Destiny 2’s season 21 took players back to the Saturnian moon Titan after its mysterious reappearance in the Sol system. This season was packed full of familiar faces, Hive gods, and lots of swimming. Season of the Deep centred around the disappeared Titan and built onto the events of the game’s most recent DLC Lightfall. Ahead of Season 22, we look back at the Season of the Deep Lore. In this recap, we bring Destiny players up to speed with the current lore in-game. Right in time for the Destiny 2 Showcase Event. Additionally, right before we learn more about The Final Shape.
Season of the Deep began with the return of Titan and a distress signal from Deputy Commander Sloane (Cissy Jones). Sloane sent out this distress call not for herself however and for her new companion Ahsa, a Proto-worm of Fundament. Guardians, alongside Commander Zavala, Saint-14, Lord Saladin and Drifter, arrive on the planet. Here they find that the Hive god of war, Xivu Arath (Kimberly Brooks), is attempting to take Ahsa to strengthen herself. Sloane explains that she and Ahsa have formed a bond that allows them to communicate. We also learn that Ahsa possesses important knowledge about The Witness.
Player’s spent the season working alongside Drifter to use his repurposed technology to strengthen the bond between Ahsa and Sloane. The weekly seasonal missions, ‘Deep Dives’, tasked Guardians with diving down into Titan’s methane sea to dig up Egregore Coral. As each week passed, Sloane transcribed several cryptic statements from the Proto-worm. Most of these alluded to the relationship between The Traveller and The Witness and their pursuit of The Final Shape.
In the season’s final weeks, Ahsa gives us critical information on The Witness and where to turn next for answers. This is where the Season of the Deep Lore builds. The closing mission of the season requires us to rescue Ahsa from the grasp of Xivu Arath. The Hive god has constructed a ritual to Take the Proto-worm and prevent us from learning about The Witness. Guardians successfully prevent this plot and we return to the H.E.L.M to receive a final message.
Ahsa’s final message is, “The true path lies obscured. But she knows the way. She who hides truth… in deception. The Witch Queen… must rise.”. Season of the Deep closes out by setting us on a path to find Savathun’s ghost, Immaru, and revive her. The main storyline for this season isn’t the only important lore that was revealed to us.
The Witness’ Origins
After several weeks Ahsa reveals to us The Witness’ backstory. This is a critical bit of Season of the Deep Lore. The story opens on a struggling civilisation blessed by The Traveller’s gifts. We see this civilisation flourish and construct cities, technology and, most notably, the Pyramid Ships. However, the civilisation desired more for purpose. Their scholars discovered that The Traveller, here named The Gardener, was connected to an entity they named The Veil. This civilisation studies The Light and finds that whilst it holds great power and prosperity, it can also cause great chaos.
They decide that The Gardener would need some kind of winnower to carve away this chaos, and they find this in the form of The Darkness after they study The Veil. After this discovery, they bring The Veil back to The Traveller to strengthen the connection between the two and reshape reality into The Final Shape. The Traveller did not like this at all and fled the world of this civilisation, abandoning them.
After this, the civilisation decides to utilise The Darkness and combine themselves into one being, The Witness. This begins their pursuit for The Traveller across the Sol system and leads us to where we currently stand in Destiny lore.
The Gardener and The Winnower
We learn from this cutscene that The Final Shape is a concept of reality where chaos does not exist and life and reality are considered to be in a perfect state. Ahsa’s reveal about The Witness’ origin links the current state of Destiny lore back to ideas we have seen throughout the past 9 years in the game. The Gardener and The Winnower is a concept consistently used to describe the relationship between The Light and The Dark. We can confirm that these entities are The Traveller and The Veil.
We also learn that The Witness isn’t just one big bad enemy. It is the collective consciousness of a civilisation that became highly advanced because of The Traveller’s gifts and is now hell-bent on the reform of reality itself. In the lore book ‘Purpose’, we see Ikora Rey describe The Witness and the upcoming battle against it with the quote “We are at war with an entire civilisation condensed into an individual. Multitudes of resentment and hatred crushed into a singularity.”
Sloane, Xivu Arath and The Taken
As the season progresses, we learn that Xivu Arath has taken Sloane and see her mind begin to fall to the Hive God of War’s grasp. Through the ‘Weir Walker’ seasonal armour set, we learn how this happened. Sloane and her ghost, Siocháin, discovered a series of hive rituals while exploring Titan’s sea floor. Eventually, the two stumbled upon a Hive sigil surrounded by Taken energy. This sigil beckoned Sloane to approach and buried tendrils into her flesh, allowing the voice of Xivu Arath to begin to take her mind.
Throughout these weekly missions, we see Sloane struggle against the grasp of Xivu. Just before Ahsa’s final message in the season, the Hive god takes control of Sloane’s body to deliver a message to the guardians. “OUR DANCE WILL NEVER END. I… AM… WAR. YOU CARRY MY BANNER. CLING TO ME LIKE HOPE. WHAT ARE YOU WITHOUT ME? SINK INTO MY EMBRACE. DROWN IN THE DEEP. FIGHT… FOREVER.” Sloane then threatens Commander Zavala with her sword, to which he tells her to stand down and reminds her that sometimes the actual battle is stepping away from the battle
This theme of knowing when to fight is consistently present throughout the season. It seems that Bungie is repeating this message so often as it seems like Xivu Arath’s core weakness. As we learn in Season 19, Season of the Seraph, she grows stronger from violence of any kind, even if it’s against her. Her tactics throughout this season have mainly been encouraging the guardians’ destruction. Evidence of this is also seen in the exotic weapon for this season.
Wicked Implement was the reward from Season of the Deep’s exotic quest. The exotic mission, Whetstone, reacquired players to find four broken blades and use them to find a hidden entrance into a sunken pyramid on Titan. Upon clearing the pyramid, they are granted an audience with Xivu Arath, who gifts them the gun Wicked Implement.
This gun is described as ‘Wicked Thorn’ in the lore tab. While it seems at first that Xivu is trying to aid us with a powerful weapon, she is attempting to strengthen herself. The lore tab for the gun reads, “ALL TITHES TO THE BLACK EDGE, ALL TITHES TO XIVU ARATH.” This means that all suffering and pain caused by this weapon is paid to the Hive god. She can then use this to strengthen herself.
That’s all the major Season of the Deep Lore for Destiny 2. Excited to see where the story goes in Season 22? Make sure to tune in to the Destiny 2 Showcase on August 22nd! The showcase will be streamed LIVE on multiple websites. This includes Youtube, Twitch and TikTok. Make sure to follow Destiny Central on social media. The Destiny 2 Final Shape Showcase kicks off at 9AM PDT / 17:00 BST!