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Character Build: Shadowfang - Strain One

Tags: #Necromancer  #Summoner  #Character Build Healer  #Character Build No Crafting  #Character Build Werewolf  #Rank:Bloodworks 
  • November 18, 2016

    The tome you hold is the result of my in depth research of the werewolves of Skyrim. I am not interested in the common varieties, the mad creatures that prey on cattle. I am interested in the fascinating creatures that have mastered their abilities and elevated themselves to new heights using their illness. The disease known as lycanthropy is a unique one because it affects the soul of the infected creature. It is uncertain whether the physical changes are a side effect of a tainted soul or merely a symptom.

    Due to their reclusive nature I was only able to gather one interview. The subject was a strain three shadowfang. Shadowfang is the title he gave himself and I have taken the liberty of applying it to others of his kind.

    I have noted that these shadowfangs come under three varieties and close observation leads me to believe that they are directly related to the three species of wolf that live in Skyrim. Although each strain goes about their business in different manners, it is believed by this humble scholar that they have the same goals. To go about their lives as best they can, despite their affliction. Even though their morals have decayed somewhat, possibly as a result of a tainted soul, such noble goals should be commended. In the words of my research assistant, “It’s not that they’re bad. They’re just not that good at being good.”

    The first strain is derived from the common wolf. More so than any other variety, the common wolf is a pack animal. It is never far from its fellows, and typically travels in groups of two to five. The same behaviour is found in the first strain. Wolves and the first strain alike feel the need to create a pack. What is interesting about the first strain is that their pack will fluctuate in size depending on various factors. At its smallest, there is typically a man or mer follower and a dog. At a moment’s notice, the shadowfang can call upon the spirits of wolves.

    The first strain has also been seen sending the lupine spirits under their command to possess nearby corpses. Although the shadowfang appears to be raising the dead, the mechanics behind this possession are quite different. The first strain has also been observed setting these spirits on fire and sending them to run at an enemy, and then explode. The spirits don’t seem to mind and are faithful to their pack leader.

    The first strain, unlike others of its kind, does not act stealthily. This humble scholar proposes that this is because of the emboldening nature of its pack, but more data must be collected to confirm this. Instead the first strain will act aggressively in battle. One hand remains free to heal or replace pack members as needed, and the other wields a dagger. The shadowfang overpowers its prey through numbers and has been seen utilizing the same darting, rapid movement of hunting wolves.

    The first strain’s social skills leave much to be desired, but it has been observed that they will barter and have a moderate understanding of trade and commerce. This may be a practical decision on the shadowfang’s part. It is highly unlikely that becoming a shadowfang will make one a better trader.


    One handed – The first strain is seemingly tireless in combat. They favour speed over power. I have observed them target the same areas that common wolves do. The shadowfang, however, differs from the wolf because of a seemingly innate knowledge of anatomy. I have seen them strike the spine in such a way that the target is paralyzed. It is unknown how they are able to decapitate prey with daggers. I fear it will be impossible to measure the strength of a first strain shadowfang without the possibility of severe harm.

    Restoration – It is likely that the first strain builds a strong emotional bond with members of its pack. In combat, the shadowfang is acutely aware of the wellbeing of its pack and will usually heal injured pack members than attack enemies. The first strain’s bond with the spectral wolves under its care is so strong that the shadowfang is able to heal the corpses they are currently possessing. The Mages College may be interested in this information. More research is needed.

    Conjuration – The first strain’s experience can be measured by the number of spectral wolves accompanying it. Older shadowfangs are able to control two at a time, while younger shadowfangs only have one. It is unclear whether a first strain gains another wolf as they age, or always has access to two spirits but is only able to bring one to this plane when younger. When the shadowfang is in their lupine form, I have seen them call werewolves, white wolves and common wolves to their side. It is unclear how the shadowfang knows they are nearby. At first I theorized the shadowfang smelled them, but disregard for wind direction disproved this theory.

    Light Armour – First strain’s typically wear light armour to retain their innate agility. Light armour also helps their practise of sprinting through a battle to aid a wounded pack mate.

    Lockpicking – It has been theorized that the spectral wolves may provide supernatural assistance in finding treasure. The first strain has a knack for digging treasure out of the most unlikely places. I observed a shadowfang reach into a rotten stump and pull out a ruby once. The first strain seemed uninterested in other stumps nearby. How did they know which one to look in?

    Pickpocket – All first strain shadowfangs have been observed making off with small objects and loose coin. It is unclear whether they understand the concept of theft or whether they don’t understand the concept of possession. The other day I observed a first strain shadowfang give away priceless items in exchange for a pound of leather strips. Although his nord companion was horrified, the shadowfang seemed happy with the trade.

    Sneak – First strains are stealthy enough to break into homes undetected, while the owners are home, but never use this ability in combat.

    Speech – I have come to the conclusion that the first strain shadowfangs simply enjoy bartering. I have seen them happy with a bad or a good deal. As long as the discussion is animated, they seem content.

                                                      - excerpt from Logran's Journal #3