In the story of Destiny, characters grow and evolve as their personal story develops. They stay true to their nature during their changes, but the stresses of such a violent and uncertain existence makes drastic life choices inevitable. These kinds of choices go far beyond what profession to pursue; These are the kinds of choices that alter the course of history as a whole.
Such is the life of Uldren Sov, brother of Queen Mara Sov and Prince of the Vestian Throne. The Book “The Forsaken Prince”, tells the story of Uldren in the events that lead up to just before the opening of the game’s third expansion, “Forsaken”. In part 1, we learned about how Uldren and his buddy and master sniper Jolyon talked about getting into the Black Garden and were able to utilize Cabal artillery fire to take down the Gate Lord guarding the threshold, allowing them to enter. In part 2, we learn that Mara’s response wasn’t exactly what Uldren was expecting, and he comes to the realization that the Black Garden holds even more secrets that he simply cannot ignore.
In part 3, we follow Uldren as he pursues this new direction, and explores a much darker path.
This is Videogame Crosstalk, and I hope you enjoy this Destiny Lore Video
After the Fall
Given that we just concluded Uldren’s trip into the Black Garden and we rely on his knowledge to enter it for the first time in the finale of the Vanilla campaign of Destiny 1, we know that the previous entries happened prior to the events of the vanilla destiny 1 campaign. In the entry After the Fall, we jump way ahead to the events immediately after the opening events of the Destiny 1 expansion, The Taken King. Oryx has arrived in the Sol System and the Awoken went to battle against the Hive fleet and Oryx’s Dreadnaught. Mara employed the use of a megaweapon known as the Harbinger, and Oryx in reply implemented his own paracausal tactic, effectively turning his throneworld INSIDE OUT and destroyed literally everything within a wide radius of his position. Uldren was just barely able to outrun the destruction, and eventually wakes up in his crashed ship on Mars.
The thing about Uldren’s situation at the moment is that he’s alone. He’s alone, frustrated, angry, and he has time to think. And he starts on a dark path of thought. Mostly about how he needs to find his sister, Mara, and how this whole war is stupid. He is almost able to make it off planet, but his ship is shot down by Cabal fire. Now he is really frustrated!
And his sister is gone. His sister is GONE. And he followed her and all his people followed her because he and they were sure she had a PLAN she always had a PLAN something better than DYING BY THE THOUSANDS FOR A CITY THAT DOES NOT CARE.
Basically, Uldren begins to fall and his mental state is in a directionless spin. He desperately tries to make sense of his situation and what his life has come to, but it is more placing the blame on the Traveler and the Guardians than actually trying to sort things out in his head. And then…
There is something in his eye. He blinks and blinks, trying to rub it away, and as he does, he struggles to hear her, to sense that prickle of starlight under his skin. She will tell him he is on the right path. She will tell him she’s still alive.
Riven’s influence has just begun to take hold….
The next entry, Kings, is what happens when Uldren finally comes face to face with the Kell of the Eliksni’s House of Kings. The exchange is an abbreviated version of what happens in Ghost Fragment: The Reef 4 from Destiny 1. What remains consistent is that Uldren has allowed himself to be captured and beaten. From the entry, Kings:
When at last they drag him before the Kell, he has already been transformed by weeks of abuse, weeks of beatings and forced runs and animal-pen conditions, into a happy man.
Happy, because Uldren is within reach of advancing his plot to the next step. This is quite the contrast from the Destiny 1 entry, Ghost Fragment: The Reef 4:
They debased him. They abused him. He bit the inside of his cheek until the blood filled his mouth. He struggled not to resist.
They needed to believe he was broken. That he wasn’t a threat.
And THAT would be the real reason. The Fallen soldiers had to take precautions since the Kell of Kings was the last remaining Kell. A logical precaution. However, Uldren didn’t want to kill the Kell. He wanted control of the entire House.
In the end, both the Kell of Kings and Uldren want the same thing. To unite despite differences to ensure the continuation of their people. The Kell isn’t happy about this, but he also understands the reasons for it. They have been divided by houses for too long, and if they are to survive they must burn their old banner and unite under a new one.
And to the groaned and growled protests of its court, the Kell of Kings kneels to Uldren. “I bow to thee,” it says, “for in thy downfall and disgrace thou bearest the weakness we cannot. Thou shalt tell the Eliksni to tear off their banners. Thou shalt tell them that we must all surrender to each other. We must give up our rivalries, or we will not survive. Wilt thou do this for one dying people, Prince of another?”
Oh yes, Uldren absolutely will. And in doing so, truly believes in the depths of his soul that Mara would be proud of him.
Fanatic – Part 1
Fast forwarding again to sometime after the Red War, Fanatic Part 1 opens with an Uldren that is pretty much lost emotionally. His nerves are shot, the Reef is in ruins, and apparently “Mara”, throwing the quotes around her name there, has stopped talking to him.
By now he has taken to raiding the Reef himself with the aid of his new allies, and of course comes up with some twisted way of justifying it:
He and the Kings have been raiding the Asteroid Belt, knocking out shipping headed for Earth, trying to further destabilize the Reef. Uldren has killed his own subjects, and at first that left him wretched with guilt, curled up in the hard cell where he sleeps. But didn’t Mara lead thousands of her subjects to their deaths for a still enigmatic greater good? How is this any different?
So now he is not only at war against the other regular opposing factions in the Sol system, but he continues his personal war against the Guardians, which we can be confident that the Eliksni are all too happy to assist with, and even his own people with the Awoken of the Reef. All the while, Uldren’s obsession, he continuing DESIRE, is to be accepted and praised by his sister. He has become frustrated with the fact that despite all his raiding and acting in a way that he believes she would approve of, he is still no closer to finding what happened to her. In an act of desperation, he cries out to the Void:
“Mara!” he cries, blinking against the persistent soreness in his right eye. “Sister, have you forsaken me?”
Worth remembering is that this isn’t the first time he’s had odd sensations in his eye, and remember that through the course of the Forsaken campaign Uldren’s eyes continually become more filled with black wisps as he gets closer to and closer to finally coming in contact with Riven. So he calls out to the Void, most likely not really expecting a reply, but then we have the last line in Part 1:
Something answers him!
Fanatic – Part 2
The next entry, Fanatic – Part 2, opens with Uldren following another kind whisper in his mind.
Just a whisper, just a brush of reassurance, just a quaver: …Uldren, my rescuer…
Following this whisper, Uldren comes across the aftermath of the events described in the comic lore, Cayde’s Six. You can read the first half of the story on comics.Bungie.net, but the conclusion of the story is contained in the Destiny Comic Collection, Volume 1. Basically, Cayde-6 rounds up a posse and sets an ambush for who would become known as the Scorn Barons. It’s a hell of an ambush, but suffice to say that they didn’t bother to confirm ALL the kills. Specifically, the Scorn Baron known as the Fanatic.
When Uldren comes face to face with the Archon, he sees that his wounds are mortal and he is not going to make it. A sudden wave of sympathy comes over Uldren, and he finds himself wanting to comfort the Archon; to do something to ease his pain or to find the words for gentle reassurance….
Does he wish it? Does he wish to save this poor thing?
He does! He does!
Awww crap. While overcome with extreme emotion and the DESIRE to please his sister, he’s made a wish…
His eyes burn with sympathetic tears as he works to bind the Archon’s wounds. His hands are quick and gentle, and he weeps with the strength of his hatred for the Guardians that did this. As tears stain the Archon’s wounds, the Ether roiling through Uldren’s fingers slowly grows heavier, darker, more noxious. He does not notice.
Oh cool! Uldren is becoming overcome with dark influence! As the Archon finally comes to, he is not sure if he is still alive or has passed on to the afterlife. As he meets Uldren’s gaze, he croaks out a single word:
The purpose of the last entry for this video, The Severance, is Uldren breaking away from just about everything that held sacred. The first thing that Uldren acknowledges is that doing the right thing no longer matters. All that he desires is to find Mara, and he believes that as long as his conviction is strong enough that he will find a way.
However, this extremist perspective has taken its toll on him. He is perpetually exhausted. Even getting out of bed can take him a full hour to do. He knows that his life wasn’t always like this.
Wasn’t living easy, once? Couldn’t he do things just by wanting to do them? The spark has gone out of him, the spark of the possibility of Mara’s trust.
But then, just as he’s hitting that lowest level…
Come home, the wall tells him. It’s time to come home and take your crown…
And here we have even more whispers being heard when he thinks about something he strongly desires. But, this is exactly what he needed. He is suddenly invigorated, ready to get baack out there. But first, let’s check the news to see what is happening in the Reef:
Petra’s voice. Petra who dares to try to replace what does not need replacing. “Cayde, the targets are in the crater now. My fireteams are in blocking position. Whoever you’ve got, call them in.”
Well, that doesn’t make him happy. He is convinced that his sister would never have condoned the idea of working together with the Guardians. Despite, ya know, the entirety of the House of Wolves expansion and going to war against Oryx, but, what the hell do I know?!
There’s a bit more info coming through, but it is clear that there is an operation underway that Petra Venge and Cayde-6 are coordinating on. Uldren sees this as a prime opportunity to disrupt some Guardian activity, so he commands that his Ketch be directed to where the action is.
“What are you doing?” a Captain of the Kings growls in his ear. “The House of Kings is very satisfied with the state of the Awoken demesne. And if we interfere, we will certainly attract Guardians…”
Insubordination. She would have never tolerated this. “Ah,” Uldren says, careful to keep his voice light. “Yes. Of course.” The itch in his eyes resumes, and he discovers that he has a new desire. A new thing he fiercely wants.
So we now know that Uldren now commands an Eliksni Ketch and is working alongside the Kell. We know that his hatred for both Guardians and what the Awoken have become does nothing but fester, and that his eyes continue to show signs of corruption progressing within him.
And finally, we see that he now has a new desire to focus on.
And THAT concludes the video! If you enjoyed this video, please let me know and drop a like. If you would like to support this channel but can’t think of anything to leave as a comment, write the word, “Scorn”, since this is the beginning of the new enemy race that was introduced in Forsaken. Be sure to hit that subscribe button 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!