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|Appears in||Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, Legends|
- The Night Mother met Sotha Sil in her salon, lit only by the moon. She was cruelly beautiful dressed in a simple silk black robe, lounging across her divan. With a gesture, she dismissed her red-cloaked guards and offered the sorcerer some wine. "You've only just missed your friend, the Duke," she whispered. "He was very unhappy, but I think we will solve his problem for him." "Did he hire the Morag Tong to assassinate the Emperor?" asked Sotha Sil. "You are straight-forward, aren't you? That's good. I love plain-speaking men: it saves so much time. Of course, I cannot discuss with you what the Duke and I talked about," she smiled. "It would be bad for business." — Lore:2920, Sun's Height (v7) A description of the Night Mother, leader of the Morag Tong
At the head of the Dark Brotherhood hierarchy is the Night Mother, an immortal spirit who is revered and worshipped by the Brotherhood. She is only ever met face-to-face in very exceptional circumstances and is seen as a phantom-like form. When a person prays for the death of another, the Night Mother hears and passes on the details of the prayer to her Listener. At this point, the Listener informs a Speaker, who then goes to meet the hiring party in order to draw up a contract. According to Dark Brotherhood beliefs, she is the wife of Sithis and bore five children. It is said that she and her children were the first sacrifices to Sithis many years ago.
It is unclear who the Night Mother is exactly. In the book Fire and Darkness: The Brotherhoods of Death, the Night Mother is identified as the Daedra Prince Mephala. In another book entitled Sacred Witness, the Night Mother is identified as a former Thieves Guild member. And in the well known 2920 series of books she is seen as head of the Morag Tong, because the Dark Brotherhood only split well into the Second Era. The Night Mother is likely to have lived during the Second Era, although the woman represented by the statue in Bravil lived in the First Era, which suggests the two are not the same person.
Night Mother Ritual / Black Sacrament
For prospective clients to contact the Dark Brotherhood, they would carry out a ritual called the Night Mother Ritual or Black Sacrament. This ritual would inform the Night Mother of their intentions. When the Listener of the Black Hand prays to the Lucky Old Lady Statue in Bravil, the Night Mother will inform the Listener about the location of those prospective clients. The Listener would then relay this information to Speakers of the Black Hand.
- As documented in the rare and taboo work "A Kiss, Sweet Mother," the Black Sacrament involves an effigy of the intended victim -- created from actual body parts, including a heart, skull, bones and flesh -- within a circle of candles. To proceed with the ritual, one must stab the effigy repeatedly with a dagger rubbed with the petals of a Nightshade plant, while whispering the plea, "Sweet Mother, sweet Mother, send your child unto me, for the sins of the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear." As gruesome as this ritual may be, even more frightening is its intention -- the summoning of a mysterious assassin (who some claim is always clad in a black hooded robe) who will then receive money to kill an innocent victim. No remorse. No regret. It is, as the merchant's say, simply business. And that's what worries Adamus Phillida. 
Individuals identified as the Night Mother appear or are referenced in several games:
The Night Mother was a Khajiit woman, and head of the Dark Brotherhood hierarchy in the Iliac Bay region. It is not known if she exists as an actual person, but is one of the many political factions that exist.
The Night Mother was a corpse lain in a steel sarcophagus that originally resided under the statue of the Lucky Old Lady in Bravil but was forced to be relocated due to the Great War. Her Keeper, Cicero, brought her to the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary near Falkreath. She was later transported to the Dawnstar Sanctuary by Nazir.
- For game-specific information, see the Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, and Legends articles.
- The Night Mother's Truth by Gaston Bellefort — A thesis on the Dark Brotherhood and its spiritual leader