Chapter 3

Kelgorath, Knight champion of death, kneels before his shrine of bone in the fog-ridden depths of the Ascendant Plane. Soulfire recedes into the ground around him. He places his forehead against the shrine, smudging a freshly bloodied sigil of Xivu Arath. He has added so many layers, but this is the first time the blood is his own. He does so to show his devotion. To reject the heretic sister. To pledge himself anew to war.

The Ascendant sky churns around him. He breaths deeply. It is his first breath of this life. He looks to the shrine before him; every vanquished contender ground to meal and packed between skulls to cement them in place. Trinkets of conquest and old spent weapons adorn the shrine from base to apex.

He looks to them as he prepares to face his adversary.

An empty Ghost whose core he had gifted to defected Scarlet Wizards. Its Guardian had ended him many times, but he is Kelgorath, and through battle he is reborn. No Guardian can escape him, for they are heralds of death and he swims in their wake.

His eyes drift to another conquest: crystalline implants torn from the forehead of an Awoken Techeun. He hunted her through the Ley Lines for three days, tracking her by the stench of her fear. When he found her, she brought the Ascendant Plane down on him. He did not fall for this trick twice.

He caught her again with his next life. The Techeun's final words echoed in his thoughts: "I still see the flecks of scarlet in your chitin. How quickly you abandon your Witch Queen."

Kelgorath recalls the night he renounced Savathûn. The night he had scoured the scarlet from his flesh on the serration beds deep within the Hellmouth. The night Osiris slaughtered all Crota's kin. Savathûn was weak to allow their deaths. To cede ground to the Celebrant; to Guardians. Xivu Arath avenged them. Xivu Arath took Osiris's Light, and Kelgorath guzzled from it with vows of vengeance.

He would prove his allegiance by stamping out any trace of the heretic sister. Hurdru, his adversary, was a Knight who still claimed fealty to Savathûn; Hurdru would be an instrument of example. Through battle, Kelgorath would confirm his new god. Through blood, he would erase the name Savathûn and don that of Xivu Arath.

He stands. Bows. Grips the cleaver and shield he will carry until he falls again. "Hurdru," he whispers to the bones.

Tonight, he will purify himself in death.