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Character Build: Knight of Traitorous Arms

Tags: #Character Build Alchemist  #Rank:Recognized  #Race:Orc  #Character Build Polymath 
  • Member
    October 24, 2015

    Greetings. I was browsing through my old Skyrim characters and chanced upon a character who hoarded, if not used, all types of weapons: one and two handed, bows and crossbows, sharp and blunt, enchanted or plain. Although I got pretty bored of that character, I tried starting him anew, with a twist: A character who could use any weapon he finds, but would hoard none. I present to you my second build on the site...

    There was once a kind and loyal knight.
    Serve his king he did, with all of his might.
    to lessen his lord's burdens, the greatest wish he had
    was also his queen's, which, to know, made him glad.

    He learnt that the royal marriage was a political stunt,
    and that the queen's life as a woman had taken the brunt,
    For the king's true love was somewhere out of reach,
    beyond a social barrier, impervious to breach.

    Race: Vampire, for the boost in stealth and the "fallen" look. It also encourages travel at nighttime, when the Knight is less likely to be identified or run into people. I ran this character as an Orsimer who served at High Rock. The Racial power also fits very well with the background. However, being a Blademaster character, any race with focus on weapon combat or stealth fits well (Redguard, Khajiit, Imperial). 

    Class: Thief, Knight, Blademaster

    Stats: 1 Health and 2 Stamina every 3 levels until Stamina reaches 300, then all into Health.

    Stone: Steed into Atronach, Thief for training

    Skills:  Major: Sneak , Pickpocket, Block, Alchemy

                Minor: One-handed, Two-handed, Archery, Heavy Armor

    This build is a fusion of 2 relatively immiscible styles of play: a sneaky thief who deprives his victims of their weapons and a headstrong knight clad in impenetrable armor. The crux of the build is integrating both types of skills into one jack-of-several-trades-but-master-of-none. He will not have the same durability as a normal knight or the same sneakiness as a normal thief. However, Alchemy and Block will round out the character and glue the other skills together, possibly making The Knight better than a specialized thief or knight of his caliber. 

    Having to perk Archery, Two-handed and One-handed trees may seem a daunting task at first, but rest assured, The Knight has ways around it. Perk priorities are Pickpocket, Sneak and Alchemy. Block may have to be trained, since it is not an easy skill to level. The three Weapon skills will most likely be needing training, since your fights would be spreading the experience thin over all the skills. Though this might seem expensive, The Knight has both Alchemy to get money and Pickpocket to cut losses. 

    As Knight and Queen toiled together, in the name of their lord,
    the knight realized that his queen, he adored.
    The queen too had loved him and thus was born,
    a forbidden affair, one both would soon mourn.

    The knight even suggested that the two elope
    no matter how bleak the path or slippery the slope.
    But the queen confessed that, by her own loyalty, she was bound,
    and this mirrored the truth in his own heart, the knight found.

    Having no single specialty, this character uses a plethora of potions and poisons to keep him more relevant, somewhat like an old-timer trying to be twenty again using anti-ageing cream. Armor is also important, since you will be taking hits, and blocking will not be enough or be possible at times.


    Head: Ebony Helmet, or any other closed helmet. The Knight prefers to keep his visage a secret.

    Body: Ebony Mail for its good armor rating, Muffle effect and poison cloak, improving combat overall.

    Neck: St Jiub's Amulet/ Amulet of Talos, depending on shout usage.

    Hand: Daedric Gauntlets give great unarmed damage and armor rating. 

    Finger: Ring of the Beast, for being the most OP melee ring in the game, giving a ton of health. The unarmed damage comes in handy when acquiring weaponry from foes.  

    Feet: Daedric Boots, any other heavy boots until then. 

    Shield: Blades/Ebony Shield are the only shields which become invisible when used by a vampire, giving the impression that the Knight is using his bare hands to bash and wrangle weapons from foes.


    While the Knight has next to no magical prowess or training, he is very capable of using Shouts and Powers.

    Shouts: Disarm, Elemental Fury, Marked for Death, Slow Time, Aura Whisper

    Powers: Mora's Boon, Secret of Protection, All-Maker Stones, Black Market, 

    Passives: Agent of Mara, Agent of Dibella, Force Without Effort, Scholar's Insight, Seeker of Might/Shadows, Sinderion's Serendipity


    The other important part of the Knight's inventory. I've tried to make as many of the ingredients farmable at Hearthfire homes, but those which cannot be grown can usually be harvested easily. 


    Fencer’s Friend (Fortify One-handed & Marksman)
    Canis root + Juniper berries (Both grown in homes) + Hanging moss (Solitude Catacombs)
    Stimulates arm muscles, be it for drawing an arrow, or better still, bringing down a sword.

    Dragontail Draught (Fortify Two-handed, Resist Fire, Regenerate stamina)
    Dragon’s Tongue + Fly Amanita + Scaly Pholiota (All grown in homes)
    A refreshing drink for the natives of the Dragontail Mountains, swinging hammers in the hot sun.

    Woe-Ward (Fortify Block, Resist Magic)
    Tundra cotton, Bleeding Crown (Both grown in homes)
    A potent potion which grants the drinker protection from ills, be it physical or arcane.

    Frigid Fortitude (Fortify Heavy armor, Resist Frost)
    Snowberries + Thistle Branch + White Cap (All grown in homes)
    An ancient Atmoran drug used by the 500 when they entrenched themselves against elven foes, still donning Nordic steel in subzero temperatures.

    Tako Tincture (Waterbreathing, Fortify Pickpocket)
    Nordic Barnacle (Northern coasts of Skyrim) + Chicken egg (Farms) + Slaughterfish eggs (Windstad fish hatchery)
    Made by a Saxhleel Slave using stolen supplies to help a Kahjiit brother-in-shackles steal keys from guards and escape underwater into Azura’s Coast. True story.


    Magina’s Malefice (Ravage magicka, Damage Health, Lingering Damage Health)
    Red Mountain Flowers + Imp Stool (Both grown in homes) + Scathcraw (Raven Rock)
    Born from the hatred of magic, this venom eats through the target’s magicka channels in a... blink.

    Joint Jammer (Slow, Ravage Stamina)
    Thistle Branch + Deathbell (Both grown in homes) + Salt Pile (Riften barrels)
    Originally used as an anesthetic before surgeries, it can, in a slightly higher concentration, turn even the most agile of enemies into lumbering pincushions.

    Septic Scrib (Damage Health, Paralysis)
    Imp Stool + Canis Root + Deathbell (All grown in homes)
    The result of assigning a biomimicry project to an Ashlander kid who really liked scribs.

    Spellseep Sap (Slow, Weakness to Magic)
    Scaly Pholiota + Deathbell (Both grown in homes) + Salt Pile (Riften barrels)
    A sticky substance from Black Marsh which lets imbued blades and bludgeons permeate their magics with greater strength, while also restricting the target’s motion.

    Antigen Abductor (Ravage Health, Weakness to Poison)
    Bleeding Crown + Giant lichen (Both grown in homes) + Scathcraw (Raven Rock)
    A relatively mild poison from Hammerfel, it becomes more vicious with every dose, like the buffeting sandstorms of the Alik'r Desert.

    And so they continued to work, and their nation they fostered,
    and in time the land grew and greatly prospered.
    As the kingdom gained much fame and many riches,
    it also made many foes, vile and malicious.

    The enemys' spies discovered the scandal,
    and schemed to, on the kingdom's reputation, trample.
    Once rumors, then news, they spread like wildfire,
    and in mere days the adulterous affair had drawn great ire.

    The Knight is a kind and quiet soul with a harsh scar from his days with his previous lord. His usual self has hoplophobia, the irrational fear of weapons. This encourages him to carry out "confiscation and disposal" of weapons from the people he comes across, be it townsfolk or the guards. While it would seem to be downright theft in the eyes of a common man, the Knight does so in the interest of his "clients", lest they meet a fate like his own. In this process, the Knight would also learn that his fingers were as dexterous as his sword-hand, often resulting in him taking a bit of service tax along with his services. With this, his values as a knight would erode, and his madness would slowly blend into his being. 

    But when in danger, the Knight's personality takes a full 180: he becomes a bloodthirsty beast with rage overshadowing his fear of weapons, so much that he would gladly use them against their own owners. He would revel in the fear and anguish in his enemy's eyes as they see their own blade slide through their guts. However, as his enemies confront him directly, his personality slowly reverts, with memories of honorable duels and jousts flooding back in, buffering out the rage. He would fight without hiding in the shadows, but would not hesitate to use poisons and use the environment to his advantage. 

    As soon as battle ends, however, the Knight would fully return to his usual self, his hands instantly disowning any weapons he might have taken in battle. In Skyrim terms, the change to the violent ego is triggered when he sees an enemy or sees red dots on the compass, and he will revert as soon as there are no red dots on the compass. Most importantly, never hold onto a weapon after combat. 


    The Knight is still a knight at heart, albeit one with progressively questionable morals. He seeks a cause to support, a lord to serve. And lucky for him, Skyrim has many such lords to serve. The Knight is also a curious person, so if a quest interests him, he would just go for it. 

    Thane Quests & Prerequisite quests: The quests from Morthal, Dawnstar and Falkreath net houses to grow ingredients. The Knight would want to serve the lords of the land, but would be more of a roaming knight rather than a dedicated servant for a single Jarl. 

    Civil War: Serve the land and its people by putting an end to the war. You can choose to quell the fighting by arranging a peace treaty, or decimate the opposing side along with their leader. 

    Dawnguard (Vampire): Lord Harkon's court runs on power and subterfuge, not honor, and The Knight would fit right in. This also gives access to the Ring of the Beast. Be sure to give Harkon the bow when he asks for it, as it would fit the Knight's personality. The fight will be much more fun this way, I promise.

    Thieve's Guild: An obvious choice for a fingersmith such as The Knight. The guild side jobs can also help the Knight keep his mind sharp and his fingers nimble. The Fences will serve well as additional sources of income for dropping off the 'rewards' for your confiscation services. 

    Dark Brotherhood: Start this after joining the Thieve's guild. Connections with the guild lead the Knight to seek out the Brotherhood, but what he does with the information is up to you. Either choose to be a protector of the people and eliminate a great threat to all of Skyrim, or be The knight whose morals are covered with a layer of Ratway slime and would not mind joining Astrid's family.

    Astrid, Mercer and Harkon would all reward your loyalty with a knife in the back (or you can betray Astrid, although I chose not to). By this point , the Knight would understand that betrayal was just another undeniable aspect of the world he inhabited, and that he would have to accept his own sins, as well as those of his betrayers. But to accept is not to forgive, and he would still be haunted by his fear of weapons, along with his darker alter egos. He would no longer disarm civilians and guards, for he would understand that everyone has their own path to walk. If they are to betray or be betrayed, it would be their fate, and he would have no right to intervene.

    The crowds demanded action, a brutal judgement,
    "Unchaste Scum!", they spat, "Into the dungeon!"
    The knight was judged and barely punished, and as he held his breath,
    The queen, for forsaking her role, was sentenced to death.

    The knight sunk into despair, and then into madness
    In his desperation to save his love, he slaughtered his comrades.
    Blinded by rage and covered with wounds, he could tell nothing apart
    But a fateful, wild jab with his sword found his Queen's heart

    Combat is where the build gets really interesting. The Knight engages in two phases: For Someone's Glory and Knight of Honor.

    For Someone's Glory: The more thief/assassin type of combat, relying on Stealth and Pickpocket to earn you a slight edge in battle. Objectives include stealing enemy weapons, salvaging weapons lying around and silently eliminating enemies. There is a high chance that you may be found in earlier levels, so keep your (invisible) shield at hand to bash the weapons out of the enemy's grip. Some battles may even end in this phase, since you'd be running around with heavy gauntlets and Ring of the Beast, but in most cases, weapons bring more to the table. This phase assumes the Knight's alter ego, the silent and cold killer, carrying out his task with pure objectivity, so that his other self may claim the glory in the end.

    Knight of Honor: Straight out combat. Depending on your haul of stolen weapons, you'd be downing the respective buffing potions and even using some handy poisons depending on your enemies. For the occasional tough battles, Racial powers can be used. The Knight shifts closer to his usual self, fighting with honor and bravery, but also being creative and with his weapon and poison choices, fighting each battle with its own unique set of circumstances and resources. 

    Special Moves

    The Knight uses two types of special moves. A Knight Dies Not Empty-Handed involves the assimilation and maximal use of specific types of weapons, while Eternal Arms Mastership are for general use in combat. Racial Powers like Berserker's Rage and Adreneline Rush can be used in any combo, pretty much. 

    A Knight Dies Not Empty-Handed

    Focus Barrage : Bow + Arrows + Slow Time + Power Shot + Quick Shot ( + Slow Poisons)

    Slow Time lets the Knight make use of every moment an enemy charges at him by shooting a steady stream of arrows, greatly delaying the advance. Effective in long, narrow paths like corridors.

    Venomous Stroke : Two-handed Weapon + Any Poison + Side Power Attack + Sweep + Concentrated Poison (+ The Force Within)

    Making maximum use of each vial of venom, the Knight swings his weapon twice with force. Best against multiple enemies swarming you. Do take note that Vampires, other Undead and Animunculi are immune to poisons. 

    Bloody Tempest : 2 One-handed Weapons + Fencer's Fury + Dual Power Attack + Dual Flurry + Dual Savagery (+ Elemental Fury + The Force Within)

    Potent chemicals flowing through his veins, the Knight's arms feel like feathers, and his foes like butter. This move would probably kill anything in one dual-wield power attack, but only if your mark is standing duck and your enemies are not trying to kill you. 

    Eternal Arms Mastership

    Keen Observance : Marked for Death + Keeping your distance

    The Knight studies his enemies from a distance, searching out weak points to strike at. A great opening to most fights. Marked for Death is very potent, and one word is often more useful than 3, considering that you can stack it on your foes or switch out to another Shout. 

    Seamless Guard : Woe-Ward + Frigid Fortitude + Atronach Stone + Block

    The Knight hunkers down and bears any punishment with the discipline and resilience of a seasoned veteran. Renders the Knight nearly immune to physical and magical damage. Usually, you'd take this stance when a poison/MfD is doing work. Also effective to stall out a shout cooldown.

    Dark Deal : Secret of Protection + Black Market

    Prepared for the rare occasions where he is unable to procure a weapon, The Knight will use dark forces to overcome darker forces. Secret of Protection covers for when the Knight summons and purchases his weapon. While the knight will purchase the weapons for a price, he will not sell them back, but rather just toss them away, like he would treat any weapon. Use this sparingly, for boss fights where weapons cannot be obtained even from                                          disarming allies.

    Momentary Clarity : Quick Reflexes + Slow Time

    The Knight forces himself to act with clarity, lest he repeat his great blunder. A great follow-up to Seamless Guard. This gives a lot of Matrix-time to weave a battle-plan while weaving through enemy lines. 

    Adder's Septette : Elemental Fury + Concentrated Poison + Antigen Abductor + Ebony Mail

    The Knight delivers multiple doses of deadly venom through lacerations made in the blink of an eye. Stacks many instances of Weakness to Poison and Ravage Health in a short time, but very resource-intensive. Restock frequently.

    Paranoia Burst : Disarm + Solar Flare

    The Knight focuses his rage and fear, even in his battle-mindset, releasing a burst of searing energy which makes lesser opponents drop their weapons. Using solar flare when standing between the dropped weapons and you enemies will push the weapons further away. Be sure to re-activate the Sun stone for the power. 

    Betrayed by those he trusted, the knight lay broken
    afraid of being back-stabbed by anything in, or even without, motion.
    Everything was a tool against him, in his mind, 
    and by his sins he became consumed and defined.

    Such is the tale of the man known as The Knight of Traitorous Arms,
    a fallen, shattered being capable of great and many harms.
    But not by just any means, but by the victim's own weapons
    As is expected by a man with "Paranoia" and "Betrayal" being his essence

    The Knight was a strange character to play. Using the most unlikely combination of skills, the Knight is an oddball, with the vitality of a seasoned knight, the guile of a crafty thief and precision of a silent assassin. Though it was a hard character to put together (Heavy armor and Stealth don't mix well early-game), It was a truly fun experience playing him, looking for abandoned weapons when trekking through crypts and giving bandits a taste of their own medicine. I hope you guys have fun playing this build, and add your own touch to the Knight of Traitorous Arms.

  • October 24, 2015
    This is a very nice build. I see elements of many really good builds in this and you blended them all quite well.
  • Member
    October 25, 2015

    Great! Interesting and original, this is an easy +1 from me!

  • Member
    October 25, 2015

    +1 from me cos i love fate/zero

  • Member
    October 25, 2015

    Thanks for the compliment :)

    The build wouldn't have had its structure if not for the many great builds from whence I adapted it. Just goes to show that this great community offers tons of material to learn from for new builders like myself. 

  • Member
    October 25, 2015

    Thanks :D

  • Member
    October 25, 2015

     Yeah, me too! I like how any of the servants can fit into Skyrim contexts, since they are, very much like the dragonborn, suddenly dropped into an alien world with a duty to fulfill. I've got another older build based on Kiritsugu, so take a look at it if you'd like to. 

  • Member
    October 25, 2015
    Very cool build. The Ebony Mail is a great item to have, because going into stealth while wearing it will give you the muffle effect, making it the perfect item for this hybrid character (you could add this to the item desription).
  • Member
    October 25, 2015

    Woops, totally forgot about the Muffle effect on the Mail.Thanks for the reminder, I guess the boots don't need to be enchanted anymore. 

  • Member
    October 25, 2015
    No problem. You could enchant your boots with a bit fortify stamina/stamina regen, which is always useful. Or resistance to fire/frost before you get the atronach stone.