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"And my vanquisher will read that book, seeking the weapon, and they will come to understand me, where I have been and where I was going."
The following is a verbatim transcription of an official document for archival reasons. As the original content is transcribed word-for-word, any possible discrepancies and/or errors are included.

Dragonslayers is a Lore book introduced in Season of the Wish. Entries are unlocked by completing missions from the Season of the Wish narrative. It is a series of tales of Guardians that were involved in the Great Ahamkara Hunt.

Valus Forge's Prologue

"We need not see these local administrations as challenges to the empress's rule," Counselor Taurun said to the assembled War Council. "In truth, they may be keeping the whole fleet from descending into anarchy."

"I don't give a war beast's turd if they are," sneered Valus Tha'rag. "This is treason. We should dispatch a legion to establish order."

A murmur of agreement bubbled up from the assembled Cabal commanders.

Empress Caiatl regarded the handful of holographic blips hanging over the council table. They represented refugees from her sundered homeworld, adrift on massive starships in deep space. The remainder of their entire civilization, reduced to digital specs.

"And what say you, Valus Saladin?" the empress asked.

"We have a saying on Earth," the Iron Lord replied. "There are two ways to move a war beast: with a chunk of flesh… or with your fist. The situation calls for both."

The assorted commanders grunted in assent.

"So it shall be," the empress declared. "Taurun, dispatch a shipment of goods immediately, with all luxuries included. If conservation of resources is the pretext for their authority, let us remove it."

"Valus Tha'rag," she continued, "you shall be my fist. Send an echelon to guard the shipment from Fallen raiders. Reassert my authority in no uncertain terms."

The empress stamped her foot lightly on the ship's deck: the matter was settled.

"Very well," Taurun said. "Our next item is—"

The counselor stopped mid-sentence, interrupted by a pleasant ringing octave that seemed to come from inside her own head.

Evrryone in the Council perked up—they heard it too. They turn their attention to the closed dorway.

"Optus Qorix," the empress said, her voice laced with concern. "Come in." The telepathic tone disappated.

The Psion entered; her lone eye unshielded by a helmet. Gradually, a series of images bloomed in the Council's imagination.

[the Witness : portal : Savathûn : Eris Morn : Wishing Wall : spire : eggs : Ahamkara : Riven : RIVEN]

The room was gripped by tense silence. Caiatl had avoided bringing up the Witness thus far because, despite their best efforts, the Cabal were helpless to breach the portal. The empress knew that the resulting feeling of impotence made her commanders rash. They were ill-accustomed to dread. At least now, they had a path forward.

"The Vanguard has a habit of playing with forces they cannot hope to control," Councilor Tha'arec muttered.

"The fact that we're resurrecting the Ahamkara at all is proof they CAN be controlled," Saladin replied coolly. "Or at least, eliminated."

"Ah, yes," the empress said, "your famed Great Hunt. If I recall the mythkeeper Ahztja's lessons, you were integral to their extinction, is that not so?"

"It is," Saladin replied with reluctance. "The Ahamkara were deemed too dangerous to live. So we killed them."

Valus Tha'rag shrugged impatiently. "The Cabal would have done the same."

"You would have tried," Saladin fired back sternly. "And failed. Among the Cabal, only the Psions truly understand the Anthem Anatheme. The rest of you would have ended up in prisons of your own making."

"There is nothing the Cabal cannot conquer, with or without the Psions," Caiatl shot back. "You would do well to remember that, 'Lord' Saladin."

Saladin weighed his strategic position. "Of course, Empress," he deferred. "My apologies."

Caiatl pushed forward. "Tell us some tales of these wish-dragons. We would be wise to study our foe."

Saladin sighed inwardly. This was not a period of history he gladly recounted.

"As you wish."

The Iron Lord's Tale

Lord Timur wades forward into the shallow pool that rings the islet, listening attentively to the rhythmic lapping of the water.

There is a gentle artifice at work here. Each step he takes, however clumsy, stirs a repeating, too-perfect echo of the same small noise. A recording, or an isolated memory. A memetic transmission, cued to overwrite every other sound in the vincinity.

He wonders if the last poor villager to come this way wished for peace and quiet.

The sound starts again. Timur turns.

The Ahamkara lunges at him from the side, its glistening bulk emerging from a span of water too shallow to have ever contained it. Through a shower of black-green liquid, Timur sees its wedge-shaped maw split open like a flower.

Into all that displaced pondwater, Timur summons Void. A row of cativation bubbles bursts along the underside of the Ahamkara in a cascading shockwave of pale violet fire. It unseams the Ahamkara at the joints and Timur's lungs nearly cave in.

What's left of the Ahamkara crawls to the edge of the islet, panting raggedly. Timur bends to slap once, experimentally, at the surface of the lake. He hears the alarm call of a bird, from deeper in the trees. Closer by, he hears Lord Colovance call his name.

Timur wades closer to the Ahamkara.

"Don't you want to know if you're right?" The dragon snickers, even as it dies. "Don't you want to ask me about Clovis Bray? Don't you want to know?"

He resents the question.

"I know I'm right," Timur says. But he does want to know: he wants to ask, and badly. He wants, during the entire time he waits for the creature to expire. By the end, he has to bite down on his tongue.

He is seated on the bank, tipping sludge out of his boots, when Lord Colovance catches up with him.

"I called out to you," Lord Colovance says. His student sounds equsl part apologetic and sullen. Prehaps he wanted to fell the beast himself.

"I know," Lord Timur replies. "I had it handled." He lets fondness warm his tone. He'll let Colovance tell the village that their great beast has been slain and bask in the gratitude that follows. Timur's mind is already elsewhere. There is so much more important work to return to. A future to construct. Let Nirwen and her ilk obsess over their bestiaries.

"Did you… talk to it?" Lord Colovance asks.

It mentioned Clovis Bray, Timur doesn't say. The taste of copper fills his mouth.


They walk back in silence.

The Hermit's Tale

Warlocks debate.

Hunters gossip.

Titans share mission-critical information.

Warlocks deliberate over whether Albios's first life came before or after his resurrection in the Light. Did he have five lives, or six? Was he Awoken, bringing his total to seven? Was he Exo, with an uncountable tally before his rebirth in the Light? What was the role of his Ghost in his lives and deaths? Of the Ahamkara he dealt with? These are the questions heard in hushed voices in the Tower's study halls, and louder on its practice fields.

The Hunters talk over the relics of his lives. Where is his lantern now? On blessed Io, with his memorial? Sunk in a Venusian swamp? Secured in a treasure cache? At least six Hunters have comw forward with claims to the lantern's location. None have been authenticated by Albios's surviving acquaintances.

The Titans honor his loss as any other diminishment in Light. But to those who still remember the Great Hunt, his lives are a warning. Did Albios make an unwary bargain? Was his Light eaten by a wish-dragon? Is that Ahamkara still alive, hunting for Lightbearers? These are question Albios and his Ghost are no longer able to answer.

Those who wear the sign of the lantern bear it in honor of a Warlock whose lives touched the Light. And as an unfading reminder of the vigilance still required of them.

The Bone-Trader's Tale

They tracked the Ahamkara to the gutted remnants of an outpost, through vegetation so thick they had to abandon their Sparrows and continue on foot.

It was House of Winter territory, and caution slowed their final approach to a near crawl. Rook could read Von Deuven's growing frustration the rigid line of his armored shoulders, but neither of them were willing to risk their Ghosts long enough to get a full scan of the area.

The Ahamkara was waiting for them at the center of a ring of moss-covered ruins, as if they'd arranged a formal meeting. It was smaller than Rook had expected, no larger than a jumpship. The creature stood unmoving in the open, spine curled into a dramatic bend, jaws agape. It looked as if it was smiling. More like a comical, preserved specimen from a Warlock's study than a living thing.

Rook opened her mouth to ask if this was normal. Then Von Deuven raised his rifle and fired in the same smooth movement, so abruptly that Rook flinched.

The Ahamkara dropped to the dirt.

Its serpentine coils roiled under the paroxysms of agony, the great beast flopping over itself in the dust. But all the while, it still smiled thst toothy smile, its eyes gleaming.

Finally, Von Deuven strode forward with a blade and casually cleaved the thing's head from its neck. The Ahamkara's flesh began to fray and deforn, as if it had always been an ephemeral substance. Within a minute there was nothing left but bones.

Rook kept a hand on her cannon, expecting the creature to leap to its skeletal feet for an encore. But the sizzling hiss diminished, and thr bones lay still.

"Not much of a hunt," Rook said in the resulting silence. Every other Lightbearer in the City had a dragon-hunting story these days, true or otherwise. None of them went like this.

Von Deuven knelt in front of the skull. "Make something up."

Rook watched him, bemused, until the Titan took his sword and turned it over in his hands, using the hilt to hammer a few teeth loose. "I thought the wish-dragons were supposed to be powerful."

"What if the Fallen could wish for our extinction?" Von Deuven said, turning over the smallest of the fangs in his fingers. "That's the kind of power we're talking about."

Rook looked up at the ruins around them. "Wonder why nobody on our side's tried that yet."

Von Deuven shrugged. "Maybe they didn't do it right. Maybe the world where we win is too different from this one, and they left us behind."

The thought made Rook uneasy. A lot of would-be dragon hunters were missing—vanished, as if they'd nevwr existed. She thought of those Lightbearers scattered across a hundred reflections of the same clearing, a hundred impossible wishes. The Ahamkara were dwindling—what if humanity's last ticket off a doomed world was going with them?

"We should… get some bones back to the Warlocks," Rook said.

Von Deuven laughed. He slipped the teeth into one of the ammunition pockets on his bandolier. "Help me gather up the rest of this."

The Wise-Woman's Tale

"A moment," Eris called, and Wei Ning left her side to doubtlessly join some other fray.

The Ahamkara carcass lay on its side, dead. At last. Eris felt her fingertips itch with the Arc energy she had channeled a moment ago. She tensed, stretched, caught her breath.

It was early morning. The sun had just begun to edge over the horizon.

She walked around the beast, surveying the damage they had done. They had caught it unawares, trapped it, blinded it, felled it.

Eris stopped when she saw the yawning chasm in its belly. Wei Ning had made this fatal cut. Viscera had spilled out and steamed in the fresh morning light.

A rib jutted from the wound, white and gleaming.

Eris unsheathed her sword. She could have a trophy. Just this. Hadn't Shaxx dragged a skull twice his size back to the City? She laid the blade's edge against the creature's rib. The bone chipped her sword and took its due, before releasing a sliver of the Ahamkara's remains.

A piece of bone lay at her feet. When Eris picked it up, her vision tunneled and she heard whispers. The bone was wet and raw and shiny. She held it between her thumb and forefinger and smiled.

Valus Forge's Epilogue

As Saladin finished his final tale, he shook his head regretfully. He'd been foolish to think that the wish-dragons were gone for good. If the past had taught him anything, it was that all things repeat in time.

Empress Caiatl broke the War Council's contemplative silence. "Valus Forge, you said that among the Cabal, only the Psions could truly understand these dragons."

"As much as anyone can," Saladin replied.

"Then Optus Qorix shall give her opinion on the matter," she declared. All eyes turned to the slight Psion sitting motionless at the edge of the room.

The Optus stood, her head barely clearing the tabletop. The Y- shaped pupil of her eye dilated and the palpitating of her milky facial skin slowed.

Within the minds of the Council members, the room seemed to dim and warm. A pleasant hum began to emanate from the walls. After a relaxing moment, a series of images surfaced in their minds:

[Cabal fleet : Ahamkara : shackles : Psion officer : mindscape : goblet: god-thought : OXA : shackles break : new Torobatl : Psion's throne]

The vision faded, and the cold steel of Caiatl's flagship closed ina round them once more.

Valus Tha'rag stood up boldly. "This traitor openly imagines herself on the throne!" he bellowed. "We should-"

His screed was interrupted by a spike of psychic feedback, like a momentary migraine. Everyone was immediately slammed into another vision sequence:

[Cabal fleet : Ahamkara : shackles : Valus Tha'rag : bargain : Mars : Hive corpses burning : Fallen corpses floating in space : Human corpses buried in rubble : Cabal corpses hanging : Emperor Tha'rag]

Tha'rag sagged back into his seat, stunned. The Optus struggled back to her chair and placed a small piece of moist cloth over her exposed eye.

Empress Caiatl swallowed hard, as if fighting back nausea. "Your point is made, Optus."

"And what point is that, exactly?" asked Tha'arec, his hand on his forehead. "That we're all traitors-in-waiting?"

"Exactly," Saladin calmly replied. "It doesn't matter who wishes for what, or how well-meaning they are. Optus Qorix understands that the Ahamkara feed off unintended consequences. That's why we started the Great Hunt in the first place. It wasn't that we couldn't trust the Ahamkara. It's that we couldn't trust ourselves."

"You are not the Cabal," Tha'arec fired back.

Empress Caiatl held up her massive hand for silence. "The Optus's visions remind me of the former Evocate-General. Umun'arath thought she could control Hive magic to our benefit, and it cost us our homeworld. Let us not fall into the same trap again. We will not attempt to capture the Ahamkara alive."

Caiatl stamped her foot on the ship's deck: it was decreed.

"Unfortunately," she continued, "we must also protect ourselves from those who lack our forbearance. Once the Witness is dealt with, the Ahamkara should return to extinction. If there is to be another Great Hunt, the Cabal will support it."

She stamped her foot on the floor once again before standing up. The council was adjourned.

As the rest of the commanders filed out, Caiatl paused near Valus Forge. "I know you regret the harshness of the Great Hunt and long for another solution," the empress said. "But even with the benefit of hindsight, do you see another way?"

Saladin shook his head in resignation. If the past had taught him anything, it was that all things repeat in time.