Weblore:Shadowkeep

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Destiny-GhostConstruct.png
"And my vanquisher will read that book, seeking the weapon, and they will come to understand me, where I have been and where I was going."
The following is a verbatim transcription of an official document for archival reasons. As the original content is transcribed word-for-word, any possible discrepancies and/or errors are included.

Weblore is a series of lore entries posted on Bungie.net prior to the launch of, and during the associated seasons of, most Destiny 2 expansions. These lore entries expanded on the background of the characters and locations that would be featured in the expansion.

The Shadowkeep weblore entries were posted daily from September 16 to 20, 2019. Five other lore entries also came as part of a puzzle with the Collector's Edition, which were then released on October 14, 2019.

Splintered[edit]

JB Weblore Shadowkeep 01.jpg

“Your tea has gone cold.”

I had forgotten Ikora handed it to me. My thoughts are preoccupied.

“I… have been burned before.”

“Was that a joke from the dark and brooding Eris Morn? I’m shocked.”

“The universe has many corners. There is much that is shocking still left to uncover."

The moment hangs for us both.

“I was thinking: We should go down to the City. There’s a great ramen shop there. Perfect blend of spice and flavor.”

“That would be nice.”

She’s studying me now. Does she know?

“You’re leaving.”

She always sees through me.

“Tell me I’m wrong.”

“There is a greater purpose.”

This does little to satisfy her. Her face carries the weight of disappointment.

“When will you be back?”

I have no answer.

“So you’re abandoning us.”

“There is still much to be done. You don’t know what I have seen.”

“We would have been lost without you. We need you here. You know this.”

If I were to tell her where I was I going—what I need to do—she would not allow me to leave.

“I have to do this alone. It’s—”

“Let her go.”

Zavala. Always has to weigh in.

“Eris has made her decision. You can’t force her to stay.”

“I don’t think you know what you’re saying, Zavala. Are you forgetting we only survived because of her?”

“And we’re all grateful, but if we can’t live with the absence of one person, we won’t survive very long.”

This is a battle Ikora can’t win. I won’t let her fight.

“Your whispers carry throughout the Tower. Were I not in it, as you would prefer, I wouldn’t have to endure them any further.”

The brave commander can’t even bring himself to look at me.

“Is this true?”

Ikora, you already know. I cannot waste more time.

“As I told Asher, there is a storm coming...”

Oryx is dead. We’ve weathered the storm.”

Ikora is upset. She has yet to understand the bigger picture.

“Yet his sisters would see his will done. There will always be another storm.”

“Then let’s weather it together.”

It’s my turn to hang my head.

“We made do without her before. We can do it again.”

I thank Zavala with a nod. We have found common ground. Ikora, however…

“You see everything but what you already have.”

She turns to leave and I won’t stop her. She is not wrong.

“Good luck.”

Zavala’s words ring hollow.

It pains me to part in this way, but I can’t endanger anyone else.

I alone have been entrusted with this.

They will come to understand, should I survive.[1]

The Black Needle[edit]

FrontpageBanner JB Weblore Shadowkeep 02.jpg

My head is throbbing, but I press on. This place I have found—it promotes pain. The Hive are fond of the anguish they bring. They will not deter me. It’s been months since I left the Tower. What do I have to show for my journey? Dead ends. Whispers. Nothing.

Whatever the Hive are plotting eludes me. Each location I survey holds the promise of answers, yet each has let me down. Let this be the one.

I feel myself drawing near as the tunnels turn from rock and filth to tiles and pomp. Something… is off. I have yet to encounter even a single Thrall. I would count myself lucky, but I know better.

Stick to the shadows. Use the columns and pillars. Caution isn’t cautious enough.

I see ancient scrolls. Tablets. Something here must prove useful.

No.

Incomprehensible babble. Could I have been wrong all along? Are they as lost as we are?

A light breeze scatters the scrolls. A breeze? Underground?

“Eris…"

A voice carried on the wind. Sai? It can’t be.

A laugh from down the corridor. Eriana’s. “Come back to us, Eris.” Vell

They’re dead. This can’t be real. I won’t fall prey to tricks of the Hive.

The gust picks up, bringing with it the dust and soot from the tunnels. It sucks the air from the room. I can barely stand.

“Did you believe it would be so easy?” Toland this time. The voice echoes all around me.

This cruelty…

“No, Witch. I thought it… would prove more difficult… to find you.”

A wailing scream assaults me. It’s a scream etched deeply in my mind. Poor Omar

I won’t let Her shake me.

“Tell me, Archentrope, now that you have me… what will you do with me?”

Eriana appears before me, a construct of rock and sand. How dare She—

“Do? Child of the Hive, can’t you see? We are one. Do you hate it?”

I cringe with displeasure. Child of the Hive? Am I? Is this why I am still alive? I refuse.

“You are no more my family than a parasite is to a host. You will die, like your brother before you.”

She cackles. My stomach turns.

“If only you had gazed upon the dark majesty that slumbered beneath you…”

Beneath me? Her words are twisted half-truths. Do not succumb.

The dirt and debris in the air spin wildly, colliding into me. I’m trapped in a whirlwind. My chest grows tight. Breath short. I can’t see. It’s all around me.

“To be so near, only to scratch the surface, must tear at the filament of your mind.”

The storm begins to die down; I hack up the grime, regaining my sight.

“Open your eyes, Eris…”

The color dissipates from the world around me.

As the dust settles, I realize I am not where I was. A green-black sun hangs in the sky and a glowing orb floats in the distance.

Darkness is all around me and I am alone. Again.[2]

A Light In The Darkness[edit]

FrontpageBanner JB Weblore Shadowkeep 03.jpg

The days have become indecipherable. This harsh plane of existence bears only Darkness and cold—two things I’ve become reacquainted with since my banishment to this hellscape. No matter where I run, the glowing orb follows. It stalks me.

I’ve taken to quietly humming a tune to stave off the madness. I don’t enjoy it, but it helps. It’s worked before, when I was trapped beneath the Moon’s surface. Taken and Hive run rampant here. Around every corner. I’m in no shape to defend myself. My mind fights to stay alert. I just need to rest. Just a little…

A bright light awakens me. That glowing orb? Its radiance calls out to me.

No. Stop it. I’m losing my grip again. Hum the song.

“Eris!”

You’re making it up. Or worse. It’s the Witch again.

“Eris!”

The orb approaches. Could it be?

I stand to meet the light. And I collapse into darkness.

I am awake, I believe—though this feels like a dream.

“You encountered the Witch-Queen and survived.”

I am not sure if this conversation with Toland is real or a figment of my imagination.

“I’m no closer to discovering their machinations.”

“Tell me, what did she say?”

“It was riddles… taunts. She used you, all of you, perverting your voices… I was close to something. Beneath the surface. Slumbering.”

“Intriguing.”

Either way, I am in need of an exit. I must continue, no matter the pain.

“Where do you think you’re going? You’re in no shape to move.”

“I have to. I need to.”

“Are you telling yourself this to motivate, or are you blinded by your obsession?”

Now I am sure he is real.

“Aren’t you curious what was slumbering down there? I know I am.”

He piques my interest. I’ll allow this momentary reprieve.

“Go on.”

“Our time in the Hellmouth… requires further examination. I’ve often thought back to our glorious failure. Something has never sat right with me.”

“I imagine dying would leave one unsettled.”

“True, but this lies beyond that void. Our fireteam was comprised of some of the best to ever wield the Light, and yet we were eviscerated with ease.”

“They had weapons… we were not prepared.”

“While true, does the circumstance not bother you?”

“It haunts me to this day. I hesitate to believe anything She would say.”

“But why would She say anything at all?”

Why indeed.

“…She means to guide me, Toland.”

“Do not play into Her hand.”

“You lend credence to Her riddles. We must know the truth, no matter the cost.”

“Tread lightly, Eris. Or you may end up like me yet. Or worse!”

“My charge is the same, as always.”

“I’m afraid so.”

“There must—” A flash of light, and once again I cannot see. I hear Toland call out to me, but I am pulled from him, from there.

It’s warm now. And bright. So bright.

“CLICK.”

I can feel their guns on me.

I’m surrounded.[3]

A Friend In Need[edit]

FrontpageBanner JB Weblore Shadowkeep 04.jpg

There’s a heat behind my eyes. I’d forgotten warmth, what it felt like. All I can make out are the weapons pointed at my face. If this is my fate, I will end with the fury of a tempest.

“Lower your guns!”

Petra?

“Eris Morn. Apologies for the welcome. Never know what will come out of there.”

The Dreaming City. I did not think I ever would set foot here.

“This place… it’s miraculous.”

“Don’t get used to it. We won’t be staying long.”

“Where are we going?”

“To see the Queen.”


“The Witch aims to bait me. I require your guidance, my Queen.”

“She is calculated, meticulous. Proceed cautiously. Her intent is obscured.”

My Queen is wise.

“Where do we begin?”

“Eris… there is understandable urgency in this matter…”

Not you too. Please do not think lesser of me.

“You were on the brink of death. That is not a loss I’m willing to bear.”

“The shadow of death cannot hinder me.”

She takes a concerned pause at my words. Did I misspeak?

“You walk a thin line between duty and obsession. Take it from one with experience.”

"I am driven, but only due to what is at stake."

"And what is that to you?"

"My Queen … everything. Human and Awoken alike will wash up on the shores of death if we do not act."

"No. What is it to you?"

"…vengeance."

I watch as she deliberates the validity of my claims. To be dismissed as mad now would be my end.

"A noble cause."

The same desire runs through my Queen’s veins.

"Savathûn’s cunning has its limits... We retrieved a log dating back to the Golden Age that may aid in deciphering Her riddles. It is one of many. The rest are scattered across the stars."

"I must seek them all out."

"You will not have to do it alone."

My queen.


The months working alongside my Queen were exhilarating and treacherous. I’ve traversed more of the known universe than I ever thought I would see. Through all the vile creatures vanquished and treasures discovered lurks a new sensation… A place in this story.

We’ve collected several of the logs we seek. Each offers a new perspective on the threat we all face. The Golden Age understanding of the concepts of Light and Darkness were primitive, nascent. I wonder if in the millennia that will come to pass, our comprehension will be viewed similarly. It matters not, if we are unable to avoid our looming calamity.

We have come so far, and now I feel our journey coming to a close.

It’s here, in these ruins. I can sense it.

I push the refuse off an ancient chest.

Inside—what we’ve been searching for.

I read. My worst fears confirmed.

"My Queen … it’s been there all along."

To think I must return to those twisted tunnels where the screams of my fireteam will undoubtedly reverberate throughout my mind…

My fate is eternally bound to that place.

There is no escape.[4]

Reunion[edit]

FrontpageBanner AG Weblore Shadowkeep 05.jpg

It’s been a long while since I’ve been to the Tower. Much has changed. I pray my departure hasn’t created an irreparable fracture.

Ikora… you must forgive me.

I’ll tell her what I’ve uncovered—where I’ve been. She’ll see the meaning behind my actions.

“When I heard your ship was approaching, I didn’t believe it. Yet here you stand. It’s good to see you.”

“Ikora, my absence was necessary. What I have learned, discovered... Danger lurks closer than you realize. You must trust me. We’ve stood too long ignorant of the cataclysm brewing before us. If we do not act, we face yet another Collapse. We must attend to that which the Hive have unearthed down below the lunar surface—”

“Eris. Breathe.”

Her words bring a fleeting rush of relief.

“We know about the Hive, as well as their recently erected Keep.”

A Keep? They mobilize. It’s far worse than I knew.

“Then you will come with me, Ikora.”

“Eris, you’ve barely had a moment to rest.”

“You must let me show you the truth. Then you will understand.”

“I have responsibilities here. A lot has transpired in your absence. We’re still recovering from our… losses.”

What lies behind pales in comparison to what we face ahead.

But I won’t fight with her. Not again.

“Then I will go alone.”

“Eris...”

“On this I cannot negotiate.”

I can see Ikora measure her options. She does not seek an argument either.

“At least allow me to help you mount an adequate response to a threat that, mind you, we don’t fully understand. Let the Vanguard support you.”

That will take time. Always time. The one element we don’t have the luxury of.

“But you’ll be gone before they can mobilize, won’t you?”

“We all do what we must.”

“Promise you’ll stay in communication with me. I don’t want this to be like last time.”

I nod to Ikora. Always the beacon of benevolence.

She deserves more than I can offer. My calling is not here. There is still work to be done. One last stop. “I have to go.”

Her concern is palpable. It reassures me, oddly. The wound between us can heal. If we live long enough.

“Eris… This thing you’re willing to risk everything for… What is it?”

“I warned of a storm. Can’t you hear the thunder?”[5]

Hearts[edit]

Oryx Chapter 01.jpg

Oryx, peerless King, whose horns pierce the cosmic horizon, who obtains meaning from the heat bath! It is us who beseech You, we Your Hive. Hear as we strangle ourselves with O!-Ryx, call-name of Oryx, which refuses itself by refusing division. Oryx, whose worldline may not be mapped to any simply connected topology. Oryx, who blueshifts when all else recedes. Oryx, whose divine weapons may slice the bond of affection between master and pet. Oryx, in whom is invested the authority of one billion years’ failure to die! We Your progeny, who are caused by You as all things in Your light cone are caused by Your will, beseech You for Your forgiveness!

Let us make a manifest our crimes. Let us not offend Oryx King with the contempt of rhetoric. Let our transgressions be known through our actions. Let our crimes be implied by the result, as the wound remembers the shape of the weapon.

Aiat![6]

Endure[edit]

Oryx Chapter 02 2.jpg

Sayeth Oryx, “I have made preparations. If I am defeated, I know it will be because My understanding of the universe was incomplete. I know that I will fall to something mighty, something that craves might, something that loves which I love, which is a principle and a power, the versatile, protean need to adapt and endure, to reach out and shape the universe entirely for the purpose of endurance, to mutate and redesign and test and iterate so that it can prevail, can seize existence and hold it, certain that this is everything, that there is nothing to life except living. And it has two faces, yet it is one shape. One face is the objective, which is to exist, and the other face is that will to sacrifice things and ideas for a single mission, the mission of becoming the shape, a shape that is a principle, the utter commitment to survival, to drawing the right sword and choosing where to cut: that edge, that sharpness, that logic of swords. So I will prepare a book, which is a map to a weapon. And My vanquisher will read that book, seeking the weapon, and they will come to understand Me, where I have been and where I was going. And then they will take up My weapon, and they will use it, they will use that weapon, which is all that I am. They will become me and I will become them, each of us defeating the other, correcting the other, alloying ourselves into one omnipotent philosophy. Thus I will live forever. Aye mak sicur.”

Sayeth we the Hive, “Oryx our King is defeated in echo and in form, in world and in throne. His children are defeated, His tribute is cut off, His faithful son is fallen, His prodigal son entrapped and enervated by the Will of Thousands who would use Him as bait for richer feed. Yet we survive in our Thousands of Billions, so numerous in our thriving mass that we could reach from moon to world and back to moon if we stood upon each others’ brows. We live on by the law that we were taught, the Devouring of the Unfree, and that law is manifest in our flesh, which is pared to bone by the Knife of Need and Challenge. And we in our Thousands of Billions do possess a will. Let us test the testament of our King who is Oryx. Let us challenge His legacy as He has challenged us. For there is no surer tribute to the dead than to kill all they left behind, so that only the invincible and necessary will endure. He was not invincible. Thus we must ask after the necessity of His legacy and the need to obey His taboo. Was not Xivu Arath beheaded, and yet summoned back by Oryx, who remembered Her as war? Was not Savathûn beheaded, and yet conjured back by Oryx, who conspired with Her cunning? Aiat, it must now be so. For if His legacy is true, it will come unto us and defeat our blasphemy. And if it is not, what we attempt cannot be blasphemy, for we have survived Him and surpassed the power of His will. Aiat, aiat, aiat.”[7]

Dust[edit]

Oryx Chapter 03.jpg

Fill up your mouths.

We fill them with dust.

Let us remember the great feats of our King.

In dust they are spoken, in dust of our skin.

One day, as the green eye stars set behind the far-away spines left by the machines’ failed injections, a Knight of Oryx met a Knight of Xivu Arath as they passed across a bridge in the Sea of Screams. To their north lay a strata of ossified corpses, tangled bones left by newborn beings who had hatched into this overworld from the weeping blistered souls of living worlds at the end of their sanity, only to become unanchored from the universe of matter and confuse their shapes with each other, until they became one screaming interchange of bodies and died. To their other north was an atoll of scriptures adrift on a sea of interpretations, gnawed at by heresies like white eels. To another north was one end of the bridge, and to the last north, the other end. All directions were north, but it was not at once obvious what lay at the northernmost place.

“North is toward Oryx my King,” said the first Knight.

“No,” said the second Knight, “Xivu Arath is victorious in all wars; north is toward my Queen.”

Thus announced, they drew their blades and struggled. At first, the Knight of Xivu Arath, She Whose Victory Is Idempotent, had the upper claw. Through inexorable campaigns and the absolute mastery of operontological warfare, which is the method of war which converts mere strategy into an attack on the enemy’s very fundamental modes of being and knowing, Xivu Arath had claimed great swathes of Oryx’s territories. But then the Knight of Oryx, First Navigator of Phase Spaces, Primogenitor of Possibilities, gained the poise and the momentum. For Oryx was ever exploring and opening new spaces, and all that He discovered weighed more on His existence than all He had ever known and left behind.

At last, battered like primordial worlds, their shields broken and their thick slabs of health eroded, they toppled in exhaustion. But each had one more way to fight: by the claim of truth.

“Xivu Arath is more powerful,” Her Knight claimed, “for She held a territory in Oryx’s mind even after She died.”

“Oryx is more powerful,” His Knight retorted, “for He has gone into the Deep, alone of all the Hive; He has spoken to that which is caustic to existence, and returned with some loan of its power. He has even relaxed in its presence, for He is friend to that which cannot befriend.”

Perhaps the Knight’s weapon had cut through the thin membranes of reality and drawn a tear of prophecy from the eye of time, which fell into the Knight’s panting mouth. For the Knight then said, “And my King is so mighty in His weight of causality that all which succeeds Him is in some way caused by Him. Even His enemies, in reacting to Him, ultimately obey the shape of His will, as a bandage must obey the shape of a wounded limb. So it is that the one who most hates and fears my King will also be the one to find what He seeks. It is this way only because it must be this way. Aiat!”

Now the other Knight knew the sound of holy writ, but could not surrender the fight. “Yes, Oryx was first to know the Deep,” the Knight of Xivu Arath said. “But first blood is not last blood; first to meet the Shape of Shapes is not last to touch that secret face. Easy it may be to dismiss my Queen for Her blunt strength and simplicity. But She causes exhaustion and ennui in Her enemies, which, in a cosmos where existence may be maintained by will alone, are the surest of killers. And as for your prophecy, I need not disprove it, for until it is true it is only a boast.”

Now neither Knight had died, and so they knew they had fought to an impasse: so they cast themselves from the bridge into the Sea of Screams below, to see where the currents would bear them.

For this reason a certain quantity of tribute did not reach one of Crota’s champions at the necessary time, and that champion lost a duel with a sergeant of Xivu Arath, causing the loss of a great number of temples and tributaries, so that Crota, upon slaughtering many liars with His sword, judged it best to sleep and recover His debts, with His soul proxied in a material cask so that He could use it as a piton to return swiftly to the Real. All afterwards proceeded as it must have proceeded. Aiat.[8]

Hope[edit]

Oryx Chapter 04.jpg

The Inundation of Hashladûn

Scream of me, o Thralls! Let the Knights beat their weapons on their knees and tear at their plates, let the Wizards shout my name in the speech that sunders, let my name come out of you like an itch comes out of skin!

I am Hashladûn, spawn of Crota. From the day I spilled from the egg, I possessed great strength; I was huge of crest and thick of arm, I was a Thrall who contended with Knights. I was large, as the storm is large upon the fundament, as grief is large among the grieving.

Seeing this, my father said “Let this one be inundated in the old way of floods; let her greatness be reduced to only what is greatest, for she has an excess, and excess is the capacity to be stringently purified.”

But I would not be taken to the floodplain; I was afraid; I contended with a hundred Thralls and ten Knights and was not beaten; I contended with an Ogre and I was exhausted; only then did my father, who is Eater of Hope, who burned with the secondhand melamu, who trampled the netherworld as hooves trample hands, come down from His throne, saying, “Do you love Me so hugely as to defy My edict, and so test the verity of My will? In this capacity you are also great.”

Then He brought me in His embrace down to the deep place between worlds, where I was impaled in six places to the floodplain. And the waters rose over me, and I was inundated.

Five times I was flooded. The first inundation is of bloodied hydrogen, which is like unto acid. The second inundation is of fire. The third inundation is of light, which is like unto the light of cloven atom. The fourth inundation is secret and rattles the bones. The fifth inundation is of words, and it aches at the joining-place between flesh and worm.

I was scoured, I was burnt; I was burnt again by the slow fire, I was tested on the rack of time. My flesh dissolved, it cracked and parted, it turned to black ash which peeled away. All the pain I had ever felt before would fit in one eyelash of that pain.

Then I was left to die.

But I broke the six impalements, and I crawled alone up the way to the outer world, gaunt, wounded, missing eight in ten parts of what I had been. And I killed the first thing that I found and ate it all.

Seeing the reduction of me appear before His throne, my father said, “You are great now, and you cannot love Me. For the parts of you that were Mine have been taken from you; the parts that were His remain.”

I saw the melamu upon Him, which is the light of god, and I assented, for I knew whence that light had come, I knew it for the light of Oryx Edge-and-Point.

And Crota cried out in joy and grief, and cut the sky, and sent me forth, lost to Him in triumph, never to enter His court again.[9]

Poison[edit]

Oryx Chapter 05.jpg

Oryx is dead! To deny this is to drink strong poison.

Oryx is dead and His throne waits empty! To accept this is to accept blasphemy into our hearts.

Our progenitor and forefather is vanquished. His court is scattered, His temples ransacked. The Knights like hot stone are dead. The beasts like scarred bone are gone from His side. And His killers have not assumed the mantle of the Taken King.

How can our mighty King, the spear that pierced a hundred million lying lungs, be killed by those who would deny the all-edged truth? Is this the end of progress towards the True and Final Shape? Is this the Entaoxuanna, the fate worse than extinction—the triumph of the oldest doubt, and the end of our way? Is it the incomprehensible fate which the Needle-Fingered One calls the Fraying of the Cord?

No. We are the people of the Real. We know the rod which separates the true from the dead. We know that whatever happens is so because it must be so. We accept that this has happened.

Let me tell you what has happened: Our King of Shapes has triumphed.

The one who murdered Him, who wielded His killers as a knife: she was once a liar drenched in the Sky. But she came among us, the children of Oryx, and we cleaned the lies from her, we scoured the confusion and fear from her, and we gave her the clarity of our sight: and she devoted herself to the task of comprehending Oryx, learning and foreseeing Him, thinking as He would think, knowing what He would know, becoming His one worthy enemy and so becoming like Him.

How could she do anything but challenge Him? And how, in challenging Him, in seeking a way between His pits and riddles, could she walk any path but the path He made for her? The mark of Him is upon her! She will always fear Him, she will feel the wound of Him in her mind as we feel His absence, she will seek out all that He valued, she will find all that He would want found—and lo! What has she found? What has she found?

The liars will come in their thousands and hundreds of thousands and slaughter us in our millions and tens of millions, and we will go rejoicing to our ends, for they are the blade He has appointed to whittle us into our shape, and she is the avatar He has chosen to mantle Him, and even now we sail the course He plotted! For she has awakened the truth which answers the lies. And His will has delivered the liars to us as His final test. And He is still and now and forever our King.

We will ask Him to return to us. And when we have pleased Him, He will answer![10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bungie, (9/16/2019), Narrative Preview Chapter One - Splintered
  2. ^ Bungie, (9/17/2019), Narrative Preview Chapter Two - The Black Needle
  3. ^ Bungie, (9/18/2019), Narrative Preview Chapter Three - A Light in the Darkness
  4. ^ Bungie, (9/19/2019), Narrative Preview Chapter Four - A Friend in Need
  5. ^ Bungie, (2019/9/20), Narrative Preview Chapter Five - Reunion
  6. ^ Bungie, (10/11/2019), Hearts]
  7. ^ Bungie, (10/11/2019), Endure
  8. ^ Bungie, (10/11/2019), Dust
  9. ^ Bungie, (10/11/2019), Hope
  10. ^ Bungie, (10/11/2019), Poison