Welcome back guardians. This video is directed at new players to Destiny to give them a basic understanding of the Destiny universe. It will cover the main events that occur prior to you, the player, entering the scene. Because I have been playing Destiny for the last year, it is hard for me to recognize what would be a spoiler for a new player, I do not think this has any spoilers in this video, however, if you would like to discover the Destiny universe for yourself then I suggest you at least play through the first campaign missions (and start reading grimoire cards). To those who are already familiar with my channel this video is unlikely to contain anything new for you, however at the very least, I am sure you can provide assistance to any new guardians by answering lore related questions in the comments below. This video will use a combination of in-game flavor text, in-game dialogue and cut scenes, grimoire cards and information from the more recent Game Informer article, that quote “has been thoroughly fact checked by Bungie prior to publication”.
Destiny is set within the late 21st Century, at this time a massive spherical sentient being enters our solar system. This being is later named the Traveler. Our solar system was not actually the first system that it visited, the Traveler initially visited another race known as the Eliksni, or as we know them the Fallen. For reasons unknown The Traveler rejects or abandons the Fallen, and an event occurs called the Whirlwind. We are not quite sure what the Whirlwind was or is, it is somewhat described as a storm, or may in fact be the Darkness, however the Eliksni are almost obliterated, and they fall from their once noble and political standing to become no more than scavengers of the universe. After abandoning the Fallen, the Traveler enters our system and visits Jupiter, Mercury and Venus. At this stage it is still out of reach of humanity, however its influence on other planets has not gone unnoticed.
Eventually the Traveler settles on Mars and is within our reach. We send three astronauts on a mission to establish contact. The mission is named Ares One and lead by Commander Jacob Hardy. Commander Jacob Hardy and his team successfully contact the Traveler on Mars and they witness the sentient being literally change the atmosphere and rain falls upon the once barren planet.
Unlike the Fallen, the Traveler accepts humans and increases their knowledge, lifespan and allows civilizations to develop on planets other than Earth. Humans enter an age known as the Golden Age, they expand across the solar system with advancing technology. This period of time lasts for at least 200 years, if not more, all we are told is that the Golden Age lasts for centuries. Cities are established on Venus and with it, one of the greatest research facilities is developed, the Ishtar Collective.
It attracts some of the greatest minds and they begin to research the recently discovered Vex ruins on Venus, ruins that pre-date humanity. Likewise, the city of Freehold is established on Mars and a similar excellent facility is establish known as Clovis Bray. Despite the peace and prosperity, humans felt the need to develop greater defense systems and the Warminds were developed. These are satellite-like artificial intelligences that would watch over and defend whole planets.
In addition, the Golden Age would see the creation of Exos, essentially robots made in the image of man, who despite being an artificial species have a consciousness and intelligence. The origin story of the Exo is still not finished according to Bungie. As with all good things, the Golden Age comes to an abrupt end. The Traveler had an ancient enemy known only as the Darkness, and after centuries of prosperity, the Darkness finds the Traveler and causes the collapse. We don’t really understand the mechanics of how it destroyed everything, however what is known is civilization is almost wiped out. The Warmind, Rasputin, actually sensed the approaching Darkness and for all of its calculations could not find a solution. Rasputin only saw one option, shut it self-down to avoid detection, and enter a state of hibernation. Unfortunately this resulted in the loss of billions of lives, however Rasputin predicted the same outcome regardless. The remaining Warminds are thought to be lost in the Collapse.
Humans who could flee, fled Earth into space. However the fleet was also destroyed but rather than die, humans were transformed, a mixture between light and dark and a new race was born, The Awoken. We now have 3 human-related races, Humans, The Exo and The Awoken. Despite the mass loss of life during the collapse, the Traveler was able to push back the Darkness using its internal energy called the light. Unfortunately, this left the Traveler in a slumbering, crippled state on Earth, however in its last moments the Traveler created Ghosts. Ghosts are actually tiny fragments of the Traveler who seek out the dead and revive the dead using the Travelers light. A ghost seems to have the ability to scan a corpse and detect whether it has the strength, discipline and intelligence to become a Guardian. These Guardians are blessed with new abilities and able to use the Traveler’s light as a weapon. Simultaneously, during the collapse the City of Freehold on Mars is lost and a race known as the Cabal quickly seize control of the area.
The Cabal are a highly militarized race, capable of destroying whole planets. What was once thought of as an invasion of Mars, would later be confirmed as a retreat. The Cabal seized Mars because they are fleeing a threat. The Cabal now engage in a war with another race on Mars, known as the Vex. The Vex previously laid dormant, however at some point the Traveler’s presence re-activated them. The Vex can instantly transport between planets and likely, dimensions using their Gate System. They are also capable of transforming entire worlds into machines, the planet Mercury reminds us of this. The Vex are able to communicate simultaneously across all of their units, one mind spread across all vessels, all working for the same purpose. They are predicted to possess time travel and there is evidence that they exist in our past, present and future. Their goal, to in-grain themselves in fabric of the Universe, in the law of the universe, making themselves inseparable. Another race, also appeared with the approaching Darkness and during the collapse claimed the Moon. This race is the Hive. The Hive are the closest enemy that we face that most accurately represents the Darkness, they are not the Darkness, however they are definitely agents of the Darkness.
The Moon acted as an invasion platform for the Hive to launch a final assault on Earth, however it is thought, that when the Darkness was pushed back by the light of the Traveler, their plans were delayed. Humanity narrowly escapes complete destruction, with the only survivors thought to be on Earth, off-world colonies were abandoned or destroyed. Humans entered a new age, The Dark Age. This time is filled with suffering and terrible evil. People recognize that salvation and safety lies only directly beneath the slumbering Traveler. As word spreads, countless people make a pilgrimage across the destroyed planet to seek out the safety of the Traveler. Newly resurrected guardians, formed a class known as the Titan. Titans would become the first defenders of the migrating populations. Other guardians who sought knowledge and truth, became scholars and the first Warlocks. Another form of Guardians who explored the wild frontier, alone, stalking their prey became the first Hunters. As greater numbers gathered below the city, the Dark Age ended and the City Age began.
Titans built the first walls around the City to help in the defense, and the defense was surely needed. The Fallen, sensed that humanity was only hanging by a thread, their walls were not high enough yet, their Guardians dispersed amongst the City and the frontier and so The Fallen organized an attack on the last Earth city, an attempt to claim the Traveler, the Great Machine, to ensure their own survival. The battle would later be known as the Battle of Six Fronts. The Fallen attacked from six different approaches, with the city’s defense divided amongst four orders of Titans. Despite the odds being stacked against them, the Titans won, and won decisively. Mighty Titans emerged as legends, known as the Iron Lords. Felwinter, Jolder, Skorri, Timur, Radegast and Gheleon were forever immortalized through the naming of Iron Banner weapons in their honour. Following the Battle of Six Fronts, a legendary Exo, named Saint-14 leaves the city, he embarks upon a crusade against the Fallen, hoping to permanently defeat them. Not happy with hiding behind the city walls. He disappears into the wilderness, however not before tales emerge of him crushing the Skull of a Fallen Kell with his own head.
Saint-14’s exit from the City is a good indication of the disagreement among its population. A Faction War erupts within the City, different groups of people all with different ideologies, all with different views of the Traveler and the Darkness, all with different opinions on how to guide humanity back to greatness, rather than uniting, they fight each other causing a civil war. The bloody war is eventually brought to an end with the formation of a Government, known as the Consensus. The Consensus include the Vanguard, which are mentors to Guardians, and the Speaker, who communes with the Traveler.
No one can remember a time when the Speaker did not exist. The Consensus brought unity to the City and many factions were eliminated, some however, were allowed to remain in the City and new ones were also formed. These Factions include Dead Orbit, Future War Cult and New Monarchy and they now pursue their goals through my diplomatic means. The City Age was also thought to bring about the extinction of the Ahamkara. They were mighty dragons and were able to bargain with guardians, selling truth and power. The Vanguard determined that the Ahamkara were too dangerous considering the events of the Faction Wars and ordered their extinction. The Great Ahamkara Hunt followed. Despite, the initial defeat of the Fallen at the Battle of Six Fronts, this time a united city would once again defend the Traveler from the Fallen at the Battle of Twilight Gap. The Fallen had united their houses under one banner to attack the city, their victory would have been certain if it was not for the Queen of the Reef, Mara Sov.
The Fallen House of Devils requested assistance from the House of Wolves, among other Houses, the House of Wolves responded and plotted a course for Earth, records are uncertain of the exact numbers of the Wolf fleet, however it is thought to be millions. Mara Sov, Queen of the Reef and the Awoken, had remained hidden within the asteroid belt and had to make a decision. Remain hidden, therefore allowing the House of Wolves to join the other Fallen houses and the last Earth city would surely fall. Or reveal her position and resist the House of Wolves. Mara Sov choose to protect Earth and engaged the Fallen in space, known as the Reef Wars. She was true tactician and possessed immensely powerful weapons, one of which was the Harbinger and the other the Carybdis. The Harbinger is described as being able to destroy whole planets and the Queen used it to great effectiveness on the House of Wolves fleet. The Carybdis was a gravitational weapon that could pull asteroids from their orbit and sling it at their enemies. I have a whole series on the Reef Wars if you would like greater detail, the link is in the description below.
Mara Sov destroyed and scattered the House of Wolves during the Reef Wars and imprisoned their nobility in the Prison of Elders. She then claimed the title of Kell, the highest order of the Fallen, and became Kell of the House of Wolves. Meanwhile, the Battle of Twilight Gap ended. The Fallen without the reinforcements of House of Wolves are broken upon the City walls. The defense of the City was well coordinated by Saladin, later to become Lord Saladin, and his protégés, Zavala and Shaxx, later to become Commander Zavala, vanguard mentor and Lord Shaxx, the crucible master. Despite the victory, the City suffered many causalities, the armor of the fallen guardians was collected by a gunsmith named Fiezel Crux. Fiezle Crux forged the infamous rocket launcher Gjallarhorn using the remaining light held within the armour.
Following the Battle of Twilight Gap, Lord Shaxx forms the Crucible, a live-fire training arena to help better prepare guardians. A Guardian’s ghost is on constant standby to resurrect unskilled guardians in the Arena. At some point, whether it was prior to these events or following these events, a fireteam enters the Vault of Glass on Venus. The Vault of Glass is controlled by the Vex and believed to be somewhat of a research facility for the Vex. Inside the Vault the Vex possess immense power, true control over time and space, and they even have the ability to remove names of existence, the only name that still remains from the fireteam, is Kabr and also Praedyth.
Fortunately, they have not been able to replicate this power outside of the Vault. Following the win at the Battle of Six Fronts and the Battle of Twilight Gap, the Vanguard look towards their next major threat, the Hive presence on the Moon. Rather than waiting for the Hive to attack Earth, the Vanguard organize an assault to reclaim the Moon. The assault is catastrophic with thousands of Guardians killed at the hands of seemingly invincible Hive champion, Crota, Son of Oryx.
The failed invasion is known as the Great Disaster. Earth abandons the Moon and declares it off limits, withdrawing all formal operations and assistance. Eriana-3, an Exo and survivor of the Great Disaster, formulates a fire team, including Eris Morn, Omar Agar, Vell Tarlowe, Sai Mota and their guide to all things Hive sorcery, Toland, The Shattered. The mission is to find Crota’s weakness and defeat him. Toland reveals that the Crota they faced on the moon is but a mere shadow and his real form lies within the Hive netherworld. Crota’s last and most trusted general, Omnigul, a Wizard, is attempting to summon Crota to this dimension. If successful, his presence would bring the end of humanity. Like the Great Disaster, the mission is a complete failure, all but Eris Morn is thought to have been killed. Eris was able to remain hidden in the dark Hive tunnels of the Moon, gaining intel on the Hive, which is later provide to Warlock Vanguard and leader of The Hidden, Ikora Rey. Eris suffers terribly for this intel and she loses her ghost and her light, tainted by the shadows, however she remains loyal to the City.
This is the point where you the player, enter the Destiny universe, revived by a Ghost, infused with the Travelers light. You were at peace, a resting corpse, however you are now a dead husk charged with war. Remember guardian, everyone must choose a side, even if it is the wrong side. Hopefully, I have not missed anything major and everything in general is in the correct order, however feel free to let me know about any corrections in the comments below. Also be aware that I was trying to keep this very simple for new players and the danger with that, is the information may appear quite superficial and not 100% accurate. I purposefully have not included the lore surrounding the Black Garden, the Vex and the Exo Stranger, as a lot of this information is discovered during the vanilla campaign. If you would like summaries of the original campaign, the Dark Below DLC and the House of Wolves DLC then please let me know in the comments below.
As found on Youtube