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  • Daniel James

We Found Uriel's Gift

Uriel's gift is a blessing of immense power. But who is Uriel? And what is his gift? Well, I found both.

In Destiny 2, Uriel's Gift is a powerful auto rifle that spearheaded the game's early meta. It's an object of both adoration and scorn among players, although those lines seem to fall consistently between those who do/don't use the gun.

Uriel's Gift

In true Bungie fashion, though, this weapon has hidden significance. As with all Destiny's guns, it has flavor text. It reads:

"Take weapon in hand and fly to victory." -Uriel's Gift

While prescriptive (and accurate), it has nothing to say about Uriel, or his gift. This, we find, by looking for Bungie's inspiration for the gun.

The Elder Scrolls

The Elder Scrolls Oblivion | Bethesda

A recurring character in 'The Elder Scrolls' franchise is Emperor Uriel Septim VII. From the original 'The Elder Scrolls: Arena' to 'The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion,' he's frequently essential to the plot.

According to the Elder Scrolls Wiki:

"Uriel Septim VII (3E 346 – 433) was the twenty-first ruler of the Empire of Tamriel. Throughout The Elder Scrolls series, Uriel plays a major role, with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim being a notable exception. He acts mainly as the catalyst of the events of each game, whether intentionally, such as sending the protagonist of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, known as the Nerevarine, to Morrowind; or indirectly, such as being kidnapped by the character Jagar Tharn, an Imperial Battlemage, in the first game, The Elder Scrolls: Arena."

Emperor Uriel | NexusMods

This is the only use of a character named "Uriel" I was able to find in fiction. So it's possible that his is, in fact, the Uriel Bungie is referencing. So what could his gift be? I don't claim to be an expert on Elder Scrolls lore, as I've only played the fourth and fifth entries (Oblivion and Skyrim). Even then, I wasn't incredibly attentive to either game's lore.

But the only time I've seen Emperor Uriel Septim, he gave me a gift.

In the opening of Oblivion, Uriel gives the player character a relic known as "The Amulet of Kings." The player then escorts this amulet around and across the world, before it ends up the hands of Uriel's illegitimate son, Martin. Martin succeeds his father as emperor, but at his coronation, an ancient god attacks.

Martin crushes the amulet, binds his soul with another ancient god and takes the form of an ancient, fiery dragon before killing the attacker. (I'm probably butchering the lore here, please feel free to correct me in the comments)

So, is this amulet 'Uriel's Gift?' Very possibly. I found no other possible "gifts" that could be described in this way.

But the fiery dragon imagery got me thinking. So I looked further into the name 'Uriel.' While I wasn't able to find any book, movie or game that referenced a 'Uriel,' I found something even better.

The Archangel of Light

Some Christian and Jewish sects hold that there is an angelic being of the same name. While this figure isn't included in the Jewish Torah or the Christian Bible, he appears in 'Apocryphal' texts, or scripture that's considered non-canon, or false. This figure is the Archangel Uriel, the Angel of Light.

Apocryphal Archangel Uriel | Wikipedia

And most importantly, he flies with fiery wings and wields a giant, flaming sword.

Sound familiar? Because that easily describes a Dawnblade Warlock. Their art shows them in an angelic post, on wings of flame, wreaking havoc with a burning sword.

Then, I re-evaluated the gun's flavor text:

"Take weapon in hand and fly to victory." -Uriel's Gift

Here's my interpretation:

Subclasses are learned disciplines that allow Guardians to channel their Light into manifest weapons. I believe Uriel's Gift retells the tale of a Warlock teaching another the power of The Dawnblade, grasping the power of the sword and pulling its power from The Light.

Subclasses returning from Destiny 1 had players travel to The Dark Forest. In these quests, players encountered spectres of Guardians from the past speaking of their respective disciplines. Unfortunately, we don't get this for the game's starting subclasses. One of these sub-classes was The Dawnblade.

In Uriel's Gift, I believe we get acknowledgment of this discipline. The power of Uriel, is the power of the archangel's sword. With this power of flame, Warlocks can wield immeasurable, unstoppable power. Or they can just use the gun.

#Destiny2 #Lore