The final act of the story so far began with a voice inside the mind of the Prince of the Reef, Prince Uldren. He believed this voice to be Mara, his sister, who he had been searching for since the start of the Taken War. But the voice was, in fact, the voice of Riven, and it would slowly drive him to madness. But why was Riven communing with him? And what could she possibly want? The explanation is better understood if we step back to the unseen events of the Taken War. As Oryx assaulted Mara’s fleet, he had been able to gain access to the Dreaming City. Here he found Riven, the last of the species of dragons known as Ahamkara. The two of them addressed each other and Oryx asked Riven if she wanted him to take her. To this, Riven skillfully replied: “Only if you wish it.” As Oryx took her, he had unknowingly been tricked, and Riven bound him to a contract of Wish Magic, meaning that she had still been Taken, but that the binding for her was different.
When Oryx perished, unlike the Taken, who were beholden to a higher power, she was able to regain a semblance of her free will. With this, Riven was free to do as she pleased, and it is believed that in this time, she made another wish with another Hive God, the Hive God Savathun. This would result in Riven sending ripples throughout the system down a path of delicately manipulated threads, that would start with a brother driven mad with grief, and would end in the possible doom of the Awoken people. Uldren would be led to discover a heretical Fallen Archon, and he would save his life. The name of the Archon was Fikrul, and he was resurrected with Ether that had been scorched into Dark Ether, heavy with Taken energy. He had become the first of the Scorn, an entirely new race made up of the freakishly mutated Fallen that had been brought back from the dead as mindless slaves. Together, the Fanatic and Uldren destroyed the last of the old Fallen Houses that still remained, the House of Kings. Fikrul then went out into the system and raised seven other Fallen to prominence, elevating them to the rank of Barons within the new Scorn hierarchy. Uldren then allowed himself to be taken in, and the Barons were, for the most part, captured by Cayde-6 and the forces of the Reef, including its acting regent, Petra Venj. The Barons and Uldren were sent to languish within the Prison of Elders, but they would not stay here for long. After being convinced that the Fallen people would not survive without his leadership. Variks the Loyal released the Barons of the Scorn and Uldren, as well as the entire population of the Prison of Elders, starting a massive prison riot and creating the possibility for a major outbreak in the system of its most dangerous criminals.
Petra Venj called upon Cayde-6 to put an end to the riot with her and he decided to bring along his most trusted Guardian- us. The prison was chaotic, but we were successful in our task of locking it down. However, the Scorn Barons had escaped their containment cells, and they were now headed to the lower levels to exfiltrate. Cayde decided to destroy the localized network hub of the Prison of Elders so that he could crash it down into the lowest levels. Not only potentially cutting off the Barons, but also affording him a faster method of intercepting them. We quickly went in pursuit of Cayde and encountered the forces of the Scorn for the first time. But when we saw a small wave of Light radiate out from Cayde’s position, we realized that his Ghost, Sundance, had been killed. Sundance was shot by one of the Barons, known as the Rifleman, Pirrha. And with that, he was then pummeled into submission by another Baron, known as Reksis Vahn, the Hangman. Uldren took Cayde’s weapon, the Ace of Spades, and leveled it at the Hunter Vanguard. What would Cayde’s defiant last words would be? “How’s your sister?” And then, Cayde was shot in the chest, and began to fade away. We arrived just in time to hear our old friend’s last words, and to see Uldren’ escape. Petra would arrive moments later, just as Cayde had died in our arms. Cayde’s death wasn’t just the loss of a hero or a friend. For many Guardians, losing Cayde was akin to losing a piece of one’s very identity. When we returned Cayde’s body, Ikora preached vengeance and sought to pursue Uldren throughout the Tangled Shore with every single Guardian at their disposal. But Zavala stated that the Vanguard could not be stretched more thinly than they already were, and that to abandon the duty of the City would be foolish. Ikora called his opinion cowardice, but knew there was little more that she could do.
The Vanguard needed to remain united. However, for us the situation was far simpler than that. Cayde was our friend, and he had been murdered in cold blood by Prince Uldren and his Scorn Barons. And what’s more, the murder had happened right in front of us by one we had always desired to hate. Uldren might try to kill us too, if he was given the chance, but he would get no such chance. Uldren Sov was ours. And for the first time in five, long years, we voiced this sentiment, saying the first eight words we had spoken in a long time as a simple declaration that we would find Uldren and take our revenge. With this stunning moment, we walked out and headed straight to the Tangled Shore. This was the most lawless frontier in all the system, where the asteroid belt and the Reef collided with a space that technically had no laws at all. This place was teeming with pirates and outlaws that had been holing up in hiding places such as Quitter’s Well or Thieves’ Landing. But we also knew that amongst these places lay the Scorn and their Barons, as well as their leader, Prince Uldren, who we intended to bring to justice. As we trekked out across the High Plains, we were contacted by Petra Venj, who then brought us before the Shore’s only law: the Spider, the most notorious Fallen gangster on the Shore. He had recently been forced out his own stronghold by the Scorn, and we decided that clearing out the Scorn Barons from this stronghold served all of our purposes. And so we made a deal with the Spider. The Barons escaped as we cleared the Stronghold, and this meant that we had to start tracking them down, one by one. The Spider would inform us as to each of them and their whereabouts, but it would be us that would have to hunt them down. But hunt them down we did.
Every single one of the Barons was slaughtered to the last. And so it was that we claimed the lives of Yaviks, the Rider, Pirrha, the Rifleman, Reksis Vahn, the Hangman, Elykris, the Machinist, Kaniks, the Mad bomber, Araskes, the Trickster and Hiraks, the Mindbreaker. We finally managed to track down Uldren and the Fanatic, who were making a break for an Awoken Watchtower on the edges of the Tangled Shore. This Watchtower linked the Tangled Shore to the Dreaming City, and Uldren intended to iniltrate it and open its gateway using the dark energy that had been building within him, and a shard of the Traveler that he had stolen at Riven’s urging. Riven had been in Uldren’s head this whole time, creating hallucinations of Mara, pressing Uldren to release her from the supposed cage of the Dreaming City. As we arrived at the Watchtower, we killed the Fanatic, Fikrul and with him defeated, the last of the Scorn Baron was gone. But Fikrul was not gone for good. He would always be able to return, and continues to plague the Tangled Shore to this day. We made our way further into the Watchtower’s depths, until we found Uldren, who had been rewarded for opening the gateway by being consumed by the Voice of Riven, an Ascendant Taken Chimera who was sent forth by Riven as the first arbiter through the gateway. Upon defeating this monstrous creature, we were able to see Uldren, coughed back up by the monster. And it is here that we claimed the Ace of Spades and saw justice done unto the Prince of the Awoken. But a secret was kept that day. The secret of whether it was us or Petra Venj that would be the executioner of Uldren. Uldren’s final words would stick with us and remind us that the line between Light and Dark was a very thin one. Precariously trodden by Guardians and Awoken alike. But Uldren would die, and with Uldren’s death, Petra would ask us to meet her in the Dreaming City to perform another task.