These Destiny 2 short stories tease a dark storyline rumored to be connected to Destiny 3

Destiny 2 Season of the Drifter and its accompanying annual pass DLC, Joker's Wild, will arrive tomorrow. I'm as eager as the next Guardian to dive into Gambit Prime and The Reckoning to collect that sweet, sweet armor, but all I can think about today are the "narrative preview" short stories Bungie's been posting over the past few days. They're not only well-written and fun to read, but they also raise a few questions about the future of Destiny's storyline, including a potential plot point of Destiny 3. 

There are five short stories available at the time of this writing. Those are Gambit Prime, The Reckoning, Praxic Order, The Murder of Cayde-6, and The Job. I won't spoil them, but suffice it to say there's a running theme to these stories - two themes, actually. The first one is obvious, as it's something we already knew: the Drifter, Gambit's ringleader and the star of Joker's Wild, is not well-liked around the Tower. The other theme is a little more surprising and, arguably, unnerving: we, the so-called heroes of the Red War, aren't necessarily liked by everyone in the Tower either. 

The Drifter's morality is scrutinized throughout these stories, and our allegiance is called into question in The Murder of Cayde-6 and The Job. We're cleared, somewhat, but you get the feeling that some suspicion remains, and it couldn't be more obvious that the Drifter is up to some questionable business. Gambit is described as an illegal fighting ring, and you can't help but wonder why the Drifter is involved in it. 

The description of what killed Cayde's Ghost, "a single Thorn-like bullet," raises another red flag. Thorn is known as a weapon of Darkness (or more accurately, a Weapon of Sorrow), and it and The Last Word are inextricably linked. We received the Destiny 2 Last Word from the Drifter's questline in Black Armory. Now Thorn is returning in Joker's Wild, AKA The Drifter DLC, so if I were a gambling man, I'd wager that the Drifter plays a big part in its Exotic questline too. This makes the Drifter's iffy position seem even iffier, especially when you consider the in-universe context of Gambit Prime. 

This moral quagmire becomes infinitely more interesting when you account for the tone of the Destiny 2: Forsaken campaign which, for the first time in Destiny history (deep lore notwithstanding), had the cajones to suggest that Guardians might not be the flawless heroes we're often depicted as. Couple this with the unconfirmed rumors that Destiny 3 - whatever form it takes in Bungie's post-Activision timeline, whether a new game or a massive expansion - will feature Darkness powers, as opposed to our existing Light-fueled abilities, and things get really spicy. 

I won't pretend to know every in and out of Destiny lore, but between Forsaken, the Drifter, and now these short stories, it seems clear to me that Bungie is laying the groundwork for a rift in Destiny's story - something seemingly darker and more complex than the 'fight the baddies' narrative we've followed thus far. Maybe we're the baddies? I suspect Joker's Wild will expand on that idea in some way, but how - and indeed if - it will bleed into Destiny 3, or perhaps the big content drop which we'll likely hear about after Destiny 2's annual pass, remains to be seen.

See, it's stuff like this that earned Destiny a spot on our list of the best video game art books and lore books.  

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.