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- "Dear Diary,
This is pretty much the first time I've written to you. In this new world, that is. The diary from my world doesn't exist anymore. So, the two of us are gonna have to acquaint. Maybe for the rest of my life. I don't know. Everything is a blur now. A dark, unforgiving blur. Much like me. But enough about that. Where do I start? Oh, there's too many places to start, but I guess I should start with why I'm writing to you.
It's been exactly 29 days since I woke up into this new world. A world I created. Long story short, I killed Maleficent and avenged my parents, but in doing so, I created a world even worse than what anyone had imagined. Just because this world isn't Maleficent's, it doesn't mean it's any better. The Shadowkeepers rule all of Auradon now. Kirito and Asuna are at the top of it all. That's right. The Shadowkeepers have won. I didn't just change reality. I changed history. To keep it simple, there was a war. A war that lasted 5 years. The Shadowkeepers, as I mention, won. The heroes are all dead, although some few unknown souls are in hiding. Kirito mentioned a resistance, but who knows how big or small it is.
As for me, well, I have it all. At least, what the old me ever wanted. A boyfriend who's proud of me. A luxury bedroom I can call my safe haven. Feared and respected by the entire kingdom. A lifetime supply of strawberries. Okay, that last one wasn't exactly what the old me wanted or expected, but you get the point. But I'm living the good life. The good bad life. I can't deny that a part of me is loving this, but a huge part of me knows this is all wrong. It's not real. It's just an illusion created by some few floating Pyramids. I didn't wish for all this. As far as I'm concerned, everything I created is random. If I ever wished for anything, I'd want to change myself completely. Be the good girl that everyone expected me to be. But I haven't changed. I'm still the same me I've always been. I may not possess the dark scepter anymore, but the transformation I went through when I touched it, it still remains inside of me.
My parents. Oh, how I wish they were proud of me for real. For being a sort-of good girl. Not this ruthless, heartless vixen they believe I am. For the past 29 days, I had to keep up the act. That includes acting like a bad girl, which isn't exactly hard. The hardest part so far was what happened on the anniversary of the Shadowkeepers' victory. Apparently, in this world, since I was 13, Kirito presents me with an innocent life to execute just for the fun of it. I know. It's sick. Hypocritical, I know. The next victim was a member of the resistance. A husband. A father. A soldier. I was asked to behead him. But I didn't. I put my sword down in front of everyone. But I knew that I couldn't risk suspicions. So, I burned that poor man alive. He screamed and screamed as his body slowly turned to ash. The Shadowkeepers, as you expect, cheered at the sight of it. You'd think I'd feel pleasure for burning someone alive, well, I didn't feel it. I felt disgusted with myself. The worse part, I barely hesitated.
I've kept myself locked up in my room since then. I just couldn't swallow the fact that this is the world I'm living in right now. It's horrible. Everything and everyone I touch, I'm worse than poison. But now, I'm done hiding. it's time I get out there, familiarize myself with this new world, and see how I can manage all this. Like they said, I'm gonna rule it all one day. Might as well start by getting to know everyone all over again, if they don't remember anything. Whoever's alive, at least.
I just wish the others are okay. Maybe they've gotten better or worse, but I would really like to see them. Evie. Jay. Carlos. Ben. Oh, Bennyboo. I miss you.
'Til next time.
- — A page from Mal's Diary, retrieved by the Exo Stranger.
The Shadowkeeper Apocalypse (also known as the Apocalypse, the Shadowkeepers Apocalypse, and sometimes the Second Collapse) was a massively cataclysmic system-wide conflict fought between millions of Guardians and inhabitants of the Solar System and Kirito and Asuna and their armies of Shadowkeepers, Shadow Army minions, and Ghosts of Nagasaki to take back Auradon, save Mallory Bertha, and protect the Light. Although this crisis was initially triggered when Mal killed Maleficent, it actually began when the Shadowkeepers murdered countless people in Auradon, including Ben, Evie, Suguha Kirigaya, Emperor Calus, the Auradonian Kids' parents, and Commander Zavala, in order to take over all of Auradon and begin an eight-year reign beyond the heart of Aincrad. Unlike the previous enemies the Guardians killed, the Shadowkeepers sought to rewrite history and create a dark future, with them controlling all worlds as gods.
After years of fighting against the proxy forces of the Darkness and emerging victorious, the Guardians found themselves traumatized and losing the will to continue fighting when the Shadowkeepers launched a surprise attack on Auradon, brutally killing Zavala and terraforming it into a realm of Aincrad. With replicas of their powers and arsenals corrupted by the Shadow Army and their timeline fractured, the Guardians ventured into the birthplace of the Shard of the Traveler and acquired Fusion. Shortly after reuniting with Cayde-6, the Guardians recovered and planned a counterattack in order to save their home and legacy.
After much sacrifice and determination, the Guardians succeeded in killing Kirito, Asuna, and the Shadowkeepers, driving the Shadow Army and Ghosts of Nagasaki away, saving Mal, and destroying the Darkness for good. Despite this momentous victory, various figures of the Shadow Army, including Kirito and Asuna's eldest son Tatsuyi Kirigaya, would resurrect the Shadowkeepers and his parents as Nightmares and attempt to carry on the Shadowkeeper Apocalypse, either for their own purposes or to finish what the Shadow Army elites and the Darkness had started in destroying the Guardians. Despite these new foes, the Guardians maintained their strength and determination, while also contending with major threats besides the Shadow Army and Ghosts of Nagasaki.
Prelude: The Swordsman's Arrival
Nagasaki's Campaign of War
Birth of Houkai
- "Pain... Your suffering. Your death. Your misery. Your despair. This is what I fight for. I fight to one day see the despair of all humans. The fear twisting their expressions. The despair of seeing your children screaming as I violate the bodies of their parents. The screams of mothers losing their babies. The fear that I'll cause to all your friends and family. I was born to deliver the justice mankind so greatly deserves. To make them look at the world they destroyed. In this universe of billion years, your existence is nothing. You're absolutely nothing. That's why all your kind is unnecessary. Every life... every intelligent life in this universe is unnecessary. Your fate is inevitable. And so is all of this reality. This place is not worthy of my presence. Humans, your existence is a mistake. War, cheating, jealousy, greed. You once made me lose everything. But today, I will devour everything. Because I am the Honkai!"
- — God Kiana, Herrscher of the End to the civilians of the Old World.
The Houkai have no background and it's speculated the Houkai, or the Will of God, exist since before the creation of the universe. Million years ago the extinction of the dinosaurs in the Cretaceous period happened because of the first outbreak of Honkai, but it's unknown whether they showed up before humans could have existed.
Despite being represented as monsters, the Houkai is actually a sentient cyclical natural disaster phenomenon, a rhythm of periodic adjustment of the universe that appear once in a while to start the end of a civilization. Every once in a while, the Houkai will break out in some unknown form; it can be in form of zombies, plagues, digital virus, meteors, tsunamis, earthquakes or even monsters and beasts. 50,000 years ago, when humanity reached the top of its existence, Houkai evolved in the form of Herrschers and caused the eventual destruction of mankind by the hands of the last Herrscher after decades of intense war, Herrscher of the End, also known as Past Sirin or God Kiana. This Herrscher, who was later sealed inside the moon by Dr. MEI, became the new Houkai God in the ancient legends.
However, a few humans managed to survive the Apoclaypse and repopulated the planet again; humanity had another chance to fight again the creatures that once caused their extinction. After million years spent fighting the Houkai, the outbreak time of the Houkai was considered irregular and difficult to predict the Schicksal organization was founded thousand years ago to prevent disasters like the Black Death, started by the Herrscher of the Corruption from happening again.
As the world changed, the Houkai Eruptions grew stronger with the rise of more Herrschers, each possessing dark forms of energy capable of devastating countless worlds.
Manipulating Kiana, the Herrscher of the Void invaded her body and killed her father with her own hands before sealing her memories away to keep it a secret so she could use her in the future. Later, Anti-Entropy invaded St. Freya Academy, and Kiana's group sneaked into the battle of the Anti-Entropy Battleship "The Moonlight Throne"; the result was resonated by the consciousness of the Second Herrscher. Then "Moonlight Throne" crashed in the St. Freya Church. Kiana accidentally touched the core of the Second Houkai Herrscher buried deep in the church. Cocolia originally wanted to take her out of danger in good faith but she only want The Fusion to become true, and later from the mouth of Cocolia, accidentally learned the whereabouts of Siegfried and his own life. Kiana, having learned the truth, fell into Houkai will, and finally awakened to become The Ultimate Herrscher. In front of its overwhelming absolute power, all of Kiana's group members perished.
During the final battle, Sirin slaughtered all of the Valkyries of the world, including all heroes of capital ship. As the final trump card, Raiden Mei (in her Herrscher of the Lightning form) fought God Kiana to avenge her friends but ultimately lost the battle. In front of its overwhelming absolute power, all of Kiana's group members have lost. Despite their best efforts, they eventually faced extinction by the hand of the final Herrscher, but not before Mei used her technology to seal part of the Herrscher of the End's power inside of the moon to seal the evil Goddess. Before she could be sealed, Sirin recreated the world, rewriting the humanity with parallel versions of all people in the previous Earth in order to make her new parallel-self carry on her ambitions and one day finish what she started.
Fearing that what happened to the Old World would soon happen to the New World, various forces from many dimensions would come together to hunt down God Kiana's parallel-self and prevent the Apocalypse from returning again.
Rise of the Herrschers
- "For all of you innocent souls, I have come to this world with a singular goal: to save our world from a threat that seeks our destruction. Join us and we shall present to you a key to a special utopia that I plan to unveil to the universe. For those who seek my death, I am here for another reason: to liberate my people from yours. You and your people... you all never had the right to be called "heroes." You thought that by killing me, you'd save your precious world... oh, you will have done it... but you will be too late. If you succeed, I will indeed die, but my legacy shall live on... and you won't live to see the birth of my utopia."
- — Nagasaki, Ender of Worlds, revealing himself to the world.
During the 16th century, a notorious swordsman known as Nagasaki and his lieutenants led the Herrschers of the Darkness, an army of Houkai-empowered outcasts in a harrowing series of battles to bring on the end of the age of heroes and transform the entire world into an utopia that would be remade in his image in his plan to enact his revenge against those who abandoned the lost souls of his homeworld and left them for dead. However, while most of the people would join his cause, he would be challenged by numerous heroes, whose lives would meet their end by his hands.
Fearing that Nagasaki's arrival would resurrect God Kiana's dark legacy, a group of freedom fighters known as the Flame Watchers would rally under the banner of a lone rebel known as Alanzo G. Zeppeli to hunt down Nagasaki and his Herrschers in a daring effort to end their reign of terror. Forming an alliance with various Hamon users and the first Auradonian Knights, along with the members of the House of Tudor, some of which included the relatives of Bruford and Tarkus and Trish's great-great-grandfather Raphael Una, they would manage to destroy the Houkai forces and incapacitate most of the Herrschers, revealing the true origin point of Nagasaki's awakening. Venturing into the heart of Arc City, Alanzo and the freedom fighters would seemingly succeed in defeating Nagasaki and bringing an end to his reign of terror, but little did they know that with his dying breath, he would go on to become the progenitor of the coming Apocalypse.
Birth of Fusion
- "It seems that we're not the only Guardians chosen by the Traveler. Even before it arrived, there were others like us... those chosen to wield these dark powers."
- — Eris Morn, explaining the creation of Fusion to the Guardian.
Long before the Traveler came, there were numerous Guardians who were blessed with dark forms of magic that would later become a part of this new power, and among those Guardians were Hendrick Yor, Kaguya Narusaka, Aoi Narusaka, and Yukito Narusaka, Warlocks who were capable of mastering these forms and using them for purposes that benefited Humanity. Recruited by a lone Hunter named Lila Bray and a Titan named Darius Watanabe, they would harness this power and combine the Light with Darkness in order to create a strong sense of prosperity, peace, and unity between Humanity and numerous non-human forces. On December 31st, 1999, Kaguya gave birth to a girl named Mal, whom she and Hendrick knew would someday carry on their legacy and use this power to help bring an end to the coming war. Moments after her birth, while Lila and Darius and these Fusion-empowered Guardians were praised and commemorated by most of the Lightless civilians, some of the people, however, grew worried that their discovery would jeopardize the balance between Light and Dark or, even worse, enthrall everyone into abandoning their long-held traditions, creating a chaotic society fueled by anarchy and dark ambition in the process.
Resurgence of Darkness
- "We have watched over majicks and worlds since the stars were young. But man has destroyed the balance. Just as they tried to destroy you."
"But you brought us back. Why?"
"Because you can right what the mortals made wrong."
"How do you know that?"
"You come from their world, but fight for ours. You will be the Black Swordsman and Lightning Flash, Overlords of Shadows. You will be the instruments of our reckoning."
- — The Darkness, speaking to Kirito and Asuna.
Some time after the Guardians' victory of The Dimensional Wars, the Darkness, having found a still-open portal, sent the Black Fleet into the dimensional gateway to recruit its new allies: Kirito and Asuna. Having known firsthand about how they had seen what it saw and mourned for the deaths of their friends and of innocence, the Darkness not only gave them back their powers from Sword Art Online, but also granted them permanent access to its Pyramids, knowing that they can succeed where its previous forces failed.
Between the events of Season of the Chosen and The Witch Queen, upon accepting the Darkness's gift, after stepping out of their dimension and into the Guardian's universe, Kirito and Asuna would go on to recruit various villains from numerous dimensions, including Totomaru, a former member of the Phantom Lord guild and the manipulator of the Solar element; Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash and a speedster who murdered Nora Allen, the mother of Barry Allen; Malcolm Merlyn, the Dark Archer and the man who orchestrated the destruction of the Queen's Gambit and played a role in Sara Lance's apparent death; Damien Darhk, the leader of HIVE and the man who murdered Laurel Lance; Tobias Whale, a crime lord and the man who murdered Jefferson Pierce's father; The Doctor, a Framework persona of Leopold Fitz and HYDRA's ruthless second-in-command; Anton Ivanov, the leader of the Watchdogs and a powerful mercenary known as Omega; Hiram Lodge, a powerful businessman and the leader of a notorious criminal empire responsible for the emergence of the Ghoulies; Morgana le Fay, the Mother of Monsters and a powerful wizard who was betrayed by Merlin and allied with Gunmar and his army in her quest for revenge on the Trollhunters; Uldren Sov, the Prince of the Reef who was presumed dead during the Battle of Saturn; Djin, the leader of the Numeros and a former member of M.A.T.A.; Sasuke Uchiha, the lone surviving member of the Uchiha clan who acquired the Sharingan and the Rinnegan; Phoenixaro Uchihamaki, the leader of the Akatsuki and Kakashi Hatake's estranged brother; and Ruby Hale, the Destroyer of Worlds and the daughter of General Hale, who had been genetically engineered by HYDRA's leader Daniel Whitehall, forming a notorious organization unlike anything the world had ever encountered known as the Shadowkeepers. They would also resurrect Sachi and Eugeo by implanting the respective memories of Reign and Fikrul, the Fanatic into their vessels' bodies.
At some point in time, Kirito and Asuna would also rally numerous enemies of both the Traveler and its Guardians, instilling into them a profound sense of freedom and purpose, promising them that they would be the one to save them and those cast out and left for dead by their own people from the Traveler's lies. During the course of the impending war between the Guardians and the Witch Queen's armies, many key leaders of various Fallen houses, Hive sects, Vex collectives, and other factions would pledge their allegiances to the Shadowkeepers.
Moments during the final war between the Traveler and the Darkness, various threats from different time periods would be resurrected, some of them being Eramis and her House of Salvation, Ghaul and his Red Legion, and the Scorned Barons.
A Paradox's Beginning
- "The Dragon's Eye has awakened. It is on a little world. A human world. They would only wield its power… But our allies know its workings as they never will. They are ready to lead. And our forces will follow. The world will be theirs. The universe yours. And the humans, what can they do but burn?"
- — An unnamed Taken commander, speaking to the Darkness about Kirito and Asuna shortly before Auradon would come under attack.
Moments before the coming assault on Auradon, Kirito and Asuna would be teleported to a court within the Europan Pyramid, where a servant of the Darkness would proclaim about the discovery of the Dragon's Eye on Auradon and how Kirito and Asuna would soon lay waste to the kingdom and help the Darkness claim a victory unlike any other.
Attack on Auradon
- "I'm so sorry. I'm sorry, I just... I thought that... I was afraid to tell you. I thought I was gonna lose my life. But I had to do something! I had to protect my birthright! It's just... I wish things could've been different."
- — Mal, talking to Petra Venj shortly before leaving with the Shadowkeepers.
Upon traveling to Auradon from a few weeks after the Jewel-bilee, the Shadowkeepers and their newly-assembled Shadow Army, led by Kirito and Asuna, breached the gateway to Auradon, eager to lay waste to its hierarchy and destroy everything that symbolized its kingdom. Being the first to respond to the civilians' evacuation from what appeared to be an escape attempt enacted by Maleficent, Zavala and Leafa would rendezvous with Ben, Evie, and Merlin to detain her and send her back; however, by the time they got to her, she was already killed by Mal, who became corrupted by the Darkness. Unbeknownst to them, the Ghosts of Nagasaki, led by Magda Peterson, had already freed the son of Yzma known as Zevon from the frozen prison on the Isle of the Lost, which led to a full-scale assault between the Auradonians and the Shadowkeepers.
While Zavala and his crew of allies fought valiantly, they would be slaughtered by the Shadowkeepers, including Kirito and Asuna. Petra Venj and the Awoken Techeuns - Shuro Chi, Kalli, and Sedia - attempted to kill the Shadowkeepers in retaliation for Zavala's death, but Kirito and Asuna activated the codes for Lightfall, a corruptive-matter system created by the Darkness to destroy every representations of Light, and used it to summon waves of malevolent Blights that destroyed everything that Auradon stood for, killed all living beings of Light and civilians of Auradonian blood within it, and turned the entire city into a realm of Kirito and Asuna's ideal birth worlds, forcing Petra and the Techeuns to retreat as unfathomable armies of Shadows begin to appear across the system in larger numbers, officially beginning the Shadowkeeper Apocalypse.
Death of a Legend
- "We should've been there. This is not your fault. This... is on the head of the Black Swordsman. But if he thinks what he's done is the end, it's not. It's... the beginning. We're going to fight him. All of us. Every Titans and Meisters. Every Warlocks and Shinobis. Every Hunters, Huntresses, and Huntsmen. We will take Auradon by storm... for our Fireteam. For Zavala."
- — Ikora Rey, addressing the Guardians.
Back at Felwinter Peak, the Guardians, the Vanguard and people of The Last City mourn Zavala's loss. Ikora, realizing that the Last City does not possess the strength to carry on in the wake of the recent conflicts, declares that everyone, including the Guardians, will have the chance to avenge his death and protect the Last City. Refusing to let Zavala's death go unnoticed, the Guardian would promise Ikora that they would avenge his death and protect the Last City and its civilians.
At the same time, numerous Guardians would hunt down the Shadowkeepers in an attempt bring an end to their reign of terror, only for most of them to be slain by Kirito and Asuna, who used the powers of the Darkness to drain them of their Light, while those who survived would retreat. Meanwhile, the forces who remained loyal to Maleficent, including DIO's army of zombies, would also attempt to kill Mal and revert the timeline back to its original form; however, though all of them would be slain by the Shadow Army, most would eventually mutate into the Ghosts of Nagasaki while the others would become Taken, effectively bringing an end to the existence of the Overtakers.
Unbeknownst to the Last City, Cayde-6 would be teleported to a past version of Auradon from during the events of Descendants: Wicked World, where he teamed up with Kirigamine Tougorou in the hopes of detaining Zevon and sending him back to the Isle of the Lost without damaging the timeline. During the mission, Cayde would also uncover the blueprints for the Fusion-empowered prototype of a Stasis weapon known as the Salvation's Grip.
A New Aincrad
Kirito's Reign of Terror
- "When I was a kid, I entered the world of Sword Art Online to escape the cruel depths of reality. But now, as I look back, I remember the faces of those I saved from the death game. Klein, Agil, Silica, and Lisbeth, my old friends... may be gone, but they are with us now and always. As for you, my loyal servants, my new friends, my Shadowkeepers... I gather you today because the time has come to rain darkness upon Sol. For too long, the Traveler has prevented the universe from entering the true, final shape - that of Darkness. But now, this ends. Ever since you came to this world, you've helped me do what no one else has done: kill a Guardian. I have already slain the Guardians' Vanguard Commander, the man they called Zavala. There could never be a better time to strike, now when their morale is low and they are susceptible to falling to Darkness. Go! Unleash chaos upon their people! Create fear in the hearts of those who follow the Light!"
- — Kirito, addressing the Shadowkeepers and his elites.
Moments after taking over Auradon, Kirito and Asuna set up countless programs and SIVA networks from his computer that the Pyramids used to rebuild Aincrad as they saw fit and split up the Shadow Army into its six respective groups: the House of Shadows, led by Kotrik, Bloodcrafter of Kirito, the notorious Fallen Kell of Shadows who formerly worked with the House of Devils; the Shadow Swarm, led by Zharves, Shadowcaster of Kirito, a surviving Hive Deathsinger who formerly served Crota and his father; the Shadow Divisive, led by Hydrax, Mindkiller of Kirito, a massive Vex Axis Mind Hydra who possessed the ability to stop time; the Shadow Legion, led by Gha'arn, Crownforger of Kirito, a powerful Cabal warlord who helped restore the Cabal Empire to its full glory; the Reborn, led by Thu'urg, Blightmaker of Kirito, a Taken Cabal commander who sought to seize control of Oryx's army; and the Cult of Shadows, led by Vayeriks, Fatesmith of Kirito, Fikrul's right hand and a commander of the first Scorn.
Hoping to further weaken the Traveler, they sent their forces across the system to launch countless waves of devastating attacks against its forces. On Earth, the Shadowkeepers led a series of invasions against valiant heroes, including the Justice League, Simon Templar, Milo Murphy, and Legends of Tomorrow, and successfully managed to slaughter them and their fellow allies, including Cisco Ramon, who was killed by Tatsuyi, who fused his gauntlets and Thorn with Vibe's metahuman powers. Across the Sol System, the Shadow Army attacked various factions, including the Dusk Splicers, the Houses of Emperors, Vipers, Dragons, and Time, and other enemy factions, which led to some of the members of these aforementioned factions to pledge their loyalties to Kirito and Asuna, while those who survived the attacks would depart to another worlds.
Conquest of the Light
- "It's a day for pretty speeches and medals. But we know the real fight takes place out there. There's so much more, Sinon. I've seen terrible things born out in the Darkness. Every moment brings them closer. All ends and beginnings... Our fight is far from over."
- — The Exo Stranger, revealing the existence of the Darkness to Sinon.
With Aincrad rebuilt, Kirito and Asuna, along with the Shadowkeepers and their armies, would lead a series of devastating invasions against the forces of Light and people still loyal to Ben, corrupting numerous universes and turning them into realms of Kirito's world along the way. The Stranger, having witnessed the fall of Auradon's forces, the corruption of numerous outcasts, and the deaths of countless champions of the Light, led her forces in an attempt to avenge the Traveler; however, she was forced to retreat after a close encounter with Kirito and Asuna. Fueled by grief and her desire for vengeance, she attempted to reach Mal, but suddenly found herself transported back in time to the day Cayde-6 was named Hunter Vanguard after his victory over Taniks, the Scarred. Having determined that this had happened before, she was determined to make sure that she would successfully prevent the dark future from coming into existence.
Some time later, she would enter the Chinese Dead Zone on the Unknown Space, where she would meet with The Drifter and Sinon, an amnesiac Lightbearer who had been struggling to find out what happened to her in her past life, to uncover the emergence of the Cradle. Along the way, the Stranger and Drifter would help Sinon recruit many allies to their cause, including Kibaou, Caesar Zeppeli, Lila Rossi, Sleet, Dingo, Guts, Alex Louis Armstrong, Mithrax, Varvatos Vex, Sai Yukitsugu, and Hendrickson, in the hopes of fighting back against the Shadowkeepers.
Rebirth of the Red Legion
The Fall of Calus
- "Do I miss my arm? I miss my Empire. I would give everything to have it back. And I will."
- — Valus Nohr, mourning the death of Calus.
Some time after the Shadow Army launched countless invasions against the Solar System, most of the Loyalists would become corrupted by Mal's Birthright Jewel, an artifact that Kirito retrofitted with dark runes from the Cryptolith, and turn against Calus shortly before executing him and overthrowing The Leviathan. But luckily for those still loyal to Calus, Valus Nohr and her forces escaped the onslaught shortly before sending a distress signal to Variks, the Loyal and his House of Judgment, who immediately formed an alliance with them, so that they can help Nohr and her Shadows avenge her people and put the Loyalist traitors out of their miseries.
Destruction of Danville
- "Our greatest fear has come true. Kirito has returned."
- — Dominus Xaruun
On Mercury, the Red Legion reinforced the beleaguered Cabal legions battling The Sunbreakers, which turns the tide after centuries of conflict. Although the Sunbreakers fought valiantly, the Legion actually manages to cripple and slaughter the Sunbreakers on Mercury by destroying their Light, putting an end to the once mighty Titan order. On Earth, they began launching an invasion on the Tri-State Area, brutally massacring its civilians and erasing them from existence shortly before terraforming all of Danville into a Cabal empire. On Io, they began to drill into the planet to access the latent Traveler energies within the moon, investigating the possibility to harvest and control the Light. However, their actions attracted the Shadowkeepers and their Cabal Shadow Legion, who formed an alliance with them in the hopes of crippling the Traveler.
Preparing for War
- "Ghaul was meant to die, and now this "Kirito" managed to slip past me during my prophetic resurrection and do the thing that I was meant to do?! This pest is slick and deserves pain!"
- — Emperor Zor
Enraged by their atrocities, the Neon Wraiths led an assault against the Shadowkeepers and their Shadow Army in an attempt to prevent the Pyramids from corrupting their world with Darkness, but were eventually forced to retreat after a close encounter with Kirito and Asuna. Knowing that even their strength wasn't enough to stop them, they went into hiding and began bolstering what remained of their forces. Eventually, the Wraiths would be contacted by Emperor Zor and his Golden Legion who wished to join forces against the Shadowkeepers, an offer in which a disheveled and desperate Xaruun would accept, officially beginning an alliance between the Neon Wraiths and the Golden Legion.
- See also: Forum:Battle of Bannerfall
- "We thought this would be just another ordinary fight against the Fallen. We were wrong."
- — Shiro-4, moments after the House of Shadows's invasion on Bannerfall.
Some time during the Apocalypse, Kotrik and his House of Shadows and their operatives had managed to compromise the outer sensors, defenses, and outposts; as well as suppressing the Satellite's communication systems of the City and Reef and concealed their presence, stealing Guardian tech and the Last City's arsenal along the way. In anticipation of the heist on the City, Kirito directly sought to use Kotrik's attack to his advantage in the hopes of crippling the Last City's defenses. To achieve this, he even managed to blind the Guardians' precognition and prophetic abilities in order to enable Kotrik's surprise attack to be 100% effective.
On the anniversary of the Battle of Six Fronts, the Vanguard discovered that all of their outer defenses, satellites, and outposts went dark in the cover of a storm. In a sudden bombardment, the House of Shadows severely devastated Bannerfall, but the Vanguard survived with the help of Ikora's Nova Bomb, and mobilized against the invasion. As the House of Shadows's Ketch assaulted Bannerfall, a massive Skiff latched onto the tomb of Sofia the First, defiling her corpse and soul. During the chaos, the Speaker's guards would be swiftly slain by the Shadow Splicers, forcing the Speaker to escape to another world, leaving the City and its Guardians questioning his whereabouts. Civilians were successfully evacuated, but the Vanguard and their elite orders were quickly overwhelmed.
Enraged by the atrocities committed by Kirito and Asuna, Ikora Rey and Rasputin, along with numerous Guardians hellbent on getting their revenge on the Shadowkeepers not only for killing Zavala, but also for robbing them of their arsenal, created Dawnrise Protocol in the hopes of fighting back against the Darkness, retrieving their tech, and saving the Last City, while factions such as the Stygian Brood and the House of Lions would lead countless assaults against the Shadow Army and those who pledged loyalty to Kirito and Asuna.
A Relentless Battle
- See also: Forum:War of Dimensions
- "This Lightbearer who calls himself the Relentless... he thinks that he can slaughter you and avenge the man who turned your home against you. He's wrong, and by the time he realizes it too late, you'll have proven that to him already."
- — Zharves, Shadowcaster of Kirito, supplying Kirito with help from her Champions.
At the same time, across numerous known and unknown dimensions within the Void, AJ would rally numerous factions of dimension protectors to fight against the Shadowkeepers; however, although AJ and his crew fought valiantly, the Shadowkeepers managed to cripple the dimension protectors' forces by destroying their Light and slaughtering them, leaving AJ and Cinnamon as the only survivors. Filled with rage and guilt, AJ would lock three dimensions, including his own, shortly before isolating himself on Yavin.
- "So, it seems that one of Vizzy's precious servants turned traitor and joined up with that stupid brat and his boot-licking army. That rat bastard Ahnkra's been tearing up the Shore with a resurrected army of brainwashed soldiers. A trick he picked up from Xivu Arath, I assume. Anyhow, the Shitkeepers are gonna be even more of a problem now that they have knowledge of the Stygian Brood's special blend of necromancy, so....you know what to do. Time to take out the garbage."
- — Vothriks, the Lost
Some time after the War of Dimensions between AJ and the Shadowkeepers, the Stygian Brood fell under attack by Kirito and Asuna and their army. While most remained loyal to Viznoor despite the damage they suffered, a few did defect to Kirito's army, among them being Ahnkra, the Desolate, who viewed the swordsman as "the true pillar of strength." Ahnkra pledged absolute loyalty to Kirito's cause and the Shadowcaster, and shared his knowledge of the Stygian Brood's necromancy and the method they used to free themselves of their Worms. Setting up a base deep within the Tangled Shore, Ahnkra then began replicating Xivu Arath's method in resurrecting a wide array of previously slain foes from Fallen, Cabal and other sects of Hive and corrupting them into his mindless servants, effectively creating the Shadow Army's sect of Wrathborn, the Shadow Ravagers.
In the following days, Ahnkra would launch repeated strikes against the Stygian Brood while adding more to the Shadow Ravagers' ranks from across the system. Furious, Viznoor rallied his brood to stage a counterattack on Ahnkra's forces, leading to a violent large-scale conflict between the Shadow Swarm and the Stygian Brood amidst the Tangled Shore. Sometime after the skirmishes began, Ahnkra began preparing a ritual to infest the Tangled Shore with Darkness in Kirito's name, which a Fireteam, led by Anna Blue's friend Zoe, would discover when they were sent to investigate the Hive activity. Working with Viznoor and his forces, they managed to break through the Shadow Army's defenses; however, before they could have the chance to stop the ritual from being completed, Zoe and her crew would be slaughtered by Ahnkra, forcing Viznoor's forces to retreat. Moments after hearing about Zoe's death, Anna Blue went to her friend's last spot on the Tangled Shore and fought a harrowing battle against Ahnkra. However, just when Ahnkra was about to slaughter her, she is saved by Eris Morn, who sends a series of brutal attacks against Ahnkra, who is forced to retreat, but not before vowing revenge on Eris. Awed by Eris's daring effort, she would eventually work under Eris's tutelage and help forge a powerful weapon of Light known as the Silent Scream, her personal Scout Rifle that combined Symmetry with both Void energy and Hive runes, which she would soon use against the Hive.
Strike on the Dreadnaught
- "While you have been too busy laying dormant on your throne, I've rallied our kind to carry on what our ancestors began... what you failed to accomplish."
- — Ahnkra, challenging Viznoor and his Stygian Brood.
Assault on the Empire
- "I need to warn Castris and the City... Kirito's planning an onslaught against the Empire and our world. If I can get that message to her in time, we might have a fighting chance."
- — Robert E. O. Speedwagon after uncovering Tatsuyi's plan to frame Castris.
Some time during Dawnrise Protocol, Kirito and Asuna and their daughters Yui and Konno and sons Tatsuyi and Yuji met up with Castris and her Elites, offering them a chance to work alongside his syndicate. At the same time, Rudolph McAlister, one of the spies whom Robert E. O. Speedwagon dispatched to investigate Castris's criminal empire, found numerous evidences about Castris's past and attempted to rendezvous with Ashe-5 so that they could bring down the empire, only to find that Ashe had been slain by a Guardian-issued Sword. Appalled and shocked by this, he attempted to find Castris and apprehend her, but is suddenly attacked by Kotrik, who immediately slaughtered him, but not before Rudolph sent a message to Speedwagon, telling him that Kirito had returned. By the time Speedwagon and his associates arrived, Castris had already escaped. As Speedwagon attempted to pursue Castris, he runs into Tatsuyi, Kirito and Asuna's eldest son who had stolen Cisco Ramon's metahuman powers and fused them with both his Necrotic Grip gauntlets and Thorn before murdering Vibe. Enraged by Vibe's unjust fate, Speedwagon summoned his version of the Burning Maul, an alternate form of the Hammer of Sol, and attempted to end Tatsuyi's life, but finds himself temporarily paralyzed by the effects of Thorn, which gave Tatsuyi an escape plan. Some moments after Kirito's family escaped, Speedwagon, no longer paralyzed, woke up to find his associates dead and vowed revenge on both Castris and Tatsuyi.
Picking up on the investigation, however, he would discover a distress call from the syndicate's main arms supplier, Wren, who stated he and his band of smugglers was currently under siege from the syndicate. Perplexing the Titan, he followed the distress signal to the gunrunners personal Cabal carrier and provided support for his gang. He would meet up with the Warlock and would begin interrogating him about the syndicate and it's prior transgressions to which the Warlock stated that the syndicate is currently still neutral at this time. When Speedwagon told about Ashe's fate and the sword used to slay her, Wren was shocked, stating that the Dreaming City-make sword was recently purchased off him by one of the Empire's associates. Before he could let on about the buyer, the two are attacked by two mysterious Fallen assailants armed with a mysterious power. The two are quickly overwhelmed by the empowered hostiles and Wren would end up abducted while Speedwagon would be knocked out, but not before meeting a third assailant who threatened his life if he got in the way again.
The Titan would be awoken by one of the Empire's Barons, Solviks, who consoled him that Castris and her Empire were allies, not enemies, albeit unconventional. Speedwagon would also meet one of the Empire's lesser known, yet most treasured associates Myra Winters, who told him that she had upgraded his Ghost with tech that just might help with his investigation and prove the Empire's standing on the Shadowkeepers, starting with a previously recorded conversation between Wren and his trusted Psion friend, Lithwe, who were conversing about Castris's decision on the deal with the Shadowkeepers as well as what might happen if they did accept. But before the two could let on about her decision, the two are interrupted by a familiar looking, muscular Fallen brute who was asked if he could purchase a special sword; Speedwagon recognized the Fallen brute as one of the attackers who snatched Wren, learning his name was Kamrak. The Titan hesitantly thanked the two Criminal associates before the two left, stating that they had some business to attend. Continuing the investigation, he would utilize the "ECHO" tech to discover the murder of Ashe, where he would see the Vanguard representative being escorted by some of the Empire's associates, learning that they were there to guard her on her way to Rudolph. Expecting them to turn on her, he would, instead, discover that the squad was picked off one by one and the Exo Hunter would be murdered by the other mysterious assailant from the night prior. Raising even more questions, the Titan would attempt to go back to where he meet Tatsuyi to learn more. Going back to the site and activating the recording software, seen from his eyes, the Shadowkeeper scion would be seen conversing to the members of the assailants and gave them new orders, attempt to frame Castris and rope the faction into war, telling the female assailant to stay here and wait for Speedwagon and attempt to escape to give the guise she was Castris while telling the other two to hunt down and capture some of the syndicate's higher weapons designers and suppliers such as Wren and Vyslaks to which a respected new member of the Shadowkeepers would get them to replicate some of the Empire's work. It all came to the Titan that this was a conspiracy, one that will force the Empire into war with the Shadowkeepers.
A New Consensus
- "Long before the Traveler came, I made a promise to live on for the sake of my friends and Fairy Tail. Now, it has called on me to speak on its behalf and help you fight back against the Black Swordsman and the Lightning Flash."
- — Lucy Heartfilia, speaking to the Guardian moments after becoming the new Speaker.
Some time after Dawnrise Protocol's initiation, Ikora Rey appointed Shiro-4 as the Hunter Vanguard and Luther Hargreeves as the new Vanguard Commander representing the Titans, while the Consensus would appoint Glynda Goodwitch as the Huntress Vanguard, Kakashi Hatake as the Shinobi Vanguard, Jotaro Kujo as the Meister Vanguard, and Lucy Heartfilia as the new Speaker in order to strengthen the defenses of the City and provide more protection for the Traveler.
At the same time, the Vanguard would permanently lift Osiris and Lysander's exile so that Osiris could help assist with enhancing Rasputin's defense system so that the Last City can fight back against Kirito's forces while Lysander would rally his Concordat forces to unite the lightless Guardians against the Darkness.
Meanwhile, Cayde-6 would return to his own time and form his own Fireteam, consisting of himself, Petra Venj, Suraya Hawthorne, and Banshee-44, along with the other members of his crew - Jin and Nadiya. Hoping to draw attention to those looking for danger, Cayde would set up base within an abandoned court on the Twilight Gap.
An Unexpected Encounter
- "So, are you done cheering me up?"
"Perhaps... I just wanted to talk, really."
- — Anna Ciel and Zinaida.
Some moments after the reconstruction of the Consensus, The Hidden would come across reports of various Guardians who had supposedly deserted the Light, one of them being a rogue Warlock known as Zinaida. Fearing that they would be enthralled into joining the Shadowkeepers, Aunor Mahal would task Eris and Anna with investigating this disturbing matter in the hopes of confirming those rumors to be false. Later on, Eris would deploy Anna to a facility within Europa to replicate her memories and transfer those into an Exo, whom she would call Anna Ciel.
A Power Reforged
An Alliance with House Flame
- "You can call House Devils, Wolves, Winter, and Kings the Fallen. But, call us the Eliksni."
- — Koriks, Kell of Flame, establishing an alliance with the Guardians.
Unlocking the Past
- "Up until now, we only knew about the Light and the Darkness. But what if I told you that there's a way to claim ancient powers and save Humanity at the same time?"
- — Lucy Heartfilia to the Guardian, moments after the Guardian acquired a Fusion subclass.
The Cosmodrome Breach
- "Mayday! Mayday! Do you copy! Vanguard access code 0306! Guardian, requesting backup! I repeat! We need backup down here!"
- — Nova, Herrscher of Sumeragi, sending a distress signal to the Guardian approaching the Cosmodrome.
Due to the havoc caused by the Shadow Army, Sumeragi, led by Nova and Skalos's son Sakodis, have reemerged from their hiding places, seeking to restore order and balance to the system. However, despite their strength and wit, Sumeragi's forces weren't enough to stop the Shadow Army. After a close encounter with Kirito and Asuna, Sumeragi retreated back to their base, but not before sending a distress signal aboard the Cosmodrome, officially beginning a truce with the Guardians.
The Fallen Bloodcrafter
- "My name is Kotrik. I claim the title of Kell of Kells for myself. The Given shall fall. The Great Machine will be reclaimed. To arms, brothers! Let us advance the work of Kirito, who has given us this strength!"
- — Kotrik, Bloodcrafter of Kirito, rallying his Fallen brethren shortly before triggering an assault against the Guardian.
Shortly after claiming the power of Fusion in the form of its subclasses and arriving at the Cosmodrome, as the Guardian rendezvoused with Cayde-6 and Petra, they received a distress signal from Nova, who warned them about the threat Kirito and Asuna posed to Humanity. Upon hearing from him, the Guardian investigated the impending source of the Shadows' emergence, fighting the House of Devils along the way, and arrived at the base, where they acquired the Ace of Spades, Thunderlord, and Gjallarhorn shortly before encountering Kotrik, who wielded a corrupted version of the Thunderlord and declared his intention to eliminate the forces of Light and carry out Kirito's mission to bring the Traveler under the influence of the Darkness before unleashing his Fallen army upon them. The Guardian barely escaped just as more Fallen Shadows overwhelmed the base.
Preparing for the Hunt
- "There's more to this than just enemies swearing loyalty to one person. This… Kirito… is the one who murdered Zavala. He has made the Traveler - and the Light - vulnerable to attack. If we are not careful, there may be a situation like the Red War in Danville… or worse. Across the system, multiple groups of our foes rally around his banner. The Fallen House of Shadows and their Shadow Splicers led by Kotrik, Bloodcrafter of Kirito, a master with weaponry who has stolen much Guardian tech; the Hive's Shadow Swarm led by Zharves, Shadowcaster of Kirito, who is a surviving Deathsinger; the Vex's Shadow Divisive, led by Hydrax, Mindkiller of Kirito, an immensely powerful Vex unit attempting to cast us into a dark future; the Cabal's Shadow Legion, led by Gha'arn, Crownforger of Kirito, a powerful Cabal warlord; the Taken Reborn, led by Thu'urg, Blightmaker of Kirito; and the Scorn Cult of Shadows, led by Vayeriks, Fatesmith of Kirito, one of the first Scorn. We have also identified some of their leaders - the Shadowkeepers. They include the names: Uldren Sov; Fikrul - also known as Eugeo due to his current form; Ruby Hale; Totomaru; Malcolm Merlyn; and many others. I will send the full list to you, Guardian. One last thing. The overall objective of this is to save a certain high-value person - Mallory Bertha. She has been corrupted by the Darkness and made the Dragon Queen of Auradon and the Isle of the Lost. She must be saved from the Darkness. But we will have to defeat Kirito's armies of Shadows in order to accomplish this. Around the system, your fellow Guardians are taking up arms and fighting these new foes. Go and join them, so that the Light may be victorious."
- — Luther Hargreeves, addressing the Guardian.
Upon reaching the Last City, Luther Hargreeves explained to the Guardian that ever since Kirito killed Zavala, many enemies of humanity have pledged their loyalties to him and Asuna, seeking to destroy the Light. The Guardian would also learn of the identities of the Shadowkeepers who helped kill Zavala and are planning to usher in a new dark future. Luther then tasked the Guardian with hunting down Zharves's Hive sect, to which the Guardian accepted.
Discovery of the Shadows
The Hive Shadowcaster
- "The Darkness didn't choose Kirito and Asuna for nothing. They're both looking for the same thing: the opportunity to settle an old score with us and the Light. My friends gave their lives so that I can help you guys deny the Shadowkeepers that chance."
- — Anna Blue.
Some time after the Guardian uncovered the source of the Shadows' emergence in the Cosmodrome, Eris Morn, aided by her new recruit Anna Blue, intercepted a distress signal coming from the Hellmouth, searching for answers on Luna. After traversing deeper within the Scarlet Keep, she stumbled upon an abandoned Clovis Bray facility and touched a black surface, which revealed itself as some kind of footage. Upon getting a closer look at it, she discovers what happened to Mal back when she was a child and that the two adult Warlocks shielding her from Maleficent's attacks were her parents Kaguya Narusaka and Hendrick Yor. Moments later, the Guardian is summoned to the Moon by Luther Hargreeves in response to a disturbance that, according to Eris Morn, originated from the Phantom Keep, a massive citadel recently erected by the Hive Shadow Swarm near the Hellmouth. While assisting Eris Morn and Anna Blue in fighting the Hive, the Guardian would encounter Zharves and Xyurdok and their Hive army.
The Hunt Begins
- "You are too late. The world now knows the truth about Mal. And soon, everything they once thought they knew will be forgotten. This is your end. Accept it."
- — Kirito, summoning his Shadowkeepers.
Shortly after the Guardian intercepted the Hive ritual, they would soon come face-to-face with the Shadowkeepers, some of whom taunted them, with Uldren Sov claiming that Kirito gave them strength beyond the Light and granted them immortality and the necessary methods to finally destroy the Light once and for all and Eugeo replying that the Light has weakened, that the Guardian had become weak, that the loss of their commander had destabilized their order, and that with their weakening, the Shadowkeepers grow stronger. Upon hearing what the Shadowkeepers said, the Guardian retreated back to the entrance of the Hive chamber, but luckily, not before retrieving the blueprints for Anna's prototype of the Silent Scream, which she entrusts to them.
The Vex Mindkiller
- "If the Vex succeed, it's the end of everything."
- — Osiris, addressing the Guardian.
As numerous Lightbearers ventured across many worlds to defend the Light against the Darkness, the Vanguard had the Guardian travel to Venus to find any lead on Kirito and Asuna. The Guardian arrived at The Citadel as the House of Flame were deploying their troops to repel any attacks by the Vex. Helping Koriks's Fallen fight the Vex, the Guardian ascended into a control room on the Citadel, where they discovered a superweapon capable of giving the Vex total control over time shortly before jumping into another place to escape the Shadow Divisive. Finding a bright gap in an otherwise dark platform, the Guardian would do battle with Kirito and Asuna.
A Personal Score
- "You claim to be a defender of humanity, Guardian. But, in the end, you're just a person… someone who will always fall into the dark. No matter how fast you run, how far you go, and how hard you try to fight, it will catch up with you. The Light thought it could make you soft and sensible, but you have yet to feel all the pain I felt when I lost my friends and family! And this time, the Traveler will die for Auradon's sins!"
- — Kirito, preparing to fight the Guardian.
Refusing to let Zavala's death go unanswered or let Kirito and Asuna and their Shadow Army rule the entire world, the Guardian prepared to fight Kirito and Asuna. While the Guardian initially had the upper hand throughout most of the fight, Kirito soon caught up speed and overwhelmed them, summoning Hydrax, who attempted to pull their Ghost out of its shell and delete them from existence, but was interrupted by the Exo Stranger, who arrived to help the Guardian fight back against it and the Vex.
However, Kirito activated Deathburst Stream, his diabolical signature move that slaughtered the entire Auradonian enclavement, and attempted to obliterate the Guardian, but luckily for the Guardian, the Exo Stranger teleported herself and the Guardian to another dimension.
Witnessing the Dark Future
Upon arriving in another dimension, the Exo Stranger revealed herself to the Guardian as Elsie Bray, the long-lost sister of Anastasia Bray, explaining that she came from a future where the Darkness won. As the Guardian heard from her about what happened, they would also learn that in that timeline, Mal had helped Kirito and Asuna and their dark armadas succeed in erasing the Light and all the things and people it touched from existence. But luckily for the Guardian, The Drifter also revealed that when Sinon came along, she helped fight back against the Shadows and set up a headquarters for her faction. Together, the Guardian, Elsie, and the Drifter head out to meet with her.
Meeting the Resistance
- "Ever since my crew and I came to your world, we've been tracking down the Shadowkeepers, looking for a way to bring them down. Now that you're here, we can finally have the chance to do so."
- — Sinon.
Heading deeper within the Chinese Dead Zone, aided by Elsie and Drifter, the Guardian finally meet Sinon and her faction face to face. Upon hearing about their notable history of fighting the minions of the Darkness, the Guardian would establish an alliance with them, earning Sinon the honor of getting the chance to fight alongside the Last City. As the Guardian returns to the Tower, they would be contacted by Nagihiko and Ventharok, Axon, Varthon, and Arath, fellow members of Fireteam Infernium, all of whom want to meet up with them.
Beyond the Darkness
Revealing AJ's Whereabouts
- "This world we're in now is a paradox. Reality has changed somehow and in some strange way."
"How do you know all this?"
"No one knows. Neither does Cayde. But, I know someone who did."
- — Nagihiko, conversing with the Guardian.
Upon reaching the Tower, after regaining their memories of the Red War, Panoptes's attack on Mercury, Nokris and Xol's emergence on Mars, Cayde's death at the hands of Uldren, the battle against the Pyramids and Nightmares, Saint-14's resurrection, the fight against the Red Legion to destroy The Almighty, the destruction of Io, Mercury, Titan, and Mars at the hands of the Pyramids, the emergence of House of Salvation, Savathûn's arrival, and the destruction of the City, the Guardian learned from Nagihiko that they were living in a paradox and from Fireteam Infernium that many events had changed ever since the attack on Auradon, one of them being that the Red War had now destroyed Danville and transformed it into a Cabal empire. The Guardian would also learn that seven years after Zavala's death, AJ and the dimension protectors had fought in a war against the Shadow Army in an attempt to restore the timeline, but ultimately had their Light drained; although AJ was luckily able to escape, no one knew what happened to him after he left for Yavin. Nagihiko then tasked the Guardian with finding any intel on AJ's location, starting with Mars, so that the Vanguard can bring him back, to which the Guardian accepts.
The Cabal Crownforger
- "It came from the Black Swordsman himself. We command Legions. Conquered worlds. Waged war across the galaxy to prove our worth. We shall prove ourselves worthy of the Traveler's Light, and your death is the key to achieving that."
- — Gha'arn, Crownforger of Kirito, challenging the Guardian.
After accepting Nagihiko's request, the Guardians traveled to Mars, where they aided Sinon and her crew in tracking down the Joyeuse of Fairies, a fabled relic that Calus and his Loyalists had been trying to uncover moments before his exile, and also rescuing one of their high-valued spies.
However, in the middle of their mission, the Guardians found themselves involved in a brief but devastating battle between the reanimated Siege Dancers and the Shadow Legion, where they encounter Gha'arn, who suddenly escapes shortly after surrounding them with his Cabal forces. Fighting past the Shadow Legion forces, the Guardians would uncover the blueprints for the Joyeuse of Fairies and Robbie's last whereabouts. But unfortunately, by the time the Guardians found out where Robbie was, although he had already gave his life in an attempt to prevent Ghaul from getting his hands on the relic, his noble sacrifice was for nothing as Ghaul had already seized the artifact.
Return of the Ghost Primus
- "You're not brave. You've merely forgotten the fear of death. Allow me to reacquaint you."
- — Dominus Ghaul, encountering the Guardians and Sinon's Resistance.
The Taken Blightmaker
Rise of the Taken Emperor
- "Little Light! Give your will to me!"
- — Phoenixaro Uchihamaki, Threatmaster of Kirito, forcing the Guardians into a harrowing battle against his Akatsuki.
The Scorn Fatesmith
The New Evil
- "My loyal and ambitious subjects, you are here today to finally end your troubles, finally end your griefs over your losses, finally to end your droughts against The Last City's forces...and to finally bring your people's salvation. The wait is finally over, for I, Kirito, Chosen by the Winnower, Champion of the Black Fleet, Bringer to Light's End, will bring you the Salvation and justice that you crave so dearly..."
- — Kirito, bestowing the powers of Fusion on his forces of Darkness.
Moments after the Guardians step into the Chasm of Corruption, they and Petra would eavesdrop on Kirito as he presented the powers of the Darkness to his Shadows. Expecting to kill him, the Guardian would instead be ambushed by a Shadow Marauder, only grazing his shoulder. Now exposed by the Shadow Army elites, the Guardian would run from the arena, running into a room holding a prisoner.
The Death Game
Return of the Kell of Darkness
- "And so it begins. Once it is done, the Great Machine shall suffer for what it did to my people... and yours."
- — Eramis, Kell of Darkness to Magda Peterson.
Upon heading to Mercury, the Guardian, along with Jotaro and a new ally, Brayden-4, would assist Vance in defending The Lighthouse against the House of Salvation, led by a reanimated Eramis and various members of her Dark Council, including Taniks, Atraks, Kridis, Phylaks, and Praksis. Fighting past the Shadow Divisive and Dark Council forces, the Guardian would discover that Kirito's forces were planning to retrofit a Traveler Cage with horrifying dark energy that, if not scrapped, could not only destroy the Light from within, but also engulf the entire Solar System with Darkness.
At the same time, they would also learn from Speedwagon that Kirito's acquisition of Fusion on the Dreaming City was only the beginning of something horrifying for the Last City. Determined to stop Kirito and Asuna from succeeding in taking over the entire universe with the Darkness, the Guardian went on to find fellow recruits in order to create Fireteam Endgame.
Defending the Lions
- "This..."Kirito" has now taken up all of your enemies and has put them in one big pen and these are more desperate than usual, and AJ hates this guy...for some reason...but my reason for hating him is how everything is just given to him on a silver platter. The Pyramids. Your boss's head. Everything. So do yourself a little mental note and destroy everything he has gotten; ruin ALL of it, before you "pull the trigger." When you do so, tell me his look. I want to see his reaction when everything is taken away from him."
- — Joskaa, Lion Kell, talking to the Guardian about Kirito.
Hunting the Betrayer
- "Ahnkra the Weakling. Ahnkra the Coward! I had always despised that rat, but to become another dog to Kirito out of the delusion that he is the strongest? FAH! I should have never allowed him to become part of my Brood. Come, Lightbearer, let us show this fool what true strength is."
- — Viznoor, the Black, tasking the Guardian with hunting down Ahnkra.
Return of the Dimensional Mind
- "Ever since the Corridors of Time collapsed, the Vex have seized an opportunity to resurrect Menkrodos and wreak havoc on our dimension. Normally, we'd give that task to AJ, but this is something personal for us. Right now, we don't know Menkrodos's plan, but we believe that its death could be the key to finding AJ."
- — Osiris, tasking the Guardian with killing Menkrodos for good.
Some moments after intercepting Ahnkra's forces, the Guardians would venture into the Echo Chamber to hunt down a resurrected Menkrodos, who had uncovered a power source capable of augmenting the Vex's arsenal. Moments after entering the same place where they fought Theosyion, the Guardians would do battle with the Sentinels of Menkrodos, led by a reanimated Agioktis, shortly before finding Menkrodos. While fighting Menkrodos, the Guardians would also encounter a Gleam Minotaur guarding the entrance to a simulation of Rath shortly before Menkrodos escaped.
Upon the Gleam Minotaur's defeat, the Guardian would enter the simulation and run into a reflection of Mal, who reveals that Kazuto and Stacia are in danger and that only the Light can save them.
Challenging the Ghoulies
- "Blood for blood. An eye for an eye. There's a war coming, and I want him kicked out. Oh, yeah, one last thing. I want his Light carved off. And I want to do it myself. With a dirty knife."
- — Penny Peabody
Defending the Forgotten
Bringing Down the Archangels
Way of the Hermit
- "Being brave is knowing fear! Making fear your own! Losing your breath is fear! But when you control your fear, you can breathe regularly! The Ripple breathing is the result of being brave! Human praise is the praise of human bravery! Human greatness is the greatness of bravery! However strong and powerful they may be, these Shadows do not know bravery! They are just like fleas!"
- — Caesar Zeppeli, praising the Guardian when using Hamon against the Shadows and Ghosts of Nagasaki.
To further strengthen the Last City's determination to avenge Zavala's death and stop Kirito and Asuna from taking over the world and corrupting the universe with Darkness, the Guardian, along with Caesar and Jotaro, would travel to the Tibet's Temple, where they uncovered many secrets from numerous Hamon users, one of them being Caesar's grandfather Will A. Zeppeli, who explained the existence of Hamon and how its powers, especially when fused with Fusion, can negate Kirito's dark powers. Along the way, they would fight against Jack the Ripper, Michal, Absalom, and Tarkus, former Agents of DIO who had been resurrected by Kirito as members of the Ghosts of Nagasaki, in order to harness the powers of Hamon and acquire a key that leads to Evie's grave, along with the Tommy Gun Overdrive, Joseph Joestar's fabled Submachine Gun.
- "This isn't Mal... at least, not the Mal I knew. Why is she acting like this?"
- — Evie Grimhilde after coming back to life as a Ghost.
While numerous Scouts of the Last City gathered information about AJ's whereabouts, Cayde had the Guardians travel to the remains of Charmington, where they would find blueprints for Evie's corpse. As they approached her burial site, they were attacked by Fusion-empowered Fallen troops led by Koltath Bjor, a mercenary hired by Kotrik to desecrate her grave and prevent her Light from being retrieved, but were able to repel them and find her coffin, where they would resurrect Evie, who had now become a Ghost.
Answering Karviks's Call
- "Ever since we escaped the bloodbath caused by the Black Swordsman, we've looked far and beyond, searching for a light that can help end this nightmare. I believe that you are our best hope."
- — Karviks, Dragon Archon, establishing an alliance with the Guardian.
Bringing AJ Home
- "As you know, AJ is one of the Vanguard's Scouts and the most powerful Voidwalkers you have ever seen. But he is also known for his knowledge and traveling into Dimensions outside our own... probably even knows that Son of a bitch's Dimension...But now, ever since Kirito and Asuna's arrival, AJ has went off the radar entirely, and we haven't found any traces of him. His whole trail has been wiped clean. But now, thanks to Joseph's Ghost picking up signals of Cinnamon, we have found AJ's last known coordinates. If we are going to form this little Band of misfits, we are going to need AJ. He is possibly the key to ending this nightmare."
- — Joskaa, tasking the Guardian with finding AJ.
During the formation of Fireteam Endgame, Joskaa and Joseph would intercept an incoming signal from Yavin, to which they order the Guardian to find AJ and bring him back home safely.
Recruiting the Relentless
- "Kirito...yeah, I've heard a lot about him. He is from another Dimension... I guess he stumbled upon here... and now, he has killed Zavala and united all our enemies-excuse me WHAT?.....ugh...you gotta be kidding me. Guardian, I'mma join your bandwagon. You're gonna need all the help you can get. This guy needs to be put in his place, or be taken back to his Dimension or.....have a Bullet lodged in his head."
- — AJ, speaking to the Guardian about Kirito.
Rallying the Troops
- "Times may be dark, but we are Earth's greatest and last hope. Look around you, a gathering of those who call this system home. This is a chance we've been waiting for. Our homes were attacked, and we were there to watch the onslaught. And despite the sacrifices we made, everything was lost. All that we may have left are those standing beside you. For today, we know our enemy: Kirito, the Black Swordsman and the dark leader of the Shadowkeepers. Look to each other for strength, for strength in each other will keep us united. So, I ask you! Who will stand with me?"
- — Ikora, rallying the Guardians and their allies.
Entering the Underworld
- "That monster... he may have taken my memories, my life, my identity. But not my resolve!"
- — Kazuto Narusaka after hearing what his doppelgänger had done.
Conquering the Past
End of the Legion
Shattering of Bonds
Fighting the Shadows
Toppling the Shadowkeepers
- "Light 'em up, Guardian! Zevon's not going anywhere this time!"
- — Cayde-6, moments before the Guardian freezes Zevon with Stasis.
Putting Eugeo and Uldren Out of Their Miseries
Avenging the Hidden Leaf
Nullifying the Destroyer of Worlds
Nothing Left to Lose
Wrath of the Relentless
The Final Battle
War On Aincrad
Death of the Black Swordsman
Saving the Dragon Queen
Birth of the Solar Coalition
Though Kirito and Asuna and the Shadowkeepers have been dealt with, thereby avenging Zavala and countless innocent lives, the Shadow Army remain a threat within the Solar System that the Guardians continue to manage with bounties from numerous allies. However, within the Tower, while its denizens are relieved that Mal and her parents, along with her daughter, are safe and sound, some of them would question what consequences Mal's existence will bring.
Over time, the Guardians hunting the Shadows within the Solar System receive a message from Tatsuyi, who has resurrected his parents and their champions as Nightmares, issuing a challenge to them to avenge the Shadow Army. Tracking the Vibebreaker to the abandoned chamber of what remained of Auradon Prep, the Guardians battle against Tatsuyi and his Shadow Collective and despite his Dark abilities, they slay the Shadowkeepers and Tatsuyi, but he swears that they will return.
Fall of the Remnants
- "Morgana is dead... but her forces remain a threat. And worse of all, her champion, Angor Rot, has filled a void that would've crippled the Ghosts of Nagasaki. He must be stopped at all costs."
- — Viznoor tasking the Guardian with hunting down Angor Rot.
In addition to Tatsuyi and the Nightmares of the Shadowkeepers, the Guardians deal with remnants of the Ghosts of Nagasaki after agreeing to take it as a favor for Viznoor. Returning to the downed Rachitech Warship, the Guardians find that the Ghosts of Nagasaki's numbers have grown exponentially since Magda's death. They also discover Greeble Ironclads adorned with Dark Ether, results of Gunmar's experiments. Delving deeper into the Troll nest, the Guardians encounter the new leader of the Ghosts of Nagasaki within the Tangled Shore, Angor Rot, who was a member of Gunmar's sect of the Ghosts of Nagasaki. Their battle with the Assassin takes the Guardians further and further into the Troll nest but they manage to corner him at the center of the chamber. There, despite his dark power in summoning a shade to aid him, the Guardians kill Angor Rot, which will lower the Ghosts of Nagasaki's numbers within the Tangled Shore in time.
Snuffing Out The Remaining Shadows
Slaying the Fallen Shadows
- "Kalviks is a special one to kill, he was once one of my lieutenants, before that spoiled brat of a "savior" came and brought his ass here. Now he betrays the House and expects me to "not be mad about it". But you know what I do to traitors, Yes? heh heh heh..."
- — Joskaa, explaining to The Guardian about Kalvkis.
Decimating the Hive Shadows
Eliminating the Vex Shadows
Destroying the Cabal Shadows
Ahnkra's Final Stand
End of the Dimensional Mind
- "So, that Motherfucker thinks he can bring back Menkrodos eh? No matter, we can put him back into the dirt, and any "Shadow" that was in cahoots with that son of a bitch."
- — AJ, learning of the Dimensional Mind's Return.
Seeking the Truth Eternal
- "You are finally here, Guardian. Monster slayer. Light avenger. All that strength, and you still have yet to fathom much more. You could be so much more... all you need do is wish it. This city within my vessel will challenge you in ways you have never thought possible. Come. Let's enjoy ourselves."
- — Evangelion, Mastermind of Eternities, welcoming the Guardian to his ship.
- "On our Solar System, the Darkness came into existence with civilization for many millennia, many timelines, and numerous worlds. As society developed and improved over the course of history, the Darkness grew even stronger with the sole purpose of exterminating us. For many years, there have been too many people who have given things up to the Darkness, and now... ever since the arrival of the Pyramids, Kirito and Asuna took so much...way too much...and what we've lost to them may be even greater than the Earth itself... But because of those we lost...because of them, we're alive now. Zavala. Evie. Ben. Suguha. Klein. Agil. Lisbeth. Silica. Eiji. Black Yuna. Alice. The war is over, and now begins a new era of hope... a new age of triumph."
- — Ikora Rey, speaking to the Guardian during the aftermath of the Apocalypse.
Though the Shadowkeeper Apocalypse ended, while the Shadow Army and Ghosts of Nagasaki would still be more than enough of a threat that the Guardians continued to fight them, various enemy orders would reemerge, with some of them rallying under the banners of numerous threats, including Savathûn, the Witch Queen.
- Destiny 2