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Event Build: Legend of Lover's Lament

Tags: #Character Build Elementalist  #Character Build Healer  #Character Build Mage  #Race:Breton  #Rank:Event Legendary  #Hall of Fame Build  #Event:Resurrection  #ShinJin Build  #Lozhar Build 
  • Member
    March 30, 2014

    I was too smug in my revenge. The curse I placed upon Lady Madylina after her death, trapping her in limbo between the spiritual and corporeal planes, seemed perfect. Madylina and Gerthland would NEVER be together in this or any other life. Now, at the tail end of my days, I discover she has stolen fleeting moments with her late lover rather than be with me. I will not suffer this outrage…

    … I have cast a curse of endless reincarnation on Gerthland, thrusting him into a new body with no memory of his past. But it comes with a fitting twist: once reborn he will be unable to perceive anything on her unique plane of existence. She will spend lifetimes—ages perhaps—searching for her lover, only to discover that he cannot see her, hear her, or know her. She will follow him to the end of his life, hoping and waiting, only to repeat the cycle when he dies… over and over again… may her “love” bring only ever-increasing lamentation!

    --from Hergen’s journal

    This build takes its inspiration from The Legend of Lover’s Lament, a book found in Daggerfall. It’s a short read, but hauntingly beautiful and profoundly heartbreaking—two doomed lovers separated by death and the jealous wizard who won’t grant them peace in the life to come. You certainly don’t have to read it to understand the build, but your life will be significantly more meaningful if you do :)

    We were further inspired by Mason’s original musings for this contest regarding the relatively obscure Ghostblade and the highly versatile Become Ethereal shout. For extra measure, we threw in the Philter of the Phantom because it blends in so well with the theme, and… well, what the heck are you supposed to do with those things anyhow?

    The build is a fast paced blend of damage dealing Destruction, offensive and defensive Restoration support, and Illusion spells for those who feel the occasional itch to mess with minds. However, the real fun comes from Alteration’s synergy with Restoration which turns the ‘awesome’ factor of gameplay all the way up to 11 (this will be explained in further detail later).

    The legend’s role play further provides lost love; forlorn and ghostly couples; spectral blades, shouts, and potions; and a steadfast determination to use those weapons to bring rest to the dead and retribution to those who would exploit the dead... it was just too much fun to pass up. Ladies and gentlemen, we are excited to present…

     The Legend of Lover’s Lament

    I’ve found him! But, oh, how he’s changed. After centuries of reincarnations he has become a shell of what he once was; so sad, so… timid. But the hero I loved is still in there… waiting to be reawakened. Lady Mara, I beg you, help me find a way to do it—and help me protect him when I do…

    The Basics


    • Breton—this legend comes from Daggerfall, and the setting practically screams of High Rock… Breton territory. The racial abilities, powers, and bonuses all blend fairly well for this build.
    • Altmer—if you don’t give a rip about RP, this is also a decent race for the build… the abilities and powers are very helpful for the early-game, but it’s the bonus to Destruction and Enchanting that makes this such a tempting choice. The downside, ironically, is a hefty +10 to Illusion. Illusion levels quickly and is a great way to bump up a level after paying for Destruction or Restoration training. Reaching 100 sooner means having to find some other way to level up (usually a slower, more difficult way).


    • Mage—helps speed up those slow-moving Restoration and Destruction skills
    • Atronach—after you get the Atronach Perk in Alteration take the Atronach Stone... threats wielding magic quickly become minor threats


    • 3 magicka/1 health/0 stamina—I did this till I hit about 500 magicka (without gear enchants) then placed all points into health thereafter.

    Follower: “Uh, why… Golldir?”

    When Lozhar first suggested Golldir as a candidate for the part of Gerthland I asked that very question—he acts like a frightened puppy before you convince him to defend the family tomb, and his level caps at a disappointing 30. But the more I shopped around for a “proper” follower, the more perfect he seemed: Gerthland was a knight, not a blade for hire or servant, and Golldir’s family is influential enough to have their own crypts. Golldir’s experiences as a youth formed a core dislike of the undead, and his current predicament with a rogue wizard invading the family tomb perfectly mirrors his past life and Hergen’s abuse of Gerthland's and Madylina’s departed souls.

    Golldir’s skill-set also fits in well with this build. One-handed, Heavy Armor, and Block makes him a decent tank when he wants to be, while Archery frequently keeps him out of trouble but still dealing considerable damage. As for the 30 level cap… Golldir will be significantly beefed up with gear enchants, thus making him more than viable for later levels.

    • By the way, the names Golldir and Gerthland are used interchangeably in this write-up and are to be considered one and the same.

    Major Skills:


    Fire magic is your main offensive weapon. While I used many of the fire spells for this build, Firebolt became my go-to once I reached Adept. With its fairly low cost in magicka, moderate damage output, and stagger effect with the dual casting perk, Firebolt lets you hurt, disrupt, and destroy enemies while Golldir continues to pile on the melee damage.


    Some useful factoids:

    • Close Wounds with the Respite perk provides an almost infinite supply of stamina for sprinting, plus it restores health quickly and almost completely.
    • Turn Lesser Undead works as a low-cost stagger even for powerful draugr that resist the turn effect.

    The Circle of Protection (CoP) is an amazing spell... so much so that it gets its own section. There are so many reasons to love this spell:

    • It gives you a break from regular, restless, and scourge draugr when the mobs attack, thinning them out so you can deal with more powerful wights, overlords, and deathlords without having to worry about taking shot after shot in the back
    • The spell is a spamable way to level Restoration and doesn’t even require the presence of undead for it to work.
    • When combined with the right perks in Alteration, CoP becomes an absolute powerhouse.


     I have discovered a curious philter that alters one’s corporeal state for a brief period of time. Is it possible that a way to reach Gerthland has finally been placed before me? He will not know me, but perhaps I can guide him to a path wherein he can discover that part of himself he lost so long ago.

     Minor Skills


    For this build Alteration is about so much more than flesh spells. When you use the Atronach perk in conjunction with CoP something beautiful happens… the Atronach Perk absorbs CoP’s magicka, giving you instant magicka regeneration for the duration of the spell. It’s like having a supercharged version of the Altmer Highborn power, except you can use it at will rather than once a day! It is an absolute beast and can easily break the game if you don’t find ways to use it responsibly.

    It also makes a great training tool: cast CoP, and then spam Muffle to quickly train Illusion cost-free. Repeatedly casting CoP levels Restoration, and if you’ve been dreading all the time it’s going to take to transmute those 57 pieces of iron ore into gold, never fear… CoP is here to save the day (with no waiting).

    As a side note: at some point in time you will most likely lose the CoP absorb effect. Getting hit by certain spells or dragon attacks can break the effect… but you can reboot it. The best method that I found was to collect Summon Storm Atronach scrolls or pick up a staff to do it. Summon the atronach (it may take a few tries because of your Absorb Magicka perks), then throw a firebolt at him 3 or 4 times. If you are close he will hunker down and unleash an AoE blast… there’s your reboot! Dismiss him with some dual cast firebolts and then enjoy your restored CoP absorb effect.


    The perfect school for when you run into the un-undead. Case in point: after perking Atronach and switching to the Atronach stone, the next four or five dungeon sprawls I took on dealt mainly with mages, necromancers, and undead. I absolutely owned them all and started to think of myself as invincible. Then I happened upon Fort Greymoor and figured I’d stir things up a bit there. Walked right into the courtyard and instantly found three Bandit Marauders wielding two-handed weapons up in my grill and another four archers rapidly paring down my health. I had to chug some potions to avoid death. Then I remembered my Illusion… a couple fury spells later things were looking much better.


    My favorite of the three crafting skills… it buffs you without having to remember to drink anything, makes weapons even more powerful, and dramatically increases the value of items you loot. If you are lucky enough to pick up Banish for weapon enchants, or Fortify Carry for rings, necklaces, and hand or footwear, you are well on your way to paying your trainers at the college.


    Love this tree! Perking up to Merchant makes money-making and training much easier. The Investor perk makes it easier to get even more gold, and keeps you from having to travel as often to do so (especially when a single dagger with Banish enchantments exceeds the amount of gold in the typical merchant’s inventory).


    He knows me… who I am… who he is! The philters may be gone, but I have learned to reach the spectral state with just my voice. I did just that in order to arm Gerthland with a new weapon—the Ghostblade—but something was sparked deep within him as his hand wrapped around the hilt. His eyes widened as memories of his spirit life flooded through him, and finally he uttered the one word I have waited an age to hear him speak… “Madylina?”


    Gear (with end game enchantments)

    A quick explanation of jewelry choice: in The Legend of Lover’s Lament Madylina and Gerthland drop something on the shore of the lake each night before departing… he, a red rose, and she, a white rose. As part of the roleplay Gerthland wears a diamond ring and necklace to remind him of his white rose, Madylina. She, in turn, wears a gold ruby necklace and silver ruby ring to remind her of her red rose, Gerthland.



    • Mourner’s dress—Fortify Destruction/ Fortify Restoration
    • Circlet—Fortify Destruction/ Fortify Restoration
    • Boots—Fortify Stamina/ Fortify Carry Weight
    • Gloves—Fortify Magicka/ Fortify Carry Weight
    • Gold ruby necklace—Fortify Destruction/ Fortify Illusion
    • Silver ruby ring—Fortify Restoration/ Fortify Illusion

    Gerthland (gradually replace his armor with better pieces until you can get the full ebony set)

    • Ebony Armor—Fortify Heavy Armor/ Fortify Health
    • Ebony Gauntlets—Fortify Heavy Armor/ Fortify Carry Weight
    • Ebony Boots—Fortify Stamina/ Fortify Resist Fire
    • Ebony Helm—Fortify Magicka/ Fortify Magicka Regeneration
    • Ebony Shield—Fortify Health/ Fortify Resist Magicka
    • Gold diamond necklace—Fortify Health/ Fortify Heavy Armor
    • Gold diamond ring—Fortify Health/ Fortify Heavy Armor
    • The Ghostblade

    Level 30 Perk Spread


    Level 50 Perk Spread



    Madylina’s only desire now that she has found Gerthland is to keep him with her for as long as she can. There are two ways you can approach this:

    Passive Support—buffing Gerthland with Courage, healing him when he takes hits, turning undead, and manipulating living threats with illusion. Destruction is used mainly to protect yourself or to bail him out of difficulties when nothing else will do. This is a good way to go if you are afraid of accidently killing your long lost love and having to start the search all over again.

    Aggressive Support—rush into danger before Gerthland raining fire and devastation to thin out or eliminate threats before he has the opportunity to hop into the action. Then buff and heal him while turning, manipulating, staggering and destroying any foes that come his way. I usually chose this option because (a) I’m overprotective of my followers, and (b) super-aggressive Destruction is just too, too fun.

    Role play

    The tragic elements of this story make for some fantastic role play. Hergen’s curse initially traps Madylina in a limbo state that is neither spectral nor corporeal, thus separating the two lovers after their deaths. It also renders Gerthland unable to perceive things in Madylina’s half spectral, half corporeal plane. Furthermore, Gerthland’s reincarnations continually rip him away from Madylina and strip away all memories of his past life.

    After ages of following her lover through different lives, however, Madylina discovers that Gerthland can see beings that are fully spectral… enter the Philter of the Phantom. By taking the philter, Madylina can communicate with Golldir (Gerthland) and get him to clear out the family crypt. After the quest is completed, she can take the potion again to recruit him as a follower. He won’t remember who she is, but now he knows that someone is watching over him. The Philters go quickly (I was only able to find two), so the next step is to get the Ethereal Shout so that you won’t have to rely on potions to communicate.

    The fun part is obtaining the Ghostblade. The spectral nature of the blade sparks the latent memories of Gerthland's first life, enabling him to remember who he really is as well as his painful past. At this point their life becomes a personal crusade to grant peace to lost souls, and to find the favor of Mara to release them from the curse.

    Gerthland is heading for Riften and the Temple of Mara. Though he has said nothing, I know he seeks her blessing and possibly a release from the curse that keeps us from freely communicating. I fear to hope, but just seeing him and knowing he knows I am with him fills me with a joy I previously thought unattainable.

    Some Practical Advice for Training Slow Leveling Skills

    Destruction and Restoration are absolute turtles when it comes to leveling—slow and seemingly impenetrable. Use those trainers! Under normal circumstances I would train and perk Speech up to Merchant ASAP, go on dungeon sprawls, enchant found daggers with Stamina Damage (you can disenchant Froki’s bow at level 1 at Graywinter Watch), Banish, or Absorb Health, and sell those beauties for a healthy profit and more training. It’s a natural progression that I find rewarding, but (a) it takes time—too much time for me to meet this contest’s deadline with the limited amount of playtime I get in a typical week, and (b) I wanted every purchased skill increase to go to Destruction or Restoration.

    For some of my builds in the past I have dropped a few perks into Pickpocket to steal my gold back. This is MUCH quicker (too quick because it often kicks you up 2 levels without giving you a chance to pay for training). Perking Pickpocket, however, breaks RP for this character.

    With the contest deadline looming on the horizon, I opted for something in between: Madylina, desperate to improve her skills to keep from losing Gerthland again, casts a sleep of forgetfulness (Paralysis) on her trainers and retrieves her gold as they awake. Dirty? Possibly, but it leveled Destruction/ Restoration fairly quickly and satisfied the personal RP magistrate that rules my heart.

    After a visit to Faralda or Collette, Illusion and Alteration (Muffle and Telekinesis) grind quickly to kick you up a level should you so desire, or you can sprawl (which usually kicks you up a level by the time you reach the end of a dungeon). I opted for a mix of the two.

    Useful Moves


    Spectral Position of Strength—(must have the Atronach Perk) Circle of Protection + Ebonyflesh (simultaneously), then Become Ethereal

    A great opener for tough battles or when you walk into a room and see a bunch of little red dots on your HUD. In essence you are now starting off with a flesh spell and a full tank of magicka (with the option of instant magicka regeneration every time you return to the circle). Become Ethereal gives you damage-free time to survey the threat and switch out your spells accordingly.


    Ethereal Bane of the Undead—Become Ethereal + Bane of the Undead

    You walk into a room, the barred gate drops behind you, sarcophagi are bursting open all over the place, and everywhere you turn you see tall-horn helmets… that used to be a problem. Give your longest Ethereal Shout, run to the densest cluster of draugr you can find, start casting Bane of the Undead, and hold it for as long as you safely can… then release. Now your only problem is trying to stagger-stop all the Deathlords before they can flee to the four corners of Nirn—good times!


    Spiritually Grounded—(must have the Atronach perk) Circle of Protection + Become Ethereal, then Lightning Storm

    The dragon modus operandi is predictable but can get maddening at times... hover, deal out damage, fly away, then rinse and repeat. So use it against them! Just before they come in to start the process, cast CoP, Become Ethereal (as a just-in-case while you're winding up), then let loose with Lightning Storm. If it can still fly away, no worries, the CoP has made the cast magicka-free... keep firing until the dragon returns! This drains the dragon's health fairly rapidly, often strips them of their breath attacks, and keeps you from having to take time to recast a master level spell. Above all, it gets dragons to ground where they can't escape your wrath.

    This works best when groups serve as a distraction—if it's just me, I tend to save the Become Ethereal shout for later, should a breath attack break my Lightning Storm and I want quick refuge from damage.


    Suggested Quests

    Main quest—if you are coming from Whiterun, The Way of the Voice takes you right past (a) Graywinter Watch to snatch Froki's bow for disenchanting its Stamina Damage effect, (b) Hillgrund's Tomb (Golldir’s family crypt), (c) Snapleg Cave (for the staff of Paralysis), and (d) Shroud Hearth Barrow (for the Philter of the Phantom). Completing The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller will net you the Become Ethereal Shout—all in the early-game

    A Love Beyond Death—rid Skyrim of a Necromancer, release two dead heroic lovers from their enthrallment, and get the Ghostblade for doing it

    The Book of Love—reunite the spirits of two lost lovers, and receive the Agent of Mara blessing (+15% Resist Magic)

    The Break of Dawn—bring light to the Kilkreath Ruins, death to Malkoran the necromancer, and peace to his Corrupted Shades

    Evil in Waiting—bring rest to a departed warrior by helping him vanquish an ancient evil (also a good place to pick up the Aura Whisper shout)

    Life after Death—help a ghost child find safety and peace

    Frostflow Abyss—discover the tragic end for a lighthouse keeper and his family, retrieve his remains, re-light the beacon, and gain a 10% increase in the effectiveness of your healing spells

    Toying with the Dead—liberate the enthralled souls of some local women... and a local necromancer of his life. Caveat: this is a Thieves Guild quest. It can be initiated without joining the Thieves Guild; however, the journals will remain in your inventory, and the quest will not fully close (it's just one of those sacrifices the Good make)

    Free the Subjugated Ghosts in Rannveig’s Fast by taking the life of their demented captor


    Just in general—Bring rest to the undead, and if they're walking... make sure they don't do that anymore. "We're not killing them, they were already dead. We're helping them back to Sovngarde!"


    Even with Mara’s blessing our love cannot be fully realized, but we are together—that is enough. We will continue our fight to the end of Gerthland’s life; he will be taken from me, and though it will take years of searching, Lady Mara will help me find him. But it will be different now... this time he will see me, and I will have the Ghostblade. We will know each other again and continue our fight again. Forever if need be. Who knows? Perhaps Lady Mara will find a way to grant us our deepest wish…


    A big thank you to Mason for the Resurrection Build Contest and for his willingness to look over 20 different builds (ours included). Thanks also goes out to all who participated in the contest thread—your comments and enthusiasm were infectious and made the building process way more fun than anything on this earth has a right to be


    By The Way:

    We're builders, so if you like what you see, check out our other stuff:


  • March 30, 2014

    im glad i was the first to like this great build. 

  • Member
    March 30, 2014

    It's finally here! I can like the build, since it was not posted by me?

  • Member
    March 30, 2014

    Wow, that was quick! Thanks for the kind words

  • Member
    March 30, 2014

    I won't argue with that... but I'm morally bankrupt xD

  • March 30, 2014

    I got to take a sneaky look at this one earlier, it's ACE!!

    The concept of a ghost that haunts/protects her warrior lover is really cool!

    This image is awesome!

  • Member
    March 30, 2014

    :D great build

  • Member
    March 30, 2014

    This is just amazing guys! The synergy not only in skills but in RP as well, the fun playstyle (both of them) such a great choice for a background! This is officially one of my favorite builds on the site now! 

    Also, tags 

    "Character Build Elementalist", "Character Build Healer", "Character Build Mage"

    Just copy those instead of the ones you have now 

  • March 30, 2014

    I really like it, especially the role play part, it's really original and imaginative to play as a limbo ghost and creating that context for using Become Ethereal and using the Philters, two things I appreciate

  • Member
    March 30, 2014

    Thanks, Mason... your go-ahead put a lot of doubts to rest--I'm an eternal editor, and so it was much appreciated!

    I almost skipped over that pic, but Lozhar suggested we use it in place of a different one... once again, Lozhar saves the day!