From Grey Gems Edit
|1 Grey Gem||--|
|Alternate Conditions||Elegy of Emptiness||--|
|Alternate Conditions||Nocturne of Shadow||--|
|Alternate Conditions||Triforce of Knowledge||--|
Prior to version 6.42, the Nocturne of Shadow was required, with either Command Daedra or Elegy of Emptiness
From Black Soul Gems Edit
|Required Items||Black Soul Gem||--|
|Match Conditions||Command Daedra||Skull of Corruption|
|Alternate Conditions||" "||Ebony Mail|
|Alternate Conditions||" "||Ebony Blade|
|Alternate Conditions||" "||Mehrunes' Razor|
|" "||Mace of Molag Bal|
|" "||Deep Corrupt Master Sword|
|" "||Trident of Power|
Note: All artifacts listed can be used interchangeably.
From Black Soul Gems and Spells Edit
|Required Items||Black Soul Gem||--||--|
|Match Conditions||Command Daedra||Elegy of Emptiness||Nocturne of Shadow|
From Black Soul Gems and Human Hearts Edit
|Required Items||Black Soul Gem||6 Human Hearts|
|Match Conditions||Dark Artifact*||--|
*Version 6.27 and beyond. See "From Black Soul Gems" for list of viable artifacts.
Dark Essence is an example of ancient Lolian magic, and can be considered to be crystallized darkness, or as fragments of the Dark World. Command Daedra is used because Lolian magic is ancient and forgotten to the citizens of Tamriel. The Dragonborn has to improvise and use tools at his or her disposal to reclaim Dark Essence. Command Daedra happens to be capable of forcing the inherent darkness of a Grey Gem to the surface. It is also capable of pulling darkness from Daedric Artifacts, the Deep Corrupt Master Sword and Trident of Power into a soul gem. Dark Essence is an example of makeshift magic in that sense.
Background and Inspiration Edit
Dark Essence was introduced early in the development of Relics of Hyrule as a unique, rare ingredient for corrupting the Master Sword. It is deliberately easy to obtain compared to Light Essence to comment that an evil path is often easier than a good path.
The Daedric Artifacts used in the Black Soul Gem recipe were chosen because of their connection to the Daedric Princes that are arguably the most evil. Command Daedra is used to move the essence from the artifacts into the Black Soul Gem to create the Dark Essence.