Intro to the Books of Sorrow – Book 5

The Books of Sorrow serve as the Holy text for the Hive, and by extension the Taken as well. In Book One, we learned of the Krill and how they came to make contact with Yuul and the other Worm Gods of the Deep. In Book Two, the Sisters find their place in the universe and begin their practice of the Sword Logic. In Book 3, the Sisters learned the secrets of the Deep that will allow them to continue their crusade without the worry of their worm consuming them. In Book 4, the Hive Pantheon flexes their new found muscles only to be humbled by a foe from another plane of existence.

This is Part 5 in a 5 part series. I will summarize the final set of Lore cards from Destiny 1 within the context of what we know now, thus completing the original Books of Sorrow. This is Videogame Crosstalk, and I hope you enjoy this Destiny Lore Video.

<Inro Splash>

When we last left the Pantheon, Oryx had just fallen into a trap set by Quria, Blade Transform. This may sound like bad news for Oryx, but it was more of an inconvenience. In verse 5:0, <>|<>|<>, I’m not entirely sure how to pronounce that or what the proper descriptor would be, what we read is a conversation of sorts between Quria Blade Transform and Oryx. through the course of the exchange, Quria issues a series of commands for its subminds to follow while Oryx gloats and mocks the attempts, at one point citing, 

Simulate me, wretch. Calculate the permutations of my divinity. Compute the death in the shape of my throne. Render my shadow on the stone of ten thousand graveyard worlds….Not with a galaxy of thinking matter could you encompass me. Behold!

That last line is particularly interesting because, as the Vex machineform various planets and moons, that is exactly what they are trying to do. Think: Nessus and Mercury. They convert entire planets into massive computers for the sole purpose of running simulations to determine the best and most probable outcomes for their own advancement and victory.

In the opening lines of Verse 5.1: End of Failed Timeline, it plainly states that Quria knows that it cannot win. It doesn’t fully understand what Oryx is, and therefore how to defeat him. In an effort to understand, Quria introduces the concept of religious worship to several of its subminds. This results in Quria producing it’s first, and somewhat adorable, simulation of Oryx. However, since its data is incomplete, it is only able to generate an “Aurash”, which is the version or Oryx before the King transformation. And all the while, Oryx, in all his hubris, blurts out information in a mocking tone, making references to himself and other aspects of Hive divinity and history. Quria is quick to transmit that information to the greater Vex collective, to be indexed for future use and analysis. This exchange ends badly, of course, for Quria, but there is an EXTREMELY important note here: The machine minds are experimenting with religious worship, worship of THE DEEP. If a hyperlogical entity determines that the activity of religious worship is the most effective and efficient path towards a successful and favorable outcome, that should be reason enough for EVERYONE in the Destiny universe to be alarmed! 

The next two verses drop some major lore points with heavy potential. Verse 5:2, Strict Proof Eternal, contains lore that has become especially important as we have moved through the seasons following Forsaken. This is where we find that Oryx has taken the head, and just the head, of Quria and gifted it to Savathun. Normally, Oryx would just “Take”, as in the metaphysical context not the literal, a thing or enemy and be done with it. However, in this case Oryx only partially takes the Head of Quria, claiming that he wants to see what will happen when it gives Savathun some surprises. For more information as to what Quria has been up to, see the lore book, “Truth To Power”.

In Verse 5:3, I’d Shut Them All In Cells, Xivu Arath goes on a bit of a rant. Here, the Gift Mast is mentioned, a sort of monument that the Traveler left the civilization known as the Harmony. The Gift Mast was made from the Polar Jet of a Black Hole, which apparently sings in radiance. The final lines read as follows:

THE DRAGONS. Our gods should be ours alone. Their smug freedom is an insult to me. I’d shut them all in cells. Bring them to me!

Now, we all should know by now that Dragons in Destiny are known as Ahamkara, which means Ego in Sanskrit. Ahamkara are known for being able to grant immense power to those who answer their call, but always at a great price. Think, “Making a deal with the Devil”, but within the context of Destiny lore. What I find interesting is that Xivu Arath refers to Dragons, specifically, and within the context of the Dragons being their Gods. However, the entirety of the rest of Destiny lore cites that the Gods of the Hive are the Worm Gods. Soooooo….this makes me think that there’s a connection between the Worm Gods and the Ahamkara, but that will be for another video in another time.

Verse 5:4, The Gift Mast, is a verse of bittersweet goodbyes. By now, the Hive Pantheon has reached and found the Gift Mast of the previous entry and proceed to eat it. By doing so, they all gain immense power,  and are filled with a certainty of their purpose within the cosmos. However, upon finishing their feast, both Savathun and Xivu Arath admit to Oryx that they plan to leave him. 

Then sayeth Savathûn, “Siblings, listen, we must part ways a while, so that we may grow different.” She flies her war-moons into the black hole. Her throne becomes distant.

Savathun claims that she must leave in order for them to grow differently. This becomes apparent the first time the Guardians land on Titan. Some of the mission and adventure dialogue states that the Hive seem different somehow. This would be why.

Sayeth Xivu Arath, “King Oryx, you take up too much space, your power constrains too many choices. I must go away from you.” She flies her war-moons away into the night. Her throne is barred shut.

Xivu Arath claims that Oryx’s power takes up too much space and leaves too few options. Apparently she just needed some space? Totally understandable.

Then Oryx was alone. He spent a while in thought, and those thoughts are recorded here.

With this final line of the verse, we know who the true author of this book is: Oryx. He himself put this book together as a way to reflect and remember how they and the Hive came to be. While this is the final entry with all the Hive Gods present, this is not quite the end of the Book.

The following and final entries for the original Books of Sorrow are Oryx’s final thoughts as he reflects back on what he has created and accomplished. Verse 5:5 – Apocalypse Refrains is the Hive God’s message to those that they kill. It reinforces a previous statement that Oryx believes that he is “liberating” his victims, in that,

A species which believes that a good existence can be invented through games of civilization and through laws of conduct is doomed by that belief. They will die in terror. The lawless and the ruthless will drag them down to die. The universe will erase their monuments.

But the one that sets out to understand the one true law and to perform worship of that law will by that decision gain control over their future. They will gain hope of ascendance and by their ruthlessness they will assist the universe in arriving at its perfect shape.

Verse 5:6 — aiat, aiat, aiat, aiat, aiat is a verse full of self affirmation. Oryx proceeds to outline how he is powerful, that despite Savathun’s accusations that he is NOT a slave to the Deep, and that by turning an adversary into a Taken he is actually bringing them closer to perfection. He has fully committed to the idea that he is absolute, and that he alone reigns supreme.

In Verse 5:7 — Forever And A Blade, Oryx takes a brief moment to be….sentimental. He wonders what ever happened to his homeworld of Fundament, what became of the Krill who only lived for 10 years. Most importantly, he acknowledges that he still has more to learn. Specifically, he still does not know of the origins of either the Deep or the Traveler. But He will learn, of that he is determined.

Verse 5:8 — Wormfood is the first time in a long time that Oryx considers his own mortality. Sure he has died many times before, but each time he has just retreated to his throne world to recuperate. 

If my echoes are killed, and I am killed in the material world, then I will be driven back to my throne the Dreadnaught. If my Court and my throne can be beaten, if I am confronted in my throne, if I am defeated there, then I will die. My work will end.

Which, clearly, is an unacceptable outcome for an immortal God of Thought. But then again, if he CAN be killed, then he isn’t actually immortal, is he?

Oryx also acknowledges that if he were to lose Crota and his daughters, then his Worm would be sufficiently fed. But, that makes sense in his mind because if THEY fail, it is because they were not strong enough which would mean that HE failed as a father. 

The final verse in the original Books of Sorrow, Verse 5:9 — I’ll Make Sure, Oryx makes his final preparations for his potential death. Spoiler alert: The entire point of the King’s Fall Raid was that we enter his Throne World and give him a final, true death. There is some grandiose exposition, but the key takeaways are in the second half of this entry:

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.

And armed thus with my past, and my future, and my present (which is a weapon, a weapon that takes whatever is available, a weapon bound to malice), they will mantle me, Oryx, the Taken King.

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.

This brings everything back together from the beginning. Back when we first received the quest from Eris Morn to gather these calcified fragments, it was in order to construct the exotic Scout Rifle, Touch of Malice. Therefore, it was in the compilation of this book that we were able to create the weapon, which was almost essential for being “Raid Ready” during certain encounters.

But that’s not all. Remember that each I mentioned a certain name that we need to keep track of where she ended up? Flipping it back to the second line of verse, 

If I am defeated I know it will be because my understanding of the universe was incomplete. I failed to anticipate some strategy, some nemesis. (Perhaps Taox, if she still lives.)

That’s right. Taox is still unaccounted for. We do not know what happened to her, but we do know from earlier entries that it is the purpose of the Hive God’s to seek revenge upon her. Because that was, in fact, the original arrangement with the Worm Gods in exchange for their immortality.

And THAT concludes the Fifth book within the Books of Sorrow! Notice how I didn’t say that it was the FINAL book of Sorrows? That is because in the lore tabs and in the lore books found in Destiny 2, we find more entries into this series. They all deal with Hive magics and rituals, and have a necrotic theme about them that also deal with destroying oneself in order to be reborn into something greater.

If you would like to support this channel but can’t think of anything to leave as a comment, write the word, “Perfect Shape”, in reference to what the Hive Gods have been striving for this entire time, but are yet to achieve.

You can follow me on Twitter @VGXTPod for more updates on the channel. Don’t forget to subscribe if you want to hear more lore explained in this fashion and keep up to date with my regular podcast, Videogame Crosstalk, the monthly podcast of gamers talking Tech, Science, and whatever else comes to mind. Until then, I’ll see you in the Tower!