Bite-sized Backstory 28: Facts and puzzling things about...
Originally posted on the DBO Forum, Tue, 15 Aug 2017
Before we really begin, I thought it might be interesting to explore some oddities of Eliksni biology, and take a quick look at two of the key individuals we'll see driving the Eliksni's fate before and during the events of Destiny.
Skolas the Rabid:
The incredibly difficult Fallen Kell many of us faced in the Prison of Elders was once merely one of multiple captains serving the previous House of Wolves Kell before the Reef Wars. We ultimately killed him to earn treasure from the Queen of the Reef, but did you realize that Skolas had been caught by the Awoken once before? And that it was Xur, or some other Agent of the Nine, who released him and set him on his (ultimately failed) quest to become the prophesied Kell of Kells?
Take a quick look:
He looks up. At the tiny hooded shape before him. The cell's mist is clearing. He can see.
"I believe that I am here," the creature says. To Skolas' ears it has a strange voice, a strange accent. It speaks his language. "I have a clear purpose. I cannot explain it. Forgive me."
From beneath its hood, tiny fingers of shadow probe the air.
Skolas rises up to smash it, to show his strength, because the alternative to violence is waiting for violence to come from a universe that has neither respect nor compassion. But he checks himself. His ambitions have brought him here, to this cell in this strange place... only it's not so strange, is it? It's the hold of a Ketch. "The Queen," he says to the thing. "You work for the Queen."
"The Nine made me aware of my purpose," the creature says. "If am here, then it is because the Queen sent you to the Nine, and they wish you sent back."
Whoever or whatever the Nine are, they sure had it out for the Awoken!
Variks The Loyal:
Throughout all the wars and battles the Eliksni have undertaken in our solar system, and despite all the powerful leaders that have risen up in opposition to the various pockets of Humanity, Variks, a lowly scribe from the Eliksni House of Judgment may yet be the most influential Eliksni of all. We'll get to his story in a bit, but first I wanted to point out something interesting that he revealed to us with his own words:
Traveled with the many houses before Wolves. We move, across the dark. Follow the Light. Advise Kells, worshiped Primes. House Judgment must survive, yes?
Did you see that?! Variks claims to have been alive before the Eliksni found our star system!
With Rise of Iron, we learned that the Iron Lords were at the height of their power some 500 years before Destiny's present day, and that some Iron Lords were fighting Fallen well before that. If Variks' quote above is to be believed, he and a good number of other Eliksni might have been present during the Whirlwind. Even if he was born much later, it certainly seems he might have braved the part of the journey to our solar system in search of the Traveler. That would mean that Variks, and many other Eliksni, might very well be over 500 years old!
There are two other interesting things we know about the Eliksni and their biology. First, they have the ability to regrow limbs:
Dregs cling to the lowest rung of Fallen society. Docked of their lower arms in a ritual of humiliation and obedience, Dregs seek to prove their worth. Only a few will survive to gain promotion and regrow their limbs. Their suicidal bravery is fueled by ambition and shame.
Interesting, then, that Variks has at least one robotic arm... but we'll get to that...
And second is the ability for Eliksni to literally grow in size when they are able to feed on large amounts of Ether:
The Guards are handpicked from birth, stuffed full of Ether to make them strong and brainwashing to make them unthinkingly loyal to the Kell.
Kell uses Ciphers to control the Ether flow. Archons and Barons take deep draughts, grow tall. Dregs with tiny sips stay small.
It's kinda neat to get even the smallest confirmation that, yes, Eliksni really do range in size from the small Dregs to the impressively large Kells. It seems likely that this Ether fueled growth is fairly slow, but we don't know that for sure.
Oh, and about ether, and the way it releases from an Eliksni's body upon a successful headshot? Some Guardians talk as if the Eliksni really do have souls that escape when the body they are in is killed:
Those Fallen in the Ishtar Sink on Venus...story is they raided the Prison of Elders in the Reef. Got an Archon Priest. The Queen's bounty is high so we know it's powerful. We need to hunt this thing down before they fully restore its soul. -Cayde-6
The Fallen will continue to claw at the walls of our City, unless we strike them down. Beneath the ruins of the Cosmodrome, in the shadow of an old colony ship, we've located the House of Devils' Lair - and the High Servitor feeding them their strength. We must destroy this machine god...and send their souls screaming back to hell. -Commander Zavala
I have devised a technique to liberate the soul from the flesh. It works very reliably on Fallen.
But someone out there, perhaps an Eliksni, has this to say on the subject:
The gas is no soul. An ethereal lifeblood, maybe, but a soul? I think not.
Who's right? In a universe where Hive undo their own deaths by surviving in alternate dimensions, and where our Guardians are brought back to life some five hundreds years after the devestating defeat at the end of our Golden Age... who can really say!?
Up next? I think I'll just post all the cards relating to the Iron Lords in their proper order and expect you to read them straight through from beginning to end. The story of the Iron Lords is pretty awesome, and some of those cards talk a little about early Eliksni activity, so... it's all good! Right?