Antiquities Codexes: Mythic ItemsAntiquities Codexes:

Bloodlord’s Embrace

Location: Khenarthi’s Roost, Glenumbra, Rivenspire, Shadowfen, Coldharbour

Item Description: A long-forgotten vampiric smith forged this vile cuirass centuries ago. Though the location of his profane forge remains a mystery, this fell armor is an enduring reminder of the vampire’s dark power.

Fanged Cuirass

Unusual design. The spine and chest are heavily reinforced from the front and rear, but the flanks and abdomen are completely exposed. The benefit to mobility would hardly outweigh the sacrifice in protection. Thick spikes appear entirely aesthetic. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Tested the metal where the enamel paint was flaking. Daedric. The rare material might explain the minimal coverage, but why use so much of it on superfluous spikes then? An armorer this skilled creating something so impractical … it must be ceremonial. —Ugron gro-Thumog

I don’t think so, Ugron. There are some powerful magic worked into this metal. Enough so that I question whether the material was chosen for its resilience, or because it takes especially well to enchantment. It’s frightening, honestly. —Gabrielle Benele

Goblet Gorget

Typically, a gorget would sit closer to the throat and fully encompass the neck. This wide scoop would offer limited protection from anything other than arrows deflected upward after striking the carapace. It would provide ample room for a bulky helmet. —Ugron gro-Thumog

It’s not my area of expertise, I know, but it seems that there is a deliberate gap between the plating and where it would sit on the collar. Honestly, it reminds me of a drain basin. What purpose would that serve? —Reginus Buca

I just cleaned some rust out of that channel, Reginus, and it turned out to be dried blood. Finding it on bits of used armor isn’t unusual, but what if it really is a drain? If the owner was a vampire, feeding in battle would be messy business, I think. —Amalien

Hecatomb Tassets

This is a strange, hybrid design. Normally an encompassing piece like this would strap under the ribcage to protect the abdomen and extend down past the legs. This does neither, offering coverage to the kidneys, hips, pelvis, and little else. —Ugron gro-Thumog

There are a series of holes spanning the entire circumference of the waist, presumably for fastening. It’s excessive in my opinion. This many points of contact wouldn’t improve stability much and be more prone to buckling. I can’t see another function. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Maybe it was stitched in place? They seem about the right span for stringing a leather cord through. What about bolts or screws? We are only seeing a small piece of a bigger picture. I’m sure it’ll all make sense when put together! —Amalien

Sanguine Doublet

I don’t recognize the style of this doublet. Probably a bespoke piece commissioned by a wealthy patron. The suppleness of the leather is beyond exquisite. It doesn’t creak when stretching and snaps back elastically. Wearing it is like a warm hug. —Reginus Buca

Touching this dredged up an unpleasant memory I’d hoped never to relive. It reminded me of the work of a Bosmer tanner I met in Valenwood who was a devoted practitioner of the Green Pact. The lifelike feeling makes my skin crawl. —Amalien

Amalien’s suspicions are correct. I’ve, unfortunately, had enough experience with evil necromancers to know what Elf leather feels like. This skin isn’t technically alive, but it still acts like it. It even seems to heal cuts and abrasions. —Gabrielle Benele

Thirsting Girdle

At first blush, there was nothing exceptional about this plain, leather belt, but its appearance is deceiving. There are hollow channels beneath the surface that I can only describe as veiny and the inside of the loop is studded with teeth! —Reginus Buca

I pricked my finger on one of those pointy teeth. It felt like something was sucking at the wound as I pulled away! If I was going to make a bloodsucking belt, why would I put the teeth on the inside of the band? Maybe this was an instrument of torture? —Amalien

So, it definitely drinks blood. You can feel it pulse when doing so, and this seems to empower its enchantments. Unless someone volunteers to try it on, that’s as much as I can discern. If I wanted a garment to drain the life out of me, I’d buy a corset. —Gabrielle Benele

Malacath’s Band of Brutality

Location: Reaper’s March, Betnikh, Stormhaven, Bal Foyen, Orsinium

Item Description: Hands that bear this heavy, iron ring instinctively curl into fists. The sound of distant drums and crashing steel fills the ears of the wearer, imbuing them with all the bitterness of Orckind and all the strength of Malacath.

Malacath’s Brutal Might Loop

Look, a piece of Malacath’s Brutal Band! This is obviously from a ring that belonged to a prominent member of Malacath’s Brutal Breed, a cult that rose from the ashes of Orsinium around 1E 1000. A fascinating group! —Verita Numida

Fascinating? My research refers to them as Malacath fanatics intent on wiping out the Bretons and Redguards for every real and imagined slight perpetrated by them against the Orcs. Those rings represent vengeance, nothing more. —Amalien

What do you know of slights and vengeance, my esteemed colleague? Some Orcs believe the Brutal Breed had the right idea and were saddened when they were wiped out. Not me, mind you, but some among my kind. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Malacath’s Brutal Ritual Dust

A pouch of ritual dust associated with the cult known as Malacath’s Brutal Breed. A wonder it survived. It truly is well preserved. Must have something to do with how the leather was treated. Or maybe it really contains dust from the Ashpit? —Reginus Buca

That’s what the legends tell us. Another gift from Malacath to his most-devoted followers. Of course, they were also quite mad. Violent fanatics who swore to die for what they believed in. And they did, too. A brutal and relatively short existence. —Gabrielle Benele

They would place their Brutal Bands in the dust while they slept, thinking that would charge them with energy from Malacath’s domain. I wonder if the Mages Guild could devise a test to determine if the dust actually originated in Oblivion? —Ugron gro-Thumog

Malacath’s Brutal Ritual Oil

This ritual urn bears the mark of the Brutal Breed. An Orc named Borug gro-Bashnarz founded the cult and served as its head supplicant. Legends attribute him as the one who received the Brutal Bands from Malacath himself. Hard to believe, even for an Orc. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Right. I remember that story. From the Orsinimum Codex. Malacath appeared before him and gifted him with a ring for every member of the cult–after they sacrificed an entire village of Bretons to the Ashpit. Ghastly. —Gabrielle Benele

And you’re certain this urn contains the ritual oil used to annoint the Brutal Bands? It is believed that every cultist carried the oil to apply to their rings as a sort of prayer or request for perserverance in the face of endless adversity. —Reginus Buca

Malacath’s Brutal Rune Core

Another amazing find! This can only be the core of one of Malacath’s Brutal Bands. Notice the intricate carving, the runework. The cult claimed the rings were forged in the Ashpit and presented to them by Malacath himself. —Verita Numida

As with every legend, I am sure there is a kernel of truth to the story. I’ve seen forgeries over the years, but only a limited number of the true rings were known to exist. This is definitely one of them. An Orc can always tell. —Ugron gro-Thumog

I concur. Moreover, I would go so far as to say this is the core to the head supplicant’s band itself! See that symbol? With the slash and the angle? That’s a portion of Malacath’s true name! I’ve seen it before, trust me! —Amalien

Malacath’s Brutal Scourge Hoop

An outstanding find! See the intracacy of the twisted knots? This is clearly the upper hoop of one of Malacath’s Brutal Bands! With the hoop, the core, and the loop, it forms a perfect ring. —Ugron gro-Thumog

From the Malacath cult that rose to prominence after the sack of the first Orsinium? Are you sure? As I understand it, only a handful of those ever existed. And aren’t they cursed as well? Perhaps we should put it back …. —Gabrielle Benele

Nonsense! If scholars such as us balked every time a curse was mentioned, we’d never accomplish anything! This upper hoop represents Malacath’s blessing of the scourge, by the way. A defense for the wearer. —Reginus Buca

Snow Treaders

Location: Bleakrock, Eastmarch, The Rift, Western Skyrim, Coldharbour

Item description: These fur-lined boots combine the rugged practicality of northern footwear with the grace and precision of Elven smithing. Magic swirls in the polished metal, defending the wearer from any attempts to slow their advance.

Auri-El Metal Carvings

These carvings appear to venerate Aur-El. My research indicates he occupied a place of special significance for Snow Elves. This metal is quite flexible, too. I’m not sure what the original purpose of this was. —Reginus Buca

Many worshipped Auri-El at the time, and still do! Not just the Snow Elves. We know so little of their history, even that may be a matter of debate. Though I will concede the area that this was found supports the theory. —Verita Numida

Since this is so flexible, even after all this time, I wonder if it was some kind of wearable display of worship. Something emblazoned on diffferent surfaces, either on armor or someone’s shield. They could have even worn it over their regular clothes! —Amalien

Glacial Metal Rivets

These are incredibly small. The detail is astounding! I can’t even begin to speculate what these might have held together. To be honest, we rarely see such fasteners in Elven apparel. They appear almost Dwarven in their construction. —Reginus Buca

Is that really so odd? Snow Elves and Dwarves coexisted for untold centuries in what is now Skyrim. These rivets might be evidence of cross-cultural collaboration, right? Both civilizations had so much to teach each other! —Amalien

Whatever their origin, they’re masterfully smithed. I doubt even a modern Elven clothier could craft something so tiny. It requires a jeweler’s focus. This would help create a sturdy object without sacrificing aesthetics. That’s the Elven way, after all. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Magicka-Imbued Metal Plates

These are inert now, but I see evidence of magicka smelted into the metal itself. The scorch marks suggest it was fire magic, or at least a very mild form of it. These marks are from use, not from a singular blast of heat. —Gabrielle Benele

The shape is a little vague, but these almost seem like the soles of shoes to me. They would be the right length for an Altmer foot, if we’re going with the theory that this is Snow Elf in origin. I suppose it could just as easily be cooking untensil. —Reginus Buca

Oh! Maybe the Snow Elves figured out a way to make traversing the snow easier. Metal soles that melt the snow while you walk! Or for recreation? How fun would it be to glide along freshly melted tracks of snow? —Amalien

Petrified Snow-Cedar

Snow-cedar is incredibly durable. The Snow Elves apparently bred them to be able to withstand intense cold and lack of nutrients, but I’ve never seen parts of one separated from the living tree before! —Reginus Buca

There are some alchemical practices that can petrify wood in a matter of hours. It makes for a strong, nearly indestructible material that can be used in a lot of different ways, though it’s hard to tell what it was used for here. —Gabrielle Benele

I’m sure the Snow Elves made this! They would have certainly found a way to solidify the wood and make use of it. Maybe they even made armor out of it, it’s tough enough. And there are marks on this piece that look deep enough to be from a sword! —Amalien

Snowy Sabre Cat Fur Strip

Over the years, many artists have imagined Snow Elf attire as being made of fashionable furs from head to toe. Long fur capes, decorative hats, fluffy boots … The stitching on the sides suggests these were made for clothes. —Amalien

Snowy sabre cats would have been abundant in the areas Snow Elves nobles inhabitated, especially at the time. It’s not out of the question to say they could have been the main source of material for clothes and a variety of other resources. —Reginus Buca

I’m no tailor, but I do have an eye for style. These are cut in such a way that they would be the inner lining of either a hat or possibly even gloves. You can clearly see where the outer layer was pulled away from the stitching. —Verita Numida

Thrassian Stranglers

Location: Auridon, Stros M’Kai, Artaeum, Summerset, Eyevea

Item Description: These gloves pulse and writhe with the grotesque power of the Sload. Sliding one’s hands into these pelagic horrors imbues the wearer with arcane might. But like all Thrassian magic, this power comes at a price.

Bouyant Steel

Was there any metal in Thras? If not, I’m curious how this metal came into their possession. It’s not as if they had a flourishing trade relationship with the peoples of Tamriel. —Reginus Buca

They likely gathered it from the bottom of the sea–from shipwrecks and the like. Maormer that strayed too close. Maybe even Yokudans or Lefthanded Elves. Even so, this metal feels lighter than most. Bouyant even. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Ha! I’ve got it! Frog-Metal! Syrabane discovered an alchemical alloy in the mid-First Era to provide armor for early Elven marines. It prevented them from sinking to the bottom if they fell overboard. The Sload would take a keen interest in such a thing! —Amalien

Coral Plating

I’ve read that dense corals provided the entire foundation of Thras. They probably mined it in much the same way we mine iron and stone, right? —Gabrielle Benele

Undoubtedly. The Sload used the tangled nest of coral formations to get around, but they must have developed a way to harvest it as well. I can’t even begin to imagine how. This coral feels hard as stone, and I can’t imagine a Sload swinging a pick! —Verita Numida

Take a hard look at the plates. Subtle variations in the color and the pattern of hollows. Different corals probably provided different advantages in battle. Lightness, durability, etc. Best part: it won’t sink you to the bottom of the sea. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Inert Anemone Inlay

I’m not exactly an expert on the Sload, or anenomes for that matter, but I know swamp anemonies tend to grow in brackish areas. Much like the swampy region in the center of the Thrassian Archipelago, where I imagine these are from. —Reginus Buca

Do you think the Sload could have used these for necromantic purposes? Perhaps the unique slimy properties of the anemone aided in their particular magic, and that’s why their skill with it is so refined! —Amalien

I have heard some truly unsettling accounts of the Sload’s process of … maturing. Some anemones have similar reproductive behaviors. I am not suggesting there’s a direct connection, but consider it if you must! I’d rather not, personally. —Verita Numida

Nautilus Shell Guards

The Sea of Pearls is known for the myriad shells that wash up on its islands’ shores. Many of them have whorls consistent with nautilus shells, which tend to be lightweight but incredibly durable. —Reginus Buca

The Sload didn’t have much use for shells in general. Way I hear it, they eschewed most tools. Slippery grip, you see? But they did use armor occasionally (if All Flags logs can be believed). Their flabby bodies couldn’t boast much natural protection. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Apparently the nautiluses surrounding the island of Agonio are particularly large. Since it was the largest island in the archipelago, maybe it had more abundant resources which allowed them to grow larger than normal. —Gabrielle Benele

Sticky Integument Leather

Do you think this was made out of Sload themselves? I think it could be harvested without killing the creature, but I imagine it would painful. Like flaying. —Reginus Buca

Perhaps they shed the stuff! Many seaborn creatures shed their skins to grow, right? Crabs and that sort of thing. I can almost imagine some pink, smelly thing climbing out of a leathery shell! —Amalien

Thank you for that vivid description, Amalien. Yes, it may well be a matural waste product. Or perhaps harvested from their young. What little scholarship exists on the subject implies that the Sload do not treat their children well. —Verita Numida

Torc of Tonal Constancy

Location: Alik’r, Bankorai, Deshaan, Stonefalls, Craglorn

Item Description: Legends state that those who don this tightly-wound Dwarven necklace gain near-divine perspectiv—cold, logical precision of thought that brings all the world’s flaws into stark focus.

Torc Strand of Lore

Unusual–this metal band is about the size of a neck-ring, but I have a sense that it’s incomplete. Dwarven work, for sure; the geometric design is quite common in Dwemer artifice. If it’s a torc, where’s the rest of it? —Reginus Buca

The torc seems incomplete because it is incomplete. Dwarves probably forged jewelry like this from several different strands braided together. Makes sense. Metallurgists tell me the Dwemer combined different metals to make their eponymous alloy. —Gabrielle Benele

But what magic does is possess? These tiny notches in the strand are undoubtedly aligned with Dwemeris script. I believe they stand for knowledge; this strand shapes and binds the magic of the torc with Dwemer lore. Knowledge is the foundation, you see. —Amalien

Torc Strand of Power

A twisted strand of Dwarven metal, marked with Dwemer notches signifying power. By itself, the piece has no purpose. But joined with other pieces–braided together into a neck-ring, perhaps–this strand would vastly boost the strength of the whole. —Ugron gro-Thumog

The Dwarves probably fashioned neck-rings (or torcs, to be precise) for many different purposes. Necklaces often harness powerful enchantments, so I’m not surprised to find a piece of a torc that boosts the strength of the object’s magic. —Reginus Buca

Be careful with these markings. Even the simplest Dwarven bauble, crafted for diversion and little else, can be lethal if mishandled! When the pieces of the torc are joined together, we’ll find out which this device was intended to be. —Verita Numida

Torc Strand of Song

These clean notches–I recognize them. They’re Dwemer symbols for sound or song. As many of you know, sound played an essential role in Dwarven life and magical praxis. I often wonder if that included singing. —Amalien

Singing? Not in any fashion that a High Elf would take pleasure in, I wager. Dwarves prized cold logic over beauty, and I can’t think of anything less logical than singing. They likely let their instruments do the talking. —Ugron gro-Thumog

A metallurgist once told me that metals in an alloy are like tones in harmony. An apt metaphor, yes? I doubt the Dwarves recognized any distinction between song and sound, to be honest. Tonal magic and ancient song both lead to wisdom of a sort. —Verita Numida

Torc Throat Guards

Strange; I’ve never encountered a Dwemer torc equipped with these shield-like extensions. Designed to amplify the voice, perhaps? Or to protect the wearer’s throat from harm? To what purpose? An armored gorget would seem more practical. —Verita Numida

Ah, I’ve got it! This torc was created to harness tonal architecture–the Dwarven craft of using sound to shape reality itself. It was a powerful form of magic . . . or machinery. Although I’m not sure the Dwarves differentiated between the two. —Gabrielle Benele

Tonal architecture! I’ve seen the things the Dwarves made with it, of course, but I never imagined I’d actually see a device used by tonal architects in the course of their work. Why, who knows what Dwemer wonders were shaped by this torc? —Amalien

Torc Tonal Focus

Quartz, common, shaped with no great skill or design. Considering the workmanship of the other pieces that make up this magical torc, I must wonder if the original focusing stone was replaced with an inferior one by some lesser artisan.—Ugron gro-Thumog

Common quartz, yes, but not in the context of this magical torc. Quartz is a crystal, and crystals possess many unusual qualities regarding the transmission of sound. To carve or shape this stone might have ruined its natural resonance. Or so I guess. —Reginus Buca

My dear colleague Reginus is, as usual, more right than he lets himself admit. Different crystals naturally conferred different tonal properties. Every piece of this torc was exactingly shaped to focus the specific resonance of this crystal. Perfect! —Gabrielle Benele

Ring of the Wild Hunt

Location: Grahtwood, Greenshade, Malabal Tor, Glenumbra, Murkmire

Item Description: Hewn from ancient stone and banded with crude metals, this Wood Elf ring harkens back to a crueler time. Frightful images of hunter and prey plague the wearer’s dreams, but the swiftness of Y’ffre is well worth the restless nights.

Band of Water

Too small to be a ring. It almost looks like a ring’s ring, as odd as that sounds. It seems like it’s made from the same material as the other charms from the area. Does this have anything to do with the Wild Hunt? —Gabrielle Benele

Wood Elves caught up in a Wild Hunt ritual supposedly change into strange animals, but some say turning into water is also one of their capabilities. This might be a depiction of a Bosmer that has become … liquified. —Verita Numida

Yes! I’ve heard of Bosmer changing into fearsome waves of blood instead of animals! Wouldn’t that be amazing to see? I mean … horrifying, yes. But still, what a sight! —Amalien

Charm of the Shapeless

I’ll be honest … I don’t really know what I’m looking at here. I suppose it could be a face? If you squint? Given the bizarre shape and the greenish hue of the metal, I’d say this is a relic of the Wild Hunt. —Verita Numida

If I’m not mistaken, shapeless beings often appear in the hunt. According to this tome of Bosmeri history, Wood Elves transformed by the ritual sometimes take on the aspect of “great writhing tongues, unfettered by lips or teeth.” Gross. —Gabrielle Benele

Can you even imagine seeing a giant tongue chasing after you? It’s realy too bad that the Wild Hunt leaves no survivors–not even those who willingy take part. I guess we’ll have to wait until the Wood Elves feel agrieved enough to summon up another! —Amalien

Face of the Serpent

Some folk might look at this monstrous thing and think Maormer, but it’s Wild Hunt imagery, to be sure. Apparently, Wood Elves can shift into all manner of hideous beast during a Wild Hunt. This one seems part snake, part fish? —Ugron gro-Thumog

You don’t often see serpent imagery in Wood Elf crafts, but yes, I’d agree with Ugron. Creatures summoned up by the Wild Hunt defy all attempts to identify them. They might appear like snakes one moment, then fish the next. Ghastly. —Verita Numida

I’ve read stories about a monster created from the Wild Hunt–one that had the body of a serpent and jaws like a shark. It’s said to still exist in shallow waters around Valenwood. Maybe it used to be a Wood Elf! —Amalien

Face of the Wolf Beast

A small carving, but nonetheless haunting. This thing is pretty monsterous, but I’m not even sure what kind of monster you’d qualify it as. Too creepy not to be related to the Wild Hunt, right? —Gabrielle Benele

Careful with this charm. It’s old, but the fangs on that thing are still sharp enough to cut. The Wild Hunt is said to strip the flesh from bone in the blink of an eye … this might be a reminder. —Ugron gro-Thumog

Don’t wolves feel a bit too obvious to you? Creatures of the Wild Hunt take on multiple traits–all of them horrifying. This could be a depiction of King Dead Wolf-Deer! He’s half-wolf, half-crocodile, or something. And some say he still prowls Valenwood! —Amalien

Symbol of Y’ffre

The charm itself is small, but it certainly resemples other depictions of Y’ffre–the Forest god of the Wood Elves. Given these hollows on either side of his head, I’d say this is part of a series of charms. —Reginus Buca

This looks like Y’ffre, I agree. But his aspect seems far less distant than normal. He appears to be howling, or snarling behind a matted wreath of leaves. That’s more than a little unsettling.—Verita Numida

Perhaps he’s unleashing the power of a Wood Elf Wild Hunt! Y’ffre demanded that the Wood Elves keep their shape as part of the Green Pact, but ironically, he allows them to change it again in times of great need. Gods are strange that way. —Amalien

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