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Event Build: The Bow-Knight of Auri'El

Tags: #Character Build Crusader  #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Knight  #Race:Bosmer  #Rank:Event Bloodworks  #Event:2in2 
  • March 31, 2017



    In Valenwood, the Temple of the Golden Bow has kept preserved the teachings of Auri'El Time Dragon for the faithful amoung the Bosmer: Be strong amid the sufferings of this corrupted life. Be pure in soul, for only thus will you regain immortality. Abhor Necromancy, for it robs a soul of it's rightful eternity. Respect the Green Pact, but remember you are more than the trees and beasts of the Forests, and can aspire to a higher destiny.

    The Bow-Knight seamlessly meshes undead-hunting and short-range archery. They can strengthen themselves, heal their allies and damage undead without pausing their hail of arrows. Wearing heavy armor, and with a mastery of short range trick shots, they shine in the dark, cramped dungeons where undead can be found.




    Race: Bosmer

    Mods: Ordinator, Apocalypse. I also used a couple of enchantments from Summermyst but it's not neccessary. Imperious allows an Animal Companion.

    Abilities: 0:1:0

    Perked Skills: Archery and Restoration

    Levelled Skills: Heavy Armor, Speech, Enchanting.

    Equipment: Auriel's Bow, Steel Plate Armor/Boots/Gauntlets, Adept Hood or Circlets of Archery/Light, Necklace and Ring of Resist Magic.

    Spells: Ocato's Recital, Stendarr's Aura, Tree Rings, Sealed Resolve, Circle of Strength, Healing, Fast Healing, Close Wounds, Healing Hands, Heal Other, Flames (non-combat uses only).




    The bow knights are privilaged to use their gifts as Bosmer in the service of Auri'El. Archery Mastery increases bow damage by 40%, Steady Hand represents their keen aim, and Hunter's Discipline their methodical care when hunting down Auri'El's enemies. Auri'El is merciful, at least to the weak - Clean Kill gives 25% increased damage to targets at full health, taking more weaker opponents in one shot. Undead hunting in tight tombs has taught the Bosmer paladins to use their bows as a weapon in close quarters - Wingstrike allows bow bashes to stagger enemies, which is very handy when enemies make it into melee range. Crippling Shot and Pinning Shot also slow and stagger nearby foes allowing for the possibiity of a quick getaway. Quick Shot allows the Bow-Knight to fire arrows in rapid succession. The most advanced Bow-Knights can fire precisely enough to disarm their opponents using the Thieving Raven ability.



    Two points in Restoration Mastery decreases the cost of restoration spells by 50%. Descending Light gives a magicka regeneration increase at the start of combat for 10 seconds - represents the holy power of Auriel beginning to infuse the archer. When Descending Light is finished, Afterglow sets fire to nearby undead within 40 feet. Exorcist adds an armor rating debuff to the Afterglow effect. Warrior's Flame is another passive  perk which jumps a divine flame between nearby allies and enemies in combat - allies touched by Auri'El gain magicka and stamina regeneration whilst enemies are cursed and suffer the reverse. Sacred Flame adds a healing effect to the Warrior's flame - allowing the Bow-Knight to take on the role of party healer without dropping their bow to cast a spell. The most holy and devout Bow-Knights have an aura of sanctity that melts weak undead in their very presence - Ashes to Ashes adds a 30/s burn effect to undead cursed by Warrior's Flame.

    Heavy Armor

    Fighting in close quarters means protection is needed. The Bow-Knight wears Heavy Armor, and this levelled passively to about 50.



    No getting around it - money is needed for Restoration training, spells and bit and pieces of equipment.



    The Bosmer do not have the expertise in this of their Altmer cousins, but are able to bless their equipment with some enchantments. I used this to get a couple of appropriate tweaks to my equipment - adding light to my cloak and sun damage to my bow - and gained a few levels.

    Ocato's Recital: A Bow-Knight rarely casts spells in the traditional way. Rather they immediately enter an altered state of consciousness in combat, drawing on Auri'El's holy power to strengthen themselves. This is represented by Ocato's Recital, an Apocalpyse spell which auto-casts up to three self-only spells when combat comences. These spells are cast without using magicka, and it isn't even neccessary to have the base magicka to cast them, it is enough to know the spells when setting up the Recital. Naturally this works as a great early warning system, representing the keen senses of the Bosmer and their readiness for battle. I loaded Ocato's Recital with:


    Circle of Strength: This Apocalypse spell steals stamina from enemies within a short range circle. This has limited utility, and I only used it at lower levels before I had other options.


    Around level 14 I switched to the following:


    Stendarr's Aura: An aura of divine light which damages any undead who get too close.



    Tree Rings: A Bosmer trick - partially taking on attributes of a tree. Additional layers of protective extra health form around the Bow-Knight, gradually dropping off during combat.



     Sealed Resolve: Steadfastness in difficult situations is a key virtue cultivated by Auri'El's servants. When the Bow-Knight drops below 15% health, the seal activates and they begin to take half damage.


    Healing/Fast Healing/Close Wounds/Healing Hands/Heal Other: A servant of Auri'El can also drawn upon divine power to heal when neccessary. I used these conventional healing spells between fights, and occasionally in difficult combats. 


    Bow: The ultimate goal is of course, Auri'El's bow, which is attainable by level 20 if you push on through the Dawnguard questline and don't get too distracted. Before that I used whatever I could find. Sun Damage from Summermyst, Fire, or Turn Undead are great enchantments.

    Chest, Gloves and Boots: Steel Plate Armor pieces provide a shiny, knightly look and gives good protection. If you find appropriate enchanted ones, great, but I didn't, and didn't bother enchanting them.

    Headgear: For combat I wore a Circlet of Archery for most of the playthrough. An Adepts hood also provides a good look and gives magicka for healing spells. Early on I also had a Circlet of Light - which is  Summermyst enchantment that gives a glow of light - very appropriate and means you never have to worry about light in dungeons again!

    Necklace and Ring: Trinkets, odds and ends, that sort of thing. I ran with The Galdur Amulet, because I wanted to run the build through some draugr ruins to test the mechanics, and it's a good solid piece, although there are probably more thematic things I coul have been wearing! Resist magic is a generally useful one to have too.



    Followers are not neccessary for this build to hold it's own. But it makes sense for a paladin type to have companions, so at around level 12 I picked up:


    Animal Companion:

    They may be a knight, but they are still a Wood Elf, able to comand the friendship of the beasts for the cause of good. The Imperious racial overhaul adds a permenant animal companion for Bosmer - I found a magnificant Snowy Sabre Cat near Dead Man's Respite that seemed the perfect choice for a paladin. Alternatively, using the vanilla Bosmer racial power or the Animal Allegiance shout would fit.



    I ditched Serana whenever I could, and took along Beleval, a fellow Bosmer and Dawnguard recruit. She uses archery, one-handed and block so complements an archer nicely.


    The beauty of this build is its absolutely simple, easy gameplay. I love Archery, but in previous builds I've played have struggled to combine it with spellcasting, as switching between spell and bow can feel clunky. This build is for everyone who feel the same. The mods I've used bypass the problem - both the Paladin abilities and the defensive spells loaded into Ocato's Recitation are entirely passive, allowing you to spend most of the time pointing and shooting. The Bow-Knight can and does back off from combat to heal from time to time, but their passive abilities mean this happens less often. They are effective against all comers, but obviously undead are their speciality, and there are few things more satisfying than walking itno a room full of skeletons and having them all burst into flame before you've even loosed an arrow. This straighforward playstyle feels very focused, perfect for the cool, decisive, attitude of the Knight.

    Heavy Armor and Archery are a powerful combination that I really fell in love with - this archer has no cause for stealth.  The only special move I would recommend is the use of Wingstrike against powerful melee enemies - even an knight in full plate can have problems with a blow from a two handed war hammer, so it's best to get in close and bow bash rather than allow yourself to be charged.




    The goals of a Bow-Knight of Auriel are to train their body and mind to perfection, to fight undead and corruption, and encourage others to seek the enlightenment of Auri'El. Obviously the Dawnguard Questline is the centrepiece of this build. Finding the great forgotten Temple of Auri'El in Forgotten Vale was a lovely thing to do from the characters perspective. Completing this questline largely took all my time from level 10-18 in this minibuild, and I've only scratched the surface of things for them to do. Vampires, Necromancers, Draugr and Dragon Priests are all obviously appropriate foes.

    There's a slightly hard streak to the teachings of the Auri'El cult - the Bow-Knight expects a lot from themselves and from others too. Elves that worship Auri'El have an especially condescending attitude towards men. Mankind can attain enlightenment, but their corruption and alignment towards Sithis is greater than that of the Elven people, which makes it harder for them. The Bow-Knight respects and aids those humans who have proven themselves strong and noble, such as Mjoll, but isn't going to be stealing anyone's skooma for them out of misplaced pity. They seek to help others free themselves of weakness and corruption, and where there is a choice would be more likely to aid someone side-by-sde a fight than simply do it for them. Helping Golldir recover his self-respect by slaying the defilers of his ancestral tomb is a great example of the 'helping those who help themselves' attitude typical of these knights.

    I scratched my head over whether this character would complete the Main Quest. The conclusion I came to was yes, out of duty, but left to themselves, no. On the one hand, the Nord's stunted afterlife in Soverngarde is not really the Bow-Knight's concern, and perhaps if their immortal souls are being devoured by a Dragon it would encourage these barbarians to change their religion and seek the glories of Auri'El's heavens instead. On the other hand - this is bigger than a Nord problem if the literal end of the world is at stake. If the Bow-Knight believed that, and believed it was their duty as Dragonborn to stop it, then they would. They would probably need a lot of reassurance from Knight Paladin Gelebor that their own Draconic soul was still saveable!


     I loved playing this build, and got the playthrough finished long before the write-up! I hope you've enjoyed reading it.

  • Member
    March 31, 2017

    Ok, this is damned cool. I remember No Snakes  once advised me on one of my builds that a Bosmer knight of Auriel who relies solely on archery would be a fantastic thing. My deep-rooted dislike of that race (thanks Glarthir, A Fan, Thoronir and the rest!) never made the idea-seed take root. Way to show me how it's done! :D Your RP is lovely, completely agree about Auri's Temple. Any character can soak it up, but an elf character makes it special like nothing else.

    Your presentation is so clean and sharp, too. Visually stunning :)

     I loved playing this build, and got the playthrough finished long before the write-up! I hope you've enjoyed reading it.

    I very much did :D So that's it? No RP profile or revisit down the line? 


  • Member
    March 31, 2017

    I have played something similar to this build and restoration - archery make a great combo. Nice build!

  • March 31, 2017

    I am a massive fan of Restoration and Archery. Wow! First Shin, now you, coming out with these awesome Ordinator stuffs. I must try this mod. Very happy you got this out, Plunders! Thanks for building and great work. :D

  • Member
    March 31, 2017

    Nice Combo Plunders! Excellent presentation - "Clean" to borrow Phil's comment. 

    I can't say I've played a resto-archer, this def makes me want to give it a try...maybe with some Glass Armor that I've been wanting to use too- Excellent!

  • Member
    March 31, 2017

    Also - I'm going to fix your Character class tags so you show up in the archive properly...just adding "character build" to the three....


  • March 31, 2017

    Thanks everyone! And thanks for the tags fix Motty. Glass Armor would look beautiful - I'd perk it though lol. Lis, if you are considering Ordinator paladin stuffs - do it!


    No RP profile or revisit down the line?

    At the moment my head is too crowded with other Ordinator ideas to play this one further! I feel I've shown the things I wanted to with this build, and taking her higher would mean more of the same. Which is no bad thing, but I've got an Orc, a Bosmer, a couple of Nords and a Redguard all competing for my attention!

  • March 31, 2017

    i like the build plunders but i was wondering what is tree rings, and what mod is it from because it sounds amazing and i was wondering if a flesh spell could go into rectial. Oh for armor i have a knightly armor in mind for it its fro the lotr king arogon follower

  • April 1, 2017

    Tree Rings is a spell from the Apocalypse spell pack. Yes - definately flesh spells can go into recital. :)

  • Member
    April 2, 2017

    Phil said:

    Your presentation is so clean and sharp, too. Visually stunning :)

    The presentation really struck me as well: I did a quick scroll down of the build and was impressed before even reading it...

    ...And then I read "undead hunting and short range archery" and started to wonder if you had some bizarre ability to read into my soul and find out the things about this game that I really enjoy. And utilizing Heavy Armor with Archery is a nice surprise (and intriguing combo that I am determined to explore... probably through this build).

    Bosmer, though... not so much (that green pact, and cannibalism that always seems to go with it, gives me the willies). Still, this build changes all that for me.

    Again, fantastic build! One that I will most likely be playing before the month is out :D