Hello! After seeing so many New Lights join us, I thought it might be useful to make some new player guides! Here is the transcript to my Understanding Destiny in 6 Minutes video, hopefully this and/or the video help you!
Note: For brevity, the text here is kept as simple as possible. I know there are nuances not mentioned, but hopefully, this will be enough to give people context without causing confusion.
So, you want an overview of Destiny’s setting, its worlds and characters in 6 minutes? I’m KAZ PhD, and welcome to Destiny Lore for Beginners!
You are a Guardian, gifted with power called the Light.
The Light comes from the Traveler, that orb floating above the Last City.
The Last City is humanity’s last safe place, after an apocalypse long ago, called the Collapse.
Your Ghost is your main ally, your connection to the Traveler.
The main premise of Destiny is defending humanity and learning more about the Light and Darkness, immensely powerful forces that can create, destroy, and rewrite fate and Destiny.
Most of our allies are in the Tower. The Vanguard, namely Zavala and Ikora, organize guardians, give us quests and loot. We used to have a third Vanguard, who ran the Hunters. His name was Cayde-6, and he was killed not long ago. Shaxx and Saint-14 run the Crucible and Trials of Osiris, battle arenas where guardians train. Drifter runs Gambit, an arena where we learn more about Darkness and Light. Other allies can be found around the Tower, visiting them will reveal a little of who they are, what they do to help!
Our enemies, currently, include the Fallen, Cabal, Hive, Taken, Vex, and Scorn.
The Fallen used to be called the Eliksni. The Traveler used to be floating over their world, giving them prosperity but no guardians. Then, the Traveler left, and the Eliksni fell to ruins, in an apocalypse called the Whirlwind. The Eliksni, now the Fallen, have been chasing the Traveler ever since, fighting humanity in famous battles like the Battle of Six Fronts and Twilight Gap.
The Cabal are an empire, seeking to expand and conquer. They are very militaristic, and their most dangerous time for us was in the beginning of Destiny 2. They found a way to cage our Traveler, trap our Light, and nearly destroy us all. Their emperor, Calus, was usurped by Ghaul, who led the attack on humanity called the Red War.
The Hive chase the Darkness. They believe in survival of the strongest, and their belief gives them power to shape reality. They are one of our most dangerous enemies because they are the closest to the Darkness, they can cheat death, and they command large armies. We have fought them in the Destiny expansions the Dark Below, the Taken King, Shadowkeep, and are always watching out for their leaders, Savathun, and Xivu Arath.
The Taken are minions of Savathun. Oryx, the previous leader of the Hive, brother to Savathun and Xivu Arath, learned the power to take, to corrupt others, from the Darkness, and the Taken were made.
The Vex, part fluid part robot, wish to turn everything into Vex. They transform planets, people, everything. The Vex create vast simulations like the Vault of Glass, the Infinite Forest, to calculate every possible scenario, and then act on the one that is best for them. The Vex also have some ability to travel through time, and some have found interest in the Darkness, which is why you can find them in the Garden of Salvation raid.
The Scorn are undead Fallen. The Fallen consume a substance called Ether, giving them strength and long life. Corrupted Ether can raise the Fallen from death, making the Scorn. The Scorn were the main villains of Forsaken, and answer to the Fanatic Fikrul.
Other allies and locations.
Earth’s Moon has been a nesting ground for the Hive for a long time. Many Guardians have died trying to clean the Hive out. In the Shadowkeep campaign, we found even more Hive, and a Pyramid, a ship, a representation of the Darkness. Eris Morn keeps an eye on it. She was a guardian, but lost her Light and gained Hive magic.
The European Dead Zone and the Cosmodrome are the only other places on Earth we can currently go. Other parts of Earth are too dangerous, or are being covered by other guardians. Our main allies there are Devrim Kay, in the EDZ, City militia and adopted father to Hawthorne, and Shaw Han, guardian who recently lost his fireteam in the Cosmodrome. The Cosmodrome was a place where rockets were built and launched, long ago, and was where we were first risen.
Nessus is an unstable centaur, which is a fancy way of saying a chaotic asteroid. It has been nearly completely taken over by the Vex, and is only slowed down by our ally Failsafe. Failsafe is an AI, part of a colony ship that tried to escape Earth and the Collapse long ago.
Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter, is the main location explored in the Beyond Light campaign. A scientist back before the collapse, named Clovis Bray, went to Europa seeking immortality. There, he found another Darkness Pyramid, he used Vex to construct a gateway to another world, and he created the Exos.
Exos are machines housing a person’s consciousness. In order to keep the person’s mind at peace, Exos are programmed to think they need to eat/sleep, etc., or else they could shut down.
The Tangled Shore is a collection of asteroids, lived on by those who wish to remain hidden. The Spider, an Eliksni/Fallen, runs the shore like a mob boss. We have a loose alliance with him.
The Dreaming City, is a world of the Awoken. Long ago, a group of humans left Earth, got caught in the battle between Light and Dark and were reborn as Awoken. They live in the asteroid belt, have blue skin, and were ruled by Queen Mara Sov and her brother Uldren. During the Forsaken campaign, Savathun helped to curse the City into a repeating 3-week time loop that the Awoken know about, but can’t fix.
Other allies you may have heard of:
Rasputin: Solar System defense network that became its own intelligence.
Ana Bray, guardian, Rasputin’s ally, and granddaughter of Clovis Bray.
Elsie Bray, aka the Exo Stranger. Ana’s sister, became an Exo to avoid illness, was trapped in time and has returned to warn us of a Dark Future.
The Crow. Uldren Sov died not long ago and was reborn, gifted with the Traveler’s Light. However, as of the beginning of Beyond Light, he did not remember anything about his past.
Osiris- former Vanguard leader, legendary warlock, fought at Six Fronts, was exiled for focusing too much on the Vex, recently lost his ghost but has been welcomed back to the Tower and continues to help.
Variks, a Fallen who had allied with Mara Sov, but is loyal only to rebuilding Eliksni society.
There you go! I know that was a lot, and was fairly quick. Hopefully this has helped you catch up so you can explore the universe of Destiny more clearly!
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