Toland, the Shattered
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Toland, the Shattered was a Warlock Voidwalker who studied the Darkness and eventually went mad, leaving the Last City in exile alongside his Ghost Guren. He was an expert on "forbidden" Hive Arcana; for that reason, he was recruited by the Praxic Warlock Eriana-3 to be part of the six Guardian Fireteam who delved into the Hellmouth in search of Crota. Considering only Eris came back alive, he was assumed to be dead, though unlike the other members of the fireteam, his fate was never witnessed by anyone else. Recently, messages purportedly written by Toland have been discovered that indicate he yet survives in the Ascendant Realm. He attempts to communicate to the Guardian by unknown means, as he takes "a debased joy in speaking again to small human-form heads." He is believed to be the creator of Bad Juju, an Exotic Pulse Rifle covered in the bones of an unknown creature. In addition, Toland is said to have designed Shadow Price, a legendary Auto Rifle issued to the Vanguard.
Descent into the Hellmouth
Many of Toland's discoveries survived him via fragments of his journal and the memories of Dead Ghosts. A whole copy of the Journal was kept by Eris Morn. His studies led him to conclude that the Darkness was the evolutionary endpoint of the universe, and that its campaign of destruction was to ensure that nothing could ever rise up to challenge it. He had a fascination with Hive rituals, particularly the Deathsong of Ir Yût.
Years after Toland's exile and in the aftermath of The Great Disaster, the old Warlock was visited by Eriana-3 and Eris Morn, who were seeking a way to destroy the Hive Prince Crota. He revealed to them that Crota could be killed if they were to enter the Ascendant Realm and slay him within his throne room after defeating his champions. Toland warned them of the many dangers they would face and spoke of the mysterious song sung by the Deathsingers that he wished to understand. Toland decided to join them in their quest to end Crota in order to learn more about the Hive, and they recruited three other Guardians to their mission: the Titan Vell Tarlowe and the Hunters Sai Mota and Omar Agah. As they prepared for their mission, Toland imparted what he knew of Hive lore to Eris, including his knowledge about the Ogres known as the Might of Crota, which would be unleashed when Crota's will was challenged. Eris questioned how he had come by this knowledge, and Toland claimed to have learned it from the Darkness itself.
His fascination lead him to attempt to "identify [him]self as a friend" to a Deathsinger. Though the Deathsinger's song destroyed his body, his consciousness survived in the Ascendant realm as an Ascendant soul itself.
Journey in the Ascendant Realm
He watched the Guardian's progress in their war against Oryx, regarding their victories as simply an extension of how the Hive rule through the Sword-Logic. He was infuriated, however, when the Guardian defeated Oryx but refused to take up the mantle as the new Taken King. It is possible that the reason Toland was so upset about the Guardians refusing to take Oryx's place was because he himself became a firm believer in the Sword-Logic and the nature of the strongest ruling. With the Guardians freeing the Light, not Taking it and leaving Oryx's throne vacant, it was obvious that Toland felt that the Guardians squandered the chance to take Oryx's place, and more so that the Sword-Logic failed and was now broken. This in turn left Toland's deeply held beliefs and his years of studying the Hive all for nothing.
Toland's voice can be heard in Destiny 2 during the Voidwalker subclass mission. He will recount some of his discoveries about the Hive and the Darkness, and how he entered the Ascendant Realm.
In The Depths of The Dreaming City
Though the Sword Logic was broken, Toland still journeys through the Ascendant plane between throne worlds. It is also revealed that he created a small worldlet for himself. Toland also held an encounter with Mara Sov on her journey to Eleusinia. When Toland questioned her, Mara temporarily drove Toland out his own realm and used it as a rest point for her own trek through the Ascendant plane.
In Forsaken, Toland appears as a floating ball of light in the Ascendant Realm within the Dreaming City. Upon encountering him, he reluctantly agrees to lead the Guardian out of the Ascendant Realm. Toland can also be found in the Ascendant Realm in certain spots during an Ascendant Challenge. Once approached, he will disappear and briefly monologue about the Taken curse within the City.
Restoration of the Bad Juju
After Gahlran, the Sorrow-Bearer went insane, the ensuing Hive corruption tore part of the Leviathan between normal space and the Ascendant realm. Emperor Calus located Bad Juju sometime after this hoping to lure out Toland, unaware that his physical form had been destroyed. A month later, The Guardian discovered the place aboard the Leviathan where Calus had left Bad Juju, whose Ahamkara essence had gone out of control and affected the distorted parts of the ship.
Within the Ascendant Leviathan, Toland traveled to the epicenter of the rampaging essence, where a crew of Loyalists were engaged in a deadlock against Taken apparently originating from the Hellmouth, for the purposes of taunting the Cabal for tampering with his keepsake. All of the Taken and Loyalists in the realm are eventually slain, and their deaths used to seal the Ahamkara essence back into Bad Juju, restoring it and leaving the Guardian to claim it for themselves. After this, Toland ominously warns the Guardian of threats superior to the likes of the Hive's strongest individuals.
Reunion with Eris
When Eris Morn became trapped in the Ascendant realm, Toland reunited with his old fireteam member, despite her initial suspicions after surviving an encounter with the Witch-Queen. As they both reflected on their experience with their tragic descent into the Hellmouth, Toland brought up the idea that something greater was at play and how Savathûn was previously goading Eris into looking into. He last warns her of dangers she was treading into before she was warped away to the Dreaming City.
After Eris accidentally triggers the appearance of the Nightmares, Toland turns his attention to the Moon. While monitoring the Hive's activity, he begins sharing information with Guardians willing to listen. When the Guardian begins a quest to harness the Hive's Deathsong, Toland decides to aid them out of curiosity. He guides the Guardian to different components needed to access the song, and watches as they slay a new choir of Deathsingers gathering underneath the Moon and uses their remains to create the Deathbringer.
Personality and Traits
Toland was described as one of the chief experts on the forbidden arcana of the Hive but he grew obsessed with their secrets, leading to his descent into mania and madness, which ultimately led to his exile from the Last City. Ghost even noted that Toland must not have been "fun at parties" after hearing an entry form his journal. Toland himself admitted he may be mad in one of his reports. Despite his madness, Toland possessed a deep hunger for knowledge and secrets, even willing to risk his very being to learn them. Eris claimed that such curiosity made Toland predictable as she knew he could not resist a marvel like Eleusinia, Mara Sov's throne world.
Despite aiding Eriana and Eris in their mission to kill Crota, the former Guardian would slowly grow more believing in the Hive's Sword-Logic, believing it to be a beautiful thing and that all should follow it. So much so, that he reacted with fury at the Guardian's decision to slay Oryx yet refuse to take his place as the Taken King. His bitterness with the Guardian would remain as he initially refused to aid the Guardian through the Ascendant Realm but relented in helping them.
It's possible Toland possessed an inability to bond with others as though Eriana and her fireteam valued his knowledge and secrets, they were unnerved with his obsession with the Hive, though Eris herself stated that he was a friend of hers. Further, Toland was prone to keeping secrets from his teammates. His reunion with Eris was initially tense, given her suspicions of him, but he ultimately warned her of the dangers the Witch-Queen posed.
Guren, Toland's Ghost Quotes
Taken King Quotes
Item Description Quotes
Toland's Journal Quotes
Shard of the Traveler Quotes
Dreaming City Quotes
Shattered Throne Quotes
Moon Patrol Quotes
Active Patrol Quotes
Moon Quest Quotes
Choir of the Damned, Symphony of Death
Faculties of the Skull, Symphony of Death
List of appearances