We all saw it happen.
In Destiny: The Taken King's stunning opening cinematic, we saw that ship explode. The Queen of the Reef, Mara Sov, was on it. One minute she was there, leading the Awoken uprising against Oryx and their Hive army, and the next, her ship was shattered into pieces. Her brother, Prince Uldren, saw it happen. His scream of anguish echoed across the Dreadnaught.
"This… was all part of the plan," the queen said, although she never elaborated on what that plan was, or what it set out to achieve. The Harbingers she released against the Hive weren't enough, and her army fell to Oryx's immense might. Was it her plan for Oryx to be victorious? Was it her plan to die? We never found out, of course; the Awoken Queen has not been seen, nor heard of, since.
Mara Sov was easily one of Destiny 1's most intriguing characters, but it's her brother - the emo, goth-like Uldren - that reprises his role in Destiny 2's Forsaken. While developer Bungie is characteristically taciturn about events unfolding in upcoming Destiny expansions, on this occasion, it's been surprisingly revealing. We know Uldren's back but - most shocking of all - we know why he's back. It's to kill Cayde-6.
Which he does. Ruthlessly, and efficiently.
The Hunter's beloved Vanguard is murdered with his own weapon, the Ace of Spades.
The question of why, however, is a little more of a mystery. To be honest, we're not quite sure. Is he still looking for his sister, whose remains have still yet to be found, and feels Cayde is somehow in the way? Does he blame Cayde-6 - or the Vanguards more generally - for what happened to Mara, or the Guardians for bringing Oryx upon us?
Another motive might lie in the allies he's befriended along the way. We've seen enough evidence now that Uldren's partnered up with the Barons and The Scorn, the enemies imprisoned in the Prison of Elders which were once Fallen but have now been twisted and mutated almost beyond recognition. And given it was wise-crackin' Cayde who locked them up in the first place, there's every chance Uldren's been recruited to take out Cayde in return for The Scorn's loyalty, aggression and single-mindedness. It certainly looks from one of Bungie's most recent teasers that it's a Scorn Baron that kills Cayde's light, and another that throws him through a wall… but it's Uldren who seals Cayde's fate with a bullet from his own Hand Cannon.
Oh, and in case there's any doubt: Cayde-6 is dead. He's not play acting. It's not a joke. Before the execution, Cayde's ghost is definitely, irrevocably, destroyed, eradicating any chance of a resurrection.
That said, Cayde is the only Exo Vanguard, which means he is, essentially, an humanoid machine with a human's consciousness. Whether or not this means he can be brought back to life via other means remains to be seen, but it may be possible there's a Cayde-6 back-up disc lying somewhere in The Tower... and we know Cayde has "died" and been "rebooted" before.
Suffice to say, Destiny 2: Forsaken is a revenge story of two halves; Uldren's revenge execution of Cayde, and our own battle to hold Uldren accountable for his actions. Latterly, we'll discover the Dreaming City, Destiny’s "largest endgame experience ever" which promises long-lost mysteries and ancient riddles. Here we'll learn what lies at the centre of this mysterious city and fight this vast corruption… as well Uldren's ultimate motivations.
The good news is, we don't have to wait long for answers, Guardians. Destiny 2 Forsaken drops on September 4, 2018, for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.