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Character Build: The Wendigo

Tags: #Character Build Elementalist  #Character Build Unarmed  #Character Build Werewolf  #Race:Altmer  #Mods  #Ordinator  #Tysoyaha  #Rank:SE Novice  #Flamesword 
  • August 29, 2018



    Hello and welcome to Flamesword and Tysoyaha's One Perk Event Build! That contest from forever ago? Yes...that one. Sorry it took so long, it's been 99.9% done in the workshop for ages now because Flamesword is focusing on school and I was afraid of taking over the story section. (So please forgive me if it's poorly written).

    We based this build off the Hissing Dragon perk in Ordinator's Light Armor skill tree. We primarily chose this perk because we realized that Ordinator's unarmed perks apply to werewolf attacks, so with Hissing Dragon active you can augment beast form with elemental claws! In fact, any of Hissing Dragon's prerequisite perks are also very powerful in beast form.

    We've also built off the Hissing Dragon perk's elemental theme by developing a way to continuously cast cloak spells as a werewolf. And thus, the Wendigo was born: Namira's jealous and spiteful attempt at her own version of a man beast (much like Daedric Titans are to dragons).


    As a retired hunter, looking for purpose, Mauvais Lartigue hears of the Stormcloak rebellion and enlists to aid in the war efforts. He gets sent to Skyrim with a few other civilians (enchanters, trainers, cooks, and blacksmiths) but Misunderstood intelligence led the Stormcloaks to believe this was a caravan of weapons and supplies, so they ambushed it. They realized too late that it was filled with civilians and leave only a severely wounded Mauvais and a cook by the name of Francois Cartier alive.

    The cook carries the Mauvais until they find shelter in the form of a nearby cave. There's a fresh spring running through it, but the drinkable water and shelter from Skyrim's harsh weather has attracted skeevers. It's a tense situation, but for a while it actually works in their favor. With Mauvais much too injured to move on his own, let alone hunt, the only source of food available are skeevers unwise enough to attack him in his sleep. During the day Francois cooks, fetches water, tends to the hunters wounds and sends smoke signals for help. Things are looking good for both of them. 

    Eventually there are no more skeevers to lure into the hunters trap, so while the Francois has done a fair job of nursing his companion back to health, they both start to succumb to hunger. The lack of food weighs heavily on both, but in his weekend state, Mauvais starts to break. He begins acting paranoid, hearing a voice in his head telling him to kill and eat Francois. The mysterious voice is certain that the cook must be planning to do the same to Mauvais. "It's self defense, not to mention the only way you'll survive this retched hunger. Do it! Do it now!" 

    Thanks to the smoke signals, it's not long after this that the imperials find the cave. Inside is the hunter, covered in blood with a half eaten corpse by his side. He tries to tell them that the Skeevers attacked the helpless cook, but only the bones of long since eaten skeevers remain. The soldiers do not believe Mauvais, but they make up the bogus charge of "crossing the boarder illegally" to spare the women and children of Helgen the gruesome details of their discovery. They take him to be executed...but Alduin attacks, sending the soldiers to their gave with Mauvais' dark secret never once having crossed their lips.

    Angry and disillusioned by the imperials attempt to execute him, but still seeking meaning and acceptance in his life, the hunter runs from Helgen and stumbles upon several people battling a giant and ends up joining the Companions. He hopes performing good deeds and services for the people of Skyrim will help him repent and ease his guilty conscious. He works with the Companions until he's asked to join The Circle by submitting to Hircine and becoming a werewolf.

    However, unbeknownst to Mauvais, the cave in which he and the cook sought refuge was also home to an ancient spirit escaped from the Scuttling Void. It's called a Wendigo and while it has no physical form, it's capable of infesting the thoughts of mortals. As a minor Daedra, subservient to Namira, it encouraged him to do her bidding by whispering things in the back of his mind, trying to influence his actions. This was the voice that convinced Mauvais to consume human flesh. Saving his life but, in turn, forever indentured his soul to Namira.

    Mauvais attempts the Companion's ritual, but ingesting the Werewolf blood allows Hircine to make an attempt at the hunter's sprit, since manbeasts end up in the Hunting Grounds after they die. As the rightful owner of the hunter's loyalty, this enrages Namira and she interferes with the transformation, causing the ancient Wendigo spirit to merge with the bestial blood and manifest itself as a corrupted version of Hircine's lycanthrope: a stronger, more durable creature with the icy touch of a corpse, who causes those nearby to experience the dread and chill of death. A transformation brought about not by a celestial body, but by the consumption of human flesh.

    Required Mods

    Ordinator - This mod completely overhauls the Skyrim perk trees and provides Hissing Dragon, the ability this build is based off of.

    Imperious - This changes the stats and abilities of the various races in Skyrim. The Altmer power Contingency will be essential to this build.


    Recommended Mods

    One Handed Crossbows - These are technically retextured staves except that they have unlimited "ammo" (i.e. charge), so you won't have to worry about them leveling any unwanted skills like Archery or Enchanting.



    Race - Altmer
    This is so that we can utilize the racial power, Contingency.

    Standing Stone - The Atronach
    Andromeda's Atronach will make your spells 25% stronger but will keep your magic from regenerating. A powerful choice considering that this character didn't use magic to cast spells.

    Magic/Health/Stamina - 0/1/2
    The Ordinator perk Iron Fist increases your unarmed damage based on stamina, so it's a good idea to invest heavily in it.

    Skills - Light Armor, Lycanthropy, Destruction, Alteration, One Handed
    We won't be investing anything into One Handed, but it can help you level efficiently and provide you with free perks to invest in more important skills.

    Powers - Beast Form, Contingency
    Contingency allows you to set two spells to auto-cast when you perform certain actions that trigger the power. If you set it to "When I cast a spell", beast form becomes one of those actions (and so do werewolf howls). Basically, this means that Altmer werewolves can cast spells.

    Shouts - Shroud of Snowfall
    This is one of the easier Thunderchild shouts to obtain. It basically gives you unbreakable invisibility and turns the weather snowy. Werewolves can't enter sneak, so you won't receive any damage multipliers but you will be harder to detect. Which can help you get the drop on enemies and pick off large groups one by one.

    Spells - Frost Cloak, Ironflesh
    These are both spells that work well in combination with Beast Form. In the tactics section we'll explain how to cast them as a werewolf.

    Weapons - Poachers Axe, One Handed Crossbow
    These are both relatively weak weapons, so pre-Wendigo battles can be challenging. Eat your enemies as soon as they drop to initiate your transformation.

    Armor - Fur Armor
    Your best bet is not to get hit much in your elven form. Though even if you do, it just helps level your Wendigo's unarmed skill.

    Jewellery - Ring of Hircine, Ring of Namira
    You can always just switch these as necessary, but I recommend using either a mod that allows you to wear multiple rings or the Ill Met by Moonlight glitch explained in the Tips/Tricks section.

    Inventory - Human Heart, Human Flesh
    These can be used to trigger the Wendigo transformation even when no dead bodies are available. They're in limited numbers, and hard to come by so snatch them up whenever you see them and use very sparingly.



    Light Armor - Ordinator adds an Unarmed branch to the Light Armor tree, this is going to be our focus. Light Armor Mastery and Iron Fist should be the first two perks you get, because the latter will allow attacks in beast form to provide Light Armor experience. Considering the amount of damage werewolf's do, and the fact that you'll also gain experience from wearing light armor as a human, this skill will level much faster than anything else.

    Lycanthropy - Obviously, you can max out the werewolf tree without wasting perks or affecting your leveling, but the listed perks should be treated as priorities. Especially things like Animal Vigor that compliment other important perks like Iron Fist (it adds to your overall stamina, which Iron Fist uses to calculate it's unarmed damage buff). Also, Totem of Terror is recommended because of its Roleplay and gameplay value and since it's low cooldown makes re-casting cloack and flesh spells as a werewolf easier (see Unforgiving Cold tactic for details).

    Alteration - The Wendigo Form may be a corrupted lycanthrope, but the Wendigo itself is an ancient possessive spirit from Oblivion. Many of the spirit-themed strengths and abilities that set the Wendigo apart from your typical werewolf will be derived from this tree, so make sure to set up Contingency and Howl often in battle to maintain your flesh spells, gaining that experience will be important.

    Destruction - Destruction will level in much the same way as Alteration, though it's perks aren't as tactically urgent. Most of your focus will be on increasing the frost damage of both your cloak and eventually your icy claw attacks. Some of the top tier perks with Frost enhancing effects are really fun, but don't expect to obtain them until much later. We won't even be touching on them in the lv20 version of this build.

    One Handed - This won't be a perked skill, but training it will help you to level more efficiently. Alteration and Destruction benefit most from relatively low level perks, so training One Handed will allow you to better invest in them despite how slowly they gain experience in their own.

    Special Tactics

    Unforgiving Cold - To perform this tactic simply equip the spells you want to auto-cast, activate Contingency and then select the trigger action. For this build we're going to use Frost Cloak and Ebonyflesh while choosing the trigger "When I cast a spell". That may seem redundant, but both Beast Form and werewolf Howls are considered spells by Contingency. So not only will transforming automatically cast Frost Cloak and Ironflesh, but if they run out you can reactivate them with Howl of Terror without having to revert form first. You can even use Spelltwine to give both spells a secondary effect like increased movement speed, which Synergizes well with Sweeping Wind.
    Required: Contingency, Frost Cloak, Ironflesh, Spelltwine

    Cannibalistic Frenzy - This tactic exploits the fact that the werewolf feed animation can be cancelled by using a Howl (allowing you to move but not attack), and the Howl animation can be cancelled by a power attack (allowing you to keep attacking immediately afterward). This means that, by pressing all three buttons in quick succession when activating a corpse, you will: heal, extend bloodlust, inflict terror, and recast your frost cloak/flesh spell. All in just a split second, allowing you to continue moving and attacking immediately.
    Required: Feed, Howl of Terror, Power Attack

    Looming Dread - This is an interesting combination, and relatively easy to achieve since Shroud of Frostfall is one of the quickest of the Thunderchild shouts to acquire. Basically, the Force of Nature perk in the Destruction tree gives a buff to elemental spells when cast in weather relevant to that element. For frost damage it's Snowfall, which is exactly what using Shroud of Snowfall calls forth. It may not last the entire duration of your transformation, and there's no way to recast in beast form, but it lasts long enough and provides quite a nice buff. So it's worth using if you choose to track down all the words of the shout.

    Required: Shroud of Snowfall, Force of Nature, Hissing Dragon

    Ancient Spirit - Since Unforgiving Cold auto-casts a flesh spell whenever you use Beast Form, and the Distorted Shape perk turns you aetherial whenever you obtain a flesh spell in combat, combining the two is a great way to mitigate the vulnerability you would normally experience while transforming. It also works well in conjunction with Howls to close in on ranged attackers. The Wendigo spirit can also absorb some damage by combining the Energy Shield and Vancian Magic perks. The former turns a portion of incoming damage into Magika damage, while the latter makes magicka regen instantaneous while limiting how many spells you can cast (which doesn't include anything cast by Contingency).

    Required: Distorted Shape, Energy Shield, Vancian Magic


    Cannibalism - As powerful as the Wendigo form is, you won't be transforming at will or starting most battles with any such advantage. To evoke the ancient sprit into it's physical form, one most first entice it's insatiable appetite. This can be done either by battling as a frail human until an enemy corpse can be eaten, or by consuming the alchemy ingredient human flesh. Though the latter is is short supply so it's best saved for the most dire of circumstances (like Dwarven ruins).


    Ring Stacking - This trick is pretty simple, but you only get one chance so you have to do it in the right order. Just make sure you've obtained Namira's Ring before starting Ill Met by Moonlight. When you accept the Cursed Ring of Hircine, your current Ring will be forcibly removed, leaving the enchantment. So with Namira's Ring equipped, you'll be left with the permanent ability to perform cannibalism.

    Butterflies - Both Contingency and The Ring of Hircine are important aspects in attempting to harness the power of the Wendigo. Luckily for us, both can be obtained together, and soon as you like! Unlocking Contingency requires plucking 40 butterfly wings, which is quite the task if you rely on finding them randomly in the wild. However, Bloated Man's Grotto (the cave where Ill Met by Moonlight takes place) has the highest concentration of butterflies in the game. You can easily unlock Contingency just by completing the quest and harvesting wings as you go.

  • Member
    September 8, 2018

    this is creepy

  • September 10, 2018
    Lol. Thanks.
  • September 11, 2018

    Looking good Tyso, I definitely remember seeing this in the Workshop so I'm glad that it's complete and looking better than ever. Still can't believe how awesome the base concept for the build is, but just damn is it a fun little build. Great work to the both of you :D

  • Member
    September 11, 2018
    From a gameplay standpoint, this is awesome. I might play it around Halloween.