Bite-sized Backstory 32: The Eos Clash & Amethyst (Destiny)
After the Awoken smashed their fleet and their leadership at Ceres, the House of Wolves splintered into a variety of groups vying for control. As we saw last time, the three primary contenders for the Kellship were three of Virixas’ lieutenants: Irxis, Wolf Baroness; Parixas, the Howling; and Skolas, the Rabid.
The first order of business for these three claimants was to gather their forces and, critically it seems, take command of as many servitors as they could. Servitors are still somewhat mysterious to us. The basics are as follows:
Servitors are living relics of the once-mighty Fallen civilization. Packed with ultra-sophisticated machinery, they process matter and energy into the Ether that the Fallen depend on for life. In battle they support the Fallen with defensive systems and their own powerful energy weapons. Outside, they anchor Fallen comms and provide vital technological acumen.
Servitors have complex relationships with each other and with their Fallen crews. Servitors are attached to a Prime, a massive Servitor which exists in unclear symbiosis with a Fallen Archon. The Archon conveys the Kell's wishes to the Prime Servitor, and exerts some measure of control. Recent developments suggest that Prime Servitors are more than a focus of worship and logistical activity. They may play a key role in Fallen star flight.
We quickly see this “complex relationship” servitors have. Skolas and Parixas fight over control of the Kaliks line of servitors, but Irxis somehow knew that the Orbiks servitors had at least some control over the Kaliks line of servitors and used that advantage to deal heavy blows to her rivals.
The next major battle to take place in the Reef Wars was an important battle called the Eos Clash. One way or another, Peekis, one of Skolas’ subordinates, managed to pin Irxis’ forces in or near the orbit of the 64 mile wide asteroid 221 Eos. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a brilliant strategic move on Peekis’ part but one of desperation even though he had overwhelming numbers. Reading a bit between the lines, could it be that Skolas forces were being severely harmed by Irxis’ partial control over the Kaliks servitors?
In any case, this large scale battle of Wolves on Wolves ended with Irxis dead and both fleets in ruins.
Though technically a victory for Skolas, the Eos Clash came at a terrible cost for him. He docked Peekis' arms and demoted him to Dreg as punishment for his recklessness.
- WANTED: Peekis, the Disavowed
At this point, we are told Skolas changed his strategy. How did he change it? Cayde-6 has the answer for us:
The Awoken will tell you that a long time ago the Queen conquered the House of Wolves. What they won't say, because they are very serious important people, is that the House of Wolves did a lot of the job for them. After the Queen killed the Wolf Kell, the Fallen started competing for the throne. One of the first battles was called the Eos Clash and I wasn't anywhere near it, but I'm pretty sure I'm not making this up. A Fallen named Skolas wiped out one of his rivals in the Eos Clash. But the battle cost him so much he got to thinking: if the Reef killed my boss, and gave me a chance at the throne, maybe I can use the Reef to kill all my rivals too!
The first, and maybe best example of Skolas’ new strategy can be seen with the Silent Fang’s attacks and trickery at Amethyst and Iris.
The Fang used to do hit-and-run attacks against civilian targets during the worst days of the Reef Wars. I'm not sure, but I think that's what made Variks turn against Skolas. Assassins unleashed on miners, on teachers. That's a long way to fall." - Petra
In order to defeat his challenger for leadership of the House of Wolves, Skolas had Drevis, the leader of the Silent Fang assassins, personally lead an attack on a civilian station of Awoken called Amethyst. The Silent Fang killed everyone there, including Petra’s sisters, one of which, Pinar Venj, was the leader of Amethyst. This massacre becomes one of the biggest driving forces in Petra Venj’s life, as she later noted in a letter to her Queen:
It was your service that kept me from sorrow after Amethyst was razed. The loss of my sisters, my whole life, as our station burned... it took something from me.
By your will, it was given back to me.
Promoting me to the Corsairs, allowing me to strike back at the Wolves. Letting my fury find purchase in defense, in support, and in glorious battle. I know, as I’m sure you did, that without focus my heart would have grown toxic.
In response, the Reef’s Paladin Abra Zire lead a fleet chasing after Drevis in the direction of the bright, reflective asteroid Iris. Her response had come too late to protect Amethyst, but she wasn’t going to let anything stop her from punishing those responsible.
Except, at the same time, Grayor, who was likely another leader among the Silent Fang, led an attack against one of Skolas’ remaining Eliksni rivals. They hit Parixas’ ketch then fled so that Parixas would chase after them towards… the bright reflective asteroid Iris.
7 Iris is an asteroid about about 2.3AU from our sun, is about 200km across, and is very bright:
Iris's bright surface and small distance from the Sun make it the fourth-brightest object in the asteroid belt after Vesta, Ceres, and Pallas. It has a mean opposition magnitude of +7.8, comparable to that of Neptune, and can easily be seen with binoculars at most oppositions.
Through a combination the glare coming off Iris and the Eliksni’s jamming and cloaking we’re all fairly familiar with, the two members of the Silent Fang slipped away leaving Paladin Zire’s forces to clash with Parixas’! By the time the battle was over, the Reef’s forces were victorious… but so was Skolas! Not only had his forces badly bloodied the Reef’s nose, he had also managed to use their response to further his own ambitions!
Unfortunately for Drevis, the Reef’s reach was quite long. As we’ll see next, she was soon captured, but instead of an easy victory, her capture would spark the largest and longest series of battles in the Reef Wars.
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Next: 33: The Long Siege of Pallas