Bungie created one of Destiny 1’s major flaws when they decided to put crucial information about the game’s setting, lore, and backstory behind unlockable cards that were inaccessible in-game. These “Grimoire” cards contained information for nearly everything in Destiny, from the history of certain weapons to the lore significance of Crucible maps, the game’s PvP mode.
Likewise, the majority of information on Destiny’s three player factions–Dead Orbit, the Future War Cult, and New Monarchy–were locked away behind Grimoire cards on an external website rather than given to the player in-game. Players were given a short summary of each faction’s goals, but without the proper context of how each faction’s goal is influenced by elements of Destiny’s setting, it was hard for people interested in Destiny’s story to fully understand what each faction stood for.
With the start of Destiny 2’s Faction Rally, players are once again given the opportunity to pledge their allegiance to one of the player factions. However, just what are these factions, and why are they competing for influence among the Guardians of the Last City?
The leaders of Dead Orbit, the Future War Cult, and New Monarchy, together with the Speaker and the Vanguard, form the governing body of the Last City called the Consensus. In the early days of the Last City, factions warred with each other in order to seize power in a period known as the Faction Wars. Realizing that humanity could not afford to fight among itself while simultaneously hunted by forces of the Darkness, the fighting ceased and the Consensus was formed. Each faction participates in the Consensus in order to further their own agendas. Dead Orbit believes that humanity will ultimately fail to hold the Last City against the Traveler’s ancient enemy, the Darkness, and has build up a large fleet that they want to use to relocate humanity to another solar system. The Future War Cult has a device that allows the user to gaze into numerous possible futures, and in every timeline they see inescapable conflict against the Darkness, whether they flee the solar system or not. As a result, Future War Cult believes that humanity must always be wholly prepared to fight for its survival. New Monarchy aims to abolish the Consensus, and instill a totalitarian ruler in its place.
The Faction Rally is how these factions attempt to recruit new Guardians to their cause while simultaneously increasing their influence on the politics of the Last City. However, competition between the factions has not always been peaceful, even following the creation of the Consensus. For example, a faction called the Concordat was once part of the Consensus. Its leader, Lysander, led a coup against the Consensus in an attempt to seize power in the Last City. Ultimately, the coup failed when New Monarchy defeated the Concordat at a location that came to be known as Bannerfall–a Crucible map from Destiny 1. Here is what the Grimoire has to say about Lysander’s final stand:
Lysander and the Concordat mark the most recent example of City political factions rising in opposition to the Consensus. This site marks a legendary battle where New Monarchy’s Guardians rose to deliver the final blow to the Concordat, unraveling the war effort Lysander sought to bring against the Vanguard.
Lord Shaxx has commandeered the area not only to commemorate this last stand, but as a reminder of the City’s solidarity against those who seek to undermine the extreme efforts and sacrifice we make together to keep our peace.
Unfortunately, the Concordat’s central tenants remain unknown to Destiny’s players, as well as why Lysander staged his coup. Concordat banners found in Bannerfall as well as a handful of exotic gear gives us the only in-game evidence of their existence. The Concordat’s fall left an empty seat on the Consensus, and with an unanimous vote, the Future War Cult was chosen to take their place. However, according to the Vanguard spy network called the Hidden, Lysander lives, and schemes to return to the City with his followers. The Grimoire gives us a transcript of the Consensus’s vote:
“And so it is agreed. The Concordat shall no longer be recognized among the Consensus. We’ll begin the dismantling right away. But what of those Guardians who have pledged to them? We can’t afford any more banishments.”
“I’m sure Zavala can see to their realignment.”
“We’ll do our best. Lysander chose his followers wisely. It may take some time.”
“Lysander will not back down. He’ll continue his crusade from wherever we stuff him.”
“And so we’ll need to find some new ideas to replace his.”
“The Symmetry has been gaining a strong following…”
“Ulan-Tan’s teachings are too dangerous. Too much fear. Who knew he’d be more trouble dead than alive?”
“We’ll need to refocus our collective minds on combat. The Speaker’s anxious to regain ground we lost after the Gap.”
“There is the War Cult.”
“Too secretive. Have you ever tried to talk to one of their ‘soldiers’? Like a child. Answering questions with questions.”
“They are dedicated to the war.”
“They seem focused. Strong. More interesting than worrisome.”
“Let’s take it to a vote. All in favor of the ascension of the Future War Cult?”
“Unanimous? Good. We’ll grant the Future War Cult access to the Tower and a seat among us. Ghost, please offer the Speaker this proposal.”
“Now onto the next order of business…Shaxx is here with another proposal for his Crucible.”
The fall of the Concordat and the ascension of the Future War Cult resulted in the current political climate of the Last City. For now, the City’s factions seem content to pursue their agendas through peaceful methods, such as participation in the Consensus and the expansion of their numbers and influence through the Faction Rally. Recent events such as the Red Legion’s attack on the Last City and the awakening of the Traveler may shift faction politics in new directions.