Destiny 2: Lightfall's Best Story Happens After The Campaign, Here's Everything We've Learned
Lightfall's story centers on the intersection of psychic abilities and technology.
Although the Witness and its Pyramid Fleet arrived in our Solar System and entered Earth's orbit in the Destiny 2: Lightfall campaign, the sudden importance placed on an object called the Veil meant the fight instead took place in a futuristic city on Neptune. Lightfall has received criticism for its vague storytelling; despite nearing the end of the Light and Darkness saga, it left the Veil, the Witness's motives, and the metaphysical kaleidoscope portal on the Traveler shrouded in mystery.
Bungie took the unusual step of promising more details on the Veil will be revealed as part of a mission during Season of Deep that will be available to all Lightfall owners, but for now, we're left with many questions. However, several other story threads found through post-campaign quests provide further context and interesting new story threads. Here are some key details we've learned after wrapping up Lightfall's campaign.
The Vex Network has its secrets
Players last ventured into the Vex Network with the help of Misraaks during Season of the Splicer to end the Endless Night in the Last City. Now, we once again hop into the Vex Network because of its connection to the CloudArk, which holds together Neomuna and where the Neomuni have uploaded their consciousnesses while in a cryogenic state.
During the Spire of the Watcher dungeon, we learn that the Ishtar Collective and a fragment of the artificial intelligence Soteria departed Earth to save humanity during the Collapse--Maya Sundaresh, an Ishtar Collective Vex researcher from Venus, is a founder of Neomuna. Compellingly, the Sol Divisive, Vex followers of the Witness, were searching for something at the Spire. They could be searching for Soteria, or the blueprint for the Sol Divisive's failed attempt to recreate the Veil--which we learn was the same Black Heart we destroyed in Destiny 1.
Throughout the Hall of Heroes quests, we learn the history of Neomuna and its legendary Cloud Striders and repeatedly hear of a newly discovered Occlusion in the CloudArk that has existed since its creation. Strider, the first Cloud Strider, was the first known person to interact with this Occlusion. Neomuna's city archivist, Quinn Laghari, states that Strider hid the Occlusion--and covered up the fact that it is inherently Vex. During the events of Lightfall, the Vex detected the Occlusion and started searching for this Vex Mind in the CloudArk.
At the end of the Strider questline, a message says, "SELF=output:vex::output:soteria//SUBJECT=paracausal.hero//I ENDURE. GRATITUDE," which seems to confirm theories that the Occlusion is actually an aspect of Soteria. Aside from filling in this aspect of the lore, the message also contains a potentially critical piece of information for what could be the next step in the story: It says that Saturn VI has vital information and that an enemy of the Witness is living on Titan. Titan is the Golden Age-colonized moon of Saturn that disappeared from the Solar System along with Io and Mars (the latter of which reappeared as part of the Witch Queen campaign). It's possible a return to Titan could be a way for the now-deceased Savathun to play a role again since the Strike Savathun's Song--the name of the witch's deceptive tune--took place on Titan. She could have hidden something on the moon of Saturn as she had hidden the Traveler from the Witness during the Collapse.
The Vex Network also explained what Asher Mir, a mad scientist from Io whose arm is part Vex and was the planetary vendor on Io, had been up to ever since he and Io disappeared. In an unexpected development, the VexNet was open to us without needing to splice our way through, much to the surprise of Misraaks. Additionally, a signal was detected that asked us to explore further into the network. As part of the Avalon mission, Misraaks explains that, sacrificially, Asher merged with the Vex to learn about the Pyramid ships, the Vex, eventually stumbling across a diagram of the Veil through many simulations. From his place inside the VexNet, Asher leads us to the Exotic Vexcalibur and has us defeat the Variant Stalker Brakion that is trying to remove Asher’s presence.
Even with Asher's discovery, the Veil is still a mystery. However, a news alert by Jisu Calerando on Neomuna says the portal created on the Traveler is possibly an Einstein-Rosen bridge (a hypothetical type of wormhole that connects two points in time). That's considered possible through Vex technology, but in a world of paracausal powers, the exact nature of the portal is inconclusive. This isn't the first time the Traveler has been associated with time travel, with the Exo Stranger, Elsie Bray, trapped in a time loop that resets whenever the Traveler dies. Osiris also mentioned to Elsie in Season of the Seraph that "it feels as though the Traveler has a plan for you, we can't see it just yet," but the answer may lie on the other side of the portal.
Nezarec and psychic powers
Consciousness and psychic powers--two things closely associated with the Darkness--have been recurring themes in Lightfall. Nezarec, a Disciple of the Witness, led the Pyramid Fleet to the Solar System, causing the Collapse, but lore attached to the K1 anomaly used by Clovis Bray shared stories of people on the Moon who suffered psychological trauma at the hands of Nezarec's Nightmares. Nezarec was teased as a powerful psychic, and relics of his dead body were powerful enough for Misraaks to wake Osiris from his coma in Season of Plunder. During the Root of Nightmares raid, we learn Savathun was responsible for Nezarec's original death and had taken the Veil from him and hid it on Neptune.
At the start of Lightfall, when the Witness arrived at Earth, the Traveler fired a burst of Light at its Pyramid ship, terraforming it with strange flora. When you venture into the terraformed Pyramid ship during the raid, you pollinate seeds of Light and Darkness to grow what seems to be the fabled Tree of Silver Wings, consequently resurrecting Nezarec into a being able to wield overwhelming Energy, Resonance, and even the Light. Although Nezarec is a psychic being that spreads Nightmares and pain, we don't see much of it in the raid besides cryptic whispers. However, his use of the Psionic Void blasts stood out. Psions have mysteriously championed psychic powers according to the lore--with psychic technology like the OXA Machine and "a psychic plane where thoughts manifest into physical reality" called the Mindscape. We defeat Nezarec in the raid, but his psychic history with the Psionic people and relation to the Veil is still puzzling.
This juxtaposition of psychic abilities and the physical plane has been a recurring theme in post-campaign activities like Nezarec haunting the consciousness of the Neomuni living in their intangible glowing bodies through the CloudArk or Mara Sov and the Techeuns relying on the extradimensional Ascendant Plane. With everyone else around us freely channeling these psychic abilities, Guardians were trailing behind by only being able to use the Darkness's Deepsight clairvoyance in Savathun's Throne World. Finally, Guardians also had their third eye awakening through the mystic ability of the Darkness subclass Strand--the Veil's paracausal byproduct, although the Veil is still related to the Traveler--using telekinesis, allowing us to pull on the threads of reality.
We don't yet understand how Strand relates to the Veil, why Nezarec had the Veil before Savathun defeated him, the psychic relation between Nezarec and the Psions, or what dimension the Traveler portal leads to, but all of these are transcendental in nature. Lightfall's post-campaign story sets the stage for upcoming plots and storylines that separate material space and time through technology and paracausal powers.
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