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Even when you complete an entire questline in Destiny 2, the game still makes it a point to leave you with at least one thread to keep you hooked in and playing. One of these threads is an Awoken Talisman that's tied to the Forsaken expansion.

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A Key of Light and Darkness is one of the strangest quests in Destiny 2, but not because of the quest's objectives or story. This quest has changed multiple times throughout Destiny 2's lifespan, being decoupled from the Wish-Ender Exotic quest and the Dreaming City altogether. While there isn't much reason to embark on this quest, there is a fantastic story mission you get to experience if you can brave through this quest's vague objectives. We'll be going over how to complete this quest, repair the Awoken Talisman, and clear up some common misconceptions about this quest.


Updated July 30th, 2021, by Charles Burgar: Arguably the most confusing quest in Destiny 2, A Key to Light and Darkness has been changed multiple times since its original release in Forsaken. It isn't required to enter the Dreaming City anymore, and this quest is no longer a pre-requisite for the Wish-Ender quest. We've updated this guide to clear up some common misconceptions about this quest. For those looking to play this quest, we've also updated each quest step to make it much easier to follow.

Clearing Up Some Common Misconceptions

If you just want a quest guide, skip to the next section. This section is meant to clear up the immense amount of confusion surrounding this quest and its ties to obtaining Wish-Ender, a bow linked heavily to the Cursebreaker title.

Is This Quest Tied To Forsaken?

Yes. Petra Venj is supposed to give it to you in the Tangled Shore near the end of Forsaken's campaign. If she doesn't give you the talisman, you can claim it from the Quest Archive Kiosk in the Tower.

What's the Reward For This Quest?

Nothing. The Wish-Ender quest is separate from this one. Play this quest if you want to experience the "A Hum of Starlight" story mission, an introduction to the Dreaming City and its Ascendant Plane.

Do I Need The Talisman To Enter The Dreaming City?


Didn't Bungie Remove The Awoken Talisman Altogether?

They removed the Balanced Awoken Talisman. Update 2.6.1 removed the talisman from player inventories, decoupling its connection to the Dreaming City. The Wish-Ender quest was then moved to Petra Venj in the Dreaming City, requiring players to speak to her in order to start it.

Beyond Light changed this somewhat. A Quest Kiosk was added to the Tower that brought back many old quests from previous years, one of them being The Key of Light and Darkness. The Wish-Ender quest was also moved here.

How To Start The Key Of Light And Darkness Quest

Destiny 2 Quest Archive Kiosk Location

Destiny 2: Beyond Light completely changed how you start this quest. You'll find the quest in the Quest Archive Kiosk in the Tower. It's directly left of the Postmaster.

Image Gallery (3 Images)

To start the quest, you need to:

  1. Visit the Tower.
  2. Visit the Quest Archive Kiosk.
  3. Under the "Exotics and Legacy" divider, select "The Past."
    1. It's the second/right icon.
  4. Grab the "Key of Light and Darkness" quest.

Once you grab the quest, head to your Quests tab. If you don't see the quest, click on "The Past" tab on the left of your screen. It has an hourglass icon.

Collect The Fragments

Destiny 2 A Key To Light And Darkness Fragment Step

The first step of this quest will ask you to find the talisman's missing fragments. There are three in total, each of them residing in a Tangled Shore Lost Sector. Clear the Lost Sector and open the chest to receive the fragment. Only vague hints are given for which Lost Sectors you need to clear. If you don't feel like going on a Lost Sector hunt, here is where you'll find each fragment:

Fragment #1 Location: Shipyard AWO-43

Destiny 2 Shipyard AWO-43 Lost Sector

"In an old Corsair hideout" is referring to Shipyard AWO-43, a Lost Sector found beside the crashed Hive ship in the Jetsam of Saturn.

Fragment #2 Location: The Empty Tank

Destiny 2 The Empty Tank Lost Sector

"In the heart of the Spider's web" can be found in The Empty Tank. You'll find this Lost Sector on the western end of Thieves' Landing, located just north of Spider's hideout entrance.

Fragment #3 Location: Trapper's Cave

Destiny 2 Trapper's Cave Lost Sector

"In a rare green place" is referencing Trapper's Cave, the only Lost Sector in Four-Horn Gulch. Take the gravity lift on the east end of Thieves' Landing to reach Four-Horn Gulch.

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When you've looted each Lost Sector chest, return to Spider to start the mending process.

Defeat Taken

Destiny 2 Thrall Hall

Spider will explain that the talisman must now be imbued with the power of the Darkness. In gameplay words, you'll need to kill a lot of Taken to finish this step. The quest step specifically mentions Taken in the EDZ's Sludge area, the Lake of Shadows strike, and Gambit. However, these are only recommendations. Any slain Taken grant progress.

Good Taken Kill Farms

A few good Taken farms include:

  • Lake of Shadows strike: It's one of the shortest strikes in the game and has quite a few Taken.
  • Shattered Throne: Enter the Thrall hallway encounter partway through the dungeon and kill as many Taken Thrall as needed.
  • Aphelion's Rest Lost Sector (Dreaming City): Since the Dreaming City is no longer locked behind the talisman, you can go to the Dreaming City to farm this objective. Aphelion's Rest is the best Lost Sector for this.

Completing this step will turn the quest item into an Imbalanced Awoken Talisman. Make your way back to Spider to start the next quest objective.

Absorb Darkness From The Scorn

Destiny 2 Ether Ritual Event

Despite how many Taken you killed, the talisman isn't fully charged. To charge the talisman, you must defeat one Chieftain during the Ether Harvest Public Event located in Four-Horn Gulch.

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There are three Chieftains that spawn during the event, so this should be a fairly easy challenge to complete. You only need to kill one. Return to Spider once you've killed a Chieftain.

Complete "A Hum Of Starlight"

Destiny 2 A Hum Of Starlight Mission Start

Your talisman is now charged enough to help you enter the Dreaming City. After you've spoken to Spider, a new story mission named "A Hum of Starlight" will appear on your Tangled Shore map. It's set to 1,100 Power, and there are no unique modifiers present. This serves as an introduction to the Dreaming City world space and the Ascendant Plane. Once you've finished this mission, the quest ends. You won't keep the talisman after the quest ends. The completed talisman is now given out in the Wish-Ender quest, located in the same Quest Archive Kiosk that you obtained this quest from.

Next: Destiny 2: Beyond Light Complete Guide And Walkthrough

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