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Enforce the will of the Darkness throughout the universe
- "We are not your friend.
We are not your enemy.
We are your... salvation."
- — The Witness
The Black Fleet is an armada of massive Darkness-aligned tetrahedral vessels, known as Pyramids. It is commanded by, or at least plays host to, an entity known as the Witness and its followers, the Disciples. The Black Fleet is the antithesis of the Traveler, and was responsible for the cataclysmic destruction of countless galactic civilizations uplifted by it, including the Whirlwind of Riis and the Collapse of Earth.
The Black Fleet is closely associated with the Darkness, so much so that it was once thought by the people of the Last City to be synonymous with the Darkness itself. Little is known about this mysterious fleet and the beings who appear to command it, but available information suggests that they have actively pursued the Traveler for countless eons, bringing destruction to any civilization it has uplifted.
Voices have contacted The Guardian when near the Pyramids on Luna, Io, and Europa; in all cases, these voices have spoken through the Guardian's Ghost. The Ghost refers to the unknown speakers as 'The ones who spoke through me' rather than referencing the Pyramids directly. These voices likely belong to the Witness, due to the telltale usage of "we" rather than "I", as The Witness refers to itself.
On Europa, several artifacts originating from the Black Fleet have been encountered, including Stasis Locks, Cruxes of Darkness, Splinters of Darkness and the Ziggurat. Following Mars' reappearance in the Sol System after having vanished during the Pyramids' arrival, another artifact of the Black Fleet known as the Relic was found to have appeared in a cliffside overlooking Mars' Cradle.
The Ancient Past
The origins of the Black Fleet are unknown. It has presumably existed for at least as long as the Traveler and is known to have been active billions of years ago, long before the destruction of Lubrae and the rise of the Hive. Whether the Witness or its people crafted the first Pyramids, or whether the Pyramids predate the Witness, is unknown.
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 sophisticated 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.
Before the Collapse, Clovis Bray I led an expedition to the Jovian moon Europa, which he had received visions of from the K1 Anomaly. He and his team 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 Black Fleet 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, and the interference of Savathûn, that humanity was able to survive and have some of their people be resurrected as 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 toward 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 began 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 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.
- "You bring weapons. You will not need them. We offer only truth."
- — The Witness through The Ghost.
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 arrived in the system undetected. The first of these Pyramids made its 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 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, 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 for each destination following the needs of Sloane, Asher, Vance, and Ana. Though the evacuation intended 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
- "The Light believes you thankless. Nothing more than a soldier asked again and again to do its bidding.
So we want to thank you. With a gift. To help you finally take control."
- — The Witness to the Guardian
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 veiled 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. Ada-1 would also marshal the assets of the Black Armory against the Pyramids, however even these unique weapons would prove useless against the power of the Darkness.
Mara Sov would eventually divulge that during her absence after the events of Forsaken she did battle with the entity that directs the Black Fleet as well as the Hive, Taken and Scorn. She described the entity as a voice in the darkness.
No More Pieces Left To Place
- "We have seen enough."
- — The Witness
After having been shrouded in darkness for some time following the arrival of the Pyramids, Mars suddenly reappeared in the visible spectrum. The surface of the planet was largely changed, with large swathes that appeared to be temporally displaced, bordered by curtains of eerie green light. There was also a new structure built into the cliffs overlooking Mars' Cradle, showing all the same architectural hallmarks of the Pyramids.
In the pursuit of uncovering the truth of Savathûn's Throne World, the Young Wolf finds themselves once more on Europa, this time at the base of the Pyramid itself. Fighting through hordes of Cabal deserters under the command of an exiled Valus, Darlgur, the Young Wolf enters the Europan Pyramid. Within the Pyramid is seemingly a city of structures, grander and more elaborate than what was able to be seen within the Lunar Pyramid. After purging the deserters from the Pyramid, the Guardian communes with the Darkness, gaining the ability of Deepsight.
Found within the bogs of Savathûn's Throne World lies a sunken Pyramid. Only the topmost portion of the Pyramid is exposed, belying its size. Upon venturing inwards, it is soon realized that there is more than what was above the surface, as a fireteam of Guardians ventures deeper inwards, only to find Rhulk, Disciple of the Witness. Similar to the Europan Pyramid, the Throne World Pyramid was immense in scale, housing many structures within. After immense trials and obstacles in their way, the fireteam reaches where Rhulk resided within, initiating battle. The Disciple would soon face defeat, facing his death at the hands of these Guardians. Though the Disciple was dead, he served another, an entity of which little is known about.
After the defeat of Rhulk, the Young Wolf would find themselves having to regularly travel through the Throne World's bogs and back into the Pyramid, needing to clear out the Scorn attempting to further harness the Darkness.
The March On Neomuna
After Rasputin's final sacrifice to prevent Eramis from using the Warsat Network on the Traveler, the Black Fleet finally advanced on the Traveler and began their assault on the defending forces of the Coalition, effortlessly destroying any craft that came too close with waves of Resonant energy. The Traveler responded to the attack with a massive beam of Light, which struck the lead Pyramid containing the Witness and created blooms of paracausal flora. However, the Witness itself was unaffected, and floated out from its Pyramid to meet the Traveler face-to-face. Eight Pyramids followed it and took up a formation around the Traveler resembling an eight-pointed star, and halted the Traveler's attack by striking it with a concerted Resonant energy surge.
- The Witness
- Essence (Flagship)
- The Lunar Pyramid
- The Ionian Pyramid
- The Mercurian Pyramid
- The Martian Pyramid
- The Titanian Pyramid
- The Europan Pyramid
- The Sunken Pyramid
- Eramis, Kell of Darkness
- Xivu Arath, God of War
- Scorn - Auxiliary forces
- Sol Divisive
- Crux of Darkness
- Pyramid Scales
- Pyramid Spikes
- Radial Mast
- Resonant Splinter
- Splinter of Darkness
- Stasis Locks
- Tombs of Nezarec
- Unknown Artifact
- The ending cutscene of the Red War campaign shows a single massive Pyramid in the center of a fleet of smaller Pyramids. It was later seen depicted by Mara Sov's hologram of the Pyramid fleet in the Queen's Court, which also shows a massive Pyramid in the midst of smaller ships.
- The tetrahedral forms of the Pyramids allude to the philosophy of the Darkness; just as the Darkness seeks to reduce the universe to a maximally simplified state, tetrahedrons are the simplest possible three-dimensional shape. Also of note is that the Pyramids appear to have faces representing the three archetypal triangles: regular, isosceles and right.
- The Pyramid on Luna can be seen from the peak of the Scarlet Keep, through the gate that Hashladûn comes through (you may also need to jump to catch a glimpse).
- When the player encounters the Pyramid on Luna there are two pieces of dialogue that their Ghost can say, dependent on whether the player has completed the final Invitation of the Nine where the Pyramids were briefly pictured. If it has not been completed, Ghost will say that he does not recognize the ship, but if the player has completed it he will say that he does recognize the Pyramid and notes the impossibility of it being there.
- Ghost Quote 1: "What... is that? I've never seen anything like it."
- Ghost Quote 2: "That's... one of those Pyramids. It can't be. That should not be here."
- Early in Season of the Worthy, it was revealed that the Pyramid fleet had already reached the Kuiper Belt and made contact with Osiris. The fleet attempted to take control of Sagira in the same fashion that the Pyramid of Luna did to the Guardian's Ghost.
- The total time it took for the Darkness to arrive in the solar system was 1,007 days. That is the time between the release of Destiny 2 on the 6th of September 2017 and the start of Season of Arrivals on the 9th of June 2020.
- Though the tetrahedron shape of the Pyramids has remained consistent with their appearance in both concept art as well as the ending cutscene for the Red War campaign, the ships that are featured within Season of Arrivals are far more sleek and feature less prominent segmented sections. The most likely reason for this change was a redesign, however this cannot be confirmed.
- The Pyramid seen in the pillar room at the end of the last interference mission in Seasons of Arrivals is a miniature version of the titanic ships, albeit with the lights off.
- A possible inspiration for the Pyramid ships is Arthur C. Clarke's short story, "The Sentinel." In Clarke's short story, an ancient alien structure was left upon Earth's Moon, described as being "made of a polished mineral, is tetrahedral in shape, and is surrounded by a spherical forcefield."
- Various artifacts associated with the Black Fleet recall the forms and colors of game pieces or tokens; for example, the Relic in the Enclave on Mars has a section that resembles a tic-tac-toe game, and the Dark City is filled with sculptures and blocks of black-and-white stone which recall the forms of chess pieces. These may thematically allude to the Darkness' view of the universe as a "game" to be won.
List of appearances
- Destiny 2 (First appearance)
- Forsaken (Mentioned only)
- Season of the Drifter (Mentioned only)
- Beyond Light
- Season of the Chosen (Mentioned only)
- The Witch Queen
- Season of the Risen
- Season of the Haunted
- Season of Plunder (Mentioned only)
- Season of the Seraph
- Forsaken (Mentioned only)
- ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Sleepless
- ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Lore: Cosmogyre III
- ^ Game Pressure: A Guardian Rises
- ^ Bungie (2022/2/22), Destiny 2: The Witch Queen - Mission: The Communion
- ^ Wikipedia - The Sentinel (Short Story)