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|Riven of a Thousand Voices|
The Last Ahamkara
|“||Most of those who [bargain] with me do not win, O murderer mine.||”|
Riven of a Thousand Voices is the last living Ahamkara after the Great Ahamkara Hunt; having formerly served Mara Sov and the Awoken as their greatest kept secret. She was instrumental in the creation of the Dreaming City and Eleusinia until the Taken War, during which she was Taken by Oryx, the Taken King prior to his death and later then conspired with his sister: Savathûn, the Witch-Queen.
Now corrupting the city from its heart, the Keep of Voices, the Taken Ahamkara became the underlying main antagonist of the "Forsaken" expansion. Riven would play a prominent role behind the creation of the Scorn and worked her way into Uldren Sov's mind like a parasite, impersonating her sister and deceiving him into unsealing the Dreaming City in an attempt to free her from its prison.
Riven serves as the final boss of the "Last Wish" Raid when Guardians would storm the Keep and slay her at the behest of Queen Mara and Petra Venj. Despite her physical death, her consciousness continued to persist and granted the Guardians one final wish: using her wish magic to unleash a Taken curse upon the Dreaming City.
Accompanying the Queen
Riven was young during the earliest days of the Reef. When she encountered Uldren Sov, who was on a mission to find a power that would allow Mara Sov to build an impregnable Awoken city, she was drawn to his unfulfilled ambitions and allowed him to present her to Mara Sov. The Ahamkara took the name Riven, in honor of her host.   Through the years, she grew and accompanied Mara Sov in her ventures, becoming one of the most significant members of her entourage. Riven's wish-granting faculty played a key role in the construction of the Dreaming City. However, Mara remained wary of Riven's fundamental untrustworthiness and appetite as an Ahamkara. Mara constructed a Wall of Wishes to make bargaining with Riven safer, and made sure to keep her away from Uldren and other potential sources of trouble. Indeed, Riven's work on the Dreaming City included small but deliberate flaws that would make it vulnerable to attack.
After the Dreaming City was finished, Mara wished Riven was trapped inside the keep at the heart of the city. She remained there for the rest of her life, though the Queen visited her regularly to make bargains.
Taken by the King
- "Before me stands a [King]. He offers to take me away. But I know he will not let me leave, either. An unfavorable position. I never made a [bargain] with a [King]. I would like to try it. I tell him to take whatever he [wishes]. As long as he [wishes]."
- — Riven's thoughts while bargaining with Oryx
Shortly after the Battle of Saturn, the Darkness from Oryx's Dreadnaught Took the Techeuns from the battle, and the Taken invaded the Dreaming City, which was inadvertently revealed, in mass. At the Keep where Riven was kept, Oryx offered to Take Riven away, although she knew that Oryx would not let her leave the Dreaming City. Nonetheless, Riven, eager to try bargaining with a king, told Oryx to take whatever he wished, as long as he 'wished' it. Riven and Oryx both knew they were attempting to deceive each other and began laughing together at the irony of their scenario. Following this, Riven's identity seemed to merge with Oryx's will, being simultaneously the Taken King and Riven. When Oryx was defeated by The Guardian, Riven felt the Taken King's despair at not being able to avenge his son Crota. Although her will was partly restored, Riven reflected that she was still trapped within the Dreaming City and could not escape, while also having no one within the City to talk to as the Techeuns, despite also being Taken, did not have free will as she did.
A New Master
- "I can tell this is not a part of her grand design. This is an introduction. She is at play.
Through our new bond, I glimpse her intention.
And I hope she remains at play."
- — Riven
Years after Oryx's defeat, Savathûn, the Witch-Queen infiltrated the Dreaming City and revealed herself to Riven. Without a Taken King, the Taken Riven was directionless, and asked Savathûn to "take up those strings." After this was done, Riven's Taken directive changed again. She became capable of exerting her influence outside the Dreaming City, and through her bond with Savathûn caught a glimpse into her plans. What Riven saw unsettled her.
At this point, Riven made contact with Uldren at the Tangled Shore, taking advantage of his overwhelming desire to hear from Mara again. She granted his wish by masquerading as Mara in his thoughts, and in that guise began manipulating him into eventually freeing her from the Dreaming City. Her influence also quickened the infection of Darkness within him.
Riven is ultimately responsible for the creation of the Scorn: when Uldren wished he had the power to save the mortally wounded Fikrul, Riven granted his wish by transmitting some of the Darkness in his body into the Archon's Ether, transmuting it into Dark Ether and reanimating Fikrul as the first Scorn.
- "Ah, I've waited so long to fulfill one last wish..."
- — Siren of Riven
Ultimately, thanks to the actions of Uldren Sov, the gateway into the Dreaming City became unsealed, allowing Riven the chance to unleash a Taken Chimera to devour Uldren. Though the Guardians and Reef agents ended Uldren and destroyed Riven's agent, the Voice of Riven, Riven herself remained a threat that the Awoken knew had to be dealt with immediately, especially since she was now Taken. Pleading the Vanguard and Guardians for aid, the Awoken succeed in gaining the support they need to launch an assault upon the heart of the corrupted Dreaming City and end the Taken Ahamkara.
A Guardian Raid team was formed and breached into the Keep of Voices at the heart of the city, the Guardians battle two of the Taken-corrupted Techeuns: Kalli and Shuro Chi. Not only were they successful in defeating the Taken Techeuns but were able to actually free them from the Taken's influence. Gaining their aid, the Guardians finally confront and battle with Riven. The battle takes them between the physical and Ascendant planes but they were able to mortally wound Riven. Ensuring that the Ahamkara never becomes a threat again, the Guardians enter the Ahamkara herself and destroy the Blight surrounding her heart, taking the relic back to the Queen's Techeuns to finish cleansing it of the Taken corruption.
This was, however, exactly what Riven wanted. As an Ahamkara, Riven was able to transcend death in order to grant one last wish made by the Guardians' collective wish to save the city: Altering the rules of ascendancy within the Dreaming City as the realm became cursed partially into the Ascendant Plane and trapped in a three-week time loop actualized by the Taken Quria, Blade Transform. Even after death, Riven was freed from her prison and her soul became tied to her killers as her Siren would continue to whisper at them, specifically when they reach Mara Sov's former throne world, Eleusinia.
One Final Wish
Years after Riven's corporeal death that freed her from her Taken curse, the Guardians and the Vanguard Coalition, following various conflicts and unnerving revelations, would be forced to raise the Last Ahamkara's spirit so she can perform the 15th wish, the "one we would cherish" as she spoke, which turned out to be the Witch Queen's wish prior to her demise. Using the Wall of Wishes once more and Queen Mara's Techuens performing a spell to awaken Riven's spirit with her heart, the Guardians and Mara ask for the Wish for a new pathway. Riven's spirit, though diminished yet still strong enough to perform one more wish, awakens as planned but to the Awoken Queen's surprise and frustration, the Ahamkara refuses to grant them their wish. In a private conversation with Mara, Riven states she has no reason to grant it as she is dead along with the rest of her kind. Riven recounts how it wasn't enough for the Awoken Queen to send the Guardians to slay her, but also have her forces destroy her eggs. Or so Mara thought, as one was found within Savathûn's Spire. Riven admits that she hid some of her eggs within the bowels of her lair to protect them from Mara's wrath and if she were to ensure their safety, then the Ahamkara would perform the final wish. Despite the risk of allowing the Ahamkara species to thrive and terrorize the Sol System once again yet desperate for the means to follow The Witness, the Awoken Queen agrees to Riven's bargain.
Though the bargain angers many, Petra Venj and Crow among them, Mara believes there is little choice and thus instructs the Guardians to descend into Riven's Lair to find her clutch of eggs, slaying Sol Divisive Vex throughout the way. However, after reaching the end and opening the vault, they find it empty, angering Riven. Mara voices her innocence before ordering Petra and her Techuens to find out what happened. In time, Petra uncovers that somehow, Riven's eggs were cast into the Ascendant Plane, leaving to orbit the material plane like comets to a sun. However, Petra believes that they can employ the same strategy of using the Ley Lines in the Dreaming City to "catch" them, similar to how the Queen's Techuens were lost in the Ascendant Plane. The plan succeeds in catching one egg, bringing it to Riven's Lair before the Vex could capture it themselves.
As an Ahamkara, Riven is calculating and fundamentally self-interested. She is extremely adept at wish-magic, having been the architect of the Dreaming City itself. She enjoys riddles and bargains, and has no issue manipulating the wishes and desires of others to serve herself, even those of the Queen, who was her confidant for centuries. Riven is more placid than most Ahamkara, however, and initially stayed with the Awoken despite the rich hunting in the inner system because she enjoyed basking in the "heat" of Mara's self-realization.
Riven is capable of mimicking the voices of others, perhaps earning her epithet "Of A Thousand Voices". During her corruption of Uldren, after being Taken, she showed the ability to invade his thoughts and project the image of Mara into his surroundings.
Like the rest of her kind, Riven is a shapeshifter and typically adopts reptilian or dragon-like forms. After becoming Taken and corrupting the Dreaming City, she confronted the Guardian as a gigantic clawed and tentacled serpentine beast, with a head covered in numerous eyes, protected by folding bone plates that act as secondary jaws.
Riven has retained her free will even after being Taken. At one point, she held complete dominion over the Taken in the Dreaming City, with powerful Taken such as Morgeth and the Taken Techeun witches at her command.
- "You are finally here. Brother slayer. Spawn killer. All that strength and you're still nothing but a retainer to the Awoken Queen. You could be so much more... all you need do is wish it. Come. I would quite like to meet you."
- — Siren of Riven, at the start of the raid.
- "Have you come to free the Witches? They will resist. Darkness is their shape, now."
- — Siren of Riven, before facing Kalli, the Corrupted
- "I can give you anything. What is it you want? Weapons? Glory? Peace? Or is it simpler than that?"
- — Siren of Riven, after defeating Kalli, the Corrupted.
- "Oh ho ho. You are so tiny. Yet you continue to make enemies of so many gods and monsters. You want battle? I'll give you war!"
- — Siren of Riven, when starting the encounter for Shuro Chi, the Corrupted.
- "You sully the sacred architecture of a culture you cannot understand. All so you can say you won today. Could that be what you're driving toward? Do you have the audacity to wish for my death? Perhaps, you and I can work together."
- — Siren of Riven, after defeating Shuro Chi, the Corrupted.
- "The Awoken kept me here so long. A better fate than my kin suffered. But paradise is a prison when you cannot leave. I would so love to repay the hospitality of those who used my words to carve this city into the screaming surface of reality."
- — Siren of Riven, before entering the Ascendant Plane.
- "There is no end to the Taken. You have stolen from them more than they could ever take from you. You are destined to fight forever."
- — Siren of Riven, before facing Morgeth, the Spirekeeper
- "You don't hesitate to reach into the Deep. Your kind is so brave. Those with conviction pair best with my kind. Like you. Like the Awoken prince. Shall we be friends?"
- — Siren of Riven, after defeating Morgeth, the Spirekeeper.
- "You're so close, friend. Find me. Kill me. My heart is yours."
- — Siren of Riven, before starting the vault encounter.
- "Ah, I've waited so long to fulfill one last wish..."
- — Siren of Riven, after defeating Riven
- "Ugh, I thought they'd never leave. You and I are not done. We're inseparable now. Through your actions, we've forged an age-old bond between my kind and yours. One wish granted deserves another. And I cannot wait to show you what SHE asked for. O murderer mine..."
- — Siren of Riven, after completing the raid.
- Though she is Taken, Riven is the first Ahamkara ever encountered in the Destiny series.
- Due to the complex rituals needed to simply harm Riven without dying, it may be possible that Riven is one of the strongest Ahamkara that existed compared to the other Ahamkara who were hunted like normal, albeit powerful, beasts.
- Riven is the third known Taken entity that retains a sense of free will and independent thought, the first two being Quria and Malok, and is the second that the Guardians actually fight.
- Riven is the first female final Raid boss.
- Riven's epithet, "of a Thousand Voices," is reminiscent of that of the Worm God Xol, the "Will of the Thousands". It is unknown what significance this similarity has, if there are any.
- However, it's possible it signifies the Voice of Riven or the Siren of Riven.
- Riven is believed to be the largest Raid boss in Destiny history, surpassing Argos, Planetary Core and Oryx, the Taken King.
- Despite her eventual enormous size, whether due to her shapeshifting ability or simply her young age at the time, Riven was once small enough to curl around Mara Sov's neck like a pet.
- The soundtrack Shell of What Was is played during the Heart of Riven encounter, but also during the fight with The Mad Warden. The reason for this might be that both the dead Riven and the Warden have been killed and hollowed, and that their bodies are merely empty shells of something that once "was".
- "Riven" is the past participle for the verb rive, meaning to tear, split or harrow. Riven took this name in honor of Mara Sov, in reference to her nature as a being split between Light and Darkness.
- After you destroy Riven's physical body and go outside you can hear her "breathing".
- Riven is one of, if not the only enemy to be seen bleeding.
- Contrary to popular belief, Riven is still dead even by the time the Dawning Celebration begins and not related to the time loop. The Thousand Voices Cookie in a way is to simply obtain more loot.
- Riven, possibly save Val Ca'uor , the final boss of the Spire of Stars Raid Lair, is considered the most difficult encounter in a Raid to date, which is why most raid teams prefer to skip her mechanics.
- A glitch existed for a while during Forsaken where Rocket Launchers with the perk Cluster Bombs did a massive amount of damage to Riven when shot into her mouth.
List of appearances
- Destiny 2
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Lore: Telic I
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Lore: Telic II
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Lore: Riven
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Helm of the Great Hunt
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Oracle
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Gauntlets of the Great Hunt
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Hood of the Great Hunt
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Robes of the Great Hunt
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Gloves of the Great Hunt
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Boots of the Great Hunt
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Lore: After the Fall
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Lore: Fanatic Part II
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Nothing Left to Say
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Awakening
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Last Wish