Zulmak, Instrument of Torment

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Zulmak, Instrument of Torment
Zulmak Instrument of Torment.jpg
Biographical Information

Other Names:

Zulmak, the Unwavering
Zulmak, the Impaled
Zulmak, the Unfelled
Zulmak, the Destroyer


Nightmares (Hybrid)


Hidden Swarm







Combat Information


Pit of Heresy




Immunity Shield
High Durability
Rapid Movement
Summon Hive
Summon Accursed Swordbearers
Solar Burn
Ground Slam
Fire Blast

"And when the 'heroes' come to condemn your proclamation of sovereignty and conquest, I offer this gift—the essence of your fallen champion ... birth a ravager to protect all you hope to build."
Savathûn, the Witch Queen

Zulmak, Instrument of Torment is a very powerful Hive Knight and a former contender for the Osmium Throne, having been reanimated by the surviving Daughters of Crota to serve as a Nightmare hybrid for the Hive and a puppet champion to rally the Hidden Swarm. He is encountered as the final boss of Pit of Heresy dungeon within the Cradle of Damnation, accompanied by several Hive, many of his great lieutenants, under the rally of Zulmak.


Seeking the Throne[edit]

"In the Pit, Zulmak unleashes a battle cry. He is ready to be done with it all. He is ready to claim his crown. Hashladûn considers him with disgust—he will never be a King, only ever a tool, blunt and brutal. Should he be anointed as a champion of the Pit… Should he be crowned… the Daughters' plots will be threatened before they ever truly begin."
X: Faith in Bone

Zulmak was a rising champion within the Pit beneath what would become the Scarlet Keep, aspiring to take the Osmium Throne through his own Sword Logic. Zulmak's quest to ascend as the newest Hive Prince pitted him against multiple other Hive combatants in the Pit; many that challenged him in gladiator-style combat and were met with overwhelming slaughter.[1] His triumphs were only met with disappointment from the daughters of the World-Breaker himself, who saw him as a threat to their grandfather's legacy.[2]

After winning his third streak within the Pits, he was bifurcated and killed by the Deathsinger Azavath, whose body became possessed by her enraged Knight brother Akrazul in desecration of the Sword-Logic itself.[3] With his body in dying grasp, Zulmak was met with whispers of the Witch-Queen herself, who proceeded to take his dying essence from his broken body and gifted it to her grand-nieces to be raised as a champion yet bound to their will.[4]

The Pit of Heresy[edit]

"Their grandfather would not approve—cunning and deception were the path of another—but the Daughters were alone, and the Swarm was flailing. It was Kinox who urged her sisters to act. It was Hashladûn who offered the primordial essence of terror as their guide. And it was Besurith and Voshyr who gathered the husk of a shattered champion—a ravager to stand against all who would oppose their rule. A new breed of destroyer."
— Lore text from Heretic.[5]

When the Daughters' efforts at resurrecting Crota and Oryx proved in vain, Kinox saw an opportunity to rally the leaderless Hidden Swarm by reanimating the deceased Zulmak as their puppet champion, with Hashladûn offering the phantasmal essence of the Nightmares as a catalyst to infuse into Zulmak's husk recovered by Besurith and Voshyr, creating the first hybrid of a Hive infused with the power of the Nightmares.[5]

With the deaths of Hashladûn and Besurith at the hands of the Guardians, the remaining daughters, Kinox and Voshyr, went into hiding in the Pit beneath the Scarlet Keep. Out of desperation, the Hive began sacrificing Nightmares to harvest their phantasmal essence into a crystal to empower Zulmak with its Darkness and face the Guardians. Their actions created seismic activity however, that drew the Guardians' attention into the Pit, where they confronted the undead Zulmak. Though he was met with death a second time, Kinox and Voshyr would remain at large to continue reviving the fallen Zulmak in their heretical rejection of the Sword Logic.


Zulmak, Instrument of Torment

Upon entering Zulmak’s lair, the encounter will start if the player damages Zulmak or any enemy near him. At this point, Zulmak will be immune to all damage. Throughout the whole encounter, Zulmak will never leave the plate in the middle of the stage. However, he will circumnavigate the plate and try to attack the player with a solar attack. Zulmak will also spawn Accursed Swordbearer’s on the outer rim of his plate which must be killed in order deal damage to the Disciples of the Broken Blade. Looking from the where you begin the encounter, the Vanquisher will be to the left, the Wizard will be to the right, and the Shrieker will be straight ahead. Killing a Disciple will drop a Void Orb that can be deposited near Zulmak’s center plate, to an extinguish station on each side respectively. It does not matter which station an orb is deposited as long as all three stations are extinguished.

Doing this will grant all players the “Heinous Rite” buff, which allows Zulmak to be damaged but only by players that are standing on his plate with him. Zulmak will continue to attack the player but he will now use a maneuver where he will flick his sword from the ground and create a wall of flame that deals great damage over time. It is highly discouraged to get close to Zulmak, as he can easily launch the player off the stage. After 30 seconds, Zulmak will skewer his sword into the ground and the plate will begin to radiate. Any player left on the plate after a few seconds will be instantly killed. This process is repeated until either Zulmak or the Fireteam is killed.


  • Zulmak bears a striking appearance to that of Urrox, Flame Prince and Kandorak as well as the Swordbearers in Crota's Oversoul Throne.
  • Both Zulmak and Dûl Incaru, the Eternal Return use an unknown crystal during both of their boss encounters. There is also another crystal on Titan that is similar in size and also possesses paracausal abilities comparable to the former two. It is unknown whether these crystals bear any canon importance.
  • Zulmak is the fourth Hive character to possess his own sword that is unique from the Cleavers most Hive are found wielding. Crota being the first, Oryx being the second, Ecthar, Sword of Oryx being the third.
  • Zulmak is the fifth Hive being shown clearly speaking their native tongue instead of roaring unintelligibly. The previous four were Ir Anûk, Deathsinger, Ir Halak, Deathsinger, and two unnamed deathsingers, all collectively singing the Deathsinger's Dirge in the mission Last Rites.
  • Zulmak is among the few Hive to have a unique weapon, being a cleaver made from fire and chitin similar to his armor.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Bungie (2019/10/1),Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Lore: III: Ritualistic Circle Pit
  2. ^ Bungie (2019/10/1),Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Lore: X: Faith in Bone
  3. ^ Bungie (2019/10/1),Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Lore: XI: The Anti-Logic
  4. ^ Bungie (2019/10/29),Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Lore: XI.X: Apocrypha
  5. ^ a b Bungie (2019/10/1),Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Lore: Heretic