From Destinypedia, the Destiny wiki
The Hive, formerly known as the Krill, are a macabre, incredibly ancient species of aliens that worship and serve the Darkness. Their entire culture is based around a principle known as the Sword Logic, which dictates that they must destroy other civilizations in order to accrue paracausal power and feed the Worms that live within their bodies. Along with the Darkness itself, they are led by a pantheon of dark gods, who derive power and sustenance from the destruction wrought by the Hive.
In Sol, they have a significant presence on the Moon, where they have built the Hellmouth and Scarlet Keep, as well as having a presence on certain regions of Earth, around Saturn, where the massive Dreadnaught orbits, the icy regions of Mars and on Titan, where they infest the ruined arcologies. They also have a strong presence in the Dreaming City and Tangled Shore.
The Hive are an "impossibly ancient" race born from a pact with the Worm Gods. Hive structures delve deep into wherever they lay claim to, unheeding of the damage done in the process, crafting linked caverns and gothicesque columns; these underground spaces resemble a dungeon recently pulled up after an extended period underwater. They are able to manipulate the physical world in ways humanity can only begin to imagine, and have witnessed the Darkness consume countless worlds in the past.
The Hive are not an enemy military so much as a rising force. They base their entire existence around the extermination of other forms of life, especially those that follow the way of Light and the Traveler, and approach their task with religious fervor. To the Hive, killing and conquest are not merely acts of war, but of worship.
At the time of the first Destiny game, they have burrowed deep into the Moon, staying there for centuries while growing stronger. The Guardian's Ghost states that he believed the Hive to be contained on the Moon for centuries, but the player first encounters them in Old Russia underneath the Skywatch, where the Fallen have attempted to seal them away. The Guardians eventually discover that this is just the beginning; the Hive have been building an army and intend to invade Earth en masse.
The Hive trace their origins to a gas giant named Fundament. Long ago, the Krill crashed their homeworld into Fundament, ostensibly to hide from something unknown. The shards of this homeworld became a number of continents that floated upon a sea called the Fundament Ocean within a layer of the gas giant's atmosphere, and the Krill eventually built a meager civilization upon them and forgot their old history. In addition to the Krill, Fundament was home to hundreds of other intelligent species, and Fundament's fifty-two moons were inhabited by a space faring species called the Ammonites who were overseen by the Traveler.
Life was quick and harsh for the krill. Their natural lifespan rarely exceeded ten Fundament-years, though females who ate "mother jelly" became able to spawn and live longer. In terms of environmental hazards, Fundament was almost inhospitable. The Fundament Ocean was toxic, the skies were eternally stormy, the rain poisonous and sometimes corrosive, lightning had enough power to vaporize anyone it struck, "living clouds" called Stormjoys would prey on the populace, and the Krill frequently warred with each other.
The progenitors of the contemporary Hive were Xi Ro, Sathona, and Aurash, the three daughters of the Osmium King who ruled the continent called the Osmium Court. When the Osmium King was ten years old, he fell to madness, fearing an event called the Syzygy wherein Fundament's fifty-two moons would align and create a massive tidal wave, the God-Wave, that would destroy Fundament's civilizations. Taox, a sterile mother who served as the teacher to the King's daughters, feared the King's daughters were too weak to succeed the King and invited a rival kingdom, the Helium Drinkers of the Helium Court, to invade the Osmium Court, kill the royal family, and allow Taox to rule the Osmium Court as their regent. The Helium Drinkers invaded and slew the Osmium King, but the three sisters, two years old at the time, escaped on a ship and vowed to take their revenge against the Helium King and Taox.
After a year of traveling the sea, the sisters salvaged an ancient, high-tech ship they called "The Needle" from the Shvubi Maelstrom. Xi Ro wanted to sell it at the Kaharn Atoll, a gathering place of Fundament's many species, in order to raise enough money to hire a mercenary army, but Aurash wanted to take command of the ship. Sathona sided with Aurash, goaded on by a worm that their father had kept; the worm had washed up on the Osmium Court's shores and was seemingly dead, but Sathona could hear it speak. Unbeknownst to Sathona, the voice she was hearing was in fact that of the The Witness, who sought to claim the Hive for the Darkness and turn them away from the Traveler; in truth, there was no imminent danger from a "god-wave" or the syzygy that would supposedly cause it.
The sisters spent the next two years reactivating the ship, until Aurash decided to use it to fulfill its intended purpose: she wanted to dive to Fundament's core in the hopes of learning a secret that would prevent the Syzygy.
As they descended, the sisters encountered a vast creature called the Leviathan, a disciple of the Traveler. The Leviathan warned the sisters against proceeding further, telling them that they faced a choice between the Sky and the Deep, the Light and the Darkness, the way of life and the way of death. The sisters rejected the Leviathan, unable to accept that allowing their people to suffer was the better way, and instead decided to follow the worm Sathona had saved, which urged them to continue diving.
Deep within the Fundament Ocean, the sisters encountered the Worms, who drew their power from the Darkness itself: Yul, the Honest Worm, Eir, the Keeper of Order, Xol, Will of the Thousands, Ur, the Ever-Hunger, and Akka, the Worm of Secrets. The Worm Gods claimed that they had lived and grown in Fundament's depths for millions of years, trapped by the Leviathan and the Traveler. They had called many species to Fundament, hoping one would be tenacious enough to find them. They offered Xi Ro, Sathona, and Aurash immortality if they would allow themselves to be hosts for the Worms' larvae, with the caveat that if the sisters ceased to obey their natures (Xi Ro's desire to test her strength, Sathona's cunning, Aurash's inquisitiveness), their Worms would consume them. Furthermore, the stronger the sisters became, the greater their Worms' appetites would be.
The sisters accepted the pact. Xi Ro took the knight morph and became Xivu Arath; Sathona took the mother morph and became Savathûn; and Aurash took the king morph and became Auryx, the King of the Hive. Over the following years, the siblings returned to their people and spread the Worms among them, creating the Hive and enabling them to liberate the Osmium Court, then drive Taox and the other species of Fundament to Kaharn Atoll, and finally to build spaceships and break free of Fundament.
Campaign of Destruction
As the newborn Hive forced an ultimatum on the remaining Krill to accept the worms or perish, Auryx turned his attention to Fundament's moons, and the Ammonites there who had allied with the Traveler and gave asylum to Taox. Initially he was willing to negotiate with the Ammonites, his sister Savathûn, under pressure from the Worms, killed Auryx as punishment. Rather than dying, Auryx's soul instead passed to the Ascendant Realm, where his soul resided until he returned to the mortal realm. Rebuked, Auryx purged what sympathy and goodwill he had left, becoming a merciless tyrant. They overwhelmed the Ammonites, slew the Leviathan, and forced Taox and the Traveler to flee.
He and his sisters warred with and killed one another on a regular basis afterward, as part of their worship of the Sword-Logic and their attempt to become the sharpest blades in the universe, heading to their throne worlds when defeated. Their war of revenge against Taox had transformed into a campaign of genocide, when they slew the Qugu and other interstellar civilizations to feed their worms. The lords of the Hive also established their throne worlds within the Ascendant realm, with Auryx naming his the High War. Savathûn was inspired by this, and named her own throne world the High Coven.
During the Hive's war with the Ecumene, Auryx came to realize that the Worm Gods had deceived him and his sisters: their worms appetites were growing past their ability to feed them with death. Meeting with his sisters in his Ascendant realm, surrounded by their servants (some of which despised them for showing weakness) they despaired over their dilemma. When his sisters offered their power to help Auryx find a way to save them, Auryx killed them, then used that power to confront his patron god Akka, the Worm of Secrets. He killed Akka so that he may steal its ability to call upon the Deep and created the Tablets of Ruin, which gave him the power to Take. His transformation complete, Auryx was now Oryx, the Taken King. During the subsequent war with the Ecumene, Oryx revived Xivu Arath in an act of war, and revived Savathûn in an act of cunning. He then decreed the tithe system: each Hive would kill their enemies, take some to feed their own worm and tithe the rest to their superior. Thralls would tithe to Acolytes, Acolytes would tithe to Knights or Wizards, the Knights and Wizards would tithe to the Ascendant Hive, those who commanded legions of warriors and earned the right to enter the Hive gods' respective throne worlds. All of this violence would eventually reach Oryx, Savathûn, and Xivu Arath, allowing their worms to feed on violence while continuing to invoke their inner natures.
Fearing that he was becoming a nihilist, Oryx eventually decided to sire his own spawn. The results of this was Crota, Son of Oryx, and the Deathsinger twins, Ir Anûk and Ir Halak. One day, the Deathsingers were refining their Deathsongs and came up with the idea of the Oversoul. Intrigued, Oryx commanded Crota to watch his sisters, so that he might learn something. But while Oryx was off studying the Deep, Crota was deceived by Savathûn into using his Cleaver to cut a portal in the High War, allowing the Vex to enter. For one hundred years the children of Oryx waged war with the Vex, who quickly deduced that worshipping the Sword-Logic and the Deep was key to attaining power in the High War. However, while the Hive were able to overpower the Vex, they were unable to push them out, as they lost too much of their power when entering the Vex conflux. The situation become so severe that the Worm God Eir itself demanded that Oryx return and end the war. Quickly returning to the High War, Oryx used his powers to take the Vex and cleanse his throne world. Angered at his son's imperfection, Oryx threw Crota into the Vex gate network, decreeing that he return "victorious or die forgotten". At first, Crota resented his father for his seeming abandonment, but after time came to understand his father and built temples to Oryx and the Deep, eventually becoming a vital link in Oryx's tithe of death and achieving godhood himself. However, Oryx recognized that the threat of the Vex invading his throne world could not happen again, so he moved the High War into a mighty Dreadnaught scrimshawed from the remains of Akka.
During the Hive's campaign against the Harmony and the Vex, Quria, Blade Transform presented Oryx with a simulation of his former self, Aurash. Oryx looked upon the simulation with amusement, while Aurash looked upon Oryx in horror, demanding to know what he had done to her sisters and her people. In the end, Oryx Took Quira, and presented the Vex to Savathûn as a gift. When she asked him what proof they had that what they were doing was right, Oryx simply replied that the Hive's existence was proof enough in their convictions to live eternal by the Sword-Logic. Following the war with the Harmony, Savathûn decided that her fleets would enter the black hole that the Harmony lived around, claiming that they would become stronger for it, while Xivu Arath took her fleets away from Oryx's as she felt he constrained her too much. Oryx continued his crusade alone, and ruminated on the future.
The Wrath of Crota
Having conquered many worlds in pursuit of the Traveler, Crota's spawn had arrived at the Sol system long before the Golden Age and his armies, lead by Sardon, Fist of Crota, encroached upon Luna and embedded themselves deep in the crust of the Moon, where they constructed their brooding grounds close to an inactive Pyramid found buried beneath the surface. Their presence was first discovered by humanity sometime during the Collapse, where they had slaughtered the human inhabitants of the First Light Lunar Installation and the K1 Project site.  Eventually they completely geoengineered the entire interior of the planetoid from the bottom up into an impregnable fortress called the Hellmouth; laying dormant and silently building their strength for centuries until the threat of their existence faded to myth.
During the early City Age, Rezyl Azzir became the first Guardian to reach the Moon in centuries. Pursuing ancient mysteries regarding the existence of the Hive, Rezyl made first contact with Xyor, the Blessed and her betrothed Knight. Faced off with Xyor's consort and the witch's magic, Rezyl emerged victorious against the Knight and escaped to warn the City of the imposing threat. However, the magic that affected Rezyl during the battle with Xyor and her Knight would slowly corrupt him into the hated killer, Dredgen Yor and create the first Weapon of Sorrow: the infamous Thorn.
As the Hive launched their Seeder Ships across Earth, a fireteam encountered the Hive at the Rusted Lands in the Eastern Flooded Zone; only one surviving Hunter returned to warn the City of the first Hive invasion of Earth. Against overwhelming odds, the Guardians barely succeeded in repelling their offense at the Battle of Burning Lake. Not realizing the true threat the Hive posed, they planned a counterattack on the moon. Lord Shaxx, a veteran of Burning Lake, opposed this, and eventually busted in on a Consensus meeting, calling the idea of a counterattack 'madness' and said that the Guardians needed to learn about the Hive's swords and find a way to defend against them. The Consensus ignored Shaxx's warnings, and the failed attack was later called the Great Disaster. The Sword-Logic proved to be too much for the Guardians, as countless heroes fell before Crota's Blades, rendering the entire battle a slaughter. In particular, the legendary Titan Wei Ning, was slain personally by the God-Knight himself who cracked the Moon with his sword, forcing the Guardians a full retreat from the battle. The Vanguard and Consensus then declared the Moon off-limits, where only the most elite Guardians are allowed to venture to.
Out of revenge for the slain, the Warlock Eriana-3 led five other Guardians in an attempt to kill Crota only for the team to have their Light suppressed in the depths of the Hellmouth, leaving the Hive to pick off the fireteam one by one. Only one of the Guardians, Eris Morn, survived trapped in the Hellmouth for years, only having recently escaped but as a light-less Guardian forever changed, scarred and seeking vengeance upon Crota and the Hive.
Years later, the discovery of the Hidden Swarm stirring beneath the Skywatch at Old Russia was made by a newly risen Guardian investigating the House of Devils. Pursuing the recent resurgence of Hive activity on Earth, said Guardian was sent to investigate the whereabouts of a missing scout near the Hellmouth on the Moon. What they found confirmed that the Hive within the Temple of Crota was preparing for a second invasion of Earth; this time also attacking the Traveler directly in a ritual to slowly drain its Light using one of its broken shards. Despite the Hive's efforts, the ritual was thwarted, but the threat of the Hive remained; One that would be addressed by the former-Lightbearer, Eris Morn.
The Dark Below
Crota's spawn would play a major role when his consort Omnigul left the Hellmouth to lead the Hive in their impending invasion of Earth, with a plot to disable Rasputin's Warsat defenses. In retaliation, Eris Morn called upon allies who heeded her warnings in dismantling Crota's army and to prevent Crota's imminent return. The Guardian slew Crota's disciples, including the Swarm Princes and their commander Sardon, leaving the Hive army in disarray and thwarted Omnigul's attempt to sabotage Rasputin. To ensure Crota does not reenter the material world to lead his army himself, Eris guided the Guardians to the Moon, where the Hive attempt a ritual summoning Crota back from his throne world. The crystal tethering his soul in the Chamber of Night would be sent back to his throne world, banishing him from the physical world and thereby preventing his corporeal return. His general and acting Will, Omnigul, was later slain by Guardians who traced her back to Skywatch.
Crota's end would be met by The Guardian leading a fireteam of six to raid upon the Oversoul Throne, entered from the deepest pit of the Hellmouth. The Guardians would summon Crota from his crystal to engage at his own throne world. When conventional means failed before the Hope-Eater, the Guardians turned Crota's own Sword-Logic against him with the Cleavers of his fallen Blades, permanently killing him. This would mark the Hive's first true defeat, the loss of one of their gods and their race's heir to the Osmium Throne.
The Taken War
The exact nature of Oryx was once unknown to the Guardians, but the name Oryx appeared often enough in Hive rituals that it could not be ignored. Shrines dedicated to Oryx, used by the Hive to communicate with Oryx across the universe, were known to exist throughout the Solar System. Osiris studied the Hive extensively and foretold that the Spawn of Crota would one day pave the way for Oryx's coming by "snuffing out the worlds of Light". Members of the Blood of Oryx Hive sect are thought to be the direct servants of Oryx himself, though it is speculated that he is the master of all other Hive sects as well.
After learning of the death of his son, Crota, Oryx personally traveled to the Solar System aboard his Dreadnaught, accompanied by a Hive fleet and his Taken army. They were met with opposition by Queen Mara Sov and her Reefborn Awoken armadas at the Battle of Saturn, which ended in a pyrrhic victory for the king who wiped out the Queen's forces with his Dreadnaught's superweapon. With his fleet decimated after the battle, Oryx's Taken forces attacked Cabal bases on Phobos and Mars to rebuild his numbers and regain his advantage. Cabal detachments were devastated within hours, with the Sand Eaters suffering a catastrophic 58% casualties, while the Blind Legion and the Dust Giants lost 35% and 39% of their numbers respectively. The Vanguard discovered Oryx's presence after sending a Guardian to Phobos to investigate a Cabal distress signal, by which time Taken covens began appearing on multiple worlds, ushering in the Taken War.
Oryx was nearly beaten when the Guardian breached his sanctum and attacked him, but like all Hive Gods, this was only a temporary setback. Using his Taken powers, he escaped into the Ascendant realm to recuperate from his injuries. Meanwhile, his Taken, led by his Echoes, continued to harass the system. Once the blights had been removed, the Guardians turned their attention on Oryx and his champions. By overthrowing the Court of Oryx and killing his minions, they were able to breach deeper into the Dreadnaught. After his closest allies—the Warpriest and Golgoroth, including his own daughters—were killed, Oryx returns to fight the Guardian once more, this time as a gigantic version of his physical body. Here he attempted to pull the Guardian Raid team into the Darkness multiple times and Take them, but they were able to use Oryx's own captured Light against him. By slaying his Light-Eater Ogres and Knights, and then detonating the Light they left behind to wound him, the Guardians were able to strike at the God-King's Heart directly, slaying Oryx for good.
Pretenders to the Throne
Though the God-King of the Hive was slain, the Taken War did not end with his death. Hive and Taken forces remained at large in the Solar System that the Guardians maintained steadfast vigilance against. A great many Hive and Taken champions were hunted down and destroyed before they could infest the system any further.
Since the Guardians refused to take Oryx's place as the next Taken King, various powerful Hive and Taken entities arose in a bid to claim the Osmium Throne for their own. Chief among the contenders for the throne were Alak-Hul, the Darkblade, a powerful Hive warrior Oryx imprisoned for an earlier usurpation, and Malok, Pride of Oryx, a former scion of Savathûn Taken by Oryx. Before Alak-Hul could break out of his shadowed cell, Eris Morn called upon the Guardians to break into the prison section of the Dreadnaught, not only to remove a potential candidate for the throne but also avenge her fallen comrades who fell to Alak-Hul. Fighting to Alak-Hul's cell at The Hanging Crypts, the Guardians battle with the Darkblade within his own black cell, but after a tense battle they succeed in striking him down.
Sometime later, Malok enacted his own campaign to seize Oryx's throne, using his mastery of the Blights to further his goals and possibly launch an all-out assault on the Last City to prove his claim. However, word of his activities caught the attention of Variks, who relayed his findings to Eris Morn. Calling upon the Guardians once more, they managed to drive Malok out of the Dreadnaught, forcing the Taken-Hive Prince to retreat to the Hellmouth on the Moon. Tracking Malok, the Guardians fight past his Taken forces and persevere against the Blights, before reaching at the Shrine of Oryx, where Malok makes his final stand. Despite his mastery over the Blights, Malok failed against the Guardians.
Alak-Hul and Malok's death would leave the Osmium Throne remaining vacant and mark the official end to the Taken War.
Following a year after the Taken War and the death of their God-King, the Hive on Earth still appear to be organized but hunkered down in their nests, and have recently gone into conflict with the SIVA-augmented Fallen Devil Splicers in the Plaguelands. Soon enough, the ambitions of the Splicers, led by Kovik, Splicer Priest, extend to experiment on not only themselves but the Hive as well, whether to control them as a slave army or to weaponize their mysterious biology. Furious, the Hive begin an all-out war with the Splicers. Through the efforts of the Guardians (not out of pity), the Fallen's efforts to control or weaponize the Hive were thwarted and Kovik was killed.
The Red War
The Hive remained active by the events of Dominus Ghaul's invasion. They have somehow managed to infest Saturn's moon Titan, engaging Guardian and Fallen forces on the moon. The Hive found on Titan were noted to have undergone a physical change in regards to their eyes by the time of the war.  After the Red Legion succeeded in attacking the Last City and sealed away the Traveler's Light, the Lightless Guardians of the Vanguard led by Commander Zavala took what remained of the Vanguard fleet to Titan to set up a base to plan their counterattack. Unfortunately, Zavala was unaware of the Hive's infestation of Titan and when a force of Lightless Guardians attempted to drive the Hive out, they were defeated. To make matters worse, the Fallen House of Dusk followed the Vanguard. Upon their arrival, the Fallen began to pillage the Golden Age facilities while also engaging the Hive and the Lightless Vanguard. Despite this, a Guardian was able to regain their light and traveled to Titan to aid Zavala, clearing out enough of the Hive and reactivating the facilities for the Vanguard to set up a base. After Zavala moved to The Farm on Earth, the Vanguards forces on Titan were under the command of Sloane. Under her supervision, the Guardians began to make progress in driving the Hive away from their base while also powering the facilities.
Throughout the Red War, even after the Guardians reclaimed the Last City, the Hive broods on Titan have made numerous attempts to sink the New Pacific Arcology where the Guardians and Fallen battle. All their attempts were thwarted by the Guardians and some of their field leaders were slain. Later on, Sloane located the center point of the Hive's rituals, sending numerous teams to investigate but none returned. After Sloane lost contact with the latest team sent, she requested the Guardian to locate the missing teams and finish their mission. After delving deep into Hive territory, the Guardians lost contact with Sloane and Zavala but made radio contact with Taeko-3, a Praxic Order agent and a member of the last team Sloane had sent. She guides the Guardians through Hive defenses and encounters strange crystals emitting Void Light which was disturbingly revealed to be extracted from Guardians. Taeko further reveals that a massive Shrieker, dubbed Savathûn's Song, is using the Void Light for a specific ritual and they won't be able to destroy the Shrieker without Void Light. Resolving to aid the Guardian, Taeko sacrifices herself by allowing her Light to be extracted into a Void Crystal which the Guardians use to breach the Shrieker's defenses. Taeko's sacrifice was not in vain as, despite the Shrieker's power and Hive servants, the Guardians managed to destroy the Shrieker, avenging Taeko and her fallen comrades.
However, despite these accomplishments, like with the resurgent Taken on Io and on Earth, the Guardians question the nature of the new Hive broods, as they have noted the differences between the new brood and those they have faced in the past, wondering what Hive God is leading them. Evidence and entities point to the new Hive Brood's allegiance to Savathûn, the Witch-Queen.
Rise of Xol
After the chaos of the Red War and the reawakening of the Traveler, a new, massive Hive army, the Grasp of Nokris, that has lain dormant within the frozen tundra of Hellas Basin on Mars, emerges to bring about the destruction of the Warmind Rasputin. Leading this army is the Worm God Xol and its herald, Nokris, the mysterious disowned son of Oryx.
Many centuries earlier, Nokris, was exiled from kith and kin for violating the Sword Logic via necromancy. Nokris originally hoped to prove himself to his father by communing with the Worm Gods the same way Oryx himself did but was rejected by them save Xol, Will of the Thousands. They forged a pact where Nokris traded his heart for the secrets of necromancy, which Oryx viewed as heresy. Despite being exiled, Nokris and his followers aimed to conquer a world for their god and Mars became their target. However, Rasputin put a halt to their invasion, managing to imprison Nokris, Xol, and their army within the frozen wastes of Hellas Basin. For centuries they remained there until the return of the Light melted their prison. Now free, the forces of Xol aimed to destroy the ancient Warmind and continue their conquest of Mars.
Hoping to avert this disaster and learn more about her past, Ana Bray summons the Guardians to lead the defense of the ancient Warmind and face the Hive head-on. The Guardians face off against Xol's horde but encounter Nokris and the Worm God itself who aim to rule the planet. Despite killing the herald of Xol, the Worm God itself proves too powerful for the Guardian to defeat alone. Against his better judgment and with Ana Bray's guidance, Zavala allows the Guardian to forge a powerful Warmind weapon, the Valkyrie. Reaching the Worm God just outside the ancient Warmind's core, the Warrior of Light battles with the Will of the Thousands for the fate of Rasputin and Mars. Despite its immense power, Xol was killed by the Guardian using the Valkyrie, robbing the Hive of one of their most powerful entities.
The leaderless Grasp of Nokris remained an active threat on Mars that Guardians continue to face while also dealing with remnants of the Red Legion but find that its members are sending messages beyond the system, aimed towards Savathûn, pleading her to arrive and assume control.
After the fall of Nokris and Xol, the Hive enter into a strange situation during the Guardians personal war with the Fallen Scorn within the Reef. One of the Scorn Barons, Hiraks, the Mindbender, who somehow survived the Hellmouth as a Dreg, developed a morbid fascination with the Hive and its powers, and somehow managed to take control of a large Hive brood within the Tangled Shore that were stranded after the Battle of Saturn at the onset of the Taken War. Hiraks was even able to create his own Ascendant Realm from the deaths of his enemies, Cayde-6 in particular. The Mindbender also made experiments upon the Hive with Ether, creating a host of Ether Worms. However, the Mindbender's rise to power within the Hive was put down when the Guardian sought out Hiraks and the Scorn Barons for the murder of the Hunter Vanguard. Battling through a downed Hive Warship, the Guardian breached into Hirak's "Ascendant Plane" and battled with the Mindbender and his mind-controlled Hive. Despite his power and Hive minions, Hiraks was killed which caused his Ascendant Realm to destabilize and collapse. This left the Hive without a powerful leader within the Reef.
Later on, after the Scorn's failure and the death of their Barons, doing a favor for the Fallen mob boss, The Spider, the Guardians return to the disabled Hive warship to clear out the Hive, whose numbers have increased since Hirak's fall. Battling into the ship and deep into a Hive nest, the Guardians encounter Knights with ether-infused Worms which they use to break through Hive defenses. Deeper within the nest, the Guardians encounter the progenitor of the nest, In Anânh, Brood Queen, who was also the consort to Hiraks. Battling with the queen deeper and deeper into the nest, the Guardians succeeds in killing the brood queen, despite her dark powers. Without the Brood Queen, the Hive's numbers will continue to decrease and are now without another leader.
A Thousand Voices
Despite these occurrences, the Hive's Witch-Queen, Savathûn, continues to operate in the shadows but assumed near-complete control over the Taken thanks to her possible usage of the Taken Vex Mind, Quria, Blade Transform. With the Taken under her direction, she has plans for the Awoken Dreaming City which was sealed shortly before the Taken War. Within the City, the Ahamkara, Riven of a Thousand Voices, was also Taken and becomes one of Savathûn's most useful allies. Though Riven orchestrated the Scorn's rampage across the Reef, including the murder of Cayde-6, her plan was to open the gateway to the Dreaming City with Uldren Sov as her puppet. Appearing as his sister, Mara Sov, Riven slowly corrupted the Awoken prince's mind, bending him to her will until he would gather what was needed to open the Gateway to the City; a combination of Light and Darkness.
The rogue prince managed to open the way but instead of his sister appearing as he believed it was her in directing his actions, only a grotesque Taken creature of Riven's, the Voice of Riven, appeared in her place. However, once again due to the Guardian's actions, the Taken Chimera was slain and the Hunter Vanguard avenged, but Riven remained a threat to the Reef and the whole Solar System. Nonetheless, finally gaining the Vanguard's support, aided by their Awoken allies and freeing the Techeuns from Taken corruption, the Guardians managed to kill the corrupted Riven and purge her heart of Taken essence.
Unfortunately for the Guardians and the Awoken, Riven's death was planned and it would grant Savathûn a tremendous advantage. In the last moments before her death and her heart being purified of Taken corruption by the Techeuns, Riven granted one last wish: to curse the Dreaming City in between the Ascendant Plane and physical reality, with Taken Blights engulfing parts of the city in a manner of weeks.
With the rules of ascendancy altered by Riven's wish, entities - both Hive and Taken - under the command of Xivu Arath, have appeared in the Dreaming City. These entities pillaged the Dreaming City for relics bearing dangerous knowledge but for what purpose is unknown. The Guardian, however, thwarted this plan by stealing the relics back and killing a Taken Chimera, Xaras, Greed of Xivu Arath. This suggests an appearance of the Hive's God of War in the future.
War of the Throne Worlds
As the Taken curse blighted the Dreaming City, Dûl Incaru, the Eternal Return, a daughter of the Witch-Queen, took advantage of the curse to plunder the city of its secrets and more importantly, further her mother's scheme of invading the Distributary and gain godly strength. Using Eleusinia, Mara Sov's desecrated Throne World, as a staging ground and aided with the Taken and Hive sent from her aunt Xivu Arath, Dûl Incaru waged an unending battle against the Awoken led by Petra Venj but Queen Mara called upon her allies in the Guardians to fight back against the Taken curse. After two weeks of fighting the Taken and Hive, a rift to Eleusinia was opened beneath the Blind Well that gave the Guardians an opportunity to battle the Witch-Queen's daughter. Despite the protection of her Fatesmiths, Dûl Incaru was killed by the Guardians.
However, this seeming failure was all part of Savathûn's greater plans for the Dreaming City. After Dûl Incaru's death at the hands of the Guardians, the Dreaming City reverted to the state it had been in upon first being unsealed by the Guardian, progressing again through the same process of becoming corrupted by the Taken and culminating in another battle between Dûl Incaru and the Guardians. This apparent time-loop, spun by Quria, both furthers Savathûn's long-term goal of amassing tribute for herself through her subordinates committing violence within spaces with looped or dilated time, and also presents the Guardians with a dilemma: they can either repeatedly strike down Dûl Incaru and relive the same series of events, or they can refuse to do so and allow Dûl Incaru to complete her mission.
Death of the Weapon Master
In the Lost Sector of Methane Flush on Titan, a servant of Xyor, the Unwed was found by a Guardian, sent out by The Drifter, performing a strange ritual. The servant was defeated by the Guardian and dropped a helmet with a strange bullet hole through the front. The Drifter instructed the Guardian to sully their Light and then defeat the weapon master creating new Weapons of Sorrow.
The Guardian tracked Enkaar, the Anointed to Hellrise Canyon and The Broodhold on the Tangled Shore. After three duels against the weapon master, in which Enkaar would use a Proto-Thorn and the Guardian would use The Last Word, Enkaar was soon defeated and his weapon production collapsed.
Terror of the Sorrow-Bearer
Though Savathûn continued in her schemes in breaching the Distributary and undermining the Guardians, the Witch-Queen soon found a competitor in the form of the exiled Cabal Emperor Calus. Forming a trap for the emperor, Savathûn created an artifact called the Crown of Sorrow, planting the rumor that the crown could mimic Oryx's ability to Take but in reality, it would drive the wearer mad with voices and bring them under the Witch-Queen's control. Calus soon learned of the artifact's existence and as expected, the emperor desired it to further his goals. Invading one of the Hive's War Moons, Calus acquired the Crown but instead of wearing the crown himself as Savathûn predicted, the emperor granted it to one of his Shadow agents, Gahlran. The emperor specifically bred Gahlran for the purpose of bearing the Crown and its powers, hoping that the artifact would allow Gahlran to command the Hive, thereby furthering Calus's goals. Unfortunately, the Crown, as it was designed, drove Gahlran completely mad, who then brought a large infestation of the Hive upon Calus's personal ship, The Leviathan.
Though Calus was angered that Gahlran was consumed by the Crown, realizing that Savathûn had tricked him, the emperor called upon his Guardian allies to put the newly named Sorrow-Bearer down before he could do any more damage. Fighting past Hive rituals and traversing deep into Calus's treasure vaults, the Guardians confronted Gahlran. Despite the Crown of Sorrow granting Gahlran great powers, the Guardians succeeded in putting the Sorrow-Bearer out of his madness and cleansing the Leviathan of the Hive. Further, the Guardians managed to cleanse the Crown of Sorrow for their own uses. For their achievements in thwarting the Witch-Queen's scheme against him and cleansing his ship of the Hive, Calus rewards the Guardians and names them one of his Shadows.
Awakening of Hidden Nightmares
Following the recent dealings with Calus and the Drifter, the Guardians return to Luna after hearing reports of renewed Hive aggression and of a new fortress that was constructed near the Hellmouth, the Scarlet Keep. As the Guardian works with Vanguard forces in establishing a beachhead and driving the Hive back, they soon encounter the Scarlet Keep and strange enemies emanating dark essence. The Guardians manage to enter the keep and proceed further beneath Luna's surface, but near the bottom, they find a massive black Pyramid structure that seems to be affecting the Guardian's Ghosts negatively. Before they could investigate any further, a dark figure forms. One that, to their surprise, bears the image of Crota himself. Though the Guardians put up a fight, they prove unable to actually harm the phantom of Crota. Just when they are about to be overwhelmed as new forms emerge taking the images of Ghaul and Fikrul, Eris Morn saves them with her strange enchantment. Regrouping, Eris guides the Guardians on the nature of the Scarlet Keep and that the Pyramid may be in fact a remnant of the Darkness that brought the Collapse. Further, the "Nightmares" the Guardians faced are extensions of the Pyramid meant to torment and distract the Guardian.
With Eris Morn, finally gaining the Vanguard's full support, the Guardian makes efforts in finding a way to combat the Nightmares and their influence. Believing that the Hive of the resurgent Hidden Swarm have the means, as the Scarlet Keep being near the Pyramid is no coincidence, Eris has the Guardians breach the Keep to look for any answers or Hive knowledge. At the entrance of the keep, the Guardian encounters Hashladûn, Daughter of Crota, the architect of the keep. Originally thought dead after the fall of her father, Hashladûn instead took advantage of the Pyramid's power to exact her revenge against the Guardians for ravaging her lineage. Eris has the Guardians give chase as Hashladûn retreats into the keep, ascending the scarlet tower. The Guardian finally confronts Hashladûn at the tower's peak, but it's revealed that Crota's daughter lured them to her position to fulfill her vengeance. Fortunately, the Guardian overcomes her power and use of the Nightmares, managing to slay Hashladûn. From her death, the Guardian and Eris learn that Hashladûn managed to harness armor able to resist the Nightmare's influence using a forbidden piece of Hive knowledge, the Cryptoglyph, found at the very bottom of the Hellmouth, the Catacombs.
Resolving that the Cryptoglyph is essential in the task of combating the Nightmares and entering the Pyramid, Eris asks the Guardian to venture into the darkness of the Hellmouth once more to acquire the Cryptoglyph. The Guardian enters the Hellmouth but as they venture deeper, they lose contact with Eris. The Guardians finally reach the Catacombs and acquire the Cryptoglyph after slaying its keeper, Besurith, Daughter of Crota (Hashladûn's sister) but with Eris unable to extract them, the Guardian had to race back to the surface with the enraged Hive and Nightmares in hot pursuit. Despite the danger, the Guardians manage to escape back to the surface alive. Bringing the Cryptoglyph to Eris, she further instructs the Guardians in extracting Nightmare essence that has taken form over the system so Eris can create the armor necessary to resist and battle the Nightmares guarding the Pyramid. The Guardians manage to acquire and fuel the essence after slaying the Nightmares of Skolas (who embodied Pride), Taniks (who embodied Isolation), and Phogoth (who embodied Fear). With their essence, Eris is successful in creating the necessary armor.
With the armor acquired and the Vanguard's approval, the Guardian ventures back through the Scarlet Keep and descends towards the Pyramid. As they near, however, their Ghost begins to feel something trying to pierce them, and the Pyramid itself opens and draws them in. With their Ghost seemingly possessed by the Darkness, it taunts the Guardian on the Light's failures and weaknesses, as they battle with Crota, Ghaul, and Fikrul once more. Despite the Darkness's taunts, the Guardian succeeds in defeating the Nightmares of their greatest foes. With the Darkness seemingly welcoming them, the Guardian acquires a strange, unknown artifact from the Pyramid's center and encounters a mirror projection of themselves, that addresses itself as not as their friend or their enemy but their "Salvation".
Though both the Vanguard and Eris regard the Pyramid's message as their "salvation" with great suspicion and doubt, they know they must be prepared for the Darkness's imminent return. In the meantime, the Guardians continue to contain the Hive of the Scarlet Keep and the Nightmares that continue to haunt the system.
The Festering Core
Despite the Luna Hive failing in the Scarlet Keep and the Nightmare's being continually hunted by the Guardians, Savathûn continued on with her schemes in the shadows. The Witch Queen soon discovers a massive Vex computational array on Io, and seeking to use it to her advantage, sends a large Taken Blight in the array to corrupt the machine and bring it under her control. Savathûn's primary motive in this offensive is that since she seeks knowledge to inform her plans and pawns to carry them out, the array offers the desire to fulfill both of these. However, her Taken's infestation spurred the Vex to drive them back which inadvertently caught the notice of the Vanguard. Commander Zavala sends a Strike team to investigate after scans detect large Vex surges in the Pyramidion. The Guardians make their way beneath the Pyramidion and, after battling through both Taken and Vex, they encounter large blights throughout the array. The Guardians notice the blights being remarkably similar to those that infest the Dreaming City, something that the Guardians and Eris Morn suspect that the Witch Queen is involved. Knowing that the Blights require a source to anchor its presence, the Guardians find the anchor and confront the blight's source, Baurisk, Envoy of Savathûn. Despite the Taken Incendinor's power and the Vex interrupting, the Guardians succeed in destroying Baurisk, thereby breaking the Taken infestation. This allows the Vex to be able to drive the rest of the Taken off.
Regardless of this victory, Eris Morn encourages Zavala that the Last City must be prepared for when the Witch Queen may strike next. Though Zavala remains confident that the Guardians will be able to defeat Savathûn as they have with the Taken King before her, Eris counters that the Witch Queen is not as foolish as her brother as she would not risk a direct confrontation. Therefore, Eris states the Guardians must prepare and be wise enough to know when Savathûn will show her hand.
Clash with The Undying
Later, the Vex of the Sol Divisive begin an invasion of Luna to claim the Pyramid for their own plans, likely to restore the Black Heart of their Black Garden. Under the command of a resurrected Undying Mind, Vex portals open all across the moon, primarily near the Scarlet Keep, allowing their forces to invade en mass, causing a conflict to break out. The Hidden Swarm now battles with the Black Garden's disciples for dominance over the Pyramid. The Guardians enter the conflict to prevent either from claiming the structure and its secrets, all the while, maintaining the Nightmare Phantoms with their Nightmare Hunts under Eris Morn's supervision.
Though the Guardians managed to slow the Vex's invasion after breaching into the Black Garden and disrupting the flow of Vex platforms by assaulting the gate network, the Vex continue to appear. Sporadic battles continued to erupt between the Sol Divisive and the Hidden Swarm for control of the moon and the Pyramid.
Pits of Heresy
Sometime later, the Guardians return to the Scarlet Keep to investigate reports of strange and disturbing activity surrounding the Hidden Swarm's fortress, rituals that have been dubbed Altars of Sorrow. The Hidden Swarm began sacrificing Nightmares into an Ascendant Crystal to harvest their phantasmal essence. Slowly, the Guardians under Eris Morn's guidance, manage to delay these Hive rituals but notice that the center point of these rituals lies beneath the Scarlet Keep.
Traversing deep into the Keep, the Guardians unlock passages to new forbidden areas, all the while encountering strange yet powerful Hive, Disciples of the Broken Blade. After unlocking each gate and traveling deeper into the Pit, the Guardians encounter products of Hashladûn and her sisters' wicked schemes. Upon further investigation, the Guardians learned that Hashladûn and her sisters used the pits beneath the Scarlet Keep to further their magical experimentation and find a possible solution to use the Pyramid's power to create a Nightmare that assumes the form of Oryx himself. Though such a plot was in direct violation of the Sword-Logic, the Daughters of Crota believed such a breach of the Hive's sacred Logic was necessary, as the Taken King's killers, the Guardians, never assumed his place. However, the Daughters of Crota proved unable to perform such a feat, as the Nightmares could not be conjured by Hive minds. However, Kinox instead proposed to use the Nightmare essence and raise a champion of their own: Zulmak, Instrument of Torment by creating a Nightmare hybrid abomination to serve as their puppet.
Following Hashladûn's death, Zulmak, the product of the daughters' work and their most powerful champion began to stir. Resolving to prevent Zulmak from gaining more power or escaping the Pit, the Guardians descended deeper until they reached Zulmak's lair, the Cradle of Damnation. Though Zulmak proved a powerful foe, the Guardians used his Swords and magic against him, preventing him from using his Ascendant Crystal to full effect. With the Swords and magic in hand, the Guardians managed to destroy the crystal and slay Zulmak, preventing his rise from occurring.
However, Hashladûn's sisters, Voshyr, and Kinox, remain at large. Worse, their use of forbidden necromantic sorcery continuously revives Zulmak, forcing the Guardians to traverse the Pit and slay Zulmak again.
The Almighty Crisis
Following the Guardians' battles with the Nightmares, their struggle in the Pit, and the exhausting campaign with the Vex that led to the final destruction of the Undying Mind, the Guardians were called to Mercury by Osiris to contend with the consequences. As a result of the Undying Mind's demise, the timeways over Mercury had become undone, leaving them susceptible to being controlled by other factions. One such faction, the Cabal of the Red Legion, under the command of a quartet of Psion sisters, sought to assume command over time itself to undo the legion's defeat during the Red War by using a device of Osiris' design, the Sundial. However, the Guardians, under the guidance of Osiris, were able to thwart the sisters in their mission to assume command over time, falling to the Guardians one-by-one, even when they combined into a single powerful Psion Flayer.
Despite this victory, one last Psion Flayer sister, Amtec, seeks vengeance in her sisters' names and sought to achieve it by using the crippled vessel, The Almighty. Destroying its engine couplings and navigation systems, the Red Legion turned the crown jewel of their forces into a kamikaze weapon directed towards the home of the Guardians, the Last City itself. Unable to stop the massive vessel on their own, the Vanguard, with no other choice, are forced to cooperate with the Warmind Rasputin to find a way to halt or divert The Almighty. The Warmind directs the Guardians to activate its Seraph Bunkers across the system to reactive and weaponize its systems. One such bunker on Luna, unfortunately, was discovered to be infested by the Hive. Working alongside Ana Bray, the Guardians are able to clear the bunker of the Hive and connect it to Rasputin's mainframe.
Following the fall of the Almighty, the Vanguard confirms the Darkness' arrival, with Pyramids touching down on various worlds and even disabling Rasputin. On Io, Eris Morn heeds the call of a Pyramid to learn what she can. Her attempts to hear the Darkness are disrupted by Savathûn, who jams the Pyramid's broadcasts and sends Hive and Taken to intervene. She is slowly overwhelmed but the Guardian, who was following her on Zavala's orders, is able to save Eris from the Witch-Queen's servants. Though injured, Eris manages to overcome the Witch Queen's power as she finds a tree of Silver Wings, with a seed of dark power at its base. After returning to the Last City, the Vanguard Commander pleads with her not to go any further but Eris leaves anyway, determined to figure out what Savathûn and the Darkness want. She returns to Io, only to find it swarmed with Savathûn's forces. Eris calls on the Guardians to take back the tree, and when they succeed, she uses the Seed of Silver Wings to receive and interpret the Pyramid's broadcasts.
During their trek into the Court of Savathûn, the Guardian learns that Oryx's disowned son, Nokris, has returned and is now in service to his aunt and her goals. It is soon discovered that the former Herald of Xol was abandoned by his god and, looking for a new purpose, used trickery to enter the Ascendant Realm, encountering the Witch Queen doing so. Both wishing to be free from the Darkness, Nokris agreed to a bargain with his scheming aunt. In exchange for teaching his aunt the secrets of Necromancy and interfering with the Pyramid's attempts to communicate with the Guardians, Nokris would take part in Savathûn's plans and learn the power to Take from the "Dreaming Mind".
Ultimately, after weeks of fighting Taken and deciphering as much as they can form the Darkness' messages, the Guardians finally manage to confront Nokris himself to put an end to Savathûn's interference. Upon entering into a new area of Savathûn's Court, near a Blight the size of a sun, the Guardian faces off against Oryx's exiled spawn once more. Despite Nokris' sorcery and use of his aunt's forces, the Guardian manages to slay Nokris, this time presumably for good.
Schisms From Within
More than a year come full circle after the Pyramids' first communications with the Guardians of the Last City, the Hive across the system would find themselves fractured and broken apart by infighting and internal power struggles. Savathûn's ploy with the exiled Nokris to interfere with the Pyramid's communications would not go unanswered, as the Witch Queen found herself banished, excommunicated, and set to burn by the Black Fleet as punishment. The arrival of the Pyramids had also forced the Witch Queen into hiding as the same broods who once served her (and her brother prior) defected and attempted to strike out on their own.
Meanwhile, Guardians of new and old Light alike would investigate the appearance of the Hive wizard Navôta, Eir Spawn, who had marshaled the malcontent brood in the Cosmodrome to her sway. After killing Guardians Cas and Maeve, Navôta would attempt to finish their remaining member Shaw Han only to be driven off by a newly-Risen Guardian. With her position threatened by brood rivals suspicious of her weakness, the disgraced Navôta was forced to make a final confrontation with the Guardians at the Terrestrial and Jovian Complexes. Despite attempting to rally the brood in a trap, she was defeated and the Hive in the Cosmodrome were left scattered and deprived of leadership.
The Scarlet Court's Fall
The remaining two daughters of Crota in their hiding along with the very last of the noble dynasty of the once-great God-King of the Hive, Oryx, were dealt another death blow. Almost a week after the Guardian's investigations and toils on Europa, the legendary warlock Osiris came to Luna after tracking the most potent of the Cryptolith's signals across the Solar System. Beneath the shadow of the Lunar Pyramid, Osiris came across a massive gathering of Hive that featured the remaining entirety of the Scarlet Court, including the daughters, along with the High Celebrant of Xivu Arath. Unknown to Osiris or likely the Swarm, the High Celebrant was sent to Luna to wrest free the Swarm from The Witch Queen's plans and instead reform Luna in Xivu's image. A world where all tithes were tribute to her.
In an audacious and "suicidal" move as described by Sagira, Osiris descended upon the gathering as the mighty Phoenix he was and began to slaughter the gathering. In the year since the events of Shadowkeep, Voshyr and Kinox had both heirs and sons/daughters of their own - more nobles to Oryx's legacy. These same offspring would be with their respective mothers in their final moments. Voshyr and her two daughters Yishra and Ayriax were the first to perish before they could even finish their incantation - incinerated by Osiris' Daybreak. Kinox was soon to be second who attempted fleeing into the crevices of Luna with her son Ulg'Urin and his cohort of Knights raising shields to defend her only to perish from a Nova Bomb. The remaining lesser nobles were killed in the slaughter. Osiris was then stripped of his supers when the visage and will of Xivu Arath emanating from the large Cryptolith taunted him. Osiris was pinned and around him were cleaved Runes in the stone by the High Celebrant. In a stunning and tragic act, Sagira broke through the oppressive force Xivu projected that was slowly killing Osiris and sacrificed herself - destroying the Cryptolith and projection, saving Osiris but leaving him Ghostless. The light in the place of Sagira's sacrifice remained for days.
With Kinox's death unconfirmed and her status ambiguous, it is possible she survived and has become the sole Hive noble of Oryx's dynasty left in Sol. This slaughter would make Kinox not only the final noble of Oryx's lineage but the sole de-facto leader of the Lunar Hidden Swarm. Just like with her sisters before, she would continue to resurrect Zulmak, however for reasons unknown.
Birth of the Wrathborn
Following the Black Fleet's arrival, Nokris' fall, and various worlds of the Sol System going dark, the Guardians discover a rise of corrupted Hive activity within the Tangled Shore and the Dreaming City of the Reef. They soon learn that the Hive's God of War, Xivu Arath, has begun to marshal her influence upon the Sol system in absence of her excommunicated sister. From her Cryptoliths this was achieved. These organic Hive structures burrowed into the material plane while rooting themselves in the Ascendant Realm, calling out to nearby beings to be transformed into Wrathborn. These Cryptoliths started corrupting Eliksni but quickly spread to Hive and Cabal. Commanded and aided in their spread by the High Celebrant, they would be the Wrathborn's command and Xivu Arath's foothold in the system. To combat this threat, the Guardians agree to a partnership with the Spider and to work with a mysterious Lightborn called the Crow, who is really Uldren Sov revived as a Guardian. In the ensuing weeks Wrathborn of House of Spider, House of Dusk, and the broods of the Hive would be hunted down. As for the corrupted Red Legion, none have been encountered which has concerned Crow.
Roughly eight weeks following its initial escape, the Crow was able to locate the Celebrant hiding within the Dreaming City thanks to the Guardian's numerous Wrathborn hunts. After upgrading the Cryptolith Lure, The Guardian and Crow made their way to the Cryptolith within Harbinger's Seclude to summon the High Celebrant and end it once and for all. As the Guardian was able to activate the Cryptolith, the Crow was able to tag it to make sure it wouldn’t escape from them again. The Celebrant would lead them through a wild goose chase throughout the Harbinger's Seclude and the Ascendant Plane while summoning both Fallen and Hive Wrathborn to delay both Guardians. However, it would succeed in escaping back into the Ascendant Realm and closing the portal behind it, leaving Crow inside to deal with him. While the Guardians were seemingly stuck in a hard place, the Guardian used what remained of the Cryptolith to forcefully open up one of the preexisting rifts within the Dreaming City to track down the Celebrant. During the battle, the Celebrant contains the Guardian within a Hive Trap and opens up another rift to make its escape, only for the Crow to intervene by destroying the portal from the other side. While the Knight was staggered from the destruction of its only exit, kneeling to the floor, the Guardian finishes the Celebrant off and ends its reign of terror once and for all.
Fall of the Cabal
Sometime before the Black Fleet's appearance in the Solar System, the Hive would lay waste to the Cabal after Savathûn managed to corrupt one of their high profile leaders, Umun'arath, into worshiping the Hive. As a "gift" to her sister Xivu Arath, Savathûn had Umun'arath perform a ritual that in the event of her death, a portal would open, allowing the Hive to directly invade the Cabal homeworld of Torobatl. The plan came to fruition when Uman'arath was killed by her former student, Empress Caiatl, allowing the full force of Xivu Arath's armies to invade. Despite the cabal's best efforts, the Hive of Xivu Arath slaughtered their people and destroyed much of their homeworld, forcing Empress Caiatl to order an evacuation of their homeworld and regroup to the Solar System, the home of those who have slain Hive gods before: the Guardians of the Last City.
Arriving in the Sol System and explaining her people's plight to Zavala and Osiris, Empress Caiatl beseeches that humanity must unite with her empire to combat the Darkness and the Hive but on the condition that the Guardians kneel before her. Expectedly, the Guardians are quick to refuse and instead partake in a combat rite to prove their strength to the Cabal. Months of battle wear down Caiatl's chosen forces, leading to the two groups to forge an armistice.
Following the conflicts with the Wrathborn, the Fallen House of Salvation and the Cabal, the Guardians discover their home of the Last City plagued by an Endless Night which the Vanguard surmise to be the Vex's doing. Requiring aid from the one being who could pierce into the Vex's domain, the Guardians locate Mithrax of the House of Light. The Light Kell agrees to aid the Guardians in combating the Endless Night after they helped him save his people from the Vex. To further ensure the safety of Mithrax's people, Ikora Rey offers Mithrax and his House of Light sanctuary within the Last City as they work together, who gratefully accepts but the decision to bring Eliksni into the Last City sparks tension within some of the citizens and the Factions. Regardless of this tension, the Guardians work well with Mithrax in combating the Vex but after gaining enough data, the Sacred Splicer discovers the source of the Endless Night: Quria, the Dreaming Mind and servant of Savathûn. With Savathûn's role in the Endless Night revealed, the Vanguard goes through all knowledge regarding her, hoping to find a clue through her layers of lies, while the Guardians work on pinpointing Quria's position.
After many months of combating the Vex, gathering data, and handling the tense situation between the Factions and the House of Light, the Guardians are successful in locating Quria, allowing them to launch a direct assault on the Dreaming Mind. Entering into the Vex domain once more, only this time they discover it plagued with Taken corruption, the Guardians confront Quria. Despite the Dreaming Mind's simulation and Taken powers, the Guardians are successful in destroying Quria, robing the Witch Queen of one of her most powerful and useful servants. Quria's destruction slowly lifts the Endless Night over the Last City but the situation with the House of Light comes to a head when Lakshmi-2 heads a conspiracy with the other Factions to oust the Vanguard leadership and forcibly expel the Eliksni from the Last City using a Vex portal, apparently aided by Osiris himself. However, to her shock, the Vex portal she utilizes, breaks from her control, killing Lakshmi and allowing Vex to enter into the Last City. With the Last City and House of Light threatened, the Guardians managed to undo Lakshmi's portal and destroy the Vex, saving the House of Light but during the chaos, Osiris had vanished, leading many to suspect he was involved as Lakshmi spoke. Refusing to believe her mentor was responsible, Ikora Rey has the Guardian conduct a search for Osiris.
A Bargain between Queens
As the Guardians search for Osiris, they find a lead that takes them to the Dreaming City within the Reef. They are joined by Saint-14 and Crow who are looking for Osiris and want answers from him as well. They managed to traverse the Ascendant Realm-wracked Dreaming City and find Osiris conversing with Mara Sov herself. However, to the three Lightbearer's shock and horror, the "Osiris" they have been conversing with for a while had not been Osiris at all but Savathûn, the Witch Queen herself but Mara Sov encases her within a strange violet crystal prison. The Hive goddess revealed that she had taken Osiris's form not long after Osiris had become Lightless, saving him from Xivu Arath, but also used his form to hide from her sister, who now hunts Savathûn at the behest of another. From there, she struck a bargain with the Awoken Queen: in exchange for releasing Osiris and ending the Taken Curse over the Dreaming City, Mara Sov would excise her worm. Despite not trusting the notorious Queen of Lies, the Guardians agree with Mara Sov.
To excise Savathûn's worm, Mara Sov requires her Techeun Coven, who had become lost in the Ascendant Plane as they traveled the realm before being cornered by Xivu Arath. To find and liberate them from Taken corruption, Mara Sov sends in the Guardians to complete the task, fully allying the Reefborn Awoken with Humanity of the Last City. Mara Sov reveals that she went through with her bargain with Savathûn as she knows without her Worm, she will be unable to return to her Throne World, leaving her vulnerable but the Guardian remains suspicious that this may be part of the Witch Queen's plan.
Hive under the command of Xivu Arath would infest the Ruins of Wrath in the Shattered Realm and would seek to disrupt the Guardian from rescuing a lost Techeun, but would be defeated. Kelgorath, Risen from Bones would also seek to claim an awoken relic for Xivu Arath but would be slain by the Guardian. The Hive, Taken and Scorn would continue to cooperate to poison the Ley Lines, however, leading the Guardians to suspect some sort of alliance.
Ultimately, after many long months of locating the last of the Queen's Techeun's, restoring the Ley Lines and holding the line against Xivu Arath's Horde, Mara Sov informed the Guardian that she now had what she needed to complete her preparations for the ritual. Gathering her Corsairs, anticipating that the God of War will stop at nothing to stop the ritual, and having the Guardian and Saint-14 to provide further protection, Mara Sov begins the ritual to excise Savathûn's worm. Just as expected, Xivu Arath's Hive and Taken forces assault the ritual, but despite their tenacity, they failed to breach the Guardian's defenses. Growing desperate, Xivu Arath summons her champion, Kelgorath, once more but despite his power and use of the Taken, the God of War failed in her attempt, allowing Mara Sov to finish the ritual. Now without her worm, Mara began to release the Witch Queen from her crystal prison to finally achieve justice for her part in Uldren's corruption and death. However, to the Awoken Queen's dismay, Savathûn was already one step ahead. In one of her hidden contingencies, she planted a spell within her prison as it originally formed around her, where upon it's shattering, she would be able to spirit away to safety. Nonetheless, Savathûn kept her end of the bargain, safely returning the real Osiris to the Guardian. Realizing that they had been outmaneuvered, the Vanguard knows they can only wait until the Witch Queen reveals herself once again and makes her next move.
The Witch Queen
Sometime later, Mars suddenly reappeared, albeit exhibiting temporal distortions, which has the Vanguard have Guardian fireteams deployed to survey the planet. They discovered several Darkness-related structures, including the Enclave, and a forge-like device called the Relic within. Research teams led by the Hidden began studying both the structures and the temporal anomalies and documenting their findings. In addition, Cabal forces began deploying across the planet, reclaiming old territory and setting up anti-air defenses. This was in response to Savathûn's flagship decloaking over the Martian Cradle and began engaging with Cabal forces. A Guardian, however, managed to board the flagship and reported a terrifying finding; Hive soldiers wielding the Light and with some even having their own Ghosts. These Light-imbued Hive would become known as the Lucent Brood. Horrified to see the Hive, one of humanity's greatest enemies, wielding the Light, the Guardians managed to reenter Savathûn's Throne World to search how the Witch Queen managed to steal the Light but encounter a renegade Hive Ghost named Fynch, who explains that Savathûn tricked a number of guardian-less ghosts to raise her Hive as Lightbearers, claiming they were more deserving of the Light than humanity. Fynch, however, began to have doubts about Savathûn's intentions, leading him to hide out and ultimately refuse to revive the Hive Knight he originally raised.
Despite being suspicious, the Guardians listen to Fynch, who directs them to a temple Savathûn had made in honor of her sister, Xivu Arath, the Temple of the Wrathful, and what they found inside was, to their surprise, Sagira's shell, collected by Savathûn after her light was taken by Xivu Arath. Traversing the dark temple and battling organized Scorn forces, the Guardians were able to retrieve Sagira but doing so they hear Savathûn's voice telling them of a being called "the Witness". Uncertain of what the Witness is, the Guardians learn they heard was a memory of Savathûn and to fully see the memory, they delve deeper into the Throne World, passing various Darkness-related illusions, before entering a portal that leads them to an strange area called the Altar of Reflection. There, placing Sagira's shell at the altar, the Guardian see Savathûn's memory where she impersonated Osiris and from his friends, learned secrets of the Light. Believing that those secrets involve how the Witch Queen stole the Light, Ikora has the Guardian continue working with Fynch in discerning more from Savathûn's memory. However, to fully do so, Ikora allowed the Guardian to enter the Pyramid on Europa to directly commune with the Darkness, heightening their Deepsight abilities to see through the illusions in Savathûn's Throne World.
Returning to Fynch, the Hive Ghost informs them of another temple that Savathûn had made in honor of her brother, Oryx, the Temple of the Navigator, claiming there is a secret within. The Guardians enter the Temple and battle with to their surprise, Alak-Hul, now raised as a Lightbearer called the Lightblade. Though the Guardian managed to slay Alak-Hul, his Ghost unfortunately escaped before they could destroy it. Nonetheless, at the center of the Temple, the Guardian found a piece of the Tablets of Ruin, the artifact that taught Oryx how to Take. Bringing the tablet piece to the Altar of Reflection, they see Savathûn's memory where she refused to become the Taken Queen but learn to their shock, that Savathûn intends to bring the Traveler to her Throne World and seal it away, as a way to "protect" it from the Witness. However, such an act would cut the Guardians off from the Light and leave the Last City vulnerable.
Admitting that she anticipated this and needing every advantage they can get before the Witch Queen enacts her plan, Ikora has the Guardian follow another tip from Fynch, believing that there is another important artifact hidden within Savathûn's Throne World. Fynch informs the Guardian that deep beneath the tunnels of the Quagmire lies a temple dedicated to Sathona, the Witch Queen's former identity before becoming a Hive God, and within lies an artifact next to a statue of Sathona. Despite heavily entrenched Scorn forces and many illusionary securities impeding them, the Guardian manages to locate the Temple of the Cunning and enter it. There, they find the statue of Sathona and after slaying the Scorn Warden and move past Savathûn's illusionary tricks, they collect a separate piece of the statue: a calcified Worm Familiar, the same one Sathona had kept by her side that whispered to her about Fundament's end. However, taking the familiar activates a powerful illusion of an ahamkara, and a suffocating haze that nearly kills the Guardian. Despite this, the Guardian manages to escape with the Worm Familiar and attempts to take the familiar to the Altar of Reflection but the portal entrance rejects them, forcing Ikora to call upon Eris Morn for guidance. Eris tells them that from a trusted source, Mara Sov, a memento from Savathûn before her conversion to the Light is located deep with her fortress, a possible answer to how the Witch Queen gained of the Light. Guiding them to the Apothecary Wing of the Fortress, Eris claims that the item is a crystal that was once a part of Savathûn's prison during her time with the Awoken. Using their gift to pierce through illusions, the Guardian is able to traverse Savathûn's fortress and breach the Apothecary, the grounds from which the Lucent Brood conduct their wretched experiments with the Light.
Within the Apothecary, the Guardian's search for the Crystal but encounter the keeper of the Apothecary, Savathûn's Right Hand, a Lightbearer Wizard. Chasing the wizard throughout the Apothecary, the Guardian manages to corner the wizard at the crystal's location and slay her. Grabbing the crystal allows the Guardian to hear a piece of Savathûn's memory but to fully see the memory, they return to the Altar of Reflection. Bringing the crystal to the altar, the Guardians witness that after Savathûn escaped from her crystal prison in the Reef, she came to Earth, to a mountain range overlooking the Traveler and the Last City. There, she came to the Traveler as a "supplicant" but at that point, the wounds from her escape became too much and died. However, to their shock and horror, the Traveler willingly has a Ghost, Immaru, revive Savathûn as a Lightbearer the same way as a Guardian. At the memory's end, Savathûn herself enters and "thanks" the Guardian for helping her remember her memories, proving that the Witch Queen never stole the Light but was granted it. Before Savathûn could attack the Guardian, they managed to escape and report back to the Last City, telling the Vanguard of the awful truth they had witnessed.
The Vanguard is left completely shocked and rattled to the core that the Traveler would raise Savathûn, one of humanity's most devious adversaries, and grant her the Light. Zavala himself is left incredulous and in near denial but Eris Morn points out the Traveler's behavior of uplifting countless civilizations and then abandoning them in the Books of Sorrow. Zavala attempts to denounce this as mere Hive propaganda but Eris further retails that the Fallen themselves tell a similar story, the moment the Witness and it's Black Fleet arrived, the Traveler left, leaving them to the Whirlwind, and eventually making it's way to the Sol System. However, Zavala angerly reminds everyone present that when the Black Fleet arrived in the Sol System, the Traveler sacrificed itself to save humanity. Yet, the Vanguard Commander cannot comprehend that after everything the Hive had done, the Traveler would give Savathûn the Light. Ikora merely states that it doesn't matter, regardless of the Traveler's reasons, only concerned that if the Witch Queen takes the Traveler and seals it away, humanity would lose any hope of surviving the Witness.
Theorizing that the calcified Worm Familiar found in Savathûn's temple may hold the key to stopping the Witch Queen, Ikora takes the Worm to the Enclave, believing that the Relic within may be able to slice into its past. With Eris helping her prepare, Ikora, after a struggle, is able to see into a memory of the Worm Familiar and discovers a shocking revelation: the Worm Familiar whispered that a cataclysm would come and destroy their home of Fundament but in truth, it was the Witness who spoke and it lied to Sathona. There was no cataclysm coming. The Hive were lied too. The Witness was aware that the Krill would soon encounter the Traveler and so, to claim them first, the Witness deceived Sathona into guiding her siblings into the Deep, thereby leading them to release the Worm Gods and forge the pact that would create the Hive species and rebirthing Sathona and her siblings into the Hive Gods, Oryx, Xivu Arath and Savathûn.
Armed with this knowledge and with Savathûn's ritual already beginning, Ikora has the Guardian take the familiar so when they confront the Witch Queen, the truth would destabilize the Hive God of Lies, breaking her hold over the ritual. With no time to lose, the Guardian enters Savathûn's Throne World but find that the Traveler is already within her domain, forcing the Guardian to fight through Hive and Scorn forces to reach the portal to the ritual's location. Fortunately, Ikora herself arrives to help open the way after the Guardian held off Hive reinforcements, allowing the Guardian to enter the Court of Thorns and fight their way up to the top of Savathûn's fortress. Despite Lightbearer Hive barring the way and the Witch Queen's taunts, the Guardian was able to reach Savathûn's inner chamber and the ritual's location, the Sanctum of the Brood Queen. Confronting Savathûn, the Guardian battles her and her Lightbearer Hive and managed to defeat her, but before they could destroy her ghost, she traps them in a threadbound spell, allowing herself the time to revive and retreat to her ritual's center point. Pursuing, the Guardian battles with Savathûn once more but proves too powerful for them.
Knowing the truth won't likely stop her but aware they need to try, the Guardian gains access to a portal that leads them to a memory altar but also see that Savathûn is casting a spell that is weaving a web around the Traveler. Heading to two of the towers, the Guardian is able to slay the spell's Threadweavers, undoing the spell before showing Savathûn the memory of the Witness' lie. At first, the memory surprises and confuses Savathûn, she ultimately becomes infuriated that the Guardian is using her own tricks against her, sending the Witch Queen into a fury, as they disrupt her ritual and undo her spell. With the last of the Threadweavers slain and her spell broken, Savathûn, enraged, forces the Guardian back to her Sanctum and battles them. Despite the full force of her light and the support of her Lucent Brood, the Guardian nonetheless defeats the Witch Queen. Before dying, Savathûn admits she miscalculated and gives the warning to the Guardian that the Witness is coming and the "game" is theirs to play now. However, before the Guardian is able to destroy her ghost, the Traveler returns to the Last City in a flash of light, allowing Immaru to flee. Taking it nonetheless as a victory, Ikora sends her Hidden to collect Savathûn's remains with the Guardian believing that their next plan is to prepare for the Witness' return and prevent another Collapse.
Despite the loss of their queen, the Lucent Brood continued to operate under Immaru, plotting his return as the Hive and Scorn struggle for supremacy over Savathûn's Throne World. This forces the Vanguard to conduct operations within the Throne World to prevent either faction from gaining any ground.
Following Savathûn's death, Ikora knows that the Witness is likely returning to finish what it started and understanding they need the support, she summons the Guardian to the Enclave on Mars to meet with Mara Sov who requested them for a special task. At the Relic, the Guardian finds the Witch's Queen's dying worm, brought by Mara Sov who believes the worm holds secrets that they could learn from involving humanity's collapse. The Awoken Queen states her plan is to give the worm strength and host to keep it alive, thereby allowing them to glean the secrets they require. Though the Guardian believes this to be a death sentence, Mara believes for her, it will be worth the risk.
Knowing where they can find the means to breath life into the worm, Mara Sov guides the Guardian to a city shrouded in Darkness near the caverns of Savathûn's Throne World. Taking the worm with them, the Guardian is able to locate the doorway to the Dark City, finding it to be similar to what they found inside a Pyramid. Mara Sov explains that a disciple of the Witness created the Dark City with the purpose to grow and facilitate beings similar to the worm itself and what they are looking for akin to a Cryptoglyph, a Darkness incubator that will provide life for the worm. The Guardian locates the Dark City but find only a resonance of a Cryptglyph that the Scorn gave their lives to protect. Mara Sov suspects that it the resonance is but a trick and advises the Guardian to clear it, doing so opens a portal that allows the Guardian to traverse deeper into the Dark City and locate the Cryptoglyph, claiming it from the Scorn thieves. Traversing further, the Guardian is able to locate the Incubation Chamber they need, forcing them to confront the Scorn leader, Heimiks, Warden of the Harvest. Despite the Scorn's strength, the Guardian is able to clear them out, allowing them to access the incubator. Placing Savathûn's Worm at the altar, the Darkness energy breaths life into it, allowing to speak for only a moment but its vitals remain low. Mara Sov believes this to be a partial success and knowing that there are more incubators hidden in the Throne World, she tasks the Guardian to keep the worm safe and refill the Cryptoglyph with energy, while she locates more incubators.
To refill the Cryptoglyph with energy, the Guardian meets with Fynch, who believes to know what they need; a Cryptoglyph rune and they are located within the Temple of the Cunning. Returning to the Temple, the Guardian is able to find the rune but had to slay a large number of Scorn forces to energize it. Fynch then directs them to a Lost Sector called the Sepulcher, a hive tomb and after slaying it's keepers, they find another incubator that allows the worm to regain some it is strength and speak again. The Awoken then strikes a bargain with the worm, offering a new host in exchange for secrets regarding humanity's collapse. Savathûn's Worm grudgingly accepts to keep itself alive. Despite their concerns that she is offering herself as the host, Mara Sov has the Guardian continue onward in finding more incubators within the Lost Sectors of the Throne World as well as keeping a location called the Wellspring secure from the Hive and Scorn. During this time, Savathûn's Worm repeatedly attempts to sow distrust between Mara and the Guardian but despite its words, they continue on with Fynch aiding them in locating more runes and incubators.
After finding enough incubators for Savathûn's Worm to regain it's strength, Mara Sov demands the information they seek first before gaining it's host. Just when it was about to speak of Savathûn's part in the Collapse, the Worm begins to writhe in pain, as a dormant curse the Witch Queen placed on it activated in the event Savathûn's Worm attempted to speak her secrets. Unsure of what to do, Mara Sov leaves but the Guardian quickly takes to the only other being they know who has information on Hive worms: Fynch. The renegade Hive ghost gives them a casing that temporarily prevents the worm from dying and now have to carry the Worm through springs of Hive energy to give it strength again. Despite Lucent Brood forces attempting to stop them, the Guardian reaches through enough springs for the worm to stop dying. Mara Sov returns after this, apologizing, and directs the Guardian to fill the Cryptoglyph with Hive Light for the Worms ritual. Returning to the Apothecary, the Guardian manages to steal the Hive Light they need and reach the Temple of the Wrathful, where Mara Sov lays the groundwork for the ritual. Though the Guardian and their Ghost believe the Awoken Queen is about to become the Worm's new host, she instead turns the Worm into a weapon called Parasite, much to the worm's shock and dismay. Mara clarifies that she fulfilled her end of the bargain by providing a vessel for the worm, thereby allowing it to continue living, but its new host is now more like a prison, to which the Worm objects. The Scorn react to the Worm's presence in the ritual and, to prevent the worm from escaping, Mara Sov has the Guardian hold them off with their new weapon as she completes the ritual.
The weapon proves useful against the Scorn as Mara Sov finishes the ritual and now demands Savathûn's Worm deliver it's end of the deal. Though angered at being deceived, it nonetheless agrees. Savathûn's Worm tell them in the wake of Humanity's Collapse, Savathûn rode along in the apocalypse but deceived the Witness when it turned a violent gaze upon the Traveler, weaving tricks and lies that ultimately turned the tides and forced the Witness to return to the stars. Though this information leads Mara and the Guardian to believe that Savathûn tricked the Witness to save humanity, Savathûn's Worm corrects them stating that she did so to protect the Traveler. With his part of the deal complete, Savathûn's Worm refuses to speak anymore but Mara Sov is nonetheless satisfied with the information they now have. The Awoken Queen then gives the Guardian another task: to keep the weapon so the information the Worm has does not fall into the wrong hands and hopefully it will speak more of its secrets.
Though Savathûn had been defeated, the Guardians still had to deal with her Lucent Brood and more importantly, the ramifications of killing Red Legion Cabal on Mars during their early missions against the Hive, which is a breach in the Last City's armistice with the Cabal Empire. Ikora informed the Guardian that Zavala managed to set up a meeting with Empress Caiatl, to discuss the situation and avoid making another conflict with the Cabal, giving them a Synaptic Spear, a weapon of cabal origin, before they head to the meeting.
At the Tower Hanger where the meeting was taking place, the Guardian arrived as Empress Caiatl expressed her anger that the Vanguard's Guardians opened fire on her troops, who were responding to an unexpected threat, towards Zavala, Lord Saladin and Crow. After offering their condolences, Zavala suggests they put that act behind them work together to combat the threat of the Lightbearer Hive, which pose a threat to both humanity and the Cabal. Caiatl, despite her anger, agrees to form an alliance against the Lucent Brood, as she is pleased that the Vanguard needs them to hit the Hive hard. Thus, operations in the Vanguard H.E.L.M. are set up and Lord Saladin works with Caiatl in combating the Lucent Hive. Caiatl explains that the Synaptic Spear is a weapon made from Light-suppressing technology, refined and weaponized. The Cabal Empress then instructs the Guardian to locate a Hive Lieutenant brimming with Savathûn's influence, then her Psions will force it into their mindscape, connect the Guardian's Light with the weakened Hive's. Doing so will force the Guardian to face the embodiment of the Hive's belief in their god, an Aspect of Savathûn. At that point, the Guardian will use the Spear to destroy the aspect, rendering the Hive Lightless. Without a worm or the Light, the Hive will die but Caiatl informs the Guardian that with her Psions keeping them alive, they can bring it to the Vanguard's H.E.L.M. and have the Psion's shift through the Hive's mind to discover any secrets.
Though Lord Saladin is reluctant to work with the Cabal, the Iron Lord finds the Lightbearer Hive sickening and agrees to oversee operations. As Ikora focuses on Savathûn's Throne World, Lord Saladin directs the Guardian to locate Lucent Hive that have breached in the EDZ, catching guardians unprepared, killing them and stealing their Light. After heading to the EDZ, the Guardian succeeded in battling the Lightbearer Hive, using the Spear to sever their connecting to the Light and bringing it to the H.E.L.M. research site, the Psisorium for the Psions to gaze into the Lucent Hive's strategy. The Mindscans already brought results that the Hive are hunting Guardians and collecting their Light, thought for what purpose, they do not know yet. Despite the method in which the psions put the Hive in a painless state of being neither alive nor dead unnerves Zavala, Saladin and Crow, they nonetheless forge ahead in capturing more Lightbearer Hive and stopping Lucent Hive operations in the EDZ and Cosmodrome.
The Guardians and Cabals unified efforts in capturing Lightbearing Hive Lieutenants would force the Lucent Brood to redouble their efforts, increasing their hostilities on all fronts, leading Lord Saladin to believe that they are getting close to whatever it is they are hiding. Ultimately, the Guardians' efforts led to the Hive to fall into disarray. Lord Saladin then spoke to Empress Caiatl's most trusted Psion, who runs the Psisorium, telling the Iron Lord that within the minds of the Lucent Hive he saw "flashes of gray and red", leading Saladin to believe they will soon know where to strike next. Saladin's suspicions would be confirmed after the Psion was able to deduce the Hive ritual's location: the Scarlet Keep on the Moon. Further, the Lucent Brood intends to claim the Keep for their own, seizing it from Xivu Arath's forces and, using the Light they stole from the Guardians, they plan on manifesting Savathûn's Throne World. With this, the Lucent Brood would be able to launch an invasion of Earth.
Gathering her fleet, Empress Caiatl supports the assault on the Scarlet Keep, sending a Bracus to support the Guardian as they thwart the ritual and capture the lead Lightbearer Wizard. Though the ritual was disrupted and the Lucent Brood in disarray, Zavala believes they will likely attempt another invasion again, furthering the need for the Vanguard to cement their alliance with the Cabal.
As the Hidden continued in their investigation on Savathûn's Throne World and the Lucent Brood, Ikora Rey discovered that the Relic the Guardian found in Savathûn's fortress, the same one that allowed them to forge the Glaive, was meant to lure the Guardians further into the Witch Queen's domain. Beyond that, however, Savathûn didn't have other plans for it. Her Ghost, Immaru, however, had further ambitions for it, planning on creating new, more powerful, weapons for the Lucent Brood. Wanting to prevent the Hive from having enhanced Glaive weapons and likely have a chance to take out Immaru himself, Ikora organizes the Guardians to use Osmic Fragments to lure Immaru out of hiding and take out the Hive Ghost's supplier in one fell swoop.
Taking the fragment they had found in their investigation, the Guardians set up their trap in the Queen's Bailey of the Throne World, where Immaru is conducting the shaping ritual. Though the plan worked in drawing Immaru out, the Ghost nonetheless got away but the Guardians nonetheless prevented the Lucent Brood from receiving any advanced weapons, ending Immaru's scheme for good.
The Hive are a eusocialspecies, similar to Earth colonial insects. Several castes or "morphs" of Hive exist, each representing different stages of growth.
Female Krill consumed a substance called "mother jelly", similar to Earth bees, in order to reproduce, between the age of four and five Fundament years. Additionally, female Krill who consumed mother jelly were capable of flight. Hive Wizards are the only fertile females, and are capable of either self-fertilization or being with a mate.
Hive originate as eggs or cocoons laid by a special caste of Wizard known as a Brood Queen. Upon hatching, newborn Hive swallows a Worm larva whole, becoming symbiotic with the Worm inside them. These newborn Hive grow into Thrall, and Thrall that survive into maturity become Acolytes. Acolytes who have proven themselves can become Knights, who in turn may become Princes leading their own broods.
Hive are capable of sequential hermaphroditism; Oryx, born the female Aurash, became the male Auryx after assuming the unique "king morph", while Knights are capable of either sex as evidenced by Xivu Arath remaining female despite being a Knight. Ogres, meanwhile, appear to be not a stage of growth in the Hive life cycle, but a mutation brought upon Thrall by Wizard rituals.
Grown members of the Hive are pale, sinewy, and vaguely humanoid, with varying levels of musculature and armor. Acolytes and Knights have three eyes, whereas Thrall appear to be eyeless, with the exception of the Thralls encountered at the beginning of the Crota's End raid who all have three glowing eyes. Wizards would seem to be eyeless as well, but their eyes are really concealed behind the helmets they wear. The ancient armor many of them wear has fused with their skin, becoming part of it. When most Hive are killed by a body shot from a typical weapon, they disintegrate into ash, while suffering a headshot causes them to burst into green flames and embers before disintegrating into nothing, in both cases leaving parts of their armor behind. When killed by a fusion rifle, trace rifle or similar disintegrating weapon or ability, most Hive will be disintegrated completely without leaving any ash or armor fragments behind.
The Hive may also differ in appearance and form according to the individuals that spawned them; the Hive Sect belonging to Savathûn, the Witch-Queen appear different from the broods of both Oryx, the Taken King, and Crota, Son of Oryx, sporting a more muscular, bulkier and organic appearance.
The Hive are known to constantly adapt and evolve, generating new mutations as effortless as breathing, which is considered of great interest to the Vex. They also described to be rather like their own living-component-containing Warships; a terrifying amalgam of predator genetics, arcane bio-energetics, and what is considered as Darkness incarnate
Hive fangs grow in rows, with grooves on their roots, and are continually shed, much like those of Earth sharks; when one fang is lost, another moves forward to replace it.
The Hive have a complex religious system based around profane rituals and the worship of a pantheon of Ascendant Hive gods in the style of an absolute monarchy. These Hive Gods exist in the Ascendant Realm, described as a "higher plane of misery" associated with the Darkness (known to the Hive as the Deep) locked outside of physical reality, not unlike the Vex realms locked out of time. Dwelling within are "cyst universes" known as throne worlds of their own creation. Each world houses its respective god's Oversoul, which protects them from permanent death should their corporeal bodies be destroyed.
The Hive Prince Crota is introduced as one of the youngest Hive deities. Known as the God-Knight and the Hope-Eater, he and his broods precede the coming of Oryx when they invade worlds touched by the Traveler and its Light. Oryx is Crota's father and the central figure of their religion as well as the God-King of the Hive; through his shrines he maintains contact with his force spread across the universe. Other deities include Oryx's own sisters Savathûn and Xivu Arath, and the greater Worm Gods Eir, Ur, Xol, and Yul. Like Crota and Oryx, they have disciples named after them. A fifth god, named Akka, is recorded in the Books of Sorrow and it is from his remains that the Dreadnaught is built. Apart from a glyph-based writing system, the Hive hold a special holiday called Eversion Day, which celebrates the creation of The Taken King's Dreadnaught by turning things inside-out in the same way Oryx merged his throne world with his ship.
The Hive have great hatred for the Light, and to them, the eternal struggle between light and dark is not only a war, it is a crusade; all Light must be devoured so Darkness can reclaim the universe. They have even attempted to attack the Traveler directly, through a ritual in which they drained its light through a fragment that they captured in the Chamber of Night.
The Hive use a unique glyph system of runes which they describe as a "viral language" for their forbidden Hive magics, including the use of Shadowrifts and the Weapons of Sorrow. Hive runes draw their power from a different dimension, where there’s no difference between a word and its meaning. When the Hive erode the barrier between our dimension and theirs, the rune for ‘death’ brings literal death.
The Hive religion is not based on any sort of conventional morality; in fact, they see morality and the "false hope of comfort" as an abomination. Instead, a metaphysical principle known as the "Sword-Logic" forms the basis of the Hive's belief system. According to the Sword-Logic, it is the ultimate goal of intelligent beings to challenge one another for the right to continue existing, and a being may acquire paracausal power by defeating another being. All such power must necessarily be taken by force, not received as a gift. This is why Hive swords are so deadly to Guardians; they create a bridge in which the wielder saps the power of the victim.
This also extends to sacrifice, as Hive become Ascendant by consuming the souls of lesser Hive. The Hive's lust for power is a direct reflection of their Worm Gods' insatiable hunger for Light, and that the Hive must always be powerful, or else they themselves will be consumed. Even if they wanted to, the Hive can't stop killing or else they will perish. The Sword-Logic determines the right to rule, as anyone who can depose the current King is rightfully the new King of the Hive. Anyone who cannot defend themselves, whether it be a person or a civilization, does not deserve to live and is fit to be obliterated. This is how the Hive intend to "liberate" the universe from its false hope, and the existence of the Hive themselves is proof enough in their belief.
The Ascendant Realm is ruled in totality by the Sword-Logic; when Crota accidentally allowed the Vex into his father's realm, they learned the Sword-Logic from him and adapted it to their own functions, learning to worship and bootstrap themselves into divinity, striving to become the most powerful beings in the universe. At the time however, they were unable to fully comprehend the role that the worms and the acausal Darkness played. While the Sword-Logic helped the Guardians in defeating Crota when they stole his sword and used it against him, they broke the Sword-Logic when they recovered and uncorrupted the Light found in the Dreadnaught's cellar, and used it against Oryx, then refusing to take up the mantle as the new Taken King.
Death and resurrection
Resurrection, in general, is seen as heretical by the Hive who follow the Sword Logic. To the Hive, death is the principle of the Sword Logic to attaining apotheosis; to take and grow stronger after defeating an opponent. If the slain were resurrected, it would be contradicting the logic it violated. As such, Nokris, who learned the secrets of necromancy from Xol, was branded a heretic, exiled from his kind and condemned to obscurity as his father removed nearly all traces of his name.
The rules of death are somewhat different to the Hive than what they are to humans. This is most notably exemplified by the concept of Ascendance: those Hive individuals who have grown powerful enough through the Sword Logic can move between the physical dimension and the Ascendant Plane and carve a "throne world" there so that when they are killed in the real world, they retreat to their throne world and can return after a time. Only death occurring in their own throne world is a true, final death in terms of the Hive. It appears that dying in another's throne world is reversible, as illustrated in the Books of Sorrow, where Oryx resurrects his sisters having killed them both within his throne world. It is likely this was possible because the sisters had already established their own throne worlds. Furthermore, the manner in which Oryx brings his sisters back is very particular - he does it by defining their nature through acts of war and cunning. At another point Xivu Arath calls him back from the Deep (where she and Savathûn have trapped him) in a similar manner, through describing him, and millennia later Savathûn summons Xivu Arath to Torobatl through an act of "war and blood". Another example of a Hive dying in another's throne world and then coming back is Ir Yût, the Deathsinger; being one of the bosses of the raid Crota's End, she dies in his throne world but can be later seen attending Crota's ritual of passing in the mission Last Rites. Crota's mate Omnigul is also notable for returning after having been killed by Guardians, but it can be a hint towards her being an Ascendant Hive.
Though most of the Hive pantheon seem to be Ascendant, it is hard to define the exact rules of achieving this status. Inquisition of the Damned notes that the Daughters of Crota have not reached it, maybe due to the miserable state the Hidden Swarm had been in ever since Crota's death; Hiraks, the Mindbender managed to carve out a small throne world thanks to the power murdering Cayde-6 provided him, but his mate In Anânh is yet to be seen coming back from beyond the grave. Savathûn's daughters Balwûr and Dûl Incaru are noted having some protection from dying (with Balwûr's death being "hidden well", according to Oryx), but there is no information whether her other child Malok or Oryx's twin daughters Ir Anûk and Ir Halak, the inventors of death-hiding technique in the first place, had some sort of a throne world or an Oversoul too.
There are other ways of protecting oneself from death besides having a throne world - the aforementioned Oversoul is one of them. Ir Anûk and Ir Halak invented a way of hiding one's death within this construct so that one can die only after the Oversoul have been destroyed. The Oversouls are often kept within throne worlds, as it was in the case of both Oryx and Crota. Members of the Court of Oryx are described as having their deaths hidden in various other ways: Kagoor hid hers within her skill of creating and commanding Ogres, Krughor in Cursed Thrall he would send forth into battle and the sisters Zyrok Däl, Alzok Däl and Gornuk Däl in each other.
Other than Nokris' necromancy, other blasphemous acts of defying death could be seen in the adventure Deathless on Titan, where Savathûn's Brood repeatedly killed and resurrected Takul-Dar, the Unbreakable, and the story of Hashladûn and her sisters trying to bring back Oryx.
Gods like Oryx and Crota are capable of being killed in physical reality without truly dying; even under certain circumstances, Ascendant Hive gods can be reborn even if killed in the Ascendant Plane. So long as their souls are preserved, they can reemerge in corporeal form at a later time. If they are killed in their respective throne world, however, their death will be permanent. According to the Spider, two other methods of permanently killing Hive gods exist.
In descending order of importance, the Gods of the Hive are:
Sects and broods
Named individuals and mini-bosses
Hive technology is esoteric and often bio-mechanical, constructed or grown from organic materials like bone or chitin. Through signs and incantations, the Hive are able to channel the Darkness, and through this magic, they are able to contend with the conventional technology of other species on equal or greater footing. According to Fynch, old Hive structures decay into literal skeletons; everything the Hive use, from their weapons, ships and buildings, were all once things the Hive enslaved and twisted into a useful shape.
List of appearances