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Destiny 2 – The Leviathan Raid Lore Explained

So, why exactly are we even going up to the Leviathan to mess with Calus?

When the Leviathan raid became available in Destiny 2, it arrived without explanation. There was no word from any of the Vanguard, no cutscene from Bungie to tell us what’s happening. In fact, if you weren’t careful, you could easily miss it in the Director. So, did Bungie just drop the ball entirely and forget to tell us that there is a raid to be done and give us a reason to do it? Kind of.

Invitation from the Emperor

Aside from reading the lore descriptions on raid weapons and armor, the only in-game information about the Leviathan raid is found in an Adventure on Nessus. The Invitation from the Emperor Adventure sends Guardians to investigate a strange signal being sent by what turns out to be the Leviathan, Emperor Calus’ flag ship. While we highly suggest that you go and play through the Adventure, we’ve listed the relevant dialog below. If you prefer to experience it in screenshot form, Redditor RoboThePanda has provided images of each conversation piece on Imgur.

Invitation from the Emperor 740x416 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore Explained

The following conversation takes place between Ghost and Cayde-6 during the Invitation from the Emperor Adventure on Nessus.

Cayde 6 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore ExplainedHey you two. My scouts picked up a weird Cabal signal incoming from a ship that's definitely not Red Legion. Some new guy giving orders. He's got the Red Legion running around like errand boys on Nessus.

Last time the cabal had a management shakeup, they burnt down our house. Lets see what they're up to. Bring guns.
Ghost1 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore ExplainedWell, we always have at least three.
Ghost1 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore Explained(down in the "Well of Flame")

The Legion is pulling schematics of Nessus itself from the Confluxes! Atmospheric, geologic, and tectonic data... They want it all. I'm not sure why.

Okay, this might explain it. Lets see... The Legion is helping their unnamed leader identify mineral-rich deposits on Nessus for... consumption. Well, that can't be right.

Okay, I'm going to read this and you pretend like I understand. The cabal are going to grind Nessus into "glorious dust, fit for royalty."

It's more environmental data. Just some logistical planning so they can prime their ship to... "eat the planet." This new Cabal leader might have a few screws loose.
Ghost1 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore Explained(on the surface)
Transmiting now. Cayde! I'm picking up a planet-wide broadcast.

"Red Legion 7th Company has failed to secure Vex data. Their invitation to join the Loyalist regime is hereby rescinded."

There's more. "The rest of you still have a chance to prove yourselves. I offer you a life of... opulence?"
Cayde 6 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore ExplainedOpulence? Oh, I could go for some opulence right now.
Ghost1 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore ExplainedI'm in! This gets weirder... They've analyzed the planetoid soil and what might happen if it's combined with something called "Royal Nectar." One more cluster.

Great work! Both Confluxes linked! Just keep them away while I... read this recipe for converting Nessus soil into a purified "Royal Wine." What are the Cabal doing?
Cayde 6 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore ExplainedThey're gonna be so mad. I love it!
Ghost1 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore ExplainedI'm in! This gets weirder... They've analyzed the planetoid soil and what might happen if it's combined with something called "Royal Nectar." One more cluster.

Great work! Both Confluxes linked! Just keep them away while I... read this recipe for converting Nessus soil into a purified "Royal Wine." What are the Cabal doing?
Cayde 6 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore ExplainedThey're gonna be so mad. I love it!
Ghost1 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore ExplainedServes them right! Let's get this to the Vanguard before I have to defrag. The Legion wanted every byte of data the Vex have on Nessus.

"All I ask is you return to my loving embrace." Ew. "Emperor Calus has spoken."
Cayde 6 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore ExplainedWhoa. Wait. Emperor? As in Cabal Emperor? OK, opulence later. Ikora now. Ikora! Uh, great job today guys.
Ghost1 - Destiny 2 - The Leviathan Raid Lore ExplainedBoy, he left in a hurry. I wonder what that was about?

Take from the above what you will, but two points seem to be clear:

  • Calus is back and offering all remaining Cabal safe harbor if they rejoin him.
  • The Leviathan is getting set to eat up all of Nessus, something we cannot allow.

While I still wish that there had been some kind of interaction with the Vanguard – Ikora Rey perhaps – I am glad that there is at least some lore related to this raid.

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There is next to no explanation as to why the Leviathan is here and why we must go and face Calus' challenges. An adventure on Nessus called "Invitation from the Emperor" sheds some light on the situation, but not a lot. The exiled emperor, Calus, is inviting the remaining Cabal to join him on the Leviathan. Preparations are made on Nessus to determine the planet's viability to be consumed by the Leviathan as fuel.
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