Azra Nightwielder circa 3E 397
Azra Nightwielder was the original Shadowmage, and a pioneer of Shadow Magic. He was the first to discover that shadows were not merely an absence of light, but the reflection of possible worlds created by forces in conflict. Azra attempted to manipulate his own shadow to such an extent that all possible versions of himself would become melded into a singular existence. Redguard soldiers, fearing the power he would command should he succeed, surrounded him in northern Hammerfell. During the fight, Azra lost control of his magic and blasted a large hole in the ground, having apparently perished. A small village grew around this crater; it was named Azra's Crossing in homage to the wizard.
Many years later, during the Imperial Simulacrum, an Umbra' Keth (Shadow of Conflict) formed due to the ongoing War of the Bend'r-mahk. In 3E 397, an unknown hero on a quest to destroy the Umbra' Keth discovered a large crystal in the depths of the Fearfrost Caverns. Inside this crystal was Azra Nightwielder, who was suffering from memory loss and couldn't recall his identity. Azra connected his shadow with the hero, who promised to uncover the mage's identity. The second incarnation of Pergan Asuul, a shadowmage who was trying to strengthen the Umbra' Keth by battling with the hero repeatedly, revealed the mage's name with his dying breath, which helped to restore Azra's memory.
Azra and the hero met again in the crater in Azra's Crossing. Azra provided vital information pertaining to the Star Teeth, which were needed to defeat the Umbra' Keth. The shadowmage appeared at the final battle between the hero and the Umbra' Keth, and has not been sighted since.
Although less well known, Azra was also a pioneer in the field of enchanting staffs, and, although his methods grew to be considered rudimentary by the standards of the Fourth Era, he was still considered a genius in his field. Many of his staves can still be found scattered across Tamriel. Master Neloth of House Telvanni is a collector of Azra's work, and has admitted to have learned a lot from studying his staves.
Azra Root, an expensive herb, bears the shadowmage's name.
- Azra was potentially born in the first half of the Second Era, as the use of Shadow Magic among Nightblades had already become prevalent by 2E 582.
- A quest called Azra's Staffs is featured in the Dragonborn add-on for TES V: Skyrim.
- For game-specific information, see the Shadowkey article.