Didn’t you say a bunch of refugees left Earth and got transformed into something else?

Those are the Awoken. After being recreated as a new species, some of them return to Earth, but many continue out into the void of space, and create their own civilization out in the asteroid belt, centered on a large planetoid called 4 Vesta (it’s a real place – look it up!). They establish a new society, led by a queen named Mara Sov. The queen is advised by her brother, a prickly fellow by the name of Uldren. 

And what are these Awoken up to during all the fighting going on back on Earth?

Well, the Awoken are famously xenophobic. But the Battle of Twilight Gap ends up inadvertently pulling them into the conflict. At that point, several of the Fallen noble houses have united to attack the Last City on Earth. The House of Wolves is the last to try and join, and they pass through the Asteroid Belt on the way to Earth. For reasons that remain her own, Queen Mara Sov attacks the House of Wolves, preventing them from reaching Earth – which is a good thing, as the Guardians would probably have lost the Battle of Twilight Gap if the House of Wolves had arrived. Out in the emptiness of space, the Awoken and Fallen Wolves fleets meet in battle.

Spaceship fights? Pew-pew?

Totally. Over the course of a series of titanic outer-space battles, the Queen leads her Awoken against the House of Wolves in what comes to be called the Reef Wars. After the Awoken destroy the Kell (the leader) of the House of Wolves, the Fallen house descends into its own civil war. A devious Fallen by the name of Skolas finally claims leadership. 

Amidst all this, a number of Awoken and Fallen make names for themselves, but one of the most important is a woman named Petra Venj. She rises up from being a soldier in the Awoken army to become one of the Queen’s lieutenants, striking numerous victories for her people. In her eagerness to wipe out the Fallen, at one point she calls in an airstrike on some Fallen, not realizing that several of Earth’s Guardians would also be hit and killed, along with their Ghosts. The mistake causes serious tensions between the Awoken and the Guardians on Earth. As penance, Petra is made emissary to the Tower, a role she detests.

A whole slew of battles unfold during the Reef Wars, with one side trying to outmaneuver the other, but things come to a head when one of the Fallen betrays his own kind. Variks is the last surviving member of House Judgment, and in the name of choosing the winning side and keeping his house alive, he betrays Skolas to the Queen. The Awoken capture Skolas, and place him into confinement within the Prison of Elders. As the victor, Queen Mara Sov is granted leadership of the Fallen House of Wolves. 

She’s in charge of the Awoken and a bunch of the Fallen?

Well, for a little while, anyway. Things are going to get a bit more complicated for the Queen in a little bit.

I want to know more about...

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

...The Iron Lords, the Last City, and the founding of the Crucible »

...The creation of the Hive, the reign of Oryx, and Sword Logic »

...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 »

...The opening acts of the Destiny base game »

...The quest to reach the Black Garden and conquering the Vault of Glass »

...The Dark Below and House of Wolves »

...The battle against the Taken King »

...The aftermath of the King’s fall, and the ongoing Taken War »

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

Next Page: The legendary Guardian (that’s you!) comes on stage, as we delve into the events depicted in Destiny’s initial release