The Staff of Magnus is one of the elder artifacts of Tamriel. It was created by Arch-Mage Magnus, the God of Magic who aided Lorkhan in designing Mundus. It served Magnus as a metaphysical battery, but remained behind when the god fled Mundus in the Dawn Era. Since then, it has served mortals. Some believe it was a gift, others say it was stolen, and others believe it to be a test.
In appearance it is a metallic staff typically of Ebony, or even Daedric quality, often with a sphere at the end of it. It has the ability to suppress magic, protect its bearer from magical attacks, restore the bearer's health, or allow the bearer to absorb spells. It can also be used offensively as a blunt weapon, and to absorb an enemy's magicka, and eventually their life force. In time, the staff will abandon its owner before he becomes too powerful and upsets the mystical balance it is sworn to protect. The staff can be used to manipulate the Eye of Magnus, although their true relationship is unknown.
By 2E 582, the staff had come into the possession of the Aldmeri Dominion. It was brought to a secure vault in the newly-built city of Marbruk in Greenshade for safekeeping. However, it was then stolen by Vicereeve Pelidil for the Veiled Heritance, who had resurrected the recently deceased Prince Naemon as a lich. Naemon's shade took the staff to Hectahame, an Ayleid ruin where the Heart of Valenwood was kept, and began the process of using the staff to corrupt the Heart. He also used it to subdue ancient wards protecting the ruins from necromancy, which had been put in place long ago after a failed attempt to raise an army of undead there. The Heritance hoped to kill the entire Valenwood by corrupting the Heart, turning it into an evil realm known as Shadow Wood. However, the Dominion were successful in infiltrating the ruins and killing the lich-lord, and the staff was returned to Queen Ayrenn.
Magnus was rumored to have entrusted a map that leads to his staff to a member of the Blades, which they used in an attempt to retrieve it, but they would not be seen again. During the Imperial Simulacrum, a group of necromancers were pouring their resources into finding the staff, and were believed to have resorted to silencing any competitors that may also be on the search for it. However, despite the threat posed by this vile group, the map was later obtained by the Eternal Champion from the place the bladesmen perished, and would use it to chart their course to the Staff of Magnus's location, leading to its retrieval in either Elsweyr or Valenwood (accounts vary).
In 3E 405, an agent of the Blades obtained the Staff of Magnus after doing a task for their knightly order. The agent defeated a arch-lich that was raising an army of undead. After putting a stop to the undead menace, the agent discovered a clue to the staff's whereabouts. Following the note's instructions, the agent followed the trail to a secluded wizard, who claimed that the Mages Guild stole the artifact from his great grandfather. After putting the spirit of the wizard's great grandfather to rest, the ghost revealed the location of the Mages Guild branch that stole the artifact from him. The agent ventured there and took the staff by brute force. However, there are conflicting accounts that the artifact centered around this story was actually a different one altogether, with Chrysamere (the most prominent), the Necromancer's Amulet, or the Warlock's Ring taking its place in the story. A fake copy of the staff also appeared in the Iliac Bay region before the Warp in the West occurred; it was created by a mage in an attempt to bribe an agent of Nocturnal who was sent to assassinate them. The fake staff functioned identically to the true artifact, but after several days it crumbled to dust. This account is also shaky, as some accounts claim Auriel's Bow or the Warlock's Ring was offered in its place.
By 3E 427, the staff had come into the possession of Dreveni Hlaren, a Dunmer sorceress and summoner. She lived in Assu, a cave on the slopes of Mount Kand, on the island of Vvardenfell. The Mages Guild learned of the artifact's location, and the Nerevarine was sent to slay Dreveni and claim the staff. Later that year, the Nerevarine sold the staff to Torasa Aram, who put it on display in her Museum of Artifacts in Mournhold.
In the Fourth Era, the staff appeared in the possession of an undead Dragon Priest named Morokei, who had, relatively recently, awoken from his ancient slumber. Morokei was entombed in the Labyrinthian, which was once the ancient Nord city of Bromjunaar, the capital of the Dragon Cult. A group of mages from the College of Winterhold journeyed to Labyrinthian to recover the staff, but only Savos Aren survived the ordeal. Aren sacrificed two of his companions to trap Morokei, and sealed the main entrance to the ruins. 
In 4E 201, the Synod came to Skyrim in search of artifacts, and attempted to use the Dwemer Oculory in Mzulft to detect magical power. With the aid of a member of the College of Winterhold, a Synod researcher used the Oculory to find the location of the Staff of Magnus, but all other readings were blocked out by the Eye of Magnus which was currently being tampered with in the College. The College member entered Labyrinthian and defeated Morokei. The staff was then used by the College to control the Eye of Magnus until the Psijic Order removed the Eye from Mundus.
- Artifact Dialog — The Imperial Library
- Queen Ayrenn's dialogue in ESO
- Staff of Magnus description in Arena
- Staff of Magnus description in Daggerfall
- Staff of Magnus characteristics in Morrowind
- Staff of Magnus characteristics in Skyrim
- The Eye of Magnus quest in Skyrim
- The Staff of Magnus quest in ESO
- Vicereeve Pelidil dialogue in ESO
- Striking at the Heart quest in ESO
- The Lost Artifact in Daggerfall
- The fake Staff of Magnus is offered as a potential trade during Nocturnal's Quest in Daggerfall
- Staff of Magnus quest in Morrowind
- The Museum quest in Tribunal
- Skyrim loading screen
- The Staff of Magnus quest in Skyrim
- Revealing the Unseen quest in Skyrim