Bungie today made public the fruits of a days-long effort by hundreds of bookworms in the Destiny 2 community. While the massive puzzle hidden in the collector’s edition of Shadowkeep was ostensibly solved five days after the expansion’s launch, the resulting secrets had not been publicly acknowledged or verified by Bungie until today’s celebratory tweet:
Thanks to many brilliant minds in the community, the Collector's Edition puzzle has been solved.
New lore entries are now available.
— Destiny 2 (@DestinyTheGame) October 14, 2019
The $90 physical collector’s edition of Shadowkeep came with a miniature version of the Hive Cryptoglyph, seen below, whose in-game counterpart plays a vital role in Shadowkeep‘s tale of moon-based vengeance and ghostly apparitions. But this replica is more than just a fancy paperweight — it’s a functional combination safe that can only be unlocked by following clues hidden throughout the rest of the swag included with the collector’s edition.
Hidden inside each Cryptoglyph was a slip of paper with a website address and redemption code printed on it. Guardians could redeem the code and visit the URL, which would give them a unique symbol for their trouble. The Destiny 2 community quickly launched an effort to consolidate their findings, and discovered that while the redemption codes were unique, there were only five websites in play. They then learned that each Guardian could visit each URL and receive five unique symbols, not just one, and as more and more symbols were uncovered, players eventually learned that they were meant to be layered on top of each other to form letters.
“The symbols are all the same, a wheel with a dot in the center and spokes going out to the sides, but alphabet letters can be created from this,” reads an early update from the initiative’s coordinator, Reddit user u/stevenr4. “I assume that we are given multiple phrases to put together, and that the gold letters appear to match up within a single phrase.” A system of rules for decoding the runes gradually solidified: “Pieces of the same dimensions never overlap,” “pieces that align perfectly never match red with yellow in the same character spot,” and so on.
Eventually, runes were fed into spreadsheets and Google documents were edited, and five Destiny 2 lore entries unveiled themselves. The entries, written in a religiously reverent style that is typical of Hive works, details the final legacy of Orxy, The Taken King, and how the Hive have interpreted his will in the time since his true death. We’re also given some insight into the relationship between Crota, Eater of Hope, Son of Oryx, and Crota’s daughter, Hashladûn, The Inundated, who serves as the boss of The Scarlet Keep in Shadowkeep.
But perhaps most crucially, the final entry in these new lore documents seems to concern Eris Morn, the tortured architect of Oryx’s destruction and our newly returned guide on Luna. If the text of V – Poison is to be taken at its word and its Hive author to be considered credible, Eris may soon find herself victim to yet another cosmic tragedy at the piercing claws of the Hive.