Exotic weapon lore
Toland obsessed over the power of the Traveler- and the secrets of the darkness. His quest took him into enemy strongholds through the Inner solar system. Scattered fragments of his Journal can be reassembled to reveal the schematic for Bad Juju… however whenever you hold the weapon, your Ghost begins to look… delicious.
Welcome back guardians, today we are discussing the exotic pulse rifle, Bad Juju. This video was co-written with AnonPig. We will discuss the general lore surrounding Bad Juju, starting with the appearance of the weapon, the lore from the exotic quest line itself and then end with the theory that Bad Juju was Toland’s failed attempt to create the Touch of Malice.
As usual the artwork has been provided by Brandon McCammey. Please show you support by visiting his webpage and/or youtube channel.
This is myelin games and I hope you enjoy this latest destiny lore episode.
Let’s begin with the appearance of Bad Juju. The most obvious feature is the inclusion of bones attached to the weapon, which seem to resemble a bird. Whilst I myself do not have the knowledge to identify this animal from just the skull, there are some distinct features of the bones that may provide a clue, specifically the curved beak. A curved beak can indicate a bird of prey like eagles, hawks and vultures. Why is this important, well it suits the theme of this weapon, this weapon has many attributes of a Weapon of Sorrow (for more details about that see, my Weapon of Sorrow video) and it is implied that wielding the weapon encourages hunger to consume the light.
The quest line reads,
“Whenever you hold the weapon, your Ghost begins to look… delicious. It’s probably best to bring this to the Gunsmith as soon as possible.”
So, the Bird of Prey theme is symbolic of hunting and consuming your enemies. In addition, the presence of bones on the weapon, represents the “witchcraft” nature of the weapon, specifically West African spiritual traditions and beliefs, such as Vodoo. This is reinforced by the ornament, “Hoodoom”, which I assume is a play on words for “Hoodoo”. Hoodoo can be considered like a spell that can be used to Heal, exercise parapsychological power or cause harm to a targeted victim. Similarly, the name of the weapon, Bad juju, or more specifically Juju has it’s origins from West African traditions, where a witch-doctor could cast a spell. In addition, the exotic perk is called “String of Curses”. So the aesthetics of the gun, with these bits of bone attached to it, plus the name of the ornaments, hoodom, the perk, string of curses and the gun itself, juju, help create this feeling of witchcraft.
If we then combine this knowledge with what we know about Toland, he is obsessed with the Hive, I think it logical to conclude that the witchcraft of the Hive, the Hive rituals and magic was involved with designing or creating Bad Juju. In fact, it really is well suited, because it is often described that to cast these spells, hoodoo or juju, payment must be made, and this quite accurately parallels the Hive’s relationship with the worms, the worms grant them immortality however the Hive have to feed them for eternity otherwise they will be consumed.
So to summarise, Toland has used Hive witchcraft to create a weapon, that is extremely powerful, yet can impact the wielder i.e. requires payment. Which I think this is best reinforced by the previous quote, your Ghost begins to look delicious when you wield the weapon, it is having an obvious impact on the wielder.
Before I finish speaking about the appearance of Bad juju, I must mention the ornament Dragon’s Bane. Within Destiny’s lore, the Ahamkara are considered to be Dragons, there are also Wish-dragons in the Books of Sorrow, which may be the same or different from the Ahamkara and the word Bane is commonly used to describe those who a right pain in the butt, for example, Crota’s Bane for Eris Morn, or Ironsbane representing SIVA. Sooo, the fact that Bad Juju has an ornament called Dragon’s Bane, I believe it safe to speculate that Toland at least encountered the Ahamkara, if not actually killed one.
Lastly, on the topic of appearance, the three triangle symbol on the frame itself, this symbol appears on Bad Juju, Ikora Rey’s shoulder pad, and I believe also on the gyroscope in the speaker’s quarters, as well as the Invective ornament, Iconoclast. I am not 100% what this symbol means, however my best guess may be that it is a symbol for the Hidden.
Let’s now move on to any essential lore from the exotic quest line for Bad Juju. The exotic quest line is essential collecting Fragments of Toland’s journal, which essential leads to uncovering the schematics for bad juju, which we then re-create. In Destiny, even though ever player can acquire every exotic, within the lore, some items only exist once and other time many exist. There is an original bad juju that Toland actually made, the Bad Juju we make is essential a replica using information from his journal. This is reinforced by the quest line when it says,
“Among other secrets, this journal contains the pattern of a weapon forged in Toland’s madness. The Gunsmith may be able to make use of it.”
Futhermore, the quest implies that Toland almost wanted us to find his journal and make this weapon. It reads,
“The Journal’s scattered fragments recognize each other – perhaps Toland always meant for them to be reassembled. Unfortunately, you have no idea how to access the data.”
Despite the possibility of Toland wanting us to find his journal, the quest also implies that Toland’s journal has been lost for some time, it reads,
“The Journals of Toland have been sought after by the warlocks in the Tower for many generations. This journal has been missing for centuries”
However, there is a potential conflicting peace of dialogue in the mission lost to light, Eris says,
“ Hold fast to Toland’s journal. It saw me through my time in the Dark.”
Sooo, has Eris been in possession of at least some part of Toland’s journal but just never told anyone?? She obviously had it when she trapped in the hellmouth. I think it possible that Eris has been holding on to parts of Toland’s journal secretly, however, I do not think that she had the parts of the journal that related to Bad Juju.
Regardless, eventually we reach a point in the questline where we must exchange a “Black market coupon” with Xur, the Agent of the Nine for a “Darkness-infused weapon frame”. The quest reads,
“Obtain a darkness infused weapon frame from Xur. “If you want to go through with this, I hope you are stronger than Toland. Bring me a Darkness-marked weapon frame from Xur. Take this coupon to him. No doubt he’ll still expect some payment for his trouble. I’ll send the Journal back to Ikora Rey, so it can be… contained.”
I do have to wonder whether Toland also used the Xur, or the Nine to obtain a darkness infused weapon frame to create Bad Juju from himself, or whether he had his own method, likely to do with understanding the Hive. My impression is, that Guardians use the Nine to produce the frame because we do not have the knowledge that Toland did to use Hive magic. If Toland could actually infuse a weapon frame with Darkness, this is some serious Hive understanding and power. But if he could not and also used the Nine, this has an equally exciting consequence, how do the Nine infuse weapons with the Darkness.
Regardless, the Darkness infused frame takes it affect immediately on the wielder, the wielder is now hungry for the light, as I said before the ghost begins to look delicious. Guardians resist the urge to eat their ghost, bath the weapon in light and are eventually rewarded with a replica Bad Juju.
I now want to move on to the Touch of Malice theory and I want to go back this idea that the weapon is hungry and it influences the wielder to the point where their ghost looks delicious. These traits, hungry and influencing the wielder, are specific trait of the weapons of sorrows. If you remember back to my Weapons of Sorrows video, I explained the 4 characteristics of a weapon of sorrow, using Thorn and necrochasm as a reference point. They are;
Must initially be a guardian weapon
Altered by Hive rituals
Influences the wielder
I think you could argue either way that Bad Juju is or is not a weapon of sorrow, however what is interesting is the similarities it shares with Touch of Malice. Both Touch of Malice and Bad Juju feed off the death of your enemies, Touch of Malice returns health with consecutive kills and Bad Juju feeds your super with killing. The creation of both items requires knowledge from Toland’s journal, which is also very unique, during the quest line for Touch of Malice, eris says,
“Toland’s Journals speak of three powerful relics, guarded within the innermost sanctum of Oryx’s Dreadnaught. I have never been able to parse their purpose, but perhaps they relate to these mysterious fragments… I just don’t know if the journal’s writer is the man who descended into the pit by my side or the man who went mad in its depths.” Eris Morn
And lastly, they are both scout rifle frames, yes, even though Bad Juju is a pulse rifle, it’s frame is a scout rifle, perhaps this is a hint that Bad Juju and Touch of Malice are meant to be the same weapon. The interesting thing is, in the Bad Juju quest line, it is very specific in saying that the journal contains the pattern to create Bad Juju, in the Touch of Malice quest line, we only use knowledge from the journal to create Touch of Malice, Toland does not reference Touch of Malice, Toland never created Touch of Malice before, Eris Morn is in fact the person who named Touch of Malice.
So, I think there are two distinct possibilities, Toland was trying to create Touch of Malice, however Bad juju was the best he could come up with as he could not secure the three relics required, the Blade of Famine, The Shroud of Ir Anuk and the Ravenous Heart. Consequently, he left the schematics behind hoping that guardians would eventually acquire the relics from defeating Oryx and his ascendant Hive. Eris Morn would combine all the notes from his journal to help us forge Touch of Malice.
The second option, is that Eris is equally skilled at understanding the use of Hive magic and was just able to take the information from Toland’s journal and the books of sorrow (which is the calcified fragments we collect for her) to form Touch of Malice. If you prefer option two, I think it is important to note, that Eris could not have created Touch of Malice without Toland’s journal.
The only way we could truly discover Toland’s intentions is to have full access to Toland’s journal… and I cannot be sure that Ikora Rey and the warlocks, or Eris Morn have released the journal in its entirety.
That concludes this latest destiny lore episode. If you would like to support the channel leave the word “Journal” to symbolise the importants of Toland’s journal and the secrets it holds about the Hive. As usual it has been a pleasure this is myelin games.