Destiny has always had a confusing, convoluted story - and so its timeline of events has ever been a vague collection of pieced-together entries by fans doing the best they can with snippets of lore scattered across the game's various gubbins.
But recent developments have caused Destiny lore nerds to rewrite the past - with one group of fans putting together a useful - and incredibly detailed - timeline of events that offers a more accurate summary of Bungie's expansive universe.
THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD.
Representing a group of Destiny lore hunters, Redditor ScoobyDeezy published a new and improved timeline fuelled by Destiny 2's ongoing Season of Dawn. Season of Dawn sees players go back in time to rescue Saint-14 - the game's most famous Titan - from the past, which gives us a rare look into The City Age, an era that began after the Dark Age when the Last City was founded, but before the current period in which Destiny is set. You find yourself the architect of a time paradox in that you're the one who gives "young" Saint-14 the shotgun he uses to fight against the Vex in your past before he meets the demise he's famous for in the present (queue Dr. Emmett Brown whiteboard).
Season of Dawn adds 17: Transient, an entry in the Pidgeon and the Phoenix lore book. This entry mentions a series of events tied to a year: 294, aka the year old Warlock Osiris was exiled from the Last City. It seems crazy to write this down but, up until now, we didn't really have a firm year for anything in the Destiny universe. But even this firm date, which gives our fan-made timeline an undisputed anchorpoint, prompts further questions. If Osiris was exiled in year 294, what happened in year zero? We don't know.
Another lore book, titled Unveiling, was introduced in recent expansion Shadowkeep, but its final entries were added to the game in Season of Dawn (dished out one a week by gloomy NPC Eris Morn). This lore book, which largely deals with the creation of the universe, is explosive for Destiny lore nerds. It references two characters, or entities: "the gardener" and "the winnower". The gardener, who represents the light, has existed in opposition to the winnower, who represents Destiny's fabled darkness, since the dawn of time.
There's a particularly pertinent entry in Unveiling, called The Wager, added to the game in Season of Dawn:
"The gardener is all in. They are playing for keeps. And they are wrong. Or so I argue: for, after all, the universe is undecidable. There is no destiny. We're all making this up as we go along. Neither the gardener nor I know for certain that we're eternally, universally right. But we can be nothing except what we are. You have a choice."
T = 0 is another entry in Unveiling, and it deals with the beginning of the universe and the struggle between the gardener and the winnower. "In the wet pop of grapes and the smear of berries - in the perturbation of the field that was the garden before the first tick of time and the first point of space - were the detonations that made the universes."
This lore entry is titled T = 0, and that is where this wonderful fan-made Destiny timeline begins. Another anchorpoint? Like with pretty much all of Destiny's lore, it must be considered as coming from a certain point of view. Some entries in Unveiling, for example, come from the winnower. But can we trust its account?
Still, we now have a couple of new and solid dates for our timeline: 0 and 294. 0 is the beginning of time, and 294 is taken to relate to The City Age. All other events in the timeline relate to vague time periods ("before the Traveler arrives at Sol," for example), so there is much that is still uncertain. But any Destiny story fan will get a kick out of this timeline. Running from top to bottom rekindles memories of many of the events referenced by the games, seen in cutscenes, or even experienced by players. And it ends where Season of Dawn left off. There is more to come.
Sooo, we're learning a lot more about The City Age in this release, which is cool. Specifically, we're learning that we were wrong about... EVERYTHING.— ScoobyDeezy (@ScoobyDeezy) December 11, 2019
Good news is that it seems like Bungie finally figured it out. Working on an updated Timeline.@Bungie @DGhostStories pic.twitter.com/ozKlzVC8uG
ScoobyDeezy believes Season of Dawn suggests Bungie is beginning to solidify the Destiny timeline, after developers admitted they didn't really know what various important elements of the universe were (the Darkness, for example) back when it was building the first game.
"Thanks to our buddy Saint-14, it seems like the turbulent swill of lore is finally starting to settle into nice goopy layers, and we're more confident in the current order of events than we've ever been," they said. "It feels like Bungie finally has a solid timeline themselves (we got our first real year - Osiris was Exiled in 294 - that hasn't been driving us crazy at all). So we took a long hard look at every single entry on the Timeline, leaving no stone unturned, and the big picture is looking much clearer.
"This isn't quite a Timeline Two-Point-Oh, but it's definitely a step in that direction. The Dark Age and the City Age in particular look quite different than they did before. And then, you know, there's the whole breaking the timeline thing that our Guardian's been up to. THANKS FOR NOTHING, OSIRIS."
We're still no closer to seeing the Darkness properly demystified, or The Traveler properly explained, but it does feel like we're getting closer to a place when all this madness makes some sort of sense.