From Destinypedia, the Destiny wiki
Ether is a white, gaseous substance that Fallen depend on to survive, and which only Servitors can currently produce. Ether Seeds may be processed Ether for later usage or storage, and Ether Drops are ether remnants.
Ether is apparently both a gas and a liquid, processed from energy and matter (organic compounds, in one known case) by Servitors through an unknown process. It is absorbed through breathing , and appears to run through Fallen bodies like blood. It can be even consumed by other beings as well. When there is enough in quality it fills an Eliksni with strength. It is also cold. Ether was once freely available on the Eliksni homeworld of Riis but is now strictly rationed according to rank. Kells hold a device called The Elder Cipher, which controls how much Ether is distributed from Servitors; Archons and Barons get an exceedingly large portion while Dregs get only enough to stay alive. This rationing stunts the potential strength and size of contemporary Fallen, particularly the lower ranks.
Beyond merely providing nourishment, Ether is hypothesized to be an "ethereal lifeblood" for the Fallen, but not a "soul" as is commonly assumed, though it can be used to restore the souls of other Fallen. When a Fallen is killed in combat, a momentary after-image of their body composed of Ether may briefly be seen. The significance of this remains unclear.
Ether is poisonous to Hive, although it is possible for Hive to grow tolerant of Ether through breeding processes, as a Knight possessed Ether inside him due to experimentation by Hiraks, the Mindbender.
In humans, Ether appears to have properties similar to that of a recreational drug, though it can lead to an unpleasant experience according to the Drifter, or possibly even poisoning, though no permanent damage can occur according to Failsafe.
During the Red War, the Fallen House of Dusk was able to utilize stolen Cabal technology and the Servitor Serkuleks, the Fount to create a modified, more effective form of Ether known as "Enhanced Ether". Those who took this Ether substance would become Empyrean Fallen, exhibiting several effects including increased strength and health, and the side-effect of glowing like Servitors. Raksil, Archon Priest would head this operation before being killed. The project would later be put to a complete end following the destruction of Serkuleks at the Guardian's hands.
The Scorn thrive off of Dark Ether, a disturbing, corrupted form of Ether derived from remnants of the Darkness afflicted within Uldren Sov from his experience during the Battle of Saturn. After wishing to save a dying Fikrul, which is fulfilled by the Ahamkara Riven, some of the Darkness within Uldren was transferred into Fikrul's lingering Ether, bringing the disgraced Fallen back from death and creating Dark Ether.
Dark Ether is capable of resurrecting dead Fallen at the cost of severely mutating them, such as how the Screeb units of the Scorn have been warped into quadrupedal Thrall-like monstrosities. It lingers instead of dissipating like normal Ether and is described by Variks as a fog-like gas that you move through like water, heavy and opaque.
List of appearances