Skyrim Character Building » Discussions


Character Build: Sister-Hawk

Tags: #Character Build Dual-Wield  #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Alchemist  #Motty Build 
  • Member
    January 31

    This is an homage build designed to bring Paul England's Atmoran Totem Character Builds into the light I think they deserve. For those not familiar, Paul ran a series of 9 builds based on the Atmoran Totems, the first in the series being The Hawk (please read his excellent introduction to the series there). A fast moving archer in light armor who wouldn’t mind mixing it up with dual-wielding Skyforge blades enhanced by elemental flurry. But I digress, go read it and all 8 others!  The Moth, The Snake, The Fox, The Bear, The Wolf, The Whale, The OwlThe Dragon.

    Lore:
    Sister-Hawk is mentioned in a few key moments during Skyrim. Most notably, Felldir invokes her name while banishing Alduin:

    "Hold, Alduin on the Wing! Sister Hawk, grant us your sacred breath to make this contract heard! Begone, World-Eater!

    Lore fans will recognize this as a reference to Kyne, the Goddess of storms, which Paul expertly weaved into his build. Additionally, Nords connected Kyne to the Hawk, breath, rain and wind. Lesser known maybe the reference to Kyne on the etched tablets as you ascend the 10000 steps wherein we see that she, along with Paarthurnax is responsible for imbuing man with the power of the Thu’um.

    “Emblem IV - Kyne called on Paarthurnax, who pitied Man; Together they taught Men to use the Voice; Then Dragon War raged, Dragon against Tongue”

    Therefore, my take on Sister-Hawk is a female character heavily invested in the Voice, dual-wielding daggers that move faster than the eye can see, deadly strikes from a razor sharp beak (crossbow) and flight. Yes, flight! I also really wanted a green-pact, animal friend, shaman style build to round out this character. As such, a large part of the play through explores game mechanics to commune with nature and animals. Hopefully Paul, the "Nordic Buildsmith" (hat tip to Phil) won't mind me taking the liberty to play her as a Bosmer!

    Character Customization:

    Race: Bosmer, female

    Gear: Fur Armor, leather bracers of one handed, leather boots of stamina/muffle

    Attack: Dual Wield, Crossbow (mimicking talon and beak attacks)

    Shouts: Become Ethereal, Whirlwind Sprint, Animal Allegiance, Kyne’s Peace, Elemental Fury, Clear Skies (stagger), Cyclone/URForce, Slow Time

    Blessing: Kyne / Kynareth, then Talos

    Passives: Voice of the Sky

    Followers: Flying solo

    MODS: Supreme Storms, Volumetric Fog – fitting additions to help immersive roleplay as the goddess of storms.

    Skills/perks: One handed, Sneak, Archery, Alchemy, Light Armor, Illusion

    Spells: Calm, Muffle + (Quiet Casting)

    Stats: H – 1 M – 0 S – 1  Health becomes a priority after Stamina hits about 250. The lowly Fur armor simply requires the ability to absorb some extra damage. But the idea of this build is to use cunning, alchemy, speed and your voice to mostly avoid getting hit.

    Perk Notes: Using alchemy, Sister-Hawk will unlock the true potential of her dragon-blood by learning the way of the unlimited voice. The fortify restoration potion loop with Amulet of Talos and Blessing of Talos will give way to unlimited shouts and unique shout combos. Illusion is used primarily to make shouts silent. This allows her to engage the Swoop tactic described below without being seen. Calm can be used in a pinch, but I primarily avoided casting illusion spells, beyond muffle to level illusion. 

    (Build Calculator)

    Getting Started:

    Early on, the blessing of Kynareth provides a much-needed boost to stamina as the damage from daggers is fairly pedestrian. Even with some sneak bonuses, combat in the first 20 levels is challenging. Take advantage of ranged attacks from a hunting bow until you can acquire and make the switch to a crossbow.

    Snag a full set of fur armor, including rare fur helmet at White River Watch. Collect lots of alchemic ingredients. Proceed through the main quest to get to the Grey Beards, making sure to secure the Voice of the Sky passive on your way up the mountain. Visit the Dawnguard at level 10 for the crossbow and an early known Amulet of Talos (on the roof). Level your main skills, with a focus on alchemy as access to unlimited shouts is a priority.

    Combat & Abilities: 

    Talons – Dual wielding daggers + Elemental Flurry + Dual Flurry + (optional Slow Time)

    Description: Daggers become virtually invisible in the flurry of death. Add Slow Time to Elemental Flurry for devastating Damage Over Time effects.

    Beak – Crossbow + Stagger + Fortify Marksman Potions

    Description: Take advantage of the armor piercing, staggering effects of the crossbow strike for particularly troublesome enemies from distance. Use your knowledge of alchemic ingredients to fortify the beak, without over-perking archery.

    Swoop – Become Ethereal + Quiet Casting + Elevated position

    Description: Find a high point of vantage above enemies and trigger a silent Become Ethereal and swoop down upon them with talons flailing.

    Shaman’s Focus – Command Animal / Animal Allegiance, Kyne’s Peace

    Description: Summon all manner of beasts to your side. While there are some peculiarities of these powers, if you’ve never used them heavily, I found them to completely change the way I played. For example, even heading up the 10000 steps, you can command the first tough animal you find to distract / combat the second while you hurriedly head away from the fray. Additionally, Kyne’s peace is a wonderful perk saving shout allowing you to walk freely among your allies while ignoring most of the illusion tree and avoiding any stat points in Magicka.

    RolePlay:

    You are roleplaying as a Hawk, Kyne reborn in the body of a Bosmer with the blood of dragons coursing through your veins. Quite a lot to live up to, no doubt. She reverently refuses to kill other animals and punishes the defilers of nature without mercy. Alchemy plays a multitude of roles, unlocking unlimited shouts, poisoning daggers and bolts and giving an extra earthy feel to this environmental friendly build. Factions make RP a little difiicult for a bird of prey, although joining the Dawnguard to help extrerminate the distortion of nature that are Vampires seems likely. Joining the Bards College gives a nice feel to her as well. While not a song bird, it still seemed to fit and tracking down the second word of Whirlwind Sprint gains you entry via King Olaf's missing verse anyway. Most of the playthrough I spent a lot of time finding high ground to launch myself off of. It may sound a little childish, but it actually opened up a new way to see terrain and ultimately play the game. I hope you'll give it a try!

    Notable Nests (for aerial assault launches) - Bilegulch Mine, Volskygge, Valtheim Towers, Fort Amol, Fort Sunguard, Lost Valley Redoubt, Bard's Leap Summit, Mzinchaleft and many, many more!

    Closing Thoughts:

    Thanks to those that commented in the WiP of this build - Phil, Lisette, Ajani, and of course, Paul England. I really hope you check out his whole Atmoran series!

     

  • January 31

    Nice to see this up, Motty. I don't have a problem with her being a Bosmer since connections to Y'ffre and Kyne are really quite strong. I like the use of become etherial. Usually, I hate this shout, because people just use it as a generic "oh shit" panic button, but you put it to good use. 

  • Member
    January 31

    Lissette Long-Chapper said:

    Nice to see this up, Motty. I don't have a problem with her being a Bosmer since connections to Y'ffre and Kyne are really quite strong. I like the use of become etherial. Usually, I hate this shout, because people just use it as a generic "oh shit" panic button, but you put it to good use. 

    Thanks Liss! She was a blast to be honest...I love finding high ground and launching myself into the fray. 

  • Member
    January 31

    A fantastic homage to a fantastic start of a fantastic series ;D

    I love the way this is presented as well as the light-on-her-feet playstyle and use of shouts. Normally, I avoid unlimited shouting unless it's crucial to the build, but your highlights show a restrained and purposeful use of them which looks like a lot of fun--I think that qualifies as crucial :D

    Great job on this!

  • Member
    January 31

    ShinJin said:

    A fantastic homage to a fantastic start of a fantastic series ;D

    I love the way this is presented as well as the light-on-her-feet playstyle and use of shouts. Normally, I avoid unlimited shouting unless it's crucial to the build, but your highlights show a restrained and purposeful use of them which looks like a lot of fun--I think that qualifies as crucial :D

    Great job on this!

     Thanks for the kind words Shin! Yes, I agree exercising restraint with unlimited shouts is key. I think I found a pretty good balance without simply spamming UR Force and the like. She really turned out to be a great playthrough. Better than I hope (minus not being able to use Whirlwind Sprint with Become Ethereal for flight :/ )  

  • Member
    February 1

    Yeah, this is great! What a fantastic Frond Fairy build, very thematic in her use of Kyne-inspired shouts, her crossbow "Beak" and the "Talons" of dual daggers, all nicely topped off by her Notable Nests and signature "Swoop" move. That is very cool, I love it :) I can definitely see myself paying this very Nordic Pact Pixie. Great job, Motty - awesome to see your inspirations worn so proudly!

  • Member
    February 1

    Damn Motty. Another stunner as always. Great to see some new Skyrim content from you. I'm always a fan. :D

  • Member
    February 1

    Phil said:

    Yeah, this is great! What a fantastic Frond Fairy build, very thematic in her use of Kyne-inspired shouts, her crossbow "Beak" and the "Talons" of dual daggers, all nicely topped off by her Notable Nests and signature "Swoop" move. That is very cool, I love it :) I can definitely see myself paying this very Nordic Pact Pixie. Great job, Motty - awesome to see your inspirations worn so proudly!

    thanks again for the feedback and kind words! 

    Edana said:

    Damn Motty. Another stunner as always. Great to see some new Skyrim content from you. I'm always a fan. :D

    Aww I blush :D