The results are in for Match 1.
The match had proven to be very aerial, both performers very quickly finding ways to fulfill the letter of the ‘try and stay on the ropes’ directive Conqueror Worm had left for them while literally and figuratively flying in the face of its spirit. Alexis Williams needed to very frequently replenish her balloon armor as she bounced around, opportunities to actually get as close to Wrenn Aflight as she’d needed to being very difficult to come by.
Though with her Stand acting as it was, perhaps she didn’t mind such a thing. There was something about the quiet resolve of Kingdom of Desire, even as it wore a certain familiar ring, that was making her almost afraid of what this extension of herself, her traumas, her memories of her,
might do. In the meantime, this guy who had agreed to be her opponent had been trying to sing, hiding his pain and his vitriol under his own sort of strong face and performing for the crowd. A tornado of dust had begun to engulf the arena, courtesy of his efforts, and the Vegas-veteran knew a dramatic, flaming ring when she saw one.
As it was, a swing and a near miss had placed her positionally several meters underneath the performer, her own form having been harmed on occasion by the influx of particulate-based chip damage, sweating from the mounting heat in the room, and unable to see many of the balloons she’d left in the fog of smoke as the performer covered the arena; she could barely see the walls, or the windows, let alone any of those.
Alexis needed to put literally everything she had into one final balloon dash. If she could close the distance between herself and Wrenn, she could certainly end this match in close quarters, and if he closed that cyclone of his in on her before she could get out of it, she would be burned badly by the glowing singer.
It was a quick-draw, then.
“Hmm?” Wrenn seemed to register something, his eyes facing her yet not seeming to be focusing on her at all - had something she’d set up earned the attention of that eye-dust he’d scattered about?
Already, the burning dust storm was starting to lower, extremely slowly and not seeming to constrict yet to Alexis’ surprise. Hell, she could even see the balloons she’d left nearby the windows now in one of the points she’d flown towards them, tried to catch Wrenn offguard. Why was he drawing it out when he’d seen what she could do? Why would he waste time on that? This place could catch alight!
“Hey!” The boy clinging to his umbrella above her called down. “These people want their finale! You’re on the same stage as me, so make it grand!”
That was all Alexis needed to hear, even bringing a smile to her face where she was expecting misery. Willing blast after blast of the amassed balloons, she sent all that she could utterly flying.
The tinted windows, which had started off so durable, had not only already begun to crack, but melt under the intense heat, and the balloons close to them blew them open on all sides, filling the previously quieter air with the shocked swears and calls for security of their small audience.
“Wrenn, you changed your mind?!” She wanted to cry for a different reason, but knew now wasn’t the time. That move would likely have only startled them, with holes in the glass of that size (a move by design for Alexis), so the pair would need to think fast in order to avoid being put down for this. “You’ve been my LEAST favorite kind of audience!”
He called eagerly, the flaming cyclone rising again and quickly funneling through the various windows, its burning intensity turned away from Alexis and towards the occupants of each of the viewing boxes. “If you’re putting people in shows like these, then *
you have this coming!”***
The screams of the few watchers intensified. With players’ scores matching at 69 (Nice), you could say the real winner was teamwork… Probably.
|Category ||Winner ||Point Totals ||Comments |
|Popularity ||Judecca Highrollers ||10-19 ||With a three-vote lead, once again, popularity resolved in a way where the thirtieth point is burned away by a spinning cyclone and balloon blast after blast. |
|Quality ||Masters of Funky Action ||22-21 ||Reasoning |
|JoJolity ||Masters of Funky Action ||27-19 ||Reasoning |
|Conduct ||Tie ||10-10 || |
“C’mon, Alexis, don’t choke now! Get us out of here, that guy probably protected himself, and Worm guy definitely has!”
Truthfully, Wrenn had meant to finish her off as the show demanded, secure his own safety, but when his eye-dust had noticed the window-damage, seen that past its cracks there were Fox and the other watchers on all sides, and from there little stairways up into the abandoned stations above and from there, up to the city.
For now, trying not to flinch from the sights of people in pain, he used his spread-out eye-property dust to look into all four sides he could leave from, trying to quickly assess all information. In one room, Conqueror Worm stood, looking extremely amused at this turn of events and doing little to help those trying to get to safety before hopping up into the ceiling and vanishing.
In the second, easily the most burning avenue of escape, a strange fellow in a maroon turban and face coverings stood right by the edge of the destroyed window, not at all minding the flames even as they caught the outfit alike, beginning to lift it up to remove with unsettling fearlessness; the only thing Wrenn saw as flames overtook the area and made its ceiling collapse was this figure grinning widely at him, accentuating a jagged-looking scar along the revealed lower half of their face.
The third side, he could see Fox quickly transform a rock sculpture of an annoying-looking dog into a makeshift shield, protecting himself, that golden-suited Tigran Sins guy, and a shocked looking Metra Doria from the initial, less lethal glass blasts as if he’d seen the flames coming, the structure seeming highly heat resistant and similar in makeup to the balloon armor as it hurried away.
The fourth was mostly just filled with screaming guys, and the stairs still looked accessible. “Holy hell, are you crazy? Look, uh… Don’t worry about me!”
The voice of Metra amplified and pleaded, resonating loudly and clearly in the heads of both fighters, even through the crackling and pain. “I’ll be fine, just… Just escape! I agreed to this because I wanted to ensure you three would survive!”
Well, that settled the guilt on that dilemma. Wrenn quickly pointed to the safest bet. “Blast us that way before we burn up and die! You can’t get cold feet in a place like this!”
Alexis was taken aback, but KoD knew not to let them die for this. Quickly, audible pops!
blasted the replenished flying gymnast up towards the singer, right as his umbrella caught alight and he began to fall. He dropped into Alexis’ grasp, and from there in seconds flat they were up and blasting through the direction Wrenn had pointed out, landing safely in the stairways and very quickly making their ways up.
“What… What the hell did you need to go that far for?” Alexis asked, still rattled as the pair caught their breaths.
“Sorry for-” Wrenn coughed a lot, then spoke in a less affected tone. “Sorry for doing what you asked, and trusting you in the end! ‘Put our minds together,’ ‘don’t get caught off-guard,’ ‘get out of here…’” He looked away towards the sound of approaching sirens, voice sounding even heavier, as if a massive weight were on his lithe shoulders. “What did you think that would mean?”
Alexis’ lip trembled, and she hugged herself, finding her stand’s arms around her doing the same thing after a moment. She couldn’t rebut. This was Wrenn trusting in her, wanting her help in escaping these death games, but to do that..! To leave people in such a state, and that the worst perpetrators clearly survived anyway, and that Metra was still stuck with that guy..!
“They’re not going to chase us like this,” he continued, as much trying to convince himself not to break down as he put on his hardest ‘strong face,’ different from that which Alexis had seen before. “So many of those guys probably killed people like us, innocents, too… This is a blow to a whole crime ring.” Not far from the site of the fire, authorities would find remains of a John Doe later identified as local entertainment industry manager Thutmose. Despite the incident earlier that day, authorities deemed it extremely unlikely these events were connected. The final toll of the fires were seven dead, three missing, fifteen in critical condition, all of whom accounted for a majority of the audience of the match. Though many suspected members of Sound’s Garden’s criminal underground were lost to the flames, with many other regulars having tuned in through dark web streaming, operations on the blood sports were able to continue. What a first match to open up the round on! Obviously, results are already in, so there won’t be results announced with M3 going up, but at this point, until the very tail-end of the round the typical posting schedule should be in full swing.
A scrapyard on the northwestern edge of Los Fortuna’s slums, 7:46 PM
Ace High was getting tired of having to move around so much, and for this long. Tailing this “Modern Holiday” man was starting to get on his nerves - despite being a detective, he preferred to deal with these kinds of situations in more direct ways, and passing through desolate streets and heaps of junk didn’t exactly fit his definition of “a good time”, even if his stand helped streamline the process a bit.
He’d been following Holiday at the request of Vitus Calamai, a man who SKADE had worked alongside before in an attempt to get in the good graces of ODIN. Furthermore, he’d already done the same to Holiday’s coworker, a woman by the name of Peres Straviat. Unlike before, however, Ace was alone - Kisa had opted to investigate his own leads, leaving the Sharp Lookers behind, and every other member of the team was occupied with their own tasks.
It seemed as if Holiday had something in mind that he wanted to do in the slums, as he’d supposedly been wandering around the area quite a bit recently, for some reason that neither Ace nor Vitus were aware of. However, Ace did hear that Holiday had some history with a few shady gangs and groups in the area, and considering the man’s track record, it was clear that an investigation was warranted.
As the man moved along, and entered a decrepit scrapyard by the edge of the district, Ace began to notice it - a burning stench that pervaded through the massive scrapyard, and a billowing cloud of smoke rising in the distance. The visibility wasn’t very good - smog filled the air, making it harder to discern what he was actually looking at. Furthermore, his vision was already occupied by the massive mounds of scrap around him, and couldn’t make out much of the area due to needing to remain hidden from Holiday.
Holiday’s path seemed to lead him closer and closer to the source of the smoke, and eventually, he seemed to stop and began looking around. He’d almost spotted Ace, who’d just barely dived behind a pile of scrap in time before Holiday spotted him. He could just barely overhear Holiday saying something, though he couldn’t make out exactly what it was. He had to get closer in order to get within earshot of him.
Moving forwards and peeking up from underneath the pile of scrap, Ace could see it - Holiday and a brown haired man wearing a red leather jacket, standing on the edge of a large crater, from which the smoke seemed to be emerging. Ace raised his head up further, getting a better look of what exactly was within the crater, and spotting the source of the smoke - multiple fires seemed to be burning from within, and some sort of figure stood from within, facing in the pair’s direction. Was that a stand?
Before he could think further about what exactly that was, Ace heard a rustling from behind him. Quickly turning around, he saw it - a stand, rising from the smog behind him, reaching out towards him.“Shit!” Ace quickly began scrambling backwards, up the pile of scrap. “Gangster’s-” Before Ace could finish calling for his Gangster’s Paradise to help him, the mysterious stand firmly grabbed his leg and pulled him back into its reach, and Ace lost consciousness.
An alley on the south side of Los Fortuna’s slums, the day prior to Ace’s investigation, 8:32 PM
Maxwell “Ten-Ten” Tenet sat on the ground, back against a graffiti-filled wall, breathing heavily while clutching his side. Bruises and cuts peppered his body, small droplets of blood falling onto the dirty floor beneath him. He wasn’t in the best shape. Still, the passed out body of the man by him was clearly far worse off than Max himself was.
“...heh. Who'd've thought that mugger would be a stand user as well?” Max idly mused to himself. This wasn’t the first time it had happened, and it probably wasn’t going to be the last. “Well, whatever. Just gotta hope this place calms down eventually...” With a pained grunt, he slowly got up.
He was just on his way over to the Elephant Bones, wanting to surprise London with a visit, when he got sidetracked after hearing the faint noises of some sort of altercation happening far away from him. Quickly checking it out, he quickly realized that it was a mugging, and stepped into the scene to stop it without hesitation. Things quickly spiraled out of control when the mugger tried to fight back against Max with his own stand, but the outcome was inevitable from the very beginning - Max came out on top, albeit having sustained a few wounds here and there.
Beginning to make his way out of the alley, Max sighed. The slums weren’t very peaceful during the best of times, but recently, these kinds of things seemed to have been happening more and more in there. He knew why as well - with the incarceration of “The Gambler”, things were somewhat of a mess for many of the residents of the slums. He didn’t live there himself, but his boyfriend did, and Max came over and patrolled them often enough that he couldn’t help but notice it.
“Sucks, doesn’t it?” Max was taken aback, hearing an unfamiliar voice come from behind him. Turning, he took a look at the person in front of him - a man with a young-looking face, blonde hair, and a wide grin on his face. “It’s just like six years ago, huh? Total chaos. Try as they might, I guess the Temple of Syrinx and the Bakkers aren’t doing a very good job keeping the criminals in check, haha! And just when it seemed like things were improving for the slums!” Despite the man’s dour words, his tone of voice was upbeat and casual.
“And who’re you?” Max tilted his head, curious about who exactly the odd man was. “Oh, I guess I forgot to introduce myself, haha! The name’s Modern Holiday, but you can just call me ‘Holiday’!”
“Holiday..? Hm..” The name sounded familiar to Max. “What’re you here for, Holiday?”
Holiday seemed to pause for a bit, his smile briefly fading away before he took a deep breath and began speaking. “Well, I’m glad you asked! Actually, I’m here because-” “Oh! I remember! London mentioned that one of his coworkers met someone called ‘Holiday’! Her name was Glitch, d’you know her?” Though he was slightly taken aback, Holiday seemed to lighten up at the mention of Glitch. “Oh, Glitch! Yeah, I know her! She’s a fun person, haha! She makes good food!”
“Anyways… The reason I’m here because I need your help! Or rather, I suppose I’ve got something in mind that I think you’d want to help me out with, since you seem to be the crime fighting type! Well, you aren’t really going to be fighting ‘crime’, but... well… uh...” Holiday stumbled over his own words, unsure of how to to word what he was going to say.
“Hey, just tell me what you want and we’ll see if I can help, yeah?” Max said nonchalantly. “Yeah, you’re right… Sheesh, this isn’t like me...” Holiday said with a sigh. “Well… I want you to kill a stand.”
“A stand?” Max’s raised a brow, a slight frown finding its way onto his face. “So... wouldn’t that mean killing the user as well? If that’s what you’re asking, then I’m not interested.” If that was what this ‘Holiday’ really wanted, then this was just a waste of time.
“Wh- no, no! God no, that’s… Yeah, no, I won’t- that’s not what I’m asking!” Holiday said loudly. “This stand’s user… well, she’s…” Holiday sighed and looked down, scratching his head. “She’s already dead. Has been for a while. It’s just… her stand isn’t dead. It’s still out there.”
Oh. “It didn’t disappear after she died?”
“Yeah… Los Fortuna has a weird effect on stands like that sometimes. The stand, Gasoline Family, just… stayed. Ever since then, it’s been mindlessly rampaging around the spot of her death, attacking anyone that gets nearby and making a mess. They say stands are manifestations of our ‘fighting spirit’ or our ‘souls’ or something like that, yeah? Knowing that, and seeing the only remnant of her act like that, it’s not a very nice sight to look at. No one’s really done anything about it until now since it’s so far out of the way of most people, but I want to… to free what remains of her, you know? If that makes sense. I don’t think she’d have wanted this to be what remained of her. And at the very least, I don’t want any unprepared person who goes there to find themselves killed by it.”
There was a moment of silence as Max took in Holiday’s words. “Did you know her? Gasoline Family’s user, I mean.” Max asked, his voice more quiet than before. In response, Holiday chuckled. “Yeah, I guess that was pretty obvious, huh? You could say we were friends back then.” A far cry from his previous demeanor, Holiday was somber. It made sense, considering the subject matter at hand, but it was an odd sight nonetheless.
“My stand, Sleep Apnea, can help protect you in the fight against Gasoline Family, but it’s not really suited for direct combat. I can’t do this without your help. I saw you fight that mugger - your stand is strong.”
Max thought back to his own past friendships and relationships, then to the people he knew in Los Fortuna. Were a similar situation to happen to someone he knew, he’d… he didn’t want to think much about that. “Well, sure. I’ll help you out.” Max said with a smile, to which Holiday responded with a slight grin as well. “... Yeah. Thank you.”
“So - when are we doing this, and what can this ‘Gasoline Family’ even do?”
Back in the scrapyard, 7:55 PM
The first thing Ace noticed when he woke up was the splitting headache he had, and that he was lying on the ground. The second thing he noticed was the pissed-off face of Modern Holiday, staring right at him. He quickly turned away, looking at his surroundings. He’d been dragged closer to the decrepit, smoke-filled crater, and was right by its edge.
Despite his best efforts, he’d gotten caught, somehow. Was the stand that attacked him Holiday’s? It just popped out of the smog behind him, and the moment it grabbed Ace, he passed out. Did it activate its ability on him? Other than the headache, he felt normal, for the most part. Slightly cold, which was weird, considering how close he was to the fires.
“So, you’re awake. Care to explain why exactly you were following me?” Holiday said with a scowl. Ace wasn’t entirely sure how to respond. There was silence for a few seconds, where nothing but the crackling of the fires within the crater could be heard as Ace thought to himself about his next move. From what he’d heard, Holiday was quite a sociable person, and one who was liable to slip up every once in a while, occasionally revealing some useful and sensitive information. Then again, Vitus also said that he was pretty good at catching on to others’ motives and giving people the slip when he didn’t want to converse with them, so it would be tricky, but if Ace could gather some information from Holiday, then that’d be very good.
Of course, Holiday did seem pretty pissed right now, which was somewhat understandable considering that Ace had been tailing him for quite a while. “Well, you know… I was curious about what you were up to, yeah? Walking around the slums so much, almost makes me think you’ve got something in mind~”
“And what if I do? I’m- Ugh. Look. I know that you’re with SKADE, and that Vitus probably put you up to this. This isn’t related to the Ocean Soul, and it isn’t anything that you should be concerned about or that you need to snoop around for.” Seemed like Holiday wasn’t really in the mood for a conversation, like he was on edge for some reason.
Even if what Holiday said was true, Ace’s own curiosity had been piqued at this point, and furthermore, he needed more information. “Well, I’m still quite curious - what’s it about, then?”
“You want to know? Fine. Get up.” Holiday turned away from Ace and pointed down at something within the crater. Ace took a closer look at it. Within it, he saw piles of scrap and debris tossed about haphazardly, a few of them the sources of raging fires, emitting pillars of smoke into the air.
By the border of the crater was the man that Holiday talked to before, and within it was what seemed to be a stand of some kind, the same figure that he’d seen there before. “You see that figure over there? That’s Gasoline Family, a stand. Its user is already dead, but it’s stayed here for a couple of years by now, making a mess of the area and attacking anyone that gets close enough. I’m getting help from someone in order to destroy it. Not a fan of seeing the only thing that remains from an old friend of mine do… this.” Holiday said, waving his hands to direct Ace’s attention to the chaos within the crater.
“A stand, huh? I see… What’s it do? Something related to fire, I assume.” So that was the reason for the disarray of the area here. “Actually, know what - how about I help you out with this ‘Gasoline Family’? As compensation for tailing you, yeah?” Ace said, grinning.
“Hm? You want to help?” Holiday said, mildly surprised. “Well, sure - I was just about to ask you to do the same. While you’re here, might as well make yourself useful. It should also help reassure you that I’m not doing anything illegal here or something like that, if you don’t believe me.”
“Alright, perfect-” Ace said, taking another look at the crater. “I assume those fires hurt stands, right? Uh… Got any tips about dealing with that? If I don’t know any weaknesses or whatnot, it’ll be hard to deal with Gasoline Family when my stand’s liable to be burnt up just like that. I’d rather not get flash-fried.” Ace said with a chuckle.
“Oh, that? Shouldn’t be a problem for you. See, my Sleep Apnea has the ability to force out ‘aspects’ or ‘parts’ of objects or people into copies of them that it creates. By putting the copies together, they’ll merge, but otherwise, the original body will lose said ‘aspect’ forever. Now, when Sleep Apnea first touched you, I made it activate its ability on you. It removed your body and your clothes’ ability to heat up. Of course, this means that the fire won’t hurt you or your stand at all, so that’s not going to be a problem.”
Now this was information that was useful to Ace. Knowing Holiday’s stand would certainly be useful for Vitus, but… It didn’t take long for the analytical part of his brain to realize what the catch here was. His body wasn’t heating up, but it could probably still cool down - that might’ve been why he felt colder before. “And I assume you’ll bring me back to normal once Gasoline Family’s dealt with? I’d rather not freeze to death, you know.”
“Well, don’t worry about that - I’d rather not have anyone’s death on my conscience, so I’ll return you back to normal so long as you don’t try to attack me or keep me from killing Gasoline Family, alright?” The anger in Holiday’s voice had disappeared, now replaced by a more nonchalant attitude, though Ace knew that he probably hadn’t calmed down much.
With a sigh, Ace took a step towards the crater in front of him. “Well, alright then - catch me up on what exactly Gasoline Family does, and I’ll get to work.” Knowing that his life was in Holiday’s hands wasn’t very uplifting, but this could very well turn out to be in Ace’s advantage if he played it right, and if he showed Holiday how useful and cooperative he was to make him lower his guard and spill information.
Max wasn’t sure what to expect when Holiday first mentioned Gasoline Family and told him where to go, but now that he was here, at the center of the crater in which it resided, he could see just how intimidating the stand was. The crater was absolutely decimated - thick puddles of a liquid that seemed to be gasoline were spread around, many of which had already been ignited. Piles of scraps and soot were strewn around, and the smell of smoke was overwhelming. However, Holiday used his stand on him to give him resistance from the fires, which would help in the fight.
Well, if he wanted to get anything done, he’d have to actually get closer to the stand. He briefly glanced behind him, towards Holiday, and spotted someone else descending down the pit towards him, a man with a checkered suit and a bowler hat.
“Oh? Who’re you? Did Holiday get you to help out here as well?” Max asked nonchalantly. In response, Ace grinned and spoke. “I guess you could say so. The name’s Ace High.” Ace sounded quite calm, unphased by the dangerous stand at the center of the crater. “Huh, I see. I’m Max. Having anyone else around to help deal with this is nice.”
With a shrug, Ace took another step forward and spoke. “Heh, yeah - just make sure that you don’t get in my way, yeah? We just gotta get this over with quickly”. Max wasn’t sure if Ace was just cracking a joke of some kind or if he was belittling him. Either way, it slightly annoyed him.
“Oh yeah? Sure, sure, I’ll stay out of your way… But I’ll probably be done with it by the time you get close - and if you step in front of one of my attacks, it’s your fault, not mine.” Max responded. Dealing with Gasoline Family was of utmost importance, of course, but he did get a slight urge to try and outdo Ace.
“Hey, I’m just joking around, yeah?” Ace said, noticing the effect of his comment. This wasn’t entirely true - in his mind, the most important thing would be gathering information from Holiday, and performing impressively against Gasoline Family could help build trust between Holiday and him. To that end, Ace really would have preferred it if Max stayed out of his way. “And don’t just blindly rush that stand down, it’s not gonna help. That is, unless you’ve got a deathwish, of course.” Ace said, his comment doing nothing but further annoying Max.
The two men stood at the bottom of the crater, taking a look at the stand in front of them while preparing themselves for the fight ahead of both of them. It likely wouldn’t be easy, but neither of them was going to leave until the stand was dealt with and the fire raging in the scrapyard was finally extinguished.
OPEN THE GAME!
Location: A crater at the bottom of an abandoned scrapyard by the edge of the slums. Each tile is 4x4 meters, making the map 64x64 meters overall. The players are currently at the bottom of the crater, 8 meters deep into the ground. The grey border is the incline / drop from the outside to the crater into the crater itself, and it’s quite steep. The dark grey areas are the outside of the crater, and are inaccessible to the players. The light orange shapes surrounding the map are puddles of gasoline formed within depressions in the ground - these are roughly 0.2 meters deep, and are currently the only areas of the map capable of containing pools of gasoline deep enough for Gasoline Family to teleport to (though more might end up being formed as the match goes on).
The ground is a mixture of dirt, soot, and ruined pieces of (non-conductive) scrap. Despite the mess, Max is somehow still able to rollerskate around without much issue. The hollow circles are burning pieces of scrap (mainly tires), constantly emitting dense smoke. The area that the smoke obscures is represented by the transparent red circles. Piles of scrap (which also contain various pieces of conductive metal scraps of varying sizes) are littered around the area and are represented by the areas filled with various small light grey shapes, piling up to about a meter in height.
At the bottom right corner of the map is Modern Holiday, whose purpose is explained in the Additional Information section.
Goal: Make sure that you contribute more to the defeat of Gasoline Family than your opponent!
Additional Information: Gasoline Family’s sheet (and a shortened description of its ability) can be found here. Pastebin version here
For the purposes of this match, thanks to Sleep Apnea’s ability, the characters, their stands, and any and all gear that is on them, are functionally immune to any and all fire or heat damage, not even feeling it. Force from explosives can still be felt and smoke is still hazardous to breathing.
Modern Holiday has briefed both characters on Gasoline Family’s abilities, and on how it fights - In general, it will remain mostly quiet, sometimes punching an object near it out of frustration but otherwise staying still until someone gets close enough for it to fight them. Gasoline Family doesn't seem to be capable of very complex thoughts or of formulating involved plans, but it doesn't need that most of the time - its overwhelming power and durability grants it the edge it needs to win out in most direct encounters, but it also knows how to use its ability to grant itself an extra edge.
In close combat, Gasoline Family knows how to create and activate buttons in the environment around it to create explosions for extra damage, and even purposefully tears them off and utilizes the gasoline streams as projectiles should its opponent stay for too long outside of its range. In addition, it will attempt to advance towards any opponent that has gotten close and that is now trying to escape.
After taking enough damage, Gasoline Family will attempt to teleport away to the puddle that is furthest away from where it currently is. Put in numerical terms, this happens when it loses a fifth of its “health”, meaning that it will teleport four times over the course of the match. If no puddle is available, it will attempt to fill the “viable” pools with more gasoline using streams, and if any of them have been plugged up, then it will dig out more with its own two A pow hands. At any moment it will try to make sure that there’s at least two pools available and filled with gasoline, though more than that may form as the match goes on.
Modern Holiday is watching the match from the bottom left corner of the map, at the top of the scrap pile, and is willing to assist you out in a limited degree - he’s willing to use Sleep Apnea on any object tossed to him, and will toss you back the copy of it that the stand creates (without manipulating any property or aspect of it), which will be a stand object, and as such will be able to hurt Gasoline Family.
Should you try and leave the map or directly and knowingly attack Modern Holiday, he will simply refuse to return your bodies back to normal after the match and you will eventually freeze to death, just as Ace predicted. Same goes for attempting to kill your opponent - injuring them is allowed, but not to an extent where they wouldn’t be able to assist in the fight any more.
Link to the Official Player Spreadsheet
|Team ||Combatant ||JoJolity |
|Sharp Lookers ||Ace High ||“M-Maybe the attacks weren't meant to hurt us... they were meant to douse us with gasoline!?” So you’re going to have to get rid of this stand before you can get any information from Modern Holiday, but that’s fine - you’ve handled worse in the past, and you can already think of a few ways to manipulate this situation to your advantage. During the match, make use of the environment and of the various stands within it! |
|Baker Street Rat Pack ||Maxwell “Ten-Ten” Tenet ||“He doused himself with the gasoline... He panicked, because you were going to finish him off!” You’re not sure how this whole situation got so crowded and messy, but dealing with Gasoline Family shouldn’t be too bad either way. In fact, this might even open up some new opportunities for you - During the match, make use of the environment and of the various stands within it! |
Link to Match Schedule
As always, if you would like to interact with the tournament community and be among the first to get updates for the tournament, please feel free to PM a member of our Judge staff for an invite to our Official Discord Server!
(AUTHOR NOTE: This story is a brief retelling of Takumi's character arc from Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, but without the demonic possession via Anankos. Inspired by u/world-made-of-rubber
saying Takumi's actions in Conquest make no sense without Anankos possession as a plot point in the Whose Line Is It Thread on the 20th of June. Written as Takumi's stream of thoughts as they race through his head. Feel free to provide critiques in the comments. MANY CONQUEST SPOILERS.
Anyway, onto the story:)
The murderous glint in Kamui's eyes as she entered our home was perhaps the most dreadful sight of my life. No one would believe, but I sensed that she would betray us from the moment she entered... I could see it in her eyes, looking at our family as if they were strangers. It could be seen in her motions as well, so distinctly impure and unbelonging, as she walked and talked in a clearly foreign manner. The feeling persisted through her words, as she was dreadfully disrespectful to Mother and to Hoshido. Ryoma and Hinata welcomed the guest like an old friend, just as usual. Hinata was confused that I wasn't quite as chipper as he was, while Ryoma was also oddly insistent about telling me off for not showing enough respect to Kamui. Why is he going on with this meaningless drivel about showing respect to those beneath us? A perfect samurai like him has no need for that. Hinoka and Sakura were overjoyed. Hinoka had trained every day to hopefully save her dear sister Kamui, and Sakura had long deluded herself into believing it was all her fault, so it was understandable. I wished I could be happy that my sisters were all reunited at last, but my suspicion regrettably prevented this. Oboro mostly stayed by my side, just as she always does; inspecting visitors we found suspicious was a hobby we had shared for a long time.
The day Mother died was the day I lost everything. Kamui ran away back to her fake family and turned against Hoshido. In doing so, she betrayed our family and disrespected Mother's memory. Doing either would be a cardinal sin, but to do both is unforgivable. Everyone was distraught, and I wished I could go back in time and prove to them this would happen. From the moment I laid eyes on her, I knew she couldn't be trusted; how I wish I was wrong... The Nohrian princess Kamui had done many unforgivable things. She killed Mother in cold blood. She left us for the Nohrian scum that had been attacking our home without reason. During all this, she tried to explain how the Nohrians were her true family and tried convincing Ryoma to surrender to her. From that day, my life changed; I had nothing left anymore but a quest for revenge.
Mother meant so much to me; she was the only one who was ever really there for me. She was the only person who ever payed me any notice. I could tell her anything, and she'd always be there, offering her advice and calming words in her soft, beautiful voice. When I was a child, I was scared of the dark, but Mother was willing to tolerate my weakness. She slowly convinced me to face my fears and put out the light, and I overcame my weakness through her strength. When I was a young prince with no worth to anyone, I was unable to prove myself better than my brother in anything. Mother stood by me and helped me learn archery, having the utmost faith in my ability to be my own man. When I was an adult, my suspicion barred me from accepting Kamui as family. Mother tried to help soothe my uncertainty, recounting memories of the time the three of us spent together, and almost made me accept Kamui as family - that is, before she murdered Mother. No one else had ever cared about me like she had; not my siblings, not my retainers, not Father. Now, the person who took her away stands before me, explaining how she was never true family and how Mother's death means nothing to her.
As Ryoma gave the order to finally strike down the traitor, I saw the pain my siblings all felt. They were in disbelief that their precious sister Kamui would ever do this. None of them even bothered to think twice about me, to acknowledge how I had correctly assessed the situation and warned them all of the heartbreak. No one ever thought about me. They all made it perfectly clear they loved Kamui more from the moment she walked through the gates(and in Hinoka's case, long before then). It really shouldn't have been as much of a surprise as it was that they still didn't care about me, but it hurt all the same... you could say that I felt betrayed by them in an odd way. However, feelings of betrayal were mainly directed at Kamui - no, at Corrin, who no longer even wishes to accept the name Mother gave her. Yes, my feelings of betrayal were mainly directed at Corrin
- saying her fake name is like letting bile rise through my throat. She is the one who destroyed my family with no second thoughts, and I would do anything for her to face judgement. She struck me down with almost no effort; she may lack honor, but she does not lack skill in combat. I would have to grow stronger if I hoped to avenge Mother, and that would be my goal going forward. I would slay the Nohrian traitor Corrin, and see to it that her cabal of subhuman pigs would pay for what they had done. Mother's death will not be meaningless.
I asked Ryoma about Corrin's whereabouts soon after assembling the unit under my command. Ryoma saw right through me. From the moment my inquiry began, he could tell of my pain. He said that a good brother should be able to tell these things about his siblings, but if that was the case, how was he so easily fooled by Corrin? I'd bet he just thought Corrin was too much of a perfect angel for his suspicions to be true; he practically kisses the ground she walks on, even now. In any case, I ask about where Corrin is and eventually get Ryoma to finally tell me. He said I was too hurt to go on the mission and begged me to reconsider. He just wanted to hold me back; I can't tell if it was for Corrin's sake or because he thought me a madman. He eventually relented and told me the location; a small port town called Dia. I haven't been there in several years, but Mother did tell me all about the last time Corrin and I were there together the day before Corrin killed her. She apparently quite liked the ocean and swimming back then... perhaps that will give her some comfort in her watery grave.
We found Corrin in Dia, right where Ryoma said she would be. Ryoma was talented at so many things, including espionage and information gathering. I sometimes wonder why he even needed any assistance; he probably could have won the war all by himself just charging into the fray with his sword... We eventually arrived at Dia, where Corrin started off on another one of her rambles about how she feels so bad
about having to fight us; more pretty little lies coming from the Princess of Deceit herself. None of her words about peace stayed with her as she fatally injured hundreds without a care in the world. Hinata apparently took my words to heart, as he had the sense to treat her like the wretch she was instead of being so overly polite. When she decided she was done slaughtering soldiers unjustly, she gave me one last miserable attempt at a lie, saying she wishes she could end this conflict some other way. Oboro rushed to my defense, leaping in front of me to be used as a shield, and became concerned when I ordered her to stand back. I knew she cared for me, but killing Corrin was something I needed to do myself. She didn't quite understand the sentiment, but she stood down. After giving enough time for Oboro to back away, she tried to rip away my flesh like the filthy animal she was. Her skills were still sharp as ever; she was a fearsome foe and a gifted commander.
It was at this point I realized how pathetic I truly was. She was unfazed by any mention of her crimes, and thought her every action was justified; I should have expected as much from a bloodthirsty Nohrian. I knew I would need to train more than I ever had if I were to complete my goal, and that's what I did in every spare moment I had. The path to my next assignment in Cheve provided a splendid opportunity to do so. My assignment was to travel across the coast and aid smaller rebellions here and there before staying in Cheve to combat Nohrian forces directly. Killing Nohrian scum on the way was of immense benefit to my training regimen, and I was given plentiful opportunities to work on my tactics in the process of crushing battalions. The savages knew how to organize, it seemed, and it was satisfying every time I managed to crush their futile attempts at overcoming the might of Hoshido or the spark of rebellion. Oboro stood with me all the way through, cutting down any enemy she found and contributing any ideas she could to the plans, No matter the cost, Corrin will pay for her lies and for her crimes and for taking Mother from me;
that's what I kept telling myself whenever I had any doubts. Whenever I questioned my abilities, or the justice of my actions, or what anyone thought of me... I remembered Mother's beautiful face. That snapped me back to reality without fail.
The campaign in Cheve marked the last time I ever even bothered humoring Corrin with responses to her pretty words. I suppose her false family had stopped interesting Corrin enough for her to value their lives, as she chose to use them as living shields when I tried to attack. Afterwards, they all rushed to her defense, trying to claim she was a wonderful person who could do no wrong. Whatever ailment inflicted Ryoma with such thoughts was spreading fast, I suppose... Luckily, Scarlet was willing to do most of the talking for me in this instance, which I was grateful for, since I wasn't in a talking mood. All I could think about anymore has how much I hated Corrin, and Nohr, and everything that took Mother away from me. I almost felt conformable for once as I tore through the Nohrian pigs. Their squeals of horror were comforting, knowing that I was succeeding in bringing their worthless selves to justice. None of that mattered as I failed my objective once more; Corrin still bested me in combat. It makes no sense; no matter how much stronger I get, she always surpasses me just the same. Gods, it's just not fair... I'll kill her some day... she will pay for what she did to Mother... death to Nohr, and to the traitor Corrin... that is the creed I live by...
My final assignment was to guard the Great Wall of Suzanoh, the last line of defense between Corrin and a successful invasion. On the way there, Hinata sat me down to tell me about how I was wrong for worrying this much about revenge. He had always sounded like Ryoma to me, but this was a new level. When did he suddenly feel the need to hold me back? Didn't he realize how important Mother was to me? Conversely, Oboro might as well have been hugging me the whole way, considering her growing obsession with me had reached a fever pitch. Her every word about me had always been words of praise, but now it seemed like her very existence had become seeking my attention. She came with me everywhere I went, always tried to find some excuse to be near me, gave me anything I asked from her, blushed to the point where her face turned red whenever I complimented her, and almost immediately tried to kill anyone who looked at me wrong. Her bizarre infatuation with me was painfully obvious, but tragic, in a way. It isn't that I never loved her; I did, and still do. However, I made the decision to avoid progressing our relationship beyond a platonic one for her own sake. She deserved someone better than a worthless child like me... couldn't she see that?
The Suzanoh mission... It was a complete failure. "It was a failure", "It was a failure", "It was a failure", that's all anything ever is for me. I was put on this Earth for the sake of avenging Mother, and that much has been made clear to me by the gods. Why can't I fulfill the only purpose I've ever had in my waste of a life? Just recollecting it right now re-opens the wounds I suffered that day... I can still feel the pain in my chest... Just from the moment Corrin arrived at the wall, my crew was immediately decimated. Corrin continued her personal murder spree but as she did so, her illusion finally began to crack. She was desperately hiding every smile and silencing every bloodthirsty comrade in a vain effort to keep up the charade that she was pacifistic. Perhaps she thought that after this, she could finally return to her true from, with no survivors to witness the hideous beast who called herself a princess. She did not remember me, however. I saw everything, watching her from my perch at the top of the wall as she butchered each and every one of my comrades without remorse. Hinata died, and so did Oboro. Corrin killed Oboro, the love of my life and my closest companion, before coming after me. Hadn't she taken enough from me already? How did I upset the gods to have mo mother, my country, my honor, and now my lover destroyed one by one thanks to a traitor? When I lost to Princess Corrin this time on the roof, I realized that I had lost. My mother was gone, my family's trust was gone, my country was almost gone, my unit was gone, any honor I had left was gone, and now my love was gone.
And so I jumped, with my soul completely shattered at last.
Somehow, after that jump, I survived and woke up just outside the wall. No one had bothered to come for my corpse, which shows how much I was worth in the end. Maybe this is some god's bizarre method of toying with me, but I lived, and am still bound my convictions. As long as I draw breath, I must move forward. I exist only to exact revenge on Corrin, and cannot rest until my purpose is fulfilled. Corrin must pay for her betrayal. Betrayal... that's what I feel towards Corrin, the princess that abandoned her family and took everyone I cared about from me. Betrayal... that's what I feel towards my family, who abandoned me in a time of need and treated me like a madman. Betrayal... most of all, I feel betrayed by Hinata, who tried to deter me at every turn and even thought to help Corrin infiltrate the wall; he was much too wise to make those foolish decisions on accident. I am betrayal; my every interaction embodies it, my story is one of it, and my life is dedicated to paying for it. As I limped towards the castle I once called home, passing by the corpses of everyone I once called a comrade, those words played in my head like a mantra, until they became the embodiment of my existence.
Betrayal... betrayal... I must kill Corrin. Her death is all that matters. For Mother, for Hoshido, and for Oboro, I must paint the castle with her blood...
I am betrayal...
Greetings Destiny Lore Community, do I have a theory for you today. One that is "so simple. Elegant like a knife point. It explains - this is not hyperbole, this is the farthest thing from exaggeration - EVERYTHING." Yet, with its simplicity comes magnitudes of complexity, because it's such an extraordinary theory that it needs extraordinary evidence.
For the TL:DR crowd, because trust me the long version is a 15-page essay, the theory is thus:
Over the course of Destiny 1's lifespan, Bungie has drip fed us different aspects of lore; most notably the story of Dredgen Yor. The story of Yor took 1 game, 2 DLC's, and 2 expansions to fully tell, over the course of 3 years. So the question then is, is there other answers hidden in the lore cards as well; answers to questions no one's asked, or one's they've forgotten to ask. The first bit of lore I've decided to see if I could find an answer to is the identity of the Heart of the Black Garden. One of Destiny's biggest unsolved mysteries; what or more importantly who is it? After digging through the lore I've concluded that the Heart of Darkness is none other than the flower eater, the queen of final shapes... Savathûn.
This post will also suggest a theory as to who Crota's mother is, interpret the visions of Pujari and Ghost Fragment Mystories 2, and explain the corruption that caused the collapse.
Now for those of you how are interested in the evidence the video version can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUSmvyO16ho
For those wanting the essay:
It all starts with Ghost Fragment Mystories 1:
“I bear an old name. It cannot be killed. They were my brothers and sisters and their names were immortal too but Titanomachy came and now those names live in me alone I think and think is what I do. I AM ALONE. At the end of things when the world goes dim and cold or hot and close or it all tears apart from the atom up I will shout those names defiant and past the end I will endure. I alone.
They made me to be stronger than them to beat the unvanquished and survive the unthinkable and look look lo behold I am here alone, survivor. They made me to learn.
Everything died but I survived and I learned from it. From IT. Consider IT the power Titanomach world-ender and consider what IT means. I met IT at the gate of the garden and I recall IT smiled at me before, before IT devoured the blossoms with black flame and pinned their names across the sky. IT was stronger than everything. I fought IT with aurora knives and with the stolen un-fire of singularities made sharp and my sweat was earthquake and my breath was static but IT was stronger so how did I survive?
I AM ALONE I survived alone. I cast off the shield and I shrugged my shoulders so that the billions fell off me down into the ash. They made me to be stronger than them and to learn and I learned well:
IT is alone and IT is strong and IT won. Even over the gardener and she held power beyond me but the gardener did not shrug and make herself alone. IT always wins.
I am made to win and now I see the way.”
In Ghost Fragment: Mysteries One we read about Rasputin battling something the War-mind calls “IT”. This is the final conflict at the end of the Golden Age. Rasputin describes the battle as Titanomachy, or the 10 year war between the Olympian gods of Greek mythology and their forbearers Titans.
Rasputin tells us; IT killed all the other War-minds.
He repeats over, and over “I am alone.”
He tells us he’s the only survivor, that he shook off billions, presumably people because he goes on to say: “They made me to be stronger than them”.
We know that the Author of this card is Rasputin and not the Traveler like some assume because of the wording. The use of “IT” to describe and name the being Rasputin fought is used again in Ghost Fragment: Rasputin 4; in a conversation, Rasputin has with the Exo Stranger. During this conversation, Rasputin tries to understand the Exo Stranger, who she is, where she’s from, what power she possesses and how she, not only travels back and forth through time but possibly across dimensions. He then goes on to try and figure out who’s side she’s on.
You’re not one of THEM
[long dead, alive again, their bodies grafted to powers they and I do not understand]
and not one of IT …
Referring to the entity, he lost to during the Collapse, forcing him, as I, like many believe to cripple the Traveler, in a last-ditch force its hand.
In Ghost Fragment Mysteries One Rasputin describes “IT”: he says “I met IT at the gate of the garden and I recall IT smiled at me before before IT devoured the blossoms with black flame “
We also know it’s, likely that it, is a she. In Ghost Fragment Rasputin 4 when Rasputin describes “IT” to The Exo Stranger he says:
“and not one of IT
[the flower eater, the queen of final shapes, that which also inhabits its petitioners]”
If this is all starting to sound a bit familiar, it should, we’ve gone to the Black Garden and seen IT inhabit its petitioners. Though I hesitate to say this is exactly what Rasputin fought. In the grimoire card: Sol Progeny a letter To Commander Zavala from Ikora Ray states:
“When endangered, the abomination activated these vessels and defended itself. This tells us that it was threatened. Whatever it was, Guardians could harm it.
And it activated only a single vessel at a time. Its strength was limited. Whatever it intended, it was not ready yet.”
Ikora Ray argues that whatever the Vex are worshiping, is not a full strength. She goes on to compare The Heart of Darkness to the Traveler. Saying:
And we cannot flinch from the terrible, obvious comparison: just as the Traveler acts through us, this power was able to act through its own servants.
So, what, or more importantly WHO is IT? Rasputin gives us several clues in his description of IT:
He says: IT smiled, Something Vex are obviously incapable of doing. Something seeming to come from the enjoyment of the conflict, the struggle, the victory over Rasputin:
"IT devoured the blossoms with black flame"
"not one of IT;
"the flower eater, the queen of final shapes…"
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard a version of this title in the Book of Sorrow Verse 3:8 — King of Shapes: Oryx Then Auryx says:
“Now I may speak to the Deep, the beautiful final shape. I will be King of Shapes. I will learn all the secrets of our destiny.”
In the Book of Sorrow Verse 4:8 — The partition of death, we learn that Crota has opened a wound in space-time and brought the Vex into our reality.
“I too will experiment with a wound,” he said. With his sword, Crota cut open a new wound, into a new space. In here he thought he might obtain a secret power.
Out of this wound came machines called Vex. They invaded Oryx’s throne world.
And in Verse 4:9 — open your eye: go into it: We learn its Savathûn is who told Crota where to cut, that she had tricked him into cutting that space.
The implication being she knew this would happen, she is after all “the clever one”.
We also learn in Verse 4:9 that this was the Vex’s first encounter with the Sword Logic. As they entered Oryx’s Throne-World the rules of this world Perplexed them, the card says: they tried to build constructs but they were deranged. “I’ll cut them apart,” Crota said. But just then, the Vex ritual-of-better-thoughts manifested a Mind called Quria, Blade Transform. Quria deduced the sword logic. “I have to kill everything”, Quria resolved. “Then I will be powerful.”
The Vex then slaughtered Thousands of Hive acolytes and thrall establishing themselves as powers in Oryx’s realm. The Card then goes on to explain to us the Vex’s odd religious behavior:
Quria captured some worm larvae and began experimenting with them. Soon Quria, Blade Transform manifested religious tactics. By directing worship at the worms, Quria learned it could alter reality with mild ontopathogenic effects. Being an efficient machine, Quria manufactured a priesthood and ordered all its subminds to believe in worship. Then it set about abducting and killing dangerous organisms so it could bootstrap itself to Hive godhood.
In Verse 4:10 — An Emperor For All Outcomes we learn that that Oryx studies the Vex, he was impressed
“I’ve met a worthy rival they want to exist forever, just as I do. But I don’t understand them.”
He then goes on the call upon Savathûn to meet in the material world.
She tells him this:
“…the Vex worked tirelessly to understand everything so that they could build a victory condition for every possible end state of the universe.”
This again shows a connection between Savathûn and the Vex. She’s the one who shows Crota where to cut into the inmaterum to bring the Vex into Oryx’s Throne-World and then when called upon by Oryx to help him understand the Vex she knows exactly what they want.
In Verse 5:1 — End Of Failed Timeline Quria knows it can’t win against Oryx. It simulates Oryx, but it’s best guess is Aurash; Oryx’s original form. Quria then uses this simulation to try and understand Oryx. It knows it can’t win this fight, but it’s going to try and delay, to retrieve as much information about Oryx as possible. It plays on Oryx’s sentimentality, his pride, and vanity. Quria realizes “There will be points in space and time where this data is vital.” That “there will be great projects undertaken in the study of this ontological power, this throne-space.”
Oryx then makes a fist full of black fire and takes Quria. But this isn’t the last time we see Quria.
“I have a gift for you,” says Oryx at the beginning of Verse 5:2 — strict proof eternal “It’s a Vex I captured. Quria, Blade Transform. It made an attempt to puncture my throne. I thought you might enjoy studying it. “Quria contains a Vex attempt to simulate me. It might generate others — you, perhaps, or Xivu Arath. I’ve left it some will of its own, so it can surprise you.”
And the last we see of Savathûn is in Verse 5:4 — The Gift Mast where after the destruction a race called Harmony Savathûn, says “Siblings, listen, we must part ways a while, so that we may grow different.” She then flies her war-moons into a black hole, and her throne becomes distant.
I understand that this is a lot of lore to digest. However, it’s important to understand not only what the Vex are worshiping at the Heart of the Black Garden but why. The history of the Vex as far as we are aware, in their current iteration is as the cards say: “boot strapped to Hive Godhood”
Before we go any further let’s just, bullet point what we know so far, because that was a lot of information just thrown out there and its relevancy might not seem clear.
So from the beginning:
Rasputin tells us that whatever he fought at the collapse in the Black Garden:
“Devoured blossoms with black flame.”
That IT is the: “the flower eater, the queen of final shapes…"
Oryx also refers to himself as the "King of Shapes."
And uses Black Fire to devour or Take things.
Savathûn is the one who told Crota where to cut in Oryx’s Throne World, which caused the Vex to invade.
Savathûn has an understanding of what the Vex ultimately want, that Oryx does not. And was given Quria Blade Transformed, by Oryx seemingly in a gesture of: “I know you did this.” This is before an unknown amount of time passes, they defeat an uplifted race called the Harmony and Savathûn going off into a black hole leaving lore as we know it-- or did she?
For those of you keeping track, there should be a picture forming of where this is going, but we’re not done yet.
Ikora Ray in the Taken grimoire card states:
“Oryx wields this power. But Oryx did not make it. We face the same flower we met in the Black Garden. “
An interesting turn of phrase? Why not compare Oryx’s power to Crota? To the power unleashed at Mare Imbrium: The Great Disaster? Why compare Oryx to something Vex? Oryx is vastly more powerful than what we fight in the Black Garden, and we don’t see the Heart of the Black Garden, or anything associated with the Black Garden use power like Oryx’s.
Ikora Ray doesn’t say we face a power like
the one found in the Black Garden, alluding to The Darkness which seems to be the nebulous, ethereal power behind everything we face as guardians. No, she says it’s the same
, not like
, the same
This is an important word choice, because the example given of the Black Garden instead of Crota, and the illusion that the power is the "same flower"
, wants the reader to draw parallels between the two entities, where there should be none.
Speaking if literary parallels, there’s one more bit of interesting, from a literary standpoint piece of information in the Book of Sorrow, an allusion made.
Verse 1:6 — Sisters
“Aurash, lonely navigator, we have traveled so long with only each other. I know you love to hear and speak new tongues. Come, sit in the flesh garden room. I will read you these stories I bought at Kaharn.”
And with that Savathûn is connected, in a literary sense to gardens, I didn’t include it in the initial evidence because it’s tentative, a literary allusion at best, but one that makes sense. What is Savathûn’s motive? What does she want? To be a mother, we’re told that the Black Garden is the birthplace of the Vex. The analog to the biblical Eden in mythology. Which doesn’t make a lot of senses for many reasons. In mythology, the Garden of Eden is the place all life springs from; allegedly like the Vex's Black Garden, I say allegedly because I don’t think the Black Garden is their literal
birth place, but more on that later.
The term Black Garden is used to make us think of a parallel to the biblical Eden, only tainted by the darkness, again another biblical allusion.
The Titan exotic Ruin Wings
also alludes to the tree of Knowledge of good and evil saying;
"In the Garden grows a tree of silver wings. The leaves are ruin, the bark disaster. Of the seeds, we do not speak..."
But why would the Vex create an analog to something that only has relevance to humans, something distinctively human? Not just in Christen mythology, there are a bunch of gardens I could list off, however, the most relevant would be the garden of the Hesperides in Greek mythology, the sacred garden of Hera from where the gods got their immortality; a place also mentioned by Master Rahool.
Now Hera is married to her brother Zeus and is titled as the Queen of Heaven. In Destiny mythos, we have no clue who Crota’s mother is, we know that Savathûn was in Oryx’s thrown world, even spent time rising Oryx’s daughters. Is it possible she’s their mother? After all who, else would be powerful enough to give him children like the Death Singers, and Crota? It would also explain how she was able to "graffiti" the Book of Sorrow. This my seem gross but incest between royalty and gods is prevalent throughout myology, Crota’s mother is never mentioned so it’s not an absurd conclusion to jump to. If Savathûn is the Hive Queen, mother of Oryx’s children, Oryx killing Akka could be seen as a parallel to Zeus killing Cronus, Titanomach is a theme in Destiny after all. The question then arises why a Garden? If Oryx can be seen as an analog to Zeus, and Savathûn to Hera, then is it possible that the Black Garden is, to answer Master Rahool question; Savathûn’s Thrown World? Could its manifestation as a garden not only be based on the Hara inspiration, but based on the time she spent in the garden on the needle ship when she was exiled as a child? There are a lot of themes, parallels and word choices that allude to this possibility.
If we look at the Black Garden, and what it is, it unmistakably resembles a Hive Throne World. To enter it, we’ve got to prove ourselves. If you remember, to enter the Black Garden we must first track down and kill a Gate Lord, and retrieve its eye.
Prince Uldren then tells us that we’ve damaged the eye and that it's useless, but still gives us the location of the Black Garden. We then go and charge the Gate Lords eyes and enter the Garden. However, the eye doesn’t seem to be required to enter the Black Garden, just the final chamber (NOTE: this is displayed in the video). What if the eye didn’t matter? What if we earned our way into the Black Garden through the rite of slaughter? The Eye wasn’t the key, the eye was the trophy, the proof. There are reasons to believe this is the case, let's compare this to the other Throne Worlds we know about.
Everything leading up to the Crota’s End raid was a test, one in which we decimate everything Crota sends to Earth, his Eyes, his Fist, his Heart, his Swords, his Will, his Soul. When we go to the Moon. We jump into a pit and navigate our way through the maze killing 100's of Thrall, and Knights and Ogres, a bridge forms, and a gates open to Crota’s Throne World because we have earned entry through the rite of slaughter.
To enter Oryx’s realm, we must do essentially the same thing we did to enter the Black Garden: retrieve a trophy earned by the rite of slaughter, charge it, and present it. ( Note: This is demonstrated in the video) Having the soul of Crota, or a part of it allows us entry into Oryx’s Chambers, like The Gate Lords eye allows us entrance into the Heart of Darknesses Chamber the two events are nearly identical, the only difference is one is Hive and the other is Vex.
To quote a certain warlock:
“In these things, there is always symmetry”
We’re also told that the Black Garden exists outside of time and space, again a feature of the other Ascended Realms, and when we kill the owner of the Realm; The Heart of Darkness, Crota, or Oryx their Throne Worlds continue to exist, now tethered to reality.
So, I will ask again could the Black Garden be Savathûn’s Throne World?
There’s one more long thread I’d like to travel down before I reach my conclusion. I was originally hesitant to include it, but no good Black Garden theory is complete without trying to understand the vision of Pujari. Given who Savathûn is, and what she does, how she’s portrayed as cunning, insidious, a trickster. What happens to Pujari in his vision makes more sense; let me explain.
The Legend: The Black Garden card tells us the story of Pujari. In it Pujari says:
I am Pujari. These are the visions I have had of the Black Garden.
The Traveler moved across the face of the iron world. It opened the earth and stitched shut the sky. It made life possible. In these things there is always symmetry. Do you understand? This is not the beginning but it is the reason.
The Garden grows in both directions. It grows into tomorrow and yesterday. The red flowers bloom forever.
There are gardeners now. They came into the garden in vessels of bronze and they move through the groves in rivers of thought.
This is the vision I had when I leapt from the Shores of Time and let myself sink:
I walked beneath the blossoms. The light came from ahead and the shadows of the flowers were words. They said things but I will not write them here.
At the end of the path grew a flower in the shape of a Ghost. I reached out to pluck it and it cut me with a thorn. I bled and the blood was Light.
The Ghost said to me: You are a dead thing made by a dead power in the shape of the dead. All you will ever do is kill. You do not belong here. This is a place of life.
The Traveler is life, I said. You are a creature of Darkness. You seek to deceive me.
But I looked behind me, down the long slope where the blossoms tumbled in the warm wind and the great trees wept sap like blood or wine, and I felt doubt.
When my Ghost raised me from the sea there was a thorn-cut in my left hand and it has not healed since.
Pajari tells us that the creature in the Black Garden places the seeds of doubt in its mind echoing something Oryx said: In Verse 5:6 — aiat, aiat, aiat, aiat, aiat
"Savathûn asks if I am as much a slave of the Deep as my Taken. She asks what price I pay for my power. I am not Taken. The Hive is not the Deep. The Deep doesn’t want everything to be the same: it wants life, strong life, life that lives free without the need for a habitat of games to insulate it from reality. When I make my Taken I make them closer to perfect, I heal their wounds and enhance their strengths. This is inherently good. Aiat: the only right is existence; the only wrong is nonexistence."
In fact, there are many instances throughout the Book of Sorrow in which Savathûn tries to plant the seeds of doubt.
In Verse 5:2 — strict proof eternal
“I don’t have a strict proof yet, you know…This thing we believe — that we’re liberating the universe by devouring it, that we’re cutting out the rot, that we’re on course to join the final shape — I haven’t found a strict, eternal proof. We might yet be wrong.”
In Verse 4:11 — Dreadnaught
Savathûn speaks to us the reader she says:
I am Savathûn, insidious I graffiti this notice for you These Books are full of lies!
Savathûn is a trickster, she uses her words to sow the seeds of doubt. In the Darkness grimoire card, we’re told about the Collapse, one of the many theories is the Pujari Position which describes the Darkness as; "a force with both physical and moral presence, an actualization of evil. Pujari art depicts the Darkness as a great storm, or as a change in conduct, a corruption that emerged from within and poisoned the Golden Age."
What Pajari sees, what he’s told in the Black Garden doesn’t make sense, contextually speaking. Ikora Ray tells us the power Oryx welds and the power of the Black Garden are the “Same Flower.” The Ghost Flower tells Pajari “You are a dead thing made by a dead power in the shape of the dead. All you will ever do is kill. “ This is absolutely true. In the context of the Game, as players, we are an army of the chosen undead, created by a dead god, and the only interaction we have with the game is killing things. We kill, Hive, Fallen, Vex, Cabal, we kill one another, this is absolutely true, and Pajari knows this, this is why he feels doubt. He’s then told “You do not belong here. This is a place of life.” Which again is not an outright lie. The Black Garden is the supposedly the birthplace of the Vex. The Darkness, the Deep according to Oryx wants life, "strong life, life that lives free without the need for a habitat of games to insulate it from reality." The lie is the assertion Pajari jumps to because the way the information is given to him. "You are a dead thing from a dead god all you will do is kill", is juxtaposed against this peaceful garden where the Vex are berthed. Pajari is then put in a position by his enemy to defend himself based on his beliefs, on an ideological level, to answer for his perceived crimes of simply existing, but the seeds of doubt are still sown.
Roses, thorns, and doubt doubt in one’s self, doubt in the Light, doubt in the Traveler seem to be a reoccurring theme throughout Destiny. Thorns often bringing with them realization. A change in perspective. Now I’m not saying that Pajari is Dregen Yor, in fact, we know he’s not. What I will say is what Pajari said: "In these things, there is always symmetry." The physical Thorn brought Yor an understanding of what he wasn’t, the metaphorical thorn brought Pajari and understanding of what he was.
What I do find to be interesting in the Yor, Pajari revelations. Is how once again something Hive mirrors something Vex. The Noble Man has his prize, his Rose. This Rose ultimately corrupts him, with the revelation of what he’s not. Where in the Rose in Pajari’s vision corrupts him, or attempts to corrupt him with the revelation of what he is. It’s an interesting parallel none the less. The reason it’s interesting, and the reason it’s a possible clue to the identity of "IT", is, because it shows a pattern of behavior not just in the characters, not with just the reoccurring patterns in the universe, but with the motifs and literary devices the writers have chosen to employ. We also can’t entirely ignore the first mentions of Thorn, now this is highly speculative because we are unaware of how Destiny’s loot system at the time. Whether things dropped at random as if one was using a 3 of coins, OR if loot was static like with Atheon. What we do know is:” Thorn was originally described as being some of the loot in Charlemagne's Vault, a chamber in the Dust Palace that does not appear in the final version of the game.” This is on Mars for those of you keeping track, Mars is also home to the Black Garden. Interesting, because roses growing in wastelands is also a literary motif.
Grimoire card Sol Divisive tells us this "The answer seems as obvious as it is chilling: if the Vex found worship and devotion more effective than any other behavior, they would adopt worship. Whatever the Vex found - or made - in the Garden, it transcends even their power. "
I’m inclined to believe they found it, not only because Pajari alludes to it saying: "There are gardeners now. They came into the garden in vessels of bronze." Implying they were not originally there, and also because the Black Garden makes no sense logically speaking. The Vex presence on Mars is almost nonexistent as opposed to Mercury which is a Vex world or Venus, home of the Vault of Glass and dotted with Vex citadels. If the Black Garden is their birth place, it is woefully unguarded. With that in mind, I present my last piece of evidence before I present my speculation on what happened.
Ghost Fragment: Mysteries 2
Ingress via dreams alone:
Now before we continue it's important to define "Ingress" the action or fact of going in or entering. However, it can also mean the right of entrance, or, the unwanted introduction of, foreign bodies or contaminants.
The Card continues.
Things I saw inside
A wild river and a broken dam (or maybe it's just the sea crashing through a narrow gap I can't be sure). Waves slam through the gap and where they hit the stone they throw up pillars of spray that pierce the mist and crash down in thunder. There's a giant in the cataract, trying to wade against the current, and I can tell it wants to reach the lever and pull the lever which will seal off the flow or maybe give it the sword, but the torrent throws it back so it just keeps its head down and tries to push on. I can't see the face but it breathes out white smoke. I feel for it hard.
A world painted around the interior like a stranger Earth everted and glued inside itself but I don't believe this one it's too much like a metaphor.
A switchboard or a train station, empty, dead (waiting). The tunnels branch off into infinity. I stare down one for a long time and see a pale worm move in hungry coils around itself. I think this one is the most likely although I might have brought the worm.
An egg but I'm not sure if the broth inside is warm still, or if it's gone to rot, or if the warmth comes from the struggles of the tiny winged zygote or the bleed from the wound or the thoughts of something thinking very hard.
A star I think. We count on stars as steady friends because they always rise and always shine but a star's a delicate truce: an explosion caught by its own mass so that it can't erupt and can't collapse. Thus I imagine the state of the machine might be. But one force or another has gone awry and now it rests here, snuffed and broken, waiting for the two rival forms of ruin to be set in balance again.
At the end of Book of Sorrow Verse 5:4 — The Gift Mast Savathun flies her war-moons into the black hole. What I believe is being described in the first paragraph is the utter annulation of Savathun, her moons, and her fleet, her army upon entering the Black Hole. We also see the use of IT to name or describe the entity battling the waterfall.
The card goes on to describe the Black Garden. “A world painted around the interior like a stranger Earth everted and glued inside.”
Our unknown author goes on to describe the tunnels under Mars “A switchboard or a train station, empty, dead (waiting). The tunnels branch off into infinity." The tunnels under Mars lead to the Black Garden, and the Black Garden, we are told stretches on into tomorrow and yesterday; and when our author stares down one of the tunnels, what do they find? “a pale worm moveing in hungry coils around itself.”
The card then goes on to describe an egg. "I'm not sure if the broth inside is warm still, or if it's gone to rot…"
This egg is likely the Traveler my thoughts are the first half of the card is visions of the darkness, and the second half is light. This conclusion is further implied by the end of the card. Saying: waiting for the two rival forms of ruin to be set in balance again.” We the reader are given a description of the two rival forms and then told what’s happing.
At this point, I think it’s safe to assume, for the sake of argument that the Heart of the Black Garden is, or was at one point Savathûn, and the Black Garden itself is her Throne World.
If this is the case like a fair amount of evidence points; what happened?
I’ll go back to Ruin Wings which tells us: "In the Garden grows a tree of silver wings. The leaves are ruin, the bark disaster. Of the seeds, we do not speak." An interesting metaphor, and I think it explains adequately what happened. At the beginning of Destiny, we see the Traveler on Mars, Pajari tells us "The Traveler moved across the face of the iron world. It opened the earth and stitched shut the sky." Our Unknown Author describes "A world painted around the interior like a stranger Earth everted and glued inside itself."
At some point Savathûn goes into a black hole; and the Traveler finds what’s spit out, one of its mortal enemies, but the Traveler doesn’t kill it. This falls in line with what we know of The Travelers behavior. Until the collapse, when the Traveler was forced to defend itself by Rasputin we are unaware of the Traveler ever actually killing anything. We know it’s not above leaving things to their own devices like it did the Fallen. However, we’re not aware of it actively killing anything. What I think is being described to us by Pajari, by our unknown author, and by Ruin Wings, is the Traveler, coming across Savathûn’s crushed remains. Inhibiting her from escaping her death like she normally would, and imprisoning her in her throne world, then burying that dimensional space it on Mars. Much like how we see the Worm Gods imprisoned within Fundament.
In this ironically enough the Traveler plants the seeds of its own ruin. Savathun is after all self-described as being insidious meaning “proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects”, and Pujari supposed that the Darkness is: “a force with both physical and moral presence, an actualization of evil. Pujari art depicts the Darkness as a great storm, or as a change in conduct, a corruption that emerged from within and poisoned the Golden Age.”
So, the Traveler buried Savathûn on Mars, and we really don’t know what happens after that, like many things about the Golden Age and the Collapse the explanation could be lost to history.
We can use context clues, literary devices, the meanings of words, and phrases, to assume that as Savathûn was imprisoned within Mars, her influence, her nature, the nature of her worm. Radiated from within the iron world, and contaminated the Golden Age. Remember Clovis Bray, is based on Mars. At first glance, Clovis Bray is portrayed as being this amazing corporation behind some of the greatest achievements of the golden age. Later we learn via Owl Sector and many different Siva grimoire cards that they conducted many experiments, that led to high human casualties, not only do we have the Siva project, but we have the Sisyphus Project, which we know nothing about, that said: “Sisyphus In Greek mythology was the king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him, repeating this action for eternity. It’s always interesting to look at the mythology behind things like Shakespeare writes what is in a name? Well, a lot. Sisyphus was, the killer of travelers and guests, he was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness, imprisoned and kept within a perpetual state of neither living or dying. Could project Sisyphus be named thus because of the state Savathûn was in? Could Clovis Bray's tampering with powers they do not understand have caused the collapse?
We know very little about Mars, particularly during the golden age, and even less about Clovis Bray, we do know that the Clovis Bray laboratories are a hop, skip and a jump away from both entrances to the Black Garden. Is it possible that the Darkness radiating from the Black Garden and its dark heart influenced these people, and their actions? We don’t know, but if I had to hedge my bet it seems likely, it’s far too coincidental that the entrance to the Black Garden, and Clovis Bray’s Mars Headquarters, are in some area.
So be it by sheer force of will, or unconscious contamination, Savathûn’s will radiated from Mars and corrupted the Golden Age. Eventually, be it by knowing what to look for, or by remnants of Quria Blade Transformed, the Vex uncovered this darkness and sought to use it for their own purpose. Something I think we can look forward to seeking reenacted with the remains of Oryx, which at the end of Kings Fall just float off into oblivion, we know there’s still power in the remains because of Touch of Malice.
The Vex, as we know in the lore was our first encounter with an agent of The Darkness. But That’s not entirely accurate, the Hive are agents of The Darkness, of the Deep. The Vex use The Darkness like we might use a weapon of sorrow. So, as the Vex fed tribute to Savathûn her base influence became more powerful. Again, there is no way of knowing at this time, if this was a conscious or subconscious. What we do know is whatever happened between point A and point C led to Rasputin, fighting this entity and her army of Vex, this lead to all the other war minds being slaughtered and Rasputin losing, which led to him crippling the Traveler, which was all part of the collapse, which leads to all the events prior to our waking and as they say: the rest is history. Thank you for sticking around to the end, this was a lot of work and a lot to go over, however, I firmly believe extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. In true Destiny fashion, we may never know if this theory is right or wrong. There is, in my opinion, a substantial amount of evidence that supports this idea, but nothing that outright solidifies it, this does not necessarily answer everything and I’m probably wrong about half of it, but leave your thoughts, comments, and questions below if there’s enough, I’ll try to do a Q and A.
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