The Cliff Notes of 8,770 Words from the Witch Queen’s Secret Lore ‘Destiny 2’

Yesterday, Bungie released a mid-season Destiny 2 lore drop, which is pretty unusual. But I quickly realized what had happened, as Bungie released a huge amount of secret information gleaned from The Witch Queen Collector’s Edition, where fans had collected “lost” pages from the Hidden Journal that translated into many more traditions. .

8,770 words, exactly. For reference, the first Harry Potter book is 76,000 words. Go narrative team.

There’s a lot to go through, so I thought I’d do just that and post the cliff-notes summary of what’s there. I’m not sure that’s anything that causes a massive reveal (keep in mind this was technically released before the Witch Queen’s story was revealed), but it certainly does a great job of fleshing out the world and recent events all the same. I’ll try to go in order, as these sections all work on top of each other:

  • We start with Mithrax and Ikora sending each other letters. Mithrax is quite sad as he talks about learning to accept that the Fallen aren’t chosen for the Light, and still doesn’t know why the Traveler left in the first place. Ikora posits that the Traveler only stayed with humanity because he needed to actively cultivate an army to defend himself rather than move on. She also wonders if humans are about to disappear before they manage to leave the solar system.
  • Then there’s a segment called Psychometer Field Tests, which among other things explains how the FWC was studying exactly how ghosts brought us back to life, though it’s possible the research was lost with Lakshmi. A short segment after that talks about The Drifter and how he refers to “specters of light”, powers his ghost can access due to the modifications he has made to them. They believe that due to the Drifter’s horrific past pushing him and his ghost to the limit, perhaps his ghost “has reached a new way of thinking about the light”. Hmm.
  • Ikora and Zavala are playing a game of Go. Ikora is playing suboptimally because she is interested in seeing where the game goes if she moves in that direction. Zavala is more about winning as efficiently as possible.

  • There’s an interesting hidden agent report that more or less says we can’t fully trust any of the Fallen. He does not plead for their extinction, but he considers what happened with Eramis a total failure. He says we can’t trust Variks because of how many times he changed sides. Mithrax is an “outlier,” he says, but we can’t judge an entire race based on just one good egg. The suggestion is that we give away Fallen starships and let them go colonize stars elsewhere, rather than continuing to establish a foothold on earth like they do with House Light.
  • There is then a long discussion of the prisoner’s dilemma, which then evolves into a more complex discussion of the iterated prisoner’s dilemma, about two communities cooperating or declaring war on each other for grain. The ultimate conclusion here is that the only outcome is ultimately endless war, seeming to echo the eternal conflict between Light and Darkness. It’s a pretty good read on some real-life philosophical/logical issues. Here is what I would say is the key conclusion of this very long section:

“That is why the Light erases the memory. It erases the pain of the past to break the pattern. Create the possibility of grace.

This is why the Darkness remembers. We must remember how we were hurt, in order to avoid being hurt again.

  • Then there is a message from Chalco, a Hidden Hunter agent who frequently appears in these logs, to Ikora about VIP #2014 whom Ikora considers a “true friend”. This VIP… is us. The passage talks about how our ghost, Ghost, internalizes the trauma of all the risks we take and how he has been possessed by darkness a few times now. Ikora says “one stone can change the whole landscape of the board”, returning to the reference to Go. It seems that we are that stone.
  • Finally, there’s an incredibly lengthy conversation between Dead Orbit’s Arach Jalaal and Ikora Rey that focuses on the Truth to Power manuscripts, Forsaken’s famously confusing and misleading passages. Ikora’s conclusion is that they are so misleadingly, the correct answer is almost simply to read them clearly, and she keeps coming back to some key points that are referenced in the passages: “Black holes. Vex simulations. Ahamkara. Hive tribute manipulations. Our response must therefore involve all four. Eventually the conversation evolves into a meta topic of whether this whole world (Destiny) is a simulation in a larger world, and there are implications that Savathun is trying to break through the fourth wall to contact these higher beings (us) in what is called the “parent universe”. This whole section is fascinating and probably worth a full read on its own. Maybe some reading.

So yeah, some pretty interesting stuff all around here. Nothing earth-shattering perhaps, but hints of what’s to come, perhaps? We’ll see.

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