Flesh Magic is an obscure and ancient form of magic, believed by some to be older than the world itself. It is characterized by what practitioners call the "sixth element", otherwise know as Flesh. According to legend, the element of Flesh was birthed in ancient times by the original five elements of Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Light when darkness turned into day and the Void took form. Said to have been hidden by virtue of its own self-awareness, and it remains largely unknown and esoteric among modern societies.
While Necromancy deals with raising the dead, Flesh Magic differs in that it involves creating life from an amalgamation of meat, blood, bone and breath - the essential components of true Flesh. Each ingredient serves a vital role in the creation of life. Meat is said possess the desire to consume. Blood is the liquid nutrient that contains the essence of life. Bone gives shape and structure and Breath bestows movement and stirs the spirit.
These components serve as the vessel for the twisted creation, which is then bound to a Daedric spirit summoned from the waters of Oblivion, typically through a ritual. A successful binding produces a living Golem, sometimes referred to as a Flesh Atronach. While the fundamentals of Flesh Magic are distinct from Necromancy, some mages consider them to be the same dicipline. Other times it has been classified under the school of Conjuration.
Flesh Magic was first recorded in translated ancient Aldmer texts of unknown provenance and authority. Around 2E 230 Mannimarco experimented with Flesh Magic prior to his expulsion from the Psijic Order. On the island of Artaeum he created the first Flesh Colossus in a secluded laboratory before he was discovered and subsequently exiled.
Flesh Magic was arguably most prominent during the Planemeld in the mid-Second Era, when many of Molag Bal's minions and cultists under the tutelage of Mannimarco summoned Flesh Atronachs of varying descriptions to aid in their schemes. In later eras, the practice became almost non-existent. While some institutions, such as the College of Winterhold, allowed the study of some necromatic dark arts, Flesh Magic was largely reviled across Tamriel. Such is a rarity of the art that there have been only two known practitioners in modern times, both of which were said to be insane.
The first was Relmyna Verenim, a member of the Mages Guild in the late Third Era who began researching the sixth element and conducting extreme experiments. She was expelled from the guild and was granted residency in Sheogorath's realm to continue her work. Using Flesh Magic rituals, she created her crowning achievement - the feared Gatekeeper of the Fringe, a colossal Flesh Atronach who was charged with guarding the Gates of Madness in the Shivering Isles.
The second was Calixto Corrium, a museum curator in Windhelm during the early Fourth Era. After the death of his sister, he began researching methods to bring her back to life and uncovered the art of Flesh Magic. In his insanity, he murdered several young women in the city in order to collect their body parts for the binding ritual, but was eventually discovered and excecuted.
- Butcher Journal 1 — The Butcher
- Haskill's dialogue in the Shivering Isles.
- Relmyna Verenim's dialogue in the Shivering Isles
- Abnur Tharn's dialogue during Castle of the Worm
- Summon Flesh Atronach spell in the Shivering Isles
- Butcher Journal 2 — The Butcher
- The First Flesh Colossus in ESO
- Events of Skyrim
- Rebuilding the Gatekeeper quest in Shivering Isles
- Blood on the Ice quest in Skyrim