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Flash Contest Build: The Starry-Eyed Schoolgirl (Part One)

Tags: #Character Build Elementalist  #Character Build Summoner  #Roleplaying  #Ordinator  #Race: Breton  #Flash Contest 1 
  • May 11, 2018







    19th of Last Seed, 4E 206





    I should be asleep. It’s fear keeping me awake, I know it, but over and above it all, I can’t help but marvel at the irony. You and Daddy sent me from Northpoint to that isolated school in the middle of nowhere to delay my involvement in politics and intrigue. To avoid being used for my magic and the circumstance of my birth. But look at me – on the eve of Civil War, fighting for a country not my own.

    And now, so much more than that. Imagine the Legion as a ship in our harbor. It is I who would stand as the figurehead. Not sexily swathed in silk banners for sailors and spectators to admire and anoint with wine (let's be honest, that's closer to my dream), but armored and armed atop a barricaded gatehouse dealing death to those I’d once called brothers. A dashing, imposing figure of legend, a symbol of Skyrim’s place in our empire. I know this seems insane to you, civilized and cultured, eons away from ancient Nord legends of mortals who possess souls of dragons, but you’ll find out soon enough. Has anyone there seen the dragons yet, by the way?

     Tomorrow may prove to be my end, but I can’t bring myself to regret the choices of all who brought me here. Though I still feel out of place, somehow. In someone else’s skin, not my own. I’m not dashing or imposing or particularly legendary, not at all, and you know that better than anyone. Even as I glance down at the warrior dozing by my side, my heart welling with such love I never thought possible, I can’t help but wonder how I got here. And where I’m going. And how much I’ve changed from the girl I used to be…



    Meet Iviane Dorell. The spoiled youngest child of Alaric and Sophie Dorell of Northpoint, Iviane lives for romance and adventure and more than her share of intrigue. But she’s never had to count the costs, and she’s never known life outside the safe, sheltering walls of her family’s estate.

     Her beauty, vivacity, and – it must be admitted – naïveté, combined with extraordinary magical potential, has already drawn the eye of countless noblemen of High Rock. Alaric dotes on Iviane, and is inclined to keep her sheltered. Sophie’s more pragmatic, but knows her daughter well enough to realize Iviane simply isn’t ready to join one of those vipers’ nests. Not just yet.

     As well, she must learn to control the magicka burning through her blood. Luckily, her cousin Mirabelle is Master Wizard at the College of Winterhold, and has agreed to let Iviane study there, under her watchful gaze and firm hand. So Iviane’s starry-eyed notions will have to hold, for surely nothing so diverting awaits her in Skyrim’s frozen wastes.

     But fate intervenes, and while she’s visiting family in Solitude, Ulfric Stormcloak challenges High King Torygg and kills him in what half the province calls honorable combat, and the other half calls murder. Iviane is drawn into a conflict she won’t understand until it’s too late to escape unscathed. But after she travels the frozen wastes she once despised, atoning for mistakes and making friends and enemies along the way, she realizes she doesn’t want to escape.

     She wants to be a part of it all.

     She wants to help.


    Race: Breton. I’ve only played Nords and Redguards, and wanted to try playing a not-so-warriorly race. Also one more skilled in Conjuration, and known for overall magical proficiency, since she’s traveling to Skyrim for that specific purpose.


    Gender: Female                            Age: 18-25

     Factions: College of Winterhold, Stormcloaks, Thieves Guild, Companions, Imperial Legion

    Stat Spread: 2/2/1


    Morality: “Being honorable might make you a good man, but it doesn’t make you right. Be a better world if it did.” 

    Iviane isn’t sure, yet, if that’s true. Or if it really matters. And if it does, what’s more important? Does she want to be remembered for being right? Or, being good. And, can one have honor and be neither right nor good? It’s complicated. But if pressed, and someone tested her alignment, I feel she’d toe the line between chaotic good and lawful good, with one curvy hip thrust over that line into sweet, sweet chaos. Especially toward the end.

    Stone: Iviane’s parents and brothers escorted her to the Lord Stone before traveling to their new vacation home in Solitude. It may not have been a strictly necessary detour, but her father felt she should have a Stone’s blessing like any Skyrim native. And he liked the idea of more protection for his little girl.

    *and I like the idea that she won't level as quickly as she would have using one of the Guardian Stones, which is part of my usual routine.

    Mods: Live Another Life (starting as the owner of Proudspire Manor), Ordinator, Magical College of Winterhold, Arcane Accessories, Apocalypse, No Dead Merchants, Amazing Follower Tweaks, Tundra Homestead, RDO.

    *these mods are for my own enjoyment of the game, and aside from Live Another Life, aren’t truly necessary to the story.


    First, you all must understand I’m a terrible player. Which, I mean, I started this build on Apprentice (you guys just imagine it being played on Expert. It's ok. It won't hurt my feelings) and that was a stretch for me, so draw your own conclusions there. I read a bunch of your builds for inspiration and had to look up what “buff” meant. And I die. A lot. That’s not much fun for me, so I usually charge through the major quests first, in order, getting all the good rewards and overpowering my character so death just doesn’t happen unless I’m not paying attention.

    But for this playthrough, I wanted to use my nonexistent skillz to my character’s advantage, story-wise. A bumbling naïve beginner, following her reckless heart around Skyrim with very little knowledge and less wisdom, joining every faction and getting involved in things she shouldn't. What trouble would she get into? What could she do to help herself? And what would her journey through Skyrim really look like? Assuming she didn’t die, of course.

    And those questions gradually resolved themselves into a story. So, my first build, and my first roleplay, all in one! 

     *I did die a lot during this build. I swear, just getting Grimsever from Mzinchaleft, I must have died twenty times. It was tough not to break my own rules and just go buy the best set of armor I could find.

    So, here are a few roleplay notes:

    Yes, I played pretend here, as my daughter would say. I pretended when Iviane saw Ulfric run from Solitude after killing Torygg. In the game, I started in Proudspire and immediately ran out the gates and hired a carriage for Winterhold, ignoring Roggvir’s execution. When Iviane came back to Solitude for a visit, it was only then she started talking to people about what happened.

    Iviane’s wealthy, and though she’s flighty, she’s smart. So she hires protectors. Follows roads. Hires carriages. She’s kind, and cognizant of noblesse oblige, so she gives to beggars, always. Gives to children. Does “helper” quests.

    Iviane has a weakness for attractive men and heady romance, and at first she’s in it just for that – romance and adventure. After she grows up a bit, she’s in it to survive. And finally, as her journey becomes more a calling and less a comedy of errors, she’s in it to help wherever she can.

    She sleeps every night or day, finding a safe bed whether it be an inn or bedroll, and makes use of Resting bonuses.

    After she betrays Ulfric, she doesn’t go back to Windhelm at all, and sneaks carefully around Stormcloak-held cities.

    A note regarding passage of time: I did have a mathy formula here, but someone pointed out that it was wrong, so I decided to leave math out of it. But I still wanted to express this growth, her growth, from a naïve and reckless eighteen-year-old girl to a still starry-eyed, but more thoughtful woman who’s been to hell and back. My dates in the story portion of the build represent nearly 8 years time (4E 199 – 4E 206), not the in-game dates. I changed a couple of them after studying travel times in my own mountainous and sometimes snowy state, from major cities and notable mountains. And marching army times, etc. To be more realistic would take far more time, and Iviane might actually be old and gray by the time she finished. So I decided to leave well enough alone. 

    *my calculations are still in the comments. You can poke fun at them there, if you like. 




    • Beginner: Flames, Sparks, Healing Hands, Summon Familiar.
    • Favorites: Elemental Bolt (fire and shock damage); Pride of Hirstaang (bear!) unless there’s a dragon or lots of stairs, then she uses Conjure Flame Atronach. Heal Others. Steadfast Ward.
    • Scrolls: Ghostwalk, Shroudwalk, Scorching Hands, Forbidden Sun, Gravisphere, Conjure Lich


    • Beginner: Novice Robes of Alteration and Destruction (Arcane Accessories), Leather Boots and Gauntlets. Circlet of Minor Destruction.
    • End Game: Apprentice Robes of Alteration and Destruction (bought from Radiant Raiment). Elven Gauntlets of Archery, Thieves Guild Boots. Circlet of Major Destruction, Amulet of Akatosh, Necklace of Sneaking, Ring of Resist Magic, Enchanted Ring (health bonus) from Saarthal.



    • Beginner: Elven Bow (found in Proudspire Manor). Fire, Ice, and Lightning Arrows (Arcane Accessories). Steel Dagger of Sparks (purchased in Solitude). Also, all the potions she can carry – health, magicka, and invisibility. Her number one priority is to stay alive, and she’s wealthy. So she stocks up.
    • End Game: all of the above, plus Staff of Jyrik Gulderson and Staff of Thundercrack.



    Iviane doesn’t find out she’s Dragonborn until level 16, so there’s not a lot of time. She uses Unrelenting Force (fus), Fire Breath (yol).


    Additional Blessings and Bonuses

    Agent of Dibella, Agent of Mara, Rested and Well-Rested Bonuses.



    Brelyna, Onmund, J’zargo, Kharjo, Vorstag, Stenvar, Ahtar, Sven, Mjoll the Lioness, Belrand, Jenassa, Lydia. And she takes at least one wherever she goes.

    This is something new for me. I’ve never used followers other than whomever my character marries. But talking to more NPCs was a revelation. And a disappointment, because more interaction from some of them would have been fantastic. I wish Captain Aldis and Captain Lonely-Gale were marriageable. Rawr, both of them.

    And I would love to befriend Saffir in real life. All she wants to do is read? Check. She doesn’t understand why her daughter only wants to run around outside and doesn’t want to read? Check. She doesn’t understand why her husband is so attached to sentimental objects? Check. Soul sisters, right there.



    Combat Stylings


    Iviane sort of bumbles around the college. She doesn’t have patience for alchemy and enchanting, and alteration and illusion magic can’t hold her interest. But sneaking down to Winterhold proves a revelation. Townspeople trust her with things to do! She finds the Helm of Winterhold for Jarl Korir, figures out the Coral Dragon Claw puzzle in Yngol Barrow for Birna, and finds Isabelle Rolaine for poor Ranmir in Winterhold. After a few near misses and narrow squeaks, she hones her method of survival in Skyrim to an art.

    Sneaking is Iviane’s first line of defense. If she can avoid combat, so much the better. But if she can’t, ranged attacks are the way to go, as she’s not strong or heavily armored. Hiding in the shadows and unleashing fire and lightning on unsuspecting enemies is eerily satisfying (and effective, especially with Dual Casting and Demolition Job). But, if she finds herself among enemies less susceptible to magical damage, her bow and elemental arrows work well.

    As a last resort, if someone manages to get through her ranged attacks, she has her enchanted dagger and knows how to use it. Her family didn’t leave her completely unprepared to defend herself, after all, and her bear can distract them from the other side. I wanted to add Cloak spells for melee combat, but Iviane’s followers didn’t like that at all. It did not end well.

    Though she’s capable, Iviane doesn’t like to fight alone, so restoration magic comes in handy to heal her followers. She enjoys conjuring helpers as well. Iviane is particularly fond of her bear, and sometimes conjures him for company when no one else is around, just to feel his warm fur under her fingertips and watch him gambol after butterflies or snuggle at her feet (which he does. It's adorable). But it’s also amazing to conjure him from the back of some barrow (Planemeld and Atromancy FTW) and watch him wreak havoc on the boss draugr just cracking out of his coffin.

    A note on Shouting: And the Universe Listens is fantastic, and in continued play, she’ll get much more use out of it. That, as well as Descending Light, work well in combat situations to help keep her magicka and health at peak levels, thus keeping her alive.


    20th of First Seed, 4E 199

    College of Winterhold



    …there’s intrigue everywhere in Tamriel, Mama. I know you looked for the place I’d be furthest removed from its effects, but things are more 

    interesting in Winterhold than you might’ve imagined. I could see myself getting into all sorts of trouble up here, so it might be a good idea to bring me back home. Or even to that house you bought in Solitude! I think I could be of use there.

    Dignitaries visit the college quite often, and the jarl in Winterhold (sad excuse for a town it may be) is strikingly handsome. He also speaks highly (and often) of someone called Ulfric Stormcloak, an upstart rebel down in Windhelm, who’s reported to be even more handsome.

    Just thought you should know your impressionable youngest child is spending her nights cavorting and drinking with lots of strange men in a town where there’s not much else to do…



    10th of Rain’s Hand, 4E 199

    Dorell Manor


    High Rock


    Nice try, Iviane. I have it on good authority the tavern in Winterhold is quiet and on most nights, absolutely empty.

    You’re exactly where you need to be. You’re not ready to be sold off as a marriage prize to some man in Daggerfall. Please concentrate on controlling your magic for now; there’ll be time enough for romance in just a few short years. Mirabelle will watch after you for me, and please give her a chance. I know being shipped off to a distant cousin can be a bit awkward, but she’ll prove an excellent teacher if you give her a chance. And it won’t be long until we can all meet for a visit in Solitude.

    Remember, I was an impressionable girl once, too. Get to know your fellow apprentices. Make friends. I do not want lack of companionship to be among your regrets, once you’re ensconced in some lonely castle of your own.




    • CoW: First Lessons, Out of Balance, Destruction Training with Faralda. Explore the entire CoW, including the Midden. Brelyna’s Practice.
    • Town of Winterhold: Helm of Winterhold. Talk to everyone in town, listen to their viewpoints on the college, the Civil War. Explore the ruins and icy escarpment leading to the coast, and practice Destruction and Conjuration spells with Brelyna on wolves and horkers and wraiths.


     20th of Heartfire, 4E 200

    College of Winterhold



    …they’ve sent someone to the College to act as adviser. His name is Ancano. He’s making everyone uncomfortable. He sleeps in our dormitory, and hovers over our classes. Since he’s come, no matter what sort of locks we have on our door, what sort of spells,  we find our things mislaid and pages of our books and journals wrinkled and smudged. He leads students away behind closed doors, and when they come out, they’re pale and shaken.

    We know he’s trying to find something, Mama, and from what I’ve seen here and what I’ve heard of Ulfric Stormcloak, Skyrim is in for something big and violent, very soon. And I have a feeling Ulfric is on the right side of things. And then I think I must be overreacting. Surely the Emperor wouldn’t allow anyone to hurt students, would he?

    But…but sometimes, Mama, I find Ancano looking at me with such disgust in his eyes. And maybe a little bit of pity. I’m scared, and everyone else is scared too…



    17th of Last Seed,  4E 201




    I can’t send this in a letter, so this journal will have to do. And I must write about what happened. I have to get this out of my head.

    Until yesterday, it felt good to be back in Solitude. Handsome legionnaires smiling in the streets. No cares, no worries. No Ancano stalking around and terrifying everyone. I do worry for Brelyna and Onmund back at the College. And J’zargo, although he doesn’t seem to mind Ancano nearly as much as everyone else. But the sun shines here, and everyone seems so happy, so…light, it’s easy to forget Winterhold’s gloom.

    But yesterday morning, everything changed. I went to the marketplace to buy wine for Mama, and the ground began to shake. Screams and shouts sounded from the avenue leading to the Blue Palace, and I ran to have a look. Soldiers streamed past, wearing Stormcloak blue. And in the thick of them, a tall blond man, heavily armored. Covered in a bear-skin cloak, he ran, his sword at the ready. I knew who he was – Ulfric Stormcloak. But why?

    We all stopped and stared for the most part, but a few townspeople raced along with Ulfric to the gates. I watched one man push a red-sashed guard aside and hold the gates open until Ulfric and his company made it outside.

    He killed Skyrim’s high king, Ulfric did. Daddy told me later that evening, and I should have been shocked and disgusted. But I’m more convinced than ever Ulfric’s right. Thalmor like Ancano mean no good for anyone in Skyrim, or the Empire. The Aldmeri Dominion need to be routed, driven back to their island. They have Skyrim in their sights, but High Rock might be next. They must be defeated, and I’m afraid this is the only way.


    But here’s the part I haven’t told anyone else: as Ulfric ran past, he turned and looked at me. Right at me. He looked right into my eyes and nodded, his eyes bright and passionate in his grave face. Everyone at the Frozen Hearth was right. He is so handsome.

    And he’s going to be king. I just know it. I need to be part of it.



    • CoW: J’zargo’s Experiment (using skeletons at Skytemple Ruins), Onmund’s Request. 
    • Town: get the coral dragon claw from Birna and explore Yngol Barrow with J’zargo and Brelyna.
    • Civil War: join the Stormcloaks.
    • Solitude: model outfit for Radiant Raiment, Persuade Vittoria Vici to release Evette San’s shipment of spices. Talk to all NPCs and get their viewpoints on Ulfric and Roggvir.



    20th of Last Seed, 4E 201




    I found a Khajiit caravan willing to get this letter to a courier, and send it to Proudspire and Dorell Manor, in case you’ve gone back home. I hope you’ve done just that, and you’re not in Solitude worrying over me. That you found my note, and understand my reasons for leaving. I’ll not write for a while; I have a feeling I’ll be too busy with whatever Ulfric has in store.

    This is the right decision for me, Mama. I just have this feeling my future lies with Ulfric, somehow. In my heart, I know it.

    And I understand you intended my stay in Skyrim to be uneventful and quiet, but knowing me as you do, did you truly expect anything to go according to plan?

    Love to you all.



    30th of Mid-Year, 4E 202




    I’m back. Ulfric sent me back to the College for more training, says they have need of trained mages in their army, not half-trained ones. That’s the thanks I get for solving murders in his tumbledown city.

    No, I suppose I do understand. His court mage didn’t have the patience, and Ulfric needs someone who can cast more than simple flame spells. But aside that, I’m…I have to admit I’m having second thoughts. I took the oath, so there’s not much I can do, but…


    Ulfric…when I first arrived at the Palace of Kings, I listened to him speak about why he fights. Why the war, why the push for freedom from the Empire. And it sounded so…right. So proud and honorable and selfless.

    But it’s miserable in Windhelm. It’s all rundown, every district. Homeless children huddling in the snow and selling wilted flowers to survive. Miserable conditions, miserable people. Especially the Dunmer, who get death threats every day from Nords who’ve misinterpreted Ulfric’s words, I think.

    I hope.

    But I’ve spoken to some, Nords even, who believe Ulfric’s not who he seems. He can’t keep his own city in repair. His soldiers can’t stop altercations between Nords and Dunmer – or won’t – and the roads of Eastmarch are the most dangerous in the province. People talk, and it’s sad.

    I’ve heard Ulfric’s speech over and over, and it means less every time. And Ulfric seems…smaller, somehow, than he did in Solitude.  He didn’t even care about the murderer running around, killing women in his own city. How can I believe him, then, when he says he cares about every citizen of Skyrim?

    But I did take an oath.

    I’m leaving tomorrow for Riften, to look for someone called Vex. A woman from Winterhold left in her company a year or two ago, and Birna’s brother Ranmir is drinking himself into an early grave over her. I’ve been tasked with finding out what happened.

    Riften. I’ve heard lots and lots about that town, and none of it good.

    But, at least it can’t be worse than Windhelm.



  • Member
    May 11, 2018
    Holy damnation, this is probably the most indepth build that I have ever read. There's no doubt who Ivaine is as a character. And your writing is just WOW!!! I loved how Ivaine evolved throughout. You've done exceptionally well for a first build. Some might say it's too long, but having the story broke up into two parts solives that I think. Great job you got a resounding +1 from me :)
  • May 11, 2018

    Furrion 17 said: Holy damnation, this is probably the most indepth build that I have ever read. There's no doubt who Ivaine is as a character. And your writing is just WOW!!! I loved how Ivaine evolved throughout. You've done exceptionally well for a first build. Some might say it's too long, but having the story broke up into two parts solives that I think. Great job you got a resounding +1 from me :)


    thank you!!! And yeah, it’s absolutely too long. But believe it or not, it was longer. I cut a couple of entries, and thought about doing what you did and linking to TSC (great idea, by the way. I think you started a trend), and if it were backstory, I would have. But there’s so much of the build wrapped up in the story, so I asked Dragonborn where it should be, and here it is. And thank you again!!! :)

  • Member
    May 11, 2018

    I gotta agree, hot damn ilani, your writing skills rival Lis in terms of story and build intertwining. You should do more builds

  • May 11, 2018

    Chris said:

    I gotta agree, hot damn ilani, your writing skills rival Lis in terms of story and build intertwining. You should do more builds


    thanks, i’m glad you enjoyed it! And Liss listens to me whine about writing in general and this build, specifically, with great patience, and I appreciate every word of advice. So i’ll Take that compliment and run! :)

  • Member
    May 11, 2018
    Hah. I actually know the pains of being a writer. Currently writing two MLP crossover fanfics, one with RWBY the other with the anime Overlord...that I REALLY need to get back on
  • May 11, 2018

    Thinking...thinking...Do I have a negative? A recommendation or a complaint about the build? I'm trying to think of one, and honestly I'm just sort of stuck with even coming up with a teeny recommendation like I normally do. I love the idea of the build and the way it's focused so intently on telling the story of the character. It's just really interesting and sort of fits in a new criteria of a build IMO. You've got the mechanic focused builds which are pretty short but cram a lot of info into it, your RP/Lore based builds which are still long but not quite this long, then your story-based builds which can really be this long and still be damn interesting.


    I love it, can't say much more without ranting a bit, so yeah, it's just a great read and an enjoyable build Ilani :D

  • May 11, 2018

    Dragonborn1921 said:

    Thinking...thinking...Do I have a negative? A recommendation or a complaint about the build? I'm trying to think of one, and honestly I'm just sort of stuck with even coming up with a teeny recommendation like I normally do. I love the idea of the build and the way it's focused so intently on telling the story of the character. It's just really interesting and sort of fits in a new criteria of a build IMO. You've got the mechanic focused builds which are pretty short but cram a lot of info into it, your RP/Lore based builds which are still long but not quite this long, then your story-based builds which can really be this long and still be damn interesting.


    I love it, can't say much more without ranting a bit, so yeah, it's just a great read and an enjoyable build Ilani :D


    thanks! And thank you for all your help with getting it posted. I was about to pull my hair out, no joke. And different types of builds i think fit th different people here. serious gamers who will actually look at someone else’s Build and choose to play it through aren’t going to care for this one as much as they will the mechanical builds, and that’s completely fair. To be honest, i will 100% never play someone else’s build because i can’t imagine playing that way. It’s like writing with an outline - it just feels more stressful, somehow. But i love reading all the builds for the story and little tips on how to play better, good mods, and funny stories about how their builds turned out different from expected. When i first got my account here, the idea of a build made no sense to me at all, and now it’s just super cool. But yeah, i think i could focus a little more on mechanics? Like how you guys notice when apparel and artifacts and things stack benefits. I never notice Stuff like that and it’s a big deal. but hopefully the more I read, the more in-tune I’ll be with that sort of thing. 


    and thanks again! Learning powerpoint aside, this whole process was a blast. 

  • Member
    May 12, 2018

    @Ilanisilver - No probs :) Like I said I really think it's an awesome first build and it read so well, a real page turner so to speak.

    I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to have to cut peices of the story out. Things that just seem integral to the character that you need there. I think in the end posting the full story in the story corner blogs was the best way I could still keep a shortish build that drew people in, and still provide the nescesarry context of the overalll character development I wanted to portray. Though there will be bits in it that may not make sense if full story isn't read, like joining the TG for example. Anyway geting off topic. So yea great build and hope to see more from ya in the future!!

    P.S - And if I started a trend where people start posting awesome backstories thats great, can always use more stories to read :D

  • May 12, 2018
    First, glad you posted this, because I don’t want anyone here ever thinking that they cannot post something or be ashamed of what they’ done. I didn’t think you were going to after our last Skype conversation, so this is very good. It has some very nice touches and I can see the great effort you put into it. Interesting that I had recommended the Modder’s log for it when we were chatting. I still think to some extent that it follows more of that format rather than a build in the true sense of the word, but like others have said, could be that we have a “new” trend in building emerging, though there are precursor builds to yours that also heavily involve story elements. I am no one to say no to a new trend. I personally prefer a much tighter narrative cohesion in builds, and when you build again, I would make that recommendation. This will result in a shorter build, but with a stronger sense of narrative direction. Better goals, so to speak. Both for story and gameplay. I’d also, as you admit yourself, work on gameplay. Yes, narrative style builds are en vogue right now, rp is extremely important, but don’t doubt for a second that I do not also consider engaging and challenging gameplay heavily when I build. Explore novel use of equipment, look at interesting skill combinations, more effective use of mods, things like that. This exploration can even still be done with Vanilla. Congratulations, Ilani.