Shadow of Judgment Suit
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I require a Shadow of your Guardian-tribe to decipher the languages of the Hive.
They say there is one among your tribe named "broken" and outcast who is the foremost expert.
I tried to tempt him with an old trinket he left behind, but he failed to appear. Perhaps you've noticed it is free for the taking.
So receive this armored mantle as a gift—and as a request for favor:
One day, I shall call on you.
Integration of the Hive into the ranks of the new Empire has proven difficult.
They need a guide. A handler. The Crown was supposed to solve this for us.
Look at them run about the Menagerie, howling like convicts. Their antics amuse me, but they cannot be controlled. It pains me to think it, but perhaps the Hive shall be the first client species of the Empire with no Shadow.
I'll need one of your Guardian-tribe to lead them. Some day. Of all the Lights, yours may be able to drive them, manipulate them. Their kind is drawn inexorably to masters of the Void.
The crystalline entities you met in your battles with Gahlran, the Sorrow-Bearer: You've seen them before. Sometime during the Red War, just prior to my arrival in the Sol System, you attempted to aid the fireteam of the Praxic Warlock Taeko-3.
She and her allies were transmuted by the Hive into crystalline entities of pure Void, which you and your Ghost exploited to dismantle the Hive ritual taking place. Cold. Calculating. It was magnificent. You probably saved Titan (which is just as well—it's a light I would prefer we extinguished along with the rest of Sol).
The witch who crafted that Song, that ritual, was behind the Crown of Sorrow. She has infected this plane of existence with a viral language.
Perhaps you've encountered her already.
Do not heed her words. She shall only lead you astray. When she speaks to you, consider simply… reading another text. There are so many to choose from in this system.
How many times have you beaten the Hive now? How many times have you worn their hide as armored jackets to stop the bullets of your opponents so that you might live another day off their deaths?
If their vaunted sword logic is truly the way this universe works, then why are they still here?
Why don't they kill themselves at the mere sight of you, save us all some time?
Their texts claim destruction is their purpose, so why do they devour and feed their hunger and persist? What I saw at the black edge was beautiful. And it was not the Hive.
They are doomsday pretenders.
You and I will indoctrinate them, so that when the end comes, they will meet it as gladly as we do. They will cease to be hypocrites. They will cease to be.
"This Bond is yours. For the day you ignite the spark that casts the Shadow of Earth." —Emperor Calus
I'll require a Shadow of your Guardian-tribe to transcribe the runes emblazoned inside the Crown of Sorrow—change them to something more beneficial for Emperor Calus. And disrupt the witch's schemes.
She thinks I can't hear her.
Well, I can't hear her words. [Ha.]
But her intent. Her feeling. I know it. She's here.
She means to undermine me with the Crown. We shall wear it just the same.
As soon as we can fix it. Don't worry about what happened to Gahlran. We've learned since then. We shall find a more suitable host for the Crown.
Oh, not me. Never me. Your Emperor has enough crowns to last a hundred thousand generations.
Perhaps one of your Titans would be hearty enough…
But the witch. The witch is troublesome. I preferred her brother to her. Oryx would have been easy to match. The brute force of the Taken would have been easy to conquer with fat grown from strength. They would have joined my new Empire gladly. Because their greatest desire is subservience.
Alas. One day, the witch and I shall crash. What will you do, then? You've made a choice before, between the Vanguard who raised you and the peasant, shell of a man who tempted you with power he barely understands.
If you truly care about this system, about the people of your City, you shall help me, Guardian of the Warlock-tribe.
Wear this bond, and proclaim your fealty.
It's a promise that you'll work to purify the Crown of Sorrow in a way only a Guardian of your tribe can.
As soon as we figure out how. Help me.
Help me grow fat from strength.
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