Destiny Lore – Book of Sorrows [PART 5]

We left off last time with Oryx and his desire to have children. After inseminating a Hive Wizard, Oryx has now become a father to Crota, Eater of Hope as well as two daughter Wizards, Ir Anûk and Ir Halak. Savathûn cackles and rages at their brilliance. Though Ir Anûk and Ir Halak were not born of Hive spawn, but rather the spawn of a Hive worm that was cut in two halves but Oryx and his sword, Willbreaker. Oryx nurtured his children so that one day they may become Gods.

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Eventually, Oryx decided to grow new wings and wrestled with his worm. While wrestling, he came upon his two daughters dying in a rift between dimensions.

“What are you doing, my daughters?” he asked. He was afraid that Ir Halak and Ir Anûk were trying to go into the Deep, where only the Tablets of Ruin allowed Oryx to go.

“We are dying, father,” they said. “As many times as we can manage.”

“That’s adorably precocious.” Oryx shook out his new wings. “But why?”

“We propose a method by which Ascendant souls can be detached and integrated into a tautological and autonomous thanatosphere, which we tentatively term an oversoul. Oversouls can be stored in a throne world as a mechanism of enhanced death resilience. As a side effect, new refinements to our Deathsong may be achieved, moving us closer to a generally effective paracausal death impulse.”

Oryx brandished his sword. “Speak the Royal Tongue, or I’ll pin you up for Eir to eat.”

“If we can separate our deaths from ourselves, and hide them, we will be hard to kill.”

Oryx went to his son, Crota. “Go keep an eye on your sisters,” he said. “’You can learn cunning from them.”

But as Oryx traveled to watch the Deep destroy an ancient fortress world, Crota conspired with his sisters to learn their secrets. “I too will experiment with a wound,” he said. With his sword Crota cut open a new rift, into a new space. In here he thought he would be able to obtain a new and secret power.

But, out of this rift came machines called Vex. They invaded Oryx’s throne world.

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The Vex clattered around, constructing large problems. At first their constructions were deranged, because they didn’t understand the sword logic, which defined all rules in Oryx’s throne world. The geometry perplexed them.

“I’ll cut them apart,” Crota said. But just then, the Vex ritual-of-better-thoughts manifested a Mind called Quria, Blade Transform. Quria deduced the sword logic.

I have to kill everything, Quria resolved. Then I will be powerful.

Crota’s gate began to emit warrior Vex, huge and brassy. He leapt forward to fight them, but they blinked away. After they fled from Crota, they killed two thousand of Oryx’s Acolytes and ten thousand of his Thrall. Soon they had established themselves as powers in this world, by right of slaughter.

“Come forth, sister wizards,” called Ir Halak. “We need you.” Ir Anûk pulled a sword star out of the sky. Together the wizards charged it with killing power and made an annihilator totem, which they used to smash the Vex.

“Close the wound, brother Crota,” Anûk ordered. “We will find a cunning way to destroy them, but only after they stop constructing problems on us.”

But Quria had instanced itself to the other side of the gate, and built a holdfast to keep the way open. Quria’s objective was to exploit the paracausal physics of Oryx’s throne to become divine. It organized a series of test invasions.

For a hundred years of local time the siblings fought the Vex. When the Vex came into the sword world, they were inevitably annihilated, but when the Hive went into the Vex world, they lost too much of their power to win.

“Father’s going to eat our souls,” Halak sighed.

Quria captured some worm larvae and began experimenting with them. Soon Quria, Blade Transform manifested religious tactics. By directing worship at the worms, Quria learned it could alter reality with mild pathogenic effects. Being an efficient machine, Quria manufactured a priesthood and ordered all its subminds to believe in worship. Then it set about abducting and killing dangerous organisms so it could bootstrap itself to Hive godhood. For some Vex reason, Quria never attempted to introduce worm larvae into its mind fluid.

The chaos and destruction that the Vex brought had drawn the attention of the Worm God, Eir. “ORYX!”, called Eir. “SET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER.”

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Oryx rushed home and read from the Tablets of Ruin. He put some of the Vex into rifts, to be taken by the power of the Deep. Thus he turned the Vex against each other. Quria manifested a range of tactics, but none of them were adaptive. Oryx crushed all the Vex in his throne.

Oryx thought that he should study geometry, like the Vex. It was the map of perfect shapes. But first he had to punish imperfection.

“My son,” he said, “this is your punishment. Come home glorious, or die forgotten!” He picked up Crota by the legs and threw him into the Vex gate network.

Crota battled through history, becoming a legendary demon. In his early centuries he often spared a few victims to hear oaths and protests against his father. Later, he came to understand Oryx, and he made temples, shrines and monuments wherever he went.

Meanwhile, Oryx brooded on the Vex. “I’ve met a worthy rival,” he said. “They want to exist forever, just as I do. But I don’t understand them.”

At this his worm began to chew on him, for he was bound to understand.

He called Savathûn to meet in the material world. She told him that the Vex worked tirelessly to understand everything, so that they could build a victory condition for every possible end state of the universe.

“Then I must be a better king,” Oryx said. “If they want to build an emperor for all outcomes, then I will be the king of only one. I will follow the Deep wherever it goes, and document its power. Let us create a catalog of the grave of worlds, which will be our map to victory.”

Oryx knew that all life could be described as cellular automata, except for that life which understood the Deep or the Sky, and thus escaped causality.

Out of love for her brother, which was the same as the desire to kill him, Savathûn leaked a secret to Xivu Arath — ‘listen, Xivu, Oryx’s throne world has been compromised. You can cut your way in from here.’ Xivu Arath used this to plan an ambush.

But Oryx was too canny. The Taken King said to his Court, the High War, “My throne world is vulnerable. I am going to move it.”

‘Where?’ asked Kagoor, World-Render.

“Into a mighty dreadnaught,” said Oryx. “I shall keep my glorious mind cosmos inside a titanic warship.”

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That’s correct. Oryx had decided to move his throne world and his fortress into a titanic warship, what we know today as the Dreadnaught. To make his ship, Oryx scrimshawed one piece of Akka, who was dead but far from gone. He stole the Hammer of Xivu Arath and the Scalpel of Savathûn and he armored his ship in baneful armor.

When Oryx had built his Dreadnaught, he pushed his throne world inside out, so that it bled into the material space of the Dreadnaught. The Dreadnaught was within the throne of Oryx, but the throne of Oryx was the Dreadnaught. Aiat!

This required a verse from the Tablets of Ruin. The whole Court worked together to push Oryx’s throne inside out. This was a day of joyous violence, and all of Oryx’s broods mark this holiday as Eversion Day, which is celebrated by turning things inside out.

Sayeth Oryx,

“Go out into the universe, my court
Gather tribute for me. Send it home to my ship.
When I call you, walk up that tribute to my court.
I will prepare for long voyages
Into the war
Into the Deep”

Now Oryx’s throne was safe from incursion, because it moved so nimbly.

Oryx attacked the Harmonious Flotilla Invincible, who guarded the Nicha Thought-ship. When the Flotilla surrounded his Dreadnaught, Oryx put his sword into the hull, and he used the power of the Deep (and the clever systems his daughters built) to push his throne-world out into mere reality.

By wrath and confidence he filled space with an egg of his throne. It swelled up like a ghost star to smash the Harmonious Flotilla Invincible. Oryx broke the last word off their name.

In the Nicha Thought-ship, Oryx hoped to find the location of the Gift Mast, which had been left behind by the Traveler. Oryx wanted to eat it.

But the Thought-ship was a trap. Upon it was Quria, Blade Transform.

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Quira had something to tell Oryx. Something to tell the Destroyer of Worlds. But Oryx also had to talk back:

“Quira: <interdict>|<simulate>|<worship>

Oryx: I am going to kill you. I am going to salt my meat with your briny little thoughts. I am going to cook flesh on your broken, molten hull.

Quira: <insinuate>|<subvert>|<replicate>

Oryx: This ship is my throne. You want to take it from me. You want to fill it up with your own spawn and use it for your abstract purposes. But I defy you.

Quira: <observe>!<imitate>!<usurp>

Oryx: You will never be what I am. Simulate me, wretch. Calculate the permutations of my divinity. Compute the death in the shape of my throne. Render my shadow on the stone of ten thousand graveyard worlds! It will never be enough. I hold the Tablets of Ruin. I speak to the Deep. Not with a galaxy of thinking matter could you encompass me. Behold!

Quira: <unknown>|<enigma>|<shortfall>

Quira: <abort>!<halt>!<abort>

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By now, Quria knows it can’t win.

There’s something pathological about the world inside Oryx’s ship. It’s able to resist Vex analysis. And Oryx himself, he’s irreducible — he refuses to obey Quria’s simulations, he crashes around sowing chaos, he grabs subminds and compromises them with some kind of ontological weapon. Paracausal systems. Very problematic.

Quria’s trying the religious tactics it evolved in the Hive manifold. But even on those terms, Oryx is strong, so strong. Quria won’t be able to protect its gates much longer.

The closest Quria’s got to a simulation of Oryx is a best-guess bootstrap. It’s wrong — Quria’s sure of that, it’s Oryx minus the symbiote organism, minus the wings and morphs, minus the weapon, minus the power. No good for anything.

Quria manifests that simulation anyway. Just to see what happens.

The Taken King marches on Quria’s Hydra-hull, armed with blade and magic, cloaked in ancient cloth, and the universe wails in horror around him. Quria’s physics models and toy worlds choke and crash.

Quria observes, alert and attentive, as a single quark splits on the tip of Oryx’s sword.

From within the Hydra-hull, Quria’s tiny not-Oryx speaks. “What are you?” it says. It’s manifesting terror and awe.

Oryx’s eyes blaze with a curiosity that is entirely isomorphic with hate, with voracious hunger. “Aurash,” he says, in his Hive language. “You’ve made me as I was. You’ve made a tiny Aurash. Ha!”

Quria updates the simulation’s name. Aurash is curious: “You’re me? You’re me as I become?”

Oryx kneels. His blade is on his left shoulder. Quria is firing every available weapon at him, but his wards don’t break. He looks into Quria’s sensors through the hammering fire and he says, “Child, I have everything you wanted. I am immortal. I know the great secrets of the universe. I have scouted the edges of the Darkness and I have chased the lying god down galactic arms in a howling pack of moons. In my fist I carry the secret power that will rule eternity. In my worm I bear the tribute of my Court and of my children, the Hope-Eater, the Weaver, and the Unraveler; and with this tribute I smash my foes. I am Oryx, the Taken King. I am almighty.”

Quria samples the Taox intelligence retrieved from the Ecumene gate. There are useful names. It feeds them to the simulation.

“What about your sisters?” Aurash asks his future self. “Sathona? Xi Ro? Are they with you?”

The Taken King’s fangs glint. That sound might be a laugh, or a hiss.

Quria shuts down its weapons and puts all its spare resources into sending telemetry to the greater Vex. There will be points in space and time where this data is vital. There will be great projects undertaken in the study of this ontological power, this throne-space.

“Where are my sisters?” Aurash shouts. “What have you done with my people? What have you done?”

But Oryx’s fist is full of black fire, and the next thing Quria sees is a light like stars.

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That’s it for this lore article, Guardians. We are nearing the end of the Book of Sorrows, so expect the final part next week. Personally, I think it’s really interesting and neat to see the Vex and Hive going at it in an all-out war, long before the Guardians were even around. Hope to see more soon in-game.

Anyway, my name is Ian Campbell, and until next time…

 

My name is Ian and I am the Lead Writer here at the DestinyFollower branch of Follower Interactive. I write/produce weekly (sometimes daily) Destiny content. I began working at DestinyFollower as a script writer and editor in March of 2015. You can follow me over @IansLuck on Twitter.