This article is about the faction. For the Nightingale, see Jagar Tharn.
The Nightingale Trinity, usually called simply the Nightingales, are a trio of highly skilled thieves dedicated to the service of Nocturnal. Members are typically chosen from the higher echelons of the Thieves Guild. Although there is no formal association between the two factions and most guild members are unaware of this arrangement, the Trinity is usually very influential on how the guild operates (Nightingales even claim to be the source of the guild's phrase "walk with the shadows").
Members of the order take the Oath: the Skeleton Key must remain at the Twilight Sepulcher, the Temple of Nocturnal, which must be protected from all threats, even in death, until Nocturnal accepts the spirit of a Nightingale into the Evergloam, her plane of Oblivion. In return, Nightingales use the abilities granted to them for whatever they see fit to do in life. Contrary to popularized misconceptions, the Oath is considered a business transaction rather than a religious matter. While most members certainly take the Oath very seriously, they are not worshipping Nocturnal as a deity, but respecting her as the patron of thieves.
When the Nightingale Trinity was first created is not known. The most famous "Nightingale" in history, Jagar Tharn, first appeared around 3E 383. However, the Nightingales disavow that Tharn was a member, claiming that the bard known as Nightingale was actually Drayven Indoril, a master thief (and member of the Nightingale Trinity) who was hired by Tharn to steal the Staff of Chaos, and the truth was distorted long after the fact for political reasons. They also claim that a child was born of a liaison between Drayven and Barenziah, and the child and her progeny would go on to become Nightingales themselves.
- For game-specific information, see the Skyrim article.
- The Nightingales by Gallus Desidenius — An insider's account of the Nightingales
- Nightingales: Fact or Fiction? by Wilimina Roth — Dissertation discussing whether a mysterious group of thieves actually exists
- The Real Barenziah, Part IX by Plitinius Mero