This page is a guide to charging the Ebony Blade, with suggestions that are highly subjective. The page looks to include enough NPCs for any type of character, but will not include every possible NPC. Details of why they are suggested will include spoilers.
If you wish to have an NPC included, please discuss it on the talk page first. Any NPCs added without discussion will be subject to removal and placed on the talk page.
Reanimating an NPC with a spell, power, or staff on any of the below named NPCs allows them to be killed again, with subsequent killings still counting towards powering the blade.
These NPCs must be killed to complete the related quest.
- Narfi during the Kill Narfi quest, provided you have previously completed the quest The Straw that Broke before accepting this quest.
- Beitild during the Kill Beitild quest, provided you have sold her ore before accepting this quest.
- Hern during the Kill Hern quest, provided you have sold wood to Hert before accepting this quest.
- Nilsine Shatter-Shield during the quest Mourning Never Comes, if you choose to kill her per Muiri's request, and have completed Blood on the Ice.
- Amaund Motierre, if you kill him per the Emperor's last request, counts towards powering up the Blade.
- If you don't have any interest in joining the Dark Brotherhood, killing Astrid and everyone in their sanctuary counts during Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!. This will involve killing Grelod the Kind to get to this stage (she is not viable).
- The follower you bring for the quest Boethiah's Calling, since the follower must be killed and you do not have to use the Blade of Sacrifice. Not all followers count. Check your follower's page to see if they have a quest to complete e.g. Uthgerd's Fight! Fight! (this will raise their disposition).
- Deeja and Jaree-Ra will become hostile during the quest Lights Out!. Since their favor is gained as part of the quest, they are valid victims for the Ebony Blade.
- Saadia can be killed without repercussions just after the quest In My Time Of Need when siding with the Alik'r, as she is removed from the game.
These NPCs lead questionable lives (dependent on your outlook) or turn hostile at some point.
- Ondolemar, provided you have previously completed Search and Seizure. There are no repercussions to killing him if you can do so quietly. Ondolemar is difficult to kill without incurring a bounty. This must be done before the Stormcloaks take Markarth, at which point he will be killed off-screen.
- Eola, during the quest The Taste of Death or after investigating Markarth's Hall of the Dead. She is a cannibal, but can be recruited as a follower when the quest is completed.
- Lisbet, provided you have previously completed her quest Lisbet's Missing Shipment. She is a cannibal, and her assistant Imedhnain will take over running the store.
- Banning, provided you have previously completed his radiant quest Delivery. Like Lisbet, he is present at Namira's feast.
These people lead normal lives and mostly serve as possible replacements for other NPCs.
- Some market stall vendors have a low amount of gold, thus making them redundant. Only a few of these have quests to make them friendly; listed below are a few examples:
- There are other traders and NPCs that live in rural areas that are rarely visited, thus they will be less missed. Some examples are listed below:
- Most NPCs who ask you to gather crops, chop wood or mine ore are viable. Few of them are marriageable or involved in a quest (check their personal pages first). Some innkeepers are needed to start quests, so it is advisable to leave them be. Listed below are those who are subject to special circumstances;
- Eydis, provided you have previously completed The Ghost of Old Hroldan. After her death, her son Skuli will inherit Old Hroldan Inn, and their employee Leontius Salvius will take over as publican.
- Pavo Attius and his assistant run Kolskeggr Mine and will pay you to clear it of enemies, but will not do so again once the enemies in the mine respawn, making them largely irrelevant afterwards. Clearing the mine once will raise their disposition, after which they can be slain with little impact.
- Severio Pelagia, provided you have previously sold him cabbage and/or potatoes. He will die when Battle for Whiterun is started, so make sure to kill him before you accept this quest.
- Drunks and Beggars often make good targets, as gaining their favor only requires a small amount of alcohol or gold, and most towns will have at least one of either.
- Beggars may be less preferable than drunks, as giving them a coin bestows upon the player the "Gift of Charity," which gives the player a 10-point boost to persuasion - with improved trading prices to boot - for one real-time hour, making them useful at all levels and for all playstyles.
- If you have the Investor perk in Speech, any merchant you have invested with becomes a viable target for the Ebony Blade. Many merchants have backup merchants who will take over their shops when they die; in fact, if you kill a merchant who is the same gender as you and that merchant is replaced by an opposite-gender merchant, then you will gain the benefits of the Allure perk in that store from then on in addition to charging the blade.
- A good way to determine whether or not an NPC is considered a "friend" is to listen to how they greet the player. People that say things like "You've been a good friend to me" or "It's a fine day with you around" are all viable targets for powering up the Ebony Blade.
- Relationship is not reset or erased when NPC dies, so one can charge Ebony Blade with only one eligible NPC by repeatedly killing and raising that NPC with Dead Thrall, Ritual stone power or one of the reanimation staves (other reanimation spells will turn corpse to dust after first reanimation). One eligible NPC - Follower sacrificed to Boethia - will not work this way.