Dialogue & Quotes: Toland the Shattered

  • The gates of hell are open night & day; smooth the descent, & easy is the way. Note 1
  • Listen! Do you hear them respond to your presence? Commands echoing through the dark, fetid caverns…
  • Knowledge is its own end.
  • We fear the Darkness because we believe it is wrong. Evil. No, no no… There is one reason to be afraid: the recognition that it is RIGHT.
  • Yet from those flames, no light – but rather, darkness visible… Note 2
  • Follow the screams.
  • I destroyed my Ghost, when I was like you. You should consider doing the same. Little good it does you.
  • Study everything. Absorb the pattern. Transcend it.
  • The dreary plain, forlorn & wild, the seat of desolation, void of light! Ha! Note 3
  • Guiding the uninitiated toward a final battle of spectacular futility used to be my specialty, you know. Forgive me if I’m a little rusty.
  • When a god’s will is met with force, its might will be unleashed in the form of…hahaha…trickery.
  • Some terrors you defeat. Some, you become.
  • Listen – death is the last part of living and life is learning to die. The song is the same as the singing; the last truth commands me to eat all the light in the sky. Source
  • This is the shape and the point of the tooth: Nothing has ever lived that will not die. Source
  • A shape which depends on nothing but itself. Do you see the profundity of that concept? Source
  • This is the shape of victory: to rule the universe so absolutely that nothing will ever exist except by your consent. Source
  • The idea of that final shape – it slices, razor-sharp, snicker-snack, through the pretense of civilization. Source
  • Death is just a word, isn’t it? A catch-all term for the failure to go on – nothing spiritual, nothing with its own quiddity. Source
  • We all died once, and it did not prove insurmountable. Source
  • That which does not kill you makes you stronger, but what does that mean in the face of immortality? Source
  • Listen! Listen. Death, true death, is both failure and liberation. Liberation from a race you had no hope of winning. To kill, then, is a terrible sort of compassion, a dreadful kindness. Source
  • Lo, lo, I never sleep, I dance in light and shadow, I never sleep, I will never die. Source
  • A dreamer set adrift, caught between schemes – a pleasant pawn for murderous queens… hahaha. Source
  • Delusions of purpose, heroism, hope… these are what stand between humanity and true understanding. Source
  • Now conscience wakes despair that slumbered – wakes the bitter memory of what he was, what is, and what must be worse… Source
  • This is the queen at the end of time, whose sovereignty is eternal because no other sovereign can defeat it. Source

In Regards to Eris Morn

  • Eris – my dear Eris. If only you could see us here; if only you had not turned away toward your selfish purpose…
  • Come back to us, Eris. Come back. I have seen your future; you are, as ever, fated to be misunderstood, maligned, ruined on the rocks of tragedy…

In General

  • Do you ever pause, dear listener, to consider who benefits from all this heroism you commit?
  • Were you tricked by the worm that chased the Warmind? Did you truly believe you’d fought one of the beings that the Hive call gods? Ha!
  • What is it they say? “The only way to win is not to play“? Impossible. I call it a game, but it’s not; it is the nature of the universe. To exist is to throw your hat in the ring. Note 6
  • Do you crave finality, my friend? Listen to the screams on the wind. Let them beckon you. Let them teach you.
  • I could flense you apart, molecule by squirming molecule. It is within my power.
  • You are a brave light, but a stupid one, too. Source
  • Belief in the Light is a thin pane of glass between you and truth, and if you don’t shatter that glass yourself, I will shatter it for you. Source
  • Tell me, Guardian: Do you trust me? Do you believe I am an ally of the Light or a servant of the Darkness? What if I told you I was neither? Source
  • Banish every memory of what you believe is true. Unshackle yourself. Source
  • Sharpen your intentions. When life is strength and strength is death, what is death, if not hope? Source
  • What does it mean to die so many times, at the hands of so many enemies and allies? What has death taught you, Guardian? How has it shaped you? Source
  • Inflict your desires upon reality, Guardian. Source
  • You are a misshapen puzzle piece. You perplex me. You defy the logic which cannot be defied. Source
  • But you will not be held back. Gifted with the Traveler’s Light, armed with the secret physics of a lost age, you will tear reality asunder. You will fear nothing, and nothing will not fear you.
  • The Traveler came out of the void that surrounds all things. Thus we know that the void is full of power. Thus we enter the void without fear. Small minds will call your abilities blasphemous. They will compare you to the abominable Wizards of the Hive.

In Regards to the Dreaming City

  • You walk blind above an abyss, full of trust for a friendly voice.
  • You’re playing right into her hands.
  • What will you do here, in this world on fire? You could carve your name into the fabric of reality, but you lack the imagination for that, don’t you?
  • You! Why would you come here? There is no place less suited for the likes of you, walking in the dreamland of your enemies.
  • And what, am I to be your Virgil? A guide, a shepherd? [chuckles] No, no, no… Note 7
  • There are no guides here. It is a place of scheming queens & traps unsprung.
  • Leave the Dreaming City while you still can, dear squanderer.
  • Delve deeper. Make yourself known. They’ll believe you are on of their own. And that is the only way. Source
  • Come now, you’ll have to be cleverer than this to break through. Sharpen yourself. Make ready. Source
  • Why do you come here? Is it duty to your slavish orthodoxy? Fealty to an absent queen? Sympathy for your Awoken friends? Source
  • Ah, my foolish friend, you walk the spine of an ouroboros. Find another way. Source
  • The shape needs no followers; no one to enact it, to preach it, to practice it. It is, and will be. There’s nothing else. Hive or no Hive, the end is still the same. So why are you here? Source

In General

  • There is only one end to the universe, only one conclusion – what the gods of this place call “The Last True Shape.”
  • They’ll carry out their orders with grinding stone & squeaking claw, skittering thrall & blade against bone.
  • This is the world the Hive craves: a universe creased by the edge of the sharpest sword.
  • War above & trickery below, all within a city built for navigation. The unholy trinity.
  • Imagine three great nations under three great queens. The first queen writes a great book of law and her rule is just. The second queen builds a high tower and her people climb it to see the stars. The third queen raises an army and conquers everything. Source
  • Oryx would look on all of this and laugh – he would laugh so deep and true… Source
  • The song is death. To hear it is to die. Source 
  • Eir. Ur. Yul. That is the cry now, that is the cry now that the littlest worm has shamed its kin… Source
  • It has long been my belief that the binds which hold the greatest Hive terrors could be lifted by releasing the energy stored within their tomb husks.
  • These stones. Always in their combat arenas. Do they have a strengthening function? Or are they mere legacy of a forgotten time and realm? The Hive never stopped honing their strength. They missed the point of being dead! Haha, ahh, I’ve heard it said ‘that which does not kill you makes you stronger‘, but what does that mean in the face of immortality?
  • A Dreadnaught shields the Hive from the Traveler’s Light. Were we to pass through its deepest layers, our Light would be as a dying sun.

In Regards to the Dreaming City

  • You will never meet the deceiver. Source Note 4
  • Do you like it here? It’s scenic, I will say that. The sisters did not do much redecorating when they moved in, but I say, give them time… Source Note 5
  • Mara is right about one thing: A second Collapse is on the horizon, and this time, there with be no crawling out of the trash heap of humanity. Source
  • The Witch Queen’s deception runs deep, question everything, even me… Source
  • Do you know the Awoken bury their dead in open-air crypts? It’s a tradition born of a dreadful optimism. Foolish, if you ask me. Source
  • This curse is a prototype, I’m sure. A step to something far more cunning.
  • Sickness, weakness, bad luck, pestilence – that’s the old idea of a curse. This repetition is an innovation purpose-built for Guardians.
  • Oh, Mara, Mara, Mara – I don’t think she knew this would happen! Ha! She presents such a brave face to the world, but she hides her naivete… Source
  • The curse itself is how the deceiver manifests; she has learned from her brother’s death. Clever girl, clever girl… Source Note 4
  • The curse cannot be unraveled. You’re so deep into the web of her will. Source
  • Quria is the key. The Mind simulates Oryx, and thereby masters the power to Take. But of course, Quria is no power unto itself. Source
  • The rules of Ascendance have changed, according to the will of a dragon. Source

Additional & Expanded Notes

Note 1:

This is a quote from The Aeneid within Book 6, beginning at lines 126 and continuing with the following:

But to return, and view the cheerful skies,
In this the task and mighty labor lies.

This is spoken to Aeneas by a prophetess, explaining the requirement of his entering the underworld as a part of his journey to land in Italy – a task which is similar to those seen in the legends of Orpheus, Odysseus, and Heracles.

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Note 2:

This is a quote from Paradise Lost, by John Milton (located in the first book at about line 63, describing the hell into which Satan and his followers were cast into by the powers of Heaven). The quote continues with:

…Served only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell; hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery diluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed

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Note 3:

This is a quote from Paradise Lost, by John Milton (located in the first book at about line 180, spoken by the figure of Satan). It is followed shortly by the figure of Satan breaking free and urging his soldiers to follow him to the island of Desolation to gather their strength – and to continue their war against Paradise. It is also here in the works that they construct the capital of Hell, the great tower of Pandemonium, upon the completion of which, they gather once more for the next battle.

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Note 4:

Toland uses the term “deceiver” to reference Savathun.

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Note 5:

Toland uses the term “the sisters” most likely to refer to the Hive Siblings, Xivu Arath and Savathun.

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Note 6:

In the 1983 movie, WarGames, in which the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (“MAD”) leads the WOPR (“War Operation Plan Response”) supercomputer to conclude that “the only winning move is not to play.”

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Note 7:

Reference here is to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, in which the spirit of the Roman poet Virgil serves as the main guide through the realms of Hell and Purgatory for the main character. 

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