Destiny 2 Lore: An Emergency Handbook to Get You Caught Up.

Published: June 27, 2020Destiny 2 Lore: Beginning to City Age

Destiny 2 Lore is a huge part of the story of Destiny 2. If you are jumping into Destiny 2 for the first time, you might be struggling to understand the complex and vast lore of the Destiny universe, especially since much of that lore is only found in online-only cards, books, and on individual pieces of gear. We’re here to help you out. What follows is the main highlights of Destiny history, from the beginning until the City Age.

Light Vs. Dark Destiny 2 Lore

Though the story of Destiny is complicated, the core of it is simple: a war between order and disorder; Light versus Darkness. The Darkness views life as disordered, and it wants to usher in an age when everything is in its final state of order. The light wants to expand, grow, and uplift.

The Traveler

An entity known as the Traveler, who wields the power of the light, has been journeying across the cosmos for unknown eons and blessing all the civilizations it touches. The Traveler normally leaves the worlds it touches as fast as it arrives, so as not to draw too much attention to itself, because the Darkness is always close behind.

Destiny 2 Lore – The Hive

Fundament is the home world of the Krill. On Fundament lived a king, the King of the Osmium Court. His three daughters, Xi Ro, Sathona, and Aurash, were forced to flee their home after a coup erupted that resulted in their father’s death.
Through symbioses with Great Worm larva, the sisters gained power over life and death itself.
They then took larva back to the surface and infected others, and thus, the Hive was born.
Xi Ro became known as Xivu Arath, God of War. Sathona became Savathûn, the Witch Queen. Aurash became Oryx, the Taken King.

The Nine

The Nine are intelligent dark matter beings, who developed consciousness at the dawn of life in the solar system. Created by the gravity of the Sun and the planets, their life is dependent on the existence of those celestial bodies.
The Nine are allies with humans because they know that, should life cease to exist within the universe, so too would they cease to exist. They can fully manipulate dark matter, but seem to have limited powers over regular matter. Their emissary Xûr is periodically found in-game.

The Fallen

Relatively recently, the Traveler blessed a race called the Eliksni. The blessing did not last, however, as the Darkness (and later the Hive) attacked. After a cataclysmic event they call “The Whirlwind”, the race, now called the Fallen, began a new nomadic lifestyle.
Having once been blessed but now living on the edge of extinction, they seek to reclaim their lost position as the Traveler’s blessed people.

The Golden Age Destiny 2 Lore

Sometime in the 21st century, the Traveler arrived in our solar system. It began terraforming Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus. Humans intercepted it at Mars, which began a golden age of prosperity for humankind, resulting in tripled lifespans, advances in technology, and new scientific understanding. Fast travel between worlds became possible, and new life sprang up on the worlds that the Traveler visited.
During this time the Ahamkara appeared. The Ahamkara are shape-shifting wish dragons who eat reality and poop out wishes. Really. That’s what they do.

Vex Appears

The Vex also appeared. They are time-traveling cybernetic machines that operate as a complex neural network. Their ruins were discovered on Venus during the Golden Age.
The Vex built the Vault of Glass and the Citadel, and they have fully converted Mercury and Nessus into Machine Worlds. Their goal is to become part of the fabric of the universe itself, which they call “The Pattern”. Morality is irrelevant to them; all that matters is the Pattern.
The Ishtar Collective is a society on Venus dedicated to studying the Vex. This facility and the Clovis Bray facility are responsible for many of the scientific advances made during the Golden Age. Transferring minds to exoskeletons, new weapons, A.I., and more resulted from research during this time.
Destiny 2 Lore

The Collapse

Like the Fallen’s Golden Age, humanity’s own Golden Age did not last. The Traveler, who had not yet completed terraforming Io, left to defend Earth from the Darkness, which had followed it across the universe. Many races took advantage of the chaos that ensued. The Vex turned Mercury into a giant simulation engine, undoing the Traveler’s work there. The Hive attacked Sol, the Moon, and Mars.

As everything was on the verge of collapse, and races on the verge of extinction, the Traveler then did something that it had never done before. It stayed to fight.

In a sacrificial act, the Traveler pushed back the Darkness and stopped the Collapse.

Just before fading into a comatose state, the Traveler created the Ghosts, tiny robot pieces of its whole, who bean seeking out and resurrecting those capable of wielding the Light. Despite this selfless act, the damage to the solar system had been done. The Dark Age began.

Humans become Warlords

Many of the first few humans who were resurrected turned into violent warlords. The Fallen returned and began pillaging and raiding. The Cabal arrived, and attempted to conquer the other races. Not all was lost though, as the Iron Lords also appeared during this time.

The Iron Lords were resurrected Lightbearers that decide to use their powers for good. They helped humanity get back on its feet until Rasputin, an A.I. from the Golden Age (that was thought dead) woke up and killed them all.

The Awoken, humans who tried to escape the Collapse and who were forever changed by the singularity that resulted from it, formed a new race, one that is similar to their human ancestors but possesses new power. They helped create The Last City, located under the Traveler.

This brought about the City Age, when humans united, rather than remaining scattered about the globe. The Lightbearers who helped end the initial faction wars in the City became known as the Guardians.

Questions and Answers

What is the Traveler?

No one knows exactly what the Traveler is or where it came from. What we do know is that its purpose is to cultivate life and to uplift civilizations, and that the Darkness is its greatest enemy.

Why did the Traveler stay to protect humans, but not the Fallen?

The Traveler normally leaves once the cultivation of a planet is finished and it rarely makes its presence known, unless necessary. Staying to fight the Darkness is out of character for the Traveler, so it must have done so for some greater purpose. It is said that the Traveler sensed “hope” in humanity, and therefore decided to stay and fight the Darkness.

Who is Rasputin?

Rasputin is a Warmind – a military artificial intelligence – who was created during the Golden Age. Anastasia Bray taught Rasputin language by uploading humanity’s literary history into his mind. He has a mixed history, and although he was originally programmed to protect humans, he did kill all of the Iron Lords.

What are the historical ages of Destiny?

Some of the important ages, in order: The Ancient Past, the Pre-Golden Age, The Golden Age, The Collapse, the Dark Age, and the new Golden Age. The lore is still evolving, as new expansions and patches are released.

What happens after the City Age?

Destiny lore is complex and long, so it can’t all be summarized in one post. We may cover lore from after the City Age in another post.