Throughout the Season of Arrivals in Destiny 2, players have slowly unraveled the secrets of the Darkness, the Tree of Silver Wings, and Savathun. After weeks of participating in the seasonal Contact public event, we’ve finally reached the end of that story–and you can finally complete the Season of Arrivals seal and earn your Forerunner title.
With the October 6 weekly reset, Destiny 2 added both the Festival of the Lost and the final installment of the Means to an End quest that has been available weekly throughout the Season of Arrivals. Every time you complete that quest, you’ve unlocked a Pinnacle gear drop, as well as an entry into the Singular Exegete lore book. For the last few weeks, however, completing the quest hasn’t offered new lore drops, and we’ve seen repeats of past battles. You’d still get your Pinnacle drop, but completing Means to an End hasn’t advanced the story of the Season of Arrivals. That changed this week.
Completing this week’s quest gets you the final entry into Singular Exegete and changes up what you face when you venture to the Ascendant Realm during the quest’s final mission, “Interference.” Usually during that mission, fighting off the Taken on Io sends you to a section of the Ascendant Realm, where you battle the Envoys of Savathun and destroy a huge Shrieker. There have been three different locations to fight through, rotating each week–but this week’s sends you to an Ascendant Throne that looks a lot like the final boss arena in the Crota’s End raid from Destiny 1. There, you face Crota’s exiled brother, Nokris, the final boss of the Strange Terrain Strike.
Defeat Nokris, and you receive the last entry into Singular Exegete, dubbed “Contact,” as well as a secret Triumph called “Clear the Air.” If you’ve completed everything else for this season, including earning the Ruinious Effigy and Traveler’s Chosen Exotics and knocking out the Exodus missions, this should be the last Triumph you need for the Season of Arrivals’ seal, unlocking the “Forerunner” title.
In the lore of the Season of Arrivals, we learned that after the destruction of the Hive worm god Xol in Destiny 2’s Warmind expansion, Nokris was courted by Savathun, the Hive queen. Savathun is the devious brother of Oryx, the Taken King, who players defeated in the King’s Fall raid in Destiny 1. Throughout the story of Destiny 2, we’ve been seeing evidence that Savathun has taken over Oryx’s position and power, and throughout the Season of Arrivals, Savathun has been trying to stop Guardians from receiving messages and gifts sent by the spooky black pyramids that represent the Darkness.
So Nokris was basically Savathun’s agent across the whole battle we’ve been fighting throughout the Season of Arrivals, and once you defeat him, you receive the Darkness’s full message. It’s spooky and cryptic in some key ways. First, when you receive it, you’re sent to a strange place that looks like the inside of the pyramid we saw on the moon during the Shadowkeep expansion. In the center of that room is a small pyramid, surrounded by statues, and the message we receive directs us to Europa to find “an ancient power,” setting up the Beyond Light expansion. A close inspection reveals that each of the four groups of statues represents a different race in the solar system: the Hive, the Fallen, the Cabal, and humanity.
Missing from the groups of statues are the Vex, who we know from the Garden of Salvation raid are already worshipers of the Darkness. The statues imply that the Darkness hopes to bring the other four races in the solar system under its power as well. We know the Hive has been fighting the Darkness, or at least trying to keep us away from it, throughout this season. The Cabal are mostly loyal to Calus, who seems to know a lot more about the Darkness than it’s letting on, but who also is resistant to its call. Where the Fallen stands isn’t as clear–but we know the villain of Beyond Light is Fallen, so it seems at least one faction of that race might be throwing in with the Darkness.
The inclusion of humanity is the most interesting, though. The Season of Arrivals has been all about the temptations of the Darkness. The Umbral Engrams we’ve been gathering for the last few months are all supposed to be “gifts” from the pyramids, offering cool new weapons and armor for our benefit. The Darkness promises more power on Europa, and we know from Bungie’s teases that when we go there, we’ll wield a new Darkness power, called Stasis. So the statues play into the themes we’ve been seeing of temptation away from the Traveler and the Light, and suggest the Darkness thinks it’s possible it could get humanity–and by extension, the Guardian players of Destiny 2–to join it.
That remains an interesting story thread that implies we could eventually have a choice, as players, whether to stay in the Light or embrace the Darkness. Unfortunately, the Singular Exegete lore book doesn’t shed too much more light on the situation. We’ll have to wait for things develop on Europa in Beyond Light to see how the story progresses.
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