Ab Intra: Warlock

A look at what it means to be a Warlock.

In the previous article, we looked at the strong focus of the Honor – Shame dichotomy found within the Titan class of Destiny’s Guardians. As in that article, I want to make the point that, as with our own personalities in reality, the Guardian Classes don’t necessarily fall perfectly into these categories. It’s actually through this ‘muddying’ of their presentation that the characters in Destiny are given a more acute sense of complexity and reality. People are unique in their individual combination of psychology – and the dichotomies of paradigms is merely one facet of the gem.
That all being said, the intent here is to take a closer look at the Warlocks of Destiny and their focus on the Guilt – Innocence dichotomy.

Guilt – Innocence Dichotomy

This paradigm focuses on deductive reasoning, cause and effect, posing good questions, and the overall process. Issues are perceived as black and white – communication is generally direct and often blunt. In this worldview, written contracts are viewed as being paramount and generally ultimately binding. It is often seen in reality in the rules of law – something very predominate in most Western societies – where a body of government sets boundaries, within which individuals are free to operate as they see fit. However, while these boundaries are continuously being redefined and negotiated, they are still external standards by which all individuals are expected to conform their actions to. It is from this sense that any action taken that breaks those boundaries is seen as a marker of guilt – regardless of how the individual feels about the action. Thus, the primary goal for individuals within this paradigm is to maintain or achieve a state of ‘innocence’.

Psychology of a Warlock

“We have found new ways to weaponize curiosity. Pathways into the darkness”

Grimoire Card: Warlock

This classification of Guardians is one that sees the protection of the Last City and the survival of Humanity as important, but only because they allow for the continuation of their pursuit of the truth. For this pursuit is really what drives these Guardians – this is the why and the how of their existence. Life is, to a Warlock, not well worth living if there is no end in sight, no secret to discover or lesson to be learned. They truly do wish to see Earth brought back to its original glory, and as a general group, see that as being achievable only through the understanding of the secrets of its past.
It is here that we see an underlying connection to the dichotomy of Guilt – Innocence. Not only are the Warlocks in Destiny very often described as being the most learned of the classes, but they also tend to be the class seen as the most “civilized.” However, they are also the ones which are commonly seen as being those who transgress into heretical themes (studying the Darkness, thanatology, Ahamkara-lore, and debates which result in the splitting of many upon ideological lines). Even here, we see examples of the bluntness of the Warlocks (Toland’s famous quote of nearly driving himself to the edge of madness to explain a simple truth comes to mind) and an emphasis on the words spoken rather than the identity of the speaker (as seen in the Code Fire helms, which state that “The ceremonial hoods of the first Warlocks directed attention to their words rather than their identities”).
These are the teachers of the Guardian ranks, the instructors and bearers of the light of knowledge and education. However, just as we see variations in our own teachers of the world today, there are differences in the underlying approach of individual Warlocks, as well as a differing view on the important aspects of reality needing to be examined and defined.

Psychology of the Sunsinger

“There are flames that even the Darkness cannot extinguish.”

Grimoire Card: Sunsinger

These are the Warlocks who seek to be guides and protectors against the loss of civilization – they seek to bring the light of understanding into the darkness to drive away and defeat ignorance. Sunsingers are those who seek to understand in order to teach – they are the Guardians who seek to consume information about their world. They wish to be consumed by that knowledge, to be radiant beacons of understanding that allow them to then bolster those around them, lifting them to heights beyond what they would be able to achieve alone.

“Spread your wings and set the sky ablaze.”

Lore Entry: Dawnblade

This variant of the Sunsinger, introduced in Destiny 2, brings more emphasis on the relationship between the teacher and student. The focus shifts from a generic understanding seen in the Sunsinger’s presentation to that of a model of learning by doing…and the difficulty of having to discover how to do something on your own. Even in situations of having a one on one relationship with an instructor or mentor, the student has to undergo the struggle of discovering for themselves how to manifest understanding of a topic. One can only take another so far – at some point, the student must stand for themselves. The nestling must spread their own wings and fly for themselves.

Psychology of the Voidwalker

“Those who have stared into the Void are not bound by the laws of space and time.”

Grimoire Card: Voidwalker

These are the Warlocks who tear reality apart – not in some brazen display of destructive euphoria – but rather in order to come to a higher level of understanding. Through the deconstruction of the whole, they are able to examine the pieces which make up that object – allowing a closer examination of those pieces. Voidwalkers are those who shun the old paradigms and the view of how things have always been understood in order to explore new paths. They invent through deconstructionism; create through destruction.

Psychology of the Stormcaller

“Harmony within, hurricane without.”

Lore Entry: Stormcaller

These are the Warlocks who walk the line between the previous two variants – the Guardians who are balanced upon the knife’s edge between the passionate drive to consume knowledge and the cold calmness of analysis. Stormcallers exhibit a balance that shows their view of seeking understanding through exploration of the reality they exist within – not through destruction, but through becoming a conduit of the information they seek. This is where their comprehension stems from – not from consumption or deconstruction, but through the balance of both. They view the locus of power as being achieved not through the choice of the storm or the calm, but rather in the delicate balance acquired when both are present.

In Conclusion

To reiterate, just as with our personalities in reality, Guardians are not simply one of the three dichotomies discussed in this little series. They are a unique combination of the paradigms – sometimes a combination that is made evident in their associations with particular sub-classes over others. The average Warlock does tend to align with the Guilt – Innocence dichotomy, but this isn’t to say that there aren’t degrees of Honor – Shame or Power – Fear.
Ultimately, the question we always want to look at answering is: when you look at the world around you – what do you see?
Ut humiliter opinor,

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