4 months after Lightfall, Destiny 2 finally reveals the truth about the Veil and the Witness in new cutscene
The answers the community have been begging for have arrived.
Screengrab via Bungie
The Destiny 2 playerbase was left soured by Lightfall’s delivery of the penultimate story in the Light and Darkness saga. No answers were provided when it came to the origins of the Witness or the source of the new MacGuffin, the Veil, which lay at the heart of the conflict on Neomuna. However, four months later, those mysteries are finally starting to be unraveled.
Today, in week five of Season of the Deep’s seasonal story, the Guardian’s conversation with Sloane and Ahsa was nothing short of revelatory. With Ahsa and the Guardian’s minds linked via Darkness, and Sloane acting as Ahsa’s voice, the ancient creature explained the origins of both the Witness and the Veil that it chases in a new cutscene.
It revealed that the Witness is not the big bad at the heart of the Darkness, but instead the embodiment of an ancient civilization that merged themselves into a being that could bring about the Final Shape.
Season of the Deep’s story has been entirely focused on this search for answers thus far. Despite Lightfall and Season of Defiance, which released in parallel to the expansion, avoiding even a cursory examination of the greater forces at play in Destiny 2’s current world state, Season of the Deep is the opposite. With The Final Shape just around the corner, the seasonal story is setting up the Witness as its central antagonist in a fashion similar to Savathun prior to The Witch Queen.
Through Ahsa, we learn that the Witness comes from one of the primordial civilizations blessed by the Traveler. The Traveler, which they called “The Gardener,” breathed prosperity into their society but did not give them the higher purpose they began to crave. They desired a “structure” that the Light did not provide—instead, they believed the Light to be a source of “unfettered chaos” that a winnower needed to shape and balance.
It was this civilization’s scholars that called the entity that the Traveler was connected to “the Veil,” too. They went in search of it across the universe—in ships eerily similar to the Pyramids of the Black Fleet now—to claim it and study it. Through that study, they discovered the Darkness and the power to shape the chaotic universe as they desired. It was when they brought the Veil back to the Traveler to strengthen its connection that the Traveler fled for the first time, refusing to allow them to reshape reality.
Undeterred, this now abandoned civilization used the binding power of the Darkness to merge themselves into one extremely powerful being—the Witness—that could pursue the goal of the final, perfect shape of the universe and bring about the end of the Light’s reign.
It’s a lot of crucial narrative reveals for Destiny 2 going forward, and sure to satisfy the burning curiosity of many in the playerbase. But it might be too little, too late for the ones that jumped off the train after finishing Lightfall’s main campaign. With such a long time between the introduction of the Witness, the Veil and the answers to what both are, prominent Destiny lorehound and content creator My Name is Byf likened it to “getting a car and receiving the wheels separately.”
“This cutscene is so revelatory, so important and so groundbreaking that I cannot say anything other than this. This should’ve been a part of Lightfall,” he said in a series of tweets following this week’s story going live. “It creates stakes, answers questions and yet still leaves enough mysteries to unravel. It might’ve fixed the whole Lightfall story.”
He’s not alone in this feeling. Destiny 2’s Lightfall expansion was notorious for sinking to “mostly negative” on Steam less than a week after launch. Many elements of its story and the new destination Neomuna were roundly criticized, from its tonal dissonance to its lack of answers regarding many of the game’s biggest mysteries. With only one more expansion left within the scope of Destiny 2’s revealed future plans, a lack of follow-through to the narrative buildup over the past decade soured many players’ first impressions.
Today’s cutscene in Season of the Deep is a promising step forward in the run-up to The Final Shape in 2024, finally delivering the long-awaited answers that should get Destiny players excited for what’s to come in the culmination of the Light and Darkness saga.
About the author
A freelance journalist from the United Kingdom. I transitioned into writing about the industry in 2021 after spending a number of a years as a professional esports player in both Halo and Paladins: Champions of the Realm. Now, I provide coverage for a variety of titles such as Destiny 2, Halo Infinite and Apex Legends.