Independent Study
Independent Study icon.jpg


Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter

Quest giver:



Reforge a broken copy of Thorn left over from a battle between Shin Malphur and the Shadows of Yor.




Independent Study is an exotic quest from Season of the Drifter and sunsetted after Beyond Light.[1] Players could previously acquire the quest by locating an abandoned campsite hidden a few feet from the Salt Mines in the EDZ; investigating the fire pit yields the first quest step. Players completing this quest were rewarded with the reprised exotic Hand Cannon: Thorn.


Step 1: A Melted Hunk of MetalEdit

Despite the burn damage, you recognize this weapon as a Thorn, a legendary weapon capable of severing Guardians from the Light. The Shadows of Yor, followers of an infamous Guardian-killer, are well-known for carrying Thorns. This one is broken, but you think it may be possible to fix it. A reputable (and discreet) gunsmith would know where to start.

Bring the ruined Thorn to Banshee-44 in the Tower.

  • Banshee visited


Banshee is quiet for a while, then he says, "Say. I don't mind lookin' at this for you, but I'm gonna have to tell Ikora about it, all right?"

You nod. "You might as well throw this away and start from scratch," Banshee mumbles. "But… If you're really determined…"

By the time he sends you on your way with a detailed shopping list, he's forgotten the conversation entirely.[2]

Step 2: The EssenceEdit

Banshee has recommended a number of rare components that you should be able to use to restore your ruined Thorn to working order. First on the list is Hadronic Essence, a dense lattice of exotic baryons and mesons, once commonly favored as an infusion in Warlock fieldweave.

Gather Hadronic Essence by completing bounties for Asher Mir on Io, by defeating Warlocks in the Crucible, or by completing Nightfall strikes. Nightfall strikes grant the most efficient progress.

  • Essence gathered: 50

Step 3: The SteelEdit

Next on the list of required components is Plasteel Plating, a durable hybrid plastic favored by Titans for its balance of strength and workability. Plasteel is not commonly available for artisan use these days: the Red War wiped out the DIY supply chain within the City.

Gather Plasteel Plating by completing bounties for Sloane on Titan, by defeating Titans in the Crucible, or by completing encounters at the Blind Well. Heroic Blind Well encounters grant the most efficient progress.

  • Plating gathered: 50

Step 4: The BindingEdit

Last on the list of Guardian-grade components is Sapphire Wire, another hard-to-come-by item formerly favored by Hunters because of its versatility. Sapphire Wire, like Plasteel Plating, was another casualty of the Red War... but you feel confident that you can scrounge some up.

Gather Sapphire Wire by completing bounties for Ana Bray on Mars, by defeating Hunters in the Crucible, or by completing an Escalation Protocol wave. Escalation Protocol waves grant the most efficient progress.

  • Wire gathered: 50

Step 5: Weaponize the UnknownEdit

Your project is going well. The gun is now mechanically sound, but it is simply a gun: it has no intrinsic power of its own. You'll need to reconnect it to the Light somehow, and the vast dark secrets of the Void seem like the most promising route.

Defeat Guardians in the Crucible using Void energy or Hand Cannons. Precision streaks using Void Hand Cannons grant the most efficient progress. Note that progress is multiplied in the Iron Banner or in Survival Crucible matches.

  • Connection strength: 500

Step 6: Something Yet RemainsEdit

Your Thorn hums with the hungry indifference of the Void, but it lacks something essential. You know the original Thorn was intimately connected to the Hive, though you don't know exactly how. Wandering around the Tower to ask your mentors about the provenance of a banned weapon strikes you as a bad idea, but- There are quieter places to ask questions. Places off the beaten path, where knowledgeable Cryptarchs have settled down to do their work in peace and quiet...

Pay a visit to Tyra Karn at the Farm. The Farm is accessible via the EDZ Director.

  • Tyra visited


Tyra is pleased to have a visitor. She is not pleased that you're here to talk about a DIY "build-your-own-Thorn" project. "I won't lecture you," she says, "but I do hope that you know exactly what sort of misdirected selfishness and reprehensible cruelty this gun symbolizes. A Young Wolf of the Iron Lords would not carry this gun.

"That said. The provenance of the original Thorn has been vigorously debated. We have incomplete texts which speak of a so-called 'hated path.' One must 'bathe their Light in horrors,' one must 'feed the weapon with death,' one must maintain their Light while 'binding a sickness' to the weapon itself… Hive heresy, all of it. I advise you speak to Ikora about this if you have further questions. [3]

Step 7: The Chasm of ScreamsEdit

While you were speaking to Tyra, she mentioned something called the Hated Path, a sort of primer to transform an ordinary Hand Cannon into a Thorn. Bathe your Light in horrors. Feed your weapon with death. Bind it with sickness. Horrors, death, sickness... that all sounds like the Hive nests on Titan to you.

Defeat the Arbiters, Sardav and Telesh then defeat Savathun's Song in an epic reprise of strike "Savathûn's Song" on Titan.

  • Strike completed


The access point to the Savathûn's Song strike on the map will be replaced with Chasm of Screams until the step is complete. You must complete a fixed leveled version of the aforementioned strike with the modifiers Blackout (No radar and enemy melee damage is increased), Iron (Enemies have more health and cannot be staggered) and Harsh Elements (Increased Elemental Damage for ALL types for the enemies alone). In addition, Boss enemies will spawn throughout the strike including Hadaa, Arbiter and Nydor, Arbiter before the final room. Sardav, Arbiter and Telesh, Arbiter will spawn in the phase of the boss encounter where Savathûn's Song conjures an invincibility barrier. Both Hive Knights must be slain in order to validate the mission and complete the step, which will reward players with the Thorn Exotic Hand Cannon.

List of appearancesEdit


  1. ^ Bungie (2019/3/5), Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard
  2. ^ Bungie (2019/3/5), Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Independent Study | A Melted Hunk of Metal
  3. ^ Bungie (2019/3/5), Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Independent Study | Something Yet Remains