A paracausal entity?
[Spoiler warning: Guardians that have completed the Lightfall campaign in the new expansion can read through this article without fear, but for those yet to complete it we suggest doing so first as there will be some significant storyline spoilers ahead. Out of respect for those yet to complete the campaign, the main article’s image is not a spoiler, but there are images from the end of the campaign ahead. You have been warned!]
The Veil is an object affiliated with the Traveler and hidden on Neptune. It’s arrived in the Destiny universe fairly recently in terms of storytelling but has existed for an undetermined amount of time. We can safely assume it’s quite some time, as The Witness is very interested in it.
As Guardians, we learned of the existence of the Veil from Rasputin in his final message recorded before he sacrificed himself to save humanity. Rasputin described the Veil as an object of “immense paracausal power”. This means an object that alters time and space, affecting timelines and outcomes.
It all began with the Season of the Seraph
In the final weeks of the Season of the Seraph’s story, Rasputin sacrifices himself. Prior to that, he guided us to a secret room on the Cosmodrome to download some encrypted data. Decoding this data prior to his death, a prerecorded message tells us that Rasputin had a final message for the Guardian too. “The Neptunian city in Osiris’ visions is real,” Rasputin says, referring to the city of Neomuna that we discover in Lightfall, “I do not know its exact location but it is home to the Veil, an object of immense paracausal power. One that is linked to the Traveler.”
He goes on to say that all files other than the hidden one have been deleted from his records but not by him. “Someone wanted it to remain a secret,” he elaborates. Some speculate that this was The Witness, but we don’t know anything for certain as of yet. It’s important to note that we don’t yet know how the Veil is connected to the Traveler.
Our end begins
In Lightfall, we venture to Neomuna on Neptune with Osiris. Thanks to Savathun’s visions, which Osiris has access to thanks to a brief period of being “possessed” by her in The Witch Queen, we know that The Witness is searching for something. That something we now know is the Veil, which Savathun hid on Neomuna after rebelling against The Witness. Calus, the former Cabal emperor, is now the head of the darkness army, the Shadow Legion, and is himself a disciple of The Witness. He seeks glory and power, but The Witness is merely using him to secure the Veil and “create the link”.
During the story, we discover that Calus owns something called the Radial Mast. The Witness’ plan is to take the Radial Mast to the Veil and use it to connect it to the Traveler. Throughout the campaign, we attempt to destroy the Radial Mast several times. The first time we fail and Caiatl helps us to escape. The second time Rohan, our new Cloudstrider friend, sacrifices himself to destroy it.
The Witness and Calus must come up with an improvised plan here, and decide to attack the area containing the Veil, which is a stunning neon blue, pink, and white patterned entity. We, of course, come to defend the vault containing the Veil. Throughout the story, The Witness mentions that “souls protectors” such as our Ghost cannot do anything to stop it. After defeating Calus, a cutscene is launched which shows our Ghost behaving strangely and seemingly possessed or controlled by The Witness. Its voice is emitted by our Ghost stating that “A few of Sol’s protectors cannot prevent fate.”
Our Ghost heads toward the Veil saying, “Finality takes shape,” and the Cloudstrider Nimbus realizes that it is creating a link between the Veil and the Traveler. We’re seen aiming at our Ghost to destroy it before Nimbus flies in and removes it from the Veil, but it’s too late. A beam of light shoots from the Veil to the Traveler just before they can grab it. “We just lost,” sighs Caiatl.
The Witness takes control
The Witness in this end cutscene has taken control of our Ghost, showing that it needed the Ghost’s Light to connect the Veil to the Traveler. A further cutscene shows The Witness carving a triangle in the Traveler’s surface saying, “Be free”. A purple, ethereal glowing space is left which soaks up black fleet pyramids and The Witness disappears into it. We can assume this is a portal somewhere, although this isn’t explained.
We don’t know how the Veil got to Neomuna, and it is stored in an Ishtar facility although the lore dictates that Savathun put it there to hide it from The Witness. The Witness has always said that the Traveler’s “pale heart holds the key” and this story development could mean that the Veil was the Traveler’s pale heart. Characters in the game including Zavala and Ikora react to the situation as though the Traveler is now dead and unable to gift the Light any longer. There is still work to be done though, as Ikora tells us to work with the Cloudstriders on Neptune to learn more about the Veil.
There are many theories, some more well-crafted than others, and many unanswered questions. We can only hope we learn more about the Veil and how it’s connected to the Traveler throughout the seasonal storyline leading up to The Final Shape in 2024.