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Contest Build: Breath of Kyne

Tags: #Race:Nord  #Rank:Legendary  #Contest Gold  #Character Build: Archer  #Character Build: Blacksmith  #Character Build: Hero  #MM 2016 Winner  #MM 2016 Best Build 
  • Member
    January 29, 2016



    The Breath of Kyne features a man named Fjorrod, a seclusionary, mead-loving Nord born and raised in Skyrim; a true son of Kyne that wants nothing more than to preserve the splendor and greatness of his homeland.

    Bless us, Kyne; may we serve you with every word

    As a boy growing up within the walls of Whiterun, Fjorrod would sit near the city gates and watch wide-eyed, as adventurers and mercenaries returned with gold, battle injuries, and wild game. He longed for adventure and the unknown, for what waited outside the cloyingly close quarters of the city.

    When he was finally deemed mature enough to leave the city unaccompanied by his father, he took the Septims he had saved from working laborious, thankless jobs, purchased a longbow and ten iron arrows, and set out onto the plains. His first few attempts at hunting yielded nothing but empty quivers and frustration, but stubborn persistence eventually molded a proud hunter.

    Nearly two decades later, Fjorrod had tracked an elk for hours into dusk and finally caught the elk within range, at the top of a wooded ridge. He crouched and moved slowly through the thicket, drew his longbow, carefully notched an arrow, and pulled back on the bowstring. A short exhale and a prayer later, he released.

    A miss. The arrow sailed over the ridge, and the elk bounded further into the forest.

    Within moments, an Imperial soldier came charging through the brush from the other side of the ridge, shouting accusations of treason against the Empire and attempting to free a rebel prisoner. Two more soldiers came rushing into view, one wrenching the shoulder of a man bound and dressed in rags. Alarmed, Fjorrod laid down his bow and attempted to explain that he had no such intention, that his arrow was intended for the elk. But his words fell on deaf ears. The soldiers surrounded him, bound his hands, confiscated his bow, and forced him to walk.

    Kyne called on Paarthurnax, who pitied Man
    Together they taught Men to use the Voice
    Then Dragon War raged, Dragon against Tongue

     KYNE. Kyne is a god of the traditional Nordic pantheon that gave Nords life and leads their dead to Sovngarde. She is a true god of the Nords, sacred to followers of the Old Ways and Nord hunters, and markedly different from the pale shadow of Kynareth, an Imperial appeasement to the elves made by St. Alessia. Synthesizing parts of the Aldmeri god, Y’ffre, with Kyne, Kynareth was created. But some still remember the Old Ways, and some still follow.

     Historically, the two figures who have received the title, “Breath of Kyne” are Ysmir Wulfharth, and the demigod and son of Kyne, Morihaus. Both fought for Nords or Humans over Elven dominance and assimilation, and both were skilled users of the Thu'um. Wulfharth in particular, who fought for the reinstatement of the traditional Nordic pantheon, also helped rebuild one of the steps to High Hrothgar which had been damaged by a dragon.

    High Hrothgar, the 7000 Steps, the Thu’um; all come back to Kyne. The Nords believe that Kyne created them when she breathed onto the land at the Throat of The World, which gave way to the belief that channeling one’s breath and voice is how the Thu’um operates. The Thu’um is believed to be a talent inherent in most Nords, though it requires exceptional dedication and practice to master, and those who are able to wield the power of the Thu’um are called Tongues by the Nords.

    The lesser known story of how man came to learn the Thu’um is that Paarthurnax, in cooperation with Kyne, taught Nords to shout during the Dragon War, which, as we know, led to Alduin’s eventual defeat, where he was cast adrift on the currents of time.

    Some legends speak of Kyne’s personal intervention at significant moments in Skyrim's history. History will show that Kyne remains strong, and her breath still roars through the voices of her children.


    Race: Nord

    Sex: Male

    Faction: Stormcloak

    Stone: Thief, Warrior, and Lover

    Stat Spread:  0/2/1

    DLCs: Hearthfire, Dragonborn


    • Long Bow, Hunting Bow, (Supple) Ancient Nord Bow, Nordic CarvedIron Dagger, Steel Dagger, Nordic Carved Dagger
    • Iron Arrows, Ancient Nordic/Steel Arrows, Nordic Carved Arrows


    • Kyne’s Token
    • Scaled Helmet

    Full Fur Armor, Scaled Armor, Stormcloak Officer Armor. End game gear is a combination of Officer Armor, Scaled helmet, and desired boots and gauntlets.


    Note: levels 26-30 exist as optional levels that introduce new missions as an alternate ending to the build’s story.


    The hunter’s best friend, archery is your main means of survival. You’ll hunt tracked prey with it, dispatch Imperials with it, and defend yourself from Skyrim’s plentiful threats with it. Archery becomes a versatile and effective offense, benefiting those who stay calm, even in the midst of chaos.

    Your dagger is your Plan B, though it is still not to be trifled with. Even when you’re holding back mobs of enemies with a quick draw and stagger effect, someone will get close and ruin your day if you can’t defend yourself properly.

    It’s important to keep up the effectiveness of your weapons to be able to deal with increasingly larger threats, and Smithing ensures that you’ll be able to do just that. Living off of the land also means more than just hunting, as you will be mining your own ore, making your own leather, and chopping your own wood.

    Survival means staying warm, protected, nimble, and having the ability to run faster than the thing that’s trying to kill you. Not only is Light Armor excellent protection, but it also allows you to regenerate your vital stamina at an increased rate.

    Your primary means of Health and Stamina replenishment is homemade food, and spirits, for those times when all you need is a little more health to survive, or a little more stamina to pull off that power attack or expert shot. Hunt the meat yourself, and harvest and gather ingredients from across Skyrim to ensure you’re never in short supply. Avoid purchasing potions from alchemists who only use nature and her creatures as a means to an end. You can use whatever you find when you’re in dire straits, but give preference to actual food and drink.

    Use cooked stews (Venison and Beef) to help offset any stamina regeneration penalties from imbibing spirits, as the positive effects of the food stack and far outlast any penalties you might incur. If you need breathing room in a pinch, Whirlwind Sprint is a good look, as it uses a minuscule amount of stamina to propel you forward, but you can still use the shout as an escape route even if your stamina is completely spent. Having just one word of the shout is sufficient.

    Favorite Dishes

     ❧ Venison Stew
     ❧ Beef Stew
     ❧ Apple Cabbage Soup
     ❧ Potato Soup

    You enjoy drinking quite a bit and when the funds are available, you’ll go for a little something special. Black-Briar Reserve and Talen-Jei’s special drinks are excellent choices to have on hand.

    Spriggans present an interesting challenge; frequently referred to as Guardians of Nature,they are also heavily associated with Kynareth, the Alessian “pale shadow” of Kyne. Battle Cry is a creative way to dispatch these hostile creatures who enthrall the beasts of the forest and turn them against you. The racial ability serves as a somewhat poetic, symbolic expression of Nord dominance over Alessian pantheonic assimilation, while still allowing them to protect the wilds of Skyrim from intruders.

    Aid your captured comrades by creating a diversion and picking off one of the Imperial guards escorting a prisoner with your trusty bow; as the other two approach you, your fellow Stormcloak in binds escapes.

    Building Lakeview Manor is an excellent way to level Smithing if you don’t want to pay for training. While a humble abode with a garden is more in line with the roleplay of this build, if you want to grind Smithing, a fully expanded house complete with kitchen, greenhouse, and trophy room is the obvious choice.

    Take the pelts of any animals you hunt or put down and turn them to leather to improve your armor, or when in a city, make new armor and sell it as a means to leveling Smithing.

    Carry a Pickaxe and Woodcutter’s Axe with you at all times for mining ore and chopping wood for arrows.

    Quicksilver veins:
    Directly north of Battle-Born farm, up the slope, near the exit to the Underforge (1 vein)
    Dawnstar mine (5 veins)


    Show that you're a hunter and no simple butcher;
    Kyne teaches us to respect the beasts and blesses the hunter who will face their champions

    • Join the Stormcloaks to preserve your homeland from Imperial rule. Safeguarding the wilds of Skyrim for Nords is paramount, and Imperial rule serves as a possible threat not only to to the province’s sovereignty, but its wealth of natural resources as well.

    • The Breath of Kyne is an outdoorsman who prefers the serenity of nature to the hustle and bustle of the built-up urban areas. Avoid walled cities unless necessary for quests; make use of merchants in open cities, hunters, and caravans.

    • Walled cities should only be visited if an appropriate quest leads you there. After a major city has been entered, it can be visited at any other time in the future, though open cities should be given preference. When in a major city, restock, sell loot, and make any necessary preparations to venture back out into the wilderness.

      • Markarth: Help Galmar Stone-Fist blackmail Raerek in Markarth.

      • Riften: Retrieve the bottle of Black-Briar Mead for Jarl Siddgeir.

      • Solitude: Take it back from the Imperials as the final push in the civil war.

      • Whiterun: Deliver a message to Jarl Balgruuf that he would be a fool to refuse.

      • Windhelm: Join the Stormcloak Rebellion.

      • Purchase Lakeview Manor and build a humble home to establish your rightful place in Skyrim, undermining the Imperial’s presence, and again after the Stormcloaks control the province, to uphold your title as thane to any      .remaining Imperial sympathizers who might dare to cross or challenge you.

      • Carry two types of arrows, Combat and Hunting, and carry a limited number of each.
         >Hunting arrows = food sources (goat, deer, elk, etc.)
        >Combat arrows = anything that threatens you.

      •  Recommended endgame arrows: 70-80 combat arrows, 10 hunting arrows

    • It’s tradition for people who make the pilgrimage up to High Hrothgar to leave food in the Greybeard’s offering chest. Make some food and bring it to them whenever you visit the monastery.

    • If you can locate them, carry a Hawk Beak and Hawk Feather with you as a personal token to Kyne.

    • Kynesgrove: Although there are an abundant amount of trees in the area, they are considered sacred to Kyne and are not allowed to be harmed.
    • Kynesgrove should be treated as a favored stop to buy food ingredients, have a drink, and relax. If you would like to marry, Roggi Knot-Beard makes an excellent candidate. A proud Nord with a thirst for mead? Absolutely.

    The accompanying Roleplay Profile serves as a companion document to this build, and can be consulted for those who would like to take an even deeper glimpse into the life and mind this character.


    This build is structured as a story which means completing quests in certain orders to make a more cohesive whole. They’ve been split into two main chapters with an optional third chapter. Note that completing the quests in this order will result in you becoming the rather amusing, Falkreath’s first ever, “Double-Thane.”

    After escaping Helgen with Ralof, make whatever preparations you see fit, then  begin the quests Kyne’s Sacred Trials and at your new friend’s urging, begin Joining the Stormcloaks. Kyne’s Sacred Trials will be woven throughout the build, the trials broken up by the civil war quests. Kyne’s trials are a way for you, as Fjorrod, to reconnect to the old ways and forge a stronger bond with your homeland. Face the Guardians as you travel throughout Skyrim fighting for the rebellion; seek them out whenever you find yourself in close proximity.

    Once you reach the point where you’re tasked with delivering Ulfric’s Axe to Jarl Balgruuf, return to your hometown of Whiterun and do so. Balgruuf will insist you help him deal with the dragon, and retrieve the stone tablet fromBleak Falls Barrowbefore taking any stance on the war. To lighten the load for your trip to the tomb, make sure to give Balgruuf Ulfric’s axe just before you depart, so that he has time to consider the matter of Skyrim’s sovereignty. When you return with the tablet, Balgruuf will call for your aid once more to deal with the dragon terrorizing Whiterun (Dragon Rising) without an answer for Ulfric. After you slay the dragon threatening his hold, return to the Jarl. He will name you Thane and bestow upon you the Axe of Whiterun. He also promptly returns Ulfric’s Axe. Despite saving his hold, he still refuses to aid you and the Stormcloaks in the war. Repay him in kind by dropping the Axe of Whiterun at Balgruuf’s feet, ignore his instruction to seek out the Greybeards, and return to Windhelm to begin the Battle For Whiterun, and lay siege on your hometown. After Whiterun is yours and a new Jarl sits on the throne, reclaim your mark of Thane, the Axe of Whiterun. 


    Strategically speaking, this is a good moment to look to Whiterun's neighboring province of Falkreath to expand the reach of the Rebellion. Earn the Jarl's trust and become Thane, then take the province back for the true sons and daughters of Skyrim.

    Towards the end of the the civil war questline, Ulfric begins to refer to you increasingly as Dragonborn and has a large amount of Greybeard dialogue options available. In his final speech just after taking Solitude, he names you Dragonborn to your remaining comrades in arms. Having successfully removed the Imperial occupation and completed Kyne’s Sacred Trials, you finally heed to what Ulfric has to say, and make the pilgrimage up the 7000 Steps to speak to the Greybeards, taking a particular interest in the ten stone etched tablets along the way, granting you Voice of the Sky. Do what the Greybeards ask of you, and seek out the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller.

    Retrieve the Horn from Delphine, but leave her in Riverwood’s Sleeping Giant Inn. You already have a mission to return the horn, and that is your priority; not convincing one of the last members of a nearly extinct faction that you are Dragonborn and chasing speculative dragons when there are very real dragons terrorizing the countryside. Once you’ve been formally recognized as Dovahkiin by the Greybeards, seek out the three shouts: Kyne’s Peace, Animal Allegiance, and Aura Whisper. Restore relative peace to your homeland by finding and uprooting every dragon that defiles Skyrim.


    “You know where to find me when you change your mind. Because you will. You have to."

    The post-game is a completely optional part of the build if you’re looking to get a bit more out of your playthrough. After you’ve had your fill of dragon hunting in the wilds, and become convinced that there is no slowing to their reawakening, return to Delphine and go about completing Skyrim’s main quest, killing Alduin, and at least delaying the end of the world.

    Wind guide you

    At any time during the playthrough, you can take on various quests at your leisure. Top considerations include:

    • Killing the Stormcloak Officer imposter at Forelhost, and return the stolen Officer armor to the Palace of The Kings.

    • Collect Frost Salts for Dravynea in Kynesgrove, and retrieve Roggi’s shield.

    • Become the Thane of Falkreath.

    • Visit Angi’s Camp in Falkreath and train your Archery.

    • Imperials are pests, but bandits aren’t much better. Feel free to help restore peace on a smaller scale by removing those who hurt the innocents of your land.

    • It’s recommended that you keep an eye out for skill books during your playthrough, many of which are found in locations that you will visit naturally.


    Thus concludes the story of Fjorrod, Breath of Kyne. Legion and I loved playing through this character because the roleplay of this build taught us to appreciate the beauty of Skyrim in a whole new way, and really celebrates and showcases such a visually stunning game. Staying out of walled cities and subsisting on the land has a way of making one feel the same sort of pride in fighting for something we all already enjoy so much. No matter how you really feel about Ulfric, the uprising, and the motives behind it, the hero of this story joins the fight out of a deep sense of appreciation for his homeland, and duty to safeguard it from possible harm. After playing through the first few levels of this, I think anyone would be hard-pressed to fault him for as much. 

    This build required a ton of heavy lifting in a short amount of time, but every moment was enjoyable. The pieces all came together so naturally, on top of sharing an easy, collaborative friendship and willingness on both our parts to stay up until the other side of the twilight playing and writing for multiple nights. It wouldn’t be what is without such teamwork. Thank you for taking the time to read what is truly a labor of love for us both.


    Views: 10970

  • January 29, 2016

    I don´t even have words, Edana. That presentation is absolutely badass!

    Even while Nord hunters build were made multiple times, this one stands above them all. Not a big fan of Nords, but this really strikes the right tone inside me. You have an easy +1 from me. :)

  • Member
    January 29, 2016
    Beautiful presentation. Big fan of nord hunter types, I like a build where you can feel the dirt of skyrim under your fingernails! Is the stat distribution right though?
  • Member
    January 29, 2016

    Killer presentation! :D

  • Member
    January 29, 2016

    Thank you so much for the kind words, Karver! I'm so flattered. We knew it had been done several times, but we sort of wanted to go back to basics here and make it really shine and tie together those great RP and lore elements in a cohesive way. I'm so glad you see exactly what we were trying to do here. :)

  • Member
    January 29, 2016

    Thanks Parabola! Really glad you like it. And thanks for flagging that stat distribution. You're right. I must have mixed the order around in my head. I just fixed it. :)

  • Member
    January 29, 2016

    Thank you, Noodles! I take that as a very high compliment coming from you. :)

  • January 29, 2016

    I love Builds with heavy roleplay and exactly that makes this build feel alive. It almost convinces me to play a Nord, true Nord who is one with the nature.´s still a Nord. :D

  • Member
    January 29, 2016

    I'll take "almost" from an Orc enthusiast any day. But if you ever change your mind, Fjorrod will be right here waiting for you. :D 

  • Member
    January 29, 2016

    quite a beautiful build - well done!