The Story Behind Rasputin

Published on: Jan 10, 2015 @ 13:10

The story of Rasputin won’t truly be understood until you dig into Destiny’s Grimoire, and even then it’s a bit of a mystery.

If you’d like to read all of The Dark Below Grimoire, click here.

For the story behind Eris Morn, click here.

Bearing an old name from a time long ago, Rasputin is the last of the Warminds, AI designed to handle and coordinate the defense of the solar system through the use of satellites and doomsday weapons.

The legendary Warminds stood watch over our Golden Age colonies. When the Collapse struck, the great Warminds fought and died. Rasputin fell with them… or so history believed.

Perhaps unique amongst his sisters and brothers, Rasputin was given an enormous amount of authority, as evidenced by an alert issued by Rasputin when the Darkness was first encountered, where the Warmind could assume control over all the defensive assets in the solar system.

salvage rasputin lore

As the Darkness waged its war upon humanity, Rasputin slowly became the last surviving Warmind, fighting the Darkness with every weapon ever conceived by Golden Age technologies at the gate of the Black Garden. It was all to no avail though, as the Darkness proved too powerful, even more so than whatever entity was responsible for overlooking the Black Garden which Rasputin acknowledged to be more powerful than himself.

And so, the Darkness prevailed over Rasputin, but unlike his brothers and sisters, he was made to win against the unbeatable and to learn. And learn he did, casting off the defense of the solar system and allowing billions to die in an effort to survive, learning from the very thing that it was supposed to destroy.

It was only until recently that Rasputin was found again, and with the activation of the Array station in the Cosmodrone, he spread his influence over the solar system once again, reactivating military installations and weapons that have been dormant since the Collapse.

last array station


On Mars for example, a Hunter bore witness to a battle between Vex and Cabal forces that ended with a demonstration of Rasputin’s former might, where both sides were wiped out from orbit, Minotaurs, Cabal defensive installations, everything, leaving only the Hunter to ponder over what will come next. And though they came from different times, the Hunter questions if she remembers the Warmind and vice versa.

Though Rasputin is mighty, and the fact that he survived brings hope to the Vanguard, his return is one that is not celebrated by all. Cayde and others wonder what exactly Rasputin learned during the Collapse, and what his true intentions are.

The Hive know the power of Rasputin, they’ve fought him on many fronts. I’ll continue to monitor the Warmind’s efforts, but be careful of its motives. Not every ally shares our goals. Rasputin might have survived the Collapse, but at what cost to the rest of us?” – Eris Morn


While the Cabal mill about in the Dust Palace and attempt to dissect Rasputin’s systems on Mars, Cayde brings up his own theory, that Rasputin realized that he was once a servant, an instrument of war bound to the will of a lesser master, but now he has learned to be something more.

rasputin warmind mission


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  • sbrozzi

    Love the game, love the story. I wish instead of the Grimoire Cards that this information was presented to us players as an in game audio narrative. Or some kind of cut scene (that you can skip!) animation. My Grimoire score is over 2400 and I have probably read 10 cards.

    • Shaun Kyle

      in my downtime at work i read through all of them. they are worth the read if you enjoy the story. i personally wish they were accessible in the game, through a personal apartment that we can enter through the tower or ships.
      i really really wish they had implemented an apartment system for storing items, decorating with trophies won throughout mission, the ability to change our hair and makeup, etc.

      im so off topic now, but i also wish we had the option to hide our helmets while on missions like in other rpgs and just show our faces. i know it doesnt work with breathing and stuff like that on other planets, but this game isnt based on reality anyway, and it would help with everyone not looking the same while playing.

      • chris

        Your asking for too much first we allow helmets off then we allow magical unicorns…*sarcasm for the people that will bitch to me thinking im being serious*

        • Octus

          dude, magical unicorns better be the new sparrows. 🙂

        • ceedoubleyou

          Wait a minute…. NOW I want magical unicorns!

          • LokeMata

            Hey BUNGIE! I want unicorns too now, like homeboy said. Sparrow Unicorns. It would go great with my FutureWarCult Class Items and Shaders too. Imagine the COLORS O_O

      • Judgment

        I read them during my downtime as well. Or sometimes during the load screens. I don’t really care whether they are accessible in game because I wouldn’t read them there. When I’m playing Destiny, I want to be playing Destiny. I try to get in and out of the tower as fast as possible.

    • Tyler T

      “I wish instead of the Grimoire Cards that this information was presented to us players as an in game audio narrative.”

      It’s not “in game” but I think you should listen to these….

  • Hao

    THIS!!!! THIS!!!! Is what i wanted from the game. A great story along with a great story mission. For example a mission name “Rasputin…Friend or Foe” – Sneak into the warmind’s main console and find out what you can learn from its memorys. And this article would be told during the mission which would make the game a lot more epic. Honestly this entire article is like 100x better than the actual story of the game T.T which makes me so sad.

    • sbrozzi

      I feel for the writers of the Grimoire Cards & of the game in general. There is such a great story here that is going ignored because the way to access it is rather outdated. Thank you Planet Destiny for putting these stories together. Maybe someday Destiny will be presented as a Sci Fi novel. That way we can read the complete story.

    • Judgment

      Watch this. The story may not be as bad as you think.

  • Ben Redenbaugh

    What if the person the Stranger was talking to during the Cut-Scene on Venus, was Rasputin? What if the Hunter mentioned above was the Stranger?

    • ElectricZealot

      And, that is exactly the conundrum of the ‘time loop’ that has been suggested in the whole of the story. Is the ‘stranger’ a future (or a past) guardian? And what of the potential that you’re either talking to Rasputin, one of the lost brothers or sisters, and hence it repeats over and over.
      The more I read about the story, the more I’m compelled BY it. It’s becoming a fascinating story and I appreciate Planet Destiny bringing these concise articles to use. Bravo, and Thank You.
      It’s an absolute shame that Bungie really screwed the pooch on telling the story that is only accessible on your computer or other device – using a supported (by Bungie’s lazy Web folks) browser.

      • Ben Redenbaugh

        Lets also note that she’s an Exo. And Exo’s have lived for an extremely long time, so long that most have forgotten many things themselves, perhaps they are limited to a maximum memory like a PC Harddrive, and must occasionally purge data to make room, this would explain why they cant seem to remember certain things, what if the purge is done subconsciously say by a 2ndary ‘brain’, like a program that kicks in when memory has reached a certain capacity, a subroutine.

        The Stranger could be a reactivated Exo, reactived by Rasputin, this could be why she says she was not ‘forged in light’, her dislike for the Vex could also be due to Rasputin’s influence who lost the battle with the Vex at the gate to the Black Garden.

        • ElectricZealot

          Ah, right…. She admitted so much that she “was not forged in light…” It makes complete sense that she is a construct of Rasputin. But to what end, and what exactly is she guiding? Guiding down the path of the pre-determined time line and ensuring that the time line will repeat – giving Rasputin that chance to change the outcome of the past? Or, to guide your Guardian towards changing the timeline without even knowing that YOU are changing the future?
          Ryan, Planet Destiny – thanks again for this. I am totally enthralled in stories such as this. The Halo saga and Universe is much deeper than most casual players know. And, Destiny COULD BE just that deep. Wow, how Bungie blew it by not truly integrating the story and story elements into the game. Halo used Terminals to convey ‘clues’ and ‘hints’. People grasped onto these clues and hints and fleshed out what was going on in the much bigger picture. Missed opportunity for another great potential achievement, quest, whatever. Maybe not terminals, but stone tablets? Russian translations? And, for our Russian speaking audience – is Rasputin saying anything of interest in the encounters we’ve had with him? Or, is it so much computer BS?

    • Micah White

      Yeah but she is not a guardian

      • ThiefofAlways

        That’s the point. Rasputin is technically an ally, but has its own objectives.

      • Judgment

        Could she still be a Hunter even she was not forged in light?

    • chris

      the stranger is the hunter while rasputin is the speaker how do i know? look at ww1 history of rasputin/russia

      • Judgment

        Mind. Blown.

  • Awesome story compilation! Thanks a lot. I was so dissapointed, that bungie haven’t used the Destiny’s Story potential. They’ve made an awesome story setting, but added so little actual story to it, that it makes me sad. So I will continue to use my imagination and create my own stories. But I really wish they will fix it in Destiny 2, or whatever the next step will be.
    Destiny can be so much more epic…

    • Shaun Kyle

      this information is all pulled from the grimoire cards acquired in the game, and available to read through bungie’s website. so you dont need to just make up all your own stuff if you wanna read it. i think you may be able to access it on the destiny companion app too.

      • I know. But it’s not that comfortable to read the story that way. So while I’m on a mission, I just come up with my own stories

  • Bernardo Gavazzi

    Did anyone else notice that the symbol for the Pocket Infinity named upgrade has the same symbol as Rasputin? If it is based off Vex contraptions, what do Rasputin have to do with the Vex?

    • NEONHAZ13

      I noticed to maybe infinity is one of raspy tins doomsday weapons?

      • Judgment

        The flavor text on the Pocket Infinity is very intriguing – “You can’t shake the feeling that it is less a weapon and more a doorway” or something like that.

  • CaptainNoah

    I think Rasputin must be an ally of sorts. Maybe he doesn’t care for us as the Traveler once did, but we have mutual interests. I think Rasputin must have become autonomous after the collapse partially because he concluded that humanity was unsave-able and that the only way to beat the Darkness was to learn about it. Perhaps Rasputin won’t defend us, only himself. Perhaps the methods of the Darkness are so advanced that even a hint of Rasputin’s strategies would mean catastrophe. Either way, Rasputin at least wants to use us, and if he wants to use us, we have some value to him.

    • ElectricZealot

      Concur, Rasputin is an ‘ally of sorts’. I doubt that he can be counted on for real assistance. (Other than, as we speculate, the ‘Stranger’ interactions – which, I suspect, are only to move the timeline forward along the predetermined path What will be interesting – is what will be the deviations that will CHANGE the timeline from the inevitable? I surmise that the Vex control the time stream. Possibly this is the umpteenth time the ‘Stranger’ has tried to change the future?)
      Remember what caused the ‘collapse’: Rasputin, losing the war, his brother and sister Warminds already defeated. Rasputin decided to sacrifice everything (meaning humanity and the colony worlds) in order to have a chance at a later time to avenge the loss. That time ( as it has been played out an infinite number of times before) is now, and our Guardians are the fighters of light against the darkness. Of course, Rasputin will not hesitate to do again what he did once before. Obviously, it’s a tactic that only a machine would truly make because it’s pure logic – live to fight another day – at all costs to anything else. Man could never make that decision.

      Odd that this is a parallel to the decision that the Forerunners (actually, the Didact) made when fighting the Flood. Of course, except for themselves, the Fiorerunners had put into place the contingency plan – thanks to the Librarian. Odd how Bungie (or, perhaps Microsoft in their expansion of the Universe? I suspect only Frank O’Connor and Kevin Grace know for sure) falls back to old themes. Not really bad on them, for sure… It’s a good theme to use – the threat of complete and total annihilation against an unstoppable foe. Great gaming fodder used time and time again. The protagonist and antagonist change, but the underlying theme is used constantly.

  • BLKninja808

    Am I the only one who can’t wait for books to be written on destiny lore like halo?

  • Suggs

    I love when you do these! I’m a fan of the grimoire at all and these really help your things together. The lore is there, its just presented terribly in game.

  • ceedoubleyou

    It’s very odd to have this huge game with virtually no narrative elements whatsoever and Bungie’s response to that is, “Oh, you want to know what’s going on? Okay, here, read this book.”

    I have to imagine there must have been some way that the Speaker character could have been implemented to be the teller of the story. You could go to him and he would tell various chapters of the story, maybe earned just as you would earn the Grimoire cards. Maybe have cut scenes or animatics showing the story as the Speaker narrates. As it is, he has no real function, and players are left with a meaningless game that is essentially Shoot-A-Bunch-Of-Bad-Guys-And-Earn-Stuff.

    • Tim Schafer

      I believe that the Execs/Board looked at the high reply value Destiny could offer while it was in development, and said something to the tune of “If we add a in-depth story, like Mass Effect, the majority of players will not continue playing the game after they hit Lv20/finish the campaign. We want them to grind, loot, and continue to play while we wait to release each expansion…Rinse and Repeat”

      Think about this, with no ‘in-game’ narrative or in-depth story telling, we do not lose much because they really didn’t give use a story to begin with. This make playing the game over and over very easy…It’s marketing brilliant.

      But I could only imagine what Destiny would be like IF it incorporated it’s story into the game like Mass Effect did.

      • Judgment

        Imagine trying to play Mass Effect with 2 other people. You are trying to talk to someone and they are clicking through all the choices before you finish. Or they run through a mission when you want to take your time. A multiplayer FPS and single player RPG will have very different story presentation.

        • Tim Schafer

          True, but I was referencing that deep engaging story ME gave us. Not the ‘choices’ progression system. My bad.

      • ceedoubleyou

        Can’t disagree with anything you’ve said… Sigh…