Mara Sov is the Queen of the Reef, one of the few settlements outside of the City. She is simultaneously the ruler of the Awoken in the Reef and the Kell of the House of Wolves (before their betrayal). Her aloof and enigmatic demeanor belie a ruthless nature, but she is not above helping others - for a price. She will refer to the player as "it", regardless of whether they're Awoken or not. Living on the edge of civilized space, so close to the darkness, the Queen knows many secrets, including how to enter the Black Garden. Mara's reign is described in the book, The Maraid.
Rebirth as an Awoken
Detailed in the book Marasenna, Mara Sov and the rest of the Awoken were born when the colony ship Yang Liwei was engulfed by a singularity made by the battle between the Traveler and the Darkness. Since Mara Sov was the first one within the singularity, she created the rules and laws of the pocket universe she found herself in. The Awoken were reborn within the universe on a planet known as the Distributary.
Ruler of the Awoken
When Uldren intercepted messages between all the Fallen Houses and the Techeuns saw them uniting on Earth, Mara realized they were united for an assault on the Last City. At first, she believed there was little she could do to prevent the assault, but the House of Wolves then passed through the Reef and stopped at Ceres. Their million-strong army would seal the fate of the Last City, and Mara was left with a choice to either let them pass or halt them by revealing the Awoken's presence and the extent of their power. Bringing the Awoken fleet to Ceres, Mara was contacted by Virixas, Kell of Wolves, who demanded her surrender and stated he would only take the Awoken's ships if they submitted. Mara responded that she was a noble too, but Virixas claimed she had no bloodline and no true power. The Queen declared that Starlight was her mother, and her father was the Dark, causing the Wolf Kell to mock her and call on them to see what help they were. Mara unleashed the power of the Harbingers at that point, annihilating more than half of the House of Wolves and killing Virixas. Although she had won a major victory at Ceres and prevented the House of Wolves from reinforcing the Fallen at the Battle of the Twilight Gap, the remaining Wolves scattered across the Reef and split into three factions led by Irxis, Wolf Baroness; Parixas, the Howling; and Skolas, the Rabid, and the Reef Wars began.
The Black Garden
When a Guardian arrived at the Reef requesting the aid of the Awoken, Mara granted their request for an audience. As she arrived in her throne room, the Guardian was surprised by her Fallen bodyguards and attempted to attack them, but Uldren stopped them. Mara explained that the House of Wolves was hers and settled into her throne. The Guardian requested aid in entering the Black Garden, which Uldren dismissed, but Mara called him to her for a private conversation, suggesting to her brother that they send the Guardian to retrieve a Vex Gate Lord's eye so they could make them a key to enter the Garden.
When the Guardian returned, Mara noted that they still lived and had their Ghost. Her brother mocked the Guardian for running, but they informed the Queen and Prince that they did not run and transmatted a Gate Lord's head into the throne room, surprising Mara and Uldren. After Uldren derisively noted that they did not even know where the Black Garden was, Mara ordered him to tell them and give them the Gate Lord's eye to gain entrance. He protested, exclaiming that if she wanted them dead she should just kill the Guardian now, but Mara noted that his guessing of her motives were only revealing his own. Chastised, Uldren bowed and noted that he only wished to protect his people and the Queen, so Mara once more asked him to retrieve the eye and give it to the Guardian. He did so, but claimed the eye was dead and that all of the Guardian's efforts were wasted, but Mara granted them the eye anyway, noting that she believed the Guardian resourceful and that she was sympathetic to the Traveler. Once the Guardian was provided with the eye and location of the entrance to the Black Garden on Mars, Mara stood and proclaimed that in exchange for her benevolence, she expected their help should the Awoken ever need to call upon them for aid.
Around this time, the Fallen House of Winter raided the Prison of Elders and freed Aksor, an Archon of the House of Wolves who had refused to bow to Mara. After the Guardian eliminated Aksor, the Queen met with the Techeuns at the Prison of Elder's cryopod chamber where captured Wolf nobles were held. She inquired if they knew anything more about Kaliks Prime, and one witch informed her they felt something in the Anankes. Another witch noted that Uldren had sent more of his Crows to Rhea and angered the Nine. Studying the cryopods, Mara declared they would gift the Nine one of their prisoners to celebrate their victory over Aksor, and selected Skolas to be their prize. She also told them to give a message to the Nine that reminded them that the Crows were hers.
The Wolf Rebellion
The House of Wolves rose in rebellion against the Reef, and many of Mara's Awoken guards were slaughtered by her former Wolf guards when they attempted to assassinate the Queen. Outraged by their betrayal, Mara placed bounties upon the betrayers. She tasked Petra Venj, recently recalled to the Reef, to work with the Guardian to hunt down the Wolves who betrayed her, alongside the dozens of Wolf nobles who had escaped from the Prison of Elders. Meeting with Petra and Variks, the Loyal, Mara was informed by her sole remaining Fallen advisor that the leader of the rebellion was said to be Skolas. The Queen ordered Petra to see Uldren for information from his Crows and asked Variks to continue utilizing his sources to find Skolas. Petra swore she would not fail Mara, and she reassured her Corsair she knew Petra would not and that was why she had ended her exile. After a mission by the Guardian to the Ishtar Sink on Venus, Petra informed Mara that they had confirmed it was Skolas leading the rebellion. Mara was displeased with the result of the mission, as Skolas had escaped, and asked what had become of the House of Winter. Petra reported that many of the Winter Fallen had taken up the Wolves' banner and that Skolas had proclaimed himself Kell of Kells. As Mara silently processed this development, Petra claimed to have a plan in place for the Guardian to stop him, and the Queen ordered her to continue the hunt and declared that she could not fail in this task.
Petra, Variks, and the Guardian managed to eliminate many members of the Silent Fang when they attempted to assassinate the House of Devils' leadership so Skolas could take it over. Mara met with Uldren and was amused by how easy the Silent Fang had been brought low. Uldren was less pleased, noting that most of the Fang still lived and that his Crows said they were still plotting. The Queen reassured her brother she found little humor in this, and as she walked through her empty throne room, Mara reflected how quiet it was with her Wolf and Awoken guards gone. She ordered her brother to have Petra set more bounties on the remaining members of the Silent Fang, swearing that while they may have escaped the Prison of Elders they could not escape her wrath.
After all the other Fallen Houses had been successfully denied to Skolas, the Wolf Kell turned his attention back to Venus. Mara was informed by Uldren that Skolas had returned his entire fleet to the Ishtar Sink, and she guessed that he intended to set up his rule from the dead Winter Kell Draksis' vessel, the Simiks-Fel. However, her brother revealed that his Crows reported Skolas was not there, but that his raiding parties continued to enter the Vault of Glass in search of Vex technology. Interested by this development, Mara ordered her brother to convey to Petra that she had changed her mind and wished for Skolas to be captured alive and brought before her. The Guardian successfully defeated Skolas, and as Petra and her team captured the failed Kell of Kells, Mara contacted the Guardian. She told them that when they first came before her to seek the Black Garden, she thought they were just one more mote of Light that had strayed too far from the Traveler. Mara admitted that she was wrong, and that they had her thanks and would receive a fitting reward for bringing an end to Skolas' ambitions and the House of Wolves rebellion.
Before sending Skolas back to Prison of Elders, Mara and Uldren personally came to his cell to inspect him. However, upon examining him, Skolas whispered something Variks interpreted as "Light-snuffer" and "Dark-Binder". Keeping her expression neutral, Mara regarded the Fallen Kell and Variks informed her that Skolas would say no more. She told her advisor that he did not need to and began to leave, but Uldren questioned what sentence she would pass on Skolas. Mara dismissively stated that one would not sentence a rabid animal or a Thrall, and that her justice would be wasted on him. Instead, she offered Skolas as a gift to Variks as a combatant for the Guardians to slay in the Prison of Elders. As she left the chamber, Mara ordered her brother to sends Crows to Osiris on Mercury and another to Eris Morn at the Tower to inform them of Skolas' words.
Shortly after sending that message, Mara held a meeting in her throne room attended by Uldren, the Techeuns Shuro and Sedia, Osiris, and Eris. Osiris thanked the Queen for her gracious welcome, but Eris requested permission to speak freely. Mara granted the request with a wave of her hand, and Eris declared that she was not here for the Queen and no longer had any grievance with the City, and only cared about bringing and end to Oryx, the Taken King. After a moment of silence, Mara smiled and praised Eris' words, declaring that they will forge a plan to end the Hive god.
The Taken War
When Oryx invaded the System, Mara Sov met him in battle at Saturn's Rings. Her fleet challenged the Taken King in an effort to protect the Reef from further incursion, but it was decisively defeated by the Dreadnaught's primary weapon. In the immediate aftermath, Mara was nowhere to be found and feared dead by her own people. Despite such a staggering loss, it was all seemingly part of a plan Mara had formulated in secret with Eris Morn. The entire battle was simply a delaying action; in using the Dreadnaught's weapon, Oryx destroyed most of his own fleet as well as the Awoken ships, forcing him to hold back from advancing into the inner system. The Awoken's sacrifice bought Earth and the Guardians enough time to react and take the fight to Oryx.
No body had been recovered after the battle, but signs that her ship had not been totally obliterated were recovered by Taken champions, which were later acquired and passed on to Petra. After a search through the Dreadnaught, there was still no sign of the Queen, but Petra continues to hope that she survived. Uldren, who survived the battle, also suspected that the Queen survived, as he could still sense her.
As it turns out, Mara did survive the battle, her body vaporized with most of her Ketch. However, her consciousness was able to survive in a manner similar to that of Toland: a soul with no material form. Due to an opening created by the Harbingers, Mara was pulled into the Ascendant Realm. Resisting destruction by the power of the Sword Logic, Mara played her hidden angle to wait until Eris and the Guardians end Oryx, then scavenge his dimension for elements needed for the next phase of her master plan.
Ultimately, while Petra and her forces attempted to maintain order within the Reef, without Mara Sov and the Awoken Armada, the Reef fell into utter chaos. A year after the conclusion of the Red War with the Cabal, Mara Sov's own brother, Uldren Sov, betrayed the Reef by leading a massive breakout within the Prison of Elders, taking leadership of the Fallen group, the Scorn, and murdering Cayde-6 in the process. The Guardian, who worked with Mara many years before, sought justice for Cayde's death and began the hunt for the rogue prince.
Uldren's main goal in betraying the Reef and allying with the Scorn was to breach the Awoken Watchtower and enter the Dreaming City, believing that Mara Sov lives within it. However, it is soon revealed that Uldren was being used by the chimeric Taken-Servitor creature, the Voice of Riven, which took the form of Mara Sov to influence Uldren. Using a combination of Light and Darkness, Uldren succeeded in opening the gate but to his horror, the creature that assumed Mara's form revealed itself and captured the rogue prince. Ultimately, the creature was destroyed thanks to the Guardian which freed Uldren but was left weakened and defenseless. In face of his crimes, Uldren remained adamant that everything he had done was for his sister before being executed.
Within the Dreams
Reconnecting with Petra
Deep within the Dreaming City, Petra Venj and the Guardian made contact with Mara Sov and confirmed she is alive using the Oracle Engine. Though they were unable to locate her, they were still able to make verbal contact with the Awoken Queen for the first time in years, much to the joy of Petra. During their communication, Mara is aware of Uldren's actions and of his death but displays no grudge towards the Guardian or Petra. Instead, she is more concerned that an old ally of hers, the Ahamkara, Riven, has become Taken and is corrupting the Awoken's homeland from within.
Asking what her queen demands, Mara orders Petra to rip out the Taken corruption that Riven has become by opening the gates to the Awoken's homeland to their allies and assemble a team strong enough to battle with the Ahamkara. With the Guardian present, she offers the bounty of the Awoken's knowledge and treasures stored within the City. Mara Sov cuts communication soon after, stating the "battle continues on" but promises that she would respond to any message they give as soon as she can and that she has faith in her Wrath.
The Curse Cycle
After two weeks of charging the Blind Well in the center of the Dreaming City, the portal to Mara Sov's throne world was opened underneath the Confluence. The Young Wolf ventured into the shattered throne and slew Dûl Incaru, the Eternal Return, which seemingly ended the Taken's reign over the Dreaming City. Mara allowed the Guardian access to her through the Oracle Engine and greeted them in person. She mused that they had all, particularly Uldren, been playing into "her" hands while combating the Scorn and Taken curse placed upon the Dreaming City. Mara informed the Young Wolf that their battle was only beginning and that they would bear witness to the fate of the Awoken. The Guardian's Ghost implored Mara to fight with them then, but Mara told them she did fight through her Wrath, Petra. Despite her belief that little had been accomplished, Mara offered a reward to the Guardian for their efforts.
Three weeks later, Mara allowed the Guardian to return to her court once more after the first repeat of the time loop the Dreaming City found itself trapped in. As she stared across the starfield visible from her throne room, Mara revealed to the Young Wolf that she had once had the opportunity to destroy the Traveler and regretted not having done so due to the fears of those who wondered what would happen should it be destroyed. Mara scornfully noted that those people did not stop to consider the wars that she claimed the Traveler deliberately sought out and theorized that too much of a good thing, like the Light, would still make someone sick. She believed that the Awoken stuck to the balance between the Light and Dark created during the Collapse and wondered what could awaken during the next such calamity that would hit the solar system, which she hoped would help the Guardian understand why all she had done.
During the third cycle of the curse placed upon the Dreaming City, Mara was visited by The Emissary of the Nine, who offered her information and a deal. Although weary of the Nine, Mara noted that if the information they were providing was correct she accepted their offer. As the Young Wolf arrived, Mara told the Emissary to move an asset into place beyond the grave of the first fleet and to warn the Nine that she was running thin on patience with them. After the Emissary was gone, Mara informed the Young Wolf that "it" had once been a friend and confidant of hers before the Nine turned the Emissary into a shell for their will. She warned them that the games of the Nine never ended, much like the curse on the City, and bitterly reflected that despite all she had done she was still burdened by the whims of small minds. Mara summoned a chest with treasures to reward the Young Wolf for their continued efforts in the Dreaming City, but then bid them to leave as her next guest disliked the presence of those touched by the Traveler.
At the Guardian's fourth visit, Mara immediately demanded to know how her brother had died. Mara claimed that she was not surprised to feel him die, but that she was not satisfied with the fact that the Guardian had killed him. In addition, she showed a complete disregard for Cayde-6, referring to him as "it".
During the sixth cycle, the Guardian's Ghost downplays Mara's role in the current fight occurring, claiming she should be a good queen. In their sixth visit to her court, Mara belittles the Ghost, claiming the Ghost is unaware of what her plan is. She yells, her court shaking with her anger. She bitterly dismisses them with, "Get out of my sight."
Upon the Guardian's seventh visit, Mara states that she has dreamed of having a friend, then states that "the next act is about to begin" before disappearing.
Personality and Traits
Mysterious, enigmatic and cold yet charismatic, proud and intelligent, Mara Sov is a queen of few words who is deeply committed to ensure her people's place in the universe and can be ruthless in her methods. While her motivations are hard to discern, Mara Sov never makes a decision without reason, regardless of the cost. She ignited the Reef Wars with the Fallen House of Wolves but whether to have them submit to her authority and power or to actually save the Last City from the Fallen Houses receiving aid from the Wolves remains unknown. On the other hand, Mara Sov rarely desire to make alliances with the Last City but at the same time, she doesn't want to make an enemy of them and its Guardians as she punished and exiled Petra Venj for accidentally killing a squad of Guardians during the Reef Wars. In addition, Mara can be vengeful as when the House of Wolves rebelled against the Awoken, she almost immediately called upon the Guardians to hunt them down.
Though Mara was largely uninterested in the Guardian's quest for the Black Garden, she allowed them a chance to prove themselves, likely suspecting them to fail. However, she was surprised that they succeeded in their mission and granted them the means to enter the Garden, as a "favor" and expected them to answer her call should she make it. She would call upon the Guardians for aid when Skolas returned and led the Wolves in rebellion. As the Guardians succeeded in bringing the Wolves to heel, Mara Sov stated that while she didn't think much about them when they first met, she admitted that she was wrong and awarded them for their aid. Her greatest sacrifice came in the Battle of Saturn against the King of the Hive, Oryx. Her goal was never to defeat the Taken King but to delay his invasion and buy the Guardians time to prepare and defeat him.
Despite outward appearances, Mara is actually capable of love and respect toward others, but only towards a select few people. One such person is her mother. Though she has not seen her mother since leaving the Distributary, she still adores her and holds her in high regard simply for bringing her into existence. Another was Sjur Eido, Mara's lover and her first Queen's Wrath; even as Mara began to isolate herself emotionally, she remained far less formal with Sjur than most others she interacted with, regarding her as her 'beloved'. Having anticipated the arrival of a great danger to the Awoken (presumably Oryx), visions she saw in the Oracle Engine to led her to the conclusion that she needed to isolate herself to best prepare to challenge that threat.
In addition, despite her rather stoic and cold persona, Mara Sov does have a temper and when ignited, the Queen can fly into a rather fearful rage. When Ghost previously questioned the choices she has made over the years, Mara angrily countered on how it couldn't understand the sacrifices one must make as a ruler.
Her most unique interactions are with her brother, Uldren, who normally objects and questions her decisions, especially with those involving the Guardians. It is believed that she keeps her brother nearby despite his rude behavior mainly because she valued his opinions, point of view and abilities in gathering information. Uldren, in turn, is very loyal to his sister and her goals. However, Mara truly does love and respect Uldren, but she willingly maintains an emotional distance from him. She does this in order to keep their bond as siblings weak in the event it ever became necessary to turn on him.
List of appearances