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Event Build: Lord Naarifin

Tags: #Character Build Mage  #Character Build Illusionist  #Character Build Summoner  #Rank:Event Legendary  #Race:Altmer  #Event:Resurrection 
  • Member
    April 1, 2014

    Contest: Resurrection really challenged me, as I had things I wanted to do in Skyrim that I was sure I wouldn't be able to include into a character from Elder Scrolls lore.

    How wrong I was.

    By doing some extensive reading, I not only found a character who was an Altmer (#altmermasterrace), but he was a Thalmor and had ties to the Daedra as well! All of this merged into one cruel - but well-dressed - Altmer vampire who serves the Lords of Knowledge and Domination in a quest for power and revenge. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado I present...

    A brilliant and cunning Thalmor general, he led the Aldmeri Dominion's primary army during the Great War. In 4E 174, on the 12th of Second Seed, Naarifin's army attacked the Imperial City in what is known as the Sack of the Imperial City. The war was not over however, because Emperor Titus Mede the II had fought his way out of the city, and regrouped with the rest of his remaining forces. The Thalmor believed the war to be over, and attempted to negotiate with the Emperor, who let them believe that he was preparing to surrender. He was actually rallying his army.

    In the Battle of the Red Ring, the Emperor's forces surrounded the Imperial City. Lord Naarifin was taken by surprise, and the Emperor's army wiped out the Thalmor inhabiting the Imperial City. Lord Naarifin was hung from the White-Gold Tower by the Emperor himself for thirty-three days, but on the thirty-fourth day it is rumoured that a winged daedra carried him off...

    Now, Lord Naarifin returns to Tamriel as an agent of the Daedra, with new powers and new knowledge. Filled with an insatiable desire for revenge, he will not rest until the Empire and Emperor Titus Mede the II have been destroyed.

    The Build


    Race: Altmer Vampire

    • Not only does the race fit the lore, but we also get a boost to all of our skills, +50 magicka and Highborn. Vampirism is your gift from Molag-Bal, and provides a nice boost to Illusion as well.

    Stone: Mage - Lord/Ritual

    • At the beginning of the game, the Mage Stone helps level all of our skills. When I acquired the Aetherial Crown, I switched to the Lord and Ritual Stones. With the Ritual Stone slotted into the crown, you are able to raise a permanent undead army.

    Stat Distribution: 1:1:0

    • I followed this until health was 200, then I switched to a 2:1:0. Stamina is not needed as we are primarily a mage, and we need a large magicka pool and enough health for combat.

    Arms and Armor: Aetherial Crown, Thalmor apparel, Daedric Sword

    • Naarifin still wears the robes he wore in life after death. Guided by the Daedra, he discovered two powerful forges -the Aetherium Forge and the Atronach Forge- upon where he crafted some powerful artifacts. I forged myself a Daedric Sword, and enchanted it with shock damage + absorb magicka.

    Shouts: Dragon Aspect, Bend Will, Become Ethereal, Soul Tear, Slow Time, Marked for Death, Storm Call

    • Bend Will and Soul Tear are gifts from your Daedric masters, and are immensely powerful. Become Ethereal and Slow Time are useful for casting master spells, while Dragon Aspect and Marked for Death are very effective during close quarter combat.  

    (I would like to point out that I treated shouts as greater powers, as Naarifin is no Dragonborn)

    Major Skills


    In life you were adept with this school; in death you've become a master. The school of conjuration allows us to divert the enemies attention to our summons. With Molag-Bal's gift of vampirism, necromancy is an additional tool in our arsenal. At higher levels, Dremora Lords and thralls are our primary summons.

                                         Priority: High




    The Daedric Prince of Knowledge, Hermaeus Mora, has taught you how to bend the will of others. Using this forbidden knowledge, you are able to send enemies running away in fear, turn them against their friends and at higher levels you are able to boost your undead army with rally spells.

    Priority: High




    Our only source of healing, this school is needed for necromage! Boosts our enchantments, raises level caps and superpowers Highborn. What more could you want? It also allows us to heal our undead with the new spells in Dawnguard, and is a substitute for Illusion against draugr during the beginning.

                                         Priority: Medium




    The school of alteration provides us with the flesh spells to make up for our lack of armour. Paralysis spells turn the fight in our favour, and opens up an evil combo (which I will explain later). Otherwise, the rest of the spells aren't used to often, with the exception of Detect Life.

    Priority: Medium



    Minor Skills


    Primarily used for setting up a defensive barrier, shock magic is our only method of damaging enemies from afar. I picked shock magic because it instantly hits enemies, and the Disintegrate perk is the most efficient of the three. At later levels, Lightning Storm is used to devastating effect.

    Priority: Low




    Enchanting is used to power up our Daedric sword and Thalmor gear. While not really important, we'll end up with a bunch of filled soul gems due to harvesting souls for Molag-Bal and why let them go to waste? This is also our main source of gold, as the banish enchantment brings in a lot of septims.

    Priority: Low

    Level 55 Perk Placement


    Versatility makes Naarifin so much fun to play. Primarily a mage, but able to seamlessly switch into a spellsword at will ensures that combat never gets old.

    In Mage Mode, conjuration and illusion are your primary weapons. Using the Ritual stone to raise an army diverts the enemy's attention to them instead of you. Use illusion's rally spells to increase your minions combat skills and health (and I believe the effect stacks). Stand back and lay down some runes and wall spells for extra defense. With the Rune Master and Summoner perks you can pick off enemies with unrivaled precision. I loved using flaming familiars with this guy, as they have great range and act as little homing missiles. If an enemy does get close to you, send them running with fear spells and send a flaming familiar after them! One of my favourite things to do in an area with little space to maneuver was to lay down a wall of shocks in front of an enemy. Once he got close enough, I hit him with Marked for Death and a fear spell, which sent him back through the hallway, and through the wall of shocks again. Where he promptly disintegrated. Good times...

    If you're in a dire predicament then call upon some Black Book powers and turn things around! With Secret of Arcana, you can cast any spells you want for zero magicka. The power lasts for only a short time, but when casting a concentration spell the power doesn't wear off, meaning unlimited casting of Lightning Storm! I also collected a lot of scrolls (we do serve the Prince of Knowledge after all) and used those when my magicka levels were depleted. This also allows the casting of master spells at level one.

    Bored of sitting back? Then jump out of the frying pan and into the fire! Alteration shores up your defences, while Restoration provides some much needed healing. With all three ranks of mage armour, necromage and the Lord stone, my AR was sitting at 425. Not too bad, right? However, by using Dragon Aspect we get a massive boost to AR (something like 100 points or so) meaning our armour rating is at 525! You could use Dragonhide instead, I saved that for powerful bosses as I wanted it to feel special.

    While we don't perk one-handed, we still deal good damage because of enchanting. Restoration keeps us alive and well, while a shock cloak slowly damages enemies.

    Generally, I was in Mage Mode for most of the time, especially for large fights. If I was low on magicka, I'd whip out my sword and jump into the fray. With a high enchanting skill, a couple hits of your blade can restore a large amount of magicka, allowing you to slip back into Mage Mode and continue to strategically dictate the battle.


    Perhaps the most challenging part of creating this build was the roleplay, and linking all of the different elements together.

    Naarifin is a character driven by hate and thoughts of revenge. The Empire must be crushed at all costs, and Titus Mede the II must die. Naarifin will sacrifice anything to get a chance to hurt the Empire, even if it means breaking his Thalmor ideals. While he will still try and help the Thalmor, he no longer serves them, he serves the daedra. I harvested souls for Molag-Bal and collected books and scrolls for Hermaeus Mora. Every week I would also steal an innocent's soul for Molag-Bal and thrown some scrolls into a fire for Hermaeus Mora.

    In short: seek knowledge, harvest souls, wage war on the Empire, kill those who stand in your way, and eliminate Talos worshippers.

    With that being said, here are the quests that I recommend...

    • College of Winterhold - Knowledge is power, and that is especially true with this character. I completed this questline first, as it gives you access to advanced spells and our unhooded Thalmor robes. If you find any of your skills are levelling too slowly for your taste (I'm looking at you restoration!) hit up one of the many trainers at the College for an immediate boost.


    • Dawnguard - You will guide these servants of Molag-Bal to an age where vampires rule the world. The tyranny of the sun will end, and you will rule in this new age. By siding with the Volkihars, you can pick up the Necromatic healing spells so you can heal your undead thralls. Extremely useful, I recommend doing this questline after the College of Winterhold.


    • The Dark Brotherhood - Revenge shall be yours, no matter what the cost. While not possessing the assassin skillset, invisibility and muffle spells allow you to sneak around without perking sneak. I saved the Dark Brotherhood for last, ending my playthrough with the death of Naarifin's mortal enemy, Emperor Titus Mede the II.


    • Civil War - I sided with the Stormcloaks, as it was a chance to seriously hurt the Empire. The Ritual Stone really shines during these quests, make sure you have it! Completing this questline gives you access to another word of Slow Time.


    • Lost to the Ages - In a never-ending search for power, hunting down the Aetherium shards was meaningful and less tedious in this build. Completing this quest at around level 25 takes him to the next level (power wise) as now you are able to create armies of undead.


    • Discerning the Transmundane -  Earn Hermaeus Mora's favour by obtaining his Ohgma Infinium and you will be rewarded with new knowledge. I completed this quest during Dawnguard.


    • Dragonborn - If this quest is done after completing Discerning the Transmundane, Hermaeus Mora recognizes you as his champion, providing you with a good immersive experience. Completing this quest gives you access to the Bend Will shout and some Black Books (I recommend hunting down all the others, as  they are all useful).




    Calling upon forbidden knowledge, Naarifin uses his mastery of lightning magicks to devastate his enemies.

    Requires: Storm Call, Secret of Arcana, Shock Cloak, Lightning Storm



    Visage of Terror

    Taking on the aspect of a dragon, Naarifin causes his enemies to run away in fear, only to return weaker than ever.

    Requires: Dragon Aspect, Marked for Death, Fear spell




    Summoning an undead army, Naarifin leads them into battle against an unsuspecting world, causing chaos and mass destruction.

    Requires: Aetherial Crown + Ritual Stone, Rally spells



    Closing Remarks

    Thank-you Mason for hosting Contest: Resurrection and to all the people who joined. The enthusiasm you guys (and gals) have is inspiring, and is the reason I entered.

    Thank you Morta for the brilliant screenshots, I know you're really busy and I appreciate the time and effort you took on these.

    Since this is my first build, constructive criticism is greatly appreciated, as it will help me become a better builder.

    Thank-you all for reading!

  • Member
    April 1, 2014

    You get my like just for the images. Great work here dude.

  • Member
    April 1, 2014

    Really nice and unique build.

  • Member
    April 1, 2014

    Thank you! I was so glad that Morta had the time to complete my request, as artwork would've been really hard to come by otherwise.

  • Member
    April 1, 2014

    Cool concept, great presentation. The gameplay and setup are very reminiscent of Mason's Nemesis. You should give that a read if you haven't seen it before. I really enjoyed playing it, so I can vouch that this is an engaging and effective play style.

  • Member
    April 1, 2014
    Not bad.. Im not sure some of the people here would play it though. Being a bloody extremist is VERY hard to swallow, unless you're just as morally insane. :-) +1
  • Member
    April 1, 2014

    Well, thank you! Yeah, I must say I took inspiration from the Nemesis, that build is just great fun. Made this harder to build though, as I didn't want to copy it.

    Glad you liked it!

  • Member
    April 1, 2014
    Your first build? Way to come out swinging! I have just recently discovered the joy of the spellsword play style, and for all the lovers of darkness this promises to be quite fun :) Again, nicely done!
  • April 1, 2014

    It's cool that you used my idea of setting priorities for the skills.. but you know, the whole reason I used those was to get rid of the "minor" and "major" categories

  • Member
    April 1, 2014

    Haha, yeah... I just realized that.

    I may take the major/minor categories out, as I like the priority idea more. At least now it's very clear what skills you should level first