I think everyone loves a good mystery and we here at TWCFTM are no different. After Bungie launched the LIVE ACTION trailer of Destiny the other day we have been combing over the video, still by still looking for clues as to what we could expect in the coming days, weeks, months and years of the games life. (August was really really long, and if not for this site, boring.)
A couple of things that caught our eye was the Jade Rabbit insignia and the 8 Ball on the female Warlock. As we all may know, the Jade Rabbit Insignia was a rare find on the Moon (while it was open) in a gold chest during the Beta. It is also featured as a slide in the Destiny Planet View by Google which you can see here. What some might not know is that the Jade Rabbit is an ancient Chinese folk tale, which is where this gets really interesting.
The Legend tells the tale of a Rabbit that lives on the moon and makes the “Elixir of Life or Immortality” that would allow the drinker to become Immortal. The Jade Rabbit pounded special herbs in a mortar and pestle creating the concoction for the “Xian”. Alchemists in various ages and cultures sought the means of formulating of the same elixir as well as turning worthless metals into precious metals, so lead to gold.
According to my research Xian is the chinese word for enlightened person. Which some english translations could be “spiritually immortal; transcendent; super-human; celestial being.” Now how cool is that? So if you asked me what are the Guardians? Transcendents of death, made super-human and immortal by “The Light” of the Traveller, which could be considered a giant celestial being, hovering over earth.
“Immune to heat and cold, untouched by the elements, and can fly, mounting upward with a fluttering motion.”
According Victor H. Mair, Professor, Chinese Language and Literature, he describes the xian archetype as being “Immune to heat and cold, untouched by the elements, and can fly, mounting upward with a fluttering motion. They dwell apart from the chaotic world of man, subsist on air and dew, are not anxious like ordinary people, and have the smooth skin and innocent faces of children. The transcendents live an effortless existence that is best described as spontaneous.”
The elements that the Guardians face from planet to planet would fall well into this description. From the icy grip of the dark side of the Moon to the scorched face of Mercury, this desciption fits their ability.
Apart from the little Warlock hop seen in the Live Action Trailer, our Guardians are capable of floating or leaping through the air as if climbing up through a physical space.
I myself have questioned why do the Guardians live in the Tower high above the Last City, away from those they protect.
No beards, smooth skin. Check.
Some could say that the recent moon rover sent by the Chinese could be the some of the reason for the mention of the Jade Rabbit but given the events of Destiny happen in the distant future, I imagine not. The Moon rabbit was mentioned in conversation between Houston and the Apollo 11 crew just before the first Moon landing in 1969, requesting they look out for the Rabbit when they make their now famous walk. I would hope that Bungie themselves added the Jade Rabbit based of the folklore, which to us makes the game an even richer experience. Perhaps on Tuesday we will know for sure.
So that is the Jade Rabbit and the mysteries of the Elixir of the Immortials…but what about the eight ball? If you guys like posts like this let us know and we will follow up on other discoveries and theories.