The Shadow of Earth: "Destiny 2's" Foreshadowing or Alternative Facts?

Updated on August 30, 2019
Nolan Johnson profile image

A 27-year-old nerd who loves writing, history and just learning as much as possible about the world around him.

The Golden Emperor Beckons . . .

With this marking the second day of Season of Opulence in Destiny 2, we Guardians have set off into the final story arc in the Annual Pass. By this point, I mentioned in my previous article about how things would look like going forward, with Calus offering us the opportunity to grow in strength for whatever threat is looming over the horizon. With Bungie gearing up to reveal the next major chapter in their narrative, I want to quickly bring your attention to some interesting stuff I discovered while running about on the Ishtar Collective.

For those keeping up with the lore, thanks to those like My Name Is Byf you may have heard of the Shadow of Earth. As we know, Calus had an elite task force of assassins under him, known as Shadows. These assassins are considered to be the best of the best, each of them a part of a race that Calus ran into during his exile. And the Season of Opulence is his attempt of recruiting us for this "opportunity." I said before that with the way things are going the question of whether or not we would turn to him would arise. And it has. But before we decide on doing that, becoming his "Shadows of Earth," it's best to find out what that entails, exactly. Is siding with Calus to our, and by extension, the universe's benefit?

Calus and the Hive

The Crown of Sorrow Raid has Calus call on his favorite Guardian(s) to solve yet another problem aboard his Leviathan. This time, one of his loyalist, has been corrupted by a Hive artifact that he managed to obtain and we need to do something about it. You may be wondering why Calus even has Hive on his ship in the first place. The answer to that is that he attempted to add the hive to his massive army. And a particular witch decided to mess with him. The Crown of Sorrow, according to the Shadow's Greaves lore item claims it potentially has powers similar to The Taken King. Instead, Galrhan, the designated Loyalist set to command the Hive, was the one taken over. This, according to Calus is the declaration of war between him and the mysterious trickster Savathun the Hive Goddess, the sister of Oryx, the Taken King. But he's not worried. To him, the Hive, are just pretenders, hypocrites. They are not the embodiment of true darkness . . .

He is. And its origin is at the black edge where he experienced his rebirth.

Kinda makes his floating purple head in that pocket dimension make a bit more sense, doesn't it?
Kinda makes his floating purple head in that pocket dimension make a bit more sense, doesn't it?

Based on what we can see thus far, Calus is someone who has a true god complex about him. And by the look of things, it's warranted. So then, what if we took him up on his offer then?

The Shadow of Earth

The Chronicon lore book prefaces itself by saying that everything written within it is fact. Essentially its a book of records detailing a history of Calus' time post-exile and up to our current time after we slay Galrhan. For the first time, we see Calus' POV and we learn, presumably, how he saw things from Ghaul's defeat and his utter obsession with us. His invitation and tests were to prove to himself that what we did was not a fluke. And by not only taking out his Automaton, but going further and defeating Argos and Val Ca'uor did he truly decide that we were to be his.

And we accepted his invitation. By doing this, the lore takes a unique route, showing us a world where we guardians become the Shadow of Earth; Calus' right hand, and, well a servant of one whose a part of the True Darkness. We then set out to draft a new generation of Shadows for Calus. Mithrax, the Light Kell joins and we eliminate any Fallen who held onto their houses. Mara Sov, rejects the offer and is killed on her throne. Petra, on the other hand, joins and slays the remaining Awoken loyalist. The three of us head to an ice planet, one with the mysterious dark creatures and Mithrax is killed in the struggle. The Vanguard catch wind of this and call out Calus' activity, saying to stop the campaign or they will retaliate. We, the Shadow of Earth, makes the following statement during the negotiations:

"Who do you think I am? Without me, you have only a dwindling army of ambivalent soldiers. I am the Young Wolf. I killed the Taken King. I defeated Ghaul, I roused the Traveler, I silenced the Moon, I stopped the invasion, I broke the curse, I broke the Houses, I killed the queen! I am the Shadow of Earth!"

Silencing the moon, breaking the curse and the houses are events that have yet to take place in-universe. Also, on the ice planet, we learn about the highly advanced Aphelion, a race currently unseen in-game, but one referenced in previous lore tabs. With this info in hand, Calus and his Shadows become virtually unstoppable. The Vanguard surrender, and the Shadow of Earth, begins his bloody crusade in the name of the Emperor . . .

The Potential Future We're Looking At

Now, just because the lore is prefaced as historically accurate, doesn't mean it's true. Winston Churchill said once, "History is written by the victors." and clearly Calus has already decided he's going to be the last man standing. Not only that but at the end of some of the lore tabs, it ends with footnotes indicating that the information needs further clarity from future scribes and to delete once these clarifications are made.

That being the case, while on one hand, things could very well end up like this, in another this can just be a fabricated, very biased prediction. Regardless, in this lore, along with the Opulent gear, we learn a number of things about this alternative future but I'll let you figure it out and just mention my 5 favorite ones I find fascinating:

  1. Mithrax becomes the Kell of Light.
  2. Calus can manipulate Quria via the Shadow of the Hive.
  3. Eris IS the Shadow of the Hive, in place of Ghalran
  4. Uldren Sov is hunted down and is killed repeatedly to the bliss of the Shadow of Earth.
  5. Failsafe is split into a pair of Exos, Exodus, and Black, who then destroy each other due to her insanity.

As for a deeper look into each of these, I'm letting Byf and other Loremasters take the helm in that regard. But for right now, this stuff was just TOO GOOD to pass up and speculate on and I'm so stoked to see what Bungie has us going forward. That being said, I hope you enjoyed this and fingers crossed we'll soon learn what the universe is hiding as we approach the newest chapter in our journies.

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