Destiny: Rise of Iron is set to continue to story of Destiny and the Guardians that players inhabit in the game’s universe. Bungie has already said that Rise of Iron will focus on Lord Saladin as he leads players on a mission to defeat a new threat—a technological virus called SIVA. Players will learn about the Iron Lords who fought to banish SIVA in the past, and they will become new Iron Lords themselves in the process.
Game Informer sat down for an interview with some of the writing and story team at Bungie to find out more about what fans can expect when Rise of Iron comes out.
Rise of Iron sets out to balance the past and the present. It’s a story of the player’s Guardian as they push the story forward in the present time while also learning about the past and how the past continues to affect Destiny‘s universe in the present and future. Rise of Iron’s story is all about uncovering what happened in the past, learning from it, and moving past it.
The expansion focuses on Saladin. As Bungie says, he is a man out of time. In contrast to the scale of The Taken King’s story where players faced off against the galactic threat of Oryx, the story of Rise of Iron is a bit more personal as it is tied to Saladin, but what happens still has implications to what happens in Destiny on an epic scale. The themes of Rise of Iron are duty and honor and nostalgia.
Part of that nostalgia is revisiting some old places that have changed. Bungie also says although the story is about Saladin and what happened to the Iron Lords, it is still all about the player. Bungie says “The world recognizes you. Your Guardian has a history in this game now.”
Rise of Iron will continue to infuse a sense of humor into the franchise. Much like The Taken King, there is a balance of epic scale and seriousness while also infusing the franchise with some humor. However, whereas The Taken King used Cayde-6 as the main source of humor, the primary quest giver is Lord Saladin who Bungie says is much more serious than Cayde. But Bungie is implementing humor through other characters like the player’s Ghost.
Like The Taken King, fans can expect more story-driven cinematics in Rise of Iron. Bungie says the cinematics team really wanted to focus on getting more cinematics into Rise of Iron, more so than some of the past expansions. One of those cinematics that Bungie was willing to reveal is focused on Lord Saladin, his past, and how he has become who he is as players experience him in the game.
Just as has been the case with every Destiny expansion, Bungie is adding more Grimoire to the game, which will further flesh out the story of the events players will be experiencing in the game as well as exploring more of the history of the Iron Lords.
The Iron Lords have been described as a “knightly order from the Dark Age” like the knights of Arthur and the round table. Players will recognize the Iron Lords from the Iron Banner weapons that have been in the game since Year One. But Bungie says when the names for the Iron Banner weapons were created, they were just names without any context. The writing team has since had to create the stories behind those weapons and their namesake characters.
Bungie gave some background to the Iron Lords. They were the first proto-Guardians who stepped up right after the Traveler had given its power to create what players experience for themselves as Guardians. In a period of lawlessness and civil war between what was essentially Guardian warlords, the Iron Lords tried to organize and uphold a sense of duty and honor, setting a precedent for the first and future Guardians.
The Iron Lords will get a slice of the spotlight as individuals with personalities and stories of their own. Bungie says Timur was “eccentric”, Felwinter’s story is interesting and surprising (we’ll also find out about his “Lie”), Radegast’s leadership will be a point of interest, and Skorri is called the “battle bard” or the storyteller of the Iron Lords. Jolder is said to be a Lancelot of the story, a beautiful but fierce warrior. Bungie says players should be able to have a more emotional connection with that character as they will spend the most time with Jolder’s story—that is, except for the Iron Lord that still lives…
A warning, as slight spoilers are ahead.
It also appears that another Iron Lord other than Saladin is still alive—Efrideet. She will be a character players actually get to interact with in-game in the Felwinter Peak social space. Described as the youngest of the Iron Lords, Bungie says at some point she left the Iron Lords. But in Rise of Iron, Efrideet has returned to close that chapter of her life. Where has she been all this time? Bungie says she has been with a group of Guardians focused on using their Light in new ways—a sort of “hippie movement” as one writer described it. It also sounds like Bungie has big plans for Efrideet beyond her character in Rise of Iron, hoping to continue her story in the Destiny sequel and beyond.
Bungie references Arthurian legend when talking about Rise of Iron and how that was very intentional. Lead Writer Chris Schlerf mentioned the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as a sort of inspiration—that movie has this backdrop of the story of Arthur and their search for the Holy Grail while also being a fun action romp in Indiana Jones’ present day. Bungie likened SIVA to the Holy Grail when comparing the two stories. The writing team also likened SIVA to Pandora’s Box, a source of untapped power that can be used in numerous ways for good or evil.
Bungie says the story will also dive into the factions more. Future War Cult, New Monarchy, and Dead Orbit play a part in the history of the Iron Lords.