The Hidden Dossier

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The Hidden Dossier is the book contained within The Witch Queen Collector's Edition.[1][Note 1] It is a collection of documents, messages, and other relevant files from Hidden Agents, compiled by Ikora Rey. In addition to the 48 pages within the CE book, there are an additional 30 pages resulting from the ARG involving buyers of the Collector's Edition.[2]

Text in this color indicates handwritten notes made by Ikora Rey.

Letter From Ikora[Note 2]


I hesitate. I am touched by doubt.

We must speak clearly. But you can't talk precisely without knowing precisely who you're
talking to. (Think of everything we said to Osiris—) I feel as if I know you.
But have I ever allowed you to know me?

I used to act as fast as I thought, and sometimes much faster. That's youth. Eventually I
made too many mistakes to ignore; that's youth too, ignoring your mistakes until they pile up
and topple. I dug myself out. I learned to keep myself hidden. Hidden purpose, hidden
knowledge. A hidden Ikora, and for the world, a face of perfect composure and intent.
Even when we lost the Traveler, I went to Io to hide my confusion.

I am going to try to un-hide myself.

I may frighten or confuse you. I am not an easy person to know.

This is a folio of intelligence reports from my Hidden network. It will illuminate the events
leading up to the current apokalypsis. In the original Koine Greek, that word means unveiling,
and also revelation.

In the spirit of unveiling I have also included fragments of my own personal writing about
the nature of Darkness and Light. They are less the work of Ikora Rey the great Warlock
Vanguard than of ikora rey, the unfashioned and uncertain woman.

In the early Books of Sorrow, Savathun scribbles a warning that Oryx's text is
full of lies. Mara Sov's hagiography and self-indictment, the Marasenna,
warns the reader to remember that it is narrated in the first person, even and especially
when it pretends to be objective.

Truth is always edited by the truthteller.

I give you no such warning. This is the unaltered truth of what I know and who I am.
May it bring you to the clarity I have sought.


The Hidden Dossier


Beginnings offer you no power.
It is what you do that is in your power;
it is how you end which counts.





1. Hey friend!

2. I know I'm not allowed to say that to the Warlock
Vanguard or to IKO-006, but given that we're under
double-trouble encryption, I'm going to say it anyway.
How's your whole mess in the City? Glad I missed all that...

3. I've completed my "Ethnographic Survey of Itinerant
Unpaired Ghosts Who Prefer Intra-Ghost Interactions."
It'll make a neat paper. As a cover story, it was pretty
good! These Ghosts tend to be thoughtful and introverted,
so like most introverts, they respond well to people who
are interested in their thoughts. And they seemed to find it
very self-affirming to dislike me! I guess it's nice to confirm
you still prefer yourself to other people.

4. These introverted Ghosts spend a lot of time hovering in
circles, philosophizing. The longer they've been away from
people (sorry, Human people—Ghosts are people, too),
the less they care about hovering at head height or facing
each other when they talk. After a few months, they'll just
scatter around a space facing every whichway, like they're
each posing for a photo. When they're not talking, I get the
feeling that they're just... sensing. The same way they can
divine the character of a long-dead corpse. Whatever you
want to call that faculty, they're using it.

5. Speaking of, are we still doing the sunyata friendship
thing? Treating each other as sacred voids? If so, I'm
allowed to say anything to you, and you are allowed to say
anything to me, and we each trust the other to receive it
without hurt. So I'm allowed to say—I'm not sure people
out here like you very much, Ikora. They don't know who
you are; they don't have a sense of what you stand for.

And you know, I do get that. I had to sneak up on you
in your private library to surprise you and (I know you
INSIST I didn't really surprise you, but still...) even then,


you talked to me about circles. Circles! Do you know
what the Traveler's reawakening meant for the geometry
of circles? You told me it changed everything about the
semiotic role of circles in some paracausal invocation of
the Light. And I'm going to tell you the truth, which is,
you didn't want to talk to me, so you talked about circles
instead. I know people who can talk in circles, but you're
the only one who can do it by talking about circles. I really
admire your efficiency.

6. These Ghosts without Guardians argue about two things.
One is the exact nature of their connection to their
undiscovered Guardian. Is each Ghost predestined to find
one and exactly one soul to raise as a Guardian? Or does
each Ghost have a taste, a set of preferences that many
dead people might satisfy? Could a Ghost potentially raise
anyone? Does the choice of a partner lie within the Ghost,
or is it a mission assigned by the Traveler?

7. They also argue over how one should interact with their
chosen Guardian. Should Ghosts accede to whatever
their partner demands? Or is a Ghost's relationship
with a Guardian a negotiated bond between equals and
codependents? Heavy stuff. But I guess it's the same
argument people always have about their relationships. Is
there such a thing as true love, or just the love we decide
we're going to make work?

8. What is this thing we do, Ikora? Are you my one true
love, am I yours? We agreed it's not love like most people
have love. Nobody's getting married or turning up arm-
in-arm at the Crimson Ball. It's a special and radical kind
of friendship, right? That's what you said. An endogenous
need to strike the lies away from another soul. It's the
promise to seek truth in each other without mercy or fear,
but always with compassion.


So: speaking mercilessly and fearlessly, but with
compassion, where is our friendship now? What does it
mean? Does it mean that I check in on you every few years
and otherwise just let you do your thing? Is that your
nature—to draw away forever while I chase after you and
nag to be sure you're all right? Friend, you are not Mara
Sov, and I am not one of her cadre. I'm not doing that. I
want to see more of you, and I want you to want that.

9. Maybe I shouldn't expect a lot of personal insight from
the woman who wrote the Hidden creed. Which reads, and
I quote, "Find thy self. Know thy self. Destroy thy self."
But I'm really worried that if people don't know you, they
might end up destroying you. Our much-foreshadowed
Stranger saw the future, Ikora. You were dead. Dead
because someone you trusted turned on all of us.

10. Can't end on nine paragraphs. Too spooky! I noticed
one common thread among these unpaired Ghosts. They
REALLY like the Books of Sorrow. Ever since Eris
deciphered the calcified fragments, Guardians have been
fascinated by the history of the Hive. But these Ghosts—I
don't think it's fascination. I think it's pity. They see
the Hive as an exploited underclass, for goodness' sake!
Victims of a cosmic parasite that tricked the poor krill
into eternal slavery. No wonder they haven't found their
Guardians. They don't want to help anyone kill Hive!

But this is troubling, isn't it? Because if Ghosts can decide
that they have moral qualms with raising Guardians, and if
they can convince other Ghosts to follow suit... we're going
to need a program of counter-persuasion. We'll have to start
keeping an eye on the morale and loyalty of our own Ghosts.

This way lies a terrible future.




I feel the need to ground my commentary here with anecdote.

1. Find thy self.

To be Osiris's student was to orbit a star. The man would occlude you if you let him; and if you
came too close, you would be burnt. It became tempting to define yourself only by your distance and
angle with relation to him: "Today he is distracted but warm, so I am at a close approach but a high
inclination." This was a mistake. You must know who you are with respect to yourself. This is not an
emotional allegory! If you intend to conduct thanatonautics alongside a teacher, to die and become
as fire and return to life, you must know what parts of you are yours!

Accurate knowledge is impossible if you do not understand
the device by which knowledge is obtained. One of
humanity's most monumental achievements is the metric
system, an enduring system of measure usable by all
people in all situations. But the metric system had a flaw:
its units were defined by physical objects. The standard
kilogram was an ingot of platinum and iridium. This
ingot changed over time, as all material things must; and
therefore, it was unreliable. The metric system was not
completed until the kilogram found a truer, more absolute
definition based on pure knowledge: in this case, Planck's
universal constant.

In the future, we may discover that Planck's constant
varies between different volumes of the multiverse. If we
do, we will need to find a truer definition of the kilogram.
So it is that this is the first step—finding thy self— so
that you may know the instrument by which you obtain
knowledge, and it is ever ongoing.

2. Know thy self.

I thought I knew my self. I'd fought in the Crucible, which requires self-knowledge to check the
impulses that control most Crucible players. ("I'll go straight to the ammo drop again; this time, it'll
turn out differently." No, fool, it will not!) I'd flown high-risk scouting missions far from Earth, and
always returned. I had even bargained with an Ahamkara and, I thought, come out ahead. What I
had wished for was a teacher greater than me.

But I did not know my self. I could find myself, certainly, but the map is not the territory. Just
because I could locate Ikora Rey did not mean I could enter Ikora Rey and understand her: and if
you do not know the interior mechanism of a device, you do not know what the device will do.

I found myself in a place of crisis. The Vanguard had determined that the Ahamkara had to be
made extinct. But to confront Ahamkara, you must know and accept exactly what it is you desire—
you must let it pass through you without either repudiation or longing, or it will become a wish for
the Ahamkara to feed upon. And oh, the longings I hated to have! To shatter Ophiuchus, to astound
my critics with a display of my full power, to die alongside Osiris and be reborn as one being in an


eternity of fire, to burn poor Chalco to a temporary, smoking smear and laugh at her astonishment...
we are all full of these perverse impetuosities.

It is one thing to purge yourself of all incorrect and unacceptable thought. It is another to know it
and accept it and to let it be.

When you have reliable instruments of measurement,
you may then measure yourself. Truth is universal, but
universal truth can only be acquired through personal
truth. This is the foundational paradox of Gnosticism. To
know anything beyond the self requires self-knowledge, but
the self cannot be known without understanding the laws
that drive it, which can only be known by observing the
world. How do we escape this cycle?

This conundrum offers an escape from the Boltzmann-
brain solipsistic trap. The trap asks us, "How do you know
that you are not the only thing in existence, and that the
universe you perceive is not a random moment emerged
from chaos?" The answer is that a randomly emerged
illusionary brain, the product of a probabilistic demiurge,
is cosmically unlikely to contain both the memory of
and imaginary universe and knowledge of consistent
mathematical and physical laws of which describe that
whole. If the world is an illusion, then why would it
produce the illusion of a physics that can be consistently
explain its existence? Which is more probable: that we and
all we see are an enormous coincidence, or that reality is
in fact determined and evolved by a consistent set of laws?
The existence of an objective reality is more probable. If
objective reality really exists, we exist in it. The truth that we see
in the world around us allow us to induce the truth of our
own persistent existence.

To know thy self is not to only look within but also
without. It is impossible to know thy self without
knowledge of the universe.

3. Destroy thy self.

When I battled Azirim, he defeated me. He showed me that he could make all my desires real,
and I succumbed. It was Wei Ning who broke me out of the trance-of-creation I had fallen into,
moments before I manifested a wish from the quantum vacuum: four dead strangers returned to life,
forgiven their desperate grab for my Ghost, so that I could forgive myself for how quickly and lethally
I had responded. If I had finished the wish and fashioned them, I would have annihilated myself,
Ophiuchus, and everything around us in a particle-antiparticle catastrophe.

What Wei Ning did was punch me in the head so gently that I only got a concussion. I do not advise
this as a way to destroy the self. But as an analogy, it is useful.


When you have located your self, destroy your self. Grip
your self like a hand shaking a hand, find the weak places,
and squeeze. Throw your self at yourself like a rising
tide upon an ancient fortress. Do not stop when your
soft places are eroded. You must continue until nothing
remains. In this manner, you will gain two vital gnoses: the
revealed knowledge of your own strengths and failings,
and the practiced knowledge of how to reconstruct your
self when destroyed.

In one Gnostic tradition, our universe is the creation of
Barbelo and Sophia, whose mimicry of the Unknown
God's emanations gave rise to Yaldabaoth, the lion-headed
serpent. Yaldabaoth the Demiurge crafted our world and
the Archons that rule it in mimicry of the true spiritual
world, which is called pleroma. Upon creating humanity,
Yaldabaoth declared itself the truth creator, unaware that it
itself was only a mimic of the Unknown God.

The key understanding here lies not in the fabulism, nor
even in Yaldabaoth's failure to destroy itself and reveal the
truth, but in the relationship between the Gnostic tradition
and the Book of Genesis. This Gnostic tale comes before
the traditional Genesis, totally recontextualizing it—even
destroying it. In retaliation for this transformation, the
Gnostics were destroyed by more orthodox faith.

We cannot understand ourselves unless we know our
own origins; and we cannot accept our origins unless are
willing to destroy ourselves.

4. Shed thy self.

When I battled Madhir, he tried the same trick as Azirim. But I simply became someone else. I
do not mean that I pretended to be someone else. I mean that I allowed Madhir to change me into
someone who Madhir could not tempt.

I laugh much less since that day. But I am more content.

Rub at the thin, dry outer parts of yourself. Crawl shining
and wet from that outer husk.

All misjudgement is caused by the failure to shed the self.
We constantly make poor decisions, knowing that they will
hurt us and isolate us, because these decisions allow us
to sustain our stories of who we are. When we are angry,
we choose to act in anger, even if we know we could de-
escalate. When we are wounded, we make the choices a
wounded person would make, even when we know these
choices will deepen the wound. Who would do otherwise?


To refuse the choice we want is to make is to refuse our self,
and that makes us afraid. We are afraid to change who we
are. Unless we have a habit, a natural capability to escape
our own nature. So we must acquire that capability.

It is impossible to escape the cage of the self by any means except shedding.

5. Embrace a new skin.

I was at the Great Disaster, when the Vanguard rallied its Guardians against omens of doom
centered on our moon. We used the same group tactics against Crota that we had employed against
the Ahamkara. It is hard to withstand many Guardians, and hard to use paracausal trickery to
derange many minds at once.

Swiftly and terribly, we learned our error. The sword logic finds the weakest part of a structure and
destroys it. A mass of Guardians is full of joints and weaknesses to cut through. Today, we fight in
fireteams of three: a triangle, the basic shape of a truss; the strongest shape in nature.

We, the eternally reborn Guardians, agelessly returning to our favorite state, failed to learn the real
lesson of the Great Ahamkara Hunt: that in order to assume a new form, you must cast off the old
one. The Ahamkara succeeded in that transformation. We failed.

When you have left behind the dry husk of your self, you
will find yourself in the strata of dry husks, an infinite
compost of uninhabited might-yet-be. In order to don
another self, you must enter it and embrace it wholly.
You must accept it without reservation. This is terrifying,
because to wholly accept transformation is to wholly
accept death.

This is the confrontation with the ego death, the
psyche death, the collapse of connections between the
mediotemporal and higher cortical brain networks.

Its successfulresolution comes with the understanding
that there is no persistent self, only a set of rules by which
we temper our own changes. That which does not change
at all is dead. That which changes wholly explodes. We are
the middle course. We are the place between the dead coal
and the blazing fire.

6. Become the many.

I was a solitary adventurer, but I had to become a leader and teacher. I do not mean that I have
become greater or gained a higher authority. I mean that I have learned to surrender my own desires
in favor of acting for a common good. The needs of many impel me. This was not a balm for all
difficulties; it created new problems. I nearly lost Ophiuchus this way: he was my complement,
the strength to counterpose my weaknesses. And when I tried to become someone who existed for
everyone, I left him nothing to exist for at all.


This path is not a simple one. I sometimes lose sight of which way is forward.

This step is simple, which is why it is the hardest of all.
When you have mastered the ability to escape yourself, and<
then take on a new self, you will then abandon the need to
be a self.

This is easiest for the Dawnblade, who understands the "self"
as a perturbation of a field, like a vortex in water—a place
of constant change, not separate from but continuous with
the surrounding universe. For Hunters, this step may arrive
from study of the natural world, or from immersion in the
Human communities around us. For Titans, devotion to
duty or to the perfection of certain acts is the natural path.

All must arrive at this realization in their own way.

7. We are as unseen. We are as death.

I failed the Traveler, and I failed Cayde.

I asked Zavala to declare war on the Reef and to affix Uldren Sov's head on the queen's empty
throne. I had lost my self; I did not know my self; I did not destroy my self. If I had, I would have
done nothing. But in the Red War, I could only do nothing, and so now, doing nothing felt like a
trap. I wanted to do something; and so, I argued we should go into Savathûn's snare.

I spoke bitter words about Zavala then. But he was right. If we had done nothing, the curse would never have taken the Dreaming City.

Failure visits us as inevitably as death. But we are reborn. There are no second chances, not for any
choice we make: but there is always the chance to do better at the next one.

Death comes unseen to all of us, and we do not know the
hour of its coming or the face it will wear.

We are the Hidden, and we must be as death. They do not
know the hour of our approach or the face we will wear.
All knowledge ends in us; and yet, we are beyond knowing.

But as Hidden, we must also accept that we do not see all,
and we do not know the hour of our own death. We are
the final repository of knowledge, as the grave is the final
library. But we cannot know our own death until it has
taken us beyond all knowing.

How is it possible to fully know oneself when oneself will
not be finished and complete until death?

There is a right answer to this paradox.



We are all going to die

it's all right to be afraid to be angry to be alone with the thought for a while you know
you'll never be alone after you die so loneliness is only for the living and being alone is being
fiercely alive

The trick is to make sure we do not all die at once.

Some of us will die and some will go on. And then those who went on will die, but more will
go on. And this cycle will continue, and as long as it does, something of us will be part of it.
Three and a half billion years ago, something came to life on Earth, and we are all part of it.
It has never died.

We are all going to die; but not yet. Not yet.




















































  1. ^ Transcription by User:Jzpelaez
  2. ^ Letter itself is a separate item, however is included on this page for the purposes of compiling transcriptions to a single page.