With the launch of Destiny: Rise of Iron on Sept. 20, everything about this heavily anticipated expansion has us salivating. But the big question is “What is it about?” So, let’s take a deep dive into the Rise of Iron lore and look at what’s been revealed so far.
While the previous Destiny expansions had us going to outer space and other dimensions to kill gods and monsters, this time, we’re starting back at the beginning: Earth. Destiny: Rise of Iron will primarily take place around the area known as Old Russia. While players mainly experienced the area known as the Cosmodrome, we’ll soon travel beyond its borders into what’s been dubbed The Plaguelands. Even though the threat is only terrestrial, it’s no less dangerous than when Oryx came knocking. As to what this threat is that’s been hiding and waiting all this time, we’ll need to take a step back in time.
When the Traveler fell, it used its last bit of Light to create the Ghosts. These, in turn, went out and sought great warriors to resurrect and help fight against the Darkness. At the time, these warriors were known as The Risen. They had great powers but no purpose in this time of chaos. Some sought order, some wanted to resume their old lives, others used their status for their own purposes.
A group of Risen came together during the Collapse with a shared purpose: To protect humanity at all costs. They became known as the Iron Lords. When the Fallen arrived on Earth to raze everything, the Iron Lords were there at the Battle of Six Fronts to defend the fledgling city. They and many others helped form what are now known as the Guardians.
During this fledgling time, the Iron Lords did what they could to help civilization come back from the brink. They helped strike against major targets as well as bring survivors to the safety of the City. They were a beacon of hope in trying times. It was during one of their usual patrols that they came across abandoned Golden Age technology. What should have been a boon quickly turned into their worst nightmare.
SIVA was a self-replicating, self-assembling nanotechnology from the Golden Age. A tool such as this holds immeasurable potential for the proper wielders. But for reasons still unknown, it turned on the Iron Lords as soon as they tried to use it. They managed to seal it away but were nearly wiped out in the process.
Saladin Forge managed to escape, and up until recently was thought to be the only survivor. Knowing the potential for SIVA to come back, he formed the Iron Banner tournament. It honors the fallen Lords, but also trains Guardians for what’s to come. What was just recently revealed is that another survived as well: Efrideet, the youngest Lord. How she managed to survive and her reasons for returning are some big questions that are hanging in the air right now within the Destiny community.
The Fallen are a constant threat throughout the galaxy, with their primary force on Earth consisting of the House of Devils. They were part of numerous battles against the City and had claimed many significant victories in the beginning of this ongoing war. From the start, they have never ceased their quest to take the Traveler back for themselves. While their battle tactics focused on force, they were also dedicated to gathering Golden Age technology for themselves to supplement their efforts. One major push was their numerous attempts at gaining control of Rasputin, only to be beaten back by the Guardians time and time again.
While the Guardians assumed their primary force was focused on the Warmind, it’s now revealed that they had an equal force in another area of the Cosmodrome. They knew that there was more treasure out there than the Guardians could even remember. So they dug deep into the Earth and came back with more than they could have dreamed of: SIVA. It’s unknown how the Devils have managed to control and harness it, but either way, this mutated force is coming for the Guardians and the Last City.
The area beyond the Cosmodrome Wall is now home to corrupted Devils and SIVA alike. Preliminary videos and photos show mutated Fallen with abilities and weaponry that the Guardians have never faced before. The landscape is equally affected; Bio-mechanical tendrils rise and grow out of the ground in all directions. It’s here that the Guardians will start to push back. Players will need to investigate how this plague got loose, and how the Guardians can seal it away or destroy it forever.
To do that, the Guardians will need to establish a beachhead to regain control. And for that beachhead, there will be nothing more fitting than taking back Felwinter Peak, the original home of the Iron Lords. It’ll serve as a combination quest hub and in-game social space with numerous Guardians seeking to unravel its mysteries at launch.
The main campaign looks to take players through the Plaguelands and deep into the Earth. Stopping the Devils’ progress will be top priority, but understanding and dealing with SIVA will be the long-term goal. So far it sounds like there will be a lot of content for players to explore including new maps, new quests, and the glorious rewards of shiny new gear. Bungie has also confirmed that like the Taken King expansion, the story will continue past the initial main quests to more exploration-based objectives and will then be concluded in the next raid.
That’s about all we know about the Destiny: Rise of Iron lore for sure at this point. It’s all still potential and hype, but Bungie has not steered us wrong yet. We’ll be fighting against an impossible foe and looking to bring a legendary group back to glory. All in a day’s work, it seems. Eyes up, Guardians and future Iron Lords; we’re back on the clock as of Sept. 20.