Kranox, The Graven
"Their keeper of secrets."
Kranox, the Graven is said to be the Keeper of the Worlds' Grave, a vast repository chronicling the Hive's history of interstellar conquests. Every world they have devoured, every life they have eradicated, every enemy they've faced.
Defeating Kranox and cracking the secrets of the Worlds' Grave could provide the City with the keys to unraveling the Hive's true goals and their ultimate plans for Earth.
"The royalty of nightmare."
The Swarm Princes are terrible legends. It was their will that forged the Sword of Crota, a weapon meant to ravage worlds - the Great Render of Light, the Darkest Edge. They have waited in the shadows of the Hellmouth for their master's return, guarding the Sword and sating its ravenous hunger with the Light of Guardians who have dared to challenge them.
"If you see an Ogre, you know you're close to something the Hive values."
The Unborn are those Ogres who have yet to be given the honor of a summoning. Brute enforcers with a singular hunger for destruction, the Unborn serve the will of their greater Hive overlords. Those Ogres that display loyalty and strength will be called for an agonizing ritual that earns them the title "Reborn."
Telthor, protector of the Chamber of Night, is kept hungry and chained, awaiting the moment when an interloper breaks open the Chamber and threatens the Hive's hateful ambitions.
Sardok, Eye of Oryx
"Until the Darkness reigns, the Eyes must never close."
There are whispers of shrines to the fabled Oryx peppered across the entire system. Stories tell of walking nightmares, protectors of bone and fury, towering over these prized chambers.
Mormu, Xol Spawn
"How many horrors have they summoned?"
Behind every dark ritual lurks a coven of Wizards, the architects of the Hive's unspeakable designs. Mormu, born of the blood and flesh of Xol, is said to conduct terrible rituals upon the Hive's Ogres.
Phogoth, the Untamed
"The summoning tempers their rage...but first that rage must be stoked."
Phogoth's presence in the Summoning Pits reveals yet another of the Hive's depraved designs - a ritual of rebirth, where an Ogre's ravenous hunger and violence is honed and given purpose.
Blades of Crota
"They are the heralds of our destroyer. Ushers of this coming storm."
Vell: They’re more than Knights.
Eriana-3: They look like Knights.
Vell: That’s like calling you a tin can.
Eriana-3: Excuse me?
Vell: I’m saying calling them Knights is an understatement.
Omar: What are they then?
Toland: World carvers.
Toland: Those swords are neither bone nor steel. There’s a dark purpose to their edge.
Eriana-3: Darker than death?
Toland: Death is peace compared to the shadows.
Omar: Those Blades cut down more Guardians than I can count.
Eriana-3: Thousands. The Vanguard should’ve known better.
Toland: I tried to warn them.
Omar: But we’re prepared?
Vell: I am.
Omar: Not exactly the question.
Eris: I have a feeling Light won’t be enough.
Eriana-3: Then we’ll take their swords from their ashes, and cut them down one-by-one, Blade-by-Blade.
Eris: You would wield a weapon of the night?
Eriana-3: For her—them? I will butcher any who stand in my way with even the darkest blade.
Eris: Pray it doesn’t come to that.
Vell: Heh. To cleave our enemies with their own tools of destruction? We should be so lucky.
Omar: You’ve got a strange view on luck.
Toland: When you’ve got your hand around the hilt and their ash under your boot, you might change your tune, Hunter.
Sardon, Fist of Crota
"One sword stands tallest among them, leading the charge against us all."
Vell: So this Sardon is one of these Swarm Princes?
Toland: In a stretch of the concept, sure. He is their lord and master. They are his generals.
Vell: Sounds like my kind of fight.
Omar: What isn't?
Vell: Eris and Eriana said the Blades rose first and slaughtered our brothers and sisters. If the one who leads their charge is within reach, I mean to end him—to end them all.
Eris: We are here for Crota.
Toland: I'm afraid each disciple is Crota.
Vell: Then it must be done. Know that I have faith in your Light, as I do in my own.
Eris: This isn’t about faith.
Eriana-3: It’s about vengeance.
Vell: It’s about the only thing that matters—victory. It’s about doing what we must to end this terror.
Eris: We will face them all, together. We have no time to fight individual battles.
Toland: I have no doubt the Fist will welcome your challenge, Titan. When we face him, you will lead the charge. Come, Crota's Temple lies ahead. If we can breach it, I'm sure another fight awaits.
Might of Crota
"It is a mountain of rage, summoned to leave only destruction in its path."
Toland: When a god's Will is met with force, its Might will be unleashed in the form of those raging beasts we call the ogre—monsters bred of pain, tormented by the Light, nothing but hatred for all who bring its suffering forth.
Eris: And how do you know this?
Toland: It was told to me.
Eris: By the Speaker?
Toland: By the Darkness itself.
Hand of Crota
"It crawls from the shadows to claim our Light in the name of Crota."
Sai: Can you track the others?
Eriana-3: No. There is too much interference. The shroud is too thick here. Ghost?
Ghost: <chhk> Yes. <chhk>
Eriana-3: We in bad shape?
Ghost: <chhk> Could be better. <chhk>
Eriana-3: Any charge?
Ghost: No. Something is siphoning the Light. <chhk> I’m getting weaker by the second. <chhk>
Eriana-3: And Sai’s Ghost? Same?
Ghost: Faint charge detected <chhk> but it’s fading. Its shell is damaged beyond repair. <chhk> No comms. No transmat. <chhk> Even if there were a signal—
Eriana-3: Use whatever juice you’ve got and relay this transmission to the others.
Ghost: They won't receive it. <chhk>
Eriana-3: Not the point.
Eriana-3: This is Eriana-3 of the Praxic Warlocks. Marked by the Cormorant Seal. I am alongside the Hunter Sai Mota. Our Light is nearly gone. The ash of untold Hive covers the ground in our wake.
Unknown: [inaudible scream]
Eriana-3: From what Toland has described we are on the path of Crota's dreaded Hand.
Sai: The Hand is falling back toward the screams beyond these tunnels.
Eriana-3: Screw it. You ready?
Sai: My knives are eager for another dance.
Eriana-3: You speak little, Sai Mota, but always say the right things.
Eyes of Crota
"The Eyes watch us all, gathering our secrets in hopes of ending the Light."
Eris: Something is watching us. I can feel it.
Omar: I hate when you say that.
Toland: Crota has many Eyes. Every god does.
Eris: We have to go.
Omar: If they know our every move, what chance do we have?
Toland: With their great age comes even greater wisdom. I have no doubt the Hive led us here with intent.
Omar: What are you saying?
Toland: For these disciples, we offer the greatest sacrifice.
Eris: What does that mean?
Toland: Do you feel your Light fading? They are offering it to Crota. Us coming here, we are the ones waking him.
Omar: He’s mad.
Eris: Why do you hold these secrets like weapons, to damn us all?
Toland: Because they are weapons. And we are going to use them to show the Hive they are not the only ones who breed fear.
Toland: You’re hunters—hunt. Find the Eyes that are upon us.
Toland: We blind Crota and use what's left of your dying Light to lead us to where these monsters seek to conjure their master.
Heart of Crota
“It’s not the first and surely is not the last. But until the last Heart stops, their hate will spread endlessly across the black."
Eris: Record this.
The Heart of Crota.
It is her blood that feeds their fury.
I thought Omar dead until I heard his screams. I followed them down, to the darkest night of the caverns below. What I saw—I witnessed all we fear—the villainy of the Hive on full display.
Among a sea of cocoons, and surrounded by thousands more freshly spawned hordes, the Heart held Omar’s broken body in a vice of bone and pain. She was peeling the Light from his body. How? I can’t imagine, and I have tried. Tendrils of luminance tore away like flesh.
With every strand Omar’s scream cut the dark and was met with a chittering chorus from the unborn. I can’t say if they were feeding off the Light itself, or the pain, but my guess is both—somehow, both.
The Heart, though I can’t believe she actually has one, seemed to be conducting some nightmare orchestra, nurturing Crota’s children, with the echoes of Agah’s Light.
The Hive must end for all they had done, and some day, by my hand or another’s, the Heart will meet with an end fitting of the pain she, herself, has dealt.
Urzok, the Hated
"By pleasing their gods, the Hive carve scars on the fabric of our realm." -Toland, the Shattered
Among the lesser Hive, there is no higher honor than that of the Hated.
Not all can be hallowed, fewer still gods, but all can do their part to smite the Light. The Hated, though, holds a unique place among the Hive. It is a singular position. Only ever one. And the emerald marrow on its blade is not from combat, but the ritualistic execution of those the Wizards have deemed Forsaken.
"Conjured with but one purpose... to die." -Toland, the Shattered
How does one call through the Darkness? Through the void of the eternal night sky? Through the pathways that link the Hive to their ancient, rotting deities? With suffering.
The Forsaken are conjured and birthed through ritual, meant to serve as worship to gods of a higher plane of misery. To perform a ritual of sacrifice is to tempt a god's hunger. What then, if a being of the Light were to taint such a ritual? Would the Hive be punished? Would their gods grow angry?
Omnigul, Will of Crota
"That shriek, that wicked laugh. If you listen closely, you can hear power in its song.”
Eris: Those screams.
Omar: And I was just starting to tune them out.
Toland: It has been told that with these screams another spawn is awakened, birthed in the name of the god it holds.
Toland: I am afraid so. They call this one Omnigul, mother of the spawn.
Sai: How do you—? I'd rather not know.
Toland: Commands, echoed through the dark, fetid caverns—orders carried out with grinding stone and squeaking claw, skittering thrall and blade against bone.
Omar: Well, now he's on a roll.
Eriana-3: I hear them, even when I don't. I will tear this Omnigul's throat out.
Toland: If you were to do so, our work here would be done. Without a Will to raise its army and herald its ascendance, there is no Crota to fear, at least here and now.
Eris: Then we follow the screams.
Ir Yût, the Deathsinger
Eriana! Let's sing. Sing with me. No, no, you rattling machine, not yet, it's too soon: we don't know the words.
We'll learn the song down there. We can learn it from Her. She comes up from the deep dark places where the greater Hive await to sing it to us, and here's a puzzle for you—
The song is death. To hear it is to die. To know the words is mortal. Oh, good point, Eriana, death is just a word, isn't it? A catch-all term for the failure to go on, nothing spiritual, nothing with its own quiddity. We all died once, and it did not prove insurmountable.
But what if what if what if, shhh listen, what if death were reified, described in its totality, made autonomous and universal, separate from any context or condition? What if She could invoke the ending of anything?
How, then, would She know the song, and sing it, without Herself dying?
Perhaps they know a way to make themselves part of the song, part of something vast and burning that rots and peels into ash but never ever ends. Perhaps She has engineered this for Him, and pinned His power up against the quiddity of death itself.
I am so terribly curious to know.
Crota, Son of Oryx
My Thoughts on Recent Events
He hides in the dark below: the monster of Luna, the titanic god-Knight who walked the regolith beneath a sky of green fire and butchered the greatest army of Guardians ever assembled. We abandoned the Moon rather than face him.
Whispered lore and fragmentary theories suggest that Crota represents a distinct class of Hive entities, not resident in our material world. My latest synthesis of this scattered esoterica suggests that Crota's 'home' is a universe created or remade by his power and occupied by Hive organisms of immense age. Any Guardian formidable enough to return with information on this dark reality might help us understand the Hive's goals for our own world—and, more pressingly, such an expedition might provide the key to Crota's defeat.
The epithet Son of Oryx is an ambiguous translation, often disputed. At this time, no direct action by Hive entities of more expansive power has ever been observed. Those who trade in Hive lore bicker over the exact positioning of Crota—is his world the apex of Hive power, or is it the youngest and most accessible of a string of netherworlds, each host to a more terrible Hive archentity?
The nature and possible interrelationship of the Vex gate system with Hive netherworlds remains unexplored.