Elder Scrolls

Ebony Blade (Skyrim)

28,560pages on
this wiki
Ebony Blade
Base Damage:
11 DamageIcon
10 WeightIcon
Base Value:
2000 GoldIcon
Additional Effects:
Absorbs the life essence of foes. Strengthened by the blood of deceit.
Class: Two-Handed
FormID: 0004A38F
For this weapon in other games, 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 back thinning out drastically about three-quarters up the blade from the hilt.


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 Jarl Balgruuf the Greater of Whiterun sometime before the events of Skyrim, and he had it hidden underneath Dragonsreach ever since.


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


The blade cannot be upgraded. This is possibly 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.


This weapon starts with a 10-point Absorb Health enchantment that can be increased by slaying friendly characters. For example, someone whose favor has been completed, or someone 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 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:

2nd Kill - "Excellent work, Child."
4th Kill - "I can feel their heartbreak swelling in my blade."
6th Kill - "Their tears shine the ebony to a sharpest gleam."
8th Kill - "Ah, the blood of deceit is a nourishing flow."
10th Kill -  "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:


Daedric questsEdit


  •  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   360   PS3  Killing a friendly person and reanimate them with Dead Thrall or the Ritual Stone. Because these powers don't turn them into ash when they die, the character can be repeatedly killed the required number of times. (Tested on patch Death Hound followers from Dawnguard are good victims, as they won't fight back and have little health.
  •  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 doesn't 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.
  •  PC   In one case, the sword was maximized by killing and resurrecting a dog follower ten times. Afterwards, it was confirmed via the console command that it had indeed counted ten valid kills. However, actively using the blade to kill any and all characters and monsters, dragons included, the damage output continued to increase. This test is ongoing to confirm the limit to which this will reach, but presently, it doesn't appear to be stopping. Whether this effects the amount of absorbed health is inconclusive at this time, but it is suspected to have capped at 30, as noted above.

Weapon classificationEdit

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

  • It only benefits from one-handed damage effects, enchantments, and potions.
  • It benefits from one-handed weapon perks.
  • 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.


The Ebony Blade is, in some ways, an upgraded version of the Blade of Woe; it is two-handed and has unlimited charges. It has a very fast attack speed, 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 characters who didn't often use it, because its damage was actually 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 characters that normally used two-handed weapons, this weapon was a poor choice because 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 doesn't affect Animunculi. It will not steal health from them, making it a poor choice for combat in Dwemer Ruins.


  • 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, sometimes it will level up two-handed, but display a different skill increasing.


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

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , or  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Ebony Blade (Skyrim)

  • Ebony Blade [Skip quest on xbox 360]

    2 messages
    • If you to the wooden door with a platter jump onto the shelfs with a platter and use that glitch to get in and out (you'll need 2 platters) ...
    • The plate glitch is pretty well known as a way to get in to places and get items like that early i'm afraid, as for consequences it might get s...
  • Ebony Blade Upgrades

    2 messages
    • I got the second to last upgrade on the blade, then for some reason it wouldn't upgrade anymore.  I killed the right people, but the bl...
    • If your going by Mephala's voice to tell what level the Ebony Blade is i think the voice can sometimes just not trigger (can't remember wher...

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki