Lore:Ripples

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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.

Ripples is a Lore book introduced in the Season of the Lost.

I - Ambush

Caiatl stands on the bridge of her flagship, six destroyer-class warcraft at her flanks. Weeks of intelligence and a handful of dead spies have brought her to a single point in space. This moment of opportunity.

A massive, reinforced viewport extends from beneath her feet to the ceiling of the bridge. Through it, dead-still azure banners obscure the distant Awoken Reef. From Caiatl's perspective, it appears as a slurry of glitz and dust to be swept away at her command—an idea her advisors spoke of all too frequently. Their soft conflict with one city had left some eager for a decisive victory in another. It was a distraction.

In the space between Caiatl and the Reef, just beyond the unmoving banners, malachite-licked wisps of intent tear open the space between her and the shimmering dust. Long black spindles of Hive workmanship pierce the rift first, preceding a massive Tomb Carrier twice the size of her flagship.

Caiatl addresses her bridge officers. "Wait until they're through and cannot flee."

Her destroyers take up flanking positions opposite of her own as Caiatl orders her flagship to maneuver above the massive Tomb Carrier.

When the rift shuts, the order comes over Cabal comms: "Strike."

The six destroyers spring their diversionary attack. Caiatl feels the pressure waves from their silent cannons wash over her as their shells detonate. Tomb Carrier and Cabal warcraft exchange a harrowing gauntlet of ordnance. The diversion is working.

"Point us straight at their midsection. Launch ballista crews," Caiatl barks. "Inform me when they've taken the bridge."

Emerald flare wells deep in the Tomb Carrier's main gun like a brewing cauldron lined with obsidian teeth. The barrel: a massive column of vertebrae from some leviathan creature, ignites with ten thousand Hive runes. The Tomb Carrier belches streams of malefic flame that effortlessly obliterates two spearheading Cabal destroyers. Caiatl steps forward in horror as their hulls erupt in a series of soulfire explosions.

"Don't let that gun fire again! Protect our destroyers!" She pivots to her navigation office. "Bring the ship to minimum jump speed. Full power to the mains!"

Caiatl thrusts a finger at the Tomb Carrier. "Engage the Aries ram and prepare for impact!"

The flagship hurtles toward the Tomb Carrier, unleashing a full salvo of cannons and warheads to soften the Carrier's carapace.

Caiatl turns to a bridge crew Legionary as the Tomb Carrier rapidly expands in the viewport behind her. "Fetch my shield."

On the other side of the Reef, Queen Mara Sov watches through a Dreaming City aperture as the battle unfolds on her borders. The inscrutable expression on her face twists with each distant explosion. Petra wishes the small tensing motions would give some indication of what her queen is thinking. Instead, she sees only the cold stare of one predator assessing the size and strength of another.

Petra looks to the knife Mara is idly toying with and notices a detail she hadn't before: a pair of kestrels etched into the blade, wings intertwined, linework so fine that she has to squint to recognize their silhouettes.

Petra frowns. "My queen?" she asks, but Mara does not shift her attention from the battle.

"Caiatl's war games will keep Xivu Arath occupied while we focus on recovering our lost Techeuns," Mara says. She uses the point of the knife to trace the longest line along her palm. "Neither will be able to launch a full-scale attack on the Dreaming City while the other is at her throat."

"Savathûn first?" ventures Petra.

Mara's stoic façade cracks. She looks down at the blade, at the twin kestrels, and sees something in her own reflection that unsettles her.

"Savathûn first," she agrees, sheathing the weapon so she doesn't have to think about it.

II - The Pigeon and the Splicer

Saint-14 sits with his Ghost, Geppetto, in his Gray Pigeon jumpship. "You do not want me to go alone?"

"You should not go alone, Brother Saint. The system is in a volatile state."

Saint sighs. "There is not a Guardian in the Tower who does not wish to ask me about Osiris. I cannot, Geppetto."

"Then do not ask a Guardian," Geppetto presses.

Mithrax is finishing repairs on a Shank when he sees Saint-14 transmat into the Botza District. He watches the Saint greet a pair of Eliksni startled by his materialization. He watches the Guardian bow and the Eliksni hesitantly bow back. Saint-14 catches Mithrax's gaze and extends an arm toward him, as if asking permission to enter his workshop. It is not needed.

Mithrax stands and welcomes Saint-14 as he crosses the threshold.

"Vell-ahsk," Saint manages.

Mithrax chatters. "Velask, Saint."

"May we speak alone?"

"Of course." Mithrax shuts and latches a door clearly transplanted from a Ketch. "Speak freely."

"I would not normally come to you asking for favors," Saint says, pacing.

"House Light will aid you if we are able."

Saint nods to himself. "Osiris, the real Osiris—Savathûn took his form and hid him away. Or so she says."

Mithrax bows his head. "The true Osiris is innocent? All is not as dire as we presumed."

"So it would seem. I need to find Osiris. I want to take away the Witch Queen's leverage. When she is broken, the Reef Queen can have her," Saint growls.

"Mara Sov has returned?" Mithrax drags sharply on his rebreather. "Grand pieces are in motion. How do I assist?"

"I am searching for the exact spot Sagira fell. Savathûn captured him there, I know it," Saint says.

"The name Sagira was spoken often in House of Wolves, with respect. House Dusk told all Houses Sagira fell on Earth's moon, but I know not where. May she find peace in the Light."

"She is missed." Saint holds a moment in reverence. "Osiris's last transmission was from beneath the Moon's surface. But the Pyramid's interference made it impossible to determine the exact location. It is too large an area to search."

"Hive machines are without spirits. Morbid constructs a Splicer's gauntlet cannot access for information," Mithrax says apologetically. "But I wish to help the Saint, as the Saint helped Misraaks and House Light."

"Then… your company would be appreciated as I search."

Mithrax is lost in thought momentarily before his eyes sharpen. "The Vex on Europa kept records of defeated Guardians. And likely, Ghosts. It may be possible to find Sagira's gravesite using their network."

"What?" Saint exclaims.

"Perhaps it is their proximity to Darkness that causes them to do so. But Misraaks has seen such records, as I explored their network for knowledge to affix Splicer technology to Guardian arms."

"You sound like a Warlock, so I trust you. Show me how we do this."

"Europa," Saint mutters. "Could we not have gone somewhere warmer?" he asks, dismounting his Ram Sparrow on a cliff overlooking the Asterion Abyss. "I am used to the simulated sun of Mercury."

Mithrax dismounts beside Saint. "Vex apertures on Europa afford unique opportunity. We seek an invitation into that opportunity."

Saint rolls his shoulders. "We crush Vex Mind and use its brain like key. Yes, yes. This is not news to me. You forget I spent many years in Infinite Forest."

"A brutal, but apt description." Mithrax chitters to himself. "We will have to draw out a Vex Mind. The override integration here remains active. The Light provides."

"You splice computer hole. I crush the Mind." Saint starts to walk forward but then halts abruptly. "Do not drop me into computer hole."

"Misraaks will warn the Saint first."

"You better." Saint turns to the Eliksni. "I joke about the cold, Light-friend, but I am glad to have you here."

"I share in your glad, Saint."

They walk together. Swiftly, Mithrax forges the integration. As they come under fire, a violet refuge takes hold around him—he stands within the Saint's Ward, fearless and with clear sight.

The Vex are numerous. They too know the Saint. He lives up to their records. The Mind is broken.

III - Risen from Bones

Kelgorath, Knight champion of death, kneels before his shrine of bone in the fog-ridden depths of the Ascendant Plane. Soulfire recedes into the ground around him. He places his forehead against the shrine, smudging a freshly bloodied sigil of Xivu Arath. He has added so many layers, but this is the first time the blood is his own. He does so to show his devotion. To reject the heretic sister. To pledge himself anew to war.

The Ascendant sky churns around him. He breaths deeply. It is his first breath of this life. He looks to the shrine before him; every vanquished contender ground to meal and packed between skulls to cement them in place. Trinkets of conquest and old spent weapons adorn the shrine from base to apex.

He looks to them as he prepares to face his adversary.

An empty Ghost whose core he had gifted to defected Scarlet Wizards. Its Guardian had ended him many times, but he is Kelgorath, and through battle he is reborn. No Guardian can escape him, for they are heralds of death and he swims in their wake.

His eyes drift to another conquest: crystalline implants torn from the forehead of an Awoken Techeun. He hunted her through the Ley Lines for three days, tracking her by the stench of her fear. When he found her, she brought the Ascendant Plane down on him. He did not fall for this trick twice.

He caught her again with his next life. The Techeun's final words echoed in his thoughts: "I still see the flecks of scarlet in your chitin. How quickly you abandon your Witch Queen."

Kelgorath recalls the night he renounced Savathûn. The night he had scoured the scarlet from his flesh on the serration beds deep within the Hellmouth. The night Osiris slaughtered all Crota's kin. Savathûn was weak to allow their deaths. To cede ground to the Celebrant; to Guardians. Xivu Arath avenged them. Xivu Arath took Osiris's Light, and Kelgorath guzzled from it with vows of vengeance.

He would prove his allegiance by stamping out any trace of the heretic sister. Hurdru, his adversary, was a Knight who still claimed fealty to Savathûn; Hurdru would be an instrument of example. Through battle, Kelgorath would confirm his new god. Through blood, he would erase the name Savathûn and don that of Xivu Arath.

He stands. Bows. Grips the cleaver and shield he will carry until he falls again. "Hurdru," he whispers to the bones.

Tonight, he will purify himself in death.

IV - Art

Petra Venj hangs her head and examines the hilt of her sheathed knife. Transmat particles still swirl in the air around her like tiny flecks of dust as she steps forward back through the H.E.L.M. gate to answer her queen's summons.

Mara Sov's voice washes over the chamber's stone and crystal: "He belongs here, Petra. This place draws his old self out." She pauses, knowing Petra will be silent while allowing her to steep in the words. "You saw it, too. He should have never been allowed to leave."

"I wish I hadn't," Petra says with a heavy sigh. "How am I to proceed?"

Mara stands on the terrace above her. "Give him only morsels of who he could be, nothing substantial. He is a canvas on which work has already begun. I mean only to guide that work to a familiar conclusion. Such things cannot be rushed."

Petra shifts her stance anxiously. "You-you're sure?"

"Are you questioning me, Petra?"

"Never, my queen. But I do worry that he is vulnerable to Savathûn's influence," Petra offers. "She clearly has taken an interest in him for some time now. And he clearly reciprocates that interest."

"Your words hold no falsehood. You and I will mitigate this danger. If Crow and Uldren are to meet, it must be a subtle progression." Mara Sov leans over the terrace railing. "I believe my brother's recovery is possible, Petra. Will you help me?"

Without a moment of hesitation, Petra responds, "I will do anything you ask, my queen." But doubts sprout in her mind. "If he does become… problematic…" Petra trails off, searching for the right words.

"You needn't worry," Mara soothes. "If Savathûn moves to exploit him, I will put an end to it myself."

V - Wick Burnt Black

VI - Isolation

VII - Interpolation

VIII - Correspondence