It was an eventful start to the weekend for fans of “Destiny 2,” as groups of players struggled Friday to claim the title of first to complete the Last Wish raid that came with the “Forsaken” expansion. That title was claimed by Clan Redeem around 4:50am PT, after a nearly 19-hours marathon session. But for everyone else, the fun was just getting started.
That’s because once Clan Redeem beat the raid, it changed the Dreaming City region in “Destiny 2.” Starting up the game initiated a new message to all players: “A team of six Guardians entered the heart of the Dreaming City and slew Riven of a Thousand Voices. They had no way of knowing that was exactly what Riven wanted.” Entering the Dreaming City prompted a new cutscene in which Petra Venj spoke dramatically about the unintended side effects of the raid. “The city is Taken,” she says, expressing regret at apparently opening up the city to more Taken forces.
The Dreaming City itself doesn’t appear too dramatically different at first glance — just a somewhat increased Taken presence, and Taken corruption popping up in new places. But the big things most people will notice are that a new strike, The Corrupted, is now available, as is a new solo mission from Petra called Broken Courier. And in Broken Courier we are treated to the arrival of Xivu Arath onto the scene in the present for the very first time.
The mission echoes the way “Destiny 2” has been teasing Savathun and Quria for the past year — with proxy enemies bearing titles that reference the Hive leader. Such as Xaras, Greed of Xivu Arath, which is the big boss at the end of the mission who looks strikingly similar to the Voice of Riven players fought at the end of the main “Forsaken” campaign.
For those steeped in “Destiny” lore, an actual in-game reference to Xivu Arath is a lot to process. Given how hard Bungie seemed to have been setting up Savathun as an imminent big bad, many fans assumed that Savathun had assumed the mantle of Taken Queen and was the one who had tricked Uldren Sov into opening the portal to the Dreaming City and was pulling Riven’s strings.
But if killing Riven opened the Dreaming City to these lieutenants of Xivu Arath — and killing Riven was what Riven and its handler wanted — then it’s possible that Xivu Arath, not Savathun, is the one orchestrating all this stuff going on in “Forsaken.” Or, worse, that Xivu Arath and Savathun are working together.
Now, if you’re somebody who has no idea what I’m talking about, I’ll give you a quick primer. (If you want a more detailed one, you can check out our general rundown of all the crazy stuff that “Forsaken” is teasing, including Savathun and Quria, right here.)
The Hive have three main leaders who stand above everybody else. The one that we know the best was Oryx, who was killed in the “Taken King” expansion to the first “Destiny” a few years ago. Oryx was called the Taken King because he had the ability to essentially “turn” opposing forces into his own personal army which we know as the Taken.
The other two Hive leaders are Oryx’s sisters, Savathun and Xivu Arath. Neither of them have ever been present in the games, but “Destiny 2” has been teasing Savathun since day one in strikes and other missions. Xivu Arath, on the other hand, has only ever been mentioned in the Books of Sorrow, a collection of lore items in “The Taken King” that detail the entire history of the Hive.
The last word we had on Xivu Arath came thousands of years ago after the Hive wiped out another alien species called the Harmony. At that time, Oryx, Savathun and Xivu Arath all fought together, but they went their separate ways afterward — Savathun into a black hole, Xivu Arath to some unknown elsewhere, and Oryx, eventually, to our solar system.
The “Destiny 2” base game has several spots where it indicates that even though Oryx is dead, somebody still has the power to Take and is using it. Ghost notes, at the end of the Lake of Shadows strike, that Oryx’s sisters could be the ones, though only Savathun had been mentioned by name before now.
So what does it mean that Xivu Arath is actively involved in current events? We have no idea. The appearance of her name in the Broken Courier mission was quite a shocking development, and the way Bungie has been ever-so-carefully doling out details about the bigger picture means it might be a bit before we find out.
But if we are going to find anything out soon, it might be a week from Tuesday. The Dreaming City are is on a three-week cycle of some sort, and Bungie has said it will change dramatically each time the cycle restarts. We don’t know anything about what kind of changes that reset will bring, since we’re still currently in the first cycle. But if more info is coming soon, that’s probably when it will be.
And for now, regardless, we’ll just have to wait.