Destiny beginner’s guide – Catch up on the entire story ahead of Destiny 2

24 min read
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After two years, Destiny finally had a story. And it was bloody massive. For a game that was light on details in the narrative department when it first launched, Bungie has managed to craft an intricate tale that spans millennia and solar systems across the cosmos. And that’s kind of daunting. Fortunately, you’ve got me to spin a few yarns about the legends of Destiny.

So sit back, relax and read on through the first part of our story catch-up feature as we recap the beginnings of the Destiny legend, all the way up to founding of the Last City on Earth.

The Traveller

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Nobody knows where the Traveller came from, but we do know that it is a hyper-ancient being who has helped the various civilisations of the universe flourish. A creature that travels the cosmos, it usually takes the form of a celestial sphere, made up of hypothetical materials such as Neutronium and Electroweak matter.

Long before it visited humanity, the Traveler was seeding other civilisations and guiding them for reasons unknown to all sentient life. It helped shape a race known as the Eliksini, but when it sensed the arrival of its age-old nemesis the Darkness (Not that Justin Hawkins fellow), it fled and left that culture to collapse in an event that was called “The Whirlwind”. The Eliksini were forced to leave their planet and scour the galaxy for survival as interstellar pirates, eventually becoming known as the Fallen.

The 21st Century

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The Traveller eventually made its way to our solar system, settling on Mars and starting a terraforming process. Aware of the presence of the Traveller, humanity finally finds enough motivation to mount a mission to visit the red planet and the first encounter with the ancient being resulted in the Golden Age for our species.

Over the years to come, the Traveller shared its knowledge with humanity, greatly lengthening our lifespans and helping us to explore the rest of our solar system. New technological advances were made, artificial intelligence evolved to create the Exos and the great Warmind satellite defense network was constructed.

Humanity also made breakthroughs in the fields of matter encryption through engrams, began developing the SIVA nano-machine technology and terraformed more planets in our solar system. Lasting several centuries, this was Humanity’s greatest hour.

Then the Darkness arrived.

The Darkness and the Collapse

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Whatever the Darkness is, it cannot be properly explained. Some would argue that it is a physical entity, others an unstoppable fleet of ships while others debated that the Darkness was a necessary concept to help balance the light spread by the Traveller in our reality. But whatever the Darkness truly is, one thing was known for certain: The Traveller feared it.

Whenever it encountered the Darkness, the Traveller would flee from it as it watched countless civilisations devoured by the threat and left ruined. This time however, the Traveller decided to fight back. With the Darkness in our solar system, the Traveller protected humanity, sacrificing itself to push back against the Darkness  in a battle that left the Guardian of humanity stripped of its senses and in a comatose state.

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Known as the Collapse, the event claimed scores of lives and humanity itself was almost extinguished. A last-minute effort from the Traveller managed to create a shield that would protect the last city on Earth from its eternal nemesis, while also releasing scores of Ghosts that carried a small sliver of the Traveller’s light to go beyond and awaken new protectors to safeguard the remnants of humanity: The Guardians.

Much was lost during the Collapse, but a new race of humanity was also born during that cataclysm as refugees from that massive battle founds themselves reborn as the Awoken and went on to claim the asteroid belt near the planet of Saturn as their new domain.

After the Collapse

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Look, humanity was pretty much buggered at this point. Our species was almost extinct, new threats were on the horizon and the Traveller was left comatose. The arrival of the Guardians wasn’t exactly a blessing at first. Essentially immortal dead soldiers, the first Guardians used their Light to create their own kingdoms in the ruins of the Golden Age, carving out new nations that they ruled with an iron fist.

The Rise of the Iron Lords

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But this was where the first true Guardians came into play. Banding together, individuals from across the Awoken, Human and Exo races sought to stand for something greater than personal gain. Fighting back, these true Guardians became known as the Iron Lords of legend and their ranks increased by the hundreds. But out of all the Iron Lords, the first of the group became a legend of their own as they established the Guardians: Radegast, Jolder, Perun, Silimar, Felwinter, Saladin, Gheleon, Skorri, Timur, and Efrideet.

The Last City

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With our outposts in the solar system presumed lost during the cataclysm and most of the remnants of humanity seeking survival elsewhere, it was time to reunite our species. Guardians would lead the search, gathering various refugees beneath the safe haven of the Traveller and beginning to establish a city along the way.

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This was when Humanity first encountered the Fallen, who had finally tracked the God that they had worshipped in ages past to our planet. Desiring to reclaim the Traveller, the Fallen and the Guardians engaged each other in the Battle of Six Fronts. Led by the Iron Lords, the Guardians were successful in pushing back the Fallen.

The Fall of the Iron Lords

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This was the battle that helped forge the Crucible, as Saladin and his pupil Shaxx foresaw that future Guardians would need to be prepared for any potential threats from beyond our solar system. This was also the age in which the legendary Iron Lords met their demise when they encountered a strain of SIVA that had run wild, the Ironbane that they fought off to their final breath. Of all the Iron Lords who perished, only Saladin survived and lived on to forge the Iron Banner within the Crucible as the ultimate test of strength for Guardians.

But the darkest hour of humanity had yet to pass, as more threats loomed ahead…

The Battle of Mare Imbrium

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With the Faction Wars over and the Last City now a safe haven for the newly formed Guardians and various other refugees, a new danger arose. The Hive made their presence known, claiming the unprotected Moon of Earth for themselves and preparing for an onslaught of our planet. Led by Crota, the favoured son of the Hive’s God-King Oryx and the future heir to the Osmium Throne, the Hive carved tunnels throughout the satellite and cracked it in half with their might.

Sensing the danger of Crota and the Hive, the Vanguard organised a full-scale frontal assault on the God-Knight and his forces. The Battle of Mare Imbrium went down as one of the greatest failures of the Vanguard. Thousands of Guardians were slain, as Crota earned his title of “Eater of Hope” by personally slaying scores of Guardians and legends such as the Titan Wei Ning.

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The Sword Logic of Crota and his Knights would go down in history as The Great Disaster, as the Vanguard forbid any travel to the Moon unless absolutely necessary. Wounded and in full retreat, the Vanguard gave up the Moon to stop the march of the Hive, as the invaders burrowed deeper and deeper below the surface to prepare their armies for the next assault.

The extinction hunts of the Ahamkara

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When the Traveller first appeared on Earth, it revealed a new species on the planet that had escaped detection over the ages. Known as the Ahamkara, these dragons survived the collapse and used their abilities to grant new powers to Guardians eager to grow stronger. Such power usually came with a hefty price however, a bargain that the Vanguard decided was too high as they began the great Ahamkara Hunts.

Hunted to extinction, all that remains of the once mighty beasts are their remains that are worn by Warlocks.

The building of the Tower

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Recovering from the battle of Mare Imbrium, the Guardians find themselves divided into three distinct groups: The Titans who defend the city and built the great wall around it, the solitary Hunters who explore life beyond the Last City as they shepherded refugees to safety and the Warlocks who were both warrior and scholar as they sought to understand the Light of the Traveller.

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Realising that the Guardians needed a headquarters within which to meet and co-ordinate efforts, the Tower was built as a hub for these purposes.

The Vault of Glass

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The ancient and enigmatic Vex had made their presence known within our timeline, as they invaded the formerly colonised planets of Mercury, Mars and Venus. Mercury was completely transformed into a new stronghold for the Vex, work began on Venus and the mysterious time travellers fought a stalemate against the Cabal who had also made their way from a solar system beyond ours.

On Venus, the Vex constructed the Vault of Glass in an effort to conquer all of space and time as they sought to unite their forces across the entire timestream. The Guardians Kabr, Praeydyth and Pahanin entered the Vault of Glass in an effort to understand their foes, but the forces within proved too great a threat.

The Guardians were erased from existence in excruciating ways: Praedyth starved to death in the labyrinth of the Vault of Glass, as even the memory of him was stripped from existence. Pahanin was also deleted from the fabric of space-time, leaving behind only a journal. The fate of Kabr however, was more ambiguous.

Thought to have been overwhelmed by the Gorgons in the Vault, Kabr managed to drink of the Radolarian Vex fluid that powers the race and used his own light to forge the Aegis. The only weapon capable of defeating the Vex Conflux in the core of the Vault, the last words of Kabr the Legionless were:

IF I SPEAK AGAIN, I AM NOT KABR.

The assault on Crota

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Seeking vengeance for The Great Disaster and looking to tie up a loose end, a six-man fireteam of Guardians decided to infiltrate the Hive base on the Moon. Together with Eriana-3 and the disgraced Warlock Toland the Shattered, this team descended into the bowels of the Hive base. It wasn’t long before this team was soon annihilated by the Hive however, shortly after they killed Crota.

Death however, was merely a setback for the Hope-Eater as he merely sent his soul back to his Ascendant Realm, ready to be reborn in the near future in a new vessel. Eriana-3’s fireteam however, was stripped of their light and murdered in grisly ways as only Eris Morne survived, escaping many years later from the shadows. As for Toland? Only his journal survived him, but his death was never witnessed…

The Reef Wars

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Humanity’s greatest conflict since the Collapse was fast approaching. The Fallen had united, hellbent on reclaiming the wounded Traveller for themselves, as their age of strife had resulted in the Eliksini forming a new cult of worship based on the machine gods that they believed in. While several Fallen houses gathered in the Cosmodrome, the House of Wolves made their way through space towards Earth.

And right into a surprise attack by Queen Mara Sov and her Awoken forces that destroyed the planet of Ceres, cut the forces of the Wolves in half and ended with the demise of their Kell Virixias. Their leader dead, the House of Wolves scattered across the asteroid belt and a great hunt began in a series of skirmishes that would be known as the Reef Wars.

The Battle of Twilight Gap

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The single greatest battle ever waged by humanity after the Collapse had begun. With the Awoken having successfully halted the House of Wolves from joining the Kings,Winter, Devils and other smaller enclaves, the Last City now had a fighting chance. The House of Devils led the charge to reclaim the Traveller as Fallen Walkers matched firepower against the gun emplacements of the Last City.

Vanguard Commander Saladin organised the Guardians into an army of legends, while Lord Shaxx led a counterattack to repel Fallen forces further back in defiance of orders from Saladin. Despite staggering losses, the Guardians were successful in their efforts and had managed to deal a decisive blow to the Fallen that they would never ever fully recover from.

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With hundreds of Guardians dead, weaponsmith Feizel Crux immortalised their remains by forging their armour into the mighty Gjallarhorn as a tribute to the fallen. Meanwhile, Shaxx saw that it was necessary to begin preparing the next generation of Guardians as he took over the Crucible and the Vanguard adopted a more proactive attitude to prevent any massive enemy assaults on the City ever again.

And so the Strikes were born, as the Vanguard directed Guardians to attack key targets.

The exile of Osiris

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With the Battle of Twilight Gap over, humanity began to reorganise. Lord Shaxx took over the Crucible and reformed it to train new Guardians to replace all of those who fell in battle, while the Hive-obsessed Warlock Osiris was banished from the City. Making his way to the Reef, Osiris and his newly formed cult began work on the Trials of Osiris in order to train the best of the best for a purpose that was a mystery to all but the heretic himself.

Along with his cult, Osiris would also establish a base on Mercury amidst the gleaming towers of the Vex, which would later come to be known as the Lighthouse.

The Future War Cult is formed

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Deeming the Concordant Faction and their leader Lysander to be too dangerous, the group was disbanded and by the Vanguard and New Monarchy, eventually replacing them with the Future War Cult. A military group, the Future War Cult steadfastly believes that the Darkness cannot be avoided and prepares for the day when they’ll be forced to battle the ancient enemy once again.

The Reef Wars end

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With the House of Wolves leadership all but obliterated in the Reef Wars, Awoken queen Mara Sov became their new Kell. The Wolves now working side by side with the Awoken, Mara Sov would come to regret this decision several years later…

Your legend begins

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Russia, the ruins of the old Cosmodrome. Asleep for who knows how long in a sea of corpses and rusted vehicles, a Ghost finds you and revives you for the eternal struggle against the Darkness. A lone Hunter watches this resurrection, before sinking back into what may be the timestream as this Exo Hunter begins to observe your actions across all of Destiny.

Reclaiming the Cosmodrome

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As the latest Guardian to join the ranks of the Tower, the Vanguard tasked you with several goals that culminated with battling both the Hive and the Fallen as you chased down leads regarding a dead fireteam. Eventually making your way to the Terrestrial Complex in the heart of the Cosmodrome Skywatch, your presence and subsequent defense of the Array Station allowed the dormant warmind Rasputin to awaken and to begin reclaiming lost assets in our solar system.

Earth was only the beginning, as the planets of Venus, Mars and our own Moon were now open for travel once again. Right after a loose end is tied up, as your first strike into enemy territory has you putting an end to the Fallen Servitor Sepkis Prime as you send it screaming back into the Darkness.

The dark side of the Moon

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With the Traveller in danger of having its light extinguished forever, your Guardian arrived on the Moon to confront the Hive who and get to the bottom of this mystery. Discovering that the Hive had managed to obtain a shard of the Traveller and were using it as a conduit for their witches to drain it of life and light, your Guardian narrowly defeated the forces present and restored the fragment to its rightful owner.

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After many centuries of inactivity, the Traveller was finally ready to begin healing itself. The Hive threat wasn’t vanquished entirely, however. A new Strike from the Vanguard had Guardians assembling to assault the Summoning Pits beneath the Moon, as the Hive had begun breeding new horrors. Their combined efforts had resulted in a gigantic Ogre named Phogoth the Untamed, an abomination that was soon destroyed and left to rot in these pits.

Journey to Venus

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Arriving on the second planet from our Sun, you quickly found the location overrun with not only the Fallen but the Vex as well. Seeking the location of the Black Garden from the Awoken, Queen Mara Sov demanded a tribute in the form of the head of a Vex Gate Lord. Barely surviving the trials of Venus and another brief encounter with the enigmatic Exo Stranger, your Guardian descended even deeper into the Ishtar Academy to prevent the Vex from terraforming the planet.

With the tribute paid and the Fallen routed in a strike that claimed the lives of the Servitor Simiks-3, Baron Grayliks and the Kell Draksis, it was time to head to Mars. The dead eye of Zydron in your hands, your Guardian now had access to the Black Garden on Mars, but more importantly, still owed the Queen of the Awoken a debt that would be collected in time.

Return to the red planet

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Thanks to Rasputin carrying out an orbital strike to divide Vex and Cabal forces, the Exclusion Zone was softened up for the return of the Guardians. Humanity was now at war with the Cabal thanks to this act of aggression, as the Vanguard ordered new Strikes that dealt a severe blow to their leadership when Valus Ta’aurc was slain before his legion  Siege Dancers along with his mighty land tank, the Cerebus  Vae III.

A further strike would see Guardians rescue the Martian warmind in the city of Freehold, defeating Cabal Psion Flayers in a climatic battle. After a few more battles, Guardians evclimactic made their way into the heart of the Black Garden. A realm that existed outside of time, the greatest battle of that era was waged as your Guardian fought back against the Black Heart itself, a sliver of the Darkness whose death finally allowed Humanity to reclaim their solar system and the Traveller to heal further as the light returned.

The Vault of Glass and the return of a forgotten Hunter

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Even with the Darkness dealt a significant blow, anger was not yet over. The Vault of Glass was now open on Venus, a raid that would see your Guardian wield the Aegis of Kabr to finally stop the Vex and their Time Conflux from overtaking Venus and halting their progress in our cosmic backyard. Eris Morne, thought lost to the Darkness after the assault on Crota would also finally escape the Moon with a grave warning.

Crota was returning.

Crota reborn

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Eris Morne, the only surviving member of the ill-fated Fireteam that stopped Crota the Hope-Eater from launching an assault on Earth, resurfaces. Having spent years trapped within the Moon of Earth and barely surviving, Eris Morne returned to the Tower with a dire warning: Crota was returning.

SIX OF US WENT DOWN INTO THE PIT. ONLY ONE CRAWLED OUT. I AM ERIS…THE LAST. I HAVE SEEN WHAT THE HIVE CALL A GOD.

CROTA…SON OF ORYX.

HE TOOK EVERYTHING FROM ME! HE WILL TURN HIS EYES TO EARTH, AND ONLY THE TRUE WEAPON OF THE LIGHT CAN STOP HIS WRATH. NOW YOU MUST FACE WHAT LURKS IN THE DARK BELOW…

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Recruiting any Guardian who would listen to her, Eris Morne’s warning of a new Hive onslaught were proven true. Led by the Hive Wizard Omnigul, Hive forces began landing on Earth as they prepared the planet for the return of Crota. This invasion was short-lived however, as Eris worked with the Vanguard to direct Guardians in a series of targeted missions to disrupt the leadership of Crota’s army. Omnigul herself eventually fell, as Guardians tracked her to the Jovian Complex underneath the Skywatch and ended her threat once and for all.

Crota’s End

With Earth safe from Crota’s forces and elite knights, a fireteam of Guardians assaulted his temple in a last-ditch effort to prevent his soul from being woken in a new physical form on the Moon. The Wakening Crystal disrupted and destroyed, Crota’s soul remained in his Ascendant Realm. Realising that Crota would merely bide his team until he could launch a new offensive, the Guardians entered his Throne World and brought the fight to the God Knight himself.

In Crota’s Court, a chalice of light containing the remnants of Eriana-3’s fireteam healed the Guardians who faced him in a titanic battle that ended with Crota being slain with his own sword. But in his final breath, Crota would scream out to his father and the God-King of the Hive itself. Oryx heard the death-screams of his son, and readied his army for a campaign of vengeance.

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The Taken King began his march towards Earth.

The House of Wolves Rebellion

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For reasons unknown, the Nine release the Fallen Kell Skolas from their jail and send him back towards the Awoken in a new Ketch ship. Their true Kell free and their leadership restored, the House of Wolves betrayed the Awoken and proceeded to slaughter as many of the Reef Dwellers as possible as their forces began reassembling.

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Outraged at this betrayal, Awoken Queen Mara Sov calls forth any and all Guardians to assist her efforts in eliminating the Wolves and capturing Skolas himself.

Kell of Kells

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Intent on fulfilling a prophecy that would result in Skolas leading all Fallen houses as the “Kell of Kells”, Fallen Wolves began chasing after Vex technology on Venus. Attempting to become a machine god that would possess all the Vex secrets of time and space, Skolas was eventually routed on Venus and captured alive. Intending to send a message to any who would dare betray her, Queen Mara Sov sentenced Skolas to battle and die in the Prison of Elders, a task that the Guardians ably handled as they ended the House of Wolves leadership for good.

The coming of the Taken King

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When the Guardians slew the God-Knight Crota with his own sword in his Ascendant Realm, the Hope-Eater’s last act was to send a message across the stars to the true God-King of the Hive, Oryx. Hearing the death-scream of his favoured son, Oryx began amassing his army for an assault on Earth as he burned with a need to enact a bloody vengeance on the Guardians responsible for murdering his heir.

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Aware of the threat of Oryx, Eris Morne made her way to the Reef and alerted Queen Mara Sov of the imminent threat. Arriving a year later near Saturn, Oryx’s fleet met stiff resistance from the Awoken armada. Outnumbered and outgunned by Oryx’s capital flagship the Dreadnaught, Mara Sov unleashed Harbinger energy weapons that tore through the lesser Hive fleet ships.

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This victory was short-lived however, as Oryx decided to give the Awoken a taste of his Oversoul, a weapon so fearsome that it annihilated the entire Awoken fleet with a single blast. Oryx’s army may have stopped on the border of the inner solar system, but a high price was paid as Mara Sov was presumed dead and Petra Venj took over as Queen Regent of the Awoken.

Assault on Phobos

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His ships in need of repairs, Oryx began building his army with an assault on Phobos and the Skyburner Cabal regiment stationed there. Utterly unprepared for the Taken forces, the Cabal suffered heavy losses and were forced to evacuate Phobos. Most of their troops dead within hours, the Skyburners turned to unconventional battle tactics on the orders of their emperor and crashed their remaining flagship into the hull of the Dreadnaught so that a foothold could be established.

Meanwhile, Oryx extended his reach throughout the solar system, sending armies of Taken Vex, Fallen, Cabal and Hive towards the Last City. On Mars, the Dust Giants, Blind Legion and Sand Eaters suffered further heavy casualties while more of their troops were taken by the ontological paracausal power of Oryx.

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While the Cabal fought a losing battle against the Hive and the Taken, they did manage to send out a distress call. A call that was received by their emperor, who readies the full might of the Cabal armada for a war that will soon engulf our solar system…

The Guardians fight back

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Engaging the Taken throughout the solar system, the Guardians eventually managed to board the Dreadnaught. Thanks to Cayde’s stash and Eris Morne’s ship, a beachhead was established and the Guardians pushed through the Dreadnaught until they eventually encountered Oryx himself. Fighting tooth and nail, Oryx’s phsyical form was narrowley defeated in a massive battle that raged throughout the flagship.

Oryx was far from finished however, as he merely retreated to his Ascendant Realm and challenged the Guardians to meet him and his Sword Logic there for a final confrontation. Across the solar system, shads of Oryx’s intent still gave life to his Taken troops. The time for the Taken King to fall once and for all, was at hand.

King’s Fall

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With insight gained from the spirit of Toland the Shattered, the Guardians eliminated the remainders of Oryx’s court – The Warpriest, Golgoroth, and Oryx’s daughters Ir Anûk and Ir Halak. Weakened without his source of tributes to nourish him and the worm inside, Oryx’s soul finally fell before a combined effort of six Guardians when they encountered him in his Throne World, his corpse left to float among the stars and Saturn.

The Taken King had finally fallen and the Hive were dealt a blow that they may never recover fully from ever again.

The battle for the Osmium Throne

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With Oryx dead, a power vacuum among the Hive was formed. Sensing the danger of allowing a new Taken King to emerge, the Vanguard sanctioned new strikes. Hive Knight Alak-Hul the Darkblade was slain within the Sunless Cell that Oryx had imprisoned him within, while Malok the Pride of Oryx was also swiftly dealt with before he could become a danger as he met his end in the Hellmouth on the Moon.

Despite a lingering Taken presence on Mars, Venus and Earth, the day was saved once again. Meanwhile the Fallen House of Devils discovered something new in the cosmodrome, an ancient threat of Ironsbane that was responsible for a great calamity many years ago…

Last Updated: September 4, 2017

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • MonsterCheddar

    Awesome article dude. Man, Wednesday cannot come quick enough….I just murdered my scrolling finger doe

    • Always a pleasure dude.

    • Ir0nseraph

      Yip I am ready, I have been waiting long enough,

      • MonsterCheddar

        Same here man.

  • Guild

    Great read. Thanks Darryn. looking forward to Destiny 2

  • Skyblue

    Aaaaaah, so a convoluted Halo… who would have thunk it?

  • Dresden

    Nice article. The amount of effort and time you put into articles always amazes me.
    Can see you are really passionate about most things you write about.

  • Hammersteyn

    Dammit, I just knew my Grimoire card collection wasn’t in the right order.

  • This is a great article.

    Impressed.

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