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Jolyon Till is the most trusted Crow of Queen Mara Sov and was once Prince Uldren Sov's closest friend and companion. Their relationship fell apart after an expedition into the Black Garden. Jolyon would continue to serve the Reef during the Wolf Rebellion and against the Taken curse afflicting the Dreaming City, although the loss of Uldren affected him deeply.
Early Life and Service to the Queen
Jolyon was a childhood friend of Uldren and Mara Sov. Within the Distributary he attended combat academy with Uldren and frequently became annoyed by his friend's pranks. One night Uldren dyed Jolyon's dark green uniform bright yellow. The next morning he put it on without noticing and after wearing it for a 22-hour rotation it stained his skin bright green. Jolyon was unsure if that had been Uldren's intention or not. Jolyon eventually lost someone close to him named Laviska. Losing them filled Jolyon with self-doubt and despair, but Uldren's friendship helped to save him.
After the Awoken came to the Reef Jolyon rose to become the most trusted Crow in service to Mara, who was made Queen. Although the Crows were a spy service, Jolyon primarily served as a scout and sniper due to his dislike of keeping secrets. Jolyon and Uldren became famous amongst their people for their adventures together.
Expedition into the Black Garden
Entering the Garden
While on a mission with Uldren, the Prince told Jolyon that he wanted to enter the Black Garden with him as the two lay prone and the Crow waited to snipe an unsuspecting target. Jolyon did not divert his attention from his scope but sarcastically replied that he thought the two of them were going to float Saturn in a tub instead. Uldren insisted he was serious, but Jolyon told him he would be dead if he did go to Mars and requested wind information from his spotter. The Prince provided it and insisted that Jolyon had to join him or he would never live it down. Jolyon noted he would not live anything down if he was dead and declared he was ready to take the shot, which Uldren approved. With the target eliminated, Jolyon turned to Uldren as the Prince reminded him that he had joined him on all his previous big adventures and that he needed him. Uldren also worried that a Guardian might beat them to it and that Queen Mara Sov would start using them for work instead of the Crows. Noting that Uldren was manipulative like Mara but smiled more, Jolyon countered Uldren's excitement about what they would find by suggesting it would likely be nameless horrors and that no one had gone in because it was forbidden by Mara. However, Uldren told him that was how they knew it was worth doing. Jolyon agreed to join Uldren, who reassured him their mission and departure would be secret. Jolyon believed the whole city would know they were leaving soon enough and was proven right when a large crowd of admirers turned out to bid them farewell.
Upon reaching the entrance to the Black Garden in the Valley of the Kings, the two Awoken found themselves caught between the Vex and Cabal. Jolyon destroyed a Goblin that pinned Uldren down, but in doing so gave away his position to the Cabal, who began bombarding the area. Finding themselves unable to fight their way into the gateway, Jolyon suggested flying a ship through, but Uldren noted the gate would not be active unless the Vex were tricked and the Cabal could shoot them down. Jolyon noted the only way to trick the Vex would be killing a Gate Lord and stealing its eye, but his Prince stated he had another idea that would require stealth. The two Awoken settled on a plan to rile up the Cabal to the point that they would initiate an orbital bombardment to eliminate them, while at the same time getting close to the gate entrance to draw out a Gate Lord that would open a portal to the Black Garden and use the resulting chaos to slip inside. Jolyon spent the next several hours picking off Cabal, infuriating them, before joining Uldren in crawling towards the gate using active camouflage ponchos. Once close enough, the Vex detected them and deployed a Gate Lord. While Uldren distracted the machine Jolyon fired into the air with his Supremacy rifle to alert the Cabal to their location. As a Cabal cruiser began preparing to bombard the area, the Vex Gate Lord became distracted between the two threats. Jolyon and Uldren sprinted for the gate and used a deflection grenade to protect themselves from both foes as they slid into the entrance of the Black Garden.
Exploring the Garden
Having successfully breached the Black Garden, Jolyon and Uldren began exploring the paracausal space and delved into the trenches between the ordered flower fields. Jolyon quickly grew disturbed by the dark reality they found themselves in. As they took shelter beneath a canopy of tongues from the rain, he noted how everything grew in the Garden and directed Uldren to look at his fingernails, which had curved back into a loop that completed at their roots. The Prince was undisturbed and suggested they move on, which Jolyon agreed with. As he pulled himself up with the aid of nearby vines, they quickly coiled around his arm and attempted to bite him. Jerking his arm free, Jolyon responded to Uldren questioning if he was ok by stating he was for the moment. As they explored and discovered more impossible and terrifying things, Jolyon declared that he did not like it there and suggested they return to the surface. Uldren did not respond to his suggestion, instead saying that he had been right earlier about everything growing and that it was life. Jolyon was alarmed as his friend ran ahead laughing and asked what he was looking for, but the Prince stated he did not know and that was what made it incredible.
The two Awoken soon found signs of a battle between Vex and Cabal within the Garden itself. Uldren insisted on following the tracks of a surviving Legionary, but as they entered into a field of woven grasses they began hearing strange whispers on the wind with a musical cadence. Jolyon worried that they might catch a contagious idea and attempted to warn Uldren about brain stain and suggest they turn back, but the Prince ignored him and carried on into a low vale. They found themselves surrounded by Goblins and Minotaurs that were still as statues and covered in moss, but also singing in a faint robotic way. Discovering the wounded Legionary, Jolyon watched as Uldren interrogated him and was horrified when the Cabal killed themselves by removing their pressurized helmet to reveal thousands of tiny seeds embedded into its skull. Seeing the fascination on the Prince's face, Jolyon told him he did not like it, but Uldren began talking about how the Garden grew its secrets on the Cabal. At this, Jolyon snapped and declared he did not care before insisting that they leave to avoid the same horrific fate. Before they left, Jolyon and Uldren witnessed the beating Black Heart of the Garden.
After the Garden
After leaving the Black Garden Jolyon and Uldren returned to the Reef, where Uldren presented Queen Mara an Asphodelia flower. However, the Prince did not mention Jolyon's role in the expedition or even talk to him for days after their return. Jolyon was plagued by nightmares of what he had seen within the Black Garden. Upon encountering the Prince within the armory, Jolyon noted he had not come to the range the other day. The distracted Prince dismissively stated that Jolyon did not need a spotter before trailing off attempting to explain where he had been. Jolyon told him they should talk about the Garden, which caused Uldren to become excited and apologize for not talking to him sooner. The Prince wished to record all that they had seen, but Jolyon cut him off and declared he did not want anyone else to know about it. Uldren promised it would be their shared secrets. Jolyon did not agree, telling the Prince he wished he could not remember any of it, and distractedly dropped the firing pin to his rifle as he inspected it. As the pin rolled across the floor, the Crow made no move to pick it up and reminded Uldren that he did not keep secrets. He then asked if Uldren would join him on the range the next day, but the Prince declined by claiming he had work to do.
Jolyon was summoned before Queen Mara for a private audience to explain why he had helped Uldren defy her edict against entering the Black Garden. Bowing before his queen, Jolyon stated that Uldren had only done so in order to impress Mara. She dismissed this as a childish excuse when dealing with the Darkness and questioned if he understood her decree had been for the Awoken's protection, something he should know as her most trusted Crow. He told her he did understand, but Mara noted he disobeyed anyone. As the queen lowered her head to his hear and wondered if this was a act of treason, Jolyon began to fear for his safety. Taking a moment, Jolyon told his childhood friend that while Uldren was her brother by blood, he was also Jolyon's through not just battle but also through the help he had given Jolyon in the lowest times of his life. Finding courage in his words, Jolyon lifted his head to meet Mara's gaze and declared that his love for Uldren and willingness to follow him into death was why he had helped him, and that if Mara considered that treason, he would accept such a judgment.
Uldren eventually joined Jolyon on the firing range again to serve as his spotter. As they practiced, Jolyon noted that his old friend was distracted and squinting as if the sun was before them instead of behind. He was further concerned by how the Prince's physical state seemed hollowed out and fear he recognized something dark within Uldren's eyes. His moment of distraction regarding Uldren's condition caused him to miss the shot, but the Prince congratulated him as if he had hit the target. Looking at him with open concern, Jolyon believed that he was also being plagued by nightmares of the Black Garden's heart, but just thinking of it caused his attention to drift and become focused on it instead of Uldren. As Jolyon snapped out of his recollection, he found Uldren staring down at him and staring as if trying to see something far away.
During the Wolf Rebellion, Jolyon was burned by a Fallen Shrapnel Launcher. Acquiring one of the weapons for himself, he began modifying it for a more directed accurate burst of fire that would work well in the hands of a marksman like himself, vowing that the traitorous House of Wolves would feel its fire for their betrayal.
Several years later, Jolyon was assigned to the strike team sent to bring in Uldren when he surrendered to the Reef. The Prince had been thought lost in the Battle of Saturn, but had recently remerged as the leader of the Scorn, a radical and violent faction of Fallen. As Uldren was placed in chains Jolyon went up to his friend, but found that the Prince could not even recognize him any longer. Uldren and the Scorn later escaped from the Prison of Elders and unleashed a campaign of violence across the Reef before being killed in a confrontation with Petra Venj and the Young Wolf.
Jolyon was later assigned to help combat the Taken curse inflicted by Savathûn, the Witch Queen and Riven upon the Dreaming City. While posted to a sniper position in Rheasilvia he was visited by Petra, who asked if he wanted to visit Uldren's body. Jolyon refused as he kept focus on his scope instead of her. Petra thought he would have wanted to see him, but Jolyon shot back that Uldren had been gone long before either Petra or the Young Wolf shot him. He cut off her next plea by stating he was not interested in any of her secrets, although after a moment he added a soft please to his request to be left alone. The two laid in silence in their snipers nest picking off Taken for awhile before Petra began to depart. As she did, Jolyon rolled onto his back and admitted he still dreamt about the Black Garden. The Queen's Wrath carefully noted she did as well, but Jolyon told her it was not like his dreams. After a moment of contemplation he rolled back into his sniping position and told Petra that was all he needed to say and had just wanted someone to know.
Some time after this Jolyon was in a bar and began reminiscing about Uldren with the bartender as he drank. Recalling the pranks Uldren used to pull when they were younger, Jolyon noted that most of Uldren's plans involved doing something outrageous and somehow failing so that it was more successful than he intended. While initially laughing at the memories, his smile soon faded as he reflected on how his friend had not been a bad person until the corruption of the Black Garden afflicted him. Jolyon blamed himself for what became of Uldren by having helped him enter the garden and noted that now he missed Uldren's pranks and arrogance the most.
Shortly after Mara's return to the Dreaming City, Jolyon learned that Uldren had been revived by a Ghost as a Lightbearer and become a Guardian in service to the Vanguard. While practicing at the range he was visited by Petra, who settled in as his spotter. Guessing that she was there due to the news about Uldren being back, Petra corrected and reminded him that as Lightbearers had no memory of their past lives he was not Uldren and was known as Crow now. Jolyon was amused that Uldren had somehow made immortality a demotion. Petra informed him that Crow had taken a lot of abuse from other Guardians and did not know why, which had given him a sense of humility Uldren lacked. Jolyon turned to her and noted that was something he would want to see for himself, but Petra sympathetically informed him that Mara wished to limit contact between Crow and others. This caused Jolyon to wonder if Mara was planning something and observe that while Uldren may have changed Mara sounded the same as ever. However, this caused Petra to repeat her order in a hardened tone. Giving her an insincere smile, Jolyon told her it was fine and that he was used to Uldren being dead anyway.
Personality and Traits
Jolyon is tall and handsome, with narrow, intelligent eyes. Although he was one of the best Crows in the Reef, Jolyon did not serve as a spy as he hated secrets and was an open book to everyone. His skills lay in his talent as a scout and sniper, and he was so accurate with his favored Supremacy rifle that he did not need a spotter.
Jolyon and Uldren were extremely close, and Jolyon considered him to be his brother for whom he would sacrifice anything, including his life. Jolyon was comfortable talking back to Uldren, and Uldren became much more animated and flippant when he was around Jolyon, who he called Jol. Although normally adverse to taking unnecessary risks, he often agreed to participate in Uldren's more elaborate plans, although Jolyon sometimes surprised his friend and refused. After Uldren became corrupted and betrayed his people, Jolyon was heavily conflicted over his feelings regarding his former friend but accepted that the Uldren he once knew is gone. Still, he expressed some bitterness towards Petra for her role in Uldren's death, brushing off her condolences. Jolyon also blamed himself for what happened to Uldren, believing that the Black Garden corrupted him and that he failed to stop him from entering as he should have.
Following the mission in the Black Garden, Jolyon was plagued by dreams of the Black Heart that could cause him to lose focus. Between his experiences there and the loss of Uldren, much of Jolyon's former happy-go-lucky personality faded. He became a more serious and traumatized soldier who found some solace in drinking.
List of appearances