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Character Build: Queen Potema

Tags: #Character Build Necromancer  #Character Build Illusionist  #Character Build Villain  #Rank:Mythic 
  • Member
    October 16, 2012

                Revamped 4th November 2013. After narrowly surviving no less than two Deathmatches and the Great Purge this build scraped into Recognised, and then lay forgotten, desperate for an update. Now its day has come and the long awaited update has now arrived…


                The character is a female mage who is called upon by Falk Firebeard to first stop the summoning of Queen Potema in ‘The Man Who Cried Wolf’, and then to defeat her remains in “The Wolf Queen Awakened” so they could be purified and Potema banished forever. But in the fight something went horribly wrong- instead of being banished, the spirit took over the body of the young mage, and The Wolf Queen of Solitude began her rise to power again.


    “Ah Potema. Former Queen of Solitude, and one of the most dangerous necromancers in recorded history”- Styrr


                If you want in depth lore look at UESP’s pages on Potema, and the book 'Biography of the Wolf Queen' but here is a brief overview.

                Potema was born into the Imperial family in 3E 67 and was married at 14 to King Mantiarco of Solitude, with whom she had a son, Uriel. When Emperor Antiochus, her brother, died, she tried to convince the court that due to his womanising his heir was illegitimate and her son the true heir to the throne, and when this failed returned to Solitude to sow the seeds of Civil War. The war tore apart the Emperor and lasted at least 7 years (sources differ), including the kidnapping and killing of the Empress, her niece, before ending when Uriel was killed.

                Her story does not end there though, as the death of her son caused rage and rising madness which drove her to conjuration, in particular necromancy- it took 10 years for Solitude to be taken and Potema killed. In that time she summoned hordes of daedra, practiced and worked with necromancers, and allied herself with vampires, turning Solitude and Haafingar into a blighted land.

                Even after her death her influence didn’t end- she managed to drive her nephew crazy (Emperor Pelagius the Mad); then in the third era a guerrilla group called Hörne tried to destabilise the Empire, believing Potema and her son were the last true blood; finally in the current day necromancers attempted to raise and bind her spirit to gain power.

    Race and Gender: Nord or Imperial Woman

    Stat Distribution: 3 Magicka; 1 Health

    Standing Stone: the Ritual

    Major Skills: Conjuration; Destruction; Illusion

    Minor Skills: Restoration; One-handed; Enchanting

    Apparel: gloves and boots with either- fine raiment and copper and moonstone circlet; or Savior’s Hide and Nordic Carved Helm/Stormcloak Officer's Helmet

    Shouts: Become Ethereal; Dismay; Marked for Death

    Perks: Level 25; Level 54

    Key Quests: The Man Who Cried Wolf and The Wolf Queen Awakened need to be taken immediately


                There are two basic styles of combat, which I will describe below, but overall the heart of this build is to have various summons or reanimations take most of the damage and do much of the killing for you. However there are a few differences from a normal summoner build. To start with illusion is used to buff your summons once you have master of the mind as well as affecting your opponents, while the lack of dual casting means it will not be overpowered. Destruction is used for shock spells only, as Potema uses only them, and by not taking the impact perk it can’t be used to take out stronger enemies alone- you need your summons.

    Restoration is used to heal both you and your minions, while the necromage perk will allow you to further strengthen them, and yourself if you become a vampire. One-handed will be described in more detail below; while enchanting allows you to wear roleplay-appropriate clothing while remaining effective via cost reduction and magicka regeneration because otherwise the lack of college robes etc. would be a serious drawback. The Ritual Stone is perfect for this character, and is a very effective fall back option of you’re in trouble, well at least as long as there are a few dead bodies lying around.

    Shouts will be used fairly regularly, with Dismay giving you effectively an extra illusion spell when you have no magicka; and Marked for Death will weaken bosses. Become Ethereal is the most common shout, used when you need to charge up master-level spells, are nearing death, or merely want to have the enemies focus hopelessly on you while your summons destroy them


                Wearing the fine raiment and a circlet as a true noble, you command the battlefield from afar- the situation you want to create is that of the fight against Potema where you are acting as the image above.

    You forward cast a summons so enemies focus on it, and then stay back, raising the dead, and healing them when you can. If they need a little more firepower then a few well aimed shock spells can ease the way, and illusion makes sure they are never overwhelmed by numbers and once you have master of the mind can make them far more formidable. Dipping into the fight to give a dead body an enchanted weapon before raising it is a surprisingly effective tactic. If enemies get too close to you a shock cloak followed by become ethereal means you are both safe and able to do damage.

                Wearing the legendary Savior’s Hide, a Nordic carved helm or Stormcloak Officer's Helmet, and wielding an enchanted sword, you charge into the midst of the fray. This set of apparel and style of fighting are influenced by the wall carving above and the last part of the fight against Potema where she is ghostly yet solid and fights with sword and spell.

                The most important thing to remember is that you are still very fragile- you have very low health and armour rating so you can’t fight alone. I suggest reverse casting your summons so that the enemies focus on you, then if you get in trouble you can hide behind your summons or become ethereal. Using a shock enchanted sword would be preferable as that’s what Potema uses when you fight her, but in order to stay alive you may need it to absorb health instead. Your other hand will switch between shock spells, healing for yourself, illusion to even the odds and conjuration if you are suddenly left alone.

                In my opinion the roleplaying is what makes this build- what exactly would a long dead, power hungry, and possibly insane queen do now that she secretly inhabits the body of a powerful young mage?

                Well while she was alive Potema didn’t rush into anything, she plotted, schemed, and amassed power before striking, so the first thing to do would be one of two- head to the College of Winterhold to brush up on her dusty magic, or go for the hold capitals and start making friends in high places. By this point you would have learned of the Civil War and the continued existence of the Dark Brotherhood, opportunities which are begging to be taken, and will be- you can make an argument for either side of the Civil War, but I would end to go for the Stormcloaks; while the end of the Brotherhood questline is just perfect for Potema. The Dawnguard questline gives you the chance to get in touch with your old vampiric allies, and even become one yourself to avoid the bother of another resurrection; while Miraak is of consequence only if he gets in your way.

                As a person I roleplayed Potema as ice cold and vengeful, never one to let an insult pass- weeks may pass but eventually that person would die, bloodily. She manipulated and used people to her own advantage, being the perfect politician, with brute force to back her up. People may be helped as you complete quests, but you are doing them for the reward and the reputation, nothing more. Plus the occasional bouts of madness, which are licence to do pretty much anything, are always fun.





  • Member
    October 16, 2012

    This is a build I've been waiting for! With some formatting and some pictures i.e. ( Special moves and others place around carefully this build can definitely go far

  • Member
    October 16, 2012

    Pretty good once again here 1leg. Just remember if you want some original screenshots you can always request them in the thread

  • Member
    October 17, 2012

    Thanks to both of you for the replies, I will update it later, and have requested 2 pictures from Ponty so hopefully that will help a lot :)

  • Member
    February 20, 2013

    Cheers. Ive been away for a while, but am planning to redo this and one or two of my others as soon as I have the time :)

  • Member
    May 9, 2013

    This is a pretty cool idea and well thought out too. The only thing I can think of asking is that you describe a bit more about the combat and how it links with Become Ethereal. When in ghost form, I assume you'd raise an undead ally, cast a rune or wall befor storm-cloaking with the shout?

  • Member
    November 4, 2013

    Updated- complete overhaul.

  • November 4, 2013

    I really really like builds based on ES characters...

    They never prove that popular for some reason, it's a shame.

    Really like this one though 1legassassin, it's a nice read. Potema is such an interesting character!

  • Member
    November 4, 2013

    I agree, and I'm not quite sure why, though as I have found out with this one they are hard to do justice to the character. Maybe they just need an experienced builder to do them (such as Mannimarco, hint hint...)

    Thanks very much, and I think so too, both the lore and the in game quests are some of my favourites

  • Member
    November 4, 2013

    how does this build not have more recognition? it's solid and presented well. i was looking for a female vampire build to do the vampire side of dawnguard as i have only finished the hunter side. would she be effective as a full mage instead of using armor and a sword? an enchanted dagger would be helpful if you run out of magic and i feel like having a dagger under her dress would play into her roleplay really nicely. i love that she is the embodiment of evil/crazy! how does buffing/healing minions work exactly?