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Event Build: The Shade Mistress

Tags: #Character Build Rogue  #Character Build Illusionist  #Character Build Villain  #Race:Breton  #Rank:Event Mythic  #Hall of Fame Build  #Event:Deities  #Karver  #Kael  #The Sapiarch Council 
  • Member
    July 25, 2015

    This build came about through Karver and mine's desire to bring telekinetic combat into skyrim. Rather than rambling on about it here, I'll let you lovely readers find out how we did this. 

    "You might never have heard of me, mortals, but my name is Jaciel Morgen. I am one of the Nocturnals. I was the ruler of Shade Perilous in the name of the Night Mistress. And I failed her. Oh, how I failed her. I allowed myself to be fooled by Dagon. I LET HIM TAKE SHADE PERILOUS! I let him take my home. And I failed my dear Deyanira too in doing so. Now I have to walk the lands of Tamriel as a penance for my weakness. I am destined never to see the shadows of my realm again, and Nocturnal has every right to punish me so. I deserve it." - Jaciel Morgen.

    During the incident at the Battlespire, Dagon’s forces invaded a pocket realm of the Evergloam, Shade Perilous, to gain access to something called darkling mana. What this is is never quite explained, but it seems that it is Nocturnal´s magicka, a stream of her power that her followers can directly tap into.


    Jaciel Morgen was the Nocturnal Lieutenant, ruler of Shade Perilous. She is a member of the race known as “Nocturnals”. The Nocturnals are beautiful women with white hair who inhabit Shade Perilous.They are Daedra, and their society is seemingly caste-based,  with a distinction drawn between Greater Nocturnals and Lesser Nocturnals based on relative power. Despite their power, the Nocturnals are prone to bouts of debilitating melancholy, and as one of the Nocturnals said: They have this melancholy in their “spine”. The Interesting thing here is that they can cast this melancholy on others, as Jaciel did and turned most of Dagon’s Dremora contigent harmless.



    She, however, fell to this melancholy herself after Dagon´s forces overran Shade Perilous, and only the sacrifice of her loyal servant, Deyanira Katrece, woke her from her lethargy. She then helped the Hero in the fight with Dagon himself. Her fate from there is unknown, and now you, the reader, are given the honor of choosing how her story ends.

    Race: Female Breton Vampire Lord. This is for a number of reasons. Firstly, Bretons get a bonus to 2 of the 5 skills this build uses. Secondly, Karver and I imagined the Nocturnal race to be closest in appearance to the Bretons. Thirdly, the dragonskin racial power (in combination with the ultimate atronach) means that all spells can be absorbed for a short time each day. The magic resistance is also useful.  


    Major Skills: Alteration, Illusion, Sneak.


    Minor Skills: Pickpocket, Destruction.


    Stone: Mage Stone, followed by the atronach or the apprentice (choice of the player) when comfortable. Switch to the Ultimate Atronach upon becoming The Awakened.


    Stat Ratio: 1:1 (Health:Stamina) until you have 150 stamina, then put all points into health.


    Spells: Telekinesis, Vampiric Grip, Flames, Vampiric Drain, Flesh Spells, Paralyze, Ash Rune, Ash Shell, Detect Life and Detect Dead.


    Shouts: Drain Vitality, Soul Tear, Marked for Death, Summon Durnehviir, Throw Voice, Dragon Aspect, Aura Whisper, Become Ethereal, Disarm.

    Illusion: Illusion is both your first line of defence  and your first line of offense (as The Incapacitated). Calm and fear spells are both excellent methods of crowd control, and Fury spells are great for thinning crowds of enemies. Muffle is also a great help for sneaking around unnoticed (something you'll be doing a lot of). At later levels, Invisibility will serve the same purpose (although it's better).

    Destruction: Destruction is a minor skill only in terms of perking. Destruction will be the source of the majority of your dps, but we will only be perking Novice Destruction and Augmented FlamesConsequentially, the only spells used are Vampiric Drain and Flames (this is explained in greater detail further on).


    Alteration: Alteration is, surprisingly, not primarily for casting flesh spells. They were just an added bonus. The true purpose of Alteration here is for Telekinesis. Ash Shell, Ash Rune and Paralyze also add a great deal of crowd control options.

    Sneak: Sneak. Of course. For what is a nocturnal build without sneak? Sneak is what allows us to get around largely unnoticed, thereby allowing us to pick our fights carefully. No overpowered x10000 damage sneak attacks here.



    Pickpocket: Pickpocket is a wonderful skill. With it, we can disarm enemies, steal keys and steal valuables. With those keys we can access people's houses and steal even more! After all, "this is the beginning of the greatest crime spree skyrim has ever known" (as Karliah puts it). 








    Nightingale Hood - An amazing-looking, thematically fitting, face-obscuring mask that reduces illusion spell cost? Surely this is too good to be true! Use a circlet of illusion until you get this.

    Necklace of Deft Hands - A regular old amulet that makes the poor sods of skyrim easier to rob.


    Black Vampire Armor - Thematically fitting, aesthetically pleasing, looted from vampires, comes enchanted (sometimes). What's not to like?


    Nightingale Gloves - These murderous mittens get you hitting people harder and make it easier to break into people's houses!


    Ring of Alteration - Reduce alteration costs! Paralyze the fools of skyrim more often!


    Blackguard Boots - There's no feeling quite as satisfactory as robbing somebody of the clothes they're wearing. Somehow, these boots make that easier to do...


    Nightingale Blade - This is really only used in the first section of the build (before this is attained, the gauldur blackblade is good). Drain the life from your enemies, and their stamina too! It's a shame people don't fall over when they run out of stamina anymore (like in Oblivion).


    This build is best split into two separate sections - The Incapacitated and The Awakened.

    You're a weakened creature of oblivion, barely able to hold your own. You have limited magicka, which may only be augmented by items and standing stones. This represents your loss of connection to the Darkling Mana. As the Incapacitated, you may not use any destruction spells beyond novice level. Due to the loss of your powers, you must resort to more barbaric ways to kill your foes - using swords.


    Morgen travels across Skyrim as an act of Penance...

    Jaciel Morgen's presence in Skyrim is a penance for her failure in losing Shade Perilous to the forces of Mehrunes Dagon. Her failure has left her helpless and without her powers, even without access to the Darkling Mana. To regain access to the Darkling Mana, you must regain Nocturnal a foothold in Skyrim. How do we go about doing this? By returning the Skeleton Key to the Twilight Sepulcher in Darkness Returns. Through the return of the Evergloam's power to Skyrim, you regain your access to the Darkling Mana. As such, this phase of the build lasts until the completion of Darkness Returns and no further.


    There is only one other recommended questline for this phase of the build, which is the main quest, up to Dragon Rising. This is simply to grant us access to shouts, further simulation regaining access to the Darkling Mana.



    I did not complete this phase of the build until around level 20. However, it is entirely possible to rush this phase so as to become The Awakened as quickly as possible.


    Due to your presence in Skyrim being a penance for your failure, you should treat your being there as a Pilgrimage - thus, fast travel is not recommended for further roleplaying immersion. This also means that levelling is quicker, as you will be assaulted by the wild beasts of Skyrim at every step of the way. You could even cast a Muffle spell whenever possible to make levelling even quicker. Pickpocketing all the poor fools of Skyrim is also a great way to level, and it reminds them that there will always be a Thieves' Guild.

    Combat boils down to thinning the opposing crowd with fury spells from stealth. Upon being discovered, switch to the Nightingale Blade/Gauldur Blackblade to hack awayat your foes if you have no magicka left, or if you are low on health. If you have plenty of magicka left, dual-wield Flames in each hand and blast your enemy with quick bursts of Flames (not a continuous stream!). This is a much more efficient way of defeating your enemies. I can only theorize upon why this is, however. I believe this is because a continuous stream constantly resets the afterburn DoT effect, meaning that the damage from afterburn is not added on. Of course, using the Blade in one hand and the Flames spell in your other hand is also a good idea. Blast with Flames, strike with Blade, and repeat.

    If still fighting multiple enemies at once after being discovered, Calm spells can stop your other enemies attacking you a while, allowing you to focus on one at a time.

    The Marked for Death shout is also useful here; you can use this to make strikes from your Blade stronger (it does not affect magic damage, so don’t even bother trying).

    Picking your fights is of great importance in this phase of the build. Multiple perks in Sneak combined with lavish use of the Muffle spell allow us to escape many enemies unnoticed. So, sneaking past all your enemies and only killing the final boss at the end of a dungeon is what you'll be doing most of the time. (Note that it can be a good idea to kill weaker packs of enemies just to level your skills).


    Ok, just calm down and....have a biscuit...

    You have regained the powers of a Greater Nocturnal through your penance and the restoration of the skeleton key. You can feel your old strength awakening, your spirit being rekindled. Nothing will stop you, Mistress of Shade, now. In the name of Nocturnal, Empress of Murk, Queen of Shadows and Daughter of Twilight, Skyrim will know your power!

    In restoring the Skeleton Key to the Twilight Sepulcher, the Ebonmere's link to Skyrim has been re-established. As such, you have regained access to the Darkling Mana. To emulate having your powers restored to you, we will be utilising two different glitches. Firstly, the Vampiric Grip in Human Form glitch; this glitch allows us to use Vampiric Glitch in human form (Shock!). The procedure required to do this is explained here.

    The second glitch is the Ultimate Atronach. We use this to gain unlimited concentration casting (otherwise Vampiric Grip wouldn't be quite as useful). To achieve this, drink a Draught of the Healer, followed by a Philter of the Healer and another Draught of the Healer, and then select the Atronach stone. It is important that you perform the Vampiric Grip glitch before doing this one, as when you become a Vampire Lord and change back, the Ultimate Atronach Glitch will lose it's effect.

    When selecting perks, make sure that both ranks of Augmented Flames are taken before Aspect of Terror. Intense Flames is a useful little perk, as it helps with crowd control.

    Once again, there are only two questlines recommended for this section of the build.  The first of these is the Dawnguard, taken predominantly to gain access to Vampire Lord form./ But blotting out the Sun also has a good deal of rp value.

    The second is Pieces of the Past, to fulfill our personal vendetta against Mehrunes.


    You may think that in becoming a Vampire Lord, you are pledging yourself to Molag Bal. But we saw this not as you becoming a Vampire, but you unlocking your powers. Your orange, glowing eyes are a sign of your awakening.

    Attrition (AoE): If they can’t hit you, they can’t hurt you.

    Vampiric Grip

    Vampiric Grip all enemies, flinging them away. Then when the first one returns, use Immolate or Soul Drain. Fling away. Repeat until all are dead. Combine with Ash shell/paralyze to allow you more time to drain souls or immolate foes. Best used in AoE.

    Immolate: Burn your enemy’s soul!

    Vampiric Grip + Flames

    Your staple move, deal massive damage to a disabled enemy that can still take damage.

    Soul Drain: Undo your enemy’s Vitality!

    Vampiric Grip + Vampiric Drain

    Deal less damage than with immolate, but regain health. Best used when there are multiple enemies or when you are low on health.

    Darkling Blast: Harness the true power of the shadows!

    Fortify destruction Potion + Nightingale Strife + Soul Tear

    Best used against very strong enemies (Such as dragon priests) or groups of strong enemies. Also useful when low on health: Nightingale strife damages all in its way (it passes through enemies), but will replenish a maximum of 100 health.

    Neutralise: Debilitate your foes!

    Disarm + Telekinesis

    Use to make enemies with hard-hitting weapons smaller threats. Follow up with an ash shell or calm spell to remove them from the scene completely.

    Just as before, combat begins with you thinning the crowds with Fury spells from stealth. However, you can only use illusion spells in your right hand (this is why we did not take Illusion Dual-casting). However, once found, you do not resort to a sword - instead you use Vampiric Grip in your left hand and either Flames or Vampiric drain in your right hand. The Aspect of Terror glitch gives Flames a decent amount of dps, making it a viable weapon (especially due to your opponent being hanging in the air).

    The main moving reason for this character was her failure, so her being in Tamriel is more like a trial. While Nocturnal isn´t known for being inherently cruel, Karliah describes her as “a scolding mother who pushes her child to do better", and this applies to Jaciel too. She is in Skyrim to make amends for her mistake and failure.


    While stealing isn´t the main objective of this character, she has to do something to keep her fed, and having a natural affinity for hiding is a great reason to steal. Especially before you regain access to the Darkling Mana.

    • Dragon Rising - We pretty much stayed away from the main quest because it didn´t fit our goal and Nocturnal´s problems. But to gain Soul Tear you need dragon souls, so killing a few dragons just for sport isn´t time wasted.
    • The Thieves Guild is a questline that should be done first and foremost. With the Ebonmere locked, Jaciel can´t sap into her heritage, the darkling mana, and Nocturnal can´t fully reach Nirn to do her things. So restoring the Skeleton key is really important. The same goes for restoring the thieves guild back to it´s former glory, because from then on, they pretty much worship Nocturnal again.
    • Dawnguard is neccesary for phase two, where we glitch the hell out of Vampire lord abilities. Kael and I didn’t think about Jaciel as vampire, but it certainly gave her a more exotic look. Also, blotting out the sun...that casts a shadow on all of Nirn. And what is Nocturnal the Prince of? Shadows.  
    • Pieces of the Past was a quest we did to take revenge on Mehrunes Dagon. Jaciel feels burning hatred towards Mehrunes Dagon, so she will do anything to hurt him. Collecting all the pieces of Razor and then refusing to put it together will certainly piss him off. After you collect your reward from Silus, kill him too. Just for the sake of good. He was following Dagon after all.

    I'd like to thank Karver, for working with me on this build and being an epic Blog buddy.

    I'd like to thank everyone who likes and comments.

    Thanks for reading!

  • July 25, 2015
    Very impressive guys. I very much enjoyed what you did with the gameplay mechanics
  • Member
    July 25, 2015
    Thanks curse! The gameplay really was fun, Karver and I had a great time with it.
  • July 25, 2015
    Perhaps it may be too soon to call, but you two might be the next best character building tag team. I say definitely keep up with the collaborations.
  • Member
    July 25, 2015
    Thanks for that, curse :D We're definitely planning on some more collaborations...that much I can say..
  • Member
    July 25, 2015
    Excellent build to kick off the Event gents! The use of only concentration cast spells in conjunction with the Ultimate Atronach is super cool, as is Vampiric Grip in stealth gameplay! I love the combo of Vampiric Grip and stealth, it makes assassinations so much more interesting. Easy +1
  • Member
    July 25, 2015

    Nice presentation!  I love those crows from the artwork!!! 

  • Member
    July 25, 2015
    Thanks raid! That feeling you get when you use vampiric grip in's like being a Sith Lord (but a stealthy version).
  • Member
    July 25, 2015
    Thanks noodles! We struggled with finding art for the build until we hit upon the crows idea. Glad you like it.
  • July 25, 2015
    Thanks, guys. Also big thank you, Curse. For your compliment, that really warmed my heart. And the biggest thank you goes to Kael. I have never played a build like this (glitched stuff) and I probably wouldn't play it if not for him. It was fun (and kinda OP). Thank everyone who likes this. Let's hope that our second event build will be appreciated just as this one. But guys, seriously. No one is going to praise me for digging up that badass lore? :D