For the launch of Beyond Light we've partnered with Bungie to create a series of guides and explainer videos. These are being made by some of the best known Destiny 2 content creators and experts. For full disclosure anything published as part of this program will include this panel.
Myelin Games is a Destiny lore master, who previously did a stint consulting for Bungie. This article draws information from the Destiny 2: Beyond Light collector's edition lore book and the in-game lore book The Dark Future. It contains spoilers for the main campaign, and the Exo Stranger quest Born in Darkness.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light may bring a new threat to humanity—Eramis, and her rising army of Darkness-wielding Fallen—but the most intriguing story of this new expansion is actually that of the Exo Stranger and her family, the Brays. First introduced back in Destiny's first year, Beyond Light finally reveals the mysteries surrounding the Exo Stranger.
While we still don't know how the new raid, Deep Stone Crypt, will be introduced in the story, it's a location with heavy ties to the Brays and the creation of the Exo race. Here, I'll help you prepare for Deep Stone Crypt by running through the campaign lore of Beyond Light, starting with Clovis Bray himself.
Clovis Bray I, the path to immortality
During the Golden Age, Clovis Bray had a fatal genetic disease that was slowly destroying his body. This was one of the reasons why Clovis wanted to create the Exos; he wanted to transplant his mind into a robot body, allowing him to escape his genetic disease.But that wasn't the only reason for him creating the Exos. Clovis didn't just want to outlive his disease, he desired immortality and to trigger the next step in human evolution. Clovis Bray wanted to be the origin point of interstellar human civilisation, what he refers to as the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA). Here is an excerpt from the collector’s edition lore book that was released with Beyond Light.
"The LUCA is the most recent common ancestor of all living things. For Earth life, it is a single cell that lived in the deep ocean billions of years ago, flourishing in the warmth of magma or sulfur vents. It was not the first life on Earth. But it was the only life whose descendants survived to the present. All its contemporaries have been extinguished by the passage of epochs.
"I plan to be the LUCA of all future human thought."
For Clovis Bray to achieve his goal, he needed to solve multiple problems with transferring the human mind into a robot body. His first experiments were catastrophic. His son, Clovis Bray II, ripped himself apart after being transferred into an Exo. Eventually, though, his sprawling research brought Clovis into contact with what we believe to be a Darkness artefact, which he refers to as Clarity Control. Clovis believed that the Darkness artefact provided the solution to the human mind transfer using Vex fluid and the Darkness. Clovis created a production facility for the Exos that utilised these components. The facility was known as Deep Stone Crypt.
Deep Stone Crypt, birthplace of the Exos
The Deep Stone Crypt is the production facility of the Exos, which required a mixture of Vex fluid and the Darkness for a successful mind transfer. To acquire a steady source of Vex fluid, Clovis Bray created a Vex portal after stealing a Vex specimen from the researchers at Ishtar Collective. The Vex portal led to a Star Forge—a place where the Vex were using a literal star to create their metal robot housing. We see this portal in the new strike mission, The Glassway.
If you have ever spoken to Asher Mir, you will likely know that it's not a good idea to touch Vex fluid. It acts like a virus—Asher Mir had his arm transformed into a Vex limb just from contact with the Vex. Naturally, then, over the course of Clovis’s Vex fluid experimentation, the Vex infected his researchers, and Clovis Bray himself. This is the start of the Exo Stranger's origin story. Elisabeth Bray, Clovis’s granddaughter, reluctantly becomes an Exo so that she can fight off the Vex. The end of the collector’s edition lore book describes Clovis Bray infected by the Vex, and transferring his mind into two places: an Exo and the Deep Stone Crypt facility itself.
Like I said, Clovis needed two ingredients for the Exo mind transfer: Vex fluid and Darkness. The source of the Darkness for Deep Stone Crypt is less obvious. Clovis Bray only refers to it as Clarity, however, in the Beyond Light campaign, the Exo Stranger makes it clear that the archives of Clovis Bray contain valuable information about the Darkness, information that we need if we hope to master our new subclass, Stasis. From the Born in Darkness quest:
"She reveals herself to be Elisabeth 'Elsie' Bray, granddaughter of Clovis Bray I. His experiments on Europa were filled with deceptions and secrets—the most important of which may have involved Exos, Darkness, and by association, Stasis.
"Acquire his digital journal, and you’re bound to discover further truths about Stasis. But the journal is currently locked."
Throughout the Born in Darkness quest we are trying to decrypt Clovis Bray’s journal entries to better understand the Darkness, and therefore wield Stasis with more efficiency. The Exo Stranger is helping us gather this information because she has seen what happens when Guardians succumb to the Darkness's corruption.
The failed timeline of the Exo Stranger
Ever since the release of the Warmind DLC, the community has suspected that the Exo Stranger was Elsie Bray. Beyond Light finally confirms this in-game, with the Exo Stranger revealing her origins. The Exo Stranger is helping us to understand and wield the Darkness by uncovering her grandfather’s research at Deep Stone Crypt. It is at this point that the Exo Stranger reveals she is from a failed timeline, one where Guardians were corrupted by the Darkness. The new lore book, The Dark Future, details the Exo Stranger’s failed timeline and reads like a lore nerd’s wildest dream. Eris Morn joins Savathûn, creating an army of Dark Guardians; the Last City falls; the Traveler flees; a slew of main characters are killed. The lore book ends with Anastasia Bray giving into the Darkness, joining Eris and betraying her sister, Elsie.
At least things look brighter in our own timeline. Right?
Anastasia Bray turns to Darkness?
The Exo Stranger has traveled to many timelines and re-lived the same experience. The Darkness wins and her sister betrays her. But there is more to this story. Have a listen to what the Exo Stranger says in The Dark Future quest.
"We told her she was adopted. Ana. It was… simpler than telling her about our father’s infidelity. But it was more than that. Ana had some… destructive tendencies as a child. Reminded us all of the old man himself.
"Our mother thought if Ana believed she wasn’t one of us, she’d dodge our grandfather’s 'genetic cruelty' as she called it. I never bought it. Cruelty isn’t genetic; it’s learned.
"Clovis chose to be evil. And Ana was just a child acting out after losing her father.
"But… in my original timeline, my dark future, Ana eventually found her own brand of cruelty, thanks to the Darkness.
"It used her troubled past to manipulate her. And she wasn’t strong enough to resist, and I…
"I had to put an end to it. To my little sister’s life… There was no other choice."
The Exo Stranger is forced to kill her sister in her failed timeline. In our timeline the Exo Stranger tries to apply a completely different strategy; rather than avoiding the Darkness, she is embracing it, and trying to help Guardians wield Stasis responsibly. When the Exo Stranger reveals her plans to Ana Bray, it causes a fight, with Ana storming off. It seems that the Exo Stranger cannot win. In her original timeline she tried to keep Ana bray from the Darkness but failed. In this timeline, the Exo Stranger embraces the Darkness but still cannot repair her relationship with Ana. What's really scary is, to the Exo Stranger, our timeline may just be another failure. Have a listen to what the Exo Stranger says in the Born in Darkness quest.
"'Perhaps I shouldn’t have dropped so much on Ana at once. In my past attempts to befriend her—across other timelines—I always tried to ease her into these revelations.'
"She shifts uncomfortably.
"'But we no longer have time for ease. I just hope that by creating a different world—one where the Darkness can’t get its filthy claws into our heads—that Ana will come around. If she doesn’t… then this whole thing may be a wash once again.'"
Are we in another failed timeline? Is this whole thing a "wash"? As you can see, Deep Stone Crypt has many possible narrative arcs. Will we face an Exo Clovis Bray? We will get the information needed to successfully wield the Darkness and save our timeline? Will Ana Bray fall to the Darkness? Will we resurrect Rasputin—he's currently in an engram?
Either way, I hope this summary of the Bray family will help with your journey into Deep Stone Crypt.