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Aunor Mahal is a Warlock and member of the Praxic Order who opposed the continued presence of The Drifter in the Tower and the influence which Emperor Calus held over many Guardians. She is also secretly a member of The Hidden in service to Ikora Rey. Aunor is partnered with the Ghost Bahaghari.
Opposing The Drifter
Aunor was asked by Commander Zavala to represent the Praxic Order at a Consensus meeting about The Drifter. As she arrived, Aunor heard Zavala declaring that he saw no reason to deny the Drifter a more permanent lease within the Tower. Aunor immediately protested and informed the Consensus that the Praxic Order was recommending the Drifter be immediately exiled from the Last City and were prepared to do it themselves if necessary. Zavala acknowledged her opinion, but stated that all Guardians were welcome in the Last City, causing Aunor to cut him off and angrily declare that the Drifter was no Guardian. The Titan Vanguard continued, amending that all beings willing to fight in defense of the City were welcome. She retorted that he had invited her there for the Praxic Order's opinion and then addressed the rest of the Consensus, declaring that her order regarded the Drifter and his experimentation with the Darkness as a threat equal to that of Dominus Ghaul and Oryx, the Taken King. Ignoring interruptions from Executor Hideo and Ikora Rey, Aunor pointed out that the Drifter was encouraging Guardians to utilize Taken to kill fellow Guardians in Gambit. When Zavala noted there had been not final deaths, she shot back that there were no final deaths that they knew of and accused the Consensus of letting the Drifter normalize interaction with and manipulation of the Taken. Aunor reported that the Praxic Order had seen a record number of Guardians go rogue in recent months, causing Aarch Jalaal to mock her and question what "rogue" even meant. She continued on, noting that her filed report to them contained information on Guardians who had adopted the title of "Dredgen". Aunor warned that the Drifter's ideas were far too dangerous to allow in the City and recommended throwing him out of his ship's airlock before he brought another Dark Age upon the City, but the Consensus merely stared at her in silence. Declaring that she had paperwork to file and that they knew where to find her office, Aunor stormed out of the Consensus chamber. As she left, she spotted a maintenance worker she had passed by earlier seemingly asleep in the entrance area with a hat covering his face, which she found suspicious. Unbeknownst to Aunor, the maintenance worker was in fact the Drifter, who was disguised to spy on the meeting.
Investigating the Young Wolf
The next day, Aunor began investigating the possibility that the Young Wolf, the hero of the Red War, may have been responsible for the murder of Cayde-6 during the Scorn Barons breakout from the Prison of Elders. Utilizing one of the labs within the Gensym Scribes complex, Aunor viewed records and footage recovered from Sundance, the Ghost of Cayde-6, during the last moments of her life. As she viewed the footage, the Drifter entered the lab disguised as another Warlock. Aware of the true identity of the Warlock, Aunor greeted him and stated she would not be using the lab much longer. The Drifter told her he was in no hurry and that he had always wanted to see a Praxic Warlock at work. Assuring him that it was glamorous, Aunor created a full-room simulation of Sundance's last moments before she was shot by Pirrha, the Rifleman. As the lab's computer confirmed the footage had not been altered, Aunor focused on the bullet that destroyed Sundance, at which point the Drifter noted a normal Scorn bullet could not destroy a Ghost. Ignoring him, she had the computer identify the projectile as a Devourer Bullet, which were normally fired from Weapons of Sorrow and their Hive equivalents.
Without looking at him, Aunor asked her fellow "Warlock" what he thought, and the Drifter suggested that Hiraks, the Mindbender could have crafted the bullet since he had a throne room. Aunor dismissed this idea, noting that Hiraks had used Cayde's death to craft his throne world. She then asked for his name, which the Drifter gave as Finch and he inquired as to what she was investigating. She revealed her suspicions about the Young Wolf, and "Finch" questioned if the Vanguard would be happy with her investigating one of the Last City's greatest heroes. Aunor responded that the City allowed Lightbearers to get away with a lot of things, which "Finch" agreed with and asked if the Young Wolf was actually at fault. She told the false Warlock that he could read her report once the Vanguard published it, and as "Finch" began to leave he questioned what would happen if she found the Young Wolf did have a hand in killing Cayde. Aunor vowed that any who sought to harm the Last City or humanity would be hunted down by the Praxic Order and forced to face the full fury of the Praxic Fire. "Finch" told her that she was scary, and Aunor finally turned to look at the false Warlock and told him that he had no idea how true that was. As the Drifter departed, Aunor called out to him questioning if he still needed lab time, but he responded that he had just remembered he was busy. Once the disguised Lightbearer was gone, Aunor waited in silence for a moment before ordering the lab's computer to replay the footage.
Moments after the Drifter departed, Ikora entered into the lab with her Ghost Ophiuchus and wondered if the Drifter was dumb enough to think they did not recognize him. Aunor interrupted her, noting that she had been tempted to shoot him in the back with her shotgun and wait for his Ghost to arrive, surmising that it had to be somewhere close. Ikora reminded her that the Vanguard still needed the Drifter alive and questioned how many times she had gone over footage of Cayde's death. Aunor admitted she had viewed it seventeen times, even during her off-duty hours, to be certain whether or not she could trust the Young Wolf after they let Cayde die. Ikora stated that she and Zavala shared blame as well, which Aunor agreed with, but she then berated Ikora for taking the word of a Guardian with less than a decade of experience about the truth of a member of the Vanguard dying and whether she had even bothered to investigate. Ikora revealed that she had investigated and found the Young Wolf truthful, which is why she had given Aunor access to Sundance's remains. Aunor admitted that she had come to the same conclusion, and that it was likely the Scorn had used all their resources to craft one bullet for the purpose of killing Sundance and that this one blemish on the Young Wolf's record was as it seemed. When Ikora then asked that she leave the Drifter be, Aunor responded that she had the Vanguard's best interests at heart and that perhaps with the aid of the Young Wolf she could trust someone else with their interests as well to save the Vanguard from themselves. As Ikora began to question her purpose, Aunor told the Vanguard that while she was honored to be her Hidden and serve the Praxic Order, she would not ignore someone like the Drifter and asked that Ikora trust her to do her job. Ikora agreed but asked the same of her for the Vanguard, and Aunor promised she would.
Tracking the Drifter
Despite being sidelined to a desk job, Aunor still kept tabs on the Drifter after he is leased a unused warehouse space in the Annex of the new Tower by the Vanguard, which became the new hub for Guardians engaging in Gambit and the newly recent Gambit Prime. Having been barred from being directly involved, she enlists a team of Guardians to investigate into the Drifter and the infamous Shadows of Yor for possible signs of collusion; Eventually reaching out to the Young Wolf in a series of encoded messages. Depending on the player's actions, they could side with the Vanguard and assist Aunor in exposing the Drifter's actions of any crime that could implicate him.
It was around this time that Aunor also leaked a number of Hidden documents; a few were redacted by Ikora, but the rest were embedded into Zavala's supply manifests, to later be acquired by the Young Wolf as they requisitioned equipment from him.
Confronting Shin Malphur and the Shadows
Not long after her investigation of the Drifter ended, Aunor and a group of Praxic Warlocks confronted Shin Malphur in a campsite above the salt mines of Trostland. Shin was about to execute two Guardians he suspected of having gone rogue, and had already killed a third one, when the Praxics interrupted him by killing his hostages and restraining their Ghosts. He and Aunor had a quarrel over their respective ways of handling the issue of corrupted Guardians, the Warlock condemning Shin's unscrupulosity in killing Ghosts and him arguing the Dredgens could not be rehabilitated, for the power of Darkness had already tainted and addicted them. Eventually, Shin begrudgingly agreed to let the Praxics have the Guardians, with a warning that if they ever transgressed again, he would be the one to deliver the judgement.
Sometime later, while she was chasing them through the Last City on her Sparrow, the Dredgens captured Aunor's Ghost Bahaghari using a Praxic restraining band. Aunor was thrown off a bridge and into the water by a rocket fired from a Countess SA/2 launcher from an overpass nearby. She swam to the shore and hijacked a Pike to get to the overpass, and contacted the Drifter for coordinates of any possible Shadow safehouses in the area. By the time she got to an abandoned warehouse in District 125, the Dredgens had already ransomed Bahaghari, demanding clearance to take their jumpships out of the system by midnight. The Ghost managed to hack the restraining band and contact Aunor, hinting as to where it was being kept and claiming a breach without a team was impossible. Aunor, however, managed to board a maglev train due to pass by the warehouse at midnight and persuade the conductor and passengers to leave before requisitioning it. She drove the train towards where Bahaghari was being kept and, detonating proximity mines placed on the overpass just above the warehouse, derailed the train to have it crash down into the building - freeing her Ghost and killing herself and several Dredgens in the process. Once rezzed, she dealt with the surviving Shadows. Ikora contacted Aunor to express gratitude for her help in handling the Shadows, but stressed that the Drifter and Gambit should continue. Aunor agreed, noting that the City needed his connections and means if he could truly bring Orin back. She later found the Drifter in a civilian part of the Tower and insisted on having a conversation with him; she thanked for the information on the Shadows he had provided her and admitted to having listened to the tapes he had recorded for his protégé. While pointing out she still considered him a criminal not to be trusted, she admitted that Orin had given him a chance and he might be useful in bringing her back.
Tracking New Threats
With her investigation of the Drifter finished, Aunor turned her attention to Emperor Calus of the Cabal. She learned that he had recently expanded his courting of Guardians by inviting them aboard The Leviathan to fight in his Menagerie for weapons, armor, and the right to join the Shadows of Calus. Concerned over yet another power in the system dividing the loyalties of the Guardians, Aunor briefed Zavala and Ikora on the situation and warned that Earth's Shadows would soon grow in number. She requested a fireteam of trusted veteran Guardians to lead in a scourging of The Leviathan and estimated it would take a week for her team to wipe it clean and kill Calus. Ikora noted that many of those veterans did not trust Aunor and denied her request, but she and Zavala affirmed that they did believe in her. Arc energy flashed in Aunor's eyes as she held her anger in check, questioning if they would do nothing yet again. Zavala declared that while Calus was not an ally, he was occupying the remnants of the Red Legion. Aunor pointed out that the Vanguard had been the ones to thoroughly defeat the Legion in the Red War, not Calus, and refuted their assertion that Calus' influence would wane once his lies were exposed by pointing out the Drifter's continued popularity. Although Ikora promised that Aunor would be on the first fireteam deployed if Calus ever made a wrong move, the Praxic Warlock departed without another word, frustrated by the Vanguard's lack of action and determined to continue monitoring the situation.
Aunor and the Thanatonaut Harper were later summoned by Ikora to meet within a meditation chamber inside the Tower to interrogate Osiris after he returned to the Last City and informed the Vanguard that the Red Legion had captured his Sundial on Mercury and had fractured time with it. She was curious if the Vex had somehow corrupted Osiris into making the dangerous time-bending device, but was also unnerved by Ikora's uncompromising stare at her former mentor. The exiled Warlock admitted that he had constructed it in a bid to save Saint-14 from his decades ago in the Infinite Forest while searching for Osiris. Aunor declared that all he had done was give the Cabal a temporal weapon, but while the Warlock admitted to making a mistake he claimed it was the nature of his job and that he would continue to make them. Aunor stated that they should lock Osiris up for his recklessness, although she was sympathetic towards him and did not argue for it with her usual fire, and Osiris noted that there were others more dangerous than him allowed to roam free in these desperate times. Ikora then requested to be left alone with Osiris, an order Aunor accepted without complaint and she departed alongside Harper, who was annoyed by the dismissal.
Several months later, Aunor began to investigate the absence of many Hunters from the Last City, which was causing bounties to go unclaimed and strike missions undermanned. Arriving at a Hunter's den on 7th Street, she quickly blinked down the steps through the Void while silently cursing the Hunters for putting so many stairs leading into their den. Upon entering she found it deserted with multiple weapons laying about, an abandoned card game, and many empty food wrappers. Noticing movement in one corner she swiftly brought up her Minuet-42 and found a Hunter and his Ghost emerging with his hands raised. The Ghost chided her for drawing a weapon in the den but Aunor simply demanded their names in response. The Hunter identified himself as Ghost while his Ghost was Tommy. Relaxing, Aunor holstered her weapon and questioned them on the whereabouts of the other Hunters. Tommy explained that most had left the City to avoid being asked or dared to takeover as the new Hunter Vanguard. They then offered Aunor a weapon in exchange for keeping quiet about their presence in the City, although Tommy pleaded with her to tell the Vanguard that they needed to fill the Hunter Vanguard's seat soon to organize the Hunters and appease their worries about being chosen.
Hunting Corrupted Guardians
Aunor soon learned of Guardians who were wielding strange corrupted Light powers. After apprehending four of them, she learned of a fifth, a Warlock named Sola Scath who had ferried another Guardian to the anomalies generated by the Black Fleet in the outer system before returning without them. Teaming with the Praxic Striker Siegfried, they tracked Sola down and ambushed her. While Siegfried was cut down in the battle, Aunor managed to subdue the rogue Lightbearer and began interrogating her about the missing Guardian while Siegfried's Ghost Ogden revived him. However, Sola claimed to know of a secret the Praxic Order had hidden away in a vault and declared they were on the losing side. Threatening Sola with further pain and loss only caused her to spit at Aunor and boast that she had no limits or masters unlike them and began gathering corrupted Light energy in her hands. Aunor quickly gunned her down and declared her to be a disgrace to Warlocks. As Sola's Ghost watched them, Aunor asked Siegfried if they should have her revived and interrogate her more, but the Titan believed that Sola had made it clear she would not answer their questions. Sola's Ghost declared that they would not help them or provide information about the Darkness anomalies while taunting them about their belief that Sola was corrupted or that they wanted their help and told them to run back to the Traveler. Realizing that the Ghost was affected too, Aunor ordered Bahaghari to get their tools for holding Ghosts while Siegfried sent a burst of arc energy into the Ghost to knock it unconscious. As her companions lifted their captives up to carry back to their jumpship, Aunor worried about how many more Guardians and their Ghosts would become corrupted.
As more Guardians began embracing the Darkness or turning away from the laws of the Vanguard, Aunor's primary task became tracking them down and arresting them in the hopes they could be redeemed. She was summoned to Ikora's private library to be briefed on an urgent matter. Although she was glad to see Ikora, Aunor quickly became irritated as it became clear she was about to offered another mission involving a tainted Guardian. Reading over the data Ikora provided her, Aunor noted it was a typical case until she read that the Guardian, Trestin, had tortured Fallen civilians fleeing the House of Salvation in a bid to learn how Eramis had learned to use Stasis. She was further horrified that Trestin had then tortured her fireteam members when they attempted to stop her and was currently on Europa seeking to access the Darkness. Aunor criticized the Vanguard for lifting the ban on Stasis usage and continued alliance with the Drifter while noting that none of the Guardians she had been sent after showed any interest in redemption for their crimes. Pointing out the rapid increase in corruption, Aunor stated that by trying to apprehend them peacefully first she was only giving them an opportunity to kill her first. Ikora interrupted her rant and stated until there was evidence that no corrupted Guardian could be redeemed then her orders remained the same for all future cases. Realizing that Ikora was tracking other potential corrupted Guardians, Aunor assumed she would only be informed about them once they caused more havoc somewhere. Ikora offered to let Aunor stop her task, but she waved off the Vanguard's concern off and vowed she would stand by her promise before transmatting out of the library.
Arriving on Europa, Aunor tracked Trestin to Cadmus Ridge and discovered her climbing a steep embankment to reach a obelisk buried at the top. Intercepting her at the end of the climb, Aunor drew her sword and ordered her to stop and surrender peacefully. The corrupted Lightbearer hesitated for a second before diving for the obelisk, forcing Aunor to drive her sword through the traitor's heart and keep her imprisoned and unrevived alongside the other captured Guardians.
Personality and traits
Aunor is seen as a diligent, often zealous, follower of the Praxic dogma. She believes the biggest threat to the City are the Guardians flirting with the Darkness, and does not stop at most anything to bring them to justice. Her means are often deemed ruthless, yet she does not wish to eliminate corrupted Guardians but rather give them an (usually forced) chance at redemption - something she has a clash with Shin Malphur over. She is known to be very suspicious and quick to jump to conclussions, the epitome of it being her investigation of the Drifter which eventually proved her doubts regarding him insubstantial. She does, however, admit to her mistake. She is a strong opposer of Guardians using Stasis, not hiding her frustration over the Vanguard allowing it from Ikora.
She is a woman of action, describing paperwork as "the most devastating adversary of her Praxic career". She does not hesitate from taking dangerous steps to achiever her goals, like crashing a train into a warehouse or facing the Man with the Golden Gun in action. Similarly, she does not seem to have much remorse about blatantly disobeying orders if she believes it is in the City's best interest. Known for her outbursts of anger, Aunor often frustrates over the missions she is assigned, but does not back down from them nonetheless.
Despite their numerous disagreements, Aunor remains close to Ikora Rey, being one of her trusted Hidden. Zavala appears to have a lenient attitude towards her actions, admitting she reminds him a lot of Ikora.
Her dislike of the Drifter is well known, lingering long after her investigation's conclusion. She does, however, reach out to him to help her track the Dredgens who captured her Ghost, and admits he is essential to the Vanguard, particularly in bringing Orin back. Drifter does not seem to hold a grudge against her, citing her actions as a proof not all Guardians have "gone soft".
While their respective opinions on each other remain unadressed, it is known Aunor and Eris Morn keep in touch at least as members of the Hidden - Eris can be heard addressing an encrypted message to AUN-326 in her idle dialogue.
List of appearances