The Season of Opulence has so far been filled with surprises (Bad Juju quest) and a really well done new activity in the Menagerie. However, one of the most intriguing parts of the new season revolves around Calus and his plans for the Guardian. So let’s take a look at who Calus is, what he wants, and what that means for the Guardian’s future. This knowledge comes from the lore book, The Chronicon, in the Triumphs’ page. The book claims to be a record of histories, but given who commissioned it, the contents must be read with skepticism.
The Emperor in Exile
The Cabal are, in many ways, the Destiny equivalent of the Roman Empire. This evidence is seen in everything from the Baths on the Leviathan, to the gilded architecture. Calus had lead the Cabal away from their more warmongering ways to a culture of indulgence and excess. This didn’t sit well with the military factions of the Cabal people. Prior to the events of Destiny 2, a coup was lead on the planet Torobatl by Dominus Ghaul, the primary antagonist of the vanilla D2 campaign. However, rather than killing the Emperor, Ghaul sent him in exile aboard the Leviathan along with thousands of his followers on a course that couldn’t be changed, until it was.
A Chance Encounter
After an indeterminate amount of time the ship encountered an anomaly that changed everything. After the pilots and sages on board were unable to determine the nature of the force which buffeted the ship about as if in the midst of a storm, the Emperor himself went out to challenge it. Twelve hours of uncertainty and fear passed before he returned, a stuttering manic shadow of his former self. The Emperor had seen death. He had seen the Darkness, and the Darkness had chosen the Emperor as his herald. As the Darkness had chosen the herald, so the herald chose a darkness of his own, and named them The Shadows of the Clipse, the Sindû.
The Shadows were the greatest warriors of each species the Cabal has encountered. They were to lead the charge in spreading the message of the Darkness, the message of the end of all things. Yet, Calus was still but a man, a man jilted by the people who had forsaken him, and so he betrayed the charge of the Darkness and sent the Shadows after the usurper Ghaul. Not a single Shadow that walked the path of Calus’ revenge returned. Yet, where his Shadows failed, someone succeeded. Someone whom and when Calus arrived in our solar system, there was only one possible choice to be a Shadow. Someone who couldn’t resist all of the gifts he bestowed upon them: You.
A Guardian No More
Starting with the Season of Opulence lore book DCCCVII, the books change to visions of the future. This book is set 8 years past the events that culminated in your defeat of Dominus Ghaul. Whether this is years as we measure them on Earth or not is unclear. This book describes the Guardian accepting the position of Shadow of Shadows and becoming Calus’ right hand. The Guardian is tasked with rebuilding the fallen Shadows, and begins, fittingly enough, with the Fallen. When last we saw Mithrax, he asked for the Guardian’s help. They return to the old Tower in the Zero Hour quest. This vision shows Mithrax being taken on as the Guardian’s apprentice and the first of the new Shadows. Mara Sov rejects the offer to become a Shadow, unsurprisingly. For her defiance and pride she is killed by the Guardian whereupon Petra Venj bends the knee. With his champions at his side, Calus is able to reclaim some of his ancient empire and rebuild his fleet. The Vanguard are rightfully concerned, which brings us to book MCXX.
The Vanguard, united with Rasputin deliver an ultimatum to Calus and the Shadow: “Remove your forces from our planets and moons, or we will respond with deadly force.” This request is denied, and war comes once again to the Solar System. Hellas Basin is reduced to ash. The Vanguard surrender and as the book says, they beg for mercy, which the Shadow denies. The implication is that the Guardian, who has gone through so much with the Vanguard, kills them to appease his master.
These books are written by Psions at the behest of Emperor Calus A man who not only has delusions of grandeur, but a ship of grandeur to match it. His ego is monumental, you have only to look at all the massive statues and the endless series of Automatons that the Guardians destroy as they complete the Leviathan raid. Calus believes himself to be chosen by the Darkness, and what better way to gain favor with such a man so as to tell him the future holds his heart’s desire? An oracle that bears bad news is not an oracle who is listened to, just look at the Trojan War. Yet the Psions know of our affiliation and alliance with Mithrax and Petra Venj. They know enough to sprinkle the future with truth. But truth is hard to come by.
The Season of Opulence has brought us no closer to meeting Calus It also doesn’t seem like Shadowkeep in September will either. So we are left with nothing but prophecies as to what the future holds. Are the Guardians bound by fate? Or do we chose our own?
Eyes up, Guardians.