Destiny has taken a lot of well-deserved heat for its approach to storytelling, but after our recent cover story visit to Bungie and extensive hands-on time with The Taken King, it’s clear that the studio is moving towards a far more robust narrative experience in future releases. Knowing that existing story elements are about to become a bigger focus, and with only weeks before the new installment, we’re here to break down what we know about Destiny’s fiction – no grimoire cards required.

The following details are drawn from multiple sources, including in-game flavor text and conversations, grimoire card text, and conversations directly with Bungie developers. For newcomers to Destiny who plan to jump in with a level 25 character on September 15, the following is organized as a reference guide, in case understanding the fictional backdrop of the game is important to you. Simply click on the page you’re interested in learning about.

For longtime fans who may already be familiar with some of this information, we've aimed here for a clear summation of Destiny’s established backstory and lore. We’ve made a point to fact-check our entire story directly with Bungie prior to publication; as such, we hope this can be an accurate and authoritative glimpse into the existing narrative. Anything not confirmed by Bungie is clearly described as such in the text. 

I want to know more about...

...The Traveler, The Darkness, and where the Guardians came from »

...the Last City, the founding of the Crucible, and the Battle of Twilight Gap »

...the Guardians’ disastrous assault against the Hive on the Moon »

...the Vex, the Cabal, and the Vault of Glass »

...the Awoken, and the Reef Wars »

...what happened in the Destiny base game. »

...The Dark Below and House of Wolves »

...what else I’m missing. Tell me about Dredgen Yor, the Ahamkara, and Osiris »

Next Page: The beginnings of the Destiny story