Cabal

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Cabal
Grimoire The Cabal.jpg
Overview

Focal World(s):

Mars, Phobos, Earth, Nessus

Goals:

Expand the Cabal Empire
Escape the Darkness
Steal counter-Guardian resurrection technology from the Dreadnaught[1]
Claim the Light and establish a new class of Guardians

At War with:

The City
Fallen
Vex
Hive
Taken

Average height:

5'-8'

Average weight:

800 lbs

Distinctions:

Bulky physique
Cleft upper lip
Psychic (Psions only)
Slender (Psions only)

Average lifespan:

Very long [2]

Notable groups:

Blind Legion
Dust Giants
Ice Reapers
Sand Eaters
Siege Dancers
Skyburners
Red Legion

Notable individuals:

Dominus Ghaul
Valus Mau'ual
Primus Sha'aul
Primus Ta'aun
Valus Ta'aurc
Valus Tlu'urn

Other Names:

"Space Turtle" [3]

 
"I think you could follow a trail of shattered worlds all the way to their home."
Grimoire description.[4]

The Cabal are a warmongering race with a heavy-set, rhinoceros like appearance, and their ever expanding empire spreads through organization, efficiency, and corruption[5]—their occupation of Mars is but a fraction of its full might.[6] Few Guardians who have encountered the Cabal live to tell the tale, and on every front they have been found to dig in deep, fortifying their installations with razor wire.[7]

Overview

"Embrace suffering. Only then can it be conquered."
—Bracus Tha'aurn[8]

The Cabal are an extremely tough species, willing to defend their territory until every last one of them is dead.[9] Their architecture is very industrial, with an emphasis on burrowing into mountains for defense.[10] Their armor and technology can often be seen leaking a substance similar to oil and even emit smoke when damaged or worn.[11] For centuries they have devoted their resources to occupying Mars and contesting with the native Vex programming as evidenced by the many Cabal ships seen bringing armies to and from the red planet.[9]

Interestingly, the Cabal is the only hostile race up to date that does not appear to overtly feature worship in its culture—the Fallen worship their god-like Servitors, while Hive have devoted their entire religion to the worship of the Darkness, and Vex revere the unknown entity that is the Black Heart—but as of the Taken War evidence has been gathered that the Cabal revere a deity-like Emperor.[12]

History

"We have just as much to learn from our enemies as we do from our past."
—Master Rahool[13]

The Cabal arrived in the Solar System at some point following the Collapse. Encountering no meaningful opposition, they established a beachhead on Phobos, constructing massive facilities such as Fleetbase Korus[14] and Firebase Thuria[15] before invading Mars. In the long years since, the Cabal have steadily advanced in the face of countless losses at the hands of Vex and Guardian forces.[16]

When a Cabal army goes to war it is exiled from the Empire, and is not permitted to return unless victory is secured.[17] This presumably provides Cabal troops with the incentive and motivation needed to endure long-term campaigns, though they can still wear down eventually.[18] Those on Mars showed signs of exhaustion as they were forced to fend off endless Vex assaults in addition to devastating Guardian strikes. A Ghost that had infiltrated a Cabal base on the planet took note of visible dissent among their ranks: while some remained loyal to the Empire and obeyed their ancient orders without question, others did not, and tensions between the two groups may presage a schism.[19] One unit, the Broken Legion commanded by Valus Trau'ug, even mutinied, massacring his superiors and attacking the Reef without authorization, resulting in their capture by the Awoken. For Trau'ug's treason and failure, Cabal High Command disavowed the entire legion, leaving them to rot in the Prison of Elders.[20]

The Taken War

Prior to the start of the Taken War, the Vanguard speculated that a new task force, a "second fleet" led by the Skyburners, was being assembled at Phobos for the purpose of invading Earth. After the arrival of Oryx, the Taken King and his Dreadnaught, however, the Cabal were forced to evacuate their Fleetbase and other sites in the system due to Taken infestations. In the ensuing battles, various detachments across Phobos and Mars suffered enormous casualties against the Taken, with the Sand Eaters losing 58% of their troops, the Blind Legion losing 35%, and the Dust Giants losing 39%.[21] In addition, the entire local Cabal fleet was mobilized, and any ship that was not already on the move by the time the Guardian arrived on Phobos was believed to have been destroyed.[22]

With the Skyburners being redeployed to reinforce the other battered Cabal during the course of the Taken War, the campaign against Earth was temporarily placed on hold. Following this considerable setback, Primus Ta'aun, commander of the Skyburners, sent a report up the Cabal chain of command suggesting that the Hive technology aboard the Dreadnaught could be co-opted for Cabal use. Ta'aun also proposed any technology recovered could be used against Guardians, as the Primus had begun to realize that the Cabal battle strategy was becoming hopelessly mired in a losing attrition war with the City.[1] His report reached the Cabal Emperor, who then ordered Ta'aun to personally board and capture the Hive vessel by any means necessary.[12] In the aftermath of the Battle of Saturn, Ta'aun rammed his warship, the Dantalion Exodus VI, into the Dreadnaught in order to establish a beachhead. While leading a squad through the Mausoleum in an attempt to reach Oryx's ascendant realm, Ta'aun was Taken and transformed into Ta'aun, Hand of Oryx.[23]

Ta'aun's bond-brothers Valus Mau'ual and Valus Tlu'urn then ventured deep into the Dreadnaught and planted explosives at its power core, either as part of a preconceived plan to force the Hive's surrender or to avenge their lost Primus or both. If allowed to succeed, the blast would have destroyed half of the Solar System. Fortunately, the two Shield Brothers were stopped by a Guardian fireteam before the explosives could be detonated.[17] Their leaders vanquished, the surviving Cabal on Dantalion Exodus VI transmitted a distress signal to the rest of the Empire. Though the Guardian disabled this signal, they were unable to prevent it from reaching its intended recipient.[24] The remaining Skyburners on the Dreadnaught continued to fight a desperate struggle to survive as their beachhead was slowly overrun by Hive and Taken.

Meanwhile on Mars, the Cabal clashed with the resurgent House of Wolves, who had gathered on the red planet to heed the call of their new God-Servitor Orbiks Prime. Weakened by the casualties suffered in previous conflicts, the Cabal were unable to evict the scavengers as they took the Cabal's subterranean labyrinths for their own. The Guardians solved the problem by destroying the Servitor, leaving the Wolves broken once more.[25]

Shortly after Oryx's defeat, a New Monarchy agent sent a report to his Executor superior which noted the depletion of Cabal leadership: the Skyburners' Primus and his bond-brothers, Primus Sha'aul, Valus Ta'aurc, Valus Trau'ug, and a large mass of lesser Vals and Bracuses all dead or heavily outnumbered. The New Monarchy believed that in the face of such staggering losses, the Cabal Empire would have no choice but to respond to the Guardians' attacks.[26]

The Red War

Two years after the Taken War, the Cabal Empire's response arrived. The Red Legion, under the command of Dominus Ghaul, launched a major surprise attack on the Last City. Catching them off guard, the Red Legion rapidly occupied the City and scattered its forces. [27][28]

Goals

"Without victory, we cannot go home!"
—Primus A'arn[29]

While the Cabal are a clearly militaristic species with a penchant for conquest, as evidenced by the existence of the Psion client race, their exact motivation for coming to the Solar System is unclear. They have a fascination with the Vex and their technology[30], as evidenced by their heavy presence at Vex sites across Mars, such as the gate to the Black Garden and the spire that unlocks it. The Cabal also sent an expedition to Mercury to investigate a Vex structure known as Vertigo, but the members of the expedition disappeared under mysterious circumstances without a trace.[31] It is unknown if the Cabal have attempted to visit any other worlds apart from Mercury.

Given the numerous casualties suffered at the hands of the Guardians, the Cabal have set their sights on the City [32], looking to find ways of neutralizing their self-resurrection abilities before committing to war.[1] Psion Flayers have been indicated to have already analyzed certain areas where Guardians cannot self-resurrect, such as the vicinity near the Black Garden, and that the Hive on the Dreadnaught possess the means of extending these areas. They are capable of very extreme tactics in the name of the Empire; from leveling entire planets for being in the way, to nearly blowing up half of the system. Cayde considers the Cabal to be war criminals for their brutality.[17] Yet for all their ferocity, however, it has been noted that the Cabal seem to secretly be running away from something terrifyingly powerful - possibly the Darkness.[10]

Biology

The Cabal are a bipedal, hulking, species that appears to be carnivorous, as evidenced by their many sharp, irregular teeth. They have wrinkled, leathery tan-grey skin, a tall skull, dark wide-set eyes, and a very high, inverted-V-shaped upper lip that exposes the Cabal's upper gums and fangs.[33] They come from a warm, humid climate, so they have to be constantly hydrated within their suits.[34] Therefore, while a resilient species, Cabal cannot survive in Mars's blistering environment without climate-controlled gel suits.[12]

References in the Grimoire indicate that the Cabal have females serving in their rank and file. However, they are indistinguishable from the males in gameplay, making the Cabal seem androgynous in human eyes. Any visible sexual dimorphism has yet to be seen.[12]

Hierarchy

"While reports have them centered on or around Mars, the true might of the Cabal is still wrapped in speculation."
—Cabal description.[35]

The Cabal in the Solar System are but one arm of a vast interstellar Empire, and in the words of Valus Tlu'urn are "a few scout legions bogged down in attrition war". The nature of the upper echelons of Cabal leadership, including the identity of the leader of the Cabal in the Solar System,[36] is unknown, except for the fact that the Cabal as a whole are ruled by an Emperor with final authority over military decisions.[12]

Various military ranks appear among the identified Cabal leaders:

  • Bracus is a rank seen among Sand Eater Centurions. It is likely a lower rank and subordinate to Valus.
  • Val is a rank seen among Phalanx and Centurion bodyguards. It is likely a subordinate position to Valus.
  • Valus is a rank reserved for elite Centurions and Colossi, possibly a commanding rank. It is subordinate to Primus.
  • Primus is a rank seen for the commanders of the Blind Legion and the Skyburners. According to Cayde-6 this rank is equivalent to an admiral. It is possible Primus is exclusive to specialized Legions. Sand Eaters and the Dust Giants, which are larger frontline regiments, have yet to show any commanders of that rank.
  • Dominus is a rank reserved for elite Cabal warlords. It is currently the highest known Cabal rank. Dominus Ghaul is currently the only Cabal observed to possess the rank of Dominus.

Legions

Named Individuals and Mini-bosses

Solar System Leadership

Cabal Empire Leadership

Major Characters

Minor Characters

Mentioned Only

Command Structure

  • Legionary—frontline heavy infantry that form the backbone of the Cabal military. Equipped with jump jets, and armed with either a Slug Rifle (common) or Projection Rifle (rare).
    • Elite Legionary
    • Fleet Legionary
    • Hardened Legionary
    • Imperial Legionary
    • Scout Legionary
    • Bloodguard Legionary
  • Phalanx—defensive troops that create impenetrable walls for support. Equipped with a Slug Rifle and Cabal Shield.
    • Elite Phalanx
    • Fleet Phalanx
    • Hardened Phalanx
    • Imperial Phalanx
    • Line Phalanx
  • Centurion—field commanders and special operation troops of the Cabal. Equipped with a Solar Shield and jump jets, and armed with either a Projection Rifle (common) or Slug Rifle (rare).
    • Fleet Centurion
    • Gunnery Centurion
    • Imperial Centurion
    • Line Centurion
    • Scout Centurion
    • Bloodguard Centurion
  • Colossus—elite heavy infantry units that lead the battle with their own ferocious size and strength. Armed with a Heavy Slug Thrower and have the ability to fire homing missiles from pods on the back of their armor. Can also unleash a three-hundred-sixty degree melee attack to inflict tremendous knockback and serious damage.
    • Elite Colossus
    • Fleet Colossus
    • Imperial Colossus
  • Psion—creatures of an unknown species that serve the Cabal military and take on the role of scouts or pilots. Has psychic abilities and is armed a Slug Rifle. Can move around quicker than actual Cabal units.
    • Elite Psion (Void Shield)
    • Fleet Psion
    • Psion Burner—specialist unit exclusive to Skyburners
    • Psion Flayer
    • Psion Operant
  • Gladiator—large cleaver-wielding Cabal who debut in Destiny 2.[27]
  • War Beasts—vicious, four legged Cabal creatures who debut in Destiny 2[28]
  • Incendior—flamethrower-wielding Cabal who debut in Destiny 2.
    • Bloodguard Incendior

Technology

The Cabal rely upon a thick, black, oil-like substance to run much of their equipment composed of many unidentified chemicals, and is potentially toxic to non-Cabal.[39] They possess technology, or potentially individuals which enable them to shape and transform the features of planetoids, much like the Hive, but not on the level of the Traveler. This technology has been used by them to draw Mars's moon, Phobos, very close to the planet.[13]

Weaponry

"Say what you like about the Cabal. They know guns."
Banshee-44

Vehicles

Other

Trivia

  • A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views or interests in a church, state, or other community, often by intrigue. Usually when organizations are labelled "cabal" it is a negative connotation that implies dark or sinister intent.[40]
  • Concept art showed Cabal working together with Fallen, indicating a possible alliance between the two races similar to that of the Covenant from Bungie's acclaimed Halo franchise.[41][42] However, this was later revealed to be concept art of the Taken.
  • Until The Taken King, the Cabal were the only enemy species who did not share a world with the Fallen. The Taken King added the remnants of the Fallen House of Wolves to Mars.
  • Strangely enough the Cabal Colossi are not completely helmeted but have their lower face exposed. This could be a developer oversight.
  • According to a speculative thread on DestinyTheGame based on inference from pre-Taken King mission content,[43][44] the Cabal's original motivation for coming to the Solar System may have been to investigate the Warminds of Earth.[45]
  • The official Destiny guide mentioned an additional Cabal legion, the Bone Crushers, but this legion never appeared in the game.[46]
  • As proven by Dominus Ghaul, they are capable of learning and speaking English fluently.
  • Not all Cabal have two syllables and commas in their names, as proven by the Red Legion.
  • The Red Legion use Launch Pods to deploy onto the battlefield.
  • It can be assumed that since the Cabal Scouts were exiled from the Empire, the Cabal Empire developed more advanced technology in the centuries leading up to Destiny 2, as the Red Legion mostly uses energy weapons, implying that the Cabal Scouts are using outdated ballistic weaponry and armor.

Gallery

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List of appearances

References

  1. ^ a b c Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Cabal 4
  2. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Bracus Tho'ourg
  3. ^ Destiny Live Action Trailer
  4. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Cabal
  5. ^ Game Informer January 2014, page 55
  6. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Cabal
  7. ^ Destiny the Game: Cabal
  8. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Bracus Tha'aurn
  9. ^ a b Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard
  10. ^ a b Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Cabal 2
  11. ^ The Enemies of Destiny
  12. ^ a b c d e Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Cabal 3
  13. ^ a b Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Psion Flayers
  14. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Fleetbase Korus, Phobos
  15. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Black Shield
  16. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Virgo Prohibition
  17. ^ a b c Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Shield Brothers dialogue
  18. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Sand Eaters
  19. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Cabal
  20. ^ Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Valus Trau'ug
  21. ^ Ishtar Collective - Ghost Scan: Cabal losses
  22. ^ Bungie (2015/9/19), Destiny: The Taken King, Activision Blizzard, The Coming War dialogue
  23. ^ Bungie (2015/9/19), Destiny: The Taken King, Activision Blizzard, Enemy of My Enemy dialogue
  24. ^ Bungie (2015/9/19), Destiny: The Taken King, Activision Blizzard, Outbound Signal dialogue
  25. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Wolves of Mars
  26. ^ Bungie (2015/9/19), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Cabal Champions
  27. ^ a b c Polygon - Watch the first teaser for Destiny 2
  28. ^ a b c YouTube - Destiny 2 – “Rally the Troops” Worldwide Reveal Trailer
  29. ^ a b Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Silence of A'arn
  30. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Vertigo
  31. ^ Gameinformer: We Analyze Destiny: The Taken King’s Eight New Crucible Maps
  32. ^ Destiny the Game Cabal
  33. ^ YouTube Bungie at GDC 2013: Destiny Character Development
  34. ^ Game Informer: The Enemies of Destiny
  35. ^ Destinythegame: Our enemies
  36. ^ Ishtar Collective - Judgment of Mars
  37. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmFGetMZi6s&feature=youtu.be
  38. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmFGetMZi6s&feature=youtu.be
  39. ^ Ishtar Collective - Ghost Scan: Cabal vent
  40. ^ Wikipedia.org Cabal
  41. ^ IGN Destiny Concept Art Analysis
  42. ^ Forbes.com Bungie's Destiny Revealed
  43. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, The Buried City
  44. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Dust Palace
  45. ^ reddit, I think I figured how what the Cabal are really after and why they haven't just blown up our system.
  46. ^ Destiny Official Strategy Guide