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- "The Nightmares appear to be extracted from our very psyche—violent manifestations that wreak havoc, tormenting us with our past trauma. They tease us with a life we once knew, prying into our minds and attacking our most vulnerable points. This assault on our emotions is aimed to weaken us and our sense of purpose."
- — Eris Morn.
Nightmares are phantom-like apparitions of trauma created from the Darkness by the Pyramids, often manifesting as past figures and enemies to exploit the worst fears of Guardians and other beings. First appearing in Shadowkeep, they took the form of several of The Guardian's past foes, including Crota, Fikrul and Ghaul.
Nightmares are the phantasmal creations made from the Darkness-attuned influences of the Pyramid found beneath Luna's surface by the Hive and then became active by Eris Morn upon her discovery. The energies of the Pyramid were of creation from pure entropy; Chaos and negation and the raw things that existed in the spaces between thought and fear.
Initial discovery of the Pyramid was made by the Hive that they experimented with its phantasmal essences using forbidden profane rituals, including the Cryptoglyph and the Scarlet Keep, to immunize from its trauma-inducing influence. In the absence to bring Nightmares forth themselves, the Hive opted instead to made use of the Nightmares conjured by Eris and the Guardians, taking on a manifestation, as corporeal or incorporeal forms of various foes and tragic phantoms they have faced in the past. The Hidden Swarm, under the command of the Daughters of Crota, even attempted to recreate the fallen Oryx, the Taken King as a Nightmare or even as a true version of himself; a necessary violation of the Sword Logic since the Taken King was never succeeded by his killers.
Though found across the Solar System, the Nightmares can be encountered primarily near and in the Scarlet Keep citadel. Beyond the Moon, they roost in Lost Sectors taking the forms of its previous enemies.
The Nightmares are a very diverse force, taking the forms of the Hive, Cabal, Vex and Fallen, bearing all their abilities only made much stronger and more durable with unstable phantasmal essence and can even regenerate their injuries. Some of the more powerful Nightmares grow so strong that they take the forms of the Guardians' most dangerous foes, each representing a certain aspect of trauma from their past and forcing them to conduct Nightmare Hunts to contain them. They can spawn lesser Nightmares to aid them in battle and become incorporeal from damage. Even the current enemies of humanity swear fealty to these Nightmares out of devotion to their previous counterparts. Armor forged with said essence are the only known vulnerability against these Nightmares.
Initially thought to be limited to targeting traumas related to Guardians, a week after containment efforts began, a Nightmare of significance was sighted in the Anchor of Light, intriguingly titled after Mithrax, the Forsaken as a fear. It is stated that the creation of Nightmares can reach across the Galaxy.
- Nightmare Thrall
- Nightmare Acolyte
- Nightmare Wizard
- Nightmare Ogre
- Swordbearer Nightmare
- Tormented Servant Nightmare
- Nightmare of Crota, Son of Oryx - Aspect of Despair
- Nightmare of Dominus Ghaul - Aspect of Rage
- Nightmare of Fikrul, the Fanatic - Aspect of Insanity
- Nightmare of Omnigul, Will of Crota - Aspect of Anguish
- Nightmare of Phogoth, the Untamed - Aspect of Fear
- Nightmare of Skolas, Kell of Kells - Aspect of Pride
- Nightmare of Taniks, the Scarred - Aspect of Isolation
- Nightmare of Zydron, Gate Lord - Aspect of Servitude
- Nightmare of Arguth, the Tormented
- Nightmare of Gothrax, Swarm Protector
- Nightmare of Horkis, Fear of Mithrax
- Nightmare of Jaxx, Claw of Xivu Arath
- Nightmare of Kelnix Reborn
- Nightmare of Lambiks-4
- Nightmare of Loronvis, Council Hand
- Nightmare of Reaver Vandal
- Nightmare of Reyiks, Actuator
- Nightmare of Rizaahn, the Lost
- Nightmare of Rovikis, Council Hand
- Nightmare of Seresis, Council Hand
- Nightmare Servant of Ir Yût
- Nightmare of Talgoth, Soul Smasher
- Nightmare of Val Sinu, Hellbringer
- Nightmare of Volniks, Deathkeeper
- Nightmare of Xortal, Sworn of Crota