Bite-sized Backstory 27: Whirlwind & Rain (Destiny)
The Fallen are ruthless scavengers. Brutal and uncaring, they arrived on their massive Ketches in the wake of the Collapse to loot and pillage our devastated worlds.
There are hints of ancient nobility to the Fallen Houses – the scars of lost grandeur. The Kells of their scattered Houses still claim to be royalty. But they leave only grief and wreckage in their wake.
By the time Destiny’s story ends, it is clear that the Fallen have it the worst out of all the races we’ve met. Once the combined forces of the City and the Reef, not to mention the Vex, Hive, and Cabal, are done with the Fallen, it’s fair to wonder how many of them are even left in our system and how many of their ancient Houses are still intact.
But this race of pirates and scavengers humanity derides as Fallen was once something much more. Though some of their people have come to embrace the term Fallen, they actually call themselves Eliksni much as we call ourselves humans or humanity. And once, long ago, the Eliksni, like us, were visited by the Traveler.
The image clears of dirt and dust as a hand wipes the lens clean. A figure holds the Ghost up, looking into the lens. Harsh light from an unfamiliar sun backlights the four-armed creature, making it impossible to see its face. Its massive head turns, and a clicking and chittering voice can be heard speaking to something off-screen. While the noises themselves are harsh, the tone and content seem almost gentle. A curious creature, not a violent or angry one.
The lens refocuses beyond the creature's head as it talks, and a startling landscape climbs to the horizon. It's a paradise. Carefully tended lakes and rivers, water everywhere, wind their way between fields of lush iridescent crops and into groves of starkly colored trees. Every inch of the land seems engineered, brushed by a sculptor's hand for form and function both.
The sky is a light pink, spotted with clouds and crowded with ships. Thick lanes of aerial traffic soar through the air, tightly managed and seemingly endless.
And beyond it all, above the clouds, hangs a perfect alabaster sphere. The image wobbles, shaking, flickering as if the Ghost is blinking. And the fragment ends.
The first image we get of the Eliskni comes to us through the strange, time-bent perception of a Ghost within the Vex’s Vault of Glass. This brief glimpse of an Eliksni world shows us that not only were they perhaps equals to Humanity in the height of our Golden Age, it’s even possible that they were our betters! Their lanes of air traffic speaks to a civilization bustling with technological prowess, while their paradise of perfectly engineered lakes, rivers, farm lands, and forests suggests that perhaps they have already long past the age of expansion, colonization, and struggle Humanity was in before its Golden Age came crashing down.
Skolas, the eventual Fallen leader of the House of Wolves, had this to say about the Eliksni’s Golden Age:
Remember the age before the Whirlwind, when ether ran free, when we ruled ourselves and our futures as kings. We wanted more than glimmer and glints and herealways.
Unfortunately, while the Eliksni’s Golden Age may have lasted a good deal longer than Humanity’s, it did not last.
First, the Great Machine. Then, sky fell away. Whirlwind ripped away the past. All honor lost, all hope. Judgment not
enough. Cannot keep Wolves from Kings, Scar from Winter. Fell to fighting. Fell to hate.
Judgment gone. Others slaughtered, slain. Death and docking. "Keep Eliksni together," lost to pride and rage.
Traveled with the many houses before Wolves. We move, across the dark. Follow the Light. Advise Kells, worshiped Primes. House Judgment must survive, yes?
Found the Light. Too bright in Darkness to hide.
Something powerful and terrible attacked the Eliksni. Something so overwhelming they were forced to flee their home world and chase after what they called the Great Machine until they found it damaged and unmoving hanging low above the beginnings of what would years or maybe decades later become the City on Earth.
Destiny’s story might have been very different if the Eliksni that had survived their Whirlwind acted as a unified force. They might have come out the heroes. At the very least they might have been far and away the dominant rulers of our solar system with far more might than the Hive, Vex, Cabal or the Awoken of the Reef. But, instead of working together to preserve what remained of their race after the Whirlwind, the Eliksni almost immediately fell into infighting if not outright civil war.
While we don’t know much about this possible Eliksni’s civil war, we do know that the House Judgment, which seems to have helped settle disputes and keep order among the other Houses, was destroyed. House Judgement may very well have been one of the last Houses to fall due to the effects of the Whirlwind, but there were surely many others that were wiped out in, or because of, the Eliksni’s version of our Collapse. The most interesting of these Houses has to be the House of Rain.
Throughout Destiny, the Fallen repeatedly take bold but foolish risks. Their infighting and the way they throw themselves into the meat grinders of the City’s Guardians and the Reef’s Awoken is a tragic theme we see over and over. But, in Destiny, and in the Grimoire especially, there is a second theme that permeates the Fallen’s story. It is a promise of renewed unity and perhaps even redemption as all the Fallen Houses gather under the leadership of one Eliksni who will eventually be known as the Kell of Kells. If a Kell is the leader of a Fallen House, this individual will be the leader of all the Fallen Houses.
One of the most interesting things about this Kell of Kells is that their eventual existence was predicted by the House of Rain before it was destroyed in the Whirlwind:
Petra: What about this House of Rain, the Prophecy you keep quoting?
Variks: House Rain lost in Whirlwind. No survivors, but I keep their prophecies. You think many claim to be Kell of Kells, but none have. House Judgment closest thing to peace the Fallen ever know.
Petra: Heh. Maybe you are the Kell of Kells.
And the prophecies Variks spoke of?
What Whirlwind whisked away will be rewrought, and every kell and ketch will kneel to the Kell of Kells." —Prophecy, House of Rain
The Great Machine will marvel, moved by might, and come to crown him Kell of Kells." —Prophecy, House of Rain
Before him, foes will flee or fall. But he will heal the houses, make them whole." —Prophecy, House of Rain
That even the Traveler would recognize this Kell of Kells seems completely unprecedented with what we’ve seen so far in Destiny… so I really we see these prophecies come true!
Like the story of the Hive we covered last time, the story of the Fallen Eliksni is one filled with hope and despair, with battles and betrayals, and maybe with even a hint or two about to expect from our favorite four-armed race in Destiny 2. I had a blast exploring the Grimoire last time for the Books of Sorrow, and so I hope you’ll join me again over the next several weeks as I trace the path of the Eliksni.
- Bite-sized Backstory 27: Whirlwind & Rain - Ragashingo, 2017-08-01, 20:18