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Character Build: The Harbinger

Tags: #Race:Nord  #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Warrior  #Character Build Blacksmith  #Rank:Legendary  #Hall of Fame Build 
  • Member
    August 24, 2013


    "You... you're the Harbinger. Of the Companions. It is my honor to stand before you."


    ...if you wish, click on the video and enjoy an honorable soundtrack for this build...




    I intend to make this build guiding the player through a long and detailed way among the true valor of the Companion's Harbinger. In this build The Harbinger will express the true value and honor of his life for the memories of his father, Kodlak's memories (his great master) and Ysgramor, his most powerful antecedent. So prepare yourself for a long journey seeking the meaning of HONOR! For my first character build here on the blog I will try to address, and focus on of the main and most wonderful tasks of the game: create The Great Harbinger of Jorrvaskr, since the time of Ysgramor. Initially, when I started playing this build and during the creation of this guide I imagined it would be repeated or unoriginal. However, researching the blog behind similar structures, I found a few that inspired me and this led my desire to create something new with much studies to try make a great job. I hope you enjoy the building and, at least, it can serve to inspire you at some point in their gambles through Skyrim! 

    "It shall be so."




    "(...) In front of our fireplace, my father used to tell me about the stories of Ysgramor. The greatest Legendary Warrior of all Tamriel. He told me about the relics and books that existed about Ysgramor and the Five Hundred Companions, who landed in Skyrim. Told me that and one day he would still find them. Long stories...

    I always wondered how it was possible that a group of fearless warriors coming from Altmora, crossed the Sea of Ghosts and fought with the elves who wanted this land such as our ancestors. And, at that time he told me:

    "You will soon find out who are the true Nords... You will search along the lands of Skyrim and will find out who were those who came before us. Who are the men who were led by Ysgramor and his mighty axe Wuuthrad. You will see! Soon you will know who the Companions are".

    "(...)Those were the last memories I have of my father and my youth. Not sure what happened to him. Much has changed since the time I was just a kid with little hair on my body...

    But Skyrim was relentless. Now, a new era had arrived with new concerns for the peaceful way of Nords life...

    During the nights I have a dream that bothered me. An endless hunt. A hunt with a single target and a single hunter. I was the target. I ran through a frozen lake, I crossed the tundra of Skyrim trying to escape...

    The hunter of my dreams was a snow wolf. He ran in my direction and then swerved and met with a tall, strong, long-bearded and with a fearless smile man. There was Ysgramor. And, that beast was the Wolf of Ysgramor...

    The hunter of my dreams was a snow wolf. He ran in my direction and then swerved and met with a tall, strong, long-bearded and with a fearless smile man. There was Ysgramor. And, that beast was the Wolf of Ysgramor...

    Now, my only goal was to find answers about my dreams, about my destiny. I prayed Talos. And, one night, Talos answered me...

    I remember waking up in a cart without a destination. I met three men that day. Soon we saw where the cart was taking us "To certain death, for the trip to Sovngarde" - I think to myself. There we would find our ancestors, we would be drunk on mead, would eat the best meat that can be done by an immortal warrior of Sovngarde. We were going to live riding women, drinking mead and eating meat until the end of time. But something happened...

    Something changed our destiny. Something didn't want me to know Sovngarde that day. The World Eater woke up and this is where my story begins..."




    • Nord - Notably, the most suitable class for performing this build in terms of events and all contexts in the world of Skyrim. Therefore, the use of Nord is essential to make the better of this build.


    Standing Stone:

    • Warrior Stone: Aiming to increase the warrior's crucial skills, the first standing stone is the Warrior. Being a Companion, you will have to abuse a warrior's skills. Training and discipline are the most important ingredients for the glory and honor!;
    • The Lord Stone: After becoming the new Harbinger of the Companions, you should use the Lord Stone. It will provide the ability for protecting against Skyrim's necromancers and increase your damage resistance.;

    Major Skills:

    • Two-Handed Weapons: In order to extract and use the power that two handles weapons have, this skill is essential to this build. The battle axe, the typical weapon of the north's men, will be your main weapon too!;
    • Heavy-Armor: Preference of many warriors, the heavy-armor offers greater protection and less speed for those who use this skill. However, the lack of agility can be compensated by the accumulation of force that the heavy-armor can provide for you.;
    • Smithing: You are a son of Skyrim! One of the great skills you learned during your journey is the blacksmith. You will have to forge many weapons, armor and supplies to survive the cold of your homeland. You, as Harbinger, will have at your disposal the Skyforge. The most glorious forge of all Tamriel. And, in addition, of course, you will have to prove your worth and honor forging your father’s lost sword with rare ore.;



    Minor Skills:

    • One-Handed Weapons: As a warrior, you have to know how to use a sword. You will find many Companions artifact, and you have to be prepared for use them.;
    • Block: When fighting in a shield wall, your skill with this equipment is crucial. Protection! Lock! Bashing the enemy! You will have the Ysgramor Shield, and you will want to use it in an honorable way.;
    • Archery: You're a hunter. The use of bow and arrow is very important to hunt in Skyrim. The wild beasts are frisky and agile. You have to at least have good damage with your bow and the vision of an eagle to survive in the frozen forests of this paradise!;
    • Enchanting: You have to enchant some weapons with the frost of Skyrim! The power of the cold can be your most reliable ally in a battlefield. And, of course, you will have to rename the items that you forged at Skyforge.


    Perk Calculator - Level 30:

    • Archery: Overdrawn 1/5; Eagle Eye;
    • Heavy-Armor: Juggernaut 3/5; Well Fited; Fists of Steel;
    • Block: Shield Wall 3/5; Deflect Arrows; Quick Reflexes; Power Bash;
    • Two-Handed: Barbarian 3/5; Champion's Stance; Limbsplitter 2/3; Devastating Blow;
    • One-Handed: Armsman 3/5; Fighting Stance; Bladesman 1/3;
    • Smithing: Steel Smithing; Elven Smithing; Advanced Armors;
    • Enchanting: Enchanter 1/5;


    Stat Spread 

    • Magic = 0  
    • Health = 2
    • Stamina = 2



    • Unrelenting Force
    • Call of Valor
    • Ice Form


    Combat Tactics:

    • "Death in Skyrim" - Battleaxe and Ice Form Shout: When you are ready to use the Ice Form Shout, you should attack your opponent with it and so you will turn your battleaxe with strength enough to carry on your back Jorrvaskr!! Make your enemy know the true meaning of "death in Skyrim": cold and heartbreaking!
    • "The Shield Wall Theory" - Sword and Shield: As a true Companion of Skyrim, you have your big battle axe as your main weapon. However, you are trained in the art of handling a shield and a short sword against your enemies. You never forgot the lessons that you had with your father about the Shield Wall that he had ever faced. When you are able to use your shield and your shortsword always remember to position yourself in a way that your enemy come to you. Let him attack you! Place your shield in front of your body and flex your knees so that you can get the correct angle to hit him from the bottom up and top down. This theory is perfect to be applied in tight, narrow and closed places.
    • "The Original Companion's Valor" - Wuuthrad and Call of Valor: This is the true calling of the Companions. With the Call of Valor Shout you will bring one of the fearless and brave warriors of Sovngarde. With his help there will be no enemy that will stand before the power of the original Companions and Wuuthrad's brutality. (Ysgramor will toast for your victory!).
    • "An Arrow to Survive" - Long Bow and Iron Arrows: No, this isn't a guide to battle. It's a guide to teach you how to survive hunting in Skyrim. The use of the long bow with iron arrows are more than enough to kill your prey. When you go hunting and spotting any animal, not let him see you. If the animal sighting you, so let him go! Always do that! As Companion, you should use a little arrows for each animal. Always try to hit their heads not to harm the rest of the leather. Use the meat to good recipes and your leather to protect you from the cold. (of course, if you are a fan of archery for combat, never forget this: an arrow in the center of the enemy's head. Like an animal! Remember, do not harm the leather of your prey is the essential! You can also hit some dragons with the long bow, try your luck! "Watch the skies, traveler.";



    (See more at “Finding and Forging Weapons and Armors of the Companions” section);


     Armor Sets:

    • Armor Set n01: Amulet of Talos / Stormcloak Cuirass / Leather Boots / Leather Bracers / Stormcloak Helmet / Silver Ring;


    • Armor Set n02: Amulet of Talos / Wolf Armor / Wolf Boots / Wolf Gauntlers / Wolf Helmet / Hircine's Ring;


    • Armor Set n03: Amulet of Talos / Harbinger Armor (Nordic Carved Armor – Fortify Health Regenarate) / Harbinger Boots (Nordic Carved Boots – Fortify Stamina Regenerate) / Harbinger Gauntlers (Nord Carved Gauntlers – Fortify Two-Handed) / Helm of Yngol / Ring of the Harbinger (Silver Ring – Fortify Two-Handed);


    • Armor Set n04: Amulet of Talos / Armor of Original Companions / Boots of Original Companions / Gauntlers of Original Companions / Helmet of Original Companions / Ring of Original Companions; (see more at “Finding and Forging Weapons and Armors of the Companions” section);


    Weapons Sets:

    • Weapons Set n01: Iron Battleaxe / Iron Sword / Hide Shield / Long Bow / Iron Arrows / Steel Dagger;


    • Weapons Set n02: Skyforge Steel Battleaxe / Barberhøvelkaldt (The Harbinger's father lost sword) / Steel Shield / Skyforge Steel Dagger / Froki's Bow / Iron Arrows;


    • Weapons Set n03: Wuuthrad / Shield of Ysgramor / Sword of Jeek of the River;




    Companions / Main Quest (meet Ysgramor at Hall of Valor in Sovngarde) Dragonborn (find the Ancient Pickaxe) Dawnguard (help Isran to defeat the vampires) / Destroy the Dark Brotherhood / College of Winterhold (gain information about Saarthal and some important books and locations) The Pale Lady Quest / Kyne's Sacred Trials


    Talk with innkeepers of Skyrim (look for some work) / Cure yourself and the other Companions of Lycanthropy (as Kodlak's desire, you are a Nord and one day you go to Sovngarde) / Became a Thane of every Skyrim’s Hold (Spread throughout Skyrim The Harbinger's reputation of honor and justice) / Make Jorrvaskr your new home (there isn't a better place to live in Skyrim)



    / Ill Met by Moonlight (recover Hircine's Ring) /

    / The Break of Dawn /

    / The Black Star (recover the Azura's Star) /



     Thinking of something interesting for the context of this construction I created five essential principles followed by Companions for developing the whole story created in this build:

    • First Principle of the Harbinger: The main objective of this build is becoming the great Harbinger of the Companions of Skyrim and make helpful to justify this noble title. First question, how can I do this? How to become the main protector Skyrim since the time of Ysgramor? You should follow two basic and essential rules of the Harbingers: Always justice and be honorable! In all situations that you will encounter, use these two rules. Make a value judgment of people and situations around you. Always try to do the right thing, even if it brings blood to your blade or if you have to save an unfortunate life. Don't be a mad with a sword at your hands and thirsty by eviscerate anyone who breathes in front of you!
    • Second Principle of the Harbinger: In the same way that you learned from your father when you go out to hunt with him, the fierce snow wolf and the great snow bear of Skyrim are sacred animals for the Nords. Represent the essence of the people who are punished by the cold. Armor, weapons, coats and other props that characterize the strength of a Nord shouldn't have its source in the leather of these two animals. So be careful when you manufacture something important for their protection: the leather and the skin of these two animals is an important thing for beliefs of Nords. Make your armor with a leather from black bear and a normal wolf. Ever!
    • Third Principle of the Harbinger: You're a Nord of Skyrim. So will acquire greater skills blacksmith, miner, lumberjack and hunter throughout your journey. Never buy stuff with sellers. Under no circumstances spend your precious silver with stuff that you can find in Skyrim. Are you hungry? Go hunt some deer! Want to forge the best ax ever existed throughout Tamriel? Go mining in mines in search of ore! Do you need arrows to be able to hunt? Grab your axe and go cut wood to your firewood! The sources of natural resources in Skyrim are endless! It is untenable that the leader of the Companions has to submit to the shenanigans or trickery of the sellers of Skyrim! With them, just make only your money! 
    • Fourth Principle of the Harbinger: You aren't the biggest fan of spells. However, their long walk through Skyrim taught you many magic tricks, spells and skills in the use of various magic types. Take care! You are the guardian of justice and honor in Skyrim. Don't use conjuration, destruction or other black magic to bring further suffering to the people. If you really like and usually a magic way, limit yourself to use only spells of healing and alteration. Use them with sparingly because you didn't have enough experience to control and manage the consequences of your spells.
    • Fifth Principle of the Harbinger: If you want to cure yourself or healing your health you have to go and find the right ingredients to make some potions. Across your training to be a Companion you learned a few alchemy techniques. But you only have to make the essentials potions of life: Health and Cure. Nothing more! You are a warrior, not an alchemist!


    When you were young your father confessed that there are several relics about Ysgramor and Five Hundred Companions who arrived in Skyrim that are scattered around the whole territory. To honor the memory of your father you should find all these relics. They include books dealing with the history of the Companions, the Harbingers of Skyrim, Ysgramor and your son Yngol, and whatever else there may be reporting these events. You must seek and find the artifacts that were used by Companions:


    Finding and Forging Weapons and Armors of the Companions:

    • Wuuthrad: (The most powerful battleaxe of all Tamriel! Is the main weapon of Ysgramor);
    • Helm of Yngol: (One of the two sons of Ysgramor, Yngol had your glory when he arrived at Skyrim with the other Companions);
    • Shield of Ysgramor: (Ysgramor was a greatest and honorable warrior of his time. And this Shield can prove his power against his enemies. There isn’t any several damage at his shield);
    • Armor of Original Companions: (you will forge and enchant Ancient Nord Armor: Armor  (heath regenerate); Gauntlers (fortify two-handed); Boots (stamina regenerate); Ancient Nordic Helm (fortify archery); Iron Ring (fortify two-handed);
    • Sword of the Jeek of the River: (the captain of Jorrvaskr, Jeek of the River was another Companion member and one of the most valuable warrior of Skyrim’s history) (you'll have to forge and enchant a Nord Hero Sword with cold damage);
    • Find the Ancient Pickaxe: You have to find this unique item to find the best mineral resources of Skyrim.
    • Forge the Barberhøvelkaldt: (it’s a wonderful and most precious weapon of your life. Your father forged one of this a long time ago and now you found the pieces of this sword in Ysgramor Barrow. Now, you have to get the honor to forge again this incredible blade, and you will rename this item as Barberhøvelkaldt (Cold Razor) it's a Iron Sword with a cold damage enchanting!


    Finding the main books of history of the Five Hundred Companions

    • “The Songs of the Return”
    • “The Great Harbingers"
    • “Nords of Skyrim"
    • “Before the Ages of Man"
    • “Night of Tears”
    • "Yngol and the Sea Ghosts"


    Yes It’s a large and detailed build. My main goal with this build is to share with you, fellow blog, a bit of my experiences as Harbinger in Skyrim. I love how this game mode can be done. Since I started playing Skyrim, I was fascinated with the story of the Companions. I hope that expectations are met and. I am ready to listen to criticism and any suggestions. Thank you. 

     ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___  

  • August 24, 2013

    This is a really awesome build.  It's not like we haven't seen two handed warrior builds before, but I think it is the first time I've seen one so focused on the Companions and the position of the Harbinger.  It also has really great presentation!  I also like how you upgraded the armor at each stage.  I had thought of something similar to that when I considered making a true nord hero, because I all to often make a build that focuses on one look.

    I really like this and I hope it goes higher for you! +1

  • August 24, 2013

    Follow up!  Perk spreads would make this build look even better and let's us see how you recommend to build the guy.  Additionally, tactics.  How does he handle on combat?  I know he uses two handed swords as well as sword and board, but how do you decide to attack and which weapon for which enemy?  And what bow do you use?  Just a few more things to think about!

  • Member
    August 24, 2013

    It's pretty good. I think you should maybe take a look at this mod. +1 from me!

  • August 24, 2013

    I was about to give you some advice to improve this but Seraph has done most of the work for me. Following his advice will make a very good first build even better. I would also suggest running a spelling and grammar check, but other than that, great work. +1

  • Member
    August 24, 2013

    Thank you for all your comments and observations! Today I'll post those details (I was scared by the size of the post...). This was my first build and I'm still getting used to these details. I'm very glad that you liked it. Thank you so much!

  • Member
    August 24, 2013

    Ok! Thank you for these advices! I will be more careful at my next build! 

  • Member
    August 24, 2013

    Thank you man! 

  • August 24, 2013
    Great build, I was about to play something similar(a sword & shield mercenary) and I can change him to join my favorite faction! +1 As Seraphdark said, a perk spread would make it shine even further. I would suggest to use Nordic bow or Nord Hero Bow wich is upgradeable since last update. Is Barberhøvelkald an iron sword?
  • Member
    August 24, 2013

    Yes, it's a Iron Sword. Thank you for the comments!

    I'm just posted the distribution of points at level 30 and some battle strategies. I believe it can be useful and complete my build. I loved the suggestion about the Nordic Bow and it's look like pretty good! But I tried to use my Long Bow only for hunting. Nothing more. I love the look of it. Rustic and appears to be effective against animals. Thank you!!