According to Mirabelle Ervine, it was the only object adequate enough to contain the power of Magnus. A group of mages called the Synod wanted the staff. These mages hoarded relics, hoping to consolidate power and exert it over the College of Winterhold and other parts of Tamriel.
Mirabelle Ervine, the previous Master-Wizard of the College of Winterhold, sends the Dragonborn to recover the staff from Labyrinthian after members of the Synod discovered its location using the Mzulft Oculory. Upon arriving at Labyrinthian, the Dragonborn learns that Savos Aren, the Arch-Mage, accompanied several others on an expedition to retrieve the staff many years prior.
During the expedition, several of the mages accompanying him were slain by the creatures in the ruin. The staff is found in the possession of the Dragon Priest named Morokei, whom Savos Aren entombed with the staff by binding two of the other students to keep the priest imprisoned for eternity. The Dragonborn defeats Morokei and uses the staff to prevent Ancano, a Thalmor operative, from harnessing the power of the Eye of Magnus.
- The staff will Absorb Magicka for 20 points per second and then Absorb Health when target runs out of Magicka; it casts its effect over a span of time similar to the spells Flames, Frostbite, and Sparks.
- The staff has a maximum charge of 5,000 which provides 17 uses. As such, petty soul gems do little to increase its charge.
- The staff is classified as Alteration-based, and is thus affected by the Alteration skill, as well as the 100% Fortify Alteration for unlimited charge.
- Tamrielic Lore mentions the staff as a "metaphysical battery of sorts for its creator, Magnus. When used, it absorbs an enemy's health and mystical energy." It is said that, "in time, the staff will abandon the mage who wields it before he becomes too powerful and upsets the mystical balance it is sworn to protect."
- The staff has appeared in every Elder Scrolls title to date except The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, in which the Staff is only mentioned in the book Tamrielic Lore.
- A unique animation may be triggered firing it, by quickly releasing the attack button and holding it down again.
- The "Favorite Spells" section of the statistics menu describes the use of the staff as "Staff of Magnus Effect."
- During "Revealing the Unseen" and "The Staff of Magnus," J'zargo and Brelyna Maryon will both comment on the staff. J'zargo will say he has heard of the Staff of Magnus, and Brelyna will say she does not see the point of the Dragonborn retrieving it. Onmund, however, will not make any comments about the staff whatsoever.
This section contains bugs related to Staff of Magnus (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
Sometimes, the Dragonborn can end up with two staves of Magnus.
- If this occurs, Morokei's mask may not appear.
- If placed in a vertical container and re-entering the space, the staff can disappear.
- If placed in a weapons rack or display case, the staff cannot be reclaimed.
- Staff weirdly transforms into a rusty mace upon placing in a weapon rack.
- The magic that is being cast by enthralled ghost mages, to encase Morokei in a bubble while he holds the staff of Magnus, sometimes remains after the ghost mages are killed. This prevents the final battle from commencing and keeps Morokei and the Staff of Magnus encased and out of reach. However, one might be able to hit him inside the bubble multiple times.
- Breezehome. The staff may be sucked into the wall, if put on the display in
- If the Dragonborn is sent to jail while the staff is in the inventory, on very rare occasions when the Dragonborn gets caught by guards trying to escape, a guard might attack with the staff of Magnus and it is unobtainable after killing the guard, and the Staff does not appear in the possessions chest.
- If done before the majority of the main quests, Malborn will keep the staff during Diplomatic Immunity, and it will not be retrievable.
- If equipped on the right hand, left-handed unarmed attacks may strike twice as fast, sometimes instantaneously appearing as if the Dragonborn is using the staff as a melee weapon.
- When returning to Tolfdir, the other mages might randomly attack the Dragonborn for no reason.
- Morokei with a Disarm shout to sometimes duplicate the staff in his inventory. You can hit
- Slow Time shout, pick up the staff from the ground and then take it from Morokei's dead body. Another way to get two staves of Magnus is to use the