Wielding the Light

Continuing the discussion from Destiny 2, and what might happen:

In lieu of this discussion, I’ve had an itch to investigate the nature of our powers. I’m going to compile all the information I can find about how Guardians use Light here.

With this thesis in mind, I found some things that support it.

Doubles: “Sometimes the only Light you can rely on is your Ghost and another Guardian.”

Ghosts are born of the Traveler’s Light, and to resurrect us, “rekindle” our own. There is a spark inside all of us that are reborn with the ability to wield Light. The origin or attribute which manifests it is unknown. However, based on accounts from Guardians, it is clear that we have some self-contained Light of our own, which is tied to both our powers and our life force.

“From my own Light and from the thinking flesh of the Vex I made a shield.” -Kabr the Legionless

“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.” -Eris Morn

“[u.1:0.3] His Light is faded.
[u.2:0.3] His Light is gone.” -Unnamed Ghost and Dredgen Yor

Not only do we possess our own Light, but our Ghosts as well, and theirs seems to function similar to ours; it’s proportional to their processing power and their livelihoods.

Dead Ghosts:“Battered and drained of their Light, these Ghosts are nevertheless valuable for the information they preserve.”

Ghost Fragment: Cabal: “I have stayed with the Cabal, even as the Light in me dims - I have been too far from the Traveler for too long.”

We know (and the Cabal know now, too) that in certain “Darkness Zones” our Ghosts can’t raise us. This is presumably because of interference with the Traveler’s Light reaching us, caused by distance or third party interference such as Hive magic.

It’s safe, then, to assume that our Ghost uses its own Light to resurrect us, and we use our own Light for our abilities. This makes sense to me, because I remember wondering why a Guardian couldn’t give their Ghost a Light transfusion - it’s a different proclivity altogether.

In the post I quoted, I said that it’s logical to say the Traveler is the source of our paracausality, Light being the catalyst while the elemental energies we draw on come from their own separate sources.

It seems like Ghosts and Guardians can still use rudimentary Light by drawing on their own reserves, but that would be dangerous and limited, like the first Crota fireteam struggling to stay ahead of the Hive. Resurrections seem to exclusively require backup from the Traveler.

Supers might, too. Consider the mechanic where Oryx drains your Super bar in “Enemy of My Enemy” and “Regicide”. One of his quotes during the final battle is “Your Traveler’s Light cannot reach you here!” And he’s quite right, considering we’re in his territory. However, this is a game mechanic, and we can’t translate it directly and literally to lore.

That said, the grimoire cards describing Super abilities are worded in an interesting way. Not all of them refer to the Light by name; however, Nova Bomb notably talks about “channeling the Traveler’s Light” while more advanced techniques like Hammer of Sol involve “forging your Light”. I’m not sure how admissible or how important this really is, but it was interesting to me.

Now to pull this back together. It’s a long post, and I had to remind myself where i was going a few times :grin: so bear with me. Assuming all of this is correct, here’s what we can say:

  • the Traveler is or has a source of Light, and created the Ghosts
  • Ghosts have their own Light, which gives them life and power, but depend on proximity to the Traveler for its use and their own survival
  • Ghosts use their Light to resurrect Guardians via our own Light
  • Guardian Light similarly is linked to our powers and life
  • we channel Light to project the fundamental energies of the universe in our abilities
  • we and our Ghosts have a limited reserve of Light to call our own
  • being around the Traveler catalyzes and sustains our Light
  • Light exhaustion is possible and usually fatal when separated from the Traveler
  • if a Ghost or Guardian’s connection with the Traveler is interfered with, their power is reduced
  • if a Ghost or Guardian’s Light is drained, forcibly removed, or simply under constant strain with no relief from the Traveler, they will die with no hope of resurrection or repair

If this is all true, then it’s quite possible that the Traveler and it’s its supply of Light are what’s keeping us alive. Like a big, paracausal life support machine. Pull the plug and boom! Next death is for keeps. Ghaul had to have figured that out.

But it also raises an interesting question. Is the Traveler’s gift all that different from the Worm’ s bargain?

Like the greater Hive, we can delegate some Light to use our powers, but if we use too much, we’ll die, so we have to set some aside to keep ourselves alive.

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Quick question - and this has bugged me for a while.

With regards to reviving dead ghosts in-game, I’m assuming Lore-wise we’re using our own Light to do it. Does that mean those ghosts are no longer dead or they return to the Traveller or…?

I wonder if we’re really reviving them, strictly speaking, as opposed to activating them.

Maybe it is like quick starting them with a set of paracausal jumper cables from our Ghost, giving them enough power to return to the Traveler. But they must be Ghosts that aren’t that far gone. I don’t think they’d return the same either; the Ghosts of Jagi’s Host or the Ghost we retrieved from the Temple of Crota for example.

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Ok, help me out here- where does it say that the newer subclasses (TTK) don’t use the Traveler’s Light?

My main question is cause I have a theory that our gift of the Light from the Traveler and our wielding of the Light of the Traveler come from different entities, and you even kinda touched on it with the connection to the Worm Gods.

I theorize that our powers were granted to us/taught to us by Ahamkara, and it was this power granted that brought on the Hunt.

This was a possibility we arrived at during the original discussion. However, since then, I’ve wondered if it’s the Light we’re sourcing or the elemental energy .

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Yeah I don’t think I’m convinced right now that they’re fully disconnected from the TraveleR’s Light

Very well-written and thought out post RedRenegade!

I’m nearly 100% sure that guardian abilities don’t come from Ahamkara, this is because SO many characters in the lore use it and there’s no way all of them had contact with the Ahamkara.
And even more proof would be the fact that new guardians can use these abilities almost instantly.

You’re assuming that Guardians couldn’t teach these skills once learned. Which we know they do. So an Ahamkara would only need to teach one Guardian something, and then that Guardian could pass it down. Even other classes and subclasses could’ve come from one original class.

If you think of it like genetics and genes, we know that all dogs we have today came from a species similar to the modern day Wolf. So let’s assume a Warlock was the one to see the Ahamkara and learn the powers ( again I’ll assume Voidwalker), in teaching it to others, each class uses it in their own way. Zavala tells us this regarding the Void. Once we know this power could be had, other Guardians could look to other forms of power and figure out ways to draw upon it. (Think Toland) “If we can use Void Light, why can’t we use Solar Light, and Arc Light, etc.” before you know it we have classes and subclasses wielding different abilities depending on their knowledge and grasp of the Light.


Also, this is partly just a game mechanic, but I feel it goes well with the lore of us having to learn the abilities. When we start out as Guardians, and when we start each new subclass, we don’t know anything. We can’t use grenades, you can’t use super, you don’t have the ability to wield any of your abilities. You must learn them through playing the game.

The only thing about allegedly learning from the Ahamkara is that the Risen, who lived before we had re-attained common interplanetary travel, would have had little to no contact with them, or any individuals who might have.

In making the quoted point, you’re assuming that all those who learned from the Ahamkara would willingly share their knowledge, or be in a situation or relationship which would provide for the sharing of knowledge.

It’s more likely the power gained from the Ahamkara was unique to the wishmaker or the bearer of the related gear, hence, “oh bearer mine”, and the influx of ethically compromised Guardians with great but costly powers was what caused the great Hunt.

As for the beginnings of Light technique, the warlords, Iron Lords and other unaffiliated Risen almost certainly developed most of the ways of using Light in combat on their own.

We know, for instance, that there’s a strong possibility Shin Malphur and Rezyl Azzir codified the Golden Gun and Fist of Havoc/“Havoc Storm” techniques, respectively. (Rezyl Azzir: A War Without End) and (Ghost Fragment: The Last Word 4)

Later in the Iron Lords’ careers Lord Gheleon came in contact with the bones, at least, of an Ahamkara, but that is all we know of his particular experience. Gehelon wasn’t known for making a deal with an Ahamkara, or having any greater grasp of power or technique than his peers; he was known for being a bit… eccentric.

By the time Osiris and Saint-14 were in the field, “Ahamkara-lore” was a forbidden memory, and it’s study was one of the reasons Osiris was forced into self-exile (Osiris)

Despite the progression of skills in-game, a newborn kinderguardian would have no way to learn their abilities right on the spot, from an Ahamkara or another Guardian. Some measure of our powers must be instinctual.

In past discussions we have deemed game mechanics of dubious admissibility to lore topics, as meta requires certain implementations that do not necessarily fit a strict narrative and should be judged with extreme caution.

I don’t disagree that it’s possible some of the techniques we use (or hypothetically used but were banned and censored because they were dangerous) were taught, influenced, or inspired by the Ahamkara. After all, Bladedancers got their cloaking ability from Rasputin’s stealth tech.

However, our abilities themselves definitely came from the Traveler, and Guardians (or Risen) had some idea of method under their own skill.

Our abilities are, after all, intrinsically tied to our specific relationship with the Traveler as Guardians.

Guardian Abilities:“Only Guardians have the gift of the Traveler’s Light - the ability to channel its energies to project vast power into the world.”

The gift of the Traveler’s Light and the ability to channel it’s energies are one and the same.


So you’re saying you don’t think there were any Ahamkara on Earth? Cause I do.

I used that as just an example to say “we only needed one” Guardian to share. I’m sure there could’ve been many others that didn’t/wouldn’t share. But just one Guardian teaching another could set it off. Teaching is part of the nature of Warlocks.

Yes, but not until we “gained great power” from them, “powers the city needed”

[quote=“HandsomeDragon, post:13, topic:274”]So you’re saying you don’t think there were any Ahamkara on Earth? Cause I do.

We will have to agree to disagree for now :slight_smile:

You’re very right, yet it’s still a big “but”, and at this point the best we can manage is conjecture.

Power that was “great” and “needed”, yes. It is not definite the nature or span of this power, nor what exactly it was. Again, conjecture is the best we have on the Ahamkara, and there is not much information in the lore to substantiate anything but what’s based on the Ahamkara gear.

While researched and cited, my long posts on this topic are just as much theory as the ideas you’ve suggested here, and just as subject to personal opinion. While we should try to keep bias out of our citation - Meta: Research Bias - it’s true we interpret evidence favorably for our own point of view.

My opinions aren’t fact, and I’m aware of that. If you disagree, we’re simply bringing diversity to the topic.:grin:

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I agree 100% on the conjecture. There’s very little if any evidence to my theory right now. It’s all about what it doesnt say at this point for me ha. Since I can’t reall find anything that directly says our powers come from the Traveler itself or we create it from our own will, it still gives me hope!

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It could be a bit of each. We have our own Light: We wield the Travelers Light: We manipulate Light from other sources.

I mean, we don’t know anything for certain in regards the Ahamkara but maybe that’s where we got Void from. Void is often spoke of differently than Arc or Solar - “Those who stare into the Void are not bound by time and space” (Voidwalker); “Drawn from the Void. Light the way.” (Nightstalkers); “Its fitting, then, that we have weaponised the unknown” (Void). Then there’s The Nightstalkers Trail, etc.

Many cards talk of walking some thin line between Light and Dark: the Void we are warned of too. Maybe they are one and the same thing, and its that that makes me think Ahamkara were so dangerous. If they’re teaching others to use some power (ie how to wield the Void) it would explain why the Fallen, Hive and Warlords could wield it (Chitin in the Felwinter card) - and explain why the Vanguard were worried.

My thoughts that the Queen Mara Sov is in some way Ahamkara will remain just an idea though. :wink:

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Spinfoil hats on gents but: Mara is Taox?
:laughing: Hahaha probably not.

The idea that other species came in contact with the Ahamkara is interesting, but we’ll need more of a basis to get to the bottom of it. You have to remember that our enemies use attacks and shields made with varying elemental effects, some of which they came about their own way.

However the Void does seem the most likely candidate for nefarious Light manipulation. I hope its sort of grey area gets more lore.

That’s actually how my theory began! I made a post about it on here, but the more I looked, the more I felt all forms of Light had a somewhat ominous feeling, although Void is definitely at a tier above the others. The Void has a “feeding nature” that is very similar in my mind to the Worm Gods and which also connects with a lot of Ahamkara flavor text

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I agree with this 100% :100: :ok_hand:

Well then that would go against the logic of the Ahamkara because they give power in exchange for a heavy debt.
Furthermore, no one taught US any abilities; we just evolved on our own.

Anyways @HandsomeDragon, thank you for your opinion!
I strongly believe otherwise but this is what lore forums are for: discussion!