Grimoire: Saturn, Vault of Glass & Mercury

Published on: Sep 14, 2014 @ 20:45

This article has a plethora of Grimoire content that’s not yet available, which may contain spoilers!

Not much is known about Saturn other than what’s on the Grimoire cards. Saturn is likely to be an explorable destination in the future. Saturn is in Destiny’s list of locations, and there’s Grimoire cards for it as well.

saturn 2

After doing some digging around in Saturn’s Grimoire code, which technically isn’t available yet, I found the following:

Out beyond the Reef its rings shine. Whatever was known of it in the Golden Age is long forgotten, but more ancient truth remains: Saturn has dozens of moons, including the mighty Titan, a world larger than Mercury. A Guardian’s ship might, in theory, reach Saturn, especially if supported by a larger vessel and good navigational data. But the hazards of the Reef and the Deep Black beyond threaten to devour anyone who makes the attempt.

Saturn Ghost Fragment: A cold giant shows its night face to you. Distant moons slide past – icy little comets enslaved by a splendid master. The lightning bolts and high clouds sweep away, and you burrow into a sea of liquid hydrogen that boils out of the long gash. You put yourself on the perfect trajectory, and for a fraction of an instant you allow yourself the luxury of confidence.

So… we’ll need “support” if we want to reach Saturn. Where will this support come from? The Queen of the Reef perhaps? Surely the hazards of the Reef could be navigated by the Queen herself. By the way, “The Nine are ancient leviathan intelligences from the seas of Europa or the hydrocarbon pits of Titan.”

Vault of Glass

The Vault of Glass, which opens at 2AM Pacific on September 16th, has a great deal of lore associated with it. Again, potential spoilers! If you haven’t already seen the raid-specific armor, check out this article.

From the Records of the Ishtar Collective

From the Records of the Ishtar Collective

ESI: Maya, I need your help. I don’t know how to fix this.

SUNDARESH: What is it? Chioma. Sit. Tell me.

ESI: I’ve figured out what’s happening inside the specimen.

SUNDARESH: Twelve? The operational Vex platform? That’s incredible! You must know what this means – ah, so. It’s not good, or you’d be on my side of the desk. And it’s not urgent, or you’d already have evacuated the site. Which means…

ESI: I have a working interface with the specimen’s internal environment. I can see what it’s thinking.

SUNDARESH: In metaphorical terms, of course. The cognitive architectures are so –

ESI: No. I don’t need any kind of epistemology bridge.

SUNDARESH: Are you telling me it’s human? A human merkwelt? Human qualia?

ESI: I’m telling you it’s full of humans. It’s thinking about us.

SUNDARESH: About – oh no.

ESI: It’s simulating us. Vividly. Elaborately. It’s running a spectacularly high-fidelity model of a Collective research team studying a captive Vex entity.

SUNDARESH: …how deep does it go?

ESI: Right now the simulated Maya Sundaresh is meeting with the simulated Chioma Esi to discuss an unexpected problem.

[indistinct sounds]

SUNDARESH: There’s no divergence? That’s impossible. It doesn’t have enough information.

ESI: It inferred. It works from what it sees and it infers the rest. I know that feels unlikely. But it obviously has capabilities we don’t. It may have breached our shared virtual workspace…the neural links could have given it data…

SUNDARESH: The simulations have interiority? Subjectivity?

ESI: I can’t know that until I look more closely. But they act like us.

SUNDARESH: We’re inside it. By any reasonable philosophical standard, we are inside that Vex.

ESI: Unless you take a particularly ruthless approach to the problem of causal forks: yes. They are us.

SUNDARESH: Call a team meeting.

ESI: The other you has too.

SUNDARESH: So that’s the situation as we know it.

ESI: To the best of my understanding.

SHIM: Well I’ll be a [profane] [profanity]. This is extremely [profane]. That thing has us over a barrel.

SUNDARESH: Yeah. We’re in a difficult position.

DUANE-MCNIADH: I don’t understand. So it’s simulating us? It made virtual copies of us? How does that give it power?

ESI: It controls the simulation. It can hurt our simulated selves. We wouldn’t feel that pain, but rationally speaking, we have to treat an identical copy’s agony as identical to our own.

SUNDARESH: It’s god in there. It can simulate our torment. Forever. If we don’t let it go, it’ll put us through hell.

DUANE-MCNIADH: We have no causal connection to the mind state of those sims. They aren’t us. Just copies. We have no obligation to them.

ESI: You can't seriously – your OWN SELF –

SHIM: [profane] idiot. Think. Think. If it can run one simulation, maybe it can run more than one. And there will only ever be one reality. Play the odds.

DUANE-MCNIADH: Oh…uh oh.

SHIM: Odds are that we aren’t our own originals. Odds are that we exist in one of the Vex simulations right now.

ESI: I didn't think of that.

SUNDARESH: [indistinct percussive sound]

SUNDARESH: I have a plan.

ESI: If you have a plan, then so does your sim, and the Vex knows about it.

DUANE-MCNIADH: Does it matter? If we’re in Vex hell right now, there’s nothing we can –

SHIM: Stop talking about “real” and “unreal”; All realities are programs executing laws. Subjectivity is all that matters.

SUNDARESH: We have to act as if we’re in the real universe, not one simulated by the specimen. Otherwise we might as well give up.

ESI: Your sim self is saying the same thing.

SUNDARESH: Chioma, love, please hush. It doesn’t help

DUANE-MCNIADH: Maybe the simulations are just billboards! Maybe they don’t have interiority! It’s bluffing!

SHIM: I wish someone would simulate you shutting up.

SUNDARESH: If we’re sims, we exist in the pocket of the universe that the Vex specimen is able to simulate with its onboard brainpower. If we’re real, we need to get outside that bubble.

ESI: …we call for help.

SUNDARESH: That’s right. We bring in someone smarter than the specimen. Someone too big to simulate and predict. A warmind.

SHIM: In the real world, the warmind will be able to behave in ways the Vex can’t simulate. It’s too smart. The warmind may be able to get into the Vex and rescue – us.

DUANE-MCNIADH: If we try, won’t the Vex torture us for eternity? Or just erase us?

SUNDARESH: It may simply erase us. But I feel that’s preferable to…the alternatives.

ESI: I agree.

SHIM: Once we try to make the call, the Vex may…react. So let’s all savor this last moment of stability.

SUNDARESH: [indistinct sounds]

SHIM: You two are adorable.

DUANE-MCNIADH: I wish I’d taken that job at Clovis.


Vault of Glass:

His name was Kabr. He wasn’t my friend but I knew and respected him as a Guardian and a good man. He fought the Vex alone. This destroyed him. In the time before he vanished he said things that I think should be remembered. These are some of them: “In the Vault time frays and a needle moves through it. The needle is the will of Atheon. I do not know the name of the shape that comes after the needle. No one can open the Vault alone. I opened the Vault. There was no one with me but I was not alone. You will meet the Templar in a place that is a time before or after stars. The stars will move around you and mark you and sing to you. They will decide if you are real. I drank of them. It tasted like the sea.” That is all I can remember. – Pahanin

Relic – The Aegis:

These are the last words of Kabr, the Legionless: I have destroyed myself to do this. They have taken my Ghost. They are in my blood and brain. But now there is hope. I have made a wound in the Vault. I have pierced it and let in the Light. Bathe in it, and be cleansed. Look to it, and understand: From my own Light and from the thinking flesh of the Vex I made a shield. The shield is your deliverance. It will break the unbreakable. It will change your fate. Bind yourself to the shield. Bind yourself to me. And if you abandon your purpose, let the Vault consume you, as it consumed me. Now it is done. If I speak again, I am not Kabr.

Hezen Corrective:

We understand the Vex as a network of thoughts, unified and vast. But not all Vex are the same. The Hezen Corrective is one example of a Vex subtype, set apart from other Vex by distinct behaviors and objectives. Swarming across the Ishtar Sink, these Vex aggressively seek out and attack the Fallen House of Winter, perform inscrutable operations around shining Confluxes, and even show interest in the Golden Age ruins left by the Ishtar Collective. The bulk of our contact with Vex forces on Venus has involved the Corrective. Those scholars willing to risk their reputations speculating about the Vex often assert that the Corrective is an agent of change, designed to solve problems and remake the world in a form suitable to the Vex. Others contend that Corrective is simply a strategic distraction – meant to draw attention away from the actions of the Hezen Protective.

Hezen Protective: 

The mysterious Hezen Protective is the second major Vex behavioral unit on Venus. Concentrated around the legendary Vault of Glass and the Endless Steps, the site of a massive Vex gate and the access point to the towering Citadel, the Protective’s behavior seems very defensive. But leading Cryptarchs and experienced Guardians warn that it would be a fatal mistake to think of the Vex as a conventional military occupying an area. Vex behavior is always a process, active and purposeful. The Protective is clearly engaged in a colossal project, but as with much Vex behavior, it’s unclear whether their ultimate purpose is even comprehensible to us. The Protective may be reacting to an event that has yet to occur, or working towards a goal that – to us – is already historical fact.

Vex

The Gorgons:

Deep in the Vault of Glass, the fabric of reality bends to the will of the Vex. Warlocks speak in tones of awe of the Gorgons – creatures that seem to possess a dreaded, almost unimaginable strength: an ontological weapon. Like the Oracles and the Templar, the Gorgons reputedly possess the ability to define what is and is not real. Whatever they perceive becomes subject to erasure at their will. Until a countermeasure can be found, Guardians must avoid their gaze at all costs – or reply to any detection with immediate, overwhelming force. The Gorgons’ ability must be tied to the nature of the Vault of Glass. We can take some solace in the clear fact that the Vex cannot manifest this power in the world outside.

The Templar:

Even among the Axis Minds, the Templar is extraordinary. Fragmentary glimpses and scattered reports suggest a Hydra of impossible capabilities – a creature out of time. The Templar and the Oracles guard the way into the deeper Vault. Legends say that the Oracles foresee what is to come, a world as the Vex desire it – and that the Templar has the power to shape reality to match the Oracles' design, expunging any threats. The power of the Vault flows through the Templar. It will take something extraordinary to shatter its shield.

Atheon, Time’s Conflux:

To speak of Atheon is to accept certain limitations. We are ill-equipped to understand an entity that defies simple causality. Let us accept these limitations and proceed. Atheon waits in the Vault of Glass. Just as Atheon sidesteps “past” and “future”, it is impossible to say whether Atheon created the Vault or the Vault created Atheon. Causal pathways converge on Atheon from every axis in the space-time bulk. Atheon has a function. We hazard that it regulates and oversees the Vex conflux system. What are these confluxes? How do they relate to the physical Vex network that has devoured so much of Mercury and Venus? We might guess that the Vex confluxes represent the extension of this network across space and time. Perhaps the Vex use closed timelike curves to solve unfathomable computations. Or the Vex may seek to transcend a physical substrate, and move their thoughts directly into the fundament of the universe. If physics is a set of rules that the cosmos uses to calculate itself, perhaps the Vex seek to worm their way into these calculations: to become a law of reality, inseparable from existence. A virus in the system. Perhaps Atheon was the centerpiece of this project, a command nexus that unified efforts across time. But we must accept that all of this is speculation.

Finally, Mercury. “Legends say that Mercury was once a garden world. Now its surface, baked in the Sun’s glare, is honeycombed with forgotten Vex structures. No life stirs here. Not anymore.”

Mercury
Mercury

From the diaries of Commander Jacob Hardy, pilot, Ares One:

The mission is a go. Crew of three: Mihaylova, Qiao, myself. Immediate departure at the next Hohmann window to Mars. The MREs and return ships will chase us out. How do I feel? I said at the press conference I felt privileged. Historians will read this diary, but it won’t take their insight to tell the world that I’m terrified. It’s the human reaction. What I wish I could convey is the – the exhilaration. That’s the biggest thing. I’m not a spiritual man, but I’ve always believed there’s something transcendent about spaceflight. Something pure. We go out there because we can. Because it’s who we are.

Now we go because we have to. Because the unknown came to us. In fourteen months we’ll be face to face with it, and by the time we arrive, it should be active again – just like it was active on Jupiter, and Mercury, and Venus. I wonder what happens if it doesn’t stop at Mars. I wonder if it’ll leave us there in the sand, and come to Earth, and do here what it’s done everywhere else. I hate that we’re carrying weapons. I understand the necessity. But I hold to my belief: there’s something beautiful out there. It’s up to us to reach it.

Dreams of Alpha Lupi:

One face is blistered, the other plunged into a brutal chill. Is this how it’s always been? You remember hot oceans, nourishing atmosphere. But something transpired, kicked what was wet and fertile into space, stealing away everything of value. Or perhaps what thrived here for a day or for ten million years decided to leave, peeling its wet organics off the bones.

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LATEST POSTS BY AUTHOR

  • Johan Lindqvist

    Amazing read

  • Batlucha

    The Vault of Glass has to be the most terrifying thing I’ve ever even considered doing in a video game.

  • Oddsock

    Saturn!