After three years of build-up as one of the most important characters in Vanguard history, you might be forgiven for finding Osiris’ return in his self-titled expansion - The Curse of Osiris (opens in new tab) - a tad underwhelming. Because, well, it is. But that doesn’t mean that all of that delicious lore has been wasted. While the all-powerful Warlock heretic’s reintroduction might feel less like the game-changing return of an ideology-shattering, once-and-future space-magic messiah, and more like running into a neighbour you haven’t seen for a while while out buying milk, there are some shoots of gratifying story pay-off elsewhere in the expansion.
Namely, there’s this corpse, just floating away under all of these ribbons, all ethereal and chill like it couldn’t care less that it’s dead, because being alive would involve all sorts of things that wouldn’t let it look half as poetic. Found by looking through a small window in the Up and Up Adventure, the owner of said corporeal leftover isn’t explicitly identified, but there’s a very, very good chance that it’s Saint-14.
Who’s Saint-14? Like Osiris, he’s a legendary Guardian from the non-specific before-time of Destiny’s story. A staggeringly strong Titan of unbreakable resolve, he was incredibly important in defending the City during its earlier days, waging a single-handed crusade against the Fallen to quell their attempts on Humanity. Beaten, battered, and on his last legs, he finally took out their Kell by shattering its skull with a single headbutt. Whatever else Saint-14 might have had stashed in his Consumables inventory, he did not have a shit to give.
The Speaker and Saint-14 used to refer to each other as Father and Son. It’s unknown whether that was a literal relationship, a metaphorical one, or whether they were just being weird, but regardless, Saint-14’s standing in the Vanguard was about as high as it gets. He was also a big fan of Osiris, and actually recommended him for his eventual Vanguard leadership position, though it was later revealed that this was as much to reign in the Warlock’s excesses as in tribute to his skill. Osiris’ levels of skill and excess were both massive.
After repelling the Fallen though, Saint-14 got wind of Osiris’ post-exile work with the Vex on Mercury and, fearing disaster, went off to shut him down and bring him in on behalf of the Tower and dear old maybe-dad. Later lore details show that he never made it to the Warlock, instead being defeated by a colossal Vex Mind designed – presumably via many Vex simulations – specifically to destroy his Light. The last we heard of Saint-14 comes from three letters written just before his death, one sent to the Speaker, one to Osiris, and one to a mysterious inspiration who apparently forged the Titan’s shotgun for him. The identity of this last individual is currently unknown, but the excellent Myelin Games lore channel very astutely theorises that it might actually be a future version of our Guardian, the meeting occurring in a storyline yet to play out, thanks to Vex timey-timey business.
Either way, it seems that Saint-14 at least has a physical presence on Mercury, if not an intellectual or spiritual one in the current part of this particular timeline. The Titan has been a very big deal in Destiny lore for a very long time, so it’s not at all improbable that his story might not yet be over, even if the rest of it plays out in the past, distant future or a parallel (but divergent) version of the here-and-now.