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For other uses, see Ebony Blade.
Not to be confused with Ebony Sword.

The Ebony Blade is a two-handed weapon found in Dragonsreach in Whiterun Hold. Resembling an Akaviri Dai-Katana, the Ebony Blade is a Daedric artifact belonging to Mephala. Killing kindred with the blade bolsters its power. Followers can wield the blade, but cannot fortify the enchantment unless instructed to kill an ally. The blade itself is a Kanmuri-otoshi style katana, with the back thinning out drastically about three-quarters up the blade from the hilt.

HistoryEdit

The blade has changed hands many times over the years. It is believed that the Eternal Champion himself once wielded the blade when it was discovered in Valenwood. Later, it was rewarded to the Hero of Daggerfall sometime after the War of Bretony. In the late Third Era, the Hero of Kvatch was granted the blade by Mephala. Later, in the Fourth Era, it was discovered by Balgruuf the Greater of Whiterun sometime before the events of Skyrim, and he had it hidden underneath Dragonsreach ever since.

AcquisitionEdit

The Ebony Blade is obtained in the Daedric quest "The Whispering Door," which can be initiated after reaching level 20 and completing the Dragon Rising quest, by asking Hulda, the barkeep at The Bannered Mare in Whiterun, if she's heard any rumors. If Hulda has been killed, Ysolda, who will have since taken over the inn, will not begin the quest. In this case, it can only be started using the console command setstage DA08 10.

SmithingEdit

The blade cannot be upgraded. This is explained in Admonition Against Ebony which states that: "Not even the hottest fires of the Skyforge could melt it; indeed the coals themselves seemed to cool when it was placed within," revealing the sword's immunity to heat or normal forging/smithing techniques.

EnchantmentEdit

This weapon starts with a 10-point Absorb Health enchantment that can be increased by slaying friendly characters. For example, anyone whose favor has been completed or who has been won over during any type of quest can be absorbed by the blade. For every two such characters killed, the weapon's Absorb Health enchantment increases by four points. Killing ten friendly characters maximizes its power at 30 points Absorb Health per hit.

The enchantment has unlimited uses and never needs recharging. This makes this weapon ideal for followers, especially if they frequently sustain large amounts of damage.

Mephala's voice sounds each time the enchantment improves, commenting on the progress of the blade. Her dialogue, in order, is such:

Mephala's CommentsEdit

Notice: Mephala's dialogue is radiant for each kill, though is always one of the four quotes for the 2nd - 8th kills. Only the 10th kill has a set comment.
Kill Dialogue of Mephala
2nd "Excellent work, child."
4th "I can feel their heartbreak swelling in my blade."
6th "Their tears shine the ebony to a sharpest gleam."
8th "Ah, the blood of deceit is a nourishing flow."
10th "At last, my blade is returned to its full glory. Now, go forth, child. Continue your tiny subversions against the orders of trust and intimacy."

If the hilt glows red, the blade has gained power.

Potential killsEdit

Characters who say things such as, "It's a fine day with you around." or "You've been a good friend to me, that means something." are considered friendly to the Dragonborn and will count as a charge. Another indication is whether or not taking low-value items from their home counts as stealing. Anyone to whom the Dragonborn sells firewood, ore, food, or alchemical ingredients via a dialogue option (not the barter menu) will become friendly. The Dragonborn can also make friends by dropping a weapon or a piece of armor somewhere, prompting characters to approach them and ask whether or not the item is free for the taking. Saying 'yes' will make them friendly.

The following is a list of potential targets for upgrading the Ebony Blade:

CharactersEdit

Daedric questsEdit

ExploitsEdit

  •  PC   Killing a friendly character with the Ebony Blade, then resurrecting them by clicking on them in the console and typing resurrect, and killing them again. The command player.placeatme xxx (xxx is the character's ID) also works.
  •  PC   Using the console command player.setrelationshiprank <refID> <4> on any unnamed enemy NPC, like a Bandit, and killing them with the Ebony Blade will charge the weapon and not give the Dragonborn any negative effects.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Killing a friendly person and reanimate them with Reanimation Staves, Scroll of Dread Zombie, Dead Thrall or the Ritual Stone. Because these abilities do not turn them into ash when they die, the character can be repeatedly killed the required number of times. (Tested on patch 1.9.32.0.8). Death Hound followers from Dawnguard are good victims, as they will not fight back and have little health. However, this does not appear to work on Skyrim Special Edition for PS4 (Tested on patch 1.1.49.0.8)
  •  PC   360   PS3   To quickly charge the blade, the Dragonborn may conjure a familiar and kill it repeatedly. This provides unlimited charges and the familiars have very low health. No negative relationships will be incurred. This does not seem to work post-patch for the DLC.
  •  PC   360   PS3   To charge the blade (legitimately) without needing to kill any named characters, the Dragonborn should find the random encounter with wandering farmers, give them gold and slay them both as with other named beggars. This method can be repeated as many times as necessary. Alternatively, the two automaton followers, Steadfast Dwarven Sphere and Steadfast Dwarven Spider acquired at Kagrumez can be killed for an indefinite amount of charges, as they respawn.

Weapon classificationEdit

The blade behaves as a two-handed weapon with the following exceptions:

  • It swings much faster than two-handed weapons, and about as fast as most one-handed weapons.

Though it uses a two-handed mesh file, it uses the template for a one-handed weapon, resulting in improper sound files, attack speed, damage, weight, perk benefits, impact force, and stamina usage.

As of patch 1.9, this has been fixed, and the sword benefits from the two-handed weapon skill and perks.

UsefulnessEdit

The Ebony Blade is, in some ways, an upgraded version of the Blade of Woe; it is two-handed and has unlimited charges. Its attack speed is faster than any other two-handed weapon (about as fast as a One-Handed Sword), though it has the lowest damage per hit. The unlimited enchantment charge and heightened attack speed helps to make up for the reduced damage.

Prior to patch 1.9, the blade was useful for training the two-handed skill on those who did not often use it, because its damage was dependent on the one-handed skill. This gave it a significant damage bonus over other weapons, while the two-handed skill was still low. However, for those that normally used two-handed weapons, this weapon was poor choice, as it did not benefit from any of the progress or perks of the two-handed skill.

With patch 1.9, the Ebony Blade still retains the advantage of unlimited charges. The Ebony Blade does not affect Animunculi, as it will not steal health from them; thus, this makes it a poor choice for combat in Dwemer Ruins.

TriviaEdit

  • The Ebony Blade shares similarities with Stormbringer, a black, runed sword from the Elric of Melnibone novels. Stormbringer strengthened its wielder by absorbing souls, including those of friends and lovers. Elric was called the Eternal Champion, a name also shared by a previous wielder of the Ebony Blade.
  • Despite Farengar Secret-Fire supposedly being aware of the Blade's existence, he does not acknowledge the Dragonborn's possession of it, and it can be sold to him.
  • If the Dragonborn uses the console command coc qasmoke to teleport to the game's testing room, another version of the Ebony Blade can be found in a Dwemer cabinet. This version of the Blade has an enchantment that states that the "Victim does not treat an attack with this weapon as assault." This weapon can also be obtained through the console command player.additem 000ea29c 1.
  • The Ebony Blade has a smaller range compared to other two-handed weapons despite being just as long, or maybe slightly longer, in appearance.
  • Although patch 1.9 fixed the Ebony Blade's incorrect classification as a one-handed weapon, the Ebony Blade will still swing faster than any in-game two-handed weapon, and even surpass some one-handed weapons.
  • While in use of the Blade, it may level up two-handed, but will display a different skill increasing.
  • Progress can be observed by the console command sqv da08ebonybladetracking and looking at the "FriendsKilled_var" line.

BugsEdit

This section contains bugs related to Ebony Blade (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person-anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
Click to see the list of bugs encountered.
  •  360   Taking melee damage while holding the Ebony Blade and wearing full heavy armor may increase the light armor skill, as well as heavy armor skill.
  • Guards will offer both comments about the Dragonborn using two-handed and one-handed weapons, since the sword is considered to be both.
  • It is possible to obtain the blade without meeting any requirements to start it (before level 20). Using a wooden bowl and Whirlwind Sprint glitch, the room can be entered to get the blade. However, once inside, there is a dresser hidden behind the door that prevents exit through it. If the Dragonborn goes on the left side of the dresser and places the wooden bowl so that it is resting at an angle on the door hinge, they can glitch back out, though it may take more than one try. Doing so may render the quest uncompletable, however. Alternatively, the console command, TCL, can be used to pass through the door.
    • An alternative to the above is to get a guard's attention by committing a crime. While guards are pursuing, the Dragonborn should quickly glitch through the door and get the blade, then step back near the Whispering Door so the guard activates the dialogue to arrest the Dragonborn, and agree to go to jail.
  • Finishing the quest "The Whispering Door" and obtaining the blade may cause any subsequent saves to be corrupted and not load afterwards. Since it is unknown if it is the quest or picking up the blade itself that causes the corruption, it is recommended to create a save file at the beginning of the quest before unlocking the locked door at the end of the quest and before picking up the blade.
  •  PC   360   PS3   This weapon (like some other Daedric artifacts) has an unstable physical model which causes it to disappear, delete, move, and fall when placed on weapon plaques, weapon racks, and in the world in general. The Dragonborn should exercise caution when placing it in a home. It is not affected when placed in a storage container or while in the inventory.
  •  360   PS3   When leveling the Ebony Blade using the Dead Thrall method, killing the character directly via melee damage may cause them to freeze in their location upon being reanimated.
  •  PS3   If used after a bound weapon, the Ebony Blade may go into the position that a bound sword/battleaxe is summoned in. However, it will then be sheathed and brought out again.
  •  PC   360   The blade's charge may reset after a month of in-game time.
  •  PS3   If the Dragonborn is afflicted with lycanthropy and has Dawnguard installed, kills caused by the Ebony Blade's health absorption may count towards the Werewolf perk progression.
  •  PC   PS4  Mephala's dialogue after every two kills may not activate.

AppearancesEdit

Start a Discussion Discussions about Ebony Blade (Skyrim)

  • Hulda's dead and ysolda won't help

    2 messages
    • While defending whiterun from stormcloaks in the war storyline hulda and several other NPCs have died, is there any other way to start the qu...
    • "If Hulda is dead, her innkeeper function goes to Ysolda. Ysolda cannot be asked for rumors, making the quest impossible to sta...
  • Empowering Ebony's Blade by Destroying the Dawnguard?

    3 messages
    • Not sure, I'm about to do the quest for the first time tonight. I'll try it out. I doubt it'll work, though. I think they have...
    • Tried this earlier today on the PS3 version of the game. As far as I can tell, it didn't work. I got the killing blow on at least three...