The Leviathan has returned to Destiny 2. Where once its halls were decked in golden opulence, now they lay in quiet filthy squalor. It has transformed into a being reminiscent of Emperor Calus himself: a hollow, terrible thing.
With this change have come new insights and new titbits in the lore that paint a greater picture of the metamorphosis that the Leviathan has gone through – and it isn’t pretty. Many disturbing insights have been revealed in Season of the Haunted around the ship itself, those who lived on it, what they became, the activities Calus performed while he lived here, and much more.
Here are 5 of the most disturbing new bits of lore surrounding the Derelict Leviathan. All the video evidence used has been collected by Destiny Lore Vault so please check them out if you want to see more.
1. The Baths Are Made from Cabal
The Royal Pools is a location that is now explorable in the Derelict Leviathan, but it used to be one of Leviathan’s four Raid encounters. The encounter asked Guardians to curry favour back and forth between several key points of interest, all the while fending off Cabal and the ravenous Bathers that spawned from the ground and avoiding the poisonous water that covered the ground.
That was water, right? Well…
Turns out that isn’t the case. Below the Royal Pools is where Calus’ cloning facilities were located. The Cabal as a species are well acquainted with genetic experimentation and cloning, so this isn’t that concerning (outside of the Bathers born to be killed seconds after their birth by loot hungry Guardians). What Calus reveals to us this season, though, is what the waters were actual made of: it’s no water at all, but liquified Cabal remains.
The liquid that Guardians once had to avoid was actually the remnants of failed genetic experiments undertaken by Calus. There was always this unnatural tint to the Royal Pools encounter, but with this new information in hand looking back on the encounter is even more disturbing. What’s more, is that Calus mentions in another ‘Behold’ patrol that he enjoyed long baths in the Pools to contemplate the universe.
Long baths in the liquid remains of his failed loyalist subjects.
2. Calus Invited and Killed Lightbearers Aboard the Leviathan
The notion that Calus invited Lightbearers and Guardians to his ship is not a new one. In fact, if you were around for the launch of Destiny 2 or received the collector’s edition of the game, you were one of those Guardians who was specifically invited to the Leviathan. Others include the Guardian featured at the heart of last year’s Glykon mission, Katabasis.
What is new information, appears to be that Guardians have visited the Leviathan as it was transforming and have been killed by Calus.
If we are to take the Emperor’s words at face value (who seems to be unusually truthful and honest this season), then he lured in Guardians with loot and honeyed words before torturing them and killing them. As stated by a lore card in the previous season, Ghosts are very hard to destroy: ‘Cold Forging’ from the Quintessence lore book states that a special weapon or a being beyond the laws of causality is required. The fact that Calus was able to completely kill these Guardians, delivering them their ‘final death’, means one horrifying thing.
Calus, or whatever he has become, is now a paracasual being. A true Disciple.
3. Calus Has Massacred Untold Cabal to Fuel The Egregore
The Egregore spores and plants aboard the Leviathan are a new feature, a being of the Darkness. They were previously present on the Glykon, a small ship where Calus was performing experiments on the Scorn in order to bring himself before the Witness and the Darkness. Before now, we didn’t really know much about what they were, apart from the fact that they were (most likely) Dark aligned.
Several ‘Behold’ patrol dialogues reveal their true nature. They grow in great forests and have a physicality similar to the Ley Lines in the Dreaming City, able to reach across the void and connect with one another ethereally. The fact that these fungi are alive and capable of such powers is already creepy enough, but how did they grow on the Leviathan? They were on the Glykon, yes, but there were far fewer back then.
They grow from death.
The implication here is that Calus purposely massacred hundreds, thousands, probably more of his Loyalist army in order to foster the continuous and accelerated spread of the Egregore. That is why there is so much of it across the entire ship despite it taking centuries to develop naturally. This may also be an explanation as to where the beings he kept aboard the Leviathan to service the Menagerie went: the Vex and Hive from the Underbelly also likely went to further the spread of the fungus.
We wade through the sacrifice of hundreds of bodies every time we walk through the Leviathan’s decrepit halls.
4. The Leviathan Is Alive and Growing
Ever since its initial reveal, there has always been something odd about the Leviathan. It always had a semblance of life to its design: something that made it feel alive.
Now, it’s no longer a feeling – the Levithan is alive.
There are actually several pieces of dialogue that refer to the Levithan being alive and its newfound capabilities to ‘grow’: pieces of the hull have somehow ended up below the Royal Baths, energy on the ship is behaving strangely like it’s somehow alive, and Calus mentions that he can feel the new life pulsing through the ship itself. Whatever is happening to the Leviathan it is most certainly being transformed in one way or another – twisted and turned into a new being.
So, if the Leviathan is alive… where is Calus?
5. Calus May Be the Leviathan
Admittedly this is only a theory for now, but there is substantial evidence for it.
Many times when Calus talks of the ‘growing pains’ of the Leviathan, he speaks as if he can actually feel the change himself: the beating of the Leviathan’s heart, the pulse of its veins, he speaks about it in very biological terms. Last we saw of him, Calus had been whisked away by the Darkness itself and now here he is again, returned as a full-fledged Disciple. As with Rhulk, Disciples are given immense amounts of power and influence, so if Calus was promoted to a station of similar standing, what better than to fuse him to the ship that governed much of his newfound life?
Even if Calus hasn’t literally become the Leviathan, he seems to have at least ascended to a point of a hivemind like being. He speaks in very literal terms about how he quashed a rebellion of his loyalists and how they are now of ‘one mind’.
Whatever form Calus has taken, the Darkness has changed both him and the Leviathan itself. If he has fused with the ship, it would almost be a poetic fate for him.
After all, it was the exile aboard the Levithan that caused him to meet the Darkness at all. It would be a fitting tribute to the previous Emperor of the Cabal.
Bonus: Caiatl’s War Beast
This is less of a disturbing fact about the Leviathan and more of a disturbing look at Calus himself.
Within the Pleasure Gardens, there is a massive golden statue of a war beast and Calus has several different lines of dialogue surrounding the creature. He speaks on the bond he used to enforce between Beastmaster and war beast, he speaks of how they used to exclusively dwell on their home planet of Torabatl (before it was eviscerated) and then he also has one talking about Caiatl’s personal war beast, Milos.
Here, Calus shows his true colours as the abused parent he is.
There is actually a piece of lore of this from Caiatl’s perspective on the new Unforgiven submachine gun (this comes from the upcoming Dungeon launching May 27th) and showcases how twisted Calus’ way of thinking truly was. He says that Milos was butchered because Caiatl loved it more than him, but Caiatl reveals that was because the Emperor was never there – he was always drinking and partying – and that he didn’t even kill the beast himself.
Caiatl was willing to forgive him for so much, and then he murdered her dog. For that, she can never forgive him.
Calus and the Leviathan are a continuous fount of lore and intrigue, and I am very excited to see this storyline develop over the season and the upcoming year: hopefully, it involves finding Calus and shooting his stupid ship-face.
The Derelict Leviathan can be explored by all players for free now in Destiny 2, available on PlayStation, Xbox and PC.
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