Ahamkara and the Nine

I have seen the origin of the Ahamkara cited as officially unknown but with the small addition of, essentially, “Oh yeah, Shuro Chi thinks the Nine sent them.” This is not entirely accurate for the amount of evidence we have for a strong link between the Nine and the Ahamkara.

We should first address Shuro Chi’s thoughts and why they’re important, and this original dialogue which reveals Chi’s opinion on the matter is Pilgrimage. Now remember that Shuro Chi is not just any Awoken but is specifically one of Mara Sov’s techeuns, so she is one of the foremost experts in our system on paracausal forces, including the Nine and Ahamkara. I think this alone is enough to warrant strong consideration of the theory that “[The Ahamkara] came from the Nine,” but there is further evidence available to us.

The next lore entry to look at is not actually evidence of the Nine sending or creating the Ahamkara, but it does offer a very well grounded hypothesis regarding the reason that these paracausal entities would be connected. In The Bone, Lavinia Tawil hazards a guess that the Nine needed the Ahamkara to make wishes, and she also hints that the Nine are now using Guardians for that same purpose. This is a troubling entry where we see how scared the Vanguard are of knowledge of the Ahamkara and of the Nine, but it is validating to see one of the foremost Cryptarchs, in pursuit of the Nine, come across such a natural linkage between the Nine and Ahamkara.

Our final piece of evidence in this post recalls the Great Ahamkara Hunt from the perspective of the Nine, in the lore entry of the Motion to Vacate shotgun. It was unclear to me exactly what this entry was referring to until I reread it (after several years) in light of the events of Forsaken. There are some specific lines which are worth especially focusing on as we see the Nine literally admit to what Shuro already knew.

Motion to Vacate (with line numbers added for reference)

  1. Remember the slaughter?
  2. it was no slaughter
  3. OUR CHILDREN.
  4. stolen constructs not ours
  5. I can still hear the echoes.
  6. hallucinations
  7. T E N T H O U S A N D D Y I N G W I S H E S
  8. we were merciful
  9. WE SHOULD HAVE CHOSEN OTHERWISE.
  10. the dreamer survived
  11. O N L Y T O F A L L
  12. rid yourselves of this regret

This first lines worth focusing on are 3 and 4, the conflict among the Nine themselves as to their relationship with the Ahamkara. This first voice has a paternal feeling towards them, indicating either guiding the Ahamkara to Sol or creating them entirely, but the second voice challenges this, instead calling them stolen constructs. This second voice is evidence that the Nine “brought the Ahamkara into this system,” as Shuro says.

Next, we turn to lines 1 and 7 as evidence that the Nine are specifically discussing the Ahamkara. Line 1 is not absolute as several events in Destiny could be considered a slaughter, but it becomes a certain reference to the Great Ahamkara Hunt when considered with line 7. Only a dying Ahamkara could be considered a dying wish, and the voice in line 7 announcing there were ten thousand of them lines up in magnitude with the “army of Ahamkara” seen in the Strides of the Great Hunt entry.

This all culminates towards lines 10 and 11, an almost explicit reference to Riven, the last Ahamkara, who was Taken (“O N L Y T O F A L L”). The connection to this being Riven is largely from her living in the Dreaming City and being the final known Ahamkara (“the dreamer survived”).

Overall, the evidence of the Nine themselves having some sort of unsettled pseudo-parental relationship with the Ahamkara is decent evidence that they were brought to our system by the Nine, and the specific referencing of Riven in this same conversation is a fantastic proof of the Nine’s previously dependent relationship on the Ahamkara as a species and Guardians in the future.


It is also worth noting some related entries for further reading:

  • Reextinction - specifically mentions “their bones whisper” which is seen in other interactions with Ahamkara bones; in context seems to be another reference to Riven as “Dreamer”
  • Sealed Ahamkara Grasps - another mention of “Dreamer” in the context of Ahamkara; evidence that the Dreamer referenced is an Ahamkara with the opening line about being able to see the Light itself, which Ahamkara are reportedly able to do
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