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Cayde-6 was an Exo Guardian and the Vanguard for the Hunter class who was partnered with the Ghost Sundance. A famous explorer and adventurer in his younger days, Cayde ran with a pack of Hunters that included Shiro-4 and Andal Brask, his predecessor as Hunter Vanguard. After Andal was murdered by Taniks, the Scarred, whom Cayde was believed to have previously killed, Cayde took up his friend's post in the Tower despite his hatred of being stuck doing paperwork and unable to go on missions.
As the Hunter Vanguard, Cayde often looked the other way or facilitated Guardians who operated outside of normal operating procedures. Despite this, he became a close friend of both his fellow Vanguards, Commander Zavala and Ikora Rey. During the Taken War he assisted The Guardian in infiltrating the Dreadnaught to defeat Oryx, the Taken King and later fought beside them on the frontlines of the Red War. His experiences in the Red War led Cayde to leave his duties in The Last City frequently to return to field missions, leading to his demise in the Prison of Elders at the hands of Uldren Sov and the Scorn Barons.
Early Career as a Guardian
Like most Exo, Cayde remembers little about his past before the Collapse. However, he remembers enough to provide substantial information, albeit he admits the order is out of sync. Cayde used to be a human soldier with a large debt over his head, when he was approached by Clovis Bray to have his debt removed. The job offer itself isn't explicitly stated, but what Cayde remembers next is coming to Europa where he was converted into an Exo. Cayde's Letter Fragments in Destiny 2 reveal that Cayde had a wife and a son whom he nicknamed "Ace", he threw his life away from gambling, and that his only means of escape was to sell himself to Clovis Bray's Exo program. Next, he remembers being assigned as a security officer to the Ishtar Collective, where his job was to look after Dr. Maya Sundaresh. Though he wished to get to know her better, she barely noticed him. Afterward, he remembers being restrained by a shadowy creature on a destroyed world, followed by another memory which he describes as not his own. He was found with a journal containing Ace's name on his person after being revived by his Ghost, Sundance, and that Cayde kept writing to him despite not remembering him and that his son was long dead. He would later admit that he's not sure if his wife and son were real.
While searching for a Hive Shrine on the Moon, Cayde found a Hive structure and entered it. Inside, he encountered a huge horde of Hive consisting of Thralls, Knights, and Wizards and promptly retreated. The Hive pursued him to the surface, and Cayde cut down many Thrall before running out of ammo for his Machine Gun. Taking cover behind a crashed Phaeton, Cayde spotted a Fallen Baroness of the House of Exile fighting the Hive as well. The Hive pushed back both Cayde and the Baroness onto a hill with an old interferometry array on top of it. Fighting together, the two killed most of the Hive and Cayde eventually climbed the array to get an angle on the Wizards and saw the Baroness kill a Knight but lose her blades in the process. From his perch, Cayde exhausted the rest of his ammo, but only one Wizard and a line of Thral remained. After climbing back down, Cayde saw the Baroness was badly wounded and he wondered how many people she had murdered. The Baroness then tossed her last Shock Pistol to Cayde, but when he went to grab it she attempted to stab him. However, she was slow and Cayde easily dodged her, and he proceeded to break her arms and slit her throat. Cayde wondered if the Baroness had truly wanted to kill him or if she did that to make his choice about ending her easier. Cayde proceeded to use the Shock Pistol to kill the remaining Hive.
Cayde attended the funeral of the Warlock Albios on the moon of Io. Although he liked Albios, Cayde quickly grew bored during the long service and made a bet with Banshee-44 that he could pull off several high-risk jumps on the nearby mesas. He won the bet, although he broke both his legs completing the jumps. Cayde hid his winnings in one of his hidden caches in the mesas.
Cayde-6 was once a daring and adventurous Guardian, so of course, he couldn't say no to a challenge - not even the notorious Vanguard Dare. He lost the bet, to his immense regret. It is implied the bet was on who could kill the Fallen mercenary Taniks, the Scarred, but Cayde took over as the Hunter Vanguard when his predecessor and close friend, Andal Brask, was murdered by the mercenary. Though Cayde serves dutifully, he yearns to return to the field, in particular having his eyes set on the mythical Vault of Glass.
The Rising Darkness
Cayde was approached by The Guardian who was recently risen in the Cosmodrome in Old Russia. He welcomed them to the Tower, provided them with Glimmer, basic provisions, and advice before suggesting that they get a new weapon from Banshee-44, although he was impressed that they had escaped from the Cosmodrome using the Khvostov 7G-02. When he learned that the new Guardian had found the Hive within the Cosmodrome, Cayde knew the only response would be to strike at their strongholds on the Moon. While speaking with the Guardian, he mused that most new Guardians never returned from the moon, before remembering that they were also new and quickly reassuring them he was sure they would be fine.
While talking with Lord Shaxx, Cayde-6 disputed the Crucible handler's assertion that former Titan Vanguard Saint-14 was dead. He praised the Exo's ability to kill Fallen Kells but noted that Saint was also crazy. Shaxx took exception to that, claiming that eccentricity was one of Saint-14's strengths, causing Cayde to point out that Saint had claimed to see the future of a Guardian savior which inspired him during the Battle of Six Fronts. He proceeded to mock the idea that one Guardian could turn things around for humanity's struggle against their enemies. Shaxx then left to watch the Crucible debut the new Guardian from Old Russia, who Cayde joked could be the savior Saint had foreseen and that they could call them "Crota's End".
Cayde later learned that that Guardian had ventured into the Ishtar Collective on Venus and gathered information on Vex Gate Lord's as part of a deal with the Awoken in the Reef to gain access to the Black Garden. He admitted to the Guardian that he and the rest of the Vanguard were concerned about the Vex, but that the information they had recovered gave him hope they could be defeated. However, he also cautioned them about deals with the Awoken, noting that Queen Mara Sov always collected what she was owed.
When the House of Winter on Venus raided the Prison of Elders in the Reef, Cayde learned that they had rescued Aksor, a powerful Archon priest. Concerned about what Aksor could do if he recovered from his imprisonment, Cayde ordered the Guardian to lead a strike team and assassinate the Archon to claim the Queen's bounty on him. When they succeeded, Cayde contacted the Guardian and expressed concerns over the Fallen having located the Prison of Elders and feared that they could rescue more imprisoned Fallen. However, he put those concerns to the side and stated that now was a time to celebrate one more dead Archon.
Upon learning that the Guardian had breached the Cabal's exclusion zone and entered the Blind Legion's warbase, Cayde congratulated them and planned on telling everyone about their mission, knowing that no one would believe him and he could win a lot of bets. He also revealed that he was betting a thousand glimmer on the Guardian dying in their mission to destroy the heart of the Black Garden, but reassured them it was nothing personal. Before the Guardian entered the Black Garden, they shut down Vex time gates in the tunnels underneath Freehold. Cayde was intrigued by the reports from the mission, and believed there was a connection between the Vex invasion of Mars, the Vault of Glass, and the Black Garden. Cayde ended up losing his bet, and a thousand glimmer, when the Guardian was successful in destroying the Black Heart at the center of the Garden. Alongside Zavala, Ikora, and dozens of other Guardians, Cayde gathered in the Tower's plaza to hear the Speaker's address on this victory over the Darkness. Cayde later overheard Ikora and Zavala discussing a Vex known as The Undying Mind and its attempts to restore the Black Heart and lock the Black Garden out of time once more. He questioned if this information came from the Hidden, but Zavala told him it was an old Osiris riddle. Cayde commented that both seemed to like the same thing now, and wondered what "undying" meant for a Vex mind. Zavala resolved that they should find out, and a strike was authorized to eliminate the axis mind.
The Taken War
Cayde-6 plays a very important role in The Taken King, aiding the Guardians by forming a plan to infiltrate the Dreadnaught. He worked behind Zavala and Ikora's backs to help the Guardian recover a stealth drive he stole from Rasputin, and then sneak aboard the Dreadnaught using a ship he "borrowed" from Eris Morn. For the remainder of the war, he worked with Eris, much to their mutual distaste but nonetheless cooperated to bring down Oryx. By the next Festival of the Lost, Eris still holds a grudge against Cayde for losing her ship, for which he tries to make it up to her. However, she won't accept his apology unless Cayde finds her a new ship.
Age of Triumph
During the Dawning holiday, Cayde "volunteers" his aid and support to Ikora Rey and the Guardians when they are called to defeat old foes that returned, Omnigul and Sekrion, Nexus Mind. Though he did support the Guardians, Ikora knew that Cayde was only volunteering his support to get out of directing a team of Hunters that didn't like him. Even so, he congratulates the Guardians for ridding the system of old foes.
Recently Cayde made a bet with Lord Shaxx regarding the outcome of a Crucible match. Having won, he forced Shaxx to train some of the City's children to play dodgeball. Though Shaxx tried to pay him off, he chose the idea of annoying him over Glimmer. When Cayde returned to tell Shaxx his debt was paid, Shaxx immediately bet against him again. Confident he would win again, he was distracted enough for one of Shaxx's charges to show off their stealth training by sneaking up on him and hitting him with a dodgeball. Embarrassed that he was taken by surprise, Cayde offered Shaxx a ride back to the Tower.
The Red War
Fall of the Last City
As the rest of the City prepared to celebrate, Cayde arrived at the Hall of Guardians to meet with Zavala and Ikora and inquired if he had been summoned for a practical joke. Zavala quickly got him to be serious, and after Ikora revealed that all of their Skyline Defense Systems had been sabotaged, Cayde reported that the communications system had also been malfunctioning. Ikora then stated that the Last City's satellites were reporting nothing, which Cayde believed was good until she informed them that they were reporting nothing because they were no longer there. A massive Cabal fleet then emerged from the storm clouds surrounding the Last City and fired dozens of missiles at the Tower. Cayde used his Golden Gun to shoot down several, but was then teleported by Ikora into Zavala's Ward of Dawn just before falling debris crushed him.
Surviving the Red Legion's assault, Cayde began fighting their legionaries throughout the Tower. As he used his Golden Gun to kill three legionaries, he encountered the Young Wolf and happily greeted them. Cayde informed them that Zavala was rallying Guardians in the plaza, but that he would not be joining them and was planning on finding the Cabal commander and killing them. He then leapt through a hole in the ceiling and entered his ship. Later in the battle, Cayde was contacted for a status update by Zavala. He informed the Titan he was low on ammo and asked if there was any word from Ikora, and was told by Zavala that she had not been heard from since she went after the Cabal who captured the Speaker.
Cayde was fighting alongside Lord Shaxx in an unknown area of the City when the Cabal activated the Traveler Cage , despite the loss of the Light, Cayde continued to fight and remained in the city despite the Cabal occupation. Seeking to take down Ghaul and feeling like Zavala and Ikora would fail to take action against the Cabal, Cayde accessed a still-functioning Vanguard Terminal and asked the Terminal for advice on how to kill Ghaul, after a brief conversation with the Terminal, Cayde decided to seek a Vex teleporter to help him accomplish his goal.
Trapped on Nessus
He eventually fled Earth and crash-landed on Nessus, where he met a Golden Age AI named Failsafe and found a Vex teleporter. Despite Failsafe's warnings, Cayde activated the device, causing him to become trapped in an endless teleportation loop.The Guardian traveled to Nessus to find Cayde to reunite the Vanguard on Zavala's orders and discovered Cayde trapped within the continuous teleportation loop caused by the Vex teleporter, and worked with Failsafe to free him. Succeeding in doing so, Cayde ended up on Exodus Black, but a large Fallen force was enclosing on their position. Thankfully, the Guardian arrived and routed the Fallen, meeting up with Cayde and providing him with the device he sought. Cayde is, at first, only interested in doing his sole mission of killing Ghaul but quickly changes his mind after hearing that Zavala "needed" him. Before departing, Cayde gives the Guardian a lead on where to find Ikora Ray; he states that they should head to Io, as he believes she would travel there for answers.
Meeting up with his comrades on Earth at The Farm, they discuss a strategy in liberating their home and taking down The Almighty warship that will destroy their system's sun if not stopped. Zavala plans to have the Guardian infiltrate the Almighty to permanently disable the warship while the Vanguard forces sneak into the Last City as Cayde mentions the Vex teleporter. They would use the device to quickly travel to the Cage to free the Traveler. Despite the appearance that an all-out attack is doomed to fail, Cayde states that it's worth it no matter what. Suraya Hawthorne enters and provides both the means to get into the City undetected and how to get the Guardian to the Almighty. The Guardian would steal the security pass and ship of Thumos, the Unbroken. Cayde and Zavala guide the Guardian in breaching Thumos' defenses but gets a little jealous that the Guardian gets to use a Drake Tank. Regardless, the Guardian succeeds in breaching the Cabal's defenses and takes down Thumos. With his ship, the Guardian reaches the Almighty and disables it for good. On that cue, the Vanguard initiates their attack to liberate the Last City. Cayde uses a pet chicken to stage seven ambushes and later travels past a Cabal checkpoint to set up the Vex teleporter. Cayde encounters trouble while he sets up the device. As the Guardian returns and races to the Vanguards position, Cayde successfully sets up the device but loses an arm in the process. The Guardian succeeds in using the device to reach Ghaul's command ship, the Almighty, near the Cage and battles with the Dominus. The Guardian defeats the Cabal dictator and in the chaos, the Traveler awakens who destroys Ghaul forever. In a massive flash, the Light is restored to all Guardians, driving the leaderless Red Legion from the City. With their home reclaimed and the Traveler awake, the Vanguard regroup near the ruins of the Tower. Congratulating the Guardian, Cayde and his comrades begin their work in rebuilding the City and dealing with the present threats that continue to linger in the System.
A New Golden Age
Taking residence at the new Vanguard hangar, Cayde provided patrol and Flashpoint missions to the Guardians while offering treasure maps to some of his stashes. At times, Cayde grew increasingly bored with the paperwork he was given and even some of the adventure and Strike missions, often attempting to delegate such tasks to Hawthorne or Devrim Kay, annoying them.
Shortly after the Last City was liberated, a meeting of the Consensus was called to reestablish its governance of the city. When Executor Hideo protested that only the Speaker could call the Consensus to order, Cayde attempted to use that as an excuse to leave the meeting, but he was stopped by Ikora. The rest of the Consensus agreed that until a new Speaker was chosen, they would govern the Last City together.
Cayde soon received a report from some of his scouts on Nessus that a new Cabal commander from a non-Red Legion ship was issuing orders to the Legion companies based on the planetoid. Concerned about another potential Cabal threat, Cayde dispatched the Young Wolf to Nessus to investigate what the Red Legion was doing at the behest of this new commander. They discovered the 7th Company of the Red Legion was raiding the Vex network for information on the planetary makeup of Nessus, and intercepted a message stating that their failure to do so caused their invitation to rejoin the Loyalists to be rescinded but that the other units of the Red Legion still had a chance to gain a life of "opulence". Cayde was intrigued by that statement and was pleased by the disruption of the Cabal's plans. Once the Young Wolf gathered the last of the data the Cabal had been trying to steal, they transmitted it to Cayde along with another intercepted message stating that Emperor Calus had been sending the messages. Cayde ceased joking about the incident at the mention of Calus and quickly thanked the Guardian and their Ghost for their great work before rushing to find Ikora and inform her of the Cabal Emperor's involvement on Nessus.
At a later meeting of the Consensus, Ariadne Gris was summoned before them to answer questions about why her Sparrow, the Dinas Emrys, had a dragon painted on it, as some suspected it was a sign of Ahamkara contact. Cayde advised Ariadne to play nice with Hideo after the New Monarchy representative grew angry with her sarcastic responses, causing her to insist that she just thought dragons were cool and that not all of them were Ahamkara. Cayde was amused when Ikora interjected that Ariadne obviously could not have come into contact with an Ahamkara due to her poor win/loss record in the Sparrow Racing League, and the meeting ended with the Consensus agreeing that the dragon symbol was indeed cool.
Cayde eventually grew bored in the Tower and ventured out into the Solar system to hunt enemies of the Vanguard. He captured many threats and put them into the Prison of Elders. Eventually, he gathered six of his most trusted Guardians and aided Regent-Commander Petra Venj in restoring order to the Reef, which had fallen into chaos after the events of The Taken War and the Red Legion's invasion. This campaign culminated in a battle against the Scorn, a powerful faction of Fallen outlaws. During the battle, most of the Scorn's Barons were killed, but Cayde and his team captured seven of them and sent them to the Prison of Elders. Despite this victory, Cayde's efforts against the Scorn were incomplete due to the escape of their leader Fikrul, the Fanatic. Even after the campaign against the Scorn ended, a restless Cayde would occasionally ask Petra to call for his help to create an excuse to leave.
Alongside The Guardian, Cayde traveled to the Reef in light of civil unrest and a breakout from the Prison of Elders. The two show up and aid Petra Venj in reactivating the security systems and putting down prisoners. The three split up and fight their way through the prison until they manage to get what's left of the Prison up and running. Once the deed is done, Petra alerts Cayde to the escape of the Scorn Barons. Driven to stop them first, Cayde knocks out the suspension of one of the control stations and rides the falling wreck down to the Baron's escape route.
In an unexpected turn of events, he encountered the eight Scorn barons, and after a fight with several members of the Scorn, Pirrha, the Rifleman destroyed his Ghost. Realizing that the end was near, Cayde took solace in the fact that he would be reunited with his long-dead son Ace, before assuming a defiant pose by aiming his gun towards Reksis Vahn, the Hangman. Cayde was promptly knocked through a wall by the Baron's censer where he encountered Uldren. Upon realizing that Uldren intended to kill him, he taunted him with the knowledge that The Guardian would hunt him and the Barons down. Uldren then held Cayde at gunpoint with his own weapon, the Ace of Spades. When asked for his last words, Cayde delivered one final taunt towards Uldren before being fatally shot in the chest: “How’s your sister?”.
The Guardian arrives too late, unable to save him or stop Uldren. Cayde uses his last moments to make sure The Guardian does not blame themselves and asks them to relay his last words to Ikora and Zavala before he dies his final death. Taking justice into their own hands, the Guardian set out to claim revenge.
Both Zavala and Ikora are saddened and enraged at the loss of their fireteam comrade and friend. Ikora swears that Uldren Sov must pay for his crimes and proposes the plan to storm the Reef to kill Uldren. Zavala, however, while equal in his grief, feel that Last City and the Guardians do not have the strength to conduct such an assault. Thus, the Titan Vanguard believes that they must focus on their people and not on vengeance, thereby declaring the Reef off-limits, despite the Warlock Vanguard's objections. Against Zavala's wishes, however, the Guardian vows to go to the Reef and kill Uldren on their own.
The Guardian, unsupported from the Vanguard, makes wary alliances and faces a lot of struggles to hunt down Uldren and his Barons. Nonetheless, the Guardian succeeds in taking out the Scorn Barons, dismantling their operations within the Tangled Shore and make their way to Uldren within a mysterious Awoken structure, the Watchtower. After a dangerous battle with a monstrous Taken Chimera creature, the Voice of Riven, Uldren is left weakened and at the mercy of the Guardian, who recovered the Ace of Spades, and Petra Venj. Though Petra claims to know what Cayde would do with Uldren ready to be killed, the rogue prince asks the Guardian on what they think the Hunter Vanguard would do. After a moment's hesitation, the Guardian levels the Ace of Spades at Uldren's head and nods in affirmation to Uldren's question. The screen fades, and a gunshot signifies the end of the Reef Awoken traitor, avenging Cayde-6.
Though Cayde's killer had been dealt with and the Scorn's plots have been ruined, a somber and uncertain mood as blanketed the denizens of the Tower, as the Hunters are without a leader and Zavala feels that Uldren's death will have consequences in the future. Ikora, while grateful to the Guardians for avenging her friend and comrade, also feels uncertain of what's in store in the future.
Banshee-44, despite his cynicism, was enraged at Cayde's death but equally so upon learning that Uldren stole the hunter's trademark gun, the Ace of Spades. Asking the Guardian to reclaim the hand cannon, Banshee works to restore the weapon to its former glory and is glad that the Guardian now wields it, instead of the traitorous prince. Shortly after giving the Ace to the Guardian he asks where Cayde is, implying he forgot about him due to his memory.
Currently, the remaining Vanguard members are considering who will take Cayde's place as Hunter Vanguard. Unfortunately, however, most Hunter candidates who could fill the void left behind by Cayde departed in anticipation of being chosen.
After Cayde's death in Forsaken's campaign, a small memorial plaque featuring a golden spade and a golden replica of Ace of Spades was installed on the floor near Zavala's location in the Tower.
Personality and Traits
Laid-back, carefree, down-to-earth, reckless, and adventurous are among the best words to describe Cayde-6. Though Cayde can appear to be lazy and bored with his duties as Hunter Vanguard, he actually takes his role seriously, more so than he would admit. Originally, Cayde wanted to continue his solo Guardian career but after his friend Andal Brask was murdered, he put that aside and assumed his place to honor his friend. Despite this, he longs to get back into the field. Regardless, while he may appear to put Guardians on dangerous paths, deep down he cares about their safety and even calls them his "greatest success story". In addition, he was saddened at the loss of another one of his friends, the Nightstalker Tevis Larsen. As Hunter Vanguard, his carefree attitude and playing loose with the rules annoys if not aggravates his fellow teammates, Zavala and Ikora, but he is loyal to them and would support them no matter what. Though Zavala finds Cayde to be unorthodox, he respects him and admits that if there was anything he learned from Cayde it's the tactical benefit of a grand entrance. With Ikora, she at times retaliates against Cayde's jokes with witty jests of her own. In the rare moments when Cayde is serious, the situation really is dire.
Others in the Vanguard are aware of his attitude and while some can take it like Amanda Holliday, Suraya Hawthorne, and Devrim Kay, others like Eris Morn scorn him. In particular, Eris states that Cayde is arrogant and not as funny as he believes. Despite his dislike for Eris, he made numerous attempts to apologize for using her ship to board the Dreadnaught, which got it destroyed, none of which she accepts. On the other hand, Cayde got along quite well with the Reef agent, Petra Venj, and considered her a close friend and teammate.
Even in the tensest and most harrowing of situations, whether in a war-zone or on an adventure, Cayde maintains his light-heartened, jokester attitude, but that doesn't stop him from performing his best in a battle. Ghost notes that after Cayde got stuck in a Vex time-loop, after attempting to steal a Vex device, the reason why the Vanguard doesn't want him to leave the Tower is that he simply gets into trouble.
When faced with the threat of death by the hand of Uldren Sov, Cayde showed no fear or regret; rather, he taunted Uldren. When asked if he had any last words, he gathered all of his remaining strength and simply replied "How's your sister?" Even facing death, Cayde couldn't shake his lighthearted manner. However, his joke only sealed his fate. Even so, Cayde displayed no regrets within his final moments and made sure that the Guardian did not blame themselves for what happened. He even states that he was happy that he lost the Vanguard Dare, for despite the boring paperwork and being saddled to the Tower, he called it the "best bet he ever lost".
And from his death, he will forever be remembered as a piece of the vanguard puzzle that had all the care and heart a guardian could, even at the hardest of times. And in the words of Cayde himself, "A knife, thrown just right, can accomplish wonderful things.", and for the guardian inside of us, we are the knife.
Cayde's Secret Stash
This conversation can be accessed by finding the secret room near the end of Cayde's Stash.
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List of appearances