Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For the game, see The Elder Scrolls: Blades.
"The Blades are sworn to the service of the Emperor, as the mortal representative of the Dragon Blood of the Divine Talos."
Jauffre, Grandmaster of the Blades during the Oblivion Crisis[src]

The Blades, also known as the Imperial Intelligence Service,[8] are an agency who are sworn to the service of the Dragonborn.[9] The patron deity of the Blades is Talos.[10]

By game[]


  • Knight Brother/Knight Sister

The default rank given to new members of the Blades.[3]

  • Chronicler

The Chronicler of the Blades is tasked with ensuring the assignments of the Blades are never known to the public, but never lost either.[4]

  • Grandmaster

The Grandmaster is involved with the recruiting of new Blades members.[11]


The Blades are tasked with serving and guiding the Dragonborn.[9] Members of the Blades Guard defended the Dragonborn Emperors, while other members of the Blades were spies, with their own professions.[4] Stealing or attacking a Blades member results in the offender being permanently expelled from the organization.[12]


Second Era[]

The Blades would find their origin at some point during the Second Era.[4] Though few accounts of their duties in this time exist, some history regarding their service under Tiber Septim is found. The Blades had aided General Tiber Septim during the Battle of Sancre Tor, and for their aid in this victory, the General rewarded them with his armor. The Blades would construct a shrine within Sancre Tor, at the location where Tiber Septim gained the blessing of Akatosh, and the armor was kept there as a relic, and many Blades would make a pilgrimage to the shrine.[13] Sometime during the reign of Tiber Septim, however, the Underking, Zurin Arctus, had placed a curse on the shrine.[14] In response, the four mightiest Blades of the time were sent out for Sancre Tor to cleanse it, but never returned. As such, the first Grandmaster of the Blades sealed the ruins.[13]

Third Era[]

Imperial Invasion of Akavir[]

Before the Imperial Invasion of Akavir took place under the command of Uriel Septim V, the Blades were tasked with obtaining information regarding the land. From this collected information, the landing site would be chosen as the lands of the Tsaesci. The Blades had, however, failed to collect sufficient information, as the weather plagued the Expeditionary Force. The Blades had also failed to properly record the strength of the Tsaesci; as they were much stronger than their reports had suggested. The Invasion of Akavir would fail, and Uriel Septim V would end up dead by the end of it.[15]

Miracle of Peace[]

The Blades would write an account on the Miracle of Peace, which concerned the Iliac Bay region. The Blades concluded there was no plausible explanation for the events that took place, and thus thought a miracle must have been responsible. A Blades agent was directly involved with the Totem of Tiber Septim, which played a role in the Miracle. However, the Blades lost contact with this Agent immediately after the miracle had taken place. Other Agents had also been present in the region, but only few reports came to exist. Many Blades agents were lost in dislocations during the Miracle, while others were lost in the confusion following it.[16]

Dagoth Ur[]

The Blades would be somewhat involved with the crisis surrounding Dagoth Ur. Caius Cosades, the spymaster of Vvardenfell District of Morrowind, was tasked with making a recently arrived prisoner appear as the Nerevarine. This prisoner would be initiated into the Blades when he reported to Caius.[17] Following a number of tasks, this agent was made aware that the reason they had been set free was because they appeared to have matched the conditions of the Nerevarine by the Emperor.[18] This Blades Agent would continue to complete the Nerevarine Prophecy, and defeat Dagoth Ur.[19] He would also participate in the Bloodmoon Prophecy and defeat Hircine in his Hunt.[20] Likewise, the Nerevarine would also kill Almalexia after she had become mad.[21]

Oblivion Crisis[]

Cloud Ruler Temple

Cloud Ruler Temple in Cyrodiil.

The Blades saw some action during the Oblivion Crisis. Three members of the Blades Guard, Glenroy, Baurus, and Captain Renault were originally tasked with getting Emperor Uriel Septim VII to safety following assassination attempts on his sons.[22] Their escape route went through the Imperial Prison, and at the cell with a secret tunnel, a prisoner had been placed by the Imperial Watch. As such, this prisoner was permitted to follow the Emperor and his guards.[23]

Shortly afterward, the Blades would be ambushed by assassins, resulting in the death of Captain Renault. The assassins were fought off, however, and the Blades continued to escort the Emperor while demanding the prisoner should remain put. The prisoner would follow them, however, going through a hidden cave system within the prison, they were reunited with the Blades. Glenroy suspected the prisoner was working with the assassins, but the Emperor trusted the prisoner through divine visions and told his guards to stand down. The group would continue through the secret passageway, killing assassins along the way, until they came to a dead end. Here, both Glenroy and the Emperor would die at the hands of the assassins, only leaving Baurus and the prisoner.[23] Before the Emperor died, however, he gave the Amulet of Kings to the prisoner and told them to find Jauffre.[24] Baurus provided the prisoner with directions and trusted them to do their duty with delivering the Amulet, since the Emperor had trusted them.[25] This failure to defend the Emperor was met with a great dislike for the Blades among members of the Imperial Legion, due to the Blades having been trusted with the protection of their leader, and failing.[26]

When Jauffre, the Grandmaster of the Blades at the time, was given the Amulet of Kings, he tasked the Prisoner with finding the Emperor's illegitimate last son, Martin Septim.[27] Martin was a priest at the Chapel of Akatosh in Kvatch, which had been overrun by a Daedric horde.[28] Martin himself, however, refused to leave the ruined city until the Oblivion Gate outside of the city had been dealth with.[29] After successfully dealing with the Daedric threat, Martin agreed to follow the Hero to Weynon Priory.

The Priory, however, was under attack by assassins, who had come to steal the Amulet of Kings. After Jauffre and the Hero of Kvatch had taken care of the assassins, the Amulet was discovered to have been stolen. As such, it was decided that Martin would not be safe at Weynon Priory, and was instead taken to Cloud Ruler Temple.[30]

With Martin safe and the Amulet stolen, the Blades returned to their duties. Baurus, who had been tasked with defending the Emperor, had discovered the ones responsible for the assassination were members of the Mythic Dawn, who are followers of Mehrunes Dagon.[31] Following a failed assassination attempt on Baurus himself, deeper investigation would take place. The assassin held a copy of the first volume of the Mythic Dawn Commentaries, and through collaboration with a member of the Mages Guild, more information regarding the recruiting process of the Mythic Dawn was acquired. The Blades would use this information to infiltrate during a recruiting to obtain the Fourth Volume of the Commentaries. With all four Commentaries, the secret hideout of the Mythic Dawn was discovered.[32]

This hideout would be infiltrated by the Hero of Kvatch in order to obtain the Amulet of Kings. While the Hero of Kvatch failed to recover the Amulet, they did obtain the Mysterium Xarxes, and would have to fight their way out of the caverns.[33] The Mysterium Xarxes would be given to Martin, who began to study it in hopes of discovering a means of creating a portal to Mankar Camoran's Paradise. Meanwhile, Jauffre had heard rumors of spies in Bruma, so the Hero was set to aid in this regard.[34] It would turn out two spies of the Mythic Dawn operated out of Bruma, and had discovered that Martin Septim had made his home at Cloud Ruler Temple, which was worrying news for the Blades.[35]

Afterwards, the Hero of Kvatch would need to obtain four items in order to allow Martin the ability to create a portal to Paradise. The first being a Daedric Artifact,[36] the second being the blood of a divine, for which blood from the Armor of Tiber Septim was used,[37] and the third was a Great Welkynd Stone from Miscarcand.[38] The fourth and final object required was a Great Sigil Stone. To obtain this item, however, a Great Gate would require to be opened outside of Bruma.[39] As such, aid was gathered from around Cyrodiil itself in order to defend the city.[40] The Hero of Kvatch would enter the Great Gate and obtain its Sigil Stone, providing Martin with the final required ingredient.[41]

With all four ingredients, Martin created a portal to Paradise. Here, the Hero of Kvatch would fight their way through Daedra until they arrived at Mankar Camoran himself. A battle would take place, and the Hero would come out victorious, taking the Amulet of Kings back to Tamriel.[42] Back in Tamriel, Martin was provided with the Amulet, and an attempt at relighting the Dragonfires would quickly be made in order to turn the tides. However, before Martin could be crowned Emperor and reach the Temple of the One, Mehrunes Dagon himself had entered Tamriel, rendering the Covenant between Akatosh and the Amulet of Kings void. Still, Martin decided to smash the Amulet, turning into an avatar of Akatosh, defeating Dagon in combat.[43] After this, the Blades fortified themselves within Cloud Ruler Temple, and awaited the return of a new Dragonborn to serve.[4][44]

Fourth Era[]

"The Blades have long since disbanded, and the organization's few remaining members have gone into hiding. The Emperor is now protected by a special security force - the Penitus Oculatus."
Loading Screen[src]

As of the Fourth Era, the Blades no longer answered to the Empire of Tamriel, as they were not an arm of the Imperial government,[10] and only answered to the Dragonborn. They had since been replaced by the Penitus Oculatus.[4]

The Blades were one of the first to recognize the Thalmor as a threat to the other nations of Tamriel.[4] Before the Great War, the Grandmaster of the Blades saw the Thalmor as the greatest threat to Tamriel, and as such, the Empire and Blades worked alongside one another to weaken the Thalmor. The Blades believed themselves to be more than a match for the Thalmor, and so fought them in the shadows.[9] The Blades at the time were obsessed with the Thalmor, and believed that they would form a threat towards the next Dragonborn.[9] Some of the damaging operations of the Blades were an operation carried out in Falinesti and a prison break within Dominion lands.[45] The Blades would later be killed off in the lands of the Dominion before the Great War broke out,[6][46] an event even the Blades themselves did not see coming.[9]

Great War[]

The Thalmor were aware that the Blades were an enemy to them during the Great War. As such, the Thalmor killed off the majority of their forces during the war, by besieging the Blades Temples and killing agents in the field.[4] The Blades had fatally underestimated the Thalmor forces, and were destroyed with ease during the Great War.[9] Only one Blades member survived the siege on Cloud Ruler Temple, named Acilius Bolar. This agent would flee to Skyrim and hide in Bloated Man's Grotto, where the Thalmor would eventually find, and kill him.[47]

One member of the Blades, known as Tyr would aid The Forgotten Hero during the Great War in their campaign against Lord Naarifin.[48] The Hero and his companions would discover the source of the Dominion's ability to discover the Emperor's every move was done through the Orb of Vaermina, and they would end this. It is unknown if Tyr survived the encounter with Reive, Lord Naarifin's Dremora servant.[49]

At the end of the war, Titus Mede II signed the White-Gold Concordat, which officially disbanded the Blades.[6]

Dragon Crisis[]

During the Dragon Crisis, the Blades would find a new purpose. Delphine, a member of the Blades, would take the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller from his grave in Ustengrav after the Greybeards had summoned the Last Dragonborn.[50] Delphine did this as she wanted to find the Dragonborn, to guide and serve them as they are sworn to do.[9] After the Last Dragonborn had defeated Sahloknir, they began working alongside the Blades to end the Dragon Crisis. Delphine was certain the Thalmor were related to the return of the Dragons, as the return of Alduin had prevented the execution of Ulfric Stormcloak, the leader of the Stormcloaks.[9]

Delphine would then task the Dragonborn with infiltrating the Thalmor Embassy, as she was convinced the Thalmor were related to the return of the Dragons, however, it would turn out the Thalmor knew nothing about the return of the Dragons.[51] Despite this, they were searching for Esbern, a Blades agent who knew the lore of the dragons.[45][52]

While the Dragonborn was searching for Esbern, the Thalmor had dispatched units in order to find and capture Esbern, as well as kill the Dragonborn.[53] Esbern was originally paranoid when he was found by the Dragonborn, as he was certain that the world was about to end due to the return of Alduin.[54] The Dragonborn eventually convinced Esbern that they were the Dragonborn of prophecy, and Esbern followed them to Delphine.[55]

When the two were reunited, Esbern shared his knowledge regarding Sky Haven Temple, and Alduin's Wall, within The Reach.[56] Esbern hoped that Alduin's Wall would provide the Dragonborn with the required knowledge to defeat Alduin.[57] At the Wall, it would be discovered that a Shout was needed to defeat Alduin. Due to the Dragonborn not knowing which Shout was needed, they went to the Greybeards to learn it. Delphine made clear that she had a dislike for the Greybeards, due to her fearing that they would turn the Dragonborn away from their destiny.[58]

The Dragonborn would have to find an Elder Scroll in order to learn the Shout that was used. With the knowledge of this Shout, the Dragonborn defeated Alduin atop the Throat of the World, but Alduin fled to Sovngarde after being defeated, to regain his strength.[59] As such, Esbern proposed the usage of Dragonsreach in order to capture a Dragon to bring the Dragonborn to Sovngarde.[60] The Jarl of Whiterun would agree, but only following a truce was made between the Imperial Legion and Stormcloaks.[61]

After the peace council, it would become clear that the Blades had learned who the leader of the Greybeards was. Paarthurnax, a Dragon and former lieutenant of Alduin during the Dragon War,[62] thousands of years prior.[63] While Paarthurnax was defended by the Greybeards and the Dragonborn Emperors, preventing the Blades from killing him. This time, however, the Blades refused to serve the Dragonborn until the Dragonborn killed Paarthurnax.[62] Despite this demand going against their duty as a member of the Blades.[9][11]

If the Dragonborn slays Paarthurnax, the Blades would slowly be rebuilt, with Sky Haven Temple serving as their headquarters.[2] The Blades would now return to the deeds of their predecessors; the Dragonguard, being more focused on killing Dragons.[64] The Blades would use the Dragon Bones and Dragon Scales in the creation of a potion which would decrease the damage a Dragon dealt.[65]



  1. Dialogue with Jauffre during "The Path of Dawn"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dialogue with Delphine during "Rebuilding the Blades"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 The Rise and Fall of the Blades
  5. Events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "The Great War"
  7. Events of "Rebuilding the Blades"
  8. Public Notice
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 Dialogue with Delphine during "A Blade in the Dark"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dialogue with Jauffre during "Find the Heir"
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dialogue with Jauffre during "Joining the Blades"
  12. "rules" dialogue topic said by Blades members in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  13. 13.0 13.1 Dialogue with Jauffre during "Blood of the Divines"
  14. Dialogue with the Ghost of Rielus during "Blood of the Divines"
  15. Report: Disaster at Ionith
  16. The Warp in the West
  17. Events of "Report to Caius Cosades"
  18. Dialogue with Caius Cosades during "Zainsubani Informant"
  19. Events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  20. Events of The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon
  21. Events of The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal
  22. Conversation between Captain Renault, Baurus, Glenroy, and Uriel Septim VII
  23. 23.0 23.1 Events of "Tutorial"
  24. Dialogue with Uriel Septim VII during "Tutorial"
  25. Dialogue with Baurus during "Tutorial"
  26. "Rumors" said by Imperial Legion Soldiers
  27. Dialogue with Jauffre during "Deliver the Amulet"
  28. Events of "Find the Heir"
  29. Dialogue with Martin Septim during "Find the Heir"
  30. Events of "Weynon Priory"
  31. Dialogue with Baurus during "The Path of Dawn"
  32. Events of "The Path of Dawn"
  33. Events of "Dagon Shrine"
  34. Dialogue with Martin Septim during "Dagon Shrine"
  35. Events of "Spies"
  36. Events of "Blood of the Daedra"
  37. Events of "Blood of the Divines"
  38. Events of "Miscarcand"
  39. Dialogue with Martin Septim during "Defense of Bruma"
  40. Events of "Allies for Bruma"
  41. Events of "Defense of Bruma"
  42. Events of "Paradise"
  43. Events of "Light the Dragonfires"
  44. "Rumors" said by Blades members in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  45. 45.0 45.1 Thalmor Dossier: Esbern
  46. Dialogue with Esbern during "A Cornered Rat"
  47. Bolar's Writ
  48. Events of The Elder Scrolls: Legends
  49. Events of "Chapter 17 - Reive's Wrath"
  50. Events of "The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller"
  51. Events of "Diplomatic Immunity"
  52. Dialogue with Delphine during "Diplomatic Immunity"
  53. Combat dialogue with Thalmor Soldiers during "A Cornered Rat"
  54. Dialogue with Esbern during "A Cornered Rat"
  55. Events of "A Cornered Rat"
  56. Conversation between Esbern and Delphine during "Alduin's Wall"
  57. Dialogue with Esbern during "Alduin's Wall"
  58. Dialogue with Delphine during "Alduin's Wall"
  59. Events of "Elder Knowledge"
  60. Dialogue with Esbern during "The Fallen"
  61. Events of "Season Unending"
  62. 62.0 62.1 Dialogue with Esbern during "Season Unending"
  63. Dialogue with Delphine during "Season Unending"
  64. Events of "Dragon Hunting"
  65. Events of "Dragon Research"