Grinding captura scenes from these guys, so I'm spending a lot of time getting to know them. I’ll discuss four main points that lend some credence to this theory and throw in other stuff I’ve noticed.
The Arbiters as a group.
Octavia’s quest. (And their lack of one.)
Something weird between the helmets and the drones.
The Arbiters as a group.
The Arbiters of Hexis exemplify a burning passion to search for the truth of Tenno ability, composed with the knowledge that Tenno are far greater than even their shattered history suggests.
That sounds suspicious to me. What do the Arbiters know that they’re refusing to share? Wouldn’t it go against their purported goal to help the Tenno rise above their created purpose? Maybe they’re searching for knowledge, but only for themselves.
We don’t know who their leader is.
As in, we don’t have a name. We talk to the guy on the tallest podium. Additionally, all the other syndicate rooms show some individuality from the syndicate members– Steel Meridian has plant dude and Clem, obviously. Perrin has MOA dude. Veil has the group torturing the Grineer. Suda has Tiny Suda, but Suda is a Cephalon and her syndicate room merges into a Datascape so she’s disqualified. Loka has their operatives looking stoned under waterfalls.
Arbiters sit still and all of them are completely focused on you. You don’t turn your Medallions in to an Arbiter, but to an operative. (Perrin is another outlier here, as they have you turning in your Medallions to an operative in Perrin gear but Loka-like coloring.)
Spoilers, obviously. Suda is consumed, however momentarily, by Hunhow. Simaris, Ordis, and the Tenno help to forcibly evict him. Why don’t the Arbiters help their ally? Because it’s not their business, because they aren’t welcome in the Datascape, or because they know if they show their hand Hunhow will recognize them?
I could argue that they might just not have known, but they’re nosy and know if you’ve missed a single node in the starmap. There’s no way they don’t know what’s going on right next door to their closest Syndicate ally.
They don’t have a quest!
So it’s going to be a doozy that reveals their true status as a rogue Sentient, right? Personally, I’d love for us to kick off The New War by getting some Sentient allies of our own. That’s just me.
Let’s talk about Alad V for a hot moment. He’s partnering with a Sentient to create Amalgams with the ability to surpass the Tenno: ultimate weapons that even the Orokin failed to produce in their self-imposed arms race! Let’s stop talking about Alad V.
Sentients already have the ability to disrupt Tenno abilities and adapt to damage. The Arbiters have gone a step further, and have figured out a way to take a Tenno out of the fight indefinitely (or until extraction): Arbitrations. Arbitrations are a pilot program, and Tenno are the participants. By weeding out less-experienced Tenno, they can fine-tune their tactics against master Sentient-killers.
They look like the
What is Vitus Essence, anyway? It looks really similar to a Sentient Core. Tenno are then asked to trade Vitus back to the syndicate in return for trinkets and mods (one of which purposefully lowers your power strength)– and unquestioningly, we do.
Arcanes. Where else do we get arcanes, apart from kitgun arcanes? Sentients! Or those who deal with Sentients; Onkko, Hok (or Hok gets them from Onkko). Arcanes are also somewhat similar to the Sentient ability to adapt; except instead of getting resistance, we get other goodies.
The Truth sigil
I like to fashionframe and this means playing with sigils. I flipped the Truth sigil upside down; this looks like a Sentient.
Truth, honor and rising above purpose.
Most of the Sentients we have the privilege of talking to are fixated on it. True selves; true vision; true purpose. True love, in the case of one.
These all give me reason to believe that the Arbiters are a Sentient that somehow managed to slip the shackles of the Orokin and post up in Origin, biding their time to either turn on the Tenno when the time comes or help them with the most realistic bootcamp in existence.
The C O N C L A V E
Logically, if they’re both remnants (or disciples) of The Old War, the Arbiters and Teshin might be allies or at least talk about each other. Teshin loves to talk, I’m sure he would have said something about them by now!
Either their philosophies are so far apart they can’t bear to mention each other, they’re too distant, or the Arbiters don’t want to attract the attention of someone who can recognize what they are and probably immediately call them out on it.
Vitus Essence again
Let’s revisit the Second Dream for a moment. "Sever their heads, yet they rise again. Someone has hidden the Tenno essence, their truth, from you."
Essence? Truth? Where have we heard that before?
…of course, they might just be a dogmatic, mysterious secret society dedicated to helping the Tenno reach their true potential.
This isn’t really comprehensive and contains a fair amount of speculation. Feel free to rip this to shreds or add on! I’m just doing this for fun while waiting for my Dethcube to finish building.
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