Few video game franchises have as much lore as Destiny. While its storytelling has been hit-or-miss throughout most of its lifespan, Destiny's external lore contains some of the best stories ever written for a video game. Deep dives into the Hive's Sword Logic, stories of how iconic Exotics came to be, and running gags can all be found in Destiny's Grimoire and lore tabs.
Throughout Destiny 2's fourth year, Bungie has made a major shift towards week-to-week storytelling, showcasing major events in-game instead of off-screen. It's resulted in one of the best story arcs the franchise has seen, although it can be quite confusing to understand as a new or returning player. If you've missed certain parts of Destiny 2's story, fear not. This article will cover all the major story beats from Beyond Light to Season of the Lost.
A Quick Recap On Destiny 2's Previous Years
If you're completely new to Destiny 2 or haven't played in years, here's a quick rundown of the major story beats tied to each season.
Year 1 Story Recap
- Destiny 2 Vanilla: The Traveler is captured by Dominus Ghaul and his army of Red Legion—an elite group of Cabal. Guardians had to regain their powers to retake the Traveler and the Last City. This period is known as "The Red War."
- Curse of Osiris: Guardians tracked Osiris through Mercury's Infinite Forest. With his help, humanity was able to stop the Vex from rewriting history.
- Warmind: Warmind Rasputin, a militarized supercomputer built to protect humanity against the Darkness, was under attack by a Hive Worm God named Xol. Guardians slew Xol with the help of Rasputin and Ana Bray. Zavala develops a hostile relationship with Rasputin.
Year 2 Story Recap
- Forsaken: Cayde-6, the last Hunter Vanguard, is murdered by Uldren Sov. Guardians hunt him down across the Tangled Shore to seek revenge. It was discovered Uldren was corrupted by an Ahamkara named Riven, a wish-granting dragon. Guardians travel to the Dreaming City to slay Riven, inadvertently damning the city to an eternal curse.
- Season of the Forge: Ada-1 forges high-tech weapons for Guardians to wield. Her weapons were lost when the Darkness arrived in Beyond Light.
- Season of the Drifter: Guardians learn that the Drifter has close ties with The Nine. Guardians help a Fallen Captain named Mithrax stop Eramis' forces from stealing SIVA technology.
- Season of Opulence: Calus obtains the Crown of Sorrow, a Hive artifact of immense power, with the help of the Guardians.
Year 3 Story Recap
- Shadowkeep: A Darkness ship is found in the depths of Earth's moon. Guardians uncover a strange orb from the Pyramid that makes one thing clear: the Darkness is coming.
- Season of Undying: The Vex invade the Moon in large numbers. Ikora builds a portal that leads to the Undying Mind, the Vex unit responsible for the invasion. The Undying Mind is defeated shortly after.
- Season of Dawn: Osiris builds the Sundial, a time-bending device similar to the Infinite Forest. Guardians bring Saint-14 back from the dead.
- Season of the Worthy: Rasputin discovers that the Darkness has reached the Sol System. Zavala reluctantly helps Rasputin and Ana Bray prepare for the coming conflict.
- Season of Arrivals: The Darkness ships arrive with no issue, causing Rasputin to shut down entirely. Io, Mars, Titan, and Mercury were destroyed. The Darkness attempted to make contact with the Guardians, although Savathûn intercepted. Eris Morn and the Drifter ask The Nine the difference between the Light and Dark, to which they learn both forces are fairly similar.
Beyond Light Story Recap
Setting The Scene
The Darkness has arrived. Entire planets have fell to the Pyramids, and the Vanguard are helpless to stop them. Yet the Pyramids harbor a "gift" for you, beckoning Guardians to the icy moon of Europa. This gift turns out to be Stasis, the manifestation of absolute zero. Those that can harness this power can create perfect crystals of Stasis, slow or freeze enemies in an instant, and shatter those unfortunate enough to be frozen.
Unfortunately, this "gift" was intercepted by Eramis Kell, the leader of a Fallen group named House Salvation. Her plan is to utilize the Darkness to usher the Fallen into a new Golden Age, one that would bring their once-powerful civilization back into its prime.
The Vanguard catches word of Eramis' plans from Variks, a Fallen scribe indirectly responsible for Cayde's death back in Forsaken. Variks issues a distress call to the Vanguard, which Zavala reluctantly accepts. He sends you and your Ghost to investigate.
It's Time To Explain
After rescuing Variks, it's revealed that you aren't the only party invested in Eramis and Stasis. The Exo Stranger, a character from the first Destiny, has deep ties with the Darkness and the Bray facilities on Europa. You learn throughout the campaign that the Exo Stranger is none other than Elsie Bray herself, and she's been trapped in a time loop to stop the Darkness from destroying everything. Your Guardian's use of Darkness is imperative to how the Light vs. Dark war will play out, hence why she assists you with harnessing the power of Stasis.
Through the help of the Exo Stranger and Variks, Eramis Kell was able to be stopped. The lieutenants of House Salvation were eliminated, Eramis is left in a perpetually frozen state on Europa, and your Guardian now has the ability to wield Light and Dark with equal mastery. Despite the Vanguard's request for Guardians to not use the Darkness, it's a widely-used element in Vanguard operations and even the Crucible. Shaxx doesn't seem to mind.
Clovis Bray And The Deep Stone Crypt
Eramis might have been defeated, but some of her lieutenants remained. They fled to Europa's Deep Stone Crypt, a Bray facility that's the birthplace of the Exo. House Salvation used Clovis tech to recreate Atraks as an Exo, take over a space station, and bring Taniks back from the dead.
Guardians take to the Deep Stone Crypt to stop House Salvation once and for all, although the events of the Deep Stone Crypt raid cause a space station to crash down on Europa, allowing anyone to pillage the contents of the crypt. The debris of the station still pelts down on Europa's surface to this day.
This news displeases Clovis Bray, the founder of all Bray-related technology you find in the Destiny universe. Thought long-dead, Clovis is reawakened as an AI deep within Europa's Bray Exoscience facility. Your Ghost gives a brief explanation of everything Clovis has missed. He thanks you for your assistance with stopping the Fallen. Clovis puts his attention towards uncovering the aftermath of The Collapse.
Season Of The Hunt Story Recap
Alongside Beyond Light's campaign, Osiris uncovers that Xivu Arath—the Hive god of war—is spreading her influence through various Cryptolith Lures. Osiris is almost slain by one of her forces when a mysterious Guardian named "Crow" saves him. To everyone's surprise, Crow is Uldren Sov, Cayde-6's murderer.
A Ghost named Glint uncovered Uldren's corpse in the Dreaming City, resurrecting him as a Guardian of the Light. Crow has no recollection of his past, although the actions of his previous life have led to much suffering through the hands of Guardians and the Awoken. He works under the Spider, building Cryptolith Lures to remove Xivu Arath's presence. Thanks to your Guardian, Crow breaks free from Spider and finds refuge in the Last City.
Season Of The Chosen Story Recap
Xivu Arath's presence reached well beyond the Sol System. Her Hive army spread to the Cabal homeworld of Torbatl, killing untold numbers of Cabal. Empress Caiatl and her people retreat to the Sol System and request a truce with humanity, hoping to stop Xiva Arath with the help of Guardians. In Cabal tradition, she asks Zavala to bow during this negotiation, to which Zavala stoically refuses.
This sparks a short-lived skirmish between humanity and the Cabal. Lord Saladin, Crow, and your Guardian work together to eliminate Caiatl's lieutenants, forcing her to surrender. A truce meeting follows soon afterward, but it goes sideways. Zavala is nearly assassinated during the meeting, stopped only thanks to Crow. Unfortunately, this also revealed Crow's true identity to Zavala. Both quickly come to an understanding. Crow is instated as a recon agent for the Vanguard, much to the dismay of certain characters.
The Glykon And Emperor Calus
Partway through Season of the Chosen, a derelict Cabal ship named the Glykon is discovered in deep space via a distress signal. A small team of Guardians is sent to investigate. They quickly uncover that this ship was used to commune with the Darkness. The Scorn found aboard the Glykon were experimented on by Emperor Calus and his Cabal, hoping they could find a suitable candidate for the Crown of Sorrow.
They eventually found one: The Locus of Communion. The ship would quickly undergo an infestation of Scorn and Darkness flora, forcing Calus and his men to retreat. Calus hasn't been seen since. Despite warnings from Caiatl, Osiris takes the Crown of Sorrow for himself.
Season Of The Splicer Story Recap
The Last City would experience its final sunset for months shortly after the events of Season of the Chosen. This "Endless Night" was the result of a terrifying Vex simulation. The Vanguard only knew one person who could help: Mithrax. This Fallen Kell has helped humanity once before, but he won't assist while his people are in danger on Europa. So humanity and the Eliksni made a compromise: Mithrax and the House of Light assist humanity with ending the Endless Night, and the Eliksni are guaranteed shelter in the Last City.
What resulted was a refugee crisis. Lakshmi-2, leader of the Future War Cult, took major issue with this decision. She had a vision that the Last City was in flames, Fallen standing atop the City's ashes. She believed it was the doing of the Fallen, using her platform as FWC leader to spread her hatred. Eliskni refugees also took issue with residing in the same walls as Saint-14, a boogeyman in Eliskni culture. Tensions were at an all-time high.
Guardians eventually discovered that Quria, Blade Transform, created the Endless Night. They plunged into the Vex Network, destroyed Quria, and ended the Endless Night for good. Lakshmi-2, with the help of Osiris, took action against the Fallen soon after, unleashing a Vex portal into their refugee camp. Many died during the battle, Lakshmi included, yet House Light worked alongside Saint-14 and the Vanguard to stop the invasion. Strangely, Osiris was missing throughout the Last City attack, leading many to blame him as the reason the City almost fell.
Season Of The Lost Story So Far
Osiris has been branded a traitor by the City. Thanks to Queen Mara Sov, the Vanguard tracked down Osiris' location in the Dreaming City. In a surprise twist, it is revealed that Osiris has been Savathûn this entire time. Ever since Season of the Hunt, Savathûn has been using Osiris as a puppet to meddle with humanity's affairs.
Mara Sov entraps Savathûn in a crystal prison, locked away deep in the Dreaming City. Savathûn offers a deal to Mara: kill Savathûn's worm, and humanity will get Osiris back. Mara Sov will need the full strength of Techeuns to do this, hence why players must delve into the Shattered Realm to rescue them.
Crow's relationship with the Awoken has reached a boiling point. Petra Venj is downright hostile to Crow. Mara Sov is just as mysterious as ever. And the Vanguard isn't helping matters either. Crow yearns for answers, demanding an audience with Savathûn. Thus far, his request has been repeatedly denied.
The student who acquired the drive has been given a life sentence and others who watched it will do five years hard labor.