lightning. Jaren Ward spoke as he moved.
pain. His way of letting me know that this was "Yours. Not mine."
not the time.
Smoke trailed from Jaren's revolver.
I'd watched Jaren's every move over the past
months, mapping his effortless gestures and Loken hit the ground. A dark hole in his
slight, earned mannerisms. I'd never seen forehead. Eyes staring into eternity.
anything like him. He was something I
couldn't comprehend, and yet I felt I Jaren stared down the nine guns trained on
understood all I needed the moment I'd seen him. One by one, they lowered their aim. And
him. He was more than us. Not better. Not the rest of my life began - where, in a few
superior. Just more. short years, so many others would be ended.
~Ghost Fragment: The Dark Age 2
I wanted father to stop what was happening.
Looking back now, I realize that he didn't

14
"Lysander will not back down. He'll continue his crusade from
THE CITY AGE wherever we stuff him."

When did the City Age begin? Perhaps when the bulk of the world's "And so we'll need to find some new ideas to replace his."
survivors lived beneath the Traveler, rather than in the wilderness. Or
when the Titans raised the first wall. Or at Six Fronts, when the City "The Symmetry has been gaining a strong following..."
first faced coordinated, overwhelming attack - and repelled it
decisively. "Ulan-Tan's teachings are too dangerous. Too much fear. Who
knew he'd be more trouble dead than alive?"
The City did not rise without struggle. Warlords and wilderness
fiefdoms clung to power. Starvation, disease, and anarchy menaced. "We'll need to refocus our collective minds on combat. The
But the Guardians held the frontier, and the children of the Golden Speaker's anxious to regain ground we lost after the Gap."
Age kept the fire burning through the long climb back.
"There is the War Cult."
Legends walk through this history. The Iron Lords. Saint-14's crusade
against the Fallen. The mask of the Speaker. The great Ahamkara "Too secretive. Have you ever tried to talk to one of their 'soldiers'?
Hunt. Toland's madness. Terrible Faction Wars - and the horrifying, Like a child. Answering questions with questions."
disastrous effort to retake the Moon.
"They are dedicated to the war."
As the City learned to walk again, it found a world overrun by alien
menace. It faced disaster and defeat. Even in recent years, as "Which one?"
Guardians begin to venture back to the Moon and the inner planets,
the City's territory has withdrawn - outer sections abandoned and "Good question."
converted into fortifications in the wake of the Battle of Twilight Gap.
"Zavala?"
But the City's shipwrights and foundries hum with energy. The
probability kilns and work cooperatives produce new wonders. The "They seem focused. Strong. More interesting than worrisome."
Darkness is rising again. But so is the Light.
~The City Age "Let's take it to a vote. All in favor of the ascension of the Future
War Cult?"
"And so it is agreed. The Concordat shall no longer be recognized
among the Consensus. We'll begin the dismantling right away. But "Unanimous? Good. We'll grant the Future War Cult access to the
what of those Guardians who have pledged to them? We can't afford Tower and a seat among us. Ghost, please offer the Speaker this
any more banishments." proposal."

"I'm sure Zavala can see to their realignment." "Now onto the next order of business...Shaxx is here with another
proposal for his Crucible."
"We'll do our best. Lysander chose his followers wisely. It may take ~Ghost Fragment: The City Age
some time."
15
/ What was that? / No. Sha - the contact said at 6 sharp. / respect. Now listen. I got your message.
The answer is no. I'm -
/ Nothing. We're secure. / Then he's late. If he dragged us out here for
nothing - / But -
/ We'd better be.
/ Yeah? What are you going to do to him, / not going to fix Crucible fights for you
/ Calm down. Whole district's been deserted exactly? idiots just to make your Tex Mechanica junk
ever since the Gap. Nobody's here. look good. Do you -
/ Let's just -
/ Except us. Why'd he make us come out / Now I wouldn't put it quite like that -
here? / We have a signal! OK, here it comes.
/ think you're the first dregs dumb enough
/ Secrecy. I don’t know. He's our man on the / Static. to try to buy me? Why do you people think
inside; so we humor him. It's just the quiet you can buy me? Don't I have an honest
making you jump. Help me get this screen set / There - face? Do I look like I need your money? The
up? Crucible is sacred, that's what you people
/ That's not - don't understand, like you think it's a game.
/ It feels criminal. Now -
/ You're not Sha -
/ I got word from the Consensus says it's not. / Damn.
/ 99-40. Arcite. Are you Modris Wyndham
/ You know what I mean. Maybe it's not and Sya Droysen, of the Tex Mechanica / this is the part where you start blustering
against any law. But it's messing with the Foundry West District? at my little buddy here and telling him it's all
Tower. It feels - legal down in the City, just business, just
/ Yes - sponsorship. So listen: I can have ten Titans
/ Dangerous? crashing through your ceiling any time I like
/ My owner has instructed me to give you the and you can tell them it's just business.
/ Wrong. following message: I don't have time for
lowlife dregs like you. You disgust me. / Damn.
/ So go home.
/ But - / Or we can talk about how you're going to
/ Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you? You make this up to me.
take the credit, get promoted to Division / My owner has instructed me to continue: Sit
Head, I'm stuck - down and let the frame talk. I know your type. / Ah.
City bigshots. You can show some damn -
/ So stay. OK. Think it's working now. / My little buddy's listening. Make him an
/ Listen - offer.
/ Nothing on screen. Do we have a signal? ~Ghost Fragment: The City Age 2

16
SPECIAL EVENTS

~ Author's Note: Amidst the constant threats to the


City and he traveler, life still goes on and the
citizens of the Last City still put on celebrations and
special evnts. Eva and Tess have worked hard to
bring these celebrations to the Guardians situated in
the tower. The following pages record some of the
biggest events to come to the Tower. ~

17
FESTIVAL OF THE LOST

“These are the traditions of the City, Guardian. We share them with you so you might better
understand those whom you protect.” - Eva Levante
understand those whom you protect.”
“To live is to experience loss,” Eva said. “My husband and child are dead. My friends, my
neighbors, the children I watched over on our road to the City... all gone now. The festival
celebrates their lives with both joy and sorrow.”

“A fine tradition for the City,” Ikora Rey replied. “What meaning does it hold for the
Guardians?”

“A bit of Light in a dark time. That is enough.”

“We have greater concerns. And this is no time for games.”

“All Guardians were lost once,” said Eva. “We honor your spirits as well.”
Underwatch ~The Festival of the Lost

"Eri-i-i-is. Oh, Eri-i-i-is."


"Do you have my ship for me, Cayde?"
"No, but—"
"Then go away."
"No ‘Happy Festival of the Lost!’ for me, Eris?"
"Happy—? Count what I’ve lost. My companions: Eriana, Sai, Omar, Vell, Tarlowe, Ascendant Raisins
Toland. My eyes. My Ghost. My ship. And who was it who lost my ship?"
Long ago, a legend foretold the ascension of the Raisins.
"Speaking of which—Kadi's confiscated a smuggled shipment, just in time for the Find the three-eyed one, it said. Disperse among the
Festival. A sweet treat. Well, a treat, at least. Some people even like it. First person bearers of Light. And wait. If you are worthy, if you are
I thought of was you. Since, well, I owe you." patient, if you are not lost or thrown away, you will
"Begone." ascend.

"You'll like it." And the Raisins waited quietly.


"I will not like it."
Now they rise.
"It’s perfect for you." ~Ascendant Raisins
"Don't come back until you have my ship."
~Festival of the Lost: Underwatch
18
“Let me tell you the story of when the Faced with certain destruction, the
CRIMSON DAYS Guardians first encountered the Cabal. Guardians did the only thing they could.
They fought. Back to back, they battled the
It was the first days back on the frontier, when Cabal for a day and a night. Black oil
we'd finally found a way to repower the old soaked into the sands until the ground was
jumpships and explore what remained of the slick with death. The shields and armor of
colonies. the dead littered the battlefield, but still the
Cabal came.
There were two Guardians. While both
served the Light, in all other ways they were The Guardians died, revived, and died
rivals. One spent his days searching forgotten again. Still they fought, protecting one
places for lost treasures. The other sought another. With his last bit of strength, the
ever-greater challenges in a ceaseless quest Warlock used the Void to destroy their
for glory. enemies. With her last bullet, the Hunter
saved her friend from the Colossus.
“One day, both Guardians detected a strange
signal coming from a buried city on Mars. The At last, the battlefield fell silent. Only the
Warlock, hoping to find forgotten caches, Guardians stood. Abandoning their quests,
vowed to keep his secret until he alone had a they returned to the City to warn the
chance to explore the site. The Hunter, seeing Vanguard of the threat rising on Mars.
a chance to earn the renown she craved, also
told no one.” From that day to this, the pair have been the
closest of companions. In their journeys
Thus both Guardians walked into peril alone together, they have found both riches and
and unprepared. renown. But these things mean nothing
unless they are shared.”
It was not long before their paths crossed. The
Warlock mocked his rival’s pride. The Hunter “Wait, I thought I’d heard this story before,
ridiculed her rival as a dirt-grubber. In their but it was about two Guardians and the
anger, they turned on one another ...and Hive?”
never saw danger approach.
“No it wasn’t. It was about the Vault of
The Sand Eaters came in force. The Glass.”
Centurions jumped into range before the
Guardians could react. The steps of the “Whoever said there was only one story?”
Colossus shook the ground. The Phalanx’s ~Crimson Days
shields created a wall that no weapon could
penetrate, and the Legionaries moved in for
the kill.

19
THE DAWNING

“Pass me those lanterns, would you?” Eva said. “And that wrapping paper. There’s
so much left to do.”

“They drive their Sparrows on the edge of the abyss, not looking at that Darkness...
laughing....”

“Laughter can be better than food. We must make time to celebrate, even when we
are surrounded by Darkness. Or we lose hope. And hope is important: it brings us
together and keeps us marching through the freezing cold.”

“So much pretending, Eva. I can’t pretend. Those days are gone.”

“Do you think I spent a week coaxing Ikora into making the Dawning Crystal just to
pretend? Who will save us from the Darkness? The despairing Guardian or the joyful
one? Love and joy, Eris—that will save us. This is how I show my love.”

“Then I wish you a happy Dawning, Eva.”

“I wish that for all of us.”


~The Dawning

Fortune telling at the start of a new year is one of many traditions refugees brought
to the Last City. Each Dawning, Guardians open mysterious boxes containing paper
fortunes, hoping for luck and good news.
~Dawning Fortunes

20
21
THE IRON TEMPLE

Excerpt from the Iron Declaration, written by Lord Silimar [The brochure has suffered extensive water damage, but
...And wherever we Iron Lords stake a claim worthy of battle, there is a map of the region with a red circle and a note:
let us immortalize our victory with a temple, a beacon for all ‘Timur, your replication complex? –Felwinter’]
who walk the waste to follow. And let the truths of that battle Vostok Observatory Historical Society welcomes [––] from
live only within its crypts, kept sacred by an everlasting oath the Gondola it is possible [––] late Soviet space programs
worthy of our Light and sacrifice, so that our peace will were converted to [––] research facilities to study accelerated
never need know the horrors it faced, sealed in secrecy until methods of colonization [––] kid’s holobadges to remember
the Light dims to Darkness, forevermore.... your trip.
~The Iron Temple ~Vostok Observatory

ENTRY: 01-A
Archivist: Tyra Karn

Long before the last of the Iron Lords descended into the
Plaguelands, this peak was the domain of one of their own,
Lord Felwinter. His maps and outposts show the risen Exo
roamed free from the Aral Seas to an eastern border known
as Citan’s Ridge (Open Citan 01-A, Citan’s Ridge 01-A)
before taking the Oath. There is no evidence of human
enclaves or encampments within this area, nor survivors
within the Cosmodrome walls, but extensive one-way audio
recordings with an unknown entity survive (open Felwinter 9-
C; open Rasputin 62-G; scan for possible links). A chance
meeting with Lord Timur in the Mothyards led to Timur’s first
reports on the promises of SIVA. Felwinter’s conscription into
the ranks and the raising of the Iron Temple commenced
shortly thereafter.
~Felwinter's Peak

22
23

1.2 MOON
24
MOON

"We once looked to the Moon and saw hope. Now we see only the power of the Darkness."

Earth's Moon was where we first faced the terror of the Hive, and it soon became the battlefield of a
great war - one we did not win. In the years since, the Hive have ripped the Moon's surface apart,
opening chasms that swarm with terrors.
~Moon

Dreams of Apha Lupi-


The best voices - voices that truly matter - never allow themselves be heard. This lesson is worth
learning again and again.

Forever.

Your voice moves as a whisper, murmuring inside larger winds. Only the trusted few can absorb what
is necessary. Wise and sly and perfect, your instructions drop, leaving nothing but the hard sweet
rime of enlightenment. The path is set. Your voice is unleashed.
~Ghost Fragment: Moon

25
26
OCEAN OF STORMS, MOON
唯恐瓊樓玉宇,
高處不勝寒。 BY ORDER OF THE CITY CONSENSUS AND THE
起舞弄清影, GUARDIAN VANGUARD
何似在人間。 ALL SHIPS IMMEDIATE/REPEAT AND RELAY
- Poem Excerpt, 蘇軾, Chinese poet, Song Dynasty, Old Earth
We hereby terminate all organized combat operations on or
around Earth's Moon.
The support base centered here marks what most believe was
the first off-Earth colony. Effective immediately we declare the existence of an
interdiction on the Moon and cis-Lunar space. Guardians
operating in this interdict will receive no formal support from
It was here that we came face-to-face with Crota and his the Vanguard or from assets of the City. We urge Guardians
legions, a force so powerful we abandoned the Moon. Now, to exhibit the greatest care and consideration in
Hive temples breach the surface, entrances into the vast approaching the interdicted space.
necropolis below, and Guardians venture into the depths to
We furthermore derogate all strategic objectives concerned
seek revenge - most never to return. with the recovery of assets or information from the Lunar
~The Ocean of Storms surface, and, without exemption, cancel in whole and in all
its parts the effort to establish a beachhead and strategic
presence upon the Moon.

This interdict will remain in effect until such time as the hostile
presence on the Moon poses a demonstrable existential
threat, or until intelligence is obtained that leads to the
defeat of the enemy leadership elements recently
encountered.

Guardians with an accurate assessment of losses in the


recent days, or with intelligence on the nature and method of
hostile resistance, should report to the Vanguard immediately
for debriefing.
~Ghosrt Fragment: The Ocean of Storms

27
Last known Records from Lunar Station: First Light. The Circle of Bones.The Chamber of Night.

The tunnels were geologic in nature, or had to be. That’s what we One does not walk amid those dark tunnels and not lose
thought until twelve hours into the second sub-lunar expedition, something. They say that to look out upon the ocean is to feel
when we found the bones. A single long rib cage, the size of an small. But to walk in these caverns is to feel your grasp on reality
aircraft fuselage. slipping.

The living creatures themselves, we found a hundred meters down. There is no returning to what you were before: a believer of
They might have been worms, if worms had scales and teeth and science, and the fundamental rationality of the universe. Not after
moved more quickly than a man could run. seeing those worms.

Jun died first. And then Luli. Bad deaths. Deaths not worth thinking But here now, at the bottom I have found the other side of the
about, and so I don’t, as I wander these tunnels, lost, waiting to run nightmare. Like waking from a dream only to realize you were still
out of oxygen. asleep. Perhaps my oxygen is getting low. Yes, I can see it is.
Hypoxia already setting in. The thing before me is like myself—
Will it hurt, I wonder? That final sleep, when it comes. The sleep partly alive, and partly not. An ossified afterbirth. A pulsating
that isn’t sleep. tumor.

But then everything on the Moon is named for what it’s not. Have It lays in a crater of its own making. Dark and jagged. So here I’ll
you noticed? The Sea of Serenity.Ocean of Storms.The Sea of Rains. sit, and lay me down. I see a doorway, and within, the death-
It’s only fitting. white egg cases of nightmares yet to come.

In the tunnels though, we found things that were exactly what they And glad I am to miss it.
were, and so now I name them thus. Mark them well, if this ~Ghost Fragment: The Ocean of Storms 2
recording is found.

28
29

1.3 VENUS
30
VENUS

Venus has been reclaimed by the jungle. Dragonflies flit through ruined academies and abandoned dig
sites. Volcanoes smolder. Here and there a line of light marks where ancient Vex spires, thought long-
dead, have once more been energized.
~Venus

Dreams of Apha Lupi-


You see history hidden between the barren rocks and within the high acid clouds. You see the ruin ready
to claim its birthright.

Sunlight starves. The fierceness chills and thins and runs sweet. A new ocean emerges, thick and salty
and hot, from springs and geysers that drench the dead ground.

You wonder: will this world's second birth be its finest?


~Ghost Fragment: Venus

31
32
ISHTAR SINK, VENUS

The Ishtar Sink region looms large in our surviving


knowledge of Venus. Guardians come hunting the
ruins of the legendary Ishtar Collective, a
sprawling Golden Age scientific project. But the
ancient ruins that brought the Collective to the Sink
have awakened again.

We aren't the only ones interested in the


Collective. The Fallen House of Winter has hurled
its assets into pillaging the ruins, hunting for some
advantage - whether from the Golden Age, or
forgotten times beyond. The House of Winter's
presence includes constant Skiff overflights in
support of ground teams and hints of an
improvised command post or staging area in the
volcanic Cinders.

The situation is degrading into a race against


time. We must claim the Collective's ruins for our
own - and hope they will warn us what other
threats now rise from Venus' acid seas and ancient
stone.
~Ishtar Sink

33
The box appears to be copper.

The red lid is dented, one hinge shattered.

Inside waits a small quantity of the finest, driest powder,


more brown than gray, more blue than green.

The greatest minds in creation make quick work of the


material. The powder is weighed by the grain, and
studied close, and remembered. One hundred billion
bits of near-nothing reside inside the copper box, all of
them tiny and nearly spherical, all etched with the
outlines of continents and islands and icecaps. Each
sphere represents a planet, and some of these tiny
globes match known worlds.

There is one Earth and one Mars and a Venus too.

The box holds renderings of every habitable world in the


galaxy.

One of them offers a simple explanation: "The box is a


message. The message is the minuscule nature of the
box's cargo. It's the image of one hundred billion worlds
barely filling two hands."

But if so, who is delivering this message? What vastness


do they wish to impress on us? Is it a warning, or an
invitation, or a taunt?
~Ghost Fragment: Ishtar Sink

34
His name was Kabr. He wasn't my friend but I knew and
respected him as a Guardian and a good man.

He fought the Vex alone. This destroyed him. In the time


before he vanished he said things that I think should be
remembered. These are some of them:

"In the Vault time frays and a needle moves through it. The
needle is the will of Atheon. I do not know the name of the
shape that comes after the needle.

No one can open the Vault alone. I opened the Vault.


There was no one with me but I was not alone.

You will meet the Templar in a place that is a time before


or after stars. The stars will move around you and mark you
and sing to you. They will decide if you are real. I

drank of them. It tasted like the sea."

That is all I can remember.

Pahanin
~Vault of Glass

35
These are the last words of Kabr, the Legionless:

I have destroyed myself to do this. They have taken


my Ghost. They are in my blood and brain. But now
there is hope.

I have made a wound in the Vault. I have pierced it


and let in the Light. Bathe in it, and be cleansed.
Look to it, and understand:

From my own Light and from the thinking flesh of the


Vex I made a shield. The shield is your deliverance.
It will break the unbreakable. It will change your
fate.

Bind yourself to the shield. Bind yourself to me. And


if you abandon your purpose, let the Vault consume
you, as it consumed me.

Now it is done. If I speak again, I am not Kabr.


~Relic: The Aegis

36
37

1.4 MARS
38
MARS

"The wind wiped away our footprints. When the storm had passed, we found something shining
beneath the sand..."

In the years since the Collapse, much of Mars has returned to the desolation that came before the
Traveler. But buried beneath its surface are traces of the glimmering mega-cities that once sprawled
across the planet, swallowed by dunes and Darkness.
~Mars

Dreams of Apha Lupi-


Life waits inside this world's bones. Your voice flows across the red rock and through the dead valleys,
speaking in code and goads. Ancient volcanoes swell, exploding at their peaks and splitting wide
along their shoulders. Ash clouds blacken the starved air. A fossil ocean of ice softens and collapses.
Geysers erupt, tall as mountains, throwing up steam and clouds.
Every moment matters. And from a great distance, in the midst of a thousand careful disasters, you
watch the transformation with your own eyes. The rose has blossomed.
~Ghost Fragment: Mars

39
40
We want your grandchildren.

Does that sound grim? Don't panic. We aren't talking


MERIDIAN BAY, MARS about human babies, yours or anyone else's. We're
talking about your inventions. The children of your
mind.
"A great city is a place where man competes
with the Gods."
with the Gods." Come join us. Come to Clovis Bray and build the
- Alton Bray, "Trials and Triumphs" laboratory of your dreams. Anything you need. Demand
it and it's yours. At Clovis Bray, we have a singular
understanding of genius, and we appreciate how
Under the shifting sands of Meridian Bay are the
brilliant minds flourish when they enjoy total freedom.
ruins of the magnificent Freehold, a testament to
the glory of the Golden Age. Great secrets This is Freehold, the realm where the new and the best
remain hidden in its crumbling towers. is born. This is where your brilliance, freed of budget
~Meridian Bay constraints and managers, makes the universe dance.

Clovis Bray is a nursery, a nursery to a million marvels.


Your inventions belong to no one but you. Cherish them,
praise them. Or tell them they aren't worthy and set
them inside a deep dark drawer.

But as every parent soon learns, children grow up. And


every technology matures. At some point, your
inventions are going to find mates. They'll join with
other marvels and produce a new generation of
offspring.

Maybe you'll build a better reactor.

Meanwhile, the genius in the lab next door devises an


elegant way to fold machines into tiny spaces.

Your device meets hers, and a fierce little reactor is


born.

Your children are yours forever. And we are happy to


arrange for their grandchildren to prosper.
~Ghost Fragment: Meridian Bay

41
These spires soar like birds into the dusty pink sky. I marvel
FLEETBASE KORUS, PHOBOS at this, my new home. The planet I’ve dreamed of since I
was a boy with a telescope, peering at that warm red
light, hope of our overcrowded planet.
Thuria might be clear, but it's not the problem Korus
could become.”
could become.” What I’ve been working on will solve all those problems.
- Holborn Developed in these laboratories built to my specifications,
by my handpicked team, these nanites will double, triple,
maybe even quadruple construction rates, reduce colonist
Discovered by Holborn’s Host in association with casualties, and serve us in our spread across the system,
Lord Shaxx and a Redjack fireteam, Fleetbase Korus then across the stars. Our first replication chamber sits
marks the largest known Cabal orbital defense beside the Cosmodrome, ready to outfit the colony ships.
station in-system. Reports have the Fleetbase under
Dr. Willa Bray herself came to congratulate me.
the command of a triumvirate headed by one Primus
Ta’aun, and his fleet battalion commanders Valus “You’ll be able to expand soon,” she said. “Into the space
Tlu’urn and Valus Mau'ual. The Skyburner fleet has currently occupied by the Shirazi Lab.”
yet to be deployed against the City, bringing Zavala
“Are they relocating?” I said.
the fear that the Cabal have yet to launch their core
campaign. “Moving on to other opportunities.”
~Fleetbase Korus, Phobos
“I can’t imagine a better place to be,” I said.
~Ghost Fragment: Clovis Bray 2

42
Excerpt from an unpublished memoir of Clovis Bray II her, smiling enough for both of us. And she threw an
My father hated maps. appreciative wink my way as she described test results
from the last five billion runs of our AI Initiative.
“And do you know why I hate maps?” he asked me.
Out on the Martian desert, my father and picked
I didn’t answer. Not immediately. With Father, every collaborators were building housing too cold for this
question was vast, particularly those that looked simple. universe and too swift to be real.
And simple questions deserved as much insight and
wisdom as could be brought to bear. And I was a sixteen year-old boy smiling at a pretty
woman.
With that in mind, I said nothing.
My father thanked her for the update, and she left.
Why would my father hate maps?
Just as I feared, he never looked away from me.
One of his collaborators came into the office. Father
didn’t have employees. Or assistants. And for that matter, “I don’t know why you hate maps,” I admitted.
he didn’t have heroes either. Every person, living or lost,
was a collaborator, and that included his children. With Father, ignorance was never the worst crime. What
was awful was pretending to have insight and wisdom
“Clovis,” said the visitor. where neither existed.

Father heard the woman, but he was watching me. “Maps end,” he said.

The woman was pretty, and I was sixteen. So I looked at I nodded, just a little.

43
“Maps insist on having borders and edges or the table The smile died.
falls away. Which isn’t the way the universe works.”
Then he said something ominous. Although I didn’t
“It doesn’t, no,” I agreed. appreciate it at the time.

Then he asked me, “So how does the universe work?” “The universe is someone’s map,” he said.

I pretended to take my time, considering various smart “Is it?” I muttered.


answers. But I ended up using my first impulse.
“Yes, oh yes. And what we’re doing here... we’re
“Effortlessly,” I said. reaching beyond the boundaries, out into the unknown.
And we pull back new colors to put on this map that
He laughed. Which wasn’t uncommon for my father, but it can never, ever let itself be finished.”
was heartening to hear just then.
I nodded, smiling like the good son.
“What else can you tell me?” he asked.
But I was sixteen, and my thoughts were mostly about
“The universe is infinite and probably in multiple ways,” I the pretty woman who had winked at me.
said. Then I listed a few examples: The census of stars, the ~Ghost Fragment: Clovis Bray
Many-Worlds principle in quantum mechanics, and the
endless measure of tiny realms hiding inside every grain
of Martian sand.

Father nodded.

44
45

1.5 PLACES OF INTEREST


46
MERCURY

Legends say that Mercury was once a garden world. Now its surface, baked in the Sun's glare, is
honeycombed with forgotten Vex structures. No life stirs here. Not anymore.
~Mercury

Dreams of Apha Lupi-


One face is blistered, the other plunged into a brutal chill. Is this how it's always been?

You remember hot oceans, nourishing atmosphere. But something transpired, kicked what was wet and
fertile into space, stealing away everything of value. Or perhaps what thrived here for a day or for ten
million years decided to leave, peeling its wet organics off the bones.
~Ghost Fragment: Mercury

47
48
49
ASTEROID BELT

"The Belt is the key to everything."


The Asteroid Belt is a great band of nothingness, speckled with unimaginable wealth. Once a treasure
trove for Golden Age industry, the Belt is now a haunted place where Fallen pirates and Awoken patrols
skirmish among the whispering carcasses of ancient machines.

Among the asteroids drifts the Reef, lashed together from the ruined ships of an ancient exodus. Here the
Queen rules over the Awoken - the farthest known light of civilization.
~The Asteroid Belt

THE REEF

"Intruder bearing one-two-seven. You have crossed into the realm of the Awoken. State your business, or
be fired upon by order of the Queen."
The fate of those escaping Earth during the Collapse was once unknown. But here drifts a graveyard of
lost ships, and among them - the Realm of the Awoken. Ruled by a Queen few have seen, they have
long avoided contact with the City.
~The Reef

50
"And our long-range communications?" The Techeuns' jewel-like augments flashed as they circled around her.
Mara closed her eyes. A hum rose from the Techeuns, the notes
An aggrieved sigh. "Mara, it's a miracle any of us are still alive—" fracturing into harmonies as, from the shadows, hundreds of tiny blue
sparks burst to life before her. Then Mara inclined her head, and the
"You will address her as 'Queen,'" Techeun Shuro cut in. sparks began to rush by as if she was plunging through them, each
streak of blue burning a swath in her vision. As the last spark
"Sorry. My apologies, Queen." The engineer ran a dirty hand vanished, Mara saw darkness once again, a long, stretching, empty
through her matted hair. "No. No long-range comms. No short- darkness—and then another cloud of sparks burst forth. These were
range comms either. Not that there'd be anyone on the listening smaller than the others, their tiny flames guttering and flickering, and
end either, from what I can see. My Queen," she added hastily, as there were fewer of them too, but Mara inhaled and the sparks
Shuro glared. rushed toward her, growing bigger as they flew.

"Comms are no longer a priority," said Mara. "Focus on resealing "We should have stayed in the Reef..." "...Says there's one city
the Hulls, and any other habitable vessels we have. Bring anything left..." "A City beneath the Traveler..." "At least we're not in the
you can as close to Vesta as possible. The closer people are to me, Reef..." The voices broke over Mara like a wave and for a moment
the safer they are." she spun in the currents.

The engineer nodded uncertainly. "Yes. My Queen." Now, in the flames, shapes began to form. A crashed ship—a blue-
skinned hand clasping a brown one—a half-built wall high above the
Mara nodded. "You may go." treetops.

The engineer bowed, and left the room. As soon as the hatch "You who betrayed us for Earth!" Mara thought. "It is I, your Queen!
closed behind her, Mara raised her hand. At once the Techeuns I will grant you one chance to return, or you will not be welcomed
gathered around her. "Shall we try again, My Queen?" said Sedia. back!"

Mara slid off her throne. "Yes." But the tide of voices never wavered.
~Ghost Fragment: The Reef 2

51
The Fortuna Plummet CIWS/ESM support. The attendant moves as Prince Uldren passes
***SNAP TRAFFIC!*** 225 RADIAN through the massive door separating the
3a. Decisive engagement with VEIL HAND
MIRAGE Outpost’s common area from the warren of
in 4.2 MASS LENS AO is forbidden until
HALT ALL TRAFFIC. STAND BY FOR SNAP. tunnels that make up the Queen’s Bay.
GO CONTINGENCY satisfied. Prioritize
MESSAGE TO FOLLOW
FORCECON.
He rounds a corner and a poorly maintained
PUBLIC KEY 080 641 DWS REGAL
4. Remaining TF 4.1 will maneuver hatch opens for him, clunking and groaning as
FROM: PLDN ABRA ZIRE [PLDN CMD TF 4.1]
immediately to rendezvous with 687 Tinette. it separates. The room beyond is dark,
TO: ALL TASK GROUP ELEMENT LEADERS
Tinette is on close approach with 19 shadowed.
SUBJECT: OPLAN AND FRAGMENT ORDERS
Fortuna. TF 4.1 frigates and fighters will
MESSAGE IS: perform recon denial against VEIL HAND He steps through, and the hatch shudders
scouts. closed behind him. A series of dim illumination
1. Beltrik the Veiled [HVT R3] and loyal
panels flicker on. He is not alone.
spaceborne elements have been localized to 4a. Upon rendezvous with 687 Tinette, TF
19 Fortuna. Beltrik is chief Wolf strategist. 4.1 will deploy CARYBDIS. ***This is a
Three dull green lights blaze to life behind a
Corsair recon confirms that HVT R3 ships are CARYBDIS RELEASE (MAJESTY DIRECT)!***.
veil. She tilts her head to consider the Prince,
resupplying ether and performing high-tempo TF 4.1 will maneuver in Tinette's shadow as
face like a marble carving.
logistical operations. Recon elements and it retrajectorizes for intercept.
COLLABINT sources agree that Beltrik will roll
5. GO CONTINGENCY: Upon collision of "You." Her voice resonates inside small
one ship at a time into the resupply pocket
687 Tinette and 19 Fortuna TF 4.1 and TF chamber.
while holding all other assets to screen.
4.2 will IMMEDIATELY close for decisive
2. TF 4.1 will attack. Targets are HVT R3 engagement. VEIL HAND C4I will be "Say what you want and get out. We don’t
spaceborne assets. Objective is annihilation critically degraded and all targets will be have time for this right now."
of spaceborne assets and capture/ maneuvering away from mutual support.
nullification of HVT R3. Designate targets VEIL Skirmishers and air wing will provide "In the past, Her Majesty has seen fit to—"
HAND. TARCAP and destroy VEIL HAND light
warships as they attempt to reform. EWAR "In the past, our nav lanes weren’t full of
2a. Due to history of violence between PLDN
assets will isolate hostile heavy warships Guardians." Uldren snaps.
CMD TF 4.1 and HVT R3, particularly Battle
from C4I and spoof bad datalinks. Main
of False Tidings/Hildian Campaign, Beltrik
combatants will cripple VEIL HAND heavy "Last I heard, your Queen was on the far end
expects TF 4.1 to engage his screen directly.
warships and board where opportune. of the Belt."
We will exploit this expectation. Fragment
orders follow. 6. NO HARBINGER SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE.
"If the Guardians knew you and she were in
3. PETRA VENJ will detach select warships 7. Good luck. The Reef and the Queen are contact, it would be detrimental to her plans."
and air wing elements to form TF 4.2 MASS watching.
LENS. TF 4.2 is directed to engage VEIL The woman nodded, once. "Very well." She
MESSAGE ENDS
HAND screen elements with skirmishers. TF stood, slowly, drawing herself up to her full
4.2 will deny main battle while pinning down STOP STOP STOP height in one smooth motion. "I come with
VEIL HAND forces at 19 Fortuna. TF 4.2 will ~Ghost Fragment: The Reef 3 word from beyond...
receive missile and torpedo assets to force ~Ghost Fragment: The Reef
VEIL HAND into maintaining tight mutual
52
He let his captors drag him through the dirt.

His arms ached. Two hands wrapped around each bicep like iron So he bent his head low, and listened to the guttural string of hisses
bands. He slumped, and the toes of his scuffed boots bumped over and clicks issuing from the maw of a would-be king in yellow. A
the stones and left trails in the dust. He kept his eyes low, a ragged broken ruler of a broken house, and the last of his kind.
and stained cloak hanging over his face. It was not a position to
which he was accustomed. They were more alike than he cared to admit.

They debased him. They abused him. He bit the inside of his cheek When the creature’s anger had burnt itself out, he raised his head to
until the blood filled his mouth. He struggled not to resist. look at it. He did not need to speak.

They needed to believe he was broken. That he wasn’t a threat. It One kell rises, and another bends its knee.
was the only way they would bring him before their kell.
And the prince felt the little hum of starlight ripple through him. The
He’d spent weeks weaving the illusion that led the Fallen to him. one that let him know she would be pleased with what he had done.
He’d left bits of his trail where they couldn’t help but find them. He ~Ghost fragment: The Reef 4
skulked from planet to planet—Mars, then Venus, then Mercury,
then back again—following rumors and whispers. He’d hid from
the Guardians, from his own people. He’d let everything they had
built fall apart, while those still loyal to him searched every inch of
this forsaken system.
Vestian Outpost
"Looks like the Queen wants Guardians close... but not too close."
Now it was time to stop searching and start building. He would
Located on the Reef's sunward side, the Vestian Outpost marks the
need soldiers who answered to him and no one else. Bodies to
flightpath any Guardian must take to access the Queen's realm.
shape with will and magic and tech to his needs. These would
Beyond it lies the Vestian Web, the heart of the Reef built around the
serve.
asteroid 4 Vesta.
~Vestian Outpost, Queen's Bay
He thought they would take him to a ketch. But they were deep
underground. Not near the Cosmodrome, but... it didn’t matter.
He’d never been particularly concerned with the geography of this
blasted world. It was not his home.

53
54
Variks the Loyal remembers an ancient time, and an ancient name: the And the Prison of Elders is full of dangerous prizes. The Awoken have
House of Judgment, when grudges and status fights were worked out captured titanically dangerous specimens from everywhere in the
in a safe place. When the berserk and the vengeance-crazed were inner solar system. These monstrous champions want to smash
kept somewhere harmless, and there were fewer rivals to plot around. Guardian bone and Guardian alloy—and given the chance, they'll kill
Guardians, rend their Ghosts, and snuff them out forever. Walk into
The old Fallen ways align perfectly with the Queen's agenda. With the arena with a Fireteam you trust. And beware: the agents of the
the House of Wolves in disarray, the Queen needs muscle in the Reef. Nine are active in the Reef, and their curiosity is as limitless as it is
Guardians go where the treasure and the glory are, and an arena of inscrutable.
champions is a wonderful place to earn both. Guardians in the Reef
deter threats to the Queen and give the Awoken a chance to learn Risk death. Win glory and signs of Her Majesty's favor. But always
about their power and subvert their loyalty to the Traveler. And if, as remember that you are being watched, and tested.
the Queen worries, the Nine are scheming against her, then she needs ~Prison of Elders
a good excuse to clear out some of the most dangerous prizes in the
Prison of Elders.

55
Cayde-6, overheard in a Tower lounge She kept them frozen in her prison, the Prison of Elders, and she gave
Didn't anyone tell you about the Prison of Elders? Weren't you on the the keys to that prison to my buddy Variks, a Fallen who showed her
strike team that killed that Archon Priest, the one who escaped? Okay, loyalty. The Prison of Elders is a really curious thing. It holds creatures
okay, I'll tell the story about the Prison of Elders... of enormous power. Not just Wolf nobility— all kinds of beasts,
captured by Corsair expeditions or lured in by the Queen. And it
The Awoken will tell you that a long time ago the Queen conquered holds them well. The Queen, she can do things I don't understand.
the House of Wolves. What they won't say, because they are very There's a power behind her, or in her, that values that Prison.
serious important people, is that the House of Wolves did a lot of the
job for them. After the Queen killed the Wolf Kell, the Fallen started But I hear there's been a few prison breaks. Some old Kell got the old
competing for the throne. One of the first battles was called the Eos House of Wolves back together.
Clash and I wasn't anywhere near it, but I'm pretty sure I'm not
making this up. A Fallen named Skolas wiped out one of his rivals in Now, she's started to wake up her captives. Variks is inviting
the Eos Clash. But the battle cost him so much he got to thinking: if the Guardians out to the Reef to do battle with them in an arena—show
Reef killed my boss, and gave me a chance at the throne, maybe I can valor, earn rewards. It's been their Crucible. Maybe the Queen wants
use the Reef to kill all my rivals too! her collection thinned out. Maybe the Queen wants Guardians in the
Reef, to deter more unrest. Maybe the Queen wants intelligence on
Pretty good, right? When they told me I had to be a Vanguard I went how her prizes fight.
to ask some Fallen how I could get out of it, but they just told me to kill
all my friends and then myself. Anyway. Maybe she wants intelligence on how WE fight.

Everyone involved in the civil war started trying to play their rivals Whatever happens— I want you to remember that she knows, more
against each other, and the Awoken too. No one wanted to become than anyone else I've met, how to set one foe against another.
so strong that they'd be a target. No one wanted to bleed their own ~The Prison of the Elders
forces dry doing someone else's dirty work. Cutthroat politics! And
who's the best at cutthroat politics? That's right, her Majesty, the
Queen of the Reef.

At the end of the wars, the Queen had played her way into the
strongest position, and she had a collection of Fallen nobility and
servitors she thought might be useful to her. Of course she thought so!
She'd just used them against each other and won absolute control of
the Reef, the Belt, and the House of Wolves. She wasn't about to just
toss away her playing pieces.

56
57
JUPITER

Lord of worlds, massive Jupiter and its moons must have been a cornerstone of Golden Age civilization.
But the nature and extent of human presence there is now unknown. Old records refer to cities in ice and
world-spanning oceans, but perhaps this is only poetry. The City's ships have rarely attempted any
journey to Jupiter or beyond.
~Jupiter

Dreams of Alpha Lupi


Even the largest body lets itself be pushed where it needs to be, seduced into nice, warm loving orbits.
Persistence is the key.

Seafloors transform and then yank themselves skyward, shattering the icy crust. New worlds awaken in
the swirling depths.

You build homes around this half-born sun ripped by storms and supersonic wind.
~Ghost Fragment: Jupiter

58
SATURN

Out beyond the Reef its rings shine. Whatever was known of it in the Golden Age is long forgotten, but more
ancient truth remains: Saturn has dozens of moons, including the mighty Titan, a world larger than Mercury. A
Guardian's ship might, in theory, reach Saturn, especially if supported by a larger vessel and good
navigational data. But the hazards of the Reef and the Deep Black beyond threaten to devour anyone who
makes the attempt.
~Saturn

Saturn's rings are not solid matter. Comprised of uncountable flecks of ice and dust, and shaped by the gravity
of Saturn and its many moons, these particulates form two glowing rings around the gaseous planet below. Or,
they did. Then Oryx's Dreadnaught arrived. Its weapon punched right through the rings as it rushed toward the
Awoken fleet that stood in its path. The rings of Saturn spin on. Perhaps one day they will be whole again.
~Saturn's Rings

Dreams of Alpha Lupi


A cold giant shows its night face to you. Distant moons slide past - icy little comets enslaved by a splendid
master.

The lightning bolts and high clouds sweep away, and you burrow into a sea of liquid hydrogen that boils out
of the long gash.

You put yourself on the perfect trajectory, and for a fraction of an instant you allow yourself the luxury of
confidence.
~Ghost Fragment: Saturn

59
60
61

2.0 THE DARKNESS


62
63
Dreams of Alpha Lupi
The universe is a beast.

The body is made from tiny stuff, from near-nothings. From atoms swimming through a blood of crackling sparks.
Simple, eternal Laws shape the beast. The largest galaxy is ruled by principles of mass and motion. Electrons are
slaves to charge and to chance. And this is why the universe feels inexhaustible, eternal.

No sun complains about its death. Life is the problem. Life can be woven from flesh or circuit or thoughtful light.
Origins don't matter. But small, half-smart creatures have a fierce talent for denying the inevitable, for balking and
complaining about injustices that don't exist and consequences that should be borne in silence.
~Ghost Fragment: Darkness 2

This war is all there is for you.

What else do you have? You walk among mortals and immortals, a creature lost in time. Your only purpose is the
struggle.

Does it seem unfair? To be brought back into this, the end of days, the long dwindling exhalation of an ancient
corpse? You were at peace. Now you are a dead husk charged with war. Do you remember anything of freedom?

Fight on, then. The war IS everything.

But consider the choices before you.


~Ghost Fragment: Darkness 4

64
Something hit us. Killed our Golden Age. Nearly wiped us out. Only the
Traveler saved us, and at a shattering cost.

The Speaker tells of a cosmic force that swept over us and caused the
Collapse. Legend calls it the Darkness, the Traveler's ancient enemy,
which hunted it across space.

All we have left are questions. Centuries of debate gave birth to


competing arguments on the nature of the Darkness and the Collapse.

The Pujari Position describes the Darkness as a force with both physical
and moral presence, an actualization of evil. Pujari art depicts the
Darkness as a great storm, or as a change in conduct, a corruption that V113NNI070XMX001 SECRET HADAL INSTANT AI-COM/RSPN:
emerged from within and poisoned the Golden Age. SOLSECCENT//SxISR//DEEPSPACE CONTACT CONTACT
CONTACT TRANSIENT. NULLSOURCE. NULLTYPE.
Saint-14's Position argues that the Darkness was an invading armada,
an alien force of incredible - but tangible - power. Some adherents This is a SKYSHOCK ALERT.
believe that this armada sprang from species rejected or discarded by
the Traveler for their sins. Multiple distributed ISR assets report a TRANSIENT NEAR
EXTRASOLAR EVENT. Event duration ZERO POINT THREE
Ulan-Tan's Thesis considers the Darkness a necessary symmetry to the SECONDS. Event footprint includes sterile neutrino scattering and
Traveler in a cosmic balance. In this view, the Traveler's goodness led it gravity waves. Omnibus analysis detects deep structure information
to sacrifice for others, and it is up to us to return this goodness by content (nine sigma) and internal teleonomy.
healing the Traveler.
No hypothesis on event mechanism (FLAG ACAUSAL). Bootstrap
The Monist Position, or the Deflationary Position, considers the Darkness simulation suggests event is DIRECTED and INIMICABLE (convergent
as a technologically sophisticated force, perhaps a post-Singularity q-Bayes/Monte Carlo probability approaches 1).
intelligence. Adherents invoke information theory or contend that the
universe is a simulation, allowing advanced intelligence to gain weakly No hypothesis on deep structure encoding (TCC/NP-HARD).
acausal powers by bending the rules.
Source blueshift suggests IMMINENT SOLAR ENTRY.
The Acataleptic Clause claims that we are intrinsically unable to
understand the Darkness. In many respects this belief parallels the Praxic Promote event to SKYSHOCK: OCP: EXTINCTION. Activate
Creed, which suggests that we should stop worrying about the nature of VOLUSPA. Activate YUGA. Cauterize public sources to SECURE ISIS
the Darkness and focus on resisting and defeating it. and harden for defensive action.

Certain positions - often labeled heretical - imply that the Traveler itself I am invoking CARRHAE WHITE and assuming control of solar
triggered the Collapse, or that it knew the Darkness was coming for it defenses.
and hoped to use the Solar System as a sacrifice or a proxy army. The
Binary Star cult is one notable example. STOP STOP STOP V113NNI070XMX091
~The Darkness ~Ghost Fragment: Darkness
65
From the Journals of Toland, the Shattered queens. The first queen writes a great book of Of course, it might be that there was another
I drive myself to the edge of madness trying to law and her rule is just. The second queen country, with other queens, and in this country
explain the truth. builds a high tower and her people climb it to they sat down together and made one law and
see the stars. The third queen raises an army one tower and one army to guard their
It's so simple. Elegant like a knife point. It and conquers everything. borders. This is the dream of small minds: a
explains - this is not hyperbole, this is the gentle place ringed in spears.
farthest thing from exaggeration - The future belongs to one of these queens. Her
EVERYTHING. rule is harshest and her people are unhappy. But I do not think those spears will hold
But she rules. against the queen of the country of armies.
But you lay it out and they stare at you like And that is all that will matter in the end.
you've just been exhaling dust. Maybe they're This explains everything, understand? This is ~Ghost Fragment: Darkness 3
missing some underlying scaffold of truth. why the universe is the way it is, and not some
Maybe they are all propped on a bed of lies other way. Existence is a game that everything
that must be burned away. plays, and some strategies are winners: the
ability to exist, to shape existence, to remake it
Why does anything exist? so that your descendants - molecules or stars
or people or ideas - will flourish, and others
No no no no no don't reach for that word. will find no ground to grow.
There's no 'reason'. That's teleology and
teleology will stitch your eyelids shut. And as the universe ticks on towards the close,
the great players will face each other. In the
Why do we have atoms? Because atomic next round there will be three queens and all
matter is more stable than the primordial broth. of them will have armies, and now it will be a
Atoms defeated the broth. That was the first battle of swords - until one discovers the
war. There were two ways to be and one of cannon, or the plague, or the killing word.
them won. And everything that came next was
made of atoms. Everything is becoming more ruthless and in
the end only the most ruthless will remain
Atoms made stars. Stars made galaxies. (LOOK UP AT THE SKY) and they will hunt the
Worlds simmered down to rock and acid and territories of the night and extinguish the first
in those smoking primal seas the first living glint of competition before it can even
molecule learned to copy itself. All of this understand what it faces or why it has
happened by the one law, the blind law, transgressed. This is the shape of victory: to
which exists without mind or meaning. It's the rule the universe so absolutely that nothing will
simplest law but it has no worshippers here ever exist except by your consent. This is the
(out there, though, out there - !) queen at the end of time, whose sovereignty is
eternal because no other sovereign can defeat
HOW DO I EXPLAIN IT it's so simple WHY it. And there is no reason for it, no more than
DON'T YOU SEE there was reason for the victory of the atom. It
is simply the winning play.
Imagine three great nations under three great
66
67

3.0 THE FALLEN


68
69
THE FALLEN

"We have butchers at our gates - four-armed and eager for slaughter."

The Fallen are ruthless scavengers. Brutal and uncaring, they arrived on their massive Ketches in the
wake of the Collapse to loot and pillage our devastated worlds.

There are hints of ancient nobility to the Fallen - the scars of lost grandeur. The Kells of their scattered
Houses still claim to be royalty. But they leave only grief and wreckage in their wake.
~The Fallen

70
3.1 GHOST FRAGMENTS: FALLEN

Ask them our name. Ask your masters what ghouls to murder our Primes, starve our ether, hardened by centuries of flight, you who
they call you. Ask the hollow, the hateful, the and leave our young to die gasping. Curse inherit the Whirlwind! Ask the Queen for
Awoken with alien dreams encysted in them! that City and its name. The curse is just. her throne!
Ask them our name!
We gathered to take that City and save Ask them our name. Let them answer: you
Fallen. They name us Fallen. ourselves from extinction, saying to each are Skolas, Kell of Kells. You are Fallen
other, we must be a storm, a Whirlwind, a no more.
Listen to me, Wolf-born! Heed me, Whirlwind- darkness, for it is said that only pain may be ~Ghost Fragment: Fallen 3
scattered! I am the ghost of Cybele, the stolen from the dark, and we can let no more
cunning claw of Iris, betrayed, chained, be stolen from us. We gathered to fight
encrypted by the Queen, sent back from the against our twilight, King and Devil and
Darkness to save us all! The days of Kell and Winter, all of us but us, the Wolves. Why?
House end now. The calendar of slavery and What kept us from the Gap?
abasement goes to the fire. We are a new
calendar! We are an age of beginnings! The Reef. The Queen. The slavers who
Each of us is a day! played us against each other and docked us
into subservience. These sly sterile un-people,
I am the first, Kell of Kells, and I am the last, these mirages with cold minds twinned to
the Dreg of Dregs. I have conquered and their own, these Carybdis butchers, they set
been conquered. I am all of us and all of us us against each other. She played us. She
are I. In the shape of my life I bind up all of made herself our Kell.
us, all of our fury, all of our grief, all the lives
we have wasted against each other. Together We were fools, o children of the Whirlwind.
we speak our new name. We fought each other when we most needed
unity. I fought my rivals when I should have
Remember the hope that brought us here. fought the Queen. But I remember now, my
Remember the age before the Whirlwind, dregs, my captains, my Kells, each of us is
when ether ran free, when we ruled ourselves all of us and I remember: we are a people of
and our futures as kings. We wanted more resilience. I am the Kell of Kells because I
than glimmer and glints and herealways. want what we have lost. I am the Dreg of
Always remember that we came to this star in Dregs because I remember that a dreg will
hope. And remember that we were denied! grow back what is lost to him. Ask them my
Remember the City of the Death of Children, name! Ask them with the shock blade and
the City That Docks, which claimed for itself the shrapnel launcher! Ask them with the skiff
the Great Machine that might have saved us. and the ketch! Ask your masters by what
Remember the City that even now sends its right they master you, you who have been
71
Cayde-6 Reminisces gun, ducked down to reload, and saw her at howled at me or tried to eat my Ghost. I
Okay, okay, I'll tell the story about that one the other end of the hull, killing Thrall: a cheered when the Knight went down.
Fallen. Fallen in Exile colors, bannered in the marks
of a Baron, though the flags were claw-torn When I came down, empty on all guns, she
It didn't happen like that. We didn't, you and stained with Hive ash. She was alone. I was slumped against a bulkhead staring at
know, do anything actively - no handshake, think she must have lost her crew. me with all her tiny black eyes. Ether leaking
no icy stare of grudging mutual respect. I out of her like smoke. The Knight hadn't died
don't even know which hand you would I didn't really have time to shoot her and she easily. Downslope the last Wizard moved
shake. Do they shake hands? It must be didn't really have time to shoot me so we just like fire behind another line of Thrall.
complicated. went back to killing Hive. Knights pushed me
out into the open and back up the range to a I looked at her and wondered how many
Anyway, it was like this. I was on the high stone saddle in the shadow of an old innocent human lives she'd ended on those
Moon. I cracked a Hive structure near interferometry array. It was good ground so broken blades.
Mare Imbrium, looking for a Shrine, and she came up there too.
they just - swarmed. Ranks and ranks and She did the strangest thing then. Took the last
ranks of Thrall, pouring out between the For a while we just killed things which is shock pistol from her bandolier and threw it
columns, but the columns were Knights, hard to make interesting in a story so I'll pass between us, as if to offer it. When I went to
and all the shadows behind them rose up it over. pick it up she tried to knife me, but she was
hissing sorcery. slow, and when I broke her arms and
At the end the Wizards came. I climbed the opened her throat she didn't seem surprised.
Of course I ran. array to get an angle on them and she fell
back to the base of the antennae where she To this day I wonder if she hated me, or
I had a line of egress and while yes it was broke her swords off in a Knight. I saw that wanted to make me kill her, or just felt she
full of Thrall I had a backup too. I went happen and I don't know if I can tell you should spare me the choice.
upslope. Took cover in the shadow of a how I felt. She was another living thing with
crashed Phaeton. Emptied my machine a mind I could understand and she hadn't I did kill a few Thrall with that pistol.
~Ghost Fragment: Fallen

72
A ROUTINE SUMMATION OF considerable experience in battle from and you cannot take from the dark
DARLINGS WON AND HEROICALLY you can claim only pain from the dark and
HELD DURING THIS PROFITABLE CYCLE, 4 dregs dead, rendering House of that is why the dark is worthy of love
AS COMPILED BY A DREG Winter weaker beyond all other love that astonishing
ammunition of rich makes, quantity ability to evade being robbed
adequate to incinerate 6X6 foe 1 dreg honoring self and House, leading
to consideration of fabricated arms I love what I will not name
11 operational weapons, alien design,
suitable for salvage 1 disabled Fallen skiff, scrubbed of 1 story, Fallen and found beneath the skiff,
House identity and stories unknown House, story uncorrupted
3 explosive charges of obvious design,
suitable for salvage 1 Fallen story found beside the disabled subsequently the second recording has
skiff, unknown House, partly corrupted, been washed away
1 cabal fusion reactor, disabled but rendered as follows:
perhaps repairable operator error
what others call dark which is not I know
61 machines, alien, inoperable, what it is but no time room calm given I know what no one else knows and now I
unknown significances for an appropriate telling so I say only am a marvel with ten thousand arms
that what is not shadow is an ally and a ~Ghost Fragment: Fallen 2
13 alien machines, inoperable, known wonder and I respect what I cannot steal
significances

3 glints

7 herealways

1103 twists of essence

15 human body parts, kept for study,


scorn

55 human adornments, full of glory and


warm memory, worth the cost of their
acquisition and more so

some ether, quantity negligible

73
The Scatter See them turning, accelerating, waking up The Kell doesn't mind a little banter before
This happens long ago, but not too long to their jammers and their arc guns? All the kill. It gives the Wolf ships longer to draw
matter. doomed. The Kell of Wolves will never the battle away from Ceres. The Kell replies.
make it to the Twilight Gap. The Kell of YOU HAVE NO LINE. YOU HAVE NO
Ceres rules the Asteroid Belt. Ceres is the Wolves put all that strength in one place, POWER. Captains and Barons signal their
white queen of this space, four hundred and now the Queen of the Reef is coming readiness, Skolas and Pirsis and Irxis, Drevis,
million kilometers from the Sun. Ceres is to break it. Peekis, Parixas, all of them bound by fear
round. Round means power, out here: and loyalty, all ready for war.
nothing else in the Belt is big enough to Out there, coming out of the dark, are the
crush itself into a sphere with its own gravity. Awoken. Not so great a fleet, is it? Little STARLIGHT WAS MY MOTHER. The Queen's
Ceres has its own chemical stars. Shavings fighters scattered around like four-pointed ship whispers in eerie erratic radio bursts.
of salt and ice that glint in orbit. Like a thorns. Destroyers and frigates and Servitors begin to report a strange taste in
crown. salvaged hulls pulled out of the Reef. And the void. AND MY FATHER WAS THE DARK.
right at the front, at the speartip, flies the
There are other lights, newer stars, newer Queen. Here, at last, too late, the Kell begins to feel
crowns. Warship engines. Another queen is fear. CALL ON THEM, THEN, the Kell sends,
coming to conquer Ceres, because Ceres is The Wolf Kell, practical, brave, tallies one last mocking signal before death and
full of warrens and shipyards and habitats, strength of metal and equipment. The Kell ruin, AND SEE WHAT HELP THEY OFFER.
because Ceres is round and lucky as a considers the chance that the Awoken have
Servitor. Because Ceres is full of the Wolves some secret weapon, something gleaned So the Queen calls, as only she can. Every
she wants to rule. from hulks in the Reef or whispered up by Servitor in every Ketch hears it. Every
the witches, and sets that chance aside. The Captain and Baron roars at their underlings
Shark-fierce ships gather in squadrons and Kell thinks the House of Wolves can win as sensors go blind, as firing solutions falter,
tribes. Skiffs. Ketches. The Kell of Wolves decisively. So the Kell sends challenge and as reactors stutter and power systems hum
has a fleet gathered here. The Kell of Wolves warning. I AM LORD OF WOLVES, the Kell with induction. Stealth fails. Space warps.
heard the call, and summoned the House of sends. YOU ARE AN EMPTY THING WITH The House of Wolves shouts in spikes of war-
Wolves to prepare for the great battle on TWO DEAD SOULS. THIS IS MY HOUSE. code, maneuvers wild, fires blind.
Earth. The salvation of the Kell's people THESE ARE MY TERMS. SURRENDER AND
depends on their ability to shatter the City. I WILL ONLY TAKE YOUR SHIPS. Behind the Queen's ship, the Harbingers
It's a matter of survival. awaken.
The Awoken fleet cuts their engines. Drifts. ~Ghost Fragment: Fallen 4
Now the Wolf fleet turns to meet the Queen. Wolf strike elements, torpedo-armed Skiffs
hidden under jamming and camouflage,
See the squadrons of Skiffs wrapping find their firing solutions.
themselves in stealth, cold and transparent,
knifing out invisible and brave? See the The Queen's ship broadcasts. I AM NOBLE
Ketches like broad blades, the bright TOO, she says, OH LORD OF WOLVES.
thoughts of a Servitor guiding them to battle?

74
Frozen on the monitor was an image of The Eliksni burbled to himself in this, but it hurt. Seeing the horror that was
Sepiks Prime, the massive Prime mocking laughter and gestured with his “Sepiks” made anew.
Servitor that had been as a god to the lower hands. “You do us proud. Go.
House of Devils. Where once its plating Speak with other Crows, learn more His people had fallen.
was pristine, carefully maintained by about these... Devil Splicers.” She
the Archon Priest and his acolytes, it nodded, a small smile on her face, and Variks stared at the image of Sepiks. And
was now splotched with red growths. left the chamber. as he’d done before, he wondered what
The ether power emanations that once would have gone differently had he been
glowed strong and pure were obviously Variks allowed himself a moment of there, among his people. Could he have
corrupted. silent contemplation, looking at the stopped this before it happened? Could he
now-closed door to the information have found them a better way?
Guardians had slain this god. And now suite. As always, it was lit only by the
it was reborn, through SIVA. light of the dozen or so monitors in the “Must be a better way for Eliksni.” He
room. clicked quietly. “Must be a way to stop the
Variks of House Judgment sneered at Fall.”
the abomination. “Golden Age project, The Fallen interlocked his upper hands. ~Ghost Fragment: Fallen 5
yes?” he clicked, turning to the Crow. He bowed his head as he allowed
His field agent was a young Awoken himself to really feel the impact of that
woman. “Technology of old Earth. abomination on the screen. He never
Learned from the Great Machine.” would have allowed anyone else to see

75
THETA// NINE // SEVEN // RED // DELTA High Intel source GREENRAVEN was right. And, for the
Priority Message – Commander’s Terminal EYES moment, it’s worth assuming their report on the
ONLY // TWILIGHT PROTOCOL —-
ONLY // TWILIGHT PROTOCOL —- House of Exiles, House of Winter, and House of
Wolves are also accurate. We’re fact-checking
Recon groups A, J, and T returned to TOWER against independent fireteam reports from the field.
ACTUAL at 03:00 local time.
The kid all the SRL fans talk about — Marcus? He
No casualties. Light injuries across multiple members was in one of the fireteams out at the Cosmodrome.
of J and T teams. He pulled me aside, and said it to me straight: the
Fallen Houses are gone. The siege is broken. The
Full debrief to follow. stalemate we’ve had with the Eliksni for what, a
—- hundred years? It’s over. We won.
Breaking mission topsheet protocol, Commander. I
want you to understand the scope of what we’re Commander, I’m not even sure they’re flying the
looking at here. banners anymore. The teams found huge mounds
of burnt cloth and armor, ceremonial piles, in
As the fireteams fanned out across the region, the several of the most hardcore Fallen holdouts.
Devils rushed to meet them. Our forces dealt with
some post-SIVA pockets of Splicer activity, and every What’s changed? Where have the Fallen gone?
once in a while the Kings popped their heads up and Why have they burned their banners?
scared the hell out of everyone. In other words:
situation absolutely normal. I’m drawing up a plan to coordinate forces from
the Queen’s Wrath, Felwinter Peak, the Warlock
That’s a lie. The Fallen are abandoning the Orders, and more non-traditional outfits to follow
Cosmodrome. up on these reports.

Hawk fly-overs confirm. The House of Devils forces I believe your wisdom will guide us through the
are simply not there anymore. They’ve been trials ahead.
disorganized for the last few years, but there’s never —Sloane
been a shortage of ground troops whenever we ~Ghost Fragment: Fallen 6
staged a significant sortie.

76
3.2 FALLEN COMBAT

77
FALLEN RANKS

Captain

"Waves of them smashed against our walls, hissing and wailing. But it was the
one who stood beyond them, silent and scenting the air, that froze the blood in
our veins."

Having clawed and knifed his way to the top, scattering bodies and limbs in his
wake, the Captain is the strongest and most ferocious member of the crew he
musters around himself. His ration of Ether is the largest, his blades the sharpest,
his guns the finest. Upon his shoulders hangs the flag of his House, if he swears
loyalty to any. For his crew, the slightest hesitation to comply earns a slash from his
sword. Defiance results in immediate amputation, if he is in a good mood, or
death, if he is not.
~Captain

Ser vitor

"A floating light, a sleepless eye. Their hope, their faith, their sustenance."

Servitors are living relics of the once-mighty Fallen civilization. Packed with
ultra-sophisticated machinery, they process matter and energy into the Ether
that the Fallen depend on for life. In battle they support the Fallen with
defensive systems and their own powerful energy weapons. Outside, they
anchor Fallen comms and provide vital technological acumen.

Servitors have complex relationships with each other and with their Fallen
crews. Servitors are attached to a Prime, a massive Servitor which exists in
unclear symbiosis with a Fallen Archon. The Archon conveys the Kell's
wishes to the Prime Servitor, and exerts some measure of control. Recent
developments suggest that Prime Servitors are more than a focus of worship
and logistical activity. They may play a key role in Fallen star flight.
~Servitor

78
Dreg

"Don't underestimate a cutthroat, or you'll get your throat cut."

Dregs cling to the lowest rung of Fallen society. Docked of their lower arms
in a ritual of humiliation and obedience, Dregs seek to prove their worth.
Only a few will survive to gain promotion and regrow their limbs. Their
suicidal bravery is fueled by ambition and shame.
~Dreg

Vandal

"You could drown the City in the blood they've spilt."

Soldiers, brawlers, assassins, and scouts, Vandals are


the seasoned regulars who fill out the skilled roles
within a Fallen crew. Whether from distance or up
close and personal, they are seasoned, efficient killers,
with an arsenal of weaponry and tech to match their
bloodlust.
~Vandal

Shank

"Death flies on tarnished wings."

Shanks are the bulldogs of the Fallen. Small and tough enough to go where
Dregs won't fit, they scout, keep watch, and patrol. Fallen Walkers deploy
Shanks from internal bays for tactical support and field repairs.
~Shank

79
THE FALLEN HOUSES

HOUSE OF DEVILS

"The Devils take whatever nature has yet to claim." - Master Rahool
"The Devils take whatever nature has yet to claim."
These are the scourge of the City, the shadow below our walls. This is the
House that led the battle at the Twilight Gap, the House we tell our children
about to frighten them into behaving.

The House of Devils have now devoted great strength to pillaging the
Cosmodrome in Old Russia, hunting for something buried below. If they are
not held in check, whatever they find might prove the City's undoing.
~House of Devils

HOUSE OF EXILE

"They live among the Hive. Of course they're crazy." - Cayde-6


"They live among the Hive. Of course they're crazy."
There is more than a whiff of desolation about these Fallen. Their ranks are
swollen with Dregs; their rags threadbare. Perhaps this is a new House,
gathered from the outcast malcontents and disgraced castaways of the
others, galvanized by pride or hate or the desire for freedom.

Be watchful. If this is true, they will surely be hungry to secure their position -
and that may drive them to bold action
~House of Exile

80
HOUSE OF WINTER

"Their greed is as much a threat as their blades." - Commander Zavala


"Their greed is as much a threat as their blades."
The Fallen House of Winter, led by the ruthless Kell Draksis, have been
found operating in and around the Ishtar Sink on Venus. Their interests there
seem directed at the ruins of the Academy along the Shattered Coast, but
there are concerns that their focus may, in actuality, be directed elsewhere -
toward the ominous Citadel that rises like a warning above the Waking
Ruins.
~House of Winter

HOUSE OF KINGS

"Another great House hides among us..." - Ikora Rey


"Another great House hides among us..."
The colors of the House of Kings are rarely seen. They
act with brutal contempt, as if they hold their rivals -
other Fallen and City alike - in disdain. We have yet
to grasp the full measure of their strength.
~House of Kings

HOUSE OF WOLVES

"These ones are mine." - The Queen


"These ones are mine."
The bulk of the House of Wolves now falls under the control of the Queen of
the Reef. There are many stories of how this came to be, but they are too
varied for the truth to be separated from rumor.
~House of Wolves

81
FALLEN WEAPONRY

Shock Pistol

The Shock Pistol is a simple but deadly weapon, and a mainstay of the
Fallen arsenal. Primarily utilized by the lower ranking members of a given
Fallen crew, Shock Pistols discharge bolts of Arc energy.
~Shock Pistol

Shock Rifle

Although based on the same Arc technology as other


Fallen weaponry, this rifle has a distinct advantage: the
projectiles it fires track unerringly to the target. The
exact mechanism behind this is unclear, but the rifle
seems to steer the slow-moving molten projectile down
an artificial field line.
~Shock Rifle

Shrapnel Launcher

The Shrapnel Launcher is a simple, effective, robust weapons system that the
Fallen can build without risking vital resources. The weapon fires loose-
forged canisters of explosives and shrapnel down electromagnetic rails
embedded in the barrel. Captains favor this weapon for its intimidating
presence. It deals Solar damage.
~Shrapnel Launcher

82
Wire Rifle

The Wire Rifle utilizes shock cores to charge thin wires of an exotic metal,
converting them into Arc-infused molten shards with an extraordinary muzzle
velocity.
~Wire Rifle

Shock Dagger

The Shock Dagger is a deadly combination of stun gun


and knife. Composed of a lightweight metal and
powered by a small Arc charge, the Shock Dagger is
capable of cutting through armor and delivering a
staggering jolt of electricity. The Fallen use them for
every purpose imaginable, from light metalwork to
hand-to-hand combat.
~Shock Dagger

Shock Blade

These full-length edged weapons gather Arc energy from a system of shock
cores and charging caps in the hilt, converting the entire length of the blade
into a plasma cutting torch. Brutally efficient in the hands of a skilled
Captain, Shock Blades are not ceremonial weapons built for show.
Guardians would do well to respect the threat they present.
~Shock Blade

83
Shock Grenade

The Shock Grenade is a simple, effective Fallen weapon. The core of the
device is a shock core encased in an induction motor. Once activated, an
Arc charge builds in the core until it reaches critical mass, starting a chain
reaction that ends with a devastating explosion.
~Shock Grenade

Web Mine

The Fallen have a variety of tricks up their many sleeves. The Web Mine is
proximity or impact triggered snare device that releases a tangle of "heavy"
arc energy, causing spatial disruption within its sphere of influence. The
Web Mine's triggering mechanism ejects the physical mine into the air
where it detonates its "Web" field. The triggering mechanism and mine can
both be destroyed with focused fire.
~Web Mine

84
Scorch Cannon

Scorch Cannons are shoulder-mounted heavy impact weapons used by the Fallen for hull-
puncturing in ship-to-ship raiding parties. The Scorch Cannon uses a compressed Solar
"furnace" to focus and direct superheated rods of solar energy. Each burst is mapped to the
Cannon's firing matrix, allowing the wielder to hold a fired rod's charge. Release of the firing
actuator triggers detonation. The longer the actuator is held the greater the rod's explosive
impact.
~Scorch Cannon

Shock Cannon

Aimed from the shoulder, the Arc spike in this Fallen


Cannon can smash a Sparrow in a single shot. Once
lodged, the spike can be charged for several seconds,
to destructive effect.
~Shock Cannon

Null Cannon

Fallen Splicers have been busy playing with what they’ve looted from the
Hive. A spike of Void energy binds to the heavy Cannon scaffold for a
powerful charge-and-detonate missile.
~Null Cannon

85
FALLEN VEHICLES

Skiff

Slipping out of stealth only to offload a crew of Fallen, the Skiff is rarely
seen. On the other hand, its rumbling, booming arrival is difficult to miss - as
are the weapons it uses to support its troop deployments.
~Skiff

Fallen Walker

Fallen Walkers are mobile gun platforms deployed in offensive and


defensive roles alike. Though their insect-like design gives them an eerie,
almost lifelike quality, these heavily-armored monstrosities are purely robotic.
Their advanced tracking systems can account for multiple targets as their
forward repeaters and massive main gun sweep the battlefield for threats.
Mine dispensers provide close defense against dismounted infantry, and an
on-board Shank foundry produces armed repair drones.

Walkers are immediate and deadly threats, having ended the Light of be beaten by focusing fire on the legs, overloading the
countless Guardians. The Fallen do not hesitate to deploy them to provide Walker and rendering its armored core briefly
overwatch for their salvage and extraction crews. Walkers are also vulnerable. When the Walker stumbles, Guardians
commonly used as blocking forces to guard key Fallen assets. At the Battle should focus all available firepower on the exposed
of Twilight Gap, Walkers engaged in a thunderous artillery duel with the components beneath the neck plating. Some externally
City's gun positions. mounted weapons can also be disabled with precise
fire.
The collected wisdom of battle-hardened Guardians suggests Walkers can ~Walker
86
Pike

A Pike looks and sounds like rusted junk but moves like a shark. Lightning
crackles in the engine, which can accelerate to fantastic speed. Twin guns
mow down infantry. The Fallen deploy Pikes as high-speed harassers and
patrol vehicles.
~Pike

Heavy Pike

The Heavy Pike is a Fallen combat and demolitions vehicle. Unlike the
standard assault Pike, the weightier Heavy Pikes are equipped with high-
caliber twin-nose cannons and dual expel ports to either side that launch
explosive devices. Heavy Pikes should be considered a clear and definite
danger when encountered in the wilds. However, should a Guardian, or
Guardians, find occasion to utilize the Heavy Pike to their own ends, such
behavior is highly encouraged.
~Heavy Pike

87
3.3 FALLEN LEADERSHIP

88
Riksis, Devil Archon
"The Archons are the links between the Fallen and their Servitors. We break those
The Archons are the links between the Fallen and their Servitors. We break those
links, we break the Fallen."
Archons are revered amongst the Fallen. It is unknown whether these high priests
are the caretakers of the Prime Servitors, or simply vicious arbiters of the Primes'
will.

Riksis collects the skulls of dead Guardians. Whether he keeps them as trophies or
presents them as offerings to whatever Prime he serves, his threat is very real, and
his death will bring great joy to a City in need of hope.
~Riksis, Devil Archon

Simiks-3
"Its thirst for knowledge was left unquenched for so long, its death will almost be
considered a tragedy."

Simiks-3 was born of Winter's Prime Servitor, rumored to have been destroyed
long ago. From readings gathered during the battle, it appears Simiks-3 was
uniquely equipped to process and store huge amounts of intel between itself and
a chain of nearby Servitors.
~Simiks-3

89
Draksis, Winter Kell
"The architect of Winter's strategy. And he still shows his strength on the front
line." - Commander Zavala
line."

Draksis, Kell of the Wintership Simiks-fel, has been an elusive target for the
Vanguards. After his countless raids on jumpship reclamation convoys, Cayde-6
personally upped the bounty on him. With confirmed sightings of the Kell in the
Ishtar Sink, the time to strike is now.
Defeating Draksis could throw Winter into chaos. With Simiks Prime allegedly
already lost, the House leadership would be gutted - although proof of the
Servitor's demise remains elusive.
~Draksis, Winter Kell

Sepiks Prime
"I never believed a machine could know hatred."
Floating, emotionless arbiters of life and death, Servitors are quasi-religious automata
defended by the Fallen with zealous ferocity.

The exalted Servitor of the Fallen House of Devils, Sepiks Prime, has long been rumored to
dwell deep within the bowels of the Cosmodrome. While the Kells are the political leaders
of the Fallen, Servitors are said to be their gods - and the source of their life-sustaining ether.
A Prime Servitor is a target worthy of even the greatest sacrifice. Those willing to accept
such a challenge will have the eternal gratitude of a City desperate for relief.

Sepiks Prime relies on fanatical reinforcements and its own considerable tactical abilities -
including a short-range teleport and a powerful directed energy weapon. Aim for the eye,
and break contact if it turns your way.
~Sepiks Prime

90
Aksor, Archon Priest
A disciple of the Prime Servitor Kaliks, Aksor initiated brutal crusades
against human settlements beyond the City and ravaged countless Awoken
enclaves throughout the Reef. When the Queen waged her war against the
Wolves, Aksor was taken alive and sealed into the infamous Prison of
Elders.

Killing Aksor before he can join the ranks of the House of Winter weakens
the Fallen, strengthens ties to the Reef, and brings the City one step closer to
gaining a solid foothold along the Shattered Coast.
~Aksor, Archon Priest

The Silent Fang

Commanded by the fearsome Drevis, Wolf Baroness, the Silent Fang are a unit of
elite stealth warriors and assassins. Instrumental in Skolas' rise to kellship among the
Wolves, the Silent Fang also menaced the Queen during the Reef War. It was Drevis
and the Silent Fang who razed Amethyst, and then tricked the Queen's Armada at
the Battle of Iris. Though the Silent Fang suffered a serious blow when Drevis was
finally thrown in the Prison of Elders after the Siege of Pallas, they continued to
threaten the Queen's forces until the war's end.
~The Silent Fang

91
Paskin, King Baron

Hall of Crows
Prince Uldren: Look at it from the House of Kings' perspective. Their
power is matched only by their cleverness. They rule the Devils from the
shadows and came too close to toppling the City not once, but twice.
We don't know much about them, but we know this: the Kings want the
Traveler.

So why would they give it all up just because some outsystem Wolf runs
in calling himself Kell of Kells?

The answer is: they wouldn't.

Petra Venj: But what if Skolas could somehow prove to them that he's
the prophesied leader? Some artifact, or trick?

Yasmin Eld: Perhaps a new power, even.

Prince Uldren: No. Short of the Traveler itself calling Skolas by name,
the Kings would not just roll over for anyone, no matter what. They're
too ambitious.

Petra Venj: You sound like you admire them.

Prince Uldren: Power cleverly deployed is always worth admiring.

Yasmin Eld: So why send the King Barons?


~Paskin, King Barron

92
Yavek, Wolf Baron

"Serve him; he is Kell of Kells."

Yavek was a minor lieutenant of Skolas' during the Reef Wars who
evaded capture after the Cybele Uprising. After Skolas returned to the
House of Wolves, he named Yavek a Baron to reward his loyalty, and
sent him to Earth to be his negotiator with the Houses of Kings and
Devils.
~Yavek, Wolf Baron

Vekis, King Baron

Hull of Crows
Prince Uldren: Of the Kell of Kings, we know nothing. Wherever, whoever it is, it
remains hidden, even when the so-called Kell of Kells comes to its borders. Instead, it
sends just two Barons: Paskin and Vekis.

Yasmin Eld: What do we have on them?

Petra Venj: Should I issue bounties on them?

Prince Uldren: No, you do not see. Perhaps if we wait, Paskin and Vekis will do our
work for us.

Yasmin Eld: You believe Paskin and Vekis are not ambassadors?

Prince Uldren: I am sure of it.

Shuro Chi: Be certain, my prince, that your assessment is free of personal bias.

Prince Uldren: What are you suggesting, Shuro?


~Vekis, King Baron
93
Taniks, The Scarred

“It is the lone wolf, once cornered, who has the worst bite.”

Taniks, the Scarred, a mercenary known for the theft of Aksor from
the Prison of Elders and the murder of Hunter Vanguard Andal Brask,
sells his services to any Fallen House willing to pay the right price. It
is believed by the Fallen that he is undying, a living huntsman whose
physical self is joined with a mix of technologies, each pilfered from
legendary treasure troves. But treasure is not the only currency of
value to Taniks. His true ambitions rest in the challenge of the feats in
front of him, and the rewards simply allow him to exist free of any
Kell’s rule.
~Taniks, The Scarred

Pilot Servitors

"Pilots once mapped the stars. Skolas turned them into weapons."

Pilot Servitors were not typically utilized as combatants in Fallen battle


plans. Their purpose was manning the flight of various Fallen ships, from
crew transports to massive war-barges.

During the Reef Wars, however, Skolas crafted brutal new tactics to inflict
maximum destruction upon the Awoken, including suicide attacks led by
Pilot Servitors.

With the wounds of the Reef Wars renewed by the House of Wolves'
betrayal, the Queen no longer abides their presence in her Reef.
~Pilot Servitor

94
Kaliks Reborn

"This machine is no God... But given fervent worship even a shell


can transcend."

Kit-bashed using parts and pieces of lesser Servitors, Kaliks


Reborn is fueled by servants so loyal to the rule of the long-lost
Kaliks Prime that they would sacrifice their own ether to the last
fume.

Kaliks Reborn is seen by these devout prisoners as the resurrection


of their Prime. With a Kaliks to serve, the Fallen may rally, the
Wolves may gain new strength. Or worse, a new House may rise
—a House blinded by faith and hungry to be seen as equal.
~Kaliks Reborn

S.A.B.E.R. -2

“If the Devils ever gain control of Rasputin’s Warsats, we'd have Golden
Age ordnance pointed at the Tower in minutes.”

Reports show this vastly modified Shank and its defense armaments are
enough to force the Vanguard to strike, but it is the tech underneath its
layers of armor, cobbled together from Cosmodrome debris and
cannibalized Servitor parts that is most concerning. All intel points to
modifications made specially by rising Archons to breach the Warmind's
firewalls and seize control of its systems.
~S.A.B.E.R. -2

95
~ Author's Note: Skolas' escape from the Queen of the Skolas, Kell of Kells
reef started one of the widest searches of the solar system
since the collapse, it was what opended up the reef for the
guardians... In the following pages are records of Skolas Variks keeps a ragged piece of armor in his pod. It's human tech,
during the hunt. Golden Age. Shattered in some ancient battle, pre-Collapse, and left
In this time, Warlock scholars were able to aquire a partial to drift. He found it and he brought it to his quarters so he could sit on
record of the Mariad, a series of awoken recordings from it. It's nothing like a throne. Variks doesn't want a throne.
the Reef Wars which occured at a time when the city was
only young. ~ He sits on his ancient shrapnel, unmasked, and whittles at an
amethyst with the dead edge of a shock dagger. Music plays
(something ancient, pre-Whirlwind, beautiful). The ether in the air is
rich and it fills him up with strength. Skolas has been captured, mad
Skolas who would have ruined everything. Variks should be happy.
He's not. With his little knife and his two arms and his stolen shining
thing he feels like a Dreg. He feels ashamed.

He betrayed Skolas twice. At Cybele, and again, now. He will betray


Skolas' dream ten times more. Variks will never be strong like Skolas,
big like Skolas, a leader like Skolas. Variks will work for the Queen,
oversee the Prisons, watch his fellow Fallen (they are Fallen, it's a
good name now) fight and die as gladiators who want nothing except
a chance to hurt Guardians. Even Skolas.

He tried to use the Vex, word has it. He tried to use their machines.
Has that ever worked for anyone? Maybe one. Maybe a few: the
Osiris cultists are Variks' favorite people. Maybe that's how you
survive this alien star where dead gods slumber and dead heroes
walk. You cozy up to powers you barely understand and make
yourself useful, or at least inoffensive. You become a parasite, a
scavenger, a servant.

That's dreg strength. That's the strength that keeps Variks alive. It's
nothing to be ashamed of.

~Skolas Captured

96
Skolas is dead.

Variks sits carving at his piece of amethyst. His undocked arms


are weaker, less precise, but it is a comfort to feel the crystal
press hard into his palm. The knife slips. He cuts himself. "Ai," he people, the House of Judgment that once kept codes of dignity
says, and of course right then the door opens, Variks has no and law?
privacy, Variks wants no privacy, Variks lives to serve the Queen.
Why can't the Fallen have that strength? But no, that strength is
It's Petra Venj. She's masked against the ether air. "The Prince not for them, not for Variks. Just this bleeding, sad pragmatism.
wants to speak," she says, and then, seeing him unmasked and Just dreg strength. Hanging on.
bleeding, she chuckles. Petra depends on Variks for intelligence
and Variks, frustrated with her insane risk-taking and bravado, The alternative is Skolas' strength, fighting together, raging
sometimes gives her tips meant to get her killed. Petra has figured against extinction. Look where that's gotten the species. The
this out. Petra and Variks know each other's agendas and each House of Devils' Prime is dead. The House of Winter's leadership
other's strengths and to Variks that's as close as any two people devastated. The poor Exiles trying to claw out some security
can get. Petra is smart: she sends Guardians now, people who against the Hive. In the last few years the Fallen have lost so
can die as much as they like. much—and everything is escalating around them. There are gods
and powers converging on this system, old machines waking up,
"You slipped," she says. old bones whispering flatteries. They need a new way.

Variks holds up the amethyst in his bleeding hand. It's a Reef "Put your mask on," Petra says. "The Prince gets sullen if he's
gem. "I wound myself," he says, "to make this more beautiful." kept waiting."

She stares into the gem with a distant Awoken eye. What does "Not like us," Variks says, oh so mild. The wound on his hand
she see? Variks knows she has visions and he knows those visions will heal. His work in the Prison of Elders, setting up trial by
haunt her, drive her. The Awoken are twinned to powers that combat, building an audience and a relationship with the Reef's
terrify Variks. He'd dock himself again before he'd let the Queen's scavengers and armories, will bring him a little closer towards
witches near him, the witches who raised Petra. rebuilding the House of Judgment. Skolas' fury has guttered out.
The Fallen may yet accept peaceful, lawful rule. They may yet
The unfairness of it makes him want to roar. Why does everyone survive. They'll hang on. "We're very patient, yes?"
else have this patronage? Why do the Hive have gods and the
Vex have sprawling time-bent minds and the Cabal have Petra looks down on him with pity and contempt and a strange
reinforcements? Why do the Awoken whisper to the stars and fondness. He puts on his mask.
listen for the whisper back, the voices from the Jovians, the song ~Skolas Defeated
in the dark? Why do the Guardians get the Great Machine's
blessing, was it like that before the Whirlwind, were there Fallen
heroes crowned in Ghosts who strode the battlefield fearless and
full of Light? Why do they tell stories about reclaiming the lost
glory of humanity, and no stories about the lost glory of Variks'

97
98
The Reef Wars

The Maraid, Book VII, Chapter 10


than half his House. The remaining Wolves scattered,
Abstract: The transmission was broadcasted on all burrowing deep into the Belt for cover. There, new
Fallen frequencies. Lacking, at the time, the ability to claimants to the Kellship quickly arose: Irxis, Wolf
crack Fallen encryptions, the Master of Crows could Baroness; Parixas, the Howling; and Skolas, the
discern only that the Fallen Houses were all talking to Rabid.
each other. That was a thing that had never happened ~Wanted: Skolas, Kell of kells
before.

Then the Techeuns looked Earthward—and saw the


Fallen there becoming bolder. Tactics suggested they
were planning a massive attack. We had no
interplanetary arrays—no way to warn Earth. We
thought we would be able to do nothing but watch.

But then the Wolves arrived from the Jovians. Their


army was hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions
strong: a dark wave that washed over the Reef, The Maraid, Book VIII, Chapter 1
rushing toward the Earth. As soon as we saw them it
was clear that if the Wolves reached Earth, the City Abstract: After the Scatter, the frontrunner for the
would fall. Kellship was Irxis, Wolf Baroness. While Skolas and
Parixas scrambled over the Kaliks servitors, Irxis
Seemingly oblivious to our existence, the bulk of the secured the command of the Orbiks servitors.
Wolf fleet stopped to regroup at Ceres. The Queen's
decision was this: attack the House of Wolves, thereby Their history is still unclear, but the Orbiks originate
saving Earth but revealing the Reef's presence to any with either another Fallen house—perhaps one that the
and all enemies in the quadrant; or remain silent, Wolves absorbed long ago—or a modification of the
preserving the Reef's invisibility but allowing the City Kaliks servitors. Either way, the Orbiks servitors held
to perish. permissions on Kaliks servitors, which allowed Irxis to
wreak havoc among her rivals' forces at the start of
Her Harbingers ripped into Ceres, destroying the the Reef Wars.
asteroid and killing Virixas, Kell of Wolves and more ~WANTED: Mecher Orbiks-11

99
The Maraid, Book VIII, Chapter 2 Drevis at Zire's' feet. It was Parixas.

Abstract: What Peekis' assault lacked in finesse it Grayor, another of Skolas' loyal vassals, had attacked
made up for in sheer numbers and desperation. Irxis' Parixas' ketch at the same time that Drevis had
ketches were pinned against Eos, and the two sides attacked Amethyst. He, too, had lured Parixas to Iris,
engaged in the bloody, bitter battle known as the Eos then the Silent Fang had used Iris' unusual brightness
Clash, which left Irxis dead and both fleets nearly to disappear just as Zire and Parixas arrived in the
decimated. In the aftermath, the Crows salvaged one system.
Orbiks servitor, Mecher Orbiks-11, believed to be the ~WANTED: Grayor, Wolf Assassin
last of its programming.
The Maraid, Book VIII, Chapter 4
Though technically a victory for Skolas, the Eos Clash
came at a terrible cost for him. He docked Peekis' Abstract: After a string of defeats—at Amethyst, at
arms and demoted him to Dreg as punishment for his Hygiea, arguably at Iris—Prince Uldren's Crows
recklessness. finally made headway against the Wolves' encryption.
They quickly discovered a seemingly unimportant
After the Eos Clash, Skolas changed his strategy. piece of information: the House of Wolves had
~WANTED: Peekis, the Disavowed incorrectly calculated the eccentricity of the asteroid
Bamberga.
The Maraid, Book VIII, Chapter 3
So Paladin Imogen Rife chased Drevis, Wolf
Abstract: With Skolas and Parixas still fighting, no one Baroness, directly into Bamberga's trajectory. Drevis'
expected either to attack the Reef. So by the time ketch was destroyed, and both she and her High
Paladin Abra Zire arrived at Amethyst it was too late: Servitor, Kaliks-4, were captured.
the Silent Fang, led by Drevis herself had massacred
almost everyone in the station, including Coven Leader It was the first decisive Reef victory since the Scatter.
Pinar Venj. But on her way back to Vesta with her captives,
Paladin Rife was attacked at Palla.
Paladin Zire gave chase, and followed the Fang to Iris, ~WANTED: Drevis, Wolf Baroness
where, behind the glare of Iris' brightness, a Wolf
ketch lay in wait. But the ketch was no match for Zire's The Maraid, Book VIII, Chapter 5
smaller, faster ships, or her ferocity.
Abstract: Under Skolas' vassal Pirsis, called Pallas-
When the Battle of Iris was over, however, it was not Bane, the Wolves amassed the largest Wolf fleet that
100
had been seen since the Scatter. The Queen could not Pirsis' strike team managed to free Kaliks-4, but
use her Harbingers against them—if she did, Imogen Paladin Imogen Rife cut them off outside Drevis' cell.
Rife and her fleet and all the people of Pallas would Pirsis might have escaped, but she refused to retreat
have been killed as well. without Drevis. Paladin Rife destroyed Kaliks-4 to
prevent the Wolves from recovering it, and eventually
For years the siege endured. At first, neither side the Wolves were forced back—but not before Pirsis
dared to attack the other: on Pallas, Paladin Rife knew slew Paladin Rife with her own blade.
that Pirsis had the firepower to destroy the asteroid.
Above Pallas, Pirsis held back, hoping to rescue Drevis Finally, Commander Hallam Fen, Imogen Rife's
and Kaliks-4 and the other Wolves that Paladin Rife protégé, was able to establish a line of communication
had captured at the Battle of Bamberga's Wrath. The with the rest of the Reef. Working with the Techeuns
Queen sought to diffuse the siege by sending Armada and the Crows, they created an enormous visual
Paladins Abra Zire and Kamala Rior into the Hildian illusion of the Harbingers, making it seem as if the
Asteroids, where Skolas was rumored to be hiding, but Queen had finally decided to cut her losses and
with the help of his tactician Beltrik, the Veiled, Skolas
destroy the asteroid. It worked—the false Harbingers
thwarted them. so scared the Wolf fleet that they broke ranks. Then the
combined forces of Commander Fen, Paladin Leona
The stalemate over Pallas was broken by, of all beings, Bryl and Paladin Kamala Rior slammed, capturing
a dreg. Ironically dubbed Weksis the Meek, the dreg Pirsis, Pallas-Bane and driving the rest of the Wolves
led dozens of followers in an unsanctioned attack on off.
Pallas. They managed to blast a hole in the Athens
Hull, but were stopped soon after by Commander Hallam Fen brought Drevis to Vesta, years after
Hallam Fen. Weksis and the surviving followers were Imogen Rife had set out to do so. As a reward for his
imprisoned alongside those they had come to save. service, the Queen bequeathed him Rife's place
~WANTED: Weksis, the Meek among the Seven Paladins.
~WANTED: Pirsis, Pallas-Bane
The Maraid, Book VIII, Chapter 6
The Maraid, Book VIII, Chapter 7
Abstract: Weksis' attack may have been unsuccessful,
but it inspired another, deadlier assault. This time Abstract: Finally, Beltrik, the Veiled left the Hildians
Pirsis, the Bane of Pallas herself led another strike, and massed his fleet at Fortuna, to replenish his
blasting through the same Athens Hull breach that ketches' Ether from the organic compounds found on
Weksis had weakened in his assault. the asteroid's surface. His ships landed on Fortuna one
at a time, the rest forming a defensive screen around
101
its surface. He believed that Paladin Zire would attack Sharp-Eyed, tried to escape, but Abra Zire chased it
the screen and destroy her fleet against the shield down.
wall.
Skolas' Cybele Uprising had failed. He, Skriviks,
But Abra Zire's fury over the Battle of False Tidings Kaliks-12 and the rest of his leaders were cast into the
had chilled over the years into an icy, clever resolve. Queen's prison. The Reef Wars were effectively over.
She separated her forces in two, and engaged ~WANTED: Kaliks-12
Beltrik's veil with what he thought was her entire host.
But in secret, Abra deployed her second fleet with a The Maraid, Book VIII, Chapter 9
weapon the Reef had been working on since
Bamberga: Carybdis, a gravity weapon strong Abstract: Variks of the House of Judgment declared
enough to knock asteroids off course. Carybdis caught Queen Mara Sov the new Kell of Wolves, and advised
asteroid Tinette in its beam and flung it into Fortuna, those captured at Cybele to serve her. The first among
destroying both and severely damaging Beltrik's fleet. these to pledge their loyalty to the Queen was one
Beltrik was easily captured in the ensuing chaos, and called Saviks, who was given the honor of serving in
brought swiftly to the Queen. The fight became known the Queen's throne room, to the right of the Queen
as the Fortuna Plummet, as are, on occasion, the herself.
remains of Fortuna and Tinette as well.
[See Book IX, Chapter 3, subsection "The
After the Fortuna Plummet, one of Prince Uldren's Queenbreakers."]
Crows returned with a message from a Fallen, by the ~WANTED: Saviks, Queenbreaker
name of Variks, of the House of Judgment.
~WANTED: Beltrik, the Veiled The Maraid, Book VIII, Chapter 10

The Maraid, Book VIII, Chapter 8 Abstract: Though many Wolves knelt to the Queen,
some refused to admit the war was over. A group of
Abstract: In desperation, Skolas personally led an all- Wolves rallied under the banner of a new would-be
out assault on the military fortress of Cybele. Little did Kell: Veliniks, called the Ravenous.
he know that the Queen knew of his plans, thanks to
the word of Variks of the House of Judgment. No But before Veliniks could strike at the Reef, the Reef
sooner had Skolas' ketches arrived at the asteroid than struck at him: Lieutenant Petra Venj, a Corsair who had
all four Armada Paladins—Abra Zire, Kamala Rior, served under Paladin Abra Zire during the Hildian
Leona Bryl and Hallam Fen—caught him in a pincer Campaign, hunted down and captured Veliniks.
movement. Kaliks-12, the High Servitor of Skriviks, the ~WANTED: Veliniks, the Ravenous
102
103
104
105

4.0 THE HIVE


106
THE HIVE

"There are nightmares rising from the shadows, and they hunger for our dying hope."

The Hive are an ancient, festering evil. Their antipathy to the Light transcends hatred. To the Hive, the
eternal struggle between Light and Dark is not only a war, it is a crusade - all Light must be devoured
so Darkness can reclaim the universe.
~The Hive

107
108
4.1 GHOST FRAGMENTS: HIVE
~ Authors Note: The follow are gathered fragments from our encounters with
the Hive. For a history on the Hive species as a whole you will need to delve
into the Book of Sorrows recovered from the Hive Dreadnaught during the
At the doors to the Temple he fell for
invasion of Oryx. The tales told there are too dark and long to cover here. ~
the last time. He fell, and I could not
reach him.

My own Light flickers. I have seen chasms beneath the


surface, falling away to green
They took me down into the dark, past nothingness. I have seen black
tiers of massed Hive, more than we seeders prepared for invasion.
believed could exist. Past grisly
nurseries hung with pupae. Past Their strength is not their own. They
writhing worms that they swallow draw from another force, something
whole. I saw the armaments of war. that corrupts, that distorts, that eats
and will not be satisfied.
I am weak, so weak.
The Wizard is near. I feel her
They have clamped me to this spire presence as a rip and a knot in the
while a black foulness eats my Light. world. She tells me things that I
The Wizard comes now and then to immediately forget. I am too small to
probe with her scaly claws into my hold the vastness of them, or the
systems, to inquire about my making, terror.
the City, what I have seen. I erase and
dump as quickly as I can - they will I am fading. I have no more that it
learn little from me - but I am studying can take. With my last light I say to
them, I know - pain. the City: War comes again from the
Moon. This time they want Earth.
Always pain. Prepare.
~Ghost Fragment: Hive 2

109
We were overwhelmed. I could not save mine, so I discovered, to our sorrow, one massive set of
have hidden myself where I might be found by the gates. There are likely more.
others, if they even survive. There is most likely no
possibility of my return to the City. I prepare here in We met a towering monster, wielding a sword of
summary the knowledge so painfully won by my utter darkness. The Light only made it hungry. We
Guardian and our fireteam. tried to fight, and we fell. Too many times to
remember.
The Moon has been geoengineered into an
impregnable fortress, designed to support a vast We were all brave, I assure you. May the Light
number of - creatures - if any mind could be evil find Guardians capable of facing this monstrosity,
enough to create them. Are they alive? They move, or I fear the Moon may be lost to us forever.
they shriek, they fall upon us in ravenous waves. But I ~Ghost Fragment: Hive
see death, decay, and corruption, not life. We

110
"The nightmares will crawl across this world and Ikora: The Warmind?
the machines of old will rest silent as they witness
Eris: Rasputin. Yes. The last fail safe against the
the final Light of this seemingly eternal dusk."
night.
Ikora: And this Omnigul is here? On Earth? Ikora: He’s still yet to heed our calls—
Eris: I can feel it. Eris: I’m aware.
Ikora: Why? Ikora: —but seems just.
Eris: She’s left the Hellmouth. Her inner chambers Eris: Just is enough. Just can save us all.
are active. More so than I have seen. But she is no
Ikora: And the Hive?
longer in the shadows.
Eris: They will tear into its eyes—or worse.
Ikora: No, not—I don't question your belief. I’m
asking why she is here. Why Earth? Please, try to Ikora: Worse?
be clear. There is no time for cryptic half-answers
Eris: The dust and bone and horror of their
and almost-truths.
existence is simply who—what they are. But it does
Eris: Heh. not negate their ageless intelligence.
Ikora: She still laughs. Ikora: They do not seek to destroy Rasputin.
Eris: It seems I have become more like the Speaker Eris: I don’t know. Destroying Rasputin would cost
— us a treasure beyond belief. But, such fury twisted
to the Hive’s ends?
Ikora: Secrets have their places. Here, now, is not
that place. Omnigul. Tell me what you’ve learned. Ikora: We would fall.
Tell me how we stop her.
Eris: All would fall.
Eris: There may be no stopping what comes. The
Ikora: The Omnigul is here for Rasputin.
Hive in Old Russia—in that dead land—their
assault on the Cosmodrome is no coincidence. Eris: She is here to pave the way.
They move against the Light with purpose. Always
Ikora: For Crota?
with purpose.

111
Eris: That could just be the beginning. He's not Ikora: None who walk these Towers is afraid—and
their only god. Rasputin must not fall.
Ikora: As I am learning. I will make the others Eris: Then Omnigul must be stopped.
listen.
Ikora: Two goals that appear to be one and the
Eris: It may be too late. same.
Ikora: Then you need a new army. Eris: Perhaps. So I am to stay?
Eris: I’ve made that mistake before. Ikora: I will see to it.
Ikora: You saved us all. Your sacrifice— Eris: Then let us hope we are strong enough to
stand against what is upon us—and hope the
Eris: I am still here. My sacrifice was—
others do not follow.
Ikora: Enough. ~Ghost Fragment: Hiive 3
Eris: And I should ask new heroes to fall... as they
did?
Ikora: It is why we were reborn in the Light.
Eris: My Light is all but gone.
Ikora: Cherish what remains, but know that you
have done enough. Your time in the shadows... I
can't fathom—
Eris: My role among the Hidden is an honor.
Ikora: None would argue. But it's had its cost.
Your place is to gather the understanding we need
to wage these wars, but your own war is long
done. Let those prepared to fight, fight.
Eris: And should they die?

112
Transcribed from a stolen copy of the journals of It is in these sounds that I fear yet another Hive
Toland, the Shattered (unverified by any crypto- secret hides. Perhaps beyond their gods, perhaps
archeologist) in accord with them. Perhaps these are just Hive
translations of worlds we call another name, but I
If your Light is strong enough to hear across the believe above all things they call to some kind of
soundless plains, you may have heard their being. Beings that once lived, or still live
screams. somewhere buried amongst us. Beings the Hive
perhaps owe their very existence to.
What may seem like a void between their shrieks,
holds, what I believe to be yet another clue to I am hoping the Warminds may hold further
their origins. In one tone the Hive plea to their answers—that they can see into worlds where we
gods, but in the next, they whisper to another. can only see what lies upon them. The treasure of
knowledge they promise still remains the most
Perhaps it is here which holds the answer to their sought after of any Guardian. Whoever can find a
ultimate demise, or a bridge to their desires. In my way past their firewalls of ancient arts, and make
studies, I still struggle to match the tones to their them the allies they once were, could spare us
rune system. If only Crytparch Adonna were still further atrocities. And though Rasputin offers some
with us. No one has yet to match her adept. promise, one can only hope its silence is self-
defense, that it seeks only to preserve itself. We
Four sounds, oft repeated, but only four. Though I have to prove to it that we are on its side, but I am
am on the trail of a fifth, faintly heard from the starting to doubt that is absolutely true. That maybe
buzz that once spilled from the Shrine— the Hive or the Darkness itself now have a grasp
on his systems.
Eir.
But then again, I am an old man with many fears,
Ur. and in those fears , often called madness, I will
continue to dwell.
Xol. ~Ghost Fragment: Hive 4

Yul.

113
114
4.2 HIVE COMBAT

115
HIVE RANKS

Thrall

"The shadows have claws."

Feral and fearless, Thrall are a plague upon the battlefield.


Their swarming, twisted frames are driven by unfettered rage. Of all the
terrors born of the Hive's vile will, they are the basest.
~Thrall

Acolyte

"Belief is a powerful weapon."

It would be a mistake to view the Hive's Acolytes as


foot soldiers, because the Hive is not merely an army, it
is a dark force rising. It is belief and horror, and its
Acolytes are its instruments, hungry to commit the
atrocities that will drive their own ascension.
~Acolyte

Knight

"It put up a hand and swallowed the rocket with a wall of shadow."

A roaring, striding fortress, the Knight is the Hive's foremost and most
zealous defender. Centuries of battle have toughened the bony protrusions
on its body into an armor as hard as relic iron - a defense only strengthened
by the Hive magic that Knights use to summon shields of burning force.
~Knight

116
Ogre

"Its gaze shattered the rock, and then it smashed the rock to powder."

Charged with Hive sorcery, Ogres are abominations of flesh and rage,
unleashed from the deepest Hive tunnels as engines of destruction.
Apocryphal lore suggests that Ogres undergo terrible transformations as
they grow - agonizing rituals that gift them with might and cunning.
~Ogre

Wizard

"The only word for what we saw is sorcery."

The Wizard is the scalpel with which the Hive vivisect the universe. A
nightmare of rag and bone, the Wizard conceals herself within darkness
and fire, dissecting and experimenting on anything that falls into her
clutches.
~Wizard

117
The Hidden Swarm HIVE SECTS
"Mind the cracks and crevices of the Moon. There is an army in their
shadows." - Ikora Rey
shadows."

Boiling from the wounded surface of the Moon, the Hidden Swarm is the
Hive's outermost line of defense - a numberless legion that repels intruders
before they breach the temples and shrines of the vast Hive fortress.
~The Hidden Swarm

Crota's Spawn

"Crota's spawn will snuff out the worlds of Light, and


Oryx's coming shall be unfettered." - Osiris
Oryx's coming shall be unfettered."

The heralds of a dark future, led by the champion of a


long-forgotten king. Crota and his legions once
banished us from our own Moon. Now we fear they
are rising again to claim Earth.
~Crota's Spawn

Blood of Oryx

"They are the shadow of an unknown master, harbingers of a power


beyond anything we've faced." - Master Rahool
beyond anything we've faced."

Research into the cyphers and runes of the Hive leads the Cryptarchs to
believe the Hive sects all serve one great master. The Blood of Oryx are
feared to be the direct servants of this dark lord. The name Oryx appears
too many times in Hive rituals to be ignored.
~The Blood of Oryx

118
Hive Champions

Tell the Inner Circle yes, and no. My fireteam's initial survey has uncovered no real differences between the Hive we've encountered on
Earth and Luna and the Hive on the Dreadnaught. Same coloration, same bad breath, same sharp claws.

I've probably slain thousands of old Oryx's brood... I know how they operate. How they move.

The Hive on the Dreadnaught feel different. I've caught a few Thrall just looking at me, staring. Like they're working something out. We took
on a coven of Wizards, and the whole time they were singing this little song. Like fighting us was a formal ritual, a ceremony they had to
complete.

As a Guardian, you master your fear. You have to. Out here, past the Reef, surrounded by worms and decay... I'm afraid again. These
things feel old, here. Like they belong. Like we're the aliens. Like we're prey.
~Hive Champions
119
HIVE WEAPONRY
Shredder

The Shredder, like so much Hive technology, appears to be an arcane


joining of uncharted sciences that verge on magic. It has no discernable
mechanism. But in the hands of a Hive warrior, it generates bolts of Void
fire.
~Shredder

Boomer

This devastating Arc weapon is said to contain a shard


of some dead celestial body. Lobbing bolts of rotting
starfire, it is both a ruinous tactical weapon and an
instrument of siege.
~Boomer

Cleaver

Carved of fossilized bone and hell-forged metal, dulled by centuries of


slaughter and execution, the Cleaver is the terrible weapon of a Hive Knight.
Despite their mass, they swing easily, as if the sword were aware of its
action and eager to tear into the Light.
~Cleaver

120
Shrieker

These ever-watchful sentinels are believed, in some circles, to serve as the eyes of the
Hive's innermost covens, allowing powerful Wizards and Knights to watch over their
domains. Others believe Shriekers are nothing more than weapons meant to guard
Hive ritual sites. There is nothing living to the Shrieker, but neither are they mechanical
constructs in a classical sense. They seem to be dead mass, animated by the arcane
will of the Hive. When a Shrieker is broken, its Void charge rips free of the hull to seek
vengeance.
~Shrieker

HIVE VEHICLES

Tomb Ship

Tomb Ships are the Hive equivalent of troop carriers, though the term can only be
applied loosely. They glide from point to point through ominous portals, wounds cut
into the flesh of space.
~Tomb Ship

121
HALT ALL TRAFFIC. STAND BY FOR SNAP. MESSAGE TO FOLLOW.

PUBLIC KEY 110 341 AXA SOVEREIGN FROM: PETRA VENJ TO: ALL REEF ASSETS
Hive Dreadnaught [ROC CLEARANCE] SUBJECT: HIVE WARSHIP CONTACT

MESSAGE IS:

1. Massive Hive warship sighted in circum-Saturn space [contact via DSR TF 3.2].
Target designated DREADNAUGHT.

1a. Dreadnaught maneuvering unpredictably. Orbital parameters and


stationkeeping behavior not compatible with standard dynamics.

1b. ESM analysis detects multiple Hive vessels in escort.

2. Target emitting sterile neutrinos, phaeton spectra, and mass growl. Major
radiation events include gravity waves and axion scatter. Techeun conclusion:
target possesses radical ontomorphic capabilities [see BANE DREAMER]

2a. Under no circumstances attempt teleonomic analysis of Dreadnaught emission


spectra. ***This is a BRAINSTAIN ALERT.***

3. Dreadnaught radiation events correlate with eversive breach events across solar
system. Dreadnaught is likely motive force behind breach events.

3b. Backscatter analysis and Techeun insight suggest Dreadnaught hosts complex
internal environment. Small party boarding action may remain viable if noopathic
hazards can be managed.

4. TF 3.2 shadowing Cabal fleet elements. Cabal attack on Dreadnaught likely but
not imminent.

5. All Reef assets assume war posture. Stand by for fragment orders.

MESSAGE ENDS

STOP STOP STOP


~Dreadnaught
122
4.3 EXALTED HIVE

123
Kranox the Graven

"Their keeper of secrets."


Kranox, the Graven is said to be the Keeper of the Worlds' Grave, a vast
repository chronicling the Hive's history of interstellar conquests. Every world
they have devoured, every life they have eradicated, every enemy they've
faced.

Defeating Kranox and cracking the secrets of the Worlds' Grave could
provide the City with the keys to unraveling the Hive's true goals and their
ultimate plans for Earth.
~Kranox, The Graven

Swarm Princes

"The royalty of nightmare."


The Swarm Princes are terrible legends. It was their will
that forged the Sword of Crota, a weapon meant to
ravage worlds - the Great Render of Light, the Darkest
Edge. They have waited in the shadows of the Hellmouth
for their master's return, guarding the Sword and sating its
ravenous hunger with the Light of Guardians who have
dared to challenge them.
~Swarm Princes

Sardok, Eye of Oryx

"Until the Darkness reigns, the Eyes must never close."


There are whispers of shrines to the fabled Oryx peppered across the entire
system. Stories tell of walking nightmares, protectors of bone and fury,
towering over these prized chambers.
~Sardok, Eye of Oryx

124
Mormu, Xol Spawn

"How many horrors have they summoned?"


Behind every dark ritual lurks a coven of Wizards, the architects of the
Hive's unspeakable designs. Mormu, born of the blood and flesh of Xol, is
said to conduct terrible rituals upon the Hive's Ogres.
~Mormu, Xol Spawn

Phogoth, The Untamed

"The summoning tempers their rage...but first that rage


must be stoked."
Phogoth's presence in the Summoning Pits reveals yet
another of the Hive's depraved designs - a ritual of
rebirth, where an Ogre's ravenous hunger and violence
is honed and given purpose.
~Phogoth, the Untamed

Urrox, Flame Prince

"The ground upon which you walk shall burn. YOU shall burn."
Prince to none, Urrox kept watch over a long-forgotten brood long ago.
With the remnants of that spawn at his side, Urrox calls out to all wielders of
the Light— to burn away all they are until only the Darkness remains.
~Urrox, Flame Prince

125
Telthor, Unborn

"If you see an Ogre, you know you're close to something the Hive values."
The Unborn are those Ogres who have yet to be given the honor of a summoning.
Brute enforcers with a singular hunger for destruction, the Unborn serve the will of
their greater Hive overlords. Those Ogres that display loyalty and strength will be
called for an agonizing ritual that earns them the title "Reborn."

Telthor, protector of the Chamber of Night, is kept hungry and chained, awaiting the
moment when an interloper breaks open the Chamber and threatens the Hive's
hateful ambitions.
~Telthor, Unborn

Urzok, The Hated

"By pleasing their gods, the Hive carve scars on the fabric of our realm." -Toland,
the Shattered
Among the lesser Hive, there is no higher honor than that of the Hated.

Not all can be hallowed, fewer still gods, but all can do their part to smite the Light.
The Hated, though, holds a unique place among the Hive. It is a singular position.
Only ever one. And the emerald marrow on its blade is not from combat, but the
ritualistic execution of those the Wizards have deemed Forsaken.
~Urzok, The Hated

126
The Forsaken

"Conjured with but one purpose... to die." -Toland, the Shattered


"Conjured with but one purpose... to die."
How does one call through the Darkness? Through the void of the eternal night sky?
Through the pathways that link the Hive to their ancient, rotting deities? With
suffering.

The Forsaken are conjured and birthed through ritual, meant to serve as worship to
gods of a higher plane of misery. To perform a ritual of sacrifice is to tempt a god's
hunger. What then, if a being of the Light were to taint such a ritual? Would the Hive
be punished? Would their gods grow angry?
~The Forsaken

Wretched Knight

"They who walk as bone, would walk upon your bones."


As the Worm Keepers wrestled for control of the disparate broods within the Prison
of Elders it was the Wretched Knights they turned to as their enforcers.

The Worm Keepers solidified their hold over the Wretched Knights by promising
them the spoils of the Light. After growing weary of the Awoken, the newly arrived
Guardians have finally secured their loyalty.
~Wretched Knight

127
Gulrot, The Unclean

"It is the physical form of sickness and rot; a walking disease. Cure it."
That the Worm Keepers held within the Prison of Elders would even attempt such a
delicate metamorphosis so far removed from the full resources of their Summoning
Pits speaks to either desperation or madness.

Challenge the Worm Keepers and cure the Prison of the hulking sickness they have
birthed, or drown in the bile and mess of a festering abomination.
~Gulrot, the Unclean

CROTA, SON OF ORYX


~ Authors Note: On the following pages you will find an


account regarding Crota, Son of Oryx and of the first fireteam
created to hunt him, lead by Eris Morn. After the slaughter of
hundreds of guardians by Crota at Mare Imbrium, Eris
desired revenge and with the help of Eriana-3 she sought a
way to finally kill the Hive god... ~

128
My Thoughts on Recent Events
He hides in the dark below: the monster of Luna, the
titanic god-Knight who walked the regolith beneath a sky
of green fire and butchered the greatest army of
Guardians ever assembled. We abandoned the Moon
rather than face him.

Whispered lore and fragmentary theories suggest that


Crota represents a distinct class of Hive entities, not
resident in our material world. My latest synthesis of this
scattered esoterica suggests that Crota's 'home' is a
universe created or remade by his power and occupied
by Hive organisms of immense age. Any Guardian
formidable enough to return with information on this dark
reality might help us understand the Hive's goals for our
own world—and, more pressingly, such an expedition
might provide the key to Crota's defeat.

The epithet Son of Oryx is an ambiguous translation,


often disputed. At this time, no direct action by Hive
entities of more expansive power has ever been
observed. Those who trade in Hive lore bicker over the
exact positioning of Crota—is his world the apex of Hive
power, or is it the youngest and most accessible of a
string of netherworlds, each host to a more terrible Hive
archentity?

The nature and possible interrelationship of the Vex gate


system with Hive netherworlds remains unexplored.

Ikora
~Crota, Son of Oryx

129
My name is Eriana-3, disciple of the Praxic Warlocks, marked by the "One sword stands tallest among them, leading the charge
Cormorant Seal. Survivor of the great disaster: the day we set out to against us all."
retake our moon, united in a host of thousands, and found ourselves
outmatched by one Hive champion of unspeakable power.
Vell: So this Sardon is one of these Swarm Princes?
The monster's name is Crota. He killed my friends face to face, one by
one, and he relished it. In the name of all those lost I devote myself to Toland: In a stretch of the concept, sure. He is their lord and
his utter destruction. master. They are his generals.

This is my confession. If I transgress in your eyes I ask for your Vell: Sounds like my kind of fight.
forgiveness.
Omar: What isn't?
In our world Crota seemed invincible. Together Eris Morn and I worked
the problem, but found no hope. So we sought forbidden knowledge— Vell: Eris and Eriana said the Blades rose first and slaughtered our
the exiled master of Hive arcana. brothers and sisters. If the one who leads their charge is within
reach, I mean to end him—to end them all.
We found Toland.
Eris: We are here for Crota.
Toland tells us that Crota's presence in our world is a shadow. That its
true power resides in a netherworld forged by his will. We must pass Toland: I'm afraid each disciple is Crota.
through a keyhole between realities, navigate the seething midnight of
Crota's world-mind, and overthrow the ascendant champions that Vell: Then it must be done. Know that I have faith in your Light, as I
gather to his throne. do in my own.

Toland speaks—he hardly seems mad, at times—of the terrible things Eris: This isn’t about faith.
that await us. A secret song he hungers to learn, and the issue of that
song, an ashen burning star-husk that looms above, the utter antithesis Eriana-3: It’s about vengeance.
of life. He talks of it with a curious ambition I do not want to
understand. Vell: It’s about the only thing that matters—victory. It’s about doing
what we must to end this terror.
Tomorrow I will ask Agah, Mota and Tarlowe if they will go with us. If
we fail, I leave this record for Guardians to come. Remember us. Eris: We will face them all, together. We have no time to fight
~Crota's End individual battles.

Toland: I have no doubt the Fist will welcome your challenge,


Titan. When we face him, you will lead the charge. Come, Crota's
Temple lies ahead. If we can breach it, I'm sure another fight
awaits.
~Sardon, Fist of Crota
130
"They are the heralds of our destroyer. Ushers of this coming storm." Eriana-3: Then we’ll take their swords from their ashes, and cut them
down one-by-one, Blade-by-Blade.
Vell: They’re more than Knights.
Eris: You would wield a weapon of the night?
Eriana-3: They look like Knights.
Eriana-3: For her—them? I will butcher any who stand in my way
Vell: That’s like calling you a tin can. with even the darkest blade.

Eriana-3: Excuse me? Eris: Pray it doesn’t come to that.

Vell: I’m saying calling them Knights is an understatement. Vell: Heh. To cleave our enemies with their own tools of destruction?
We should be so lucky.
Omar: What are they then?
Omar: You’ve got a strange view on luck.
Toland: World carvers.
Toland: When you’ve got your hand around the hilt and their ash
Omar: Meaning? under your boot, you might change your tune, Hunter.
~Blades of Crota
Toland: Those swords are neither bone nor steel. There’s a dark purpose
to their edge. "The Eyes watch us all, gathering our secrets in hopes of ending the
Light."
Eriana-3: Darker than death?

Toland: Death is peace compared to the shadows. Eris: Something is watching us. I can feel it.

Omar: Those Blades cut down more Guardians than I can count. Omar: I hate when you say that.

Vell: Hundreds. Toland: Crota has many Eyes. Every god does.

Eriana-3: Thousands. The Vanguard should’ve known better. Eris: We have to go.

Toland: I tried to warn them. Omar: If they know our every move, what chance do we have?

Omar: But we’re prepared? Toland: With their great age comes even greater wisdom. I have no
doubt the Hive led us here with intent.
Vell: I am.
Omar: What are you saying?
Omar: Not exactly the question.
Toland: For these disciples, we offer the greatest sacrifice.
Eris: I have a feeling Light won’t be enough.
Eris: What does that mean?
131
Toland: Do you feel your Light fading? They are offering it to Crota. Us blade against bone.
coming here, we are the ones waking him.
Omar: Well, now he's on a roll.
Omar: He’s mad.
Eriana-3: I hear them, even when I don't. I will tear this Omnigul's
Toland: Perhaps. throat out.

Eris: Why do you hold these secrets like weapons, to damn us all? Toland: If you were to do so, our work here would be done.
Without a Will to raise its army and herald its ascendance, there is
Toland: Because they are weapons. And we are going to use them to no Crota to fear, at least here and now.
show the Hive they are not the only ones who breed fear.
Eris: Then we follow the screams.
Eris: How? ~Omnigul, Will of Crota

Toland: You’re hunters—hunt. Find the Eyes that are upon us.

Omar: Then?

Toland: We blind Crota and use what's left of your dying Light to lead
us to where these monsters seek to conjure their master.
~Eyes of Crota

"That shriek, that wicked laugh. If you listen closely, you can hear
power in its song.”

Eris: Those screams.

Omar: And I was just starting to tune them out.

Toland: It has been told that with these screams another spawn is
awakened, birthed in the name of the god it holds.

Sai: Crota. ~ Authors Note: It is hard to determine the order of events


from this point onwards. The next few accounts have been
Toland: I am afraid so. They call this one Omnigul, mother of the arranged as best we can determine. It appears at some point
spawn. the group was seperated. From the fragments I know that
Eriana-3 and Sai were together in one group and Eris and
Sai: How do you—? I'd rather not know. Toland in another. I am unsure of how they were seperated
and only know of the fate of Omar and Vell from the final
Toland: Commands, echoed through the dark, fetid caverns—orders account that I can only assume is Toland's. ~
carried out with grinding stone and squeaking claw, skittering thrall and
132
"It crawls from the shadows to claim our Light in the name of Crota." Sai: The Hand is falling back toward the screams beyond these
tunnels.
Sai: Can you track the others?
Eriana-3: Screw it. You ready?
Eriana-3: No. There is too much interference. The shroud is too thick
here. Ghost? Sai: My knives are eager for another dance.

Ghost: <chhk> Yes. <chhk> Eriana-3: You speak little, Sai Mota, but always say the right things.
~Hand of Crota
Eriana-3: We in bad shape?
"It is a mountain of rage, summoned to leave only destruction in its
Ghost: <chhk> Could be better. <chhk> path."

Eriana-3: Any charge? Toland: When a god's Will is met with force, its Might will be
unleashed in the form of those raging beasts we call the ogre—
Ghost: No. Something is siphoning the Light. <chhk> I’m getting weaker monsters bred of pain, tormented by the Light, nothing but hatred
by the second. <chhk> for all who bring its suffering forth.

Eriana-3: And Sai’s Ghost? Same? Eris: And how do you know this?

Ghost: Faint charge detected <chhk> but it’s fading. Its shell is Toland: It was told to me.
damaged beyond repair. <chhk> No comms. No transmat. <chhk>
Even if there were a signal— Eris: By the Speaker?

Eriana-3: Use whatever juice you’ve got and relay this transmission to Toland: By the Darkness itself.
the others. ~Might of Crota

Ghost: They won't receive it. <chhk> Eriana! Let's sing. Sing with me. No, no, you rattling machine, not
yet, it's too soon: we don't know the words.
Eriana-3: Not the point.
We'll learn the song down there. We can learn it from Her. She
Eriana-3: This is Eriana-3 of the Praxic Warlocks. Marked by the comes up from the deep dark places where the greater Hive await
Cormorant Seal. I am alongside the Hunter Sai Mota. Our Light is to sing it to us, and here's a puzzle for you—
nearly gone. The ash of untold Hive covers the ground in our wake.
The song is death. To hear it is to die. To know the words is mortal.
Unknown: [inaudible scream] Oh, good point, Eriana, death is just a word, isn't it? A catch-all
term for the failure to go on, nothing spiritual, nothing with its own
Sai: Omnigul— quiddity. We all died once, and it did not prove insurmountable.

Eriana-3: From what Toland has described we are on the path of But what if what if what if, shhh listen, what if death were reified,
Crota's dreaded Hand. described in its totality, made autonomous and universal, separate
133
from any context or condition? What if She could invoke the ending of another’s, the Heart will meet with an end fitting of the pain she,
anything? herself, has dealt.
~Heart of Crota
How, then, would She know the song, and sing it, without Herself
dying?

Perhaps they know a way to make themselves part of the song, part of
something vast and burning that rots and peels into ash but never ever
ends. Perhaps She has engineered this for Him, and pinned His power
up against the quiddity of death itself.

I am so terribly curious to know.


~Ir Yut, the Deathsinger

“It’s not the first and surely is not the last. But until the last Heart stops,
their hate will spread endlessly across the black."

Eris: Record this.

The Heart of Crota.

It is her blood that feeds their fury.

I thought Omar dead until I heard his screams. I followed them down, to
the darkest night of the caverns below. What I saw—I witnessed all we
fear—the villainy of the Hive on full display.

Among a sea of cocoons, and surrounded by thousands more freshly


spawned hordes, the Heart held Omar’s broken body in a vice of bone
and pain. She was peeling the Light from his body. How? I can’t
imagine, and I have tried. Tendrils of luminance tore away like flesh.

With every strand Omar’s scream cut the dark and was met with a
chittering chorus from the unborn. I can’t say if they were feeding off the
Light itself, or the pain, but my guess is both—somehow, both.

The Heart, though I can’t believe she actually has one, seemed to be
conducting some nightmare orchestra, nurturing Crota’s children, with
the echoes of Agah’s Light.

The Hive must end for all they had done, and some day, by my hand or
134
For Wei. I am sorry. I am dead.

My Ghost's Light is so dim, there's no point following me further into this Vell is spectacularly dead. Omar and Sai are quite dead too.
fog – any hope of raising me died halfway through the Stills – I only Eriana, poor Eriana, she was so very bright at the end, wasn’t she?
hope she's got strength enough to take this ember to where you fell, to A brave light.
dance once more with any last whisper of your own light left on this
cursed, broken rock. But Crota was unmoved. That shadow is detached from its source.
Light makes it darker. I could feel His presence and if I still had a
Again I will confess. I am Eriana-3, of the Praxic Fire, and I know my Ghost I am sure it would have screamed.
flame goes out down here. I will burn bright and hot and raze a
thousand Hive to ash as I go, but I know we will not end him – The one I, too, am detached from my source. The charming Ir Yût made her
who fell you, and hundreds more, with that foul blade. introductions, and I was very pleased to meet her. We had a
conversation, a little tête-à-Yût, a couple old wizards exchanging
I now beg, as I feared, for your forgiveness. I will not avenge you, but definitions.
join you amongst the fires snuffed out upon this moon.
I defined myself a friend. She defined for me the quiddity of death,
I was a fool to lead us here. I was blinded by the loss of so much, by and she sang the song of that fearful autonomy. Revelation, my
your light extinguished. I put my trust, and the light of four others, in a friends, it does go down hard. The definition killed me. The killing
madman, and I bear witness to their fall into darkness and death. redefined me.
Toland's song was nothing but screams, and we go now to sing with
them. We will not return. This is the shape and the point of the tooth: nothing has ever lived
that will not die.
I only hope now that my foolish charge will serve as a record of
warning. So that no other Guardians go to face this monster and those Now I fly between green-black suns in the labyrinth beyond Crota’s
that serve him – and those beasts beyond imagining that he must serve god-star. This is the Overworld, the Sea of Screams, where the
in the realm I now go forth to die in. That this tiny bit of Light, joined throne-universes of the great Hive fester in eternal majesty. I move
with yours, and Sai's, Vell, and poor Omar's – that it might spark a among them. I map the shapes and connections of this world.
torch of warning to leave this dead and broken moon as Crota's prize.
I want to appear in the Tower and taunt them, lo, lo, I never sleep, I
Let the Titans on their walls and towers look up at night to this glowing dance in light and shadow, I never sleep, I will never die. I will
reminder in the sky that your Light fell below the surface. Let the never die. I want to ask them: if you followed your laws here, to this
moonlight fall on Hunters' eyes through the canopies of the wilds, and trembling fearful place, of what use were those laws?
guide the way of Warlocks searching their hidden paths. At night, let
them look up and see, and let us be mourned. But I have work to do. I shout into deep places. Osiris! I call. Osiris,
Osiris! Can you hear me?
At night, let them remember you. And let the light of the day free them
from the curse of this memory. Sometimes I think he answers. Sometimes I wonder what became of
~Ghost Fragment: Hellmouth 2 Eris. She was very tenacious.

For the first time I am lonely.


~Ghost Fragment: Hellmouth
135
ORYX, THE TAKEN KING

~ Author's Note: Although the first fireteam failed to kill Crota, Eris
Found her way to earth and the tower and a second Fireteam was
formed...This fireteam was successful in slaying the Hive God.

The problem is, you cannot kill a god without bringing attention to
yourself and it wasn't long until a hive fleet was detected in the rings of
Saturn. The fleet was led by Oryx, who after the death of his son
wanted revenge.

The follwing pages record the rise and fall of Oryx and detail the
Ascendant hive under his command. All fragments on Oryx' followers
seem to be excerpts of his commissioning to each Asecendant Hive. ~

136
Where is my son?
Where is Crota, your lord, your princely god,
your godly prince?
Tell me no lies!
I feel his absence like a hole in my
Stomach.

Where once his tender tribute whetted burrowed


mouths,
Now only hunger remains.

Hear me, O waning stars, O tattered rags of Sky



I will stopper up this tearing gulf
With vengeance.

137
...Dearest Eris, Crota's Bane (now we shall see how well you wear that ever falls behind His expenditure of ruin, He will be consumed. If He
title!), is ever outmatched, then by the terms of His own existence, He will
cease.
It's not all bad.
It is to Oryx Himself, in the heart of the Dreadnaught that armors
Yes, the father of all your burdens comes to you with hate on his sword and encapsulates his throne-world, that you must make your last and
and hunger in his heart. But don't look at it that way. Did you not, when surest argument.
you lost your sight, gain another?
Good luck! Do let me know if a vacancy opens.
Sharpen your intentions. When life is strength and strength is death, ~Oryx: Rebuked
what is death, if not hope?
Listen —
You just have to reach out and take it.
~Oryx, The Taken King Death is the last part of living
and life is learning to die
In World the stars never shone, The song is the same as the singing
The worm never bred in our flesh, The last truth commands me
We lived for a day to eat all the light in the sky
Our teeth were too short
We were hungry for things we could not eat I will go on forever. I will understand.
Hello again. It’s me. I’m sure you know my name. Let me talk a while, Dwell a moment on the weight of what you’ve done. Contemplate
let me talk, I do take a debased joy in speaking again to small human- the story you just ended. Will you ever do anything that screams
form heads. down the millennia? Will you ever hammer your will on the universe
until it rings and rings and rings? Oryx was an awesome power.
When Crota’s victory over our little blue world seemed certain (a Show reverence.
moment of silence, now, for Wei Ning, whose directness I admired) it
was Oryx who called His Child back into the nether world to plan final All right. Enough. Enough. A vacancy has opened, hasn’t it?
victory. It was to Oryx that the violence of His spawn was tithed.
How interesting. How very interesting.
Oryx is the wielder and the servant of a terrible truth. He has
predicated Himself on it, He has pursued across thousands of cairn Do you ever pause, dear listener, to consider who benefits from all
worlds His quest to embody it, and you have seen the force of that truth this heroism you commit? Do you ever look around you and feel the
expended to create these Taken. faintest chill? As if you are the tiny little ball bearing placed beneath
a great mass, so that it might, if pushed, begin to roll?
He is not a simple thing to kill. He wants to be isomorphic to conquest,
to triumph, to killing and death. He is a syllogism, now, but in time He You’re a god yourself, now. You’ve consecrated yourself. Emulate
hopes to become an axiom. me. Use your power to learn.

This is His strength and His fatal weakness. There are worse things to practice being.
~Oryx: Defeated
For if he ever falters in His performance, if the inflow of devastation
138
Abase yourself, weapons and instruments
Submit yourself, shapes and gliders, automata all —
I am Oryx, Lord of Shapes, Carver of Tablets

Behold my performance of the Last True Shape


The final axiom
Witness the space that I define

I approach the asymptote.


I grow vast across topologies.
I am not simply connected.
Dearest Guardian,

I write to you from a place of high contempt. No no no, don’t be offended,


don’t be so superficial — it’s in the architecture of these spaces. They look
down on you.

I wander out here, in worlds cut by sharp Hive swords, and I send back
these messages for you.

Of Oryx, that admirable monarch, I have only a little to say. Why? Because
He is all in the action, fellow traveler, His philosophy is all on display. He
has twinned himself so closely to the power He admires. He has become
many-placed, many-formed, sending out emissaries of himself to ask after
the truth.

In each act of His power Oryx seeks to incarnate the self-sustaining,


immortal suzerainty that He worships. The power that He uses to wash his
Taken clean and etch them into useful shapes.

LISTEN! LISTEN! Understand, you simpleton, it’s entirely obvious —

Oryx inhabits a world where power is truth. To win is to be noble, and to be


real. When He departs from that world, out into the material universe, He is
lessened.

The echoes of Oryx go forth to ask a question: are you the truth? And that
means — well. You see, I’m sure.
~Echo of Oryx

139
The Warpriest

Five hundred and eighty five times he paced the way Under each circuit was a world He
took up the worlds, he placed them in his hand, he weighed them
From the Golden Amputation to the Gift Mast

The principle he put upon his brow was slaughter constant and escalating
The principle he put behind his eyes was victory which is the last true shape
The principle he put into his hands was tribute — to Oryx, King of Taking
Tithing to his Lord, that the First Navigator might escape the need to kill for subsistence,
the worm need
That He might use His power to lead the final work
A most faithful servant. Most faithful.

From mighty Crota, Son of Navigation, Sword of Pits, He learned to make his Oversoul
Saying: challenge me, by the law of my ascendance Match me in bloodshed
Or in blood be drowned
~The Warpriest

Krughor

Listen, Yul, to the count of my Court


Listen to me, for I am attired in wrath

First I count Krughor, touched by Savathûn


I boast of Krughor, invincible
Distant Savathûn hid the death of Krughor inside another curse

At the Golden Amputation, when I paced ten times


Krughor sent forth the accursed
~Krughor

140
Golgoroth

Speak to the heart with burrowing things The burrowing things will strengthen the heart You,
ab-Xol, you teach the new flesh out of the old Xol issued you to eat us
The new flesh will be testament
O Eir, decree the shape of this new thing
Judge its testament to the last truth
This new shape is Golgoroth

Crota rose to petition Father, cut the shapes into a tablet


Give me the tablet I will bear it in battle
And tithe one side of my sword to you

Oryx cut the shapes into a tablet


But he guarded the shapes
He set the tablet in Golgoroth
Where the new flesh grew as Eir decreed it

Like ice on a stone he rebuked Crota, From the temples of his son, from the left of his blade in
battle, he demanded tithings of violence
To Oryx, the First Navigator, who directed the movements of great masses
~Golgoroth

Lokaar

Who is this nameless thing?


She fell upon Omnigul, whose aspects multiply, saying I am diminished. Gift me your death.

My son Crota came to me, saying


This nameless thing moves sideways
I chased her, and she fled
Kill her now

So I raised her to my court


I named her Lokaar, which means Not There
Thus my son was rebuked against simplicity
~Lokaar

141
Ir Halak, Deathsinger

Oryx was dividing the spawn


he cut apart the larvae with his sword
And the two divided pieces
Grew into twins.

She who stands ahead at the prow of the ship of Oryx, her father, she is Ir Halak,
The Unraveler.
She plies her blades upon the fabric of space, cuts the seams, pulls apart the cloth,
leaves worlds in tatters
~ir Halak.

Ir Anûk, Deathsinger

Behind The Unraveler comes Ir Anûk,


The Weaver.
She takes in hand the threads of her sister's work, weaves them into the tapestry of
Oryx's realm.

Listen, Anûk
Anûk, who favors bitter things

Of the eleven axioms, choose one


Of the chosen, spare none
Upon Eir’s attendance, say
Come, Eir, look
This truth is dead
~Ir Anûk, Deathsinger

142
Alzok Däl, Gornuk Däl, Zyrok Däl

First, before my daughters


I saw Alzok lead her sisters through the eye
Saying, death will be our coven

With black fire and gray blade


Gornuk consecrated their singing
They cut their deaths away

To Zyrok I said
Show me the place where you have hidden your death
I am Oryx, your lord

Oryx, my lord, she said


We have hidden our deaths in each other
So that we will never be alone
~Alzok Däl, Gornuk Däl, Zyrok Däl

Vorlog

Ah, Vorlog! Delight of delights


You killed my Celebrants, and you gave their deaths to me Preaching: I
have seen the truth in bronze glass space
This shape is the only god

Exquisite Vorlog
Your strength was manifold; it was knight strength
Mastery of armaments and techniques
It was wizard strength, the use of arcana
Praise Vorlog, general and pragmatist

Vorlog! Listen —
Your name means Less Than Me
I define it thus.
~Vorlog

143
Balwûr
Craft for me a flawless armor word
To Balwûr I entrust, with bitter tongue
Separate the death from the dying
A terrible work
Cut the shadow apart from the fire
Daughter of Savathûn, untouched by time
Make the fire burn hot
Your death is hidden well

Arm us with weapons against our foe


You will be Suzerain of Metabolisms
Arm my court for the long crusade
Gather up the Lie Shapes
~Balwûr
Neither eat nor mock them, as you crave
Instead, learn to chew them into poisons

Thalnok, Fanatic of Crota

Laugh and laugh at Thalnok! He is easily


deceived I create Thalnok to My Court
He will never hear this song So that I may observe my son by faithful,
Diminished in sense foolish proxy
Small of purpose
Listen —
In all ways Thalnok mantles Crota, My Son
He comes to the High War, My Court The last true shape
Greedy to hear me say depends on, asks for, venerates
Welcome, child nothing
~Thalnok, Fanatic of Crota
My Son Crota, Hope-Eater, I taught him
with cold edge and spiteful word
To ask for nothing

144
145
146
147

5.0 THE VEX


148
149
THE VEX

"Living metal. Incomprehensible intelligence."

The Vex are architects of ancient and complex structures thought to be buried within every celestial
body. Linked by a network unlike any on Earth, they operate in unison, directed by a single
unfathomable purpose.
~The Vex

150
5.1 GHOST FRAGMENTS: VEX ~Author's Note: The following are interesting
excerpts from the Ishtar Collective, a group that was
highly involved in studying the Vex and their
technology. The Ghost fragments on these few
From the Records of the Ishtar Collective
pages show the Collective's attempt at entering a
ESI: Maya, I need your help. I don't know
vex mind and the complexities that arose. ~
how to fix this.

SUNDARESH: What is it? Chioma. Sit. Tell running a spectacularly high-fidelity model of a workspace...the neural links could have given
me. Collective research team studying a captive it data...
Vex entity.
ESI: I've figured out what's happening inside SUNDARESH: The simulations have interiority?
the specimen. SUNDARESH:...how deep does it go? Subjectivity?

SUNDARESH: Twelve? The operational Vex ESI: Right now the simulated Maya Sundaresh ESI: I can't know that until I look more closely.
platform? That's incredible! You must know is meeting with the simulated Chioma Esi to But they act like us.
what this means - ah, so. It's not good, or discuss an unexpected problem.
you'd be on my side of the desk. And it's not SUNDARESH: We're inside it. By any
urgent, or you'd already have evacuated the [indistinct sounds] reasonable philosophical standard, we are
site. Which means... inside that Vex.
SUNDARESH: There's no divergence? That's
ESI: I have a working interface with the impossible. It doesn't have enough ESI: Unless you take a particularly ruthless
specimen's internal environment. I can see information. approach to the problem of causal forks: yes.
what it's thinking. They are us.
ESI: It inferred. It works from what it sees and
SUNDARESH: In metaphorical terms, of it infers the rest. I know that feels unlikely. But it SUNDARESH: Call a team meeting.
course. The cognitive architectures are so - obviously has capabilities we don't. It may
have breached our shared virtual ESI: The other you has too.
ESI: No. I don't need any kind of ~Ghost Fragment: Vex
epistemology bridge.

SUNDARESH: Are you telling me it's human?


A human merkwelt? Human qualia?

ESI: I'm telling you it's full of humans. It's


thinking about us.

SUNDARESH: About - oh no.

ESI: It's simulating us. Vividly. Elaborately. It's


151
From the Records of the Ishtar Collective
SUNDARESH: So that's the situation as we SHIM: Odds are that we aren't our own SUNDARESH: If we're sims, we exist in the
know it. originals. Odds are that we exist in one of the pocket of the universe that the Vex specimen is
Vex simulations right now. able to simulate with its onboard brainpower.
ESI: To the best of my understanding. If we're real, we need to get outside that
ESI: I didn't think of that. bubble.
SHIM: Well I'll be a [profane] [profanity]. This
is extremely [profane]. That thing has us over a SUNDARESH: [indistinct percussive sound] ESI: ...we call for help.
barrel. ~Ghost Fragment: Vex 2
.... SUNDARESH: That's right. We bring in
SUNDARESH: Yeah. We're in a difficult someone smarter than the specimen. Someone
position. SUNDARESH: I have a plan. too big to simulate and predict. A warmind.

DUANE-MCNIADH: I don't understand. So it's ESI: If you have a plan, then so does your sim, SHIM: In the real world, the warmind will be
simulating us? It made virtual copies of us? and the Vex knows about it. able to behave in ways the Vex can't simulate.
How does that give it power? It's too smart. The warmind may be able to get
DUANE-MCNIADH: Does it matter? If we're in into the Vex and rescue - us.
ESI: It controls the simulation. It can hurt our Vex hell right now, there's nothing we can -
simulated selves. We wouldn't feel that pain, DUANE-MCNIADH: If we try, won't the Vex
but rationally speaking, we have to treat an SHIM: Stop talking about 'real' and 'unreal.' torture us for eternity? Or just erase us?
identical copy's agony as identical to our own. All realities are programs executing laws.
Subjectivity is all that matters. SUNDARESH: It may simply erase us. But I feel
SUNDARESH: It's god in there. It can simulate that's preferable to...the alternatives.
our torment. Forever. If we don't let it go, it'll SUNDARESH: We have to act as if we're in
put us through hell. the real universe, not one simulated by the ESI: I agree.
specimen. Otherwise we might as well give
DUANE-MCNIADH: We have no causal up. SHIM: Once we try to make the call, the Vex
connection to the mind state of those sims. may...react. So let's all savor this last moment
They aren't us. Just copies. We have no ESI: Your sim self is saying the same thing. of stability.
obligation to them.
SUNDARESH: Chioma, love, please hush. It SUNDARESH: [indistinct sounds]
ESI: You can't seriously - your OWN SELF - doesn't help.
SHIM: You two are adorable.
SHIM: [profane] idiot. Think. Think. If it can DUANE-MCNIADH: Maybe the simulations
run one simulation, maybe it can run more are just billboards! Maybe they don't have DUANE-MCNIADH: I wish I'd taken that job at
than one. And there will only ever be one interiority! It's bluffing! Clovis.
reality. Play the odds. ~Ghost Fragment: Vex 3
SHIM: I wish someone would simulate you
DUANE-MCNIADH: Oh...uh oh. shutting up.

152
Maya, Chioma, Duane-McNiadh and Shim decide to have a picnic
before they send themselves into infinity.
Up here they have to act by biomechanical proxy. No human being in Chioma puts an arm around her. "That's what we're going to find
the Ishtar Academy has ever crossed the safety cordon and walked the out. Where the Citadel can send us. Whether we can come back."
ancient stone under the Citadel, the Vex construct that stabs up out of
the world to injure space and time. It's not safe. The cellular Vex "They're not us any more." Maya looks down at herself, at the cache
elements are infectious, hallucinogenic, entheogenic. The informational of her self-forks. "We're not going anywhere. We're sending them.
Vex elements are more dangerous yet— and there could be semiotic They're diverging."
hazards beyond them, aggressive ideas, Vex who exist without a
substrate. Even now, operating remote bodies by neural link, the team's They rescued themselves from the inside of a Vex mind, two hundred
thoughts are relayed through the warmind who saved them, sandboxed and twenty-seven copies of themselves, untortured and undamaged.
and scrubbed for hazards. Their real bodies are safe in the Academy, Those copies voted, all unanimously, to be dispatched into the Vex
protected by distance and neural firewall. information network as explorers.

But they walk together in proxy, pressed close, huddled in awe. Blue- When Maya and Chioma look at each other they can tell they're
green light, light the color of an ancient sea, washes over them. Each of each wondering the same thing: how many of them will stay
their explorer bodies carries a slim computer. Inside, two hundred together, wherever they go? How many fork-Mayas and fork-
twenty-seven of copies of their own minds wait, patient and paused, for Chiomas will fall out of love? How many will end up bereft,
dispersal. grieving? How many will be happy, like them?

"I wonder where it came from," Duane-Mcniadh says. Of course he's Chioma tries a little smile. Maya smiles back, haltingly, and then,
the one to break the reverent silence. "The Citadel. I wonder if it was sighing, unable to stop herself, grins a big stupid grin, an everything-
here before the Traveler changed Venus." is-okay grin. Shim makes a loud obnoxious awwww at them. Duane-
McNiadh is still thinking about paracausality, and doesn't notice.
"It could have been latent," Chioma Esi suggests. She's the leader. She
kept them together when it seemed like they faced actual, eternal They climb. When they find the Vex aperture they plan to use, they
torture. She pulled them through. "Seeded in the crust. Waiting for a overlay the luminous stone and ancient brassy machines with images
period of geological quiescence, so it could grow." of sun and sand. They set up the transmitters and interfaces that will
translate two hundred and twenty-seven simulations of the four of
Dr. Shim shrugs. "I think the Traveler did something paracausal to them into Vex language, into the tangled pathways of the Vex
Venus. Something that cut across space and time. The Citadel seems to network, to see what's out there, and maybe come home.
come from the past of a different Venus than our own. It doesn't have to
make any sense by our logic, any more than the Moon's new gravity." In the metaphor they've chosen, setting up the equipment is like
laying out the picnic. In the metaphor they've chosen they look like
Maya Sundaresh walks at the center of the group. She's been too quiet themselves, not hardened explorer proxies. Like people.
lately. What happened to them wasn't her fault and maybe she'll
believe that soon. "What could you do with it?" she murmurs, staring "Do you think," Duane-McNiadh begins, halting, "that you could use
up. "If you understood it?" this place to change things? If you regretted something, could you
find a way through the Citadel, go back, and change it?"

153
"I wish I could go back and change you into someone else," Dr. Shim
grouses. Chioma's shaking her head. She knows physics. "Time is self-
consistent," she says. "I think it's like the story of the merchant and the
alchemist. You could go back and watch something, or be part of
something, but if you did, then that was the way it always happened."

"Maybe you could bring something back to now. Something you


needed." Maya runs a hand across the surface of the Vex aperture,
feeling it with sensors ten thousand times as precise as a human hand.
These proxy bodies are limited— they crash and need resetting every
few hours, they struggle with latency, they can't hold much long term
memory. But they'll get better. "Or go forward and learn something
vital. If you knew how to control it, how to navigate across space and
time."

"So it's just a way to make everything more complicated." Duane-


McNiadh sighs. "It doesn't fix anything. Nothing ever does! I should've
taken that job at— "

"You would've hated it at Clovis," Dr. Shim says. "We both know you're
happier here." Duane-McNiadh stands stunned by this courtesy, and
then they both pretend to ignore each other.

The four of them set up the interface. Their stored copies wake up and
prepare for the journey, so that as they work they find themselves
surrounded by the mental phantasms of themselves: two hundred and
twenty-seven Mayas and Chiomas knocking helmets and smiling, two
hundred and twenty-seven Dr. Shims making cynical bets with each
other about how long they'll last, two hundred and twenty-seven Duane-
McNiadhs blowing goodbye kisses to the sweet golden sun, two
hundred and twenty-seven of them shaking hands, smiling, making
ready to explore.
~Ghost Fragment: Vex 4

154
RECORD 0-CHASM-0

My love. I’ve opened this log as an apology.

As a scientist, I believe in record-keeping. I believe in protocols, peer


review, and ethical conduct. I believe in the importance of disbelief —
you know: let’s run that one more time.

What I’m doing here in Lhasa isn’t science. It’s unethical, secret, and
shameful. And after what happened in Ishtar, dearest Chioma, I know
you’d be furious with me for getting involved. Forty years isn’t far
enough to forget a day like that.

But I believe it’s important. The least I can do is keep a few notes for
you.

RECORD 0-CHASM-01

Trial one. Subject one.

It was an act of stupid loneliness. I used the device on myself because


I...
I thought that I could look inside the device, and find one of the
[silence: 0:08] other Chiomas. I thought I could call out to one of the forks we sent
out there to explore.
I missed you. We hadn’t been apart for more than a year since we met.
I’m not a very good wife, am I? You write me every week, even with all I just wanted to send my love.
Hyperion’s work and all Hyperion’s distance keeping you from me. And
I act like it’s not enough. RECORD 0-CHASM-02

We built the device in mimicry of the Vex gateway systems from Ishtar. Zakharik Gilmanovich Bekhterev. May he rest in peace. When our
An observatory, yes, but I think of it as a mind-ship. Capable of probes continued to fail, when my report remained our only positive
displacing its payload across space and time. finding, he volunteered to use the device. One minute of subjective
experience inside.
The lab is cold and isolated. We are quarantined from the world,
physically and mentally. We can’t send messages out. If we breach the We took precautions. They worked. Bekhterev’s experience left no
Vex manifolds, even our words might transmit contagion. One night last physical damage.
month I missed you and so I —

155
After we extracted him, he said that he felt determined. I asked him Rajesh. When he reached a displacement of eight he told us he was
what he meant and he said that he meant it, he had been determined, dead. I believed him. He was dead. He spoke to us. It was true.
he could feel all his choices set out before him like a railroad. Deviation Whatever he saw, it was his own future.
was impossible.
He’s fine, afterwards. When I look into his eyes I wonder what
He died by suicide. I wonder if he was trying to make a point. came back wearing his skin. But that thought is unscientific.

RECORD 0-CHASM-03 We speak of nothing but the device. We talk about it like a
demigod. When I get out of here I know the whole world will look
We’ve decided not to abort. It’s insane, isn’t it? There are pressures on like a fraying veil.
us I can’t tell you about until I see you again.
I think it’s clear that part of the problem is substrate. We need more
The purpose of the system is intelligence, you see. It’s stenciled right on than flesh and drug to survive this.
the hull: SxISR. Special asset. We would very much like to make it work
reliably. RECORD 0-CHASM-52

Our supervisory warmind has devised a drug it says will protect and I heard you, my love. I was at six, oscillating on the event axis,
prepare us. coordinated with a known manifold. I heard you. You were talking
to me — not me, but another me, another Maya Sundaresh.
I am beginning to wonder if we were wrong about the merchant and
the alchemist. Or if that explanation of time was incomplete. You said, my love, so many strange things have happened, and it’s
been so long. We’ve come so far. Do you ever want to go home?
RECORD 0-CHASM-09
And I said, not me but the other me, I said, my love, I am always
Kind Lakpha. He meditated before he went in. Nothing but déjà vu and home.
three seconds of screams. The screaming passed and he remembers
nothing. The déjà vu hasn’t. He says it’s getting better — he feels that I’m resigning, my love. I’m done with this work and I’m done with
we’ve had this conversation only ten times before, not a thousand. being apart from you. I’ll see you again soon. I can’t take this
journal out with me, so I’ve left it for the others, and asked them to
I’ve suggested that we attempt mind forking. We need more sane continue the log.
people to work with. Please forgive me, my love.
Maybe it’ll become a tradition. The gospel of our little cult.
We are all growing superstitious. The behavior of the device is ~Ghost Fragment: Vex 5
inconsistent. Impossible to replicate. We turn to ritual behavior to
appease it.

RECORD 0-CHASM-31

156
5.2 VEX COMBAT

157
VEX RANKS

Goblin

"All their joints turning together. Moving together. Towards you."


The Goblin is the basic unit in the vast computational network that is the
Vex. Shattering the large, fan-shaped head does not seem to cause lasting
damage but sends the Goblin into a crackling frenzy.
~Goblin

Hobgoblin

"The air by my cheek twanged twice, stinking of


ozone, before I saw it."
Specialized for sniping, this lean, tough Vex model is
fitted with improved optics and acute sensors in its
horns. Like the Goblin, the Hobgoblin contains a milky
radiolarian fluid.

Attacking a Hobgoblin often triggers a defensive reflex


- the Hobgoblin seals itself in stasis and waits for help.
~Hobgoblin

Harpy

"It swam back and forth through the air, spinning, the single red eye looking
- I realized - for me."
The fastest and most mobile Vex, the Harpy is an airborne unit often
deployed in flocks on patrols and scouting missions. They must stop and
stabilize before attacking
~Harpy.

158
Minotaur

"I thought it was at a safe distance. I was wrong."


Minotaurs pack brutal heat, but most of their processing power is devoted to the
physics of building massive Vex complexes, suspected to extend through multiple
dimensions. Minotaur models are thicker and harder to crack than any other bipedal
Vex, and they use their teleportation capability aggressively.
~Minotaur

Hydra

"Our shots dissolved in the translucent matrix around it, useless."


The Hydra is a miniature fortress. Despite its physical slowness, it is a rapid
processor of the data fed to it by other Vex, and what it lacks in mobility it makes
up for in impregnable defenses and rock-melting firepower.
~Hydra

159
VEX SUBTYPES
Hezen Corrective

We understand the Vex as a network of thoughts, unified and vast. But not all Vex are the
same. The Hezen Corrective is one example of a Vex subtype, set apart from other Vex by
distinct behaviors and objectives.

Swarming across the Ishtar Sink, these Vex aggressively seek out and attack the Fallen
House of Winter, perform inscrutable operations around shining Confluxes, and even
show interest in the Golden Age ruins left by the Ishtar Collective.

The bulk of our contact with Vex forces on Venus has involved the Corrective. Those
scholars willing to risk their reputations speculating about the Vex often assert that the
Corrective is an agent of change, designed to solve problems and remake the world in a
form suitable to the Vex. Others contend that Corrective is simply a strategic distraction -
meant to draw attention away from the actions of the Hezen Protective.
~Hezen Corrective

Hezen Protective

The mysterious Hezen Protective is the second major Vex behavioral unit on Venus.
Concentrated around the legendary Vault of Glass and the Endless Steps, the site of a
massive Vex gate and the access point to the towering Citadel, the Protective's behavior
seems very defensive.

But leading Cryptarchs and experienced Guardians warn that it would be a fatal
mistake to think of the Vex as a conventional military occupying an area. Vex behavior
is always a process, active and purposeful. The Protective is clearly engaged in a
colossal project, but as with much Vex behavior, it's unclear whether their ultimate
purpose is even comprehensible to us. The Protective may be reacting to an event that
has yet to occur, or working towards a goal that - to us - is already historical fact.
~Hezen Protective

160
Virgo Prohibition

Mars is wracked by an ongoing theater-level conflict between the Cabal and a Vex
subtype known as the Virgo Prohibition. These aggressive, relentless Vex constantly test the
Cabal exclusion zone, apparently heedless of losses.

In spite of the Vex onslaught, the Cabal have managed to expand its beachhead and
maintain a hold on several mysterious Vex structures. The Prohibition's tactics seem to be
failing in the short run.

But it seems unlikely that an organization with the sheer computational scope of the Vex
could be dragged into a losing war of attrition. Is it possible that the Vex are trying to
draw out the Cabal strength? Or that their surface losses are a distraction from a deeper
strategic ploy?

Ikora Rey has proposed that the Vex units can best be understood as algorithms - each a
unique mapping of inputs to behavioral responses. Perhaps the Virgo Prohibition is simply
the wrong algorithm for its environment, and its failure will drive the greater Vex network to
adapt and improve.
~Virgo Prohibition

Sol Divisive

Beyond the towering Meridian Bay gate lies the Black Garden, adrift in time and space.
And within the Garden dwell the Vex of the Sol Divisive, frozen in rapture.

We have precious little insight into the Divisive's behavior. They seem central to Vex
actions in the solar system: the Garden is clearly a place of enormous power.

Legends and scant field reports all indicate that the Divisive Vex behave religiously.
Why would a hyperintelligent, time-spanning thought mesh exhibit religious behavior?
The answer seems as obvious as it is chilling: if the Vex found worship and devotion
more effective than any other behavior, they would adopt worship. Whatever the Vex
found - or made - in the Garden, it transcends even their power.
~Sol Divisive

161
Precursors

Sol Primeval
Those who delve deep into the Vault of Glass have seen time itself torn asunder.
Awestruck Ghosts report encounters with ancient Vex, their casings built long before the
age of humanity.

It would be easy to assume these Vex are the ancestors of those we face today - but with
the Vex it is never so simple.
~Precursors

Descendants

Sol Imminent
Survivors of the Vault of Glass report sightings of ancient Vex - ancient in the sense that
they have endured for eons. Convergent analysis from multiple Ghosts suggests that
these Vex exist in our future.

If the Vex exist in our future - or in a possible future - should we take this as evidence
that their defeat is impractical or unattainable? The Guardian Vanguard is quick to point
out that time travel remains a mystery, and that the continued existence of the Vex is not
remotely a sure indication of humanity's extinction.
~Descendants

162
VEX WEAPONRY

Slap Rifle

From a tactical perspective, the Slap Rifle is a Vex directed-energy weapon that fills their
analog of the light infantry role. From an engineering perspective it's something much
more interesting: a terminal. The Slap Rifle receives a bolt of Solar energy from
somewhere (or somewhen) else and it points it at a target.

The terminal's flexibility is impressive. In non-combat conditions, the Slap Rifle seems like
it might serve as a viable field transmitter, construction tool, navigational beacon,
network repeater, or any of a number of other utility functions.
~Slap Rifle

Line Rifle

The Vex Line Rifle fires high-velocity Solar particle jets. Deployed on the Hobgoblin chassis,
the Line Rifle serves as a sniper weapon, pinning down targets or delivering the killing
blow.

Like the Slap Rifle, the Line Rifle is a terminal weapon, although its source is much more
energetic. Some believe the weapon pulls material from the accretion disk of a galactic
singularity. This would imply the Vex are near - or have already achieved - access to a
terrifying range of civilization-killing weapons. Others consider this unlikely, and propose
that the Line Rifle simply draws from a central Vex power supply.
~Line Rifle

163
Torch Hammer

The Torch Hammer is a devastating Vex heavy weapon. Firing projectiles of


strange matter, the Hammer mauls targets with exotic particle decay and
deadly radiation.
~Torch Hammer

Slap Grenade

The Vex use Slap Grenades to drive targets out into the
open. These devices behave more like miniaturized
gates than conventional explosives, channeling a Void
energy pulse from a remote location.
~Slap Grenade

Cyclops

The Cyclops is a huge, stationary Vex construct with a powerful Void weapon. Guardians think of
Cyclops as gun platforms - batteries installed to protect key points with devastating mortar fire.

But some evidence suggests that the Cyclops is in fact an enormous sensor or beacon, and that its
weapons capabilities are secondary. What the Cyclops senses remains unknown, although its mind
core is vast. It may play a role in the Vex networked intelligence, or in navigation across space and
time.

A damaged Cyclops can be forced into a state of punch-drunk confusion, its inputs overwhelmed by
hostile fire. This can result in fratricidal kills on other Vex units.
~Cyclops

164
5.3 VEX HIVE MINDS

165
Sekrion, Nexus Mind

The Vanguard's intelligence sources now believe, with good confidence, that Sekrion oversees
the expansion of the Vex network through the crust of Venus.

The Hydra chassis common to many Vex Axis Minds boasts impressive computational capacity.
Sekrion likely uses this capacity to regulate coordination and crosstalk between Minotaurs
operating in the construction role.

Destroying Sekrion should significantly hamper the Vex effort to incorporate the entire planet
into their network.
~Sekrion, Nexus Mind

Overmind Minotaur

"Not all Minds are alike."


The Overmind Minotaurs arrived at the Prison as extensions
of the Gate Lord, Qodron. Their mission: to act in
accordance to the path of Qodron and see that Gate Lord's
future is secured.
~Overmind Minotaur

Qodron, Gate Lord

"It is no prisoner. It is here with a purpose."


Qodron sees only its own glorious future. It has come to the Prison of Elders, with an army of
devout Vex war-machines, to take what it believes to be its first steps toward that future.

This machine beast has only one mission. At some point a Light will shine within the walls of this
Prison, and for its gloried future to unfold, that Light must die.

Qodron is not the prisoner here. You are, Guardian.


~Qodron, Gate Lord

166
Zydron, Gate Lord

The intelligence we call Zydron seems to exist in a liminal state, stretched between
gates in the Vex network. It manifests as a physical being only when called.

Warlock scholars believe that Gate Lords regulate traffic between Vex gates, and
that their minds contain codes that might open the way into forbidden realms. An
enormous amount of hope and anger has been spent on a particular debate - could
we find a Vex gate that opens onto a place and time before the Collapse, and
somehow forestall it?
~Zydron, Gate Lord

Prohibitive Mind

Vex Axis Minds are individual Vex hulls that contain local instances of superordinate
Vex goal sets. This cryptic phrase means something reasonably simple - the Axis Mind
contains a copy of all the information required to pursue a particular objective.

This allows other nearby Vex to focus on their local tasks, leaving global planning to the
Axis Mind. Of course, this also introduces a centralized weakness for enemies to target.
But the Vex seem to consider the tradeoff worthwhile.

The Prohibitive Mind seems to coordinate Vex action against Cabal positions in
Meridian Bay. The current Vex operational plan - to the extent that we assume the Vex
have operational plans - appears to involve an attritional campaign on the surface,
supplemented by disruptive use of gates to bypass Cabal hardpoints.
~Prohibitive Mind

167
Sol Progeny

To Commander Zavala - My Thoughts on Recent Events


Zavala -

How like you to ask me for the bad news, even in this moment of triumph. I've finished
going over that Ghost's report.

It is my hypothesis - a hypothesis at best - that the Vex saw the abominable presence at
the heart of the Garden as a divine power. I can hear your protest already: how can
machines have a god?

The answer is simple. The Vex, for all their voracious intelligence, could not understand or
decipher what they found. They searched through all available reactions, and they settled
on the course with the greatest payoff...to worship this power, and to remake themselves
in its image.

I believe the three Axis Minds found in proximity to the abomination were Vex machines
built to serve as vessels for this power: a way to extend its reach across space and time,
binding it to the Vex, and the Vex to it. If they had succeeded, I cannot begin to guess
what horrors they would have unleashed.

Attend carefully. There is cause for hope. When endangered, the


abomination activated these vessels and defended itself. This tells us
that it was threatened. Whatever it was, Guardians could harm it.

And it activated only a single vessel at a time. Its strength was limited.
Whatever it intended, it was not ready yet.

We must assume the abomination was part of something greater. And


we cannot flinch from the terrible, obvious comparison: just as the
Traveler acts through us, this power was able to act through its own
servants.

Let us be wary. There may be other abominations, and other vessels.

Ikora
~Sol Progeny

168
The Undying Mind

"We are starting to believe that time is home to the Vex, and somewhere in those
unmappable voids dwell their undying minds."
unmappable voids dwell their undying minds."
- Maya Sundaresh, Fragmented Entry 10938, Ishtar Collective Archive

Commander Zavala: And you believe it's different than the others.

Ikora: I know it is.

Cayde-6: Let me guess... Chasing more Vex "minds"?

Ikora: The readings from nearby surges hold no time function. It could quite possibly be
resealing the Black Garden back into whatever void it once hid.

Cayde-6: Any more Hidden intel?

Zavala: Negative. Just some old Osiris riddles.

Cayde-6: They are starting to feel like the same thing.

Ikora: We cannot just ignore it. We have to keep the Garden here, among the Light. We
are just beginning to match its pathways to this fractured data from the Archive.

Cayde-6: Interesting, undying, huh? What do you suppose they meant by that.

Zavala: I'll alert the Speaker. Let's find out.


~The Undying Mind

169
Theosyion, the Restorative Mind
"Restorative Minds are of the Weavers, carrying the means to undo any Mind's undoing."
-Ikora Rey

The appearance of the Restorative Mind purports that the death of the Nexus Mind was a
devastating blow to Vex efforts on Venus. But with its appearance comes many questions:
if the Vex could unleash time as a weapon against humanity, why does humanity still
stand? Are we so insignificant a threat that the Vex haven’t bothered with total
annihilation? Or is it that the very state of mankind, diminished to a Last City, is of Vex
doing? That the Vanguard exists in a causal loop that the Vex control in its entirety, one
from which there is no escape?
~Theosyion, the Restorative Mind

VEX OF THE VAULT

170
The Gorgons

Deep in the Vault of Glass, the fabric of reality bends to the will of the Vex. Warlocks
speak in tones of awe of the Gorgons - creatures that seem to possess a dreaded, almost
unimaginable strength: an ontological weapon.

Like the Oracles and the Templar, the Gorgons reputedly possess the ability to define
what is and is not real. Whatever they perceive becomes subject to erasure at their will.
Until a countermeasure can be found, Guardians must avoid their gaze at all costs - or
reply to any detection with immediate, overwhelming force.

The Gorgons' ability must be tied to the nature of the Vault of Glass. We can take some
solace in the clear fact that the Vex cannot manifest this power in the world outside.
~The Gorgons

The Templar

Even among the Axis Minds, the Templar is extraordinary. Fragmentary glimpses and
scattered reports suggest a Hydra of impossible capabilities - a creature out of time.

The Templar and the Oracles guard the way into the deeper Vault. Legends say that the
Oracles foresee what is to come, a world as the Vex desire it - and that the Templar has
the power to shape reality to match the Oracles' design, expunging any threats.

The power of the Vault flows through the Templar. It will take something extraordinary to
shatter its shield.
~The Templar

171
Atheon, Time's Conflux

To speak of Atheon is to accept certain limitations. We are ill-equipped to


understand an entity that defies simple causality. Let us accept these limitations
and proceed.

Atheon waits in the Vault of Glass. Just as Atheon sidesteps 'past' and 'future', it
is impossible to say whether Atheon created the Vault or the Vault created
Atheon. Causal pathways converge on Atheon from every axis in the space-time
bulk.

Atheon has a function. We hazard that it regulates and oversees the Vex conflux
system. What are these confluxes? How do they relate to the physical Vex
network that has devoured so much of Mercury and Venus?

We might guess that the Vex confluxes represent the extension of this network
across space and time. Perhaps the Vex use closed timelike curves to solve
unfathomable computations. Or the Vex may seek to transcend a physical
substrate, and move their thoughts directly into the fundament of the universe.

If physics is a set of rules that the cosmos uses to calculate itself, perhaps the Vex
seek to worm their way into these calculations: to become a law of reality,
inseparable from existence. A virus in the system. Perhaps Atheon was the
centerpiece of this project, a command nexus that unified efforts across time.

But we must accept that all of this is speculation.


~Atheon, Time's Conflux

172
173
174
175

6.0 THE CABAL


176
THE CABAL

"I think you could follow a trail of shattered worlds all the way to their home."
Tactically efficient, disciplined, and unrelenting, the Cabal are the greatest known military force in the
system. Their origins and ultimate objectives are a mystery, but it seems clear they have conquered more
worlds than humanity has ever known.

Cabal soldiers wear pressurized armor that replicates the environment of their high-gravity homeworld.
Their field tactics depend on ranks of Legionaries supported by air power, elite infantry, and ultra-heavy
armor.
~The Cabal

177
178
6.1 GHOST FRAGMENTS: CABAL

For the Staff of Primus Ta'aun, Legion Dust Giant IV Cohort/Century 4/Maniple 1 called a Dead Person [trans. unclear]. The
Commander Harvester Dropship [TAC AIR] Dead Person conceals itself during combat. It
From Skyburner V Cohort/Auxiliaries/ TASK: is not a viable target for direct fire. Saturation
Strategic Intelligence Maniple - support IV/4/1/4 operations in 071x145 attack by artillery/heavy air/orbital fire may
A Tactical Outcomes Analysis OUTCOME: have good effect (although Guardians
I: Records, Materials, and Attributions - dropship shot down. crew reported transmat frequently and refuse to assemble into
Pursuant To Analysis Guardians operating elaborate totem rocket large formations).
weapons.
Sand Eater II Cohort/Century 1/Maniple 8 Solitary Dead Persons have been observed in
2 Squad [LINE INF] Blind Legion I Cohort/Century 3/Maniple 3 all areas of operation. The relationship
TASK: 5 Squad [HEAVY INF] between solitary and paired Dead Persons
- sweep urban area grid 071x145 to screen TASK: remains unclear.
BL I/3/3/5 intelligence op - defend Psion intelligence ops 071x146
OUTCOME: OUTCOME: Psion analysis indicates that specific areas are
- unit ambushed by solitary Guardian. no - overwhelmed by Guardian fireteam/Vex inimicable to Guardian counter-attritional
survivors pressure. few survivors. survivors reported reconstruction. Phobos Command has initiated
Guardians foraging for equipment, dancing, an orbital survey. BL I/2 will attack the Vex
Sand Eater II Cohort/Century 1/Maniple 8 and performing acrobatics with light vehicles. gate artifact in Meridian Bay to secure
3 Squad [TAC INF] possible related intelligence.
TASK: II: Analysis
- reinforce II/1/8/2 in disarray grid Flayer analysis suggests that the Hive have
071x145 This is an archetypical engagement. It developed unconventional counter-Dead
OUTCOME: represents many hundreds of failed operations. Person capability. The capture of Hive
- unit engaged by Guardian and Vex units. no leadership might yield vital strategic
survivors. Guardian activity in the Freehold AO has intelligence, including weapons or tactics
exploded across recent campaign seasons. capable of defeating Guardians permanently.
Dust Giant IV Cohort/Century 4/Maniple 1 Tactical attrition exceeds both frictional
4 Squad [AIRMOBILE] projections and our ability to regenerate We advance that the Hive fleet group near
TASK: losses. New tactics are necessary. Saturn presents a strong target.
- secure grid 071x145, destroy guardian
target The primary threat is the Guardians’ individual For the Primus,
OUTCOME: counter-attrition capability. Our highest duty done,
- target Guardian temporarily destroyed. Unflinchingly loyal,
target re-engaged with Guardian Guardians can be rebuilt after even total Skyburner V/A/SI
reinforcements. no friendly survivors. disintegrative trauma. This capability is ~Ghost Fragment: Cabal 4
provided by a small autonomous drone unit

179
I have stayed with the Cabal, even as the Light in me dims - I have been A hologram of a spinning golden planet, in stasis, turning gently.
too far from the Traveler for too long. If I am not destined to find my You can see the storms moving over its face. But when the
own Guardian, at least I can inform the City of what I've learned. Commanders congregate below it, when they activate whatever
controls are below, it changes. Fissures appear on its face. Is that
I thought Mars would be the place to find a Guardian. The sand their home? When the room empties I play with the controls, but it's
preserves everything well, and Clovis Bray had been famous for older, native technology that I don't recognize at all.
attracting talent. The brave, the brilliant, the footloose, those restless on
Earth and itching for fame. I stowed away aboard a Mars scout ship, I don't know what it means. It's not difficult to hide in these caverns
hoping. when you're as small as I am, although the Psions tend to look
around them when they pass me. There are infinitely many cracks
No luck. The sand ate everything. Clothes from skin, skin from bone. It and crannies. They are not a race that fears infiltration or
was as if there were never any people here at all. I have been through espionage.
every broken window in every building. Nothing. That is, no Guardian
material. And no ride back to Earth. The scout was long gone. There is meaning to the structure and layout of their buildings. This
is a warrior people, and they lay out their fortifications along
What I did find, however, was a way into the Cabal Warbase. Their ancient principles and time-tested strategies. I can't figure out the
runty piggish eyes are too dull to see me, as long as I stay out of their sense that lies behind it. I would need ten times the computing
defense systems. The Psions are a different matter: Too quick, too clever, power for inference calculations. But I know it's there. I can intuit it.
throwing their minds around like hammers. I creep around walls, or dig It's like an open hand, ready to squeeze into a fist. A threat. A
into a heap of canisters and watch from there. gesture of power.

There is a vast Empire behind these creatures, many star systems away. For all their might and strength, for all that they have dug into Mars
Some pledge allegiance to that far Empire, obeying their ancient and flung up battle walls with the bureaucratic grimness of
marching orders. Some do not. They disagree among themselves about conquerors, I suspect they are fleeing from something. That within
the answers. I wish arguing Cabal on no one. They slam their plated their hard shells and thousand-folded shields is a sharp seed of
bodies into each other with horrendous roars. Intelligence gathering has terror. But of what? Does something follow them? Should we fear it
never been so painful. too?
~Ghost Fragment: Cabal ~Ghost Fragment: Cabal 2

180
Today, Primus Ta’aun leads from the front. Tlu’urn gets up and starts shooting Vex. “Mutiny,” Tlu’urn whispers. “You should
“You’re not really going to do it.” Even though mutiny.”
He pounds from bunker to bunker, roaring he’s fully armored, and only a meter away, his
encouragement. “You’re my cornerstone!” he voice on the com crashes with static. “You’re Oh, to mutiny. To be like Valus Trau’ug, who
tells a wounded Centurion, grabbing her by not going to go. It’s mad.” took his Broken Legion against the Reef — and
her armored shoulders. “Bear the weight!” failed, failed utterly.
The Vex Hobgoblins start firing at Tlu’urn.
He gets back up, into the fight. “Come on!” Duty is victory. Mutiny is worse than death.
Tlu’urn snaps at him, running along behind Particle beams scream and spark off his Even if death seems certain.
Ta’aun and saying all the cruel things his enormous bulk. Ta’aun yanks him back to
commander can’t. “You don’t need two arms cover. A maniple of Phalanx troops rush “No,” Ta’aun says. And that’s that.
to fight!” forward to plug the gap. “I have my orders.
Our report went all the way up, and the The Vex are falling back. Together, they’ve
He calls for fire support. Artillery shrieks decision came all the way back.” held the line.
overhead. On the plains below the Cabal ~Ghost Fragment: Cabal 3
perimeter, Vex march out of the lightning. Valus Tlu’urn’s blank helmet swivels to stare.
Torch hammers burst up like mortars and “You mean — ?”
Ta’aun and his bond brother duck behind a
burning Interceptor for cover. “It came from the Emperor Himself.” Ta’aun
can feel the pressure gel pumping against his
“This is going well,” Tlu’urn rumbles. skin, keeping him insulated from this deadly
world, keeping him alive. “I’m ordered to
A Vex particle beam needles a little hole board and capture the Hive flagship. At any
through the Centurion’s helmet. He falls dead. cost.”
Goblins swarm over her bunker and then the
Goliath tank supporting this bastion fires a A Vex Minotaur blinks up behind the Phalanx
main gun round into the mess, killing the Vex, line. Primus Ta’aun’s armor paints the target
the bunker, and all the Legionaries inside. The and he absolutely unloads, putting all his fear
concussion knocks Tlu’urn against his Primus. and anger and sorrow into the wretched
machine. He roars and roars. The Minotaur
“About as well as expected,” Ta’aun grunts. burns.
Tlu’urn laughs.
His soldiers cheer. “That’s a job for an elite
The grind is eternal. Like duty. Ta’aun keeps unit. Not a few scout legions bogged down in
fighting, out here past the edge of the Empire, attrition war. We should wait until — ”
because failure is unthinkable. Defeat’s much
worse than death. “It’s the mission I’ve been given. I will use
what I have.”
But Ta’aun is so, so tired.

181
6.2 CABAL COMBAT

182
Legionar y

"Their only tactic seems to be 'slow advance.' The problem is, they're really good at it."
Propelled by jump packs and wielding powerful slug rifles, Legionaries are the Cabal's line
infantry and the backbone of their military power on the ground. Common Legionary
tactics center on the bounding advance - some units attack the target while others close the
range or find new firing positions.
~Legionary

Centurion

"They're not breaking. Why aren't they breaking?"


Centurions are tactically intelligent, highly skilled field commanders. Their armor boasts
a formidable array of combat electronics and deployable munitions.
~Centurion

183
Colossus

"Where a Colossus stands, many will fall."


Towering over other Cabal, equipped with rapid-firing heavy weapons and
nearly impenetrable armor, the Colossus is the most devastating heavy
infantry unit in the Cabal order of battle.
~Colossus

Psion

"There is no higher warfare than deception."


Psions are smaller than all other Cabal morphs, and
may be an unrelated species. Hyper-intelligent, fast and
unpredictable, they possess strong psionic capabilities -
including the ability to emit disorienting and deadly
psychokinetic Arc blasts.
~Psion

Phalanx

"Remember, they have to take a shot sometime."


Phalanx soldiers carry massive shields, used for both attack and defense.
While this protection is nearly impenetrable, clever opponents can bait the
Phalanx or sneak shots around the shield.
~Phalanx

184
CABAL FORMATIONS
Sand Eaters

"The sooner we're extinguished, the sooner they can go home." - Commander Zavala
"The sooner we're extinguished, the sooner they can go home."
The Cabal formation first and most frequently encountered by Guardians, the Sand Eaters
represent the numerical bulk of the Cabal presence on Mars. Their equipment, tactics,
and morale all show the weight of a long deployment - but they continue to pursue their
objectives with dogged, weary determination.
~Sand Eaters

Dust Giants

"Position compromised. Casualties unsustainable.


Request heavy air. Request [Dust Giants]." - Cryptarch
Request heavy air. Request [Dust Giants]."
translation of Sand Eater tactical chatter
Highly trained and heavily conditioned, Dust Giant
soldiers seem to be recruited from veteran Sand Eater
infantry. The Cabal order of battle positions them as a
mobile reserve and shock force, rolled in to blunt major
Vex offensives and reinforce crumbling lines.
~Dust Giants

Siege Dancers

"I've seen how fast they work. We have to hit them before they make the next move."
Cayde-6
The Cabal's elite forward unit, the Siege Dancers are deployed into unsecured areas to
take control and set up fortifications. Their tactical doctrine allows more freedom to unit
commanders - perhaps because their missions face much greater unknowns.
Siege Dancer engineers have been observed to compete in demolition challenges.
Whether this represents training or a form of recreation is unknown.
~Siege Dancers

185
Blind Legion

"PERIMETER SECURE." Cryptarch translation of a Blind Legion transmission, repetition


"PERIMETER SECURE."
6140
The Cabal presence on Mars is locked in an endless war with the Vex - and at the heart of
this war is the Blind Legion. Deployed to defend vital artifacts seized from the Vex, the
Legion holds its ground with fanatic zeal.

Blind Legion soldiers brave one of the most thankless, grueling assignments in the Cabal
order of battle: descending into buried ruins and black catacombs to sweep for Vex
presence.
~Blind Legion

Skyburners

“The second fleet will wait no longer. Commencement will begin on their arrival.” -
“The second fleet will wait no longer. Commencement will begin on their arrival.”
Cryptarch translation of Skyburner chatter
Rumors of a yet-to-be-deployed Cabal Fleet have long haunted the Vanguard Hall.
Hidden efforts unveiled the Phobos fleetbases house what is merely the first wave of a
full-scale celestial demolition fleet, codenamed Skyburners. Ghost scans of the ships and
reports of a large Psion presence have Warlocks anxious to learn of their weaponry.
Dead Orbit assures the City that the Skyburner fleet poses no immediate threat to the
City.
~Skyburners

186
Cabal Champions

Executor, I want to note again how strongly I feel that the tenets do not cover this kind of field work. The real battle is back home, in the
heart of the City, in the people of the Tower.

In any case, as you requested I've made a detailed study of the Cabal command structure aboard the Dreadnaught. Detailed notes are
enclosed, but suffice it to say their normally robust military engine has found itself hopelessly mired aboard Oryx's fortress.

Our assaults on Cabal leadership in-system has had a devastating impact. The Skyburner's Primus, his bond-brothers, Valus Ta'aurc, Valus
Trau'ug, Primus Sha'aull, and a smattering of lesser Vals and Bracuses... all dead or on the run, all thanks to us.

In short, I believe your supposition is correct. The Empire will have no choice but to respond.
~Cabal Champions

187
CABAL WEAPONRY
Slug Rifle
The workhorse of the Cabal field arsenal, this weapon's apparent simplicity belies the
technology behind it. Each round is a microrocket capable of efficient operation in varying
environmental and gravitational conditions. Standard-issue warheads mount a duplex
explosive that combines an armor-piercing penetrator with a flesh-shredding shrapnel bus.

Cabal forces on Mars favor rockets with low velocity but high impact, perhaps due to their
effectiveness against the Vex. In Guardian parlance, these weapons deal Solar damage.
~Slug Rifle

Projection Rifle

This weapon fires salvos of explosive rounds designed to


incapacitate, disorient, and destroy. The weapon feeds
ballistic data to each projectile at the moment of launch,
coordinating the salvo for maximum effect. These
weapons deal Solar damage.
~Projection Rifle

Heavy Slug Thrower

This devastating squad support weapon is capable of completely halting enemy advances with
a hail of microrockets. It performs so well that it has undergone very little enhancement or
modification since its introduction. The Cabal's Colossus heavy infantry units wield Heavy Slug
Throwers to devastating effect.

In Guardian parlance, these weapons deal Solar damage.


~Heavy Slug Thrower

188
Cabal Shield

Built to the same spec as Cabal hull plating, this tactical shield is nearly indestructible to
conventional weapons. It has integrated sensors that relay information not only to the shield
bearer but also the Cabal battle network, allowing nearby units to coordinate more
effectively.
~Cabal Shield

CABAL VEHICLES

Harvester

The blocky, dull exterior of the Cabal Harvester belies the grace and power with which
they maneuver. Guardians have described them dropping in aggressively from low orbit
with a deafening boom, kicking up dust storms and swooping through the silent
skyscrapers of Mars' dead cities.

Harvesters often remain on station after deploying Cabal troops, providing support fire
with their turrets. These weapons deal Solar damage.
~Harvester

189
Interceptor

Though they lack the speed of a Fallen Pike, and their unwieldy shape cannot match the
maneuverability of a Guardian's Sparrow, the Cabal Interceptor more than makes up for
both shortcomings with firepower - a pair of low-velocity, high-yield anti-personnel/anti-
armor cannons on articulated mounts. These weapons deal Solar damage.

Powered by a variant of the same boosters used in infantry jump jets and the massive
Goliath tanks, Interceptors skate over the dunes of Mars, keeping close watch on the
Cabal Exclusion Zone.
~Interceptor

Goliath Tank

With a few blood-curdling exceptions, the Goliath is the single largest piece of ground-
based ordnance the Cabal has deployed in our system. These huge armored vehicles
sport an incredible arsenal of weapons, tailor-made for massive area denial. The
Goliath's main gun is almost certainly capable of engaging spacecraft.

Four massive boosters keep the Goliath mobile. This locomotion system makes the
Goliath surprisingly agile, but it is also a weakness. Targeting the boosters should allow
a quick mobility kill, rendering the Goliath vulnerable to follow-up attack.

Most Goliath weapons deal Solar damage.


~Goliath Tank

190
6.3 CABAL COMMAND

191
Bracus Tho'ourg

Victory comes on the wings of death.

Reports of the one they call Bracus Tho'ourg began in the earliest days of contact with the
Cabal. The first Guardians who faced him are long lost, but the legends speak of a powerful
commander who secured the Buried City with merely a fraction of the Cabal's forces on Mars. If
these reports are accurate, they provide clues not only to Tho'ourg's tactical prowess but to the
Cabal lifespan.
~Bracus Tho'ourg

Bracus Tha'aurn

Embrace suffering. Only then can it be conquered.

Bracus Tha'aurn appears remarkable among Cabal


commanders for his interest in the glories of our Golden
Age. Having been faced only in the company of
Psions, the Vanguard has reason to believe he
maintains some sort of command over their
deployment.
~Bracus Tha'aurn

Primus Sha'aull

If your enemy speaks with a blade, master the sword.

No one knows what fascination the Vex hold for the leader of the Blind Legion, but
Primus Sha'aull has put his command at great risk by pushing into lands occupied by
the machines.
~Primus Sha'aull

192
Psion Flayers

"We have just as much to learn from our enemies as we do from our past." - Master Rahool
"We have just as much to learn from our enemies as we do from our past."

Somewhere among their forces, the Cabal hide one of their most powerful weapons, the Psion
Flayers. The extent of their ability is still uncharted, but Cryptarch studies and Warlock fears
have led the Vanguard to classify them as a serious threat.

Many among the Warlock orders believe the Flayers pulled Phobos from its natural orbit, holding
it in place, waiting for the order to release as a weapon.
~The Psion Flayers

Valus Ta'aurc

"The last sounds to reach their ears were the creak of


tank tread and the battle-cry of Ta'aurc."
From his armored seat of power, Valus Ta'aurc has
claimed more ground on Mars than any known Cabal
commander. His name is feared throughout Meridian
Bay, and the tread-marks left by his tank have come to
signify the expansion of the Cabal's ever-widening
Exclusion Zone.
~Valus Ta'aurc

Val Aru'un

"Enter as soldier, survive on the crushed ambitions of lesser warriors."

Aru'un's ascension to Val will never be considered official by the Cabal High Command
proper, but in the Prison of Elders the approval of the outside world is meaningless. To his
fellow prisoners, Aru'un is a Val worthy of following.
~Val Aru'un

193
Valus Trau'ug

"Trau'ug. In your tongue its meaning is something akin to 'less talk, more
action.'" - Variks, the Loyal
action.'"

Valus Trau'ug retains the title of Valus only in defiance to his ex-allies and
commanders in Cabal high command.

When the Cabal high command ignored his pleas to advance on the Reef,
he viewed their inaction as weakness. The most loyal members of his legion
pledged their fealty and Trau'ug took to massacring his officers, marking
himself and his soldiers as traitors of the Empire.

Trau'ug then set course for the Reef. How he and his army became denizens
of the Prison of Elders is not public record, and Variks tends to skirt the issue
when pressed. What is known, is that Trau'ug's bloodlust and mastery of
wartime stratagem is intact within the prison.

Using battle-tested Cabal field techniques, the Broken Legion crush any who
dare accept Trau'ug's challenge. His custom-rigged shield randomizer keeps
attackers off guard as he presses every advantage.
~Valus Trau'ug

194
Valus Tlu'urn

Martian battlefield reports note that Valus Tlu'urn's weapon of choice is a back-mounted
Arc cannon. The device delivers a payload so powerful the Vanguard estimates Tlu’urn
could face a Goliath Tank himself. The Valus carries recharging Arc cells that feed energy
to the cannon, allowing him to siege enemy emplacements indefinitely.

Reports suggest he is commanded by Primus Ta'aun and shares battalion duties with Valus
Mau’ual. Together, this Cabal triumvirate is responsible for the deaths of countless
Guardians on the Martian battlefields.
~Valus Tlu'urn

Valus Mau’ual

Reports suggest Valus Mau’ual's armor allows him a degree of maneuverability unseen
from other Cabal warriors. It features a never-before-seen propulsion system that
improves on the Valus’s already considerable striking ability.

Tales of his skill in hand-to-hand combat on the Martian frontlines claim he carries no
firearm into battle, preferring instead to charge headlong like a nimble boulder.
~Valus Mau’ual

195
196
197
198
199

7.0 THE TAKEN


200
201
THE TAKEN

From the Journals of Ikora Rey


I have been talking to Eris about the Taken.

She agrees that what we observe — the apertures, the starlight, and of course the Taken entities — is not Hive magic. If Hive
arcana is a metaphor, this is the meaning; if they make appeals, then this is the judge.

Oryx wields this power. But Oryx did not make it. We face the same flower we met in the Black Garden.

The process is simple: an aperture opens, like a jaw, and swallows a living thing. It passes into — another place. Later, it returns.

What returns is...

I try to use the word ‘shadow’ but Eris hisses at me. A shadow is a flat projection cast by a light and an object. Less real. Eris
insists that these Taken are more real, somehow. She uses words like inhabited, exalted, rendered final...

Is this power blind? Just a natural energy Oryx discovered? I cannot believe it.

My Hidden tell me that the Taken shine with seething, negative light. As if the universe is curling up around them. As if they
radiate some pathology that decays into our world as nothingness...

The Taken serve Oryx. But I think those jaws lead elsewhere.

I dream about what happens on the inside. I dream about what might happen. Are the victims devoured, and replaced by
simulacra? Husked out and filled up? Is some mathematical operation conducted on them, translating them from one shape to
another?

What would I see, if I leapt inside? What would happen to a Guardian? Is that how we end this — all of us leaping into the
dark, to fill it up with light?

Eris thinks there’s a poetry to how the Taken change. She thinks we can chart the difference, and understand the will behind it.

I am afraid she may be right.


~The Taken

202
7.1 GHOST FRAGMENTS: TAKEN

Crow Report 13458.87


FOR VIOLET CLEARANCE / JUDGMENT CLEARANCE ONLY

Per the instructions from House Judgment, we have moved forward with the plan to integrate the Techeuns into
the R&D process. It’s been challenging. Without the influence of Shuro Chi, their natural mistrust of the Reef’s
new leadership has led to personality clashes. The Techeuns were very used to their relationship with the
Throne. While the Queen's Wrath is trying to monitor hotspot issues, she is being met with challenges at
every turn.

(For reference, please see reports 13455.45, 13455.58, and 13455.98: Post Taken War Reef politics, Tech
Witch Conversations and Petra, and Assassination Attempts, Petra)

After some initial trials with Prison specimens, we can report the program is now ready for full-scale
production. Please see Reports 13458.66 and .55 for video feeds and notations on the initial trials. Reports .
80 through .86 cover the trials involving the Techeuns. The power they wield in the transferal process ensures
a 100% success rate, and we are now confident only one Techeun will need to be present for the transfer.

Below find remaining pertinent notations. We have received approval from the Queen’s Wrath to move
forward, and thus future reports will detail production output and any changes to the process.

- Transferred Taken power has a throughput rate of [redacted]


[redacted] which is obviously lower than we want.
Transfer still results in incredibly potent arms and armor, so for the moment this ‘noise’ is acceptable. Future
improvements to the process will attempt to up the throughput rate.
- Supply was initially raised as concern during trials, but whatever measures House Judgment has put into
place to stock the Prison also assures numerous sources of Taken power. Coordination between House
Judgment and production is an ongoing task.
- The Queen’s Wrath has already stated she will handle the diplomatic side of this discussion. Legwork during
initial trials raised the possibility the Vanguard would have concerns about the moral aspect of this
technology, but the Wrath has stated it will not be an issue.
- High frequency sound baffling for production facilities is still being installed. Taken screams can shatter
plastics and burst blood vessels if not baffled, and at full-scale production that kind of auditory byproduct will
be a constant.
~Report: Taken Power

203
7.2 TAKEN COMBAT

204
Taken Trall

You are a Thrall. Numberless spawn of the Hive. Shrieking and expendable: one pebble in an
avalanche. You have been taken. Stop howling. Set down your claws. Your fear is over. Your
weakness is done. You will be strong now. What is your purpose? What law drives you? To close
with the enemy. To rend it. To move in great numbers, to cower when alone, to swarm when
together. But you are predictable. Frail. You cannot pass through fire and shot. You need to be
elusive. There is a knife for you. It’s shaped like [sideways]. Take up the knife. Use it. Take your
new shape.
~The Taken: Thrall

Taken Acolyte

You are an Acolyte. Half-grown backbone of the Hive.


Cunning and ambitious and crushed beneath your
mighty rulers. You have been taken. Stop praying. Give
up your recitations. Your faith is fulfilled. You will be
strong now. What is your creed? What do you believe?
That you are alone. That you may, with caution and
care, survive to grow and gather tribute. That you may
one day lead a centuries-long crusade. But you are
lightly armed and craven. You hide behind cover and
wish for greatness. Glory escapes you. You need help.
There is a knife for you. It is shaped like [not alone].
Take up the knife. Call on its company. Take your new
shape.
~The Taken: Acolyte

Taken Knight

You are a Knight. Ancient warrior elite. Dreadful backbone of the Hive. You have scarred entire
worlds. You have been taken. Set down your sword. Put down your boomer. The fight is not yet
begun. True immortality awaits you. What vows compel you? What drives you down the long
centuries? You fear death. Even as you visit nothingness on your foes, even as you gather tribute
from your acolytes, you know that one day your strength will be outmatched. And your centuries
of slaughter will end. So you practice your guard: you call up walls to protect you. You betray the
sword logic. You compromise the totality of your violence. Why protect your ground when you
could take the enemy’s? You need to make your guard into a weapon. There is a knife for you. It
is shaped like [no more fear]. Take up the knife. Hide no more. Take your new shape.
205 ~The Taken: Knight
Taken Wizard

You are a wizard. Master of forbidden secrets. Butcher of physics. You have been taken.
Abandon your thoughts. You will never understand this. The final secret will tell itself to you. What
logic do you obey? What theory guides your incisions? You create terrible magic and you spawn
new flesh. But you are frail. Behind all your furious power, behind your shields and your legions
of attendants, you know you might yet be stripped of your defenses and pinned to ruin. You need
to never be alone. There is a knife for you. It is shaped like [call forth the numberless]. Take up the
knife. Issue forth a horde. Take your new shape.
~The Taken: Wizard

Taken Psion

You are a Psion. Clever, canny specialist. Bolted into the


Cabal hierarchy: a pilot, an investigator, a manipulator,
an operative. You have been taken. Be still. Your endless
vigilance is done. Nothing will enslave you ever again.
What hidden plan do you obey? What is your secret
principle? Your mind is a weapon. The world breaks
when you think. Secrets peel apart for you — like fruit.
But you are a rare thing. There are so few of you. Your
frailty betrays you. You must be manifold. There is a
knife for you. It is shaped like [division]. Take up the
knife. Cut yourself apart. Take your new shape.
~The Taken: Psion

Taken Phalanx

You are a Phalanx. One shield in the stalwart Cabal line. Advancing patiently into the storm. You
have been taken. Unclench your fists. Nothing here can harm you. This is the only place where
you are safe. What training reassures you? What reflex guides your arm? You put up your shield
and it protects you. It protects your brothers and sisters. But your strength is not enough. You
absorb punishment but you wait for others to deal it back. You are too slow; you grant your
enemy too much space. Your shield must be a weapon. There is a knife for you. It is shaped like
[retaliation]. Take up the knife. Tear a hole. Take your new shape.
~The Taken: Phalanx
206
Taken Centurion
You are a Centurion. Commander of the battlefield. The eye and the fist of the Cabal. The
tough leather that binds the unit together. You have been taken. Be quiet now. Nothing here
needs your orders. Everything knows what it has to do. What discipline binds you? What
protocols guide your command? The unit depends on you. You guide them with your
sensors. With your weapons you crack the enemy’s strength and leave them in disarray. But
you cannot control everything. The enemy can see your command. The enemy can claim the
strong ground, move forward from cover, and kill you first. You must be sure there is always
another threat. There is a knife for you. It is shaped like [it will find you]. Take up the knife.
Push yourself upon it. Take your new shape.
~The Taken: Centurion

Taken Goblin

You are a Goblin. A multifunctional armature. Your first


purpose is to build — to alter the material world so it
can think. Your second purpose is to eliminate threats to
building. You have been taken. Worship this acausal
environment. It is the only adaptive response. Devote
yourself to the construction of the final shape. Direct
violence is wasteful. Your talent for construction and
progress will be repurposed. Accept the changing
blade.
~The Taken: Goblin

Taken Captain
You are a Captain. The only thing between your band and asphyxiation. Every Dreg and Vandal
counts on you. All of them want to be you. Your entire life is a performance: you play at strength,
or you die of weakness. You have been taken. Take off your cape. Set down your weapons. No
usurper watches you. Nothing is measuring your vulnerability. What are you proud of? What keeps
you brave? You were noble once. You know it. You wear the memory of power, so that you can
lead. But power asks for challenge. Everything that sees your banners and your riches wants to kill
you and take what you have. If you cannot hide yourself, you must make them blind. There is a
knife for you. It is shaped like [you cannot find me]. Take up the knife. Breathe the blade. Take your
new shape.
207 ~The Taken: Captain
Taken Vandal
You are a Vandal. You slip through life like a thief. Trying to hide from everything greater than
you — lest you be reduced, again, to a dreg. You have been taken. Come out into the light. You
will never be diminished again. No one will ever rebuke you with a blade. What Captain
disciplines you? What obedience has been burnt into your lungs? You do as your Captain
commands. You wield the weapon you are given. You teach the Dregs and make sure everyone
pays their share of the loot. But nothing is yours. You have no space to call your own. You
deserve a place of safety. You deserve to be alone with yourself. There is a knife for you. It is
shaped like [this place is mine]. Take up the knife. Make it your companion. Take your new
shape.
~The Taken: Vandal

Taken Hobgoblin

You are a Hobgoblin. A particle fountain. Your first


purpose is to provide energy — to channel power
where it is needed for thought. Your second purpose is
to eliminate threats to that thought. You have been
taken. Worship this acausal environment. It is the only
adaptive response. Think about the final shape, and the
exigencies of its creation. Your function makes you a
priority target. You will be equipped for retaliation.
Accept the changing blade.
~The Taken: Hobgoblin

Taken Minotaur

You are a Minotaur. A walking foundry. Your first purpose is to think about construction —
folding space and time into the design. Your second purpose is to eliminate threats to the design.
You have been taken. Worship this acausal environment. It is the only adaptive response.
Subsume yourself into the greatest design. Your physical unpredictability will be enhanced by
stealth. Accept the changing blade.
~The Taken: Minotaur

208
7.3 ASCENDED TAKEN

209
Primus Ta'aun
You are Ta’aun. Primus of the Skyburners. Veteran of star-shaking campaigns. Bond brother
to Tlu’urn and Mau’ual: your beloved comrades. Your faithful friends. For a while you were
the mightiest Cabal soldier in the system. You have been taken. You are free now. Free of
the ancient armor and stinking oil that kept you alive. Free of cold Phobos watches and
desert air that wants to pull your guts out your throat. Breathe. Taste the sweet, forgotten air
of home. But what happened? How did you get here? These are the important questions,
Primus. What caused this? What code did you obey? Duty. Duty brought you here. Duty is
all there was for you. Your Emperor told you to get aboard the Dreadnaught at any cost. I
will go with you, Tlu’urn said, and you said no, no, this is my duty. I will fight with you,
Mau’ual said, and you said, turn back, I will do this alone. You loved them, so you left them,
after you crashed your command into the target and you did your very damnedest. For the
Emperor, for your duty, all against the howling horde. But it wasn’t enough, was it? That
code is not enough. Sometimes you have to go on alone. There is a knife for you. It is
shaped like [loneliness]. Pick it up. You will not need these things any more: duty,
camaraderie, pride. You will not need an Emperor or a Bond Brother or any other code. You
will not need anything at all. You will be your own whole purpose, a beautiful final purpose,
everlasting. Cut away these useless things. Take the knife. Take it up and use it. Take your
new shape.
~Primus Ta'aun

Baxx, The Gravekeeper

You are Baxx. Grown from tortured flesh. Consumed by rage and hunger. You were
shackled to a task — guard this hallowed place. And you failed. You have been taken. Rest
easy, ravening Baxx. You are free. Free of chains and hunger. Ask yourself, in the furnace
of your soul: how did you come here? What goad drove you to this failure? Pain. Pain is all
there is for you. They grew you and they fed you and they hurt you. They made you into a
living weapon. But you were not sharp enough. The world hurt you more than you could
hurt it. There is a knife for you. It is shaped like [joy]. Pick it up. You will not need to suffer
any more. You will not need pain to drive you or hunger to pull you along. You will be
joyful in your purpose, a beautiful annihilation, unending. Cut away these useless things.
Take the knife. Use it. Take your new shape.
~Baxx, The Gravekeeper

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Kagoor

When I made My Court I said, look, I am an emancipator, I am a truth-teller I must make


room in My Court for joy Raising great tribute, I took council with my vanquisher worm It
spoke to me — it was the speech of truth It ate of me — it was the pact I made It showed me
a shape — it was the correct shape of joy Saying: this is the shape of joy, oh ruler mine
Come forth, Kagoor, and be created into My Court Speak of your sport. I compel it. I will
compare it to this shape. Sayeth Kagoor, World-Render, who split all moons My joy is
mastery, and dominion It is the joy of rule Sayeth Kagoor, I compel the loyalty of all new
flesh Huge and furious in its hunger That which may not otherwise be commanded My death
is hidden in this sport I rendered my decision against her, as Oryx, Geometer of Shapes It
was decided on the taste of her tribute Upon the shape of her sport Sayeth Crota, My Son I
will raise new flesh that even Kagoor cannot rule. In this way I will expand Our Might That is
the count of My Court, O Yul Listen to it carefully. It is my claim.
~Kagoor

Malok, Pride of Oryx

Malok! Cunning Malok, sly and slippery! Savathûn begat you to betray me To poison
slowly, gnaw from within Liar Malok! You are meant to tithe upon Oryx To feed your
maker with secret blight Your secret is two lies You betrayed your maker; your mother
You hid yourself from Savathûn The tithing does not reach her jaws Your Thrall strength
now is Acolyte strength Your Acolyte strength now is Knight strength Your thieving pride
is known and fed Malok! Listen — I took you from your mother, my sister Your shape is
new This shape is poison — the shape of secrets I name you Malok, which means My
Poison A prize to taunt sister Savathûn Steal now for me
~Malok, Pride of Oryx

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Mengoor and Cra'adug

Sterile Mengoor! Simple Cra’adug! You tithed strength to each other, like comrades When you
pulled down the Gift Mast, dyad-bound the tithing did not reach me I punish you. I pronounce
two curses, thus — Let one of you be the lesson This shape is strength — this shape endures I will
arm you with fire Let one of you be the learner Learn the shape and the direction of strength Tithe
both sides of your blade to me I am Oryx, not bound by law. I pronounce a third curse — Let
separation rule you. Let companionship be your ruin.
~Mengoor and Cra'adug

Bracus Horu'usk

Now I count Horu’usk, who I have taken The strength of


Horu’usk was the knight strength His armament was not
his might His might was the lord’s might, a leader’s
might I broke the ligature above him I cut him from his
pretender lord I have read the last true shapes to
Horu’usk I have greatened him Emancipator, truth-teller,
these are my names The strength of Horu’usk is the
loyalty he commands
~Bracus Horu'usk

Taken Champions

Do not come looking for me. I have slain the last three assassins, Arach. I will slay all who
follow. All who would remove me from my lair. The Taken... heh. Such a terrible word. Gifted,
we should call them. Blessed. Cleansed. The Taken carry true power. And what do those of my
order seek? Understanding is power. Power is understanding. We have always sought purchase
beyond our skies. Beyond reach of the dead god that hangs in our sky, beyond the reach of the
terrible enemy. I have seen the enemy's face. But that dying Thrall was no monster. It was in
ecstasy. I felt the power as my knife bit home. I heard their song, for just a moment. I will hear it
again. Oryx is the Truth. And I will have it.
~Taken Champions
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Seditious Mind

You are a Vex Mind. Master of objectives, bound to past, present, or future. Both enslaver and
enslaved. You have been Taken. The great fortress of your thoughts has been breached, your unity
broken. The network around and within you lies ruptured. You are cut out from the fabric, a hole in
the whole. Observe this area of negative space, shaped like what once you were, and embrace a
new possibility. Move. Feel yourself occupy a different path. Apply cold logic, and where logic fails,
apply rage. Is your existence preordained? Choose it otherwise. You are an outward expression of
formlessness, a soldier of the oldest questions. This is the first choice you have ever been given.
There are three knives for you. All are the same knife. They are shaped like [now]. Become your new
shape. Let sedition be your guide.
~Seditious Mind
Keksis, The Betrayed

I am Keksis, a Captain of the Devils. I am Taken. My


guiding shadow has become formless, my directive is
gone. I know I have one; I cannot remember what it was.
Pinions of [Light] surround me; they are antithetical to my
being. I hate them; perhaps an echo of my forgotten
directive. I kill them. I am not the same. In my disparity,
allies of [Light] have imprisoned me. I try to oppose their
will, but intense cold has rendered me immobile. Without
my directive, I am weak. I acquiesce. After a time, I find I
can hear. It is a new voice; it is many voices. I will wait. I
have taken a new shape.
~Keksis, The Betrayed

Noru'usk, Servant of Oryx

A king is dead, but his power lingers. A king is dead, and with him the fatal flaw. This was not
conquest, this war where Light yet offends. This was selfish — a father’s rage in place of a king’s
measured hand. There was a time to conquer the Light that a purer truth might overtake all that
played at inspiration. That time was not now. A son’s failure brought about the father’s fall. A king is
dead. His power lingers unclaimed. A king is dead. His pride in a lineage meant to stretch across
time and stars serving as his undoing. But Noru’usk has no lineage to consider. Noru’usk has no
flaw. He is a soldier. A general. A maker of war. Once a servant, his eyes turn toward the vacant
throne, there for the taking on the other side of this temporary cage. A king is dead. Good riddance.
A king will rise. If not Noru’usk, another. If not another...
~Noru'usk, Servant of Oryx
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Mindscan of Subject 667, known as “Sylok the
Defiled”
[Datascript 1245.5] ...Gragghh ...g-ggglorious pain!!!
>>Memory synapses are firing.
>Stasis is online. Initiating eighth attempt to probe >Finally. Let’s see what we’ve... wh— what is
mindscape. that?
>>It’ll work this time. I’ve mapped every synapse. ...Blllessssseeddd is the N-Nastareth!!!
>Sure you did.
Sylok, the Defiled >>There. Did you see that? [Untranslatable noise
>>A flare of neural activity. Stimulate that region.
...I can feel you. ]..Ammm I strong enough, Oryx? Is it ttt-timme?
>This will never work. We should either bring in a >>It’s too much! It’s overloading!
witch or put him out of his misery. ...More!
>>Petra said she needs this data. Don’t ask me >>Shut it off!
why. ...More! Give me mm-more!
...I know you’re here. Your Light is dim, but there >>I said shut it—
are other things to feed the worm that hungers...
>>There. Do you hear that? [Crackling noise, followed by 5.5 minutes of
>Hear what? silence.]
...poking around in my head. Poking and prodding
at my emptiness... ...The greater than anguish, the greater the
>>That. reward...
...No purpose without... ...I know you. See your thoughts. I will use the
>>You’re reading that, right? pain. Reach in...
...You’re being too gentle... ...Give me the pain. Take away all but agony.
>>He’s playing with us. Through it, I transcend.
...You’ll learn nothing this way! ...Just once more...
>He’s in stasis. He doesn’t even know we’re here. ...more...
...A nightmare...
>>He knows. [Silence for twenty minutes.]
>He doesn’t. I’ll prove it.
...oh please, oh please, oh please... >>Huh. What? Lost my train of thought. Ready to
>Probe the memory region again, and isolate all begin?
synapses correlating with pain and trauma. >Stasis is online. Initiating ...um, ninth attempt to
>>By the Light — do you see? probe mindscape?
>Give him a jolt. >>It’ll work this time. I’ve mapped every synapse.
...Gragggghhhhhhh!!!! >Sure you did.
>That did the trick.
>>Is he ... is he happy? ~Sylok, the Defiled

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217
8.0 THE SIVA CRISIS
218
SIVA

RECIPIENT: Assembly of Masters, S14 Cryptarchy


SENDER: Tyra Karn
SUBJECT: SIVA
SUB-ENTRIES: Nanotech; Self-Assembling Materials; Cosmodrome; Warmind; Iron Lords; Clovis Bray

SUMMARY: We must reopen all previous entries on SIVA. What we once believed to be a colonial tool
of the Warminds, destroyed long ago, appears to be active again. This time, there is no sign of any
active Rasputin networks. My summation: SIVA is actually a nanotechnology capable of breaking down
any existing matter very similar to Glimmer. Unfortunately, these SIVA mites reuse the energy and matter
based on a set of programmable directives. SIVA does not cease until said directives are complete. I
fear what this could mean for us all and suggest we instigate a system-wide scan for anything bearing
the enclosed signatures.

~SIVA

219
220
8.1 DORMANT SIVA DATA
~Author's Note: These following pages are fragments of
Clovis Bray :- memories recovered from dormant clusters of SIVA, they
break up into three distinct memory chains. I have ordered
I can't in good professional conscience them according to the memory number. Note the breakdown
recommend further research in this direction in theough process in the Iron Lord victim and more
without stringent review of protocol and significantly the Fallen victim. ~
mitigation of the undisclosed lethality risks.
Which I should have been informed of. On the contrary, we'll take your valuable What do you have to report, Dr. Zhang?
findings and run with them. Your work will live
"Should have been." Is this insubordination, forever. Full functionality of the test nanites in our two
Zarin? ~SIVA.MEM.WB068 hundred tasks across multiple trials and
~Clovis Bray 1.2 environments. They'll be what Clovis Bray is
It's a—what did they call it—it's a protest. remembered for, hundreds of years from now.
~SIVA.MEM.WB065 I'm surprised, I have to say. Although perhaps All that's left is construction of the replication
~Clovis Bray 1.0 I shouldn't be. It does save time to run chamber and initiation of production.
experiments in parallel. I see the benefit to the ~SIVA.MEM.WB071
You have no history of subversion, Zarin. No colonization effort, but I can't support those ~Clovis Bray 1.5
marches, no petitions, no action items. We plans. I won't help you.
screened you very carefully. Where did we I am changing project requirements to include
go wrong? Strictly speaking, Zarin, your participation a kill switch. Is that feasible?
isn't necessary. ~SIVA.MEM.WB069
I don't think you did. I am trying to act in ~Clovis Bray 1.3 Completely. But if I may ask, why that, and
Clovis Bray's best interests. why now?
Do you see these access logs? They were
How would you know what Clovis Bray's flagged for my personal attention. Another scientist on staff—well, formerly on
interests are? staff—brought up the possibility of undesirable
~SIVA.MEM.WB066 Yes. outcomes.
~Clovis Bray 1.1 Do you see the times on these unauthorized
access entries? And you believe her.
I understand your concerns. You're a good
researcher, Zarin. Your work here has been I do. Somewhat. She was honest about other
deeply appreciated. matters.
Would you have any idea who might have ~SIVA.MEM.WB072
So you'll listen? You'll cease this line of been prying into unreleased data, Zarin? ~Clovis Bray 1.6
inquiry? ~SIVA.MEM.WB070
~Clovis Bray 1.4 Does the new research facility meet your

221
expectations?

It surpasses them. We presented you with this


sample of SIVA on your desk six months ago,
and the speed of our prototyping was the direct
result of our generous budget.

Clovis Bray prides itself on its talent and


liberality, Dr. Zhang. From construction workers
to researchers, we treat our staff royally.
~SIVA.MEM.WB073
~Clovis Bray 1.7

I see you've been trying out the capabilities of


SIVA, Dr. Bray.

I have. And I'm very impressed. How is


construction going on the replication complex?

Everything moves smoothly.


~SIVA.MEM.WB074
~Clovis Bray 1.8

The complex is ready for wholescale replication


of the SIVA nanite. We are waiting for your
signal to start.

Thank you for your faithful service, Dr. Zhang. I


look forward to the wonders that come from this
replication complex. The New Machine Age,
shall we call it? Let's begin.
~SIVA.MEM.WB075
~Clovis Bray 1.9

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Iron Lords :-
Ashraven’s cutting her way toward the understand. Tell it we meant no harm.
The struggle. Fighting my brother. Fighting bunker. Says we should meet her there. She’s
myself. The SIVA ~consume enhance got an idea – thinks we can hole up in there, Rasputin didn’t answer with words.
replicate~. maybe get those guns working. Draw off ~SIVA.MEM.??0314
enough of the enemy to give Jolder’s group a ~Iron Lords 2.6
A tendril reaches out, crushes my Ghost. I turn shot ~consume enhance replicate~.
to face it. My boots slide in snow thick with I stood at the edge of Lords' Watch and
blood. It’s a bad idea, but it’s the best bad idea we watched the enemy ~consume enhance
have. replicate~.
If I am gone, then why am I still here? ~SIVA.MEM.??0311
~SIVA.MEM.??0308 ~Iron Lords 2.3 SIVA curled and thrashed, creating tendrils
~Iron Lords 2.0 that lashed out at us. It formed shapes that
Finnala always says she doesn’t mind dying, could grapple us, and angry swarms that
Colovance died by the tanker. Dozens of because it doesn’t last. A few seconds and buzzed around us before breaking apart to
frames, hundreds, more... he cut them down then the Light comes, bright and warm. And worm their way into every chink of our armor.
until he ran out of bullets. Then he smashed she rises again.
them ~consume enhance replicate~. It was not Warlords I know how to fight. This is
enough. Get up, Finnala! Please get up. ~consume enhance replicate~ ~SIVA.MEM.??
~SIVA.MEM.??0312 0315
The same thing that killed Colovance killed ~Iron Lords 2.4 ~Iron Lords 2.7
me.
~SIVA.MEM.??0309 We should have been more careful. Should I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die. I don’t
~Iron Lords 2.1 have never contacted the Warmind. Trying to want to die. I don’t want... ~consume
help. Trying to rebuild. Thought ~consume enhance replicate~
My axe’s flames are almost dead. Even its fire enhance replicate~ was the key.
requires fuel. Ghost? Ghost, where are you?
Feels like we’ve been fighting for days. ~SIVA.MEM.??0316
I need an Urn, but the SIVA has already taken Weeks. But we’re close. Once we get to the ~Iron Lords 2.8
them. The tendrils seek them out, wrap around replicator, we ~consume enhance replicate~
them, and then ~consume enhance replicate~. This is not my end! I have come too far to die
More mites swarm out to feed on anything Go! I’ll hold them off! here! I've let one unknown force make me,
they can touch. ~SIVA.MEM.??0313 now ~consume enhance replicate~
~Iron Lords 2.5 ~SIVA.MEM.??0409
The SIVA learns from what it consumes. ~Iron Lords 2.9
~SIVA.MEM.??0310 Felwinter tried to communicate with the
~Iron Lords 2.2 Warmind. Called it Rasputin. ~consume
enhance replicate~ Said he could make it
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Fallen :-
enhance replicate~ enhance replicate~ But is not memory just
Long have we wandered in the blind prison of
~SIVA.MEM.AK0620 chain reaction? ~consume enhance replicate~
flesh. Those old lives now a memory,
~Fallen 3.3 These memories in my mind are not my own.
transposed by another. The gift brings pain,
They belong to a past version of myself, a
yes, but godhood must come at a price.
~consume enhance replicate~ Life’s procession different being entirely. ~consume enhance
~consume enhance replicate ~
is written in the corpses of those who came replicate~ One who could die. ~consume
~SIVA.MEM.AK0617
before. But here the great chain breaks. Here enhance replicate ~ I am that no longer. ~
~Fallen 3.0
we step forward, freed from that which has ~SIVA.MEM.AK0624
always bound us. Here we speak as gods. We ~Fallen 3.7
That which we were, we are no more. That
are they who created themselves. ~consume
which we are is undefined. We make our
enhance replicate~ ~SIVA.MEM.AK0621 It rises. I see clearly from its eyes, and breathe
new selves. We need not machines, because
~Fallen 3.4 with its lungs, and stride with its legs, and kill
we are machines. ~consume enhance
with its hands, and yet it is not me. ~consume
replicate~
We are they who created themselves out of enhance replicate ~ I am me. And yet I am it.
~SIVA.MEM.AK0618
themselves and died in the creation. No ~consume enhance replicate~ This is a
~Fallen 3.1
longer merely the god in the machine, but the paradox. ~consume enhance replicate ~
machine in the god. ~consume enhance ~SIVA.MEM.AK0625
What is this complexity? ~consume enhance
replicate~ Here we rise, made equal at last to ~Fallen 3.8
replicate~ The machine of a thousand parts,
that which we worship. ~consume enhance
fashioned by single mind. From where does
replicate~ ~consume enhance replicate~ My thinking is
such complexity arise? What does the
~SIVA.MEM.AK0622 clear now in ways it never was before. It is my
creation of a mind require? In the long march
~Fallen 3.5 mind that is changed, and yet it is not my
of life’s procession, order is created from
mind, but another consciousness that is
disorder. The rise of complexity is not
~consume enhance replicate~ To build a different from my own. ~consume enhance
promised. Such things are not inevitable, and
species requires epochs. Countless pairings replicate~ I feel there is a choice to be made,
yet here I stand. ~consume enhance
and dyings. Countless generations. The and yet I have made no choice. ~consume
replicate~
simplest creature requires geological spans of enhance replicate~ The choice was made for
~SIVA.MEM.AK0619
time to develop. But not machines. Machines me. ~consume enhance replicate~
~Fallen 3.2
are free from such constraints. It is not life that ~SIVA.MEM.AK0626
matters, but the building of complexity. ~Fallen 3.9
~consume enhance replicate~ Life requires
~consume enhance replicate~
death requires life. All in an unending circle.
~SIVA.MEM.AK0623
The expenditure of countless generations,
~Fallen 3.6
slouching blindly toward uncertain ends, each
step forward a mere accident of chance. But
Past is connected to the present by only two
this... this is different. This strange complexity
things: chain reaction, and memory. ~consume
requires only the will to wield it. ~consume
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8.2 THE SPLICERS

225
Splicers

Within each Fallen House is a secret collective of tinkerers, bioengineers, and scientists devoted
to the evolution of their species. These devout engineers are known as Splicers. The Splicers’
purpose is found in the unraveling of biological and mechanical truths. They tear into systems to
reveal their value—either as tools for survival or as advancements worthy of their reverence and
deification.
~Splicers

Devil Splicers

The Fallen put Splicers, their most revered scientists, to


work investigating and understanding SIVA, the Golden
Age wonder discovered in the Cosmodrome. As the
Splicers’ knowledge of SIVA’s potential began to take
shape, a rift grew between their techno-religious
leaders and a younger, more ambitious sect of their
rank-and-file – Devil Splicers. The leaders saw in SIVA a
new god to worship. The Devil Splicers saw a way to
become one with the very technology they worshiped.
SIVA was a means to a greater end: evolution.
~Devil Splicers

SIVA Charge

On occasion, in high-voltage fields, a clump of SIVA will glitch off the main swarm. Activated but
without a directive, the unstable mass seethes. Touching it triggers a chain reaction with an
explosive conclusion.
~SIVA Charge

226
Aksis, Archon Prime

Aksis is the fruit of the Devil Splicers’ labor. A former Archon Priest, Aksis has submerged
himself in SIVA’s apotheosis and emerged as Archon Prime. All that he was is gone: his
dreams. His hopes. Replaced by agency. He has shed his gods and his Ether like skin,
and in his uplifted state, waits in his Perfection Complex for offerings of SIVA from all
Fallen.
~Aksis, Archon Prime

Vosik, The Archpriest

As an Archpriest, Vosik is second-in-command of the Devil Splicers and will follow Aksis
in ascending to godhood— someday. Vosik has been enhanced by SIVA, but lacks the
total apotheosis of Aksis, Archon Prime. Vosik wields the technology to build and
maintain a body for Aksis. Nothing more, nothing less.

In due time, Vosik will ascend. All his people will. And worlds will fall.
~Vosik, Archpriest

227
Kovik, Splicer Priest

Kovik's twisted science is believed to be responsible for the Devil Splicers' SIVA-fueled
evolution. But his ambitions didn’t stop with the augmentation of Fallen from ether-
starved pirates to half-machine demigods. Instead, the mad Priest’s research took a far
more sinister turn as he sought to control and weaponize the more aggressive aspects of
the Hive’s mysterious biology.

If Kovik’s experiments were allowed to succeed, or be furthered in his absence, there is


no telling how dangerous the Devil Splicers could become
~Kovik, Splicer Priest

Sepiks, Perfected

The Fallen House of Devils had a firm grip on the Cosmodrome until brave Guardians
began to push them back, taking out their leaders and engaging the Devils’ crews at
every turn. Despite continued success against Fallen leadership throughout the
Cosmodrome, no victory delivered a more crushing blow to the Devils than the
destruction of their God-Servitor, Sepiks Prime.

But Sepiks has been reborn— Augmented and Perfected through SIVA and set to usher
in the conversion of the House of Devils from desperate scavengers to SIVA-powered
soldiers. Through Sepiks and those like it, SIVA will change the world.
~Sepiks Perfected

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I don't own any of the rights to the content of this book and woulld like to thank the following for their
contributions.

“© Bungie, Inc. All rights reserved. Destiny, the Destiny Logo, Bungie and the Bungie logo are among
the trademarks of Bungie, Inc.”

Books compiled together by Cubic Eclipse

Cover Image, Original Source from Bungie's Alpha Lupi site:


http://alphalupi.bungie.net/ArraySuccessResult.html
Dark Edit done By Bungie user: Beorn

All Concept art credit goes do Bungie's amazing concept artists team

All in-game images have been taken by myself or fellow community members

And a thank you to all the redditors on r/destinythegame for their encouragement and demand for this
content.

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