- Hail to Sithis, blood's drop on blade's edge.
- Before you, nothing. Behind you, the Void.
- Catalyst, agitator, many-fanged maw.
- Whisper your need to the Scales.
- — Inscription found on an Argonian blade
The Shadowscales are an order of Argonian assassins originating in Black Marsh. Argonians born under the sign of the Shadow are taken at birth and offered to the Dark Brotherhood where they are trained in the arts of stealth and assassination. Shadowscale who lives to come of age is accepted into the Dark Brotherhood as a full member of the family. They may also serve as personal assassins to the King of Black Marsh.
Shadowscales follow the same five tenets traditionally followed by members of the Brotherhood. However, the only ones that are known to be true are, never disobey or refuse to carry out an order from a superior and never kill a fellow Shadowscale. The only difference between these is that, if a member of the Dark Brotherhood kills a fellow family member he must fight the Wrath of Sithis to earn forgiveness. With Shadowscales, however, refusing to fulfill a contract or deserting the Dark Brotherhood is viewed as treason, and the traitor will be put to death.