Shaxx V Saladin

Lord Shaxx and Lord Saladin are still fighting?

By order of the City Consensus and the Speaker, Saladin and Shaxx cooperate in administration, and the Iron Banner is technically a component of the Crucible. In practice, Saladin keeps his own schedule, his own rewards, and his own territory in the Tower. Now and then someone tries to get Zavala, Shaxx, and Saladin to sit down for dinner and sort out their differences, but they remain as awkward and as stubborn as Saint-14’s skull.

Welcome back guardians, today we are speaking about Lord Shaxx and Saladin, and what happened for them to dislike each other so much. Many likely know the basics of this lore, however there is an alternative theory that has Shaxx abandon the Iron Lords in their moment of need. This script was co-written with AnonPig and as usual the artwork at the beginning of this video was created by Brandon McCamey. Check out his youtube channel, or website for other Destiny pieces, like his Toland 3d Mobile wallpaper. This is myelin games and I hope you enjoy this latest destiny lore episode.

Let’s start with what the grimoire cards say about their relationship and the most common theory to why they don’t like each other; then we can move onto the lesser known theory. The Iron Banner Rep card reads,

Lord Saladin

A hero to the City and a legend in his own right, Saladin Forge led the City’s defense during the Battle for the Twilight Gap. His protégés, Commander Zavala and Lord Shaxx, now lead the Tower’s Vanguard and the Crucible, respectively. Saladin remains close to Zavala, though his relationship with Shaxx has been strained since the Twilight Gap.
This card indicates that something happened at Twilight Gap to “strain” their relationship. The card also says that Zavala and Shaxx were protégés of Saladin. The Iron Banner grimoire card further reinforces that Saladin was a mentor to Shaxx, it reads,

“Lord Saladin, once Shaxx’s mentor, runs the Iron Banner tournaments to strip Crucible weaklings of their illusions and prepare them for a battle with no concept of fair play.”

So how did Saladin and Shaxx from mentor and protégé, to incapable of sitting down for a dinner to sort their differences? The most common theory is that Shaxx disobeyed orders from Saladin at the Battle of Twilight Gap. As the Iron Banner Rep card expalins, Saladin led the City’s defences at the Battle of Twilight Gap, however in the Crucible Handler grimoire card it is revealed that Lord Shaxx was the one to lead the counterattack that repelled the Fallen, which I assume was vital to the victory. The Crucible Handler grimoire card reads,

“Lord Shaxx is one of the heroes of the Battle of the Twilight Gap, having led the counterattack that pushed the Fallen from the City walls. Fearing that another full-scale assault would be more than the City could repel, Shaxx chose to stay in the City to mentor Guardians in the Crucible.”

It is speculated that this counterattack was not authorised by Saladin, that Lord Shaxx took it upon himself to lead this counterattack without approval. There is no direct evidence of this, however the grimoire cards emphasize that Shaxx is prepared to do whatever it takes to secure victory, he is prepared to take risks, I believe that Shaxx was much more willing to take risk, to risk the lives of guardians and likely also his combat frames to push a counterattack to defeat the Fallen. Oppositely, I do not think Saladin was prepared to take this risk, and had recommended a more defensive strategy.

The Crucible marks grimoire card reinforces Shaxx’s willingness to take risk, it reads,

The Crucible is a program of relentless live-fire training, hardening Guardians for battles to come. Competition thrives on risk and reward, so Lord Shaxx has seen fit to dispense Crucible Marks to those who excel.

The Crucible ghost fragments that described Shaxx’s redjack fireteam also emphasise Shaxx’s willingness to take risk, The Ghost Fragment: Sector 618 card reads.

“[u.2:01] I’m telling you it works. Shaxx said they’re progressing at an exponential rate.
[u.1:02] He said that?
[u.2:02] Not in those words, exactly.
[u.1:03] Almost every Redjack dies on the field anyway. What’s the point?
[u.2:03] The data’s for posterity. Newer frames will be better.”
Essentially, Shaxx does not care that nearly every Redjack dies on the field, because he knows that the data the redjacks collect is vital for future battles. It is very much like, not always winning the battle but aiming to win the war. Further, Lord Shaxx is also known for the saying “only the strong survive” in reference to the Redjacks.

You may think, well, this is ok, Shaxx is only risking combat frames, it is not like he is risking guardian lives?? Well, that is not entirely true, the Ghost Fragment: Asylum reads,

“[u.1:04] I asked for more Guardians, but they only gave me you. This City needs training grounds. And together, that’s what we’ll provide.”
This card seems to imply, that Shaxx wants Guardians to do the work of the Redjacks, and we must question whether Shaxx would also willingly risk the lives of Guardians to accomplish his work. If we compare the attitude of Shaxx to take risk, with Saladin, we see a striking contrast. Shaxx says “only the strong survive”, whereas Saladin says, “Nothing is born strong”. The Ghost Fragment Abilities reads,

Nothing is born strong. I know I began weak, the same as you.” I believe this difference of opinion is the essences of Shaxx vs Saladin, the reason why they don’t like each other, they fundamentally disagreed with how to win the Battle of Twilight Gap, Saladin was in charge, however it was Shaxx that led the counterattack which lead to victory. Shaxx was willing to take the risk, to leave the safety of the walls to secure the victory.

We do not know, if this counterattack consisted of only combat frames, or whether it also included guardians, however I think it reasonable to assume lives were lost during the counterattack.

That is the basic theory for Saladin and Shaxx’s disdain for each other, however there is another theory that was recommended to me by AnonPig? This theory involves Shaxx abandoning the Iron Lords, and for this theory to be plausible we need to discuss the timeline of SIVA, the Iron Lords and the Battle of Twilight Gap.

It is known that the Iron Lords assisted at another battle, the Battle of Six Fronts, which preceded Twilight Gap, however we do not know whether only Saladin was at Twilight Gap, or if all the Iron lords were at Twilight gap. The Iron Banner grimoire card reads,

“The Lords of Iron, ancient warriors from the City’s founding, have no time for mollycoddling. The City remembers Felwinter and Jolder, Skorri and Timur, Radegast and Gheleon and the others, for their invincible patrols during Six Fronts and the Wall-building. The Iron Banner asks Guardians to live up to that legend.”
A more commonly accepted Destiny timeline would argue that the Iron Lords fought SIVA at the SIVA replication complex prior to Twilight Gap and consequently, only Saladin was present at Twilight Gap because the other lords had already died. However, an alternative timeline of events may argue that the Iron Lords did not confront SIVA until after Twilight Gap, hence like Six Fronts, the Iron Lords assisted at Twilight Gap.

The main evidence for this version of events comes from the Rise of Iron Gjallarhorn quest line. This questline links the History of Gjallarhorn with that of the Iron Lords, and it suggests that the Iron Lords used the Gjallarhorn in combat, Gjallarhorn was created after the battle of Twilight Gap, so for the Iron lords to have used the Gjallarhorn, they must have still been around after twilight gap. This therefore places, the confrontation with SIVA at the replication complex after twilight gap.

Have a listen to these parts of the questline:

“The Wolf Pack round was a statement. And it said all the Iron Lords would ever need to say on the battlefield.” —Crux”
“You cannot separate the history of the Iron Lords and the history of this weapon. They are one and the same.” —Tyra Karn

In addition, the wolf theme of Gjallarhorn suits the Iron Lords obsession with Wolves. Not to mention that Iron Lords can also be referred to as Iron Wolves. SOOOOO what does this have to do with Shaxx and Saladin.

Like I said before, Saladin was Shaxx’s mentor, it was very possible that Shaxx was in training to be an Iron Lord, just like we became a Lord or Lady at the end of the Rise of Iron Campaign. But think about this, if all the Iron Lords were at the Battle of Twilight Gap defending the city, that means the Iron Lords only went to the SIVA replication complex after the battle, which means Shaxx made a conscious effort to stay in the tower and manage the Crucible rather than continuing to follow Saladin and face SIVA together.

The Crucible Handler card reads,

“Fearing that another full-scale assault would be more than the City could repel, Shaxx chose to stay in the City to mentor Guardians in the Crucible. One day Shaxx vows to return to the war beyond the City, but only after he is confident the fires of the Crucible have forged a new generation of warriors.”

Furthermore, someone gave Shaxx the title of Lord, and I don’t think it was Saladin. This theory provides some real substance for the disdain seen between Saladin and Shaxx. From Saladin’s perspective, Shaxx betrayed the Iron Lords by staying in the Tower, Shaxx was meant to be his protégé, he disobeyed his orders at Twilight Gap and then disobeyed them again when Saladin marched with the other Iron Lords towards the SIVA replication complex. If Shaxx had assaulted the replication chamber with the other Iron lords, maybe the outcome would have been different, maybe the Iron Lords would have survived… However, all that Saladin sees now is a traitor who does not deserve the title of a Lord.

That concludes this latest destiny lore episode, I am keen to hear any feedback you have for this theory, I have some rebuttals for this version of the timeline, but I do like how it adds another event that Shaxx and Saladin disagreed upon. If you would like to support the channel, leave the word, “Traitor”, maybe this is a little harsh but whatever…As usual it has been a pleasure, this is myelin games.