As the world of Destiny 2 has become more and more story-driven characters and places from the lore have started to crop up, again and again. Perhaps one of the most important and the most interesting has slowly been trickling into the game since last season. Now, in Season of Plunder, many people are asking the same question: who is Nezarec?
Destiny 2 veterans or those well versed in the lore may have had an inkling before this week’s story, but to the general Guardian populous they are a relatively mysterious figure. You may recognise them from an Exotic or two, but who is Nezarec? Why are they important? What do they have to do with the Eliksni, the Witness or the Darkness?
That’s a question we hope to try and answer today as we piece together who Nezarec is in Destiny 2.
Want more Destiny content and guides? You can find more here on KeenGamer:
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- What Should Be Done About Divinity in Destiny 2?
- Destiny 2 Arc 3.0 Explained: Keywords, Builds and Exotics
- Destiny Community Faces Difficult Conversations About Toxicity
Who is Nezarec?
The first question is simple: who or what is Nezarec in Destiny 2?
This will be an overview of everything we know about Nezarec based on his lore and mentions within Destiny 2. There are also some speculations based on what we know that may end up correct or incorrect depending on the path of the story, so keep that in mind.
Perhaps the most important thing to know about Nezarec is that he was a Disciple.
Nezarec, Disciple of the Witness
One of the most prolific revelations from this season is that Nezarec was another Disciple of the Witness. This is the same title given to Rhulk (although he was specifically the First Disciple) the final boss of the Witch Queen Raid in Savathun’s Throne World.
Before Season of Plunder, this idea was a bit nebulous. There were hints and foreshadowing towards this fact, but nothing concrete. However, in this season’s story, Eramis straight-up confirms Nezarec’s existence as a Disciple of the Witness (along with a few other things).
We know that he belonged to the Lunar Pyramid (the Pyramid found on the Moon during Shadowkeep) and that he was buried there after death. His body was discovered by the Eliksni when they first ventured to Sol after the Whirlwind. They then cut his body apart to harness his dark power for themselves.
How he died or his exact actions before death still aren’t clear.
An Eliksni Relic (or Relics)
After being discovered by the Eliksni, Eramis reveals that they hacked apart his body into several different pieces. Chunks of flesh that would convey his powers of the Darkness onto the Eliksni. These pieces of Nezarec are the relics which we have been collecting throughout Season of Plunder – the same relics wanted to be the Witness.
However, as many things related to the Darkness do, they were capable of corrupting those who encountered them. Mithrax was one such character, who was warped by his connection to the relic, becoming a greedy and merciless killer. He slaughtered his kind in the search for more and more relics.
Whether this exact outcome is due to Nezarec himself (he is described as a god of pain and what is more painful than killing kin and family) or just from his position as a Disciple isn’t clear. However, after that, the chunks of his body were scattered all across Sol, hidden until this day.
Now, Eramis and the Witness wish to seek out the pieces of Nezarec for one reason or another. Whatever it is, it cannot be good, and so we are asked to help stop Eramis from getting her grubby four arms on the relics.
Nezarec and Humanity
One of the most interesting parts of Nezarec is that, unlike Rhulk or other members of the Witness crew, it seems that Humanity knew of him. Part of it did, at least.
The lore tab of Nezarec’s Sin Exotic Helmet is an extract taken from a pre-Golden Age text called Of Hated Nezarec. A full extract of the lore can be found below, but the most important things to take away are the reverence given to Nezarec and that this is written by a Human before the Golden Age.
Cults aren’t exactly a new idea in Destiny (the cult of Osiris springs to mind, for example) so imaging a dark cult dedicated to this dark god of pain isn’t unfathomable. Especially considering that Nezarec’s Pyramid, the Lunar Pyramid, is only a hop, skip and jump away from Earth. The way that Of Hated Nezarec deifies the Disciple makes this seem like a text of worship rather than a text of disgust, despite the title.
Whatever the case may be, Nezarec has some sort of dealing with Humanity, either pre or post-Golden Age. The chances that he ended up on the Moon without any sort of communication or interaction is simply unbelievable. Especially considering his domain as a God of Pain.
Source of the Nightmares?
Stepping into speculative territory here, it may be the case that Nezarec is the source of the Moon’s Nightmares.
As Nezarec is a god of pain (specifically, the ‘final god of pain’), it would make sense that torment and guilt are part of his wheelhouse. We know from Shadowkeep and even from Season of the Haunted that Nightmares exist to hound and plant the seeds of doubt in those they haunt – whether that be Eris, Crow or even Calus himself.
Considering that the Lunar Pyramid is Nezarec’s and that his weapon, the Nezarec’s Whisper Glaive, contains traces of Nightmare energy (like all the Haunted weapons do) it isn’t that much of a stretch to argue that his influence caused the Nightmares. That could have been his central power of the Darkness.
However, this isn’t confirmed, so take it with a grain of salt.
Herald of the Collapse?
Another theory has to relate to Nezarec’s potential title in Destiny 2. As we know from last season, Calus is the Herald of the Collapse. Specifically, he is the Herald of the Second Collapse.
This implies that there was perhaps a Herald of the first Collapse. Once again, if we consider Nezarec’s connection with Humanity, his location compared to Earth, his powers and his role as a ‘god of pain’, then it could align that Nezarec was the Herald. Calus also gains his power from the Lunar Pyramid, the same Pyramid that Nezarec belonged to.
He failed as not only is Nezarec dead, but Humanity is still alive, but there is potential that he undertook this role. We know that Savathun helped stop the Collapse from back then, but what if that was more direct than we thought – what if she was responsible for stopping Nezarec directly? When Nezarec’s corpse is cut moths fly out of it in a similar vein to Osiris’ fake body.
Many details about Nezarec line up in favour of this theory: he had contact or interactions with Humanity before the Collapse, he dwelled on Earth’s Moon in his Pyramid, and he was dead by the time the Eliksni made it to the system. A lot of it checks out.
Other things may point differently, however. Nezarec is never specifically referred to as a Herald and Calus may simply be the very first time this title has ever been given (in that perhaps the first Collapse didn’t need one). Additionally, the fact that Nezarec seemingly dealt with Humanity before the Collapse means that he likely didn’t always have this title (if he ever had it).
Whether you believe this theory is down to your interpretation of the lore. Either way, Nezarec is a bad guy and his reintroduction to the story spells doom and gloom for our Guardians.
Lore Containing Nezarec
Until this season, Nezarec has never really been mentioned outside of some background lore. Even then, his mentions were scarce and spread out over years. The first time he was talked about was back in Destiny 2 Vanilla.
Here are the following pieces of lore that feature a mention of Nezarec. You can read the full extracts of each on Ishtar Collective.
Nezarec’s Sin is an Exotic Warlock Helmet from the start of Destiny 2. Its affinity and ability specifically tie it to the element of Void, which had many believing that perhaps Nezarec had something to do with Void Light. Recent additions, such as Delicate Tomb and Nezarec’s Whisper, point away from this idea, however.
The lore for Nezarec’s Sin goes as such:
“HE IS THAT WHICH IS AN END. AND HE SHALL RISE AGAIN.” – Passage from Of Hated Nezarec, a Pre-Golden Age Text.
“He is that which is end. That which covets sin. The final god of pain – the purest light, the darkest hour. And He shall rise again. When the guiding shine fades and all seems lost He will call to you. Fear not. All He offers is not as dark as it may seem. For Nezarec is no demon, but a fiend, arch and vile in ways unknown. He is a path and a way, one of many. And his sin – so wicked, so divine – is that he will never cower when dusk does fall, but stand vigilant as old stars die and new Light links its first upon his feted eternity.” – Passage from Of Hated Nezarec
Nezarec’s Sin Exotic Helmet Lore Tab
As previously discussed, there is an element of worship in this text. Despite the name of the text being negative, Nezarec is given a sense of divinity here with his capitalised pronouns and reverent tone. This points to ‘Of Hated Nezarec’ likely being a text used in a cult or some other organisation where Nezarec was worshipped, even pre-Golden Age.
The fact that this is specifically pre-Golden Age is even more interesting. The Witness obviously had Disciples prior to Humanity gaining access to the Light, but it shows that Nezarec, a Disciple, had connections with Humanity even before the introduction of Guardians and the Collapse.
Nezarec’s name fell fairly quiet after this in Destiny 2. The ominous reference to a god of pain went unnoticed for some time. Then the Drifter came.
In a piece of lore called Artifacts and Old Friends, wielder of the Last Word Shin Malphur talks about the tales the Drifter has told him. One of these is that he visited the ‘fourth Tomb of Nezarec’.
This was the first mention of Nezarec having multiple tombs. Before then, it wasn’t even clear that Nezarec was real but now he was and has several tombs.
Shin brushed this off and assumed that this was impossible, a show put on by the Drifter. Knowing what we know now, however, of the Eliksni Relics it is very feasible that maybe the Drifter did such a location.
Never really too sure with the Rat.
The next big leap in Nezarec’s story came last season in Destiny 2 with the Legendary Arc Glaive Nezarec’s Whisper. This was the 2nd time that Nezarec’s name had been attached to a piece of gear and the first time he had been mentioned in some time.
The lore tab of Nezarec’s Whisper starts with the line: “RISE, DISCIPLE AND BEAR THIS GIFT WITH PRIDE.” This was spoken by Rhulk, the First Disciple.
Glaives are interesting weapons in Destiny 2 as they are unusually aligned with the Darkness more than anything else. Additionally, beings close to the Witness seem to all have one, or something like it at least. Savathun had the Engima, Rhulk had Lubrae’s Ruin, and even the new Tormentors had a scythe-like weapon. And now we know that Nezarec had one too.
The lore itself walks us through a moment with Eris where she is transported to several locations around the Moon. She eventually ends up in the Lunar Pyramid, in a cavernous chamber where she finds the Glaive abandoned on the floor. The Glaive still has power and when Eris calls out to the dark, nothing answers her.
The main thing this piece of lore got us was the hint that not only was Nezarec a Disciple but also that the Lunar Pyramid belonged to him. This fact was proven this season by Eramis.
Finally, the latest, and possibly most disturbing, piece of lore comes from the seasonal Exotic Delicate Tomb. This is an Arc Fusion Rifle which doesn’t seem to have much relation to Nezarec at first glance.
However, when you consider that tombs are only really associated with Nezarec, in a season dedicated to finding relics that were likely stolen from the tombs of Nezarec, it begins to grow clearer. The lore tab for Delicate Tomb is as follows:
“THE DANGER WITHIN IS REPULSIVE TO US.
They mistake the vessel for its contents. They confuse the pieces with the whole. They see their imprisonment as empowerment.
They are hostages of their flesh, unable to see without vision. Unable to hear without sound. Unable to slake their thirst for fear of drowning.
Their ignorance is their saving grace.
Yet one among them understands, in their limited fashion. They pour from one vessel to another. A welcome change. A new form. Another method of gifting death.
I am made finite. Personal. Bright and delicate to hide my true form. An intimacy.
They think me contained, but I am instead diffused, as vapor upon the wind.
Once again, I am becoming.”
Delicate Tomb Exotic Lore Tab
Based on this lore, we are likely wielding a tomb of Nezarec. Pair this with some creepy animation details such as the fact that the gun spews a powder when reloaded or that it contains some quite obvious imagery taken from the Pyramids, and it’s a pretty safe bet.
If you read this lore from the perspective of Nezarec, it gets even worse. Perhaps now that his pieces are coming together, he is capable of greater thought. Whatever the case may be, what is being described isn’t pretty.
What is even more perplexing is the identity of the one who understands. It could be Eramis, but she is being forced along by the hand of the Witness and so it is unlikely that she understands. A more tragic case would be that it is Eido, doomed to fall to the curse as her father once did as she researches the relics (she does mention that opening the relics would alter her physiology).
Or perhaps it is that mysterious third party who keeps interrupting your Pirate Lord hunts? Who knows for sure? What is clear is that Nezarec seems to be coming back – whether we want it or not.
That’s everything we know about Nezarec in Destiny 2.