Above them, Cabal ships drag thick black smoke across the flickering twilight, and flames rise from the Tower. Legionnaires scour the streets, seeking out the cries of the wounded and afraid.
“Hush,” he says again, as the child starts to sniffle, and he pulls her into the shadows cast by an apartment block as a patrol makes its laborious way past. He was made to protect, made to serve, but he feels clumsy now; the hand on her shoulder is almost larger than her head and she has no armor to protect her bruised and burned skin from his rough gauntlets. When he tries to wipe the tears from her face he worries that he will be the one to break her.
He followed her screams, just as the Cabal did. He had no rifle to kill the Legionnaires that would have silenced her; dispatched the first one with his boot-knife but was not quick enough to catch the second unaware. It is dead, but his chest-plate is cracked and burned and the thing that eats the Traveler has also eaten his Light.
She is wearing yellow. A summer dress, for a celebration. When he offered her his gore-spattered hand she took it at once, and did not look back at the splayed and broken limbs visible beneath the rubble around her as though she knew there was no one left to wait for. He brushed dust and chips of concrete from the tight black curls on her head, and when she tried to smile her gap-toothed smile at him despite it all he knew that he would die the second death to save her.
They pick their way through dust-covered streets and alleys, one grimy hand holding his armored fingers, the other wrapped around the silent shell of his Ghost. He told her to keep it safe, and she clutches it to her chest with an intensity that would do any Titan proud.
To those behind the Wall, love and service. To those outside it, fury and fire. He is young: the Order’s maxim has never meant much to him, but here at the end of an Age he feels each word burning in his chest and he wraps his Mark around her shoulders like a cloak, like a little Hunter, to keep the nearness of the night from her as best he can.
When they hear the distant bursts of gunfire he waits until the chatter fades, then leads them in a different direction even though it gives him hope to know the City is still fighting. Perhaps if he ran to the violence he would find weapons or more Guardians, but he will not risk it. And so hours pass as they slink across the city, and as slowly as his wounds force him to move she still takes ten strides for every one of his. She has only one sandal, silver leather wrapped around a tiny leg, but he thinks that a single piece of armor is better than no armor at all.
He finds a battered pulse rifle in a street that leads to a square, tries not to wonder where its owner went. The magazine is full, but it is all he has and there is no Ghost at his shoulder to synthesize ammo. He bends to pick it up, never letting go of the hand that holds his own, just as a troop of Legionnaires turn the corner in front of them.
He pulls the child behind a crumbled wall. Waits one heartbeat, two; no slug throwers roar in response. Even so, they are between him and the direction he has lead, and he doubts he has the strength to cross the City again.
Love and service to those within. Fire and fury to those without.
The Legionnaires do not notice, but neither do they move on. More join them, and they begin to spiral out in all directions, continuing their search. It will not be long before they find him and the child. A narrow street, once hung with banners but now collapsing from the rooftops down, will lead her west, to the walls, away from Cabal patrols - as long as there is a distraction.
He lifts her chin as gently as he can.
“You have to run,” he whispers. He is bad at whispering. “I’ll keep you safe.”
“That way,” he says when she stares at him in silence, pointing with his outsized hand down the shadowed street.
He gives her a delicate push, points again. She blinks, once, then toddles into the dark, Ghost held close as though it will protect her. Perhaps, if there is a way to undo this disaster, it someday will.
He props the rifle atop the ledge, lifts his visor and sights with naked eye. There are so many, he thinks, and then bites back a laugh - there are only eight.
Love within. Fury without.
The rifle barks. One Legionnaire dies and the others spin in confusion, firing in the direction of his cover. He ignores them, squeezes the trigger again. And again. And again.
Love within. Fury without. Love within. Fury without. Love within. Fury without. Love within -
Something tugs his arm. He looks down into the eyes of the little girl, and pure terror finds him.
“I said run,” he growls, but she does not, her face set in a scowl. He shakes his arm and she does not let go.
A micro-rocket bursts against the barricade and he ducks, throws his body over her, sprays the rest of his bullets in response. The child buries her head in his cracked armor, her frail body shaking.
Never has he been so afraid to die.
He feels a fool. He tosses the rifle down, wraps one arm around the child and pulls her close. With the other he slams his visor shut. He takes a deep breath, and then another, and when at last there is a break in the constant fire he lurches to his feet, lifts the child to his chest, and runs.
It is hard, so hard, to move full Titan-plate without his Light to drive it. His body aches. Something inside is probably broken, and he does not know how long it takes a body to heal without a Ghost.
A slug hits him in the back and he stumbles but his armor holds, and he sprints down the street where he tried to send the child, the sound of jump-packs following behind. He ducks his head and cups himself around his charge, makes himself as big as he can, plows across the debris-choked pavement. The girl begins to cry again, though to his ears it is not the sound of fear but of fury, and before long he is roaring with it, and the two of them roar together down the long, narrow street as explosions scatter bits of ruins that once were homes. He does not know where he is going, knows only that he must go somewhere, that he will not stop until the child is safe or his legs no longer work; that when he has nothing left he will throw her from him and tear the Cabal apart with fists alone, Light or no.
He has stopped counting the impacts. Every step is a knife in his chest. The Legionnaires must be close but he does not turn, lest the shield that is his body fail. He can feel himself slowing, a sensation that fills him both with wonder and despair, but he cannot force himself to let her go despite his promise. Something cracks against the back of his leg, and he is too tired and too hurt to correct. He lands heavily on one shoulder, slides ten grinding yards, arms still wrapped around the child. At the very least, they will have to rip him apart to get to her. Maybe, if he dies quickly, they will not notice her at all.
Gunfire interrupts his thoughts, along with the sound of footsteps and the roar of Cabal. Hands grab him, drag him out of the street, but still he does not uncurl. He sees Hunter cloaks, Warlock robes, a Titan mark.
“Hush,” he tells the child, head still tucked close, while they cower in a doorway and around them Guardians fight.
“Hush,” he tells her, over their surprised cries of pain.
“Hush,” he tells her, over and over, until at last all is silent and he dares to lift his head and stand.
He helps the child to her feet, and though he leans against the doorway it is her tiny hand in his that keeps him upright. He looks around at their saviors: most are near as bruised as he is. They nod their heads, pat him on the back, and he opens his mouth to ask for forgiveness, for leading the Legionnaires here, but a Hunter shakes her head as though she knows what he will say.
Two Guardians lie dead. Truly dead. One Hunter, one Titan wearing the Mark of the Gatewatch. He waits the half-second for their Ghosts to revive them, feels sick when they do not rise. He swears that he will learn their names and add them to the Order of the Pilgrim Guard.
Someone makes cooing sounds and tries to take the child, tries to give her water, but she refuses to let go of his hand, refuses to surrender his Ghost. For a moment they stand there, all seven of them in a circle around her, and it is as though a different light has risen to bond them all.
They need ships. Weapons. Food, maybe. The child, at least, must eat. The Hunter offers water again, and he wonders how many new scraps of fabric she has taken for her cloak. A different Titan, this one wearing the Mark of the Six Fronts, hands him the dead Hunter’s rifle - then looks down at the child, still clinging to his hand, and passes him a sidearm instead.
They turn their backs to the Tower, and continue their slow march to the western wall. Perhaps they will find supplies along the way. If not, so be it - they are still Guardians, and they will save what light they can.
Love within. Fury without.
The Cabal have no word for ‘retreat.’ Soon, they will learn that the Guardians have none for ‘mercy.’
The results are in! Here is a compilation of the data from the survey I ran on Adfly and donations!
If you would like to read the open ended opinion responses, please see the PDF here! Names and urls have been edited out for privacy. I am not responsible for any responses found it the PDF, please do not contact me about anything in the PDF.
Again, this survey is not an official survey. It is based purely on respondents’ answers.
Here are my notes from the reveal stream, with some concluding thoughts at the end. All of this information is available from the Bungie reveal stream, and is not speculation unless marked as such:
In the beginning of Destiny 2, the Last City has fallen. Dominus Ghaul, leader of the Cabal Red Legion, has laid waste to the Tower and to the City itself, and his legions have torn our home apart.
The reveal trailer shows us fighting through the tower in the first campaign mission, called “Homecoming,” in which we battle alongside the Vanguard until Amanda Holliday deposits us atop some kind of Cabal ship, where we attempt to face down the bad guy.
Unfortunately, we fail, and Dominus Ghaul succeeds in deploying some sort of device that places the Traveler in a cage, instantly draining the Guardians of Light, and causing us to lose our powers. We cannot go back to the Tower.
In response, the Vanguard scatters. Ikora has fled to Io out of anger, Zavala is on Titan healing and having an existential crisis - “Are we Guardians even without the Light?”, and Cayde-6, in attempting to play the hero, has gotten himself into trouble on Nessus. Apparently, the Speaker has disappeared. More on these new worlds below.
In the campaign, we will have to track down and collect the Vanguard, as well as fight the new Red Legion enemy, led by Dominus Ghaul. Dominus Ghaul believes that he, based on his past experiences (which were not elaborated upon), is most worthy of the Traveler’s blessing, and does not understand why Humanity was chosen. He has come to Earth to prove his worthiness, and sees humanity as being in his way. He is not a “psychopath” bent on genocide. Luke Smith described him as “Having his stuff together,” and “Like Alan Rickman in Die Hard.”
Destiny 2 is a game about loss, and transitions into an experience about recovery and reclaiming what is ours.
Shown classes remain the same: Hunter, Warlock, and Titan. Nova Bombs, Defender Bubbles, and Golden Guns were shown but not remarked upon. However, new Super abilities were showcased:
Titan Sentinel: A Titan with a voidlight shield that can be used to block damage, thrown at enemies, or used in melee combat. There also appeared to be some new kind of Striker Titan Dash and a different sort of ‘Ice Wall,’ neither of which were discussed.
Hunter Arcstrider: A Hunter with a staff of arclight that focuses on acrobatic melee combat.
Warlock Dawnblade: A Warlock with a sword made of solar light that can be used in melee combat or to fling ranged attacks. Warlocks also appeared to be able to place some sort of buff zone beneath them, one of which “empowered” the player.
These look pretty awesome.
Weapon loadouts have been revamped to give players more flexibility. Weapons are now divided into three categories:
A variety of new weapons were shown. In addition to hand cannons, sniper rifles, shotguns, pulse rifles, and shotguns, we saw:
A type of SMG
Minigun-like machine guns
A type of fast-firing rocket launcher
I assume we will learn more about this in the coming days. It appears that weapons such as hand cannons occupy the kinetic slot, but I would like to see more information about how these slots will work.
Destiny 2 features four playable worlds:
Earth: The European Dead Zone is now the location of Destiny’s largest playable area, and this is the zone where Humanity flees and attempts to rebuild after the Cabal attack. This camp was founded by Hawthorne, who features in the D2 Preorder, and who once left the City to live in the Wilds.
Titan: Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is covered with a Methane ocean with 40 ft waves, and features a human utopia, a relic of the Golden Age, sinking into ocean. There is no landmass on Titan.
Io: A sulfuric moon of Jupiter, Io is the last place the Traveler touched before it appeared on Earth. Io is a sacred place to the Guardians, and to Warlocks in particular. In the trailer, there appear to be the remnants of some kind of civilization.
Nessus: A centaur, or type of icy minor planet. The Vex have transformed Nessus into a machine world, and it now features native vegetation, large canyons, and plateaus based on tepui, a type of South American highland plateau.
Destiny 2 has revamped the map system. Now, players will be able to use an area map to navigate and discover locations and events. These include:
PatrolsAmbient enoucntersCollectable materialsAdventures*Treasure maps*Public events with treasures*Lost sectors*
*denotes a seemingly new feature
Destiny 2 will emphasize the sense of exploration that players experience. For example, players will be able to discover and unlock secret, hidden dungeons, which will contain both loot and bosses. There appear to be many, many secrets to discover.
Furthermore, there will be more interaction with NPC’s, resulting in numerous side-quests and further adventures.
Destiny 2 features a revamped map system that players will use to uncover and navigate the new areas. Waypoints, such as those corresponding to the activities listed above, will show up on this map. It will also show WHERE and WHEN public events will take place.
In addition, players will no longer have to ‘go to orbit’ to navigate to new locations. The world navigation system will now be usable from anywhere.
Co-operative play was heavily emphasized by all presenters. Bungie attempted to strike a balance between easy matchmaking and ensuring that all players are comfortable with the strangers they are matched with. The notable new features are:
Clans: Clans will no receive official, in-game support. These will offer rosters, tools for fireteam building, custom banners, and shared clan experience and progression. Achievements, whether done solo or in a group, will benefit your clan.
Guided Games: Guided games are a new way for solo players to find a fireteam without joining a clan and while being able to ensure they have a positive experience. Solo players will be able to see a brief summary of clan information, as well as the activity proposed, and will then be able to join the clan for that single activitiy without committing to the clan.
Guided games will open up your party to more players, in case one of your fireteam members must drop out of the activity.
The Crucible has been revamped for 4v4 combat across all game modes. There will also be a new attack/defend mode called “Countdown.” I assume we will learn more in the coming days.
In partnership with Blizzard, Destiny 2 for PC will be available exclusively through Blizzard’s Battle.Net.
“More cinematics than ever.”
There will be a new raid.
There will be new strikes. The strike played at the reveal is called “The Inverted Spire.” You will traverse Red Legion territory to a Vex Stronghold, where you will fight a 3-stage boss.
There will be more quests and story missions
There may (SPECULATION: ENTIRELY UNCONFIRMED) be new vehicles.
There will be “More to do than any game we’ve ever made at Bungie.”
Community, community, community. Destiny 2 was referred to several times by different people as “A world I want to be in, where I can always find people to play with if I want to.” Bungie appears to be focused on making all of D2′s content accessible to more players. This, to me, is a great thing.
Exploration: the words “Open World” were not used, and from the gameplay demo of “Homecoming,” that mission at least appeared quite linear. That’s not to say the rest of the game will be that way, and if the new map system is any indication, we can look forward to a lot more exploration.
I, personally, cannot wait to see the new worlds. It seems like Bungie has done a lot of work to make each location feel unique.
Gameplay-wise, it sounds as though Bungie has learned from D1, and is looking for ways to make D2 more engrossing and meaningful for all kinds of players. If the new strikes have harder, more involved boss fights, it sounds as though we can expect more than the bullet-sponge boss fights that dominated D1.
The revamped weapons system also sounds great, and I can’t wait to hear more about it.
I am unsure about the Crucible being reworked for 4v4. Reference was made to it being “For PvP Players,” although what that means remains to be seen.
Here’s another short and sweet tarot spread! Black candles are known for their ability to banish negative energy. This spread is designed to help give you an idea about where the negativity in your life is coming from, how to rid yourself of it, and how to heal. I really hope this helps you guys and I’d love to see people using it so feel free to tag me if you do! :)
The Black Candle Negativity Spread
1. The Source: Who or what is causing the problem? What’s bothering you? Where is the bad energy coming from?
2. The Candle: How to banish that energy. You could interpret this as a weakness the source has (especially if it happens to be human) or something you need to call upon in yourself to help you. It really depends on the preference of the reader!
3. The Flame: When the negative influence is gone, what sort of energy should you surround yourself with? What will help you heal right now?