The Leviathan is a massive Cabal space vessel that serves as the personal pleasure craft of the exiled Emperor Calus and his Loyalists. It is the site of the Leviathan and Crown of Sorrow Raids, as well as the Leviathan, Eater of Worlds and Leviathan, Spire of Stars Raid Lairs. The former takes place exclusively within the palace atop the ship, whereas the latter takes place deep within its interior and around the tower situated on the top of the ship, respectively.
The Leviathan was constructed at some point prior to or during Calus’ reign as Emperor. According to Calus himself, the ship was modelled after “a mythical beast from the dreams of worms”, possibly the Leviathan of Fundament. Its original function, whether a prison barge, warship, or pleasure craft, is unclear.
- “This Leviathan. This prison ship. I will remake it, as I have been remade. No longer will it represent a mythical beast from the dreams of worms. It will serve as an icon for my newfound gluttony.“
- — Emperor Calus
On the night of the coup that deposed him, Emperor Calus was arrested and quietly ushered aboard The Leviathan, where Dominus Ghaul and his co-conspirators intended him to remain in exile in perpetuity. The Leviathan’s navigation system was locked onto a course that would take it far from the Cabal Empire’s domain. After many centuries, the system failed and the ship progressed no further; it had come upon a great expanse of nothingness, and could not plot a course through a place that did not exist. It was here that Calus claimed to have encountered something that overawed him, potentially the Darkness itself, and resolved to become its herald. With the navigation system unlocked, Calus charted a course back to Cabal territory, collecting Shadows from various alien races along the way to enact his revenge against his usurpers.
- “The Cabal seat of power now resides in orbit ’round Nessus. In a giant fish.“
- — The Drifter
Following Dominus Ghaul’s death during the Red War, The Leviathan arrived in the Solar System and began consuming the planetoid Nessus.
Sometime after The Leviathan began consuming Nessus, it sucked up a powerful Vex mind: Argos, Planetary Core, which projected a shield to protect itself, while simultaneously clogging The Leviathan. The Vex mind was only removed through the intervention of a Guardian fireteam. After the death of Xol, Will of the Thousands, the Red Legion, led by Val Ca’uor, attempted to take control of The Leviathan and kill Emperor Calus, only to be stopped by another fireteam of Guardians.
The Reef armada regularly performs fleet maneuvers near the Leviathan to intimidate Calus that any action he takes can be met with equivalent force. Though target locks are established, no fire is exchanged on either side.
A Shadow Gone Mad
Wanting a Shadow to command the Hive, Calus breeds Gahlran to wear a Hive artifact known as the Crown of Sorrow. However, Gahlran is driven mad by the Crown’s power, as it was a trap laid by Savathûn, the Witch-Queen. Under the control of Savathûn, Gahlran summons a massive Hive infestation, killing many Loyalists, and taking control of the depths of the Leviathan’s Menagerie. Now wanting his former Shadow put down, Calus calls upon the Guardian and their allies once more, offering more riches and rewards upon their success.
After a gruelling struggle against the mad Shadow and the Hive’s magic, the Guardians succeeded in killing Gahlran and retrieving the crown. With the artifact back in Calus’ possession, he orders his Psions to continue studying the runes found underneath it to find a way to prevent anyone else who would wear it from falling to its madness and to also leave its ability to control the Hive intact.
Calus later honours the Guardians with a Tribute Hall established aboard his ship and offers them to become his Shadows of Earth.
After the Darkness Fleet overcame multiple planets in the solar system, Calus and his Leviathan vanished, nowhere to be seen. Sometime during the conflict between Empress Caiatl and the Guardians of the Last City, a distress signal was discovered on the outer edges of the Reef, which led Caiatl’s forces, as well as Guardians, to an abandoned derelict known as the Glykon Volatus. The Guardian is tasked by Zavala to respond to the distress signal recovered in the EDZ and rescue Katabasis aboard the ship in exchange for his rifle. Osiris accompanies the Guardian on their outing, with Caiatl lending her assistance as she searches for the whereabouts of Emperor Calus.
Fluorescent spores and Egregore fauna infest the interior of the ship, with the remains of Cabal Legionaries and Scorn Stalkers scattered throughout the various areas. The Glykon Volatus has been overrun with Corrupted Scorn and is being led by the Locus of Communion, the mutated result of Calus’ attempts at communing with the Darkness through the Crown of Sorrow. The team heard numerous voices of the dead several times while navigating through the ship such as Sagira, Cayde-6, and Uldren Sov. Upon reaching the boiler room, the Guardian successfully defeated the Locus of Communion and traversed through further vents to reach the bridge of the ship. Once there, the team discovered that Katabasis had died and his corpse was strung up by the Egregore, slowly siphoning the Light from his body; his rifle was lain on the ground next to the fauna.
After numerous expeditions to the ship and uncovering each of the smuggling compartments revealed by the Captain’s Log pieces, the team discovered the Crown of Sorrow underneath the bridge of the ship. Osiris noted that the Crown was ‘listening’ and had been altered from its original design of possessing the wearer to assimilate two entities together. He also wished to recover this and return it to the Tower for further inspection, but Caiatl strongly objected.