A Lore Primer for Destiny 2 New Light Players

Well hey there, Guardian. Welcome to the Tower, the glorious last bastion of humanity of in the galaxy. That’s what the Vanguard would say, anyway. Guessing you got a lot of questions bouncing around in your head right about now. Well, I’ll tell you what. I know we just met, but I like you. You just got one of those faces, I guess. So let me get you up to speed. What’ll it cost? Oh, don’t worry about it for now — we’re friends, and friends do each other favors.

The City

All stories gotta start somewhere, and the Golden Age is as good a place as any. Back in the day, the Traveller — yeah, that’s the big mysterious orb up in the sky — showed up on Earth. Sparked an era of prosperity and beauty, human race living in harmony, all that jazz. Good times never last though, do they? See, the Traveller has an enemy. Oh, your Ghost didn’t tell you that, huh? Yeah, the Darkness was chasing the Traveller through the universe and finally found it with us, so it starts a war that kicks humanity’s ass into the stone age. The Collapse.

After that, well, things were bad all around. I should know — I was there. Ghost brought me back to life just like you, but things weren’t as pleasant as they are now. You ever died of hunger? I don’t recommend it. See, the Traveller sent out the Ghosts to raise people from the dead with the Light, but it didn’t seem to realize what happens when you give someone that kind of power in a world where most folks are just struggling to get by. Lightbearers set themselves up as Warlords and rule over the rest of humanity. Until the Iron Lords come along, that is. These guys decide folks with the light should be benevolent, protect everybody else. Well, they fight and the Iron Lords win.

Survivors start to flock to the Iron Lords around the Traveller and found the Last City. Lightbearers end up uniting and start calling themselves Guardians. And just in time, too. See, “the Traveller” ain’t just a clever name. When it showed up on Earth, it had left behind the aliens it was crashing with before us. The Elliksni, they call themselves. Folks just start calling them the Fallen on account of how they fell from the Traveller’s grace. They wanted the Traveller back, but the Guardians sent them packing.

The Guardians

Now you might be wondering, what exactly is a Guardian? Well, that’s you, friend. You’re one of the Chosen Ones, selected for mysterious reasons to be reanimated by the Traveller’s light. What’s that make you? Some kind of superhero? A space zombie? Everybody’s got their own view.

What we do know, though, is that you can’t die. Well, you can, but it won’t stick. Unless they happen to get your Ghost somehow — that’s the little orb following you around who won’t shut up — you’re stuck here. Oh, and you can wield the light. Comes in three flavors: Arc, Void, and Solar. Guardians all use it in different ways. Titans pop shields to protect their buddies, Hunters can slink into the shadows. Warlocks, well, Warlocks are just odd sons of bitches.

Mighta noticed we ain’t all human around here. Well, back in the Dark Age, two other groups of folks showed up. Exos, I been told, were human minds transplanted into robotic bodies. Problem is, the human mind don’t like being cooped up in a metal shell. After a while, it starts to go a little… funny. Only way to stave off the madness is to do a total mind wipe. All Exos go by a name and a number, and that number is how many times they’ve reset themselves. Gives me the creeps to think about.

Those blue-skinned people, they’re Awoken. They’re descended from the humans who tried to run from the Collapse. They didn’t want to take sides between the Traveller and the Darkness, and I don’t blame ’em. Still, for their trouble they got sucked into another universe. Some time later, they came back under the leadership of their queen Mara Sov and colonized the Reef.

Getting Back Into Destiny 2

The Galaxy

It’s a dangerous world out past the City walls. But venturing out there is your job now — repelling threats, investigating alien artifacts, all that jazz. You’re gonna encounter some wild things, let me tell you.

I already mentioned the Fallen. They’ve still got a big hate on for us, though these days they’re scattered and disorganized. The bigger they are and the more arms they’ve got, the tougher they’re gonna be. Oh, and you might run into what we call Scorn, too. They’re Fallen that have been brought back by some necromancer. Kind of like us, huh?

The Hive are as dangerous as they are delicious. Nobody really knows where they came from, but it’s pretty clear what they want — everybody else in the universe dead. They got this philosophy called the Sword Logic that lets them bend the laws of the universe, so don’t underestimate them. Guardians  killed their king Oryx a while back, but they’re just as much a pain in the ass as ever. I heard they’re massing on the moon again, so might be worth reading up on em.

Speaking of the Taken King, the Taken are what happens when the Darkness reaches out and grabs someone. They come back different, stronger, totally devoted to snuffing out the Light. All kinds of tricks up their sleeves, too.

Run into a robot that wants you dead yet? That’ll be the Vex. They’re a networked superintelligence that wants to convert everything they see into more of them. They can simulate just about anything, which makes ’em tough customers. Lucky for us, they can’t figure out the light. Some folks say they can time travel, though if that were the case we wouldn’t be standing here, would we? Those metal bodies they’ve got are just containers. The real Vex are the milk inside ’em. Wouldn’t recommend drinking it, by the way.

Lastly, we’ve been scrapping with the Cabal for years now. They might not have the Hive’s powers or the Vex’s tech, but they’re soldiers through and through. Brutal, well-trained, heavily armed. Bunch of factions of ’em, too. They exiled their Emperor Calus a while back and he’s got his own crew of Loyalists. Hangs out in his ship, The Leviathan, if you want to go visit. But if you ask me, he’s a little off his rocker.

The Now

Well, that’s the quick rundown. I could tell you more, but some things you gotta learn on your own. And hey, it’s not like you’re short on time, now. You’re an immortal superbeing! Sure, you could go out on Strikes and take down the enemies of humanity like the Vanguard wants, but you could also just bash your fellow Guardians’ heads in in the Crucible. Hell, some Guardians just seem to spend their days dancing in the Tower and doing tricks on their Sparrows.

Me? Well, I get up to a little bit of everything. Mostly I run Gambit. You oughta come by some time, try it out. That’d be the perfect way to pay me back. Because hey, it’s a rough world out there, and friends like us gotta stick together.

While you’re here, check out the rest of our Destiny 2 Shadowkeep content for guides, features, tips and more.