Lore:Blade of Woe
The Blade of Woe is an ebony dagger associated with the Dark Brotherhood. In appearance it is a simple dagger, but it can serve as a potent weapon in the right hands. At its most lethal, the dagger instantly kills its target and can shroud the wielder from view. It is also known to damage or drain health, deplete magicka and willpower, and demoralize anyone struck by it. The blood spilled by the blade may become tainted, and it has also been known to completely incinerate targets marked for ritual execution.
In the mid-Second Era, every member of the Brotherhood could call upon the blade. When wielded by those of higher rank in the Brotherhood, using it to kill could hide the wielder from view. Despite it being a single weapon, it could be summoned simultaneously by any number of assassins. Though assassins were not required to use the Blade of Woe to kill their targets, some contracts offered bonuses for using it to eliminate the target. In 2E 582, the Black Hand tasked the Brotherhood's Gold Coast sanctuary with performing a ritual known as the Litany of Blood with the blade. This ritual could only be performed by the "unshriven" Soulless One who had seen beyond death.
In 3E 433, the supposedly virgin Blade of Woe was given by Lucien Lachance to the Champion of Cyrodiil when they were invited to join the Brotherhood. The Champion did join the Brotherhood and rose through the ranks, maintaining possession of the apparently mundane dagger. After the third Purification of the Brotherhood, and the subsequent decimation of the Black Hand ending with Lachance's own death, the Champion attended a meeting to commune directly with the Night Mother below the Lucky Old Lady statue in Bravil. During that meeting the true traitor to the Brotherhood was revealed, and as a reward for the Champion's proof of loyalty, the Blade of Woe's true power was unlocked.
In 4E 201 the Blade of Woe was in the possession of Astrid, the leader of the last known active chapter of the Brotherhood. Astrid was killed by the Last Dragonborn, who then took possession of the blade.