Elder Scrolls

Racial Motifs 36: Dark Brotherhood

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By Speaker Terenus
Heed me, Initiates: we are not soldiers, and do not wear a uniform―it would be a difficult thing indeed to do our jobs if we had to wear gear that identified us as members of an order of assassins. But just because we don't typically use uniforms when on assignment doesn't mean we don't have them: we do. When it is necessary for you to represent the Dark Brotherhood in a manner that leaves no doubt as to our involvement in an affair, you will wear guild armor and wield guild arms as described below.


Your axe blades, Initiate, are shaped like those of meat cleavers, and for much the same reason. While the blade may not be heavy enough to decapitate a target with the first blow, if wielded with care it will still go halfway through your target's neck, and that usually suffices.


An initiate's belt shall be leather that is broad and strong, to keep armor cinched tight and weapons secure. It shall display the Brotherhood's gray steel dart design, either toward the buckle or away from it. Hip tassets shall be broad and display the steel dart wrought large.


An Initiate's boots shall be of flexible leather for maximum mobility. The uppers shall bear the broad steel dart, toe-ward, for protection of the instep. The sole shall be ridged for traction.


The Brotherhood bow is simple and utilitarian in appearance, but strong enough to drive a clothyard shaft through the heaviest breastplate. Double-chevron plates shall protect the facing, and enable the Initiate to parry. The quiver shall be blazoned with either the black or the bloody hand.


The Initiate's cuirass shall be of dark leather accented with divers steel dart and chevron designs. There shall be extra straps for easy carriage of tools and spare daggers. And on the sternum shall be blazoned the black hand of dark knowledge.


For assassinations, Initiate, your dagger will often be your primary weapon. The Brotherhood dagger is heavy, single-edged, and slightly curved, with a serrated back. If plunged hilt-deep between a target's ribs, the serrations may make quick removal difficult, so carry several daggers in the event you are forced to leave one in your target's corpse.


An initiate's gloves shall be of the finest kid leather, supremely flexible, with metal dart studs to protect the knuckles and back of the hand. The palms and insides of the fingers shall be textured to hold and apply the black soot of dark knowledge.


The Initiate's headgear shall be a thick leather cowl accented by matte steel studs, with a lower half-mask to conceal the wearer's features. The cowl shall be of generous length so as to drape full to the shoulders.


The Initiate's greaves shall be of sturdy boiled leather, supplemented by metal dart-and-chevron plates in the heavier variations. They shall extend over the top of the boot for protection of the Initiate's ankles. Calf-straps shall be adjustable so as to provide room for stowage of hideout daggers.


The standard Brotherhood bludgeoning weapon is a square-headed warhammer, flanged on the corners for collateral laceration. The two-handed hammer is double headed, but the head on the one-handed variation is backed with a curved spike, useful as a tool for dragging cadavers into the shadows to hide them.


The Initiate's shield shall be of oval kite-shape and large enough to protect a co-assassin as she plies her bow or spell staff. Upon the central boss shall be blazoned either the black or bloody hand.


The Initiate's pauldrons shall likewise be of sturdy boiled leather, surmounted by double-chevroned metal plates to turn blows from above. The elbows may sport cowters of matching design. All metal shall be matte to prevent glinting and reflection.


The Brotherhood spellcaster's staff ends in such a heavy flanged head that it almost resembles a two-handed mace―and may be used in that capacity in extremity. Make your staff strong enough that it can be used as a pry bar when breaking and entering, or as a rod to hold a door open or jam it shut.


Your sword, Initiate, should be a long, curved single-edged blade, with an unevenly serrated back. This latter detail has little practical purpose, serving more as an indicator of your ferocity, potentially paralyzing with fright a target who sees it. There is little difference between the one- and two-handed versions other than size.


  • The datamined book Racial Motifs 36: Ebony is also listed as the 36th motifs book. In-game, the Dark Brotherhood style book is known as "Craft Motif 36: Dark Brotherhood" despite the other books being called "Crafting Motifs".


Racial Motifs
Racial Motifs 35: Dro-m'Athra Crafting Motifs 36: Dark Brotherhood Racial Motifs 37: Draugr

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