Exotic Review : Thorn

 “To rend one’s enemies is to see them not as equals, but objects – hollow of spirit and meaning.” – 13th Understanding, 7th Book of Sorrow

Lore
Thorn is a Darkness infused handcannon that is an existing testament to what happens to the Light when the shadows worm their way into the core. The story goes, that there once was a hero, of whose name has been lost to the woes of time, and he was a heroic figure. A Guardian. A warrior of the Light who never wavered in his conviction. He placed his faith in a weapon that he carried constantly and with it spread happiness and hope, that the forces of good will eventually triumph over the Darkness. This was his Rose. However as countless other stories have foretold, he fell victim to his pride and succumbed to the dark thoughts that pervaded his mind and corrupted his being. For a time he fought them off but they could only be weathered not stopped. The shadows offered him fame, glory a chance to be known throughout all of time. The Guardian knew that the Darkness was tempting him, baiting him to give in to it, but he still had a fervent desire to achieve eternal renown and unyielding power. Eventually, no matter how hard he fought to keep the Darkness from invading him, he ceased his fighting and when he stood, he held a new form. Same flesh. Same bones as the hero of Light but the shadows that enveloped him had changed him. Corrupted him. He was now Dredgen Yor, the bane of the Light.

 The first reference that this weapon is of Hive make is in the Grimoire Card – Ghost Fragment : Thorn 2. A conversation is taking place between Dredgen Yor and a party of bandits about Yor’s weapon – Thorn, within which Yor asks if the bandits have been to Luna. They reply “nobody’s been”, with which they gain the cryptic response, “The bones say otherwise”. This is a reference to the ill fated battle in order to retake the Moon from the forces of the Hive. As a result of this battle, hundreds of Guardians were slaughtered at the hands of the Hive god Crota. It seems like Yor is shedding light on some of his thoughts that led to him forgoing the Darkness. Lower down in this transcript a reference to its new name becomes apparent, “I used to think of it as a rose…focusing on its bloom. But the bloom is just a byproduct of its anger” which is emphasising the shape of the muzzle blast when Thorn fires. The bloom of the Rose can only be found when Thorn shows its anger which is symbolic for the ever present onset of hope even in the face of despair.

 In the Grimoire Card – Ghost Fragment : Thorn 3, a conversation is going on between Yor and his Ghost. Yor sheds some more light as to why he succumbed to the Darkness, “You were a hero. And yet people still die. Corruption still exists. Light still fades. And Darkness still spreads.”. He is quite  at peace with the choice he made because it is clear, at least to him that the Darkness cannot be overcome and the only hope is to join with it and hope you survive. But towards the end, as Yor is dismissing his Ghost, he states to not bring forth the memory of who he used to be because it will taint his legacy. It is followed up with a statement that, his very own legacy, that gives people hope will be what makes it sweeter when they die by his hand. It shows a monstrous transformation but however maybe due to his association with the Darkness and the Hive, he may not have any choice.

His being driven to kill innocent men and women may be due to the ‘Worm’ of the Hive and their gods being placed within him. The Darkness is driving him to kill and kill in order to survive, which is what his transformation was about – survival. It also explains why he isn’t just targeting Guardians or those who contain within them, significant Light, but civilians who don’t stand a chance of defeating him. Dredgen Yor was a victim of the shadows and his name lives on forever as a symbol of all the Light is opposing.

Performance
Thorn is a high impact handcannon that was in its prime in the first year of Destiny. It has a medium rate of fire and a pretty quick time to kill. However the reason it became a dominant gun in the Crucible is due to its exotic perk, Mark of the Devourer, which provides the rounds with the ability to pierce its targets and leaves a lingering poison that damages your enemies over time. In year 1, that poison was the cause of much pain for many Guardians as 2 body shots were all it took to get your health low enough for the poison to eliminate you. The Thorn is still used in modern Crucible, although the damage over time has been nerfed quite a bit so it is no longer the powerhouse it once was. However it is still a formidable handcannon to encounter. Since it has not been brought up to year 2 levels, it is still quite viable for both normal PVP and PVE encounters if you don’t mind the drop to your Light level. It would, however, not be recommended for PVP arenas in which Light level plays a factor, such as Trials of Osiris or Iron Banner.

Aesthetics
This exotic has unmistakeable Hive origin with the combination of sickly green and black colouration that cover this weapon. The cylinder of Thorn is divided into 5 separate segments that refuse to relay the secrets of this enigma. The barrel and the main part of the gun appear to be quite aggressive looking and malevolent, with sharp edges off of every angle. This ties into its very name and coupled with the spikes towards the grip of the weapon, truly shows how much of a Thorn this exotic is. However, the arrangement of thorns that surround the cylinder also appear to be in a shape of a blooming rose which is obviously reminiscent of its past legacy.

How to Acquire it?
In Year 3 it is possible to acquire the Thorn quest, entitled ‘A Light in the Dark’, by turning in completed bounties to Shiro-4. Once you receive the quest you will be required to complete the Wretched Eye Strike for starters. This is one of the simplest steps as it really does not take any coordination to get a team together. Just load up the Director and select the Strike.

Next you will be required to kill Fallen in the Plaguelands which will be completed within a matter of time. Therefore just do activities in the Plaguelands, like completing bounties and patrols. For a high volume of enemies you could run the Wretched Eye or Sepiks Perfected Strikes several times, this will most likely help you to complete that step rapidly. Next up you will need to charge the weapon frame’s dark side by gaining kills within the Crucible (easy enough) with Void weapons (a little tougher but still easy). Players who completed this quest in Year One will remember it with trepidation as Void kills gained you two points but every death lost you a point. It was awful and it took ages. Thankfully, you will still gain two points per Void kill but a death will no longer set you back. Remember to equip a Void subclass as ability kills do count towards this bounty.

After you have got the requisite number of Void kills under your belt you will need to use Motes of Light to cleanse the darkness from the weapon. You may have to tighten your belts with this exorbitant fee but 5 Motes will need to be consumed. No biggie. For this final step you will need to have a Skeleton Key. If you do not possess one, run the higher level Strike Playlists such as the SIVA Crisis Heroic Playlist until one drops for you. Once you have your Skeleton Key take it down with you into the Abomination Heist Strike, which is the updated version of the Summoning Pits. To get into the right Strike, make sure you update the difficulty of it otherwise it will not be the Abomination Heist. Complete it as normal and when the loot chest appears open it with your Skeleton Key. The exotic Thorn should drop among your usual loot chest rewards.

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