Awoken Techeuns Are Probably Behind The Dreaming City's Curse
A new trailer for Destiny 2’s ‘Forsaken’ expansion hit the internet this morning. Following the overwhelmingly positive reaction to yesterday’s combat reveal, the trailer showed off an absolutely fantastic looking new environment. The Dreaming City, or ‘Rivendell in Space’ as I like to call it, looks absolutely wondrous. The trailer fleshes out its darker crevices, while showing off the kind of combat players can expect.
There are a variety of interesting corners to investigate. A Taken infection is no small matter when Savathun sits at the edge of our periphery. And the strong possibility of an actual Ahamkara at the city’s center is a point of speculation that keeps being fed with new evidence. Yet, there’s one tidbit that I found especially interesting.
I certainly won’t pretend it’s more interesting than a Taken Queen, or a live Ahamkara. It’s the return of a particular type of entity we’ve only seen once, briefly, in a cinematic, almost three years ago. It’s a being of immense, mysterious power that’s definitely antagonistic to us. We know almost nothing about them I’m certain they’re central to the plot of Forsaken.
A Techeun, or a ‘tech-witch,’ is essentially an Awoken magician/scientist. Last seen in the opening cinematic of The Taken King, we’ve seen them wield immense power, certainly beyond anything we’ve seen from Guardians. In fact, their power exceeds any light-empowered being yet encountered. They’re not of The Light, but we don’t know that they’re of The Darkness either.
For a series whose premise and story revolves around power, the beings that wield it, and the gods that grant it, the mysterious Techeun’s power challenges any preconceptions we have of our own power. Destiny 2’s main campaign is an investigation into that power. We’re stripped of our Light. Ghaul attempts to get this power for himself until we get our Light back and put an end to that. Yet throughout this story, we learn little of what The Light actually is, why The Traveler grants it to us, or what about its nature allows Ghaul to forcibly gain it.
The Light is a mystery we barely understand. We don’t know its limits. In all likelihood, it’s far more powerful than anything we’re currently capable of wielding.
So, the addition of The Techeun, brandishing power that’s demonstrably superior to ours…is disconcerting. It’s also exciting. I’m going to break down what we know of these elusive tech-witches, and piece together exactly what kind of role we can expect they’ll play.
Burn the Witch
“Three hundred years ago people in England were putting witches to death…surely the reason we do not execute witches is that we do not believe there are such things. If we did…we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then these filthy quislings did?”
Techeuns first appeared in grimoire released alongside the ‘House of Wolves’ DLC for Destiny 1. Within months, we had our first (and last) look at them in action with ‘The Taken King.’ Mara Sov, queen of The Reed, faced off against Oryx’s invasion of our Solar System. She lost, but demonstrated the Techeun (and her own) power, before doing so.
Surrounded by three Techeuns, she enters a trance-like state, as they draw power from her. Rips in space appear and small balls of energy emerge from them. It’s most likely that this is the power of The Void, as the cinematic matches descriptions of The Void from Warlock grimoire. The small balls of energy arc toward The Dreadnaught, drawing hefty space rocks into their wake via some kind of gravity effect. Massive trails of rocks from Saturn’s rings now hurtle toward The Dreadnaught. They land with no apparent impact. Oryx conjures his own power, and The Awoken are destroyed.
Given this cinematic, it’s safe to assume that The Techeuns are using power drawn from The Void. It’s also worth noting that The Queen seems to be the one actually drawing the power, while The Techeuns are merely manipulating it. Grimoire from House of Wolves describes them as having “jewel-like augments” that hum (sci-fantasy shorthand for ‘they have some kind of mysterious, undefined power). While the Techeuns may have power of their own, their specialty seems to be in manipulating existing power through their own arcane arts.
The next time we hear about them is in The Taken King’s grimoire, doing exactly that. They’re using the Prison of Elders as a lab for harnessing Taken Powers and experimenting with them. So, these ‘tech witches’ seem to essentially be scientists within a world full of magic. They master and manipulate the powers at their disposal, not at all unlike the scholars of The Tower, just on a much crazier, ambitious level.
Forsaken Beliefs and Impossible Loyalties
Now to speculate what these Techeuns are up to in Forsaken. According to this trailer? Nothing good. They’ve taken up the darker arts of witchcraft (no pun intended) and awoken the power of The Taken King (pun definitely intended).
They’re antagonistic, as seen by trailer shots showing us fighting them. They’ve got Taken powers of their own in those same shots. So, let’s piece together a few things that overlap for too well to be coincidences.
Our job, according the the trailer, is to lift the curse on The Dreaming City while also fighting Taken and Techeuns. The Techeuns are witches with extremely powerful magic that control Taken, and are running loose in the Dreaming City.
It’s not quite 1+1, but it’s definitely basic addition: The Techeuns are behind whatever is wrong with The Dreaming City. That’s not to say they’re not in service of some larger, more powerful entity; in fact, I’d say it’s probable they are. But they’re definitely prominent in putting the city in its current, not awesome, state of affairs. Putting the blame on Techeuns isn’t really speculation when we’ve got them at the crime scene, holding a smoking gun, and still firing. These aren’t just bad dudes. These are the bad dudes.
The End until The Beginning
Obviously, Prince Uldren is the main villain of Forsaken. The guy killed Cayde-6, and that’s not going unpunished. He’s also leading the cadre of extremely unscrupulous sub-villains who helped him do it.
Historically, though, the main villain of a Destiny story isn’t the main villain of the end game experience. The Techeuns seem to be the end-game threat. Deeply evil wielders of arcane magic, with power over an entire city. It’s possible Prince Uldren is in cahoots with the Techeuns, since at least one of his barons he broke out of the Prison of Elders has Taken powers. He may also have the same kind of powers from The Void as his sister, meaning he’d be doubly troublesome if they harnessed that power for him.
We know very little about what ails the The Dreaming City and less about the nature of the curse it’s under. But we do know there are some foul folk lurking there who probably know too much to claim innocence. As soon as Prince Uldren is ten feet under, and we’ve got the Ace of Spades back in our holsters, we’re heading there to sort them out. I don’t care how powerful their top-secret magic tricks are, they’re not going to be pleased with how this turns out.