Destiny 2 Lore. Part 8: The City Age

The City Age may be named after the City. But one of the most important things to know about the City Age is merely to do with incomplete nature of humanity’s knowledge. At the time being, there were no dates, no timelines, and of course, our idea of what- was- was blurred and partially incomplete. Such is the nature of a post-apocalyptic era, and there is no real consensus, therefore, on when the City age truly began. For some, it was at the victory at Six Fronts, for others, the formation of the walls, and for a few still, it was at the creation of the camp beneath the Traveler. But regardless, the City Age began, and it played hosts to ballads of legends, myth, and incredible adventure. The City would expand and grow into a powerful bastion of humanity. And the Guardian orders would press out into the Solar System and commit to brave deeds of heroism. However, the first event that is noted in the timeline of the City Age that is of real significance, is that of a terrifying purge of some of the most majestic and dangerous creatures within the system. It would start with the event known by the Guardian orders as the Great Hunt. But in order to better understand the Great Hunt, you need to start in the Reef, not the City. Back in the Dark Age, when the Awoken had just been split into the Earth and Reef-born, Mara instructed Uldren to go out into the system, and to discover for her a unique source of power. Uldren returned with what is known as a Wish-Dragon, an Ahamkara. Ahamkara are dragons, both sentient and intelligent enough to speak, bargain and deceive. But this was not the only thing that made the Ahamkara extraordinary. Ahamkara were shape shifters, capable of growing massive or minuscule in size on a whim, and also had access to a special kind of magic, known as Wish Magic.

Wish Magic

This power, as best we know, holds no allegiance to the Light or Dark, but it manipulates the threads of fate and the fabric of the universe in a similar manner to the power of the Light and the Dark. It was not some stupendous power capable of crushing atoms, but instead it as a subtle thing that could manipulate the universe without necessarily invoking its physics. Wish Magic was named such because it relied on preying on the ambitions and desires of those not strong-willed enough to contest the Ahamkara. The Queen and the dragon Uldren recovered eventually forged a bond, and the young Ahamkara would come to name itself riven, in honor of the twice-riven people that was the Awoken. More Ahankara flocked to the Reef and Awoken society began to revolve around them. It is here that wish-magic and the incredible designs of the Awoken came together to create what is known as the Dreaming City. A sacred place to the Awoken, hidden within the stars of the Reef itself. In this place the Ahamkara and the Awoken lived in relative harmony. All seemed peaceful, but the Awoken Queen knew that the Ahamkara could be found all over the system, and that the unique power she had sought was not, in fact, so unique. But this was not to be forever. She would soon have that unique source of power. It was at this time that the City also began to encounter the dragons, and at which point, they realized the danger that they posed. The bargains struck with the Ahamkara had granted the Guardians great power and wisdom and information that was crucial to their campaigns. But had also always come at a terrible cost. This was the nature of Wish Magic, for every wish granted, there was a terrible, twisted reality to it. One that would always come at the cost of the Guardian themselves, or someone around them.

With their presence becoming a threat to the safety of the City itself, it was decreed by the consensus that the beasts should be hunted down and made extinct. And so the Great Hunt began, with the City even quietly petitioning the Awoken Monarchy for aid. The aid was granted to them in the forms of weapons to hunt down the beasts, although this aid was even secretly made available at the request of Riven. Perhaps Riven was fulfilling Mara’s wish for some source of power that the wishes always grant the Ahamkara, or perhaps some unique advantage. But regardless, many great warriors took up the weapons of the Awoken and the City, and took part in the hunt, or at least the process of it. Many terrible final wishes were made by the beasts and their assailants. Some of the scars of those wishes can still be seen today. Though, as with all things to do with Wish Magic, there are many details that are unclear, or as of yet, unproven. Regardless, the Ahamkara were hunted to the very brink of extinction, with only Riven surviving, trapped within the fortified citadel at the heart of the Dreaming City, in a place known as the Queen’s Walk, with that, the only way the Ahamkara could communicate to us was through their remains, which held some of their latent power, but for the most part, it would be generations, even hundreds of years, before the Guardians saw another Ahamkara ever again. However, it was not just the Ahamkara that would start to see their end in this time. The days of the Iron Lords were also numbered. They had continued to exist and to defend the City as they grew in number, sending out Guardians from their base of operations on Felwinter Peak. The order had grown to at least a hundred in number, but Radegast lamented that whilst he and his Iron Lords could defend humanity and watch over the vast tracts of Earth. They could not so easily return humanity to its Golden Age of technology. But when Lord Timur, a Warlock of the Iron Lords, discovered records of the lost Golden Age technology of SIVA, Radegast leapt into action. The nanotechnology could potentially rebuild the marvels that humanity had lost and with it at their command, there was the potential for them to do even more incredible things. When the location of the technology’s whereabouts had been discovered, particularly, the replication complex in the northeastern section of the Cosmodrome, every one of the Iron Lords descended on that part of the world in force, hellbent on claiming the technology for humanity.

SIVA

It was discovered that the billions upon billions of SIVA nanites were still under the command of a fragment of the Warmind Rasputin. And in a moment that would resound throughout the ages, the infamous Iron Lord Warlock known as Felwinter attempted to commune with the shard of Rasputin. However, for reasons not truly understood, the Warmind sent its response in the form of a three-word command to the millions of nanites of SIVA. This command would spell doom for the Iron Lords that laid claim to this ancient technology. Those words? Replicate. Eliminate. Immunize. And so, full of fury that only a weapon such as SIVA could contain, SIVA’s nanites were unleashed upon the Iron Lords. The battle was one of terrible proportions, and it was certainly clear that if SIVA was not contained, it was liable to overrun the Cosmodrome, and from there, who knows what it could to? Nine Iron Lords made a push for the Replication Complex, where the source of the SIVA nanites could be found. But after much fierce fighting, it was clear that all hope was lost without great sacrifice. Lady Jolder took it upon herself to seal the Replication Complex with seven other Iron Lords and herself inside. Whilst also detonating an explosive device that contained the outbreak of SIVA. The only Iron Lord to survive the Replication Complex was Lord Saladin, and the battle outside in the Cosmodrome had seen all the other Iron Lords slaughtered. With the exception of Lady Efrideet, who went on a path of exile and pacifism from that day onward. The area of the Cosmodrome containing SIVA was, from this point onwards, quarantined. And from that day forth, the region would now be known as the Plaguelands, from the mechanical plague that lay dormant beneath its surface. Lord Saladin would wait and watch, holding silent vigil over the place, until the day that he might finally be needed again. To finally bring rest to those Iron Lords that had been lost. Meanwhile, back in the City, trouble was starting to brew. Osiris, the new Warlock Vanguard, was descending into a deep and secluded study of the Vex. He knew that other threats to the City, such as the Fallen, did exist, but his research had left him convinced that the Vex represented the greatest present danger to the forces of the City and to the Guardian orders. These beliefs brought him into contention with the rest of the consensus and, in particular, the Speaker. When Osiris sought to publish his findings in order to arm the people of the City with knowledge. The people instead took to them, not as scientific study or fact or even merely a speculation by a scholar. Instead, they took to them as prophecy, such was the cult of Osiris’ personality. The Speaker then saw as an attempt to radicalize and split the population of the City. Between those that supported Osiris and those who supported the Consensus, the Speaker even took to the extreme measure of burning the prophecies of Osiris, and began to speak of the once reveared Warlock as though he was a curse. One day, the Speaker called the Consensus to order, and declared that Osiris was a tumor to an otherwise healthy body, and called for a motion to exile the Warlock. It was at this moment, however, that Osiris entered the hall of the Consensus, and accepted the decision wholeheartedly. Osiris left the City, and headed out into the territories of the Vex, so he could fight them on their own ground. But what Osiris could not take with him , was the impact that he had made on the City and its people.