Bite-Sized Backstory 13: The Amiable Ecumene (Destiny)
With more than three hundred worlds in ashes behind him, Auryx should have felt mighty and powerful. Instead, he felt trapped and he felt afraid and he felt betrayed. He wasn’t sad or or ill at ease with the destruction he’d caused. This time, he called his sisters to him and cried out in grief because he’d finally proven something that had been nagging at him for some time: His worm’s hunger was growing faster than the power he could draw from it.
The more he and his sisters fed their worm with destruction the faster their worms hungered for it. Soon, Auryx admitted to his sisters, their worms would be so hungry that they would not be able to feed them even if they tried to do so with all of their considerable might! If things kept going as they had been, they and the entirety of the Hive would be consumed by the very worms that had given them so much power.
And then things got worse for the royal Hive siblings!
Far away from the Hive’s contingent of interstellar moons, the ministry of war of a race called the Dakaua came together to address a critical threat. The Dakaua, it seems, play a major leadership role in some sort of alliance of several species spread among the stars that collectively call themselves the Ecumene. (Note that ecumene means something like “the known world” in Greek.)
Over the last hundred years, and despite the efforts of the Ecumene Status Army's perimeter fleets, seventeen of their client races had fallen to a previously unknown race calling itself the Hive. The Hive’s power had grown so great that the Dakaua were now looking at the possibility that the entire Ecumene faced extinction at the hands of the Hive. Fortunately, they had just gotten a big break.
Mercenary explorers had discovered an ancient interstellar ship fleeing from the Hive’s advance. An analysis of the ship put its construction at around 24,000 years prior… around the same time that the Ecumene had lost contact with the Ammonites in the Fundament system! It seems very possible that the Ammonites were in fact a client race of the Ecumene.
Inside this ancient ship the explorers found a member of a proto-Hive individual frozen in some sort of stasis. Once revived, she identified herself as Taox! Recall, that it was Taox who had betrayed the brave royal sisters of the Osmium Court and lead those sisters to swear an oath of revenge against her. One might even argue that she was (somewhat indirectly) responsible for the birth of the Hive and the death of hundreds of worlds…
Now though, during her debriefing, Taox provides the Ecumene with an account of the fall of the Ammonites and vitially important intel about the motives and biology of the Hive. She also tell them, who their leaders are. With this new information, the Dakaua are able to supply Ecumene forces with new orders and three high priority targets: The siblings who once called themselves Aurash, Sathona, and Xi Ro.
The Dakaua Ministry of War instructs its combined forces to target the Hive’s three leaders with “maximum theater overkill” and authorizes the use of Caedometric (possibly Light based or anti-matter based) weapons. Given what they now know, the Dakaua believe that the Hive will crumble once their leaders are destroyed. Soon, these new orders are put into action and finally, after the loss of seventeen worlds, the Ecumene seem to have the upper hand.
For Auryx and his sisters, this reversal of fortunes couldn’t have come at a worse time. Already they were reaching the limits of their power and now the Ecumene somehow knew to target them specifically. Take a moment to read just how desperate things had become:
”I am at my end,” Savathûn says. “I plot and plan. But I cannot gather enough bloodshed to feed my worm. And the harder I try, the hungrier it becomes.”
“I slaughter and kill,” Xivu Arath says, “but the harder I fight, the more my worm demands. I too am at my end.”
“The Ecumene war angels have killed me so many times,” Auryx says, “that I dare not go out into the universe, lest I need my might to protect myself. My worm chews at my soul in hunger.”
As mighty as the Hive have become, they are forced to admit that the Ecumene are more powerful than they are. At one point, Xivu Arath even calls the Ecumene “lords of matter and physical law” all but admitting defeat! Savathûn, unable to plot and plan her way past the Ecumene’s superior tactics and firepower desperately suggests that they beg the worm gods to tell them what to do!
Auryx, however, rejects the weakness of his two sisters and tells them he knows a way that they might still be able to defeat the Ecumene. What Auryx does next to his sisters, and even to one of his gods, will change his position among the Hive forever!