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Event Build: Agents of Oegnithr

Tags: #Character Build Elementalist  #Character Build Assassin  #Character Build Agent  #Character Build Werewolf  #Race: Altmer  #Event:2in2  #SE Rank:Master  #Long-Chapper Build 
  • April 1, 2017

    To kill Man is to reach Heaven, from where we came before the Doom Drum's iniquity. When we accomplish this, we can escape the mockery and long shame of the Material Prison.

    To achieve this goal, we must:

     Erase the Upstart Talos from the mythic. His presence fortifies the Wheel of the Convention, and  binds our souls to this plane.

     Remove Man not just from the world, but from the Pattern of Possibility, so that the very idea of them can be forgotten and thereby never again repeated.

     With Talos and the Sons of Talos removed, the Dragon will become ours to unbind. The world of mortals will be over. The Dragon will uncoil his hold on the stagnancy of linear time and move as Free Serpent again, moving through the Aether without measure or burden, spilling time along the innumerable roads we once travelled. And with that we will regain the mantle of the imperishable spirit.  

    -Michael Kirkbride

     

    The concept stems from the idea of Oegnithr, which, to the Psijic monks, means “bad change”. The Psijic Order, in accordance with the old ways, embrace change, just not bad change. The Thalmor, as both a political and philosophical unit, are enemies of the Psijic Order. Theories abound that their ultimate wish is to return Tamriel to the status quo, to a time where all beings were closer to the gods, the ancestors, the aedra. For my submission for the Event Two in Two, I will explore this concept in a series of mini-builds, each build having a special mission to go about and spread Oegnithr throughout Skyrim, the land of Nords, the land of Men.  Both in opposition to the Psijic order and to strengthen the Thalmor in the enforcement of their plan. At first, I was going to have one build do it all, but then I thought about the roleplay stretches and then the idea of a series of builds came to me. Concise, elegant, each Agent with their own purpose, yet also sharing a common thread. So that each questline could be touched, but still keep the roleplay for each build intact. All three builds will try not to level other skills, so they fall into the second option. Dawnguard and Dragonborn are largely ignored, as starting the questlines would bring about order in the disruption the villains of the questlines have caused. We don’t want that. The Agents of Oegnithir, while usually disapproving of the Daedra, will not raise a hand to help Men in their struggle against Lord Harkon and Miraak. 

     

    "The mark of chaos is the eight-sided star. Eight, to us, is sacred, so, therefore, is the chaos we cause."

    Before I begin with the individual builds, I would like to discuss the missions that will be shared by all three agents.

    Mods: These are not essential to the build, but may serve to enhance the experience. I play-tested these build on Skyrim Special Edition, so I will link the mods to their SE version. Mods only used by one build will be explained under that build. Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch (fixes bugs, but also removes many glitches, which is why I don't tend to play with glitches), Alternate Start Live another Life (Thalmor embassy start gives you access to the Thalmor Embassy and the Thalmor Headquarters in Solitude, allowing you to sleep there and take any items. It also makes the Stormcloak faction hostile to you until you select their side in the Civil War as you are labeled as part of the Thalmor faction), Immersive Patrols (inserts faction patrols throughout the land and makes them hostile towards you if you are a member of a rival faction), Rebalanced Leveled Lists (makes changes to the leveled lists that are more location-logical; Dwemer ruins have more Dwemer items, Bandit dens have smaller items that could be "stolen", Mages and Necromancers do not have warhammers and such, but scrolls and spell tomes), Cloaks of Skyrim (adds cloaks to the game, some enchanted), Bandolier - Bags and Pouches (Adds Bandoliers, pouches, and books that a character can carry, usually expanding carry weight, but the aesthetic of the pouches for these builds was just so immersive, I usually can't pass it up. Picture an assassin actually having poison vials). 

    Search & Seizure:  Part of the duties of the Thalmor Justiciars enforcing the White Gold Concordat is the exposure and reeducation of Talos worshippers. The Justiciar Ondolemar, based out of Understone Keep in Markarth, requires assistance with such an endeavor. Steal the amulet of Talos from the respected Skald, Ogmund. Use him as an example to all that defy the Aldmeri Dominion.

    Building the Treasury: Each Agent is assigned with the acquisition of precious gems, gold, rare ingots, and artifacts. These valuables are then to be taken to the Thalmor Headquarters in Solitude and deposited. Funding the war against Mankind takes coin and these items will earn it. Particularly powerful artifacts of special importance to Nords and the culture of men will be destroyed.

    My Time of Need: Though the Aldmeri Dominion eventually lost Hammerfell, they continue to support those who aided the Dominion during the Great War. Kill Kematu and ensure Saadia's safety so that she can be later ransomed back to her noble family in Hammerfell. If anyone is going to make coin off Saadia, it will be the Aldmeri Dominion, not a bunch of Alik'r mercenaries. 

    The approaches to the next missions, will not be straight forward, but will employ tactics and decisions made by the player that will result in the most upheaval. These Quests, the main quest after Dragon Rising, are to be done after each Agent finishes their appropriate faction questline. 

    The Civil War: I drew some inspiration from Albino's wonderful article in the Tips & Tricks section, the Dovahkiin Double Agent.  In this article, he gives tips on how to take advantage of the times the player can change allegiances throughout the beginnings of the questline. If you choose to play without modding your game, all three agents will begin by following Ralof. Yes, the Stormcloak. Then join the Imperial Legion up to taking the oath. Don't take the oath and then join the Stormcloaks, completing their small quest and then taking their oath. Complete the Stormcloak side of the Civil War through the Jagged crown, but then deliver the Crown to General Tullius. Then do the Civil War quest through the Battle of Whiterun. The objective for the Agents of Oegnithr is to not complete the Civil War, but to leave Skyrim in a state of chaos in preparation for the Aldmeri Dominion invasion. Finishing the Battle of Whiterun leaves Whiterun, which, according to the Lore is the trading hub of the Province, in shambles. Slaughter any soldiers in the camps of both factions. The captains, unfortunately, are essential. However, regarding random faction encounters, feel free to cause disruption. Set free the occasional Stormcloak prisoner on one turn, ambush a traveling Stormcloak military party at the next. You utlimate allegience is with the Aldmeri Dominion.

    The Main Quest: After the Battle for Whiterun is completed, the Agent should refocus his or her attention back to the dragons that are still flying the skies, but not to rid Tamriel of the threat of Alduin. Alduin will now be used as a tool of the Thalmor. Complete the main quest through Alduin's Bane, sending him to Sovngarde, the spirit home of the Nords. With Alduin there, organize the summit to call a temporary truce to the Civil War. There, ensure that the truce conditions favor the Stormcloaks, rendering the Civll War harder to win for General Tullius. After that, complete the Fallen and leave Odahviing at Dragonsreach. The battle torn Whiterun will now have the threat of an imprisoned dragon in their Jarl's palace, the Imperials have a longer, bloodier battle ahead of them to reclaim Skyrim for the Empire because the dormant Agent Ulfric Stormcloak will eventually break the truce, and Alduin is now feasting on the souls of Nords in Sovngarde. The Agent's mission in Skyrim is now complete. The Dragon has become ours to bind.

    "Be as the stinging gadfly unto the world of men.  Pestering in the summer heat. You strike once, they may brush you away, but you remain unseen, buzzing around their ears, tormenting them. And then you sting again..."

    Mods: Belt-fastened quivers, Real bows (changes the textures and meshes of the bows to be more realistic), Better Horses (makes some minor tweaks to horses to make them more useful), Swift Steeds Stables (A texture mesh for horses that introduces some new varieties. The Sting went with a dapple grey Friesian). 

    Class: Assassin

    Difficulty: This build is viable at multiple difficulty levels. For a challenge, go Expert or higher. Was tested in Expert. 

    Crafting & Grinding: none

    Race: I chose Altmer because I couldn't pass up the roleplaying opportunities at the Thalmor Embassy with LAL, but Bosmer and Khajiit work as well, since both have nice boosts to the skills being used. 

    Stats: Put it all in health. Originally, I had considered a 2:1 Health:Stamina ratio and you can do this if you envision more of a skirmisher once you get the Ranger perk in the Archery tree. 

    Standing Stone: Thief, then Shadow as soon as you find it.

    Blessings: None, these builds do not hold allegiance to these false gods of the Empire. 

    Gear: Hoodless Thalmor Robes or clothing of choice (miner's clothes look great with the Shrouded hood or clothes from the Common Clothes mod), Shrouded Hood (Fortify sneak, 25%), Shrouded shoes (Muffle, 0.5), Ring of Archery or Health, Necklace of any elemental resistance or general magic resistance. If you have Cloaks of Skyrim installed, the Cloak of the Grey Fox or On Warm Sands provide enchantments that benefit the stealthy playstyle of this Agent. During the Civil War, when temporarily aligned with the Stormcloaks, swap Thalmor robes for Blue Robes and a Stormcloak faction cloak from Cloaks of Skyrim.

    Weapons: The highest leveled, unenchanted bow you can find. Mine ended up being Elven and Zephyr (30% faster drawspeed). You can use enchanted bows, but since I was not leveling enchanting, once their charge was spent, the weapon was discarded. For final bosses, once I had progressed far enough in the Dark Brotherhood questline, I used Firiniel's End (Elven bow that does 20 pts of frost damage and slows target by 50pts for 3 seconds. 13 uses before recharging). The other bow was the Nightingale Bow, which at this level actually does less damage than Firiniel's End (11, though you have also a shock damage amount). I used a mod that removed level requirements from quest rewards, so I had the full Nightingale bow, which was nice, even when it no longer possessed the enchantment. But if you don't have that mod, Firiniel's End is actually a strong choice. 

    Shouts: Throw Voice, Whirlwind sprint, Become Ethereal. Meditate on Feim. Shouts are used tactically. Throw voice to distract enemies and to position them for clearer shots.  The first word of Become Ethereal was used primarly to dodge magical attacks. The full shout, along with its meditation provided the Sting with a form of escape if the situation proved too overwhelming. I avoided Slow Time, as I felt it would make the build too powerful.  

    Followers: None, the Sting works alone.

    Home Life & Social Interaction: The Sting of Oegnithr tended to avoid interacting with people unless absolutely required by quests. Material possessions were not coveted and she kept her food consumption simple, whatever was lightweight and portable; apples, bread, and cheeses. Loot was acquired only if it was of any use to her or if it benefitted the Aldmeri Dominion. Favored were gold, enchanted gear she could use, bows, arrows, and poisons. What equipment was spent of charge was discarded without ceremony. She is not a power-player among the Thalmor, so no Thaneships were acquired barring the first that is forced upon you in Whiterun. No home was purchased and the Sting either resided at the Falkreath Brotherhood Sanctuary, the Dawnstar Sanctuary, or the Ratway Cistern until Blindsighted was completed. Players using mods can use a house to their liking. No upgrades were made to the Dawnstar sanctuary and the money from the Emperor's assassination was deposited directly into the Thalmor Headquarters. I also made use, due to the patched game and LAL, of the Thalmor Embassy and the Thalmor Headquarters as restops between "missions" to sleep and temporarily store gear. If you visit an interior cell frequently enough, you can prevent it from respawning. And if it does respawn, think of it as disposing the build of unwanted and unecessary gear (Thalmor using their dawn magicks to destroy items), or that the Thalmor have collected the Agent's "deposits" to the the Aldmeri Dominion Treasury.  

    Skills and Gameplay: There are but two skills in this build and they are probably the most default cliche skills you can pick; Sneak and Archery. However, what do most do with these skills? They are usually paired with Illusion, Alchemy, Smithing, Conjuration, and others. Along with these other skills, yes, it is easy to see how a stealth build using Archery can beome easily overpowered and the gameplay can turn monotonous. But now, take away those other skills. Reduce this assassin to its essential components and the gameplay changes.  There is nothing to fall back on. There are no summons, no calm spells, no armor to absorb blows. If you are discovered, if you miss your shot, you are dead. It becomes about getting that shot and then withdrawing back into the shadows before you are discovered.  Overdraw, Stealth, and the Deadly Aim perks are top priority. Then, steadily climb up both sides of the tree in Archery and then finish the left side of the tree for Sneak. Steady Hand perks, Bullseye, and a rank of Stealth were not taken. 

    For the Sting, I avoided the use of staves and scrolls, though they do not effect leveling, because it didn't seem to gel well with her use of Archery. This is not a magic-oriented build, and I felt theses items drew her too far away froom her silent assassin persona. Spells, to me, are noisy and attract undesired attention. They were far-better suited to the more "in your face" combat style of the Beast and the Elements. Her weapon is her bow and whatever she can use to give her weapon the extra edge, so found poisons were used with enthusiasm. Combat is straight-forward, but potentiall quite thrilling. Sneaking towards the target and delivering the shot without being discovered. The noise of the strike, to me, never got old. If you are discovered, repositioning is in order as without armor, the Sting, like a small insect, is extremely vulnerable to direct attack, especially in earlier levels. 

    I also felt it extremely out of character to sneak outside of her "missions" (who really does that?), so one of the first things I did was purchase a horse and mounted combat figures prominently in the Sting's outdoor battles while she is traveling.  This was particularly useful against dragons and mages for the horse was more easily able to evade the beast's magical attacks until Become Ethereal was obtained. While I really enjoyed the look of the Dapple Grey Friesian Horse from the Swift Steeds Stables mod, Frost and Shadowmere are great options for this build. It also prevented Sneak from overtaking Archery with regard to leveling. Training was not used. 

    Key in later gameplay was the acquisition of the "Ranger" perk and "Shadow Warrior, which introduced a more mobile element to combat and was something I recommend using during the Civil War questline when you are dealing with the "swarms" of enemies during the battle of Whiterun. It introduced this great "now you see me, now you don't" element to this largescale battle, watching the Stormcloaks search for the Sting, only for her to appear out of nowhere somewhere else in the battlefield. The Shadow Stone also contributed to this element of suprise. Like that little mosquito you hear in your ear and only realize it's bitten you much later when you see the blood. 

     

    Besides the above "shared missions", the Sting of Oegnithr has been tasked with completing several missions for the Thalmor that cater to her specific manner of spreading "Oegnithr" throughout Skyrim. It is recommended that she complete these missions prior to continuing with the shared missions, though the Main quest through the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller may be done in the beginning to unleash dragons into the skies and to get early access to Become Ethereal. 

    Delayed Burial: Thalmor intelligence have indicated that the Night Mother is being moved to Skyrim. Intercept this transport, no doubt undertaken by the Keeper of Cheydinhal's destroyed Sanctuary, a Breton going by the alias Cicero. Your mission is to help him to allow the smoother infiltration of your next target.

    The Dark Brotherhood (complete): The forces of Sithis be damned.  The Black Sacrement, but a silly superstition carried out by the foolish. The Thalmor have eyes and ears throughout all the Empire, including within the Elder Council itself. Word is out that Armand Mottierre is secretly plotting against the Emperor of Tamriel and it is the Sting's mission to infiltrate the Dark Brotherhood to see that this task is completed. Mottierre, himself is expendable, as are all members of the Dark Brotherhood, so allow the destruction of their sanctuary by playing into the ridiculous backdoor scheming of their jealous Sanctuary leader and the Penitus Oculatus. It is all for naught. In addition, use this opportunity to murder the Sanctuary's Keeper. The Thalmor does not need the Dark Brotherhood, not when the Sting of Oegnithr is counted among their ranks. The death of the Emperor will pave the way for the Aldmeri Dominion's invasion of Tamriel. 

    The Thieves Guild (main quest to the end of Blindsighted, ignore extra jobs): Again, the superstitions of Man has let an organization crumble. Cause discord among the Thieves of Nocturnal by infiltrating the guild and collaborating with an unsuspecting Nightingale taking revenge for her lover's murder.  Then murder the current Guild Master, and obtain the Skeleton Key, the "source" of these supersticious thieves' power.  Then profane the temple of Nocturnal by not returning the artifact to its rightful place, leaving their guild in chaos. 

    Lost to the Ages: Only the initial step to acquire Zephyr. The Sting didn't even pick up the shard, nor use Katria to help her, leaving the frustrated spirit at the location. Dwemer secrets can remain lost, Man would not know what to do with them anyway and they are beneath the Aldemeri Dominion.

    The Sting ambushing an Imperial prisoner party.

    "As Borgas fell to the Wild Hunt so long ago, so let the false kings of man fall to your untamed fury at the coming of the end times. Hircine is but a pawn to our ultimate plans and you are the instrument."

    Mods: Like the Sting, the Beast also benefits from Better Horses and Swift Steeds Stables. In addition, the Beast made use of the mod Throwing Weapons Lite. This mod introduces to the game throwing knives, axes, javelins, and grenades. They can be constructed at the forge using the smithing and alchemy skill or they can be found in the game; usually carried by bandits. This mod proved very useful as it gave the Beast a means of ranged attack that synergized well with his other skills since the throwing weapons boosted one-handed. You can also download a version of the mod that raises the archery skill instead. 

    Class: Warrior

    Difficulty: Tested on Expert.

    Crafting & Grinding: Some training with Grelka in Riften, mostly until the Wind Walker perk was taken. 

    Race: Bosmer, but Khajiit is also a strong choice potentially due to the low level cap, their inate unarmed damage and the Gloves of the Pugalist, which is a Light Armor piece. I chose Bosmer, however, due to the strong connection with the Wild Hunt and the roleplaying potential with Lycanthropy, cannibalism, and the Green Pact. The game features stories where the Bosmer are victimized by the Aldmeri Dominion, I wanted to explore a build that was fiercely loyal to it. Fierce with an almost animalistic, feral quality. 

    Stats: 2:1 Health:Stamina, though with the boni to health and stamina from the Ring of Namira and gear, sometimes, I admit, I lost track of when to put what stat where. 200 stamina is plenty for this build, especially for the rate of stamina regen it's going to enjoy. 

    Standing Stone: Lady 

    Blessings: Again, none, though you can possibly argue for Kynareth, since Y'ffre is also connected to the goddess. I didn't take a shrine blessing. An interesting option is Bardic Knowledge, which gives stamina regeneration for 300 seconds. It is a lesser power from the Black Book Untold Legends. I ended up not taking the power because grabbing power from Hermaeus Mora and reading a book to obtain it didn't seem, to me, like something the Beast would do. 

    Gear: The Ring of Namira (+50 stamina, enhanced health and health regeneration when you feed upon a corpse) was the main ring he wore when not in Beast form. When the Wild Hunt would take him, he would either use the Ring of the Hunt (grants health regeneration while in Beast form) or the Ring of Hircine (grants additional werewolf transformations).  If you are playing without the patches, you can exploit the Cursed Ring of Hircine/Ring of Namira glitch, which gives the player permanent benefits from the Ring of Namira. It will, however, effect gameplay as a lycanthrope. Any necklace of elemental or generic magic resistance was used. It was with the Beast that I was able to have the most fun with changing gear based on faction allegiance. For his general missions and when he was doing the Companions, I opted for the best enchanted light armor I could find, up to Elven in quality.  This gear tends have the highest chance of dropping between levels 11-15, so you'll want to do plenty of dungeon delving during these crucial levels to take advantage. I ended up getting rather lucky with my drops (finally) and obtained Elven gauntlets of wielding, armor of health, and boots of stamina, all of which suit the build very well. When ready to manipulate the Civil War for the Aldmeri Dominion, the Beast donned a set of studded Imperial armor, a light Imperial helmet, scaled bracers, scaled bracers and boots for the Imperial side and replaced the Imperial garb with a Stormcloak cuirass and scaled helmet (Vanilla; with Immersive patrols, you can get an Officer's helmet, which really added to the whole "Beast" look) when he infiltrated the Stormcloaks. Cloaks of Skyrim gives the Beast access to faction cloaks, which enhanced the immersion. 

    Weapons: If you are playing without mods, obtaining the Beast's weapons is very easy. The Beast's exploration of the Rift took him to Fort Dawnguard rather early, where he agreed to investigate a burial crypt in the Northern Pale in exchange for access to anything the fort had to offer. Though it was not in the Thalmor's interest to follow through with the investigation of Dimhollow crypt for the Dawnguard, as they saw the vampire attacks as a way to further weaken Skyrim, the Beast did make use of the faction's war axes for the duration of his missions. The Dawnguard axes are lighter than axes of equivalent damage, have a more stream-lined aesthetic, and are lighter than the Elvish war axe though that axe does one point more damage. They are also efficient against vampires and benefit from Elemental Fury. If you want a "bone" look, or something made of animal products, Forsworn and Falmer axes also work, but they are heavier.  For ranged attacks, the Beast used staves to drive dragons to the ground before he went forward with his axes or his bestial claws. With Throwing weapons Lite, the Beast's arsenal expands to include throwing knives, throwing axes, javelins, and various lore-friendly smoke bombs and grenades. Enough so that he could afford to drop staves. He is no mage, his magic is more primal, from the old ways when shapes were not yet defined. When mer could also be beast. 

    Shouts: Warrior-based shouts. Elemental fury, Unrelenting force, and Dismay were used when in Human form. Meditate on Fus with Paarthurnax to give Unrelenting Force some extra power. The howl of terror when in Beast form and often Animal Allegiance was used just before transformation to call the other beasts of the land to battle. And yes, all three words of Animal Allegiance were obtained. See how below. 

    Followers: Throughout Skyrim, the Aldmeri Dominion has planted several "operatives" designated with the task to assist the Agents of Oegnithr. One such operative is Faendal, a Bosmer stationed in Riverwood as a lumber mill worker. He is a competant archer and light armor user, though his time in Skyrim has made him soft, for he now grows plants and eats grain and plant-filled Nordic cuisine, forgetting the Green Pact of his Valenwood cousins. He was used until the Beast familiarized himself with the terrain and proved himself able to handle agressive combat on his own. This happened, for me, after Dustman's Cairn. If the Beast could handle himself in a tomb crawling with Silver Hand and then nearly twenty leveled Draugr in spite of Farkas' bumblings, he was good to continue on his own. He sent Faendal back to Riverwood in disgrace with naught but the clothes on his back, the Beast taking even his bow. Let the wretch drink his mead and eat his vegetables. He was no true Bosmer of the Green Pact. No true Bosmer of the Dominion and not worth the Beast's axe or to feast upon. That being said, the Beast did not shirk all company. As with any true Bosmer, he has a kinship with animals and a special kinship with his horse. Again, Swift Steads provided the Beast with an exotic looking brindle dun Fjord Horse, though Frost would be another excellent choice. A dog companion can also be used and if any of the animals were to die in combat, the Beast consumed their flesh to do them a final honor, taking their spirit into his own. 

    Home Life & Social Interaction: Even more isolationist than the Sting, the Beast shunned the faction bed offered by the Nordic Companions, preferring to live in the wilds of Skyrim. For Vanilla players, great places to rest for this build that give a rested bonus include the abandoned house near the Western Watchtower, Helgen Keep, Bleak Falls Barrow, the Alchemist's Shack, and Anise's Cabin. Another option is to clear the bandit den for the Jarl of Falkreath and purchase Lakeview manor, but only build the small cabin. It is an option, but I played the Beast as a strict observer of the Green Pact, so he was not willing to destroy plants to make his home, so a home already provided for, away from civilization, was far better. If you are modding your game, some great abodes include Hidden Hideouts of Skyrim, the Rift Treehouse, White Elk Shelter near Winterhold, or the Snapneck Shack between Riverwood and Whiterun. City interaction only came through quest obligations and to deposit gold and valuables into the Thalmor "treasury" in Solitude. He let no plant product touch his mouth, so food was restricted to raw and cooked meats or the flesh of those he defeated in combat.

    Skills & Gameplay: While their skills differ, the Beast is just as efficient at dealing death as the Sting is, but whereas the Sting dealt death from the shadows, unseen like the little fly, the Beast deals death in a more direct fashion. When devising the paths for this build, Lycanthropy was something I wanted to explore immediately as an option for this aspect of the Agents of Oegnithr. But instead of the traditional Lycanthropy where transformations were held sway by the shine of the two moons or were only available once a day, I wanted the Beast's Lycanthropy to hearken more to the practices of the Wild Hunt, the Bosmer tradition of assuming the form of a Beast in times of need. The Ring of Hircine made Lycanthropy something the Beast of Oegnithr could call upon whenever the need arose. Something he could control. Which made him even more deadly. I also used it an an affront to the Companions' Lycanthropy, something the Beast steals from them and then turns it against them, using it as an instrument for their eventual downfall (see under "solo missions"). Most of the "skill" tree was perked, save those perks that pertained directly to the Totem of Hircine quests, which the Beast did not do, since he was no servant of Hircine. Beast form was mostly used against dragons, large foes like mammoths and giants, and when numbers would overwhelm, like major Civil war battles or for the destruction of the faction camps scattered throughout Skyrim. 

    The Beast, however, was just as deadly in human form as he was in the form of the Wild Hunt. Light Armor and One-handed giving him the tools he needed to simulate the grace of his Wild Hunt form when confined by his lowly Mer's shell.  Light Armor granted the Beast a high degree of mobility and perking the left side of the tree to Wind Walker was a high priority. This gave the Beast a full passive 75% stamina regen, when you count the Lady Stone's powers. In addition, if you choose to pursue the Black Book Untold Legends, you can obtain an addition 50 points stamina regen for 300 seconds. Unfortunately, because of his strict adherence to the Green Pact, the stamina regen boosts in certain foods could not be exploited because they contained vegetable products. Even without Bardic Knowledge, the use of found potions could be used to further augment his passive stamina regen, rendering him able to well-utilize his dual-wielding skill.  He never enjoyed a particularly high armor rating, but due to his skill in One-handed, the high armor rating was not especially needed, the protection he had was sufficient to ward off the occasional blow he was not able to dodge.  

    While blades are faster, there something about bleed damage that always attracted me to war axes. Just something about striking at your foe, watching them run away, and then watching them collapse from the blood loss that really fit this Agent of Oegnithr. Watching them futily try to escape the chaos the Beast had just caused. I also thought that war axes better simulated the damage of the Beast's claws more than daggers, swords, or maces could. Dual-wielding unenchanted axes (Dawnguard axes, and often poisoned) also allowed me to exploit both the speed of Elemental fury and the speed perks for Dual-wielding, giving the Beast a certain reckless fury to his combat style. He could not completely abandon his Bosmer love for ranged attacks, however, often using the throwing axes from Throwing Weapons Lite to stagger his prey before he closed in for the kill. One of the most enjoyable gameplay moments in my playtesting of the Beast was having him bring down a dragon with well-placed javelin throws and then closing in with dual-wielding and elemental fury. Just as powerful as he was in Beast Form. For Vanilla players, staves provide a strong substitute for ranged attacks and before I had found, acquired (stripped frome the bodies of dead bandits after I ate their corpses) enough throwing weapons, I used staves to bring down dragons, throwing them away when they ran out of charge. The most difficult enemies for the Beast were mages and other magical creatures, but there's just a point in gameplay where dual-wielding and Elemental fury become so potent, that by the end of the test, very few things stopped this whirling tempest of swinging steel. The key was closing the distance. If the Beast was able to close the gap between he and his foe, the speed of his attacks then took care of th rest. 

    The Beast also benefitted from mounted combat, using it to dodge dragon, mammoth, giant, and mage attacks in the open and then conduct raids on camps and small settlements to spread Oegnithr, killing npcs who were not essential. Prime targets were business owners since their loss would hit Skyrim financially. Military was also targetted. This build definitely did his share of jail time. 

     

    Bandit Bounties: Even the scum of Skyrim have items that will earn coin for the Aldmeri Dominion's cause. Raid them without mercy and deliver your spoils of triumph to the Thalmor treasury. (Thalmor Headquarters in Solitude).

    Taste of Death: Done for the Ring of Namira, which was used to simulate the Bosmer practice of cannibalism. Namira is not the source of the Beast's power, the Green Pact is. Her trinket is but a tool to the Beast. The only true flesh to taste is the flesh of your fallen foes after a battle hard won.

    Forsworn Conspiracy and No One Escapes Cidhna Mine: Just as the Wild Hunt was used to bring down a King, let it now be used to raise one up. Thalmor intelligence indicates that Madanach, the King of Rags, is now weary of being the Silver-Blood family's captive puppet. The Beast's mission is to gather evidence of the Silver Blood's Stormcloak leanings and betrayal of the Empire so the Aldmeri Dominion can eventually use it against them. Then infiltrate Cidhna mine to help King Madanach and his band of Forsworn escape. King Madanach, now your ally, will cause much-desired chaos in the Reach, further draining the resources of the Jarls of Skyrim.

    Ill Met by Moonlight: An unworthy vagabond who can only hunt weak children has bitten off more than he can chew. Releave him of his cursed ring and then trick Hircine by turning the Hunt inside out, bending the artifacts power to the Wild Hunt's way. Done to obtain the Ring of Hircine as obtaining the Savior's Hide would be doing Hircine's bidding and the Beast is no servant of a Daedric Lord.

    Meet the Hunters of Frostmoon Crag: More unworthy Nord werewolves. Relieve them of the Ring of the Hunt.

    The Companions: An institution of Skyrim for over 5000 years. Begun by the cursed Ysgramor, the wielder of Wuuthrad, the Elf-Grinder. He destroyed Saarthal, drove the Elves from Skyrim. His legacy will die with the chaos the Beast brings. The Thalmor have been corresponding with a band of werewolf hunters called the Silver Hand and have learned that the inner Circle of the Companions is afflicted with Lycanthropy. The time to topple their institution has come. Infiltrate this band of mead-drinking warriors and gain their trust. It seems that their inner circle is divided on the matter of the Beast Blood. Further fuel this divide by taking their gift. The ensuing conflict will surely result in the death of their greatest warrior, Skjor, a Nord veteran of the Great War that the Thalmor have been watching for some time. The Companions are now without an heir to the Harbinger's legacy and the feeble old man will turn to the Beast to fill the void left by Skjor.  We are aware of his research into the coven of Glenmoril, abominations of feather and female flesh and the source of the Companion's cure for their Lycanthropy. When the Harbinger asks you to obtain one of their heads, slaughter the entire coven and take a single head, but do not return to Jorrvaskr. The Silver Hand have been watchiing your progress and waiting for an opportunity. Once they see that you have taken care of the coven, they will attack Jorrvaskr, assassinate the Harbinger, and steal the fragments of Wuuthrad to scatter to the four corners, preventing the reforging of the weapon. 5000 years of legacy is now destroyed and the top warrior's guild in Skyrim is now in a state of total upheaval; their Harbinger and inner circle now doomed to serve Hircine for all eternity in the Hunting Grounds. Your mission, however, is not yet complete. Once the Harbinger is dead, journey on your own to the tomb of Ysgramor, overlooking the Sea of Ghosts, and desecrate it by stealing the word of power that is there. (You can obtain the final word for Animal Allegiance by patiently climbing up the hill.)

    Helm of Yngol and other Nordic artifacts: Ysgramor's tomb is not enough, however.  All artifacts of the Ancient Nords must be destroyed. Begin your task by seeking out the tomb of Ysgramor's son, Yngol, along the snowy coast near Windhelm. Then slay his shade and take his helm. Deposit it in the Thalmor treasury and our wizards will destroy it with their powerful dawn magicks. (Place it in a respawning container and then smile when the artifact disappears and is replaced by a sack of flour or a clothes iron.). Do this for all special Nordic artifacts the Beast finds in his missions. "Remove Man not just from the world, but from the  Pattern of Possibility, so that the very idea of them can be forgotten and thereby never again repeated." 

    The Beast, after the Battle for Whiterun, calling upon the Wild Hunt to now destroy Whiterun's defenses.

    "You have the elements at your command. Use them to cause chaos. Use them to bring destruction. Great magicks unfold underneath the cursed ground at Saarthal. The Snow Elves coveted it once. We will not make their mistakes."

    Mods: Inigo (Adds a Khajiit follower to the game with throusands of lines of special dialogue. A highly interactive follower for this intelligent mage. Inigo also has his own follower package, so a second follower can be used, giving the Elements a small force of inferiors at his disposal. Magical College of Winterhold (A mod that makes the College of Winterhold experience more immersive), The Midden Expanded (A mod that fleshes out the Midden, providing several hours of non-hand-holding questing that requires puzzle solving. The reward is a dark-themed player home designed for a conjurer, but well-suited to any mage who prefers that his college exploits go unnoticed), Scholars Refuge (A mod that creates a portal to a player home with secret storage that allows for the storage of special quest artifacts. A little over-powered with respect to gear offered, but I didn't use the gear.)

    Class: Mage, an elementalist.

    Difficulty: Tested on Expert.

    Crafting & Grinding: These skills synergized surprisingly quite well. Alteration is a quick leveler and Destruction can be suprisingly quick too when that's all you're using for damage output. 

    Race: There can only be one choice; Altmer. The +50 bonus to magic is wonderful for this build as is their Highborn racial power. Not to mention that it fits the roleplaying like a Thalmor glove.  

    Stats: 1:2 Magicka:Health. I wanted this mage to have enough health to withstand a hit or two if his minions were not close enough yet to assist him and at the same time handle the lack of spell cost reduction with a decent magicka pool. By level 25, I had 260 health and 230 base magicka. With gear and the Atronach stone, I ended up with about 380 magicka. With Elsweyr Fondue, I got 480. 

    Standing Stone: Atronach (if playing with a patched game), or the Modified Advanced Atronach Stone if playing with an unpatched game.

    Blessings: None. I know, I know, you could argue for Julianos and Akatosh, but I felt that this mage was too much of a hardcore Thalmor to really take blessing from any god that wasn't of the Altmeri pantheon. I envisioned to him to be the spokesperson for the three Agents, so I approached him as if he was a zealot among the Thalmor, outspoken, and also prone to jail time if someone offended him. If you feel you need the boost though and don't mind the head-scratching, feel free to take either Julianos for the +25 magicka or Akatosh for the 25% faster regen. 

    Shouts: In keeping with his elementalist theme, I restricted this Agent to shouts that called upon the Elements to cause destruction and pandemonium. I used most frequently Fire breath, Frost breath, and Ice form, but other shouts in his repertoire included Storm call (only two words), and if you wished to continue the Elementalist's gameplay, Cyclone is another shout that is worth a look. Storm call was used during the Civil War, often with intense results, poor Kharjo... well, war is about sacrifice. 

    Home Life & Social Interaction: The Elements is the spokeperson for the Agents of Oegnithr and unlike the others, he interacts more with the general populace. He regular ventured into cities with his entourage of Khajiit bodyguards and lived for part of his mission in the College of Winterhold, in the same building as his esteemed colleague, Ancano, until the Justiciar secured the Eye of Magnus. Unfortunately, though Proudspire Manor would be an elegant place for this mage to live, I simply did not see him particularly interested in stopping the binding of Queen Potema to the mortal plane. Though she is a necromancer, her ressurection would actually benefit Thalmor interests temporarily through the upheaval she would cause. I also had other reasons for eschewing a Vanilla home (see skills and gameplay section). If you really want/need a Vanilla home, however, Windstad should be your choice as it is closest to Solitude and Morvarth Piquine is only a minor nuisance. Have your steward build the kitchen, the library, and the bedrooms, because you are the Elements, a Thalmor Justiciar and a member the Aldmeri Dominion, why would you build anything yourself? Also Valdemar is a mage and therefore, slightly less backward than the rest of the Nord housecarls available. If you do not trust Valdemar, however, feel free to kill him and install the operative Faendal as your new steward. Another option, once aligned to the Legion, is the Thalmor Headquarters in Solitude, though the mod LAL, if you choose the Thalmor Embassy start, gives you these quarters to use without needing to join the Legion. I lived in modded housing for my playtest, the player home provided by The Midden Expanded is an excellent option for this evil, yet charismatic mage, as is Scholar's Refuge, which had a hearthfire oven. The gourmet of the group, the Elements exercised his culinary skill by creating such gstronomical delights as Elsweyr Fondue (+25 magicka regen and +100 magicka for 12 min), Jazbay crostatas (fortify magicka 4 pts, 60 sec), Lavender dumplings (Fortify Magicka 10 pts & 10% magic resist for 60 seconds), and snowberry crostatas (fire resist 4%, 60sec.). Delicious!  

    Gear: Look every bit the Justiciar. Hoodless Thalmor Robes (12% reduction to Destruction costs), Savos Aren's Amulet (+50 magicka), Ring of Major Alteration (17% reduction to Alteration costs), Archmage's boots (40% resistance to Shock; stolen from the Arch-mage's quarters), Thalmor gloves or Focusing gloves. Head gear presented several options. The Mage's Circlet, the reward for the quest Good Intentions, is a leveled item. I got mine at around level 15, which earns a +50 to magicka. Another option is the Adept hood (+50 magicka), but there is no guaranteed place to find it without possibly spending a skill point in speech (Radiant Raiment and college mages sell it). I ended up using the Circlet (I also had a mod that deleveled quest rewards), but I supplemented it with Morokei (+100 magicka regen). Morokei is a light armor dragon priest mask and negates the mage armor perks of the Alteration tree, but I used Morokei only in situations where I needed to regenerate magicka outside of combat. It was like carrying around an Elixir of Lasting Potency (100% faster magicka regen for 300 seconds) all the time. If you install Cloaks of Skyrim, I recommend the Cloak The Fall of Winterhold (+60 magicka), which has some great symbolic meaning considering what the Elements will end up doing, or the Thalmor cloak. There is an enchanted one on one of the Thalmor agents you encounter in the game. This special Thalmor cloak grants another 12% reduction cost to Destruction spells. When the Elements is manipulating the Stormcloaks during the Civil War, Thalmor robes were replaced with either blue mage robes or simple black robes of destruction and a Stormcloak faction cloak. Thalmor gloves were replaced with the Focusing gloves. You may ask. Why not the Ring of Arcana? I considered it for a while and decided that a representative of the Thalmor would have a great deal of trouble justifying to his superiors why there was a need to invest 11,000 septims into a ruin to delve for Nordic artifacts. You could argue that the aquisition of such items benefit the Thalmor, and I could see it being done, especially as his power and reputation grew at higher levels. He would then be allowed to keep the Ring of Arcana, granting the Element Freeze & Ignite, but he would lose his Alteration reduction costs. I can also see the Elements bringing Ahzidal's set to the Thalmor Headquarters and turning in these prized artifacts to be destroyed (respawn container). In the end, I decided not to, but it would add to the roleplay if you decided to continue the Element's gameplay in that direction and it would be what I would do if I continued gameplay beyond level 25. 

    Weapons: I will only list the spells used here. I will explain their use and why in the gameplay section. Flames, Frostbite, Sparks, Firebolt, Flame Cloak, Ice Spike, Oakflesh, Stoneflesh, Detect Life, Telekinesis, Paralyze, Equilibrium. Supplementing these spells were scrolls and staves, however, I limited them to only those that supplemented his own two chosen schools of magic and the elemental Atronachs, which I thought fit his theme well. Additional staves that enhanced roleplay, but required judicious use because of the inability to charge them were the Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson, the Staff of Magnus, and the Wabbajack. Other staves were used and then cast aside when their charge was spent. The Elements also had two special weapons, which I will explain below. 

    Followers: It is dangerous to be a loyal servant of the Aldmeri Dominion in Skyrim. Selecting the Thalmor Embassy start from LAL enhanced immersion a great deal, however, it made the Stormcloak faction immediately hostile and the Elements does not hide in the shadows like the Sting, but ventures out in the open without shame. The Elements required protection. Another Thalmor operative, Kharjo, is stationed as a guard for the caravan led by Ahkari, who travels a route from Riften to Dawnstar. His only requirement for devoted service to the Aldmeri Dominion is the return of his childhood amulet, stolen from him by lowly bandits. Though it is a task beneath the Elements, he will humor the inferior in exchange for his loyal servitude. Kharjo is a heavy armor follower skilled in one-handed, block, and archery. His default gear, steelplate armor, is actually quite strong in early game, making him an effective tank for the Elements. To enhance roleplay, however, I also used the modded follower, Inigo, who you have to recruit from the Riften jail, which will raise your speech by two points, still within option B's limit of six though and well worth it for his immersive AI. Though also skilled with one-handed, block, and archery, Inigo prefers light armor, making him easier to gear up in Pro-Dominion garb. Inigo also comes with his own follower package, which allowed the Elements to employ both followers, giving him an entourage of Khajiit protection. Gear for them is secondary to gear for the Elements. Give them whatever enchanted gear suits them, up to glass or steel plate in quality. I avoided, for roleplaying reasons, anything Nordic carved, Orcish, Stahlrim, or ebony. Ebony is considered the blood of Lorkhan, the great enemy of the High Elves. 

    Skills & Gameplay: The Sting used the shadows, the Beast used brute force, the Elements was all about about pure bravado. From his noisy and showy flesh spells to his potent flame cloak, the Elements put his control of the elements on full display for all his foes to see. Alteration and Destruction were the skills used and the build thrived, despite the limitations set by the Event's tough restrictions. Though limited to Stoneflesh, which was the highest level flesh spell found in gameplay, Alteration still served as a strong defense for the Elements, who utilized most of the tree. Key perks were magic resistance, mage armor (which gave him a solid 180 AR, despite the weak spell) and Atronach, which gave the Elements a healthy 80% spell absorption. This allowed him to walk right up to rival mages by endgame and simply suck the spells cast from their hands, using it to feed his own limited magicka pool. Fit the roleplay of a confident Justiciar to join the fray with his Khajiit minions.

    For the Destruction tree, because of his limited level, the limited spells available, and his smaller magicka pool, I focused attention on spells no higher than adept level, keeping magicka costs down, and using the augmented elemental perks to enhance their potency throughout the Element's time in Skyrim. The dual-casting perk and Impact were important to the Element's offense and defense, staggering opponents with his relentless onset of elemental magicks. Since speech could not be perked, save under special circumstances, I avoided purchasing spells and relied purely on found spells, which made early game for the Elements an intense scavenger hunt to acquire his arsenal of spells and shouts so he could better serve the Aldmeri Dominion in his mission. I drew inspiration from Raid's fabulous Hedge Mage build and searched for the guaranteed spells available for the Destruction and Alteration schools. Early gameplay became the journey of a lowly Justiciar, given only a staff of thunderbolts and flames to accomplish a great task, and how he rose to great heights through determination and resourcefulness rather than by squandering precious funds for the Aldmeri Dominion by purchasing spells or gear he could instead obtain through industry. No, the riches, the coin, the gold, it is for the Aldmeri Dominion. The Elements found another way. It was this roleplay aspect, the idea of all for the Dominion, which made me shy away from purchasing a player home. The midden home I used was obtained by pure force. The Elements took it from it previous owner by killing him in a magic dual. 

    Gameplay was exceedingly simple, but at the same time loads of fun, as it had been a long while since I played a purely destructive mage. As the enemy draws towards your minions, the Elements cast a flesh spell, his fire cloak, and then follows with a barrage of destructive power catered to the opponent he was up against. Vampires, undead, and the creatures that dwelled the far north of Skyrim received his flame-based destruction. Shock was saved for mages and dragons, while Frost was reserved for creatures based on fire and to slow down warriors, draining them of their stamina. Shouts were used to augment destruction magic. Though the Element had a relatively low AR, the protection provided by Kharjo and Inigo resulted in him rarely receiving damage. If, however, they failed their Justiciar, the Elements often had superior speed and dexterity over armor-wearing enemies, allowing him to dodge their blows. Mages and dragons were particularly approached with an almost reckless abandon as the Elements would turn their magicks against them through his ability to absorb spells.  Late game saw him playing dangerously with Equilibrium as a means to replenish magicka, putting his own life at risk through his almost fanatical devotion to the Thalmor and their cause. The best moment in gameplay was the battle of Whiterun where he decimated the battlefield with two words of Stormcall, frost-based magicks to slow down the Stormcloaks, and his flame cloak. Using all three elements to bring chaos to the battlefield. Unfortunately, Kharjo did not survive, but he died knowing that he sacrificed his life for the Aldmeri Dominion. 

    Infiltration: Done to obtain the Detect Life spell, the reward given by Stelleo for clearing Treva's Watch of bandits.

    Clear Serpent's Bluff Redoubt: The reward is the frostbite spell. 

    Investigate Helgen: If you have LAL installed, you will be prompted to investigate Helgen, which has been attacked by a dragon. You can obtain the sparks spell from the dead mage in the torture room.

    Lifting the Shroud: In the Element's search for spells, he comes across rumors of ghostly activity in Shroud Hearth Barrow near Ivarstead. Guaranteed location of Oakflesh. 

    Dungeon Delving: Of particular interest to the Elements were Dragon priest masks and claws. Sources of great power to be destroyed by the Aldmeri Dominion.

    Lost Legends: Reforge the Gauldur amulet and present to the Thalmor Headquarters from destruction.

    College of Winterhold: Your esteemed colleague, Ancano, has been infiltrating the College for months, serving as Archmage Aren's "Advisor". He requires your assistance to investigate the ruins of Saarthal, which as the Elements recalls, was mentioned in a book Night of Tears by Vingalmo, an Altmer scholar. The Elements of Oegnithr must be present during the excavation of the ruins at Saarthal as Ancano believes there is something of great value to the Aldmeri Dominion in the bowels of the destroyed city. However, a complication has arose in that the Psijic Order also seek to sequestor the power that is down there. The Thalmor cannot allow this to happen. To undermine their efforts, it is required that the Elements initially cooperate with them. Manipulate both the College and the Psijic Order until Ancano can secure the power of Saarthal within the walls of the college using magicks. Archmage Aren and Master Wizard Mirabelle Ervin are expendable. Their deaths will leave the college in the hands of Tolfdir, an incompetant Nord mage who, according to Justiciar Ancano, cannot even remember where he put his bloody alembic. Skyrim's institution of uh... magic, if that's what they like to call what they practice there, will be rendered useless and in total Thalmor control. Caution: Beware of Estormo. He is a rogue Agent who is claiming to work for Ancano. Lies. He will be searching for you once you acquire the Staff of Magnus. Kill him. Complete the College questline through the Staff of Magnus and then let Ancano work his magic unhindered while you focus your attention to the Civil War.  

    With the Element's assistance, Justiciar Ancano has enveloped the College of Winterhold in an impenetrable field of magicka, driving the mages away and killing their Archmage and Master Wizard. The College and all within it now belong to the Thalmor.  The Psijic Order beaten in their own game. 

     

  • Member
    April 2, 2017

    A realy nice series of mini-builds and I like that they give the opportunity to play 3 major class archetypes Assassin, Warrior, Mage in a simple manner with some cool roleplay that affects the whole playthrough to follow, well done.

  • April 2, 2017

    Duvain said:

    A realy nice series of mini-builds and I like that they give the opportunity to play 3 major class archetypes Assassin, Warrior, Mage in a simple manner with some cool roleplay that affects the whole playthrough to follow, well done.

    Thanks, Duvain. That they represented the three archtypes was something I wanted to convey in the build. It is essentially, almost a completionist build, yet it isn't. LOL

  • Member
    April 2, 2017

    You have worked hard on this, Lis, and it really shows. Helluva project to tackle in just two weeks but you managed it and led the event. Impresssive stuff, I'd say! :) The theme is certainly unique, embracing the obscure lore and in style. Each character is interesting, and each portrayed wonderfully with different skillsets, personalities and approaches. A lot of work, but a lot of fun too I hope :)

  • April 2, 2017

    Phil said:

    You have worked hard on this, Lis, and it really shows. Helluva project to tackle in just two weeks but you managed it and led the event. Impresssive stuff, I'd say! :) The theme is certainly unique, embracing the obscure lore and in style. Each character is interesting, and each portrayed wonderfully with different skillsets, personalities and approaches. A lot of work, but a lot of fun too I hope :)

    *Hands Phil his $250 fee before collapsing in a heap of exhaustion*

    Thanks Phil for being such an awesome psycho-therapist for this building process. You and Teineeva, both. I wanted to post a thank you thingy, but it got removed. I may have hit a character limit of some kind, LOL. Now why would that suprise me. At any rate, thank you so much. And you all have admin duties on top of it, so I really thank you for taking the time to do this event. Thank you to everybody. I'll post something in the Event thread. I'm a bit too tired to write anything really coherent now. 

    We did it! I shall hum Basil Polidorious Conan score while I sleeps and think of large-breasted, red-haired, axe-wielding Bretons who control animals running from three cray cray Thalmor agents. :D

  • Member
    April 2, 2017

    this is an awesome set of builds, I love them, myself, i love the assassin archetype more, but the others were great as well

  • April 2, 2017

    Nightshade said:

    this is an awesome set of builds, I love them, myself, i love the assassin archetype more, but the others were great as well

    Thank you very much Nightshade. She was fun to play, it had been a good, long while since I had done a sneak character. 

  • Member
    April 2, 2017

    haha, the thing is, i can't seem to get away from sneak characters, i've never had a plain warrior,besides the one im doing right now, otherwise i seem to use nothing but assassins or rogues.

  • April 2, 2017

    Nightshade said:

    haha, the thing is, i can't seem to get away from sneak characters, i've never had a plain warrior,besides the one im doing right now, otherwise i seem to use nothing but assassins or rogues.

    Yeah, my next build has a bit of rogue in him, but not too much. 

  • April 2, 2017

    Nightshade said:

    haha, the thing is, i can't seem to get away from sneak characters, i've never had a plain warrior,besides the one im doing right now, otherwise i seem to use nothing but assassins or rogues.

    Yeah, my next build has a bit of rogue in him, but not too much.