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This is an existing article that will feature heavily in Destiny 2. Please refrain from any edits that may be considered speculative or conjectural in nature. We ask that all further edits and additions made to this article contain information pertaining to Destiny only. Information regarding Destiny 2 can be added once there is further concrete information available.
Grimoire The Cabal.jpg

Focal World(s):

Mars, Phobos, Earth, Nessus


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

Average height:


Average weight:

800 lbs


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
Red Legion

Notable individuals:

Dominus Ghaul
The Consul
Iron Guard
Valus Mau'ual (deceased)
Primus Sha'aul (deceased)
Primus Ta'aun (deceased)
Valus Ta'aurc (deceased)
Valus Tlu'urn (deceased)

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. They are led by Dominus Ghaul.[7]


"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 and mining Mars,[12][13] contesting with the native Vex programming as evidenced by the many Cabal ships seen bringing armies to and from the red planet, and recently dealing with the Guardians.[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, later being revealed to be Dominus Ghaul.[14]


"We have just as much to learn from our enemies as we do from our past."
—Master Rahool[15]

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[16] and Firebase Thuria[17] 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.[18]

When a Cabal army goes to war it is exiled from the Empire, and is not permitted to return unless victory is secured.[19] This presumably provides Cabal troops with the incentive and motivation needed to endure long-term campaigns, though they can still wear down eventually.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22]

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%.[23] 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.[24]

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 Dominus Ghaul, who then ordered Ta'aun to personally board and capture the Hive vessel by any means necessary.[14] 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.[25]

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.[19] 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.[26] 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.[27]

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.[28]

The Red War

Two years after the Taken War, the Cabal Empire's response arrived. The Red Legion, under the command of the Cabal Emperor, 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. [29][30]


"Without victory, we cannot go home!"
—Primus A'arn[31]

While the Cabal are a militaristic species with a penchant for conquest, as evident 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[32], 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.[33] 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 [34], 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.[19] 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]

The Cabal's primary reason for coming to Mars was apparently to mine its resources[12][13] and investigate human technology.[8] This changed with the discovery of the Vex Prohibition and later the Guardians. Even when the Red Legion arrived, the Cabal still displayed an interest in mining.[35]


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.[36] They come from a warm, humid climate, so they have to be constantly hydrated within their suits.[37] Therefore, while a resilient species, Cabal cannot survive in Mars's blistering environment without climate-controlled gel suits.[14]

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.[14]


"While reports have them centered on or around Mars, the true might of the Cabal is still wrapped in speculation."
—Cabal description.[38]

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,[39] is unknown, except for the fact that the Cabal as a whole are ruled by Dominus Ghaul, who has final authority over military decisions.[14]

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 the Cabal Emperor. It is currently the highest known Cabal rank with Dominus Ghaul possessing it.
  • Consul is a rank reserved for high-ranking Cabal political leaders. It is seemingly a rank for diplomatic relations. The Consul is the eponymously-named and only Cabal observed to possess the rank of Consul.


Named Individuals and Mini-bosses

Solar System Leadership

Cabal Empire Leadership

Major Characters

Minor Characters

Mentioned Only

Command Structure


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.[42] 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.[15]


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




  • 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.[43]
  • 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.[44][45] 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Cabal have been likened to US Navy SEALS and Special Forces.[47]


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List of appearances


  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. ^ a b 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 Ishtar Collective - Ghost Scan: Cabal losses
  13. ^ a b Ishtar Collective - Ghost Scan: Trans-Jovian threat
  14. ^ a b c d e Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Cabal 3
  15. ^ a b Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Psion Flayers
  16. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Fleetbase Korus, Phobos
  17. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Black Shield
  18. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Virgo Prohibition
  19. ^ a b c Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Shield Brothers dialogue
  20. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Sand Eaters
  21. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Cabal
  22. ^ Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Valus Trau'ug
  23. ^ Ishtar Collective - Ghost Scan: Cabal losses
  24. ^ Bungie (2015/9/19), Destiny: The Taken King, Activision Blizzard, The Coming War dialogue
  25. ^ Bungie (2015/9/19), Destiny: The Taken King, Activision Blizzard, Enemy of My Enemy dialogue
  26. ^ Bungie (2015/9/19), Destiny: The Taken King, Activision Blizzard, Outbound Signal dialogue
  27. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Wolves of Mars
  28. ^ Bungie (2015/9/19), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Cabal Champions
  29. ^ a b c Polygon - Watch the first teaser for Destiny 2
  30. ^ a b YouTube - Destiny 2 – “Rally the Troops” Worldwide Reveal Trailer
  31. ^ a b Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Silence of A'arn
  32. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Vertigo
  33. ^ Gameinformer: We Analyze Destiny: The Taken King’s Eight New Crucible Maps
  34. ^ Destiny the Game Cabal
  35. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard The Inverted Spire
  36. ^ YouTube Bungie at GDC 2013: Destiny Character Development
  37. ^ Game Informer: The Enemies of Destiny
  38. ^ Destinythegame: Our enemies
  39. ^ Ishtar Collective - Judgment of Mars
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ Ishtar Collective - Ghost Scan: Cabal vent
  43. ^ Cabal
  44. ^ IGN Destiny Concept Art Analysis
  45. ^ Bungie's Destiny Revealed
  46. ^ Destiny Official Strategy Guide
  47. ^ GameSpot - E3 2017: How Destiny 2's Weapons, Enemies, And Matchmaking Are Changing