Savathûn, the Witch Queen
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|Savathûn, the Witch Queen|
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Savathûn's Brood (formerly)
|Savathûn, the Witch Queen|
The Witch, Radiant
- "Savathûn, mother morph of Sathona, we delight in your sharp mind. [...] We are pleased with your use of our larvae to create mighty knights and plentiful warriors. Taox's retreat to the Hydrogen Fountain proves your superior strength. But you must know that reclaiming your home is not enough."
- — Worm Gods
Savathûn, the Witch Queen, formerly known as Sathona, is a Hive god and sister to Xivu Arath, God of War and Oryx, the Taken King. Together with her two siblings, she was a progenitor of the contemporary Hive species and one of its chief gods, having made a pact with the Worms of Fundament. She is driven to understand the deepest secrets of the universe and gains power from the deception and confusion of those who seek to understand her unfathomable schemes.
- "I am Sathona, middle daughter of the dead king. I will take back my home and eat the mother jelly. I will raise my spawn on the corpse of the Helium King. On my right eye I promise this."
- — Sathona
Savathûn was born Sathona, on the planet Fundament. She was one of a short-lived species whose homeworld had crashed into Fundament millions of years earlier, with the shards of the planet forming Fundament's continents. The Osmium Court was one such continent, ruled by the Osmium King, and Sathona was his second-born daughter, older sister to Xi Ro and younger sister to Aurash. The three sisters were tutored by Taox, a sterile Mother, the proto-Hive morph capable of spawning children, which also allowed them to live longer by eating "Mother-jelly" at adulthood. The proto-Hive's harsh lives convinced Sathona at an early age to become a mother, not because she wanted children or feared dying, but because she wanted to live long enough to have meaning in her life.
However, by the time her father turned ten Fundament years (a lifetime by the standards of their species), he had discovered a dead Worm on the shores of the Osmium Court, which he started tending to it as a familiar, and began raving that the Syzygy, a prophesied disaster, would soon occur. While Aurash took her father's warnings to heart, Taox concluded that the King was falling to senility in his old age and that none of his daughters, which were two years old at the time, could properly rule the Osmium Court and protect it from the Helium Court, a rival kingdom. While acknowledging that Sathona was a brilliant thinker, Taox noted that she could not fight. In desperation, Taox sent a message to the rulers of the Helium Court, the Helium Drinkers, saying that she would help them assassinate the King and his daughters if they installed her as their regent. The Helium Drinkers accepted Taox's proposal and attacked, killing the King but failing to kill his daughters. In the confusion, Sathona managed to steal her father's Worm in their escape. Reaching Aurash's ship, the three sisters made a blood oath to return and take vengeance, with Sathona vowing that she would become a mother and raise her spawn on the corpses of the Helium Drinkers.
Over the next year, the three sisters sailed the oceans of Fundament. During this time, Sathona began to hear her father's worm speak to her, guiding her to acts that would save the sisters over the year. Finally, the three sisters found a ship they named "the needle", built of high technology, but whose crew had died obscenely after hatching an egg from a creature that they could not recognize. Xi Ro insisted that they sell the ship at the Kaharn Atoll, where the species of Fundament gathered, saying that an auction could raise them enough money to hire mercenaries to fight the Helium Drinkers. However, Sathona told Xi Ro that the ship was worthless. Aurash instead suggested that they repair the ship. With prompting from the Worm, Sathona agreed with Aurash and convinced Xi Ro to repair the ship.
Over the next two years, the sisters repaired the needle, but by this point, the sisters were five years old. Sathona raised her fears that she would soon be too old to eat mother-jelly, and that the sisters would be unable to fulfill their oath. Aurash said that the sisters had to dive beneath the oceans of Fundament, traveling to the planet's core. Xi Ro warned that this was how the crew had died, but Sathona, urged on by the Worm, agreed with Aurash. The sisters took the needle into the deep. They finally reached a point where they could use the ship's sensors on the oceans. To their horror, they discovered that the Syzygy was real and that Fundament's moons had already aligned. Just then, they were encountered by the Leviathan, a creature long spoken of in proto-Hive myth. The Leviathan warned the sisters that they needed to turn back, or else would unleash disaster upon the universe, saying that they faced a choice between the Light, which offered civilization, and the Darkness, which offered only violence. However, the Leviathan offered no hope to the sisters to avoid the Syzygy. Sathona then revealed the Worm's help to her sisters, and how it urged them to go down. Rejecting the Leviathan's entreaties, the sisters dove into the core.
Reaching the very center of Fundament, the three sisters found the Worm Gods: Akka, the Worm of Secrets, Eir, the Keeper of Order, Ur, the Ever-Hunger, Xol, Will of the Thousands, and Yul, the Honest Worm. The Worm Gods offered the three sisters a chance for the proto-Hive to escape Fundament as well as achieve immortality. All they had to do was take the Worms larvae into them as symbiotes and spread them among the proto-Hive. The Worms posed the caveat that the sisters must never cease their natures: Xi Ro must always test her strength, Sathona must always be cunning, and Aurash must always try to understand. The sisters accepted the pact and became the first Hive: Xi Ro took the Knight morph and became Xivu Arath, Sathona took the Mother morph and became Savathûn, and Aurash took the King morph, transforming into a male and became Auryx, the King of the Hive.
Campaign of Destruction
- "I don't have a strict proof yet, you know. This thing we believe — that we're liberating the universe by devouring it, that we're cutting out the rot, that we're on course to join the final shape — I haven't found a strict, eternal proof. We might yet be wrong."
- — Savathûn
As Auryx and his sisters forced an ultimatum on the remaining proto-Hive to accept the worms or perish, Auryx turned his attention to Fundament's moons, and the Ammonites there who had allied with the Traveler and gave asylum to Taox. Initially, he was willing to negotiate with the Ammonites, but his sister Savathûn, under pressure from the Worms, killed Auryx as punishment. Rather than dying, Auryx's soul instead passed to his Ascendant Realm, or throne world, where his soul resided until he returned to the mortal realm. Rebuked, Auryx purged what sympathy and goodwill he had left, becoming a merciless tyrant. He and his sisters warred with and killed one another on a regular basis after the defeat of the Ammonites, as part of their worship of the Sword-Logic and their attempt to become the sharpest blades in the universe, heading to their Ascendant realms when defeated. Their war of revenge against Taox had transformed into a campaign of genocide when they slew the Ammonites and other interstellar civilizations to feed their worms. When Oryx established the Court of Oryx to study the sword logic, Savathûn was inspired to establish a court of her own, known as the High Coven.
During the war with the Ecumene, Auryx came to realize that the Worm Gods had deceived him and his sisters. Their worms' appetites were growing past their ability to feed with death. Meeting with his sisters in his ascendant realm, surrounded by their servants (some of which despised them for showing weakness) they despaired over their dilemma. When his sisters offered their power to help Auryx find a way to save them, Auryx killed them, then used that power to confront his patron god Akka, the Worm of Secrets. He killed Akka so that he could steal its ability to call upon the Deep and created the Tablets of Ruin, which gave him the power to Take. His transformation complete, Auryx was now Oryx, the Taken King. During the subsequent war with the Ecumene, Oryx revived Xivu Arath in an act of war and revived Savathûn in an act of cunning. He then decreed the tithe system: each Hive would kill their enemies, take some to feed their own worm and tithe the rest to their superior. Thralls would tithe to Acolytes, Acolytes would tithe to Knights or Wizards, the Knights and Wizards would tithe to the Ascendant Hive, those who commanded legions of warriors and earned the right to enter the Hive gods' Ascendant realms. All of this violence would eventually reach Oryx, Savathûn, and Xivu Arath, allowing their worms to feed on violence while continuing to invoke their inner natures.
Following the Golden Amputation, Oryx declared to his sisters that the Hive had conquered its way to the edge of the Deep, and that it had granted him a personal audience.  As Oryx retreated into his throne world to commune with it, Savathûn conspired with Xivu Arath to strand him there and steal his Tablets of Ruin by cutting off the tribute flowing through his tithe system.  They were ultimately unsuccessful, and on returning, Oryx waged war on Savathûn and crippled her own tribute.
In the aftermath of this attempted betrayal, Savathûn learned of one of Oryx's daughters, Ir Anûk, and was both enraged and delighted by her brilliance. 
While Oryx was off studying the Deep, his son Crota was deceived by Savathûn into using his Cleaver to cut a portal inside his throne world, allowing the Vex to invade it. This amused Savathûn. Her daughter alerted Eir to the situation, who alerted Oryx in turn. After Oryx dealt with the incursion, Savathûn told Xivu Arath that Oryx's throne had been compromised and showed her where to cut into it so she could kill him. However, Oryx had recognized that his throne world was vulnerable, so he moved it into a mighty Dreadnaught scrimshawed from the remains of Akka, stealing from Savathûn her Scalpel to make it.
After Oryx confronted and captured Quria for the last time, he presented the Vex to Savathûn as a gift, hoping she would be pleased by its simulations. When she asked him what proof they had that what they were doing was right, Oryx simply replied that the Hive's existence was proof enough in their convictions to live eternal by the Sword-Logic. Following the war with the Harmony, Savathûn decided that her fleets would enter the black hole that the Harmony lived around, claiming that they would become stronger for it, while Xivu Arath took her fleets away from Oryx's as she felt he constrained her too much.
- "I shall discorporate, so that I exist wherever my schemes and conspiracies also exist. And so I will be immortal, as long as anyone seeks to understand me and fails."
- — Savathûn to a confused Thrall
Around the same time that the Hive's tribute system was established, Savathûn, unsatisfied with the established method of Worm-feeding, embarked on a project that would allow her to escape the trap feeding the Worms created. To do so, she attempted to increase the rate at which her subordinate Hive gathered tribute for her, by placing several Ascendant Hive in orbit around a black hole. In doing this, she hoped that because time would pass more slowly for the Ascendants relative to the outside universe, the Ascendant's Worm would perceive an increased rate of tribute produced by lesser Hive elsewhere in the cosmos, and thus be satisfied without a true increase in tribute.
However, this plan was unsuccessful, as the Ascendants' Worms understood what was happening and increased their hunger. Consequently, Savathûn resolved to try another approach, in which her subordinate Hive would gather tribute in a region of space where time passed faster than the rest of the universe. She planned to use the power and insight attained through this method to completely overhaul the way in which she gained tribute through the Sword Logic, going from a system where tribute was obtained through violence to one where tribute was obtained through the failure of other beings to understand her schemes. This new system of acquiring tribute would be known as "Imbaru". To achieve this, she purposely led Crota to let the Vex into his father's Throne World, in order to compel the Vex to create Quria, Blade Transform. Later, when the campaign against the Harmony was complete and Quria was Taken and given to her as a gift, Savathûn left her siblings behind and entered the Harmony's black hole, hoping to further her plans and prevent the Taken Vex Mind from reporting her work to Oryx. While in the black hole, She taught Quria to harness Hive magic and apply it to computational problem-solving. Using this, Quria learned how to navigate and engineer the singularity, then format the information for Savathûn to understand. Now able to understand the singularity's inner workings, she began moving forward with her grand scheme.
Savathûn explained the details of her plan to a confused Thrall, as per a rule of the High Coven that a Wizard's schemes should be incomprehensible to a Thrall. She then recorded her conversation and encrypted it with the assistance of Quria, along with a message for a future reader. This message would remain unread for an untold span of time, until the Guardian stumbled upon it, encrypted within Glimmer, while exploring the Dreaming City.
Savathûn was present alongside the Witness and its Disciples as the Black Fleet ravaged Earth during The Collapse. When Nezarec secured the paracausal object known as the Veil for the Witness' plans, Savathûn betrayed Nezarec, killing him and cursing his remains while hiding the Veil away on Neptune. The Witness was apparently deceived by Savathûn into thinking the Veil had been lost, causing it to withdraw its forces and retreat to the depths of intergalactic space.
At some point either before or after the Collapse, Savathûn approached the human Sean Rigby in the guise of a human woman, and told him of a coming catastrophe. She instructed him to follow a star to the south, and to sing a special song to it every night. Sean and his family followed Savathûn's instructions, and eventually found themselves beneath the Traveler, where the Rigbys have lived ever since.
From the Shadows
- "I'm looking at a hell of a summoning ritual. Biggest Shrieker I've seen in all my lives. Mark my words, something real mean and real old is gonna use that thing to lay eyes on this planet."
- — Taeko-3 watching the Hive summon Savathûn's Song
Two years after the apparent death of Oryx in the Taken War, a previously unknown Hive brood infested the abandoned Golden Age arcologies on the moon of Titan, led by powerful Hive such as Naktal, Fury of Savathûn, Kudazad, Binder of Savathûn, and Vanbaluk, Trusted of Savathûn. Ghost scans of various Hive artifacts further linked the new brood to Savathûn. Most disturbing of all, a fireteam of Guardians was lost during an incursion into the New Pacific Arcology, Operation Caliban, and were discovered to have been converted by the Hive into crystals containing Void Light. These crystals were intended to feed a summoning ritual for her, the centerpiece of which was a massive Shrieker titled "Savathûn's Song". With the aid of the Praxic Warlock Taeko-3, the Guardian fought through the depths of the Arcology and destroyed the crystals and the Song, disrupting the summoning ritual.
Evidence from elsewhere in the solar system indicates that Savathûn has taken control of the remnants of the Taken through Quria; having learned the power to Take through its perfected simulations of Oryx.. On Io, Taken forces led by Ir Arok, Tongue of Quria have attempted to corrupt the Vex collective at the Pyramidion, only to fail due to the Guardian's intervention. Furthermore, a Red Legion commander, Grask, the Consumed was encountered as a Taken; the Red Legion only had a presence in Sol after Oryx's death, so this serves as further indication that Savathûn has achieved domination over the Taken.
- "I got a fragment of the message. "Savathun, emerge from the Deep. Take our power.""
- — Ghost translating the Hive broadcast
After the awakening and fall of Nokris and the Worm God, Xol, Guardians found the Hive on Mars sending messages to Savathûn, pleading her to arise from the Deep and "claim their power". Envoys of Savathûn have also been seen emerging from Ascendant portals in Hellas Basin.
- "I did not notice her. That means [the light] did not notice her. She knows that though I am [Taken], I am beholden to no one. So I ask her if she wishes to take up those strings. She does. And I take a new shape. My cage loses its purpose. 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
As Savathûn neared gaining complete control over the Taken, within the Reef, the Witch-Queen gained a new and powerful ally in the form of Riven, the last known Ahamkara in the Solar System; Taken by Oryx during the onset of the Taken War and the first invasion of the Dreaming City. However, unlike most Taken, Riven retained her sense of self and free will. With Oryx's passing and the Taken leaderless, Savathûn made contact with the Taken within the City and Riven, giving the Ahamkara a new purpose to serve the Witch-Queen. Through Riven, the Taken were prepared to corrupt the whole of the Awoken and launch an invasion of the Reef, using proxies like Uldren Sov and his Fallen Scorn. Though Riven succeeded in opening the gateway to the City, it left her vulnerable to the Guardians sent to kill her. The Guardians, aided by their Awoken allies and the formerly Taken Techeuns, managed to kill Riven and cleanse her Taken essence. Nonetheless, her death served a purpose as the Ahamkara transcended death and granted one last wish: cursing the Dreaming City with Taken energies and altering its rules of ascendancy.
Whether Savathûn was implied to have aligned with her sister or not, Xivu Arath has taken measures to assume control over the Taken and Hive within the Dreaming City. Entities sworn to the Hive's God of War have appeared stealing Awoken relics of dangerous knowledge, with powerful Taken creatures supporting them. Though the Guardians put a stop to this scheme, it proves that the two scheming sisters have shared a seemingly mutual alliance to seize their brother's Taken army for themselves.
To further her goals and maintain her advantage, Savathûn entrusted her daughter, Dûl Incaru, the Eternal Return to command the Taken Curse within the Dreaming City and find a way to invade the Distributary, the true origination of the Awoken, to reach new bounds of godly strength,as time ran differently in this subordinate universe and she could actually acquire more tribute in less time, and also the technology the Awoken had used to leave the child universe for the parent universe. Despite having the backing of Xivu Arath's Hive and the Taken at her command, Mara Sov called upon her Guardians allies to fight back against the Taken corruption. Battling their way to the center of Eleusinia, the former corrupted Throne World of the Awoken Queen, the Guardians fought with Dûl Incaru and killed the daughter of the Witch-Queen.
However, this seeming failure was all part of Savathûn's greater plans for the Dreaming City. After Dûl Incaru's death at the hands of the Guardians, the Dreaming City reverted to the state it had been in upon first being unsealed by the Guardian, progressing again through the same process of becoming corrupted by the Taken and culminating in another battle between Dûl Incaru and the Guardians. This apparent time-loop, spun by the Taken Vex mind Quria and realized by Riven's wish, both furthers Savathûn's long-term goal of amassing tribute for herself through her subordinates committing violence within spaces with looped or dilated time, and also presents the Guardians with a dilemma: they can either repeatedly strike down Dûl Incaru and relive the same series of events, or they can refuse to do so and allow Dûl Incaru to complete her mission to find the Distributary.
The Witch's Trap
- "Gahlran is a quick learner. His [deceptions] serve him well. He serves [me] in return."
- — The Witch, Insidious
Savathûn would later face a contender in her attempts to undermine the Guardians: the former Cabal Emperor Calus. During one of the Shadows' conquests of the Hive's war moons, Savathun laid a trap out for them to find the Crown of Sorrow, an ancient Ascendant Hive relic believed to imitate Oryx's power to compel wills. In reality, it was a surveillance device meant for the Witch-Queen to spy on Calus from the Ascendant Realm, in the hopes of putting him under her control when worn.
Instead, Calus had Gahlran, the Sorrow-Bearer wear the Crown in an attempt to command the Hive; only to trigger Savathûn's enchantments that drove Gahlran insane and unleashed the Hive within the Leviathan's Menagerie. Gahlran's terror was only short-lived as Calus had him put down by a raid team of Guardians with the aid of Savathûn's magic and the Crown retrieved to be cleansed of the witch's wards.
The Witch-Queen would go on to torment Calus by infiltrating the minds of his Loyalists, through the use of what Calus described as a "viral language". She also left messages within the Chronicon, a document Calus commissioned as a record of his and his Loyalists' past and future deeds.
Steering the Spawn
- "Seek to uncover all you can from nightmares… Seek your forebears in those ethereal shapes. For, while I could tell you such a path leads to disappointment, you must see for yourselves. [...] Rise the Crimson Spire. Signal your coming. Challenge the Light."
- — Savathûn to Hashladûn
When three sibling Hive heretics of the Spawn of Crota, Malkanth, Akrazul, and Azavath, sought to rebel against the daughters of Savathûn's nephew, Crota, who had taken over the leadership of the Hidden Swarm, Savathûn was revealed to be the master behind their situation. As the Wizard Malkanth performed a ritual to put the essence of Akrazul, a crippled Knight, into the body of her fellow Wizard Azavath, the plan backfired. Akrazul's rage was so great that it became unbridled within Azavath's body, leading him to slay Malkanth and assault the Swarm. As Malkanth's essence had left her body in her death, Savathûn whispered to Azavath's essence and instructed her to take up the mantle of Deathsinger. Placing her essence into Malkanth's body, Azavath would become Ir Airâm, Deathsinger, killing both Akrazul and the Swarm's champion Zulmak with her Deathsong. Savathûn captured Zulmak's essence as he died for her own purposes, and discussed with Malkanth's essence, without a body, before she died. The Witch-Queen told Malkanth of her dismissal of gods and "absolutes" such as time, space, and death, when they are all so easily broken. Believing that when the final absolute falls reality will face a final and complete ending, Savathûn said she wished to ensure that end would not come to pass as Malkanth's essence faded away into nothing.
The Witch-Queen would then make contact with the Daughters of Crota. As part of her greater schemes, she made a deal with the four offering two boons: the essence of Zulmak, to be reanimated as a puppet champion for the Daughters' nefarious purposes, and the reformation of the Choir, a legendary group of Deathsingers to be lead by Ir Airâm. In turn, the Daughters would invest in the construction of the Scarlet Keep to draw the Guardians to the Moon and set the events that would come to pass. However, the Daughters failed to realize that this deal was another deceit of Savathûn's; the Witch-Queen was aware that even with the Choir and Zulmak the Guardians would decimate the Hidden Swarm. In truth, The Witch-Queen wanted the Scarlet Keep built as bait to lure in Guardians so that Oryx's bloodline would go extinct, believing it had run its course.
Extending her Reach
- "Don't bother guessing the Taken's intentions. Ask instead what is sought by the hand that directs them. Savathûn extends her reach at last."
- — Eris Morn
Following her rivalry with Calus and the conflict on Luna, Savathûn enacted a new scheme to further her plans. The Witch-Queen soon found an opportunity in a massive Vex computational array found on Io - as Savathûn sought knowledge to inform her plans and pawns to carry them out, the array would be able to fulfill both. She sent a large Taken Blight into the array to corrupt and bring it under her control, to which the Vex responded with violence. The Vanguard detected a massive surge of power beneath the Pyramidion where the array was located and sent a Guardian strike team to investigate. They soon found the Vex and Taken, commanded by Baurisk, Envoy of Savathûn, battling each other for control of the array; the Guardians recognized the Taken Blight to be similar to those found in the Dreaming City, causing them to suspect Savathûn as the one behind this Taken offensive. Eris Morn warned Zavala the Witch Queen was not as foolhardy as her brother as she would not risk a direct confrontation, and the City must be prepared and wise enough to know when Savathûn would play her hand.
- "The Queen is clever. You did not share my father's single-minded ambition, nor my brother's taste for glory."
"You wish to serve me?"
"My life is spent: servitude to those who cast me away. Our blood is all that remains of the old pact."
"Then let us make use of each other."
- — Nokris bargains with Savathûn
Shortly prior to the Pyramids' arrival, Nokris attempted to enter the Ascendant Realm by way of trickery, instead of the Sword-Logic. This attracted the attention of his aunt. Savathûn drew her nephew into a simulated version of her throne world and struck a bargain: in her plans to defy the Pyramids, she had taken notice of his necromantic power. Knowing that the Pyramids would soon converge on Sol, she instructed Nokris to interfere in any of their attempts to communicate with the Guardian.
To aid her nephew, she ordered the Taken under her command to attack Io. The moon had been chosen by the first Pyramid to make contact, and the vessel had taken position above the Cradle, where a Tree of Silver Wings had grown in the wake of the Traveler's departure. Savathûn's forces invaded the site in order to interfere in any communication attempts. As the Pyramids invaded Mercury, Titan and Mars as well, multiple Eyes of Savathûn appeared in these locations; Eris Morn believed they were a way the Witch Queen spied on the assailed planets and could only be destroyed by the Ruinous Effigy - a rifle gifted by the Darkness from the Tree's branch.
Though Nokris was able to delay the Guardians' attempts to communicate with the Darkness for weeks, he was ultimately slain, ending Savathûn's interference.
- "The Black Fleet intends to punish Savathûn for interfering with its efforts to communicate with us. No one knows where the Witch Queen is, not even her own court. And now Xivu Arath is using this opportunity to consolidate her power."
- — Osiris on the topic of Savathûn
The Witch Queen's efforts to subvert the Pyramids would not go unanswered. The Hive broods that had previously sworn to Savathûn would brand her a heretic for having conspired against the Darkness with the exiled Nokris and defected from her ranks as the Black Fleet invaded Sol, sending the former into hiding. Due to this, her own court was left in the dark about her whereabouts.
This granted her sister, Xivu Arath, the opportunity to consolidate the Hive in the Solar System into her power and release her Wrathborn corruption with the Cryptoliths. Xivu would also send her champion, the High Celebrant, to hunt the excommunicated Witch Queen and wrestle control of the Hidden Swarm free from her schemes.
Her absence did not impede her Taken forces, however, as they swarmed upon a new piece of the Traveler in the EDZ, which was calling out to the Guardian and the Crow through the form of a paracausal hawk. The Witch Queen shrouded the shard in her interference much like the Tree of Silver Wings on Io, and apparently watched the fight that ensued. Observing Crow and the Guardian celebrate their victory at a bonfire, she was hit with a sudden wave of nostalgia, remembering her father, sisters, and their shared past on Fundament.
Titles of the Taken commanders she sent to battle the Guardian under the shard - Akorith, Lightdrinker of Savathûn, Ishrasek, Lightbinder of Savathûn, Korusk, Lighteater of Savathûn and Tarusk, Lightstealer of Savathûn - imply she might be trying to siphon the Light from the Traveler in some way.
- "Xivu Arath, hear me."
"You are war, and I conjure you with war and blood."
"A gift for my favorite sister."
- — Savathûn conjuring Xivu Arath through Umun'arath's death.
At some point after Dominus Ghaul's defeat, Savathûn began to meddle with the Evocate-General Umun'arath's mind and fuel her obsession with the Hive. Umun'arath started to believe the worship of Hive gods and deployment of their battle techniques was necessary for the Cabal's survival. Under the Witch-Queen's influence, she began conducting a ritual in the central square of Torobatl's weaponsmith district, and when Caiatl approached her, she tried to coax her into kneeling before the "god of war". Caiatl slew the former General, but her death only fueled Savathûn's plan to conjure Xivu Arath in Torobatl and gift her another system to wage war upon.
The Witch in the Phoenix
- "Trust me."
- — Savathûn as Osiris
Savathûn began enacting her grand scheme by possessing the body of the Warlock Osiris after he was left Lightless by the death of his Ghost Sagira during a confrontation with the High Celebrant of Xivu Arath on Luna. Slithering in one of her forms over the broken pieces of the Ghost she took over the vulnerable Osiris. Now posing as the Warlock, Savathûn sent a message explaining Sagira's death to the Vanguard and that "he" would be pursuing the High Celebrant for revenge. This drew The Guardian and The Crow to her, and she arranged for Crow to "save" her from a Knight within the depths of the Hive warrens, placing her in a position to manipulate the former Awoken Prince.
Maneuvering the Vanguard and Cabal
Dismantling the War Council
- "Honor or no, without a war council, she'll have no war."
- — Savathûn discussing strategy against Empress Caiatl
When the Imperial Cabal arrived in the Sol System, Savathûn accompanied Zavala to a meeting with Empress Caiatl in her guise as his advisor. The Empress sought an alliance between the Cabal and humanity following the loss of the Cabal capital and homeworld of Torobatl to the Hive. Savathûn cautioned Zavala against it, noting that the Cabal did not have allies but were instead conquerors. She also pointed out that Caiatl had previously betrayed her father Emperor Calus to Dominus Ghaul and warned that she would betray them as well. The Empress called her father soft, but "Osiris" noted he simply lacked ambition, leading Caiatl to accuse them of the same flaw and that it would doom humanity if they did not expand their horizons. However, her offer ended with the demand that Zavala bow and join the Cabal Empire, which the Commander immediately refused. As the Empress's bodyguards prepared to attack, Caiatl called them off and allowed "Osiris" and Zavala to leave peacefully with a declaration she would see them on the battlefield.
"Osiris" was assigned to help advise a task force put together by Zavala to combat the Imperial Cabal under the command of Lord Saladin Forge. Seeking to further manipulate Crow, Savathûn brought him into the task force as their reconnaissance expert, with Shipwright Amanda Holliday providing air support. The Young Wolf struck the first blow by slaying Commander Dracus on Nessus, capturing a Bell of Conquests in the process. "Osiris" informed them that the Bell allowed them to present themselves as a formal challenger to the Cabal Empire, which he believed they could use to their advantage. Savathûn briefed Lord Saladin on the Bell and its role in the Rite of Proving, comparing the ritual to the Crucible as a means of settling disputes.
Meeting with the Young Wolf and Crow in the H.E.L.M., Savathûn complimented Crow's new Hunter attire and brushed off his offer to pay for it by asking that he simply keep his new mask on to prevent anyone in the Last City from recognizing his face. Crow reassured him that he was willing to wear it if it meant being able to help the City. Osiris noted that he had once had to disguise himself to walk the City's streets during his long exile, but that he was now welcomed there, and that Crow would one day be welcomed as well. Turning her attention to the Young Wolf, "Osiris" complimented his work on Nessus and listened as Crow reported that the Caiatl was attempting to build her War Council using the Rite of Proving. Savathûn decided that they would kill all the contenders for the Council, preventing the Cabal from reorganizing and starting a new war in the system. The first target eliminated was Basilius the Golem on Europa, from whom the Young Wolf acquired the Hammer of Proving. Returning it to the H.E.L.M., Savathûn explained to the Young Wolf that the Hammer was to have been an offering to Caiatl and that with it they could wield the Cabal's own history and culture against them.
Following the elimination of Val Ma'rag, "Osiris" was contacted by Caiatl for a meeting. Keeping her waiting until the Young Wolf arrived at the H.E.L.M., Savathûn activated the holographic communicator on the war table and greeted the Empress, mockingly apologizing for the delay and blaming it on having to take time to handle her subordinate's antics. Caiatl corrected "him" by noting the Rite of Proving was a time-honored tradition that the Guardians should not interfere with. "Osiris" countered that since they were auditioning for her War Council it concerned them a great deal, but Caiatl simply offered once more to add Zavala to that council and that she was giving humanity a way out of war and that he was wise enough to understand that. Although impressed that she had learned from the mistakes of her predecessors by offering mercy, "Osiris" noted that she was falling back on old traditions to try and hold what remained of the Cabal together and that she was an empress without a true empire and thus not in the position to offer anything. Angered by this, Caiatl claimed the Cabal still had their honor if not their home and that her patience was running thin, ending the communication. Turning to the Young Wolf, "Osiris" informed them that their orders would remain the same and that even if Caiatl had honor, she would have no war without a council.
The next target of the taskforce was Ixel, the Far-Reaching, a Psion seeking to gather data from the Vex prediction engines on Nessus. While the Young Wolf slew Ixel, three other Psions escaped with information stolen from the Vex that related to possible futures of Commander Zavala. "Osiris" met with the Young Wolf and Crow at the war table to hear their reports. He was interested in Crow's spying efforts on the Cabal, which revealed that while they were angry at the disruption of their Rites of Proving, many of them were also upset that Caiatl had offered humanity a place within the Cabal Empire. He believed that they might use this to disrupt the internal stability of the Cabal further, but Crow worried they might use the stolen data to retaliate against Zavala. "Osiris" noted that data was only possibility, not fate, and argued that they needed to know more. Savathûn ordered the Young Wolf and Crow to investigate further, but Crow protested that Zavala deserved to know. "Osiris" told them that they hoped there would be nothing to report if the two Guardians saw their task through.
Investigating the Glykon
The Psion Conspiracy
Two weeks later, a lone Psion attempted to kill Zavala within one of the Last City's gardens using Light-draining technology developed from the Traveler Cage. Crow managed to warn the Commander in time but was briefly seen without his mask. "Osiris" confronted Crow when he returned to the H.E.L.M. and angrily berated him for his mistake, but was lucky that Zavala was passing it off as a hallucination. Crow insisted that he had to do something, although "Osiris" dismissed his concerns again and stated that it was not the first time an assassin had infiltrated the City and he did not feel this was the crisis that Crow believed it to be. The two argued, with "Osiris" confidant that Zavala could have survived against one Psion without help and questioned why his mask had been removed, believing that working for the Spider should have taught him how small mistakes could have large consequences. Crow retorted that he supposed "Osiris" learned that chasing Xivu Arath. Savathûn faked a moment of quiet fury and warned Crow to choose his next words wisely. Crow apologized for not having his mask on but still believed Zavala to be in danger. "Osiris" agreed, and informed the Hunter that he would be assigned to Zavala as a bodyguard. A larger team would draw attention and prevent the assassins from being drawn out, but "Osiris" ordered Crow to keep his mask on, stay quiet, and act with discretion, rules which the Crow promised he would abide by.
The Endless Night
A day after the closing ceremony of the second Guardian Games, Savathûn enacted the next stage of her plan when the Last City was plunged into an Endless Night when Vex controlled by Quria, Blade Transform activated a powerful simulation that encompassed the city and drained its power. Conferring with Ikora, Savathûn claimed that even with all "his" knowledge of the Vex the situation was beyond his ability to halt. "Osiris" recommended that they try and contact Mithrax, the Eliksni Kell of the House of Light, who was said to be a powerful Splicer who could commune with machines.
The House of Light would then be invited into the Last City for their aid in stopping the Endless Night. As they set up shop within the Botza District, "Osiris", along with Lakshmi-2 and the Guardian were present to welcome them. While Lakshmi made her suspicions clear, informing Mithrax for his people to keep to themselves and that not everyone would be so open-minded, "Osiris" was more welcoming and asked if there was any further aid they needed, to which Mithrax noted that there were some modifications needed to be made for better ether production. Lakshmi suggested that should be cleared by Ikora, and noted additionally that she seemed ready to provide the Eliksni with anything. The Exo further added that she would be busy advocating for the people of the City in the dark times the FWC had predicted were approaching. As Lakshmi transmatted away, "Osiris" apologized for her behavior and noted tensions in the City were high and that the establishment of the House Light camp was a mixture of decree and democracy. The Witch Queen lied and stated she hoped their stay would be uneventful, a sentiment that Mithrax agreed with.
Later on, "Osiris" was present for a disagreement between Mithrax and Saint-14 regarding the division of resources between the City and the House of Light. Saint was adamantly opposed to this, claiming that they had already given them too much, to which Mithrax responded by saying the Eliksni would only take what they could give. Saint went on to say that their resources were already spread thin due to the Endless Night's draining of the City and stated that everything given to the House of Light was being taken from their own citizens. "Osiris" then intervened, reminding him that he was to provide for the Eliksni as if they were their own people, per Ikora's insistence. Saint scoffed at this and told Osiris that Lakshmi was correct in that he was too political an animal. Mithrax reaffirmed the House of Light's and the City's shared desire to aid the Guardian and stop the Vex. Saint attempted to rebuff by asking the Kell if the Eliksni would bow to all of his demands if he were in one of their cities. Mithrax confirmed that they would give him anything he asked for because they would wish to live. This caused Saint to relent, acknowledging that he was fighting for his people as Saint would fight for his own, and he agreed to split the supplies between the humans and the Eliksni before both parties transmated away. "Osiris" noted this development as interesting before transmatting away as well.
While strolling the City in disguise, Savathûn fed upon the people's ignorance and naiveté but would catch herself seeking their companionship--much to her own disquiet. Watching the endless night unravel, she was still tormented by her Worm, hungry even amidst such ample deception to feed on, and raised her eyes to the Traveler waiting for her overhead.
A Revelation in the Dreaming City
- ""Who is Savathûn?" you ask. You already know, oh Guardian mine. I am your friend."
- — Savathûn to the Guardian
The Guardians were successful in lifting the Endless Night over the Last City after destroying Quria, an event which Savathûn had not anticipated. The loss of Quria rattled her control over the Taken and relieved the immediate threat to the Last City. However, the unrest caused by the House of Light's presence in the Last City came to a head when Lakshmi-2 conspired with the other factions to expel the Eliksni. The War Cult's leader attempted to sway the Guardians to her point of view, but she was rebuffed, leading her to attempt using a Vex portal to force the Eliksni out of the Last City, apparently with the aid of Osiris. Unfortunately for Lakshmi, she was unable to control the Vex portal, leading the Vex to make a direct assault on the Last City. The ensuing conflict threatened to destroy the House of Light and led to Lakshmi's death. Fortunately, the Guardians managed to close the portal, save the Eliksni, and destroyed the Vex. Strangely, Osiris disappeared during the chaos, leading many in the Tower to suspect his involvement in the Vex attack.
Tracking Osiris to the Reef, The Guardian, along with Saint-14 and Crow entered the Dreaming City and found "Osiris" speaking with Mara Sov herself. The three Lightbearers attempted to convince "Osiris" to return but instead, the formerly exiled Warlock backed away and revealed that the Osiris they knew was actually Savathûn herself, to their utter horror. Mara Sov came between them and encased the Witch Queen in a large crystal. In response to Saint-14's demands for answers, Savathûn revealed that she took Osiris' form to hide from her sister, Xivu Arath, who now hunts her on another's behalf. To further save herself, Savathûn agreed to a bargain with Mara Sov. In exchange for excising the worm inside her, Savathûn would release Osiris back to the Guardians. Wary of the infamous Queen of Lies yet desperate to save their friend, Saint and the Guardian agree to help Mara Sov with her bargain, as the Awoken Queen wishes to save her people lost in the Ascendant Plane.
Needing her Techeun Coven to help her excise Savathûn's worm and prevent Xivu Arath from fully corrupting reality through the dimensional Ley Lines, Mara Sov fully allies the Awoken with the Guardians of the Last City, having the Guardians traverse the Ascendant Realm and liberate the Techeuns. As they do so, Savathûn herself remains bound in crystal but requests meeting with the Guardian face to face. Warily, the Guardians agree to meet with the Witch Queen, who states the only "regret" she bears is how long it took for her to meet with the Guardian. Further, she states that for quite some time, she has been "helping" the Guardian during her time before posing as Osiris, "protecting" them from the Black Fleet, from guiding Crow to the Last City to be redeemed, preventing Zavala from making war with Empress Caiatl, bringing the House of Light to the Last City to even exposing Lakshmi's conspiracy. She even states that she saved Osiris from Xivu Arath when he became Lightless. From there Savathûn states that while they may not agree with her methods, she states that she is no villain, that the Guardian is no hero but that they are both "paracausal".
Though shaken by this truth, the Guardians continue with the plan to find the Techeuns for Mara Sov, who believes that once the worm is removed from Savathûn, she will have no more lies to hide behind and will be vulnerable without a Throne World to retreat to, allowing Mara Sov to strike her down. Even so, the Guardians, Ikora Rey in particular are incredibly suspicious, more so as Crow reveals that during her time posing as Osiris, she had Crow gather dead Ghosts from the Spider's collection. For what purpose, none could say at the time.
Savathûn would later have another meeting with the Guardian explaining that they can't stop the inevitable, that everything she spoke towards Crow during her time posing as Osiris, her words of encouragement and confidence were sincere. She wishes to speak with Crow, to explain the reason behind the things she had done, stating that until he does, he remains vulnerable to "false promises" from "supposed benefactor". Despite this wish, both Ikora and Mara Sov refuse to allow Crow to meet with Savathûn, believing that he would be susceptible to her lies and trickery, which angers Crow.
Ultimately being tired of being kept in the dark and wanting answers, Crow confronts Savathûn demanding the truth. The Witch Queen toys with the former prince, claiming that she wanted to be kind because the truth hurts as he shirked away from the rumors of the man he used to be. With the Guardian present and despite Glint's pleas, Crow touches Savathûn's crystal prison, seeing everything he used to be as Uldren Sov, including his death at the Guardian's hand. Shaken and angered, Crow leaves, with Glint condemning the Witch Queen for hurting Crow. Brushing this off, Savathûn merely stated that someone had to and better be it come from a "friend". Mara Sov learned of what the Savathûn had shown Crow and would be enraged by it, as now Crow departed from the Dreaming City and requested a new assignment from Ikora, granting him it. Not wanting to have the Witch Queen sow more division, Mara Sov ordered that Savathûn receive no more visitors.
- "Thank you..."
- — Savathûn's farewell as she escapes after the ritual
After months of preparation and saving the last of the Techeuns, Mara Sov had what she needed to excise the Witch-Queen's worm but in doing so, Xivu Arath's forces will likely seek to stop the ritual. Gathering her Corsairs, Saint-14, and the Guardians, Mara Sov proceeded with her ritual as she is defended. Ultimately growing desperate, Xivu Arath sends her champion, Kelgorath, to stop the ritual but fails, the Witch Queen's worm now excised from her form.
Believing Savathûn to be vulnerable now and seeking justice for the Witch Queen's role in pushing Uldren into the destructive path he walked, Mara Sov released her from her crystal shell and prepared to deliver the killing blow. Unfortunately for the Awoken Queen, Savathûn had already long anticipated this and made a contingency. Just prior to her imprisonment, the Witch Queen wove her magics into the prison, allowing her to spirit away the moment her prison shatters. However, keeping her end of the "bargain", Savathûn returned Osiris alive.
Though the Awoken and the Vanguard are both angered by the Witch Queen's deception, they are glad that Osiris has been returned safely, albeit weakened. Further, Mara Sov admits that she had been outmaneuvered by Savathûn, thereby leaving the curse upon the Dreaming City, she nonetheless was able to keep Savathûn's worm, believing that it might yet hold insight into Savathûn's plans.
The Sky's Gift
- "Wouldn't it be clever of you... if after everything, you simply let me die? Oh, what a trick... elegant... Is that it...?"
- — Savathûn's last words to the Traveler
At some point during her time in captivity Savathûn experienced a vision of her own death and a final, unanswered question she asked the Traveler. Wounded during the ritual with a piece of her shattered crystal prison and realizing she would indeed die without her worm, she traveled to an outcrop high above the Last City. She spoke to the Traveler hanging on the evening sky, calling it an "old friend" and noting that she had chased it for a long time, first as an enemy, then a collector, and now a supplicant. Coughing, she admitted how clever it would be if after their millennia-spanning history it now simply let her die, and asked if this was truly the end. Her wound finally getting the better of her, she slumped to the ground and the light went out in her eyes - but not for long, as the Ghost Immaru arrived at the scene just shortly after and revived her with the Light.
The Witch, Radiant
- "My children, I know the truth, and out of my love for you, I will share it."
- — Savathûn addressing her brood upon return
Amnesiac after the resurrection, Savathûn relied on Immaru and her most trusted witch to rediscover her past and purpose. Upon encountering a fragmented weapon upon the Lure, she figured out this and similar artifacts could hold memories she was no longer able to access - thus she decided to "outsorce her remembering" to someone equipped with both paracausal forces of the Light and Darkness. She then returned to her throne world, which "had become a shell of itself" without her old power strengthening it, and addressed her brood, telling them of the Traveler's gift and presenting it by killing her most trusted witch with Light. Free to transform the court with her new power, Savathûn imbued it with the Light and made it so that it would represent her new self in bright colours and elegant architecture. She also sealed Rhulk in the Sunken Pyramid and gleefully informed the Witness about it in a letter.
Either convinced by Savathûn and Immaru or simply attracted to the transforming throne world by its radiance, a number of Guardianless Ghosts flocked to the court and began reviving dead members of the Hive. These new Lightbearers, as well as members of Savathûn's brood, consolidated into the Lucent Brood and rallied around their Queen and her Ghost to protect their domain against the Black Fleet, Scorn, and Guardians.
Campaign against the Witch Queen
Shortly after Mars reappeared after having been shrouded in Darkness, a ship belonging to Savathûn appeared directly above Mars' Cradle. The Guardian was dispatched to investigate and they used a Cabal cannon to get on the ship. They glimpsed Savathûn on the ship returning to her Throne World as she dispatched a Lightbearer Knight to hold off The Guardian but despite its power with the Light, the Guardian still makes it into her throne world. Savathûn communicates with them, asking how The Guardian could destroy the Hive Ghost since it is so like theirs. Savathûn briefly engages them in combat but is slain. However, it turns out it was just one of her projections The Guardian had defeated as she reappeared again and teleported them back to Mars.
The Guardian was undeterred and returned to the Throne World again, discovering Deepsight abilities and battling Savathûn's Lightbearer Wizards. They also established a Transmat zone in Savathûn's Throne World which started Vanguard offenses against Savathûn. After investigating an old temple that was dedicated to Xivu Arath, the Temple of the Wrathful, taken by the Scorn, The Guardian finds Sagira's Shell with a "psychic fingerprint" from Savathûn. They can hear Savathûn saying, "Before me stands a being with a thousand names. It whispers one: The Witness. Remember it. Remember that name."  In addition, the renegade Hive Ghost, Fynch, informs them of another temple, one dedicated to Oryx bearing a clue for the Guardian. Locating the Temple of the Navigator and defeating its keeper, Alak-Hul, revived as the Lightblade, the Guardian finds a piece of the Tablets of Ruin.
Taking Sagira's shell and the tablet piece to the Altar of Reflection, an area discovered by the Hidden, the Guardian learns that not only did she reject becoming the new master of the Taken but during her time posing as Osiris, she learned secrets of the Light and wanting to protect the Traveler from the Witness, the Witch Queen plans on taking the Traveler to her Throne World to seal it away. Shocked by this, the Guardian continues their investigation and taking a tip from Fynch, they locate a temple dedicated to Savathûn's former identity, Sathona. Braving the temple's Scorn forces and its illusions, the Guardian finds a calcified worm familiar, the same one that whispered to Sathona so long ago. Though the Guardian attempted to take the familiar to the altar to see what memory it would show, they were rebuffed, forcing them to find a new lead. They would find one, after being informed by Eris Morn, about a crystal that was part of her prison during her time in the Reef. Finding it within the Apothecary, slaying Savathûn's Right Hand in the process, they take the crystal to the Altar and learn to their shock, of Savathûn's death and subsequent resurrection as a Lightbearer. At the memory's end, Savathûn herself enters and expresses gladness at remembering the moment of her death and where she "started", claiming that the Light offers a fresh start but ponders if we don't know where we came from, how will we know where to go. In this, Savathûn proves that she never stole the Light as the Guardian believed but had been blessed with it. Before she attacks, Savathûn "thanks" the Guardian for the memories but they managed to escape and inform the Vanguard of the horrific truth they had discovered.
The Vanguard would be left speechless and incredulous that the Traveler would raise one of humanity's most devious foes as a Lightbearer. Zavala himself was unable to fathom it, even as Eris Morn explained the Traveler's history of uplifting many civilizations and then abandoning them in the past. Ikora, however, stated that regardless of the Traveler's reasons, it didn't matter. What mattered was that they protect humanity and if the Witch Queen succeeds in her plan of taking the Traveler then they won't survive the return of the Witness. Believing that the Worm Familiar they had found in the Temple of the Cunning to be the key to defeating the Witch Queen, Ikora takes it to the Enclave on Mars, believing that the Relic would be able to reveal it's past. As hoped, Ikora looks into the Worm's past but discovers a shocking revelation: the whispers Sathona had heard about involving the end of Fundament and encouraging her to lead her siblings into the Deep had never been it's own but the Witness's. The Witness was aware that the Traveler would soon encounter the Krill and uplift them but wishing to claim them first, they had tricked Sathona into leading her sisters into meeting with the Worm Gods, leading to the birth of the Hive.
Ikora tasks the Guardian to take this memory to Savathûn, believing the truth would destabilize her and unravel her spell. Traveling to Savathûn's Throne World once more, they find, to their shock, that the Traveler was already in the Witch Queen's realm but with Ikora's support, they managed to breach past the Lucent Brood's defenses and ascend to the Court of Thorns. Unsurprised with the Guardian's return, the Witch Queen would continue to taunt them, even as they defeat some of her Lightbearing Hive and confront her at the Sanctum of the Brood Queen. Initially defeating her, the Guardian gets caught in a threadbound spell, allowing Savathûn the time needed to revive and flee to the center point of her spell. As the Guardian pursued, Savathûn asked their Ghost how he feels being the villain in the eyes of the Traveler, to which he responded in abject anger pointing out all the horrendous things the Hive had done to Ghosts and Humanity, leaving Savathûn silent. Confronting the Witch Queen once more, her power with the Light proved too great, forcing the Guardian to enter a portal to find a memory altar. Though they know the memory won't likely stop her, they felt they had to try. At the memory altar, the Guardian sees Savathûn's spell wrapping a web around the Traveler. After slaying some of the spell's Threadweavers, the Guardian shows Savathûn the memory of The Witness's lie. At first surprised, then confused, at the memory, denying that the Traveler actually wished to find the Krill, Savathûn enters into complete and utter rage, loosing all composure and forethought, as the Guardian undoes her spell and reveals the rest of the memory, further enraging the Witch Queen.
Despite her power and efforts, Savathûn was defeated. In her final moments, the Witch Queen admits that she miscalculated but that the Guardian had done the same, being so protective of the Traveler, they wouldn't allow her to protect it. Nonetheless, Savathûn states that The Witness is coming, that the game is theirs to play now, whether to win or to lose before ultimately collapsing. As her Ghost, Immaru, observes his dead Lightbearer, held at gunpoint by the Guardian, he escapes as the Traveler returns back to the Last City in a massive flash of Light. Though Immaru had escaped, and now leads the Lucent Brood in Savathûn's stead, Ikora nonetheless took her defeat as a win, with the Guardian proclaiming that they must now prepare themselves for the Witness's return and prevent another Collapse.
Savathûn's ultimate fate remains uncertain. She was killed by the Guardian and her corpse taken by the Vanguard, who stored it in a vault on Mars. Her Ghost Immaru remains alive and in hiding, presumably waiting for a chance to resurrect the Witch Queen. Despite her currently incapacitated status, she may have laid plans to goad the Vanguard into reviving her. The contrasting and often open-ended information she provides through her "Two truths, two lies" riddles at the Altar of Reflection can only be clarified by speaking to her in the present, after all. Even in (temporary) death, her schemes know no end.
Despite being arguably the most notorious villain in Destiny history, Savathun was no ally of the Witness or the Pyramid fleet. She was planning on using the Lightbearing Hive to fight back against the Darkness and end it, or escape its influence and conflict with the Light altogether.
Despite this aspect, she was ruthless and cunning when fighting the Vanguard and didn't see any use in Humans and Earth. She likely would have killed The Guardian when given the chance.
Eris Morn would find a use for Savathûn's corpse as she sought a means to create a reliable and safe psychic connection with the Crown of Sorrow as they contend with a resurgence of the Nightmares. Performing an autopsy, Eris Morn discovered, beneath Savathûn's skull, markings similar to the runic symbols found on the Crown of Sorrow, giving her a link to the Crown.
Savathûn often is very aggressive in combat, attempting to close the gap between her and her opponent while firing volleys of Vicious Light at them. Every few seconds she attacks with one of three Supers; a Nova Bomb, Blade Barrage, or a Stormtrance Arc strike. If an enemy gets too close, Savathûn unleashes a Nova Warp, dropping a Nova Bomb around herself in the process to push them away.
During the end of The Ritual mission, Savathûn fights mostly the same however also employs a Ward of Dawn to force opponents into close range combat along with having immense durabilty. In order to deal meaningful damage to her, the player must find and kill the Threadweaver Wizards located on the right, left, and back sides of the arena to gain the Thread Cutter buff. Once Tread Cutter reaches a stack of three, all Guardians will have forty-five seconds to deal as much damage to Savathûn as possible before her defenses go back to normal.
The Song of Savathûn
- "Savathûn's Song. It's a viral chant. It can never be unheard. Now that Savathûn has announced herself, relics of the Dark across the system have begun to awaken..."
- — Eris Morn
Through years of trickery and deceit, Savathûn was able to produce what was described as a viral language capable of infecting the minds of her adversaries. The origins of the song are unknown, however it has existed since before the Collapse, as Sean Rigby made a deal with Savathûn to sing it every night in exchange for safety from their impending doom.This tune has been incorporated into various soundtrack pieces, most notably the Shadowkeep title music. Its connection to the Shrieker of the same name is as of now unknown.
As Savathûn's presence was looming ever closer, instances of a strange, recurring tune would be noticed among the Guardians and Lightless alike. When the Drifter asked Eris Morn about a song Lord Shaxx claimed she had taught him, she revealed the melody was actually a viral chant, unable to be unheard, spread by the Witch Queen. She also suggested it might have been sung to Shaxx by the Ahamkara skull he kept hanging over his spot. Savathûn is implied to be using the skull to spy on the Guardians in the Tower, most importantly Zavala.
So far, the individuals known to have heard the song are Lord Shaxx, Saint-14 and Osiris, Eris Morn, the Drifter, the Guardian and Crow (he can be heard humming it in the H.E.L.M.).
In Season of the Splicer, Lakshmi-2 mentions in a message to the Guardian a song the City inhabitants sing to lift their spirits during the endless night. Its melody is that of Savathûn's Song. Furthermore, Aunor Mahal discovered a strange binary code all over the Future War Cult network, which, upon translating, reveals the notes of that same melody.
- "It might surprise you to hear, but everything my siblings and I have done has been for each other. [...] You'd do anything for your family, chosen or otherwise. Go to any lengths to avenge them."
- — Savathûn to the Guardian
- Osmium King – Father
- Savathûn, the Witch-Queen – The Witch Queen
- Balwûr – Daughter of Savathûn
- Malok, Pride of Oryx – Son of Savathûn
- Dûl Incaru, the Eternal Return – Daughter of Savathûn
- Oryx, the Taken King – The Taken King and Brother of Savathûn
- Crota, Son of Oryx – Son of Oryx and Nephew
- Nokris, Son of Oryx – Son of Oryx and Nephew
- Ir Halak, Deathsinger – Daughter of Oryx and Niece
- Ir Anûk, Deathsinger – Daughter of Oryx and Niece
- Alak-Hul, the Darkblade – Foster Nephew
- Xivu Arath – The God of War and Sister of Savathûn
- An Ragaar, Son of Xivu Arath – Son of Xivu Arath and Nephew
- Scoroboth, Son of Xivu Arath – Son of Xivu Arath and Nephew
- Tir Balok, Daughter of Xivu Arath – Daughter of Xivu Arath and Niece
- Xavan, Daughter of Xivu Arath – Daughter of Xivu Arath and Niece
Personality and traits
As the Hive God of lies, cunning and trickery, Savathûn thrives on deceiving and outsmarting both her opponents and supposed allies. Nearly every word she speaks is calculated to misdirect and manipulate, and her true motivations at any given moment are shrouded by the web of rumors and false leads she spins about herself. Even during the one occasion on which she threw herself upon on the goodwill of her former enemies - Mara Sov and the Guardians - she spent her entire captivity toying with her benefactors until she was silenced. It is very clear that Savathûn takes a great amount of amusement and satisfaction in her schemes leaving her enemies confused, suspicious and enraged as they struggle to discern the truth hidden beneath her web of lies and tricks.
Despite serving the Worm Gods and the Darkness for eons, Savathûn has always displayed more skepticism and hesitancy about the righteousness of the Hive's cause than her siblings, despite the fact that she encouraged them to follow her into the deep and meet the Worm Gods. Several of her most elaborate schemes have revolved around trying to rid herself and her Hive subjects of the burden imposed by their Worm symbiotes, such as her plot to use the Dreaming City (and subsequently the Distributary) as a "murder battery" to feed her Worm with less effort on her part. Given this and her inherently deceitful nature, it is perhaps unsurprising that she would eventually choose to betray the Darkness and actively work toward freeing herself from its influence by seeking the Light. Despite becoming a lightbearer, Savathûn remains the god of deceit she has always been, as she aims to hoard the Light for herself and her Lucent Brood, and seems to have no interest in lending her support to the Vanguard or the Guardians, whom her Brood continues to oppose after her death.
However, Savathûn's chief weakness is her overconfidence in her belief that she has all the cards, that she truly knows the whole truth while others are lost in searching for it. When the Guardian showed her a piece of her past that she was completely unaware of, including the secret that the Witness had lied to her at the very beginning, Savathûn, for the first time, lost composure and flew into a rage. Incensed that the Guardians are using her own tricks against her, Savathûn discarded her usual scheming, calm and focused self and began ranting against the Guardian as they undid her plans. Ultimately, after being defeated and brought low by the Guardian, Savathûn admitted she had miscalculated, but accused the Guardian of having done the same by not letting her protect the Traveler from the Black Fleet and the Witness, with whom the Last City would now have to deal by themselves.
Little is known about Savathûn's true feelings or intentions towards anyone, including her own family. She would often come into contact with her brother's children, particularly his sons, notably being the reason behind Crota's failed assault on the Vex and subsequent banishment. The Books of Sorrow suggest she was both proud and jealous of her niece Ir Anûk's prowess in spellcasting and knowledge. After the death of Xol, Will of the Thousands, her nephew Nokris reached out to her and they entered a mutually beneficial partnership, Savathûn learning necromancy from Nokris and extending her protection over him in turn. However, Savathûn did deceive and betray the Scarlet Court, the last descendants of Crota and Oryx, into gathering in one place where the Guardians would find and destroy them, as she believed her brother's bloodline had reached its end.
She bore at least three children, two of which--Balwûr and Malok--were later incorporated into her brother's Court in a fashion similar to which she later took Nokris into hers. Her progeny were often made to play a part in her schemes, with Malok having been begotten for the purpose of stealing tribute from Oryx and tithing it to his mother instead, and Savathûn's other daughter Dûl Incaru serving as the catalyst for the curse in the Dreaming City. Truth to Power, albeit an unreliable source, suggests Savathûn's children were never sure if she felt any love or pride towards them, or whether she would even hesitate for a second before sacrificing them "in some cosmic design".
Savathûn's relationship with her siblings appears to be the closest yet most complex one, reaching all the way back to their shared childhood on Fundament. It used to be marked by tenderness and care, with Aurash, Sathona, and Xi Ro often comforting and counseling one another on their journey, as well as both sisters trusting Sathona's judgement when she told them to dive into the ocean's depths following the worm's advice. The love between them shined through even after the dooming pact with the worm gods, albeit in a distinctly Hive, violent way of the Sword Logic. Savathûn often tested her siblings using tricks and cunning and encouraged them to strike back against her as a means of "sharpening themselves" in combat. When Oryx realised she had convinced Xivu Arath to trap him in the Deep in order to steal the Tablets of Ruin from him, he remarked he "loved them so dearly" as no one else would give him the gift of trying to break him. The Books of Sorrow also recount Oryx's love for Savathûn when he defines her back into existence with cunning, and is glad she has not perished eternally. Despite it probably being a scheme meant to keep Xivu Arath away from the Solar System, Savathûn would conjure her sister into the Cabal homeland of Torobatl to ravage it as a gift.
During her conversations with the Guardian, Savathûn shared some of her own insight on the relationship between the siblings. She stated that everything they had done throughout their millennia-long journey of conquest had been for each other, and "you would go to any lengths to avenge [your family]". She also said she understood Xivu Arath was hunting her out of fear of losing her because separating herself from her worm would render Savathûn separated also from her sister. Somewhat sadly, she admitted that however deeply she cared for Xivu Arath, it could not deter her from her path anymore.
Her Ghost Immaru at first glance seems to be her polar opposite, blunt where she is oblique and vulgar where she expresses a fair degree of elegance; on closer look, however, their differences turn out to be complimenting each other, and they certainly happen to share both a sharp mind and tactical skills. Their bond appears to be a genuine friendship marked by warmth and trust, contrasting how other Lighbearer Hive treat their Ghosts, the Ghost and the Lightbearer referring to one another with terms of endearment (though in his Immaru fashion, he does call Savathûn his "little buddy"), sharing embraces and confiding in each other. In her first moments after resurrection Savathûn relied on Immaru to guide and advise her as she navigated the world anew without her memories, and they worked closely together leading the Lucent Brood, Immaru serving as the Head Tactician and overseeing the Hive's maneuvers. Though unable to resurrect her following the failed ritual and the Traveler's departure from the throne world, the Ghost continued to preside over the swarm all the while hiding from the Vanguard's forces and waiting for the right time to try and bring his Lightbearer back.
Sathona's depiction in Destiny Grimoire Anthology, Volume I
- Savathûn is voiced by Debra Wilson.
- Savathûn is notorious to slip her own words into others' broadcasts and texts: she did that in the Books of Sorrow, Chronicon, and even in some way at the onset of the war in Torobatl, as described in the book Empress. Her notes are often exhibited in brackets. This is referenced in Truth to Power, a set of messages supposedly serving to trick the Guardian into paying the Witch Queen tribute.
- The parts of Savathûn's court seen in Season of Arrivals bear a resemblance to some regions of the Dreadnaught, as well as the landscape of Io. While the latter could be because the singularity which the Guardian is being pulled into is anchored on Io, the reason for the former is unclear. This could be simply an out-of-universe design choice, a direct aesthetic parallel to Oryx, or a hint towards Savathûn actually incorporating parts of her late brother's throne world into her own.
- Savathun's shoulder plates float independently from her shoulders themselves, demonstrated by the fluent motions they make as she moves.
- When Savathûn casts her Blade Barrage ability, the sound que matches that of a Dawnblade activation.
List of appearances
- ^ Destiny the Game Twitter: We have limited details on this embodiment of the Witch Queen Savathûn, but her stature suggests a height of 21 feet.
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: V: Needle and Worm
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: III: The Oath
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: V: Needle and Worm
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: VIII: Leviathan
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XII: Out of the Deep
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XXII: The High War
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XXIX: Carved in Ruin
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XXX: a golden amputation
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XXXV: This Love Is War
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XXXVI: Eater of Hope
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XXXVII: shapes : points
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XXXIX: open your eye : go into it
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XL: An Emperor For All Outcomes
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XLI: Dreadnaught
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XLIV: strict proof eternal
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: XLVI: The Gift Mast
- ^ Bungie (2022/2/22), Destiny 2: The Witch Queen - Ghost Shell Lore: Fundament Shell
- ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Toland: Quria is the key. The mind simulates Oryx, and thereby masters the power to Take. But of course, Quria is no power unto itself.
- ^ Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Deathly Tremors
- ^ Bungie (2020/11/10), Destiny 2: Beyond Light, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Hawkmoon
- ^ a b Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Empress - CHAPTER 5: NEW GODS
- ^ Bungie (2021/8/24), Destiny 2: Season of the Lost - Weapon Lore: Chrysura Melo
- ^ Bungie (2020/11/16), Destiny 2: Season of the Hunt - Mission: Trail of the Hunted
- ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen - Battlegrounds: Behemoth
- ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen - Quest: A Challenger Rises - The War Table
- ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen - Quest: Challenger's Proving - Briefing
- ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen - Quest: Challenger's Proving - While the Iron is Hot
- ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen - Quest: Challenger's Proving - H.E.L.M. Deployment
- ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen - Quest: Challenger's Proving II - Impasse
- ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen - Quest: Challenger's Proving III - Through the Fog of Battle
- ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen - Quest: Challenger's Proving V - Tensions
- ^ Bungie (2021/5/11), Destiny 2: Season of the Splicer - Mission: The Lost Splicer
- ^ Bungie (2021/5/11), Destiny 2: Season of the Splicer - Quest: Beneath the Great Machine
- ^ Bungie (2021/5/11), Destiny 2: Season of the Splicer, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Beneath the Endless Night, VII - Ripe
- ^ Bungie (2021/8/24), Destiny 2: Season of the Lost - Mission: Cocoon
- ^ Bungie (2021/8/24), Destiny 2: Season of the Lost - Quest: Wayfinder's Voyage I - 
- ^ Bungie (2022/2/15), Destiny 2: Season of the Lost - Mission: Exorcism
- ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR9YZdCh1Nw
- ^ Bungie (2022/2/22), Destiny 2: The Witch Queen - Weapon Lore: Edge of Intent
- ^ Bungie (2022/2/22), Destiny 2: The Witch Queen - Weapon Lore: Edge of Action
- ^ Bungie (2022/2/22), Destiny 2: The Witch Queen - Weapon Lore: Edge of Concurrence
- ^ Bungie (2022/2/22), Destiny 2: The Witch Queen - Armor Lore: Resonant Fury Bond
- ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR9YZdCh1Nw
- ^ a b c Bungie (2020/6/9), Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals, Playstation 4, Prophecy
- ^ Bungie (2019/6/4), Destiny 2: Season of Opulence, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Shadow's Greaves
- ^ Bungie (2022/2/22), Destiny 2: The Witch Queen - Ghost Shell Lore: Fundament Shell
- ^ a b Bungie (2019/12/10), Destiny 2: Season of Dawn, Playstation 4, Quest: Parts Long Lost, A Moment In Time
- ^ Bungie (2020/6/9), Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals, Playstation 4, Traveler's Chosen
- ^ Bungie (2021/5/11), Destiny 2: Season of the Splicer - Weapon Lore: The Deicide
- ^ a b Bungie (2021/09/14 ), Destiny 2: Season of the Lost - Wayfinder's Voyage IV
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Books of Sorrow XXXVII: shapes : points
- ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Truth to Power - YOU MUST
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Books of Sorrow XXXIV: More beautiful to know
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Books of Sorrow XXIX: Carved in Ruin
- ^ This Week At Bungie - 8/26/2021
- ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Truth to Power - "Thank You", "You hunted me between the lines of your texts. Wherever there was space to fit me in, there you found me."