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The Black Fleet (also known as the Pyramids by the Vanguard) are a fleet of massive Darkness-aligned tetrahedral entities. They are the ancient enemy and antithesis of the Traveler, and were responsible for the Collapse on Earth.
The Pyramids are closely associated with the Darkness and are even sometimes referred to as "the Darkness" themselves. However, available information suggests that the Pyramids are nonetheless distinct from the Darkness in a similar way as the Traveler is distinct from the Light.
The Pyramids vary in size, but the ones seen currently in the system are near-double the size of a Fallen Ketch. They all share a tetrahedral shape, broken up by lines of yellow-orange lights. They are accompanied by fleets of smaller entities known as Pyramid Scales; about the size of a jumpship, these objects are hexahedrons with floating dagger-like extensions extending from their undersurface and are made of the same chiseled obsidian-like material as the larger Pyramids. Various other polyhedral, jagged manifestations are evident on Europa such as the Cruxes.
Based on the Guardian's exploration of the Lunar Pyramid, the Pyramids have interior spaces apparently designed for human-scale inhabitants. Dark hallways illuminated by scant red and white lights and veiled by a faint mist connect various chambers ranging from a large entryway overlooking a blinding white pit to smaller rooms adorned with murals. Most distinctive of all is a chamber atop a vast staircase that hosts a massive sculpture of what appeared to resemble a veiled humanoid figure. An identical chamber was also found within the Europan Pyramid, perhaps indicating that all Pyramids contain such a room. The significance of these statues remains unclear. Although the Lunar Pyramid had been left buried beneath the surface of Luna for many centuries, if not millennia, numerous sounds can be heard within its walls including harsh whispers, an ever-present hum of machinery, and distant howls.
Within the Ionian Pyramid, a unique chamber was discovered in the form of a cavernous shrine. At its center, a stone idol of a Pyramid stood before numerous effigies resembling several races, beyond which lied numerous pillars. These effigies included depictions of Hive, Fallen, Cabal, and Guardians of the Last City, all gazing up at the Pyramid. Shadows of the Pyramid stretch across the ground, reaching out towards the surrounding races, the largest of which extends out towards the Fallen.
As discovered by Asher Mir through his experimentation, Pyramids have a defensive mechanism where incoming projectiles appear to simply disappear on the point of impact, while still physically existing in some form. This defense also seems to suppress electromagnetic radiation to a degree, requiring a fully equipped relay system to remain detectable from the outside.
Thus far, no living occupants have been encountered within the Pyramids save for the Nightmares encountered on Luna. However, the presence of interior architecture and containers resembling urns could be indicative of living entities inhabiting the Pyramids. Additionally, the voices that have contacted The Guardian when in close proximity to the Pyramids on Luna, Io, and Europa could be separate entities from the ships themselves as Ghost refers to the unknown speakers as 'The ones who spoke through me' rather than referencing the Pyramids directly.
The Ancient Past
The origins of the Pyramids are unknown. They have presumably existed for at least as long as the Traveler; the Books of Sorrow allude to the Darkness laying waste to solar systems, suggesting that the Pyramids may have been active during the rise of the Hive.
The Golden Age
Sometime in the late Golden Age, Clovis Bray and the Aeronautics of China launched a joint venture called K1 to discover extra-spatial transmissions emitting somewhere beneath the surface of the Moon. Excavating at the Ocean of Storms, they uncovered an artifact acting as a transceiver for the Pyramids, to which they believed to be communicating with the Traveler's origin. Unfortunately, exposure to the artifact created Nightmares that plagued the crew with insomnia, hallucinations, and major psychosis to which Clovis Bray had to have the artifact sealed in a sophisicated containment system. Kuang Xuan, the project commander of the K1 mission, instead turned to one of their sites' antennae to intercept the artifact's transmissions and had the project on lockdown. The team would stay isolated on the Moon for a time until the Collapse, which they were slaughtered by the sudden appearance of the Hive.
Prior to the Collapse, Clovis Bray I discovered the presence of the Pyramids on the Jovian moon Europa, which he had received visions of from the K1 Anomaly. His expedition uncovered a large statue of a veiled, humanoid female figure, which he appropriately named Clarity Control. It is believed that the statue was sent by the Pyramids two decades prior, if not in direct communication with them.
During the Collapse, the Pyramids presumably invaded the Sol System in force, laying waste to the worlds and colonies of the Solar System as they descended upon the Traveler and Humanity, nearly wiping out all of humankind in the process. It was only thanks to the counterattack of the Traveler, that humanity was able to survive and have some of their people be made Guardians, so that hope would still exist for the Solar System in their fight against the Darkness.
After the death of Dominus Ghaul at the hands of The Guardian, the Traveler reawakened and sent a pulse of light throughout the Sol System, and eventually the outer reaches of the Milky Way. This pulse eventually reached the Pyramids as they lay dormant in intergalactic space, and as the pulse washed over the fleet, they reactivated and began moving en masse to the Sol System.
Nightmares on Luna
A single Pyramid from the fleet was discovered by the Hive buried beneath the surface of Earth's Moon for an unknown amount of time, but their efforts were unsuccessful at awakening its power. It remains unknown how long this vessel was buried on the Moon, although Eris Morn speculates that it may have been struck down by the Traveler during the Collapse, or left behind intentionally. It became active by Eris Morn upon touching it, creating Nightmares from the Darkness to haunt the Traveler's Light-bearing Risen.
Multiple Pyramids can be seen in the background when the Guardian receives a vision of the Black Garden from the Unknown Artifact found within the Pyramid on Luna. Later a Guardian excursion into the Garden revealed that the Sol Divisive Vex having been communing with a Pyramid Scale and the Sol Inherent minds were destroyed to stop its spread of Darkness.
The Darkness Descends
Around the time of the Almighty's descent upon The Last City, the Pyramids themselves had finally reached the outer Solar System and were approaching from all sides. At first, the fleet consisted of one lead Pyramid and seventeen smaller ones, numbering in eighteen total. As the ships passed through the Kuiper belt, the number increased to thirty two. Seven additional Pyramids arrived, with the fleet itself approaching Neptune. The following week, the fleet increased to forty-three and begun to make their way towards the inner system while the lead Pyramid held position above Neptune. The fleet next set its sights on Uranus, now forty-nine in numbers, and was on its way to reaching Saturn. Uranus was swiftly taken as the fleet had now grown to fifty-one vessels strong.
Eventually, the fleet increased to fifty-four vessels, though it is possible there may be other Pyramids that are undetected or have yet to reach Sol. With Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus claimed by the Darkness, the Lead Pyramid and the rest of the fleet have set their sights on Saturn and its moon of Titan. This was all observed by Rasputin from his Seraph Bunkers who shared this information to the Vanguard. All the Guardians and Rasputin could do now was wait in anticipation for the Darkness to descend.
Unbeknownst to Rasputin, however, another Pyramid had broken off from the main fleet and descended upon the inner system undetected. By the time of The Almighty's destruction, this Pyramid had reached Jupiter and made its way towards Io along with its escort fleet of Pyramid Scales.
Several days after The Almighty's destruction, the Pyramids had spread throughout the system. Alarmingly, many of these Pyramids appeared on worlds that were nowhere near where Rasputin had detected them. It is unknown if these vessels had broken off from the main fleet or if they are new ones who were arrived in the system undetected. The first of these Pyramids made their way to Io. In a similar fashion to the attack on The Almighty, Ana Bray deployed satellites against the Pyramid in hopes that it would be destroyed. However, the Pyramid remained undamaged and continued its approach on the Jovian moon, also managing to disable the Warmind and render the Warsat Network entirely useless.
After the Warmind fell, the Io Pyramid touched down near the Cradle and began deploying its Pyramid Scales in the Echo Mesa nearby. Eris Morn departed for it as soon as it arrived, resulting in Zavala tasking the Guardian to investigate the Pyramid and retrieve Eris. As the Guardian approached the vessel, the Darkness possessed their Ghost and brought them closer to the Pyramid. However, the Guardian was pulled into the Ascendant realm by Savathûn, the Witch-Queen. After fighting through numerous Taken and Hive, the Guardian finds Eris in the center of the Cradle, where a Tree of Silver Wings, spawned by the Traveler's Light, was situated inside. Over the course of the week, the Pyramid continued to corrupt Io, deploying Pyramid Scales and infesting the planet with Darkness. The Drifter dispatched a special Bank device to collect Energy of the Darkness, while at the same time having Guardians fight off an arms race with the Cabal and the Vex, along with Savathûn’s Taken forces.
Almost a month after the arrival of the first Pyramid, three more touched down on Titan, Mars, and Mercury. The Titan Pyramid was the first to start deploying its Pyramid Scales, scuttling the Hive and Fallen in the New Pacific Arcology in an arms race to claim Darkness seeping in blooms from the alien vessels. From the depths of the Pyramid back on Io, a large force of Pyramid Scales was sent out to survey Io's surface, in order to presumably prepare it for terraforming.
With the crippling of Rasputin, the choice was made by Zavala to evacuate the four worlds that had come under threat from the Pyramids. The Young Wolf would aid Zavala, by making final preparations, by completing a list of objectives on each destination in accordance with the needs of Sloane, Asher, Vance, and Ana. Though the intention of the evacuation was to have them leave, they chose to do the opposite, with Vance and Asher entering the Infinite Forest and Pyramidion respectively, and Sloane choosing to hold the line against the Pyramid occupying Titan, and the Hive. When it came to overseeing Ana Bray’s exodus from Mars, the Young Wolf assisted in her attempt to salvage what was left of Rasputin, which resulted in his remains being placed in a specialized Engram. With what remains of Rasputin’s mind preserved, Ana would make her final preparations before departing Mars. In the following weeks, Guardians were pulled into the Ascendant Realm, reminiscent of the Court of Oryx on the Dreadnaught, this time encountering Nokris, Savathun's supplicant. Upon defeating him, the Darkness finalized its message, telling Guardians there is an ancient power deep beneath the surface of Europa and that it must be embraced, displaying each race with a shadow of a Pyramid, with one shadow lingering over the Fallen.
A short while after the final message the Pyramids would finally consume Mars, Mercury, Titan and Io in shadow, the final fates of those who stayed behind may never be known. However despite the Darkness growing even more suffocating, hope was seemingly rekindled as quite unexpectedly the Traveler began to pulsate with energy as it started healing the wounds sustained from liberating itself from Ghaul's cage. The resulting energy would eventually erupt into a cascading flash of light.
The Call to Europa
After the healing of the Traveler, the Young Wolf would arrive on the frozen wilds of Europa to find a Pyramid much like the one on Luna. However, a new threat was also rising on the moon, one in direct contact with the Darkness itself.
Once the Young Wolf arrives on Europa, they are tasked by Variks to fix the communication relays on top of the safehouse he is staying in. However, as the Ghost is fixing the second relay, a dark presence is detected and Ghost says, "The ones who spoke through me." As soon as the Ghost fixes the final relay, a Crux of Darkness teleports in and blows away the blizzard surrounding the facility. It then leads the Guardian towards the Pyramid all the while talking about how the Light sees the Guardian as an obedient soldier who asks no questions and how the Darkness wishes to thank them with a gift to help them take control. Upon arriving, The Pyramid sends out a Ziggurat. After the Guardian has defeated Eramis, she reaches out towards the Pyramid as she is being frozen, as if to signify that she is not worthy of the Darkness's powers. Later on, once the Guardian has finally attuned themselves to the power of Stasis, they are teleported to a similar statue inside the Pyramid and finally unlock Stasis for full use. It would also be during this time that the Darkness would seek out Savathun to punish her for her attempted interference, forcing the Witch Queen into hiding. Mara Sov would also reemerge having deployed her forces and fleets against what she referred to as the Black Fleet, however, none of these assets or even the Harbingers would be effective against the Pyramids.
List of appearances