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Grimoire The Cabal.jpg


Cabal homeworld

Focal world(s):



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

At war with:

The City

Average height:


Average weight:

800-1000 lbs


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

Average lifespan:

Over a thousand years [2]

Notable groups:

Blind Legion
Dust Giants
Ice Reapers
Red Legion
Sand Eaters
Siege Dancers
Imperial Cabal

Notable individuals:

Emperor Calus
Dominus Ghaul
Empress Caiatl
Primus Sha'aull
Primus Ta'aun
Val Ca'uor
Valus Mau'ual
Valus Ta'aurc
Valus Tlu'urn
Valus Thuun
The Consul
Bracus Zahn
Thumos, the Unbroken
The Psion Flayer Sisters
Evocate-General Umun'arath
Gahlran, the Sorrow-Bearer
Ignovun, Chosen of Caiatl

Other Names:

"Space Turtle" [3]
"War Rhinos"
The Cabal Empire

"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 of giant bipedal humanoids with a heavy-set, rhinoceros-like appearance. Their ever expanding interstellar Cabal Empire spreads through organization, efficiency, and corruption[5]. The Cabal army that occupied Mars and held it for some time was but a fraction of their full might[6]. During the Red War, Cabal warlord Dominus Ghaul and his Red Legion seized the Last City and the Traveler in a surprise attack. After Ghaul's demise, the Red Legion shattered into numerous warring factions across the Solar System. The exiled Emperor Calus, previously dethroned by Ghaul and later arriving onboard his spaceship, the Leviathan, presents less antagonistic attitude towards humanity and the Guardians. In recent time, Caiatl, daughter of Calus, assumed the Imperial throne and became the new Empress of the Cabal Empire.


"Embrace suffering. Only then can it be conquered."
— Bracus Tha'aurn[7]

The Cabal are an extremely tough species, willing to defend their territory until every last one of them is dead.[8] Their architecture is very industrial, with an emphasis on burrowing into mountains for defense. They are a very industrious, militaristic species whose social structure and way of life revolves largely around conquest and expansion.[9] Their armor and technology can often be seen leaking a substance similar to oil and even emit smoke when damaged or worn.[10] For centuries they have devoted their resources to occupying and mining Mars,[11][12] 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.[8]

Interestingly, the Cabal are 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, while the Vex of the Sol Divisive 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 Emperor Calus.[13][14] And at one point, they have even ruled the galaxy, and since the reformations that happened within their empire, they seek to do it again, and likely beyond.[15]



"In the Cabal legend, a hero seeks to possess the sun. He succeeds. Then, he becomes Emperor. The Cabal... are not a subtle people."
Tyra Karn[16]

The earliest period of the Cabal's history is the Era of Lead; before the aforementioned race had extended their reach beyond their immediate star system.[17] According to Cabal myth, three Cabal warriors sought to claim the sun atop a great mountain that was guarded by a mighty beast. The first two were killed attempting to outwit and evade the beast, but the third died with pride and honor after challenging it to battle. Her battle had left a mark upon the creature as her Cabal kin continued the tradition to face the creature despite repeated deaths; with each leaving a new scar upon the latter. The last warrior named Acrius had then deliver the killing blow upon the beast which had grown wounded and weary of the constant fighting.[18] Acrius became the first Cabal to succeed in claiming the sun, and thus united their race under his reign as the first Emperor.[16]

The ​Era of Conquest came as an largely unknown period of military expansion and galactic colonialization as the Cabal extended beyond their system to incorporate many worlds and client races into their empire; most notably was the Psion race who became assimilated in Cabal society as indentured servitude but were prized for their psychic abilites. Conquered worlds were enriched with ceremonial gold to ease defeat and afford the opportunity to challenge officers for representation within the Cabal's leadership.[19] In the earliest days of this new empire, the Cabal emperor ruled alongside the venal military aristocracy known as the Praetorate, which allowed the people to suffer so the Legions who served them could grow.[20] The Praetorate had also popularized the Rite of Proving: an ancient tradition of gladiatorial combat for free Cabal to prove their worth in battle and ascend in status.[21]

Foundation Age[edit]

The rise of Calus as Emperor would mark a paradigm shift in Cabal society as he began a campaign to reorganize the empire from its militant roots into one favoring art and philosophy. Much of the empire's history (which was transcribed in the Codex of Lawful Transgressions) was rewritten by his own cult of personality to cast a more favorable light upon Calus during his ascension. He also abused the Rite of Proving by gradually introducing draconian and byzantine bylaws into the Proving; most notably the role of an arbiter wielding the Hammer of Proving whose role was abused to the point that the Rite fell out of common usage in a century.[22]

Rise of Calus[edit]

"Under Calus, this system will unite. And when the end comes, we'll be ready. All of us."
Valus Nohr [23]

Upon Calus's Inauguration, he had the wasteland of an unknown planet cleared of any stone or plant in order to have a desert of pure white. Three days later, a violet pavilion was constructed and Calus's court was recreated in every detail. [14] The first act of his coronation was to send the Consul into the wasteland as a symbol for the revolution he would soon bring. During his reign, Calus decided to purge the corrupt Praetorate and he and his imperial guard marched into the temple where the former Cabal senate convened and assassinated them. [24] He then granted citizenship to the various Legions and set Evocate-General Umun'arath as Primus of All Legions.[20]

During this time, Calus moves the Capital to Torobatl so it could be closer to his people, throwing parades daily as he bought from the local marketplaces. Following his "great purge", Calus spoke to the people at Dau'uss, announcing that he had repossessed the wealth and plunder of the Praetorate elite. [20]

Early Exploits[edit]

"The war is all there is. All this- this is just logistical support."

Calus's reign was not without personal troubles. He was wary of Umun'arath, his Evocate-General, for her paranoia and obsessive fixation on war. His own daughter and heir, Caiatl, grew up similarly despite his efforts.[20]

One of Calus's pleasures was the Coliseum, and one day, an albino gladiator named Ghaul made his first appearance there. Ghaul's patient skill and unusual coloration soon made him a favorite of Calus's, and the Emperor eventually made him Primus of the Red Legion, where his talents would be put to better use. Calus grew to love Ghaul like a son, and believed they were kindred spirits who both envisioned a newer, more perfect world. Ghaul's association with The Consul and members of the Praetorate worried him, but not enough.[25][26]

Golden Age[edit]

"Is this not Calus's new Empire, an empire of achievement? Can't the Psions grow fat in thought, as you grow fat with power?"
Freeborn Otzot appealing to Emperor Calus[20]

Calus claims to have overseen a reign of glory. His Empire was an immense military power, but valued willpower, learning, gentility, and subtlety. Debate was as celebrated as warfare. Savage pit fights coexisted with precise marksmanship and refined martial arts. The Empire crafted technological marvels[27] that allowed every need to be met and every life to be lived in comfort.[28][29][30][31]

As the Cabal Empire expanded, it encountered countless alien races and absorbed them into itself: indoctrinating their species, collecting their technology, learning their knowledge, and merging with their culture. The number of species within the Cabal Empire "defied reckoning,"[32] and examples of the things they created, whether texts, tech, or superweapons, were archived in carefully maintained athenaeum worlds for study and potential future use.[33][27]

Centuries after destroying the Psions' clairvoyant OXA Machine, word reached the emperor that it had been rebuilt on the moon of Brand. The Evocate-General then sent her ships to bomb the moon but Calus stopped her ships and instead proposed an alliance with Otzot, the Psion which rebuilt the machine. [20]

It was seemingly during Calus's reign that the Cabal learned of the Traveler and the Light, and gained some knowledge on the Darkness from the "Dreams of worms". His Empire has even defeated a Light-empowered race on at least one occasion.[34][35]

Midnight Coup[edit]

"For centuries, I led the revels of my empire, and the stars themselves burnt sweet and clear. But in time the jealous and the tight-fisted rose up and sent me into exile."
Emperor Calus[20]

However Ghaul, having grown disillusioned with Calus's reign and determined to return the Cabal to their warmongering ways, conspired with the Consul and several of Calus's closest friends and advisors: Umun'arath, Shayotet, Otzot, Moli Imoli, Iska'al, and Caiatl in a bid to usurp the Emperor. Ghaul and his Red Legion launched his coup in the dead of night, arresting Calus and his Loyalists. With the Emperor too popular to simply execute, Ghaul, his Red Legion, and the Consul sentenced Calus and his supporters to exile aboard the Leviathan, taken far from the Empire along a pre-programmed course.

Ghaul swiftly assumed power. Declaring that there would be no more emperors, he instead assumed the title of Dominus and imposed radical reforms on the Empire. Under his leadership, Cabal culture moved from hedonism and pleasure for all to militarism and personal glory. The Empire's member species were diminished in relevance. Its subtlety was replaced by brute, industrial force. It conquered rather than absorbed.

War for the Sol System[edit]

Arrival in the Solar System[edit]

Cabal in battle on Mars.
"Whether we wanted it or not, we've stepped into a war with the Cabal on Mars."
— Commander Zavala[36]

The Cabal's scouting legions 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[37] and Firebase Thuria[38] before invading Mars. Their initial intention was to mine Mars for resources, but the scope greatly expanded upon discovery of the Vex ruins.[39] The Virgo Prohibiton, the Vex collective on Mars, didn't take too well to the Cabal arrival, and so began a war that wouldn't end until The Red War.

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.[40] It is possible that some Cabal were aware of Ghaul's coup against the Emperor, which may have been an additional source of tension, but the transmissions for this do not make it clear whether all of the Martian Cabal knew, or if they had taken any sides.[41] 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 in the Prison of Elders.[42]

During the Guardians' mission to reach the Black Garden, the Guardians had to charge a Gate Lord's eye to unlock the gateway. Traveling to Mars, the Guardians breached into the Conflux to power the eye but encountered regiments of the Blind Legion, a cabal army tasked with capturing and holding Vex artifacts. Despite the Cabal's efforts, the Guardians were able to reach the main site of the Conflux and begin to charge the eye but are then confronted by the Blind Legion's commander, Primus Sha'aull. After a heated battle and despite the Primus' efforts, the Guardians were able to charge the eye and kill Sha'aull. With the eye fully charged, the Guardians were able to reach the Black Garden. With the Primus dead, the Blind Legion was without a commander; a huge blow, and one in which the Blind Legion would never recover from.

At a later date, the Vanguard received a message from the Warmind Rasputin, warning them that a trio of Psion Flayers, called the Ice Reapers, were attempting to hack its mainframe on Mars, after the Warmind used Warsats to bombard Cabal troops. Wanting to prevent the Cabal from hacking into the Warmind's data and weapon systems, the Guardians formed a strike team and battled with the Cabal through the Dust Palace located in Freehold. Reaching to the Flayers' position, the Guardians made combat with the elite Psions and their guard but despite their power, they succeeded in slaying the Psions, saving Rasputin. A huge blow to another Cabal Legion, and one that seemingly destroyed the Ice Reapers, as they were never seen again.

Wishing to take the fight to the Cabal, the Vanguard saw an opportunity to strike a blow against the Cabal when Valus Ta'aurc, the infamous commander of the Siege Dancers, was seen in his Land Tank, Cerberus Vae III, stationed in the Valley of Kings. Forming a strike team and managing to breach past the Cabal's defenses, the Guardians were able to enter the Land Tank and confront Valus Ta'aurc. After a struggle, the Guardians succeeded in slaying the Valus, dealing a critical blow to the Siege Dancers and Cabal leadership on Mars. Not only did they slay the Valus but they also slew 4 others; ending The Siege Dancers chain of command and knocking them out of the war on Mars, along with the Ice Reapers, out of the fight.

The Taken War[edit]

"It came from the Emperor Himself. I’m ordered to board and capture the Hive flagship. At any cost."
Primus Ta'aun[13]

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. This was a huge blow. 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%.[43] 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.[44] 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 and the mightiest Cabal in Sol, 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.[13] 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.[45] 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, to avenge their lost Primus, or both. If allowed to succeed, the blast would have destroyed majority of the Solar System. Fortunately, the two Shield Brothers were stopped by a Guardian fireteam before the explosives could be detonated.[46] 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.[47] The remaining Skyburners on the Dreadnaught continued to fight a desperate struggle to survive as their beachhead was slowly overrun by Hive and Taken. Eventually, the remaining Skyburners were slaughtered.

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.[48]

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.[49] In due time, the Cabal's response would arrive.

The Red War[edit]

Seeking the Light[edit]

"I command Legions. Conquered worlds. Waged war across the galaxy to prove my worth. I alone am worthy of the Traveler's Light."
Dominus Ghaul [50]
The Red Legion fleet attacking The City

Two years after the Taken War and one year after the SIVA Crisis The Cabal Empire's response would finally arrive. The Red Legion under the command of Dominus Ghaul who would launch a devastating assault on the Last City which was carried out flawlessly. Taking the City by surprise, the Red Legion rapidly overwhelmed it and destroyed the Tower while his cage device latched onto the Traveler. Ghaul's forces took particular care to capture the Speaker alive, as the Dominus was interested in his connection to the Traveler. In a desperate plan to kill him, The Guardian boarded his flagship, The Immortal, and destroyed its shield generator in advance of a concentrated attack. This attack never materialized, and Ghaul personally stepped out to confront the Guardian. As the two faced off, the Cage activated its suppressive shield and stripped the Guardian -- all Guardians -- of their Light. With his victory assured, Ghaul beat and mocked the Guardian before kicking them off of the Immortal. Dominus Ghaul and his Red Legion had succeeded where previous forces had failed to accomplish for centuries, invading the Last City and defeating its Guardians.

Days later, aboard the Immortal, Ghaul implored the Traveler to choose him and join his empire. The Consul, in contrast, only viewed it as an advanced machine, and advised Ghaul to simply seize its Light by force. Ghaul disagreed with the Consul's approach and had the Speaker brought to him, seeking to use him to gain the Traveler's approval.

In addition to conquering the Last City, he sent his prized warship, The Almighty, to the systems sun to destabilize it and cause it to go supernova should the system resist any further. His remaining forces have been sent to the European Dead Zone to hunt the remaining Guardians, to Io to mine the remaining energy from the Traveler and to Nessus to study the Vex. Ghaul also sent a powerful force to Mars to reinforce the Cabal forces there, finally driving the Vex from Meridian Bay and destroying the portal to the Black Garden, he also destroyed most of the Virgo Prohibition, and all other places in the solar system.[51]

For a time, the Red Legion maintained complete control of the Solar System but a few Guardians were able to regain control of their Light from interacting with a Shard of the Traveler in the European Dead Zone. In doing so, they began to fight back against the Red Legion, humiliating their forces. At first, the guardians conducted minor operations such as scouting and analysis. These operations would soon advance into the theft of Legion supplies, and the assassination of their leaders. Soon after, the Legion firebase is disabled, with further operations being carried out. Gathering the Remnants of the Vanguard, the Guardians planned an organized attack to reclaim the Last City preceded by the disabling of the Almighty. Despite the loss of their Light, the Vanguard Leadership launched the attack to reclaim the Last City. As this occurred, the Guardian was tasked with boarding the Almighty and permanently disabling the superweapon. After eliminating the thread of the Almighty, the Guardian heads back to Earth to join the fight. Hearing of both the attack and the loss of the Almighty, the Consul angrily demanded Ghaul to take the Light from the Traveler, and destroy the Guardians. The Dominus, however, remained adamant that he needed to prove his worth to be chosen by the Traveler. In his rage, the Consul released the weakened Speaker and ranted that Ghaul had already been chosen, not by the Traveler but by the Consul, the day he found him as an orphan and raised him to be the warrior who would deliver their people and promise him vengeance. Convinced by this argument but angered by the Consul's arrogant insubordination, Ghaul killed his old adviser while swearing to take the Light by force.

At the top of his warship near the Traveler's Cage, Ghaul faces off against the Guardian he previously defeated once more, this time infused with some of the Traveler's Light, granting him similar abilities to the Guardians. However, the Light that was bestowed upon him was corrupted. After a fierce battle between the two, Ghaul was eventually defeated. Upon his defeat, Ghaul attempts to use Radiance and is resurrected as a massive ethereal figure due to his corrupted Light, declaring himself immortal as he speaks to the Traveler directly. In doing so, the Traveler wakes from its slumber, destroying the device that was harvesting its power and then destroys Ghaul himself, sending a massive shockwave across the planet and system, restoring the Light and ending Ghaul's threat forever. With their Light restored, the Guardians succeed in reclaiming the City and drove out the Red Legion. For the first time in history, the Red Legion has known true defeat and their seemingly undefeated leader was now dead.

Despite Ghaul's death and the liberation of the Last City, the Red Legion continued to carry on the Red War but had become seriously weakened and demoralized at the loss of their leader. Even so, the Guardians continued to battle with the Red Legion across the System. The Guardians succeeded in thwarting numerous and desperate plots the Cabal planned to give them an advantage, from using Taken energy to strengthen their forces, to destroying Protheon, Modular Mind before they could utilize the Axis Mind as a weapon, and acquiring deadly weapons from Bracus Zahn and his disgraced forces.

The Legion is currently active on Mercury, following Ghaul's death, getting into a stalemate with the Vex. Another remnant of the Red Legion traveled to Mars to resupply its forces but encountered the mysterious Hive army, the Grasp of Nokris. Now the Cabal enter into a stalemate with the Hive for control of Hellas Basin while also dealing with Guardian attacks.

Return of Calus[edit]

"If you seek the means to live to your potential, I can guide you to it. There is power in the universe beyond your feeble Light. I leave you with those words, and these parting gifts. Take them, and grow fat from strength."
Emperor Calus[52]
Emperor Calus

After the death of Ghaul, the former Emperor of the Cabal, Calus, arrived in the Solar System aboard his massive craft, the Leviathan, and immediately set to work on reclaiming the empire. He gave elements of the leaderless Red Legion the chance to "join the loyalist regime," sending them on missions to collect geological data on Nessus. These transmissions are intercepted in the Adventure Invitation from the Emperor. Calus intended to convert the soil of the planet into "Royal Wine".

Calus extended an invitation to The Guardian to board his vessel for slaying Ghaul. The Guardians accepted Calus' challenge and following a long journey through Calus' palace and defeating his loyalist army, the Guardians seemingly meet Calus in person in his throne room. Facing off against the exiled Cabal Emperor, the Guardians survive his strange powers and after dealing critical damage to him, they found that the Calus they were facing was really a robotic duplicate. Regardless, the Guardians succeed in destroying the robot. Before the destruction of the machine, Calus boasted about his power and claims to know the "real truth" about the galaxy and the purpose of the Traveler. Nonetheless, he rewards the Guardians for completing his challenge and offers them a place by his side should they seek him out.

Some months later, Emperor Calus called upon the Guardians again when his Leviathan broke off a chunk of Nessus that contained a powerful Axis Mind, Argos, Planetary Core, thus clogging up the massive vessel. Instructing them to repair his ship, the Guardians travel through the bowels of the Leviathan and succeed in repairing it and battle with Argos in the fiery maw of the ship. After a perilous struggle against the Axis Mind, the Guardians succeed in disabling its shield and destroy the mind. However, with Argos's shield gone, the Guardians were soon to be devoured by the inferno of the Leviathan. Fortunately, Calus saves the Guardians and rewards them for their success and the Cabal Emperor once again offers them more than just the power of the Light, as Calus demonstrated that he can keep them safe. He also cryptically warns them that the "end" is near and therefore must be ready, as he will find them again.

Rise of Ca'uor[edit]

Val Ca'uor
"If Calus possessed an iota of dignity, he would have helped Ghaul against the Guardians instead of gallivanting around the system. This was his moment to redeem himself. Instead, he proved himself the traitor we knew him to be... I will take the Leviathan for the Red Legion."
Val Ca'uor[53]

Some time later, following the end of the Red War, in the vacancy that was left behind by Ghaul's death, Val Ca'uor took advantage of the power vacuum and quickly asserted himself as the commander of the Red Legion. Under his direction, he hoped to resupply the Red Legion by pillaging Vex technology from Mercury and gather energy from Mars to regain their strength following the failure to capture the Traveler and defeat the Guardians. However, both efforts led to conflict with the Vex and the newly arisen Hive faction, the Grasp of Nokris respectively.

After Xol, Will of the Thousands was killed, Val Ca'uor led a fleet against The Leviathan in order to kill Emperor Calus and seize the ship for the Red Legion's purposes. His forces occupied the Spire of Stars, inflicting many Loyalist casualties, even destroying one of Calus's robotic duplicates. However, a Guardian team was sent by Calus in response, and with the aid of his psychic powers, they raided the spire, killed many of his troops, commanders and decimated the Red Legion fleet. Ca'uor was finally intercepted at the Celestial Observatory and in the following battle, he was overpowered by the team. Calus is impressed that the Guardians have grown "fat from strength and power" and rewards them once again. Calus then tells the Guardians that he awaits the day they will stand by his side when the end comes.

A Broken Legion[edit]

Scattered Across the Sol System[edit]

"The Dominus was a strong leader, but the Red Legion had more to offer than simply overwhelming force... They think us weak and insipid. I will show them the might of the Red Legion, and they shall not forget."
Val Ca'uor[54]
Guardians battling Ghalak the Forge Warden

Following their decimating defeat on the Leviathan and the loss of Ca'uor, any remaining survivors of the Red Legion found themselves within the Reef struggling to survive even as the region of space descended into chaos as the Fallen Scorn rampaged across the Awoken's domain. Yet at the same time, they found themselves in between the Guardians personal war with the Scorn, losing causalities to both groups during the conflict.

In addition to their disheveled state, the Red Legion begun suffering from multiple desertions such as those following Garut Gra'am who rooted themselves in Trappers Cave. The most prominent of these groups, the Unbowed Legion, made their debut in the EAZ during the Solstice of Heroes event in an attempt to take over the EAZ as a base of operations. Despite the group being lead by three large Cabal commanders similar to Ghalak the Colossus, Forge Warden, they were quickly put to an end by the Guardians partaking in the event.

In response, the Cabal have made actions against deserters, even placing Wanted Bounties through the Spider, as in the case of Valus Dulurc. Against the deprivation the legion currently faces they have been seen to continue some operations such as an attempt to take over the EAZ lead by two Bond Sisters. Other operations by the Red Legion include multiple attempts to gain territory such as assaulting Lost Sectors across the system and flushing out their inhabitants. Only the Combustor Valus and Blood Cleaver would be successful in this before eventually falling to money-hungry Guardians.

Opulence and Sorrow[edit]

Entrance into the Menagerie.
"There is a dark place aboard my ship where you have never been. Where I was reborn. Like you were reborn. The Menagerie awaits you, Guardian."
— Emperor Calus

Sometime following the Guardians recent battles with the Kell's Scourge and dealings with the Drifter, Emperor Calus called upon the Guardians once more for a challenge that threatens his Leviathan. One of his former Shadows, Gahlran, had gone mad after using the Hive artifact the Crown of Sorrow. It was soon revealed that Calus desired a Shadow to command the Hive and further his goals but Savathûn, the Witch-Queen laid a trap for the Cabal Emperor using the Crown. Though Gahlran was bred to control the artifact to further Calus's goals, he was ultimately consumed by it, which allowed the Hive to infest the deep treasure vaults of the Leviathan.

Wanting to cleanse the infestation and have Gahlran put down before his terror brought calamity, Calus had the Guardians form a Raid team to purge his space craft. The Guardians traversed the treasure vaults and encounter many dangerous Hive rituals but manage to persevere and reach Galhran himself. Despite the Crown granting Gahlran great dark Hive powers, the Guardians managed to slay the Sorrow-bearer, completely purging the Hive from the Leviathan. Calus, pleased with their continued successes, rewards the Guardians with great riches and officially names them one of his Shadows.

The Guardians accession to Shadow became sour news towards some in the Last City, particularly the Warlock Aunor Mahal, who believed that Calus is subverting the Guardians's priorities, brought her concerns and findings to the Vanguard. She proposed that the Last City should storm the Leviathan and take Calus out before his plans come to fruition. Unfortunately for the Praxic Warlock, while the Vanguard acknowledged that Calus was no ally, he kept the Red Legion in check and supplied the Guardians, nor did they wish to start a war with him. They reasoned that in time, Calus's influence over the Guardians will fall and if the Cabal Emperor does make a wrong move, they will not hesitate to send a strike team.

In the meantime, Calus extends an invitation to Eris Morn, offering her the position to replace Gahlran as Shadow of the Hive, knowing of her history with her hated enemies.

During the time of the of the Scarlet Keep invasion and the rise of the Nightmares from the Pyramid, a small detachment of Cabal was serving the Nightmare of Dominus Ghaul.[55]

The Triumvirate[edit]

Meddling with Time[edit]

Inotam, fusion of the Psion sisters.
"The past and future are at our fingertips, sisters. Let us see what prospects they hold."
— Ozletc, the Sky Piercer after gaining control of the Sundial.

Sometime after the Guardians' conflicts with the Hive and Nightmares on Luna and defeating the Vex Offensives, Osiris calls upon the Young Wolf to Mercury. The legendary Warlock claims that after The Undying Mind's final destruction, the timeways over Mercury have been undone and worse, a council of Cabal Psion Flayers aim to take advantage of the Vex's disorganization to assume control over time itself and undo their defeat during the Red War. Their meddling with Osiris's time-altering Sundial resulted in Mercury fracturing into three different eras, each with their own timelines dictated by the Psion Flayers. The Guardians team up with Osiris to ensure the safety of time, preserve the present and to save a legend, Saint-14.

The Guardians are successful in saving Saint-14 from his fate but during the three weeks of this conflict, Guardians also manage to slay the Psion Flayer orchestrators; the sisters, Niruul, the Hollow Voice, Ozletc, the Sky Piercer and Tazaroc, the Sun Eater, one by one.

After a few more weeks of combating the Red Legion near the Sundial, the Flayer sisters would band together and use their power to fuse into Inotam, Oblivion's Triune, to finish off the Guardians. Inotam violently clashed with the Guardians for control of the Sundial but despite her vast powers and reinforcements, the Guardians are successful in slaying Inotam, ending the Psion Flayer's schemes to subvert time. Regardless of this victory, Osiris feels that other Red Legion radicals exist and the Guardians must be ready for when they will appear. Osiris would in fact be right, for unknown to the Guardians, a fourth Psion Flayer remains; Amtec, the youngest of the sisters. Having been told of the possibility of her sisters's demise, Amtec now schemes to exact vengeance upon the Guardians in the name of her sisters.

Collision Course[edit]

The Almighty set adrift towards Earth.
"The Red Legion has one last play. They've boarded their superweapon the Almighty. And it's on the move. You already destroyed its starkilling munitions. But whatever the Legion hopes to achieve… won't end well for us."
— Zavala

After their crippling defeat at the Sundial, a contingent of the Red Legion, headed by the last remaining Psion Flayer, Amtec, decide to direct the Almighty into an ongoing collision into the Last City itself; disabling its propulsion engines and navigation systems despite the efforts of Zavala and Ana Bray. With little to no choice, the Vanguard decide to cooperate with the Warmind Rasputin, with Guardians arming his arsenal of Warsat satellites, in order to save their home from destruction. This begins The Almighty Crisis. A minor assault was staged against the Warmind's core on Mars only to be thwarted by the Guardian and Rasputin's frames. The Legion also has forces engaging the Seraph Towers throughout the system to prevent Rasputin's armaments from destroying the Almighty.

Meanwhile, a Shadow in service of Calus made off with the Fourth Horseman, an infamous Cabal killer stolen from the Tower, to eliminate key Red Legionnaires. However, the agent was disposed by a countermeasure put into place by Emperor Calus’s daughter, the Imperial Princess Caiatl. Regardless of this countermeasure, the Guardians were successful in reclaiming the Fourth Horsemen from a company of Red Legion soldiers guarding it.

During the past few months as Guardians succeeded in activating Rasputin's Seraph Bunkers, The Almighty had almost reached the Last City, so close, it could be seen from the Tower. Thankfully, Rasputin used his re-activated armaments and destroyed the Almighty, finally ending the Red Legion’s plot to annihilate the City, as well as destroying one of Ghaul’s most finest and destructive works. While the remains of the legendary sun destroyer plummeted into mountains close by with a small chunk chipping off a piece of the Tower, the Guardian's home was saved and the Cabal's latest scheme had been reduced to rubble. It is unknown if Amtec died on the ship or not.

Desperate Times[edit]

"Ain't much of the Legion left these days. They must be getting desperate. Remind you of something?"
— Drifter

With the Almighty's crash site no longer aflame and its debris no longer falling from the sky, the Red Legion was reduced to a barren few after countless losses. Despite this, the Legion still operates. Several groups of Cabal interfered with the Guardian efforts to collect energy from Pyramid scout ships on Io, seeking to take the phantasmal energy being gathered for their own unknown uses under the leadership of many Champions. These Champions have been seen to collect blooms, concentrated amounts of phantasmal energy from pyramid scales, and secure them for extraction. It is also unknown whether or not Amtec still leads the remains of the Legion due to the possibility of her death on the Almighty remaining unconfirmed. With their current state, it is possible they could turn to either Calus' Loyalists or, more likely, Caiatl's Regime. From what is learned by the Guardians at the Tree of Silver Wings, it is extremely likely the Darkness speaks/has spoken to the Cabal.

Empress' Advent[edit]

Calling the Legion[edit]

"She's calling the Legion home...or, no... back to her bosom? She wants them to capture Calus to prove their loyalty."
Sagira to Caiatl's transmission

In the wake of many destinations vanishing, Xivu Arath's Cryptoliths began corrupting many Red Legion Cabal just as Caiatl was beginning to rally the remaining remnants of the Legion through both the use of encrypted communications and blue emissaries. Caiatl commanded the Legion to return to her and to prove their loyalty by capturing Calus whilst she sent further Scouts and emissaries to the system. Entire encampments were abandoned along with mass graves reported and entire groups slaughtering each other or suffering internal conflict due to the Cryptoliths' influence leading Caiatl and her Scouts to become wary and attempt to investigate the situation. Despite many blue emissaries and Scouts sent by Caiatl, most reported the same above events.

Around the same time, Calus, the Loyalists, and the Leviathan mysteriously vanished from the orbit of Nessus. Osiris looked into its disappearance but found nothing hinting as to why the Leviathan left or where it was headed. In addition to this mystery was another. Of the Wrathborn, none being Red Legion have been encountered yet thus concerning Crow. It was later learned that the Wrathborn were not limited to the Sol System and that the Cabal empire under Caiatl had also mobilized to combat the 'disease' spreading amongst the fringes of their territory. [56]

Fall of Torobatl[edit]

Xivu Arath to the Cabal after invading Torobatl.

Though Caiatl ultimately ascended the throne as Empress of the Cabal Empire following so many crippling defeats and losses to the Guardians and other factions, she remained determined to restore her people to glory. Unfortunately, Caiatl learns to her horror that her old teacher, Umun'arath, has been studying Hive rituals and had begun to worship the Hive and the power they possess. Disturbed as Umun'arath explained that she saw the future of the Cabal in the ways of the Hive and their lack of fear towards death. Caiatl reminded Umun'arath that it was she who had taught Caiatl about how the bravery to defy death was what made soldiers. Uman'arath dismissed what her former student said and now proclaimed that with the rapidly deteriorating state of the galaxy they must embrace new ways and new gods to survive. After a long silence, Caiatl came to a decision and ordered Umun'arath to step down from her council.

Some time later, Caiatl was alerted by her advisors that Umun'arath had been apprehended, in the midst of conducting what appeared to be a Hive ritual. Caiatl arrived on the scene to confront the disgraced Evocate-General and was disturbed to find her with glyphs carved into her skin and a sickly green fire burning behind her. Dismissing the guards, Caiatl demanded to know what new god her former mentor was rambling about. Umun'arath stated it was the the god of war, causing the ground to begin rumbling. Caiatl declared that her obsession had turned her into a threat to Cabal society and began to pronounce her sentence, but Umun'arath then raised her hands, which glowed with energy and made the fire burn brighter while a stranger chattering began. Concerned, Caiatl drew her ceremonial blade and drove it into Umun'arath's gut, seeking to halt the ritual, but the corrupted general only laughed. Disgusted, Caiatl kicked Umun'arath off her blade and into the fire, inadvertently completing the ritual and summoning Xivu Arath, the Hive God of War, and her army to Torobatl through a massive portal.

A battle began to defend the Cabal homeworld, but the endless army of Hive ground down the Cabal's military regardless of Caiatl's efforts. The capital city was quickly overtaken by Cryptoliths which emerged throughout its streets. Caiatl herself took to the skies in her starfighter to defend her people's world, but found that while every missile she fired destroyed one set of foes, they were soon replaced, and she was eventually shot down. Wounded and with her combat suit leaking gel, Caiatl reflected on her role in the invasion, reflecting that even if she had been unwitting it was still her blade that completed the ritual Umun'arath set in motion. Xivu Arath then spoke, declaring that the Cabal had long worshipped war and thus her, and that she had finally come to claim her tribute.

With no other choice for her people to survive, Caiatl orders her people to retreat, the first time any Cabal leader had ordered. Weighing her options, Caiatl decides to venture with what is left of her people to the Sol System and recruit forces that have battled and slayed Hive Gods before: the Guardians. Aware that many of her Council will see such an offer of equal negotiation as weakness, she informs her advisors that she will demand the Guardians to kneel.

The Empress Arrives[edit]

"Even my people have a word for peace, but we do not use it often — or lightly. I wouldn't have summoned you if I was not sincere."
— Empress Caiatl.
Caiatl, the new Cabal Empress.

Following the Guardians managing to push back Xivu Arath's corruption and the Pyramids still encroaching on the system, the Vanguard of the Last City receive a surprise visit from the new empress of the Cabal Empire, Caiatl herself. More so that she comes peacefully and wishes to make an offer to the Guardians. Meeting with Vanguard Commander Zavala and former commander Osiris, Caiatl reasons that even though the Hive and the Pyramids have been pushed back, they have not been stopped and offers an alliance, bringing together the might of her empire to bear with the Guardians' Light and together, they can destroy their shared foes. In return, however, Caiatl demands that the Guardians bend the knee to her, something Zavala and the Guardians categorically refused to do. Angered, Caiatl issues a challenge to the Last City for control over the system, pitting the Guardians to face her strongest champions in a massive war game by rite of combat.

The Vanguard began using Caiatl's own embrace of ancient traditions against her, challenging the potential members of her War Council to the Rite of Proving and slaying them. Among them include, Commander Dracus, Basilius the Golem, and Val Ma'rag were slain. Gaining ground against the Empress's Chosen, Caiatl sends a private message to Zavala without the knowledge of her advisors. She told him that as a child she had believed rulers held absolute power to conquer and kill, but now understood that ruling was a form of servitude to ones people. Caiatl explained that she was beholden to the will of her people and that after the loss of Torobatl she could not retreat from the Sol System empty-handed in order to preserve their honor. Going into greater detail on her offer, Caiatl revealed that she saw the Guardians becoming the elite force of the Cabal Empire and promised that humanity would be free citizens just as the Psions now were. She asked once more for Zavala to reconsider and join the Cabal to gain revenge upon the Hive to ensure all of their survival against the Darkness. Despite the offer, Zavala and the Guardians continued on in combating Caiatl's Chosen champions in the Rites.

After several more weeks of losses to the Vanguard and tensions rising as members of both sides pushed for open war, Caiatl was contacted by Zavala, who issued a challenge for one final Rite of Proving, with each side selecting a champion and the winner setting the terms of their treaty. She agreed to the challenge and declared that if the Cabal's chosen champion emerged victorious then Nessus would be ceded to the Cabal, humanity would support her claim to the throne of the empire, and Zavala would join her War Council as a Bracus and serve as a hostage to ensure the cooperation of humanity. However, should the Cabal lose the Rite, then she would cease all hostilities against humanity immediately and withdraw Cabal forces from Earth. Pleased by Zavala's offer, which Caiatl considered clever and a way for both sides to avoid wearing themselves out before fighting the Darkness. As she considered who to select as the Cabal's Chosen champion, she reflected that her choice had to honor tradition to hold the Cabal together. Caiatl ultimately chose Ignovun as her champion for the final rite.

With Ignovun awaiting his challengers in the heart of the Imperial Land Tank, Halphas Electus, Caiatl hoped to wear down the challenging Guardians before they reached her Chosen champion. As three Guardians stormed the tank, Zavala issued the formal challenge to Caiatl and she accepted with a wish that their shared bloodletting would lead to unity. She warned the Guardians that they would not have safe passage through the Halphas Electus, which she claimed hungered for battle and questioned if they felt the same. Encouraging them to surrender, Caiatl promised to be merciful in their shame, but Zavala accused her of provoking the conflict that they would now end. Zavala questioned why she placed warriors between their Chosen combatants and wasted their lives, and Caiatl explained that they had sworn themselves to the Rite and were free to spend their lives as they saw fit. As the Guardians approached the ritual arena, Caiatl questioned if they enjoyed the act of killing and ritual combat. Zavala told her they would do what it took to secure the peace and offered mercy. Despite a fierce battle, Ignovun fell to the Vanguard's Chosen champions and Caiatl declared that she would honor their agreement while making arrangements for a meeting to finalize the treaty.

Accompanied by Blood Guards and the Psion attendant Valir, Caiatl met with Zavala on the surface of Nessus to ritually conclude their agreement. Valir handed her a ritual blade with which she cut her palm while declaring that their blood would be the last spilled in the conflict between humanity and the Cabal Empire and the ground upon which they stood would become hallowed. She handed Valir the blade back to present it to Zavala, but as the Psion approached him the Titan's Ghost Targe was suddenly disabled by a sniper with Light-draining tech. Caiatl was shocked by this ambush, but Zavala's bodyguard Crow barely saved him as Valir attempted to slay the Commander. With Crow injured and Zavala Lightless, Caiatl charged Valir and prevented him from finishing Zavala, lifting him into the air before slamming him back into the ground and ending his life. Swearing to Zavala that she did not order his assassination, she commanded one of her Blood Guards to hunt down the sniper and bring them to her for interrogation to discover who was behind the conspiracy before watching as Crow disabled the Light-draining tech and restored Zavala's Light to him. Despite the attempted assassination, the treaty was concluded and Caiatl declared that any Cabal who maintained conflict against humanity were criminals in the eyes of the Empire and would be left to the Vanguard's justice. The other traitor, Qalec, was found and during a broadcast to her empire, Caiatl executed him, announcing the conspirators pursued their own honor rather than for the good of the empire. The empress vowed to find the remaining conspirators and deliver the same fate upon them, stating they were one Cabal and would strike only as one fist. With the armistice reached, the war between the Last City and the Cabal was officially over.

During this entire situation, the Guardians found a distress signal coming from a derelict Cabal Carrier that was once in possession of Caiatl's father, Emperor Calus, the Glykon Volatus. The Guardian discovers that the ship was originally stolen by a lone Guardian named Katabasis and his Ghost, Gilgamesh, assisted by a Psion officer under the command of Emperor Calus. The ship was used for experiments on the Scorn in the hopes that Calus would be able to understand more about the Darkness. Katabasis piloted the ship to the Reef where he rendezvous with Calus in a Loyalist vessel and it was there where Loyalists brought the Crown of Sorrow. The experimenting with the Scorn continued, utilizing the Crown as a means of observing how the Darkness interfered with the Scorn's corrupted consciousness. Many test subjects perished from "continuous neuron death" except for one who "spoke with many dead voices". This scorn would become the Locus of Communion. However, when the Black Fleet arrived, the Glykon Volatus would be caught in the very edges of this sweep of Darkness and become abandoned. Katabasis would slowly grow corrupted by the Darkness, eventually leading him to destroy his own Ghost after it began to crave it's own suicide.

After boarding the vessel, learning what had happened on board, the Guardian defeats the Locus, and finds a decomposing Katabasis on the bridge, strung up with vines of the strange Darkness fauna/flora, being sucked of light by the Darkness. The Guardian would return week after week, uncovering the secrets of the Glykon Volatus and Calus's ritual with assistance from both Osiris and Caiatl.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Combating Xivu Arath

After the conclusion of the brief war against the City, the lifting of the Endless Night and the appearance of Xivu Arath's forces amassing in the Reef, Caiatl's advisors repeatedly urged her to launch a full-scale invasion of the Reef, believing its still-weakened state would result in a morale-restoring decisive Cabal victory. However, out of respect for the Awoken she had heard about during her time as princess, Caital was reluctant to do harm to them. Further, on the strategic level, she considered such warmongering a distraction from their struggle against the Hive God of War, whose forces remained a persistent threat and had to be engaged wherever they emerged. Caiatl's efforts, such as personally leading a fleet ambush and boarding action against one of Xivu Arath's Tomb Carriers, occupied enough of the Hive war god's attention and vice versa that Queen Mara Sov of the Reef believed neither would risk overextending themselves by attacking the Dreaming City in force.

Nonetheless, when Caiatl learned that Savathûn, the Witch Queen, had revealed herself in the Dreaming City, she gathered her advisors and drew plans for just such an attack in order to destroy Savathûn while she was still vulnerable. In addition, intelligence from Lord Saladin (liaising on behalf of the Vanguard) and Psion agents relayed that Savathûn was a willing captive of Mara Sov, but Empress Caiatl, aware of Savathûn's reputation for cunning, schemes and lies and uncertain that Mara could outplay her, continued to weigh the decision to invade.



"Oh the headache again. I swear it's these symbols..."
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"Without victory, we cannot go home!"
— Primus A'arn[57]

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[58], as evidenced by their heavy presence at numerous 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.[59] It is unknown if the Cabal have attempted to visit any other worlds apart from Mercury, Mars, Io and Nessus.

When a Cabal army goes to war it is exiled from the Empire, and is not permitted to return unless victory is secured.[46] This presumably provides Cabal troops with the incentive and motivation needed to endure long-term campaigns, though they can still wear down eventually.[60] Those on Mars showed signs of exhaustion as they were forced to fend off endless Vex assaults in addition to devastating Guardian strikes.

Given the numerous casualties suffered at the hands of the Guardians, the Cabal have set their sights on the City,[61] 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 of 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 blowing up entire planets for being in the way, to blowing up most of the system. Cayde-6 considers the Cabal to be war criminals for their brutality.[46] Yet, for all their ferocity, it has been noted that the Cabal seem to secretly be running away from something terrifyingly powerful - possibly the Darkness.[9] The Cabal, under the Red Legion, finally managed to find a way to disable Guardians' self-resurrection abilities through the Traveler Cage but it was later destroyed by the Traveler.

The Cabal's primary reason for coming to Mars was apparently to mine its resources[11][12] and investigate human technology.[7] This changed with the discovery of the Virgo Prohibition and later the Guardians. Even when the Red Legion arrived, the Cabal still displayed an interest in mining.[62] Much of the Cabal's ambitions also centered around one of their core cultures, the Rite of Proving and the Bell of Conquests.


"We have just as much to learn from our enemies as we do from our past."
— Master Rahool[63]

The Cabal are a bipedal, hulking species that appear 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 with slit pupils, and a very high, inverted-V-shaped upper lip that exposes the Cabal's upper gums and fangs.[64] They come from a warm, humid climate, so they have to be constantly hydrated within their suits.[65] Therefore, while a resilient species, Cabal cannot survive in Mars's blistering environment without climate-controlled gel suits.[13] Cabal have long lifespans, in one case having lived well over a thousand years without any apparent infirmity.[66]

The Cabal species has male and female sexes, and presumably reproduces sexually. The Cabal have advanced cloning and genetic manipulation technology, as exemplified by the Ceremonial Bathers spawned by the Leviathan's cloning facilities. [67]

References in the Grimoire indicate that the Cabal have females serving in their rank and file.[13][68] However, they are indistinguishable from the males in gameplay, making the Cabal seem androgynous in human eyes. Depictions of two known female Cabal, Caiatl and Umun'arath, suggest that they have tusks, while males do not.[66] Recordings from the Councillor Match suggest that young female Cabal get 'first tusks', perhaps implying that these can be shed like the antlers on a deer. This is supported by certain unique Cabal enemies such as the European Aerial Zone Bond Sisters, who lack tusks but are confirmed to be female.

The Drifter claims that Cabal do not have any fat on their bodies, only muscle.


"Push, you dogs! Put your backs into it."
"Whatever secrets, whatever power is hidden within this ice, belongs to the Red Legion."

The Cabal language is Ulurant. It has been described as "grunting" and "moronic", lacking in subtlety. [69][70] Nevertheless, the City has yet to fully translate it or its various dialects. [16] The Cabal are confused by the term "Ghost", translating it as "Dead Person", [71] though this may be a simple error in semantics as the word "ghost" indeed exists in the Cabal vocabulary. [25] They do not appear to have a word for "hubris" [16] or "retreat" ; conversely, they have six words for "advance".[46] In the Warmind comic, it is written using a heavily distorted English alphabet, with each word flipped upside down and reversed. When speaking to Uldren Sov in the Black Garden, a legionary's speech is transcribed with the tone of a stereotypical London accent.[72]


The Cabal characters for numbers zero through nine.

Like humans, Cabal make use of the decimal or base-ten numeral system. A system similar to Roman numerals also appears to be in use, primarily seen in the naming of heavy vehicles such as the Cerberus Vae III or the Dantalion Exodus VI.

Research and Development[edit]

The Cabal are always looking for ways to increase their power, and have devoted a lot of time to finding and adapting the technology of other races. However, they frequently do not fully develop the technologies they use, leaving structural weaknesses to be exploited, as Ikora notes in Reversing the Polarity. Ghost also noted on Mars that their security systems are absurdly easy to exploit, claiming they were less complex than DOS, which is a family of basic operating systems that were antiquated even before the human Golden Age. A poor imitation of a Vex device was also found in the Cabal base on Io. They also frequently tamper with forces they hardly understand, whether it's the Traveler's Light, the Taken's radiation, or the Darkness itself.


"While reports have them centered on or around Mars, the true might of the Cabal is still wrapped in speculation."
— Cabal description.[73]

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,[74] is unknown, except for the fact that the Cabal as a whole are ruled by Dominus Ghaul, who has final authority over military decisions.[13] The Praetorate is an influential military aristocracy that controlled the Empire's Legions in the past, but holds somewhat less power under the reign of Ghaul.[66]

Various military ranks appear among the identified Cabal leaders:

  • Dominus is the highest rank in the Cabal Empire, the equivalent of a military dictator. Ghaul claimed this title following his successful usurpation of Emperor Calus.
  • Primus is a rank seen for the commanders of the Blind Legion, Skyburners, and Red Legion. According to Cayde-6 this rank is equivalent to an admiral. It is possible Primus is exclusive to specialized Legions. The Sand Eaters and Dust Giants, which are larger frontline regiments, have yet to show any commanders of that rank. One Primus is usually selected by the reigning Emperor to hold the post of Evocate-General, also known as Primus of All Legions, which commands the entire Cabal military.
  • Valus is a rank reserved for elite Centurions and Colossi, possibly a commanding rank. It is subordinate to a Primus.
  • Commander is a rarely seen rank among the Cabal hierarchy. What position it lies in the hierarchy is unknown, but from in-game evidence suggests it is a superior to Val.
  • Val is a rank seen among Phalanx, Centurion, and Incendior bodyguards. It is a subordinate position to a Valus.
  • Bracus is a rank seen among Sand Eater Centurions. It is likely a lower rank and (possibly) subordinate to a Val.
  • Field Commander is an extremely rare rank among Cabal. What position it lies is completely unknown other than by assumption being equal to or just over Commander.
  • Optus is a rank exclusively to Psion among the Imperial Cabal. What position it lies is completely unknown.

Titles such as Emperor and Consul are used by the Empire's political leaders. Calus held the title of Emperor before his exile. However, upon conquering the Empire, Dominus Ghaul refused to claim the title after he overthrew Calus, insisting that there would be no more Emperors, though his supporters sometimes refer to him as "the Emperor" anyway out of respect.[66]

Bond Brothers is another title and designation given to Cabal Commanders who work in tandem and display a unique sense of Comradery.

The Legions themselves are organized into smaller sub-units:

  • Legions
  • Cohorts
  • Centuries
  • Maniples
  • Squads

Some Cohorts may have Auxiliary units attached, such as a noncombatant Strategic Intelligence Maniple.[1]

The Red Legion appears to use an alternate command structure with eccentric designations: it is divided into Fractures, which are further subdivided into Scales, Bridges, and Masses.[75] Companies have also been identified, though how they fit into the previous is unclear. [76]


The Cabal seem to be great architects, they build massive structures and build them within a short period of time depending on the legion. The Red Legion built Firebase Hades in a short period of time without being detected, but this fast building might explain the weaknesses within the Cabal structures, which can be exploited. Most of them are impressive but sloppy in build, easy to breach, and are able to be shut down or disabled for long periods of time (e.g. Firebase Hades, which is currently disabled).


Named Individuals and Mini-bosses[edit]

Cabal Empire Leadership[edit]

Royal Faculty[edit]

Solar System Leadership[edit]

Major Characters[edit]

Minor Characters[edit]

Mentioned only[edit]

Client Species[edit]

In addition to the Cabal themselves, the Cabal Empire includes numerous other species whose civilizations were incorporated into the Empire as clients, either willingly or by force. Several of these were part of the Empire before Calus was ousted during the Midnight Coup, while others were encountered by Calus during his exile and joined his Loyalists faction.

Command Structure[edit]


The Cabal rely upon a thick, black, oil-like substance to fuel and supplement much of their technology. It is composed of many unidentified chemicals and is potentially toxic to non-Cabal.[81] 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.[63] They are capable of engineering on enormous scales, as demonstrated by the Traveler Cage, the Almighty, and the Leviathan, and routinely destroy planets for fuel or simply for "getting in the way." [82] Through the Traveler Cage, they demonstrate the ability to manipulate Light via technological means, and can even forcibly bestow it on beings not originally blessed by the Traveler.


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




  • The Cabal were the second enemy faction to make their appearance in Destiny, shown in the Law of the Jungle trailer, being preceded by the Fallen.
  • The Cabal are sometimes informally referred to by Guardians as "War Rhinos" or "Space Turtles".
  • The official Destiny guide mentioned an additional Cabal legion, the Bone Crushers, but this Legion never appeared in the game.[86]
    • However, it’s possible that the Blind Legion were originally called the Bone Crushers, until the game was completed, as their symbol is a skull.
  • 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 labeled "cabal" it is a negative connotation that implies dark or sinister intent.[87]
  • Many Cabal units are named after features of the Roman Empire’s military. Legionaries are the foot soldiers of both armies, Phalanx is a military formation, and Centurions were officers in the army.
  • 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.
  • 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.[88][89] However, this was later revealed to be concept art of the Taken.
  • Strangely enough, the Cabal Colossi are not completely helmeted but have their lower face exposed. This could be a developer oversight.
  • Not all Cabal have two syllables and commas in their names, as proven by the Red Legion.
  • In the Cabal Booklet it appears that females of the Cabal race are capable of growing Tusks, similar to Elephants.
  • The Cabal were called space rhinos by Cayde-6.
  • Along with the Taken and Nightmares, the Cabal are the only faction of enemies that do not have a Kamikaze unit.
  • From what is observed in the final room from the final contact mission, it is likely, considering the Cabal's unique history with the Light, they will be the first to turn to the Darkness after the Fallen.
  • Empress Caital is the only major cabal leader to survive their encounter with the guardians.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Cabal 4
  2. ^ Cabal Booklet: An Invitation
  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. ^ a b Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Bracus Tha'aurn
  8. ^ a b Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard
  9. ^ a b Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Cabal 2
  10. ^ The Enemies of Destiny
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  12. ^ a b Ishtar Collective - Ghost Scan: Trans-Jovian threat]
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  14. ^ a b Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Alone as a God
  15. ^ Bungie (2020/3/10), Destiny 2: Season of the Worthy, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Heir Apparent
  16. ^ a b c d Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Legend of Acrius
  17. ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen, Bell of Conquests
  18. ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen, Praefectus Suit
  19. ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen, Gilded Conquest
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h Cabal Booklet
  21. ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen, From the Front - I. The Hopeful Legion
  22. ^ Bungie (2021/2/9), Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen, Hammer of Proving
  23. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Mask of Nohr
  24. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Inaugural Address
  25. ^ a b Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Ghost Primus
  26. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Conspirator
  27. ^ a b Bungie (2018/8/5), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Insigne Shade Gloves
  28. ^ Bungie (2018/8/5), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Equitis Shade Boots
  29. ^ Bungie (2018/8/5), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Equitis Shade Cloak
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  32. ^ Bungie (2018/8/5), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Insigne Shade Cover
  33. ^ Bungie (2018/8/5), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Insigne Shade Robes
  34. ^ Bungie (2018/8/5), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Equitis Shade Rig
  35. ^ Bungie (2018/8/5), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Turris Shade Gauntlets
  36. ^
  37. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Fleetbase Korus, Phobos
  38. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Black Shield
  39. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Virgo Prohibition
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  41. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Dunemarchers
  42. ^ Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Valus Trau'ug
  43. ^ Ishtar Collective - Ghost Scan: Cabal losses
  44. ^ Bungie (2015/9/19), Destiny: The Taken King, Activision Blizzard, The Coming War dialogue
  45. ^ Bungie (2015/9/19), Destiny: The Taken King, Activision Blizzard, Enemy of My Enemy dialogue
  46. ^ a b c d Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Shield Brothers dialogue
  47. ^ Bungie (2015/9/19), Destiny: The Taken King, Activision Blizzard, Outbound Signal dialogue
  48. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Wolves of Mars
  49. ^ Bungie (2015/9/19), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Cabal Champions
  50. ^ YouTube - Destiny 2 – Official “Our Darkest Hour” E3 Trailer
  51. ^ Ghost Scan the Gulch
  52. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Leviathan (raid)
  53. ^ Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, The Emperor's Envy
  54. ^ Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Last of the Legion
  55. ^ Nightmare Hunt: Rage
  56. ^ Bungie (2020/11/10), Destiny 2: Beyond Light, Playstation 4, Wild Hunt Helm
  57. ^ a b Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Silence of A'arn
  58. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Vertigo
  59. ^ Gameinformer: We Analyze Destiny: The Taken King’s Eight New Crucible Maps
  60. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Sand Eaters
  61. ^ Destiny the Game Cabal
  62. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard The Inverted Spire
  63. ^ a b Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Psion Flayers
  64. ^ YouTube Bungie at GDC 2013: Destiny Character Development
  65. ^ Game Informer: The Enemies of Destiny
  66. ^ a b c d Cabal Booklet
  67. ^ Gahlran's Origins
  68. ^ reddit - Observance comments on Have you read the Book of Sorrows? It's extremely revealing about the origin of the Hive, and maybe the Darkness.
  69. ^ Bungie (2014/12/9), Destiny: The Dark Below Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Rasputin 2
  70. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Dunemarchers
  71. ^ Bungie (2014/12/9), Destiny: The Dark Below Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Cabal 4
  72. ^ On the Hunt
  73. ^ Destinythegame: Our enemies
  74. ^ Ishtar Collective - Judgment of Mars
  75. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, D.F.A.
  76. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard Invitation from the Emperor
  77. ^ Bungie (2017/9/9), Destiny: Console, Activision Blizzard - Ghost Scans
  78. ^ Bungie (2017/9/14), Destiny 2: Console, Activision Blizzard - Cayde-6 dialogue: "You should see some of these reports I've been reading about Mars. And you thought the Red Legion didn't play games here."
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  81. ^ Ishtar Collective - Ghost Scan: Cabal vent
  82. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Exclusion Zone (mission)
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  84. ^ Equitis Shade Cloak
  85. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Red Legion, Black Oil
  86. ^ Destiny Official Strategy Guide
  87. ^ Cabal
  88. ^ IGN Destiny Concept Art Analysis
  89. ^ Bungie's Destiny Revealed