- "More of your brother's Crows have entered the Cauldrons of Rhea. The Nine do not approve."
The Nine (often represented as the IX) are the enigmatic rulers of the "Jovians", the worlds and people beyond the Solar System's asteroid belt. They reside deep within an alternate dimension in spacetime, the Unknown Space.
The Nine have made contact with the Last City via one of their agents, Xûr, who sells Guardians what he calls "trash" yet are powerful weapons; and have formed an alliance with the Reef. After the apparent release of Skolas, their loyalty is in doubt despite rumours to the contrary. Osiris had met with the Nine on Europa. According to Brother Vance, "He [Osiris] says the Nine are vulnerable every moment they touch our world." Prior to this, when he was Warlock Vanguard of the City, Osiris had sought after them to the exclusion of his duties.
- "I cannot explain what the Nine are. They are... very large. I cannot explain. The fault is mine, not yours."
- —Xûr, Agent of the Nine
Very little about the Nine or the Jovian peoples is known due to the isolation of the outer Solar System. Multiple legends offer contradictory clues and hints as to their nature, but none have been proven. It may very well be that all have some portion of truth to them.
- Former human colonies who made a compact with an alien force to survive became the Nine and/or the Jovians.
- Deep-orbiting Warminds who survived the Collapse.
- Ancient leviathan intelligences originating either from Europa or Titan.
- The Nine originated from the Corona-Borealis supercluster.[note 1]
- The first Awoken, now transcended into mental energy moving along the Jupiter-Io flux tube.[note 2]
- Ghosts who exited the Solar System and studied the heliopause.[note 3]
- Remnants of the Darkness, broken by the Traveler's sacrifice, still seeking to destroy human civilization.
- A viral language of pure meaning.
- Imprints of a transcendent entity left behind after its complete destruction.[note 4]
Agents of the Nine
- The name, "The Nine" or "IX", is likely a reference to the "Ix" in Frank Herbert's Dune series, a fictional planet whose position from its sun inspired the name, ruled by the Ixian Technocracy. Ix was the primary provider of technology for the Old Imperium (or Galactic Padishah Empire) after the infamous Bulterian Jihad, which banned AI; ironically, Leto Atreides II used many of their creations later in his reign, a situation unthinkable in his early years.
- Additionally it could also reference the in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, given by Sauron (in disguise as Annatar) to corrupt nine powerful kings of men to his service, of which three were Númenórean, the last noble survivors from the island kingdom of Númenor that Sauron had destroyed. "Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die..."
- Some of Xûr's dialogue partly explains the in-universe legends behind the Nine, as he mentions that what Guardians do "is to speak in a language of pure meaning".
- ^ The Corona Borealis is a constellation and known as the "Northern Crown". Additionally, it is made up of seven stars, one of Bungie's many references to the number seven.
- ^ The Jupiter-Io flux tube is a cylindrical section of Jupiter's magnetic field line which passes between Jupiter and Io. If it were able to be seen by the naked eye, it would resemble a tube of electromagnetic force between the two. Electrical current passes along this flux tube forming a circuit between the planet and moon, which ionizes the cloud of volcanic sulfur, oxygen, sodium and chlorine into a ring of plasma which surrounds the planet, boosting its already powerful magnetic field even further. The flux tube itself boosts radio emissions from Jupiter, making them increase considerably when Io's orbit brings it closer to Earth.
- ^ Heliopause (also known as heliosphere) is the boundary between solar wind and external cosmic rays, effectively the outer boundary of the Solar System. Therefore, the "Deep Black" is outside of the reach of the Sun's influence.
- ^ This is likely a reference to Plato's Allergy of the Cave.
- In this allegory, Plato explains that the inhabitants of the cave are prisoners, trapped inside with no knowledge of, nor have any desire to escape to, the outside world. Behind them a fire burns; objects passed through its light cast a shadow on the cave wall. A prisoner one day escapes their shackles and leaves the cave to find the sun, which shines more brightly than a campfire and overwhelms him; armed with this knowledge of the new reality he returns to try and convince his fellow men to escape but they steadfastly refuse.
- The objects which pass between the flames and the wall are what Plato calls the "Theory of Forms", or "Ideas". These objects are the true, metaphysical essence of what the prisoners perceive on the wall. Because the prisoners are shackled they lack knowledge of the "reality" of these shapes and presume the "shadows" are what's real when in fact they are not. The true reality, or higher reality, is what Plato called the "Good", and those which have discovered the "Good" must not remain there alone, but return to release their brethren and perceive the Good.
- Destiny inverts this by having the Nine be the remnants of the Forms, the shadows "burned into the weft of what is" are the only remains of the Forms. Something, like the Darkness or even the Light, destroyed the transcendent Forms and recreated them into a new metaphysical archetype. To put it more bluntly, the Nine are the ghosts of dead gods, whose bodies were slain and now endure as wisps of what they once were.
List of appearances
- ^ a b Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, House of Wolves PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: The Queen
- ^ a b Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard
- ^ Bungie (2014/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard
- ^ YouTube - Destiny 2: The Third Spire Social Space
- ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Console, Activision Blizzard, Xûr, Agent of the Nine: Quotes
- ^ Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Mystery: The Fate of Skolas
- ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, House of Wolves PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Prison of Elders
- ^ Bungie (2014/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, The Silent Fang
- ^ Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Quotes: Brother Vance
- ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Osiris
- ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Legends 2
- ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Xûr, Agent of the Nine: Quotes