Feature Article

Iron Banter: This Week In Destiny 2 — The Dangling Threads

Destiny 2 is in a lull period as we wait for the 30th Anniversary content due in December, which makes this a great time to ponder stories that are still unfolding.

The Techeuns have been gathered and the Festival of the Lost is over, and so we've entered a period of Destiny 2 in which, uh... not a lot is happening. Bungie is still keeping busy with its weekly adjustments and tweaks to the Trials of Osiris, and it's been really fascinating to watch the process as the developer works to enhance that mode. But November is something of a catch-up month for Destiny 2 players. We've got some time to kill.

I missed last week's Iron Banter, so this is a good catch-up opportunity for me as well. Rather than talk about the ongoing Trials experiments once again--we'll probably do that next week--this feels like a good chance to look around the world of Destiny 2 and think on all the things that haven't been a part of the Season of the Lost. A lot of story ideas are in motion in various corners of the solar system, and it's not clear where they're headed or how they'll converge. So let's talk about the threads that remain dangling.

The Missing Emperor And The Struggling Empress

Calus was an ominous and constant presence in the solar system up until recently, so what happened to him?
Calus was an ominous and constant presence in the solar system up until recently, so what happened to him?

Last season, before Osiris was revealed as Savathun and we were semi-going to war with Cabal Empress Caiatl, we spent a lot of time on the Glykon, the derelict Cabal ship that served as the setting for the Presage mission. Central to that mission was a singular question: What happened to Emperor Calus, formerly of the Leviathan that sat in our solar system for years?

This is something I've been meaning to bring up here for a bit, and just as I was preparing to do so, YouTuber lore daddy Byf dropped a video running down similar questions and thoughts. As always, his is a good assessment of the situation and its greater implications.

Byf focuses on the question of whether Calus is dead--something suggested by the whispers you can hear within the Glykon, some of which are Calus' voice, some of which are the voices of other dead folks. We've seen for a while now that the Darkness has some connection with the dead and can use their voices, so hearing Calus in there suggests he might have bought it during the big communion experiment at the center of Presage's story.

But characters this season have acknowledged that Calus is, to some degree or another, still a variable. We know from the Presage mission that the Glykon managed to enter one of the anomalies where the planets missing from our solar system used to be, and we know he managed to use the Scorn and the Crown of Sorrows, in some way, to seemingly talk to the Darkness. And then he disappeared. That's a lot of setup just for him to die offscreen, seems like.

So the question is, what does Calus communing with the Darkness mean, what happened to him, and when will he be back? Is he still something of a pal to us, given how much we helped him over on the Leviathan? The Calus situation might linger in the background for a while, but this feels like an essential piece of the puzzle as we near Lightfall in 2023.

I'm going to use this opportunity to plug my half-defunct Destiny lore Tiktok project that I may or may not ever return to.

Meanwhile, Empress Caiatl isn't a major part of the current season, but she's definitely still a player in the overall picture. Caiatl has popped up in background lore from time to time, and even sent a message to Zavala asking if the Cabal and the Vanguard should team up to nuke the Dreaming City as a way to eliminate Savathun. Zavala turned that idea down, but diplomatic talks are still open with the Cabal Empress, who has been actively engaged in battling the forces of Xivu Arath. We know Crow is currently liaising with the Cabal, and an angry Lord Saladin has been paling around with them too, infuriated by the Osiris/Savathun betrayal.

Caiatl has a score to settle with Xivu Arath and we spent a whole season earning her respect while refusing to bend the knee and join her empire. Seems like further developments for an alliance--or not--are forthcoming, and the political situation has changed. Caiatl demanded Zavala pledge fealty because the honor and strength customs of the Cabal required it. But there's a war on and the Hive are gunning for everyone, and Caiatl seems more pragmatic than stalwart. I'm expecting more Cabal negotiations to kick off sooner rather than later, maybe as soon as Vanguard missions start delving into Savathun's throne world.

The Friendly Harpy

The Harpy could be the key to future diplomacy with the Vex, as well as building the robots as actual characters.
The Harpy could be the key to future diplomacy with the Vex, as well as building the robots as actual characters.

The Season of the Splicer ended with a Vex incursion into the City, and with it came a moment in which you could find a Vex Harpy that wasn't aggressive, but instead seemed to try to communicate. The Morse code message the Harpy seemed to be saying was "Assistant," which everyone in the Destiny 2 community took to mean that former Io quest-giver Asher Mir was trying to contact us.

Questions linger about the Harpy's deal--had Asher been transformed or downloaded into the robot, or was he using the robot sort of like a walkie-talkie to make contact from some other place? Either way, it suggested a kind of "inside man" within the Vex collective, and potentially, a way to make the Vex allies themselves. After all, in the Season of the Splicer, the Vex seemed to be enthralled by the Quria, a Taken Vex mind under the control of Savathun. Thus, Savathun presents as much a threat to the Vex as she does to everyone else.

There's a lot we just don't know about the Vex generally, but we do know they're used as a weapon, to some degree, by the Darkness. The Glassway Strike on Europa is all about how the Darkness told Clovis Bray to build a portal to a Vex planet, only for the Vex to invade Europa in response. It seems like we're due to actually start interacting with the Vex as a people though, and the Asher/Harpy connections seems like an in-road to do that, especially as we move toward facing Savathun.

The Sisters Bray And The Warmind

Elsie worked to change the Dark Future timeline of her origin to save Ana, so there's definitely more to see with both characters.
Elsie worked to change the Dark Future timeline of her origin to save Ana, so there's definitely more to see with both characters.

A big part of the Europa expansion was understanding the drama of the Bray family, with the Exo Stranger revealing herself as Elsie Bray, sister to Ana Bray (formerly quest-giver on Mars) and granddaughter to Clovis Bray (megalomaniacal Golden Age inventor of Exos and all-around bastard). Elsie also told us her whole deal: She's been traveling from timeline to timeline, affecting changes in an attempt to keep the solar system from falling to the Darkness. So far, she's failed--a lot. This time, she's trying something new: namely, all the stuff with us, and a different approach to dealing with Ana.

In the future that Elsie has seen, the Dark Future lore book, we find out that the Darkness and Stasis manage to corrupt a huge number of Guardians. That includes Eris Morn (more on her in a second), who becomes the leader of the bad guys, overtaking even Savathun. The Vanguard and remaining champions of Light in the solar system eventually lose everything, especially when it turns out that Ana was a double agent working for Eris all along, and Elsie is forced to kill her.

To prevent the Dark Future, Elsie revealed herself to Ana during the Beyond Light expansion and the two confronted the giant Exo Clovis Bray head on Europa. But where things go with Ana and Elsie from here is unclear. Elsie helped all of us understand Stasis so we (hopefully) wouldn't be corrupted by it, and her story, along with Ana's, is on hold for the time being. But with close ties to the Darkness, there must be more going on with these two.

Ana's story also includes the Warmind Rasputin, who was basically annihilated by the Darkness upon its arrival. Ana has been building Rasputin an Exo body for a while now, although she's been unsuccessful in waking him up, apparently. Still, that thread has to go somewhere. Rasputin was far too big of an addition to the Destiny universe to just tap out. We're still waiting to find out what happens when the Warmind suddenly has the ability to walk around and do stuff.

What's Eris Morn Doing?

Eris is highly wrapped up in studying the Darkness, understanding Stasis, sussing out Savathun's nonsense, working for the Vanguard, and serving Mara Sov.
Eris is highly wrapped up in studying the Darkness, understanding Stasis, sussing out Savathun's nonsense, working for the Vanguard, and serving Mara Sov.

In a recent interview with GamesRadar, Bungie talked about its current approach to story and the Season of the Lost, noting that for the sake of time and storytelling, not every important character could be featured in the season's story. One big, somewhat glaring omission is Eris Morn. Our resident Hive and Savathun expert, Eris has been a major part of understanding the Hive's doings since Destiny 1's first expansion, The Dark Below. She's been a major part of the study of the Darkness as well as Savathun all along, and she has big ties to Mara Sov, the Awoken queen--Eris is her agent, just like she's an agent of Ikora Rey as a member of the Hidden.

Eris has a big stake in the current story, but she's not a part of it mostly for the consideration that having her present would be too many things. But Eris is going to show up again soon, of that we can be pretty sure. She's too close to all these things not to be a part of it. What's more, though, there's all that Dark Future stuff, and that directly concerns Eris' ties to the Hive, Stasis, and her communions with the Darkness on the Moon and Io.

The Season of the Lost has dealt a lot with Crow being Uldren, his ties to Savathun, and what all of that might mean for his character going forward. But just as potentially fraught with evil potential is Eris Morn, who the game has teased as being maybe privy to some Darkness-related things that she hasn't really divulged. Eris has been haunted by Darkness-induced nightmares, she's been studying the Darkness's communications and Savathun's plans, she's been helping Mara Sov execute her own machinations, and she's been messing around with Stasis. There's a reason Eris is at the center of the Dark Future in Elsie Bray's timeline--there's a lot more going on with her than has yet been revealed.

The last tidbit about Eris might come from a newly released teaser for Destiny 2's Savathun-centric expansion, The Witch Queen. Bungie's social videos for the expansion have teased the mystery you'll be trying to solve in the expansion, but the latest one is wholly focused on the idea that not everyone we currently trust is trustworthy.

Previously, it looked like the board of threads was something Ikora had been making and studying. But in this trailer, Ikora is one of the people whose trustworthiness is being questioned. So whose board is this?

Maybe this is a nothing idea, a mere combination of elements for marketing purposes that aren't actually indicative of story. But Bungie is usually pretty good about making things that seem like clues actually turn out to be clues, which makes me wonder if we're not seeing someone else puzzling through these mysteries--namely, perhaps, Eris Morn. It already feels like paranoia is getting to Eris, with the Vanguard's resistance to her stance on Stasis and the seemingly cold shoulder she's gotten from Mara (there's lore from Beyond Light in the "On Stasis" lore book that make it sound like Eris is advocating for Stasis to the Awoken queen, knowing full well that Mara would definitely not approve). What if Savathun's machinations are pushing Eris to the brink?

There's more even just from this year (I'm still thinking about what the Traveler wanted with Crow back in the Harbinger mission), but we'll wrap it up there. Suffice to say that the story of Destiny 2 is still very broad, very dense, and very full of possibilities as we approach December and beyond. Let us know what weird lore tidbits and story beats are nagging at the back of your mind in the comments.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.


Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a former senior writer at GameSpot and worked as a journalist for newspapers and websites for more than a decade, covering video games, technology, and entertainment for nearly that long. A freelancer before he joined the GameSpot team as an editor out of Los Angeles, his work appeared at Playboy, IGN, Kotaku, Complex, Polygon, TheWrap, Digital Trends, The Escapist, GameFront, and The Huffington Post. Outside the realm of games, he's the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler's Guide to Time Travel and The Space Hero's Guide to Glory. If he's not writing about video games, he's probably doing a deep dive into game lore.

Destiny 2

Destiny 2

Back To Top