Shadowmere is a horse in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, originally owned by Lucien Lachance. Astrid gives Shadowmere to the Dragonborn as a reward for completing the tenth quest in the Dark Brotherhood questline, "The Cure for Madness". Shadowmere spawns from a pool outside the Falkreath Sanctuary, follows the Dragonborn when they Fast Travel, and can provide aid during combat.
During "The Cure for Madness," the Sanctuary-Leader Astrid wants the Dragonborn to follow Cicero, the Night Mother's Keeper, to the Dawnstar Sanctuary as swiftly as possible. To that end, she gives them Shadowmere, whom she calls "one of us." The horse's first appearance outside the Sanctuary is very dramatic, and clearly shows that Shadowmere is no common horse, as it appears out of dark water and smoke.
Astrid calls Shadowmere a "he", although Shadowmere is identified as a "she" by Lucien Lachance in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Astrid is known to sometimes switch between calling Shadowmere a she and he, but never within the same conversation.
- If the Spectral Assassin is summoned, who is the spirit of Lucien Lachance, he greets Shadowmere as an old friend.
- Unlike its previous incarnation, Shadowmere can be killed by long falls or in combat. Shadowmere will however respawn around ten days later, at the location of death.
- A handprint of the Black Hand can be seen on either side of Shadowmere.
- While Shadowmere may appear to be pure black, it is actually a very dark reddish brown.
- Sometimes, after mounting Shadowmere the Dragonborn will float in the air in the sitting position, still controlling Shadowmere, giving the impression of becoming Shadowmere. The Dragonborn will also move and rock back and forth while floating in the air. This seemed to happen only at the Peryite Shrine, Riften Stables, and just outside Whiterun.
- On occasion, Shadowmere will not rise from the pool, making him impossible to ride. This is caused by the scripted event commanding the rise never occurring. Luring enemies near him might cause Shadowmere to attack, fixing this bug (e.g. during the quest Death Incarnate).
- Solution: Fast travel to where the last horse was bought then fast traveling back to the sanctuary. Should this fail, visiting all of the stables before going back to the sanctuary may work.
- Shadowmere may spontaneously die with no evident cause.
- Shadowmere can appear in Sovngarde during the fight with Alduin.
- Shadowmere may disappear from the game entirely, however the spectral assassin still makes comments as if he were still present.
- Shadowmere may fall through the ground and disappear forever.
- Rarely, when Shadowmere spawns close to the Dragonborn after fast traveling, the camera view is in Shadowmere's view, and this makes playing impossible.