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Lore:Black Books

Lore: Artifacts: B

This article is about the artifacts themselves. For the book contents, see Black Book.

A Black Book

Black Books are Daedric artifacts created by Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Fate and Knowledge. Each book contains some manner of forbidden knowledge. Neloth claims that no one actually knows where they came from, though the materials for their creation are prepared within a bindery in Apocrypha known as Quires Wind, before being presented to the prince to pen and complete.[1] Some books are from the ancient past; some are from the future, as time appears to be more malleable for the Daedric Prince of fate and destiny.[2] The thick tomes are bound in black covers, with a symbol representing Mora on the front, and emit a black mist.[3] The books are written with Seeker ink that takes ten years to brew, on paper pressed from trees that have never seen the sun.[1] The covers are derived from Lurker leather, and the threads used to bind the tomes together come from silk originating from the Spiral Skein.[4]

A number of Black Books were spread across Tamriel by Mora, and are usually located in the depths of ancient dungeons.[3] Black Books are not to be confused with the tomes of arcanists,[UOL 1] though Hermaeus Mora himself compared their two powers, with both being knowledge he supposedly allows into Nirn.[UOL 2] They can be compared to the Oghma Infinium, another tome of knowledge created by Mora.

Through reading a Black Book, the reader will enter Apocrypha, the realm of Oblivion created and ruled over by Hermaeus Mora. Tentacles will emerge from the tome and envelop the reader. An apparition of the reader's body remains in Mundus, tethering their life force. Most mortals who read a Black Book are driven insane, but those who successfully journey through Apocrypha are known to discover powerful knowledge. Dying in Apocrypha while reading a Black Book may simply banish the reader back to Tamriel. Rereading a book will return the reader to the same area of Apocrypha, allowing them to attempt Mora's gauntlets again or harness the power of a different piece of knowledge.[3] Copies of the contents of Black Books can be made without entering Apocrypha.[2]

In 4E 201, several Black Books were unearthed on the island of Solstheim.[3]

Known Black BooksEdit

Page of a Black Book

Waking Dreams of A Starless SkyEdit

This Black Book was located in the Temple of Miraak. It was apparently used by Miraak in the Merethic Era to flee to Apocrypha when his temple was burned down by the Dragon Cult. It was recovered by the Last Dragonborn and a member of the Skaal, and the Dragonborn later used it to defeat Miraak.

Epistolary AcumenEdit

This Black Book was discovered by the Dwemer, and taken to the city of Nchardak for study. It was recovered by the Last Dragonborn and Master Neloth of Great House Telvanni.

Untold Legends: The Other Lives of YsgramorEdit

This Black Book was located in Benkongerike, an ice cave inhabited by rieklings that opened up into an ancient Nordic ruin.

The Winds of ChangeEdit

This Black Book was located in Bloodskal Barrow, burial place of the Bloodskal Clan. The Raven Rock ebony mine broke into the ruins in 4E 10 and sealed it off.

The Sallow RegentEdit

This Black Book was located in White Ridge Barrow, an ancient Nordic ruin.

Filament and FiligreeEdit

This Black Book was located in Kolbjorn Barrow, an ancient Nordic ruin. The barrow was buried in ash during the Fourth Era, until the ruins were excavated in 4E 201.

The Hidden TwilightEdit

This Black Book was recovered by Master Neloth some time in the Fourth Era. He hesitantly gave it to the Last Dragonborn in 4E 201.

The Tormenting EyeEdit

This Black Book contained the rite to unlock forgotten and dangerous secrets best left forgotten.[5][6]


See AlsoEdit

  • For game-specific information, see the Dragonborn article.


  1. ^ a b Quires Wind in ESO
  2. ^ a b Neloth's dialogue in Dragonborn
  3. ^ a b c d Events of Dragonborn
  4. ^ Bound in Secrecy quest in ESO
  5. ^ Secret of the Tormenting Eye
  6. ^ Scruut's dialogue in ESO

Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.