It’s something of a running joke at this point that Destiny 2 has incredible stories buried in its lore books. These books can be anything from alternative perspectives on seasonal events to histories of places and people from deep in the game’s past. Many of these narratives are one-offs with no subsequent connection to the running in-game story, and one of this type might be the best lore book in Destiny 2. It’s called Dust, and it tells the story of a Cryptarch named Lavinia Garcia Umr Tawil.
Added to Destiny 2 way back in Season of the Drifter/Joker’s Wild, the Dust lore book was obtained by scanning items located in the Reckoning activity. Framed as a kind of Lovecraftian inquiry into Things Man Was Not Meant to Know, the book follows Lavinia as she inquires into the nature of the entities known as the Nine.
Lavinia, whose mother told her that on the day of her birth, a witch pronounced her lucky, encounters Xur in the Tower hangar and asks him about the nature of a box of dust found in a copper box on Venus. He gives her only cryptic answers, and she begins searching through the archives for more information on the Nine. Eventually, she discovers an Ahamkara bone, hoping to use it to learn about the Nine’s connection to the wish dragons. Unfortunately, she’s discovered by Ikora Rey, who reports her theft to a tribunal and exiles her from the Last City.
She next finds herself on the Reef, gathering information from Eliksni. Again though, she suffers a spell of bad luck — she’s apprehended by the Awoken and sentenced to life in prison for espionage. Sprung from jail by Paladin Kamala Rior, she’s brought on board a warship to observe and help analyze the presence of the Nine around Calus’s Leviathan. Here she actually sees the Nine “reaching out” to Calus, but is thrown back in her cell before she can get the information to the Last City.
Lavinia escapes prison by bribing a Corsair to take her to the space station Cocytus, where she soon finds herself stranded. Faced with recapture by Paladin Rios, she leaps into one of the Golden Age gates on the station and comes face to face with the Nine, who explain that they are the shadows of the solar system’s planetary masses:
“With a horror of revelation so absolute that it would drive her mad if she still had sanity to lose, Lavinia understands where the Nine have always been. They are within everyone, every system, every living and moving thing. Trillions and pentillions of slim dark matter tentacles plunged through all our bodies, drinking up the complexity of our lives and thoughts. We are all pinched silhouettes impaled on the twitchings of infinitely long spiderlegs.”
The Emissary Orin appears to Lavinia and tells her that she isn’t safe, but it’s too late — she’s pulled out of the Nine’s reality, broken down and reborn in a little cottage with a “clever-looking old lady” who’s pleased to see her. “Don’t be afraid,” the woman tells her, “You’ve come to exactly the right place. Someplace where you’re appreciated. Where we can really use everything you’ve learned. Didn’t I tell you that you were lucky, back when you were born?”
Guessed who that witch was yet? It was, of course, Savathun. “Lucky” Lavinia’s entire life was apparently orchestrated by the Witch Queen in a bid to gain information on the Nine. Damn.
Lavinia has been mentioned only once in Destiny 2 since the Dust lore book. In the Season of Arrivals, a piece of text attached to one of the quest steps notes that Drifter “met Lavinia out there in the nothin’” and wonders if she ever found what she was looking for. And the Dust lore book does seem to have something of a happy ending — Savathun loves knowledge after all, and Lavinia, as a seeker of secrets herself, has found somewhere she truly belongs in the court of the Witch Queen.