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Savathûn, the Witch Queen
At war with:
- "Tell me, oh honored guest... how did you do it? How did you find the strength to destroy something so like yourself? To look in a mirror, and kill what looked back?"
- — Savathûn, the Witch Queen, to the Guardian
The Lucent Brood or the Lucent Hive is a Hive sect found within the Court of Savathûn. They are distinguishable by their dark blue/alabaster white armor and grey skin, along with the neatly patterned grey/white spikes on their armor.
Uniquely among the Hive, the Lucent Brood have been gifted with the powers of the Light and are capable of raising some of their members from the dead as Hive Lightbearers through the use of their own Ghosts. Even their living members could be imbued with Light by Lucent Moths, increasing their power. They play a prominent role in The Witch Queen, Season of the Risen, and Season of the Witch expansions.
Savathûn's Lucent Brood first appeared in the Throne World of the Hive Witch Queen after she was granted the Light. The members of the Witch Queen’s former brood, who still remained loyal to her after her betrayal to The Witness would rally to her Court. With the help of her Ghost Immaru, Savathûn summoned many Ghosts to her strange Throne World. These Ghosts spread throughout the High Coven and resurrected many Hive as their Lightbearers, which became known as the Lucent Brood. These new risen quickly settled into positions of power, becoming trusted lieutenants of the Witch Queen. Savathûn began to restructure her Throne World using the Light, trapping Rhulk, Disciple of the Witness into his Sunken Pyramid in the process, and placing two Lightbearer Knights at the entrance of the Disciple's Bog. The Disciple responded by attracting the Scorn into the High Coven, where they started battling the Lucent Brood for supremacy. According to Osiris, the brood loyal to Nokris was also consolidated into the Lucent Brood through Nokris's bargain with Savathûn before the Witness captured Mars.
War in the Throne World
Savathûn then brought her warship, The Lure, over the skies of the recently reappeared Mars. The Red Legion, on orders from Caiatl, quickly boarded the ship, only to be pushed back by the Hive Lightbearers. When The Guardian infiltrated the ship, the Lucent Brood tried to push them back, to no avail. They would eventually find Savathûn as she left the bridge of the ship via portal. A Lightbearer Knight soon appeared to confront the intruder, but was unable to stop them and had their Ghost crushed. The Guardian would furthermore push into the Throne World, intent on finding out how the Hive gained access to the Light, and they found the Lucent Brood fighting against the Scorn.
Eventually, the Guardian would come across the Witch Queen's plan to move The Traveler from the Last City. The Lucent Brood again tried to stop their advance, first into the Apothecary, and then into Sanctum of the Brood Queen, helping the Witch Queen's ritual in the process, but the brood's defenses were overcome, and the Guardian managed to ruin the ritual by confronting the Witch Queen with the truth about the origins of the Hive, destabilizing her, and then killing her. However, before they could kill her Ghost, he disappeared in the flash of light as the spell broke, leaving Savathûn's body behind. Although the Brood had lost its Queen, Immaru has now taken the reins of their operations, and continues to direct their efforts in pushing out the Vanguard and the Scorn alike.
Meanwhile, the Lucent Brood also started deploying outside the Throne World. Mor'ak, Lightstealer led attacks in the European Dead Zone with the intent of stealing the Light of Guardians deployed there. The harvested Light would then be sent to the Cosmodrome, to be processed and purified by Uul'nath, Lightcleanser's group. The stockpile of Light was to be used by Korosek, Thronebringer to attack the Scarlet Keep, taking it from the hands of the Hidden Swarm, and manifest the High Coven there. This would've given the Brood a position from which to easily siege the Last City and take the Traveler by force.
When Commander Zavala contacted Empress Caiatl to give an explanation about the attack on her forces on Mars, he also requested the Imperial Cabal's help into combating the Lucent Brood's threat. The Guardians deployed in operations against the Lucent Lightbearers, using Psions to enter the Hive's Mindscape and sever its connection with the Light. The Psions would then abduct these Hive and keep them in suspended animation in the Psisorium, in order to probe their minds and understand the Lucent Brood's plans. After several weeks, the alliance would discover the brood's plans for the Scarlet Keep, and intervene, stopping the Thronebringer and the brood's plans. However, the captured Lightbearers, along with the Psion probing their minds, would be killed in a accident by The Crow, putting the alliance at risk. Hearing of this, Caiatl demands Crow's life in accordance to the Cabal's customs. Fortunately, Lord Saladin managed to appease Caiatl by offering his own life in Crow's place. The Empress, impressed with the Iron Lord's bravery in the face of death, accepts. She claims that Saladin's life is forfeit, but as a member of her War Council for the rest of his days, saving the Vanguard's alliance with the Cabal.
Though their alliance was saved, any of the Lucent Lieutenants that would be captured would instead be incinerated instead of putting them through a psychic analysis.
Sails of The Shipstealer
After having been prevented from taking over the Scarlet Keep, the Lucent Brood turned their attention to something else, the relics of Nezarec. While they would be unsuccessful in stealing a relic from Alaaks, the Beast Tamer and her crew, a force led by Ei Arat, Trespasser would be successful in taking a relic from Vrisk, the Coward. However, she and her Hive would quickly be cut down by The Guardian looking for the same relic.
Later, after the Guardian had been successful in claiming all but one of the relics, the Lucent Hive led by Hiak'ar, Hoardseeker infested the asteroid 16246 Cantor as they searched for the last relic. Eido, Daughter of Misraaks would also be there trying to claim the relic herself, but would be rescued by the Guardian, who would kill Hiak'ar, and Eramis, Kell of Darkness.
The reason why the Lucent Hive were after the relics is currently unknown, but The Drifter speculated that they wanted the power of the relics to free them from Savathûn's control.
Ghosts of the Deep
After failing to claim the pieces of Nezarec, the Lucent Brood would remain relatively quiet even as the Witness finally reached inner Sol and the Shadow Legion invaded both Earth and Neptune. Though the Traveler would be claimed by the Witness, The Coalition remained determined to find a way to follow it and prevent it from enacting the Final Shape. However, following Titan's return and reuniting with Deputy Commander Sloane, handling a surge of Xivu Arath's forces in the process, the Vanguard discovered that a Lucent Hive command ship had entered Titan's atmosphere and then descended within the depths of the moon's methane seas. The Guardians were tasked to descend into the deep, reach the command ship and discover what the Lucent Hive were planning.
After reaching the Lucent Hive Ship, the Guardians discovered that the Lucent Hive had found the corpse of Oryx himself and were attempting to conduct a brute-force approach in resurrecting the Taken King. To defend their ritual, the Lucent forces had deployed various Hive commanders, some of which were former servants of Oryx resurrected with the Light, including Ecthar, Sword of Oryx and Vorlog, along with a servant of Nokris, Šimmumah ur-Nokru, who was leading the ritual. Despite their efforts, the Guardians managed to disrupt the ritual after slaying the head of the ritual and informed Sloane of this development. Alarmed that the Lucent Hive nearly resurrected one of the Guardians' most dangerous foes, the Deputy Commander took this information to Ikora Rey, who ordered her Hidden to secure Oryx's remains for study and have it locked away in a secure Vanguard vault like with the Taken King's sister.
A Tenuous Alliance
The Lucent Brood would soon clash again with the forces of the Vanguard, when Eris Morn sought an alliance with Immaru, following Ahsa's revelations. However, the First Ghost would accept only on the condition that they deal with Xivu Arath first, as Savathûn asked him to. Despite this agreement, the common troops of the Brood would continue their assigned duties, standing in the way of the Guardian as they sought access to Savathûn's Spire. Several Lightbearer Hive would stand in protection of the Court of Thorns, and were thus slain in battle. Several more continue their studies within the Spire, reacting violently to the disruption of Fireteams coming to learn more of the Light.
It would be revealed that a few of her own brood were trapped by Savathûn within an arcane oubliette, a prison where they would be forgotten until the need for them arose. Guardians would use the Altars of Summoning under the Spire to call forth these champions and slay them, alongside other trapped creatures, using their deaths as tithes to strengthen Eris Morn, Hive God of Vengeance.
Ultimately, Eris Morn would gain the strength she needed not only from the Guardians' tithes but also from killing a revived Savathûn, who hadn't been killed by a Hive since the day her worm was severed from her being. In that act, Eris gained a millennia's worth of power, enough to surpass Xivu Arath herself. Instead of confronting the Hive God of War, Eris Morn weaved a spell that severed Xivu Arath from her own Throne World, rendering her mortal and vulnerable. With their bargain fulfilled to an extent, Savathûn kept her end by giving the Vanguard the secret they needed to pass through the portal on the Traveler before escaping. However, as part of a peace-offering and to "keep up appearances", Savathûn offered the Vanguard custody of Immaru. In this, the Vanguard agreed, as keeping Immaru would allow them to sever Savathûn's connection to the Light should she do anything to endanger humanity.
The Guardians would continue to partake in the Altars of Summoning to prevent the Witch Queen from gaining tithes to aid her research on the Light within her Spire, clashing with the imprisoned Lucent Hive in the process. Savathûn would likewise continue to observe, comment and taunt the Guardians efforts as they battled with her Lucent Hive, whom she referred to as the Guardians' "cousins".
The organization of the Lucent Brood appears to be largely unchanged from the standards set down by Oryx, the Taken King in the Books of Sorrow, with a hierarchy of powerful Knights and Wizards leading groups of Acolytes and Thralls, and their patron god, in this case Savathûn, the Witch Queen, holding absolute authority. Even the worms and the tithe system remain in place, at least for the regular Hive. However, the presence of Lightbearers in the hierarchy has had unexpected effects on these. Light exerts a "negative pressure" on the tithe system, moving down the hierarchy of its own accord such that even living Thralls may be infused with traces of Light. Furthermore, the worms of such infused Hive appear to be sated indefinitely and make no further demands for bloodshed or violence, as one affected Thrall claimed. The presence of Light within non-Lightbearers was initially mistaken for theft, leading to several summary executions. Whether or not Lightbearer Hive still have their worms has not been stated.
Despite the key role Ghosts play in the strength of the Lucent Brood, they generally receive little respect from their Lightbearers, in contrast as to how Guardians generally treat their Ghosts as friends and confidants. The Lightbearer Ubartu-ana treated his Ghost with contempt and suspicion, and named them Krill as an insulting comparison to the "small and useless" proto-Hive species. Krill's discovery of Lucent Moths was later credited to Ubartu-ana. The Hive Ghost Specter felt that "Hive prefer talking to their own and don't respond to things—even things that bring them back from the dead," and assumed their partner, Nabenki, had fallen ill when they began behaving more respectfully towards them.
This attitude is not without exceptions, as seen most notably with Savathûn and her Ghost Immaru, who considered each other friends and equals. Furthermore, Immaru's status as First Ghost gives him command authority over the Lucent Hive, even after Savathûn's death, and he can frequently be heard giving orders to Hive soldiers during patrols in Savathûn's Throne World. However, Immaru's orders are not entirely absolute as the Lucent Hive will carry out any order the Witch Queen had previously given them even if it means going against any current command Immaru attempts to give, such as standing down during his tenuous alliance with the Guardians.
Another notable distinction of the Lucent Brood is their willingness to use methods and techniques that the rest of the contemporary Hive species views as heretical, unsurprising given how they already wield the Light. This includes necromancy that they had learned from members of the Grasp of Nokris who joined the Witch Queen.
- The pervasive presence of churches, shrines, and praying statues in the architecture of the Throne World, along with the use of water as a resurrection-related element, may indicate the existence of a more complex religious system than those typically encountered in other Hive.
- The Hive Brood's appearance seems to mimic members of the previous Broods of Sol rather than their ancestral counterparts.
- The three main examples of Lightbearing Hive (Knight, Wizard, and Acolyte) are analogues of the three guardian classes (Titan, Warlock, and Hunter, respectively).
- It is likely for this similarity that Savathûn amusingly called her Lucent Hive Lightbearers the Guardians' "cousins".
List of appearances
- Destiny 2
- Breakdown (Mentioned only)
- Destiny 2 Witch Queen Preview": Destiny 2: The Witch Queen improves on Beyond Light to set up "the beginning of the end" ("Normal enemies like Knights and Acolytes have gotten a power boost, too, with moths of Light granting them overshields and other abilities that change up the usual flow of combat. " )
- Destiny 2: The Witch Queen Preview – Riddles Wrapped In A Mystery ": Destiny 2: The Witch Queen Preview – Riddles Wrapped In A Mystery ("Meanwhile, more standard Hive enemies will get powered up by moths that infuse them with Light. "So, you might fight an Acolyte who is charged with Light, and when you defeat that Acolyte, then the moth comes flying out, and it seeks to infuse its power into another one of the nearby combatants, or it comes after you and tries to detonate," Tsai explains." )
- Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XX: Hive
- Bungie (2022/02/22), Destiny 2: The Witch Queen - Lore: Specter
- Bungie (2022/02/22), Destiny 2: The Witch Queen - Lore: Krill
- Bungie (2022/02/22), Destiny 2: The Witch Queen - Lore: Immaru
- Bungie (2022/02/22), Destiny 2: The Witch Queen