There has always been a Speaker, an anonymous high priest with a mysterious and powerful connection to the Traveler and its Ghosts. In all the centuries of the City's history, the Speaker's great work has never changed - to guide new Guardians, heal the Traveler, and raise our crippled protector from its slumber.
"Basho knew. We struggle after." - undated battle notes
Zavala has never shied from hard decisions. His life bends under the double weight of honor and duty, each act of service more exhausting, each victory more costly. Zavala continues anyway. He has never had time for anything softer than iron.
Cayde-6 was a daring Hunter with a fast ship, a quick gun hand, and an eye on the legendary Vault of Glass. Of course he couldn't say no to a challenge - not even the notorious Vanguard Dare.
He lost the bet, to his immense regret. Now, following in the footsteps of his fallen friend Andal Brask, it is Cayde's turn to oversee his far-flung brethren as the Hunter Vanguard in the Tower. He works dutifully, but longs for a chance to get back into the fight.
Ikora Rey's second life has been long and colorful. As an iconoclastic new Guardian, she made a reputation in the Crucible and in the halls of Warlock scholarship as an outspoken, unrelenting opponent with no patience for dogma or etiquette.
That reputation became a burden, and Ikora chose to travel alone, flying reconnaissance across the worlds of the inner solar system. Shot down again and again, she and her Ghost survived against all odds, apparently preferring the wilderness to the company of her fellow Guardians.
When Ikora finally returned to the City to rest, her hard-won knowledge and seasoned temperament commanded the respect of her fellow Warlocks. She now serves in the Vanguard as a mentor and leader, carrying the memory of her wandering days as a link to rising Guardians.
Lord Shaxx is one of the heroes of the Battle of the Twilight Gap, having led the counterattack that pushed the Fallen from the City walls. Fearing that another full-scale assault would be more than the City could repel, Shaxx chose to stay in the City to mentor Guardians in the Crucible.
One day Shaxx vows to return to the war beyond the City, but only after he is confident the fires of the Crucible have forged a new generation of warriors.
Future War Cult Faction Rep
There is nothing Lakshmi-2 likes more than secrets. Her origins are unknown; her appearance in the City was abrupt. She courts select Guardians for initiation into the higher mysteries of the Future War Cult, espousing a brutal philosophy of endless struggle.
Those who can tolerate Lakshmi's mocking hints and bloody-minded philosophy find her surprisingly good company. She seems to take genuine joy in her work, as if the secrets she guards have taught her to treasure every moment.
Dead Orbit Faction Rep
Jalaal is a man driven by the ghost of a dead future. Critics accuse Dead Orbit of nihilistic fatalism - and Jalaal would be the first to agree that Earth is lost, the City a fatal trap.
The Arachs have no time for sentiment. Only an alien miracle prevented human extinction during the Collapse. Jalaal dreams of a diaspora to come - humanity ascendant, scattered across the stars, too far-flung for any single threat to reach.
Jalaal's utilitarian practicality drives him to bend laws and break rules in the name of Dead Orbit's great project. When the ultimate goal is human survival, any sacrifice can be justified.
New Monarchy Faction Rep
An upstanding citizen, Hideo was once known for his lavish gifts to children and the elderly. Since he moved from plasteel manufacturing to the New Monarchy, he has been less forthcoming about his business and less free with his funds. But as one of the public faces of the Monarchy, he speaks with genuine passion and conviction about the possibilities of a united future.
Stationed in the Tower Plaza, Kadi 55-30 welcomes Guardians home from the frontier, delivers urgent messages, and tracks lost items.
Kadi has adopted a colloquial repartee with the Guardians who frequent the Tower. Whether this is the function of intricate sub-programming or a learned behavior is unknown.
Master Rahool's insatiable curiosity drove him to the Tower, where, as resident crypto-archaeologist, he can work directly with Guardians returning from the frontier. He decrypts matter engrams as a free service, and when he builds trust with a particular Guardian, he is happy to offer rare engrams for sale - although the scarcity of these artifacts forces him to ask for Glimmer in compensation.
Rahool's true love is history. He treats each new find as a chance to understand the glory of the Golden Age or the terrible truth of the Collapse. Listen carefully to his murmurings: he may be the first to understand.
Tess earned her place in the Tower working as a troubleshooter - a fixer with a solution to any kind of problem. Her connections go everywhere. It is difficult to make her speak about her monographs in abstract algebra, or the string of peculiar jobs she's worked, but a word in her ear can open doors in surprising places.
Eva Levante provided services to the Tower long before she actually took a place in it. Guardians would call for her work again and again, looking for marks of distinction, both new and old, and she began to craft emblems and shaders for the bold and discerning. These days she has set up shop in the Tower, taking quiet pride in the Guardians who train, fight, and fall under her signs.
Born on the road, daughter of pilgrims, Holliday grew up fixing and scavenging - maintaining the vehicles that saved her family from the wilderness. Her talent for engineering and her familiarity with Golden Age relics made her a leader among the Tower's Shipwrights.
The terrors of Holliday's childhood galvanized her. She knows and respects the dangers that press against the City's walls, and her drive to rebuild the City's aerospace capabilities is driven as much by pragmatism as by her love of flight.
Few merchants of the Tower serve as vital a function as Banshee-44. His knowledge of weapons is encyclopedic - but don't ask him where it comes from. Banshee's mind and body have absorbed incredible punishment over the ages. He grapples with fragments of memory, the shrapnel of ancient ordeals that return to haunt him.
Agent of the Nine
Xûr sells objects of legendary power. He accepts his own currency, in service of his own enigmatic goals - or those of equally cryptic masters. Mysterious, too, is the nature of his presence in the Tower. Does he have some arrangement with the Vanguard or the Speaker? Are there those among the Guardian elite who understand Xûr's nature and ultimate purpose? Or have all efforts to control his comings and goings simply failed?
Iron Banner Rep
A hero to the City and a legend in his own right, Saladin Forge led the City's defense during the Battle for the Twilight Gap. His protégés, Commander Zavala and Lord Shaxx, now lead the Tower's Vanguard and the Crucible, respectively. Saladin remains close to Zavala, though his relationship with Shaxx has been strained since the Twilight Gap.
The Iron Banner seeks great champions to lead the fight against the Darkness. It was born to honor the Iron Lords and their efforts in the earliest days of the City.
Petra is an operative of the Queen of the Reef. Though she has long made the Tower her home, it is no secret where her allegiance lies.
Frames are simple automata built in the City. Although not equipped with true general sentience, they are nevertheless useful for cleaning, maintenance, and service tasks. Frames do have the ability to learn, and many develop quirks of personality and behavior over long lifespans.
As trustworthy as frames come, Roni 55-30 was designed to smooth troubled waters. Cayde has spent long hours trying to evoke any hint of frustration in his distant machine cousin, but Roni remains exquisitely composed.
"No discounts, big shot."
Arcite 99-40 is the last of Lord Shaxx's personal combat frames. When he chose to remain in the City to oversee the Crucible, Shaxx had Arcite's combat systems deactivated and rebooted with the Tower's more civil vendor protocols.
Arcite's memory banks still remember the battles he has seen. This knowledge makes Arcite uniquely qualified to equip Guardians for combat. His outward disdain for untested Guardians is a combination of learned behavior - a byproduct of years in service to Lord Shaxx - and personal experience. His systems may have been reprogrammed, but the love for combat still pulses within his circuitry.
There are many threats beyond the City's walls. To help track and eliminate these dangers, the Vanguard has initiated a bounty system to reward Guardians who take the fight to the City's enemies. Lord Shaxx, not to be outdone, lays out his own bounties for performance in the Crucible.
Xander 99-40, a recent product of the City's foundries, tracks every Guardian's progress and dispenses rewards.
Eris Morn is the sole survivor of an ill-fated raid on the Hive’s lunar fortress. It was Eris and a rag-tag Fireteam who, after the first charge to take back the Moon, sacrificed everything to return in search of the one the Hive call Crota.
Robbed of her Ghost, Eris remained lost among the darkest shadows of the Hellmouth for countless cycles. Despite all odds she endured, using the very dark she battled to emerge a changed warrior—driven, some would say obsessed. The Speaker and Commander Zavala find her compulsions a sickness, convinced she has been fully seduced by the shadows.
Though her warnings of Crota and his power are often dismissed as madness, Eris returns to the shadows time and time again, operating as one of Ikora Rey's Hidden—a clandestine group of Guardians tasked with silently infiltrating enemy strongholds and gathering vital intel for the Warlocks.