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  • Daniel James

Theory: The Third Spire's Location

In Destiny 2, players can win big in Trials of The Nine. After your first win, you're given access to a secret location:

The Third Spire

Its description reads, "You have no idea where it is, but somehow you know exactly where to get there."

So, where is The Third Spire? There are no recognizable constellations or familiar planets, that even the most perceptive Redditor could chart from. The sky is painfully clear, with the stark outlines of massive planets and stars blazing outlines in the sky.

The key, though, is one of these stark celestial bodies: The Black Hole.

It's the same black hole you pass through to enter the area. It has an odd aura--a massive, flaring of light around its rim. It's certainly the most remarkable object in the already gorgeous location.

It's not just pretty. It may just be a reference. This black hole is eerily similar to a location in Destiny lore.

Black Hole | Dstreet Mag

Long ago, a civilization known as The Harmony lived on a planet orbiting a Black Hole. The Traveler found them, chose them as its host, and blessed them with a unique tool:

The Mast of Light.

For this section, I'm referring to follow passages from The Books of Sorrow: (XLV: I'd Shut Them All in Cells) and (XLVI: The Gift Mast). They're large passages, so I'm dropping a Destiny Tracker link for those interested.

While The Traveler was hosted by The Harmony on their planet, Ana-Harmony, it apparently left them for an unknown reason. But it left behind a gift--The Mast of Light.

Within the Black Hole, it placed a massive "jet" of Light that is loosely described to be a tool and weapon against The Darkness. It was also used to unnaturally draw 10 planets into orbit around the Black Hole.

I'm not entirely aware of the advantage of this, but they seemed pretty keen on the arrangement, so power to them. As far as science projects go, it blows our shuttle program out of the water.

Unfortunately, shortly after this blessing, the Harmony were under attack by Oryx, The Taken King. The war lasted hundreds of years, and the Harmony proved the most difficult of The Hive's opponents.

Despite the full power of Oryx and his sisters, Savathun and Xivu Arath, the Harmony maintained their strength. It is thought that The Mast of Light gave them this power.

But, after so long, the Harmony fell. With the help of Savathun, Oryx made his way into the Black Hole's accretion disc and ate the Mast of Light. Remember, the Hive find great power in consuming the Light. Oryx claims to have eaten 2/5ths of it.

The Third Spire | Dstreet Mag

Upon seeing the consumption of their blessing, the Harmony fell into a great panic. Oryx recalls his victory in The Books of Sorrow, describing the Harmony as looking on in horror, committing mass suicide by drowning themselves in the planet's silver lakes.

Side note: It is believed that the infamous Ahamkara "wish-dragons" were involved in this conflict. Xivu Arath, at one point, expresses a desire to imprison dragons for their "smug" demeanors.

Xivu Arath also expresses disdain for her deceptive sister, the Witch-Queen, Savathun, and her obsession with this particular Black Hole. After the defeat of The Harmony, Savathun separates from the main Hive force, taking her forces through the black hole in pursuit of power.

While it's not entirely clear due to vague phrasing, it's implied that she's pursuing The Traveler. In relation to Xivu Arath expressing her obsession with the black hole, we know she's obsessed with The Light. This lines up with her statement that she makes this move to find power.

Additionally, in the strike Savathun's Song in Destiny 2, her forces are capturing Guardians to consume their light via crystals. This seems to mirror Oryx's personal ritual of having subordinate Hive pass tributes of Light to him.

Interestingly enough, The Taken King's April Update missions introduce the Taken Prince, Malok, who Savathun unsuccessfully used to siphon Oryx's Light sacrifices to herself. This took place before the invasion of Harmony, so it certainly establishes her interest in this direction.

Destiny April Update Promo | DestinyDB

Following this parallel, and multiple points of evidence that Savathun is actively seeking power via consumption of Light, I think it's reasonable to conclude that Savathun saw The Mast of Light as a tangent to pursue, rather than the full fledged assault on The Traveler that Oryx pursued.

This may have paid off since, by the events of The Taken King, Oryx was so far behind on his tribute of Light to his worm that he was just touching landing gear with death's runway. Meanwhile, Savathun is apparently live and kicking, judging by her aggressive moves on Titan.

So, we've established that The Mast of Light:

  • Is a massive source of Light

  • Can be utilized to great effect on the environment

  • Is thought to lead to power beyond itself

Because this is a theory, not lore, and is speculation, we're going to follow a different set of proofs than I'd usually use. I'm not going to chart cause to effect, or speculate how point A gets to point B.

I'm instead going to rely on inference. I've presented things we know to be true from the lore. Now I'm going to present the theory itself, solely on the merits of alignment. Because if these two Black Holes are the same, the consequences for the Nine and ourselves align very strongly with what we know to be true from the Books of Sorrow.

The goal here is not to "prove" this to be the case. The information to reach that conclusion does not exist within the game.

But as far as theories go, I'd like to present this as a fairly grounded one that would require very little new information to prove. I expect readers to be active, not passive. So judge by plausibility, not certainty.

The Third Spire | Dstreet Mag

So, here's the Case.

The Nine are Interested in The Light

The Mast is the largest known mass of Light, outside of the Traveler. Given the Harmony were able to hold out for so long, it is also a force that was used to repel The Darkness more effectively than any weapon ever recorded.

Now, with The Emissary constantly talking about "The End" and her interest in how we'll face it, we'd previously concluded that The Nine consider Guardians, and their wielding of The Light to be essential tools in that goal.

Unfortunately, I didn't find lore on The End until after I'd finished my article on the theme of "Trials." So they're a pair:

Destiny's Dying Universe

The End is Nigh

Mid-match, the Emissary can be heard audibly asking herself "is their [our] Light enough?"

So, stitch the pieces together here.

The Light is a tangible force that we can gain and lose. There are canonically, varying levels of Light within Guardians, and varying mastery of that Light.

The Trials of the Nine are specifically designed to test Guardians at their best, to test their worth. Of all our companions, The Emissary cites Lord Shaxx, saying "This Lord Shaxx, he understands."

It is plausible that a massive source of Light would be of interest to them. If the Nine have goals oriented around our mastery of The Light, and our Light "being enough," the Mast of Light would be a key source of power.

The Third Spire | Bungie

The Black Hole's Unnatural Light

The thing is, there's no Mast of Light. Oryx ate it, or at least 2/5ths of it. What he ate was the Black Hole's polar jet.

In the Books of Sorrow, Oryx says, "When the Traveler passed across Harmony, it lied to the orbits of ten worlds. Now they orbit the black hole. The Traveler lied to the accretion disc, so that it would give warm light to these worlds."

A huge amount of The Traveler's power remains in the Black Hole's accretion disc. What's an accretion disc?

According to Wikipedia: "An accretion disk is a structure (often a circumstellar disk) formed by diffused material in orbital motion around a massive central body."

What do we find in the accretion disc of The Third Spire's black hole? Warm, glowing…Light.

In fact, it's the primary source of light for the entire system. The Third Spire seems to be in an eternal state of blinding sunlight. (Black-hole-light? Black-light?)

Eternity | Bungie

The thing is, this is natural. The majority of Black Holes are thought to be incredibly bright. Because they naturally suck in vast quantities of matter, that matter is super-heated and radiates, much like Gargantua from the film, Interstellar.

What isn't natural, is how the Third Spire's black hole appears. While Interstellar's Gargantua has folding rings of glowing mass around it, this one is entirely different.

It radiates outward, from the accretion disc. Now, let's break down the science here. The color of light generated is related to the heat generated by the matter consumed by the accretion disc.

Now, lower-brightness suns glow red, higher-brightness suns grow white, and ultra-bright stars glow green or blue. Likewise, the color of a black hole's accretion disc is entirely dependent on the matter it can consume.

NASA addressed this question for Black Holes:

"Why do some black holes produce more high-energy X-ray light than others? Astronomers say this is because the black holes are more actively feeding off surrounding clouds of dust and gas"

There is virtually no matter around The Third Spire's Black Hole. No clouds. No gas. No asteroids. No planets being sucked into its center.

In fact, the opposite end of the black hole that we enter through, is actually dimmer. We see a huge mass of clouds, presumably filed with rocks and debris being sucked in; yet the glow is far dimmer.

The Third Spire | Bungie

So, the Third Spire's glow is very likely unnatural.

This lines up with Oryx's statement: "The Traveler lied to the accretion disc, so that it would give warm light to these worlds."

Doesn't that seem to be the case? The glow shouldn't exist. Yet it does. This is in-line with the Black Hole that Oryx observed. The Traveler "lied" to accretion disc, and caused it to glow extremely bright. Even if Oryx ate the polar jet, The Mast of Light, the radiation from the accretion disc would still remain.

As for Bungie's intention? It's possible that this was merely an artistic choice, not a scientific one. While that's still a possibility that can never be fully discarded, I don't believe it to be the case.

First, Bungie clearly shows both ends of the Black Hole. I find it implausible that they'd so clearly juxtaposition their appearances without reason. The entrance end is consuming large amounts of matter, yet is relatively dim. The exit, has no matter, yet glows extremely bright.

There's no night on The Third Spire, at any time of the day. It's far brighter than our own sun, and allegedly once lit 10 separate planets, a larger system than our own Solar System. Yet, it has no reason to shine.

The Third Spire and Black Hole | Bungie

Is this conclusive proof that the two are the same? Absolutely not.

But the choices made offer an extremely implausible reality that can be made plausible by this theory. I believe I've show that this theory is more plausible than apparent reality. To accept what we see at The Third Spire as natural takes more faith than to presume this to be the case.

Because there is some explanation. Some magical element of this world that Bungie has yet to reveal, or may never reveal, that makes this possible. I believe this theory to be the best within our grasp.

Through the power of inference, and the correlation of presented lore, I find this to be the strongest possibility.

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#Destiny2 #Theory #ThirdSpire