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About this mod

Adds fully featured necromancy gameplay to Oblivion, taking it from being a subset of conjuration spells to a whole new skill. Allows you to harvest bodies, create and upgrade permanent undead followers, join the necromancer faction, build your own lair anywhere in Cyrodiil and defend it from the Mage's Guild!

Permissions and credits
This mod aims to add fully featured necromancy gameplay to Oblivion, taking it from being a subset of conjuration spells to a whole new skill. Allows you to carve bodies, create and upgrade permanent undead followers, join the necromancer faction, build your own lair anywhere in Cyrodiil and defend it from the Mage's Guild! 

1.6 UPDATE JULY 2020: 
If you are returning to the mod from 1.5.2, you be glad to know that the major issue of creatures attacking necromancers has been fixed. Your lairs can now not be warzones 24/7! ini Options for creature aggression and speed have been added by request, the Skeleton Sentinel has been overhauled and many small changes and fixes have been brought in. Check the changelog here on the nexus for more information. Cheers!

Feature list

New necromancy skill

  • Discover a new skill that levels as you play
  • Harvest bodies in real time
  • Rob the graves of Cyrodiil, with unique AI behaviour from nearby guards and citizens
  • Manage a new ‘bloodlust’ mechanic that powers necromancy
  • Use the mod-added Unholy Altars to create undead servants
  • Five types of undead: create skeletons, zombies, Shambles, Flesh Atronachs and Skinned Hounds 

In-depth minions you can upgrade and control
  • Upgrade Skeletons with melee weapons or bows
  • Build up a zombie piece by piece until it can eventually heal itself over time
  • Add to flesh atronachs and shambles over time and watch them grow in size
  • Infuse Skinned Hounds with different powers for unique effects
  • Unlock unique abilities: spread a zombie infection, call to a skeletal avatar from across Cyrodiil, create Soul Hounds that sacrifice themselves to save your life
  • Give simple orders to undead servants to follow, wait or return to lair
  • Organise creations to follow leaders, allowing you to call reinforcements

Roleplay a necromancer character

  • Discover a necromancer sanctuary filled with in-lore guide books, resources and an unholy altar to use
  • Join the in-game necromancer faction by wearing robes or signing a bloodpact, and live in any necromancer cave or fort
  • ‘Notoriety’ system that tracks your actions over time 
  • Defend yourself from battlemages from the mages guild
  • Earn the respect of necromancers and have them become your follower
  • NO weird quest items or start spells added to player inventory, no disruptive text or messages: install the mod, and you won’t notice anything different until you attempt necromancy

Freeform lair building and lair defence
  • Build your own Unholy Altar anywhere in Cyrodiil and claim the location as your lair
  • Lairs never respawn, will never fill with enemies, and containers will never reset
  • Add to your lair with a range of objects that you can place anywhere you like
  • Build coffins to maintain a potentially infinite number of undead
  • Build spawnpods and bloodworks to generate body parts and bloodlust
  • Build defences, and defend your lair from mages guild attacks
  • Become famous, and your lair can be joined by other necromancers

Playing The Mod

I didn’t want to make anything invasive, so you won’t see anything different when you first load up a game with the mod installed. The mod starts properly when you track down the hidden necromancer sanctuary: you can find clues as to its whereabouts in a few necromancer lairs, or reports on their activity at all the mage’s guild halls. When you get there, you’ll be given robes and a proper carving knife, have access to a bunch of in-lore guide books, and be able to use the Unholy altar there to create undead.

From there, the book you’ll be given called By The Moon’s Light does a pretty good job of telling you what you’re able to do, and things should progress fairly naturally. It’s up to you how you go about things next!

Full Description

I always thought it was a shame that necromancy was featured everywhere in the Elder Scrolls games, but the player character was never able to practice it themselves. This is my attempt at enabling players to take part in that awesome dark side to magic, letting you can create an entire playthrough based around practising necromancy and fighting the mages guild, or just make use of the dark arts as part of your character build.

The mod adds a bunch of mechanics that let you play the role of someone practising the forbidden arts. Find some robes and move into a necromancer cave, or set up your own lair somewhere. Sneak around robbing graves in the night, or brazenly murder citizens of the empire. Keep your creations hidden out of sight in some remote cave while you live a normal life, or march them up to the gates of the Imperial city. Keep a low profile and take part in the rest of the game as normal, or amass an army of necromancers and the undead and wage war on the mages guild. The mod (hopefully!) lets you play a necromancer how you’d want to, whether that may be a wealthy mage who keeps a dark secret in Rosethorn Hall, or a psychopath that kills the priests at the chapel of Zenithar and builds an unholy altar there for everyone to see.

The mod scales from being completely non invasive to changing the way you play the game completely, depending on what you want to do. You could have an entire playthrough with the mod installed and probably never notice the difference if you wanted, or you can turn the playthrough into TES IV: Dungeon Keeper. The more you level up your necromancy skill the more options you have, and the more you use those skills, the more repercussions there are. By the end of the playthrough, you will be able to create an ancient zombie that can turn an entire town into a shuffling horde, keep an army of skeletons on standby ready to show up when you call to them, or bring a flesh leviathan the size of the shivering isles gatekeeper to the defence of Bruma. If you become infamous, your lair will fill with necromancers, and be under daily attack from the mage guild. Or, you can just keep your creations a secret, and only use them to occasionally help rid Cyrodiil of it’s surprisingly large bandit population. 



This mod requires the Shivering Isles expansion, and for you to be running the game with the latest version of obse.

The mod should be ready to install with NMM.

If converting to an OMOD with OMM, you will have to add the Mysterious INI file manually, as it will be recognised as a readme. To do this, check the “data files” box at the bottom, and then click “add files” and select the ini from the archive you downloaded. You should see it appear at the bottom of the list of files.

If you are installing manually, just add the .esp, mesh/texture/sound folders, and Mysterious INI.ini to your Oblivion/Data folder.

If you are updating from a previous version of the mod, it is highly recommended that you uninstall everything and start a new save. Because previous versions of this mod were broken, son. Note that the original mod contained a bunch of leftover files from an earlier mod I was making, so when you uninstall, be sure to go through your textures and meshes folders and delete the “mysterious ___” folders there by hand, instead of just overwriting them.

The mod can be configured in the mysterious INI. You can determine how many notifications you get during gameplay, configure the speed at which you level up your necromancy skill, change how the mod affects bone weights (they are WAY to heavy to lug around at vanilla settings) and configure how fast your lair generates body parts and bloodlust for you. As of patch 1.6, you can now also set the aggression of your creatures and the speed at which they will move. Delightful!


Mods that add alternative necromancy mechanics may or may not be compatible; I know that sadly, Dan’s Necromancy is incompatible as we both use knife swings to cut up bodies. I definitely recommend checking that mod out if you’re still deciding on a necromancy mod to install!

Overhauls like OOO or FCOM that add new NPCs to the game can cause problems with the necromancy faction. From what I remember, OOO necromancers should still be friendly towards you, but you won’t be able to order them around and they won’t show up in your lair. If you load Epic Necromancy AFTER these mods, you will still find normal necromancers that function properly. The behaviour of necromancers that arrive at your lair will not be changed.

Any mod like MOBS that changes weapon weights can cause odd behaviour when using normal daggers to cut bodies; you can end up with shortswords being registered, and dwemer daggers not. You can fix this with a setting in the Mysterious INI, and things are explained further there.

As of patch 1.5.1, users of Maskar's Overhaul will need to enable a compatibility setting if they want to make use of the graverobbing feature. See the readme included in the download for details.

Oblivion XP adds experience points for killing someone named "raindeer" when carving bodies. I've contacted the dev of the latest Oblivion XP release about this, and will be working on a fix.

Players using MOO, Supreme Magicka, or any other mod that changes the icon or behaviour of script effect spells may find Epic Necromancy reverts these changes. This mod mutes the sound effects of all script effect spells, but does not add a new icon. If you have this problem, adjust Epic Necromancy to load before MOO or SM where possible.

Bugs/Unusual Behaviour

Each patch has ironed out a number of bugs (you can see the history for some of these in the bug tracker if you like), but because of the archaic and uninformed original design of this mod, it is very very easy to introduce new ones. Instead of following OOD practices, each creature and object has their own unique script and many changes or fixes have to be copied across all of them. If you find any issues with a particular creature or function, please let me know in the bug tracker here on the nexus and I will get on it as soon as I can.

  • You may come across a message about a body being protected by Arkay’s Law during your ventures, especially if you are trying to cut up npcs from heavily scripted quest sequences. This is due to a feature of the engine known as enable parenting- instead of an npc being enabled or disabled themselves, they are linked with another npc or object and their enable state is tied to this ‘parent’ instead. This causes all kinds of problems for a mod that involves disabling and deleting a lot of bodies, so you will instead be met with that message when trying to carve them.
  • Follower delays: When you have a lot of followers, things can get pretty hectic as the game tries to keep track of them all. You may travel to a new area and find a few of your horde are missing- don’t panic, they’ll catch up eventually! Wait around for a few hours and they should show up.


I am massively, massively grateful to everyone who helped patch up this mod in the six years between its release and the 1.5 patch; I released the mod in a completely subpar state, and then left to play skyrim for over half a decade. That sucked, and you guys helped get the mod into a somewhat playable shape in my absence. In particular, thank you to clilesra for attempting to quash the arena bug and to Y33A for his patch, and everyone who contributed to figuring out getting the deathbending spell, cleaning the mod with tes4edit, and more.

I’m also super grateful for everyone that offered such kind words at various points, and motivated me to eventually come back and fix the mess I made! Modding ended up being quite a small part of my life, especially after I lost my hard drive all my work was stored on, but knowing that what I made had a place in so many people’s load orders and coming back to so many kind messages really means a lot. Guys like Generalkong, Linky, Jaso, S13rr4, Druuler, martin/chip, DarkGenius, Eyusseem, CommanderEwok and many others have made modding this game so worthwhile, and I’ve no doubt it’s that feeling that has kept Oblivion modding alive so many years after it’s release :)

Finally, special thanks to SkeletonKing: stumbling across the right comment at the right time made all the difference, and the conversations we had really helped me figure out what I needed to do!

Future Development

I’m currently quite happy with where the mod is, now that all the awful bugs are fixed. To be honest, when I released the mod, Skyrim was being released in less than a week and I thought it would never be played. But seeing the occasional message around the internet in 2017 still recommending it despite it’s bugs made me realise that Oblivion mods have ended up being a very permanent thing: it’s the first Elder Scrolls game where the entire modding scene has been preserved online and probably will be for decades to come, and the mods I grew up refreshing the WIPZ threads for are still there being used today. It awed me a little bit, and it actually kind of sucked that my own contribution was still being recommended, despite not being something I’d ever recommend myself. I’m glad I’ve finally put that to rest with patch 1.5, and I at least won’t be wincing when I see someone mention it on reddit.

To keep track of everything I'd like to do with the mod at some point in the future, I've set up a trello board with various patches I'd like to make mapped out. Feel free to check it out here:

Please bear in mind that whilst I will try to get any bugs that are reported fixed asap, adding new content to this mod is not a big priority in my life right now, and is something I do in my spare time when the feeling strikes. As of now (July 2020) I'll be entering a few game jams and spending most of my time working on them for the next month or so. 
That said, if you have an idea for something cool or like one of the ideas I've laid out on the trello, give me a nudge here in the comments! I love talking about this old mod and the whole reason I came back to it in 2017 and again in 2020 was because someone nudged me about it.