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Event Build: The Cursed

Tags: #Vargr Build  #Character Build Warrior  #Character Build No Crafting  #Character Build Werewolf  #Rank:Event Exemplar  #Event:Crossworlds2 
  • December 8, 2015

    This is the fourth build in my series based on classic movie monsters.  If you’re interested in the other builds of this series please visit my page. 

    After many character’s and tons of game hours I wanted to approach Skyrim in a more organic way, similar to a first play-thru, part of the beauty of this build is how easily it flows from one quest to the next, it feels natural and helps greatly with immersion.  I also embraced a play style that I haven’t tried up until now, the trusty sword and board.   The result was a character that was easy to get into and felt very at home in Skyrim.



    This is a tragic tale of one who has fallen from glory.  He was once a decorated Stormcloak soldier, who was instrumental in the liberation of Skyrim.  The civil war brought him fame, fortune, and family, everything a Nord could ever want.  However, he also possessed a restless spirit that chaffed at being idle.  He sought to become like the great Ysgrammor, who performed great deeds and became a hero of legend.  Perhaps this is why he did not recognize the curse for what it was when he first saw it.  Instead he was blinded by the promise of powers and abilities beyond the mortal realm of man.

    Race:  Nord, as I feel they fit the setting and role-play the best.  They also have a useful once a day power that fits nicely with the lycanthrope half of the build.  However any race could be used since the racial power is not a significant part of the play style.

    Stone:  The Warrior for the first part of the build, until we join the Companions.  The Lady, picked up after we join the circle, this stone represents the increased metabolism possessed by one who bears the curse.

    Primary Skills:  One Handed, Block, Archery, and Light Armor.  The standard suite of hold guard skills.

    Secondary Skills:  Restoration and Lycanthropy.

    Stat Placement:  M:0 H:1 S:1  We won’t need any more magicka than our starting value.  I kept health and stamina even and never felt like I needed more of one or the other. 

    Weapons:  Steel Sword, Steel Dagger, Hunting Bow are my starting weapons for this build since they suit the look of a Stormcloak Soldier.  Upgrade to Skyforged blades when you join the Companions.  Windhelm Guard’s shield to start, then upgrade to a Steel Shield when you join the Companions.

    Apparel:  Stormcloak Cuirass, Fur Boots, Fur Gauntlets, Novice Hood.  This set can be picked up in Helgen and is worn throughout the first portion of the build.  The hood is helpful for casting healing spells but becomes a detriment once you pick up the Custom Fit perk which is when I drop it for a light armor helm.  Stormcloak Officer’s set (minus the boots which count as heavy armor despite being listed as light armor in the game) with Fur Boots.

    Gear:  Cursed Ring of Hircine, Amulet of Mara.

    Shouts:  None, we are not the Dragonborn.

    Perk Spread: Level 25

    Archery:  Overdraw 3/5, Eagle Eye, Steady Hand 1/2, Critical Shot 1/3

    Block:  Shield Wall 3/5, Deflect Arrows, Quick Reflexes, Power Bash

    One Handed:  Armsman 3/5, Fighting Stance, Bladesman 1/3

    Light Armor:  Agile Defender 3/5, Custom Fit

    Restoration: Novice, Respite, Regeneration

    Lycanthropy: Bestial Strength 4/4, Totem of Terror, Animal Vigor, Gorging, Savage Feeding

    Archery:  A standard skill for any hold guard.  Open up every fight with a few arrows while closing in on the enemy.  The perks Eagle Eye and Steady Hand represent the heightened senses of one who bears the curse.  For role-playing purposes don’t pick up these perks until after becoming a werewolf.

    Block:  A standard skill for any hold guard.  The perk Quick Reflexes represents the super human abilities of one who bears the curse.  For role-playing purposes don’t pick up this perk until after becoming a werewolf.

    One Handed:  A standard skill for any hold guard.  Our major form of offense, it is our sword arm that will carry us through to victory.  I chose to focus on swords for their speed and light weight.  Also, at the end of the civil war Ulfirc with gift you a sword, which makes a nice memento of your service.

    Light Armor:  All hold guard armor is classified as light armor; this includes the Stormcloak Officer set as well.  The perk Wind Walker should be taken as soon as it is available; it represents the supernatural stamina and vigor that is associated with one who has been cursed.

    Restoration:  This skill is the one deviance form the standard hold guard suite of skills.  It best represents the resistance to injury that a werewolf possesses.  The Respite perk is one of my favorites.  The ability to restore both health and stamina by spending a stat we otherwise wouldn’t use is a great way of using everything that was given to you at character creation.

    Lycanthropy:  The growing strength of the curse.  Focus on the right hand branch and Totem of Terror.  This werewolf won’t be completing the Totems quests so there is no point in perking the other branches.




    A decorated veteran of the civil war and an honorable member of Ulfric Stormcloak’s court, the cursed was a man of means and influence in the city of Windhelm, owner of a lavish estate, and married to a beautiful wife.   Unfortunately the quiet life never agreed with him.  After the war he sought out other challenges.  He never truly felt alive unless that life was at stake.  To this end he sought out the Companions, a mercenary company based in Whiterun, where he could prove himself and put his combat prowess to use protecting the people of the land he loved.   He was immediately accepted by the group and quickly rose in rank and influence.  Soon he was invited to join the Circle, the elite of the elite among the Companions, and it was then that he learned the secret of their power.  It was presented as a great gift, and it certainly seemed to be.  Sadly this gift would prove to be a vile curse instead.

    The early part of this character’s career will see him completing the civil war.  From Helgen head straight to Windhelm and join the Stormcloak’s.  Part of your initiation will be solving the recent murders, as well as helping the local populace, all this goes toward making a name for yourself in Windhelm.  Buy Hjerim as soon as it becomes available and you have the funds.  It is a fitting house for the hero of the Stormcloaks.  During this time you should also find yourself a spouse, and consider adopting a child.  Once you complete the civil war and become thane of Windhelm it will be time to move on to the second part of this build, joining the Companions and becoming a member of the circle. 


    Initially, all was well, relatively speaking.  The first change was powerful, intense, and heady.  A few unfortunate guards were mauled to death in the streets of Whiterun before the hellish beast leapt the walls and fled over the tundra.  Subsequent changes were much less intense and the man was able to maintain his control, was able to bend the will of the beast to his own purposes becoming a truly powerful and frightening opponent.  Unfortunately his control began to falter.  The urge to change became more intense and more frequent.  Soon the beast would start to manifest against his will, usurping control of his body so it could slake its bloodlust and only subsiding once its ravenous hunger was sated.  At first this only happened at times of great stress or anger, usually in battle, when the beast would burst forth.  Soon the trigger became more frequent, and required less stimulus, something as simple as the sound of a smiths hammer could set off the beast, and it would take all of the man’s will to stop it from killing and feeding.  Sadly this control was short lived.  The beast was soon able to come forth without notice seizing any who were near so that it could feed its terrible hunger.

    Continue with the Companions quest line until Kodlak requests you to hunt down a cure for the curse.  At this point the character sides with Aela and Skjor.  He sees lycanthropy as a blessing not a curse.  He is sure of his own prowess and ability to control the beast within.  No longer able to find common ground with the leader of the Companions the cursed one will leave them.  However, his already restless spirit has only been made more so by the beast blood that now courses through his veins.  He still seeks a challenge; he still seeks danger and risk.  Now the ex-Companion will seek his fortune and take on contracts at his own discretion.  You will probably have been approached by a messenger from Falkreath with a letter from the Jarl requesting your aid.  Now would be a good time to see what he wants, and it’s a good excuse to get us to visit Falkreath Jail.



    There are two things we want to accomplish in Falkreath.  One is building Lakeview Manor; the second is starting the quest Ill Met by Moonlight.  

    The beast within has become more urgent and harder to control.  This leads him to move his household to the pine woods of Falkreath.  He no longer trusts his ability to control the beast, and a busy city like Windhelm presents too many risks for an unstable transformation. 

    Once you’ve built Lakeview Manor and moved your family it’s time to get the Cursed Ring of Hircine.  However, we will not finish this quest.  Our goal is the cursed ring which will represent the inability to control transformations.  This is the final stage of the curse when we lose all semblance of control.  From now on wear the ring at all times.

    Role-playing the Curse

    Only during a Beast Form greater power transformation do we have any control.  During these transformations we can act strategically by avoiding populated areas and using the power of the beast to destroy our foes.  However, every transformation caused by wearing the ring is subject to certain role-playing rules.  These are the random changes when the beast bursts forth unannounced and ravages anything it can get its claws on.

    -First, when the beast comes forth it is filled with an over whelming hunger and needs to feed.  Attack the closest person to you when you transform (no exceptions), and feed at the earliest opportunity.  This means if you transform while buying armor from Alvor then its Alvor’s unlucky day.

    -Second, feed only once per random change.  This is not the time when you train up your werewolf skills that’s saved for when you are in control.  The beast will kill any and all who attack it, and will chase down any one who fleas in order to satisfy its hunger.  This will limit the length of the transformation, and mitigate the damage the beast will deal.

    -Third, once fed the beast is more interested in the hunt, instinctually chasing down any fleeing prey.  The beast has only three thoughts when it manifests.  The first is to kill, the second is to feed, and third is to hunt.  If you get too low in health then the beast will flee to the safety of the wilds.

    These role-play guidelines represent the full fledged curse.  Soon every hold in Skyrim will be hunting you.  You will no longer be able to visit any of the major cities.  Your only safe haven will be your home in the pine forest.  Unfortunately that safety does not extend to the ones who live with you. 

    Despair and the End-game

    Eventually the unbidden transformation will happen when you are at home.  This triggers the end game for this character.  Following the above rules means that the beast will manifest and seek to kill and feed off of the nearest person, probably your spouse, and will then hunt down and kill anyone else in the area, the rest of your household.  When the transformation finally ends the cursed one will realize with horror what he has done.  The guilt and the shame will be more than he can bear.  The only thing stopping him form ending his life is the knowledge that Kodlak shared with him.  Werewolves go to Hircine’s Hunting Grounds when they die.  The only chance to see your family again is to cure the curse and hope that you can find entrance into Sovngarde.

    This “end game trigger” is random, for some characters it might happen right after they get the ring, while others may successfully hide their unhinged and bestial nature for a very long time.  Eventually the curse will catch up with them.

    From here we will return to Kodlak and help him find a cure.  Once the Companions quest line is completed we will cure ourselves and seek a fitting end for a nord, hopefully gaining us entry into Sovngarde.  A fitting end would be death in battle, preferably a noble cause against a terrible foe.  This is when I crank the difficulty all the way up (I usually play on Adept) and head off to fight Sahloknir.  Wearing my Stormcloak gear and using the sword Ulfric gave me I’m usually quite out matched.  It does however make for a good end.


    Below I’ve listed the quests that make up the story of the cursed in order of progression.

    The Civil War (Stormcloaks):  Right out of Helgen follow Ralof’s advice and head to Windhelm to join the Stormcloak rebellion.

                    Blood on the Ice:  This is a good one to complete at the beginning before you purchase Hjerim

                    Thane of Eastmarch:  This sets the character up as a person of some renown.

                    The Bonds of Matrimony:  The end game requires a spouse.

    The Companions:  Up to but not including Blood’s Honor.  This is when the curse is contracted and leads to our split from the group.  Causing us to head out on our own.

                    Build Your Own Home (Falkreath):  Answer the Jarl’s summons and build a secluded home.

                    Ill Met By Moon Light:  Abandon this quest after receiving the Cursed Ring of Hircine.

    The Companions:  Complete this quest line once the end game scenario has been triggered.

                    Dragon Rising:  Crank up the difficulty and find your noble end.

    “Even a man who is pure in heart

    And says his prayers by night

    May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms

    And the moon is full and bright”



    Well that’s my take on the classic Wolfman story set in Skyrim.  I hope you enjoyed this and look forward to your comments below. This was a different approach to character building than what I’m used to, focusing more on telling a story rather than maxing skills or acquiring key items.  It was a very fun and liberating build to play and actually made Skyrim feel fresh again.

    A ton of credit needs to go to Paul England for his Vargr build and the use of the cursed ring.  It’s such a convenient mechanic that really turns lycanthropy into a liability.  I would also like to thank the CB team for hosting events and contests like this so we can have fun playing Skyrim and writing builds, you guys are a class act.  Finally I would like to thank you the reader for taking the time to read and like character builds.


  • Member
    December 8, 2015

    Awesome work dude

  • Member
    December 8, 2015

    This event really is bringing out the best in builders, maybe I should've signed up... XD

  • Member
    December 8, 2015
    Very good. I like how you basically created your own wolf man questline within Skyrim.
  • Member
    December 9, 2015
    Love the role play section on this build. Great work
  • Member
    December 9, 2015
    Top notch RP, top notch presentation and top notch build overall. You've done the Wolf justice.
  • Member
    December 9, 2015
    This is very impressive. I'll play this build once I've finished my current playthrough.
  • December 12, 2015
    Thanks Relycs! I love hearing that one of my builds has inspired a playthrough. Let me know how it goes.
  • Member
    December 14, 2015

    You're out of event rank bloodworks BTW. And you deserve it, this is really good!

  • Member
    December 27, 2015

    I have only just come to appreciate a good werewolf build... and this is one!

    I love the roleplay you've got going on for this... especially your "endgame trigger." It's dark, but ultimately redemptive, and playing a build where you ultimately aim to go down in a noble blaze of glory seems like a compelling way to finish a build.

    Nicely done!