Bungie's latest Destiny 2 season begins today, and in the run up to its launch we've been learning some intriguing new things about its star character The Drifter.
The Drifter has been hanging around The Tower since the launch of September's Forsaken expansion, and amongst Destiny's cast of do-gooder heroes he's stuck out for being a decidedly shadier guy. He's been around the block, seen some real shit, and when he was left stranded with his crew in the wilderness, thought nothing of permanently offing them to save himself.
Gambit, the in-game activity he represents, sees two teams of Guardians fighting against each other mostly via the proxy of Darkness enemies. And it's this summoning of enemies like the Taken which sets The Drifter apart. The only thing good guys are supposed to do with these enemies is shoot them - not summon them up as allies.
Destiny's heroic Vanguard has always been full of stuffed shirts like Titan leader Zavala and Warlock heroine Ikora - and it's all the more noticeable with Cayde-6 dead. So it's no surprise that The Drifter's antics are coming into question now, as he grows in power.
A series of new short stories posted to Bungie's website detail how The Drifter has built a new, tougher version of Gambit named Gambit Prime, and has been recruiting shmucks to test it out.
These trials have gone well - as you can see from Bungie's roadmap below, you'll be able to play Gambit Prime when it launches tonight - but in another short story these test runs have also been revealed to be killing Guardians for good. Taking part in them means you're supporting all of that - and as you might expect, when it comes to the Vanguard that's a big no-no.
And here's where it gets interesting. Two more short stories detail how The Drifter has been spying on the Vanguard's efforts to keep tabs on him - and how they're seemingly oblivious to what he's been up to.
In one final short story - perhaps the best of the bunch - The Drifter can be found investigating the Darkness-infused bullet which killed Cayde-6's Ghost back during Forsaken's campaign, and being very interested in your part in the preceedings. He's intrigued by the power of the bullet, and how involved you were. Clearly, he's wondering whether you might break bad.
All of which leads into the big choice coming next week, on 12th March, when Destiny 2 will begin a new questline for the series' iconic exotic hand cannon Thorn. The weapon is an icon of the power of Darkness, forged by Dredgen Yor - a Guardian who abandoned the Light entirely - now used by his many acolytes: the Shadows of Yor, a group The Drifter is allied with.
For the first time, Bungie will give players a binary choice for how to pursue a questline - to ally themselves with either The Drifter or The Vanguard. Both paths are expected to result in receiving Thorn, but via different means. It's all a bit Alliance and Horde.
The Drifter's growing influence, meanwhile, feels like yet another step towards a full embracing of Darkness powers within Destiny's future, something fans feel is a logical next step for the series - and which may come in handy with those Pyramid Ships on the horizon.