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Event Build: The Archcanon

Tags: #Character Build Spellsword  #Character Build Elementalist  #Character Build Healer  #Race:Dunmer  #Rank:Event Exemplar  #Hall of Fame Build  #Event:Resurrection 
  • Member
    March 31, 2014

    "Hear the words of Lord Vivec, and heed his sermons on the Seven Graces."

                                                                                                 ~ Tholer Saryoni

     • • • • • • •

    Morrowind is far and away my favorite game in the series. I've been playing it for close to ten years, and I still find things that I haven't seen. One of the guild questlines that I have never done, however, was the Tribunal Temple. Recently, I played through it and was able to learn about Tholer Saryoni, the Patriarch and Archcanon of the Tribunal temple. He is the character who I have attempted to emulate in this build. Unfortunately, however, I had little to go on from a history standpoint. I did find a certain item, though, which I have used for the basis of this build, but more on that later. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

    The Archcanon

    RACE: Dunmer. Not only was Saryoni himself a Dunmer, but his race compliments the skills used in this build quite well with bonuses to Destruction and Alteration, two heavily-used skills.

    STANDING STONE: The Mage until level ~20, then switch to The Lord. Ingame, Saryoni does not have a birthsign. This allowed me to choose one that I feel compliments his skills best. Because he is primarily a magic user, as well as being completely unarmored, I chose The Lord for the bonus to Armor Rating and resistance to Magic.

    ARMOR: This part is a tad tricky, especially for console users. Temple Priest Robes from Dragonborn are the preferred robes of choice, but they're not easy to get. PC users have it a little easier with console commands or mods, but console players have two options, one of which is not possible with this build; either pickpocket the robes with Perfect Touch (which cannot be done) or complete the quest that one of the priests gives you and then kill one of them for the robes. Obviously, your only choice is the latter.

                 Head: Temple Priest Hood

                 Chest/Legs: Temple Priest Robes

                 Hands: Gloves (purchased from Solitude's Radiant Raiment)

                 Feet: Temple Priest Boots

    WEAPONS: Early-game, get your hands on an Elven mace as soon as you can. Later on, upgrade to an Ebony mace.

    ENCHANTMENTS: Head: Fortify Restoration/Fortify Alteration

                                 Chest: Fortify Magicka Regeneration 75% (taken by Temple Priest Robes)

                                 Hands: Fortify One-Handed/Fortify Magicka

                                 Feet: Resist Shock/Resist Frost

                                 Ring: Fortify Destruction/Fortify Conjuration

                                 Neck: Fortify Health/Resist Magic

                                 Mace: Fire Damage/Paralyze

    SKILLS AND STATS: I opened up the Morrowind Construction Set and found Tholer Saryoni's skills. MysticismAlteration, and Restoration were the three highest, with some DestructionConjuration, and Blunt Weapon. These, along with a little bit of Enchanting and Speech, are the skills used in this build (minus Mysticism for obvious reason). At level 50, the build's final level, Saryoni has 300 Magicka, 300 Health, and 200 Stamina. As for perks:

    • • • • • • •

    Saryoni's Sermons

    Remember how I said in my short intro to the build how I found an item that I have used as the basis for this build? Well, Saryoni's Sermons is that item. It is a book written by Saryoni himself, outlining the Seven Graces of Vivec, which are as follows:


    These Graces are characteristics advocated by Lord Vivec himself, and expanded upon by Saryoni in his Sermons.

    The Grace of Valor

    "I shall not quail, nor turn away, but face my enemies and my fear."

    The first Grace is that of Valor, and this is the first one that I will expand upon and apply to this build. This Grace can be applied relatively easily to combat and gameplay, whereas the rest of the Graces apply more to roleplaying. 

    Destruction is Saryoni's most powerful form of offense. The fire magic that Saryoni uses allows for high amounts of damage both up close and from afar, and he can engulf himself in flames completely for a good deal of damage-over-time to multiple enemies. 

    Conjuration is very versatile; it can act as both an offensive and defensive School of magic. My personal favorite summons are Storm Atronachs and Dremora Lords, depending on the situation - Atronachs for when I need some extra damage, and Dremora to take some of the beating for me. However, DO NOT use necromantic spells. It is a vile art, denounced by the Temple and illegal in the province of Morrowind.

    One-Handed is a secondary form of offense, but quite powerful in it's own right. Saryoni's enchanted mace adds even more fire damage to the mix, as well as an extremely useful paralysis effect. On top of that, enchantments added on to your other gear allow for the mace to have even more uses before you will need to recharge it.


    Alteration is the Archcanon's primary form of defense as well as granting some utility. Flesh spells are essential to his survival, but with Ebonyflesh Saryoni is actually quite survivable. Ebonyflesh, with all three Mage Armor perks, gives a massive 300 Armor Rating, and the Lord Stone adds on another 50 points. On top of that, the two perks of Magic Resistance and the Lord Stone's 25% magic resistance gives Saryoni a respectable 45% resistance to all magicka, as well as disease. Alteration also allows Saryoni to light the way in dark ruins and detect the presence of potential threats. All in all, a very useful and versatile School.

    Restoration is also a very useful skill, as it's primary purpose is healing. With it, you will have no problems taking care of yourself or followers. As if your potent fire magic wasn't enough, Restoration also provides very powerful offensive spells against the undead.

    In terms of actual gameplay, the Archcanon plays like a fairly standard spellsword. Open battle by summoning your favorite Daedra (I typically use either Storm Atronach or Dremora Lord), casting your best flesh spell (Ebonyflesh at higher levels, only use Dragonhide for the toughest encounters) and use whatever Magicka you have left to unleash a hot blaze of fire upon your enemies. Flame Cloak and Wall of Flames are my two favorite spells for this build, as they assist heavily in melee combat. Once you run short on magicka and draw your mace, you're dealing physical damage as well as adding on a significant amount of damage-over-time from residual firewalls and your cloak. If your enemies still aren't dead, refresh your flame spells and repeat.

    The Grace of Daring

     "I shall not shun risk, nor hide behind the mask of cautious counsel, for fortune favors the bold."

    While he should think logically, the Archcanon is no stranger to a little adventure either. His curious, inquisitive nature often gets the best of him. Seeking your fortune in the deepest recesses of Skyrim will allow you to give back to the people, as much as you can. But more on that later.

    I recommend playing this character with limited use of the compass. Wander the wilderness of Skyrim, and if you can see a ruin or fort in the distance, go to it, regardless of what current quest you are undertaking. You never know what you might find lurking in that Nordic ruin that could help your people.

    The Grace of Justice 

    "I shall be neither cruel nor arbitrary, for fair dealing earns the love, trust, and respect of our people."

    The Archcanon needs a strong sense of judgement. In your travels, strive to be as fair as you can in your dealings with the people of Skyrim. Justice is blind, as should you be. Compassion will show weakness, but cruelty will show corruption. Just because one may be a murderer does not mean he deserves death. Always look at all angles of an issue to make a completely fair judgement. In the harsh, corrupt society of Skyrim, the Archcanon's neutral form of justice is much needed.

    The Grace of Courtesy

    "I shall speak neither hurtful nor harsh word, but shall speak respectfully, even of my enemies, for temperate words may turn aside anger."

    The Archcanon is quite passive at heart, and a rather accomplished public speaker. He is skilled in persuasion, and as such he uses it as often as he can. If there is an option to persuade someone, always attempt it. Taking a life should always be a last resort.

    The Grace of Pride

    "I shall not doubt myself, or my people, or my gods, and shall insist upon them, and my ancient rights."

    Have nothing to do with the Eight. The New Temple worships Azura, Mephala, and Boethiah, as well as revering several saints and heroes and the ancestors. Pray only to them, and begin a pilgrimage to complete their quests. Be proud of your people and religion. Do as much as you can to help the Dunmer of Skyrim, and especially those oppressed in Windhelm.


    The Graces of Generosity and Humility

    "I shall neither hoard nor steal, nor encumber myself with profitless treasures, but shall share freely among house and hearth. I shall neither strut nor preen in vanity, but shall know and give thanks for my place in the greater world."

    As Archcanon and Patriarch, you are known for your generosity and humility. Every chance you get, give gold, food, and other items to those who need it. Set a limit on how much gold you can have; I limited my gold amount to 5,000, for example. Live a modest life, in a modest home. Do not flaunt your possessions, nor your deeds, for there are those who have much less than you.

    As well, in situations where you have a follower, focus on keeping them alive. Heal them as needed, cure debilitations, and should they fall, hold a traditional Dunmer funeral rite for them by burning the body.

    • • • • • • •

    Factions and Questlines

    I deliberately chose not to start the main quest or Civil War, as I could not find a good reason as to why Saryoni would get involved in them, and to keep the character as lore-friendly as I could I didn't want to make him Dragonborn. However, here are a list of major quests that I undertook:

    • The College of Winterhold. I did not progress very far, but so that I could purchase spells I joined.
    • Destroy the Dark Brotherhood. Most Dunmer, Saryoni included, find the Dark Brotherhood highly dishonorable as well as being illegal. I chose to destroy the Brotherhood, for that reason, as well as for the worship of Sithis and the Night Mother.
    • The Black Star. As part of my pilgrimage, this was the first of three Daedric quests that I undertook. Available at level 1.
    • The Whispering Door. This was the second Daedric quest as part of my pilgrimage. Available at level 20.
    • Boethiah's Calling. This was the final quest Daedric quest I completed. Available at level 30.

    As well as those five, I made a point of completing as many quests for other Dunmer as I could find as well as any quests to help the general public.

    • • • • • • •


    This has been the most roleplay-intensive character I've ever played, and I loved it. Oftentimes I find myself making decisions based on what feel would be best, but that completely changed here. I was able to fully envelop myself in the character and make the completely neutral decisions that Saryoni would make. I had a blast (literally) playing this character.

    A big thank you to Mason for the contest, as well as to everyone who reads and critiques this build!





    Tags: Character Build ElementalistCharacter Build HealerCharacter Build SpellswordEvent:ResurrectionHall of Fame BuildRace:DunmerRank:Event Exemplar

  • March 31, 2014
    I really like what you did with his sermons. Might steal that for a (possible) eventual Visionary revamp. Anyways, +1.
  • Member
    March 31, 2014
    Really like this idea and the roleplaying.
  • Member
    March 31, 2014
    I don't know how it happened, but this one slipped through the cracks for me, and I didn't see it till just now! I LOVE the idea of the sermons as a vehicle to present your build--it's a fantastic way to present the lore for your character (showing us rather than just telling it). This is what I wish the Vigilants of Stendarr were... kick-tail name-takers, defenders of justice, but without the prickish attitude. Yeah, I like this a lot :)
  • Member
    April 1, 2014

    Yeah, I didn't think it was going to be that small when I was editing it in GIMP. I think I'll probably go back and redo it.

  • Member
    April 1, 2014

    I just really wish I had more to go on from a background point of view. I couldn't find a single source, in-game or otherwise, about Saryoni's history. Oh well.

  • Member
    April 4, 2014

    Love me some dunmer lore. I just recently reinstalled morrowind and all the dlc so I could run about memory lane reading all the old books.

    Your build here is well-written, the character is interesting (to this dunmer fan), and the artwork is a perfect match. Me likey 

  • Member
    April 12, 2014

    I'll have to verify this, as I have only seen the two priests, both of which are essential until you complete their quest.

  • Member
    April 26, 2015

    Nice choice of name. +1