|Sublocations||Sky Haven Temple|
|Quests||Main Quest Line|
The Blades are a faction of former protectors of the Emperors of Tamriel. In the First Era, however, the Blades were dragon hunters. After the return of Alduin and beginning of the Dragon Crisis, the Blades took on this role again.
After the events of the Oblivion Crisis and the Great War, the order of Blades had fallen into a great disrepair. The few remnants of this once glorious order have gone into hiding and are being hunted by the Thalmor after their near extermination by the Aldmeri Dominion.
- Main article: Blades (Lore)
The story of the Blades begins with the Akavir invasion during the First Era. After the Akavir forces had fought through Skyrim and reached the Pale Pass, they were met by Reman Cyrodiil and his forces. It is said that after hearing the Emperor's voice, the Akavir forces knelt down and swore fealty to him, whom they called Dragonborn. They later formed the order that is now known as the Blades.
The true reasons for their invasion remains a mystery, it is mentioned however, that they may have been looking for a new Dragonborn to serve or hunting down the dragons who escaped their continent.
The Oblivion Crisis marked the beginning of the Blades downfall. With the death of Uriel Septim VII and his sons, the Third Era came to a close. With no Dragonborn ruler to serve, the order fortified themselves in Cloud Ruler Temple.
The Blades' role as the Emperor's guards was taken over by the Penitus Oculatus, but the Blades continued to work in secret, watching for a new Dragonborn and guarding the Empire. The Blades were among the first to see the growing threat of the Thalmor and the Aldmeri Dominion. Unlike the Penitus Oculatus, the Blades were not bound to Imperial policy and could operate freely, and thus earned the lasting hatred of the Thalmor.
Late in 4E 175 the Empire and the Aldmeri Dominion signed the White-Gold Concordat, ending the Great War. One of the requirements of the Concordat was the disbandment of the Blades, thus ending the order's public face and forcing them into hiding.
Throughout the history, Blades were known to have their headquarters in Cloud Ruler Temple, in Cyrodiil. Unfortunately, sometime during the Great War, the temple was destroyed by a Thalmor siege and nearly all members of the defending Blades were slain.
Sky Haven Temple was built by the Akavir themselves. It served as an outpost during the Akaviri invasion during the late First Era. After the war, the temple was visited by Reman II himself. In the presence of all the Dragonguard, he created a blood seal to seal off the temple. With the seal, the doors of the temple could only be opened by another Dragonborn.
While most of the Blades died during the Great War, a few managed to escape the Thalmor. While it is unknown exactly how many Blades remain, there are three known Blades who made it into Skyrim.
- Main article: Delphine
Delphine took the role of Grandmaster of the Blades, as she was one of the last remaining members operating in Skyrim. She is a high-priority target for the Thalmor. During the Great War, she evaded several attempts on her life. She returned to Skyrim to hide, remaining alert to the surveillance of the Thalmor.
- Main article: Esbern (Skyrim)
Esbern is a Blade Archivist. He has been monitoring the ancient prophecies of Tamriel and had predicted the return of the dragons under Alduin, the Nordic God of Destruction, whose return would lead to the destruction of Nirn. As an Archivist, he knows a great deal about the nature of the dragon threat in Skyrim.
- Main article: Acilius Bolar
Acilius was a Knight Brother and the only known survivor of the siege of Cloud Ruler Temple. After his escape, he left for Skyrim hoping to hide from the Thalmor, but was cornered in Bloated Man's Grotto where he was killed. His Oathblade can be found there, next to his writ.
Radiant quests are reoccurring and can be completed unlimited times.
As the loyal servants of Dragonborns throughout the ages, Blades play a vital role in the main quest line of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
The first contact with the Blades is made when the Dragonborn tries to recover the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller. Instead of the horn, there is a note, asking the finder to rent the attic room in the Sleeping Giant Inn. Once it is done, they are met by Delphine, who had previously taken the horn to lure the Dragonborn here. This was done so she could see whether or not the rumor of a new Dragonborn was a trap laid by the Thalmor.
After Delphine met the Dragonborn, she remained unconvinced of his abilities and revealed that she had seen the Dragonstone, recovered earlier by the Dragonborn. Translated by Farengar, the stone had given Delphine a location of a dragon burial site, where another dragon could have been arisen. To test the Dragonborn's abilities she decided to investigate the site near Kynesgrove, inviting the Dragonborn to come with her.
After the site has been reached and the dragon slain, Delphine witnessed the Dragonborn's ability to consume dragon souls. After being convinced that this was a true Dragonborn, she returned to the Sleeping Giant Inn where she revealed that she is one of the last surviving Blades.
Saving the ArchivistEdit
Not knowing the cause of the Dragon Crisis, Delphine sent the Dragonborn to infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy. With the help of a servant, a Wood Elf, Malborn, the mission succeeded. The Embassy, however, held no information on who is to blame for the dragons return. Fortunately, a document was recovered stating that an old Blades Archivist, Esbern, is alive and hiding in the Ratway, the underground sewers beneath the town of Riften.
Surprised that the old man was still alive, Delphine sent the Dragonborn to rescue him. Slaying a Thalmor search party, the Dragonborn saved Esbern just in time and convinced him to accompany them to meet with Delphine back in the Inn.
After Esbern met Delphine, he told of an ancient Akarvir temple located in Skyrim. The temple is said to contain Alduin's Wall, showing an ancient prophecy of Alduin's return. After this story both Blades and the Dragonborn began a journey to the temple. Facing a resistance of Forsworn in Karthspire, the group fought their way through and finally reached the door to the Sky Haven Temple.
The temple, however, is sealed. Esbern made a guess that only a Dragonborn's blood could open the door, and this proves to be true, as the Dragonborn's blood released the lock. After the door to the temple was opened, Delphine and Esbern allowed the Dragonborn to have the honor of entering it first. After a quick examination of the wall Esbern revealed that Dragonsreach was originally designed to capture and house a dragon.
Esbern decided to remain and study the wall thoroughly and Delphine took on the role of acting Grandmaster, expressing her wish to restore the order and repair the temple.
If the Civil War quest line is not completed, the Blades will join (much to the dismay of the Greybeards) the negotiation of a peace treaty between the Stormcloaks and the Empire. Fed up with the arguing, Esbern will give a speech about how both sides are putting their lesser conflicts before the great danger of the Dragon problem. This calmed everyone and rendered signing of the truce possible.
After the peace treaty is signed, the Blades will ask that the dragon Paarthurnax be killed. Fulfilling this request is optional, but the Blades will stop any co-operation with the Dragonborn until Paarthurnax is dead. Completing the main quest line without killing Paarthurnax will cause this side quest to disappear from the menu. If you have finished Sovngarde, when you return to the throat of the world Paarthurnax is an essential character and cannot be killed. However returning after the epilogue scene will cause Paarthurnax able to be killed thus allowing a player to get the special ending AND be apart of the Blades.
After Delphine has settled in at the temple, she will ask for help with restoring the Blades. Up to three followers may be brought to Delphine to have them inducted into the Blades. The recruits will receive a complete set of Blades armor and a Blades sword. When they have joined the order, they will move into the temple and make it their place of residence.
After three followers have been inducted into the order, Delphine will send the Dragonborn to Esbern, who will provide the locations of dragons to hunt.
Esbern will offer an option to hunt dragons. The new Blades recruits will always help with this quest and spawn nearby the dragon's location.
After completing the first dragon hunt, Esbern will exchange Esbern's Potion for one dragon bone and one dragon scale. This potion will give Dragonborn the permanent ability, Dragon Infusion, which will reduce melee damage received from dragons by one quarter.
Through dialogue, Esbern will also offer Dragonslayer's Blessing, an ability that grants a ten percent increased critical hit chance versus dragons for five days.
- Despite both of the factions serving the Dragonborn, the Greybeards have a great distrust for the Blades, whom they blame for diverting the Dragonborn from the Way of the Voice for their own purposes.
- If a follower is given a sword, such as an exquisite ebony sword, that is superior to the Blades sword, they will wear the better of the two and not the Blades sword.
- If a mercenary is inducted into the Blades they will be able to recruit as a follower without having to pay the 500 gold.
- Some followers after being inducted will no longer follow you, Teldryn Sero, a mercenary with the Dragonborn expansion is an example.
For the Blades in other The Elder Scrolls games and an in-depth lore article see:
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim