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Destiny 2: Who Is Toland?

This fall, Destiny 2's Shadowkeep expansion will bring back the Moon and the character Eris Morn. While unconfirmed at this point, there is a logical expectation that the character known as Toland the Shattered may also show up in some form within the expansion, considering Toland's origins and ties to both the Moon and Eris Morn. So in preparation for Shadowkeep (or as just a general explanation for those who may not know the story of this character), here is a primer answering the question, "Who is Toland the Shattered?"

The History of Toland the Shattered

Even before Destiny 2, Toland's story was first told in Destiny 1 during The Dark Below expansion. Toland was originally a Guardian who was obsessed with studying the Darkness and most specifically the Hive. So much so that he was called "mad" and he was exiled from the Guardians and The Last City by the Vanguard. He was sought out by Guardians Eris Morn and Eriana-3 to gain his knowledge about the Hive in an attempt to kill the Hive god Crota after Crota and his army slaughtered thousands of Guardians who tried to take back the Moon from the Hive.

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Toland was part of the original fireteam along with Eris Morn, Eriana-3, and three other Guardians who descended into the Hellmouth on the Moon to kill Crota. Toland became curious about the Hive Wizard known as Ir Yut, the Deathsinger and wanted to learn her song. He is able to communicate with Ir Yut but is ultimately killed by her song, as told in the Destiny 1 Grimoire card "Ghost Fragment: Hellmouth":

"The charming Ir Yût made her introductions, and I was very pleased to meet her. We had a conversation, a little tête-à-Yût, a couple old wizards exchanging definitions. I defined myself a friend. She defined for me the quiddity of death, and she sang the song of that fearful autonomy. Revelation, my friends, it does go down hard. The definition killed me. The killing redefined me."

Where is Toland now?

As mentioned in the Grimoire card above, Toland's death redefined him. Throughout Destiny 1 and Destiny 2, Toland the Shattered communicates with players. Toland is still alive in some sense, communicating from the other side of death. In Destiny 1, this was known as the Hive's throne world. After his death, Toland finds himself in "...the Overworld, the Sea of Screams, where the throne-universes of the great Hive fester in eternal majesty."

In Destiny 2's Forsaken expansion, players travel to the Ascendant Realm which appears to be the same universe where Toland now resides. In fact, there are many times within the Dreaming City and the Ascendant Realm that players hear from him again. The white orb of light that leads players through the Ascendant Realm within the Dreaming City may actually be Toland himself.

In the lore attached to the Reverie Dawn gauntlet armor for each class, which players can find within the Dreaming City, it tells of the Queen of the Reef Mara Sov's journey through the Ascendant Plane after being killed by Oryx in Destiny 1's The Taken King expansion. While she is making her way through the Ascendant Plane, she comes across Toland:

He [Toland] tries to speak to her [Mara Sov] from a place of high contempt. In doing so, he invites her into his topography. [...]

"Who are you?" [...]

"I AM MARA SOV. STARLIGHT WAS MY MOTHER, AND MY FATHER WAS THE DARK."

The thing that once was called Toland flees before her darkness/light/shadow/majesty. [...]

What does Toland want?

It is unknown what Toland's motivations are within the Ascendant Plane. He appears to be neither friend nor foe to the Guardians. He is clearly still obsessed with the Hive as most, if not all, of his rantings to the player are about the Hive and their way of life. He helps Guardians in some regards, with Toland gifting Guardians with the most tangible existence of himself in Destiny 2, the exotic pulse rifle Bad Juju, which he created. But he also speaks with hostility towards Guardians, so it cannot be safely said that he is on the side of the player either.

As mentioned, it is unknown if Toland will re-appear in Shadowkeep, but considering his presence in Forsaken and the heavy focus on the Hive and even the Vex (who, in the lore, play a major role in resurrecting Toland within the Ascendant Plane) with the accompanying Season of the Undying chances are good that players will hear from him again.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep releases October 1, 2019 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version also in development.

MORE: Destiny 2: Everything To Do Before Shadowkeep Launches

Source: Ishtar Collective

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