Toland is Osiris
Disclaimer: The following post is all speculation. Although I will attempt to back up my theory as much as I can with information we already have from the Grimoire. I am not the first person to cover this theory.
What follows is my attempt to explain my theory that Osiris the exiled and Toland the shattered are in fact the same person.
Brief Backstory and Similarities
Let’s start with Osiris. A warlock obsessed with the Vex, time travel, and life beyond death. He questioned the motives of the traveler and the speaker. Were guardians mindless pawns that simply helped bring forth the will of the traveler? Osiris was a key player in the battle of six fronts, so much so that after Saint-14 recommend that Osiris be elected vanguard commander. Osiris’s beliefs gained him a kind of cult following. He and the speaker did not see eye to eye and is assumed to have been exiled. Osiris kept a journal, Parables of the Allspring which I will reference later. (For more see Osiris)
Toland. A warlock obsessed with the Hive, their netherworld, and life beyond death. Toland was a member of Eris Morn’s fireteam that entered the hellmouth in attempt to destroy Crota. Although that was not why Toland was interested in entering the hellmouth. Toland wanted to learn the deathsinger’s song from the deathsinger Ir Yut so that he could sing the song himself as to cheat death. Which we have come to believe he succeeded in. Toland also kept a journal. (For more see Toland)
These are two of the most interesting characters in Destiny. They have nearly parallel storylines, each have an obsession with alien tech/magic, both are in search of life beyond death, and both seem to achieve such.
Timeline (what we know)
*Osiris helps win the battle of six fronts
*Saint-14 suggests Osiris become vanguard commander
*The speaker exiles him (after Osiris and his cult following become to much of a threat)
*Toland is asked to join Eris Morn’s fireteam
*After the release of Skolas, Eris and a warlock (assumed to be Osiris) meet with the Queen Mara Sov of the reef to ask for her help with Oryx the taken king.
*The books of sorrow are discovered.
“Osiris seemed to be everywhere at once.”
This is a in game quote from brother Vance about Osiris in the battle of six. This would lead us to believe that Osiris had somehow figured out how to use the Vex network to travel through space and time. Osiris believed the Vex held the key to unlocking a life beyond death.
“Let the heat melt your body so your soul might flow with the river of time.” “The watcher does not just observe. The watcher defines the observed.”
These quotes from parables of the allspring lead us to believe that Osiris shed his physical body and became part of the Vex network. He mentions being the (watcher), as a part of the network he can see all realities across time that the Vex can. This would include every action on the planets. The guardians on earth the Vex, Fallen, Cabal, Hive. But there is one thing he cannot see. The inner workings of the other Hive dimension. He attempts to enter the Hive dimension through the Vex network, but he cannot. But why? We know from the transmission in the shines of Oryx mission that Osiris knows a bit about the Hive. He known of both Crota and Oryx (Spawn of Crota). He believed that all of the shrines of Oryx were interconnected somehow (source). He wishes to be fully omnipotent to protect the last city on Earth from the darkness, but if he cannot see into these Hive dimension how can he be sure what the Hive is up to? So he uses the Vex network to return to our world, but because he is exiled he cannot re-enter the city as himself. Osiris changes his name to Toland and begins studying the Hive with the same obsessiveness as when he studied the Vex. Toland learns of the Hive netherworld, Crota, and the Deathsingers. He learns that to enter the Hive netherworld one must become ascendant. Toland wants to enter the netherworld, to learn the deathsinger’s song to cheat death and become ascendant so that he may communicate from inside the netherworld to Osiris. When he is asked by Eriana-3 and Eris to join them to help destroy Crota he sees his golden opportunity (source) We know from the grimoire that Toland “dies,” but continues to live on inside the Hive netherworld after learning the dethsinger’s song from Ir Yut (Ghost fragment: The Hellmouth). The last few lines in the previous link say this
“But I have work to do. I shout into deep places. Osiris! I call. Osiris, Osiris! Can you hear me? Sometimes I think he answers. Sometimes I wonder what became of Eris. She was very tenacious. For the first time I am lonely.”
Osiris cannot hear him, after all of Toland’s research, after all this effort why can’t he hear him? There is a theory that the rock that speaks to Eris Morn is in fact Toland’s soul (source), much like how Crota’s soul is encased in a crystal in dark below mission The Wakening. This would also tie into part of the theory xCarolien posted on r/destinylore). Which says that Toland is basically reporting about the Hive to Osiris through Eris, providing Osiris with eyes on EVERYTHING. But how? How is Osiris both within the Vex network, inside the Hive netherworld as Toland, and communicating with Eris Morn to himself? Vex simulations. (See Ghost Fragment: Vex 2-4) One would assume that as part of the Vex network Osiris possesses most of the powers of the Vex. So once he realizes he cannot see into the other Hive dimensions he creates a simulation of himself in our world with a physical body, and a new obsession. Toland. After the defeat of Crota Toland tells Osiris the taken king is coming so seek revenge for his son. Of course Eris knows as well, being the Toland to Osiris walkie talkie and all. So Eris goes to Queen Mara Sov of the reef to seek her help with this new threat. Osiris sees Eris’ plan and decided they need to make use the queen understands the pending distraction headed toward the solar system. So what does he do? An excerpt from the text:
“Your Grace, said the man before her at the foot of the stairs. His voice was soft but strong. When he spoke the Hunter started to turn her head toward him, then flinched as if someone had shone a bright light into her eyes.”
It appears here that Eris was unaware of the man’s presences until this moment. By creating a second simulation of himself Osiris took it upon himself to also visit the Queen to make sure she was would “play her part.” (source)
Another explanation for both Toland and Osiris to exist at the same time relies on multiple realities. In the reality in which destiny takes place Osiris never bathed in the sun and became a part of the Vex network, instead he returns to earth as Toland. Osiris still exists in our world because in at least one reality he did become a part of the Vex network allowing him to travel to other realities, creating a Bioshock Infinite type of scenario.
Thanks for reading. Let me know what you guys think. Is this plausible? Do you think there is enough evidence to support my theory? BTW this is my first port ever
After some more digging I found some clarification on Osiris and Tolands timeline.
The Osiris grimoire card is assumed to be the speaker reflection upon his time with Osiris. Here is an excerpt from it.
"And then it got worse, dabbling in thanatonautics, Ahamkara-lore, chasing after Xur and the tricks of the Nine. Launching expeditions into the Reef and beyond at a time when ships were irreplaceable. Your quest split Guardians along ideological lines. This was your greatest crime: Hunters chose to pursue your visions instead of protecting refugees, Titans assembled teams to chase the legendary Vault of Glass instead of striking the Fallen, and Warlocks turned away from the study of the Traveler in favor of your ultimate obsession… learning the exact nature of the Darkness.
A few of these lines can give us some clarification on these to character’s timelines.
“when ships were irreplaceable.”
This was most likely during the reef wars
“Titans assembled teams to chase the legendary Vault of Glass instead of striking the Fallen.”
This is obviously in reference to Kabr. Probably around the time of the Reef Wars/The Battle of Twilight Gap
A couple paragraphs down the speaker says this
“I don’t know where you have gone, but I can no longer send Ghosts out to find you. Some come back— with tales of your death or how you went seeking answers from the far reaches of space and time.”
This would indicate that the speaker has been looking for Osiris for quite some time after he was “exiled.”
The one line of text I have found so far that may nearly bust my theory is this one.
“Warlocks turned away from the study of the Traveler in favor of your ultimate obsession”
Could the speaker be referring to Toland? Or simply warlocks in general? Osiris did have quite a following. But we do not know for sure who the speaker is referring to. The first mentioning of Toland along any kind of timeline is when Eriana-3 and Eris find him, already exiled from the city. But how much time is there between the reef wars, and the first fireteams to the moon?