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The Blades were the hidden Eyes and Ears of the Septim Emperors in the provinces of Tamriel. Originally tasked with collecting far-flung fragments of Numidium, they became a prestigious service order for citizens demonstrating the greatest loyalty to the Emperor. To be named in the Blades by the Emperor is a great honor, and publicly acknowledged members serve openly in noble courts and diplomatic posts. Privately, many Blades members act as the Empire's intelligence agency. Such agents conceal themselves with secret identities, operating in disguise as couriers, observers, spies and bodyguards throughout the Empire.
The Remanada traces the history of the Blades to the original Akaviri bodyguard of Reman Cyrodiil. According to this legendary account, the same immortal Akaviri pledged themselves to Cuhlecain in order to aid General Talos' ascent to the throne. Their ancient stronghold, Cloud Ruler Temple, is located in the Jerall Mountains.
 The Rise of the Blades
The Blades' origins can be traced back to the Akaviri Dragonguard of the First Era. These great dragonslayers invaded and cut a path through Tamriel, only to be defeated by the legendary Reman Cyrodiil. The surviving Akaviri revered Reman as the Dragonborn hero that they had been searching for, and swore fealty to him, becoming his personal bodyguard. Over the centuries, this group grew in size, eventually becoming the Blades who served the Septim emperors. They very nearly completed their quest to wipe out the dragons, with only a few known to have survived.
Under the reign of Tiber Septim, the Blades were tasked with recovering the shattered pieces of Numidium, a process that took many generations. During this time, the Blades formed an extensive spy network throughout Tamriel on behalf of the Septim Dynasty. Emperor Uriel Septim VII would make extensive use of this spy network, particularly during the investigations into King Lysandus's death and the Nerevarine prophecies.
For many centuries, the Blades protected with their lives the succession of Dragonborn Emperors of Tamriel. This culminated with the Blades playing a key role in the Oblivion Crisis, where they helped the Champion of Cyrodiil and Martin Septim banish the Daedric Prince of Destruction Mehrunes Dagon from Nirn.
 The Fall of the Blades
The Fourth Era began without a Dragonborn to lead the Empire, paving the way for the Mede Dynasty to take over in 4E 17. In the second century, the Blades realized that the Thalmor posed a great threat to the Empire, and to any Dragonborn should they return. The Great War between humans and elves began in 4E 171, when a Thalmor emissary demanded the surrender of the Empire, and when they refused, dumped the heads of 100 Blades agents who had been operating within the Aldmeri Dominion on the floor, along with the demand that the Blades be disbanded. Later, the truce known as the White-Gold Concordat, signed by Emperor Titus Mede II in 4E 175, decreed that the Blades be disbanded. Furthermore, the Thalmor were given free rein to hunt down Talos worshippers, a privilege they employed to eliminate the surviving Blades one by one. Massacres occurred at the main Blades fortresses, such as Cloud Ruler Temple. By 4E 200, only a handful of Blades remained on Tamriel, with the Penitus Oculatus having replaced them as the Emperor's bodyguards.
The Blades have been a faction in four games:
- In Daggerfall, the faction cannot be joined. Its main representative is Lady Brisienna, and act as one of the seven possible recipients of the Totem of Tiber Septim.
- In Morrowind it is a player-joinable faction with six ranks available to the player and 4 ranks that are not available to the player. Its favored attributes are Intelligence and Personality.
- In Oblivion it is a player-joinable faction, but only a minor one. Only one rank is available, there are no associated quests, and the only benefits are minor (use of items and facilities in Cloud Ruler Temple). Unlike in Morrowind, the Blades in Cyrodiil are far more combat-oriented.
- In Skyrim, it has been 200 years since the last Dragonborn Emperor, and the Blades have been all but destroyed by the Thalmor. The player meets Delphine and Esbern, who are among the last of the Blades, and assists them in finding a fortress from which to begin rebuilding the faction.