Mehrunes Dagon, the Daedric Prince of Destruction, is a blight upon the continent of Tamriel. Unlike many of his peers, Dagon has on several occasions tried to conquer the mortal plane. His most recent and ambitious attempt is depicted in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Dagon’s personal artifact, the aptly named Mehrunes’ Razor, is a worthy reflection of its brutal master. Its deadliness is known throughout the world and there has never been a shortage of foolhardy adventurers who have sought to retrieve it. But no matter how many times it’s claimed, there’s still plenty of mysteries left to be discovered about this infernal artifact.
10 Neloth Once Possessed It
Daedric artifacts often come into the possession of a diverse range of individuals. Aficionados of the franchise may be surprised, however, that the Razor was once owned by Neloth. This particular Dark Elf has appeared in multiple titles, most recently in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn. His insufferable personality makes him a bit difficult to work with for any length of time.
Neloth’s ownership of the Razor is expounded upon in the book Realizations of Acrobacy. It’s no secret that Neloth’s list of enemies is quite long. One group of individuals he wronged, a team of acrobats, actually managed to steal the Razor right from under his nose. Mehrunes’ Razor itself was even used as a prop by these same acrobats in their act.
9 It’s An Elder Scrolls Staple
Just like certain NPCs often appear in multiple games, so do various objects. Mehrunes’ Razor is one such artifact that always makes the cut when the final product is assembled. In fact, the Razor has been included in every single Elder Scrolls entry with the exception of Arena.
Besides the numbered entries, it is also included in The Elder Scrolls: Blades and The Elder Scrolls Online. The player is able to claim the Razor for himself in every game it has appeared except for Online. There, it remains in the possession of Gilraen, a Bosmer woman and resident of Whisper Grove.
8 Dagon Claims The Souls
Players are by now likely familiar with the Razor’s special effect. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim states that the blade possesses a 1% chance of instantly killing the target when it makes impact. As far as the Dragonborn is concerned, that’s the end of the matter.
But a much more horrifying fate awaits those killed by the blade in this manner. It’s supposed that victims of the Razor have their souls taken to Oblivion by Mehrunes Dagon himself. From what players know of the Deadlands in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, it’s not a very comfortable place to spend the rest of eternity.
7 The Razor Decimated The Dark Brotherhood
Information provided by The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall suggests that the Dark Brotherhood often covets the Razor. And why not? A blade capable of killing a target in one stroke is a pretty useful tool for an assassin. Nevertheless, the Razor was seemingly a source of discord for the shadowy group of cutthroats at one point.
Its value to the Dark Brotherhood evidently led to a violent power struggle within the organization. The outcome of the internal war is unknown. However, what is certain is that the ranks of the Brotherhood were decimated by the conflict. Although ambiguous, the role the blade played in the affair was likely significant.
6 Msirae Faythung’s Trial
The Razor resurfaces once again during the events of the Oblivion Crisis. Claiming it is no simple matter. In fact, a whole series of devious tests are built around its retrieval within the bowels of the Ayleid city of Varsa Baalim. The Razor itself is contained within a wicked-looking device called the Nefarivigum.
Guarding the infernal contraption is a character named Msirae Faythung. Apparently, Faythung was a former champion of Dagon who displeased his master in some manner. His punishment consisted of having his chest carved open by angry Dremora. He now guards the Razor unceasingly and serves as the final test before the weapon can be claimed.
5 Its Sharpness Is Unique
Blades are meant to be sharp by design. Otherwise, they would be rather useless as weapons, no matter what the circumstances. Mehrunes’ Razor is different. Due to its mystical nature, the properties that define it are tough to explain. Replication is nigh impossible.
The sharpness of the Razor is known to be unusually deadly. Silus Vesuius, an expert on such matters, warns the Dragonborn on handling the shards of the blade. He states they are “sharp enough to sever a finger with no effort.” A dagger that can slice through flesh and bone with minimal effort is one that should be rightly feared (not to mention handled with care).
4 Its Appearance Sometimes Differs
Mehrunes’ Razor is always depicted as a dagger. That has remained unchanged throughout the series. The confusion stems from the blade’s appearance and, more specifically, the materials that constitute it. In The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, the Razor is described as being made from ebony.
This description contradicts the Razor’s actual appearance in Daggerfall and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. The dagger looks to be made out of something more akin to steel rather than ebony. Later entries, starting from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and onward, rectify this anomaly by giving it a much darker look.
3 Use It At Your Own Risk
The Razor’s deadliness against foes is unquestionable. The blade’s instant-kill capabilities can make certain encounters surprisingly and satisfyingly short. However, that doesn’t always mean the wielder can rest easy. Some enemies are a bit smarter and more well-equipped than others.
The Ebony Warrior is a prime example. His equipment, among other effects, grants him a reflection enchantment. What does that mean for the player? If the Ebony Warrior is struck with the Razor, and the 1% instant-kill effect decides to kick in, the player is dead meat in a single hit. The same risk is also run in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion when utilizing the Razor.
2 Unique Guard Dialogue
Guards in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim possess a wide range of dialogue. They often comment on the player’s actions taken during a particular quest. Carrying certain items or weapons also triggers some unique commentary from them.
When Mehrunes’ Razor is in the Dragonborn’s inventory, a guard may half-jokingly say, “Who did you have to kill to get that blade?” It’s an ironic statement considering the fact that, in order to acquire the blade, the player must actually kill somebody for it, namely Silus Vesuius. After all, the Prince of Destruction will not grant his Razor to players with weak stomachs.
1 The Effects Vary
Games throughout The Elder Scrolls series treat the effects of the Razor a bit differently. For example, to instantly kill an enemy with the Razor in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is dependent upon the player’s Luck skill.
In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the effect has a 1% chance of triggering after every successful hit. Interestingly, in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the instant-kill capability is omitted entirely. Instead, the Razor disintegrates an enemy’s armor while also inflicting poison damage.