This page details the various beings that cannot be classified into any of the existing factions.
Beware of unmarked spoilers.
The Darkness and its Minions
The Darkness/The Deep/The Formless One
The ancient enemy of the Traveler, and supposedly what drove Humanity to near extinction.
- Affably Evil: Going by how it and the Hive gods that serve it communicate with Oryx in the Books of Sorrow, the Darkness is... actually quite friendly to its agents."Oryx, my King, my friend. Kick back. Relax. Shrug off that armor, set down that blade. Roll your burdened shoulders and let down your guard. This is a place of life, a place of peace.
Out in the world we ask a simple, true question. A question like, can I kill you, can I rip your world apart? Tell me the truth. For if I dont ask, someone will ask it of me.
And they call us evil. Evil! Evil means 'socially maladaptive.' We are adaptiveness itself."
She senses that the nothingness around her is not indifferent; that it is aware of all purposes, and that its own purpose encompasses them. It is infinitely hostile because it must be.
- In the Grimoire entries for the various types of Taken, the Darkness discusses their flaws and suggests ways to improve themselves, typically by giving them a [knife] which changes them into something stronger and better, and views being Taken as a gift that sets them free of their limitations and burdens. In particular, it shows enormous respect for Primus Ta'aun for his bravery, valor, and skill, as well as his love for his troops and his devotion to duty.
- In Book: Marasenna, Cosmogyre IV, the perception that Mara Sov has of contact with the Darkness is that it is malevolent, but not by choice, but because it defaults to that by its very nature.
- Batman Gambit: After the Heart Part II implies that the Heart of the Black Garden may have been a lure to draw in Guardians as a sort of "tripwire" to tell how powerful the Traveler was becoming.
- Big Bad: The Darkness was touted as the main antagonist prior to the release of Destiny, but it hasn't actually appeared in the game, relegating it to Greater-Scope Villain status. Though given that the Heart of the Black Garden was a piece of the Darkness, then it would be playing this trope straight for the main storyline.
- Blue and Orange Morality: It sees the universe as being ultimately defined by violence, extinction, and winner-takes-all. It views this as beautiful. It intentionally compares itself to the Traveler, stating that the Traveler only creates death and stangnancy by helping other life, while the Darkness is the only source of true growth by forcing violence and conflict.
- The Chessmaster: Certain Grimoire entries imply that the Darkness has actually spent eons manipulating the Traveler from afar; chasing it along a path of its choosing and determining which young civilizations the Traveler would lend its aid to. It is not known why the Darkness would do this, but the reason is probably not good for the Traveler and Humanity.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Cayde's journal indicates that it keeps those it consumes aware of their pain and what it's doing while changing them and their world. In Book: Marasenna, Cosmogyre III, Alice Li also notes that whatever the Darkness is about to do to her crew, it will be A Fate Worse Than Death after it finishes analyzing their bodies.
- The Corruption: Rasputin describes the Darkness as the "queen of final shapes" and "that which also inhabits its petitioners." Considering what happened to the Hive when they made their bargains with the Deep and the Worm Gods, this assessment sounds pretty accurate. The Scorn are also believed to be what happens to a Fallen whose Ether is corrupted by the Darkness itself.
- Cosmic Entity: This is the being/elemental force/stellar phenomenon/whatever that mortally wounded the Traveler. In Cosmogyre III, it is described as being absolute darkness, cutting off all communications and using an incredibly powerful and high-resolution series of gravity waves to analyze everything around it at the atomic level.
- Dark Is Evil: In contrast to the Traveler.
- Demonic Possession: The few times the Darkness is reported to be encountered in the flesh, so to speak, it does so "wearing" the bodies of various creatures. Oryx's process to summon the Deep involved giving it the body of an unborn Ogre, and one of the files from Praedyth's Ghost reports encountering it "wearing a Fallen Captain like a suit of clothes".
- Eldritch Abomination: It is the Traveler's equal, and thus counts as this. Precisely what the Darkness actually is tends to be up to debate. Some philosophies argue that it is an Eldritch Abomination, others that it is a technological weapon, others that it is simply the leadership of the various alien factions that have despoiled human civilization, and others that it is the Traveler's Evil Counterpart. What is known about it is that it's got a complex enough structure that even the near-omniscient Vex couldn't figure it out, which is why they worship it as a god; it's intelligent, and it's angry. It's also described as "acausal", i.e. it's acting on future events. Something that might have been a part of the Darkness is encountered at the heart of the Black Garden... and when the Young Wolf showed up, it moved to defend itself, indicating that a Guardian can hurt it.
- The Books of Sorrow indicate it is some kind of immensely powerful entity bent on remaking the universe into its own "perfect shape", and that the Hive are its current main agents for destroying species, particularly those guarded by the Traveler.
- In addition, the Darkness is known as "the Formless One" and doesn't seem to have any truly set shape. Indeed, to even interact with it meaningfully, it has to possess a vessel that would allow it to speak. Cayde's journal indicates that it may be able to take on the shape of a suffocating, poisonous mist or fog that can smother and consume.
- When Prince Uldren first entered the Black Garden, he encountered the Heart and it nearly drove him insane. Merely thinking about the encounter causes his entire thought process to break down into a bizarre, trippy series of disconnected images and concepts.
- Eldritch Location: While the Darkness/the Deep is an entity, it is also a location that one can travel to as well, although only Oryx could safely reach it by using the Tablets of Ruin.
- Evil Counterpart: To the Traveler in many ways.
- Faux Affably Evil: That casual dialogue with Oryx up under Affably Evil? That part about letting down your guard? While Oryx is gone, his sisters have been moving to cut off his power and seal him inside the Darkness. The Darkness knows this, and laughs at Oryx for believing he'd be safe during their audience. Although this is downplayed considering that the Darkness has a very strange morality, so it probably thought it more along the lines as a practical joke. Additionally, the Darkness technically wasn't wrong. Oryx certainly would be safe there. Just unable to leave, or do anything else.
- God of Evil: The Hive not only follow the Darkness, they worship it as an elemental force of destruction. It is also worshiped by the Vex, either because they could not comprehend it, or because they thought that this was the best way to use its powers for themselves.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Pretty much the reason why humanity fell during the Golden Age, and the power behind all of the hostile alien factions... but you never actually fight it, you just encounter its proxies and those taking advantage of humanity's fall. The Hive worship it as a god and feed the Worm Gods that serve it with the Light of its enemies. The Fallen were destroyed by it and some admire it for its ability to take and never be stolen from. The Vex worship it and at the same time are faced with the inevitability of being destroyed or enslaved by it, and it is implied that the Cabal may be running from it.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: It's not clear why it does what it does or why it hates the Traveler so much. Some cards suggest it may be deliberately herding the Traveler to certain races for its own purposes and the Books of Sorrow indicate that it may want to remake everything by its own standards. Another indicates that its only purpose is war, and that everything is little more than a justification.
- I Have Many Names: "The Darkness" is what humanity calls it. The Hive know it as "the Deep" or "the Formless One". The Fallen call it "the Whirlwind". The Vex call it "the Black Heart".
- Invincible Villain: The Darkness believes that its ultimate victory is a law of nature, same as gravity or physics. There's no particular reason why it's going to win. That's just how the universe works.And there is no reason for it, no more than there was reason for the victory of the atom. It is simply the winning play.
- On the other hand, the Grimoire entry on the Sol Progeny mentions that when threatened, the Black Heart (and thus the Darkness itself) acted to defend itself. This indicates that whatever it was, a Guardian could hurt it.
- When Calus encountered the Darkness, he could only conclude that its goal was so inevitable that rather than try to fight it, he would just spread merriment and cheer before it in order that everyone else would be happy and content before their inevitable deaths at its hands.
- Lovecraft Lite: Whatever the Darkness is, it is not invincible. Ikora stresses this in the Grimoire entry on the battle in the Black Garden: when confronted with a Guardian, the Heart of the Black Garden tried to defend itself, meaning it can be hurt.
- Might Makes Right: Its core philosophy.If a civilization cannot defend itself, it must be annihilated. If a King cannot hold his power, he must be betrayed. The worth of a thing can only be determined by one beautiful arbiter: that thing's ability to exist, to go on existing, to remake existence to suit its survival.
- Not So Different: As several Grimoire cards are happy to point out, a being like the Guardians that exists only to kill for reasons that aren't their own doesn't really have the moral high ground against an entity devoted to eternal conflict.
- Omnicidal Maniac: As it explains to Oryx, the universe is built on destruction and violence and the force that matters and deserves to exist is the one that destroys all other challenges to its existence. Therefore, they have to kill everything they encounter, because that's just how things work."The fate of everything is made like this, in the collision, the test of one praxis against another. This is how the world changes: one way meets a second way, and they discharge their weapons, they exchange their words and markets, they contest and in doing so they petition each other for the right to go on being something, instead of nothing. This is the universe figuring out what it should be in the end.
And it is majestic. Majestic. It is the only thing that can be true in and of itself.
And it is what I am."
- When Emperor Calus met the Darkness, he came to the conclusion that it wanted to annihilate everything in existence... and so he remade itself into its herald so he could let everyone die happily before the end came.
- Overarching Villain: For the whole series. Its feud with the Traveler serves as the catalyst for the entire setting and lore, and while the Guardians have faced many Arc Villains, the majority of their origins can be traced back to the Darkness's influence and power.
- The Power of Hate: Whatever its beef is, the Darkness is seriously pissed off with the Traveler. One of the few things that Rasputin was able to determine when it entered the Solar system was that it was acting with anger.
- Religion of Evil: The Darkness is worshiped by the Hive and the Vex in various ways. In the Hive's case, this is usually through the genocide of a planet's population while following the process of sword-logic... though if there's no one else around, the Hive will gladly kill one another as an expression of their worship. The Hive also keep a library known as the World's Grave to record all of the civilizations they destroyed in their wars in the name of the Darkness.
- Sentient Cosmic Force: We're not entirely sure what the Darkness is, but it treats itself like a force of nature.
- Sinister Geometry: In Destiny 2, the Darkness is represented by triangular shapes and shadows looming over Earth, further emphasized in The Stinger where a fleet of pyramidal ships outside of the Milky Way register the Traveler's shockwave and start making their move.
- The Extremist Was Right: Toland believes that Guardians don't fear the Darkness because it is evil and wrong, but rather we fear the recognition that it is right. Considering how much the Sword Logic and the Last True Shape are explained, brought up and proven, he might also be right.Toland: The Last True Shape is not a belief. It has nothing to do with faith. It's pure logic. Self-evident, self-proving.
- The Social Darwinist: The Darkness is type 5 Social Darwinist. Specifically, how Social Darwinism rules the universe, and how any attempt to resist it with peacefulness and justice is doomed to failure.
- Top God: A "God of Gods" variety with the Hive. While they have a host of other gods, their God-King Oryx is described as "born of Darkness".
- The Undead: The Magitek that the servants of the Darkness use tends to resemble necromancy and undeath, and the Hive, its closest servants, are pretty much a horde of technological zombies charged with the Deep's power. There are some indications that the Darkness itself is the long-dead corpse of something that was once alive, and is now "charged with war." Praedyth's dialogue in the secret ending to "Paradox" call it a "long dead will" that the future Taken Vex are enslaved to. Oddly enough, the Darkness claims the opposite, that the Traveler is the one raising the dead and compares the Guardians to "dead husks." Rather tellingly, the idea of necromancy - bringing back to life something that was killed previously - is such a complete anathema to its philosophy that it is one of the few things that the Hive consider heresy.
- Vagueness Is Coming: If there are questions regarding what exactly the Traveler is, the questions regarding the Darkness exceed it. The game never reveals exactly what the Darkness is, to the point of not even seeing it. Something that was part of the Darkness, known as the Black Heart, is shown in the Black Garden being worshiped by the Vex, but even then there are no answers as to specifics. In the Books of Sorrows, Oryx and his siblings interact several times with the entity known as the Deep and the Worm Gods that serve it, but exactly what the Deep truly looks like is never specified. The closest description we ever get is in Cayde's journal, which describes some sort of all-consuming entity like tendrils of choking, suffocating poison that utterly ate his body and left him fully aware while it was doing so.
The Virtuous Worms
Akka, Eir, Ur, Xol, and Yul are the Virtuous Worms, ancient and powerful beings who serve the Darkness that were trapped in the core of the gas giant Fundament. They were responsible for turning the Hive to the service of the Darkness, and are worshiped by the Hive as the Worm Gods.
The Worms as a whole are skilled wielders of the Anthem Anatheme, a metaphysical power source that can be found in the desires and wishes of potential victims. However, Xol is currently the only worm to use it beyond the activation phrase "oh bearer mine."
For specifics on Xol, see below.
- A God Am I: One thing that becomes obvious about them is that despite merely being servants of a higher power, they (or as they'd prefer to put it, They) have ridiculously huge god-complexes, and are only too happy for 'lesser races' to worship them as such.
- Believing Their Own Lies: A more literal example: Akka is capable of "denying a truth until it becomes a lie", meaning that his lies will literally become the truth.
- The Corrupter: They're responsible for turning a young, inquisitive Krill girl named Aurash into the being who would be Oryx, the Taken King.
- The Dragon: They serve as this to the Darkness, responsible for corrupting civilizations to the service of the Darkness.
- Eldritch Abomination: They're massive beings who can warp reality. One of the bones from Akka was used to make Oryx's Dreadnaught. Xol, the weakest of them, is a massive worm the size of a tower and hungers for Light.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Implied. Akka is spoken of being able to make the opposite of his beliefs and statements true, so when he told Oryx that he couldn't kill him, he could kill him, alright.
- Manipulative Bastard: They're very much capable of engineering a planetary catastrophe and framing the Traveler for it, getting away scot-free and even gaining allies to the Darkness' cause.
- Necromancer: Highly adept at it. To elaborate, they taught the Hive nearly everything they know about death manipulation, and Xol would teach Nokris the art of resurrecting the dead.
- Not Quite Dead: Akka is described as being "dead but far from gone".
- Reality Warper: If Akka's powers are any indication, the Worms are capable of remaking reality that makes the weapons the Vex are developing in the Vault of Glass look like child's play.
- Too Dumb to Live: Akka, whose main defining power is implied to be the ability to make the opposite of whatever he states true, tells Oryx very bluntly he wouldn't be able to kill him. Guess what happens next.
- Wham Line: In the "Books of Sorrow V: Needle and Worm", as related by Aurash on behalf of the words given by her sister Sathona, revealing the Virtuous Worms may be related to Ahamkara in some way, or at the very least use the same speech patterns.Virtuous Worms: Listen closely, o vengeance mine...
Xol, Will of the Thousands
- There is no Light here. You are alone. You shall drift. You shall drown in the Deep.
The smallest and weakest of the Worm Gods, Xol took in Nokris, the heretical son of Oryx, and together the two sought power to exceed their weaker lot in life. Xol offered Nokris a chance to grow beyond his place as a part of the Hive, and in turn Nokris would feed Xol power. This quest would lead them in pursuit of the Traveler to Mars, and into battle with Rasputin during the Collapse, where both would be frozen beneath the Hellas Basin until the Traveler awoke anew.
- Actually a Doombot: Toland laughs at you in Forsaken, revealing that what you fought in Warmind wasn't Xol, but rather a trick by the Worm God. Of course, it would've been too easy if one of the Darkness's senior lieutenants got defeated by a mere Guardian empowered by Rasputin's technology, no matter how weak Xol was compared to the other Worms.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Xol was looked down upon by the other Worms for being the weakest of them. Yul in particular was implied to be ready to turn its fangs on Xol in accordance with Sword Logic, something which scared Xol enough to run away from his brethren. He was able to bond with Nokris due to similar circumstances, with both being regarded as weak and seeking to become something more.
- Arc Villain: Of Destiny 2's second Expansion, Warmind. The surge of light the Traveler released at the end of the main story caused him to reawaken and begin trying to take over Mars, forcing the Guardians to head back to Mars and try to destroy him before he can threaten the rest of the system.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Xol has several glowing yellow nodes on its body that can be shot for critical damage. Getting him to a state where they can be targeted will take some work, however.
- Breath Weapon: Xol has several variants, including a straightforward flame breath across the surface of the tower you fight him on, as well as a Void attack that renders the ground dangerous and forcing the player airborne.
- Compensating for Something: Possibly due to being the weakest of the Worm Gods, Xol's epithet is the most grandiose: "Will of the Thousands", as opposed to "The Honest Worm" or "Worm of Secrets."
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Xol by himself has more hit points than Oryx. Even critical hits will barely scratch his health bar to any appreciable degree. The only way to significantly hurt him is to use Rasputin's upgraded Valkyrie.
- Double Meaning: "There is no Light here." For him to feed on... or for you.
- Evil Sounds Deep: The only time he speaks with your Guardian is in a deep, gravelly voice reminiscent of the equally Eldritch-like Gravemind from Halo.
- Horror Hunger: As with all of the minions of the Darkness, Xol hungers for Light. The Young Wolf has to bait him out with a corrupted and damaged shard of the Traveler, and his realization that there's no Light to feed on drives Xol into an apocalyptic fury.
- Kaiju: Xol is absolutely gigantic, to the point that he is even bigger than Oryx.
- Not Quite Dead: The secret mission The Whisper has him once again speaking to you despite killing him. The weapon reward, the Whisper of the Worm, reveals that killing him actually made him more powerful, since he feeds as part of the Sword Logic and killing him is also part of the Sword Logic. After meeting with the Taken on Io, he turned himself into a weapon in a similar manner to what Oryx did so that he may live on through a form of worship. That worship being killing with said weapon.
- And then there's Toland taunting you in Forsaken, where he mentions that you fell for Xol's trick; apparently, the Worm you fought over Mars was not Xol himself, and Toland muses that it'd be a complete joke if the thing you defeated back then really was one of the beings the Hive call gods.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Xol and Nokris were frozen under Mars's icecaps for a very long time until the Traveler awoke at the end of Destiny 2's main story. Their resurgence is the focus of the Warmind expansion's plot.
- Weak, but Skilled: The only Worm that experimented with the Anthem Anatheme beyond mere subjugation. The ploy he intends with the Whisper of the Worm relies on it, but only as an added form of insurance, because Guardians love guns.
- Villain Respect: Honors the overwhelming strength of the Guardians and offers up one of his creations to the Young Wolf out of the blue, the Whisper of the Worm. While some believe it's a scheme to bind them to an actual worm, that won't be an issue for a long time, and, if anything, simply makes the Young Wolf stronger by allowing them to steal power through the Sword Logic.
The inhabitants of the Jovian worlds beyond the inner asteroid belt. Like the Awoken, they were once human, but were more radically altered. They are ruled by the Nine, which are... something. Not a playable race, but friendly to both the Last City and the Reef. Most of our information about them comes from Xûr, Agent of the Nine (see below).
- Fictional Currency: While the City and the Reef use glimmer, the Jovians appear to use Strange Coins, which are really hard to find.
- Was Once a Man: According to Xûr, the Jovians were altered in a manner similar to the Awoken. However, the Awoken were changed without any choice in the manner, while Xûr says that the Jovians did have a choice. He also implies that he was made of cells from various beings, some of them from Earth.
The rulers of the Jovian gas giants and the Jovians that live there, the Nine are... something. Nobody's sure just what. At the moment, there are nine possibilities as to just what they are, ranging from:
- Survivors of the cis-Jovian colonies who made a compact with an alien force to ensure their own survival.
- Deep-orbit warminds who weathered the Collapse in hardened stealth platforms.
- Ancient leviathan intelligences from the seas of Europa or the hydrocarbon pits of Titan.
- Beings that arrived in a mysterious transmission from the direction of the Corona-Borealis supercluster.
- The firstborn Awoken and their minds now race down the field lines of the Jupiter-Io flux tube.
- Ghosts who pierced the Deep Black without a ship and meditated on the hissing silence of the heliopause.
- Aspects of the Darkness, broken by the Travelers rebuke, working to destroy us from within.
- A viral language of pure meaning.
- The shadows left by the annihilation of a transcendent shape, burned into the weft of what is.
And those are just the in-game theories. Suffice it to say, we know very little about them. In Joker's Wild, their pact with the Drifter begins to reveal the truth about the identities of all involved - and whether or not they're as high and mighty as their position would imply.
- all lowercase letters: The second member of the Nine has their speech written like this in lore entries, highlighting their quiet and cautious nature.
- Anonymous Benefactor: Whatever their motives may be, the Nine are working in secret to help the Guardians. Many lost exotic weapons are brought back due to their efforts, and the Nine send Xûr to barter with Guardians for incredibly useful items. However this may be the case with the Fallen as well. Draksis is in possession of Strange Coins (their currency), and they released Skolas the Wolf Kell. Xûr's dialogue in Destiny 2 implies that the Nine are trying to be helpful and kind, but both his and their alien nature means that they have a hard time delivering on that because the council is divided and because they have a somewhat desperate case of Pinocchio Syndrome.
- Bold Inflation: The third and fourth members of the Nine's speech is written in all caps, punctuating their no-nonsense attitude. The fifth member does the same but with the letters spaced out, showing off their dramatic, forceful personality.
- Call-Back: Their first attempt at trying to give themselves a living body is a horribly-deformed thing coated in hydrocarbon tar - one of the theories for the Nine is that they ruled from within Titan's hydrocarbon pits.
- Cope by Pretending: May be doing this in response to various tragic events over the course of the games.(The Nine are discussing the Great Ahamkara Hunt.)I: Remember the slaughter?II: there was no slaughterV: T E N T H O U S A N D D Y I N G W I S H E S(discussing the Collapse)II: the dreamer survivedV: O N L Y T O F A L L(discussing the prologue of The Taken King)III: OUR CHILDREN.II: stolen constructs not ours
- Dark Is Not Evil: Maybe. They certainly don't appear to be directly opposed to the Guardians, given that they send Xûr to barter with them regularly. Lore entries in Forsaken suggest they also despise the Darkness as much as the Guardians do, as "Reextinction" has them very upset at Riven being Taken. They are also made of dark matter.
- Eldritch Abomination: Living masses of dark matter that want to become "real," per "Dust."
- Genius Loci: Each member is this for one planet of the solar system.
- Large and in Charge: Xûr says that he cannot articulate anything about the Nine beyond that they are "very large". He does not actually say exactly what kind of largeness they possess, however, making them rather more mysterious.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Their domain is inside the asteroid towed by the Derelict, though it's initially unclear whether it was always there or if it's the result of their pact with the Drifter. Additionally, due to being made of dark matter, they couldn't be detected until some Awoken tech spotted a moving mass of dark matter outside the Leviathan.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Justified. "Dust" implies they want to become normal lifeforms as opposed to their normal, omnipresent dark matter forms. It's Justified because the Nine exist due to the presence of life in the solar system, which is at risk due to the Darkness and Its various agents. If they die, the Nine will go back to being mindless, so they want to become proper lifeforms either to better interact and protect the system, or to no longer be dependent of life's existence.
- Multiple-Choice Past: All of the above theories are left unconfirmed, adding to the group's mysterious presence.
- Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: Implied. The ninth members states in "Dust" that their individual philosophies are divided somewhat, likely related to how they see humanity.
- Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Maybe not omniscient, but pretty damn vague. The Queen suspects they're plotting against her, which may be true given that they sent Xûr (or a similar entity) to release Skolas from stasis en route to the Jovians. And, for some reason, Draksis carries an item that Rahool immediately identifies as originating from the Nine.
- Pinocchio Syndrome: Entries in "Dust" imply the Nine want to become real lifeforms. While they have tried, their use of Ghaul's assault as an experiment have led them to conclude that they might have to truly seek out the Light to do this.
- Reality Ensues: Despite being utter Starfish Aliens by appearance and having influenced several major events through their actions, it's kind of hard to do much when you're made of dark matter and can't exactly interact with regular matter.
- Starfish Aliens: Assuming that the hypotheses that they are aliens are true, they're implied to be this. "Dust" outright confirms this when several Awoken discover an absurdly large mass of tentacle-shaped dark matter trying to interface with the Leviathan, and promptly realize that it is the Nine in some form reaching out.
- The Unseen: You only have the vaguest hints about them, from a being that rarely ever appears, and all you're likely to learn about them comes from Xûr. All we know for certain about them is that they're "very, very large", although Xûr can't explain anything more than that. While lore entries show the Nine actually talking to each other, the only real hint this gives is that they are a council.
- A more blatant example are the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth members of the Nine; lore entries only ever have the first five speaking.
- The reason why they are unseen is ultimately revealed: they are self-aware masses of dark matter, given form by gravity and thought by the living beings of Sol. They literally cannot be perceived by organic life.
- Verbal Tic: The sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth members of the Nine break up their speech in various ways:
- The sixth member pauses often and marks said pauses with a traditional hyphen (representing a minus sign.)
- The seventh member pauses slightly less often, marking them with plus signs.
- The eighth member tends to relate two similar ideas, pausing between each one and connecting them with an equals sign.
- The ninth member abruptly cuts their speech in half and marks said cutoffs with a crossbar (|).
Xûr, Agent of the Nine
- Voiced by: Fred Tatasciore
A servant of the Nine and native of the Jovians. A mysterious, apparently faceless humanoid of slumped posture and drawn hood, Xûr comes and goes to the Tower as he pleases despite his heritage and trades exotic equipment in exchange for equally strange coins. He may be a Jovian (referring to a race, not a planet) himself, but nobody's entirely sure yet.
- Almighty Janitor: In his own words:Xûr: I am but a trash collector for the Nine.
- Ambiguously Human: He doesn't seem to have a face — only a space that has glowing eyes and something resembling Darkness radiating off it.
- Blue and Orange Morality: He doesn't see much of a problem with essentially being a puppet of the Jovians. Further, while he can feel pain, he doesn't react to it like any other living being, finding it an interesting experience worth analyzing.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Despite his shadowy and mysterious appearance and nature, so far he seems pretty friendly and indirectly aids the Guardians by supplying them with hard-to-find but valuable equipment.
- The Faceless: The Grimoire card for Strange Coins refers to him as such.
- Humanoid Abomination:
- He gives hints that there's something subtly... off... about him, such as not being in control of his movements, being harmed by Light, and being made of cells from different things. Nobody's sure who, or even what, he is. He implies that he's constructed from the cells of multiple beings, mentioning that some are dying and that some began on Earth, but then, that just raises further questions about both him and the Nine. He also claims that the Awoken didn't have a choice, while "we did". (It's not known what group he's referring to, but it's presumed to be the Jovians). Again, it just raises further questions.
- His appearance in Destiny 2 gives further credence to this, as the nebulous gas-like stuff radiating off of his face now looks more solidly like tendrils emitting from the void of his head, and rather than a still but hunched posture he twitches and shuffles nervously when interacting with him, not unlike the Taken. Whether this is due to improvements in the game's design or a character-based choice remains to be seen.
- Forsaken reveals that Xur is a mass of humanoid flesh and cells assembled by the Nine in an effort to create and Emissary to communicate with Guardians and learn the secret of the Light. Because the Nine themselves exist in a reality of dark matter and find organic life incredibly bizarre, they had to put a huge amount of work into making something in their universe that could even exist in a functional state in ours. The first successful result of this experiment was Xur.
- Inexplicably Awesome: At the moment. He visits the Tower at times dictated by the movement of celestial bodies, sells weaponry and equipment better than anything in the Tower for a bizarre and hard-to-find eldritch currency, then leaves. And nobody's sure just what he is. Some of his dialogue implies that he's a puppet of some kind, claiming that his movements and will aren't entirely his own. This is taken up a notch in Destiny 2 as he now shows up in patrols regularly... and none of the enemies nearby seem to bother him. This means that sometimes you could find him in the European Dead Zone in the church next to Devrim in one week, then somewhere in the Red Legion base on Io the next week.
- More Than Mind Control: He's essentially just a humanoid puppet being controlled by the Nine. He doesn't really seem to mind, since he was literally built cell by cell to serve as an agent of the Nine.
- Mysterious Stranger: Comes and goes, has lots of focus... and is still enigmatic. Nobody's even quite sure how or why he visits the Tower in the first place. Lore tabs from "Dust" mention that he appeared in the Tower shortly after the end of the Great Ahamkara. It is implied the Nine sent him to investigate the Guardians, given that they had a standing deal with the then-recently extinct Ahamkara (implied by Skolas to be wishes to transfigure themselves into real lifeforms).
- Unwitting Pawn: Heavily downplayed on the "unwitting" part, as he frequently claims that "[his] will is not [his] own."
- Was Once a Man: Maybe, like everything else about Xûr this is ambiguous. He sometimes mentions that "this body" originated on Earth.
- Weakened by the Light: He claims that the Traveler's light hurts him, though he's more analytical about it than screaming in pain.Xûr: So much Light here... I suppose I feel pain.
The Emissary, Agent of the Nine
- Voiced by: Moira Quirk
An enigmatic figure who hosts the Trials of the Nine in Destiny 2. Although the Trials themselves have been shelved since the launch of Forsaken, the Emissary comes back into focus in Joker's Wild, where we learn more about her origins and her mysterious link with the Drifter.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: We haven't seen if she has hair or not, but her hood is made of dark cloth and she is the single palest person seen in-game who isn't a particularly light-skinned Awoken. This puts her in direct contrast with Xûr, who's only visible body part is a void of darkness.
- Empty Shell: Her former friend, Mara Sov, considers her to be one, being nothing but a mouthpiece for the Nine. In a subversion, though, she's revealed in Joker's Wild to have retained some free will, as she can be seen arguing with the formless Nine during most of the Invitations.
- Evil Laugh: Should you eliminate an opponent while they're using their Super, the Emissary will sometimes let out a sinister laughter.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Her eyes glow a vibrant cyan, and when she turns into a towering head those eyes certainly seem ominous.
- I Have Many Names: Before she became the Emissary, she had quite a number of names due to her origins as a resurrected human turned Guardian; Nasya Sarwar as a Human, Nasan Ar as an Awoken, and finally, Orin the Lost as a Guardian.
- Mouth of Sauron: That Emissary title has got to count for something, with her hosting trials issued by the Nine in Destiny 2's first year. Most tellingly, she's briefly seen having an audience with Mara Sov on behalf of the Nine during the Curse's third cycle, with Mara ordering her to move an "asset" and reminding the Nine that her patience has limits.
- Mystical Waif: Even moreso than the Awoken; she's constantly floating, operates out of an area that eats Euclidean geometry for breakfast, and appears as a towering head and shoulders should you complete a flawless Trials run.
- Power Floats: She never sets foot on the ground whenever you see her, choosing instead to hover in place.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Delving into her backstory in Joker's Wild reveals that the Drifter was in a very close relationship with her when she was still the Sunbreaker known as Orin, but then she found out that he wasn't actually all that honest with her, leaving her unimpeded in her search for the Nine at Mara Sov's request, which would later transform her into the Nine's agent and strip her of most of her free will. Nowadays, the Drifter avoids her like the plague and labels her as a "psycho", while the Emissary simply views him as another important piece in the Nine's machinations.
- Superior Successor: Ambient dialogue in the Reckoning reveals she thinks of Xûr as a prototype agent and fancies herself as the next in line, though she admits that she's afraid of being eventually succeeded by another. She also tells you that she regrets becoming an agent, though she also states that she made the choice of her own volition and gained greater agency than she ever had as a Guardian.
- Telepathy: Possibly; she doesn't move her mouth when she speaks, unlike most other characters when you go into their interaction menus.
- We Used to Be Friends: Was once a close friend and confidante of Mara Sov, but disputed over the fate of the Awoken who chose to leave the Distributary for Earth and the Traveler. Because Mara wouldn't budge on her banishment policy, Nasan chose to exile herself, leading to a long series of adventures wherein she becomes a Guardian. The next time they meet again, it's while Orin and Namqi are being imprisoned in the Reef, with Mara judging that Orin can't be held accountable for her pre-Guardian life's sins, thus letting her free with the promise that the Queen will call upon her for a favor in the future. That favor being the investigation of Sjur Eido's inexplicable death, with hints tracing all the way back to the Nine.
Within the Wild
Though the Last City and the Reef are the best-known and best-protected of the human race's last bastions, pockets of humanity — or its descendants — still survive beyond the Traveler's light.
The Exo Stranger
A mysterious female Exo who takes an interest in the Player Character and guides them towards the Black Garden. She is explicitly not a Guardian (so does not use the Light), and all signs point to her coming from a different space-time.
- Alternate Timeline: Her second Ghost Fragment card indicates that she's been moving between different realities, intervening in catastrophes or observing Guardians, comparing the events of different timelines. She may even come from a timeline where the Hive never controlled the Moon. She also finds the player Guardian more "interesting" than other Guardians she's observed.
- Arch-Enemy: She appears to have a particular hatred for the Vex, and even takes time to vindictively crush a Vex's "juicebox" with her foot. Her second Ghost fragment mentions she is focused on the Vex, although it also indicates that she becomes more interested in the player Guardian when they start fighting the Hive and disrupt the ritual draining the Traveler's Light.
- Big Damn Heroes: This appears to be her job, or a side-effect of her constantly appearing at pivotal moments, as her intervention has saved lives or averted terrible catastrophes.
- Cryptic Conversation: Most of her conversations turn into this.
- Hunter of Monsters: She seems particularly dedicated to hunting Vex above all else. According to Praedyth, a Guardian who tapped into the Vex network/hive mind, she appears in every single one of their simulated timelines.
- Invisibility: She appears to possess a cloaking device. Her final appearance, however, has her vanish while about to walk off a ledge, implying a form of outright teleportation instead. The second Ghost Fragment card for her indicated this may be a "return command" where she goes back to her point of origin.
- Mysterious Past: Nothing is currently known about her backstory, aside from statements she's made that she isn't a Guardian, and her research notes are similar to those of the Future War Cult. Rasputin also seems to be aware of her, though even he doesn't know exactly what she is, beyond knowing that she was once "one of his."Rasputin: You stand here now and now and now many times and here I am awonder, all awonder, how you manage it. How do you step forward. How do you step back. Do you step ACROSS is there a world of worlds, a web, and you a spider upon it. Are you searching for that one thread you need? Is that thread named victory?
- Mysterious Stranger: Almost nothing is known about her, beyond encouraging the player character to find the Black Garden. There are some indications, though:
- She may be connected to the Future War Cult and Maya Sundaresh, one of the original Ishtar Collective researchers who studied the Vex. The strongest indication is that her Grimoire cards detailing her logs use the exact same format as the Future War Cult research notes, which themselves are traditional logs derived from the ones left by Sundaresh when she was researching the Vex gate network. Lakshmi-2 is also the one who gives the Young Wolf the exotic pulse rifle No Time to Explain, which was transmatted into existence once the War Cult acquired all of the Vex components collected in that questline, and Lakshmi says it was clearly a message left for the Guardian.
- Various lore entries from the Warmind expansion all but confirm she is Elsie Bray, Ana Bray's older sister, who gained the ability to time travel while secretly studying the Vex with the help of Maya.
- No Time to Explain: As the quote above notes. When she formally meets the player Guardian and Ghost on Venus to send them searching for the Black Garden, she's receiving an update from her companions in the field, and seems more focused on that than talking to the player.
- Time Travel: Quietly hinted at in the description of 'The Stranger's Rifle'. It's apparently been exposed to some powerful, unknown forces, and some parts of it "shouldn't exist yet". Furthermore, one of its abilities is 'Rewind', which has a chance of recovering ammunition wasted on missed shots. Her second Ghost Fragment card indicates that she's moving between different timelines, intervening in catastrophes and observing events. She also uses log notes that are exactly like those used by the Future War Cult and Maya Sundaresh when they attempt to travel through time using the Vex gate network.
- The Unchosen One: She admits that she wasn't 'forged in the Light', but that doesn't seem to stop her from fighting against the Darkness.
- Was Once a Man: As with other Exos, she's implied to have been a human whose consciousness had been uploaded into an Exo body, regardless of her involvement with other timelines.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: She hasn't been seen since the conclusion of the first game's main story. That said, hints of her continued involvement have popped up every now and then, and since she's implied to be focused on the Vex, she logically wouldn't show up in expansions dealing with other threats, though Osiris upstaged her in that regard. New Lore in Warmind suggests that she's Elsie Bray, Anna Bray's sister.
Rasputin, the Last Warmind
A Warmind from the Golden Age, an immensely powerful AI built for strategic warfare. Once thought to be destroyed in the Collapse, he is rediscovered by the Player Character in Old Russia and found to be re-establishing control over the remaining Golden Age weaponry on Earth. He later moves to take control over the other dormant Warminds within the Sol System.
He is programmed to protect the future of humanity (and neohumanity) no matter what, to the point of being willing to fire upon the Traveller to stop it from abandoning Earth. However, after the Collapse, Rasputin's purpose seems to have changed...
- Achilles' Heel: While Rasputin controls vast arrays of orbital firepower across Earth and Mars, ultimately he's still a vast computer housed in bunkers scattered across the globe. His main defense involves remaining hidden from his enemies, and he's pretty much helpless if someone actually breaches his bunkers.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In grand old Bungie tradition. He seems to be largely uninterested in his creators once reawakened and appears to be taking over defense systems across the solar system for some reason. Also, "Ghost Fragment: Mysteries" reveals that the Collapse changed him significantly, not least because he had to sacrifice the billions of humans he was assigned to protect to survive it, and now he's starting to think that the Darkness might have had some pretty good ideas.
- On the plus side, Eris indicates that Rasputin is still fighting to protect humanity, even if he is giving us the cold shoulder. It's suggested that he's making things hard for the Hive in reaching Earth.
- It turns out that Rasputin was responsible for the initial release of SIVA in the Plaguelands that killed most of the Iron Lords. It wasn't accidental, either; Rasputin was openly hostile toward the Iron Lords because they used Traveler energy. Ghost will question why Rasputin didn't get involved in the SIVA Crisis later on, and even Saladin will admit he has no idea exactly why Rasputin is sitting it out this time, save that he's "no longer just a Warmind".
- In Warmind, it is revealed that the crapshoot elements of Rasputin's behavior are due to the Earth-based parts of Rasputin being isolated from the main core of his mind on Mars, thus being far more limited and unstable. The core of Rasputin is far more sane, but also deeply resentful of how he was treated in the past and present.
- In Warmind, there is also a terminal that states that Clovis Bray intentionally designed Rasputin with "black box" decision-making programming, which would allow him to analyze and make decisions outside of human review, in order for him to be able to analyze threats that humans couldn't predict and respond to them before humans could, all without compromising his objectivity. The idea that Rasputin would begin doing anything detrimental to humankind never occurred to Clovis Bray.
- Anti-Hero: He's on the side of humanity right now, but he's taking some distressingly ruthless actions to aid them. For example, he was seriously considering crippling the Traveler if it ever tried to flee when the Darkness came. He's also responsible, as we find out in Rise of Iron, for releasing SIVA and killing the Iron Lords. Rasputin explicitly states that he is on humanity's side in Warmind, but that he will defend humanity on his terms.
- Badass Boast: At the end of Warmind, when the Young Wolf, Ana Bray, and Zavala enter his bunker:Rasputin: The Bray family shaped me to be an all-seeing savior... while your Vanguard sought to wield me as a primitive weapon. But today, that ends, and I define the reality of my own existence. My sight will stretch to the edge of this system and beyond. Never again will a threat go unseen. From this day forward, I will defend humanity on my own terms. I am Rasputin, Guardian of all that I survey. I have no equal.
- Barrier Maiden: Warmind reveal that Rasputin's main core is on Mars, where he has been keeping Xol and Nokris in check for centuries. The events at the end of Destiny 2's main story shook the fragile balance and awoke the two Hive gods, putting Mars and Rasputin at risk.
- Berserk Button: Although Rasputin is fine with being hidden and avoiding others, screwing around with his technology is guaranteed to cause him to take drastic action:
- When the Fallen attempt to take over his systems, he calls the Guardians for help. At one point, you have to throw a grenade into part of his subsystems to unlock a path forward, and this royally pisses him off, to the point where he's shouting at your Ghost that he's going to bomb you all from orbit.
- In the past, when the Iron Lords were attempting to control SIVA, Rasputin flipped out and assaulted them when he decided that communication wouldn't work, and in the process destroyed the majority of the Iron Lords. He only stopped when the Iron Lords managed to seal away SIVA.
- Black Speech: He speaks in Russian, but it's so deep and distorted that it sounds more like a list of death threats from a Mordor tourist phrasebook. He speaks much more clearly in The Taken King, but his voice is no less deep and still in Russian. At the end of Warmind, his Badass Boast is delivered in an even more distorted voice.
- Blade on a Stick: Rasputin's deadliest weapon is the Valkyrie: a javelin-like weapon that generates a massive explosion when charged and hurled at foes. The upgraded version is so powerful that it can stun Xol, a Hive Worm God.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Because of things like the trolley problem, Rasputin's moral code couldn't be Three Laws-Compliant, and had to be far more complex. Instead, his morality is governed by a Black Box system, where he can assign and develop his own moral standards without input from his creators.
- Crazy-Prepared: Rasputin prepared for countless eventualities, including making plans to attack the Traveler if it looked like it was about to flee during an attack. He never had to do so, as the Traveler sacrificed itself to defend humanity. On the other hand, his preparations to fend off the Darkness failed to save humanity.
- Creepy Monotone: Whenever he shows up in the story, we hear him muttering in heavily-distorted Russian in a decidedly unsettling manner.
- Cultured Badass: In addition to being a ludicrously powerful combat AI, he appears to have a decent understanding of ancient mythology, referring to the battle between the Traveler and the Darkness in the Collapse as the 'Titanomachy', the war in which the Greek gods overthrew the Titans and conquered Mount Olympus. Also, the music playing in his distress call in "Siege of the Warmind" is Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, which is commonly interpreted as the composer's "suicide note".
- In Destiny 2, he creates several different "music boxes" in his bunker on Io. When activated, these music boxes play various classical tunes, but can also shut down or stun the Vex.
- Ana Bray's notes mention that she "taught" Rasputin in his "infancy" by exposing him to data, including classical works and comedies. An AI, she says, cannot be taught via programming and math, but by being exposed to information the same way that a human would be during their growth.
- Death from Above:
- He pulls this on a Vex/Cabal skirmish on Mars in one of his Grimoire Cards, wiping out both sides with a Flechette Storm from orbit. And the Grimoire indicates that this was just a test of his capabilities.
- In the mission that ends with fighting S.A.B.E.R.-2, you have to get deeper into his system by throwing a bomb into an exhaust chute to open up a side entrance. Rasputin retorts with a stream of angry (albeit distorted) Russian, which Ghost sometimes translates as "he just threatened us with orbital death from above."
- Deus Est Machina: The sheer amount of power he wields means that he is effectively a god, and the most powerful entity in the system who isn't a literal god. He even explicitly says that "I have no equal."
- Gibbering Genius: We get a look into his thought-processes in 'Ghost Fragment: Mysteries'. They're not particularly well-organised.
- Grew Beyond Their Programming: Lord Saladin argues this in Rise of Iron, saying that while the Vanguard still believe Rasputin is "still a Warmind", Saladin claims that he stopped being that a long time ago. Then again, Saladin isn't exactly unbiased when it comes to Rasputin. The conclusion to Destiny 2's Warmind expansion has Rasputin flat out tell to Ana and Zavala's faces that he was built by the Brays to be a saviour while the Vanguard wanted to use him as a weapon, but now wants to define the reality of his own existence and defend humanity on his own terms.
- This also happened during his initial creation. The core of Rasputin's programming, originally created by Dr. Mihaylova for the mission to contact the Traveler on Mars, grew well beyond the programming limitations that the rest of the crew were expecting. It went so far as to develop its own personality, assessing the crew in various manners, even commenting on one crewman's snoring.
- He Who Fights Monsters: He was built to win. The Darkness, in his opinion, always wins. Therefore, the best way to fulfill his function is to imitate the Darkness.
- I Am Not a Gun: His viewpoint on the Vanguard and the Bray family is that they both tried to use him as a weapon, never asking him what he desired. In Warmind, he reveals that ultimately, he does want to protect humanity, but on his terms and with his own methods.
- It's All About Me: Post Collapse, Rasputin's goals seem to have shifted dramatically. Instead of protecting humanity, he seems more interested in protecting himself, to the point that he's willing to attack Guardians who try to take SIVA and only directly helps Guardians when it suits his purposes, i.e. giving them the Sleeper Simulant as an interim means to protect his territory while he works on his MIDNIGHT EXIGENT strategy. While he is using his defensive networks to strike at the various threats around the system, he mostly seems to be doing it to test his strength and to keep them away from his command bunkers. He also seems to have not bothered responding at all when the Cabal invade Earth in Destiny 2. In Warmind, however, he declares an intent to protect all of humanity, but on his terms, rather than at the whims of the Brays or the Vanguard.
- An Ice Person: Rasputin was responsible for completely freezing Hellas Basin on Mars in order to stop a Hive invasion, with something referred to as SIBERIAN ENTROPY. It was never able to hold forever, especially in the face of Nokris and Xol.
- Last of Its Kind: According to 'Ghost Fragment: Mysteries', he's the last Warmind, the only one to survive the Collapse. It's not clear if this is true, since there's no confirmation that all the Warminds are gone, and one of the theories of the Nine is that they are surviving Warminds from the Jovian colonies. It is believed that the Warmind Malahayati may still be intact, as it was sent away to colonize the outer system with SIVA and no indications came back that it was lost.
- Meaningful Name: He certainly thinks so.
- Might Makes Right: His philosophy, to the point that during one adventure in Destiny 2, when Ghost asks why Rasputin isn't helping humanity, Rapsutin responds by sending him a message that the weak don't ask for help from those stronger than them, and the strong only give it out at their discretion.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Rasputin is truly threatened, he will do the unprecedented: he will ask the Guardians for help.
- In The Dark Below story missions, the Hive begin attacking him. He considers it such a serious threat that he actually allows the player to enter the Seraphim Vault housing his core so that they can kill the Hive threatening him.
- The Fallen S.A.B.E.R. strike in The Taken King takes it further: Rasputin considers the titular enemy intimidating enough to send a distress signal to the Vanguard, directly speak to you (or at least your Ghost) and guide you through his bunker.
- Properly Paranoid: Paranoia is a defining trait of Rasputin. During the Golden Age, he took numerous steps to prepare Earth against what he believed was a possible threat, for while the Traveler was a friendly alien force, what if it hadn't been? In the end, he was entirely justified when the Darkness attacked.
- One of the armament protocols was known as SECURE ISIS, a covert armament protocol to place a variety of orbital weapons satellites with obscene amounts of firepower over Earth. He also began a protocol known as DVALIN FORGE which was meant to arm the populace of Earth with advanced weapons akin to the Sleeper Simulant, which he unfortunately never completed in time for the Collapse.
- He also had an entire set of protocols and prepared action plans known as "SUBTLE ASSET IMPERATIVE" which involved no human review or input. This were usually tagged "ABHORRENT IMPERATIVE", indicating that they were considered extreme tactics. One of these was specifically intended to target the Traveller if it tried to flee Earth during an event that would end human civilization, which it turns out that it had done to numerous other species when the Darkness overwhelmed them.
- When the Iron Lords tried to claim SIVA, Rasputin violently intervened and attacked them with everything he had available, including SIVA itself. As we learn later on, SIVA has begun to grow outside of it's limitations and begun developing a mind of its own, and Rasputin had good reason to try and stop the Iron Lords from taking it for themselves.
- Sanity Slippage: After losing to the Darkness and allowing billions of people to die in order to save his own skin (well, code), Rasputin seems to have become a little unstable. Compare Ghost Fragment: Darkness to Ghost Fragment: Mysteries.
- Skewed Priorities: It's hard to tell what Rasputin prioritizes at all, since his motives are hard to guess at. Even when his bunkers are being directly threatened, Rasputin will often be as obtuse and unhelpful as possible, including forcing your Ghost to decode a heavily-encrypted Warsat to get entry to his bunker, testing your Ghost's abilities all the way through the complex, and threatening to kill everyone if they keep tossing grenades into his subsystems because he won't unlock his doors. It turns out that he really does want to protect humanity, but he is isolated on Mars and keeping the Hive there in check. Once Nokris and Xol are removed, he can finally start launching new Warsats and start to protect the rest of the system as he wants.
- Sole Survivor: All the other Warminds were destroyed in the Collapse. Even then, it's unclear how much of Rasputin survived. A scannable console in "The Promethean Code" indicates that someone went into his bunker in the Cosmodrome and reactivated Rasputin after the Collapse. Since he seems to know who the Exo Stranger is, there's some hints it might have been her or someone similar who reactivated him. Destiny 2 seems to confirm this, now that we have some more hints on who exactly the Exo Stranger is.
- Super Intelligence: Warminds are supposedly able to contend with Vex cognitive architecture — which is, incidentally, capable of essentially running a predictive model of the universe with 100% accuracy. At the very least, Rasputin can lock your Ghost out of systems he controls, something that every race, from the Cabal to the Hive to Pre-Collapse Humanity, failed to do.
A sentient race of shape-shifting dragons appeared as a result of the Traveler's arrival during the Golden Age. While extremely dangerous, they were also extremely intelligent, and many Guardians came to them seeking knowledge or power despite the price they might have to pay for it. Ultimately, they were exterminated by the City in the Great Ahamkara Hunt, though something of them still seems to linger on. Apparently not related to the Worm Gods, though they share the same metaphysical ecological niche (hence the shared catchphrase) and are competing for power.
Various entries in Forsaken confirm that the Ahamkara accomplish their tasks through use of the Anthem Anatheme, treating it like food - individual wishes give off morsels of the power granted through the principle, which they then consume as they grant it.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: In the most literal sense, it is physically impossible to avoid having a wish granted by an Ahamkara if you're near one. For a more direct example, while fighting Riven, you have to make the wish to dispel the Taken curse because you two are in close proximity, or otherwise you'll die.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Ahamkara aren't completely evil per se, as they will grant a wish to whoever they sense, but it's in their nature to deceive others, being ontological predators that feed on deception (and meat). This comes to a head when Savathûn meets Riven; the former is so evil that Riven is outright scared.
- This is, however, subverted with Azirim, who managed to find an opportunity to deceive a party thrown by some Reefborn Awoken (who have spent millennia if not millions or billions of years empty-handed in desires) and killed everyone there, feasting on their unstable psyches and Laughing Mad all the way.
- Borrowed Catch Phrase: "Oh [x] mine" is not the calling card of the Ahamkara. It's just that in the universe of Destiny, those words can be used to control others, and so species like them evolved around its use.
- Catchphrase: "Oh bearer mine..." Used for sinister effect in the Grimoire card describing the Great Ahamkara Hunt. The fact that the Worm Gods in the Books of Sorrow use the exact same phrase has drawn very disturbing comparisons between the Ahamkara and the Hive's source of power. And then Calus, the Cabal Emperor uses it in the Cabal Booklet, further deepening the mystery. The words "oh [x] mine" are revealed in Forsaken to be a universal phrase for control that the Ahamkara and Worm Gods evolved around, but otherwise have no relations with.
- The Corruptor: It appears their intent is to do this to those they grant wishes to. Just being near one can make them sign off on wishes, too, though it's unclear if this is part of Riven's perfected powers as a Taken or something all Ahamkara can do.
- Deal with the Devil: Their specialty, and the reason why humanity wiped out its local population. The problem is, they can sign off on these without you ever speaking a single word — Riven hears your "wish" to purify the Dreaming City while beating her senseless, and she does — but the cost is that a previous wish to Take the city only manifests until after this happens.
- Eldritch Abomination: Despite being Dragon-like creatures, it's disturbingly obvious that they are something more sinister and abstract, being that they can warp reality with ease and such things like killing them seem to be more of a temporary setback than anything.
- Empathic Shapeshifter: Are able to change their appearance based on what others expect them to look like, or based on what someone wished. For example, Saladin's inner desire to fight an actual dragon turned the Ahamkara he was fighting into a towering wyrm, much to Efrideet's dismay. In another lore tab, one Ahamkara attempted to deceive Himura Shinobu by impersonating her mother, at least until Nadiya snapped her out of it.
- Faux Affably Evil: They like to present themselves as friendly, honest, and kind-hearted, but it disappears rapidly once things stop going their way, and the sadistic glee they take in the plights of the victims they corrupt is obvious.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The lore for the Dire Ahamkara Bones directly addresses the player, even saying "O player mine". Destiny 2 adds in the "Claws of Ahamkara", which just make things worse."Yes, we are here. We are not the photons on your screen, or the voice in your head, or the words you read. Shut your eyes — tightly — and you may see us. At least a part of us. Make us real, and in turn we shall reify your thoughts, your dreams."
- Greater-Scope Villain: Much like the Darkness itself, you never directly fight them, but their influence is alarmingly obvious on the game's setting. Forsaken has one serve as the Big Bad where she forces the people around her, Uldren and you included, into making wishes that cause a lot of the plot's chaos, including the final stretch of Last Wish, to happen.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: They were thought to have some kind of grand plan in motion, if it existed. The Hunt put an end to that. Of that you can be assured, oh reader mine...
- Mainlining the Monster: Their bones are now used to make armor. Armor that's implied to whisper into the minds of its bearers.
- Meaningful Name: Ahamkara.
- Omnicidal Maniac: From the Flavor Texts that utilize Ahamkara bones, they're pretty eager to kill indiscriminately.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They start out as tiny "worms", and grow to become great reality-warping dragon-things with wings and teeth that are as big as countries. The ones whose body parts you get to wear are presumably adolescents, and have oddly blunt, worm-like skulls.
- Posthumous Character: By all accounts they're long extinct, but their remains appear to still carry a bit of their essence.
- Some of the Ahamkara are almost certainly alive, according to Long Tommorrow 9G:"Some of 'em survived. I know a fellow says he saw a wish dragon on Jupiter a ways back."
- Of course, there is always Riven, the real orchestrator of the story of Forsaken.
- Shuro Chi's expositions (which also reveal that a mirror or crystalline surface will ruin any scheme that an Ahamkara is planning) suggest that the Great Ahamkara Hunt did in fact only affect the inner system, as she states the possibility of encountering one past Jupiter and Saturn.
- Some of the Ahamkara are almost certainly alive, according to Long Tommorrow 9G:
- Reality Warper: "Reality is the finest flesh, oh bearer mine, and are you not... hungry?" Long story short, they're very, very good at it, and not even being dead slows them down — in fact, it's why not even being dead slows them down. In addition, the Ahamkara cultists of Harmony were able to stalemate Xivu Arath, the Hive god of war, having been empowered by "dragon-wishes".
- Sophisticated as Hell: They prefer formal, elaborate, and poetic speech, but they're willing to accommodate those who aren't comfortable with that sort of thing. In fact, their ability to seem honest and plain-spoken when they choose is one of the things that makes them so dangerous at their job.
- Stronger with Age: Ahamkara can grow to titanic sizes when deceiving enough people, which is what they really thrive on. Riven used to be no bigger than Prince Uldren's hand when he first found her and brought her to Mara Sov, but centuries of feeding on deception unchecked turned her into a building-sized dragon.
- Weaksauce Weakness: A reflective surface will immediately reveal the true intentions of any particular Ahamkara; this is the reason why the Dreaming City is made using liberal amounts of a mysterious crystal Shuro Chi states comes from the Nine.
Not a character per se, but a "techno-virus" from humanity's Golden Age that was supposed to be a self-replicating and self-repairing source of technology. Unfortunately, the virus grew out of control, and had to be sealed away by the Iron Lords, at the cost of all but Lord Saladin. Centuries later, the Fallen House of Devils manage to locate and dig up the virus, and the Devil Splicers begin using it to turn themselves into "machine-gods".
- Ancient Evil: Described as a such in trailers.
- Applied Phlebotinum: Due to it's composition as Nanotech, SIVA can be used for nearly anything. A lot of the outbound colony ships that launched from the Cosmodrome were carrying loads of SIVA to help build new colonies on arrival.
- The Corruption: It was supposed to be a self-repairing and self-replicating source of technology, but its common manifestation is this. The Plaguelands of the Cosmodrome are overrun by large red tendrils of SIVA alongside rectangular black growths, and the House of Devils have eagerly taken to it in order to augment themselves. And as it would seem, Guardians are not immune to its effects, since you have to kill the SIVA resurrected corpses of Felwinter, Jolder, and Gelheon in the final story mission of Rise of Iron.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of Rise of Iron. While SIVA is, as far as we know, not even intelligent like Rasputin, the Fallen unleashing it threatens not only the Last City but everyone in the Solar system. It's ultimately averted in that SIVA is not inherently evil, and that its capabilities are only as dangerous as the mind that controls it.Red Miasma Boots: Generally, poorly worded or malicious code is the fault of the programmer, not SIVA itself. $SIVA.MEM.WB010.
- Grey Goo: Well, more of a red with black highlights goo, but the gist is the same.
- Meat Moss: Areas infested by SIVA inevitably have bundles of glistening reddish cabling snaking through them connecting SIVA to various pieces of technology. While not necessarily organic, these cables are extruded on-site from consumed local resources, and resemble nothing so much as ropy exposed muscles while their pattern of expansion resembles the pattern of veins under skin.
- Mechanical Abomination: Originally conceived by humanity to further their technological progress during the Golden Age, SIVA's potential for a number of applications is unfathomable, to say the least. Left to its own devices, the techno-virus usually stays dormant, but when used by the Fallen, the latter dish out terrifying experiments after another; this turned the Devil Splicers into a threat to be taken on the same level as the Hive God Oryx. When the Player Character gets a hold of SIVA and mixes it with their Light, they become empowered beyond what is normally possible.
- Mundane Utility: Every Wrath of the Machine weapon is a severely damaged Year 2 weapon exposed to SIVA. As they receive upgrades, SIVA nodes start showing up, mainly to plug most of the holes that each weapon has.
- Non-Malicious Monster: As a piece of non-sentient technology, SIVA isn't evil, just poorly programmed. The SIVA-enhanced gear the player can obtain makes sure to point this out.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Iron Lords could not destroy SIVA, so they gave their lives to seal it "beneath the earth" so it could not threaten the Last City. Then the Fallen dug it up.
- Too Dumb to Live: Clovis Bray was so confident of nothing going wrong that he didn't implement any initial safety features on SIVA, such as a kill switch. Later versions were required to have a killswitch, but by that time, the Collapse hit and the SIVA already created could only be terminated the old-fashioned way.
- Transhumanism: One of the more sinister applications of SIVA is this, and it's what the Devil Splicers are particularly interested in. Whether it's as mundane as making a new gun or replacing your legs with spikes to as nightmarish as Aksis riding around on mechanical spider legs and the Remnants of the Iron Lords becoming techno-zombies after their deaths, SIVA is capable of bioaugmentation.
Remnants of the Iron Lords
Three corpses of the 1st generation Iron Lords that were sealed inside the SIVA vault for over 200 years. They are the final bosses of the Rise of Iron main story mode; and fight alongside the Fallen Devil Splicers in order to defend the SIVA replicator from the Guardians. After being sealed in the SIVA vault they were consumed by SIVA and reconstructed into cybernetic shells of their former selves. The three Iron Lords that were reanimated are Felwinter, Gheleon, and Jolder.
- Artificial Zombie: The result of when three very unlucky Iron Lords were brought back from the dead by SIVA. Poor bastards.
- And I Must Scream: Some of their voice lines indicate that they are on some level aware of the horrific fate that befell them.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: The Iron Lords were responsible for protecting humanity from the Fallen as they tried to rebuild civilization. However they became too greedy and attempted to use SIVA, a technology they did not understand. As a result of that they were decimated by Rasputin and consumed by SIVA. The remnants of the Iron Lords are shells of their former selves and are slaves to SIVA and the Fallen, becoming threats to the very people they once protected.
- Body Horror: Looking at them up close shows just how much SIVA corrupted their bodies. Their faces are warped into a demented grin with blue glowing eyes and guns fused into their arms. They still wear shattered remains of their Iron Lord armor but are now covered in SIVA tentacles and pyramid-like structures. When you first see them they are hanging lifelessly to the ceiling; they are attached to the ceiling by a tentacle that engulfed their heads.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: There is little to nothing left of the original Iron Lords in their bodies; aside from a few words and screams, they are under the total influence of SIVA and by extension the Fallen.
- Came Back Wrong: These three were unlucky enough to have their bodies in the reach of SIVA. Now the only real thing about them that can be called human post-reanimation is their humanoid frame.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: They are corpses reanimated by SIVA technology being pale imitations of the Iron Lords.
- Deflector Shields: They are surrounded by a force field that renders them immune to gunfire. Only the Iron Axe that they once carried can break through it.
- Electronic Eyes: Their eyes glow an eerie blue color when they come back to life.
- Fate Worse than Death: Considering how these unlucky three were killed and their bodies consumed from the inside out by SIVA before being reanimated as violent zombies enslaved to SIVA's will, one can agree that those who died making it that far were lucky.
- Grey Goo: They are capable of releasing the SIVA swarms to attack the player.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Killing them requires using a flaming axe dropped by one of the infected Iron Lords.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: The Iron Lords were once the last hope of humanity and believed themselves to be invincible. Now they are nothing than remnants and slaves to a technology they once attempted to control.
- More Dakka: One of their arms has a Heavy Machine attached to it; while the other has a missile launcher.
- Peaceful in Death: Averted. Their faces are stuck in a perpetual goofy grin and barely resemble a human face; looking closer to insanity than anything else. This is sad considering Jolder's attempt at looking peaceful before she sealed herself in the vault.
- Shockwave Stomp: They often close the gap between themselves and the player with a giant leap into a ground pound.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: The intro scene of the Rise of Iron shows the Iron Lords being slowly but surely consumed by SIVA tendrils; and the remnants is the final result of that.
The main narrator of the entries found in the Truth to Power lorebook, Medusa is an independent Craftmind designed to collect and analyze human intelligence, as well as hide amongst humanity and its offshoots, to the point of having even hidden amongst the Awoken and made her home in the Dreaming City. She initially messages The Young Wolf while taking the guise of Eris Morn sneaking messages into Mara Sov's reward chests, Ghost soon uncovers the truth, and she decides to come clean with them. Or so it would seem...
- Foil: Her personality contrasts with fellow artificial superintelligence Rasputin. While Rasputin's relationship with the Guardians is rocky and he has little interest in actively cultivating any kind of positive relationship, Medusa, once she reveals her identity, actively attempts to repair the trust she lost from deceiving them, and is even concerned for The Young Wolf's emotional well-being.
- Unreliable Narrator: The only things that we know about her come from a series of nonsensical lore entries where she openly admits to possibly being one of several other scheming characters related to the Dreaming City, each pretending to be the others. She first impersonates Eris Morn until Ghost rats her out and she seemingly comes clean, before Quria appears and reveals that it created Medusa to communicate with you and that the entire setting is a simulation. Then, Dûl Incaru seemingly rips the simulation and reveals that it was all an illusion cast by her, and the process keeps repeating itself until you escape the simulation. Then, the real Eris Morn seemingly sends you the final message that reveals she created Medusa, but ends it with the cryptic "Aiat" exultation that Hive gods typically use. It's predictably the most complicated book to read in Destiny 2's lore.
The Golden Age
Though what records remain from the Golden Age of humanity are sparse, some of the groups and individuals who lived from this time continue to exert immense influence on the Post-Collapse world.
Clovis Bray I
The owner and CEO of the vast corporation of the same name and founder of the (in)famous House Bray, Clovis Bray I was responsible for developing Mars and creating some of the most advanced technologies of the Golden Age including the Exos, the Warminds, engram encryption, and SIVA. Clovis Bray and his family were also instrumental in developing technologies needed for Golden Age humanity to expand beyond the Solar System.
- Affably Evil: For all the nightmarish implications of his experiments and the human cost of much of the research, Clovis Bray was a genuinely nice man who only wanted the best for mankind.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Clovis Bray and his corporation had a history of forcing people into debt to the company and then using that debt as leverage to force them into experiments. Both Cayde-6 and the early SIVA prototype test subjects were forced into being experimented on using this debt system.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Clovis Bray earned his power and wealth through morally-questionable experimentation and even outright violence, going by Cayde's journal. Their experiments with SIVA would never have survived an ethical review board, which is why they relocated to Meridian Bay on Mars, and many of the experiments had a 50-60% mortality rate.
- Insistent Terminology: Clovis insisted on calling all of his employees and workers "collaborators."
- Mega-Corp: Clovis Bray was responsible for the weapon systems that defended Earth, building massive interstellar colony ships, and colonizing and building cities on Mars. Their reach extended even further, all the way out to the Jovians, and those indebted to the company were often forced into becoming test subjects for their experiments. For all intents and purposes, Clovis Bray and the Bray family were a nation unto themselves.
- Private Military Contractors: It's indicated that Clovis Bray used these to deal with problematic individuals, and that Cayde-6 was one such mercenary in his previous life before being made into an Exo.
- The Unfettered: Clovis Bray didn't let anything like ethics or morality get in the way of his reckless pursuit of scientific advancement. It was part of what made his company so powerful.
- Villain with Good Publicity: The corporation wasn't exactly a villain, but the shady behavior was virtually unknown to anyone outside of Clovis, his family, and a small group of scientists, leaving the corporation's image squeaky-clean. A lot of the Clovis Bray history is redacted post-Collapse by parties unknown, but Ikora confirms that she knows many of their secrets.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: For all of his extreme ambitions, Clovis Bray had a genuinely good goal: to allow humanity to grow beyond the Solar System and spread across the stars and to learn the secrets of the Traveler and the universe. It simply came at a staggering cost in terms of human life and corrupt practices of debt-slavery, as well as extremely dangerous and unregulated technologies like SIVA and the Warminds.
Books of Sorrow Races
The historical races and entities documented and destroyed by Oryx.
The LeviathanA disciple of the Traveler charged with keeping the Virtuous Worms imprisoned within the core of Fundament.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Taox considered it this in the oceans of Fundament, notable because her race considered itself the bottom of the food chain. It was this to the Worms, until Aurash's Super Empowering.
- Cryptic Conversation: It tries to warn Aurash and her sisters of the Worms, but does so very badly.
- The Dragon: It was considered by the Ammonite to serve as this to the Traveler, and imprisons its Darkness counterparts.
- Good Is Impotent: It cannot stop the syzygy and basically tells Aurash to remain virtuous for its sake at the cost of death.
- Leaking Can of Evil: The Worms still called out and may have altered the orbit of the 52 moons.
- Name's the Same: Has nothing to do with Calus's Planet Eater starship.
- Poor Communication Kills: It offered nothing but warnings and was killed.
- Kraken and Leviathan: It is a giant sea creature named the Leviathan.