The Golden Age
(Warning – very long post ahead. The synopsis given below is of the lore presented by Destiny throughout it’s 3 years of existence that we have seen come into effect. This is the first part in the series presenting the story before the game begins.)
Finally we come to the Solar System in the late 21st Century. Mankind discovers a strange object in space jumping from planet to planet and coming nearer. Not knowing what it is, an exploration team is sent to see what it is. They had no idea if it was hostile or not and so weapons were sent with the team to take it out in case it was dangerous. Ares One intercepted the Traveler on Mars and discovered its true nature and power. The crew of Ares One brought the Traveler to Earth and, thus, began the Golden Age.
The Traveler helped humanity prosper, our lifespans tripled and our knowledge of technology progressed beyond imaginable limits. Humanity expanded to the other planets in the system, colonizing Mercury, Venus and Mars. While a mega corporation called Clovis Bray made new inventions and discoveries on Mars, a group of scientists known as the Ishtar Collective stumbled upon some ancient Vex ruins and conducted research on Venus.
It was also during this time when humanity first encountered the Ahamkara (wish granting dragons). While very little is known about the Ahamkara, they were found by the humans soon after the Traveler terraformed Venus.
Clovis Bray developed a technology to encrypt matters in the fourth state and called it an “engram” which would result in programmable matter called “glimmer”. Realising the potential of their research, Clovis Bray distanced itself from Earth and the Governments. They created the Exos, machines with the consciousness of humans. They also developed the Warminds, powerful AI with a network of satellites and weapons systems at their disposal. The Warminds were tasked with the protection of humanity, however, only Rasputin (Earth’s Warmind) is known to have survived. Though, it is possible that there might be more Warminds still out there. Lastly, Clovis Bray began research on a nanotechnology they called SIVA. SIVA had the power to break down matter into a glimmer like state. It was programmed to keep following it’s objective until a new one is given to it and SIVA was very good at that. While it was created to help humanity’s colonization efforts, something altered it’s objective to the destruction of humanity.
Meanwhile on Venus the Ishtar Collective had stumbled upon some ancient Vex ruins that appeared to be as old as the planet. As the Vex ruins were volatile, the scientists sent remote controlled proxy bodies into the ruins to be able to safely study them. Maya Sundaresh and her colleagues discovered during their research that a fully functioning Vex could simulate their actions perfectly. This discovery made them question their existence and whether they were a simulation themselves. They decided that the best way to find out the truth was to take the help of a Warmind to create copies of themselves. The managed to create 227 copies and sent them into the Vex network. The reports they received were said to have a large impact on the future. Following her research on Venus, Maya was part of the team that attempted to mimic the vex gate in Tibet. What they saw was so horrifying that Maya went on to create the Future War Cult.
Eventually, the Darkness caught on with the Traveler and entered the solar system. Rasputin saw it coming and turned to its protocols and prepared for the worst case scenario: the departure of the Traveler. It set up weapons to shoot down the Traveler in case it attempted to flee, though whether Rasputin actually ended up doing it is still debatable. While Rasputin was ready to take on the Darkness, something changed it. Rasputin became concerned with it’s own safety and ignored the safety of humans. It went into hibernation.
Not knowing what to do, humans were divided; some tried to flee while others stayed to fight, almost everyone died. All the resources, communications, and power was lost. After being damaged by the Darkness (or Rasputin) the Traveler emitted it’s light and pushed back the Darkness as far as it could, to Jupiter (home of the Nine and their agents). The few survivors who had been able to escape were caught in the blast. They ended up on an asteroid field between the dark and the light. The radiation turned them into a new race: The Awoken.
After the pulse, as the Traveler died, it created the “Ghosts”- small mechanical beings infused with the essence or the light of the Traveler. These Ghosts went down to Earth with the mission of finding individuals who were fit to be the bearers of light and fight back the Darkness. The Ghost became the companion of the individual that they resurrected, helping them on their journey in any way that was possible.
The Dark Age
After the Collapse came the Dark Age. Humanity had almost become extinct and some of the people who survived started gathering under the Traveler, being protected by its light. It came to be known as the Last City on Earth. While the Last City grew, factions formed in it. They were meant to live peacefully and form a sort of reliable leadership. However, these factions eventually disagreed and that soon turned into hatred. Soon, the factions started fighting each other and declared war on each other. The Faction Wars went on for some time and were really violent and bloody. This war came to an end when they encountered a new threat, the Fallen. The Fallen had located the Traveler and followed it to Earth along with the Darkness. While the Darkness had been pushed back to Jupiter, the Fallen Houses were scattered among the Solar System.
Rezyl Azzir was a leader who had been fighting the Fallen while staying outside the City. He was known to be a brave man with courage (some thought foolishness) to single-handedly kill a Kell. He wanted his people to be safe and led them to the safety of the City.
The Iron Lords
While the City was forming under the Traveler, some of the people resurrected assumed the role of Warlords and took over certain areas for themselves. These Warlords had realized the power they had been given and used it for their own dark purposes. Perhaps their Ghost had made a mistake in choosing them. The Warlords fought against each other for territories and put the other survivors into harm’s way.
As the influence of the Warlords grew, one of the risen warriors of light took it upon himself to fight against them and kill them forever. This man, Radegast, realised that he could not do it alone so he began rallying other like minded warriors. The ones to join his cause came to be known as the Iron Lords. Jolder, Skorri, Silimar, Saladin, Efrideet, Perun, Gheleon and Timur. They offered the Warlords the chance to join them and give up their territory. Felwinter was one Warlord who agreed to join the Iron Lords and let them use his base, Felwinter Peak, as the headquarters of the Iron Lords. Most of the other Warlords did not agree and therefore the Iron Lords were forced to take them out along with their Ghosts.
While none of them were happy with this act, they understood that it was necessary for the welfare of humanity.
The City Age
As the Fallen threat continued to grow, individuals like Rezyl Azzir rose to combat the threat. They came to be known as the Guardians. The Guardians were able too harness the power of light and channel it in different ways. Titans used their light to come up with ways to protect the city while Hunters used it to scout enemy territories and gather resources. Warlocks used it in the most interesting way: to learn more about it and the divine. They were joined by the Iron Lords to become the protectors of the Last City.
The Faction Wars came to an end and a new government rose that would deal with the Fallen threat. This government, the Consensus, consisted of the Vanguard and the Factions that could live peacefully within the City. The Consensus worked with the Speaker (the one who was able to communicate with the Traveler) to fight with the Fallen.
The Battle of Six Fronts
The City had 6 entrances and the Fallen had spent all this time studying them and carefully planning an attack. They gathered an army and launched an aggressive attack against the City. The Guardians were unified with the purpose of protecting themselves and the Traveler and met the Fallen forces with equal zest.
This was the first time the Guardians had ever come together to fight side-by-side. They managed to hold the six fronts and repel the Fallen army. They showed the strength that made them legends. The battle saw the rise of individuals like Saint-14, Osiris and Toland.
Saint-14 (hinted to be the Speaker’s son) suggested that Osiris be made the Warlock commander. Osiris had become quite popular by this time and had a lot of followers. Osiris was appointed as the Warlock Vanguard and the Speaker took him under his wing. The Concordat was a faction in the City at this time and their leader, Lysander, had a strong influence in the City. The Concordat did not like that someone else was growing more popular than Lysander himself. They produced evidence against Osiris, claiming that he was a Golden Age experiment and his Ghost had made a mistake by choosing him.
Realising that the Guardians are unprepared for such situations, the Crucible was formed. Legends like Ikora Rey, Dredgen Yor, Pahanin, and Thalor were born in the Crucible for many years to come.
The Great Ahamkara Hunt
While it is unknown when exactly this event took place, it was sometime after the formation of the City and the Vanguard. The Ahamkara had helped the City quite a bit and granted their wishes but every time the cost was higher than the request. Eventually, the Vanguard decided that the Ahamkara were too dangerous. So, they ordered all the Guardians to wipe out the Ahamkara. This event was known as The Great Ahamkara Hunt. However, it is suspected that some Ahamkara escaped this fate and the race is still alive.
The SIVA Disaster
The Iron Lords had heard rumors about an ancient nanotechnology buried under the Cosmodrome and believed that it was the key to the Last City’s survival. Hundreds of Iron Lords went into the Plaguelands. As they neared the SIVA replication chamber, Rasputin reprogrammed SIVA to protect itself and the chamber from this “threat”. SIVA, having gained a new objective, would go on to become a dangerous adversary. It took out almost all of the Iron Lords. Only 9 of them made it to the bunker. Having fought their way to the chamber believing to find an ally, they found SIVA infecting their weapons, Armour and even themselves. Jolder realized there was no way to stop it so she shut the chamber, locking Saladin out, and detonated it from inside.
Saladin survived and got out of the Plaguelands. He soon became the Titan Vanguard and used his position to cordon off the Plaguelands. He also made sure to wipe any records of SIVA or the Iron Lords from the Vanguard archives in order to keep SIVA from ever getting out. While he was the Titan Vanguard, Saladin had 2 proteges- Zavala and Shaxx.
The Vault of Glass Expedition
(This section involves some amount of speculation while being as accurate as possible because the Grimoire does not portray this event clearly)
Osiris had become obsessed with the Vex. He believed that in order to take out the enemy it is important to understand them. It is rumoured that he spoke to Kabr (a Guardian who was hunting the Vex) to go into the Vault of Glass and explore its mysteries. Kabr managed to form the spire and open the gate even though he was alone at that time. Kabr had been followed by Pahanin, Praedyth and 3 others. This was a team that was formed after entering the Vault to ensure survival. However, it became clear to Kabr that all of them will not be able to escape. Kabr sacrificed himself to form the relic to take down the Templar, Pahanin escaped and got out, and Praedyth got stuck in the Vault. The other 3 Guardians were either killed by the Oracles in the Templar’s Well or by the Gorgons in the Maze. Praedyth, during his time stuck in the Vault, was able to take the relic down to the Throne Room before getting stuck in the Maze and dying there.
Pahanin made it back to the City and reported Vex machinery that could control the flow of time inside the Vault. Osiris was intrigued by this information while the others disregarded it. This caused him question the Speaker and the motives of the Speaker and the Traveler. This caused him to be exiled from the City. Osiris planned for it to happen as this was the only way he could get away from the City and freely study the Vex. He left his disciples behind to keep him informed.
Hive: First Encounter
Rezyl Azzir had grown tired of their small victories. He believed that it was necessary to fight back against the Darkness. Every night he looked up at the Moon and thought of taking the fight to the Darkness. There had been rumors that there were monsters on the Moon but no one had the courage to actually go and investigate. He took up the initiative and went to the Moon, alone.
Rezyl found out that the Hive were still active on the Moon. Proceeding into the Hell-mouth, he found a Wizard, Xyor, the Betrothed. She called on Rezyl, drawing him in, teasing him. Once he entered the darkness she sent an army of Thrall his way but he fought through every single one. Pulling out his hand cannon, Rose, he went on to fight Xyor’s husband, a powerful Knight. Emerging from the pit 2 days later he would not talk to his Ghost about the events in there. Before leaving he pulled out the shard he had extracted from the Knight and put it on his Rose.
The Battle of Mare Ibrium
During the Battle of Burning Lake the City discovered the Hive Fortress on the Moon. The Vanguard, the Speaker and the Consensus decided it was time to stop threats before they even occurred. They had information of Hive being active on the Moon and sent an army of thousands of Guardians to reclaim it. Unfortunately, no one truly knew the extent of the Hive army. The might of the Guardians was met by Crota. Eager to prove himself and return, Crota had managed to track down the Traveler.
The Swarm Sisters and Sardon, Fist of Crota, led the Hive army against the Guardians. Even a thousand Guardians were not enough for Crota’s army. It was a massacre, the greatest defeat of the Last City had ever known. They were broken and to make sure that nothing like this would ever happen again, they decided to declare the Moon off limits. Anyone who wanted to explore it will have no official authorisation or support from the Vanguard.
The First Crota Fireteam
Eriana-3 (a Warlock of the Praxic Order) had been present at the battle and was hungry for vengeance. She captured a Hive Wizard and tortured her for information. She got to know about the Throne World of Crota. She also found out that Wei Ning, an acquaintance of Kabr and Pahanin and a close friend of Eriana-3, was killed by Crota during the battle. Driven by anger and hatred she went to the Vanguard for help, but not receiving any support she decided to form her own team in secret. 4 Guardians joined her mission: Eris Morn, Sai Mota, Vell Tarlowe and Omar Agah. While they were all ready to venture into the the depths of the Hell-mouth, they needed another way to kill Crota.
They sought out Toland. Like Osiris, Toland had become obsessed with learning more about his enemies and had questioned the Speaker and, thus, had been exiled from the City. Obsessed with the Hive, Toland had tried to create a Weapon of Sorrow (a weapon infused with Hive tech). The result was the Bad Juju. He told them of another realm, where Crota can be killed and where he won’t be able to come back.
The Fireteam descended into the Hell-mouth but even after Toland’s knowledge they were not prepared for what they experienced. Eris Morn was lost in the tunnels, Sai Mota was killed by Omnigul, Tarlowe was murdered by Alak-Hul, the Darkblade, Omar Agah fell to the Heart of Crota, Eriana-3 was trapped in the Hive Fortress where she perished and Toland (obsessed as he was) killed himself while trying to learn the Deathsinger’s song from his encounter with Ir Yut. Toland ended up killing his body but transcended to something else. Eris was the only survivor, she adapted to the darkness, switched her eyes for those of a Hive’s and lived under the surface of the Moon for years to come without a Ghost.
The Reef Wars
Out in The Reef, Queen Mara Sov learnt of another Fallen attack against the City. The Fallen Houses were rallying in the inner system getting ready to launch a massive attack. The House of Wolves were on their way to the rendezvous point and had the largest army. In order to get there they would have to pass through the Reef. Unless the Awoken did something the City would be destroyed. Queen Mara Sov acted immediately and engaged the Wolves in battles around the Reef. Finally, tired by Skolas’ (Kell of Wolves) tactics of injuring civilians, Variks (scribe to the Wolves’ Kell) informed the Queen of their next assault. This led to the capture of Skolas. Variks was rewarded for his bravery. He declared the Queen as the Kell of Wolves and asked the Fallen to join her. Skolas was put in a pod and sent as a gift to The Nine on Jupiter.
The Battle of Twilight Gap
The Fallen Houses in the inner system under leadership of the House of Devils launched an attack on the City. The Fallen were able to get through the City’s defenses, captured the Frontier and reached an old artillery site known as Twilight Gap. While the guns on site kept the Walkers at bay, Saladin and Zavala made the largest bubble the City had ever seen, in order to protect the site and hold it. Shaxx however disagreed with Saladin’s ideology of protecting only and launched a counter attack that broke the Fallen Siege and ended the war. This Battle was the largest war in the City’s history and the most recent one.
The actions of Shaxx created a divide in the relationship of Shaxx and Saladin. Believing that the Guardians needed to be trained for such situations Shaxx took over the Crucible and modified it. Zavala became the Vanguard Commander and Saladin went on to hold the Iron Banner tournaments to prepare true warriors.
Hunt for Osiris
Saint-14 had been very close to Osiris but after he had left they had lost touch. Saint-14 had gone on a crusade against the Fallen. He took down a lot of their leadership. After the Battle of Twilight Gap, he tracked down the Kell of Devils, Solkis, and killed him by hitting him with his head. As he was reporting back to the Speaker another task was given to him. Osiris had started researching the Vex again. Saint-14 made it his mission to stop Osiris, however, he was never heard from again. The City officially declared him dead and held a “legendary vigil” for him but it is believed that due to their relation Saint-14 ended up joining Osiris. While we don’t know for sure what happened to Saint-14, we know that Osiris will play a significant part in the future coming into contact with Eris Morn and others.
Rezyl Azzir soon became corrupted by the shard that he had taken from the Hive Knight on the Moon. One day he left the city and was wandering about. He came to a point and sat down watching as the Sun was setting. As it set, he took his last breath as Rezyl Azzir, the might Titan, and embraced the identity of Dredgen Yor (“the eternal abyss” in some lost language), the accursed Hunter, his Rose turning into Thorn. This was Xyor’s ultimate revenge against him, turning his weapon and his light into one of Sorrow and darkness. Yor went on to kill Thalor and Pahanin along with many other Guardians in the Crucible.
Jaren Ward was a hunter and the owner of The Last Word. During his time outside the City he came across a settlement, Palamon. He was not welcome there but he felt it was his duty to protect the people there, especially the young boy, Shin Malphur. During his time there, Shin was drawn towards Jaren and his cannon. Jaren was kind unlike Shin’s other “fathers” which might have been the reason. Eventually, Jaren saw the danger in living out in the wild and asked the people of the settlement to move to the Last City. While they were on the move they came across a couple of Fallen Skiffs hanging low. They tried to skirt around it as they were so close. One night all the survivors woke up to the sound of gunshots with one of them being from The Last Word. They looked around and realized that Jaren had gone off on his own to fight the danger. They waited and then, eventually, left. Everyone but Shin went off on their own. From dawn till midday he waited there for any sign. Meanwhile, Yor had told Jaren’s Ghost to take the cannon back to his charge. Yor believed that killing Guardians was a noble cause, the right thing to do. Finally, Jaren’s Ghost came back with his hand cannon. After this Shin had gone back to Palamon. Yor had come to Palamon and has stayed there for a few days before leaving.
Years later, sometime after the Battle of Twilight Gap, Shin Malphur and Dredgen Yor would face off on Dwindler’s Ridge. Shin had finally caught on to Yor. In his last words Yor taunted Shin forcing him to shoot him, and he did. Dredgen Yor died that day, happy to have taught Shin an important lesson.
Prologue to Destiny
The City has learnt an important lesson after all their losses. They have moved in to protect their core. The Traveler is dying and the Speaker does not know how to save it.
Meanwhile, a Ghost finally finds someone after a long search and resurrects them.