This page details the various denizens that reside in the Reef, far away from the Traveler's Light, as well as their direct allies.
Beware of unmarked spoilers.
Reef Awoken and allies
During the Collapse, every ship capable tried to flee Earth, but made it no farther than the inner asteroid belt. The descendants of these refugees became the Awoken. Rather than return to Earth, the Awoken of the Reef set up their own society, avoiding both the Traveler and the Darkness. After the Fallen House of Wolves invaded the Reef, the Queen managed to kill their Kell and made them vassals, offering the Fallen a permanent home with the Awoken. Relations with the Guardians and the Last City have been cold at best and hostile at worst, but this changed with the rebellion of the House of Wolves.
- Amazon Brigade: The Queen's Guard is exclusively female, given their Matriarchal society (see below), as are their other armed forces such as the Corsairs.
- Curbstomp Battle: The Reef's fleet delivered one to the House of Wolves during the Reef Wars, when Mara devastated them with her "Harbingers" and the fleet crushed what was left. Later on, they suffer one when they intercept Oryx's fleet. While the Reef ships are able to destroy the Hive's regular ships without much trouble, the Dreadnaught's Wave Motion Gun annihilates them in a single shot.
- The Dark Arts: House of Wolves reveals that the Awoken have supernatural powers such as visions and telepathy, and that their minds are linked to either the Jovians or some aspect of the Darkness. Skolas describes them as "twinned to cold minds" and Variks says that they "whisper to the stars" and listen for whispers back, whether they be from the Jovians or the Darkness. It's implied that the reason the Queen refuses to stand with the City is because she doesn't want to risk the wrath of their patron.
- Forbidden Zone: The Awoken claim the whole of the Reef as their domain, and do not suffer trespassers in their territory. As of the House of Wolves, they have relaxed their isolationism, but not completely. Most of the Reef is still off-limits for non-denizens, but the Vestian Outpost is a limited open port, providing a place for outsiders to dock and interact with elements from the Reef.
- Get Out!: Any Awoken who show an ability to utilize the Traveler's Light are immediately exiled for fear of attracting the Darkness.
- Heroic Neutral: They have no interest in helping the Last City, and avoid the Traveler for fear of attracting the Darkness. That said, they are on better terms with the Nine. They will loosely ally with the City in times of need and at times the Queen has ordered them to assist the Guardians, and were entirely willing to challenge and fight Oryx when he arrived, recognizing him as a threat to everyone. Under Petra, however, the Reef has become more friendly toward the Guardians.
- Matriarchy: According to the Grimoire, the Awoken of the Reef are a Matriarchy, which is why female Awoken are more prominent than male Awoken. It also notes that the prominence of the Queen's Brother is rather unusual. The lore for Forsaken reveals that this is because the colony ship carrying the humans who would be transformed into the original Awoken contained roughly three times as many women as men and other genders, and their matriarchal society was established due to Gender Rarity Value.
- Neutral No Longer: After the rebellion of the House of Wolves, the Queen decides to allow the Guardians into the Reef to help end the renewed Fallen threat. She would like it noted that this does not mean a long-term alliance. Under Petra, the Reef is a little more positively aligned toward the City, though this is because the two are becoming more reliant on one another to fight off Oryx and the Taken after the Reef's military strength was devastated.
- Out of Focus: For the launch-day content in Destiny 2. Despite being a prominent player in the vanilla Destiny campaign and being the focal point of the House of Wolves expansion and host to the Prison of Elders game mode, the Reef gets next to no mention during the campaign or end-game content in the sequel outside of an oblique mention of Variks being a former comrade. Likely the Reef is still recovering from the loss of their Queen and fleet during the Taken War which, combined with their isolationism, made them loathe to communicate with the Last City during the Red War.
- Species Loyalty: The Reefborn Awoken fully expect other Awoken to be loyal to the Reef. Petra Venj describes Zavala and Rahool as traitors, and the Grimoire has the Queen describe those who leave the Reef for the City as "You who betrayed us for Earth".
- Total Party Kill: In The Taken King, Mara Sov leads an assault with her forces against Oryx's dreadnaught. They get off a volley before he releases a Wave Motion Gun strike that kills nearly every Awoken present, save Prince Uldren. There are hints Mara herself may have survived, considering Taken were found searching for her ship's wreckage across the system. In Forsaken, it is revealed that Mara and her Techeuns survived by way of their artificial Ascendant Realm.
Mara Sov, the Queen of the Reef
- Voiced by: Kirsten Potter
A stoic and unfriendly questgiver who always refers to the player as "it," Queen Mara Sov is the ruler of the Reef, a debris field located in the Asteroid Belt. It is home to both the Awoken and the Fallen House of Wolves, which became vassals of the Queen after she killed their Kell. Straddling the border between Light and Darkness, the Queen is disinterested in the City at best and outright hostile at worst.
- Ambiguously Evil: She's definitely a scheming and somewhat antagonistic person, but she's also helped out the Guardians on several occasions. However according to Skolas, after he went into the Vault of Glass, she may be an unwitting agent of the Darkness, given that he calls her "light snuffer" and "dark binder".
- Berserk Button: Don't ever question her authority or ability to protect the Awoken, as your Ghost finds out the hard way.
- Big Damn Heroes: An interesting variation. She is the reason why the City wasn't captured by the Fallen during Twilight Gap, by destroying the House of Wolves before they could take part in the assault. Whether this was out of altruism or because she just wanted a House of her own goes unconfirmed. The City seems to be unaware of her role in the battle.
- Bi the Way: She has a female lover called Sjur Eido, a Queen's Wrath, who she considers one of the four most important people in her heart.note It's also all but outright said that she was in a relationship with Lord Shaxx, considering she used an Ahamkara wish to summon him to read her a bedtime story and he later on buys her a compound bow for The Dawning.
- Cool Ship: She commands a Fallen Ketch, painted in Reef colors.
- The Chessmaster: The lore of Forsaken reveals her to be one, as not only is she behind the schism that caused the Awoken to leave the Distrubutary, but she also orchestrated the events of the Taken War (along with Eris Morn), letting herself be killed by Oryx to gain access to the Ascendant realm and gain his powers. She calls this scheme of hers Bomb-Logic, in deliberate insult of Hive Sword-Logic; to her, Sword-Logic is simplistic and easily understood, as all parts of a sword are obviously weapons; a bomb, on the other hand, has components that are not inherently weapons, but is more destructive and effective when put together.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Strongly averted: despite the thawing of relations between the City and the Reef from her invitation to hunt the House of Wolves, she is still glacial in terms of personality towards Guardians in general. They only serve a purpose for her.
- The lore of Forsaken shows that she does have (or at least used to have ) a more laid-back persona, especially in presence of her lover, Sjur Eido.
- Face Death with Dignity: Faced with the Dreadnaught's Sphere of Destruction after tanking the Techeuns' Wave Motion Gun like it was nothing, she only closes her eyes in resignation. The narration states that the Awoken "have played their part, all according to the plan". In Destiny 2, it is revealed that she didn't actually die, but instead transferred herself to her own Ascendant Realm to escape death.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple: She has a very extensive purple and gold motif, which can be seen on everything from her soldiers to the shaders she rewards the player with for turning in bounties. Hell, the Reef alone probably has more purple in it than the entirety of all the Saints Row games combined, which is really saying something. This particular color scheme also invokes royalty and queenly grace, which is extremely fitting for her because, well, she's the queen of the Awoken.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: As a female Awoken it goes with the territory, especially since the spaceborn Awoken are more aloof and isolated than their Earth-bound relatives.
- Heroic Neutral: The Reef is not aligned with the City, and there are some evidence of past hostilities between the two societies. While the Awoken of the Reef distrust the Traveler and its Light, the Queen is willing to work with the City, provided it benefits the Reef. She is even willing to do the City a few favors, but she always collects on her debts... This extends back even to her transformation into an Awoken, as she was caught in the middle of a clash between the Light and Darkness, and affected by both of them at the same time.
- Hidden Elf Village: The Reef believes in isolationism, and while the Queen is willing to accept single visitors on occasion, it's not until the House of Wolves rebels that she grants broad access to the Reef. Even then, it's implied that she's only working with the Guardians so that the Awoken themselves only have to leave the Reef in small numbers, reinforcing their isolationist nature.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Thought to be the reason why she's in cahoots with Shaxx; he's the only person she's met that sees her as a regular person and not a ruler, symbol, or deity.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: She refers to the player as "it".
- Klingon Promotion: She became the ruler of the Fallen House of Wolves after deposing their Kell, then following up by killing or capturing all the other Kell-claimants.
- Jerkass: Though she's more restrained in her speaking than her brother, she's also incredibly cold and even a bit cruel at times. For example, sending the guilt-ridden Petra Venj to the City as an ambassador, seemingly just to both torment Petra and screw with the City.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: That said, she did intervene to save the Last City from having to face the House of Wolves at full strength as well, when she could have remained hidden and safe, and did her best to stop Oryx despite knowing it would be safer to run. She also is very serious about keeping her debts as well, and shows no hesitation in admitting when someone's impressed her.
- Meaningful Name: "Mara" is also the name of the closest thing Buddhism has a devil figure, the lord of all that keeps people trapped in the physical world, but something of a Noble Demon figure who also reminds people that to exist at all is to suffer. It's revealed in the lore of Forsaken that she is the main reason why Awoken are physical creatures who can suffer rather than omnipotent Energy Beings; she felt existence as something truly omnipotent would result in a Lotus-Eater Machine situation, so she hijacked the genesis of their pocket universe so that the Awoken would be born as The Ageless, but not truly undying.
- Mundane Utility: She once used her pet Ahamkara, Riven, to bend all of reality just she could summon someone to her chambers for what essentially amounts to reading her a bedtime story (and that is probably not all...). That someone turns out to be Lord Shaxx, and it's mentioned that on top of reading The Tempest out loud for a long time, his helmet stayed on.
- Never Found the Body: Following the annihilation of her flagship, both Petra and Uldren start searching for her, certain she's alive and not stopping until they have confirmation that she's dead. While a throwaway line in Curse of Osiris surmises that she died, it is revealed in Forsaken that she is in fact alive, though trapped in an Ascendant Realm.
- Noble Bigot: Towards Guardians, as revealed in her Forsaken Lore. She finds them immature, and outright unnerving at times given their lackadaisical attitude towards death not to mention reliant on the Light, something her entire ideology is opposed to. She still recognizes they're heroes, and grudgingly admires their will to self-improve, and has a much higher estimation of the Traveler itself.
- Not Quite Dead: While she technically died, she survived in some capacity in the Ascendant realm. Petra is relieved to hear her voice when she re-establishes contact in the Dreaming City via the Oracle.
- Official Couple: Shaxx's interactions with Eva Levante during the Dawning seem to suggest that the time Mara called him to her chambers wasn't just a fluke.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Her rag-tag fleet of pirates and scavengers goes up against the full force of the House of Wolves.Kell of Wolves: I AM LORD OF WOLVES. YOU ARE AN EMPTY THING WITH TWO DEAD SOULS. THIS IS MY HOUSE. THESE ARE MY TERMS. SURRENDER AND I WILL ONLY TAKE YOUR SHIPS.The Queen: I AM NOBLE TOO, OH LORD OF WOLVES.Kell: YOU HAVE NO LINE. YOU HAVE NO POWER.Queen: STARLIGHT WAS MY MOTHER. AND MY FATHER WAS THE DARK.
- Rant-Inducing Slight: Your Ghost calling her a poor queen who is too busy with her own agenda causes her snap and gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech aimed at him chewing him out for not understanding politics or her responsibilities at all.
- Reality Warper: Whatever the nature of the paracausal powers the Awoken have, they are the strongest around her. An minor example in the lore was back when the Awoken used radioactive decay as bomb triggers, Mara's mere presence manipulated probability unconsciously and made the atoms a thousand times less likely to decay. While a more major example was when Mara first created the Awoken by merely observing and becoming self-aware of their own existence. The same entry as the first example summed it up as such:Kelda Wadj (Referring to Mara): "People are literally safer when you are around."
- Really 700 Years Old: The Awoken have lived for 12.1 billion years due to living inside a singularity orbiting the Sun. And Mara gets special mention as the first Awoken.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to her brother's Red.
- Revenge Before Reason: She's so furious at the House of Wolves rebellion that she abandons centuries of isolation and invites the Guardians into the Reef.
- The Stoic: In contrast to her brother, the Queen shows little emotion.
- Proves Not So Stoic during the sixth time you visit her chambers. Having heard your Ghost's accusations of being a terrible Queen, she angrily shouts at him while stating that he knows nothing of what she sacrificed to keep her people safe, and asks if you and him would make better rulers. The room even shakes violently at one point.
- Superweapon Surprise: Instrumental to her first victory over the House of Wolves, shattering their massive fleet with mysterious 'Harbingers' that only she can control. While unnamed, we do see a vicious power from Mara in the Taken King opening cinematic. A cluster of orbs of concentrated power that functions not unlike a Warlock's super, it requires three priest-like attendants to channel their power to her and the strain causes her to collapse briefly. While it proves ineffective against Oryx's capital ship, it utterly shreds his escort vessels and each orb has enough gravitational pull to drag a large amount of asteroids with them.
- Tranquil Fury: Skolas' betrayal renders her utterly furious, to the point that she invites Guardians to the Reef to hunt him down. But she never loses her cool at any point.
- We Used to Be Friends: She once was friends with the person who has now become the Emissary of the Nine, but now maintains a strictly professional attitude with them. Considering she doesn't hold the Nine in high regards due to their machinations and the fact that the Emissary is a shell of her former friend, she's fairly bitter about it.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Downplayed, as she is genuinely The Stoic and ruthlessly dedicated to her goals, but her lore revealed in Forsaken shows her to be a lot more compassionate than she lets on; the very reason why she's in the Reef is because she felt she had a duty to save Earth from the Darkness. She herself is fully aware of this, and internally admits she has to be a symbol more than a person.
Prince Uldren Sov, the Master of Crows
- Voiced by: Brandon O'Neil
The Queen's confidant, chief enforcer, and brother. Unlike his sister, he is upfront about his distrust of the City.
WARNING: This section discusses major story elements for Forsaken and Black Armory. Unmarked spoilers ahead.
- Ace Pilot: He's a rather good pilot, as shown by the opening to "the Taken King."
- Advertised Extra: He features prominently in the trailers for the base game (in clips from a scene that does not actually exist). In the actual game he has two scenes where he acts as a glorified lackey for his sister and doesn't even get a name prior to the release of the House of Wolves expansion. He is much more important in the Grimoire entries surrounding the Reef and it's politics, and he eventually takes over the House of Kings and then becomes the main villain in the Forsaken expansion.
- Arc Villain: For Destiny 2's Forsaken expansion, where he leads a mass jailbreak from the Prison of Elders and kills Cayde-6.
- Arch-Enemy: His murder of Cayde-6 has cemented himself as the Young Wolf's most hated nemesis, even willing to abandon the duties of a guardian and cross the solar system just to put a bullet in Uldren's head.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Ghost Fragment: Reef 4 shows him having one in an extremely simple and subdued manner: he let himself be captured by the House of Kings, and after they beat him up for a while, they brought him before their Kell... and after all the defeats and losses the Fallen on Earth suffered, the Kell of Kings willingly abdicated the throne and let Uldren take over.
- Back from the Dead: He gets revived as a Guardian during the events of Black Armory.
- Battle Trophy: He walks off with Cayde's Ace of Spades after using it to shoot Cayde.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Uldren was envious of Guardians, desiring their power in spite of their freedom from politics, even though he had a bitter hatred for them. After dying, he gets resurrected as one.
- Defiant to the End: Even staring down the barrel of the Ace of Spades in a mirror of Cayde's own death, Uldren still refuses to give in. Rather than begging for mercy, he justifies his actions as being for Mara's sake and berates the player for pursuing their revenge rather than any real justice.
- Disc-One Final Boss: For all of the advertising on Forsaken making him up to be its main antagonist, he's only really present during the expansion's first half, which focuses on the hunt for him and his Scorn underlings. The latter half of the expansion instead focuses on the mastermind manipulating him, and he's quickly offed by the time the story comes at the doorstep of the Dreaming City.
- Everyone Has Standards: As much as a jerk as he is toward the player, he's clearly shocked and appalled by the murder of the Queen's Guard committed by House of Wolves.
- Sadly his corruption by Riven and desire to see his deceased sister has drove him to commit atrocities similar, becoming just as bad as the House of Wolves, if not worse.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: A big Jerkass to be sure, he truly does love his sister. His reasons for committing all his atrocities in Forsaken is motivated by bringing her back to life.
- Evil Is Petty: As evinced here.◊ According to the Lore in Forsaken, he hates Guardians and does everything in his power to torment them. His actions range from shooting them and sending them on doomed quests, to dunking their ghosts in "intolerably stinky selenophenol" and tricking them into dismantling powerful weapons.
- Face Death with Dignity: Upon, being at Petra and The Young Wolf's mercy, he doesn't beg for his life and simply closes his eyes before they execute him.
- Fatal Flaw: His personal mindset straying too far from Mara's and by extension the Reefborn Awoken are what set up most of his downfall, having been manipulated by Riven through the Anthem Anatheme, a reality-altering power source fueled by wishes and unrealistic desires that the Awoken's lack of true desire makes them immune to.
- Famous Last Words: "Everything I did, I did for her! (Chuckles) Funny. The line between light and dark is so very thin. Do you know which side you're on?"
- Greed: Relative to the rest of the Awoken. Tellic II states that Uldren had desires which deviated from the Awoken's (or lack thereof). This is what allows Riven to manipulate him, having tapped into the Anthem Anatheme irradiating from Uldren through these desires.
- Green-Eyed Monster: The Forsaken lore paints him as being desperately envious of Guardians, who are given great power without being bound up in politics.
- Hate Sink: Uldren's first act in Forsaken is to murder Cayde-6 in cold blood (and not some cheap death, either; he's Killed Off for Real according to Word of God), triggering the Young Wolf's quest for vengeance and setting a darker tone to the story; one that's taking elements from a Western revenge tale. Year Two of Destiny 2 essentially starts with your character (and by extension, the fandom) out for Uldren's blood, going to the Reef to hunt him down as well as the Fallen Barons he leads, then bringing him to justice for his crimes. Naturally, he goes down much like Cayde did, but in a significantly more pathetic manner, having been duped hardcore by the Voice of Riven. Then he gets resurrected as a Guardian, which would force the Vanguard to clear him of all of his crimes despite the time between those acts, his death, and his resurrection being mere moments on a cosmic scale.
- The Heavy: His acts drives the plot for Forsaken, ranging from creating the Scorn, staging a jail break at the Prison of Elders, and murdering Cayde-6 leading to the Guardian's quest for vengeance. However, Uldren is being manipulated by Riven into committing these deeds and reveals herself as the true mastermind behind the events of Forsaken.
- Hero Killer: He murders Cayde-6, one of the leaders of the Vanguard and a very powerful guardian.
- In the Hood: He's taken up this look by the time of Forsaken.
- Jerkass: He's extremely rude and condescending to anyone that is not his sister.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As rude and standoffish as he is, he just wants to ensure the safety of the Reef and his sister... but all he cares about is the Reef and his sister.
- The gold seems to have faded considerably by the time of Forsaken, as he breaks into the Prison of Elders, releasing some of the worst criminals the system has ever seen, and effectively declares war against both the Reef and the City.
- Knife Nut: Always carries one and is very quick with it.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Due to being resurrected during Black Armory, all of Uldren's memories are now completely gone.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After killing Cayde-6 and wreaking havoc upon the Reef in his quest to free who he thinks is his sister, it's all the more fitting that Petra and the Young Wolf raze his mini-kingdom of Scorn to the ground in turn before cornering him and shooting him dead as he lies helpless and broken upon the ground, just like how Cayde went out at his hand.
- Love Makes You Evil: His decent to villainy is driven by his desire to see his sister again.
- No Name Given: Up until House of Wolves, no name for him was given.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Uldren is a pompous jerk, but he's also the first to respond when the Guardian draws a weapon against the Queen's Fallen guards, and he takes to the front line in a fighter craft during the battle against Oryx's fleet.
- Sole Survivor: He is the only known survivor of the Awoken fleet that attacked Oryx's dreadnaught, having crash-landed on Mars, and attempting to return to the Reef to search for his sister.
- Sore Loser: He is not happy when the player Guardian actually manages to bring them a Gate Lord's head. When the Queen says that they'll honor the agreement to help them get in the Black Garden, he says that they should just kill them here and save the Vex the trouble.
- The Spymaster: Commands the Crows, which serve as the Awoken's intelligence gathering agents.
- Swallowed Whole: The Voice of Riven devours him during the climax of Forsaken, though he's still in one piece after you slay the abomination.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: While Uldren was already a big Jerkass when you fist meet him, his corruption from Riven has turned him into a cold-blooded killer.
- Unwitting Pawn: Uldren spends most of Forsaken driven by his desire to find his sister, guided by a hallucination of Mara Sov. Said hallucination turns out to be an illusion made by the Ahamkara Riven in order to lure Uldren towards the Dreaming City and free Riven from her shackles. When Uldren brings a Shard of the Traveler and melds it with the Watchtower's ambient Taken corruption, the Mara Sov hallucination congratulates him, before revealing herself as the monstrous Voice of Riven and devouring Uldren after he accomplished his purpose.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Acts like a major Jerkass to the player, but his behavior is driven by his desire to protect his sister and his people.
- What You Are in the Dark: At the end of Forsaken as he lays defeated and staring down the barrels of both the Young Wolf's newly reclaimed Ace of Spades and Petra's Vestian Dynasty he makes mention that the line between light and dark is thin. He follows by asking the Young Wolf if they know which side they're on. After a brief instant of hesitation they answer with a silent nod causing Uldren to close his eyes an accept his fate, but a cut to black before the kill shot makes it ambiguous who pulled the trigger.
Petra Venj, Queen's Wrath
- Voiced by: April Stewart
An emissary of the Queen of the Reef, Petra Venj first appeared during the "Queen's Wrath" special event. She returned to Reef, where she was elevated to serve as the Queen's Wrath and becomes the Guardian's story agent during the House of Wolves. She returns in Forsaken, calling the assistance of Cayde and the Guardian to stop the Scorn. Following that expansion's main campaign, she ventures into the Dreaming City, determined to find Mara Sov and free the place from the evil that has crept in.
- Action Girl: She doesn't get to show off her skills in battle until Forsaken, but once she does it is apparent why she was made Mara's Wrath. Petra can cut through Fallen and other enemies just as easily as a Guardian, and she doesn't have the benefit of resurrection.
- Ambiguously Gay: Her complete devotion to Queen Mara Sov and utter devastation at Mara's apparent death suggest it's not entirely out of her sense of duty. Best exemplified by this idle dialogue:Petra: I had a dream last night. I was hunting with the Queen on great white horses in a field of black flowers, and then... well... It was a good omen.
- Despair Event Horizon: After the disappearance of Mara Sov, Variks and Ikora Rey fear she may have crossed this, with Variks wondering if she's fit to lead because of her grief and Ikora concerned she'll "pull an Eris Morn."
- Dreaming the Truth: She has a recurring dream in the Dreaming City of birds plucking out flowers then the flowers keep returning and the birds keep plucking them and isn't sure if she's the bird or flower only that the dream terrifies her. As the corruption in the Dreaming City reaches it's peak, Petra realizes the awful truth behind it's meaning. Both the birds and the flowers represent Petra and the Awoken, the meaning is that they are all caught in a time loop with no way out except to repeat their actions.
- The Exile: It's implied in her Grimoire card that she spent several years in exile from the Reef after her actions caused the deaths of several Guardians during the first war with the House of Wolves and strained the relationship between the City and the Reef. The Queen's response was to appoint Petra her ambassador to the City. This is either to torment Petra or insult the City. Knowing the Queen, probably both. This partly explains why Petra enjoys playing Mission Control for the player Guardian so much - she's just happy to be home.
- Eye Patch Of Power: She's sporting one with the House of Wolves.
- In Harm's Way: As noted above, Petra loves working in the field. Her risk taking behavior annoys Variks so much that he occasionally gives her leads that are supposed to get Petra killed and out of the way. Petra responded by sending Guardians in her stead, since dying is an inconvenience to them.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Being a Reef Awoken, she displays complete loyalty to the Queen and her country, but as of House of Wolves she's a hell of a lot friendlier to the Guardians she works with than the rest of the Reef; being amiable and even congratulating the player upon completion of objectives.
- Knife Nut: She's always totting a knife alongside her sidearm, and would've drawn it if negotiations with the Spider went sour. Cayde really likes it when she uses her telekinesis to juggle the knife around as a magic trick.
- Large Ham: Sometimes gets carried away when commenting on your situation.
- Mission Control: Both she and Variks share the spot for giving you directives towards the House of Wolves quests.
- My God, What Have I Done?: During the Battle of the Twilight Gap she accidentally cause the permanent deaths of several Guardians by calling in an airstrike too early. She's still filled with remorse over this, not helped by the fact that she was transferred to the City as ambassador shortly after, meaning she had to constantly interact with the allies of those people she indirectly killed...
- My Greatest Failure: She expresses considerable regret that she could've prevented the events of Forsaken (which resulted in the death of Cayde and the Reef being destabilized beyond measure, along with the slaughter of many Awoken) by just killing Uldren when she had the chance rather than locking him up in the Prison of Elders. When she gets the chance, however, she and the Young Wolf correct her mistake by killing him.
- The Nicknamer: If the player's Guardian is Awoken then Petra will start calling them "cousin" in the later part of Forsaken.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: In a sense: A lot of the time whenever Petra tries to do the right thing, the end result can be arguably worse. Cayde-6 even quotes this trope almost word-for-word in Forsaken.Cayde-6: "You got a blast radius, P.V."
- Put on a Bus: After some issues with farming ascendant materials, Bungie cancelled the Queen's Wrath and "put it back in the oven", as they said. Petra disappeared along with it. She returns in Destiny 1's House of Wolves and Destiny 2's Forsaken expansions.
- Revenge Before Reason: Averted. Although she would love nothing more than to purge the Taken from the galaxy with a ferocity worthy of someone called The Queen's Wrath; She knows that her people are in no position to wage war, and they need her as their leader.
- Sad Clown: She's very cheerful and often cracks jokes, but her backstory is... quite depressing. She loses the clown part after Mara Sov is seemingly killed.
- Tragic Keepsake: At one point Petra gives a quest to retrieve any sign of Mara from the dreadnought. The item that the player brings back to her is the Queen's broach, which she then keeps.
- You Are in Command Now: After the Awoken fleet is destroyed by Oryx, and Mara Sov is killed and Uldren Sov is missing, Petra basically in command of the Reef's armies.
- You Don't Look Like You: Originally, Petra's character model was the same outfit that the Reef guards wear. With the House of Wolves, she gets a unique character model.
- Undying Loyalty: She's unbelievably loyal to Mara Sov to the point that Mara's apparent death at the hands of Oryx seems to have utterly broken her mental state.
Master Ives, Cryptarch
- Voiced by: Gideon Emery
A member of the Cryptarchy, Ives serves as the Master of the Palace Division. He is sent by the Queen to the Vestian Outpost in order to decrypt engrams for the Guardians who arrive in the Reef to hunt down the Queen's bounties.
- Bus Crash: After being absent for all of Destiny 2's first year, Master Ives is reported to have been killed following the first Festival of the Lost's conclusion, and it's your job to find his murderers.
- Cultural Posturing: When not putting down Rahool, Ives tends to make comments about how much better the Reef is than Earth.Ives: It must be very hard to think on Earth. The gravity makes your mind slow.
- Dying Alone: Ives was murdered by Fallen, who went on to vandalize his robes in such a manner that even his rival, Rahool, was appalled by it when he found out about the murder. Holliday was worried that there would be no one to avenge his death, but luckily your Guardian stepped up.
- Insufferable Genius: He really likes to brag about how much better the Cryptarchy of the Reef is than the one at the Tower, particularly Master Rahool.
- The Rival: He considers Master Rahool to be his, and often makes disparaging remarks about him and his decision to leave the Reef. In fact, most of the comments he makes are about Rahool.Ives: Ha, Look at this. Rahool, your brains have turned to mush since you left the Reef.
- This would eventually come to a breaking point when Rahool asks Ives to open up the Reef archives because of the recent losses they've incurred. He eventually writes back and basically tells Rahool he has no spine.
Paladin Abra Zire
A Paladin in the Royal Armada.
- Arch-Enemy: Of Beltrik, the Veiled, who she clashed with multiple times during the Reef Wars. When Zire learns that Beltrik is among the Wolves who escaped the Prison of Elders, she destroyed a asteroid in her anger.
- Character Death: Assumed dead after the battle between Oryx's fleet and the Reef Armada.
- Four-Star Badass: Won the Battle of Iris during the Reef Wars, defeating the forces of Parixas and killing the aspiring Kell of the House of Winter. She also captured Beltrik, the Veiled at the Fortuna Plummet and Kaliks-12 at the Battle of Cybele.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Her victory at Iris turned out to be this, since she had gone there pursuing Drevis after she attacked and slaughtered the Awoken at Amethyst but was tricked by Drevis and Greyor into fighting Parixas instead, eliminating a rival of Skolas.
Paladin Hallam Fen
A officer in the Royal Armada during the Reef Wars, Fen was promoted to Paladin during that conflict.
- Number Two: To Paladin Imogen Rife during the Reef Wars.
- Rank Up: For his victory in capturing Pirsis and delivering Drevis to the Queen, Fen was promoted from commander to Paladin.
- You Are in Command Now: After his mentor Imogen Rife was slain by Pirsis, Fen took over command of Rife's forces and coordinated with Paladins Leona Bryl and Kamala Rior to defeat and capture Pirsis.
One of the Queen's last seven Techeuns. She was Taken alongside Shuro Chi and Kalli by Oryx during his invasion of the Dreaming City parallel to the raging Taken War. She is the boss of "The Corrupted" strike, where Petra instructs you to free the Techeun from the Taken corruption.
- And I Must Scream: She and Shuro Chi mention how them being Taken was like a prison with their consciousness still intact, but unable to do a thing as the power that directs the Taken moves them around.
- Ascended Extra: She appeared in a couple Grimoire cards and very briefly at the start of The Taken King and was presumed dead afterwards, but in Forsaken she is shown to be alive, freed from Taken corruption, and becomes the secondary quest giver in the Dreaming City.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Was Taken shortly after her presumed death when Oryx invaded the Dreaming City around the same time the Taken War took place. Noticeably, once you free her from her Taken state by defeating her in "The Corrupted", she's terrified that the force that was controlling her, Savathûn, could come back at any moment to Take her again, to the point that she begs for the nightmare to end.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: After damaging her down to the last third of her health, Sedia will flee into the Ascendant plane, and your fireteam must pursue her all the way to an altar containing the last energy charge needed to destroy her barrier.
One of the Queen's last seven Techeuns. She was Taken alongside Sedia and Shuro Chi by Oryx when he invaded the Dreaming City during the events of the Taken War in the first game. She is the first boss of the "Last Wish" raid, serving as one the last lines of defense for the mastermind seeking to corrupt the Dreaming City.
- Ascended Extra: She appeared in a couple Grimoire cards and very briefly at the start of The Taken King and was presumed dead afterwards, but in Forsaken she too is shown to be alive, freed from Taken corruption, and becomes part of the ongoing Dreaming City questline.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Was Taken shortly after her presumed death and served as the first boss of the Last Wish Raid under Riven's influence before being freed.
- Puzzle Boss: While she can be done in with raw damage, you must kill the Taken Knights that spawn around the correct pressure plates in order to gain access to small doorways that let you survive her ontological weapon should you fail to down her before she unleashes it.
Techeun Shuro Chi
One of the Queen's last seven Techeuns and last of the three shown and explored in Forsaken. She was Taken alongside Kalli and Sedia by Oryx when he invaded the Dreaming City during the events of the Taken War. She is the second boss of the "Last Wish" raid, serving as one the last lines of defense for the mastermind seeking to corrupt the Dreaming City.
- Ascended Extra: She appeared in a couple Grimoire cards and very briefly at the start of The Taken King and was presumed dead afterwards, but in Forsaken she is also shown to be alive, freed from Taken corruption and becomes part of the ongoing Dreaming City questline alongside her sisters.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Was Taken shortly after her presumed death and served as the second boss of the Last Wish Raid under Riven's influence before being freed.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: You must pursue Shuro Chi throughout three floors of a coliseum as she repeatedly tries to chant a song that wipes you out if you don't interrupt her by shaving each of her six health bars then solving a puzzle that resets her song and grants you passage to each successive floor.
- Ms. Exposition: After being freed from the Taken influence, Shuro Chi can be talked to in the Dreaming City, whereupon she'll send you on an Exploration patrol to teach you about the Awoken's history and the City's secrets.
Prison of Elders Personnel
Variks, the Loyal
- Voiced by: Dee Bradley Baker
An elderly Eliksni scribe, appearing similar to a Fallen Vandal, Variks is one of the last of the House of Judgment, an ancient Eliksni House. Owing no loyalty to the House of Wolves, Variks is one of the few Eliksni who is still loyal to the Queen, serving her as Warden of the Prison of Elders.
Unfortunately, this loyalty would be tested with the Queen's absence and the Fallen's dwindling numbers throughout the years, and Variks would eventually abandon his post to go unite the Fallen in his own way, causing a chain reaction that kickstarts the plot of Forsaken. Following his disappearance into the wild, the Praxic Order marks him as an outlier with the designation of VIP #1121.
- Artificial Limbs: His upper arms were cut off by Skolas - at some point he acquired cybernetic prosthetics. note
- Blatant Lies: He assures you that anything about him you hear from anyone except himself, is a lie.Variks: I am loyal to the Queen, all else you've heard of me are lies.
- Catchphrase: A few. "Kill them dead." And "They will try to kill you. Kill them back."
- Dragon with an Agenda: He allied himself with the Queen and betrayed Skolas in order to ensure the survival (and possible resurgence) of the House of Judgement. He's constantly talking about how he wants you to tell Petra good things about him, and asking about your ship and Ghost (Given that Fallen worship technology in general and the Traveler in particular, however, this may not be sinister). He also says his relationship with the Queen is 'complicated'.
- As of The Taken King, Variks is officially searching for the true "Kell of Kells" to unify and lead the Eliksni.
- Forsaken lore tabs reveal that he has become bitter that even with the Traveler's awakening at the end of the Red War, there would be no answers nor salvation from it for the Fallen. This, coupled with doubts about whether or not Mara Sov's plan would succeed, as well as continued interactions with the imprisoned Scorned Barons and Prince Uldren, would eventually drive him to turn his back on the Reef and try to unify the remaining Fallen on his own terms.
- Defector from Decadence: Depends on the situation:
- Inverted with regards to the rest of his race. The other Fallen Houses have forgotten the ways of the House of Judgement; Variks is among the last to still hold true to those ideals.
- Played straight with his defection to the Reef, as he felt that Skolas indiscriminately killing civilians was dishonorable.
- Despair Event Horizon: As of "Rise of Iron" he is coming perilously close to this. Seeing Sepiks Prime corrupted by SIVA disgusts and disheartens him greatly, and at that moment he considers his people truly Fallen and leaves him desperate to find a way to help them.Variks: Must be a better way for Eliksni. Must be a way to stop the fall.
- Hazy Feel Turn:
- As revealed in Where Loyalty Lies in the Destiny Book: Most Loyal, Variks was the one who orchestrated and executed the prison break that released all inmates of the Prison of Elders, The Scorn and Uldren Sov included, leading to the death of Cayde-6 and chaos for the Tangled Shore and Reef. A combination of his interactions with an imprisoned Uldren and the Scorned Barons, as well as fear that Mara Sov's plan could have failed, changed his perspective on the Reef and the purpose of his tenure as a Warden, but instead of joining up with Uldren's gang, he left the Prison of Elders on his Ether-filled ship with Fallen of different Houses, all the while declaring himself a Kell, potentially even seeking to become the Kell of Kells."Secrets had protected the House of Judgment. The more knowledge one could obfuscate, the more significant one became. Secrets bred possibility. Secrets bred sway."
- In Joker's Wild, stolen intelligence indicates that the Praxic Order wants to detain him since he's now gone rogue and styled himself as the Kell of Kell (while still representing House Judgement). However, the Awoken monarchy (acting through the Queen's Wrath) has claimed jurisdiction over him and will consider any prosecution in their absence of involvement to be an act of war, indicating that the Reef Awoken consider the matter with Variks as their own business and no one else's.
- As revealed in Where Loyalty Lies in the Destiny Book: Most Loyal, Variks was the one who orchestrated and executed the prison break that released all inmates of the Prison of Elders, The Scorn and Uldren Sov included, leading to the death of Cayde-6 and chaos for the Tangled Shore and Reef. A combination of his interactions with an imprisoned Uldren and the Scorned Barons, as well as fear that Mara Sov's plan could have failed, changed his perspective on the Reef and the purpose of his tenure as a Warden, but instead of joining up with Uldren's gang, he left the Prison of Elders on his Ether-filled ship with Fallen of different Houses, all the while declaring himself a Kell, potentially even seeking to become the Kell of Kells.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: Technically he's getting you to hunt for him, but the fact remains that he's out for revenge against the Fallen.
- Ignored Expert: He warned Petra that the Scorned Barons, then nothing but seven lowly Dregs and a heretical Archon, would end up posing a bigger threat than expected, but she didn't take the case seriously, dismissing them as Fallen.
- Insistent Terminology: His grimoire cards make it apparent he doesn't like being called 'Fallen', and prefers their race's name of Eliksni, but agrees that Fallen is more appropriate for the other Houses.
- The Jailer: Following the events of The Taken King, Variks was essentially given full control of the Prison of Elders, monitoring its inmates and feeding them as necessary. During the course of Destiny 2 (as detailed in the Forsaken lore tabs), he even had to take care of Scorned Barons and Uldren, who, along with Fikrul, would eventually question his allegiance to the Reef.
- Large Ham: His tenure as Warden of the Prison of Elders inevitably has him bellow objectives to the Guardians, complete with pork-filled boss announcements.Variks: SYLOK!! THE DEFILED!!! Thirsts for your light!!
- Last of His Kind: He's the last known member of the House of Judgment, and one of two known Eliksni that still remembers the time before the Whirlwind, the other being Craask, Kell of Kings; this partly explains the old warden's respect for the influential Kell. After hearing of Craask's death at the hands of Uldren and Fikrul, Variks despairs, as he is now the only known Whirlwind survivor, and any new Kell would likely not know him, nor the laws that govern the Fallen Houses.
- Long-Lived: Variks is exceptionally old, even by Eliksni standards; in fact, he might as well be the oldest of them all, as he was witness to the Traveler abandoning his people during the Whirlwind (a pre-Golden Age event), and still lives on to this day, compelled to try and unite the Fallen no matter the cost.
- Mission Control: Both he and Petra share the spot for giving you directives towards the House of Wolves quests.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Variks is the only Eliksni that Guardians can interact with beyond fighting.
- Noble Demon: He's a great deal shiftier than anyone else in the Reef, and not just because he's an Eliksni. Much of his motives and true feelings are hidden behind closed doors. However, he's also the most polite and friendly with the player out of everyone in the Reef, is very firmly ready to work with the Guardians despite his resentment towards them, and risks little to lose your trust.
- As an example, the end of the Malok questline added in April 2016 has him having no hard feelings about you killing Malok instead of capturing him, standing that as much as he wanted Malok alive, there are always others that can be captured.
- Nostalgia Filter: Variks resents how the Fallen essentially lost most of their pre-Whirlwind culture, what with Kells and Prime Servitors being killed left and right and the broken chain of command being reduced to scavenging and piracy, and would gladly do anything to bring back the Eliksni's sense of trust and honor, something Fikrul repeatedly mocks him for. By the events of Destiny 2, he'd hoped that he'd find an ally and fellow hierarchy believer in Craask, Kell of Kings, which makes the latter's murder at the hands of Uldren and Fikrul all the more upsetting for him. Even his desertion from the Reef is fueled by his resolve to unite the scattered Fallen Houses, not out of malice for the Awoken nor the Guardians.
- Only Friend: As much as he resents the Guardians for being the chosen of the Traveler, he does respect their fighting prowess. Specifically, he says it's good to work with your Guardian and with Petra. The two seem to be the only ones he can truly call friend.
- Pardon My Klingon: When the leader of Silent Fang yells at the Guardian(s), Variks chooses not to translate it. The best he can tell you is that it was "an insult". According to fan translations it's "Traveler thief".
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Implies that this is what the Eliksni were before they became Fallen. He tells the Guardian to fight with honor, thinks Skolas is dishonorable, and goes on about how his arena will keep the Guardian strong and quick.
- The Resenter: Variks wants to roar over how unfair the universe is toward the Fallen. He resents the City and the Guardians for having the favor of the Traveler. He resents the Awoken for having their visions and contact with the Jovians. He resents the Hive for having their gods like Crota. He resents the Vex for having their Axis Minds. He resents the Cabal for having reinforcements. Most of all, he resents that all those races have those advantages, and the Fallen have nothing.
- The Spymaster: Petra gives him command of Uldren's Crows after the latter's presumed death.
- Staff of Authority: Walks around with a long staff, which he apparently took from a Captain of the House of Devils named Vajis. Every time you interact with him as a vendor, a distinct thud will be heard as he plants it on the ground.Variks: I took this staff long ago from Devil Captain, Vajis... Called 'Clever-Headed.' He was not as clever as Variks.
- Trial by Combat: The entire point behind the Prison of Elders. Variks tests both prisoners and challengers and judges them, finding who is strongest, and learning more about both in the process.
- We Used to Be Friends: He's disgusted that he once dared to call Fikrul his friend, at least back when the latter was an Archon tending to Kaliks Prime. He's appalled by the atrocities Fikrul and the rest of the Scorn have inflicted on the Fallen, and really would have Fikrul dead if it wasn't for Petra ordering him to keep the Barons alive.
- You No Take Candle: English is not his primary language, so there are times when determiners are missing, and he often ends his sentences with "yes?". Ambient dialogue from the Spider in Forsaken reveals that Variks's accent is just an act he put on to let the Awoken lower their guard around him, and "Where Loyalty Lies" adds that he uses a voice synth to keep up the charade and that his actual voice is much deeper.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Petra. Her reckless behavior annoys him, they often snark at each other, and he's tried to send her on missions designed to get her out of the way. However he also respects her, asks the player to tell her good things about him, and after Mara Sov's apparent death, he's legitimately concerned about her emotional health and ability to lead since she's seemingly crossed the Despair Event Horizon.
The Mad Warden
- Voiced by: Dee Bradley Baker (re-used Variks voice lines)
Variks' pet Servitor, modified to monitor the Prison of Elders challenges and allow the former to send out announcements to the competing Guardians. During the events of Destiny 2, Variks left the prison amidst the mass prison break, leaving the Servitor alone and causing it go mad, convinced that it was Variks. The Mad Warden is the boss of the "Warden of Nothing" strike, with the Drifter sending you on a mission to put it down.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: It began malfunctioning some time after Variks left the Prison of Elders, and eventually became utterly convinced that it was Variks, using the latter's voice lines (albeit punctuated with a short distorted audio garble, indicating that it is the Warden AI and not the real Variks) and simulating Prison of Elders scenarios by sending out inmates against each other.
- Flunky Boss: An interesting variant, as while the Warden will summon both Cabal and Vex reinforcements during the battle, those two factions can and will duke it out against each other if they don't find you first. Heck, even the Vex and Cabal bosses that are summoned on the Warden's last health threshold are more likely to stomp each other given how close in proximity they both spawn.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: Variks' disappearance really did a number on the Servitor. The Drifter surmises that it grew co-dependency issues following its master's absence.
- Playing with Fire: Unlike most Servitors who fire large bolts of Void energy, this Warden fires a massive beam of Solar energy that inflicts damage over time. When knocking a threshold of its health bar, it will also unleash a massive solar flare that's only avoided by staying out of its line of sight.
- You No Take Candle: Courtesy of being the means of communication between Variks and the Guardians during the Prison of Elders challenges, the Mad Warden shares the same odd speech pattern that ends with "yes?", though it does choose its sentences carefully.
The Spider's Crime Syndicate
The Spider, The Shore's Only Law
- Voiced by: Robin Atkin Downes
The clever and engimatic leader of the Fallen residing in the Reef's Tangled Shore, the one they call the Spider is a master negotiator and influential crime syndicate boss. He isn't too pleased with the Scorn causing chaos in the Shore, and so teams up with the Young Wolf and Petra Venj to hunt down Uldren Sov and the eight Barons.
Black Armory reveals that he is, for some reason, linked to the titular Armory, likely due to their prejudice towards the Light.
- Adipose Rex: He's pretty much the only real authority in the otherwise lawless Tangled Shore (heck, even his vendor epithet is "The Shore's Only Law"), and he's fairly chubby for someone whose status is similar to a House's Kell. He prefers sitting back and sending his guards to assist you in your hunt for the Barons.
- Affably Evil: He's far more in the stereotypical Fallen mode than Variks, but he's also substantially more polite than the old warden, and lore tabs show him to be an extremely fair, even-handed, and generous employer to the Fallen in his syndicate, to the point where he inspires honest loyalty out of genuine devotion.
- Aliens Speaking English: He's the second allied Fallen that can speak English (after Variks from the first game), though he is much more fluent and boasts a smooth baritone voice. Justified, in that he works with the Awoken (who speak English) a lot and needed to be fluent for ease of transaction.
- Arms Dealer: And a very influential one in the Tangled Shore, with arguably more sway than even Petra.
- Benevolent Boss: Yes, he is a ruthless arms dealer and will gladly kill anyone who crosses him, but he is always honest in his dealings, his subordinates are well-fed & fairly compensated for their work, and he's not above making deals if it suits him. Many of of the Fallen loyal to him are so because it's a better life than they had under their former Captains and Kells.
- Collector of the Strange: In addition to his arms dealing, he seems to have a strange fascination with pre-Golden Age humanity, and has a private collection of artifacts. Examples include crowns and pieces of art such as Starry Night and the Mona Lisa.
- Cultural Rebel: The Spider is a huge oddball among the droves of Fallen space pirates clinging on to Eliksni tradition in that he's got an uncanny interest in human culture and speaks perfect English, in sharp contrast to evidently old-fashioned individuals like Variks and Mithrax. Reports from the Praxic Order imply that he's part of a younger generation of Fallen that isn't influenced by the older Elkisni cultural heritage and instead imitates and appropriates human behavior. This is further evidenced in a conversation with his henchman Arrha, who has a hard time understanding what the Spider requests of him."How interesting." Spider scratches his chin. "Very good, Arrha. It's time for you to go fishing."
Spider heaves a put-upon sigh. "Catch me one of those boats, you fool."
- Enemy of My Enemy: While he holds no love for the Reef or Guardians, he knows what kind of a threat the Scorn pose to him, so he's willing to lend his services.
- Hidden Depths: He enjoys collecting artifacts that humans created before the rise of the Traveler and is fond of using human sayings when discussing his plans. However he doesn't like it when people pry into his hobbies and he will kill people to protect his secret. Also his methods of a guaranteed pay for guards and mercenaries is actually a form of commerce which is a human concept rather than Eliksni hierarchy which is based more on servitude and utter loyalty.
- Machiavelli Was Wrong: As shown in the lore tabs, he finds ruling by the normal fear Fallen Kells and Barons do is exhausting, counterproductive, and inefficient-he'd much rather give everyone a fair wage and housing. It's for this reason that he's inspired some of the most fanatical loyalty among all the Eliksni.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Everybody only refers to him as the Spider, and nothing else.
- Pragmatic Villainy: The Spider is all too willing to antagonize Guardians if it will benefit him, and he will be the first to remind others of their debts to him. Unlike his fellow Fallen however, even he's aware of the damage that Guardians can cause and will always resort to diplomacy rather than fight them. This is seen when he begins to make fun of the Young Wolf's allegience to the Drifter, only to back off immediately when the Young Wolf begins to inspect their heavy weapon's position in front of him.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Though humans and Awoken all seem to refer to him as "Spider," apparently in Eliksni his name is actually "the Spider."
The Dreaming City
Riven of A Thousand Voices
An Ahamkara who formerly was supreme among the Awoken's many kept secrets. While she lived, she did much for the Awoken, trading ageless knowledge and wisdom in their bargains with her. During Oryx's incursion into the system during The Taken King, he strode into and conquered The Dreaming City, and Took its Techeuns and Riven herself. While Taken, Riven broke free of her limitations as an Ahamkara, and seeks to free herself from the seal placed on her in the Dreaming City. Riven is the true antagonist manipulating Prince Uldren during Forsaken's main story, and is the final boss of the Last Wish raid.
- Arc Villain: She's the true mastermind behind the events of Forsaken. While Uldren may drive the plot with his actions, it's Riven who's corrupting and manipulating him into committing various atrocities throughout Forsaken, and once Uldren is dealt with, the Guardians turn their attention to Riven, going to the Dreaming City to put end to the threat she poses.
- Bigger on the Inside: Not necessarily Riven herself, but her heart. For the final part of the raid, the players have to carry her heart so it can be cleansed, and every so many seconds the player holding the heart will be transported to this not-seen-before realm to fight off Taken while the process repeats for each player. However, some players have noticed, among others clues, that there are two giant hand shadows in the sky of this realm; the hands of whomever is holding the heart, indicating that we actually get transported into Riven's heart. This gets more disturbing when you consider that you are not randomly being teleported into the heart, but more likely the heart is eating you.
- Body Horror: When Uldren first opens her way back using a mixture of the Darkness within himself, and the Light of a shard of the Traveler, her 'Voice' is a massive, fleshy orb with a mouth for an eye and tentacles made of Light and Dark, called a 'Chimera'. Riven herself is a nasty piece of work, being infected with several Taken blights on her body.
- Breath Weapon: Riven can either slam you with one of her four tentacle-like appendages, or straight up breathe Taken flames at you. Shortly after she's done breathing fire, you have a fairly small window to shoot her mouth and stun her, progressing further into the boss fight.
- Catchphrase: In the lore tabs, she usually say this about when she makes wishes with people.
- Riven: Most of those who [Bargain] with me do not win.
- The Dragons Come Back: After the Great Ahamkara Hunt, she seems to be the only Ahamkara left in the Sol System, because she was hidden away in The Dreaming City by the Awoken.
- Eldritch Abomination: The 'Voice of Riven' boss fought at the end of the Forsaken campaign was bad enough, being a chimera made up of Scorn flesh strapped to a Servitor shell and possessing both Light and Taken affinities. Then you get to meet Riven herself in the "Last Wish" raid; a massive, wingless dragon with Taken blights all over her body and who's capable of transporting you into an Ascendant Realm on a whim. Even after you kill her, Riven's corrupted heart still causes trouble, allowing her to fullfill her wish for the Dreaming City's downfall.
- Extra Eyes: She's got several eyes when she reveals her true face, and you must shoot some of them to prevent her from wiping the fireteam. Shoot the ones that shine brighter than the rest, and she'll reel in pain, retreating into the shadows.
- Horrifying the Horror: In one lore tab when Savathun made a wish to Riven, she was able to peer into her mind and what she saw from her goal stunned her so much that when the Witch-Queen laughed, unlike with Oryx who she laughed with, Riven sat in silence.
- Insistent Terminology: From the lore tabs, she usually tends to describe laughter as "Unrestrained Bursts of air from his/her face."
- In Love with Your Carnage: Like Calus, Riven is in awe of your prowess despite being nary a blip in the grand scheme of things, fighting gods and monsters while being so tiny as she puts it. Despite being aware that you've come to kill her, her banter indicates that she's amused by your intent and would like to see it through. She even claims that determinators like the Guardians and Uldren pair best with her kind, and offers to become friends.
- The Man Behind the Man: The true Big Bad of Forsaken. While Uldren is the Arc Villain of the expansion's main storyline, it turns out that he was being manipulated by Riven, who was using the guise of Mara Sov to trick him. She also displays a degree of control over the Taken, but it isn't clear if she's working alone or, possibly, working under Oryx's sister, Savathûn.
- Master of Illusion: She uses the guise of Mara Sov, the Awoken Queen and Uldren's sister, to manipulate the latter into freeing her from the heart of the Dreaming City where she's locked away.
- Meaningful Name: Major ranking Taken you fight often have names according to who their master is, such as 'Blade of Oryx' or 'Envoy of Savathûn'. The Taken you fight in the final mission of Forsaken come bearing the title 'Taken By The Voices,' which is a nod at Riven's title, 'Riven of A Thousand Voices' and implies she Took these minions herself, rather than them being former minions of Oryx.
- Nested Mouths: Most of the time, Riven will confront you while her mouth and eyes are shielded by an external maw resembling a Venus flytrap. Only when she does get serious that she opens up the maw and reveals a mouth filled with multiple rows of teeth and ten Glowing Eyes of Doom.
- Not Quite Dead: Even after being slain in the raid by a fireteam of Guardians sent by Petra, the latter stipulates that Ahamkara transcend death, transforming wishes into reality even if they're nothing but bone and dust. Worse even, getting killed and having her heart ripped out triggers Riven's last wish; a curse to make the Dreaming City fall to the Taken.
- Puzzle Boss: One that puts every single other Destiny raid boss before her to shame! The only real way to best her is to divide your fireteam into two groups, as the encounter would otherwise fail since one side would have no callouts. Stunning Riven by shooting her mouth, appendages and eyes is essential to surviving up until the part where you directly attack her, and you also have to solve a symbol cleansing puzzle that takes cues from the encounter before her boss fight. Shooting the correct eyes is essential in avoiding a Total Party Wipe, and there is very little room for error. Her final stand mode is also more elaborate than the other bosses, as you essentially have to climb your way up to her through an Ascendant Plane to pummel her one last time.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: She's holed up in the Dreaming City, where she can't escape from, and tried manipulating Uldren into opening the City's door. In her own words, even paradise can be a prison when you can't leave.
- Thanatos Gambit: By fighting her, Riven will recognize your reason for fighting and convert it into a wish that will also allow Savathûn's daughter, Dûl Incarnu, to begin her search for the secrets of the Awoken. But don't worry, because that's all there is to the new invasion... maybe.
- Voice Changeling: Throughout the "Last Wish" raid, she tries to probe your intentions and tempt you via telepathy, and her voice, while distorted, swaps between recognizable characters like Zavala, Ikora, Toland, Asher Mir, and so on. Interestingly, the voices heard are always different for each fireteam member.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: She's described as frequently shapeshifting on a day-to-day basis, based on how she was feeling, when she was in the service of the Queen.
- Walking Spoiler: Riven is the true antagonist of Forsaken, contrary to what promotional material may suggest. Uldren, who was set up to be the expansion's Big Bad by killing Cayde and unleashing the Scorn, is nothing but an Unwitting Pawn set up to try and free her, after which she takes the reins in the War for the Dreaming City. Because of this, the mere mention of her name spoils a big twist in Forsaken's storyline as well as the latter half of its plot.
- Wham Line: Up until Forsaken's climax, it isn't clear what force is manipulating Uldren using Mara Sov's likeness. When she uses the phrase "o brother mine", the same wording an Ahamkara would use in their flavor text, it becomes clear that Uldren is being used by a much more sinister power than previously let on.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: Like the Awoken, she uses powers of both Light and Darkness.