The Necromancer’s Moon
The Necromancer’s Moon, also known as the Revenant, is a celestial body that orbits Nirn at the center of the Mundus. It is the divine body of the God of Worms, Mannimarco. It was created by the Warp in the West in 3E 417 when Mannimarco used the power of the Mantella to fuel his transfiguration and apotheosis.
The Necromancer’s Moon passes in front of the planet Arkay every eight days, preventing the light of Arkay from reaching Nirn for 24 hours. This celestial phenomenon is known as the Shade of the Revenant, and casts a purple light down at certain locations across Tamriel during this period. The purpose of this eclipse is to foil the divine laws of Arkay, allowing Mannimarco to be the only god of life and death. The Cult of the Black Worm worship Mannimarco as the God of Worms, and construct altars to him at these locations to harness the Shade of the Revenant for use in creating black soul gems.
Since as early as 3E 405, Mannimarco had come to the Iliac Bay region in search of the Totem of Tiber Septim, an artifact designed to control the Numidium while it was powered by the Mantella. He established himself and his Cult of the Black Worm at Scourge Barrow deep in the Dragontail Mountains. His plan was to obtain the Totem so that he could command the Mantella to his side as it fell from Aetherius, before it reached Numidium’s chest. Using its power, he planned to leave his mortal frame and join the ranks of the gods of Oblivion. To achieve this, Mannimarco embroiled himself in the court politics of the Iliac Bay, and in the process came into contact with an agent of the Blades. By reading the stars, he foresaw the return of the Mantella from its hiding place in Aetherius, and wrote to this agent promising to bring the Totem to Aetherius and out of mortal hands. The agent obtained the Totem and returned the Mantella to Nirn, but the precise details of what followed are unknown due to the Warp in the West.
Between the 9th and the 11th of Frostfall, 3E 417, a series of inexplicable and paradoxical events occurred throughout the Iliac Bay region. Many factions had attempted to gain possession of the Totem of Tiber Septim, resulting in a distortion of time where all of these factions simultaneously gained possession, achieving their goals to some degree. This phenomenon went on to be known as the Warp in the West, and resulted in major political changes in the region. One of the most significant results of this event was Mannimarco’s successful apotheosis, which resulted in the creation of the Necromancer’s Moon.
Circa 3E 433, Mannimarco returned to mortal affairs in an attempt to destroy the Mages Guild and capture the soul of its Arch-Mage for study, as he had done several times throughout history in order to learn the secrets of their magical power. The Arch-Mage at the time was Hannibal Traven, who had banned the practice of necromancy from the guild sometime after his promotion circa 3E 431, causing a lot of disillusioned guild mages to flock to Mannimarco’s side. However, Traven tricked him, sacrificing his own soul to protect the Champion of Cyrodiil so that Mannimarco could be killed.
The death of Mannimarco’s mortal body had no effect on the existence of the Necromancer’s Moon. The Shade of the Revenant continued to shine down on Nirn after his death, and necromancers continued to offer souls to the Revenant in order to darken soul gems well into the Fourth Era.
The Necromancer’s Moon was not the first attempt by Mannimarco to become a god. Circa 2E 582, he attempted to usurp Molag Bal as the God of Schemes by trapping his power in the Chim-el Adabal, thereby becoming the god of both Mundus and Coldharbour following the completion of the Planemeld. This plot failed when Bal learned of his intentions.