Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Bleak Walker

Tags: #Character Build Barbarian  #Character Build Illusionist  #Rank:Exemplar  #Karver Builds  #Merc  #Sellsword  #The Bleak Walker  #MM 2016 Winner 
  • September 17, 2016

    Some of you might think I was done with Building, but here I am, proving you wrong. I took a break, and toyed with an idea of a counterpart to my Goldpact Knight. And that idea kept bringing me back to the idea of a fear-mongering and ruthless mercenary who cuts down everyone who stands in his way. Two rules, folks: No mercy. Never back down. I proudly present to you:


    The Bleak Walkers are soldiers of fortune, mercenaries, and swords for hire dedicated to conducting warfare mercilessly and with extreme brutality in order to bring a swift end to conflicts. Known for their unyielding, terrible nature, most people will only call on them as a last resort. The Bleak Walkers' behavior generally reinforces cruelty and brutality because the quickest resolution is one in which the Bleak Walkers' arrival is announced and a surrender immediately follows. To ensure that people believe that no mercy will ever be given by Bleak Walkers, they avoid any dealings where they could be seen as merciful given the right circumstances. For the Bleak Walkers, there are no right circumstances. Bleak Walkers won't call off an attack even if their "employer" asks them to or turns forces on them. Bleak Walkers aren't sadists (at least, not as a rule), and while they are effectively mercenaries, the control that they allow their employers to exert is fairly limited. Much like ballistas, Bleak Walkers should only be pointed at things you don't mind being completely destroyed.

                                                                                                                        - Viarmo, Headmaster of Bards College -


    Race: I went with Redguard for Adrenaline Rush, but any other race is fine.

    Stone: Lady or Lord

    Stats: 1/2/1 until you have 150 Magicka, than continue with 2/1

    Major Skills: Two-Handed, Light Armor, Illusion, Block, Archery

    Minor Skills: Sneak, Alchemy

    Shouts: Slow Time


    As I said before, this is a mercenary who actually doesn´t give a crap about people. He´s ruthless, willing to do anything to earn his pay and doesn´t let anyone stop him.

    Bleak Walker is top-notch swordsman, using both the Bloodskal Blade and Ebony Blade to obliterate his enemies, inspiring fear in them with his brutality and use of Fear spells. Using only Light Armor, quick on his feet, Bleak Walker cuts a bloody path through the ranks of his enemies with the help of unperked Alchemy. Paralysis, Fortify Illusion and Weakness to Magic are concoctions used to supplement the Walker´s skills in combat.

    This build will have two phases, and the first is all about doing mercenary work around Skyrim, completing bounty quests and more importantly ending the Civil War in one bloody offensive. This means there will be dragons in this playthrough and that´s the reason I implemented Archery.

    The second phase will be about doing more dirty work, becoming a sort of hitman for Dark Brotherhood. There is nothing more exciting and merciless than walking towards your victim, drawing your sword, killing him/her and than hackicg your way through guards to get away from the crime scene.

    You want to hear about Bleak Walkers, fellas? Then listen very carefully to what I gotta say. They´re the baddest motherfucking sons of whores ever walking these lands. Just as Goldpact Order came to be from Fighters Guild, Bleak Walkers are remnant of an old mercenary guild from Third Era. Blackwood Company. Efficient, crazy, heartless and brutal bastards. And Bleak Walkers aren´t any different. I had few clashes with one of them several times. Barely survived. My advice? If you see one, run for your life.

                                                                                                                           - Decimus Merotim of Goldpact Order -





    Bleak Walkers are masters of the sword, being able to bring both ferocious strength or athletic speed to the battlefield. Using both the Bloodskal and Ebony blades gives you the option to switch between two styles. One focusing on Power Attack damage, second focusing on fast attacks that replenish your health.




     Focus of block here is Quick Reflexes, allowing you to dance out of opponent´s reach, or bash him before he´ll finish his attack. It´s a heavy stamina build with lot of bashing, so going for the right side of the tree to do more damage with your bashes and disarming your opponents will certainly help you out of tough situations.




     Their appearance is intimidating, their skill in battle terrfying. They are able to channel this fear in people´s minds and enchance it, completely overwhelming their senses. Fear is quite a low-level spell, but it will work for the most of the playthrough, with all perks it can influence 28 level characters. With Fortify Illusion potions even higher level, without even resorting to dual-casting.



    Light Armor

     Bleak Walkers prefer their armor to be light, not slowing them down, giving them more mobility. Because this guy is using stamina a lot, Wind Walker is too good to not use it and Deft Movement can save your life few times on higher levels. Because you won´t be getting hit that much I advise to use trainers for this skill.




     While being fierce swordsman, Bleak Walkers can appreciate a good ranged weapon when they can´t reach their enemy. Dragons are one of them. You need to force them to land somehow. It can be also good opener. Who takes the first shot usually wins, right?



    Sneak and Alchemy

     Both skills have only 1 perk and are used to give this character more utility. Alchemy uses just 2 poisons and 1 potion, so don´t forget to increase it´s potency by gear which Fortifies Alchemy. While Bleak Walkers are kind of straighforward, it doesn´t mean they are stupid. Scouting the path ahead, counting the enemy and then entering the fight with arrow or blade from shadows is a wise approach.



    If you ever see a man with two swords on his back, shut the door and lock it very tightly. These men are dangerous and ruthless. I saw one of them in nothing more than leather armor obliterate five men in mere seconds, dancing all around them, hacking them to pieces. They are dangerous, and you have no idea how much. Never provoke them, at all costs.

                                                                                                                                                             - Erik the Slayer -

    Because this is a no-crafting build (mostly) you have to rely on what you find. There aren´t many good-looking armors that would give you a mercenary vibe, though I myself quite like Thieves Guild cuirass, which is very easily obtainable, or the red Dawnguard armor which lets you flex your muscles. To Thieves Guild is tied the Blackguard cuirass, which is quite easy to obtain too, and you´ll be heading to Solsteim anyway, to get the Bloodskal Blade. And let´s not forget the Ebony Blade.

    As for the rest of the equipment, as I said, it´s mostly about what you find. For rings and amulets, you should keep an eye out for Fortify Illusion, which will allow you to cast more Fear spells even with poor Magicka pool.

    For bracers/gloves it´s up to what you find, but I used Penitus Oculatus or Stormcloak Officer bracers with self-enchanted Fortify Two-Handed. Even without perks it has...13%, if you use a Grand Soul Gem.

    Also, because I went full Light Armor, you´ll need some helmet or hood. I myself quite like Leather helmet, it´s one of those helmets that look quite normal, but Thieves Guild Hood or Blackguard Hood can work too.

    For ranged weapons, you can go with either Dawnguard´s Steel Crossbow or any other bow out there. I myself quite like Zephyr or Dwarven Black bow of Fate. 

    For PC players, I recommend Mercenary Armor from Immersive Armors, or Letho´s Armor from Witcher 2 Models



    Paralysis (Canis Root + Swamp Fungal Pod)

     Both ingredients are quite common in Hjaalmarch, so it should be easy to gather them. Paralysis is very poweful tool and can be used to supplement your Fear spells, especialy when you run out of magicka.



    Fortify Illusion + Resist Fire + Fortify Two Handed + Regenerate Stamina (Dragon´s Tongue + Mora Tapinella + Fly Amanita)

     Increases enemies´ level where you are able to influence with Fear while not using dual-casting, plus overally increasing your effectivnes in combat. Dragon´s Tongue is plentiful in Eastmarch and Mora Tapinella grows on pretty much every stump.



    Weakness to Magic (Jazbay Grapes + Creep Cluster)

     This poison supplements both the power attacks from Bloodskal Blade and Health Absorb from Ebony Blade, increasing your overall damage. Both ingredients are common in Eastmarch.

     I happened to be a captive of one Forsworn tribes, when a man with two swords on his back showed up. I never thought I´d ever see it, but a few of my captors fled at the sight of him, with the few remaining taking a stand. Arrows, magic, swords and axes, nothing even scratched him. He cut through them like hot knife through butter, taking the head of their leader. He gave a me look - a bleak look - and left me there, tied, among the corpses of his victims.

                                                                                                                                             - Talsgar the Wanderer -

    Bloodskal Butcher

     This stance is all about maximizing the sheer brute power that is Bloodskal Blade. With Sweep and sideway power attacks you should be able to obliterate groups of enemies at surprising speed. Using a Paralysis poison to reduce your enemies´ numbers, taking few of them out of the fight, should help you get through tough bandits very easily. Weakness to Magic poisons are very useful as well, because they increase the damage you do with Bloodskal power attacks.


    Ebony Dancer

     Once your Stamina drops to ⅓, it´s time to switch to the Ebony Blade. Fast attacks that heal you are absolutely amazing. Try not to use Power Attacks with Ebony Blade, because that actually slows you down. Blade´s power attacks aren´t exactly fast, so stick to normal attacks. Again, Paralysis and Weakness to Magic poisons are very helpful here. Also, this stance is not only about fast attacks but about blocks and bashes too. With Quick Reflexes and one word of Slow Time, you should be able to dance out of your enemies´ reach, or bash them before they actually swing their weapons.


    Terror of Riverwood

     Wondering about that name? I´ll get to it later. But this stance is about switching to Fear spells. Pump yourself up with Fortify Illusion and let your reputation and intimidating skill terrify your opponents, let them run in terror from you. With your Magicka pool you´ll be able to cast only 3-4 of these spells, so be careful how you spend them. Pick enemies that you can affect with the spell, then cut the rest to pieces.



     Those who think that combat always happens up close are mistaken. Sometimes you have to fight at range, and bow or crossbow are perfect for that. Combine this with a little bit of sneaking and Paralysis poison to disable dificult mages right before the combat, or to apply Weakness to Magic before you even enter the fray.

    "The Thalmor made the mistake to hire one to end me. I ended him, but he fought with a savage brutality that still, to this day, left an impression. I was in my prime then, but my beard has since grown thick and my face lined from many hard years. The Thalmor know this and will try again. It never ends, it never ends..."

                                                                                                                                                            - Äelberon of Dusk -


    The first phase of this build is all about being the best there is at what you do. And what you do isn´t nice. Bleak Walkers are basically killing machines, swords for hire that should be aimed at someone who they can tear limb from limb. So your goal here is to do some bounty hunting quests, solve a few people´s problems (just remember, don´t do anything where you could be seen as merciful) and ultimately ending the Civil War.

    As I said before, you can join Thieves Guild up to the point where you get their armor, but they could actually serve some purpose. You do what you want, you take what you want, so you need a place where you can sell those things, right?

    Until you’ll get Bloodskal and Ebony Blades I advise using Silver Greatsword and any other greatsword you find.

    You can get the Ebony Blade at level 20, just talk to bartender in Bannered Mare. The Bloodskal Blade is harder to get, because Bloodskal Barrow houses two Draugr Deathlords and tough Dragon Priest no matter what level you are. I managed to do it on level 22, but you have to be really prepared for it.

    Terror of Riverwood

    Once you finish the Civil War, it’s time for the Terror of Riverwood. I always shunned away from the Ebony Blade because it’s so difficult to charge it. How wrong I was. Riverwood is the answer. Cut some wood for them, solve love triangle, fetch Golden Claw, warn them about dragons. And then… Kill ‘em all!

    You should be able to fully charge Ebony Blade in one bloody massacre. If not, you can give coins to few beggars and then butcher them.

    My justification for Riverwood was that Astrid told me to do it. After I ended the Civil War I killed Grelod, then Astrid and I had a chat in cabin in the middle of swamp.

    From there, I focused only on Dark Brotherhood quests. I simply walked to my victims, killed them and everyone else who decided to stop me.

    What a fun, and those bounties on my head...precious. My first “evil” playthrough and it was really fun!


    Bloody End

    So, that’s it. My most recent addition to my collection of builds. I took lot of inspiration from Bleak Walkers from Pillars of Eternity and Witcher, namely Letho of Gulet, combining them together to create something unique and fun.

    Thank you, Lissette, for going through my grammar and other people like Phil, Edana and Kael for support on this. You´re the best, guys. 

    Special thank you to Golden Fool for the amazing perkspread he did for me. 


  • September 17, 2016

    Ha! Take that you titsucking Malacath´s tusking Social Engine platform! Text wrapping magic is at my fingertips!!!! :D :D :D

  • Member
    September 17, 2016


  • Member
    September 17, 2016

    Very clever and very pretty lookin'. Good job dude!

  • Member
    September 17, 2016

    Why did you repost? (Not that I can find the old discussion :D)

  • September 17, 2016

    I took down all the builds so that they don´t scar the CB with just walls of text. I´m slowly getting them back, less pressure this way. And when you are posting, the editor has more options - not that I´m using SE´s editor alone for posting. I combine two editors. 

  • September 17, 2016

    Looks great, Karvernator. Bleakwater was one of my favorites. 

  • September 17, 2016

    Looks great Karver well done mate, fantastic job +1

  • September 21, 2016

    Nice post.