Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

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

Ebony Blade is a two-handed weapon in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that is found in Dragonsreach in Whiterun Hold. Resembling an Akaviri Sword or a Blades Sword, 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 nodachi, with the back thinning out drastically, possibly due to a false edge, about three-quarters up the blade from the hilt.


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 barkeeper 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.


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.


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.

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

Mephala's comments[]

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 kills[]

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.

It should be noted that killing a hostile character that has been temporarily calmed with the use of a spell or the Bend Will shout does not count as a charge.

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


Daedric quests[]

Players are advised to acquire this weapon as soon as possible before beginning the rest of the Daedric quests. Using the Ebony Blade throughout this particular questline will provide almost all the kills required to return its enchantment.


  •  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   NX   Killing a friendly person and reanimating them with reanimation Staves, Scroll of Dread Zombie, Dead Thrall or the Ritual Stone also counts. 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 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
  •  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   PS4   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 will respawn. They must be recruited as followers first, or they will not count as a charge.
  • Should the Dragonborn possess the Investor perk in Speech, any merchant who has been invested in will become a potential candidate to recharge the weapon. Many merchants have assistants who will take over the shop if they perish. In fact, if the Dragonborn kills a merchant of their gender and that merchant is replaced by a person of the opposite gender, then they will gain the benefits of the Allure perk in that store from then on in addition to charging the blade.

Weapon classification[]

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.


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 a poor choice, as it did not benefit from any of the progress or perks of the two-handed skill.

Since patch 1.9, the Ebony Blade benefits from the two-handed perks and skill, while still retaining the advantage of unlimited charges, and the speed of a one-handed sword. 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.


  • 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 one 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.
  • The Dragonborn's death will count as a kill if the Dragonborn eats enough Damage Health (Skyrim) alchemy ingredients to die. Mephala will say her lines if the Dragonborn's death is one of the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, or 10th kills.


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  ,  NX  /  PS5  ,  XS  , 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   360   If the Ebony Blade is used to kill a follower on the shrine for the quest "Boethiah's Calling," the visual warping applied during dialogue with Boethiah may not be removed at the end of the interaction.
  •  PS3   The blade will appear in the room but may not give the option to pick it up.
  •  PS3   The blade will disappear while equipped and will need to be equipped again.
  •  PS3   Killing conjured familiars may not charge the blade.