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The entire Destiny timeline explained

The first Destiny opened in the present day: 2014, at that time. A large extraterrestrial object — a sphere — had parked itself on Mars, befuddling the international community on Earth. At first, humanity was unsure of how to respond. It was not apparent whether this object was friend or foe. Finally, three countries — the United States, China, and Russia — elected to send a three-man team to investigate. It was a welcoming party, of sorts.

And it was the first time we laid eyes on the Traveler.

The Traveler was of unknown origin, but it soon became clear that the massive creation could benefit humanity. It terraformed the surfaces of many planets and moons in the solar system, making them habitable to humans. And over time, humanity became a space-faring species. Significant leaps in science and technology were achieved as we colonized the solar system. Humanity created the Exos, robot frames capable of containing a consciousness. And we built out the Warmind network, a interplanetary defense system controlled by a powerful artificial intelligence known as Rasputin.

Life was never better. Humanity was at its peak. But sadly, the Traveler had an old enemy it could no longer elude. And humanity got caught in the crossfire.

Below you'll find the rest of the Destiny timeline, condensed for your reading pleasure.

Before Destiny: The Collapse

The universe needs balance. A yin and a yang. The Traveler, which exuded a powerful force known as Light, was offset in the universe by something called the Darkness. The battle between the Light and the Darkness was an epic one, waged over millennia across multiple systems. And everywhere the Traveler went with its Light, the Darkness soon followed.

When the Darkness entered Sol, our solar system, it brought death and destruction. It took the Traveler to the brink. And it nearly wiped humanity from existence.

Rasputin, the AI in charge of humanity's Warmind network, felt the odds were stacked against it and against humanity, and that only the Traveler could dispel the Darkness. It's believed that, in order to keep the Traveler from fleeing the Darkness and leaving Earth unprotected, the Warmind network attacked the Traveler, hobbling it, and leaving it no choice but to stay and fight. And it did. It managed to push the Darkness out of our system, preserving the small piece of humanity that remained directly underneath it in a place called the Last City.

But the Traveler was weakened. Injured. It had endured an attack from the Warmind network and an assault from the Darkness. It needed to recover while still ensuring the safety of humanity and itself. So it created Ghosts — small, sentient robot beings capable of infusing a select few with the Traveler's Light.

Soon after, the Traveler entered a deep slumber.

The creation of the Awoken

A whole new species was born out of the battle between the Light and the Darkness. During this massive fight, a number of humans had boarded colony ships, hoping to evacuate the system and ultimately escape the wrath of the Darkness. They thought the war was lost. And so they left, intent on searching for a new home in the universe.

They were caught in the middle as the Traveler pushed the Darkness back with its Light. And they were transformed into a people now known as the Awoken. The Awoken resemble humans, but feature pale blue skin and see the universe through glowing eyes. Their home is the Reef, an interconnected mess of the broken colony ships they attempted to escape on. They're mystical beings, wielding powers bestowed upon them as a result of their unusual birth. And they're led by Mara Sov, their queen.

For a long time after the Collapse, the Awoken kept mostly to themselves. But later events would find them becoming more entangled with the fate of humanity and the rest of the solar system.

Destiny's story begins

Ghosts are tied to a specific Guardian. Their Guardian. After being brought into existence, they began to sweep the Earth, searching far and wide for the Guardian they were meant to serve. Some found their Guardians sooner than others. Some are still searching. We were lucky enough to be found by our Ghost, who resurrected us in the Russian Cosmodrome. And we, like all other Guardians, had no recollection of the lives we'd lived before.

Not that it mattered. The world at the start of Destiny was far different than the one Guardians had inhabited before, anyway.

With our Ghost, we explored the Cosmodrome. We encountered an enemy faction called The Fallen: creatures who once laid claim to the Traveler themselves. The Traveler left them to get away from the Darkness, upending their civilization, turning them into scavengers. Now they were desperate, picking apart the Cosmodrome. Searching for something, anything, to help them recapture their former glory.

We fought through those Fallen, eventually locating a jumpship we could use for transport. And from there, we made our way to the Last City.

The campaign of Destiny 1

The story of the first Destiny was centered around the immediate threats to humanity and the Traveler. After meeting the Vanguard, a trio of Guardians who lead the three different classes in Destiny, we set out to rid the system of evil. We worked to weaken the ranks of the Fallen. We faced off against another enemy type known as the Hive, an ancient race who derive their power from worm gods, and prevented them from summoning a god of their own. We traveled to Mars and dealt a blow to another alien civilization, a militaristic group known as the Cabal. And we finally made our way to Venus, after learning that a time-traveling robot species called the Vex were performing a ritual that was preventing the Traveler from healing.

The Awoken Queen, Mara Sov, and her brother, Prince Uldren Sov, reluctantly provided us the help we needed to disrupt this ritual. It saved the Traveler, but unfortunately, one major threat still existed.

Deep below Venus, a powerful Vex entity named Atheon, Time's Conflux, resided in something called the Vault of Glass. There, Atheon had complete control over time, and harbored the ability to transport Guardians into the past or the future at will. We teamed up with five other Guardians to enter the Vault of Glass and eliminate Atheon. And we succeeded, taking care of one of humanity's biggest worries.

Unfortunately, more would soon follow.

Crota's End

Early in Destiny's campaign, we made our way to the Moon and stopped what's called a summoning ritual, a process used to return a Hive god back to the realm of the living. That Hive god was Crota, a being who'd slayed many Guardians and threatened to slay more if he could once again be resurrected. We were made aware of this threat, and put together a fireteam to return to the Moon, travel through an ascendant abyss into Crota's personal realm (called a "throne world"), and put an end to Crota once and for all.

It wasn't easy.

With our team, we navigated barely lit corridors, weighed down by the Darkness present in Crota's throne world. We defeated gatekeepers in order to cross the bridge into Crota's lair. We defeated a Hive wizard called a Deathsinger, capable of killing Guardians with just the sound of her voice. And we took down Crota, weakening him and eventually killing him using his own sword.

It was at this time that we, as the lead characters of Destiny, began to develop reputations. We were slowly becoming legends, having eliminated a major Vex threat and having killed a Hive god. Humanity was safe for the time being. But it became clear that, if another large problem happened to present itself, we would be the Guardians called on to handle it.

House of Wolves

The Queen of the Awoken, Mara Sov, lent us her assistance during the first Destiny's campaign. And in that game's second content release, House of Wolves, she called on us to return the favor. As the result of a battle waged years prior, Queen Mara had taken a Fallen house — the House of Wolves — as her own. And the Fallen had long remained loyal to Sov. But that all changed when Skolas entered the picture.

Skolas was a Fallen who called himself the "Kell of Kells." He believed he could unite all Fallen houses under one banner. And he managed to turn the House of Wolves against the Awoken, creating an insurgency that killed many of the queen's people. Thirsty for revenge, Queen Mara Sov called on us to bring Skolas to justice.

And we delivered. We capped off a journey that took us to multiple planets in the system, disrupting Skolas' plans to create peace among all the Fallen houses. We also stopped Skolas from using Vex technology in order to summon Fallen soldiers from the past. We aided in the capture of Skolas, sending him to the Awoken's Prison of Elders in the Reef. And in a trial by combat, we and two other Guardians found Skolas guilty, killing him and quashing the rebellion he'd sparked.

The Taken King

When we defeated Crota in the "Crota's End" raid, he let out a cry that screamed across the universe. Little did we know then that killing a Hive god would only create more problems for humanity. Because that cry was heard by an entity even more deadly than Crota — one with the power to manipulate enemies and turn them into obedient soldiers called the Taken. One who took what we did very personally.

You see, Crota had a father: Oryx, the Taken King. And Oryx had every intention of making us pay for what we did to his son.

Oryx's arrival in the solar system commenced with a large battle between Hive forces and the Awoken. The Awoken, however, were outmatched, and Queen Mara Sov ultimately sacrificed herself sending magical harbingers to breach the defenses of Oryx's ship, the Dreadnaught. Still, we managed to sneak our way onto the Dreadnaught, following a Cabal unit that had crashed landed there. The Cabal sent out a distress signal, hoping for backup to arrive, but we handled business before they could. We scoured the Dreadnaught in search of Oryx, eventually locating his lair and defeating him in a one-on-one fight.

And when Oryx retreated into his throne world, we followed him there, too, bringing five friends along to commit regicide.

The universe was rid of Oryx, once and for all. But his Taken would remain a scourge in the system for years to come.

Rise of Iron finishes out the original Destiny's story

During the Golden Age, humanity's investment in scientific and technological research was at its peak. And nowhere was that more obvious than in a creation called SIVA. SIVA was part artificial intelligence, part nanobot network, and its potential was boundless. Engineers at research organization Clovis Bray designed it to help with humanity's expansion across the solar system, as SIVA could not only build structures more quickly than traditional methods, but could also self-replicate. It was immensely powerful. In the wrong hands, however, it could prove catastrophic.

Destiny's Iron Lords — early protectors of humanity — rediscovered SIVA centuries after the Collapse, and hoped to use it to aid in the rebuilding of civilization. But for reasons unknown, the AI Warmind Rasputin turned SIVA against them. After the loss of many Iron Lords, SIVA was ultimately locked away outside the Russian Cosmodrome, where it was hoped no one would ever try to use it again.

The Fallen, however, had other plans. They found the SIVA replication chamber and used the technology to their benefit, building up an entire army of augmented creatures and machines. And this forced us to return to the Cosmodrome. We fought our way through SIVA-spliced Fallen, eventually locating and destroying the SIVA replication chamber for good. And we took down the grandest invention of the Fallen's experiment with SIVA, defeating a heavily augmented Fallen archon named Aksis.

The SIVA threat was over. But a great war loomed on the horizon.

The Red War of Destiny 2

It took some time, but the distress call sent out by the Cabal on Oryx's Dreadnaught was eventually answered. By then, there was no longer a battle raging on that ship. There was no longer an Oryx. All that remained was a brief period of peace. We'd helped push back all of humanity's enemies. We'd braved threats big and small. It seemed as though the worst was over. But that was very far from the truth.

The attack came quickly. An entire Cabal fleet, descending upon Earth, rained fire down upon the Last City and the Tower that we and our fellow Guardians called home. We boarded the main ship in the fleet, hoping to stop the assault dead in its tracks. Instead, we came face to face with Dominus Ghaul, who imprisoned the Traveler, stripped us of our Light, and tossed us overboard, leaving us for dead.

We survived, of course, as did many other Guardians. But none had the Traveler's Light, which meant their powers were gone, and they could not be revived. We eventually obtained our Light once more after locating a shard of the Traveler in the European Dead Zone. From there, it was entirely on our shoulders to liberate Earth.

Like always, we did. We beat back the Cabal threat on Earth. We disabled a planet-destroying space weapon. And we encountered Dominus Ghaul a second time, putting him down only to watch him rise and become even more powerful thanks to the Light he stole.

Fortunately, the Traveler picked a choice moment to wake from its years-long slumber. It let out a blast of energy that incinerated Ghaul, and humanity was saved once more.

Curse of Osiris & Warmind

Following the events of the Red War, we embarked on a few shorter campaigns.

The first took us to Mercury, where we came to assist an exiled Warlock who'd gone missing. That Warlock, Osiris, was turned away from the Tower and the Last City due to his obsession with the Vex. It was that obsession, however, that helped him stumble upon a grave threat: a Vex Mind named Panoptes, capable of simulating timelines in order to find the one that allowed the Vex to rule the universe unopposed.

The second saw us travel back to Mars, where we connected with someone the world thought was dead: the legendary Hunter Ana Bray. It was here we learned that another son of Oryx, Nokris, had taken up residence on the planet, along with a Hive worm god named Xol. And we also learned that Rasputin, the artificial intelligence controlling the Warmind network, was also located on Mars inside a Clovis Bray research facility.

We emerged victorious from both endeavors. We were able to track down Panoptes using the Vex's Infinite Forest, a simulation device, and destroy him before he could set the events of the Vex's preferred timeline into motion. We killed both Nokris and Xol, ridding the universe of Oryx's lineage entirely and removing another source of the Hive's power.

And with Ana Bray, who'd traced her way back to the company her family had founded, we came face to face with Rasputin, once again enlisting it as an ally of humanity.

Forsaken

What seemed like a simple clean-up job in the Reef's Prison of Elders became so much more in Forsaken, the first major expansion in Destiny 2. We accompanied the Hunter Vanguard, Cayde-6, traveling to the Reef to assist the Queen's Wrath, Petra Venj, with some rowdy prisoners. But we soon discovered that there was more to the outbreak at the prison than met the eye.

Queen Mara Sov's brother, Uldren, had been jailed there for crimes against the Awoken. But he'd busted out, leading a deformed off-shoot race of Fallen called the Scorn on an escape. And Cayde-6, who confronted the Scorn head-on, paid the ultimate price. His Ghost was killed. And then Uldren Sov murdered Cayde-6 with Cayde's own weapon.

What followed was a tour of revenge. We stalked every Scorn baron across the Reef's Tangled Shore, killing each one on our mission to bring justice to Uldren Sov. But when we finally found Uldren himself, it was revealed that he was not in control of his own mind. He'd been corrupted by an Ahamkara (wish dragon) named Riven, who herself had been corrupted by the Taken.

Uldren didn't survive. Amazingly, though, we learned Mara Sov had. She existed in her own throne world, of sorts. And she instructed Petra Venj to send the Guardians into the Awoken's secret home, the Dreaming City, in order to kill Riven and free the Dreaming City from its Taken influence.

With our fellow Guardians, we did just that.

Season of the Forge & Season of the Drifter

Forsaken, like major releases and expansions before, was followed by a few more smaller content drops.

In the Season of the Forge, we learned of a potential ally hiding in plain sight: an Exo named Ada-1 who worked in the lower levels of the Tower. She told us of lost Black Armory forges, capable of producing some of humanity's most powerful weapons. And we helped her regain control of these lost forges, earning some of the Black Armory's wares along the way.

And in the Season of the Drifter, we dug deeper into the motivations of the Drifter, a strange figure who'd shown up in the tower at the start of Forsaken to run the Gambit activity. In this season, the Drifter introduced Gambit Prime, a higher-tier version of Gambit, and shed some more light on his history and the coming danger he was preparing Guardians for.

What's to come past this? We'll just have to wait and see.

Season of Opulence

Destiny 2's Season of Opulence brought us into contact with an old acquaintance: Emperor Calus, the ousted Cabal leader who now resides in the massive Leviathan ship close to Nessus. You may recall that Calus challenged us to defeat a robotic version of himself in the game's first raid. After that, he called upon us twice more in two subsequent raid lairs to rid his ship of a few unwanted passengers.

In Season of Opulence, Calus repaid the favor, in a sense. He erected a tribute room to celebrate our many triumphs on his behalf. And he even gave us the Menagerie, a new activity we could use to test our might.

Of course, we couldn't expect everything to go swimmingly.

Calus came into possession of a Hive artifact called the Crown of Sorrow and hoped to use it in order to take control of the Hive. He bred a Royal Bather named Gahlran for no reason other than to wear the Crown of Sorrow. Unfortunately, the crown proved too powerful. It drove Gahlran mad and enabled a large contingent of Hive to make themselves at home in the depths of the Leviathan ship.

In the "Crown of Sorrow" raid, we were able to strip the Crown of its power in order to defeat Gahlran and the Hive he commanded. Yet still, the Hive would continue to be a thorn in our sides.

Shadowkeep

In Shadowkeep, an uptick in Hive activity on Earth's moon took us back to one of the first places we visited in the original Destiny. Upon landing, we discovered the Hive had been quite busy. A large red keep had sprung up on Luna, our moon, and with it an enormous tower.

What were the keep and the tower there for? We met up with Eris Morn and started to explore the Hive's new construction project. What we found underneath it was startling: one of those pyramid-shaped ships, not unlike those that attacked Earth before and nearly wiped humanity from existence. One of the vehicles of the Darkness itself, on our moon ... for who knows how long.

We learned that a power associated with the pyramid ship was able to conjure up "nightmares" of our darkest fears, and in our case, that meant recreations of enemies we faced in our past. We built armor worthy of facing down these nightmares, and then entered the pyramid ship, facing off against Ghaul, the Fanatic, and even Crota before eventually happening upon a mysterious artifact.

Touching the artifact transported us to the Black Garden, where it seems as though we had a conversation with a manifestation of the Darkness, brought to life as a mirrored image of ourselves. All it said was this: "We are not your friend. We are not your enemy. We are your salvation."

And with that, the vision dissipated.

Season of the Undying

That artifact we discovered on the pyramid ship? We learned after the campaign that it was receiving a signal, and we managed to track the source of that signal to a rather nostalgic place: the Black Garden.

And with that, the "Garden of Salvation" raid began.

We gathered ourselves a six-member fireteam and stormed the Black Garden — the birthplace of the Vex — in order to locate the exact source of the artifact's signal. After eliminating countless Vex and finally bringing down the Black Garden's Sanctified Mind (the large boss at the end), we did manage to find the source. It was inside a statue in the Black Garden. What was it there for, or why was that statue important? We don't know yet. But we will probably find out as Season of the Undying rolls on.

In the meantime, we've gone and made the Vex pretty angry. You can visit the moon right now and find Vex pouring out onto the Lunar surface. Vex enemies are continuing to fight Guardians in the Black Garden, as well. The rest of Season of the Undying — which is expected to last until sometime in December or January — will likely fill out the rest of the story and help things make more sense. For now, everything we've told you here is everything we're able to.