The Taken War
- See also: The Taken War (Task)
The Taken War was a major, system-wide conflict fought between the Hive, led by Oryx, the Taken King, and all other races in the system. The war began as a direct result of the Guardians slaying Oryx's son Crota, to stop an attempted invasion of Earth. Oryx brought his fleet to Saturn, and began blighting the system with his Taken forces. The war continued to rage even after Oryx's death, as the Taken continued to haunt the system and pretenders arose to lay claim to the Taken King's vacant throne.
Battle of Saturn
The Awoken of the Reef were the first to respond to the invasion. Queen Mara Sov gathered her fleet to engage the Dreadnaught, Oryx's capital ship, directly in the Battle of Saturn. When conventional weapons failed, the Queen and her Techeuns unleashed the Harbingers, energy weapons of mysterious power. While they tore through the lesser Hive ships, the Dreadnaught was unscathed. Oryx unleashed his Oversoul, which obliterated the Queen's fleet in a single blast, including her flagship. Though no body was recovered, she was assumed dead, and Petra Venj was named Queen Regent. However, the battle succeeded in its primary objective, halting Oryx's fleet and keeping it locked outside of the inner system.
Discovery of the Taken
Oryx began blighting the system, beginning on Phobos. The Sky Burners stationed there discovered strange activity and began to investigate; shortly after, huge numbers of Cabal were being taken and made to fight their comrades. Primus Ta'aun ordered a mass evacuation, which caught the notice of the Vanguard. Fearing the activity was a prelude to an attack, they sent the Guardian to investigate. The Guardian was confronted by a vision of Oryx, who declared his intention to eliminate the Guardian and unleashed his Taken upon them. The Guardian barely escaped just as more Taken overwhelmed the base. Oryx's Taken hit Mars at the same time, delivering massive casualties to the Dust Giants, Blind Legion, and Sand Eaters legions of Cabal on the planet's surface.
Boarding the Dreadnaught
As the Vanguard debated on how to fight back against Oryx, Eris Morn warned Commander Zavala that the Taken were unlike any foe they had faced before, and that Oryx's army would only grow unless he's stopped. Cayde-6, meanwhile developed a secret plan to board the Dreadnaught, using stealth technology he stole from Rasputin. After helping the Guardian outfit Eris' ship, the Guardian managed to slip onto the Dreadanught and establish a beachhead. They discovered that Oryx was waiting behind a rupture, but only an ascendant Hive could enter the rupture. To become ascendant, the player needed to gather Crota's essence; by collecting a shard of crystal from the Chamber of Night, and using the same stealth technology from Rasputin, the Guardian snuck into Crota's netherrealm and stole the essence in the middle of Crota's death ceremony. Though they were discovered and nearly killed, the Guardian succeeded in escaping. Returning to the Dreadnaught, they entered into Oryx's inner sanctum, and battled with Oryx. Unable to defeat the Guardian, Oryx retreated to his throne realm, leaving behind his sword, Willbreaker.
Removing the Blights
Though Oryx vanished from the material realm, he continued to blight the system. Only by attacking the source of the blights on each planet could the Vanguard direct their attention on ending Oryx himself. Defeating the Taken's Champions helped to narrow down the source of the blights. Cayde-6 tracked down the source of the blight on Earth to an Echo of Oryx hiding in King's Watch, where it was defeated. Ikora Rey discovered a message from Praedyth coming from the Vault of Glass; however, this was a Vex ploy to get the Guardian to remove the Taken that had invaded the Vault, as Praedyth had long since died. The blight on Venus was tracked down to the top of The Citadel, another Echo of Oryx. Commander Zavala discovered another Echo of Oryx on Mars, this time using a secret entrance under Freehold to invade the Black Garden. The Echo was defeated finally on Phobos, in the very room where the War had begun.
The Reef aided the Last City in this phase of the war, helping to clear blights and defeat Champions on Earth, Venus, and Mars. However, the Reef was also interested in looking for signs of the missing Queen, and preventing an opportunistic House of Wolves from rising to power again, as they attempted to make a new home on Mars under the leadership of Orbiks Prime.
The King's Fall
With the blights eliminated, the Vanguard made preparations to once again enter the Dreadnaught, and slay Oryx for good. Oryx's Lieutenants still lived, most of them residing in the Court of Oryx. Eris had the Guardians depose the Court, as well as eliminate The Infantile before it could be infused with Taken power. Soon, there was none left but Oryx himself, as well as his closest allies, the Warpriest, Golgoroth, and his daughters Ir Anuk and Ir Halak. With the Court soundly defeated, the Guardians used the rupture there to invade Oryx's Ascendant realm, destroying his soul and killing him once and for all.
Pretenders to the Osmium Throne
The Taken War did not end with Oryx's death, unfortunately. The Taken continued to persist despite the loss of their master; though without Oryx's power they began to slowly decay, they remained a significant threat that the Guardians had to continue fighting. With the Osmium Throne vacant, some powerful Hive and Taken saw an opportunity to seize it for themselves. One was Alak-Hul, the Darkblade, a Hive Knight who Oryx had considered a foster son. Before Alak-Hul could break free of The Sunless Cell where Oryx had imprisoned him earlier for his attempted usurpation, he was defeated by a fireteam of Guardians.
Sometime later, the Taken Knight Malok, Pride of Oryx enact his own bid to claim dominance over the remaining Hive and Taken with his mastery of the blights. Variks, the Loyal received reports of Malok's activities and sent in the Guardian to investigate. Eventually, the Guardian was able to drive Malok out of the Dreadnaught and into the Hellmouth, where he met his end when confronted by a fireteam at the Shrine of Oryx.