Hunt for the Scorn
|Hunt for the Scorn|
- " Uldren Sov is Mine."
- — The Guardian.
The Hunt for the Scorn (could also be called the Scorn Hunts) was a heated and personal conflict within the Reef, between the Guardians of the Last City, their Awoken allies, and the morbid Fallen Scorn, led by its seven Barons and the renegade Awoken prince, Uldren Sov. Though the conflict was largely unsanctioned by the Vanguard, the Guardians ignored this command to hunt down Uldren in revenge for the murder of the Hunter Vanguard, Cayde-6. There after much struggle and making shaky alliances, the Guardians dismantled the Scorn's operations within the Reef and avenge Cayde by killing Uldren.
In time, it was revealed that Uldren and the Scorn were naught but pawns in the machinations of the last known living Ahamkara, Riven, who serves the Hive Witch-Queen Savathûn and the Taken resurgence. This forces the Vanguard to acknowledge the threat within the Reef and pledge the Last City's support to the Reef Awoken.
After a year with the Red War's conclusion and the following threats on Mercury and Mars, the Guardians maintained vigilance over the system but within the Reef, darker forces were at work. Most of the Reef fell into chaos without the leadership of Mara Sov, who remained missing after the Taken War, and the destruction of the Awoken armada. However, Cayde-6, the Hunter Vanguard, worked alongside Petra Venj in containing the chaos, chiefly the Scorn, a mass band of mutated and deranged Fallen under the leadership of seven Barons. Cayde managed to imprison the Scorn Barons while Petra Venj ended up finding Uldren Sov, long thought dead by his people. However, to Petra, Uldren seemed different and discovered that he was working with the Scorn. Thus instead of revealing him to the Awoken, Petra imprisoned him with the Scorn Barons deep within the Prison of Elders, hoping that he wouldn't do any harm.
However, together in their prison, the Scorn and Uldren, driven by visions of what he perceived to be his sister, bided their time to await the prime opportunity to escape.
Course of the Hunt
After a time, somehow the Prison of Elders' systems malfunctioned, releasing all the prisoners within to run rampart, also allowing the Scorn to escape. Hoping to prevent the inmates from escaping across the Solar System, Petra called in Cayde and the Guardian for aid. The Guardian and Cayde arrived as the prisoners continued to run wild. Fighting past countless prisoners, the Guardian manages to reset the prisons systems but Petra discovers too late, that the Scorn Barons and Uldren have successfully escaped.
Cayde, not wasting any time, destroyed the central structure of the prison for a quick way down to the escaping Barons. Petra and the Guardians are then forced to take the long way down to Cayde's position.
Fall of a Legend
- "Any last words?"
"How's your sister?"
- — Uldren and Cayde.
Within the wreckage of the structure at the bottom level, Cayde-6 encounters the Barons but finds himself cornered and surrounded. Undaunted, Cayde uses all of his weapons and Light abilities to take out numerous Scorn enemies but ends up getting beaten and severely wounded. Summoning his Ghost to heal himself, Pirrha, the Rifleman, destroys Cayde's Ghost, rendering this his final life. Further beaten and damaged by the Barons, Uldren Sov reveals himself and takes Cayde's personal weapon, the Ace of Spades. Unable to defend himself, Cayde remained defiant and unafraid, leaning in to the barrel of his own gun, and taunting Uldren as he fired the fatal shot.
The Guardian raced through the prison as they sensed the death of Cayde's Ghost but unfortunately arrive too late to stop Uldren and the Barons from escaping or providing anything to save Cayde. Within in his final moments, Cayde wanted the Guardians to know that his death is not their fault and to tell his fireteam that despite his griping, he was proud to serve as Hunter Vanguard.
- "As for you my friends, my Barons... you embraced me when I was cast out. And for that I gift to you the bounty of the Tangled Shore. Go! Unleash upon the Fallen... chaos."
- — Uldren addresses his Barons.
After escaping from the prison, Uldren publicly revealed himself to the Reef Awoken and most pledged allegiance to him since he was technically next in line for the throne but after meeting with the Awoken, Uldren betrays them all. The mad prince unleashes his Scorn forces upon the Awoken, killing countless innocents and engulfing the entirety of the Reef into complete chaos. Once the deed was done, Uldren orders his Scorn Barons to continue their endevours to spread chaos throughout the Reef while he tends to his personal mission in finding Mara Sov, whom he believes is still alive and knows where to find her.
Desiring vengeance on Uldren for his crimes and murder of Cayde, Petra Venj heads out on her own for any lead on Uldren's whereabouts and for any intel on his Barons and whatever they have planned.
The Hunt Begins
Back at the Last City, the Guardians, the Vanguard and people mourn Cayde's loss but while Ikora Rey calls for Uldren's death and proposes that the Guardians storm the Reef to hunt the rouge prince and the Scorn, Zavala disagrees. Realizing that the Last City does not possess the strength for such a hunt in the wake of the recent conflicts, the Titan Vanguard maintains that the Guardians must focus on the Last City and not on vengeance. Despite the Warlock Vanguard's protests, Zavala declares the Reef off-limits and continues missions to hunt down other escaped inmates across the system.
Refusing to let Cayde's death go unanswered or let Uldren and his Scorn simply have the Reef, the Guardian, taking a lead from Ikora, head off on their own, unsupported from the Vanguard, to the Reef to hunt down Uldren and his Scorn. Their lead takes them to the Tangled Shore, where they encounter sparse Scorn forces and look for anything that could lead them to Uldren or his Barons.
Fortunately, the Guardians are contacted by Petra who offers her aid in hunting down Uldren. Together, they head out to meet with a shady figure who might possess the right intelligence needed to locate Uldren and his Barons.
Deal with The Spider
- "You go scratch your itch. Then we can just say... you owe me. Do we have a deal?"
- — The Spider and The Guardian.
Heading deeper within the Tangled Shore, Petra Venj makes contact with a mysterious Spider Syndicate, which became embroiled in a conflict with the Scorn, driving the Syndicate from their original territory in the Shore. After routing the Scorn's forces from the Spider's hiding place, Petra and the Guardian finally meet The Spider face to face. At first, the Spider was not very interested in getting involved in a man-hunt for Uldren, but he does greatly desire Uldren's head for driving him from his former territory. Thus, the Spider offers the Guardian and Petra a deal: the Spider would give the Guardian all the intel they need to hunt the Barons and in return, the Guardians would hunt them down and accept any favor the Spider asks within the future. Despite the terms, the Guardian agrees.
With the intel, the Guardians accept bounties from the Spider and begin to dismantle the Scorn's operations.
Toppling the Scorn
- "Divide. Conquer. Isolate Uldren. He'll wind up at your feet. And all you have to do... is pull the trigger."
- — The Spider.
Slowly but surely, the Guardian takes out the Scorn's forces bit-by-bit and soon discover each Baron had plans for when they would be done with the Reef.
Encountering a trail left by Araskes, the Trickster, the Guardians discover the Trickster developed a wicked plan to sabotage engram caches with explosives which she intended to send to the Last City and incite mayhem. The Guardian manages to destroy her caches and chase the Trickster throughout the Shore and corner her. Despite her cloaking and constant traps, the Guardian was able to kill Araskes.
Later on, the Guardians find fiery trail blazes over the Shore and soon find the one responsible, Yaviks, the Rider and her Pike gang. Within the Shore, Yaviks intended to continue her trail of destruction and anarchy over the Reef while also wishing to beat Cayde-6's Pike riding record since last time, the Hunter Vanguard bested her. The Guardian manages to procure a Pike of their own and initiate a destructive race with Yaviks. But, despite Yaviks' modified Heavy Pike, weaponry and the aid of her gang, the Guardians were able to kill the Rider, thereby preserving Cayde's record.
After a while, the Guardians were contacted by Kaniks, the Mad Bomber who challenges them. Tracking the message, the Guardian encounters the Mad Bomber who gleefully attacks them with his arsenal of explosives. The Guardian survives the initial attack and chase after Kaniks, who continues to mock Cayde's death, but despite his erratic tactics and explosives, the Guardian kills the Mad Bomber.
Following intel provided from the Spider, the Guardians follow evidence of Pirrha, the Rifleman, the one who killed Cayde's Ghost. The search leads them to Pirrha's initial sniper's nest in Hellrise Canyon. Once they enter, the Guardian realize the nest was a trap as Pirrha's forces attack them. Surviving the trap, Pirrha contacts them, threatening to destroy their Ghost just as he did with Cayde's. Fighting past Pirrha's forces and keeping their Ghost safe from Pirrha's snipping, the Guardians manage to corner the Rifleman. Despite his Crossbow weapon and bothersome decoys, the Guardian kills Pirrha, avenging Cayde's Ghost.
Within the fields of the Tangled Shore, the Guardian finds remains of Servitors, completely drained of their ether. The Spider takes this as evidence that Reksis Vahn, the Hangman, a Scorn Baron with a hatred for Servitors, is nearby. Following a trail of ether to Quitter's Well, the Guardians encounter the Hangman within his lair. Despite his great strength and Flame Cauldron weapon, the Guardian manages to slay the sadistic Baron.
With another tip from the Spider, the Guardian search for Hiraks, the Mindbender, a Scorn Baron with a morbid fascination for the Hive. The search for Hiraks takes them to a downed Hive Warship from the Taken War, which became a breeding ground for the Hive stranded in the Shore. Fighting past Hive soldiers under the control of Hiraks, the Guardian soon finds a portal rupture that leads to Hiraks' own throne world, the Ascendant Plane which manifested from all the deaths of Hiraks' foes, including Cayde-6. Within the Ascendant Plane, the Guardian face off against Hiraks, who is stronger and more powerful within his throne world, but despite his Hive servants and Ascendant powers, they kill the Mindbender which causes his Ascendant Plane to destabilize. The Guardian manages to escape just in time before the Ascendant Plane collapses.
With most of the Barons dead, the Guardian manage to track down the Baron's second-in-command, Elykris, the Machinist to Salvage Zone QX. There, the Machinist challenges the Guardian and forces them to question their motives in the deaths of her comrades. Nonetheless, the Guardian battles with Elykris where she unleashes the full force of her stolen and salvaged weaponry. Even with the force of her weaponry and tactics, the Guardian manages to kill Elykris and destroy her stockpile.
Meanwhile, as the Guardians continued their vendetta in the Shore, Petra maintained her own hunt for Uldren. She managed to track him to Earth deep within the Dark Forest of the European Dead Zone. There, she witnesses him taking a shard of the Traveler bearing its Light. Though she managed to find Uldren, Petra failed in her chance to kill him, leaving her position exposed to the Dusk Fallen and enabling Uldren to escape.
Death of the Mad Prince
With the Scorn's strength and leadership diminished, the Guardian receives new intel from the Spider who confirms that Uldren and Fikrul have been sighted at the Awoken Watchtower, a place which is said to house the Awoken's deepest secrets. Within the structure, Uldren orders Frikul to hold off the enemy while he finishes his work.
Gathering their strength, the Spider's main forces engage with the Scorn's defenses while the Guardian breaches past them and enters the Awoken Watchtower. At the entrance, they face off with Frikul who desires revenge for his fellow Barons. Despite his Dark Ether powers, the Guardian manages to kill Frikul and continues on into the structure in search of Uldren. However, as the Guardians searches through the structure, they find it infected with Taken corruption and hear the voice of Uldren and a voice similar to Mara Sov.
At the center of the structure, Uldren uses the Shard of the Traveler and remnants of the Darkness within him from the aftermath of the Battle of Saturn to open a massive gateway through further "encouragement" from Mara's voice. With Light and Darkness, the gateway opens but instead of his sister appearing before him, a grotesque creature, a Taken Chimera called the Voice of Riven, appears instead and to his horror, swallows him whole. However, the Guardian arrives afterward and battles with the creature but despite its strange power, they succeed in destroying it, freeing Uldren.
Left powerless and humiliated, Uldren is then approached by the Guardian, who reclaimed the Ace of Spades, and Petra Venj both ready to execute the rouge prince. Though remaining self-righteous in his goal to reunite with his sister, Uldren accepts his fate as the Guardian and Petra execute Uldren for his crimes against his own people and for the murder of Cayde-6.
Though Uldren and the Scorn Barons have been dealt with, thereby avenging Cayde, the Scorn remain a threat within the Reef that the Guardians continue to manage with the Spider's bounties. However, within the Tower, its denizens remain somber over Cayde's death and Zavala questions what consequences Uldren's death will bring.
Over time, the Guardians hunting Scorn within the Reef receive a message from Frikul, apparently back from the grave, issuing a challenge to them to avenge his Scorn Barons. Tracking the Fanatic to the Scorn's original lair, the Guardians battle against Frikul once again and despite his Dark Ether abilities, the slay the Fanatic again but he swears that he will return.
In addition, to Frikul, the Guardians deal with remnants of Hiraks Hive brood after agreeing to take it as a favor for the Spider. Returning to the downed Hive Warship, the Guardians find that the Hive's numbers have grown exponentially since Hiraks' death. They also discover Hive Knights poisoned with Ether, results of Hiraks' experiments. Delving deeper into the Hive nest, the Guardians encounter the progenitor of the Hive within the Tangled Shore, In Anânh, Brood Queen, who was also Hiraks consort. Their battle with the Brood Queen takes the Guardians further and further into the Hive nest but they manage to corner her at the center of the nest. There, despite her dark power in summoning a shade to aid her, the Guardians kill In Anânh, which will lower the Hive's numbers within the Tangled Shore in time.
A Thousand Voices
- "Assemble a team, Petra. Send them into the heart of the City. Kill that creature and extract its heart. I offer the riches of our realm as bounty. Open the gates, and let the Guardians in."
- — Mara Sov.
Despite the victory over the Scorn, the question of the Taken's appearance in the Awoken Watchtower was a great concern to the Guardians and Petra. Soon enough, Taken forces began appearing across the Reef, originating from the gateway Uldren opened. Further investigations into the Taken reveal that the Awoken homeland found within the Dreaming City has been Taken and that the Awoken's deep secret within the City is responsible. Petra reveals that their secret is an Ahamkara, Riven, said to be the last of her kind, who has been Taken after Oryx invaded the Reef years ago during the Taken War. Now Riven appears to serve a new master following Oryx's death; Savathûn, Witch-Queen of the Hive
Traveling into the Dreaming City with Petra to find a device called the Oracle Engine, an arcane communicator, which Petra intends to use to contact Mara and confirm if she is alive. Activating the device and clearing out the Taken, Petra manages to make contact with Mara Sov, confirming that she is alive and appraising her of recent events. Mara Sov is aware of Uldren's death and Riven's betrayal but with little time, she orders Petra to open the Reef to the Guardians, with the bounty of the Dreaming City's treasures and knowledge as rewards in ending the Taken Curse implanted by Riven and end the Ahamkara.
Thus the conflict within the Reef enters an entirely new stage where the Guardians battle with the Taken and Hive under the command of Riven and Savathûn's forces, as the Reef and Last City unite against the threat.
The Dreaming Raid
- "You are finally here. Brother slayer. Spawn killer. All that strength, and you're still nothing but a retainer to the Awoken Queen. You could be so much more... all you need do is wish it. Come. I would quite like to meet you."
- — Riven, tempting the Guardians.
After relaying the news of the threat Riven posed and of Mara being alive, the Guardians gained the Vanguards approval in allowing a Raid team to storm the Awoken Watchtower, enter the Dreaming City and slay Riven before the Ahamkara does indescribable damage. With Petra's blessing, the Guardians enter the tower once more and gain admittance into the Dreaming City. The Guardians soon encounter the Techeuns Sedia, Kalli and Shuro Chi, corrupted into Taken and were now under the command of Riven. Despite facing legions of Taken, the Guardians defeat each Techeun and even manage to free them from their Taken corruption. Grateful, the Techeuns encourage the Guardians to continue with their mission and slay Riven for her treachery. More importantly, they instructed them to acquire the Ahamkara's heart and bring it to them, so the Techeuns can cleanse it of its Taken energies.
Traversing further in the Dreaming City, the Guardians proceed towards The Vault, where Riven is housed, but confront the Taken Ogre, Morgeth, the Spirekeeper. Despite the Ogre's might, the Guardians succeed in killing Morgeth and gain entry into The Vault yet during the entire ordeal, Riven constantly whispers into the Guardians' ears, taunting them. Ignoring the Ahamkara, the Guardians proceed deeper into Riven's lair, the Keep of Voices. After completing the puzzle mechanisms to enter the keep, the Guardians finally confront Riven in person. Taking the form of a gargantuan dragon-like form, Riven battles with the Guardians throughout the Ascendant Plane that melded with the Dreaming City. Despite her vast Taken powers, the Guardians slayed her physical form. As instructed by the Techeuns, the Guardians delved into the Ahamkara's form and pried Riven's heart. Fighting against the Heart's corrupted energies and the Taken that sought to stop them, the Guardians raced towards the Techeuns to complete their mission. However, just before Riven's Heart is cleansed, the Ahamkara performs one last wish: to plague the Dreaming City with a Taken Curse. Ultimately, and to the Guardian's horror, Riven completed her task, granting her master a great advantage.
Though the Guardians slayed a great threat to the system, Riven's plot ultimately puts them in a never-ending conflict with Savathûn's forces, as they use the twisted Dreaming City as a staging ground in their intention to breach into the Distributary, allowing the Witch-Queen to reach new heights of power. Even so, the Guardians maintain their vigilance against the Hive and Taken to prevent that from happening.