Ahamkara

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Ahamkara
Ahamkarapic.jpeg
Overview

Focal world(s):

Earth
Venus
Jupiter[1]
Reef
Ascendant realm

Goals:

Prey upon and gain power through granting wishes to other beings

Average height:

Variable

Average weight:

Variable

Distinctions:

Draconic
Avian
Scaled
Idiosyncratic speech patterns
Shapeshifting abilities

Average lifespan:

Indefinite

Notable individuals:

Eao
Azirim
Riven
Huginn
Muninn

Other Names:

"Dragons"
"Wish-Dragons"

 
"Behold, Sister, the lie that makes itself true."
Uldren Sov [2]
"And thus the Ahamkara were made extinct, their call silenced, their solipsistic flatteries erased, their great design - if it ever existed - broken. Of this you can be assured, oh reader mine. "
Grimoire description [3]

The Ahamkara are a mysterious and powerful species of shapeshifting creatures that first appeared in the Solar System after the Traveler arrived.[4][5]

Overview[edit]

The Ahamkara were said to be wish-fulfilling "dragons", and were sought after by many Guardians for the paracausal gifts they granted. After much debate it was decided that the bargains made with these creatures came at too high a price,[6][7] beginning a Great Hunt in which the Ahamkara were made all but extinct.[8][4] Survivors are rumored to have been spotted as far out as Jupiter and Io[1] Currently, the only known survivor is Riven, formerly raised under Mara Sov who was then Taken by Oryx, now serving under Savathûn.

Ahamkara bones were subsequently incorporated into charms and new varieties of armor. These were known to cause auditory hallucinations in their bearers, as if the bones were speaking to them.[9]

The Ahamkara are known for using a characteristic phrase when addressing other beings, taking the form of "O/Oh (subject) mine". This phrase is apparently a curse, invoking paracausal powers of ownership over the addressee. The Worm Gods and the Cabal Emperor Calus have also been recorded as using this same phrase, suggesting either a relationship between the three or a universal applicability of this phrase.

History[edit]

The Ancient Past[edit]

"THE DRAGONS. Our gods should be ours alone. Their smug freedom is an insult to me. I’d shut them all in cells. Bring them to me! "
Xivu Arath

Possible references to the Ahamkara are found in the Hive's Books of Sorrow; the Harmony are described as having "wishful bishops" that make use of "dragon-wishes." Xivu Arath noted the Harmony's relationship with "the dragons" with outrage, and demanded their imprisonment. Notably, the Harmony had previously been visited by the Traveler.

Arrival in the Solar System[edit]

The Ahamkara first appeared in the Sol System following the Traveler's arrival; several sources describe them as being part of the "neolife" that was generated by the Traveler's actions, but their exact origins are unclear. Cayde's Treasure Island Book indicates they were studied by the Ishtar Academy during the Golden Age; the Awoken claim they were first to discover the Ahamkara after the Collapse, well before they ever came to Guardian attention.

The Reef[edit]

The first Ahamkara to be found by the Awoken was a young Riven, brought to the Queen by her brother, in search of a power that would allow them to build an Awoken city in the Reef.[2] Riven's wish-granting abilities, along with those of other Ahamkara, played an integral role in the construction of the Dreaming City.[10] While most of the Ahamkara preferred the worlds of the inner system, they passed freely through the Dreaming City, coexisting with the Awoken. Riven was the city's only permanently residing Ahamkara.[11] Though the Awoken and the Ahamkara enjoyed a constructive relationship, the former soon learned to be wary and careful when dealing with the latter -- all Ahamkara were tricksters, and fundamentally self-interested.

City Age[edit]

The Ahamkara were known to the Guardians during the City Age, and many Guardians made bargains with the creatures in order to reach greater power and fulfill other desires. It was ultimately decided that the prices of these bargains were too great, and the Vanguard ordered that the Ahamkara be exterminated in an event that became known as the Great Ahamkara Hunt.

During this time, the Ahamkara had congregated on Venus, where they appeared to be engaged in some form of terraforming endeavor. According to Eris Morn, no two eyewitnesses could agree on what the nature of this terraforming project was, or in what order the relevant events had occurred. A paracausal phenomenon was observed to have manifested over the site of the Ishtar Academy, and induced suicidal actions in at least one observing Guardian.[12][13]

In response to the growing chaos, the City asked the Reef for assistance, and received a great deal of weaponry on loan. Mara Sov's generosity had ulterior motives: she had trapped Riven in the Dreaming City,[14] and saw advantage in possessing the only living Ahamkara.[15][13]

Eventually, the Ahamkara were hunted down and seemingly rendered extinct in the Sol system. Riven was the only known survivor.

Biology[edit]

Ahamkara are shape-shifters that are constantly altering their forms based on the expectations of their viewers. When encountered by Guardians, for example, they typically appeared monstrous and dragon-like;[16] Riven, an Ahamkara who was befriended by Mara Sov, also typically resembled a dragon, adopting at various points the shapes of a winged and crested beast, a "needle-nosed basilisk," or an antlered creature with tiger's paws. After her Taking and corruption of the Dreaming City, Riven manifested to the Guardian as an enormous serpentine, clawed and tentacled creature, with a fanged head covered in numerous eyes and protected by folding bone plates. Other Ahamkara are recorded as having adopted the forms of other species, such as humans or Vex, in the course of fulfilling various Guardians' wishes.

Ahamkara vary wildly in size, an effect caused by both growth and their shapeshifting nature. When Riven was young, she was small enough to fit in one of Uldren's hands;[2] as time passed, she grew so large her head alone was sometimes the size of a Pike.[17] The Ahamkara Azirim grew in size after influencing and leading a large number of Awoken to their deaths, perhaps a result of having fed upon their desires.

Perhaps as a result of their shapeshifting abilities, Ahamkara skeletal remains display great diversity in size and form. Ahamkara skulls, for example, may feature two, four or no eye sockets, may or may not have horns, and exhibit a range of different tooth shapes. A consistent feature appears to be a split lower jaw, not unlike a pair of arthropod mandibles.

Ahamkara were studied on Venus by the Ishtar Academy because of their unique genome, which contained unknown new proteins.[5] They were apparently parasitic in some sense, one of several pieces of evidence which may indicate some relationship to the Worms. [5]

Riven, in particular, displays the ability to seemingly create Chimera, Servitor-like creatures that serve as her servants and ambassadors, going by the existence of Voice of Riven. It is unknown if this is a universal ability of Ahamkara, the result of Riven being Taken, or an ability unique to her.

Known Ahamkara[edit]

Gameplay[edit]

"I came to find you, only you, because you're special. You're from somewhere real. And together we can burn our way back there. Can't we, o player mine?"
—Skull of Dire Ahamkara

The fossilized remains of the Ahamkara are of continued interest to Warlocks, who adorn their armor with them and thereby acquire unique powers. Some Hunters and certain Titans also wear armor with Ahamkara bones, but have less of an understanding of the risks involved. The bones seem to retain a will of their own, flattering and urging their owners to recklessness.[18][19][20][21][22][23][24][7]

Trivia[edit]

  • There is evidence that suggests Ahamkara were hunted earlier, as Lord Gheleon possessed many Ahamkara fragments.[25]
  • The name "Ahamkara" comes from the Sanskrit term for attachment to one's ego.
  • Some players believed that the winged, flying creatures seen in the skies above Venus may have been living Ahamkara. According to Bungie, these creatures are "batadactyls". They got their informal name during an argument between members of Bungie's environment team over what animal the creatures most resembled.[26] This led to the misconception that the Ahamkara were predominately found on Venus.
  • It seems to be that the Ahamkara are aware of Destiny being a video game. In Destiny 2, the lore tab for Skull of Dire Ahamkara suggests that it speaks directly to the player of the game, and the Claws of Ahamkara suggest that they are trapped in a prison behind a screen.
  • It has been theorized that Ahamkara are closely related to, if not the same species as, the Worm Gods, given their similar attributes and use of the phrase "O [subject] mine". This was later suggested not to be the case by the craftmind Medusa (who may in fact be Eris Morn) in a lore entry, who hypothesized that both species separately evolved to harness the underlying power within the phrase.[27] Given that this lore series continually changes the stated identity of the person delivering the information, the validity of this information may be suspect.

List of appearances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bungie (2014/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Long Tomorrow 9G
  2. ^ a b c Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Telic I
  3. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: GHost Fragment: Legends 3
  4. ^ a b Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Warlock
  5. ^ a b c Cayde's Treasure Island Book Cayde's Treasure Island Book
  6. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, [1]
  7. ^ a b Bungie (2017/28/3), Destiny: Age of Triumph Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Knuckles of Eao
  8. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Legends 3
  9. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard
  10. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Gauntlets of the Great Hunt
  11. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Riven
  12. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Mask of the Great Hunt
  13. ^ a b Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Plate of the Great Hunt
  14. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Hood of the Great Hunt
  15. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Greaves of the Great Hunt
  16. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Savin
  17. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Riven
  18. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Sealed Ahamkara Grasps
  19. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Bones of Eao
  20. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Claws of Ahamkara
  21. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Scales of Eao
  22. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Ahamkara Scale
  23. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Skull of Dire Ahamkara
  24. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Young Ahamkara's Spine
  25. ^ Bungie (2016/20/9), Destiny: Rise of Iron Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Lord Gheleon
  26. ^ Ride Along - Venus - Bungie Commentary
  27. ^ https://www.ishtar-collective.net/entries/asudem?highlight=Dreaming+City