Lore:Warp and Weft
From Destinypedia, the Destiny wiki
Warp and Weft is a Lore book added in Lightfall which consist partially of Osiris' discoveries on the nature of Strand, tales of Guardians using Strand throughout the System, and Osiris beginning to utilize Strand himself.
Strand Log I
…but there is no point in lingering on my restriction from front-line efforts. Rather, I am dedicating my efforts to the understanding of this peculiar force the Guardian has stumbled into.
It is unknown to our local hosts, so they have been of limited help. Green energy returns few helpful results in accessible Vanguard databases—there are some limited notes on Weapons of Sorrow, of course, and Hive magics have a distinctive yellowish-green hue, but the quality of the visible effect is different. As is, naturally, the effect.
But, all the same, it is not a power of the Light. Their Ghost was certain about that.
To sum up what is known:
• This power manifests with a specific symbol-set: green, thread or strings, knots. It is worth noting that there never seems to be a single thread, but rather a collection of them, whether in parallel or in tangle.
• This power carries an impressive capacity for destruction, but causes a sort of rebound or exhaustion, the nature of which is not fully clear. It has not yet appeared lethal to the self, but it is being wielded by a Guardian fully empowered. Lethality means little in that context if it does not strike the Ghost as well, which this does not.
• The Guardian is the only one who has wielded this power to date. One sample is insufficient to draw full conclusions about the capacity required in a wielder. We certainly know by now that no existing power of Light is required to use a power of Darkness, only willingness to participate in the required rituals…
• The Guardian reported a sense of connection, a perception of the greater whole. I include this as relevant, more than likely related to the concept of multiple strings.
• We do not yet know enough.
The enemies here on Neptune have put significant effort into inhibiting known paracausal powers. This new one may be precisely what is needed to gain an upper hand and keep it. But something uncontrolled and unknown, the nature of which is not yet fully understood, is unwise to wield indiscriminately.
I could return to someplace the source of this energy has been reported and seek to touch it myself, but… I hesitate. I do not know why.
Practical study via the Guardian first. Ontological and paracausal study once the current trouble has been dealt with.
Shadow Legion moving through the streets. Boxy formation, a few scouts ahead. Two heavy hitters—Colossi. Even in silhouette against Neomuna's bright lights, the shapes of their cannons are distinctive, weighing down their steps and progress.
The Titan steps out to block their way. There is a power here—a place where something new and vibrant runs close to the skin of the world, so close she could just reach out and touch it.
So she does.
The brilliant city wakes up. Potential and connection string a network of understanding along the streets, and she understands everything. Understands how the scouts will come out of the next intersection down to try to flank her, understands the movement of the Shadow Legion's formation, how one soldier and the next are all connected. A beautiful dance of the inextricably linked.
She wraps those links around her fists and charges into the fray. They scatter like pins, like mice with the cat among them. It's perfect. She tears through Legionary after Legionary, catches a hum along the threads that tells her to move—spins a full hundred-eighty degrees and arches back, swipes out, balletic and instinctive. A Colossus falls.
And then she thinks: How did she know to do that?
Now, she is trying too hard to anticipate, feels warning and motion coming from all sides and reacts—but consciously, in the realm where she has to think too hard about every move she makes, puts her half a second behind. Step here and punch there, and the threads are humming, harmony becoming warning becoming discord as the Titan realizes she doesn't know which way to leap.
Fire snakes toward her, and a heavy shield comes around, and all the threads slip away.
She misses a few moments in oblivion. The next thing she knows, her Ghost is hunkered close, a vibrant touch of Light pulling her up to a whole body, a hale mind. The sense of potential still thrums there, a heartbeat under the surface, a promise in the net of battle.
Desperately, the Titan scrabbles for it again, but strands break in her grasp—the Legion is too close, and she wants too much, too fast. It's going to take too long to breathe and find again that perfect harmony she had. To say nothing of reaching for the Light—her nerves are rattled, her mind blank.
The Colossus remaining charges up his cannon. Her Ghost bumps against her helm, and she takes the only action she can think of: she flees, Ghost cupped in her hand and her favorite sword melted useless on the city street behind them.
Strand Log II
We are calling this power "Strand." The threads of the world as it is woven, if the conscious universe could be considered to be a tapestry. Further analysis and data have suggested that the wielder of Strand begins to see, simply put, connections. Between allies, between enemies. It is a force that is always present, but wells to the surface more strongly in certain locations. Perhaps places many people think about, or where many beings have passed by. (Note: Analyze these "sources" in concert with the Cloud Strider. They may be able to provide more locational context.)
The true power of Strand lies not in the fact of the connection alone, but in the way such a power allows the manipulation of those connections. To make them something physical and then pull on it, or break it, or tie it into a knot. Or to unravel it entirely.
Strand is not without danger, although that should not be unusual to Guardians. Those who take up the banner of Stormcaller, for instance, have their own storied contention with the storm, and the Void was unilaterally regarded as dangerous by the Vanguard for many years. Strand's danger comes from the very act of taking hold of those threads—like many powers, the closer one comes to the source, the more likely the source may act on the wielder.
This danger is no product of Darkness. Or rather, only insomuch as wildfires are a product of Light: a natural consequence. That aspect of Darkness which revels in destruction, which encourages the easy entropy for the pursuit of power—it is nowhere to be found here. It may not even be truly part of Darkness…
I have touched Strand myself now. Carefully—I am too aware of mortality, but I must understand the power further if I am to hope to instruct the Guardian in turn. They acted as lightning rod while I experimented, and the backlash clung to them instead.
What a strange feeling, to be so aware of one's size in the spectrum of existence! It is the natural instinct to try to steer that, to take any control at all, no matter how much. Whatever can be done to feel as though you are not wholly adrift, lost in something huge and all-encompassing.
But precisely at the moment one tries to grasp for control, the weave becomes a devouring snarl.
Neomuna is a wonderful place for a Hunter to run. This Hunter, specifically.
Here the activity of life runs close to the surface—like an invisible river, like a migration of birds, like the moment of breathless motion just before the lightning strikes. Here Strand twines through his fingers, strong as a rope and just as flexible, and all he has to do is keep running. And why would he ever want to stop?
The pounding of feet. The exhilaration of free-fall. The snap as he catches hold of the weave of existence itself and swings up again with all the momentum of his dive. In motion, as he turns, he catches brass and gold reflecting vibrant city lights, realizes there are Vex in the streets—
Are they, too, part of the same flow? They echo in the weave nevertheless, like flowers on the surface of the rushing river. The Hunter bounds from one building to the next, never stopping, and finds effortlessly the place where all those Vex will converge, drops a roiling knot into the midst and sails on by.
How wonderful, simply to move, and never stop.
And then, later: when the exhilaration has run its course and he's agreed to do some little work in the service of science, he perches at the top of Artifact's Edge, that towering drop-off on Nessus. There's a safe lift down, but no Hunter he knows has ever bothered to take it, rather bounding along in their free-fall, daredevil way.
On Neptune, in Neomuna where that artifact of Darkness shores up the existence of the city itself, finding the weave was easy. Here…
Here on Nessus, it's perhaps not as close to the surface, but now he knows what he reaches for and, by the Darkness, it knows him as well. The Hunter wraps his hands in the beautiful ropes of the world's loom and vaults into emptiness. Laughter and Strand buoy him up at once, delight and freedom and a wonder at the vastness of existence.
Easier to learn the trick of it, where the Veil is close and enveloping. But of course Strand is everywhere. How could it not be?
Strand Log III
I have been conducting research among the local population, specifically regarding the "children's story" Nimbus told us, regarding the river of souls. I had a suspicion that there might have been other versions, or versions with better recorded provenance.
Willingness to participate in this research has been mixed, as have the results. It seems to be an endemic concept rather than a religious belief, and no one has been able to say where it comes from, save that a parent or teacher told it to them at some point. Some respondents have mentioned a river of stars—perhaps the Milky Way galaxy—and some have cited windstreams and weather formations, but the majority of respondents adhere to the "river of souls" construct.
All things come from the river, and all return to it. The river may split and meet again. Other things may fall into it and change its course, but nevertheless it continues. In time, even mountains are worn down before it.
Naturally, it is easiest to view this as an allegory for control of life. In the end, rivers are impossible to control. A person may swim or boat, but never take hold of the river to steer the course of the water itself. And it is impossible not to see the relationship to Strand, which slips away the moment a person tries to grasp too tightly.
I wonder about Strand. About its appearance. We can see the origins of the Stasis power on Europa, and the concept of a cosmic ice to oppose stellar fire fits very neatly in a certain sort of paradigm. Even that idea of stillness and control suits freezing, a slowness of atoms whether or not it is in truth a power of "ice." There is a certain weight to the perception of an "element."
If Strand had been shaped through the lens of Neomuna, surely it should have been some cosmic water instead, something that flows and gives way only to rise again. There are certainly combat styles to support this in old records.
But this power that has never before been used in this way came to one Guardian first, and I conjecture that they may have unconsciously given it form. I wish I had seen it! What would "connection" have appeared as? Now, of course, we know the shape of this power: it is green, it weaves itself in strings. As other Guardians begin to learn it, they too slot it into these positions in their minds. Whatever advances they come to are already framed verdant and tangling.
All the same, I cannot help but wonder about the nascent, formless thing it was before we reached out to it, and it reached back.
The Warlock sits with hands in the water and hums to themself. Several of the local feral pouka come and go as time passes, bumping up against fingers or vaulting out of the water to become airborne and curious, spattering drops everywhere. The Warlock doesn't mind, really. It's impossible to feel alone when dozens of creatures are hanging on their every move.
Perhaps meditation is meant to be solitary, but this is comforting.
A year ago, they were running with a fireteam, a tight-knit group of six that had each other's backs. Till the stars died, the lot of them had thought. It would always be like this.
Now there is one Warlock sitting in a flock of pouka, in an impossible settlement on a miraculous planet. And they miss that sense of companionship desperately—
There's something besides water in their hands. Cautiously, wonderingly, they lift their hands out of the pool and find green. The same verdancy as Strand, the same parallel strings and helical shifts. Only this also seems to be something living?
It skitters over their hand, up their arm to their shoulder, leaving the sense of warmth in its wake. The Warlock stays very still as the little Strand-creature brushes against their cheek and then simply vanishes, a lingering hint of green and a sense of company the only concept that it was there in the first place.
The pouka congregate around shortly after, all chirps and flaps, and the Warlock can't help but laugh, even as they shoo some of the creatures away. They're supposed to be meditating.
But they didn't really come here to be alone. And it was foolish to think that they ever could be, when connected to the web that living creatures spin between them all. The Warlock breathes deep and dips their hands into the water again, and the pouka and the little green moments of connection swarm about them.
All might not be well, but it is better, like this. Not alone. Never truly alone, in this wide world where everything is bound together.
Strand Log IV
Despite being aware by now of the correct manner to practice Strand—a loose hand, a letting-go of the concept that it can be controlled—some things still elude me. The will to let go at all, for instance.
It is pure foolishness, of course, to think that letting go of the need to control this one thing will extend to all areas of my life. A ceding of control in a game of chess does not translate to the same in philosophy. And yet it is true that people are not discrete, disconnected systems; they are many interlinked systems. One facet adjoins the next.
I think of spinning. It has been a long, long time since any raw fiber passed my hands, but there were times in the Dark Age when if anyone wanted cloth, it must be made from scratch. Fleece is shorn, then carded out to remove the imperfections and align the fibers. And when you have them, what then? A single fiber is short and fragile. It breaks if you tug even lightly. It is useless.
But twist many of those short fibers together, and they become useful. Weavable, or knittable, or what-have-you. Thus, is strong cloth made: from the most delicate of things.
I think of spinning, and I remember the way unspun fiber passes through the fingers to the spindle. One pinches, but not too hard, just enough to direct and narrow. Too much and the fiber does not pass, the spinning does not take.
The metaphor is transparent. Obviously, this is about Strand. Just as it is about a craft I used to know, long ago. Beginner's errors can only be solved by learning the shape of failure, but most yarns will not unravel the spinner if some mistake is made.
And I am afraid. Not only of death, of wasting that final sacrifice Sagira made to preserve my life. But that if I open my hand, I will find it no longer hurts, that the thorn I have imagined there for so long is already gone.
It is all the same thing, in the end. I think I must be willing to let go, to let that which is truly temporary sink beneath the water, in order to achieve any significant capacity with Strand. Even pain may be guarded jealously, as though it is a treasure, but it need not be.
How fascinating what the lens of Strand shows us about Darkness.
Osiris contemplates the universe.
Strand curls between his fingers, a gentle presence, shape shifting but not changing. A helix—a careful knot, like those that used to be artwork—a braid. Always strands, always a structure that creates strength from fragility.
He is so aware of the beat of his heart, in ways he never used to be. It shudders in his chest, aching but resolute.
He knows where the closest people are—the Guardian, obvious, within eyesight and hovering fretfully just in case Osiris slips. Nimbus, further away but tangible, probably surveying the city outside. And there's a pouka he can't quite see somewhere behind him, making eddies in the flow of the Strand as if it can dive into and out of that just as well as water or air.
It would be so easy to close his hand, to take hold of that which he touches. He does not. He thinks about it—lets his fingers curl softly—holds there as the humming cords of the world's loom shiver around him.
Existence flows. It is not a stagnant thing, one snapshot in time. In these connections, there is always motion, and all things are swept away in time, good and bad. No wonder Strand unravels, when it is given half a chance to do so; as far as it is concerned—if it has any sentience at all—everything is simply part of the river, a momentary curve or splash.
Osiris has known the vastness of the Infinite Forest and the great span of their solar system, and it is only here, with a tiny nascent spiral of the cosmic weft in his hand, that he feels small.
And yet: he knows also that he is not alone. A hundred hundred steady threads weave together, pulling this way and that, flowing and twisting and always part of the greater whole.
He should be taking notes. Expanding the Vanguard's understanding of Darkness, simplifying the steps of learning Strand for Guardians new to paracausality.
But for a moment, Osiris is at peace.