Within the Destiny universe, both the Light and the Darkness have their fair share of mysteries and unknowable beings. The Ahamkara for the denizens of the Tower and the Worm Gods for the Hive are but two. The Ahamkara, which were covered in an earlier post, were said to have granted power to those Guardians who seek them out. However as a consequence, the Guardians in question suffered a painful price, either by reaching the heights of insanity or succumbing to the Ahamkara’s power and committing horrible atrocities.
The Worm Gods on the flip side were a series of denizens who, much like the Ahamkara provided the weaker Hive species with smaller Worms that they took inside their bodies. It gave them power and knowledge. Power to survive and to escape the Fundament Sea that surrounded their pseudo-home – the Osmium Court. The Osmium King, who, in an age long lost, was a wise and strong leader however he lost his mind at the old age of 10, raving about a lining up of Moons and a massive storm that would cause the Fundament to rise and destroy all life. He spoke of these things to a familiar. It was a dead, white worm.
Whats to say that this worm did not speak to him about the nature of the world and what was coming? In the Book of Sorrow V, it is learned that Sathona, who had snatched the worm away from her dead father as she fled, learnt secrets and things that couldn’t be known, “I know this is the right thing to do. I know because I asked the worm…It’s dead, but it still speaks to me. It says : listen closely, oh vengeance mine”. The ending is exactly the same as reported by Guardians and inscribed on Guardian armour in relation to dealings with the Ahamkara. “Look at all this life oh bearer mine, there is so much left to burn” – this quote carries on with the Claws of Ahamkara comprised of scales and bones of a long extinct Ahamkara. We can see that there is the same style of whispered expression with both the Ahamkara and the Worm Gods.
Promises of the Worm
Artist : Unknown
The Ahamkara provided the Guardians who bargained with them, powers beyond the scope of understanding. Whether it was knowledge or power, the Ahamkara had the answers the Guardians sought. The Grimoire Card, Ghost Fragment : Legends 3, holds evidence that attests to this fact, “Power had been obtained from the bargains and the City needed power. Knowledge had been gleaned and the Ahamkara knew answers to questions no one had known to ask”. Similarly in the Book of Sorrow VIII, Sathona convinces her sisters to listen to her and the guidance of the honest worm compelling them to dive. To go further away from the Sky and the Light. This was not entirely Sathona’s way of thinking. While they wished to escape the God Wave and the destruction that was coming, the subtle influences, shown through Sathona’s speech, “Let us dive, oh sisters mine”, exhibit the changing minds due to connection with the worm. As found in the Book of Sorrow IX, the Worm Gods, Yul, Eir, Akka, Xol and Ur offered the three siblings deep below Fundament a choice. Aurash, Xi Ro and Sathona would take in one of the offspring of the Worm Gods into their bodies. It gave them eternal life and the power to control their own flesh.
Consequence of the Worm
We have been privy to stories of Guardians reaching a pinnacle of insanity after dealings with the Ahamkara, hearing whispers and subtle suggestions in their minds due to a closeness with artefacts of the Dragons or even after direct dealings with them. The worms which the pre-Hive took into their bodies as part of a symbiotic pact gave them power, but also began to consume them. The Hive had to fight, to kill in order to survive, a true primal reversion, as evidenced in the Book of Sorrow IX, “Aurash, you may never cease to explore and inquire…Xi Ro, you may never cease to test your strength…Sathona, you may never abandon cunning…If you do, your worm will consume you”. This dealing with the Worm Gods was a double edged sword, power at a terrible price. This is reminiscent of the Ahamkara and Ghost Fragment : Legends 3, “the Ahamkara knew the answers to questions no one had known to ask. But the price was too high”. This price clearly refers to the need for killing and destruction on the part of the bargainer. They were dangerous to deal with or to enter into a covenant with.
The Hive and more specifically, its leaders suffered dearly, because as their worms grew stronger, it grew hungrier and consumed them faster than it did before, “You must obey your nature. Your worm must feed” (Book of Sorrow XVI). The sisters that led the Hive grew mighty under the power of the Worm Gods, “My worm grows fat and hungry. I feed it with whole worlds” (Book of Sorrow XXIII) but still they were afraid it would eventually grow too hungry, unable to be satiated by the exterminating of other worlds and species, “Soon, my siblings, we will be so mighty and our worms so hungry, that not with all out might could we possibly feed them”. (Book of Sorrow XXIV). Links can be drawn here through the remnants of the Ahamkara to the destructive wishes of the Ahamkara. Look at the Claws of Ahamkara, “Look at all this life, oh bearer mine. There is so much left to burn…”. This piece of text showcases that the Ahamkara and Worm Gods bear a similar philosophy – to fill the world with teeth and rend destruction and devastation on the universes.
The Traveler. The protective orb that hovers above the Last City,crippled and broken after a long and devastating losing battle with the Darkness. Its last directive was to send out the Ghosts to gift newly risen Guardians with extraordinary power. But the Ahamkara arrived on Earth around the same time that the Traveler did. Mere coincidence perhaps? Beings of planet shattering power just being drawn together? In the Books of Sorrow, the Worm Gods and their powerful Hive symbiotes were chasing a powerful god they called a Traveler that gifted civilisations with false Golden Ages where weak species ‘survived’. But by the reckoning of the Hive and their gods, the Traveler was determined to be the cause of a world ending event on Fundament that would have ended their pre-Hive civilisation, “Our organs detect a fifty third moon in orbit of Fundament. A Traveler. Divine presence of the Sky. Now we know what arranged the syzygy” (Book of Sorrow XIV). It goes on to state that they will deal with the Traveler, which is further evidenced in Book of Sorrow XVIII, “Once the way is open, we’ll show you how to eat the Traveler”. Now I do not think, eating the Traveler refers to a physical consuming and digesting of the metal monolith but more a removal of its essence, its soul if you prefer. Consider the final mission of the Taken King story, titled Regicide. Oryx uses a power known as Grasp of the King to drain your Super energy, which is elementally condensed Light, ready to be focused and directed. Oryx clearly learnt the power from the Worm Gods to drain Light away and if he was not defeated, he would have consumed the Traveler.
Now in the Book of Sorrow XXXVI, Oryx talks to Crota about the Traveler they pursue, “the Traveler, a huckster god who baits young life into building houses for it…And these houses are a trap – for they lead young life away from the blade and the tooth which are the tools for survival”. Compare this to the item description on the exotic Young Ahamkara’s Spine, “Give me your arm, oh bearer mine. Let me help you fill the world with teeth” as well as the flavour text on Voidfang Vestments, “”YOU WILL DREAM OF TEETH AND NOTHING ELSE” – scratched behind a buckle”. These are references of the Ahamkara that have come into contact with Guardians but it bears a dangerously close similarity to Oryx’s summary of life, which is in turn influenced by the mysterious Worm Gods.
One of the things that permeates the legend of the Ahamkara and Worm Gods are their respective shapes. The referral to the Ahamkara as, wish dragons, promise dragons and space dragons, conjures up images of ferocious beasts with wings, scales and fire breathing tendencies. On the opposite end, the Worm Gods are exactly that – worms. However, looking closer at the Books of Sorrow, we can see that the links are clearly defined. In the Book of Sorrow IX, Yul speaks to the sisters from the Deep below Fundament, “Behold my vast displacement, my ponderous strength, my great and coiling length, my folded jaws and curled wings”. The Worm Gods carry the traits of a traditional dragon so why would they be referred to as worms? The word, worm, is derived from Wyrm which was often utilised to describe dragons and other serpents. On top of this, the Book of Sorrow XLV, showcases Xivu Arath raging at the Hives Gods, also known as the Worm Gods, “THE DRAGONS. Our gods should be ours alone”. The explicit referral to the gods as dragons adds credence to the link between the Ahamkara and the Worm Gods.
After a time of disastrous bargains for the City at the hands of the Ahamkara it was determined that they needed to be made extinct. After the great hunt did its work, fossils, scales and bones were taken of the dead Space Dragons and kept for souvenir purposes as well as being crafted into exotic armaments for Guardians to utilise. However, based on the flavour text of those exotic pieces, the minds of the unlucky Guardians who possessed those items, began to shift and crack as the whispers of the Ahamkara began to enter their minds, no matter how they tried to stop them, “Plating the Ahamkara bones in silver helps to stop the auditory hallucinations…oh bearer mine” (Sealed Ahamkara Grasps). In the same way the Worm Gods were not halted by death, as evidenced in the Book of Sorrow XLI, “To make his ship, Oryx scrimshawed one piece of Akka, who was dead but far from gone”. Akka was one of the Worm Gods who held all the secrets of the world, and who was killed by Oryx. The inference that the Worm God’s mind lived on after its physical death ties in with the continued mental intrusion of the Ahamkara after their bodies had been destroyed and decayed.
So Guardians. Do you think the Ahamkara and the Worm Gods are one and the same? Or just two of the many ways the Darkness has challenged the Legion of the Light?