- "The fate of those escaping Earth during the Collapse was once unknown. But here drifts a graveyard of lost ships, and among them - the Realm of the Awoken."
- —Grimoire description.
The Reef is a debris field in orbit within the Asteroid belt in the Solar System and the domain of an expansive Awoken nation under the Queen of the Reef. It is considered by the City to straddle the boundary between the far edge of the Traveler's influence and the unabated darkness beyond the Inner System.
The massive hulks of dead Golden Age ships that make up the Reef mark the furthest point that people fleeing Earth and the Inner System during the Collapse were able to reach; the Darkness ensured they made it no further. The early Awoken either arose from or colonized the Reef at some point in the Dark Age, establishing a matriarchal society ruled by a queen and completely independent from the City. Outsiders, including Earth-born Awoken, are considered trespassers and if necessary will be expelled by lethal force. This has changed after the rebellion of the House of Wolves, as Guardians are now welcomed into the Reef to combat the Fallen menace.
The Awoken of the Reef have long preferred to remain distant and aloof from the affairs of the City, but are known to be associated with the Nine, who are said to control the planets beyond the asteroid belt. The current Queen allied with the Nine in a successful war against the Fallen House of Wolves. With half their House destroyed, their Prime Servitor missing, and their Kell and Archon sealed within the Prison of Elders, the House of Wolves became vassals of the Queen and lived alongside the Awoken until their rebellion. In the aftermath of the uprising, and various thefts by Fallen, the Queen opened the Reef up to the Guardians to fight alongside the Queen and her associates.
When Oryx invaded the Solar System, the Reef was on the forefront of repelling the Hive fleet. Their vast armada met Oryx's fleet in combat in the rings of Saturn, but were overwhelmed by Oryx's Dreadnaught's superweapon and virtually the entire armada was obliterated with very few survivors. it is currently unknown if the Queen survived the attack. In her absence, her Emissary, Petra Venj, rules as acting regent-commander. 
Years after Mara Sov disappeared from the Solar System, the Reef collapsed from the loss of their armada and security. Taking advantage of this, the imprisoned Fallen House known as the Skorn orchestrated a massive breakout from the Prison of Elders under the leadership of the former Reef prince, Uldren Sov. The Skorn forces fled into the Tangled Shore and Dreaming City under their eight commanding Barons, with Sov being nowhere to be found after the murder of Cayde-6. The situation become so dire that the Guardians were called upon to contain the chaos.
Reef society is matriarchal and ruled by a single Queen with near-absolute power, essentially an authoritarian monarchy. The current and only known Queen of the Reef is Mara Sov. Second to the Queen in power is her brother Prince Uldren Sov, Master of Crows, who manages the Reef's intelligence network of "Crows" and serves as the Queen's chief adviser.
The Queen commands the military forces of the Reef through seven Paladins. The Royal Armada, consisting of the Reef's space fleet in addition to the Corsairs, who serve as field scouts, and the Vestian Guard, which patrols the Reef's borders, is led by four Paladins. The Royal Army, which encompasses the Reef's soldiers, battle stations, and military installations, is in the charge of two. The seventh Paladin directs the Queen's Guard, which is dedicated to protecting the Queen from both direct threats to her person and indirect threats that endanger the Reef as a whole and therefore the Queen by extension and/or association.
Other significant institutions include the Techeuns and the Reef Cryptarchy. The Techeuns, also known as "witches", serve as advisors to the Queen, but following the rebellion of the House of Wolves, two Techeuns now attend her in lieu of Fallen bodyguards. The Reef Cryptarchy's function is similar the Cryptarchy of the City, but it follows a different philosophy: where the City's Cryptarchs seek to decrypt Engrams to uncover secrets of the Golden Age and aid the Guardians in the process, the Reef's Cryptarchs believe their purpose is to encrypt and safeguard civilization's informational infrastructure.
- Vestian Outpost—a military outpost guarding the entrance to the Queen's realm. It was opened to Guardian presence in wake of the Wolf rebellion.
- Vestian Web—the heart of the Reef, built around the asteroid 4 Vesta
- Amethyst—a space station razed during the Reef Wars
- 2 Pallas—an asteroid home to a major Awoken community
- 10 Hygiea—an asteroid home to the largest division of the Reef Cryptarchy
- 65 Cybele—an asteroid converted into an Awoken military fortress, site of the Cybele Uprising that ended the Reef Wars
- Tangled Shore (Destination)
- Dreaming City (Destination)
- Vestian Outpost (House of Wolves)
- On Earth, shipwrecks often form artificial reefs, which then become home to a wide variety of life. A number of videos and pieces of concept art indicate that the same process is occurring within the debris field of the Reef.
- Despite being a matriarchal society, Awoken males are capable of reaching positions of power and respect, such as the Paladins and the Cryptarchy; Hallam Fen and Master Ives being examples.
List of appearances
- Destiny (First appearance)
- Destiny 2 (Mentioned only)
- ^ a b c Destiny - PlayStation 4 Official Announcement
- ^ a b c Bungie.net Pathways out of Darkness
- ^ a b c Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard
- ^ MTV - Bungie's Destiny Revealed
- ^ Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard
- ^ a b Bungie (2015/1/23), Destiny: Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Queen
- ^ a b Bungie (2015/1/23), Destiny: Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: The Queen
- ^ YouTube - Official Destiny Expansion II: House of Wolves Prologue
- ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Telesto
- ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u4oyarcc4I
- ^ Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Royal Awoken Guard
- ^ Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: The Reef 2
- ^ Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Master Ives, Cryptarch