Enough with the backstory. What happens once Destiny actually begins? How does my Guardian affect all this crazy interplanetary warfare?

That story starts, oddly enough, with a mysterious figure we only know as the Stranger, a female Exo who seems to have a lot more info about what’s going on than we do. Many fans strongly suspect she is a time traveler from either the future, the past, or possibly even multiple time continuums where any number of events might have happened or not, but Bungie has steadfastly refused to comment on the matter, so it’s all conjecture at this point. 

Uh-oh. Time travel. That’s a complicated place to start.

It really isn’t that complicated.

I don’t believe you.

Fine. Can I keep going?

Please. 

Whether she’s from a different time or not, the Stranger shows up looking for a Guardian to help her thwart the plans of the Vex. She seems to be looking specifically for you, as she shows up right after you’re brought back from the dead, and she secretly follows your subsequent adventures. 

That’s because I’m awesome.

I’ll take your word for it. Anyway, your ghost finds your remains in the ruins of the Russian Cosmodrome, an abandoned launch facility where colony ships once departed Earth during the Golden Age. You fight your way past some Fallen, your Ghost fixes up a small, run-down spaceship, and you are able to fly to the Tower, where the bulk of the Guardians make their home.

I’m guessing there are some people there I should know about?

Indeed. The Guardians are led by a severe but disciplined Titan named Zavala, who trained under the former Vanguard leader and Iron Lord named Saladin. Saladin also mentored Lord Shaxx, who now governs the Crucible, but something happened at the Battle of Twilight Gap that strained the relationship between teacher and student.

Commander Zavala is one-third of the Vanguard council, which also includes a Hunter and Warlock. 

Cayde-6 succeeded his friend Andal Brask as the Hunter representative, after the latter was killed in battle with the Fallen. Cayde’s job working in the Vanguard infuriates him; he’d much prefer to be in the field, and seems to hold the post only to fulfill the losing end of a bet. 

Meanwhile, the Warlocks are led by Ikora Rey, a brilliant scholar and former Crucible champion. Uninterested in fame, she left the Tower and wandered the solar system with her Ghost for years, surviving getting shot down numerous times in enemy territory, and returning to tell the tale. Secretly, Ikora maintains a small group of trusted Guardians she calls the Hidden, which she uses to gather intel on enemy aliens. Few know that Eris Morn is part of the group. 

The Tower is also home to a number of vendors, including a sarcastic shipwright named Amanda Holliday, a cantankerous gunsmith named Banshee-44, and a Cryptarch named Master Rahool. The Cryptarchs are a studious order that unlocks the patterns traced in a form of matter called engrams, transforming them into weapons, armor, and other items.

There’s also a human outfitter named Eva Levante who maintains a shop in the Tower. In addition to helping Guardians customize their appearance, she is also the Tower’s biggest proponent for celebrating the Festival of the Lost – a popular event among the humans down in the city, in which survivors are encouraged to remember the dead. 

Is it safe to assume that these folks order me off to certain death a few times?

That’s about right. Between them, the Vanguard mentors proceed to send you on various missions, each filled with more alien bad guys than the last. Over the course of several adventures, you learn that the Hive are making a move on Earth, and you encounter the long-sleeping Warmind called Rasputin, which if you recall, shut down back during the Collapse with the goal of reviving at a later date, which you have now enabled. Rasputin reestablishes contact with the Moon, Venus, and Mars.

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 »