The origin of the artifact known as the Obsidian Husk is shrouded in mystery. Some believe it to be a fragment of Oblivion, having followed a visiting Daedra from that plane. Others believe it to be magical in nature, containing a trapped shred of Mephala's essence. Whatever its origin, its powers are formidable.
The Husk has two known functions discovered and passed down by members of the Spider Cult, which I have recorded below. Additional spells may be tied to the artifact, but the Husk never stays in the possession of a single individual for long. Members of Mephala's Cult have been known to scheme and battle over it.
It can create and control all manor of shades from minor shadowlings to creatures of complexity and aberrant intellect (and untold power).
The most powerful Spider Cultists have found that they can use the Husk to enchant others. The afflicted are shrouded in shadow, and granted supernatural agility and strength, but lose their minds — these "shades" follow the beck and call of the Obsidian Husk's master.