Destiny 2’s Season of the Haunted is working by means of a compelling, character-driven story, one which dives into the private traumas of among the sport’s main characters as they attempt to take care of the brand new menace offered by Calus and the Derelict Leviathan. Like one of the best of Destiny 2’s latest tales, it depends closely on participant information from previous seasons and expansions.
Generally, that is nice, as a result of with Bungie constructing on occasions of the latest previous, Destiny 2 seems like a world that’s altering on account of the issues that occur inside it. But should you missed sure earlier components of the story, just like the Forsaken or Shadowkeep expansions, this season might need you a bit of misplaced.
There’s numerous backstory you must know to totally recognize Season of the Haunted, stretching all the way in which again to vanilla Destiny 2, the Leviathan raid, and extra. Here’s a fast historical past lesson that may get you on top of things on all the things you must know in regards to the Leviathan, Nightmares, Caiatl, Crow, and all the things else this season–regardless of whether or not you have been round for the reason that Destiny alpha, or simply jumped in with The Witch Queen.
A fast historical past of the Cabal
Season of the Haunted continues the story of the Cabal empire, which has held everlasting residence in Earth’s photo voltaic system since again within the days of the unique Destiny. They’ve modified drastically since then, nevertheless, with a number of totally different factions working within the photo voltaic system on the identical time.
The Cabal as we all know them are a warlike group of conquerors, and that is rooted of their deep traditions. They worth issues like honor and trials by fight; they’re form of like Star Trek’s Klingons, and you’ll see of their structure and unit names that Bungie attracts loads from the Roman Empire to tell the Cabal. The group is definitely made up of a few species working underneath the banner of the Cabal homeworld, Torobatl, which was the seat of an empire that stretched throughout an unlimited variety of worlds.
At some level prior to now, a brand new emperor named Calus gained energy as a part of a well-liked revolution towards the army that managed the federal government. A narcissist and hedonist, Calus wasn’t excited by conquering something and principally was all about his personal private pleasure. He reformed the Cabal empire, taking energy from the army Praetoriate that had previously dominated, and as a substitute providing the folks feasts and gladiator bloodsports. Lots of the standard Cabal chafed at Calus’s choices, and from what we study within the Duality dungeon, it feels like Calus had some or all of these Praetoriate dissenters purged.
Calus blended ruthlessness with extra and opulence, and at the least to listen to him inform it, his folks had been comfortable together with his rule. During his time as emperor, Calus had a daughter named Caiatl, who he beloved dearly. But Calus was additionally self-centered and jealous; he could be form to Caiatl one second, and merciless to her the subsequent. In the latest lore of Season of the Haunted, we realized about how Calus gave Caiatl a struggle beast for her birthday as a baby, which she got here to like intensely. War beasts maintain a spot of honor in Cabal society, and Caiatl grew extraordinarily near hers, just for Calus to develop jealous that she beloved the pet greater than she beloved him. Calus had the struggle beast butchered, and that appears to have been the second that solidified Caiatl’s hate for her father.
During this identical interval, Calus took discover of a very fierce gladiator named Ghaul, an albino Cabal who’d been left to die as a child as a result of he was a runt. As a gladiator, Ghaul proved himself in battle again and again, and Calus was so impressed that he pulled Ghaul from the gladiator life and elevated him to the chief of his fiercest army drive, the Red Legion. Ghaul grew to become referred to as the “Ghost Primus” and Calus thought of him one thing of a son. What Calus did not know was that after Ghaul had been deserted as an toddler, he was discovered and raised by The Consul, a former member of the Praetoriate. Together, the Consul and Ghaul enacted a prolonged plan to get revenge towards the emperor.
Meanwhile, as Calus threw events, the Cabal empire got here underneath menace, with Hive forces attacking its outlying worlds. Calus did not suppose that was such a giant deal, however a few of his generals and advisers, and even his personal daughter, noticed his failure to behave as a failure to guide. They undoubtedly weren’t unsuitable, either–the Hive had been massively highly effective and harmful, conquering and destroying worlds because the Cabal forces tried and failed to carry them again, with none bigger plan in place. When Ghaul was able to enact his plan to overthrow Calus, he was in a position to get the backing of key army personnel and advisers, in addition to the Princess-Imperial herself, due to this menace. Caiatl was the lynchpin of the plan.
Ghaul launched his plot in the midst of the evening; what would later be referred to as the Midnight Coup. The Ghost Primus stormed the palace, and Calus hurried to his throne room to retrieve some particular object he thought would save him from the traitors. It’s not precisely clear this object was, however lore implies it might need been an Ahamkara bone. When Calus arrived within the throne room, nevertheless, Caiatl was already ready for him. She destroyed the item, sealing Calus’s destiny.
We study within the Duality dungeon that Ghaul was able to execute Calus as he took energy, naming himself to a brand new place: Dominus. However, apparently, Caiatl satisfied him in any other case. Instead, Calus was exiled from the Cabal empire. He and his loyalists had been positioned on an enormous ship known as the Leviathan, which was despatched out to float by means of the darkish reaches of area endlessly, its navigation methods destroyed. Aboard the Leviathan, Calus would finally come into contact with the Darkness, and thru it, Destiny 2’s overarching villain, the Witness. After that, he would wind up in Earth’s photo voltaic system.
Dominus Ghaul and the Red War
After taking energy, Ghaul was in touch with Cabal forces within the Sol system, the place that they had dug in on Mars someday between the Collapse and the current day. It would finally be a shedding battle; when the Hive god Oryx confirmed up throughout Destiny’s The Taken King enlargement, he used his energy to avoid the free will of different species towards the Cabal, “taking” them and forcing them into his military. In response, the Cabal attacked Oryx’s ship, the Dreadnaught, and tried to destroy it. They had been stopped by the Guardians, however not earlier than they despatched a misery sign again to the empire. Ghaul acquired that sign and began to enact a plan, even because the Guardians defeated Oryx and drove the Cabal again.
Destiny 2’s vanilla marketing campaign was all about Ghaul. After receiving the misery name, the Dominus departed with the Red Legion for Earth’s photo voltaic system. When he arrived, he caught the Guardians unawares, launching a sneak assault on the Last City. Ghaul executed a plan to attempt to take the facility of the Traveler for himself: Using particular know-how he created a cage across the Traveler, reducing the Guardians off from their Light. Without their powers or their immortality, the Guardians struggled to combat the Red Legion and had been scattered all through the photo voltaic system. Destiny 2’s story was all about discovering a method to regain the Light and, finally, defeat Ghaul–with the assistance of the Traveler, which had been dormant for hundreds of years. Waking the Traveler set all of the occasions we have seen for years in Destiny 2 into movement.
In the aftermath of Ghaul’s demise, Calus and the Leviathan confirmed up within the photo voltaic system. The exiled emperor known as on the remaining Red Legion forces to rejoin him, whereas additionally inviting the Guardians to the Leviathan to fulfill and entertain him. That led to the Leviathan raid, the place gamers fought by means of the ship and its Loyalist forces–which, at this level, had been principally clones Calus had made to serve him utilizing the Leviathan’s particular genetics facilities–and finally took on Calus himself.
Upon killing the emperor, nevertheless, the Guardians realized the reality: They solely beat a robotic lookalike of Calus. And in reality, the emperor had an enormous variety of extra robotic copies at his disposal, which prompt that he wielded an infinite quantity of energy. The lore reveals, nevertheless, that Calus is definitely outdated and sickly, together with his frail physique slowly failing him.
The Crown of Sorrow
Calus endeared himself to the Guardians, calling on their assistance on a number of events and rewarding them with highly effective weapons because of this. The closing time Calus known as on the Guardians, it was to destroy a Hive an infection that had taken over a portion of the Leviathan’s inside.
The infestation began when Calus’s loyalists found a Hive artifact known as the Crown of Sorrow. Calus believed the crown would enable him to regulate Hive forces, to wield them as a military, giving him the means to take again energy among the many Cabal. But Calus was too good to tackle the chance of making an attempt the crown himself–instead, he used the Leviathan’s cloning vats to create a Loyalist named Gahlran who would put on the crown for him. Within moments of his delivery, the crown was fitted on Gahlran’s head, and he instantly misplaced his thoughts.
It turned out that the Crown of Sorrow was a lure, and Calus was proper to have been cautious. It was created by Oryx’s sister, the Hive god Savathun, hoping that she would possibly use it to take management of Calus. Gahlran took over a portion of the Leviathan underbelly with an enormous drive of Hive, so Calus known as on the Guardians for assist. That was the premise of the Crown of Sorrow raid, which noticed groups of Guardians saving the Leviathan from Gahlran and his Hive forces.
After Gahlran was destroyed, Calus stored the Crown of Sorrow. He would give you a use for it sooner or later.
The fall of Torobatl and Caiatl’s arrival
While Ghaul was away from Torobatl, he left Caiatl, the previous Princess-Imperial, in command of the empire. With his demise, she grew to become empress. Her reign hasn’t been a contented one, although. The Hive forces pushing into Cabal territory got here with much more drive, led by Oryx’s different sister and one other Hive god, Xivu Arath. The Cabal had been unable to carry again Xivu Arath’s assault, and finally, the Cabal homeworld of Torobatl fell.
Leading the final determined group of Cabal army forces and civilians, Caiatl took her folks to the one place she knew which may give them an opportunity at survival: Earth’s photo voltaic system. The plan was to collect the remnants of the scattered Red Legion–still a major drive, if leaderless–and return to retake Torobatl. What’s extra, Caiatl and her advisers hoped they could achieve the Guardians as allies of their struggle towards the Hive.
When Caiatl arrived within the photo voltaic system, she struck up a negotiation with Commander Zavala and the Vanguard, however the talks did not go in addition to she’d hoped. The Cabal conquer–they do not provide peace treaties. So Caiatl, pushed by the calls for of custom and saving face earlier than her troopers, provided the Vanguard the possibility to affix the Cabal underneath her rule. Zavala, nevertheless, refused to kneel earlier than the Cabal empress, or anybody. It almost meant struggle between Caiatl and the Vanguard through the Season of the Chosen.
Things modified, nevertheless, as a result of Caiatl will not be the identical as both her father or Ghaul. Caiatl got here to respect the Guardians after they participated in Cabal rights of proving, which Zavala and his advisers used to get rid of harmful Red Legion personnel whereas exhibiting deference to Cabal traditions. Over time, a mutual respect grew between the empress and the Vanguard, and a coalition towards the forces of Darkness slowly got here collectively.
But Caiatl’s option to ally with the Guardians has had repercussions. Her resolution to indicate mercy and contemplate friendship did not sit effectively with all of the Cabal underneath her command, a few of whom imagine the one path ahead must be conquest. While Calus and the Leviathan had gone lacking for greater than a yr, messages despatched from the exiled emperor and relayed by loyalists within the photo voltaic system supplied sad Cabal troops with an alternative choice to Caiatl, and defections have been rampant. Caiatl herself has struggled to flee her lingering doubts about her plan of action. The voice of Ghaul, her mentor who recommended solely energy and railed towards weak spot and mercy, remained at the back of her thoughts. In her Sever mission, we watch Caiatl come to phrases with worries that she is failing Ghaul and her Cabal traditions, deciding that she believes compromise is simply as vital as conquest.
The “youngsters” of Uldren
Caiatl is not the one one who has been coping with voices from her previous in Season of the Haunted. One of the main figures struggling towards Calus’s Nightmares is Crow, who’s haunted by Uldren Sov, the person he as soon as was. We’ve already seen Crow come to phrases with Uldren, however there’s numerous backstory to unpack there, and most of it stretches approach again within the Forsaken enlargement.
Uldren Sov was the brother of Mara Sov, queen of the Awoken, and served as her spymaster and adviser. Mara typically used Uldren as a weapon, realizing that he would do something she wished. Back in The Taken King, Mara led the Awoken fleet towards Oryx and the Hive, executing an elaborate plan to assist the Guardians defeat the Hive god. Mara (apparently) was killed throughout that battle, however Uldren survived. Beset by grief and with out his sister to information him, he wandered the photo voltaic system, getting as much as bother.
Unlike most different people and Awoken within the photo voltaic system, Uldren was near the Eliksni, the race in any other case referred to as the Fallen. There had been Fallen warriors from the House of Wolves who had served Mara for years after the Awoken defeated them in a struggle, and whereas those self same Fallen finally revolted towards Mara, there have been some that Uldren had come to befriend through the years. At some level in his wanderings, Uldren found a dying Fallen named Fikrul. Uldren tried to assist Fikrul however discovered he couldn’t, and simply as Fikrul died, Uldren wished for a method to save him.
What he did not understand on the time was that his want had been granted–by an Ahamkara.
Ahamkara are unusual shapeshifting creatures about which we all know very little about. They had been predators, granting needs that allowed them to feed off different beings and exercising monumental energy due to that capability. The Ahamkara had been such a giant menace in years previous that the Vanguard organized a Great Hunt, through which the Guardians hounded the Ahamkara almost to extinction. But at the least one survived, hidden within the Awoken’s Dreaming City, captured and utilized by Mara Sov. That Ahamkara, Riven, by some means heard Uldren’s want and granted it, reviving Fikrul into an undead Fallen known as the Fanatic who had the power to resurrect different Fallen, creating an entire infinite military of zombie-like creatures referred to as the Scorn.
Eventually, the Fanatic resurrected quite a few different Fallen into Scorn, who grew to become referred to as “barons” and had been loyal to Uldren. They had been basically crime lords, and some had been sadistic monsters. Hunter Vanguard chief Cayde-6, Petra Venj, and quite a few different Destiny aspect characters rounded up the barons and captured them, leaving them within the Awoken’s Prison of Elders. Uldren finally was imprisoned there, too, after turning himself into the Awoken. Before lengthy, nevertheless, Uldren staged a jail break with the Scorn barons, pushed by visions of Mara. During the escape, Uldren killed Cayde, inflicting the participant Guardian to chase him to a area of the Asteroid Belt known as the Broken Shore within the Forsaken marketing campaign.
Though Mara did survive the assault on the Dreadnaught, it is not Mara that Uldren was seeing–it was a imaginative and prescient created by Riven, underneath the management of Savathun. Uldren finally opened the way in which to the Dreaming City for Savathun’s forces, earlier than the Guardian and Petra Venj tracked him down and killed him.
Uldren was later resurrected as a Guardian, who took on the identify of The Crow. Guardians do not bear in mind their previous lives, so Crow discovered himself hated and sometimes even attacked by the folks he encountered, however he had no concept why. Eventually, within the Season of the Lost, Savathun restored Uldren’s reminiscences to Crow, and he has been grappling with Uldren’s less-than-heroic actions ever since. One of the issues the Nightmare of Uldren that Crow had been seeing aboard the Leviathan goaded him with was the truth that Crow is aware of about Uldren’s connection to Fikrul and the Scorn–who contemplate Uldren their “father”–but chooses to do nothing about it.
During Crow’s Sever mission, we see him work to return to phrases together with his previous as Uldren, accepting each the great and the dangerous about his previous self so he can work towards being the form of particular person he desires to be sooner or later. But that leaves an open query about Fikrul and the Scorn.
Right now, the Scorn are absolutely within the thrall of the Witness, and are among the chief enemy forces at present dealing with humanity. That’s a incontrovertible fact that appears to be weighing on Crow. There’s some suggestion that the Fanatic remains to be on the market, too, able to endlessly reviving himself even after Guardians kill him again and again. We could but see Crow attempt to hunt down and try to redeem Uldren’s creations.
Presage of a Leviathan to return
At the beginning of the Beyond Light marketing campaign, Calus and the Leviathan disappeared. Soon after, nevertheless, some proof of what he’d been as much as surfaced, within the type of a ghost ship floating derelict. The Vanguard was drawn to the Cabal ship, the Glykon Volatus, by a misery sign despatched by a Ghost. The participant Guardian boarded the Glykon within the Presage mission to analyze and located the ship coated in an odd fungus known as Eregore, which was teeming with Darkness vitality.
The Vanguard quickly found that the Glykon had been overrun by Scorn, with its Cabal crew murdered. Slowly, the story got here collectively: The Glykon had been commanded by a Guardian named Katabasis, who had served Calus as his “Shadow,” a strong warrior murderer devoted to Calus’s will. The Glykon’s purpose was to attempt to assist Calus make contact with the Witness as soon as once more, one thing he’d apparently managed to do whereas touring throughout his exile, however struggled with since. The loyalists on the ship introduced aboard captured Scorn, creatures created by means of the affect of the Darkness, in hopes that–paired with the Crown of Sorrow–they may open a communications conduit to the Witness.
At first, it did not work, and Calus was despondent. The ship then flew into the Mars Anomaly to attempt to get even nearer to the Witness. When the Beyond Light marketing campaign kicked off, Mars actually disappeared due to the affect of the Witness, together with Io, Mercury, and Titan, though one thing was left behind within the areas the planets as soon as occupied. Calus’s hope was that the proximity to the Darkness’s energy would enable him to achieve the Witness, and apparently, he was proper.
Calus disappeared after his profitable contact, however the Glykon got here again out of the Anomaly…unsuitable. The ship had been twisted, its inside construction modified by unusual forces, and the folks aboard struggling unusual visions and slowly shedding their minds. Eventually, the Scorn grew extra highly effective and broke freed from their containment. The Vanguard found Katabasis lifeless on the bridge of the ship, coated in Eregore fungus, and the Crown of Sorrow within the Glykon’s maintain. The Crown was secured–that’s the way it confirmed up within the HELM in Season of the Haunted–and clearly, Calus took what he found aboard the Glykon a step additional aboard the Leviathan. Just just like the ghost ship, the Leviathan is now coated in Eregore, a bodily, however imperfect, manifestation of Darkness.
Rise of Nightmares
Season of the Haunted is particularly about Nightmares–phantasmal manifestations of grief and remorse created by means of the Darkness. We first noticed these Nightmares again within the Shadowkeep enlargement on the moon, the place they had been created by a Black Fleet pyramid found buried beneath the lunar floor. In Shadowkeep, we realized a bit of about what the Nightmares are all about.
Though they appear to be ghosts, Nightmares are literally an outward manifestation of psychic resonance; in different phrases, they’re roughly reminiscences delivered to life by means of Darkness vitality. On the moon, Nightmares had been created by the pyramid as a form of knee-jerk protection mechanism, and it used the lingering reminiscences of the numerous Guardians killed there prior to now to create the phantoms you see all around the floor. During the Shadowkeep enlargement, Eris Morn was confronted by Nightmare variations of her fireteam, with whom she had descended into the moon’s Hellmouth to combat Oryx’s son, Crota. Everyone within the fireteam was killed apart from Eris, who struggled with survivor’s guilt as soon as she finally made it out of the Hellmouth. So the Nightmares Eris noticed weren’t actually the spirits of her comrades, however fairly her guilt manifested by the pyramid.
Season of the Haunted revisits the idea of Nightmares, with the Leviathan in orbit across the moon with a purpose to make contact with the buried pyramid. This time, the Nightmares aren’t a random protection mechanism; they’re being directed by Calus and channeled by means of the Leviathan. What the pyramid beforehand did routinely to guard itself, Calus is now harnessing as a weapon, and utilizing towards sure characters like Crow, Zavala, and Caiatl particularly.
During the Shadowkeep enlargement, Eris realized that the one method to dispel her Nightmares was to take care of the trauma that was creating them–well, that and a hearty serving to of Hive magic. She’s utilizing those self same strategies in Season of the Haunted, enacting Hive rituals to seize free-floating Nightmares on the Leviathan and to assist the characters take care of their points to transform their private Nightmares into Memories.
So far, that plan has labored. The plan of the season has been to seize and include Nightmares utilizing Hive magic, and within the Sever missions, characters have tried to return to phrases with their private trauma, and that has reworked Nightmares into way more constructive Memories. Pointedly, these manifestations nonetheless exist, however they’re now not purely damaging. What we do not but know is what Calus is making an attempt to do with this stuff. Lore and story factors have prompt that Calus’s reference to the pyramid, the Nightmares, and the Eregore fungus is making a community, a way by which he can join with one thing else–namely, it appears, the Witness. Calus hopes to transcend his physique and turn out to be some harbinger of the top of the universe, serving the Witness. And in response to him, he is already merged with the Leviathan; supposedly, the whole ship is now a part of Calus, and he of it, which is excellently gross and bizarre.
The previous tales of Destiny 2 are undoubtedly informing what is going on on in Season of the Haunted, however there’s nonetheless much more we do not know. The closing mission of the season appears prone to reply just a few lingering questions on Calus’s plan, however the actual head-scratcher is how this may inform upcoming seasons and the subsequent main enlargement, Lightfall. It’s truthful to say that there is extra happening in Season of the Haunted than we’re conscious of, and whereas we would suppose we’re stopping Calus’s plans, they undoubtedly haven’t but been absolutely revealed.
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