Saturn is curious world, stranger than any other place in the Sol System, imo.
Why? Well for starters, there are no records of the Traveler ever having visited the Saturn system. It appeared at Jupiter and terraformed two moons (presumably Europa and either Ganymede or Callisto). Then Mercury and Venus. After that, Mars. It’s unclear exactly what happened after. It did something to Luna’s gravity. Did it do anything to Earth itself? We know that it started moving back outwards, because it was terraforming a third moon of Jupiter, Io, when the Darkness arrived and it returned to Earth.
Did it ever make it out to Saturn and its moons? If it did, then it definitely didn’t terraform Titan for some reason. The conditions described in the book “The Last Days on Kraken Mare” are an exact match for real-world Titan. If the Traveler did make it out to Saturn before the Collapse, it seems strange to me that it would terraform some of the moons but not the biggest and most important.
So with that in mind, it’s quite striking that there are so many strange, mystical, and enticing mysteries surrounding the moons of this be-ringed planet:
For starters, let’s look at Titan itself. We established above that the moon wasn’t terraformed by the time of the Collapse. Yet today, there is something very strange at play with the moon. It’s unclear exactly what the current conditions on the moon are. Sloane and Zavala around without a helmet, suggesting that Titan in Destiny’s present day is much warmer than real-world Titan. But she also makes a remark about the seas being liquid methane, along with a not very helpful comment about moisturizer.
But there’s more. Real-world Titan is a frozen ball of ice with a few scattered methane lakes and a nearly opaque atmosphere of orange haze. Titan in-game however, has none of those things. The atmosphere is much thinner and clearer, and the surface is a dark blue sea of some sort. The simplest explanation for this would be that something heated Titan up, melting its thick icy crust into a global ocean. This however conflicts with Sloane’s comments about the sea being methane (unless she means a solution of methane dissolved in water?). And furthermore, what would have caused this dramatic change? It would have had to have been since the Collapse, and it wasn’t the Traveler. Was it a long-term Golden Age project that managed to keep running after the Collapse? Would the Hive do it? Was it something else entirely, like the big leviathan in the water? I have no answers.
But this post isn’t just about Titan, the other Saturnian moons have plenty of enticing mysteries.
Rhea: This little moon has something called the Cauldrons of Rhea, which are apparently of great interest to the Nine. And, the Nine might be responsible for the disappearance of several Awoken ships near Rhea. The Nine are apparently interested in gaining physical form. Could these Cauldrons of Rhea help them achieve that?
Dione: This moon is home to near-mythical orchards of crystals that resonate with elemental energy. A fireteam called Pergamon vanished after finding these Crystal Orchards. Some crystals from the orchards apparently made their way into the hands of a Dark Age Guardian, then they got shuffled around before finally being turned into
a set of window shades Chromatic Fire.
Enceladus: Cayde famously left Petra a cryptic message: “It’s on Enceladus.” Now, when the quest first came out, there was much speculation that Cayde might have been referring to the Deep Stone Crypt. The message immediately after it was addressed to the Deep Stone Crypt after all. However, we now know that the DSC was on Europa. So what is on Enceladus that Cayde wanted Petra to find? Further, why would he only tell her about it in the possibility that she was responsible for his death? A death that he thinks would be accidental. I wonder if we’ll ever get the chance to find out.
Hyperion (no not
that Hyperion): In the real world, this little moon is a befuddling little sponge of a rock. But more relevant to Destiny, this was where Maya Sundaresh was stationed sometime after an incident with Vex simulations on Venus. It was here that they built and tested the CHASM device, a Vex inspired technology that let the users peer into alternate timelines. The device, as well as Maya’s journals of the early uses of it, seem to be the founding materials of the Future War Cult.
Telesto: This is actually the most straightforward of Saturn’s moon’s. After the battle between the Awoken and Oryx’s Dreadnaught, some depleted Harbinger matter ended up on the moon. A sample was collected and turned into everyone’s favorite game breaking fusion rifle. Doesn’t seem like there’s much more to it.
The Dreadnaught: This isn’t one of Saturn’s mysteries, but I feel I should mention it anyways, since I’m going through all this trouble. Roughly 5 years ago, the Dreadnaught punched a circular hole in Saturn’s rings with its Oversoul weapon. Now, the rings of Saturn aren’t a solid or coherent structure. They’re thousands upon thousands of little rocks, all orbiting at different speeds. By now, their differential speeds should have filled in the hole around the Dreadnaught. Or, if the Dreadnaught continues to emit a residual force on the debris around it, it should have carved out a broad gap all the way around the rings, like the Cassini Division. But it hasn’t. The hole around the Dreadnaught remains stubbornly circular. So the Dreadnaught must be holding it that way.
To summarize, I think there’s something very curious going on with Saturn and its moons. There are strange happenings on many of its moons, and there’s no indication that the Traveler was involved with any of them. Hive, Vex, or something weirder, they remain a mystery. But it’s clear that we’ve only scratched the surface of the wonders surrounding the ringed planet.
- – https://www.ishtar-collective.net/entries/the-sixth-seal-part-ii
- – https://www.ishtar-collective.net/entries/lost-pacific
- – https://www.ishtar-collective.net/transcripts/utopia?highlight=thirty
- – https://www.ishtar-collective.net/cards/ghost-fragment-vex-5
- – https://www.ishtar-collective.net/cards/telesto
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