With the release of Shadowkeep, the Collector’s edition of expansion included a series of ciphers to decode on your very own Cryptoglyph. Once these were solved, you would be able to enter the codes into Bungie.net and you would be introduced to a set of web-lore entries. Each of these entries were written as a matter of record for the Hive, and all of them revolve around a central theme: our long dead and defeated Taken King Oryx. And after reading these entries, I can, within a given amount of certainty, predict that Oryx will return and that those efforts are being orchestrated by Savathun.
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The initial precedence for this statement is set in the Books of Sorrow. I will jump around a bit in this book for relevant entries for the sake of a coherent discussion. These entries will serve as a preface for the Cryptoglyph entries, and the Festering Core strike’s dialogue and narration, which is gameplay that I am using for this discussion, will bring everything together..
One thing of note is that in the new web lore entries is a full transcription of the Destiny 1 Grimoire card, Verse 5:9 – I’ll Make Sure, which is the final verse in Books of Sorrow. In it, Oryx goes on one of his self-exploration journeys and reflects upon the existence that he has created. Those who are new to Destiny may be confused at a particular part where he claims that this book will be a guide to those who find it. In short, these grimoire cards were unlocked as the player found calcified fragments on Oryx’s ship, the Dreadnaught, which the location of the Taken King expansion, the King’s Fall Raid, and patrol zone. By working with Eris Morn, we were able to craft the exotic Scout Rifle, “Touch of Malice”. Quote,
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 the omnipotent philosophy. Thus I will live forever.
I’ll make sure.
This entry is so fundamental to this discussion that Bungie actually repeated it for the Cryptoglyph lore. It states in what was at first understood to be a metaphorical context that Oryx lives on. But apparently, it’s a bit more literal. Worth noting before moving on that the concept that the use of a dark weapon to feed a dark deity has been used before in Destiny 2 with the Whisper of the Worm being a tool that feeds Xol.
Moving earlier in the Books of Sorrow to Verse 3:9 – Carved in Ruin, this entry establishes the precedence that by acting in another’s nature that they may be resurrected from beyond the Void. In earlier entries, Oryx had beheaded his sisters, Xivu Arath and Savathun, so that he may become strong enough to defeat the Worm God Akka and learn additional secrets of the Deep. Oryx does infact defeat Akka and takes what he learned from doing so to forward his crusade. Now armed with this additional knowledge, Oryx goes out to make war with the Ecumene for 100 years. Quote,
At the end of those hundred years he killed the Ecumene Council on the Fractal Wreath, and from their blood rose Xivu Arath, saying, “I am war and you have conjured me back with war.”
Oryx was glad, for he loved Xivu Arath. The Ecumene wailed in grief.
And rightfully so, because now the Ecumene had to face two of the Hive Gods, now armed with the secrets of the Deep that could only be learned from slaying a WORM God! So Oryx and Xivu Arath continued their war for another 40 years. Oryx then made a deal with the Dakaua Nest, claiming that he was jealous of his sister and wanted help in defeating her. Quote,
But he drove the Dakaua Nest into a trap, and they were made extinct. From their ashes rose cunning Savathun, saying, “I am trickery, and you have conjured me back with trickery.”
Oryx was glad, for he loved Savathun. The Ecumene fled into the void.
So here’s the precedence that is set: By acting in an extreme manner that is in alignment with the Hive God’s nature, it is possible for them to be conjured back into existence. But what about Oryx? His nature is to never stop learning and exploring, and as we learned in Verse 2:0 – Immortals, we learn that his old name Auryx means “Long thought”. How exactly would you act in that kind of extreme? Perhaps there is another race that can serve as an example….
In verse 4:10 – An Emperor for All Outcomes and other subsequent entries, Oryx battles and wrestles with the Vex. Here, the Vex had made their way into Oryx’s throne world by the carelessness of his son Crota. What confused Oryx about the Vex was their nature of being hyperlogical. After some short-term solutions of dealing with the Vex and punishing Crota by throwing him into the Vex dimension, Oryx consults with Savathun to figure out what the heck is going on. What Oryx does understand is that the Vex also wish to live forever, just as he does, and that he has met a worthy opponent. Quote,
Meanwhile, Oryx brooded on the Vex. “I’ve met a worthy rival,” he said. “They want to exist forever, just as I do. But I don’t understand them.”
At this his worm began to chew on him, for he was bound to understand.
Since he does not fully understand the Vex, Oryx’s worm begins to chew on him, because it is Oryx’s nature to understand everything.
What we know now is that the Vex do not just catalog and understand things, they do this so that may create predictions and simulations in an effort of determining the best course of action so that they are victorious and maintain The Pattern. In order to do this, they must plan for every potential, every outcome, every variable. To do that, they turn entire planets into supercomputers for the sole purpose of managing these computations. In later dealings we see that Vex Mind that came through the gate, Quria Blade Transform, attempt to simulate Oryx in an effort to understand him. The first attempts are laughably bad, but each interaction with Oryx offered additional insight and information for Quria to factor into subsequent simulations. In time the simulations become more refined as more information is gathered.
Festering Core Strike
And here we have the denouement of Oryx’s resurrection. This strike is littered with copious amounts of both Vex and Taken enemies. At the heart of this strike is a Vex Mind Core that the Taken are attempting to take control of. Or rather, whoever is controlling the Taken at the current time. During the course of the strike, we are in contact with Commander Zavala for tactical support and later Eris Morn joins the party adding her own melodramatic insightful commentary. When it becomes apparent as to what the Taken are after, Zavala questions why the Taken would be interested in a Vex Core. Eris then corrects him by redirecting his question by stating that it isn’t what the Taken want, as they have no will of their own. It is what whoever is directing the Taken wants and why that person would want a Vex Core. Given the history of Destiny 2 so far, this strike has the marking of Savathun all over it, particularly since the final boss is Baurisk, Envoy of Savathun. That’s kind of a giveaway. Just a bit.
But the question still stands, “Why would Savathun want Vex tech?”. Well, the Vex are masters at creating predictive technology and running simulations. They observe, record, and catalog everything they come in contact with or experience with machine efficiency. They share a collective consciousness for the purpose of predicting and becoming a master of all possible outcomes. Sound familiar? It should, since that is precisely what Oryx’s true nature is.
If Savathun is able to take control of Vex tech at that scale and leverage it with what is known in the World’s Grave, the range of scenarios that would be able to be simulated would be immense and would be done so with extreme accuracy. There is the potential here that the Hive Gods may be able to do these things to such an extreme degree that it may be a sufficient display of “Long Thought” that it could bring back Oryx, the Taken King. And then, he would be back and have the use of a Vex Core at his disposal.
Method of Return
To wrap everything up, here’s what we have established so far:
- If you are killed in your Throne World, it is a True Death
- Even so, you can still be brought back
- Xivu Arath was brought back with War
- Savathun was brought back with Trickery
- The Vex are masters of understanding
- Understanding is Oryx’s true nature
- Savathun is controlling the Taken to highjack the Vex network
One final bit of in game commentary comes from one of the Toland patrols on the moon, specifically in the Scarlet Keep. quote:
The heresy was born here, in the Keep, where the daughters of Crota first began their experiments with Nightmares. It was here their priestess asked the question that her sisters would not: If Oryx cannot be resurrected, can he be remade?
The Hidden Swarm’s aberrant behavior sprung from a simple conjecture. What if Oryx was meant to die, so that he might be reborn? Ludicrous, teleological thinking. An affront to everything he held dear. Unfortunately, Oryx is not here to correct them.
So there you have it. The daughters of Crota began to wonder if they cannot resurrect the Taken King, could he be remade? And if he were to be remade, how exactly would that be done? Methinks Savathun has figured out the way.
For he is Understanding, and he will be conjured back with Understanding.
And THAT concludes this video! If you would like to support this channel but can’t think of anything to leave as a comment, write the word, “Understanding”, in reference to what it will take to bring back Oryx and what the Hive Gods will obtain should they gain control of a Vex Core.
You can follow me on Twitter @VGXTPod for more updates on the channel and 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!