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 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.