With the upcoming Rise of Iron and the inevitable loads of grimoire, weapon and armor text, and mission dialogs that is soon to besiege r/DestinyTheGame, I figured I’d give you a TL;DR of the Destiny Universe as we know it thus far. Please keep in mind that this is, in fact, a TL;DR. With the amount of grimoire, weapon and armor text, the Book of Sorrows, and in-game dialog, I simply can’t cover every single iota of detail. Things will be missed or not covered, as it doesn’t make a large enough impact to warrant being placed in this TL;DR.
Some of you may have been here for the first TL;DR and second, more easy to read TL;DR I made almost a year ago. Well this one is going to a bit longer than that one. There will be additions, there will be deletions, and there will be corrections. So with that, I give you the TL;DR of the Destiny Universe:
The Hive used to only live very short lives, 10 years to be exact. They lived on a planet called Fundament that had over 500 different races and 52+1 different moons. One of which was actually the Traveler, hence the +1. The Hive’s king had a “dead larvae” that talked to him. It told him that the 52+1 moons would align and cause a great wave that would destroy all life on the planet. The king had 3 children as well.
During a war between one of their other races on the planet the king was betrayed and ends up dying. One of his children takes the dead talking larvae and ran away with the other 2 siblings. The larvae told of a ship that could go to the planet’s core. The children, now considered adults (since it took many years(But for the sake of consistency I will continue to refer to them as children)), find the ship, go to the core and find the Worms. The Worms are titanic in size, trapped there by the Travelersupposedly, and the moon alignments and the subsequent big wave was intended to kill all life on their planet as well as the Worms by preventing the worms from finding a host(explanation in the next paragraph).
The Worms trick the children into ingesting larvae parasites. These parasites allow the children to live longer in order to exact revenge on the one who betrayed their father(king). As well, the children were tricked into infecting all life they could on the planet and moons and to destroy those that wouldn’t comply(with the same larvae they themselves ingested). They did and in doing so made the Traveler flee, and ultimately allowed the Worms to live.
The Worms told the 3 children that if they wanted to keep living, they had to kill others or be killed. The Worms believe this to be the way of life and the universe, kill or be killed. This was as a means to feed the parasitic larvae the Hive race has now been infected with. So the children went out and killed, for a really, really, really long time. The 3 children I am continually referring to are Oryx and his 2 other siblings.
The Traveler essentially teaches that civilization, friendship, etc. is how the universe should be. The Worms believe the opposite. That power and power alone is how the universe should be and those that are weak deserve to die. Friendship and compassion are considered weakness.
During all of their conquesting the children ran into a race called the Qugu. Right when Oryx’s sister was about to deal the final blow of extinction to the Qugu race, Oryx decimates her entire fleet because she left her flank exposed. It is thought that the remaining Qugu escaped because of this. Oryx and his siblings had a kind of running rivalry of power going on where they would continually kill each other in order to better themselves when they leave their Throne Worlds, more on that a little further down.
Oryx and kin eventually figured out that they could cut into other dimensions wherein they could keep their soul. So if they died in the real world, they’d go and learn from how they died in their alternate dimension until they felt they could defeat what defeated them, this included each other.
During their universal conquesting Oryx and kin also ran into a race called the Ecumene. The Books of Sorrow told of how the Ecumene were, “lords of matter and physical law” and how none of the three siblings were able to best them no matter how many times they died and came back. With their forces wearing thin, the three came up with a plan through the power of Sword Logic. They were going to kill one of their Worm Gods, gain its power and use it against the Ecemune. They were not able to defeat one of these gods on their own individually, nor could all three at the same time. But through the Sword Logic gained through two of them placed into a third, they could. So Oryx killed his two sisters and gained their strengths from doing so, then went on to slay Akka, one of the Worm Gods. From that he learned of how to Take living beings and warp their will to his own.
It is also likely how/when he decided on/got his wings, as well as his ship the Dreadnaught. The Dreadnaught is a segment of Akka’s body. Oryx’s ship is literally the giant carapace of the entity he killed.
Oryx ended up being able to simply Take the Ecumene and warp their will to his own, have the Taken version fight for Oryx against the remaining Ecumene until they went extinct. Oryx had a son, Crota as well as 2 daughters. Crota went to try and make his own dimensional Throne World in the presence of his aunt(one of Oryx’s sisters). Turns out his aunt tricked him into releasing the Vex from the dimension Crota cut into.
The Vex end up being able to prop open Oryx’s Throne World by learning how Oryx, and the Hive as a whole, have been able to get stronger by the power of Sword Logic. Eventually the Vex are able to replicate their own version(s) of Throne Worlds like the Vault of Glass and Black Garden. They also adopted the religious practices you see in game from the Hive as well.
So while Oryx and kin are continuing their universal extinction crusade, the Traveler ends up in our solar system, we enter our Golden Age and populate other planets around our solar system.
Eventually the Darkness finds the Traveler. It is still unclear what exactly the Darkness consists of, but directly to the point, we try to fight it and died. We died a lot. We lose all the planets we’ve populated and get whittled down to a single city.
A while after the Darkness had ravaged almost all life in the solar system, a time known simply as; The Collapse… The Eliksni appeared. The Eliksni are also known more commonly as the Fallen. They want the Traveler back. That’s why they attacked us after The Collapse. At the very least, the ‘burning of London’ was attributed to the House of Devils, and the rest of the European Dead Zone was likely their work as well.
The Houses planned to join forces at the battle of Twilight Gap and overrun the Last City to get to the Traveler. The Queen of the Reef fought with the House of Wolves, slowing them down and ensuring that they missed the battle. Many Guardians fought to defend the City, and they prevailed, partly because the Wolves never showed. The Fallen are still trying to get the Traveler even now, and they are also very interested in Guardians and their technology. They never had our abilities, so they try to take our Ghosts and want to find out about our ships too.
You see, the Fallen were once gifted by an extended visit by the Traveler as well. But, like many other civilizations before them, the Traveler left them once their civilization had reached its Golden Age. The Fallen refer to this time as The Whirlwind and have been chasing the Traveler ever since.
Well, when The Collapse is going on, the Traveler
tried to escape again like it had done to so many other species. Rasputin, realizing that the Traveler leaving spelled certain human extinction, took control of some Golden Age anti-matter weaponry and blew a hole in the Traveler. was no longer even in our solar system. We had reached our Golden Age and so the Traveler left. However, the Traveler had a moment of doubt, a contradiction to her original motives of uplifting a civilization and leaving. For the first time the Traveler was concerned for “her children”. So the Traveler turns and races back to help us. Meanwhile, we are losing everything and the Warminds are being destroyed one-by-one. Until the Traveler reappeared. At some point during the Collapse, the Traveler became gravely injured by, “a knife with a million blades”. From that wound burst a massive wave of light that pushed the Darkness back to the outer edges of our solar system. Where the Darkness and Light met, resulted in the Awoken, which were humans trying to escape what they thought was the apocalypse.
could have chosen to run away after it got shot by Rasputin, but decided to stay since the Darkness would more than likely be able to catch up with it now. It created the Ghosts as a way to fight the Darkness and other races that were trying to kill humanity and inevitably, the Traveler itself. This happened in what was depicted as the Traveler’s “final breath” after receiving its grievous injury.
Well the rest you should know by having played through the game. You don’t die because you got your Ghost and you can’t be Taken because you’re already dead. We are pretty much the invincible white blood cells of our solar system, with the Traveler being the solar system’s heart.
We still don’t know enough about the Cabal except they are running from something.