We’ve got about a month and a half left in Destiny 2‘s Season of the Dawn, and players are starting to look back at what we’ve gotten thus far and forward to what might come next. Personally, I’ve enjoyed the Saint-14 storyline, interacting with Osiris, and getting some new Exotics to play around with. I’ve been less enthused with the repetitive Sundial activity, the boring antagonists, and — with the exception of Saint — the total lack of any real connection to recent narrative threads.
It felt like a weird jump to go from Shadowkeep‘s big, serious Darkness plot to Season of the Undying’s “go kill some Vex” and then to Dawn’s “Cabal are back.” That’s been my issue with Destiny 2 pretty much the entire time I’ve been playing, actually — these interesting issues are raised and then dropped as the game moves onto the next thing. Remember choosing the Drifter or the Vanguard? Remember making best friends with Calus, whom we still haven’t met in person? Remember how Uldren Sov is a Guardian now and he doesn’t understand why everyone at the Tower shuns him?
Well, you could be excused for not knowing that last bit, given as how it’s locked behind secret cutscenes and a bit of lore in a ship description, but yes, that’s what the Cayde-6 killer himself is up to these days. And it would be the perfect start for a future season of Destiny 2.
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The Season of the Returned
We open the season with a message from Zavala. He tells us that Vanguard supplies in the EDZ have been going missing over the past few weeks, and asks us to investigate. We link up with Devrim, who believes the Fallen are to blame. And so, we’re sent on a merry chase around the EDZ, in the process picking up Fallen chatter about a Guardian who seems different from the rest. Rather than rushing around guns blazing, this one only seems to want to be left alone. Fallen surveillance confirms that this Guardian is responsible for the missing supplies.
Zavala is shocked and confused by this information. He suspects some kind of internal plot against the city, and has us confront the Drifter — who is of course his number one suspect. Drifter denies everything, gets indignant at being blamed for every little thing that goes wrong in the Tower, and suggests we talk to Banshee-44, who might know something about the flow of weaponry into and out of the City. Banshee, of course, doesn’t remember much, but does tell us he’s heard chatter about a solitary Guardian living on the streets, and suggests we ask Cayde about it.
Well, Cayde isn’t around anymore, but Ikora might be the next best thing. She asks us to check in with our more “unconventional” sources of information and get back to her. Speaking through the Emperor’s frame in the Tower, Calus gives us only cryptic words about the delicious irony of the cosmos before telling us to seek out the one who was returned via our actions — Saint-14.
When confronted, Saint is uncharacteristically evasive, but trusts us enough to say that he has made a new “friend” who was indeed responsible for the missing supplies. But his friend is very shy, and he has ensured that it won’t happen again, so he urges us to consider the matter closed. Zavala isn’t satisfied, demanding we press Saint as to the identity of his “friend.” Saint tells us that he was always going to introduce his friend to the Vanguard, but not until he and they were ready. He asks us to join him to meet his friend, but not in in the City — out in the wilds of the EDZ.
We accept the mission, thinking it will be a simple matter of driving out to the specified location and meeting up with Saint and friend. But our Ghost picks up Fallen chatter as we make our way there — it turns out they’ve realized that the Guardian they were tracking earlier is very valuable to a number of people, and they’re after him too.
Arriving at the location where we are to meet Saint, we repel a large Fallen strike force — far out of proportion to the task of capturing a single Guardian. When they’re finally down, Saint appears with his friend — Uldren Sov.
Our Ghost is confused, then furious — Uldren is dead! And he killed Cayde! Then “Uldren” produces his Ghost, and we start to understand. Saint urges us to be calm, and tells the story of how he chanced upon this Guardian stealing food and water from Vanguard caches some time ago. He learned that other Guardians scorned him, and that he had been living alone since his resurrection. Looking into Vanguard records, he put two and two together and realized who he was. But Saint doesn’t believe that the Guardian can be held responsible for his actions before his rebirth.
At this point, things can break one of two ways. If we sided with the Drifter way back when, then it turns out that the Vanguard has low-key been keeping tabs on our activities all this time. Aunor shows up, arrests Uldren, and tells us that we’re going to be dealt with for aiding an enemy of the City. If we sided with the Vanguard, Drifter arrives — having gotten fed up with our snitching — and crows about the Glimmer he could make selling Uldren’s whereabouts to any number of buyers. If we didn’t complete the quest, things default to the former. Either way, it’s back to the City.
The Trial of Uldren Sov
If we sided with the Drifter, speaking to Zavala reveals that the Vanguard has lost faith in us. They won’t arrest us because of how bad it would look for them, but they’re cutting us off. No more bounties or token redemptions from Zavala. The Guardian that was Uldren Sov is being held captive, his existence kept quiet while the Vanguard decides what to do with him. Saint is furious and blames himself, enlisting us to prove to the Vanguard that his friend is innocent and should be treated the same as any other Guardian.
If we sided with the Vanguard, the Drifter tells us that he’s willing to keep Uldren a secret so long as we make it worth his while. In the meantime, though, he’s locked us out of Gambit bounties as he doesn’t believe we can be fully trusted anymore.
From there, we’re either poking around the EDZ for Fallen data confirming the reclusive and non-violent character of the reborn Uldren or doing the same in the Dreaming City to gather information on new Taken activity for the Drifter. In both cases we learn that something is up with the Taken. They’re becoming more aggressive and focused, and that’s bad news.
On the Drifter path, we present the information on Uldren’s post-resurrection activities to Ikora, who finally agrees that he can’t be held accountable for his actions as Uldren. But she knows the rest of the City won’t find that so easy to accept, and has try to get in touch with Queen Mara. On the Vanguard path, Saint has us do the same, seeing Uldren’s arrival and the Taken incursions as more than coincidence.
This sets up the Seasonal Activity, The Proving, which has Guardians travel through a hostile space in the Ascendant Realm, fighting powerful Taken and seeking shelter in protective bubbles, earning Taken-themed weaponry and armor.
A Dare Accepted
Completing The Proving for the first time gets us in touch with Mara, who believes that for better or worse, the Guardian who was Uldren is no longer her brother. Returning to the Tower, Saint convinces Ikora to give Uldren — whom he has dubbed “Angel” — a chance. With the endorsements of the legendary Saint-14 and the Young Wolf, a hesitant Angel becomes the new Hunter Vanguard according to Cayde-6’s Vanguard Dare. He takes over as Vanguard vendor from Zavala, who steps back from his public-facing duties to consider the future of the City and his place in it.
The Tower has a Vanguard trio once again, and things seem to have worked out well enough for everyone as Angel gradually becomes more trusting and others get to know him. But Mara reminds us of our encounter with the Darkness in the Pyramid and how little we’ve done to prepare for its coming arrival — signaled by the heightened Taken activity — setting us up for the next expansion.
Anyway that’s my Destiny fanfiction, please leave kudos if you enjoyed it.