Destiny Lore – Book of Sorrows [FINAL PART]

Here it is, Guardians. This will be the final article covering the contents of the Book of Sorrows. It’s been quite a long journey reading through this book, but if I had to be honest, this is probably the best storytelling within Destiny and I hope you’ve really enjoyed reading and listening to these stories. Anyhow, without further ado, let’s finish up the final six chapters of the Book of Sorrows.


“I have a gift for you,” says Oryx.

Savathûn, Witch-Queen, looks at him with dry wariness. “Is it the sword logic I need to go into the Deep, and take your power for myself?”

Their echoes move among the war-moons, walking together on the hull of a two-thousand-year-old warship. Savathûn’s fleet has assembled here, in preparation for an assault on the Gift Mast, an ancient device of the Traveler. The Deep is headed that way, on the trail of its prey, and the Hive will be its vanguard.

“It’s a Vex I captured. Quria, Blade Transform. It made an attempt to puncture my throne. I thought you might enjoy studying it.” Oryx pauses, digesting — through the bond of lineage he can feel Crota killing, worlds and worlds away, and it tastes like sweet fat. “Quria contains a Vex attempt to simulate me. It might generate others — you, perhaps, or Xivu Arath. I’ve left it some will of its own, so it can surprise you.”

“I suppose it’ll blow up and kill me,” Savathûn grouses. “Or let the machines into my throne, where they’ll start turning everything into clocks and glass.”

“If it kills you, then you deserve to die.” Oryx says it with a quiet thrill, a happy thrill, because it is good to say the truth.

“I don’t have a strict proof yet, you know.” Savathûn strokes the void with one long claw and space-time groans beneath her touch. “This thing we believe — that we’re liberating the universe by devouring it, that we’re cutting out the rot, that we’re on course to join the final shape — I haven’t found a strict, eternal proof. We might yet be wrong.”

Oryx looks at her and for a moment, just a moment, he is nostalgic, he is sentimental. He thinks, imagine the years behind us, the things they’ve done. And yet being old doesn’t feel like a scar, does it? It hasn’t left him dull. Oryx feels alive, alive with Savathûn, and every time I step back into this world from my throne he feels like he’s two years old again, at the bottom of the universe, looking up.

But he says, “Sister, it’s us. We’re the proof, we the Hive: if we last forever, we prove it, and if something more ruthless conquers us, then the proof is sealed.”

She looks back at him with eyes like hot needles. “I like that,” she says. “That’s elegant.” Although of course she has had this thought before.


When the Traveler passed across Harmony, it lied to the orbits of ten worlds. Now they orbit the black hole. The Traveler lied to the accretion disc, so that it would give warm light to these worlds.

When the Traveler left Harmony, it made a monument out of the black hole’s polar jet. In the jet there is a hollow mast which sings in radiance. This is the Gift Mast and we will devour it, we will eat the Sky out of it, we will snap it like a bone. The Harmony have weaponized their dead star. They can stimulate the accretion disc to fire relativistic plasma jets. We will take the Sting. We will use it to burn their worlds. I will grant one temple of tribute to the first Ascendant to kill a world!

I will have the Gift Mast to feast on! I will have it first! I am Xivu Arath and all war is my temple. Beware the daughters of Oryx, for they make and unmake with ease. The Deceitful Sister, Savathûn will be distracted by arcana and the song of the black hole. Treat her broods with contempt.

We chase the Traveler and we will devour it. The Deep will rule the cosmos.


After conquering Harmony, the Hive had it. The Gift Mast!

It towers above this star system like a monument to treason. It beams with silver light. It sings a radio lullaby, made of soothing lies. In its light live the Harmony, and they are now our prey.

Now arrives Xivu Arath, at the head of her armada. She fights the Harmony for fifty years with strategies and discipline. But the Harmony turn to dragon-wishes, and their wishful bishops wrestle Xivu in the ascendant plane. Xivu falls into deadlock.

Next arrives Savathûn, flanked by her chorus and her celebrants. They trick their way onto Ana-Harmony in disguises, so that they might vivisect these dragons. The Worm our God laughs and laughs. For a hundred years Savathûn keeps secret covens among the Harmony.

But first of all was Oryx, whose brood grew in secret places in the rubble of the accretion disc. The First Navigator sends rocks and comets to crash into the Harmony worlds, so that the Harmony fleet will be disarrayed. He sends seeders to infiltrate the Harmony worlds with his broods.

Here at the center of the fifth book the Hive has grown so mighty that it has made the annihilation of all false life routine.

Xivu Arath kills the wishful bishops, and Savathûn achieves some secret purpose, and Oryx’s Court tears down the Gift Mast. The Harmony people wail in terror, and they throw themselves into the silver lakes of Ana-Harmony to drown.

“Come,” sayeth Oryx, “eat of the Gift Mast, for I am a generous god. Of its pieces, I claim only two out of every five.”

The Mast is full of the Light of the Traveler, it is full of the marrow taste of Sky. All who eat of it are filled with the ecstatic certainty that they serve a great and necessary purpose.

Then sayeth Savathûn, “Siblings, listen, we must part ways a while, so that we may grow different.” She flies her war-moons into the black hole. Her throne becomes distant.

Sayeth Xivu Arath, “King Oryx, you take up too much space, your power constrains too many choices. I must go away from you.” She flies her war-moons away into the night. Her throne is barred shut.

Then Oryx was alone. He spent a while in thought, and those thoughts are recorded here.

His siblings have left him. No thought, no explanation why. Oryx really was alone to his own thoughts and his own agenda. Years and years passed with Oryx writing his own thoughts down in the Book of Sorrows. These final three chapters come at an unknown times, but after his siblings had left. These are the last known recordings of Oryx before he came to our system:


Chapter XLVIII (48):

“All is well. Aiat: what is at war is healthy, what is at peace is sick.

My son Crota feeds me rich, rich tribute. My lineages are strong, my worm is vast and satiated, and with that security I can spend my time on study and communion with the Deep. As I learn more secrets, my power grows; as my power grows I use it to learn more secrets. Aiat: let it be thus because it must.

I wonder if my sisters have secrets of their own. If my power exceeds theirs I may kill them permanently and subsume their thrones. But I think they have strength that they hide from me, developed in time of separation. Aiat: the only meaningful relationship is the attempt to destroy.

Savathûn asks if I am as much a slave of the Deep as my Taken. She asks what price I pay for my power. I am not Taken. The Hive is not the Deep. The Deep doesn’t want everything to be the same: it wants life, strong life, life that lives free without the need for a habitat of games to insulate it from reality. When I make my Taken I make them closer to perfect, I heal their wounds and enhance their strengths. This is inherently good. Aiat: the only right is existence, the only wrong is nonexistence.

I am Oryx, the First Navigator, the Taken King. Aiat: let me be what I am because to be anything else would be fatal.”


Chapter XLIX (49):

“I considered returning to Fundament. Learning what became of the God-Wave, and the Tungsten Monoliths, and the continents which were all that remained of my people’s primal home. But I know what became of all that. It became me. I am the heir of Fundament, the immortal descendant of those ten-year krill. I asked a question: how can we live in the universe long enough to understand it? And I learned the answer, which is written here in this book. I learned that I had to become most ruthless of all. I don’t know where the Darkness-which-is-the-Deep came from, nor the Traveler that I hunt. But I will learn. I will learn.

This is my inheritance, my estate: eternity, infinity, the whole universe beneath my sword. This is what I rule: forever and a blade.


Chapter L (50):

“What will happen if I die?

It suits me to consider this, for I am a great ally of death. My daughters study the quiddity of death, my son practices the inhabitation of death, and my great work is, in ultima, to become synonymous with death, to die and in that dying live, so that if the universe comes to nothing then I will be a part of that nothing. Far better to have a savage universe with a happy end than a happy universe with no hope.

I have died many times but these deaths were only temporary.

If my echoes are killed, and I am killed in the material world, then I will be driven back to my throne the Dreadnaught. If my Court and my throne can be beaten, if I am confronted in my throne, if I am defeated there, then I will die. My work will end.

This is the pact to which I am bound, in particular by my study of the Tablets of Ruin, and by my use of the power of the Deep. When I call upon that power, I put myself up as the stakes in a wager, I gamble with my soul. For I am saying, listen, my gods, I am the mightiest thing there is, and I prove it thus.

Lately I have realized how much I depend on Crota and my daughters, and even upon my court. If I lost them, my outlays would exceed my intakes, my tribute would not be enough to feed my worm. But this is proper — for if I lost them it would be because they were not mighty enough, and then I would be a bad father, a bad King. I must test them and fight with them, to keep them strong. This is my geas.

I will go on forever. I will understand everything. There is only one path and that is the path that you make. But you can make more than one path.

Break your cell’s bars. Make a new shape, make the shape from its path, find your cell’s bars, break out of the bars, find a shape, make the shape from its path, eat the light, eat the path.

If I fail, let me be wormfood.”


Well, Guardians, that’s it. That’s the final chapter of the Book of Sorrows. I don’t know if any of you feel the same way, but I sort of feel bad for Oryx. Those last three chapters, I believe, were sincerely written by Oryx as he reflected on his own life and the sins he had committed. But we’ve defeated him within King’s Fall. We took the fight to his Dreadnaught and defeated him within his own Throne World, effectively killing him. Permanently. Either way, we’re done. He’s done.

Let us know what you thought of this Lore series and the quality of these articles. I love doing lore for you all and I really appreciate all the awesome feedback you guys give every article and video. Until next time, Guardians, this has been Ian Campbell on DestinyFollower…


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.
  • Multiverse

    Awww poor Oryx.

  • Charles Ryan

    Thank you for the write-up! Man, I can’t even imagine if they had tried to fit all of this lore into the game in cutscenes. The game could have had more talking than a Metal Gear Solid!

    Anyway, I found one thing to be very interesting here upon reading this again. When Oryx states: “There is only one path and that is the path that you make. But you can make more than one path.

    Break your cell’s bars. Make a new shape, make the shape from its
    path, find your cell’s bars, break out of the bars, find a shape, make
    the shape from its path, eat the light, eat the path.”

    it seems he is literally describing Touch of Malice’s incarnation, and the purpose of it. There is only one path, which is your own destiny, the path you choose (“that you make”). You can only choose one way of existence (in Oryx’s case, sword logic) at a time, but you can change your path, so even though it is one whole, many paths exist in that one path. His cell was his body’s mortality due to his worm… so to break his cell would be to break his reliance on his worm.

    So, he makes a new shape, Touch of Malice, not bound to his worm, that “makes the shape from its path”… whose path you ask? The Travelers. Who uses Touch of Malice? The Guardians, with their light. Touch of Malice is a shape of Oryx that eats the light of Guardians (the light they use as armor) to cause greater destruction.

    Finding your cells bars would be us finding Oryx and his worm-infested body, breaking out of the bars would be us killing him, and now him finding the shape and making the shape from its path is literally Touch of Malice finding shapes, making them into the “perfect shape” through Sword Logic (killing them because they don’t deserve to exist if they can’t survive), and eating this light to gain more power. This is all going off the theory that Oryx is still alive in Touch of Malice. When he says “Make the shape from its path” the “it” he is talking about is actually the Traveler: he wants to make a shape from the Traveler’s path so that he can use the Traveler against itself by eating its light BY bonding himself to it so it can’t escape him.