Amanda Holliday’s tragic childhood
“We were some of the last refugees to make it to the City. Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard all the jokes. Know what? We did get lost. Many times. It wasn’t all that funny at the time. My mama’s shotgun, The Chaperone, was the only reason I made it here.” —Amanda Holliday
Welcome back guardians, I am sure many of you spotted what most would assume was a young Amanda Holliday in the Zavala D2 trailer. Despite the joyous look on her face as a ship flies into the distance, not everyone knows about the horror and hardships that Amanda Holliday witnessed as a refugee travelling to the safety of the last City. Today we will cover the lore of Amanda Holliday and the exotic shotgun, the Chaperone.
As usual, whenever I upload a youtube video, I will be live over on twitch, feel free to come and join. You can read the scripts for any of my videos on my website, link below and lastly thanks for all the feedback on the audio book, I will be making some changes. This is myelin games and I hope you enjoy this latest destiny lore episode.
Let’s start with Amanda Holliday’s journey to the City. At this point we still do not know the exact location of the Last City, however what we do know, is that following the Collapse many people assumed that the safest place was to be below the Traveler. The period directly following the Collapse was known as the Dark Age, and many people who were displaced from their homes made a pilgrimage towards the Traveler in search of safety. This is reinforced by the Ghost Fragment: The Dark Age, which reads,
It was a time of vast suffering and terrible evil. But there was one hope: the promise of a refuge beneath the Traveler.
Consequently, the grimoire cards often describe the people of the Last City as refugees. The Factions grimoire card reads,
In the City’s earliest days, various factions vied for the hearts and minds of the refugee masses. Power struggles threatened to shatter an already tenuous existence.
Why is this important to Amanda Holliday’s story, well, she was one of those refugees, her and her family made the treacherous journey towards the Traveler. One of the reasons why the journey was so dangerous, apart from the obvious reasons of shelter, food, water, was the presence of the Fallen. We know that the Fallen arrived quite soon after the Collapse to loot and pillage Earth. The Fallen grimoire card reads,
The Fallen are ruthless scavengers. Brutal and uncaring, they arrived on their massive Ketches in the wake of the Collapse to loot and pillage our devastated worlds.
The story of Shin Malphur is another good example of how the Fallen would attack settlements outside of the safety of the Last City. As you can imagine, following the Collapse, people would have had to make a very tough decision, whether they should bunker down and set up settlements or whether they should risk making the journey to the Traveler and having to fend off the Fallen whilst on the move.
Obviously, Amanda holliday’s family choose the later. In fact, Amanda Holliday was actually born on the road, whilst travelling to the Last City, the Shipwright grimoire card reads,
Born on the road, daughter of pilgrims, Holliday grew up fixing and scavenging – maintaining the vehicles that saved her family from the wilderness. Her talent for engineering and her familiarity with Golden Age relics made her a leader among the Tower’s Shipwrights.
The terrors of Holliday’s childhood galvanized her. She knows and respects the dangers that press against the City’s walls, and her drive to rebuild the City’s aerospace capabilities is driven as much by pragmatism as by her love of flight.
Interestingly, even though Amanda Holliday was born on the road, her father is not mentioned in the grimoire cards, yet her mother is quite prominent in the Lore. For the most part, I get the impression that it was just mother and daughter traveling. Even though it says, daughter of pilgrims, implying that both Amanda’s mother and father were already travelling, I have a feeling that Amanda’s father was killed early in the journey, leaving behind a pregnant Mrs Holliday.
Even though I don’t have any evidence for this, I think it would be an amazing story of Amanda’s mother choosing to continue to journey to the Traveler, even whilst pregnant, because she believed that it would be the safest place for her unborn baby.
Amanda’s mother made that decision to push on, and then even gave birth to Amanda whilst on the road, and of course fiercely protected Amanda Holliday from any threat. The cool thing is, knowing that Amanda Holliday was born on road provides some indication to the length of time they spent travelling to the Last City, as we see Amanda Holliday as a young child in the Zavala trailer, I think it reasonable to say that Amanda and her mother spent many years on the road making their way towards the City.
The question is, how did they survive for so long? Well, Amanda Holliday recalls that her Mother’s use of the shotgun Chaperone kept them alive.
The Chaperone grimoire card reads,
“My mother had a shotgun we called the Chaperone. Kept us alive out there, before we got to the City.”
Amanda Holliday was born on the road, when the City was nothing more than a whispered prayer. Their only protection was the weapons they could scavenge, build or modify.
Weapons like her mother’s two-barrel shotgun, with its black and gold filigree far too fine for the world around it. They called it the Chaperone.
That Chaperone lies in a shallow grave with its last owner, but Amanda recalls every detail of its design. And via a partnership with the gunsmiths of Tex Mechanica, she’s brought the Chaperone back to life.
Though the new weapon is much more powerful than the cantankerous relic the Hollidays used on the road, it bears the appearance, and the name, of the Chaperone that saw the one surviving Holliday safely to the Last City.
As you can see this grimoire card provides a ton of new information about the Chaperone and Amanda Holliday. The last sentence said that the Chaperone saw the one surviving Holliday safely to the Last City. So, the young girl we see in the Zavala trailer, if it is a young Amanda Holliday, she is an orphan, she is the last surviving Holliday. Her mother has already been killed and buried in a shallow grave with the original chaperone. This is further confirmed in the exotic quest line where Amanda holliday says this,
“My mother didn’t make it to the City. Neither did the Chaperone. We buried ’em together on the side of the road. I hope whoever wins the weapon I designed with Tex Mechanica lives up to her heroism.”
When it says, “we buried ‘em”, I do not know whether that is a reference to other family members, maybe her father was still around, or maybe she had brothers or sisters, however considering the previous card explains how Amanda is the one surviving Holliday, I do get the impression, that she was traveling with other refugees.
So, Amanda Holliday makes it to the Tower, as a young child, however even as a young child, it appears she learnt many skills on the road, primarily with scavenging and vehicle repairs, I can only assume that Amanda Holliday would continue to hone those skills until granted the position of Shipwright.
Mechanical knowledge was not the only thing she brought to the Tower, she also brought the memory of her mother’s shotgun Chaperone, which then leads to a partnership with Tex Mechanica who agree to run a contest to win a replica of the Chaperone. We, the Guardian enter this contest to win a replica of the Chaperone, the shotgun wielder by Amanda Holliday’s mother and protected her as they traveled to the City.
The interesting thing about this quest line, is that Tex Mechanica is described as a bit old school, willing to bend the rules, and likewise so is Amanda Holliday. In fact, Amanda Holliday recommends that you bribe Tex Mechanica in order to win the replica Chaperone. I found this to be a really nice touch to the characterization of Amanda Holliday, she was an orphan from a young age, she likely saw her mother killed, or at very least buried her whilst travelling to the City, she scavenged and repaired vehicles from a young age, doing anything to survive, so of course, a little cheating never hurt anyone. This is what the quest line says
You entered the Tex Mechanica Crucible contest to try to win my shotgun? Hey, that’s real dandy of you! But I gotta tell ya, I think Tex is learning’ toward someone else.
All right, here’ what we’re gonna do. You need to go make a “generous donation” to Tex’s research division. Go talk to Cryptarch Rahool. I’ll let him know you’re comin.
Amanda would also go on to confirm the attitude of Tex Mechanica, she says,
So listen, Tex Mechanica’s one of the oldest foundries in the City. They’ve still got a real Dark Age mindset.
This would also be confirmed by Banshee-44 who says
“You got no idea what it was like before the City. Before the Walls. That’s the world for which Tex Mechanica was making weapons.” —Banshee-44”
To me, this Dark Age mindset, this time before the City walls, is not about being fair, it is about surviving, doing anything it takes to be on top, and so we see Tex Mechanica happily accept our bribe. In fact, Tex Mechanica has also been known to try and bribe Lord Shaxx, which did not go down very well.
This Dark Age mindset, this survival mindset is very prominent in Tex Mechanica and I think that Amanda Holliday also has this similar mindset. The perks of the Chaperone are called, Roadborn and The Survivor, and not too mention she bends the rules for Cayde-6 when logging the ship entries for the ship Cayde wants us to use to board the Dreadnaught. Amanda Holliday is happy to bend the rules to get the job done, she is happy to do what it takes to survive.
As you can see, she has complex and tragic history, she is much more than the Shipwright and organizer of Sparrow Racing League. When you win the Chaperone replica from Tex Mechanica, it is much more than a shotgun, it was the protector of Amanda Holliday, symbolic of her mother’s bravery, sacrifice and protection and so when rewarded with the replica Chaperon, Amanda says this;
Congratulations, Guardian, You won. Tex Mechanica let me give it to you myself. It’s called the Chaperone, same as the original. I did the design work all from memory.
Use it to protect the folks who need help the most and ill be proud that you won the contest.
That concludes this latest destiny lore episode, if you would like to support the channel leave the word, “Roadborn”, to represent the journey of Amanda Holliday to the last remaining City.
As usual it has been a pleasure, this is myelin games peace.