Lore: Battles of the City

In my last report we discussed the Exo Stranger and her possible relationship to the Ishtar Collective. Today, we’ll be discussing a portion of the City’s history.

The Tower wasn’t always bright; Six Fronts, Battle at Burning Lake, the Great Disaster on Luna, and Battle of Twilight Gap.

We’ll begin with the battle that some  scholars here in the Tower believe started the City Age. The Battle of Six Fronts occurred quite some time ago, perhaps even up to centuries before the present time. Six Fronts was named as such because the Fallen surrounded the City on six sides, six approaches to the City as they attempted to retake their Great Machine. It’s clear that the Devil Kell Solkis was the leader of this attack on the City. Whether he was able to rally the other Houses to his cause, or if it was just the Devils that engaged in the attack, it was the largest battle in the fledgling City’s history up to that point.

Six Fronts came as the first real test for the Guardian Orders, based at several Towers around the City. Evidence shows that Titans made up the bulk of the City’s forces that day, but many Guardians supported in the defense. You may know names such as Saint-14, Skorri, Radegast, Timur, Felwinter and Osiris. All of these Guardians were present at the Battle, and helped the Guardians and the Forces of the City push back the Fallen and sent them retreating back to the lairs that they crawled out of. The Guardians such as Felwinter, Timur and Skorri were honored as Iron Lords, and are the namesakes of the weapons that Lord Saladin gives to champions of the Iron Banner today. Perhaps the two greatest heroes, however, were Saint-14 and Osiris.

Osiris’ deeds were not recorded, but his heroics earned him a position as the Warlock Vanguard, predecessor to Ikora Rey. He would travel to Mercury immediately following the battle and his appointment, and he was never heard from again. Saint-14 was the Guardian responsible for putting down Solkis, the Devil Kell, and was heralded as a great hero. However, the Speaker tasked him with hunting down Osiris and returning him to the City to answer for his research into the forces of the Darkness, which we will cover another time. He too, fell victim to that accursed planet, and never made contact with the City again. The Tower considers him KIA, and held a last vigil for him, commemorating his life and death.

The next notable battle would be some time later, and would be commanded by the Crucible handler himself, Lord Shaxx. The location and details of the Battle of Burning Lake have been lost over time, but we do have records that it was the first major battle, and possibly the second overall, against the Hive from Luna. While the first encounter against the Hive occurred in the Eastern Flood Zone, near the current Crucible Arena “The Rusted Lands,” Shaxx would command the forces that saw the first major skirmish between Guardians and the Hive. While our brothers and sisters would go on to win this fight, it would set the stage for an ensuing conflict, the Great Disaster on Luna. 

crota's end hard mode changes

Crota, deceased “Son of Oryx” has a long and bloody history with the City. The Great Disaster was quite possibly the largest defeat of forces opposed to the Darkness since the Collapse, and is perhaps only surpassed by the Battle of Saturn, and the defeat of the Reef fleet there.

Emboldened by the victories at Six Fronts, Burning Lake and other skirmishes, the Vanguard formulated the first major offensive since the Collapse. Despite pleas from Shaxx that the effort would be futile, the Vanguard formed Guardian fireteams who attempted to establish beachheads in the Mare Imbrium section of Luna’s surface and fan out from there, reestablishing control over our Moon. However, this would not come to pass. It stands to this day as the greatest loss of Guardian life in a single battle.

The few Guardians that remained immediately retreated back to the City. For reasons unknown to us, Crota and his forces did not pursue us back to Earth. It’s possible that they awaited the arrival of Oryx, but nothing is known for certain. The Consensus, Speaker, and Vanguard immediately terminated all official operations on Luna and declared cis-Lunar space to be off-limits to Guardians, unless in emergency situations.

It was during this battle that the legendary Exo Warlock Eriana-3 would torture a captured Hive wizard and learn the identity of Crota and his intentions for our system. The Great Disaster and the Vanguard’s failure would drive her want for revenge, and would lead to her own disaster at the Hellmouth with Eris Morn, Toland and the rest of that ill-fated fireteam.

This leads us up to the most recent battle in our City’s memory, an infamous struggle that would set the course for the Vanguard’s and City’s future.

twilight gap

The largest Fallen force ever assembled attacked us all at once and took the City’s forces by surprise. Towers, portions of the Wall, and outskirts of the City fell to the forces of the Eliksni. Many Guardians would fall protecting City gun emplacements that exchanged fire with Spider Tanks and Fallen ground troops.

The battle, at first, was grim. Many of the outlying positions held by Guardians fell quickly and even Towers themselves were taken. Seeking to turn the tide of the battle, the commander of the City’s forces, Lord Saladin Forge (the current Iron Banner master), sent his proteges, Lord Shaxx and Commander Zavala to turn the tide of the battle. Shaxx’s counterattack would prove to be the turning point in the conflict. Via joined efforts of Guardian fireteams, the tide of the battle would be broken and would send the Fallen on the retreat. Eventually, all Eliksni forces would be pushed back from the City’s borders and Twilight Gap would end in a victory for the City.

Twilight Gap would serve as a turning point in the City’s history. Shaxx, using his battle experience and influence as a hero in the City, would commission the Consensus to establish the Crucible. One of the gun emplacements that had fallen to the Eliksni would be one of the first arenas, and named after the battle. The mythical rocket launcher Gjallarhorn would be constructed out of the remains of fallen Guardian’s’ armor and weapons. Zavala would go on to compete in the Crucible and then later take his current position as Titan Vanguard.

The Gap is known as the greatest battle in the City’s history. Let the heroes of these struggles guide you in your defense of the Light, Guardian. I will see you in my next report.