Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is fast approaching. With that in mind, this is the first in a weekly series exploring the state of each of the Destiny races and the mysteries still to be solved. This series will run every Tuesday until the launch of Shadowkeep on October 1st, 2019. We start with the warmongering race that kicked off Destiny 2, and currently dominates in the Season of Opulence, the Cabal.
Not Just a Bunch of Space Rhinos
The Cabal can be divided into two basic factions, the Loyalists and the Empire.
The Empire is in disarray. At some point in the distant past, the Cabal Emperor Calus was dethroned by Dominus Ghaul and exiled aboard his starship, the Leviathan. The war-mongering Ghaul proceeded to return the Cabal to their more concurring and militaristic ways, eventually culminating in the Red Legion’s invasion of the solar system and attempts to steal the Light from the Traveler. This was ill-fated and Dominus was destroyed by the newly awoken Traveler. Things have not improved much for the Empire since then. A former military commander, Ca’uor assumed command of the Red Legion who led an invasion of the Celestial Observatory aboard the Leviathan to kill the Emperor once and for all, but was thwarted and killed by the Guardian’s raid team. This has left the Red Legion disorganized and disillusioned.
Grow Fat From Strength and Power
The Loyalists follow the rule of the Cabal Emperor Calus, whose visage we have seen, whose voice we have heard, but whose presence we have never graced. The Emperor in exile believes that he has been chosen by the Darkness, the ultimate enemy of the Traveler, to be the herald for the coming end of everything. In fact, the Season of Opulence has peeled back the layers of his motivation more than any other season combined. This season marked our fourth visit to the Leviathan, after experiencing the vessel in the raids Leviathan, Eater of Worlds, and Spire of Stars of seasons past. Yet, the Guardian still has not dealt with the Emperor directly. Despite this, Calus is eager for the Guardian to do his dirty work across the solar system.
The Season of Opulence has been nothing but a bonanza of gift giving in Calus’ eyes. His oft-repeated urge to “grow fat from strength and power” has been backed up with armor sets and weapons from the Menagerie being showered upon the Guardians. Whether this is payment for favors past or a dowry for future endeavors, or both, Calus clearly is smitten.
Most recently, the Guardian was summoned to deal with a Hive infestation, perhaps not unlike what we will see in Destiny: Shadowkeep, that culminated in the defeat Gahlran in the Crown of Sorrow raid. Gahlran was a member of Calus’ elite warrior cadre known as the Shadows before he was consumed by the Crown of Sorrow and his mind lost to Savathûn, the Hive Witch Queen. After Gahlran’s defeat, Calus made his affections for the Guardian official by naming him one of his elite Shadows. Indeed this is a title that the Guardian can now earn by completing activities in the Season of Opulence.
However, some are not thrilled by this turn of events.
The Guardians are not the playthings of an enemy force. Being summoned at will by Calus has not sat well with some inside the Tower, specifically, Aunor Mahl. The Warlock member of the Praxic Order has grown increasingly uncomfortable with the Guardian’s willingness to fight the Emperor’s enemies. This has been especially true after seeing the Guardian’s association with the Drifter just a season ago. However, the Vanguard are unconcerned, after all, how could they be? The Guardian has never made a wrong move. How could someone like him be corrupted?
The Big Questions
Each of these articles will end with a look at the major questions that relate to each of these species. Given the recent focus, we don’t expect much from the Cabal in Destiny 2: Shadowkeep except an appearance by Nightmare Ghaul.
What is Going on with the Almighty?
One of the most impressive levels of Destiny 2 saw the Guardian tasked with disabling the Cabal superweapon as it threatened to destroy the Sun. The Guardian sabotaged the weapon, but the Almighty still sits there, waiting. The only info since then is that, a guardian team set off a trap while scavenging. The trap, a bit of Vex tech, resulted in one guardian being stuck in a 50,000 year time slowing field. A Vex booby-trapped Cabal superweapon sounds like a good opportunity for a secret mission to me.
What is Calus’ deal?
Four raids have now taken place on the Leviathan. We have saved Calus from Cabal assassins, Hive infiltration, and Vex plots; yet, we still have yet to meet the man behind the curtain. During the Season of Opulence, he has spoken many times to the Guardian through his robotic proxies, which is disappointing. Perhaps the only true image we have seen of him came in the original Leviathan raid. The Guardian’s fireteam is transported into an Ascendant Realm during the final encounter, and Calus’ face is shown. Calus is one of a few non-Hive/Taken creature to have an Ascendant Realm, which in and of itself is significant. Many believed that the Season of Opulence would culminate with an appearance by the man himself. They seem destined for disappointment though as the Season spins down.
Where are the Anatheum Worlds?
The Anatheum worlds are referenced in grimoire cards as worlds of great treasure and weaponry. The Cabal Empire lost these worlds, and Calus is eager to reclaim them. His desires are so strong that their reclamation is foretold in the lore book Chronicon. One in particular, Anatheum World X is thought to have been visited during the Drifter’s travels outside of the Solar System. Is this foreshadowing to future Destiny missions? Or merely a Psion Oracle trying to appease an insatiable Emperor?
That’s all for the Cabal, join us next week as we dive into the Hive! And check out our weekly Destiny podcast breaking down all the latest on Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, The Last Word with Lord Cognito and Ebontis every Friday, your go-to looter shooter podcast.