Future War Cult, The Vex, & Possible Exo Tie-ins

Given that the Faction Rally is in full swing, I figured it’s a nice time to get some dots connected and theories going.

For those who are unaware, the Future War Cult was started by Maya Sundaresh, previously of the Ishtar Collective. The first tests took place in Lhasa, Tibet, under the supervision of Sundaresh and several other scientists. The ‘device,’ as it’s called, was built to resemble the Vex gateways Maya had known at Ishtar:

We built the device in mimicry of the Vex gateway systems from Ishtar. An observatory, yes, but I think of it as a mind-ship. Capable of displacing its payload across space and time.

However, these experiments quickly fell apart, with researchers committing suicide and disassociating; those at the Lhasa station soon started treating the Device as a god:

We are all growing superstitious. The behavior of the device is inconsistent. Impossible to replicate. We turn to ritual behavior to appease it.

We speak of nothing but the device. We talk about it like a demigod.

Maya eventually retired and left Lhasa to rejoin with her wife, and left the record behind. That same record is still being used within Destiny and Destiny 2, and the Lhasa “cult” evolved into the Future War Cult.

So, the FWC was founded by Maya Sundaresh, who is tied to the Vex through her time at the Collective and Specimen Twelve. However, this connection with the Vex persists even after the Collapse and into the City Age. The most prominent example of this is the Paradox quest chain during the Taken King. At the end of Paradox’s alternate ending, the Guardian discovers Praedyth’s Ghost:

Another dead Ghost. This is…wait, I think this is Praedyth’s Ghost. She’s still got files in her core memory. They’re marked with Future War Cult headers. I’d bet Lakshmi will want to see this.

This sets off a chain of events that ultimately culminates into the No Time To Explain. However, there are several notable objects, including Atheon’s final thoughts:


In which the “CHASM” seemingly relates to the War Cult’s CHASM records; at least, Atheon and the War Cult were glimpsing the same thing. The FWC increases their recruitments during this time, which implies that they don’t want people to learn about their connection with the Vex:

“Lakshmi-2. Not a lot of changes since we arrived, but I think all the activity with the Vex—and the rumors about the Exo Stranger—have them on edge. They’ve been recruiting like crazy both here and at the Vestian Outpost.” —Ghost

Additionally, artifacts of Pujari and Ana Bray are pulled through time:

“Let me see what you … a bracelet. With the symbol of House Bray? Ana Bray’s personal sigil. Guardian, the inner circle will be grateful that you have returned this artifact to the Tower.”

“And now … what? A ring, with the symbol of the Warlock Pujari? Death, again. Like Ana Bray, a Guardian fallen to the second death. Lost to us. We shall study these objects, Guardian. Learn why they have been pulled through time.”

Pujari is connected to the Vex through Legend: The Black Garden, in which he flung himself from the Shores of Time and had a vision of the Garden. However, Ana Bray is reclusive in the lore- we know that she’s a Bray, that she fought at Twilight Gap, and that she was a Gunslinger. Her connection to the Brays does lead us down an interesting path, though…

This section relies on a lot of assumptions and spinfoil. Also, d2 spoilers abound!

Cayde-6’s Treasure Island book all but confirms that Clovis Bray is responsible for the creation of the Exos. Cayde fell into debt, then became an Exo instead of paying it:

Surprise. It’s not just a bill. There’s a job offer tucked in. Seems old Bray’s been looking for someone like me. Willing to forgive my debt, and not just for the orbital station. All of it.
Suddenly, I ain’t so mad anymore.

So Ana is related to the Brays, but how is she related to the Vex/FWC/Collective? When the experiment in Lhasa was first being conducted, Maya logs the need of something beyond a body:

I think it’s clear that part of the problem is substrate. We need more than flesh and drug to survive this.

Alongside this are the two race-specific Ghost Scans: The Tangle, Nessus & Terrabase Charon, Io, #2. Both imply connections with Vex and Exo technology:

Aah! I think this Conflux reacted to your Exo body… and then it burned out. Is there some connection between the Exos and the Vex? That can’t be.

Don’t touch that thing! It’s— it looks like this access point has been modified to allow Exos to interface with the Vex network. Let’s just leave it alone, for now.

Exos may not be made to interface with the network, but they can.

This invites more speculation on the Exo Stranger, who also features in the NTTE questline. She can ‘step’ like the Vex can, and her field notes are similar to those seen in the CHASM logs:



So, it’s not impossible that her travels have taken her to Io and Nessus, especially with the Vex activity there.

Several questions still remain: did the Brays rely on previous knowledge of Vex technology to create the Exos? There’s evidence of people using Vex technology with the Device. Additionally, was Ana part of the Cult? Did Sundaresh go on to assist with the creation of the Exos?


I love this. I don’t have any more answers for you but I just want to say how well put together this is. Awesome job sleuthing & researching Guardian!


Thanks, Purple! :purple_heart:


I was also particularly interested in The Future War Cult’s CHASM Records and went through the Ishtar database cataloging as many as I could in what should be chronological order, based on the Record numbers. I then went through them and found many connections to other Destiny topics, just as you did. Things like Toland’s messages, The Exo Stranger, The Worm Gods and/or Ahamkara, and an as-of-yet unknown enemy type. (Destiny 2 post-credit cutscene, anyone?)
I’ve included a link here

There’s a very high chance that Ana Bray is a member of the cult because she was included in the NTTE quest.
Great post @erin !

But have you ever thought of how Ana Bray remembers her name after becoming a Guardian? Most of the time, a ghost finds a fallen (killed, not Fallen) warrior and determine whether their worthy. But when Guardians get resurrected, we don’t remember our names. How does she remember?

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We don’t really know if she remembered her name or came about it later. For example, her bracelet was inscribed with the sigil of House Bray; she could have been Risen wearing it, done her research, and learned who she is. Clovis Bray was very influential during the Golden Age, which means that records of him and his family were likely kept. Additionally, she could have been like Cayde in that she kept a journal before she died, then Rose with it and learned her name. We don’t know enough about her to draw any real conclusions, unfortunately.

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I actually made a post about that months ago!
Then @PurpleChimera replied and came up with the theory that Ana Bray was resurrected with some personal items that led her to discover her true identitiy.
Great minds think alike!

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