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< Lore: Places: T
Type Settlement
Continent Tamriel
Province Black Marsh
Region Thornmarsh
Appears in Arena
Thorn (Arena)
Map of Black Marsh

Thorn is one of the eight major cities in the province of Black Marsh,[1] in the Thornmarsh region. Historically, the settlement has ties to the Great House of Dres, whose slave-raid on the city earned it its title as a Great House.[2] Thorn earned the epithet of the Jewel of the East, and the town is just as deadly as it is beautiful; vagabonds are always eyeing purse strings and the guards always turn a blind eye.[3]

Layout and GeographyEdit

Thorn is located in a region known as Thornmarsh, located somewhere in northeast Black Marsh. In the city's outskirts are fields of saltrice that House Dres have profited from since their occupation of the city and even further outside of the city are villages owned by the Archeins, a tribe of kleptocratic Argonians.[4] Thorn and the rest of the east coast (Archon and Arnesia) was historically occupied by elven dissidents such as the Barsaebic Ayleids from the west, or the Cantemiric Velothi form the north.[5] Thorn is neighbored by several settlements, including Branchmont to the southwest, Riverwalk to the west, and Morrowind to the north,[1] toward Tear.[6]

Notable LocalesEdit

  • Saltrice Fields[4]
  • Thorn Palace[3]


At some point in the mid-First Era,[7] Thorn had been attacked by the then minor House Dres and their warriors, led by Councilor Thalthil Dres.[2] The slave raid proved instrumental in the house's elevation into the status of Great House, as well as their position as figureheads in the slave industry, which they maintained for several centuries.[8] The event is memorialized in a popular silhouette-painting called "The Slave-Coffles of Thorn", which is described as heartbreaking.[9]

At some point in time, Thorn had been razed to the ground when a Naga citizen named Avumar managed to make contact with a Dremora and hastily agreed to the daedra's terms, which led to the city's destruction. Avumar's process in the ritual was modified from past rituals that sought the same outcome, and these past attempts led to destruction. She used an earthen vessel, specifically her boiler to converse the immense energy from the Deadlands into steam, which reached sufficient temperatures to successfully make contact with the realm.[10]

By the mid-Second Era, House Dres took complete control of Thorn and it was administrated by Councilor Glathis Dres. When the Second Akaviri Invasion took place in 2E 572, many soldiers and able-bodies were called to arms by Almalexia and the city was left with few armed fighters. Before she became an influential figure, Heita-Meen was a slave from Thorn and while she worked in the saltrice fields, she escaped into the wilderness with her friends until they were captured by Archein guards. In their village, Heita-Meen received a vision of the war in the north and saw it as an opportunity for her people. When she was taken back to Thorn, she killed Glathis Dres and defeated the Archein centurion, gaining control of the guard. Heita-Meen took her warriors and traveled north with Walks-in-Ashs and the Shellbacks of Stormhold.[4] When the Ebonheart Pact was founded that same year, the northern regions around Stormhold and Thorn joined the alliance and greatly benefited from the cessation of slave raids to their tribes.[UOL 1] But because House Telvanni never joined the Pact, they were free to take Argonians, even from the north.[11]

During the Imperial Simulacrum in the late Third Era, the city-state of Thorn was an active settlement. It was ruled by King Tibus and had a rivalry with Archon.[3]



  • Arena was originally conceived as a fighting game featuring a tournament that took the player to each of Tamriel's cities to challenge different gladiatorial teams. According to a file from that stage of development left behind in the final game, Thorn's gladiatorial team would have been called "the Warlords".[UOL 2]