What's the work?
Y'all know League of Legends, you know, that moba game that is known for having an extremely toxic community?
The thing i like about mobas is, since character's history don't usually try to bind up, it results in many different Pure Evils. In the case of League of Legends, it already has one, and it's home for other two possible candidates (Mordekaiser and Singed), but this time we are talking from one of the nastiest villains in this game, only arguably surpassed by Mordekaiser himself.
Who is he/what has he done?
All of the information can be found in his page, so i will not go deep in this to much:
Thresh was a dude who was secluded in a vault in a forgotten religious order thanks to his cruelty and sadistic tendencies.
In the original lore of the game, he was even worse. Thresh was the warden of several magical artifacts in a place known as the Blessed Isles, but apparently, one of this artifacts was a freakin immortal mage that magically healed his wounds...you know what happens when you lead an immortal guy to a sadistic maniac? absolutely freakin' horrible things happens. Thresh started, and i quote: 'methodically separating the warlock’s skin from his flesh with a hook, and used his chains to lash and tear the open wound until it healed. He took to wearing the chains as he patrolled the vault, reveling in the warlock’s fear at the long, dragging sound of his approach.'
The reworked lore eliminated this gruesome act, but Thresh didn't become any better, when the Ruined King came to the Blessed Isles (event that started the Ruination), Thresh betrayed his own order and guided the King to what he was looking for: the Waters of Life, the only thing that could revive his wife. In return? Thresh only wanted to rejoice in the slaughter of his previous brethren, which were torn apart by the swords of the Iron Order.
When the Ruination (an event that transformed the Blessed Isles into the Shadow Isles thanks to the King introducing the corpse of his wife into the Waters of Life, also transforming its habitants into monstruous specters who can't remember their past) came to the Blessed Isles, Thresh resurfaced as an specter who became more powerful as he collected more souls, souls that he will reap from the living after torturing them with hooks and chains. Death at the hands of Thresh is already an horrible fate, but worse is that Thresh collects the souls of the people he kills and stores them in his lantern to torture them for all eternity, all of this to satisfy his innate sadism and god complex.
I will just quote myself from my page, since it is the only way to properly describe Thresh:
'Explicitly sadistic,Thresh loves to inflict both physical and psychological pain to any being who is smart enough to understand and feel it. He considers himself expert at snapping innocent minds, and is not happy enough to do this to the living, but likes to take the pain further by torture them even in the afterlife, by imprisoning their souls in his trusty Soul Lantern, where they would suffer an eternity of torture that they can't escape.
He is an egomaniac who considers himself as a god, and so can use his powers against others simply because he can. This ego is driven high enough to not even consider other Shadow Isles' beings as equals, and that he is the only one at the apex of the Ruination. Sarcastic and cruel, Thresh doesn't always need to torture someone to delight on their pain, but likes to mock and take fun on those who already have lost everything, in an attempt to his words to destroy their spirit with no need to use his scythe.
Thresh's destructive personality has gained himself many powerful enemies and dislikeness even within the Isles, like Karthus who finds his idea of torturing souls repulsive, Ledros who has been victim of his sarcastic mockery for centuries, and Yorick who thinks he is just an irremedably evil being. Being one or not, Thresh is portrayed as a force of evilness that carries within chains the eternal torture that awaits to those who encounter him, and he is determined to continue his path of destruction.'
Something that makes me mad is people who thought Thresh didn't count as PE on his previous lore thanks to a the magic artifacts 'making him evil'. The game says 'Spending such time in the presence of dark spells began to affect Thresh as the magic sought out his innate malice. For years the relics preyed on his insecurities, taunting him with his deepest fears and feeding his bitterness', and yes, this may seem as such, but sorry, Thresh in-game never showed traits of being a made-of-evil bad guy who just follows the Shadow Isles orders like Hecarim or Karthus (althought Karthus is sentient, but it's to fanatic to count), so i want to take this as the dark spells only taked out Thresh's inners feelings of malice that always had inside himself all alone.
That is previous lore though, the reworked one? completely confirms everything i suspected. Thresh's tendency to cruelty made him feared amongst his brethren, and was always a twisted man who was jealous of his own order and thought his job as a warden was just an excuse to seclude him. Summary, no, he has no current mitigating factors.
You know as i said i think HS on mobas are kinda shady since the stories rarely (if ever) interconnect in-game, and so, many of the bad guys can take as diferent stories. Many people won't agreed with me, and that's ok, specially since League of Legends has his own universe apart of the game. But even with that, Thresh has no problems competing and standing out among other villains. I will list the other possible Pure Evil candidates and their actions below so you can have a better idea:
Jhin, The Virtuoso
-An egomaniacal serial killer who thinks murder is art
-Has massacred hundreds of people so horribly that people adjudicated the crimes to a monster
-Traumatized some characters in-game who were subjugated to investigate his horrible crimes.
-The sole fact of keeping him alive was one of the many reasons why Zed, the Master of Shadows transformed into a villain (later anti-villain)
Singed, The Mad Chemist
-As his nick implies, a mad chemist who sells his biological weapons to many nations world-wide to spread death and destruction. Basically, a dude who uses death as his profit.
-Lover of unethical experimentation, Singed oftenly kidnaps people in Zaun to subdue them to series of horrible experiments. One of this experiments resulted in Warwick who was a normal guy before, and now, oh boy...
Mordekaiser, The Iron Revenant
-A warlord who has commited many, many crimes among his reign of terror.
-Uses the souls of his victims to serve and fight for him for all eternity.
-Tortured and killed many of his prisoners. One of this prisoners, Veigar was a kind yordle who was so deeply tortured that transformed in a mad beign of evil.
-Plans to re-conquer his Immortal Bastion on Noxus, and then entire Runeterra through bloodshed and violence.
Our dude Thresh
-Like Mordekaiser, he enslaves souls of the people he kills (before psychogically and physically torturing them first), but unlike him, he doesn't do so to gain an army of undeads who would respond at his command, but just to satisfy his own sadism, the souls he collects are imprisoned and tortured for all eternity (he does gain power for collecting souls though)
-Betrayed his own homeland and rejoiced in the slaughter of his fellow kin without remorse.
-His betrayal would result in the cataclysmic destruction of an entire chain of islands and the death of all its habitants. They would reborn into monstruous spirits who would not even remember their past self, and most of them ended in Thresh's lamp.
-Not even the other powerful beigns of the Shadow Isles are safe of him, as Thresh doesn't take them as equals, and are oftenly target for the mockery of Thresh. Ledros is a clear example of how Thresh can hurt the psyche with the only use of words, as his mockery deeply afected him after centuries of trying to freed Kalista from the ruin, much at Thresh's delights who only feeds of his misery.
-He has affected other in-game characters too. He murdered and enslaved the soul of the wife of one of the heroic characters of the game, Lucian. This deeply affected Lucian, who abandoned his life to destroy the specter that took away his only reason for living. Thresh didn't die, but Senna would turn in the only soul to escape of Thresh's hands after years of agonizing torture.
Thresh is perhaps the most disgusting character of the entire lore, and amongst the other PE's only Mordekaiser has a chance of surpassing him. For me? he is an easy yes, but you decide after all.