Can We Wield the Powers of the Deep?

This is going to sound straight up blasphemous to many you so I urge you to keep an open mind. We were told before the release of Destiny 2 that the definition of the Darkness would be changing or basically in creative flux.

So now we have this…thing that we’ve so closely associated with the deep that we really dont have a definition for anymore.

We know the Darkness is bad. We know of a few close members. We know a couple races that serve it. And we know the power most associated with its legions.

With rumor of a fourth subclass on the horizon I felt this might be something worth discussing. Original inspiration for this topic comes from Master Ra-Troll and TKfromthe90’s. So we have subclass rumors being thrown this way and that. I’ve heard sound, decay, poison, you get the point. What if it was the power of the deep? Is this even possible and if so how does it affect the rest of the destiny universe?

My first instinct is to shout no. Any collusion with things associated with the darkness yields corruption. I.e. Dredgen Yor. And then I look at Toland. Who understands the deep and even wishes us to take up the mantle of control. Yet he has not lost his ability to stay on task. So I ask again, is it possible to use these abilities whist remaining who you are. Please discuss.


The Deep in all aspects feels like a very destructive force. My main thing with your theory is that the Traveller came to Earth and gifted us. Why would we abandon it even if it was running. If we were to leave it won’t our ghosts abandon us and when we next get killed we die? I think that it is in some ways, as you put it, ‘blasphemous’ unless it turns out that the Traveller controlled us or used is in a way we didn’t understand. Otherwise all the Traveller has done has been for our good. (As far as I know)

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Interesting point you bring up about the ghosts. As far as Yor’s example gives us, I dont believe our current ghosts would leave. However Im unclear as to whether we’d be capable of resurrection. It really depends on the thesis of this post. Whether or not using powers of the deep wholly corrupts our light (which is what is needed to resurrect us).

Ever since i heard the whole shebabs about it being a story of light, and darkness is no longer a word in D2, and so fourth, ive believed they might be going somewhere with us guardians becoming a thing in the grey area between light and dark. Imagine once having 3 light classes and 3 dark classes? Representing that there is no real good or bad, but only perception.

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I would definitely prefer this! it would actually provide some conflict to a rather morally straightforward game.

Isn’t there an old Grimoire card about a random Guardian doing this in a Taken context? He or she vanishes afterwards, IIRC.

Personally, I don’t want this as a game mechanic. These sorts of gray areas are boring and pretentious in most games that play with them. ‘Everything is perception’ becomes amoral woo-woo pretty quickly when one of the requirements of one side is the slaughter of everything, as the Darkness has made clear it desires.

I don’t think I can say I agree. Mass effect does this system very well

Oh or Star Craft. It does this well too.

As far as we know, Toland doesn’t want the mantle for himself. His original motivation to help the First Crota Fireteam was curiosity:

I am so terribly curious to know.

Additionally, Toland is (in some small way) helping us in TTK:

Are you following this? Would it help if I etched a few notes on the margins? I didn’t shuck my mortal form and smuggle this nightmare arcana back to the waking world for the benefit of that masked hypocrite’s drooling loyal orthodox.

And he’s angry at us post-King’s Fall, when we leave the throne vacant:

You fools! You disastrous, bumbling squanderers! It’s not right! Who now shall be First Navigator, Lord of Shapes, harrowed god, Taken King? Not you! You might have been Kings and Queens of the Deep! But you have toppled Oryx and you have not replaced him!

If he wanted the mantle, this would be his free way in. But instead he wants us to take the throne, instead of simply telling us to go and assuming the mantle himself.

Given that Dredgen Yor is the remaining subject here, I’d say it’s impossible to remain “who you are” while also utilizing the power of the Darkness. Yor didn’t exactly keep his marbles:

[audible crack]
[u.2:2.8] Sit down.
[u.2:3.0] Sit. Down.
[u.2:3.1] Your mouth just got your friends dead.
[u.2:3.2] This is what happens when you bore me. And right now…
[u.2:3.3] I’m so very bored.

[audible sobbing]
[u.2:6.6] Open your eyes.
[audible sobbing]
[audible sobbing]
[audible crack]

While the Shadows of Yor are attempting to get Yor’s power without “fall[ing] completely into despair” in the same way he did, who knows how successful their endeavor will end up being.

The other example of the Deep changing one is, well, Oryx himself. Aurash is very, very different than Oryx, and that change was largely a result of the Darkness. Quria’s simulation of Oryx didn’t recognize her future self at all:

From within the Hydra-hull, Quria’s tiny not-Oryx speaks. “What are you?” it says. It’s manifesting terror and awe.

Taking up the Deep seems to, at some fundamental level, change whoever mantles it.


As to your first section, I wasnt claiming he wanted the mantle. I meant his end goal was still to empower us (his method for that was wishing us to take the mantle) I agree with most of your points though.


In a situations that had substantial moral ambiguity, like the quarians and the geth, as well as the whole dilemma with the genophage. However, one of the great many problems with the ending- hoo boy am I opening a can of worms there!- is that it tried to say that the mass genocide perpetuated by the Reavers was all okay, really, because it was a matter of perspective. I understood what they were trying to do, but it was not done well. That’s the sort of grey area thing this would be.

If we were going to to obtain a new subclass I’d first think about how we would receive it. Because if it is going to be some darkness like power we wont be returning to the shard of the traveler like the past times. We know that at its current state the Traveler can only dispense power in the form on light. Maybe the dark forest has some greater meaning behind it after all?

Ahhh yes Mass Effect 3’s ending. You have me there. I agree treading the line between genophage and justification of the reapers would be something that bungie has a high likelihood of ultimately failing at…

Simply Ollie:
This is actually something i’ve been pondering. It seems as though light based abilities can be given by things separated from the traveler. I realize that the shard was originally a piece of it but it appears that it did not have constant connection with it as it is stated that it is not only corrupted but also that you take the last of its light (the original wording is difficult for me to remember but the effect of the statement was that the shard was empty of good stuff to give).

Apologies! Late night replying can lead to some failures in reading comprehension, lol.

Even without directly searching for power, Toland seems to be pretty changed by the Deep himself. His ‘drive’ seems more like Oryx’s original quest- searching out knowledge, rather than power directly (a la Xivu Arath.)

We don’t have anything of pre-The Shattered Toland, but presumably he wasn’t risen with a thirst for Hive arcana. It’s not the same as trying to conquer the Deep, but trying to take the Hive’s knowledge for himself may have led Toland down a Yor-esque path.


No worries I do the same! Can’t argue with the similarities between he and Aurash though…so then would you say that if the deep is ultimately corrupting he will eventually follow this path to a yor-esque end?

With regards to creating a weapon similar to Thorn, Toland has two. There’s Bad Juju, or course, but there’s also Shadow Price:

A precision auto rifle left behind by Toland, the Shattered. It asks so little, and it offers so much.

But neither is named as a Weapon of Sorrow, and there’s no record of Bad Juju doing what Thorn did to other Guardians. Red Death’s more dangerous in-lore than either of Toland’s weapons, and that’s not linked at all to either the Hive or the Darkness itself. Presumably, Toland wasn’t out to kill other Guardians, at least not through any weapon.

Additionally, dying seems to have left Toland with a bit more time to self-reflect than Yor had. He’s not un-Shattered, and he’s still fairly obsessed with the Hive in his TTK messages, but from where he is he doesn’t seem like he’s in a position to inflict the same death that Yor did. Toland has four deaths on his hands, but Yor has Jaren Ward, the people in Thorn 2, Palamon, Pahanin- Yor was out for blood in a way that Toland doesn’t seem to have ever been.

There’s nowhere else for Toland to really go, now, if he doesn’t follow Oryx’s footsteps and set off to go decimate worlds. But Toland doesn’t have a worm, and as a result doesn’t have the power from either the Worm Gods or a Weapon of Sorrow. He seems to just be lingering in the Overworld with no way to either advance the Sword Logic or a way to go anywhere else, and as a result is passing the time sending patronizing messages.


So basically Toland isn’t really that great of a litmus test for what we would do if we wielded the deep on the physical plane considering he doesn’t quite have the ability to roam freely. As you said, he lingers.


My theory on the darkness/deep and the light/sky is that one needs another. So really, there is no good or evil, only the perception of the witness. The light things the darkness to be evil, but the darkness thinks the light to be evil. I’m the subject of our guardians possessing the deep as a power, I don’t think they will, but the Shadows of Yor did it safely, so maybe.

I’ve done a lot of research on the Shadows for a larger project, and I think we should hesitate before we call them “safe”. They have been a subject of much concern for Ikora and Shaxx (check out crucible match reports such as Ghost Fragment: Widow’s Court or Blind Watch) and Shin Malphur has hinted that he plans to personally investigate them in The Last Word 5.

I think the Deep would call the Sky many things, but evil might not be one of them.

In the BoS verse XI: Conquerors, the Worm Gods said to Auryx.

“It is a pawn of the Sky, a philosophy of cosmic slavery. The Sky seeds civilizations predicated on a terrible lie — that right actions can prevent suffering. That pockets of artificial rules can defy the final, beautiful logic.
This is like trying to burn water. Antithetical to the nature of reality, where deprivation and competition are universal.”

The Deep sees the Sky as dishonest and unnatural, against the laws of the universe.

In verse XXXII: Majestic. Majestic, the Deep itself says to Oryx,

“And they call us evil. Evil! Evil means ‘socially maladaptive.’ We are adaptiveness itself.”

The Deep resents being called evil, and calls the Sky things like a lie, a truce, a delaying tactic; but strangely enough doesn’t return the accusation of “evil”.


yes, following the sword logic which is the law of the deep and all those who serve it, we can take the power of the deep for ourselves so long as we are strong enough to wield it. This is seen in the books of sorrow when Auryx kills Akka the worm god of secrets and uses tablets cut from his body to enter the deep. And when he returns he has become Oryx, the taken king.