Destiny 2 Lore. Part 7: The Dark Age

At the end of the Collapse, and the start of this new Dark Age of humanity, the world was left in utter chaos. Whilst some small groups had survived in underground bunkers, such as those fortunate enough in the Black Armory. And whilst others had managed to evade destruction in the wilds, most of humanity lay dead at the hands of the terrible power that invaded the system and challenged the Traveler. We were now left shattered and broken, with no clear means of communication with our outer colonies. And with all the in-system trade scuttled, humanity was cut off and helpless. Only on Earth did anyone really face any prospect of survival or salvation. Not only did humanity face the constant, pressing troubles of starvation and exposure, but they also now shared their worlds with a series of strange and deadly forces from many other reaches of the universe. The Vex, that had once been found on Venus, had surfaced on Mars and Mercury as well. And had utterly transformed Mercury from a garden world into one that was entirely mechanical. With at least a portion of it hollowed out into a giant simulation engine known as the Infinite Forest. Aside from the Vex, a military power, known as the Cabal, had also sent five of its legions to secure Mars and to set up a base of operations there so they could launch campaigns into the rest of the system. The five Legions, the Sand Eaters, Dust Giants, Siege Dancers, Blind Legion and Skyburners, fought ferociously. Knowing that they could only return home if they completed their missions here. Whilst on Mars they also began to contest the Vex for ownership of the world, but the Vex defended in great numbers, defending almost more fiercely than they did at any other place. The Eliksni had also followed the Traveler into Sol, and were now known as the Fallen by the facets of humanity that encountered them. And they spread throughout the system from the Jovian moons to Venus to Earth. With several major houses, such as the House of Devils and the House of Winter, laying claims to several vast tracts of land within the territories that were once humanity’s. Earth’s Cosmodrome in particular, was a point of great infestation. And finally arrived the vanguard of Oryx’s Hive, of the Hidden Swarm, Blood of Oryx and Spawn of Crota, all taking root within Luna. They dug deep into our moon, and prepared for yet another one of their grand conquests, creating a shadowy subterranean fortress known as the Hellmouth in the region formerly known as the Ocean of Storms. This would burrow so deep into the core of the moon that no Light could reach its deepest recesses. These alien forces would help to set the world into chaos. And in the Dark Age, almost nobody could consider themselves to be safe from the conflict that had engulfed all the worlds of humanity.

First Guardians

It was at this time that the first of the Lightbearers began to rise and stake their claim in the world around them. These earliest Guardians were not truly Guardians. They were tyrants who saw their newfound immortality as a tool to be abused as well as their light. There was no duty for them, and all they sought  to do was to wage for whatever they could get their hands on. Many of them would acquire valuable weapons and assets throughout the system, and for a time, humanity’s only source of hope would instead be a source of tyranny. But that is not to say that all of the Risen Lightbearers were conquerors or villains, amongst their number rose an order of men and women who would be amongst the first to hold to the true duty of the Risen- to protect humanity and to serve the Light. These would be the warriors of legend who challenged and eventually defeated the Warriors of Earth. They were known as Iron Lords, and the first 4 amongst their number swore on the day of their founding that they would be protectors and guardians of the people of Earth. And so, Radegast, Perun, Jolder and Saladin represented some of the first true saviors of humanity. However, defending humanity was not an easy task. Much of them had been disconnected or lost, broken in the terrible calamity that was the Collapse. But as we always here, we survived and collected together, sometimes into small towns, such as those most fabled places of Palamon or Coyote, who planted their flags and endeavored to make a living off of what remained of the system’s bounty. But the greatest gathering of all was that of a massive camp of refugees that flocked to beneath the Traveler. To the place of its final, titanic battle against the Darkness. The camp began as a simple thing, defended by a few Risen and huddled for warmth around fires and in furs, in such a fearful place, dissolution brewed quickly into adversity. Rudimentary factions began to rise with differing outlooks on the best way to control and run this would-be cap. These factions grew until eventually, Risen enforcers backed them on either side, and with them involved, conflict eventually broke out in the form of what would be known as the Faction Wars, with some among the Risen, however, seeking to end the violence. It was in the moment that the Fallen attacked the camp. The factions were broken, but the Risen who had backed them on either side of the divide all united, and collapsed upon the Fallen with terrible power. The Fallen were repelled, and the new factions were left broken. However, this was a lesson, and the Guardians sought to see that this could never happen again. For this was truly the first point in which they could be called Guardians. For, after all, had they not simply accomplished their duty to defend humanity against the invaders of the system? From this conflict a new system of governance was born. It would be impossible to stop the factions from existing, and so, the Consensus was created, as well as the Vanguard.

Destiny 2 The City

The Consensus was a council of both the Vanguard and many represented factions, all of which would be able to submit proposals to the Speaker. A leader of sorts, who had arisen with the supposed ability to speak to the Traveler. The Vanguard was something entirely different, though. The Vanguard was a part of the Consensus, but they were a council of 3 Guardians, one from each discipline, Hunter, Titan and Warlock. With them the Guardians would be represented, and with them they would be officially classified. And so at last, laws were passed and enacted, and government with clear authority in hand was born. With it, the turmoil of the people began to cease, and what was once a small camp of refugees beneath the Traveler began to grow and blossom. First, into a settlement, and then into a bastion. The final bastion beneath our broken God. They would call it the Last City. But this Last City would not stand without challenges or foes to make them. The most persistent threat was ever that of the Fallen, with their lightning-fast raiding parties and their unwavering ferocity. Though the offensives would start as small acts of privacy. They would eventually grow into a perpetual siege that would be as defining a characteristic of life within the City as they very air they breathed. The Siege, in itself, and the very notion of the Fallen continually attacking the City’s walls, was nicknamed the Hundred-year Siege, for it seemingly never ended. However, to counteract this perpetual threat, the Titans of the City came up with a solution in the form of a series of walls that encompassed the City. As the walls were built, great defensive installations were placed along their length, including eight towers, of which now none remain. It was the hope that such a great deterrent, bristling with both the Light-bringing Guardians and the death-bringing emplacements of guns would be enough to keep the citizens of the Last City safe from the Fallen.

The City

However, the problem was not one that could be solved by high walls and terrifying fortifications. For the Fallen were driven not just by anger, but by a desperate faith. The true prize was not the eradication of the City or its inhabitants, but the reclamation of the Great Machine, or as we know it, the Traveler. The Fallen had been seeking it out across the dark vacuum of space in true desperation. And imagine their jealousy, to understand that when they found it, not only had it been destroyed and was in the possession of humans. But those humans had not only been gifted with their own Golden Age, as the Eliksni had, but also now were filled with the ranks of Guardians, those who could truly use the Great Machine’s power. No, such transgressions were intolerable, and this drove the Fallen to the kind of zeal that only madness of the desperate would dare to invite and entertain. It was then that the Fallen of the House of Devils, with its strongholds located predominately in Europe, Asia Minor and Old Russia, struck out in a combined attack on the City. This would be one of the first true tests of the City’s resolve, as the Devils brought their terrifying soldiers and artillery to bear, truly living up to their name. But the Titans of the City had prepared an answer. It was not some secret weapon aside from their Light, it was some great strategy. It was simply to hold the line. The four orders of Titans, including those such as the Firebreak Order and the Pilgrim Guard, held the Six approaches to the City in a coordinated defense against the invaders. A great attack was made, and as it was repulsed, there was a chance to charge. But the Titans, including those amongst their order, thirsty for blood, held to discipline and held the line. The battle was long and fierce. The Fallen outnumbered them to an almost comical extent, but the Guardians had the Light on their side, and when fighting together, even when outnumbered and overrun, they were seemingly unstoppable, and the waves of attacking Fallen broke upon them with ease. The Titans that day held back the Fallen on 6 different fronts, and not a single one of those fronts had broken. This would be the first great victory for humanity in the Dark Age, and this would be the first time the City had ever been defended against a truly overwhelming foe. It would be forever remembered as the Battle of the 6 fronts, and this battle was such a great honor to Titans that it remains represented in their heraldic iconography to this very day. With Titan hexagonal designs calling back to this and always being divided into four, but it was not merely Titans that made up the defenses of the City on this day. One of the most prominent sets of heroes that rose also included a Warlock by the name of Osiris. The Titan Saint-14 witnessed his incredible skill in battle, seeing that he was almost seemingly in more places than one at any single point in the battle. And it was at this point that Saint-14, who had closely allied himself with the Speaker, recommended that Osiris should be elevated to the Vanguard Warlock position. The relationship of the Speaker and Saint-14 was so close that they referred to each other as father and son. And at Saint’s recommendation, the Speaker obliged, and Osiris was proclaimed the new Warlock Vanguard. The only dissenting voice of this decision was that of Lysander and the Concordat. A faction that believed Osiris to be a mistake, a misincarnation or a faulty resurrection by a Ghost. The victory at Six fronts marked not only the end of the first great test for humanity, but also marked the begging of a new age, where hope blossomed once again in earnest. This would be the end of humanity’s Dark Age, where before, they had cowered in huddled masses beneath the Traveler and prayed for deliverance. With the Iron Lords, with the Guardians, with the City, that deliverance had come. Now was the time humanity to stand once more and to begin to fight back. This was to many amongst the number of the Guardians, the birth of what would be known as the City Age.