Hidden Dossier

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"And my vanquisher will read that book, seeking the weapon, and they will come to understand me, where I have been and where I was going."
The following is a verbatim transcription of an official document for archival reasons. As the original content is transcribed word-for-word, any possible discrepancies and/or errors are included.
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Boons I grant you, oh bearer mine, but debts must be paid in time.
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Cover of the Hidden Dossier

The Hidden Dossier is the book contained within The Witch Queen Collector's Edition.[1][Note 1] It is a collection of documents, messages, and other relevant files from Hidden Agents, compiled by Ikora Rey. In addition to the 48 pages within the CE book, there are an additional 30 pages resulting from the ARG involving buyers of the Collector's Edition.[2]

Text in this color indicates handwritten notes made by Ikora Rey.

Letter From Ikora[Note 2]

Guardian,

I hesitate. I am touched by doubt.

We must speak clearly. But you can't talk precisely without knowing precisely who you're
talking to. (Think of everything we said to Osiris—) I feel as if I know you.
But have I ever allowed you to know me?

I used to act as fast as I thought, and sometimes much faster. That's youth. Eventually I
made too many mistakes to ignore; that's youth too, ignoring your mistakes until they pile up
and topple. I dug myself out. I learned to keep myself hidden. Hidden purpose, hidden
knowledge. A hidden Ikora, and for the world, a face of perfect composure and intent.
Even when we lost the Traveler, I went to Io to hide my confusion.

I am going to try to un-hide myself.

I may frighten or confuse you. I am not an easy person to know.

This is a folio of intelligence reports from my Hidden network. It will illuminate the events
leading up to the current apokalypsis. In the original Koine Greek, that word means unveiling,
and also revelation.

In the spirit of unveiling I have also included fragments of my own personal writing about
the nature of Darkness and Light. They are less the work of Ikora Rey the great Warlock
Vanguard than of ikora rey, the unfashioned and uncertain woman.

In the early Books of Sorrow, Savathun scribbles a warning that Oryx's text is
full of lies. Mara Sov's hagiography and self-indictment, the Marasenna,
warns the reader to remember that it is narrated in the first person, even and especially
when it pretends to be objective.

Truth is always edited by the truthteller.

I give you no such warning. This is the unaltered truth of what I know and who I am.
May it bring you to the clarity I have sought.


Ikora

The Hidden Dossier

((01))


Beginnings offer you no power.
It is what you do that is in your power;
it is how you end which counts.

SUBJ: INITIAL REPORT ON UNPAIRED GHOST COMMUNITIES

((02))


ACCESS: MOST RESTRICTED
DECRYPTION KEY: Z2TET3C4WZTLRL8NV5KS$IKO-006
REP#: 1851-GHOSTS-SUS
AGENT(S): CHA-319

SUBJ: INITIAL REPORT ON UNPAIRED GHOST
COMMUNITIES


1. Hey friend!

2. I know I'm not allowed to say that to the Warlock
Vanguard or to IKO-006, but given that we're under
double-trouble encryption, I'm going to say it anyway.
How's your whole mess in the City? Glad I missed all that...

3. I've completed my "Ethnographic Survey of Itinerant
Unpaired Ghosts Who Prefer Intra-Ghost Interactions."
It'll make a neat paper. As a cover story, it was pretty
good! These Ghosts tend to be thoughtful and introverted,
so like most introverts, they respond well to people who
are interested in their thoughts. And they seemed to find it
very self-affirming to dislike me! I guess it's nice to confirm
you still prefer yourself to other people.

4. These introverted Ghosts spend a lot of time hovering in
circles, philosophizing. The longer they've been away from
people (sorry, Human people—Ghosts are people, too),
the less they care about hovering at head height or facing
each other when they talk. After a few months, they'll just
scatter around a space facing every whichway, like they're
each posing for a photo. When they're not talking, I get the
feeling that they're just... sensing. The same way they can
divine the character of a long-dead corpse. Whatever you
want to call that faculty, they're using it.

5. Speaking of, are we still doing the sunyata friendship
thing? Treating each other as sacred voids? If so, I'm
allowed to say anything to you, and you are allowed to say
anything to me, and we each trust the other to receive it
without hurt. So I'm allowed to say—I'm not sure people
out here like you very much, Ikora. They don't know who
you are; they don't have a sense of what you stand for.

And you know, I do get that. I had to sneak up on you
in your private library to surprise you and (I know you
INSIST I didn't really surprise you, but still...) even then,

((03))


you talked to me about circles. Circles! Do you know
what the Traveler's reawakening meant for the geometry
of circles? You told me it changed everything about the
semiotic role of circles in some paracausal invocation of
the Light. And I'm going to tell you the truth, which is,
you didn't want to talk to me, so you talked about circles
instead. I know people who can talk in circles, but you're
the only one who can do it by talking about circles. I really
admire your efficiency.

6. These Ghosts without Guardians argue about two things.
One is the exact nature of their connection to their
undiscovered Guardian. Is each Ghost predestined to find
one and exactly one soul to raise as a Guardian? Or does
each Ghost have a taste, a set of preferences that many
dead people might satisfy? Could a Ghost potentially raise
anyone? Does the choice of a partner lie within the Ghost,
or is it a mission assigned by the Traveler?

7. They also argue over how one should interact with their
chosen Guardian. Should Ghosts accede to whatever
their partner demands? Or is a Ghost's relationship
with a Guardian a negotiated bond between equals and
codependents? Heavy stuff. But I guess it's the same
argument people always have about their relationships. Is
there such a thing as true love, or just the love we decide
we're going to make work?

8. What is this thing we do, Ikora? Are you my one true
love, am I yours? We agreed it's not love like most people
have love. Nobody's getting married or turning up arm-
in-arm at the Crimson Ball. It's a special and radical kind
of friendship, right? That's what you said. An endogenous
need to strike the lies away from another soul. It's the
promise to seek truth in each other without mercy or fear,
but always with compassion.

((04))


So: speaking mercilessly and fearlessly, but with
compassion, where is our friendship now? What does it
mean? Does it mean that I check in on you every few years
and otherwise just let you do your thing? Is that your
nature—to draw away forever while I chase after you and
nag to be sure you're all right? Friend, you are not Mara
Sov, and I am not one of her cadre. I'm not doing that. I
want to see more of you, and I want you to want that.

9. Maybe I shouldn't expect a lot of personal insight from
the woman who wrote the Hidden creed. Which reads, and
I quote, "Find thy self. Know thy self. Destroy thy self."
But I'm really worried that if people don't know you, they
might end up destroying you. Our much-foreshadowed
Stranger saw the future, Ikora. You were dead. Dead
because someone you trusted turned on all of us.

10. Can't end on nine paragraphs. Too spooky! I noticed
one common thread among these unpaired Ghosts. They
REALLY like the Books of Sorrow. Ever since Eris
deciphered the calcified fragments, Guardians have been
fascinated by the history of the Hive. But these Ghosts—I
don't think it's fascination. I think it's pity. They see
the Hive as an exploited underclass, for goodness' sake!
Victims of a cosmic parasite that tricked the poor krill
into eternal slavery. No wonder they haven't found their
Guardians. They don't want to help anyone kill Hive!

But this is troubling, isn't it? Because if Ghosts can decide
that they have moral qualms with raising Guardians, and if
they can convince other Ghosts to follow suit... we're going
to need a program of counter-persuasion. We'll have to start
keeping an eye on the morale and loyalty of our own Ghosts.

This way lies a terrible future.

MESSAGE ENDS

FIRST CALLING OF THE HIDDEN, ANNOTATED

((05))


I feel the need to ground my commentary here with anecdote.

1. Find thy self.

To be Osiris's student was to orbit a star. The man would occlude you if you let him; and if you
came too close, you would be burnt. It became tempting to define yourself only by your distance and
angle with relation to him: "Today he is distracted but warm, so I am at a close approach but a high
inclination." This was a mistake. You must know who you are with respect to yourself. This is not an
emotional allegory! If you intend to conduct thanatonautics alongside a teacher, to die and become
as fire and return to life, you must know what parts of you are yours!

Accurate knowledge is impossible if you do not understand
the device by which knowledge is obtained. One of
humanity's most monumental achievements is the metric
system, an enduring system of measure usable by all
people in all situations. But the metric system had a flaw:
its units were defined by physical objects. The standard
kilogram was an ingot of platinum and iridium. This
ingot changed over time, as all material things must; and
therefore, it was unreliable. The metric system was not
completed until the kilogram found a truer, more absolute
definition based on pure knowledge: in this case, Planck's
universal constant.

In the future, we may discover that Planck's constant
varies between different volumes of the multiverse. If we
do, we will need to find a truer definition of the kilogram.
So it is that this is the first step—finding thy self— so
that you may know the instrument by which you obtain
knowledge, and it is ever ongoing.

2. Know thy self.

I thought I knew my self. I'd fought in the Crucible, which requires self-knowledge to check the
impulses that control most Crucible players. ("I'll go straight to the ammo drop again; this time, it'll
turn out differently." No, fool, it will not!) I'd flown high-risk scouting missions far from Earth, and
always returned. I had even bargained with an Ahamkara and, I thought, come out ahead. What I
had wished for was a teacher greater than me.

But I did not know my self. I could find myself, certainly, but the map is not the territory. Just
because I could locate Ikora Rey did not mean I could enter Ikora Rey and understand her: and if
you do not know the interior mechanism of a device, you do not know what the device will do.

I found myself in a place of crisis. The Vanguard had determined that the Ahamkara had to be
made extinct. But to confront Ahamkara, you must know and accept exactly what it is you desire—
you must let it pass through you without either repudiation or longing, or it will become a wish for
the Ahamkara to feed upon. And oh, the longings I hated to have! To shatter Ophiuchus, to astound
my critics with a display of my full power, to die alongside Osiris and be reborn as one being in an

((06))


eternity of fire, to burn poor Chalca to a temporary, smoking smear and laugh at her astonishment...
we are all full of these perverse impetuosities.

It is one thing to purge yourself of all incorrect and unacceptable thought. It is another to know it
and accept it and to let it be.

When you have reliable instruments of measurement,
you may then measure yourself. Truth is universal, but
universal truth can only be acquired through personal
truth. This is the foundational paradox of Gnosticism. To
know anything beyond the self requires self-knowledge, but
the self cannot be known without understanding the laws
that drive it, which can only be known by observing the
world. How do we escape this cycle?

This conundrum offers an escape from the Boltzmann-
brain solipsistic trap. The trap asks us, "How do you know
that you are not the only thing in existence, and that the
universe you perceive is not a random moment emerged
from chaos?" The answer is that a randomly emerged
illusionary brain, the product of a probabilistic demiurge,
is cosmically unlikely to contain both the memory of
and imaginary universe and knowledge of consistent
mathematical and physical laws of which describe that
whole. If the world is an illusion, then why would it
produce the illusion of a physics that can be consistently
explain its existence? Which is more probable: that we and
all we see are an enormous coincidence, or that reality is
in fact determined and evolved by a consistent set of laws?
The existence of an objective reality is more probable. If
objective reality really exists, we exist in it. The truth that we see
in the world around us allow us to induce the truth of our
own persistent existence.

To know thy self is not to only look within but also
without. It is impossible to know thy self without
knowledge of the universe.

3. Destroy thy self.

When I battled Azirim, he defeated me. He showed me that he could make all my desires real,
and I succumbed. It was Wei Ning who broke me out of the trance-of-creation I had fallen into,
moments before I manifested a wish from the quantum vacuum: four dead strangers returned to life,
forgiven their desperate grab for my Ghost, so that I could forgive myself for how quickly and lethally
I had responded. If I had finished the wish and fashioned them, I would have annihilated myself,
Ophiuchus, and everything around us in a particle-antiparticle catastrophe.

What Wei Ning did was punch me in the head so gently that I only got a concussion. I do not advise
this as a way to destroy the self. But as an analogy, it is useful.

((07))


When you have located your self, destroy your self. Grip
your self like a hand shaking a hand, find the weak places,
and squeeze. Throw your self at yourself like a rising
tide upon an ancient fortress. Do not stop when your
soft places are eroded. You must continue until nothing
remains. In this manner, you will gain two vital gnoses: the
revealed knowledge of your own strengths and failings,
and the practiced knowledge of how to reconstruct your
self when destroyed.

In one Gnostic tradition, our universe is the creation of
Barbelo and Sophia, whose mimicry of the Unknown
God's emanations gave rise to Yaldabaoth, the lion-headed
serpent. Yaldabaoth the Demiurge crafted our world and
the Archons that rule it in mimicry of the true spiritual
world, which is called pleroma. Upon creating humanity,
Yaldabaoth declared itself the truth creator, unaware that it
itself was only a mimic of the Unknown God.

The key understanding here lies not in the fabulism, nor
even in Yaldabaoth's failure to destroy itself and reveal the
truth, but in the relationship between the Gnostic tradition
and the Book of Genesis. This Gnostic tale comes before
the traditional Genesis, totally recontextualizing it—even
destroying it. In retaliation for this transformation, the
Gnostics were destroyed by more orthodox faith.

We cannot understand ourselves unless we know our
own origins; and we cannot accept our origins unless are
willing to destroy ourselves.

4. Shed thy self.

When I battled Madhir, he tried the same trick as Azirim. But I simply became someone else. I
do not mean that I pretended to be someone else. I mean that I allowed Madhir to change me into
someone who Madhir could not tempt.

I laugh much less since that day. But I am more content.

Rub at the thin, dry outer parts of yourself. Crawl shining
and wet from that outer husk.

All misjudgement is caused by the failure to shed the self.
We constantly make poor decisions, knowing that they will
hurt us and isolate us, because these decisions allow us
to sustain our stories of who we are. When we are angry,
we choose to act in anger, even if we know we could de-
escalate. When we are wounded, we make the choices a
wounded person would make, even when we know these
choices will deepen the wound. Who would do otherwise?



Notes

  1. ^ Transcription by User:Jzpelaez
  2. ^ Letter itself is a separate item, however is included on this page for the purposes of compiling transcriptions to a single page.

References