The Fallen are some of the most common enemies within the Destiny universe and are oftentimes seen as the weakest enemies, the exploited ones, the mere annoyances that Guardians just brush off as they run by. However the Fallen have a rich and storied history eventually culminating in their fall (hehehe). With the new Destiny expansion, Rise of Iron coming out on September 20th, it is the perfect time to bring to light the history of the Fallen, from their Golden Age to the rise of the Splicers.
The Fallen have a distinguished hierarchy in their culture and each individual Fallen’s place within that hierarchy is distinguished by their Ether ration. Ether is a substance that acts as both a growth agent and a pseudo-food by which they can sustain themselves. Based on their rank in Fallen society, they get a specific ration of Ether which allows them to grow. The only way to gain more Ether is for the Fallen to prove themselves in combat against worthy opponents or to steal it from someone else, which will probably result in either the thief’s or the victim’s death. This is why the Kells of Fallen culture are typically the strongest in their hierarchy – they have fought and clawed their way to the top.
But why have they come to Earth? Why do the Fallen Houses of Devils, Winter, Exile and Kings harass pilgrims who are coming to the Last City and why do they obliterate refugees and Guardians alike with a cold detachment?
Not much is known about the Fallen before the onset of the Darkness, except that they arrived during the aftermath of the Collapse in their Ketches and their Skiffs and quickly became a nightmare whispered on the wind, ever present in the minds of children and hardened adults alike. But it would seem that the Fallen were just a victim of the greater Darkness, like humanity and the Guardians. Like so many civilisations before us that died complete deaths at the hands of the Darkness that is the Hive.
The Fallen have a similar name to the complete uprooting of their civilisation – The Whirlwind, which is comparable to humanities Collapse. In the Grimoire Card ‘Ghost Fragment : Fallen 3’, we learn that the Fallen had a civilisation that was powerful, that ruled themselves – the Fallen controlled their own destiny in a paradise flooded with Ether, rather than having it rationed strictly in the warzone that surrounds the Last City. They aspired to gather more than weapons and glimmer and salvage, they were higher beings. But like the thousands, if not millions of civilisations before them, they were crushed by the oncoming Darkness. They retreated to our Solar System in hope of safety and salvation. That was all they wanted.
But the Traveler, known as the Great Machine to the Fallen Houses chose us. Humanity built a city beneath its silent mass and repelled all invaders. Humanity claimed the Traveler as we thought it claimed us. The Fallen were desperate, as Guardians, the ghouls of undeath, swarmed out and killed Fallen young, starved their ether and murdered their Primes. Maybe it was deserved but maybe they were misunderstood. They needed the salvation of the Great Machine so they banded together. The House of Kings, House of Devils and House of Winter rallied together for an assault on the Last City.
Battle Of Twilight Gap
Named after a defensive battery on the outskirts of the Last City where many Guardians lost their lives, the Battle of Twilight Gap is one that is remembered with silence and reverence. The combined might of the Fallen Houses of Kings, Devils and Winter launched a devastating assault on the Last City with one goal – to claim for themselves their Great Machine, our Traveler.
Led by the Kell of Kings these three Fallen houses rushed upon the city and the Guardians were hard pressed to defend themselves. Desperate encounters took place with many Guardians and many Fallen warriors left dead in the wake of the destruction. Fallen Walkers duelled out a deadly dance with the gun emplacements of the City each attempting to gain ground for their side. The combined might of the three Fallen Houses broke through the front lines at Twilight Gap and poured ever closer to the City. However, Lord Shaxx, with assistance from his trusty Frames and a few willing Guardians, successfully routed the Fallen and pushed them back through the breach. This signalled the turning point of the battle, with the Fallen ultimately being defeated. It has been said that if the Fallen House of Wolves had arrived to bolster the forces of the other Houses, the City would have been overrun and the Traveler claimed by the Fallen.
The House of Wolves Subjugated
A short time before the Battle of Twilight Gap the Techuens of the Reef began to hear great amounts of encrypted communications between the Fallen Houses as well as witnessing tactics that belied a large scale assault. Seeming as they did not have the ability to break the encryption they deduced that the Fallen were beginning to prepare for an assault on the City. An assault they hoped would be the last. There was no way to warn Earth, no way to warn the Last City but then the Reef saw it, a massive interplanetary fleet coming in from the Jovians. The House of Wolves. Their army was hundreds of thousands if not millions strong and the Queen of the Reef had a decision to make – Reveal the presence of the Reef to all enemies in the area but ultimately save the Last City or do nothing and let Earth be overrun.
While the House of Wolves docked at Ceres the Queen moved quickly. Aided by her Techuens they unleashed the great superweapon of the Reef – her Harbingers . The Harbingers tore through the asteroid, killing both Virixias, the Kell of Wolves as well as more than half his House. The Queen of the Reef effectively crippled the House of Wolves and sent the remaining into hiding, deep within the asteroid belt. The hunt began.
After many battles, some lost and some won, the new Kell of the House of Wolves, Skolas the Rabid, launched a desperate assault on Cybele. However, due to intel gained by the Queen from Variks the Loyal, the last remaining Fallen of House Judgement, they were ready. As soon as Skolas’ Ketches arrived at Cybele, they were caught in a pincer movement by four Armada Paladins – Leona Bryl, Kamala Rior, Abra Zire and Hallam Fen. Skolas and the rest of the high leadership of the Wolves was captured. With their Kell in chains, the Fallen House of Wolves bent the knee to the Queen, waiting for their moment to escape. Queen Mara Sov was now the new Kell of Wolves.
While not much is known about the House of Devils and their pact with the technological augmenting virus known as SIVA, it is clear that it has boosted their combat capabilities exponentially. Equipped with a variety of powerful new weaponry and armour, they have busted open the wall of the Cosmodrome and now advance towards the Last City. Another assault on the City, another attempt to claim the Great Machine perhaps? Or maybe just revenge.
The now augmented Fallen known as the Devil Splicers are not new. The first appearance of this virus and the Fallen it inhabits dates back to the mysterious death of the Iron Lords – Gheleon, Timur, Joldur, Efrideet, Perun, Radegast, Silimar, Skorri and Felwinter. The only survivor of that great struggle and victory for which the Iron Lords paid the ultimate price was Lord Saladin. The Fallen House of Devils have strengthened themselves. They are coming to carve out a new destiny for the Fallen.