Today marks the beginning of the haunting season, a new chapter in the ongoing story of Destiny 2. New players and experienced parents are similarly responding to the call because of the threat of a sudden return to our galaxy. In this new season we find traces of tragic conspiracies, related family quarrels and unfulfilled aspirations – no, need – to party to the end of the universe.
These references are all chapters of a story that began long before our parents and hopefully will survive long after their lights go out. As we discover the characters, locations, and items, new parts of that story are clicked in places like space-magic puzzle pieces. And you don’t know, there’s someone in Bungie who’s dedicated to solving puzzles.
We sat down to discuss some of the elements present in the haunted season, where this story began and how the rift created long ago between an iconic emperor and his daughter brought the ghosts of the past to the doorstep of humanity.
Without further ado, I’m presenting Bungie’s Destiny Historian Ashley Flanagan.
Legend: An Emperor Drift
Richard Barrick: Thank you so much for spending this time with us today. Let’s start with who you are and how you got here.
Ashley Flanagan: My name is Ash. I am the historian of Bungie’s Destiny. This isn’t the first time I’ve been to this kind of historian, though not always for video games. I did a masters in Roman history and I taught it for a few years as an assistant professor যা which is very relevant to the cable staff we’re going to talk about today. I got into the game about ten years ago when some of my friends started working on an indie video game and asked me if I wanted to write something for it.
Having a background in real-world history makes it relevant because I like to search through information and identify what a reliable source is. An unusual thing about Destiny is that much of our knowledge has been filtered through characters who can be unfaithful narrators — I mean, are you going to accept what Savathun said?
Well, it looks like you’re the perfect person to talk about Season of the Haunted. There are two elements of that season that get even cooler when you learn more about them, Callas and his huge planet-consuming ship, the Leviathan. Let’s start with the callus; Who is he?
Former Emperor of Calais Cable. Most cable players take part in the military, so it’s easy to think of all of the cable culture as super-military. But Callas is different in that he is a bit of a hedonist. He thinks the military is a means to an end, and that the end is always a good time. Everyone else can have a great time (unless they get in the way). For this reason, Callas was quite a popular emperor in most accounts.
But it made him an enemy in the military. His reign came to an end when Caiatl (his daughter) and a group of his closest confidants plotted to overthrow him in an event known as the Midnight Uprising.
Hearing Callas say this, they had a big mistake that he was very popular for murder. So, the solution they came up with was to put him on a ship, disable the navigation system and send it deep into space.
So, Callas was exiled and flowed through the stars of Leviathan until one day he looked at the void and got a deep experience where he felt that something was looking back. He had an epiphany where he believed that the whole universe had an inevitable end. He decided that the only thing he could do was try to have as much fun as he could.
What was the reason for the “games” he played with the Leviathan Back Guardians during the Destiny 2 launch?
Yes, he should be entertained all the time. As far as Callas is concerned, even for five seconds his light boredom is the worst thing that can happen.
Callas really likes parents until they get in his way. He thinks they are really fun and exciting. He likes to give parents promising rewards and bribes to fight for it. Vanguard really hates that parents are sensitive to flattery and bribery.
So, he got exiled, got this epiphany and then decided to give up his hedonism and get the most out of it. Was he at all impressed that he had been betrayed by his daughter and close friends?
It affected him very much. He was too depressed to do anything about it until he had the experience of looking at emptiness. This prompted him to take control of Leviathan, turn it into a joy barge, and start recruiting champions to avenge all the conspirators involved in the midnight coup. This is when he decides to go to the Soul system and find Gaul.
The Destiny 2 Collector’s Edition actually had a printed list of the names of those who betrayed him. And Gaul was at the top of that list.
Why is that? Who was Gaul?
Gaul’s story draws from Roman history, which has always been a major inspiration for Cable. He was abandoned as a child and was raised by one of Callas’ political enemies with whom he had wronged on the way to becoming emperor. Gaul was for a time a gladiator – one of Callas’ favorites – whom he began to see as a son he had never met. He eventually joined the Court of Calais and became a leader in the military. Thus, it was quite brutal for Callas when he was deposed by a conspiracy to replace Gaul with the throne. It was almost as big a betrayal as taking part in his own daughter, though not quite.
We met his daughter, Caiatl, in Season of the Season, didn’t we? Why did he go along with it?
Gaul was a man who admired Keitel, or else he would never have taken part in the conspiracy. He did this because he thought he would be a better leader for Cable than his father. For a long time, he saw Gaul as the kind of soldier he wanted to be and the kind of leader he wanted to be.
He does not approve of what he has done in Destiny 2. For him, it was like your idol falling off this foot. And he now realizes that he has always had these big flaws, and he has made some really dumb decisions that he will never approve of.
But she still has these feelings about him when she saw him as her hero, and whether she’s still thinking He Will approve anything She Whether he will be proud of the Gaul he remembers.
He seems to have more to do with Gaul than his funny father. What was his relationship with Callas before he was fired?
Caiatl never understood his father because he was a cable soldier and much more compatible with the military part of their culture. She didn’t get her whole “party” thing.
In the future, we are going to get more into cable family life. What was the paternity for Callas, what was Catal’s childhood, and we’ll see Catal is trying to understand his father-trying to understand if he has a reason for what he is like. Since the midnight coup, their relationship has largely tried to kill each other. But I think if you ask the two of them, they will say there was a time when they loved each other.
Since Caiatl came to our galaxy, he has formed an alliance with Vanguard. Looks like it will only complicate matters for her and Callas.
Forming an alliance with a new Empress Vanguard against other Cabal groups was indeed a huge and risky decision. We’re going to watch him wrestle with him and try to find a balance this season.
Apart from his quest for fun and revenge, what else does Kallus have? Leviathan looks different than the last time we saw him. It reminds me of the ship we saw on the press mission a few seasons ago. Callas had a relationship with that ship, didn’t he?
Kalus is doing some experiments using an artifact known as the Crown of Sorrow. Presage was part of that ship. Because of his partying, we don’t really think of Callas as an intellectual, but he was fascinated to learn more about the nature of darkness from that experience where he looked into the void and felt that something was looking back on him.
I guess it would be foolish to assume that we know everything about Callas. For example, we know Leviathan is approaching a pyramid ship on the moon, but we do not know why. Can you talk about this?
We’re going to learn a lot more about the history of the Black Fleet soon, so I don’t want to say too much, but some way back on the moon terrible things were happening. Destiny’s moon is usually bad news.
It’s about that vibe. Sorry, Moon.
We hope you enjoy learning about one of Destiny’s favorite cable icons. And we hope that when you board the Derelict Leviathan this season, it will help you to appreciate the ship’s journey and how you are now part of its history.
The spooky season is starting from today. Everyone can play for free or unlock some extra features of the season by picking a season pass. On behalf of everyone at Bungie, we look forward to seeing you in-game – writing your own legend on the star.