• u/Eander

Solstice Armor Lore


Titan Rare Set

Solstice Helm (Rekindled)

Stare into the sun and get burned.

"Zavala, we did it! The shields are down!"

The Titan Vanguard looked to the sky. That Ghost was right: The topaz glow of the Cabal command ship's shields flickered and disintegrated. Zavala wasn't a man who smiled often, but there were a lot of firsts today.

"All friendlies, focus fire on that capital ship! The Tower does not fall today!" He launched himself from behind cover, weapon snapping to his shoulder, the not-smile still curling his lip. These Cabal were going to learn—

Severed.

It was like lava on his chest. Shock, pain, anger, emptiness. The breath rushed from his lungs, and his weapon clattered to the ground. The sounds of war buzzed into quiet. But no matter—he'd been lower than this. And his fists of thunder were more dangerous than any rifle. He drew upon the Light, and... nothing.

His eyes widened. He froze for an instant... and a Cabal slug took him in the side.

The Light is gone, he thought. Over and over. The Light is gone. Then: You're their leader. They need you. Now more than ever. Get up. Get up!

He roared in defiance, lurching back to his feet. He would see them all safe. Even if it meant his life.

Solstice Gauntlets (Rekindled)

Sometimes the battle burns you up.

Amanda was quiet, but Zavala could still hear the anger before her voice came back over the comms. "Due respect, Commander, I ain't got time to come be your chauffeur. There are thousands of people like me stranded down there in the City."

"The City is lost." He hated saying it, but he knew it in his bones. "And we're all the same now, Holliday. The Light is gone. We have to regroup."

"You mean run." Even angrier now. It was infectious.

"I mean live to fight another day. We don't have the luxury of rescue flights anymore. The longer we stay here, the tighter the noose."

"Then go! What's stopping you? You know how to fly a ship."

"Not like you. You're the best pilot in the system, Amanda. And you're the only one who can keep our ships in the air once we're away from Earth."

"Dammit, sir, we can't just leave them here."

"I've already made my decision. If humanity is to survive..." He'd leave the betting to Cayde, but he knew the odds were slim. "This is the only choice we have."

Silence. For a few seconds this time. "All right." Her voice cracked. He understood.

Solstice Plate (Rekindled)

Memories of the City burn in your heart.

He made himself look at the numbers. Seventy-three ships lost in the exodus. Seventy-three ships full of people looking to him for guidance. Guardians and civilians alike. All Zavala could give them was a noble death.

Almost none of the vessels had been outfitted with weapons. Transports and supply skiffs, barely holding together outside Earth's atmosphere, trying to punch through a fortified Red Legion blockade. Like prey animals limping through a pack of lions. It was a massacre.

The only reason the fleet made it past the Moon was because the Red Legion focused so heavily on Earth. In that, they seemed like the Cabal Zavala knew. Single-minded. Incapable of thinking more than a few moves ahead. But he knew this Dominus Ghaul wouldn't give up that easily. So they kept moving.

But what next? Zavala had a plan, of course. He always had a plan, Titan Vanguard or no.

But what he really needed was information. He needed—

"Deputy Commander Sloane, reporting for duty, sir."

Zavala closed his eyes. And for a brief moment, he relaxed.

Solstice Greaves (Rekindled)

Go swift as a steed newly awakened.

"Guardians: The City is lost. If there is any Light left in the system... we rally on Titan. Be brave."

Zavala released the record button and looked to the two of them again. Sloane's face revealed nothing, as usual. Amanda was faking an encouraging look. He sighed. "You don't like that one either."

Amanda looked at Sloane, then back to Zavala, clearly not sure what to say. It was Sloane who spoke. "Sir, you want your message to inspire this new resistance. The language you use is..." She was trapped between her usual loyalty and her usual bluntness.

"You make it sound like we've already lost." Amanda said, her hand hovering over the delete button. Zavala raised an eyebrow. She wasn't trapped by anything.

"Holliday's right, Commander. We're not burning the bulk of our fuel supply to get to Saturn and turtle up. You said it: We're going there to rally. People need something to rally to."

He looked down at the recorder for a long moment. When he spoke, his eyes were still downcast. "They need to know the truth. I owe them that. Activate the beacon."

Solstice Mark (Rekindled)

Battle scars may burn and leave a mark.

"Confirmed, sir. Nearly one hundred percent of the Arcology is infested. And... we lost both teams."

Zavala didn't turn to face Sloane. He just stared at the rise and fall of the methane oceans.

"But we know our enemy now, Commander. We may not have our Light, but we have the advantage. Give the order, and we'll storm the place. Burn it all down if we have to. The Hive deserve nothing less."

"I was a fool to come here. In the shadow of our worst enemy." He looked up to the hole in Saturn's rings, his back still to her. "I thought the strength of our resolve and the treasures of the Golden Age were more powerful than whatever fuels those... demons."

Sloane hated hearing him talk like this, but it was the only way he seemed to talk these days. "You weren't wrong, sir. It may be the only place in the system the Cabal won't go. A perfect launching pad for us to strike back. We'll suppress the Hive, and—"

"Pull them out. All of them. Get them back to safety, and post guards on our side of the bridge."

"Commander—"

"Dismissed."

Titan Legendary Set

Solstice Helm (Resplendent)

Sometimes you have to become the weapon.

"Bah." The Red Legion invader said something in its unknowable language. It gestured with its right hand toward a Guardian who lay still, groaning and trying to get up. Even from his perch on the balcony above, Theus-7 knew mockery when he saw it.

Below him, chaos. Crowds cowered in the archways of collapsing buildings. Cabal rampaged around the open courtyard, shooting and throwing and overturning. Nothing, no one in their way was untouched. The Cabal closest to Theus drew his sidearm, aiming at the still-sputtering Guardian beside him.

Theus drew his hand cannon and got the shot off before it could, then got a clean shot on another Cabal terrorizing a group of children. It wasn't long before the Red Legion focused fire on the balcony—he was a Sentinel, though, and he knew what to do.

He leapt down, drawing on the power of the Light to form his shie—

But the Light's gone out.

The air left his body. The ugly face of the Red Legion got closer. Nothing left to do.

He shouted at the crowd to run as he primed a grenade.

Solstice Gauntlets (Resplendent)

If you can't have a blast, make one.

Beneath a dead tree, Esta Tel scanned the bridge above her as she hurried to fasten the wires at the end of the cable to her detonator. Looked good. Bare road on one end of the bridge, buildings in the way on the other, but everything looked clear from down in the ravine.

The Cabal would be making a run in exactly three minutes. Time to go.

She watched the buildings up above, listening. Heard engine sounds.

When she saw a vehicle come into view, she clicked the detonator. Ten seconds.

But it wasn't Cabal. It was a medical vehicle. Moving fast onto the bridge.

Five seconds. All the blood drained from her face. She decided before she knew what she was doing.

Shouldered her sniper rifle. Aimed for the junction of her wire and the explosives under the bridge. Shot it out. The wire fell as the medical vehicle crossed.

In the distance, she heard the Cabal coming. Finally.

Shoot the explosives.

Click. No more rounds. No time to think.

Solstice Plate (Resplendent)

Finish what you begin, at your own pace, with a focus unmatched.

Lyria Graemer shoved herself further into the nook underneath a cable support and looked down, waiting for Mattox-9 to make his way up. As he climbed using the fasteners she'd driven into the wall of the Tower, he met her eyes and gave a thumbs-up.

Eight more stories and they'd be right below the Speaker and the Cabal brutes who held him. Just a little further.

Graemer heard distant popping and saw puffs of smoke from below. Looking down, she saw Red Legion troops on the ground, firing up at them.

She looked to Mattox. He nodded.

"Climb!" she said, drawing her rifle. He reached her ready to crack a joke—she knew that face—but the clang of metal on metal interrupted him. Mattox's head shot forward, and as it snapped back up, the red light of his eyes flickered to black. Graemer's rifle fell from her hands as she hauled his body up—they could still finish this together.

Shots all around her. She snarled as one caught her in the side. The Cabal weren't letting up.

Graemer activated her grenades and loaded them into Mattox's rocket launcher. Then, clutching the body of her oldest friend, she dove down.

As they reached the enemy, the world exploded to black.

Solstice Greaves (Resplendent)

Stand your ground until you're the last one standing.

Daimos-22 whipped his free arm as he called to the crowds of Humans, pleading with them to hurry. The compound must have been their home for years—that was his guess based on the armfuls of possessions passing him. But it was flooding now. Sinking.

The tunnel—the only one that hadn't flooded, made of cracked, rotten wood and brittle metal—was barely big enough to stand in, but it would get them to the surface. "Come on!" the Titan called as they streamed past him.

Children and old folks crying. "I know," he said, straining not to shout. "But we have to move."

A woman dropped her enormous suitcase, and he kicked it aside. She looked back at the bag, and then she was gone in the crowd.

The whole structure groaned. Daimos looked up, scanning up and down the tunnel. It didn't sound right at all.

The section of roof above him split open, and the whole tunnel buckled. He could hear the tension grinding in his arms as he pressed on the roof. Hold.

He kept calling out, and they kept running past.

He held and held. And when he let go, he knew he was the last one left.

Solstice Mark (Resplendent)

Birds fly in formation so they do not lose their way.

"Anokai Tai, checking in."

The Titan listened for a response as he throttled the Wayfarer Z over the rubble of a collapsed building and onto what had once been a busy road. He watched for activity.

Nothing yet.

"Tai, we see you," the voice on the radio came back. "About twelve klicks to the rendezvous point."

The Titan accelerated, staying low. He was picking up a pair of Guardians—two more just like him who had been passing information to an offworld ship when their vehicle was destroyed. Just a few weeks ago, he would have scoffed at putting three people on a Sparrow. Now pickups like this were almost normal.

A large Legion ship—he didn't know what kind—lay strewn across his path. He pulled back on the stick to rise over the wreck, but something within the Sparrow sputtered.

A second later, that something caught fire.

No no—

The Sparrow slammed down onto the cratered road. Plasma bolts flew past Tai. Ambush.

Tai leapt off the Wayfarer Z and ducked behind it, firing as a platoon of Red Legion emerged from the wreck. He managed to get two before the Sparrow exploded.

Hunter Rare Set

Solstice Mask (Rekindled)

Hide your true face from the sun, lest you get burned.

"Now is not the time, Cayde." Sword strike. Forty-one Cabal down.

"On the contrary, my horned friend." Throwing knife. Thirty-six. "These red lesions are burning down our house. The stakes have never been higher!" Hand cannon. Thirty-seven. "Let's say… two thousand Glimmer a head."

"Ikora said 'Red Legion,' you fool. And no." Sword strike. Forty-two and forty-three.

"Five thousand."

"I will not wager against you when our home—"

Severed.

"Wh— What is this? Cayde, what have you done to me? Another trick to win a bet we haven't made?"

"Ugh."

"Cayde!"

"No, you big ox! I can't… ugh. Can't you see that it got me too? Look out!" Sidearm. Thirty-eight.

"The Light is beyond my reach. My Ghost is empty." Sword strike. Forty-four. "This means…"

"They need us. We should split up." Throwing knife. Thirty-nine. "I'll sweep the streets, you take the—"

"Ten thousand." Sword strike. Forty-five. "THESE are the highest stakes." Sword strike. Forty-six. "You want a bet, Hunter? Let's bet. The only prize is our lives. For all time.”

Hand cannon. Firefly! Forty, forty-one, forty-two. "You're on."

Solstice Grasps (Rekindled)

Hold too tight and it could all slip away.

"How many was that? I sorta stopped counting a while ago."

Cayde's whisper is loud enough to be heard by any Red Legion nearby, but he'd solved that problem with three flashes of his knife in the last two minutes. His Ghost doesn't respond.

"Never mind, never mind. You know, this would go a lot faster if I could draw 'em out somehow. Use something for bait. Something small."

His Ghost still doesn't respond.

"Not like you. Something without a big glowy eye. Wait, shh-shh-shh…"

He ducks into the shadows. Two Legionaries flanking a Goliath tank waddle past his hiding spot. No need to be a hero, he thinks. At least, not a dead one. Not yet.

"Three more blocks and we're in business. You sure you can still access the terminals?"

No response.

"You're right, I shouldn't doubt you. Just because we haven't touched the Light in nine hours doesn't mean that you can't still, you know, do your thing with the beam. But you're my last hope, little buddy. Zavala's gonna take years to build up his big space fleet. Ikora's gonna sit and stare at a Traveler-shaped hole in the ground for just as long. It's up to us now. You with me?"

A loud whisper: "Always."

Solstice Vest (Rekindled)

Memories of lost loves burn in your heart.

"Vanguard emergency override, auth chartreuse seven seven dash six."

[Good morning, Hunter Vanguard. Automated voice help system engaged. How can I help you today?]

"I need to take down a giant space rhino before he sees me."

[I assume you're referring to a Cabal enemy. Can you provide me with any more information?]

"He looks like a fifteen-foot-tall spiky cloud with wings and a cape."

[That doesn't align with reference images I have on file. Is he wearing some kind of special armor?]

"Either that or he's got a real weird body. We're talking weirder than usual."

[How can I help you today?]

"Sorry. Sorry. So we need to kill this Ghaul guy. I need ideas. How did that one fireteam take down Crota again?"

[They infiltrated the Ascendant Realm and confronted him at his Oversoul throne.]

"OK, that's probably not gonna work here. What about Skolas?"

[Please specify: when he met his execution in the Prison of Elders—]

"Nope."

[—or when he brought his House of Wolves across time through Vex time gates—]

"Now we're talking! Vex stuff. Teleporting. How do I do that?"

Solstice Strides (Rekindled)

Jump not from the pan into the flames.

"So your name is 'Failsafe'?"

"Yes! And your name is the Cayde unit!" ("You're an Exo. Human brain in a robot body. Weird mouth lights.")

"Wait, who was that?"

"Who was who? I am me!"

"It doesn't matter. You don't know what'll happen if I do this. You're an AI, just like one back home that told me about this place."

"That is incorrect!" ("I'm about a thousand times smarter.")

"If you're so smart, how come you crashed your big ship into a horse moon?"

"That is very rude!"

"Look, we don't have a lot of time. I'm just gonna wire up this Vex teleporter to my triple jump circuits. What's the worst that could happen?"

"Based on my cycles analyzing Vex portal technology, one of the many alarming yet likely outcomes is that your body and consciousness are separated into two distinct antimatter dimensions!"

"Ah, you're making that up. Here goes."

"Please wait a moment, Cayde unit! I have not encountered anyone else on 7066 Nessus since the crash of the Exodus Black." ("I'm not good at being lonely.") "If you are absorbed into a quasi-space pseudorealm—"

"Sorry, Failsafe, gotta be brave here."

Dzzt.

Solstice Cloak (Rekindled)

Mistakes can burn, even in the dead of night.

"So that's it for now, Ace. I don't think I'm gonna get out of this one. Not the most heroic way to go out for your ol' dad, I'll admit, but… hurk! Ah, shoot. Gotta start over. How long was that one, Failsafe?"

"Two hundred thirty-six seconds since the last teleportation! You never told me that Ace was your son! How wonderful!"("And super sad.")

"That's the theory. Saw the name in a journal in my pocket when my Ghost first rezzed me. Seemed as likely as anything else."

"So you don't know if your son truly exists?" ("That's super-duper sad.")

"Nope. But you don't know what happened to your crew. Does it change how you feel about 'em?"

"Not at all!" ("But they're still dead.")

"There you go. Now do me a favor and start the recording again, will ya? Not sure h—"

"Cayde unit, I have great news! A ship similar to yours has entered the gravitational radius of this planetoid!"

"What?! All right! Uh-oh. Listen, the next teleport's about to happen. Don't tell them that I got in over my head, OK? Tell them it was some kind of Vex trap or something. Got it? Failsafe?"

Hunter Legendary Set

Solstice Mask (Resplendent)

Knowledge is power. Seize it all.

Dax Etono moved through the darkness of the Red Legion storehouse as quietly as he could until he reached the control panels at the far end. He looked around, hoping the towers of equipment and storage containers would keep him hidden.

Lit the panel up.

This panel would generally be used by its owners just for inventory on this one unit. After the Cabal had seized the buildings here, however, the Guardians realized the Legion had unlocked the network to such a degree that if you could access any panel, you could get in almost anywhere in their systems. Dax pulled the buckle from his belt—a mag-hack. He let it click against the panel, and it started to copy over information. Tons of it.

The lights came on. Dax cursed, turning around. Footsteps echoed from both entrances. No enemies were visible yet. He drew his weapon and retrieved the mag-hack. Flicked a switch on its smooth metal side. At least he'd get the Vanguard some of the data.

Three Cabal rounded the corner, firing. Dax took aim to defend himself as information began blazing across the galaxy.

Solstice Grasps (Resplendent)

Do more than survive. Change your reality.

"You can make anything sound like no big deal if you say it the right way."

Gemma Nixx knew that from very early on, and yet it still never ceased to bother her. You could say, "The Red Legion is wiping out innocent people all around the City," all matter-of-fact. But now, as she led maimed and hollow-eyed stragglers through ridges of junk and cratered earth, those words swelled and distorted until they were her entire reality.

You could say, "You've lost your regenerative ability, but you're still able to fight." But saying it didn't get her new feelings across. The pressure of the rebar she grabbed to steady herself was not pain; yet, like every sensation now, it stung in her brain.

"This way!" Gemma located a hatch and held it open, watching as the survivors filed in.

Then she slammed it shut, and a few seconds later, the hidden transport the people had crawled into revved its engine and burst from a pile of debris. Gemma watched them go.

She waved and saw a puff of smoke in a burnt-out building a quarter mile away. Then she saw a hole in her hand. And then nothing.

Solstice Vest (Resplendent)

Adrift in a blazing sea, heroes become memories.

He was floating just about one meter off a comms satellite. I know, 'cause I was talking to him. Not in person—I was manning about 30 weather drones, so I had this array of camera views and readouts. I see him drifting there, drill in hand, by an open panel.

This was a Guardian, with a capital G. I mean, it makes me laugh now. I was thinking, I've seen that guy win ten in a row in the Crucible. Why is he fixing a satellite?

He told me, all casual, that the comms had been acting up, and he was saving the regular maintenance crew a trip into orbit in the middle of a storm. I even asked myself at the time, wow, do Guardians do that?

Anyway, I came to find out, the second the sensors beyond the Wall started going dark, he'd suspected sabotage. Came straight to investigate. He didn't want to freak me out.

He was one of the first that we lost during the invasion. The screen just filled with orange and white. Gone.

Solstice Strides (Resplendent)

Flames lick at your heels but you are too fast.

Do you know what it takes to keep moving when you're so afraid—SO afraid?

In the EDZ, we were starting to mount an organized defense. It was still Cabal territory. She and I drew the short straw to hit a rolling transport: a fat Cabal train on wheels coming out of a munitions depot and heading for the Farm.

So we're waiting behind a ridge and the carrier approaches. She blasts it with her Grenade Launcher. The shell slams into a tread on the carrier and it just… sticks. Doesn't blow up. I look at her. She's gritting her teeth.

While I'm still in shock, she leaps to her feet, hops on a Sparrow, and zips about a mile down the road. I watch through the binocs. She pulls out a sidearm and aims from behind a bunch of steel girders. Shoots at the shell in the transport tread. Takes another shot. Three. Five. It's unlike her to miss.

Then I see why: her whole body is shaking with fear.

Finally she detonates the shell. And I mean, I have never seen a blast like this. An orange dome that reaches almost all the way back to me. It melts the rubber on my goggles.

It was the right move. You don't come back from that, though.

Solstice Cloak (Resplendent)

Let the fear in your bones drive you to resist.

Before they took the Traveler away, we thought we were tough. All of us. But man, without the Ghosts, we became real vulnerable for a while. At least I did. Ghaul absolutely had us pegged.

A bunch of Fallen were trying to establish a base of operations near the old Nessus crash site after the boss left. When Trake and I arrived on Nessus to help organize resistance against the Red Legion, we engaged the Fallen—we couldn't let them build up their forces.

So the ground trembles when one of the Fallen transports blows up, and I lose my grip on my rifle—it slips right down the ridge we're taking cover behind. I've never felt so stupid, and I… I couldn't move.

Trake shakes me out of my stupor, and we scramble over the ridge to get my rifle. I slide down and grab it while he covers me. It feels like the world is frozen in place. I can still picture him shooting round after round as we head back to safety.

He's right on my heels, but… I'm sorry. No, he, uh, he was hit in the neck and, uh, that was it.

The fear—I can't describe it at all. But I remember it in my bones.

Warlock Rare Set

Solstice Hood (Rekindled)

Beloved cities burn in your mind's eye.

She hadn't touched the ground since she leapt from the rubble of Tower North.

As the ship spiraled toward the flames below, Ikora Rey Blinked from its wing to the back of an Interceptor and shoved three Vortex Grenades into its propulsion emitters. Blink.

To the nose of a Harvester. Four shotgun blasts to its antigravity cores. Blink.

Atop another Thresher. She glanced over her shoulder at the Traveler and bared her teeth at the perversion attached to its surface. Her Nova Bomb disintegrated the front half of the ship, and she leapt away. She would destroy them all for what they'd done to the City, to the Tower, to the Speaker. She would—

Severed.

Everything went dark. Her fingers went numb. She tried to Blink to the Thresher as her sight returned, but there was nothing. The Light...was gone?

She plummeted toward the ground, her mind racing. No grenades. Think. No Nova Bomb. Think. She emptied a clip into a billboard below her, and it collapsed into a heap on a rooftop. She tried to tuck into a roll, but her body still slammed into the tangle of metal.