In the run-up to Lightfall, the Year of the Witch Queen in Destiny 2 has been marked by preparation and fear. The Guardian has faced back old foes as Calus and Eramis in new forms, battled inner demons with Eris Morn in Season of the Haunted, and engaged with a newly Light-infused Hive. In Season of the Seraph, the final step on the path to Lightfall, the long-awaited return of Rasputin is at the forefront as X
Season of the Seraph is the culmination of many different narrative arcs, with characters such as Clovis Bray, The Exo Stranger, Eramis, and Mara Sov unexpectedly appearing within the seasonal quest. Understanding how we got here and the role they play in Season of the Seraph will set you up to better grasp their motivations in future lore.
If you missed out on the quest entirely this time around, or you're just waiting for Lightfall to arrive on February 28, here's all you need to know about Season of the Seraph's story and the direction it takes Destiny 2 to continue to go.
Season of the Seraph in Destiny 2: A complete story and legend recap
Season of the Seraph has been a storyline for many years in the making. It was during Season of Arrivals, the final season before Beyond Light was launched in 2020, that the initial foundations were laid.
Rasputin and Ana Bray attempted to reclaim what was left of him in a secret pillory Engram during that season. Rasputin's systems were disabled and the network went dark in one swift swing. Ana Bray and her ghost Jinju were able to preserve what was left of him in an encrypted pillory Engram.
Ana has been entirely focused on resurrecting Rasputin so that he may regain control of his network and assist humanity against the incoming threats since it was not an easy task for her for many years. However, pulling him from the Engram and smoothly transferring him into it proved to be the greatest challenge.
Ana was able to invoke a Psion's'mindscape' abilities and Misraaks' Eliksni Splicer technology to verify the integrity of Rasputin's Engram. He was still alive, but growing weaker, increasing her timeline.
Ana gets the H.E.L.M. Exo chassis set up, newly awake thanks to Misraaks' efforts during Season of Plunder, expecting to find Rasputin restored and being irritated to learn he's still offline.
Ana is dissatisfied with the suggestion that her grandfather Clovis Bray help her get back online. Since the return of the Deep Stone Crypt, Ana has based his AI upload on Europa.
The Guardian's base of operations that Clovis is working out of is already under siege. Xivu Arath, the Hive God of War, appears to be interested in Clovis and has deployed Cryptoliths within the laboratory halls, as well as Eliksni from the House of Salvation. After Eramis' failure to obtain the relics of Nezarec, the Witness has decided to split the House of Salvation into two groups.
Ana convinces Ana to help her get Rasputin back online before becoming a Lightbearer, and Clovis finds her teaching methods distasteful. It was Clovis's desire to teach Rasputin how to "feel" that led them to this today.
Given his track record both in the Golden Age and since re-awakening as an AI recently, the Vanguard isn't in a position to refuse his assistance on the matter. Clovis is given access to the experimental Exo chassis in the H.E.L.M. so that he can better give orders to the Guardian.
Not all of our friends are as enthused by the idea of allowing Clovis access to our Rasputin operations, despite Osiris's instructions for Ana to do so. Elsie Bray, the Exo Stranger, arrives to remind Ana how manipulative and self-important their grandfather is.
His megalomania and obsession with genetics in the Golden Age resulted in the deaths of most of his family as well as a torturous upbringing for both Ana and Elsie. Additionally, his creation of the Exos—human minds implanted into robotic bodies—required a parcausal force he called "Clarity."
Elsie agrees to assist with the operation even if only to ensure that Ana has a trustworthy person on her side. With the initial point of conflict resolved, Clovis clarifies that returning Rasputin to his former state will require two things: submind data and access to the Earth's Seraph Station.
The submind data was a straightforward task, hidden in secret bunkers throughout the solar system. However, the Seraph Station would require a launch pod to reach without getting shot down by its defense systems, and Rasputin had long ago locked Clovis out of access to the codes that make those launches possible.
The Guardian would retrieve several bits of data from two of Rasputin's subminds, called Malahayati and Charlemagne, and would also have access to a central hub located on Europa that would store further usable pieces for the AI's rebuilding. The Seraph Station, however, is not accessible to the Guardian. Mara Sov is equally suspicious of Clovis' intentions and believes that Rasputin's reconstruction is necessary for the upcoming conflict with the Darkness.
The Guardian is finally able to reach the launch pad for the Seraph Station after numerous trips. Led by Ana and Elsie and equipped with a virus intended for its systems, the Guardian begins its mission.
The aim is to get to the Warmind integration core aboard, where the virus might be uploaded and open a backdoor into the station's network. With that backdoor open, Rasputin would be able to access and regain control of the Warsat network with no difficulty once he was back online. These Warsats serve as Rasputin's weapon array and can be found in multiple planets throughout the system.
Praksis, one of Eramis' previous lieutenants who was killed on Europa, has been resurrected as a Scorn in her service to The Witness. Eramis unexpectedly comes over the comm channel to confirm this, explaining in a defeated voice that The Witness intends to curse all of her dead Eliksni with this fate. Now that Eramis's faith in the Darkness and her ability to protect her people has been nearly shattered.
Clovis Bray's displeasure over this is a major step forward. However, the rest of the Rasputin restoration process continues at a snail's pace due to the limited utility of submind fragments to rebuild an entire AI.
Ana devises a strategy. During the Dark Ages, Rasputin separated off a portion of his code to develop on its own. One day, thanks to fate, his ghost Felspring is still stored in the Iron Temple on Felwinter's peak.
Ana believes that Felspring alone might still hold a large amount of memories and data linked to Rasputin and Felwinter, if the data core is still active. This great opportunity to waste is too great to pass up, so the Guardian travels to the Iron Temple once Ana receives access to the Ghost's remains from Lord Saladin.
House Salvation on the Peak is a small invasion force that Ana can easily dismantle before heading over to the temple. In a shocking twist, Rasputin himself comes over the comms channel, employing Clovis's voice pattern to speak privately.
Rasputin gets some bad news. He discloses the origins of his character and his past, as well as how Clovis planned to use him to destroy the Traveler and become a god himself. With Rasputin in a fragile state currently, the Warmind has no doubt that Clovis is using the opportunities and access he has to now wield the Warsat network himself, bypassing the go-between entirely.
Ana and Elsie return to the H.E.L.M. without hesitation confronting Clovis with the accusations that Rasputin made. He insists that his intentions are entirely for the good of humanity, displaying once again the megalomania and egotism that led to tragedy in the Golden Age. Ana takes his place directly in the Exo frame, effectively removing the secondary personality matrix of the Clovis AI that previously inhabited it.
Clovis is able to send a message back to his central hub on Europa, but for the time being, the Rasputin project is secure once again. Better yet, with his core now fully restored thanks to Felspring, Rasputin is capable of continuing to assist with the continued efforts to recapture the Warsats and defeat Xivu Arath and Eramis' forces.
Rasputin needs time to think up a coherent strategy. The Guardian continues to struggle against the forces of Darkness, but it seems to be limiting the next wave further down the line. Mara Sov believes that Xivu Arath must be planning something major, currently dedicating only so few of her forces to the ongoing fight for Rasputin's submind bunkers at the H.E.L.M. Osiris confronts the now rebooted Rasputin about his Neptune dreams and
Rasputin believes that ongoing extractions from Malahayati and Charlemagne will provide the final remaining pieces of his code that he needs to acquire to take control of the Warsats once more. The Guardian's submind caches that Osiris retrieves repeatedly reference something known as the "Nefele Stronghold."
Elsie confides in the Guardian that she is concerned about where the present path is going. Elsie has experienced many different futures where Ana's obsession with Rasputin's restoration has led her down a dark and corrupting path. She wants to trust her sister this time, but fears that Ana may fail again.
Rasputin is pleased with how his reintegration is going, but warns that he should keep the remnants of Xivu Arath and Eramis' forces to a minimum. Despite who wins or who loses, she grows stronger through the fighting regardless.
Rasputin is unsure whether or not he may even serve as a Warmind against the Traveler's enemies in a secret Warmind bunker in the Cosmodrome, because he is limited to a passive state and incapable of utilizing the Warsats' advantages.
The terminal in question isn't connected to the rest of his network, and is locked off in a location that even Ana is unaware of. Rasputin discusses his past and what he's had to do in order to fulfill his primary goal of ensuring humanity's survival. One order—the Abhorrent Imperative—could have been fatal if implemented.
Rasputin was concerned that the Traveler might fall and abandon humanity during The Collapse. The Abhorrent Imperative would have enlisted the travellers and immobilized or destroyed it, thus allowing it to remain on Earth. He ended up aborting the firing sequence then, but the existence of the protocol makes him suspicious of the power he has and the damage he might easily cause.
The existence of this order takes no longer to come to light. Eramis was able to examine the Warmind's systems beyond the Guardian's brief moment of subterfuge. She removes the Warmind from the system and begins to take control of the Warsats herself. With fear and urgency in her voice, Rasputin proposes to invoke the Abhorrent Imperative and destroy the Traveler.
As the clock ticks down toward the Traveler's destruction, the Guardian sets off for the Seraph Station, fighting through the House Salvation forces stationed there. Rasputin makes a decision—he may be directly uploaded to the network, sacrificing himself to destroy everything in the process. All it takes is uploading his Pillory Engram aboard the station.
The Guardian does so, but time has run out. Sensing the threat of the Warsats, the Traveler begins to flee into orbit, leaving the Last City behind. Misraaks's opens up communication with Eramis, pleading for her to avoid doing this, but the Witness's ever-watching eye prevents her from turning back. She begins the firing sequence, but Rasputin is able to shut down the Warsats for the last time this time.
The Traveler is still trapped in Earth's orbit, unable to return to the Last City, and unable to escape the system with the Black Fleet now on its doorstep. One last piece of information: Osiris' predictions were correct, and the city on Neptune is still alive.
The Witness's invasion will continue when Destiny 2's Lightfall expansion launches on February 28, and the scale of the invasion will need to be properly considered.