Lore:Letters from Eris
The Letters from Eris is a lore book introduced with the release of Shadowkeep.
They are documents made by Eris Morn, sent to Ikora Rey, the Warlock Vanguard and leader of The Hidden, and to her Queen, presumably Mara Sov. The entries become available by completing Nightmare Hunts.
Regarding the Great Disaster
We were right. It was under our noses the whole time.
Something lies deep below the Moon's surface, and I believe it's more important than we initially believed. It's something we may not be ready for—I've found a Pyramid, akin to your description. It's what we've been hunting for.
The Pyramid has reopened a box in my mind, long thought locked, its contents frightening and heartbreaking. It's forcing me to confront memories buried ages ago. People, places, vile creatures—all are rushing to the forefront of my consciousness. If it's affecting me like this, what will it do to our loved ones, those we've sworn to protect?
I vividly remember the stories from that night. The sky burning green, the roar of thunder ripping through the darkness, and the Eater of Hope tearing through our ranks. Crota, the merciless Hive prince whose dark campaign to pursue the Traveler led to the slaughter of countless worlds—all in the name of his father, Oryx, the Taken King.
I'll never forget the Vanguard's failed attempt to reclaim the Moon from the Hive. The Great Disaster. We lost thousands, needlessly. I fear we are on the verge of doing so once again.
Now the Hive are spreading across the Moon, perhaps mounting a defensive or some other insidious machination. We must access the inside of the Pyramid by whatever means necessary, to find what I believe may be the key to our battle with the Darkness. It's too critical to allow the Hive to interfere.
This is our duty. My fate has guided me here. We will set it right. The price will be high, but the alternative is not an option. It will take the collective might of all Guardians working together to lead us to a brighter future.
The Nightmares appear to be extracted from our very psyche—violent manifestations that wreak havoc, tormenting us with our past trauma. They tease us with a life we once knew, prying into our minds and attacking our most vulnerable points. This assault on our emotions is aimed to weaken us and our sense of purpose. But I will not waver. Emotions can be overcome. I don't fully comprehend the power these Nightmares wield, or if they can truly be conquered, but I have yet to meet an enemy who could not be.
I cannot shake the feeling that we are being toyed with, that these Nightmares are a hindrance to our goal. We must not lose sight of what they are guarding.
Perhaps they wish to make us question ourselves and our will to fight, to overcome. Now, I lived in the darkness for years, barely escaping with what was left of my life. The toll it took on me to refortify myself is something I refuse to experience again. If the Pyramid is indeed testing us, it will find we are more than up to the challenge.
The Pyramid has also spawned another entity, one that presents a different kind of danger. It does not attempt to harm me physically. Instead, it seeks to wage psychological warfare—a battlefield I have lived on. The Pyramid had the gall to bring Sai Mota before me, devoid of her corporeal form, hoping to shake my resolve.
I will admit, seeing this phantom was jarring, but the Pyramid underestimates my will. It was almost comforting to see her again. Nothing will break my determination. I can't allow it. Not with what's at stake.
Should we falter, all our work—along with our goal of an existence without strife, pain, or hardship—will cease to be. No one should have to endure what I've lived through. As long as I am around, no one ever will… We cannot acquiesce.
We will show them the meaning of Light.
They won't leave me alone. It was only Sai at first. Now Vell Tarlowe joins her, back to torture me. Once more, I'm forced to relive the loss of my old fireteam. Their screams of agony haunted me for so long, but never did I anticipate hearing their voices again. The Darkness is deceptive and seeks to corrupt from within. It knows just where to strike.
Terrible pain has resurfaced from a scar that I assumed had healed. Now something is scratching and clawing its way out. When we went after Crota to seek retribution for the Great Disaster, we knew there would be risks. We did not know it would be a suicide mission. I'm ashamed to say I never wanted to think about these events again. How can we move on from our past if we continue to live in it?
They were the last family I had before my time in the Dark.
Six of us went in. Only I made it out.
Eriana-3, my leader—our first encounter consisted of an argument over a piece of music I loathed. Eriana was enamored with its melody and sought to convince me of its merits. Her unequivocal honesty in the face of dissenting opinions led me to pledge my total devotion and trust to her. I would hum the tune quietly to myself in the Dark, to stave off the madness that was consuming me.
Our Titan, Vell, was the first to fall. I mourn him to this day and think of his courage in times of despair. We should all be so valiant in the face of overwhelming odds. Today, I will need his example more than ever.
Sai's knives were as sharp as her wit. She laughed in the very face of danger. Now, the same laugh that I heard countless times and that once brought me great comfort rings painfully in my memory and triggers nothing but anguish. How I wish I could amend that! She deserved more.
Poor Omar was skeptical of our chances, yet his bravery endured—even as his Light was pulled from him by the Hive Wizard, the Heart of Crota. Few possess the fortitude required to press on when all hope seems lost. He has imbued me with the strength to weather the coming storm.
And you know Toland, the Shattered—the mad Warlock who knew more than he let on. I had my doubts about him in the past, but time changes perspectives. I now respect his dedication to learning the ways of the Darkness and surviving despite them, much as I had to.
By confronting me with my lost fireteam and stirring up memories so painful, the Nightmares only confirm my earlier assumptions—I feel they are trying to distract us.
Remain vigilant, no matter the cost.
Regarding Omnigul, Will of Crota
The monster Crota's sycophantic zealot. Mother to Crota's hell spawn. Murderer of my friend Sai. Omnigul wrought terror throughout the stars and brought about the loss of countless lives. She was ultimately defeated by a brave fireteam of Guardians, who drowned out her screams with a maelstrom of bullets and vengeance.
Now her whetted shriek pierces my ears once again.
The Pyramid is playing its cards and going "all in," as Cayde-6 would say. Oddly, I find myself thinking of him more now that he is gone. I suppose I've grown closer to other Guardians and the Vanguard than I realized. If the Pyramid is dragging the Nightmare of Omnigul into the fray, it tells me one thing: we are getting closer.
I am aware that these Nightmares are not truly what they represent, but the mind can be fooled, even momentarily. In those moments lies all the destructive power the Darkness hopes to exploit. I fight back, but the Nightmares grow stronger.
I worry how long I can bear the weight the Pyramid places upon me. These memories seek to tear me apart, my Queen, and the familiar pang of weariness rears its ugly head. I will do my best, knowing it will not always be enough.
For now, I assume the worst is yet to come.
Regarding the Hidden Swarm
Crota's minions emerge once more. The Hidden Swarm that previously served Crota has banded together once again, leaderless but not purposeless. The energy emanating from the Pyramid has apparently attracted undesirable attention. If I am struggling to understand its potential, I wonder whether the Hidden Swarm has even scratched the surface.
Nonetheless, the Pyramid arrived on the Moon well before Guardians set foot here and remained unseen by us for eons. I spent years trapped in the Hellmouth, and all the while this force was buried beneath me, hidden by the Hive. If only I had known. How long has the Hidden Swarm been experimenting with the Pyramid's power? For all the Hive's efforts, they fortunately do not seem to have succeeded in penetrating the Pyramid's walls.
Now that the Pyramid has activated, I sense a certain desperation in the Hidden Swarm. The Hive are frenzied. Their rituals and the appearance of Crota's daughter, Hashladûn, suggest that either the Hidden Swarm is seeking leadership, or it is so malleable that anyone desiring an army might claim them.
We cannot underestimate the Hidden Swarm. I know far too well what kind of damage these Hive are capable of. Too many victims have fallen to their bloodlust. I've… lost too much. Because of them, I lost my Ghost. I lost my eyes. They assumed me beaten. But they were wrong. I used their own dark magic against them, surviving and learning their tricks. I know where they are weak, a place only mentioned in whispers: the Catacombs. It is there that unknown shadows lurk, performing the most depraved rituals imaginable.
Should some malignant force rise from the Darkness to guide them, I shudder to think what this brood could achieve. This must never be allowed to happen. The Hive may have suffered a momentary loss and could attempt retaliation, but now is our time to strike. No more distractions. We must get inside.
Regarding the Spread of Nightmares
The Nightmares have begun propagating on celestial bodies well beyond the Moon. Is the Pyramid's power growing, or have we simply overlooked how far its reach extends? Neither answer would provide much comfort.
The plague of Nightmares continues to grow as the Pyramid exerts its influence. We may not be able to defeat the distractions, but Vanguard support in suppressing this mounting threat could be of great use. We can provide a distraction of our own while I focus my attention where it is most desperately needed: uncovering the secrets inside the Pyramid. I sense there could be a greater danger lurking in the darkness, and the Pyramid may just be our key to stopping it.
Every moment that goes by, we become more vulnerable, and our allies further endangered. I fear for my friends. This is the price we must pay, however. If we are to ensure a brighter future for us all, we will have to endure a darker present. But if they are trying to break me, they will have to try harder.
Regarding Phogoth, the Untamed
Abomination. The Untamed. Spawn of Crota. That's what we called him.
Phogoth was a creature bred for one purpose: destruction. The Hidden Swarm kept this Ogre alive through foul rituals of rebirth, chained up in the Summoning Pits, its unnatural existence a reminder of the threat the Swarm poses.
Yet, seeing its visage has sparked an unexpected emotion within me: pity.
I, too, know the pain of having to lead an existence you no longer want. The monster should have died and been forgotten. Instead, it had to live a life of indentured servitude. Sometimes, I feel the same. Though duty is my oath and privilege, I can't help but feel trapped by the endless cycle of the fight. Will it all be worth it in the end? Will I ever know peace?
Perhaps the Nightmares are weighing on me more than I'd care to admit, as these thoughts flood my mind and cloud my judgment. Even still, I remain steadfast in our mission, my Queen. Your endless support drives me, and for that, I am thankful.
Regarding Taniks, the Scarred
Loyalty to the highest bidder is no loyalty at all. The Fallen mercenary, Taniks, the Scarred has appeared. It is… a Nightmare, I believe, though it is hard to say with Taniks. He was assumed defeated by Guardians during the SIVA conflict, although he has come back from the dead so many times that I feel somewhat uncertain.
All I am sure of is that the Nightmares are growing stronger. They challenge my fortitude in a way I haven't experienced since my time in the Hellmouth.
Taniks has changed in many respects over the years. He has enlisted the technology of the Fallen, Vex, and Humans to alter himself, out of necessity. He's a survivor, much like myself. Never in all my years did I think I would waver in my opinion of him, yet here I stand, sympathetic to a being who doesn't understand the meaning of the word.
I sometimes question what kept me in the Hellmouth. Was I truly trapped there, or was I keeping myself there? Was it a self-imposed exile for the disastrous attempt at assassinating Crota? Was I a prisoner of my own making, doing penance for my mistakes? No. This can't be right.
Taniks is a lawless murderer, with no moral code or ethics. There was that period, I am sure you recall, where it was assumed Cayde-6 had slain him, yet he returned—only to bring down Andal Brask in cold blood. Despicable.
This is not me; I'm no murderer. I fight for something better alongside all the Guardians of Light. This mission becomes more arduous by the day, but I am resolute in my cause.
The Kell of Kells. Skolas. A true Nightmare if ever I've seen one! I apologize, my Queen, if the mention his name unearths any foul memories. I know the toll it took on the Awoken when he waged his unholy war on the Reef, rallying the House of Wolves in an uprising that saw the loss of so many Awoken lives. We mourn them still to this day.
Skolas's ambition was nothing if not relentless. In certain regards, I almost respect his sense of duty to his people. He was ruthless in his quest to lead his followers to glory. After his final revolt inside the Prison of Elders, Guardians banded together to thwart him once and for all—until today, when the Darkness summoned a Nightmare of him.
I fear we may someday find ourselves in Skolas's place, shackled and bound, deprived of our friends and followers. Yet we cannot abandon hope… no matter how freeing it would be. To just give in to the Darkness. To give up. To feel no more pain.
Skolas was grueling to defeat. We must be the same.
We too shall adapt and become ruthless in hopes of staving off the Darkness. I feel the same sense of dedication to my people that Skolas felt for his. Death itself will have to claim me to end my campaign.
The weight of this mission is not overwhelming, though it feels heavier with each step forward. I will carry on.
The Red War was not so long ago. The Nightmare of Ghaul is an unwelcome reminder of the slaughter we faced. Many of us are still rebuilding after the atrocities committed by this murderous fiend. He orchestrated one of the greatest tragedies our people have endured when he tried to steal the Traveler for himself and harness its Light, destroying our homes and the Tower, massacring thousands of innocents in the process.
Ghaul's most odious transgression was not his attempted theft of the Traveler, nor his part in the Speaker's death, but his profane, self-aggrandized fantasy that he would be chosen to receive the Traveler's Light. It would amuse me to think this brute, who excelled only at betrayal and subterfuge, would ever be worthy of the Traveler's Light, had his misguided campaign not led to so much senseless bloodshed.
Light stands for self-sacrifice and devotion. Light is the hope of a peaceful, harmonious world. Ghaul sought only power. He would never have been chosen for the Light.
I often wonder whether I was chosen, or whether I made a choice in my journey through this life. Did fate make me, or did I make my own fate? I cannot say with great certainty, one way or the other. I can only assert that I choose what I feel to be right in any given moment and hope I made the right choice.
I was relieved when Ghaul was defeated by the might of Guardians and destroyed by the Traveler's Light. It was reaffirming. I spare no pity for Ghaul, as he was a wretched creature who got what he deserved. His rage-fueled quest for power will not prove our greatest test, however. I dread that whatever comes creeping out of the darkness next will dwarf the devastation Ghaul brought forth. We must steel ourselves for what lies inside the Pyramid.
Regarding Zydron, Gate Lord
I find myself unexpectedly empathizing with the Vex Gate Lords. The machines' sole purpose lies in defending their realm—a noble and relatable cause. I employ that same sense of duty. It's what drives me in our crusade against the Darkness and allows me to persevere, even when I feel pushed past my limits, much as I do now. I will not lie to you, my Queen: the very fabric of my mind feels twisted and frayed.
I have always sensed something inherently dark in regard to the Vex. Specifics elude me for now, but I believe it warrants further scrutiny, should we survive this ordeal.
The ancient protectors of the Black Garden are rumored to contain code—not coordinates to a place, but potentially a key to time itself. Perhaps we can harness that code and erase the horrors of the past. We could save ourselves from the suffering and pain we're being forced to confront.
It sounds weak to hope for something so impossible, but trying to reconcile the distress has caused a lesion that I fear will never heal. The past has come back to torment me. For those I love, I will make sacrifices, but will there be anything left of me afterward?
Regarding the Fanatic
The appearance of his Nightmare begs even bigger questions: Why him? What is the Pyramid implying?
I often ruminate on the Fallen. They are a fascinating people: a once-great society, now reduced to wasted potential, destroyed by the Darkness. Who can say what they might have achieved before their downward spiral into scavenging and piracy?
Is this to be my legacy, too? Am I fated to fail, a pawn to the whims of the Darkness? If that is what the Nightmare of Fikrul represents, what choice am I left with? I have already been stripped of my Light. It would be easy for the Darkness to take me, if I let it. Do I dare?
If we lose this coming battle, surely we're to suffer the same fate as the Fallen—being cast aside, aimless and gagging on our own lost hopes and ideals.
It's growing harder to find the Light.
Regarding Crota, Son of Oryx
The worst is upon us. I'm afraid… struggling to control my emotions, my Queen. But it is not fear that provokes me.
Uncontrollable rage fills me as the Nightmare of Crota returns to taunt me for my failures once again. I am always failing.
The countless lives taken during the Great Disaster, my fireteam, and my own lost humanity—they have all come rushing back. I am trying in vain to stop a waterfall with a tree branch. I am overwhelmed. I fail again.
The Eater of Hope laid waste to world after world in his pursuit of the Traveler. My friends… His sword stole their Light. Their. Light.
There was never a path to forgiveness with Crota. He had to be… eradicated.
The peace I felt learning of his demise at the hands of Guardians was immeasurable. I took pleasure in his death. I relished in it.
The Darkness will win. I can sense it already.
I swore I would go on. I can no longer swear this. Always failing.
I… am at a loss. Never before have I felt so hopeless, so adrift, so… tempted. Forgive me for my words, but I understand the allure of the Darkness. It is quite a powerful sensation to feel so free of care. My fractured mind thrills at the prospect of recklessly abandoning hope. I cannot say I didn't want it to take me. I was weak. I see this now.
I may have faltered, but I endure.
Do not mistake my weakness for betrayal. There are more pressing concerns.
It's coming, my Queen.
It's coming for US.
We have been manipulated. We are right where it wants us. The Darkness orchestrated its plan magnificently; the Nightmares were so impeccably calculated to draw us in, make us vulnerable, and leave us exposed.
The Darkness plans to use us. We are to do its bidding. I don't know how to stop it.
I detect no fear on the part of our nemesis. We aren't even a concern. We pose no threat.
The Darkness needs a reason to fear our Light, and I intend to provide it.
I have been inside. I have nothing but beautiful and violent words for my report. I will meet you at your throne.
After all that has transpired, I must share my findings with you, for you have remained steadfast and supportive of me where others lacked faith. Having faced so many of the demons that haunted me, I finally feel a sense of closure on the horizon.
Pain is something that never truly goes away. It is something you live with, hoping it makes you stronger as you learn to cope. You cannot bury it, nor hide from it. There is power in acknowledging it.
That is how we will win. Despair not; our purpose is good and true.
I will not be weighed down in the dark by my past, my mistakes, or my trauma. Instead, I will use them, and they will lift me up, into the Light.