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

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 . . .

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When the Season of Opulence in Destiny 2 kicked off in the summer of 2019, we Guardians set off into the final story arc in the 2019 Annual Pass. By this point, I mentioned in one of my previous articles 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 at the time, I wanted to quickly bring your attention to some interesting stuff I discovered while running about on the Ishtar Collective, some of which still remains to be fascinating facets up to the newest expansion, Beyond Light in Fall 2020.

For those keeping up with the lore, thanks to those like My Name Is Byf you may have heard of the Shadow of Earth. And even though most of the community has written all of this off as glorified fanfiction, I'm a hopeful skeptic who thinks that some of these lore bits hint at upcoming content in some form or another. Besides, we know that Calus had an elite task force of assassins under him, known as Shadows. These assassins were 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 was his attempt of recruiting us for this "opportunity." I stick by with what I said before, that with the way things are going, Calus remains to be a mysterious anomaly, three years in. Back then, the question of whether or not we would turn to him arose before us. And its safe to say that with post Beyond Light's launch, this opportunity may very well be before us once again. Regardless, if we ever did we decide on becoming his "Shadows of Earth," it's probably best to find out what that would entail, exactly. Would siding with Calus be to our, and by extension, the universe's benefit?

Calus and the Hive

Let's start off the discussion with Season's 8 Raid. The Crown of Sorrow Raid has Calus call on his favorite Guardian(s) (us) to solve yet another problem aboard his Leviathan. This time, one of his loyalists, 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've seen 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's to be expected if we took him up on his offer then, or possibly in our near future?

The Shadow of Earth

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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 learned, 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, could be us Guardians putting to rest the machinations of the Scarlet Keep during the events of Shadowkeep, where as taking down the Houses, could be a hint to us going up against the new Devil Kell Eramis in Beyond Light. The Breaking of the curse, presumably the Dreaming City Curse will most likely be a factor in 2021's expansion, the Witch Queen.

While this mentions an "ice planet", Europa, our new upcoming destination, is an icy moon, which leaves this, as well as the highly advanced Aphelion, to continue to be strictly a reference in lore tabs. In any case, we see 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 (Of course, this is all AU Fanfiction until proven otherwise). Doesn't help at all that 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. Even so, Winston Churchill said once, "History is written by the victors," and it's clear that Calus has already decided he's going to be the last man standing.

With all that said, on one hand, some of these could very well come true, as we enter the new Era of Darkness. Between the Darkness subclasses, and Calus disappearing when Beyond Light hits (my theory he's gonna search for Savathun in the year's time), I'd make the arguement that its plausable to some extent. Otherwise, all of this is just an obnoxiously biased fanfiction and nothing more. Regarding the lore though that the Opulent Gear did provide us, I listed some that I found to be very fascinating, and that have either have heavy implications of coming true, or have had similar outcomes, particularly 1 and 4 of my list (for the former and latter respectively.)

  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.

Mithrax becoming the Kell of Light is true, as Mithrax was the former Captain that we saved on Titan, who also aided us in securing Outbreak Prime from Eramis' claws, so we can expect Beyond Light and beyond to feature him being a prominent factor.

The Uldren Sov storyline has been dripped throughout the last year and a half or so, where lots of Guardians have discovered and have had mixed reactions to seeing him, the latter of whom has been stripped of his memories and can't make heads or tails about the reactions. Our Guardian has yet to run into him, and time will tell how we react to seeing him.

In any case, that's enough out of me. Thanks for reading and I hope that you all stay safe and prepare for the next Era on the horizon with Beyond Light and beyond.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Nolan Johnson