In the lore of Destiny 2, there’s nothing more mysterious than the cryptic entity known as The Nine. No one knows who or what they really are — even in the fiction, to some extent. And that’s kind of the way it always has been, dating back to the original Destiny. But that looks to be changing thanks to a new injection of lore in Season of the Drifter.
In the first Destiny, players were introduced to The Nine by the mysterious Xur. He’s a shady merchant who appears in various, semi-secret locations to offer weapons, armor, and other wares for sale. Xur was simply known as an Agent of the Nine whose “will was not his own.”
The Nine took on a bigger role in Destiny 2 during Trials of the Nine. That’s where Guardians competed in competitive Crucible modes in an effort to impress the unknown entities. Eventually, winning Guardians met the Emissary, who is something of a liaison to the Nine. She seemingly comes the Nine’s alternate dimension — known simply as thee Unknown Space.
In Season of the Drifter, the Emissary is back and dealing with the Drifter directly. In an awesome new method of expanding Destiny lore, Xur now returns week after week to offer a new item called an Invitation of the Nine. Players can complete these new bounties to receive new cutscenes, dialogue, and lore.
- Here’s the Lore: What’s the Story of Destiny 2 – Season of the Drifter?
- Destiny 2 The Reckoning Guide: Tips, Strategies, & Loadouts
- Destiny 2 Thorn Quest Guide: Independent Study Quest
Invitation of the Nine – Week 1: “The World”
The first quest from Xur is to collect “metaphysical samples” from Cabal, Fallen, and Taken in the EDZ. You’ll also need to complete the Lake of Shadows strike. As a reminder, you can choose the strike on the EDZ director! No need to grind the strike playlist hoping for it to appear.
Once the first Invitation of the Nine quest is complete, the Guardian can visit the Drifter’s Derelict ship (triggered by a mission in the Director under Gambit called “Mystery and Potential”). Then you can use the teleporter inside to travel to the Nine’s Unknown Space. There you should jump into another portal, the same way that you do in the Reckoning activity, to be met by a giant version of the Emissary.
Emissary: We stand at the precipice of history. What you do here changes the cosmic balance forever.
You have made allies of dangerous beings. Gods and god pretenders. How long before your company involves you in something you can’t come back from?
Those I serve have so much to learn from you. You are their greatest curiosity. The agent on whom all fates converge.
The Dredgen presents a special prize to the Nine. He is an anomaly. An elemental balance. A grand experiment.
We remember his Trial.
Here the Guardian is presented with a vision: a brand new cutscene featuring the Drifter and a mystery character. From context, we can presume this stranger is a Shadow of Yor wielding Thorn. The Drifter used to be an acolyte of the Shadows of Yor, calling himself Dredgen, but eventually left that life in his past.
You can learn more about the original Dredgen Yor and his so-called shadows in our prime Season of the Drifter lore piece.
Eventually the vision ends. When it does, the Guardian is back with the Emissary.
Emissary: Only two others have transcended their design.
The first, an hourglass counting down with infinite patience.
The second, a forgotten blade sharpened anew.
And now, the Dredgen.
Visit us again. We wish for you to understand what we understand.
For now, it is my purpose to speak to you and you alone…but only if you remain worthy.
It’s anyone’s guess what “two others” the Emissary is referring to, as well as what it means that they “transcended their design.” It’s possible to make educated guesses, though. The “hourglass” likely refers to Osiris, a famous and renegade Warlock who was the centerpiece of 2017’s Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris DLC. He currently makes his home in the Infinite Forest, testing infinite possible timelines.
The “forgotten blade” could possibly reference to Oryx, The Taken King. His life was defined by the Hive faction’s philosophy called Sword Logic. Oryx was the big bad in 2015’s Destiny expansion, The Taken King. And players killed him but good in the exceptional King’s Fall Raid. And his aforementioned Sword Logic is the Hive’s guiding religious principle that “existence is the struggle to exist.” But, really, it’s anyone’s guess at this point.
Invitation of The Nine – Week 2: “Justice”
The second Invitation is similar to the first. You will need to play the Savathun’s Song Strike and pick up nine samples each from Fallen and Hive by getting random drops from killing each enemy type.
Once complete, head on back to the Derelict via the Gambit section on the Director. Go through the portal into Unknown Space again, and jump into the portal once more to see a new scene.
The Nine: “Do you regret this?”
The Nine: “Judgment.”
Emissary: “I have more agency as an agent than I ever did wielding the Light.”
The Nine: “You lost everything.”
Emissary: “Nothing that ever mattered. I would die for those I love.”
The Nine: “We don’t understand.”
This week’s scene is short, but sweet. It reveals just a bit more about the Emissary and who she used to be, and even more about her is revealed in the new lore section that is earned via the Invitation. We also hear The Nine address the Emissary directly, which is pretty cool on its own.
In short, the revelation is that the Emissary once was a Guardian, as evidenced by her dialogue and the Ghost that watches from behind her. The “Ecdysis” lore book can be found in its entirety on Ishtar Collective, but beware of spoilers from future lore drops.
Invitation of the Nine – Week 3: “The High Priestess”
“The High Priestess” sends you to the Inverted Spire Strike on Nessus, and you must collect nine samples each (are you seeing a pattern here?) of Cabal, Fallen, and Vex.
Once complete, it’s back to the Derelict again. The third week’s scene is another confrontation between the Emissary and the Nine. This time, the subject of the conversation is none other than Mara Sov, an outline of whom can be seen in the clouds in the distance.
The Nine: “THE CLEVER ONE IS IN PERIL.”
Emissary: “No. She will manage.”
The Nine: “THEY WILL ANNIHILATE HER.”
Emissary: “Then she will die as one of us. Gladly.”
The Nine: “SHE WILL REGRET BEFORE THE END.”
Emissary: “You don’t know the meaning of that word.”
The Nine: “SHE WILL BEG FOR DEATH’S RELEASE.”
Emissary: “You cannot kill what has already died.”
The Awoken Queen has not been seen in a little over a month, since she last departed on an unknown mission. The Nine’s words here are quite foreboding, but Mara will probably be okay nonetheless. As the Emissary said, Mara has already “died” at the hands of Oryx, which allowed her to create her own throne world.
What is scary, though, is how confident the Nine seem to be about just how formidable whatever she’s facing is.
Invitation of the Nine – Week 4: “The Magician”
The fourth week of invitations sends you to the lonely moon of Io where you must complete the Strike The Pyramidion. Then, you need nine samples each from Vex, Taken, and Cabal, all of which can be found on Io.r
Once the tasks are completed and the player heads back to the Derelict, a new vision is ready. Once again, it is the Emissary speaking with the Nine, but with an interesting twist. The player starts out at the bottom of the hole in the area, and must climb up by jumping on massive Gambit tokens.
That’s a clue as to who the subject of their conversation is.
The Nine: “WHAT DOES IT WANT?”
Emissary: “You ask the same questions. You never listen.”
The Nine: “WHY DOES IT DO THIS?”
Emissary: “He’s afraid.”
The Nine: “OF DEATH?”
Emissary: “Of everything.”
The Nine: “SO IT KILLS.”
Emissary: “He hates violence. He hates it so much that he’ll murder anyone who tries to inflict it on him.”
There’s little in the way of new information about the Drifter here, but once you try talking to the man himself, more is discovered.
Drifter: “Hey. If I tell you what I know about the Emissary, will you promise to stop wasting your time on her?
She used to be Reefborn. Loyal to the Queen. Then she died. Ghost picked her up. Took the name Orin.
Then she went lookin’ for the Nine. She needed power. She got it. But now she’s somethin’ else.
She has no past to uncover. She’s not what she was. Neither am I. So stop lookin’ for her.”
Invitation of the Nine – Week 5: “Strength”
The fifth week’s Invitation must be completed on Mercury, which complicates matters. You will need to collect Cabal, Hive, and Vex samples from the smallest destination in the game. Cabal and Vex can be farmed in the patrol area, but Hive can only be found on Mercury in the Infinite Forest, so you’ll have to play some Adventures from Brother Vance and hope to find Hive inside. “Bug in the System” guarantees Hive, so make sure to play that one first.
Once you finish all of those, and “The Garden World” Strike, you can head back to the Derelict for another scene.
The Nine: “WHAT DOES IT WANT?”
The Nine: “LIKE YOU?”
Emissary: “No one is like her/him.”
The Nine: “WE DON’T UNDERSTAND.”
Emissary: “She/he has agency like you wouldn’t believe. She/he can leave this place.”
The Nine: “THIS PLANE? WE CAN LEAVE THIS PLANE.”
Emissary: “Think bigger. She/he can leave this game.”
The Nine: “WE DON’T UNDERSTAND.”
Emissary: “Then I’m afraid it’s impossible to explain.”
If it’s not obvious enough, the conversation-piece this week, is you! The Nine and the Emissary are speaking about you, and the Emissary has some glowing compliments for you. The Nine, meanwhile, are confused and still looking for a way to evolve out of its current plane of existence.
Invitation of the Nine – Week 6: “The Twins”
Week six’s invitation will send you to Mars. Complete the “Strange Terrain” Strike and pick up samples from Hive and Cabal (found all over Mars with ease) to earn another new cutscene.
Once all tasks are completed, head to the derelict for a different kind of scene this week — a flashback.
Orin: “I’m sorry, I just–I really Miss him.”
Drifter: “Yeah. Me too.”
Orin: “[sniffles] How did you say you knew each other again?”
Drifter: “Oh, we, uh—Namqi and me were…were buddies. Met in a little dive on Ceres. Used to play cards. He talked about you a lot. Said the Queen trusts you to talk to the Nine for her. [scoffs] That true?”
Orin: “[chuckles] Yeah. Sort of. Doesn’t seem important anymore.”
Drifter: “Yeah. Well…you ever need a shoulder to cry on, I’m here for you.”
If the woman’s voice sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the Emissary of the Nine when she was still a Guardian named Orin. This is when she and the Drifter first met, shortly after the loss of a loved one, and it looks like their relationship is set to become pretty interesting…
Invitation of the Nine – Week 7: “The Twins”
Week 7 sends you to the Tangled Shore to complete “The Hollowed Lair” Strike, while also picking up metaphysical samples from Hive, Scorn, and Vex. The former two can be found on the Shore, and the Vex must only be killed in the Warden of Nothing Strike.
Once done and back in Unknown Space, a new flashback scene with the Drifter and the Orin (the Emissary) will play.
Orin: “I’m leaving. I’m going to find them.”
Drifter: “There is nothing out there for you, Orin!
Orin: “Please don’t pretend you care. This is a courtesy, Dredgen.”
Drifter: “I don’t use that name! Not anymore!”
Orin: “Your friend Callum says otherwise.”
Drifter: “Hand to my heart, I’m not lying.”
Orin: “[chuckles] You can’t even hear yourself.”
Drifter: “Orin, please!”
Orin: “I’m going, Wu Ming. This “friendship,” or whatever you want to call it…it’s over. Try not to get shot.”
Drifter: “[growl of frustration] You wanna go back to a thousand years of the Traveler’s dogma, kid? Give up your freedom. Fine. You do you.”
You can really sense Drifter’s frustration here, and you can tell how much he cares for Orin. But her obsession with the Nine leads her elsewhere.
Invitation of the Nine – Week 8: “The Hanged Man”
The penultimate invitation sends you to the Dreaming City to complete “The Corrupted” Strike. After that, you must farm nine samples from Hive, Scorn, and Taken, all of which can be found in the Dreaming City.
Once completed, return to the Derelict and Unknown Space for a pretty awesome scene.
Drifter: “Hey, how you livin’ sister? What can ol’ Drifter do for you today? Wanna play some Gambit?”
Emissary: “The Dredgen has visions. They disturb him.”
Drifter: “You know about those, huh? You the one causin’ them? Tell you right now I don’t appreciate what they say.”
Emissary: “The gift is showing you what you must see. It is your fate.”
Drifter: “No. I make my own choices.”
Emissary: “If that is what you want to believe.”
Drifter: “Freakin’ psycho.”
Here we see, for the first time in a few months, the triangular ships that are seemingly on their way to Earth. Ever since the final cutscene in Destiny 2’s vanilla campaign, these ships have been teased as the next big thing. Mara Sov’s throne room showed them as a projection, too, so it seems like it’s only a matter of time before these next big bads, whoever’s in the ship, comes to Earth. We’re guessing Destiny 3, but it could be sooner.
Invitation of the Nine – Week 9: “Death”
The final Invitation, “Death,” is all about the Crucible. To complete it, play three matches in Quickplay, Competitive, and Rumble playlists.
Once all matches are completed, it’s time for one last trip to the Derelict and Unknown Space for the most exciting and shocking scene yet.
Emissary: “We have another truth to share with you. The Dredgen should have told you himself. But as always, fear keeps him from true potential. Please. Open your mind.”
The Guardian experiences a vision.
Drifter: “[laughs] Might just pull this scam off. And when the time comes, we’ll finally be in the clear.” [Drifter is suddenly teleported]
Drifter: “A horse. OK…”
Emissary: “We have enjoyed watching you. We came to say farewell. Our attention is required elsewhere.”
Drifter: “All right. Thanks for the memories, you lunatic. Anything else I can do for you?”
Emissary: “You’re already doing it. Keep playing the game.”
Drifter’s Gambit coin suddenly has a new icon on it — the unmistakable design of the ships that were alerted in deep space when the Traveler awoke at the end of Destiny 2’s campaign. The Guardian’s vision ends.
Emissary: “The night falls. Out there, on the edge, your fate is a war unseen amid ruined fleets. Two women: feared, untrusted, forever at arm’s length. Here, at home, your fate is a coin in the hand of a liar. One man: afraid, untrustworthy, forever grasping. You must reckon with yourself. Can you see the path ahead? Do you know the shape of your trial?
The Emissary’s words are cryptic, but we might be able to glean a few things from what she said. The two women she mentions could very well be Queen Mara Sov of the Awoken, and Savathun — Oryx’s sister, and the assumed new Queen of the Taken. The man could be Emperor Calus, who looks to be and important player in the upcoming Season of Opulence.
The future of Destiny is coming soon, and it looks like many of the franchise’s big names are going to be in play when the looming darkness comes — including The Nine.