The first part of Game Rant’s overview of Destiny‘s Books of Sorrow left off with Auryx/Oryx dead, slain by his own sister for showing mercy in their attempt to track down Taox, the queen that betrayed them.
Here is part 2 looking at this fascinating collection of lore from Destiny:
Auryx, killed by Savathûn, still lives outside of the physical world. This marks the creation of Auryx’s Throne World and the Ascendant realms of the Hive. Players have experienced this many times in the game: Crota resided in an Ascendant realm within the Hellmouth, Hive ships rip into the physical world from these realms, and of course, in The Taken King, players go to Oryx’s Throne World aboard the Dreadnaught.
While Auryx exists only in the Hive’s secondary dimension, his sisters Savathûn and Xivu Arath kill the Leviathan and release the Ahamkara from their entrapment in Fundament’s core. With the release of these dragons of the Darkness, the Traveler flees the system, abandoning the Ammonites. The Ammonites are completely wiped out of existence, however Taox remains unfound.
A Deeper Look at the Hive
The Books of Sorrow explain a bit of the lifecycle of the Hive. Everything is based on the feeding of the symbiotic worms in each Hive. It starts with a mother Wizard from which comes a spawn. From that spawn comes Thrall, and those survive to kill and become Acolytes. The Acolytes that kill many and continue to feed the worm within them can become Knights, Wizards, and Princes of the Hive.
Swords are no doubt an important feature of the Hive race—players must use the Sword of Crota to defeat him in the raid and Oryx and many other Hive use swords throughout Destiny. The swords of the Hive are powerful tools, and in the Books of Sorrow, Savathûn and Xivu Arath use their swords to cut through the fabric of space and time to create and access the Ascendant Realms. The sisters reunite with Auryx and the three powerful Hive each create three realms of their own.
What comes next is a 20,000 period when Auryx, Savathûn, and Xivu Arath war against one another inside of each other’s Ascendant Realms. Not out of hate, spite, or territory, but for the purpose of making one another stronger. There is a process with these powerful siblings that allows them to learn and gain power each time they are killed. The Books of Sorrow says “this is how they worshipped.”
They killed each other many times over “so they could practice death.” During this time, Auryx decides to establish a court, and anyone who wants to challenge Auryx must enter his court. This will become the Court of Oryx that players can enter aboard the Dreadnaught. Auryx’s sisters also create their own courts for the same purpose.
Outside of the Ascendant realms, the Hive continue to move across the galaxy killing everything in sight. At this point in the timeline, they have wiped out 306 worlds. They believe they are superior, having the right to destroy everything else as they feed their worms. It is at this point that Auryx begins to sense that the worms within them grow hungrier the more the siblings kill. He begins to worry that eventually the worms will become so hungry that there will be no way to feed them until they devour their hosts.
The Ecumenean War
Meanwhile, mercenary explorers belonging to another race called the Ecumene find the remnants of a spacecraft drifting through space. Inside, they find Taox in stasis. She tells them about the Ammonites, the Hive, and Auryx and his sisters. The Ecumene have experienced the wrath of the Hive across the destruction of 17 worlds. With the knowledge they gain from Taox, they wage war against the Hive and are successful, stopping their advance through the galaxy.
Auryx, Savathûn, and Xivu Arath flee to their Ascendant realms, refusing to go into the physical world because the Ecumene continue to kill the siblings and fight back the Hive. They question how they can survive and feed their worms when they are not able to continue their mass killing. Savathûn and Xivu Arath offer themselves up to Auryx and allow him to kill them so he can gain their powers of “cunning and killing logic.”
Auryx goes to see the Ahamkara Akka who provided the siblings with their power back on Fundament. He cuts Akka to pieces with his sword and learns the secrets of the Darkness, which he writes on tablets, called the Tablets of Ruin, which he wears on his waist.
When Auryx returns, he does so with a vengeance, as Oryx the Taken King. He unleashes his power against the Ecumene, abducting them and converting them to the Taken, just as is seen in Destiny when Oryx takes the Fallen and Cabal to make them his own. Oryx fights the Ecumene for one hundred years, and then finally defeats their leadership. From their blood rises Xivu Arath, saying “I am war, and you have conjured me back with war.”
Oryx and Xivu Arath wage war for forty more years against the Ecumene, until Oryx approaches a sect of the Ecumene asking them to help him kill his sister Xivu Arath. They agree, but it was in fact a trap set by Oryx and they are wiped out. Then Oryx’s other sister, Savathûn rises as well saying, “I am trickery, and you have conjured me back with trickery.” The three siblings wage war against the Ecumene for one thousand more years until the entire Ecumene race is extinct.
At the end of the war, the Hive face the same problem as before: how to feed their worms. Oryx sets up a system where the Thrall kill what they can, enough for their worm to grow and then the rest gets passed onto the Acolyte above them. This tribute system continues all the way up the chain of Hive to Knight and Wizards, then Ascendants, who then give to the netherworld to Oryx and his siblings.
Crota, Eater of Hope
While Oryx is communing with the Deep/the Darkness, he gets the idea that he needs children that he “can love and kill,” like he has done for millennia with his siblings. Thus, a son is born and Oryx gives him the name Crota and a sword. Oryx orders the Hive and Crota to chase the Traveler and destroy it.
Oryx also has twin daughters who becomes great Wizards named Ir Anûk and Ir Halak. The keen-eyed player might spot these twins in the game—they are two of the Deathsingers around Crota’s tomb in the story mission “Last Rites” and are one of the sub-bosses in the King’s Fall raid.
In The Dark Below expansion’s raid, players faced Crota in his Ascendant realm. If any Guardian is killed during the encounter an Oversoul is summoned and unless it is destroyed, kills the entire fireteam.
In the Book of Sorrows it is revealed that the twin daughters of Oryx, Ir Anûk and Ir Halak, are the creators of oversouls. Oryx passes by his daughters one day as they are continuously killing each other in an attempt to create an oversoul. The sisters explain the oversoul this way: “If we can separate our deaths from ourselves, and hide them, we will be hard to kill.” Think of it in a similar way to a Horcrux from Harry Potter.
Oryx tells Crota to keep an eye on his sisters, as he could learn from them. Crota goes and conspires with his sisters and he decides to experiment with the Ascendant realm and powers of his own. Crota uses his sword to cut open a new wound in time and space with the intention of gaining more power, but the plan backfires and lets an outside force into Oryx’s throne world for the first time ever. This force is the Vex.
We’ll conclude the Books of Sorrow in Part 3 as Oryx fights back against the Vex, Oryx creates the Dreadnaught, and more.
The Books of Sorrow can be read in their entirety here.
What has been the most surprising part of Destiny‘s Books of Sorrow so far?