So, the Traveler’s reawakening, the spread of the Light, and the tease of the pyramid-shaped ships got me thinking about a lot of stuff, but one particular thing I had on my mind were the Ahamkara, and whether the return of the Light would bring back the dragons. This post was originally written for the Bungie forums, so sorry for all the fluff in there. It’s also a little convoluted, but bear with me, please.
Anyway, here you go.
Ahamkara were said to have first been discovered on Venus during the Golden Age. They would grant wishes to any Guardians who sought them out, though those wishes often came at a great price. Whether they were inhabitants of the planet before the Collapse or not, but in ‘Ghost Fragment: Warlock,’ it’s stated “…How much life sprang up when the Traveler came. Like the Ahamkara.” Obviously this suggests the Ahamkara came with the arrival of the Traveler, and it would make sense, other than the fact that all mention of the wish-giving dragons was during the age of the Guardian. Doesn’t really contribute much to my theory, so I’ll just move on.
In Grimoire, it’s stated that Ahamkara were hunted to extinction by Guardians at the order of the City, who were concerned by the prices paid to fulfill the bargains of power made with Ahamkara. It was primarily Warlocks who took part in the Great Hunt, largely due to the nature of their Light—which were able to mimicked to a certain extent by Hunters, who also hunted Ahamkara, but with greater difficulty—though specifics aren’t detailed.
In ‘Ghost Fragment: Legends 3’, the passage detailing the reason for the Great Hunt, it is ended with the line, “Of this you can be assured, oh reader mine,” in regards to the notion that the Ahamkara were totally wiped out. Obviously, this forms an obvious connection to the Ahamkara-based Exotic gear, whose descriptions include the line, “Oh bearer mine”. Perhaps the passage was written by a Guardian who was influenced by the Ahamkara?
In a few of the cards from the Books of Sorrow, many allusions are made to the Ahamkara, in ways that suggest there’s more to the dragons than being a cool source of loot.
Sathona, the sister of Oryx, came into possession of a jarred worm when her father was murdered on Fundament. We know this to be the Hive’s connection to the Worm Gods, the creatures which extended the Hive’s lives beyond ten years, and led them to the technology they’d need to begin their interstellar journey. When Sathona—Later known as Savathûn—first consulted the worm, she said it “…still speaks to me. It says: listen closely, oh vengeance mine…”, and later, in ‘VII: Leviathan,’ after speaking to the worm for advice, Sathona announces her decision to her sisters by stating, “Let us dive, oh sisters mine.” Very similarly to the way ‘Legends 3’ ended, with someone adopting the mannerisms of the wish-granting creatures they’ve come into contact with.
Obviously, this draws a connection between the worms and the Ahamkara, especially when taken into consideration that a ‘wyrm’ is a variation of dragon in human mythology. Throughout lore, the Worm Gods and the Ahamkara seem inextricably linked. Returning to the Books of Sorrow, in ‘XLV: I’d shut them all in cells,’ Xivu Arath speaks of the Traveller passing above Harmony, a solar system blessed with the Light in a similar way to ours, stating that, “THE DRAGONS. Our gods should be ours alone. Their smug freedom is an insult to me. I’d shut them all in cells.” And in ‘XLVI: The Gift Mast,’ Auryx, Savathûn and Xivu Arath are at war with the people of Harmony, and are brought into a deadlock when “the Harmony turn to dragon-wishes, and their wishful bishops wrestle Xivu in the ascendant plane.” That is, until Savathûn infiltrated Harmony with a group of followers and vivisected the Ahamkara, and “The Worm our God laughs and laughs.”
Dragons and the wishes they grant. Their appearance in the systems which the Traveller touches. The very words of a Hive goddess comparing the Ahamkara to the Worm Gods which gave her and her siblings the power to conquer worlds. As the Warlock Ulan-Tan put it, the Darkness is a necessary symmetry to the Light, a reflection which keeps the cosmos in balance, but I don’t believe that the Ahamkara are the Light’s answer to the Worm Gods; that’s the Traveller’s role to fill. The harbinger of a civilization-wide leap forward. The worm larvae which were bestowed upon the Hive broods to not only elongate their lives, grant them powers, and allow them to be returned from the grave, well, that sounds very similar to our Ghosts, doesn’t it? So the dragons of the past must be something else.
Personally, I believe the Ahamkara were an offshoot of the Worm, either a group that was manipulated and evolved into something else by the Traveler, or newly created as an early, almost prototype version of Ghosts, meant to balance out the spread of the worm larvae.
The “hopeful bishops”, as the Books of Sorrow called them, were Harmony’s Guardians. And the Ahamkara served as their Light, their Ghosts. The loss of whatever it was that the dragons granted them left them powerless, unable to defend themselves, and that led to the fall of Harmony; which sounds strikingly similar to the events of Destiny 2’s campaign.
Anyway, I digress: The Traveller brought the Ahamkara to Earth, allowing them to grant wishes for Guardians who struck up a bargain, in a similar way to how the Worm Gods promised the daughters of the Osmium King endless power so long as they,
“Take into your bodies our children, our newborn larvae. From them you shall obtain eternal life. From them you shall gain power over your own fragile flesh: the power to make of it as you will. And should you find an imperfection in the world, an injustice or an inconvenience — you will have the power to repair it. Let no mere law bind you.”
The power to repair an imperfection in the world, he power over your own self to make with it as you will, the power to alter reality itself. That was the power the Ahamkara had which allowed them to grant wishes, but like the Worm, they would,
“…ask one thing in exchange, oh Princes.
You must obey your nature forever. In your immortality, Aurash, you may never cease to explore and inquire, for the sake of your children. In your immortality, Xi Ro, you may never cease to test your strength. In your immortality, Sathona, you may never abandon cunning.
If you do, your worm will consume you. And as your power grows, oh Princes, so will your worm’s appetite.”
While these terms might have seemed acceptable for the Hive, if it’s to be believed that the bargains of an Ahamkara were anything like this it’s no surprise that humanity hunted them to extinction, simply on moral grounds. The Traveler gave us the Light and our Ghosts to do what the Worm Gods did for the Hive, without any of the aspects of the Darkness that were rooted deep in the wish-granting abilities of the Ahamkara; the remnants of their origins as Worms.
So there we go. Personally, while I’m not necessarily certain the Traveler waking back up will also begin the return of the Ahamkara, but it’s something I think would be pretty cool to see. You guys have probably thought of that, as you’ve been at this way longer than I have, but I just wanted to share my first real investigative thing. Feel free to tell me anything I may have missed, or holes in my theory, or whatever, I’d appreciate the feedback.