One of Destiny‘s greatest mysteries has been solved with the release of the Destiny 2 Warmind expansion. The character known as the Exo Stranger played a major role in the original Destiny, but due to the negative response to the game’s story, many plot threads were abandoned. The Exo Stranger being one such thread. Destiny 2 director Luke Smith would even go on to say the Exo Stranger wouldn’t be revisited. That decision appears to have been changed, as the Exo Stranger has now been revealed as Elsie Bray.
The Bray family ran the Clovis Bray science facility on Mars during the Golden Age when the Traveler wandered the Solar system, which ties into Destiny 2 in Warmind. Elsie Bray was a member of this prestigious family. In the original Destiny, all that’s mentioned of Elsie is that she designed the ship known as the Eon Trespass — and that she disappeared three years after its creation. Elsie’s fate is left unknown until Ana draws the player back to Mars in Destiny 2‘s Warmind.
In the Warmind expansion, Lost Memory Fragments are hidden throughout Mars. As players destroy more and more of them, they’ll be rewarded with items with text that make it clear that the memories belong to Elsie. She mentions studying the Vex, working on a time travel device, and ultimately having to delete and hide away her research so it wouldn’t be used by her family. Her notes are logged as a “Countdown to Divergence,” though it’s unclear whether the Divergence implies her becoming an Exo (another of the Bray family’s technologies) or beginning her travel through time. But this is clearly when Elsie stepped out of her role as an engineer for the Bray family and into her role as the Stranger.
The final piece of the puzzle was no easy thing to discover. A complex cipher dubbed the Rasputin Puzzle was discovered in-game that took the Destiny community’s finest several days to crack. The solution pointed to a real-world location where Vicarious Visions had hidden some prizes, including coins with the text “Clovis Bray – Don’t Be A Stranger.” But more importantly, the cipher offered the following text:
“thank you for taking the time to piece together this message, friend. the time of our final conflict is drawing closer and you and ana have an important role to play in the events to come. so watch over her, guardian. i would have no life without ana or the exoprogram. i regret that we have become strangers, but we each have a path that we must walk. and, ironically, there never seems to be enough time. tell her, rasputin’s first attempt was in the right location, but the wrong moment. look here: 43.549573, -73.544868 – e”
When taken into consideration along with the other memory fragments hidden throughout Mars, Rasputin’s chambers, and the various Bray facilities, it’s clear this message is from Elsie. That she signed the message with an -e only makes that clearer.
There are other clues hidden throughout Warmind that further cement that Elsie is the Exo Stranger. There’s flavor text on items that feature Elsie reflecting on her past working with her family, or reflecting on the technology she has made. Her name isn’t used beyond the “-e” signature, but several references are made to being a “stranger.” It’s clear that developer Vicarious Visions didn’t want the connection to be overt, but collected and laid out it’s undeniable.
In Destiny, the Exo Stranger spent the campaign guiding the player character from mission to mission. She ultimately led us to the Black Garden to face the Vex and a manifestation of the Darkness. Afterward, the Exo Stranger disappeared entirely, never revealing her secrets — her history or her plans for the future. It has taken four years for the Exo Stranger to once again be acknowledged, in Destiny 2‘s Warmind expansion. Let’s hope it won’t take another four years to hear from her again.
Destiny 2 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.