Lore:To Old Friends

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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.

To Old Friends is a Lore book introduced in Into the Light. Entries can be unlocked by finding Grimoire cards in the Hall of Champions and finding Archie through the Sol System. It discusses the current state of the Last City as it is under assault from the Witness's forces.

Grimoire: The City—Onslaught

"Our enemies never relent. Neither will you." —Lord Shaxx

— — — — — —

Despite the sharp breeze in the Tower, the air in Shaxx's outpost is uncomfortably still and weighted with tension. There is work to do: personal feeling must not interfere when certain doom hangs over all their heads.

"We can't afford to play defense. Not now." Shaxx stares fixedly at the training plans drawn up for his Guardians.

"Then offense will have to see us through this fight. That should come naturally to you." Saladin's posture is Legionary-perfect.

"Then that's that." Teeth gritted under his helmet, Shaxx folds his arms. After a long moment, he adds, "Good talk."

Saladin nods. "Good talk."

They look at the screen in silence. There is nobody to rescue them.

Grimoire: Eris Morn—Hive God of Vengeance

Eris, tenacious Eris. Crota's Bane, Oryx's Sorrow. Ruin of Xivu Arath.

To see you reduced once again to a minion of the Awoken queen. Examining a locked gate for signs of weakness. Rattling the bars to the afterlife, when you might have kicked the door in!

This very plane could have been yours.

What you lacked in natural talent you fashioned from scholarly genius. Your will is the thing, and I mistook yours. How you burned with it! The noble vindication of victory.

Every sword ever raised against you—can I say, against us? Down through the long years of history. Vengeance killed Oryx, why not his sibling?

But you threw the match. What good is a mortal blow, half-delivered? You whet your blade and threw it down. The throne of war, abandoned. A thousand, thousand races fed that glorious polyp. All that hard-won evidence. You didn't even look at it.

I could have guided you. Don't you see that?

What will you do now? Kick down their banners? Hope for vengeance without bloodshed? And through what realms have you stamped the proof of your cause?

…I, too, avenged? Why would I want that?

Wait. Come back.

Grimoire: The Ironwood Tree

"Not much sense memorializing anybody during the Dark Age. Anyone worth remembering, you'd hang onto them without trying."

Drifter crouches down in front of the Ironwood tree, mindful of the offerings littering the ground. The amulet's nothing fancy—not one of those Iron Lord tokens—but handmade, and with some care. Joxer's name is easy to read. Crisp lettering.

"Dumb heroics will get you every time. Volunteering. First one through, so the rest of us know not to try it." Drifter smirks. "He'd have had a fighting chance against a Primeval. Big payout if he made it. Cleaner death if he didn't."

Lord Shaxx shifts his weight. His helmet cants toward the Drifter.

"But then you wouldn't be standing there."

There's no reply.

Grimoire: BRAVE Arsenal

Lord Shaxx? Oh, he's quite a craftsman. But then of course, he's a survivor—like us.

He loves rewarding his pupils. With praise and, at times, with something more material. He invests great care in his designs. Still, sometimes a weapon has an unexpected kick. A side effect. He locks these away for special occasions. Other times, the Vanguard intervenes—you never know where you'll find the next Ghost-killer.

But outside the Crucible, the rules of engagement shift. There's no sense in leaving perfectly good armaments in storage.

Don't worry, Namrask. I do not intend to abandon the Loom. I am merely… consulting.

I am surprised Lord Shaxx let Drifter contribute. His aptitude is not in question, but I thought—

What? Oh, yes.

Low-level radiation is to be expected.

Article: Down on the Farm

By Ember Hadad, Senior Editor at the City Herald

Readers might be forgiven for imagining that, after having been captured by Shadow Legion forces, EDZ residents might consider relocating to the Last City.

I took a trip out to the famed settlement known as The Farm to talk to the civilians and FOTC officers still stubbornly posted at the edges of the world.

"We're not fighting for one city. We're fighting for humanity," says Baishan, one of the Farm's technicians. Baishan is charged with maintaining the Farm's few precious remaining generators—and, more recently, its Ether processors. "This is our world, and we're going to keep staking a claim."

Naomi, a pilot with Forces of the City, has been overseeing regular supply runs to the Farm in the wake of fierce bombardment by the Shadow Legion. She sees this as par for the course.

"Humans are good at adapting to just about anything," she observes.

For many, the true revelations have come as a result of continued cooperation with new Eliksni neighbors.

Long-time Farm resident Carol notes, "There's a lot about Fallen tech we couldn't have guessed at. With Skiris and Riksor helping out, we've cobbled together our own solar cell network. Our energy output is five times what it used to be. The first step toward long-term projects is getting out of starvation mode."

And the people here do think long-term. Few of the people I interviewed seemed to have much interest in returning to the safety of the city walls.

"The Witness tore down our cities, blighted our air and water, and sent raiders and monsters after us. We're still here, waiting for the first chance we get to take it all back. The way I see it, those of us here on the Farm are just getting a head start."

Grimoire: Enemies—Reaver Vandal

"Death is the great mystery to us all." —Master Rahool

— — — — — —

The question of Eliksni mortality is often discussed amongst members of the Cryptarchy. Stories of Eliksni arising in full health from a death or near-death state—as Mithrax did, some say—abound.

The Reaver of Old Russia is attested to in dozens of Vanguard records. Experienced Guardians will swear on their Ghosts that they once killed a Reaver Vandal who was uncannily strong for his size, only to see him alive and well again the next day. They have given him a nickname, perhaps as a show of respect for another being seemingly immune to death.

Article: A Darker Hour? Looking Back at the Great Disaster

By Emmanuil Utkin, Staff Writer for the City Herald

Several lifetimes have passed since the Vanguard suffered a blow from which many felt it might never recover. For the Lightless among us, the Great Disaster has become a fable: a story of monsters and tragic heroes encompassing the worst the universe can bring to bear.

For many of the City's Guardians, however, the events of that time are not simply part of the historical record, but personal memory.

"I'd never seen anything like it," Odon Kolos says. "That army the Vanguard put together…"

Emboldened by initial victory against the Hive at the site of Burning Lake, the Vanguard and Consensus ordered a full-scale assault on the Moon. An army of Guardians thousands-strong marched against entrenched Hive forces—only to fall by the hundreds to a single Hive champion.

Odon was one of the lucky Guardians who managed to reach a transport before the Moon was abandoned in the retreat.

"Turns out immortal doesn't mean invincible," Odon observes. "Just means you stand a better chance of living with your mistakes."

The Disaster spelled the beginning and the end for the Vanguard's military prospects. Any hope of formally organizing the City's Lightbearers dissipated. Contemporary records show that many felt the Guardian population soon became ungovernable—even disloyal—in the wake of the Vanguard's failure.

But events in recent years suggest that Guardians do not require loyalty to a military command to compel them to place themselves in danger on behalf of the City. Whether driven by hope for humanity or a desire for wealth, Guardians have continued to face off against increasingly dire threats.

"I used to run with Future War Cult," Odon tells me. "I guess I started to think… maybe we win the little fights, but we're never going to do anything about the real enemies out there. That war will always be waiting."

He laughs. "And then someone comes along and kicks Crota's teeth in."

Grimoire: The City—Praxic Order

"They're some of the Tower's best assets. There is always the risk, of course, of… overenthusiasm." —Ikora Rey


PARTIES: Two [2]. One [1] agent Aunor Mahal [M]; One [1] field agent, redacted [R] under Cormorant encryption

[M.01] Keep cool, agent.
[R.01] I'm steady as a Titan.
[M.02] Steadiness means not getting cocky on the way out.
[R.02] Oh, in that case.
[R.03] Don't think they clocked me in this gear. Nothing but a blueberry with a nasty streak.
[M.03] And the deal?
[R.04] Next week! Even a new Light like me could find a better deal before then.
[M.04] I'd rather deal with incompetent arms dealers than the reverse.
[R.05] You and me both, ma'am.

Article: United in Hope—Our Neighbors in Neomuna

By Emmanuil Utkin, Staff Writer at the City Herald

Confirmation of a Human settlement on Neptune was only one of several shocking revelations over the course of recent years. Its discovery marks a sea change in our collective access to Golden Age information and technology long thought to be lost. Perhaps more importantly, it heralds potential reconnection with the rest of our people. Who are these Neomuni? Are they anything like us?

Real-time communication between Neomuna and Earth is still stymied by the logistics of crossing enemy lines, in addition to Neomuna's communications restrictions. Data transmissions from Neomuna are strictly controlled and scrutinized for Vex corruption. Therefore, Vanguard sources provided assistance contacting Neomuni citizens; we asked willing individuals to share their perspectives on the possibilities of a long-awaited reunion with Earth.

Despite the dangers, many Neomuna denizens are optimistic about the curtain coming down some day in the future. A brief selection of their thoughts follows:

"I don't know how things would have shaken out if we'd stayed on Earth. Maybe we wouldn't have the CloudArk or nanotechnology. But if we make it through this fight with the Witness, I think it's only fair we send over, you know, what we have on food production, terraforming… There's a whole planet to reclaim."

"I'd love to read some new Earth literature. I always assumed that the stories we managed to bring with us were going to be the last of their kind. Does anyone over there like detective stories?"

"It's been interesting to see the Guardians at work. Is everyone on Earth like that? Going at Mach 12 all the time?"

Stay tuned for continued coverage, including a guest feature from Neomuna's very own Jisu Calerondo!

Article: Hot Off the Shelf

By Ember Hadad, Senior Editor at the City Herald

My new friend is an unassuming young man in a torn flight jacket, still coated in a fine layer of dust. His Ghost, Rivet, is looking impressively smug for a small metal being.

"They told me I'd never find my Guardian," Rivet tells me. "That I should try my luck with the Hive! But look at him. He's beautiful!"

Like all Risen, Rivet's beautiful new Guardian has no memory of who he was, where he is, or what his purpose might be. But he nods agreeably when Rivet explains to him that Guardians protect the Last City.

"I'm here to fight Fallen and Cabal," the Guardian says proudly. "But only the mean ones."

"He's still figuring a few details out," Rivet says.

It's been a very eventful past few years in the Sol system. I ask Rivet: At this point in time, how does a Ghost go about getting their new Guardian up to speed?

"Well, you start by warning them about what threats we'll be facing in the field, right? I haven't… really gotten into the part about the end of the world just yet, though."

Rivet's Guardian looks confused. "The world is ending?"

Vanguard Operative Shaw Han, my escort through the Cosmodrome and local shepherd of those he calls New Lights, has similar advice.

"It helps to focus on the basics. Let them test out their Light, learn what they're capable of. The details can come later."

Even now?

"Yep. Once they've got a handle on the little things, saving the world comes naturally."

Article: A Consensus for the Rest of Us

By Leia Terazzas, Political Correspondent at the City Herald

Chibuike Otieno, Perica Kosar, Argus McKowen—if there is anything the current slate of Consensus hopefuls have in common, it's that they offer a very different kind of representation for the mortal population of the Last City.

Raucous political gatherings have become a staple of the City's night-life in recent months, with potential candidates vying for the chance to make their case for candidacy in the City's parks and public squares. Chief among their demands is the urgent restoration of fair representation to the City's government. Notably absent are the old trappings of long-established faction loyalties.

"This [move away from Guardian-driven factions] speaks to a more mortal-centric framing," claims Dina Palomo, one of several enthusiastic volunteers campaigning on behalf of McKowen. "We know the Vanguard can handle the long view. But we need the short-term perspective as well as the immortal one."

Warlock Vanguard Ikora Rey has repeatedly pledged to restore the Consensus, promising to hold civilian elections once the immediate threat is over. Not everyone is content to wait.

"How many citizens were exiled from the City because they got on Executor Hideo's bad side?" asks one local. "I mean, how many Guardians got the boot because they wanted Guardians ruling the City? Isn't that what we have now? If things are so desperate, why don't we invite some of our people back home?"

Others call the excitement over elections premature.

"If we lose the war, I'm pretty sure none of us are going to be alive to do any voting."

It is difficult to argue the point that election turnout might be poor under the current circumstances. But if the Lightless members of our community are to have a voice in the future, it's clear that there are those ready and eager to speak.

Grimoire: Allies—Eliksni

"We have found the Great Machine." —Mithrax, after Chelchis

— — — — — —

Known on Earth for centuries as the Fallen, the Eliksni are four-armed beings from the planet Riis. They fled their home after the Traveler's departure caused a planet-wide calamity called the Whirlwind. While many Eliksni remain steadfast enemies of the Last City, others have joined as our allies and neighbors, most notably the House of Light and their leader, Mithrax.

Eliksni rely on the inhalation of Ether to survive and grow. Processed from organic materials and energy by Servitors, Ether is highly combustible. As such, any leaks in City tanks are to be immediately reported through emergency channels.

Allies: Tower—Empress Caiatl

"We eat the mountains. We drink the seas."

— — — — — —

The former emperor, Calus, lived for joy, rejecting his empire's long military tradition. His sole heir, and a member of the coup that overthrew him, the Empress Caiatl makes for a different leader. A classic militarist, she trained in her youth as a fighter pilot. Caiatl has bent her considerable might to two goals: defeating the Witness and reclaiming her homeworld of Torobatl.

Caiatl's empire is a sprawling one, composed of many peoples. It continues to expand even within Sol, with the empress accepting the oath of the empire's first Guardian, the Valus Saladin Forge.

Article: Visitors Out of Dreams—Changing Reef Relations

By Leia Terazzas, Political Correspondent at the City Herald

Recent strategic summits between Queen Mara Sov of the Awoken and the Vanguard have provided our citizens with that rarest of honors: a glimpse of our Awoken neighbors.

The City has hosted a small Awoken population for centuries, but Reefborn subjects of the queen were more commonly contained to Awoken settlements and outposts within their own territory. The queen's secrets were guarded zealously, and prior relations with the City often bordered on hostility. In the face of common threats, however, this isolationist policy has since softened.

For today's citizens, the arrival of Awoken Corsairs is a minor spectacle.

"I just know it's some sort of divine monarchy?" one local commented. "How are we supposed to keep up with everything in Sol these days? But they sure look impressive."

Initial impressions of the Awoken Corsairs appear to be positive, with several residents describing them as disciplined, worldly, and surprisingly grounded.

"We made a choice to help Earth long ago," said one Corsair. "I'm glad we can do so openly."

While the imminent battle for the Traveler is foremost on everyone's minds, several Corsairs noted their hopes for continued cooperation, especially given rumors of a resurgence of the infamous Ahamkara.

As another Corsair put it: "There's a lot we're going to have to figure out together in a hurry."